Favourites on Friday: I need a hero!

Friday, 31 October 2014

This is a new feature I want to try out on my blog where each Friday (more or less) I talk about some of my favourite book related things. I'll decide the topic each week and tell you about my favourites.
This week's topic is: Favourite Male Characters

1. Harry Potter He had the be in there, didn't he? But really he is (in my eyes) a truly great character. He's so well rounded it's almost unbelievable. He's smart, but not over-the-top-intelligent, he's brave something to the point of stupidity, and he gets angry, jealous and is sarcastic - just like any other teenage boy. He feels extremely real to me.

2. Percy Jackson Another one of those great three dimensional characters. Well actually I just think he's absolutely hilarious - like seriously funny. I enjoy reading from his perspective so much, I could read his POV forever I think.

3. Richard Gansey III He's a relatively new favourite of mine and since I've only read two books with him in it's hard to pin down exactly what I like about him. It might just be the way Maggie Stiefvater translates his charm onto the pages but it's very hard not to like him.

4. Dominic Courtenay Perhaps a lesser known fictional character but wow do I love him. He seems to be a bit of a typical nice guy at first but he's passionate, tragically loyal and refreshingly honest. I'm so sad the Boleyn Trilogy is over and I'll only have rereads to visit him again.

5. Gideon Lightwood I could see this being an odd choice especially against the likes of Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs, and considering that he's only in Clockwork Princess. But I just instantly fell in love with him; he's awkward and a little bit uptight but pretty god damn adorable.

Do you agree with my picks? Or not? Who are your favourite male characters from books?

Movie Review: Fury

About the Film:
Title: Fury
Director: David Ayer
Screenwriter: David Ayer
Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman
Genre: War, Action, Drama
Release Date: 22nd October 2014 (UK)



In the past I haven't been a massive fan of war films, but something about this film caught my attention. So I managed to convince my sister to come see it with me and off we went. Now firstly I didn't go into this film thinking it was going to be awesome and one of my favourites of the year, I got exactly what I thought I would. A better than average war film, with pretty stellar acting and well paced action sequences.

The performances in this film really were superb. Logan Lerman definitely impressed me most, his character goes through a massive change over the course of the film and he does so without losing any of his original essence or making it look too sudden. Brad Pitt leads the film really well also; his character isn't the most likeable out there but even from an audience perspective you respect him the way his soldiers do and Pitt makes his courage quite admirable. Unfortunately the rest of the five leads are restricted to basic archetypes that are less than memorable. And beyond Lerman's character no time is spared for any of them to undergo any real development, which really disappointed me. 

One thing I was wary about going into this film was the action sequences. I have a tendency to get really bored during them unless they're really well shot and paced. Luckily they did really well with these. They were exciting enough to keep the tension running, yet they didn't get ahead of themselves so it dragged on and felt like a never ending parade of gunfire and explosions. I mean if you ignore the weird bullets that looked suspiciously like they were taken straight from Star Wars. But moving on, I genuinely did love the fight scenes especially the last one which was so perfectly played out with the right tone and the music to boot which really amped up the atmosphere.

And while the pacing in the action scenes was unusually on par, the scenes in between...well not so much. They dragged on to the point where they felt pretty useless, despite the small role they did play in the advancement of the plot. Normally when I watch films in cinemas I get absorbed to the point where I forget I'm actually in a cinema. But during this 'in between' scenes I found myself looking around, completely disinterested and distracted. Not at all what I wanted.

Still these lows were evened out by the highs; the excellent performances and well choreographed action scenes. It was a highly entertaining watch, and during the later half an emotionally charged piece that made me almost forget about the previously boring moments. It's not a masterpiece but it's decent and if you're into war films then it's definitely something you'll like. But beyond that I would recommend it but I wouldn't call it a must-see.

Life of a Blogger: Halloween

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme held over on novelheartbeat, where each week participants are given a new topic to discuss in order to help their audience get to know the blogger better, and also fellow participants.

This week's topic is: Halloween

Okay, okay I'm just going to put this out there now; I don't really celebrate Halloween. Yeah I know. Admittedly over here in the UK it is definitely not as big a deal as it is in the US, it only really started to catch on when I was growing up. My parents didn't celebrate it at all so they never passed on the tradition to me. At primary (or elementary school for you Americans! Or whatever the equivalent is in your country) school we started having Halloween discos and I'd dress up and everything but I wasn't really that into it. I'm not even right now. The idea of trick or treating is really odd to me as well, the thought of having to go round people's houses and ask for things from them seems...a little well rude. But that might just be the British in me. However that isn't to say that there aren't some things about Halloween that I do like. As a kid I used to adore watching films like Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus, but then again, what kid doesn't? Even watching them now gives me a lovely sense of nostalgia.

I expect most of you celebrate Halloween a little more enthusiastically than me? Do you have any traditions? Or a favourite costume you've worn?

Top Ten Tuesday: Whatever, I still like to dress up.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted over on brokeandbookish. This week we had a choice of two options and since in England we don't really celebrate Halloween, and I've never really been that into it; I picked the second option. Because secretly I am five years old and love pretending to be people I'm not.
The topic is: Top Ten Characters Who I Would Totally Want To Be For Halloween

1. Isabelle Lightwood A black dress, thigh high boots and an electrum whip? Um yes please. Seriously though Halloween is perfect for pretending to be a shadowhunter.

2. Scarlett O'Hara I adore clothing from different time periods and really I would look a little mental if I dressed as her any other time. 

3. Bellatrix Lestrange Hands down best Halloween costume ever. Like she's scary but also looks damn fine in a corset. Also I'd really like to know if I could make my hair look like hers.

4. The White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia. She must have like the coolest outfits ever. And plus the fur would keep you really warm since it's freezing in October (I'm a wuss when it comes to the cold).

5. Aphrodite Any of her appearances in the Percy Jackson series. Especially her civil war era one. She's the goddess of beauty for god's sake who wouldn't want to dress as her?

6. Daisy Buchanan How I love 1920s clothing. Everything about dressing up as Daisy appeals to me. Even if I don't like her as a character.

7. Dorothy Gale A bit of a Halloween favourite but I love the cute little outfit and she's one of my favourite fictional characters ever.

8.  Tessa Gray As you might be able to tell I really love period dress (bit of a history nerd not going to lie), so the idea of dressing in Victorian clothes appeals to me immensely. Mental I know considering how uncomfortable they are.

9. Hermione Granger I would pretty much use this as an excuse to go out and buy a uniform and wand, which I crave but have no real need for. Of course I should dress up as one of the best female fictional characters of all time.

10. Black Widow Okay, okay I know this is supposed to be a book meme so I'm cheating but the topic is technically only fictional characters. And I long to don a red wig and a black jumpsuit. 

Are any of you actually dressing up as an fictional characters for Halloween? Or who would you like to dress as?

Let's Talk About: Strong Female Characters

Monday, 27 October 2014

Everyone wants to see a strong female lead in books. In fact I would even go so far to say as though we need them. Little girls who read books need characters they can look up to, genuinely inspirational women. Books are usually great examples of this, most (and I really do mean most) authors won't write a two dimensional protagonist. But sometimes people get confused with what makes a strong female lead.

A lot of people turn to the weapon-wielding, butt-kicking bad ass. Of course it's great to see women taking on these roles usually reserved for men. But sometimes people think that that is the only example of a strong women. And by God that isn't true. By restricting the definition people are once again limiting what women can do and what defines a strong woman. Great character such as; Mara Dyer, Liesel Meminger and America Singer. These characters all have admirable qualities and to label them as 'weak' or any other word synonymous with that is unfair. 

Personally I find it a lot harder to relate to characters like Tris Prior and Katniss Everdeen, sure they're brave and are awesome in there own way. But they're so far removed from some girls (and certainly their situations). I find it a lot easier to look up to characters like Annabeth Chace (I mean sure she's a freakin' demigod but she's a lot more like me) and June Iparis (admittedly she kicks some butt). And while I do love a women who can fight for herself, sometimes their cold, and occasionally sociopathic personalities mean they're not the kind of people I'd want to hang out with...at all. But then again, that isn't to say I don't wish I was a little bit more like Katniss and a little bit less like Bella Swan.

Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Saturday, 25 October 2014

About The Book:
Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Age Range: 13+
Publication Date: 17th September 2013
Pages: 439 pages (hardback)
Publisher: Scholastic

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Blue and Gansey will be the same. Ronan is falling more and more deeply into his dreams ... and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Gansey is needed at home, and is struggling to stay in Aglionby. And Adam? He's made some new friends. Friends that are looking for some of the same pieces of the puzzle that Gansey, Blue, and Ronan are after. Great power is at stake, and someone must be willing to wield it.

It's official; I am in love with The Raven Cycle series. The Raven Boys was mainly focused on world building and introducing us to the characters, but in The Dream Thieves it's full steam ahead with character development and thickening the plot. Honesty is one of my favourite things in books, authors who romanticise and sugar coat thoughts and feelings just end up with a book that feels fake. But Maggie Stiefvater does no such thing; all the internal monologues are brutally honest and often I find myself imaging thinking the exact same thing. She writes people so well; each character has their own charm and appeal but also their ugly secrets and not so pleasant attributes, but it's this kind of reality that makes them all so likeable. The whole cast of characters feels like they could really exist, their dynamics, their speech, their whole existence. 

Ronan takes the spotlight in this book, which at first I wasn't too excited about as I wasn't a fan of him in The Raven Boys, but once we dug deeper into his story I actually started to like him. Without giving too much away I think it's safe to say that he's a lot more than the token bad boy. Although it we only get glimpses of it in this book it's easy to see how his individual character arc is going to tie into the overarching storyline. Gansey still remained my favourite in this book, I especially loved how his relationship with Adam and Blue shifted and that we got to see more of his home life. I've never been a fan of Noah, though I hope (like with Ronan) we get to know more about him (though I doubt it because of the whole you know...thing), and he feels kind of secondary compared to the other raven boys. I love Blue, she's so...well normal. And she hates it. And that's the best thing - that feeling of not quite belonging (similar to Adam) is something I connect with so well and Maggie executes it in a way so that it doesn't come off as self pitying.

In this book the plot deviates away from the Glendower arc a little, though it's always there in the background, and kind of comes back into it at the end. I enjoyed the change and the whole concept of dreams was so cool. I could imagine it would be quite hard to pull the weirdness of dreams off without it creeping into down right trippy territory but it was done so well. Admittedly at times I did get a little confused with everything linking in together and for pages at a time I was lost. It may have been the linking together of the two plots but in the end I was clear on what was happening, and I loved how the ending set up for the next book.

The only massive problem I had was the Grey Man. Honestly I just didn't get the point of him, apart from maybe adding a little dept to Ronan's story. But honestly it seemed like a needless diversion from the main character's points of view, and because the air of mystery is so key to him, his chapters didn't really help my connect or understand his character. I would've preferred the book without him I think, although I did like his relationship with Maura.

But overall I really did love this book, the complexity of the plot and the introduction of the Grey Man did ruin it a little for me which is why I can only give it four stars but on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's an intricately woven story where (almost) everything ties in so neatly. The hints at what are to come are so subtle yet I'm able to pick up on them mostly and the speculation which comes from them just makes it an even more interesting read. I cannot wait for the next one.

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  • Favourites on Friday: Feeling Nostalgic

    Friday, 24 October 2014

    This is a new feature I want to try out on my blog where each Friday (more or less) I talk about some of my favourite book related things. I'll decide the topic each week and tell you about my favourites.
    This week's topic is: Favourite Books From My Childhood
    1. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling I think this kind of goes without saying for anyone between the ages of eleven and twenty five. This series got me completely hooked on reading and literally no other book series in the world means as much to be as this.
    2. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder My mother read these books when she was a child so naturally she forced me to read them. Luckily I loved them. They're not quite like anything I've read, and honestly not the most exciting books ever. I just love the insight it gave into someone's life and a time and culture I knew nothing about.
    3. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman I was about eight or nine when I read these and besides from the Harry Potter books they were the first real fantasy books I read. It was my first real experience of really relating with a main character. Also shipping. Will and Lyra were my original otp.
    4. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild I read this after watching a BBC film of it starring Emma Watson. Again it's one of those books were I can't quite work out why I loved it so much. Again it was probably the insight into a time and way of life I hadn't experienced. And the relationship between the three sisters.
    5. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett This book shaped quite a lot of how I write now. The description and characterisation just made me fall in love; it was so honest and real to me. I considered Sara pretty inspirational as a little girl, this was the only story that really taught me that any girl can be a princess and that perseverance could get you through anything.

    'You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.' - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

    'There's no great loss without some small gain.' - Little House on the Prairie.

    'Every atom of me and every atom of you... We'll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams... And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they wont' just be able to take one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight...' - The Amber Spyglass

    'It might have all the same; you never can tell what's magic.' - Ballet Shoes

    'If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.' - A Little Princess

    What were your favourite books growing up? Have you read any of these before?

    Life of a Blogger: Origin of Your Name

    Thursday, 23 October 2014

    Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by novelheartbeat. The idea is that each week there will be a new topic (non-bookish) to give people a chance to get to know the blogger better, and others that participate!

    This week's topic is: Origin of Your Name

    So as you can see from the bottom of every post I've ever written my name is Georgia. Not a super interesting name I know. And I wish I had a super cool story behind it but sadly not. Basically my parent's whose names are John and Jane think that it sounds like a combination of theirs (it doesn't and I have told them this many times). Also all the females of my generation names end in 'a' so I guess that's kind of like a tradition like; Laura, Emma, Georgia and Olivia. But apart from that it's pretty dull, so yeah.

    Do any of you guys have slightly more interesting stories behind your name? I certainly hope so.

    Book Haul: Temptation Kicks In

    Wednesday, 22 October 2014

    For some reason my brain thinks that just because I'm away visiting somewhere; that's an excuse to buy a shed load of books. It's really not. However here is the damage. 

    Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan This isn't the kind of book I would usually pick up but I have heard some very good things about it and when I went to buy it the woman in the shop said she really enjoyed it too. So I consider fate to have played a hand in this one.

    The Jewel by Amy Ewing I haven't heard terrific things about this book. It is the sort I would typically read but reviews haven't been great. I think I will probably still read it, but it maybe be pushed down near the bottom of my to-read list. 

    The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban I had never heard of this book until I saw it in a bookshop. But the cover was so pretty and the synopsis sounded really interesting. For some reason I adore books set in boarding schools and it sounds like it could be a little sad; and I love sad books.

    We Were Liars by E. Lockhart Everywhere I look people are reviewing and raving about this book. I have no clue what it's about apart from a group of affluent kids. Oh! And that there's a twist at the end! (or something like that). It's a lot shorter than I thought it would be actually, especially the way people had been talking about it.  But do I care? Nope. I love jumping on bandwagons.

    Cinder by Marissa Meyer This is another one of those books that I'm really late to the party about. Originally I wasn't too keen on the idea; a cyborg Cinderella in a Beijing set somewhere in the future (I'm sorry what?). But everyone's next door neighbour and their dog seems to have read this book. So I'm giving it a go.

    Top Ten Tuesday: There isn't enough time in the world.

    Tuesday, 21 October 2014

    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blogging meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week we have a new top ten to list. Because who doesn't love lists?! This is my first week doing this even though I've been wanting to for a while. 
    And the topic is; Top Ten New Series I Want To Start.
    Okay I am notoriously lazy and procrastinate way too much so this list was not at all hard for me to compile.

    1. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken I have the first book in this series sitting on my kindle waiting to be read but I just haven't got round to it.

    2. The Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray There's nothing about the sound of this series I don't like (except maybe the slightly low Goodreads score).

    3. The Young Elites by Marie Lu I devoured the Legend series; I loved the simplicity of it and the plot was killer. This one sounds slightly similar but I still think I'll love it.

    4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon This series seems to have popped up out of nowhere since the TV show started (yes I know it was published ages ago but it's new to me). It's set in the past, in Scotland (my Dad's Scottish so it feels like I have to read it) and everyone raves about it.

    5. Thomas Cromwell series by Hilary Mantell I want to cry every time I remember I am yet to start reading this, it sounds perfect (again I know this is slightly older but I feel guilty about not reading this).

    6. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas My sister goes on and on about these all the time. Like for reals. I may just read them to shut her up; although they do sound good.

    7. The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo I've almost bought this book so many times. The cover is gorgeous and the plot sounds intriguing. Plus it's set in Russia (I think...) and I'm obsessed with Russia.

    8. The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski I have a bit of an on/off relationship with forbidden love stories (I'm pretty sure this is what this book has) but the whole premise of this one sounds super cool and again the cover is to die for.

    9. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins This is one of those books that I really want a physical copy of and it is so hard to find in England (I don't think it's released in paperback yet). So that's my excuse for not having bought it yet.

    10. The Mortality Doctrine by James Dashner Just read that title and tell me it doens't sound cool. I'm a massive fan of The Maze Runner series but I haven't got round to this one yet although the plot once again sounds freaking awesome.

    I find it really hard to keep up with series that aren't complete yet but I'm sure in the near future I will read these. And when I say near I mean like within 1-2 years.

    Let's Talk About: Romance in YA Books

    Monday, 20 October 2014

    I'm not going to lie, I pretty much live for a good romance in an awesome YA series. Back when I started reading YA books (I must have been around ten and had no idea what YA meant) I didn't give much thought to the romantic relationship the main character had; I just saw it as another part of the plot. In fact it wasn't until around two years ago when I really got into YA that I paid attention to it. And then I realised. How bloody hard it is to get right. Seriously. more periods = more serious.

    Here are a few issues I have with YA romance:
    1. Instalove. You know what I'm talking about. Where our two love interests meet and bam! they're hopelessly, desperately in love. And they haven't said more than four sentences to each other. I get that it's more enjoyable if we get to see a relationship progress rather than most of the development having started before the book. And I know a lot of YA books happen over a short space of time. But god this annoys me. And people do get it right (somtimes), and unless it's horrendously instantaneous I can usually still enjoy and finish the book.
    2. 'Love/Hate' relationships. Because let's face it; most of the time it's not. It's; 'wow I'm super attracted to you but I'm a jerk' or 'meaningless hatred than can turn to obsessive love in two seconds flat'. Admittedly I could never write a love/hate relationship because they're really difficult to portray, and usually you need a little background to get it going. Which could work, but right now good examples are severely lacking.
    3. Creepy love interests. Okay so this is aimed at one book in particular; The 5th Wave. Nothing could possibly bring me to like Evan and Cassie relationship. Everything about him screams; stay away. There are other examples too; following protagonists around, overly aggressive behaviour, staring at them so intensely I feel uncomfortable, and refusing to let up when the protagonist clearly states she/he isn't interested. Obviously they're not written to be creepy. They just come across this way.
    That isn't to say all YA books are like this. In fact there are several relationships in YA novels that I love. They're (nearly always) well paced, have great chemistry and involve two three dimensional characters who are not defined by said relationship.

    Review: Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

    Sunday, 19 October 2014

    About The Book:
    Title: Blood of Olympus
    Author: Rick Riordan
    Series: Heroes of Olympus
    Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
    Age Range: 12+
    Publication Date: 7th October 2014 (UK)
    Pages: 528 pages (Hardcover)
    Publisher: Puffin

    Though the Greek and Roman crew members of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen - all of them - and they're stronger than ever.
    The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over...


    It's been five days since I finished this book and my brain still refuses to believe that this is over. I can't possibly comprehend that I will never read a Percy Jackson book again. This could take some time for me to come to terms with.
    For the non-spoiler part of my review I am going to say that I didn't love this book with all of my being. In fact if this wasn't as Percy Jackson book and I didn't have a such an emotional connection to it I probably would've given it a lower score of maybe 3.5 stars. But alas! I couldn't do that. I just love the characters and the writing style too much to do that. It had the same exciting feel to it that all the other books did, and there were certain new parts that I loved to death but it didn't feel epic enough to be the last book in the series.
    And now where I get into the real details.
    Number one; Reyna and Nico. They are officially my new brotp of this series. I loved having their POVs in the book too as they might possibly be my favourite characters after Percy and Annabeth. Their personalities meshed really well together and it was really nice that they both found someone they could confide in. Reyna's backstory was super interesting and I kind of wished we had got even some hint at the resolution of her prophecy. 
    But with every good thing, there seemed to be a negative. I was pretty annoyed that there was no Percy or Annabeth chapters. The tagline to the book is; Percy Jackson's final battle begins. Yet we didn't get anything from him. Perhaps I'm biased as he is my favourite character but this did ruin it slightly for me. Although the scene in the cave was compensation slightly.
    I really enjoyed the scene with Nike and the battle where all the demigods fought with their parents. The dialogue was hilarious, especially the Adidas line. And the whole idea of the seven fighting with their parents was great.
    Although I was a little bummed no one died (weird I know, but it just seems unrealistic) and the final battle just seemed too smooth. I did enjoy it and I certainly didn't hate it. All of me just wishes there was more.

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    Movie Review: The Maze Runner

    Saturday, 18 October 2014

     About The Film:
     Title: The Maze Runner
     Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya  Scodelario, Will Poulter
     Director: Wes Ball
     Release Date:
    October 10th 2014  (UK)


    I feel like I've been waiting for this movie for far too long. And as I live in the UK I had to wait almost a month after (what seemed like) everyone else to see it. But finally! It was released! I went with three of my friends who had also read the books and I can happily (and with an air of relief) say that I wasn't disappointed.

    I was fully prepared for changes - one of the few things I have learnt from watching many book adaptations - and there were a lot. But surprisingly; I hardly noticed. It was really well made, and I had that usual feeling of being absolutely submersed in the story; which is my favourite thing about films. I thought that, especially the first half, was really well paced and cut together. Wes didn't over do the visual effects and the maze looked really realistic. As I expected the acting really was great, especially Dylan in that certain scene towards the end of the film (*cough*youknowwhatimtalkingabout*cough*). Thomas Brodie Sangster as Newt really did my favourite character justice and I just wanted to squish Blake Cooper to death.

    Of course, like most films, it was not perfect. I thought the second half of the film was a little too action-y. It was pretty full on and left little room for characters. Visually, it was really pleasing but story telling wise I didn't love it. I can also imagine that as someone who hadn't read the books the ending would be extremely unsatisfying. Leaving people wanting to know what happens next but in an annoyed way rather than an excited way. Even I was a little irritated and I know what happens next.

    However overall I thoroughly enjoyed it and it really did do one of my favourite books justice. 
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