Thursday, 8 October 2015

Currently Reading: 'The Walking Dead Volume One: Days Gone Bye' By Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore


'How many hours are in a day when you don't spend half of them watching television?
When is the last time any of us REALLY worked to get something we wanted? 
How long has it been since any of us really NEEDED something that we WANTED?

The world we knew is gone.

The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been replaced by a world of survival and responsibility. 

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. 

In a matter on months society has crumbled. 

No government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. 

In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.'

I am a huge fan on 'The Walking Dead' TV show, so I've been really wanting to start the Graphic Novels which inspired the show. From what I've read so far, it's pretty cool, the artwork is fantastic and the story is just fantastic. I love this series so much, if you're a fan of the show I highly recommend starting the graphic novels!

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Review: 'Gone Girl' By Gillian Flynn

'Gone Girl' is without a doubt one of the most fascinating and capturing books I have ever read. Unfortunately, for me, I was spoiled for the big twist of the novel so I didn't get to experience the big shock factor of the big reveal, but this in no way hindered my view of this book - which, even without the shock of the big twist - is absolutely incredible.

On the day of Amy and Nick's fifth wedding anniversary, Amy Elliott Dunne, disappears from her home. When Nick calls the police an investigation ensues, an investigation that makes Nick look very very bad. With all eyes on him it seems as if Nick will be put on death row for a crime he didn't commit. As the book continues we find out that everything is truly not as it seems. In this book Flynn explores the complications and secrets within modern day marriages and the problems with today's judicial system. It is not only an entertaining read but an incredibly truthful one.

At the beginning of the book, I hated both Amy and Nick, they were extremely unlikeable to me in those first few chapters and I couldn't shift my distaste. However, as the book went on I came to love and admire both of them for both their faults and virtues. Amy is organised, calculating, beautiful, smart and always prepared. Nick is laid back, always one step behind, handsome, and doesn't speak out when he should. Although some of their traits were irritating, those seemed to be the traits that drew me to them even more. In Amy, Flynn has created one of the most memorable and well written female fictional characters I have ever read - Amy was definitely the highlight of this book.

I really don't want to write much more about this book as to do so would mean spoiling certain parts that I don't want spoiled for people. However, I will say that if you haven't read this book, YOU MUST! Also once you've read the book go and watch the movie, Rosamund Pike's portrayal of Amy is phenomenal!

Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars

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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September Wrap-Up

September was a really busy month for me! I started a new job - my first ever full time job - so this meant I didn't read quite as much as I wanted to because either I was super busy or super tired! I read a total of 3 books this month.

1. 'Picture Me Gone' By Meg Rosoff 
I rated this book 2/5 stars! If you want to know why, check out the review I wrote on it! 

2. 'Auggie & Me' By R.J. Palacio
 I rated this book 4/5 stars. I just love this author's style of writing and anything to do with the world of 'Wonder'. These stories were three great additions to that world. Check out my full review! 

3. 'Grasshopper Jungle' By Andrew Smith
I rated this book 3/5 stars. This was such a strange book but it was highly entertaining and very funny at times. Check out my full review! 

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T5W: Top 5 Banned Books

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One of the great things about literature is that it challenges the boundaries of what is seen as right and wrong. It explores so many difficult topics that people find hard to accept and sometimes when that is put before people's eyes they don't like it. Over the centuries there have been many books that have been challenged or banned. Here are my favourites:

Here are some honourable mentions which didn't quite make it onto my list:

  • The Great Gatsby - By F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Witches - By Roald Dahl
  • Of Mice and Men - By John Steinbeck

1. 'Lolita' By Vladimir Nabokov

When I read 'Lolita' I was just so incredibly affected by it. It's a masterpiece - albeit a disturbing masterpiece - but it's just so magnificently written and I'm so glad I read it. 

2. 'Lord of The Flies' By William Golding
Such a chilling and disturbing commentary on human nature. It's so worth the read, it's an amazing piece of literature that truly knows the real nature of mankind. 

3. 'The Harry Potter Series' By J.K. Rowling 
CAN YOU IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT HARRY POTTER? I don't even want to just thinking of it makes me sad! 

4. 'The Lovely Bones' By Alice Sebold 
This book is incredible. It left me absolutely terrified of my neighbours but it's an incredible read, so much better than the movie! 

5. 'To Kill A Mockingbird' By Harper Lee
All I can say is, if you haven't read this book please do. It's incredible. I understand why it was probably challenged at the time in which it was written; this book isn't only entertainment, it was an amazing political statement at the time it was published. It's such an essential book that I believe all children and adults alike should read at least once. 

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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Currently Reading: 'Gone Girl' By Gillian Flynn


'Who are you? 
What have we done to each other? 
These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. 
So what did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?'

So the hype surrounding this book when it first came out was huge, and for some reason, as much as I wanted to I never quite got around to reading it. I've finally picked it up and I'm really really excited to dig my teeth into it. However, I have been spoilt for the ending so I don't suppose I'll find it as amazing as most people did when it first came out but I'm still hoping I enjoy it. 

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Review: 'Grasshopper Jungle' By Andrew Smith

So when I started 'Grasshopper Jungle' I knew it was going to be weird. You can't read a book with a blurb like the one 'Grasshopper Jungle' has and think you're about to enter 300 pages worth of normalcy. However, I will admit, I was completely shocked by just how weird this book ended up being. 

'Grasshopper Jungle' tells the story of Austin and his best friend Robby who, accidentally, cause an apocalypse. A strange series of events lead to a strange experimental virus being released into the small town of Ealing. This virus is like no other. It causes ordinary people to become 6 foot tall Praying Mantises who only want to do two things - eat and procreate. However, in many ways, 'Grasshopper Jungle' is also a coming-of-age story and a story of self discovery. We experience the apocalypse through the eyes of Austin, a sexually confused boy with polish ancestors, as he tries to determine whether or not he's in love with his girlfriend or his best friend and much much more. 

The characters in 'Grasshopper Jungle' were really interesting. I love how Andrew Smith became so invested in the little town he created and made each character - no matter how significant - so individual and unique. Austin was a good protagonist, however at times he was really whingey and annoying. It was Robby, Austin's gay best friend, who really stole the show; he was a really intriguing and engaging character and most of my favourite quotes from the book come from him. I felt incredibly sorry for Austin's girlfriend, Shann, as much as Austin said he loved her, in my opinion, I think it's pretty obvious that he's in love with Robby and not her. 

The writing style was really interesting. You could tell how invested Andrew Smith was in this story. It's such a fun and unique story and you can certainly tell that the author had fun writing it too. I liked how it was split into parts and how Austin was so obsessed with recording history that we recognised how people from Austin's past - way way in the past - had in some way impacted/lead to the apocalypse. 

I found myself a little bit disappointed by the lack of action. I went into this thinking it was pretty much going to be 'The Walking Dead' with insects instead of zombies, so I felt the action and gore was lacking a little bit but this was probably just due to my incorrect expectations. Like I said, however, I was pleasantly surprised that the author dealt with such relevant and important topics within this kind of fun, and almost silly sounding, book. 

The ending left me wanting to know so much more. Were certain characters ever reunited with their loved ones? Etc, Etc. I think this book had a great ending as it was so open, as much as it's annoying that I will never get any solid answers about some of my questions I think it's great that each reader can form their own opinions and decide what happens next for themselves. 

Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars

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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Currently Reading: 'Grasshopper Jungle' By Andrew Smith


'In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend Robby have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six -foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. 

This is the truth. This is history. It's the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it. 

I've heard both good and bad reviews about this book, so I'm really excited to find out whether I love it or hate it. Andrew Smith is also a highly recommended author and I've never read anything by him so I'm super excited!

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