Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), by Maggie Steifvater

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And today I'm doing my review on The Dream Thieves!
Enjoy!

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), by Maggie Steifvater
Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Release date: 17th September, 2013
Pages: 450
Blurb: "Blue didn't mean to fall for the Raven Boys,
but she has- and the more her life entwines
with theirs, the more dangerous it becomes.
Ronan is the most dangerous of all.
He's the haunted one, the darkest
the most raven.
His dreams invade reality and
confuse what is true.
With magic growing stronger around
them, now is the time to be wary.
Before everything unravels...
Friendships will be tested.
Someone will get hurt.
And a kiss will get shared."

My Thoughts
Second books in the series kind of have a stigma- they always seen to be worse than the first one. But this happens to be the exception, because this one is first and foremost- not going to sugarcoat it- it's a heck of a lot better than the first one. And to add to that, it made me really looking forward to the next one! (Blue Lily, Lily Blue).

What I liked more about this one as opposed to The Raven Boys is that there was more of a story to this one, it wasn't as heavily character based. (There was still a lot of character development, specifically for Ronan, who is the centre of the story- as you can see from the blurb- but it all seemed to flow better now that there was some direction to the story).

I can't say much about the plot, as it would spoil the first book, but it kind of started the foundation that would eventually lead up to the fourth and final book (that I'm currently reading now, but reviewing the second book now shows how what was happening in The Dream Thieves has impacted the entire story).
So basically, the story couldn't be as good as it is now without this book.

As much as I want to say that Ronan is my favourite character, because he is the focus of this novel, I can't- because they are all truly my favourites. Again, the character development was flawless, and the best part of the book by far. Just the way they all grew as people as a group, and they were so raw and lifelike just completed the book. We did get to meet another character in this book,- he's called the Grey Man- I won't say anything else, because he's super mysterious and your not sure what his purpose is in the book, and that's what I want to keep it as.

But I did like that we got to learn more about Ronan, that we got to see a bit more behind the curtains of the dark mysterious and violent Raven that we really didn't get to know much of in the first book. It wasn't that the other Raven Boys took a backseat, because they didn't, we found out more about them as well, but Ronan was the centre of the book, and I can't say that I minded too much :) .
But because the character that the book centres around is Ronan, the book was slightly grittier and darker, and more mysterious than the previous one, which is what kept me engaged from the start if I'm honest.

Also, somehow Maggie Steifvater manages to make her writing both poetic, and dark, gritty and mysterious, all at the same time! (And trust me, that's hard). But the writing was strong from the first page, all the way through the middle, and then the end too.

So overall, I really enjoyed this book. I felt like they were brewing this book up to make for an even better second half to the series, which I'm really looking forward to reading. So the characters were great, the writing was, and the plot was engaging. I also totally recommend this series, even though this is the second in the series! (Although I do recommend reading the first one before!)

So that was my review of The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2), by Maggie Steifvater! I hope you enjoyed it (and I hope it wasn't too long)!
So I will see you all on Friday!
And I hope you have a wonderful day!
Byeeee!

-Abi xxxxxx




Monday, 20 March 2017

Reading Books That Match The Season

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I was thinking I was going to post my review of the Dream Thieves today, but I just don't feel like reviewing something today!
So today I am talking about reading books to match the season.
This is sort of a rant/ rambling of thoughts, so I hope you enjoy it!

Reading Books That Match The Season
Today I want to talk about other people's reading habits, like whether or not they obey the seasons, and read things like fantasy (epic fantasy, urban fantasy etc) at winter, and summary and happy reads during spring? I used to be one of the people that ignored the seasons and used to just read what I felt like (like mysteries, and Sci-fis during summer, and contemporaries during winter), but now I find it hard to imagine the scenarios that the characters are in, because of where I'm reading it.

I mean, there are certain books that you can read whenever you want, and you'll have no problem imagining what is happening between the pages (such as Harry Potter, Hunger Games etc), but I feel like most books you have to be in a certain mood, or it has to be a certain season to read them (like you wouldn't read Let It Snow in the summer, or Since You've Been Gone in the winter).

Because as much as I wish I could read a whole lot of mystery and intrigue when the sun is shining, it just isn't something I can do.
This post is also sort of a discussion too, because I want you guys to tell me your thoughts on this too. Can you all read the deep and time consuming series when the sun is shining, or do you like to read books that match the weather? Tell me your thoughts :) .

To think about it, this sort of applies to holidays too. Like reading romance books around February 14th. Even though most books have some form or subplot that centres around romance, do you guys like to read full blown romance books around that time, or just books that feature just that tiny sprinkle of romance scattered throughout the book?

I think that's all I have to say on the subject, but I want to know your thoughts! Let me know in the comments below what you have to say on the subject!
So I will see you all on Wednesday, and I hope you have an enjoyable day!
Byeeeee!

-Abi xxxxxx


Friday, 17 March 2017

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), by Maggie Steifvater

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And since I've already read three out of four in this series, I figured I better get to reviewing!

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1), by Maggie Steifvater
Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Release date: 18th September, 2012
Pages: 454
Blurb: "Even if Blue hadn't been told
her true love would die if she
kissed him, she would stay away
from boys. Especially the ones from
the local private school. Known as
Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.

But this is the year that everything
will change for Blue.

This is the year that she will be drawn
into the strange and sinister world of
the Raven Boys. And the year Blue
will discover that magic does exist.

This is the year she will fall in love."

My Thoughts
Going into reading this for the second time, I knew I wasn't going to fall in love with it. And I was right. But I did enjoy it more than last time.
There were aspects that I enjoyed about this book. The characters for one, the group dynamic, the four individual, yet complete set of boys that were both unique in their own way, but complimented each-other so perfectly, was one of the best parts of the book. And that was unwavering.
But there were certain aspects that I expected to enjoy, and I didn't.
So all in all, it was disappointing to say the least.
Another thing that I liked was that, all the way through the book, the moment that Blue and the group of Raven Boys that she was so hesitant to get to know, they didn't welcome her with eager arms the minute she started to get to know her either. And I liked that. I liked how realistic that was.
Now let's talk about the Raven Boys. These boys consist of Gansey, Noah, Adam, and Ronan. They were this groups of boys that were all primarily one emotion, though they weren't at all stereotyped. In fact, I'd go as far to say that I have never read about a group of characters quite like this one. Just the way they didn't agree about everything, they had their own opinions, and their own unique way of looking at things, in some way, it all seemed to work out. This group of boys were in it deep together, and in the situations where they surprised both themselves and the rest of the group and stuck their neck out for another, it was refreshing to see.
They all shared a common interest too (which you will get to see if you read the book), which also helped.
And then Blue and the Raven Boys met. And that's the start.
As you can see, this book is quite heavily character orientated. And if you've been following this blog for a while, you know that that's something I like in books.

Next, the plot. Not much really happened in this book. Up until the end, when a bunch of moments, that left you realising that you were actually much more invested in the story than you originally thought, (mostly the characters), there was some searching, and some character development. It was enough to keep me occupied, and keep me reading, but I was never fully engaged in the story.

The pacing was kind of slow. Well, not kind of, it was slow. Granted, it did give me the chance to get to know the characters inside out, which was probably the purpose of the slow pacing, but it was largely the reason why I was never fully invested.  

The writing wasn't too flowery and poetic, but it wasn't completely nitty and gritty either. The feel of the chapters were polls apart (they switched from Blue, and her physic family, to the Raven Boys, getting up to mischief), but the contrast made the book flow in a way I never thought it would.
The writing was a nice steady medium.

So overall, it was an okay read. I know it gets better from here, which is why I'm saying that I'm glad I read it again, and continued the series. If you are reading this now, and wondering whether to carry on the series, I promise it gets better after. 

So that was my review of The Raven Boys, by Maggie Steifvater! I hope you enjoyed it, and even though it wasn't singing it's praises, it was totally honest.
So I will see you all on Monday, when I will be posting my review of The Dream Thieves, the second book in the series!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you then!
Byeeee!

-Abi xxxxx 


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The School Subjects Book Tag

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it's time for my monthly tag!
I wasn't tagged by anyone, but a blog (that I follow almost religiously) did this tag about a week ago, and I haven't done a tag so far this month, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity!
So here is the School Subjects Book Tag! (The blog was The Book Prophet, and you should check it out because Savannah is an incredible blogger).
So here's the tag! Enjoy!

The School Subjects Book Tag
1. Math: A book that left your head
spinning in circles
The first book that comes to mind is 1984, because the whole thing is just a mind game. It's super complicated and mysterious, and I love the secret rebellion that's going on behind the scenes, but the reason I've chosen it is because the scientific side of it is so immense.  

2. English: A book you think has
beautiful written expression  
I'll Give You The Sun is another book that was the first one to pop in my head. It centres around two twins, Noah and Jude, and three years ago they had this super special bond, and then something happened that changed that. One perspective takes place three years ago, and one is taking place now. And there's beautiful artwork and wonderful writing, so that is why I picked it for this one.


3. Physics: Your favourite scientifically
minded character from a book or film
Beetee, for sure! There's just no-one else I can think of.  


4. Chemistry: Your favourite literary
couple
This is so hard! How do I choose one?
Okay, even though there are a ton of couples that I love, (I'm not going to pick one, you can't make me. YOU CAN'T MAKE ME) I'm going to go with Luna and Neville because it's that couple that you don't realise until the end that are perfect for each-other, but once you get on board, there's no way you can get off that train (Hunger Games reference :) ).
So I'm going to pick those two, because they're just adorable.

5. Biology: Your favourite book/series/film
character
Again, I can't choose!
Can I just do a list of some of my favourite characters and why?
  • Tanith Low, from Skulduggery Pleasant- because she isn't just a kick-ass, ready for anything, can run on walls action woman- she's like a big sister to Valkyrie, even after certain events that I won't talk about because I want you to read the series :).
  • Professor McGonagall- I don't have a specific reason why she's on this list, but she just stands out for being awesome, and as well as being strict, she is also fair and kind-hearted. And she came into her own in the final battle against Voldemort. And she has a cat animagus, and I love cats!
  • Dr Lysander from the Slated trilogy- This character is so curious, but also kind and trusting, and even though she is working with Kyla and should probably not get as close to her as she does in the trilogy, she tries to help her as much as she can, because she is curious to the case that Kyla has presented her with, and that is why I love her so much.
  • And finally, Haymitch- this man purely needs no reason as to why he's one of my favourite, and I am not going to say, because if you haven't read Hunger Games, please pick them up, and if you have read them, you should know why he's my favourite.

6. French: Your favourite foreign
book/film/ program
I'm going to go with The Book Thief because it's set in Germany, and I truly believe that it is a book that everyone should read, not just the readers it was written for.

7. Art: Have you ever judged a book by it's
cover, even if you weren't meant to?
Oh, I do this all the time. I mean, I don't seek out books that I think would look good on my bookshelf, because some of the reason why I pick up a book is because I have a good amount of interest in what it's about. But if a book has a beautiful cover, than that makes a huge difference!
But for this one, I think I'll pick The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Steifvater! The cover just blows me away, I finished this yesterday, and there will be a review up soon!


8. History: The last historical book
you've read
The last historical fiction book I read was Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys! I have a full review up somewhere on my blog, and you can read it here.

9. Geography: A literary destination you
would really like to visit (real or
fictional)
Other than Hogwarts? Narnia, probably! Because they're both so beautiful!

10. Drama: A book that you think has a lot
of over dramatic hype
Hate to say this, but... I'm gonna have to go with The Mortal Instruments. Yes, they were released years ago, and yes Cassandra Clare's books have got better again and again and again, and I did enjoy them, but the first three which everyone seemed to love just didn't do it for me for some reason!
I am going to read The Infernal Devices later this year (definitely), and hopefully I will love that as much as the rest of the world does!

So that was The School Subjects Book Tag! I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Byeeee!

-Abi xxxxx



Monday, 13 March 2017

Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it's been a while since I've done a review, so I figured why not do one?
So here my review of Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom!
Enjoy!

Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom
Title: Not If I See You First
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Genre: Contemporary
Release date: 1st December, 2015 
Pages: 405
Blurb: " Parker Grant doesn't need perfect vision
to see right through you. She is fiercely
proud and take-no-prisoners- treat her
differently just because she's blind and
she'll shun you so bad it hurts.

And as long as she can keep giving herself
gold stars for every day she hasn't cried
since her dad's death, she'll be just fine.
But she can't run from the boy who
broke her heart forever.
Can she learn to love and trust again?"

My Thoughts
This book had been on my shelf gathering dust for a good six months or more before I actually picked it up. It might have been that I had absolutely no interest in it before a friend gave it to me to read, but I from the time that I got it to a couple of months ago, I really didn't have any interest in reading it at all.

When I started reading it, I wasn't expecting much. But then I picked it up, and I was absolutely taken by surprise by how good it was!

Not If I See You First is about Parker Grant, a normal school-girl: good grades, good friends, a runner; and she is also blind. But this girl has some sass- if you treat her differently because she's blind, she will cut you- as hard as a knife on your cheek.
And that was what made the book kind of entertaining.
Just the fact that the one person you'd want to protect or worry about, or think as different, as much as the character might not want you to, is the one that is actually controlling it all. What blew my mind about it was the fact that she didn't let anything get in the way of what she wanted to achieve, even being blind.

Another thing that I liked was that the normality in the book was consistent. It was a book about a normal girl, living in a normal life. As much as I like the new fantasy books and Sci-fis, it was nice to read about a girl just experiencing highs and lows in her life, which was exactly what I needed to read at the time!

This can also be applied to the characters. They weren't over the top, crazy take-over-your-life friends. They were the kind and supportive, but crazy along with you friends that you wanted when you were in secondary school. They supported her, and calmed Parker down when she got a bit too stubborn and mad. They weren't two dimensional, they did have personalities and problems, but the characters were very very well done.

But there was just something about Parker's character and character development that made this book super interesting, especially the fact that she is a runner. Parker runs where nobody sees her, because she's scared that everybody will come to watch- though she is just a normal runner, there's something different about watching a blind girl run. And to add to that, there's also the ex-boyfriend that did something terrible to her, but now he's back, so there's that too.

So overall, it makes for a rather interesting story. It's got wonderful characters, a simple yet problematic storyline, and if your in the mood for a funny, yet unique book, then this is the one you should pick up! I definitely recommend this, and I really hope you enjoy reading it if you decide to!

So that is my review for Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom! I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you all on Wednesday, when I will be doing a book tag of some sort!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all soon!

-Abi xxxxx 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

To Buy List (Books, of course)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I was searching an Epic List of 52 Book Blogging Ideas (one of the best websites to look through if you are struggling for book blog post ideas), and one of the ideas was to list all the books that you have on pre-order, or on their way from Amazon. The thing is, I don't have any books on pre-order, or on their way from Amazon.
But at the start of the year, I created a list of books I wanted to buy. And because I'm on a budget, I'm only allowed to buy these books, and so far I've managed to stick to it.
So today, I thought I'd list those books, talk about why I chose those books, and where I might find them!
Enjoy!

My To Buy List (Books, of course)
1. Skulduggery Pleasant: Book 10, by Derek Landy
This is the only cover I found for this book. Those who have been following this blog for a while know that I am a huge Derek Landy fan, and I can't wait for this to be released this summer! This is the tenth book in the series, so I can't really give away much of the plot, but if this one is going to be anything like the rest of the series, this is going to be an amazing conclusion to the series!                                 Release date: Summer 2017

2. The Miserable Mill, by Lemony Snicket

3. The Grim Grotto, by Lemony Snicket
I've got these two on the list because they are the last two books in the Series of Unfortunate Events that I don't currently own. I'm looking out for them in charity shops around town because I've found most of the others in charity shops. I have already read the series through, but to me they're just one of those series that I want to have on my bookshelf, because they're just so damn beautiful!

4. Perfect (Flawed #2), by Cecelia Ahern
I read the first book of Flawed in December, and the second is set to be released on 6th April. This is one of those books that I'm going to be reading as soon as I get the chance, because of how much I loved Flawed. The review for the first book is on Post Pandemonium, and you can look for it if you are interested in my thoughts. This is the conclusion, because it's only a duology, but I can't wait to see how this duology wraps up! Release date: 6th April

5. Contagion (Contagion #1), by Teri Terry
This is the first book in Teri Terry's new trilogy, and that is all I know about it, except for the fact that the release date is 4th May. But I am so excited to read the first book in her new trilogy because it's been a while since she's release a trilogy! From the cover I'd say that is dark and mysterious, which is what Teri Terry does best! Release date: 4th May
6. Songs About Us (Songs About A Girl #2), by Chris Russell
The first book in this trilogy I wanna say, was one of my absolute favourites last year. I read it at the start of the school year and it just grasped the freedom of growing up, following your dreams, all the while trying to make decisions about your future, and which boy to choose (I've never been in the last scenario, because I'm a massive introvert and it's hard enough to find one boy I genuinely like, let alone two), this book perfectly grasped that. The follow up is released on July 13th, and it seems like the perfect summer read. Can't wait for this to be released. Release date: 13th July

7. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
I would have bought this book, read and loved it by now, except for the fact that IT'S NOT RELEASED UNTIL 6TH APRIL IN THE UK. And it frustrates me so much because I could not wait for this to be released so I could read it. If you guys have read this yet, please let me know in the comments if you enjoyed it or not, or what you thought of it! But still, less than a month until I can read it, and I know that that'll fly by. It'll get here. Eventually. Let me know in the comments. Release date: 6th April (UK)

8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Version, by J K Rowling
This cover was only released yesterday, and I already can't wait to read it. It'll be released on 3rd October, and even though that's months away, I know it's going to be amazing when we see it. I've always liked Prisoner of Azkaban, because it's kind of the book that turns this young, but still epic Harry Potter series, and things happen in it that makes it ready for the series to take a darker turn in Goblet OF Fire. It isn't a filler book, but it's also beautiful and epic and mysterious and dark, and I can't wait to get the Illustrated Version! Release date: 3rd October.

So that is my To Buy List! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you are also looking forward to any of the books that are yet to be released, or if you have enjoyed (or hated) any that are already out, feel free to let me know! So I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Friday!
Byeeee!

-Abi xxxxx














Monday, 6 March 2017

TV Shows You NEED To Watch and a Couple I Want To Start

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I have been sitting in front of this blank page for an hour and a half, and I have only just now came up with this idea, which isn't just sad, but pitiful.
I knew I wanted to do something different from what I usually do, and since I spend most of my time watching tv and obsessing about tv shows, I thought that this would be a fun post.
So today I will be doing a post on my favourite TV shows, and some I want to start.
Though warning you now, most of my favourite tv shows, I do need to catch up on, just because I am LAZY!
So here is the post! Enjoy!


TV Shows You NEED To Watch and a Couple I Want To Start

1. Pretty Little Liars
The final half of the last season is going to be released in approximately a month, so I need to catch up on this! I first got introduced to this when I read the first five books like way back in 2012, I think, and over the past few years I've dipped in and out of them. At the moment I'm on season 6, and I really need to catch up before the Season 7 DVD is out! (I've been watching them by DVD, so I can only watch up to the end of season 6). Just in case you haven't caught on to this amazing tv show, PLL is about five girls: Aria, Spencer, Hannah, Emily, and the most devilish leader that was ever born: Alison D'Laurentis. These girls rule the school, and then, out of the blue, Alison goes missing. That was one year ago. The series starts when an unknown person, known as A, starts to threaten the four remaining girls with secrets they once had, as well as now. And the four girls can't help but wonder: could it be Alison sending these messages?
That is season one, but the final season: season 7 has escaladed. I've only included season 1 because I don't want to spoil any non-watchers. But if you aren't watching this series, you need to start watching, because it is insane how good this tv show is!

2. Orphan Black
I'm even further behind on this one- I'm not even sure what season they're on now, but what I do know is that this series grabs you from the first scene, and does NOT LET YOU GO. The series starts when the protagonist, Sarah, arrives back in town after ten months at the train station. She walks forward, sees someone who looks exactly the same as her, and then watches her jump in front of a train. And the story escalades from there. But this is the type of series where you say you'll watch one episode, and then next thing you know, the sun is coming up and you've finished the season. If you like sciency, mysterious, gritty and dark tv shows, then this is the one for you. This is a tv show about clones, and the lead, Tatiana Manslany, is a genius. Because she plays all these clones, and she's such a faultless actress, that you cannot tell at all that it's the same person. Every time a new clone is introduced, you totally forget it's her playing all these clones. I recommend this for 17+, because it can get creepy and psychotic at times. But still, this is one of my favourite shows ever, and I highly recommend anyone who wants to converse themselves in something like I'm making this sound.

3. Once Upon A Time
I've only just discovered this series, so I'm sort of a newby, but if you love Disney, and want to see a different side to the classic Disney characters that we have all grown to love, then this is the series that you should go to. What I like about this series is that it isn't all dark and mysterious plot lines, but it's good to see certain characters from classic and current Disney movies, either be deadly enemies, or be the bad-ass duo of the town where all the people are actually Disney characters in disguise (though they themselves don't know it yet). But this series is so good, and I already love it, even though I'm only still on season 1/5. But that just means I get to meet more characters, and see the story for myself. So if you want a tv show that balances deep and tense moments, intense face-offs, and the meeting off Disney characters disguised as regular people, then this is the series for you!


Series' I NEED To Start
1. The 100
I've watched the season 1 trailer for this countless times, and I'm on the verge of buying this on Amazon so I can just hurry up and watch it too. Based on the book by Kass Morgan, 100 people, who have in one or another way challenged authority, are being sent to the ground where, 10 or so years ago, the world was destroyed. Luckily, they were up in space. They have one mission: To stay alive. That's all I know so far, but something about it stands up above the rest of the series that are similar to this, and I hope I get into this something soon because it looks really interesting.

2. Series of Unfortunate Events
If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that I am a HUGE fan of the books, and I've been so excited to watch this. But I do not have Netflix, and so I need to wait until Season 1 finished so I can buy the DVD and watch this show! In case you haven't seen the film with so many film stars I can't even count, or read the books, or got on the train for the TV show, Series of Unfortunate Events centres around three very gifted children, Violet Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, and when they're parents die in unfortunate circumstances, they're shipped off to the vicious Count Olaf, and the only thing he's after is the Baudelaire fortune their parents left them. If this tv show is anything like the books, it'll be seriously dark, and funny and so damn addictive. Can't wait to watch this when the DVD comes out.

3. Shadowhunters
I'm not really sure about whether I should start this series or not. Let me know in the comments if you think I should, I might be swayed! But what's tempting me to start watching this is the hype that is going round Booktube at the moment. And what I like about tv shows is that you get to see a different side to the characters that are already so familiar to you from the books. Add that on to the fact that you get to see them and follow them for longer than you would in the book or the film, if it was lucky enough to be made into a film like City of Bones was.

So that was my TV Shows You NEED To Watch and a Couple I Want To Start! I hope you enjoyed this post, it sort of included books, especially the last three, and feel free to comment about any of these tv shows: Whether you liked or hated them, about whether you think I should pick up a series or not, because I would love to know!
So that's that! I will see you all on Wednesday, and I hope you have a lovely day!
Byeeee!

-Abi xxxx