Wednesday 31 July 2013

Meme: "Waiting On" Wednesday #8 - Just One Year

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming novels that we're all eagerly anticipating.

It's been way, way too long since I've done a "Waiting On" Wednesday but here it is my fellow book lovers... this is the book that I would sell my soul for because you know, what use is my soul right now when I could have this book?!

Series: The sequel to Just One Day... yeaaah! 
Expected publication: October 15th 2013 by Dutton Children's

Summary (from Goodreads): 
After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem's story, picking up where Just One Day ended. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson's own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.

I know that there isn't very long to wait for Just One Year, just a couple more months, but I have recently finished Just One Day and I just.. I just.. I can't deal with this waiting. 

Have you seen that cover!? 

I can't even find the words right now. If you haven't read Just One Day, I order you to read it right this second, you will not regret is, Gayle Forman is such an amazing author and Just One Day honestly blew my mind. 

I need this book. 

Are you waiting for this book too? Fangirl with me! What other books can you not wait for this week? Please comment below with the title and author of the book you're most anticipating or a link to your own "Waiting on" Wednesday because I feel like torturing myself by finding new awesome books with far away expected publication dates. Yeaaah!

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Meme: Teaser Tuesdays #9 - Speechless

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I've started doing Teaser Tuesday again! Yay! I absolutely adored Hannah Harrington's Saving June and I'm really hoping Speechless will be another instant favourite. I've only just started the book so I don't know much yet but here you go.. my teaser :) 

"I don't associate with freaks. 
Except this particular freak won't stop staring at me, and it's a chore to act like I'm concentrating on this math homework, so I write I'm Chelsea and slide it to the corner of the desk so she can see. Maybe now she'll leave me alone." 
pg 68, Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Chelsea is a little bitchy, I see.. 
Have you read this book already? Am I going to dislike this girl? Ahhh! A little scared to read this now...

Anywhoo.. what is your Teaser Tuesdays this week? I'd love to have a look so please do tell me your teasers or a link to your own Teaser Tuesdays in the comments. :) 

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Summary (from Goodreads):

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Perhaps John Green just isn't for me. It's true that I've only two of his works but the two that I have read (The Fault in Our Stars and now, Looking for Alaska) are, I believe, his most highly regarded novels.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy The Fault In Our Stars or Looking for Alaska, I did, it's just that I didn't feel as emotionally invested with the characters as most people and I wasn't too affected by the events that took place in the two novels.

Similar to most readers I didn't completely predict or expect what was going to take place in Looking for Alaska, I knew that something would happen due to the '*insert number here* Days Before' chapter headings leading up to the turning event but I didn't think it would be what it was. (I'm trying to make this review spoiler free but it's pretty hard and I'm not sure if that sentence made too much sense.) The use of the Before count down chapter headings is awesome, it builds up so much tension knowing that something is going to happen soon. The After headings, also, are very effective, the change from  Before to After just really shows the importance and effect of the event to everybody involved.

The characters were interesting to read about but I can't say I liked them very much which is probably why I wasn't very emotionally invested in them or what happens in their lives. I wasn't very keen on Miles' insta obsession with Alaska Young, to be fully honest, I didn't find Miles or any of his new friends to be likable either. While as a teenager, I can understand teenage angst, these characters seemed to drown in self pity and angst. They are judgmental and try to find any way to separate themselves from other people such as the 'Weekday Warriors vs. the poor' feud. There's something the Colonel, Miles' room mate and friend, says about a rival school about how the only thing he hates more than rich kids is rich and stupid kids which really irked me. Also, I found Alaska to be too unpredictable and too blunt to be very enthralling. However, on the up side, I found it compelling to read about Miles' change in the novel from lost and pretty much just existing and not really living to meeting his new friends and coming out of his shell to really appreciate life.

The lack of the characters doing stuff other than getting drunk and pulling pranks didn't bother me. I actually found the philosophical thinking and the characters trying to answer big questions one of the best parts of Looking for Alaska. The religion class which triggered a lot of this thinking added to the book a great deal and it really reminded me of my own philosophy classes at school which was pretty cool.

I feel like an uber bitch for not loving this (because have you seen John Green on Tumblr or Youtube.. he's such an awesome guy) and I do wish I liked it more but... alas, the characters really pulled this down for me. I recommend that if you haven't read Looking for Alaska or The Fault in Our Stars that you do because most people really do love them to bits and you'll probably love it too. I am an anomaly guys. I will probably read more John Green books because he is a great writer, I think it's just that I haven't found the book of his that... fits me yet. :)

Music choice: Miles finding a place where he belongs is one of my favourite things about Looking for Alaska so.. This Is Home by Switchfoot

Sunday 28 July 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Summary (from Goodreads):

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.


There are endless reviews of Just One Day on this wonderful world we call the internet and the majority of them say that this novel is an amazing one of personal growth and love. They say that Forman is an exquisite storyteller who seems to craft realistic, complicated and enthralling characters with ease. And I agree.. completely and wholly. But I never doubted this; I never doubted Just One Day would be beautifully written or that characters would evoke an array of emotions in me. After reading If I Stay and Where She Went for me the layered characters and raw storytelling of Just One Day was a given that Forman.

What I didn't completely expect was the effect Just One Day has on me. While reading If I Stay and Where She Went I empathised with the characters, I cried for them and I wanted them to get there happily ever after and while I felt the same things for the characters of Just One Day, I also felt like the story really changed me. I don't think I've read a book that has ever affected me in a way like this one has.

At the beginning when Allyson is surrounded by her tour group but feels so disconnected, I knew Just One day would be an instant favourite for me because Forman seemed to put into words how being alone and being lonely are two completely different things. When Allyson watched the Guerilla Will performance of Twelfth Night I wanted to go out and find something that made my eyes shine with awe. When Allyson got lost in Paris with Willem I wanted to immerse myself somewhere. The moment Allyson told her guidance counselor that she didn't know what to do and she didn't want to disappoint her parents, it struck a chord in me. Everything Allyson does or feels in this book either made me feel understood or made me want to take control of my own life.

What I'm trying to say really is that not only is this book gorgeously written and not only is the love story heartbreaking, Just One Day is inspiring and the emotions appear to fly off the pages and inhabit your very core.

I definitely recommend Just One Day to all of you, it isn't exactly a light summer read but it is a damn good book written by a damn good author. There's no question as to if I'll read Just One Year, reading this book barely gave me any information about Willem and getting inside his head will just be insane.

Music choice: This song has been playing on the radio non stop at the moment and I heard it again a couple of hours ago and all I could think of was this book... 

'I didn't know I was lost'

This is Wake Me Up by Avicii 

Saturday 27 July 2013

Meme: Stuck In My Head #1 - Resolution

Stuck In My Head is a new weekly meme, hosted here, that spotlights the songs you just can't seem to get out of your head. 

Hey guys! I thought I'd start a meme up so I could share with y'all my very favourite tunes and just generally what is constantly being replayed each week. For this week it is most definitely the song Resolution by Matt Corby... I discovered this little gem on an advert of Youtube and it is one of the few adverts that I haven't skipped, I guess it was love and first listen. ;) 

Since then I have uncovered that Matt Corby is an Australian singer-songwriter who was on the 2007 Australian Idol when he was just 16 ((I'm 16 and this little fact makes me feel a little failure-ish.. why must so many people have achieved so much by the age of 16!? eh?)) and he finished the competition runner up but continued to work on his music career.

Anywaays, it may have taken 6 years for me to find out about Corby but I'm definitely going to be listening to more of his music after listening to Resolution, his voice is amazing and I think I might just love the guy.

If you haven't heard of it before... 

Please do share your Stuck In My Head in the comments or a link to your own Stuck In My Head posts. I would love to have a look and perhaps discover some new favourite artists. Feel free to discuss why you love your pick(s) so much and if you're a book blogger like myself, whether or not your pick(s) remind you of a book you have read or are reading! :) 

Thursday 25 July 2013

Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Summary (from Goodreads):

Saba lives in Silverlake, a wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms where her family scavenge from landfills left by the long-gone Wrecker civilization. After four cloaked horsemen kidnap her beloved twin brother Lugh, she teams up with daredevil Jack and the Free Hawks, a girl gang of Revolutionaries. 

Saba learns that she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Saba and her new friends stage a showdown that change the course of her civilization.

Blood Red Road is just insane.

It is peculiar writing style and it is reading the stars and it is cage fights and it is crazy ass giant killer worms and it is bloodstone growing warmer as you get closer to your heart's desire. And I loved it.

Dammit. As soon as I got used to the lack of quotation marks and deliberate misspellings prying this book from my hands was near impossible. It's honestly one of the most addictive books I've ever read mostly due to the characters that Blood Red Road is about. Saba, the protagonist, is one of those characters that you're not sure you will like at the beginning but as you read on and discover why they are the way they and as you see them change throughout the novel you really start to care for them and understand them. Saba is not a perfect character who is on such a different level you can't relate to her, even though this is a dystopian book the fact Saba has flaws makes her relatable to the reader and just generally makes Blood Red Road a more engrossing book to read.

The other characters such as Emmi - Saba's younger sister - Pa, The Hawks, Ike, Jack etc. are written equally as realistically and all develop as characters as new experiences are thrown at them rather just remaining the same throughout the whole of Blood Red Road. Although I loved most of the characters admittedly Lugh, Saba's twin brother and who being kidnapped starts off the whole adventure/rescue/quest, didn't really appeal to me and this triggered me to not really understand why Saba would go through so much trouble and pain to find Lugh. This is probably because Lugh only appears at the beginning and ending of Blood Red Road and is only mentioned by Saba when she explains how perfect he is so there wasn't much information about him given in the novel for me to care about him. It would have been nice to have seen more flashbacks in the novel about Saba and Lugh's childhood for readers to understand why Saba loves him so dearly but that's only a tiny thing I would have liked changed and I'm sure we'll find out more about Lugh in the next book.

While the basic story line is pretty simple, a girl going to the ends of the world to find her sibling, it's actually very enjoyable to read. I'd really like to find out more about the history of the world in Blood Red Road in the installment because although we did get glimpses of these 'wreckers' and the King we haven't got the full story yet.

So the plot is great, the characters are awesome and lastly but definitely not least, the romance in this book is absolutely adorable. Jack and Saba are officially one of my favourite sort-of-kinda couples from YA fiction, their chemistry is so obvious to everybody around them and to be honest, from the second Jack made his first appearance in the novel I knew he would be perfect for my bristly but lovable Saba.

I can't wait to get my hands on the next book, Rebel Heart, which I believe is already out because I want more Jack and Saba, I want more Hawks and I just really want to know who this mysterious-kinda-creepy-but-weirdly-captivating DeMalo guy is.

Music choice: Simply because of Saba's never wavering need to find Lugh and not because I'm implying an incestuous relationship between the twins.. I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab For Cutie 

Saturday 20 July 2013

Review: Independence by Shelly Crane

Summary (from Goodreads):

In the fourth and final installment, Maggie and Caleb must tie up all the loose ends of their lives and make a way to be together completely on their own. With everything that happened with Bish and Maggie's father, she's almost reluctant to move on and move out. And now she must figure out all of this...stuff...with Haddock. But of course, nothing can stay simple for the Jacobsons. Enemies who were thought to be dissolved have decided to not go down so easily. And old flames come calling for more than just Maggie. Caleb is torn between leading his family and personal wants. Maggie is torn between Caleb and being the leader of their people. But neither will let what they need most to be pushed to the wayside. They are determined to make it all work, design a plan toward destiny, and make everything right again for themselves and their family.

And then there's a wedding...

If you looked up the definition of 'cute' you would find a picture of this book. This series is the epitome of cute; it is cute bordering on cheesy and cringe inducing. If you aren't in the right mood when reading Independence and every Significance Series novel before this last installment you could easily hate these novels for their overload of cheesiness. Fortunately, after a long withdrawal from romantic YA novels and as I was feeling pretty down from my absolute lack of a significant other (you see what I did there? eh? eh?)  I was in the perfect mood to read a romantic, chick flick-y book about two soul mates.

My expression, late at night/early in the morning, was a constant 'awwhr' shape. I couldn't not enjoy reading this book even though I did have a couple of 'what the' moments.

...I'm not sure why it took me until the last book to say this but what is up with the only heterosexual soul mates, do homosexual Aces not exist? Please do correct me if I'm wrong but there are no significant pairings where both significants are male/female.

Another qualm I had with this read was the fact that Caleb is SO over protective and always there. Earlier I said something about the cheesiness and in most books when either or both of the two people in the relationship are overly clingy or overly protective or fall in love too quickly I wouldn't read past the first couple of pages of the first book of the series, let alone the final novel. To be honest the reason I don't usually read those kinds of books is because they creep me out; the excessive love makes me really uncomfortable.

The sole reason why I was not only able to read this series but actually enjoy it quite a lot was due to NO CHANCE OF IT EVER HAPPENING IN REAL LIFE. For me this read was complete and utter escapism. I was able to look past the fast moving relationship and utter devotion between Caleb and Maggie and all the other significants because in real life people don't touch a stranger and see a mapped out future of them forever and they don't get with-freaking-drawals if they don't touch each other for a certain amount of time and they can't read each other's mind every single second of the day. That is impossible (and when said aloud, veeery creepy... and God, I just realised that I would absolutely hate for somebody to constantly be in my head) and because of the complete impossibility of the story I just wasn't too bothered with it all. If this book had been a portrayal of a realistic love story with Maggie and Caleb acting the way they do in this novel? That would.. no, just no.

Reading this series all depends on what kind of novel you want to read (like always...). If you're the type of person who completely despises excessive love and unrealistic development of relationships in fiction you should really probably give avoid this series at all costs. If you're like me and usually hate these relationships in realistic fiction but could possibly read it in an alternative universe where everything is cray-cray (I promise I just used 'cray-cray' ironically ;) ), maybe give the first novel a go.

But as this is a review for the Independence, the last novel in the series, you have probably read the others and with that in mind... overall this book is a pretty acceptable rounding off to a series. Like its predecessors the story line is put on the back burner to the love story but it's enjoyable to read. Even though this is the ultimate definition of fiction with nothing I can really learn from it to benefit me or affect me in my life I didn't like the lack of homosexual significants, the sometimes just TOO much 'you're mine' and 'claiming' between Maggie and Caled and I found the ending to be a bit too perfect with everyone so happy and jolly.

All in all I liked it but I didn't like bits but I did like it. :D

Music choice: I actually really like this song and although it doesn't completely show the excessive love in the novel this song is cute and I really did find a lot of the novel cute. Also the chorus pretty much sums up everything the Aces believe..

'Until you got love, you know you got nothin'
You're missin' that somethin' that's gonna set you free, yeah
Until you got love, you'll always be runnin'
'Cause love is that one thing that everybody needs'

Until You Got Love by Jon Mclaughlin

itunes link:

Saturday 13 July 2013

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Summary (from Goodreads):

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade - a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they came to be there - or what's happened to the world outside.

The Maze Runner is pretty damn original, I can't say I've ever read a book quite like this before. Yes, there is plenty of sci-fi dystopian fiction on the shelves and an influx of them being made into motion pictures at the moment but this particular sci-fi dystopian adventure with its crazy ass ever changing maze and grotesque half flesh half metal killing creatures is just.. wow.

For a girl who likes to relate as much as possible with characters in novels reading a book about a guy dropped into a guy filled world didn't really appeal to me but I'm so glad I gave this a chance. Thomas, our main character, may not have boobs but his clear and raw human characteristics that Dashner writes incredibly well for Thomas and other Gladers in the novel is enough for me to easily relate the characters and to become crazily attached to them.

It's true that I was crazily attached extremely invested in the characters by the the end of The Maze Runner but that's not to say I was so at the beginning. When starting the novel many of the characters blended together, each of them simply a Glader and not separate people, which made it really hard to carry on reading let alone care for any of the characters. Thomas being the only character who wasn't just a Glader even still didn't truly grab my attention at the beginning of The Maze Runner. His behaviour which I would describe as arrogant was extremely irritating to read, he seemed to believe that everybody else should be falling over themselves to answer his questions and grant his wishes.

It is only 100 or so pages in that game changing and unexpected things happen and Gladers turn from Gladers to Chuck, Alby, Newt and Minho. From this point on, albeit the annoyingly repeated thought of Thomas that although he can't remember his past this must be the most traumatic/scariest/happiest moment of his life, I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book.

If you haven't read The Maze Runner, I don't want to spoil it for you (this is me presuming you will go read it if you haven't :D ) so I'm just going to vaguely say that the ending AND THE FREAKING EPILOGUE is crazy shocking and if I'm the only one who was surprised I must have missed something really important and this is embarrassing... Anywhooo I am eagerly anticipating reading the next book in this series, I am majorly excited to see developments in the various relationships in the novel and even more excited to see where Dashner decides to take the story line.

Music choice: I seem to pick Linkin Park quite a lot but I think the confused and lost feelings and the desire to belong shines bright in both this song and the book.. 
Somewhere I Belong by Linkin Park 

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