Saturday, 21 September 2013

Autumn Book Wishlist

Last time I did a book wishlist in July - HERE - I was adamant that by the end of the summer, I would have bought and read all three of the books mentioned. Turns out I didn't read any of them, however I did buy 2 out of 3 and have seen the film of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close about an hour ago.  This time, I really am hoping that I will have read at least one of these and have posted a review on this blog. So here are the books:

Divergent by Veronica Roth
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue. On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Amber by Julie Sykes
How do you live by the rules if you don’t know what they are?
Amber’s lost her memory. She doesn’t even know her real name. The only clues to her identity are a beautiful amber necklace and a broken mobile phone. She’s determined to learn the truth about her past life, and the secrets she’s hiding, but how many rules will she break along the way?

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K Rowling)
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

Today I've decided that I'm just going to give you the summary of each book (as courtesy of Goodreads). Then when I've read the books I can tell you of my opinions before and after. Happy Autumn! And Happy Birthday to my friend Holly :) I don't think she knows about this blog but I hope she has a great day.

Holly x

Monday, 16 September 2013

Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike

Earthbound (Earthbound, #1)Eighteen-year-old Tavia is the only survivor of a plane crash that killed her parents. Grieving and lonely, she starts having strange visions; of a boy she's never met but feels compulsively drawn to. A boy who tells her to do things she never dreamed of. Tavia begins to suspect that secrets are being kept from her, and that her kindly aunt and uncle know more than they are letting on. Was the plane crash really an accident? Or is Tavia part of something bigger than she ever imagined?

Wow... this book was just... wow. I was skeptical as to whether I would like this book or not as I had absolutely no interest in Pike's #1 New York Times Bestselling Series "Wings". But this was different, sometimes when you pick up a book for the first time and start reading the first few sentences, you just know that is going to be a book. The book started off with Tavia recounting the plane crash that killed everyone but her and the book immediately became gripping.

I really admired Tavia and I think this is because she is so strong in spite of going through so much and although she does have her aunt and uncle they don't ever quite relate to how she feels. She is so isolated and a very lonely character that doesn't often show how heartbroken she is over the death of her parents. One other thing I found really interesting about her was that she was one of those very rare people that despite everything that has happened to her, she just keeps going and never stops. Tavia is so desperate to uncover the mess that has become of her life that courage overpowers every other part of her personality. I have read many books about many different characters and other than Harry Potter, I have never felt so sorry for a character before. 

The plot of this book was just incredible. It was skillfully slow paced and so everything was explained very clearly and all these different supposedly dead ends, or questions are eventually entwined so horrifyingly together, placing Tavia in a situation that tears her apart. The book is also set in late Autumn or early Winter and the settings are described beautifully and so vividly that it seemed like I could almost imagine events taking place right in front of my eyes. 

Other than that the only thing that adds onto the sadness of this book is that nobody, not one person by the end of the book is actually who they were assumed to be at the beginning. That was a great plot twist but it did leave me feeling so, so sorry for Tavia. This was an excellent book and I would definitely recommend it to anybody who is prepared to wait for the sequel, which comes out in Summer of next year.

Holly x

Saturday, 14 September 2013

JKR's Announcement

It was revealed yesterday that J.K Rowling is going to write the screenplay to her book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Upon finding out about this news, I was thrilled and I am guessing that the majority of other Harry Potter fans are too although the truth is that in spite of being in the wizarding world, it won't be based around the time of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Many people have already made predictions as too what the film will be like, and here are some of them:

Setting: J.K Rowling stated in her announcement yesterday that the film will take place in New York City. Although I am slightly disappointed that it isn't going to be set in Great Britain, at the same time I'm really curious to find out more about this. As it currently stands we haven't had an insight into American Wizardry so this is definitely going to be interesting twist. It is also expected to take place in the 1920's. I love the somewhat glamour and excitement of the golden twenties and so that combined with magic is going to be perfect.

Newt Scammander: Anyone who has read the book will know that Newt Scammander is supposed to be the author of the fictional factual tale. J.K Rowling liked his character so much that she had his grandson, Rolf marry one of her favourite characters from the series - Luna Lovegood. Maybe if there is a flash forward to the present day that could perhaps feature Luna and Rolf. It's unlikely but it's always a possibility. One other key thing surrounding the background of Newt Scammander is that he was a Head Master of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - in between Phineas Nigellus Black and Armando Dippet which happens to be around the 1920's so Hogwarts could possibly be featured once again.

Other things: It is likely that the film will finally feature Nicholas Flamel and his wife, and maybe even Dumbledore as he would have been working at Hogwarts at this time. Also even though we did see many mythical creatures come to life from the pages of the books into the Harry Potter franchise, we will get to see even more. 
I know it is going to be perhaps a couple of years before this book does come to the screen but at least it is something incredible to look forward too.

Holly x

Monday, 9 September 2013

Cover Reveal: Split Second

Yesterday (or the day before that - I've scheduled this post) I was in Waterstones like I am almost every Saturday and something caught my eye. Sophie McKenzie's latest book entitled Split Second which was released this week... I think. Sophie McKenzie is someone that I only discovered last year when I was looking for a Christmas present for someone who at the time was a really good time. Louise was a big fan of her books and had read most of them except for the final one in the Girl Missing Series - Missing Me. I saw a signed copy of this in my local Waterstones and bought it for her (long story short, she was really pleased). Before I was able to give it to her, I was very ill and was off school for a month and so therefore missed exchanging presents with her, and so I read the book myself. Although I hadn't read the previous two in the series, I fell in love with it. After giving Louise her copy I bought one myself and the first book in the series.

The cover of Split Second is just... in someways, beautiful and thrilling as well. Using black, white, grey and yellow makes the cover so unique and I love how the cover designer has made McKenzie's name stand out so that you know that it's by her. The black and white photo, although clearly representing the girl staring at something, by the looks of it maybe in shock it looks so elegant and different from any other book. If you are able to read the much smaller writing, it reads "LIFE CAN CHANGE IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE." Maybe that is one of the reasons that on the photograph there is such a clear shot of the girls eye as she glares into the darkness around her. I am not a fan of many of McKenzie's book covers, but this is simplistic and eye-catching in the middle of a very colourful shelf in a bookshop. Even using black when so many spines of books are bright and bold, makes you notice it and want to pick it up. Overall I think it's a brilliant cover for what appears to be a brilliant book.

Charlie meets Nat following a terrorist attack in the city and starts to believe he's hiding information about the explosion. Can she uncover the truth of who he is? The story unfolds through chapters told alternately by Charlie and Nat, as they get to know each other and uncover secrets and corruption that stretch to the very highest levels of society, and which put them in increasing danger.

Holly x
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Sunday, 8 September 2013

50 Facts About Me

I know that I've already done a 25 facts about me tag but I've been tagged in something else and thought I'd follow it through.

1) I'm on the cusp of Saggitarius and Capricorn, but just made it into Capricorn.
2) My favourite colour is Purple.
3) My favourite animal is the giraffe, because they are tall and spotty like me.
4) I travel 25 miles to go to school. 
5) I've never missed an episode of Strictly Come Dancing, I have watched it since I was 3.

6) My intention is to do a Creative Writing Degree at University.
7) I can play the Piano, Cello and Violin.
8) Ron and Hermione are my OTP.
9) In my opinion the worst Harry Potter book is The Goblet of Fire.
10) Even if it's the school holidays I am always up by 6:30am
11) My least favourite subject is Maths.
12) I don't have to look at the keyboard to type but if I were asked where the keys are on the keyboard, I wouldn't know.
13) I am allergic to Penicillin and Kiwi's. 
14) I have an intolerance to butter.
15) I'm one of the very few people who eats cereal dry, and sandwiches without butter/margarine on them.
16) I love Glee.
17) Currently I'm reading Starter for Ten by David Nicholls.
18) On a typical school day I get up at 5:30 am
19) Cycling is my favourite sport and the only sport I'm slightly good at.
20) I'm naturally very clumsy.
21) I collect Google Doodles and print them all off. Starting in 2010.
22) I had another blog before this one. It didn't go well.
23) Last time I tried sewing, I sewed the fabric to myself by accident.
24) I write letters to my future self.
25) I regard anything I've bought from Warner Bros. Studio Tour as Sacred.
26) London is my favourite place that I've been so far.
27) The first blog I read was Through a Cat's Eyes.
28) This blog is essentially a book blog, but I write about some other things as well.
29) I've one brother (Alex, 10) and a half brother (Isaac, 1). 
30) Michael McIntyre is my favourite comedian.
31) I tend to listen to the same songs over and over again until I get sick of them.
32) I have 24 songs on my Blackberry.
33) When it was on TV, Merlin was one of my favourite programmes.
34) English is my favourite subject.
35) Usually, when I get the giggles, it results in me crying by the end.
36) The Lion King is my favourite musical and I saw it in Manchester on the 25th January.
37) I am a worrier, and if you let me, I'll worry about almost anything.
38) I've never been on a plane.
39) I've never seen a Horror movie.
40) The first 12a rated film I saw at the cinema was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
41) Although I'm not 15 yet, the first 15 rated I saw at the cinema was I Give It a Year.
42) This blog's first post was on the 10th November 2012.
43) I wish I was either Scottish, Canadian, or a Londoner.
44) The colours white, yellow and green make me look ill.
45) I'd love to visit Japan.
46) I've been speaking Spanish for three years.
47) I've been to Warner Bros. Studio Tour twice and I'm hoping to go again next year.
48) In the past 3 weeks, I've gained 13 followers on twitter and I'm grateful to all of them.
49) On Pottermore I was sorted into Ravenclaw. At WBST London I bought a Ravenclaw t-shirt.
50) I was meant to be called Lydia, but my dad didn't like it. So I'm Holly.

I tag anyone who wants to use this.
Holly x