Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


 
 
 
Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin
Published: January 3rd 2013
Page Number: 318
Rating: 4/5

Summary:
Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.



 
 
 
 
REVIEW
 
I'm not sure what to really say about The Fault in Our Stars. It's a world-wide phenomenon, everyone has either read the book or at least watched the movie (Not going to talk about that). When I first read the book I absolutely loved it. I didn't know anything about it, I hadn't watched booktube videos where it was talked about on every channel - good and bad - and I certainly hadn't known that it was loved by everyone. I just picked it up because the cover was simple and cute.
 
What John Green manages to do well is create really relatable characters that you fall in love with. Hazel is honest, despite the fact that she has cancer. Augustus is completely full of himself and really witty. He's the type of person who'd do completely embarrassing things just to make the other person smile. And together they make a great team. However, I have my problems.
 
John Green has romanticised a terminal illness and I don't agree with it. Cancer is not something that should be romanticised. At all. It's a serious illness - which was very well researched - that changes lives. It can destroy not just a person, but that persons entire family. That doesn't mean that I think people with terminal illness can't find or fall in love, because they can. It's me saying that I am not a fan of it.
 
But despite all that, I actually did enjoy the book. I've read it twice, (The first time I didn't know about the hype) the second time I did know about it and it affected my views. John Green's writing isn't phenomenal; it's simple and fast-paced but enjoyable. The conclusion of the book was very predictable. It's a story about 2 teenagers with terminal illnesses, what else do you expect to happen?
 
Would I recommend the book? Yes. It's a quick, fun read with a sad ending. But that's it. It's not life changing, nor is it eye-opening. It's just an okay read.
 
 
 
 

Why I Don't Read E-Books


I honestly have nothing against E-books. I think they're are great stepping stone for the next generation of readers, however they're not the right fit for me. One of the things I loved as a child was being able to hold the book in my hand,  feel a connection like nothing else. Because when I was reading a physical copy, I wasn't just reading the book but living it as well. And that is something I just don't get when I use an E-Reader (I currently use the iBooks app).

Since the Kindle first came out I've noticed that everyone has started using them. Their prices for books are cheaper, all the books are stored on one device and they're a lot easier to carry around if you're going on a day out to the seaside. And there is no reason why anyone should stop using them.

But it isn't just a barrier problem with me for E-books. I tend to find that I can't focus as much when I read off one. I skim read and know that it's easy to just skip a few chapters and carry on from there, and that's not what I should be doing. For short stories and novellas, I find it easier to read on an E-reader because they take like 20 minutes to read and then it's over. Plus it's normally the only way to read novellas until they're published in paperback format with other novellas.

So really it's just a matter of me not being able to connect with the book as much on an E-reader as I do in physical form. I'm a book hoarder, collector. And maybe I'm sometimes a book sniffer, because some books do smell...nice, fresh. I'll still forever read my novellas on my iBooks app, but that's it. I own like 20 books on there but none of them will be really read. Just for show.



What do you guys think about E-books?
Let me know in the comments.

Review: Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover

Title: Maybe Not (Maybe Someday #1.5)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: November 24th 2014
Page Number: 129
Rating: 5/5

Summary:

When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.  

 
REVIEW
 
I read Maybe Someday and absolutely loved it, so when Colleen announced that she was coming out with a Novella following Warren, I knew I had to read it.
 
We're introduced to Warren and his extremely pervert ways in Maybe Someday and he's one of the reason as to why I loved that book so much. He's not like any other character I've read in a New Adult book before because he's so different. He's funny, weird, loyal and a complete and utter pervert. Like 'he's addicted to porn' pervert. So getting to see things from his perspective was something.....unique.
 
We learn his story of why he watches porn so much as well as falling in love with Bridgette. And it's exactly what I expected it to be; funny to a tee and sexy as hell (No joke. Get the window wipers people because steam, steam, steam). Colleen leaves no questions unanswered and I was one hundred percent happy with the outcome. I learned to like Bridgette a little bit more because she's not such a bitch, but has a few problems in her life that she needs to fix. I also learned that love doesn't have to be all lovey dovey, rainbows, unicorns and chocolate cake. It can be cute and sweet but spicy as hell.
 
My only dislike is that I want so much more. Not necessarily from Warren's POV but more from the characters in this series. Maybe a little novella from Maggie. Or Hunter. I don't know, I just know I want more. Anyway if you're looking for a fun, sexy beach read then definitely pick up Maybe Someday and Maybe Not. You'll love them both! 



 

A Random Book Haul

So, like many others I do like buying books. In fact I've bought quite a few over the past few months, however, I've decided to just show you guys to books I have bought and received from publishers recently. Ps, I would just like to say a massive THANK YOU to all the publishers that sent me books to review. I am forever grateful and so happy that you accepted me to be on your blogger's list.
 
 
These 4 books I received from the publishers to review. All of these books have been on my radar and I am super excited to read them (As of this time, Until Friday Night has already been read and the review written up).
 
All of the Above by James Dawson // Pre-order the book (Waterstones)
 
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway // Buy the book (Waterstones)
 
Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines // Pre-order the book (Waterstones)
 
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley // Pre-order the book (Waterstones)
 
 
 
I bought all 3 books. I've been currently reading the Rosemary Beach series by Abbi Glines and it is so addicting, although the 7th and 8th book weren't all that good. Katie McGarry's newest release was also a must buy!
 
Take a Chance by Abbi Glines // Buy the book (Waterstones)
 
One More Chance by Abbi Glines // Buy the book (Waterstones)
 
Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry // Buy the book (Waterstones)
 
 
 
This is my first ever Graphic Novel and I bought it all because of my friend Beth aka thebookishbunny. She's fabulous, so definitely check out her blog.
 
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson // Buy the Graphic Novel (Waterstones)
 
 
 
 
So what books have you bought/received recently?
Let me know in the comments.


Review: Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines


Title: Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1)
Author: Abbi Glines
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: August 25th 2015
Page Number: 320
Rating: 4.5/5

Summary:

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…
  

 
REVIEW
 
Some people may think I am biased because lately I've been reading Abbi Glines's books like they're chocolate, but that is nowhere near the case. I've only been reading her steamy New Adult books, so I was slightly nervous that her YA books wasn't going to be as good. But I was so wrong.
 
Until Friday Night is easily one of the most realistic YA Contemporary books I've ever read. The characters were incredibly relatable, yet still going through their own terrors in life. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one will completely relate to West and the pain he is going through. He's got no one to rely on because his mother is going through the exact same thing, his friends don't know and I know from past experiences that keeping secrets becomes impossible until you have to tell someone before you crack.
 
I've never experienced anything like Maggie has and I've certainly not stopped speaking (I can talk for Wales, apparently. I think it's a Welsh thing; we're all chatter box's.) however, that didn't refrain me from connecting to her. She has her fears, but I saw so much of my former self in Maggie. She's quiet, loyal, compassionate and selfless. She cares about everyone else rather than herself, because at least she hasn't got to confront what she's going through.
 
West and Maggie's relationship did confuse me a little. Their chemistry was...off the scales. Like in any Abbi Glines book, but Abbi really did something that I've not seen in any YA or NA book; she called out the guy being possessive. And I'm so happy that Maggie's character did that because I think it's something that needs to be done. You're meant to love her, not own her. She's not a trophy you can keep on the mantelpiece of your living room, she's a human being with feelings.
 
This is definitely one of my favourite Abbi Glines book and I'm super excited to see what's going to happen in Book 2 (It follows Maggie's cousin, Brady.) I love these small town romances too much. I may need to go to rehab.

 
A finished copy was provided by the publishers for a honest review


 

Things I Want to See in LGBT Fiction



I found out about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign about 2 years ago and I absolutely love what they're promoting and achieving. However, I've lately been seeing a lot of LGBT books that feature the same things and as a gay guy, I think it's time that we had more diversity.

What I'd love to see LGBT Fiction:

. Couple's being in love rather than falling in love -  Every book is about someone coming out and finding love along the way, but I want to see someone actually being in love. I want to see the changes of a relationship when they've grown together as a couple, and really know each other. I want an honest story, not some bullshit fairy tale about a sixteen year old who has met "The One".

. Sex - Yes. It's not just me that wants sex in LGBT Fiction. A lot of authors and publishers tend to leave that place alone but it is so needed, because gay people do have sex. I could go into it a lot more but George Lester's video tells you everything that I think about the topic. His video is one of my favourites on the topic!

 
. LGBT Retellings - Michelle over at flutteringbutterflies mentioned that she'd love to see retellings with an LGBT twist. I honestly hadn't thought of that, but when she mentioned it I actually thought it was a brilliant idea. I think the world is ready for a new kind of retelling.
 
. Dealing with a younger audience - Some may say that having books based on LGBT for younger children is preaching, but it's educating them. This year alone I have seen a few middle grade and children's books based around Transgendered children and I think it's fantastic. At lot of people see children as not really knowing what's going on, but I think they do. When I was 4 years old, I didn't know what being gay was, but I knew I was different and nothing like the other boys in my class.
 
. Exploring LGBT - It's great getting LGBT books but I also have to admit that I'm a little annoyed that they stop at LGBT (and there's not that many of them out there!). LGBT is just the base, but there are so many more definitions in between. I'd really love to see books exploring asexuality, androgyny, bi-gendered, genderfuck. And so many more - LGBT Variants.
 
 
Now I'm not the only one who wants to see some changes with LGBT fiction. Here are two posts I completely recommend you guys read.
 
 
 
 
 
 
What would you guys like to see more of in LGBT Fiction?
Let me know in the comments.
 

Review: Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry

Title: Nowhere but Here
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Mature Young Adult
Publisher: Mira Ink
Published: June 4th 2015
Page Number: 496
Rating: 4/5

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.  

REVIEW
 
I'm a really big fan of Katie McGarry's so when I heard about her new series that was being described as West Side Story meets Sons of Anarchy, I knew I had to read it. And what I got after I finished was a book filled with sizzling chemistry, comedy and drama.
 
The story started with immediate intrigue and it only got more and more interesting. Emily is a character that I related to in so many ways: she has quite a high standard of opinions but isn't afraid to see the other side either. She's also perfectly happy (or so she thinks) with her life, her home, her friends, everything. Her reactions to her fathers motorcycle club (and the very specific, yet hilarious scene in the beginning) just had me laughing along. In fact I had no idea if I should be laughing or screaming with her.
 
When Emily meets Oz it isn't lust at first sight, neither is it love at first sight. It's more like a hated attraction at first sight, from both parties. Emily thinks Oz is very attractive and thinks the whole biker image suits him, whereas Oz thinks Emily is completely gorgeous but completely out of place. Everything was set out perfectly for them because despite their differences there was a shit ton of sexual tension. And it was magical, perfect!
 
The book, despite being 480 pages didn't feel like it was that size because I absolutely flew through the book. I honestly thought I had read a book that was 300 pages long because there was so much drama that I continued to flip those pages like I was a drug addict and the book was the best drugs on the market.
 
However. No book is perfect because there were times where I wished we'd see a little more interaction with her biological father. The relationship was...different between them since they only saw each other once every year, but I would've liked something more with them, even if it was only hints of their shopping trip together. But overall, I really enjoyed this book. It not only made me like motorcycle gangs, but I now want to ride a motorcycle and feel the wind in my hair and it falls into my face.
 
If any of you guys are having major Sons of Anarchy withdrawals then you need to bloody pick this book up and live it all. And if you've not watched Sons of Anarchy, well, still pick up the book!
 
 
 
 

Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Title: Extraordinary Means
Author: Robyn Schneider
Genre: YA Contemporary / Illness
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: June 4th 2015
Page Number: 336
Rating: 3.5/5

Summary:

When he's sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.
But when he meets Sadie and her friends - a group of eccentric troublemakers - he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn't have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.



REVIEW
 
This book started off so good. I was completely hooked by the idea of a boarding school for the ill as it was something that has not been done before, so I was interested in how Robyn was going to make it seem like real life. Most authors would have stuck with the general boarding school clich├ęs, but Robyn shied away from them and made me feel like I was also on "Vacation" at Latham House.
 
Lane and Sadie were great characters. At first Lane was this tense character who cared only for getting better and leaving so he could go back to high school and graduate onto college. But then we saw this change in him after he became friends with Sadie. And it only added to my likeability of his character. He opened up and took what life had to through at him with a pinch of salt.
 
Sadie was a great character from the beginning. Her and her group of friend really had a positive outlook on life, and I loved that because there is always someone out there in the world in a worse off situation than yourself. The things they got up too were just your typical teenager things: annoying the teacher, going off school ground, being weird all together.
 
Things started to slowly sink after page 250. The plot of the story moved slowly and Sadie started to act impulsively. I didn't know why, but she was beginning to act like a 12 year old. I understood the situation she was in, but I felt like the change was too quick. Same with the relationship between Lane and Sadie. At first, it was nice and content. The next it was fiery and passionate (they hadn't even said I love you).
 
Honestly, I knew exactly what was going to happen, same as everyone else. There is no surprise in the novel, because it's like every other book with an illness. And that disappointed me. Why did the book have to have a main character die? It took me back to The Fault in Our Stars, which I also felt the same about. I'd love to see a book about a character beating their illness and going on to live their life.
 
Overall, this book was just average. It's cute, fun and then gets too depressing for you to really care.  
 
 
 


Review: Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines

Title: Fallen Too Far
Author: Abbi Glines
Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: July 4th 2013
Page Number: 247
Rating: 4/5

Summary:

When Blaire Wynn's mother passed away, Blaire's life changed in an instant. Having cared for her sick mother for the last three years, suddenly Blaire has to leave the small farmhouse in Alabama they shared, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. But what she isn't prepared for is the lifestyle change that comes with the move, and she knows she'll never fit into the new world of luxury and extravagance that suddenly surrounds her.
Even worse, her father has run off to Paris for the summer with his wife, leaving her stranded with Rush, her new stepbrother, who's irritating, arrogant and… seriously sexy. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous; his famous father's guilt money, his mother's desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no. Blaire knows he is anything but good for her, but somehow she can't fight the attraction she's feeling, especially when she starts to think the attraction might be mutual… Rush is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that Blaire just may have fallen too far.  

REVIEW

I'm going to be honest and tell it to you straight. I'm not a fan of step-brother (or any other sibling) romance. I find it a little uncomfortable, however, I absolutely adored this book. Abbi Glines created some amazing characters that I fell in love with.

From the beginning, Blaire is a character you find yourself rooting for. She's young, independent and had an incredibly hard life. She lost her twin sister when she was 14, and then her father walked out on her a few weeks later, leaving her to look after her sick mother. There wasn't any character growth from Blaire because she had already grown up too quickly, but what we did see was Blaire learning to have fun and just be a normal nineteen year old.

If I'm still being honest, Rush was a generic male character in New Adult. He was rich, spoiled and a complete and utter dick. But I think that's part of the "Rush Finlay Charm". He's a difficult character to get to know because he doesn't know what he's meant to do in the situation he is in, but I think he was mature enough about it all and made the right decision.

Abbi Glines' writing is so easy to follow. Her writing is no masterpiece, but it's simple and fun, kinda reminds me of Jennifer L Armentrout's writing. The only thing I would say needed to be improved would be the editing of the book. There were so many editing errors that needs to be fixed. The editors had one job and they couldn't do that properly.