Monday, 29 October 2012

My House On Halloween

My family absolutely love Halloween, it is almost as exciting to us as Christmas!
In England we don't tend to celebrate Halloween as much as they do in America and it is such a shame. I think it is such a fun time of year and my family tends to make a big party out of it.
My Dad would decorate the house completely, we'd have a graveyard at the top of the stairs with tombstones, rats and bones then in the bathroom he'd fill the bath with red jelly and have random body part sticking out. 
In the passageway we had a giant butler and a smoke machine and around the rest of the house were various other decorations such as pumpkins, skulls, ghosts. It was great fun but once we adopted our dogs we had to stop as it frightened them a little and they'd attack the props!

This year we are getting back into the swing of things now that the dogs are settled they aren't so afraid anymore. I thought I'd make this quick video to give you an idea of what Halloween is like in our house. I will make another one of these videos on Halloween, so watch this space! ;)


Friday, 26 October 2012

Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares Review (Rachel Cohn & David Levithan)

I was sent this book for review by the publisher but that will not influence me in any way. This will be an honest review with my own opinions.

I didn't know how to rate this book if I am honest I was originally only going to give it 2 stars but that felt a little too mean. 

So first of all I will start with the positives, this book is set over the Christmas period which made me feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside, seriously this book made me yearn for Christmas and everything about it. The other thing I liked about this book was that it was so unpredictable, just when I thought I knew what was going to happen the book took a whole new direction. I also liked Lily's character although I found her a little bit too quirky she was still likeable.

I also liked the idea behind the book it was something quite fun and different. The only thing that ruined it for me was how pretentious the writing was, I felt like this book tried a little too hard to be 'cool' and 'hipster'.

Now for the things I didn't like. My main problem with this book was Dash, one of the main characters, I found him arrogant and pretentious. I am not sure if he is supposed to be that way or if David Levithan just writes pretentiously, either way I couldn't stand Dash and he bored me immensely. 

However, that being said, towards the end of the book Dash's friend Boomer gives Lily a speech about Dash where he tells her how much of a good guy he is and seeing him through the eyes of one of his friends made me warm to him. 

I enjoyed reading about all the different characters in this book they were all quirky and interesting. My personal favourite was Lily's Aunt Ida. 

This book just wasn't my cup of tea and it took me over 100 pages to warm to it. Would I recommend it? Yes but I would warn people that i found the writing style to be very pompous. 

3 out of 5 stars.

#FridayReads (26.10.2012)

If you don't know what #fridayreads is, it is a hashtag that explodes on twitter on Fridays. Every Friday, THOUSANDS of people from all over the world share what they plan to read that weekend! I also include my #fridayreads over on my Youtube Channel, so I thought why not share that on my blog too. 
I am inviting you all to play along! I would love to see what you are reading this weekend!

So this weekend I plan on reading 'Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares' by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I began reading this book today and I am already onto page 160 so I figure I will probably finish this by tonight. Then I will go on to read:

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter.

What are you planning on reading this Friday? #FridayReads ... Get involved ;)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Pushing The Limits Review (Katie McGarry)

Okay let me just start this review by telling you that I was sent this book for review by the Publisher but that did not in ANY way influence this review. Now that is out of way I'll get on with my review.

I absolutely adored this book, when I first read the synopsis I was a little wary as it seemed like your typical good girl meets troubled guy and they fall in love. This book was so much more than a cliche it had so many different dimensions to it. First of all we have Echo Emmerson (Let's take a moment to appreciate how beautiful and unique that name is) she is deeply troubled and trying to recover painful memories from her past while dealing with being shunned by people because of the terrifying scars on her arms. Then we have Noah Hutchins whose world was flipped upside down when his parents died in a fire, he went from a popular jock with amazing future prospects to a foster kid who smokes weed and ditches school. 

These two broken teens find each other when they begin therapy with Mrs Collins. While they aren't exactly friendly at first they end up becoming friends when they realize they are both dealing with pretty horrific events from their past. They eventually bond and begin a friendship which leads to them falling in love. I loved Noah and Echo as a couple they were perfect for each other they exuded chemistry and passion. The emotion between these two was raw and incredibly real and it is not something many authors can write successfully but McGarry pulls it off beautifully. 

This is so much more than a love story there are so many elements we follow Echo's journey as she searches for the truth and we follow Noah as he comes to terms with his parent's deaths and learning to cope with his brothers being adopted into a new family. I didn't feel bored once while reading this book I felt as though I was on an emotional roller-coaster and when it ended I just wanted to go straight back to the first page and relive it all over again. 

Now I'm going to talk a bit about the characters in this book. Echo Emmerson is incredibly likable as a character she is quite fragile and pure. She is the kind of girl that is beautiful but doesn't see it, she is kind and faithful and I really wanted nothing but good things to happen to her. 

Noah Hutchins is my favorite type of character, a gorgeous brooding bad boy that turns out to have the biggest heart. The way he cares for his brothers and Echo made my heart melt. I wanted these two to end up together and I wanted them to have a happy ending. 

As for the writing style I loved that each chapter was from different points of view, one chapter we were hearing Echo's thoughts and perspective and the next we were hearing Noah's I think they really brought a little something extra to this book.

5 out of 5 stars and it is a book I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys coming of age stories. 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

In my mailbox

Yesterday morning I awoke to a package sitting on my doormat. I hadn't ordered anything online so I was a little surprised but when I took a peek inside I saw it was filled with goodies. A fellow Booktuber had sent me this little bookish package which I think is totally adorable. 

Inside it contained 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R Tolkien, a lollipop and a cute card with Tinkerbell on the front (Who just happens to be one of my favorite Disney characters).

Surprises like these make my day and I want to say thank you again to @KateAmeliaJudd (Twitter Username) for her kindness.


Friday, 19 October 2012

#FridayReads (19.10.2012)

If you don't know what #fridayreads is, it is a hashtag that explodes on twitter on Fridays. Every Friday, THOUSANDS of people from all over the world share what they plan to read that weekend! I also include my #fridayreads over on my Youtube Channel, so I thought why not share that on my blog too. 
I am inviting you all to play along! I would love to see what you are reading this weekend!

So this weekend I plan on reading 'Pushing The Limits' by Katie McGarry, I actually started reading this book earlier in the week but I have been super busy and have only managed to get to page 70. I am enjoying it a lot so far and plan to finish it this weekend.

What are you planning on reading this Friday? #FridayReads ... Get involved ;) 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Go Book Yourself!

Hey guys I have some exciting news that I have been dying to share for a while and now I finally can. Together with four other awesome booktubers we have created a collab channel humorously named 'Go Book Yourself'.

It's been in the pipeline for a while but it hasn't been as easy to put together as you may think. We're all from different parts of the world so organizing to meet for an online chat has been bedlam but we've been back and forth hundreds of times and tonight we finally had that meeting barr one member who will be filled in ASAP. 

The meeting was positive and full of great idea's and I think our channel may be finally starting to take form, it's something I am super proud of and excited about as I am sure the other guys are too.
We plan to officially launch our channel on the 5th of November where I will be the first one to post a video (I feel ever so privileged). 
Be sure to check us out guys and check back here as I will be updating regularly but for now Goodnight :)


Monday, 15 October 2012

Perfect Chemistry (Simone Elkeles) Review

When I first read what this book was about I was a little put off, it sounded so stereotypical it was only when a friend told me that it was so much more than a soppy romance novel did I decide to give it a shot. I read this book in two days and was pleasantly surprised by it.

We are introduced to Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes and the book is written from both of their perspectives, so one chapter is told through the eyes of Brittany and the next through Alex's. I really loved this aspect of the book as I got inside the heads of them both and knew how they both felt about each other before they finally told one another.

Brittany is from the "North side" where all the rich kids live and Alex is from the "South side" where the poor kids live, the majority of people living on the "South side" are also Mexicans and gang members. Although they initially hate each other hey have a certain chemistry and you just pray while reading that they would realize this and get together. I loved the idea of this book although it is a cliche it is well written and better executed than a lot of other books with the same idea.

One of my favorite parts about this book were the characters and their relationships, I liked how everything is not what it seems for example, Alex who is seen as tough and a trouble maker is actually very sweet and caring and although Brittany is seen as little miss perfect we soon learn her life is anything but. I even loved the side characters Simone wrote this so well that I loved the lovable characters and hated the less desirable characters.

This book for me was about living in the moment and following your heart, something that a lot of people don't do as they are too scared of how others will perceive them. I loved that Brittany and Alex went against all odds and made a go of their relationship and I wont say anymore for fear of spoilers.
I highly recommend this book and as soon as I return it to my library I will be rushing out and buying myself a copy!

5 out of 5 stars :)

Life On The Refrigerator Door (Alice Kuipers) Review

This book was an incredibly quick read, I finished it in about 20 minutes.
It is set out in notes written from mother to daughter left on the refrigerator door.
There isn't a lot a can say about this book because it doesn't go into a huge amount of detail, I wish I knew more about what went on in between the notes but it was a sweet book and an unusual idea. I cried so much at the end! 3 out of 5 stars.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (Stephen King) Review

This book was recommended to me by my Nana and I am glad I decided to pick it up. This is the second Stephen King book I've read, the first being Cujo, and I have to say so far I'm not a huge fan of his work. 

I enjoyed this book and it was scary because stuff like this does happen and can happen! Also King writes in a way that makes me feel whatever the character is feeling, when Trisha is thirsty, hungry, tired and sick I actually physically felt how she was feeling which to me is the mark of an excellent writer.

The problem I had with this book though was how Trisha managed to get lost, after her pee why didn't she just walk back the way she came instead of wandering through the woods for a week, I could've let that slide if she was a dumb little girl but honestly she was a smart tough little cookie, for a girl of 9 she survived better than I would have. Throughout the book I was willing her to just stay put or head back the way she came instead of trudging through the forest in the opposite direction to the way she entered! 

I did love the characters though so I overlooked that minor detail, I think the love Trisha has for her Dad is so cute as I am close to my Father myself so it really touched my heart! 

3 out of 5 stars :)

Anna Dressed In Blood (Kendare Blake) Review

Usually when I read a book no matter how much I love it I can pick faults with it and I can honestly say that wasn't the case with this book, from the very first page I was hooked and I can definitely see why so many people are rating it 5 stars!

This book follows Cas a young man who hunts ghosts for a living but not just any ghosts the most terrifying murderous ghosts that are killing off people. He gets a tip from his friend 'Daisy' about a ghost they call Anna Dressed In Blood although he is skeptical at first Cas and his mother move out to Thunder Bay and he gets straight to work.

While trying to research Anna he meets Carmel, her jealous ex-boyfriend Mike and his two sidekicks Chase and Will, he also meets Thomas a kind of awkward boy who is able to read minds. Cas is horrified when he is hit over the head with a plank of wood and thrown into Anna's house by Mike, this is when we are first introduced to Anna and what an introduction it is, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up!

From that point on the book is packed with thrills, frights, action, murder and friendship. I loved watching Cas making friends (something he has been unable to do) and coming to terms with his Father's death. I absolutely loved Anna's character I thought she was pretty bad ass but I also saw a vulnerable side to her. I found myself wishing throughout the book that she hadn't been murdered I wished that Anna's story would have ended differently. 

I can not recommend this book enough it is amazing and I literally can not wait for the next book in the series!

5 out of 5 stars!

Giveaway: When The Siren Calls by Tom Barry

Hey guys it's Emma with some exciting news for you all. I have been in contact with Tom Barry the author of 'When The Siren Calls' and he has been kind enough to provide a signed copy of this book for a giveaway. If you're interested in getting your hands on this book, why not join in and try to win? 


"Restless and neglected, Isobel is suffocating in a stagnant marriage. Suave and charismatic Jay is fighting for survival. An invitation to visit Jay's resort in the hills of Tuscany sparks Isobel to imagine a life of freedom and excitement.

Dismissing her husband’s objections, Isobel pursues Jay to Tuscany on the pretext of searching for a holiday home. After fighting anguished guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate affair, with her controlling lover encouraging Isobel to push beyond her sexual boundaries.

But all is not as it seems in the idyllic Tuscan retreat, and Isobel finds herself trapped in a web of intrigue, deception, and betrayal. She is one player in a dangerous love triangle, unsure whether Jay is her saviour, or her nemesis. As her world falls apart, she must choose between the woman she thought she was, and the woman she has become."

Sounds pretty awesome doesn't it? I have my copy make sure to get yours!


To learn more about the author, Tom Barry, here you go:

Monday, 1 October 2012

The Checkout Girl (Tazeen Ahmad) Review

Seemingly anonymous to her customers, the girl at the till finds them the source of endless entertainment: lovers' tiffs, farcical family feuds and intimate secrets. I checked this book out of my local library as it was recommended to me by a friend, I didn't have high hopes for this book but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. In theory this book sounds very dull, it's about the author's (Tazeen Ahmad) time as a check out girl in Sainsbury's. It's written in a series of diary entries and talks a lot about the recession and the state of the economy in 2008/2009. Now this may not sounds like an exciting page turner but I couldn't put this book down, I enjoyed people watching through the author's eyes! It's amazing what information people will divulge to a complete stranger. I recommend this book if you're looking for a quick and easy read and it's definitely geared towards women, I'm not sure that boys or men would enjoy this book.

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars :)

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket Review

For some reason I really enjoyed this book! I didn't think I would enjoy a book about children who really do have such a horrible time and I found myself struggling at points because honestly I just love a happy ending but it was made abundantly clear that this book and series for that matter WON'T have a happy ending. 

This book was so enjoyable and to me it had a kind of dark and creepy feeling, it made me feel the same way I felt when I read Coraline. However while I gave Coraline 5 stars this one only received 4 and I'll explain why.

Its not that I was okay with anything that happened to these children because I really felt for them and wanted to adopt them myself, but the worst of it all in my eyes was the creepy Count Olaf trying to marry his 14 year old relative while everyone in the book was like 'ok this is horrible but it is technically legal.' 
Now I am not a prude and when reading I rarely get the 'this is so wrong' reaction but for some reason I was totally sickened by it in this book. In my opinion it was a bit too much but I suppose it is necessary to show the reader just how disgusting and monstrous Count Olaf is.

I own this book in an ebook form on my iPad but I will definitely be purchasing the series in either paperback or hardback. Lemony snicker has such an entertaining style of writing and he really does suck you in to this other world, granted it is a world that is bleak and grim but it is a one I tend to revisit as I find myself wondering what is next for the Baudelaire orphans!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars :)

Cujo (Stephen King) Review

To be honest I'm not quite sure what I thought of this book. There were moments when I couldn't put the book down and other moments where I wanted to scream in frustration. Stephen King's writing in this book seems rather long winded to me I felt like he spent so much time describing EVERYTHING and EVERYONE without advancing the plot. 

To me the real story was Donna and Tad stuck in the car while being stalked by a rabid Cujo but just as things were getting good he'd start writing about business deals or shopping for curtains which really drove me mad. I could've happily skipped those parts and just read about Donna, Tad & Cujo. It is a horrifying story and you can't help but think how you'd cope in a similar situation. I thought the notion that Cujo was a dead criminal was laughable though I mean he was a dog with rabies. 

It was a sad book and left me feeling depressed and worn out I was sad for Donna & Vic's loss at the end and I was sad for Cujo. The last page of the book really moved me. 

' It would perhaps not be amiss to point out that he had always tried to be a good dog. He had tried to be a good dog. He had tried to do all the things his man and his woman, and most of all his boy, had asked or expected of him. He would have died for them, If that had been required. He had never wanted to kill anybody. He had been struck by something, possibly destiny, or fate, or only a degenerative nerve disease called rabies. Free will was not a factor.' 

That last part made me cry. I guess I would recommend this book it's worth a read :)
I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars.