Letterbox Love #3

Sorry for the delayed posting! This week has been very hectic; I am in the process of switching jobs so have been busy, I assure you, but have a film review and 2 book reviews to be written! Anyway, onto the agenda:

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

Two new (to me and the library!) books to take home from the library today. ‘The Scorch Trials‘ is part 2 of James Dashner’s recent trilogy. My review of ‘The Maze Runner‘ is coming soon, but needless to say it was good enough to pick up the sequel!

The Killables‘ by Gemma Malley is a book I feel like I have been waiting for for ages! I devoured her Declaration trilogy, which is also dystopian based. This book was released earlier this year in hardback, and I have been yearning to get my hands on it, but I think the library was waiting for the paperback version. I’d given up hope so this was a delightful surprise this week!

Also note the air balloon earrings! I know I am easily pleased, but I thought these were amazing!

What did you receive this week? Have you read either book and do you think it should be at the top or the bottom of my to read pile?

Book Review: Alchemy of Forever

After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world’s riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human’s life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she’s done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again. Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she’s inhabiting–and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she’s his again, and every moment she stays, she’s putting herself and the people she’s grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?”

The Alchemy of Forever‘ by Avery Williams is quite a short novel. I’ve been putting it off for ages because I thought it wouldn’t provide the character depth in such a short space of time. However, I was wrong.

The book is told from Sera’s perspective as she escapes from the clan and tries to integrate herself into normal teenage life; someone else’s life. Although parts of the novel are fantasy, there are many parallels with real life. Such as her living a claustrophobic life thanks to her boyfriend, Cyrus.  He picks her next body to transfer into based on looks, controls her money and friends, and pretty much her entire life.

It’s hard to review this book without giving too much away! There are a couple of surprises and twists in the novel which kept my attention, and a brilliant ending! I didn’t realise the books was intended to be part of a series, so the cliffhanger ending really shocked me. It is easy to be captured by Sera’s emotions, and I can’t wait for the next book! ‘The Impossibility of Tomorrow’ is due Summer 2013, and is already on my want list!

Film Review: Ruby Sparks

Having not seen ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, I didn’t really know what to expect. The trailers for ‘Ruby Sparks‘ looked quite funny and quirky. The story follows Calvin, a writer who uses a typewriter to write about his dream girl, Ruby. One morning, she appears. He discovers that anything he writes about her comes true, thus every man’s dream.

I have to start by admitting that I did miss the first ten minutes of the film, so I have no idea why Clavin started writing. However, I came in just as Calvin’s brother finds a bra in his apartment. The film is funny, and has some really laugh out loud moments. I also felt tears in my eyes at one point, so it does really take you on an emotional rollercoaster.

I think the film explores a really interesting concept, and I love that as well as the happy parts, it also shows Calvin being controlling of Ruby, as I think this is what it would be like in real life.

However, being released so close to another geeky/quirky film (‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’) I have to draw comparisons. I didn’t love the character of Calvin as much as I did Charlie, and I think Calvin was far too serious for my liking. Although Ruby was supposedly his dream girl, he never really does anything romantic for her, and the film constantly shows her in the kitchen, which is very stereotypical. However, the scene where she won’t let go of his hand is extremely funny, and I don’t think I had many laugh out loud moments in ‘Wallflower’.

Overall I did really enjoy ‘Ruby Sparks’, but I don’t think it had the impact on me that ‘Perks of a Wallflower’ did. Perhaps it was because I didn’t expect much of Wallflower, whereas I had high expectations of Ruby.

Let me know if you agree/disagree!

Letterbox Love #2

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

The Casual Vacancy

Eleanor & Park

Only one library book to take home this week, which is most unusual! ‘The Casual Vacancy‘ by J.K. Rowling is her first adult novel. I’ve got to be honest, I was unsure about it and put off ordering it, but everyone was talking about it so I jumped on the bandwagon! Stay tuned for my review to see how it turns out.

I also received my first review book this week, from the lovely people at St Michael’s Press via Netgalley. ‘Eleanor and Park‘ by Rainbow Rowell (what an amazing name) is a book I have been eager to read ever since I picked up her first novel earlier this year. ‘Attachments‘ featured an IT man who eavesdropped on his colleague’s emails back when the Internet was a new revolution. The quirky layout of the book really made me fall in love with the characters, and I am intrigued to see what this book will bring.

Book Review: Street Duty, Case One: Knock Down by Chris Ould

Street Duty, Case One: Knock Down

Fourteen-year-old Ashleigh Jarvis is so scared and running so fast that she doesn’t see the truck that knocks her down. Holly Blades is sixteen and a new type of policewoman – a T.P.O. or Trainee Police Officer – a new team of teenagers, recruited early and fast-tracked into the police force. After only two weeks on the job, Holly is first on the scene of the road traffic accident. But when her routine assignment of accompanying Ashleigh to hospital reveals a shocking secret about the young girl, Holly becomes convinced that there is more to the incident than she first thought. Unable to persuade her superiors that they should dig deeper however, Holly is forced to embark on a course of action which may reveal the truth, but which could also end her career in the police before it has really started…Gritty, gripping and completely compelling, “Street Duty” brings the very real world of the police force into the teen arena (taken from Amazon).


Street Duty, Case One: Knock Down‘ by Chris Ould is a great introduction to crime writing for YA. Although I dislike the stereotypical gang culture of the teenagers in this book, I still found it a good read. There are quite a lot of characters in the book, but I thought it was easy to keep track of them. I was intrigued by Ashleigh’s secret, and this made me keep reading. It was also quite refreshing to have a female heroine; and a police officer no less.

The ending was good, a nice twist to solve the crime! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA crime fiction, and the gritty side of teenage life. I will be looking out for the next book in the series, ‘Street Duty, Case Two’ which is shown in the back of the book as being released in 2013. It seems some of the characters will be returning, so it would be nice to learn more about them. This is the first Chris Ould book I have read, and my copy was ordered in for me from the library.

Film Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I very nearly missed out on seeing ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘ in the cinema, but I am so glad I didn’t! Everyone I read/talk to is raving about this film, but I wasn’t sure. There never seems to be much luck with book-to-film adaptations, so I didn’t really hold my hopes up. But the trailer looked good, although my cinema only showed the film for just over a week! I luckily managed to sneak in on the last showing, and I loved it.

Logan Lerman who plays Charlie is the perfect choice, and I thought he played his role really well. He is the main character, who is just starting high school. His best friend committed suicide, and he has no friends. That is, until he stumbles upon brother-sister duo Patrick and Sam (Emma Watson).

I thought it would be difficult to see Emma Watson as anyone other than Hermione, but I think the short hair really suited her. Although I didn’t really believe her story as much as Charlie’s, I still really enjoyed the film. There are some beautiful moments, such as the part also featured in the trailer where Sam stands on the back of the truck as they go through the tunnel.

I did nearly cry at one stage, when I just felt for Charlie so much! He is adorable. I have to say I haven’t read the book (by Stephen Chbosky) but I will be putting in an order at the library, just to compare. I think the film was good at tackling the quirky awkwardness of teenage life, and the emotions of friendship.

But the big question is, which is better; book or film?

Book Review: The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

‘The Rise of Nine‘ is the third in the Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore, and was released at the end of August. I received my copy from the library, ordered by yours truly. I loved the first book ‘I am Number Four‘; the connection between John and Henri and John’s struggle with his newly found legacies and the chaos that came with them. The film based on the first book was about average in my opinion; there are too many superhuman action films nowadays, and I just didn’t think it was anything special. The second book ‘The Power of Six’ continued my love of the series, and surprised me by writing from two perspectives.

‘The rise of nine’ continues to live up to the reputation of its predecessors. It is written from three perspectives, which I found a bit confusing at first, but disappears as you settle into the action of the book. I liked that we meet more new characters in the book, whilst still fleshing out the ones we know and love. I think this one took a bit longer to get into; it felt a bit separated in the beginning, and I was unsure where it was going. Rest assured that by 1/3 of the way I was hooked, and the book ends on a fantastic note. But once again, an annoying cliffhanger, leaving us waiting for the next one!

Although this book is shelved in our sci-fi section, I would say the human connections out rule the fantasy side, and it is easy to pick up the characters. Saying that, this isn’t a book you could read out of sequence, so if you haven’t already, go read the first one!

Film Review: Taken 2

Warning: possible spoiler alert.

Okay, so firstly the whole concept of Taken 2 is a bit worrying. In the first film, Liam Neeson’s daughter, played by Maggie Grace (from Lost), is kidnapped in Paris to be sold for prostitution. Liam Neeson’s character Bryan is a retired CIA agent. When he receives a phone call from Kim (Maggie Grace), he rushed to her aid, tracking her down and killing her abductors.

When I heard there was to be a Taken 2, I was dubious. Surely the girl had learnt her lesson by now? The film begins with Bryan taking his daughter and ex-wife with him to Istanbul. Here, the father of one of the kidnappers from the first film tracks him down. He manages to capture Bryan and his ex-wife, but luckily Kim manages to evade capture.

It is at this point in the film where it went downhill for me. Kim is in her hotel room, and Bryan calls her from a tiny phone/pager he just happens to have in his shoe. Thus he is able to advise her how to hide from the abductors. He then tells her to go to his room, unlock a suitcase full of weapons (which he managed to get to Istanbul how?), where there also ‘happens’ to be a local map. She then uses shoelaces (?!) to locate him on the map by drawing circles depending on how many miles he has calculated to have travelled. She then tales a grenade and throws it onto a car park across from the hotel, so that he can hear the explosion on the phone and decipher how far away he is. There are so many questions derived from this; how did he get the weapons over the US and Istanbul borders, why no one ever raises an alarm to a grenade and how she is able to locate him from a map and shoelaces. The grenade madness continues, when she travels to his supposed location, and keeps setting off grenades until he can notice the destruction.

Eventually they are reunited, but Bryan has to leave his unconscious ex-wife to ensure he gets Kim to safety. When he goes back for her, she is just leaving in a car. He then escorts Kim to the American Embassy, and goes looking for Kim’s mother. Somehow he manages to track her by recognising one of the men outside a building, even though he did not get the numberplate, and they were in the middle of the city.

I know the films were probably creating for the action/violence, but I just felt the plot and so many holes, too many lucky chances for it to be believable. Hopefully they have learned their lesson and will not make a Taken 3!



Letterbox Love

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers

can exhibit the books they received this week.

ImageThis week I have received 2 library books; ‘Between the Lines‘ by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer which I have had on order for a while. This is the first book from the mother and daughter duo, and is a teen book. I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult’s other books, so am I eager to see what this one is like. I had a sneaky peak, and the book has illustrations and different colour fonts, so it will be interesting to see how this one goes! 

 Also ‘Body Blow’ by Peter Cocks as I have recently read the first one ‘Long Reach’ and although I felt it was a bit predictable, it was a book I couldn’t put down. They had the second one sitting on the shelf so I couldn’t resist! 

Also, anyone who knows me will know that I adore quirky earrings! My ones range from animals to food, the Eiffel Tower to skeletons. I picked up the wellies in Claire’s this week, as I thought it would be appropriate for those rainy days.

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog! Please click on the ‘About me’ to find out more. This is my first ever blog, so please excuse me while I try and find my way about! I am currently reading ‘the Rise of Nine’ by Pittacus Lore, and that will probably be my first book review. In the mean time, I will be exploring other blogs!