All I Want for Christmas Tag

Hi there,
So I know what you’re thinking, “it’s not even Decemeber yet!” I know, I know, but I’m just too excited to not begin the festive tags. Today I’ll be doing the All I want for Christmas book tag, a tag created by youtuber Sasha; her channel is really incredible, she’s creative and funny and loves the same books as me so go check out her channel! Alright so lets just get started I guess.

1) What fictional character do you want Santa to leave under your Christmas tree?
Jamie Fraser. No question.

2) What character do you want to kiss under the mistletoe?
Once again Jamie Fraser. He is the love of my life so who else would I want to kiss under the mistletoe?

3) You write your Christmas list for Santa, what are the top 5 books on it?
Alright the top five books on my list this year are: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Martian by Andy Weir
Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Winter by Marissa Meyer

4) It’s secret Santa at Hogwarts, what do you most want to recieve?
Oh wow, now this is tough because there are so many amazing magical Christmas items to get. I suppose I would love a wizards chess board or a riding broom! Both would be amazing to get as presents.

5) You get to the spend the day with the characters and movie adaptation actors from one fandom, what do you pick?
This would have to be Harry Potter, I love both the characters and the actors and a day with them would be like a dream come true, I couldn’t imagine a better Christmas!

6) What fictional animal would you like to replace Rudolph and be able to meet on your roof?
A Hippogriff for sure (I know, more Harry Potter), they are amazingly beautiful creatures and I’d love to be able to ride one, or just pet one.

7) You invite 10 fictional characters to your new years eve party, who do you pick?
Jamie Fraser for sure (I need to kiss him at the countdown obviously)
George Weasley
Isabelle Lightwood
Etienne St Clair (the king of party games)
Celaena Sardothein
Akiva (I wouldn’t have to walk anywhere)
Raffe and Penryn (they could really do with a night off)

8) What character would make a good santa? (Doesn’t have to be appearance, personality counts too)
I’d have to say Hagrid, not only is he lovely and round like Santa, but he would have the best time and children would love his fun spirit.

Alright so that is all for the All I want for Christmas book tag, comment your answers done below because I would love to know your answers. Hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you next time.

Signing off, Verity


Contemporary Recommendations

Hi there,
So down under in sunny Australia it’s summer is fast approaching, and what better time to read a cute contemporary than summer? So today I will giving my top recommendations for contemporary reads, all YA, no adult, in case you couldn’t tell.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? 

This book is the first in a trilogy of contemporary novels and they arethe cutest, funnest, most exciting contemporary novels. Anna is the best in the trilogy but you should read absolutely all of them! The relationships are well-developed and you will have such a fun time reading them.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.
Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Rainbow Rowell has written three YA contemporary novels and you should read all of them! Eleanor and Park is the first that she wrote and my favourite of her novels. The relationship is adorable and amazing and I love the sub-story about Eleanor’s family. If you’re interested in contemporary novels with more than just romance this is for you.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

This is a classic and one I’m sure many of you have already read but I had to recommend it anyway. It’s an incredible story that not only is adorable but has characters that are suffering with an illness no person, especially not one so young, should ever have to go through.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Charlie is a freshman.
And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This is a book that I think really captures the high school experience. The ups, the downs, the friendships, the heartbreaks, they’re experiences every adolescent goes through and they’re so perfectly written about. The sub-plot at the conclusion of the novel is a really intense subject matter and is the one thing that moves outside of the “regular high school experience” but it a welcome addition to the plot of the story.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This a book that is deeply, deeply emotional and super adorable at the same time. It’s beautiful and meaningful and not just another typical romance. It’s different, and it’s special and should be read by everyone.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This book is seriously emotional and really moved me in a way I didn’t think a contemporary actually could. The central relationship was between a brother and a sister instead of a romantic relationship (which still was present) and it was beautiful and messy and amazing and I loved everything about it.

Alright so they are my contemporary recommendations, let me know down below what your favourite contemporaries are and whether you’ve read these books or not.

Signing off, Verity

TFF: Favourite movies 2015

Hi there,
So another Friday has rolled around and you all know what that means! It’s just the best day of the week of course, who doesn’t eagerly await another Top Five Friday’s!? Anyway, this weeks topic is my favourite movies of 2015 so far. More are being released towards the closing months of this year (including Mockingjay Part 2 which I’ve yet to see) but because I couldn’t think of anything else, this is what you’ve got. These are in no particularly order because that is seriously way too hard. Just a warning there will be spoilers. Alright let’s just jump right in.

1) Jurassic World
Okay, I was seriously so excited for this film for a long time. And it seriously did not disappoint me. I mean Chris Pratt and dinosaurs for 2 hours, what’s not to love! It was a brilliantly crafted film that didn’t heavily lean on it’s special effects (which were awesome by the way). The one part of this movie I did not like was the ending. And not the T-Rex vs evil dinosaurs part but it was the water dinosaur magically popping out of the water and eating the evil weird mutated dinosaur that was just a little hard to believe. It was still a brilliant film though and I would rate it 5 stars.

2) Inside Out
This was one of the most emotional Disney films I think I’ve ever seen. It was so beautiful and funny and creative and everyone will enjoy it. It also gave an insight, I think, into what it feels like to have a mental illness, the emptiness that you can feel and that absence of joy. I think everyone can feel a real connection to Joy when she’s crying over the faded memories and how she just wanted her to be happy, because we all love people that we just want to be happy. It was a really creative, brilliant film.

3) The Martian
This is one of the more recent releases and it was spectacular. I was a little hesitant because I wasn’t so sure how entertaining it would be to watch someone alone on Mars, but it was so well constructed that I couldn’t help but love it. The supporting characters I would’ve liked to have had a bigger role but the entire film played out brilliantly. Mark Watney was a really interesting character and he made living on Mars, not only frustrating but funny. At times it felt like you were there, on Mars, with no way off. I think the greatest moment was the ending. I was so completely stressed at that point in the film but it was excellently done and I have absolutely no complaints about it. The patriotism felt like a bit much at the beginning of the film but it became to be one of the films most redeeming qualities.

4) Age of Ultron
This is the second film in the Avengers series and I loved it. I fell in love with that characters all over again and even fell in love with the new characters that were introduced. I loved the twins, despite my hesitations about them at the start, but I was really annoyed at the prevalence that the Nat/Bruce relationship took over more important, necessary elements of the film. It was a well-constructed film and I very much enjoyed it.

5) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
I wasn’t sure how well this book would be translated to film but it was done very well. I didn’t realize how visual everything was until I watched the film and saw all the movies they made, an element that I think made it stronger as a film. The thing I love about this story is the absolute lack of romantic intentions between the Greg and Rachel. It made the story more believable and focused more on the effect of death on friends which I liked. The ending in this film was both beautiful and sad and is one of the top reasons it made my list.

Alright so that is it for my Top Five Friday’s: favourite movie of 2015. feel free to leave your favourite movies of this year down in the comments below.

Signing off, Verity


TFF: Favourite Harry Potter moments

Hi there,
So it’s been a while . . . sorry about that but this week has been so hectic! Anyway, another Friday has rolled around so it’s time for Top Five Friday’s. This weeks topic is really hard; my favourite Harry Potter moments. Because it is so darn difficult the five moments will be in no particular order, they are just the five I love the most. Alright lets get started.

1) Tom Riddle’s death
I’m not talking the movie death here, I’m talking the book death. It was so simple and so quick and it was a plainly human death. It brought that slice of humanity back to Tom Riddle and gave him the death he most deserved; a death that made him normal. It was the finality of the moment that made me realize the books were ending, that I was drawing close to the end. It was a simple and yet strangely heartbreaking moment that I will never forget reading.

2) Mirror of Erised (first meeting)
Harry finding the Mirror of Erised was such a beautiful moment and was great foreshadowing for character development to come. Harry longed for the family he never got, and that longing was part of what fueled him to keep going, to win the war. Harry is one of the bravest characters but I think some small part of him broke when he realized that Mirror showed him something that could never be reached. It was a truly beautiful scene and I loved both reading and watching it.

3) Neville’s speech
Neville’s speech was, for a lot of people, what proved his braveness. Neville is one of the most courageous characters in the series, he faced his worse fear every day, and I loved that this was how he decided to show the world. He developed so much as a character in the Deathly Hallows and this entire scene, not just the speech but the hat and sword, made me love Neville even more. What he went through because of his bravery was horrific, but the fact that he continued after that, is what makes Neville so special.

4) Hermione and Ron kiss
Once again I’m talking about the book, not the movie. Firstly the scene showed how much Ron had developed as a character, his truly caring nature becoming more apparent. Secondly it was a beautifully crafted scene, with romance and comedy making an appearance. I waited seven long books for that kiss and boy was I glad of the wait. It was really simple, but really nice, a perfect encompass of their two characters.

5) Harry conjures a Patronus
In the moment when Harry and Sirius were facing the dementors a mysterious person fired a patronus, a person that was later revealed to be Harry. He had believed it was his father but then realizing he wasn’t coming, Harry conjured the patronus himself. This scene was a true show of Harry’s character, of his take charge attitude. I also think it was a turning point (a rather dark one) for Harry as it was the moment he realized no one was coming to save him, he was going to have to do that himself. It was a beautiful and heartbreaking scene and it will always rank high on my list.

Alright so that is it for my Top Five Friday’s: favourite Harry Potter moments. Feel free to share your favourite moments in the comments down below.

Signing off, Verity


Harry rides Buckbeak

October Wrap-up/November TBR

Hi there,
So the wonderful month of October is over and we are so close to Christmas! So today (to relax my Christmas spirit) I thought I’d share with you the books I managed to read in October and what I plan to read in November. I read a pretty good number of books in October and hope to read the same in November. So without further ado, lets get started.

October Wrap-up:

1) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
This was the first book I read in the month of October and it was so good I finished it in less than two days. The characters were so interesting and the plot really excited me. The ending was possibly one of the biggest plot twists I’ve read and I so did not see it coming. Noah was the most amazing guy and Mara, while frustrating, was quirky and cool to read about. I highly recommend this but I would be wary because it deals with some mental illness type scenarios and has murderers and stuff as well.
Rating: * * * * *

2) Cress by Marissa Meyer
Cress is the third book in the Cinder series by Marissa Meyer and I really enjoyed it. I loved Cress, she was such a cool character, and I loved Thorne even more. The lack of Scarlet and the story surrounding her was super annoying but I loved it all the same. I cannot wait for Winter but I’m so scared because I literally have no ideas as to how this will end.
Rating: * * * * *

3) Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone illustrated edition by J.K.Rowling
I re-read this when I got the illustrated version and I am so glad I did. The illustrations added so much more interest to the story and I couldn’t help but feel like a new brand of Harry Potter readers were being born. The illustrations were impossibly beautiful and my favourite of which has to be Harry by the Mirror of Erised. Google it if you want to see it, it is amazing.
Rating: * * * * *

4) Images
This is a book that is, as-of-yet, unpublished and was written by my Dad. It’s a crime novel centering around the protagonist, Jason who, after losing both his wife and daughter, is called to the US to investigate a string of child murders. It was a really well-written book and I really enjoyed the plot. The characters were interesting and I found myself desperate to discover what was coming next. The ending blew my mind and I highly recommend to everyone (once it’s published of course).
Rating: * * * * *

5) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
This is the final book I read in October and it was so good. I have a booktalk on it (my first in ages) if you want to check that out. It’s a really good book and has a great range of ethnicity’s, cultures and sexuality. It had a Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson vibe and was just a really fun read.
Rating: * * * * *

November TBR

1) Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
This is the third book in the Throne of Glass series and the book that I’m currently reading. This has been on my TBR since about May and I have finally gotten around to it! For the second time! I’m excited to read this because I loved the last book and this should be even better!

2) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Yes, this is my Sarah J. Maas month. And yes there is a reason. I want to go to Supanova this year and she’s going to be there and I want my books signed! And I want to be able to talk to her about the entire series and how much I love it. So yes, my SJ Maas month.

3) The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
This is the second book in the Mara Dyer series and after the incredibleness of the first I just have to read this. I got it a little while ago but I had other things to read, but I am really excited to read this.

4) The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy
This is the second book in The Fifth Wave series and something I’ve had on my shelf for a while. I’m excited to read it in preparation for the last book in the trilogy and for the film which looks amazing! Although the Cassie in the film looks a lot younger than the Ethan so it looks like pedophilia. Anyway, back on track: very excited, 4th book for the month.

Okay so that is it for my October wrap-up and my November TBR, feel free to comment down below the books you read in the previous month and the books your planning on reading in this month.

Signing off, Verity