Monday, 29 December 2014

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins I Review

Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall
Genre: fantasy
My Star Rating:

When sixteen-year-old Sophie Mercer discovers she's a witch, the imagines life will be full of magic, fun an...well...broomsticks! But her first attempt at a love spell goes disastrously wrong and, as punishment, Sophie is shipped off to Hecate "Hex" Hall, a reform school for witches, shapeshifter and fairies.
By the end of her first day among her fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite the score card: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person on campus and the only vampire.
Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students and her only friend is the number one suspect.

The world building was good, we had some traditional mythology in there with of course the authors new spin on it thrown in, as well as some original baddies. The characters in this book were great, Sophie wasn't as funny as I'd been led to believe but she still got the odd laugh out of me. I loved the love interest: he was nice, but not annoyingly nice, he insulted people, but never anything more than banter.

This book was always interesting because the main character was so different from myself and I'd always think what I'd do in the situations she was put in but she always did something completely different, which meant it was fun and unpredictable. Speaking of unpredictable, THAT PLOT TWIST (which I won't spoil) was amazing. As I have said on multiple occasions I love a good plot twist and this one is defiantly going on my list (my metaphorical list) when it happened I had to read the sentence again to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me.

I will most definitely be reading the sequel, Demonglass, and I very much look forward to it.
Love Always,

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe I Review

Title: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia
Genre: childrens, fantasy
My Star Rating:

When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realise what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold, so to does a classic tale that has enchanted readers of all ages for over half a century.

I've had this book for years and I've read it's prequel "The Magician's Nephew" about three times but for some bizzare reason never continued onto the next book. The story was lovely, but simple which in a way I suppose is good, you don't want to add unessesary details, it will only make the book slow and confusing.

The  writing style was odd but I don't like to critise it because it would most definately appeal to children (the target audience). The narration was friendly and it felt like you were being told a story, but one from memory, not one being read strait from a book.

I wasn't a huge fan of the ending (which I won't spoil) as it seemed like the ending of the last book in a series, or a standalone but certainly not the first one. Besides that it was a lovely book and next time I go to a fancy dress party I'll go as the White Queen or Aslan...I haven't quite decided yet.

Love Always,

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black I Review

Title: The Iron Trial
Series: Magisterium
Authors: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Genre: Children's, Fantasy
My Star Rating:

Blurb: Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

When reading this book I hate to admit it but the similarites to Harry Potter were hard not to pick up on, there were even entire scenes where all I could think about was JK Rowling wrote this part better. Cassandra Clare is obviously a big fan of popular fiction in the genre she writes in, which was a problem because I think at points, the parts she stole from other books weren't even intentional.
I decided not to include these points when deciding my star rating because I wanted to look at it as a book on its own and not compare it to other books of an unrealistic standard.

I didn't have any attatchment to any of the characters but I quite liked Aaron and I suppose Call was tolerable. I gave the book its four stars for the story line. To start off with it was more of a three star and I wasn't to interested in the story but soon enough I found it got much more exiting. I was expecting the ending to be predicatable but it wasn't quite what I expected, which is always nice. 

There was a bit of "convienient information dropping" which could have been done much more subtly. The pacing was good and I was glad the story only took up 295 pages as often fanstasys like this one are much longer and I would have hated to see unnecesary filler scenes in a book like this one. 

It must have been well edited because there was no distinct difference between the two authors voices as I know can be a common problem in dual writer projects. 

Love Always,

The Awakening by L.J. Smith I Review

Title: The Awakening
Author: L.J. Smith
Series: The Vampire Diaries
Genre: Vampires, Romance
My Star Rating:

A deadly love triangle Elena: beautiful and popular, the girl who can have any guy she wants. Stefan: brooding and mysterious, desperately trying to resist his desire for Elena . . . for her own good. Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Elena finds herself drawn to both brothers . . . who will she choose?

As a big fan of the TV show I didn't know what to expect from this book, the show made A LOT of changes from the book, but it was nice to notice where Julie Plec got all her ideas for character names and such like. One detail which I really did appreciate was that in both the book and the TV show Elena had a seat on her window sill. It was an odd experience because I'd seen the show first for me what the show said was canon so I felt myself getting annoyed with things that were different from the show then having to remind myself L.J Smith wrote this first.

This book had a horrible case of insta-love, literally. She kissed him once and was talking about how much she loved him and how she was going to spend the rest of her life with him. The plot twist at the end was pretty preditable, weather that was because there had been a similar story line in the show I'm not sure. 

Even though when I am reviewing the book all I can come up with is critisisms I still gave the book three stars because despite all the flaws it was quite enjoyable and I've found myself reading the sequel.

Love Always,

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Tinker Bell and The Legend of The Neverbeast I Film Review

Title: Tinker Bell and The Legend of the Neverbeast
Genre: Children's, Fantasy
Director: Steve Loter
My Star Rating: 

Although they are aimed at people much younger than myself I go to see the Tinker Bell films every time a new one comes out, as I have a personal attachment to them that began when I was younger. This time the film's protagonist was not the normal Tink but a much loved member of her entourage, Fawn!

Fawn is the animal fairy in Tinkerbell's varied friendship ground is known for her love of animals (no matter how dangerous they may seem) and for getting her friends into trouble because of it. It was nice to get a closer insight on one of the secondary characters as they all have different and interesting personalities.

The animation was simply gorgeous and there were points where I wanted them to pause the film so I could take a screen cap. All the little details of Pixie Hollow and of course the fairies themselves looked lovely. 

As always it was absolutely hilarious (even to the slightly older audience) and I caught myself laughing rather hard at Rosetta's outcry of "I was mid-exfoliation! Mid exfoliation!" and of course the rather dim but well meaning Silvermist brought on a few chuckles. I love the expansion of the world they bring as each new film is released and this time it was a fairy organisation called "the scouts", a group of determined fairies with minds set on keeping Pixie Hollow and some great character development for their leader, Nyx. 

Love Always,


Mockingjay Part 1 I Film Review

Name: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Apadapted From: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Genre: Dystopia
Director: Francis Lawrence
My Star Rating: 

I went to see this film on November the 21st for my friend's birthday. I do apologise for the length of this review as it was a while ago now and I remember only some of the details if you would like to see a (spoilery) review of the film on my YouTube channel click here.

I did not like the Mockingjay book so I went into the cinema expecting the worst but I was pleasantly surprised. First of all hats off to the set designers as district 13 looked perfect, exactly as I had imagined it. Secondly, when me and my friends came out of the cinema the first thing we all commented on was Coin's hair. Somehow, we'd all imagined it looking exactly the same and we imagined it looking exactly as it did in the film. Some of the shots were amazing my personal favourite being a zooming, bird's eye view of a huge crowd of people running down a staircase.

In terms of acting there was an all round great performance, Natalie Dormer was brilliant as Cressida and of course Woody Harrelson never fails to do Haymich justice. I did get a feel right throughout that they were doing a "Oh this guy hasn't had much screen time for a while let's have him give Katniss a spontaneous pep talk".

There was a scene in which Katniss sung the -now famous- hanging tree song (which my friends were bothering me with for days, at one point they sang it as a round). In scenes such as this they normally have a professional singer pre-recording the song and the actress mouthing it. However in this film it was undoubtably Jennifer Lawrence singing and I'm not sure why that please me so much but it did.

Love Always,