Looking for Alaska; John Green

looking for alaska

I read ‘The Fault in our Stars’ quite some time ago now, and I’ve been meaning to pick up some more of John Green’s work since.  I finally picked up Looking for Alaska on a whim and decided to get stuck straight in.

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

When I picked up this book, I decided not to chaco the blurb, or read up on it on Goodreads, I just wanted to go in blind. And I am really happy with this decision.

I really enjoyed this book and finished it in just two sittings, even though it’s not really a long book, it felt like I flew right through it.  I loved Miles’ story.  He is just a no body who deciders that instead of waiting for life to happen, we wants to go out there and do something about it.  He takes himself completely out of his comfort zone and slowly works through his insecurities.  In the beginning of the book, he talks about his ‘skinny’ frame and shows how conscious of his body he is.  However, as we get further through the book, we don’t hear about it and it would seem that it’s though him making real friends and becoming more comfortable with both them and himself.

I loved the writing style used within this story.  Throughout the book, there are no chapters, but instead there are headings that are counting down to an event.  I love the shock factor that I had from not reading about the book before I read it, But I think the count down added to this as well, as I knew something big would happen, without knowing what it was.

After reading this, I can’t wait to read more of John Green’s work and I think I may do the same thing with them, and go into them completely blind.

I rate this book four out of five stars.

four star

Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

Please like,share and follow if you enjoyed this post, and feel free to leave recommendations in the comments

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Scarlet; Marissa Meyer

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After reading the first book in The Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder,  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Scarlet.  While it took me just over a week to finish, I read it in about three sittings, and it was really hard to put down.  As this is a sequel I must disclose that there may be spoilers referring to the first book throughout.

[The Plot]: Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I anticipated this book so much after reading Cinder, and had to resist picking it up straight after putting Cinder down.  I am glad I left a little gap between reading them, but now I’m itching to get my hands on Cress.

In the second instalment of The Lunar Chronicles, we follow Scarlet as she is looking for her missing grandmother.  The police have given up in the search and written it off as a run-away, and the community Scarlet lives in follow suit.  People just see her as the grand daughter of a crazy old lady who has run away, and if it weren’t for Scarlet’s grandmothers farm and reputation for being the best produce in the area, Scarlet would be lost.  It’s at this point that she crosses paths with Wolf.  He’s quiet and mysterious and you can see from his first introduction in the story, that he has a large role to play.

The relationship between Scarlet and Wolf grows as they spend more time together.  Scarlet starts to trust Wolf little by little, and I think it’s fair to say the progression in their relationship is a little predictable.  However, I don’t really see this as a bad thing.

I really enjoyed the way in which we are reading from the different characters perspectives in this book.  It hasn’t been written in a way that completely separates their view, but at the same time I didn’t find the story to flick too quickly through the characters.  I liked the fact that there may have been, for example, three or four chapters about Scarlet, one chapter about Kai and two chapters about Cinder.  It depended on what was happening to the character at a specific time, as to how much you were reading and I really thought the story flowed at the right pace.

I can’t wait to read Cress as soon as possible, and I will definitely be picking it up when my ‘book buying ban’ ends at the end of April.

I rate this book five out of five stars.

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Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

Please like,share and follow if you enjoyed this post, and feel free to leave recommendations in the comments

Poison Study; Maria V. Snyder

poison study

Poison study is one of those books that you just stumble upon.  I was in a small local bookshop that just happened to be having a sale, my biggest weakness I must say, when the cover caught my eye.  On a whim, I bought the first 4 books after reading the blurb from just the first.  This is why I love small bookshops, in a larger chain store I’d be so overcome with choice that I would have skimmed right past this book, instead of giving it the chance I think it deserves.

[The plot]:  Yelena Zaltana is awaiting her death sentence  when she  is offered the potion of the Kings food taster.  Her life goes from poverty, to awaiting her imminent  death, to fine banquets and the luxurious comforts of the Kings castle.  However, this luxury comes with a price.  Being the Kings food taster means Yelena has to risk assassination from poison daily, and there is no way out.  In a world where magic equals death and freedom is few and far between, Yelena has no idea what is in store for her.

After reading this book I was shocked that I hadn’t heard of it before or read about it on any book blogs at the time.  I found it be an easy read that kept me intrigued and eager to keep reading through out.  Yelena is a truly complex character, as you learn more about her you see her transform as a person.  Throughout the book, you not only see her as the strong, warrior type   who will do anything to survive, but you also learn that she is still young girl who has her vulnerable moments.

As Yelena and Valek’s relationship unfolds, you learn a lot more about Valek as a character.  At first Valek is just the chief of security, meaning that he is responsible for keeping Yelena in line and especially ensuring she would’t run away.  However, as their relationship developes, you find that Valek is not only a crazy-cool bad-ass assassin, but he is a real person who loves and respects his job, and takes it very seriously.  You also learn that he will go to lengths to protect those he cares about, and to do not only what he is told to do, but what is right.

After reading this book, there was nothing I could do but read the others I had bought.  The story flows seamlessly throughout the trilogy, and I look forward to reading more of Snyder’s work.

I rate this book four out of five stars.

four star

Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

Please like,share and follow if you enjoyed this post, and feel free to leave recommendations in the comments.

Cinder; Marissa Meyer

cinder

Cinder is a whole new look into the fairy tales we all know and love.  Blasting us into a future world, Cinder is set in a world where robots are the norm, cyborgs are at the bottom of the social hierarchy and the world is at threat from a war with the Lunars.  Marissa Meyer offers a completely different take on the fairytale dynamic, you just can’t put down.

[The plot]: Cinder, New Beijing’s best mechanic, is an adopted cyborg, living with her grudge bearing step mother.  With an ill-fitting foot, and society looking down on cyborgs, Cinder does her best to fit in and do her job, fixing androids.  Never would she have thought she would bump into the Prince at her market stall.  With a fatal plague spreading the earth, her step sister falls ill and Cinder is left in the centre of a struggle she could never have imagined.  Between a family that hates her, a Prince who likes her for being someone she is not and an evil queen, Cinder finds out more about her past than ever before.

I’ve been in some what of a reading slump as of late, and after picking up various different books in the hope to break it, nothing was working.  That was until I picked up Cinder.  Just from reading the blurb of the book I knew I was going to like it, and it was the perfect book to get me back on the horse and reading back to normal.

Marissa Meyer has a way of writing that keeps you completely engrossed and needing to find out more.  Cinder has plenty of twists and turns along the way, some of which can be fairly predictable, but some come completely out of nowhere.  Meyer doesn’t follow the traditional cinderella story line too closely, in a cheesy attempt to create a modern-day fairytale.  Instead, she create a whole new world that incorporates the elements of our favourite fairy tales we love most, with a whole new plot and purpose to the story.

I absolutely loved the characters and relationships in this book.  Iko, Cinder’s robot sidekick, is hilarious.  Iko has a programming problem which has caused her to be super sarcastic with a very comical tone.  Cinder’s relationship with her step-sisters is a little different in the re-telling.  Peony, the younger of the two, adores Cinder, and Cinder adores her in return.  Whereas Pearl shares the same displeasure in Cinder as her mother, Adri.  Being a cyborg, Cinder isn’t considered to be on the same social standing as everyone else, and Adri and Pearl take no excuse to remind her of this, so you still have the constant tension and disappointment coming from these two characters.

With three more books to be read in the series, and another being published later on this year, I can’t wait to delve into the rest of the series.

I rate this book five out of five stars.

five star
Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

Please like,share and follow if you enjoyed this post, and feel free to leave recommendations in the comments.

Girl Online; Zoe Sugg

girl onlineI have been a huge fan of Zoe Sugg, also known in the YouTube and blog world as Zoella, for quite some time.  So, naturally, I was thrilled when I found out that she was working on her very own novel.

[The plot]: Penny is your everyday awkward teenager, just blundering her way through school and doing her best not to embarrass herself on a daily basis.  But Penny is also keeping a secret, and online secret.  Penny blogs about her daily life, her crazy family and  uses the strength of her followers to understand the panic attacks that she’s been suffering with.  When her school life hits an all time embarrassing peak, and she can’t face the outside world, this is the perfect opportunity for her family to be asked to work in New York.  This well deserved break sees Penny learn more about herself and her supportive family, all the while falling in love the American dream Noah.  But can everything fall into place so perfectly so fast, without going wrong?

Zoe has created a story that is easy to read and understand, you can relate to the characters and I think this can purely be said due to it being written from her own experiences and troubles.  She has written what she knows, done so not to create a novel that boast or exaggerates what she has achieved and accomplished but to create an easy, breezy read that will capture the heart of her fans.  Which is exactly what she has achieved.

Penny is relatable to the everyday teenager and young adult.  Young girls in high school  all know the feeling of embarrassing moments, and the thought of never living them down.  We’ve all had those friends who maybe drift away as you grow up, and you struggle to be yourself around.  This book encapturs all of those moments, it takes you back to your school days when you fell over in front of an entire class or had an argument with your best friend and you thought you’d never speak again.   It it also makes you think about how silly it all seems now, and as life moves on we grow as people, make new friends, better choices and move on.  I  really hope it has the same effect on Zoe’s younger fans and readers,  who may be going through those ever so dramatic high school years.

The only criticism I have for this book would be that it is a less mature read than I was expecting. Before reading, I expected the book to be aimed at people of Zoe’s age, give or take a few years. However, Zoe does have a younger fan base so it is reasonable for her to have aimed this book at younger teenagers in the writing style. That being said, it can still be enjoyed as an easy, light read by many audiences.

I rate this book three out of five stars.

three star

Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

Please share and follow if you enjoyed this post, and feel free to leave recommendations in the comments.