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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Books | The Reason I Stay by Patty Maximini


Jack Daniels is the cure to all evils. Sex should be casual and, preferably, anonymous.
My name is Mathew Rogers and those are the values I built my adult life around. They are also the reason I had to forsake everything I loved in Seattle and embark on a solitary road trip across the country, with no direction other than searching for the next small town, the next girl, and the closest liquor store.
Boredom, frustration and a series of unfortunate decisions led me to the rickety-ass town of Jolene, Alabama—a town I wanted to leave behind from the moment I passed the welcome sign. But it was there where I met her. The girl who made me question everything I’ve always believed in, and the only one who has ever had the power to break my heart.
Her name is Lexie.
She’s beautiful, and I’m pretty sure she hates me.
And for once in my life, I give enough of a damn that I keep finding a reason to stay.  

My Review:

The Reason I Stay started off a bit infuriating for me. I've chosen that word carefully as, if you've read the book, one of the main characters, Lexie, spends over a third of the book being furious at the other main character, Matt, a stranger she's never met before, who treats her like crap in the restaurant she works. Whilst the cover is fairly dreamy and light, the book isn't so much. It contains sex, strong language and a lot of anger. At first, I really hated Matt, which was expected as he was a total douchebag, but I grew to like him as did Lexie. It was interesting to see him change throughout the book. Lexie, on the other hand was a bit like myself - snarky, independent and loyal. I absolutely loved her. The other side-characters in the book were also lovely to read about - in particular Kodee, who may have been my favourite character all together. The book wasn't all about the sex in their developing relationship and I liked that from a New Adult novel. I would definitely recommend reading this book if you're wanting a quick enjoyable romance with kick-ass characters and a load of attitude. 

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

Author Bio:

Hopeless dreamer, tattoo enthusiast, Disney addict and hoarder of nail polishes and vegan recipes. Patty lives with her husband, her crazy cat, two dogs and elderly bunny in a house frequently visited by wild birds and chipmunks.

Follow Patty: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble (US)

Add the book to your shelves: Goodreads

Monday, 20 October 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

About 5 months ago, I heard about NaNoWriMo on a podcast (I can't remember the exact one - possibly Book Hype) and couldn't wait for November to come so I could join in on National Novel Writing Month. Therefore, this year is my first time and it's safe to say I'm pretty nervous. If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about - NaNoWriMo is basically an annual event where professional and amateur writers can set themselves the goal of writing 50,000 words in the month of November. It's well-known that the work you produce during NaNoWriMo probably won't be that great, but at least you will have a great deal of words down and can start revisions on your work and maybe eventually turn it into a finished novel. 

The idea of having one national month for people to do this in is that there's an overwhelming amount of support and events surrounding NaNoWriMo. One of my favourite aspects is seeing some of my favourite Booktubers and bloggers giving their tips to help others and providing updates on their progress. My favourite has to be Little Book Owl's tip video which you should go and watch if you haven't already. If you need any more inspiration to get started, the NaNoWriMo's website has lots of Merchandise and Apparel that you can get; including mugs, t'shirts, books and posters. Although please bear in mind shipping costs and import taxes, etc if you live outside of the US, sadly as I am.

I've picked up some tips and tricks I've picked up from my many hours of research so wanted to share them with any budding NaNoWriMo-ers:
  • Outline your idea before 1st November. Then you can spend the entire month of November writing. 
  • Try to write everyday. Even if you only get around 100 words that day, if you keep writing, you're more likely to stay motivated. 
  • Do not edit your work. There will be plenty of time for that in December. November is for writing your initial thoughts down and fleshing everything out with plenty of detailed world-building.
  • Get enough sleep. I've heard a few people in past years skipped sleeping to keep on top of their word count. If you settle into a regular routine, with enough sleep, you're much more likely to write better and not be stressed.

If you're doing NaNoWriMo and want to be my buddy and support each other, you can find me here, my username is: Christinax92. If you're interested and now want to take part - head over to the website and sign up. Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Had you heard of it before reading this post?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Books | Halloween Recommendations

With Halloween just around the corner, I can't wait to dig into some spooky books that I've been waiting for months to be able to read. Halloween is one of my favourite holidays and I love the feeling of reading something creepy and being scared - here are some really spooky choices and some slightly less creepy choices for those of you who want to get in the Halloween spirit without being too scared. 

Firstly, if you don't like being scared but want to celebrate the Halloween season, I'd recommend reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. It's got a quirky strange feel without being scary or creepy - the pictures interspersed throughout are probably the creepiest part of the book, and they're more weird rather than spooky. 
Next, if you're into murder mystery thrillers, Night Film is a great choice. I haven't read this yet so I can't comment on my thoughts on the book but it's on my TBR list for October. 
Hexed is a modern-day witch story which again, I haven't yet read. Plenty of people have raved about this book and with the story line being about witches and the cover being so creepy, I feel it would be a perfect choice for Halloween. 
Anna Dressed in Blood is one of my current reads and so far, I'm loving it. It's super creepy and often makes me feel uncomfortable about being alone - which is amazing to achieve from a book. I'm pretty hard to scare but this book is definitely a good one for Halloween. 
Finally, Asylum is a great read for Halloween as it's creepy, scary and has pictures included throughout the book which just add to the spooky feel. 

If you've read any of these books, what did you think? Would they be on your Halloween TBR? What is on your list?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Books | TBR Tag

I saw this tag on Books Equal Awesomeness and although nobody has tagged me, I wanted to do it as it looks so fun! The tag was originally created by Rachel at A Perfection Called Books and Dana at DanaSquare and is all about your TBR (to be read) shelf!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
I keep track of books I want to read but don't yet own on Goodreads so whenever I fancy making a new purchase, I check on there to see what I should buy. Books I do own are kept on a separate shelf than books I have read. I also try to organise them by putting the ones I want to read first towards the beginning of the shelf. All of the e-books on my iphone are ones that I haven't yet read, as I remove them from my device after reading (they're still in my iTunes - don't worry!) 

Is your TBR mostly print or ebooks?
This is a tricky question! Unfortunately, my TBR list is huge. I have around 100 ebooks waiting that I want to read and about the same amount of print books as well. 

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?
If I've been sent a book from NetGalley or I've won it on Goodreads First Reads, I will try to read these before I read ones I've purchased myself. Generally, I just look at the shelf/my iBooks app and see what I'm in the mood for. 

A book that's been on your TBR the longest:
Oh gosh, probably a Classic like Emma or Pride & Prejudice because I've been wanting to read these for longer than I've had my Goodreads account. But if I check my Goodreads account, the first book I added to my TBR shelf was The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by Randy J. Taraborrelli - a non-fiction book which is strange for me!

A book you recently added to your TBR:
The last book I added was Made for You by Melissa Marr - it looks incredible!

A book that is in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover:
Oh gosh, there are probably so many! The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke has an amazing cover. 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading:
I'm not sure on this one. There are probably plenty in my Goodreads TBR that I won't get round to and won't be bothered if I don't read them. 

An unpublished book on your TBR that you are excited for:
Half Wild by Sally Green - the sequel to Half Bad and it's out March 2015 and I can't wait!

A book on your TBR that basically everyone's read but you:
Oh again, there are so many. I'm gunna go with the entire Mortal Instruments series. 

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you:
Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children by Ransom Riggs and the sequel Hollow City. With Halloween coming up this month, I'll be reading them both.

A book that you're dying to read:
Oh again, so many! I'm gunna go with Miss Peregrine again as I'm so excited for it!

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?
1110 :)

I tag everyone who made it this far to do this tag - and post your links below so I can be nosy and make myself feel better about the amount of books on my TBR shelf!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Film | Gone Girl

I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn back in January this year and couldn't believe it when I saw that it was being adapted into a movie. Whilst aspects of the book worked amazingly well in literature form, I was unsure how they would translate to screen so it's safe to say I was skeptical. I went to the cinema last night to see Gone Girl and was quite literally blown away. 

If you haven't read the novel and have somehow managed to stay away from spoilers, it's best to go into the film without knowing anything at all about the plot, so for this reason I won't be giving a synopsis. However, I will say that the film is a perfect commentary on the effect the media can have on peoples opinions and how quickly those opinions can change. Gone Girl is directed by David Fincher - a man well known for his perfectionist nature and impeccable filmography, including Se7en and Fight Club. I'm a big fan of David Fincher and in my opinion, this is one of his best films to date. 

Firstly, whilst not entirely relevant to the review of the film itself, it's an aspect I have thought about often so felt it needed a mention. The trailer for the film was done incredibly well and maintained an air of mystery, which is what this film needed. At first I thought that the trailer wouldn't make much sense to those who haven't read the novel but after watching the film, I know now that it needed to be that way. The trailer needed to give very little away in order for the film to affect the viewers the way it did.
Secondly, the adaptation from the book was pretty accurate, especially the sinister atmosphere. The book has such a careful structure that I wasn't sure how it would all weave together in the film, but Fincher managed it flawlessly. There were parts in the book that weren't in the film, for example there were more 'clues' in the book, but naturally, if every detail from the book was in the film, it would be far too long and it already exceeded 2 and a half hours as it was. I had heard that the ending of the film had been re-written by Gillian Flynn but that it was "practically the same." Apparently, a lot of people weren't happy with the resolution of the book but I was content - it left questions unanswered but that was the point. It added to the overall darkness of the book and the film seemed to go beyond that, in order to give the viewers more of a resolution. 

Visually, this was one of the best films I've seen in a long time. The cinematography was incredible and helped add to the creepy, dark feeling of the film. Both Ben Affleck (Nick) and Rosamund Pike (Amy) were absolutely incredible in this film and every character was perfectly cast, especially the lawyer Tanner Bolt (played by Tyler Perry) and Margo, Nick's sister. I feel as though multiple viewings will definitely be needed in order to unpack parts of the scenes that I missed the first time and in order to truly appreciate the film. 
Whether you have read the book or not, I urge you to go and watch Gone Girl. You won't be disappointed.