Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday Freebie! Top Ten Songs That Remind Me Of Books I've Read

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 a Top Ten Tuesday Freebie! We can choose whatever topic we would like. I wanted to be a little different, so for this week and I've chosen the Top Ten Songs That Remind Me Of Books I've Read. 
I usually listen to my iPod when reading to drown out background noise or something, and funnily enough, it really helps me focus, so sometimes the songs I listen to while reading always remind of that book. Other times, the lyrics and music just make me think of books I've read.
*In no particular order.

1. Fireflies - Owl City
This song is amazing and I loved it when it was first released. At the time, I was reading the Vampire Academy series for the first time and this song was on repeat on my iPod the whole time I was reading Frostbite. It never fails to make me think of that book. 
2. Hear Me - Imagine Dragons
I had this song on repeat when reading A Walk to Remember and it's so uncanny the way the lyrics match the story... I love this song!
3. Blinding - Florence + The Machine
I listened to this song a lot when reading Silence and Finale of the Hush, Hush sequence. The song was actually a part of the playlist for this series. It's a fantastic song to read to.
4. Hero/Heroine - Boys Like Girls
I loved this song so much and for some reason, it always makes me think of Harry Potter...
Not exactly sure why.
5. Feel So Close - Calvin Harris
This song always makes me think of The Vampire Diaries. More the show than the books, but who cares. Something about the music...
6. No Heroes Allowed - Mayday Parade
The Hunger Games. These lyrics just really match the story (from Peeta's POV) and I don't know, they just really do something for me. Seriously, look this song up on YouTube and you'll see what I mean.
7. Only If For A Night - Florence + The Machine
This song never fails to makes me think of the Evernight series by Claudia Gray. I think because I always listened to this song while I was reading those books and the lyrics match up with the story line a little... kind of. 
8. Hurricane - Panic! At The Disco
This song just makes me think of the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. It's not so much that the lyrics match the story, though I suppose some lines can be compared to Daniel and Lucinda's relationship if you listen closely to the lyrics. Fallen fans, you'll see what I mean when you listen to it. ;)

Okay, that's all I can think of right now. I'm sure when I go to bed tonight, I'll be thinking to myself 'you're an idiot Melissa, you should have put this song on your list, dumb-ass.' Anyway, as always, leave me links to your TTT lists, I'm really interested in seeing what lists everyone chose for today! Thanks guys. :-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I've Read

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 Favorite Book Covers Of Books I've Read. 
*In no particular order.

1. Fallen by Lauren Kate
2. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
3. Stolen by Lucy Christopher
4. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
5. Matched by Ally Condie
6. The Host by Stephanie Meyer
7. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
10. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

That's all for this Tuesday guys, please let me know if you liked my choices here or if you didn't. Remember to leave me links to your TTT posts so I can check them out. :-) 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book & Movie Review: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Title: A Walk to Remember
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Sphere
Year of Release: 1999
ISBN: 9780751540482
Source: Borrowed
Number of Pages: 170 (this edition)

Landon Carter would never have dreamed of asking Jamie Sullivan out, but a twist of fate throws them together. In the months that follow, Landon breaks down Jamie's natural reserve and begins to get to know her- and to fall in love. But then he discovers that Jamie has a reason for not letting people close - a secret that will break his heart. 

Book Review:
This is the first book I have read by Nicholas Sparks, though I have had plenty of opportunities to read his works. I just never really felt the compulsion to read one of his books. When I found out about this book however, I knew I had to read it, and it was fantastic. What I liked most was that despite the intenseness of the topic, it was still a short, casual read, perfect to spend a weekend with. The book was told from the main character's perspective after everything has happened, and he is looking back, which I really liked. Though there are many love stories similar to this one, there was an originality and a freshness to this story which I found really captivating and I found that I was drawn to this book. Even when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it and I just wanted to pick it up again and read some more. 
It's also got some fantastic characters and the character of Jamie is amazing- though she's fictional, you can really learn a lot from her and the example she sets in this book just by the ways she lives her life and the way in which she carries herself. 
The only thing I can really criticise this book on is the writing style. I sort of felt like the author was trying too hard with all the 'anyways' and 'if you know what I means' in almost every sentence. I think that when writing a story in this way- looking back, retelling what has already happened- you need to have a real flow and you shouldn't need to implement so many of those words/phrases to pull the story in the right direction. It should already be there. 
That being said, I would still really recommend this book if you're a romance fan and looking for something short and light to occupy your time with, but that also contains this passionate profoundness. Sparks brings his own sense of uniqueness to this classic story with his quirky, brilliant writing ability and talent to express what he wants to through words.
A truly moving story that will have you reaching for the chocolate and the tissues in the same moment. A real tear-jerker. 

Movie Review:
I saw the movie of this before I read the book, before I even knew there was a book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are quite a few noticeable differences between the book and the movie, but I think that it worked in the film's favour and made it all the more enjoyable. It did the book justice, even with the changes, and I think that the characters were portrayed perfectly- better, even. 
The characters were more developed and realistic in the film and though the key points in the storyline were followed, there were still quite a few things that were left out that I would have liked to have seen in the film, but the things added were so much better. I think this is the only time where I can positively say that I like both the book and movie adaptions equally. I usually lean toward the books when it comes to these.
Overall, this is a great story- movie and book- and I would really, really, really recommend looking into them.

A Walk to Remember IMDb Movie Page
A Walk to Remember Goodreads Book Page
Nicholas Spark's Official Website

Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Publisher: Arrow Books
Year of Release: 1960
ISBN: 9780099419785
Source: Purchased 
Number of Pages: 309 (this edition)

"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this enchanting classic - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. 
Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humor the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. 
But the weight of history will only tolerate so much...

I'm just going to state the obvious here by saying that this is an amazing book. I'll admit, I was quite hesitant to read this one, though I'd heard incredible things about it, I wasn't sure it was for me. I'm so glad I did read it though because honestly, it's just one of those books that everyone has to read at least once. At the beginning of the book, I found the language used a little difficult to understand and it took me a while to grasp certain things, but once you get used to the tone and style of the book, it's really quite amazing. 
I loved everything about this book. This true American classic reaches out and grips readers tight with it's gentle humor, unquestionable love and one man's unbelievable conquest for justice within a town buried in prejudice, discrimination and racism, and holds them tight right until the end. A truly un-put-down-able novel.
Not only does Lee go into extraordinary detail of the prejudice of the thirties through a child's eyes, she also manages to incorporate a mysterious and somewhat bizarre character into the story as well, one that will eventually become a crucial part of the plot (I'm sure you know who I'm referring to).
Arthur 'Boo' Radley easily became one of my favourite characters, though he is barely present in the story in person. His character and history was one of the main things that grabbed my attention- I just wanted to know more about him. 
Harper Lee's incredible ability to use expression through writing made me pause more than once in my reading so that I could read certain passages aloud to myself, just for the pleasure of hearing the words. 
Readers are also presented with the idea of moral courage and sensibility through the character of Atticus Finch, the lawyer appointed to defend Tom Robinson - the black man falsely charged with the rape of a white girl. His fearlessness and bravery in representing this man though he knows most of the town will probably turn against him and his family is astounding, and through everything he keeps a clear head knowing that he must do what is right. 
I couldn't agree more with American author Truman Capote, who said, "Someone rare has written this very fine novel, a writer with the liveliest sense of life and the warmest, most authentic humour. A touching book; and so funny, so likeable."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

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 Dealing With Tough Subjects. This is a tough one for me but I'll do my best.
*In no particular order

1. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
This book deals with the grief of losing a sibling to suicide. It's a very touchy subject and suicide isn't something that people generally like discussing, it's one of those uncomfortable topics, however it is extremely important and one that needs to addressed- especially with teens. 
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
As most of you will be familiar with, this book deals with the issue of cancer in young people. Putting aside the star-crossed love theme of the book, if you think about what it represents, it's a very deep and emotional story. 
3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This is an amazing book that deals with the issues of prejudice, injustice, racism, social-class, etc. A lot of serious issues are represented in this book.
4. Girls Saves Boy by Steph Bowe
Similar to The Fault in Our Stars, this book is about a boy living with a terminal disease who falls in love with the girl who saves him from drowning in a lake.
5. Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Another one by Hannah, this book deals with the issue of homosexuality and the different viewpoints people have of people who are gay in a high school environment. 
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book is again set in a high school environment and deals with issues like popularity and fitting in, while subtly dealing with the issues of mental illness and sexual harassment. 
7. Stolen by Lucy Christopher
This is an incredible book. It's centered around the abduction of a girl from an airport, and if I remember correctly, the issue of stalking.
8. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
This book is the true story of the author's life when she was a young girl. She was the black sheep of the family, so to speak, and was forced to suffer through a lot of abuse.
9. Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers
This is a short story written in letters/notes left on a fridge door that depicts the daily life of a teenage girl and her mother who develops breast cancer.
10. Charlotte's Webb by E.B White
I know this is a children's book, but when you think about what the characters represent, it's really a story about someone who is forced to move away from home and doesn't fit in in his new environment and then the only friend he makes dies. It's deep, guys. It's a tough subject, the death of a friend. 

That's all for this Tuesday, I hope you've enjoyed my list! Leave your comments below and links to your lists so I can check them out! Thank you! :-)

Friday, May 10, 2013


Oh. My. God.
So.... I got to 100 followers. I have absolutely no idea where to begin expressing my gratitude. I'm ecstatic! This is amazing.
So I reached 100 followers at approximately 11.18pm tonight, May 10, 2013. Wow.
Where do I even begin?
This is a massive achievement and I honestly could not have done this without the support of the incredible people at Book Blogs. I would like to personally thank each and every person who has followed me and supported my blogging, I am so so so grateful.
I started writing this blog sometime around the end of 2011. For me, it was never to gain followers or to get attention, it was so that I could meet new people and blog about the things I love most, that being books and reading and all things related. I wanted to share my opinions with people who shared this interest and it's been amazing. When I first signed on to blogging, I was so amazed at how huge the book blogging community was and was kicking myself for not joining it earlier. It really is an amazing thing to be a part of and I wouldn't give this up for the world.
For those who are new to this blog- Hi! My name's Melissa and I am avid reader with a passion for YA Fiction and the supernatural. I read books and review them here along with a few other features I participate in like Top Ten Tuesday. I love meeting new people so feel free to send me an email any time!
Once again, I would like to thank each and every one of you who has followed, I still jump ten feet in the air when I log on and see I've gotten a new follower or comment, it's the best feeling and that hasn't changed. A million kisses and hugs to all of you, if I could send you all a cookie in the mail to show you how grateful I am, I would.... but I can't. 
So whether you've been with me for 2 years, 1 month or you haven't even followed yet, this is only the beginning and there's so much more to come. 

If you've got a book blog and would like to get some more publicity, join Book Blogs to meet people who also have blogs, authors, publishers, etc. It's a fantastic site. 
Check it out here.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

100 Followers? Giveaway?

Hey everyone!
Exciting news! As of right now, I am 8 followers away from 100!
If I can get to 100 followers before the week is up, I may or may not be hosting a little giveaway here at Book Nerd & Critic! We'll see how it goes.

To my followers:
If you would please let all your blogger friends know about my blog and what I am aiming to achieve here, I would be eternally grateful!
To those who follow me:
Thank you! Remember to leave a link to your blog down in the comments of this post, I always follow back! I can do so via GFC, Bloglovin, and all those other thingies.

I have been writing this blog since 2011 and it would be absolutely amazing to finally reach my goal of 100 after this long. So please spread the word!
Also, if I host this giveaway, I'm going to need some help on doing so, I have never done anything like that before! What would you like to see me giveaway? Let me know in the comments.
Today is Thursday, which means we have until Sunday to get this blog to 100 followers! That's less than 4 days! I need 8 followers! 
On a side note, I would just like to point out that I did not begin writing this blog for publicity. I created it to meet new people and blog about the things I love most- books, reading and writing. I appreciate every single follow and will continue to do so even after I reach 100. Thanks to all those who have been with me from the start!