Wednesday, 29 January 2014

2014 Reading Plans!

Hey there, 

          I'm quite on a roll with these posts. Unfortunately, that's how I work, I'm binge posting. This post should have actually been written and post at the beginning of the year but alas, that's not how the cake was baked. 

         Last year, I set myself a challenge of reading 100 books in 2013. I failed deplorably.This year I contemplated setting myself something a little less, but I'm stubborn so we're sticking with the 100. I did a bit of planning in terms of how I'm going to attempt to complete this challenge. I gave myself a number of books that I want to read in the upcoming months. The number is based on the amount work I have to do in the months.
January- 5 (I am proud to say that I completed this)
February- 5 
March- 4 
April- 4 
May- 4
June- 6
July- 12
August- 12
September- 12
October- 10
November- 10
December- 10
This brings us to a grand total of 94 books and I know, that's not 100 but I'm hoping I can squeeze those 6 other books somewhere in there. 

Along with planning when I'll read, I also downloaded a bunch of books on my kindle/have some in hard copy, so that it's already there when I want to read. These include:

The Other Countess- Eve Edwards (read)

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle # 1)- Libba Bray (read)

Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle # 2)- Libba Bray (read)

The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle # 3)- Libba Bray (read)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman (read)

The Queen's Lady- Eve Edwards

A Game of Thrones- George R.R Martin

Lily of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter # 1)- Stephanie Dray

Memoirs of a Geisha- Arthur Golden

Just One Year (Just One Day # 2)- Gayle Forman

Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle # 1)- Christopher Paolini

The Hobbit + The Lord of the Rings trilogy- J.R.R Tolkin (I want to reread these)

City of Heavenly Souls (The Mortal Instruments # 6)- Cassandra Clare

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines # 4)- Richelle Mead

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer- Michelle Hodkin

Crown Duel- Sherwood Smith

Court Duel- Sherwood Smith

I also want to read more classics this year, including Dickens, Austen and a bunch of others. 

And that's it for now. Here's hoping I complete my challenge! Drop a comment or message me letting me know what your reading plans are. 
Until next time, toodle-loo :) xo

End of January + February 2014 Book-A-Day Challenge: Day #1

Day 1: Dystopian 

Uglies- Scott Westerfeld
The most recent dystopian book that I've read :) 

Until next time, toodles :) xo

"January" 2014 Book-A-Day Challenge!


             Last year, I attempted to be a book blogger and I failed miserably. I posted quite a bit in the summer but after that my blog went dormant. Now that it's 2014 (well a month into 2014), I have decided to revive my blog because truth be told, I do enjoy writing and posting here. 

               While browsing instagram, I found a blogger called booksarelovex3 and I saw that for January she created a challenge called the BookADay Challenge. Unfortunately, I didn't see this at the beginning of January but now just as February approaches. Nonetheless, I'm still going to do it (on my blog and not instagram) but I'm going to call it the February 2014 Book-A-Day Challenge! Since February only has 28 days this year and this challenge was created with January in mind (so 31 posts), I can do either one of two things; start the challenge today and do 3 posts in January before going into Feb or emit 3 of the days from the challenge that I may have a hard time finding something for. Since I am lazy and doing the latter requires forethought, I'll probably do the former. 

The Challenge!
                      There you have it, the February Book-A-Day Challenge. If you haven't done it but wish to, we can do it together! Drop me a comment below :)

Until next time, toodles :) xo

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Ramblings: Death penalty views + Do you believe there is both good and bad in people?

*WARNING- I was writing as I was thinking and so this may be very disorganized. I apologise for that but I do hope it doesn't deter you from reading*

I've recently been giving a lot of thought to the above question and wanted an outlet to explain what I think and to also get some feedback, so here I am. 

A friend asked me a few days ago whether I think the death penalty should be enforced and I got to thinking. The first, and obvious, reason why you may choose not to enforce it would be that you'd have to be ABSOLUTELY sure the person committed the said crime. If they didn't, then you got a lot to answer for. 

Beyond that though, let's say the penalty for committing murder was death. If a murderer is convicted and you kill him, how different are you to him? At this point you'll probably argue, "but he murdered someone, he deserved it". Let's take a trip to to find out the definition of murder:
 "The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice" 

Now here's where things get a bit more complicated due to that word unlawful. So if the death penalty was in motion and you kill someone, it's not permitted by the law, and so they can kill you but that's not considered murder because the law recognises it. No matter how horrible that person is, they must have still had someone, maybe their mother, who loved them or someone who they were kind to. 

Now here's where my question about good and bad in people came into play. When people hear murderer their thoughts about the person are generally negative, as expected. We think "horrible, vile, scum that deserve to die etc" but are they pure evil or do they have some good, no matter how deeply buried, in there? 

Look at babies (ages 0-1), they are all cheerful and happy. With children, it's a bit more complex because of how they've been raised and nurtured which has a very important role in determining how they behave. This reminds me now of the age old question of nature vs nurture. Is being evil/bad natural but we've been nurtured to suppress this side? Or is being good natural, but bad experiences make us evil? 
That same murderer may have murdered the person because he got angry at the person and didn't know how else to channel his rage. May be while growing up he wasn't taught the proper way of dealing with anger and was surrounded by violence. By the way, I am in NO WAY justifying murder, I'm simply trying to understand how humans work. 

I think we are a product of our experiences and circumstances. We have the potential to be both good or bad and what we go through in life influences which side we lean towards.
Since it is now 11 pm and I am tired which is causing the processing of my thoughts to words to be at a sluggish pace and constantly making grammar errors, I am going to end this here for now. 

Before I go though, the other reason why I am against the death penalty *brace yourselves for this one religion-hating people out there*, I believe in God and by killing someone it is as though you're taking the role of God. 

I don't know if you got what I was trying to get at, but whether you did or not leave me comment telling me what you think about the topic and/or my opinion, irrespective of whether you disagree or agree with me. 

Until next time, toodles :) xo

Friday, 23 August 2013

Book Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

"Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance."
                                                                                                                                                             -Stolen from Goodreads

Before reading this book, my expectations were not that high because even though I am a fan of mermaid ya books, none previously read were impressive. This book continued on with that trend.

Okay so one thing I did like about this book was the world created. I was genuinely interested and enthralled by it and was curious about exactly what Emma was and the underwater world. 

The dialogue of this book was probably the best part. It was often quite humourous such as:

"Maybe you can talk to donkeys, too," Dr. Milligan smiles. Emma nods. "I can. Sometimes Galen can be a jackass."

Normally, I like books that switch POVs but something was a bit off with this one.  When told from Emma's perspective it's in the 1st person but when told from Galen's, it is 3rd person. While I'm not crazy about this, it didn't annoy me that much.  Not as much as...*drumroll*, the CHARACTERS!

Oh.My.God. Where do I begin? So, Emma, I could have easily liked her, she was funny and cool but oh no, it's never that easy. She allows her self to be treated like a child by Galen and to make matters worse, she even acts like one.  This girl was doing things simply because Galen commanded (yes, commanded not asked, COMMANDED) her to not do it. I get that you want to rebel but what happened to oh, i don't know...COMMON DAMN SENSE?! She was just so juvenile. And Galen initially seemed like a cool guy but then he went straight to DouchebagVille. He never respected Emma and just wanted to control her; he even mentions at some point that he wants a girl that does whatever he tells her to and basically never thinks for herself. 

As you can tell, the relationship part of this book was a major flop for me but the book was slightly redeemed by the story world, which I didn't go into much detail earlier, but did really enjoy. So overall, it was not the read but it could have been worse. :)

Until next time, toodles :) xo

p.s if you have also read this book, why not share your thoughts in the comments or a private message? I'd love to hear it :) 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Book Review: Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

"Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead. Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king's former royal spy and one of Aurelia's oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line, her life, her kingdom, her heart, Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost." 
- Stolen from goodreads because  I suffer from laziness and so cannot be bothered to type out a synopsis. 

My Rating: 4.8

I LOVED THIS BOOK! I just got the sequel on my kindle and as soon as I'm finish writing this I am going to delve into it. I am excited to say the least :D

This book is a young adult, historical fiction kind of book and oh, do I love me a good historical fiction. 

I found myself being rather fond of the protagonist, Aurelia. Generally, while I do like some, maybe most, protagonists there is always something about them that pisses me off. Either they are constantly whining or they make the stupidest decisions and end up being a damsel in distress. Aurelia was headstrong, opinionated, caring but also, like all of us, had her insecurities. There is nothing about her that really got under my skin. 

As for who the culprit was, I was surprised. Completely did not see that coming, I had my guesses and if I thought harder about it, I may have suspected the female involved However, the guy I completely did not see coming. It took awhile for it to sink in. (I'm saying "female" and "guy" because I am trying so very hard not to ruin it) 

Even though the synopsis suggests a heavily romanced story, the romantic element is rather minuscule which was fine with me. However, if you're the type of reader who needs to have the heavily laden romance going on, then you might not enjoy it as much. Still give it a try though. 

The only point of criticism I could find was the ending, which went by rather quickly. There was really no explanation for the "whys", it just kind of blew by. But, all in all, it was a good book and I definitely recommend it. 
If you have read it, feel free to leave a comment or message telling me what you thought of it, however contrary it may be to my opinion. Variation is the spice of life?

Until next time, toodles :) xoxo

Monday, 15 July 2013

Top 5 Book Titles :)

Hey there, 
How are you? I hope you are well. 
Ever had a situation where the title of a book just drew you in? And it never leaves your mind? And you want to read that book just because the title sounds cool? Well I've had a few situations like those so I thought I would compile a list of my 5 favourite book titles. Enjoy!

-This list is not in order of my favourites or least favourites- 

1) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This book is definitely one of my all time favourites! I can honestly say nothing negative about it, it was pretty close to perfection even down to the title. The title comes from a line from a poem entitled "Kabul" by a Persian poet named Said-e-Tabrizi and translated by Josephine Davis into english. The poem reads:
      "Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls"

The poem is actually mentioned in the novel by Laila's father when they were leaving the war torn city. The words evoke a beauty which stands as a contrast to the war ravaged city with rubble and blood which the backdrop of the novel is set against.

2) The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

If you've read a previous post of mine which was a review of Sarah Dessen's work (click here to view it), you may have guessed that this title would be on here. The Truth About Forever was the first Sarah Dessen book I read, I couldn't help it as it was just sitting there staring at me on my cousin's bookshelf, saying "Read Me! You know you want to" so I caved. The book was great, the best Sarah Dessen novel I have read. 

3) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

"Remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird"..."Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy...but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" 
I'm not really sure why but that line really stood out to me when I was reading it and I haven't since forgotten it. This was one of the prominent metaphors used in the book; mockingbirds were used to symbolise innocent and good people who are destroyed by evil. In the case of this book it was Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. 

4) The Fault In Our Stars- John Green

Recently, I have been seeing this book all over the place and quite rightly so. It's wonderfully written and the story just pulls at your heart strings. 

Once again, the title is also mentioned in the novel when Peter Van Houten said to Augustus in his letter:

"Were she better, or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/But in ourselves"

It is a really nice way of saying you can't control fate and sometimes you have really bad luck. Essentially, what happened to Augustus and the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the novel could not be controlled and is no one's fault. It's all in the stars. 
This title really sums up the essence of the novel and also sounds so poetic. 

5)  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The title of this book is pretty clear cut. It's set in a fictional town which is isolated from the rest of Colombia. Technology eventually gets to this place, in about a hundred years. 

What is striking about the title though is the use of the word 'solitude'. Other words, such as isolation, convey the same meaning and could have been used. Solitude makes it seem more personal and so the title could also refer to the Buendia family who all seem emotionally disconnected. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this list. If you have any others you would like to add, feel free to leave a comment or message me. Don't forget to follow for more ;)

And until next time, toodles :) xoxo