Saturday 22 February 2014

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is a meme created by Tynga's Reviews. It is "all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks". If you would like to find out more about this meme click here. 

So I think the book buying ban went pretty well, with only the minor slip-up here and there. I am now, however, well and truly sick of it and I am lifting the ban! I have quite a few books here, mostly books that were kindly given to me by the O' Brien Press as I am currently undertaking work experience there (blog post on this to follow). I also picked up a couple of books in WH Smith and one book in a random bargain bookshop.

All of the images below will have clickable links to their Goodreads profile  (while some of the O' Brien Press books without a profile will link you to the O' Brien Press page).

Firstly we will start off with: THE O' BRIEN PRESS BOOKS

There is a great mix of contemporary, fantasy and historical fiction in this group. I have already started The Million Dollar Gift and I am loving it so far. If you like X-Men you will love this book.

Next up we have: BOOKS THAT I BOUGHT

Yes, sadly it has taken me this long to finally pick up the Percy Jackson book. I have been itching to read the Heroes of Olympus series but I know I must read the Percy Jackson series first and for some reason that has really put me off it (possibly because I have seen the terrible films!). I have had Falling Kingdoms on my TBR list since it first came out and I finally saw it in WH Smith so I had to get it. The last book I picked up was Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. If you don't know I absolutely fell in love with Sanderson after reading the Final Empire (review here). Elantris is an international bestseller and I do believe it is Sanderson's most popular book. I love his writing style and I love his incredibly unique magic systems which I have heard also features in this book, so it was a no-brainer when I saw it in WH Smith.

If you have read any of these books, let me know what you thought of them or if you yourself have taken part in this meme please feel free to leave a link in the comments

Tuesday 11 February 2014

WWW Wednesday (February 12th)

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you will read next?

1. What are you currently reading?

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past. But we are still here. And there are more of us every day. Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor. Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings. Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it. But we have chosen a different road. And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose. We are even free to choose the wrong thing. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.(Goodreads Synopsis)

I absolutely loved Delirium and Pandemonium (find out why HERE.) so of course I had to pick up Requiem. This series does have a love triangle, which would normally make me hate the book, but I am so Team Alex that it makes it OK. Due to my love of Alex I am incredibly worried with where this story is going to go, I am not too optimistic so far but then again I am only a couple of pages in.

2. What did you recently finish?

Splintered by A.G. Howard

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.(Goodreads Synopsis)

This book featured in my previous WWW Wednesday; I was really excited to start reading this, but unfortunately this was a big let down for me. Alice in Wonderland is completely cookie and crazy and this just takes it too far and is too weird. It also featured the most painful romance that made me want to tear my hair out and, in fact, made me hate the two protagonists. It hurt me to finish this book.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. (Goodreads Synopsis)

On a happier note I also recently finished Cinder, which I loved, and you can find out why HERE.

3. What do you think you will read next?

I have absolutely no idea what book I want to read next, but I think it will be between these three. I would love to know which of these books you would recommend so leave a comment down below.

If you have also taken part in this meme, leave a link below and I will be sure to check it out.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Book Review: Cinder by Melissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: January 3rd 2012
Pages: 387

Goodreads Synopsis:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

If you haven't guessed already I am a huge fan of re-tellings. This stems from my University days when I studied Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber", which is basically a re-telling of fairytales and legends such as Little Red Riding Hood, Puss-in-Boots, Bluebeard and Beauty and the Beast. It is more suited towards adults as it is quite dark and violent. Cinder is one of those books that you hear about EVERYWHERE, and when I heard it was a re-telling of Cinderella with cyborgs I was incredibly intrigued. I was looking for something that was different and not your everyday YA book and Cinder did not disappoint me there.

Lately, I have been disliking the female protagonists in the books I have been reading. They are usually far too reliant on male characters or are spoilt/pathetic/shallow etc. Thankfully Cinder was none of these things. I really liked the character of Cinder as she was strong and independent. She wasn't the usual YA protagonist that swoons every time she sees her crush. When she first meets him, she is shocked and clearly really excited (not only is he her crush but he also happens to be famous, well a Prince). Cinder sticks to her guns and her motivations are not selfish. Her actions do not revolve around Prince Kai but more so what she knows is the right thing to do. She makes level headed decisions and doesn't lose her mind because of her crush on the Prince.

This brings me on to the romance. Being a YA book and a re-telling of Cinder there is obviously going to be a romance, however, this one thankfully did not overshadow the plot line of the story. THANKFULLY. Now, the romance was a little rushed but it was not the be all and end all and, in fact, even though the feelings Cinder and Kai had for each other progressed very quickly, the romance itself didn't. Hallelujah, extra points for that.

Now, while I really enjoyed the character of Cinder I was not too fond of Prince Kai. Now don't get me wrong he seems like a nice guy but I guess that is the problem, he seemed too nice. A Prince who has no notions of grandeur, thinks only of his people, etc. seems too good to be true. He was a little too boring for my liking. I loved the character of Iko. She was quirky and fun and basically the perfect sidekick for Cinder, who is far too serious. The Lunars were also incredibly interesting characters with the Queen of the Lunars playing the perfect antagonist. 

One tiny little aspect I had a problem with was the setting. This story was set in New Beijing, which I was excited for as not many books are set in such locations. Unfortunately, this book, literally, could have been anywhere. To be honest I kept imagining the place like an American city (why American? Probably because most of the books I read and tv series I watch are set in America). It was only when the words New Beijing were mentioned would I remember that this was actually meant to be an Asian city - so quite different to what I was imagining. There was only the odd reference to Asian like buildings. I would have liked this book to have been more firmly rooted in Asian culture, so Asian clothing, buildings, streets, customs etc. However, this wasn't really a major problem for me, but if you are looking for an Asian setting, this book will probably not be for you.

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot line and found it so refreshing from what I usually read. This is my first cyborg read and I would definitely pick up more after reading this. This was a really enjoyable read for me and so I give it:

Monday 3 February 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Cry

So this week's topic for Top Ten Tuesday by the Broke and the Bookish is: Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry. This topic is a difficult one for me this week as I don't really read books that make me cry, and in fact, I am not really someone who cries very much. I didn't make ten for this one no matter how much I tried to think of books that made me cry and I happen to feature FOUR Harry Potter books...J.K. Rowling just gets me!

All the pictures have clickable links which will take you to their Goodreads page in case you have not read them yet. I have tried not to spoil any books (except Harry Potter because seriously has anyone not read them? If you have not read HP do not continue as you will be spoiled).

So without further ado, here are the top seven books that had me bawling my eyes out like a baby:

The Book Thief

I don't want to give anything away but I will say that the end of this book had me absolutely hysterically crying; it wasn't pretty. This book is one of my all time favourites, in fact, if a book makes me cry over the characters, then that just shows how emotionally invested I am in the story.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Do I even need to explain this one? (Do not continue reading this if you don't want to be spoiled). I think Fred dying was the worst for me, FRED!A TWIN??How could J.K. Rowling do that? Oh and how about Tonks and Lupin? New parents! Oh gosh this book was amazing but totally awful. I really appreciate when an author can kill off popular characters. Let's face it, there were bound to be some casualties and it is far more realistic when some of the main characters have to be sacrificed. I nearly forgot Dobby, how!?...up there with Fred dying, possibly worse.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Ok, so Cedric Diggory wasn't a main character and I really didn't even like him all that much but for some reason I cried! Now, I only shed a tear, it wasn't the same as the last two books but just shows how much I love Harry Potter that such a minor character dying would upset me.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Dumbledore dies....Do I need to say more? Ugh, again, another Harry Potter book that had me bawling. Now that I think about it, J.K. Rowling killed a lot of my favourite characters...

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

Oh, look, it's another Harry Potter book. This was the first death in Harry Potter that really had me bawling. I absolutely loved Sirius Black. OK, so he had his flaws, but it was the opportunity of a new life/family for Harry and then, boom, DEAD! I blame Harry for it too, all his fault.

A Child Called "It"

This happens to be the only book on this list that I cried over not because of a death. This book is a true life story of Dave Pelzer whose Mother physically abused him for several years. What made it even more sad was the fact that the three other children and the father were treated normally, while Dave was beaten in so many horrific and imaginative ways. This book was truly horrifying, and while I am glad I read it, it still makes me feel so angry and upset just thinking about it, even though I read this about ten years ago. This book is not for the faint hearted.


This is another book that had me crying (not too much) over certain characters deaths which I will not name. My favourite male character of the series dies...that was depressing. Then another, slightly major character dies too...which was totally unexpected and incredibly sad. I didn't have as many feels for the characters in this book as the others but I am pretty sure I shed a tear so I had to add it to my list.

If you participated in this weeks Top Ten Tuesday leave a link in the comments. Or, if you have not participated leave your list below :)
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The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare Delirium by Lauren Oliver The Chemical Garden by Lauren Destefano The Selection by Kiera Cass The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

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