2013: A Year in Reviews


I can't believe it but it's come around again. Christmas is just around the corner, as is 2014. So it is about time for a run down of the year.

Before I run through the books I've read this year, I think I'll just recap the highlights of my year.
  • In April, I got offered a job at the school that I'd been volunteering in. At the end of that school year, that job was extended/increased for this school year.
  • May/June. Amazing holiday to Florida, which took in the Harry Potter world at Universal, and some diving in Key West.
  • New baby cousin, Imogen, was born in June. I was also asked to be the Godmother.
  • July. Quit my job waitressing. Can't say I miss the job. Though I made some good friends there.
  • August saw my sister and I attending two conferences in quick succession: LeakyCon London and Summer in the City. Both were awesome experiences that I will never forget. Here's hoping to attending those events again at some point.
  • October. Another new cousin (this time, once-removed), Libby was born. 
  • Finally got my certificate saying I'd passed my Level 1 in British Sign Language. Finished Level 2, waiting for the results...
  • Also my parents have managed to sell our house. Just in the process of finalising everything. So we could be moving house at any moment!
A few bum notes were hit through the year:
  • I didn't manage to get onto a teacher training course. Trying again this year.
  • Got my phone stolen at my waitressing job, just before I quit. Felt like I had lost a limb, or at least my little finger...
Overall, 2013 has been very kind to me. Fingers crossed for some more of the same in 2014!

Ok, onto the books!
This year's 'Read' books
My challenge this year was to read 20 books. Not a huge challenge compared to a lot of people, but I wanted a realistic goal that was both motivating but not demoralising in its size. And YAY because I completed the challenge! I have actually read 24 books this year (although that does not include the fact that I read HP1 in French too).

Here are my Top Ten books from this year's batch:
  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
  3. Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb
  4. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  7. Insurgent/Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  8. Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
  9. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
  10. VIII by HM Castor
Most challenging: The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber.
Least favourite: Matched by Ally Condie.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish girls. You should definitely join in if you haven't already!

My reading rate has increased massively this year, due mostly to that wonderful invention, the Kindle. I have really enjoyed challenging myself with books that are outside of my preferred genres, and I hope I will continue to find books that do just that. But mostly, I've just really loved rediscovering my love of reading!

Let me know what books you have loved this year... or which ones you hated. Or just say hi!

Book Review: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

Synopsis: Sutter Keely. He’s the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.

Pages: 294

Rating: 7/10

Overall: A really good insight into the teenage boy's mind, and also a look at alcholism and self-destruction/sabotage that leaves you frustrated and sad for Sutter. His denial in the face of his feelings for Aimee keeps you hopeful that he might see the light, right until the last page.
The Spectacular Now

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Mini Reviews: Three for the Price of One.

This week, due to the high number of films out at the moment that I want to see, I went to three films at the cinema. I know, bit excessive but needs must and all that jazz.

So I though I would do three mini reviews for them, for a bit of a change. Probably spoiler free, no promises though.


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Francis Lawrence (dir.)

Certificate: 12A (PG-13)

Rating: 9/10

So, as you probably know, Catching Fire is the sequel to The Hunger Games, and to all intents and purposes is almost a scene for scene rehash of the first. Obviously some of the plot points are different, but Katniss (and Peeta) is chosen again as Tribute in the Hunger Games. Except this time the stakes are even higher. Not only does Katniss have to try and survive the games, she has to convince President Snow that she loves Peeta. And he's not exactly buying it...

I loved this film. I've read the books and could remember the main points, but didn't remember everything but I feel like they nailed it. The action and tension is non-stop. Donald Sutherland's President Snow really makes you know that he will stop at nothing to prevent a rebellion. There's a bit of Umbridge about him. Jennifer Lawrence, in my eyes, can do no wrong and Josh Hutcherson makes me fall for Peeta again and again. Perhaps my favourite new character was Johanna Mason who is so completely badass, you can't not love her boldness.


Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

Cast: Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt, Billie Piper

Rating: 8/10

Yep, I went to see this at the cinema when it was simulcast on telly. Definitely worth seeing it in the cinema. The atmosphere was buzzing as we waited, and everyone laughed or gasped at all the right points.

I would try to summarise the plot, but being Doctor Who, I'm not sure I can. But suffice to say, there was plenty of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff, and things that went ding. It was definitely a fitting tribute to 50 years of the Doctor, and I loved how they managed to include all the Doctors, even if it was just a small way. The banter between Ten and Eleven was perfect. I think I could sit and listen to them chatter away for hours. John Hurt only had this episode to establish his Doctor - Eight Point Five - and did it admirably ("Oh! For God's sake!").

I still a bit bemused about what happened with the Zygons. Did they sort themselves out? Also, I'm slightly disappointed that I didn't cry, but I imagine the Christmas special will make up for that.

Fingers crossed for more future multi-Doctor outings, because they are always fun!


Gravity

Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Alfonso Cuoron (dir.)

Certificate: 15

Rating: 10/10

I don't think I've ever felt so tense watching a film as I did watching Gravity. Holy crap. Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Commander Kalowsky (Clooney) are on a space walk when disaster strikes and they are set adrift in space, with no communication with Earth. The story follows them as they desperately try to find a way home in an impossible situation.

Gravity is a visually stunning film. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Earth makes a phenomenal and peaceful backdrop to the action happening miles about its surface. The cinematography, however they managed to do it, is also brilliant. The shot from looking at Dr. Ryan Stone to looking out from her helmet was seamless. I should note that I didn't see it in 3D, but apparently it is every more stunning with that extra dimension. Let me know if you think so!

As the cast is literally made up of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, they have to carry the film, and they do so very well. In particular, Bullock's reluctant Ryan has you rooting for her so hard. I almost wanted to cheer for her at many points.

The way the story manages to seem strangely plausible is amazing. Each solution to a problem seems to cause another, which keeps you on the edge of your seat from the first minute to the last. The very idea of being adrift in space is utterly terrifying but it makes a cracking film. I will be extremely surprised if Gravity does not win any Oscars this year.

There we have it. My week of cinema overload. I'd love to know your own opinions about any of these three, so drop me a comment below. Until next time!


Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Synopsis: One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Pages: 526

Rating: 8/10

Overall: A thrilling, heartbreaking and fitting conclusion to this best-selling series. The action is non-stop, as are the lies and the deceit that Tris and Tobias must try to deal with. I really enjoyed this final chapter, which was unrelentingly exciting. Despite the surprising (and sad) ending, it was still hopeful.
Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

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Book Review: The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber

Synopsis: On May 30th, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London.
That, at least, was the official version. Now let Christopher Marlowe tell you the truth: that his 'death' was an elaborate ruse to avoid his being hanged for heresy; that he was spirited across the channel to live on in lonely exile, longing for his true love and pining for the damp streets of London; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colourless man from Stratford — one William Shakespeare.

Pages: 407

Rating: 6/10

Overall: The Marlowe Papers is challenging but ultimately rewarding read that makes you questions the official history of Shakespeare. It has a shaky start (no pun intended) but finds its feet eventually. Compelling and suspenseful, if slightly confusing to begin with.
The Marlowe Papers

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Top Ten Tuesday - Character Names I Love

It's been a while, what with RL taking up too much time... BUT it is that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday hosted by those lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Names can tell you so much about the character before a single word of description has been read. It's like the cover of a book for each individual character, where a snap judgment is made, to be proved or disproved as the story unfolds. So here is my list of Top Ten Character Names I Love in particular order:
  1. Augustus Waters (TFiOS) - Augustus suits the character perfectly. Augustus comes across as grandiose and a bit full of himself, but as Gus, he is a warm, funny, loving boyfriend to Hazel, and who is fully aware of his own fragility.
  2. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (HP) - Albus Dumbledore is a majestic name that fits the perception of Dumbledore held by most of the Wizarding community. Also his lovely mix of middle names almost give a story of Dumbledore on their own. Particularly Brian, which makes you think of the little twinkle in Dumbledore's eye, and his mischievous streak.
  3. Sirius Black (HP) - When Sirius is revealed to be the Big Bad for PoA, you're going to accept that as fact with a name like that. The sly sounding first name and, well, Black = obvious baddy. This made the reveal that he was actually good even more dramatic.
  4. √Čtienne St. Clair (AatFK) - The mystery surrounding his first name added a nice touch to the romance. And the name √Čtienne just created oodles of swoon factor... French and British?? Like the best of both worlds!
  5. Dolores Umbridge (HP) - I mean, come on, there was no way she was gonna be a nice character with a name like that. Such a great character name.
  6. Zaphod Beedlebrox (H2G2) - Completely insane and resplendent in equal measure. Just like the character.
  7. Fitzwilliam Darcy (P&P) - Just the name conjures up, well, good thoughts... Also, a great excuse for a picture of the best Mr. Darcy around, right?
  8. Xenophilius Lovegood (HP) - A brilliant name for such a quirky character. Fits like a glove as Xenophilius is so accepting of the weird and wonderful. And it starts with an X, so...
  9. Katniss Everdeen (THG) - She sounds tough just from her name, like a cat hissing a warning, and protecting.
  10. Dobby (HP) - Well, we named the dog after him so this has a special meaning. (It really fits a dog, by the way.)
I really enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday. As you can see, most of my names came from one particular series... bet you can't guess! Yeah... I could have done the whole list on Harry Potter, but I restrained myself to just half the list!

Let me know what you think to my choices, and a link (if you have one) to your own TTT so I can go and have a look!

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

SynopsisWho would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Imagine if she hadn’t forgotten the book. Or if there hadn’t been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn’t fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she’d run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?
Hadley isn’t sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it’s the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver...
Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

Pages: 215

Rating: 7/10

Overall: The perfect travel read that quick and really cute. The two characters, Hadley and Oliver, have a great chemistry, and I love the banter between them. Waiting for my airport romance now...
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight


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Film Review: Girl Most Likely

Synopsis: Kristen Wiig, Annette Benning, Matt Dillon, Darren Criss, Shari Springer Berman (dir.),
Robert Pulcini (dir.)

Certificate: 12A (PG-13)

Rating: 7/10

Overall: A funny and heart-warming film about family, love and acceptance. Even though I'm definitely biased, Darren Criss's Lee steals the show.

View the trailer here.
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Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis: The government requires that all teenagers be cured of love, aka amor deliria nervosa, to keep society safe. But 95 days before her treatment, Lena Haloway falls for a boy--and must face the truth about her own feelings and the world in which she lives.

Pages: 394

Rating: 8/10

Overall: An exciting dystopian novel that presents a very interesting idea of a world where love is forbidden. The foreboding detachment of the cured citizens provide a bleak but thought-provoking backdrop for a heady romance.
Delirium (Delirium, #1)


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Top Ten Tuesday - Books I'd Love to See as a Movie or TV Show

This week for the Broke and the Bookish blog's great weekly meme, Top Ten Tuesday, it is *drumroll*:
Top Ten Books I Would Love To See As A Movie/TV Show (set in a perfect world in which movies don't butcher the books we love).
I always think people have a love/hate relationship with seeing films be made of their favourite books. You want to see it realised on the big screen, but realised your way, so it always ends in inevitable disappointment. But here is my list of books that I would love to see on film, as long as I could do it my way with my dream casts and where money is no object!
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This actually is being made into a film with Geoffrey Rush in. I think The Book Thief could be a really good film is done right as it is already such a visual book in the way it is written. Already, looking at the trailer for this film, Geoffrey Rush is nowhere near what I imagined Hans Hubermann to look like but I withhold judgment until I see it.
  • The Fault in our Stars by John Green. Again, actually being made into a film, like right now (go see John's tumblr for BTS stuff!). I expect to feel like I've been wrung out after seeing this, it has so much potential as a film.
  • Across the Universe and A Million Suns by Beth Revis. I think this could be really interesting to see realised on the big screen, to really understand the scale of the ship, just how different Amy looks from the 'locals' and the scope of their predicament.
  • The Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. Well, a continuation of the film series. I thought the first film was a pretty good adaption, and it could have had really good sequels. Probably missed the boat now, now that Alex Pettyfer is, well, too old (sorry Alex). Oh well, at least Stormbreaker gave us his pretty face...
  • Looking For Alaska by John Green. I can see this one in my head. Logan Lerman, I think, would be a great Miles. Emma Stone... maybe? Maybe not... I don't know who would play Alaska. But my vision of the smoking scene looks awesome. You should see it!
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I am reading this at the moment and loving it. That overbearing Big Brother state gives a feeling of constant uneasiness, which would make for an interesting and exciting film.
  • The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer. So much imagination that could be a brilliant animated film or tv series.
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. This could be such a great film. It would be thought-provoking, emotional and, most likely, provocative.
Here are a few books that have already been made into films, but should/could be made again:
  • The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory. I'm going to ignore the fact there is already a film for this book, as it was not that great. This book could make such a good film or tv series, even if this story has been done to death. The Other Boleyn Girl is the best book I've read about that time in British history and the shit storm Anne Boleyn creates could be done so much better than it was *cough*British actors*cough*.
  • The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I know, I know... controversial. I LOVE the films, so I'm not saying we should make new films, but I think so much background stuff was cut out that could make an amazing tv series. I actually think it would make a great animated one. See here or here for examples of amazing Disney-esque HP art. Just imagine the potential!
Well, that's my list. Let me know if you agree with any of my choices in the comments, and leave a link to your list if you have one. I can't wait to see what everyone came up with for this one!

Top Ten Tuesday - Books That Should Be Required Reading

It's been a while but it's a Tuesday and that means...

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's theme is required reading, or books that should be read in class.

  1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green. I think this would be a very interesting book to teach with, and not just from an LGBT perspective, even though that is obviously a consideration. The contrasting writing styles are particularly interesting.
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. For GCSE or A-Level history class, this book could really open up discussion. 
  3. The Hunger Games by Susan Collins. Great for looking at parallels with today's society. To be honest, any dystopian future can do this. But also looking at the role of media in the depiction of violence would be interesting dicussion topics.
  4. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral. This could be like a quick lesson on how stories can be told through pictures and art, that picture books are not just for children.
  5. Harry Potter by JK Rowling. But in a foreign language (modern or ancient). Reading something like Harry Potter in another language can ignite an interest in a language that dry textbooks just can't.
  6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This has a lot of themes that would make it a perfect book to dissect in literature class.
  7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Good for discussing things that affect teenagers, such as anorexia and sexual assault. Also see Sarah Dessen books.
Well, there's my list. Not quite ten but who's really counting...? This was fun and really interesting to think about using these books in class. Unfortunately most of these books I couldn't use in my classroom as I work in a primary school but still, very interesting.

Until next time!

Looking Back

I keep looking at my old reviews or ratings on GoodReads and thinking "I should change that rating, I don't think it is a 5* book anymore when I compare it to this book." or "Why did I only give that book 4*s? It is obviously a 5*er."

Since starting this blog in particular, I feel like I am starting to get marginally better at deciding whether I thought a book was just really good or blow-your-socks-off amazing.

I think I would probably change a few of my reviews/ratings in retrospect. I'm not going to because I think what I gave a book at the time was what I thought of the book at that particular moment.

My opinion of a book definitely morphs and adapts over time, that sometimes a review written the day or a few days after finishing can't capture.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. This is a bit of a stream of consciousness, I suppose. But I'd really like to hear what other book bloggers think about looking back at old reviews. Do they match up to what you think of the book now? Do you wait a little while before writing your review? Would you change any review looking back on them?

Update: GoodReads Reading Challenge

By finishing Flat-Out Love, I have completed my goal and GoodReads Challenge of reading 20 books this year!

Yay!


I know it doesn't seem a lot but considering last year, I didn't even finish 15 books, I didn't want to be too ambitious.

Next year, I might try for a bigger target, but right now I'm gonna just keep readin'!

How far away from your goal are you? Let me know in the comments!

Book Review: Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Synopsis: He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy.

So, that was Matt. Who Julie Seagle likes. A lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves.

Complicated? Awkward? Completely.

But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother's? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn't supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she's never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection.

But here's the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.

Pages: 391 (Kindle: 389)

Rating: 8/10

Overall: Despite some style issues, a really enjoyable book with a fantastically messed up characters. And the plot twist has you flipping pages frantically through to the end. Set in wintry Boston, it's perfect for curling up with a cup of tea in the winter.
Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1)

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My LeakyCon London 2013 Experience

And boy, was it an experience!!!

I can honestly say I don't think I've been to something that just makes you feel like you belong.

I know that sounds sappy and OTT but the thing is, it didn't matter who you ended up talking to, but it felt like I'd known them my whole life. Everyone there had that common interest and everything else? Well, it didn't make one bit of difference what our other interests were.

Also, LeakyCon (and other conventions too!) are amazing spaces to work out what something like Harry Potter means to you. That can be through scream-singing Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts with 1500 other people or discussing law and medicine in the Wizarding World with 40 opinionated people.
Basically, LeakyCon is like being in a world of like-minded people where everything is amazing. And I could quite happily live there forever.
But anyway... instead of rhapsodising endlessly about what happened at LeakyCon, conveniently my sister vlogged about it! It'll be much more interesting for you to watch it right?

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3 (Bonus Hank Green!!!)

As Megan didn't come to the second Wizard Rock show on the Friday, here is a LeakyCon video of that epic night:

And last but not least... Day 4

Since going to LeakyCon and actually getting around to posting this, I also went to Summer In The City, a YouTube gathering/convention in London. My sister also has vlogged about that, so if you subscribe (shameless promotion) you can check out how that went when it gets uploaded!


Book Review: Suddenly Royal by Nicole Chase

Synopsis: Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in
wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

Pages: 464

Rating: 8/10

Overall: I really enjoyed this book, perfect for a lazy summer's day by the pool or in the back garden. Modern royalty versus the prying eyes of the media works really well as a backdrop to a sizzling love story.
Suddenly Royal (Suddenly, #1)

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Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Synopsis: SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH. It's a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES.

Pages: 554

Rating: 10/10

Overall:  A beautiful and heartbreaking book that makes you take a step back and remember how lucky we are. Other than the initial slow start, this book reels you in and stomps on your heart in the 
best way. Bring tissues!
The Book Thief

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Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Synopsis: I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or
shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Pages: 448

Rating: 10/10

The long and short of it: Don't let the possibly misleading title put you off, because this is a stunning book about lost and broken souls relearning how to love again. A definite new favourite!
The Sea of Tranquility

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Top Ten Tuesday - Books I've Read So Far In 2013

Another week has flown by and it is time for Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

This week is a half-year review of the books we've read so far.

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2013


  1. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
  2. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  3. Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb
  4. The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth
  5. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
  6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  7. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  8. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  9. VIII by H.M. Castor
  10. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis: Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-
crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Pages: 325

Rating: 8/10

Overall: On the face of it, Eleanor & Park is a love story set in the mid-80s, and to be honest, that is the heart of it as well. Nostalgia runs rife alongside overflowing cuteness.
Eleanor & Park

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