Friday, 28 February 2014

February Book Haul


Another month brings another pile of books!
One of the surprising and helpful perks of this month was that two well, actually four of the books were free to me. That doesn't matter but it was ideal as at the end of March I'm going away for a few days to Belgium and so I'm trying to save my money for buying last minute essentials. 

I'm going to work my way down the pile as seen in the photograph, so the first book I received was The Lovers Dictionary by David Levithan. As I said in the Showcase Sunday post a few weeks ago, I had been debating on Twitter whether to buy this book or not. I'd seen it in Waterstones - kind of battered but cheap. Sabrina from I Have To Read That persuaded me not to buy it. Then a few days later she contacted me saying that she had bought another copy and wondered if I wanted it. This was so kind of her to do and I really appreciate it. Thank you Sabrina! I whizzed through this in two hours and so expect a review soon.

The second book is The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale. I'd wanted to get this for a long time when last week I went into Manchester. In central Manchester we have a very large Waterstones on the main shopping street in the city and so they have a much larger range of books in comparison to the Waterstones where I live just out of the city centre. This book had just been released in paperback so now I'm about 100 pages in.

As for the third book, Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. This is the first book I have ever received for review and I'm really looking forward to reading sometime in the near future. I received this from the lovely people from Electric Monkey at Egmont.

Finally we have the bottom of the pile where you can see The Truth About Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne and also Ruby Redfort: Take Your Last Breath by Lauren Child. Last month Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf posted a post with a book sale of sorts, where you could by 2 books for £3.00. Sadly I didn't realise this was going on until the majority of books had gone and I know from that post that there were some books that made me wish I'd got there sooner. But then I saw Ruby Redfort. I read the Clarice Bean books a long, long time ago and remember thinking how cool Ruby Redfort the fictional spy sounded and I knew I had to buy it. Deciding to get my money's worth I browsed Goodreads and also chose The Truth About Celia Frost. Back to what I said at the beginning I only bought the Bone Dragon and when I told my mum about the offer on Amber's blog she said she'd pay for me. So thank you Amber!

Have you read any of these books? If so please let me know in the comments below :)

Holly x

Friday, 21 February 2014

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & ParkEleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried. 

 Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor. 

 Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

I had no idea how much I would love this book. Eleanor & Park was one of those books that you can say is one of a kind. I'd heard plenty of amazing things about this book from several very different book bloggers and so when it finally arrived in my local Waterstones I had to buy it!

Rowell's first YA novel takes place in Nebraska, 1986 where two teenagers - Eleanor and Park happen to meet and develop an unlikely friendship through sitting on the school bus next to each other. One of the things that I liked about this book was how in spite of being so uniquely diverse characters that are incredibly different from one another, through comic books and mix tapes they become good friends. Eventually a romance developed between the characters which was sort of inevitable. But there was one key difference. The fact that their relationship took time to develop made it that little bit more realistic. There were a lot of obstacles during their friendship and their romantic relationship but they got there eventually.

I really felt sorry for Eleanor, it's not often that you feel great, great sympathy for characters and this was one of those times when I really did. She has had an incredibly difficult life that continues to go on and the only person she has really been able to confide in is Park. Eleanor represented many issues within the book such as bullying, abuse and body image and I feel that Rainbow Rowell wrote these themes into the plot brilliantly and although there wasn't a huge amount of drama (which isn't always necessary in books) I think the ultimate climax in the book tied everything together and completed the book. 

This is one of those stories where although I'm going to give it the glowing rating that I'm going to I don't feel like I should. I loved the book but afterwards I felt empty and confused. I wasn't buzzing with excitement over the phenomenal book I'd just finished. I felt quiet. As I said at the beginning, this is a book like no other and this is a new kind of five star, the quiet, retrospective type that fully deserves it.



Holly x

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Perks of Being a Bookworm: Libraries


This is my first ever feature on A DayDreamer's Thoughts and I'm really hoping that it will work. It has been a long time coming and so here it is.

One Of The Best Parts Of Being a Bookworm... Libraries.

Libraries are something that people either love or hate, and personally I love them! They are a place where any reader can just go and blend in perfectly.

THE POSITIVES

  • Variety - Usually, depending on the size of the library there are a great range of books available, some of which you might not be able to find in local bookshops.
  • Quantity - Although normally there is a limit, you can take out quite a few books at a time, and as long as you either renew them or return them within the time limit, they're completely free!
  • Atmosphere - The general unspoken rule of libraries is that as long as you're quiet, you're welcome to stay, which means it is very easy to concentrate on what you're reading or doing.
  • It's not just books - Often you can also borrow DVD's and CD's too.
  • Not just fiction - Libraries normally consist of large amounts of Non Fiction books which can also be borrowed.

THE NEGATIVES

  • Condition - Sometimes the books aren't in the greatest condition, but that is to be expected.
  • Time - The limit to how long books can be borrowed for is fairly short, so unless you're Sheldon Cooper or Hermione Granger, then it isn't worth borrowing too many in one go.
However, the positives out way the negative and so that is why I've regarded Libraries as a definite perk.
Please let me know what you think of this feature in the comments so I can decided whether to continue it or not. Also please let me know what you would think of as a perk of being a bookworm.

Holly x

Saturday, 15 February 2014

My Fictional Life Tag

I was tagged to do this by Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf who created this tag as well, so here it is

1. What fictional world would you live in?

I would definitely live in the Wizarding World.

2. What fictional being would you be?

A witch. Obviously.


3. What fictional animal/creature would you keep as a pet?

Although I'm trying to prevent this from being a Potterhead fangirling moment, the only creatures I can think of are in Harry Potter so I'd like to have Fawkes the Phoenix because he'd never die and he's the most colourful mythical creature ever.


4. What fictional couple would be your Mum and Dad?

Molly and Arthur Weasley. They would just be the perfect parents, and I wouldn't mind having a lot of siblings.

5. What fictional characters would be your brother and sister? 

Ginny Weasley because she's so fierce and can breathe fire when she wants to so she'd be good to have to be there for you and also she's a character who clearly cares a lot about her family.
Augustus Waters from TFiOS as my brother (with a different outcome to TFiOS that is)


6. Which fictional character would be your best friend?

Continuing with the Harry Potter theme, Hermione Granger would be my best friend as my parents say I'm similar to her so we'd have a lot of in common and she's my fictional role model so... yep.

7. Choose 3 fictional characters to be your close girl friends.

I'd chose Tris from Divergent, as she is such a unique and different character from a lot of people you read about.
Hazel Grace from TFiOS.
Cath from Fangirl. I haven't finished this yet, actually I'm only 50 pages in but I admire her so much so far.

8. Choose 3 fictional characters to be your close guy friends.

Isaac from TFiOS
Harry from Harry Potter, just... because.
Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss, he's my definition of cool.

9. What fictional character would be your girlfriend/boyfriend?
My boyfriend would be Ron Weasley. That has always been the answer in my head, he's funny and sweet and HE HAS GINGER HAIR!!!! 


10. What author would pen your story?

I want to say J.K Rowling as I love her writing but I'd be worried that she'd kill me off. So I'm going to say Stephanie Perkins because she writes in such a beautiful, realistic way that I know I'd love a life like one of her characters.

Holly x

Friday, 14 February 2014

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. She is less than thrilled about boarding school in Paris - until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, he has it all - including a serious girlfriend. Will Anna get her French kiss? (Worst. Synopsis. Ever.)

When I first heard of this book I didn't take much interest in it whatsoever. When I read a synopsis like this, I think of something that is a bit too how shall we say... conventionally soppy. There is this plot of an american girl falling in love with the gorgeous boy despite the fact that there are a lot of hurdles along the way. Over time, this plot has become so conventional that you don't need to read the book to know what's going to happen. Then I started to read great reviews (particularly Amber's excellent one) and found that the book was very successful. By chance I entered a goodreads giveaway from Usborne for this book and I won and I read it. I've realised how wrong I was.


Usborne sent me this with a postcard and hot chocolate! (which was really lovely of them) And all I can say is thank you SO much to them for sending this because all I can say is that my mind was boggled.



Anna wasn't the stereotypical teenage american girl that I was so afraid of, she was intelligent, witty, sensitive and just like a lot of completely normal people, puzzledly wrapped up in her emotions. She was real. All the characters were so different in an ironically similar way and St. Clair! St Clair was just one of the most endearing, sweet people I've ever had the pleasure to read about and from the very beginning I rooted for him and Anna to be together. The awkwardness between Anna and St. Clair was so perfect and made so much sense. It wasn't the scenario where they lock eyes across the room and immediately fall in love -  they had their ups and downs and completely messed up at times but they fell in love in a way to quote TFiOS, slowly and then all at once. 


Just one tiny little thing that I need to rant about; THE DESCRIPTION! The description throughout this book was just phenomenal, and it is very clear that Stephanie Perkins has a knack for setting the perfect scene. The way it was wrote made me feel like I was there with Anna and St Clair. 


Read this, and forget about the awful title. Read this and forget about the terrible synopsis. Read this and love it. Read this because you can.



Holly x

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBanEvery year at an exclusive private boarding school in New York state, the graduating students uphold an old tradition - they must swear an oath of secrecy and leave behind a "treasure" for each incoming senior. When Duncan Meade inherits the room and secrets of Tim Macbeth, he uncovers evidence of a clandestine romance, and unravels the truth behind one of the biggest mysteries in the school's history.

I bought this book back in September when I happened to see it by chance. There were no other copies, nor had I ever seen any other copies of The Tragedy Paper. It was just there, and I liked the sound of it. If I had known how much I would dislike it then I would have never have picked it up.Duncan is in his senior year of high school, and on the first day of the year all the seniors are left a gift from the senior who previously resided in their bedroom. For Duncan, he receives some CD's from Tim, upon which lie his tragedy paper, an infamous essay wrote by the seniors each year. Duncan listens to the tragedy unfold, and learns where he fits into it. 

One thing I can praise this book on is the beautiful description that was displayed throughout the novel. The way the snowy weather when they were stranded at the airport and the appearance of Vanessa was always wrote so perfectly. The scenarios within this book were really easy to imagine but apart from that, it was all downhill. 

The plot was slowly paced and didn't seem to really go anywhere. Throughout the book there was this sense of constant anticipation of a horrific tragedy taking place and whilst the build up to it was pretty terrible - no sense of foreshadowing or indication of what was really going to happen - I was in a very ironic way looking forward to the eventual tragedy. The tragedy was not even a tragedy at all, I admit it was unfortunate for Tim what happened but it was the inevitable, NOT a tragedy.


If anything, this book was a tragedy.


Holly x

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Published in February

Alienated (Alienated, #1)
Alienated
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 
 Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Author: Melissa Landers
Date: 4th February 2014 (Disney Hyperion)
352 Pages 
(first in a series)



Landry Park
Landry Park
In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. 
As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.

Author: Bethany Hagen
Published: 4th February (Dial)
374 pages 
(first in a series)



Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)
Cress
In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 
 When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: 4th February 2014
560 pages (Feiwel & Friends)
Third in a series.

Holly x

Sunday, 2 February 2014

30 Questions Tag

I was tagged in this by Milly from Miyyi.

What are you wearing today?
I'm currently wearing a purple cable knit jumper that I got for Christmas, leggings and slipper socks.

What are you listening to right now?
Paradise by Coldplay

Do you like the beach?
I love going to the beach and I've not been since we last went to Anglessey in 2011. Sadly, Manchester isn't on the coast.

What’s something you really want right now?
I want to give someone a hug. I'm the hugging type of person.

Who was the last person you added to your contacts?
My friend Gabrielle

Do you have any piercings?
One in each ear.

What are your favorite stores?
Waterstones, WH Smiths, The Works, HMV

Favorite nail polish brand?
Natural Collection

Ever failed a test?
I've failed two assessments (both Physics) but never an actual exam.

Do you prefer shorts or skirts?
Neither.

Favorite social media?
Twitter.

Do you play any sports?
I cycle to a lot of places and I play Badminton.

Long or short hair?
I like long hair but mine is midlength.

Favorite quote?
"Be yourself; everybody else is already taken" - Oscar Wilde

What color is your room?
Lilac

Are you outgoing or shy?
Very shy.


Have you ever won a competition?
Yes. I won a writing competition and got a story published.

How many pillows do you sleep with?
Two, but they're not on top of one another, there next to each other.

Who was the first person you talked to today?
My mum. She is the one who woke me up.

How many hoodies do you have?
Three, two are GAP and one is from M&S.

What should you be doing?
Writing my reaction to the TFiOS trailer post.

Can you keep your shoes clean?
I try to.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Hermione.

Do you prefer dark, milk, or white chocolate?
Milk.

Open a book closest to you and turn to page 13. What does the first line say on that page?
"I try on a ring with a rubber dinosaur attached. The T-Rex -" Anna and the French Kiss.

Do you still watch Disney?
You're never too old for Disney!

What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Cornflakes or fruit at the weekends, Toast on weekdays.

Do you have any pets?
2 guinea pigs and 1 dog.

What’s your favorite holiday?
CHRISTMAS!!!!

I tag;
Sandra from Sandra's World of Books.

Holly x