Saturday, 27 June 2015

Book Review: Wither

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Series: Chemical Garden Trilogy #1
Release Date: 22/03/2011
Pages: 358
Service: Bought
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository 
Author Twitter: @LaurenDeStefano

'In the not-too-distant future, genetic engineering has turned every newborn into a ticking time bomb. Males die at the age of twenty-five, and females die at the age of twenty. While scientists seek a miracle antidote, young girls are routinely kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When sixteen year old Rhine is taken, she enters a world of wealthy an privilege that both entices and terrifies her. She has everything she ever wanted - except freedom. 

Soon it becomes clear that not everyoen at her new husband's home is how they appear. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to escape... before her time runs out.'

I fall in love with this book more and more every single time I read it and I've read this book three times now. Lauren DeStefano had no problem with drawing me into her dystopian world and taking me on a journey with all of her character. The story starts with 16 year old Rhine and we follow her story and how she copes with the short like that she lives with and how those around her try to find a cure so that men and women can live longer than they do. 

I love the way that Rhine is portrayed. She's can be confident and loving and caring. However, we do see these weaknesses in her. I love that DeStefano allowed her character to become this real person who wasn't able to cope with everything that was going on and did breakdown at times.She was a character who could act independently but also needed people to help her and she was okay with that. I felt like I was able to see a lot of things through Rhine's eyes with very little difficulty and you could understand her predicaments. 

Characters like Linden, Cecily, Gabriel and Jenna were well written and constantly made me want to know more about them. I was in a battle about whether I liked them or not and whether I could trust them. 

The plot was just perfectly executed. It was one of those books that I went through really quickly but when I reread, took more time to take it all in all over again. I just can't find anything to fault with this book. The characters, the description of the settings and the plot were all brilliantly knitted together to create this breathtaking book that I would recommend any fan of dystopia to read. The ending leaves you hanging on for so much more so I would definitely make sure that you have the next two books on hand so you can dive straight into them.

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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews 
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: 01/04/2012
Pages: 295
Service: Bought
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository 
Author Twitter: @_jesse_andrews

'Greg Gaines is the master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any school environment. He only has one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics. 

Until Greg's mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel. 

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukaemia - cue extreme adolescent awkwardness - but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turn into the Worst Film Ever Made and become a turning point in each of their lives. 

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.'

This was a book I really did have high expectations for before I had started reading it and I was really looking forward to. I finally found it tucked away in a cupboard downstairs a few months after I had bought it. Like most books it had some good points and some bad. However, for me the bad did outweigh the good.

I did like the fact though, that illness wasn't at all romanticised in this book. It didn't make it seem like something that was great and would be a story that you could tell your children. It didn't make an illness seem like something that it wasn't and that was really refreshing. Andrews just said it like it is when it came to Rachel and her leukaemia.

There were some points in the book where I felt as tough Jesse Andrews really got to grips with what high school is like for a teenager. That not everyone falls into a certain 'group' and that a lot of the time teachers will think something is a brilliant idea and everyone else won't. 

The main character, Greg, had a lot of faults. He wasn't your generic nerd, bad boy or high school jock/heart throb. He had a lot of differences to all of these generic characters and Andrews was more than happy to embrace that and show that side of Greg off. However. this was all one of the downfalls in the book for me. I felt like sometimes Andrews tried a little too hard to be different with Greg's personality. It wasn't that he didn't seem like a believable character but it was just that it felt like it was something that was constantly being thrown into my face and it just made reading the book slightly annoying for me.

There was a huge contrast then when it came to Greg's best friend, Earl. For me he just seemed to be so stereotypical due to who he was.  The way he spoke, the classes he was in and the way that his family was. It ended up being something that really made me dislike reading the book and it had to be the top thing that just hasn't made me like reading it. I just felt as though he was put in a negative light.It did end up angering me slightly in the way that Earl was portrayed when compared to Greg. 

I felt like there was a lot of unnecessary swearing used throughout the book. A lot of the time there wasn't a real need for it. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind reading a book where profanity is used but it was just such an excessive use in the book. I'm not a fan of people swearing excessively when their speaking so I don't really like reading it either. 

For me, I felt as though there could have been a little something more to the book because I did find that it was dragged a little at some points. It wasn't one that I particularly enjoyed. 

Rating: ★1/2 

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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

A Very Relieving Feeling

After what has felt like a very short two years, I sat my last GCSE exam this afternoon and I'm completely done with exams for the year. 

The immense feeling of relief and peace I feel right now is so unbelievable. Finishing exams in year ten was a pretty nice feeling but once I was finished with them, we started classes back up again for the exams we were going to sit in year ten. Then, throughout summer, I started to work on my revision notes ready for the next year so I didn't fully enjoy my summer. Not as much as I could have anyway. So, this period between finishing exams and starting A-Levels next year is such a welcome break. 

If I'm completely honest, I'm already starting to feel a little lost. Revision has basically ruled my life for a good few months and I'm not even sure what to do with myself any more but I know that some sleep, eating properly again and spending time with the family is definitely on the cards.

With only prom left to say goodbye, I'm so near to closing this chapter in my life which is slightly scary but there'll be another post on that. Now that I'm all done with exams, it's time to say goodbye to revision notes and a nice hello to my books and the blogging world. 

I hope exams have gone well for all of you and good luck for when your results come out!  

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