Saturday, 31 May 2014

May Book Haul


May appears to have been the month of pretty books:)

I'm extremely pleased with this months haul, mainly because of the fact that it is smaller than last months and consists of quite a few books I've been waiting a long time for. Another great thing is that I've managed to read four of the five books featured here already so it's not like I've got more to read than before... if that makes any sense...

The first book I received was Amber by Julie Sykes. I came home from school one day to find this ridiculously beautifully wrapped parcel on my bed and practically beamed with happiness. Hawwa from It Was Lovely Reading You sent this to me after I bought it in her blog sale and included a lovely card too. I'd been wanting to read this for quite a while and whilst it wasn't amazing, I really enjoyed it. So thank you Hawwa.

Then over bank holiday weekend I decided to order two books from Amazon. These were Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaria. I'd loved Delirium by Lauren Oliver and couldn't wait to get into the sequel but it wasn't being sold anywhere nearby. Love Letters To The Dead was also a book I'd been waiting for months for and was disappointed when it wasn't on sale after the release. So these were both purchased from Amazon and were both quickly read. A discussion post with Amy from Amy Bookworm will be posted next month, and we have also written a joint review for her blog which will go up around the same time.

The final two books are Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins and Just One Day by Gayle Forman. I bought Lola and the Boy Next Door last week after adoring Anna and the French Kiss, and I can safely say that it's sequel was equally spectacular.
Then, I've kind of reached a point where I've got literally nothing to read. It isn't that I've run out of things to read but the few books I've got unread on my bookshelves are pretty big so I've put them aside until the summer holidays. Whilst in this situation I decided that for once I actually needed to purchase a book or two and picked up Just One Day this morning. I loved the If I Stay duology and have already started reading this.

Thank you so much to Hawwa once again, and the authors who have wrote these fantastic books :)

Holly x

Friday, 30 May 2014

Amy and Matthew by Cammie McGovern

Amy & MatthewAmy loves Matthew and he loves her back. This is their story. Amy is unflinchingly honest about her limitations. Born with cerebral palsy, she can’t walk or talk without help. But trapped inside this uncooperative body lies a brilliant mind and a luminous spirit – a girl capable of truly loving and worthy of being loved in return. Matthew has his own set of challenges – a mind consumed by unwanted repeated thoughts, obsessive rituals and a crippling fear that he can't explain. But underneath all of the anxiety lies a deep seed of hope for someone to come along who believes in him…

I think the best way of describing Amy and Matthew is over-hyped. 

Amy and Matthew follows - no surprise - Amy and Matthew. Amy and Matthew are in their final year of high school and after years of over protection and loneliness, Amy's mother decides that it's time she made some friends and so enlists four students in Amy's year group to help her, in replacement of the adults whom have been helping her throughout high school. Amy suffers from cerebral palsy, meaning that whilst she has retired to a wheelchair, she needs a lot of help. Amy only connects with one of her helpers and that is Matthew, who has a set of problems that he has to deal with himself as well as dealing with Amy's too.

This is a novel that takes place over the course of a school year, meaning that aside from the fact that it's a long period of time to cover, Amy and Matthew was quite a slow novel in itself on top of that, so this book dragged a lot. I really liked the plot though, however I accidentally found out a major spoiler which kind of affected my reading of the second half of the book. Whilst Matthew was helping Amy, Amy was trying to help Matthew overcome his difficulties surrounding suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and this helped them to begin falling in love. The way that they started to fall for each other was described wonderfully but I feel like it was stretched out for too long, I just felt like saying "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST BE TOGETHER??". 

One thing that bothered me was what exactly it was that happened in the second half of the book. When Amy heads off to University, after a few months it is revealed that she is pregnant. Teenage pregnancy is a topic that I hadn't read about before and I don't think it was wrote about that well. It was very vague and quick and just a rather brief addition to the plot towards the end of the book. It was like Cammie McGovern just wanted to quickly add in some sort of problem that could be experienced and later solved and it really didn't work. 

Another issue that I had was that not many of the characters were easy to warm to. In particular Amy. I thought at the start of the book that Amy, as one of the main characters would have been rather likeable and I was wrong. It might be just me, but she came across as arrogant, pushy and really bossy, especially to Matthew and it was something that wasn't pleasant to read about. Matthew on the other hand was a great character who definitely helped make this book something enjoyable to read.

So it could have been better, it could have been worse. But overall, I liked it.

Holly x

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

A-Z Book Survey

Author you've read the most books from:
J.K Rowling - though I believe that's quite obvious

Best Sequel Ever:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I know it's not the sequel to the Philosophers Stone but it is a sequel within the series.

Currently reading:
Nothing at the moment, I'm trying to decide what to read next.

Drink of Choice Whilst Reading:
I don't drink whilst reading, if so then probably fruit juice.

E-reader or Physical Book?
Physical books are what I fell in love with when i was little and it will always be that way. I've got no intention of buying a kindle any time soon either.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated In High School:
RON WEASLEY. I so wish he was real...

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
Torn by Cat Clarke. It didn't appeal to me immediately but I'm glad that I made myself buy it.

Hidden Gem Book:
I'm not sure if this is in the right context but my hidden gem book is the limited edition signed copy of The Fault in Our Stars. The reason that this is limited is because it is a red hardback - which doesn't look anything like TFiOS but it means so much to me. I can open that book and in true fangirl style I can think "John Green has held this book". It sounds weird but anyhow...

Important Moment In Your Book Life:
Harry Potter, again this might appear a few times in this survey but this book has actually completely shaped the last three years of my life and I probably wouldn't be blogging if it weren't for Harry Potter. 

Just Finished:
Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaria.

Kinds Of Book You Won't Read:
Horror, and Erotica.

Major Book Hangover Because Of:
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell caused a serious book hangover - just because it was so, so perfect. I got over it but it is certainly one of the best books I've ever read.

Number Of Bookcases You Own:
I only own one book case which is made up of old desks from a school which I've painted white so they are rather deep. There's four shelves all of which can go three deep and can be piled quite high upwards too. But currently I'm only using two of these as bookshelves whilst I'm trying to accumulate more and more books.

One Book You've Read Multiple Times:
I don't really read books more than once, when I do it's normally a few years after I've read them the first time. Looking back though, I've read Matilda by Roald Dahl countless times.

Preferred Place To Read:
Sitting on my bed.

Quote That Inspires You/Gives You All The Feels From A Book You've Read:

Reading Regret:
I wish I'd read Harry Potter earlier. Maybe then I could have been obsessed with it for longer than I've been now. I should have read them quicker as well so I didn't end up in such a terrible reading slump.

Series You Started And Need To Finish:
Divergent Trilogy. Yes, this is a trilogy and not a series. I've been dragging myself through Insurgent and I'm not enjoying it anywhere near as much as I did Divergent, so I've put that to the side for a while. I might pick it up again over the summer though.

Three Of Your All-Time Favourite Books:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Unapologetic Fangirl For:
Harry Potter - honestly I'm never sorry about unhealthily obsessing over Harry Potter

Very Excited For This Release:
Earthquake by Aprilynne Pike. This is the sequel to Earthbound which in my opinion was just amazing. Earthquake is meant to be released this summer and I can't wait!

Worst Bookish Habit:
I re-read the same pages over and over again completely unintentionally. Sometimes I don't notice I'm doing it but this really slows down my reading.

X Marks The Spot: Start At The Top Left Of Your Shelf And Pick The 27th Book:
I've just been up to check - it's Amber by Julie Sykes. I've just finished this today (it's Friday but this has been scheduled) and I wasn't particularly impressed. But I'll explain why in my review.

Your Latest Book Purchase:
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.

Zzzz- Snatcher Book (Last Book That Kept You Up Way Too Late):
Love Letters To The Dead. I'm ill at the moment and that kept me awake whilst I was off school ill and was meant to be sleeping. It was so good that I just had to keep reading.

Holly x

Monday, 26 May 2014

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She WentIt's been three years since Adam's love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Set three years after Mia wakes up from her coma, Mia and Adam have been long separated. Mia headed for New York whilst Adam's band became hugely successful. Adam has become reckless and wild, whilst the ghosts of Mia still haunt his past. One day in a spur of the moment situation, he decides to attend one of her cello concerts. By chance they later meet and that's where things kick off.

I really liked Where She Went, as it was interesting to continue the journey from a different perspective. Whilst Adam did feature a lot in Mia's flashbacks and a bit in the present whilst Mia was in the coma, he wasn't a prominent character in the present parts of If I Stay and so his emotions were a bit vague. But in Where She Went so much more was learned about this character, and honestly, I think seeing things from Adam's point of view made him more likeable.

He was certainly a unique character, because - and this isn't a spoiler... it's on the blurb - after it is revealed that Mia suddenly left Oregon without even breaking up with Adam, he became broken. The words of this book reflect the fact that in spite of being in a relationship with someone else, Adam feels he will never get over Mia, and as she tells him why she left him, this book grows more and more heartbreaking. 

The plot of this book was simply brilliant. Just like If I Stay, Where She Went is set over the course of a 24 hour period. The description whilst limited, is effective when necessary and the language went even deeper into the grieving process. Grief is the main theme of this book and even though Mia survived the car crash, Adam is grieving the Mia who left him three years before. 

All in all, this book was truly touching and an emotional completion to the duology. The only reason that this isn't a 5 star review is simply because I just preferred If I Stay and also, this could have been longer and not so rushed. 
Holly x

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Book Sacrifice Tag

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)SCENARIO ONE:

An Over-Hyped book: Let's start this off with a Zombie Apocalypse! Let's say you're in a book store, just browsing, when BAM! ZOMBIE ATTACK. An announcement comes over the PA System saying that the military has discovered that the zombies' only weakness is over-hyped books. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you really hated do you start chucking at the zombies knowing that it will count as an over-hyped book and successfully wipe them out?!

I've been sat with this post open for about half an hour trying to think of this answer and I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. I'd easily throw City of Bones by Cassandra Clare at the Zombie. So many people adore this book but I honestly don't see what the fuss is about. I tried reading it and it was just really, really disappointing.


Insurgent (Divergent, #2)SCENARIO TWO:

A Sequel: Let's say you've just left the salon with a SMASHING new haircut and BOOM: Torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. God... I've not even finished this but I have to put it as my answer. This has been picked up and put down but it is SO slow. I'm really sad because this was a book I got for my birthday last year and as much as I was looking forward to reading it it's just not... not great so far.

Of Mice and Men (Longman Literature Steinbeck)SCENARIO THREE:

A Classic: Let's say you're in a lecture and your English teacher is going on and on about how this classic changed the world, how it revolutionized literature and you get so sick of it that you chuck the classic right at his face because you know what? This classic is stupid and it's worth detention just to show everyone how you feel! What classic did you chuck?

Of Mice and Men. Classics are meant to be books that are meant to be treasured and well loved.When you go and read them at school, they are torn apart and analysed monotonously. It's natural that every book you read with school in my opinion at least is set up so that by the end, you absolutely hate it. This is what happened with Of Mice and Men in Year 9. Aside from the fact that we did it in school, I just don't think it's that great of a story.


Starter For TenSCENARIO FOUR:

Your least favourite book of life: Let's say that you're hanging out at the library when BAM global warming explodes and the world outside becomes a frozen wasteland. You're trapped and your only chance for survival is to burn a book. What is the book you first run to, your least favourite book of all life, what book do you not fully regret lighting?

Whilst doing this tag, I've find it really hard to think of what I'd count as the worst book ever. So I've been on goodreads and whilst I've given this a two star instead of one star rating. It has to be Starter For Ten by David Nicholls. I'll admit, some things made me laugh, but that was at the very beginning, and soon everything just went from bad to worse. The writing dragged, the characters were dull, the plot was pointless and the ending just ruined the entire book. Yep, it has to be Starter For Ten.

The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7)SCENARIO FIVE [polandbananasBOOKS's question]:

You're about to go up on stage when you realise you're chewing gum. You have all your favourite series backstage to steady your nerves before your performance and you realise you have to rip out the last page of the last book in one of your favourite series to rid of your gum BECAUSE YOU CAN'T GO ON STAGE CHEWING GUM! What book do you choose to rip out the last page of?

Well, strictly speaking I've only ever really read one series - and that would be Harry Potter, however there is no way that Deathly Hallows would suffer through this kind of pain because I loved the Epilogue - 19 Years Later. I have read some of the Chronicles of Narnia, I never finished it, but I did recently Google the ending and I'm really not happy about it. So I'm going to chose The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis.

As stressful as it has been to try and find these books, I've really enjoyed doing this tag. Thank you to Rachel from Booktastic Reviews and Rita from Weaving Pages for tagging me. 

I'm not sure who to tag, because so many people are already doing this tag (Rachel tagged LOADS of people)
So I'd like to tag...

Charli or Tori from To Another World. Rachel has already tagged one of you but I'd be interested to see the others opinions...

Holly x

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Perks of Being a Bookworm: Standalones


Last time I did a Perks of Being a Bookworm post I focused on Books Series' so I thought I'd sort of do the opposite of that this time. I can safely say that I've read far more standalones than series. And in many ways, I prefer Standalones and I'll explain why through the traditional way which I've done before in this feature.

THE POSITIVES
  • Over and done with. Simples.
  • Instead of being spread out. There is a lot of perfectness combined into one book.
  • Film of the book that extends your love for this one book.
  • No waiting for the next book
  • That book can just be so, so perfect. Instead of having to pick a favourite out of a trilogy or a series - it's just right there. Happiness in a book.
THE NEGATIVES
  • Wanting more.
  • One book might not have done the characters justice.
  • Character attachment.
  • The book would be perfect for a series.
  • The ending isn't too great.
I tried to be equal in this post - and I've actually found it quite hard to think of the negatives even though there are plenty! Personally I do find that I prefer standalones even though I develop attachment issues sometimes with the characters and then want more, but I just think that it is a lot more of a focused way of reading, given that everything is compiled into one book.

And I leave you with Aleksandr the meerkat - the only good impression I can do (apart from Alvin and the Chipmunks).


Holly x

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

Skin DeepAfter the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found...

I received this book from Electric Monkey in exchange for an honest review. In no way have my opinions been effected by this.

I first saw this book in my local Waterstones about a year ago. Whilst I did like the sound of it, a part of me was reluctant to buy it. I don't know why, but that was just the way it was. And now, I wish I'd picked Skin Deep up sooner. Skin Deep is about Jenna whose face has been severely scarred due to a car crash. The scar has made her see herself in a negative light and it is only when she meets Ryan that that starts to change.

I loved Jenna, whilst she could easily take things the wrong way, she was witty, smart and thoughtful. Given what Jenna went through, I sort of expected her to be filled with pent up anger, and that wasn't there, she was just cold and numb. Throughout the book Jenna said a few times "Ugly people don't have feelings." and it was something that she only realised to be false near the end of the book. Laura Jarratt wrote how Jenna was becoming more and more aware of her feelings beautifully, almost like Jenna's heart of ice was defrosting. 

Jenna has a way with people throughout the book that just made me smile. Although at first she was pretty vile to Ryan (again, because she took something he said the wrong way) but she changed pretty quickly and a gentler side to her shone through. This was the same with Ryan's mother, Karen. Karen suffered from Bipolar, and she dealt with Karen in a way that Ryan hadn't expected. She saw everyone as equal in the world, except herself and to me that made her quite a unique character. 

The writing style in this book was simply brilliant. Chapters were split so that one chapter would be from Jenna's perspective and the next would be from Ryan's point of view but both perspectives were just as interesting as the other and that's hard to come across. Normally one perspective would be better than the other but it was different here, as you could see Ryan and Jenna falling in love through both pairs of eyes. The plot was amazing as well, I forgot after reading the synopsis that a body is found and so that was a real surprise, as was finding out who killed the person. 

Referring back to the issue of Bipolar - I think that was handled incredibly well throughout this book. Mental health always is a difficult subject to bring up and as somebody who has anxiety and has been depressed in the past I know that the subject isn't always delivered appropriately, but Laura Jarratt wrote that part of the book perfectly and I don't think it really could have been done any better.

A heartbreaking, uplifting novel that I'd recommend to anybody.
Holly x

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.

Two Boys KissingThe two boys kissing are Craig and Harry. They're hoping to set the world record for the longest kiss. They're not a couple, but they used to be. Peter and Neil are a couple. Their kisses are different. Avery and Ryan have only just met and are trying to figure out what happens next. Cooper is alone. He's not sure how he feels. As the marathon progresses, these boys, their friends and families evaluate the changing nature of feelings, behaviour and this crazy thing called love.

I received this for review from Electric Monkey. In no way have my opinions been effected due to the free exchange in return for an honest review.

Two Boys Kissing is a book that you either love, or hate, or sit on the fence with. And it is also a book which gets better as it goes along, but it takes a certain frame of mind to get your head around too.

The book is based around 8 boys, Craig and Harry (who are trying to break a world record), Tariq (their friend), Peter and Neil (a long term couple), Avery and Ryan (who are starting to like each other) and Cooper (who has a very different story). Over the course of the 32 hours in which Craig and Harry try to break the world record for the worlds longest kiss, the stories of eight different lives unfold. The characters in this book are all so incredibly different and that really worked in the book, but I've got to admit there were some stories within the story that I liked better than others. 

One reason that this book isn't going to have a glowing review is because of what I mentioned above, and how the book was written. Two Boys Kissing had a dynamic to it which meant at first it was ridiculously hard to get into. There is a point whilst your reading where you go from just looking at the words to being fully engaged in the book and that point was a lot later into the book than I would've liked. The pace was very slow and at times slightly monotonous. But once the book picked up in pace, it really was excellent.

Obviously as an LGBT book, it is controversial, some people will love it and some people will hate it. Personally, I didn't love it, but I did like it. The variety of different situations dealt with in the book was interesting. There were the teenagers whose families were fully behind them, there were the teenager whose parents were mortified when they found out about their sons sexuality, and there were some parents who didn't even know that their child was gay. This was so realistic, because as much as it's tragic the way those scenes were played out, it was completely true and that's another thing I loved about this book - honesty.

As much as this isn't a 5 star review, I'd still definitely recommend reading this book and I know that I'd definitely check out more LGBT fiction in the future.

Holly x

Friday, 9 May 2014

The Goodreads Tag

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I was tagged in this post by Natalie from Your Almost Alice. Goodreads is one of my favourite websites and I think it'll be interesting to answer these questions.

What was the last book you marked as read?
After the End by Amy Plum


What are you currently reading?
Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt.

What was the last book you marked as to-read?
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. What do you plan to read next?
I plan on reading Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver next. I finished Delirium a few weeks ago and it was simply stunning so I can't wait to read the sequel.

Do you use the star rating system?
I do use the star rating system, however I believe that goodreads would be so much better if you were able to give half stars as well.

Are you doing a 2014 reading challenge?
I'm currently doing the 2014 reading challenge and back on New Years Day I challenged myself to read 20 books this year. I'm quite a slow reader so I guess I thought that was a substantial amount and would last me the whole year. However I'm now reading book 17 so I'm just going to see how far I'll be able to overachieve my goal.

Do you have a wishlist?
I've got a VERY long wishlist.

What book do you want to buy next?
Hmm, I had a bit of a mad surge of buying books last week after I discovered that Amazon had two of the books I've desperately wanted to read for ages. So I'm not too sure what I want to read next but I've got my eye on Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

Do you have any favourite quotes? Would you like to share a few?

  • “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” - Albus Dumbledore - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling
  • "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr Seuss.
  • "We accept the Love we think we deserve." The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
  • "Don't let the muggles get you down." Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling.
I could go on forever, but I think I'm going to dedicate a post to my favourite quotes.


Who are your favourite authors?
J.K Rowling, Roald Dahl and Rainbow Rowell.

Have you joined any groups?
I've joined a few, but there were a few groups were emails were sent to you constantly and it was a bit much so I left those but here are the ones I'm currently part of;


Thank you very much to Natalie for tagging me.
I tag:
Rita from Weaving Pages
Amy from Amy Bookworm
And anyone else who wants to do this!

Holly x

Monday, 5 May 2014

Published in May

We Were LiarsA beautiful and distinguished family. 
A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. 
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. 
A revolution. 
An accident. A secret. 
Lies upon lies. True love. 
The truth.

Author: E Lockhart
Date: 15th May 2014
240 pages (Hot Key Books) 
Standalone.

After the End (After the End, #1)World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there. When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. 
Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie. Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

Author: Amy Plum
Date: 6th May 2014
336 Pages (HarperTeen)
First in a series.
Since You've Been GoneThe Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend.

Author: Morgan Matson
Date: 6th May 2014
448 Pages (Simon & Schuster)
Standalone.

Holly x

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young

Just Like FateThe Caroline is at a crossroads. Her whole family is on her back, and her grandmother, the only person who really understands her, is sick, maybe dying. All she wants to do is escape. So when her best friend suggests a night out to forget her troubles, Caroline must choose: stay by her grandmother's side, or go to the party and live her life . . . and maybe meet the boy of her dreams. 
This decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths - and she's about to live them both. But there can only be one happy ending . . .

I was sent this book from Electric Monkey in exchange for an honest review. In no way has my opinion been effected through receiving this book.

I was surprised at how impressed I was by this book. I really enjoyed it and to be honest, I didn't think I'd like it at all. At the beginning of the book, Caroline's grandmother dies, and Caroline is given two choices just before the death - STAY and be with her Grandmother at the time of her death, or GO to the party that her best friend is attending and never get to say goodbye to the family member she is closest to.

I really liked Caroline's character. She was an interesting character to read in the perspective of as each pathway she chooses is completely different to the other. She never  really contradicts herself or does foolish things, which I admit I often feel is a stereotype in American high school students in fiction. As much as I liked her, part of me believes she was a little too naive to be realistic. Like there was a scene in the STAY half of the book in which Caroline slept with her friend even though she didn't really want to and all I could think was "How can you be so stupid!" I think that parts like that made the STAY half not work very well.

The plot overall was really good and gripping. I think I read this in two or three days which is good for someone like me who is a rather slow reader. The main issue I have with books that are co-authored is that sometimes the writing doesn't flow from one chapter to the next because of the contrasting writing styles, but this really worked, and honestly if it wasn't mentioned on the cover, I wouldn't think this book had two authors at all. However, my only problem was that I really, really didn't like the STAY half of the book and don't think it was anywhere near as effective as it could have been. Other than that, I must say that I was disappointed by the fact that even after finishing the book, it still isn't clear whether Caroline chose to stay or go. But apart from those little things, I really enjoyed reading this.


Holly x

Saturday, 3 May 2014

April Book Haul

Seven books, oh dear...

I think that although there is a large pile of books here, I can feel a little calmer at the fact that I didn't actually buy four of them. In March's Book Haul post I said hopefully I wouldn't buy as many books as I did that month, well, that didn't go well. But anyway...

The four books I didn't buy were for review. I was sent The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith from Headline after I requested to be sent the book on bookbridgr, a website I discovered through Charli where you can request books and interviews. I was told there was a large backlog and that there's always the chance that the request wouldn't be accepted so I was surprised when it came through the letter box.

The other three books I was sent for review were from Electric Monkey, who I recently started reviewing for. I contacted them after submitting my disappointed Grasshopper Jungle review and they said they would send Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan and Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young as they thought these two books would be better suited to my taste. Then I received the happy surprise the next day when I received the package that they had also sent me Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt too (which I've wanted to read for a LONG time).

Where She Went by Gayle Forman was the sequel to If I Stay which I read about three weeks ago. I loved If I Stay so picked this up whilst I was in Manchester and enjoyed it just as much as the first book. The second to last book is The Importance of Being Seven by Alexander McCall Smith which I bought off Cat from Through a Cat's Eyes. Cat was having a book sale on her blog and I'd seen this in a post of hers ages ago and but couldn't read the title. As soon as I saw she was getting rid of it I bought it - they say not to judge a book by it's cover but I did in this case and I can't wait to read it.

The final book (god this is a long post...) is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling. I own a copy of this already, but I have good reason for buying this. My friend Gabby and I went out over Easter and whilst walking around we discovered an old book shop filled with old books and in the children's section, there was a FIRST EDITION of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This is my favourite book of all time and I couldn't resist buying it so yep.

Thank you so much to Headline Books, Electric Monkey, and Cat. I'm not even going to hope that I buy less books this month, because pleading is just pointless...

Holly x