Friday, 13 July 2018

Summer READING Book Tag

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And even though I've done a book tag with a similar name to this one, it is not actually the same.
With 3 books currently left over on my TBR, it seems about the perfect time to talk about what I would like to read this summer!
Enjoy!

1. What are three books you want to get to this summer?
At the moment my top three that I want to get to as soon as I finish my TBR are:
-The Exact Opposite of Okay, by Laura Steven
-The Astonishing Colour of After, by Emily X.R Pan
-Songs About A Boy, by Chris Russell
They are all contemporaries, funny enough. Whether they're hard hitting or fluffy, they are absolutely up there on potential five star reads for this year.

2. What book character most embodies the feeling of summer?
I don't know why, but the character that springs to mind is Levi, from Fangirl. He's just this social butterfly, he's polite to everybody, and even though he isn't the type to do the crazy things that everybody seems to associate with summer, I actually think that he fits the bill. Just picture Cath reading him a story in the park with a picnic.

3. What type of books do you like to read on holiday? And is there a particular books that evokes memories on holiday?
I honestly just go with the books that I most want to read. And depending on how long I'm going for, determines how large they are, and how many I take.
The last time I went on holiday where I could get some solid reading time was Lido de Jesolo, (not far from Venice), and I took a magical realism book (On the Other Side, by Carrie Hope Fletcher); a Sci-fi (Chasing the Stars, by Malorie Blackman); and a contemporary (Since You've Been Gone, by Morgan Matson). The memory is when I just sat and read Since You've Been Gone in a single seating. And it was epic.

4. If you could go on holiday with any author, who would it be and why?
I'm thinking Carrie Hope Fletcher, just because it would be so fun! We both love theatre to bits, and books and writing, and it would just be so much fun!

5. What is the best book you've so far this year?
I did answer this question in one of my last tags, and my answer was Tiny Pretty Things, by Sona Charaipotra! That book was on another level of insane, with so many different issues discussed, also because of the pressure! It perfectly portrays what the life of a ballet dancer is, and I wish more people would read this trilogy!

6. How did you spend your summer holidays as a child and what are your plans for this summer?
Just going to the library! My summers consisted of the summer reading challenges at the library from the time that I could read! (Honestly I swear I was carrying the school with the amount of books that I used to read for those challenges!)
But I would go on holiday for the first week of the hols and then I would spend the rest of the days reading!

As for my plans this summer: work!
(So I can pay for driving lessons.)

Alright so that is all I have for you today!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I will see you all on Monday with my review of IT!
Byeee!

-Abi xxxxx



Wednesday, 11 July 2018

21-30 Books of 2018

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it's been a while, but today I am talking about the books that I have read recently this year!
Enjoy!

Although I was happy to get to the second instalment of this series, I was somewhat underwhelmed by this novel. From a sensational ending hanging on a knife-edge of the first book, I was eagerly anticipating (and simultaneously nervous) this next book to didn't live up to the standard of the first book. Don't get me wrong, once I hit a certain point in the story, I flew through the second half of the book, but it took a while to get started. The second half was amazing, it was just the first half, that's all. I'm eagerly awaiting the second half of the series.



This was absolutely my favourite read of the month. I feel like it was better than the predecessors combined. It's been my favourite so far and I cannot wait to read War Storm after finishing my current TBR this month! The characters are super kick-ass, ready to take on everything they can after Mare is taken by Maven. What I found interesting was the complex relationship these two had in the first chunk of the book. We found out some hard truths in this book and it's set everything up for an epic finale, which came out a couple months back. Review in the title link.  
23. The Host, by Stephenie Meyer
This would probably be my longest book of the year if I hadn't obtained some insanely long books this year. 650 odd pages, and surprisingly, I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. The only complaint I have is that it's been forgettable. Even know, it's been a book that I tend to forget about once I completed it and moved onto the next one. It was an interesting book, and I'll be sure to pick up the film when I have a spare moment, but it was a book that I doubt I'll pick up again.

How amazing this trilogy is I cannot begin to describe. Out of the three, I think that the second book is perhaps my favourite, though all three were absolutely incredible. Although I typically love all the trilogy's that I read, this is up there on one of my favourites. Maybe my top 5. I have reviews on all three of them, which you can check out if you want to.
I loved these novels.

Another review! I've been on point for these reviews! Anyway. I read this in under two days. Spontaneous decision to pick it up and I LOVED IT. So many things discussed, which I listed in my review, and which I am not going to list now. Sorry. Anyway. One word that I will use to describe this is honest. Like this novel does not sugar-coat the issues that it discusses. Also, I loved the characters that I got to meet in this story, the story of finding yourself again after a huge knock. I highly recommend this if you think you might be interested in it.

The books out in this trilogy are such a juxtaposition. I loved the first one, and I felt like the second could have been better. I'm intrigued for Finale, the third and final book in the trilogy, and I hope that something amazing happens because I am going to pick it up regardless of whether I love it, hate it, or somewhere in between. Full reviews on the titles above.

30. IT, by Stephen King
Okay, I don't want to go into too much detail about this book because I haven't posted my review on this yet. It's coming, I promise! I have way too many thoughts on this book not to post a review on it. The synopsis is about a bunch of characters, kids in the first instance, adults in the second (the book jumps back and forth constantly) that are plotting to take down IT, after they make a promise (when they were children) that if IT comes back, they will return to the town of Derry, to take down IT once and for all. This is the largest, creepiest book I have ever read and even though it took me 16 days, I'm happy I was able to read it.

Okay! So those are the books that I have read recently (books 21-30 of 2018!) Let me know in the comments if you like any of these, if you are thinking of picking up any of these, or even if you absolutely hated some of these! (So we can debate, I guess?)

So yeah! That's all I have, and that's gonna do it for this post!
I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Friday!
Byeeee!

-Abi xxxxx




Friday, 6 July 2018

Legendary (Caraval #2), by Stephanie Garber

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I seem to have read some books recently, so I need to get back on track with reviewing them!
This is my review on Legendary!
I hope you enjoy it!


Title: Legendary
Author: Stephanie Garher
Genre: Fantasy
Release date: 29th May, 2017
Status: Book 2 in the Caraval trilogy
Pages: 416
Blurb: "WELCOME TO Caraval...
THE GAMES HAVE ONLY
JUST BEGUN.

After being swept up in the magical
world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has
finally escaped her father and saved her
sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged
marriage. The girls should be celebrating,
but Tella isn't yet free. She made a
desperate bargain with a mysterious
criminal, and what Tella owes him no one
has ever been able to deliver: Caraval
Master Legend's true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend's
identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws
herself into the legendary competition
once more- and into the path of the
murderous heir to the throne, a doomed
love story, and a web of secrets...
including her sister's. Caraval has always
demanded bravery, cunning and sacrifice.
But now the game is asking for more. If
Tella can't fulfil her bargain and deliver
Legend's name, she'll lose everything-
maybe even her life.

But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will
be destroyed forever."

My Thoughts
Okay, so I knew I had to write this review eventually. Which I've been dreading. But sometimes writing a review where you didn't like the book particularly can be interesting. So let's do this.

Okay, my overall impression: Disappointing. I was expecting so much more. The concept was interesting, I liked the ideas of the storyline, but I was bored for large parts of the book. Truthfully, I enjoyed Caraval more.
Whether it was second book syndrome, or something else, I do not know. But I thought it could have been better.

I'll start with the positives:
-It was interesting reading from Tella's perspective, she was more adventurous than her sister. Though I have to say, I was more in line with Scarlett, because she was able to prioritise what her goal was. I'm not saying that wasn't the same for Tella, but I just related to Scarlett just that bit more.
I liked finding out a bit more about Tella, instead of what I saw in Caraval though.  

-There were actually some parts that I liked. Like when Tella gets a run in with the deck of cards, I was actually worried about what was going to happen.
-I also liked the plotline with Tella and her mother. There's nothing that I liked more than a character trying to find something that's been seemingly lost, without even the possibility of finding them, suddenly able to. It makes for a more fleshed out character in my opinion.
-The 'who the hell is Legend' plotline. I had my suspicions, and honestly I was surprised as to who it turned out to be.

Now, the not so good:
-There was barely any magic. I liked the never being able to tell what was real and what was fake feeling of the first book! That's what made the first book great!
-Even though I liked finding about Tella a little bit more, I thought she was... a bit bland. She spent the whole time searching for her idea of Caraval, what she thought it was.
-I felt that Garber's writing must have been different this time around.

So overall, even though the number of good points outweighs the bad, I still think that there shouldn't be as many bad points as there are.
I'm not going to give up on the trilogy, especially as there is only one book left. But my expectations has definitely lowered by this sequel.
I hope Finale is good.

Anyway! That was my review of Legendary, the second book in the Caraval trilogy! I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you all on Monday!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Byeeeeee!

-Abi xxxxx


Monday, 2 July 2018

July TBR (2018)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And we're now half-way through 2018, can you believe it?
We're closer to 2019 than New Year! That's crazy!
But with another month, comes another TBR!
Enjoy!

Now, for those that follow my twitter, you will know that I have been trying to read all the books I own but haven't read yet before I read any more books! It's been going well, and I'm hoping to finish them all this month!
Here are the books on my TBR for this month!


1. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
After a bunch of people telling me to read this, I have finally picked it up. The only thing that I know about this book is that it contains a romance, and it's about magic, and a contest (I'm about 55 pages into it so I have no idea how much of the story this contest includes.) I know this has some mixed reviews, but that the majority love this novel to pieces. And I cannot wait to (hopefully) join them.

2. This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1), by Victoria Schwab
3. Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2), by Victoria Schwab
These aren't the covers that I have, I have the UK paperback copies, which are different to these, but in my opinion they're both beautiful. For some reason, these two are left on my TBR until the very end, although I've had them for months. The time for me to read a V.E. Schwab book is long overdue and I'm glad that I will definitely get to these at some point this month. Again, I don't know a whole lot about this duology, except that it's about two characters, Kate and August, that want to be different things, and that there's a curse, and a truce between the two characters. ( I really hope that I enjoy this duology.)

4. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1), by Tomi Adeyemi




The amount of people that love this book! I cannot wait to get to this one! I wish it wasn't my last read of the four, but I've had the others for WAY longer, and it's also my most recent buy. From what I know, it's about a rebellion against the people that removed magic from the land. There is a protagonist who is left without a mother and hope, who has powers, who is trying to overthrow the monarchy, with the help of a runaway princess. It sounds amazing, fantasy, and I cannot wait to read it!
Alright, there you have it! That is my TBR for the month of July! I would maybe tack on an extra one or two books this month but that is literally all I own at the moment, so I'll be happy if I can get through these four!

That is all I have for you today! I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Wednesday!
Byeeeeee!

-Abi xxxxx

Friday, 29 June 2018

June Wrap Up (2018)

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And it is the end of yet another month! Who would have thought?
And with the end of the month comes another wrap up!
Enjoy!


BOOKS
So I read a total of three books this month (and a book that I finished during the last ten minutes of last month so I'm including it in this wrap up.)

I absolutely loved this book. It's very realistic and honest about a number of different topics, it's about a socialite called Lexi that thinks she's hit rock bottom when she nearly overdoses, but what she doesn't know is that it's about to get ten times worse, when she's shipped off to residential rehab. I flew through this novel, I read it in under two days and it is such a gripping read. Review linked into the title.

I re-read this so that I could refresh my memory on what happened in the first book before I jumped into the second (I had recently bought Legendary because it was signed), so that was the reason that I decided to pick it up. I read this book as soon as it was released last year, and truthfully, I thought that I enjoyed it a bit better this time around.

3. Legendary (Caraval #2), by Stephanie Garber
Frankly, a disappointment. I will go into more detail with my review, but for a lot of the book, there wasn't a lot going on. I liked that I got to see more of Tella, and read from her perspective, but I just feel like it could have been better.


4. It, by Stephen King
I'm so happy I get to include this in this wrap up! It took me 16 days but I finally got through it. Saying that, it is the longest book that I have read. Ever. Did I think it could be shorter? Yes. But the characters were super fleshed out, there were just enough creepy moments that I was scared enough, but not to the point where I didn't want to pick it up for fear of being scarred for life. I was maybe a bit quicker in the bathroom, but that's it. If I'm honest, my only critique was how long all the backstories were and how long it took them to get back to Derry (the two were mixed together). I wish that were shorter. But overall, a pretty amazing book.



FILMS AND TV SHOWS
FILMS
1. Brain on Fire


I have been super busy this month, so there hasn't been a lot of time to watch much. I haven't watched any TV shows, and only one film. That film was Brain on Fire, starring Chloe Grace Moretz. It's based on a true story, and it's about a girl that starts having blurred vision, hallucinations and seizures, though all her scans appear normal. When the stakes start to rise, will they find out what the problem is, or will it be too late? It was a good film, not my favourite, but I tend to enjoy these types of films, and this one was no different.



WRITING
Overall, I've got a decent amount of writing done. Maybe 25 pages, and I will have to fit in more if I want to finish my third draft before 2019, but I'm happy with how much I got done this month.
I'm going to keep on keeping on.



Okay, so that was my June Wrap Up! I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you also had a good month!
Let me know if you got up to anything!

So that is all I have for you all today! I will see you all on Monday with my TBR for July!
Byeeeeeeeee!

-Abi xxxxx








Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And due to lack of ideas, I decided that it would be the perfect time to do the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag! Mainly because we are literally half way through the year (that is such a scary thought!)
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!


BEST BOOK YOU'VE READ THIS YEAR

I'm going to go with Tiny Pretty Things, by Sona Charaipotra, because this book was cut through and harsh, and it perfectly portrays the world of ballet. It's a diverse read, and it discusses so many relevant issues in today's society, and it was just gripping from the 1st page, to the very last. I also can't wait to pick up the finale to this amazing duology, Shiny Broken Pieces.

BEST SEQUEL YOU'VE READ THIS YEAR



This book really surprised me. Even 5 months after having read it, the events of the end of this book are still firmly planted in my brain. If you get the chance to pick up the trilogy (because Nightblood was out on the 21st), I highly recommend this because (at least for the first two) they just get better and better!


NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN'T READ YET, BUT WANT TO

This came out recently, and I feel like I talked about this on my other tag this month. I've just felt starved of a Morgan Matson book, and this has just been released, so I feel like I'm going to pick this up sometime in August, when I finish all the books on my TBR.

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

At the moment this is the book that I am most excited for to be released. It's the third book in the Songs About A Girl trilogy, and so far it's been such a whirlwind story full of music and photography and romance, and I'm been happily surprised by the first two in the trilogy. Release date is 2nd August.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

I'm sorry, but I had to choose this. The standard of books that I have read this year has been so high, that it just stuck out like a sore thumb. It had it's decent moments, but it was more than average. It might have been the hype, or the fact that it was the second book in the series, but I just wasn't getting what I was expecting. More on my upcoming review.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

It certainly had it's flaws (like the love square), but this one certainly surprised me. I had previously attempted it the year before, and gotten maybe 50 pages in before setting it aside for a more interesting read. But this book does a lot for world exploring, as well as introducing you to a ton of interesting and cool characters, before gearing you up for an epic showdown.

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR (DEBUT OR NEW TO YOU.)

This was my first book by Laini Taylor that I have picked up. I knew I would love it, especially after hearing everyone talk about this lyrical, poetic and beautiful writing, with these incredible worlds and characters, and I absolutely did. I read this in the space of a week and I can't wait for Muse of Nightmares, which is out in October.

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH.

I mean, look at that face! He's not Theo James, but having been a survivor in a world full of aliens that have taken human hosts, he's dedicated, and passionate, and grows to love a person that his head is telling him to despise. If that's not a crush then I don't know what is.

NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER(S).

So, I think I'm just going to pick all of the characters from the Mistborn trilogy! These characters took my heart, squeezed it, then stomped on it. I love these characters so much that I kind of have to pick them.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

For sure, this one is the right one for this category. So powerful, so poignant, so tragic.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY.

THESE THREE! They are so cute, OMG! With this trilogy, I read one a month, and I was so glad that I managed to do that because it meant I got to live through the characters for longer! Seriously, if you're feeling a bit down, this is the trilogy for you.

FAVOURITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTION YOU SAW THIS YEAR.

READY PLAYER ONE! The graphics are amazing, it's a really accurate representation of the book, which I read and loved a couple of years back, and it's just as engaging as the book too! Go see it if you can.

FAVOURITE REVIEW YOU'VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR.
I don't think I'm going to select one for this. I love writing reviews and sharing my thoughts, and I wasn't looking forward to writing any one book over all the others.


MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU'VE BOUGHT OR RECEIVED THIS YEAR.

I was going to put Legendary for this one too, but I thought that I shouldn't put one book for two categories. So, I picked Clean instead (because the cover is gold.)

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU WANT TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
Here's the must read list for this year:
-Shiny Broken Pieces, by Sona Charaipotra
-The Exact Opposite of Okay, by Laura Steven
-The Astonishing Colour of After, by Emily X R Pan
-Leah on the Offbeat, by Becki Albertalli


So that was the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag! I hope you enjoyed it, and let me know in the comments what your answers would be!

So there you have it! I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you all on Friday with my June Wrap Up (2018)!
Byeeeeee!

-Abi xxxxx


Monday, 25 June 2018

Oceans 8 Movie Review

Hey guys, this is Abi here,
And I am nearly up to date with all of my reviews! But instead of posting them in order, I'm going to post a review of a film that I've seen the most recently, whilst it's still fresh in my brain.
So, I am posting the review of the film that I saw yesterday.
Oceans 8.
I hope you enjoy it.


Okay, the first thing that I think from this poster is that the figures should be bigger. You don't really get to see the differences between the 8 on the poster. But maybe that's the whole point.
It looks dynamic at least. Like the colouring of red and black screams 'I MEAN BUSINESS.' Which, after having seen this film, is emphasized from the very first scene.

With Oceans 8, from the absolute get go there is this feeling of these ladies mean business. That they are not women to be conned. The film starts off with Sandra Bullock, being released from prison. What I loved about the film is that it had a goal, something that it wanted to achieve, and it nailed it absolutely.

Also, the amount of well-know actors that were in this film, my god! Helena Bonham Carter, Sandra Bullock, Rihanna (she surprised me), and Anne Hathaway, there are so many good people in this!

Basically, the story is about two characters, Debbie and Lou, that are planning to pull of a heist to steal a 150 million diamond necklace with a team of seven. And these women are so smart that they might actually do it.

One part in particular that I liked was the way that these characters were introduced. They were all introduced individually, and with their own set of unique skills that are vital to some part of this operation. And as the story progressed, they were learning from each-other and actually working as a team. It was truly a force of different women, different backgrounds, learning and growing towards one main goal: stealing a diamond necklace.

Also, what's great about this film is that because it's a heist, it's one goal, you're not sat twiddling your thumbs for minutes, there's always something going on. And I'm going to go as far as to say that you didn't know how quickly the time was going until it was over. It kept you on the edge of your seat, and all the while you were thinking "are they gonna get caught, are they gonna get caught?" It was so good.

The comedy was more subtle than I maybe would have liked. There were little scenes that weren't emphasized, but made you laugh out loud in staccato bursts of laughter, that you weren't expecting to laugh at.

Overall, a decent film. It wasn't the favourite of the year, but I would go and see it again, if somebody asked. It was so kick-ass and devilish, I loved it.


Okay! That was my review of Ocean's 8! I hope you enjoyed it and, if you had any thoughts, let me know in the comments!
And that's going to do it for today's post! I hope you have a lovely day, and I will see you on Friday, with my Legendary review!
Byeee!

-Abi xxxxx