Saturday, 31 December 2016

NIGHT OWLS

Author: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publishing date: 2015
Pages: 294


Beatrix has a really problematic family life, and instead she's trying to concentrate on her art which she takes very seriously. Everything goes just fine untill one night she meets this mysterious guy Jack who's probably the person behind gold graffiti signs that has started to show all over San Francisco. Beatrix knows she should stay back from him, and yet she's vigorously drawn to him ever since their first meeting...

"Mom says you should never ask for advice you aren’t willing to take. I wasn’t sure I agreed. Having an unbiased pair of eyes point out a sensible solution was helpful. But the sensible thing and the right thing weren’t always the same choice, and no one but you could truly understand the difference."

This book was such a surprise to me. I bought it on a total whim because I just tought it looked cool and there was a bus on the cover which kind of reminded me of my favourite book Eleanor & Park, so I thought I would try it. I didn't expect too much from it, though, for I was usually disappointed by book when its cover was so pretty. But this was not the case. It actually happened to be one of the best books I've read in a genre of New Adult so far. And I am so happy I gave it a chance.

I was practicaly sold for it from the very first mention of Leonardo da Vinci and his drawings of dissect bodies. I studied this a lot when I was on high school, and it's something that has really stuck to me ever since. He's my all time favourite artist, and it was really nice to find out that the main character Beatrix liked his work, too. She was such a weirdo and she reminded me of my younger self a lot, except she had much cooler hair than me. But anyway, I really grew fond of her and enjoyed reading a story of her finding her own expression of art as well as love. Plus it was really beautifully written and very funny sometimes. I would definitely recommend this book to everybody who likes Colleen Hoover's books. It has got the same kind of addictive vibe to it...

Rating: 5/5

Friday, 30 December 2016

FORBIDDEN

Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher: Definitions
Publishing date: 2010
Pages: 418


Lochan and Maya are the oldest among their silblings, and since their mother doesn't really care about anything else than her own affairs, it's entirely up to them to take care for the little ones. They have to make sure they wake up every morning and go to school, they have to help them with their homeworks and cook dinner for them. They must take adult roles in their lives and show them the best parts of themselves. And all along they musn't forget that they are just their big brother and sister, for that is what the little ones need the most. They have to keep the whole situation a secret because otherwise some social worker would come and split them apart. But when Maya and Lochan fall in love with each other, their future will suddenly become very fragile...

"You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see,
but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel."

This was surely the hardest book I've read in ages, if not the very hardest one. Even though I've always been a reader who preferes happy endings, I've never been able to resist to books about forbidden love. And such can hardly turn out right. But I am hopeless romantic, so of course I always keep a tiny hope that somehow everything could magicaly work out eventually. And I was hoping for such a miracle during reading Forbidden too, for Tabitha Suzuma made me fall in love with her writing style. And surely enough I grew fond of the characters and was carried away by their fascinating story full of violent emotions and deeds. I cared for Lochan and Maya and their younger siblings and I was dreadfully frightened of what might happen to them. I just couldn't help but being on their side, for their love really somehow felt right, just like the front cover of the book says, even if I knew it wasn't...

"At the end of the day it's about how much you can bear, how much you can endure.
Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves.

It was definitely the most intense book I've ever read. It filled me with emotions and then it broke my heart. It left me shaken and devastated. I was crying awfully during the reading, and when I finished it, I couldn't even speak for some time, but then I blurted out everything at my parents because I couldn't keep all the feelings within me any longer. I couldn't let the story slip out of my mind when I was reading it, and I still can't stop thinking about it now when it's finished. I hate that book, and yet I can't but being glad I read it. It surely isn't a book for everyone. I am usually quite prudish myself, so I admit that this book was very unconventional for me, but I would recommend it, anyway. Sometimes it's important to read books without judging it. Just to experience something new and extraordinary. I need some time for absorption of the the whole thing now, but I will definitely read more books by Tabitha Suzuma in the future when the time comes, for I think she's an amazing author who can describe absolutely everything by her beautifully chosen words, and I am very curious about her other works...

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, 29 December 2016

LET IT SNOW

Author: John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing date: 2013
Pages: 354


Everything starts with a train stranded in all-time storm on Christmas Eve. Who would think that desperate as the whole situation seems will lead to a chain of miracles of love in all kinds? Prepare yourself for a supple ride through snow that will warm your frozen limbs and melt your heart. Three popular YA authors joined each other at writing and created a hilarious and charming tale that every romantic soul will adore...

"Christmas is a state of mind."
(Lauren Myracle)

All right, guys, let me tell you how much I adored this book. Oh, it was such an amazing Christmassy read that I can't believe it took me so long to finaly read it. I was walking around it for three years, at the least, and I guess I was kind of fearing that I wouldn't like it so I'd never actually picked it up. Untill now. And I am so glad I put my prejudices aside, for otherwise I would miss an absolutely adorable and heartwarming book like a total fool. You guys know that I am not so much of a fan of John Green, and that's why it surprised me a lot when I actually found his story very likeable and rather amusing. It was funny and oh, so sweet that I grew fond of it immediately. I liked it far better than any other book by him I've read so far. So I will probably give him another try in the future...

"We study there a lot because... what other choice does society give us, right?
It's Starbucks or death, sometimes."
(Maureen Johnson)

My favourite story from this book was the very first one written by Maureen Johnson, but I really enjoyed the other two as well. I especially loved how all the three stories combined at the end because it gave me a chance to find more about all the characters that appeared throughout the whole book. It was like one of those movies with many plot twists such as Love Actually or Valentine's Day which I am a huge fan of. So if you like these too, be sure you won't miss this book, for I think you're gonna love it. Even though Christmas is over, I would say this book could make a perfect read for New Year's Eve (Oh God, I hope I am not the only social weirdo who celebrates a New Year's come with a good book in a comfy chair rather than with an alcohol in a noisy pub), for it's that type of book you can read in one sitting or so. And you will feel absolutely great and prepared for the adventures of the New Year after reading it...

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

"Christmas works like glue, it keeps us all sticking together."

Hello everybody,
I am back after one week of no blogging. I wasn't planning that, but I am kind of glad for the little break I got, anyway. Sometimes it is really important to just unplug and do other stuff (especially on Christmas). And so I did. I read lots of books and watched some great movies this past week. I spent all the time with my family and I enjoyed the whole festivities throughly. I captured some of the moments in a little video that you can see down below. I hope, you guys, have had a wonderful holidays, too. And I will be in touch with you again soon, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas Cracker Book TAG

A Christmas tag is always a good idea when you want to fill your blog with a festive mood. So I was keeping an eye for some that I would like to do, but then I decided to share with you the Christmas Cracker Book Tag once again. You may have forgotten that I have actually done this one in the past (seen here), but my answers have changed as the years passed, anyway. So I hope you don't mind my repeating. If you want to participate in this tag, then go ahead, and don't forget to leave a link for your post in the comment section down below, for I would gladly see your answers. Okay, without further ado, let's get started...

1. Pick a book with a wintry cover.
Okay, this was pretty easy, for I think that there's barely more wintry covers to be found than the one that decorates The Snow Queen and Other Winter Tales published by Barnes & Noble. I bought this beautiful book at Foyles in London when my parents flew away and I was feeling miserable and lonely. It definitely provided a good solace by that time. And it still does. I just really love this book and the stories in it...

2. Pick a book you'll likely buy as a present.
Well, I've already bought all the presents and there are some books among them, too. But if my family would read in English, I would surely give them this beautiful petit edition of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, for I think that there's never too many copies of this book as well as it's never too late for anybody to read it. This lovely edition was recently published in Macmillan Collector's Library. This particular copy has got black and white illustrations in it, but you can as well find a colourful one.

3. Pick a festive themed book.
My True Love Gave to Me written by many authors you surely recognize is an absolutely amazing Christmassy book I would higly recommend to you. It contains twelve heart warming stories about love, friendship and family, all happening during the most beautiful time of the year. I love this book dearly and am looking forward to re-read it...

4. Pick a book you can curl up with by the fireplace.
There's only one book that can warm you up even if the fireplace isn't working, which is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It's such a perfect read for any time of the year, but the first scene actually takes place during Christmas time when all March sisters are curled up by the fireplace and are talking about presents. Oh, I can't imagine anything more comforting than spend Christmas with Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth, and of course Laurie - my lirerary crush.

5. Pick a book you want to read over the festive period.
As you probably know I have this little tradition of reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens every year before Christmas, and since I have yet to pick it up this year, I am planning to do that this week. For me it's just a quintessential Christmassy book that I absolutely can't imagine Christmas without...

6. Pick a book that's so good it gives you chill.
That would be Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma that I read ten days ago, and I haven't been able to put it out of my head ever since. The story figuratively broke my heart and it gave me goosebumps during the whole reading. Definitely one of the best books I've read this year, if not the very best one. Review on it is coming up soon...

Saturday, 17 December 2016

LANDLINE

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Orion Books
Publishing date: 2015
Pages: 356


Georgie and Neal's marriage is in trouble, for Georgie has been putting her work at first place for a long time. It's Christmas and they're supposed to visit Neal's mom in Omaha. But then a really important job comes into a view and consequently, Georgie decides to stay at home. Nevertheless, Neal does not intend to change his plans and is going to visit his mom anyway. And he decides to take the children with him as well. So Georgie is suddenly facing a Christmas time alone. She tries to reach Neal on the phone, but when she calls him from an old landline from her mom's house, Neal picks it up fifteen years earlier. Now, what does that mean? Is Georgie supposed to fix their marriage before it has even started...?

"I love you more than I hate everything else."

I really love Rainbow Rowell's books. But I kind of picked this one on a whim. I was supposed to read books from my TBR pile when I came across some recommendation of Christmassy books one of which was Landline. And I thought: "Wait, it's a Christmas book? Well, then I totally have to read it. Like, right now." And so I did. I was quite surprise, though, that I didn't recognize Rainbow Rowell in it at the beginning. I found the first fifty pages a little bit boring so I was actually considering putting it down, but right from that moment things stared to happen and I suddenly couldn't stop reading even for a minute. And sure enough, Rainbow Rowell won me over again.

My favourite Rainbow Rowell's book is definitely Eleanor & Park but Landline would be the second one. I liked it even more than Fangirl. It was absolutely different from her other books. It was actually something different from all of the books I read, and I really enjoyed it. Rainbow Rowell created amazing characters that I genuinely cared about. They were so sweet and funny. Plus they were very reliable. I loved them so much and was so nervous about what might happen to them that I was nibbling my nails during the whole reading. I especially adored the dialogue in this book. It was something absolutely incredible. It's definitely Rainbow Rowell's biggest power. She's really awesome at it.

Landline is a beautiful tale about love and marriage. Rainbow Rowell captured all the difficulties as well as the most beautiful things about being in love and sharing your life with someone you love. I was on the edge of tears most of the time. It's a bittersweet story that taste better than any gingerbread cookie I've ever tried. And it warmed my heart more than the biggest mug of hot chocolate. The most Christmassy part about this book is definitely the emphasis that is placed on the importance of family. It helped me remember what is all this about just as A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens do whenever I read it. I am extremely glad I made time to read this book just before Christmas. And you should read it, too.

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publishing date: 2016
Pages: 233


In this book we meet the main characters from Dash & Lily: Book of Dares again. Dash and Lily have been dating one year from the time when they've fallen in love with each other throught a red notebook that led them together in the tremendous city of New York. Now, even though they still love each other, their relationship is getting some rough times, for Lily's beloved grandfather has suffered a heart attack. This frightens both Lily and Dash in a different ways, and they suddenly don't know how to help each other, even if it is what they want the most. This year's Christmas seems like the last chance for them to make things right between themselves...

"There is no better precursor to Christmas
than a quality goose bump chill."

It was such an awesome surprise when I found out that there's a new sequel to one of my favourite Christmas book ever. I love Dash and Lily and what they have together. I think that they're the cutest couple ever. Surely they're not flawless but that's what I love about them the most. I absolutely adore their own language that they have between themselves. And I enjoy their philosophizing so much. That's what I do so often, and to have someone to talk about everything with, just like Dash and Lily have, is just a dream. Their dialogue throughout the whole book is just the best thing ever. So funny and lovely. It's difficult to recommend The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily to someone who haven't read the first one yet. But if you have, definitely read this one, too. For it's filled with Christmassy vibes just as the first one. And even though Dash and Lily are going through different dilemmas now, they are still the same cute people as they always have been. I wished them a big happy ending the whole book, and I was really pleased about how things turned out...

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

"Winter is Coming" Book TAG

1. Snowflake: Something beautiful and always different. Choose a book that stands out, that is different from all the other books you've read.
I've read loads of books that somehow impressed me. But The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is the most beautiful one of them all. When I think about it, it really reminds me of a snowflake. It's definitely the most unique book I've ever read. The story is oh, so beautifully written and also immensely touching...

2. Hot Chocolate: Choose a book that is irresistibly sweet and highly comforting.
For this one I would definitely choose any book by Stephanie Perkins. Her books are really sweet and lovely and they will provide a very comforting feeling to you. They tell stories about love, friendship and family. They have everything that every good YA book should have, and yet they are original. My favourite is Lola and the Boy Next Door, although I would recommend to start with Anna and the French Kiss...

3. Snowman: It's always fun to build one with your family. Choose a book that whole family could read.
This would depend on how old are the children in that specific family. I chose The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, for my brother and I are both adults already. It's an exquisitely funny book about socially inept though charming Don Tillman who decides to focus on the very difficult project of finding himself a suitable wife. I am telling you that you're going to love it. It's so well told and absolutely hilarious. Definitely one of my all time favourite books. Both my parents read it and adored it, too. And I am sure that if my brother would ever decide to become a reader, he would enjoy it as well...

4. Reindeer: Something that is dear to us. Choose a book that has a sentimental value for you.
You probably know that it's A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. A story of Landon and Jamie has been a part of my life from when I was eleven, and nothing can ever replace it. I love, love, love that book inexplicably much. As well as I love Nicholas Sparks as an author.

5. Christmas: Choose a book that made you feel warm inside after reading it.
Well, the book I've picked up has nothing Christmassy going on. But it's the book that I always think about when I think about a feel-good book. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is another all time favourite of mine. It's very funny and sweet and hopelessly romantic. Definitely a must read if you love "meet cute" in movies and books.

6. Sledding: We all loved it when we were younger. Choose a book that you loved when you were a child.
Any book about adventures of Moomins' by Tove Jansson. I have so many beautiful memories from when I was a little girl and my aunt read them aloud to me, my brother and a cousin. And I still love the stories now when I am adult. It's something that I'll never grow up from...

7. Snow Bowling: It can be painfull to be hit by a snowball. Choose a book that made you feel some strong emotions, like anger or sadness.
It has to be Atonement by Ian McEvan. I have read this book, like, three years ago, and I am still so broken-hearted when I think about it. It's one of the saddest books I've ever read. Yet I can't help but loving it anyway. I would definitely recommend it to you if you haven't read it already. It's really worth it...

8. Snow: It is beautiful when it first falls, but then it starts to melt. Choose a book/series that you loved in the beginning but then, in the middle of it, you realised you didn't like it any longer.
I've read the first book in the series about fallen angels by Lauren Kate about four years ago. And I remember, that even though I quite liked it, I wasn't interested enough in it to continue reading. But now I feel like I could try it once again. And who knows, I may as well end up liking it. After all, I am always looking forward to snow next year again...

Friday, 9 December 2016

#FridayReads

Hi everyone,
so I am here again to share with you the book I am currently reading, which is Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. Now, I know there are still some books from my Christmas TBR pile that I have yet to read, but I just couldn't resist to this one any longer. I ordered it recently and when I finally got it the previous week, I knew that I had to pick it up immediately after finishing the book I was reading by that time. I didn't know much about it except that it was about brother and sister falling in love. And that was practically everything I had to know about it to be sold on the spot. I admit that I have a thing for forbidden love in books. That's why I love Twilight so much. And I particularly adore stories with love between siblings. I know I must sound a bit like some weirdo now. And perhaps, in this case, I am because it somehow really fascinates me. Well, at least in terms of literature. As you might know, I have read Flowers in the Attic recently, which deals with somehow similar topic as Forbidden. But I still have yet to read Petals on the Wind, for I have a bind up edition of these two, so I will post a review on it once I've read the second book too. I have to say, though, that I like Forbidden much more so far. I really don't want to compare these books, for they are different and each is strong in variant aspects. There's just something about the book by Tabitha Suzuma that appeals to me in such a way I can't even explain. It's so beautifully written and the story is so powerful that it's definitely one of the best books I've ever read. Keep an eye for a review that I am going to write soon. And let me know whether you'd be interested in a post with reccomendations of books about forbidden love, for I've read a couple that I would gladly share with you...

Monday, 5 December 2016

The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Author: Lisa Dickenson
Publisher: Sphere
Publishing date: 2015
Pages: 339


Thirty years old Claudia finds herself stuck in a relatinship without any romantic spark left, and she therefore decides to go on a fancy date with her boyfriend. But when everything turns into a disaster, Claudia suddenly ends up alone during the most beautiful time of the year. At least she has her friends that are determined to cheer her bestie up. And then all of a sudden, Claudia's December starts filling up with surprisingly many dates and new experiences...

The Twelve Dates of Christmas was already a third Christmassy chick-lit novel I have read this year and it was probably my favourite, for I really grew fond of each character in the story, and I was genuinely eager to find out how was the story going to turn. Also, I accidentaly fell in love with one of the main characters. Nick loves Charles Dickens and he does read A Christmas Carol every year just as I do. I am telling you, guys, I was immediately sold just because of this fact. I mean, how awesome is that? You don't usually meet someone who is at the same note with you so easily, right? And it doesn't matter that Nick's fictional. I love him anyway...

The whole story takes place in London. And it was really nice for me to come back there during the Christmas and visit all of the places again, at least throughout the experiences of the main characters. The first date of Nick and Claudia is happening in Starbucks at Holborn, which had been the place where I used to go every day for a caramel latté when I had lived there. And I actually bought this book in Oxfam at Holborn. Isn't it really cool? So yeah, this book was somehow even more special to me because it allowed me to relive some of my own memories from living in London, which I was really gratefull for...

Overall it's just a really sweet, funny and hopelessly romantic book, full of Christmas festivities, that will help you tune into the Christmassy waves and enjoy this part of the year even more. Lisa Dickenson's writing style is very enjoyable and fast-paced. And her story is really surprising at some parts, so it will definitely keep you interested and excited from the beginning to the very last page. I do have absolutely nothing to complain about...

Rating: 5/5

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Author: J. K. Rowling
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publishing date: 2014
Pages: 360


Do you remember my last year's confession about reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for the first time? Well, I have finally made it to a second book in the series. I don't know why it took me a whole year to pick it up, for I really loved the first one. But you know how it is - so many books and so little time. Anyways, I am so glad I read it. It was great to be back in Hogwarts all over again, meet all those beloved characters again and become acquainted with the new ones as well - like Gilderoy Lockhart who was such an amusing blockhead. 

Since this has been my second year spent in the wizarding world, I have also started to make teams with the characters. It wasn't something that I would do consciously, it just somehow happened. And even though I still love Harry Potter, I grew fond of Ron Wesley, too. He seems totally different than in the movie. Don't get me wrong, I think Rupert Grint acts him amazingly but still, Ron in the book strucks me less cowardly. He has a great heart. He stands for his family and friends. He doesn't try to please everyone just to make them like him more. And he's insanely funny. He's simply being himself all the time. And I absolutely adore him.

"It was as though they had been plunged into a fabulous dream.
This, thought Harry, was surely the only way to travel — past swirls and turrets of snowy cloud, in a car full of hot, bright sunlight, with a fat pack of toffees in the glove compartment..."

A couple of days ago, I have seen a video about J. K. Rowling, in which she visits her old flat where she had been writing the first Harry Potter's book in a little dark corner with an uncomfortable chair and old computer ten years ago. She talks about her passion for writing and her belief in the story she had been working on, even though she hadn't known, by that time, how big a thing it was going to be. And then she comes to her old bedroom where her younger self had been sleeping, and she suddenly beholds published Harry Potter series in a little bookshelf of the people who occupy her former flat now. And she bursts into tears, for she realizes what she has really done since then. 

It was so touching to see her journey from the beginning to where she is now. And also immensely inspiring. She proves that you can really do anything in your life as long as you believe in it and work hard for it. And she writes about that in her books, too. Which is what I like about them the best. It can never be too late to read Harry Potter series. I know there are more people like me who haven't read it yet, and they are probably afraid that they just missed it. But it's not true. You don't have to be a child to be able to love them. J. K. Rowling had written a timeless story that is always inviting everybody. And whatever you're old, you'll find that there's always a lesson for you to learn...

Rating: 5/5

Friday, 2 December 2016

#FridayReads

Happy Friday to everyone!
I feel far better this week than the last one. Today I woke up to a beautiful sunny, though windy day, and my usually dark room was at least for one hour filled with a natural light which I loved, for I could see all of my books sitting patiently in the shelves, showing their beautiful spines. And that always inspires me a lot. Then Mr. Postman showed up at our door and delivered a book that I have ordered last week and have been awaiting it eagerly. It was a beautifully bound little copy of A Jane Austen Christmas by Carlo deVito. So my reading material for the weekend has been immediately settled. I am definitely going to write a review on it once I'll read it, so if you're interested what's it about, stay tuned. Also, let me know, what are you reading currently. Wish you a lovely weekend...