Thursday, December 11, 2014

Girl Online I Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella

"Every time you post something online you have a choice. You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world - or you can make it something that takes away."

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg +Zoella 
Published by Penguin
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 346
Source: Brought from Dymocks

Penny has a secret. Under the alias Girl Online she blogs about school, dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family- and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love- and capturing every moment of it on her blog. But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever. 

Being a fan of Zoe's and a regular viewer of her videos I was quite excited after watching her vlog, where she announced that she was going to release a book. It was very interesting to see her prepare for its release, with the revelation of her cover the way she included the viewers by giving them a chance to have their photos on the cover and also following her around in a different vlog to see the creation and publication of her book...up until the launch party. She is a vlogger/blogger that has created a name for herself and has gained fans from all across the world. I have been following Zoe for the past 3 years and it has been great to see what she has achieved. So naturally this was one of my highly anticipated books for 2014. The fact that it was also predicted to be a bestseller within days did increase my expectations of the book.

The book's main character is Penny, which has an anonymous blog "Girl Online" where she is able to write about all the different issues in her life, issues that she feels a lot safer discussing online with her online readers rather than with people at her school. Also Penny's next door neighbour is where her best friend Elliot lives and the friendship that exists there is great. All types of issues were discussed on Girl Online, things that every teenage girl deals with nowadays such as school, friends, boys, family and in Penny's case panic attacks and anxiety. I think that teenage girls do deal with some form of anxiety in their lives, others on a mild scale and others on a deeper and much more serious level. Every day stresses in life sometimes build up and cause a release in forms of panic attacks, depression and sadness. For me this aspect was very intriguing in the book, it allowed me to see what a panic attack may feel like for other people and genuinely seeing it through the main characters eyes and viewing her embarrassment and sadness with certain matters you cannot feel anything but empathy for the character.

The UK in general and Brighton as a city are places I really want to visit. The United Kingdom being generally on the top of my list for its culture, weather and lifestyle this book made me want to go even more. I love books that really do take time to build the scenery and the location even details of cafes and details of the well known Brighton pier. However the book travelled me all the way to New York during Christmas which made it lovely, merely by the fact that big city meets Christmas and it made me want to go during this time to witness all the things Penny spoke about. This is where we meet Noah and the love story between him and Penny begins and the cute romance develops. It is hard not to love the love that goes on in the book and Noah is a character that you love from the first moment. The book had some lovely characters that the reader does grow close to and can create connections with.

In general this book, was sort of what I expected, which is a cute young adult love story in the 21st century discussing important issues of the Internet and online context. Also, as previously mentioned the theme of anxiety, panic attacks and also a brief inclusion to the theme of homophobia and loss which allows the reader to bond with different characters that deal with all kinds of issues. Which is what makes this book appropriate for everyone, also a very quick read, it only took me a few days to finish. The main down side of the book for me was the fact that at times the story was predictable, I could feel and see what was going to happen. This was my main concern with the book, which is why I also don't want to get into too many deep details of the book as to not spoil it for anyone.  The main thing that I kept from the book is that we can never judge another individual if we truly do not know their story and their side, in today's digital age this is a very serious problem where people judge someone just by a glance or through a tabloid.

My rating: 4/5 

Monday, December 1, 2014

If I Stay - Where She Went I Gayle Forman

"Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you." 

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Published by Definitions
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 213
Brought from Target

"Just listen," Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.' I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen. 

'Stay,' he says. Everybody has to make choices. Some might break you. For seventeen- year old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope. 

But life can change in an instant. A cold February morning, a snowy road and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one. As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all. 

What can I say about this book.? Truly, very very intriguing. I found it living up to my expectations. I did see the movie before I read the book, which is not something I do often however it did intrigue me even more as to see how the story would play out on paper and I was not disappointed. I really liked the way the book was structured, where it would build up the characters and create the sense of closeness between both the main characters and the second characters with the reader. Thus building the emotional attachment between the two. I also did like the way that the book would follow Mia in the present but also giving us a few flashbacks, allowing us to understand her past and seeing how she grew up and how she became to be the individual she is at the moment. Also, the addition of the supernatural element really enhanced this book in my eyes, creating an eerie and capturing feeling making me want to read on and also understand what was going on. 

"Her hands were freezing, just like they always were, so I warmed them, just like I always did."

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Published by Definitions
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Brought from Bookworld

If you had a second chance at first love, would you take it?
It's been three years since Adam's love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it, and three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. 
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

For me the sequel of If I Stay was exactly what I needed in order to complete the series. It built a good storyline and did increase the interest I had in the characters, wanting to find out what would happen with them. I am a big fan of Mia and Adam's love story, meaning that I did want to see more of their relationship and not only their lives separately, something this book did give me greatly. Although narrated from Adam's perspective, differ net from the first book I found it intriguing and capturing to be able to be inside his mind and see how he thinks and how he felt and perceived Mia. I just loved being able to enter Adam's mind and thinking. Such a fascinating duo logy. I am extremely pleased with these books and their turn out, I would not mind seeing the second book also being adapted into a movie sequel. Also quick reads if you are looking for something small and light to read.

My rating for both : 5/5 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cinder I Marissa Meyer

"Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth." 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published by Puffin Books
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 387
Source: Brought from Dymocks

Cinder is 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. 

After having heard so much about this series, the "Lunar Chronicles" I was so curios as to what the buzz was about and if truly it lived up to its name. I can now say after just finishing the first book in the series, "Cinder" that it is absolutely AMAZING.! 

In a world full of humans, cyborgs, androids and "people" from the planet Lunar an interesting world is unraveled before us. Our main character Cinder, following in the footsteps of Cinderella lives with her vicious and mean stepmother, which is demanding and treats her very badly. Cinder is blamed for many things and forced to work for the family, her only friend being an android but also one of the two step daughters Peony, something that never made her stepmother and her other step sister happy. When she meets Kai something inside her changes, she changes but she is still to realise this. Throughout the book we see her trying her hardest to cope through everyday life which is hard considering the fact that she feels like she does not belong between the others due to the fact that she is different.

When I began this book, it did take me a few chapters to get into it and become completely drawn to the story. However, after understanding the characters and having build up the world I was able to love the concept behind it. So many people grew up with Cinderella and the connections are there, all you have to do is change Cinderella and bring her into a different time. This book managed just this, being different and interesting at the same time, keeping me hooked to find out what is going to happen. And of course being a sucker for love that is something I also saw in this book which made me like it even more. Overall just intrigued by the world and really looking forward to reading the sequel, Scarlet. It did take me some time to finally read it and I do regret leaving it to now, should have read it ages ago. But better late than never.!

My rating : 5/5