Thursday, 31 July 2014

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published: Dial Books, June 14th, 2012
Pages: 394
Source: Purchased, hardcover
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 4.75/5 (95%)

How I Felt: This was the perfect contemporary book. Full of the cute moments, but also had a lot of seriousness in it. This book is told from the perspective of Samantha, who is the daughter of the town Senator, so she's always had to go to her mom's campaigns and events. She's always listened to whatever her mother says and tries to be the good child to make up for her rebellious sister. Sam, her mom, and sister live next to a family called the Garretts. Her mom never liked there family and held every little thing against them; like how irresponsible it is to have eight children. Then one day Sam meets Jase, and her opinion on the Garretts changes completely. If you like contemporary books with more meaning in them, but still with the cuteness, this is the book for you. It keeps a nice steady pace throughout the story, the only thing I didn't like was how the book ended, it definitely needed like three more chapters for me to be completely satisfied. I highly recommend this book.

***Spoilers Beyond this Point***

This book was just so cute! I loved Sam and Jase, they balanced each other out and brought out the best in one another. Now I don't know about you but I didn't like Nan from the very beginning, she was so stuck up and constantly worrying about what everyone else had that she didn't and then took it out on Sam. And she definitely crossed a huge line when she started ignoring Sam, that really got me mad. In the beginning annoyed me because it was so sad to see him sitting at home wasting away all day but by the end, I was in love with his character, one of the best character developments I've ever read about. Sam also had great character development throughout the book, she went from this quiet, pliant girl, to one who stands up for herself and knows what she wants. I think Jase's little brother George was the cutest character ever! He was so funny and just amusing to read about. The Garretts are one of my favourite fictional families, they're so tight-knit and supportive of each other. Jase is probably one of the best love interests I've read about, he was so nice and supportive towards Sam. Mr. & Mrs. Garrett were such amazing parents, and it's beautiful to see that their love can stand the test of time because that's not something you see a lot of these days, or something that's written about often.

Favourite Quotes:
  • “Maybe if I can just sleep for a hundred years, I'll wake up in a better story.”
  • “You have to kiss me," I find myself saying. "Yeah." He leans closer. "I do.”
  • “Who are these people, and why do they think their own opinions are the only right ones?”
  • “I like eggs and bacon," George tells me. "But" - his face clouds - "do you know that bacon is" - tears leap to his eyes - "Wilbur?”
  • “I cannot help but wonder if any parents ever actually schedule in adolescent drama on their day planners. Looks like a slow week, Sarah. I guess I can pencil in your eating disorder.”
*Quotes taken from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and*

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Made you Cry

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey or GingerreadsLainey on YouTube. This week's topic is about books that made you cry. When I read books I don't cry that often, but there have been those special few that have moved me to tears. I never got a chance to post this yesterday. (oops) These are in no particular order by the way.

1. The first book is Allegiant by Veronica Roth, the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy. Since it was the last book in a series I'm not going to talk too much about the plot because of spoilers, you just need to know that by the end of this book I was a wreck and went into a reading slump for a week, but I did enjoy the book overall and Divergent will always have a special place in my heart.

2. Of course this book had to make the list: The Fault in our Stars by John Green. Almost everyone has read this book now so I'm not going to go into full detail, but it follows the story of two teenagers who are going through cancer and along the way fall in love. The biggest reason for why I cried was how the story ended, but the way the book was written also had a part in it. This book was written beautifully, like reading one giant poem. The way John incorporated metaphors was incredibly moving and sentimental. This book is definitely on its way to becoming a modern classic.

3. This book is one of my favourites of all time before it was even optioned to become a film, If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Again, a lot of people will have heard of it because it's becoming a movie. This is the story of a girl named Mia, who gets into a car crash along with her parents and brother. This story is told from two different points in time, we get to learn about her past, as well as seeing from her current point in time while she has an out of body experience. This book incredibly moving and highlights the beauty and value of life.

4. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is such an excellently written book about a girl living in Germany during World War II. It's a tale from the other side of the story, Jews and Germans who don't support the work of Hitler. This book was so eye-opening for me and many other people, it allows you to really appreciate the things we have today, like a roof over our heads, food on the table, all things we take for granted each and everyday.

5. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins isn't even a sad book but for some reason I burst out in tears every time Cricket Bell showed up in a scene. This is a really fun contemporary book I'd recommend to anyone and everyone.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Published: Putnam Juvenile, April 8th, 2014
Pages: 345
Source: Library, hardcover
Genre: Contemporary/ Magical Realism
Rating: 5/5 (95%)

How I felt: I had so much fun reading this books. Rachel describes this book as being a mixture of Legally Blonde and Terminator and that description is spot on! The overall pace of the plot was amazing, it didn't lag or get boring at all. There was always something going on in the story, whether it be friend drama or supernatural drama. The world building was also well explained and built up over the course of the story, adding major anticipation for the sequel. Throughout the course of this book there was some major, well needed character development in the characters that was really enjoyable to watch happen. If you're looking for a book that has mystical elements, with the lighthearted funniness of contemporary I'd definitely recommend this. I've never laughed out loud this much while reading a book. Overall, I think this book is the best of both worlds: heavy paranormal/magic and lighthearted/ easy-going contemporary. This is a must read for everyone.

***Spoilers Beyond This Point***

Let's start off with the characters. Harper was such a great protagonist with a hilarious personality. The things she'd think were so funny I burst out laughing more than once. When we first met Ryan I liked him, I thought he was an okay guy, but then we meet David and I was like okay Ryan you can leave now. David was also a funny character and I loved his interactions with Harper. Bee Franklin is possible the best friend in all of the world, she was so supportive of Harper and loved her no matter what. The whole Paladin, Mage, and Oracle ordeal was very intriguing to me and I felt like it was explained really well throughout the story. In the beginning, when Mr. Hall passes on being a Paladin to Harper the whole scene was awkward and uncomfortable but still very funny. When a person becomes a Paladin they are forever bonded to protecting the Oracle so they inherit these super-human abilities. I found it funny how Heather decided to test hers out by doing a handstand on a fence. It was also funny when she found out she couldn't hit David so she wanted to see if it worked on other people, her way to find out was smacking Bee's boyfriend in the hallway and throwing a pen at an innocent girl in class and blaming in on too much lotion on her hands. (LOL moment). When we found out Saylor was the Mage, sent with Mr. Hall to protect David with their lives, I was shocked because I didn't expect that at all. The scene at the end when they're at Cotillion and the battle is going on was written so excellently, and I could see it play out vividly in my mind. When Blythe turned all the girls into Paladins and kidnapped Bee, that was a huge surprise to me. We need to get Bee back in the next book. I really liked how Harper and David's relationship bloomed over the course of this book, they're so cute together. Overall this book was fantastic, one of my favourites of the year so far, and I can't wait for book 2 to come out.

Favourite Quotes:
  • “Harper, did you just... did you just throw a pen at Liz?"
    "Oh my gosh, no, Mrs. Ford! I was just... um... writing really fast because there was so much information to take in, and I had, like, some lotion? On my hands? Anyway the pen flew out of my hand and hit Liz” 
  • “Looking back, none of this would have happened if I’d brought lip gloss the night of the Homecoming Dance.”  
  • “What’s going to happen?” he asked. “Are we all going to stand in a circle and sing ‘Kumbaya’?”  
  • “The great thing about best friends is that they know you really well. And the terrible thing about best friends is that they know YOU really well.”
  • “It was such a relief to be able to sob and have someone know all the reasons why.”  
*Quotes taken from Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins and*

Book Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver
Published: Harper Collins, March 4th, 2014
Pages: 408
Source: Library, hardcover
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 (89%)

How I felt: This book was really enjoyable, my favourite Oliver book so far. It had a really interesting concept that I was eager to see how it played out. The plot kept a nice pace throughout the whole book and I was quite satisfied with how it ended! While reading, I had to put the book down a few times because it was lagging a little. Lauren Oliver's beautiful writing style showed itself again in this book and it was really enjoyable. This book is told in duel P.O.V from both Heather and Dodge's perspective. I didn't like reading from Dodge's perspective too much because I felt like he was a very spiteful and hateful character, and at times this really started to annoy me. On the other hand, I really enjoyed reading from Heather's perspective because she had such a unique outlook brought on by her standard of life.

***Mild spoilers beyond this point***

From the beginning of the story I didn't like Nat at all, and her whole obsession with everything having to be even was really weird and just strengthened my dislike for her. But Bishop, I immediately like Bishop from the beginning, but I didn't trust him with Heather until he broke up with Avery. I think my favourite character overall would have to be Anne, she was just always so kind to Heather from the beginning, I felt so bad for her when she learned of what happened with the tigers, but I felt like she dealt with it in the best possible way. Heather and Lily's mother Krista annoyed me so much, I just hated her for what she did to her daughters. When she kicked Lily outside in the rain so she could party with her friends in their trailer I was screaming at her through the pages. I was so happy when Heather pounced on her and knocked her to the ground because that was the last straw. The whole concept of Panic is so messed up and makes me wonder what goes through these peoples heads. When Heather won she got out of the flaming car and put her hand on the tiger, and at this point I was in a state of awe because I was so proud of how far Heather had come. The ending of this book was perfect and I don't think it could've been done any better.

Favourite Quotes:
  • “She knew, now, that there was always light—beyond the dark, and the fear, out of the depths; there was sun to reach for, and air and space and freedom.There was always a way up, and out, and no need to be afraid.”    
  • “I'm scared all the time," she whispered. "You'd be an idiot if you weren't," Anne said. "And you wouldn't be brave either.”
  • “It was so strange, the way that life moved forward: the twists and the dead ends, the sudden opportunities. The promise was always in the possibility.”
*Quotes taken from Panic by Lauren Oliver and*

Tuesday, 29 July 2014


Welcome to Birdies Books! On this blog I'll be talking about and reviewing books. I might also add a few book to movie adaptation reviews as well! Thank-you for checking out my blog!

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