Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Bout Of Books | Updates

Bout of Books

Day 1 - May 9th
Forever by Judy Blume - 178 Pages
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 25 Pages
Total Books Read: 1
Running Total: 203 Pages

Day 2 - May 10th
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 139 Pages
The New Girl by Tracie Puckett - 76 Pages
Total Books Read: 2
Running Total: 418 Pages

Day 3 Challenge - 5 Favorites

Day 3 - May 11th
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 136 Pages
Summer Sky by Lisa Swallow - 9 Pages
Total Books Read: 2
Running Total: 563 Pages

Day 4 - May 12th
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 211 Pages
Total Books Read: 3
Running Total: 774 Pages

Day 5 - May 13th
I was so busy I hardly had time to eat never mind read!
Total Books Read: 3
Running Total: 774 Pages

Day 6 - May 14th
Summer Sky by Lisa Swallow - 23 Pages
Total Books Read: 3
Running Total: 797 Pages

Day 7 - May 15th
Summer Sky by Lisa Swallow - 6 Pages
Total Books Read: 3
Total Pages Read: 803 Pages

Sophie :)

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Bout Of Books | Challenge Day 3

Bout of Books

One of my goals for this readathon was to complete at least one challenge, so that's what I'm doing. Today's challenge is '5 Favorites'. I decided I wanted to spread the love for 5 of my all time favourite contemporary novels (/love stories/relationships/books in general). I adore all 5 of these books but I have managed to put them into some kind of order.

1. Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie) by Cecelia Ahern - Goodreads/Review
2. Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - Goodreads/Review
3. Ignite by Lily Paradis - Goodreads/Review
4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman - Goodreads
5. How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern - Goodreads/Review

Sophie :)

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Bout Of Books | Goals & TBR

Bout of Books

My Goals:

- Read every day.
- Read over 1000 pages.
- Participate in at least one challenge.

TBR:

(this is very likely to change)
- Forever by Judy Blume
- City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare
- Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
- Summer Sky by Lisa Swallow

Sophie :)

Readathon | Bout Of Books 16

So i'm a little late to the party with this post. I had intended to unofficially participate in the readathon as I usually find that's a bit less pressure, but instead I decided to go ahead and make it official. Why not join in the fun properly right? So Bout Of Books...

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I'll be sharing my TBR and progress so far very soon.

Sophie :)

Monday, 9 May 2016

Review | The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThe DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Published On: September 7, 2010
Published By: Hodder
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 342
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. 
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. 
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I had heard such mixed things about this book that I was very wary going into it, I didn't have high hopes. However, I enjoyed this way more than I was expecting to! A lot of the time it pays not to go into a book expecting great things and this was definitely the case for this. I spent much of the time I was reading this wondering what people found to dislike, but obviously everyone has different tastes.

Before I get into raving about it, I should quickly mention the one thing that stopped me giving this 5 stars - I struggled to get into it. Now I don't know if it was just due to me being a bit slumpy or whether the beginning of the book was just a bit slow but if that is my main fault with it, I think that's pretty good going.

The characters were a major strong point for this book. Bianca would be such an easy character to hate, if she wasn't so damn relatable. I couldn't help but love her! Her attitude and perception of the world, and life, I completely related to and I could definitely see a lot of myself in her. I loved her sarcasm and cynicism. She made the book even more enjoyable and even had me laughing out loud at times.

I also freaking loved Wes. If there's one thing I can't resist, it's a bad boy. He was definitely that boy that you should totally hate but he always knows the right thing to say or do to make you fall in love with him. And that's exactly what I did. I absolutely loved him as a character, even when he was being absolutely horrible and I knew that I should hate him for what he was doing.

I know a lot of people had a bit of an issue with the relationship, and that is the reason for a lot of negative review, but I thought it was great. I thought it was a very real teenage relationship, for once. There was no instalove. There was no 'light and fluffy' perfect beginning to a relationship, the kind you dream about. This was meaningless sex that escalated. I thought this was a far more honest and true representation of teenage relationships these days. Relationships don't always start with some perfect chance meeting and you fall in love the second you look into each others eyes - often it is something far from perfect, a situation like Wes and Bianca's.

The thing I loved most about this book, somewhat relating to my previous point, is the way teenagers are treated like actual teenagers. This is one of the few times in YA contemporary novels where I feel like teenagers are written as genuine teenagers. Teenagers have sex, drink alcohol and do other things they probably shouldn't be doing and those teenagers are not just those represented as the 'bad influences' in most YA contemporary novels. I loved the fact that Kody Keplinger didn't treat casual, supposedly meaningless, sex, in particular, as something restricted to the bad influences but instead as something a lot of people these characters' age are doing.

While Bianca's relationship with Wes and her friends are the main aspect of the story, the underlying family aspect of the story added a lot of depth. There are some very serious issues dealt with throughout this story which are not necessarily at the forefront of the story but were still incredibly important. These family issues helped to explain Bianca's character and her attitude, while also carrying an important message and adding another layer to the story.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable, funny read, with a great underlying message. Both the story and the characters had me laughing out loud. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good rom-com, as this read a bit like a movie to me (lets not talk about the actual movie).

Thursday, 5 May 2016

TBR | May 2016

I haven't given myself a set TBR in a few months now because of being in such a slumpy mood. I usually give myself 5 books and out of the 5 I chose back in February, I managed a grand total of 1. However, now that I am getting back on track I decided to try again.

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This was a totally random choice. I picked a spot on my bookshelf without looking and this was what I found. I only just hauled this and mentioned that I know very little about it. I know it is a very popular coming-of-age story and one several people have told me is a must-read, especially for teens. I may have missed out on it back then but I can give it a go now. It's pretty short so I should hopefully get through it fairly quickly.

This is a series of novellas and bonus features from the original Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass. With the fifth and final book in the series, The Crown, being released this month, I thought I would pick this up to get myself back into the world. I have read 3/4 of the novellas before but it will be good read them again and remind myself why I loved the original trilogy so much.

I have been planning to read this for so long now but I keep putting it off. Honestly, I am a bit scared to start this series because of how well loved and popular it is. I am really hoping to get over that this month and make a start on the series finally. I even pulled this book out my TBR jar so it must be meant to happen soon.

Cecelia Ahern is the author of my favourite book so of course I'm dying to read her first foray into YA. I know very little about this book other than it is dystopian and I think it is to do with society's obsession of perfection. I am really looking forward to seeing what she can do in this genre.

I have been reading a few NA books recently and really enjoying them so I thought this was the perfect time to pick up another. This one follows a girl who has just left her cheating boyfriend and a boy who has just left his rock star life behind as both escape to a small English seaside town. Hopefully this will be as much of a success as the last few NA books I have read.

What do you plan to read in the month of May?

Sophie :)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Wrap Up | April 2016

April has been a blur! How can a month go so fast? I have had a super busy month, involving a lot of concerts (6 to be exact) and a little holiday, but I also finally managed to read more. I think I may finally be out of my reading slump and while I didn't read a huge amount I am definitely getting back on track.

My Life In April...
- I started the month with my last date of the Collabro tour which involved a trip to Grimsby.
- Staying a bit nearer home I then went to see Little Mix, supported by my fave Nathan Sykes.
- Having been rejected from the last uni to respond, I accepted my offer for my first choice university.
- My mum started her chemotherapy treatment, which has been a bit of a rollercoaster.
- I got the chance to meet one of my favourite boybands, Hometown, at a meet-up.
- I then went to see then support my other faves, The Vamps, with one of my best friends.
- The very next day I was lucky enough to meet Hometown again while having lunch in a hotel.
- That same evening I got to meet The Vamps as I had M&G tickets for a second show.
- I then travelled to Manchester with my cousin and met Hometown again at a meet-up there.
- And the main reason for travelling to Manchester, we got the chance to see The Vamps again on their final night of tour.
- Back closer to home again I went to see the amazing 5SOS.
- I ended the month with a little family trip away for the week.

Watched In April...
- Teen Mom OG Season 2 - 3/5
- Pretty Little Liars Season 6B - 4/5
- Grease 3/5

Read In April...

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Sea Of Monsters by Rick Riordan -
I read the first book in the Percy Jackson series back in December 2014 so it really was about time I continued on with the series. I really enjoyed the first book and while I did also enjoy the second, I didn't think it was as good. There's never a dull moment in these books and the characters are great. I also really love the Greek mythology aspect. This was a really fun, quick read, just not quite as good as the first in the series. 3/5

Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith -
This book follows a couple, Clare and Aidan, on the night before they are separated for college, during which they must decide whether or not to stay together. I loved my first Jennifer E Smith read, but wasn't a huge fan of my second so I wasn't sure what to expect from this. I love books set in one day/night, so that was a huge bonus for this book. I related to this story and to the characters, I really felt for them in this decision and, despite having seen negative comments in various reviews, I completely understand why this was such a big decision that needed to be made. I did have a few issues with this book but overall, I enjoyed it. 3.75/5

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn -
This was a short story written initially for George RR Martin's Rogues anthology, but released alone in 2015. This was very strange, as expected from Gillian Flynn, but upon finishing it felt a little like I had wasted the half hour I spend reading it. The story is extremely odd and the twists are unexpected but I was really a bit bored reading it. Also, I hate open endings to that was a disappointment. 2/5

UnStrung by Neal Shusterman -
This novella is #1.5 in the UnWind series and follows Lev during the time he was separated from the others. Though it had been some time since I read the first book, I did manage to keep up with what was going on (thanks Recaptains for helping me out there). I found this novella quite interesting as it introduced a whole new culture into the UnWind world and, despite the limited number of pages, this was done very well. Neal Shusterman managed to fit a lot into this novella and somehow just 60 pages managed to tug at my heart strings. This isn't a necessary read, I don't think, but I would definitely recommend it if you enjoy the series. 3/5

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins -
This has been raved about since way before it was even published last year and has already been turned into a movie, to be released later this year. With all this hype I was quite scared to pick this up but I was so intrigued that I finally gave in. This took me a little while to get into, but once it got into the action I could not put it down. I loved the mystery and how unreliable our main character was, you didn't know what to believe. I really enjoyed this book, there is no question as to why there is so much hype, it is definitely well deserved. 4/5

Blogged In April...
- I wrapped up February & March.
- I hauled the books I accumulated during February & March.

What did you get up to in the month of April? Did you read any great books?

Sophie :)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Haul | April 2016

After these past few months I am most definitely needing to go on another book buying ban! Despite being so good during lent, in which I gave up buying books, I have been overindulging just a little recently. That really needs to stop though, I at least need to be staying in single figures next month!

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Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith - I've had a hit and a somewhat miss from Jennifer E Smith so I had to give her another go. Spoiler alert: this fell in the first category.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe - A mystery that everyone seems to rave about, sign me up!

Made For You by Melissa Marr - Again, a mystery that everyone raves about. I was obviously in this mood during that shopping trip.

How To Be Bad by Lockhart, Myracle and Mlynowski - This sounds like a fun summer read. It was on my list to check out so when I saw it I picked it up.

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle - Totally on a whim purchase. I had heard some buzz around it and the synopsis intrigued me when I read the back.

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What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick - It was buy one, get one half price so I had to do it. Contemporaries seem to be my thing at the moment.

When We Collided by Emery Lord - I really enjoyed Open Road Summer so it seems only right to collect all of Emery Lord's other books.

The Art Of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson - I read a review of this and it just sounded like such an important message, I had to pick it up.

Sleepless In Manhattan by Sarah Morgan - If it has anything related to New York in the title, it is highly likely I'll pick it up.

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This month I discovered Read It Swap It, a website through which you swap books with other readers. I have completed three swaps through the site already, I think it's great. Here's what I've got so far.

Forever by Judy Blume - This seems to be pretty popular so I was intrigued, even though I know nothing about it.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall - I haven't heard the greatest things about this but it sounds like such an interesting premise.

A Nurse And Mother by Evelyn Prentice - I'm off to study nursing in September so these types of books really interest me.

Yeah, I definitely need to cut back on the book buying again! What have you bought recently?

Sophie :)

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Mini Review | Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

 photo HPHalfBloodPrince_zpsytcphhes.jpegHarry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #6
Published By: Bloomsbury
Published On: July 16, 2005
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 560
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★½

Amazon | Goodreads

As the Dark Lord’s sinister forces amass, a spirit of gloom and fear is sweeping the land. Harry Potter waits nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys' for Professor Dumbledore to arrive. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce duel with Voldemort at the Ministry of Magic. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts? In his sixth year, Harry will discover the secret behind the Half-Blood Prince, as Professor Dumbledore prepares him to face his destiny …

This was a bit of a struggle.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the sixth book in the series, but I really struggled to keep going with this. It took me 3 whole months to read because I had no desire to keep picking it up, unlike with the previous books in the series.

I found some parts a bit boring.
I really wasn't all that interested in the information about Voldemort's past. Although I understand why it was important and relevant to the story, it didn't keep me interested and I think that's largely why it took me so long to get through.

That ship, oh my!
Since I am in the minority having not completed this series, I'm pretty sure everyone knows what ship I am talking about. I did already know about it going into the series and I thought it was a bit strange. However, when I read it for myself I TOTALLY supported it! It was adorable!

I shed not one tear.
Most will know of the significant event that happens towards the end of this book. It is a moment which I know has broken many hearts and caused a lot of grief to readers but I just didn't feel it. Perhaps it was just my lack of interest in the story by this point in the book, I don't know.

I did like this book!
Despite all of the things I have had a little moan about, I did really enjoy this book. I didn't love it like I have the rest of the series, which was disappointing, so it is definitely my least favourite in the series. However, like I said, I did enjoy it.

Overall, it was a good instalment in the series but definitely my least favourite so far. I can't wait to continue and finish this series now!