Saturday, 24 October 2015

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

NimonaNimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Nimona is all kinds of wonderful. Imagine you wake up inside a kaleidoscope. Everything is dark, but as soon as you open your eyes, you see everything. You see all the colours. The light from the outside world is streaming through the tinted glass and the colours dance around you with calm chaos. That's Nimona. All the colours at once.

This was the first graphic novel I'd ever read and I fell in love with it on the first page. This was absorbed, loved and felt in one sitting, and at the end I was somewhat speechless.

The diversity in Nimona was truly fantastic. I loved how Nimona wasn't stick thin. She wasn't fat, but by no means was she the typical thin girl we constantly see represented in fiction. Ironic as it sounds, whilst this is fantasy, if anything, this made Nimona seem more realistic. Also, and I don't think this is a spoiler but I love the fact that it was never verbally said that Ballister was Gay. It emphasizes the fact that we shouldn't have to be labelled. It was quietly and subtly hinted at in such a beautiful way.

The relationship between Nimona and Ballister Blackheart is touching and ridiculously sweet. It's one of those unlikely friendships that works so well. It's nice to see how the villan and his sidekick in this world are really hugely complex characters with such endearing personalities.

The book is extremely funny, I found myself constantly laughing out loud. What I liked especially was how there were running jokes throughout the 250 pages, something which I've not really seen in fiction before. But then there are also darker points, that are so moving and sad in their explanations of the characters' past. You grow to love Ballister, Nimona, and Goldenloin, and well, everything else too!


Holly x

Monday, 19 October 2015

Five Stars Doesn't Mean Favourite

Just because you give a book 5/5 stars, by no means does it have to automatically be a favourite. It may just be an exceptionally good book. I have a big problem with this, and perhaps this is because people assume that it is a favourite, but the reality is that the book could just be an incredibly good read.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: My favourite book. I gave this five stars, but if I could have given it more then I absolutely would. For me, Fangirl spoke to me in a way that no other book ever had, because Cath is me. This is more like 100000/5

Every Day by David Levithan: A truly genius and thought provoking book. Again, I gave this 5/5 stars. Every Day is such an original, heartbreaking, and fantastic novel. And I have gained so much appreciation for life from it, but it's definitely not a favourite of mine.

A favourite exceeds the rating scale. A favourite takes your breath away and you remain breathless. A favourite is tattooed on the surface of your brain, unable to be scrubbed away. A favourite leaves a permanent mark. 

Books that I've rated 5 stars, but are not favourites: 
The Great Gatsby, We Were Liars, Lies We Tell Ourselves, Love Letters to the Dead, Between Shades of Gray, Love Aubrey, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Finding Cherokee Brown. 

These were all amazing, but none of them are books that if someone asked me what my favourite books were...none of these would spring to mind.

Of course, any 5 star book has the power to metaphorically blow you away, and but there are some that you will shout about from the rooftops and recommend to every human being. Those are the favourites. And they're on their own level of wonderful.

Holly x

Monday, 5 October 2015

You're the One that I Want by Giovanna Fletcher

Image result for you're the one that i want giovannaMaddy, dressed in white, stands at the back of the church. At the end of the aisle is Rob - the man she's about to marry. Next to Rob is Ben - best man and the best friend any two people ever had. And that's the problem. Because if it wasn't Rob waiting for her at the altar, there's a strong chance it would be Ben. Loyal and sensitive Ben has always kept his feelings to himself, but if he turned round and told Maddy she was making a mistake, would she listen? And would he be right? Best friends since childhood, Maddy, Ben and Rob thought their bond was unbreakable. But love changes everything. Maddy has a choice to make but will she choose wisely? Her heart, and the hearts of the two best men she knows, depend on it...

When I read this back in November 2014, straight after I logged into Goodreads and in the review section for this book wrote the following:

"My emotions are playing tricks with me right now. Every time I think of this book I want to cry and smile and laugh and just read it all over again. It's going to take a while to get over this..."

You're the One That I Want is about Maddy, Rob, and Ben; 3 friends who since the age of 5, have spent there entire lives together. Maddy is about to marry Rob, but there is a past that could stop her going through with it. I never read Chick-lit, and so the only reason I read this is because Giovanna is Tom Fletcher from McFly's wife. Also, if I had read Billy and Me first (which I didn't like) I would have never read this - which was one of my favourite reads of 2014.

I still stand by the italic statement above, as I feel like I will never get over what happened in this book. And i have a feeling that this is going to be a difficult review to write, because it completely broke my heart. The way that we saw the three characters grow up, we see them from age 5 up until their mid thirties, and the development of Maddy, Rob and Ben was phenomenal. We discover their feelings as they discover their feelings - which makes sense in my head. Everything felt live, and as if I grew up a little bit over the course of my reading experience along with the characters.

From the start, I rooted for Ben. I found myself shipping Maddy and Ben together, in spite of the fact that from the very start Maddy is going to at least get engaged to Rob. Ben was my kind of person, quiet and sensitive, where as Rob was the most popular boy in school. Maddy was easily swayed, and all the characters did stupid things at times, in particular Rob. Another reason why the book temporarily destroyed me.

If I never read another Chick-lit book again, then I'll be fine with that, because You're the One that I Want was perfect.
Holly x