Tuesday, 27 August 2013

7 Deadly Sins of Reading | A Little Bit of Literature

I have a little something different for you all today. For those who don't know me very well, I'm an avid reader. I never leave the house without a book or my kindle and any opportunity I get I've got my head stuck in a book. I've been watching some "booktubers" recently and saw that they did this tag and wanted to give it a go, so here it is, my 7 Deadly Sins of Reading tag. 

GREED: What is your most inexpensive book? What is your most expensive book? 
I have a number of books that I’ve brought for 50p from a charity shop or two. I couldn’t name them all because the post would go on and on forever but charity shops are always a good place to shop. The most expensive book would probably be one of my university text books which are around £30 a piece. My first year at uni I thought I should buy all the books for my course, now I’ve learnt to borrow them from the library! 

WRATH: What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
I can’t really answer this one because I don’t tend to love an author I love a book, if that makes sense. I never read a book by one person and then assume I’ll like their other books so I don’t read them unless I’ve read a summary I like the sound off. At one point in time I would have said Stephanie Meyer because I loved the Twilight Series (which got me into reading) but when I first started The Host I hated it. I powered through the first few chapters of that after a while and fell in love. 

GLUTTONY: What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever?
I would have to say Eclipse. It’s not the best written book but like many people I fell in love with the story of the Twilight Saga and Eclipse is by far my favourite of the four. I think it has the best story and it’s nice a romantic too. 

SLOTH: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
Harry Potter. I’ve spoken to so many people that are shocked I haven’t read the series and I really want to but I think about how long it will be if I read from 1 to the end and I just get put off by it. I’m thinking of tackling it over the summer of 2013. 

PRIDE: What books do you most talk about in order to sound like a very intellectual reader?
I tend to bring up books that I read for my A-Level English course. I read a few classics for that course and because of the essays and discussions I had to write and have on these kinds of books. I really didn’t enjoy reading them, but they do make you sound a little more intellectual person instead of bringing up the likes of Twilight and Soul Screamers which I read for pleasure. 

LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in male characters?
Is it cheesy to say mysterious? I like a guy to be mysterious but not creepy. I don’t particularly have a preference with looks but I always tend to like them a little older than the main female character.  Add in a little bit of a quirky quality and some good hair and I’ll be falling at their fictional feet. 

ENVY: What books would you like to receive as a gift? 
I would love to get the full set of True Blood novels as a gift. I really want to read the books but there are so many to have to buy on my own that receiving them all as a gift in a nice box set would be brilliant. 

I would tag some people but I don't know how many people love reading or would want to do this so I'm just going to say I tag all the people who want to do this little tag! 

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Hunger Games Trilogy Review | A Little Bit of Literature

I found it quite hard to write this review, simply because I didn't quite have the words for this trilogy. It's the first of it's kind (YA Dystopian)  that I've read, and I'm unsure if I want to venture into this genre more. That is most definitely not to say  that I didn't adore this series, because I did. I think I'm going to find it hard to find a similar book that lives up to this, and that makes me want to read quite like this series did.

The Hunger Games
The first book, The Hunger Games, is really my favorite of all three. It took me about three days to read and I can't wait to pick it up again. It gives us a world and characters that you can connect to and it's very well written. It's written in the first person, and in the present tense which made it all the more easy for me to read. I find it hard to connect with books that are written in a differing format than this book.

This novel can stand alone if you really wanted to, which is good and bad. If you are not a fan of series then it's great news for you. The Hunger Games is for you, but if you don't mind series then the finality of this book can put you off reading the next two. It did for me. It took me about 6 months to pick up Catching Fire. 

Catching Fire 
Catching Fire is probably my least favourite of the series. In my opinion it's what I would call a filler book. It doesn't really introduce anything majorly new like the Hunger Games and Mockingjay, but I still read it and enjoyed it. It took me a little longer to read this but I still got though it in about two weeks. 

Mockingjay is my second favourite of the series, but I really hated the ending. I really didn't feel like I got closure on the series if that makes sense. I raced through the book, and that surprises me now that I look back on it. It's the most violent and most adult of the three novels and that kind of things doesn't really appeal to me.

I won't mention much about characters because I don't want anything to be spoiled but Collins did an amazing job of developing that characters through the yes of Katniss, the female protagonist. Katniss Everdeen may not seem the kind of person you would think of as a role model but the character that is developed in the book - I don't like her in the movie - is one that I quite admire. Many of her characteristics and actions are ones that I can seen (in a small way) in my self. She is devoted to her family, does what it takes to survive and tried her best. She might make mistakes, but who doesn't? 

The Ending
The ending, as I mentioned above, was a disappointment for me, It felt somewhat rushed and I was just left wanting more. I could understand this if there was another book, but it didn't wrap up the whole trilogy well enough for me. I like finality, and I just didn't get a feeling that it was really final. If that makes any sense at all. I felt like there was so much more of the story to tell, and I want more. 

Final Thoughts
The series as a whole is fast paced and an 'easy' read. It does deal with some heavy subject, so it's not a light read but I didn't struggle to get through it and I found myself itching to turn the pages. 

If you don't like violence, especially violence against children, then this might not be for you but I'm firmly against those ideas and I found that this novel really makes you think. The world that we are presented with is something so familiar (even thought we obviously don;t live in this world) that it makes it easy to connect with emotionally. That makes it an all the more interesting read because you can get even more emotionally invested in the story and characters.
I'm sorry this whole review is a bit all over the shot, I just wanted to get all my thought out there. There are so many more that I could share but this is already too long. I just leave you with the strong recommendation that you at least read the first novel. The second and third novels are worth a read, and really well written but The Hunger Games will remain my favorite.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Judging Books By there Covers #1 | A Little Bit of Literature

Today, I confess a sin. I judge books by the cover. I wish I was sorry, but I'm not. I've found some of my favourite books through this sin. I've found some terrible ones too. 

The cover of a book is the first thing you see. It's the first point of judgement, before the blurb or front cover. A bad cover can stop, me at the very least, even looking at the blurb. An amazing cover can sell me the book without me even reading the synopsis. 

So, today I bring you a post of my favorite covers from books I've seen.  Some I've read and some I'm just lusting after, ALOT! 
image sources: 1, 2, 3

Slated by Teri Terry 

I can't say what it is about this book cover that makes me lust after it. Normally books with just a face don't appeal to me, but this one does. I think it might be the slightly vintage look to the image, alongside the title slicing right through the middle of the picture. I just really want to know more about this book, so I think I'm going to pick it up when I'm done with the current lists of TBRs. 

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamerlain  

I think it's the bright pops of yellow that makes the appeal so much, to me at the very least. It doesn't give too much away about the plot of the book, or what the book could even be about which intrigued me. It makes me want to read the blurb for more info on the book. It also reminds me of Jodi Picoult books which I'm a huge fan of. 

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Is this not just incredibly haunting? Books like this don't usually appeal to me. Anything involving children, especially something supposedly creepy or anything like that, freaks me out like nothing else. Saying that, there is something eeire about this cover, and it really appeals to me. This books is definitely on my wishlist.

image sources: 1, 2, 3


Paper Towns by John Green 

I'm not sure why I adore this cover quite as much as I do but I will have to get this as a physical book rather than on my kindle just to admire the cover. It hold my attention, and makes me really want to read it. The fact it's a John Green novel probably helps too. 

Twilight Saga (White Covers) by Stephenie Meyer 

The Twilight Saga is probably the only series of books I will ever own two of, and these covers are the reason why I own two sets. I read the series when Breaking Dawn just hit shelves, so no white covers were about, but as soon as these white covers with the red edging hit Waterstones, I knew I had to have them. My mother kindly brought me three for my birthday, and I got the final book for myself soon after. I just need The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner to complete my collection. 

Shiver  by Maggie Stiefvater

The red, white and black colour combo is really simple. The branches and leaves add somewhat of a complexity to the cover. I think if this had any more colour it wouldn't work, any less and it wouldn't be as appealing. It's not just the copy of the Twilight books like so many books are trying to do now, and after reading the book you can place the colours and images you see on the cover. I love this cover, I brought this because of the cover and stayed true to the series to the end because Miss

Friday, 16 August 2013

Current Top Young Adult Series | A Little Bit of Literature

I'm a massive fan of reading and if I'm not blogging or doing some work for uni I generally have a my head buried in my kindle. Today, I wanted to do a little post on my top "young adult" & supernatural book series. I love reading a series of books because I always find myself wanting more when I've finished one novel, and below you will find my top 3 series. They are marketed as "young adult" but I think their is an unnecessary division between the adult and young adult sections. It's quite easy for an adult to enjoy a YA books, and vice versa. 

1) Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent

Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent link
My top series would have to be the "Soul Screamers" Series of books by Rachel Vincent. I have read all of them so far, and am eagerly awaiting the release of the final book next year. They are really easy reads, and quite original. The supernatural theme is everywhere at the moment but I must admit this is the first book series that I've found about Banshees. The plot has some brilliant twists and turns. The series starts with My Soul to Take, and finishes with "With All My Soul" which come out on March 19th 2013.

2) Vampire Academy by  Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, link.
I love this series, and other than Twilight I think it's the only series I've read from start to finish. While the Vampire Academy has finished, the author has written a 'spin off' series which follows an alchemist rather than the vampires in the original series.  This series can appeal to any age, at least I think so and it's a brilliant combination of romance and action. I love a good love story don't get me wrong but it was refreshing to reading something that wasn't "I love you" or something similarly redundant every other sentence.  

3) The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater
Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater, link
I love adore this series, and am planning to start the last of the trio soon. It's a series about wolves, but it's not the typical werewolf story. I've never read anything like this which is brilliant.  It's a nice, unique story and really easy to read. One thing I adore about this series is the change of narration from chapter to chapter. It's brilliant to hear from different people.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

August Book Haul: Kindle Edition | A Little Bit of Literature

I recently had a little spend up on Amazon, filled my kindle with some goodies to read over the coming months. I've been neglecting my kindle recently, and thought some new books would be just what I needed to help me get more use out of it.  I picked up 5 new books, starting with one from the Bloodlines series. 

Bloodlines: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead, £4.99 (link)
Bloodlines: The Indigo Spell is the third book in the Bloodlines series which is a spin off from the Vampire Academy saga. It follows Sydney, an Alchemist, along her journey with her supposed enemy vampire friends. It seems that the series is getting better as it develops more, so I have high hopes for this and the next one to follow. 

With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent, £4.50 (link)
image source
With All My Soul is, what I believe, to be the last book in the Soul Screamers series. The series follows Banshees (something I have never read to much about) and brings in the myths of the Grimm Reaper, demons and even more mythical/magical creatures.  I've adored all the other books in this series, even if they aren't great works of literature, and am looking forward to seeing how it ends.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green,  £4.99 (link)
image source
An Abundance of Katherines is just one the novel from YouTube Vlog Brother John Green. I'm pretty sure you've all heard of him, so I don't need to go on. I got this after reading The Fault in Our Stars, and falling in love with the writing. I'm hoping this is filled with brilliant words, teenagers beyond their years and the essence of John Green's authorship. 

Warm Bodies by Issac Marion, £5.22  (link)
image source
I picked up Warm Bodies because of the movie. I saw the film when it hit cinemas earlier this year, and while it wasn't the best thing ever it wasn't the worst. I know some people have slammed it, but the story had real potential. Often things in the movies are just wrongly translated from the book, or not translated at all. So, I picked up the book hoping it could offer me more insight into the characters and the plot. I'll be sure to post a review when I've finished reading it. 

Die For Me by Amy Plum, £3.99  (link) 
image source
I was recommend Die For Me ages ago when I was looking for something to read. At the time I ended up picking something else up, but when I saw this on the Amazon website I snapped it up. The title intrigued me, and the cover art looked nice. I did two things I should probably never do when looking for books but lets all hope its not a terrible read and I at least somewhat enjoy it. 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Amazon Kindle Review | A Little Bit of Literature

I am a book addict! I've never made a secret of that, and if I'm not working or at university (or blogging) I have my head buried in a book! I love the feel of a book and I get a strange satisfaction when I turn that final page. That feeling was one of the reasons I was reluctant to get a kindle when my mum offered to get me one for Christmas a couple of years back. 
I decided to take her up on that offer after looking at the discounted price of most of the books, and thinking about the compact-ness of the device. Books can be heavy, and the Kindle weighs less than a small paperback book, 247 grams to be exact. It also fits in the small bags I like, and it's got so many books at the touch of a button. The display is a pretty decent size (6 inches) and it's great to read from because it's like looking at paper. There is no back light and it's no reflective so you can read in the sun. It does get harder to read as the light fades, but a simple book light can fix that problem. You can also get fancy cases that have a built in lamp, but they are quite expensive. The book lamps can be found for about a £1 in poundland and places like that!

The kindle I have myself is a from a previous generation of Kindle and it cost my mum £159 when she got it! The version that I have is very similar to the Kindle Keyboard which is now £149. It is 3g and Wi-Fi enabled which means you can get books on the go in just about any place. The 3g is pretty reliable and there is no contract or further charges after you purchase the kindle. I think that's great because I would have hated to have to have paid for internet access on the go.

You can edit the setting to your liking which I am a huge fan of. I wear glasses, and hate wearing them in them in bed so it's great that the text can be a normal size when I wear my glasses and huge when I'm not. There are a range of font sizes and text spacing setting so there should be something for everyone.

There are some functions that I don't utilize, and I haven't heard from other people that they use them. The text to speech function sounds like a robot, and I just cannot follow along with it. The music function is pretty good but I have a phone and ipod with a better storage and they don't specifically have to be in the MP3 format like they have to be for the kindle. You can also flip the screen so you can read to the side. To me this is totally pointless but someone might like it. 

The kindle holds approximately 3500 books, and with the wireless off (and if you read about half an hour per day) the battery can last for about 2months which is amazing! I love that the battery lasts a long time because I am the worst person at charging things up! 

It does have a browser that is considered experimental and it something that can be improved upon. It's very temperamental but for quick browsing of Facebook or something like that it works and it's great for looking on amazon or checking emails in a squeeze. 

The keyboard is quiet when you type which is something I love. I know it's quite insignificant but loud clicky buttons annoy me to no end. The text is super clear and crisp, and even though it's black and white you can still see book covers if you want too. It's not something that makes a difference to me though. 

They great great great thing about the kindle is that you do not need a computer. Everything can be done from the device itself and you don't need to download anything specific for it to work. It does have system updates but they are done through the device, so again you don't need a PC. It's really easy to set up, all you need to do it link it to your Amazon account (you can create one for free if you don't have one). 

You can buy books in on click of a button if you have a payment method linked to your account, and the books download in less than a minute.  There are about a million free books, and while some of them are shockingly rubbish some of them are actually pretty great! The paid books are normally cheaper than physical copies even though Kindle books are subject to VAT unlike physical books.  Obviously not every book is available, but I think I've only had trouble getting one book on here and that's because it was a super old book that wasn't even published anymore. You can also  get free samples of a book (which is usually about a chapter of the book) so before you purchase anything you can see if you would want to read a book. This has saved me so much money because I usually impulse buy books and this feature stops me doing that. 

If you read for school or something like that or like to make annotations and highlight books, this has a feature to do that. You can save favorite quotes by highlighting them and you can make notes with the annotation features if you like to that sort of thing. 

I have to say that while it does take some getting used to, it's so quick to read on here. I think it might be something to do with not being able to see how much you have left to go. It's also lightweight and it's easy to read when your in bed because it doesn't get awkward to hold or anything like that. 

There is a built in dictionary that works really quickly. All you have to do is use the arrow keys to the word you want to look up and the definition pops up almost right away. It's great if you are reading something more advance, or reading in English as a second language. It saves having to dig out that huge dictionary, and looking it up! 

It can be password protected which is pretty cool. If you are reading something on the naughty side and don't want anyone finding out it might be good and it's great if you are scared of losing it and someone using the one click payment feature to spend all your money on books. It's also great if you have little sisters that love to ruin and play about your stuff, like me. the password makes sure they keep their nosey faces out of my stuff and keeps the grubby little mits off it too. 

I'm really sorry this is such a long post but I wanted the review to be really comprehensive. There are things that could be improved with the kindle but overall it's a fantastic device and I wouldn't be without mine. It is most definitely an investment thing because it's not cheap but it's great! It works in all lights and it does what it says it will do. There service from the kindle team is also amazing but I'll save that for another time. 

You can see the range of kindles here, or purchase the version I have here.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Host Review | A Little Bit of Literature

The Host by Stephenie Meyer. link
I love this book, and really hope it gets continued like rumors have suggested. I don't think it will though, but one can hope. But, as of this point in time, The Host by Stephenie Meyer is a stand alone novel.  

 I admire Meyer for keeping this as just once novel because the size and complexity of the story within the novel could have easily been split up into a trilogy like many books are now days.  

So, I will admit that I first picked this up because I was (still kinda am) a Twilight fan. From someone reading those books from a literary stand point they aren't that great. They could be better written, carry better morals and be edited better but from a normal stand point (or a 12 year old girls) it's a nice, fluffy read.   

When I first got this, I read the first chapter, and gave up. I didn't like the way it was written and I just didn't feel like I could get into it.  After the book sitting on my shelf for a long time, I thought I would power through and see if the whole thing was impossible for me to read.   

I am more than happy that I did power through because the books gets 100x better than the first chapter. The style of writing changes after chapter one, and becomes easier to read (at least for me). We start to hear from Wonderer in first person, and you become really invested in her character and the journey she takes. It's very easy to become invested in the characters in the novel, both the good and the bad. 

Because of the first person narrative, the emotions felt by Wanda and Melanie are easier to feel yourself. With Wanda and Melanie being just once character you get to experience the world from a human in danger and an soul just trying to get by.   

 You can read what it's like to find a lost family and to meet them for the first time. You can read about the journey of discovering humans, and their wicked complicated emotions. I would highly suggest reading this book if you are looking for something unique and easy to read (after chapter one of course). 

There are two things which I know puts off people from reading the novel. First, it's just Twilight with aliens. Two, there are aliens. Well, while this might be by the same author of Twilight, it's not filled with glittery vampires or not-really-werewolf-werewolves. Not everything is based around someone falling in love in three days, and it's not just a love story (although that does play a part in the story) it features great themes of family, loyalty and action.  Also, try to ignore that aliens are taking over the world. You are not going to encounter any little green men asking to be taken yo your leader, or anything like that. The "aliens" in this novel are quite unique, and like nothing else I've ever read about.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Little Bit of an Introduction

Hey guys! 

I just wanted to put up a little introduction post for my new blog. I adore reading, whether that is some trashy book like 50 Shades of Grey or classic literature like Romeo and Juliet. I studied English for as long as possible at school, and my passion for reading continues on even now I'm doing it purely for my own pleasure and no evil essays on how Marxism is presented in Jane Eyre and Oscar Wilde's works. 

I love talking about books, giving my opinion on different things and themes in the books. I have shared a few reviews and things like this on my Beauty Blog (Some Sparkle and Shine) but I wanted to keep purely beauty so I started  this little blog! 

So, I just wanted to introduce myself if you haven't read anything from me before and say hi! So, I'm Sarah, I love reading and movies and I'm 20. 

 I look forward to building this blog up a bit more, and hearing from you  all about the books I'm loving (or hating) at the moment!

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