Thursday 28 December 2017

Review on Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

When Dash tricks his parents into letting him stay home alone for Christmas, the last thing he expects is to find a red notebook nestled between the books in his favourite book shop. Dash discovers that someone has written a series of dares in the notebook, just waiting for someone to take them on. With nothing to distract him from the nightmare that is Christmas, Dash decides to complete the dares and leave the book for it's owner to collect. Dash soon forms friendship with the mysterious notebook owner, who turns out to be a teenage girl named Lily. However, Dash soon realises that his idea of who Lily is may not be who she is in real life. Will the relationship they have formed on paper transcend into real life, or will Dash's idea of who Lily really is be completely wrong?

So I actually got this book as a present from my friend last Christmas, but I just didn't get round to reading it. As I was looking for a festive book to read over the Christmas period, I thought this one would be perfect!

There is just something about David Levithan's writing that I adore. Usually I would hate a cheesy Christmas romance book, but when it comes to David's books, I can never get enough! This book was completely cheesy and unrealistic, but I loved every second of it! The book follows Dash,  a teenage boy who finds a notebook in his local bookshop that someone has written dares in. Dash finds out the owner of the notebook is a girl named Lily. Dash and Lily communicate exclusively through the notebook, writing dares for each other and leaving the notebook for each other to find. Dash's friends start to worry that Dash has created a version of Lily in his head, a version that the real Lily won't be able to live up to. If their relationship is to work out off the page, Dash must accept Lily for who she is, and realise the person behind the notebook is an actual person with her own flaws and problems.

The story is narrated through the point of view of both Dash and Lily, with the chapters alternating between the two of them. I loved this way of telling the story, as we are able to properly get to know both of the characters rather than just getting to know one character and just the idea of the other character. I also loved how it was set during the Christmas holidays and went up to New Year, as it made it the perfect book to read in December.

As the book was published in 2010, I can't complain too much about the unoriginality of Dash. It seems like every teenage boy in a YA contemporary novel likes to use big words that I don't understand and think themselves superior to others. I felt as if Dash would end up going through more character development than he did, as he was still pretty snarky by the end of the book. I did prefer Lily to Dash, as she was more down to earth and I loved how enthusiastic she was about Christmas, and how much she loved dogs.

One thing that David Levithan is well known for is his LGBT characters. Although there are no LGBT protagonists in this book, I loved how other LGBT characters were handled. Lily's brother, Langston, has a boyfriend, while two of Dash's friends are in a gay relationship. Something I loved was how there was no drama surrounding these relationships. There was absolutely no homophobic behaviour from any of the other characters, and the relationships were treated no differently than if they had been straight ones. I feel as if we need more books like this, as a story doesn't have to be about LGBT people for them to be present in a story. They exist all around us, going about their daily lives. This is something that rarely comes up in books, but is something we need to help us normalise LGBT people in the media. We need to get to a point where seeing a gay couple in a book or on TV is just as normal as seeing a straight couple. Although it's unlikely this will be achieved any time soon, having more LGBT side characters is a good way to move forward.

This book had some fantastic side characters, and I particularly loved Boomer, Dash's best friend. Boomer was a friendly and lovable character, and although he was obviously meant to come across as dim witted, he actually gave Dash some good advice. As more of the chapters involving Boomer are narrated by Dash, I felt as if we are given a biased opinion on Boomer, as I felt that he wasn't as dim as Dash made him out to be. I thought Boomer asking Lily to get food with him was adorable, and I loved seeing a friendship starting to form between the two of them.

This book was quite a mixed bag, as there were sad moments, funny moments, romantic moments, and probably every other moment in between! Although I've been super busy lately with my birthday and Christmas being a week apart, I still managed to get through the book fairly quickly. I even almost missed my stop while reading on the train I was so engrossed in it!

This book is a brilliant, light hearted read to get you in the festive mood! Although no super serious topics are brought up, I loved the theme of acceptance that ran throughout the novel. I loved how although Lily wasn't exactly how Dash had imagined her to be, he ended up liking her more than when she was an anonymous girl writing in a notebook. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a warm and fuzzy read!I

Thursday 30 November 2017

NaNoWriMo (a.k.a the reason I disappeared off the face of the planet)

So as you may have noticed, my posts have been pretty much non existent this month! I usually post around four times a month, but I’ve not managed to find the time even for one during November. Don’t worry, there is a reason for this. I’m not just abandoning my blog. This month, I participated in NaNoWriMo, and all my writing endeavours ended up being put into my novel. If you’re reading this, you probably already know what NaNoWriMo is, but if not, basically it’s a challenge to write 50k words in a month. The challenge starts on November 1st and ends on November 30th, giving participants just one month to get down 50k words. I usually participate in this every other year. I started in 2013, and have participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, which is a similar event that takes place in the summer that is a little more relaxed, as it allows you to set your own goal. The November event is the main one, and is a little more extreme. More people fail the target word count than those who “win,” so every time I do it I’m convinced I’ll lose! However, so far, I have somehow managed to win each time! My first draft is nowhere near completion, but I’m 50k words closer to my dream of one day publishing a book than I was at the start of the month, so I’m happy about that!

So what happens now? In previous events, I’ve actually managed to finish telling my story in the 50k words. This time however, I feel as if I’m only about ¾ of the way through. There is still a lot to tell. The characters still have a lot of development to go through, and romances are still developing. I felt as if I took a leap of faith with this one, as for the first time since I started doing NaNo, I went for a contemporary idea rather than a fantasy one. Now, if you know me you’ll already know that fantasy is my favourite genre. There are quite a few YA contemporary books that I adore, but most of my favourites are in the fantasy genre. I had no idea how to write contemporary, but I really wanted to give myself a challenge, and do something I wasn’t comfortable with to see if I could actually do it. It turns out I can! As with most writers, my first draft is messy. There are events that don’t make sense in the order that I’ve wrote them, there’s some very questionable dialogue, the formatting is all over the place, there’s typos galore, but you know what, non of that matters. What matters is that I have taken a giant leap towards completing a book that I can be proud of.

I have a problem that whatever I write, I think it isn’t good enough. I am truly my own worst critic, and my first two attempts at NaNoWriMo ended with me completely abandoning the projects once November had ended. Seriously, I have never once gone back to edit, or even to read over them. I just thought they weren’t salvageable, that they were so badly written that there was no point in trying to turn them into anything worth reading. This time, I don’t want to do that. I want to finish the first draft, I want to read over my work, and then start putting everything in chronological order. I want to edit, I want to write, rewrite and rewrite some more. I want to get it to the point where I feel it is the best I can do on my own, and then I want to show it to my friends, get an editor, maybe even get an agent! Of course this will take months, even years to achieve. I might decide that this, like my previous attempts just isn’t good enough, and next time, I’ll come back with a brand new idea. Whatever happens and whatever I decide, I hope that one day I will achieve my dream of being a published author. For now I’m going to take a little writing break and get back to what I do best, which is reading and reviewing books!

Sunday 29 October 2017

Review on A Shiver of Snow and Sky

Red, red, the lights glow red
                                                          Beware the dangers up ahead

Seventeen years ago, The Goddess sent a warning. A warning that meant the villagers would soon be in life threatening danger. Only a few days later, the villagers were struck by a plague that killed many, including Ósa's mother. Now the time has come for the red lights to appear in the sky once more, bringing with them a future filled with certain danger. Ósa must find out what the lights mean, and find out how to prepare for the oncoming danger before even more of the villagers die.

 I felt as if the blurb was quite vague for this book, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. From looking at the cover, I figured it was going to be some type of fantasy romance. Something that I rarely enjoy is romance being a key element in a fantasy book. When I pick up a fantasy book, it is always because I want to read a fantasy book, not a romance. My first impression of a book is usually quite accurate, but to my delight, my first impression of this book was completely wrong! The phrase “never judge a book but its cover” has never been more accurate than it is with this book.

The book follows Ósa, a seventeen year old girl who's mother died when she was just a baby. When the plague that took her mothers life threatens to return, Ósa must find a way to stop it before more lives are lost. Something I adore seeing in fantasy novels are epic quests and adventures. One of my favourite books as a child was The Hobbit, and I grew up watching The Lord of the Rings movies. The thought of going on an adventure to a dangerous and distant place was always appealing to me, so I was hoping Ósa 's adventure into the mountains would be full of excitement and danger!

Although I loved most of the characters, one character that I just couldn't stand was Ósa's father. I think them not getting along is a huge understatement, as I was completely shocked that he sent her on her quest alone, when he understood how dangerous her journey would be, and there was a high possibility that she wouldn't come back alive. I also hated that he had such little faith in her, and although Ósa starts to mend their broken relationship towards the end of the book, I wasn't able to forgive him so easily!

Once Ósa leaves the village, the book is split into two parts, with one focusing on Ósa 's journey, and the other focusing on Ivar and what was happening in the village. Although Ósa 's chapters are narrated in first person, Ivar's are narrated in third. This didn't make much sense to me, as I saw no reason why both narratives couldn't be told in either first or third person. It is occasionally necessary for a book to be narrated in this way, but I felt that it was a little pointless to do it in this case, as I prefer when books aren't constantly switching between first and third person.

I did love both Ósa and Ivar, but I ended up being more drawn into Ósa 's story. I think this was probably down to my love of adventures, but I was always eager to get back to Ósa 's chapters. I think the only thing I disliked about Ósa 's story was that she was alone for most of her journey. Even Frodo had Sam to help him get to Mordor, and I felt as if having a companion would have made the story more interesting. I did love when she teamed up with Sejer, but I thought it would have been better if they had met earlier on in the story, and if Sejer had had a bigger role to play.

Even though the villagers are expecting another plague, the main threat becomes the Ør, the same creatures that forced the villagers ancestors to find new homes. Although the Ør were given a description, the name is so close to Orc that I couldn't help but imagine them as Tolkein's Orcs. It made me wonder if Lisa drew some inspiration from Tolkein's work, as I found a few similarities throughout the book.

My favourite part of the book was towards the end, where Ósa has to get through a number of rooms to reach the Goddess, each with something in it to deter her. This part felt like a brilliant mixture of Philosopher's Stone, Doctor Who and The Hobbit. I particularly loved the stone creatures, as I found them quite creepy, and they reminded me of The Weeping Angels.

Something that I always like to see in a fantasy novel is a good battle scene, and this book definitely delivered on that! I adored the battle, and how Ósa harnessed her new powers. The one thing that I found a little confusing was the dragon. You would think that having a dragon on your side would guarantee victory, which made me confused as to how the Ør were winning. The book mentions later on that the dragon was incinerating the Ør, so to me it made no sense why the dragon wasn't just creating a wall of flame to force the Ør to retreat.

I overall really enjoyed this book, and it went above and beyond my expectations. I loved that the main plot focused on the fantasy, and the romance was just a small subplot. The book was more plot driven that character driven, but this didn't bother me too much, as the plot was so good! I recommend this book to fans of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.

A Shiver of Snow and Sky is now available to purchase!

  | Amazon Book Depository

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Review on Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power!

Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types is the best summer camp around! From working towards badges, to making friends with fellow Lumberjanes, there's never a dull moment at camp, especially when you happen to stumble upon a unicorn! When April, Jo, Ripley, Mal and Molly come across a lost unicorn, they decide to help it find it's way home. However, their adventures go astray when they decide to climb a mountain. A mountain that isn't on any maps, and seems to be undiscovered. The five friends soon find themselves stuck in the clouds with no way back down. Will the girls find a way back to camp, or will they be stuck drinking cloudy tea forever?

So I have to admit that I've never actually read the Lumberjanes comic books. I don't tend to read many comic books, so although I had heard of them before, I'd never actually picked one up. However, novels are definitely my thing, and when I got an email from Abrams asking me if I wanted to review a novel adaptation of the comics, I of course accepted!

The book follows April Ripley, Jo, Molly and Mal, a group of scouts who share at cabin at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. While working towards their Living the Plant Life badge, Ripley discovers a unicorn wondering through the forest. Ripley does what we would all do in that situation, which is of course scream and run after it. The girls soon discover a whole rave of unicorns, along with a huge mountain. A mountain that has never been documented on a map. A mountain that seemingly doesn't even exist!

The first thing that I noticed about this book was that the text is GREEN! I was concerned about my eyesight for a moment before realising that nope, it actually was green. I've never come across a book with green text before, and as green is one of my favourite colours, this made me very happy! As this is a children's book, I thought this was quite a clever design choice, as children are always more interested in colourful things. The green text along with the short chapters and gorgeous illustrations made it the perfect transition between picture books and chapter books.

One of the many things I adored about this book was the focus on the importance of friendship. I love seeing strong friendships between girls, as girls can often be horrible to each other, so having a group of girls loving and supporting each other was lovely to see. I loved that although each girl had different interests, they all supported each others hobbies, and helped out even if the activity wasn't something they enjoyed much. This was such a positive message, and I loved how it showed that girls don't have to limit themselves to fit into the female gender roles. Girls can pursue any hobby and achieve anything!

I loved each girls unique personality, especially Ripley's. I just loved how she was constantly energetic and having fun, and how she greeted strangers with a hug. Really we need more Ripley's in the world. I also adored April, the leader of the group. I loved how although she was brave and confident most of the time, she also had a moment where she doubted herself. April feels as if she has to single handedly get the girls back to safety, but has no idea how. I felt as if the girls helping her showed that some tasks are just too big to take on alone, and it's ok to ask for help.

So I have to talk a little about Barney, who despite being a side character, was extremely important. Although we aren't told in detail how Barney identifies, we are told that they use they/them pronouns rather than he/she. I have never come across a fictional character before who uses they/them pronouns, so I was a mixture of shocked, excited and happy to find out this information about Barney. I loved the way Barney was treated by the girls, as no fuss was made over their preferred pronouns at all, and they were treated the same as everyone else at the camp. This was such a positive message to young non binary and gender fluid people, as they are often ostracised and bullied by their peers. By not making a big deal over Barney's gender identity, the book took us in the right direction to normalise children like Barney for younger generations. Clearly there are not enough characters like Barney in middle grade and YA fiction, the age range where people can struggle with how they choose to identify. I really hope this book can pave the way for more authors to include characters like Barney in their books! While I'm on the subject of diversity, I adored the fact that Jo had gay dads. I was so happy how this was casually thrown in, and the drag race comment was comedy genius!

I honestly don't think I have anything negative to say about this book except that I wanted it to be longer! I'm usually not a huge fan of cliffhangers, but the ending definitely made me want to continue reading this series. This is an important book that I think all children would enjoy, as I think all children would benefit from discovering how awesome girls truly are! I adore the Lumberjanes and will definitely be looking into getting hold of the comics.

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! is now available to purchase!

  | Amazon Book Depository

Thursday 5 October 2017

Review on There's Someone Inside Your House

When Makani Young's parents divorce, she is forced to move away from her home town in Hawaii to Nebraska to live with her grandmother. However, Nebraska isn't as peaceful as Makani thought it would be, as a year after starting at her new school, one of Makani's classmates is brutally murdered in her own home. As more of Makani's classmates start to be murdered, it is soon apparent there is a serial killer on the loose, targetting students seemingly at random. When Makani herself becomes the next target, she starts to wonder if the attacks are truly random after all. Could Makani's past have something to do with her being targeted, or could it be for a completely different reason? 

One thing that I am not ashamed to admit is that I am a huge horror movie nerd! From the most terrifying, jumpscaresque, to the truly ridiculous, I will gladly watch them all. When I saw that There's Someone Inside your House was being compared to Scream, one of my all time favourite horror movies, I was excited to read read it!

The book follows Makani Young, a girl who's parents send her to live with her grandmother due to their divorce. However, we soon learn that this isn't the only reason for the move, as Makani has commited a crime, forcing her to change her name to stop her new friends from discovering her old life. I loved that the book immedietly gave us unanswered questions, such as what Makani had done in the past, who the killer was, and why were they targeting certain individuals.

The way the book started out was perfect! It immediately gave off a creepy vibe, and by chapter two, I could definitely see why the book was being compared to Scream.Although I thought the first chapter was shockingly brilliant, the novelty wore off by the third time that a chapter opened with a character other than Makani, as it was obvious what was about to happen. It felt a little repetitive after a while, as I just knew what was about to happen. I felt like the only time the book diverted from this was when one of the chapters focused on two characters, where only one was the killers next victim. I loved this chapter, as I had no idea which character was going to be the next victim, and it created that brilliant suspense that I last experienced from the first chapter.

I loved the characters in this book! Although 
there were a few minor characters in the book, there wasn't too many major characters. I particularly loved Darby, one of Makani's friends. I feel as if there are never enough transgender characters in YA, and when there are, they are almost always girls, so I was extremely happy to find a transgender boy in this book! Although Darby tended to jump to conclusions, and was quick to accuse Ollie, I loved how much he cared for his friends, and how determined he was to keep Makani safe. I also loved Ollie, as he was such a shy and sweet character. However like Darby, I also had my suspicions about Ollie! As we all know from the Scream movie (spoiler alert) the boyfriend ends up being the killer, so Ollie was definitely in my list of suspects!

So sadly I have to talk about something that I really wasn't keen on, which was the romance. There was just so much of it! Now I realise that Stephanie previously wrote a contemporary romance series, but the title and description of this book definitely aren't screaming out romance. I was both confused and disappointed that after the first murder, the plot focused on the romance between Makani and Ollie, and nothing else really happened until past page seventy. I was not expecting the book to be centred on romance as much as it was, and I almost DNF'd it at one point because of this. I felt like I was just slogging through the first quarter of the book, waiting for something to happen that didn't involve Makani and Ollie kissing or having sex. I felt like it had a great start, but then just petered out until the next murder. I personally felt as if the romance needed to be toned down quite a bit!

Something that bothered me was the fact that Makani barely knew most of the victims. The deaths were mostly characters who were only mentioned once or twice before being killed off, and I felt as if their deaths would have made more of an impact if they had been Makani's friends. As a reader we don't actually have any emotional attachment to the characters who are killed. I felt as if the book would have been scarier if the killer had been targeting Makani's friends earlier on in the book.

Although I wasn't keen on the romance, I did love some of the other real life aspects, particularly Ollie's relationship with his older brother, Chris. After their parents died, Chris was forced to take on more of a parental role, having to take care of Ollie by himself. I felt sorry for Chris, as he was forced to grow up quickly, and act more like a parent than a brother. There were times where you could see just how truly young and vulnerable Chris was, and I felt sorry for him losing his parents and having to worry about if Ollie would be the killers next target.

Apart from the few things that I mentioned, I did eventually end up enjoying this book, and I'm glad that I gave it a chance. I loved the final showdown with the killer at the end of the book, and how everything was tied together to answer all the remaining questions. I thought the murders themselves were pretty gruesome, so maybe avoid the book if that makes you squeamish! I loved how there was mixture of horror, slasher and murder mystery. I always love a good whodunnit! If you're looking for a creepy slasher to read this Halloween, this is your book!

There's Someone Inside Your House is now available to purchase!

  | Amazon Book Depository

Monday 25 September 2017

Reviewing the Classics #11 Five Children and It

Goodreads Summary:

When Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother start exploring a gravel pit not far from their new countryside home, they make an unexpected and very curious discovery. The gravel pit is home to a Psammead, a sand fairy. This ugly creature has eyes like a snail, ears like a bat and the body of a spider, and is very grumpy indeed. He grants the children one wish every day, and though they are excited to have all their desires fulfilled, they soon realize that having one's wishes come true can have unexpected consequences...

E. Nesbit's much loved children's tale has enchanted generations of readers, and has been adapted for the screen numerous times - most notably by the BBC in a hugely popular 1990s series. It remains one of the most cherished children's classics ever written, and an indispensable part of every young reader's library.

So for this months classic, I have been reading Five Children and It by E.Nesbit. I remember loving The Railway Children when I was younger, but for some reason I never read Five Children and It. I was actually surprised when I found out that The Phoenix and the Carpet is a sequel to this book, as I remember seeing a stage adaptation and loving it!

Five Children and It follows siblings Anthea, Jane, Robert, Cyril, and their baby brother, who is known as the Lamb. When the children move to a new home, they discover a strange creature in a nearby gravel pit who tells them that he is a Psammmead, a wish granting sand fairy, who will grant the children one wish per day. I always love the idea of wishes being granted, especially by children, who are liable to wish for more interesting things than adults. We have all heard the phrase “be careful what you wish for”, but what if this advice was given to someone who found a way to make their wishes come true? This is exactly the theme of Five Children and It, as although the children wish for things that they believe will be fun or improve their lives, their wishes often backfire on them and get them into trouble.

One thing that I instantly loved about this book was the chapters. Each chapter focused on a different day and a different wish, and was like it's own short story. I loved that non of the chapters ended on a cliffhanger, as although I was eager to find out what the next wish would be, I felt like I could comfortably put the book down at the end of any chapter without feeling as if I needed to immediately know what happened next. I thought this was a brilliant set up for a children's book, as I felt it would be a good book for parents to read to their children as a bedtime story, as they could read a chapter a day.

I often feel as if the characters in children's books act too grown up for their age, so I loved how the children actually acted like children, and were believable characters. I loved all of their wishes, and how they didn't play out like the children thought they would. I also loved when they started accidentally making wishes, as these proved to be even more disastrous!

I loved how, although the children were siblings, each child had a completely different personality, which often caused arguments amongst themselves on how they should deal with the situations they got themselves into. I particularly loved Anthea, as she had a very clever and bossy Hermione-ish attitude. She is the type of character who I would have thought was very cool when I was younger, and who I would have looked up to. I also loved Robert, as he was usually the one to accidentally wish for something. I particularly loved his accidental wishes, and thought they were the most interesting ones.

One of my favourite parts of the story was how they wished for their maid and cook to not notice any of their wishes. This made for some hilarious moments, and I particularly loved Martha carrying a grown man, as she saw him as a baby. I also loved how while one of the wishes was in effect, the children couldn't see or feel the food that the cook had prepared, and could only eat it by biting over a seemingly empty table.

The Psammead, the “It” of the story was an interesting character. I felt as if he was a little like the Genie from Aladdin, as he was unable to grant wishes for himself, and after living for thousands of years, had become tired of constantly granting wishes. I loved how there was a little bit of backstory, which included what people used to wish for thousands of years ago, and how water was fatal to the Psammead. Although I found his grumpy nature funny, I did feel sorry for him towards the end of the book, as all he wanted was some peace and quiet, and I think we can all relate to that.

At only 200 pages, I was surprised by ow action packed the book was! There was definitely not a dull moment, and the action never slowed down at any point. I adored all of the fantasy elements, and how fantasy was mixed perfectly with reality. From castles to giants, this book has everything to impress even the most imaginative child. I recommend this book to both children and adults who enjoy fantasy stories!

Five Children and It is now available to purchase!

 Alma Classics  | Amazon Book Depository 

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Review on Odd & True

Trudchen Grey has listened to her older sister's tall tales about the supernatural her whole life. After Odette suddenly crashes back into Trudchen's life after a two year absence, Tru has had just about enough of Od's silly stories. However, doubt lurks on the edges of Tru's subconscious. A formidable looking creature has made a recurrent appearance in Tru's tea leaf readings. When the readings lead them to their mother's house, they are also lead into rumours of the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish creature creating fear and chaos. Could this be the monster from Tru's tea leaves, or is it just a local legend?

When I read what this book was about, I was instantly sold! Magic and monsters are right up my street, and the fact it focused on two monster hunting sisters made it sound even better! The book follows fifteen year old Trudchen, and her older sister, Odette. After learning about a monster in Philadelphia, known as the Leeds Devil, the sisters decide to hunt it down. However, Odette has an alternative motive for wanting to travel round the country. A secret that she is keeping from her sister.

The book is split into two parts, with Tru narrating the current events in 1909, and Od telling Tru about her past through a series of letters. I loved this way of narrating, as the chapters alternated between the two timelines, it was slowly revealed to us what Odette was actually doing in the two years she was away from home, which helped to fill in the blanks of Tru's story. I also loved the time period it was set in, as apart from The Infernal Devices, I don't think I've ever read a fantasy book set in this era.

One thing I immediately loved way the fact that Tru was disabled. After contracting polio, Tru is left with a paralysed leg. Tru is eventually able to walk around with the help of a leg brace, and uses a wheelchair for longer journeys. I feel as if there is a huge lack of disabled characters in YA fantasy, so I loved how such a strong character was given a physical disability. Although it would have been safer to stay with her Aunt, Tru endures a long journey across the country to find her mother and save Philadelphia from a monster. I loved how brave she was, and I felt as if it gave a positive message to disabled people that although their goals may be more difficult to achieve for them than they would be for able bodied people, It is still possible to achieve them with strength and determination.

Although I enjoyed both of the sisters narratives, I did prefer Tru's. I eventually loved Od's narrative and learning about their childhood, but as I started this book expecting a fantasy story, I was initially a little disappointed over the lack of fantasy elements. I did feel sorry for Od, as she had to go through such emotional trauma at such a young age, but I was also disappointed that the story went in the direction that it did, as it wasn't what I was expecting from the book at all. I enjoyed Tru's part of the story more, but I felt as if progressed too slowly. When the story did finally reach it's climax, I was disappointed that it was all over in a couple of pages. I was looking forward to their eventual encounter with a monster, and when it finally happened it was over just as I was getting into it. I was hoping that the sisters would be a bit like a female version of the Winchester brothers, and as a book marketed as being about monster slaying and magic, I felt as if it was lacking in monster slaying and magic. It was a little like that scene in The Wizard of Oz where the wizard turns out to be a little old man without any powers.

Apart from Od, Tru and Uncle Magnus, I felt as if non of the rest of the characters were likable. This my have been intentional to keep out focus on the sisters, but I do enjoy a good side character to keep the protagonists in check. I felt as if Cy was awful for abandoning Od when she needed him the most, and I was glad that she told him where to go in the end. I was disappointed that Ezra was only there to serve as a love interest for Tru, as I felt as if he had the potential to become the lovable side character I felt was missing.

I feel as if it's partly my fault I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, as I think I made a lot of assumptions from reading the blurb, and went into the book with my brain full of magic and monsters. However once I came to terms with the fact the book wasn't going in the direction I thought it would, I started enjoying it for what it was. I particularly loved the bond between the sisters, and how their relationship was the focus of the book rather than a romance. One thing I did love about the lack of monsters however was that I, like the sisters, started to doubt if monsters really existed in their world, or if it was just going to be a metaphor for the suffering they had to endure.

Although the book wasn't what I was expecting, I did enjoy it overall, particularly towards the end when I practically flew through the last few chapters! I felt as if the epilogue was sweet and the perfect ending, and I loved that the sisters regained their beliefs in magic and monsters. This wasn't the action packed monster slaying book I was expecting it to be, but I loved the family values, and it managed to surprise me! I'm going to give this one a 4 star rating, but I think for me it was more of a 3.5.

Odd & True is now available to purchase!

  | Amazon Book Depository

Thursday 7 September 2017

The Harry Potter Tag

OMG HARREH POTTA!!! So I've been tagged by one of my blogger besties ReadableLife in the Harry Potter tag!! So if you know me at all you'll know I have a mild to extreme Harry Potter obsession, so this is obviously the perfect tag for me! So I bring to you, the Harry Potter Tag!

 What house are you in?

Slytherin of course!!! Back in the day I used to think I was a Gryffindor, but i've taken the Pottermore sorting hat multiple times along with lots of unofficial quizzes and I've been put in Slytherin every time! Now when I say I used to be a Gryffindor, what I mean is that I've been a huge Harry Potter fan since I was eight, and I've been a Slytherin for at least ten years now! And no we're not all evil!!

 What is your Patronus?

So according to Pottermore my Patronus is an Eagle Owl. The funny thing is that I actually met an Eagle Owl a few days before I took the Patronus quiz so I guess it was meant to be! Also I adore owls so I'm perfectly ok with this.
What is your wand?

So back to Pottermore! I actually had to sign in for this one because I forgot. I actually adored my wand the first time I took the quiz, but unfortunately I lost my log in details! I remember it had dragon heartstring though which I much preferred to my current wand which has a core of unicorn hair. It's made of yew wood, 10 ½ inches and slightly springy! I own a death eater wand in real life which is honestly so pretty I love it.
What would your Boggart be?

Ooh interesting question. I'm not sure to be honest and I don't want to go too dark. I remember Mrs Weasley's boggart was of her family being dead, so maybe mine would be my dog being dead I love my doggo

What position would you play in Quidditch?

I would probably just be cheering from the stands as I'm terrible at sports, and I doubt Quidditch would be any different! I'm also pretty clumsy so I would 100% fall off my broom. If I had to choose though I'd probably be a beater. It sounds fun knocking balls into the opponents.

Would you be pureblood, halfblood, or muggle born?

Pure blood of course! I can't be dealing with those filthy mudbloods.
What job would you want to have after graduating Hogwarts?

I'd love to work at Borgan and Burkes. I mean imagine all the strange things you would see every day! I don't particularly enjoy working retail, but I think working there would be really fun. Working with dragons like Charlie Weasley would also be really fun, but I'd probably die on my first day.
Which Deathly Hallow would you choose?

The invisibility cloak so I could hide from my responsibilities.

Favourite book?

Prisoner of Azkaban! I've always loved time travelly things and I loved how this was done so cleverly. Time travel usually confuses me, but this was done so perfectly and wasn't confusing at all. It's also where two of my favourite characters were introduced, Sirius and Lupin. I love these two so much, and I remember being so shocked at the plot twist of Sirius being Harry's godfather!

Least favourite book?
Oh no I love them all! Probably Chamber of Secrets just because I found it a little on the slow side, but also I love Dobby. Ahhh don't make me choose least favourites I don't like it.
Favourite film?

Okay so this is probably going to be highly controversial as I've never seen anyone else say this was their favourite film before. It's Half Blood Prince. Now let me explain! This is where everything gets a whole lot darker, and I loved that so much. Also my favourite character is Draco Malfoy, and this film had a whole lot of Draco. Up until this point, Draco doesn't really get a whole lot of character development, but this one shows just how scared and vulnerable he is, and how once things get serious, he doesn't want to be a part of his dads shitty views anymore. Honestly I just want to hug Draco. Also I love how this is where we find out about Voldemort's horcruxes, and how Harry's journey on killing Voldemort finally starts here. Also although it is dark, it also has enough light hearted and funny moments!

Least favourite film?

Hmm probably Order of the Phoenix. I still love it, especially the legendary scene where the Weasley twins escape from Hogwarts, but I just didn't feel as if it did the book justice. So much was left out, and I do realise that it is a monster of a book and the film couldn't fit in everything, but I just remember feeling a little disappointed with that adaptation.
Favourite Character?

Yes it is Draco Malfoy. I just feel as if there's so many layers to him that finally come to light in Half Blood Prince, and of course I always love a bad boy! I've always felt that under different circumstances, such as Draco's dad just being a grade A douchebag, Draco and Harry could actually have been friends. I feel that they actually have so much in common, and Gryffindor and Slytherin are actually quite similar despite hating each other. I know we all have different opinions on Cursed Child, but Draco in Cursed Child actually broke my heart with explaining how lonely he felt at Hogwarts and how he was jealous that Harry had such great friends. Please someone just give that boy a hug and be his friend.

Least favourite character?
Dolores Umbridge! Oh my god has there ever been a more dispised character? I think we all collectivly agree that she is so much worse than Voldemort.
Favourite Hogwarts Professor?
Mcgonagall! She is just such a badass and she is insanely cool. I love how much she actually cares about Harry, and her feud with Umbridge in Order of the Phoenix was actually legendary!
Least favourite Hogwarts Professor?

Well seeing as Umbridge was the DADA teacher in OOTP it would obviously have to be her again.

f you could save one character from the finale battle, who would you save?
Oh no just one? Probably either Tonks or Lupin, as I just feel so bad for little baby Teddy being an orphan.