Thursday, 23 October 2014

Books of 2014!




     This year it was my goal to read 50 books that I've never read before and yesterday I completed that goal. The majority of the books I read can fall into one of 3 categories; fantasy, YA contemporary and dystopian fiction. So I have categorised and ranked all the books I read this year except 5 which didn't quite fit into the categories. I also read quite a few books that belonged to the same series and so in those cases I just bunched them together to make it a bit easier. I hope you like my list and discover a a new favourite book! 


Fantasy 
1. Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus, book 5) by Rick Riordan 
2. Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead 
3. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
4. Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, book 1) by Melina Marchetta 
5. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
6. Slaves of Socorro (Brotherband, Book 4) by John Flanagan
7. Mortal Instruments series (books 4-6) by Cassandra Clare
8. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
9. Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, book 3) by Jennifer A. Nielson 
10. Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, book 1) by Leigh Bardugo 
11. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare 



YA Dystopian 
1. Pivot Point series by Kasie West
2. Legend series by Marie Lu
3. Fifth Wave series by Rick Yancey
4. Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
5. Delirium (Delirium, book 1) by Lauren Oliver
6. Taken (Taken, book 1) by Erin Bowman


Contemporary
1. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
2. Panic by Lauren Oliver
3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
4. On the Fence by Kasie West 

5. Paper Towns by John Green 
6. The Distance Between Us Kasie West 
7. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
8. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 
9. Looking For Alaska by John Green


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Macarons & more | Paris + London

One of the great things about travel is that you get to try all different kinds of delicious food. Unfortunately the food was so good, I forgot to take a picture of most of my meals. So only the best looking dishes managed to get snapped. Coincidently most of these were my desserts. 

Pistachio macaron w/ pistachio cream and fresh berries | Laduree

Chocolate Brownie w/ vanilla ice cream and caramel popcorn |
Jamie Oliver's Italian Restaurant

Angus Beef Burger | Jamie Oliver's Italian Restaurant 

Honeycomb Cheesecake | Prezzo

Pistachio, Chocolate and Strawberry Guimauve macaron's | Laduree

Friday, 5 September 2014

Paris

After nine days in London we boarded a train and headed to Paris for the remaining five days. Here are some of the highlights.


Friday night markets along the Seine

The view from the Pont Alexandre III

The gardens at the Palace of Versailles

Sunset on the Seine

L'Arc De Triomphe 

The View from Mont St Michel

Mont St Michel 

The view from the top of the Eiffel 

Le Eiffel Tower

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Harry Potter Studio Tour

The Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour had to be one of the highlights of my trip to London. I absolutely adore Harry Potter and it was so amazing being able to see all the sets, costumes, props and really just experience the world that is Harry Potter. The level of detail put into the production of the Harry Potter films is insane and I don't think I really appreciated it until after I saw the studios. We also managed to score ticket to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince at the studios and the whole time I was watching it all I could think was "the actual great hall is just on the other side of the screen". And I mean literally on the other side. Like, there's not even a wall separating the theatre and the Great Hall entrance chamber. Anyway, it was so amazing I just had to share it with you all. Please don't hate me to much out of jealousy. 
For real though. 



Diagon Alley

Great Hall Shenanigans 
Gryffindor Common Room

Driving Lessons in the Ford Anglia

The Burrow

The Cupboard Under the Stairs 

I found the Chamber of Secrets!

Dumbledore's Office

Me about to trash Umbridges office 

Hagrid's Hut

Butterbeer  Skepticism (and rightly so)

Hogwarts


Monday, 1 September 2014

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

While I was getting lost in the expensive labyrinth that is Harrods, I somehow managed to stumble upon Percy Jackson's Greek Gods. Keep in mind this was ten days before the release date. I immediately picked up a copy and went straight to the nearest cash register. I was so excited that I walked straight past a goldmine of Harry Potter merchandise without even noticing it until after Rick Riordan's latest book was safely in my possession.

I hope that gave some idea of the level of my excitement for this book and thankfully it didn't disappoint. I rate this book 5/5 stars and it deserves every star.

I know some people who've read the Percy Jackson series might be reluctant to read this as it's about Greek mythology not Percy adventures, but don't be put off this book is both interesting and hilarious.

When I imagine Rick Riordan writing this book I picture him writing the basic myths then going "you know what? I'm gonna add ALL the sass."
Seriously though, this book is still written by the POV of Percy and he is the one who is retelling the myths and he is so hilariously honest about his godly relatives and the ridiculously stupid and selfish things they did. It's fantastic!
I studied Ancient Greece in school last year and we did a whole term on myths and legends, so I was quite familiar with most of the myths, but the whole time I was reading it I was wishing this book came out a year and a half earlier. It would've been so useful! It gives a great recount of various myths, but unlike most 'informative' websites the stories are clear and entertaining. That being said I don't think it would be the best book to reference in my assignments. For some reason I don't think 'the promise of delicious cookies' would be accepted as a reason for the Titans turning on Ouranos by my teacher.

Another awesome thing about Percy Jackson's Greek Gods is that the brilliant chapter titles are back from Percy Jackson and the Olympians. My personal favourite titles are 'The Beginning and Stuff', 'Persephone Marries her Stalker, or, Demeter the Sequel' and 'Hephaestus makes me a golden  llama (not really but he totally should)'.
Seriously though, Rick Riordan makes learning fun.

One thing I was disappointed with was that I brought the British edition which doesn't come with illustrations and an uglier cover. This cover features a Logan (movie Percy) Lerman wanna be, some lightning, statues of Poseidon and Athena and the caption 'half boy, half god, all hero,' on the cover. Yeah. That happened.
But it's okay. I have ordered the other edition online.
The book also came with a sneak peek of The Heroes of Olympus which comes out on the 7th of October and I'm SO flipping excited for it!

For real though, if you're still reading this you should just stop and go and buy this book.
Bye! xx

London

I recently got back from a 2 week holiday in London and Paris with my parents and even though it's a bit different to my usual book reviews I thought I'd share my holiday photos on this blog. So please enjoy.


Regent Street

The Queen Elizabeth Tower & Parliament House 


Piccadilly Circus

Trafalgar Square


Stonehenge


St James' Park

Me at the top of St Paul's Cathedral


Windsor Castle


London at Night


Bath


Bath (again)


The Top of St Paul's Cathedral (again)
I will have two more posts on my Trip coming up soon. One is of Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio's and the other will be of Paris.
xx
     
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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Rebel Belle Review






read Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins literally a month ago, but it was one I really wanted to review so I've finally gotten around to writing this review. So much happened in this book took me awhile to work out what I wanted to say. Nevertheless here it is. 

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads and although I enjoyed this book immensely, there were many aspects that irritated me in relation to characters and the plot. 
But before I go into the negative I thought I’d first talk about the positive. p.s there will be spoilers (although nothing too specific or anything that wasn't obvious after reading the first few chapters).






Positive:
I really enjoyed the way Rebel Belle was written from Harper’s POV and I found it really helped set the tone to the book and kept it light hearted. 
The plot was fast paced and action packed, which made it a really fun read. 
This book was hilarious! The character reactions to events were so funny and yet they felt quite genuine. I was often literally laughing out loud, which may have drawn odd looks from my family. Oops. 
The plot was pretty simple so far, however I have a feeling this will change with the next books. I really like it when series do this as it can be kind of annoying when you’re thrown into the deep end of a book.
I always find the whole fantasy world in Southern USA really interesting as it seems so conflicting and because of that Rebel Belle kind of reminded me of Beautiful Creatures, which I really like.

Negatives:
I really didn’t like how Rachel Hawkins wrote Harper’s relationship with Ryan. It felt a little convenient and I really hated it how Harper was completely neglectful and yet it was often made out that Ryan was just being needy.
She also obviously wanted Harper to move on to David and because of that I felt like she didn’t bother giving Ryan much of a personality. It bothers me when there are love triangles and the author feels the need to make one boy a lesser being in some way to justify the choice of the girl.
There were some instances in the book when the characters had conveniently, uncharacteristic dumb moments which moved the plot forward but also seemed unrealistic. 

Predictions:
So I’m no oracle, but my predictions for the next books is that we’ll find out that the Ephors wanted David to become mega-oracle so they can use David’s power to make themselves more powerful. It practically says so in page 298 (hardcover version).


Thanks for reading. xx

On The Fence Review

Charlie is a tomboy. She has no mum, a police officer dad and three brothers. Well four if you count Braden, her next door neighbour. But when Charlie is forced into taking a job at a clothing store and is persuading into becoming a canvas for make-up tutorials a bit of girly-ness begins to rub off on her. And her life begins to change. 

When I started this blog in January I had never read a book by Kasie West. I have now read three; Pivot Point, Split Second and On the Fence and it’s pretty safe to say that i’ve become quite the Kasie West fan. I absolutely love the way in which Kasie writes relationships (of all sorts, not just romantic ones) and On the Fence was no exemption to this. I absolutely enjoyed reading about her relationships with her brothers and Braden and how became friend people she previously thought were polar opposites to her. All of the relationships felt natural and realistic but still interesting and amusing. On Goodreads I rated On the Fence 4/5 stars.

I also loved Charlie’s character development. Through her new job Charlie grows and becomes more of herself than before. I often don’t like it when characters change and aren’t at all themselves anymore, but in On the Fence Charlie is still the same person there is just more to her and she is able to be open with her feelings and becomes less of the tomboy stereo-type. 
This was particularly good as I didn’t like the way Charlie was presented at the start of the book. Kasie made a real effort to describe how much of a tomboy Charlie is and often it felt like the book was telling me this rather than showing this to me. Not that Kasie didn’t back up what she was saying with actions. 

It was really interesting to read about Charlie while she was with Evan because in those instances she changed herself to be someone he would like and I’ve seen my friends do that and found it quite relatable and showed how insecure Charlie really was. 

The fence chats between Charlie and Braden were so much fun to read, even when Charlie was being a bitch. It did bother me though that Charlie and Braden made the same mistake twice where one was trying to talk about their feelings for the other, and the other was trying to talk about Charlie’s mum. Miscommunication pisses me off in books/movies/life. Just listen to what they’re saying, not what your going to say! 

Overall this is a really great summery read.
Thanks for reading. xx 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Since You've Been Gone Review


I generally read book series rather than stand alone books, but after reading the Legend series by Marie Lu, which I did enjoy, I was a bit sick of drawn out plots and more specifically, trilogies. So I headed to Goodreads and stumbled across Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, and it seemed to be everything I was looking for. A quick read with a fun plot. The only problem was that this was three months ago and the book was only released a few days ago. Needless to say I had a lot of anticipation for this book and I’m happy to day that it didn’t disappoint. 

The story followes Emily who is a very shy and socially awkward girl who is best friends with Sloane, who is glamorous, daring and charismatic. They have the perfect summer planned, but everything changes when Sloane and her family disappear without a word. Until a letter from Sloane arrives in the mail, containing only a summer bucket list for Emily to complete. 

This book is so good and in so many ways. The characters were probably my favourite aspect about this book as they were beautifully developed and very relatable, even if their names weren’t to be envied. (Sloane, Frank, Dawn? Really?) Names aside, I really enjoyed the way in which Emily’s perception of other people changed over time, particularly Frank and Sloane. At the beginning you see through Emily’s flashbacks that it was always Sloane and Emily not the other way around, with Emily going along with whatever Sloane wanted to do. But as the book goes on Emily’s thoughts and memories of Sloane become more aware of who Sloane was and she realises that her best friend isn’t perfect and that she doesn’t have to be like her. I really liked the way in which Morgan Matson did this as Emily didn’t like Sloane any less after these realised this, but simply became more sure with who she was as an individual. Emily also realises that Sloane needed her just as much as she needed Sloane and I found this really sweet and realistic, as we often don’t realise how much we mean to others as others show affection in different ways to us. 

I loved how through the List Emily was able to make new friends, grow more confident and feel as though she belonged somewhere. Because even when she was with Sloane Emily wasn’t entirely comfortable in group situations. I also really enjoyed how Emily’s perception of Frank changed as she got to know him and how their relationship developed. 

This book was often quite funny and had me laughing out loud more than once, which is something I always appreciate in a book and attributed to my love of the characters and their relationships.

I also loved it how Emily wasn’t too obsessed with completing the List and how it didn’t become her whole life, but helped her find a new life with new friends. I loved the pacing in this book, nothing felt rushed, nor did it feel like it was dragged out.

Overall I rate this book 9 out of 10 and it is perfect if you’re looking for a simple summer read, although I read this in winter… Ooops! x 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Legend Book Discussion


Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal
June is the Republic’s most promising prodigy.
Raised in two different sides of the country, they have no reason to cross paths. That is until Day becomes the prime suspect for the murder of June’s brother. But not all is what it seems…




Yes the Legend series is a dystopian trilogy, but unlike most dystopia’s I’ve read, this book is equally split between two POV’s, June and Day. And I think this is what made this book so fantastic! There was more than one perspective, which really helped the reader to somewhat empathise with the Republic, even though they are the ‘enemy’. More importantly it was consistently from both a female and male viewpoint, which I loved. Because we all know that when a book is solely from girls POV the story always becomes really romantic and often love-triangly. (blah!) Don’t get me wrong; there were romantic tendencies from both characters but it was more of a side plot with a purpose, which made it more interesting than most dystopian love stories.
June and Day are both really smart and I really liked this about the book. There wasn’t a dominant character. They are equals and both have flaws and virtues, which made them really well rounded and Marie Lu did a great job creating them.  I did prefer Day’s chapters more than Junes, but I think that as the story goes on and June becomes more aware of what the Republic is really like then she will become more relatable and consequently, more likable. But I do like June, just not as much as Day.
I found this world really realistic. People weren’t separated by values like in Divergent, or by region like in The Hunger Games, but by the potential of their genes. At the age of 10 everyone has a trial, which measures physical, mental and social abilities and determines the level of education they will receive and the jobs they’ll be able to do. In some ways this form of a dystopian society reminds me of Hitler’s goal of creating the perfect race. The republic is trying to weed out the stupid from the intellectual, and I find this really interesting for a dystopian story.
Overall I rate Legend 4/5 stars!
I’m really excited to read Prodigy and Champion. (Please hurry up and arrive in the mail!)
I really recommend this series! xx

Thursday, 3 April 2014

5 Reasons Why Eyeliner Sucks

I know that all eyeliner wants to do is make our eyes look pretty and for that reason I love it. But I have to admit that out of all my beauty products I find eyeliner the most frustrating to apply.
So here are 5 Reasons Why Eyeliner Sucks.

1. Difficult Application
It's hard to apply. (Need I elaborate?)

2. Ambidextrous Abilities Required
With the exception of pencil eyeliner, I often find that I have to use both hands (not at the same time) to get the eyeliner on my face in the spot that I want it.

3. Double the Trouble
Due to the fact that I have two eyes, not only do I have to apply the eyeliner neatly, but I have to manage to do it twice. And make it look the same. Apparently lopsided eyes is a look that is best to be avoided.

4. No Mistakes Allowed
Although it's relatively easy to remove an eyeliner mistake, it also removes part of my other make up, primarily eye-shadow. This sucks.

5. Time Consuming
By the time I've completed all the steps to applying eyeliner perfectly, I'm most likely already late.


Maybe I should just watch some tutorials. Yeah. I think I'll go do that. xx

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Infernal Devices Review







Very rarely am I satisfied by the ending of a book/book series and unfortunately the ending of The Infernal Device's series by Cassandra Clare was not one of those rare occasions. I have already done a post on the first book in the trilogy, Clockwork Angel (which you can read here), but I thought that instead of doing two more individual posts I would combine them into one about the series as a whole.

Now whilst I was disappointed by the ending of the series it is not one that I regret reading. All the books had great moments and chapters, particularly when the character Will Herondale was involved.

The dialogue in general was realistic, amusing and not too long (except for when it was a romantic scene, then it went forever!). But one of the things that irritated me personally throughout the books was the focus on relationships. I also felt as though not much happened in Clockwork Prince.
Don't get me wrong I love reading about the relationships in books and how the develop, but I felt like throughout the series the plot was often forgotten and it was all about who was going to end up with who.
It was a bit like there were 70 pages of relationship development then Cassandra would be like;
"Oh shit! I forgot about the story, lets add in a thirty page scene about the actual plot including a fight where someone nearly dies, so I can make the relationships more complicated."

But those thirty pages were always very interesting and well written. I particularly liked the worm scene at the beginning of Clockwork Princess.
Overall I would give this series 3.5 out of 5.

Okay so the rest of my review contains spoilers.



The Will-Tessa-Jem love triangle. What can I say? It was painful.
Now I enjoyed the other romantic story lines such as Sophie-Gideon, Cecily-Gabriel and even the Charlotte-Henry story. But Will, Tessa and Jem... Yeah I wasn't feeling it.
It was just so ridiculous. Let me sum it up for you from the beginning to the end.

Tessa meets everyone. Tessa likes Will and he likes her back. They make-out. Will is horrible to Tessa because he doesn't want her to love him because he believes she will die. Tessa makes-out with Jem. Tessa kisses Will again. Tessa kisses Jem again and he proposes. Will finds out that people don't actually die when they love him. Will tells Tessa he loves her. Tessa tells Will she is engaged and in love with Jem (this is a suprise to Will because apparently parabatai don't talk about the girls they are in love with.) Jem dies. Will and Tessa immediately sleep together after finding out. Jem isn't dead, but a silent brother who can't marry. Tessa marries Will. They have children together. Will dies of old age, but Tessa doesn't because she's immortal. Jem is no longer a silent brother. Jem and Tessa hook up.

It seems to me as though Tessa chooses which ever guy is currently available and this really annoys me. She just CAN'T end up with both! Just no.
This is obviously a major reason as to why I don't like the ending. But the other major reason is that Mortmain dies and then there is still like 150 pages left!!! This was a particularly bad surprise as I was reading this on my ipad and was disappointed when I saw that there was a ton of pages still left and I just wanted the book to be over.

I'm starting to sound awfully negative about the book, but those two things really did disappoint me and kind of ruin it.
I did find it hilarious how Will kept callincg the Lightwoods the 'Lightworms.' It was always so funny and satisfying. I also really liked how Will was crazy over-protective of Cecily, who turned out to be a complete badass.
I think Cassandra Clare does really well at small details and small character traits/habits, but often gets carried away with her fanfic instincts on the major plots.
Thanks for reading! xx



Sunday, 9 March 2014

Clockwork Angel Review


Overall Rating 4/5

Whilst Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare was very enjoyable to read and there were some great moments, there were also many things I found irritating about this book. I had already read the first three books in the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare series and it was inevitable that I noticed the very obvious similarities. 
Here are the main ones that irritated me:
Clarissa Fray- Theresa Gray, I can't be the only one to notice the similar names and lack of creativity.

Jace- Will, their characters were very alike (This may be due to them both being Herondale's)

Missing Mother- Missing Brother, whilst the rest of the stories are quite different they both begin with the theme of a missing relative and receiving the circumstantial assistance of the shadowhunters

Magnus Bane- Magnus Bane, there is a warlock called Magnus Bane in both of them, unoriginal much. (only joking with that one)

But ignoring those similarities and a few others the plot was interesting, although I was generally able to foresee the twists. I really enjoyed the mystery of the shadowhunters backstories (particularly Will's) and when we did learn about them I found it really interesting. They were also quite unpredictable and I can't wait to read about Will's in the next books. 

The characters and their relationships were done really well, particularly Jem and Will's. I personally didn't really like Tessa's character. I thought she was a judgmental gossip who was always demanding to know everything about everyone, even though she just met them. But other than that she was alright, she wasn't a character that I didn't exactly dislike I just didn't really think there was much to like about her. Although in a way this a good thing because it makes her character seem more realistic. Despite my indifference towards Tessa the story was compelling enough to make me get over this. 

I didn't like the way the book was becoming a love-triangle because I hate love-triangles. I think they are infuriating and out-dated (although maybe Clockwork Angel can get away with it as it's set in the 1800's) 

The dialogue was very vibrant. It was quite witty and amusing and often it was very carefully written and thought-provoking. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait until I've read the next one. xx

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The 5th Wave Book Review


After the appearance of an Alien spaceship, earth has experienced 4 attacks know as waves. The worlds population has been reduced to a small, unknown number of survivors. Cassie is one of these survivors. In this new world Cassie quickly learnt that to trust is to die. But she may have to run that risk in order to keep a promise. 



I finished this book on Sunday (it's now Wednesday) and my immediate reaction was "Gimme the next one!"(which, unfortunately won't be released until later in the year.) I always have to wait a few days before reviewing a book because at first all I can think of are all the good bits about it and not the parts that irritated me, which I pushed to the back of my mind. 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is a dystopian, si-fi, YA book, and like other books such as Divergent and The Hunger Games it is written in a way that gets the reader hooked. Even if the quality isn't the best. The writing is simple and often quite colloquial, which is good for hooking the readers, particularly teen and YA readers. In some cases the language was refreshing (I quite did enjoy the few f-bombs Rick threw in there), but other times it was irritating and sounded a bit silly such as: 
"Time for the angrily-storming-out-of-the-room part of the argument, while the guy folds his arms over his manly chest and pouts."
Or
"Abs a-clenching, pecs a-popping."
Nobody would ever say something like that, let alone a sixteen year old girl. Even if the author is going for a colloquial style, then he may as well make it relevant to the character. 
The story is written in first person, however the POV does change. The blurb led me to believe that, like The Hunger Games, it would all be written from the point of view of Cassie. I didn't mind the change, and I sometimes I preferred the other chapters, but it annoyed me that the blurb made the book sound like it was all about Cassie when it was just as much about a guy called Zombie. I read several reviews and I noticed lots of people didn't like the change in POV, particularly as it didn't state who the perspective was at the beginning of each chapter where it swapped. This apparently created a lot of confusion. I, however am used to books where the POV switches without warning, in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series for example the POV frequently changes within chapters. Each POV should sound different, especially when it's in first person, because everyone thinks and feels differently, and if people struggled to differentiate then obviously the POV's weren't well written.

This book has been to compared to many other books and ones that I found similarities with was Ender's Game, The Host (I've only seen the movie of that) and Twilight. It had the 'train children to defeat the aliens' aspect of Ender's Game, pretty well the same aliens from The Host, and the creeper-stalker romance from Twilight. However unlike these these works The 5th Wave lacked any substance. (Yes I did just say that Twilight has substance, but remember I am excluding Kristen Stewart's acting.) There was no point to it. Ender's Game for example, primarily explored the reasons behind actions and if that excuses the results. But I couldn't really find a sustainable theme or moral the book was exploring, other than 'Aliens! Don't attack us! We're stronger than we look.' Oh and 'don't trust people.' Good life message *rolls my eyes*

One thing that really bothered me was Cassie seemed to switch between being all like "Screw you Aliens! Bite me!" to "I'm so insecure. I miss my high school crush who I talked to like once 5 years ago. Family? Friends? Why would I grieve about them when I can grieve about a guy who didn't know I existed." Okay, I added the last part, but she did spend more time thinking about him than anyone else. 
I'm so sick of unhealthy relationships in YA books. The women are supposed to be strong and brave, but as soon as boys come into the picture they either become like Katniss who cold, indecisive and indifferent. Or like Bella who becomes obsessive. Where are the Hermione's in recent YA literature? 

Lastly, I didn't like the Aliens. They were too heartless. Too easy to hate. Excluding one character, there was no evidence to suggest that the were good at all. As I've grown older, I generally prefer books where it becomes difficult to hate the enemy, because that makes it feel more real and I honestly enjoy being torn between sides in literature. However maybe in the next book the aliens will become more likable. As this book was written in first person by humans there is obviously bias in the narration, but I hope to see more conflicting POV's later in the series. 

Okay I could rant about this book for ages, especially as none of my friends have read it. But overall I give this book 3 1/5 stars out of five. It's a good read if you not picky and just want a trashy YA dystopian novel to read. It does get the reader hooked, however it is inconsistent in its quality. Hopefully in the next book Rick Yancey will have found his voice and it will be more consistent. 

Thanks for reading. Comment if you think of the book or if you found this review helpful or unhelpful.


Saturday, 1 February 2014

TFIOS

For those of you who are wondering what TFIOS is, it's the abbreviated name of John Green's book The Fault in our Stars, which can be a mouthful to say let alone type. But despite the long name the book is absolutely amazing.
TFIOS was released in January 2012, and yet it took me until September/October 2013 to work up the courage (and find the time in my busy reading schedule) to read it, despite the 20 or so recommendations I had been given.
I'm happy to say that TFIOS did not disappoint and surpassed my expectations. The book was witty, clever, thought-provoking, emotional and endearing. 
Now you may be wondering why I'm writing about it now if I read it about 4 months ago. Well. A few days ago the TFIOS film trailer was released and I thought I would talk about that. 




I was discussing this trailer with one of my friends the other day and I said "I'm the trailer doesn't give away any of the plot" to which she replied, "at first I thought it summed up the whole book, then I realized it didn't at all." 
Curious to see why she thought it summed up the whole book I re-watched the trailer and immediately understood what she meant. 
In TFIOS there are several different plot lines, just like any good book should have. There's the whole 'Hazel isn't going to live' plot line, then the 'Hazel and Gus' side of the book. But there is a third and more significant part of the book 'The Imperial Affliction' that the trailer didn't touch on at all. 
The trailer focuses on the 'Hazel and Gus' plot line and a bit of the 'Hazel isn't going to live' part. In the trailer we know Hazel is scared to be in a relationship with Gus, we watch Gus say "I love you" and the two of them being super cute. We know that Hazel goes to the Hospital at least once, but really it doesn't tell us much. (thankfully)
Earlier I said that the third plot line is the most significant. If you've read the book you may know why I say that or you may not, but let me explain (without me going into spoilers or details). The third plot line sets the reader up for the ending. Because of this we understand why the book ends as it does and we're okay with that (well at least I was). This is the part of the movie I am most excited to see and the most nervous, for it has to be done well. It's what makes the story more than just two teens who fall in love, despite Hazel's limited life. 'The Imperial Affliction' plot drives the story and I'm glad there was absolutely no mention of it in the first trailer.
Overall I was very impressed with the trailer and I cannot wait for June when it is released.  If you haven't read the book then I highly recommend it, or if you don't like reading for some reason, then you should at least watch the movie. 
Let me know in the comments what you thought of the trailer and if you're exited about the film.

Oh and no I didn't cry when reading it. My eyes were stinging but I did not cry. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

5 Reasons Why Foundation Sucks


Now don’t get me wrong I love a good foundation as much as the next girl. But what I hate is when I feel reliant on it, like I can’t go anywhere without it. I try to only wear foundation to work, formal occasions and on days where my skin is patchy and blemished. Unfortunately I have fallen into the foundation trap and more often than not I tend to wear it when I don’t need to. So here are 5 reasons why foundation sucks.

1.     We don’t need it.
I’m eighteen, which means I’m quite young and shouldn’t need to cover my skin on a day-to-day basis. Most girls under the age of 21 have no excuse or need for wearing foundation, and yet it makes the majority of us feel like we have to, and can’t be seen without it.

2.     Without it we feel insecure.
Whilst foundation can give self-confidence and make girls feel prettier, without it I think that we can all feel insecure. This bothers me, as we shouldn’t feel as though we need to essentially wear paint on our faces to be pretty. Guys don’t wear it and they still manage to look hot. Hehe ;)

3.     It makes your skin worse.
Have you ever had a few blemishes on your face and decided to cover them up with foundation, which only made it worse? Yep, it sucks and only leaves us with two options. One is to avoid wearing foundation when you break out, which defeats the purpose of having foundation. Or two, suck it up and look better, but make it worse. *sigh* #firstworldproblems

4.     Applying it.
I find that applying it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. You have to make sure that you don’t put too much on and that it is the right color. Then you have to make sure that there aren’t any brush steaks, it hasn’t stained your eyebrows a weird orange and that it is blended in properly with your neck. This all takes time and effort, and when it isn’t working it can be highly frustrating.

5.     It’s expensively addictive
I know that there is a whole range of prices based on brand and quality and that for some it might not seem expensive. But it is something that girls have to buy several times a year to keep up with your skin color and to replenish you stock of it. Furthermore I think we can often feel the pressure to try new products that our friends and role models are wearing.

I think that it’s important to wear it as little as possible and to take care of your skin by removing you make-up before bed and by washing your face twice daily with cleanser and applying a moisturizer. Take care of your skin so that it looks its natural best and you aren’t reliant on wearing foundation. Remember you don’t need it and you look beautiful without it. 

Write in the comments your thoughts on foundation xx