November Rewind

In November I read 8 books. They were:

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
The Booby Trap and Other Bits and Boobs edited by Dawn O’Porter
Lets pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Unsouled by Neal Shusterman
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher
The Casual Vacancy by J.k. Rowling
Slated by Terri Terry

After waiting a year for it to be published and then a week searching for a copy I finally got to read Unsouled by Neal shusterman. It was so good. I won’t say too much here  because I’m going to review it now that I’m not completely swamped with coursework.  The only bad thing is that I now have to wait another year for the final book to be published.

Most of the books I read in November were new to me. The two books I reread were The Casual Vacancy and Catching Fire. If you want to know what I thought about The Casual Vacancy you can read my review here.

I ended up going to see the film adaptation of Catching Fire the other day. It was well done but I thought that there were far to many kisses between Katniss and Gale. It and the previous film would have been a much better if the film makers had concentrated less on the love triangle and it had a certificate higher than a 12A.

In December I’m going to have to read at least 10 books because I challenged myself to read 75 books this year and I’m currently on 65 books.  I’ve had that little bar on Goodreads telling me that I’m behind schedule for about a month now.

gr

Recent Reads (2)

I’ve been wanting to talk about these books for a while but I don’t have enough to say about each for a full review.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Stardust had been sitting on my shelves unread for like a year. Since I end up watching the film pretty much every time it’s on TV I figured that I should finally pick it up and read it. I really enjoyed it, even though it’s completely different from the film. The plot is basically the same but some of the best characters from the film like Captain Shakespeare aren’t in it. I enjoyed the writing style, it’s written in the style of fairy tales and is pretty simple.

Black Friday by Robert Muchamore

Black Friday is the final book of the Aramov trilogy. I had been waiting a year to read it and it didn’t disappoint. I loved that James Adams the main character from the previous Cherub series was brought back.

Miss Peregrines home for peculiar children by Ransom Riggs

I’d been wanting to read Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children since I heard about it years ago. I loved the idea that it contained real old pictures and I was expecting it to be really good. It turned out to be kind of average so I was disappointed. I think that’s sort of my fault though because I built it up too much in my head. If you like books that feature supernatural people who are being hunted by other supernatural people you’ll enjoy Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children.

Girl of nightmares by Kendare Blake

This book was hugely disappointing. When I read Anna Dressed in Blood I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to know what going to happen. With this one I had to force myself to keep reading instead of putting it down.  I found it kind of boring as most of the book is spent building up to the ending. It just lacked everything that was good about the first book. [The first book had awesome/interesting ghosts, murder and ghost hunting. Plus a really good ending]  In my opinion Anna Dressed in Blood could have been left as a stand alone book.

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold is the best Game of Thrones book I’ve read so far. (I’m still currently reading the next book A Feast for Crows) It’s ridiculously action packed and is basically death after death after death.

Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling

001Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling
Author: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Genre: Crime fiction, Detective Fiction
Number of pages: 449

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. 

Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . . 

When I first heard about The Cuckoo’s Calling I was curious but didn’t want to buy it straight away because crime novels aren’t really my thing. I downloaded the free sample on my kindle to get a sense of whether I would enjoy it or not and knew after the first chapter that I would end up buying it.

The Cuckoo’s Calling begins with the death of famous model Lula Landry. Since she fell from a balcony and had mental health problems the police quickly write it off as a suicide. Her brother John isn’t so sure and calls in our protagonist Cormoran Strike a private detective to look into it further. The book follows Strike as he interviews the people around Lula Landry and tries to piece together how and why she ended up falling from that balcony.

I haven’t read much crime fiction but I really enjoyed this book. It only took me a few days to read and kept me guessing all the way through. I couldn’t decide/work out who of two different people had some responsibility for what happened until it was revealed right at the end. Ok that sentence may have be worded weirdly but I don’t want to post any spoilers, people who spoil things suck.

Strike is a likeable enough main character and I liked the relationship between him and Robin. I’ve said this before but one of the things J.K. Rowling is best at is writing characters and it shows. There’s a large cast of characters in The Cuckoo’s Calling and they all felt pretty realistic.

I thought it was interesting that this book is set in 2010. It doesn’t explicitly tell you that it is but there are little hints like mentions of things that happened in the run up to the election and famous characters talking about having their phones hacked. I think I understand why Rowling chose to set the book in this time because the death of Lula Landry and Strikes investigation of it are heavily surrounded by the media and the press. 2010 makes sense because it was just before the Phone hacking scandal was revealed and the Leveston inquiry, at that time the press had much more freedom to hound celebrities and get ‘news’.

I definitely recommend The Cuckoo’s Calling even if you don’t read crime fiction.

September Rewind

In September I read 4 books. They were:

Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Black Friday by Robert Muchamore
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K Rowling)

September was a pretty busy month for me as I moved from London to university in an entirely new city . I enjoyed all the books that I read. I reviewed Geek Girl and am currently planning reviews of The Cuckoo’s Calling and Fangirl.

Review: Geek Girl

003Title: Geek Girl
Author: Holly Smale
Genre: YA
Number of pages: 356

Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. 

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, hershe begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did. 

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

I’d been wanting to read this book for a while so when it was included in the Kindle Daily Deal on Amazon I ended up buying it. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I was going to.

Geek Girl is about Harriet, a self confessed geek who doesn’t like fashion. When her best friend Nat drags her to The Clothes Show she is spotted by a top modelling agency and decides to become a model in the hopes that people will see her differently. I think I might have enjoyed this book more if I was younger. I’m sure my 14 year old self would have really enjoyed it  but I had problems with it.

Harriet is 15 but she seems more like a 13 year old, her voice is quite childish and there’s a part were a fellow model asks her how old she is and she says ’15 and three twelfths”. I mean who still measures their age like that by the time they get to 15.  Maybe she got that childishness from her dad though because he didn’t seem very mature for an adult. A lot of his and Harriet’s problems could have been avoided if they had told the truth.

There was one character in this book that I found extremely irritating, Wilbur the model agency guy. Every time he spoke and I mean every time he used ridiculous pet names like ‘Cherub cheeks and  Munchkin-face’. After a while I started to just skim the parts where he spoke because he annoyed me. I don’t have a problem with slang or unusual language in books if it’s done right but this just wasn’t.

There is a lot of teenage drama in this book but it’s ok because it’s pretty realistic. Teenagers (at least in my experience) are idiots sometimes and fall out with their friends. I met a couple of different people who were like Alexa during my time at secondary school. I didn’t like the fact that Harriet just excepted that Toby was stalking her though. That was just weird and it seems like a bad message to send to teenagers. Stalking isn’t ok.

Despite its flaws Geek Girl is ok and I would recommend it if you’re looking for something light that doesn’t require much thinking.

August Rewind

In August I read 5 books. They were:

Miss Peregrines home for peculiar children by Ransom Riggs
A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
In the Midst of Life by Jennifer Worth

August was a pretty good month because all of the books I read were new to me and not rereads.

Miss Peregrines home for peculiar children and Girl of nightmares were both disappointing. I was expecting them to be really good and they weren’t. Miss Peregrines home was just a bit average. Girl of nightmares was boring and lacked everything that made the first book good.

I really enjoyed Stardust and A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold.

I’m currently about 300 pages into the next Game of Thrones book A Feast for Crows.

A-Z book survey

The A-Z book survey was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-turner. I saw it and thought that it looked like fun. It reminded me of all the Surveys I used to do on Bebo way back in 2007.

Author you’ve read the most books from:

I’m pretty sure that it’s a tie between Robert Muchamore and Jacqueline Wilson.

Best Sequel Ever:

I’m going to go with Unwholly by Neal Shusterman because it was published 5 years after the first and managed to be just as good. It could have so easily been watered down but it wasn’t.

Currently Reading:

A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Tea

E-reader or Physical Book?

Both. Until last year I was one of those people who always said ‘I’m never going to get a kindle’ but after a holiday where my bags were weighed down with books I bought myself one. I love it but I’m never going to give up on physical books.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

I can’t really answer this because I don’t really crush on people/characters very often.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

The perks of being a wallflower. The first time I tried to read it I got bored and gave up. Then a few months later a friend read it and told me to give it another chance. I’m glad I did because I ended up really enjoying it.

Hidden Gem Book:

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s been a favourite of mine since I first read it.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Discovering the book blogging and booktubing communities and Goodreads. They’ve given me a place to talk about books that I love with people who also love books. Before that I used to annoy my bestfriend (who wasn’t a reader) by always talking about them to her.

Just Finished:

Brigands M.C. by Robert Muchamore

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Romances and YA vampire/supernatural creature stories. I don’t enjoy love stories and I went through a phase when I was about 14/15 where I read all the vampire books I could get my hands on. Since then I haven’t wanted to read any more about vampires.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

A Clash of Kings (873 pages)

Major book hangover because of:

I had to think really hard about this and the only book I could think of was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The first time I read it, I read it in one sitting and it made me cry. I never cry at books.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

1. it’s taller than me and is completely full so I have three stacks of books on the floor next to it.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Preferred Place To Read:

In my bedroom and on the bus.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

‘What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person’ – Paper Towns, John Green

Reading Regret:

I don’t really have any regrets.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I gave up halfway through book 12 because after book 10 they got really bad. It’s like the author had run out of ideas and was just writing stuff that could be turned into the TV show. At some point I need to finish it and the final book.

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books:

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Books by Robert Muchamore.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Black Friday by Robert Muchamore, Unsouled by Neal Shusterman and Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Worst Bookish Habit:

Skipping parts in books that I know will made me unhappy. (Like Sirius’s death in Hp5)

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Your latest book purchase:

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins