Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Anything To Have You by Paige Harbison: Review

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Buy This Book: Book Depository 
Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.
Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.
Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.(Goodreads Summary)

First of all, this books title should just be changed to Your Teenage Years: What Not To Do. The amount of ridiculously stupid, irresponsible and cliché things the characters did made me want to launch my Kindle across the room in utter frustration. It makes me want to stop anyone under the age of sixteen from reading this, for fear they might assume that that's a normal way for a seventeen year old to act. It isn't! 

If I was to describe this book in one word, I think I would pick cliché. From beginning to end, this was just one giant cliché made up of individual clichés and pointless plot twists that you see coming way before they are revealed. I can't name them all in the review on here without giving away spoilers but I will definitely be posting them on Goodreads. Honestly, looking back on my notes, I have written CLICHÉ in big letters seven times next to different events in the book. One I can use, that isn't really a spoiler, is that Aiden and Natalie get paired together for their senior class project... of course! 

I requested this because I thought the premise sounded quite good and I'd enjoyed another one of the authors books. But, I was struggling with this book from the very beginning because I found the dialogue felt really forced, which makes it difficult to read. It also makes it harder to really connect with the characters because they don't seem very believable.

Our main character is Natalie, the quiet girl who'd rather stay at home than go out to party. Seeing as the last time she went to a party she got so wasted that she blacked out and ended up having sex with the local man whore, it's totally understandable why she doesn't want to go out. (See what I mean about terrible choices? That was her first time! *Shakes head*). But, of course, Natalie is absolutely gorgeous, beautiful, stunning and sexy and everything else you can think of - pretty much like EVERY character in the book.

I liked Natalie at the beginning, until it got to the blacking out at parties part. I just found her to be a bit of an idiot and that made her really hard to like. She gets ridiculously drunk again and wakes up in a bed, half-naked with her best friends boyfriend. She can tell she had sex the night before but immediately believes she slept with another guy and not Aiden, because she would obviously never do that to her best friend. This alone made me hate her for being so stupidly dense. But, then she goes on to not even ask or check with Eric or Aiden to see what really happened, or to see if they used any protection or anything. Nor does she think to go get the morning after pill, just in case and I'd probably have suggested an STI test too. How am I supposed to like this character?

About 40% of the way into the book it suddenly switches from Natalie's POV, to her best friend, Brooke's POV. This seemed really sudden and totally threw me off. I didn't particularly like Brooke as a character either and her life choices made about as much sense as Natalie's did.

Every plot twist that was thrown at you was one that you'd already seen coming about ten chapters before. The biggest one, and the most obvious, really had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head. The way this was pulled off was really not good in my opinion. I believe this book could have actually tried to teach a lesson or highlight a serious issue but just doesn't. I can't really explain properly without spoiling anything.

My reaction to practically every decision a character makes in this book:


1/5 Stars

Natalie was a really irresponsible character and I couldn't like her. This book had a chance to teach a lesson or highlight a serious issue but completely fails too. I want to keep this away from anyone under the age of sixteen out of fear that they will assume this is normal teenage behaviour. The book was one cliché after another and I saw every plot twist coming.

For Goodreads review with spoilers & reasons why this only got 1 Star, go here

*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Worlds I'd Never Want To Live In & Characters I'd Never Want To Be

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke & The Bookish. Each week they host a different top ten topic.


I've had another fun week, but not as much time to read or blog. I finally managed to finish Part 2 of my Top 20 Non-Disney Animated Movies, which were a lot harder to think of than my first ten. It's made me want to do a Disney favourites post though. I've had lots of work, and no time to read & barely any time to blog either. It'll probably be the same for the next week too. Hopefully we'll be a little better soon.

Might have forgotten about this TTT, so this will be kind of rushed! 


Worlds I'd Never Want To Live In


Panem from The Hunger Games

This is a world where children are made to fight to the death, so it's pretty self-explanatory why I wouldn't want to live there. Plus, I am definitely no Katniss Everdeen and would probably be the first to die.


Chicago in Divergent

Everyone is separated into factions, and people seem to only have one of five types of personalities. Sounds dull as hell. Even more dull when it's an experiment that makes NO logical sense. Just saying.


Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland

It's confusing and scary, and after reading Splintered, I officially would never want to go to Wonderland.




Characters I'd Never Want To Trade Places With


Bella Swan

This one is mainly because she is infuriatingly stupid. If a man, who is almost a hundred, sneaks into your room at night without you knowing, so he can watch you sleep... well, this is not romantic, it's creepy as hell and you should phone the police.






Tris Prior

Because if I was that whiny, I wouldn't be surprised when people throw knives at me.


Harry Potter

I love these books, but out of everyone in them, I definitely wouldn't want to be Harry. It might seem like  fun to be the chosen one, but when that means having to face a scary guy with no nose once a year, it doesn't seem like much fun anymore.


Sloane Barstow

Not only will the Program try to take all my amazing memories of James, but I kiss Realm - gross.!



BELLA SWAN

Yup, I don't want to be her soooo much that she gets two mentions.






Also On The Blog

The Treatment by Suzanne Young: Review 3/5
Splintered by A. G. Howard: Review 3/5
Impostor by Susanne Winnacker: Review 4/5
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton: Review 2.5/5
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson 2/5

Giveaways

For full information about the giveaways, go here

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Monday, 27 January 2014

My Top 20 Non-Disney Animated Movies: Part 2



Recently, ever since seeing Frozen, I've been listening to a bunch of Disney songs via mixes on Youtube. And I found this amazing 79 song one, that included some of my favourite non-Disney animation movies. It got me thinking about which ones were my favourites, the ones I absolutely loved and the ones I feel aren't appreciated enough. I'm a huge Disney fan, I own almost every classic, but I have so many non-Disney animation movies that I absolutely love. I'm twenty-two, but I still love watching all my favourite kids films! 

I wanted to give them a shout out on my lovely blog! Plus, who doesn't love kids movies? I realised I have quite a lot, so I will do this in two parts and put part two up next week. I'd love to hear about your favourites, and if you love any of the ones I've picked.

Part Two

For Part One please go here. This post was a lot harder because thinking of twenty non-Disney animated movies that I loved as a kid, it's actually pretty hard! But seeing as I was a child addicted to animated movies, I had a whole bunch to pick from! I'm also just going to put these in alphabetical order, because it's easier. 





This is one of those films that was released before I was even born, so I definitely grew up watching it. But I can still remember absolutely loving the sequel as well. I have to admit that I haven't rewatched these since I was a child, who knows if I would still love them now.






An American Tail & An American Tail: Fievel Goes West were both out before or just as I was born and I grew up with these. My nan had them on VHS, so any time I stayed at hers I would watch them. I adored Fievel, he was so cute. 










Now, I know everyone points out that Antz was just a worse version of A Bugs Life, but I loved Antz. I loved A Bugs Life Too, but I definitely think that Antz was a good film. I enjoyed it at least, maybe I'm like the only one! 










Balto, which came out in 1995(I feel old), is a film that I absolutely loved. I don't think I've watched this again as an adult and I really have to track it down on DVD and see if I still adore it. Plus, it's got the added bonus of being based on a true story about a real sled dog!










This is one of those films that I remember watching over and over again with my best friend Kevin as a kid. I was absolutely obsessed with this film at one point. It was a really fun movie but also scared me a little. They accidentally drink a potion and end up as fishes in the sea, with all these scary sea creatures.









Come on, who doesn't LOVE Ice Age? I almost didn't include this because I thought it came out a lot later than it really did, it came out in 2002 and is officially a childhood movie. I adored/adore this movie, it's absolutely hilarious and so well done. I can still watch this now and laugh, even though I know every line.









I think Iron Giant might be one of the most under-appreciated movies, ever! I absolutely loved it as a kid, I love it now and I definitely think it should have got more love when it was out. The characters are brilliant, the story made me emotional and I just love it. 











Another movie my nan had on video and watched all the time when I was at her house. I thought it was so cool that not only was it someone from the real world getting trapped in an animated one, but he went in with three book friends. Plus, the library in this movie is immense and I wanted to go there so bad! 









Another one that I didn't think I could put on because it was too recent, but this came out in 2001 and totally counts. This movie was hilarious and still makes me laugh now. The characters are all brilliant, from Donkey all the way to the Gingerbread Man. Plus, it made fun of all the Disney films I love and I kind of loved that about it.








This is definitely one of those kids movies that I am not too sure if I would love now. But, when we were little, my best friend wanted to be a palaeontologist and was obsessed with dinosaurs. So we probably watched We're Back! A Dinosaurs Story about a million times.




Plus, this happens! 


The End

I hope you enjoyed my lists and that they brought back some of your own childhood memories. If you want to do your own post feel free to do one and link up, I'd love to see them & discover some new movies. If not, just tell me about your favourites in the comments below.




Also On The Blog

My Top 20 Non-Disney Animated Movies: Part One

The Program by Suzanne Young: Review 5/5
The Treatment by Suzanne Young: Review 3/5
Splintered by A. G. Howard: Review 3/5
Impostor by Susanne Winnacker: Review 4/5
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton: Review 2.5/5
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson 2/5

Giveaways

For full information about the giveaways, go here

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Saturday, 25 January 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 25/01/2014

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Friday Finds is something that was started over on ShouldBeReading and Stacking the Shelves over at TyngaReviews, I am in love with all of these as I love finding other blogs to follow and books to read through these! So check them all out and see what you find, Stacking the Shelves has a lot of participants as well which is great. This is basically a way for me to show what books I have received, borrowed or bought each week. All book covers and their summary come from back of book or Goodreads.
http://shouldbereading.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/fridayfinds_bringontheink.png

My Week

I am struggling to write this post because I am suffering from the worst hangover. It's good because it's a reminder why I never drink, my tiny five foot body is not suited for alcohol and it makes me suffer for it! Plus, I've somehow lost the back of my phone somewhere and have yet to track it down! I was working lots this week, which left me with little time to blog. I have to admit that I had a fun blogging week though. I posted my Top 20 non-Disney animated movies, well part one, and had so much fun writing that one. It brought back so many childhood memories and made me want to watch all my favourite kids films all over again.


Bought on Kindle:


The Testing (The Testing, #1)The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Sixteen-year-old Cia Vale is honoured to be chosen for The Testing – a series of exams set by the United Commonwealth that selects the brightest young adults to become leaders of their war- stricken world. But when candidates start disappearing and Cia witnesses unimaginable horrors done in the United Commonwealth’s name it becomes clear that these are no ordinary exams, and Cia is forced to realise the truth: this is no longer about winning, but surviving.




Borrowed from Library:

Independent Study (The Testing, #2)
Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

For the attention of candidate Melncia Vale.
Congratulations, you have passed the Testing.
You have won a place at our prestigious university. After six months of preliminary classes, you will sit an examination. The results will be used to assign you to an area of study appropriate to your talents. 
The united commonwealth urges you to consider your answers carefully during this examination. 
Wrong answers will be penalised.



RedRed by Alison Cherry

Top student. Beauty queen. Girlfriend of the hottest football jock: Felicity's got everything. And it's all down to her red, red hair.
Felicity lives in Scarletville, the world's only redhead sanctuary, where red hair is celebrated, protected - and the key to sucess.
But Felicity has a secret. A red hot secret. And if anyone finds out, she's finished.
Because Felicity's actually a natural blonde.
And in Scarletville, blondes need not apply.




Forgive Me, Leonard PeacockForgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

How would you spend your birthday if you knew it would be your last?
Eighteen-year-old Leonard Peacock knows exactly what he'll do. He'll say goodbye.
Not to his mum - who he calls Linda because it annoys her - who's moved out and left him to fend for himself. Nor to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing the unthinkable. But to his four friends: a Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour, a teenage violin virtuoso, a pastor's daughter and a teacher.
Most of the time, Leonard believes he's weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he's not. He wants to thank them, and say goodbye.



Sorta Like A RockstarSorta Like A Rockstar by Matthew Quick


Amber Appleton has a lot to be thankful for.
OR
Amber Appleton has never had it easy.
Both are true. On the one hand, she's got the best friends a seventeen-year-old could ask for and a loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy. On the other, her mum frequently has too much to drink, Amber's never quite sure where her next meal will come from and ever since her mum's latest boyfriend kicked them out, Amber and her mum have been living in the back of a school bus.
Amber has always found it easy to be upbeat, to find the light in the darkest of situations. Until, that is, an unimaginable tragedy occurs. Forced to rethink her way of life, can Amber remain a rock star of hope?
This is the story of a very special teenager, whose faith and hope is tested to the limit.



Replica (Replica, #1)Replica by Jenna Black

Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake comes from a high-class Executive family in the Corporate States. Her marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in her state, which means she lives a life of privilege but also of public scrutiny, followed everywhere by photographers, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image — no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.
Nathan Hayes is the heir of Paxco — controller of the former state of New York, and creator of human replication technology, science that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Though Nadia and Nate aren’t in love, they’ve grown up close, and they (and the world) are happy enough with their match.
Until Nate turns up dead, and as far as everyone knows, Nadia was the last person to see him alive.
When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn’t know what killed him. Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

Received for Review:


Graduation Day (The Testing, #3)Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau

She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.
But she can't do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for - but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves--and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.
Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever-lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope--in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau's epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it's Graduation Day.
The Final Test is the Deadliest!


Also On The Blog

The Treatment by Suzanne Young: Review 3/5
Splintered by A. G. Howard: Review 3/5
Impostor by Susanne Winnacker: Review 4/5
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton: Review 2.5/5
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson 2/5

Giveaways

For full information about the giveaways, go here

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: Review


The Impossible Knife of Memory


Title: The Impossible Knife of Memory
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Buy This Book: Book Depository

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.(Goodreads summary.)

I have loved Laurie Halse Anderson's books from the moment I read Speak for the first time. When I saw her latest book up on Edelweiss, I just had to put in a request and I squealed with delight when it was accepted. So you can imagine how upset I am that I didn't end up liking this book all that much. It had it's moments, but overall I thought it was really disappointing. It has brilliant ratings on Goodreads, so I kind of feel like the odd one out here.

The book started off a bit shaky for me because the main character, Hayley, felt a little too forced. She's supposed to be a teenager but instead of being relatable, she seems like a teenager written by someone who has never met a teenager before. This was a huge shock to me because I have never felt this with any of the authors other books. Hayley refers to people as zombies or freaks constantly and it just seemed like something my eleven year old cousin would do, not someone of Hayley's age. Then there was the text speak, which was hideous and made my head hurt. I'm twenty-two now but back when I was a teenager I did shorten my texts, a little but they were decipherable, and all the teenagers I know now are the same. When you're reading a young adult book about young adults, you want them to seem like, act like or resemble an actual young adult.

This book focuses on Hayley, who has returned to her grandmother's house with her father after years on the road together. Her father has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and has suffered with PTSD for so long now it's hard for Haley to remember a time when things were different. Her reality is that her father drinks to drown out the memories, that he lashes out and then forgets it ever happened. This is supposed to be a fresh start but it's anything but. Hayley meets Finn at school, and here comes our love interest who just seems to fall a bit short for me.

The romance in this, for me, just didn't work at all. Finn and Hayley never really communicate, barely having one real and honest conversation. Most of the time they spend together is spent in a weird, uncomfortable silence. Finn gets a job and doesn't even bother to inform her. The whole relationship dynamic was so off and so dysfunctional. I wasn't rooting for them, they clearly aren't meant to be in a relationship with one another. I just couldn't root for them or feel like they were a good match, they didn't seem to help each other at all.

I was really interested in reading a YA book that focused on PTSD, it's not something you see a lot in YA fiction. I really did sympathise with Hayley at times, because of the things she had to deal with. But, most of the time, I really wanted to slap her because she was absolutely infuriating. She knows her father has issues, he's constantly drinking and getting worse as time goes on. But instead of realising that this is an issue that needs to be addressed, she spends most of the book being angry at a completely different person who acted like a sane, rational human being.

The ending was what really ruined the whole book for me. It was a little too far fetched and added in a lot of unnecessary drama and made it all seem very melodramatic. For me, that whole ending took the focus away from the real issue, which was PTSD. And then after that it ends in such a ridiculous and sickly sweet way that I kind of wanted to vomit.

2/5 Stars

Hayley's character felt very forced, like the author wasn't really aware how teenagers act. Finn and Hayley were too dysfunctional as a couple and I couldn't root for them or understand the pairing. The over the top, melodramatic ending took the focus away from the real issue of PTSD. 

*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Things On My Reading Wishlist

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke & The Bookish. Each week they host a different top ten topic.

Top Things On My Reading Wish List 


I've had a really fun week, I've posted a lot of reviews and got a lot of reading done! I also had sooooo much fun doing a post about my Top 20 Non-Disney animation movies. Loads of people commented and I had so much fun reading the comments and seeing what movies were your favourites! Thanks so much to everyone who came and checked it out, it took me ages and I'm glad you had as much fun reading it as I did making it.

I might be cheating a little this week, but a lot of my reading wishes are ones centred around books that already exist. So I want to do the things I'd force certain authors to write, and then some more obscure things I want. I really can't think of many this week, so I just went for the first things that popped into my head. 


J. K. Rowling
I would force her to write a new series set in the HP universe. I'd actually really love a series that centred around Harry's parents at school, then we would get to see Snape and how he came to love Lily. Or any type of prequel that showed Voldermort's rise to power and how Harry's parents died. I think that would be really fun to read. I'd also hold her hostage until she wrote me book 7 again, in which four of my favourite characters don't die!


David Clement-Davies
To write another book or series like The Sight or Fire Bringer, they are both incredible and I want more books like that. These were books I grew up reading and they were incredible. Both books are told from the perspective of animals and I absolutely loved them as kids. I can still happily reread these now, but I wish I had a new David Clement-Davies book to read. 

Tabitha Suzuma
Tabitha Suzuma
Would it be too much to ask someone to change a massive part of there book? Well, I'd do it anyway. I'd want some changes made to Forbidden so that it was left more open for a sequel. I want more Maya & Lochan, I need more Maya & Lochan... PRETTY PLEASE!


ForbiddenMore YA Books That Focus On Taboo, Thought-Provoking Subjects: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma is one of my favourite books, which really surprised me. It centres on the taboo subject of incest, when the two main character Maya & Lochan fall in love. I thought I'd never read a book on incest, until I remembered Flowers in the Attic and The Cement Garden, but those two books didn't seem to handle it or do it anywhere near as well. This story was beautiful, it broke my heart and it really got me thinking. I would never have picked it up if it wasn't for the glowing reviews and amazing comments I;'d seen about it. I'd love to see more YA books that push the boundaries like that, and challenge me as a reader.

Noughts and CrossesMore Books Where The Girl Wants The Good Guy: Most of the time, I'm pretty sure 'bad boy' is just code for arsehole. I prefer books where the love interest is actually a nice guy! Forbidden, My Life Next Door, Noughts & Crosses... all the guys are sweet and nice and the kind of guy you would actually want to be with. 

More New Adult Books NOT About Romance: I think New Adult is a great idea, having books about actual young adults, people coming into adulthood and finding who they are. But these all seem to be about romance and sex and I can't distinguish between most of them. I'd love for it to have more variety, like a New Adult Dystopian, where it's more mature than a young adult book but not purely focused on two characters getting it on. Or any sub-genre included - other than troubled male meets messed up girl and they eventually have sex. If you know any like this then let me know! 

More Parallel Universe Stories: I watched Sliding Doors the other night, and it's a movie that I love. It shows two different stories with two different outcomes and I've always thought it was brilliant. I have yet to see that in a book, and I think it would be brilliant! It's the reason I wanted to read Pivot Point, which I need to do soon.

A Book Like Dexter: Dexter was one of my favourite TV shows (they kind of ruined it with the last three seasons, which were awful) and I'd love to have a book like that. It's based on a book series, but I never really enjoyed those as they were completely different from the show, and very weird. A book that puts you into the mind of a serial killer would just be really cool. This may be the huge part of me that misses Dexter though. 




Also On The Blog

Click pic to go to post!

The Program by Suzanne Young: Review 5/5
The Treatment by Suzanne Young: Review 3/5
Splintered by A. G. Howard: Review 3/5
Impostor by Susanne Winnacker: Review 4/5
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton: Review 2.5/5

Giveaways

For full information about the giveaways, go here



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