Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Books to Movies

The other day, I finally watched the trailer for the Fallen film. I am super excited for the movie, however, I think that the trailer seems a bit disappointing. I'm unsure if I will like the movie as much as I liked the book, and I don't know if I like the actors they cast for each role. I'm a bit frustrated, to be honest, because I waited for the Fallen movie to finally be produced for a long time! It was one of my favourite books, and I was ecstatic to find out it was becoming a movie, but it was such a long wait.

Other books I've read that have become movies include Twilight, City of Bones and The Hunger Games. I kept hearing that they were going to make Shiver and Hush, Hush into movies, but nothing ever came of it. Then there was my excitement at hearing that Skulduggery Pleasant was going to be brought to the big screen, but then my hopes were later shattered as it turns out they decided not to go through with it. Sigh. 

When I found out that Vampire Academy was being filmed, I hurried to read the book before I saw the movie. I didn't mind the movie, though I felt it had a completely different feel than the book. I've never really been disappointed by a book to movie adaption, however the Beautiful Creatures film didn't exactly live up to my expectations, although I enjoyed it.

Alright, so all of my excited rambling aside, I want to know: what is the best book to movie adaptation that you've seen? What about the worst? Are you excited for the Fallen movie?

Monday, 26 September 2016

Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Page Count: 400
Published: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  5 Stars ★★★★★ 

In this retelling of the Cinderella story, Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living in New Beijing. Adopted by a man who died years ago, she is left with her hateful stepmother and two stepsisters. Being a cyborg comes with many tensions and inconveniences, including prejudice from fellow citizens and the cyborg draft, an initiative to help the scientists of New Beijing find a cure for the plague that has devastated the world.

Things change when Prince Kai approaches her, asking Cinder to fix his android. What starts as a business encounter turns into something more as Cinder faces new struggles and learns of hidden truths that could change everything. 

I was intrigued by this book's high ratings and seemingly endless praise. I finally decided to pick it up, and I can conclude that it is one of the most original, enjoyable and riveting books that I have ever read. I was skeptical at first, as stories of cyborgs and androids generally aren't included within my usual reads, but I must say that I agree with all the five-star ratings and raving reviews. 

The world-building in this book blew me away. I was completely and utterly engrossed in the world of New Beijing, and all of the social norms, prejudices and political issues that revolved around it. I feel that in a way, it mirrors our world: people are quick to judge those who are different (like many judged the cyborgs), people become desperate in hard times (for example, times of illness), and of course, there was the tricky and intriguing world of politics. All of these issues were portrayed in a way that made them seem incredibly realistic despite being dystopian and within the realm of science fiction, and this added a whole new dimension to the reading experience that I feel many books, unfortunately, lack. 

This was a refreshing retelling of Cinderella. The use of cyborgs and "hovers" and extraterrestrial beings made for an original tale and a nice break from the more fantasy-oriented retellings of fairy tales. Cinder herself was a perfect combination of the traditional view of Cinderella - mistreated, hopeful and pleasant - and an original personality. I hope that readers get to see more of her in the next book!

All of the other characters, including the stepmother, stepsisters (one friendly and one not-so-friendly) and the prince fulfilled their roles from the original fairy tale, however the author also went above and beyond to make them unique and much more than just overused, stock cliches. The combinations of the characters, unique twists and the world itself brought the book to life as I read it and I never wanted to put it down!

While there were some twists that I could definitely see coming, this didn't take away from the reading experience at all. Any disappointment that came from being able to guess some of the big reveals was erased by the author's writing style. I read it for hours on end without needing to take a break, and the time seemed to fly. I was sad when I flipped to the last page, because I don't have the next book yet! 

I recommend this to fans of YA and science fiction. Even if you're not a big fan of science fiction, give this book a try! You won't regret it. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 10

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted at Breaking the Spine. This feature is for readers to discuss upcoming releases that they're excited for!

This is my first time doing this feature! There's a lot of books that I am excited over, however one stands out in my mind over all the others...

That book is the tenth book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series! It's currently not titled, and there is no actual synopsis on Goodreads as of today, but here's what's written:

"That’s right, Minions, Skulduggery and Valkyrie are back in a brand new adventure that takes the story to truly global proportions… while answering questions that go right back to the beginning.

‘I told myself that if Skulduggery and Valkyrie survived the series, I would leave the option open of returning to their world. There were still secrets I need to reveal, after all, and there were still horrors they had to face. They survived the first series. But they’re really going to wish they hadn’t.’ – Derek Landy

Ahhhhhhhhh! I'm so excited! I recently finished book nine of the series, The Dying of the Light, and it was amazing! I can't wait to see where Derek Landy goes with the next book. I hope that he will write many more novels in this series in the future.  

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Are you a fan of the Skulduggery Pleasant series? What books are you excited to read? 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Blood Red Road by Moira Young


 Series: Dust Lands
Author: Moira Young
Page Count: 459
Published: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  2.5 Stars ★★

Saba lives with her father, her brother Lugh, and her sister Emmi. Their home is in Silverlake, where they live alone beside a drying-out lake and face sandstorms regularly. When Lugh is taken by strange men on horseback, Saba vows to rescue him and she starts on a journey to get him back.

But her journey is anything but smooth, and she must face harsh weather, dangerous creatures and people with evil intentions. With the help of some friends along the way, she's hopeful to get Lugh back before anything happens to him. But what if she doesn't make it in time?

I feel a bit conflicted over this book. There were some things that I liked, but the things that I didn't like are quite significant and affected my reading experience greatly. I hate giving books a low rating, but I can't find any way to justify rating this over a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

So the best thing about this book was the story. I loved the concept of a dystopian wasteland and the thing that really kept me reading was the events and struggles that Saba faced, and the hope that she would find her brother. I had trouble putting this book down because I wanted to hurry up and read it to find out what happened to Lugh, I wanted to see if she would save him. 

Saba's journey was an interesting one, filled with fights and scheming and making new friends. However, while I enjoyed the story, I can't say that I enjoyed the book itself.

The big issue for me was the writing style. The author decided not to use punctuation such as quotation marks when someone was talking, so that made for some confusion when there was a conversation between several people. I'd have to go back and read the page over to make sure I knew who was saying what. Sometimes I couldn't tell if something was being said out loud, or only in Saba's head. 

To add to the confusion was the deliberate misspelling of words to convey an accent or style of speaking. I understand wanting the reader to know what Saba sounds like, but this along with the lack of proper punctuation just added more confusion. I get that the author was probably trying to make her book unique, trying to make Saba seem more real and genuine, however it didn't work for me. 

I felt a bit distanced from the events that took place. In many books I feel like I'm actually there with the characters, and I find that makes a story all the better. But I felt more like just a spectator in this one, and I found that disappointing. If not for my interest in the ending, I probably wouldn't have continued reading past the first one hundred pages. 

Overall, a unique read with a great concept, but the writing style didn't work for me. 

Fans of futuristic and dystopian novels may like this. If you like action-packed stories and the writing style doesn't seem like it would bother you, I think it would be worth a try. 

Friday, 16 September 2016

~Thank You~

Hey everybody, how's your Friday going?

I was considering how my blog has changed and evolved over the past year and few months, and it got me thinking about how my interactions with my followers and readers has changed and grown as well. It got me wondering if all of you knew how much I appreciate you.

So, here it is!

I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who follows me, reads my posts, comments on them, re-tweets them, favourites/likes them on my various social media, et cetera. It means a lot to me to have people interested in what I have to say about one of my favourite things: books.

To make it clear, I don't blog for a follower count or a comment goal. But these little things add a smile to my face!

Sometimes, when I've had a tough day, I come home to a notification that somebody has commented on an Instagram photo, or a blog post, and it brightens my day immediately. It means a lot to me and I am so grateful for every single comment, every single follower, every single like....

I'm hoping to continue growing my blog and reaching a larger audience, hopefully at some point I'll be able to post more often, and maybe even host a giveaway!

So, that's really all I have to say for now. I know it's not a lot, but it conveys how happy I feel and how grateful I am for all of you!!!

Thank You!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Shelf Control: The Peculiars

This feature is from Bookshelf Fantasies

In this feature, you can share a book that you want to read that you already own.

Shelves final

My pick this week is The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry


This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.

On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.

(Synopsis from Goodreads)

How I got it:

I got it at Chapters! It was on sale.

When I got it:

2 years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I initially bought this book because the cover intrigued me. After reading the synopsis, I confirmed that I wanted to read it because I am interested in books about people who are 'different' in some way, and this book seemed to have those kinds of themes.

Have you read The Peculiars? What did you think? Feel free to comment below!

Monday, 12 September 2016

Empress of the World by Sara Ryan


Series: Battle Hall Davies
Author: Sara Ryan
Page Count: 215
Published: May 26th, 2003
Publisher: Speak
  4 Stars ★★★★

Nicola is taking a summer course in archaeology at the Siegel Institute, because she wants to make sure that archaeology is really a field she wants to go into. She expects that confirming her dream of becoming an archaeologist will be the focus of this summer, until she meets Battle. 

Battle is beautiful, a minister's daughter, and soon captures Nicola's heart. While helping her new friends deal with their own issues, Nicola has to come to terms with her sexuality, and face her attraction to another girl. 

I thought that this was a nice twist on the YA summer romance trend. It has a lot of the same elements as others in this branch of YA, including spending time at another location, in this case an academic camp or institute, it includes making new friends and helping them deal with their struggles, and of course experiencing attraction to a beautiful peer. The twist is that two girls are the love interests, which is a welcome change.

Nicola is a great main character, I find her very relatable and believable because I feel like a lot of her struggles mirror those that teenagers face in real life, and therefore making a connection with her was very easy. Understanding a character's feelings and where they're coming from with their thoughts is important to me because it makes for a more emotional or a deeper read. 

Nicola is the kind of character you'd like to be friends with, the kind of person you'd be able to have a chat with and enjoy being around. Battle seems a bit more intimidating or untouchable, with Nicola's descriptions of her beauty and family issues, but she's still a generally likeable character as well. The rest of  Nicola's group of friends, Isaac, Kevin and Katrina, make the whole situation seem more plausible as well with their own issues, for example dealing with divorce. They were a great group of characters to read about and I like that over time they changed or evolved, even if only a little bit.

The author's approach to sexuality was well done, with Nicola's struggles and internal dialogue being extremely believable and realistic, and avoiding some of the stereotypical LGBTQ tropes I've come across in other books. The word bisexual was even used, and in a fairly positive way as well, which really impressed me because I feel like multisexual identities are so rarely discussed in an outright manner. The addition of homophobic characters was necessary, in my opinion, to mirror real-life issues that LGBTQ people face and the author delivered on this platform as well. Overall, I am very impressed with this book.

I do take issue with the length of the novel! The author did such a great job, but the book was so short. I wish it had been longer, and that maybe certain issues could have been expanded upon, such as Battle's family life. I'm going to be looking for the sequel and I really hope that it lives up to Empress of the World. 

I recommend this book to people looking for realistic portrayals of LGBTQ struggles in YA novels. If you want a short contemporary romance, this book is for you.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Top 7 Book Crushes

So I saw a post I really liked at The Butterfly Reader and it got me thinking....All I really see is "book boyfriends", where people describe the hot, sweet, or otherwise desirable male characters they come across in books. But what about all of the lovely book girlfriends? What about swoon-worthy nonbinary characters?

As a pansexual person, I personally find myself attracted to people of all genders / regardless of gender. This, of course, carries over into the realm of book characters! So I thought I'd join in on these lists with my own interpretation. Here are my top 10 book crushes.

1. Raven from Vampire Kisses


She seems like she would be super fun to hang out with, she's sweet and I have a thing for goths. 

2. Sam from Shiver


A werewolf? Who sings????? Sign me up! 

3. Eve from Eve


Eve has a rebellious side, she's incredibly intelligent and she fights for what she believes in. I find those things super attractive in a person.

4. Varen from Nevermore


This list would not be complete without Varen, a mysterious goth boy who kind of reminds me of myself. Though that might just be wishful thinking ;) 

5. Meghan from The Iron King


I feel like Meghan is a very brave character and is loyal towards those she loves. 


She's a bad-ass. She's got magic. She's pretty. She's determined. What's there not to love?

7. Bram from Dearly, Departed


I think that Bram is a really sweet character, and he's funny too. Definitely one of my book crushes.

So those are my top 7 book crushes as of now! I'm sure I'll end up with many more in the future. Who are your top book crushes?

Monday, 5 September 2016

One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards


  Series: N/A
Author: Natalie D. Richards
Page Count: 320
Published: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  4 Stars ★★★★ 

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley. 

In this book, Sera and some of her classmates are going on a trip and camping in the woods. When the weather turns bad, the group is separated, and she wakes up the next morning to find that her supplies have been ruined and that there is a word written on her wrist. She and the others in her group are unsure of what to think and are suspicious of each other.

It becomes obvious that something sinister is going on as they discover that they all have words written on their wrists, and Sera's word is the only positive one. Now, they not only have to deal with their own personal problems, but the threat of being hunted. With no way to communicate with the outside world, they aren't sure if they will make it out alive. 

I was really excited to be approved for this book on NetGalley! I'm a big fan of mysteries and the idea of people facing danger in the woods sounds super interesting to me. I enjoyed most of this book and I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole time. I read most of it in a day. 

I like that this book starts off with the group in the woods. The plot began rolling very, very quickly and this got me hooked from the first few chapters. The relationships that the main characters had with each other were established pretty quickly, including some serious tensions and romantic histories. I feel like this foreshadowed the evolution of their relationships later in the book a little too obviously, because I knew right away who was going to end up with who. This irritated me a little bit, but I don't think it took away from the overall quality of the book.

However, I can't say the same about some of the events regarding the characters' relationships with each other that take place later on in the novel. There was too much focus on Sera's uncertainty regarding her attraction to one of the main male characters to be realistic in any way, considering their situation. If someone is fearing for their life, trapped in the woods, I don't think that they would be focusing on romance and such as much as Sera did. 

I feel like Sera was generally a likeable character, and each of the people in her group all seemed incredibly realistic and complex, like they were based off of actual living individuals. Sometimes they seemed a little over-dramatic, but overall I think that they really helped the story to move along quite well and made for an interesting cast of characters. 

Another thing that I enjoyed was the whole question of who the culprit was. I played a serious guessing game throughout this whole book, and while I was able to guess who was responsible and I ended up correct, there were many times when I doubted my suspicions and this made for a very suspenseful read. Unfortunately, I feel like the villain's motivation and reasoning behind all of their actions wasn't very believable. I have to admit that I was disappointed near the end of the book when all is revealed. 

If the romantic aspect had been handled better and the whole explanation behind the situation had been more believable, this definitely would have been a five star read. But besides those issues, I really enjoyed this book and I think it had a great creep factor with a ton of suspense! Using isolation, uncertainty and suspicion as a combination worked really well for this book, and I know that if the author writes another mystery or thriller I will definitely see if I can snag a copy. 

I recommend this book to YA readers who like mysteries. If you're interested in thrillers that take place in the woods this is a good pick for you.