Sunday, 31 May 2015

Twenty Eight and A Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank | Review

Genre: mystery , chic-lit , southern-lit
Publication Date: 2011
Page Count: 372

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn't enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen-- do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.
Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all
This is not a type of book I would typically read and I only read it because I asked on twitter for a random book recommendation and this was the first that I got. I'm just going to go ahead and say it now : this is one of the best books I've read this year. 
I can't even remember the last time I read a book that I could not put down but I stayed up into the night reading this. 
This book is mostly lighthearted but has some serious moments in there! The dialogue is witty and the plot is fast paced. I rarely laugh out loud while reading but I was in tears laughing at one point in this book. 

Something I noticed about this book was that I could see every scene happening as if it were a movie, the descriptions were fantastic!  I also loved the different characters , Rose was such an interesting character to read about, it was great to read about someone who is trying to find themselves after years of holding their personality in. I loved the sister relationship in this book , although it wasn't a main plot , it was developed very well and  it brought me to tears at one point. I also loved Joe and how sceptical I was about him the entire time.

I don't think I've ever read a mystery before but after reading this I ask myself why. I loved how I blamed someone else every few chapters and it was full of plot twists.

If you're looking for a witty , fast paced , intriguing read I would definitely recommend this! I can't wait to confine on with the series. 

Friday, 29 May 2015

Books that I wouldn't have read if it weren't for book blogs/booktube

Whilst participating (and getting very confused by all of the tweets) in this weeks UKYA chat for the first time , I realised how many books that I never would have read if it weren't for the internet book community recommending them. I live in Ireland and there are a lot of books from all around the world that aren't published here , so there's no way I could have doing them. Here is a list of some of my favourite books that I wouldn't have read if it weren't for book bloggers and booktubers (for which I am eternally grateful) and maybe someone who reads this hasn't read or heard of one of these books and chooses to read them which would be great!

Slammed by Colleen Hoover
As far as I'm aware Colleen Hoover's book aren't available in bookshops over here and the only reason I read Slammed was because of a recommendation video for good contemporaries. I downloaded it on my kindle , not really knowing what to expect and I laughed , cried and swooned while reading it. It's basically about a girl called Layken who moves states after her father dies and her mother gets a new job but she is not happy about this. She meets Will Cooper ,who has a passion for slam poetry ,and is instantly attracted to him. Of course , not everything goes to plan and they find out something that brings their relationship to a halt. This book  introduced me to all of Colleen Hoover's wonderful novels and made me want to read so much more contemporary!

The Lux Series by Jennifer L.Armentrout 
Jennifer L.Armentrout was one of those authors who I heard their name mentioned a lot on booktube and filed it into the back my mind with the label "Check those books out someday"  and left for a while. Then one day I had nothing to read and opened the "Check those books out someday" and reached in for a lucky dip. I dodged Stephanie Perkins and Marrisa Meyer and picked out Jennifer L.Armentrout. (Why am I speaking in metaphors? I have no clue , it's half ten and I've been awake since 6 , my brain is a marshmallow) . Lux follows a girl who moves town and now lives next door to Daemon , who she despises after their first encounter , she soons starts to notice something strange about the family next door but can't help (no matter how hard she may deny it) falling for Daemon.
It's a cute paranormal series about hot aliens ...if that hasn't sold you , I don't know what will.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marisa Meyer 

6 months ago , when I reluctantly bought this book because it was on a buy one get one half price deal based on booktube hype , I was positive that I didn't like fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. 6 months later, after reading this series and others and watching all of Once Upon A Time in less than month, I admit I was completely wrong.
Cinder , Scarlet , Cress (and soon to be Winter *squeels*) are sci-fi fairy retellings , set in a world in which 5 world wars have been and gone. The earth is united against their common enemies on the moon. It is such a good series ...if you , like my old self , don't like Disney movies and think that that is a reason to not read this books you're wrong!

The Shatter Me Series by Taherah Mafi 

I bought this from the book depository on my original book buying craze after joining booktube and it took me a while to read it but when I did I loved it! Shatter me is about a girl named Juliette and her touch is lethal. Her parents put her in an asylum and an army want her as a weapon. A character from this series holds the joint title of "Character that went from 100% hatred to 100% my favourite" with Regina Mills from Once Upon A Time.
I recommend this series ! But if I'm going to tell you to read it I have to warn you to READ THE NOVELLAS! You really really REALLY need to read the novellas , okay? Trust me!

These fantastic books are just a few out of so many that I've read because of our great community! It's one of my favourite things about being a book blogger and booktuber. I'm so happy to be a part of this community and to be able to share my favourite books as you share yours with me.

Lots of love , Rachel x

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover | Review

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…
That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.
Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever. 

This was the last Colleen Hoover book I hadn't read yet and I had high hopes for this one. Having given the there's 4 and 5 star reviews , I am sorry to say that I was disappointed with Hopeless. Don't get me wrong it had a good plot and there were twists and turns but I just didn't enjoy reading it. The reason it's even getting 3 (more of a 2.5) stars is because of the emotional impact the ending had on me.

At the start of the novel I found the story and the characters very boring. I felt like a lot of characters were introduced that should've come into play but never really did. Another thing that bothered me was Holder in general , he really scared me and I found it hard to trust him for the rest of the book because of that. I was waiting for the alleged twist that the book apparently was to take half way through but even after the twists I didn't really enjoy it.

I found most of the twists predictable and I felt like I was reading it to finish it ASAP. The second part of the book was so dark that it made me feel physically sick at times but it did tie together really well. It wasn't until the very end that I felt emotional rather than disgusted and it ended really well.

The reasons that this book didn't get a 1 or 2 star review is because of the occasional humour and well structured plots. It tied together really well and I was happy with the ending.

Unfortunately, I would not recommend this book and I'm not even exactly sure why , I just didn't enjoy it at all. Do not let this book turn you off Colleen Hoover , she has written fantastic books that I would completely recommend! This book just wasn't for me.

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Selection series by Kiera Cass (Book 1 , 2 and 3)| Review

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

I've no idea where this review will go because there were points in all 3 (not so much the third) books that I would've given it 1 star and others when I would've slapped a 5 on it.
I'll start with the most obvious thing to talk about : America Singer.
America annoyed me at the start but it wasn't until the end of the first book did she really get on my nerves. I almost DNF'd the first two books 3 times because of how angry I was with her but eventually I pulled through and in my opinion she did get better at the end. She still does stupid things and keeps secrets from people non stop (grrr) but I was happy for her to be happy.

I liked a lot of the other girls in the selection as well , I liked how the relationships progressed throughout as the selection went on. I LOVED America's maids and I was rooting for their happy ending the whole way through. Other characters were Aspen and Prince Maxon who were the two boys in this love triangle (and what a frustrating love triangle it was). I was team Maxon for the entire series but Aspen was a good character and I think he meant well (I may have blindly gotten angry at him for getting in the way of Maxon and America multiple times though...)
Maxon was adorable and I loved reading about him and I loved the parts when we got to know him more.

I loved the set up of the selection and I think I liked the series a lot but I'm still conflicted because of how much I wanted to stop reading more than once.

There was a lot of characters that I didn't know I cared about until they died and even though they weren't my favourites I cried a bit.
I was happy with the ending and I was sobbing for the last couple of chapters for so many reasons.

Would I recommend this series? I don't know , it depends if you can handle annoying main-characters. Overall I'm glad I kept reading it and if you like cute but challenging love stories then I would say you could push past the bad bits. I may be the only one who had the struggle of reading this so I would give it a go. I don't want this to end like a bad review though because I really did love the characters (most of them anyway) the setting , conflicts and relationships.

P.S) I know this series continues into a new generation but I have to say I did not enjoy the main character based on the sample I read on my kindle. Has anyone read it? Should I read it?

Rachel x

Saturday, 9 May 2015

All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher | Review

All I Know Now is actress , singer , vlogger , now author and all in all one of my favourite internet discoveries, Carrie Hope Fletcher's first novel.

In this book , Carrie talks about her experience's with school , bullies , acting , friends , boyfriends and much more. It is a well-written and uplifting read that I would recommend it to any teenagers who think they are alone in their troubles and to just about anyone who likes reading about other people's lives.

I have been looking forward to the release of this book since long before the trend of youtuber books began. Quite frankly I am not interested in reading a book just because someone famous or well-known has written it but I have always felt that myself and Carrie share a lot of common interests and I adore her outlook on life.

Before I discuss my opinions, I want to point out how beautiful this book is. It made me smile every time I looked at it and I cant wait to put it on my shelf.

I did not realise how much I needed to hear what Carrie had to say in this book until I finished reading it and felt so refreshed about everything. I loved the writing style of this book and I really enjoyed reading her well-told stories.

I feel like Carrie has a lot of experiences that most of us will never have for example having a brother in a famous band or playing a main character in one of the most popular West End shows of all time.

I gave this book 5/5 stars and would recommend it! It got be out of a reading slump so that has made me very happy!

Lots of love , Rachel.