Sunday, July 15, 2018

One by Sarah Crossan

One by Sarah Crossan
Release Date: August 27, 2015
Pages: 430
Rating: 💜💜💜💜💜
Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository

Grace and Tippi are twins – conjoined twins. 
And their lives are about to change.No longer able to afford homeschooling, they must venture into the world – a world of stares, sneers and cruelty. Will they find more than that at school? Can they find real friends? And what about love? And how will they cope with a life-changing desicion that looms on the horizon?

This book destroyed me. I read it on a road trip and cried for about 15 minutes. It actually broke me. (until I read another book and got over it)

One is written entirely in verse, which is very different from any other books I've read before. I had read Sarah Crossan's books before, but I didn't enjoy them as much as this one. The verse added a beautiful edge to a dramatic and tear-inducing story. I loved that each poem (verse? section? I have no idea) had a title that blended into what was being said. Each title added something different to the story and added yet another twist to this book.

The book was slightly predictable. Two (or one?) teenage girls going to school for the first time? What will happen if they fall in love? Will they want to be together forever? There is only really one story-line that this book (or any book) about conjoined twins could have followed, so I never felt entirely surprised by the way the plot was progressing.

None of the other characters in this book had a fully fleshed out personality, but that actually wasn't a problem because Sarah Crossan makes you so invested into the twins' story. However, we did see that the twins weren't the only people with problems; the dad was an alcoholic, the mother was laid off work and the older sister was anorexic. They were a dysfunctional family together and it was amazing.

This book put a spotlight on a subject that I wouldn't have thought very much about otherwise. The best thing was it that Crossan didn't depict the twins as monsters or freaks, but as normal human beings with dreams and hopes and thoughts. Both of the girls were their own individual person, even though they share their bottom half, which I think is really important to remember. They are their own person, even when they share so much.

I loved this book; it was one of the best books I read in 2017. It was so powerful and inspiring, reading about these twins who still go out and do things. It was a unique read, and one that will stick with me for a long time.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell
Release Date: June 8, 1949
Page: 326
Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository

Winston Smith works for the Ministry of truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston befriends Julia, they begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101...

It took me four long years to finally get past the first chapter of this book and complete 1984. To be quite honest I was considering DNF-ing this book when I started it but I persevered and finally finished it. And I'm so glad I did.

This book is unsettling and horrifying; the sort of story you pray would never come true. In this world there are no happy endings, no chances for hope and no places you can go to escape. But the scariest part of this story is how relevant it is, even now. This novel was written almost 70 years go yet it is still terrifying to readers today. There is still a chance that this world could become a reality, not in post-war Britain but in modern day Britain. And that is the most terrifying idea ever.

Many people complain about the characters and how bland they are but I think that adds to the story. None of the characters were very exciting or different; they were all just ordinary people who work a 9-5 job and live by the rules. Winston was one of the blandest characters I've ever read about but that blandness was what made him so special. It was the fact that there was no desire in him to change society, that there was nothing special about him which made for a very interesting protagonist.

None of the characters were fully evil or pure either, which was a nice change from some books these days. There was never a moment in the book where you could make a list of good and bad characters because they were all morally grey. Even our 'hero', Winston, is a little evil in the story and it was great to read about.

My only problem with this book, and the reason why it took me so long to pick it up, was the fact that George Orwell creates a new language for his characters to talk in and even uses it write some of the description. It was a little confusing trying to understand the 'Newspeak' as Orwell called it, but it didn't take too much away from the story.

 I enjoyed this book, if enjoyed is the right word. It made me think about society nowadays, and how scary it is that I can see similarities between this dystopian world and our world today. I would recommend that everyone reads this book so that you can see just how scarily similar our world is to a dystopian world, and that maybe we should change something about society. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I can't travel so I live through these books instead

This post was inspired by the Top Ten Tuesday prompt: Books That Awaken The Travel Bug In Me

I love the idea of travelling the world once I live school. I want to pack up my bags and fly to all the countries in the world before I settle down in life. I'm like one of those characters who would go visit random things (like the biggest hole, which is just a giant pit) just because I want to visit somewhere interesting.

Unfortunately I live in the most boring village in England with very few transport links and very little to do (we literally just have a Co-op and Costa in the village I live. Not even a bookshop!) The thing that keeps me going is reading books where people travel and have fun, instead of sitting in their cupboards writing blog posts. 

Paper Towns by John Green

Road trip books always get me excited to travel. There is something about reading books where the characters are enjoying themselves on the road, going to bizarre and quirky places until they finally find themselves. I love it! 

Destination: Thailand by Katy Collins

A book about travelling to Thailand is obviously going to awakening some sort of travelling urge inside of me, but this book did it to a whole other level. There was something about _ as a character that made you relate to her struggles and feel more immersed in the story. Now I have to go backpacking around Thailand!

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

This whole series makes me wants to travel the world, but Lola is my favourite book of the series so I put this one on the list. Every place the characters visit is described perfectly and with so much colour and life that you just want to pack up and go there.

Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Although this book is a fantasy it takes place in Prague, which is a town I've always wanted to visit. The little coffee shop where Karou hangs out and the streets she walks down sound so pretty that I want to teleport there right now.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

One of my favourite things that YA books are doing at the moment is giving the main character a list of things to do (like in All the Bright Places). I love scavenger hunts, and reading about people travelling round the USA on a massive scavenger hunt inspires me to do one of my own.

Which books inspire the travel bug inside you? Are anyone of them on this list?
Let me know in the comments below!

And until next time, keep reading!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Nope Book Tag

Today's tag is all about my more unpopular opinions about some quite popular books. I couldn't find who originally created this tag, so if you know please leave their name in the comments so I can give them credit.

On to the questions!

1. NOPE Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy.

I have a lot of strong opinions about this book, which you can read here, but Champion is definitely a book where I literally said nope whilst reading the ending.

2. NOPE. Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy. 

I loved the Selection series, and absolutely adored America Singer, so I was shocked when Eadlyn turned out to be a completely unlikable. She was the reason why I never finished this series, and pretend that the series never continued past the first three books.

3. NOPE Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE

I might be saying something controversial here, but the Harry Potter series fell to ruin after the Cursed Child was released. The main series is obviously one of the greatest series of all time, but that addition just ruined the series for me.

4. NOPE. Popular pairing: A “ship” you don’t support

I don't know how popular this couple is, but I could never get behind this ship. The relationship wasn't the healthiest in the world, and it was less romantic than desperate. I'm not even Team Jacob; I think Bella should have ended up with someone outside of the supernatural world.

5. NOPE. Plot twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like.

Everyone knows what happens. Everyone knows why it is here. Everyone knows what it did to us.

6. NOPE. Protagonist action/decision: A character decision that made you shake your head.

I mean, this story(play) is just full of bad decisions, and I think I spent the majority of the play going 'What are you two doing, you crazy fools?!'

7. NOPE. Genre: A genre you will never read.

I'm pretty open to reading any genre but one I am staying firmly away from is erotica.

8. NOPE. Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

I can't read kindle books and will always wait until the book comes out in a physical form. I just get really easily distracted when I read things on a screen so kindle books aren't for me.

9. NOPE. Trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE. 

Absent or abusive or bad parents. Give children their parents!

10. NOPE. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.
I have only read one Sarah J Mass book (Throne of Glass) and I'm not really excited to read another book by her. I feel like the high is just too much at the moment that it scares me.
11. NOPE. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.
Characters that are unique even though they are same as every other character ever created. I want to read a book about a hero who is actually unique(or at least doesn't pretend they are).
12. NOPE. Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.
Josh Ambrose from To All The Boys I Loved Before. No thank you.
13. NOPE. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say NOPE.
I know I've already used this book, but Champion by Marie Lu should not have existed (or at least been changed).
14. NOPE. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.
Voldemort. I wouldn't want to ever meet him. Ever.
15. NOPE. Death: A character death that still haunts you.
Literally any of the deaths in Deathly Hallows.
16. NOPE. Author: An author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.
I'm usually pretty good at forgiving authours for previous bad experiences, but one author I haven't gone back to yet is Sarah J Mass.
I hope you enjoyed this tag! Tell me down below which popular ship you don't like, and let me know why.
And until next time, keep reading!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Where have I been (Life Update)

I thought I would take this time to do a little life update for you guys, considering I haven't been around for a while.

Basically my life has been completely consumed by school work. Going to a boarding school means I not only have school work and activities to do, I also have activities to do outside of school with my house. On top of that my wifi is monitored to the point where websites are blocked for a hundred different reasons and I get kicked out every few minutes. I can't upload images from my computer to this blog because the wifi doesn't allow it (which is weird I know) so I have to write my posts in more creative ways.

So all in all it has been hard for me to keep on top of this blog as well as be involved in school life. However I promise I am going to try harder to be more involved in this blog and put out consistent content (even if it isn't as good as my old content).

Until next time, keep reading!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Bookish worlds that make this one seem okay

At the moment the real world doesn't seem too great. We have dystopian-like world leaders, high levels of pollution and poor law enforcers which make the fictional worlds we escape to seem even more attractive at the moment. However, there are some worlds that I would never choose to move to over this world (which is shocking, I know)...

1- Basically any dystopian world

Every single dystopian world ever created is terrifying: an organised society where the government forces children against each other in a survival of the fittest type of fight. My problem with this type of world is that I know that I will be one of those background characters who ends up dying because they aren't physically strong enough (because I am a weak smol bean)

Books to look for: Maze Runner, Divergent, Hunger Games, 1984

2- Worlds where the adults go missing

Admittedly these books (and their settings) are very similar to those of the dystopian genre. However, I feel like these books are different because they feel more realistic. Children are forced to grow up and adapt to already familiar worlds, with this new twist. I would be absolutely awful in this scenario, preferring to stay quiet and follow orders instead of take the lead. Once again, I'd probably be one of the background kids who dies because they aren't 'street smart' enough.

Books to look for: Gone, The Enemy

3- Any high fantasy world (literally any one of them)

Fantasy worlds are a lot of hard work to cope with anyway, so can you imagine trying to live through them? There are always huge wars raging in the books, with hundreds of civilians getting killed in the process (which puts me off the world completely). The only positive aspect of these worlds is the dragons, and even they are dangerous and could possibly kill me so fantasy worlds are a hard pass.

Books to look for: Game of Thrones, Daughter of Smoke and Bones, Throne of Glass

4- Most historical worlds 

Even though these worlds are loosely (or actually)  based off the real world, historical worlds would be hard to live in unless I had been living there my entire life. Our world has improved do much since then, and I think that people in the past hard such hard lives. We have so many benefits that we don't appreciate enough, and I would never want to give these perks up.

Books to look for: Grave Mercy, A Great and Terrible Beauty

5- Sci-fi worlds

Space freaks me out, so I would be the worst person to have on a spaceship because I would probably just sit in the corner of a room freaking out because space. I love the idea of stars and planets and things like that, but actually being in space and having to land on planets just freaks me out.

Books to look out for: The 100, Zenith

What worlds would you not want to live in? Do you agree with any on my list?
Let me know below!

And until next time, keep reading!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

My Life in Books Tag

Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to MEEE!
Happy Birthday to me!

In case you haven't realised (because I was super subtle) it's my birthday. Well it's my birthday tomorrow but it's practically the same thing. So to celebrate I thought it would be fun to do a tag all about me and my love for books so you can get to know me a little better.

Let's go!

1- Find a book for each initial in your forename.
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant; Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi; Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

2-Count your age along your bookshelf- what book is it?
16- Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
17 (for tomorrow!)- The Beginning Woods by Malcolm McNeill

3- Pick a book set in your city/state/country.
I couldn't think of any set in Belgium, but The 3 Serpents of the North Door by Saul Penfold is set in Norwich (where I was born).

4-Pick a world in a book you want to travel to.
Harry Potter (obviously) or Amulet by Kazu Kishubi

5- Pick a book that's your favourite colour.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

6- Pick a book you have the fondest memories of.

7- Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?
1984 by George Orwell; it took me almost 4 years before I finally finished this book.

8- Which book on TBR would give you the greatest sense of accomplishment when you finish it?
The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. It looks so massive on my bookshelf that I can't wait for the day I finally finish it!

What's your favourite book? When's your birthday?
Let me know in the comments below!

And until next time, keep reading!