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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases I can't wait to get my hands on!

                                                     This week's WoW pick is...
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Release Date: November 10th, 2015

I am not Hoover's biggest fan as I once was (Hopeless left me with a bitter taste in my mouth), but I can't help but feel excited to read this one! I love stories about writers mainly because of how poetic and sadly tragic they often are. I can't help but be drawn to their ability to think so deeply and thoughtfully, and then express their thoughts so well and with such meaning. Their lives seem more interesting and enhanced and beautiful just because of their ability to romanticise and make even the most ordinary moments profound, so I look forward to getting into this hopefully sweet and beautiful relationship. Fingers crossed this book reminds me to Hoover's great writing once again.

What are you guys waiting on? I would love to find out and add some more books to my TBR list, so please leave a comment below! :) 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Movie review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Unlike most of my experiences with book to movie adaptations, I actually saw the movie before I read the book with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I saw the movie last Saturday, and promptly downloaded the ebook the very next day! I'm not going to lie, it was quite a different experience watching the movie first, but I still loved every second of it. 

For one thing, when I read the book I couldn't help but picturing Olivia Cooke and Thomas Mann, and of course the wonderful Nick Offerman. And I actually kind of liked it. I know that one of the main things I love about reading is that I get to picture the characters and their stories in my head. My interpretation is likely different from what someone else will get from the same book and the same stories. That being said, I actually liked having the actors from the movie in my head while I was reading the book. Maybe it's because the actors in the movie were just so well chosen and cast, or maybe it's because the movie was so accurate and I think conveyed the feel of the book so well, but I didn't mind that I saw the movie before I read the book.

But seriously. Whether it was the book or the movie, I LOVED THIS STORY. I think I may even love it more than I loved The Fault in Our Stars, because there was just something about this story that spoke to me more. I still adore John Green and Hazel and Augustus, but I couldn't help but feel that the way this story was told was more honest and raw in its approach. There were so many moments where it could have been cliché and taken the road so many other authors and storytellers have taken when writing about teenage Cancer stories, but I think it was due to Jesse Andrews' writing, which managed to be both funny and sad AT THE SAME TIME (which somehow worked) and the wonderful characters. 

And when I say wonderful I don't mean it in the way I usually would, when I say wonderful I mean completely real and unique. It is so rare for me to find characters who are entirely unique and rare – it's getting to the point where, whenever I meet a new character, I can't help but feel that I've met them or a version of them before. But Greg and Rachel and their interactions are what made the book, or rather, the story, for me personally. When I cried it wasn't SO much because I felt bad for Rachel, (even though I did of course), but it was more being privy to their raw and unabashed emotion and the way it was presented. It so, so perfectly encapsulated being a teenager and falling in love and dealing with death at that age. There were times when I hated Greg but of course it was because I saw so much of myself in him, in the way he dealt with everything.

I don't consider myself an extremely emotional person, but when I get emotional, I really can't hold back. This is going to sound weird, but I love the feeling of getting emotional from a book or movie, and I look forward to those stories that provoke an emotional response from me. I find it very therapeutic and cathartic and it's a great feeling! During Me and Earl and the Dying Girl I got suuuuuuper emotional and wrapped up in the story. There's something that Greg says at the start of the movie (I won't say what it is because I don't want to ruin it for you guys) but later I found out he was lying and it was just a whirlwind of emotions from then on and that was pretty much when I broke down. 

Okay, so I guess this turned into kind of a book/movie/general review of this amazing story but there you go! I know not everyone will get it or appreciate it as much as I did but I still think everyone should give either the book or movie a go. Be warned though, you may just fall in love. 

Here's the trailer for the movie, which I think sums up and explains the story better than I did in this post. 

So that's me done! I can't even watch the trailer without getting emotional guys, seriously. Have you guys read this lovely book or seen the movie? Please do leave a comment below! x

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases I can't wait to get my hands on!

                                                     This week's WoW pick is...
It's a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.

RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.

Release Date: October 6th, 2015

I like to think of myself as someone who is not easily swayed by artsy covers and intriguing titles, but I have to admit that the cover and presentation of this book is one of the reasons I added it to my TBR list. Not that the premise sounds interesting (because it does), but I don't particularly appreciate it when the blurbs on the back of books praise themselves as this one seems to do. Let me find RJ "snarky, unapologetic" and "very real" myself, please! But apart from that tiny annoyance this does seem really cool and fun, and with a unique concept to spring off from.

What are you guys waiting on? I would love to find out and add some more books to my TBR list, so please leave a comment below! :) 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Discussion Post: Audio Books – Yay or Nay?

Hey guys!

It's been a long time since I've had a discussion post here on the blog, and I've been wanting to do one on different book formats for a while now, so here goes!

I thought I would approach this – perhaps touchy – subject the way I do with most dilemmas I face in my life... by making a pros and cons list. I personally am not someone who likes to stray from the conventional correct method of reading; that is, a physical book with pages and all. BUT I figure that the large number of people who listen to audio books do so for a reason, and there must be some explanation for their growing popularity (maybe as a society we are just becoming lazier?... sounds all too possible an explanation to me...).


Audio books are more time efficient

I am sure many audio book-aficionados will agree that this is a huge reason why they read audio books. Especially for those who do not have enough spare time on their hands, audio books are excellent because they allow you to read while carrying out mindless tasks like cooking, exercising, etc. In fact, this is my last school year and I'm already finding it difficult to find time to read books of my choice, so I will probably (begrudgingly) start trialling some audio books soon.

Ease of reading

For those who find reading challenging or for books with particularly challenging writing styles (the classics, etc.), I think audio books are much easier to read and more accessible. This links back to the fact that audio books are waaaaay more time efficient; many people who do not read much will be able to fit audio books into their schedule.

The narrator
This is both a pro and con – on the positive side, the narrator's role is very important and the reader is able to experience the novel through different perspectives, which definitely adds to the whole experience. Depending on the quality of the narrator, having a book being read to you can add a depth of emotions and bring the characters to life.

Audio books are often a lot cheaper than physical books, and they can save space which is great for travelling! Instead of having to lug around a suitcase full of books (which, I've totally never done before....), you can have all of them on one electronic device.


Are audio books really books?
A lot of people, myself included, read books to not only immerse themselves in a different world, but also to improve their English skills. From personal experience, I have found that those who read are better writers which a much better control over the English language. Having a book read to you is no way even close to actually reading the book; one misses so many details and lessons in English grammar and writing.

The narrator
As mentioned above, this is both a pro and a con. Just as this can so easily add to a reader's experience, it can also easily take away from it. One of the joys of reading is that everyone interprets and experiences the book in their own, individual way, with their own unique narration. A danger of having a narrator reading a book to you is that their perspective can easily overshadow yours and what you may get from listening to the book may be different from what you would have gotten otherwise.

Reliance on technology

In the modern, heavily technologically-reliant world we live in today, almost everything is digitised and accessible through the internet or via technology. Do we really need that to happen with books too?

I wasn't sure if I wanted to include this point, as I don't know if other people feel the same way. For me, having a physical book in my hand, being able to flip through pages to re-read passages, and indexing certain pages that I want to remember is a huge part of the reading experience. Yes, audiobooks are essentially the same thing but I don't feel as connected to the story and the book as I do when I am really reading it. That may just be me, however.

SO in conclusion, there are definitely positive aspects of audiobooks, and I would be lying if I said I don't use them in moments when I am short on time or traveling. That being said... for me, there is no feeling like buying a new book, with its new book-smell and having a physical copy of it in my hands. I don't think there is anything wrong with listening to the occasional audio book, but I do think that it is important to not become too reliant on them, as there is no substitute for sitting down and actually reading the book.

What do you guys think about this topic? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please do leave a comment below! :)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (37)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases I can't wait to get my hands on!

                                                     This week's WoW pick is...
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

Release Date: October 6th, 2015

Rainbow Rowell is one of my favourite Contemporary authors and if I am to guess based on how much I loved Fangirl and Eleanor & Park, I predict this is going to be awesome. And the fact that it's a continuation of Simon and Baz's story from Fangirl makes this probably one of my most highly anticipated reads of the. Whole. Year. While I was reading Fangirl I got so into the Simon & Baz story; in fact I'm pretty sure Rowell telepathically heard my incessant praying and hoping for more of Simon & Baz, and that resulted in the publication of this book! *thinks wishfully greedily*

What are you waiting on this fine Wednesday? 

Please do leave a comment or link below – I'm always looking for new books to add to my WoW list. :) 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Release Date: June 9th, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: YA 16+ 
Genre/s: Comedy, Romance, Psychology
Pages: 288

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

There's a reason Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite Chick-lit authors of all time and it's because every single one of her books that I've read has been undeniably cute and so nice and refreshing to read. Her writing and quirky characters never fail to draw me in and seize my attention for the whole duration of the novel – which is both annoying and wonderful. Given that Finding Audrey is Kinsella's first attempt at YA, I was a little anxious going into it, but literally seconds after I opened the book my doubts vanished and I delved into the darkly comical, uplifting and entertaining world of Finding Audrey.

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