Monday, December 29, 2014

Tori's Top 10 of 2014



Now, this is the first time that I have done a top 10 so I found this quite hard. Also, I’ve read many amazing books this year therefore, it took me ages to ponder which ones were the best but I have managed to pick them. Let’s get started then.

 10 - Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
At number 10, I picked Clockwork Princess and I adored this book after reading the other two in the series.  It was written beautifully and although I was sobbing through most of it, this book was hilarious, exciting and amazing.

9 - Mist and Frost by Kathryn James
I chose these for number 9 because they were thrilling to read and the romance between the two characters was so cute. I read Mist in the Easter holidays and loved it but then I had to wait until I went back to school for the second and the wait was so painful.

8 - Every Day by David Levithan
At 8, here is my favourite David Levithan book, Every Day. This book was perfect and I was going to write a review for it (which is a rare occurrence, I know) but I just didn’t have any words for how much I loved it.


7 - Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson
This book is the second in the series and it was action-packed. From the first page, I was hooked and throughout the book I laughed, cried, screamed, gasped and almost through it across the room (but I didn’t because it’s a book and they need to be handled with care). It was just an incredible read.

6 - Soulmates by Holly Bourne
This is one of the cutest and most heart-breaking books you will ever read which is why I loved it. It also had a big impact on the way I perceive things which is strange and amazing that those words could have a big effect on me so it was fascinating.

5 - Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Surprisingly, I have reviewed Elsewhere which just shows that it is astoundingly good.  The interpretation of death is really unique and creative and the plot was exciting so I am in love with this book.


4 - Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I have hardly any words to describe how much I love this book. The characters, the plot, the romance, the creativity. All of it was just simply perfect.

3 - The Maze Runner by James Dashner
At number 3, I chose The Maze Runner because AMAZINGNESS! There was action, romance, mystery and I just love it so much.

2 - Trouble by Non Pratt
To describe this book in two words: ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! It ticks the boxes for everything a fantastic novel needs.

And now, drumroll please…

My favourite book of 2014 had to be Eleanor and Park due to the beautiful writing, the heart-breaking ending, the amazing plot, and of course, the adorable romance.  It is impossible for me to express the amount of love I have for this book but I can say that I love it more than chocolate (which is a lot).

Wow. 

I have probably read more books this year than I ever have before and cannot wait until next year to read even more!

Have a happy new year and I wish everyone the best for 2015!

 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Charli's Top 10 of 2014!

It feels like yesterday that I sat writing a similar post; but here we are, over a hundred books later, with my top 10 of 2014. These were really hard to rank, and so, 10-2 are ranked extremely closely. So, who will take Charli's prize this year..?


10 - Bird by Crystal Chan | Review
At number 10 we have Bird. I adored Bird because it was so beautifully written and just incredibly moving. 

9 - Split Second and Every Second Counts by Sophie McKenzie | Review (SS) | Review (ESC)
At 9, we have McKenzie's newest duology. I read both books in 2014, and I love them! They have everything I want in a book; making some perfect reads that I hope to revisit sometime. 

8 - The 100 Society by Carla Spradbery | Review
I read The 100 Society on several car journeys, and my mum nearly crashed the car several times from my squealing/frustration/flapping around of hands. That says it all, really.


7 - Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Do I have to say anything? Anything at all? Such a good book. Gah.

6 - Half Bad by Sally Green | Review
Half Bad was obviously going to make the list this year! It's phenomenally written and I just absolutely loved it. I love Nathan and I can't wait for the next one in 2015.

5 - Far From You by Tess Sharpe | Review
Honestly, this is something I think everyone should pick up. It's raw and poignant, and just beautiful.

 4 - If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch | Review
Oh, this book. Amazing. A beautiful cover to match a beautiful book. Just to show how amazing it is, it won my schools' summer book of the year scheme this year!

3 - Trouble by Non Pratt | Review | Reasons to Read
Tori and I have raved about Trouble again and again, so is it any surprise at all that it makes the list? I can't wait for Non's next novel, Remix, this year.

2 - The Elites by Natasha Ngan | Review
THIS BOOK WAS PERFECTION and I have wanted to push it onto people, but haven't so I can keep it to myself ;). Joking aside, this is brilliant and I was completely captivated. 

REVIEW
Is it actually any surprise at all that this is my number 1 book? I have raved and raved and raved about Solitaire. I have never felt quite so connected to a story and characters. I adore Alice's writing style and just everything to do with this book.

So there it is! My top 10 of 2014. What a reading year. I'd like to give massive honourable mentions to the following books, as it was so hard to whittle it down this year!

  • Tease by Amanda Maciel 
  • Lobsters by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen 
  • Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski 
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 
  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak 
  • This Book is Gay by James Dawson (which is the only non-fiction book I loved this year!)

See you in 2015!

 


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa's Lists

I like to imagine how Santa writes his lists.
Perhaps it is all done with magic; a book that just swaps names around when needed, a monopoly of children. 
But as a lover of stationary; it is nice to imagine.

Does he write them in pencil, easy to rub out and start again? 
Does he write them on Post-It's in Sharpie, stuck on a whiteboard to swap around at will? 
Or does he write them out in ink, updating them weekly? 
Maybe he writes them on a blackboard with coloured chalks, where he can wipe them away with a sweep of dust. 

Perhaps he sits down with a simple ballpoint and cartridge paper? 
Maybe they are written in a Moleskine; but not until Christmas Eve.
Or the beautiful possibility of him sitting down with one last cup of tea; a fountain pen at hand.

For all we know, maybe it is typed? 
Perhaps Santa just sits down and word processes our names; an endless print under his desk coming through. 

He could go through the books like accounts, highlighting the good in yellow, the bad in orange. 
The naughty in green and the nice in blue. 

And the beauty of knowing that he could change his way each year? 
The beauty of imagining him reading the nice list with a smile; then the naughty with a grimace. 
Shaking his head at those who have swapped lists almost daily all year; until they finally found themselves good on the Eve of the day.

____ 

Hey guys! Merry Christmas, or anything else that you may be celebrating. This started in my head yesterday whilst in Rymans, where I made the statement, "I wonder how Santa writes his lists". I hope you liked this little piece of writing!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mini Haul: #TBSecretSanta and Bloomsbury Package!

So last week I got two exciting packages! I thought it would be cool to do a mini haul to show you guys both things :) 

Firstly, I participated in a Secret Santa that Holly @ Lost in a Library and Orli @ Blame My Bookshelf decided to run this year. It was super fun to buy the presents, as well as tweet everyone when we opening them!

My secret santa was actually ORLI and she gave me a couple of awesome things!


She got me a copy of Let It Snow, as well as Speechless by Hannah Harrington (which I'd never heard of, but it looks awesome!). She also got me this cute this chick, which is actually a rubber. But he's my new spirit animal, so I'm leaving him alone. (I need to name him.... help?)

So thank you to Holly and Orli for organising, as well as Orli for being my secret santa!

Secondly, Bloomsbury sent me an amazing package! The postman handed it to me and I was really excited. I didn't get a picture with the ribbon on the box because my sister was "helping me open it", so instead, she helped me "model" with the chocolate coins in these pictures.


The box contained...

-Chocolate coins and hot chocolate, devoured by small siblings
-A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, which I'm very excited for!
-Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan, which I've wanted to read forever
-The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, which is absolutely gorgeous.
-A poster of the new Harry Potter covers, which is now on my wall!

SO A MASSIVE, MASSIVE THANKS TO BLOOMSBURY FOR THAT <3

That was just a mini haul for you guys; sorry there haven't been many posts but we've had a ton of tests! Next week we should have our top books of 2014 up and a few wrap-up posts. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I'm a Bookish Feminist.

You all know that I'm bookish. 

You may know that I'm a raging feminist. 

So when I take the two, it doesn't take much to get me annoyed.

                                                   __

Let me start with some context for you.

When I was between the ages of about 9-10, I had a set of books. I first found "The Girls' Book of Secrets" in a charity shop; then I asked for "The Girls' Book: How to Be the Best At Everything" (1 and 2) that Christmas. My nan also bought me "The Girls' Book of Glamour" (Which I wasn't so keen on; but I still liked it a lot).

I adored these books. I don't think I ever did anything from any of them; but I read them over and over again before I sent them to the bookish heaven in the sky (aka the charity shop when I got bored of them).

It never crossed my mind that, perhaps, they could be considered sexist; and even since then I had forgotten about them.

Now; last month it was my brother's birthday. My mum's friend got him a couple of presents a bit late which he received today. One of these was "The Boys' Book: How to Be the Best at Everything".

Tyler was really happy with this, and he instantly loved it. Which I thought was awesome, because he has recently decided that "reading is boring".

And... then I looked through the contents.

 I don't remember much about the Girls' Books, so it's hard to properly compare, but there was some stuff that I remember being the same (yay!). Then there is stuff that definitely wasn't.

Boys get: How to be awesome at football (several different pages on different tricks.
Girls get: How to make perfume.

Which is gender stereotyping; but hey, normal. Not fine, but normal.

Then you get: (Side note, I just went down two flights of stairs and then back up again to get the book, so you better appreciate this.)

How to treat stings. How to read a compass. How to tie three easy knots.

Three things that I would have loved to have in the Girls' Book, because I'm a Scout. A GIRL. SCOUT.

Oh, and my personal favourite, How to take the best photos. WHICH AS AN ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHER, I also would have loved.


                                                                 ______
 
 Now these books are also amazing, because they can teach you stuff, and I'm sure there are things in each that are only fully appreciated by one gender. But... there is so much stuff in both of them that both genders should be able to learn and love.

Obviously no one has said that the kids couldn't pick up the other sides' book. But it probably never crosses their mind. I was a tomboy, and it never crossed my mind.
 
  So, thank you, Buster Books (as each has a different author), but a decade ago called, and they want their gender stereotyping back.

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT SAYING DO NOT READ/BUY THESE BOOKS. I'm just disappointed in them and wanted to consider the difference between me seeing them then, and me seeing them now. This was sparked by Tyler showing it to me, and me saying "see, I loved these back then. But now, as a 14 year old feminist, I'm not so sure".