Wednesday, 21 September 2016

GUEST REVIEW- TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE

TITLE: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
AUTHOR:  Jenny Han
PUBLISHER:  Scholastic
AGE GROUP: 12+

PURCHASE THE BOOK FROM THE BOOK DEPOSITORY HERE.

SYNOPSIS


Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control...

Honestly this book is so good, I don’t know where to start. In this book there are the Song girls: Margot, Lara Jean, and Kitty. There is also their Dad, and their Mom died when Kitty was little. She was running in the kitchen to answer the phone and slipped, she went to the hospital and everything was fine. Days later she went to take a nap from a headache and never woke up.

Margot then became Lara, Jean and Kitty’s mother figure- they needed someone to go to when they couldn’t go to their dad, because he was working- or just missed their mom. Margot has been raising them since she was 13 and now it’s time for Margot to go to college, and the worst part is she's going to college half way across the world, in Scotland.

For Margo, she's super excited to go live in Scotland, but she doesn’t want to leave her family behind and most importantly Josh, her boyfriend. Josh is their next door neighbour who's lived there for along time and started going out with Margot. Now it’s Lara Jean’s turn to manage and take care of Kitty and her dad. For Lara Jean she knows it’s going to be hard because she’s never took care of them before- Margot has been there all her life and took care of everyone so she’s never had to worry. But now that the time has come, it’s going to be a lot harder.

In the first chapters Lara Jean talks about how she writes love letters to get over her crushes. She writes them, seals them, address them, and puts them in her hatbox her mom gave her. These letters are only for her and no one else. But one day all the letters are sent out. So when one of Lara Jean’s old crushes reads and receives the letter, she has to start fake going out with him in order for him to tell no one- and for him to make his old girlfriend Genevieve jealous. Toward the middle of this book, her sister's EX boyfriend Josh, (the neighbour they love like a brother) gets his letter and reads it. One day he comes over and tells Lara Jean that he liked her before he liked her sister and they get into an argument so he kisses her, and they make a deal not to tell Margot, even though they broke up.

When Peter (her fake boyfriend) tells Lara Jean that he really likes her and is not faking it she begins to like him back, that is until she keeps seeing him with his EX girlfriend. When Josh learns that Peter told a rumour to the whole school, it makes Lara Jean cry- and end up getting into an argument with Margot because she found out that her and Josh kissed. Lara Jean finds herself in chaos and Peter and Josh almost get into a fight. When Lara Jean learns that Margot told her dad what it was and they didn’t believe her she cried and wished they did believe her- then they all started to believe her. At the end of the book Kitty gets the puppy that she wanted for Christmas, Margot and Lara Jean get makeup, and Peter and Lara Jean break up. Lara Jean learns who took the letters and sent them, she freaks out but forgives them. Then comes the ending which gives a real shock. If you want to find out more about this book go and read it- if you want to know what happens after this book go and read the second one. That’s all for this book review. Xoxo Cassidy.



Sunday, 18 September 2016

BLOGGER HACKS


Sometimes, being a blogger can be really difficult- you might need some tips and tricks to help you along your blogging journey. Below, I've listed some blogger hacks: these are little things I have acquired after three years of blogging. I have split my blogger hacks into three sections: organisation, products and apps.


Organisation


Brainstorming & Bulk Writing Posts


Do you find it hard to get inspiration for your blog posts? Have a look on other blogs, and instead of copying people's ideas try to bounce off them and create your own. I like to write down ideas in a notebook or on my phone, (things that are always near me), so when I don't feel particularly creative I have a bank of notes.

Bloggers often balance their blogging with their own jobs or schoolwork, so it can be hard to keep regularly posting: especially if you have busy weeks where you can't get five minutes to blog. It is useful if you have a spare couple of hours on a rainy day to bulk write posts. Use your bank of ideas to draw from, and try to get a couple of blog posts done. It will make you feel so much better that your blog is still in order- even if your life isn't at that certain moment!

Products


Photo Background

Whether you want to freshen up your Bookstagram feed, or improve the look of your blog photos, a simple background is perfect. I found a roll of marble sticky back plastic from Wilkinsons for only four pounds- it is really good quality for the price, and it lasts for a long time, as you don't have to cut off any of the roll. The background has really helped me achieve the type of photos I have always wanted, and now I don't have to use the floor for a background.


Weekly Desk Planner


Once you have bulk written some blog posts, it is also good to know what posts are going up when. I use a weekly desk planner from Paperchase to keep me organise the order of my blog posts in a week. This is especially useful for book bloggers like myself who have to post reviews of proof copy books around the time of the publication, or who take part in multiple blog posts. I also divided up each page in the planner into smaller sections with a ruler, as I wouldn't write much each week apart from the names of blog posts- so the planner would last me a long time.

Apps


VSCO Cam


VSCO Cam is a brilliant app for Instagram Photos: even more so if you want to start a theme throughout your pictures. The app has a variety of beautiful filters to make your picture stand out, and they have so many different settings, (brightness, contrast, saturation, shadows and fade), to enhance your photo even more. VSCO Cam is definitely the easiest and the highest quality app I have ever used- making photo editing seem easy to novices. The app is free, but you can purchase different filters; the free filters are perfect for me.

Canva


Canva is a fabulous app for blog graphics: my own have improved greatly since using this app. It has so many templates for different styles of graphic, (Blog, Instagram, Facebook), and you can use shapes, text styles and colours to make it your own. Again, Canva is so simple and efficient- you can produce such high quality graphics you would never believe the app was free.

What blogger hacks do you have?




Wednesday, 14 September 2016

BOOK REVIEW- MY LADY JANE

TITLE: My Lady Jane
AUTHOR:  Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton
PUBLISHER:  Walker Books
AGE GROUP: 12+
RATING:  5/5
SOURCE: Sent by publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
RELEASE DATE: 1st September 2016.


PURCHASE THE BOOK FROM THE BOOK DEPOSITORY HERE.

SYNOPSIS

A comical, fantastical and witty re-imagining of the Tudor world, perfect for fans of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger - and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that's the least of Jane's problems. She's about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.


At The Walker Blogger Event in June, I first heard about this book- and I knew I wanted to read it even though it isn't the usual book I would pick up. King Edward is very ill, with only months to live. With reasoning from his adviser Dudley, he has no choice but to marry off his cousin Jane- is hope she will produce a male heir. 

However, Jane will be married off to a total stranger called Gifford, who is conveniently Dudley's son- who is hiding something very big. Suddenly Edward, Jane and Gifford are thrown into a large conquest: including magic, plotting horses and unrightful rulers.

I adored My Lady Jane- it really is a little gem, and definitely up there in my top books of 2016. It is perfect to get lost in the pages, all three of the authors that worked on the book together have created magic, making me not wanting to put the book down. They have bought characters from a certain genre into the book that I wouldn't think I could easily empathise with, but they have made them relatable: and made me want to root for them.

All of the main protagonists were fantastic- Jane and Gifford's relationship was perfect: it blossomed and progressed. I loved Edward's and Gracie's personalities together: I even liked Edward and Jane's Gran! The plot was the exact pace I would have wanted it to be: it wasn't too fast that I got confused, but it wasn't too slow that I got bored and felt the book was mundane. Some parts of the novel were harrowing and took your breath away, whereas other parts were hilarious. The way the book has been written is really distinct and unique- I really invested myself in the story as a whole.

An easy 5/5- My Lady Jane is an amazing summer read: gusty protagonists, a plot that had me on the edge of my seat, with a sprinkle of laugh out load humour. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read, but you should expect the unexpected.



Sunday, 11 September 2016

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES FROM ONLY DULL PEOPLE ARE BRILLIANT AT BREAKFAST


Since reading The Moonlight Dreamers, I have since discovered more of Oscar Wilde's pearls of wisdom- so I had to buy this Penguin Little Black Classic. I find it so fascinating that Oscar Wilde didn't live in this century, but his quotes still ring so true to a modern teenager's life. I wanted to share  with you my favourite ten quotes from Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast.

'The supreme object of life is to live. Few people live. It is true life only to realise one's own perfection, to make one's every dream a reality.'

'Nothing is worth doing except what the world says is impossible.'

'Life is much too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.'

'It would be a very good thing if people were taught how to speak. Language is the noblest instrument we have, either for the revealing or the concealing of thought; talk itself is sort of a spiritualist action; and conversation is one of the loveliest of arts,'

'Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.'

'Conversation should touch everything but should concentrate itself on nothing.'

'To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.'

'It is only the intellectually lost who argue.'

'Misunderstanding... is the basis of love.'

'Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.'

Have you come across Oscar Wilde's quotes before?

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

BOOK REVIEW- THE CALL

TITLE: The Call
AUTHOR:  Peadar Ó Guilín
PUBLISHER:  David Fickling Books
AGE GROUP: 12+
RATING:  5/5
SOURCE: Sent by publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
RELEASE DATE: 30th August 2016


PURCHASE THE BOOK FROM THE BOOK DEPOSITORY HERE. 

SYNOPSIS

The Hunger Games meets horror in this unforgettable thriller where only one thing is certain... you will be Called. 

Thousands of years ago, humans banished the Sidhe fairy race to another dimension. The beautiful, terrible Sidhe have stewed in a land of horrors ever since, plotting their revenge... and now their day has come. 

Fourteen-year-old Nessa lives in a world where every teen will be "Called." It could come in the middle of the day, it could come deep in the night. But one instant she will be here, and the next she will wake up naked and alone in the Sidhe land. She will be spotted, hunted down, and brutally murdered. And she will be sent back in pieces by the Sidhe to the human world... unless she joins the rare few who survive for twenty-four hours and escape unscathed. 

Nessa trains with her friends at an academy designed to maximize her chances at survival. But as the days tick by and her classmates go one by one, the threat of her Call lurks ever closer... and with it the threat of an even more insidious danger closer to home.


The Call was nothing like I have never read before- I absolutely adored it, and it is definitely another book that is one of my top reads this year.

Thousands of years ago, humans banished a fairy race called the Sidhe to another land. However, the Sidhe haven't forgotten this- and still get revenge every single day. Nessa is fourteen years old, and and knows the inevitable will happen to her . One minute you are going about your day, and the next you are called. You have to spend twenty four hours in the land of the Sidhe, trying not to be hunted and murdered- then the Sidhe will send back your remains as a reminder to your family and friends what everyone did. 

Nessa trains at an academy with her classmates, to help increase her chances of survival: but when people start to disappear and come back dead there is one question. When will she be called?

Peadar Ó Guilín is truly a magician. He had me captivated and hooked from the first page. Once you start reading a chapter, you cannot stop. It really is true when reading The Call- the plot was so fast and gritty, making it really stand out for me.

I adored the main characters: even though Nessa is at a disadvantage compared to everyone else, as crippled by polio, she never wanted to show feat. I also loved Nessa's best friend called Megan, as she is also fiery and fierce- making you want to root for the both of them, this goes for Anto too.

This novel is one hundred percent a five out of five: the plot speeds along so quickly that you will miss it if you blink- and the characters are so easy to empathise with. The Call is just so fascinating and thrilling, it is bound to throw you out of any reading slump very quickly.

                                                     
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