"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R Martin

Monday, 27 October 2014

Top Ten Books To Read For Halloween!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Trick or treat?

A little light-hearted novel perhaps for all of you who are freaked out by gruesome depictions of zombies? Quirky, sweet and so much fun.

A psychological thriller - creepy, disturbing and disorientating. Will have you jumping at every little noise...especially if it's at the window... (REVIEW)

I hear you all saying - Jane Eyre? Really? It's gothic, there's a madwoman in the attic in a big creepy house with a little romance thrown in. Perfect.

This book just freaked me out. Along with the spooky pictures and creepy descriptions, I was rather scared and worried what I'd see in the corner of the room once the lights were off...

This series as a whole is gory and gruesome with some bad-ass vampires (no sparkly nice vampires here). A YA Halloween read for those of you who don't want to tackle a classic like Dracula but still want the gore and the guts (REVIEW)

A graphic novel where the stories and pictures combine to create an absolutely terrifying and gruesome spectacle. Such an awesome and creepy Batman story. Plus the Joker on the cover is so gory especially if you own the hardcover like I do and pull off the slip cover to see what lies beneath...

So much more gory and shocking than the tv show. For those of you who love lots of guts, zombies and jaw-dropping events - some are so crazy that you have to put the book down to process it all - this is the book for you. An amazing graphic novel but so much blood and guts and death. SO.MUCH.DEATH!

Such a graphic and dramatic thriller that will really keep you on your toes. It was bloody, creepy and completely chilling. If you love thrillers with a shocking, murderous twist this is the book for you. (REVIEW)

The original, bloody thirsty, fang wielding vampire himself - Dracula. The classics were always going to top the list. I love the other deeper themes discussed in this book (the English graduate in me) but you can't beat a book about creepy vampires on Halloween. 

Dr Frankenstein, his tragic monster and a tale of revenge. This book is super atmospheric, gothic and creepy. It's also a cautionary tale about a man's hubris and a sad one - it isn't the monsters fault! So dramatic and full of drama. A must read Halloween classic.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Favourite Time Traveling Tales!

Hellooo! At 2:00am this morning here in the UK, the clocks went back 1 hour so I like to think of it as time travel seeing as it's 1am twice in one day! Time traveling is a theme I love in literature and movies so I thought I'd discuss a few books and films that deal with this theme. When time travel is presented well in a book it's exciting and adventurous and can really add more depth and mystery to a story. It can also up the fun factor within a book/movie and add tons of drama too.


 “Three turns should do it.” 

I absolutely love this book. It's my favourite of the whole series and I thought the film was a really good adaptation. I love Sirius Black, the Marauders Map, Buckbeak, the Time-Turner etc. The time travel aspect is just brilliant. There's so much at stake at this point and it's all on Harry and Hermione to go back and change things therefore saving many lives in the process ("EXPECTO PROTONUM" - gets me every time!). The time-turner necklace is just such an amazing object too (one that I own but sadly can't time travel with!) and the little tidbits we get throughout the story with Hermione attempting to juggle her studies is a great aspect too.

“Someone had given Georgie a magic phone and all she'd wanted to do with it is stay up late talking to her old boyfriend. If they'd given her a proper time machine, she probably would have used it to cuddle with him. Let someone else kill Hitler.”

 This is such a sweet and quirky story. I love Rainbow Rowell's books and although this wasn't my favourite it was just such a heartwarming story. Georgie's marriage is in trouble and she soon finds herself talking to her husband (not yet her husband) on an old landline from the past. So yeah I know it's not exactly time travel but I just love how this old phone was used as a gateway to the past. I laughed at Georgie trying to explain things to the past Neal that hadn't even happened yet (to him anyway) and I loved how this relationship helps George realise how much her present Neal meant to her. It's such a sweet story. 

“If only I had thought of a Kodak! I could have flashed that glimpse of the Under-world in a second, and examined it at leisure.” 

A complex but enjoyable book about a man who creates a time traveling machine that allows him to move backwards and forward through time. I really enjoyed this story and how the time traveller witnessed a seemingly utopian world in the future but also encounters a disturbing under-world in the process. What I loved most was the image of the world coming to its end and the time traveler witnessing this. Not as fun as the others but an interesting read nonetheless.

- Heartbreakingly romantic.

- Quirky, funny and sweet.

 - Time travel through letter writing? R.O.M.A.N.T.I.C

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

REVIEW: Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

  Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?

My review of Anna and the French Kiss:
Anna and the French Kiss is an incredibly sweet and touching love story set in what has to be one of the most romantic cities in the world - Paris. It's such a cute contemporary story that sucked me in completely with its captivating storyline about growing up, your first love, experience the world and finding yourself even when you're lost in a strange, unfamiliar new place. The setting was truly spectacular and mesmerising; a place of adventure and possibilities, full of beauty, culture and excitement. Buzzing with life, there's something to surprise and amaze on every corner, on every page. It made me want to seize the day, pack my bag and immediately hop on a plane to Paris and gorge on Parisian delicacies - a croissant or two; gaze at the magnificent spectacle that is Notre Dame and climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower and see Paris silhouetted in the sunset. The detail and the descriptions in this story made it come alive; every smell, every sight and every sound so vivid and real.
At times this book was so heartwarming with lighthearted, touching scenes; then replaced with heartwrenching, sad scenes that dealt with deep problems. Anna deals with some complex issues that really tugged on the heartstrings, making it easy to sympathise strongly with the characters and feel closer to them as a reader.  I empathised with them and shared in their sadness, their victories, their hopes and dreams. It really does toy with your emotions; I laughed, I cried, I sobbed and I smiled - seriously all the feels together in one book wrapped up neatly with a bow. There were some really touching and sweet scenes dotted here and there which really contrasted with some of the other agonisingly sad scenes which were full of tension and suspense. This novel was dripping in realism and emotion and it really was an emotional rollercoaster ride and I'm glad that I finally took a chance on this wonderful book and dived into it.
This story was light and fluffy, so romantic and incredibly sweet laced with realism and enjoyable, relatable characters. The first person narrative allows readers an insight into Anna's thoughts and feelings. I instantly clicked with her as a protagonist as she was so easy to relate to. At times she was a little bit frustrating and naïve and all I wanted to do was give her a push in the right direction. On the other hand, her witty personality and friendly nature made her instantly likeable. Forced to move to Paris to a boarding school, she is thrown straight into the deep end and forced to grow up fast. Anna attempts to maneuver the prickly and dangerous minefield that is growing up and has to dodge a few mines and grenades (boys, bitchy girls, bullying, friends) along the way. She transforms from a quiet and shy introvert, afraid to do anything herself, into a confident and determined young woman, exploring the city and experience new and exciting things with a close knit group of friends.
She is instantly entranced by the absolutely swoonworthy Etienne St Clair from the very first day but one big problem stands in her way of a happily ever after in St Clair's arms - he's already taken. St Clair was instantly likeable - just like all the characters really (perhaps not one or two but you'll find out who when you read it!). He's super witty, funny and intelligent - constantly spewing forth little interesting tid-bits randomly. I loved how he made Anna feel at ease from day one and made her feel more comfortable in a new, unfamiliar place. They become incredibly close and their blossoming friendship just build and builds, until the sexual tension is almost unbearable. Their relationship was extremely sweet and touching but at times feisty and passionate. The chemistry between them just jumped off the page. St Clair was such an enjoyable character - handsome and dreamy and I loved the dynamics between them. The other host of characters just added another layer of realism and enjoyability to this wonderful story. Just as Anna grew close to them, so did I and I loved the glimpse we had of characters that appear in future books.
Anna and the French Kiss just blew me away. For someone who really never read much contemporary, I loved it and devoured it. It was such a wonderful read - its setting was perfect and romantic and its characters witty and realistic. It inspires wanderlust and after reading I'd love to venture to Paris and soak up the atmosphere. I loved Anna, Etienne and co and after reading the other two beautiful books by Stephanie Perkins I love them even more. I'd recommend this story to any lovers of sweet contemporary novels and relatable, realistic characters. It was just so cute!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Top Ten Book Places to Visit!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Love the theme this week! 

 1. Hogwarts @ Universal Studios, Florida - I really hope this can become a reality next year. I want to be a big kid and sip some butterbeer and just breath all the magic in!

2. Narnia (obviously fictional!) - Seriously, who doesn't dream of hopping into their wardrobe and venturing into Narnia?! It would be wonderful.

3. Dubrovnik, Croatia - Cheating a little here. Game of Thrones, the tv show is filmed in some amazing locations but Kings Landing, filmed in Dubrovnik looks so beautiful and Croatia looks like such a gorgeous place.
4. Hobbiton, New Zealand - Also another place I hope to tick off my list in the next year or two. The Lord of the Rings is my favourite book of all time and I absolutely adore the films so being able to go to Hobbiton, THE SHIRE would be amazing. Seriously I think I'd cry when I finally got there. My number one place to visit on Earth, ever.

 5. Greece - I've been a fan of Ancient Greece and its history for years. I've been to Kefalonia (another bookish place - Captain Corelli's Mandolin!) but I'd love to go to Athens and visit more of the islands including Crete. I just love how it's seeped in history and culture.
6. Egypt - I absolutely adore Egyptian mythology and Ancient Egyptian history. I'd preferably love to travel back in time to the period when Cleopatra was Pharaoh but I'm not picky!
 7. Yosemite National Park - There was just something about this part of the book that I loved. It seemed so wild and beautiful. After seeing photos of it I'm dying to tick it off my list next year (yes, a trip is in the works!)

8. Paris - Beautiful book and beautiful setting. Also not too far from the UK either. Perhaps I should hop on a train like in Just One Day to see the sights?
9. USA - This book was such a tragic and cautionary tale. But I loved it. It just evoked something adventurous in myself and inspired wanderlust. Just to stop what you're doing and going off into the wild seems crazy but so inspiring.

10. San Fransisco - I would LOVE to go here. Probably the city I'd most like to visit in the US. It just seems so quirky and beautiful. Hopefully another to tick off of my list... (big plans in the works if you didn't guess!)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Showcase Sunday #54

It's Sunday and that means one thing; Showcase Sunday a fun weekly meme hosted by Vicky over @Books, Biscuits and Tea. It's a great way of showing off what we've bought, borrowed and received this week.

I'm back! For over two months I've really slacked with the whole blogging and reviewing thing with going on holiday, starting back to work and stuff. Trying to find the time and getting in the mindset has been a little tough lately and I haven't really been doing great on the reading front either. Anyway here are the books I've collected over the past few months. I'm really trying to cut down on book buying (which is really hard!) and maybe a few of the books here hints at what I'm planning for next year!

Into the Wild - Jon Krauker
The Road Headed West - Leon McCarron 
Remember the Alamo: American History in Bite-sized Chunks - Allison Vale 
The Giver - Lois Lowry
Half a King - Joe Abercrombie 
The Long Ride - Nicholas Sparks

Kindle Books: 
The Distance Between Us - Kasie West
Perfect Ruin - Lauren DeStefano
Where She Went - Gayle Forman
The Rithmatist - Brandon Sanderson
Dark Eden - Christ Beckett
Opposition - Jennifer L Armentrout
Your Round the World Trip Planner - Macca Sherifi 
Doon - Lorie Langdon, Carey Corp
Saving June - Hannah Harrington
With This Heart - R S Grey
Island and the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins
Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis


 Stitching Snow - R C Lewis
Salt & Storm - Kendall Kulper
The 100: Day 21 - Kass Morgan
Endgame: The Calling - James Frey
The Iron Trial - Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness