Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Mini Book Reviews #2


Hey fellow bookworms!

As I have read quite a lot of books recently, I thought I'd put all the reviews in one post, rather than do an individual one for each.


Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Review
I watched Me and Earl and the Dying Girl in the cinema last year without having read the book first. However, since I enjoyed the film, I decided to order a copy of the book from Amazon. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is narrated by Greg, a high school senior who is awkward and doesn't really fit into any particular social group. He has one close friend called Earl, who he refers to as his 'co-worker'. Greg and Earl make films in their spare time. At the beginning of the book, Greg's mother comes to him with the news that his classmate Rachel has been diagnosed with leukaemia. Greg knows he should be sympathetic towards Rachel, but he doesn't really know how to act around her since they aren't exactly friends. However, this soon changes...

In Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Jesse Andrews takes a serious subject and puts a humorous spin on it. Greg is a realistic character who feels uncomfortable about his body and finds it hard to talk to girls. Rachel is a lovely character too. Earl is the total opposite of Greg but they seem to get on really well. I love the fact that the book is dotted with lists and excerpts of scripts - it adds to the humour. Although Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is primarily aimed towards a teenage audience, its light-hearted tone means that it can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.


Easy

easy tammara weber review
Easy is a realistic New Adult book that focuses on a sophomore called Jacqueline. The story opens in the middle of a college party, where Jacqueline is assaulted by a friend of her ex-boyfriend. Fortunately, Jacqueline is rescued by Lucas, a guy from her Economics class. Jacqueline doesn't recognise Lucas, but she soon becomes fascinated with him. When Jacqueline admits that her attacker won't leave her alone, Lucas tries to protect her, even though he is keeping some secrets of his own. Will Jacqueline let these come in the way of her new relationship or will she ignore them?

Easy is a really gripping novel, and I couldn't put it down. Tammara deals with some very dark topics, including rape and stalking, and portrays them so vividly. Jacqueline is a likeable character. She is panicky after the incident, which is understandable, and I felt worried for her. What she went through was horrible. I actually cried at the end. Lucas is an interesting character and his back story is quite intriguing. I loved the chemistry between Jacqueline and Lucas - it was so real and intense.  Overall, Easy is a brilliant book and it's worth reading if you get the chance.


I'll Give You the Sun

I'll Give You the Sun review
I'll Give You the Sun has been compared to The Fault in Our Stars, but they are two completely different books. While I really enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, it took me a while to get into I'll Give You the Sun, and I couldn't really connect with either of the main characters. To tell you the truth, I actually though that Jude and Noah were quite annoying. This is a shame since the book has received so much praise and I was looking forward to reading it. I did, however, like the cover, and I managed to read right until the end, so it wasn't a complete disaster.














The Girl On the Train

The Girl On the Train
I wasn't actually planning on reading The Girl On the Train, at least not for a while anyway. The premise didn't really interest me that much, and there are so many other books on my TBR list. However, my mum already had a copy and the film is coming out soon, so I thought I might as well read it and see what all the fuss is about. I'm glad I did.

The Girl On the Train is a gripping novel that focuses on a normal woman who takes the train past a couple's house every day, and forms her own story about them. After seeing something shocking in their garden, Rachel realises that the couple are not as perfect as she thought. She also discovers some truths about her own life. With its unexpected twists and turns, The Girl On the Train is the ideal book for anyone who enjoyed Before I Go To Sleep and Safe Haven.








Uglies

Uglies
After finishing All These Things I've Done last year, I'd sworn off reading dystopian books for a while. However, Uglies had caught my eye a few years ago, and when I saw a reduced copy in a charity shop, I knew I had to buy it. Uglies is based on an interesting and unusual concept - when children reach the age of sixteen, they undergo an operation that will make them 'Pretty'. Before that, everyone is 'Ugly'. Tally, the protagonist, is excited about the operation as it means that she will be able to join her best friend Peris in New Pretty Town and live a life of constant parting. It is only after meeting Shay that Tally realises the truth about being pretty.

While Uglies is a decent read, there are many better dystopian books out there. Tally seemed shallow and didn't always make the right decisions. She also betrayed the people close to her, and this stopped her from being a likeable character. The author, Scott Westerfeld, is very critical of humans in the twenty-first century, referring to us as 'Rusties'. This bugged me a bit. I also found that some of the language he uses is quite juvenile. Overall, Uglies wasn't as good as I expected and I don't think that I'll be reading the other books in the series.



What books have you been reading recently? Have you read any of the books I've listed above?


Serena

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Upcoming Book Releases




























Hey fellow bookworms!


This post will feature about some of the upcoming books to look out for this Autumn. I've included a mixture of celebrity books, YA and contemporary.


1. Stealing Snow - Danielle Paige


stealing-snow-danielle-paige
Goodreads

























Release Date: 20th September

17-year-old Snow is stuck inside the Whittaker Institute, with no memory of how she got there. When a mysterious man turns up, Snow realises that this is her only chance to escape. She finds herself in Agid, an icy land full of witches and thieves. Here Snow finds out about her past and must decide what her fate is going to be.


2. Holding Up the Universe - Jennifer Niven

holding-up-the-universe-jennifer-niven
Waterstones
























Release Date: 4th October

Holding Up the Universe focuses on Libby Strout, who was once known as 'America's Fattest Teen'. After her mother's death, Libby has to deal with comforting her father and starting high school. She encounters Jack Masselin, who is unable to recognise the people close to him. Holding Up the Universe will be enjoyed by fans of All the Bright Places and Everything, Everything.


3. Replica - Lauren Oliver

replica-lauren-oliver
Lauren Oliver Books
























Release Date: 4th October

Replica has been described as "an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity." It is a 'flip book', with one side from Lyra's point of view, and the other from Gemma's point of view. Having been in and out of hospital since she was a baby, Gemma is all too familiar with hospitals. She finds out that her father is connected to Haven, a top secret research facility. It  is also where Lyra - a.k.a 'number 24' - lives. Gemma helps Lyra escape and they both try to find out more about Haven.


4. Bloom: Navigating Life and Style - Estee Ladonde

bloom-estee-ladonde
Amazon
























Release Date: 6th October

YouTubers seem to be releasing new books every week - and now Bloggers have joined in too. Estee Ladonde is a Canadian Blogger, known for her beauty and lifestyle vlogs. As stated on Amazon, "Bloom is about discovering who you are and how you interpret that through the lifestyle choices you make."


5. We Were On A Break - Lindsay Kelk

we-were-on-a-break-lindsay-kelk
Harper Collins
























Release Date: 6th October

From bestselling chick-lit author Lindsay Kelk comes a hilarious, romantic novel about a couple who aren't entirely sure whether they are on a break or not. Follow Liv and Adam as they decide what they really want. We Were On A Break is perfect for fans of the 'I Heart' series and books by Sophie Kinsella.


6. Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult

small-great-things-jodi-picoult
Jodi Picoult

























Release Date:  11th October

Small Great Things is an intriguing novel about racism and prejudice in contemporary America. It focuses on Ruth Jefferson, an experienced nurse who works at a hospital in Connecticut. She encounters a couple who are reluctant to let her deliver their newborn child since she is African American. However, after an incident, Ruth is forced to choose between intervening and risking the baby's life.


7. Where Am I Now? - Mara Wilson

where-am-i-now-mara-wilson
Paste Magazine
























Release Date: 13th October

Mara Wilson has been a little off the radar since Matilda hit our screens 20 years ago. However, she is now back with her first book. Where Am I Now? is a chronicle of Mara Wilson's childhood and focuses on how she dealt with fame at such a young age.


8. The Sun Is Also A Star - Nicola Yoon

the-sun-is-also-a-star-nicola-yoon
Nicola Yoon
























Release Date: 1st November

If you enjoyed Everything Everything, you'll be pleased to hear that Nicola Yoon has written another book, The Sun Is Also A Star. In this book, teenagers Natasha and Daniel fall in love after a chance encounter in New York. Neither of them was expecting this to happen: Natasha is close to being deported to Jamaica and doesn't believe in fate or destiny, while Daniel is a top student, determined to live up to his parents' high expectations.


9. Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick

anna-kendrick-book
Scrappy Little Nobody
























Release Date: 15th November

Actress Anna Kendrick (from Twilight and Pitch Perfect) has published her first book, which features a handful of humorous autobiographical essays. It explores Anna's rise to fame and her middle class upbringing in New England.


10. The Boy Is Back - Meg Cabot


the-boy-is-back-meg-cabot
Goodreads

























Release Date: 17th November

Fans of The Princess Diaries rejoice as Meg Cabot is releasing a new book this November. The Boy Is Back is the fourth book in the popular 'Boys' series. After a scandal, pro-golfer Reed Stewart returns home to the past he was trying hard to leave behind. Reed tries to avoid his first love Becky Flowers, but unfortunately fate brings them together again


11. Girl Online: Going Solo - Zoe Sugg


girl-online-going-solo--zoe-sugg
W H Smith Blog

























Release date: 22nd November

Girl Online: Going Solo is the third book in Zoe Sugg's Girl Online series. Penny has to face starting the new school year on her own, without her boyfriend Noah. While Penny is stuck going to classes, Noah has completely disappeared. Fortunately, Penny receives an invite to visit a friend's performing arts school and jumps at the opportunity to make some new friends. Will Scottish boy Callum help Penny move on from Noah?


12. Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between - Lauren Graham                                           


talking-as-fast-as-I-can-Lauren-Graham
Gilmore News
























Release Date: 29th November

Lauren Graham plays Lorelai in the hit TV show Gilmore Girls. She published a fiction book a couple of years ago, but now she's decided to write an autobiography. This book centres on Lauren's life in Hollywood and how she found working on Gilmore Girls. As stated on Amazon, "Intimate, hilarious, and down-to earth, Talking As Fast As I Can is perfect for fans of Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer."


So these are just some of the many books that are hitting the shelves this Autumn! Let me know if you read any of them!


Serena


Monday, 12 September 2016

The Ice Cream Girls


Hey fellow bookworms!


I'm back from my summer holiday in Spain and have just finished writing my first review, which is about The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson.


The Ice Cream Girls

The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson
Pages: 470
Source: Amazon

At only eighteen years of age, Poppy and Serena were the only witnesses to a tragic event. Amid heated public debate and scrutiny, the two glamorous teens were dubbed 'The Ice Cream Girls' by the press and forced to go their separate ways and to lead very different lives.

Twenty years later, Poppy is keen to set the record straight about what really happened, while married mother-of-two Serena wants no one in her present to find out about her past. But some secrets will not stay buried - and if theirs is revealed, their lives will start to unravel all over again . . .

Gripping, thought-provoking and heart-warming, The Ice Cream Girls will make you wonder if you can ever truly know the people you love.


My Thoughts

Okay, so I'll be honest, I picked up this book because I liked its cover. I didn't really pay much attention to the blurb. Well, apart from the fact that one of the main characters has my name! With its fluffy, paste-coloured cover, The Ice Cream Girls screams summer book. However, it is actually quite the opposite. The Ice Cream Girls is more of a dark psychological thriller. It focuses on Serena and Poppy, who are forever haunted by the murder of a teacher (Marcus) they fell in love with over 20 years ago. While Poppy was found guilty and has been locked up in prison since, Serena has built a new life with her husband Evan and kids Verity and Conrad. When Poppy is finally released from prison, she is determined to hunt down Serena and set the record straight about what really happened to Marcus. Although Serena wants to keep the past in the past and not let it interfere with her happy life with Evan, secrets don't stay buried for long...

The Ice Cream Girls is an amazing book. I raced through it, eager to find out who really killed Marcus. I was actually surprised at who it turned out to be - and I really wish they had come forward - though I guess the book wouldn't have been the same if that were the case. I liked the way in which the book was laid out, with alternating chapters from Serena and Poppy's perspectives. I was drawn into the lives of the two women, and could really understand what they were going through. I couldn't believe how many people blamed them - and in that sense, the book is a bit unrealistic. However, from the flashback scenes, it is clear that Marcus was a really horrible man, and he deserved what happened to him 100 per cent. Overall, The Ice Cream Girls is a disturbing, intense and thought-provoking novel that deals with domestic violence, obsession and first love. Dorothy Koomson has written a vivid page-turner that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it.



Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Wildthorn



Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
Publisher: Young Picador
Pages: 359
Recommended For: Teenagers, anyone who likes historical and LGBT fiction
Source: Goodreads


Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor's daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labeled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself - and others - in order to be set free. And love may be the key...

 


 

 


My Thoughts

Wildthorn is a book that had been on my TBR list for a while before I finally picked it up at a charity shop a few months ago. It's the third LGBT book I've read, after Ash and I'll Give You the Sun, which I will review soon.

At the beginning of Wildthorn we are introduced to Louisa Cosgrove, a seventeen-year-old girl who is on her way to the Woodville's house, to start a new life as a companion. What Louisa doesn't realise is that she's actually been sent to Wildthorn, a mental asylum. When Louisa arrives at Wildthorn she is very confused and frustrated, certain that there has been a mistake and she's been mixed up with some other girl. The staff at Wildthorn call Louisa 'Lucy Childs', making her believe that another girl is supposed to be in her place. Louisa is therefore determined to find out the truth about why she has been sent to a mental asylum, and it is soon revealed that she has actually been sent there by someone close to her...

Jane Eagland has written a very engrossing historical novel that draw you in straightaway. The chapters are told from Louisa's point of view, and they alternate between her time at Wildthorn and her childhood, as well as the months leading up to her incarceration. It is apparent early on that Louisa is not crazy at all - she just wants to follow her dream - but unfortunately it is one that does not match up to societal expectations. It is shocking to read about how close-minded and misogynistic people were during the 19th century.

Louisa is a girl ahead of her time, and that's what makes her so likeable. She longs to be a doctor, just like her father, but unfortunately her mother and brother do not approve. They want Louisa to marry and have children, two things which the girl does not want to prioritise. Louisa is also attracted to girls, which doesn't really help her situation. However, Louisa manages to keep her sexuality hidden from her family. I like the fact that that Louisa is strong, intelligent, brave and ambitious - it makes a nice change from the female leads you tend to find in Young Adult Fiction, who are usually whiny and immature (an example is Belly in The Summer I Turned Pretty).

Wildthorn is a truly vivid and shocking insight into the ways in which women were treated in the past, and how mental patients were viewed. I was able to sympathise with Louisa and I hoped that she would eventually escape from the asylum and become a doctor. I also enjoyed the romantic subplot between Louisa and Eliza. The only thing I wasn't so keen on was the ending. It seemed a little rushed. Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend Wildthorn. It is a captivating book about betrayal, mental health and society's attitudes towards women.



Have you read Wildthorn? What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments :)


Serena

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Mini Shopaholic

Hey fellow bookworms!

How was your week? (can't believe it's already a week since SitC!!) Did you get up to anything exciting? I was just relaxing, reading (of course!), watching the Olympics and catching up with friends. Today's review will be about Mini Shopaholic, another book by Sophie Kinsella.

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Black Swan
Pages: 462
Recommended for: Fans of the Shopaholic series, Sophie Kinsella and chick-lit.
Source: Goodreads

Like mother, like daughter...!

Shopaholic Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood)'s two-year-old is ... spirited. She knows what she wants, whether it's a grown-up Prada handbag or a toy pony (40% off, so a bargain, surely?) When yet another shopping trip turns to mayhem, Becky decides it's time to give Minnie her own pocket money. Is it a bad sign when Minnie goes instantly overdrawn?

Minnie isn't the only one in financial crisis. As the Bank of London collapses, people are having to Cut Back. Everyone needs cheering up, so what better way to do it than to throw a fabulous surprise party? A thrifty party, of course. Except economising and keeping a secret have never been Becky's strong points ...



My Thoughts

SPOILER ALERT!!!

After almost a year's hiatus, I have finally returned to the Shopaholic series. For those of you who don't know, the Shopaholic series is written by Sophie Kinsella and it follows Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood), who has an obsession with shopping (as you can tell from the title).

This summer I read Mini Shopaholic, the sixth book in the series. Mini Shopaholic picks up a little after Shopaholic & Baby, the previous book in the series. Becky's daughter is now almost three years old and has a tendency to cause havoc wherever she goes. She's already been banned from several Santa grottos. After realising that their daughter might be spoilt, Becky's husband Luke suggests that they get a nanny. He even gets in touch with Nanny Sue, a child specialist. Unsurprisingly, Becky is against this idea. She is perfectly capable of looking after her own daughter, thank you very much! And Minnie isn't really that bad, right?

While this is all going on, Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke. All her friends (and parents) are eager to help, but Becky is insistent on organising it all by herself, and with a budget too. However, she does end up getting some help from someone unexpected - and Luke doesn't suspect a thing.

As with all the previous books in the Shopaholic series, I whizzed through Mini Shopaholic. I was eager to find out more about the secret Luke was hiding from Becky and whether the surprise party would be a success or not. There are plenty of humorous moments throughout the book and I thought it was cute that Minnie's favourite word is 'mine'. She is very much like Becky, in that she is determined to get what she wants. The only downside to the book was that Luke didn't really appear much. As always, he's too busy working. It seems like obsession is a common trait in the Brandon family. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, which is currently sitting in my Amazon basket...


Monday, 15 August 2016

Finding Audrey


Hi fellow bookworms!

How are you all? It's currently boiling in London so I spent most of the day outside! I also went to Summer in the City (a YouTube convention) on the weekend and met Hannah Witton and Bethan Leadley!! They are so lovely!

Anyway, today I am going to review Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. Enjoy!


Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 280
Recommended for: Fans of Sophie Kinsella and anyone who likes YA fiction.
Source: Goodreads

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.


My Thoughts

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Finding Audrey is Sophie Kinsella's first Young Adult novel, and I have to say, I was quite impressed. Although Finding Audrey isn't as good as the Shopaholic series, Kinsella has done a fantastic job at capturing the thoughts and feelings of a teenage girl. While it's never quite clear what happened at school to cause Audrey's anxiety, it's still a really intriguing story and you can kind of understand why Audrey reacted the way she did.

The romance in Finding Audrey is really sweet too. I totally ship Audrey and Linus. I like the fact that Linus was so supportive of Audrey and she was eventually able to regain her confidence and go outside. I also thought that the challenges Audrey and Linus did in Starbucks were funny - kind of reminded me of the shopping scene in The DUFF (the film). However, I did get the feeling that Audrey was a bit dependent on Linus and always seemed to be waiting around for him. She also seemed to recover a bit too quickly.

Nevertheless, Finding Audrey was an enjoyable book. I loved the addition of film scripts (Audrey has to film a documentary for her therapist). It made the book feel more chatty. Audrey's mother was a hilarious character - she was so ridiculous! I can't believe that she threw Frank's laptop out of the window! Yes, she actually did it! Although I guess I do understand her reaction to her son's addiction. Sort of.



Have you read Finding Audrey? Did you enjoy it? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Serena

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Mini Book Reviews


Hey guys!

Since I am a bit behind with book reviews, I thought I'd clump the last ten books I've read together and do mini reviews instead. I've read quite a mixture of books recently, including historical, YA and fantasy.

1. All the Bright Places


All the Bright Places is a brilliant book. It's emotional, touching, and even humorous in parts. All the Bright Places is told in first person, from the point of view of the two main characters, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. I was able to connect with both characters, and I could really understand their feelings and emotions. We meet Theodore and Violet at the top of their school's bell tower, and they are both considering jumping off. Fortunately, even though they are both going through a difficult time, the teenagers decide that this isn't a very good idea. While Violet is still dealing with the death of her older sister Eleanor, Theodore is obsessed with death. Although All the Bright Places has been compared to The Fault in Our Stars, they are two completely different novels. It is true that there has been an abundance of YA books about mental / terminal illnesses during the last few years, but All the Bright Places is unique. I'd definitely recommend it.

2. Romiette and Julio

I finally got round to reading Romiette and Julio not too long ago. While Romiette and Julio is a decent book, and an interesting take on the classic Romeo and Juliet tale, I'll have to say that I wasn't really a fan of the insta-love. I also thought that the Devildog's motives for hating Romiette and Julio were a bit unrealistic. That being said, I did enjoy the book overall. Both Romiette and Julio are likeable protagonists, and the secondary characters Destiny and Ben are great too.

3. Sister, Missing

It's been years since I read Girl, Missing, so I can't really remember that much, but nevertheless that didn't stop me from enjoying Sister, Missing. The second book in Sophie McKenzie's captivating trilogy picks up two years after Girl, Missing. Lauren is on holiday with her birth family and everything seems fine until one her younger sisters disappears. Could it be possible that Lauren's own kidnapper is back and wants revenge?

Sister, Missing is an intense thriller, full of many unexpected twists and turns. I was hooked from the very first page. However, I did find this book a bit repetitive and frustrating at times. Nevertheless, Sophie McKenzie is a fantastic author, and I will be reading the last book in the series, Missing Me, at some point in the near future.

4. The Looking Glass House 

This book had been sitting on my shelves for quite a while, until I finally got round to reading it over the Christmas holidays (I know, this review is very late!). I'm glad I did. The Looking Glass House is a beautifully-written book, and I couldn't put it down. The Looking Glass House focuses on Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. The story is set in Oxford in 1862, when Alice and her two sisters Edith and Ina receive a new governess, Mary Prickett. Mary becomes fascinated by Charles Dodgson, a friend of the Liddell family. Charles has an unusual relationship with Alice, that might be frowned upon in the twenty-first century, and tells her stories  of a mysterious place called Wonderland. While I did enjoy The Looking Glass House, I found it somewhat disturbing. Nevertheless, it is an original book, and I would recommend it to fans of Alice in Wonderland and historical fiction.

5. How to Build a Girl

How to Build a Girl is the comedian Caitlin Moran's forth book. It follows teenager Johanna Morigan, who is loosely based on Caitlin Moran. Johanna decides to reinvent herself as Dolly Wilde after being humiliated on TV and becomes a journalist in attempt to save her family from poverty. How to Build a Girl is a hilarious and rude coming-of-age novel,  and I whizzed through it.

6. Me Before You

This book is truly beautiful. I was in tears throughout! I have just one criticism of this book and that is the ending - I was really hoping it wouldn't end the way it did, but unfortunately it did!

7. Wicked

I loved this musical so much that I saw it twice! I picked up the book in a charity shop in York as I'd finished my dissertation and didn't have any leisure books on me. Wicked focuses on the Wicked Witch of the East from the Wizard of Oz, hence the name. It's written by Gregory Maguire, who is famous for his retellings of classic fairy tales, including Snow White and Cinderella. Wicked follows Elphaba from her birth until Dorothy lands in Oz several years later. During the book, we find out why Elphaba becomes so 'wicked' and we end up feeling sorry for her. Definitely one for fans of Wizard of Oz and the musical Wicked, though be warned that the book is quite long and it does take a while to get into.

8. Royal Wedding

This book came out last summer but I only got the chance to read it this summer. The Princess Diaries was one of my favourite book series as a teenager, and I'm so glad Meg Cabot decided to release a new book - Mia is such a likeable character! In Royal Wedding, Michael whisks Mia off to an exotic Caribbean island and proposes to her. Though Royal Wedding is targeted towards older audiences, young fans of The Princess Diaries will still enjoy it.

9. Nineteen Minutes 

Nineteen Minutes is the second book I've read by Jodi Picoult (the first being My Sister's Keeper), and it hopefully won't be the last. Nineteen Minutes focuses on the aftermath of a high school shooting, which was orchestrated by a teenage boy (called Peter). As with My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes focuses on how several people have been affected by one single event. Examples include Peter's mother Lacy, the judge Alex, and her daughter Josie, who was Peter's childhood friend. Nineteen Minutes deals with grief and the effects of bullying. I was able to sympathise with Peter, even though the crime he committed was so atrocious.

10. The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn another book that had been sitting on my shelves for ages before I finally got the chance to read it after handing in my dissertation. I'd been meaning to read it for a while, but other commitments, and books, got in the way. For those of you who don't know, The Other Boleyn Girl is a historical book set during the Tudor period. It focuses on Anne Boleyn's less well-known sister, Mary. Though The Other Boleyn Girl is a fairly long book, at over 500 pages, and I knew what was coming at the end, I found it really intriguing.  It was fascinating finding out more about how Anne Boleyn and Henry were like as people. Jane is also a relatable character in that she spends her time trying to please other people and meet their expectations. I have yet to see the film, but I doubt it's anywhere near as good as the book, though it does have a great cast (including Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Juno Temple).


Have you read any of the books in this post? What did you think of them? Have you watched Wicked the Musical or the film version of The Other Boleyn Girl? How do they compare to the books? Let me know in the comments!