Sunday, 30 November 2014

Monthly Wrap Up || NOVEMBER 2014

Well, well, well - where do I start? Outside of blogging November was a pretty okay month for me, I mean there were Mocks which I *think* went alright, its not like I was huddled in the corned worried about my future and stress eating... not. at. all. Seriously though, to everyone who had to take Mocks this month like me; I hope you did well and if not, then there's still time for improvement - there's nothing to worry about! (She said unconvincingly.) Half way through the month, once all the exams were out of the way I just got really into the spirit of blogging, hence why you were bombarded with a post every single day since then. I mean, I went crazy with writing and scheduling posts, and I had a lot of fun doing it. Plus what with all the reviews I put out this month, my review pile is starting to dwindle, which is progress!

Now onto posts from me and Zoe in the entirety of November, we may have slipped a cheeky little Christmas one in there where Zoe showed us her Christmas TBR. I'm not one of those people who likes to see decorations and tree's up at this time, but I have to admit, you can't help but want to put a cosy jumper on and listen to Christmas songs. We also did a couple of tags this month - we did The Bedtime Book Tag and The TBR Tag! I'm just going to get the big news out of the way, its the end of November so... who saw Mockingjay (Part 1)? What did you think? If you want to hear what I thought of it then you can check out the movie review I did, here!

Moving on, I stretched my photography legs a little in two posts this month, showing you some rather delicious morsels in my Book Haul & New Things post, and in my TTT: Books On My Winter TBR post. Similarly I also wrote another Top Ten Tuesday post, earlier in the month, about the Sequels I Can't Wait To Get - which included The Winner's Crime and Between the Spark and the Burn, which I both have copies of now, so yay! Me and Zoe are now participating in the W...W...W... Wednesday feature, and we put out first post up the other day*, if you want to see what that's all about then you can click right here. Lastly, I wrote a post (that was mainly comprised of gifs) about how I've been converted to buying hardbacks.


Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Compulsion by Martina Boone 
The Young Elites by Marie Lu 
Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch 
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

*Instead of putting up W...W...W... Wednesday posts every single Wednesday, we've decided to put them up on the first Wednesday of every month - that way there's not too much repetition!

That is it for this Monthly Wrap Up - what did you get up to this month?

Saturday, 29 November 2014

REVIEW || Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Book Title: Girl Online
Author: Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella)
Publisher: Penguin, 25th November, 2014
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback, 352 pages
LinksGoodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Penny has a secret. Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment on her blog. But Noah has a secret too. One that threaten's to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.
DISCLAIMER: This review is based solely on my thoughts of the book and not of Zoella or her channel. The fact I like to watch her videos has in no way influenced this review!

I really enjoyed this book. It was everything I needed it to be and more. I read books to make myself forgot my own life and this book was amazing at it. I read it in two days, even though the average time for me is two weeks!

Penny was a brilliant main character. I could identify with her clumsiness and embarrassment in situations. Penny is complicated, and I liked that. I liked that she had a human feel to her, that she felt more than just a character for me. Her relationship with Noah is fast but it works. It works when they fall in love so quickly. I liked that when it came down to it, you didn't find out everything about Noah. It made him slightly more mysterious and that made you want to keep reading.

The siblings in this book are best. One of my favourite things in YA novels is a very protective older brother and that is how I would describe Tom, Penny's older brother. He wants to and tries to protect her tries and that's just one of those things I like in YA. Noah's younger sister, Bella, was just so cute. I want her to be real and be my sister. As young as she was, she still was very wise but also very cute.

The plot is slightly predictable, the secret that Noah keeps is hinted at but I didn't guess it so I did find it quite shocking. The style of the book was great. The blog posts and text messages being included and shown like real text messages and blog posts was a really nice touch.

The panic attacks in the book were handled well. Zoe has being suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for many years so knew how to deal with them and write about them in a delicate and real way. I like the way they have been talked about. As someone who supports the inclusion of mental health issues in books, I think Zoe has done a nice job.

I have to add that I can see some of Zoe's friends and family in this book. I don't mind that. In fact I always like to ask if characters were based on anybody in real life, or at least elements of them. So for me that's a big yes. I really enjoyed this book. I know not everyone will, but for this book was very good! I am interested to see what Zoe publishes in the future.

Rating= 5 Bookish Birds

Friday, 28 November 2014

MINI REVIEWS || If I Stay by Gayle Forman AND Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

Mini reviews are a shorter way for me to review books and I've only ever done one other mini review post and I'm not starting them now because I'm lazy or anything, but it seems like a much more efficient way to review books that I don't have much or say about or *pulls collar guiltily* books that I can't remember much about to make a full four paragraph long review of.

Book Title: If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Speak, July 8th, 2014
Source: Bought!
Format: Paperback (Movie Tie-In), 304 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
In the blink of an eye everything... (~Goodreads)
If I Stay is a book that has been praised a lot and I finally picked up my copy in July and read it, and I was... not exactly disappointed. The story was every bit as heartwrenching as people had told me, and I really liked Mia as a character, I think we'd get on really well as friends but I just couldn't connect emotionally with the story - which wasn't really surprising I don't connect with many contemporaries, but I think what made it slightly worse was that literally every single person who I spoke to about it told me I'd cry and that they loved the book. I so desperately wanted to love it too, but in the end there was nothing really there for me. Gayle Forman is one of my favourite authors, I loved Just One Day and Just One Year but If I Stay didn't really do anything for me. I'm not dissing it or anything I can still recognize that it's well written and I think the sentiment behind the story is really geniune and I like that, but once I finished the book I couldn't help but feel like "that's it? where's the emotion? did I miss out a whole chunk of the book, or something?".
Rating = 3 Bookish Birds

Book Title: Skin Deep
Author: Laura Jarratt
Publisher: Electric Monkey, March 5th, 2012
Source: Review copy
Format: Paperback, 377 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Ugly people don't have feelings... (~Goodreads)
Skin Deep is such an adorable contemporary, I loved it to pieces. If there's one thing I associate with Skin Deep its the word glowing, honestly anytime I think about this novel I get this silly little smile and it just glows in my mind. If that isn't high praise I don't know what is... Jenna was just such a good, nice person, even though she has to deal with her scars, and sometimes this would annoy me because "nice" characters can often be portrayed as a little boring, but Jenna was so lovely - she's probably one of my favourite contemporary characters ever! That's not to say she was perfect, far from it, but she was so real the way she was insecure, and could take things the wrong way very quickly is really genuine. The book is told from two perspectives in alternating chapters, and the writing style was fantastic, I really got a good feel for Ryan's character through his chapters and was able to clearly distinguish from both of them (unlike in Allegiant when Four and Tris sounded completely the same...) - both perspectives were also equally as interesting, usually I'd find myself rooting for one perspective, but in Skin Deep I loved both. Lastly, the way the issue of bipolar mental illness [through Ryan's mother] was intertwined into the story was one of my favourite elements, it didn't take away from the main storyline, but Jarratt wrote it in really well and I honestly can't find a fault in the novel. It was such a joy to read and I can't recommend it enough!
Rating = 4 Bookish Birds

Thursday, 27 November 2014

REVIEW || Compulsion by Martina Boone

Book Title: Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island #1)
Author: Martina Boone
Publisher: Simon Pulse, October 28th, 2014
Source: Bought!
Format: Hardback, 448 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse. All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions. Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.
Compulsion is a book that I added to my wishlist impulsively, a long time before it was published. I can't even remember why I added it, and I wasn't even seriously thinking of buying it (erm, does this sound bad? its not, I promise!) but on the release day for Compulsion I was on The Book Depository and was just like "you know what, I actually really want to read this and the hardback is gorgeous" so that is how I came into possession of my copy - and strangely enough, I read it the day after it arrived. The reason this is strange is because I don't usually read books I've bought straight away because of the huge amount of review copies I'm behind on reading.

Compulsion was my first experience with the contemporary fantasy genre. Now I love fantasy, its one of my favorite genres, but I've never read a contemporary fantasy novel and I was wary of Compulsion because if it wasn't pulled of properly then I think it would really irritate me if the contemporary feel was lost. Fortunately, Compulsion was written brilliantly and the plot was fantastic, it wasn't as twisted as I hoped it would be but I was still in the dark about a few elements and even for the bits that I'd already predicted, they were still great to read. Its definitely very southern gothic, with the big mansion. I adored the setting and I've never experienced such a "southern" feel before - it was refreshing and I'll definitely be reading loads more novels like this one.

Compulsion reads like a contemporary novel with hints at fantastical things, like Barrie and Eight's gifts for instance and the cherokee creatures. Having read about cherokee legends before in the House of Night series I was looking forward to seeing what Boone did with them in her novel, and I wasn't disappointed. Every more so fantastical scene in the book had an underlying eerie feel to it that will give you goosebumps. But the contemporary elements of the book were equally as good, I'm still a little unsure of the romance but there's no denying that it's well written and a lot of other readers will probably warm to it much quicker than I did.

The only real negative I can think of is the fact that I didn't really connect with any of the characters, I liked a lot of them especially Aunt Pru but apart from being amiable towards the characters that was it. I would have liked it if I could have been more emotionally invested in the novel, it surely would have reached five star status then. As it is, I really enjoyed Compulsion and will definitely be reading the sequel when it comes out next year! Compulsion did remind me a little of Hold Your Breath by Caroline Green, so if you enjoyed that then you should definitely give this one a read!

Rating = 4 Bookish Birds

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


To play along just answer the following three questions... What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next? Originally created at Should Be Reading!
Zoe and I are are now participating in the WWW Wednesday feature, and we'll be answering these three questions every Wednesday!

What are you currently reading?

Noggin by John Corey Whaley, which I am buddy reading with the lovely Charli! So far I'm enjoying it but its not really hooked me. I'm also reading The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, which is really good so far - its my most anticipated read of 2014 and I'm pretty sure its going to live up to all my expectations! It even has a maaaaap ^.^  [I absolutely adore books with maps - I'm probably a little obsessed...]

The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown, which I am loving. It's a really quick read and everything I hoped for! I've been rereading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins because I was going to see and it side note; OMG JUST JUST OMG! I'm also reading Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley and Vowed by Liz de Jager, very slowly!!

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished reading The Young Elites by Marie Lu (which I've already reviewed, you can read my review here) and like The Kiss of Deception its a fantasy with a map! I also just finished reading Compulsion by Martina Boone which was my first time reading a contemporary fantasy novel - of which my review will be going up tomorrow, so you can see what I thought of it then!

Nothing! OOPS!! I've struggling to keep up with schoolwork and still have time to read, so instead I haven't read anything! STUPID EXAMS!!

What do you think you'll read next?

I'm hoping to finally get round to reading Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor because it was gifted to me recently (and I also happened to buy a copy on the same day as well...) and I've wanted to see what happens after the end of Daughter of Smoke and Bone since I finished it months ago!

Well I need to reread Sailmaker by Alan Spence because I have a test on it at school on Thursday, just a mini one but we can't have notes, and on Saturday I'm going on a bus for 6 hours so I think I'll pick up It's Not Me It's You by Mhairi McFarlane for the journey. Also if I find time, Girl Online by Zoe Sugg aka Zoella because I want to! And maybe a Christmas book from my TBR! #ambitious!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

TOP TEN TUESDAY || Books on My Winter TBR

I don't usually stick to TBR's very well because I'm a mood reader and I'll just pick something up that I fancy even if I have an entire pile of ARC's and review copies I'm supposed to be reading - so I never actually make official TBR's - but these are the books I'm hoping to get round to reading before January, because with the amount of books I'll probably buy for my birthday... well, my piles of unread books will increase drastically. Did you see that? I stressed the word piles. Yes. PILES. PLURAL.

1. 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
2. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
3. The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting by Holly Bourne
4. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
5. Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Phillip Webb
6. Asylum by Madeleine  Roux
7. The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

8. I Was Here by Gayle Forman
9. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
10. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Monday, 24 November 2014

Letter From A Reader || The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Today's review is a little different because I have decided to write a letter to The Young Elites rather than doing a regular review. Huge thank-you's and hugs to the lovely Rita for letting me borrow her "Letter From A Reader" feature - its one of my favourite things to read on her blog and I'm so glad she didn't mind me borrowing it! Immediately upon finishing The Young Elites I knew I wanted to write a letter to it, I don't know why but something in my head was already forming the letter and the words I would say. So without further ado, here it is!

Book Title: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam, October 7th, 2014
Source: Bought!
Format: Hardback, 355 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside. Adelina Amourteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites... (-Goodreads)
Dear The Young Elites,

Having just finished you moments ago I am left with a profound sense of disbelief. You were so much more than I imagined you to be, even whilst I was reading you I still had doubts - which you quickly chased away within a few turns of pages. With your pages now filling my memory my love of reading grows a little more. You brought so much more to my idea of magic, without ever calling itself magic - in a city that echo's renaissance Italy you placed me there without hesitation, throwing sights and senses at me until I was almost one with your character, Adelina.

I don't know if it was the familiarity I shared with Adelina for being so much like myself, or just the way you wove her around me, but needless to say I admired her - every flaw she presented was something that increased my want to defend her, like a sister. In no way is she presented as a hero, she is the embodied journey to being labeled a villain. At the same time as being such a complex, and layered character, Adelina also had a simplicity to her - she was struggling with the very real darkness inside and you didn't shy away from making that something that warped our character. In you there is no black and white, right and wrong is all in shades of grey.

The romance wasn't something to be hidden away, you kept everything very real even in such a fantastical world, and I liked that. Maybe it was a bit too predictable, but I would be lying if I said I didn't want to see Adelina and Enzo together. I think Enzo may have been a bit too recycled as a character, but at least you gave him an original spin and weren't afraid to do the hard thing. Was it hard? It was certainly a surprising turn in the story, one which I can't praise enough.

Not only did you give me amazing scenes, and striking characters like Rafael who I adored to pieces, but your pages really came alive, the emotions felt like they were sitting there on the page to be picked up and handled. I can't say much for the meaning of life, or anything as profound as that, but books like you, The Young Elites, you show us what it means to be human. Although you might be fictional, and as far as I know I can't create illusions, you've still made yourself so accurately relevant - replace the fantasy elements with things from our lives and this could easily have become an urban novel to be acclaimed for its no nonsense approach to darker matters.

I'm not very good at writing letters, or talking, but I've done my best to say everything I can to you because you were truly a wonderful read. You may have been missing that extra factor that I so long for, but without a doubt you still blew my preconceptions out of the water and created a new world which I can't wait to dive back into with the sequel next year. Thank-you for giving me a character who I treasure not only because she's real and strong and true, but because I think people like me can learn a lot from a character like Adelina - I hope to see her grow in the future.

Love, Fi xx
Rating = 4 Bookish Birds

Sunday, 23 November 2014

MOVIE REVIEW || The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Now before I get started on the film I just want to say that I'm not a qualified movie reviewer, I've never reviewed a movie before (this is a book blog, I review books *hint hint*) and I don't really know how to start off of where even to go from here but I really do want to talk about the first part of Mockingjay and what I thought of it - so you'll just have to deal with my yabbering.

Initially I was a bit wary of Mockingjay being split into two parts because in the book the main action sequence (when the incidental Capitol raid goes down) doesn't happen until the second half of the book, therefore I was left wondering how they were going to make the first part decent. Like, for example, with splitting Twilight: Breaking Dawn into two parts all the boring stuff was in the first half, and all the action was in the second half - I definitely would have preferred it as one film rather than two. Again, though I hate to say it, the same thing happened with Harry Potter - whilst I enjoyed Part 1 and 2 of the Deathly Hallows immensely it still felt like something was missing.

So far though Mockingjay - Part 1 shows signs of pulling of the division better than Twilight; whilst there were a few moments when I couldn't help but think "how much longer?" overall I really enjoyed the film and it turned out much better than my expectations.

The thing that I think made Part 1 the best it could be is that it was pretty much linear to the book but we also got to see outside of Katniss's perspective, we got to see what was happening in the districts and I think those scenes were some of the best ones of the entire film. This was something that within the book, since its inside Katniss's head, we weren't able to experience - I think Lawrence (director) did an excellent job with this first bit. As I mentioned earlier if you’ve read the book (which is basically law before seeing any book to movie adaptations… but I’ll let you off… just this once) then you’ll know that the first half of Mockingjay is pretty quiet compared to the previous two games, but its not a bad thing, we get to explore the characters, especially Katniss, and I think that translated really well onto screen.

I seriously have to give a hand to Jeniffer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) and Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair), the way they portrayed Katniss and Finnick in Mockingjay was excellent. The actors really showed how the characters were struggling, from Finnick with his rope – which came across way better than I had imagined. To Katniss, who may I say, looked absolutely fantastic in her Mockingjay suit. And Effie, I can’t not mention Effie, she was still fabulous even in the drab recesses of District 13. I honestly don’t know what to think about the adaptation of President Coin, I imagined her much more stoic and cold – but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy watching her on screen, yet I’m still on the fence. Nonetheless, Julianne Moore (President Coin) did a brilliant job with the role, even if it doesn’t suit me.

Now I’m sure this is the bit you’ve all be waiting for me to talk about, The Hanging Tree scene, let me tell you it won’t disappoint you. The setting is just right and Katniss sounds beautiful singing it, not to mention the great way they cut the propo together (even though you only see a little bit of it, it still looks pretty good). And there was Peeta, poor Peeta. Even though we only get to see a little bit of Peeta, at the end Hutcherson just broke my heart with his performance. I don't think anyone who's read the book can watch the ending and not be touched.

I could endlessly talk about all the various scenes but that would make this post waaay too long, so I’m going to warp it up here. The film was everything I could have asked for, and a little more, I’m looking forward to Mockingjay – Part 2 even more now. You should definitely see this one as soon as possible, unfortunately my own cinema experience got ruined a little bit with people taking out their phones and talking, sigh.

**Note: This post is going up on the 23rd but I saw the film on the 20th!**

**Lily from Lily's Book Blog also reviewed Mockingjay - Part 1! I didn't know this when I was writing my review and just wanted to point that out... but her review is brilliant and definitely articulates much more than mine (plus there's no spoilers!) so to read her movie review of Mockingjay click here!**

Let me know if you enjoyed this type of post and I might write some more movie review's in the future! Apart from books I actually do watch a lot of films, and love talking about them - the same goes for t.v shows as well!

~ Movie Information ~

Movie Title: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Release Date: 21 November 2014
Age Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 123 min
Director: Francis Lawrence
Genre: Adventure | Sci-Fi
Links: IMDb | Wikipedia | Amazon
When Katniss destroys the games, she goes to District 13 after District 12 is destroyed. She meets President Coin who convinces her to be the symbol of the rebellion, whilst trying to save Peeta from the Capitol.
Rating: four-stars 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

TAG || The TBR Tag!

Hello!! Today I'm posting a tag on a Saturday because I haven't really got anything that I can review! (Slow reading month!) Sorry, school is so stressful! But I wanted to do one of the tags I have tagged in and need to do! I was tagged by Holly and I am tagging everyone as it's late, I can't think who has done this and it's fun!! So on with it!

HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TBR PILE? I use Goodreads a little, but not hugely as I have a lot on it. I usually just find it easier to go and check my bookshelves!

IS YOUR TBR MOSTLY PRINTED OR E-BOOK? PRINTED! I have a kindle, I hate my kindle. I don't use it at all. In fact, it may be dead!! OOPS! I love real books!

HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHICH BOOK ON YOUR TBR TO READ NEXT? I pick out what I fancy depending on my mood. I do try and save heavy books for holiday's because I have more time, and I generally will pick up a pre-order that I'm particularly excited for over books further down on my TBR!

A BOOK THAT'S BEEN ON YOUR TBR FOR THE LONGEST? I think it's Party Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. I believe I got it in May of 2010 so that's about 4 and a half years! *guilt face*

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR STRICTLY BECAUSE OF IT'S BEAUTIFUL COVER? I'm not that vain, in that I don't buy books just because of their cover. But a beautiful, and colourful, book that is on my TBR is This Book Is Gay by James Dawson! So gorgeous!! 

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT YOU NEVER PLAN ON READING? I'm really not sure about this question. I try to go through my physical TBR regularly so as any books I will not reread no longer stay with me. I don't know??


A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT BASICALLY EVERYONE HAS READ EXCEPT YOU? Like Holly, my answer is also The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I am determined to read this next year though, so don't worry, I will read it!

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT EVERYONE RECOMMENDS TO YOU? Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. I swear everyone has recommended this to me at some point or another! I will read it!

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT YOU'RE DYING TO READ? Clariel by Garth Nix. In fact as you read this post I shall be sitting on a bus reading this book. (Should you read this post on Saturday!)

HOW MANY BOOKS ARE ON YOUR GOODREADS TO-READ SHELF? As of today, Friday 21st November, I have 543 books on my shelf. *gulps* Although, some of those may be books I have read but have two copies marked on Goodreads, such as Isla and the Happily Ever After, because of different versions!

So that's the end of the tag! I hope you enjoyed this and sorry for posting this on a Saturday but I had nothing else to post so it was either this or leave you without a post from me in a week!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

DISCUSSION || Hardbacks: I've Been Converted

Its the age old discussion, isn't it? Hardbacks, or paperbacks? Well for the longest amount of time I could have answered this questions quickly and easily, paperbacks all the way. But in recent weeks I've seen a change in that. I've been buying way more hardbacks, and I actually don't mind reading them. Prepare for a GIF heavy post that will show you my journey.

Before the "conversion" I never used to read/buy hardbacks because...

1) They are quite expensive and c'mon I'm not going to spend fourteen pounds when the paperback is only six... not matter how pretty the hardback is....

2) They're just generally impractical - the weight and just trying to read hardbacks is a feat of ingenuity and innovation (is my dry sarcasm coming across well?)

After the conversion, the above didn't really matter anymore. Things just sort of went... a bit like this;

Me to The Book Depository and all the bookshops, when buying hardbacks.
Waiting for the books (HARDBACKS) to arrive.
Hardbacks, I don't say it often enough, but really, I love you.
All this has led me to the conclusion that I'm actually okay with hardbacks... 

What do you think of hardbacks? Do you prefer paperbacks?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

REVIEW || Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Book Title: Perfected
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Publisher: Entangled Teen, July 1st, 2014
Source: Bought!
Format: Hardback, 304 pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Perfection comes at a price. As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury. Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn't expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating. But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.
Perfected follows Ella, a pet as she goes to live with her new family. To be honest I was expecting a gritty YA dystopia with loads of excitement... and the tiresome romance - I was presented with something less dystopian and more normal, and unfortunately less exciting. Basically, the only notable difference between America-in-real-life and America in the book was the fact that a bill was passed, in the book, that allowed families to own humans as pets - modern day slavery.

That aspect alone intrigued me, although it did have me on the fence from the beginning, wondering whether or not it could be executed in just the right way. It didn't improve that much. Ella for one was likeable enough but nothing special, there's wasn't much character development or any real arc for her and that irritated me slightly. And the romance? Instalove. Erm. No thank-you.  Don't get me wrong I did actually enjoy reading the romance, its been a while since I've read a decent one - it was easy and not too heavy, I warmed to it because at first I could very much accept it as more instant attraction rather than love, but then Ella just had to go and "fall in love" and Penn too. Instalove. Sigh. On the topic of "feelings" I felt that Perfected also lacked a lot of emotional depth, the moments when the potential to really use it just felt like tarnishes in the story.

The pace and excitement of the novel greatly increased towards the end (definitely my favourite bit of the whole book). I only wish it wasn't as predictable as it turned out to be. Secondly, keeping in mind that at the time I was under the impression it was a standalone, the ending was very unsatisfactory, for me. This book had a lot of potential to be better than it was but needless to say I will be picking up the sequel because a) I need to know what happens next and b) I'm hoping that the sequel will be an improvement what with all the leading-up having been done within this first novel. Hopefully the world building that this book lacked will be made up in the sequel, but I would have preferred more development of the world in this one.

Overall Perfected was a pretty average read, I enjoyed reading it and I'm definitely going to be following the series but in the end it wasn't anything that really stood out for me. I do recommend it because I know a lot of people will enjoy it more than I did, so if you're a fan of The Selection series then definitely give this one a go!

Rating = 3 Bookish Birds