Monday, October 31, 2016

October Wrap Up

Wow, October went fast! It's getting to be very busy. But, I somehow still got a decent amount of reading done. I always tend to read the most when I'm busiest (somehow).
I read
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • Champion by Marie Lu
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer
  • P.S I Like You by Kasie West
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour
So, yes. I did a lot of reading. I read so many things that I've been anticipating, the only read I hadn't been looking forward to was The Choice but I still ended up enjoying it. I had a really good reading month.

This month was one of my busiest so far with exams, my first exams in the last week. I had a fair bit of last minute studying to do. I had four exams in English, Science, Maths and History. At this point in time, they don't count much towards our final mark but are more prep for college next year. I was genuinely surprised at how well I'd managed to do remember things. I thought I'd get in there and forget everything. The one thing I did learn from that experience was that exams are nowhere near as bad as their made out to be. On the first morning everyone was stressed out but after we got past that initial nervousness of not knowing what was coming, it was fine. Or at least, I was fine. It is what it is and there was nothing I could do at that point. So, basically I feel really empowered by exams right now.

Bring on November, my favourite month. Mostly because my birthday is on the second and my birthday is my second favourite day of the year. The first being Christmas. I love, love, love my birthday so I can't wait for that. November will also be my last full month in high school and I can not wait to finish the year off. We're so close now, eeeeek.

I hope you've had a happy, happy, happy October and an even better November.

Lets Discuss
What did you read in October? What did you do in October? How was it? What are your plans for November?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

5 Stars

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

19063Wow. Why did no one ever tell me how amazing The Book Thief is? Honestly, I'm kind of mad I didn't read this sooner. It was incredible and so different from anything I've ever read.

I think it is so amazingly cool that death is the narrator, it's like nothing I've read. It adds so much more depth to something otherwise simple. It's something I never would have thought of but now I'm like that's incredible. It makes so much sense too, given the war setting. Death is busy yet he's still been touched by this girls incredible story. It's fantastic.

I feel so attached to each of the characters. I feel as though I know all of them and I have a soft spot for them. I think it is so powerful when a writer can do that, Marjus Zusak did it. He made these charaters and these stories on this paper come to life for me and others too, I'm sure. The story becomes so much more engaging that way.

Liesel is an angel, I love her so much. She is just wonderful, she understands things. Liesel is a clever girl and she loves hard. I just think she deserves everything in the world and certainly not what she did get. Liesel had a huge bloody heart and I think that really is what makes the book a 5 stars for me. I can't explain Liesel, she is just such an amazing character. There will never be a perfect adjective for Liesel and all that she is. I love Rudy and oh my god, Liesel and Rudy are so gorgeous together. I love the whole air around Rudy, the cockiness and the cheekiness. Love it. He's my kind of character, I just have so much love for him. He and Liesel are so precious.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who hasn't read it, no doubt about it. It was indescribable and I need everyone to experience it's excellance. It absolutely wowed me and has now won number 1 spot in my favourties so far this year. It'll be hard to beat.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What makes a good book?

I think every one will have a different opinion about what makes a good book because we're all individuals with opinions and preferences of their own. So, you might ask, what makes a good book for you, Brooklyn?

Well, firstly, I think the show all sign of a good book is when you feel something. Anything at all, happiness, fear, anger, sadness. When a book has involved me well enough for me to feel something, that's when I know that it's a good book. I also believe you have to be a talented author to manipulate words into real emotions. When I read, I want to feel because otherwise I question the point of reading at all. Why do it if you won't feel anything? I like to think that's why we do almost everything in life, to feel.

Secondly, when I find myself thinking about this book for days after I've read it. I tend to consider it a good book, an excellent book at that. I want a book to really affect me and to shape me, almost. So, when it makes me think about it days after putting it down, I think that's a sign of a really strong book. I know of books that I can stop thinking about the moment I close it but it doesn't meant they're in my bad books (haha, pun) but they just don't possess this particular quality.

But all in all, I appreciate a good plot and some really awesome characters. I really love characters, honestly, I could give or take a good plot line as long as there are some amazing characters. For me, characters are what makes a book. Anyway, I'm not picky as long as a book as the bare essentials, I can make up my own mind on the rest.

Lets discuss
What do you look for in a good book? What's the best book you've read recently?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Books that made me ugly cry

1. The Fault in our Stars by John Green. It makes me so goddamn emotional and sad. I can't handle death well in books (or in real life, I mean) if someone dies in a book, huge chance I'll cry.


2.The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I didn't particularly love this book but holy hell, it makes me so sad. I can't even begin to imagine how upsetting it would be to be in that situation. It almost makes me sadder than death.


3. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. As I said, I can't handle book deaths and god, this one was sad.


4. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. The ending took my breath away and I can still hardly believe it. Rudy, my poor little angel.


Lets Discuss

Which books made you ugly cry? What was it about them?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

4 stars

“You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

Wow. Wow. Wow. I want to start by saying, it's getting harder and harder for me to find a book that I can't stop thinking about and that I can read without distraction these days but this was one of them. When I was at school, I was thinking about getting home and reading it. When I was to sleep I was thinking about it. I actually literally dreamt about reading it last night, it was such a surreal dream. I wasn't seeing anything, just words going through my head and the weird thing was it actually sounded like the book, like Jojo Moyes writing.

I fell in love with the book pretty immediately, which was strange for me. It usually takes me a while to get my head around a new book and I usually have to grow to love it. This, I loved. I loved Lou, I loved her family, I loved Will when we met him (even if he was an arse) and I loved the writing. The chapters were longer then 10 pages which usually annoys me since I typically get distracted but this some how allowed me to fully submerge myself in the book. I just want to exaggerate that, Me Before You was a really great reading experience for me.

The plot was kind of predictable but still enjoyable. It was still very different and talked about something different. It could almost be compared to My Sisters Keeper but still they're fairly different. I've never read a book about a quadriplegic and I learnt a lot about the condition. I think it's always admirable when you can learn things like that in a book.

Will I be reading After You? Honestly, I don't think so. At least not right now. I want to imagine the life Lou is leading and really let myself imagine things the way I want them to be for a while. It isn't that I don't love Jojo Moyes writing or these characters or anything. I just feel as though I need time to let the book settle and I guess, grieve. I know, I sound so ignorant when I say things like this but I almost don't want to see Lou getting on with her life. I want to imagine it my way.

It makes me feel the same way The Fault in our Stars did for sadness factor. I remember I woke up the night I got it and couldn't get back to sleep because I needed to finish it. I felt something very similar with this. Only, I dreamt about this one rather than waking up needing to finish it. Although, I like the actual quality of this one so much more. I think I like it more, actually, I do like it more.

I feel like I always give sad books high ratings simply because they made me feel sad but this one feels like a genuine rating, I genuinely think it deserves 4 stars. I really loved it. I was nervous about it because sometimes it can be nerve racking to read a book everyone else already loves because what if you don't feel the same way and you've got such high expectations. I was not let down at all. And, I can't wait to see the movie because Sam Claflin, Emilia Clarke and Matthew Lewis are probably my favourite people ever.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hardcovers or paperbacks

This is a debate I've been thinking about a lot lately. Because, my preference has changed just a little. For as long as I can remember I've been a paperback girl but I'd take a hardcover where I could get one. Now, I guess I've been influenced a bit by bookstagram and twitter and everything but I've come to like hardcovers a lot more as of recently. I still won't say no to a paperback but now I'm striving for hardcovers. So, let's discuss pros and cons.

- Cheaper
- Easier to travel with
- Allows for satisfying spine cracking
- Takes up less space

- Easily damaged
- Allows for spine cracking
- Harder to read without damaging

- Sturdy
- Harder to damage
- Bare spines are nice to look at
- Dust covers are pretty

- Take up more space
- Harder to travel with
- More expensive

I can pretty much conclude it's basically up to personal preferences. They both have cons but they both have pros. Depends what's more important to you.

Lets Discuss
Which do you prefer? Why? Did I miss anything on my lists?

Monday, October 17, 2016

A letter to Hazel Grace

Dear Hazel,

How are you feeling? I hope you're doing okay, I mean, as okay as you can be expected to feel. Honestly, you've been so unlucky. Someone really screwed up when they were handing out doses of luck.

I don't want to ask you many things today, Hazel but I do want to tell you things. Firstly, I'll say that you've taught me a lot of things about life. Just life in general and death, too. I think you're wise beyond your years and I think if you were here right now you'd say to me something along the lines of 'well that's good since I won't have many more'. I've always appreciated your bluntness too, in my opinion too many people are way too delicate about death. It's devastating but there's nothing to be done to prevent it, plus if we could live forever overpopulation would be an even bigger issue than it already is.

You have suffered a loss that no one deserves to suffer. You and Augustus were never going to grow old together, that you know but it does not mean either of you deserve the loss. You deserve a normal life just like anyone else, Hazel and it makes me so upset that you'll probably never get that. There is so much in the world that you deserve to experience but you probably won't and I think that is so devastatingly cruel.

Hazel, if I could tell you all the things that you don't deserve, I could be here for a long time. Therefore, I won't but I will tell you that your story has a special place in my heart. As I experience my life, I will think of the people like you and Augustus who won't get to experience the same things I do or in the same ways I do. I'll think of the privileged and healthy life, I am so blessed to be living and that I promise to try not to take it for granted. I know you would die to live my life. I am so dearly sorry about the way things work our sometimes, Hazel.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I really thoroughly enjoyed this. I have quite a lot of feelings about it so this could turn out to be quite lengthy. I'm caught between pleasantly surprised and unsurprised that I enjoyed it. It's received quite a lot of praise especially from my goodreads friends but at the same time I always get nervous when a book gets that much praise because what if I don't like it so I'm glad I did.

4 stars

"Be glad of your human heart Feyre. Pity those who don't feel anything at all."

16096824I bought the second book today so I look forward to jumping onto that soon enough but with this I almost don't feel like I need to go straight onto the next one. Some books I do and some I don't. I don't think I'll struggle to pick it back up though so I probably will read a couple of other things before that. The ending felt final and didn't really leave any major cliff hangers so that's probably while I don't feel that compelled to read the next one straight away. I remember when I read The Hunger Games I picked up Catching Fire immediately because I need to know what was going to happen.

Feyre kind of annoys me but are they really a main character if they aren't annoying? There are quite a few main characters that annoy me but it usually doesn't effect my reading much. It didn't here, I still really enjoyed it. Feyre just came off as whiny and stubborn but a lot of them are. It adds to the story though so I can get it. It would be boring if Feyre wasn't as stubborn as she was. Anyway, I don't know if I'm team Tamlin or Rhysand. I'm trying to keep myself open to both of them because I love them both. I feel like the next book will give me a more solid team because I assume we get to know Rhysand better. The character development of Tamlin seemed a little unnatural and I was hoping he'd stay narky and stuff rather then turning to complete mush just because it happens in so many books but it didn't do anything to effect my enjoyment of the book.

I really like the faerie theme, I remember reading the Shadowhunter books and thinking 'god, I would love to see more of these things' so it was kind of a godsend when I found this. I liked comparing the faeries in shadowhunters and the faeries here. So that was super coolio.

I think the world building was slightly lacking, I had to really try to work out the world and the way things ran. I still don't really understand it like why are there so many high lords? Why do they have masks? I might just have skimmed past bits that explained those things because I tend to do that a lot without realising. Maybe they'll be in the next book, I'll just have to wait and see. I just would have liked to see more of it so I could grasp everything a little more.

Anyway, I thought I'd have a lot to say but I really don't have anything that hasn't already been said. It was a very good book, very sexy. I can't wait to see what the next book holds because surely things can't be that good, surely theres something lurking ready to screw everything up again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Quality or Quantity?

The age old debate is back. Which is more important? Should I be pumping out blog posts by the minute or should I take my time to ensure they are quality posts? The quality and quantity question applies to almost anything in life books, writing, music, cooking. You name it.

Which is more important, though? Would you rather your favourite author give you several books or give you one mind blowing book? I don't even know which I'd prefer. I think as people we always think of quantity because we're taught more is better, which it is in most cases but it doesn't always replace quality. I'd rather one good piece of chocolate than two crappy pieces but that's simple. There's tougher things like the author thing.

In my experience as a student, a blog writer and a musician. I'm stil trying to find my balance between quality and quantity. Some days I have no idea which I should be aiming for in any of these things. If I'm practicing my trumpet and I'm not having a great day musically, like it just isn't working for me, should I be still trying to practice for as long as I can? Is it still worth it when I'm not at my best? Should I keep going for that quantity even when I don't have the quality I need? If I'm revising for exams and nothing is sticking in my head or I can't focus or whatever it may be, is getting those study hours up still worth it? Those are just a few examples and things I've been thinking about for the past few weeks.

Theres countless more things it applies to and it applies to everything in a different way. I think ultimately, I would choose quality of quantity but sometimes it's tough to really think about what's more important. More books or better books? More authors or better authors?

Lets discuss

What are your thoughts? How does quality over quantity apply to your own life? Would you rather your favourite author give you several books or give you one mind blowing book?

Monday, October 10, 2016

A letter to Park *SPOILER ALERT*

Dear Park,

How are you? I sincerely hope you're okay. I hope you don't still feel numb because I think that's the worst way to feel. If you can't at least feel something, how do you know you're alive?
Park, I've always appreciated you and your attitude towards love. I loved that you thought you and Eleanor would last. That's the kind of attitude we all need. I think you're a romantic Park, and so am I. I so wish things had worked out better for you, god, you deserved it.

I know you'd agree with me Park, that love is probably the best (and worst) thing a human can experience. I think you're lucky to have experienced a love so real that it devastated people who heard your story. I think you'd agree with me. We're similar in that respect.

I can't begin to use words to describe how sorry I am that you were in a situation where Eleanor's safety and being with her couldn't exist at the same time. I think that is such a tough decision to make, it's almost like when my family had to make the decision to put down our dog. We were to end her suffering but to begin our own yet, it would have been selfish to keep her in that position. Like you and Eleanor.

I hope you're family are doing great, I've always been fond of your mum. I also hope your friend Cal and Kim are still going strong. Anyone who tried so desperately at least deserves to maintain the relationship. I hope that schools going as well as school can go, you don't need that on top of everything else.

Most of all, I hope you can think of Eleanor with happiness and gratefulness of your time together rather than sadness. If not now, then soon. I think that's what everyone deserves and it will come with time. Your story makes me feel a great deal of things, Park. It makes me think and for that, I thank you.


Saturday, October 08, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Throne

290581555 stars

100% 5 stars. Oh my god. Oh my god. I can't believe it's over, I literally just put it down and I'm kind of crying. That was amazing. That was so amazing. I love it so much and I don't want it to be finished.

I have no idea where to begin. This means so much to me. I grew up with Harry Potter, wether I liked it or not. My mum was a huge fan and she showed me a couple of the movies and I loved them so when I was about 7 she started reading it to me every night and I kind of hated it but when I was about 9 my teacher read them to us and the whole class was obsessed with it. I remember one day, it was just after the Half Blood Prince movie came out a kid came in and told everyone that Dumbledore died and no one ever wanted to be his friend again. I read the books for myself when I was about 11 and since then I reread them about once a year because I can't help but go back to them.

I adored the friendship between Albus and Scorpius, it was so sweet to see. I love Scorpius so bloody much. I love all the characters a lot. I must say it was hard for me to picture everyone so grown up, it was weird and now I just want to go read about them being little babies again. I loved Draco in the other books but I loved him so much in this book even though he wasn't present in a lot of it. There is something about seeing people as dads that gets me somewhere deep in the feels. It was so sweet to see him concerned for his son and to see how much love he held for his son. I love it. There was also a lot of Romione love and that was just so good on my soul. Romione is like air for me, I can not get enough of it. J.K. could release a book just about the Romione household and I would eat it up (I'd eat up anything she writes though) I would read that for the rest of my life.

This was my first time reading a script and I was scared it would put me off but it didn't. At first it was weird and took a minute or two to get it all in my head but after that it flowed easily for me, just like a normal book. I did not think it would flow as easily as it did at all. I was actually really nervous when I found out it was only being released as a script, I'd stayed away from them for so long but this has absolutely changed my mind. I am so thrilled.

I won't say anything about the plot line other than I loved it. It was so cool and it's spiked a lot of thought for me . I wasn't expecting it at all, I don't really know what I was expecting but it wasn't that.

I have so many feelings and I'm actually surprised I managed to keep my review as calm as I have. Although, I can bet you some time tonight it'll really hit. Harry Potter hits me in a way no other book series does. I feel so sad that it's over again. It's like when Christmas Days over or you birthday and you get that sadness in the pit of your stomach because you'd been waiting so long and it was over in a flash. I hate that feeling so much because now I just want to go back to before I'd read it and just enjoy it a bit more but now it's over again. I can not say enough how much I love it. I know so many of you can probably relate to it because so many of you have grown up with it too but the story only dies if we let it and the stories hold so much magic and nostalgia. I'll be reading them to my children and my grandchildren one day.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Open or Closed Endings?

This is a topic I've seen floating about a bit but I think I have some different views than some other people I've seen writing about this topic. I do love a good debate so let's dive straight in.

I don't mind open endings, I know a lot of people with very strong opinions on open endings but I quite like them in certain books. I don't mind a stand alone having an open ending, when you aren't completely attached to the characters. It's interesting to conduct your own theories about what happens and to hear the theories of others. It's just a bit different and can be really cool when done well.

Although, that being said, for a series I would prefer a closed ending. When you finish a series of books and you've become really emotionally invested and really attached to the characters, you want to know what exactly happens to them. I'm not reading up to six or seven books to not find out exactly what happens to the characters that I now love like my own family. That's just bordering on cruel.

But, if I were writing which I tend to like to do, I have a couple of preferences. If I were writing a short story, especially on a time limit, for example, at school then I tend to use an open ending a lot. Though, if I were going to write a bit of a longer story then I would like to give my characters a full ending.

I also think it has a lot to do with genre, a dark, mystery book would be a great one for an open ending. Although, if you were writing something like a romance then I, as a reader, would probably want to know what happens. Romance probably isn't a great example because I can think of quite a few ways it could go where an open ending would probably work well. My point is, it depends on what the book is about to as whether I would prefer an open ending.

The main thing is, I don't mind a nice open ending. When they're done well they can be great. They can provoke some interesting conversation topics and make for awesome blog posts to be honest. I like them as long as it's not at the end of a series, I'm absolutely fine with them.

Lets Discuss
What are your feelings on open endings? Which do you prefer?

Monday, October 03, 2016

September Wrap Up

October already! Wow, the year is travelling ridiculously fast and I'd like it to slow just a tad bit. I'm going to be so busy the next couple of months, with exams in late Oct and learning to drive and finishing high school. So much going on, and not nearly enough time for reading and blogging as I'd probably like. I've thought about going on a hiatus until exams were over but honestly, I need something to keep me sane through out it.

Speaking of reading, I read a hell of a lot in September. I used it as a month of rereads with the exceptions of a couple towards the end of the month but anyway. I got a lot of rereading done, especially thanks to holidays. So, here's what I read:
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  • Lets Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  • All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
  • The Duff by Kody Keplinger
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
  • The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Prodigy by Marie Lu
So, yes, I read a lot in September. Shadow and Bone and Prodigy were first time reads so I stuck to all rereads fairly well. I think I'll do it again in the future because I love rereading but I never get enough of it done so I think it would be nice to have September or any month just for rereads. It's also great to get reviews done for books that I read pre blogging. I've written reviews for all these but unfortunately, it'll be a long wait to see them since I've got so many reviews to be posted. You might not start seeing reviews for this month until possibly December and going all the way into March.

My favourite read of the month and I'm only counting the rereads because Shadow and Bone and Prodigy are honestly tied, was probably I'll Give You The Sun but I loved rereading them all so much. I had just completely forgotten how good I'll Give You The Sun was, it kind of blew me away. I don't think I'd be able to pick a least favourite, that's the great thing about rereading, you already know you love them.

I've ordered quite a few books from Book Depository to arrive next week so I should get a lot of fun reads in for October. I'm beginning a lot of new series' so that should be good. I've actually just started reading Throne of Glass (I know, so late) but I'm really excited to hop onto that bang wagon. I'm so excited, I've got so many really hyped books on their way.

I am beyond excited for October, we are really heading into the more exciting stages of the year for me. I'm really looking forward to it and hoping the rest of the year will last just a bit longer. I hope you all have had a great September and have an even better October!

Tell me, what did you read in September? Or what did you get up to?  

Saturday, October 01, 2016

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks2 Stars

“You can't live your life for other people. You've got to do what's right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.”

Having read this back in April 2015, this is an odd time to actually review the book. It's been over a year, you might say and you'd be right but it popped up in my feed and I saw I gave it 4 stars, I sighed and said 'oh honey'. Now I give this 2 stars because now, being a more experienced reader. I don't like it nearly as much. I also had and still have a habit of rating a book highly because I cried. I did cry, I actually sobbed because I thought it was so damn sad. It just really got me in that way, I remember waking up the night I finished it and actually crying because I remembered how sad it was.

It was a quick read, I read it in one sitting. I remember I got it as an Easter present because I was going through my Nicholas Sparks phase and I must admit I kind of still am but I find now, also being a more experienced Nicholas Sparks reader, it doesn't really compare to his other books. I didn't really like how fast it was. It was very quick paced. I remember things being kind of vague and it was kind of a random book. I just thought it kind of came out of nowhere and had nothing to do with anything but it was just there. I'm not sure if that makes sense or not.

I didn't really like Ally or Noah for that matter. I thought they were kind of flat and didn't have much shazam. Maybe had they been just a bit more interesting or three dimensional my opinion would be different. I just think they lacked anything special, they weren't set apart from any other characters or anything. It was kind of like when you're chewing gum and it loses it flavour but you keep chewing it because why not?

Although, I won't lie, if I were in the mood for a sad lovey dovey read then I would absolutely reread this. Would I rate it highly? Compared to his others, no. Did I enjoy it? I mean, I did, I'm kind of easy to please. There is currently a war going on about if I should give it two or three stars because I did enjoy it and liked it but this is a review and the actual quality of the plot and characters wasn't that great so I think I'll have to leave it at two stars.