Sunday, 25 January 2015

Unhaul | Christmas Clearout

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Just after Christmas I decided it would be a good time to have a bit of a bookshelf clearout to make space for the few books I got for and after Christmas. As the majority of books on my shelves are either unread books of favourites, I don't have a huge amount of books to get rid of but I do have a few.

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson - I read this in September of last year and enjoyed it but didn't love it. I gave it 3.5 stars and have a full review here. As much as I enjoyed it the first time through, I doubt I will want to read it again so it will just be taking up space on my shelves.

No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom - This is another one I read last year and have reviewed (here). Similar to Before I Go To Sleep, I enjoyed it, giving it 3.5 stars, but I will not be rereading it any time soon.

I Am The Secret WAG by The Secret WAG - I have yet to read this one but I stupidly have two copies of it. This one I bought, forgetting I had entered a giveaway for it and then won the giveaway. Rather than having two copies, I am getting rid of the copy I bought.

The Beach House by Jane Green - This is another case of a book I read last year but won't be reading again. I rated it 3 stars and will have a full review soon.

Dancing In My Nuddy-Pants by Louise Rennison - Just like I Am The Secret WAG, I also have two copies of this book. I bid for this one on eBay, not realising that the collection of this series I had also bid on contained this one. I ended up winning both copies so have one to get rid of.

Those are the books I am getting rid of this time around. I am not a book hoarder so I don't keep a whole lot of books that I have read unless they are ones that I think I will read again. I like to have regular clearouts so there may be more unhauls in the future.

Have you read any of the books I am getting rid of? What are your thoughts on them?

Sophie :)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Want To Read/Watch

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke And The Bookish. Lists galore, I can think of nothing better!

This week was a Freebie so I can choose whatever topic I want to make a list about. For this I decided to make my list of Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Want To Read/Watch. I love a good book to movie adaptation, although lets be honest they are not always good, but there are a few that I really want to get to that I haven't yet.

1. The Fault In Our Stars (Goodreads | IMDB)
I read the book in 2014 and got the DVD for Christmas but I have yet to watch the movie adaptation of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars. I really loved the book and so man of my friends have raved about the film, even my mum loved it and she usually hates this kind of movie, so I really need to get to this soon.

2. If I Stay (Goodreads | IMDB)
Gayle Forman's If I Stay is another book I read in 2014, and even read it for the purpose of going to see the movie, but have yet so watch the adaptation. I really enjoyed the book, though not as much as I had hoped to, but I think the movie will have much more of an impact on me as even the trailer made me cry. The DVD is coming out in the UK in a couple of weeks so hopefully I will get to see if soon.

3. Love, Rosie (Goodreads | IMDB)
I adore Sam Claflin so as soon as I found out he was going to be in this movie I immediately had to read Cecilia Ahern's Love, Rosie/Where Rainbows End. This book actually turned out to be one of my favourite reads of 2014, full review here, but I never got around to seeing the movie. Unfortunately I have to wait until March for this to come out on DVD so it may be a while before I get to see it.

4. The Lightening Thief (Goodreads | IMDB)
I read the first book in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series in December of 2014 and as soon as I finished the book I went out and bought the DVD. However, I have yet to get the time to watch it. I haven't heard much about this adaptation so hopefully it will not be too disappointing when I get around to watching it.

5. Before I Go To Sleep (Goodreads | IMDB)
This is another book I read in order to see the movie but unfortunately I didn't finish reading SJ Watson's before I go to sleep before the movie finished in cinemas, so I never got a chance to read it. The DVD for this movie came out in the UK just last week but I have not been able to pick up a copy yet. Hopefully I will get to watching this one soon. I have a full review of this book here.

6. Dark Places (Goodreads | IMDB)
Ok, so this one hasn't even been released yet but I am including it in the list. I read Gillian Flynn's Dark Places last year also and absolutely loved it so I am very excited that it is being made into a movie. As much as I didn't love Gone Girl, it was a good book to movie adaptation so I am hoping for this same with movie.

7. The Maze Runner (Goodreads | IMDB)
I tried to read James Dashner's The Maze Runner in 2014 but got around 30 pages in before I had to give up on it as I just was not in the mood. I am hoping to give this another go soon because I really want to watch the movie since I freaking love Dylan O'Brien. It may be the case that if I can't get into this book the second time around I commit the reader's sin of watching the movie before reading the book.

8. The Host (Goodreads | IMDB)
I have been wanting to read this book since it came out, simply for the fact it was written by Stephenie Meyer. Then, when the movie came out I was determined to read it in time to go and see the movie but I was too intimidated by the size (at this point I found books longer than 300 pages intimidating) so never got around to it. Now that I am more used to reading larger books I want to finally give the book a go and watch the movie.

9. & 10. The Best Of Me & Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (Goodreads | IMDB) (Goodreads | IMDB)
I have put these books together as I have the same reasoning behind wanting to read the books and watch the movies. I love all of the Nicholas Sparks books I have read so far but one thing I love possibly even more than a Nicholas Sparks book is a Nicholas Sparks book to move adaptation. There is not one movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book that I have watched (and some I have watched without reading the book) that I have not liked. Obviously, for this reason, I would like to read and watch some more of these books and movies.

What are your favourite book to movie adaptations that you think I should add to the list?

Sophie :)

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Review | This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThis Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Published By: Macmillan
Published On: October 10, 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 274
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Elise Dembowski wants nothing more than to be liked by her classmates and embarks on her next big project; to make herself ‘cool’ enough to get some friends. When her plan doesn’t go to plan, Elise decides it is time to give up. However, once she accidentally finds the best underground dance party ever, things begin to change for Elise.

This is the typical, some may say overdone, story of the unpopular girl in high school who just wants some friends. It is something that many people can relate to, which is possibly why it is such a common premise for a novel. When I first realised this was the story I was reading, I began to doubt this book but I soon discovered I was wrong to do so.

While the storyline may have been done to death, this was not your average take on the unpopular girl wants some friends plot. Leila Sales somehow found a way to take the story everyone knows, and can likely relate to, and put a unique twist on it to make it all the more enjoyable.

The warehouse party scene is not one I have read about before but it made for a great backdrop for this story. Start may simply be the setting but as the plot develops you see it become so much more than that. It is the place where everything changes for Elise and plays such a vital role. I loved the significance of this unique setting, and it’s overall significance.

Our main character is as relatable as her story, the girl who wants nothing more than a friend to sit with at lunch. Elise may have done plenty of things to frustrate me throughout this book but you cannot deny that this girl is likeable. Despite all of her struggles, she remained far stronger than the average sixteen-year-old girl, and still managed to make it to school after her late nights. There are also some really great side characters in this book, Vicky for example, who I really enjoyed reading about. I must admit, though, that Alex was an adorable character and definitely my favourite.

There are two aspects of this book that really stood out to me, the first being the way the very serious issues were handled. The title itself hints that this may not be the most light-hearted read and that is a fair assumption to make. There are some dark issues dealt with in the book, suicide and self-harm being the most prominent. I think Leila Sales incorporated and addressed these issues perfectly. While Elise’s struggle was clear, and the severity of the situation also clear, there was no dwelling on these points. There is a fine line between brushing over these topics and discussing them too much but I think this balance was just right.

The second aspect of this book that stood out to me was the strong focus on music. Again, this is clear from the title but what is not clear is just how important a role music plays. While Elise being a DJ is a strong focus in this book, making music an obviously important aspect, the main point I picked up from reading this book is how music can bring people together and create lasting bonds. This is illustrated through the relationships in this book and the fact that, in most cases, it is music that has brought the characters together and created that important bond.

Overall, despite having a few issues with the main character being a little frustrating at times, I really enjoyed this book. It is not only an enjoyable read but an inspiring one. With an main character like Elise, who has been through so much, it is hard not to be inspired by her story and realise that whatever is happening in your life, you can get through it.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten 2014 Releases I Didn't Get To

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke And The Bookish. Lists galore, I can think of nothing better!

This week's theme is Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To. I was making a list of the 2014 releases I had wanted to read but never got the chance to and realised that there was a whole lot more than ten book on the list but I have narrowed it down.

1. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - Goodreads
When I first heard about this book the idea of it really interested me, as someone who loves a good friendship story. I heard so many great things throughout the year about this book and was desperate to read it but by the time I finally picked it up it was no longer Summer and this feels like the kind of book to read in the summertime. Hopefully I will get to it this Summer.

2. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge - Goodreads
This was one of the books I heard about early on in 2014 and was desperate to read it but just never got a chance to even pick it up. I am so intrigued by this book, especially since it is based on Beauty and the Beast, which is something I have not read before as I have yet to read any kind of fairytale retellings. I am really hoping to get to this one some time soon.

3. To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Goodreads
I have heard so many great things about this book and that is the main reason I wanted to read this one. The idea of letters being sent to your ex-boyfriends telling them you still love them definitely sound like a good contemporary read. The sequel to this book is coming out this year so maybe I will be able to marathon the two of them.

4. Don't Look Back by Jennifer L Armentrout - Goodreads
I first heard about this book before I had any idea who Jennifer L Armetrout was, I just found the synopsis interesting and wanted to read the book. Since then, I have heard so many amazing things about Jennifer L Armentrout's books, though I have not read any. As I have heard such great things about her books, and I was originally interested in the book anyway, I am hoping to get to this book in 2015, maybe around October as it sounds like a Halloween read.

5. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord - Goodreads
Open Road Summer was a 2014 debut and I had hoped that it would be my first ever debut read in 2014. The plot sounds like such a fun, summery read and, like I mentioned already, I'm a sucker for a good friendship story. I am hoping I will get around to this in 2015 as Emery Lord's second novel is being released this year and is one I am also hoping to get to.

6. Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira - Goodreads
I love books written in letter form so as soon as I read the synopsis of this book I was interested. I find these kinds of books to be very quick and enjoyable reads but as this was covering a more serious topic. dealing with death, I was very intrigued. I have heard mixed things about this book so I am a little less desperate to read this book but I do still hope to get to it.

7. Far From You by Tess Sharpe - Goodreads
I know very little about this book but I have heard Amber from Books Of Amber rave about it and as I was getting really into mystery and thriller type books toward the end of 2014, this is the kind of book that is right up my street. This is another one that I hope to get to at some point.

8. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall - Goodreads
This book was so intriguing to me as it seems, as the title suggests, to be different to the usual chick-lit book. I really like the idea of everyone wanting the main characters to get together apart from the main characters. I have not read anything like that in the past.

9. The Kiss Of Deception by Mary E Pearson - Goodreads
This is probably the 2014 release that I am most disappointed not to have read last year. The synopsis originally intrigued me and then having heard so many great things I really wanted to read it. I have not read a lot of fantasy but this sounds like a really exciting and interesting read. I am definitely going to try and get to this in 2015.

10. Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott - Goodreads
I am also very disappointed to have not got around to this one in 2014. I have heard such amazing things about this book and having heard it described as The Hunger Games meets Pokemon, I want to read it so badly! I will definitely try hard to get to it this year.

Those are my top ten 2014 releases that I never got around to reading. What books are on your list?

Sophie :)

Monday, 12 January 2015

Mini Reviews | Books Of 2014 Part 1

There are a few books that I read in 2014 that, for whatever reason, I have decided not to review fully. In some cases there are so many reviews already that I would not be adding anything new, in others I just don't have enough to say about the book to write a full review. However, I would like to give these books some recognition, which is why I have decided to write 'mini reviews' of the books I have read in 2014 but will not be writing a full review about. As these are mini reviews, don't be expecting any in depth views, I will simply be stating what I liked, disliked and my rating.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThe Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Published By: Penguin
Published On: January 10, 2012
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 313
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Amazon | Goodreads

What I Liked: This is one of the most talked about books of the past couple of years and I can understand why. The story, though heartbreaking, is enjoyable to read and the characters are incredibly inspiring.
What I Disliked: There is so much hype surrounding this book that I was very intimidated by it. I felt so much pressure to love this book that I was honestly scared to pick it up.
Rating: ★★★★★

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #1
Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published On: June 30, 1997
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 223
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

What I Liked: In my opinion, it is very difficult not to like this book. The plot, characters and setting are all so well written. I felt as though the characters were my personal friends and I, like many others, adore the Hogwarts setting. 
What I Disliked: My one issue with this book is the fact that I have seen the movie so many times that nothing was a surprise to me. I know the story well and so I expected all of the main events.
Rating: ★★★★

Image and video hosting by TinyPicOur Story by Union J
Published By: Michael Joseph
Published On: September 26, 2013
Genre: Memoir/Autobiography
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gift
Amazon | Goodreads

What I Liked: I absolutely love Union J (yes, boybands are my weakness) and this book gives a very interesting insight into the boys' lives before X Factor and then their X Factor journey. It is very informative and a good, fun read for those who want to know more about the boys. There are also a lot of really great pictures throughout the book.
What I Disliked: Obviously this was not the kind of book that takes a lot of thought or effort to read. However, there is not really anything I disliked about this book.
Rating: ★★★★

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In Between (#1), On The Loose (#2) and The Big Picture (#3) by Jenny B Jones
Series: Katie Parker Productions
Published By: NavPress
Published On: April 15, 2007 (#1)
Genre: Contemporary/Christian Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Bought

What I Liked: This series is a perfect introduction to the Christian Fiction genre. I loved the main character, Katie, and her story. Her growth throughout the series, specifically in relation to her faith, is inspiring, as are many of the background stories throughout the books. I was very pleased that the Christian aspect was more subtle than I had expected. While it still played a very important part in the story, there was no shoving religion in the readers' face. I am so excited to read the fourth, which I think is the last, book in the series
What I Disliked: I found Katie to be a little immature in the first book in the series, In Between, and for that reason found it a little difficult to get into at first. Other than that, I had very little issue with these books.
In Between - ★★★
On The Loose - ★★★★
The Big Picture - ★★★★

That is the first half of my mini reviews of my 2014 reads. Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Sophie :)

Thursday, 8 January 2015

2015 | Challenges

Like I have mentioned a few times recently, I had my first experience of reading challenges in 2014 and really enjoyed them. This year I have decided to participate in a few more challenges, which may be a bad idea considering I didn't do a great job last year. I don't take these challenges too seriously so I will not be annoyed if I don't complete my goals but I do like to challenge myself.

Goodreads Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Sophie has read 1 book toward her goal of 50 books.

I managed a total of 40 books last year but did not start reading much until around April so I am hoping that an extra few months will allow for another 10 books this year.

Ebook Reading Challenge

I mentioned in my Goals & Resolutions post that I am aiming to read at least one ebook a month. Since I set this resolution I decided to have a look for challenges along the same lines and found the Ebook Reading Challenge hosted by Annette's Book Spot. There are several levels to choose from:

1. Bits – 5 ebooks
2. Bytes – 10 ebooks 
3. Megabytes – 25 ebooks
4. Gigabytes – 50 ebooks
5. Terabytes – 75 ebooks
6. Empty the Cloud – 100 ebooks

I have chosen level 2 - Bytes-10 ebooks - as I do not think I will managed 25. Obviously if I stick to my goal of one a month I will go over this goal.

TBR Pile Reading Challenge

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I participated in this challenge last year and failed miserably so I am trying again but taking on a lower level. This is hosted by Evie Bookish. The levels in this challenge are:

1-10 A Firm Handshake
11-20 A Friendly Hug
21-30 First Kiss
31-40 Sweet Summer Fling
41-50 Could This Be Love?
50+ Married with Children

I have chosen the level 11-20 A Friendly Hug, which is one level down from my attempt last year. I have decided to include any books that I have bought before June 2014, though the rules only state that the book has to be published in or before 2014.

Prequel & Sequel Challenge

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This is a challenge that I have not participated in before but I liked the idea and the points system so I thought I would give it a try this year. This challenge is hosted by Novel Heartbeat and Winter Grrl Reads. The levels are:

10-25 points: Newbie 
25-50 points: Amateur
51-75 points: Advanced
76-100 points: Professional
101+ points: Veteran

As it is my first year participating in this challenge, I have gone for the 10-25 points: Newbie level. It might take me a while to get my head around the points system but it should be fun.

Debut Author Challenge

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I have heard so much about the Debut Author Challenge in the past few year and so I finally decided to give it a go this year. I have actually never read a debut novel in the year it was published so I think this should be a good challenge. There are no levels in this challenge but the aim is to read around 12 debut novels so that is what I hope to do.

If you would like to see my progress with these challenges, I will be updating the Challenges page frequently. 

What challenges are you participating in this year?

Sophie :)

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

2015 | Goals & Resolutions

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(Picture from Google)

My favourite thing about the New Year is making resolutions. I am all about planning and lists so when I set out my list of New Year's Resolutions, I take it very seriously and often set myself way too many goals than are possible to accomplish but I try it anyway. These are my goals and resolutions for both reading and this blog in 2015.

My Reading Resolutions

1. Read 50 Books. For my Goodreads challenge last year I set myself the goal of 40 books and managed to complete it, reading exactly 40. This year I am hoping to push myself a little more and read 50. Considering I didn't really start to read much in 2014 until around April, I think I can manage this goal.

2. Read 1 ebook a month. I used to be a huge ebook reader but I fell back into the hard copy books in 2014 and my poor Kindle was lacking attention. I have a rather large collection of books on my Kindle which I would like to get through at some point so I have decided to set myself the challenge of reading at least one each month.

3. Read at least 2 books a month. I am very inconsistent with my reading. I often end up reading something like 5 books one month and only one the next. I would like to try and read at least two books every month, which I think is possible even in my busier months.

4. Do more challenges. 2014 was my first experience of challenges outside of the Goodreads challenge. I did a post wrapping up all of my 2014 challenges, which you can read here. I really enjoyed the reading challenges and so this year I would like to participate in more challenges.

5. Use my TBR Jar more. Last year I made myself a TBR jar to help me out when I am not sure what to read. For the majority of the time since making it, the jar has been generally untouched. Towards the end of last year I started to pick out at least one book a month and add it into that month's TBR and that is what I plan to continue this year.

6. Try out audiobooks. I hear people talk a lot about how I should try audiobooks as they are a great way to read while you are busy with other things. I was always a bit unsure about them as I am the kind of person who can't concentrate for any length of time. However, I want to give them a try in 2015 and see if they are for me.

7. Branch out in my reading. I branched out slightly in my reading last year, with venturing into the worlds of fantasy and Christian fiction, but this year I would like to branch out a little further. I would like to read at least one book from a few different genres that I have yet to read from and maybe discover something new.

My Blogging Resolutions

1. Post at least once a week. Obviously I aim to post a lot more than once a week but I would like to, even in my busiest weeks, post at least once a week. This may not always be possible, if I am on holiday without internet connection, for example, but I will try my hardest.

2. At least one review a week. I enjoy both writing and reading reviews and for that reason I would like to be posting at least one review a week. I am hoping that this will not be too hard but I know how busy this year may turn out to be.

3. Write reviews as soon as possible after reading the book. Last year I was terrible for reading book after book and then trying to review multiple books at once. This is not the easiest, nor the most reliable, method for writing reviews. In 2015, my aim is to review the book I have finished before moving on to the next, or at least writing detailed notes about the book in order to help with my review later on.

Those are my reading and blogging resolutions for 2015. What are your New Year's Resolutions?

Sophie :)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

TBR | January 2015

I have no idea how busy January is going to be but as I still have another week before I am back to uni, I should be able to get a bit of reading in. I'm not convinced that I will get through all of the books but these are the ones I hope to get to.

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth -
I have been delaying reading this for a few months now because I was not at all ready for the series to end. However, I think it is about time I get this series finished so I am kicking off the year with this beast of a book. This one, at somewhere around 520 pages, may take me some time but I will definitely be starting it this month.

And That's When I Fell Off In My Hand by Louise Rennison -
I am continuing to read one book in this series a month, as I started to do at the end of last year, with the fifth in the series. These books are super quick reads, although this is a bit longer than the previous ones, so it shouldn't take me long to get through this one.

The Selection by Kiera Cass - 
The Selection series is one I have wanted to read for a while now as the premise intrigues me. After receiving the box set for Christmas, I can't wait to make a start on the series so I thought January was the best time to start.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales -
This book has been on my TBR for a few months now after pulling it out my TBR jar but I have yet to get around to reading it. I plan to read this early on in the month to finally get it read. I don't know much about this book other than the fact it is about a girl who becomes a DJ.

Ignite by Lily Paradis - 
It is one of my 2015 resolutions to read at least one ebook a month so I have chosen this one for January. I know very little about this book but for some reason I wanted to read it as soon as I heard it being talked about.

These are the books I hope to read this month and hopefully I will at least get them all read, especially as I have a lot of travelling time at the end of the month to read in. What will you be reading this month?

Sophie :)

Monday, 5 January 2015

2014 | Challenge Wrap Up

With 2014 being my first year of book blogging, I had my first experience of reading challenges. Though I only took part in a few, and didn't do a very good job, I enjoyed taking part in these challenges and will definitely be taking part in some more this year. Like I said, I didn't do very well, but this is what I did do.

Goodreads Challenge
I had an original goal of 25 books which I had completed by July so I decided to challenge myself with 40 books, which I managed to complete. I read these books.

TBR Pile Reading Challenge
This challenge is hosted by Evie Bookish. I had great plans to complete the level First Kiss: 21-30 books and failed miserably by reading a grand total of 3. These were:
1. The Beach House by Jane Green
2. Naked In Knightsbridge by Nicky Schmidt
3. Easily Amused by Karen McQuestion

Book Bingo Reading Challenge
This challenge is hosted by Reading In Winter and Creativity's Corner.

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TBR Pile:
1. Naked In Knightsbridge by Nicky Schmidt
2. The Beach House by Jane Green
3. Easily Amused by Karen McQuestion

Mix It Up:
Non-Fiction: Our Story by Union J
Classic: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Reread: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Contemporary: No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2. The Transfer by Veronica Roth
3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
4. Summer Unplugged by Amy Sparling
5. In Between by Jenny B Jones
6. On The Loose by Jenny B Jones
7. The Big Picture by Jenny B Jones
8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
10. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
11. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
12. Angus, Thongs & Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
13. It’s OK, I’m Wearing Really Big Knickers by Louise Rennison
14. Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas by Louise Rennison
15. Dancing In My Nuddy Pants by Louise Rennison

Fantasy: Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
Mystery: Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

New Releases:
1. We Were Liars by E Lockhart
2. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
3. My True Love Gave To Me by various authors

How did you do in your 2014 challenges?

Sophie :)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

December 2014 | Wrap Up

December may be my favourite month of the year but it is also the busiest, and this year was pretty stressful.

My Life In December...
- I did a whole lot of Christmas carolling with my church.
- My uni classes finally finished but I had two horrible essays to write.
- I turned my house into Santa's grotto, I love decorating for Christmas!
- I got to spend a lot of time with my family which is my favourite thing about Christmas.
- I had my one and only final exam of the semester and it was terrible.
- I watched a whole lot of Christmas movies.
- I finally got completely caught up with Grey's Anatomy.
- I was ill for the majority of December, and still am now, boo!
- There was Christmas, of course, and my birthday a few days after.

Read In December...

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Dancing In My Nuddy-Pants by Louise Rennison -
This is the fourth book in the Georgia Nicholson series, and the first that was not a reread for me. The thing I really like about these books are how quick they are to read. This one was super short, I think the shortest of the series, at just over 200 pages so it didn't take long to read. I enjoyed this book but had the same problem as with the previous books in that it is a little too immature for my liking. 3/5

My True Love Gave To Me by various authors - 
My True Love Gave To Me is a collection of short holiday stories written by various authors, edited by Stephanie Perkins. I read this as part of a read-a-long and so was reading one story over two days. I loved reading it this way as it meant I took my time to read the stories and they didn't all merge into one. Overall, I enjoyed this book but I did love some stories more than others. 4/5

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan -
A couple of my friends have been pressuring me to read this series and I finally got around to reading it. Having studied Latin and Classical Studies for 6 years, I wanted to read this due to the Greek Mythology aspect and that was my favourite thing about this book. I really enjoyed the Greek mythology but also the characters and the action packed story. 4.5/5

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens -
Due to my love of Christmas I wanted to read some Christmas books and this seemed like the obvious choice. With this being the first classic I have read, not including those for school, I had a bit of a struggle with the language and had to concentrate quite a lot while reading it. Despite this, I enjoyed the story, even though I have seen the various film adaptations so know it well, and did like the writing style. 3/5

Please, Nurse! by Joan Lock -
This is one of the books I have just recently hauled in my December Haul. I bought this because I am looking to study nursing or midwifery in the near future and this is the memoir of a student nurse in the 1950s. I picked this up as my last book of 2014 as I needed something small to reach my Goodreads  goal in time. Unfortunately, I didn't love this book. I found it to be very scattered and confusing. 2.75/5

What have you been reading in December?

Sophie :)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

December 2014 | Book Haul

With Christmas and my birthday in December, there was definitely going to be a lot of books coming into my possession this month. A few of these books were ones I asked for for Christmas, a couple were surprises and the rest were bought with some Christmas/Birthday money.

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Medical Terminology For Dummies by Beverley Henderson & Jennifer Dorsey - I am very interested in all things medical and as I am hoping to go on to study either Nursing or Midwifery, I am trying to get a bit of basic knowledge. For that reason, I asked for this book for Christmas. I haven't looked at it yet but I find the 'For Dummies' books to be very helpful.

Anatomy & Physiology For Dummies by Donna Rae Siegfried - This book is along the same lines as the last. I asked for this for some basic medical knowledge.

New York City For Dummies by Myka Carroll - My main gift for Christmas was a trip to New York so my mum also got me this to help us plan the trip. Since we are only going for 5 days, we want to make the most of the trip and this book is very helpful for giving advice on what attractions can be avoided, for example.

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Throne Of Glass by Sarah J Maas - I have heard so many great things about the Throne Of Glass series and had planned on getting around to it eventually so when my best friend got me it for Christmas I was so excited. It's one that she has also been wanting to read so I think we will be reading it together at some point this year.

The Selection series by Kiera Cass - The first book in the series, The Selection, was on my Christmas list this year as I was intrigued by the plot and had heard some good things about it. My mum decided to get me the box set for Christmas, which also includes The Elite, The One and The Selection Stories, a collection of novellas.

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Please, Nurse! by Joan Lock - Amazon had a 3 for £10 offer on paperbacks so I took advantage of that and picked up a few books. One of those was Please, Nurse!, the memoir of a student nurse in the 1950s. Like I said, I am looking to go into Nursing or Midwifery so I am interested in books like this one.

One Born Every Minute by Maria Dore and Ros Bradbury - Along similar lines, and also from Amazon, I got the book tie-in to the Channel 4 TV series, One Born Every Minute. This book includes several stories memories from the Maternity Ward. I absolutely love the TV show so I am looking forward to reading this.

The New Arrival by Sarah Beeson - This is another book along the same lines as the last two. This is another memoir of a student nurse, this time in the 1970s. 

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You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher - This was another Amazon purchase in their 3 for £10 offer. I have been wanting to read Giovanna's books for ages but just haven't got around to it. I had hoped to read them in order of publication but Billy And Me was, unfortunately, not included in the offer.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty - Another in the 3 for £10 was one that I have been after for a while. I have been really getting into thriller type books recently and this is another of them. I don't know a lot about this book but I have heard some great things about it.

Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes - This is the last of the books I got in the Amazon 3 for £10 deal and it is another thriller type book. This is another one I have been wanting to read for a while but I know very little about it, other than it is about a pregnant woman who hires someone to help her after her baby is born.

Ignite by Lily Paradis - For some reason I have been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard people talking about it. The synopsis intrigued me so I decided to go ahead and buy the ebook for my Kindle. 

Have you read any of these books? What one should I read first?

Sophie :)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2014 | End Of Year Book Survey

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This survey is created and hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner.

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Number of books you read: 40
Number of rereads: 5
Genre you read the most from: Probably contemporary romance.

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1. Best books you read in 2014?
I guess I'll have to go with the four books I gave 5 stars to in 2014. They were Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern (review), Divergent by Veronica Roth (review), Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (review) and The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn't?
I have to say Insurgent by Veronica Roth. I absolutely loved Divergent and was so excited to read the second book in the series but unfortunately I didn't love it.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
Even though it was a reread, I'm going to say Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I reread this before going to see the movie and was very surprised by how much my opinion of this book changed the second time around. On first read I did not like this book and was disappointed with the ending to the series. However, second time around I really enjoyed the book.

4. Book you pushed the most people to read (and they did) in 2014?
I don't have a whole lot of book loving friends to push books to but I did force my best friend to read Divergent (I even bought the book for her) and she loved it.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best sequel of 2014? Best series ender of 2014?
Series Started: Divergent by Veronica Roth (review)
Sequel: On The Loose by Jenny B Jones
Series Ender: Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (review)

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2014?
I've discovered so many new authors this year so it is difficult to choose just one. I would definitely say Stephanie Perkins has become one of my authors.

7. Best book from a genre you don't typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I don't typically read a lot of fantasy but a couple of my friends were pressuring me to read The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan and I really enjoyed it.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
This definitely has to be Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. If I hadn't read this during one of the busiest times in my uni semester and had more time to read, I would have read this in one sitting. It's very twisted and thrilling, I really enjoyed it.

9. Book you read in 2014 that you are most likely to reread next year?
Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern (review). I loved this book and will probably reread it in the near future.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?
I absolutely love the cover of My True Love Gave To Me by various authors.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Josh! I love Josh! Josh of Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (review), of course.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
We Were Liars by E Lockhart (review).

13. Most thought provoking/life-changing book of 2014?
I can't say I read anything I found life-changing in 2014 but The Fault In Our Stars by John Green was definitely thought provoking.

14. Book you can't believe you waited until 2014 to finally read?
Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (review).

15. Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2014?
For some reason, I haven't made a note of any of my favourite quotes I have read this year.

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2014?
Shortest: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 104 Pages
Longest: Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern (review) 558 Pages

17. Book that shocked you the most?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (review).

18. OTP of the year?
Josh & Isla from Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (review).

19. Favourite non-romantic relationship of the year?
Anna & Meredith from Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (review).

20. Favourite book you read in 2014 from an author you've read previously?
I have only read a few books this year by authors I have read previously, I would say maybe three at the most. Of those, I would probably say Reached by Ally Condie (review) was my favourite.

21. Best book you read in 2014 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure?
Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
I have said Josh for about three answers already so I will go with Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth (review) this time.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?
I did not read any 2014 debuts this year.

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?
Stephanie Perkins' Paris setting in Anna And The French Kiss (review) is one of my favourites of the year.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?
The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E Smith.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2014?
Friends Forever by Danielle Steele (review) made my cry like a baby several times.

27. Hidden gem of the year?
The Katie Parker Productions series by Jenny B Jones. I have heard nothing about this series but I loved it.

28. Book that crushed  your soul?
I really don't know for this question.

29. Most unique book you read in 2014?
Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson (review).

30. Book that made you the most mad?
Naked In Knightsbridge by Nicky Schmidt (review). And not for good reasons.

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1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014?
I discovered almost all of the book blogs I like this year so I can't pick one favourite.

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014?
I really don't think that any of my reviews have anything special this year, I'm still getting the hang of it.

3. Best discussion/non-review post on your blog?
I'm still new to the blogging world so have not branched out much into non-review posts. 

4. Best event that you participated in?
Again, because I'm new to the blogging world I haven't participated in any events. I should really have missed these questions out.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
I suppose it must be starting the blog in the first place.

7. Most popular post this year on your blog?
By views it is my review of Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern. By comments it is the Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Were Hard For Me To Read.

8. Post you wish got a little more love?
As my blog is so new, I'm just happy with any love on any posts.

9. Best bookish discover?
The Book People! Nothing beats super cheap books.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of the year?
I didn't do great with most of my 2014 challenges but I did complete my first Goodreads goal of 25 and the second of 40.

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1. One book you didn't get to in 2014 but will be your number 1 priority in 2015?
I would probably have to say Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2015?
The Start Of Me And You by Emery Lord. I have heard such great things about Open Road Summer so I can't wait to read both that and her second novel.

3. 2015 debut you are most anticipating?
One that I have seen on Goodreads and liked the look of was The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi.

4. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2015?
I am not in the middle of any series with and ending of sequel releasing in 2015.

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life?
I am planning to make a list of blogging/reading related resolutions for 2015 but one thing I do hope to accomplish is to complete as many of my challenges as possible.

Sophie :)