<![CDATA[The Book Nooks - Ash\'s Alcove]]>Fri, 29 Jan 2016 16:30:44 +1100Weebly<![CDATA[Review: Crossed by Ally Condie]]>Thu, 24 Sep 2015 15:58:08 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-crossed-by-ally-condiePicture
Hey there!
The Matched series is something that I've been thinking a lot, mainly 'cos I'm considering what I did and didn't like about it (Since it's been a few weeks  since finishing it) and I thought, hey, I should probably get to reviewing this quickly before I completely lose the thoughts and feels I have about this book! 

So, here's the rule changing, society shattering, blurby-blurb!

'The Society chooses everything. 

The books you read. 
The music you listen to. 
The person you love. 

Yet for Cassia the rules have changed. Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him. 

And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope.

But on the edge of society nothing is as it seems...

A rebellion is rising.

And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything.'

As the same old with a book series, if it's a trilogy, they all get their own review! :)

- Spoilers! There are spoilers in this review, and unless you want to start up a rebellion against me for sharing said spoilers, do not pass this point! 
but if you totally don't care and love that poetic irony of reading it, be my guest! Spoilers - 



How I Obtained It:
The Book Depository has a wide and FANTASTIC selection of stand-alone novels, trilogy boxsets, and even those 8+ series in one huge boxset. The best part? There's even a range of boxsets you can choose from if you're picky (like me) about the covers you get for your book ( I spent weeks deciding between what cover of Animal Farm by George Orwell to get because there were so many editions and so many beautiful symbolic renditions of it! Book lover struggles man)
As pictured, that was the book set that I bought of the Matched series.
I have a weird aesthetic for boxsets on my bookshelf. Don't they just all look so pretty in sync and matching and in this protective box that's all matchy-matchy *Heart eyes* Be still, my aching aesthetic.

The boxset is $70, and is free shipping worldwide!

Picture
Cover: 
Is it weird that I hate it, but I feel obligated to like it? It's a weird sensation to describe.
On one hand, it fills all the criteria of my usually favourite book covers. It's symbolic of Cassia breaking out of society's mold, it's matching all the colours of the series and has a nice colour scheme of grey/blue, it's minimalistic, it's meant to be perfect, right?

Wrong. I can't stand it. I have no idea why! Perhaps it's the poorly edited girl breaking out of the glass ball where you can count the pixels, or the obnoxious backwards R, who knows? It's just sitting there all smugly about how great it's meant to be and it just falls flat for me. 

Why oh why don't I like you cover? Whyyyyy? Why do you induce cringes?






Blurb:
- The Society Chooses Everything (Good good, yes, this is going fantastically. A Dystopian society dictacting what everyone does, Aww Yiss!)
- The books you read. The music you listen to. The person you love. (YESSSSSS. HERE WE GO! BRING IT HOME LADIES!)
- Yet for Cassia the rules have changed. Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him. (Dang it. Dag nabbit. Of course. Of course you do, sweetheart. We can't have anything nice unless it's YA sacrificial love with an extra measure of angst and drama and somehow society imposing on it)
- And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope. But on the edge of Society nothing is as it seems...A rebellion is rising (Now why couldn't we just have kept it at a rebellion? not this love triangle/not even a love triangle because it's clearly established who she prefers, just like the whole Twilight dilemma of Edward and Jacob (I am so sorry anyone who loves me right now, I don't like Twilight I just strangely know too much about it) when it was clearly obvious that she was never going to pick Jacob. It was always Edward/Ky) 
- And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything. (And we're back to something that COULD be interesting, but was inevitably over shadowed by the immense level of romance, triangular shaped romance. The angsty, 'You're the sun of my life, giving me breath and life and all that poetic stuff' kind of romance.)

It had so much potential, but that potential was instead channeled into a poorly and almost hipster-like teen romance.

Cover: 3/10
Blurb: 3.5/10

Plot Summary:
(Now, not really a lot happened in this sequel, to be honest. It did not have a world building atmosphere, it did not really explain the Rebellion or the Society in detail, it just was one of those slow moving sequels to lead it along to the big climatic finale)
Basically, you could summarise the entire summary in one sentence - 'Traveling to the Outer Provinces to find Ky' - 'cos that's pretty much it. Or, - 'Ky is in the Outer Provinces. So is Cassia' -
Aaaaaand, it's been a few weeks now since I've read Crossed, so it's hard to remember what happened to exact detail. I've even tried to find an online wikipedia of the plot summary, but alas, no success!

Ranty Bit:
Okay, what was this novel, Ally Condie? What was this? Was this the pit stop, the resting place between your trilogy? The place where nothing happens except a bit of bad poetry that is clearly cringeworthy, and the place where Ky and Cassia just talk about their feelings all the time. Poor, icky, teen feelings. 
I wanted to like this. That would be the sentence to represent this review. I wanted to like this book, this sequel, this series. But it isn't happening. Perhaps I'm outgrowing this certain genre, or I just can't stop finding these really subpar substitutes. 

Not only was it a snore-fest, but it was completely filled with trying-too-hard-to-be-meaningful poetry and these whiney teen love triangles that are so popular. All the, 'But I can never be with the one that I truly love! SO I'M GOING TO LOVE HIM EVEN HARDER AND AGGRESSIVELY!' and then everything dramatically happens to cause them to always be apart, but when they finally do get together, it's always really cringey. It's like when you see two young kids just making out and you're awkwardly sitting there like, 'This is wrong. This is so wrong on so many levels. Wroooong'
What I just hate, and I can't figure out why there are no other books that actually tackle this problem, is that the world is crashing around Cassia/Ky/Xander, right? They're figuring out that Society is not as great as they previously thought, things are happening (Like a rebellion), and yet all they can think about is their relationships and romance. Even when Ky gets sent to the Outer Province, watching kids his age die around him, ALL HE IS THINKING ABOUT IS CASSIA!
I get it, you're in love and of course you're going to be thinking of your love frequently, but my gosh son...people are dying around you, and Society has casted you out as an Aberration, and you're just picking flowers singing, 'She loves me...She loves me not...she loves me' 
How about a Dystopian book series that actually has romance, but it's not the key plot point in which every other thing circulates. How about a Dystopian book or book series that deals with Society, deals with all that cliche YA Dystopian Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic, and can INCLUDE romance but have it be an underlying message? But no, it can only ever be one or the other. It's only ever romance all the time ever, regardless of what the plot is or what's going on in the background, or all plot and absolutely NO romance at all.

But regardless, as long as we don't have anymore angsty teen romances where it's basically Romeo and Juliet, I won't have to cringe so hard that it hurts. 

Characters:
Cassia Reyes: I liked Katniss Everdeen, in the Hunger Games series, even though sometimes she irritated me (But sometimes that's a good thing. It means that the character is flawed, is multileveled, and is their own person in which you sometimes don't agree with. I also liked Vin in the Mistborn series, though it took a while to grow into herself. I wasn't too fond of Tris Prior in the Divergent series, but she cared not only for Four (Heh) but for all her friends and family. Even Clary Fray from the Mortal Instruments was alright, and at least did some fighting and at times was realistic (But still verging on the annoying teen angsty relationship)

But yet I can't shake the feeling that female protagonists can't stop filling these awful tropes. The tropes of 'Femme Fatale' or 'Femme Fatale until the Love of her Life shows up' or 'Weak Damsel in Distress' or the worst offender, 'The Whiney Love-Is-Everything Character'
And unfortunately that's what Cassia Reyes filled in my books (Heh) She was just continually talking about Ky, or things that Ky had showed her because it was tied to Ky, and I was so fed up with it. In a way, you could really tell that she was 17 and thirsty. 

Xander Carrow: Xander. I'm partially sad for Xander that the girl that he loved didn't reciprocate, but at the same time I'm not. If someone doesn't return your affections, that's the end of the story. You're not friend-zoned, you weren't led on (Though sometimes it does happen and some people do it, but in this case we will say it didn't happen), your life isn't tragically over because someone doesn't reciprocate your feelings.
But I couldn't help feel that Xander was used just as a simple plot device for everything. And if there was no need for a plot device, Xander wasn't mentioned. He was also written as one of those perfect boy tropes. Even his description on the Matched Wikipedia is, 'Golden, charimastic, clever Xander' who has blond hair, blue eyes, and is handsome. 
Seriously? His trope is so obvious it's a little gag worthy. I didn't connect to his character at all, and he felt very expendable in a lot of ways, especially in this sequel. 

Ky Markham: Ky. Markham. Probably one of the most interesting characters, and because of that, the most infuriating because he is filled with the background of uninteresting main protagonists. Tragedy not only follows this dude, but it's the old friend that sits quietly with him. I think if there was any character that I could say that I did connect with, or did like, it was Ky...but that's not saying that much when there's plenty of mediocre characters to follow. 

Indie: She's that type of friend that you're never sure about, and probably know that if someone were to get sacrificed or left behind, Indie would happily volunteer you. The friend-enemy title, I guess. She had so many moments where I was thinking, 'Yeah! Indie is kinda cool actually. I really like her character and how she's sensitive alone but completely independant on her own, but she was flawed by her past and her mum's stories that she carried with her' but then she'd do something and I'd think, 'You're absolutely freaking pyscho and I would want to keep a minimum of 10 feet away from you at all times'. She was border-lining a femme fatale though, and while I could understand in that situation it'd be reasonable, it does annoy me when you have this femme fatale character, then a weakling damsel in distress character. Indie was so close to reaching that perfect balance, but just didn't make it sadly. 

(And speaking on that topic of female tropes, where they can only be one or the either in there's more than two together, the only books I've seen that has great female characters that don't strictly follow a trope but are multiple tropes pulled into this one magically flawed and human character is Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Book Thief, and Rainbow Rowell's novels Eleanor & Park and Fangirl (Though sometimes the female characters in those two last books can follow a trope of those quirky girls who are misunderstood) 

Vick: Vick. The tragedy of Vick. You know those Side Characters that you just know, YOU. JUST. KNOW. that they're going to die. It's not even a question of if, it's when now. Vick was that character for me, as soon as he was introduced. I did the whole, 'Him. It's him. He is the sacrificial lamb, and it sucks because he was an awesome character :( THE GOOD ARE ALWAYS TAKEN TOO EARLY!

Eli: Eli is a precious baby, and will always be the precious baby. Protect him at all costs, even if he is a weakling and needs protecting because he reminds Ky of Cassia's little brother. Protect the baby!

Things I Liked:
  • The Do Not Gently poetry/repeating theme. It's quite a cool mantra to repeat to yourself :)
  • The side characters! Vick, Indie, Bram, even Xander's friend who I completely forgot the name of! They are significantly more interesting than the main characters, Cassia and Xander (Ky is alright...but he was a little more annoying and infuriating in this book!)
  • Whatever was mentioned about the Rebellion and the Society. To see the two stark contrasts and how they assembled their rules and laws. Too bad there is so little of it *Sigh*
  • Some of the quotes were actually really nice, and the quote that I added in as my favourite quote was brilliant. I loved it, even though the romance was so heavy in this book, I actually found that this quote was cute and meaningful. I'm totally going to add that into my journal that I'm writing to my Future Husband <3

Things I Didn't Like:
  • Cassia and Ky's relationship. It's the most basic and trope form of teen relationships. The keeping secrets, the drama and having everything always going wrong or trying to stop them from being together. Gross. So gross.
  • Practically no world building. I like it when there's a least a little bit of description mixed into the dialogue or shown through someone's actions (The most famous description being, 'The moon glinted against his knife'. It clearly depicts night, outside, suspenseful because of a murder? It's shown through action) But no, none of it was that. It was either bullet point descriptions that made no sense unless you're the one writing the book, or nothing and you have to figure out what everything looks like yourself (Which isn't bad, but it's something hard to picture and in the end they all are just floating bodies in the middle of no where doing nothing looking like nothing)
  • The plot devices. So. Many. Plot devices. The thing or the person only being in the story simply to fulfill a plot device and then to die because their usefulness is done.
  • LOVE TRIANGLES/SQUARES/OCTAGONS. UGH. UGH. NO MORE. I'M SICK OF IT. IT'S NOT NECESSARY UNLESS YOU'RE 13 OR 14. EWWWWWWUH. 

Rating and Final Thoughts:
Sometimes, books just fall flat. Most sequels do fall flat, and that's EXACTLY what happened in Crossed. It's not quite what I was expecting, and what I was hoping for, and it's a little annoying. You just want this book series to do well because of its original idea, BUT NO, it always resorts back to romance.
I'm rating Crossed a 3 out of 10, and that's being courteous.

If I could say anything about this book, it'd simply be this 
- ' LAY OFF THE DAMNED ROMANCE AND FOCUS ON WHAT'S ON HAND: SOCIETY IS CRUMBLING AND YOU'RE WALKING/RUNNING IN THE DESERT' -
You tried, Matched Series, you tried. 

I did read the last book, because I am not a quitter, so the third book Reached will be done soon :)
Love,
Ash
“Everyone has something of beauty about them. But loving lets you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as why's, you can love those parts too, and it's a love at once more complicated and more complete.” 
― Ally CondieCrossed
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<![CDATA[Review: Matched by Ally Condie]]>Tue, 15 Sep 2015 08:32:36 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-matched-by-ally-condiePicture
Hey there!
You may have noticed I'm trying something different...
Yes, I am being a poser and posing next to the book that I am reviewing. Something new ;)

Here's the controlled and society written blurby-blurb!

'Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.'



Yes, another YA novel about being in a Utopian/Dystopian world and about love triangles and being the cataclysm for freedom and rebellion (No, this book is not the Hunger Games/Divergent/Twilight/Maze Runner/Mortal Instruments/Anything else in the YA adult genre for a while now) I'm a sucker for YA novels! I also really like Dystopian/Apocalyptic, so I frequently search that genre :P Can't blame me for digging through the bad ones to find the greats. 
 So let's not avoid it anymore!


- The Society wants you to know that venturing beyond this point will put you at risk of spoiling this book for yourself, and making it so that your happiness will be fleeting. Passing beyond this point will risk treason and punishment by knowing what happens in it. The Society wants you to know that there are spoilers in this review - 


How I Obtained It:

I had been staring at this book series after hearing that Ally Condie was a mormon. It's always interesting to see famous mormons and their work. 
So one day, when that time of the month came around when I had enough money to buy a trilogy set (Or multiple stand alone books), this time it was the Matched Trilogy. I bought it online, from The Book Depository, which a website which sells books at a cheap price (If I went to Dymocks, it's normally $20+ for a book that I'm after, whereas on the Book Depository it's somewhere between $10-15 and free shipping worldwide) but none of my friends have read it...so I was really going in blind into this trilogy :)

Picture
Cover:

Young Adult novel covers are not normally my favourite - They're awkward, badly CGIed copy/pasted, with a dramatically posed teen on the front (If it's a girl, normally in a long dress, if it's a guy, normally standing with his back towards us and destruction further off in the distance)

While I'm not too fond of the Matched covers, I do like the symbolism (If you go through the books, the girl on the cover breaks out of the glass ball. Symbolic of her breaking out and rebelliously uprising from the Society) and the minimalistic colour scheme.

But that doesn't discredit the fact that it's still a pretty average book series cover. It doesn't really grab at you, and compared to some other books that you can find, it will be brushed over.









Blurb:

It's definitely something that can blend into the rest of the genre, but it does what its job is - to tell what the story is about while still remaining mysterious/intriguing. It definitely reaches out for teenagers who like the idea of love triangles though!

Cover: 4.5/10
Blurb: 5/10


Plot Summary:

Cassia lives in a Dystopian society which controls nearly every aspect of life - What you eat, when you eat, what your activities are during the day, what you wear, and even what career you will inevitably have.
When Cassia's seventeenth passes, the society hosts a matching ceremony where girls and boys become paired to the one who they are most compatible and best paired with. Most don't know their Match, usually being from different provinces or towns, and spend time getting to know each other until 21, where they decide whether to get married to their Match, or remain single. Cassia is matched to Xander, her best friend from her own town which is rare.
But when Cassia learns more about Xander through Society's microcard, it glitches and reveals another boy's face named Ky who lives in her province, but is an aberration, someone who has been revoked of citizen status and cannot marry. Cassia is understandably confused, but when a Society Official visits Cassia and tries to clear the glitch, her suspicions further.
Cassia begins to spend more time with Ky as both of their summer recreation activity is hiking. They begin to share poems with each other, which can be a dangerous infraction in the Society, but they promise to keep each other's secret. As they begin to develop a blossoming friendship, her sharing her poems and him teaching her how to write her name and other words in the dirty, they start to fall in love. Cassia questions the Society's system, and if they're truly correct in their ways.

Ranty Bits:
Where, oh where, do I begin?

First of all, I can't stand every single character. Call it what you will, either I'm getting older and sick of all the teen angst, or I just expect more from these characters, but I couldn't stand them. I've been noticing a lot more recently that I'm having a harder time liking YA novels, and very rarely finding the good amidst all the poorly written ones. Maybe my style of genre has just changed, or maybe the quality has gone down after the YA genre sparked with John Green's The Fault In Our Stars. I don't know what it is, but it's. so. angsty. 

The plot reminds me a lot of The Giver by Louis Lowry, with a Dystopian Society that controls people to every minor detail. I love when plots like these are done well, but rarely are they. You have this main character that is so boring, so vapid, and very clearly meant to be a blank place for the reader to self insert. The world that Ally Condie created was fascinating; A world where they wanted to scientifically have the best population of humans possible, destroying certain sicknesses and limiting the amount of children each family could have to control population levels. Plants are only planted if they have a purpose, otherwise they are seen as defective and destroyed. Society picks the Top 100 of everything - art, music, movies, written word, and destroys the rest. It's a beautifully logical but tragic plot.
And yet...it just became a love triangle in the end. Cassia constantly talking about Ky, and what Ky is like, and wondering if Ky likes her, and if she'll end up with Ky, but at the same time she loves Xander but knows it's not the same kind of passionate love it is with Ky. It simply became too predictable. And I wanted to love this book so much, I truly did. Something about it allured me, and made me eager to see what was within the hardcovers. But it came down to the same algorithm of writing a YA novel with a female protagonist and more than one love interest - 

A young female, with a best friend guy that she gets along with great and even considers a bit of a catch, meets a new guy who is absolutely perfect and who is instantly taken with her and their love is passionate but she still feels loyalty and a love for her best friend, who is seemingly the underdog. Throw in the backdrop of a world which she lived in but never took a step back and looked at with an analytic view for once, that has a society which controls its people and everything else it does. A rebellion is on the verge, but it takes one young female with the guy she loves to set it all off and to bring society as they know it crumbling. Now interchange that with any recent YA novel. 

Characters:

Cassia Reyes: Why is it so hard to write a female protagonist that is not so two dimensional?! REALLY? There were many times where I just didn't want to read from Cassia' perspective, because it only ever talked about guys or it would become whiny. I get whiny, but whiny needs to stop after a while. The world she knew is crumbling apart and tearing at the seams, but yet all she can focus on is just the guys? Ugh. UGH.

Xander Carrow: The typical perfect, amazing, entirely dreamy guy. Every girl in the province is in love with him, and he can do no wrong. Absolutely. He's one of those guys written to be the perfect match so he can seem the greatest option ever. I found him to have a really sad story, to be honest. He was really written to be a plot device, in a way, and it was kind of boring? Xander really did get screwed over by Cassia.

Ky Markham: If you ever twisted series like Twilight around, where the underdog actually has a chance with the female protagonist and doesn't completely get pushed aside because of the gorgeous brunette (The best friend is USUALLY the blonde), you'd get Ky Markham. He was probably the only character that I could probably handle a bit. Ky is one of those characters that was quite dimensional. He had a past, a story to tell, a secret to keep, and a girl to love but wasn't allowed. 

Things I Liked:
  • The Dystopian city. It's so intriguing to see what a world would look like when Society wants everything scientifically perfect. 
  • Ky Markham is a pretty well written character, I believe. I actually liked him a lot.
  • The idea of a matching ceremony; Who would be my perfect match? What would he be like?

Things I Didn't Like:
  • Why is that I don't ever really like main characters? They always feel so vapid, so shallow and never fully developed.
  • Love. Triangles. I cannot stand them and why are they even a thing and why do they exist and who even likes them?!
  • The constant love talk or lovey doveyness. Like, oh my gosh, shuttup. Society is crumbling and a rebellion is beginning and you're talking about PUPPY LOVE?! *screeches and slams fists on table*

Rate and Final Thoughts:
I'm so torn about this book, because one moment I like the book and what it was about and some of the characters, but on the other hand, I can't bloody stand it! Perhaps I want to like it so much that I've tried to convince myself that it's good but it's not. 

I'm rating Matched a 5.5 out of 10.  I can't say that I absolutely hate it, but I can't love it either. It's a complicated mess of goods and bads. That's generally how I feel about every YA novel though at this point in time :\

Love,
Ash
“Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs.” 
― Ally CondieMatched


&


Do not go gentle.” 
― Ally CondieMatched
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<![CDATA[Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton]]>Wed, 26 Aug 2015 19:54:13 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-the-strange-and-beautiful-sorrows-of-ava-lavender-by-leslye-waltonPicture
Hey there!

It's absolute craziness, but I am still managing to find the time to read! 
So here's the mystical and totally poetic blurby-blurb!

'Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.'


You know when you stumble onto an amazing book that is just so artistic and you're reading and you can't believe you are reading what would be an amazing framed art piece. Ugh. So amazingly artful <3
Let's get into it!! :)


- WARNING! SPOILERS! For those who have not read this book, and do not want it spoiled, please do not venture on beyond this point of no return, to the abyss beyond the void, to where all lose a sense of innocence and gain an experience for themselves forever. Just so you know, there are spoilers in this review. WARNING! -


How I Obtained It:

I absolutely love just spending time in a bookstore, especially Dymocks (It's got such a special place in my heart), and I managed to stumble upon this book through my hours of flicking through each book, looking at the covers and taking inventory on my Goodreads app. Eventually, once I had enough money and it came up next on my list for To-Buy books, I instantly went to Dymocks and bought it. 
I regret absolutely NOTHING. Sometimes the best books you'll come across are the ones that you stumble upon. 

Picture and Blurb:

The cover is just as artistic as the book itself. It's a very appealing graphically cover, which symbolises a nice way what the rest of the story is going to be like. I'm a big fan of minimalistic, symbolic, book covers with a contrasting colour scheme. It makes me so happy! I bought the hardcover version of it, with the dustcover, and I highly recommend it. Hardcovers are excellent when you CAN afford it and the cover is gorgeous. Good job, Leslye Walton, you did well. You did well!


Blurbs are a toughie, but Leslye manages to summarise in a very mysterious way her entire book's plot in a superb way. I was instantly taken with the idea of a girl, born with wings of a bird, going through life and developing friendships and love and being heartbroken and getting all these experiences. It does what it's job is, and that's to entice while also informing what the book is about. 

Cover: 8/10
Blurb: 8/10

Plot Summary:

oooooookkkkaaaayyy.....
I'm sorry, Little Dumplings. I am sorry. It's been a while since I've read the book, and I don't quite remember exactly what happened :( It happened again, I'm sorry! It's hard to read books and then to review it so quickly after I have finished it. I try, but my list of what I need to review has gotten so big that it kind of took a back burner.

A lot of the plot though deals with the girls in the family and their love stories, and how it's a human and painful experience to love and to have a heart in a world where people don't hesitate to hurt it, but also that there are people out there to accept it and make it tenfold. 

Ranty Bits:

I love reading women. I love reading from female character's perspectives, to read their thoughts and opinions and what channels their actions. I love it, but it's also really tough sometimes. You'll get a book where you get really naive, stereotypical teenage girl who is really hard to relate to because all of her thoughts or written thoughts are about guys. You learn to really appreciate when a female character is written like a normal human being, instead of one of those manic pixie girl tropes, or the naive girl trope.

What was really interesting in this book was the concept of love and also female characters. The female character's had an amazing range of perspectives and opinions on love and life (You have the girl who falls in love with the first guy and wants the fairytale ending, then you also have the girl/woman who believes that everyone will hurt you and to put your heart on hold and to show it in a very unloving way, then everything in between.) and while it doesn't work for one of them, it doesn't end up working out the way that the other one expects or wants it to. It is so interesting to see and to read!

It's tough when I understand where each female character comes from, and seeing what each other's intents lead them to and how they get there because of it. It's beautifully written from very complex places, and it taught me a lot about love and how just because it's painful to love, to be heartbroken, to let yourself to be so vulnerable with another person who could change and crush you any moment, it doesn't stop us from loving. It reminded me of the quote from The Perks of Being A Wallflower, which says - 'We Accept The Love We Think We Deserve' - and I absolutely adored it. It taught me surprisingly a lot about love, and the tragedy in it too. 

Characters:

I unfortunately don't remember each and every individual character, but I know that I did have a connection to a lot of the women in the story.

AND NATHANIEL. SORROWS. YOU HORRID BASTARD. IF YOU WERE A REAL PERSON, I'D TOTALLY SHANK YOU. SHANK YOU REALLY DEEP. UGH. YOU PISS ME OFF. 
Worst kind of male - or human being - ever! 


I really believed the characters, they weren't these two-dimensional tropes simply for stereotypical purposes. They all had their own intents, wants, needs, desires, temptations, and fears. They had reasons for what they did, even if it came off as something entirely different to another character, and that's amazing writing :)

Things I Liked:
  • The characters! Gah, the female characters!
  • The cover - heck, I've stared at it for so long. It's so pretty <3
  • Love. It's so nice to have a book about ALL forms of love - Obsessed, family, deeply sacrificing, failed and heartbroken love.
  • The plot is something that's actually really intriguing. There are a lot of stories about angels, or girls with wings, but this is the first one that I felt was well-written and surprisingly interesting. 


Things I Didn't Like:
  • NATHANIEL. SORROWS. YA LOSER. UGGGGH YOU MAKE MY BLOOD BOIL. 
  • That it was so short!
  • At one point, every single character annoyed me by something. Especially the naivety. Can't stand that!
  • The ending. I am really bad with endings, and I still did not like this ending of this book.


Rate and Final Thoughts:
SO. INTRIGUING!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and really walked away from it thinking about what love is to me and how I see love. That's the mark of a great book; Can a book make you think about things written in it much after you've read it, and contemplate about it? Can it make you feel and think things that you wouldn't have thought of before from that perspective?

I'm rating The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender an 8 out of 10 :)
It was a very lovely thought provoking book about love, the tragedy, and the reason behind why any of us humans love at all.

Love,
Ash
“I found it ironic that I should be blessed with wings and yet feel so constrained, so trapped. It was because of my condition, I believe, that I noticed life's ironies a bit more often than the average person. I collected them: how love arrived when you least expected it, how someone who said he didn't want to hurt you eventually would.” 
― Leslye WaltonThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender


&

“Just because love don't look the way you think it should, don't mean you don't have it.” 
― Leslye WaltonThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
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<![CDATA[Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs]]>Sun, 09 Aug 2015 22:56:53 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-by-ransom-riggsPicture
Hey! An interesting review for you today. After having this so highly recommended to me by Sav and Mara, I finally decided to spend the extra bit of cash and get it! 

Here's the peculiar and oddly mystifying blurby-blurb! 

'A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography.'





I had been hearing heaps of things from people that this was an amazing book, it was so creepy and eerie and would leave you on your toes the entire time, so of course I had to come and read this! :) Let's begin. 

- Spoilers! Spooky ghosts and spoilers, so beware before trespassing! -


How I Obtained it:
Originally, Mara and Savannah read it before I had ever really heard of it. I had seen it in the YA section of Dymocks, but it never really tickled my fancy because I don't get scared by books very well (Or I try to avoid the REALLY scary ones, like Stephen King's IT or H.P Lovecraft's anything.) but by the insistence of Mara and Sav, I thought I should give it a go!

I bought it from Dymocks at $20. The entire series is there, but I only bought the first book. 

Picture and Blurb:

I like the blurb but I don't like the blurb at the same time. I love the black and white contrast, the font, the paperback design which is hard enough and built for durability. I love the graphic and the general design of it...
But at the same time, I don't like the little girl, I don't like the general childishness look about it. I don't like how thick and heavy it feels so that when you're carrying it around, it feel like a weight. It's a very back and forth cover for me. I don't hate it but I don't love it either. 

The blurb though does a great job of explaining what the book is about is the shortest amount of time; Peculiar children with certain skills or supernatural talents, creepy photographs, Jacob stumbles across them. Cue mayhem. It definitely pulls you in and makes it stand out from the rest of the other 'creepy' novels out there. 

Cover: 4/10
Blurb: 6.5/10


Plot Summary:

Now, again....it's been a few months since I read this book because I've been sooooo slack in reviewing books quickly after I finish them...but what I can remember of Miss Peregrine is that Jacob meets the children, he falls in love, and begins to find out secrets about the children. Things like that the children had all died in a nuclear explosion, but were caught in time by one of their adult figures (I forget what their official title is...) and now they just keep repeating the same day again and again. They seek to resolve this, and to also figure out other secrets...


As you can tell, I really cannot remember it to save my life. It didn't make that much of an impact on me :(

Ranty Bits:

The fact that I could get through this book was surprising. I got to the end of this book and remember thinking, 'Yeeeeeah....I won't be continuing onto the next portion of the series. This first one is it' I just could not like it as much as I wanted to. It had an interesting plot, somewhat relatable characters, and decent enough writing...but it was just that. It was decent. Simply decent. It's one that you'd read once, maybe think about once or twice after reading, but that's it.

The super powers that the children had were okay, almost kind of predictable, and the forced teen romance is something that has just gotten on my nerves the past few books that I've been reading. It seems like it HAS to be in there now because, hey, if there isn't any romance no one will ever read it so we just need to throw in a last minute half-assed romance and that should set everyone okay. It's infuriating!

I want to know why I didn't connect to this, but I honestly cannot put my finger on it. 


Characters:

To be honest, none of the characters really stood out to me or made me really go, 'THAT ONE. THAT ONE IS MY FAVOURITE!' They all kind of blended into each other of what I thought was decent but not extraordinary characters. 

Things I Liked:
  • I like the fact that the characters did have super powers and it came in handy during their missions or 'quests'.
  • The mystery behind each aspect of the plot. It took a good amount of time for them to figure everything out, and they still are. But it was never dragged on and become tedious. 
  • The cover is interesting enough for you to pick up the book, and the blurb hooks you in.


Things I Didn't Like:
  • The photographs. I thought they were just weird and sometimes it pulled me out of the story because a lot of the reason I like to read is because I like to imagine the things described for myself, not have them described and then an actual picture of it. It ruins the purpose of it.
  • the teen romANCE. 
  • That there's an entire series of it. It just shows that it keeps going on and that there are just more and more mysteries for them to solve and in the end it becomes Scooby Doo and the Gang solving mysteries. 

Rate and Final Thoughts:
Ehh. It was a lot of ehh. It could have been better in some parts, and then at times I think perhaps this just is not the book for me. There were times though that were interesting, or a quote that was written so well and I was like 'Yes, I would mark you down if I didn't hate having marks in my paperback books'
Interesting idea, but not interesting or executed well enough in my personal tastes. 

I'm rating Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children a 3 out of 10
and a time out in the naughty corner. 

Love,
Ash
“..what an unchallenging life it would be if we always got things right on the first go.” 
― Ransom RiggsMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
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<![CDATA[Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion]]>Thu, 16 Jul 2015 09:54:27 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-the-rosie-project-by-graeme-simsionPicture
Hey there! Yay! A new review! I'm slowly getting my game back, but we'll see for how long it lasts before it takes me 6 months to read one book or a month to actually review an already read book!
Here's the scientific blurby-blurb!

"An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realisation that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project
 is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges."


This is quite a popular book, having won many awards and received national recognition, so if you're interested in reading this book for yourself, do that FIRST and then come back and we can discuss/compare our thoughts on it :) There are, always have, and will be spoilers in my reviews! <3



Once again, I failed like the previous book and I can't remember much of what happened. According to Goodreads, I finished this book around April/May, so it's been a few months since it's been fresh in my mind.
I actually picked this book up in an OP shop, so it was only about $4 compared to the $30 it is in Dymocks <3 I love hidden treasures to match my cheapness and poorness! I had heard only good things about it for months, especially when the author Graeme Simsion came to do autographs at the Dymocks that I frequent and the line was leading outside the store. I was intrigued, but I guess for $30 I really wasn't sure if it was worth it. I had to be convince...
$4 convinced me to get the book. 

Cover and Blurb:

The cover is one that stands out from the rest in a shelf because it's nearly bright neon orange. It isn't hard for you to go, 'Oh, there's The Rosie Project' and to point it out amidst all the other book covers that are the usual blues, whites, or certain models posing on it. It accurately portrays Don, and is something cute and simple. It's eye catching, though in my personal opinion the wrong reason because the orange just overwhelms the senses of oh there's a guy on the cover too with flowers.  
The blurb is so so long. It's a big book (Bigger than, let's say, The Fault In Our Stars) so obviously that means there is more space for more of a blurb, but it's so long that I kind of figured that I've read the entire story through just the blurb. It's effort, that's what that is. 

Cover: 6.5 out of 10
Blurb: 4.5 out of 10

Plot Summary:

It was basically covered in the Blurb. That's everything that happens. It's not even subtle about it.

Ranty Bits:

Now, seeing that I don't remember too much of it except how I felt concerning a few of the characters, that's all I can really rant about.
Starting with Don, I don't get how everyone can say that they like him or found him funny or intriguing. I found him so obnoxious and I almost didn't finish the book because I found it really hard to read a book where I didn't like the Protagonist AT ALL. He was basically Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, which I can't stand that show or the stereotypical characters in the show. Rosie was much more tolerable, and quite interesting, but still at the same time I wasn't able to place why I just didn't connect with these two characters or like them. I found them quite up themselves and just frankly believing they were 100x better than everyone else, and that made them unrelatable to me. Don is a lot like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, and it just kind of grated on me for the entire book. Especially since his dialogue can drag on and on about random topics that nobody cares about or are related to the story in any way. Some people will like him, and that's fine, but it was a drag on for me. 

Rate and Final Thoughts:

I just couldn't get into it. I really tried, and I even finished it but it didn't stay with me. I barely remember it now. I'm sure more adults would enjoy this type of plot/writing/characters, like 30+. 
I'm rating this book a 4.5 out of 10
Sorry guys, I will not be reading the sequel </3

Love,
Ash
“But why, why, why can't people just say what they mean?” 
― Graeme SimsionThe Rosie Project
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<![CDATA[Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson]]>Tue, 30 Jun 2015 03:37:20 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-the-impossible-knife-of-memory-by-laurie-halse-andersonPicture
Hey! Yes, this book's title is absolutely amazing and if it were a person I'd be smooshing it into my face and saying, 'oh man oh man are you just amazing and adorable and intriguing and I must have you' 

Here's the cuttingly forgetful blurby-blurb!

'For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory
 is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.'



Because of how long it has been since I've read this book, and how unmemorable it is, there most likely won't be spoilers within, but if you're still worried about it being spoiled for you, you have been warned! :)


You know sometimes when you just get those books that look amazing, sound amazing, and your hopes just reach the pinnacle of, 'Oh My Gosh how is this going to be topped I'm way too pumped for this!' but then when you actually read it through and it fails on every side? It's not that the book was bad or anything, it was entertaining and all, but it just didn't live up to the expectations that were there now because of many factors.

It's been a few months since I've read The Impossible Knife of Memory, and when I try to think back of what I read of it or even what stood out to me...not much does. I remember telling Savannah that Finn was one of my favourite guy names, and that I would totally name my (If I have one) son that. I remember all of Andy's PTSD moments in the books, and especially the campfire...but besides that I can't remember anything from it. None of the characters really stood out as memorable to me, not much of the story or plot-line is memorable. It all just kind of vanished. So that's why writing this review about it is so hard; it's not fresh in my mind anymore so there isn't much for me to say about it.

Cover And Blurb:
What initially REALLY drew me to this novel was the actual cover. I judge books by their cover, and I think all of us do it to a point. Pretty and gorgeous covers will always make me way more intrigued than one that is just basic looking or doesn't do the book justice, even if there are books that are completely the opposite (As with The Impossible Knife of Memory has a beautiful cover,  the book is actually lacklustre, or the Australian version of The Hunger Games covers which don't do the book any justice for how great the first one was. Good covers just make it more likely that I will pick up the book to read the blurb)

The Blurb, on the other hand, is actually one of the few blurbs that are just simple and say basically what it is about. It doesn't say one or two words that are meant to incite mystery, The only part that I don't like is the stereotypical 'And there's this hot guy with this hot name who is going to change the less than hot girl's entire life because of his hotness. He obviously likes her even though he is like totes hot'. 

Cover: 8 out of 10
Blurb: 5.5 out of 10


Plot Summary:

Besides the fact that I don't really remember what happens in it, there's also not really a plot summary online for it (Not even on Wikipedia!) so if memory serves me somewhat right, a lot of the story is how Hayley deals with her father's PTSD from serving in Iraq. She tries to cope with this as a teenager, who is also trying to deal with her life and boys and school. There's a bit of cute romance between her and Finn, which adds to the YA genre and lightening the story besides all the serious moments. 

Rate and Final Thoughts:
One of the issues that I have with this book is that it wasn't memorable. It's only maybe been a month since I've read this book and I barely remembered the protagonist's name. The only thing memorable about this book was its cover, and that can only do so much for it. 

I'm rating this one  a 4 out of 10, as I finished it and though I don't remember it, it was still entertaining to a degree. 
I wish I HAD done the review fairly quickly after reading it, but sometimes life just isn't fair :P 
Love,
Ash
“Can't escape pain, kiddo. Battle through it and you get stronger.” 
― Laurie Halse AndersonThe Impossible Knife of Memory
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<![CDATA[Review: Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool by Odo Hirsch]]>Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:48:51 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-darius-bell-and-the-glitter-pool-by-odo-hirschPicture
Hey! Yes! Reviews are finally coming back. I can hear you screaming from joy even from here. 

Here's the mysterious but intriguing blurby-blurb!

"The Bell family's ancestors were showered with honors, gifts and grants of land. In exchange, they have bestowed a Gift, once every 25 years, on the town. The Gifts have ranged from a statue to a bell tower with stained-glass windows, but now it's Darius's father's turn - and there is no money for an impressive gift. It looks as though a wheelbarrow full of vegetables is the best they can do. Darius is determined to preserve the family honor, and when an earthquake reveals something glorious, he thinks he's found the answer..."



I may be 19 but that isn't going to stop me from reading children's novels that drop kicks me in the Feels. If someone tries to judge you for reading Children's Novels, you should just yank their hair and kick dirt in their eyes and they'll totally leave you alone, or tell on you. 


- Stop! Wait a minute. 
There are spoilers beyond this line, so if you're up to ruining this book for yourself, then proceed right ahead but you need to fill my cup and pour some...not...liquor...in it. Perhaps some cordial? Kids drink cordial, right? Yeah. So my mum told me that there are spoilers ahead so you probably shouldn't - 


Sometimes you just stumble across some beautiful covered books that intrigue you so much that you just HAVE to take it home. You must throw your money at the clerk, waddle to your car from excitement, and know that at night you're going to read the crap out of this book. 

Darius Bell is not that type of book. It's the type of book that you glance twice at, space out as you try to figure out if you want it or not, if it's worth the effort and the money, and if the reviews on Goodreads is actually any accurate. Sure enough, you grab it and you put it way down on the list of the more important books to read. OP Shops are great for these type of books, and only sometimes you'll get these masterpieces that make you fuh-reak out. 

Cover And Blurb:
What this book had was its cover. It instantly drew me to it, made me pick it up, and actually read the entire blurb with the same level of interest. I can appreciate a well designed and intriguing cover. 

Concerning the blurb, I also have a real turn-on for anything relating to a grand something. Whether it's in Graceling for certain people who have rare gifts known as, 'Grace of ----', or in The Hunger Games where there's the looming fear of the being sent to your death in the arena. I absolutely love things that are doom and gloom. In this case, it's the form of a Gift to the town. That's what sold me on actually dishing out the money for it. 
Overall it's super appealing, and that's what these are for! It's like the makeup and heels of the book world; To catch someone's eye. 

Cover: 6.5 out of 10
Blurb: 6 out of 10


Plot Summary:

BASICALLY, because I can't find the actual summary anywhere on the internet because this book is just that hipster and unknown, here is Ashleigh's Rough Summary. 

Darius Bell is the son of a used-to-be wealthy family named the Bells. They live in a broken down, practically a shack-like mansion because the father, Hector, holds strong to the pride of the family name and lives in denial that they're still rich and still a highly respected name in the town. All their staff live on the property for free and basically, in order for the family to keep their estate is that their family has to come up with a Gift. It could honestly be anything, but because of their richness, it's normally something quite dramatic. Darius's Father can't afford anything big or dramatic, but yearns to live up to the family name. 
After an earthquake cracks open a huge gash on their estate, revealing a cavern with a majestic glittering pool, Darius comes up with the idea to use that as the Gift for their generation, and to save the day. 

And here's where I get foggy but basically the mayor gets owned because the Gift is paid with a humble cart of food for the needy in the town (And that being all that the Bell's can actually give), Hector humbles himself and realises that he ain't all that, and Darius most likely got a girlfriend out of revealing a cavern to the town with beautiful glittering fake gold. 

Everybody wins. Except the mayor, because he is a major butt. The biggest butt of them. A butt bigger than the moon. Butt.

Ranty Bits:

Where do I even begin with this book? What do I say? What is there really to say? Sure, it's a children's book so it's not going to contain things AS HEAVY as, let's say most YA Novels where it must contain drugs, alcohol, suicide, depression, same sex gender attractive, teen pregnancy, parents divorcing, and basically whatever else can be seen on Degrassi, but if Harry Potter and Wonder is included as a children's novel and can contain plenty of things that are heavy and moral-of-the-story type of elements in it, Darius Bell can't excuse itself. 
There were a few times where I thought, 'Okay something has to happen soon or be the cataclysm for the story to propel it forward or get us out of this strawberry dialogue for the past page or two.' and looked at other novels to see what I had to read next. At the end of the actual book, I put it down and gave a brief nod and then went onto the next novel. I didn't stop and think about the journey I just went through or my attachment to the characters (Cos there weren't any, to be honest) and I just thought that it was a cute sweet little short story that could have had bits taken out of it to have concluded earlier. 

While it wasn't a bad book to me, it wasn't a great one either. It was just sweet and one that I think kids would appreciate to have a plot that they could or might relate to (A child trying to help his parents and coming up with his own quest to accomplish that.) and that's what I really took away from it. 

Characters:

Darius Bell: You're adorable but at the same time, you do remind me of those little boys that I work with who run off and try to dig a hole to China. Stop. It's annoying and you just need to entertain yourself by not doing something so destructive. But, I guess this is the exception to the rule because you actually helped out your family, I guess....
You're still annoying xx

The Rest of the Bells: The mother is someone I pictured always rolling her eyes and patting her husband's head, Hector (The Dad) is just so agitating. Obviously I imagined that he was written to be this stubborn and prideful man, but it was SO hard to get over my dislike for him. When he'd go on his tangents I just wanted to skim read because the dislike was so....eh. 

The Mayor and his clique: Ew. So ew. You're all ew. Mayor is uber eww with a side of major ew. You got what you deserved in the end. Boom. Drop the mic.

Every other character in the story: I am so sorry but I do not remember you, or even tried to remember you. There was a lot of Darius and his brother and then some random neighbour girl and ugh, I dunno. My attention was elsewhere. 


Things I liked:
  • The cover! Ugh, so pretty, so dazzling. I'm like a crow for pretty and sparkly things. 
  • There WAS technically character development, which was nice. Hector humbled himself, Darius...changed...somehow, and the mayor got his justice technically. 
  • The writing was pretty good! I could definitely imagine the strawberry fields and the decrepit house in full vision as I read.  

Things I didn't like:
  • Not TOO many female characters. Sure, there was Darius's girlfriend, his mother, the scientist (Rock lady?), and some of the staff, but they didn't ever really do anything. Darius's mother just kept telling her husband to calm down and relax. The scientist just told him that it was fool's gold. Darius's girlfriend didn't do a whole lot of anything except for give him a strawberry. It was hard to feel anything for these characters. 
  • The length. At times I honestly thought that an entire part could have been taken out to shorten this story. 
  • Darius! DARIUS! 


Rate and Final Thoughts:
Yes, yes, it's a children's novel. I get that. They're not all going to be Harry Potters or Wonder. But I left this book with a small smile on my face that vanished after a couple of minutes and with not much reflection on the book at all. I didn't come away with a new found moral or principle to establish in my life, I didn't come away thinking I should definitely recommend this to other people. I just didn't, and that's okay. Not all of them are going to break our hearts into little pieces and slowly and gently put them back together by the last chapter. 

I'm rating this book a solid 4 out of 10. It's written for the cute moments of in between the heavy hard-hitting books. 
Love,
Ash
[Also, there are no favourite quotes because I couldn't honestly find one that I liked or stuck out to me. You win some you lose some!]
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<![CDATA[I'm Back! (And lazier than before)]]>Sat, 11 Apr 2015 11:33:51 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/im-back-and-lazier-than-before
Gold Coast. Baby, take me back. I don't know why I even thought that leaving you was a good idea. I want the warmth, the 300+ days of Summer that I didn't get in my one week with you. I want you back, baby, mainly for the rides and generally hot people that reside there. 
I'm not coping too well coming back home and being away from you. 
Love,
Ash
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<![CDATA[I'm Going Away!!]]>Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:23:35 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/im-going-awayIn the very anticipated arrival of my brother returning back from his 2 year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Adelaide, my family and I will be going away for about a week! It's been such a hectic rushing of preparation and setting up the pranks that I'd be blessing him with that I don't have enough time to do my Top Ten Tuesday, and I won't be able to do it for next week either 'cos I'll be on holiday <3<3<3

I just want to tell everyone to enjoy what they might be going through right now, whether it is holidays for you or you're trying something new or just going through the same old same old :) I wish you the best of luck! I will see you in two weeks (aahhh!) I'll also be bringing a LOT of books (About 7-10) for the drive up to where we will be on vacation, so there'll be plenty of new reviews for when I come back and two Top Ten Tuesdays! :) 

But let's be honest, I'll most likely be like this and my mum will shout and say, 'ASH, GET IN THE WATER AND ENJOY YOURSELF!!!' 
And then I'll just roll my eyes and then roll a little further into the water. 
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<![CDATA[Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books on my -Autumn- TBR List]]>Mon, 16 Mar 2015 14:26:56 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/top-ten-tuesday-ten-books-on-my-gtautumnlt-tbr-listPicture
Hey there!
Yes, I know that technically it IS Wednesday here in Australia, and yes, while this Top Ten is for your Spring list but in actuality it's Autumn here in Australia, so today it's just a big pile of a hot mess right now. 
I don't normally pile my lists into Seasons, I just read whatever is available or is on my 200+ TBR List (*Cries* I'm never going to get through it) so most likely I'll just be adding what is numbered on my TBR List for this Top Ten :P 

Here's my Top Ten Books on My Autumn TBR List!


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1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

I've heard so many good things about this book, and that it has an amazing female protagonist (Which, besides the Apocalyptic/Dystopian genre, I've been really obsessed with trying to find other novels where the heroine is not the damsel in distress but not the femme fatale either) 

Basically, people are born with a special skill called, 'Grace', and Katsa (Our Heroine) is born with the Grace of Killing. Her Grace becomes her curse as others shun her in society. But despite her Grace, she persists to be defiant and to never give in to her Grace, until the King of Lienid's father is kindapped and she goes to investigate. 

Yes, It's just THAT awesome sounding :D 


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2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Every single Top Ten Today on other people's blogs that I've read have always included this book. It sits on my shelf, and I've just been staring at it until it finally beckons to me. 
(It's already the second book and both of them are Heroines facing the screen with weapons in hand) 

Eighteen year old Celaena is a trained assassin, but makes a pretty big mistake when she is caught. Captain Westfall offers her a deal: Her freedom must be exchanged for one favour. She has to represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament against other thieves and assassins like her. 

So...like...Hunger Games but Gladiator style and she is an awesome assassin that will put all to shame. Give it to me!!!! *Shakes fists in air* 



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3. Between by Jessica Warman

This book was a random grab at a thrift store for probably $2 or so, but I'm super excited not only by the cover but by how awesome the blurb makes the mystery and suspense make me want to instantly grab it and just marathon read it. 

Elizabeth wakes up on her eighteenth (Eighteen is just a REALLY bad time to ever do anything or go on an adventure...so glad my eighteenth year is over.) birthday on her family's yacht. A persistent thumping noise has roused her, and when she goes to investigate (Like one of those white people in horror movies.) she'll find something that changes everything (As per usual) 

I'm so excited though for it, and I just really want to know what the heck she finds. Is it French Fries? French Fries can be pretty life changing...


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4. The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Okay, so the blurb DOESN'T really give much away, but it was explained to me by a friend that there are 4 stories within the book and it can be read in any order and the story will still make sense. If you liked Cloud Atlas, this book will be right down your alley.
There's a lot of symbolism and interwined destiny type of stuff in this kind of book, so I'm REALLY looking forward to actually getting into it and not just staring at it saying that I'll one day do it because I'm scared I won't understand it.  


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5. S. by J.J Abrams

I let myself be talked into buying this book, because the book was wrapped in this hardcover case with a plastic sheeting around it so I couldn't even open the book and have a look at it even if I was interested in buying it, but the worker (CoughMaraandSavknowswhatsup) noticed me reading the blurb, and being intrigued, he came over and told me that it was a GREAT buy and even showed me some of the pictures about the book on his phone. I was sold from the moment he explained it a bit more.

Basically, it's a book within a book (If that makes sense) 

You have the base story which is called, 'Ship of Theuseus' a final novel by a writer named V.M Straka, in which he writes about a man with no history or memory on a ship with a criminaled crew and launched into a journey to ask the question, 'If you slowly take apart a ship, is it still the same ship as before, and can a man be likened to this ship?' 


Then you have the readers, Jennifer and Eric, which the story more so revolves around. Written in the margins of the book, you follow along as Jennifer and Eric strike up a friendship after Eric leaves behind a book in the library and Jennifer fetches it. They leaves notes for each other, discussing the book and the mysterious author V.M Straka, and leaving pages and napkins and other trinkets between the pages of the book (Yes, they is an actual napkin inside the book with writing on it. I spent a large amount of time actually rummaging through the book and just taking out the little postcards and realising how amazing this book is just because it has stuff inside it) 

And there you have it! S! I've been told it's a bit of a study read, and that there are some multiple time lines so you really have to sit down and focus, it's not a sit-down-and-read-it-in-one-sitting kind of thing. It's going to take some planning before hand, and I am totally and utterly ready for that. 



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6. Wool by Hugh Howey

Yes, another Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian. Judge me not. We all have the same but different weakness. 

It can be easily written down as a society confined in an underground concrete shelter to protect themselves from the toxic world but curious and hopeful about the outside world and perhaps if there is a chance of survival. (Reminds me a little bit of The 100, except it's not in space but underground. So Mountain Men? Probs) 


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7. All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

This was one of those spur of the moment 3 for 2 sale in Dymocks and I was in such a state of IMUSTBUYALLTHEBOOKS I grabbed this book too, which closely looking at the blurb, but it still intrigued me nonetheless by its impressive cover.

I just really like birds okay!

It's basically a coming-of-age book about a girl named Mim who has a depressed mother and two brothers in prison. Her journey starts nine days before her seventeenth birthday, where her life goes from bad to worse.  


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8. All The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

Once again...birds and dramatically posing girls have a thing that I just cannot resist. You just know it's going to be good with birds, and if it's a female protagonist I'm all about that character development and trope breaking for women <3 Boom

Jake, her dog, and a flock of sheep. That is, until sheep are repeatedly being dragged off by something and left in rags.

Besides that, I don't even really know what the book is about. The blurb is just as mysterious, so go and check it out for yourself, but in the mean time I'm going to try and figure out this book and hopefully will be reviewing it sooner than later! 


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9. Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan Mcguire

Okay, I know what you're thinking - Ash why are you picking up books that are meant for the type of kids that grew up liking R.L Stine's Goosebumps Series and are probably totally badly written - well, first of all that's rude R.L Stine is a genius and he is what got me into writing and reading books because I wanted to write cliffhangers just as well as he did because I would end up spending ALL night reading at least 3-4 of his books because of all those darn CLIFFHANGERS. 


But once again, this was an op shop grab! I had this sense of something sitting in a bookshelf a little further down, and there I found this little gem. 

Basically, it's about a girl who died in 1952 by a guy named Bobby who sold his soul to live forever, and used her death and soul to pay the price, and since then has been sixteen for the last sixty years and is still haunting the very place. She has many names, but she is simply the hitchhiking ghost girl. All she wants is to claim back what is hers, and trace the immortal man. 

(Yaaaasss ghost perspectives yaaaaaasss)


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10. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

(CoughBirdsandGirlswearingRedaremyswoonweaknessCough)
Pass it on.

I bought this one at the same time I bought the book above, but this one I made a last second ditch and grabbed this instead! Why do I so love covers with girls and birds? I'm sure there is an inner symbolic meaning to this that I'm missing and it means that I just want to be free and wear red or something symbolic and totally metaphorical like that. 
Or maybe I just love fricken birds and the colour red! 

It's supposed to be the 500 Days of Summer version of a book. While it's a romance, it's not about a romantic relationship that ends well. Even the blurb kind of gives off this mysterious element but when you read the reviews, they all say - 'Yup I legit cried and it's a sad romantic novel!' - but we shall see about that. Covers have lied to me before and they aren't afraid to do it again. 


There you have it! My Autumn TBR List! I'm so scared that all of these are going to be really bad and I'm just going to wail and lay on the floor like a sad Potato and shake my wrist limply at the sky because I should have seen it coming, but I will persevere on and try to get through these soon to share all the delicious reviews! <3
'Till next Tuesday!
Love,
Ash
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<![CDATA[Versatile Blogger Award]]>Thu, 12 Mar 2015 03:09:26 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/versatile-blogger-awardPicture
Thanks to Erica @ Read It. Note It. for nominating me for this award!

That's what you get when you do Top Ten Tuesdays and stalk other people's blogs and their reviews for new books :P 

Rules and facts about me inside! <3


Here are the rules and what to do next:

1. Nominate 15 (Or however many you can manage) other bloggers relatively new to blogging
2. Let the bloggers know that you've nominated them
3. Share 10 random facts about yourself.
4. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.

My Ten Facts!:
1. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! 
(People will probably know that as mormons)
2. I'm 4'10! Yes, I'm practically a midget. 
Yes, I do get a lot of people commenting to me that I'm so cute they just want to shove me into their pocket. No, it's not okay to lean your elbow on my head unless you want an elbow in the gut.
3. My current favourite TV shows are: 
The Walking Dead, The 100, Gotham, and Reign.
4. My favourite book ever is 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak
5. I don't like, and I can't eat, pork. So that means no bacon for me! *Dramatic gasps all around*
6. I either want to be a professional writer, or to work with children in a nanny or childcare worker capacity :) Children are wonderful!
7. I've been keeping a journal since I was around 7-9 years old. I have boxes full of journals. It's a hot mess, but at least I can go back on a certain day and receive my full days worth of CRINGE. 
8. I part Australian, German, and Lao :) 
There's probably heaps more sprinkled through that but those are the major ones that I know of!
9.  I absolutely LOVE gaming! Especially Dystopian/Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic games like The Walking Dead, The Last of Us, Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil.
10. I'm writing a Post-Apocalyptic book! 

I nominate: 
1. Jess @ The Reading Nook Reviews 
2.  Samantha @ The Little Munchkin Read
3. Alex @ Alex In Bookland
4. Beks @ Somewhere Between The Pages
5. Musings of a Reading Mind

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<![CDATA[Top Ten Tuesday - Books For People Who Like Dystopian/Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic]]>Tue, 10 Mar 2015 13:55:34 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/top-ten-tuesday-books-for-people-who-like-dystopianapocalypticpost-apocalypticPicture
Hey! 
Another spectacular Top Ten Tuesday here for you! It's actually pretty open-ended subject for this week so I decided on my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE genre, the mixture of Dystopian/Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic.
I have no idea WHY these genres intrigue me so much, especially when it deals with so much death or hopelessness, but it does and that's why it has been chosen ;)
Here's my Top Ten Books For People Who Like [The] Dystopian/Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic [Genre]


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1. Dead Meat by Patrick Williams & Chris Williams

I've reviewed this book before, I've talked about it all the time, it is one of my favourite zombie-post-apocalyptic book I've read. I can safely say that without thinking, without wondering, or without having to umm and ahh about it. It's legit amazing. It started off as a weekly blog post that this guy started up with his brother, and soon enough it became such a hit online that they published a book. That's how amazing it is. 
It's a fairly (What I personally reckon) realistic interpretation of a zombie apocalypse, and the way it would probably be dealt with. Everything from the characters and how they interact (Which honestly made me laugh so many times on so many different occasions and also be very serious and think, 'Yeeeeah...that guy IS UNTRUSTWORTHY!') all the way to how the gore is written and imagined. It's highly recommended for those who are interested in zombies or that whole genre. 
#FeelsgaloremyfriendsfeelsGALORE


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2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Now I'm not usually a big fan of classics, either I think they're truly amazing and brilliant (Rarely) or they're some of the most boring these I've been made to read and I wonder why anybody would classify them as a CLASSIC. 
But Fahrenheit 451 is real, guys. It scared me, it made me think about society and the government and I started becoming all Katniss-like in my thoughts of 'We must take down the government! VIVA LA REVOLUTION!' 
And yes, the scene where the 
[SPOOOIIILLEEEERRRRS]


woman decides to burn with her books really affected me because, let's be honest here, I'd probably burn with my books too if push came to shove and the government was telling me I wasn't allowed to have books. Legit witch-burning while I clutch my books to my bosom. 


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3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

If you've read my review on this book, you're probably asking -
'Ash, why is this book on your Top Ten List for books to read in this genre? You couldn't give it enough critiques!' 
Just because I give something a lot of critiques and tear it apart with my words, doesn't mean it isn't a good book. Books have this wonderful way of touching each of us individually through our experiences and feelings and all that stuff.
I didn't like The Road for many reasons, but that doesn't mean it didn't entertain me and it'd be a wonderful [And highly realistic, not the BOOM BAM POW DRAMA BOMBS EVERYWHERE DURING THE APOCALYPSE representation of an Apocalypse. It's not all drama and everyone knows how to fight and it's a power struggle; everybody would be dying slowly.] introduction into the world of Apocalypse for those who haven't read any forms of literature in that genre. 

Just don't mind the lack of punctuation which is probably symbolic of something in the book but it gets on your nerves after awhile because it just tends to drag on and on and on and without any end in sight which leaves you kind of breathless in a way while you're reading this because there really ISN'T any real form of punctation for you to take a breath in this book but once you get past that it's a real work that makes you think and it's entertaining minus a few flaws here and there. 


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4. The Giver by Lois Lowry

I still haven't finished this series, so excuse me if I judge it based only on its first book. 
The Giver is this really bland, almost verging on sociopath-like way of living and thinking because of [SPOOOIIIIILLEEEEER] there's no colour and no experience or memories except for the old guy who holds it all in like a really prominent fart. 
I loved it SOOOOO much more than the movie. It was almost like a Percy Jackson-like adaption which endly so poorly for everyone involved. Divergent often reminds me a lot of The Giver if you're into a society where everybody is given their jobs at a certain age, you're tested, and then that's how life works without anybody ever really questioning it. It just happens because it happens. 
I surprisingly liked it a lot, and I can see why it's a classic for all to read and judge for themselves. 


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5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Ahh, my love-hate relationship with the Hunger Games Series returns on a fiery chariot and poor CGI effects. 
In all honesty though, while I bad-mouth the series, I LOVED the first book so much. We still deal with a pre-PTSD Katniss, who is volunteering for the Games for her sister, and before any of this boring love-triangle stuff that makes me want to punch a cucumber in half. 
We're introduced to the Arena, and all the other tributes, and the actual games, which was so intense I almost tore off the pages with my teeth. It's fast paced, intense, and I liked to imagine I was right beside Katniss, hopefully surviving alongside her and not touching something poisonous and then eating from it and then dying a very tragic death because I didn't actually end up finishing mah berries

But it's honestly an amazing book, but slowly declines through the rest of the series. Hunger Games will always reign supreme, and then slowly trip over and smash its face onto the ground by the time it hits Mockingjay. I still love you though Katniss, no regrets. 


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6. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

*Shrieks and then collapses into my chair* This book is absolutely so amazing. It's been a few years since I've read it, but I can remember it chapter by chapter and how much it meant to me and just how FAST I read through the trilogy.
Basically, a town with all men who can hear each other's thoughts 24/7. None of your secrets are actually secret. Until one day, our main protagonist Todd, stumbles across a spot in town where he can only hear silence. Then he meets a girl named Viola. The rest is history and a lot of drama. A lot of drama. 


It's absolutely perfection, and I have actually been thinking of re-reading it of late. It's an amazing trilogy! <3


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7. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R Carey

I read this recently, and it's still stuck with me. It was a brilliant twist on zombies, because it's so easy to fall into tropes and just get back into the same old story of following the protagonist through a stereotypical apocalypse.
I love how it isn't around the start of the apocalypse, which most do. 
I think if you're interested in dealing with a different take on Zombies, more so on the relationships between the characters and less on developing the surroundings, how it happened, and the science behind it, then you'll love this book <3


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8. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore

Ugggggggggggh. I love The Walking Dead. Everything The Walking Dead. All of it. I love the game, the comic books, the TV Show, and potential Spin-off that is coming now. It's honestly painful of just HOW much I love this series. I know that it isn't really a novel, but the comic books are amazing. There are so many layers and levels of complexity concerning the characters and their hope but also the fact that they're in a bloody apocalypse and everyone know they or love are dying and it's just so intense. 
*Swoon* I love this series so much. 


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9. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

This book, just like The Girl With All The Gifts, wrecks all the tropes about zombies and what they're capable of doing. Instead, you get to follow through the perspective of R, a zombie in the apocalypse (There should be a count of how many times I have written down that world and it's starting to not look like a word to me anymore...)

It's so interesting, and I love both the movie AND the book <3 


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10. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

It's been a long long long time since I've read this book, but it still stands with me for some reason. Maybe it's because it's built on a Dystopian society where you can get a procedure done at a certain age (Iforget) to remove all your flaws; Pimples, freckles, curly hair, cellulite, whatever you think your flaw is it can be taken away, even your personality can be altered to be more desirable.
 While it tells a story, its social commentary on Identity, Beauty, ruthless suppression of individual freedom,  and humanity are some very positive messages by showing the extremes some people can go to to change themselves. 


And there you have it! My Top Ten for this enchanting genre not suitable for those who fall in love with all characters quickly. It's bloody, it's hopeless, it's filled with death, it has social commentary that makes you think deeper about life and how we are slowly becoming the monsters we fear. 


















That, and if I was in an apocalypse I'd most likely be like Eugene from The Walking Dead - Useless, can't run for long periods of time, can be taken down by a small child, and likes to watch people. 
But he is hilarious so they keep him around <3
Love,
Ash
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<![CDATA[Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Dave McKean]]>Sun, 08 Mar 2015 16:05:14 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-the-graveyard-book-by-neil-gaiman-and-illustrated-by-dave-mckeanPicture
Hey there!
Look at me go, another review. I'm slaying it right now. 
Here's the spooooky blurby-blurb!

"After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . . "

This book is actually so amazing - I thought it was just going to be another cute little children's novel but jokes, it's like all the other 'children's novels' that turned out to be all adult-like and makes you think about your life and have an existential crisis. 
*Whispers* Iloveit

- Beware the Spoilers that lurk beyond this Read More point. All who trespass must consent that they are willing to be spoiled, and if that leads to hysterical screeching and a ghostly visitation of Death I cannot be held responsible - 


Rightio. We need to talk. 
Let's get this straight. I did not sign up for this kind of emotional attachment. I didn't sign up to care for Bod and his guardian, Silas. I didn't sign up to feel emotions for Ghosts. I didn't sign up for this stuff! 
But that's what you get when you stumble across an interesting book at an OP Shop that you have not heard anything about except for the fact that Neil Gaiman is a writing genius and takes your heart and stomps on it while he gleefully waves at you and gives you a pat on the back afterwards. I didn't sign up for any of this, but I'll be damned if I don't want to stay not and just holds all my emotions to my chest. 

Cover & Blurb:

I'll be that person, because let's face it we all are secretly. I'm a sucker for beautiful and interesting covers. I will be drawn like a magpie to bright and shiny things that catch my eye, and I will take it back to my nest and coddle it. It's a fact, and we can't judge each other 'cos you do it too, ya nastey. 
As soon as I saw Neil Gaiman's name on the cover, I was all 'Aww Yiss. Time to finally see what all the fuss is about with this guy' - That was my first mistake. The cover peaked my interest so much, so I bought that baby with no regrets...also it was like a $1 so I'm not going to regret spending a dollar.
The blurb is what solidified it for me. It jumped all the previous book in my TBR Shelf because it was so well-written. If the blurb was any sign of what the book was going to be written like, I was getting for a roller coaster ride. 
Cover: 7 out of 10 
Blurb: 8.5 out of 10

Plot Summary:

Jack (Referred throughout the book as, 'The Man Jack') murders a family except for a small toddler, which is left upstairs. During his murders, the toddler slips out and stumbles across a Graveyard, where the ghosts within find him and decide to hide him from the man when the Lady on the Grey appears and decides that the baby be kept.
Mrs. Owens, the one who found the boy, accepts the responsibility and names the boy 'Nobody Owns'.  The ghosts grant Nobody the 'Freedom of the Graveyard' so that he can pass through solid objects. He is given a caretaker named, 'Silas' who persuades the man Jack that the toddler is not there, and he loses the trail of the baby.
Majority of the book follows Nobody throughout his life in the graveyard and the adventures he has. He befriends a young girl named Scarlett Perkins, discovers a creature named 'Sleer' who lives in a cave/tomb within the Graveyard and waits for its master, is captured by Ghouls and rescued by his tutor Miss Lupescu (Who is a Werewolf), befriends the ghost of an executed witch who wishes to have an honoured gravestone so Nobody meets a greedy pawnshop owner who tries to kidnap him for his treasure but results in finding a gravestone for her, and attends primary school which results in him being bullied and revealing his identity. After leaving school, he continues to learn more Ghost skills like Dream walking (Controlling other people dreams), Haunting (Causing other people to feel uneasy, and amplify terror), and Fading (Allowing Bod to turn invisible, but can only be done if they are not paying attention to him). 
On Bod's 14th birthday, Silas and Miss Lupescu both leave, making the Ghost in charge of Nobody. Scarlett returns back to town, and she and Nobody reunite. Scarlett becomes friends with a man who works and lives not too far from the Graveyard named, 'Jay Frost' who helps her research the death of Nobody's family. While showing Nobody the room and house he lived in as a baby, the man reveals that he is the man who killed his family; Jack Frost. 
Jack Frost and four other members of the Order known as, 'The Jack of All Trades' chase Nobody and and Scarlett into the Graveyard, where they battle each other. Nobody, knowing every part of the Graveyard, manages to defeat each Jack separately, and kills Jack Frost by using the Sleer to accept him as its new master for eternity.
Scarlett is shocked and appalled by the events of the night, and Nobody's questionable decision to lead the Jacks into traps and to their deaths. Silas comes back, revealing that Miss Lupsecu was killed in battle that they attended while they were gone, and that it's the best decision to take away Scarlett's memory, but Nobody disagrees. Instead, Scarlett chooses to have her memory removed of the Graveyard and of Nobody. Silas also convinces Scarlett and her mother to move back to Gasglow and away from the Graveyard. 
In the end, Nobody is about 15 and losing the Freedom of the Graveyard, and slowly says goodbye to the Ghosts of the Graveyard as he decides to leave the Graveyard to start a new life. 

Ranty Bits:

This book is such a great story. It's a book about growing up and the entire journey along the way through unimaginable situations like living in a Graveyard as a boy and having a vampire as a caretaker and a werewolf as a tutor. The entire time in the story there were times where I was just thinking - 'What the heck is even happening I am so confused and so intrigued this is magical I can't wait until it's revealed or I figure it out!' 
Each and every single character I was either laughing at or scowling at because they were just *tears paper into two in my hands* but they were still so well written. 
Out of all the children's novels about growing up and becoming independent I would say that this is a book that I'd probably give to my future children to get them into reading and also to help them to discover and develop their own independence.
"Mum, why are you giving me this box of compiled paper called The Graveyard Book for?"
"You gotta read it and become better acquainted with this thing called BOOOKS."
"Does it have WIFI?"
"GO AND READ THE BOOK CHILD."
"It says it has vampires, werewolves, mummies, Jack of All Trades which is probably a cult, and about living with Ghosts and speaking to them..."
"You may not have to deal with vampires and werewolves but if you don't stop giving me sass you might have to deal with something that rhymes with a witch"
"Wait, is this front page an illustration of a murde-"
"But mum, this witch describes her death and how she cursed the people before they drowned her repeatedly and telling her to save herself if she was a witch-"

Characters:

Nobody Owens: Oh what a cutie patootie. Like, you don't even know how cute and adorable you are. He reminds me of a very young brother I might have, and watching his journey slowly into adulthood. But, you know...as a kid living in a Graveyard. He never bothered me, or was whiny, or was this incompetent character that felt more like a Gary-Sue trope. He is amazing!


Silas: It took me so long to finally figure out that he was a vampire. I'm not even that ashamed to say that. I was on and off about it almost until the point where he was like, 'Miss Lupescu is a werewolf' and I was like #boom Silas is a vampire because he can't see his reflection. He is such a cool and mysterious character that I imagined as this super attractive, super serious character (Most likely he is this old guy who is walking around with a walking stick or something) but he is such an awesome character <3 

Mr and Mrs. Owens: OH MY GOSH HOW CUTE. THEY REMIND ME SO MUCH OF THE WEASLEY PARENTS! :OOO

Miss Lupescu: I totally shipped her and Silas, no regrets. At first I really didn't like her, just like Nobody did, but as he grew to like her and see her as this close friend, I did too. She seems like such an awesome character who I'll miss dearly. RIP WEREWOLF LADY WHO I SHIP. Sipescu? Lupas? HAHAH LUPAS. #InsertHouseReferenceHere

Scarlett: She would be me, most likely, in this realistic setting. Most characters are like, 'oh yeah! Ghosts, vampires, Jack Frost, Werewolves, this creature called the Sleer. Yeah, I'm totally cool with this' instead she was more like 'OH MY GOSH ARE YOU KIDDING ME NO WAY I CAN'T DO THIS HOW COULD YOU KILL SOMEONE NOBODY YOU'RE PYSCHO BEAM ME UP SCOTTIE AND TAKE AWAY MY MEMORIES #YOLOBUTACTUALLYIWANTTOLIVELONGERTHANTHIS' 

The Witch: Okay, I'm so sorry but I forgot her name but she was amazing :) Her sass was out of this world, and I actually laughed at her story of her death and how she cursed all the people who murdered her for being a witch. How she treats Nobody like this annoying kid, then this cute boy that she makes fun of and doesn't like being around because she like-likes him; it's perfect and I couldn't stop laughing. 

Jack Frost: He is full of creep. Absolute creep. I imagined him to look something like Mr. Burns mixed with Snape. Walking around with his hands held limply at his chest and with a sneer at all times. It was a total plot twist of him being the Historian :P TOTAL PLOT TWIST!

Things I Liked:
  • The characters were all so loveable and cuddly even though they were ghosts and all dead...but nonetheless so cuddly! <3
  • The illustrations are so eery and beautiful. I spent quite a lot staring at them and studying each part of it to every excruciating detail. 
  • Jay Frost is a proper villain. An actual, proper, villain. I LOVE IT. 
  • The length was just right! It didn't feel like it was pushed too long or cut short but it had a beautiful ending and a fantastic closure to it that made me smile but was also sad too.

Things I Don't Like:
  • Scarlett. Bro. C'mon. I understand your reasoning but I'd DIE for something awesome like that to happen to me.
  • MISS LUPRESCOSILASWEREWOLF DYING. NO. NO. NO. I DO NOT LIKE THIS, AND I WILL NEVER LIKE THIS. 
  • The fact that Nobody is 15, and leaving home...Dude I'm 19 and I still have yet to leave home. Where are you going? What are you going to do? Where are you going to live? What are you going to eat? Nobody, you need to think this through. 
  • Siiiilaaaaaas </3 Staaaaahp. 

Rate and Final Thoughts:
In summarisation, I really liked this book! It's one of the few books I've added to the list of books I'd give to my children to read! It's so cute, and so lovely, and even though it's about Ghosts and all supernatural stuff, I think it's a great story even as a 19 year old (Almost) who is trying to grow up and find her own independence. 
It's an 8.5 out of 10 for me! :)
Love,
Ash
[Here are ALL my favourite quotes from the book because I leggit couldn't decide on one, or two, or even three, so here are ALL of them!]
“It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.” 
― Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book

“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.” 
― Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book


“You're always you, and that don't change, and you're always changing, and there's nothing you can do about it.” 
― Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book


“Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.” 
― Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book


“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.” 
― Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book
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<![CDATA[Top Ten Tuesday - Books You Would Classify as ALL TIME FAVOURITES From The Past 3 Years]]>Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:50:13 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/top-ten-tuesday-books-you-would-classify-as-all-time-favourites-from-the-past-3-yearsPicture
Hey! 
When I saw this topic on The Broke and the Bookish website where this meme is hosted, I honestly didn't know what to think. How could I pick just ten! for the past three years! Ah!
But here we are, I actually did it <3
Here's my Top Ten Books I Would Classify As All Time Favourite From The Past 3 Years


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1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This book is my go to. It is my official, 'You must read this book if you want to be in my life'. I read this on Mara's recommendation and man...I am so happy I took her up on this one. 
This book made me laugh at the subtle jokes, it made me gush over the cute romantic moments with Liesel and Rudy, it made me cry at nearly everything else, and when I finish reading it I honestly felt like one of my friends said that they were going to leave forever. It is one of the few books that I'd consider re-reading, and feeling all that pain again because it was worth it. 
I still get teary eyed even mentioning it. Every single one of the characters is like family, and Max....MAAAAAX <3<3<3
This is the highest recommended book that I own. If you could read only one book, this book will teach you about empathy and about human pain, but the good and evil that it contains also. 


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2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling

You might be shocked, yes, but I have only just finished the Harry Potter Series. I can't believe it took me so long to get into, but I can see why so many people are still so upset over it ending and resorting to all these other methods of still feeling connected to it. 
Out of all the books, Deathly Hallows is my favourite because of how dark and gruesome it is compared to the rest. The entire time I was reading it I was thinking, 'Oh man...you can actually feel the gloom just emanating from the chapters' 
And yes - I ship Romione. They are so crazily cute together that I just want to screech like an attacked Owl. 


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3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Oh Fangirl. No other book has hit me so hard before. Cath is amazingly vulnerable, Levi is such a hottie Mchotterson who is funny and sweet and caring, and even though I didn't really care for the FanFic moments in it, I could understand it for what it's worth. 
Whenever my friends want a cute, fun, and really adorable relationship and story, this book is what you need in your life. 
Levi and Cath rank as one of my highest OTPs, right next to Bellarke/CaptainSwan/Richonne.


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4. All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

I was really surprised with this book. From the front, it was interesting but I was honestly expecting it to be one of those cheesy, supernatural, YA novels that line the shelves at bookstores that are horrendously written and lack any character development. 
But that's where I was wrong! This book has really showed me what it means to judge others without knowing them or their circumstances, what it means to have a love in your friend before you turn lovers, and pushing through the trials that you face one at a time. 
Being brave doesn't always mean being strong, just being brave enough to fight that fear for long enough. 


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5. The Brothers by Chris Stewart

This is a book that I KNOW a lot of people don't know. It was recommended to me by my Uncle, who is a mormon like me. This novel was written by a mormon, and there is a large amount of mormon lingo contained within. The story follows the story of a family in the Pre-Existence, the world before this world was. They struggle to make their decision to come down to Earth, and struggle with the war that is waged in Heaven. 
I love this entire series, and the family relationships <3 They're so cute, and so sassy, and I loved how they even included certain aspects of what Satan might be like. He isn't this hot poker, evil, maniacal laughter, with red shiny horns type of image we imagine. He'll appear as everything you have ever wanted or desired.


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6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

EEELEAAANOR AND PAAAAARK! <3<3<3
OTP to the max. It's such a simple book when I really think about it, but it's perfect in all the right ways. It's a quick read, but it's one that stays with you for quite a while after you finish reading it (And you'll know it when you read it) 
It's just so....ugh....*Swoon* 


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7. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Illustrated by Maira Kalman

I'm sure you're starting to notice a recurring theme in my favourite novels now...
Sad, had a glint of romance in it, and it stabs you in the feels and makes you depressed for like a week. 
This book is so beautiful - the artwork, the illustrations, the blurb, the cover. All of it is just so enchanting and for a story that wants to rip out your soul and crush it beneath the weight of your tears. 



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8. The  Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

YES YES I KNOW I COMPLAIN ABOUT THE HUNGER GAMES A LOT STOP GIVING ME DRAMA OVER IT GOSH. 
I love Hunger Games. The First Novel, not the rest! 
The first book in the series was my absolute favourite. The initial hunger games, dealing with the actual arena, meeting Katniss and dealing with the type of world.
I love the whole world and what it was, but after that it really bothered me. 
BUT I STILL LOVE THE HUNGER GAMES <3


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9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Once again...another sad book that just crushes your soul. I didn't even realise how much I was falling in love with this book until near the end, where I just burst into tears because I could relate to Hannah and what she went through. I could understand the pain and loneliness. I could understand the anger and sadness.
It's a true masterpiece, and deals with the topic gently but seriously. 


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10. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

FINALLY A CUTE LOVE STORY IN WHICH NOBODY DIES AND NOBODY GET HURTS AND IT'S JUST SO CUTE! *Heart-eyes*
I normally don't do a lot of romance, because it's normally super cliche and trope-filled and just ew. But this book is something totally different. It takes the genre and flips it and takes all the best parts of it, and uniquely makes it hilarious but super cute at the same time <3
It makes my heart flutter so!


And there you have it! My favourite books :) I'm sure I would have had more options if I had read more books in the last 3 years, but it was only about a year or so that I actually got back into reading and have fallen back in love with it. In that time, I haven't read too many books. I'm hoping to change that though!
See you next Tuesday! Leave a comment and let me know what your favourites are <3
Love,
Ash 
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<![CDATA[Top Ten Tuesday - Favourite Heroines]]>Tue, 24 Feb 2015 13:13:31 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/top-ten-tuesday-favourite-heroinesPicture
Hey there!
One of my most favourite things of reading is to follow well written heroines. Nothing makes me feel more proud and more courageous about being a woman than reading about these women in novels that capable, vulnerable, passionate, understanding, and most importantly, human. I'm really happy to have this as today's topic and how I can share about my favourite female characters!
Here's my Top Ten Favourite Heroines


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1. Cather from Fangirl
Never before have I felt so closely connected in a twin-like way to a character. Cath suffers from anxiety, is shy, and unlike her twin Wren, she is dorky. She writes fan fiction! FAN FICTION! What other protagonist does that amazingness? 
Cath struggles a lot throughout Fangirl, whether it is with her friends and her roommates, or dealing with how her sister has started to pull away from her. In a book that is written very much about real life and real situations, Cath grew to become this real character for me, someone who I can imagine would be my friend and we'd struggle together - but through all of her struggles, she still pushed through and she gave me hope that I can do the same. 


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2. Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief
The book is my literal favourite, and it hurt me so much when I read it. So many tears, so many. Liesel is someone who I think of as a really well rounded character who goes through a heck lot. She is sweet, she is loyal, and she goes through something that I won't come anywhere close to (hopefully) and you get to be like a fly on the wall through her journey and to see if she can make it. When she hurts, it feels like my little sister is being hurt, and I hurt. 


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3. Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series
Hermione Granger. Gosh, after just having finished The Deathly Hallows, I have so much more respect for Hermione. It's been said by so many of the fans of the series that, without Hermione, Harry Potter would have taken a very large and long detour. Hermione is this complex character that multi-layered, and I find myself absolutely adoring her (Although sometimes I just wanted to whisper alongside with Harry and Ron, 'Shut up Hermione...gosh' 
But you have that with every single character in the series at least once. 
I guess you could say...
'I'm falling in like-like
With Hermione Granger' 


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4. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games Trilogy
'Why is Katniss on this list?' You might ask if you've ever heard me complain so much about her. Yes, Katniss does go on long tangents (Chapters long...) about makeup, or the boy that she claims not to love until like the last book (Which was weird and confusing and a dark time that I don't like to mention because I was weird and confused while reading it) but there's this undeniable fact that Katniss is an astoundingly well written character. She has her moments of quick-decision moments where she will shoot another Tribute in the Hunger Games, another kid just like herself, to protect herself. But she also her moments of true sorrow and despair, where she just doesn't want to be the Mockingjay and the leader of the rebellion. Even though I will complain about her, this doesn't take away the fact that Katniss is one of the few heroines that girls can look at and think, 'Wow, she can protect herself and others around her, but also rely on others for help when she needs it. She can be badass, feminine, whatever she wants to be - So can I!' 


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5. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice
I love Lizzie for the fact that she is so different in that time period. Every woman was thinking about marriage, for that was a woman's responsibility back then. If you couldn't find a husband rich enough, it was guaranteed that you would not live a comfortable life, so it was of great importance to court as much as you could with what limited ways there were. Lizzie breaks that mold, just like the heroines of our day who break the mold that women characters need to be placed or written for a greater purpose or to make a statement - Lizzie pushes the pressures of the social norms at that time, but besides that she is a character who just wants to live her life, to write, to be free. 


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6. Eleanor from Eleanor & Park
UGH I LOVE ELEANOR. LOVE HER LIKE PARK LOVES HER. She is such a raw character that stays true to herself. Rainbow Rowell did such a wonderful thing in the fact that she went against the tropes, the characters that we are used to and have come to accept as the 'norm' or how every book should be, and she went and wrote whatever the heck she wanted. She didn't write what is popular, she didn't write what everybody was expecting or wanting, and that's how we get Eleanor. 
Eleanor is loud, big, and she doesn't do things subtle or constricted. And that's why I absolutely adore her. 


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7. Hazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault In Our Stars
Hazel is another 'norm' breaker. Before Hazel, I had never read a book about a Heroine OR Protagonist who has been ill, physically disabled, or one with health issues. But her sickness wasn't what she was, or who she was, it was just a large, killing, part of her. Her story lies within her tale to share of her experiences, of her pains, and of her courage that she has going through them all, and she does this all with a sassy attitude and a pessimistic optimism.  


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8. Judith from All The Truth That's In Me
Judith is such a wonder. After The Fault In Our Stars, to read more Protagonists who are disabled in some way. Judith, in All The Truth That's In Me, is kidnapped and her tongue cut out. After she escapes back to her Village to be treated differently and outcasted by her speakless tongue, I really fell in love with Judith like a best friend. She is someone who I wish I could be during my trials - Humble, Meek, and willing to change and learn. She never complains, but is grateful for what she does have and where she is now. She is such a wonderful Heroine who taught me a lot about how you are when times demand you to change.


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9. Ginny Weasley from The Harry Potter Series
Ginny Weasley is not exactly who I'd pick first, but surprisingly...I had a real trouble finding 10 heroines that I really loved. But when I thought about it, Ginny from THE BOOKS - NOT THE MOVIE - is absolutely astounding. She could totally take out Harry Potter, the Chosen One, if she wanted to - but instead, she married the heck out of him. He is so lucky to get Ginny's affection in return!
Not only that, but went on to dominate in Quidditch! 


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10. Margaret Hale from North and South
I'm not sure many people know her, but after watching her in the BBC version with Richard Armitage, I was all literally heart eyes about her. She does this amazing magic of being this soft and nurturing character, but when it come to cracking down she will do it without hesitating. I love all the classical women, because there's a fire in them at a time when it was not appropriate to do so for women, but they say 'STUFF YOUR RULES AND TAKE THESE NEW RULES!' and if they don't like it, well, boo-hoo! 


There you have it! My top 10 favourite Heroines. I just want to say quickly, but it took me a surprisingly longer time than I thought it would to find 10 amazing heroines. To me, it means that no one is writing Heroines that I aspire to be, or read or watch and think, Wow! How amazingly flawed and awesome is she? and that's a real issue. That bugs the cripes out of me! C'mon writers, get ahead of the game and write women that a real, not just meant to be the femme fatale or the Mary-Sue. Write Heroines that aren't just written for their gender, but for their own story to inspire. 
'Til next Tuesday!
Love,
Ash 
When I look at female characters, I want to recognize myself in them: my trials, my tribulations as a mother, as a lover, as a daughter.
Vera Farmiga
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<![CDATA[Review: Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby]]>Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:44:46 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-juliet-naked-by-nick-hornbyPicture
Hey there!
Yesssss, I'm finally kicking into gear and actually reading and reviewing books again (Woo)
After my love affair for 6 months with the Harry Potter series, I felt like I needed to go back to the stand-alone novel, because not only was Harry Potter spiggin' long and I'll have to somehow review 7 books into one review because it's more than a trilogy, but I really find that reviewing stand-alone novels are so much easier and quicker to do...so that's my plan for a little bit. 
Here's the totally artistic and soul-touching bluurby-blurb

"Annie loves Duncan — or thinks she does. Duncan loves Annie, but then, all of a sudden, he doesn't. Duncan really loves Tucker Crowe, a reclusive Dylanish singer-songwriter who stopped making music ten years ago. Annie stops loving Duncan, and starts getting her own life.

In doing so, she initiates an e-mail correspondence with Tucker, and a connection is forged between two lonely people who are looking for more out of what they've got. Tucker's been languishing (and he's unnervingly aware of it), living in rural Pennsylvania with what he sees as his one hope for redemption amid a life of emotional and artistic ruin -- his young son, Jackson. But then there's also the new material he's about to release to the world: an acoustic, stripped-down version of his greatest album, Juliet — entitled, Juliet, Naked.

What happens when a washed-up musician looks for another chance? And miles away, a restless, childless woman looks for a change? Juliet, Naked is a powerfully engrossing, humblingly humorous novel about music, love, loneliness, and the struggle to live up to one's promise."


Yeeeah...It's pretty darn long. But luckily the novel wasn't, because I was pretty certain I was going to fling the book across the room straight into the donation bag I have always lying around. 
But that's how it goes. Sometimes you get fantastic books like Harry Potter, and then you get horrendous ones like Juliet, Naked. 
But alas! We must review it! So here we go :)
-Like...there's totally a whole bunch of really indie and artistic spoilers in this review that you should totally NOT check out 'cos they are totally not mainstream like everything else these days *Sips my unknown starbucks drink* So if you're totally mainstream then you shouldn't probably check out these spoiiiilers...
Yeeah...like totally-


I actually knew nothing about this book beforehand, because if I did, I would never have read it. I stumbled across it in an Op Shop, and I guess the cover reminded me of some really indie and probably one of those cute love stories like Fangirl and A Little Something Different. You'd think from the all the reviews spread over the front page, and the fact that it's an indie book, it'd be absolutely amazing but that was not the case. There is no nothing in this book that actually give any indication to that. BUT ONWARDS WE MUST GO!

Cover & Blurb:
The blurb leaves nothing to be desired. It practically contains the entire book WITHIN the large amount of Blurb there is. It's not around to play around, it's here to basically tell you what you're going to expect; Boring, no climax, and plain. 
The Cover is what actually draw me to the book at all. It's really cute and artsy, and give you the impression that it's going to be a cute romance novel!
It's barely that. 
Cover: 7 out of 10
Blurb: 3 out of 10

Plot Summary:
Annie is dating a guy named Duncan, who is a 'Croweologist' and obsessively fanboying about a phased out singer named, 'Tucker Crowe'. 
When Duncan receives a new CD by Tucker Crowe titled, 'Juliet, Naked' after being out of the music business for years. Annie, having relationship problems with Duncan, decides to listen to the CD first without Duncan. When she reveals to Duncan the cd, but also her dislike for it, Duncan begins to question their relationship and feels betrayed by her. He then writes an enthusiastic review for it on his fan website. After reading his review, Annie decides to write her own review passionately criticising it, which leads to an email response by Tucker Crowe. 
Tucker Crowe is revealed to be a washed up father of five children from four different relationships. He lives with his youngest, named Jackson, and Jackson's mother named Cat. 
Duncan meets a new colleague named Gina, who he decides to sleep with. He tells Annie of the affair, and she decides she has had enough of him and their relationship, and kicks him out of their house. While Annie talks to her therapist and deals with her emails from Tucker, Duncan regrets sleeping with Gina (And forming a crazy relationship with her) and leaving Annie, but she refuses to take him back. 
Annie and Tucker decide to meet up, but on his flight over with Jackson, he suffers from a heart attack and is taken to the hospital. They meet, and kindle a sweet friendship in the time that Tucker is at the hospital. 
Annie and Tucker runs into Duncan, who does not believe it is his idol, but believes that Annie is making fun of him. Annie gets over her spitefulness, and invites Duncan over to meet the real Tucker Crowe who he has idolised for years. 
An exhibition Annie has been organising at the Gooleness Museum, where she works as a curator. She confesses to Tucker at the party that she has a crush on him, and they proceed to leave the party and have sex. 
Tucker and Jackson must move back to America, but Annie tells Malcolm (Her counsellor) that she is ready to sell her house and move to America to join Tucker and Jackson. 

Ranty Bits:
Ugggggggh....*Rubs temples and rolls eyes* I just. I don't...UUGGGGGH. 
Why do you do these things to me, books? Why do you make yourself look so good, so exciting, and something I'll absolutely fall in love with, then do this weird 180 on me and become this total bunch of crap?
I couldn't stand this book. It was something that was so boring and just kept going on at this glacial pace that had no real ending, or climax, or anything close to that. There were so many points where I would distract myself with my phone, or with the piano game I have on my Ipad Mini because it was more interesting than Juliet, Naked. It was absolutely disappointing, and I only finished it because I was halfway through by the time I hit the, 'I don't find this interesting anymore. I don't want to read it....Should I stop?' 
There was just so much that I was rolling my eyes at and yawning because of, it was a novel that didn't do anything for me. I couldn't picture the  characters, I actually didn't give a care about any of them, the story's plot didn't go anywhere really but felt more like an, 'Eh...I guess we could do that.' 
If this book was a person, I'd be sass eyeing it up and down and asking them to question their life choices because they're super basic and remind me of the flavour Vanilla because it's boring and tacky and I hate it. 

Characters:
Annie  - She is just...so...indecisive. She doesn't even do much in the book beside break up with Duncan (Wise choice) and then falls in love with Tucker. The only she has got going for her is the fact that she works for the Museum and sees a counsellor that she doesn't even like. She doesn't do anything! She's such a bore, and when she does do something it's to complain about a guy. 

Duncan - What. A. Loser. That's all I can say, honestly. I despise his character and thought he was a snivelling rat. 

Tucker Rowe - I don't know how to feel about him. He is that character that is such a hot mess, everyone knows he is a hot mess, and even he knows he is a hot mess and admits it but somehow you still kind of appreciate him for all his hot messiness. He is still such a fool though, and I still didn't like him, but I hated him less than I did with Duncan and Annie. 

Jackson - HE IS THE ONLY GOOD THING IN THIS ENTIRE THING. HE IS A FLUFFY LITTLE CLOUD IN A SKY FULL OF TERRIBLE AND OBNOXIOUS BLACKENED CLOUDS WHO FEEL IT'S OKAY TO RAIN ON EVERYONE ELSE'S PARADE. YOU GO, JACKSON. YOU LITTLE FLUFFY CLOUD, YOU!

Everyone Else - No one cares. You're all one-dimensional characters that no one cares for. No one. 

Things I Like:
  • Jackson. He was such a little beautiful thing in this whole crappy story. I'm a big sucker for the children in novels. He is just so cute and squishy and itty bitty cuteness! 
  • The Cover is super amazing and really artistic. I like it for what it's worth.

Things I Didn't Like:
  • The Characters. They're all so useless and vapid. I can't stand it. They were such a bore to read about. 
  • The Blurb. What a load of rubbish. I should have just read the blurb and accepted that that was it. 
  • The stupid 'Indie, Hipster' type of writing. Damn, dirty, hipsters. 
  • The fact that the plot barely went anywhere. It didn't travel, it didn't end in a beautiful disaster or happy ending. It just was. 

Rate and Final Thoughts
This book just aggravates me so much, and I can't give it any praise except for the fact that the cover was intriguing. 
It's a 1.5 out of 10 for me. So boring and plain that I'm not sure how I even finished it. 
Love,
Ash
[I find this quote from the book ironic because this book is boring in its end product]
“The artistic temperament is particularly unhelpful if it is just that, with no end product.” 
― Nick HornbyJuliet, Naked
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<![CDATA[Top Ten Tuesday - Bookish Problems I Have]]>Tue, 17 Feb 2015 12:36:06 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/top-ten-tuesday-bookish-problems-i-havePicture
Hey!
I have way too  many bookish problems that are probably going to be the reason I die in this life (From over-whining or I get crushed by how many books I have) but for this Top Ten Tuesday (Hosted by The Broke & The Bookish) I have to somehow narrow it down to ten! 
So here we go - My Top Ten Bookish Problems I Have


1. If I enter a bookstore, I will exit with at least one book in my hands. 

It's a problem, I AM AWARE. Don't think I have tried to teach myself how to have some level of self control, even when I only have $20 in my wallet and that's for lunch with Mara and Sav. There's just something about walking into a bookshop for me that flicks on a part of my mind that says, 'Yes. It is time to buy a book - I don't care if you have to sell your shoes, you WILL walk away with a book or two or twenty, who knows? The day is young'.
*Sigh* this is why I'm poor. This and food will be why I'm living in a homeless house made out of books and Macca's boxes.

2. I hoard books. Even if I don't like them. 

I go op shopping quite a lot, so books are dirt cheap and sometimes they are donations from people who bought a BRAND NEW BOOK and just didn't like it, didn't think to give it to anyone they knew, so it has now ended up in my hands as the book that I've wanted for a long time and it's in near perfect condition - all for $3.
When all is said and done, my room is running out of spaces to put my books. I have two cube bookcases on my desk, a bookend BED, two bookcases, and a closet which has an upper compartment that I've already stuffed with books. I've resorted to stuffing them on the side of my bed now as my mattress doesn't fit my bed; I'm a very creative person and  that let's me think of odd ways to place things.  If I don't get rid of some soon, my floor will become books and I will build a throne at my desk out of books. I don't even like some of these books! 

3. My tendency for all-nighters.

Me: Ahh yes, just started a new book! I shall read oNLY two chapters before I go to bed. Sounds good to me. 
Book:
Me:
Book:
Me:
Book: You're past the halfway point now...Perhaps it's best to go to bed?
Me: Sleep is for the weak now and I'm already past the halfway point I might as well finish it quitters never win and winners never quit it's only just a bit of sunlight outside gosh would you get off my back?
Book:

4. I'd prefer to read books than go and do some physical activities (Most of the time)

My friends want to go bowling? I reckon I should bring about two books to read, just in case I finish the first one while they're playing. 
My friends want to go swimming? Better not forget the sunglasses so that the pages aren't too bright to read. 
I'm not the most physically capable person; I'm 4'11 and have the muscle mass of a 2 week old corpse. If I really set my mind to it, I can, but that doesn't mean I want to go bowling or for runs or whatever normal physical people do. I love to just lounge around, reading a story that will make me reflect on myself and how the story affected me, instead of throwing a ball back and forth for a couple of hours. I am a bookworm, not a dog. 
(No diss to people who are physically active and like sport, it's just not for me) 


5. Quoting from Books and no one understanding them.

A lot of the time, people will understand my movie quotes that I'll say in response to their movie quotes, but if I say a book quote (Even when I'm sure they've read it!) they just don't get it, and sometimes it really bums me out because it was perfect for the moment but then if I have to explain it to them, it ruins it and it makes me look like a giant toolbag who expects everyone to get my jokes. 
But does this happen even after all this time?
Always. 

6. I see life through a Reader's/Writer's eyes.

Reading books gives you this fantastic way of learning how to empathise with people you might never get a chance to meet in this life, and it helps you to gain more perspective on why people might do what they do...but that also means that in my day-to-day life, I see people who I try to think of how they'd fit into my story, or how I'd fit into their story (of their life). If I'm waiting for someone in a public area, I'll people-watch (YES I DO THAT DON'T JUDGE YOU DO IT TOO YA FILTHY LYING HOBBITSES) and create story lines for them as characters. It keeps me entertained, but also helps me to use the empathetic skills I have learnt from reading. 
It's still a problem though...

7. My greatest romantic wish is to either go on a date at the bookstore with my future husband, or have a guy flirt with me and buy me a book. 

It doesn't take a genius to realize that I will most likely marry a man who is just into reading as I am, just so that we can fangirl/boy over books together and go on cute little bookstore dates and buy each other a book that we MUST read because it's purely genius. 
But...the problem lies in the fact that I don't meet many guys who do read, and if I do, they are normally just as shy as I am and we can't talk at all or make an audible connection. 
Most girls want flowers, or jewellery, or to go on a big and flashy date like a hot air balloon ride or something like that. Me? I just want to go on book dates, read books together while we cuddle, and for him to talk nerdy to me *Trumpets in the distance* 


8. When you try to talk about your favourite book and you end up just fangirling into nothingness.

I have tried with the patience of a saint but it's not possible. If you ask about my favourite book, I will start heaving and hyperventilating and what will come out of me is not a proper review but more of a long winded, 'OH MY GOSH YOU NEED TO READ THIS IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL THERE IS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND IT TEACHES YOU ABOUT HOW LOVE IS THE POWER THAT CAN HELP OVERCOME BUT EVEN IF YOU'RE A GOOD PERSON YOU'RE STILL GOING TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH BAD STUFF AND UGGGGH THE PROTAGONIST IS SO UGGGGH AND THE VILLAIN LIKE DAAAAYUM BOY DAAAAAYUM' You'll just need to accept that I have a lot - A LOT - of feelings about this book and take that as a good indication to read the book, unless it's my most hated book then I will be hyperventilating for a different purpose. 

9. I have high expectations for men.


There is a plentiful of men in the fictional world that are amazing beyond compare; Mr. Darcy, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, Peeta and Gale, Levi from Fangirl) HE IS MY FAVOURITE. UNF. All these guys have given me such high expectations of romantic gestures (Levi's dance party with Cather in Fangirl when she is sobbing in her room, or when he answers her call to come and pick her up from the bar without a moments hesitation) or the ability that someone can love you (Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars) that it's made it pretty hard to take a guy's gesture of romance in real life of saying, 'So.................you wanna date?' pretty minuscule in comparison.
Come on guys! If I'm willing to overcome the Government or sickness or my own weaknesses, THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS BUY ME A BOOK AND FLIRT WITH ME ENDLESSLY WHILE LETTING ME WEAR YOUR LEATHER JACKET. 

10. I judge people who don't read books.

Yes! I said it, but we all do it. Whether we want to admit that to ourselves or not, we do judge those who choose not to read. There are even some people out there who say proudly that they haven't read a book since school. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR TIME AND LIFE?!  sure, maybe you go out a lot with friends but how can you not have read a book since SCHOOL?! 
And it's not even a stigma type of judgement, but more of the 'Buddy you're REALLY missing out on something great here' and I understand that some people might not be interested in reading about fictitious worlds but I don't understand, even fathom, how someone can not have read a book since School years for them. Surely you've picked up a book for a moments glance because the cover look interesting. SURELY. 
Each to their own though, but in all seriousness you should pick up a book and give it a read and I'll try throwing a ball sometime and then we'll exchange pleasantries and tell each other how it went it'll be great let's try it out. 

And that's my Top Ten Tuesday for the 17th of February! I hope you enjoyed it, it was pretty tough narrowing it down to JUST ten but I got there eventually! Thanks for reading, and tell me what your Ten Bookish problems are! :)
Love,
Ash
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<![CDATA[Top Ten Tuesday - Things I Like and Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books]]>Mon, 09 Feb 2015 15:41:11 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/top-ten-tuesday-things-i-like-and-dislike-when-it-comes-to-romances-in-booksPicture
Hey there! 
Another Top Ten Tuesday for you all this beautiful 10th of February, 2015! I'm especially excited for this pick by The Broke & The Bookish because I love romance in novels when it's done well. I'll ship it for eons <3 
Here's My Top Ten Things I Like and Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books.


I'm a big fan of romances in books as a side plot - When it's the entire plot, it can very easily go amiss for me and I'll throw that book into the 'Do Not Ever Read Again and Never Recommend it to Others' pile (CoughCoughFallenbyLaurenKateCoughCough) 
So today, it's a topic I love talking about and go on and on and on about. Whether it be bad or good, it will be torn apart and analysed. 

Top Five Likes <3

1.  Slow Burn With A Great Pay Off
It's pretty clear that I love romances that take their time. In reality, people don't just fall in love with people in one glance and are dating and hot and heavy by the second day of knowing each other. It doesn't work like that, and if people actually do that in real life then it's not love, but infatuation. Slow Burns are the ones that have an occasional romantic scene together, maybe a little extended eye macking out and vulnerable moments where they let slip of their feelings for each other but not enough for a definitive understanding between each of them. They slowly build a friendship, trusting one another with their lives (If this is a novel where they are in life or death situations, like Hunger Games) or where they just slowly grow close to each other (Like Eleanor & Park, where they aren't in any life or death situations but it's still a love story)
Slow Burns tantalise you with the idea that yes, one day they will get together, BUT TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY AND YOU WILL SUFFER THEIR CUTE GAZES AND SLIGHT HAND TOUCHING BUT WITHOUT THAT DEFINITIVE SOUNDS OF CANONS! *Throws self off bed in sweet despair of all my Ships that are Slow Burns*

-

2. Snarky, Sassy, and Tease Each Other Relentlessly Which Turns Into Flirty-Teasing
Aww Yiss. Love interests who start off as characters who despise each other for reasons pertaining to establishing a leader, one of them is better than the other at something they both like and they feel competitive. Even though they speak towards each other with a wit sharper than your 20/20 vision that sees all, you know deep down that they're going to be gazing over each other and totally struggling with the fact that they love each other more than they care to admit but they can't reveal it because they don't want to lose or be the vulnerable one and they also think that the other one hates them. *Blows away like a squealing released balloon into a sea of Kawaii*
I live for this type of love. If I don't find a guy who will sass me so hard the only way to release that tension is to say, 'What are you going to do about it?' and then get macked out, I will be SORELY disappointed!

-

3. The Love Interests are Side By Side, not one being better/worse than the other. 
I don't want to see in a novel which contains romance that one of the Love Interests comes off as whiney, needy, or damsel in distressy. I understand that everyone has baggage, weaknesses, and issues, but that doesn't mean that one of the Love Interests is this amazing, perfect, not one inch of flaw character and the other is this infatuated puppy that just follows them around, protected by the other because they can't do anything right, and just in general you wish would hurry up and cark it because they offer no more usefulness than being a plot device for the other character. I want to see romance where they both stand together to fight, whether that be against Monsters, The Bad Guys/Corrupt Government, or just life's struggles. I want them to support each other, rely on each other's strengths, and understand that the other one is capable and independent too. 

-

4. Awkward Bumbling and 'Oh MY Gosh I love this person so much but I speak like a Goat' moments
Perhaps it's just because it resonates so much with me because whenever I start to speak to the guy that I'm interested in it's literally just a lot of 'uh ah umm hey umm uhh eyyy babey' kind of comments because my brain has decided to pack its bags and call it quits for it was never trained for this situation. Perhaps it's because I love being an on-looker to seeing this blossoming love and witnessing the fact that each of them has such power to make the other one THAT nervous just being around them.  It's just so cute and awkward and you're just sitting there thinking, 'You can do it. I believe in you. Confess your undying love for each other becAUSE WE CAN ALL SEE IT BUT YOU CAN'T ASDFGHJKL!!' 

-

5. Protecting Each Other From Disrespect or Danger
I always squeal and freak out and flail whenever I read/watch this. It hurts my soul and my feelings in the best way possible. Some would describe this as 'Protectiveness' and I agree to a point. I love it when I feel like a guy wants to protect me because he cares for me and wants me to be okay, not because I can't handle myself and I am like a Damsel In Distress. So whenever it comes up in TV Shows, Books, or Movies, I freak the crap out. Full on hyperventilating and fanning oneself. If a random guy disses the female protagonist, I love LOVE LOVE LOVE it when the male protagonist gets that jaw bite going on because he wants to take care of his love but understands that she might not want that, but when it persists he goes and defends her honour (Not in a royal battle, but perhaps in a bit of a 'Hey, don't be a jerk to women because none life you' kind of moment in books or shows) but if it came to it, the female protagonist could totally go and kick butt and protect her own honour. Likewise with the guy, if someone was bashing the dude, the female protagonist would threaten anyone who'd threaten him. It's the protectiveness that sends my heart aflutter! 
(For example, Clarke and Bellamy from The 100 - Bellarke Ship. Check it out if you want a really amazing Slow Burn
Or Mikasa and Eren from Attack on Titan. She protects him and his honour) 

Top Five Dislikes </3

1. Instaloves.
I CAN'T STAND IT. UGH. NO. NO THANK YOU. STOP THIS IN ALL GENRES, EVER. 
No one falls in love immediately. They don't tease each other, crush on each other, and then BOOM LOVE AND SACRIFICING THEMSELVES FOR EACH OTHER AND OH NO MAH LURVE. It's stupid. Why is this even a thing in books anymore? If you fall in love with someone immediately on a couple of sightings then clearly you are experiencing infatuation and need a reality check. 
Check yoself before you wreck yoself
(Key examples here are Tris and Four/Tobias from Divergent.
Or THE WORSE OF THEM ALL  - Clary and Jace from The Mortal Instruments Series) 

-

2. Love Triangles/Rectangles/Icsoagons.
I used to love it as a teeny bopper who just loved drama and all things that were complicated, but I grew out of that stage quickly. I despise Love Triangles because you can't even decide on who you like more, and that's a sign of a really obnoxious/whiny/vapid protagonist. They're childish, and in the end one will always lose and that's really sad and depressing to think about. I hate reading them, and every time it starts to rear its ugly head into the book I just want to nope straight out of there, but only will myself to further it because I'm already about a quarter of the way through the book. 
Struggle is real guys, it's sorely real. 

-

3. Love Interests who don't pay attention to the other until it's revealed that they are MADLY AND DEEPLY IN LOVE WITH THEM. 
Stop this. I'm serious. You have this book and guaranteed you're a complete and utter idiot. If a guy/girl in real life does this to you, A VERY LARGE AND CLEAR CHANCE they are not interested in you and/or crazy and possibly stalkerish. Your first red flag should have been the fact that they act like you're a ghost. 
"Hey there...I think you're cu-"
"Did you hear that?"
"I mean..."
"Woah...did you feel the air just get 10x colder? Guys...I think it's a ghostly presence."

-

4. Full Blown R-Rated Action.
Okay, so you've known each other for approximately a week, and you've decided you're in the deepest of loves and you want to be together fore - Oh....OH. OH WHAT THE FRICK FRACK SNICK SNACK PADDY WACK ARE YOU DOING HOW DID THIS CHAPTER GO FROM A KISS TO THIS?
IT WAS ONLY A KISS. 
IT WAS ONLY A KISS!
(How did it end up like this? Going from a cute PG relationship to a something extremely sexual and lusty. It completely turns me off the relationship then and I lose all hope in it because all it's become is physical. 
Take for example Clary and Jace; Ugh I hate that fictional relationship so much I want it to be a real person so I can just punch it in the face and demand it give me back the time I spent reading that series while practically comatose in bed from sickness. Never. Again)

-

5. When the Romance Domineers Everything Else .
I want a filling plot with a delectable side of romance, not a whole banquet of JUST romance. It gets too much, I get too filled too quickly and then I don't even want to bother finishing it. To keep a story with romance from getting stale, it must be evenly spiced with a plot that is captivating and could hold its own without the romance beside it. It's a dish on its own. 
(If you can't tell I'm super hungry and just want to eat some thigh fattening chips but no, I have to write to keep my mind occupiCHIPSCHIPSCHIPSCHIPSCHIIIIPPPS
But to conclude, romance needs to be a factor in a much larger picture. If It's the only picture, and it sucks, the entire thing is trash and won't be read more than a few chapters. I WANT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND PLOT DEVICES, YASSSS. 

And there you have it! 5 Likes and 5 Dislikes about romance in books. I could go on a MUCH longer tangent about this is what I have been given and if I kept writing it would become stale and cold...like chips that haven't been eaten 
*Single tear falls down cheek*
I hope your favourite romances shall come to fruition and become your reality (Except if it's something like from Twilight or any of those Erotica Novels...then maybe you need a different type of reality and that's called a therapist for your inner realities)
Let me know what your favourite Ships/OTPs are! Because, after all - 
Love,
Ash <3
"If my heart doesn't feel like it's going to explode into thousands of butterflies and my chest doesn't collapse underneath the pressure of my shrill screeching and my arms don't turn into giant inflatable noodles and the entire police force isn't outside the front of my house because they've heard reports of someone threatening to murder someone else's entire family and shove their head somewhere that probably doesn't exist in this sense because so-and-so are more canon than your life,  I'm not shipping it hard enough."
Quote by Mwah
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<![CDATA[Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion [Book and Movie]]]>Wed, 04 Feb 2015 07:38:13 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-warm-bodies-by-isaac-marion-book-and-moviePicture
Hey! 
Another review here for you, following the theme of Apocalyptic, but this one has a twist in the mind. 
Here's the Blurby-Blurb!

"'R' is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows - warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can't understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.

This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won't be changed without a fight..."


I'm cheating by reviewing this book, because it has been months to probably a few years that I've ACTUALLY read this book, but it's been on the list for reviewing so long that I thought, hey, when is a better time going to come when I'm actually reviewing Apocalyptic/Dystopian genre books? So let's crack right into it and open it up for review!


-Dangerous Spoilers are looming just beyond the Read More Break, if you wish to vacate from the Spoilers, it is advised that you go and read the book first, then return to this review- 


I read Warm Bodies before the movie was even a thing, and that was back in 2013. THAT'S how long it's been since I read it, but surprisingly I remember it still very well. When the movie came out, I was so excited and thought 'Who will they cast as R and Julie? How will they do the Boneys? Who will they cast for Julie's boyfriend, Perry?' it was so full of mystery and it was so exciting for me.
Not to mention when they casted Dave Franco as Perry I may have screamed a little bit, jumped on the bed, and tore a shirt from excitement. Dave Franco's eyebrows are the true beauty of this galaxy. 
I simply bought my copy of Warm Bodies from Dymocks because I had heard on Goodreads that it was a fantastic zombie book but had a twist that not many of its kind had. Of course my interest was peaked, so that's what leads us to having it sit on my bookshelf and the movie sitting in my other 'DVD Shelf' on the opposite side of my room. 

Cover & Blurb:
Warm Bodies is one of those novels that I just see the cover and I let out this high shrill squeak, like a deflating balloon, and my eyes go wide as I take in every part of the cover. The intricate details of the brain veins, how it creates the shape of a brain, how the red contrasts nicely with the white backing, and how the name fits perfectly in the middle of it all. The only exception is the review by Stephanie Meyer (why the heck is she reviewing a book about zombies when she writes about Vampires? Was this during the craze of Twilight and anything that Meyer touched or read or reviewed was immediately turned into gold 'cos her whole army fan base of tween girls would run out to buy it, regardless of what it was about? Perhaps) 
Even the blurb is beautifully captivating and draws you into a, 'What? Is this a love story between a human and a zombie? Why would a zombie not be content with his life? He is a zombie...this is very weird and interesting Imusthaveit...' 
It's one of my clear favourites for covers (It's number 10 on my Top Ten Favourite Book Covers List!) because of how simple but also symbolic it is and how my favourite colours are red and white - it's just so beautiful! 
[9 out of 10 on Covers and Blurb for me!]

Plot Summary:
R, a zombie still in early stages of decay lives with a community of the Dead in an abandoned airport. Slowly losing himself, and the remembrance of his name, he calls himself 'R'. R is different from other Zombies due to his distaste for human flesh, and his ability to still form four, coherent syllables in one breath. 
The world has been overtaken by wars, disasters, and now a zombie plague, leaving minimal survivors who live together in a blocked off Stadium. 
R leads a pack to go hunting after experiencing  a feeding frenzy, and finds a group of young survivors scavenging for supplies in the nearby towns, and R attacks and feeds on the brains of one of the young men named, 'Perry'. Feeding on his brains allows him to experience Perry's memories, and reveals that Perry's girlfriend fights the zombies in the same room, and decides to save her by hiding her with his bloody scent. For the next week, R hides Julie in his home, which is a broken down plane, and they get to know each other better as R shows her his treasures (A record player, and all his vinyl records) and Julie reveals more about her life. R continues to hide and eat Perry's brains, gaining more memories of Julie through Perry's relationship with her, and soon grows feelings for Julie. 
After Julie tries to escape one morning, and nearly being killed by R's best friend, M, and his pack, Boneys arrive to take Julie but M and R save her by getting away in R's car. 
Finding shelter in a nearby house as a heavy rain storm forces them inside, but Julie escapes and leaves R to return walking back to his home at the Airport, but feels cold for the first time by the rain since he "died". On his way back home, he stumbles across M and a group of zombies following behind. They have begun to experience things like dreams, old memories, and glimpses of their past. R recruits them to go and find Julie, and to get inside the Stadium. 
R impersonates a living person and follows Julie's scent to her home, and reunites with her. What Julie and R have between them has infected many others, causing them to change and accept that zombies are beginning to come back to life. After R accidentally kills a soldier after getting drunk who attacked him, he and Julie and others run from the humans, and the Boneys attack the humans. As Julie and R watch the battle between the Boneys and the Living and the assisting zombies, Julie has an epiphany: The plague started because the human race crushed itself beneath the weight of its sins until it released a dark force that changed the humans so that everyone could see their evil. Julie and R do the only thing they can think of: They kiss. The strength of their love cures R of the plague completely, and all the other zombies who see this their eyes turn gold and are cured alongside R. The Boneys retreat, and the Living accept the reviving dead and give them a chance, and assimilate them back into their society. 

Ranty Bits: 
The book and movie have different changes and some things are taken out that were in the books, but would not make sense or appear proper in a movie - and surprisingly I was okay with that. While both different, they both have this amazing story to tell and they do it well for both of their styles. The book was able to really get into the mind of R, and how he was living in a world that was literally sucking the life out of him. A slave to his need to flesh, and not having any hope anymore. 
In the movie, you see the relationship between R and Julie better because of the chemistry that they have. Parts of R's life has been taken out of the movie, and I think that was probably for the best because in the book I just thought - 'Wait...did those two zombies try to make out and arE THEY TRYING TO HAVE CHILDREN?!' - and I just opted out real quick of that chapter. 
In the book though, you do see more of R's friend, M. While in the movie, he is used more as the comedic character that eases the tension of the rest of the movie and is the only other funny character besides Julie and R, and maybe Julie's best friend Nora. 
Also, R wears a suit in the book while R in the movie wears a casual red hoodie and blue jeans (Like a teenager) but all in all, these alterations were good decisions and didn't take away from either the book OR the movie. It worked nicely, and I was so happy with it as two different versions of Warm Bodies. 

Characters:

R - R is an amazing character. He is quite the same in both book and movie except what he wears. He is funny, awkward, and very loyal to those around him. He was actually one of the very few male protagonists that I REALLY enjoyed reading from the perspective of and it was interesting to go into the mind of a male character. I'm very used to reading from a female's perspective and I tear those apart because I know for a fact that I don't think about love triangles and crushing the oppressive government on a 24/7 basis. (My heart ached for Katniss, because she truly understood me and my love for food) I really felt for R, and all the times things were going wrong I just wanted to wrap him in a blanket and tell him it'd be okay, and not to listen to all the bullies who called him a mindless zombie. He is just so adorable, and yet so dangerous too, but like a dangerous teddy-bear!

Julie - I will say, I kind of preferred Julie in the book, but that's just because we got to see more of her as a character individually instead of in the movie where she is more of R's love interest and anything she does is either to look badass or as a romantic interest to R. That doesn't take away from the fact that Julie is an awesome character too. You could really tell that she was struggling with the fact that R was a zombie, but also curious as to why he was different than the rest. She thought about others, about the world they were living in, and she was realistic as a character, which is always a joy to read when you're not having to tsk or roll your eyes at everything that they do. 

M - Let's be honest, he is the arrogant, sarcastically joking, loveable but you want to punch him in the head too, sidekick to R. There's nothing wrong with that, maybe books and series do that because you want someone else to relate to and love BESIDES the main character, and it works with M in Warm Bodies. M in the movie got the biggest laughs out of me, and M in the book made me just think, 'Wow...R. You have the greatest best friend ever, I'm just saying. BROTP for life' 

Nora - I loved her more in the movie than I did in the book, surprisingly. She was played by Analeigh Tipton so I can't complain (She was my favourite in Cycle 11 of America's Next Top Model, but she only came in third place. I'M STILL AGGRESSIVE ABOUT THIS ISSUE SO LET'S MOVE ON BECAUSE I DESTROY SOMETHING I LOVE DEARLY) 

Perry - Perry was a jerk, let's be honest here. He is written as this guy who is simply looking for approval and was beginning to abandon hope in the world, losing more and more of himself as he aimed towards becoming a soldier and eventually hitting that wall of pessimistic and apathetic approach to life and Julie. Dave Franco surprisingly (But not really THAT surprisingly, just look at his eyebrows) made me really care for Perry's character, unlike in the book where I was glad that he died earlier on in the series because Julie and him fought all the time and she compared him to her father. 

Grigio - Oh my gosh he should be on a top list of good characters gone pyscho bad and practically villainous. He is Julie's father, and lost his wife and everything else in his life, thus resorting to alcohol and brutal pragmatism. Like Perry, he has lost all hope in the world and just trains soldiers to kill the dead because there is nothing left in the world to do but kill and survive. You feel bad for him, but at the same time you can tell he does it to himself and so you kind of wish for him to just go already because he makes life hard on everybody else and causes the biggest dramas in the book/movie. That's a sign of a well written character! 

Things I liked:
  • All the characters - They are absolutely superb in how they are written and by the actors they are portrayed by. I love it all!
  • How Warm Bodies is based on Romeo and Juliet (Don't hate me because his name is R and her name is Julie) 
  • The detail given to everything. The Boneys, the Stadium, the Airport. I could honestly vividly imagine it and that's because Isaac Marion knows how to describe and place everything without listing them off and becoming boring. 
  • The relationship and chemistry between R and Julie. 
  • How the death and zombie attack scenes were written. My gosh, I love gore when done properly! 
  • THE COOOOVVVVER *FROTHES AT MOUTH*
  • The way R's transformation was slow, progressive, and gradual. It wasn't this, 'OH HEY! I'm not a zombie anymore. Want to date?' kind of transformation. 
  • All the casting for the movie (Yassss Dave Franco and Nicholas Hoult and Analeigh Tipton Yassssss)
  • The length. It is a great length, and it didn't drag on which I always appreciate when an author knows when it's time to end it perfectly, instead of draining it for every cent it can make. 
  • The soundtrack! Gosh, it's on my Spotify playlist of Movie Scores. It's so, eerily but light hearted at the same time?
  • So. Many. Quotes. I had SUCH a hard time picking my favourites and in the end I'd just write the entire book down in my favourite quotes book. 
  • The movie poster! HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?! the puuuuunnnns on all of the movie covers!

Things I didn't like: (Not a huge list, but there's always room for correction)
  • The cheesy, 'Let's fall to our deaths while kissing and you get shot but in reality you're alive and okay and it's totally cliche romance' ending. I can see what they were trying to do, but I still kind of cringed at the clicheness.
  • Dave Franco died and wasn't in the movie as much as I'd like him to be in it for his glorious eyebrow game. 
  • The fact that they changed R from wearing a suit to a teeny red hoodie and jeans..but I can understand why, it'd stand out like a sore thumb (But Nicholas Hoult in a suit? Yum) 
  • That Romeo and Juliet scene on the balcony..I get it already, okay? I get it.  

Rate and Final Thoughts:
This book (AND MOVIE) is amazing, and while it might not be a spectacular cinematic 10/10, it leaves you feeling warm and alive and isn't that what entertainment is for? To help us feel a little more alive than when we were before?
I rate Warm Bodies a 7 out of 10, and the movie a strong 6 out of 10. 
(You might think it would be higher, but let's be real here, I love this because it's zombie, and not because it might be the best or worst novel/book out there. It's my personal opinion and sometimes I love something but know that it's not absolutely amazing. You can still love something and have it be a 5/10 if you know it's crappy) 
Love,
Ash
[I honestly couldn't pick my favourite quote, so I just put all of my favourite ones in here, but some STILL didn't make it. Be happy this post is not entirely just my favourite quotes!]
“I want to change my punctuation. I long for exclamation marks, but I'm drowning in ellipses.” 
― Isaac MarionWarm Bodies

“In my mind I am eloquent; I can climb intricate scaffolds of words to reach the highest cathedral ceilings and paint my thoughts. But when I open my mouth, everything collapses.” 
― Isaac MarionWarm Bodies

“What's wrong with people?" she says, almost too quiet for me to hear. "Were they born with parts missing or did it fall out somewhere along the way?” 
― Isaac MarionWarm Bodies

“But I'm not afraid of the skeletons in Julie's closet. I look forward to meeting the rest of them, looking them hard in the eye, giving them firm, bone-crunching handshakes.” 
― Isaac MarionWarm Bodies

“What wonderful thing didn't start out scary?” 
― Isaac MarionWarm Bodies

“Once again the absurdity of my inner thoughts overwhelms me, and I want to crawl out of my skin, escape my ugly, awkward flesh and be a skeleton, naked and anonymous.” 
― Isaac MarionWarm Bodies



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<![CDATA[Reactions of Being a Bookworm - Bad Movie Adaptions]]>Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:16:24 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/reactions-of-being-a-bookworm-bad-movie-adaptionsHey!
Once again, I return with a full list of gifs and reactions as a bookworm to Movie Adaptions of books. Whether good or bad, we always remember the moment when one of our favourite books announced they were getting a movie - and the fear that followed if they stuffed it up. 
Enjoy! :)

When there is talk that your favourite book might get a book adaption and it's being talked. 
When your favourite book gets the announcement of a movie adaption
When they announce that casting will finish and be announced soon
When they cast someone handsomely attractive, giving you hope for a hot and talented protagonist
But then they cast the protagonist as someone you didn't want it to be, but that's okay, right?
When the casting gets worse and worse...
When they take out your favourite character
When the movie poster comes out and it is everything you never wanted it to be (Dramatically posing with one of the love interests draping their hand damsel-in-distressedly on the hero's chest and explosions, explosions everywhere. THIS MOVIE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE EXPLOSIONS)
When the trailer comes out and you watch it with your best friend and you can't help but gag a little bit and shriek from disappointment but they try to keep you positive. "It can't be that bad, right?"
When the Director clearly has NO CLUE what they are doing. Names are changed, or not pronounced properly, places look completely off, and it's a hot mess. 
When the Directo changes and adjusts so many things it doesn't even look like the original book anymore.
As you sit down in the cinema, your friend excited and you fidgeting and aching in your heart because you know there is no hope, but yet you do hope for it to be good.
Everybody is fangirling as it begins and you're sitting there, thinking everyone is on crazy pills because it is so bad. 
Every time there is a mistake, you just silently stare at your friend and point it out
When the movie has a direct quote from the book, but changes one or two words
When your friend keeps guessing what is going to happen or what's happening right now and how awesome it is.
It gets worse and worse by the minute. Dialogue is all wrong, scenes do not look like anything in the book. 
It's just so bad; The love interests have no chemistry, there is too much pouting and posing, the music is all over the place (Random Pop songs all throughout it that has been over used way too much, like Radioactive by Imagine Dragons) 
The movie is finished and you feel like you've just gone to war and watched your best friend massacred in front of you. You can't breathe, you can't stop just sitting there and staring into deep space and thinking of how butchered your favourite book has become. 
You try to forget it, move on with your life, and continue reading the book, but now fangirls are popping all out of the blue saying that they are it's biggest fan - and yet when you talk about the book, they've never heard of it. 
When someone says that the movie is SO much better than the book
And now, whenever people mention it, you just storm home and try to hide away from the ignorance until it dies down. 
Until the fateful day that your friend reads the book, and messages you late at night to tell you that she was completely wrong and that the book is x1000 better.
But all in all, if it brings more people to reading the book and realising that the movie is a pile of dog poo, then haven't we all won in some small magnificent way?
Love,
Ash
[I will never forgive the Percy Jackson movies. Never in this lifetime, or the next.]
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<![CDATA[Top Ten Tuesday - Bookish Pet Peeves]]>Tue, 03 Feb 2015 10:47:23 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/top-ten-tuesday-bookish-pet-peevesPicture
Hey there!
Another Top Ten Tuesday for you :)
As following with the trend, I haven't been able to quite get into the chosen topics from The Broke & The Bookish these past couple of Tuesdays, so I go back through their history and find a topic that I find more interesting and appealing to me, so that's why today it shall be-
Here's  My Top  Ten Bookish Pet Peeves </3


Book Pet Peeves: We all have them, and granted, some more than others. I'm known to be pretty whiney when it comes to my books. While others might not worry about a little stain on their book after lending it to someone, I will stare only at the spot now after receiving it back. Each one of us has different pet peeves, but some are simply universal. 
These are the type of pet peeves that make you turn into Thrandruil with all his sass eye. 
 1.  Flower Language/Too much detail
I get it. The tree is a shade of envy of the men who lust upon things with their eyes. It has precisely 145 leaves, and the wind blows it at a north east directi- I DON'T CARE. Okay? Tell me that your character is in the woods, and I WILL imagine the trees for myself. Nobody needs 500 pages of description about something that doesn't even relate to the main plot. Keep it descriptive, but not so descriptive that I end up skimming and skipping pages until it is over. 
 
-

2. Movie Covers on Books
This has been a bit problem for me. It's so irritating to know that the book has a beautifully designed cover that illustrates the novel amazingly, but when they decide to go with the movie cover which has the actors faces on it and is so cliche, it just sends an irritable twitch all over my body. Granted, there are always exceptions to the rule, I particularly like the Charlie St Cloud book cover with Zefron's face on it. That's never a downer!

-

3. Creased book binding from overstretching
This is so significant. A damaged spine from over stretching the book leaves such a mark. It can never go away! Once the damage is done, it's permanent. It can honestly decrease the value and look of a book by around, 70-80% for me. 

-

4. UGLY BOOK COVERS
NO! THIS WILL NEVER BE OKAY, OKAY? You have a job as a writer to work so that your book looks as amazing and captivating and mesmerising as it can be! So when you make the book cover look horrendous, you need to ask yourself if that's really a book you'd be willing to read and stroke the cover and hold it close to your chest. If not, go and evaluate your book again and the cover and what kind of impression you're willing to give. 

-
 
5. Book blurbs that don't give ANYTHING away so you have to end up searching for it on Goodreads
"She was the only one who could save the world." 
HOW? HOW IS SHE THE ONLY ONE? What world! Blurbs need to be engaging but also revealing a bit about the plot so that I'll be interested in reading your book. If it just gives one line, I have no idea what I'm going to be reading and am just going to make assumptions about your book from the cover and this one sentence paragraph. 

-

6. An ending that doesn't wrap up everything nicely and neatly
I understand if you're expecting to write a sequel or continue a longer series, but no one likes it when each book ends with this massive cliff-hanger and doesn't tie all the loose ends. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling is the best example of a book that, while a series, ties up the endings nicely and doesn't make you feel like you've been gypped for the past couple of hours of reading. I want everything to be neatly tucked, kept, and with no plot holes. 

-

7. Unrelatable and whiny protagonists.
It's hard to connect to a book if you can't even connect to the protagonist. Sure, perhaps the story makes it so that the protagonist IS one of those moody characters, but if you can stay away from negative or whiney heroes/heroines, it's honestly for the best! 

-

8. Editing the book for your own purposes; Dog-earrings, writing in the margins, underlining, ANY OF IT. 
No. Don't do it. You're ruining it for everybody else if you are to get rid of the book or donate it. You're ruining it!


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9. WHEN THE STORES PUT STICKERS ON THE BOOK AND IT RUINS EVERYTHING
DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE BOUGHT A BOOK AND THEY'VE STUCK A STICKER RIGHT ON THE TITLE OR ON THE CHARACTER OR ON THE BLURB OR RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FRONT COVER?!?!
TOO MANY TIMES THAT IS ACCEPTABLE. 
NEVER DO THIS. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR STICKERS ARE STICKY AS AND I CAN'T RUB THEM OFF WITH MY THUMB!!

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10. Love Triangles.
The only triangles I want to be imaging is the triangular shape of the SINGULAR LOVE INTEREST'S BACK MUSCLES. Nothing else! No pining for more than half a book for either love interest, and no 'Will-They-or-Won't-Theys'. I can't deal with it anymore. 

And that's all for this Tuesday! There are so many bookish pet peeves but to simplify it down to the biggest one: Someone who is proud to not read! The worst of them all. 
Love,
Ash
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<![CDATA[Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy]]>Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:25:32 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-the-road-by-cormac-mccarthyPicture
Hey!
Yes, it is that time again for YET ANOTHER review of a Post-Apocalyptic book *I won't tell you I'm sorry because I'm not* I did say that I was on an apocalyptic genre binge right now, and that's definitely where we'll be heading today. 
Here's the Blurby-Blurb!

"A searing, post apocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other."

Just so there are no disappointments or broken expectations (Like mine for this book) This book was all of what I was not hoping for. But let's jump into it before spoilers are spoiled in just the few opening paragraphs! 


- Warning! Do not go beyond this point if you are prone to become aggressive when in contact with SPOILERS. Stop, turn around and walk away until you find a copy of The Road, read it, THEN come back and the spoilers will magically no more!-


I stumbled across The Road when I decided at the start of this year that I wanted to go through Dymock's 101 club list for 2014. I knew about the book, and that it was actually made into a movie a few years ago with Virgo Mortensen, but one that I never actually saw. It was then decided that before I went to watch the movie, I'd read the book beforehand and see what I thought of it. For a (This is coming from me) somewhat cheap price of $20, I bought The Road from Dymocks and it spent a little while on my bookshelf (I was still reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the time) before, huzzah, I sat down to read it!
Then, it took even longer to actually FINISH because I kept getting distracted, agitated (Yes, agitated. I'll get to that in a minute), and even bored. To say that I came into this book with high expectations for a brilliantly written apocalyptic novel about the human struggles of living in a desolate world and having everything that you know to be flipped on its head would be to slightly play it down. I had ENORMOUS expectations. Mount Everest level expectations. And so in I went to read.

Cover & Blurb:
It's an interesting cover, and one that actually feels really peculiar when you pick it up. Each bullet hole or rusting on the letters are bumpy and indents on the page. The colours are nicely contrasted by each other, but what I cannot fathom is the fact that they make the review on the cover have more space than the author's name or the title of the book. I can't fathom why you'd even put a review on the front page where the title and author's name should be! 
When I showed a friend of mine the book that I just bought, he said it was cool and then hesitated before asking, 'So...what's it called? Whose the author? I can't tell...' 
If your books make people double look for a name or the actual title, then you really need to reconsider what you're putting on the cover and how to make it more easily seen and cleaner. This isn't Preschool anymore, you can't just sloppily write your name across your work and expect other people to be able to read it. 
It's probably one of those covers that aren't in my favourites list, but just narrowly scrapped by from getting into the Greatly Dislike list. 
The blurb is what REALLY pulled me in and caught my attention, and it make me make a decision about reading it. Who doesn't like the idea of two main characters that you'll probably fall in love with, trying to survive in a world where groups band together to scavenge and probably kill/eat other people? IT'S GENIUS!
[4 out of 10 for me on the cover] 

Plot Summary:
An unnamed Father and son journey across a wasteland after an apocalyptic even left the world covered in ash, killing all animals and destroying all plant life.
Other survivors in the dire circumstances thrown upon them have resorted to cannibalism and of banding into groups, hoping to take provisions wherever found or off lone people. The Father and son travel alone, looking for shelter in the oncoming winter and carry their only possessions filled in a trolley, as they walk towards their goal of reaching the sea. Slowly over the course of the novel, it is revealed that the Father is suffering from sickness and is dying, but continues to press on. 
The Father's wife is revealed to have committed suicide after giving birth to the son at the time of the oncoming disaster. After they reach the sea, the Father is shot by an arrow from another survivor, and dies. After three days, the boy encounters a man who has a wife and two children who tell him that they are the 'Good Guys', and takes him under their protection. 

Ranty Bits:
It's so hard to put my finger on why I can't stand this novel. Is it because it's written in third person and there is little to no punctuation? And yes, perhaps that's because it's meant to symbolise the fact that society has crumbled and literally everything has gone awol, but the fact that I got confused with who was talking, what something meant, or what the heck was happening is the reason why punctuation was created. To help clarify language. 
oh...that grammar. 
Or maybe it's for the fact that their conversations were basically repeating themselves but with only a slight adjustment. Critics rave about how the relationship between the Father and his son was so raw and strong, but all I could see what a Father doing his job as a protector and provider, and maybe had a few interactions with the son. I neither felt a connection to them, nor did I really fall in love with the connection the family members had. To me, it was boring. The whole thing was just boring. I was not scared to my wits end, on the edge of my seat, craving to read each chapter as the end drew closer. In reality, I would get bored with what I was reading and my eyes would start skimming over sentences, then certain paragraphs. When I noticed that happening, I'd put the book down and go and write something, or read something else because getting through The Road was a real chore to get through. 
But the real thought is why? In all honesty, this has been praised as possibly the best Post-Apocalyptic novel in the past 25 years by some. I'm a huge enthusiast when it comes to this genre, so why did The Road not crack it for me when to other people it was like a holy grail amidst the wasteland of boring and cliche written novels in this genre. 
It didn't leave a lasting impact on me, it didn't make me think about it the rest of the week or however long it's been now. For me, it was just there. Like the ash underneath their feet. 

Characters:

Father - The book is written in third person through the father's perspective, which gives us the better view of how things are actually going instead of the view that his son has. The father knows he is dying, he knows that they won't last the winter without shelter, and he knows he can't leave his son by himself in a world where people are eating their own children. I liked the father as much as I could with how I already felt about this book. He was determined, hopeful for his son, but he had flaws (Like when he'd snap at his son. It's natural, we all break differently) which made him seem a lot more human. Despite what he went through, he really persevered as a character in a world threatening to break him, and that's what I liked. His death at the end didn't seem rushed, or sudden, or even bad, it was just there. 

Son - He reminds me a lot of Carl from The Walking Dead (Pretty much everything reminds me of TWD) but younger, and not able to change as much as Carl did throughout. He was a driving force for the Father, and it's understandable. I didn't really feel for the boy, but nor did I hate him or want him gone. He was a neutral character for me. 

The Old Man - I thought he was hilariously sad. 

Things I liked:
  • The details of the post-apocalyptic world. It was very vivid and really helped imaginary what kind of things they were going through. 
  • The relationship between the father and son. It was better than most novels that contain siblings or family members together. 
  • The blurb! <3
  • The length. It wasn't too long that it got stale quick, but it wasn't a short read that felt over because it was really over. 
  • The scene about the cannibals. It honestly sent shivers down my spine at the very thought and the way Cormac McCarthy described it. 


Things I didn't like:
  • The grammar! THE PUNCTATION! It didn't help put me into the story, it took me out of it. 
  • Some of the dialogue between the father and son. It felt kind of...I'm not sure what the right word for it is, but it felt basic. Not too much, not too little, and not enough to make an impact. 
  • The cover. Ugh.
  • Talking so much about scavenging. Yes, it is a very large part of the post-apocalyptic genre and that's because it's a necessity, but you have to break it up and dilute it sometimes because when it keeps recurring, you become numb to it and it becomes boring. 
  • Sometimes the third person aspect really confused me, and I was left trying to figure out who was talking and what about. 

Rating and Final Thoughts: 
In overall, I really did not care for this book. Sure, it had it's goods and bads, but if I were to place this book in my bookshelf, it'd be on the shelf filled with books that if I didn't have enough space anymore I'd donate it or give it to another bookworm friend. It didn't stand out to me as anything amazing or shocking or heartwarming, but it didn't make me shirk from anger. It just didn't move me. It was not bad and not good.
I'm rating The Road a 4.5 out of 10, and giving it a pat on the back for trying with me. 
Love,
Ash
[Favourite Quote]
“You have to carry the fire.
I don't know how to.
Yes, you do.
Is the fire real? The fire?
Yes it is.
Where is it? I don't know where it is.
Yes you do. It's inside you. It always was there. I can see it.” 
― Cormac McCarthyThe Road
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<![CDATA[Top Ten Tuesday - Most Dislikable Characters]]>Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:09:03 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/top-ten-tuesday-most-dislikable-charactersPicture
Hey there!
Another Top Ten Tuesday for you, one that has come a bit later than usual. I've recently gotten my hands on a game called, 'Diablo 3' and it is kind of life-consuming and soul stealing. 
Today's topic is one that I am excited to discuss - 
Most Dislikable Characters. 
What defines a dislikable character? Perhaps it's their inability to make a decision, a passive and whiny attitude while the rest of the other characters around them persevere, or perhaps it's that regardless of what they do, they were made to be irritating. 
Here's my Top Ten Dislikable Characters <3


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1. Bella Swan/Cullen from the Twilight Saga.

While I have not read the entirety of the Twilight Saga (and will not be, so don't bother asking) I could not STAND Bella. Yes, I get that she is meant to be the protagonist that is thrown into the midst of this crazy love story and Vampires and all that fun jazz, but never has someone made it so boring like Bella. 
She's flat, an open character so that whoever reads will self-insert themselves into her place as the heroine with a love triangle with two hunks, and doesn't really do anything. Anytime people mention her name, it's guaranteed that I will let out a, 'Ugh' with an eye roll and pulling out a list of all the reasons why I can't stand her and the fact that she was on Role Model lists for the years that Twilight was popular. 

Ugh. Bella.  



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2. Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye.
(Picture from Madlibbs on Deviantart. Go check him out!)

OH holden. That was my frequently used quote the entire time I read this book. Mara and I disagree on Holden (Which is fabulous that two people can interpret and love/hate a character so differently)
She related to Holden, while the whole time I thought Holden was a negative, prideful adolescent who is suffering from Special Snowflake Syndrome.
He reminded me of all the teenagers that I knew that wore the fact that they were dysfunctional and "deep'" in their philosophies in life as a badge of honour. It was a tough read for me because of my superb dislike in Holden, but that's his beauty. You either love him and relate to him, or want to grab him by the scruff and shake him violently. 


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3. Teresa Agnes from The Maze Runner Series.
*Grits teeth and tries not to violently bash the keys on my keyboard* Teresa is one of those characters that you just want to ask - 
'Why?'
'Why do you do the things that you do?'
'Why do you even exist?'
'Why are you still even here?'
-
Never before have I genuinely despised a love interest character to the main protagonist before. Every single time she spoke, explained something, or did generally anything, I honestly couldn't stand it and wanted her bit to be over before it even began. The whole Maze Runner series plays her off as this boring, bland, only used as a plot device character and then at the end she is used even further as a plot device and is then thrown aside. It's infuriating!


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4. Tris 'Beatrice' Prior from The Divergent Series.

Tris is a back-and-forth indecisive prat. Sure, they try to play her off as this hero but it's such a Mary-Sue trope! 
She goes from being a quiet, small, shy, and unknowing character to supposedly this bad ass who can fight, shoot a gun, start and lead a rebellion, AND manage to get the hot guy in the end *No spoilers here but I'm glad with what Veronica Roth did*
No! No! That does not happen, and it turns this character into this supposed Femme Fatale that is just as bad as having a vapid female character. By making her too 'perfect', she became this irritating character that I couldn't stand. Even her monologues made me roll my eyes a couple of times and put down the book for a few moments to push my need to rant down. 


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5. Caroline Bingley from The Pride and Prejudice.

You all know those conniving sisters that you are sure is trying to make your life miserable?
That's Caroline Bingley. Every single rendition of her I cannot stand (Which says a lot about how the actresses play Caroline, but also how she is written) and her incessant need to prove to Darcy that she is the much better choice between her and Elizabeth. 
Darl', we all know that you ain't. 
*Snaps in a Z formation*


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6 And 7. Clary Fray and Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments Series.

Somehow having an arrogant and overly sarcastic male love interest and a 'It's actually all about me' female protagonist seemed like the perfect idea in The Mortal Instruments series. I couldn't wrap my head around why ANYBODY would find Jace attractive with his broody, 'I'm a book that can't be read' and then the next minute trying to eat off Clary's face due to their immense passion. 
Get over yourselves. 
Clary on the other hand has also a case of Special Snowflake Syndrome and it's always about her or at least she is in the middle of every major drama that occurs in this series.  The only way I got through this series was because I was desperate to do something during a time when I was severely sick for weeks. The only way. 


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8. Jack Merridew from Lord of the Flies.

All I can say is that if this kid was real, I would probably tackle him to the ground and throttle him. No mercy. 
The entire time in Lord of the Flies, this little punk here is that type of kid that you just KNOW is waiting for a moment like this to release his inner demons and destroy everything in sight. His pinnacle moment reaches when he kills the Pigs, and we all know what happens there...
Jack. Is. A. Pyschopath. 


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9. Wells Jaha from The 100 Series.

I can't. I actually can't write about how much Wells irks me. My blood pressure will soar and I will have to watch multiple videos of kittens and puppies playing just to relax again. Don't mention Wells again *Eye Twitches*


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10.  Dolores Umbridge from The Harry Potter Series.

And last but definitely not least, Dolores. She was the villain we all despised and wish would just cark it the entire time. There is something so inherently evil about her that just the name can make people cringe and send tingles down the spine. She is a true masterpiece of unlike-ability and I don't think anybody could disprove that. 


And that's my top ten list for dislikable characters! I found that this list couldn't cover absolutely every character that I despise and dislike (The Governor from The Walking Dead, Dr Caldwell from The Girl with all the Gifts, Ed Slaterton from Why We Broke Up, to just name a few) but I feel like this list is pretty comprehensive with the few that I'll start ranting nonstop about if brought into conversation. Thanks for reading!
Love,
Ash
[Question: Who is your MOST HATED character ever? Let me know!]
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<![CDATA[Top Ten Tuesday - Favourite Book Covers]]>Wed, 21 Jan 2015 04:50:02 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/top-ten-tuesday-favourite-book-coversPicture
Hey!
Another Top Ten Tuesday for you! Since The Broke & The Bookish do a Freebie Tuesday, I went ahead and took a Top Ten List from a past Tuesday of theirs (Since I have nothing to give for free...except my poor wit and sass). 
The topic today thus shall be: Favourite Book Covers 
[Bonus favourite Collector's Editions at the bottom!]


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1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

This book. This book. It just does things to me. Unfortunately, in my haste to just buy this book and get Mara off my back about reading The Book Thief and why  I hadn't read it yet and when I was going to read it, I bought a cover that I didn't really like.
It was symbolic, yes, but when I saw THIS cover, I wanted to eat the pages out of my original Book Thief book and go out and buy this one. It's...*joyous sigh*.


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2. Between by Jessica Warman

This book is currently on my To-Be-Read Shelf, which is hinting at me that I need to hurry up and start going through them before I buy a whole stack of books *Sideways glance and shoves boxes of books away from view with my foot* 

Usually not being a fan of having dramatic girls on the covers or just generally people on the covers posing, I surprisingly like this one. Even the font of the title is beautiful and so mysterious and intriguing. It's a large part of actually why I bought the book from the thrift store, besides that it has a really provoking blurb! 


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3. Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

My brother had the original covers, the ones that cost heaps now. He was the sibling that was the first one introduced to Harry Potter, and it hasn't been until recently that I finally went out, bought the ENTIRE matching set in one transaction, and have begun reading 
[I am currently reading Half-Blood Prince!] 
But this cover set just grabbed me and forcefully shook me for my money because the spines combined create a portrait of Hogwarts. I'm a sucker for details like that. A SUCKER, I TELLS YA. 


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4. The Infinite Tides by Christian Kiefer

This is an interesting one, and one that I'm not sure why I added in the first place. Maybe it's because a Astronaut is sitting on a couch but the carpet looks like the moon's surface and there are stars on the wall and for some reason that title just screams at me as, 'HURRY UP AND READ ME YOU WIMP! I'M ALL ABOUT SPACE AND STUFF. AWWYISS!
I also really like the colour blue. It's my favourite.

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5. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Ever since I saw this cover on Dymocks in the YA section, I was so interested but never picked it up [The poorness is strong with this one] 
but recently someone, in their excitement, blabbed to me about how amazing it was and that it was shocking that I hadn't even bothered to read it yet. Even more, I didn't know it was a trilogy! 
The entire series has a beautiful cover scheme going on of the female protagonist on the cover always in water, and I love repetition and things match. 



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6. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler & Maira Kalman

*Deep inhale* this book. So so good. It's velvety red, it's cold and unforgiving black. It sits in my bookcase just looking adoringly at me even though the book is so much more about first impressions. There's even an umbrella on the spine *Giggles madly* ish so pretty. 


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7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

I've had this book for ages, and finished the trilogy years ago, but it always resonates with me whenever people ask me for recommendations on trilogies. I particularly love THIS SET of covers, as opposed to the other one because when you angle it towards the light, hidden words will flash on the cover (If you can see it in this picture) and it just connects with the books plot so well. 
I also really like red. It's my second favourite colour. 


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8. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

I have no idea what this book is about, it sits on my shelf and I keep putting off reading it, but the reason why I grabbed it and possibly shoved someone out of the way from doing it, is because the cover is so haunting. The little girl's ghost-like dress, the blackness, the sparkles, whAT DOES IT MEAN?!


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9. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

I have the whole set. It's so pretty. Oh ma gosh it's so pretty. The black matches the blackness in my soul 
<3


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10. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies is such a fantastic read, and completely and utterly different from the book (Which is an okay thing!) 
There are two covers, and I love both of them, but this one with the white contrasting with the red 'brain stem' is so morbidly beautiful. 

I can do without the Stephanie Meyer review though, I really could. 


And that's all! Let me know what your favourite book covers are and why, I'd love to see why :) 
Love,
Ash

Collector's Editions [Bonus]

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury ~

*Cries buckets and buckets* It's so beautiful and artistic and so in line with the story and the fact that the spine is the match box and...*Crawls into the corner and holds self while crying and repeating It's so beautiful* 


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Lord of The Flies by William Golding ~

I thought I had gotten a really amazing cover, but I stumbled across this one on my Pinterest and my mouth actually dropped open. While some people might struggle with reading what the actual title and author's name is, I love how chaotic and yet serene it is. 
And that's what the book is all about. 


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~ F. Scott Fitzgerald's Greatest ~


I saw this on one of the bookstagram accounts that I follow and I couldn't breathe. It's so pretty, and yet I've only read one of Fitzgerald's books and that was only a couple of pages, not even the entire thing...






But it's so pretty *Squishes cheeks*


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<![CDATA[Review: The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey]]>Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:31:37 GMThttp://thebooknooks.weebly.com/ashs-alcove/review-the-girl-with-all-the-giftsPicture
Hey!
Here again with a thrilling thriller of an apocalyptic novel *Begins to froth at mouth* I love Apocalyptic novels...
Here's the jaw-breaking Blurby-Blurb!

"Not every gift is a blessing...

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.

When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

The Girl With All the Gifts
 is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end."



I am flipping out type of excited to review this book, so let's jump straight into it with teeth bare and nails tearing apart the good and the bad!




 *There will be spoiler upon spoiler and spoilers on the side. If you HAVE NOT read this book and would like to know more about it, check out its rating on the 'Ratings and Index' page, go out and get the book, read it, THEN come back and rant with me! :)*

Zombie Apocalypses only promises you one thing, and that one thing only. 
Death. Perhaps, 'Only Death is Promised' should be a better tag line for Post-Apocalyptic Zombie novels. 
I'm been on a bit of a binge with this genre because, I myself, am writing one. It gives me a lot of different ideas, ways of writing, and helps me to understand why these characters mean more to me than others and how I can replicate that in my novel. 
The Girl (Is what I will call it because if I have to write out the entire title each time, I will lose the finger power to write a long and ranty post) has been on my To-Read List for a looooonnnng time now. It was the next book on my Book Depository Wishlist to buy, but just as luck would have it, I found it at the op shop for $3! *Throws all the bargains into the air while I laugh maniacally*
I'm not sure just how I stumbled upon it, but it's been on my Wishlist for far too long. I'm like that - I'll have a 100+ wishlist, but will stumble across other books for cheaper and ones that I haven't researched at all, and buy that instead, continuing the cycle of a bigger wishlist and more stumbling onto random books that are mediocre. 

Cover & Blurb:
It freaks me out. Normally I'm adversed to having people on covers of books, but I think it works for The Girl just because of how creepy it/she is. It reminds me a lot of the Little Girl Walker in The Walking Dead. First impressions last, and that's why I grabbed this book as soon as it reminded me of TWD.
On the inside of the cover is all the recommendations and fantastic rave reviews about it. I thought that was a really smart idea, and I liked it. Some books plaster all their reviews on the front of the cover and it spoils it. It just makes it more about, 'HEY! COME AND SEE WHAT ALL THESE PEOPLE SAID ABOUT THIS BOOK!' instead of just naturally drawing me to it because it has a beautiful cover, intriguing title, and a Blurby-Blurb that makes me justify opening to the first page and seeing what all the fuss is about. 
(I'd rate it a 8.5 out of 10 for Covers and Blurbs)

Plot Summary:
Melanie is a 10 year old who lives on a Military Base with other children. Each day they go to school, wheeled in and muzzled by Soldiers who aim their guns at their heads. 

Justineau is Melanie's teacher, who she loves and adores with every part of her. She longs to hug her, and to feel that warmth of touch. 

Justineu knows that Melanie is a hungry, one of the flesh-eaters who they've built the walls up to protect themselves from, but Melanie is different. With an IQ of a genius, Melanie is the prodigy of the class.


When the walls go down from a surprise attack of Junkers, those who have decided to blend in with the Hungries instead of barricading themselves away from them, Melanie and Justineu find themselves on the run with two soldiers, Parks and Gallagher, and one of the last remaining scientists from the Base, named Caldwell. 


As Justineu deals with her motherly feelings towards Melanie, she must also cope with the fact that when Melanie catches the scent of her sweat, she turns into a hungry monster. Melanie deals with learning that she is a hungry, and learning why is she different. 

Uncontrolled Ranty Bits:
The Girl is such a peculiar take on the Zombie world and what might happen at the end of the apocalypse. A large amount of zombie novels generally follow the same story, same plot, and don't really stand out from the crowd. The Girl takes the idea of zombies and turns them into these empathetic characters that you want to hug like Justineu but you can't cos you'll probably get eaten, and that's what I absolutely adored about it.


Characters:

Melanie: I adored her from the absolute start. She's a genius, compassionate, and is so sweet. I am so glad with how things played out for Melanie, and though it may not have ended the way she wanted it to, it was so fantastic. 

Caldwell: Ya need to just stahp. STAHP. YOU'RE AN AWFUL PERSON, BUT KIND OF GOOD IN A WAY, BUT STILL...
Parks: I despised him at the start, but he grew on me. He kind of reminded me of Master Chief from Halo.

Justineau: I LOVE YOU. YOU'RE ADORABLE. I AM SO SORRY FOR THE PAIN THAT THE AUTHOR PUT YOU THROUGH. *HUGS YOU TIGHTLY* YOU'RE CUTE. I LOVE YOU. 

Gallagher: *Facepalm* You're lucky you're cute, 'cos you make a lot of dumb decisions when under pressure. 

Things I Liked:
  • All the characters had their own desires, goals, and perspectives. You could switch the perspective to ANY of the characters, and it would have been an entirely different way of seeing the same novel. None of the characters were 'Two-Dimensional' or there just for the sake of being a plot device. 
  • The relationship between the characters; Park and Justineau, Justineu and Caldwell, Park and Gallagher, and especially Justineau and Melanie. 
  • The Cover is absolutely haunting!
  • The ending is absolutely intense. I was on the edge of my bed and nibbling my lip the entire time. A frown was very prominent.

Things I Didn't Like:
  • Death. I know it's there, and it's always going to happen in apocalyptic novels, but I still despise it and it hurts. 
  • CALDWELL!!!!!!
  • How short it was :(

Rate and Final Thoughts:
This book is fabulous. Fabulously written, styled, characterised, just absolutely fabulous. I'd highly recommend this book to others just to help them really get into the feel of a zombie novel, and to even glance at what makes me love them so. 
I'd rate The Girl a 8.5 out of 10 :)

Love,
Ash

(Here's my favourite quote!)
“You're my bread," she says at last. "When I'm hungry. I don't mean that I want to eat you, Miss Justineau! I really don't! I'd rather die than do that. I just mean... you fill me up the way the bread does to the man in the song." You make me feel like I don't need anything else.” 
― M.R. CareyThe Girl with All the Gifts
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