Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Twenty Three

Top Ten Non-Scary books for Halloween

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was another I was sooo excited for, as I knew from the offset what topic I was going to choose for this Halloween-themed freebie.  This week I also managed to complete a full list of ten books - something I almost never manage to do.  So here is my list of some of my favourite non-scary books for Halloween - enjoy!

1) The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - A series including vampires, werewolves and demons? If you don't want scary, then this is the perfect book to still get you in the spirit. 
2) Everyday by David Levithan - This is a likely not the first book many people, including me, would usually pick for a Halloween read, but I think that it's actually a good one paranormal to read as it's in no way scary or creepy but still has a supernatural element. 
3) The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - This book centres entirely around faeries, as well as including some other supernatural creatures, and is so quick and easy to get through.  So if you want a fantastical read for Halloween, then I'd definitely give this a go. 
4) The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - This is one where if you want a good Halloween read without reading straight-up horror, then I'd definitely pick this up as it's an amazing story but not the scariest of books (in my opinion).

5) My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking - This whole series revolves around a family of vampires, making it a perfect Halloween read. 
6) The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - A book about a earth that has been invaded by creepy aliens who look human - so basically it's a perfect read if you don't want another book about werewolves, vampires or any other classic Halloweenesque creatures. 
7) Revived by Cat Patrick - Despite the premise of this one not including anything supernatural or paranormal, the plot in this does get kinda creepy and so can definitely get you in the mood for this time of year without scaring you silly. 
8) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - Another one similar to that of Revived and even Everyday as it isn't that Halloweeny but a good one if you want something mysterious or even creepy for this time of year. 

9) Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling - I'm sure almost everyone has either read the books or watched the films by now, so even if you have it's still so good for now as it's magical and just an amazing read! 
10) The Host by Stephenie Meyer - Another alien one if you want a break from the common supernatural/paranormal characters that's not at all scary but could still get you in that Halloween mood. 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

A Reader Recommends - October

If you read my A Reader's Playlist blog post from a couple of weeks ago, then you will know that I have decided to try and change up my blog a little, and add a few more new and hopefully exciting ideas.  This is another one which I have been toying over for a while now, but have for some reason been slightly scared to put up.  But I have finally plucked up the courage to share it with you, in the hope that it goes down okay at least.  Once again, please feel free to comment with your thoughts and without further ado, here is my first A Reader Recommends post: 


Switched by Amanda Hocking - A quick but addicting read with magic, forbidden love and an amazing world.

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - When a group of teenagerss get caught up in an mystery from two of their pasts, they find that dark secrets are hiding in the Calcutta night.

Forgotten by Cat Patrick - A book whose main character's memories are of the future, the past forgotten as soon as she goes to sleep.  Another quick yet gripping read with a few plot twists along the way.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - An amazing mysterious with plot twists around every corner.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendrae Blake - A story about a ghost hunter who finds more than he's expecting when his latest target raises more than a few questions.



She Used to be Mine - Sara Bareilles
Save Rock and Roll - Fall Out Boy
Hold Me Down - Halsey


Movies/ TV shows:

The Woman In Black - A horror film perfect for the run up to halloween
The Vampire Diaries - A TV series focused around Vampires if you don't want to scare yourself silly.
Harry Potter - It's magical, amazing and honestly you never need an excuse to watch these films.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Twenty Two

Top ten wishes I'd ask the book genie to grant me 

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/ meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  I have been really looking forward to this weeks topic for a while now as it seemed like a such a fun and unique list, but found that I had run out of time to think of a ton of answers to this.  However, I have managed to compile a list of some of the wishes I would ask the book genie, and so here it is:  

I wish that... 

1) I could meet some of my favourite characters (e.g. Lisel, Peeta, Cricket etc.) - I know this is kind of cheating as instead of wishing to meet a specific character I am wishing to meet more than one of my favourites, but I honestly couldn't decide who I would actually love to meet or even who topped the list of my favourite characters, and so decided that this was the only solution.  

2) The Trylle world was real - I absolutely adore this series to pieces and so would love to be able to experience the world in which it all happened. 

3) I had more time to read - Recently, I have been stuck in a real reading slump, one of the reasons for this being the lack of spare time I suddenly seem to have.  There always seems to be something else I should be doing or need to do, and so I would love to have more time on my hands to allow me to read without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else.
4) Noughts and Crosses would be turned into a movie - I have mentioned this before in a old TTT post, but I couldn't help but also put it on this list.  Despite reading the books a fair while ago now, this is still a series that I honestly believe would make an amazing set of films, and so, if I could wish for some things from the bookish genie, this would definitely be one of them.   

5) I had the ability to experience the world of any book I wanted to - There are so many different worlds and time periods in books which I would just love to experience, like the 1930's period in The Game of Love and Death or even Panem in The Hunger Games.  Even if only for a moment, I'd just love to live in the reality that the characters live in, no matter how bad their society may be.

6) Amanda Hocking would write the final My Blood Approves book - I read the first four books of this series about a year or so ago now, maybe even longer, and I am still waiting for the final conclusion to be written.  I just need to know how it all ends! 
7) I could reread certain books again for the first time - There are so many books out there that I adored when I read them, and so I would love to be able to relive that experience of first reading an amazing book.  I would also like to reread certain books like We Were Liars again, or any book with a major plot twist so that I can experience the shock all over again.  

8) I had an unlimited supply of books - Because, honestly, why not!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher


After reading My Sister lives on the Mantlepiece earlier on in the year, I found that I was actually quite reluctant to pick this one up.  I liked but didn't love her first novel, and so was so scared of feeling the same way about this one, especially because this was the one I was more excited about.  However, it certainly did not disappoint.  It provided a complete contrast to My Sister whilst still including similarities, and I honestly really enjoyed it.  

This book tells the story of a girl we call Zoe (her real name is only revealed at the very end of the book) as she writes letters to a criminal on death row.  For someone who adores different writing styles, the letter format of this one instantly boosted my excitement levels before reading and my enjoyment whilst reading.  It made the book alot more informal and chattier, something which had both its advantages and its disadvantages.  It did help to make the book alot easier to read and more relatable at times, but it also made the main character seem slightly immature as well at points as it seemed as though the language was dumbed down instead of just made slightly less formal.  However, I did like the format as it made the book that little bit more interesting.  

But, apart from finding Zoe slightly immature at times, I did generally like all the characters.  I really liked all of the members of her family as well as her friend Lauren, although, if I'm being picky, I would have liked to have seen more made of their friendship as it didn't really stand out hugely to me.   I also liked the character of Max, not because I liked him as a person particularly, but because of how I slowly began to see why he was like that and how bad I felt for him towards the end.   However, no matter how bad I felt for Max, I do have to admit that my favourite of them all was Aaron, who I can't imagine someone not loving.  He was just so honest and just a really good character overall.  

One part of the plot which I did like seeing was the family element.  I really enjoyed reading about a very normal family whose problems aren't unbelievable but also aren't non-existent.  Due to this, I also liked the sub-plots which often revolved around her family as it just made a story which on the surface seems so mad seem so much more real and relatable.  

Finally, a book is nothing if it doesn't have a good storyline - and this one certainly did.  The mystery works so well in this that you can't help but want to read on just to find out what actually happened, all the twists and turns reminding the reader why they need to.  As for the ending: its believable without being obvious, and is certainly a satisfying conclusion.  The last scene is so heartbreaking yet still the only way it could have ended.  So overall, I would say that this book is definitely worth a read, no matter if you enjoyed Pitcher's first novel or not, or even if you have yet to read anything by her.  

Character(s): Aaron, Soph
Scene(s): Aaron and Zoe outside the library
Quote(s): In real life things don't build up nicely to a climax, in actual facts moments occur out of the blue and there's no warning. 

Relate a:
Song(s): She Used to be Mine - Sara Bareilles
Treacherous - Taylor Swift 


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Twenty One

Top Ten Author duos I'd love to see

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I actually really enjoyed creating a list too, although I think that I may have just got a little too excited over these books which are not actually happening... Anyway here is my list for the top ten author duos I'd love to see happen: 

1) Amanda Hocking and Julie Kagawa - I can just imagine the amazing fantasy series these two could write together filled with magic and mythical creatures and forbidden love.  

2) Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Markus Zusak - I would literally die if these two joined forces on a book; they are two of my favourite authors, and both write so beautifully and such amazing stories that I can just imagine the historical excellence that they would create.  

3) Cat Patrick and Annabel Pitcher - Just imagine the mystery these two could create, with plot twists and romance and just great subplots that these two do fantastically.  

4) Jennifer E. Smith and Morgan Matson - Can you just picture the amazing romantic story these two could write together?  How splendidly cute it would be?   

5) Gayle Forman and John Green - I have a feeling that if these two decide to team up on a book, it would most likely have me sobbing for days.  I would love to see what emotional tearjerker these two could create.
6) Rick Yancey and Michael Grant - These two are a pair I can imagine would create an absolutely amazing sci-fiesque series with aliens, split POV and a very complicated storyline.  

7) Stephen Chbosky and David Levithan - This is likely the one I want to happen the most.  The funny yet very deep story these two could come up with and write would be one I couldn't wait to pick up.  

Sunday, 11 October 2015

A Reader's Playlist - October

Recently, I've become I bit bored of how repetitive my blog is at the moment.  It seems as though all I'm ever putting up is Top Ten Tuesdays and Reviews, and as much as love writing these posts, I would like to add a little more variety to my blog.  So, after thinking long and hard about what I wanted to put up that would interest me and hopefully those reading this, I decided to try out a couple of ideas, this being the first of those.  So here is my first Reader's Playlist - enjoy!

(p.s. please feel free to leave opinions on this below - I'd love to know wherever or not this goes down well!)

Numbers by Rachel Ward

A tale of a girl who knows the date of everyone she meets death.  After years of avoiding attention, she gets caught out as she saves the life of a boy she knows has longer left to live.

Can't Pretend - Tom Odell -
I wanna fight
But I can't contend

Twin Skeletons (Hotel In NYC) - Fall Out Boy -
A birth and a death on the same day,
And honey I only appeared so I could fade

I'm So Sorry - Imagine Dragons -
Life isn't always what you think it be.
Turn your head for one second and the tables turn


The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

A story about two teenagers who meet on a plane on the way to London.  Romantic, spontaneous and just downright cute.

Come Back... Be Here - Taylor Swift -
The delicate beginning rush,
The feeling you can know so much,
Without knowing anything at all.

Dancing at the Terminal - The Icarus Account -
Gravity can't stop us today,
So I'll spin you around,
Then we're floating away

Aquaman -
Slow dancing in the darkness,
And all I know is I want to be here with you from now on


Everyday by David Levithan

A book about a soul who spends every day of their life in another's body.  But when they get caught up in someone else's story, they learn that some things last longer than 24 hours.

Human Again - Kodaline -
I can feel it in my bones,
I don't want to die alone.

While the World Let Go - A Rocket to the Moon -
I said don't go, I need you here.
Just hold me close until the coast is clear.

Run Boy Run - Woodkid -
Run boy run,
This world was not meant for you


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Top Ten Tuesday Twenty

Top Ten Tropes I want to stop reading about 

Top ten tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This weeks topic was one I actually found quite hard, as I am not one to give up on a book, author or series unless I really can't force myself through it.  Therefore, I eventually decided to interpret this topic as tropes which I am sick of reading about, as I knew that I would find that an easier topic to write about.  So here are some of the tropes in YA which I find most irritating:

(p.s. sorry for the rants) 

1) Love triangles including the main character's best friend - I can't tell you how many times I have read a book where everything has been going smoothly, the girl is likely falling for the guy, and suddenly her best friend comes along and confesses his love for her.  And what reason is there for it? Nothing!   

2) Confusing split POV - I'm all for a story which is told from more than one characters point of view as long as it is done well and doesn't cover ten million different characters.  But when I can't tell the difference between one character's voice and the next, or it takes me five chapters to get back to the character whose story I am actually interested in, then I honestly don't see why the author is trying to confuse me.

3) An endless list of meaningless side characters - Anyone who knows me will know that I love side characters, often even more than their leads.  But I can't deal with 15 minor side characters who are in one scene and who don't crop up anywhere else.  I like a couple of long-running side characters who influence the plot.  Not a dozen who literally don't do anything to move along or help the story.  

4) Stupid/ Complex names - This is one which I really don't see the point of.  A name like Peeta or even Alaska I can deal with, and will actually like, but when it gets to the point of a character's name being so random and stupid that they are named after an inanimate object (such as that doesn't even sound like a name, then it's going to far for me.  If it's a good story, then it doesn't matter what the main character's name is - I'm likely to remember it just because I liked the book. 

5) Main characters who can't decide who they are in love with - I can't tell you how many characters I scream at just because they can't seem to make a simple decision on their own.  I do not want to read pages and pages of them debating over who they love or stating that have feelings for both.  Love triangles I can deal with - as long as the main character is only with one person at once! 

6) Pointless flashbacks of scenes earlier on in the series/ flashbacks with no purpose - I am by no means saying that I don't like flashbacks - just as long as they are well placed and actually have a point!  It's when an author decides to remind the reader of the most influential and likely memorable scene of the last book as if we haven't read the rest of the series, or when all they do is add a couple of pages or an extra scene to the book and give us some more pointless information.  

Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Barraclough


Ever since I first heard about this when it saw it mentioned online somewhere, I knew it was one that I had to get my hands.  I liked the summary and concept so much that I picked it up the first time I saw it, reading it only a few months later.  And trust me, it didn't disappoint.  I loved every twist and turn and honestly, I found it hard to put down even after I had finished it.

To begin, the plot was amazing.  I loved almost every part of it no matter which character it decided to follow.  Every sub plot was well thought out and had a place in the story, whilst the main storyline still managed to take charge and grip me throughout.  I loved the whole concept and so loved reading about the lives of both Henry and Flora as well as the tales of Love and Death.  It gripped me from the start and so I cared about every little thing that happened to them.  

But what's a good story without great characters, such as the ones in this book.  Again, I loved almost all these characters, from the good to the bad and the main characters to the side.  I loved how strong and determined Flora was and how she never stopped chasing her dreams no matter what happened, as well as how kind and caring Henry was.  I also loved the characters of Love and Death; how similar yet how different they were, with Love being  the kind hero where Death was the broken yet devilishly evil villain. particularly when she was in the form of another.  Finally, I have to mention my favourite side character in the form of Ethan, whose growth throughout the book and whose storyline I adored.

Relating to the character of Ethan, I also liked how many different topics were covered in this book, all of which were written so well.  I don't want to mention many due to spoilers but I loved how much more they gave to the book to make it so much more than a historical romance, with the main storyline between Flora and Henry being an awful lot more heartbreaking simple due to the colour of her skin and how much of a problem that caused in this time period and setting,  And as I have said above, I also loved the addition of Ethan's subplot which was just as tragic and heartwarming as the main plot.

One thing which I always seem to love in books is the writing style, which in this one I found particularly beautiful.  It seemed to fit the story and the period so well that it just made the story come to life that little bit more.

Finally, the one problem I had with this book was the ending, which I found to be quite confusing.  It could have just been me, but without the epilogue I would have been very lost as to what actually happened in that last scene, the dramatics for me taking away from how amazing and how much of a climax it could have been.

But overall, this was one that I absolutely adored and would recommend to anyone.  I loved how tragically beautiful this tale was and it is already up there with some of my other favourites!

Character(s): Flora, Death and Ethan 
Scene(s): Flora and Henry dancing on the rooftop
Quote(s): I suppose that's the thing with real life.  It has a way of not living up to the one you imagine"
"A life with all its business finished is a life too cautiously lived." 
"Life is a temporary condition, Henry.  And its uncertain...Every last one of us is going to die, but if we don't live as truly as we want, if we're not with the one we want to be with, we're dead already.  
"We do not choose whom we love.  We can choose how well." 

Relate a:
Song(s): Almost is Never Enough - Ariana Grande and Nathan Sykes
Other Book(s): The Book Thief by Markus Zusak