Friday, 19 September 2014

Unmade, Sarah Rees Brennan


Pages: 370
Publisher: S&S
Release Date: 25th September 2014
Edition: UK paperback, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: The Demon’s Lexicon, The Demon’s Covenant, The Demon’s Surrender, Unspoken, Untold

All’s fair in love and magic.

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to the one she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami must use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility – and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

Sarah Rees Brennan has garnered a talent from breaking hearts and fracturing minds through the cruel treatment of her characters and Unmade cemented that reputation.

When we left Kami and the gang at the end of Untold, Jared was presumed dead and my heart was in bits. Unmade picks up a month later and Kami is still struggling to come to terms with Jared’s death and it hurt. She is set on venturing into Aurimere just in case he’s still there... Turns out, Rob Lynburn wasn’t really a fan of them sneaking around his house.

I just love how sass, humour and wit prevail even when in mortal danger and despair. It’s also used for deeper meanings too. Kami uses ridiculous pet names and obnoxious humour to hide her insecurities in her relationships and to replace a disastrous DTR. It just made me love her even more. Then you get Angela and Rusty with the one-liners, jibes and comebacks that I wish I could think of, let only say out loud!

Though this review has been short and vague, I think I’m going to leave it here. Everything I want to squeal/cry over will spoil Unmade and I want you all to experience every sentence of this excellent book for yourself. Just know this:

Unmade is a heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat, ruin your mascara ending to the trilogy and I loved every page of it. Though I’m sad Kami’s story is over, I’m rather glad I don’t have to experience all that heartache anymore...

Thanks to S&S for the review copy.

Sophie

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Books I Desperately Want to Re-Read


Re-reading is a pleasure that I associate with my childhood. It wasn’t unusual for me to finish a book and flip straight back to the first page again when I loved it; I did it with Twilight, How I Live Now, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Diary of a Crush trilogy, the Georgia Nicolson series, Matilda and so many more. But since I started blogging, it’s become a bit of a lost luxury. I have a list as tall as I am of books I’m going to read upon the apocalypse when there’s nothing else I need to be doing, but here’s my top five books I’m in most dire need of a re-read of:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone/Days of Blood and Starlight
I still haven’t read Dreams of Gods and Monsters because I want to go into the finale knowing every detail of the beginning of the story so I can appreciate DoGaM in all its blistering glory. It has to happen soon because I seriously need to see how this trilogy ends.




Graceling
Man, that book is beautiful. I just want to experience the power and beauty of the prose and Katsa’s awesome all over again. Seriously, if you haven’t read this, read it. Fiercely beautiful, feminist fantasy at its finest (whoop whoop for alliteration!).





How to Love
This is one my favourite, and most underrated, books I’ve read in recent years. It’s still difficult to put my finger on what made me fall in love with it so much: the perfect messes that are Reena and Sawyer and the achingly wonderful portrayal of first love and growing up with and without it. I want you all to read it so we can squee about how amazing it is. Go, shoo.




The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson
I worshiped this series for most of my teenage years. Georgia is brave and stupid and hilarious in all the ways I could never manage and although she made me cringe a lot of the time, I wanted to be her. I remember laughing at these books until tears ran down my face and I want to experience that again. But I’m worried that at 22 it won’t be nearly as wonderful as it was at 17...



Persuasion
Since I was pretty young, my favourite Austen novel and story has been Sense and Sensibility. But as I’ve got older and watched the Rupert Penry Jones adaptation of Persuasion a few more hundred times, I’m beginning to lean towards Austen’s final novel. But in order to firmly make such a momentous decision, I need to re-read the novel. And soon.

What would you love to re-read? Do you re-read at all? Have you re-read anything that you didn’t love as much as the first time?

Sophie

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

No One Needs to Know, Amanda Grace


Pages: 242
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: 1st September 2014
Edition: e-proof, NetGalley review copy

Other Titles by this Author: But I Love Him, In Too Deep, The Truth About You & Me

Olivia Reynolds and her twin brother Liam have been best friends their whole lives. But ever since he started dating, Liam has barely had time for Olivia, making her feel powerless and alone. Blaming his string of girlfriends, Olivia does whatever she can to drive them away.

Until she meets Zoey, Liam’s latest fling. A call-it-like-she-sees-it kind of girl, Zoey sees right through Olivia’s tricks. What starts as verbal sparring turns into surprising intimacy, and them something different builds between them. Something that feels a lot like love.

But when Liam confesses he’s falling for Zoey, that she’s more than just a fling, Olivia has to decide who deserves happiness more: her brother or herself.

The first Amanda Grace novel that I read, The Truth About You & Me, was one of my favourite books of last year so I was incredibly excited to get my hands on No One Needs to Know, but I was slightly disappointed.

Within a few pages I already knew that I wasn’t going to enjoy this novel as much as I had Grace’s previous one. The characters veered between irritating and bland and I felt no connection to them whatsoever. Olivia was irritating and cold for a large proportion of the novel and even though I knew there would be more behind her facade, I wasn’t really all that bothered about what she was hiding or who she really was. And Liam was just plain bland. Nothing really bothered him and his easy disregard of his twin sister was so effortlessly done, and then when he found out about Olivia and Zoey’s relationship at the end he barely reacted! It was like he had no personality and no emotions! Zoey was the only one with a personality. She had spark and a past and depth that the other two didn’t.

Part of what made Zoey interesting was how different how her life is to Olivia and Liam’s. They are rich and spoiled, Zoey works her butt off to help her mum who works all the hours possible. A mistake in the beginning of her time at a rich school put her in the girls’ bad books and besmirched her name from then on. The social divide was explored in No One Needs to Know and served as more of an obstacle in Olivia and Zoey’s relationship than their sexuality which was refreshing.

Though I didn’t enjoy No One Needs to Know nearly as much as I had expecting to, my love for her previous novel is enough to keep me reading Grace’s novels.

Thanks to NetGalley and Flux for the review copy.

Sophie

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: Captain America: The Winter Solider



RELEASED: 20th March 2014
RUNNING TIME: 136mins
RATING: 12

CHRIS EVANS ~ Steve Rogers/Captain America
SCARLETT JOHANSSON ~ Natasha Romanov/Black Widow
SEBASTIAN STAN ~ Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
ANTHONY MACKIE ~ Sam Wilson/Falcon
ROBERT REDFORD ~ Alexander Pierce
SAMUEL L JACKSON ~ Nick Fury
COBIE SMULDERS ~ Maria Hill

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

When S.H.I.E.L.D. is attacked, Captain America becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens the future of mankind. As the conspiracy deepens and trust is destroyed, Cap, Black Widow and the Falcon must join forces to battle their insidious enemy’s most mysterious and powerful weapon yet – the Winter Soldier.

TRAILER


VERDICT

Of all of the Avengers Captain America is by far my favourite. I love his tragic origin story, how different it is to most of the others and the huge life he had before the Avengers. With all of this it was no surprise that I loved The First Avenger and I was incredibly excited to see Cap adapt to modern America and working with S.H.I.E.L.D. and though The Winter Soldier was very, very different to the first film, I absolutely loved it.

The Winter Soldier is very linked to The First Avenger and Avengers Assemble. Both films and the effects of the events that took place during, as well as the other Avengers, are referenced often, but in a natural and subtle way that makes this influx of Marvel movies feel like a complete universe with all of the movies interlinking. I especially loved how Cap’s love for Peggy from over 80 years ago was still strong in his mind. Ugh, my heart.

But we got something new and thoroughly excellent in this film: the friendship between Cap and Natasha. The banter was top notch, the teasing on point and their connection was just perfect. I loved that there was no intention of a romantic relationship between them; if anything, Natasha was desperate to fix Cap up! Natasha really does deserve her own movie. The Black Widow has more than enough of an origin story, personality, mystery and potential for trouble to hold her own – come on Marvel!

It’s a good job Cap and Natasha can trust each other as S.H.I.E.L.D. has been compromised and we don’t know who to trust. Nick, Cap and Natasha face old enemies and new, joined together to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. and it’s edge of your seat stuff. I couldn’t stop watching.

The Winter Soldier was left nicely open for either the next Avengers or another movie focusing on Cap – I’m hoping for both, personally.

CINEMA|DVD|BORROW

Sophie