Monday, 17 April 2017

Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own.

-- description --

This book is so adorable! All I needed to know was that this is a You've Got Mail retelling and I immediately added it to my TBR. Then I found out that the main character is into watching old classic Hollywood movies and I just had the buy the e-book and read it straightaway. 

I love watching those classic Hollywood movies and to be honest, one of my favourite films is The Shop Around the Corner, which was the original You've Got Mail. James Stewart is also one of my favourite actors, as I love him in The Shop Around the Corner, Harvey, The Philadelphia Story and many more. And anyone looking at my profile picture knows I'm obsessed with Audrey Hepburn. I even have her poster up on my wall! So I was definitely intrigued by the many movie references made in this book.

To say this book was the perfect match for me is not an exaggeration. The characters are interesting, relatable, cute and funny. I believe the blurb says it all, so that's why I'm not going to go more into detail. Just believe me, if you are looking for an adorable young adult contemporary based with a lot of references to movies, just give this one a try. You won't be disappointed.

Alex, Approximately is the perfect Spring/Summer read! I gave it 5 out of 5 starsThat said, I now really want to go watch North by Northwest, so I'm not going to stretch this much longer.

Have you read this book or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below! Which are your favourite classic Hollywood movies? If you other cute romance stories with references to movies, please leave some recommendations down below!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Review: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

-- description --

This book, this book, this book... Wow! That's the only word I can use to truly describe the wonder that is Strange the Dreamer. If you believed The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy was amazing, think again, because Laini Taylor's newest book is so far above all other young adult novels I read this year, if not of all time.

I started reading this book without knowing anything about it, aside from the fact Laini Taylor wrote it, which was enough information for me. I would definitely recommend going into it as blind as possible. That's also why I won't give a lot of details from the plot.

All I will say is that the characters are absolutely amazing, Lazlo is an awesome protagonist and you will fall in love with him and his story from the very first chapter. That said, there are also characters you will loathe, like Minya. Laini Taylor definitely knows how to craft a perfect story, with toe-curling antagonists, beautiful cities and dreamy love stories. You will definitely be able to tell this is a Laini Taylor book.

And then, there is the ending. I can't wait to see how things will turn out after this, the tables have turned, the sides have been chosen and I have no idea how it will turn out. I'm anxious to see my favourite characters again and find out how their story will unfold.

A final thing I want to mention, is the beautiful cover design. I got this book in the March fairyloot box and it has blue pages, a printed signature and drawings by Laini Taylor. It was nice to start figuring out the significance of the cover and the colour blue. It's a very nice touch!

Obviously, I gave Strange the Dreamer 5 out of 5 stars! I cannot coherently express all the emotions I feel after reading it, but one word sums it up quite nicely: WOW! I believe everyone would enjoy reading this book, young or old, it doesn't matter. Now go buy and read the book, because this one is the one you won't want to miss out on!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Stacking the Shelves: March Book Haul

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Each week bloggers post the books they purchased or received. This month I got two e-books and four hardcovers and three paperbacks.

The two e-books I got this month are:

1. Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged (Sofia Khan, #1) by Ayisha Malik

I already read this one and really enjoyed it!

2. The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova

I also got four gorgeous hardcovers this month!

3. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

4. The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis

5. Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1) by Tricia Levenseller

I really enjoyed this book! I love pirates and I'm actually shocked there aren't more pirate stories out there! This YA novel was so entertainting, so much sass! I loved it!

6. Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

Really excited about this one! I got this in the March Fairyloot box!

Lastly, I also got three paperbacks:

7. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I really wanted to read this book before the TV show comes out! Also, since I read The Blind Assassin, I've wanted to read more of Atwood's work. I actually managed to read The Handmaid's Tale this month and it was incredible! 

8. The Unseen World by Liz Moore

I've heard great things about this one! Can't wait to read it!

9. The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1) by Helene Wecker

I've been wanting to read this for quite some time now. I eventually bought this after reading The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury and truly enjoying the jinni elements. So I just couldn't resist adding The Golem and the Jinni to my library!

Which books did you get this month? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Leave your thoughts in the comment section down below!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Fandoms I'm In

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week bloggers post their top ten on a previously suggested topic. This week's topic is top ten fandoms you're part of. I chose of mix of books, TV shows and movies for this list. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory.

1. Firefly

2. Once Upon a Time

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4. Shades of Magic trilogy by V. E. Schwab

5. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Captain Thorne forever!

6. Star Wars

7. The Phantom of the Opera musical

He's here, inside my mind.
I can't escape from him, I never will.

8. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Rhysand, enough said.

9. Sherlock

10. Pride and Prejudice

Which fandoms are you in? Are you a fan of the ones mentioned above? Leave your thoughts down below!

Monday, 3 April 2017

March TBR

These are the books I'm planning to read this month! 

1. Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1)
by L.M. Montgomery

2. Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

I'm borrowing the first two books in this trilogy from a friend. I'm excited to read it!

Tome Topple Readathon

I'm attempting to participate in the Tome Topple Readathon this month, last time was an epic failure but I hope to start at least one of the following books over 500 pages.

3. Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor 

4. A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab

5. Blankets by Craig Thompson

6. Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1) by Robin Hobb

Which books are you planning to read this month? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Leave your thoughts down below!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

March Wrap Up

I actually read 10 books this month! Kind of proud of myself! I read one e-book, one graphic novel, three hardcovers and five paperbacks.

The first book I finished this month was:

1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This book was amazing! It made me think, cry and reflect. Everyone should read this book! I obviously gave it five out of five stars! However, I did feel the chapters should have been longer, as we only get one chapter for each character. For example I really want to know what happened to Ness and Pinky! Anyone else have this problem?

2. Empress of a Thousand Skies (Empress of a Thousand Skies, #1) by Rhoda Belleza

This book was in the February Fairyloot box! I really enjoyed it! After watching Firefly, I really want to watch and read more science-fiction! I gave Empress of a Thousand Skies 4 stars on Goodreads, but I am probably going to change it to 3 or 3,5 stars.

3. The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3) by Mary E. Pearson

I started this book in February but due to a reading slump I finished it in March. This is the first book over 500 pages I've read this year, and as I'm hoping to read 10 books of 500 pages this year, this was a good start! I gave it 5 stars!

4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Wonderful, heart-breaking book! 5 out of 5 stars! Whether you're young or old, this is one book you should read!

5. Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1) by Tricia Levenseller

I pre-ordered this book and I was hoping for a sassy, kick-ass female pirate story and I wasn't disappointed. The romance wasn't all that necessary for me, but it didn't bother me too much! I'll definitely read the second book! This was just so much fun to read! 5 stars.

6. The Arrival by Shaun Tan

This is a wonderful graphic novel, without actual words. The story is told completely through images and it works amazingly well! If you want to pick up a fantastic graphic novel, just pick up The Arrival! You won't be disappointed! 5 stars!

7. The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden, #1) by A.R. Torre

This was my least favourite book of the month. If you want to know more, check out my review. 3 stars but I should probably have given it less.

8. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 

I finally picked this book up because of the Hulu adaptation (and by the way, the trailer is looking really good!). Needless to say, since it's a Margaret Atwood book, I absolutely loved this! It's tied with Homegoing for my favourite book of the month! 5 stars!

9. A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) by V.E. Schwab

Wonderful continuation of the Shades of Magic trilogy! I loved the fact that this was more character driven as the first book was more focused on the action. I liked getting to know the characters more in depth! I highly recommend this series! It's becoming one of my favourites! 5 stars! (And I'm currently reading A Conjuring of Light, because that ending! Wow!) This is the second book over 500 pages I read this year! Go me! :)

10. Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged (Sofia Khan, #1) by Ayisha Malik

I was told this was a muslin Bridget Jones book, and I can definitely see the resemblances. This was just so much fun to read! I also learned more about Muslims as I am not that familiar with their customs. Sofia is wonderful main character, funny, loving and interesting! If you are looking for a fun romance story, you might want to give this one a shot! 4 stars!

Which books did you read this month? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Leave your thoughts down below!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Review: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Alternate cover edition can be found here. The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first-century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception.

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I LOVED The Handmaid's Tale! It's seriously a book everyone should read. It actually gave me chills. The month of March was also the perfect time to read it, as on the eighth of March was International Women's Day! Also, Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel is coming out in April. I saw the new trailer and it's looking really good! Can't wait to watch it!

The Handmaid's Tale is considered a modern classic and a feminist read and I agree with both labels. Margaret Atwood is becoming one of my favourite authors! I've also read and loved The Blind Assassin, which I highly recommend, of course.

I don't want to give too much away about the plot of The Handmaid's Tale, I didn't know much before reading it, and I prefer it that way. I was at times confused though, primarily in the beginning of the novel. It actually took me about 130 pages to figure out the names and was shocked both by their significance and the fact I didn't realize it sooner!

Gilhead actually scares me a lot. Even though it's a dystopian story, I can actually imagine it happening in real life. Therefore, I think this book is incredibly important because this kind of future should absolutely be avoided. The novel was actually published in 1985, but I believe now is the perfect time to read it.

Obviously, I gave it 5 out of 5 stars! This book made me think, shocked me and held me completely in its grip. I feel like everyone can get something out of reader this book and therefore, I would recommend it to anyone as well! If you haven't read this one, you should definitely do so soon! Now let's the TV show will be as great as the book, in as far that's possible.

Have you read The Handmaid's Tale? Or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below! Also, I would love some recommendations on which Atwood book to pick up next!