The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is a little curious read that I came across and recognised, because of the film adaptation I had seen a couple of years ago. I never knew that this movie was based on a short story, especially one written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, so this took my interest.

This is a book, that is in itself for a better word, curious. Benjamin Button is born, but he isn’t born as you would expect, or how his parents had expected. Benjamin is born old. He has a beard, he can talk. Not what you would expect from a new born baby. As Benjamin goes through his life and ages, his body actually gets younger. So, he is going through life kid of backwards. Now Benjamin and those close to him, have to deal with this bizarre abnormality and everything that comes with it.

I honestly wasn’t expecting much from this little read, especially when you think that this short story takes place over the whole of Benjamins’ life. What can you really get from a short story? Well, I ended up really enjoying it. For such a short read, it contained so much. The writing was so beautifully and carefully done, ensuring to emulate and capture the age that the character was at each stage of his life. The way that this book ended, with the pure gentle child like innocence, was literally breath-taking. The whole concept behind the idea of this book did make me think about what if this was my reality, or if this happened to my child.

I did believe that F. Scott Fitzgerald could have gone so much more into this story and made it into a novel, instead of the short story that it is. If it was done as a longer and more detailed novel, then there would have been so much more emotion at certain parts and made this a much deeper read. This is why I ended up removing a star. However, for the short story that it is, it was still a good read and one I do recommend for people to read and therefore I rated it 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t believe I’d only read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald before today, this one definitely beat that for me.

Have you read this story before? Or any of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works? What do you think?

4 Stars.png

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneThis is a book that I had once purposely avoided reading when it first came out, due to the extreme hype that surrounded this book. I was then given a few free credits to audible and decided to use one downloading Ready Player One and see what all the hype was about. After all, what was I losing? I can’t believe that I waited so long before immersing myself in this world.

Imagine a world, not far off our own, where majority of the world spend their time plugged into a Virtual Reality world, called the OASIS. The Oasis is a virtual world, which has become more like reality than reality itself. So much so, this is where children go to school, create businesses, earn a living and so on. The OASIS was created by James Halliday and just before Halliday death, he created a competition inside the OASIS that would have the power to change everything for someone. And Wade Watts dreams of winning this competition. But competition always brings out the best or the worse in others.

This book made me fall in love with audiobooks. Listening to this book instead of reading it, in my opinion made my experience of this book so much better. Instead, I got to fully emerge myself into the story, be a part of it, hear the story through Wade Watts voice. Almost emulating the OASIS in a way. This world was so easy to get into and to stay immersed inside for the entirety of the book, so much so that every time I had to knock it off, I did so with reluctance. The game references and 80’s pop culture references throughout, added something to this book. Even if you didn’t understand it all, there would be at least parts that you can connect to. It was so different from anything that I have ever heard or come across before and I loved it!

I first listened to this book last year, back before the mention of the movie adaption, while on holiday and I also finished it during that holiday. Now, after seeing the trailer to the movie and the time lapse since listening to it, I had to re-listen to it. I had no choice, obviously. This time, I listened to the entirety of the audiobook in a day and half and don’t regret it. There was no turning it off for anything, except for sleep. There was some that I had forgotten, or just not heard the first time, and I’m so glad that I listened to it again. Definitely a book I actually want to own and read physically, seeing if I have the same experience as listening to it, as if it improves or is worse. Massive 5 stars and highly recommended!!

Tell me what you think. Have you read this book, and if so, what format did you use? Are you excited about the upcoming movie adaptation? Comment below.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, #4 – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series and this is the book where everything changes. This was the first Harry Potter book that I ever read and I am so glad that I have re-read it now and am continuing to read the rest in the correct order. I discovered so much more and everything has hit me a lot more this time round. The emotions of what took place in this book and everything that was getting ready and being set up for the upcoming books is just so emotional. Knowing what’s coming, I can see everything being set up so perfectly now (possibly because I know what’s going to happen) and its so brilliantly done, which is something I never noticed before. I can’t wait to read the last three books, but they are going to be even more emotional, as it’s all hitting me a lot more now as an adult. 

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling

wp-1488892121012.jpeg“Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transportation for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board and we can take you anywhere you want to go.”

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it’s the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run – and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves… But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss… ”

This is the second time within a year that I have read this book and I am not disappointed. How is it that you can read the same book within a close proximity to each other and still see it differently each time? It’s amazing. I only read this book last year because it was the only Harry Potter book that I hadn’t read and it became my favourite. This may possibly have been because I was reading it as an adult and knew roughly was going to happen because of the films and the other books, which I had read, so I already felt like I was reading it for a second time with an all knowing eye. My enjoyment of this book, made me fall back in love with this series and made me want to re-read the whole entire series again, but this time doing it right for the first time.

I was apprehensive re-reading this book again so close, but boy was I wrong to be nervous. It felt so much better reading this book this time around. Because I was doing right and I had just read Book 1 and 2 in the series already, the story carried on and it flowed that much better. All the little jokes, although deep within me made sense the first time around, didn’t need any thinking, which made me enjoy them so much. There was just so much more that I just picked up on and because of this, made the story that much more special.

This is one of the books where there is so much more in the book that is just left out of the movies, so if you decide to read this, you uncover so many more layers. The most simplest of things, such as, who wrote and created the Map that Fred and George gave to Harry. The names are so clearly there for all to see, in both movie and book, it made me feel like I had been so ignorant when I had been watching the film’s before for not noticing them before because of how obvious they were and I had to have them explained to me so clearly.

I loved everything about this book, and this is one of those few books that definitely did live up to and exceed the hype that surrounded it. The characters that you already know and love are growing up slowly and you can see it happening and I only wish that I read them in the right order so I could’ve seen that more clearly. You can see that the style of the book is growing as the age of not only the characters are growing older, but the age of the readers are also growing older alongside the characters. This is shown with the writing style and the language that takes a darker turn and with there being a more complex storyline to follow. The book is also bigger in size, as there is more of a story to tell, requiring the reader to have more determination to read and finish this book. I loved it!

I would definitely recommend this book and this ENTIRE series to everybody and to anybody who wishes to go on an adventure. I would say to start off with the first book Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and make your way through the series in the correct order, regardless if you’ve already read them because re-reading them now as an adult are way more enjoyable now, than when I was a child. These books are NOT just for children and are fantastic reads. You will not regret it. Enjoy!!! 5 out of 5 stars.

5 Stars

Book Review: Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2) – Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword ReviewWARNING!!!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1 RED QUEEN!!!

“Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?”

I went into this book thinking that I was going to really hate it because of all the negative and bad reviews that I had heard and read EVERYWHERE when this book was first released. This is why it has taken me so long to actually read this book, from then to now. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and was so eagerly awaiting this sequel when it first came out, which is why I think I have been therefore putting off reading it for so long. Plus I also read the two novellas, Queen Song and Steel Scars thanks to Netgalley in anticipation for this book a while ago and they were such huge disappointments!

I am a stickler when it comes to series and wanting to see how stories, plots and characters unfold and completing them, and I was already one book and two novellas deep, plus I had already bought the book. I was however, pleasantly surprised by how much I did enjoy this book. They do say if you go into something thinking you’re going to be underwhelmed, then you can only go up and I did. Don’t get me wrong, there were some bad points to this book and reasons I can clearly see why there are so many bad reviews, plenty of them. It can be majorly repetitive which was really annoying, it doesn’t quite live up to the first one book as most sequels don’t, and can be quite a daunting, drawing out a little, making reading this book feel more like a task rather than enjoyment at times. But it did have it’s good points to it also. You do get to see what happens in the aftermath of how Red Queen ended and how all the characters deal with it and how the story then goes from there. You get introduced to all of these extra characters, building up this plot and leading you up to this ending and you get to see the world a little bit more from the other side. We get to see how the events of the previous novel had an impact on their lives and their mental states. We get some heartache and we do actually get some action. But it does seem rushed at points also.
But for me, I hated Mare! This isn’t good when she is the main character of the book, and even more so when this whole entire book is told from her perspective. I can never really connect to a book when I hate the main character, because I have no emotional investment in this book. There was one truly sad part and that just made me hate her so much more. But maybe it is a little justified to a degree, without giving away spoilers. I would read the third book, which is why I read this book now, and hope that it’s better than this one, maybe reading and listening to reviews first and hoping it jumps back up to the quality and story we all loved when it came to the Red Queen!.
3 Stars

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets“There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year.”

Harry Potter’s summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors – and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone… Dobby’s sinister predictions seem to be coming true”

This is the second instalment in the Harry Potter series and as I remembered, or slightly remembered, this book didn’t disappoint. OMG the amount of times that I laughed in this book while reading the scenes between Mrs Weasley and her sons was incredible. I can’t remember the last time I actually laugh so much while reading a book and pure genuine laughter. Sensational. Yet this book still looked at some dark and scary times, so those scenes were just what was needed, while also slowly bringing the reader slowly into the dark world, that these book do end up becoming. You need these characters that just provide you with this much joy and that’s so perfectly timed also.

Re-reading this book you get to see all of the subtleness that you missed when you read it for the first time. The little mention of something here and the sprinkle of something there, that when you have no idea what the ending of the book is going to be, is so ingenuous and so great to read, while you are re-reading it. I was reading it this time around with  smirk on my face at these little subtleness’s, truly appreciating the amount of work and effort there was from J.K. Rowling put into this book. I am really glad that I am re-reading these books, because I never did appreciate the greatness of the story of a whole, the way it all links in together, and I am taking so much more away from these books now as an adult than I ever did as a child/teenager. Even though I am an adult and reading this book, which is about a couple of twelve year olds (in this book), I can still connect to the characters and the story, maybe because it brings back memories for me, or because I am taking away so much more and like I do always say, these books are not just for kids.

I couldn’t recommend these books high enough, as I do believe that everyone should read this entire series at least once in their life, and then if you read them as a child, give them a little re-read as an adult. See if you have a different experience. Roll On Book Three!!!

5 Stars

 

Book Review: Alice (Chronicles of Alice, #1) – Christina Henry

Alice (Chronicles of Alice, #1).pngThis book really caught my eye when I saw a review of it thanks to the wonderful world of Book Blogging! Ever since then I knew I had to have it and read it, IMMEDIATELY!! So that’s what I did. I already had high expectations of this book before going in to reading it, which made me a little dubious before I even started the book, because I didn’t want to be disappointed by my own high build up.

Alice, is the first book in the Chronicles of Alice series, which is an Alice in Wonderland retelling of sorts, but a much darker and disturbing version. I love it! Let me give you the books actual description before I give you my review of this thrilling read;

“In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside.
In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place – just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood. . .
Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.
Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.
And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.”

Sound awesome? Because OMG this book was soooo amazing!!! That wasn’t subtle at all, was it? This book begins after Alice has already met the Rabbit, and let me tell you that it’s not the friendly rabbit we’re all used to and maybe would have expected when it comes to any story of Alice in wonderland. She is found after some time, wondering around and covered in blood, mumbling about rabbits and eyes, and if that’s not bad enough, her friend Dor has not returned with her. Her parents, not getting answers about what had happened, about the still missing Dor and with Alice still going on about the Rabbit, they put her into a hospital (I believe a mental hospital), deep in the Old City. Over time she forgets what happened to her, except for the tea party, the long ears, the colour of the eye and the blood. While there she meets somebody in the room next to hers and they start talking. And that is really where the story really starts and Alice’s new adventure to rediscover her lost memories begins. But is it an adventure she wants to undertake, and are they memories she want to have back?.

I can’t remember the last time I got completely engorged in a book like I did with this one. I became so antisocial while reading it, because I just didn’t want to stop reading this book for any reason whatsoever! The storyline was so gripping and I just wanted to keep going and to go on the same adventure as Alice and Hatcher as they went along. It was so good and so captivating, and everything that was written was just so perfectly expressed that I could imagine it all so vividly, that it was like it was all being played out in my head. I don’t even think I took the time to actually eat properly. I definitely didn’t take the time to set the book down and cook a proper home cooked meal that would’ve taking the time to do so, so luckily I was very quick reading this book.

The characters in this book were gripping and so easy to understand. Of course we are going to have to discuss Alice. When reading this book and you are told that it’s an Alice in Wonderland retelling, so you instantly get and bring the Alice from the Lewis Carroll classic to mind, before you even open and read this book. But once you start reading, you get a character all of her own. You see her grow and develop throughout this entire book, which is so seamlessly done, that seemless is the best word to use because of how outstanding it is. You don’t see this sudden jump in character, you see a growth and you get to understand her and see why there’s a growth in her character, which is something you sometimes don’t get to see and is often missed. One of these changes, is thanks to another character, Hatcher. This is the character that Alice meets, or hears, in the room next to her in the hospital at the beginning of the book. I don’t want to give too much away, as I want to keep my reviews spoiler free.

What was amazing, for me anyways, was when I would hear words that would connect me to the original Lewis Carroll version of Alice in Wonderland, this would make me smile. When I would here simple things such as, the tea party, the cakes and drinks that affected their size, the Jabberwock, the rabbit, the Cheshire and his grin, I can go on and on. It all just made this book that extra bit perfect for me. I love it all. Yet with all of these little reminders of Carrolls version and the constant reminders of this being a retelling of sorts, you also got this uniqueness from it, which I didn’t expect. You get this book, that is so original on it’s own merits, with so much adventure, excitement and story.

Then how they ended this book!! I so desperately want to quote the ending so badly, but omg what a spoiler that would be, or more like a teaser, maybe? I always said that I never wanted to give away spoilers in my reviews, but this last part of this book, OMG!! I won’t do it. I have fallen in love with this book, that it’s sequel, Red Queen (Chronicles of Alice #2) by Christina Henry, has already been bought with speedy eagerness and will be dived into, read and reviewed with haste. P.s. If you order this book from amazon, don’t look at the amount of pages it says the book has. Before I ordered my copy I was told it was going to have 198 pages, however when my book arrived it had 325 pages, which was better for me. The same for Red Queen, saying 198 but actually having 313 pages.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. READ IT!! But beware of its dark, violent and possibly disturbing images. Now that you’ve been warned, GO AND READ IT!!! Definitely my biggest recommendation so far this year.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

5-stars

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-rabsom-riggsThis is a book that I saw everywhere! When I say everywhere, believe me, I mean everywhere. All over Book Tube, the Book Blogging community, online shops, as this book was the biggest suggestion for me to buy and in all the shops, not just book shops. I will admit that I was already intrigued but weirdly not enough for me to buy this book. That is until I went to the cinema one day and saw the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation of this book. That’s when I bought this book, with no hesitation!

This book has something special about it. I can’t pinpoint exactly what that is but it kept me hooked and so gripped to this book, from the instant I opened it and began reading it. Maybe it was the photos that were included, which meant that picturing the people the author was trying to explain and express was just so much easier to do, and made the whole story feel so much more realistic. For the first time ever, I saw the people the author wanted me to see and not the characters and people I had seen in the trailer for the movie, while I was reading this book, because I had seen the trailer first.

You have Jacob, who is so close to his grandfather, who grew up listening and being told all of these wonderful and magical stories about this house in Wales he was sent to during the war. There were these children, these peculiar children, who could do peculiar things, sharing these photos he had of these children. As time went on and Jacob got older, he disbelieved his grandfathers stories and believed them to be just that, stories. That is until one day changes everything and leaves Jacob with so many questions, with nobody to answer them, or so he thinks…

This book starts off slowly, which I personally think it needed to, in order to build the story and some of the background information to the plot, to characters and so on. The way that Jacob slowly begins to work and unravel certain clues and begins to develop his own investigation, further and further, building the story up until he finally gets some answers. Building perfectly. It is Jacob that I was able to relate to the most out of any other character. Maybe it is because he begins not really knowing anything, so we are somewhat similar. So has he is learning and discovering, so are we as a reader, making him more relatable. All of this is all brand new to him, so he has so many questions, as do I, and it is through him that I start getting my questions answered. I read this book in a day, through excitement, frustration of wanting answers and because the photos took up quite a few of the pages.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is unique in its own ways, although I have heard so many comparisons to different things. I have heard it compared to Harry Potter and X-Men or both of them combined, which maybe I way it is, but this is also so much more and so different. It’s itself. This is one of those hypes where I believe the hype was well deserved. The ending ended on a place where you are required to read the following book Hollow City, which I don’t own at the moment but I will definitely be buying soon, which is quite irritating because now I honestly don’t know when I’ll get round to reading Book 2. If I already owned the book, trust me, it would be straight away!

I would therefore very highly recommend this book as I would Re-Read this one, and am going to buy the next book in this series!

5-stars

Book Review: Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-and-the-philosophers-stone-j-k-rowlingMy desire to re-read the Harry Potter has come from somewhere you might not expect. From my Lego Harry Potter Xbox 360 games. I have read the Harry Potter series before, but unfortunately, I first read them out of order and it all got a little jumbled. Of course I knew the story, who doesn’t, but it has always been my goal to own them and to read them all the correct order. I have been playing a lot of my Lego Harry Potter games on the Xbox and the more I’ve been playing and the further I’ve been getting into it, the more I realised my time to re-read the series was now! For those who don’t know the story. Here’s a little teaser, so to speak. . .

“Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.”Goodreads

 Re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has been truly been amazing! First off, I will admit that it has been way over a decade since I have read the first book in the series, as I was in Primary School when I first read this book and I am currently now 24 years old. So you can imagine how long it’s been. So while I was reading this book, it was as though as I was reading it for the first time with a fresh new pair of eyes, which was so brilliant, and so rare. Of course I know and remember the basic story, whether it’s from the movie or from reading it previously, but the overall book in general with all of the details and so on. It was incredible and I’m not one for re-reading books when there are so many new ones to discover.

This book is the beginning to an adventure series that spawns over seven years, and seven books. No matter what people say, they are not just childrens books, because believe it or not, I got a lot more out of it and understood it a lot more re-reading it now as an adult, than I ever did as a child/teen.

There are a wide range of different characters in this book, each having their own personalities and yet, each one is still distinguishable and stands out by themselves in the vast mist of characters. This goes to show how well each individual character has been created, as well as the characters slotting together and working as a whole in the book. There is also so much imagery within this book, whether it’s from describing the characters, to the surroundings, or so on, that makes you enabled envision everything you’re reading, making this magical world, or fantasy, that bit more, well magical and real.  There is a reason why this book and the rest of this series has become so successful and for good reason!

Being a massive Harry Potter fan, I thought I remembered everything and therefore knew everything. I’ve had Harry Potter film night’s where I’ve watched all eight films in one night and even game night’s/weekends and so on based on Lego Harry Potter. Somethings you forget how different the books are or what’s missing from the film’s. But not in a bad way. So I was definitely happy to be reminded of somethings I had forgotten and missed from book number one and am glad that I have chosen now to re-read the whole of the series. Now I can’t wait to see if there is anything else I am going to uncover along my new journey.  The Harry Potter book to movie adaptations have got to be honestly one of the best adaptations that have been done!!!

I do recommend this book and this entire series to everyone, regardless of age 😀 Regardless of whether you’re even a big reader or not because there’s just so much action and adventure to grip you and keep you engrossed and wanted to just read on and on. Still holds fond memories in my heart.

5-stars