Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews of books I’ve read- Just my opinions!

30 Day Book Challenge (Day 15)

Credit goes to The Chronicles of Radiya  for creating this challenge.

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Day 15: Your five favourite characters of all time

Whooah, we’re half way there 
Livin’ on a prayer 
Take my hand and we’ll make it – I swear 
Livin’ on a prayer 

Sorry that was way too tempting. Nothing wrong with a bit of Bon Jovi! I am surprised I’m still going along with this challenge actually, but happy to be at the same time.  Today’s challenge isn’t too hard…

”Books! And cleverness! There are more important things- friendship and bravery.” Guess who? If you’re still guessing then we can’t be friends, and you can’t be a proper Potter fan. Who else but Hermione Granger. Need I care to explain? Oh alright, I will anyway. She’s utterly brilliant, charming and if I could have her as a best friend I would. She’s so British it’s fantastic, and such a nerd- however Harry and Ron would be stuffed without her.  She’s the bookworm, and a genius, I feel like I know her from reading the Potter books- that sounds stupid, but I don’t care. 

Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird  is also a favourite of mine. She opens her eyes to the bigger picture before many of the adults could. She is proud to be herself, she’s clever and one of those characters who brings hope in a very dismal world. She know’s what is right, and that filled me with the feeling that if a child could know that then so can anyone. Maybe learning from example should start with her.

Jane from you guessed it, Jane Eyre! She stands up for herself, and her beliefs and through everything she knows what is best and through everything she remains as strong as always.

Charlie from The Perks of being A Wallflower because for the whole book all I want to do it hug him. He’s the cutest thing since a snowman and it’s an amazing book, and he has an amazing story and be prepared to cry.

Mole from The Wind in the Willows because I reckon if I was in it, I’d be his best friend. Only I’m not fed up with spring cleaning, I’m fed up with History AS work. He’s so sweet and lovely, and awh everyone should read this book.

Email me at jessdrain@hotmail.co.uk with your opinions of my blog! Need them for college- Thanks

 

 

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 14)

Credit goes to  The Chronicles of Radiya for creating this challenge.

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Day 14: Your favourite author(s) from your childhood.

Ok, so I already spoke about Enid Blyton yesterday as I didn’t realise this would be today’s challenge. However I did read things other than the Famous Five novels. I spent a lot of my childhood reading, although this would have to be on my terms. For instance, I would get a reading book set by my teacher every week in year two. In order to get me to read these books, my Dad had to pay me a penny for every word I read. I found them so boring it is unreal. I’d much rather be reading something with more excitement than Biff And Chip. This makes me sound like an irritating child, I’d agree but I still stand by the fact that those books were god awful.

Tell you what though, these author’s knew how to write a gooden back in the day…

Jacqueline Wilson: She’s still writing away! And I’m sure she is still fantastic. I read her books all of the time, and her latest novel would always be on my birthday or Christmas list. They are really heart warming and sad in places, considering they are children’s books. However, that is the beauty of them, as they help a child grasp the cruel reality which is life, in the nicest way possible. In particular I liked her Tracey Beaker books and The Clean Break. As these dealt with issues that I could relate to in places.

Roald Dahl: His witty writing always used to make me giggle. If I was in a strop then Charlie and the Chocolate Factory always worked a treat…God my jokes are getting worse. They were completely innocent novels, they took you to another place. He was a fantastic author.

Lewis Carroll: I’ve already mentioned him on here, but Alice in Wonderland  was one of my favourite books as a kid. So he’s got to be worthy of this title.

Kenneth Grahame: He wrote The Wind in the Willows, my favourite children’s books of all time! It’s amazing, and I miss it.

There are many others, however I’ve given you a select few.

Please email me at jessdrain@hotmail.co.uk with thoughts about my blog! Need it for college- Many thanks

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 13)

Credit goes to  The Chronicles of Radiya  for creating this challenge.

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So, I’m currently taking a well earned break from my AS History note taking to carry on blogging. Today’s challenge is a tricky one, so many choices!

Day 13: Your Favourite Author

I don’t really have ONE favourite author because I read so many different authors, which means that I have loads who I love. So I’ve decided I’m going to write about a select few of the authors who I loved in particular.


John Green: He’s an underrated piece of brilliance. Literally, none of my friend have heard of him. But they should have, I think I’ve already written about him on here at some point. And I think it was for the underrated challenge? Anyway, not only is a great author. But he’s a great teacher of literature also. I’ve watched his videos in which he talks about literature and political issues in a truly dynamic way. Here, take a look for yourself…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw9Au9OoN88!

J.K. Rowling: She simply is a don. Why is this? SHE WROTE HARRY POTTER. She went from long shot to big shot through her wonderful literature. Harry Potter WILL be studied one day. In fact some degrees already look at it! It’s a piece of Literature which will go down in the history books. J.K loves her fans, hence her starting up of Pottermore. She cares about them, and cares about what they think and have to say. She is a goddess.

Enid Blyton: While we’re here, might as well delve into my childhood a bit. I LOVED the Famous Five books as a kid. As a result I love Blyton like many others do. Bedtime stories just wouldn’t be the same without her, and reading as a child is so important as it shapes the readers we are today. If you enjoy reading from a young age then it’s more likely that you’ll continue reading into your teenage years (This is when most people hate reading!).

There are loads of other authors I love, but these three are way up there. Who’s your favourite author(s)?

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I’m back, brilliant and very modest!

I’m joking of course, yes I am back. However, I would not stretch to say I am brilliant just your average WordPress user really. Tell you what would be brilliant though? For you to email me at jessdrain@hotmail.co.uk with your opinions on my blog so I can use them for my project, that would be just fab.  Also reaching 500 views would be great as well, so keep reading!

I know, I have been away from you guys! However, I have been very busy settling into college. I missed WordPress, so I guess you’re stuck with me. What have I been up to then? Well, my Drama and Theatre Studies  appeal still hasn’t came through (as I was under marked last year) that’s a bit annoying, because I want to know if I’ve improved. I have a new English Literature teacher on a Friday called Simon, he’s fantastic. Only had him once, but I love him already. My new History teacher is also a swell guy. And I am worried about resits!

On the plus side though my new Drama group is lovely, and our play should be great if we get everything planned in time. Assessment starts on Monday though :s. If there is one thing I have learned through doing a year of college is that there is never enough time to do everything! Before you know it it’s the end of the year and you’re sat in the exam hall, and you could have sworn that yesterday was the first day of the year. I’m just going to learn from last year’s mistakes and start working hard from day one, it’s worth it in the end.

Oh, there’s an English Literature trip to the Brontë Personage. I am very excited about this.

Anyway, must dash. Got a ’30 Day Challenge’ to continue.

-Jess xxxx

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 12)

Credit goes to The Chronicles of Radiya  for creating this challenge

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Day 12: A book you used to love but don’t anymore

This is a difficult one, because if I love a book then that’s normally that. I’d probably have to say Twilight though. Only because I literally used to be obsessed with it, but now I’m really not that fussed. It’s a case of me out-growing it to be honest, it’s one of those books that if you get over a certain age then it really doesn’t appeal to you.  I remember when I did read it, I could really connect to the characters and get into Bella’s thoughts and perceptions very quickly, which is good when you’re a younger reader.  I don’t normally read series of books, because normally I just jump from author to author so I can get a taste of everything. However Twilight  is one of the the few exceptions.

It has a bit of everything; love, conflict and high school dramas which is why it is so popular. And when I was younger it appealed to me greatly, now…not so much. It’s funny how people change in such a short space of time really, because if you had given me some of the books I read now when I was that age then I wouldn’t have even bothered reading the blurb. Since I’ve grown up, so has my reading list. It doesn’t even seem that long ago that I was reading books like that, if Twilight was released today I probably wouldn’t bother reading the blurb…Ok, well I probably would just to see what all of the fuss was about.

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting loads! I’ve been at college and ill. So, I’ve decided to take a few days off of bloging…Sorry D: But I will be back! (I need to be, I’m using this for my A Levels). 

Another reminder!
Please can you lovely readers send me an email (address below) explaining what you think/link about my blog. That would be great because I NEED feedback.

jessdrain@hotmail.co.uk

Be back soon- Jess xxx

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 11)

First off I’d best apologize for not posting yesterday! I only said the other day that I’d still being doing this challenge! I do have my reasons though, I got back to college on the 11th and yesterday I decided I was gunna get all of my college work out of the way, as I still have a book to read before college starts. I did this, and then tidied my room and as my parents are on holiday I tidied the kitchen and so on… then I sat down to write my Day 11 blog. I was just too tired, and I didn’t want to write  a naff blog in a rush. So instead I watched the X Factor repeat and laughed at a man on there who brought in a picture of his cat as he sings to it, he was just awful but it was hilarious all the same. It really does make me wonder what it is that drives people to go on there, if one of my friends were awful at singing I’d tell them not to go on there and be honest with them, you gotta be cruel to be kind I’m afraid.

ANYWAY, Credit goes to  The Chronicles of Radiya for creating this challenge!

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Day 11: A book you hated

Ohhhh, I hate writing about books negatively! (As I’ve already explained) But, considering it’s for the challenge…GOD DAMN YOU CHALLENGE, I don’t have much of a choice. It’s rare that I HATE a book, normally I love the books I read, and as I explained in my Dorian Gray post, a lot of the time it’s a love it hate it situation with most books. I didn’t have much of a choice in reading  this book, as I had to study it TWICE for my GCSE English Literature. I just know that tonnes of you will be banging down my door in disagreement, but each to their own I guess.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 

Yeah ok, I get it. It tells a magnificent story of fraternity and exemplifies the struggle caused by the 1929 Wall Street Crash…BLAH BLAH BLAH. Lalalalalalala, basically it was boring! Bring the hate, got up at lunchtime and feeling refreshed! I joke, I could sleep forever.  This book is just full of self-pitying characters, it’s completely bleak with no light and shade. A book needs some high points, even the most depressing of novels do…otherwise it’s just dull. Ok, there were a few light hearted moments, and George and Lennie have hope through it all. Well, Lenny does… George not so much. And as a reader I knew that, and it was so evident that it would all end in tatters.

I must admit that I did feel a bit sorry for Curley’s wife, simply because it must have been horrible being in that position. She showed off to get attention because she felt like an outcast. That’s all this book does though, you feel sorry for the characters because they ARE in a horrible situation. However, sympathy or no sympathy I just found the story line incredibly dull. It can’t be a complete failure though, because I did feel for the characters… So this is a tricky one. I don’t know if I do hate this book, it’s certainly not a favourite of mine, and yeah it is rather dull but I don’t hate it. I don’t really hate any book, because I think to hate a book then you can’t find anything good about it at all. Of Mice and Men does portray a meaningful story, a story that explains harsh realities, and the characters are moving. However, I can’t quite put my finger on what made it dull…but it just was.

What do you think?

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 10)

Credit goes to The Chronicles of Radiya for creating this challenge.

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Today’s challenge has got to be the hardest yet…

Day 10: Favourite classical novel

HOW ON EARTH DO I CHOOSE?! I love classical literature, and I’ve read so much of it. There is just no way. Ok lemme think…

Ummm…

Nope still nothing….

Ummm…

Ok, now there are three contenders; Jane Eyre (of course!), To Kill a Mockingbird, or The Great Gatsby. Out of these three though…EUGH I STILL DON’T KNOW. Ok, well I’ve already written reviews on ALL of these…great. I’ve written more about Jane Eyre than the others though, hmm it’s going to have to be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Why?
5o years after publishing it still has thousands of people loving and reading it like it was released yesterday. There is a very good reason for that, it’s brilliant. I ploughed through it in a day and a half because I simply couldn’t put it down! Lee’s not published another book since Mockingbird, because she just knew she couldn’t follow that!

It is so moving, because of the child perspective. It makes you realise how cruel people can be. All I can say is, if you’re one of those people who cry easily at books or films then this book has tear drops written all over it. This book appeals to both children and adults because of the childish voiced mixed with the older and more reflective voice. This is a complete rarity, because it can inspire all and bring so much debate with one line within its 300 pages.

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30 Day book Challenge (Day 9)

Credit goes to the  The Chronicles of Radiya for creating this challenge.

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Day 9: A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

Don’t get me wrong, I love studying English however the appeal of a book, poem or play does get ruined when you’re told you’ll have to re-read it, write about it, make notes on it, do an EXAM on it loads of times. Today’s challenge, I’ll be answering with a play, as it’s narrative either way. And this play in particular I was DREADING studying. Simply because it sounded dull, and I prefer studying novels over plays.

An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

This play is brilliant! It’s full of suspense and mystery. And it’s a typical ”Who done it?” story. This play makes you question your moral code, as Priestley’s thrilling play points out what is right and wrong, and more importantly it gets you questioning whether or not you are right or wrong. All of the members of the Birling family are seen to be wrong in some way or another and it shows just how selfish people are.

I didn’t mind studying this play at all by the end of reading it, the thrilling lack of closure at the end of the play leave you unsettled and wondering what could possibly happen next. The characters are all so unique yet so simular in their lack of knowledge and understanding for justice. I’d recommend very strongly that you give this play a read or a watch, it’s fantastic.

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 8)

Credit goes to  The Chronicles of Radiya for creating this challenge.

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Day 8: Most overrated book

I dislike writing bad reviews about books, because I hate it when people disagree and you’re like ”ooops” because it turns out to be their favourite book. I like the majority of the books I read, because most of the books I’ve read have been on my TBR list for ages and I’ve heard a fair bit about them. I can normally tell by the author and era if I’ll enjoy a book as well, and I’ll admit this particular book did shock me as I thought I’d enjoy it. It’s a classic to say the least, but classic or no classic; the only class this book falls in for me, is a very low one.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I’m sure many of you will strongly disagree. However I did give this book a chance and it really wasn’t for me. I think the fact that the main character simply irritated me with his arrogance was a big factor in my dislike for this book. I think the main character of a book is better when they are likeable, otherwise you just want to tell them to be quiet the whole time. I was really looking forward to this book, and asked for it for Christmas but when I got round to reading it, I was so disappointed. I read so many reviews before and after reading this book, and the vast majority made it sound like the pages were laced with gold.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the whole concept of the novel. The story itself is wonderful and very imaginative, it’s just the fashion of the writing and the characters that irritated me. I found it really hard to sympathise with the characters, and that’s never a good sign. If you can’t have a relationship with the characters then you will not feel the depth that you are supposed to with a book. I’m one of the those people who uses the Marmite analogy a lot when it comes to books, you either love it or hate it. I never say ”Yeah, that book was ok” because what’s the point in reading an average book when you could be reading a brilliant book instead.

I think to take the Marmite analogy further we should use the new advert as a bit of advice as well. Brilliant books should not be forgotten about, and neither should Marmite. In fact, Marmite on toast whilst reading a brilliant book sounds fantastic. With a cup of tea, of course. God I mention tea a lot. But yes, sometimes those books talked about the most are the worst to read. As you get your expectations way too high!

And for those of you who haven’t got a clue what Marmite advert I’m on about, I’ve linked it below because otherwise this post makes little sense!

Thank you for reading.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHjssdNNzP0

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30 Day Book Challenge (Day 7)

Credit goes to  The Chronicles of Radiya for creating this challenge!

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Sorry I didn’t post yesterday, I haven’t had access to a decent computer. So I nearly managed a week without failing behind…oh well.

What does today hold in store for me? 

Day 7: Most Underrated Book
There are loads of books that people should have read already but simply haven’t. And there are loads of books that aren’t really that great but everyone has read. There are also loads of books that are completely brilliant but nobody has ever heard of them, and they really should have…

One of my favourite authors has got to be John Green. However when I went to mention him on my university UCAS form/personal statement I was told to remove him as one of my favourite authors. Simply because his writing just isn’t high-brow enough for my university application, as I want to study English Literature. 

I discovered my love for John Green when I in year ten, and I picked up ‘Looking for Alaska’ by mere chance.  It was completely brilliant! It’s one of those books that makes you both laugh and cry. And because of it’s teenage audience, I was completely sympathetic to the characters. 

I really don’t want to ruin the story line for you! So there’s not much more I can say on the matter other than…read it!

 

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