A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer

Earlier today, I finished A Grimm Warning  after waiting months to read it and I had a lot of feels about it so I thought I’d attempt a review. A Grimm Warning is the third book in the Land of Stories series written by Mr Chris Colfer a.k.a Kurt Hummel in Glee. I must admit the reason I started this series was because I am a big Chris Colfer fan(despite not really liking Glee anymore) and because I had read his other book, Struck by Lightning. If you’ve never heard of the Land of Stories, it’s a great children’s book series. For those of you who are interested here is the summary of the first book:

The Land of Stories tells tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

It’s a very short summary but it is just about what it says. It’s about two twins who find themselves in a universe where all of the fairy tale characters live. After reading the first book, I discovered that Chris Colfer is absolutely fabulous. He sings amazingly, acts stunningly and writes beautifully. This series is honestly so amazing and it makes me feel like I’m a little child again. Since I never really read any fairy tales growing up, reading this series sparked my love for fairy tales hence why I am currently reading the Grimm fairy stories, one by one. Now onto A Grimm Warning. This was a fabulous third book in a series and as soon as I got into it, I couldn’t stop reading. I have never attempted to write a review of the Land of Stories books before and that is simply because there is so much to talk about and it’s basically impossible to do it without spoiling anything but I’m going to attempt it anyway.

Alex and Conner were amazing as always. I love the fact that they have grown up throughout the three books and I can only see them growing up throughout the future books. I feel like this series will become like Percy Jackson or Harry Potter. Many children will grow up along side these characters. In this book, Alex and Conner are 13 turning on 14 and I loved seeing them face teenage issues as well having to deal with saving the world yet again. In the previous books, it had been very much focused on them two doing everything together yet in this book they spent time trying to do things separately. As much as I missed, seeing them together saving the world, it was nice to see them growing up and not having to rely on each other all the time.

The plot of this book was so interesting. I won’t tell you what it’s about because it would mean giving spoilers for the other books but the plot line of this one has been my favourite of the series so far. It meant seeing the two worlds, our world and the fairy world and that made it interesting. Previously, we had only really stayed in the fairy world for the duration of the book but it was interesting to see both. The plot made it fast paced and easy to read despite it being over 400 pages long. It was quite action- packed and I just wanted to know what happened next and how they would fix everything.

The side characters in this novel were so intriguing as well, including the new ones. This series has so many characters that it’s easy to forget people but once you remember who they are it makes it so much more intriguing. Red was funny as always and Froggy was amazing too. There were too many characters to mention. Some of the new ones e.g. Rook were always quite interesting but I still didn’t like them as much as the others.

The ending of this book was mind-blowing! It ended on such a cliffhanger and it left me wanting more! I probably have to wait over a year for the next book and that annoys me. I need to know what happens and how it can be! I have so many theories and I just want to know which one is true if any of them are. I had predicted the big mystery by the end but still when it was actually revealed to be true, I was like WOAH!

My reaction to the ending
My reaction to the ending
When that person turned out to be the person I expected it to be, this was my reaction.
When that person turned out to be the person I expected it to be, this was my reaction.

I, of course, gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. Mr Chris Colfer, you are a talented author and I applaud you on your ability to write such amazing books. I can’t wait for the rest of the series. It has also come to my attention that a film of the Land of Stories may be in store so I’m very excited for that! Thank you for reading and definitely go check this series out if you haven’t already. See you soon with another post.

Sofia

On The Fence by Kasie West

Hey. So yesterday after finishing Just One Day by Gayle Forman(which will not be getting it’s own review because I didn’t enjoy this and I found it boring but I’ll talk about that in my July wrap up) I sat down and started reading On the Fence by Kasie West, which just came out at the beginning of July. I read it all in one sitting which isn’t something I usually do. I didn’t love this book just because it is just another fun fluffy contemporary read(which I love) so it didn’t make me think. If you don’t know what this book is about here’s the synopsis for you:

She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door..

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets- she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Now I went into this book not knowing what it’s about but only knowing that it was a cute contemporary and that Kasie West had written it. I do really enjoy Kasie West’s writing and I’m excited for more books by her hopefully. As soon as Braden was introduced, I knew that he was the love interest. The whole book was generally predictable with her becoming girly and catching another guy’s interest making the other guy feel jealous but I still really enjoyed this book.

Charlie herself was quite interesting. She did remind me a lot of Jordan from Catching Jordan. I am not very sporty so it was intriguing to read in the perspective of a sporty girl. Charlie had a very intriguing family. She has three brothers and a dad but her mum passed away and this made it interesting to see how her family react to her becoming girly. I did really enjoy the aspect of this book about the mother because I was intrigued to find out what happened and how this affected Charlie. Braden himself was another charming love interest. I didn’t fall in love with him but I did really like him.

I’m not really sure what else to say about this book because it was just a cute fun contemporary. I love reading fun romances but I can never write a review for them because I don’t have much to say about them. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because I did really enjoy it, a lot more compared to her other contemporary The Distance Between Us. I do recommend this book if you enjoy fun romances. Thank you for reading and see you soon with another post, hopefully another review but slightly longer.

Sofia

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Hey! So Landline came out in the UK on Thursday and I was told that I’d have to wait until next week for Amazon to deliver it but it came! On the day as well! I, of course, wanted to read it on the day but alas I was busy but I ended up reading most of it yesterday and finishing all of it today and I’m in love with it. If you don’t know what Landline is, it is Rainbow Rowell’s new adult book so of course I was excited because Rainbow Rowell! Here’s the synopsis of it if you haven’t heard of it:

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Now if you’re interested in listening to the audiobook rather than reading the book, here is a chapter samplar for you courtesy of Macmillan Audio. Thank you very much for this audio sample.

This book was absolutely fabulous and I, of course, gave it 5 out of 5 stars. If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest you do. And if you haven’t read a Rainbow Rowell novel, what are you doing with your life? I’m not sure where this goes on my ranking of Rainbow Rowell novels but it’s definitely below Fangirl and Eleanor and Park but I’m not sure if I prefer Landline or Attachments. At the moment, I prefer Landline but I think that’s because I just finished it. Now I’m going to jump into my spoilery review so if you haven’t read it, go read it and then come back.

Q&A with Sophie Davis

Hey! Recently, I read the whole of the Talented saga by Sophie Davis in less than a week and let’s just say I got a little obsessed. Sophie Davis had sent me a copy of Talented for review(click here for my review) and then I automatically went and got the rest of my kindle and read them all. I then emailed Sophie and told her that I loved her books and that I was interested in doing a short Q&A with her for the blog. Surprisingly, she agreed! Now I had to think of some questions but since I had never done this before, I ended up coming up with the generic questions but honestly, I was interested in her responses to the questions. I’m not a very creative and original person so I had to go with the generic questions. I loved Talented very much but you can’t buy a physical copy within the UK. However if you have a kindle or a device to read kindle books on, Talented is free! Definitely go check it out. If you don’t know what it’s about here’s the goodreads summary for you:

Block it out. Impossible for Talia Lyons. When you’re a Mind Manipulator, it’s hard enough to block the thoughts of others, let alone your own.

Block it out. The pounding, siren-ready world Talia inhabits as she trains with her fellow Hunters, the country’s top-secret covert operatives. The physical demands. The emotional toll.

Block it out. The secrets that Talia’s boyfriend is hiding. Talia’s unbidden feelings of frustration and annoyance toward her teammate, the Casanova of the compound. The wondering why she cares what he thinks.

Block him out. Ian Crane. The man behind the bloodshed marring Talia’s memories of her murdered parents. The man she’s determined to kill.

Block it all out. Focus.

Talented is an emotionally raw Dystopian Romance, about the life of a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, and what happens when a heart is torn between love and rage.

So without any more waffling from me, I present to you my very short Q&A with Sophie Davis, the author of the Talented saga.

What was your inspiration to get into writing?

 Hmmm, well, let’s see.  I have been making up stories in my head for as long as I can remember.  I used to be an avid runner, and would pass the time on long runs by telling myself stories.  Each run, I’d pick up the story where I left off the last time.  Sometimes I’d start the story over, sort of revising as I went.  But I didn’t actually try to write one of my stories down until I met a work friend who is really into writing.  I started reading her stories and providing feedback, which gave me the idea to give writing a try.  There were a lot of false starts, but eventually, Talented, was finished.

 Any tips for aspiring authors?

 Write every chance you get.  Just like with anything else, the more you practice, the better you will become.

 How did you get the ideas for this unique world?

 The idea for the Talented world came while I was studying for the bar exam just after law school.  I was staying with my parents in the boonies and the only non-studying time I had was during my runs.  I was so overwhelmed that I started to think how much better life would be if I could just read the minds of the smarter students around me.  It all sort of snowballed from there.  By the end of that summer I had the overall storyline for Talented Saga mapped out.  It would take me another three years to actually write the first draft.

Your book centers around people with Talents and they are basically like superheroes. Do you have a favourite superhero?

Favorite superhero….that’s a hard one.  Do the Incredibles count?  I LOVE that movie.

 Do your characters reflect a bit of you in them? Are you more like Erik or Talia or any of your other characters?

 A little bit.  Talia physically resembles me in some aspects.  I, too, am pretty short and have brown hair that I sometimes wear curly.  When I was a teenager, I was a lot like Talia in the act-first-ask-questions-later respect.

 What is your favourite part about being a writer?

 The work wardrobe.  I live in pajamas and yoga pants!

 Do you have a specific area where you love to write?

 I have a large desktop computer where I do most of my writing.  But I do love sitting outside to write.  It helps me block out distractions like my dogs, the overflowing hamper of dirty laundry, and the dishwasher that needs to be emptied.

 Your Talented series contains a lot of romantic scenes, are these easy or difficult to write?

 The romantic scenes are usually pretty easy to write, but extremely hard to revise/edit.  It’s sort of strange reading back through those scenes to make sure they aren’t too steamy or too boring but just the right amount.

 Your book also contains a lot of violence, do you prefer to write violence scenes or romantic scenes?

 It depends what type of mood I’m in.  The fighting scenes are usually easier to come up with since I think a lot about them while I run, when my adrenaline is going.  Both the fighting and the romance scenes are fun to write, though, since they are the most interesting to read.

What is your favourite YA book?

 My favorite YA book is the Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

And finally, for a little bit of fun, who would you marry, who would you kiss and who would you throw off of a cliff: Erik, Donavon or Henri?

I’d definitely marry Erik, kiss Henri, and throw Donavon off of a cliff .

 

Thank you all for reading and thank you to Sophie Davis for agreeing to do this Q&A for my blog! Make sure you all go check out Talented because it is absolutely fabulous. See you guys soon with another post.

Sofia

 

June Wrap Up

Hey. I told you to look out for another post soon and here it is! It’s the end of June which means that I have an excuse to make a post. I made an April wrap up but I was so busy at the end of May with exams that I didn’t do a May wrap up but here I am doing a June wrap up. This month I read 14 books and I’m currently on my 15th book. Since I read quite a lot, I won’t be giving a summary and my opinion of them will be very short. Let’s get started.

The first book I finished this month was Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. I started this book back in April and I was so excited for it. I got about 60% through this book but it just became slightly boring and repetitive so I didn’t put it down until one night in June when I just decided that I was going to finish this book. I finished it all that night. I found the book really interesting because it combined two things I loved: Greek mythology and Beauty and The Beast. However, this book was missing something for me. I just couldn’t get into it or love it so I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. I did absolutely adore the ending though so it’s more like a 3.75 stars out of 5.

The second book I read this month was Never Ending by Martyn Bedford. I got this book for review from YABirmingham and I absolutely loved it. It wasn’t like what I normally read at all yet I got addicted. I would say a lot more but I wrote a whole review on it so click here to read about my whole opinion on the book. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars but it would be leaning more towards 5 stars. Let’s say 4.75 stars.

The next book I read this month was If I Stay by Gayle Forman. I didn’t write a review of this book because I didn’t find that there was much to write a review about. I loved it so much and I can’t wait for the movie.  Mia was a great protagonist and I fell slightly in love with Adam. I gave this book 5 stars.

The next book I read was The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman. I got this book for review from Headline. This was my first Neil Gaiman novel but I don’t think it really counts as being fully exposed to his writing as it is a graphic novel. I did enjoy it but it was slightly weird. Click here to see my full review. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

The next book I read this month was Boy21 by Matthew Quick. This was my second Matthew Quick novel and I got this from Headline for review. I did absolutely adore this book but not as much as Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Click here to see my full review of this book. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars but  it will be more like 4.5 stars.

The next book I read was Where She Went by Gayle Forman, the sequel to If I Stay. I also did not write a review for this book because I didn’t know what to write about. I did enjoy this less than If I Stay but I did still enjoy it. The reason I enjoyed it less was probably because of the way that Adam was presented. I did however love the ending so this bumped it up to a 4 out of 5 stars.

I then read the whole Talented saga by Sophie Davis which consists of Talented, Caged, Hunted, Captivated( A Novella) and Created. I read this series so quickly that they all melded into one slightly. I can’t remember what happened in each book individually because I read it so quickly. I loved this series and when I finished the last one, I felt very upset since it was all over. I loved Talia and Erik as characters, especially Erik. The plot was amazing and it kept me reading. It was very action-packed. The world was very unique. I did write a review of the first book, which the author sent me for review, so click here to see it. Even though I know the writing wasn’t the best, I still loved them so all of the books got 5 out of 5 stars from me.

I then read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.  I was going to write a review for this book but I just couldn’t write a non-spoilery review.  During this book, I didn’t love it. It wasn’t the best thing I had ever read because it was really confusing. Some of the metaphors confused me so much. I thought something was actually happening when it wasn’t. The main character was also very dramatic. However, that ending was just so shocking. I sat there and just stared at the kindle for a while because I couldn’t believe I had just read that. I did end up really liking the book but it wasn’t the best so it got a 3.75 stars out of 5 for me.

The next book I read was definitely my favourite of the whole month and possibly the whole year and that was Solitaire by Alice Oseman. This book was honestly perfection. I got this for review from HarperCollins and I just fell in love with the book. I wrote a whole review in the form of a list with reasons for why you should read it, so click here to go read it. This was one of those books where I love it so much that it’s hard to write a review for it since I loved it so much. Of course this book got a big 5 out of 5 stars from me.

The final book I finished this month was Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman. I have yet to write a review for this book and I don’t think I will because I’m not sure how I feel about this book. It was interesting and it dealt with a lot of serious issues but I just didn’t enjoy it as a book. I did like so that’s why I gave it 3 out of 5 stars but I just found the writing style to be slightly boring. I did however give this book 3 stars because of the plot and the characters but it was the writing that stopped me from giving it anything higher.

Monthly wrap up:

Favourite book: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Books at each star rating level:

1 star: 0 books

2 stars: 0 books

3 stars:  4 books

4 stars: 3 books

5 stars: 7 books

 

That’s all the books I finished this month. I’m currently reading Just One Day by Gayle Forman but I don’t think I’ll finish it by the end of the month. However, I need to finish it before Thursday because that’s when Landline is officially coming out so obviously I’m going to be reading that. I think I had a good reading month because I loved most of the books I read. I didn’t hate any of them which is always a good thing! I’ll see you soon with another post, hopefully with a review because I need to write more reviews.

Sofia.

 

June Book Haul

Hey. Today, I just felt like blogging but I was lost for what to blog about. I then remembered that it’s the end of the month so I could do a mini June book haul. Let’s get started.

This month I got 11 books, only 3 of which I bought (actually that’s a lie. I bought none of them. My mother bought me 3 and the rest I got for free). The first book I bought was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. I have of course already read this book. I read this back in November and I loved it obviously. But since Rainbow Rowell is coming to Birmingham and I’m going to her signing, I thought I should actually buy a physical copy of Attachments so I can get it signed.

The second book I bought was Double Cross by Malorie Blackman. I haven’t started the Noughts and Crosses series but I now own the first and final book in this series. I want to own them all and then marathon them. Plus I found this book at a sale for only 50p for a hardback! The third book I bought, which I also got for 50p at the same sale, was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I have seen the movie of this and it almost made me cry so of course I want to read the book.

The next 5 books I recieved from YABirmingham for various reasons. These guys are just the best so check them out. The first 3 books I recieved because at their John Green Fan Party, my raffle tickets got picked out 3 times but I had already got the prizes because I had won the quiz. They then let me choose three books from their cupboard to make up for it. The first one I picked up was Popular by Maya Van Wagenen. After watching Christine’s video, I had been intrigued by this book so of course I picked it up. I then picked up Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I had heard of this book previously and the synopsis intrigued me so I picked it up. The final book I picked up was Shattered by Teri Terry. This is the final book in a trilogy in which I haven’t even read the first book but it sounded interesting. The next book I got because it was in the goody bag at their party and that book is Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I have yet to read this book but I will. The final book I got from them was Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman. I won this book in a giveaway that they held and it’s signed! I just finished this book and it was weird yet good. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

The final three books I got for review. The first one was Solitaire by Alice Oseman which the lovely people over at HarperCollins sent to me. I’ve already read and reviewed this book so click here to go see it. I loved this book so much. The final two books I recieved from Headline via BookBridgr so thank you Headline! I’ve already read and reviewed both of this. The first one is Boy21 by Matthew Quick. I loved this book and if you want to know more about my thoughts on it, click here to see my review. The final book in this mini book haul is The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman. This book was intriguing but odd. Click here to see my full review of it.

I did get loads of books on my kindle but I’m not including those because it will make me feel bad for buying so many for my kindle. Thank you for reading and since I’m in a blogging mood, stay tuned for possibly another post later this week.

Sofia

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Hey. Last week the lovely people over at HarperCollins were nice enough to send me a proof copy of Solitaire by Alice Oseman and I was so excited! Ever since reading YABirmingham’s review of it, I have wanted to read this book and I was so glad that they sent it to me. I started the book Monday night and by Tuesday night I was finished because it was just so good. This book comes out the 31st July and I really think you guys should get it when it comes out because it is one of my new favourites. If you don’t know what the book is about, here’s the blurb:

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

So, as I have nothing at all to say that is bad about this book here is my review in the form of a list as to why you should most definitely be looking forward to this book:

  • The protagonist, Tori Springs is so relatable. I say this about a lot of female protagonists but Tori is definitely the second most relatable character I’ve come across, behind Cath from Fangirl of course. Tori is a pessmist and she generally hates everyone. Honestly, I dislike quite a lot of girls in my school but I don’t openly say it like some others. Tori also has a blog where she can be her true self and apparently I also have a blog. Also since Alice Oseman is British, she has written a book set in Britain and it’s so weird to see terms I recognize in it. Tori goes to a grammar school and I, coincidentally, also go to a grammar school! The way she talked about how the school is like just reminded me so much of my own school and it was shocking. Alice Oseman also includes school terms that I am used to hearing in school, such has C2 and PEE paragraphs(those things will be the death of me). This made the book very relatable for me because I knew what Tori was talking about.
  • There is a mystery element to the book. Throughout the whole book you are trying to guess who is behind this mysterious ‘Solitaire’ and what they are doing exactly. Even though, I guessed who was behind it pretty early on, I still loved this aspect because even though I thought I was pretty certain, I was still second guessing myself.
  • There is a large amount of fandom references. The first chapter has an argument about Drarry and Snily which I loved since I am a Drarry shipper myself! There are references to other fandoms and other ships such as Johnlock, Merthur and Klaine. As I am part of all of these fandoms, I loved this part of the book because it meant that I knew what they were talking about! Usually in books, when they discuss things, they are discussing TV shows I haven’t watched or books I haven’t read so I’m always confused but in this one I understood most of them(except when they talked about Pride and Prejudice.)
  • This book is not focused on romance. This book focuses on Tori and her growth as a person. You see her interact with other people and struggle to make friends but it is not focused on romance. The book mainly is just about Tori having to open herself up to people and to discover how being friends with someone works and I loved that.
  • All the side characters are absolutely fabulous. Becky, Charlie, Michael, Nick and Lucas especially. They all have their own little stories and problems but these aren’t just side plots. They are developed well, even though we are reading from Tori’s perspective. My favourites were definitely Charlie and Michael. Charlie’s story had me gripped and I found myself obsessing over him and how strong he is. Michael was a great character because he was different. He was a bit wacky and crazy but I loved him because of that.

I honestly can’t recommend this book enough. It was one of my new favourites of the year and one of my new favourites of all time! This book is out on the 31st July and Alice Oseman is actually holding her launch party for this book in Birmingham and I’m so excited to go. It’s going to be amazing, so if you live near Birmingham click here for more details about it.  I strongly suggest that you all go get this book when it comes out because I can already predict that this book is going to be huge! Thank you to Alice Oseman and HarperCollins for sending this book to me!

Also check out Alice’s blog and Alice’s twitter.

Thank you for reading and GO PREORDER THIS BOOK!

Sofia.

P.S. I forgot to mention that I obviously gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a bit obvious I did but I didn’t technically say that I did so here is me saying that I did.

 

YABirmingham’s John Green Fanparty

Hey! I’m at home, recovering from my amazing and fabulous weekend that I spent with all my awesome friends. We all slept over at one friend’s house after a very amazing Saturday night. I’m not going to talk about my time with my friends but instead I’m going to talk in detail about Saturday night.

First, after meeting one of my old friends, I went down to Waterstones to meet up with my friends: Veena, Priya, Ambi, Makayla, Asmaa and Hadia. We were just hanging out in there before going to eat when Priya and Ambi found a leaflet with a list of all the upcoming events at Waterstones. Now we are all very regular customers at Waterstones and some of us are also part of their reviewer team at YABirmingham(Definitely go check them out, they are fabulous) and they had hinted that they were announcing three exciting new events tonight. We were all excited to find out what it was so when we found this leaflet we all started squealing slightly. The first exciting event was the launch party for Alice Oseman’s Solitaire(which I received this week from HarperCollins). We were all very excited because we all wanted to read Solitaire(I’m actually starting it today!) and had talked to Alice before on twitter and she was freaking amazing. The next event was a signing with the ever so amazing Lauren Oliver! I’m a big fan of Lauren Oliver and I love all of her books(well at least the ones I’ve read) and I’m so excited to meet her. If you’re interested click here to see my review of Panic and click here for my amazing friend Ambi’s review of Delirium. The final event on the leaflet was for their Maze Runner fan party! They had had three fan parties previously(City of Bones, Divergent and City of Heavenly Fire) and we were there on that night for their fourth one which was for The Fault In Our Stars. I would like to go to all their fan parties because I enjoy them all so much! We immediately bought tickets for all three events and went to eat, already buzzing with excitement.

We then went to the party and met some of our twitter friends(Zarin, Madi, Charli and Maryam)and formed the super TFIOS team quiz of “The Hectic Glow”. We all sat down to do the quiz which we were all excited about and wanted to win badly. We had allocated chapters to everyone and made sure that we all knew our trivia. We ended up getting 19 out of 20 and we were scared that someone would get full marks but we won! We honestly started screaming and jumping up and down a bit with excitement. We were so nervous we wouldn’t win because we all started arguing about the French of Hazel’s pipe t-shirt and what the correct grammar was but we didn’t need it and thanks to Priya, we got that question right. We won fabulous t-shirts, a poster SIGNED by John and Hank Green and various other little goodies. We then went downstairs and all of us were handed amazing goodie bags with 2 free books in them, including Will Grayson, Will Grayson! Next was the time for book browsing(as all books were on buy one,get one half price) and raffle ticket buying! At all of these events I had always spent around £7 on raffle tickets and never won. This time I told myself I wouldn’t spend that much but this time the raffle tickets were half the price so I still spent £7…. When it came to the raffle, my raffle tickets were picked out three times! I was so shocked but I had already got the prizes due to winning the quiz. Because of this, the kind worker took us to the cupboard and she let me pick out three books in exchange. I ended up getting Shattered, Code Name Verity and Popular. After that sadly the event was over but we were all so hyper.

Honestly, if you live in Birmingham you should definitely check these parties out as they are only £1 to get a ticket yet they are just so much fun!  At the first ever party, I just stood around and didn’t talk to anyone whereas at this one I talked to so many people and got to know everyone. Honestly, these parties have made me more confident as a person and I have YABirmingham to thank for that. Honestly thank you Gem and Bex and everyone who is involved in organising these events. If you are reading this, I want you to know how much these parties and your blog have changed me and made me a happier and confident person! I’m so happy that you’re getting people to realise that Birmingham is the second biggest city in the UK because we always get missed out! I’m so excited for the future now for YA and for Birmingham. Thank you. If you are interested in checking them out, click here to go their blog and here to go to their twitter.  Also click here to check out the details about the three upcoming events that they are having.

Thank you for reading,

Sofia.

This is all of us in the fabulous t-shirts that we won. Unfortunately, that's me being awkward and still being on the floor when they took the photo! Damn my short legs!!
This is all of us in the fabulous t-shirts that we won. Unfortunately, that’s me being awkward and still being on the floor when they took the photo! Damn my short legs!!

Talented by Sophie Davis

Recently, I received a digital copy of Talented by Sophie Davis for review. I just finished it and I absolutely loved it. If you don’t know what this book is about, here’s the synopsis:

Block it out. Impossible for Talia Lyons. When you’re a Mind Manipulator, it’s hard enough to block the thoughts of others, let alone your own.

Block it out. The pounding, siren-ready world Talia inhabits as she trains with her fellow Hunters, the country’s top-secret covert operatives. The physical demands. The emotional toll.

Block it out. The secrets that Talia’s boyfriend is hiding. Talia’s unbidden feelings of frustration and annoyance toward her teammate, the Casanova of the compound. The wondering why she cares what he thinks.

Block him out. Ian Crane. The man behind the bloodshed marring Talia’s memories of her murdered parents. The man she’s determined to kill.

Block it all out. Focus.

Talented is an emotionally raw Dystopian Romance, about the life of a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, and what happens when a heart is torn between love and rage.

I absolutely adored this book which is quite unusual for me to do about Dystopian Romances but it was so amazing. Let’s get on to the review.

The world that Sophie Davis creates in Talented is extraordinary. It was amazing to read about all the different Talents and the world in general. I, however, must admit that my least favourite parts of the book were when we were finding out about the history of the Talents and how they came to be. It did give an interesting view and it was intriguing to find out about it all but it did read slightly like information dumping.

Talia was an interesting main character. She was strong and she had a goal in life. She had gone through some painful stuff and that definitely showed. A slightly annoying about her was how easily she got distracted by the guys in her life. At times she would focus a lot more and her relationship issues rather than the mission that she wanted to complete. Though if I’m being completely honest, I generally enjoyed the romantic parts a lot more (I blame that on my new found love for romance novels).

The side characters were all amazing. Erik and Henri were both fabulous. Henri was like an older brother to Talia and I loved that. He’s one of the few male characters in YA novels that won’t in some way have some sort of romantic connection to the main character( I hope not anyway). As soon as we met Erik, I knew that he would play an important role in her life and I was right. For some reason when I was reading about him, I imagined his personality to be slightly like a mix between Will  from the Infernal Devices and Warner from Shatter Me. That might just be because I loved them two and I can already see myself falling in love with Erik over the course of the series. I loved the introduction of Penny. It is unusual for a main character in a dystopian YA novel to have a close girl friend. It was interested to see Penny, who is a very girly girl, interact with Talia. I can’t wait to see her develop over the series.

After reading the ending, I immediately picked up the next book, Caged, as I also got that to review. It ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger and I didn’t even take a break between them two because I just needed to carry on reading about these characters. I’m very excited to read on, however for people in the UK, these books are only available on the kindle so that is very irritating. I want to read them all but I don’t know if I will be able to. 😦

You should all definitely go pick this up if you live in the US or you have a kindle. Talented is actually free for the kindle at the moment so definitely go read it. It’s amazing and I can’t wait to carry on. I would give this a 4.75 stars out of 5 stars. I loved it so much and I recommend it to everyone, especially if you are a fan of Shatter Me as I can see many similarities.

Sofia

 

The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

Today I am going to be reviewing a graphic novel! This is the first graphic novel that I’ve read and it was by none other than Mr Neil Gaiman. I have heard a lot about this author, yet I have never actually read any of his books. When I saw this on bookbridgr, I immediately requesting it just because it was by Neil Gaiman. A lot of people say that his writing is amazing but confusing and this was definitely clear. This will be a very short review because honestly, I don’t have much to say about it. This book is released on the 17th June.

I went into this book expecting it to be scary as the cover is quite scary. Honestly, I don’t do very well with scary things so I was a bit hesitant. However, it turned out to not be very scary and I very much enjoyed it. I went into this book not knowing what it’s about and I liked not knowing what it’s about. I suggest you do the same. The summary of the book itself is very vague, probably on purpose.

The storyline of this book was actually really interesting however because it was only a short story, I couldn’t bring myself to become very immersed into the book or care for any of the characters. It was just a really nice, slightly gruesome and freaky, short story that I did quite enjoy. The writing was beautiful and mesmerizing. Neil Gaiman definitely lived up to my high expectations of him.

The art of this was beautiful. The art is done by Eddie Campbell, who admittedly I had never heard of before. The art is freaky and scary but this went along with the story. At times, I found myself turning the page and not even going straight to the writing and just staring at the art for 10 minutes. It was so beautiful and striking. You couldn’t help not staring at it because it was so bold. Definitely loved the art.

Overall I would give this graphic novel/short story 3.5 stars because even though I enjoyed it, I couldn’t bring myself to love it. This is not due to the writing or the art, it was just simply because of the shortness of it. If it was longer, I’d love it. I will definitely be reading another Neil Gaiman book in the future. Go get this book when it’s published if you are a fan of Neil Gaiman, short stories and graphic novels.

Sofia