Friday, 25 February 2011

Love Struck - Rachael Wing

So I've had my eye out for any other Rachael Wing books after I re-read Star-Crossed for like the 10th time. It's a short but sweet book and I love it - especially the way it's written.
Anyway, I was mooching about my library when I saw The Legacy by Gemma Malley *grab*, then this *grab*.
Rachael Wing was only 16 when Star-Crossed was published, 14 when she wrote it and although, it isn't as well rounded as some books are these days, it's not all that bad compared to the fact she was 14. I was 14 when I got into writing...and it's not all that brillant still.


Synopsis: This is the supposed to be the summer of her life, for fifteen year-old Holly. She has tickets for the local, famous music festivial, The Midsummer Rave, with her best friend, Wes and now, her crush, Jonah is taking an interest in her. What else could possible ruin this summer? It seems like it is going to be the best summer, until Emily a.ka. Barbie, the American blonde bimbo (Sidenote: What Holly calls her - not me!) who all the boys, including Wes, fall for. But she isn't all she seems behind the tan and the glossy blonde hair.


Review: This book is based loosely on the story of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Like Star-Crossed is based on Romeo and Juliet. This time....it's not as obvious and to be honest, it took me a while to understand how it was. I went and saw a school production of the Shakespeare play which has 3 of my close friends in (one played Helena, one a fairy and one was one of the actors at the wedding) which was absolutely amazing and I enjoyed it so I know the story pretty well. And apart from the fact that Holly, Wes, Jonah and Emily are the main characters in the play and the name of the festival links in with the play title, I couldn't see the reference. And the band, The Faeries, that Wes and Holly love are of course...the Faeries in the play.

Also for me, it seemed like nothing happened as I read it. It's only afterwards that you realise a lot of stuff did happen, much like Matched by Ally Condie. There is no shocking twists and turns like in some books but in some ways, that made it more enjoyable and nicer to read. I relaxed more while reading it.
I liked how the lyrics mentioned fitted in with the plot too.

Looking at the book, like Star-Crossed, it look like such a young teenager type book that a little bit cheesy and over rated. But it's not. There are some brillant moments and Rachael Wing has included some great, original characters that are all different. I personally loved Remi and Arno (friends of Holly's) and Wes. Ah Wes. There's something about that name I love like in The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. And the name Jonah is starting to appeal to me. Although, in this book, Jonah is a complete idiot and I can't believe Holly fell for him. Anyway, moving on.

The ending of the story is inevitable and you can probably guess what happens at the end of the book.
Although, the cover lets it down, this book is an nice short read at only 170 pages.
This isn't as good and well-written as Star-Crossed was but this is still worth a read if you want a book where you don't have to think too much and you can just relax and enjoy. It's a definite possible summer read.

I give it 3.5 out of 5

Author's Wesbite: http://www5.scholastic.co.uk/zone/authors_r-wing_biog.htm

Click here for my Star-Crossed Review!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Queen's Lady - Eve Edwards

My Review of the First book in the series, The Other Countess.


This is the last of my Pre-Order rampage on the Waterstone's website. Okay, so I am obsessive over the types of books I read and am afraid to buy actual books with my own money in case I don't like them or I read them once.
Anyway. This is the sequel to Eve Edward's amazing first novel in the series, The Other Countess, about the Lacey family set in the 16th Century under the rule of Elizabeth I. The Other Countess was amazing and is one of my favourite books. Eve Edwards is still relatively unknown apart from book bloggers but she deserves the credit and praise she receives from her books, I think.


Synopsis: Picking up two years after the last book, Lady Jane Rievaulx (mentioned in last book) begins service to the Queen at Richmond Palace. Soon, she is thrilled at the court’s newest arrival. Master James Lacey who she last saw eighteen months ago. Despite her previous courtship with his older brother, James is the man she truly loves. And for his part, he cannot deny his fascination with her. However, James is setting sail on a treacherous journey to the Americas, seeking absolution for what he sees as past sins that he witnessed in the Low Countries during their eighteen month separation. But when Lady Jane is forced into a terrible situation by her own father and brother, there is only one man to save her with the help of their friends.


Review:
To start off with, this book is great. Edwards has captured what life was like in the 1500's under Elizabeth I's reign and what life was like at Court. She shows the rules that had to be followed in introduction and marriage and really, like her last novel, gives an insight to Jane and James' world. She got it spot on again.
    There are references to Ellie and Will from the last book, especially latterly, and other characters pop up throughout. There are also new characters added such as Milly, Kit and the Patons as well as old favourites such as Diego and Tobias.
The story is told from both Jane, James, Diego and Milly's point of view making it much more interesting to read and different. My only few criticisms about this book is that to start off with, it got boring. I'm sorry Eve Edwards because I love your stuff so much but the beginning wasn't as fast paced and well written as The Other Countess and I found James really boring to start off with. However, it got increasingly more interesting and engaging as the story picked up.
My only other one is that, well I'm no expert at Elizabethan language, but there were points where I thought, 'That sounds a bit too modern' in the lauguage and mostly when people were speaking. It's a very small one but I noticed it more than a couple of times.

One aspect that was different to any other book I've read of this period is that Edwards introduced other aspects that happened during that era. For example, the art of fencing and the trips to the Americas and what men found there. I'm yet to read a book, apart from this one, that even mentions that during the story. It was very enjoyable to read something with a little difference.
The romance in this one is less early on than in The Other Countess but I liked it that way. They hadn't seen each other for over a year so they wouldn't fly into each other's arms.

Overall, I loved this book. This isn't as polished as The Other Countess but it has things that are both similar and better to that book. You also get a summary of everything happened since and ties the loose ends that anyone may have had at the end of the Will and Ellie's story such as Nell and Turville.
I would read The Other Countess first so you know exactly what is happening but you could read this without it. I would recommend this to anyone who loves historical romance and a bit of scandel. This really is a worth while series and book with some amazing characters.
I'm looking forward to the next and I think last book in the series, The Rogue's Princess, coming out July 2011.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5

Thursday, 17 February 2011

First Blogoversary!

Okay, first things first, I'm not going to gush about how amazing my life is because well, it's not that amazing and well. My life has nothing to do with this post. So i'll shut up about that now.


Anyway. It's....MY FIRST BLOGOVERSARY TODAY!! WHOO!


And I'm pretty happy I made it through a whole year of book blogging without losing interest in it.

Anyway, there has been a lot of controversy over the hobby of book bloggers the last few weeks and to be honest, they don't know what it's about.
This past year, I have met lots of interesting, funny people who all share a love for books and the smell of them. If I told my parents or some of my friends about a book I love, they would nod politely and then move onto another more 'interesting' conversation. It's also helped me analyse things, especially with GCSE's looming. I have met so many people that have commented and helped with support for them too when I've been feeling low. Being a blogger makes you feel that you aren't alone in your interests of books, fashion, writing - whatever it is. It doesn't matter. And the people saying that obviously aren't bloggers and don't know what it's like.
When I get comments, I am over the moon and happy for the rest of the day. You know that someone is reading what you think and telling you their views and thoughts on that book/film/fashion/idea. It's actually a pretty unique and amazing feeling.
That's all I have to say to those who don't agree with book blogging. Try it sometime and you might change your mind.

--------------------

Anyway, moving back on to my blogoversary.
Today, is my other birthday apart from my own. So let's celebrate. Get your party hats. They ARE essentical of course. I also realised this is my 100th post. Great coincidence, methinks.
Here is my first ever post. Wow, I wrote badly and the picture. Yuck.

I just want to say, a HUGE thank you to everyone whose ever commented on here or Goodreads. To everyone that reads what I have to say and thank you especially to my 27 followers. It's not much for some people but you, those people, make me feel like I should keep reading and reviewing. Without them, I would have given up a long time ago.

Thank You Again and hopefully I'll be back here next year saying the same sort of thing :)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Audrey, Wait! - Robin Benway

Okay. So I know that The Fool's Girl - Celia Rees was on my 'Currently Reading' (right) but well...to be honest, I got to page 30 and I wasn't thrilled. And I have been DYING TO READ THIS BOOK so I thought I'd move onto this...
On a sidenote: I love this cover. It's so nice and original. Anyway...

Synopsis:
Audrey is just an ordinary teenager trying to survive high school with some awesome friends and an incredibly boring and self-centred boyfriend which will soon become an ex. When she breaks up with him, she doesn't realise that her life will be blown to pieces after Evan, the now ex, shouts 'Audrey, Wait!' as she leaves him for a single life.
Until the next day when she hears her ex's new song with his band, The Do-Gooders which is about their break up. Soon, it goes into the charts and as the bands music talents are shown to the world, Audrey, herself, starts to get paparazzi following her around and not being able to leave the house without a picture being taken. Meanwhile, she has to juggle the creeping love for one of her friends, seeing her best friend Victoria, the bitchiness and a negative picture being put in the papers. It's a dream come true, right?


Review:
In a nutshell, this book is about what it's like to suddenly have your name in all the magazines and the press stalking your every move. This is about what it is truly like to be famous (we all dream of it at some point, right?) and what effect that has on yourself and the people you love.
Sometimes I read some books and I just fall in love with the writing and the characters and overall, the book. Some people would say 'Ah it's one of those crappy teen books' but to be honest, I love those.
   The idea is really original and I know there aren't many books out there like this one. This is a very different book.
One thing I loved about this is the writing. I love those kind of books where it's like you're talking to someone who happens to be writing a book at the same time and this one is just like it. Robin Benway is such a good writer in that aspect and I am actually looking forward to finding some other stuff by her.
Over the time I read this, I was ill and I spend the whole morning reading about 200 pages and I don't do that normally. Her writing was that interesting and eventful.

Now the characters. Audrey. I love her! She has such a great sense of humour and is very sarcastic. Although, that may get on some people's nerves, I loved it. And I'm finding that I'm getting sarcastic myself recently. And I am sarcastic already...oh dear.
 Anyway, Audrey is a great character, she's interesting and funny and well...comes out and does some of the most funniest things.
The characters in general are so well thought out and so individual. With the added fact, it's in First Person, you start to feel like you are Audrey and these are your friends - I liked that. I felt more special I must admit.
My favourites were probably Victoria, Audrey's best friend and James, her work collegue who she likes.

The romance with James and Audrey wasn't understated but wasn't over the top. He wasn't in it the whole way through and to be honest, you don't see him coming until it happens. He is such a lovely guy and to be honest, I am a tad jealous of Audrey. Other honourable mentions are: Jonah (Victoria's boyfriend) and Audrey's parents who are the coolest parents I will ever meet. Oh and Bendy, the cat.

Overall, this book has more pros than cons for me. On a negative note, I know a lot of reviews on this book mention the swearing within it and I admit, being a non-swearer, there was a lot of it. On like every page. But then, those who would down grade it because of that, welcome to the real world! Funny enough, teenagers swear a lot and that amount wasn't unrealistic at all. I mean it.
   Also, at about halfway, I was thinking 'This is a 3.5 out of 5 at the moment' but by the end, I loved it. It literally turned on me about 40% of the way through. There are points which are less exciting than others and the fights nearer the end are shocking. And a bit...ugly.

I loved this book. It was enjoyable and interesting and something totally different. There are mixed views out there on this one but this is mine. This book will make you laugh, smile, cry, wince and all the other emotions you can think in books. And the moral of the story? Don't go out with a musician. Full Stop.

I give it a 5 out of 5 - I enjoy this much more than I thought.

Author's Website: http://www.robinbenway.com/my_weblog/

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Quick Update #4 and some MOVIE LONGING.

Well at the moment, I'm sitting at my desk in my room with my mother on the phone downstairs with her 'Nice Voice' switched on while talking to a collegue at work. Outside, the weather is well...I know one word I could call it. Okay. I'll add stars....it looks sh*t. Grey clouds. No Sun. And actually it looks like it could chuck it down in a minute.
   I myself? I am ill so as it's 2:30pm which I should technically be in my last lesson, Media right now, I thought I do a bit of work. not.
Ah. I could get used to this.

Anyways. Yesterday, I got my script for my last Unit of Drama. FINALLY. So...it's called Hard to Swallow and it's about a girl who suffers from Anorexia over the course of seven years. Yeah. Happy. I did want something serious though.
I've read through it and me and my group (including Joey (!) who plays the girl) have the lovely task of making a good play out of it in six weeks. Oh dear Lord. I am going to be so depressed over the next few weeks...
Though, I just found out, it's an adaptation of a book which was written by the real life character of my character, Maureen. Catherine (the girl)'s mother. And now I kind of want to read it. You know, get it first hand what it was like to be in that situation. So has anyone read or heard of ''Catherine: The story of a young girl who died of Anorexia'? It would be great if you did.

Anyway. MOVIE LONGING.
   I have some movie longing at the moment as I told George. But first.
OH MY GOD. COLIN FIRTH WON BEST ACTOR AT THE BAFTAS. I watched it happen. I am so happy for him, not just because I love him as an actor and person, but still. He deserves it after all the things he's done. I hope he wins the Oscar too next week.

So here is my Movie Longing:

The King's Speech
Okay. So I have actually seen this one already but my Mum wants to see it and I want to see it again because during the movie, I was so hungry, I was trying to see if I could steal piece of popcorn from George without her noticing while eating mine. She didn't notice for the couple of times I successfully stole. So my mother is my excuse to go.
Anyway. Who doesn't want to see Colin Firth again? I make my point.




Brighton Rock
Not at the top but I want to see this to see what happens. It looks good and well made and set in Brighton? Sounds good. And set in the 50's/60's? AH. I WANT TO SEE IT!
This guy << looks interesting too. I won't repeat what I thought when I saw the trailer before The King's Speech but anyway...
   With The Black Swan. Everyone wants to see it. But well...i'm not sure. My friend saw it and they were a bit creeped out by it. Anyway, it sounds like I would be hiding from the screen before half way.



Gnomeo and Juliet
Words to not describe how much I would like to see this movie. I mean Gnomeo and Juliet? That sounds so great. I am already laughing at the trailer which I've seen twice now...hah. Some crazy Gnomes.

And Emily Blunt (Her in The Young Victoria - love her!) and James McAvoy....oh. oh. Him in Becoming Jane...aww.



Never Let Me Go
Ah. I have been waiting for this movie since October when I was in America and I heard about it. This is based on a novel by the same name. Love Adaptations of books.
And the cast << Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley (who grew up around where I live and I love her acting and movies) and Andrew Garfield.  think they're all great and should be good together. I am also interesting because when I read the synopsis, it sounded a little dystopian, which is my new love....GAH I WANT TO SEE IT.

Anyway. I'm done. Hope you enjoyed that :)

Saturday, 12 February 2011

On My Bookshelf (6)

Hello. Sorry this is a bit late. I've been waiting for a while so I have a decent amount.
 Anyway, this is my version of 'In My Mailbox' because honestly, I'm not known well enough to have publishers and authors to send me books - and I'm still working out how that can happen.

Here are a few things I've acquired over the last few weeks:


From Library:
Audrey, Wait! - Robin Benway


Bought:
The Queen's Lady - Eve Edwards
I was Jane Austen's Best Friend - Cora Harrison

Given for Birthday (You can see what my family and friends buy me mostly):
The Guernsey Literacy and Peel Potato Society (Bought by Joey and Grace)
The Brightest Star in the Sky - Marian Keyes (Also Bought by Joey and Grace)
Looking For Alaska - John Green (Bought by Tijana - i've been wanting to read John Green a while now...)
The King's Speech - Mark Logue - this is the book of the new British film starring Colin Firth
Magic Flutes - Eva Ibbotson
A Song For Summer - Eva Ibbotson


So, quite a lot of books this month.
Have you read any of these books? How did you find them?

I would be interested to know. :)

Matched - Ally Condie

So I'm rushing around my local library frantically trying to find The Legacy by Gemma Malley WHICH I AM SO DESPERATE TO READ. And the library computer says 'Check Shelf'. SO WHERE IS IT?
I ask one of the librarians, who takes one look at my school uniform (this was after school) and decides that the book I'm looking for is about vampires and points at a display of them. Why do all people think teens only read about vampires? oh yeah. Twilight. Grr.
   So anyway. I wander over there and don't find it. I find this one though next to it in the display for 'New In'. I've seen some reviews for it on the blogosphere and it's on my 'to-read' list on Goodreads. So I thought I'd pick it up.
I never found The Legacy :(


Imagine a society where Officals decide who you will love and marry. How many children you have. Where you work. When you die. It's enough to make you rebel, feel isolated, controlled and watched where ever you are. Want to make your own choices. For seventeen-year-old Cassia, this is her life.


Cover: I like the cover. It's simple and interesting and very different. Although, I have no idea how the girl in the bubble has anything to do with the story. Green is repeated throughout but, this isn't obvious.

The synopsis is short because I will give too much away otherwise. The book goes straight into the action and continues from there. Whether this is a good thing, I'm yet to decide.
When I finished this book this morning, it felt like...nothing had really happened. Throughout the book you're getting nearer and nearer the end and you're waiting for that big, shocking event but really, it never happens.
However, afterwards when you think of what happened, so much does and some, you enjoy, some, you don't. From the middle to the end, it is very flat and this is of course where the main things happen. I'm just not sure.

  The writing and characters, on the other hand, were really well done. Ally Condie writes some beautiful stuff especially when Cassia goes hiking on the hills. Cassia, overall, was great. She had her moments where I was sitting there thinking 'What is she doing?' but mostly I liked her and her take on life. Her final choice at the end is obvious and so cliche. But, it fitted with the rest of the book and I would say the rest of the series. It gives you and her, hope.
Xander. Oh my. If he was real, he WOULD be my best friend. He is just so lovely and understanding. A little obsessive with the games perhaps but nonetheless, I love him as a character. He wasn't actually in the story that much but I liked that. I wanted him to come back in the story and then he would. Oh I love him!
Ky. He annoyed me. I have no idea why. But he did. One thing I don't understand is one of the napkins about the death. (if you've read the book, you'll understand what I'm saying) - I didn't get how and who did it. That might be the point though. I guess I just prefered Xander.

Overall, this book has some great characters and is writing so lovely. The ending was a little bit of a let down to the rest of the book but I still enjoyed it. It was different to what I expected but somehow, I enjoyed it still. Especially the mentions to present day, now e.g. Wedgewood plates. It's one of these books which could come true. Our lives could be like that in the future - controlled and where freedom of speech is seen as not necessary. It seriously does make you think.
I shall be probably read the next in the series, Crossed, which is being released later this year - if only to know what happens next.

I give this book a 4 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.allysoncondie.com/

Related Posts: 
Book #2: Crossed
Book #3: Reached

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

My Lovely Sweet Sixteen

So I promised details on The Birthday. For those who don't know, I turned sixteen on Sunday.
Sorry, it's a little late - I was waiting to see my friend's pictures.

So. On Saturday, I went to Nando's in Richmond for my birthday meal with 7 other friends. George and Joey who are frequent commenters on here, did attend of course. So we met up, had dinner, I opened my presents and then, my oldest friend, Julie who doesn't go to my school sadly, and my friend Holly came back to my house and we chatted like all teenage girls do.
And then it was over.
The thing I can't get over is that it went soo quickly. I was in there for 2 hours and I didn't even notice time passing. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. So moral of the story. Enjoy something much more while it lasts.
Here are some pictures:


Me and George - mid talk. I just have to say I love her. She is that amazing.
I love her facial expressions too.

My Birthday Cake. When it was in front of me, I forgot what I had to do.
Suddenly, I remembered and blew out the 6


Mine and Julie's actually wonderful Dad dancing.
I cannot dance for my life, gracefully.

So that was the Saturday. So on my actual birthday, Sunday. I had THE NICEST EVER Roast Dinner with my parents and grandmother. I have never seen my mother and grandmother so happy, it was such a nice way to spend the day. I normally celebrate my birthday with my friends on the day so it was nice to do this.

So overall, I had a wonderful birthday. Thank you to all of you that wished me happy birthday. I appreciated it.

Next thing - 1st blogoversary - 17th February. Wow. One whole year of book blogging. 
'On my Bookshelf' coming soon hopefully. :)

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Quick Update #3

You know the most scary thing about blogging? The Stats.

So. Let's be fair, my blog is the most well known in the blogosphere but I'm up there - kind of. Anyway, today, I was bored after doing some science homework so I looked at my Stats which I normally feel self conscious about doing. Oh my.

In Janurary 2011, last month, I had 1,246 views from 16 different countries. Seriously.
Okay, so most of them was probably me (even though I don't track my pageviews) or my friends that have blogs themselves. It's just...so surreal.


Moving on, my birthday is in....THREE DAYS. I don't know why I'm so excited but I am. I guess it's because of the whole BIG sixteen thing. I mean, sixteen? Wowsas. That seems so older and mature. Which I am SO not. I burst in to laughter whenever my science teacher calls the air sacs in our lungs 'moist'. Gladly, I'm not the only one.
So yes. Moral of story. I am kind of excited for Sunday. I have a whole weekend of celebration, it's crazy. But also, I'm not because I leave the age of ripe old fifteen behind and also, it's so busy at the moment.

I am also loving Matched at the moment. It's so much like The Declaration series, it's unreal. Hmmm...copying? Don't think so. The plot and the 'worlds' are different structures etc.

Anyways. Have a nice weekend! :)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Teen Idol - Meg Cabot

Now, before you judge me on this book but this...rather bright pink cover, hear me out.
Alrighty. Well as much as I liked Dreamland, it was, overall, depressing and I needed something upbeat to help. So I chose this book as I used to read it when I was younger and I loved it. I also love how now, I understand the sexual innuendos and references.
    Also...Who (that is a girl and in their teens/20's) hasn't read any Meg Cabot books?
Not me. I loved this one - and the Princess Diaries series (which I still have on DVD) until they got all to about sex and I felt uncomfortable reading them...


Everyone loves Jen Greenley. She is pretty, clever and incredible good at giving advice and listening to people's problems. However, this doesn't always get you far in the whole teenage high school experience. Until, she is asked to look after Lucas Smith aka, Hollywood's most famous teenage actor, Luke Striker, who is coming to Clayton to research a role in a new high school set movie. He has of course, never been to high school before. It's up to Jen to make sure his true identity is not known and to keep on top of everything else. Soon everyone will know about her new friend and she'll be caught up in the chaos.


Overall, this is a fun read. It's funny at some points and the plot is unusual to most books for this age. I loved Jen as a character. She was very down to earth, trying to sort everyone out for a happy high school and I a very overall likable character. Which is probably how she should be considering the storyline.
I have two critisms.
1) She says 'I mean' quite a lot at the beginning - if to add humour - I don't know. But it did get annoying until it stopped being so frequent.
2) If I saw this book in a bookshop without reading it, I would think it's for pre-teens/young teens about 12/13. Well, I don't think it is. The cover lets it down and although it's a nice cover, it's too...pink. Jen isn't one of those pink, girly girls anyway.

What I loved was that what you think is going to happen at the beginning doesn't at the end - one think that I like about books. Keeps you guessing. The people in Clayton also find Luke's identity out about halfway through which left me thinking 'Hang on, what's happening in the rest of the book then?' But it works. I don't know why but it does and to be honest, Luke isn't actually physically in the book much.
He also seems very...hm...nice in description. I can understand their love for him. Trina, Jen's best friend, is the one that made me laugh. She reminded me of (if you may know) Trina on Victorious? It's a show I sometimes watch on Nick (yes. I watch that channel - and Disney). It's a good show and the way she was...and the name...reminded me of her.
In conclusion, this book is for fun reading especially after a depressing, sad novel and does leave you smiling and upbeat - just like I wanted.
Actually. To be honest, Meg Cabot does that in general. Make you smile I mean :)

I give this 3.5 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.megcabot.com/