Sunday, 30 August 2015

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough


After I first discovered this one late last year, I have been wanting to buy it and read it ever since, but have been putting it off due to the number of books that were already on my TBR.  But recently I finally gave in and brought it, with it being read pretty much as soon as I had.  However, I have to admit that I was actually quite disappointed with this one. I'm not sure if it just wasn't my cup of tea or if I just hyped it up too much myself, but I just found myself really not enjoying this one at all.

One of the main reasons for this was the very slow pace of the book.  I just found that a lot of the first half of the book was filled with too much pointless information and not enough which would actually be important to the plot.  Half the time it felt as though the characters were just wandering around aimlessly, and even when they weren't I had a hard time figuring what they actually were doing.  

Leading on from this, I felt that once the plot did get going that there was just too much going on at once.  I was so confused with how one sub-plot fitted in with the main story and with what was going on with another one entirely; I just didn't understand how so many things and people connected in with one main plot.  I found myself rejoicing whenever a explanation came that half the time that I felt there wasn't much point me reading the rest of it, which just left me more confused than before.  If I'm honest, I still don't think I have a complete idea what was going on even now!

Another reason for my confusion was the amount of characters included in this one book.  As much as I liked the split POV and felt it allowed us to see the story from different angles, I did get slightly irritated with just how many characters there were, with so many people included in one story.  So many people were involved that half the time I forget who one character was and why another was important that by the end I couldn't remember who half of them even were.

On a more positive note, I did like how the actual story of Long Lankin was revealed to us, although I would have prefered for it to have been uncovered earlier.  I actual search for answers when it related to the main story of the ghost himself, but felt that it spent too much time on extra information about  people's encounters with him.  I enjoyed hearing all the different stories about Long Lankin, but honestly I think that they should have been told alot sooner on.

Finally, as much as this was a ghost story and all, I really didn't find that scary.  I feel as though I say this about every horror book I read, but I really wanted this one to be alot more frightening than it was.  The only scenes I found scary were at the beginning, and these didn't even include Lankin himself, who was meant to be the main ghost/villain in this book.  Due to this, the ending for me was a bit of a let down.

So all in all, I was definitely not a fan of this one, and I think its safe to say that I will not be picking up the sequel - sorry! 


Character(s): Eda
Scene(s): Cora feeding the parrot and hearing the ghost
Quote(s): "Perhaps there are places people should never live in, never even got to, no matter how beautiful they may seem."


Song(s): Alive - Gabrielle Aplin


2.5 /5

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Fifteen

Top Ten books that would be on your syllabus if you taught YA contemporary 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  After skipping last week, I decided that I had to participate in this one as it allowed me to talk about one of my most read genres and some of my favourite books from that.  So here is my list for my top ten books that would be on my syllabus if I taught YA contemporary 101: 

1) Looking For Alaska by John Green - Not only is this one of my favourite contemporaries anyway, but it also has one of the biggest (and best in my opinion) plot twists that I think I ever read; it's also just a great book anyway!
2) Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - This is likely one of, if not my favourite YA contemporary romance, so I couldn't imagine not adding this one in.  

3) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - I feel as though this is one of the better known YA contemporaries, so it was almost guaranteed a spot on here as it's not only an amazing read but also deals with so many deeper issues as well.  

4) We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach - I loved this book so much that I felt I just had to include it, with the split POV and just the concept of it being amazing.  

5) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - I feel as though I'd have to include this one for both plot twist (as this one also contains a huge one) as well as for the unique, almost lyrical style of writing, something I believe adds so much to this book.  

6) Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - Morgan Matson is known for adding extra little twists and added content into her books (e.g. receipts, lists, playlists - my personal favourite), and so it was only right to put this one onto the list as an example of how you can add things like that into a contemporary novel.  

7) Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green - This is another one which I absolutely adore, putting it almost straight on this list.  

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith


As was the case with many of my summer reads this year, The Geography of You and Me was one that I brought after reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight last year.  And so, seeing as that was read in the summer time last year, I couldn’t not keep the tradition running and read this one under the sun as well.  Add to that the fact that this is a contemporary romance novel, and you get almost the perfect criteria for a summer read (in my eyes anyway).

Firstly, I loved how quick this book was to get into the plot.  It dived straight into the blackout, not wasting any time with introductions but instead letting the characters do that themselves.  I also liked how we were instantly introduced to both main characters, Lucy and Owen, this further moving the story along and giving the book a fast yet steady pace.
Sticking with characters, I found that I liked many of the characters in this book, despite the lack of long running side characters.  I liked both Owen and Lucy as characters, especially how they seemed to act like actually people rather than loved-up characters in a novel.  I liked how they fought and how they both moved on when they were separated, something which I felt made the whole thing more lifelike than if they would have waited for each other.  It was weirdly satisfying to see them move on and be happy without the other, even if they secretly longed for them.

However, as much as loved Lucy and Owen, I would have liked to have seen some longer running side characters, as these were few and far between.  The story focused so strongly on them that I just wanted to scream at the book to give me someone else to read about, or at least someone else who would stick around for longer than a section.  It could just be me and my love for side characters and long-running friendships in books, but I couldn’t help but get slowly and slowly more irritated by the lack of them, with the only ones coming to mind being both their parents.

One aspect which I absolutely adored was the communication between the pair, this mostly done through postcards.  I personally love old ways of staying in contact, so reading about the several pieces of card which were flown across the globe really enticed me as I waited for the next one to be popped in the post.  The jokes they shared through them were just an added bonus.

Finally I couldn’t end without talking about how much I loved the conclusion of the book, this only second to the start.  I am a sucker for books containing travel and amazing destinations, so I loved reading about the various places these two visited (no matter how exciting or dull they were), but I have to admit that my favourite place was were it all started, in New York.  I liked how as they got on with their lives they still came back to the rooftop and to this city where it all started; it was the perfect ending to a great book.


Character(s): Lucy
Scene(s): Atop the rooftop in the blackout
Quote(s): ‘Just because you painted a house didn’t mean the furniture inside was any different.” 

Relate a:

Song(s): Holy Ground – Taylor Swift
Aquaman - Walk The Moon



Saturday, 15 August 2015

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

After reading We Were Liars last summer (review here) and absolutely adoring it, it’s safe to say that I was quick to find and buy another book by E. Lockhart.  But as is the case with many of my summer reads this year, I soon figured that this second book by Lockhart could only truly be read in the summer holidays.  So, after managing to hold off from this one for many months now, I finally picked this one up and read it as my first official read of the summer.

To start, I really liked most of the characters in this book, particularly the range of personalities and just people in general.  This book was certainly not shy for introducing many different characters, with so many also having an impact, no matter how small, on the plot and the main character, Frankie’s, life.  I also liked how they were all shown to be who they were, such as how Frankie is described by some at the end, and how Matthew is also described in the same way at both the beginning and the end.

Moving on from characters, the plot was another thing which I really enjoyed, despite the fact that it took a while for everything to truly get going.  I loved reading about the different pranks, about the secret society and even about Frankie’s relationship with Matthew.  Saying this, I did find that the book held onto the story of Frankie and Matthew for just a little too long, with their relationship being the main focus of almost the entire first half of the book.  I hope it wasn’t just me who was just waiting for all the pranks and mischief to start!

I was also a little disappointed with some of the plot twists in this one, as I found some quite predictable and not all surprising.  This may be also down to the shock of the twist in We Were Liars as I found that one to be completely unexpected and quite the opposite of some of the ones in this.

Back to the positive points, once again I found myself in love with E. Lockhart’s writing, especially considering how different it felt from We Were Liars.  It felt so unique and I liked how captivating and intriguing I found it.  It definitely drew me and kept me reading.

As for the structure, once again I found this to be another aspect which kept me reading, thanks to the short and sweet chapters.  This really helped to keep the book flowing and the pace up, with the story flowing quickly from chapter to chapter.  I also liked how the book was wrapped up, with the same idea and extract that is placed on the very first page of the actual novel.  It was good to be able to look back, read it through again and understand it all a lot more than when it was just a clue to the plot.

So overall, I did like this book, but I doubt it will be one that will stick in my mind or that I will find myself coming back to in the future.  I loved the writing, the story and the characters, but I guess it just wasn’t a book I could love.


Character(s): Trish and Matthew
Scene(s): Debate between Frankie and Elizabeth in the café.
Quote(s): “It is better to be alone, she figured, than to be with someone who can’t see who you are.  It is better to lead than follow.  It is better to speak up than stay silent.  It is better to open doors than shut them on people.”

Relate a:

Song(s): Cool Kids – Echosmith
Buzzcut Season – Lorde
Other Book(s): We Were Liars by E. Lockhart



Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Fourteen

Top ten authors I've read the most books from:

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  After not participating in this for a while now, I was determined to get back into it, and so this seemed like the perfect week to do so.  I didn't take much thinking for me to figure out which authors hold the top spot, but it was interesting to figure out the authors that make up the rest of the list, some of whom surprised me.  I did decide to keep four as my lowest total, as I have read so many trilogies that it would just get pointless.  So here is my list for the top ten authors I've read the most books from: 

1) Amanda Hocking- So far I've read a total of twelve books by her, these being the Trylle trilogy (this being my favourite out of the series I have read of hers), Watersong series, all the current books in the My Blood Approves series and the first book of from the Kanin series, Frostfire, taking Amanda Hocking straight to the top of this list.  

2) Michael Grant - I've read all six books in the Gone series, as well as Eve and Adam (which he co-wrote with Katherine Applegate), although I did read all of these a while ago now, taking the total up to seven books. 

3) Malorie Blackman - I have read a total of six books she has written, these being the four books in the Noughts and Crosses series, Boys Don't Cry and more recently Noble Conflict.  My favourite of these had to be Double Cross, the fourth and last book in the Noughts and Crosses series.  

4) Stephenie Meyer - As I'm sure alot of people have, I did read all four of the Twilight books, as well as The Host by her, this being my clear favourite out of the five.  

5) David Levithan - Despite having read 5 books written by him, on three of the books (Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Invisibility and Dash and Lily's Books of Dares) he did co-write with another author, leaving only two of the five I have read which he wrote single-handedly, these being Everyday and How They Met. 

6) John Green - Again, John Green is another author where I have read five of his books, but these do also include collaborations with other authors with Let It Snow and Will  Grayson, Will Grayson.  Other than these two though, I have also read The Fault In Our Stars, Paper Towns and Looking For Alaska, this and Will Grayson, Will Grayson being my favourites of his.  

Saturday, 8 August 2015

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach


After first buying this only a couple of months ago now, I was initially planning on waiting a while longer and getting through some older books before I read this.  But after being in a reading slump for far too long, with every book taking me a couple of weeks before I either gave up or finally finished it, I was in desperate need for a book which I both wanted to read and one which wouldn’t seem like too much of a struggle to get through.  And after a long hard look at my bookshelves, I decided that this would be the one to revive my urge to read – something I am pretty sure it did.

One of the first things that I found worked well was the four-way split POV.  I liked how we saw the world through more than one set of eyes, as well as how different each character was, with everyone having different personalities and roles to play in the story.  I also enjoyed watching as they all evolved and grew as people as the book went on.  My only problem with the split POV was that sometimes I found it confusing as to who was speaking, especially when they had scenes together or it went over an event that had already been told from another’s perspective.

Staying on the topic of characters, I also liked how all their stories slowly began to interlock, with them all having an impact on the other three’s lives.  I really enjoyed watching as the four grew together and slowly but surely began to interweave themselves into one or two plots instead of four completely separate ones.

One thing that I think really helped me get through the book was the writing style, which, despite not being particularly unusual or unique, I found to be more interesting than most, something which really kept me reading.  The different sections of the book also helped to make the book more manageable, as instead of being one 370 page book, the way it was split up made it more like ten, 40 pages sections; something which I found alot less daunting almost.

As for the story, all in all I enjoyed most of the plots and subplots, with all them nearly always incorporating more than one of the four main characters into each.  However, I did find the story slow to start, likely down to the four different characters who all needed to be introduced and whose stories needed to be set up before everything could really begin.  Due to this, I would definitely say that I preferred the later half of the book to the first, as by this time everyone was well in pursuit of their goals and they well all beginning to develop as characters.

In addition, this may be an explanation as to why I loved the ending/ last section of the book.  I really liked how everything ended on a huge cliff-hanger, as it allowed the individual reader to truly decide the character’s fate, rather than the author already setting that in stone.


Scene(s): Protest outside the air base
Character(s): Anita
Quote(s):  “The best books, they don’t talk about things you never through about before.  They talk about things you‘d always thought about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about.  You read them, and suddenly, you’re a little bit less alone in the world.”
“Who’s dumber? The guy who does his own thing or the girl who does someone else’s thing?”
“You didn’t win the game of life by losing the least…. Real winning was having the most to lose, even if it meant you might lose it all.  Even if it meant you would lose it all, sooner or later.”

Relate a:

Song(s):  The Kids Aren’t Alright – Fall Out Boy
The Fall – Imagine Dragons
Other Book(s):  Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky