Friday, 27 June 2014

Review #5 - Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling

This is my second, possibly third, read of this book. It would be unfair of me to say that I am obsessed with all things Harry Potter, because I believe how strongly I feel about this series far transcends 'obsessed'. It was my childhood. It is now becoming my adulthood.

A brief synopsis; (Via Goodreads)
Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Review #4 - Thirteen Reasons Why

Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher

A brief synopsis; (Via Goodreads)
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Review #3 - The Light Keepers

Title: The Light Keepers (ShadowLight Saga Prequel)
Author: Mande Matthews

A brief synopsis; (Via Goodreads)
From the #1 Bestselling Norse Fantasy Author, comes The Light Keepers, a prequel to the ShadowLight Saga.Isolated because of what she is -- because of the power she holds inside -- Astrid longs for contact with another human being. Her well-intentioned mother locks her away from society in order to protect her from an evil that seeks to use Astrid's abilities for his own means. But the resulting loneliness drives Astrid deeper into the shadowwalk -- a power she is forbidden to use, a magic that lands her directly into the arms of the Shadow. This short prequel to the ShadowLight Saga offers a revealing glimpse into the history of the beautiful and mysterious warrior maiden known as Swan, called Astrid in this prequel. It takes place a few moons before Bonded begins and is a self-contained novelette of approximately 10,000 words.
Now, before I begin talking about this story, let me just say one thing: I am a sucker for free books. If it doesn't cost anything, has relatively good reviews and is a genre I like, I will more than likely download it. This is what happened with this prequel.

The genre is Fantasy, and the cover looked pretty kick ass (I admit, I judge books by their cover, sometimes. Usually.) so I was like; "Hey, Paige, download it. It looks cool. It has more than 3 stars. The feedback is positive. And it's free."

Most of the reviews contained the generic statements of "I couldn't put this book down!" or "I was hooked from the very beginning!"

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for me.

The beginning of this book seemed very choppy. The writing, at best, was looking simplistic. It was all "She did this. Then she did that. Accompanied by one further action here." It wasn't very exciting, the writing, and I didn't possible understand why people 'couldn't put [the book] down.'

But then I sort of realised, as I ploughed through - this book is short, by the way, only something like 80 pages, I think, if my Kindle is right, so just over an hour's read, I think - that maybe people weren't enjoying it for the writing.

Maybe they were enjoying it for the characters, for the sense of action and adventure. Which were all things I enjoyed, ironically.

Astrid is a good narrator. What makes her different to all those 'rebellious teens' is the fact that she doesn't want to be rebellious. In that sense, the book reminds me of the film Tangled, with Astrid being akin to Rapunzel. And instead of the long, life saving hair, Astrid is a mute. She doesn't talk, but oh, how she wishes she did!

Her anger and frustration at not being able to talk is adequately portrayed in this, which is why, I think, it is so easy to connect with Astrid as a person. The overbearing mother. The over protective father figure.

An act of rebellion, that is met by anger and disappointment.

We've all been there, right? Done that one thing that makes us feel ashamed, think that we're not worthy of our parents.

This prequel revolves around that act, and the repercussions from it.

The next book in the ShadowLight Series is called 'Bonded'. I have yet to buy it (though my copy of 'The Light Keepers' did come with an 8 chaptered preview of the book that I have yet to read) and despite my reservations of the writing, I think I am going to buy it.

I would recommend it, too. It just might take you a few pages to get into it.

Star Rating: 3/5

Saturday, 14 June 2014


It seems that, in my haste to publish my first two reviews, I forgot to write an introduction post!

Hello, there! My name is Paige, and I am 16 from the UK. I am currently sitting my GCSE exams, and at the time of writing this, I have four left.

I have no idea what I want to be when I get older, specifically speaking, but it is my dream to become a published YA author.

I write a lot, in the hopes of bettering my skills. You can find me on AO3 [here] and on Wattpad, [here].

I have just started reviewing books, because I read a lot, and, well, I may as well do something with them once they're finished, instead of just letting them collect dust!

Chemistry is my favourite subject.

Book Genres I enjoy are;
Young Adult, Comics, Thrillers, Mystery.

My hobbies include, but are not limited to, are;
Horse riding, Writing, Reading, Blogging, Cosplaying.

Some TV shows I enjoy;
Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Young Justice, Orange Is The New Black, Breaking Bad, Arrow, Catfish, Hannibal, The Vampire Diaries.

Some of my favourite films;
21 Jump Street, The Breakfast Club, 3 Weeks Notice, PS I Love You, Zombieland, X-Men Trilogy, Batman Trilogy, Man of Steel, Spiderman Trilogy, Iron Man Trilogy, The Avengers, Thor, (All superhero movies in general), Harry Potter series.

The above is a picture of me and my lovely friend Joss. (I am the one taking the photo)

Friday, 13 June 2014

Review #2 - We Were Liars

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart

I don't really know where to begin with this story. I found it this morning whilst browsing through Waterstones, and I decided to buy it, along with 'Thirteen Reasons Why.' I read it in just under two hours, I just couldn't put it down.

A brief synopsis; (Via Goodreads)
A 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.
 We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 
Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. 
I feel compelled to lie to you all about the ending, about this book. It's happy. It's not happy. It's a romance. It's a tragedy. It is all of those things and not.

Like John Green, I agree, this book is utterly unforgettable.

I remember, I absolutely hated first person books, because I thought they were dreary, because my English teachers told me they were trash, because I felt many writers could not encompass the true feelings of a 16 year old girl when they are 35 year old men. I was wrong. I was lied to. I was wrong again.

'We Were Liars' is passionately written, with a broken narrative structure that so fluently represents the feelings and thought process of the main character, Cadence.

The story follows Cadence, as she spends summer after summer on the island her grandfather owns with her three best friends, known eternally as the Liars. As she witnesses her life fall apart. As she wakes up, cold, naked and alone in the shores of the dock with a traumatic head injury. As she spends the next two years asking over and over again what happened, only to forget the next day. As she revisits the island after what seems like an eternity away from it, in the hopes to piece together what happened that night in her 15th summer. As she realises that she is what she has been all along: A Liar.

This book is a mystery. This book has a heart splintering twist, one that is so unexpected you don't know how it could have stayed hidden, how you could have skipped all the hints. I finished it less than an hour ago, and already I wish to start re-reading it, despite having another gazillion things I need to do.

I think, to sum up this book, I can say only what is written on the back:
We are liars
We are broken and privileged
We are cracked and broken
A tale of love and romance
A tale of tragedy
Which are lies?
Which is truth?
You decide.
Star Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Review #1 - Tongue

Title: Tongue
Author: Jo Kyung-Ran
Format: Paperback and eBook (Note: Though available in both formats, it is more commonly found on eBook.)


(Amazon UK/US)

(Also, this is the first book review I have written, so please, bear with me!)

So this book was heavily recommended to me by a friend a few months back, and as soon as I got my Kindle in August, it was one of the first books I downloaded- after Fight Club and American Psycho, of course.
I completed it within a week- it’s short, just overstepping the 200 page mark with a mere 212, and 35 chapters- that’s kind of an indication to how long each chapter is. But, hey, it’s quality not quantity, right? Right. And the quality of this book is pretty darn good.

A brief synopsis; (Via Goodreads)
Emotionally raw and emphatically sensual, Tongue is the story of the demise of an obsessive romance and a woman’s culinary journey toward self-restoration and revenge. When her boyfriend of seven years leaves her for another woman, the celebrated young chef Jung Ji-won shuts down the cooking school she ran from their home and sinks into deep depression, losing her will to cook, her desire to eat, and even her ability to taste. Returning to the kitchen of the Italian restaurant where her career first began, she slowly rebuilds her life, rediscovering her appreciation of food, both as nourishment and as sensual pleasure. She also starts to devise a plan for a final, vengeful act of culinary seduction.

I guess, at this point, I should add a spoiler warning. So, proceed with caution, as I will possibly have included spoilers.

Jung Ji-won is very, very passionate about food, about the way it tastes, looks, everything. She learned from her grandmother. After the disaster that was her relationship, she quits teaching and goes back to work for her former boss, the chef who gave her her first cooking post.

Things kind of go down hill from there. At some point, she even has to cook for her ex and his new partner. And the worst part- she is still very, very much in love with him.

Although confusing at times, which I narrow down to the fact that the book is translated from Korean, Tongue really is a good read. The descriptions of food are so real and yes, sensual, that visualising it is no hard feat at all. Recipes and ingredient lists are included as Jung Ji-won explains her methods, as she cooks for clients and herself- so by reading this, you’ll at least learn how to cook. Or how proper food should be prepared, at the very least.

One annoying bug that I experienced, and this may entirely be my fault, but I couldn’t discern character’s names. They were too alike, or mentioned too few to make sense, and so I promptly forgot who was who. Flicking back a couple of pages (or consulting good ol’ Google) really helped, though.

But yes, Tongue is a pleasant read for someone who is wishing for a quick story about a down on her luck woman, who turns the odds astonishingly in her favour toward the end.

Star Rating: 3/5