Wednesday, 30 December 2015

My True Love Gave to Me - Book Review

My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of twelve short romance stories set in the winter season and around Christmas time. The collection was put together and edited by Stephanie Perkins, the amazing author of the Anna and the French Kiss series, and featured writing from eleven other incredible authors, including Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, Laini Taylor, David Levithan and a whole bunch of other amazing people!!

I actually really enjoyed this collection. Although I started this book after Christmas, each of the stories gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling you get at this time of year! They were all really fun and quirky and gave me a great excuse to stay snuggled in bed in my pyjamas, reading for half the day!!

I gave this book 4 stars altogether but some of the stories individually were rated differently. There were some I absolutely loved and then others that I thought a little differently of...
But as a story collection, this has been one of my favourites and I loved pretty much every page!
Right, let's discuss some of the stories!

Midnights - Rainbow Rowell
5 Stars!

Midnights was the very first story we were given in this collection and I thought it opened the book up perfectly.
This story was told in separate parts, each of them told from a different year, a few minutes before midnight, and gave us the cute and heart-warming details of what happened at the beginning of each New Year. Like all of Rainbow Rowell's writing, this was just a really cute story with such beautiful writing! Before reading this book I didn't think it would be possible to tell a complete story in under 30 pages, but Rainbow somehow managed it! In just 24 pages, I had fallen in love with all of the characters - even though we'd only known them for a few pages, they gave me the familiar feeling that I'd known them all of my life. It was just lovely. This was also one of the only books for which I felt happy with how it ended, and didn't feel cheated out of a proper ending due to the short length of the story. Loved this one so much!! Definitely a must read!

The Lady and the Fox - Kelly Link
2 Stars

I wasn't actually a huge fan of this one. Throughout the whole of it, I never really understood what was going on, who anybody was or what the significance of it all was. The writing was alright but not fantastic and I found the plot to be quite misleading and confusing. It's not the worst story I've ever read but it certainly wasn't the best! I hadn't actually read anything by the author, Kelly Link, before this, but to be honest, from this, I'm not in a hurry to do so! 

Angels in the Snow - Matt de la Peña
4.5 Stars!

This one surprised me. I wasn't expecting a lot from it, after the disappointment of the previous story, but I actually really enjoyed it. It was certainly a different kind of story, but I found it to be really well written and a pleasure to read. The story was just warm and cute and fuzzy and was just everything I wanted! I haven't read anything else by this author but this story has definitely made me want to read more from him. I will be looking out for his other books in the future! Highly recommend reading this one!

Polaris is Where You'll Find Me - Jenny Han
4 Stars!

I found this story really quirky and brilliant, however I just couldn't justify giving it a full 5 stars because it was just too short! I mean, I know that these are supposed to be short stories, but this one was about 10 pages shorter than the others, and I thought at least another 10 pages should have been used!
As always, Jenny Han's writing was just fab and every line of it was beautiful. I loved the plot, too! It was a bit of a strange plot, but I did think it was the most Christmassy story of them all (probably because it included Santa and his elves!). So overall, I thought the story was fantastic but I could have done with a lot more of it, and I thought it cut off in a strange place. I would highly recommend this one, still, though!

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown - Stephanie Perkins
5 Stars!

Awwhhh! Now wasn't this one just charming? *swoons*
Stephanie Perkins could write the most gruesome horror story and it would still be cute and fluffy. She's just a wonderful writer! And this story was fantabulous! It wasn't what I was expecting but I loved it all the while. It gave me the fuzzy, warm, wintery feelings that I was hoping for from this book. The characters were great, the writing was super, so overall it was an amazing story! I'd recommend it to anyone!

Your Temporary Santa - David Levithan
3.5 Stars

This story was another one that I found to be quite short, however I don't think it really needed to be much longer. While I loved the concept and the story in this piece of writing, I don't actually think it was pulled off very well. I mean, the writing was great and the whole thing seemed to be well thought out, but I still thought that more detail needed to be put into some areas. There were parts that felt brushed over and rushed, and I don't know, maybe I was just reading this way too late and was falling asleep while reading it, but I felt that there seemed to be a further hidden message in this story that wasn't properly revealed. A lot of it was left for the reader to interpret for themselves, which is alright to a point, but I found it to be a little frustrating in this story. However, despite this, I still thought it was a cosy and heart-warming story and I liked it a lot!

Krampuslauf - Holly Black
2 Stars

Hmmm... I wasn't too sure what to make of this story. I hadn't read anything by Holly Black before but I had heard that she was a great writer so I got my hopes up a little. I mean, the writing itself wasn't bad, I will say that! However, this story was just weird! I don't have much else to say! I don't know how that was thought up and to be honest, I'm not sure that I want to know. I just didn't really see the point in this story at all. I wasn't a huge fan of the characters; they seemed quite weak and stupid, and the story just took a mental turn! This one definitely wasn't my favourite!

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? - Gayle Forman
5 Stars!

Ahh, I just love Gayle Forman's writing and stories! I loved her characters and her writing and her story here as a whole. Actually, this one kind of reminded me of Just One Day, when Allyson is in college.
This story was just really funny, as all of Gayle's books are at times, and it made me feel warm and cosy. There's not really a lot more to say! I just really loved it and would highly recommend it!!

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus - Mara McEntire
3 Stars

This was another story that I can't say I was too impressed with. I just didn't really see the point in it, which sounds really horrible, but I kind of don't feel like it belonged in this collection. I actually liked the whole thing though. The writing was alright and the characters were interesting. My main problem was that it just felt far too short. I mean, it didn't feel rushed and I don't feel that parts were just brushed over. The story just felt like the beginning. As if the middle and the end just didn't exist yet, but I felt that they needed to be written. The story felt like it needed to end up somewhere, and it didn't, really. I did like this one, but I think it would have benefited being a story of its own as opposed to a story in this collection.

Welcome to Christmas, CA - Kiersten White
4 Stars

I actually enjoyed this story far more than I expected to. It was just so cute and fluffy! It was one of those stories that you just want to hug and squeeze by the end. I was really pleased and satisfied with it. It did take a little while for me to be able to get into it, but when I did, I absolutely loved it! I will admit that some of the parts were a little strange, the psychic cooking powers, for example! But I loved the characters and found this story to be really quite enjoyable! It has definitely made me want to read more of Kiersten White's books!

Star of Bethlehem - Ally Carter
3 Stars

Well, this was a bit of a weird story! I'm not sure I was a huge fan of this novella simply down to its story. It just didn't feel very believable or realistic to me. And I know what you're thinking - this is a fiction book! Get over yourself! - But it was supposed to be a realistic fiction book. I mean, in stories like this, you're supposed to write about things that haven't happened, but could realistically occur. This one just seemed quite silly! The writing was decent and the characters were okay, but I just didn't really understand where it was going and it just seemed to end up in an unrealistic place. It probably only seemed unrealistic due to it being so short. It might have been okay if it were longer. I don't know. I just wasn't a huge fan.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer - Laini Taylor
4 Stars

I think this book felt like it took the longest to read, but I'm not complaining about that! It took me a while to get into it, but it was definitely worth it when I did! I actually really enjoyed this story. It was so magical in a really unique way, and was different to everything else in this collection. The writing was entrancing in a magical way and I just really loved it! It would have been nice to find out a little more about the characters, but I suppose Laini Taylor got a lot into the small number of pages she wrote! A really lovely and wondrous story!

So, that's all of the stories!
Overall, I'm so glad I got around to finally reading this book as I really enjoyed it as a whole. I would recommend it to any fan of romance novels, but suggest that you go into it with an open mind and expecting the unexpected, since I think that's the way you'd get the most out of this book!
I gave My True Love Gave to Me four stars in total, simply because that was the closed to what the individual ratings averaged out to, however I enjoyed this more than a lot of 4 star books!
It's definitely worth reading!!

Well, that's all for now but I'll be back soon for more reviews and other fun things!
Hope to see you then!

Charlotte xxx

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

WINTER - Book Review

Can we just take a moment to marvel at this gorgeous book?
Here is the majestic Winter, the fourth and final book in The Lunar Chronicles.

Winter, by Marissa Meyer
Published: November 2015 by Puffin
Length: 823 pages (Yep! That's right!!)
Genre: YA, Retellings, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Rating: 5 STARS!!!

Where do I even begin? This book was just incredible. Honestly, I don't even know how to talk about it without jumping up and down in excited circles and squeaking and crying. The feels are real.

So, this is the last book to this series and it was such a bittersweet ending. I had been looking forward to this book ever since I finished Cress, and, no joke, I very nearly hugged the postman when he handed me the parcel containing this book. However, now that it has come to an end I've had to face the fact that I'm not going to get another one of these books which is devastating!! But I think we can definitely say that The Lunar Chronicles went out with a bang!!

The Lunar Chronicles, with Cinder as its first book, is a series of fairy-tale retellings set in a futuristic world where Earth, and its Earthens, are at war with the planet Luna and its Lunar citizens. Queen Levana has released a deadly plague called letumosis onto Earth that is killing Earthens at an incredible rate. There is no cure. The only way to stop the plague from spreading is to form an alliance between the two planets, by means of a royal marriage between Queen Levana and Emperor Kai, the new ruler of Earth. Soon, Cinder, a cyborg mechanic, and her trusty robotic friend, Iko, are roped in and are forced to take part in a battle between the planets. But they're not the only people dragged into the war. Soon they're joined by Scarlet, a tomato farmer, Wolf, a cage-fighter, Thorne, a pilot, Cress, a hacker locked away in a satellite, and finally Winter, a mad Princess and her guard, Jacin.
This series is an epic retelling of our favourite stories. It's incredible and completely unforgettable. Nobody will ever regret reading these books!!

If you are unfamiliar with this series, you might want to have a look at my review for the first three books in the series, Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, which you can have a look at by clicking here.

So, when we left our characters at the end of Cress, they were in a fair amount of trouble. Scarlet had been captured and was in Luna with Winter as her only company. Wolf was a wreck, Thorne was blind, Kai had kind-of-been kidnapped by the rebels and everyone was in a bit of a sticky situation.

I have almost always re-read the rest of the series before reading a sequel to it, but I didn't have time to do that with these books, so there were certain parts that I had forgotten about and I wasn't quite sure where the story was going to take us. However, I thought the first few chapters recapped it perfectly and by this point I was well aware with what had happened and what was going on, which is always useful!!

So much happened in this book. I never knew it was possible for so much to go on in one book, but Marissa Meyer managed to exceed my expectations by so much. I mean, it was over 800 pages long, so I had expected quite a lot to crack off, but even then there was still so much story and each page of it was as captivating and mesmerising as the others. The funny thing is though, is that Winter didn't feel like a long book. I mean, I was reading it for quite a while (although this could be primarily down to the fact that I read most of it in my post Mockingjay Part 2 week of sobbing!!) and my hand was fairly sore afterwards from having to support all the weight of this massive book. But, it never dragged on or got boring, as many long books do, and I seemed to get through it fairly quickly.

This could have been down to Marissa Meyer's fantastic writing. Honestly, that woman just spews pure magic from her brain. I wouldn't be surprised if her brain was actually made up of sparkles and glitter because that is how amazing she is. I've said before that her writing style reminds me of J.K. Rowling and Cassandra Clare, and I still stand by that. She's definitely up with the greats in my mind!

I actually thought a lot of this series felt very cinematic in the way it was written. By reading the words, you could almost see the whole story happen in front of you on a screen. It was quite a strange experience really, particularly because it seems that no plans have been made to adapt this novel to the screen. And on that note, I think The Lunar Chronicles would make an amazing film series or TV show! It needs to be done!!

Okay, if you haven't already read Winter and do not wish to find out what happens, I would suggest you leave now since I will be discussing spoilers. If you haven't already read The Lunar Chronicles, I seriously suggest you consider doing so. I was a bit dubious of the series before I read them but they have grown to be one of my favourite series of all times. I cannot recommend them higher! Please go and read them!!

Spoilers from now on!

Okay, let's talk about our new characters. So, we didn't really find all that much out about Winter in the other books. I think we had one chapter with her in Cress in total, and she really freaked me out. You could tell she was slightly mad and she definitely acted younger than her age, due to not using her Lunar powers. But in this book, she was revealed to be so much more. She wasn't actually as crazy as I had thought she was going to be. She was just a lovely character who happened to be in her own dreamworld at times. Sort of like Luna Lovegood, but with a scarier land of dreams. I wasn't too sure about her at first, but as we got to know her, she just seemed like a really friendly character. I loved her!!
However, I would like to point out that I was so frustrated at Winter when she took the apple sweet! Does she not know you shouldn't take sweets off strangers?! Silly girl!!
But apart from that minor detail, I thought she was great.

So, we met Jacin back in Cress and I never really warmed to him then. At all. In fact, it did take me quite a long time to actually warm to him in this last book, and I don't think he'll ever have the same effect on me as Kai and Thorne (and Wolf - kind of) had on me, but I did warm to him a lot more by the end and I really do think he and Winter were a great match.

I actually grew to like Scarlet more in this book than in all of the previous books. I had never liked her as much as Cinder or Cress, but I've never been too sure why. She really seemed to win me over in Winter, though. It was almost as if she wanted to prove herself to her readers, or if Marissa Meyer wanted to prove how amazing she was to us all, because she really stood out and stood up for herself and really had a huge impact on the revolution.

Wolf seemed to do the same. I've never been too much of a Wolf fan. I mean, he's cool and everything, but doesn't seem too sensitive or human (though I guess he does have a reason for this!). But in Winter, we saw the softer, gentler and more caring side to him. One of my favourite parts of this book was when Scarlet and Wolf were finally reunited, and I think Wolf had almost matured in that scene, after moping around for so long! I just loved it!! He also touched my heart in the scenes with his mother, after returning to his childhood home. It was amazing to see.

I really, really, hate to say this but I actually wasn't too much of a fan of Cress or Thorne in this book. Wait... Let me rephrase that... I wasn't as much of a fan of them as I had previously been in the other books. That's better!
Cress and Thorne have been my tied favourites (with Cinder and Kai) ever since we were introduced to them, but they kind of annoyed me slightly here. I still loved them. Loved them loads! But I found myself getting rather frustrated with them a lot of the time, particularly at the start. Why could they not just accept that they were perfect for each other?? Why did they both have to go on thinking that the other one deserved better? Could they not see how amazing they would be as a couple?? Clearly not! I just got quite annoyed at them for taking so long to get together. They would have just saved a lot of time, worry and struggles if they had just got together as soon as Thorne could see again. The struggles were real.
But apart  from them taking too long to get together, I absolutely loved both of these characters. I loved how shy yet badass Cress was, and how cocky and arrogant yet still caring and loyal Thorne was. They're just a match made in heaven. *swoons*

And now, our couple of the series... Let's talk about Cinder and Kai.
Ahh. I can't even get into words how much I love these characters. They're just perfect. While I've said that Cress and Thorne are on par with my love for Cinder and Kai, it's probably true that I love these two just a little bit more. Simply for the reason that they've been with us for the longest. We have been through so much with these two characters and I have loved them since their very first pages. And I'm so glad that they're finally together and happy. They really deserve to be! Kai has been so brave all the way through the series, even though he's had to lead the whole world AND then take over Luna, while trying to be diplomatic and stay undercover the whole time! He hasn't had an easy ride!
And Cinder... She's been through the mill a bit, too. She's had to face the death of her only human friend, be targeted by everything she knew, go on the run as a fugitive and fight battles while doing so! She has been such a great character, protagonist, and I'm going to miss reading about her, but I am so glad she got her happily ever after. She definitely deserved it.

And what about my favourite character of the whole entire series?! Iko has just been the best. We didn't really get a lot of Iko-time in Winter, which would be my only complaint about the book. Then again, I don't think I could ever have enough Iko time!! I just love her so much. She's just so funny and adds a sparkling light to the darkest of pages and times. These books really needed something like her and I'm so glad she was there. I would actually like to know more about her though, like how she came to be and then what happened to her after Winter. I'm really hoping Marissa Meyer writes a new book focused purely on Iko. It would be amazing!

And lastly, let's talk about the villain of this story. The amazing Queen Levana.
Now, I have read about a lot of villains in all the books I have ever read, but not many have captured my attention the way Levana did. I loved her as a baddie. She was just perfect. She was ruthless, she was cunning, she was slightly mad, but I loved her! And yes, I'm one of those people who have a soft spot for the bad guys. While I was obviously rooting for Cinder and all of her allies to win the revolution and to kill Levana, there was always a part of me that wanted to know more about her. And more we discovered! It was actually quite a sad and touching time when she was killed, just after revealing everything about her sister, Cinder's mother, and why she did everything she did. I loved getting to know her more and would love to find more out about her (why haven't I read Fairest?!). Of course, I am glad that she died in the end (sorry Levana!) because there was no way everyone else would have survived if she too had been kept alive, but I was almost sorry to see her go. She was a great villain!

I guess that's it for the characters then! I cannot explain how much I loved this book in actual words. It was soooooo good! I absolutely loved the escape scenes with Scarlet and Winter (and sometimes Jacin) and I loved when they were trying to rally the wolf-people troops. I loved all of the battle scenes with Cinder and Wolf and Thorne and Cress. I loved the reuniting scene between Scarlet and Wolf. I loved all the crazy antics and banter between Cinder and Thorne. I loved the romances between all of our couples (although we all know that Cress and Thorne, and Cinder and Kai are the best!). I just loved the whole thing, really! There was  not a dull page in the whole of that 823 page long book - and that's saying something!! Every single sentence was edge-of-the-seat (or in my case, bed!) drama and I just loved every bit of it.

I know that a lot of people were puzzled at the fact that we didn't lose any of our main characters, but I was so happy and glad when I realised that everyone had made it through alive. These poor characters had really been through a lot. I think they'd all been kidnapped or trapped at one stage or another (some on multiple occasions) and had seen and experiences awful things, so it was lovely to see that they all made it through and had their well deserved happily ever after. Especially Iko! I had a feeling that Iko might have ended up dying or crashing or whatever robots do, but I was so, so, SO glad that she made it out okay because I honestly think I would have died if Iko had been killed off!!

And I think that's all I have to say! Winter was just an amazingly incredible book and I simply cannot wait to go back to the beginning of the series and read them all over again! I am also really excited for the release of Stars Above, in 2016, which is a collection of short stories set before, during, and after the lunar chronicles! Cannot wait to find out more about what happened after the happily ever after! And I also really need to read Fairest!!

Right, I think that's all I have for this post but I hope to be back for more reviews very soon!

See you then,

Charlotte xxx

Monday, 14 December 2015

October / November Reading Wrap Up

I feel like I need to start with an apology. I've been MIA for a while now and haven't managed to get much posted to you guys in the last month or so. Sorry about that! I'm going to try to make it up to you now by giving you my two missing wrap-ups for the last couple of months, all tied together in this huge wrap-up post for October AND November!!!

 Here goes...

Let's start with October. So, I managed to get through a total of 7 books in October, which, while isn't amazing, is still pretty decent.
Here are the October books!!
I didn't manage to get through quite as many books as I had initially hoped in October, but  it still wasn't too bad! In total, I read 3206, which averages out to 103 pages per day, so it's not terrible and is still over my daily target.
I only actually read three new books this month; I have already read the whole of The Infernal Devices trilogy and I have also already read Fangirl before, but I still really enjoyed rereading them all, and, to be honest, I seemed to enjoy them even more than when I read them before!

Right, before I get into some mini-reviews, let's go to November.

As many of you will be aware, November is Mockingjay month. For the past three Novembers, I've always marathoned The Hunger Games trilogy, so this November was no different!! It was tough-and-go to whether I would actually make it all the way through Mockingjay before watching Part 2 on its opening night, however I somehow managed to read the whole of the book in under 3 and a half hours, which I think is definitely some kind of an achievement!!

Anyway, here are my November books...
So, that's still only a total of 7 books - not my best, I must say - but it's still an alright number, and the HUGE number of pages in Winter has made it so that my page number count-up for November is 3291, averaging out at 110 pages per day, which is a good number!
Again, I only actually read three new books this month, having read Eleanor & Park before, and having read The Hunger Games trilogy more times than I'd care to admit! So, my new books were Landline, Red Queen and Winter. I will be writing about Winter in a post of its own since it was so incredible, so stick around for that!!

Anyway, let's go talk about some books!!!

The Game of Love and Death really blew me away as a book. To tell the truth, I didn't actually read the blurb of this book before I bought it; the cover alone sold it for me - isn't it gorgeous? But even after reading the blurb, I went into it having no idea what it would be about, and I don't think I came out of it much-the-wiser! But, it was a completely original story and the writing was just spectacular.

The basic premise for this story is that Love and Death are people and play their game with humans. They each pick a player, destined to fall in love with each other. The rules are set like this; if love wins the game, they can live. However, if their love is not strong enough, death will win and both players will join her.
There have been many famous players; Antony and Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and Paris, Romeo and Juliette. Clearly, Love has never won the game.
Henry, a wealthy adoptive with a fancy scholarship, and Flora, an African-American who sings for money in jazz clubs, are the new players. Set in the Great Depression in America, they're not the most likely couple, but that doesn't mean that Love won't fight for them.

Despite this being quite a complicated plotline, I felt that it really was a gorgeous story and wasn't your everyday romance novel. I would recommend this to so many people. Fans of romance and historical fiction would love this book, I think, but I feel that everyone should give it a try! I gave it 4 stars overall and would love to read it again sometime.

Here's another book that drew me in by its beautiful cover. I'm not really too sure how to describe Love Letters to the Dead without giving too much away, but I did think it was very similar to another of my favourite books, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Laurel is our main character in Love Letters. Introverted and still mourning over the death of her sister, she writes a letter for a school assignment. The letter is to Kurt Cobain. Like her sister, he died young, so Laurel thinks he'll understand her. Soon, the letter becomes bigger than just a school assignment and Laurel is writing letters to Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, Judy Garland and Janis Joplin. She tells them everything she can't talk about - about her school, her friends, falling in love... and her sister, May. However, as she explores her past with her sister, she begins to remember.
Things are, and never were, all they seem.

I did actually really enjoy this book. I ended up giving it 4 stars overall, and while it really did strongly remind me of Perks, there were still a lot of differences and I think this book will be able to stand on its own without just being a complete copy of Perks. It was quite an emotional and touching book, with beautiful writing at times. I would recommend this to people with an open mind, who would be willing to read to the end despite a few dull sections near the beginning. I wouldn't recommend this book to younger people or anyone who doesn't like to read about sensitive topics. This was a great and touching book but may be deemed as inappropriate for some people depending on maturity levels.

Landline was another book with a slightly strange concept. I wasn't too sure whether it would be my kind of book, but I absolutely love Rainbow Rowell's writing and stories so I thought I'd better give it a go.

Georgie McCool knows that her marriage is in trouble. Things with Neal haven't been good for some time. She's been really busy at work and rarely has time for her husband or her children. Yes, of course she loves her husband still, and he loves her just as much, but maybe there's more to a marriage than love.
When Georgie's TV Show has some big and exciting news, it means more work and tighter deadlines, and also means that she'll have to stay in LA for Christmas instead of visiting her in-laws with Neal and the kids. And they're not happy about it.
As she watches the rest of her family drive away to the airport without her, Georgie thinks it's over. But that same night, Georgie finds a way to contact Neal in a way she never thought she could. Over her landline phone, she can talk to Neal, but it's not the Neal she knows. It's the Neal from the past; from her past.
Soon, an opportunity arises for Georgie to fix her marriage before it has even begun. But she faces the question of would Neal have been better off without her in his life. Only she can decide.

I really did enjoy this book. It took a while for me to get into as it was a little slow to begin with, but overall I found it to be a great read and gave it 4 stars. The writing, as always from Rainbow Rowell, was beautiful and entrancing and the plot, while a little confusing to begin with, was actually a lot of fun and really put me in a Christmassy mood! I would recommend it to fans of Rainbow's other books or anyone who enjoys a light-hearted contemporary read!

Red Queen really appealed to me as a book I would really enjoy reading. I don't read fantasy books often as they tend to take me double the time I would spend on books in other genres. Nevertheless, I was really taken in by the plot line and amazing reviews and talk about this book.

The world is divided by blood.
Red - the cheap, common and poverty-stricken 
Silver - the powerful, elitist warriors with incredible powers
Our leading lady, Mare, is a red, but finds her world is turned upside down when she becomes a servant to the people she despises the most. However, Mare soon realises that even though her blood is not Silver, she has her own power. A power so deadly it threatens to destroy the Silver control...

I enjoyed the concept of this book, I really did. It was a sort of cross between fantasy and dystopian. However, after reading this book, I came to realise that maybe I don't like the fantasy-writing-style as much as I had initially though. I really enjoyed this book at the start, but it did have the feel of loads of other book incorporated into one. I ended up giving Red Queen 3 stars in total, however I'm still including it in this wrap up because I don't believe it to be a bad book. The writing was great and the story line had parts that really captivated me. I just think that maybe fantasy in general isn't really my thing. I would, however, still recommend it to lovers of this genre because, as books go, this was a decent one.

Well, that's it for now! Hope you guys have had a good couple of months of reading too!!

I hope to be posting reviews a little more regularly now so I will be back for more as soon as I can!!

Much love

Charlotte  xxx

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

How to Survive The End

So, as many of you will surely know, we're so, so close to the release date of Mockingjay Part 2. So close I can count the number of days leading up to this massive event on ONE HAND!!! This is serious stuff, people! However, as exciting as it may be, there is also a sense of fear and dread looming in the fandom. No, I don't think any of us are concerned that they're going to turn the last film into an epic screw up; Francis Lawrence has proven himself as an incredible director and I have every faith in him, and all of the cast, in that they won't let this film be a let-down.

The thing we're worried about is the end.

I'm going to get quite personal here. Are you ready? 
So, I found out about The Hunger Games later than a lot of people. I can't have the pride of calling myself one of the original fans and I hadn't even read the books before the first film came out! Tragic, I know!
I did, however, remain in the dark about this series until November 2012, when a friend of a friend lent me the books. At this stage, I had never heard of this series. I still can't believe I had managed to live all the way through the huge hype without hearing something of it - it's a mystery to this day! I hadn't heard of or seen the film and I went into this book without knowing a thing about it. I came out a changed person.

I know what you're thinking. How on Earth can three fairly small books cause somebody's life to change? I don't actually have an answer to this. I have no idea what occurred in my brain during the week that I read these books back then, except, of course, the tension and drama of the incredible story. All I know is that, once I had finished, I felt that I had been opened up to a completely new world, and this was where my life as a reader truly took off. I had always been quite a big reader, but up until this point I pretty much read the Harry Potter series on repeat (hence the reason I have each book 24 times so far!). It was at this point that a whole world of other books opened up for me. Of course, for a little while, I did what I did best at that time, and I spent a while reading The Hunger Games trilogy on repeat, but soon after, I discovered Divergent, Twilight, The Mortal Instruments, John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman and a whole new spectrum of incredible stories.

Anyway, we're getting off topic.
In just a few days, this series, the thing that has meant the world to me for the last 3 years will draw to a close and that is a scary thing for many people - especially me!
It hasn't really dawned on me until now that there will never be another anxious 4 hour wait at my laptop for a new trailer to be released, or another 1000 day countdown to the final film, wishing the years away, or even that next November, there won't be another film in this series for me to look forward to.

So, how can we handle this?
Is there even away to deal with the grief of losing your favourite series?
I don't think so. But we can have a go!

My amazing friend Sophie, from The Life of a Teenage Fangirl, put together a 'Book Hangover Kit' for me a little while ago, and while it is intended for books, I think it can probably be applied to this situation too.

Step 1 - Cry all the feels away!
             I know it's not the best method for some people but I'm definitely one for face-planting the bed and drowning it with my tears! As long as you don't cry too loudly in the cinema (as I discovered the hard way...) you'll be fine! But sometimes it's good to have a good cry when something like this happens. I'm sure I will!

Step 2 - Chocolate Gorge!
             This probably isn't the best advice, but I have always been one for gorging on chocolate after I finish a particularly painful ending, so while the doctors probably wouldn't prescribe this for post-ending-sadness, I will! Trust me, it helps!

Step 3 - Distractions
            A stand-alone novel is generally recommended when you come out of a long and heart-breaking trilogy, which I know helps me! In the case of Mockingjay though, I will be distracting myself from the pain by having a weekend of rom-coms, and I'm also planning on starting Winter, the last of the Lunar Chronicles, which is really exciting!!

Step 4 - Reminisce
            For me, this is probably the most important step. It's overlooked a lot, but I think the only way you're ever going to accept that something has come to an end, is to go back to the start and remember all the amazing times you have had with this series. After the initial pain has gone, thinking about why you love the books and the character and the world can often help you realise that your journey through this wasn't for nothing. Remember how much this has benefited your life and how much you have learnt from it, because I don't care who you are or what you read or see, everything will change and shape you as a person. Even the very worst book can help you learn something.

I guess that leads me on to my next point.

We book lovers love books for many reasons, but probably the most important reason as to why I love them so much is that they're dependable. I guess that's why I love rereading books so much. You know exactly what you're going to get and you know that the characters and stories will ALWAYS be there for you. No matter what. The thing I have realised while writing this, is that even when Mockingjay Part 2 ends, and the revolution is over, and Katniss puts down her bow, and the credits roll onto the screen, Katniss will still be there. Her story may have ended but that doesn't mean it's gone forever. We will only have to reach up onto the shelf to bring her and her adventures back and we can relive all this as many times as we want. Yes, of course we're going to miss sitting and waiting for the trailers to drop, for the tickets to be released, for the news on the premieres and the stills and the soundtracks (which we're still waiting for!). I guess that's something that has finished forever now. We're just going to have to accept that. But it doesn't mean that we have to be any less excited about these books and films and what they mean to us. I feel like Neville Longbottom really captures what I'm trying to say in his speech to Lord Voldemort at the end of Deathly Hallows Part 2.
"Yeah, we lost spoiler tonight, but he's still with us, in here - points to heart"

Josh Hutcherson, our stunningly gorgeous leading lad from The Hunger Games films also adds to my point. In a recent interview in response to the question "How do you say goodbye (to the series)?" he answered, "You don't; you hang onto it forever." I think that's a beautiful thought. Even when we're old and looking back on our lives, we'll still have this moment and it will still be just as important to us.

So, while this may seem like the end, it's not really. Of course it's going to be a horrible time for us tributes, but it should also be a happy one - we can celebrate that our favourite books have been turned into magnificent films for us to enjoy again and again. This doesn't happen to many books so we should be grateful for us being able to relive Katniss' world in a completely new and amazing way.
It'll be terribly sad to see our favourite characters die before our eyes instead of just imagining their deaths in our heads, but we only need to go back to the earlier books / films, and there they'll be, alive and smiling at us through the page or screen.

And in terms of our survival. Come on, guys! Katniss survived 2 lots of the Hunger Games and a whole entire war. Peeta survived being tortured to insanity. Gale survived his home being burned to the ground. Survival is what tributes do best!
We can survive this! Together, we can conquer anything we want, and isn't that the moral of the story?

This is not the end.
This is only the beginning.

Much love,

Charlotte xxx

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Extraordinary Means | Book Review

Extraordinary Means is the first and only book by Robyn Schneider I have read so far. Her debut novel, Severed Heads, Broken Hearts (also published as The Beginning of Everything), has been on my TBR list ever since it was released but I still haven't got around to reading it yet.

"When he's sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.
But when he meets Sadie and her friends - a group of eccentric troublemakers - he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn't have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure."

Even before I read this book, I had a feeling I would fall in love with it. I'm a HUGE sucker for tragic romances involving teens and this seemed just that! I don't really know why I enjoy sad books so much, but they seem to take up the majority of my shelves!
Also, the cover is just gorgeous, and that really was the main reason I picked this book up! It's so pretty, and I know they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but, be honest, don't we all?!

There is a lot of talk around this book concerning its 'unoriginality' ; it is described to be a cross between The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, both by John Green, and while I can see why some people might think this, Extraordinary Means does have some features of its own. Okay, so the idea of this book might not be completely original, but that doesn't stop it from having some amazing twists and moral messages. This book did have a few surprises, too, so please don't be put off reading it just because it's said not to be too original.

As said in the premise, this story revolves around a group of teenagers who have been sent to Latham House, a secluded boarding school, because they have developed a deadly and contagious disease, TB. Lane is the newcomer to the school and is initially intimidated when he meets Sadie and her friends - the school's group of trouble makers. However, after a little time in their presence, he finds out that there can be more to his life than his illness has meant, and that, even in the state he's in, he can still find love.

I really loved the writing style in Extraordinary Means. While it didn't differ too much between the dual narration of Sadie and Lane, it suited the book well and gave the book a great feel to it. Robyn Schneider's voice brought Sadie and Lane to life in an incredible way. I loved it.

I loved the depth of characters in this book so much. Lane was the hard-working, stressed out kind of guy who hadn't embraced his illness and wanted to go back to school as soon as he could. Sadie was almost the opposite; a rebellious trouble-maker who wouldn't be controlled by anything- especially her illness. At the start of the book, I doubted that they would fit with each other, but as the story progressed, I fell in love with their relationship as much as they fell in love with each other. But, saying that, romance wasn't really a huge or important aspect of Extraordinary Means. However, I do believe the book benefited from this - after all, not every book has to be filled with lovey-dovey scenes, and I liked the fact that this one wasn't since it made it more original.

I feel like there's not really much else I can say about this book without spoiling it, but I think I would recommend it to pretty much anybody. It was such a heartfelt and meaningful book, which was surprisingly funny while devastatingly sad. The humour was very dark, but it still brought glimmers of light into this amazing story, which it definitely benefited from.
If you haven't read this book, I suggest you do! It very quickly became one of my favourite books and I gave it 5 stars!

From this point onwards, there will be major spoilers for Extraordinary Means, so if you have not yet read the book and would not like to be spoiled, please stop reading now and come back when you have finished the book. Thanks :)

Okay, on to the spoilery bits now!

Since it was set in the 'kind-of-future', this book features a lot of references to things we have now, such as Harry Potter, John Green books, Starbucks, etc! I'm not quite sure how I feel anymore about pop-culture references in books like this. I used to love them being there because it made the characters more relatable to my ways of thinking, but recently I've almost got tired of seeing them there. References like these are in so many books now and it's just starting to feel unoriginal. But, having said that, I think that if I ever wrote a book set in this world, I would probably still end up including some Harry Potter references or something like that!

From the very start of the novel, I had guessed that either Lane or Sadie would end up dying, and I had an idea that it might be Sadie who went. So, if you have read the book, you'll know that my prediction did end up coming true, but even before it happened, I would never have guessed how she would die.
As much as it was a devastating and horrible ending, I am actually really glad (in a weird way) that this is how she went. I mean, obviously I would have preferred her not to go at all and for Lane and her to be able to have a happy ending, but I still feel that if she hadn't have died, they wouldn't have had this anyway due to them being cured and then sent to live back with their families, who wouldn't understand any of what they went through, which is also showcased after Sadie's attack when her Mum stays with her and barely lets Lane see her.
The ending, while utterly heart-breaking, was very well thought out, in my opinion, and very well timed with the cure becoming available and really gave the story an unexpected twist and was extremely thought-provoking. I also think that Sadie, given the choice, would have preferred to go out this way as opposed to just dying from her illness, since this aspect showed how she lived her life, and didn't follow the rules, which she seemed to be proud of. I think that just letting her die wouldn't have been nearly as important for her as this death was.

Also, while redrafting this, I realised that Sadie's name literally has the word DIE in it! How did I not see this before?! Of course she was going to die with a name like that!

So, what did you think of Extraordinary Means? Rate down below if you've read it!

That's all for this post but I hope to be back for more very soon!
Much love

Charlotte xxx

Monday, 26 October 2015

Clockwork Princess - DISCOVERY!!!

Hello everybody!

This isn't going to be a normal review post today, so if you've come here expecting a review for Clockwork Princess or any of the other Infernal Devices books, sorry, you're not in luck.
But, for me at least, this post is just as exciting!

Last week I finished reading Clockwork Princess for the second time, and I noticed something that I haven't seen people talking about before so I thought I would share it with you guys...

I would also like to point out that this post is ONLY for people who HAVE read the books!!! This discovery is centred around probably the biggest spoiler in the whole of the series, so I really, really, really don't want to ruin the books for people who haven't read or finished the series! If you're one of these people, please leave now before I ruin your existence!

Seriously guys, stop reading if you haven't read the trilogy!! Please!!

Okay, so people who have read this book will know that, supposedly, a certain character meets his end around half-way through the book, in Chapter 14, due to his drugs running out, and his parabatai feels his departure and we all believe that he is dead and it's all very sad... Am I right?
I can't be the only one who was sobbing uncontrollably at this point!

Then, later in the book, it is revealed that the character who we thought to be dead had actually turned into another 'creature', of sorts! - If you have read the books, you'll know what I mean!

However, on rereading the book, I noticed something that changed everything...

You know how each chapter begins with a poem or extract from other books, well, Chapter 14, Parabatai, the chapter in which Jem is supposedly dies, begins with this...

"Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep,
He hath awaken'd from the dream of life;
'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep
With phantoms an unprofitable strife,
And in mad trance, strike with our spirit's knife
Invulnerable nothings. We decay
Like corpses in a charnel; fear and grief 
Convulse us and consume us day by day,
 And cold hopes swarm like worms within our living clay."

Can you see it yet? It literally says 'he is not dead'!! Cassandra Clare is blankly telling us that Jem is still alive and is sort of turning into another being!

I feel like this was such good planning on the author and editor's part and I also feel like it was a sort of test for us readers, to see if we actually read the extracts authors began chapters with! On looking at this, I actually feel pretty stupid for not seeing this before!
Honestly though, did anybody see this and take it in before reading about Jem? I can't be the only person who missed it the first time! I don't usually read the openings chapters to be honest; usually because I'm too excited to find out what's going to happen in the actual story! But I still cannot believe I missed this, with it being such an important part of the whole story!

The first time I read Clockwork Princess, I never properly believed that Jem would be dead since I managed to flip to the wrong page when my bookmark fell out, and I caught a glimpse of him being in a scene (nope, I have never lived this down!) but I would have never imagined it to turn out the perfect way it did!

Please tell me I'm not the only one who missed this huge give-away in the story!? I'd love to hear your Clockwork Princess stories down below!

That's all for this post but I hope this has been interesting for you guys, and I for one will definitely be reading the opening extracts on a chapter before I read the chapter!

Bye for now!

Charlotte xxx

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl | Book Review

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was unlike any book I have ever read before. It was over a month ago when I read it and I originally wasn't going to write a review for it but it has been haunting me ever since I turned the last page and I thought I had better share my thoughts...

Also, there will be no spoilers in this review -YAY! - so if you haven't yet read this book, you won't have to read this cautiously!

Greg is doing his best to remain invisible in society during his senior year of high school. Earl is his best friend; his only friend; and his co-maker of versions of old cult-classic films. They both know their films are terrible, but that's okay- they're for their eyes only.
Greg never intended to get wrapped up in a dying girl's life, but when his Mum makes him befriend Rachel, a childhood friend who has just been diagnosed with leukaemia, Greg's life turns in a completely new direction.
But when Rachel decides to stop treatment, everything is changed again and Greg and Earl set out on a mission to abandon their invisibility and make a stand.

As I have already said, this book was unlike any other book I have ever read. Okay, the 'theme' of the story wasn't exactly an original one- girl is diagnosed with a horrible form of cancer, which she attempts to fight off, but the ending is inevitable. There must be hundreds, if not thousands, of books around with that idea as the main plot, and don't get me wrong, a select few are some incredible and amazing stories! But a great number of them are dull, frustratingly emotionless and just copies of each other.
Jesse Andrews, however, managed to write his story in a completely unique and refreshing way, which made me know right from the start that Me and Earl would end up being one of my favourites for a very long time.

I loved the way this book was written. This definitely has to be one of my favourite things about this Me and Earl as I love books with different writing styles and this one was all over the place!
With so many books around these days, it's difficult to find a book with a completely different style of writing that also works well with the story it's trying to tell. So finding that Me and Earl had seemingly original writing was a big selling-point for me!
There were parts of the story told in film scripts, with stage directions and features like that, there were also parts told in bullet points and lists, and then, of course, there were other parts told in 'normal' writing, but even these parts were still a little different to how most stories are written and I loved it!
It was such an honest and down-to-Earth book and the way it was written made it even better.

I really, really liked Greg as a character, which is a little strange for me to be honest. It wasn't until after the story ended that I realised how self-centred, idiotic and uncaring he was. He never really had empathy for Rachel until the end of the book and thought of himself more than he thought about anybody else. But I think that's why I liked him so much.
He wasn't heroic, he didn't save anybody and he barely even managed to make anybody feel better, especially Rachel, who he seemed to insult more than cure! Stereotypically, you might expect Earl, who comes from a family of drug-taking, hard-core thugs, to act more like this. But as it turned out, Earl was far more compassionate and caring than Greg was.
So, from all of this, you would expect Greg to be a really hated character and to be perfectly honest, I'm not really sure why I don't hate him! But these features make him human, and I'm sure we can all relate to what he thinks from time to time, which I guess he isn't blamed for feeling these things. I also think it's a little unfair to him since the book is set almost inside his head, revealing his deepest thoughts and secrets that he would reveal to no one. So we do see a side to him that his peers wouldn't be able to see. I would imagine that if everybody wrote down every single one of the thoughts that went through their heads, they might also seem to be bad people.
I can only applaud Jesse Andrews for taking a self-centred and bad natured character and turning him into an incredible and relatable person. I know a lot of authors who have attempted to do this and failed miserably, so Jesse Andrews has clearly done an amazing thing!

The thing that amazed me the most about this book was that it wasn't really all that sad.
For a book with the word 'Dying' in the title, I had expected to be sobbing my heart out by the end, but I don't really remember crying all that much. I mean, I did cry a little bit, but in comparison to my hysterical sobbing from the majority of books (even those with happy endings!), this said a lot! So for the book to be about death and it not be too sad was quite a big deal.
What surprised me even more was how funny it was. There were not just some odd chuckles every now and then. There were parts of this book that made me quite hysterical with laughter! It was a lot funnier than it was sad, which is quite a big thing to achieve, I think!

I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone. It really was incredible.
In terms of suitability, there was a lot of bad language, sexual references and drug use, but nothing too bad compared to some other books in the YA genre, so I would say it would be suitable for ages 13 and up but it would depend on maturity, I guess.
If you haven't figured it out already, I really, really, really loved this book! I gave it 4 stars officially, but realistically it's more like 4.5. Very close to perfect!
I can't wait for Jesse Andrews to release some more books, since they're sure to be amazing too!

I also cannot wait to see the film adaptation - I didn't manage to see it when it came out in the cinema but I am really looking forward to finally seeing it as soon as I can!

That's all for now! If any of you guys have read or watched Me and Earl, please share your thoughts in the comment section as I would love to know what everybody else thought!

Charlotte xxx

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Bookish Would You Rather - Part 2

Hello again!

As you probably already know, today is my 1st Blogging Birthday and I'm doing something a little different for you guys, to celebrate this event!

This is my Bookish Would You Rather! I have found 20 questions, either made up by me, my friends (thanks again guys!), or taken from the Internet.
I have been answering these questions for you to read, and also set up a poll so that you guys can answer the questions too, as I would love to know your opinions!

Since I have had so many questions to answer, I have split the post up into two separate ones. This is part two. If you would like to see Part 1, where I answer questions about specific books, click here!  In this Part, I will be answering the last 10 questions, which are about books in general.

This really has been so much fun to make, so I hope you enjoy it and have fun looking through. Please vote on the polls and give me your opinions!

Let's get started then!!!

1. Would You Rather only ever read Trilogies or Standalone books?
Either only read books that are part of three books, or books with no sequels. 

 I read a lot of trilogies, but I also read a lot of standalones, so this is very hard for me to decide. Most of my standalones contemporary books which I absolutely love and read all the time, but most of my trilogies are dystopian and fantasy, which I also really, really love. I think, simply for sentimental value, I would have to choose trilogies because I love rereading the ones I read when I was younger, such as The Hunger Games or Divergent and I would have to say goodbye to my precious standalones, which wouldn't be easy because there have been a great number of standalones that have changed my outlook on life. Yes, I would have to choose trilogies but I would live in hope of sequels to most contemporary fiction books!!!

2. Would You Rather only ever read books with a love triangle, or only be able to read books without romance AT ALL?
Either books with two love interests for the main character, or books with no romance in them whatsoever.

This wasn't too hard for me. Practically every single book that I have ever read contains a little bit of romance. Even Children's books usually contain aspects of it, even if it isn't a hard-core chic-lit! Okay, love triangles do get a little boring when you see them in every single book, but I think I could put up with it. There's no way I could live without any romance in books! If I wasn't able to ship anyone, I don't think I'd bother reading it!

3. Would You Rather only be able to read the first half of a book or the last half?
 Simple enough. Start or ending? You decide..!

I would definitely go with the last half of the book. I would be completely unable to start a book and then have to put it down half way through and never find out what happens. I guess I could try to work out for myself what's happening in the book when I pick it up half-way through and the book might reveal certain parts for you to be able to piece the story together, whereas losing an ending to the book would never be okay for me, and I honestly think that if I couldn't read the end of any book I ever read, I wouldn't bother reading at all!!

4. Would You Rather never be able to take out a book from the Library, or never be able to reread a book?
Never borrow a book from a library or never be able to read a book more than once.

Okay, this is a very simple one for me. I don't think I would be able to survive without rereading books. I have reread most books more than I'd care to admit. I love being able to recite my favourite pages off by heart and knowing the stories inside out. I have read each book in the Harry Potter series 24 times so far, but I wouldn't ever dream of saying, 'No, that's the last time I want to read you. You can sit on my shelf and never be read again.' - It just wouldn't happen. I would gladly get rid of my library card because I much prefer to buy my own books anyway so that I can have them on my shelves and worship them (Ha. You think I'm joking!). But I would never give up rereading. Not a chance!

 5. Would You Rather have tea spilled on your favourite page in a book, or have your favourite page ripped?
Either somebody knocked over their cup of tea on your book while you're reading your favourite page, or there's a big rip down the middle of the page; it hasn't detached the page but has gone quite far in.

There are lots of problems with each of these outcomes and I don't think I'd fancy either of them occurring. But I do have quite a lot of experience with handling with damaged books so I feel like I would be prepared if either of these things did happen and I would be able to minimise the damage. I feel like the tea is actually the worse option though, since the words could run and the tea (if not treated very quickly) could leak through to all of the other pages, ruining those too. One of my favourite pages in my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has a tear in it (from when I was young and careless!) and that has been read numerous times since then without it getting worse, so I think the ripping would be the better option of the two.

6. Would You Rather read at a rate of 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?
Having to stop reading each day when you reach the five page mark, or not being able to stop each week until you had read five books.

I read at least 100 pages every day, no matter what. I try to read more than that if I have the spare time, but 100 pages is the minimum and I won't be happy with myself unless I complete it. It would kill me to have to stop after 5 pages! I have had some great weeks where I've managed to get through 5 or more books without it being too much of an arduous task, so I think I could manage it, especially if they were shorter ones. So I would definitely choose 5 books per week.

 7. Would You Rather always have to see the film adaptation before you were allowed to read the book, or never be able to see the film adaptation?

Have to wait until you had seen the film before you could read the book or read the book whenever you want but never be able to watch the film adaptation.

Let's be honest. A lot of film adaptations of books completely ruin the book and make you regret ever watching it. But other times, they are just as good or sometimes (very, very rarely) the slightest bit better than the book. There have only been three films that I remember seeing before I read the book. Those are Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Silver Linings Playbook. Since watching them, I have read and fell in love with each of their books, so despite me being really picky and making sure I read the book before I see its film, I have still immensely enjoyed the books after watching the film, so even though it would be really hard and would really restrict what I was able to read, I think I would choose to see the film first rather than never see it at all, because some film adaptations are absolutely spectacular.

 8. Would You Rather your favourite book be turned into a film or a TV show?
Simply have it adapted into a film or adapted into a series put on the TV.

Film! Film all the way. I know that you can get way more on-screen time with a TV show and that you're able to see more of the story and the characters, but as a general rule, I don't watch TV shows! I tend to start watching them, really excited, then get less excited and then get bored and stop watching sometime in the second season. I can't help it- it just happens! I would also much rather go to a cinema than watch something at home, and you can't really do that with a TV show. So I'm always in favour of them turning into films, although I am excited to see the new Shadowhunters show next year, I must say!

 9. Would You Rather have the time to read everything that you want to read or the money to buy all the books you want to read?
More time, but only for reading, or more money, but only for books.

I think I've got to go for the money option here. I feel that I already have sufficient time to read enough in a day, and an extra hour specifically designed for reading would be lovely, but not if you don't have any books to read in that time! I buy nearly all of my books myself- I get a few for birthdays and Christmas, but the majority of my books have been bought by me. Due to the fairly fast rate I read books, I have to buy seven or so books each month to keep up with myself and book buying doesn't really come cheap these days! Unlike a lot of people, I don't have a huge TBR pile stashed away. Mine generally never gets bigger than 10 books, so it would be lovely to have shelves and shelves of books just sitting waiting for me to read them!

10. Would You Rather read a fantastic book with a boring ending, or read a boring book with a fantastic ending?
Which is more important- a great book or a great ending?

The thing I thought of when I tried to answer this question was a direct comparison between two books. Ignite Me, the final book in the Shatter Me series, was a great book but I wasn't a fan of the ending. Dangerous Creatures, the Beautiful Creatures follow-on, wasn't a great book but the ending blew me away! Even though it's the ending that tends to stick with you the most, I gave Ignite Me four stars and only gave Dangerous Creatures three stars, so logically, I would think that the great book with bad ending would be the better of the two. However, I still feel that the ending really defines a book. If the ending is bad, that's all you're going to remember - that's all I remember thinking about Ignite Me. So I think I'm going to have to go with the Boring book, Fab ending. I think I would happily read a mediocre book with the promise that the ending is going to be incredible!


Well, that's it! That is the end of my questions!

I have loved writing this post so much! Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section- Did you enjoy it and would you like me to do more of this kind of post? Would you prefer it if I stuck to reviewing?
Do you have any suggestions for me for future posts or any cool Would You Rather questions for me to answer? I would love to hear from you guys!
Also, if you have a blog and would like to answer these questions there, please let me know as I would love to read them!

Thank you so much to everyone who has read and subscribed to this blog! I can't believe it's been a year already since I started! I hope you stick around for the next year too! :)

Until the next time, goodbye!

Charlotte xxx

Bookish Would You Rather - Part 1

Hello everybody!

Today is the first anniversary of this blog, or my 1st Blogging Birthday, if you will!
I have had an amazing year since I started blogging about books and I hope you guys have enjoyed reading my reviews, film thoughts and wrap ups!

To celebrate the end of my first year, I'm going to be doing something a little different...

I love playing Would You Rather with friends- it's really thought provoking and fun. I've never played a book version of it but any game to do with books is great so I thought I'd give it a try...
These 20 questions have either been found online, made up by my friends (thanks guys!), or have come from the deepest, darkest corner of my brain!
In this post, I will be answering my own questions and letting you guys answer too!

Since I have so many questions, I will be splitting this post up into two. This is the first post and will contain questions directly about a certain book, such as Harry Potter, or the Hunger Games, etc. The second post will contain questions about books in general.

I have had so much fun making this and I hope you enjoy looking through the questions and my answers to them. Please give me your opinion and vote on the polls too! Have fun..!

 (Heads up - there will be major spoilers for Mockingjay in Question 7 so if you haven't read it yet and don't want to be spoiled, please try to avoid it!)

First up, some Harry Potter themed questions...

1. Would You Rather Own an Invisibility Cloak or a Flying Broomstick?
This is a properly working invisibility cloak, such as the one Harry has, or a broomstick of your choice from Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley.
For me, this is a really tricky question. I'd love the practical joke side of the cloak; you could creep up on people and get up to all sorts of fun without people suspecting that was you. However... A broomstick would be so much fun!! It would be an alternative to walking and they do look a little uncomfortable but I'm sure you could install a cushion or something onto it, so I think I'm going to have to say I'd have a broomstick!

2. Would You Rather be a member of the Dursley Family, or a member of the Malfoy Family?
Which family would you rather be brought up into, being made to follow the beliefs of the family? This is not choosing to be in a muggle or wizard family!

This is quite a tricky one. Both the families believe that they are better than everybody else and want to impress their peers and superiors, sometimes through bribery. So neither families are ones I would particularly like to join. They are both tightly knit and do both have some views on good and evil. I think I would actually choose to be a part of the Malfoy family though, since even though they have beliefs I do not agree with, there seems to be more room for change, and they have before shown that they care about other people too, and are not just doing what they do to please their 'master'. The Dursleys do change towards the end of the series but not as much, and I feel that they will always stick with the same beliefs.

3. Would You Rather be Tortured with the Cruciatus Curse or be Kissed by a Dementor?
 This is a choice between being tortured to insanity by the most painful curse, or having your soul sucked out by a dementor. 
This isn't really a pleasant question! Both options sound absolutely horrible. Even though it sounds more painful and would last a longer period of time, I do feel like the Cruciatus Curse would be a better option though. With this choice, you would never be the same again, but at least you could be happy eventually, if you were given the right medical help, and you would have a chance to start your life over again, with obviously some restrains on what you can and can't do. But without a soul, you wouldn't be a person, really. So I think I'd have to choose the torture. 

4. Would You Rather be able to attend Hogwarts for a year, but as a muggle, or be magical but be expelled in your final year?
Choose between being without magic at a magic school, or attending Hogwarts for six years as a witch or wizard but be expelled and never be allowed to use magic again?

As much as I would LOVE to have magical powers, I think I would actually rather go to Hogwarts for a year as a muggle, because I guess that if you have never had magic in the first place, you won't miss it as much when it's gone. There would still be lots of things a muggle could do there, and it wouldn't come with the shame of being expelled from school!

Onto some different books!

 5. Would You Rather be a Shadowhunter or a Warlock?
From the Mortal Instruments world. Choose between being a demon-fighting half human - half angel, or being an immortal 'magician'. 
As much as I would really really love to be magical, this is quite an easy option for me because I would hate to be immortal, unless every single one of my friends and family were also immortal, which is very unlikely. So I don't think I would be cut out to be a warlock. I guess that leaves me being a shadowhunter, which is more deadly and active, but I still think it would be so much fun. And if Jace were there with me then I wouldn't complain in the slightest!

6. Would You Rather be a Tribute in the Hunger Games or an Avox in the Capitol?
Be forced to fight to the death in an arena full of kids or have your tongue cut out and then be forced to serve the aristocrats of the Capitol?
I feel like there are things a lot worse than death. Torture and slavery are some of them. I think I would much rather die than forced to be a mute slave, serving the people who made me that way. That's just my opinion but I think the Avoxes have it the worst because they're not able to communicate and are seen as lower than everybody. I also feel that if I were a tribute, I could still have some control over how I would die, if I couldn't win.

 7. If you could, Would You Rather be able to save Prim or be able to save Finnick?
From The Hunger Games. You can only save one person, but who do you choose? Bear in mind that the change that you make could also change what happens on later in the book.
This is quite a controversial answer, I should imagine, but if I could only save one person, I think I would actually save Finnick. I'm not actually answering this based on who I like the most, because that would be pretty much impossible for me to decide. I am answering this on the impact the death have made on Katniss herself and the story. If Finnick was saved, then they still might have got out of the tunnels in time before the mutts made it to them, or somebody else may have sacrificed themselves (as long as it wasn't Peeta, Gale or Katniss, I don't think it would have made that much of a difference). Then Finnick would have been around with them towards the end and after the war, he would have gone on to live with Annie and they could have had their baby together. 
However, if Prim had survived, I feel like so much would be different. To start with, Katniss wouldn't have had a reason to blame Gale, so she might not have seen his "fire, kindled with rage and hatred" and may not have ended up with Peeta. 
Maybe even more importantly than that (although I don't know many things more important than Everlark!),
Katniss may not have seen Coin for who she really is, and when it came to voting for the next Hunger Games, Katniss only voted in its favour to avenge Prim, so she may not have ended up killing Coin at the end which would have changed the book beyond recognition. From this point of view, I can see why Suzanne Collins killed Prim, but I still do think that Finnick could have got away with staying alive.

 8. Would You Rather go through your Fear Landscape, or take a Truth Serum?
From Divergent. Go through all of your fears on your own or be forced to tell your secrets to all the whole of your city.
This was actually quite an obvious one for me. I'm sure it would be absolutely terrifying, but I've always been really interested in seeing what my deepest fears are, and I would absolutely hate for everyone to know every single thing about me, so the obvious answer for me is the Fear Landscape.

 9. Would You Rather be Factionless or hunted down as a Divergent?
This is from the information we know from the first book in the series only. We do find out later that Divergent are more than they seem, but this is from the view of a Divergent reader only. Either homeless on the streets but with shelters and a community and help from the Abnegation, or being targeted for your differences and having to live in hiding. 

Neither option is really a good one (at this point in the series), but I'm still going to have to go with being Divergent because I feel like I could manage to hide out in one of the factions without being caught (as long as I wasn't in Candor!). I'm sure I would hate to have to survive off other people, so I would hate to be factionless. 

10. Would You Rather be a Vampire or a Werewolf?
I had to throw in a Twilight question somewhere! Either be an immortal dead creature living off blood, or turn into a werewolf to guard the town.
As I said in question 5, I would really hate to be immortal, but I don't think it would be so bad if I had a coven like the Cullens who I could rely on to always be there for me. It wouldn't be so bad if I had a 'family' for the whole time, but I think I'm still going to have to pick werewolf, because I don't really want to be immortal at the end of the day and I wouldn't mind turning into a wolf sometimes, even if I would have to share my thoughts with the rest of the pack, at least I wouldn't be sparkling in the sunlight!


Those are all the questions I have for this post, but I will be shortly posting another with some questions about books in general! Click here to see it!

Hope you have enjoyed this! Please let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for other questions or for other posts like this, and if you have a blog, feel free to use these questions! Let me know if you answer them as I'd love to see it!

Thank you and see you very soon!

Charlotte xxx