Tuesday 28 July 2015

Tuesday Intros 28th July

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea where bloggers share the first paragraph of the book they are currently reading/thinking about reading soon. It looked like fun so we thought we'd give it a go.

The Program by Suzanne Young
The air in the room tastes sterile. The lingering scent of bleach is mixed with the fresh white paint on the walls, I wish my teacher would open the window to let in a breeze. But we're on the third floor so the pane is sealed just in case anyone gets the urge to jump.

Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout
Big Brother,
I want you to know something: it wasn't your fault, not any of it. And I'm so sorry. Sorry for ditching the family and for shipping off to the other side of the world. But, mostly, I'm sorry I wasn't there for you when it mattered. I should have told someone before it got bad. It's just that you're my big brother; you've always been the strong one. And I miss that."

Top Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

This week's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds. Which could mean anything from characters who love to read, write or even work in a library! There were so many book nerds we just couldn't fit on to the list but here are our top ten.

1) Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
"Because that's what Hermione does," said Ron, shrugging. "When in doubt, go to the library." Pretty much the first character that popped into our heads when we saw this topic.
2) Katy from the Lux series
Katy is a book vlogger - which is pretty much the main thing that made me want to read this series in the first place!
3) Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief
"Whatever the reason, her hunger to read that book was as intense as any ten year old human could experience."
4) Jo March from Little Women
A reader and a writer Jo March is one of the original book nerds.
5) Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars
"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book." Hazel and Augustus go all the way to Amsterdam to meet the author of Hazel's favourite book. Which is true book nerd dedication.
6) Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey
"Oh! I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it. I assure you, if it had not been to meet you, I would not have come away from it for all the world." Almost everything that goes wrong in this book is a result of her love of books.
7) Meggie and Mo from Inkheart
"Books have to be heavy because the whole world's inside them." Meggie and her father can bring stories to life with their voices - and even transport themselves inside a book which is every book nerd's dream!
8) Cath from Fangirl
"Cath felt like she was swimming in words. Drowning in them, sometimes." Cath is a writer of fanfiction, I am really looking forward to Carry On which is a book about Simon Snow - which is who Cath writes about!
9) Matilda
"The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives." I now really want to watch the film again.
10) Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Charlie reads the books he is given by his teacher and they really affect him and the book as a whole.

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2015

This tag was created by ReadLikeWildFire and Ely Jayne and it is essentially a look back at what we've read so far this year and what we have yet to read!

1) Best Book You've Read So Far This Year
Ann: I have to say Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Clare: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh seriously blew me away. I can hardly wait for the next book!

2) Best Sequel You've Read So Far This Year
Ann: Mine would be Path Finders by Angie Sage, I just loved the Magyk series and love the sequel just as much.
Clare: I feel a little like I'm cheating since it's more of a companion series than an actual series but Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge was spectacular.

3) New Release You Haven't Read Yet But Want To
Ann: The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz
Clare: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Its been intimidating me, I am so excited but also so nervous for this book.

4) Most Anticipated Release For the Second Half of the Year
Ann: My most anticipated release is Girl Online 2 by Zoe Sugg
Clare: Mine is Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I am so beyond excited for this book.

5) Biggest Disappointment
Ann: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
Clare: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges. The covers are so pretty, its set in Russia and involves necromancy. But in reality she raises about two people from the dead in all three books and nothing much ever seems to happen. Very disappointing.

6) Biggest Surprise
Ann: The Program by Suzanne Young
Clare: The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle. I pre-ordered this almost entirely based off the cover but I wasn't expecting more than a fun, light read and then it came out of nowhere and impressed me so, so much.

7) Favourite New Author (Debut/New to You)
Ann: My favourite new author is John Green because those of his books I have read I have LOVED.
Clare: I'm cheating again and choosing two - Mila Gray who is not necessarily a debut author since she has written previous books under Sarah Alderson but she is definitely new to me, her book Come Back to Me was so wonderful. And also Alice Oseman who wrote Solitaire and is a debut author. Solitaire is incredible and I highly recommend it.

8) Newest Fictional Crush
Ann: My new fictional crush is James from The Program by Suzanne Young because he was so protective of those he cared about just like me.
Clare: More cheating. Wow. Both leads from Tainted Angel by Anne Cleeland: Vida Swanson and  Lucien Carstairs, I have a lot of love for the leads from the companion/sequel as well but these two were so tough but mysterious but vulnerable. Huge crushes all round.

9) Newest Favourite Character
Ann: My newest favourite character is Sloane from The Program by Suzanne Young because she fights back and refuses to go along with the program.
Clare: Mine has to be Sophia from Rook by Sharon Cameron. Whilst I loved Rene as well, it was Sophia who was my favourite. She was so kickass and caring and self sacrificing and just so interesting to read about.

10) Book That Made You Cry
Ann: I mainly read happy books and I never really cry whilst reading so I don't have anything for this.
Clare: I...cry at everything. But All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven had me full on gross sobbing. So I guess I choose that one.

11) Book That Made You Happy
Ann: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Clare: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, I literally just read this last week and I was smiling non stop for ages after the last page.

12) Favourite Book to Film Adaptation this Year
Ann: I haven't seen any adaptations this year although I do hope to see Paper Towns soon.
Clare: This is a tough one because all the ones I know will be my favourites (Mockingjay, Paper Towns etc.) I haven't seen yet but I really loved Love Rosie which was based off Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern - which was the first of her books I ever read.

13) Favourite Post This Year
Ann: My review of Girl Online which you can find here.
Clare: I've seen some blogs put this as 'post' and some specifically as 'review' so my favourite general post to do was the Bookish Identity Tag (here) because me and Ann picked answers for each other and that was just really fun, but my favourite review was Daughter of Deep Silence/I Am Her Revenge (here) because it was so interesting comparing them.

14) Most Beautiful Book You've Bought (Or Received) This Year
Ann: Clare got me a colouring book (she's obsessed) and the drawings are beautiful.
Clare: Mine has to be Made You Up by Francesca Zappia. I'll put a picture below to show you how gorgeous and I can promise its even better in real life. It's next on my reading list and I am so excited for it.
Made You Up front
Made You Up back

15) What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year
Ann: I pick all my reading books out of my TBR jar so I never know what I'm going to be reading next! But I will definitely be reading the Girl Online sequel!
Clare: I definitely need to focus on finishing series, for example the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and catching up on the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Other than that I'll see where I go.

So that's our Mid Year Book Freak Out - let us know if you've read any of these books and what you thought of them and tell us what your answers to any of these questions would be! Hope you're having a wonderful summer.

Saturday 25 July 2015

Ann: 7 Deadly Sins Tag

So I saw this tag on Crazy for YA's blog (you can find her post here) and thought it would be fun to give it a go myself.

1) Greed: What is your most expensive book? What is your most inexpensive book?
This one is hard because I don't really buy books but I think the most expensive book I have brought is This Book is Gay by James Dawson which is a book I got for Clare to celebrate Sister's Day, which is a day that me and Clare invented. The least expensive book I have brought is A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon which I brought from a charity shop for 50p.

2) Wrath: What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Veronica Roth because of the ending of her third book.

3) Gluttony: What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?
May be cheating but I have to say Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I love this book and whenever I can't find a book to read I go to my book shelf pick it up and read it.

4) Sloth: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
I am sorry to say Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I have tried to read this book many times but every time I try I have just given up. However I think it is time to try to read it again soon.

5) What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot which I read in Year 9 as homework but ended up loving it.

6) Lust: What attributes do you find attractive in male characters?
I normally pick the mysterious, dangerous boys when I read a book with a love triangle. So I guess I find mysterious, dangerous boys attractive?

7) Envy: What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
I have to say I would most like to receive Girl Online 2 by Zoe Sugg (Zoella) as a gift when it comes out because as most of you who have read my review of Girl Online (here) know, I loved it.

Finally, I tag Clare to try this one out because I really enjoyed it.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Bookish Identity Tag

This tag was created by Little Book Owl, Katytastic and Benjaminoftomes. The idea of the tag is to answer a few questions centered around popular books to find out your Bookish identity. We thought we'd do it a little bit differently and answer the questions for each other just to see what we got and how well we really know each other.

1) What Dystopian/Fantastical world would you live in?
Ann: For Clare I picked the world of Narnia. Not sure whether she would prefer before the White Witch or after though.
Clare: I'm gonna pick the world of Magyk, Ann is constantly going on about those books so I figured she'd at least know her way around.

2) Who would your partner be?
Ann: Isabelle Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments for Clare. This one is an obvious one, who wouldn't want Isabelle as their partner?
Clare: I am not sure if this was intended to be a romantic partner or a friend one but since I don't intend to start shipping my sister with people lets keep it friendly. Erm... this is really hard. I'm going to go with the Mortal Instruments as well and pick Magnus Bane. I feel like he'd keep you out of trouble Ann and for bonus points he'd be a lot of fun. I'm almost jealous.

3) Who would be your godly mother/father (Percy Jackson)?
Ann: I struggled with this one because I have never actually read Percy Jackson so I took a quiz imagining I was Clare and got Athena!
Clare: I feel like Zeus would be Ann's father. She is a climber so she clearly has no problem with heights so the flying perks would be great. Plus lightning.

4) Would you be a downworlder or a nephilim (Mortal Instruments)?
Ann: Me and Clare both agree on this one, we would be downworlders - specifically warlocks because it looks like fun.
Clare: Yeah, like Ann said we've actually discussed this one before (because we are just that cool) so this was kind of an easy one.

5) Which house would you be in (Harry Potter)?
Ann: Another one where we will have the same answer: Slytherin. That's what we got on Pottermore.
Clare: Yep, this isn't just us calling each other evil, the sorting hat decreed. I even have a Slytherin cushion and a Slytherin scarf. (We went a tad overboard when we visited the Harry Potter studios).

6) Which factions would you be in (Divergent)?
Ann: I picked Erudite for this one because I think Clare is a very intelligent person.
Clare: This is difficult because I know that Ann wants Dauntless but its so hard to categorise someone. Also I have now forgotten basically all the factions. Oh I don't know, I think if you are brave enough to commit to being Dauntless you're clearly brave enough to be a Dauntless. So there you go Ann, you can have that one. I'll miss you when we're on opposite sides of this battle.

7) What would be your daemon (Northern Lights)?
Ann: I think that Clare's daemon would be some kind of cat/big cat so I looked into it and decided to go for the snow leopard.
Clare: Wow, research. I'm now really curious which characteristics of the Snow Leopard are the ones that made you think of me. But I'll take it. I was fully committed to saying Panda and then I had a panic moment about whether that was inaccurate after you actually researched yours so I did your thing and took a quiz and you got Panda! So yay! (It actually gave a few options: Chameleon, elephant, and swan- but an elephant would be ridiculous, swans scare me and you'd lose a chameleon don't even try to tell me you wouldn't)

Clare: So overall I think we actually did fairly well, I mean I was full on hoping for Hades as my Greek God. Who doesn't love darkness and sarcasm. And a giant dog. But I can't argue with personality quizzes. Also, super glad to have a snow leopard following me around now. Since I left it really late to do my half of this (shame on me) Ann won't see my choices until it's already up. So I don't know how accurate I was yet. I will have to get her to add her thoughts later. Let us know what your answers would be for any of the questions in the comments!

Friday 17 July 2015

Contemporary Reads: So Far This Summer

As I've probably mentioned in previous blog posts; I am really into contemporary books this summer. Usually I ignore all the summer contemporary hype and stick to my preferred genre of fantasy. But this year contemporary's are just looking so good to me. I thought I'd do a quick update on which of them I've read so far and how I'm enjoying them.

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen
This was just wow. This book follows a group of girls trying to get revenge on the football team. I wont go into detail about the revenge because its a lot of fun to watch it unfold. All the girls had their own reasons which were a little more serious than I had expected going in - but it was so well written and all the characters were individual enough that, despite the multiple POV's, I was never confused about who was speaking. I really really loved this book and I am excited to read more by Rachael Allen.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
I am so unsure about this book. I know that humour is subjective, and a lot of liking this book comes down to whether you like the humour. I did, for the most part but there were times when I just didn't as much. I liked this book and I think the low-ish rating may be more the fault of me putting my expectations too high.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
I am usually a bit meh about Sarah Dessen's books, I like them but I don't get the hype. But this book hooked me. I loved the characters and the atmosphere. It wasn't perfect but its definitely a book I would read again. 

The Baby by Lisa Drakeford
This was kind of a disappointment. The idea was interesting, the characters weren't bad and its a British YA which I always love because I actually get the references and slang! But ultimately the way it was written was off putting for me. The book is written in five sections each one from a different character's POV. Which is fine because I liked each of the characters personalities and they all had distinctive voices. But once a character's POV was ended they kind of lost most of their input in the story. Suddenly it didn't matter so much what they thought. And because its a really short book, the sections always ended right when I was starting to connect with the character which was jarring.

Lobsters by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison

This was a fun read, I didn't always love the characters but I loved the setting and plot. I did like this book but I wasn't immediately hooked in, I did like the ending though.

The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro

There are some fairly good reviews on Goodreads so perhaps I am just missing something. But I just - didn't care. I didn't care which team Parker was on or what her "friends" were doing. And I really didn't care all that much about her love interest.

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore

This was... cute. I don't really have much to say about it. I thought it was a fun idea and the romances were cute if not exactly compelling. The one really good element was the friendship between the two main characters.

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

A bit slow moving but definitely worth sticking with. I actually really enjoyed the romance element(s) and the plot was very different from anything I've read. Probably the least summer-y of all the books on this list. But I am very glad I read it and highly recommend.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

I really hate love triangles. The main character was interesting but overall I wasn't that invested. I do know how the series ends (cause spoilers) so I don't have a whole lot of motivation. I will probably finish the series at some point but its not a priority.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before and P.S I Still Love You by Jenny Han

I enjoyed these but Lara Jean is honestly such an annoying main character. I did really like Peter and of course Kitty was an amazing character. She was so cool. The ending felt a little rushed which seems to be a general theme with Jenny Han.

Overall I am having a really good reading summer so far. Not all of the books I've read have been exactly what I expected, some of them in a good way some not so much. I still have a huge pile of contemporaries to read this Summer and if the trend continues they should be a lot of fun to read. 

Thursday 16 July 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Most Anticipated Pre-Orders for the Rest of the Year

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey @ GingerReadsLainey on Youtube.
You can join the Goodreads group HEREToday's topic is Top 5 Anticipated Pre-Orders for the rest of the year. Only looking at it now do I realise 3 of Ann's 5 are released on 6th October. I already know book buying in October is going to get out of control.

Ann's Picks:

1) Through the Dark by Alexandra Bracken, Release Date 6th October

2) Girl Online 2 by Zoe Sugg, Release Date 22nd October 

3) Mirrored by Alex Flinn, Release Date 15th September

4) Harry Potter Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling, Release Date 6th October

5) Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, Release Date 6th October

Clare's Picks:

1) Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell, Release Date 13th August

2) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Release Date 8th October

3) Black Widow Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, Release Date 13th October

4) Winter by Marissa Meyer, Release Date 10th November

5) The Infinite Loop by Elsa Charretier, Release Date 26th November

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Top Ten Recently Acquired Books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can find there post here.

Clare has given me a lot of books because she is getting rid of some and gave me a few so below are the 10 I am most looking forward to.

1) Debutantes by Cora Harrison
2) 13 Curses by Michelle Harrison
3) Eon by Alison Goodman
4) Eve by Anna Carey
5) Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham
6) Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
7) Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
8) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
9) Everneath by Brodi Ashton
10) By Midnight by Mia James

If I literally listed my last ten acquired books it would be a dizzying array of colouring books. I went a little crazy with them. So instead I decided to do the same as Ann and just choose the ten I am most excited for. I did include a colouring book and also a dot to dot book. Because apparently I am a child.

1) Dream Catcher a Soul Bird's Journey
2) This Book is Gay by James Dawson
3) Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
4) Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
5) Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
6) Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
7) Endgame: The Calling by James Frey
8) The Awesome by Eva Darrows
9) Dot to dot City Scapes
10) Vicious by V.E. Schwab