Book Review: We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

wp-1488929385768.jpegA beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”

I went into reading this book, completely and utterly oblivious to what this book was about whatsoever! All I knew was the title and that I had seen it popping up here and again, so I wanted to see why this book was so popular. Sometimes, I love to just dive into a book that I have no idea what it’s about. I haven’t read the description, any reviews, nothing. Just taking the cover and the title and going for it. Have you ever done that? Because that’s exactly what I did when it came to this book and I will admit that it was different to what I was expecting. Honestly, I don’t really know what I was expecting if I’m being honest.

I will admit that there were parts of this book that were a little bit blah when I was reading it. It felt like I was reading some ramblings or something and I wasn’t that keen to keep reading. It felt like a chore, which is sad because it’s only a short book, at about 200 odd pages. But then I didn’t want to put the book down and I became engrossed and felt as though I was involved in the mystery of the story. I wanted to discover the truth, just like Cady. But believe me, I was completely shocked by what I discovered towards the end of the book. That kind of ending is either cleverly or poorly executed, in order to surprise the reader and I was completely surprised and I think in this case it was cleverly done. I felt so stupid for not realising and uncovering the truth for myself, because once I knew, parts were obviously hinted at. It’s now making me want to re-read the book again, as soon as I finished it tbh, to see if I can now see the plot better and spot what so clearly put in place for the readers, especially knowing what I now know. But also to see all the ways to see where the author tried to trick the reader, seeing if I can spot any inconsistencies.

I don’t want to give too much away when it comes to this book, because I am glad that I went into it completely blind. The less you know the better. There is something that did irritate me and I’m am stilling questioning as I’m typing up this review, but that may cause a spoiler. But props to this book as not many surprised me and get me like this book did, which is why I’m giving it four stars out of five! So if you want to read a Young Adult, Contemporary book with a lot of Mystery, then give this book a read. Plus, it’s a quick read with only 227 pages.

4 Stars

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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: All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

all-the-bright-places-jennifer-niven

I have heard so many good reviews of this book that I had to buy this it for myself and just see what all of this fuss was about. To be honest, I ended up buying two versions of this book, paperback and on audiobook and it was the later that I ended up experiencing this book through. Here is the books description thanks to Goodreads:

“Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.” – Goodreads

This would’ve been my third time listening to an audiobook, but for me and there was something special about listening to this book particularly as an audiobook. It may have been the fact that because this story is told from two different characters perspectives, as an audiobook they have used a male and a female voice in order to portray both Violet and Theodores’ voices, our two main characters. This added some realness to it all and a much deeper connection, for me anyway, towards them both as characters. This book is written from a first person perspective, so it felt as though they were each telling me their own story, like a diary or a friend, which may have been a completely different experience if I had actually read the physical book. The voices held and showed so much more of the emotions that the characters were mean to be having at the time of certain events, which make it feel more genuine, as you could hear that they were about the cry, the breaks in their voices, chuckles, nervousness, and so on, which just added those little extra bits that you definitely  wouldn’t get from reading the actual physical book. And you can connect more when you can hear things like that. Anyway, back to the actual review of the story.

Theodore Finch and Violet Markey are our storytellers and main characters of All The Bright Places, and even though I wasn’t sure what to expect before I started listening to this book, except that there was going to be something to do with mental illness and that the book is poplar, I am so glad that I picked it up! This was such a great experience for me. The storyline starts off big, with Theo and Violet meeting on top of the School Bell Tower, where they were each going to jump off, unbeknownst to them that the other person was there. Luckily however they were and that’s just where their story starts, getting better as time goes on. From there we get adventure, romance, sadness, happiness, times that make the reader smile and such tragic times that make you scream nooo! The emotions.

The characters themselves couldn’t have been any different. One of them looking forward to the future and counting down the days, while the other was always thinking and coming up with new ways someone could come up with killing themselves. But there was something a little off with them both. I found myself connecting so much more when it came to Theodore’s character, than Violet’s. Even though he felt more distant at times, it felt more real for his character. His quirks, his experiences in his life, I felt more for him, remember more about him and his life after finishing the story, therefore that’s shows how much more I connected with him. Whereas, when it comes to Violet, it just feels like she was an extra piece in the story at certain points. An extra point of view to add to the story, or some extra emotion or additional story to add and watch playout and unfold, adding even more emotion. Possible even using her character as a way to boost or show more of Theodore’s character.

It takes a lot in a book to create genuine emotion and make me care that much about a character or to get me so invested in a story that I cry or show, again, genuine physical sadness. This was one of those books! I didn’t cry, but the heartbreak I suffered because of this book, even though I had somewhat expected it, was still so unexpected and surprised myself. This is why I have given it 4 stars and why it’s going to stay with me for a while. Even the author’s note after the story had ended. I may have to read the actual book and see if I get the same reaction as I did while listening to the audiobook, only not anytime soon because I can’t handle the sadness so soon.

Definitely worth a read and I would recommend!

4-stars

Book Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

the-perks-of-being-a-wallflower-stephen-chboskyThis is one of those books that has been very highly on my TBR list for a while now and I am so glad that I have finally gotten around to reading it. I have heard so many things about this book, both positive and negative, and ever since I have wanted to read and devour it for myself.

This book has a new type of style, which is a great experience for a reader when it comes to reading new types and different styles of books. This book is told from the point of view of Charlie, through him writing letters to an unknown person, explaining his life, his feelings, the events going on in his life and everything else. It is through these countless letters that we discover and learn about Charlie, his family and  his friends. Of course, we also learn that Charlie and all of the other names and places are all just pen names, to hide his identity, so the person who he’s writing to, won’t discover who he is and where he is. Through these letters we discover and go through life with Charlie. Charlie is socially awkward, shy and intelligent beyond his years.

I really enjoyed reading this book and is was a new experience for me, especially with the style of writing and overall style that this book has set up, with the letters. I do find myself feeling irritated, sorry, pitied, happy, and so many different feelings for “Charlie” throughout the entire of this book. It is definitely a book that has got me thinking and still thinking after I’ve finished it. I am a little disappointed because I was somehow thinking that after waiting for so long to read this book, that it was going to somehow different and maybe better than what it was. Maybe this was because it has been one of the highest books on my TBR list for so long and I have built up this big expectation of this book inside my head, that it just couldn’t live up to it. But that is my fault, not this books.

There are so many different issues that are looked at, or glimpsed at, throughout this whole novel. From drugs, to suicide, to child molestation, to possibly autism, are some of the issues looked at in this book. I don’t think that this book particularly deals with these issues to the best of their abilities, especially considering that this is a book that a lot of teenagers and young adults will be reading this book. In my opinion, some of these topics are just glanced at and then passed onto the next big issue. There were many things that were hinted at, but never fully confirmed. The rape that is mentioned, I believe was with a certain person (I don’t want to say who as to spoilers) but this isn’t confirmed nor denied, and the fact that Charlie may have autism is something that is very strongly hinted, but as it is told from Charlie’s point of view, this is again not confirmed nor denied. There have been books that have been able to do books about certain topics, difficult topics, and do them very well, maybe because they look at one of them at a time and are able to focus the whole book on developing it all correctly.

Maybe, you have to look at this book from a different angle. A boy with autism, finally gets friends, who like him for him and he likes them for them. Both of them are outcasts in their own ways. They are able to bring him out of himself and make him see the whole world around him a little bit more clearer. A way his family haven’t been able to, out of not wanting to or not understanding him. It is through his new eyes that he is able to see certain things. As he’s always been a “wallflower” he’s been able to see more of the world around him than other people have, and now he is able to understand some of those things he’s seen. Uncovering the truth. Told you this book makes you think and that’s just one of my theories.

I would recommend this book and it should be a book somebody reads at least once in their life. I know that I would Re-Read this book.

4-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