Tag Archives: Reviews

Pretty Little Liars Season 6a Finale (Spoilers)


Hey Guys,

So recently, the mid-season finale of Pretty Little Liars has aired and there has been a lot of controversy as to the big reveal. If you have not seen the episode, STOP READING HERE AND WATCH IT BEFORE YOU CONTINUE.

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Right, I think that was a decent enough spoiler warning. Anyway, I thought I would give my opinions on it.

So I had mixed feeling on the finale personally. I found that ‘A’ was very anti-climatic and almost a let down. I feel like there should’ve been a more interesting person than Cece as I feel that she didn’t really have enough of a motive to target the girls. I understand her story for hating her Dad but then why the girls or Ali?

Cece as ‘A’ in Pretty Little Liars Season 6a finale

Also, not a big fan of the fact that she dated Jason. Fair enough, Jason didn’t know they were related but I’m pretty sure Cece did and I think that’s a bit messed up. The transgender story line was very interesting however I think that it has been one of the topics causing controversy. Personally, I don’t feel like I can say an accurate statement about the accuracy or how it portrays transgender people but the general opinion that I got from fandom blogs and tumblr is that it was a very negative portrayal.

The final ending as well was very confusing as it’s set a couple of years into the future and the girls run into a classroom in a panic. I found this quite confusing as it seemed rather random…

Overall, I found this episode kind of anticlimactic as it was just watching Cece telling the story about why she was ‘A’ and there wasn’t very dramatic moments. There were also a lot of plot holes that I can only hope are filled in future episodes.

Thanks for reading and I’ll post again soon 🙂

~Spike

Pretty Little Liars #1 Book Review


pllHey Guys,
(NB. this was meant to be posted last Sunday. I’ve been really busy so apologies for the lateness)

So today I will be reviewing the first book in the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. As many people, I have seen the TV show and have been loving it (review on my reaction and thoughts on the season 6a finale up soon) so I thought it would be great to read the book and see if it’s different and what they changed. So on with the review!

Book Title: Pretty Little Liars
Author: Sara Shepard
Date Published: October 1st 2006
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:
Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back?

My Review:

This book is the first in a series following four teenage girls as they go through high school receiving anonymous texts by a complete stranger, reminding them of all the bad they have done before. This brings their group closer as they are constantly reminded about the night when their best friend Ali disappeared.

I did like a lot about this book. I found that the characters were very realistic and relatable for people who have gone through a lot in their life. It shows how all of us have secrets and how much we try to keep the things that hurt us locked down. As I watched the TV show before I read the books, I did already know what would happen. However I really liked the different timeline in the book and how it was in a more first person description in the book. I felt that it really allowed me to get more connected to the characters and allowed me to form more of an understanding. One thing, however, that really shocked me about the TV show is that they changed Emily’s whole family. Her Dad stays at home, she has 2 siblings and she isn’t coloured. It brought about a whole new diameter between Maya and Emily’s Mum in the book that isn’t able to be conveyed in the TV show.

Some of the things I didn’t like were the fact that it was quite slow paced. The space of the entire book was only about an episode and a bit of the TV show. This kind of disappointed me as I wished that we got more going on than there actually was. But other than that, it was a really good and interesting way to see the story from a different media.

Overall, anyone who loves the PLL TV show should read this as it provides a really interesting retelling of the story. There is some language in it so probably if you’re 13+. I gave this a 4.0 stars as I really liked the depth of the characters yet I found it rather slow at point.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!

~Spike

All the Bright Places


ATBP coverHey Guys,

So today I will be reviewing All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. This book was one that I saw on the shelves at Waterstones and thought that it looked like a fun read! Also, according to Goodreads and numerous news sites, it is set to become a film in 2017! Such an amazing book so let’s hope the movie reflects that. Now let’s get on with the review!

Book Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Date Published: January 6th 2015
Publisher: Knopf
Overall Rating:

4.5 star

Blurb:

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

My Review:

All The Bright Places is a captivating novel written by an up-and-coming author and describes how a simple rally of events can drastically alter the future of anyone. This story in particular follows the tale of Theodore (Theo) Finch and Violet Markey. Due to unfortunate circumstances, they meet at the top of the school bell tower. Both helping to save the lives of the other, they form an unlikely friendship and eventually love. Their bond only growing stronger with a school project, this relationship is… well… complicated…

There is so much that I loved about this story. I loved the diversity of the characters and how some who you thought had perfect lives, were actually rather complex and abstract. Finch was an amazing character to witness. The diversity in his personality and how rapidly it changed made you realize that he was scared of who he could be and what he could do. In his life, it is clear to see how the factors and decisions of his family and friends made him the person he was. Violet also was a unique character. Her life being changed after the untimely death of her older sister, pulling out of clubs and isolating herself from her friends, her character and Finch really merge well together and create an almost perfect pair. The other character I would like to mention is Amanda Monk. She plays the classic “popular high school queen” role with her own posy and her crude nicknames for anyone not inline with the status quo. However underneath all that status and popularity is an uncertain, insecure girl with no idea how to save herself. We find this out when she and Finch meet in an unusual situation which shall remain unnamed in the view of no spoilers.

As well as the depth of the characters, the plot line was also extraordinary. I felt that everything Finch did throughout the story (all the wondering and visiting unique places) told us a lot more about his personality than just meeting the character. Towards the end of the book, Finch leaves a trail for Violet to follow. This leads her to all the places he wanted her to visit and each with a little memento left by him to show he was there. Each place he led her to was somewhere that few kids their age would have been interested in visiting. Yet throughout the story of the wandering and arriving in unexpected places, Finch told the deepest parts of his personality to Violet on that final wandering through every gift he left her. This made us realize just how in-depth his character was and how much he had grown to trust Violet in the short time he knew her.

There was honestly very little that I disliked in this novel. The one thing would probably be that I felt we didn’t get to know the real reason for decisions that Finch made and I found that to be almost unfinished in a way. I knew how it was going to end after Finch sent the emails to his close friends and family, however I found them to be very abstract and without a clear reason (however this did perfectly fit his character). I feel like right at the end of the book, there should have been a way to clearly understand what happened as I found it to be confusing.

Other than that one thing though, this book was perfect. Complex, interesting characters coupled with a perfectly deep and twisting plot line made this an enticing and gripping read all the way through. I would recommend this to anyone over the age of 13 and likes romance, occasional serious issues and hidden humour. It is a great addition to the world of YA and perfect for fans of John Green (TFIOS, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska etc.), Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor and Park, Fangirl etc.), Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why etc.) and Gayle Foreman (If I Stay, Where She Went etc.). I look forward to seeing what else this new writer has up her sleeve.

Thanks for reading and I’ll post again soon!

~Spike

Anna and the French Kiss Review


Anna and the French KissHey Guys,
So today I will be reviewing Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I read this book last week and it just was so much more than I expected! Let’s get on with the review!

Book Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Date Published: December 2nd 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

My Review:

This book follows the tale of Anna Oliphant, a privileged senior sent away to a boarding school in Paris where, kind of ironically, most of the kids speak in English and there isn’t much French said throughout the whole novel. Add in some not so loyal friends and a guy with looks to die for and this basically becomes the perfect teen novel. I’ve heard mixed things about this book. Some of my favourite authors such as (John Green or Cassandra Clare) have had nothing but praise for this book, though many members of online communities (like Goodreads for example) have been rather different.
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There were a lot of things I loved about this book. I have always been an honest romantic and love reading about romances because, let’s face it, we all know how it’s going to end. For me, it’s more reading their story. In this book, the story follows a strange twisting pathway that brings us close and then far continuously until you almost hope the ending is different. Stephanie Perkins also has the amazing ability to bring humour to her writing. By around page 6 I was already laughing and the way she described many tragic novels and seeing the humour within them. This book is also extremely quotable. For example: “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home”.
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The characters also developed, some more than others. I feel at times, Anna became very rebellious and quite emotional. At the age they are, you would expect them to have extreme emotion and this is perfectly captured by Stephanie. St. Clair also developed. He became a lot more aware of how his actions affected others around him. Meredith became more absorbed into herself part way through the novel before becoming closer to Anna than ever. Even though there were some slight character developments, none were really very dramatic.
***
However much I loved this novel, I found the thing that stopped this being 5 stars was that right at the beginning, Anna hated the opportunity to go to Paris. Don’t get me wrong, if my parents forced me to attend a school over 4000 miles away, I would be pretty annoyed. But the fact still remains, it’s a brilliant opportunity and, what does Anna spend her first days doing? Lying in her room watching TV and acting like she lost everything. In my opinion, I felt like she should’ve been a bit more courageous and asked her new friends if they could show her Paris as she’s never been before. However, as the book progresses, she does start to enjoy it more and started taking advantage of the opportunity she had been given.
***
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves classic romance novels, humour and some drama as well. I feel like the ideal age for this would be 13+ as there are occasional conversations of more serious matters that, to avoid spoilers, I will not get into now. Overall, I loved this book and hope anyone else who reads it will love it too.

Thanks for reading!

~Spike

Unspeakable Book Review


Unspeakable CoverHey Guys,

Sorry for the late review, the last couple weeks have been pretty busy for me. Anyway I managed to finish a book called Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton. Here’s my review on it!

Book Title: Unspeakable
Author: Abbie Rushton
Date Published: February 5th 2015
Publisher: Atom
Overall Rating:
3.0 star

Blurb:
Megan doesn’t speak. She hasn’t spoken in months.
Pushing away the people she cares about is just a small price to pay. Because there are things locked inside Megan’s head – things that are screaming to be heard – that she cannot, must not, let out.
Then Jasmine starts at school: bubbly, beautiful, talkative Jasmine. And for reasons Megan can’t quite understand, life starts to look a bit brighter.
Megan would love to speak again, and it seems like Jasmine might be the answer. But if she finds her voice, will she lose everything else?

My Review:
As explained in the blurb (summary) of the book, main character Megan has lost the ability to speak. Straight from then we can assume that something traumatic happened to her. Give her the regular pressures of being a teenager on top of a new counselor and the addition of a new girl in school, I feel like there is a lot going on in this book.

I liked the way Rushton portrayed the scenes and emotions of her characters. She really went into detail with the scenic trips and holidays that the characters went on. I found a really diverse group of people within this story and yet somehow they all fitted together. I liked many of the decisions that she made for her characters. Yes, I understand that it sounds strange however I liked that, especially with Jasmine, she made desperate decisions because she herself wasn’t in her correct state of mind. It did correctly capture what being a mute was like and also began to explore aspects unknown to YA currently. However I felt like, in adding all of these additions and alternate routes, I found that the main plot line wasn’t always visible.

Now with the things I don’t like. I found that the story was very predictable when it told us the big surprise reveal at the end of the novel. It may just be me as I have read a lot of books along this sort of genre and I generally found the same pattern of events happening in each book. I also found that there was WAY too much going on in the story. The plot line was generally not seen in most of the story and it lead my to wonder why some of these points were put in. For example, the new counselor. I can understand that the counseling side of it was a very important part to the story as Megan has a lot that she needs to work out however I think that the addition of the new counselor without giving Megan any message or alert that her counselor was changing seemed unrealistic. I also think that the author had opened up a whole new character development within Jasmine. I think that this canvas was left blank as we never really found out much about her except she is from a different family and used to get bullied at her old school. I would’ve liked to read more about her. This could’ve been done on a girls night between her and Megan or just random little bits popping up in conversation now and again. With how close Megan and Jasmine become, I felt that I didn’t really know her so much as judge her opinions on boys she liked dating.

Overall, I think this book is worth the read so you can make your own opinion of it. Some find it brilliant but I just found a lot of stuff wrong with it as well. It was a good read though so I would recommend it to anyone interesting in YA dark storylines and over the age of 13 as it does cover topics, such as sexuality, that wouldn’t be appropriate for anyone under the age of 13.

Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you again soon!

~Spike

Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse Review


9780786297016_p0_v1_s260x420*POST MAY CONTAIN SMALL SPOILERS*

Hey Guys,
So today is the first time in while that I’ve done a book review. I’m reviewing Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse this time. Lets get on with the review!

Book Title: Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
Author: Rick Riordan
Date: Published: April 1st 2006
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Overall Rating:

4.0 star

Blurb:

 IT’S NOT EVERYDAY YOU FIND YOURSELF IN COMBAT WITH A HALF-LION, HALF-HUMAN.

But when you’re the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive… 

My Review:

Okay so this is the 3rd book in the Percy Jackson series. Percy must venture out with 4 other people across the country to find Annabeth. With the Oracle’s words stuck in their mind, who will be the first to go? We are introduced to the Hunters of Artemis, Nico DiAngelis and his sister Bianca.

There was a lot that I liked about this book. For example, the introduction of the new characters. With Annabeth’s life in danger, there had to be someone to take her place on the quest. We found that in ZoĂ« Nightshade. Her character was always in doubt of Percy and she was always looking to do her own thing. This made her similar to Annabeth (although she’d never admit it). We also had the rest of the Hunters that followed in ZoĂ« ‘s footsteps. The introduction of Nico and Bianca was also a great addition as they were the clichĂ© siblings who couldn’t be separated. However, Nico being too young and inexperienced to venture out on the quest, was left alone at camp while we got to know Bianca’s character as she went as part of the team on the Quest.

As well as there were things that I liked about this book, there were also things that I didn’t like. I found that, at times, the book became a bit tedious and slow paced for my taste. It took me a while to get through the novel which surprised me because usually I am a fast reader.

My overall opinion is that this was a good book. If you read the other Percy Jackson books and enjoyed them, obviously this book would be great for you even if it wasn’t perfect for me. I would recommend it to anyone reading the Percy Jackson Series.

Thanks for reading!

~Spike

New Posts Arriving Soon!


Hey Guys

I have recently been looking over past posts that I have made over the 2 years that this blog has been running for and feel like it needs a bit of an update. This means that I am going to go back over the Reviews 2013 category and redo each of the reviews.

My reasoning for this is purely that I feel I am more experienced now then I was before and that allows me to be able to express my opinions on books with a lot more detail and clarity than before. This means that, over the course of the weekend, I will be redoing these reviews so look out for them!

I also plan to start posting nail art videos in the next couple weeks, however, as some of you may know, exam season is here so I am going to be busy with that this week but the nail videos shall soon follow 🙂

Just wanted to give you a heads up!

~Spike

New Book Quotes


Hey Everyone,

I have just updated my Book Quotes page so if you want, you can go check it out! It has a couple quotes from John Green, a couple classic quotes about reading and books as well as one that I created which is a quote from Harry Potter. I would love it if you check it out!

Thanks for reading

Spike

PS I am behind on my reading this year as I have been very interested in the Pretty Little Liars series. Now that I am up-to-date with that, my reading should be back to normal so expect a review in a week on Sunday 🙂

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters Review


Hey Guys, percy-jackson-and-the-sea-of-monsters

So today I will be reviewing the second book in the Percy Jackson series and my Book with Non-Human characters for the 2015 reading challenge. I finished this book on the bus yesterday so couldn’t wait to get the review up for you. Before you read this book, please note that I watched the movie before reading the book. *gasp* how could I?! Well, it was out in the cinema and I saw the first one and thought, why not. Apologies in advance but lets get on with the review!

Book Title: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Date Published: April 1st 2006
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Overall Rating:

5.0 star

Blurb:

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

My Review:

In this book, we join Percy as Camp Half-Blood has become invaded with monsters… again. This time, the magical shield of Thalia’s tree has been broken as the tree has been poisoned. Grover has been sent off in a search for Pan but uses an empathy connection to tell Percy that he is in danger. Clarisse is chosen to go on a quest to search for the Golden Fleece when Percy and his gang go along as well. I think that is the basic plot line of the story.

There are a lot of things I like about the book. For one thing, I like the detail and the funny comparisons made throughout the novel. Definitely had me laughing for a while! I also liked the character development. For example, Annabeth becomes so much more open to Percy during this book and you start to see the person she is underneath rather than the person she wants to be seen as. Percy also has some development as he grows up a lot. He becomes generous and understanding towards the end of the books. However you can see that there is a lot more development to come.

There isn’t much that I didn’t like about the book. I felt that the timing was just right and there was enough detail for you to imagine the scene, but not to much that it becomes boring.

I loved this book and I would recommend it to anyone who has read the first one and it is suitable for all ages. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Thanks for reading and I’ll write again next week!

Spike

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Theif Review


Hey Guys,

lightningthief1So sorry this is a little (or a lot) late. I have been kind of obsessed with the show Pretty Little Liars and I haven’t been reading as much as I normally would have. This is extremely bad of me and I deeply apologize for this. Anyway, the whole purpose of today’s post was a review. This book is one of the few I’ve read so far this year and let’s get on with the review!

Book Title: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Date Published: March 1st 2006
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Overall Rating:

4.5 star

Blurb:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

My Review:

This book is the first in the Percy Jackson series. The hype that has surrounded this series since it was first published in 2006 has been enormous. In all fairness, a lot of that hype was also based on the Hero’s of Olympus series however I felt that I couldn’t just jump into the Hero’s of Olympus series if I haven’t read the original series. It is one of the classic books that you have to read when you are a child. I am a little late to reading it but better late than never! This book is about a young boy called Percy Jackson who finds out he is a demi-god and that his father is part of the ‘big three’ Greek gods.

I loved a lot about this book. The hidden humor and ironic, snarky comments that are made frequently throughout the book adds a lot of humor and enjoyment to read. The characters are so in-depth that they seem real. There is a lot of character development as well over the course of the book. This development can also last into the rest of the series until we end up with one that everyone can understand. My person favorite character is Annabeth. She is a perfect role model for young girls everywhere as she is smart and clever but also has her faults. For example, she can be very proud and not listen to other ideas when she herself has one. Percy was also a great character because, for such a young age, he has gone through a lot yet still has the childish tone to the writing.

The one thing that stopped this being 5 stars was that I found it hard to keep reading. There weren’t really a lot of plot twists and therefore I found it quite hard to keep reading once I had started. However I did work through it and eventually finished.

Overall, I would give this book 4.5 stars as the character development and main plot are very interesting and entertaining to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves adventure books really. I think it’s perfect for all ages and as long as you don’t mind the childish phrases, it’s great!

***

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon!

Spike