Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Pick Up/Buy A Book

This weeks topic from The Broke and The Bookish is Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Pick Up/Buy A Book. I thought this was a really interesting topic and made me think about the books I like. It is much easier to think about the things that make me not read a book rather than what I like, however I do now have a list.

  • World War 2
  • Dystopian
  • Teenage Pregnancy
  • Depression
  • Self Harm
  • Suicide
  • Drugs
  • Prostitution
  • Girl Spies/ Criminals
  • Action/ Mystery – something with a blurb that talks about suspense or being an action thriller

What Topics Would Make You Pick Up A Book?

Will Grayson Will Grayson

Book Blurb

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, teenager Will Grayson crosses paths with…”Will Grayson”! Two teens with the same name who run in two very different circles suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions. Culminating in epic turns-of-heart on both of their parts, they team up to produce the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high-school stage.

My Synopsis

Will Grayson tried to follow his own rules to not care too much and to shut up. His best friend Tiny has other idea’s though and introduces him to Jane who starts to cause Will to rethink his rules. He goes with them both to Chicago to see a band but when he can’t let in he ends up in a porn shop just to use his fake ID.

Will Grayson, the other Will Grayson, is depressed and his best friend isn’t really his friend at all. However he is secretly messaging a boy online and when the two decide to finally meet Will also finds himself in the porn shop in Chicago. 

When Will Grayson meets Will Grayson they both begin to change but Tiny has a musical to organise and all their relationships are about to get strained.

Review

This book alternates between each Will Grayson with the odd numbers being one Will written by John Green and the even numbered chapters David Levithan’s Will. At first I wasn’t as keen on David’s style of writing but once I got into the book I enjoyed them both just as much. The two Will’s stories could had their own merit but they also linked together very will. I almost feel like the book is actually about Tiny though as it was him that really helped them both.

I haven’t read anything by David Levithan before and the way he uses punctuation in this book was weird for me when I began reading. However I liked a lot of the things that his Will thought about life and mental health. Particularly the point where Tiny comes to see him for a ‘mental health day’ and Will gets frustrated  that he can just take a day off from his problems, like a holiday, whilst having a really mental health issue he knows he is stuck with his thoughts every day. 

John Green’s Will was easier to get get into however this also might be due to the fact I have been reading his other books recently. There were thoughts of this Will that I enjoyed also but it was his side of the story that really moved the plot along. I also really like reading about love from a male point of view. I just think, as is important to the book, that there is something more truthful and innocent about how men love and it makes me happy when I’m reading it. I also liked that his relationship with Jane was built up around the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment it makes me wonder if this was written before or after Sheldon uses it in The Big Bang Theory on Leonard and Penny. 

I thought this was a really good book, it took me a little time to get into it but it was worth it.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Book I Thought I’d Like More/Less Than I Did

This weeks topic from The Broke and The Bookish is Top Ten Books I thought I’d like more or less than I did. I don’t think before I started blogging I would have had any on the thought I like less list but now I have more on that list. I think we could have just picked on but I have gone for a bit of both.

Thought I’d Like More

  • Warm Bodies by Issac Marion I was really excited about this book becuase it seemed like a really original idea but for me there wasn’t enought excitement in it. 
  • The Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada Books about the war tend to grab my attention and because I like music I thought this sounded really interesting but I found it lacked the emotional connection. 
  • Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld Dystopian is another thing that makes me pick up a book and I liked the idea of a world obsessed with beauty because it is becoming true but the main character was just totally unlikeable. 
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver This was another dystopian that I thought had merit in its idea but just didn’t have the drive for me. 
  • The Medusa Project by Sophie McKenzie I love how Sophie Mckenzie writes action books that still feel realistic and I was looking forward to this series but it didn’t like up to her Blood series. 
  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green This one might be a bit contreversial as I know how much people love John Green but for me this story wasn’t what everyone made it out to be I think just because I have read a lot of similar stuff. 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis My disappointment from this book may be because of my age but I felt this book missed a bit of action. 

Though I’d Like Less

  • Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but everyone kept recommending it to me so I gave it a try and it blew me away. Totally original idea and racing plot. 
  • The Black Pear by Alan Porter This was a kindle freebie that I thought I would try as I don’t usually read a lot of scary mystery and it was free so worth it but it turned out to be really interesting. 
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver After not enjoying the first book in the series as much as I expected I was just reading this to see what happened but the different lay out of the book and more action going on made it really enjoyable. 

What Books Did You Find Better Or Worse Than You Expected?

Malka

Book Blurb

When the roundups start, Malka’s mother knows she must get her daughters-seven- year-old Malka and sixteen-year-old Minna-across the Hungarian border to safety, a place where they hope Jews can live in peace. But escape proves harder than they could have imagined, with bleeding feet, bad weather, and homesickness, and little Malka falls ill. Left behind to be brought across when the threat has passed, Malka finds herself in a terrifying world full of strangers, starvation, and constant fear of Nazi roundups. As time passes, it becomes more and more apparent that the threat is far from over. Completely alone, Malka struggles to stay hidden, unaware that miles away, a brokenhearted mother is searching frantically for her lost little girl.

My Synopsis

Hannah thinks that because she is a doctor she wont be harmed when the Germans come for the Jews and she has lulled herself into a false sense of security. So when the Germans do come for her she is forced to run away with her children with almost nothing on them. Malka is only 7 and she doesn’t understand what is going and when she becomes ill Hannah is forced to make a decision about what is best to do for everyone. 

Alone and back in Poland Malka can only think about the hunger she feels. She tries not to think of her mother and instead thinks about the few kind people who have helped her out during her journey. Barely surviving she hides from the Germans and steals whatever food she can not even thinking about her future. However her mother is frantically looking for her.

Review

This book is based loosely on a true story, Malka Mai was taken from Poland by her mother during the war however being so young at the time she doesn’t remember and has suppressed a lot of her memories. 

The story alternates between Malka’s point of view and her mothers. Malka doesn’t understand what is going on around her but because she is young and pretty she does when the affections of some who take her in briefly. In the end however she is still left hungry and alone. Hannah on the other hand doesn’t know what is the right thing to do. She has to make the right decisions to keep both her daughters safe but how can you do that when they have been separated. I really felt for her throughout the book, she was continually judged for her work with the Germans and then her decision to leave her youngest daughter behind however she was trying to also keep her eldest daughter safe. The elder daughter frustrated me a little as she didn’t seem at all grateful for what her mother had done and it was to keep her safe that she had given up everything. 

It is really hard to rate books like this because you can’t say you enjoy a story about suffering especially something so true. This wasn’t a book I enjoyed but I did find it worth reading.

Before We Say Goodbye

Book Blurb

Jerusalem, 2002. Where one young Palestinian is about to make the greatest sacrifice of all…In the style of the acclaimed TV drama 24, each chapter covers an hour in the day leading up to the suicide bombing. Written in filmic, dramatic language, this is both pacy and thought-provoking and will appeal to young adults and adults alike. It is endorsed by Amnesty International UK as contributing to a better understanding of human rights and the values that underpin them.

My Synopsis

In Jerusalem in 2002 Dima a 18-year-old Palestine and Myriam a 18-year-old Israeli Jew are both thinking about their futures. While Myriam mourns the loss of her friend and her dreams of returning to America with him Dina is deciding to take action. She wasn’t to avenge herself and as the hours pass by the two girls find themselves together for the final moment. 

Review

Although I enjoyed this book I’m not sure if I truly appreciate it. I don’t know what Drama 24 is so I didn’t pick up on this reference and I did feel there may a little too many view points involved. There were points were I forgot which side that character was on and a few of the characters I found struggled to add anything to the story. 

Despite this however the book was still good. It taught me a bit about something I really don’t know anything about and the concept was really interesting. I found myself feeling as the characters did about their situation and allows you to understand their actions, particularly Dima. I also liked that just at it said on the back the book managed to stay away from picking a side. We heard from both sides and how the felt about one another but the story was just about the actions of one day and how although they were all dealing with the situation differently they were all effected by just one of their actions. 

An Abundance of Katherines

Book Blurb

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy – loving best friend riding shotgun – but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

My Synopsis

Colin is fed up. In his life he has had 19 girlfriends, all called Katherine and yet again he has been dumped. This one feels different though, he really loved her and now he feels like not only will he never become a genius he won’t get K-19. It is at this point that his best friend Hassan suggest they take a road trip and with nothing better to do they set off.

Colin thinks that is he can theorize his experience with Katherines and predict who is going to dump who when he can become a genius and get Katherine back. However not far into their trip they end up in Gunshot where they meet Lindsey. They are introduced to her friends and her mother who insists they stay there and work for her. Lindsey is happy just living in her wee town not mattering to the world but her mother has a secret and knows that Colin and Hassan can teach her just as much as they will learn from Gunshot. 

Review

I know there are many, many John Green lovers out there, and I do really like him and the Vlogbrother video’s but I have to say that I am  yet to be totally blown away by his books. This one however I felt when I’d finished that I had enjoyed though. 

This may be controversial, if I haven’t already overstepped that line, but I actually think this may be may favourite of his I have read. Although the plot wasn’t racy like a lot of them books I am into at the moment I was pleasantly swept along with the story. Colin’s problem although prompted by the bizare number of Katherines in his life wasn’t that uncommon. So many people find themselves just living and trying to find away to make themselves matter and I think his trip shows how important it is to get out in the world because that is where you really learn lives lessons. 

Having listened to John Green reading past of this book on a Vlogbrothers video I found myself at the start hearing it in my head in his voice and I found that really helped me to take in the story better. There were quite a few points where I found myself reading thoughts of the characters and thinking that they reflected what I know of John from seeing him on tour and on videos. The characters were also really enjoyable and I think that might be the point of the book. It is about the fact that Colin had to learn that he can’t predict the future an that he can live on through storied but it’s also about people and the fact the both Colin and Lindsey learn that they can be whoever they want to be is what gave me a buzz when finishing this book.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Rewind – Top Ten Movie Adaptations

This week I have picked from The Broke and The Bookish rewind list Top Ten Movie Adaptations. However I am not going to write the normal top ten layout I am going to share me favourite and worst adaptations and the couple that sit on the fence.

Favourite Adaptations – For me these are the adaptations that I think kepp well to the books of in the case of the last two are even better than the books.

  • Now is Good 
  • The Chronicles of  Narnia 
  • The Hunger Games 
  • The Hobbit 
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas 

Worst Adaptation – For different reasons these are bad adaptations. The first is mostly due to bad actors, the second is because they put too much of the rest of the series in and the last because the completely changed the ending. Although I did still cry the first time I saw it.

  • Twilight 
  • Cirque Du Freak – The Vampires Assistant 
  • My Sister’s Keeper 

Adaptations on the Fence – These films are ones that I do actually really enjoy however they do waver from the book so I can’t say they are my favourite.

  • Harry Potter Series 
  • The Wizard of Oz 

What Are Your Favourite And Worst Movie Adaptations?

Girl, Defective

Book Blurb

We, the Martin family, were like inverse superheroes, marked by our defects. Dad was addicted to beer and bootlegs. Gully had “social difficulties” that manifested in his wearing a pig snout mask 24-7. I was surface clean but underneath a weird hormonal stew was simmering…

It’s summer in St Kilda. Fifteen-year-old Sky is looking forward to great records and nefarious activities with Nancy, her older, wilder friend. Her brother – Super Agent Gully – is on a mission to unmask the degenerate who bricked the shop window. Bill the Patriarch seems content to drink while the shop slides into bankruptcy. A poster of a mysterious girl and her connection to Luke, the tragi-hot new employee sends Sky on an exploration into the dark heart of the suburb. Love is strange. Family Rules. In between there are teenage messes, rock star spawn, violent fangirls, creepy old guys and accidents waiting to happen. If the world truly is going to hell in a hand-basket then at least the soundtrack is kicking. Sky Martin is Girl Defective: funny, real and dark at the edges.

My Synopsis

Sky life is a bit different from the average teenager. Her father drinks too much and her brother walks about with a pig snout on so she tends to keep to herself because she can’t bring friends home. Her best friend is their 19-year-old ex-cleaner Nancy who comes to sit with her on the roof of their flat smoking and drinking ans sharing weird stories. It is up there that they first see Luke.

When a brick is thrown through the front window of Sky’s families shop things in Sky’s like begin to all link together. A woman from her fathers past comes back into his life. Her brother Gully has a real investigation to get on with. Luke begins working at the shop and Sky realises there is similarities between Nancy and the recently killed girl. Sky just can’t get Mia out of her head and as she tries to get her head around what happened to her she begins to finally find her place in the world. 

Review

What I love about Simmone Howell’s writing is her emphasis on culture. Through out this book music is continually referenced and we learn how much both Sky and her Dad appreciate the LP record. Sky learns about going to local gigs and discovers the world of the fangirl and how powerful that can be.

The characters in the book are also really interesting. They are very original and have their own quirks that make them good to read about. I thought Gully was a particularly good character and his obsession with being an agent really fitted in with the plot of the story. Nancy was also a really interesting character. She embodied the big sister type that many girls look for and she was full of hope and creativity although not without fault. 

Although there was a plot to this story about trying to solve the mysterious actions surrounding Mia’s death and the attacking of shops in town the story was really about Sky trying to find her place. It is really hard for young women to make that transition from being an immature teenager to finding your place in the world and Sky although feels very different to others is still going through the same pains. 

I was really excited about reading this book especially after winning it from Simmone herself. I don’t think it is my favourite of her novels but it I definitely enjoyed it and it is the perfect young adult novel about discovering who you are and where you belong.

Fractured

Book Blurb

How do you know where to go when you don’t remember where you came from?

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

Or so she thought.

Kyla shouldn’t be able to remember anything. But she can – and she’s beginning to realise that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life, she thinks she’s on her way to finding the truth. But the more she learns about her history, the more confusing her future becomes…

My Synopsis

More and more of Kyla’s memories are coming back to her and the more she discovers the more she wants to know. Luckily for her someone she recognises has just started teach at her school, however everything about him although reminds her of her past also feels dangerous.

To make things worse things at home aren’t happy. She doesn’t know who she can trust and she knows there are still things she doesn’t understand. With someone from her past in her life again she is able to begin to piece together some of her past. But with this she also discovers there are other questions to ask, about why exactly she can’t remember four years of her life, and who is the man in her dreams, and for that she has to be part of both sides of the law.

Review

I feel like we really get to understand a lot more about the characters in this book, not just Kayla but also her new parents and her doctor. Kyla, although beginning to get her some of her memories back, is still making new decisions about the person she wants to be now and this may not be the girl she remember she was before. For me there is a lot of important moral questions thought about in the story. The plot was also interesting and pulled the story along nicely which I enjoyed although some of it was predictable, but for me it was Kyla’s discoveries about herself and being able to choose the person she wants to be that was really interesting.

I also enjoyed her interactions with the other characters in the book, particularly with her doctor. She is supposed to be the one asking questions but some how Kyla ends up getting more answers each week. Kyla also finally begins to understand her mum a lot more and her suspicions about her dad continue to grow. Her relationship with Nico is particularly interesting because you know there is something not right about it and it is when he introduces her to someone else from her past that will open up to her about her past that her views really begin to change.

I was really excited about this book being released and it has lived up to expectation but in a different way. I enjoyed the plot and there was a nice amount of action in it but for me I want to know what is going to happen to all of our character next.

Cover Reveal – A Shard of Ice

Title: A Shard of Ice
Series: Black Symphony Saga
Publisher: Red Alice Press
Release Date: April 14th, 2014
Synopsis:

THEIR SOULS, REAWAKENED

When 13-year-old Lilix Morgan is found alive and floating on a bed of ice at sea, everyone counts it a miracle. Kidnapped nearly four weeks earlier, she remembers nothing of
her mysterious abduction. When she tries to remember what happened, she hears only a melody – a faint and delicate set of notes, strung together in a tune she doesn’t understand.

THEIR POWER, UNMATCHED

A year later and desperate to put the lingering nightmares of her past behind her, Lilix crosses the country to enroll at Baelmorte Academy, aiming to become the violinist she once dreamt of. Things seem to be finally going well, and Lilix settles into a routine of sheet music and inspiration among new friends.

Then the dreams start.

The melody and night terrors she thought she’d left behind return with a vengeance, threatening to ruin her fragile version of normalcy. Then an unlikely ally tells her that she isn’t alone. That there are others just like her, fighting to hide their own shocking truths from coming to light. That they know who she is, and what she’s been through. Now, accompanied by four other girls, Lilix discovers her nightmares are larger than a single trauma; they’re a window to a hidden part of her soul, a place of immense power with a destiny that cannot be ignored.

THEIR BATTLE, IS ONLY BEGINNING

With this knowledge comes a new and frightening reality. For Lilix has been reawakened to stop an age-old enemy, one thought to have been destroyed centuries ago. Trapped by her destiny, Lilix is torn between what feels right and what she remembers. Her memories tell her of a star-crossed love waiting to be reunited, of friendships and trust broken in the past. But can she save that love when reality brings her an enemy, and an evil that will be the undoing of them all if they don’t destroy it?

To Find Out More About This Book,  Alivia Anders and Any Of Her Other Books Check Out The Links Below:

Facebook for Alivia Anders: http://www.facebook.com/aliviaanders

Twitter for Alivia Anders: https://twitter.com/AliviaAnders

Blogger for Alivia Anders: aliviaanders.blogspot.com

Official author website (still under construction): aliviaanders.com

A Shard of Ice on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17207178-a-shard-of-ice