2014

Hi there,
So as we draw to the close of another amazing year I’d thought I’d share with you my favourite books of 2014. I’ll give a brief rating and recommendation for each one. This is in no particular order at all.

1) Heroes of Olympus series: I had avoided this series for so long and I finally picked it up this year! And it was amazing! I loved the story line and all the characters. I would recommend it to absolutely everybody.
5/5

2) Rainbow Rowell’s novels: This year I also got around to read all of Rainbow Rowell’s books: Eleanor and Park, Fangirl, Attachments and Landline. Eleanor and Park are young adult novels whereas Attachments and Landline are adult novels but I would recommend them to anyone of any age really. They are fantastic contemporary novels that deal with some pretty intense issues.
Eleanor and Park: 5/5
Fangirl: 4/5
Attachments: 4/5
Landline: 5/5

3) Anna and the French Kiss + Lola and the Boy Next Door: I read 2/3 of Stephanie Perkins books this year and oh wow where they fantastic. I read each one in a day because I just could not get enough. They are cute and adorable and at least one character in each book quite relatable. Like Rainbow Rowell’s books I would recommend these contemporary awesomenesses to anyone.
Anna: 5/5
Lola: 4/5

4) This Star Won’t go Out: This is a biography/autobiography that is the life of Esther Grace Earl. At the end of this book I honestly felt like I knew her, like we had grown up together and were the best of friends. You get to know that much of Esther that that is possible. It really was fantastic and I encourage you all to read it.
4.5/5

5) Four: Veronica Roth did it again. This book was amazing and gave some much wanted/needed insight into Tobias Eaton’s life. It was interesting to hear his perspective on everything and I loved seeing more of his life before Tris. The only issue I had was that his perspective didn’t flow as well as Tris’ did.
4/5

6) The Storyteller: Jodi Piccoult made me actually feel like I was in the Holocaust with this book, it was written that well. This became my favourite Jodi Piccoult book, I just love it. I recommend this to mature readers as it does deal with some rather brutal topics that aren’t to be ventured into by those of a younger age.
5/5

7) Anna Dressed in Blood duo: I’ve talked about this duo so much this past year but that’s because people barely ever know about it and it is so good! The characters are awesome the storyline is awesome and the book cover is awesome! I highly recommend this to people able to stomach a bit of blood and gore.
5/5

8) Angelfall: I have a booktalk on this which a few people have checked out and I highly highly highly recommend this book to absolutely everybody. It is just so amazing! The characters are kick-ass and the writing is incredible. I cannot wait to continue with this series.
5/5

9) City of Heavenly Fire: This was the concluding book in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (a personal favourite of mine) and it was so good! You all have got to read this series, it is amazing! I recommend it to absolutely everybody, you will love it.
4/5

10) The Darkest Minds: Alexandra Bracken is such a fantastic writer and this book was everything you ever want in a YA whatever the genre was. It was fast-paced, the characters were relatable and the story was so different and so amazing. I recommend it to anyone who isn’t that avid of a reader and wants to get into it more and anyone who wants to get into the more paranormalish genre.
5/5

11) Gone Girl: I finished this book yesterday and my head is still reeling at that ending. The characters were so dark and twisted and it was so fun to read. This book though is for very mature readers so if you’re too young or immature do not read this books! It was fantastic though.
4/5

Alright so they are my favourite books for 2014. Feel free to share your favourite reads of 2014 in the comments below and I’ll see you all next year!

Signing off, Charlie

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The Christmas song book tag

Merry Christmas to all, and too all a good night! I hope you are all having a fabulous time. As it is Christmas day I thought it was the perfect time to do the Christmas song tag. I’ll be tagging people below at the bottom and I’ll link their blogs so you can check them out as well.

1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”: Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.
For this I would have to choose Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series. She is so fun to watch and read about, I just love her whole character.

2. “All I Want for Christmas is You”: Which book to you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?
Well I very much wanted The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black and I was lucky enough to get it!

3. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”: Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.
Celeana Sardonthein (do not know the spelling) from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Mass. She had to overcome so much and she did, learning from her mistakes every time.

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?
b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?
For top of the naughty list I definitely think Hera from the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus would be. She caused so many issues between people and was just such a horrible God to everyone. For top of the nice list I think Cas Lowood from the Anna Dressed in Blood series, he really deserves it after all his efforts in ridding the world of ghosts.

5. “Frosty the Snowman”: Which book just melts your heart.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The romance and emotion in that one 300-odd page book just makes all defences strip away and leaves me open to every emotion in the world and makes my heart melt.

6. “Feliz Navidad”: Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.
Basically every book ever. I live in Australia and no books seem to take place here. Ever.

7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?
I always love Harry Potter at Christmas, it just always feels very festive.

8. “Sleigh Ride”: Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)
I would choose Hermione Granger. I’ve always thought that if we were too meet we would instantly be best friends. I think she’d be fun to spend the holidays with, we could read all day and have a big Christmas Lunch.

9. “Baby it’s Cold Outside”: Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?
Probably Beautiful Creatures by whoever. It is a pretty big book and would probably burn for a while.

10. “Do you hear what I hear”: Which book do you think everyone should read?
There are a lot of books I think everyone should read but for the sake of this I’ll choose one for contemporary reads and one for fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi reads. For contemporary I would say Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. It is just perfect. For fantasy etc read I would say start with Harry Potter but if you’ve read that then read The Giver by Lois Lowry. It is a really incredible book and I think everyone would enjoy it.

Alright, so thats it for the Christmas songs tag. I tag Sherlockianbooklover and Bookishrebels. I’ll tag both their blogs after my send off.

Signing off, Charlie

https://bookishrebels.wordpress.com/
https://sherlockianbooklover.wordpress.com/ 

Booktalk with Charlie – Angelfall

Hi there,
So I recently finished Angelfall by Susan Ee and, oh boy, was it marvelous! Today will be my booktalk on that. I also finished Lola and the Boy next door by Stephanie Perkins and the booktalk for that will be coming later in the week. As per usual this booktalk will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.

Non-spoiler:
Angelfall takes place in a post apocalyptic world where angels have come to Earth and are destroying cities and snatching children from the streets. Street gangs have formed and people are becoming a danger to be around. When Penryn Youngs sister is snatched by an angel she decides she will do anything she can to get her back. Even teaming up with one of the enemy. This book was so amazing. It was fast paced and the plot flowed and was really enveloping. It was quite disturbing at the end section of the book so I would recommend this for mature readers but I think everyone could love it. It has a little of everything: action, romance, amazing characters. The character development and depth was really incredible for such a short book. I highly highly recommend this book as a must read.

Spoilers:
The book opens on Penryn, her mother and her sister ready to abandon their home and head for the woods in hopes of safety from the ravening angels. Penryn’s sister Paige was in a wheelchair and her mother had serious psychological problems. I loved this aspect of the story as it showed that Penryn had responsibilities from the beginning, intense responsibilities. Penryn and her family are stopped in their tracks when they come across angels fighting and that’s the first glimpse we get of them. I love the fact that their wings where all different in colours, shapes and sizes because it showed the difference in their personalities and characters. I could not believe that the angels would hack off another angels wings. That scene for me was one of the most horrible, imagining his face contorting in pain.
When Penryn’s mother ran off without Paige I was so angered. It wasn’t fair that she just ran off to live while Paige had the chance of dying, especially since she was in a wheelchair. Penryn was so strong standing up to the angels especially since they are so much more advanced than she. Paige being taken didn’t have as big of an effect on me as I thought it would. I think it was because the blurb already revealed she was going to be gone early on the series.
The chapters with Penryn in the house awaiting the angel to awaken where quite slow and the toughest chapters to get into but as Raffe woke up they got more interesting. Penryn’s mother was a presence in these scenes and I quickly found myself bored of her character, hoping she would disappear from the story. The way Raffe looked at his wings and the way he spoke about them really showed me (and other readers) just how much he loved them and how much he cared about getting them back which made the end of the story even more excruciating to read, but we’ll get to that later.
My absolute favourite part of the book happened when they were in the small house they found. I find small acts of love and compassion so beautiful and that’s why this particular part of the book stood out to me. Penryn was having a nightmare about her sister and her mother and Raffe came to her in her fitful sleep and just held her until she was okay. He just sat and held her and made her feel safe and it was beautiful.
As soon as they reached the forest the frustrating chapters of the story began. The resistance camp was such a beautiful idea. I love it in books and in reality when people band together for a common cause, but Obi was such an annoying character to me. I didn’t trust him, something bad just surrounded him. It was just like whats-his-face in the Darkest Minds (I cannot even remember his name). Dee-Dum was awesome though and did make me laugh quite a bit. I couldn’t believe though that Obi just let people pummel each other, especially in the case of Penryn and whatever. If she hadn’t had martial arts training she would’ve been beaten close to death.
Penryn and Raffe finally escaped though and then came across the half eaten children. I ad to look away from the book for a minute when I read this part, it was just so horrific. The thought that two young girls had been strung up to be eaten and the idea that the eldest had tried desperately hard to save her (I’m assuming) sister.
Reaching San Francisco was hard to digest. The entire city had been decimated and the people where scattered and terrified. The idea of human slaves and women basically being prostitutes for angels was a hard idea to wrap your head around.They got in though and Penryn was able to enter the club. Raffe had to hide his face after reconstructing his wings. One of my other favourite parts in the book was when Raffe leaned down to Penryn to hide his face and she kissed him. Then it was just heartbreaking when he turned to her and said “you know I don’t even like you”. I didn’t believe it for a single second but the sting still hurt.
Eventually Raffe got the chance to get his wings sewn back on and Penryn went to find her sister, finding her mother along the way. When she entered the room and found the mutated beasts eating people, I felt physically ill. The idea that those beasts where feasting on people with families, with lives, was just too much. The worst was yet to come however.
Seeing the children piled high on the floor, scars running the entire length of their body was just the final thing I could cope with. I had to put the book down and step away for a few minutes. It was just so awful and unfair. Then Paige surfaced and she was a cannibal maniac that could actually walk.
Raffe came out and he had sharp and dark wings sewn onto his back. It was so upsetting to see him like that, to know his own wings where on someone who didn’t deserve them at all. The Penryn was petrified or something and had to be taken back to Obi’s camp, away from Raffe. This part made me the maddest. They will not be better separated, they need to stay together.
This book was so amazing I cannot even. The plot was so rich and enveloping and I loved Penryn’s strength and Raffe’s character development. The whole book was amazing from beginning to end. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Signing off, Charlie

‘Tis the Season book tag

Hi there,
Because we are so incredibly close to Christmas (and because I just found this) I thought I’d do the ’tis the season book tag. I’ve had to alter the questions a little because Christmas is in summer where I am and not Winter. There are seven questions in total and I will link the blogs of those I’m tagging at the bottom. Alright lets get started.

1. Do you have a favourite summer read?
I love to read Contemporary novels in the summer or books that are very long. I get a lot of time to read during summer so it’s best to take the opportunity then to read a lengthy book. Contemporary novels are always nice to read in summer because are light and fluffy and just a bit of fun to read.

2. Find a book with blue on the cover!
I found the book “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. I’ve chosen this particular book because it is exactly the kind of book I enjoy reading in summer months.
9780143567592
3. Find a book you’d use as the star on a Christmas tree!
I’d use Allegiant by Veronica Roth. It is a really beautiful book cover and would look amazing as the star on a tree.
allegiant-uk-cover-veronica-roth-1
4. Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a summer vacation!
It would be really fun to be on the Argo II during summer I think. You could fly during the night and sail during the day. You could sun bath on the deck and then put the anchor down and swim in the ocean when you want to.

5. Pick one fictional character you’d take with you on your summer vacation!
I’d take Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. He would be so amazing to take on holiday and would be really sweet and go swimming with me and sun bath and everything. I just think he’d be great to holiday with.

6. Name one book on your wish list this year!
I have so many it’s hard to choose. In keeping with the summery theme though I will say Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I loved Anna and the French Kiss and want to continue with the novels she produces.

7. Favorite holiday drink, treat, & movie?
I don’t really drink a special drink during the holiday season so nothing I suppose. For a treat we have this Christmas box that we keep chocolates from Quality Street boxes in and I love having those during the Christmas season. As for movie I love the Nativity! The original with Martin Freeman is so funny and the songs are really catchy and really good.

Alright that is all for the ’tis the season book tag. I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to comment your answers in the comments section. I tag SherlockianBooklover and mylittlebookblog. I’ll link both of their blogs after my sign off.

Signing off, Charlie

SherlockianBooklover: http://sherlockianbooklover.wordpress.com/
mylittlebookblog: http://mylittlebookblog.com/

The alphabet favourites tag

Hi there,
So as you know I do a lot of tags on my blog and so I thought it was about time I created my own. So today I present to you the “alphabet favourites tag”! Ta-da! It’s pretty simple; for each letter of the alphabet there is a category you have to pick a favourite from. I’ll be tagging a couple of people down the bottom. Alright lets get to it.

Favourite:

Animal: Probably whales or elephants, they are both so huge and cute.

Bookstore: Considering there is only 2 here where I live I would have to say Dymocks.

Car: 1967 Black Chevy Impala. I think we all know why.

Disney character: Oh this is a difficult question. Probably either Stitch, Koda, Mike, Mushu or a million others. Why did I make these questions so hard?!

Eggs: I like mine scrambled.

Friends characters: It’s gotta be Chandler. He is really funny in every episode and I relate to his disinterest in the world so much.

Group (as in band): Either Fall Out Boy, Sleeping with Sirens or Green Day; I love them all.

Holiday: Christmas, absolutely. It is the best time of the year; everything is so festive and people are just really happy all the time.

Illustrator: Tony Ross. He illustrated the Little Princess books. They are these:
3325767I just love that they are really fun and different.

Joker: Heath Ledger, is there really anyone else?

Key romance: I love the romance between Percy and Annabeth in the Heroes of Olympus and I love the romance between Emma Swan and Killian Jones in Once Upon a Time.

Lyric in any song: I love in the song Do They Know it’s Christmas Time by BandAid where it yells out: “Well tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you!” The lyric is just so awesome.

Marauder: Moony, Padfoot and Prongs together. Together I think they would have been so much fun and J.K.Rowling needs to write a series about them.

Noise: I love the sound of the ocean at night time when the waves get all calm and still but are just lightly pushing against each other.

Onomatopoeia: Mine would be Hiss. It’s so fun to say, go on try it I won’t judge.

Post on tumblr: The one with the dancing reindeers. You can find it here: http://melaphantastic.tumblr.com/post/14299262543/reindeer-photoset-as-promised-youll-need-to

Queen song: Bohemian Rhapsody, it is catchy, it is cool and you can sing it all (including the instrumental).

Rebel group in a book/movie: I love the one in the Hunger Games. I love the passion they had for what they were doing and I love the way they went about everything.

Superhero: Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. He is just adorable the entire time.

TV show: Supernatural in the everything genre, and FRIENDS in the comedy genre. Mainly Spn though.

Ukulele colour: I really like them in pink, they feel very Hawaii like then.

Vacation: This year I went to America for two week and we went to Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida and it was so amazing I cannot even describe it. You have to go there one day!

Word: I like wubble. Not sure it’s a real word but in America they have a thing called a Wubble Bubble Ball and I just love the word Wubble.

X-men character: Never actually seen X-Men but I need something for X.

Yak name: If I had a Yak I’d probably name it Zak, just so that I could say “this is Zak, my Yak” and make a really cool rhyme.

Z favourite way to say Z: I say it like Zed, never really like Zee.

That is is for the alphabet favourites tag. I apologise if it was boring but It was all my brain could come up with. I tag SherlockianBooklover and Bookishrebels to do this tag. Feel free to comment your answers in the comments section. Also I am wanting a new goodbye so any suggestions you have please comment them. Please.

Signing off, Charlie.

Goodreads Tag

Hi there,
It is only 18 days until Christmas and I am very over-excited so to occupy my mind I am going to be doing the Goodreads Tag. Alright lets start before I overload with Christmas excitment!

1. What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?
Love Lives by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees. I actually have a booktalk on it if you want to check it out. I rated it 3/5 stars and I would recommend it to anyone who loves romance novels but also wants a little more out of them.

2. What are you currently reading?
Just Take my Heart by Mary Higgens Clark. I read one of her books a couple of years ago; a really short one called Silent Night. I really liked it and I found this and decided to give it a go.

3. What was the last book you marked as ‘TBR’?
You’re the One that I Want by Giovanna Fletcher. I really want to read her books, they sound amazing.

4. What book do you plan to read next?
I have no idea at all. I never do really, I just wing it from book to book.

5. Do you use the star rating system?
Yes I love the star rating system. It usually works to convey how much I loved a certain book although sometimes I need more stars!

6. Are you doing a 2014 Reading Challenge?
No. I started to do one but it was just stressing me out a little always looking at how many books to read and stuff so I stopped. I probably won’t do one next year either.

7. Do you have a wishlist?
No, because I have no idea how to make one or anything.

8. What book do you plan to buy next?
Depends on what books I get for my birthday or for Christmas. Although right now probably Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken. I absolutely loved the Darkest Minds and I really want to continue with the series.

9. Do you have any favorite quotes, would you like to share a few?
“I suppose a fire that burns that bright is not meant to last.”
– Veronica Roth, Allegiant
“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought no one but myself. . .”
– C.S.Lewis, The Four Loves
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much”
– Oscar Wilde

10. Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many it would take me about a week and a half to list them all here.

11. Have you joined any groups?
Yes I have. I am in the Wide Web of Friends in YA, Anti Bullying Week Readathon and The Hopefuls.

That is it for the goodreads tag. Feel free to comment your answers to these questions.

Signing off, Charlie

Booktalk with Charlie – Love Lives

Hi there,
I just finished Love Lives by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees and I had very mixed feelings about it so this booktalk with be very much all over the place. The book follows four different people so my spoiler section will be split into their different stories. As usual it will be split into spoiler and non-spoiler section.

Non-spoiler:
Love Lives focuses on the life of four different people all brought together by one house. A house in which, for decades, people from various places around the country flock to to commit suicide by throwing themselves of the cliff that it is set on. Ned is an architect working on rebuilding the structure to it’s original state. Ellen is a working on a documentary about the legend surrounding the old manor and the suicides that have occurred since. Jimmy is a teenager, unwillingly drawn into one of the suicides. Verity is a 17-year-old girl intend on falling in love. The story flowed very well between the many stories but became very predictable very early on which made it a little less exciting. I would recommend it as a good summer read for anybody wanted a romance story with a little bit more too it.

Spoiler:
Jimmy – Jimmy’s story begins with the explanation of his infatuation for Verity and his plan to give her the mixed CD he made. It gave the audience their first glance of where Jimmy’s feelings lied but it also made anyone see that his story would revolve around her. We got to see that his Dad was a dead-beat and he lived with his step mother, Rachel, and her son, Keiran. I would have liked to see more of them mentioned in the story but they were absent for a large chunk of it which disappointed me.
It was revealed early on that Jimmy was having an affair with his boss at the video store he worked in and personally this storyline made me cringe so much. It seemed very unnecessary and was only mentioned a couple of times. The fact that a 17 year old (I’m assuming) was having an affair with a 37 year old was just icky. The first time we saw that was when Scott came into the store and gained an interest in Jimmy. He was recruited by them to assist in making the documentary.
He was allowed to view the auditions for the leading roles in the reconstruction of the legend and, surprise, Verity got it and the leading man got sick on filming day. This seemed very cliché and too good to be true but I let it slide because that’s what romance novels are all about. They shot a couple of scenes and it was really good to see Jimmy’s confidence in himself grow. I think he was the character we saw most development from.
He broke off the affair (thank goodness) and went to make a grand gesture to Verity. What he did was so amazing and really sweet and she just kind of rejected him. Although of course everything worked out in the end and Verity realised she liked him, although not after he nearly killed himself. He was driving the motorbike drunk and it was really scary, I thought he was going to die! But he didn’t and we got to hear the truth about Ryan. That part of the book was really frightening; to know that Jimmy had almost died too and that Ryan didn’t want to. To see the fear that was in his eyes and hear his screams as he went over the edge. It was a very emotional part of the book but I’m glad it was resolved. The ending with him and Verity seemed very quick and quite anticlimactic but at least it was all resolved.

Verity – Verity was a character I was consistently frustrated with. Her lack of empathy for other people astounded me. When Jimmy was so sweet and gave her the mixed CD she was really cold to him and just stared at Denny whatever-his-name-is. The first approach with them was uncomfortable to read and felt very strange because she was only 17 and he was 26 or whatever and had his own shop. The only person I disliked more than Verity was Verity’s mother, Cheryl. She was so inconsiderate of what her daughter wanted, sometimes I don’t think she even realised it. She wanted so much for her she didn’t think about what Verity wanted for herself. However, Verity was quite rude to both her mother and father. The revelation that her mother was having an affair seemed very reclusive as a storyline and was never properly resolved I didn’t think.
Being forced to reschedule a date, while horrible if you’re forced into something you don’t want to do, is not actually the end of the world. Verity made out like it was, however Denny didn’t even care that much. Her first date with Denny went well but I just hated reading it! She thought he was the most incredible person in the world and would die without seeing him every single day of her life. She was just being ridiculous!
Then she got cast in the reconstruction and did the scenes with Jimmy.  They kissed and she kissed him back which apparently counts as an infidelity even though they were just acting. Denny punched Jimmy and she still thought he was wonderful despite his immense over-reaction at what had happened. She basically begged him to take her back over the weeks and I hated reading that. Her going over to his house was the most cringe-worthy chapter in the book and was really disturbing. He made her do things she clearly did not want to do and it was uncomfortable and disgusting to read. The fact that he did that and she still thought she loved him made me want to scream. Her excuses after Jimmy was so sweet to her were hollow and made it very hard to read.
Finally she stood up to both her mother and Denny after the concert, shouting at him while her mike was on. She then went and found Jimmy and la-di-da they fell in love.

Ellen: Ellen’s story had the most gaps in the story for me. She was staying at wherever-it-was with Scott, her co-worker and complained a lot in the first two chapters maybe about how she wasn’t with her partner, Jason, for a while. After that he seemed to drift out of the story for the rest of it. The hate relationship at the beginning between Ellen and Ned was very tedious and did not make them getting together any more romantic as I’m assuming the authors were hoping it would.
Her love for romance and for Appleforth House was very enjoyable to read about and made Ellen seem more realistic to me as a reader. The conversations with Jason, and even the paragraphs about Jason, were dry and whiny. The only time I didn’t mind was when she wanted to confront him about the future they were supposedly to have together. I think it’s important to talk about that in a relationship. Her growing love for Ned was quite sweet and I liked that she was head strong in ending things with Jason once she knew how she felt for him. What I didn’t like is that she didn’t bother to take him too a private place before telling him like any normal human being would do.                       The chapters with Ellen were the ones that featured Scott the most, which I was happy about as I found him a very fun character. The most annoying thing in the entire book though was the fact that they constantly referred to Scott as “the Australian”. We get that he’s Australian, move on please. The last chapter with Ellen was really sweet. Ned was so kind to her after all he had done (in the heart breaking chapter previously), but I don’t think she should’ve been taken away like that. What he did to her was not nice and she just forgot it immediately. Oh well it was a happy ending.

Ned – I saved Ned for last because I feel he had more background to him than any other character. We open on him lying in bed after a night of drinking, his adorable daughter at the end of the bed waiting for him to wake up. Clara was so adorable and I really wish she was present more in the book. His immediate attraction towards Ellen was sweet but quite surprising. After the struggles of other characters it didn’t seem like it would be that simply. And turns out it wasn’t! The back and forth between love and hate with the two characters was full and repetitive but I figured I’d let it play out.                                                          Deb was a side character in Ned’s story who got very little time in the book and was useless except to be Scott’s love interest. I didn’t think she was his girlfriend/partner at all during the novel as it just didn’t fit with the storyline. When he told Clara and Ellen about his wife having a brain illness that killed her, I fully believed he meant cancer. Then it was revealed that she had actually committed suicide after having post-natal depression. This storyline was very sad as it is a very real mental illness that people suffer from every day.                                         That story gave so much depth to Ned and the fact that he didn’t believe he could have a second chance and that romance didn’t exist. It just felt so raw and real. The night he had with Ellen felt very intimate and the fact that he was afraid of his feelings made his lack of belief in romance even more solid. I couldn’t believe he was doing drugs, being a dad and everything. He eventually realized how much he felt for Ellen and the what she had given up for him. The end was beautiful and everything that he set up for her, admitting to his feelings.               The most exciting part of Ned’s story, however, was when he discovered that the father of the girl who threw herself off the rocks first, actually murdered her lover Leon, making her kill herself to be with him. This murder resulted in the father burning down the house with him inside. This revelation made a very exciting turn to the story.

I had very fixed feelings for this book but overall it was an enjoyable read. The end felt quite anticlimactic and the Jason story seemed very unresolved and fast. I’d rate it 3 stars out of 5.

Signing off, Charlie.

Fifteen Festive Favourites

Hi there,
So it is now December 1st, meaning it is only 24 days until Christmas! In light of this holiday I am going to be doing the Fifteen Festive Favourites tag. I absolutely love Christmas so this is a really awesome tag to do and I hope you all like it as well.

1. Festive food
The Yorkshire puddings. My dad makes them from scratch and they are so delicious!

2. Reindeer
Prancer because he has the coolest name out of all the reindeer. And also because of this:
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3. Day of Christmas
Five Gold Rings!! It’s the only part of the song everybody knows and it’s the part people like to sing at the top of their lungs.

4. Christmas Song
Do They Know it’s Christmas Time the BandAid song. I love the cause it’s for and I love the actual song. It is so amazing and has always been my favourite song.

5. Christmas Present
I love all presents really. I’ll be happy with anything I get. I’ve never really had an absolute favourite present.

6. Christmas Film
Nativity! The one with Martin Freeman. The songs are amazing and the film is so funny and so good.

7. Christmas Cracker toy
There are seriously no good cracker toys in Australian Christmas Crackers.

8. Christmas Cracker joke
Never gotten a good joke either. Pretty disappointing really.

9. Decoration
We have this gorgeous (quite tall) Nutcracker that’s mouth can actually crack nuts. When we were young we used to make it talk and I’ve just always really loved it as a decoration.

10. Candle scent
We don’t use candles at Christmas. We don’t really use candles at all actually.

11. Christmas advert
Once again there are no good ads that I have seen at Christmas that I can really remember.

12. Festive Tradition
On Christmas Eve we always watch a Christmas film before we go to bed and I’ve just always loved to do that.

13. Place to spend Christmas
At home. I’ve never really spent it anywhere else because at home is where I think Christmas should be spent.

14. Festive Fact
If you don’t have a Chimney you don’t have to worry about Father Christmas not getting to you because he has a Universal Key that opens all houses’ doors.

15. Snowman accessory
The scarf. I don’t like to think of the snowman being cold so I like it when it has a scarf. I have only actually built one snowman in my life when we lived in England. We built it with our next door neighbor.

That is all for the Fifteen Festive Favourites tag. I hope it has gotten you in the mood for Christmas. I tag SherlockianBooklover and PagesWeHeart. I also tag any of you that love Christmas.

Signing off, Charlie