Monday, June 30, 2014

Charli Reviews: Cracks

Who do you trust when your whole life is a lie?
Cal’s discovering that his life is not as ordinary as he thought.
That’s scary.
Particularly when it seems he’s the very last to know.
He needs to find out the truth – but, with lies, anger, and deceit on all sides, is there anyone he can trust?

Author: Caroline Green
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Date of Publication: May 2012
Pages: 245
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from Piccadilly Press in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Piccadilly Press!

Cracks is one of those books I'm in the middle with. I didn't really love it, but I didn't hate it by any stretch of the imagination.

The blurb doesn't give too much away (the Goodreads one does, so I've used the book one here) so I didn't know what to expect from this. I requested it on a recommendation from Jack, who loves it. So, I'm not going to talk about what happens in this book because I think it ruins the story.

The plotline was interesting and I had questions from the start. However, as it went on, I found it became kind of complicated. I thought the original live was good but then a huge plot twist came in, and I think that that is what put me off this book.

As a character, Cal was okay. I had no particular interest in him, nor a hate of him (much like the entire book, in fact).

Also, the ending annoyed me. Now, I know there is a sequel, but I saw no need for the cliffhanger. Just another couple of sentences would have done it for me.

I can't really comment on the romance, because of the plotline twists. But, it was really sweet and I did like it as a sub-plot within the book.

So overall, I am quite indifferent about this book. It was neither good or bad, and the aspect that really decided my rating was definitely the plotline.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tori Talks #4: Book Covers

Everyone's favourite co-blogger, Tori, rants fortnightly about all those little annoying things in the bookish world.

Charli's Note: THIS. THIS. THIS. Read on folks! 

In case you assumed from the title that I am ranting about book covers, I’m not. I’m ranting about book covers with movie titles on and movie covers.



I absolutely love book covers; whether they be creative and colourful, like Amber by Julie Sykes, or simple and effective, like Trouble by Non Pratt. When going out to shop for books, I like to look at covers, and usually I think ‘this is an alright cover and the book looks good as well’, but sometimes there are movie stickers on the front… I understand that if the book is becoming a film then you want to advertise it, but is it really necessary to ruin a cover and put a sticker on it saying ,‘Soon to be a major motion picture! Coming to cinemas August 2014’. Also, sometimes it ruins the effect of the cover, for example, on the Hunger Games cover, it is a very effective picture of the Mockingjay pin and I love it, except it has a sticker on…




I dislike most movie covers. This is mainly because I prefer the original cover and in some book shops, they stop selling the original book cover when the movie cover comes out. It is really annoying when you want the series with the same style of covers but the first book has a movie cover on and it just doesn’t look right! One of my biggest problems with movie covers is that they don’t look good. I don’t feel like I have to pick it up and see what it is because the cover looks rubbish. 

However, there is one exception and that is The Fault in Our Stars. Obviously I love the original cover but the movie cover looks amazing and I love it. Although I would have the original cover if I owned it, why not have the movie cover as well? 
 


Please let me know down in the comments what your opinion is and please suggest more topics for Tori Talks!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tori Reviews: Elsewhere

Killed in a hit-and-run accident, Liz's 'life' takes an unexpected turn. She knows that she will never marry, have children or maybe never even fall in love - but in the land called Elsewhere, things carry on pretty much as normal.

Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Date of Publication: September 2007
Pages: 271
Source: Borrowed from library
Goodreads | Amazon


This book was recommended to me by my school librarian and she said that she loved it, and had recommended it to other people who have enjoyed it. At first I was a bit hesitant to read it because sometimes the school librarians can pick out some books that are a bit old and not very good, but I loved this book.

Elsewhere is about a 16 year old girl called Elizabeth (Liz for short) who got killed in a hit-and-run accident. Liz finds herself in a world called Elsewhere which is where everyone goes when they die. She lived with her grandmother, Betty, and tries to have a normal life. However, in Elsewhere, instead of getting older, you get younger so her grandmother is 33, not 67. Liz thinks that because she died young, she won’t be able to find love until a certain someone comes along…

One of the things I loved about the book was the characters. My favourite character was Betty, Liz’s grandmother. She was kind and caring which all grandmothers are supposed to be, but she was also understanding. Liz wasn’t the smartest person at the start of the book and was a bit depressed so she did some reckless things. Betty was very understanding about it and I loved how their relationship blossomed throughout the book.

I also loved Curtis. When Liz was alive, Curtis was lead singer of her favourite band, Machine. They both died at around the same time so they were both in the same boat when they arrived. Curtis was good friends with Liz and gave her advice when she didn’t want to talk to Betty.  He was Liz’s father figure when on Elsewhere because he genuinely cared about her and wanted the best for her. I loved it.

There are many ideas on what happens after you die but I don’t think that I’ve heard of one like this before. It is such a unique idea that I found really interesting. Also, it was written in present tense which I think made it even more different and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Overall, I think that this book was written beautifully and the plot was exciting. I can’t find a fault in this book.

‘Human existence is like a circle and a line at the same time. It is a circle, because
everything that was old would be new and everything that was new became old.
              It is a line because the circle stretched out indefinitely, infinitely even.’            

Saturday, June 21, 2014

TFiOS Movie Fangirlyness

**MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BOOK AND FILM. READ AT RISK**

SO. Yesterday, I (Charli), Madi, Kyra, Han, Freya and Cecil went to see The Fault in Our Stars Movie. 

i can't even

i just can't

like it wasn't perfect but asdfghjkl

help me

CRYING STATS: 

CHARLI: Since Hazel went into the hospital, didn't stop, EXTREME UGLY CRYING. Has never cried at a book or film before. EVER.

MADI: Same as but more extreme when she was shouting at her mum about the ICU

KYRA: FOR THE WHOLE THING. But it got worse obvs

HANNAH: Same as but stopped and started

CECIL: extremely discreet crying but as soon as we know he will die

FREYA: none. #heartlessgiraffe (inside thing okay? okay.)

So. What was wrong with it?! 

A few facts were wrong and stuff

Madi says she didn't like how they had adlibs, I liked those as a thing but I don't know cuz NOT THE BOOK

But everything else was pretty damn amazing

DO NOT GO AND SEE IT OKAY??? OKAY. LIKE SERIOUSLY YOU WILL CRY SO HARD YOU CAN SAY THAT YOU DON'T CRY AT BOOKS OR FILMS BUT YOU WILL I DON'T EVEN CARE YOU WILL (unless you're a heartless giraffe like Freya). 


I will write a coherent review at some point but this is what you have for now

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Charli Reviews: Sweet Honey

Honey is going to live with her dad in Australia. Determined to make a fresh start, she couldn't be further away from the tough times at Tanglewood.

Her new life is a dream come true - until school begins. The girls are different from Honey's friends in England and the only person who seems to understand her is the cute boy from the beach she's chatting to online.

But when he, the girls at school and even her dad start breaking promises, who can she trust? All alone on the other side of the world, Honey's past is about to catch up with her . . .

Author: Cathy Cassidy
Series: Chocolate Box Girls #5
Publisher: Puffin
Date of Publication: June 5th 2014
Pages: 308
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Amazon

**Possible spoilers for previous books in the series. Spoilers for this book blocked out**

After waiting nearly a whole year since I read Coco Caramel (the second ever review I did on this blog!), I got a copy of this a few days early when I met Cathy. And I finished it the very same day! A lot of this one took me by surprise for several reasons.

Everyone who has read these books knows about the girls: bubbly, gorgeous, unique. Maybe with a few problems along the way, but all the same. It's what makes the books so lovely, right? What we also know is that Honey is not sweet like honey. She's mean, troubled and shadowed.

So, I wondered how the book was going to play out. Was she going to be the same, or would she be like the others? The book begins where we left off; after the events of the summer, Honey is moving to the Down Under to live with her dad.

Sweet Honey definitely shows you another side of Honey. I'll let you decide on your own what you think of that side. But what I will say, is that I loved it; and, it being in her point of view, there is so much more background for her character.

I love how Cassidy links all of the series up; for instance, topics like Shay and Cherry are bought up, with the sharp bitterness that we all know and love. In a lot of series, the other books are completely forgotten after re-introducing goings-on.

The emails, posts on "Spiderweb" (kind of like a cross between Facebook, Instagram and other social media websites I think) and the hacking plot all worked really effectively. They broke up the book a bit and, though they already were fairly modern, made the series just that little more relatable.

The romance is actually perfect. I want my own Ash! He's sounds gorgeous, and, I mean, he can make ice-cream sundaes. What more do you want?!

I loved Sweet Honey just as much as the other books in this series. It has everything you want in a summer read, so if you haven't read the others, get a hold of them, and dig in!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Charli Reviews: Skin Deep

Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned...After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found...

Author: Laura Jarrett
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Date of Publication: March 2012
Pages: 377
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from Electric Monkey in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Electric Monkey!

Before I read Skin Deep, I had wanted to read one of Jarratt's novels for a long time. Now, I am desperate to read her others! The writing is enthralling; the romance gives you butterflies...

The premise of this book is what attracted me to it almost instantly. Jenna had her face horrifically burned in a car crash; which makes her feel like a monster. In said event. she also lost her best friend and she really struggles with everything that has happened. Enter Ryan: someone she's never met, who just might be her silver lining.

To begin with, I was really unsure of Jenna. She seemed to act desperate for attention; but she didn't want it because of the scars. Once you know more of her story, it becomes a lot clearer. I can't say I fully ever enjoyed her character, but it wasn't quite so bad after a while. I could really empathise with her, with her best friend's death; as some of you know, my best friend died when I was 10.

However, I definitely preferred Ryan. Not just because he sounds absolutely lovely, but I generally preferred his voice, especially when it came to his mum! She was also a great secondary character who added such a nice edge.

When I read the blurb and started reading, I thought it might drag, at a length of just over 350pgs. It flowed continually and had something different going on all the time, so it really didn't! Like I mentioned, the romance is one of those that makes you squeal! I rooted for our couple from the first time they met and it just develops absolutely flawlessly.

I really, really enjoyed Skin Deep, right from the first to the last page. The romance is gorgeous, the premise is complex and Jarratt's writing is beautiful.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tori Talks #3: Mistreating Books

Everyone's favourite co-blogger, Tori, rants fortnightly about all those little annoying things in the bookish world.

Charli's Note: So this Tori Talks is just perfect. Over to Tori!

This is the ultimate bookish sin. If you mistreat one of my books then:



One of the things I ABSOLUTELY hate is dog-earring! Why can you not get a bookmark or even a piece of paper to put in to keep your page? Why do you have to damage the poor pages? It is totally unacceptable is someone is lending you their book and then you do it… If you do that then I will not even acknowledge your presence any more.



 Another thing I hate is when people break the spine. I can’t stand this… Why do you feel the need to break the spine of books? They should be treated with respect and decency! If a book will not open properly without me opening it as I like, I will literally read it with the book half closed, just so I don’t break the spine. Also, if you break the spine in one of my books, it looks horrible on my shelf! I have nice, neat books with perfect spines and it’s very pretty… UNTIL YOU GET TO THE BOOK WITH A BROKEN SPINE BECAUSE THEN IT LOOKS UGLY! I cannot stand it.
 

 Finally, one of the biggest sins EVER is getting food on books. I take books out of my school library regularly and most of the books there are damaged and have food on. If it’s your own book then I wouldn’t be as bothered because it is your own property but OTHER PEOPLE READ LIBRARY BOOKS YOU KNOW!?!?!? And why would you even have food near a book anyways?  These people just frustrate me…
 

Do you agree with me or am I just picky? Please leave a comment down below!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blogger Spotlight: Sofia at Crazy Little Fangirl - Disney Princess Book Tag

Today we are hosting one of Sofia's posts! She's really cool and more people should read her blog; and I'm actually going to meet her in a few days! Her blog is here and her twitter is @SofiCarstairs 

1) Anna and Elsa – A book with siblings in it.

For this category I immediately thought of My Life Next Door but then my mind wandered to my favourite book of this year, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This book is a romance story as the name suggests but it also focuses very strongly on Lara Jean and her family. Lara Jean, Margot and Kitty are very close and they all look after their dad and they have an amazing family dynamic as a whole. If you haven’t read this book, I strongly suggest you do because I really do love this book.

2) Rapunzel – A book that made you emotional.

Now I am not one to cry in books but the book that bought me closest to tears was Clockwork Princess.If you have read this book you will know exactly why. That certain part in the middle with that certain character that I love very much makes me very very upset. Every time I read it I have to put the book down and stop myself from crying. Not that I would cry anyway because the tears will never actually come.

3) Merida – A book featuring a female warrior.


For this one  I had to pick Throne of Glass. Celaena is my favourite protagonist and maybe even my favourite fictional character. She is an assassin so of course she kicks ass. It’s hard to find a kick ass female lead in YA books but Celaena is one. She doesn’t need a guy to protect, guys need her to protect them.

4) Tiana – A book that has realist struggles.

For this I had to pick Eleanor and Park. This book will break your heart into little pieces because life gets in the way of such a perfect love story. This book has a lot of realist struggles and that’s why I adore about Rainbow Rowell. She doesn’t write perfect characters, she writes real characters. This book tackles the problems that a lot of people do face but I don’t want to tell you what they are because it might be spoilery.

5) Belle – A literary book or a classic.

I don’t read many classics. In fact the only one I’ve read is Little Women which we had to read last year in English but I didn’t particularly like. I decided to choose one of the books I’m currently reading which is The Great Gatsby. I’m reading this book very slowly but I am enjoying it.

6) Pocahontas – A nature book or a book by a naturalist.

This is probably the category I struggled with the most but I ended up choosing Shades of Earth. This is the last book in the Across the Universe trilogy so I can’t tell you what it’s about but I do remember nature taking a big role in it. Plus, the cover also reflects nature anyway so bonus points.

7) Jasmine – A book about the desire to be free.

I had to pick the Shatter Me series because all Juliette wants is to be free. She wants to be free of the government and of her power. I had to pick this because out of all of my book series this one stuck out as being about freedom. I needed to choose her just because of how much she wants to be free and how much she changes throughout the series. Also it’s an excuse to mention Warner…..

8) Mulan – A book featuring wars or battles.

I had to choose Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows because of the Hogwarts battle. Isn’t this one obvious? Do I really have to explain this? This was definitely one of my favourite battles in books because it was bloody amazing.

9) Ariel – A book featuring curiosity or learning.

Here is where I have to pick the same as Priya. I had to pick Harry Potter because Hermione is very curious and the series focuses a lot on learning new things. Harry learns a lot about the Wizarding World and about himself throughout all the books and I loved the fact that we were learning a long with him.

10) Cinderella – A book featuring manual labour.

I couldn’t think of a book that focuses on manual labour so let’s skip this one. But surely I got extra points for the Shades of Earth cover so that makes up for this.

11) Aurora – A book featuring sleep.

I also had to pick The Evolution of Mara Dyer here because if you have read that book you will know exactly why. I can’t tell you why because it’s spoilery so let’s move on.

12) Snow White – A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins.

For this one I was unsure but I ended up picking Vampire Academy . Lust is represented through Rose and Dimitri’s compulsion scene and envy is represented via Mia’s hatred for Lissa. Bonus points for getting two of them! I seriously love this series and I strongly recommend it.

13) Megara – A book featuring Greek Mythology.

The obvious choice for this would be Percy Jackson but as Priya chose that I decided to choose the book I’m currently reading which is Cruel Beauty. This book is a Beauty and the Beast retelling but in a world where they believe in the Greek Gods. There is a lot of Greek Mythology involved which I loved because I am a big fan of the Greek Gods. I love learning about them and I find it incredibly fascinating.

14) Alice – A book featuring nonsense or unusual words.

For this I wasn’t sure because I don’t read many books with unusual words but then I remembered The Maze Runner .This book is confusing to get into at first because it includes words such as shuck and you are a bit confused as to what they are saying. But once I got into it, I did really enjoy it. I know that many people don’t like it and that’s their opinion but I honestly did really enjoy the first one.

15) Maid Marian – A book with a canine.

For this I had to go with Priya again and choose Legend. I spent ages trying to find a book with a dog in that wasn’t Harry Potter but I could only think of Legend. In Legend, June has a dog named Ollie that she is close with as he is like family to her.

I found that really interesting! Make sure to check out Sofia's blog and twitter :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Charli Reviews: Love, Lies and Lemon Pies

Since her dad died, life hasn't been the same for Lottie - it was easier to push her friends away than cope with their awkwardness. But when the school suggest she joins Bake Club to get her back on track, Lottie reluctantly agrees. But Lottie's uncertainty about Bake Club melts away as she rekindles her love of baking and gets caught up with Mac, the school rebel and another unwilling Bake Club member. Both Lottie and Mac have secrets to keep, and as Bake Club progresses towards an end-of-year competition, the tension rises between the Bake Club members. Can Lottie keep up the facade of her perfect life without the others finding out what's really going on at home? Can Mac keep his demanding, heavy-handed father off his back - not to mention the school counsellor who's written him off as a no-hoper? And can their bubbling romance survive the pressure?

Author: Katy Cannon
Publisher: Stripes Books
Date of Publication: May 5th 2014
Pages: 336
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from Stripes Books in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Stripes!

I read  Love Lies and Lemon Pies when I was in need of a fluffy, romantic contemporary, and it didn't disappoint! While having some heavier topics, it's absolutely gorgeous.

I loved the concept; a girl who used to bake, but isn't keen on going to the club, and a boy who just wants to stay away from home. It doesn't sound like much, but as soon as you begin to be pulled into their story, it becomes so much more than just a few cakes. Another thing I loved was the recipes at the start of each chapter! They normally corresponded in some way to the chapter itself, and just broke up the book really well.

Everything in this book is really subtly done. The development of the romance, the way the two meet. I think this is partially why this book is so good; it's subtle, but there isn't a mystery. Saying this, it was a tiny bit predictable, but I didn't care; in this book, I preferred it this way.

"The way the dough moved, the muscles in his forearms 
tightening and releasing... it was strangely hypnotic." 

As I mentioned before, each character has their own situations. The book is still so light and fun, but the situations are always present, for instance how Lottie was thinking about her dad when she was with Mac.

There were a few of the baking scenes I thought I would be bored in, as baking isn't something I find particularly interesting, but I wasn't at all! Cannon takes us through them with drops of romance and splashes of humour, and they became my favourite parts of the book.

I loved Love, Lies and Lemon Pies. The romance and concept are gorgeously written, and I devoured (see what I did there?) it.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Charli Reviews: The Elites

‘There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.’

Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension.

Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.

Author: Natasha Ngan
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of Publication: September 2013
Pages: 368
Source: Borrowed from school library
Goodreads | Amazon

**Very mild spoilers blocked out. Scroll over the text to see it** 

I read this book in April. And I have only (barely) been able to put my thoughts together today, June 7th. This book is definitely going to be in my Top 10 of 2014, and even though it's only halfway through the year I am sure of it. This book has hit me, hard, for sure.

Just the prologue alone was so, so powerful. Ngan's writing is phenomenal, hard-hitting and just amazing. The idea of the book is developed flawlessly and the racial element is introduced early on and not hidden. I was completely enthralled; The Elites is breath-taking.

"...she added coldly, 'You might be an Elite, Silver, but
remember that in the end you're nothing more than a dirty Red.' "

One thing that sticks in my mind, two months on, is the description of the city. Instead of a flat description, Ngan has the mayor speak about the city, developing it in my mind. I found it a lot more interesting in this way. The description and action throughout the book all flows together, and it's written extremely vividly.

"The smell of wet metal hit her like a wall, 
and the screaming began."

Each page has a twist, something to make you read on. It has so many elements, and it should be chaotic, but it's just not. It's so well-written that nothing jumps, nothing goes amiss. The society itself, Neo-Babel, is extremely evolved, both in the writing and in the techonology.

I wanted Silver and Butterfly to be together from the start! Their friendship is so, so beautiful and the romance is one of those that makes your heart flutter.

The little touches from the "past" world made it awesome as well, and added a touch of humour. I love it when a dystopia references to the past, and Ngan did just this! Some of the secondary characters have names like Calpol and Lemsip, and this just made it even better.

The Elites is definitely a five-star for me; because from the characters to the world, the plotline and description, this book is just perfect for anyone who loves a dystopian. An absolutely flawless debut.


Sunday, June 08, 2014

What We're Anticipating About TFiOS!

 **SPOILERS FOR THE BOOK**READ AT OWN RISK**

With the movie FINALLY releasing in 12 days, we're utterly utterly excited. I (Charli) have been waiting for this for over a year and a half, before it was even announced, and Tori has for quite a while too! We're super excited for all of it, but here's some certain things. 

CHARLI:

1. ANSELLLLL <3 <3 <3 <3 Ansel is probably the first ever actor I have properly been "in love" with. I loveeee Tom Felton, but Ansel is just perfection. He actually read the book! And cried! And and and his acting and he's gorgeous omg omg I cannot make words I just ahhh. He's perfection.

2. ALL THE QUOTES. NEED I SAY MORE.
Source: the-fault-in-our-stars-quotes.tumblr.com


 These are just a few, but there are so so many I am looking forward to. The grenade scene, the "I am in love with you" scene... OKAY? OKAY... everythingggg!!!

Literally, I haven't read it in a year and a half (rereading this week ahhhhhhh) but I can quote most of it. Tori is on the edge of not seeing it with me, because with the trailers I kept speaking along.

3. The songs! You never know which from a soundtrack will ACTUALLY be in the movie, but we know Ed Sheeran's song, "All of the Stars", will be the end credit song. I hope "Boom Clap" and "Not About Angels" are in there too.

Another thing WOULD have been John's cameo role, but they cut it, so I'll have to wait for the DVD for that *umimpressed emoji*. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS ASDFGHJKL but I'll hand over to Tori now!

TORI:

1. I’m looking forward to seeing the ending. Even though it’s sad (I will not say anymore if there are people who haven’t read it yet), I really want to see if they do the ending justice. That was probably the part in the book that I liked the best, not because of the actual ending, but because of the way it was written and I want to see chapter 21 *cries* actually acted out. I will probably cry… A lot… 

2. Ansel!!! I really look forward to seeing Ansel have a main part. Although he was in Divergent, he didn’t have a big part and we didn’t get to see him a lot whereas because he is cast as Gus, he will have a massive part so Charli and I can look at him through most of the film (Charli's Note: *COUGH* you mean I can look at him. He is mine.) 
 
3. The Support Group at the beginning! I can’t wait to see when Hazel and Gus meet, when we see Isaac for the first time, Patrick and the ‘I fear oblivion’ bit!  Asdfghjkl  *cries * *fangirls* *dies*


So there you have it! What we're particularly anticipating in TFiOS! Tell us in the comments what you're looking forward to! 

Okay? Okay.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Charli Reviews: Hope is a Ferris Wheel and Playlist for a Broken Heart

Ten-year-old Star Mackie lives in a trailer park with her flaky mom and her melancholy older sister, Winter, whom Star idolizes. Moving to a new town has made it difficult for Star to make friends, when her classmates tease her because of where she lives and because of her layered blue hair. But when Star starts a poetry club, she develops a love of Emily Dickinson and, through Dickinson’s poetry, learns some important lessons about herself and comes to terms with her hopes for the future.

Author: Robin Herrera
Publisher: Amulet (US)
Date of Publication: March 2014
Pages: 272
Source: Borrowed from library
Goodreads | Amazon

I took out Hope is a Ferris Wheel from the school library, out of sheer desperation for something contemporary; I was only reading fantasy and dystopia, and I wanted something to read in exam week. I think this is one of those books that isn't mind-blowing, but it's nice to read and is actually higher than your expectations probably were for it... Mine certainly were.

The protagonist of this book is ten; but more intellectual than most. I found it refreshing, that an author could write such a young person - but keep them sounding that age whilst intelligent.

Another impressive factor was Star's relationship with her sister, Winter. A lot of books say that teenagers abandon their younger siblings, which I think is inaccurate. I'm 13 now, and my sister is 3, and I can't see myself abandoning her in any years to come. So, it was nice to see the two so close.

This book made me laugh, and it made me empathise. Star is such a creative character that I loved seeing her shine (totally unintended pun there) and develop, but it broke my heart when she found out things that she shouldn't have known, or people let her down.

I really enjoyed this. It's not particularly tear-jerking, or mind-blowing. But it's cute, and funny, yet sad and heart-breaking at the same time.



When Paige finds an old mix CD in a local charity shop, she can't help but wonder about the boy who made it and the girl he was thinking of when he chose the songs. The tracks tell the story of a boy looking for his perfect girl, a girl to understand him, a story of being alone, being let down, misunderstood and not knowing where to turn.
Following the clues of the music, Paige sets out to find the mysterious boy, going from gig to gig and band to band, hoping to track him down. But will who she finds at the end of the trail, be the boy she's imagined?

Author: Cathy Hopkins
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date of Publication: May 2014
Pages: 281
Source: Borrowed from library

I have adored Cathy Hopkins books for years, so I squealed when I saw it in the library before promptly taking it out. And, of course, it didn't let me down. When I should really have been revising, I devoured it in about two hours, pausing only for food.

Playlist for a Broken Heart is about Paige, who finds a mix CD when she moves from the family house in London to live with their auntie, in Bath, due to money problems. So, she tries to find the maker of this CD, and unknowingly, is sent on a bit of a goose chase, concerning love, school, and a lot of music. 

As a character, I liked Paige; to a point. To begin with, she was a little moany and needy, but as she grew into herself and made friends in her new surroundings, I found her more tolerable, and fun to read about. She became an enjoyable voice. 

I adored the romance in this book; it's gorgeous and developed within the plot as a main theme extremely well. The fact that the boy is a mystery (due to the mixed tape) makes it all the better and keeps you guessing. Once you know who it is, it will curl your toes and make you feel all squidgy, I guarantee. 

This is a perfect summer contemporary; sweet, light, and full of romance; but with a mystery added to the mix!