Monday, 15 September 2014

Summer Reading List : The Reviews

So you may have seen my summer reading list post that I did at the beginning of the summer, telling you what books I planned to read as my summer reads. Well I read all of them (and a few others) and so now I finally (its taken me forever to write this) am doing a follow up review post. This is not my usual post but I thought I would something a little different. And all the reviews are spoiler-free!

*just a quick note, I am not a book blogger, therefore have little experience reviewing books so these reviews aren't going to be brilliantly written or ordered or put together. Also they are going to be relatively concise (about 200 words each) because I am doing 5 in one posts which is a) a lot to read and b) a lot to write. I also keep flicking between first and second person in this, sorry. So lets get into it.

I have not done summaries otherwise this post would be never-ending but I have included links to Goodreads here, here, here, here, and here (in the order of the reviews) so you can read the plot summaries first if you wish.

Holy shh......eep, where do I even begin. I had mixed expectations for this book, but it surpassed them all. This book is a work of pure genius and let me briefly explain why.

The way Stephanie Perkins describes the world and Paris is so beautiful, I felt like I was actually there. I wanted to live in the Dorms, be in the classes and explore Paris with all the characters. But it wasn't to perfect. And that's what I liked. Anna's life wasn't a blissful fairy tale, she didn't get together with her prince in the first few chapters and have to fight some battle that wasn't hers - it was real life. She was going to school, studying, struggling with love, focusing on her life like the rest of us are on a daily basis and it made my feel connected with her especially.
St Clair was possibly my favourite character, he was witty, charming and lets not forgot, crushingly hot. He was honest and sweet and even though he the dashing boy your supposed to dream of, he also had his own problems and he was actually a human. Although it was at the core a chick lit romance, in a way it wasn't. The story was realistic but gorgeous and a world I would dream to live in. I have forced all of my friends to read this. They all love different books styles and they all loved it.
I have a weakness for romantic novels not going to lie, but this is by far and away one of my all time favourites, and possibly my favourite book ever. I have not a single criticism, it is pure brilliance.


So this one. I did love this. It was eye opening and insightful and like nothing I have ever read before.

The main focus is obviously the out-of-body experience Mia has. It is fascinating and heart breaking to watch her watch her life go on before her, knowing she can do nothing. The emotions she feels are portrayed well across the page and you are constantly debating whether she's going to stay or go and whether you want her to stay or go. Its beautifully written.
Mia and Adams relationship is one everyone wants and loves, Mia often can't even believe it her self. Adams character is cool and edgy but he is so loving, and towards the end he shows how much love he has for Mia. Mia is innocent, talented and lovely. She shows all of us the vulnerability and fragility of life and makes you think about your own. I love the 2 characters so much - they are beautiful and well-defined.
The plot was strong and well written. I enjoyed the flashbacks, and reading about Mia's relationship and it enabled a clear picture of everything that was going on inside Mia's head. I love the musical element, it showed the passion felt by Mia's character in another way. It was such a raw and honest book. It showed love and loss in a different way, but just as heart-wrenching and touching  . Anyone who reads this will finish it thinking about their life and how lucky they are. Its is a utterly stunning book about life and love. Read this.

Just a quick note on the film. Its freaking brilliant. The actors are perfect. It is a faithful adaptation, please go and see it. Its beautiful.

Again I liked this one. Possibly not as much as the others but still worth the read.
The start of this book seemed a little slow for me but after the first few chapters it got a lot better and more gripping. I liked that this dystopia was very different - the world was unique and mysterious - you were just as confused as the characters as to why and what and how. It enticed me to know more.
Thomas is the main character and I'm not going to lie, I didn't love him. I felt there were just times were I wasn't on his side and I hate that. Having said that, there were moments were I did feel for him and began to see the likeable side I was looking for.
 My favourite character was by far Newt - I freaking love him. He was so kind but practical and rational and I was intrigued about his past, as little was given away about him and what had happened to him in the months before Thomas came to the maze. 
The story is filled with cliff hangers and intense scenes (particularly griever scenes - at times I was genuinely scared, the descriptions were unbelievable) and constantly leaves you wondering 'wait, what?' about why and how. So much information was withheld from the readers and the boys, it just made you want to turn the pages. I would have liked some little subtle clues about the outside world to have been revealed to us throughout the novel as I feel it may have added to the anticipation, but in a way, being kept totally in the dark was more intriguing.
I do plan on reading The Scorch Trials, as I've heard its really good, but I haven't purchased it yet. I will get around to reading it though. I also plan on going to see the film of this because Dylan O'Brien and Thomas Sangster. Also, it looks amazing. But the book, overall I liked it.

So I'm rather undecided about this book. In a way I'm in love with in as it shocked me, but in a way I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm thinking more I love it though.

The beginning was a little disjointed, and at times I couldn't quite grasp the different families but as I read on they got easier to understand. The book showed the good sides to families and the bad, resulting in a very realistic world created that had issues readers could associate with, yet at the same time it was a world quite unlike anything I've read, and this made me fall in love with it.
Cadence was a nice character, I like her honesty and real emotion and I constantly felt her mixed feelings. She was constantly in the dark and as it was her narrating, so is the reader, and that just made you intrigued to turn every page and find out what really happened.
I also loved Gat and the mysterious side of him, and all the way through I wanted to know what happened to him and how he was involved.
I can't really say much more with out giving it away other than ohmygawd the ending. I did not guess it. I had heard that it was unexpected and I'd been trying to work it out all along but I did not guess it one bit. At first I didn't understand it and it confused me. But as it read on it became clearer, brilliant and shocking.
And that's why I loved it. Even though the storyline wasn't my favourite in the world, it shocked me. And books should do that. And although I'm a little undecided about how I feel about the book as a whole, I think the ending is amazing and I loved it. I can't get it out of my head. And that's enough for me. E.Lockhart is a writing genius. 


This is the review I've struggled to write the most. I can't put this book into words that truly justify it but I'm going to give it a go.
I did not want to read this, I'll be honest. It has been on my TBR pile for over a year, I thought it would take me ages and so I just never picked it up. I finally did and I read this in 4 days flat. This book is amazing.
The book is set in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, showing how segregation was affecting the lives of everyday people. I loved that it wasn't all fancied up situations, just a honest recount of the lives of 3 different and wonderful human beings, trying to break social customs and make a difference from their kitchen tables. Minny and Aibileens friendship was one of love and kindness and support even though the characters were so different. Minny, the sassy one pushing the boundaries and Aibileen the sensible kind one, the voice of reason. Their characters were each appealing and engaging in their own styles.
The novel is told from 3 perspectives with the third being Skeeter. I loved Skeeter. Skeeter is the character who you instantly warm to and want to help. You want her to find her voice, you are constantly praying for her that she doesn't get found out and I found myself always rooting for her in the situations she puts herself in. I found myself feeling for her even in situations I would. She is such a lovely character.
I love the society with in this book; the way it is portrayed, original and exciting. You were feeling emotions for characters you stereotypically wouldn't feel, for their lives were ordinary but also extraordinary. It was different and wonderful in every way, showing the strength of community and love and how humanity is a wonderful thing. This is one of those books I feel everyone should read in their lifetime. Its awesome.

Wow. That is one monster of a post. Overall, I chose some rather fantastic reads this summer and I recommend them all. I hope you enjoyed this slightly different post this week. I'm not a born book-reviewer but I love reading so much and I wanted to try and share this passion with you. Although I do need to get a wider range of adjectives, I found myself reaching for a thesaurus once to often :) . I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
Helena x


  1. Looks like you read a wide variety of things! I'm actually in the process of reading The Maze Runner and If I Stay right now, and I'm really excited about both so far. Also, We Were Liars is on my TBR list. Oooohhhh The Help! Love, love, love that book! Have you seen the movie?
    - July,

    1. The Help is awesome. I love the movie, Emma Stone is just too good ^_^ Definitely give We Were Liars are read! Thankyou for your comment x

  2. The Help sounds interesting! :)

  3. I really want to read the first 3 books, Maze runner is already on my shelve wanting for me to finish city of glass :)

    1. The Maze Runner is great, as are the others, I recommend them all :) Thanks for the comment x

  4. I've read Anna and the French Kiss (3 times...:'D), If I Stay, and We Were Liars and I agree with your reviews completely ♥

    1. ahaha I've pretty much already re-read Anna, It's the kind of book you can just read a million times and it's still just as brilliant :) Thankyou Cat xo

  5. I've just bought If I Stay and We Were Liars so they're on my list now. The Help is such a great book! It took me a long time to get round to reading it too but i'm glad I did.

    1. I agree, The Help took me a while to pick up but it's amazing :) Hope you enjoy them!

  6. We have really similar taste! Love it!! Great blog :) I actually just wrote a post about We Were Liars :D

    1. Ahh Thankyou! I shall have a look at your post x

  7. Reeeaallly want to read Anna and the French Kiss, your review is just getting me more excited! Also We Were Liars, I am so fascinated by that book and desperate to get my hands on it.

    1. Anna and the French Kiss is just too good, you can't even comprehend its perfection until you've read it :) You need to get your hands on We Were Liars! xoxo

  8. Ooh I want to read all of these! They must go on my already huge to-read list!

    1. Ahaha I have a never ending to-read list! xox

  9. I started reading Anna and the French Kiss but never finished it - not even sure why! I also enjoyed The Maze Runner too, even though it was a bit of a let down and can't wait to see the movie - it looks fantastic! :)

    Great reviews! :D

    1. You need to finish it! I agree I liked The Maze Runner although I had very high expectations and it didn't quite meet them. But the movie looks amazing! Thankyou for commenting x

  10. I just recently finished the maze runner and really enjoy it - can't wait to see the film!! Gisforgingers xx


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