December 30, 2013

Reviewing... [50] Tinder

Reviewing... [50]

Source: INDIGO (SO GENEROUS) gave me for review :PPublisher: Orion Books. Author: Sally GardnerRecommended for: YOU-WHO-WHO... (yay for jingles! Oh my... jingle-bells, oh so Christmassy, eh!) & basically, many other teens, esp if they don't mind a little bit of their heart breaking off... and shattering. So fun.
This is one of the books which isn't realistic but which you find yourself immersed in anyway as the characters may not be be realistic in all ways but they flash past- there's a wide cast- in blurs of realism and fantasy. With werewolves (cos I love them... Perfect addition if you want me to like your book. Just don't make them sparkle. It's ludicrous... Especially on something worse. If the vampires sparkled when the werewolves didn't...) which manifest for Otto.
The way, as the blurb informs the reader, it can still be heart-breaking- mainly that darned ending- is astounding... plus more than a little tragic. A modern tragedy, based on an old fairytale I really haven't read... I'm amazed how it turned out & how much I liked it. I don't know if it's better to read it after you've read the TinderBox but whatever... I understand it. I think. OK, a bit. Probably enough cos as I said, I liked it. Also, which is awesome, I had very few problems with it. 
I don't know if it's supposed to be that sad, probably the intention... Is the original one just so full of despair & unluckiness? Sorry, don't know how else to explain well Otto & Otto's... life. The story has a fair number of dire flashbacks and its clear how Otto became how he is.
I'm still not sure how you're supposed to keep in your head how all of Otto's misfortunes tie in, or to the Tinderbox. I understand to some extent & the way it brought the ending about...
I'm blown away. I'm shocked. Left still a little confused. I suppose that's the way some fairytales end, or are meant to. In a way that lingers in your mind, not completely making sense, not completely tied up... leaving more to the imagination.

I'm surprised I enjoyed the it so much actually because I didn't think that Sally Gardner's writing was really one that captured me, maybe the slightly disjointed way is specific to this book, or even just the ARC, but I didn't feel that enchanting connection to Tinder's cast, setting et al because of the writing... It was the only aspect that I somewhat opposed.
The pictures finally... Many fairy tales have pictures. I think it's awesome there are going to be so many in the real thing! Readers of the proof were able to preview a handful. They are rather bewitching & some of them rather creepy. They enhance the story, are striking & I'm sure shall be enjoyed.

Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm)rated this book:

December 28, 2013

The End of Year Book Survey ~ Part 1.

A survey, created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner Blog (here's her post!), that I heard about thanks to two lovely Twitter friends. Gee is... linked below the image (she is to thank for that lovely pic!). If I haven't mentioned her here yet, I'm sorry (I should've, since she's awesome & bookish... perhaps we're twins? LOL). You've all met Rita*, hundreds of time, but anyway, her blog post @ Weaving Pages will appear tomorrow (and she's a reindeer at the minute, of writing this, anyway)... even though she was the one that told me about it. I was considering doing it after her to link to her but really... I may as well post it today, there is time (at least Part 1)! There are 3 parts so more will follow... OK?
*Maybe if you follow her via Twitter you won't forget to check out her survey? Go for it! 

This banner has been edited by myself from the images Georgia, name appears on banner you can see, used on her End Of Year Book Survey here, with permission. Thanks Georgia for allowing me to use them & everyone else... you've checked out hers too, right? It was up before mine so you should.
1. Best book you read in 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre) 

This is gonna be so hard, no matter which way you slice it. Declare me a cheater, I don’t care.

                                   A Series Everybody Recommends To You (but you hadn’t read cos, what if you don’t like it?) was predictably either loved or hated. 
Yes, I loved the Harry Potter Series & would probably say Book 3 is my favourite just as it’s the one that stuck in my mind best & gave me a good feeling ;) Most of the series were 5* to be fair, though. Just... awesome.

                               Modern fantasy-action type book I won an ARC for is... Noble Conflict & I really thought it excelled. I’ve read lots by Blackman but this was the one I really empathized with & understood why she’s so famous & liked as an author. Yup, 5* for this! 
                     A book dealing with a sensitive topic (which I’m not going to disclose) which I really got into & also rated 5 fabulous stars... is What’s Up With Jody Barton? ... although, another 5* contemporary was a very close call, I tell ya! But this one wins the gasp-worthy awards so... ta-da! 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?  

Umm... There’s only two or three & as it said ‘Book’, a noteable one I read recently is After Tomorrow. It was just plain... It’s a dystopia that just didn’t really stick with me or mean a lot to me... sadly!

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

 You see, I saw this & favourites above & I was like... which one of Cruel Summer & WUWJB was more suprising, which one was more favourite (even though you can’t really compare them, they’re in categories). And to be honest- Cruel Summer made me cry. It’s an amazing book & I’d list it as favourites if I didn’t have to put one in surprising. They’re the shockers! If you’ve read Cruel Summer, you’ll know why. Emotional crime mystery just doesn’t do it justice. I reviewed it, thus.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013? 

I didn’t recommend that much, but I always try & recommend self-published as I know it probably makes more of a difference to them (unless the book blogger then asks for a review copy which makes me facepalm a bit but if the author wants to give them...) so it’s probably Reaper’s Rhythm or Fire (but I didn’t like the sequel as much!) But if I really love other books (like above) I totally recommend them too... but you already guessed that, right? 


5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

I continued more series than discovered. Even Harry Potter, I really didn’t discover this year & I read all 7 this year! Other ones I started but only read a book or two of, but all of that out of the consideration- there’s still several to pick from- it’s Sharon Sant’s Sky Song Trilogy. It’s totally a series you should buy.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

{After just using Sharon... haha, she knows I love her} definitely Jaimie Admans. I devoured several of her books so she deserves it. But can I point out how awesome it was meeting Chelsea Flood? I mean... seriously. C.J. Flood’s Infinite Sky is awesome & I hate to put her as a second, it’s close really! Just release more books, lovely XD

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

It sounds odd but not many are out of my comfort zone in YAs. I don’t like too dark but I think everything I read wasn’t too dark, even if some were darker than I first anticipated (like Trust Me, by Malorie Blackman) but the ones that were out of my comfort zones were adult? Umm... Bridget Jones? This is a hard question!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

I didn’t read any in one day :’( I’m just gonna say Black Heart Fa9b5c though. It was awesome.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Seeking Crystal. Only as it was at the start, I may re-read the other ones & I shall re-read them because... Hopefully the fourth book is coming soon... by that I mean 2014 12;)  

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

This one stands out... I saw loads of lovely covers, maybe ones that belonged to different editions of books I read but The Lost Girl cover is lovely, even if it seems quite simple...

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Zeb. Even though she isn't the main character when I was flicking through my Goodreads Challenge to see the books that I'd read & trying to remember characters & decide which ones was memorable she actually just popped straight into my head as soon as I saw Secrets, Lies & Locker 62 so... easy winner! She's awesome, just you see.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Like I can remember that & that is mainly up to opinion... So sorry to leave one question unanswered but it's not really applicable (more like, see: possible to answer).

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Probably She Is Not Invisible ... it was very thought-provoking, especially about how blind people perceive the world :P

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Harry Potter 1... cos it set it all off... 

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

“Being amongst rough lives and confusion does not make you less, it only makes your beauty shine out more clearly.”
― Sharon Sant, The Jackie Chan Fan Club

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

The shortest is as above, it was a novella I didn't count in my challenge, and  longest... longest Harry Potter book I bet ;)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? Be careful of spoilers!

A scene I had to talk with Jack @ The Book Stop & Georgia @ Books And Writers JNR on Twitter, as they'd read it, is one of the last ones in Cruel Summer.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013

Roxy & Brae from Fire & Water (Elements of Power series). I ended up choosing that ship & although it was hard, I'm 90% sure it's cuter, better & the one I support. They better actually y'know... kiss. Get together. Aww ;)

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I've read tons of books by Chris Higgins is my past & A Perfect 10... it's just really good also.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

N/A also (sorry again!)

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

UKYA ;) OK, that's cheating as I already knew more than 90% would be. It's either fantasy or contemporary because I read a lot of both. Some books even were like modern fantasy contemporaries things... Just elements of both or whatever! I love both genres & read a lot of them... :D

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

I can't even have him, of all my new ones & he's the one I can't have as he doesn't have emotions like us... Bloomin' Matthew! Why did Clare have to make him attractive, cute & just so completely epic if we can't have him, not even Kim? *gasps* There better be some loophole. But yeah, Matthew's from Reaper's Rhythm. Wow, I really like him, eh?

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Why even ask this? How many people had to answer this & more to the point, who found they could answer truthfully & accurately? Probably Red Rock though. Curious Fox have introduced me to lots of debut authors & guess who's my favourite? Probably Kate Kelly's Red Rock! She's an awesome new gem in the world of publishing & wrote a Cli-Fi, which I'd never read before so...

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Infinite Sky, definitely. Funny thing: at first I found this question hard & then I was like... Wow, how did I almost forget? One cannot consider other ones when Infinite Sky is just... mindblowingly epic, especially in the imagery of Summer & those cornfields... It makes me want to go back & swim through to find that perfectness.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

I'd probably have to say North Pole Reform School... it's just one of those books which is mainly funny so it's great & fun to read, especially as it has been balanced with sad stuff too; it's not all just a joke even though the world in the North Pole (haha, almost an utter pun there!) is mainly fun to read!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

I've mentioned that dreaded-but-awesome-OK-I-just-love-it book. No, I really hate Cruel Summer for being so sad & making me cry. James Dawson: King of ripping out hearts. I told him that at the time too. Being mean to your characters is NOT cool. How can you do that? Oh my gosh, it does make for a great book though!

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I think it's fair to say The Truth about Celia Frost by Paula Rawthorne because, to some extent, I think I'd seen it before & not realized the potential it could have. It blew me away though & that book... it's just 50 shades of awesome. It turned out good & you should not overlook it. It's totally a thriller & it will probably send you reeling too...

December 26, 2013


Christmas time, mistletoe & wine healthy elf-loved peppermint tea (oops... doesn't fit in the song's timing :'( )

Reviewing... [49]

Source: Thanks Jaimie for this... It was a review copy, but this hasn't affected, as always, my review in any way.Author: Jaimie Admans
Recommended for: Christmas lovers & Christmas haters. You will get a laugh from this Christmassy comedy (romance?). People who don't believe (and you've got to admit, that includes you & I... even after I've read this) will still find this endearing. This is a young adult but probably best for the upper end (like Afterlife Academy) due to the content. 

My Thoughts:

Endearing? Woah. That's not the only adjective I could use to describe (cos that's there's function, but whatever) this tale of Mistletoe & some other Christmas-ruiners who find themselves at the: NORTH POLE REFORM SCHOOL.
Jaimie has crafted an amazing place, a novel where so many dramatic things happen. Jaimie is essentially very like a Welsh Miranda Hart... Not that Miranda Hart writes fiction or should write anything like this. As, although this is obviously a comedy, at the heart it's a lot less plain that that. It's mostly funny but also soft, sad, romantic, cute but always... amazing. Honestly. Like yeah...

I'm not just saying that because, as Jaimie perfectly illustrates, Christmas can be all those things. If you want to know my true opinion on Christmas (but I shouldn't think that affected my opinion on this book much at all), for starters, on the Christmas books: I haven't actually read that many Christmas books.
I mean most totally devalue Christmas for me or end up not seeming Christmassy... Just because a book is set in Winter does not make it a Christmas book. It's ideal for Winter which is the season Christmas is in if you live in the UK but still: mislabelling. This book is appropriately labeled, even though it's not about the real Christmas... You know, the Christian one which I believe in as I'm a Christian :P
 If you have read a book you thought was closer to the commercial Christmas to the Nativity Christmas (which is my Christmas), I'd like to point out: I don't mind either Christmassses being here, obviously. And this novel is absolutely great, even sticking with the North Pole type of Christmas. It also means NPRS didn't turn that kind of preachy even though I'd say, given the chance, most of the elves would preach better than a really informed prophet. I can't believe they're not against the commercialism of Christmas & although I totally understand their point of view as well, I'm glad we had people against it. I suppose they don't mean to commercial, it's just their lifestyle (candy canes, santa, reindeer) kind of is an example of commercial Christmas. Surreal is more the word for the world our characters inhabit, for a month or... well, we'll let you see the time frame, shall we? But yes, it's bizarre, it's somehow vivid as well & there's a lil' tinge of cute-as-pie girl & boy. Luke isn't exactly your boy-next-door & he's the best guy of the three YA's I've read of Jaimie's, in my opinion.
I think Luke & Mistletoe are the best examples of anti-Christmas individuals (yet I still loved them, because they don't hate everything & are still positive, not miserable, even though they were kidnapped by a purple moose it seems...). Emily is really odd & her Grinch-like approach is totally funny. I think she'll appeal to lots of you, and gain a spot in your heart for her little fear... which I believe she shares with some of my bloggy friends. Ducks, eh? Hugo, well, we find out he hates Christmas because of his parents... His response is totally whacky, And Joe is just a... well, the book explains that quite well & I'm not one for putting in expletives (at least not in a review :P) Plus, his jokes? Joe's the standard loser. NO, Joe, you've not become a comedian overnight. Not even with all the Christmas magic at the North Pole!
I don't think anyone could say being reformed turned Joe into a decent human being... Just sayin'. Funnily enough, Mistletoe & Luke (aww! Such cute people... umm, together :D) more than reform & they go from being understandable, likeable & hatin' on this situation in the North Pole to being... Aww. Just so perfect & loveable. Seriously, I want to know these people. Mistletoe has just been unfortunately named & Luke... eared (not a word? OK, apparently it actually is!). She'd be better with a name like 'Hope'. Cos that's what I see Mistletoe as... She's just such a nice human being who probably isn't big on Christmas cos (an annoying thing is totally this) people think it's one of the only times you have to be nice to people. Be nice to people, rain or shine. Holiday or ordinary workday (I hope I'm not getting preachy like Tinsel, one of the head elves, now...)

Should've either begun or ended the review with this but it works here, doesn't it? Riiight? 
OK, still that review failure even now I've done 1, of about a million, but whatever. JUST DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT... >.>

Yup, I think Luke and Mistletoe learn their lesson... I mean we see it for a little & wonder why it's dragging on (well, they must think it is!) It's all fun but the serious part of you is thinking, sure it's all jokey at the moment & I'm enjoying seeing the dynamics of the Reform Group but... when do they get their 'Get Out Of Reform School Free' monopoly card? (No, my serious part of my brain probably is more serious than that!) 
And then it was like Chapter 22... All I will tell you is I thought that'd be it. The End. Done & dusted. But, that would've been rushed! My brain was full of unflattering thoughts to elves who dragged poor, admittedly Christmas-ruiners (but sometimes accidentally so!) to North Pole & gave them such a rubbish ending to the programme. Plus, Joe going first? Fissshhhy. But you know, thanks Jaimie, for sorting that out. I now have more flattering feelings towards this book which is just so fun to devour.
You'll see that this book is awesome. Even though the end was better than I'd saw at first judging of seeing that chapter... (which is 84% through. But you can pack a punch in less than 20% of a book, trust us) I wish it hadn't ended. It's a book that I could read a few pages of, that I could read & have epilogues upon epilogues to... (umm, no, be careful what you wish for before you say it) sequel? I mean, we've, almost all of us, read the Harry Potter series & you know that's thousands of pages overall... But that literally summarizes it. It's a fabulous book & you just want to read more about the characters as they are really good at latching on to your heart strings. I can't stop them tugging them!... So maybe, be my besties, guys? I promise I won't "Merry Christmas" you before you show me it's OK (as in, I'll return the favour when you say it first cos you'll be in the mood).
Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm)rated this book:

 Go read it. I know it's Boxing Day but... go read it. NOW. READ IT. NOW. GO.... GO. GO. 
And did I say?, I hope you had a fab Christmas. Wishing you the best for the new year...

December 23, 2013

Just let me vent... I'm a bad reviewer.

OK, I think this post is necessary, cos am I really on hiatus? It is a holiday. I got back into blogging during November, just a bit, as I promised to but now... I'm back, worse than I was in October. I've read more books & still not reviewed enough.
I'm not in bliss... close to stess... but ignorant all the same.
I'm what other bloggers have recently been calling a 'blogging fail'* or a 'messy blogger'. I'm slightly different though as I'd say my main problem is: I could easily post for you*, guys. There's lots of things I want to post but I won't until I'm ready to be back for good, and that means reviews. If it comes to it, and this doesn't go soon, I'll post meme's or something but I want to see if I can re-read the books I should've reviewed in either October, November or the recent ones from this month. I can't believe the type of reviewer I've become. Have I forgotten to review? Surely not. I used to love it. I think it's the fact I'm more passionate about other things - lots of them still bookish - which affects it. There's so many things I'm giving time to which I probably could give to reviewing. I still read. But then I go on Pottermore, I tweet even more & get tons more bookish discussions than I need (less for blogging :/), I read other blogs (but I haven't commented, except on Asti's Bookish Games, I know. But my blog's empty & commentless most of the time... you don't want to come & return the favour on something months old, if you do intend to return it, that is.) & I just... I don't know. School's not much busier (surprise, I know). Family, or friends, are not more demanding.
Hence, I know the problem lies with me. And my issue I can't define.

I'm now more messy than ever (in answer to BookRockBetty @ this post!), on this website. I shouldn't be now I'm essentially a year old. Yep, it's my blogoversary this month but I don't deserve to have a song & dance made of it cos how much time have I actually spent here? Over a year, a lot. But last bit of this year? Yeah, you get my drift.
I think I'm irritated cos I did use to be neat here too. I commented on blogs, I scheduled posts, I kept to TBRs mostly, I knew what I had to post & roughly when & although sometimes I decided to do things differently it was for the better, didn't last long & my plan still worked.
Yeah, blog planning. Did that. Woopity do. I'm mood-reading & deciding my mood also means reviewing seems about as appealing as walking into a dung heap & leaping around... I don't even do meme's, even the ones I like as they were a bit random. I just can't. Not reviewing means I can't call myself a book blogger. Book bloggers review. They get requests for books & then read them. The review goes up around publication. It's a process. Book bloggers do post other things but reviews... shouldn't they be first priority? This is just what I've always thought & been able to do for months before falling flat on my face.

But first I do this. So brave, I know. Fight or flight?
(Harry Potter is sooo old, look at the quality of the GIFs... Yikes, I'm sorry, but I like the GIF).
Do I plan with ARCs, or even any books I have to read, now? A little. Only thanks to Goodreads though. Which may I point out I'm checking less as reviews are everywhere & I don't want to be reminded which ones I have to review. I'm not helping myself. It's gone beyond procrastination cos when I do that I know I'll come back & be able to do that thing I'm delaying.
That's me. F-grade. Or E-. All the same :P
Now, I think I'm having to learn from scratch. I will re-read books I had for review & read but didn't review. I will make myself do that as it's fair... right? It will make me do it & I can't think of a better way. I tried the easy approach. That was trying to ease myself in... But I just read more & did not spend more time, or enough time even, reviewing! I could even use the term Asti @ A Bookish Heart did here, and say I'm a fail. Cos if I got a grade in book blogging based on these last few months I'd see a drop down to an F, or at best an E!

Do you think I'm now someone who is lazy or can you think of a way I can get out of this? Perhaps I can turn back to the person I liked better a year ago (a much more organized & a nicer person than this Amy, take it from me)... What's the impression you're getting from me? Please help if you can. If you can, you're a hero. I love you.

Amy Bookworm... does love you. Whether you can help or not. *fingers crossed I'm gonna get through this horribleness*

{PS: I know Asti & Betty got a lot of comments on their posts & perhaps help, I'm honestly not expecting that but anything is appreciated. Feel free to check out their posts, I love them & they made me want to be honest with you guys, like them, and post this. All my respect to both of those wonderful bloggers, who I think are great for the record & definitely are still doing better than me XD}.
A tree my cat could not:
a) eat decorations of (I know he doesn't eat books).
b) actually hide under. He wouldn't fit.
((PPS: If I haven't said it already to you, via Twitter I assume but whatever, MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU LOVELY BOOKISH PEOPLE :D))

*besides the old review which I just posted again... That was this special review with Harry Potter (the first book)! Please check it out if you like... it does need feedback, lol :P

December 11, 2013

Reviewing... [48] Harry Potter & the Philosophers Stone (with Harry!)

~This is an old review from my Kid's Korner post @ Once Upon A Series. It was written when I was a HPVirgin. Technically, it is still a review although... hmm. It's very different, shall I say? You'll see! It was really interesting to do & hopefully interesting to read...~
With no further ado, I give you:

Reviewing... [48]

Source: Purchased (by both parties... haha, lol! You'll see that as well).Reviewed by: Amy Bookworm (primarily), with summary from Chrissie (see above).Author: *headdesk* J.K. Rowling. (You must know this! I met someone who lived under a risk... they knew that).Publisher: Uhh... you mean one of them? Bloomsbury Publishing!

Recommended for: *raises eyebrows* Everybody? It's a children's fantasy but let me tell you... I hope you, any children you may have & even teens really enjoy reading this- if you know any kids thinking of reading, get them to read this & they may be convinced to read, before watching, the Harry Potter series! It's OK to do th
is of course but I'd love to hear that you've got people to read this, or just you've read it & enjoyed it!

My Review-me-bob-thing:

Amy: So, I haven’t read Harry Potter. How?
You must have heard so much, did you say?
Well I knew who Harry Potter was. You’re a wizard, Harry.
Living with the Dursleys, I knew. Arrived in the night.
Hagrid, Albus Dumbledore and Minnie Mcgonagall. Professors.
Giants- triple the man Voldermort is.
Or shall I call him He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named?
You-Know-Who. Slytherin.
I knew about that, and have heard of Snape.
There’s snakes and languages wizards sometimes use to communicate-
Speaking to snakes isn’t that normal though.
Should a Gryffindor have that power?
Not a Huffle Puff or a Ravenclaw,
Harry is one of a trio: him, Hermione and Ron.
They go through Hogwarts, year after year.
Death eaters nor Quidditch destroy their friendship.
But- the question is- is there more to Harry Potter?
I believe it must be about more than just those things.
More than just those and a tale of Azkaban to follow, or why is it so popular?
Everlasting hype, is that what made millions recommend it to me,
Or should I say- push it at me, guilt-tripping me...
I hadn’t read it. But then I did.
Director: CUT! This wasn’t supposed to be a poetry competition. You can’t tell us random things which you knew before reading, what else did you find out during reading? You’ve got to tell us your thoughts. This is a review. You’re writing a poem. So, we’ll need to get someone to help you.
Amy: What? So I’ll do a joint review? You can get someone to do that... Well, I better let the other person speak. Already have spouted over 200 hundred words and I’ve not yet said what I think.
Director: Exactly. Now we’re going to get somewhere. I’m going to get Chrissie to introduce this, is that OK?
Amy: I just said it was OK if they speak. Go on, then *looks at fellow reviewer* Anapneo!
Director: Who said Chrissie had blocked airways?
Amy: She wasn't speaking!
Director: They probably don’t want to speak to someone who has a babbling curse. If we undo it then maybe we can get on with this review in a... well, an efficient manner?

Amy: Pardon? Evanesco Director! *smiles at nicer companion than Director and then blanches* Wait, you’re not Chrissie! I need Chrissie to review this with but, umm... hello! *looks at boy and stands up so she can walk round him, she looks him up and down* No, you’re not really... Not really...
Harry: Um, sorry? I really am Harry Potter, if that’s who you mean. Who’s Chrissie and what do you mean, review?
Amy: You lived with muggles! How do you not know about book reviews? They give books, like your books, fame and then even now- people are still reviewing them, or sharing their opinions about the series with the world. Chrissie and I both review here... You’re in Once Upon A Series’ set and we were just about to discuss “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”.
Harry: How strange. I don’t know I arrived here. I’m tempted to wipe your memory but in the second book we find out that’s a bad idea- even with the right wand!
Amy: Ah, wands. Can I see your wand, please? I remember you walking into Diagon Alley with Hagrid, finding the shop with wands and really, even you were blown away! Mr. Ollivander sure likes his wands... Remembers every sale, from Hagrid’s wand to He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, You-Know-Who!
Harry: Surely your set is safe enough to say Voldermort? Surely?
Amy: Shut up. I liked you better in the book. I just plain really liked all three of you especially. You make a fantastic trio, you know?
Harry: Well, thank you kindly.
Amy: I trust you don’t get bigheaded like Hermoine... Or Percy, he’s a lot worse. I don’t know how Ron copes with Hermoine and his brother both jabbering on like they came from the same nest. Talking about nests, I really think Hagrid should stop nurturing baby monsters. I have a feeling the Dragon wasn’t his first monster which got him, and you, in trouble! But, well, we’ll find out. Of course, there is so much to explore in the series and; I’m far from done with your world, Harry... What do you think about the fact that all the time people of many ages are finding the Harry Potter series...?
Harry: If you don’t mind me pointing it out, isn’t this supposed to be about your opinions?
Amy: Well, yes... I think it’s magical. Your turn!
Harry: That’s cheating, and you’ll think I’m bigheaded if I say...
Amy: Well, I’ll say it for you, your adventures are amazing. One thing that did annoy me was how your adventure happened in the middle of the exams, at the end of the year and whatnot. It’s not especially good to have a slow build up of the world, and characters, for more than half a book- why did it need to take half a book- and then zip zam... All the action is gone in a blink and you’re back in safe realms of Hogwarts being awarded house points!
Harry: Zip Zam isn’t a spell, it’s just weird, you know?
Amy: Don’t you know when to keep quiet? How many times? Shut up.
Harry: Maybe you’re pretending to be Hermione. Your hair isn't curly enough, you have the piles of books nailed but so far you haven’t actually corrected me, just told me to be quiet.
Amy: Ha, I’m not Hermoine. Book bloggers are a bit like her though, we definitely like books. Has she really never told you to be quiet?
Harry: *raises eyebrows* You are a muggle, you know.
Amy: I’m actually 2/7 wizard. I have 5 more books to go.
Harry: Go read. I refuse to talk to you anymore...
Amy: Tell Hermoine I love her and not to over-revise for exams, she has the talent and puts my procrastinating soul to shame...
Harry: *mumbles* She puts anyone to shame *disappears in a puff of smoke*
Amy: I really need to learn that spell...
Chrissie: What spell?
Amy: You’re here, finally. You’re late and you missed Harry...
Chrissie: You’re imagining things, Amy. So, you don’t need me? Not even for the Summary?
Amy: You could do the Summary, as you didn't so much as do the introduction *tuts but hands over parchment*

Summary (from Chrissie) - A great start to what is supposed to be an amazing series. And I'm sure that things will continue to get even better as the series continues now that the scene has been so beautifully set in this first novel. I can't wait to see what else is in store for Harry and his friends.
(Amy: I literally couldn't wait... Umm, oops? I reviewed it finally though, with a little help from Chrissie, I hope you enjoy the books, or you may have already, & this fun review!)

November 28, 2013

Reviewing... [47] Reaper's Rhythm

Reviewing... [47]

Source: Recieved for review...
Author: Clare Davidson
Recommended for: ...better to say who it's not recommended for. It tells you more. Like, not young children or... yup, that's all I've got.

This book is essentially about Kim, and her family, dealing with elder sister Charley's death... Kim isn't there to grieve like her family, or get irritated because suicide is selfish (he knows who I'm talking to here :P) she is literally on her own little murder mystery. When a girl wants to find out what happened to her sister, and is sure it wasn't suicide, you wouldn't expect it to unravel to Reaper's Rhythm. Actually, a saga: The Hidden Series. You can expect to relate to Kim, no matter what age you are; it's not about age. I think her Mum's reaction is, and even Chris' is. But I think some of the reactions of grief are not likely to happen just to teenage girls (this means Kim's, Amy's & other peers of Kim and her deceased sister, Charley). Obviously, they are ones I can imagine (and totally would not want to experience...) best but you will relate to other characters too, besides Kim. You may not ever react like that yourself, or hopefully be in a situation as stressful & upsetting, but you will.
(to be precise, this).
Kim just has what lots of people have: Faith in family and… curiosity. Why shouldn't she investigate? Sure, it's going to be sad & it can even beg the question regarding revenge.
 I expected it to be about justice but this series is going to be so much more. It's sensational- there is a mix of themes & I'm not sure which ones I need to cover. You do need to know that they all fit, there's space for all of them, as they develop & mature, forming lovely diverse, dynamic characters & reactions suitable for them. At least in my opinion, I recognize all this "crafting" & would happily read more about this family, and even the other characters (OK! Especially Matthew) as Davidson has really made them jump out from the age. If I was basing on the ending, you wouldn't expect sequels!
In series, it's hard to get the right ending. For the first book(s), where cliffhangers are common place & also to the last book where you have to try & wrap up the book, all the last books & tie all the strings together. Quite a lot of authors leave loose ends in a few of their books! But I loved the ending of Reaper's Rhythm a lot; I liked the whole thing but it was the ending that settled it for me. It was just: WOW. If I was just basing on the ending, 5 stars. But, I've got to be honest. I wouldn't tire of that ending, had I read it a dozen times. I could read it over & over. It's tempting to just leave it at that, if I rated books when I'd just finished them I'd honestly be basing it mainly on the ending (the part that can make or break you).
However, even though there was a lot of tension & lots of drama- highs and lows- there were even some fabulous paranormal aspects I hadn't seen coming at all... *spoiler* (you know I mentioned that Matthew guy- if not, look up & then get the blurb up, well...) The paranormal aspect is kind of, in short, angels. In long, Kim is confused too & I have proof: In the list of insane things, flying with an invisible not-angel is probably quite low down (loc 2134 of RR). I said it was a spoiler FYI *spoiler* Reaper's Rhythm it isn't quite worth 5 stars. There were only tiny bits when I wasn't 100% satisfied, or I didn't enjoy it as much. Overall, it's mainly the beginning. It was a little bit of a slow burner & I wasn't that interested in Matthew or Kevin or a certain horrible character *cough* Tee *cough* A... Bitch (quite a common word in this book, but if you don't mind it half a dozen times over 200+ pages then that's OK!)

I ended up liking them (well no, I didn't like Tia... she did seem mean-spirited from page 1, or whichever page she was introduced!) I guess. So, why should you read this?

Cos, overall it was...
(according to Amy Bookworm, and that's still pretty amazing, trust me).

You will especially like it if (goes with recommended for):
* Books which end up having quite a fast pace but take a while to go there don't bother you, or you like them (some like that build up, I know).
* You like serious issues being touched upon (ones that mean this book really is a teen read & a bit gritty at that :D)
* You are good at turning pages fast.
* You need more book boyfriends. Be warned: you can't actually have him as a book boyfriend... You'll find out, if you read it (not that you actually date them).
* You devour series like they're going to go out of fashion (slim chance of that, dude).

November 26, 2013

3 Things: Opinions on Recent Awesomeness.

As you no doubt now (for one, you're here & probably share some interests with me... lots of our interests are epic if so!), awesomeness is all  around us. But... what's November bought for me?

Amazon Coins
Lucky kindle owners get 400 coins... that's £4. But just to spend on apps. OK, I use apps, so it's not totally useless but I actually don't use that many paid apps, anything really that uses cash... If I have money on me my first priority is food (esp chocolate or popcorn... something equally nice) and then also books. Not apps! Not even the... pretty awesome app I actually did buy November 6th & have made amazing progress on... Got District 11 & all! Oh, haven't you guessed? The Hunger Games Adventures. Didn't spend a penny on that. There are apps I've been tempted but it ends up being expensive. When they allow you to spend amazon coins on ebooks you can let me know about the 400 coin credit I have, eh? So yeah, that's my cent's worth.

...The actually Hunger Games movies around much, as well?
Well, now you mention it I did watch Catching Fire!
Along with about a million other people I watched it the week of release. Yes, it was at the weekend not Thursday. I couldn't, cos of school... basically though it doesn't matter! I watched it & I loved it. Yes, I did cry. District 11 was shown & you know with everything that happened (you better have read the book, if not... spoilers are here for YOU) it was just... Rue. Bird song. '12 sign. DO I NEED TO SAY MORE? Cos if I do you are heartless. I'm joking... but I really did cry so I'm glad Rita has sympathy. So does Gee. And Sophie. Lots of other people, probably strangers, also teared up. Ash was just sitting there next to me crying too so... GOT IT?
Overall, it wasn't just sad. I cried more than laughed but I did both (what? Haymitch is a funny bunny! And seeing people spill their popcorns at a bit where there were apes... 'nuff said). It was so close to the books, there wasn't anything as different as there had been in the first (I believe). But I had, at points, been sure something different would happen. It's a truly amazing movie which keeps to the book but for a moment makes you think that it might not... That there's a difference, more action & certain people may die or this will happen... You won't be disappointed though. Unless you expected there to be no blood or gore... My Dad thought for a 12A it was graphic but I just found that funny... It was supposed to be realistic. It was supposed to be wonderful. WOW. JUST WOW. AND EEEK. WOWEEEK (to be precise).
I could say more but I've tweeted more... I've jabbered on & on... all in the name of "fangirl". Yup, no regrets.
BTW I saw an awesome article on Suzanne Collins, do you want to see it? If you can excuse the fact it refers to the District's as towns (understatement my dear... America is bigger than 13 towns :L) then it's a pretty good article. I hope you find it worth a read. The Independent Article in question (no, there wasn't a question. All statements.)

Doctor Who
This amazing thing that came to my screens on a Saturday night, as it has so many times over the years... But this one is special (especially for a life-long, or rather since it came back long, fan): 50th anniversary, you know. YOU CAN'T NOT. Or did you stay under a rock for about a year?
So, what did I think...? Oh, what to say first! I thought it was confusing, although it brought back several Doctor's & even mentioned 13th (who Matt hasn't turned into yet)... I'm glad I watched the minisode though, otherwise it would've been more mind-boggling! So, if you haven't watched minisode & don't want to hear possible spoilers about this episode, avoid this bit of the post & the internet in general.... I apologize!
The way they managed it, in an explosive mix of well... actual explosions, cleverness, Clara's wisdom & random bits from past episodes. We hadn't picked up on the significance of half those things, I bet! Like the sonic screwdriver... Did you see that coming? Did you see how it linked with 12th, Matt, saying he'd had 400 years to think about it... So, was it the Doctor's 50th we were celebrating? We're reminded it's more than 50, it's more than 500... The Doctor's done bad things & we still know of him as 'The Doctor', not anything else. Trenzalore or Gallifrey... Where will they be in the 50th? I didn't get the idea of... well, them being locked & hidden away. So what will there world be like? Like the painting at the end? Or like we saw, images of hope & happiness? Either way, perhaps we won't encounter Daleks anymore...
Finally, my Mum was like, "THAT'S MY DOCTOR!" when the curator came on.
I was seriously confused but I was happy... We know it's significant for them & there are Doctor's who forget, Doctor's who regret. there's the hero, the warrior, the doctor. All in one. It's actually gonna be 13-1 soon! Can't wait for Xmas now! That episode is going to be just so... wonderful. Can they make it a tad more easy to understand though please? And can we see all the regeneration? And... oh wait, I'll just shut up & wait. OK? :P

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour {english spelling, yano) or... if not, may the Doctor always come for you! May your mind implode with this awesomeness...
If not, do you want more like this? I could mention SHIELD? And other recent things I haven't seen/thought about mentioning yet? Any ideas? Anything you want to hear my opinion on? YOU LET ME KNOW, PEEPS! I've really enjoyed writing this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it...
Thanks (:

Amy Bookworm ~ come again soon! xx

November 22, 2013

Reviewing... [46] Flip

Reviewing... [46]

Source: Purchased :P
Author: Martyn Bedford
Recommended for: Physic evacuees (so that's like, all of us, right?) or people who aren't quite as unique... Either goes.

I've never read books or watched films about body switches. Yeah, they exist, but this was actually totally new to me & I really enjoyed 'Flip'. Alex and Philip, the body switchers (I suppose), never met but they had a connection, no- it's not hobbies, it's not a girl, or any personality traits. Chalk & cheese may as well just swap bodies... 
Obviously, Alex doesn't like being in a different body, he doesn't like showering in that body, he doesn't like dealing with another guy's life & mainly family. So, he panics. How can he contact his family and friends? Gosh, if only they knew he was Alex inside there. Alex becomes a look actor, he's like a lie generator and he is totally different to how he used to be... 
At some points, I was really wondering how it would unfold, at some points I was sure we'd hear from Philip's consciousness or something & others I was like, "It's just not going to happen. This book isn't going to end well" & ya-da-ya-da. It truly confused me & I can tell you, waking up in somebody else's body is totally not a picnic. I do not want to do that, not that it's possible...

I know Alex may have felt confused and all but at some points I thought we discovered things too randomly. For example, "Alex" gets dropped from the Rugby Team but we only find this out ages after he must've been kicked. He tries to reinvent himself & isn't that thoughtful to what a mess he is making of a life, a family & much more. *spoiler* Seriously, if you thought another guy was going to have to return to his life when/if you switch back, why would you actually leave him a catastrophe? *spoiler ended*
Luckily, although this book has a fair amount of suspense, it's not all suspense- it wouldn't allow you to think deeper about the book and the characters if it was non-stop action. There was action but you do get thinking space & for this novel, I appreciate that. The moral side of things means this is much more than just a "paranormal" novel. 
Overall, I enjoyed Flip. It was fun, engaging & confusing (if you were judging by the book's- UK- cover you'd probably guess that. The way you can SO easily hold it upside down if you aren't 100% concentrating is just so irritating. I did it about a million times; in English several of my classmates picked it up & were getting confused also! I was like, "not just me then...") 

Cover aside (even if Flip is similar to the cover we still won't rate it based on the cover, that's too judgey!):

Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm) rated this book: 

Do you think you'll read it? Have you read/watched anything with body switches (and do they sound similar? I hope not! If so, I'm just inexperienced :L)

November 19, 2013

Autumn Book Tag (cos... NOVEMBER!)

Am I eventually going to do a vlog? You probably think I am but no. I love the BookTube world for the ones who are brave enough (and clearly less ugly than me, lol) to vlog!
I know tags are like the YouTube feature-thing (too infrequent to be a meme, some meme's are both vlogger & blogger) but tough... I'm doing one as a normal post.
The Autumn Book Tag has popped up on YouTube, it was created by the super awesome Dani On Books I believe? Anyway, it looks awesome to discuss some things to do with Autumn and BOOKS.

What is your favorite thing about autumn?
Hmm. I like most seasons but Autumn's kinda like easing us into Winter, there's still plants & lots of leaves to stomp round in noisily. It's basically like a gentle Winter where there is nice weather too. I like that. Kinda odd thing to say so how about I add tights, warm PJs & cuddly dressing gown, woolly dresses and leggings and probably... hoodies. I'm a total chav, there ;)

What book reminds you of school?
The ones at school? Probably Harry Potter books. If you discuss books at school, that or classics are likely to come up. Classics are so school but Harry Potter actually does remind me of school. All the Hogwarts & everything, it's literally just what I thought of first.

What is one of your favorite autumn-related book covers?
One of? So I have to consider all of the autumn-related ones I like? Basically, though, the only autumn-related covers I can think of all just remind me of Autumn cos they have trees on. Like, the wolves of Mercy Falls books, some hardback editions of Cate Tiernan's books, even Unearthly, Dead Beautiful, Sweetly, Falling and then the rest it's just the colour scheme? Such as of Firespell, The Truth About Celia Frost, Iron Witch (OK, that's kinda an exception and my edition of Perks Of Being A Wallflower (red cover & orange spine).
I'm going to go with, just cos it also strikes me AS an Autumn book & my cover of it is just the best... This is one of my most treasured books so I'm biased.

What is your favorite horror or Halloween story?
I can't think of many. I only really know Uncle Montague's Tales Of Terrors. There's some others ones than I recall that might be part of that but whose titles I don't recall. I really remember one about a cat lady who turned children who strayed near her into cats & that's why she had so many cats... Then people started to realize her cats all had human eyes & basically, she's a witch.
(Only more than a fortnight after Halloween, LOL!)

What are some of your favorite horror films?
I can't think of any, sorry! I've seen some horrible films but normally they leave me... I know The Wickerman (I think it's called?) still really traumatizes me. I watched it once but unfortunately I remember it like I've watched it a million times. It's a disgusting film so far from favourite. But I'd class it as horrifying... LOL.

What is a book release you're looking forward to this autumn?
Well, it's almost the end of Autumn... I know that I was looking forward to, earlier in November, Tinder (the review copy I've now read, so thanks Indigo) & also- I still haven't read November release- The Naturals. I think that means I've covered it :L

What is a film release you're looking forward to this autumn?
I'm also looking forward to Doctor Who (50th anniversary episode) almost exactly the same amount. There's only a day difference so I'm literally going to be SO happy...

What are three books you want to read this autumn?
I might re-read Iron Witch & pick up the sequels if I get chance. I've been meaning to finish the Harry Potter series (I've only read & watched the first four... I'll finish the series this year though. Honest). There are obviously others things (one mentioned in a previous question) that I want to read but I won't be able to finish both of those series still in November! Maybe I should mention a fab Christmassy read? North Pole Reform School I am looking forward to for the chilly, dark December XD

November 15, 2013

Reviewing... [45] She Is Not Invisible

Reviewing... [45]
Recommended for: Literally anyone who likes YA books which easily discuss a more mature topic (it still seems very YA though!)
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Source: Received for review cos of some fiercely epic publicists! 

Just a book that is so thought-provoking and mature that it becomes "loveable". I'm not using that term condescendingly & I'm sure Laureth would understand if I called her that, or sweet. There are many words that describe this young woman who is brave, visually impaired & who has one of the strong personalities we would all love to have but which only come from experience. We discover that, of course, she's victim to some prejudice. It's becoming a more common form in fiction & this stance- on how people like Laureth might try and hide their "blindness" as they know they'll be judged- is amazing & unique. Books about discrimination or intolerance of any form often are really eye-opening. Pun, noted? (Sorry! It was appropriate for this book...)
Don't be like that. You got the joke (sorry, I didn't laugh either but... still!) and you'll get this book. You don't have to have been blind to get it. Marcus Sedgwick wasn't blind. It took research but it's explained well. This latest novel (by Marcus Sedgwick, not of all the books EVER) isn't the most startling... but it's a 1-in-all-the-books-EVER. All those elements... just GAH. Perfect: many elements of a fantastic novel which most people will recommend make up this novel. I'm one of them, shouting: READ IT. UNDERSTAND IT. LOVE IT. Why should you read this? 
There's a quirk to 'She Is Not Invisible' that I can't quite put my fingers on. It may be the characters, I've already mentioned Laureth but I appreciated the cast. From Benjamin to the equally strange young person who inspired Laureth on her hunt for her father. It all started with a notebook. It seems really unbelievable but it's an important book which is part of a much more important, now published by Indigo (which you should now go and read), book about... coincidence. How the things tied in, Sedgwick is literally a genius (and I can believe he struggled, like Peak did, with writing about certain things!). This book just ends up tying up all the loose ends but somehow, it still left with me things to think about.
There's Benjamin (and Stan, I suppose). An endearing kid who is literally Laureth's "eyes". In some ways, he looks after her but also she has to look after him. It's strange being in New York for anyone but these two? How they actually manage to spend time NOT walking around like a headless chicken is interesting. They do have a sense of place though & a mission... A mission which means you don't just stand their gobsmacked. They don't have the option to just get back on the next plane to England (they could, but obviously they don't! Duh!) There's plenty to think about just in that...
So, I know, SINI is of great interest to many readers, I'm sure. 
It's thoughtful. That's the thing about this book. I won't lie, it's not the most intense book. Books don't need to be action-packed; they can still have some punches. There's an adventure which is hard and has to be done by young people. Alone. They're saving an adult and this will engage many. The family relationship is interesting, from the first chapter. Mrs Peak, what a poor mother! I tell you, if someone suggested I do that to either of my parents I'd think they were insane. But it works for them.
How, especially, can they do it when Laureth, the oldest, is blind & essentially relying on her brother who she's almost kidnapped? Technology keeps breaking & it's intense as they got lost. At some points it's almost like they're not going to achieve what they set out to do. How can they?
I'm pleased with the revelations; there was real character & story development in good measures. Perfect (pretend I haven't said that already, it's just the word I think suits it).
(OK, I kinda lied, but I don't know why)

Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm) rated this book: 
You will find out if you read it. I really think you should :D

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