Thursday, 30 July 2015

All The Bright Places - Jennifer Niven


Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publication Date: January 6th, 2015
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Theodore Finch constantly fantasises about dying, especially his death. Standing on the ledge of the school tower, he's surprised to find Violet Markey on the other side. Their brief encounter leads Finch to pair himself up with Violet for a school project.

As they discover the wonders around them, Finch and Violet find that they can rely on each other to heal and grow. But as Violet begins to let go of her grief and fears, Finch is slowly slipping away from the world.

Review


Trigger warnings: suicide, depression, abuse.

All The Bright Places has to be the most hyped book for this year, at least so far. After constantly hearing rave reviews about it I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately, it's now part of the most over-hyped books I've ever read.

The first half of the novel is quite light, which did seem to trivialise the read for me a little but made it easy to ease into the plot.  The characters are introduced and whilst I liked Finch right off the bat, the same can't be said for Violet. In fact I wasn't particularly fond of her character at all. I sympathised with her situation, particularly with her conflict between enjoying life and grieving for her sister. However, the wall that she builds to push everyone away falls abruptly. I didn't really think that was realistic, and whilst it's not a total reverse in character, it did feel like it was too easy and sudden. I did liked that at the end though, at Violet tried hard to be strong for bother Finch and her sake and that she found positivity in the worst situation. It really drives the message that there is always help and support from the people around you, in both times of happiness and suffering.

Finch was a witty and intelligent, both of which he used in his banter towards Violet - something I really enjoyed from their relationship. He is a very realistic character and Niven does a great job conveying the emotions of a person going through a mental disorder. There are glimpses of his "problem" at the beginning and the mystery behind it pushed me to keep reading. But even right at the end there is no explicit or further explanation to what was being alluded. I eventually understood his situation but I really wanted to hear Finch maybe discuss his disorder and the triggers or reasons behind it happening. Although perhaps because he could never share his worries with anyone, it was hard for him to grasp it as well. I just was left unsatisfied at the end because I had so many unanswered questions.

The ending was heartbreaking and very unexpected. It's definitely not an easy read but I don't want to say anything more because this is something that should probably be read without prior knowledge. The ending was definitely the highlight of the novel though, and I was left breathless. Riding down from that high though, I don't think it was as spectacular as what everyone said it would be. I really appreciate Niven for delving into an area that is rarely addressed in YA books, and bringing light to the seriousness of the issue and how it should be dealt with. However, I don't exactly think it was executed in the best way. It was a great read with a strong message, but I'm glad I gave myself time to mull over it to discover what I did and didn't like. It also didn't help that I had just finished a stronger read before this, with a lot of philosophical aspects, so I guess this just seemed a little smaller on the scale. I do think you should read it though because I guess there's a reason why everyone else seems to love it!

I learned that there is good in this world, if you look hard enough for it. I learned that not everyone is disappointing, including me.




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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Fellow Book Nerd Characters

Hosted By: The Broke and The Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. Check out future topics here. 

Top Ten Characters Who Are Book Nerds
It amazes me that everyone on the list today are all female characters. 



1. Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The ultimate fangirl, Cath lives for the Simon Snow series and holes herself up in her room reading/writing instead of partying and socialising. Sounds familiar? Exactly!

2. Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl
Mathilda's one of the earliest characters I encountered who loved to read and excelled at it as well.

3. Caelena Sardothien from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I love Caelena for being both badass and well read - that's how girls rock.

4. Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane finds solitude in books from an early age, which is something so relatable, at least to me.

5. Hermonie Granger from Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
This list would not be complete without the girl who finds "light reading" in volumes of textbooks.



6. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Shoutout to ladies who can match men on levels of literature and education. Holler!!

7. Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Nothing screams book nerd than stealing books just to read.

8. Yelena from Poison Study Series by Maria V. Synder
I knew I would like her the moment she fell in love with the royal library.

9. Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Classic case of loving reading and never being proud of it.

10.  Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I love Jo for the fact that she enjoyed reading and continued to do so even if it wasn't a womanly thing to do.

Who's On Your List?



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Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Waiting List

The Waiting List is a feature hosted by PrintedWordsAnd, where I list some upcoming releases for the month that I'm most excited about! 


Sequels



1. Of Dreams and Rust (Of Metals And Wishes #2) by Sarah Fine - 4th August

2. Jubilee Manor (Landry Park #2) by Bethany Hagen - 11th August

3. The Taming of the Queen (The Tudor Court #4) by Philippa Gregory - 13th August 
I am so excited for this because it's been a really long time since I've read anything from Gregory and I've missed the historical world she creates.

5. Another Day (Every Day #2) by David Levithan - 25th August

4. Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray - 25th August


Fantasy



1. Court of Fives (Court of Fives #1) by Kate Elliot - 18th August

2. Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan - 18th August 

3. Dead Upon a Time by Elizabeth Paulson - 25th August 


Contemporary/Thriller



1. Secrets Don't Keep (The Grove #1) by Elora Nicole Ramirez - 10th August
I'm really hoping this is the kind of thriller I'm thinking of. If it's executed right it should be an amazing read. 

2. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness - 27th August

What Are You Anticipating for August?




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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Fairytale for Wilde Girls - Allyse Near


Title: Fairytales for Wilde Girls
Author: Allyse Near
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2013
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Isola's always seen things other people haven't, especially in the woods. Nothing's ever bothered her until she finds the dead girl in the bird cage. Instead of leaving her alone, the girl follows her home and threatens her.

Isola's friends try to protect her, but she must find the reason behind the girl haunting her before the threats become real.


Review


The contents within Fairytales for Wilde Girls is as beautiful as its cover. I thoroughly enjoyed Allyse Near's writing, which made me feel like I was transported into a magical world. It had both a very whimsical and innocent feel, but also carried a dark and mysterious tone. These elements together displayed what I found to be the perfect example of a fairytale; mirroring something like the Grimm's brothers tales.

I liked the underlying creepiness, delivered subtly, and kept me on edge. The mystery surprisingly had a lot more depth than the usual fantasy/supernatural stories. At times it did drag on a little, but the pace was quick and intense that I flew through it pretty easily - after two tries that is, but don't worry because once the plot reached its conflict it captivated me instantly.

What I loved was that each character had their own voice, making them identifiable and memorable. I  also loved that the two characters, Isola and Edgar, were named after popular historical figures. Their personalities are influenced by the previous Isola Wilde and Edgar Allen Poe. However, my favourites would have to be the magical creatures who circulate Isola and protect her. Each one of them were fascinating in characteristics and appearance. In fact the book also has illustrations of each character and they look absolutely stunning!

The ending was heartbreaking and nothing I ever expected. It carried a deep and heartwarming message, which I appreciated. Fairytales for Wilde Girls is a clever story, combining elements of fantasy and mystery along with relatable themes such as relationships amongst friends and family, trust and loyalty. Give it a read!

"And they lived ever after, whether they were happy about it or not"





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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Celebrating Diversity/Diverse Character

Hosted By: The Broke and The Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. Check out future topics here. 

Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Character

I'm actually quite ashamed that I can't seem to list 10 books for this topic. I've listed what I can but let me know what else I should read! 


1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green 
It has a number of characters including the one and only "Tiny" - an obese, gay guy who basically stole the show and my heart. (Also, this is one of my favourite books).

True to its title, Chinese Cinderella paints the story of a girl who goes through ups and downs in her life, and despite having heard the story in Primary (Grade) School it's stayed with me until now. 

3. Noughts and Crosses (Nancy Farmer #1) by Malorie Blackman
I highly recommend this novel because I think it really does well in exploring the issues of race and racial discrimination. In Noughts and Crosses though, the roles are reversed which makes for an interesting twist. 

4. The House of The Scorpion (Matteo Alacran #1) by Nancy Farmer
Even though this is more sci-fi based, it does delve into class structure and discrimination against the different "races". 

5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
A very heartwarming and meaningful read.


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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Ten Tiny Breaths (Series) - K.A Tucker

Title(s): Ten Tiny Breaths, One Tiny Lie, Four Seconds to Lose, Five Ways To Fall
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths 
Author: K.A Tucker
Publication Date: 2012 - 2014
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
Ten Tiny Breaths contains four novels, revolving around various characters who live within the same community. They each try to face their inner demons with the help of the people around them, and learn of love and trust. 

Review








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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Books In My Possession

Hosted By: The Broke and The Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. Check out future topics here. 

Top Ten Recent Books In My Possession

Bought


1. The King's Curse (The Cousins' War #6) by Philippa Gregory -- (finally!!)
2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
3. Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near
4. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
6. Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas


Gifts


7. Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead
8. If I Stay by Gayle Forma
9. Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
10. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

What Were Your Latest Purchases?




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Monday, 13 July 2015

Find Me Tag

I've seen this tag floating around the blog-o-sphere these past days and I couldn't resist! It was pretty challenging compared to what I thought but I found it fun. I get to showcase some great covers as well as share some books I've read but haven't featured on the blog. It's a win win. 

How It Works?

  1. Find a book for each of the 10 categories list. 
  2. Tag as many people as you want! No obligations though. 
  3. Link back to Novel Ink - the hosts of this TAG!

Word "Gone" | Weapon


Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn | A Dance With Dragons (2): After The Feast - George R. R Martin


Moon | Girl in White Dress


The Innocent - Pose Graeme - Evans | Hallowed - Cynthia Hand


Couple Kissing | Sunset


Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead | Breadcrumbs - Anne Ursu


Headphones | Water

for some reason I don't own a book with headphones on them - oops. 

Alice - Judith Hermann


Flower | Heart(s)


Rosebush - Michele Jaffe | Dusk - Eve Edwards


Definitely do this Tag if you're up to it and leave the link down below so I can check it out!

You're Up Next! 




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Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Minnow - Diana Sweeney

Title: The Minnow
Author: Diana Sweeney
Publication Date: May 28th, 2014
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
In a flood that takes her family's lives, Tom is the lone survivor and finds herself living with Bill in an old shed. When she finds herself pregnant, Tom moves away from Bill in order to look after her baby - The Minnow.

She begins to rely on the closest people to her: Jonah, his grandfather and her Nan but memories of her family keeps cropping up. As The Minnow's birth approaches, Tom learns of pain and grief, and hope and love.

Review


The Minnow lays down a touching, coming of age story covering various complex topics spanning from teenage pregnancies to family ties and role models - just to name a few. It has a level of depth that develops as the plot progresses, coming across relatable but isn't a totally perfect read.

Sweeney writes in a whimsical, almost too "airy" feel and for all its poetic-ness (yes I just made up a new word), there were instances where I started to out of touch with the intended purpose. I can see it as a reflection of Tom's mindset and her sense of feeling uncertain and unstable, but it was hard to read at times. I do know that some people found it all beautiful though, and I can recognise bits of that as well. What was more confusing though, was the progress of the plot, which used flashbacks to link different events. The transitions sometimes jumped quite strangely and I couldn't quite get it.

It did send across a powerful message about developing and strengthening positive relationships, which I really appreciated. I found that the parallels between Tom surrounding herself with positive influence compared to negative influences really portrayed how important it is to keep the right people in life as a support group - reliable and trustworthy. Relationships plays a huge part in this novel actually, revolving around family and friends, and that was one of my favourite parts. It also explored the complexity of emotions and its affect on relationships, which was realistic and relatable. Especially for Tom who's still trying to find her footing and identifying herself, I could really understand her conflict in trying to comprehend her feelings towards the people in her life and the effect it had on her.

The characters were unique and left a good impression, but Tom was written in a really eccentric way. I don't entirely understand the purpose of having her being able to speak to fish or dead people, but at the age of 14 I guess that was her method of coping with her traumatic experience. Personally, I fell in love with Nan and her no nonsense but affectionate nature.

The Minnow addresses various relatable themes, but does stretch the plot over many issues so whilst having depth it was a little too complex to really grasp the entire meaning; at least for me. I liked it for being emotionally engaging and thought provoking, and did finish it relatively fast so my difficulty in reading it wasn't too extreme. I do like supporting Australian authors and am glad it won two awards. Its positivities though do make up for the smaller problems that niggled me.





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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Hyped Books I've Never Read

Hosted By: The Broke and The Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish, where we list our top ten according to a topic of the week. I'm actually not participating in this weekly, only because I know that for some of the topics I really can't come up with a list of ten. For future topics though, check them out here. 

Top Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read

Off the top of my head these are just 10 I thought of. I say I'm a keen reader, but for all the books I've read there are many hyped books I've barely looked at. These 10 barely skim the surface - oops - but I've tried to include different genres.


  


1. Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
When this series was at its peak I was pretty much very disinterested, but when I decide I wanted to give it a try someone ruined the entire series for me. Much disappointment. So anger.

2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
A very well known classic, I think I did attempt it in high school but obviously that failed.

3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
This is so big over on BookTube and I'm pretty sure in the blogosphere as well. I am so intrigued but every time I go to buy it it never makes the final cut. One day, I promise, one day.

4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
About half way through. Will get to the other half some time soon. (I hope).

5. Shatter Me Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi
Pretty much the same story as the above books. Except there's not much of an urgency just yet.




6. Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
See Shatter Me for basically the same explanation - although for this one the hype was a bit off putting.

7. 1984 by George Orwell
Or just about any George Orwell novel to be frank. Don't worry guys, I will get there. I will.

8. The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken
I actually really do want to read this. Probably when Summer break comes I will marathon all three novels.

9. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The hype was so large, a movie was made out of it. I have not seen the movie either and I'm going to be perfectly honest and say I don't have intention to read or see either.

10. On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
I'm not sure if this is still hyped but I've actually been pressured to read this, and have not been able to get past the first 50 pages. Maybe some time in the future I'll get around to it again. Maybe.

Which Hyped Books Have You Not Read?



(Photo Source: Goodreads)
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