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?

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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.

Wishlist Wednesday – 6/9/17

Wishlist Wednesday is a meme where you post about one book each week that has been on your wishlist for sometime, a book that you are excited to buy, to read, etc. This is a post that is hosted by Pen to Paper. 

This is my first time making a Wishlist Wednesday post and I’m doing it today because I’m feeling inspired to do so and because I’m pretty excited and wanted to share that excitement with others. I have had a book on my Amazon Wishlist and have pre-ordered it such a long time and I’m finally going to be having it delivered to me tomorrow!!! What is this book?. Let’s get into it…

Godsgrave.jpg Godsgrave (#2) – Jay Kristoff

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.

This is the sequel to Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and I have been waiting for this sequel since I finished reading book one. The way that book ended. Finally, it will be delivered tomorrow and I will be able to cross it of my wishlist and soon it will be crossed off my TBR list as well. This is one I can’t wait to see arrive in the mail, count down the minutes, (tomorrow definitely is going to drag), then to finally hold it in my hands and then to read it. Wish me some patience please!

What’s on your wishlist?

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

To Be Read: April 2017

I failed my TBR last month so I may be a little bit more cautious when selecting how many and what books I will choose to read for the month of April. I was sad to not read any Harry Potter books last month, especially considering I am in the middle of rereading the Harry Potter series. So my goal this month is to definitely include and to hopefully read at least two Harry Potter books. So let’s see what books I’m hoping to read during April…

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, #3 – J.K. Rowling

Of course I’m including the book I sadly failed to read last month, the first being the third book in the Harry Potter series. I can’t wait to reread them all in the correct order this time.

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…”

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

This is the other book that I sadly failed to read last month, even though it was on my TBR list. But, if I’m being honest, I didn’t think I would actually read and finish this book during March, but hopefully April will be different.

“There will be three tasks, spaced throughout the school year, and they will test the champions in many different ways… their magical prowess – their daring – their powers of deduction – and, of course, their ability to cope with danger.”

The Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter – but that doesn’t stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe’en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons and Dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through – alive!”

The Judas Game.jpgThe Judas Game, #4 – Ethan Cross

The Shepherd series is one of my favourite murder, thriller series and I just love it! This is the fourth book in the series, plus there’s even a prequel novella. The best part about this series, for me anyway, is the villain. Is that wrong? This series has the most amazing villain I have ever read. I have been waiting so long for this sequel to come out and now I can’t wait to read it.

“When a correctional officer climbs to the top of his watchtower and opens fire on the inmates and guards, federal investigator Marcus Williams and serial killer Francis Ackerman Jr. mustjoin forces again to unearth the truth behind the incident. What they find is a serial killer using the prison as his hunting grounds. But the Judas Killer’s ambitions don’t end with a fewmurders. He wants to go down in history and has no reason left to live. With Ackerman undercover among the inmates and Marcus tracking down the mastermind on the outside, the team must learn the identity of the Judas Killer and stop a full-scale uprisingthat he’s orchestrated. But the more they learn about what’s happening at the prison and why the more enemies they must face. From inside the overrun facility, Marcus and Ackermanmust save the hostages and stop an elaborate escape attempt while trying to determine how a rival corporation, the leader of one of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations, andan inmate with no identity only known as Demon fit into the Judas Killer’s plans. Launching a bold new cycle of novels featuring The Shepherd Organization, The Judas Game is searing, mesmerizing fiction it’s Ethan Cross at his very best.”

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.jpgMe & Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews

I’ve had this book for a while, and I keep telling myself that I’m going to read it but other books keep getting in the way. So now I’m putting it down so I will have to read it, especially as it’s meant to be a good read as well. Sad and emotional, but funny as well.

“Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.”

April TBR.jpgI’m going to play it safe and leave it at just those four as the books I plan on reading during the month of April, considering last months lack of reading, and if I read anything extra then that’s a bonus. I think I’m the most excited about this months TBR and can’t wait to get started on them. Bring on the books 😀

What are you planning on reading during April? What is your biggest TBR book you currently own but haven’t read?

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