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!


Saturday, 9 July 2016

Fuller House Review























Hey fellow bookworms!

So you might be aware that the cast of the original Full House (sans Mary Kate and Ashley) got together to produce a sequel earlier this year. I was meant to post this months ago, but typically I never got round to it! So here's my review of Fuller House!


If you were around during the early nineties, you might remember the American sitcom Full House. Starring Lori Loughlin and the Olsen twins, Full House focused on the Tanner family, following the death of the mother. Brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos) and childhood friend Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier) move in with Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) and his three daughters D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and Michelle (who is portrayed by both Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen). Though Full House wasn't quite as popular here in the U.K., it was adored by fans from all over the U.S., so much so that Jeff Franklin decided to do a reboot on Netflix.



Photo Credit: Deadline
The Original Cast, Photo Credit: Kutv




At the start of this year, the Tanner family (sans Michelle) returned to our screens in the show Fuller House. It is set around 20 years later and has a similar premise: Stephanie and friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) move in with D.J. after her husband passes away. Both D.J. and Kimmy now have children of their own. As with Full House, the reboot sees the three adults trying to keep control over the children. However, whereas in Full House there were only three kids, this time there are four - D.J's Jackson (Michael Campion), Max (Elias Harger) and Tommy Fuller Junior (Dashiell and Fox Messitt), and Kimmy's Ramona (Sona Bringas).


Photo Credit: Screen Rant


 It is evident that the original kids have grown up a lot in Fuller House. Stephanie is now a famous DJ, torn between helping her older sister and fulfilling her dream, while D.J. is a vet, and Kimmy has her own party-planning business. The first episode is almost entirely dedicated to the original series, and it takes a while before the show develops any plot of its own. Throughout the series, she has an on-off relationship with her soon-to-be-ex husband Fernando (Juan Pablo Di Pace). Jackson tries to win the heart of Ramona's friend Lola, while Ramona has to deal with living in a household of seven people. D.J. has a couple of love interests too - Matt Harmon (Josh Brotherton) and Steve Hale (Scott Weinger).


Photo Credit: Screen Rant

 Having not previously watched Full House, I was unsure of what to expect when I started Fuller House. However, the trailer made it seem like the kind of show that I would enjoy. And I was right. Jeff Franklin has created a sweet and charming series that will have you hooked from the very beginning, and you'll be laughing for hours on end. When watching Fuller House, I couldn't help but fall in love with the youngest kids Max and Tommy - they are so adorable! Kimmy is also hilarious and her daughter is just as cheeky. Like any successful show, Fuller House has its catchphrases - 'How rude!' and 'Holy chalupas!' are two of my favourites - and memorable theme tune, 'Everywhere you look', which is also in the original series. 'Everywhere you look' is sung by Carly Rae Jepsen in Fuller House, updating it to a modern audience - it was originally performed by Jesse Frederick.



Although I enjoyed Fuller House, I was disappointed that the Olsen twins did not make an appearance - they were a big part of my childhood. I am sure that fans of the original series would feel the same. Danny, Jesse, Joey and Rebecca are also only on the show a few times. I found myself a bit lost with some of the characters and their relation to the protagonists. I'd recommend watching Full House first - it is clear that Fuller House was created for fans of the original show. Nevertheless, Fuller House has been renewed for a second series. Let's hope that the original characters are more involved this time.


Have you watched Fuller House? What did you think of it? Do you think they should recast Michelle for Season 2 or cut her out completely? Let me know in the comments!


 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Scream Queens Review

























Hey fellow bookworms!


So I've neglected this blog a lot recently and I would like to apologise! I've just been so busy, what with my dissertation and other uni work (I also had no laptop for over a month - not fun!)! I thought that I'd do something a little different today and post a review of a TV show. Have you heard of Scream Queens? Well, I did a review a while back, and I didn't get round to publishing it anywhere so I decided to post it here instead! Enjoy!



Ryan Murphy, the guy behind Glee and American Horror Story, has come up with a new show that is bound to keep you hooked: Scream Queens. Admittedly, I was a bit sceptical about Scream Queens at first - it is set in a sorority and the trailer made the characters seem shallow and annoying. However, the cast, which includes Jamie Lee Curtis and Lea Michele (you may recognise her from Glee), was enough to make me want to start watching the show.


For those of you who have yet to see Scream Queens, it's basically about a group of Kappa sisters who are haunted by a series of murders. The first episode opens with a scene in a sorority party. A group of girls find out that there is something wrong with their friend and rush to the bathroom to find her laying in the bath with a newborn baby in her arms. The next minute, the girl is dead. The episode then fast-forwards to the present day. Newcomer Grace Gardner (Skyler Samuels) moves into the same sorority house, unaware of the tragedy that took place twenty years ago. The sorority is now led by Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) and her minions Chanel #2 (Ariana Grande), Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) and Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin). Chanel is reluctant to have anyone who is not a complete airhead live in the same building as her. Much to her annoyance, Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) has other ideas, and forces a group of outcasts to move in. Along with Grace, we have feisty Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer); Jennifer (Breezy Eslin), who has a weird fascination with candles; Sam (Jeanina Han), the lesbian; and Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele), who wears a neck brace.


 

On the night that these girls join Kappa House, it becomes evident that there is a murderer on the loose. While it appears that the aim of Scream Queens is to have the audience guess who this killer is, we are aware that they wear a red devil mask (hence the name 'Red Devil') and have something against the girls in Kappa House. Could the Red Devil be connected to the events that occurred two decades ago? Everyone seems to have a legitimate motive for motive, especially Dean Munsch. Right from the start she seems intent on destroying sororities. At the same time, Denise Hempbill (Niecy Nash), who is employed by Dean Munsch to "protect" the girls, is insistent that the Red Devil is really Zayday, while Grace blames Chanel. Grace herself is another suspect. It is clear that the killer could be anyone.




Scream Queens may be one of the most ridiculous shows out there, but it is also compelling, and I find myself eager to find out who will be the next victim. Emma Roberts is completely convincing as the bratty Chanel, and Denis Hempbill is hilarious. Jamie Lee Curtis's character is reminiscent of Glee's Sue Slyvester, and Ryan Murphy has once again chosen the right actress to play this role. Scream Queens makes a great modern 'whodunnit'. If you love mysteries and light horrors, Scream Queens is the right show for you.




Have you seen Scream Queens? What did you think of it?


Serena



Sunday, 27 December 2015

Books I Wish I Had The Chance To Read In 2015


Hey fellow bookworms!


Yet again, I've failed at keeping this blog updated on a regular basis! Oops! As it is coming up to the end of the year, I thought I'd do a post about the books I didn't get round to reading this year. There are just sooo many good books out there but such little time to read them!


On my list for 2015

 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - I was planning to read this before the film came out during the summer, but unfortunately didn't get the chance to.

Royal Wedding - I NEED to read this book. Damn, I should've put it on my Christmas list!

The Scorch Trials - Same as Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Easy

Before Midnight

Let's Get Lost

Mini Shopaholic - Miss reading about Becky! She's hilarious!

Me Before You - Need to somehow read this before the film comes out but might be tricky with all the work I have to do!


Came out in 2015

 

Finding Audrey - I've only read the Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella but would like to try some of her other books.

Saint Anything - Because Sarah Dessen.

Conversion - Sounds intriguing.

My Heart & Other Black Holes - Sounds kinda

Magonia - LOVE the cover!

Carry On - So Fangirl wasn't as "amazing" as everyone makes it out to be, but I am kinda curious
about Carry On.

Lying Out Loud - The DUFF was hilarious so I'm so this book will be too!

A Whole New World - I know it's got mixed reviews, but I love the sound of this book! Can't go
wrong with a Peter Pan retelling!

The Confectioner's Tale - Really need to read more historical books! Plus I love the cover!

Ana of California - It's been so long since I read Anne of Green Gables and Ana of California sounds like a fun take on the classic.



What books do you wish you'd read this year? Have you read any of the books on my list? Let me know what you thought of them!


Serena






Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I'd Like To Read More Books By




Hi everyone!


Sorry I haven't posted for ages, haven't really done much reading recently due to uni. But anyway, as I've done all my work for today (would've have done more but sore throat) I thought I'd upload a new post. Since it is Tuesday (and I don't really have time to do a book review), I thought I'd do a Top Ten Tuesday post. If you're new to the whole book blogging world, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is "Ten Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel". I haven't actually read many debut novels recently, so I'm going to cheat and just list a few authors I've read one (or two) book (s) by and can't wait to see what else they have to offer.


1. Nicola Yoon

During summer I read Nicola Yoon's debut novel Everything Everything. It was such a fantastic book and I can't wait to read more books by Nicola Yoon!

 
2. Simone Elkeles

Though not a debut novel, Perfect Chemistry was still amazing! I'm definitely reading the sequel (and anything else by Simone Elkeles for that matter)!

 
3. Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist was so creepy but I still really enjoyed it! Looking forward to reading Jessie Burton's next book (I'm thinking it might be this one?
 
 
4. Lauren Oliver

Okay, so I have read two books by Lauren Oliver (namely Delirium and Before I Fall), but I would quite like to read some of her other books. And I definitely need to finish the Delirium trilogy at some point!


5. S. J. Watson

How intense was Before I Go To Sleep?! I'd definitely be up for more books by S. J. Watson!

 
6. Erin Morgenstern

Almost forgot about this one! A sequel of The Night Circus could be interesting.



What would be on your list?


Serena