Sunday 15 September 2013

Bargain Book Haul! (Haul #3)

I am very much the type of person who wants to read and own as many books as I possibly can in the hopes that one day, when I have my own house, it will justify having a whole room full of books. Because of this, I just can't resist a few bargain books!

Since the beginning of summer I've been keeping an eye out for really cheap books, both second hand and new. The first lot of cheap books I got were from a local charity shop and all three of them look brand new! I got the gorgeous (old hardback!) copy of Treasure Island pictured for £1.20, the copy of Mister Pip shown for £1 and a paperback by Jill Mansel called Millie's Fling for 90p that appears to have never been read.
The next 3 I bought from a little fundraising stall they had set up in my town toward the beginning of summer. My friends and I were spending the day together and we happened to walk past and me being me couldn't resist some cheap books! I got I Capture The Castle, True Love and Other Lies and The Odyssey all for £2! If I remember correctly it was £1 each or 3 for £2 which is honestly amazing!

The last 3 (there seems to be a pattern here!) I bought from a shop called 'The Works' which is a chain of bargain bookstores in the UK (I think it's just the UK but I'm sure there are similar shops in other countries!). My mum and I were on a little shopping trip and went in for a little browse when I saw City of Bones, which I wanted to read anyway because of the movie coming out, was on 2 for £5 so I picked up that and Wicked (I'm a massive fan of the musical and I've heard the book is just as good!). I also managed to find a hardback copy of The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides for £1.99! For a brand new hardback that is crazy especially when the RRP on it is £20!

I'm not sure if this really counts but I've also been loving the free books on kindle. I got my kindle less than a week ago and have already read 2 of the free public domain books (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Great Gatsby) both of which I loved so if you own a kindle and love a good book bargain it's definitely worth looking through them to see if anything takes your fancy!

Seeing as though that's only the cheap/second hand books that I've bought in the last few weeks I feel like I might be developing a bit of a book buying addiction... This is what book blogs/book tube does to you everyone. You're welcome.

Do you know of any good places to find cheap books? Let me know in the comments!

Lucy x

Sunday 8 September 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

117 Pages

Rating: 4/5

As most people will probably know, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the story of Dorothy as she finds herself lost in a world that is unfamiliar to her. It follows her and her friends the scarecrow, the lion and the tin-man as they go in search of the wizard of Oz in order for him to give them what they really want and to send Dorothy home.

I downloaded this book on my kindle as soon as I got it because it was one of the free public domain ones and I saw it wasn't very long. I wasn't expecting amazing things from it because I already know the story very well (having not only grown up with the story but I've also been in productions of both The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz. I'm also a big Wicked fan) but I really enjoyed it. I felt like it was written like a well written children's book because the plot could be followed by children very easily but the writing itself still has an element of sophistication about it.

(Book 29/50)
Lucy x

Sunday 1 September 2013

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

607 Pages

Rating: 5/5 (I wish I could give it more)

My quest to re-read the entire series this summer is complete. I read the majority of this in a day during the bout of books readathon and it was an emotional day indeed! I couldn't count the amount of times I cried at this book and I don't remember it being so emotional! Having only read each book in the series once (with the exception of the first book) I didn't remember most of the little details especially in books six and seven so it was really good to read them again!

I finished reading this about a week ago and I miss the series so much already. Since then I've discovered (I know I'm really late on this) and watched all 3 Very Potter musicals (...twice) and I'm definitely missing it already! Also, Fred will always be my favourite character (George just isn't the same for me).

For some reason, reading the books and watching the films this time round has made me fall even more in love with the story than I could've ever imagined and I really wish it didn't end.

(Book 28/50)

Lucy x

Thursday 29 August 2013

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

358 Pages

Rating: 4/5

Invisibility is the story of a boy who has been invisible his whole life. No one, not even his parents, have been able to see him until one day, all that changes. Invisibility follows the story of the invisible Stephen and Elizabeth, the only person to ever see him, as they try to learn why everything is the way it is.

I've read a few of David Levithan's books before and he is probably one of my favourite authors (along side John Green of course) but before coming across this book I'd never heard of Andrea Cremer. I really enjoyed this book and the only reason I didn't give it 5/5 is because although I liked it, it isn't the type of book that changes your perspective on the world or anything similar and it didn't quite live up to other David Levithan books.

I loved the characters in this book (particularly Laurie, Elizabeth's brother and a sort of side-kick throughout all the craziness) and I found myself totally engrossed in the story mainly because the characters were so strong.

I'd recommend this to anyone who's interested in books with a bit of magic in them because, although it wasn't my favourite book ever, it's still a very good book!

(Book 27/50)

Lucy x

Monday 26 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Update 7: Sunday + Wrap Up!

DAY 1: 172 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
DAY 2: 185 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows   *BOOK COMPLETED*  
        +: 17 Pages read  -  The Oxford Book of Modern Verse         
        +: 23 Pages read  -  City of Bones
DAY 3: 61 Pages read  -  City of Bones
DAY 4: 18 Pages read  -  City of Bones
DAY 5:  52 % (54 Pages?) read  -  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 
DAY 6:  48 %  (55 Pages?) read  -  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz  *BOOK COMPLETED*
        +:  25 % (45 Pages?) read  -  The Great Gatsby
        +: 18 Pages read -  City of Bones
DAY 7:  70% (135 Pages?) read  -  The Great Gatsby  *BOOK COMPLETED*
        +:  8 Pages read  -  City of Bones

Total: 791 Pages read!

On Sunday I managed to finish reading The Great Gatsby which meant although I abandoned my TBR for the week I still managed to read 3 books this week like I planned originally! Seeing as though normally I read about 1 book per week (give or take, never more than 2 though unless I'm in a particular hard-core reading mood) I am really happy with how the week went, especially with everything else that was going on!

As you can see above, the 3 books I managed to complete were Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Great Gatsby. An added bonus is I have a feeling The Great Gatsby is one of the books we might be studying for English Literature A-Level so I feel like I've been productive by reading it! (I really should be reading more of the ones of the reading list but there's so many others I want to read!)

If you took part in the readathon, how did you do? If not, you should attempt it next time, I really enjoyed it and I felt as though there was absolutely no pressure with Bout of Books as their blog says the aim is to just read more than you normally would in a week whereas some other readathons set goals for you. For me personally, I can never tell whether I'm going to be in the mood to read a lot or not at all so Bout of Books was perfect for me! I'll definitely be keeping up with when the next one is!

That's my first readathon (lets ignore the booktube readathon, it didn't go to plan...) complete! I'd say that was a success!

Lucy x

Bout of Books 8.0 Update 6: Saturday's Progress!

DAY 1: 172 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
DAY 2: 185 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows   *BOOK COMPLETED*  
        +: 17 Pages read  -  The Oxford Book of Modern Verse         
        +: 23 Pages read  -  City of Bones
DAY 3: 61 Pages read  -  City of Bones
DAY 4: 18 Pages read  -  City of Bones
DAY 5:  52 % (54 Pages?) read  -  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 
DAY 6:  48 %  (55 Pages?) read  -  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz  *BOOK COMPLETED*
        +:  25 % (45 Pages?) read  -  The Great Gatsby
        +:  18 Pages read  -  City of Bones

Total: 648 Pages so far!

Saturday was a little better than the last few days have been in terms of reading as the statistics show! 

Although my Mum and I did go out for a few hours in search of a school bag (we ended up buying shoes for school instead and ordering the bag online when we got home, woops!) I spent pretty much the rest of the day reading.

I'm completely in love with my Kindle and the reason I've sort of abandoned my TBR for the week is because I'd rather read on my Kindle while I'm in the mood to! Because of wanting to test it out, I've felt like all I want to be doing is reading since I got it which can only be a good thing in my opinion! (especially when in the middle of a readathon!) That's why I've decided not to read Of Mice and Men like I'd originally planned and I probably won't finish City of Bones tomorrow in time either (did anyone else find it difficult to get into?). 

As you can see from above, I finished reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on my Kindle yesterday and I really enjoyed it! (You can expect a review up soon! I've got so many posts to write after this week - how exciting!)

How are you doing with the readathon if you're taking part? One more day left!

Lucy x

Saturday 24 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Update 5: Friday's Progress (I Got A Kindle!)

DAY 1: 172 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
DAY 2: 185 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows          
        +: 17 Pages read  -  The Oxford Book of Modern Verse         
        +: 23 Pages read  -  City of Bones
DAY 3: 61 Pages read - City of Bones
DAY 4: 18 Pages read - City of Bones
DAY 5: 52% (54 Pages?) - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Total: 530 Pages so far!

My very kind parents decided that as a present for my results they would get me a kindle! (VERY kind of them, I've been wanting one for ages!) After spending rather a long time flitting back and forth between the kindle fire and the kindle paperwhite I decided on the paperwhite because I wasn't too sure about the screen on the fire.

Naturally, because the kindle was here by the time I got home from a day out with my friends I then spent the entire evening sat on my bed reading on it. (I think I'm in love). So far I've only downloaded a few free books but I'm so excited to own a kindle!

There will be a review of the kindle paperwhite up soon so keep an eye out for that if you're interested!

Do you have a kindle? If so, which one and do you like it?

Lucy x

Friday 23 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Update 4: Thursday's Progress (Results Day Reading)

DAY 1: 172 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
DAY 2: 185 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows          
        +: 17 Pages read  -  The Oxford Book of Modern Verse         
        +: 23 Pages read  -  City of Bones
DAY 3: 61 Pages read - City of Bones
DAY 4: 18 Pages read - City of Bones

Total: 476 Pages so far!

For those of you who don't live in the UK or weren't aware, yesterday was GCSE results day which meant that for the first time in my life I had to pick up results that could actually affect my future. Because of this, it was a crazy busy day which involved not only going to collect my results from my old school but also driving to my new school where I'll be going for sixth form (which is about a 35 minute drive), ringing various relatives, spending time with my best friend (who I will be in the same school as for the first time in 5 years in September!) and going out for a meal in the evening with all my family. I feel like it is justified for me to not read much with all that going on!

For any of you wondering, I did well in my GCSEs and am very pleased with my results! :)

Did any of you have GCSE results to collect? How did you do?

Lucy x

Thursday 22 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Update 3: Wednesday's Progress! (or lack of)

DAY 1: 172 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
DAY 2: 185 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows          
        +: 17 Pages read  -  The Oxford Book of Modern Verse         
        +: 23 Pages read  -  City of Bones
DAY 3: 61 Pages read - City of Bones

Total: 458 Pages so far!

So as you can see from the summary above, Wednesday wasn't a good reading day for me.

My 2 cousins and aunt have been staying in the UK for the last 6 weeks and went home yesterday (Wednesday) to their home in New Zealand. (For those who aren't sure how far away that is, it's half the world or a 24 hour journey give or take a few hours). Their flight didn't leave until the evening so I spent the day with them and then when I came home I was so nervous about picking my GCSE results up the next morning I couldn't concentrate on reading at all so settled for watching the 7th Harry Potter film instead.

How're you doing if you're taking part? Have you had any bad reading days this week?

Lucy x

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Update 2: Tuesday's Progress!

DAY 1: 172 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
DAY 2: 185 Pages read  -  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
          +: 17 Pages read  -  The Oxford Book of Modern Verse
          +: 23 Pages read  -  City of Bones

Total: 397 Pages so far!

As I didn't have any plans for today, I decided to spend most of the day reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I ended up finishing the book (although I cried a LOT. I'm sure it wasn't so heart-breaking the first time I read it...) and my review will be up on here soon!

After finishing the Harry Potter series, I had the usual post-Potter feeling of 'no other book can possibly live up to this' so took a break for a few hours before deciding that next to tackle was City of Bones. I read about 2 pages however and didn't really feel like it so read a bit of a lovely little book I bought on a family trip to St Davids (West Wales) a few weeks ago (I have a post planned from this trip if I ever get round to writing it...) called The Oxford Book of Modern Verse before going back to City of Bones. Although The Oxford Book of Modern Verse wasn't on my initial TBR for the readathon and I don't plan on reading it in its entirety this week, I do think I'm going to read a little bit of it every now and then because it's the kind of book that you dip in and out of rather than sitting down to read it cover to cover.

If tomorrow goes to plan, although I won't have loads of reading time because of plans in the real world (shocking I know) I should be able to fit in some reading time on the train and when I get home so I'll be taking City of Bones with me I think!

If you're taking part in the readathon, how're you getting on with it? Are you still feeling motivated?

Lucy x

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0 Update 1 : Monday's Progress!

DAY 1: 172 Pages read!

Despite being out of the house for most of the day with my family, I managed to read far more in a day than I usually would have!

When I got home from our day out and I had eaten my tea and would usually go on my laptop for a bit (I say a bit, it would normally have been tumblr until the early hours of the morning followed by a little bit of reading) I told myself that instead of watching hours and hours of YouTube videos I needed to get some reading time in and seeing as though I wasn't doing anything more productive, that was the perfect time. I read a little bit and then at 9pm I decided to go and make a cup of tea and cwtch (for all you non-Welsh people, translated literally that means hug but in reality it's a little different, just go with it) up with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. One cup of tea and 3 hours later I could hardly believe that my reading time was up for the day! I'm definitely going to spend my evenings doing this more often, I found it gave me much more of a chance to get fully engrossed in the story whereas if I read just before I go to sleep for an hour or so my concentration is sometimes lacking a little.

After an emotional day of reading (Dobby-sob) I feel encouraged and inspired to do well in this read-a-thon! I might not be the fastest reader in the world and while some people might be reading hundreds and hundreds of pages a day I only managed 172 but for me, that's a lot! In the typical day I would usually read just under 100 pages (depending on the book of course).

How did you get on today? Is the read-a-thon going well for you so far or are you already slipping behind? Hang in there and keep reading!

Happy reading!
Lucy x

Sunday 18 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0!

Bout of Books

So after thinking about it for about a week, I've decided very last minute that I'm going to at least attempt the Bout of Books 8.0 read-a-thon!

If you don't know what Bout of Books 8.0 is, this is what it says on their website:
'The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team'

The last read-a-thon I attempted (the booktube read-a-thon a few weeks ago) didn't go to plan as anyone who stumbled upon my blog during that time will already know. It was the start of my summer which meant I was actually leaving the house (a shock I know) to spend time with my friends pretty much all day every day while the weather lasted. Now feels like a much better time to participate in a read-a-thon because things aren't so crazy and I've been reading a lot this week anyway so I thought I'd give it a shot. Another encouraging thing about Bout of Books is that they say the goal is to read more in a week than you personally would normally read and there is no competition between others or anything similar and I feel like that is a good thing for me personally.

My TBR (for now)

Because I decided on doing this read-a-thon so late I'm not going to pick out many books for my TBR because I can always add more and I'd rather not set myself a daunting challenge that I can't finish. I'm currently half way through reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so I will definitely finish that and on top of that I'd like to read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and at least start City of Bones by Cassandra Clare but these may change depending on what I feel like reading.

Are any of you taking part in the read-a-thon? Let me know in the comments and we can motivate each other :)

Happy Reading!Lucy x

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

607 Pages

Rating: 5/5!

The fact that my re-visit to the magical wizarding world is drawing to a close (and far too quickly too) is making me very sad but I'm still loving the series so much.

Having not read this book since I was about 9 (even then I only read it once) and only seeing the film once (the scene with the Inferi and the Horcrux scared me a LOT when I was younger. Well, it still scares me now but now as much.. anyway, I'm rambling) I'd pretty much forgotten everything about this book except for very few key bits of the plot. I found that because I'd forgotten so much of it, it was so nice to read the book again because it was almost as though I was reading a completely new Harry Potter book (despite knowing what the final outcome would be) because all the little details I'd either completely missed the first time because I was so much younger or I'd just forgotten.

I'm just so in love with this series at the moment (as my tumblr shows only too well) and once I've finished re-reading the series there will (hopefully!) be a post about other Potter related things I've discovered in the last few weeks (even though I'm definitely behind on all of them, I can't believe no one told me earlier) that  I want to share with you guys. 

(Book 26/50)

Lucy x

Sunday 11 August 2013

Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

 315 Pages

Rating: 5/5

Billy and Me is the story of Sophie May, a quiet girl from a little town who is used to the comfort of the tea shop she works in, and Billy Buskin, a famous actor who is known for his 'teen' roles and is trying to break free from his image. When Billy's shooting a film in Sophie's home town, it's not long before they meet and get to know each other and this book follows their story.

Now I would be lying if I said that the fact Giovanna Fletcher is married to Tom Fletcher (from McFly) had nothing to do with me buying this book but it wasn't the only reason I bought it. I've heard a lot of good things about this book and everyone I've spoken to that has read it really enjoyed it and I have to say, I absolutely loved it. It made me smile at the sheer loveliness of it and cry at how heart-breaking some of it was and I highly recommend it.

One thing I will warn you of is that this book isn't really suitable for a younger audience, maybe 13 at the youngest, as there are certain areas of the book that deal with more adult themes. I will also say that don't go into this book expecting a light, happy romance because there's a lot more to it than that.

I really loved this book and it made me feel every emotion you could possibly feel from a book. I spent most of my day today reading it and I thoroughly enjoyed doing so.

(Book 25/50 - Half Way!)

Lucy x

Sunday 4 August 2013

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

215 Pages

Rating: 4/5 (this time)

This was a re-read for me. Having read it last summer and finding it to be the perfect cute, quick summer read I decided to re-visit it this summer. For some reason though, this time I didn't find it as amazing as I did last summer.

When I read the story of Hadley and Oliver last summer (my review from then can be found here) I fell completely in love with the romance of it all. This time, not so much. Whether it's because I'm really not in a 'reading mood' these days (I refuse to call it a reading slump, for me that feels like giving in when I fully plan on fighting my way out of it) or because of something else I'm not too sure but what I do know is that the book didn't live up to what I remembered it being at all.

That being said, it is still a really lovely summer read (and a super quick one at that!) I read the second half of the book in one sitting and, in my opinion, the whole book could easily be read cover to cover on the beach.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a light, fun and romantic beach read, you've found it. If you're looking for something a little deeper than that, this might not be the book you're looking for.

(Book 24/50)

Lucy x

Monday 29 July 2013

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

766 Pages

Rating: 5/5 (would it be anything else? It's a Potter book)

I'm enjoying re-reading this series so much I've stopped after this one for a little while because I don't want it to end just yet!

Although I love this series so much I made butterbeer cupcakes (find my post on that, including the link to the recipe, here) this book is definitely not the best book in the series. Don't get me wrong, I still love it dearly and think it's a truly fantastic book in comparison to other books but it's not in comparison to the other Potters. When I was discussing this with a friend she pointed out how this one and the 6th one seem to not have been edited as well as they maybe could've been because they were trying to release them quickly and I see her point. It seems like a very long book and although the majority of what happens does need to be there, the book seems slightly longer than it needs to be.

Having said that, I still love it and I stand by the fact I think everyone should read the Harry Potter series no matter how much they like reading. It truly is more than a series, it's a world. And I for one would love to belong to that world in a way that is more than reading them, watching them and re-creating as much as I can.

(Book 23/50)

Lucy x

Sunday 28 July 2013

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

310 Pages

Rating: 4/5

For Auggie Pullman, starting Middle School is a much bigger deal than it is for other people. Not only is it the first time he'll be attending school (he's been home-schooled up to this point) but he also doesn't look like his class mates.

I've heard a lot of good things about this book so I was worried it wouldn't live up to the hype but I have to say, I do think it's worth the hype.

Although Wonder isn't my favourite book I've ever read I do feel that it's the kind of book that will stick with the reader long after they've finished reading it. Wonder is a real eye-opener and really made me think about how life would be from the perspective of someone like Auggie and his family.

Wonder reminded me of books like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and The Perks of Being a Wallflower with a bit of John Green thrown in so if you like any of those books, you'll probably like this. That's not to say if you didn't like them you won't like this as I wasn't a massive fan of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (controversial I know) and I still really enjoyed this.

(Book 22/50)

Lucy x

Monday 22 July 2013

Summer Book Haul (Haul #2)

Those of you living in the UK will know that GCSE exams are now over and what better way to celebrate finishing exams than buying books as a present from me to me?
While doing my exams I didn't have much time to read at all and I was actually struggling to read a book a week which is my usual goal. Since I've finished exams (about 3 weeks ago) I've tried to get back into reading because it's not only something I enjoy but something I'm going to have to do a lot of next year for English Literature so I decided to get reading some of the things I've wanted to for ages! All these books I bought either from Amazon or The Book Depository with the exception of Etiquette & Espionage which I happened to see in a shop called 'The Works' for £1.99! (most books in shops in the UK are around the £6 mark which is why I usually order online where they tend to be more around the £4 mark.

I bought 6 books (Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher, The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan, Crossed by Ally Condie, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger and The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales) and my Mum then bought Wonder by R. J. Palacio which she let me borrow after I'd taken these photos so it's pictured below. I've already read The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan and to read my review click here. Other reviews will be posted as I read them so if you're particularly interested in a certain book, keep an eye out because the review will be coming sometime this summer.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Booktubeathon: Change of Plan

So as you will probably be able to tell from the few updates I've done on booktubeathon, it wasn't going well for me at all. One day I read less than 50 pages which is not good for me on the average day never mind during a readathon.

I was feeling a little down about the fact I've been doing to badly with it all because I really did want to succeed so I talked to a friend of mine about it who is also an avid reader. She said to me that the challenges are a good thing to be doing but not to worry about not reading it all in a week because it's been such a busy week and she's right. Because of that, I've decided to change what I'm going to do.

I'm not going to give myself a time limit (other than the end of summer) to read the books I'd picked out to read but I am going to cut myself a bit of slack and try to not stress over reading a certain thing in a certain number of hours because it would seem that doesn't work for me.

For the rest of you still doing the readathon, I hope it's going well!

Happy reading :)

Lucy x

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Booktubeathon Day 3: Day 2 Update and Still Failing

Day 2 final update:
115 Pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
5 Pages of Sense and Sensibility (that one's not going too well)

120 Pages total... the day was failed miserably

Day 3: Still Not Going Well
So as you can probably see from my Day 3 word count, this readathon isn't exactly going as well as I'd hoped it would. I'm still trying to power through and read as much as I can in the time I have but it's proving to be more difficult that I thought due to the fact we've got lovely weather here in the UK at the moment and because I know it won't last long I've spent every day this week at the beach (and fully plan on doing the same for the rest of the week!) I think considering I've only really had a few hours each day to read I'm doing pretty well!

I managed to finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this morning which means I've officially finished my first book of the readathon (and the biggest one) and I've finished my first (modified) challenge!

How're you all getting on with the readathon? Is it going well? Is it more difficult than you thought it would be? Let me know!

Happy reading!

Lucy x

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Booktubeathon Day 2: Day 1 Update and Day 2 Progress

Day 1 Update:
I managed to read...
168 Pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
9 Pages of Sense and Sensibility
Total: 177 Pages (I failed miserably yesterday)

Day 2 Progress:
So as you can see, yesterday didn't really go to plan due to being down the beach with my friends and today the same thing happened! This is the most sociable I've been since I left school a month ago! Bad week to choose to do that but oh well, have to make the most of the nice weather before it's too late.

Day 2's beach read
I did manage to read a little bit of Sense and Sensibilty down the beach while some of my friends were off getting chips and the others were in the sea and I got a bit of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix read last night so I'm going to go continue with that one! I'm using Sense and Sensibility as my book to carry around with me seeing as though Order of the Phoenix isn't the most portable book in the world!

Happy reading!

Lucy x

Monday 15 July 2013

Booktubeathon Day 1: Already Cheating and TBR

So today is the first day of the booktubeathon that I mentioned in a post a while ago and it's the first readathon I've ever done so I knew it was going to be an experience to say the least. I hadn't even decided what books I'm reading until just before midnight last night and it's still changing!

When I say I'm already cheating, I mean with the challenges set by Ariel and Raeleen which are totally optional anyway. For the book over 500 pages I'm reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which I was actually already about 300 pages into so I'm not technically reading a full book with 500 pages but I feel like it still counts because I wanted to finish it before starting anything else anyway. As for the audio book and finishing a series, I've decided not to do either of those challenges because I'd rather read a book than listen to it and there are no series' that I only have 1 or 2 books left in. What I think I'm going to do to make up for these however is finish as many books as I can that I'm halfway through because I seem to have developed a habit recently of leaving a book if I don't find it interesting but thinking that I'll come back to it at some point. One in particular I'd like to finish is Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger but I've also got The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks and The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales sitting there on my shelf waiting to be finished. This was a bit of a last minute decision challenge for me so I might not carry it through but we'll see!

The books I've decided I want to read (this will probably have changed by tomorrow) are Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for over 500 pages, Slated by Teri Terry for the book that's been on my shelf forever and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith for re-reading a book. As for classic I'm thinking at the moment it will be Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen however I'm not sure if I'll finish it in a week so I may swap to The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald or Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

Are any of you taking part in the booktubeathon? I'd love to be able to chat to you if you are so we can encourage each other and keep track of each other's reading! If you are please either leave me a comment on here or tweet me and I'll definitely reply! :)

Happy reading and let the games begin! ;)

Lucy x

Sunday 14 July 2013

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

636 Pages

Rating: 5/5! (if I could give it higher I would!)

I'm thoroughly enjoying re-reading this series but I was a little worried after finishing Prisoner of Askaban because I'm not usually a fan of big books. I find that they put me off because I think I'll get bored and not finish them but this book proved to me that isn't always the case.

So far in the series, I have to say I think this is my favourite (although there's not much between this and the rest). What I liked about Goblet of Fire so much is that you can really sense the build up throughout the book for each task and the ending doesn't feeling like an ending, it feels like a beginning. For me, this is the book that really shows the characters growing up as they're forced to be more mature due to the circumstances at the end and after finishing it, I wanted (and did) start Order of the Phoenix straight away because of the dramatic ending. It has much more of a dark side to it and I really enjoyed that.

I really loved reading this book and it's made me so excited for the rest of the series!

(Book 21/50)

Lucy x

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

317 Pages

Rating: 5/5!

Like Chamber of Secrets, I haven't read this for years however I watched the film not too long ago. One thing I have noticed from re-reading these books and re-watching the films is just how true to the books the films are. Of course some areas will need to be cut down or removed because there's a limited amount of time for the film but a lot of the dialogue is the same as the book.

I loved this book just as much as Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets and I'm enjoying this series so much, possibly even more than I enjoyed it the last time I read them. It's actually really nice to read them knowing what happens at the end of the book/series because there are some little details that may seem meaningless the first time you read them but actually relate back to the final outcome.

I've completely fallen in love with this series all over again and I can't stop reading them! Anything else seems to not quite live up to the standards set by these books at the moment.

(Book 20/50)
Lucy x

Sunday 7 July 2013

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

251 Pages

Rating: 5/5!

I've only ever read this book (along with the remainder of the series) once before and that was years ago so I thought it was about time to re-read it. I'd forgotten how much I love Chamber of Secrets and although I know a lot of people say they don't like it as much as some of the other books I really love it.

One thing I'd forgotten in the years its been since I'd read this or, in fact, watched it, is how much I love Fawkes. I just love how he manages to save the day and I think that the loyalty he shows to Harry once Harry has shown his loyalty to Dumbledore is amazing.

(Book 19/50)
Lucy x

Saturday 6 July 2013


Follow my blog with Bloglovin 

I very recently discovered a website called bloglovin that lets you follow all your favourite blogs in one place and sends you a notification when they share a new post. I just wanted to let you guys know about the site because although I haven't been on it long I've already fallen in love with it and I can see how it will make keeping up with the blogs I like so much more easy.

If you want to follow me on there the link it above :)

Lucy x

Thursday 4 July 2013

The Book-tube-a-thon! (My First Read-a-thon)

I've loved watching booktubers for a while now and it's actually what got me interested in blogging about books. I've always been a 'reader' but since stumbling upon John Green's The Fault In Our Stars early last year and all the booktubers who were talking about it, I've completely fallen in love with reading and the community.

Because of this I've decided to take part in the booktube-a-thon which is a read-a-thon that has come from the world of booktube. I know that I'm not a 'booktuber' in the sense that I post videos about books but I feel like being a book blogger is the next best thing! I'm not sure if I'll attempt all of the challenges yet because I tend to read really slowly if I'm not completely in the mood to read that certain book so things like reading a classic in a few days might not be the easiest thing for me but I'll give as many of them as I can a go! I've already picked out my 'over 500 pages' book which is going to be one of the later Harry Potter books depending on how much I read before then (I've just started Goblet of Fire) but the rest I think I'll just see what I want to read.

Let me know if you're taking part in the book-tube-a-thon too, I'd love to be able to keep track of what I'm reading with someone. I'm not sure whether I'll review the books as I read them or if I'll just post all the reviews at the end of the read-a-thon but there will be separate reviews for each of the books I read.

Lucy x

Sunday 30 June 2013

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

223 Pages

Rating: 5/5!

This is the third time I've read this book and I'm pretty sure almost everyone (if not everyone) reading this will already know a lot about the Harry Potter series so I'm going to keep my review quite brief.

Every time I go back to the Harry Potter books I fall in love with them all over again. Having not read the full series since I was about 10 I decided this summer was a good time to re-read them and I'm completely in the Harry Potter mood already. It's so easy to see why these books have such a massive following and, in my opinion, they fully deserve it.

I also re-watched the film after finishing the book and it's still as good as ever, even if it is beginning to look slightly dated (because of things like the special effects).

If, for any reason, you've not read this book please read it. You won't regret it.

(Book 18/50)

Lucy x

Sunday 23 June 2013

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

211 Pages

Rating: 5/5!

The Lover's Dictionary is a love story told in dictionary extracts.

This is the third David Levithan book I've read and the more I read his work the more I fall in love with his writing. This is a very quick read (it took me about 3/4 hours I believe) because his poetic style flows so beautifully that it is impossible to put down.

There's not much I have to say about this book other than I thought it was really beautiful. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's interested in reading poetry or anyone who is just a fan of beautiful writing in general. Yet again, David Levithan didn't disappoint and I look forward to reading more of his books.

(Book 17/50)

Lucy x

Sunday 16 June 2013

James Potter and the Hall of Elders Crossing by G. Norman Lippert

405 Pages (according to Goodreads)

Rating: 4/5

James Potter and the Hall of Elders Crossing follows James Potter (Harry's son) during his first year at Hogwarts as he and his friends fight to stop the world of magic from being revealed to the muggle world.

This is definitely a must read for any Harry Potter fans. I'm a Harry Potter fan however I have not read each book 10 times like some truly dedicated fans. I really enjoyed this book because after the final installment of the Harry Potter series, I found myself wondering what would be next for the characters (more so than other series/novels) and this provided an answer for that. One thing I really loved about this book is that it incorporated so much of the original series, from just the characters right through to little details such as the Marauders Map having blank spaces where the castle had changed after the battle.

This was my first experience with fanfiction and I have to say, it was a good one. The plot was exciting and like something that could be from the original series and the characters were all stayed true to what J. K. Rowling created.

This book is only in ebook form and it is a free download. Click here to go to the Goodreads page where you can download it.

(Book 16/50)

Lucy x

Sunday 9 June 2013

Matched by Ally Condie

366 Pages

Rating: 3.5/5

In the world 'Matched' is set in, their society controls everything from the size of their meals to the person they marry. On her 16th Birthday Cassia is excited to meet her match who will be her perfect partner for life, however she quickly finds herself falling for someone else and begins to feel the urge to make her own decisions.

I didn't know what to think going into this book as I had seen both good and bad reviews but overall I did like it quite a lot. I thought the concept was really interesting and it was different to other books I thought would be similar (for example, Delirium by Lauren Oliver) due to the way the society was constructed. I found that element in particular really interesting and it'll be interesting to see in the others in the series how this society element develops.

I got this for Christmas (it's taken me ages to get round to reading it, I know) and while it maybe isn't something I'd chose for myself, I really enjoyed it and will read the others in the series! The only reason I didn't give it a higher rating is because I didn't find it particularly gripping and it seemed to take me a long time to read it.

(Book 15/50)

Lucy x

Sunday 2 June 2013

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

167 Pages

Rating: 5/5!

Love is the Higher Law follows the story of 3 very normal teenagers living in New York and their experiences with 9/11. The description on the back of the book says "On 9/11, thousands of people died... but millions upon millions came together in ways they never would have imagined." and I feel that really sums up the story.

This novel very much focuses on the attitudes of New Yorkers during the horrific time and the ways in which they joined forces rather than the catastrophic events of September 11th 2001. The 'author's note' at the end of the book explains how David Levithan was in New York at the time and this seemed to give him the perfect perspective to write this novel.

Personally, I was alive during 9/11 but I was too young to remember it. Because of this, I found this novel really interesting as I found it explained what it was like in New York during the time and immediately afterwards in a way that news clips and reports can't. Love if the Higher Law is one of the most believable novels I've read in a long time and I felt like I was reading personal accounts from real people rather than the story of 3 fictional characters.

I honestly can't recommend this book highly enough. It was a quick read but is definitely the kind of book you will think about after finishing. I am amazed at the fact I haven't heard much about this book and it definitely deserves more attention. This is another of David Levithan's books that I have fallen in love with.

(Book 14/50)

Lucy x

Sunday 26 May 2013

Heist Society by Ally Carter

332 Pages

Rating: 4/5

Heist Society is the story of a girl named Kat as her and her friends set up the biggest theft in history. Having grown up in a family full of thieves, Kat knows a thing or two about the family profession but will they succeed?

I really enjoyed this book however for some reason didn't love it. I'm not quite sure what it was about it but I didn't find it as gripping as Ally Carter's other books that I've read. I still think it's an original story with a good plot and lovable characters regardless of my not loving it which is why I think it deserves a 4/5.

Although I didn't love this series like I did with the Gallagher Girls series I still think it's a fantastic book and I can understand why other people love it.

(Book 13/50)

Lucy x

Sunday 19 May 2013

The History Boys by Alan Bennett (Play and Movie Review)

This is one half of what I studied for Year 11/Unit 2 English Literature GCSE. To see the review of the other half (Lord of the Flies) click here.

Play Rating: 3/5
Movie Rating: 3.5/5

The History Boys is a much loved play written by Alan Bennett. Set in 1980's Yorkshire, The History Boys follows the story of 8 boys as they strive to get places at Oxford and Cambridge.

I found the play enjoyable to read however I found after watching the movie I enjoyed it a lot more. The way some of the actors (particularly Richard Griffiths as Hector and Dominic Cooper as Dakin) brought the characters to life was incredible and I feel it added so much to the story. They managed to give the characters so much depth that I felt was a lot harder to get from just reading the play.

In my opinion, the casting for the movie was perfect. Richard Griffiths and Dominic Cooper especially I felt fitted the roles perfectly and I couldn't imagine them being played by any other actor. The casting of each character I felt was brilliant however those two stood out to me personally.

If this were not part of the English Literature course I probably wouldn't have picked it up. I did enjoy reading it but if I hadn't studied the themes and choice of language etc in school I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it half as much.

After a lot of debating with myself over whether to count this as part of my 50 books challenge or not I decided I would as I feel that although it's not a novel it is still noteworthy. What are your opinions on what counts and doesn't for the 50 books challenge?

(Book 12/50)

Lucy x

Monday 13 May 2013

Bout of Books 7.0 Read-a-thon (Why I Can't Take Part)

As many of you are probably aware, the Bout of Books 7.0 read-a-thon runs through this week (13th May - 19th May). Unfortunately for me, this is also the first week of my GCSE exams in school. For those of you outside the UK, GCSE exams are the exams taken in Year 11 (aged 15 or 16) that pretty much determine whether you do A Levels (higher education that often leads to going to university), a college course or get a job. They're kind of a big deal. Because of this, there's no way I would be able to justify taking part in a read-a-thon when I'm meant to be revising but that doesn't stop me from following others who are taking part and following their progress!

I first found out about the read-a-thon by watching LittleBookOwl's video on YouTube explaining it. She's a fantastic book-tuber who I really enjoy watching and is posting video updates throughout the read-a-thon.

For her blog post about Bout of Books 7.0 click here or for the video click here.

Another of my favourite book-tubers who is taking part is JesseTheReader. He is also posting video updates along the way.

To see his initial video about Bout of Books click here.

Although I can't take part in this read-a-thon my exams will all be over by June 13th so if anyone knows of a read-a-thon during the summer please let me know. I love the idea of read-a-thons and would love to take part in one!

Sunday 12 May 2013

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

210 Pages

Rating: 5/5!

The Realm of Possibility is a novel written in verse from the perspective of 20 different high school students. The short insight to each characters life is done in such a way as to tackle many issues teenagers face on a daily basis without going into too much depth.

When I bought this book online, I had a feeling that I would absolutely love it and I did. I found it from seeing a page of it posted on tumblr and I fell in love with the writing immediately and  ordered it that same night. I don't really have much to say about this book, I just think if you have even the slightest interest in novels written in verse, poetry or even just beautiful pieces of writing such as song lyrics you should read this book.

(Book 11/50)

Sunday 5 May 2013

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

317 Pages
Rating: 5/5!

13 Little Blue Envelopes follows the story of Ginny as she travels Europe following the instructions from her dead Aunt. Each envelope tells her to go to a different place and complete a unique task and she may only open the next one when she has done so.

I loved this book. The writing style was so easy to read that I found myself finishing the book quickly despite being very busy at the moment with revision for exams in school and the plot itself was brilliant. I loved each country Ginny visited and I found that the people she met and things she did in each country made it all the more interesting.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you're looking for a something quick and fun to read this summer. I will definitely be reading some more of Maureen Johnson's books in the future!

(Book 10/50)

Friday 26 April 2013

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

387 Pages

Rating: 4/5

Cinder is a futuristic re-telling of the classic fairy tale Cinderella... with a twist. Cinder is a cyborg in New Beijing who is also a gifted mechanic. When her step sister falls ill very suddenly, Cinder is blamed for it. The novel follows Cinder as she learns new things about the world she lives in and new things about herself.

Despite being skeptical when I started reading this book, I really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure that the futuristic side of things would be for me but I found it really enjoyable and it's written in a way that makes it all very easy to read and understand.

I found it really interesting how Cinder learns new things about herself throughout the book. I thought it put a really nice twist on the classic fairy tale and made it different to other re-tellings.

All in all, I enjoyed Cinder a lot and will definitely be reading Scarlett soon as I'm interested to see the development! If you're thinking of reading it and are put off by the futuristic side of the novel or the fact she is a mechanic, don't be. I enjoyed it even though that's not the usual type of thing I go for.

(Book 9/50)

Monday 8 April 2013

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Rating: 4/5
393 Pages

Delirium by Lauren Oliver is set in a world where love is a disease. At the age of 18, everyone must undergo a medical procedure that means they are no longer able to love. The books follows the story of Lena, a 17 year old girl living in Portland, in the build up to her procedure, but as she learns more about the world she lives in and what is outside the electrocuted fence that surrounds her city, she discovers there are a lot of things that the government are keeping secret. 

As I started reading this book, I thought it was going to be exactly the same as Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, a book which I did not enjoy, but I soon realised this wasn't the case. The concept of this book alone I found really interesting. There's a lot more to the world Delirium is set in than just having the ability to love taken away. The way Lauren Oliver also includes that in their world only the rich people use electricity often and have cars I found really interesting. I also liked the way she described the obviously well thought out main side of the plot. The fact that after the procedure people seem 'numb' and the ability to love being taken away also means the ability to hate has been taken away was really interesting. I also really enjoyed the relationships between Lena and her friends and family. The way she subconsciously acts different around the cured to the uncured was handled beautifully.

I must admit, one of the things I did like about this book is that what you expect to happen doesn't. I've read a lot of books similar to this and I thought when I started reading it 'I know exactly what's going to happen' and then it didn't. Also, the relationship between Lena and Alex was beautiful.

Although I'm not the biggest fan of Lauren Oliver's writing, I can't fault her plots. There is something about the whole concept of this book that makes up for the writing style. I would definitely recommend it.

(Book 8/50)

Friday 5 April 2013

Book Haul! (Haul #1)

I've found that recently I haven't been reading as many books as I could be. I'm not sure whether this is because I feel that with studying for my GCSEs I've been reading too much as it is or whether I've just lost the motivation due to being busy at the moment but, either way, I thought it's time to fix that. The way I decided to fix it was by buying some books I've wanted to read for a while that will hopefully get me excited for reading again.

 I ordered 4 books, one of them from and the others from amazon. When I was deciding which ones to get I chose ones that either I've wanted to read for a while or ones that I've seen lots of good reviews about whether it's a written review or a review on YouTube.

'When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her uncle travelled to Austria... to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she conned her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. But now her dad's life is on the line, and Kat must go back to the world she tried so hard to escape...'

The first book I got is Heist Society by Ally Carter. After reading Ally Carter's other series The Gallagher Girls series and loving it, when I saw many good reviews of this series I had to read it. I decided to only get one other them although I'm sure I'll be ordering the others as soon as I finish it. 

'If your free-spirited aunt left you 13 little blue envelopes: Would you follow the directions? Would you travel around the world? Would you open the envelopes one by one? Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes...'

Being the massive John Green that I am, I'm actually surprised that I've managed to go this long without reading a Maureen Johnson book. I've wanted to read one of her books since I first heard about them last year and I finally got round to buying one. 

'Cinder: a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.'

Over the past few weeks I've seen so many people getting really excited by Scarlett, the second book in this series by Marissa Meyer. I thought I'd look a little more into the series and see what it's about and when I discovered that it was a futuristic re-telling of Cinderella I knew I had to read it. I've wanted to read a re-telling of a fairy-tale for a while and I hope this one's worth it!

'There's the girl who is in love with Holden Caulfield. The boy who wants to be strong who falls for the girl who's convinced she needs to be weak. The girl who writes love songs for a girl she can't have. The two boys teetering on the brink of their first anniversary. And everyone in between.'

I actually found this book via tumblr when I saw a photo of a book that contained a really lovely quote. When I found out that it was written in verse it made me want to read it even more. I've thought about reading something that's been written relatively recently but is written in verse for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

So that was a little insight into why I chose the books I did and the blurb from the back of each one. I'll be reviewing these books after I finish them so keep a look out for that if you're interested in getting any of them. Also, if you've got any suggestions for books I should get in the future please let me know! I'm always on the lookout for more!

Guess Who's Back...

 So... it's been a while! So looking at my most recent post, it's been a grand total of 7 years, 4 months and 12 days since I last u...