Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, we'll make a list of our top ten something* and this week, it's the Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book. This is a great topic, I'm really looking forward to writing this list! 
*In no particular order*

1. Ghosts
I really enjoy these types of books. I suppose I'm just really intrigued by the paranormal. Further proof of this is one of the next books that will be reviewed here- Haunting Violet. 
2. Vampires
I'm not obsessed or anything.... I just happen to be a fan of the vampire theme! A lot of people I know are just over the whole thing, but for me, vampires and mythology never get old.
3. Werewolves
I couldn't write vampires and leave out the werewolves! Most of the time in books, these two are linked anyway, but I thought I'd put it on here.
4. Star-crossed lovers
Ever since this theme was introduced to me in The Hunger Games, I've started looking for books of this theme. So far, I haven't found many recent ones. Any suggestions?
5. Fallen angels
I've reviewed quite a few fallen angel books/series here in the last few months- Fallen and Hush, Hush being the main ones (check out my reviews *cough, cough*). I think this is a fantastic theme that needs more publicity. Most of these series are actually quite good!
6. Fairytales
Being a huge fan of all the old fairytales I used to read when I was a lot younger, this is still a topic I love. Although I don't enjoy those fairytales as much as I did when I was a kid, I still love reading ones with a sort of gothic/paranormal twist on them, like Alice in Zombieland. I really want to read that.
7. Dystopian
I'm sure many of you will agree with me here- this is a great theme! 
8. Magic
After Harry Potter, how could you not want to keep reading books of this theme? Nothing will beat Harry Potter though. 
9. Love
I will always love books that are romantic.
10. Supernatural
So in case you haven't already noticed, I happen to like this kind of thing... 

That's all for this week guys, thanks for reading! Please leave your comments below with links to your TTT lists so that I can check them out! :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like More Than I Did

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, we'll make a list of our top ten something* and this week, it's the Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like More/Less Than I Did.
I'm going to go with the books I thought I'd like more than I did.

1. Evernight by Claudia Gray
This was supposed to be a really good book and I was looking forward to reading it. I did enjoy it, but there were some parts of it that I didn't particularly like and I was expecting more from it. 

2. Fateful by Claudia Gray
By the same author, I wanted to read this book because it sounded so interesting and original. Basically, it was about the Titanic, but it had a supernatural twist on it. Since I love supernatural stuff and am interested by the Titanic, I was looking forward to this book. It was quite good, but once again, I was expecting more.

3. Fallen by Lauren Kate
Though this was a great book with a fantastic storyline, I really did think I'd love it. The rest of the series was great, it was just this one that I didn't really enjoy as much as I thought I would.

4. Matched by Ally Condie
I have only read this once and I really want to finish the series, but this book didn't really do anything for me. I thought this would be a really great book, it has an incredible plot and because it was supposed to be similar to The Hunger Games with the whole dystopian society thing, I thought I'd enjoy it a LOT more than I did. Still, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series and I really hope it improves.

5. The Host by Stephanie Meyer

I couldn't even finish this book. The first time I tried to read it, I just couldn't get into it. I still think it has an amazing story-line, I just couldn't read it. I do want to give it another shot, so hopefully I can try and read it again and enjoy it.

6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I loved the first two books with an amazing intensity, however this one really let me down. It wasn't as good and kind of dragged on. 

7. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
I'd heard so many wonderful things about this book and when I went to read it, I was like 'What the heck is this book?'. I couldn't get into it and eventually stopped reading it before I could get to the end.

8. Liar by Justine Larbalestier
This book sounded so intriguing, but it ended up being really confusing and just plain weird. 

9. Looking for Alaska by John Green
I did like this book, however I thought I'd enjoy it a lot more after all the amazing things I had heard about it from relatives and reviews. 

10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K Rowling
Loved the movie of this one, but I found the book so hard to get in to and I didn't enjoy as much as I really hoped I would. 

That's all for this Tuesday, I hope you've enjoyed my list! Please leave me a comment and link me to your TTT lists so that I can check them out. Sorry for posting so late, I've had a very busy day! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Book & Movie Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Title: Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd.
Year of Release: 2001
ISBN: 9781841954257
Source: Purchased (The Book Depository, $9.82) 
Number of Pages: 428 (this edition)

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan... and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.
The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary works of fiction in recent years. 

Book Review:
A statistic tells us that our minds wander around 30% of the time. I find that my mind wanders most when I read, and when I refocus myself, I'll have to read over the last sentence or paragraph. However, when I was reading Life of Pi, if I felt my mind going astray, I would always immediately be pulled back into the story with some witty sentence or amusing anecdote. 
This is an incredible book. It is beautifully written with just the right amount of attention to detail, done in a way that is so realistic and gripping, yet not enough to bore you or make you feel like you're reading for homework instead of for pleasure. As a result of the realism in the book, I was able to visualise everything so clearly and felt things more strongly. For example, if Pi was suffering from dehydration, I was reaching for my water-bottle. When a gruesome scene took place, I found myself cringing. All this because of the amazing detail and the perfect way in which Yann Martel describes things.
I have never read a castaway story before and I was really impressed. One would think that a story about a person stuck on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean for so long would become repetitive. What is there to do besides catch what you can to eat, find clean water sources and perhaps write if you can. However, with the genius spin of using the animals that the author put on this story, a story told so many times, it's amazing the way you are absorbed into the book. 
It is with regret that I say that I watched the movie first before reading the book. I saw the film a few months before I read this book and I liked the movie, so, being the book-crazy person I am, I decided I should give the book a shot. I did enjoy the book, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't first seen the movie. I knew everything that would happen so there was no mystery or suspense for me, which was a shame. 
Rating: 5/5

Movie Review:
In most book-to-movie adaptions, I find that a lot of events that happened in the book are left out of the film. This wasn't the case with Life of Pi. Most events were included in the movie and the things that were left out were so minor that I can hardly remember them now. If anything, things were added to the film- there was more emotion. I cried during the movie, but not the book. 
Now, in most cases I find that the book will explain the movie. Reading the book helps me understand the film better and get a stronger clarity of the story, which also helps me to better my judgement. In this case though, I found that watching the movie helped me to understand the book better. There were a lot of boat terms used in the book and I was so completely lost. I know nothing about boats, besides the fact that they float on water. If I hadn't first seen the movie, I wouldn't have know what was going on. That's just me though, and not a criticism of the book itself.
I really enjoyed the movie and I can positively say that it did the book justice, which is the main thing.

Please leave your comments below about the book or movie or both, as I would love to hear what you guys think of Life of Pi. If this review has turned you off the book/movie or if it's made you want to read the book or see the movie, let me know down below. :-)

If you are interested in reading Life of Pi, I really recommend it, you can buy a copy from The Book Depository, which offers free shipping. Please click here to see more. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday Rewind!: Top Ten Books I Want To See Made Into Movies

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, we'll make a list of our top ten something* and this week, we're doing something a little different. This Tuesday is a rewind where we get to go back and choose a TTT we missed or want to revisit. I've chosen one from waaaaay back (April 12, 2011 to be exact) that I thought would be interesting and it's the Top Ten Books I Want To See Made Into Movies. 
*In no particular order.

1. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Gosh, would I love to see this series made into movies. I actually think there will be a movie, but I'm sure that won't be for a few more years. Originally, Becca Fitzpatrick wanted Steven Strait for Patch and Emmy Rossum for Nora. These two people I think would have been absolutely perfect for these parts. (My Review)
2. Fallen by Lauren Kate
Again, I'm sure these will eventually become movies, and I can't wait. I can just imagine how perfect it will be to see these books on the big screen. (My Review)
3. Vampire Academy & Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Obviously, I love these books. I mentioned in my review of Indigo Spell that the first VA book has gone into movie production and I could not be more thrilled about this! (My Bloodlines Review)
4. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
This was an amazing story and I think it would make a perfect movie. I can just imagine. (My Review)
5. Matched by Allie Condie
I'm sure that if these books are made into movies, they'll attract a lot of Hunger Games fans as this series too is set in a dystopian society. I need to finish this trilogy soon!
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
In case you haven't heard, this book WILL be a movie! They've already cast Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace! Can't wait to see who scores the part of Agustus Waters. * cue winky face.* (My Review)
7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater I loved this series! We need some good werewolf themed movies, don't you think? (My Review)
8. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Or the Gemma Doyle trilogy. I have this series and I'd really like to get into them soon. From what I've heard, they'd make great movies.
9. Evernight by Claudia Gray
I know, the last thing we need is another vampire movie. This was a great series though and I enjoyed it. It'd be interesting to see it as a movie. (My Review)
10. Forgotten by Cat Patrick
This was an interesting and captivating story about a girl whose memory resets every night, leaving her with no memory of the previous day, but a clear vision of the future. Enter hot boy. How can she have a relationship with her... condition? This movie would be so amazing to watch, the storyline is incredible.

That's all for this week, leave your comments below with links to your lists so I can check them out! I reply to every comment, so don't hesitate to leave one if you liked this list, if you've read any of these and agree with me, and if you don't. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Title: The Indigo Spell
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Group
Year of Release: 2013
ISBN: 9781921518911 (pbk.)
Source: Purchased
Number or Pages: 401
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she struggles to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she finally tracks down the elusive, enigmatic Marcus Finch - a former Alchemist who the organization denies exists, and who lives in shadows, on the run. With Marcus' help, Sydney realizes that the group she's been loyal to her whole life has been hiding the truth from her. Is it possible that her golden lily tattoo might have more power over her than she thinks?
As she struggles to come to terms with what that might mean, Sydney is compelled to use her growing magical powers to track down a evil magic user who is targeting powerful young witches. Using magic goes against everything she always thought she believed, but she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her special blood - or else she might be next.
Forging her own way is harder than Sydney ever dreamed. Maybe by turning off her brain - and following her heart - she'll be able to finally figure out where she belongs.
A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I have been waiting months for this book to be released and I bought a copy as soon as it hit stores. Before I could begin reading it, I wanted to re-read the first two books which is why I haven't posted a review in a while. 
I was so caught up in this book that I forgot to write my usual review notes on it, little dot points I make while I read to help me write this review later on. I didn't write one because I just could not put the book down! If you need even more proof of how addictive this book is, how about the fact that I finished it in two days.
This is the third instalment in the spin off series to Vampire Academy, Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. The first book was incredible, the second even better, and this one was amazing. It focuses more on Adrian and Sydney's relationship as Sydney tries to come to terms with her Alchemist teachings and her feelings for the witty, sarcastic, loyal and incredibly good-looking Moroi, Adrian. 
I am really surprised and pleased with the direction Mead took with the story. Not only did she progress Sydney and Adrian's relationship, which Bloodlines fans could not be more happy about, but she also added a new enemy to the series. This created a lot more suspense in the novel and kept the pages turning. 
I would highly recommend this series to those who love a good vampire-romance. Don't worry, this is nothing like Twilight, it's ten times better. I'm so excited for the next book in this series, The Fiery Heart, which hits stores in November. 
I love these books, but there is some negativity floating around that perhaps Mead should only have written a single spin-off book instead of an entire series. That her ideas are getting desperate and the books aren't as good as they can be. Well, that's complete crap. The characters in these books are so alive, they practically need birth certificates! How can you limit them to one spin off book when you can do so much more with them? 
I couldn't recommend the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series highly enough, I really do suggest picking up your copy. 
On another note, the Vampire Academy movie is in production and is set to hit theatres sometime next year! 

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favourite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, we'll make a list of our top ten something and this week, it's the Top Ten Favourite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger. 
I started blogging in September 2011, and since then, it has become one of my absolute favourite past times. I write book reviews, as well as everything else book related. Now for the list, though I'm sure there are many more then ten that deserve to be on this list! 
*in no particular order*

1. Charlotte's Web by E.B White
One of my favourite childhood books and one that I still adore to this day. It's one of those stories that stays with you and it was the first book that provoked some sort of emotion within me. I actually had tears in my eyes when Charlotte died. This was the book that got me into reading. 

2. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows 
Recommended to me, I read this book a few years ago. Written in letters, it introduced me to a new writing style and I have always loved books written this way.

3.Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers
Also written in letters (a new one stuck to the refrigerator door every day) from mother to daughter, this is a short book that was so emotional it produced tears. I seriously recommend looking this one up. 

4. The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz
This wasn't so much a story, as more of a guide on all these awesome things you could do, being a girl. This book had articles on the history of women, things typically associated with women and lots of cool tricks to learn, like tying up your hair with a pencil. 

5. The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
Haven't I expressed my love of this series enough?

6. The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
Again, my love of these books transcends all boundaries.

7. The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
I'll admit, I loved Twilight when I read it. It was so romantic and different and introduced me to the vampire/werewolf mythology that I now love so much. 

8. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
Such an emotional read, about a Chinese girl growing up within the confines of a hard and sometimes abusive family. Based on the author's experiences, this book is amazing and I cried so much when I came to the end.

9. Stolen by Lucy Christopher
This was one of those novels without chapters or breaks. Fast paced, about a girl drugged and kidnapped from an airport and taken to a remote desert area in the middle of nowhere.  

10. Finding Darcy by Sue Lawson
Lastly, this book was about a girl uncovering the history of her grandfather who died in the war. Once again, this was another enlightening and emotional read. 

All my new favourite books, I read after I started blogging, but these books will always have a place in my heart. Leave a comment if you've read any of these books and links for me to check out all your TTT lists! I look forward to replying to all your comments. :)

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Book-to-Movie Adaptions: Which do you prefer to do first?

I have wondered about this all my life and I have never really found a solution. When books are made into movies, which is better? Reading the book first and then watching the film or watching the film first and then reading the book?
In most cases with me, I'll have read the book a while before the movie came out or before they even began making the movie, as it is with Vampire Academy, Hush, Hush, Fallen etc. All these books will be made into films within the next few years and since I've already read the books, all that's left to do is see the film.
But when you're being introducing to a new book/movie, what's better? I find that if I've read a great book that I really enjoyed, I have high expectations for the movie and it usually lets me down. This happened with Twilight and a few others. 
However, when you've see the movie first, it ruins the plot of the book for you.
So what do you prefer to do? 
On another note, I've never really been much of a fan of movie-to-book adaptions. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever actually read a book that was published after the release of the movie, based on that movie. 
Again, what are your views/opinions on this?

In this post, I also thought I'd let you know my top 3 favourite book-to-movie adaptions so far, so here's that. 
  1. The Hunger Games
  2. I Am Number Four
  3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower 
What are your favourites and least favourites?

Please, please, please let me know down in the comments what you think and as always, I reply to every comment I receive.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, we'll make a list of our top ten something and this week, it's the Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character. 
I realise I haven't posted a TTT for a couple of weeks as I have been so busy and I apologise for that, I've really missed it. Also, I haven't posted a review for a while either for this same reason, but I am re-reading the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead in order to write a fantastic review on The Indigo Spell which should be up in a few days, so keep an eye out for that. Now for the list!

1. Adrian Ivashkov of the Vampire Academy & Bloodlines series'
Okay, so he has been my number one fictional crush for so long and all the old feelings I had for him when reading Vampire Academy have just come rushing back as I started reading Bloodlines again. If I was a character in these books, I would definitely be crushing on him. Though he wasn't the best person in Vampire Academy, his character has evolved so much in the spin-off series that I love him even more. 
2. Harry Potter of the Harry Potter series (obviously)
Harry is a beautiful person. Courageous, smart, dedicated, friendly, the Chosen one, etc. I would no doubt be crushing on him if I were in this series. He could teach me all sorts of offensive spells and we would have Hogwarts classes together and our eyes would meet across the room and he would smile at me and then we would buy Butterbears and drink them in Hogsmeade. Wouldn't that be fun?
3. Patch of the Hush, Hush series
I recently finished reading this entire series and Patch has been on my mind for a while now. How could you not crush on this guy? 
4. Peeta Mellark of The Hunger Games trilogy
Cinna was always my favourite character in this series, but Peeta was my crush. Not just because he's good looking, but he is an amazing character that has developed so much throughout the series. After I read what happened to him in Mockingjay, which sent my fangirl side wild, how could you not have a sympathetic side for this guy?
5. Jacob Black of the Twilight series
I was a Jacob fan since the first book and his character was always my favourite. My best friend even got me a phone sock that said 'Team Jacob' on it for my birthday a few years ago. 
6. Stefan Salvatore of The Vampire Diaries series
I haven't actually finished this series yet, I've only read the first four I think, but I'm a huge fan of the show and Stefan has always been my favourite Salvatore brother (well, most of the time). 
7. Roland Sparks of the Fallen series
Everyone I know who has read this series is in love with either Daniel or Cam, but I have a special place for Roland in my heart, with his easy-going nature, his slightly rebellious bad-boy side, and most of all his compassion and loyalty to his friends.
8. Balthazar of the Evernight series
This one doesn't require an explanation. Those who have read this series will understand my little obsession with this vamp. 
9. Jake Thorn of the Halo series
I haven't read this series in a while and I am still yet to read the last one, but based on the knowledge I have of this character, I like him. Yes I know, he's evil and a demon but this is just my secret love for fictional bad boys coming out. Plus, I love his wit. In real life, I go for the nice guys, but when it comes to books, I just can't seem to resist the bad boy characters. 
10. Willy Wonka of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I'm going to be a little different this week and go with Willy Wonka who I doubt is on anyone else's TTT list this week. I know he's not the most attractive character (Johnny Depp movie version aside) and his age is a little on the old side (sorry), but he owns a chocolate factory. Plus, he is a very interesting character and this was one of my favourite childhood stories. So it's not exactly a romantic crush, just more of a... I like you and I want your chocolate crush. 

That's all for this week, if you've read this far, thank you! Please let me know if you share any of these crushes or let me know the ones I missed and I look forward to reading and replying to all of your comments! :)