31 Dec 2012



1. Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi

Ely hasn’t heard the end of my constant annoyance of love I have subjected her to have this year because she had lent it to one of her friends and hadn’t gotten it back in ages. I love this book. Words cannot describe how I love Taherah. Definitely a huge highlight for me this year.

2. Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

SO MANY FEELINGS. Even thinking about this right now makes tears fall out of my eyes. It’s such a sad thing to see a series go like this and I didn’t appreciate it until it was gone. I had two weeks mourning of this wonderful end to the series and even Ely died from my constant whining and rereading.

3. Endure by Carrie Jones

First of all, can I state how much I love Carrie Jones? She wished me an Happy Birthday at the start of this year and I nearly died. Then Endure came along and it was controversial between the fans but it had me at the edge of my seat. I love Astley, and Zara doesn’t annoy me as much as other characters do.

4. Out of Sight out of Mind by Ally Carter

Carter, you have somehow turned this series from the worst to the best. I have to admit, the first books were horrible, but then I derived a connection and felt like you did everything right in this book. It had everything I wanted to read, and it made me go all PMS at times.

5. Rapture by Lauren Kate

The Ending made this from me. The bittersweet ending. I felt bad for Lucifer, but I still loved Daniel. It was sad.

6. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
7. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
8. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
9. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
10. Revived by Cat Patrick
11. Matched by Ally Condie
12. Wither by Lauren Destafano

Ely's Top 12 Books of 2012

Below are my top 12 books that I read in 2012, the order they are in is the order in which I read them not by how much I enjoyed them as there was no possible way for me to pick a favourite out of these. So without further ado...

1. Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.
I think almost every YA reader must have heard about this book from the sparkling reviews that surrounded this book- I mean really, I've never heard a bad review of this book. That is one of the reasons I decided to pick up this book at the very start of this year (the other being that I cannot escape my love of Paris). It's probably needless to say but, I loved this book so much. So much in fact that I picked it up and finished it in the space of about two hours without breaking. There is actual nothing I can think of in this book that I didn't like- if you haven't read it, you should definitely pick it up and fall in love with it like everyone else!

2. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.
Let's be honest, who doesn't have this book on their top this year? (Probably just Chami?) I admit, I wasn't that interested in this book before it actually was released- I knew the story of a teenage girl with cancer would be heartbreaking and I wasn't sure I was ready for it. Oh, I was so wrong- this book is more than heartbreaking. It actually felt like someone had ripped out my heart and all of my feelings and had thrown them to the ground and jumped on them and wouldn't stop. I laughed, I cried, I sobbed like a baby, I threw things, I cried even more. I got my older anti-reading brother to read this book and even he enjoyed it (success!). If for some strange reason you have yet to read this book, you should go do that. Now. I mean it.

3. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.
This was my first ever encounter with Agatha Christie and going into this book I was so afraid that I wasn't going to like it despite a large number of my family and closest friends telling me that I would. However, I didn't need to be scared at all. From the very first page I was drawn into the stories of each of the main characters and by the first death I was already taking bets on who the murderer was and who would be next and all the fun stuff like that. In true Agatha Christie style, she had me knowing exactly who the murderer was, only to reveal it was someone completely different on the very last page.

4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
A lot of my friends had to read this book for class but despite this, they were constantly telling me how much they enjoyed this book and were making constant references to events and people. Sadly, my school doesn't offer To Kill A Mockingbird anymore and so I decided to pick up the book of my own accord. At first I was slightly confused- with all these different events and characters with their own little secrets, I was finding it hard to keep up. Then maybe halfway into the book, it snapped- suddenly things started to make more sense and I was able to pick up on the imagery and the storyline which meant I enjoyed the book immensely. If you, like me, didn't get a chance to study this book at school I'd suggest you pick it up for yourself because it is honestly amazing (and so many other books may reference to it!) Also, thank you to Chami who practically forced me to read this book.

5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.
Going into this book I was expecting a light hearted childhood-ish/middle grade book (I suppose I completely ignored the cover), instead I found myself amongst a much darker and subject heavy story than I could have ever imagined. This just made me love the book even more, not too much the beautiful illustrations throughout. Like it seems with most other books I read this year, this one only proved to take my breath away and break my heart all over again. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone though I would suggest having a couple of happy books lined up after this one- trust me, you'll need it!

 6. Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington.
Here's another example of a book that tore my heart into tiny little pieces by the end. Once again I was completely mistaken (I should probably learn to read blurbs a little bit next year). Despite the heartbreaking elements of the book, I felt really connected to the main character Alice and very sorry for what was happening to her (which I won't mention as to avoid spoilers). The writing itself was incredibly powerful- there were parts where I felt like I was standing in Alice's shoes and watching everything happen around her that she couldn't stop. Personally I haven't seen many reviews of this book which I think is really sad, therefore I would definitely suggest you read this book because I think it deserves some more recognition.

7. Fury by Elizabeth Miles.
I picked this book up completely by mistake but it quickly became one of my favourite YA paranormal reads of the year. There is something so different about the themes of this book that made me really enjoy it- instead of the usual vampires or werewolves, 'Fury' has three beautiful mythological girls called the Furies who extract revenge on those who they think deserve it. I don't know about you guys, but I've never read anything quiet like this book before. This year, I also read the sequel 'Envy' which I enjoyed just as much and I am now eagerly awaiting the third book in the series. If you have yet to read 'Fury' and you're looking for something different, you should give it a try.

 8. Annexed by Sharon Dogar
Here's a book that I knew exactly what to expected going into it- I knew it was going to be heartbreaking, what kind of World War Two story isn't? I don't think I could have ever prepared myself for the emotions I had after finishing this book. Maybe it was because it was the true story or because I have a massive respect for Anne Frank but this was even more heartbreaking than I imagined. 'Annexed' tells the 'Diary of a Young Girl' from Peter van Pels' point of view and goes further into their betrayal and the death camps where Anne's diary finished. A review that I read of this book made the point that though we know exactly what's going to happen in the end to Anne and Peter, it doesn't make the story any less touching or stopping us from wishing for a different ending.

 9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
This book is widely different, in terms of my reading experience, from any others on this list because I studied 'Brave New World' in Literature this year. It proved to be yet another example of being completely surprised by the contents of the book, this time however not in the terms of depressing themes but instead I discovered an amazing world that can fit both utopian and dystopian themes, characters with names referencing to historical figures, constant literature references to Shakespeare and so many others. But overall, and probably more surprisingly, I found my favourite classic book that I've ever read. I know I could go on for hours about why exactly I found this book so spectacular but I will save your eyes (and your brains) and simply tell you to try out 'Brave New World' for yourselves.

10. Renegade by J.A. Souders.
Chami will tell you that there was a good couple of weeks there where all I could talk about was this book and how much I loved it. And I honestly did, I fell in love with everything- the world, the characters, the storyline, just everything. This book is honestly something different to most things (especially YA dystopian novels) and I found it absolutely mind-blowing-ly amazing. The main character, Evelyn, is different to the typical dystopian protanogist- she isn't especially bad-ass or determined but just seemingly normal though we soon learn that her life is anything but. Usually, I'm not the biggest fan of romances in dystopian but I enjoyed this one more than most others. Definitely a series to look

11. Venom by Fiona Paul.
Here's another book that I have been bugging Chami about for weeks (possibly even months!). One of my favourite things about this book was the setting- Renaissance Venice, which I thought was completely unique to other YA books but also beautifully constructed by Fiona Paul, so much so that I could imagine drifting down the canal in one of those little boats. The romances are interesting too- a sort of Prince and Pauper situation, Falco: the poor artist who drives Cassandra wild, and Luca: her mysterious but seemingly perfect fiance. The mystery surrounding the murders and other aspects of the book had me double guessing absolutely everything that happened. I promise you, 'Venom' will have you (and your emotions) going crazy.

12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Another book that is probably on everybody's list this year that I could not bear not to mention. And again, after finishing this book I realised that it was nothing like I expected but that was okay. I did find myself tearing up at certain points, there were other points where I wanted to hit Charlie over the back of the head for being such an idiot and other times when I wanted to hug him so tightly. I loved seeing the book being turned into a movie- Logan was a perfect Charlie, Emma was amazing as Sam and Ezra made me love Patrick even more. If you've not read this book yet then I really suggest that you do because it is amazing and I promise you will not regret it at all.

30 Dec 2012


Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Publication Date: 1813
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Format: Paperback
Pages: 367
Rating: 3/5
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the "most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author's works," and Eudora Welty in the twntieth century described it as "irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."

Introduction by Anna Quindlen.
Commentary by Margaret Oliphant, George Saintsbury, Mark Twain, A.C. Bradley, Walter A. Raleigh, and Virginia Woolf.

Anna Quindlen is the winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and the author of three bestselling novels, most recently Black and Blue, a children's book, Happily Ever After, and an inspirational book, A Short Guide to a Happy Life.

Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide


It’s been a while since I read Pride and Prejudice and my review is certainly late, but I had to take time and fuel myself off that. Then Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick came along and I couldn’t hold my pants, and I took a reading break after reading The Infernal devices because that just asked to be murdered repeatedly, in a straight jacket, against a wall because of it’s amusingness plus dreadfulness (I have mixed feelings. A Love/Hate relationship if you please.) 

So here I am with my IPod beside me, which I used to fuel out my opinions on the book straight after the read at 2 o’clock at night and I know this is going to be a long and tiresome project.

Pacing: It was slow paced. Some parts I felt were totally unnecessary, but I guess that’s what made up the story and the life of Lizzie. Really, half the book is about her travelling. That’s nice and all, but I would like to see some more Darcy and Lizzie scenes.

Characters: Jane Austen really does know how to write her characters! I thought they were EXCELLENT. Her characters are so beautifully sculptured and woven like silk, I would dive fathomlessly into their personalities if I could. I love everyone one of them, even the ones that annoyed me. Miss Bennet, though I wanted to kill her sometimes and strangle her after, made me want to laugh and hit her head against a wall. Mr Collins, oh my gosh, words cannot describe how much I thought he was a complete disaster and respected Austen for creating him. Lydia Bennet, I wanted to do to her what I wanted to do to her damn mother. Lizzie Bennet annoyed me at times, but when do main characters not?

Writing: Pride and Prejudice is so beautifully written, but at times it was hard to grasp the meaning of her sentences. Especially at the beginning as it was my first classic Jane Austen book. Although at times I wish she would describe the tone of dialogue and the expressions on peoples faces when they said it. There is only so much the mind can do.

Romance: I didn’t feel the Romance between Darcy and Lizzie Bennet. It just didn’t feel tangible for my taste. It was like all her life she hated him and despised him then when they decided they didn’t hate each other they decided to get married, because they just merely didn’t hate each other anymore.

 Jane and Bingly’s romance even had more interest than that. The mystery, the longing and the loss was intriguing, but I wanted that from Lizzie! I like the main characters to have what they’ve always wanted. I want them to be superior.

 I understand the fan clubs excessively ponder over Darcy’s affections toward Miss Bennet but I really think it’s all fuelled by the TV shows, the spin off books and other stories that bring that tone out. I watched Lost in Austen after that and felt like I felt more connection between the main character and Darcy.

I know there must be that in underlying tones beneath the words that expressed her love for Darcy, but I didn’t even feel it! It was like she hadn’t even given enough fuel to the fire for it to really shine. I’m not a girl that needs to see a bouquet of flowers from the male lead to know that he must care for her, though I did actually feel Darcy’s affection throughout the book and even in the abrupt moment when he confessed his love for her.

But with all the fan club love over Darcy, I feel like I haven’t read the right book. It was like they grabbed at anything that could lead to love and fluffed it up like a pillow to make it seem bigger and grander.

I would never want to say this, but I do feel like one must watch the movies before reading to feel connection between Darcy and Lizzie.  I really wanted to like this book. It frustrated me. 


Elizabeth Caldwell has perfected the art of pretending to feel emotion, but it’s always a lie. After a near-fatal car accident when she was a small child, Elizabeth lost the ability to feel any emotion, but along with that loss she gained bizarre abilities: she can see the personified Emotions she cannot feel. Fury, Resentment, Longing—they’ve all given up on her, because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one. Fear. He’s consumed by the mystery of Elizabeth’s past, consumed by her.
And then there are Elizabeth’s cryptic, recurring dreams, in which there’s always love, and there’s always death. Haunted by these dreams, Elizabeth paints them, knowing that they somehow hold the key to the mystery of her past.
But a shadowy menace is stalking Elizabeth. Her survival depends on uncovering the truth about herself. And when it matters most, she won’t be able to rely on Fear to save her.

BOOK TO MOVIE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure

This review only covers the parts of the book featured in the first movie; a full review of The Hobbit will be posted early 2013.

At first, I found it really difficult to get interested in the book- I will admit that I had previously picked up this book twice over the last two years and was unable to get very far at all, however this time around I was determined to press on in the hopes that I could finish the book before I went to see the movie. Luckily for me, after the first few chapters I found myself actually enjoying the book. The style of narrative intrigued me, while it focuses on Bilbo and his experiences most of the time, there are parts that slip into an unknown narrator voice that teases us with little comments on what is to come- these comments made me anxious to read on so that I could discover exactly what they were referring to. On top of this I quickly learned to love the characters- Bilbo, all the dwarves and even (okay, I lie- especially) Gollum. I know some people may think I’m a fan of The Lord of the Rings or epic fantasy novels, but honestly I have yet to read LotR (though I will in the future) and my experience in epic fantasy novels comprises of 100 odd pages of Game of Thrones- which is why it surprised me that I enjoyed the first third (in relation to the movies) of this novel so much. Even if you think fantasy novels aren’t your thing or whether you detest LotR with all of your might- I suggest giving The Hobbit a go, you might be pleasantly surprised like I was.

The thought of a movie that went for one hundred and sixty-nine minutes had me almost dreading the night and mixed reviews of the movie did not help much either. On one hand friend’s had said the movie was ‘the most boring thing they’d ever seen’ while others were already counting down the days until the nest movie was released- and while I had enjoyed what I’d already read of the book, who do you trust when it comes to movies?

The very start of the movie (as my friend’s agreed later) seemed a bit superfluous- while it was good to have Frodo and older Bilbo interacting and setting the story up to begin, there were parts of that scene that seemed to drag on when the subject was necessarily needed at that part. After this, of course, comes the introduction of the dwarves- possibly one of my favourite scenes in both the book and movie. The atmosphere that was set by the ‘merry gathering’ extended into the audience and the songs and actions of the dwarves had most of the cinema laughing especially with Martin Freeman’s (Bilbo Baggins) expressions.

Moving on to the actual adventure, I adored the stunning shots of ‘Middle Earth’ and even more of ‘Rivendell’ and the mountains and cliffs surrounding it. In fact, I found the entire movie really aesthetically pleasing and the special effects including the goblins, orcs and the creatures were amazing too.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the element of storytelling and flashbacks; I especially enjoyed the story of how the dwarves lost their homes and how that was shown in the movie rather than just told. Finally, I really enjoyed Martin Freeman as Bilbo and was pretty happy with the casting of the dwarves too- for me Martin really bought Bilbo to life and made me adore him even more (I will admit that I am a fan of him as a result BBC’s Sherlock). I can’t wait to see the remaining two films- if they are anything like this one, then I don’t think I’ll be disappointed!

Remember that if you’d like to see a full review of the book to check back early next year!

x Ely

29 Dec 2012

Top 12 Books That Are Not Worth Your Time

Hey Readers!

Our Lives are short and there is not time for a bad book. So I decided the compile a list of books that I have read and don't believe them to be worth someones time. Of course, this is my opinion so these books might be a genius work of literature which I somehow missed to recognise upon my journey. If you feel like reading what i assume to be "tragedies," then go ahead and we might as well start a debate war! I've sure got some good ones up my sleeve!

Disclaimer: I am not attempting to say that all the books in the series mentioned are horrible, but just the particular book in the series if not disclaimed as a series.  Some of these series are actually amazing and it's just  one book that i wish wasn't there that would complete it.

In no particular order, here are the books I regret spending my time on:
1. The Immortal Series by Alyson Noel 
2. The House of Night Series by PC Cast and Kristen Cast
3. Ascend by Amanda Hocking
4. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
5. Forever by Maggie Steifvater
6. Evernight Series by Claudia Grey
7. Mockingjay by Suzzane Collins
8. Crossed by Ally Condie
9. The Immortal Series by Alyson Noel
10. The Immortal Series by Alyson Noel
11. The Immortal Series by Alyson Noel
12. Nevermore by James Patterson

Xx C

28 Dec 2012

HAUL: Ely's Christmas Books + More

Hello everyone! I have finally returned from the dark depths of Christmas preparations to be able to post here once again. As we promised in our little Christmas post, we will be much more active on the blog in January before we slow back down in Feburary as my last year of school and Chami's second last year of school starts. Anyway, that isn't important at the moment as today is my Christmas + other books haul!

My Grandma and Grandpa gave me a three pack of Agatha Christie novels with Miss Marple- ‘The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side’, ‘A Pocketful of Rye’ and ‘Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple’s Last Case’.

My mum gave me a copy of her favourite classic as a child – ‘I Can Jump Puddles’ by Alan Marshall and another detective/crime novel (you’ve probably noticed that I really like that genre) ‘The Lady in the Lake’ by Raymond Chandler.

My mum and dad also gave me beautiful hardback versions ‘The Raven Boys’ by Maggie Stiefvater and ‘Grimm Tales’ by Phillip Pullman. These two books have been on my ‘to-read’ list for ages.  

Also from my parents, I was given the last three books in  the Hush, Hush saga by Becca Fitzpatrick- ‘Silence’, ‘Crescendo’ and ‘Finale’. I read the first book a few months ago and after some nagging from Chami, I will finally get to read the rest of the series.

I received some more gifts- ‘One Thousand Names’ by Cecelia Ahern (one of my favourite authors) from my aunt and ‘Venom’ by Fiona Paul from my amazing friend Sam. You can see my review of Venom here, if you would like.

During the Boxing Day sales, I managed to pick up a number of books from all different places. Among those were ‘On a Dark Wing’ by Jordan Dane (this book is part of a challenge I set for myself that I will be posting about in the New Year, so look out for that!) and ‘The Lost Prince’ by Julie Kagawa.

I bought myself a couple of books with gift cards given to me by various people- the books I picked out were ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky (which I’ve already read and seen the movie), ‘Touch of Power’ by Maria V. Synder and ‘The Darkest Minds’ by Alexandra Bracken.

I also picked up two more classics to add to my ever-growing collection- ‘North and South’ by Elizabeth Gaskell and ‘The Complete Poems and Translations’ by Christopher Marlowe.

Crime/detective novel-wise, I picked up copies of ‘Knots and Crosses’ by Ian Rankin (as some more wider reading for my Literature class), ‘The Eyre Affair’ by Jasper Fforde and ‘Who Could That Be At This Hour?’ by Lemony Snicket (which I was inclined to buy though it is a children’s book due to my emotional attachment to Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfournate Events’ books. The last book in that series came out way back in 2006 and I am still not ready to accept that it’s over.)

Today, I picked up another load of books that were only five dollars each (who can honestly resist cheap books?). The books are; ‘Alice Bliss’ by Laura Harrington (I read this a few months ago and adored it!), ‘The Distant Hours’ by Kate Morton and ‘Graveminder’ by Melissa Marr.

The other half of the books that I picked up were ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ by Jonathan Safran Foer, ‘Winter’s Shadow’ by M.J. Hearle (which was the first review ever posted on this blog- written by Chami which you can find here) and finally, ‘Glow’ by Amy Kathleen Ryan.

Finally, ‘The Hobbit’ is the book I am currently reading. My little Bilbo Baggins figurine is guarding my book from any trolls or goblins who might try and steal it! I am actually going to see the movie adaption tomorrow for a friend’s birthday so hopefully I’ll do a book and movie review once I’ve finished!

That’s all from me this time! Within the next few days I’ve got some pretty awesome posts lined up if I do say so myself so you should check back. I hope you are all enjoying your day/night!