Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

 

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Title: All The Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

My rating: 4.75

Goodreads rating: 4.21

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Summary (Goodreads):

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.

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Seasons Of Book Blogging Tag!

Hello strangers! It feels so great to say hello to my blog again! I think I just needed to sleep and and get myself rested before I post anything coherent on my blog, but now that I am back, I have a lot of stuff to be catching up on including book tags!

Now I was tagged around a week ago by the awesomely funny Jordyn from J. Bookish, please check out her blog because it is fantastic (and she created this cool tag!). Thank you for tagging me!

The rules are simple:

RULES AND REGULATIONS:

  • Thank the creator (so she can see all of your answers!) and the person who tagged you.
  • Begin with the month in which you have been tagged and move forward from there!
  • State the best gift you’ve ever been given after you answer the question for your birthday month.
  • Tag whomever you’d like when you’re finished.. or else you’ll be “it” forever.
  • Have fun, of course!

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I hate chemistry and here’s why AKA sorry!

It is like 2am at the moment and I am half asleep but I just wanted to say sorry for not posting today because I just had to spend a good five hours on my Chem homework which literally just drained all the energy away from me. Hopefully I can read through all of your lovely Thursday posts tomorrow (I’m sad I couldn’t see the Book Travellingg Thursdays posts because I really like  them) and a nice post should be coming your way soon.

For now a nap.

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

Top 5 Wednesday|Hunger Games Moments

I am not doing my WWW Wednesday this week because everything has virtual stayed the same, so I am dedicating all of my time to top 5 Wednesday! This weekly meme was originally made by Lainey on Booktube (here channel is gingerreadslainey). You can look at the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads page here.

I am currently rereading Mockingjay before the movie comes out (which is tomorrow in the UK! (which I will not be able to watch as soon as because I promised by friends I would watch it with them next week)) So this is the perfect subject for this week.

Lets do this then!

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Top Ten Tuesday- Book Quotes Of 2015

Hey guys! I hope your Tuesday has been superb and productive! Oh and is anybody else loving this new editing system for WordPress? I am really feeling it! I am joining the Top Ten Tuesday squad because this weekly meme is really cool and I have been seeing it all over my feed! Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic or theme is top ten book quotes from books you have read in 2015, so let’s get to it!

 “When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.” 

Six Of Crows, Leigh Bardugo

2.

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

The Fault In Our Stars, John Green

3.

“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”

 The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

4.

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire,  J.K Rowling

5.

“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.”

Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard

6.

“Real life is only ever just real life. Messy. What it means depends on how you look at it. The only thing you’ve got to do is find a way to live there.”

More Than This, Patrick Ness

7.

“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.”

Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell

8.

“Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!”

Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

9.

“Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon . . . is not the dragon the hero of his own story?”

The Night Circus, Erin Morgernstern

10.

“I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Matilda, Ronald Dahl

This was so hard! I could pick ten quotes from one book easily! I tried to keep with books I have read (or reread) this year and used a different book and author for every quote. I hope you liked my first Top Tuesday post and please comment below what your favourite book quotes are or just link your TTT.

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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Review: Maus: A Survivors Tale by Art Spiegelman

Title: Maus: A Survivors Tale

Author/Creator: Art Spiegelman

My rating: 4.75

Goodreads rating: 4.34

Genre: Historical (Memoir)


Cover: 4/5

This is a strong, eye catching cover which kept me glancing back at it while I was at the library looking for some graphic novels.



Review: 

This is a brilliant graphic novel. Even though I finished this about a week and a half ago (I know this review was overdue), I still remember the emotions that this memoir evoked in me. Disgust, anger, confusion. All very bold emotions and I can honestly say is what the memoir wants us to feel. It is a completely naked account of the war which is gripping and full of detail throughout. I love how the characters are mice or other animals, so you can kind of pursue the story even through all of the horrific stuff which gets told in the novel.

It’s a little hard to seperate this review into different separate parts so I will just group all of my thoughts and feelings together instead.

“To die, it’s easy. But you have to struggle for life.”

Firstly I am going to talk about what actually happens in this graphic novel. The memoir follows Art trying to note down the horrid memories of the holocaust through, Vladek, his father ; a cranky, depressed old man who seems to still be wrecked with the nightmares of the second world war. How Art described the relationship between himself and his father was exquisite. you can really sense the tension between them and it is weaved in through all of the beautifully drawn pictures. Seriously, the pictures awesome.

Both Art and his father are complicated in a humanly sort of way. They both have inner conflicts which most likely come from the suicide of Art’s mother and Vladek’s first wife which happened only a couple of years before the the graphical novel takes place. This leads to many interesting family dynamics which really lead you to carry on through the whole novel.

The majority of the memoir is told through the memories of Vladek from where he meets his first love to where he ends up in a concentration camp and so on. Some parts where seriously hard to read through especially when the images are so harshly drawn (does that make sense? I’m no artist) and vivid that it really just takes your breath away. I did get through it though because Vladek’s journey is just too good not to read. It’s full of many of many ups, but many more downs and so much luck! Sometimes you forget you are reading about a real person’s life.

“Disaster is my muse.”

When reading something in a Jew’s perspecitive in World War II, it is almost certain that you will find out some really horrific realisations about what went down. When I was younger I was so interested in world war two. Call it something of a fascination on how people can be so horrid to each other. But now, if just find the whole topic rather depressing and even the quote at the start of the book ‘The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human’ by Adolf Hitler just sends a shiver down my spine. The book has a load of depressive tones to it and a load of sad moments which makes me want to rip the heart out of Hitler Regina style (OUAT reference, sorry).

The only downfall of this brilliant, beautiful graphic novel? The lack of a ending, but I guess I should just pick up the second part because I really need to know how this memoir completes.

What I liked:

  • The artwork is stunning.
  • The writing is stunning.
  • The story which is told is stunning.

What I disliked:

  • Where did that ending go?

Verdict: This graphic novel has everything I love in a story. Interesting characters, drama, a twisting and turning plot. But this isn’t a story. This is- well was real life for many Jews during World War II and this is a graphic novel everyone should be racing to read, think about and enjoy.

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

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Surviving the NaNoWriMo Train and How To Get Left Behind- NaNoWriMo Week 2 Recap!


Hello guys! Here is my weekly NaNoWriMo recap and what a week it had been! I swear I thought I wouldn’t survive the beating NaNoWriMo servered up. But somehow it’s Sunday and I survived. I survived.

So Monday started okay I think and so did Tuesday but it was on Wednesday everything went to high hell. I just couldn’t write. Anything. At all. I was still writing my first kind of info dumping part and it was forcing me into a writing block. So you know what, I just skipped over all of that snd went to a refreshing and completely different part of my story and I was able to catch up on 3000 words (I was down by 7000).

So by tomorrow, I should still be down by 4000 words but there will still be another weekend to catch up then. If I stay ontop of the 1667 words a day, then I’ll be okay.

Another thing I have to comment on is that how my characters literally hate me. My story is taking so weird turns and I don’t know if I should steer my story into the write direction or just let it roll. Someone help.

Weekly Word Count: 21,011

Good luck to all of my fellow writers! Remember- we can do this!

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

Book Quote Of The Day

This quote is from Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This book is absolutely brilliant and you should definitely read it. My review is here, but here is a quote to tease you.

“I’m a business man,” he’d told her. “No more, no less.”
“You’re a thief, Kaz.”
“Isn’t that what I just said?”

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

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Book Courtship Tag!

Hello guys, tiring day so I thought I would do a post that is easy enough- a book tag!

I was tagged by the amazing Breathing In The Pages blog, so check them out!

On with the tag!

Phase One-Initial Attraction: A Book That You Bought Because of the Cover?

Um well I haven’t bought this book yet but I am purely going by this book because of the cover (and the great reviews. The book is Wrath Of Dawn and I can not wait to get my hands on my book (if I ever get it)!

Phase Two-First Impressions: A Book That You Got Because of the Summary?

I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m going to soon, and it is To All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han. I just love the premise that this girl’s love letters just go astray. This story is going to be a up and down adventure, I can feel it!

Phase Three-Sweet Talk: A Book With Great Writing?

Six Of Crows. Nuff said.

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Phase Four-First Date: A First Book of a Series Which Made You Want to Pick Up the Rest of the Series?

I have already pre-ordered a hardback copy of Glass Sword aka the second book to the brilliant and page turning Red Queen!

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 Phase Five-Late Night Phone Calls: A Book That Kept You up All Night?

More Than This by Patrick Ness. I had to keep reading and reading and reading! It was that amazing!

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Phase Six-Always on My Mind: A Book You Could Not Stop Thinking About?

I will pick a non fiction this time! The End Of Men and The Rise Of Women. It wasn’t the best read, but it still got me thinking.

Phase Seven-Getting Physical: A Book Which You Love the Way it Feels?

Definitely Fangirl. Every book should feel like that.

Phase Eight-Meeting the parents: A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern..

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Phase Nine-Thinking about the future: A book or series you know you will re read many times in the future?

Easy. Harry Potter.

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Phase Ten-Share the love: Who do you tag?

I tag…

EVERYONE! (Because I’m feeling really lazy today)

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

Review: More Than This by Patrick Ness

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Title: More Than This

Author: Patrick Ness

My Rating: 4.5

Goodreads Rating: 4.05

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi

Summary (Goodreads): 

A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.

Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?


Cover: 3/5

I love this quirky design of this cover and how it doesn’t give anything away to the reader.  


Review: WOW. This book was really good! I feel so happy that 1) I have read this book, so I can gush about it with everyone else 2) I can recommend this brilliant book to people and 3) this book has restored my faith in Patrick Ness.

I have to admit, I was rather cautious with reading this book as well as excited. After reading The Rest Of Us Just Live Here and being disappointed by it (you can read my review on it here), I was worried that the writing style wouldn’t gel with me and even though I could see how dense the pages were with words, I still thought that I wouldn’t become completely immersed in the book.

My worries were for absolute nothing.

Plot: 

First of all, I WAS SO SURPRISED ABOUT THE SCI-FI ELEMENT ABOUT THIS BOOK. It came as such a surprise to me! At first I thought it would be more or less contemporary, but then it became dystopian and then a Sci-Fi and then a jumble of all of those genres! I loved it and it kept the plot exciting, intriguing and captivating.

This story follows a boy called Seth who after committing suicide wakes up in a quiet abandoned neighborhood which is actually his own neighborhood. He thinks this is hell, but after some twists and turns he realises there is more to this ‘hell’ than the eye can see. Just everything was so seamless and as soon as it hits the 100 page mark, don’t quote me on that, the plot just gets a mind of it’s own and Ness takes the reader on an adventure that puts us right by Seth throughout the whole novel. Enthralling, Ness did a great job of encoperating so many themes in this enjoyable plot.

Writing:

 Let me tell you this. The first two pages were just so nvfdkjvnkfrmoifkmglkfmodkc I just knew the book was going to be amazing. How Ness just changes the POV for those first few pages like he is a God looking down on ‘the boy’ and it was just ugh so good. One of my favourite first pages I have to say.

After that we get a realistic teenager point of view from Seth as he explores abandoned neighborhood and I love how he writes the thoughts and feelings of Seth and his depressive and suicidal thoughts. You can tell they are written with care and thought and it immersed me deeply into the book. So basically throughout the whole book was just written superbly and the pacing was excellent! And those cliffhangers!

Characters: 

Seth is an excellent character to be following. He is inquisitive, witty, brave but also a damaged soul you wish you could hug to death. I loved how he also thought so deeply into things making me question the story, the setting, the characters. Seth was like how many people would be waking up in a strange place- very very curious and his curiosity lead the reader into so many dangerous situations which kept me on the edge of my seat. His character is so devastating sad and Ness handles this fragile character beautifully. And a high five to a LGBTQ+ main protagonist!

Tomasz and Regine are great great characters; totally fleshed out and developed. First of all, is Tommy the cutest 10-11 polish boy ever? Because I think I should adopt him right now. I won’t spoil you on his backstory, but it is so sad and I wanted to cry for him. His character is so funny and brings so light into the dull grey situation. Regine on the other hand is straight talking, hard skinned black girl (diveristy, you gotta love it!) who underneath it all has a huge heart. I loved finding out her backstory and finding out why she is so protective and hard, but throughout the novel you see her grow and by the end I would become best friends with Regine any day.

What I liked:

  • The characters, I can’t stop thinking about them!
  • The plot was so compelling and a page turner.
  • The writing was so beautiful at points and never jarring throughout the story.

What I disliked:

  • The amount of questions I am left with after reading this!

Verdict: As John Green says at the front of my copy; read it. It doesn’t matter what you are doing or what you are going to do just reading this beautifully written, engaging character driver, roller-coaster simulating story. It is just superb.

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

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