Hereafter Review

Hello! Today I am reviewing Hereafter by Tara Hudson. This is the first in a trilogy but I have only read the first one. I look forward to reading Afterrise and Elegy because I loved reading Hereafter

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Let me start by saying- this wasn’t a stand out book for me, there are many other paranormal romance books out there that I love, but it was still an amazing book. As I’ve said in previous posts, I feel like most paranormal romance books these days are vampires Vs werewolves. I actually haven’t read any other books about ghosts or heard about any except for Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Anna Dressed in Blood sounds really good so I’m excited to read it in probably about two years to be honest. I have so many books to read but I always find myself doing something else! It was different and less predictable to read a ghost story. I don’t tend to have a problem with books being unoriginal because I like reading similar books but it’s nice to read something different every once in a while.

I like Amelia because she went on a journey and we only found out pieces of information about her past in different stages of the book. Strangely, for a person that doesn’t like reading the unknown, I enjoyed the mystery and suspense Hudson created in this novel. For me, the main point of the book was to unravel the mystery of Amelia’s past so I’m glad it was written in this way. Josh definitely added to the story. It wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good without romance in. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think there was anything from Josh’s point of view so that would be something nice to have in the rest of the trilogy. I don’t mind if it doesn’t happen- it’s just a thought. My rating for Hereafter is 4/5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It isn’t five stars because I rarely give out five stars to books. Five star books don’t exactly have anything in particular about them except I love romance so they need to have romance in them. Otherwise they’re just books that strongly resonate with me and have a wow factor.

Next week’s review is of one of these ‘wow factor’ books- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I’ve already written this review and I’m SO excited to share it with you.

Love, Sydney

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Gingersnaps Review

Hello! Today I shall be reviewing Gingersnaps by Cathy Cassidy. I’ve never written a review for a Cathy Cassidy book but I love all of her books. She’s an awesome person and it was really nice to see her win Queen of Teen when I was there. She is actually the person that got me into reading, I suppose you could call them, romantic, teenage books. Thank you Cathy! Seriously, Cathy rocks.

Is Ginger’s best friend really her biggest rival?

‘You can make a wish come true, if you’re determined . . .’

Gone are the days when Ginger was an outsider, always on the fringes of friendship. She’s swapped puppy fat and pigtails for make-up and hair straighteners and never looked back – until now. Ginger and Shannon are best mates, but when they befriend lonely Emily, everything changes. Even the saxophone-playing boy in the trilby hat can’t help – he’s part of the problem. Are Ginger and Shannon drifting apart or can they stay best friends forever?

The first Cathy Cassidy book I read was Sundae Girl and I thought it was the best thing ever. It still is pretty good, I have to say. After that, I read all of her books, which I loved but they weren’t quite as good as Sundae Girl. When I read Gingersnaps I was so excited because I haven’t decided if I love it more than Sundae Girl, but it was more in the style of Sundae Girl and I instantly loved it. Only a few months ago I re-read Gingersnaps, so I still think it is a really good book. Mostly it’s a nice book to read because it’s not over complicated at all. It’s strange to think I first read this seven years ago. God I’m getting old.

I love Gingersnaps because of Sam the saxophone player. Personally, I think saxophones are really vibey and I wish I could play one. The saxophone in Careless Whisper is the best. Sam is a really nice person, and I like how he tries to bring out the best in Ginger. They make a cute couple, it has to be said. He is pretty smart for, what- a twelve year old? Sam and Ginger seem older but in a good way because when I was younger I liked how it showed that some of us younger people are mature even though there are a lot of immature idiots at that age.

Was there blue lemonade somewhere in this novel? I vaguely remember something about it, so if there was blue lemonade in there then that’s fab. It’s all the little quirky things I love about this book. I love the title ‘Gingersnaps’ because I thought it would be a book about starting a baking thing or something BUT it isn’t. Ginger is a swaggy name as well. Thank god Sam wasn’t called Spice otherwise that would be the end of that relationship. The house boat thing is awesome- not that I want to live on a boat. Oh, and let’s hear it one last time for Sam’s saxophone!

Even if you aren’t eleven anymore, I was actually eight the first time I read it, I think you would still adore this book because the cuteness factor is off the scale.

Love, Sydney

Forever Book Review

Hiya! As promised I am going to be reviewing ‘Forever’ by Judy Blume.

Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They’re attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they’ve decided their love is forever, they make love.

It’s the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine’s parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart…

So I know that this is a much loved book but I have to say I didn’t really like it. Forever had a lot of good reviews, which made me really excited to read it. Unfortunately I didn’t like this book much at all. There’s not anything specific that made me dislike it, but if you compare it to other books then for me there are many better books.

I really didn’t like Michael. I think he was described as ginger with a mole on his cheek. I think the charity shop has my book now so I can’t check that but I’m pretty sure that’s what he looked like. I’m used to having Theo James as the leading man in the books I read not George Weasley or something so I wasn’t impressed. For me it’s important to have leading men like Four, Edward Cullen and Thomas (from The Maze Runner) in books because when I read books I imagine myself as the leading female. Just to clarify, I have nothing against ginger people (my best friend’s ginger).

What even happened in this book? Not much probably as I can’t remember it. The first thing that comes to mind is Katherine wanting to go out with her tennis teacher at the end. Now that should have been the story. I would have loved to have heard about how that relationship went. Michael and Katherine were pretty boring together; it didn’t make for an exciting story. This book is supposed to be realistic but from my own knowledge this isn’t actually realistic. At least other YA romance books go way over the top and don’t pretend to be reality. The writing was so bland all those ellipses got on my nerves. I’ve always had a problem with ellipses because so many people overuse them.

I’m not being funny, but this book really chose its moments be descriptive. It went into detail about the wrong things and that’s all I’m saying about it. And the Ralph thing? Just gross. You’ll understand me if you’ve read it. I know this was like a hugely important book at the time so well done for that but times have changed and it really just didn’t cut it with me in this day and age. Even if I read this in the seventies I probably still wouldn’t like it though because of the characters. I can’t empathise with them at all; I wish they weren’t so mundane, it actually pains me.

Next week I’m going to review Ginger Snaps by Cathy Cassidy, which I actually like. Thanks for reading!

Love, Sydney

Eclipse Book Review

Hello!

The only book I can find in my room beginning with ‘E’ is Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer. I have googled books beginning with ‘E’ but I can’t find any others that I’ve read apart from Expecting to fly by Cathy Hopkins but I can’t remember it. I have Elegy by Tara Hudson, which I’m really excited to read! I know I’ve written a lot about Twilight but I really have no choice but to review it today. I’m going to make a compilation of everything I’ve ever said about… Don’t worry, next week I shall be reviewing Forever by Judy Blume, so it’ll be a bit different!

In the dead silence, all the details suddenly fell into place for me with a burst of intuition.

Something Edward didn’t want me to know. Something Jacob wouldn’t have kept from me…

It was never going to end, was it?

 

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob – knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

This book was basically a filler book. I wasn’t engaged as much as I was with the other Twilight books; it was just an unnecessary book. You could have put half of the contents in the other books or just cut it out. I didn’t like how the book focused on Victoria coming back to kill Bella when in the end it took like 5 minutes for Edward to kill her. Victoria’s extremely irritating!!

Plus, this book didn’t have much substance and I was- not bored, but- again- just not engaged as much. At the end of New Moon Victoria’s death could have been worked in there, so could Bella and Edward’s engagement. It really didn’t need that filler book- it would’ve been the perfect trilogy. I’m just saying I’ve only watched Eclipse about 5 times but I’ve watched the others except for New Moon like 20 times.

After Edward proposes at the end of New Moon, you’re left gagging for the next book (well I was anyway). I could not wait to get my hands on Eclipse to see what Bella’s decision would be… then it fell a bit flat. Breaking Dawn was more what I was hoping to read after New Moon. It felt like the pace slowed down a lot and I wanted the pace to stay fast/constant. There’s a lot of action in the other three books so it feels as though something is missing.

It was in Eclipse that I began to realise that Edward wasn’t all I thought he was. When I first read and watched Twilight, I thought Edward was flawless. After watching and reading Twilight many times, I’ve come to realise that actually Edward is subtly abusive. No one can deny that Edward is extremely controlling. Come on who would break their girlfriend’s car to stop them from seeing their best friend? Sometimes he doesn’t seem to even have any emotions, like when Bella and Jacob kissed in Eclipse he was just like ‘ok’.

I do still like the Twilight series as a whole, I’m just not very fond of Eclipse. Anyway, I would still encourage you to read the other books in the series. You don’t miss much if you don’t read Eclipse!

Love, Sydney

The 1975 Concert Review

Hiya,

Today I am going to review a concert that I recently attended in Brixton!

I went to see ‘The 1975’, who are my sister’s favourite band (she is literally obsessed with them). My sister has forced me to listen to their music on multiple occasions so I came round to liking them and I knew so many of their lyrics. I wasn’t sure of what to expect but at least I knew the vast majority of their songs, so I guessed I would have fun.

We arrived only a little before the doors opened but we still managed to make it into the middle of the crowd. The floor was sloped so we could actually see fairly well. I preferred to not be at the barrier because that meant I ended up with personal space and I didn’t leave with a bruised ribcage (I also didn’t have to awkwardly make eye contact with the support act #IsItJustMe?).

I had never listened to ‘The Japanese House’ before so I didn’t know what they would be like but I thought they were quite a good band. They weren’t really my type of music but I thought that their set list was great and they were such a chill band. No one near me moved all that much whilst they played but it was a nice warm up before ‘The 1975’ came on.

I was buzzing before ‘The 1975’ bounded onto the stage. Well, I guess they exploded rather than bounded onto the stage. It didn’t seem real to me that soon Matty would be swaggering around with his red wine on stage. I felt so much love and respect for them, for the people that help my sister get through life. When it went dark my heart was pounding. As soon as the opening bars of ‘Love Me’ rang out across the stage I became hysterical.

Their set list was so long and utterly brilliant. It felt absolutely amazing to dance along and throw my hair around. I thought that their stage presence was immense and charismatic- they commanded the attention of every single person in the room. I think that they have created an original and thematic new album and all of the songs that they played off the album were very refreshing! ‘Somebody else’ could only be described as ‘liquidy’ and fluid; I think it was one of my favourite songs that they performed as it felt quite trance like but I still enjoyed dancing to it.

What separated this concert from any other I’ve been to was the aesthetics. The aesthetics made the concert visually stunning and added value to each song. It showed that the band had put time into thinking about how they wanted to present themselves and their music to the fans. The back drop during ‘Medicine’ was gorgeous whereas the back drop for ‘If I Believe You’ was so enchanting. It made me smile when Matty asked for everyone to put their phones away for ‘Me’ because he was correct in his reasoning- why should we document everything for other people, we should think about ourselves. It did annoy me that some people didn’t respect his wishes but otherwise it was a serene yet impactful moment.

Hands down, the best part of the concert for me was when they performed ‘If I Believe You’ at the start of the encore. It was so transformative with the bright pure lighting and the choir that joined the band for the encore. I felt as if I was taking a journey skywards as I listened to the powerful lyrics; it was incredibly captivating and beautiful. The end was very energetic as everybody jumped up and down to ‘Sex’- a perfect end to the concert, leaving everyone on a high.

I would definitely recommend going to see ‘The 1975’ as it was so different yet so wonderful!

Love, Sydney

 

Deep Water Review

Aloha! I am going to be reviewing Deep Water by Jo Cotterill. I’m excited to review this book because I love Jo Cotterill!

“He fancied you, Pearl. Don’t you notice anything?”

Pearl can’t believe her luck when she’s selected for the British Synchronized Swimming team, competing at the London Olympics. It’s a dream come true! But non-stop training leaves less time for friends and fun- a sacrifice Pearl is willing to make if it means her team can bring home a medal… Even cheeky journalist Bailey won’t distract her from going for gold. But he has other ideas!

 

First of all, let me just say I haven’t read this book for ages, so this review may be a bit dodgy. It’s a lovely, quick read which I’ve read two or three times. I like the whole concept of the Sweet Hearts Series; basically it’s a romance story revolving around the girl’s hobbie e.g dancing, ice skating and in this case: synchronized swimming. Synchronized is such a hard word to spell damn. It is quite a nice idea and I find it pretty cute. It’s also really interesting to learn about synchronized swimming.

 

The bit that I and probably many other people found most heart wrenching was all the stuff about Pearl’s family. I thought all the emotions were beautifully portrayed and it was realistic. Especially when Bailey and Pearl were arguing about how he called her Mum needy. I felt really bad for Bailey because to be fair he didn’t know it was her mum and he didn’t mean it in a mean way. Like, I get where Pearl’s coming from but grow up love. I guess most people would get angry with Bailey like Pearl but I’m a unique individual.

 

Fun fact: I was just thinking if you put Bailey and Pearl together, it sounds like Pearl Barley. I don’t know if that’s just me, but I suppose it’s something for you to think about. It’s nice that in this book *SPOILER ALERT* Bailey and Pearl get together but they don’t rush it and it’s just a cute kiss at the end. Half the books these days are like children of Fifty Shades of Grey. Okay, definitely not as extreme but like teenage versions. Go Jo for writing a cute, normal (in a good way) book.

I would say that this is my favourite book in the Sweet Hearts Series, as it is more relatable to me as my sister is a competitive swimmer. Forget me not and Ice dreams aren’t very relatable as I’m not a florist or an ice skater. I still really like those as well, in particular Ice Dreams. The relationship between the ice skater (it’s been a long time okay) and Zac (?) was my favourite of all the relationships because they hated each other but then they loved each other (Aw…).

If you’ve never read any Jo Cotterill books then you definitely should because she’s an awesome writer. She’s such a lovely person as well (I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her on several occasions). Good bye!

Love, Sydney

Clockwork Angel Review

Hey!

Today I am reviewing a book beginning with ‘C’. The book I have chosen to review is Clockwork Angel by the brilliant Cassandra Clare.

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

I wasn’t sure of what to expect from this book. The Mortal Instruments was so amazing- I wasn’t sure if The Infernal Devices would be as good. To be honest, I didn’t think it would be my kind of book as I normally read books set in the modern day or dystopian books. It came as a pleasant surprise when the book wasn’t that bad at all. I didn’t fall in love with the book but I still think it was a good read.

So what made it a good read? Firstly, Jem is such a cutie. Jem is adorable and I’m so happy he got to have all those little moments with Tessa. My favourite part was when I think he was playing the violin (or piano maybe) and I remember something about Tessa coming to find him and they shared an intimate moment. I can’t remember exactly what happened but I think anything that happens with Jem in is good.

In addition to this, the story line was pretty good. My problem lays with the characters. I strongly dislike Will; he is self-centred, arrogant and cruel. I can’t believe Tessa’s even thinking about hooking up with him. Clare chooses really bad role models for her characters. Take Jessamine for example- all she cares about is fashion. Jessamine thinks women shouldn’t fight- how bad is that for young girls to read? Yes it is set in the Victorian times, but can’t there be at least one strong female role model? I love Clare’s writing but I wish that there was a Victorian Clary in The Infernal Devices!

Good bye!

Love, Sydney