Basic Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

I’m back. Again. With another review for you.

Today, I’m going to be reviewing The Selection by Kiera Cass.

Blurb: Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.

Published: 2012

Genres: Science Fiction & Dystopian

Character Development: 6/10

I know a 6 seems harsh, especially considering Maestra scored higher in this category, but I absolutely could not stand America’s indecision between choosing Maxon or Aspen. All she did up until Aspen came to the palace was cry over how Aspen had broken her heart, so her lack of moving on from him brought this book’s score down.

Plot: 7/10

Interesting enough idea, but again, the America and Aspen thing annoyed me, and I felt a bit lost at times with the world-building.

Storytelling: 7/10

I can’t complain about this one. The book was easy enough to read.

Turning Point: 7/10

There could have been a better way of raising the stakes.

Ending: 7/10

Meh.

Recommend: If you liked Miss Congeniality.

Buy From: Amazon

Add to: Goodreads


I have not been paid for this review. The opinions on this blog are mine and mine only.

Gifs courtesy of Giphy.

Basic Book Review: Heat Wave by Richard Castle

I wasn’t going to post this review because the book’s technically written by a fictional character from a TV show I binge watch too much, but I’ve already said it was coming up and I’m in a bit of reading rut at the minute, and the easter eggs in Heat Wave still makes me say this

a lot.

And Seamus Dever taunted us with this a few weeks ago (I’ll explain in a minute) and since there’re no more new episodes to watch, I returned to the books.

Shay-Jean is cooking up something special for you. @shayjeanmusic @jon_huertas

A post shared by Seamus Dever (@seamuspatrickdever) on

So, for those of you who haven’t heard of the show, Castle is about a best-selling mystery writer, Richard Castle, who’s just killed off his golden goose (a spy called Derrick Storm who has his own series) and is struggling to find inspiration for his next book which is already overdue.

Cue the serial-killer using Castle’s books to inspire his murders, and Detective Kate Beckett shows up at Castle’s book signing to ask for his help.

There are 8 series which follow Castle and Beckett’s crime solving adventures, and the books Castle wrote based on his time with Beckett are really published and really quite good despite them being technically fictional.

Here’s my review of the first, Heat Wave.

Blurb: A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy.

Published: 2012

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thrillers

Character Development: 7/10

Jameson Rook is just as insufferable and smug as Castle is in the first couple of series, and has a bit of an obsession with his ‘ruggedly handsome’ looks.

Nikki Heat is just as closed off and as sharp as Beckett in the first couple of series.

But as the book progresses, the walls start to come down, and yada, yada, yada, they start getting along.

Who’d have thunk it?

Plot: 7/10

Interesting enough. I could definitely see it as a plot on the show.

Storytelling: 8/10

The book reads a bit like the show, with plenty of one-liners and sass, and the occasional serious moment. Not a full 10 because I know it might not make much sense if you haven’t seen the show and all the references go over your head.

Turning Point: 7/10

Cute.

Ending: 8/10

Typical Castle move.

Recommend: If you’ve seen the show and need a fix after series 8.

Buy from: Amazon

Add to Goodreads


I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.


And now for the explanation I promised.

Two of Beckett’s colleagues, Detectives Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito, wrote a song for her and Castle during series 7. Nobody got to hear because stuff happened (watch series 7 to find out what) and the song and additional music video got added to the DVDs as an extra.

Seamus Dever (Ryan) and Jon Huertas (Esposito) have been teasing a new song for a while, but there hasn’t been any actual news until that Instagram post, and so we’re resigned to waiting, and waiting, and waiting…

But here’s the lyric video for Definition of Love to pass the time.

Film Corner: Pirates of the Caribbean 5

I’m back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 funny seinfeld yay celebrating GIF

And I’m trying out a new blog feature.

Because who doesn’t love getting emotionally invested in yet more fictional characters’ lives, right?

BBC sherlock bbc benedict cumberbatch sherlock holmes GIF but we’re not going to forget this in a hurry, are we?

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(me watching TV.)

ANYWAY, this post was supposed to be a review of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film and all I’ve done is use Sherlock gifs so I’m going to shut up now and get on with it.

*mild spoilers ahead*

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Right, so let me start off by saying that I am NOT a POTC fan. I saw about five minutes of the first one (or maybe it was the third one) and the only thing I liked was the music. But that was a while ago, and I’m less fussy about the types of films I see, so when my friend was like this

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I agreed to go and see the latest addition to a film series which a lot of people said should have ended after 2.

But it wasn’t too hard to work out what had happened in the interlude because there was a scene at the start which kind of caught you up and told you what the main focus was going to be.

So this time around, Jack Sparrow’s latest scheme goes wrong (when do they not?) and his crew leaves him and he goes for a drink (when does he not?) and his old nemesis, Captain Salazar, escapes from the Devil’s Triangle through a really obvious plot device which is hinted at up until he makes his escape. Jack’s only hope of survival (doubtful) is Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann’s son who wants the Trident of Poseidon to free his dad and an astronomer (accused of being a witch) who wants to decode a map left to her by her father.

To be honest,  this

is a fairly accurate representation of how I felt during the first half hour. Johnny Depp didn’t really do much but make snappy one-liners and staggered about a bit playing up the drunk pirate, and the whole bank-stealing-losing-all-the-treasure thing went on for a bit too long.

But the pace started to pick up a bit around the 45 (ish) minute mark and things got better. Kaya Scodelario wasn’t as whiny as Elizabeth Swann in the first one (sue me) and the reveal (which I won’t reveal here) was not one any of us in the cinema was expecting going by the amount of gasping going on around me, and so I can honestly say that I don’t regret going to see Dead Men Tell No Tales.

When’s the next one?


I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.

Gifs courtesy of Giphy

 

 

Basic Book Review: Maestra by L.S Hilton

Maestra had been on a lot of bookstagram feeds over the last few months, so when I was struggling to decide on what book to read after finishing Silence is Goldfish, I decided to give it a go.

I wasn’t breaking my rule about not reading hyped-up books because I hadn’t actually seen anyone’s opinion on it, but after finishing it, I understand why.

Let’s get this over with.

Maestra: The shocking international number one bestseller by [Hilton, L. S.]

Blurb: By day Judith Rashleigh is a put-upon assistant at a London auction house.

By night she’s a hostess in one of the capital’s unsavoury bars.

Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows she has to play the game. She’s learned to dress, speak and act in the interests of men. She’s learned to be a good girl. But after uncovering a dark secret at the heart of the art world, Judith is fired and her dreams of a better life are torn apart.

So she turns to a long-neglected friend.

A friend that kept her chin up and back straight through every past slight.

A friend that a good girl like her shouldn’t have: Rage.

Fatal attraction meets The Talented Mr Ripley in this darkly decadent thriller, soon to be a major Hollywood film, that asks:

Where do you go when you’ve gone too far?

Published: 2016

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Character Development: 7/10

Judith definitely changed over the course of the book, but I’m not entirely sure it was for the better. Though maybe that was the point.

Plot: 8/10

Interesting enough. Definitely kept me reading till the last page, but that was probably more through a determination to finish it than because of genuine concern for the characters.

Storytelling: 7/10

A bit meandering at times.

Turning Point: 7/10

I’m guessing with this book it’s one of the scenes a few chapters in and not the decision Judith makes that sets her on the path that makes everything happen, because things don’t really get going until she goes on that holiday.

Ending: 7/10

More unexpected than anything else.

Recommend: I guess so. If hyped books are you thing or you have a morbid curiosity about things you wouldn’t really want everyone to know you’re reading about.

Buy From: Amazon & Book Depository

Add to: Goodreads


I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.


Note: I don’t like saying I don’t like a book. Goodreads is brutal for reviews and I always cringe when I see someone picking apart a story, but I couldn’t write a good review for this one. It wasn’t the kind of thing I usually read but it was different and I thought a bit of variety in the books I review on here would be good.

Apparently not.

But please, please don’t take this review as the final word. It’s only MY opinion, and there are plenty of half-decent reviews on Goodreads to counter this one.

Basic Book Review: Silence Is Goldfish

I wanted to read something a bit different after finishing Their Finest, and since Silence is Goldfish sounded as far from the Home Front as possible, I decided I’d give it a go.

So here’s my third Basic Book Review.

Blurb: ‘I have a voice but it isn’t mine. It used to say things so I’d fit in – to please my parents, to please my teachers. It used to tell the universe I was something I wasn’t. It lied.’

Fifteen-year-old Tess doesn’t mean to become mute. At first, she’s just too shocked to speak. And who wouldn’t be? Discovering your whole life has been a lie because your dad isn’t your real father is a pretty big deal. Tess sets out to find the truth of her identity, and uncovers a secret that could ruin multiple lives. But can she ask for help when she’s forgotten how to use her voice?

Published: 2016

Genres: Being a teen, Family

Character Development: 8/10

At the beginning of the book, Tess’ sole concern is finding her real dad. She has a plan for how to find him, but as the story progresses, her focus shifts away from that and she starts paying attention to the things going on around her.

Plus, she was pretty funny at times.

Plot: 8/10

Not your average YA novel because it wasn’t all about dying and death and getting boyfriends. It focused on family, and Tess’ struggle to accept that hers isn’t the same as everybody else’s.

I liked how the author handled the subject, and didn’t make it all doom and gloom.

Storytelling: 8/10

Again, different from other YA novels, but it was that freshness which kept me reading.

Turning Point: 9/10

it was a relief when Tess decided to try and fix things because she’d had enough of being walked all over, and satisfying in a way I haven’t read in a while.

Ending: 9/10

Recommend: Definitely.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, this is it.

Buy From: Amazon & Book Depository

Add to: Goodreads


I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.


Stayed tuned for my reviews of Maestra and Heatwave

Maestra  

 

 

Basic Book Reviews: Their Finest by Lissa Evans

So for those of you who don’t know me (and that’s everyone who’s reading this because nobody who does know I have this blog) I am a HUGE history lover. I have books and books on the Titanic (the real ship, not the movie) and collections of Horrible Histories.

I love learning about how things used to be, and getting caught up in the customs and lives of the ‘Olden times’. So when I saw the trailer for Their Finest, I added the film to my list of ones I had to see.

But somehow I missed its stint at the cinema, and I turned instead to the novel the film was based off.

So here’s my 2nd Basic Book Review of 2017.

Alexander IRL action scene director alexanderirl

Blurb: It’s 1940. In a small advertising agency in Soho, Catrin Cole writes snappy lines for Vida Elastic and So-Bee-Fee gravy browning. But the nation is in peril, all skills are transferable and there’s a place in the war effort for those who have a knack with words.

Catrin is conscripted into the world of propaganda films. After a short spell promoting the joy of swedes for the Ministry of Food, she finds herself writing dialogue for ‘Just an Ordinary Wednesday’, a heart-warming but largely fabricated ‘true story’ about rescue and romance on the beaches of Dunkirk. And as bombs start to fall on London, she discovers that there’s just as much drama, comedy and passion behind the scenes as there is in front of the camera . . .

Published: 2017

Genres: Fiction, War, Film & TV tie-in

Character Development: 7/10.

This was a tricky one, because the book’s told from various characters’ points-of-view. And I wouldn’t say that character development was a priority in this book, more the story itself. But still, Catrin and Edith are different at the end than they were at the beginning, so I decided not to discount this category.

Plot: 7/10

Again, the book is told through different perspectives, so it’s another 7. The whole thing reads a bit like a film, and if you aren’t concentrated on what you’re reading, it’s easy to lose your place.

Storytelling: 8/10

The style of Their Finest is similar to others of its genre, and the language and behaviour of the characters seems accurate enough for a period story, so it’s this which recovered my opinion on it.

It’s easy to become immersed in the Blitz raids and the character’s panic, and a few times I half expected to hear the air raid sirens.

Turning Point: 9/10

Shook up the story and kept me reading until the end.

Ending: 8/10

But only because of what happened in the last half. And I really didn’t like Ambrose.

Recommend: If you like reading about the 2nd world war.

Buy From: Amazon & Book Depository

Add to: Goodreads


I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.

Basic Book Reviews: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Welcome to my first ever book review!

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Today’s target is Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella, whose name you probably recognise in connection with The Shopaholic series.

The Basic Book Reviews I’ll be posting will be just that: a basic review of books from all genres which will provide you with all you need to know to decide whether you want to read it too.

So let’s begin!

Blurb: Lara has always had an overactive imagination. Now she wonders if she is losing her mind. Normal twenty-something girls just don’t get visited by ghosts! But inexplicably, the spirit of Lara’s great aunt Sadie – in the form of a bold, demanding Charleston-dancing girl – has appeared to make one last request: Lara must track down a missing necklace Sadie simply can’t rest without.

Lara’s got enough problems of her own. Her start-up company is floundering, her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, and she’s just been dumped by the love of her life.

But as Lara spends time with Sadie, life becomes more glamorous and their treasure hunt turns into something intriguing and romantic. Could Sadie’s ghost be the answer to Lara’s problems and can two girls from different times end up learning something special from each other?

Published: 2009

Genres: Fiction. Romantic Comedy. Contemporary.

Character Development: I’m giving this an 8/10 purely because Lara probably wouldn’t have changed if it weren’t for the ghost of her great aunt.

It would’ve been a 6 or a 7 if Lara had had a different approach to meeting a ghost, and if the excuses she’d given to her family hadn’t been as funny.

Plot: 9/10.

Not everyone likes ghosts in their novels, and I’d been wary of the idea at the beginning. But I got hooked pretty quickly, so this was an easy 9.

Storytelling: 9/10.

If you’ve read other books by Sophie Kinsella, you’ll recognise her style immediately. But that’s why I picked up this book, and despite the introduction at the beginning and the world building, it didn’t take long for the main story to get underway. Plus, the overall book had that witty warmth you get from Sophie Kinsella’s books.

Turning Point: Occurs about halfway through, but is definitely worth the wait, so a 10/10 for this one. It was unexpected, and I think my jaw actually dropped when I read where Sadie’s necklace had been all along.

Ending: 9/10. Only because the book ended and I wanted to read more about Sadie and Lara.

Recommend: 100%

Seriously, I’m a fan of this book. It’s got twenties flapper dresses and stories from Sadie’s wild days, and balances the heavy stuff to keep it from being too heavy. So you can read this book if you need a pick-me-up and know you aren’t going to be crying at the end of it.

Buy From: Amazon & Book Depository

Add to Goodreads


I have not been paid for this review. The opinions here are mine and mine only.

 

 

The Book Hoarder Who Reads Too Much

I’ve written hundreds of these first posts since I first discovered blogging a while ago, but that’s never made it easier to decide on where to start. So I’ll refer you to this post’s title for an idea of what this blog’s about.

Book Hoarder

Okay, okay. I know the title’s weird: Book Hoarder, I mean, come on, right? Hoarding books. What’s that all about? And reading too much? Is that even possible?

Well, yes, it is. You’re reading too much when you happen to notice the time and realise a whole day has passed and your family hasn’t seen you since eight that morning.

But I digress; I love books. That was supposed to be the inference from the blog’s title.

And since I love books, I want to share all the wonderful and amazing and un-put-downable books I’ve read and am reading with all you wonderful and amazing and un-put-downable people.

Reviews, recs & ramblings. 

Book reviews will be the main thing you’ll find on here, and also my list of recommendations for your TBR list. But there’ll also be the occasional rambling about life, because I’m a newly-fledged adult and I don’t know how to adult since nobody taught me.

(All we got taught at school was algebra and how to make a birdhouse. Can you believe that?)

I made a contact page for you to get in touch with me if you ever need to talk or you have a suggestion for book I should read.

And don’t forget the gifs.

 


All opinions on this blog are mine. I’m not being paid. 

Gifs courtesy of Giphy