reganoutloud: (TARDIS)
goosebumpsGoosebumps
The blurb:
A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R. L. Stine after the writer's imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware.
My rating: 3/5
Tagged: adventure, comedy, fantasy
Date I watched this movie 05/02/2016

What did I think?I loved reading the Goosebumps books when I was a kid and this film really reminded me of them - it had the same comical and familiar feel to it.

It had a little something I wasn't expecting and had been directed in a clever and funny way. Although it had monsters and other scary creatures in it, the movie plays this down to make it ideal for kids to watch while adding humour which kids would understand and laugh at. The acting was reasonable and Jack Black (R.L Stine) brought something else to the table, which for me made it more enjoyable with his usual goofy and wacky personality.

There's nothing really to bash or praise, and it's not going to win any awards but it was fun and I enjoyed it
reganoutloud: (London Winter)
I cannot play chess. It makes no sense to me. It doesn't matter how many times I try and learn how to play the game, it just escapes me. It makes no sense. This piece can only do this and that piece can only do that. There's all these strategies and a ridiculous amount of forward planning.

And how seriously people take it! Isn't it supposed to be a game, supposed to be fun?

I can't do it. I can't play chess. Or, well, I can't play chess well. Or remember the rules. I'm not destined to be some grandmaster. I'm probably never even going to ever win a game. All my pieces fell to the dark side. You'd think by now I'd have learned my lesson by how many times I've failed and given up trying.

I bet I won't. I bet next time Devin challenges me to a game I'll accept.
And lose.
And sulk.
And rail chess.

Which makes me wonder. Which is worse: doing something and sucking at it or never trying it in the first place?
reganoutloud: (Green Arrow)
Sometimes I feel a lot older than 17.
Sometimes I feel a lot younger than 17.
I get people tell me I should act my age, to stop liking stuff I'm too old for, to stop doing things I'm too young to do
I've never been 17 before so how am I supposed to know how to act and how feel?

[profile] imaginerireann tells me I'm an old soul, that I'm much more mature than most of my friends. I've asked her what she means and she says it's because I'm not afraid to be on my own, because I love to learn, because I think before I do things and have everything all planned out.

I guess that's true. I mean, a lot of my friends still don't really know what they want to do when they finish college and I've got this big plan for everything. I like having tangible goals that I can work towards, it all makes sense to me.

And no, a lot of my friends laugh at some of the stuff I love to do. They don't read for fun like I do. They think it's weird that I enjoy baking - they eat what I make though! I get told knitting or doing wordsearches is for old people.

But... I don't feel like I'm old. Sure, I feel like I know who I am and what I like. I do get distracted by new shiny things too though. I feel like my mood swings and 'teenage angst' are more controlled, and I'm calmer than I was, even a year or so ago.

In other ways though, I'm a pretty typical teenager. I worry about getting good grades in school and fashion and make-up and boys (and girls) and if I've got any zits and if I look fat. I love pop music and going to the cinema with my friends. I love sleeping.

Who makes the rules though? Who says that I can't like certain things because I'm too young for them. Or too old for them. Why do 'they' say that I can't have goals for the future and enjoy knitting and love Disney and Miley Cyrus and vampires and dinosaurs and pirates and dolphins and superheroes and baking and supporting my football team and doing wordsearches and like spending time with my friends and being alone?
reganoutloud: (Cherries)
Diana Peterfreund - For Darkness Shows the Stars
The blurb: Fans of Divergent will love Diana Peterfreund’s take on Jane Austen’s Persuasion set in a post-apocalyptic world.

In the dystopian future of For Darkness Shows the Stars, a genetic experiment has devastated humanity. In the aftermath, a new class system placed anti-technology Luddites in absolute power over vast estates—and any survivors living there.

Elliot North is a dutiful Luddite and a dutiful daughter who runs her father’s estate. When the boy she loved, Kai, a servant, asked her to run away with him four years ago, she refused, although it broke her heart.

Now Kai is back. And while Elliot longs for a second chance with her first love, she knows it could mean betraying everything she’s been raised to believe is right.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking YA romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction
Date I started this book: 31/01/2016
Date I finished this book 02/02/2016

What did I think? With this book, for some reason, I had a preconceived idea of what this book was about. Upon hearing it was a Science Fiction/Post Apocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, I thought I was sure I knew what I was getting into. I was initially caught off guard by a mood and setting of the book I wasn't expecting to read. This at first had me reading this book much slower than it ought to have been read until I gave it a second chance. I'm glad I did! This book is a gorgeous Post Apocalyptic, yet refined retelling of a story you thought you knew.

I was initially not excited about the Austen-era propriety in the book, as I don't usually associate it with Science Fiction. By the midway point I decided that it fit tone of the story and provided a really great contrast between technology and the ways of the stingy Luddites who want nothing to do with the technology that previously destroyed the human population. The world itself was absolutely gorgeous. Diana Peterfreund just has a way of describing the setting and setting up the mood of a story!

The characters of this book were so deeply written and rather heart-wrenching at times. The relationship of Elliot and Kai was written really well. It wasn't too lovey-dovey, but rather thoughtful and powerful, crossing the boundaries of their society. The social boundaries in this book are much deeper than upper and lower class. The Reduction was an event in the book's past where humans experiments with genetic enhancement went horribly wrong and all who survived became 'Reduced' to the mental capacity of a young child. I loved this controversial subject and I think it's horrifyingly believable!

I would recommend this book to people who have a taste for unique worlds and love the artful language. It's definitely a unique but well-executed contribution to the post apocalyptic genre.
reganoutloud: (Sunflowers)
Rick Yancey - The Infinite Sea
The blurb: The riveting follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The 5th Wave, hailed by Justin Cronin as “wildly entertaining.”

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: dystopia, science-fiction, young adult
Date I started this book: 27/01/2016
Date I finished this book 29/01/2016

What did I think? This is really quite short. It feels incomplete, and not just because it's the middle book. I found it compelling and read it quickly, but I feel like it needs a lot more exposition.

The motivation of whoever it is that's done this thing to the Earth is still completely baffling. The different explanations really haven't made sense and have left more questions than answers.
I also feel that some of the characters could have been more developed, I don't feel I know them any more than at the end of the first book. There are a characters who are clearly gonners with all the classic pointers to their gonner status through the story, yet other characters are only there at the end via a couple of plot holes.

I've still given it four stars because it is compelling, and it kept me reading, if a bit frustrated. Also I think the ideas and world building are amazing. I do wish the next book was out soon as this one has left a lot of questions.

Room

Jan. 29th, 2016 20:46
reganoutloud: (Bracelets)
Room
The blurb:
After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: drama
Date I watched this movie 29/01/2016

What did I think?I found "Room" to be a wonderful movie. It's the typical story of the teenager who gets kidnapped on the way home from school and spends years locked in a room by her captor. During those years she gets pregnant of her captor and gives birth to a child that becomes her reason to survive. Up to this point it's a story that has already been told a million times, but, here comes the spark of this movie, this one is told from the child's (born in captivity) point of view.

From the first scene on, the director takes us on trip inside this little 5 year old kid. How he structures his word, his conception of what the word is, and isn't. What is real, what is imagination, what is TV, and so. On the side we see an extremely strong Mom who somehow managed to make of that terrible reality a happy one for her child.

And then they finally get out and the movie starts... A wonderful movie indeed. I strongly recommend this movie to all psychology students or those who are interested in such topics. An already told story from a whole different point of view. Totally worth watching!
reganoutloud: (TARDIS)
Is there anything that there isn't a day to celebrate? Not that I'm complaining about the fact there's a whole day dedicated to chocolate cake. Sticky, gooey, creamy chocolate. Soft, moist and delicious cake. From chocolate cream buns to a whopping great gateaux, chocolate cake is simply wonderful!

And what is the best way to celebrate? By baking and eating chocolate cake, of course. So I thought I'd share my favourite recipe

Ingredients
200g good quality dark chocolate, about 60% cocoa solids
200g butter
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
85g self-raising flour
85g plain flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g light muscovado sugar
200g golden caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
3 medium egg
75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
grated chocolate or curls, to decorate

For the ganache
200g good quality dark chocolate, as above
284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
2 tbsp golden caster sugar

Method
Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.

Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes – if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop 200g good quality dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour a 284ml carton of double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.

Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.
reganoutloud: (Starry-Eyed)
Rick Yancey - The 5th Wave
The blurb:After the 1st wave, only darkness remains.
After the 2nd, only the lucky escape.
And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive.
After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: dystopia, science-fiction, young adult
Date I started this book: 21/01/2016
Date I finished this book 26/01/2016

What did I think? Overall I really enjoyed The 5th Wave, even though it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I haven't read many books that shift perspective between several main characters and so at first, I found it somewhat difficult to get into. The flow just seemed to falter for me when the point of view initially shifted from teenage heroine Cassie, since I already felt invested in her story. Given that the others were not as charismatic and endearing to me, I found myself always hoping the attention would soon return to her. When the characters began to cross paths and their stories moved closer together however, it really picked up.

I liked how he didn't gloss over the minutiae of living in the wild and the little details of the complexities of surviving by yourself, on the run with little experience was a welcome breath of fresh air (hello tampons anyone? Nice to know someone remembered!)

It's a strong, compelling work that handles a subject easily prey to the ridiculous in a capable and intelligent manner that makes you think about whether we really are alone in the universe and if not, do we even have a hope?

Alien

Jan. 24th, 2016 14:18
reganoutloud: (Rey)
Alien
The blurb:The commercial vessel Nostromo receives a distress call from an unexplored planet. After searching for survivors, the crew heads home only to realize that a deadly bioform has joined them.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: horror, science-fiction
Date I watched this movie 24/01/2016

What did I think?'Alien' set the bar for sci-fi and even horror films long after it was released. It's always remained a very popular film which is quite unusual for movies in general to still be considered excellent over three decades since its release.

Ridley Scott's direction of this film is excellent of course. The atmosphere built up during the events in this film are great, the acting works very well too, Sigourney Weaver doesn't have a great presence in the film until the second half but she really makes up for it during the last hour. Other performances such as that of Veronica Cartwright are good but you can't help but wonder why their character is included in the story at all.

The story is very interesting, when you first watch this film it can really shock you and can certainly make you jump on more than one occasion. However, because 'Alien' is so well-known and famous now, it will be difficult for someone not to have an idea about what it consists of so I guess not many people will find it as shocking as it was 30 years ago.

Nevertheless 'Alien' is still a very good film, it's still scary in some parts and is considered to be an excellent film regardless of its now out-dated technology used.

Overall, I would highly recommend this film to anyone, if you're a fan of science fiction or horror you should have already seen this film anyway but if you haven't, watch it.

Add some terrific battle sequences, and you get a very welcome return to the greatness of Star Wars. Go and see it (but you already know you will). Take a friend or a family member. You'll have a great time. Because that's what these films are about when it comes down to it.

Overall, Force Awakens shows off some snazzy visual effects combined with a compelling story and great characters. It won't disappoint.
reganoutloud: (Green Arrow)
Today is National Handwriting Day

Handwriting refers to a person's unique style of writing characters created with a writing utensil such as a pen or pencil. Handwriting is separate from calligraphy or typeface.

Because each person's handwriting is unique, it can be used to verify a document's writer. The deterioration of a person's handwriting is also a symptom or result of certain diseases. Even identical twins write differently. A person's handwriting is also relatively stable and changes little over time. Because handwriting is relatively stable, a change in the handwriting can be indicative of the nervousness or intoxication of the writer.

Handwriting that is hard to read or unreadable due to the deformity, or illegibility of characters is commonly called worst. A common stereotype is that doctors have bad handwriting. According to Time, doctors' sloppy handwriting kills more than 7,000 people annually.

To celebrate National Handwriting Day, I wrote a letter to my grandparents (Jade Rachel's parents) who live in Wales. They don't have emails so it's the only real way to keep in touch with them. I got some fun stationery from them for Christmas so it was nice to use it, and glittery gel pens too. I thanked them for my Christmas presents, told them about Christmas holiday from school, a bit about the new Star Wars film, and about my 7 goals for 2016.

Writing a handwritten letter was one of my 101 Things In 1001 Days so I've been able to cross another item off the list! :)
reganoutloud: (TARDIS)
The 5th Wave
The blurb:Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.

My rating: 3/5
Tagged: action, adventure, science fiction
Date I watched this movie 22/01/2016

What did I think?Even though I'm reading the book and I pretty much knew what was going to happen the whole time, I couldn't stop watching it or awing and gawking at the two hunks (Evan and Ben) who reminded me very much of Jacob and Edward from The Twilight Saga Film series.

The lack of action in this movie is what made me rate the way that I did. Going into this movie you expect to see the 5 waves in full action, but instead they limit what they want you to see making it almost a downer. Instead this movie focuses mostly on Cassie and her long mile hike to this army base to rescue her brother from aliens, all the while running into different obstacles which eventually shape her into this strong, surviving, attractive young girl.

Will I continue to watch this trilogy? Of course, in hopes of a little more action. But even with Hunger Games there was minimal action up until the end. Be prepared to run into clichés but also a simple satisfaction that at least there are other sequels that hopefully bring good recognition to the novel.
reganoutloud: (Cherries)
Today is National Hugging Day which, according to nationalhuggingday.com is
National Hugging Day, occasionally shortened to National Hug Day, was first widely celebrated in 1986 after being published in Chase's Calender of Annual Events. Since that time, National Hugging Day has continued to grow internationally leading some to suggest the observance be renamed International Hug Day or International Hugging Day.

National Hugging Day was initially created for family and friends to hug often and freely with one another. Celebrate National Hugging Day Every Day


Definitely an annual event I can get behind. I'm a very tactile person and I'm always hugging my family and my friends. So a whole day for celebrating hugs is definitely something I'm a big fan of!

I was even able to tick off two of the items on my 101 Things In 1001 Days:
Hug 10 people in one day
Hug someone on National Hug Day

I was back in college today, feeling much better so took the day as a good excuse to hug everyone. I was almost tempted to do 'Give a stranger a hug' but figured since I've had such a bad cold this week it wasn't a good idea. I couldn't quite bring myself to wear a free hugs sign either. Those two are both on my list as well but they'll wait for another time. Maybe National Hugging Day 2017 - my 1001 days continues on til October 2017
reganoutloud: (Cherries)
Ransom Riggs - Library Of Souls
The blurb:The adventures that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued with Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls.

As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all.

Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: fantasy, paranormal, young-adult
Date I started this book: 17/01/2016
Date I finished this book 21/01/2016

What did I think? I loved Library of Souls, a fantastic conclusion to a great series. I feel a little sad because I’ve loved these books and didn’t even know this would be the last book. I could read about the peculiar children forever.

All of the loose ends created in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City are brought to a close. I liked the way everything plays out. I really enjoyed it when Jacob and the others go to Devil’s Acre. The prison loop is not quite I expected but sinister all the same and sort of sad.

I enjoyed the way Jacob’s ability to control hollows is developed. This skill was revealed at the end of Hollow City and Jacob’s grandfather had it as well. I liked the way this develops across Library of Souls. I did find it a bit far-fetched when Jacob can suddenly control a dozen hollows when he finds it so hard to control one at the start of the novel. There are some great battle scenes though and the peculiar children kick ass.

Library of Souls has everything you’d expect from the end of a series; thrilling battles, murder, mayhem, chaos, loss, betrayal and a happy ending that manages not to be twee or nauseating
reganoutloud: (Sing)
The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Writing
Write a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days complete January 20 2015
Answer the "50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind"
Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find
Tie a note to a balloon and let it go
Identify 100 things that make me happy
Send a message in a bottle
Write a message in a public bathroom
Send a handwritten letter

Career & Education
Graduate college
Start university
Learn to identify 10 constellations
Expand my vocabulary by 100 words
Take a First Aid course

Health & Fitness
Donate blood in progress. Appointment booked for Tuesday 1st March
Find out my blood type
Get a massage
Stop comparing myself to others
Take a Yoga class
Go rockclimbing

Fashion & Body
Get a tattoo
Improve my posture
Dye my hair
Clean out my closet
Stop biting my nails
Get a facial
Get a manicure

Travel
Go on a roadtrip
See the Northern Lights
Ride in a hot air balloon
Go skydiving
Go to the zoo
Go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Spend a day at the beach
Go to 5 different museums
Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Visit Italy
Ride a gondola in Venice
Visit New York City
Visit every London Underground station
Visit Stonehenge
Go on the London Eye
Visit Buckingham Palace
Visit the Colosseum
See the Eiffel Tower

Movies
Watch 26 movies I've never seen starting with each letter of the alphabet
Attend the BFI London Film Festival
See 10 classic movies I've never seen
Spend a rainy day watching films in my PJ's
Ask 20 friends to suggest one movie, and watch them all
Watch every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Books
Read 26 books I've never read starting with each letter of the alphabet
Read 100 books
Attend a book reading at the Oxford Literary Festival
Read 10 classic books
Ask 20 friends to suggest one book, and read them all
Read every Shakespeare play

Friendship
Make a new friend
Reconnect with an old friend
Meet an online friend in person
Adopt a pet that needs rescuing
Buy a house warming gift for a new neighbor
Wear a free hugs sign for a day
Hug 10 people in one day
Give a stranger a hug
Hug someone on National Hug Day

Food & Drink
Go on a picnic
Eat no fast food for a month
Have dinner by candlelight
Host a dinner party
Go vegetarian for a week
Bake cupcakes
Eat pizza in Italy
Eat pasta in Italy
Eat Gelato in Italy
Eat sushi

Volunteer
Help someone carry their bags to their car at the grocery store
Send a card or flowers to someone going through a tough time
Volunteer at a homeless shelter
Plant a tree

Things to make
Build a snowman
Bake birthday cake for someone
Knit a scarf
Bake a chocolate cake
Cook a meal for my family

Money
Buy a lottery ticket
Give money to a street performer
Buy something from Etsy

Art
Find a personally inspirational quote and work it into a piece of art or home decor
See the Mona Lisa

Dance
Dance in the rain
Learn to burlesque dance

Sports
Go ice skating
Watch a tennis match at Wimbledon
Run a half marathon

Hobbies
Complete a colouring book
Fly a kite
Complete a Sudoku puzzle

Personal Development
Say yes to everything for a day
Say "yes" to something I would not normally do
Keep my room tidy for a month
reganoutloud: (Sing)
I've come across a website called Day Zero Project which is home to the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge and I signed up. They have an 'alternative New Year's Resolution' challenege which is Seven prompts to get you thinking about what you want to achieve in 2016.
A fun way to come up with goals for the New Year - sometimes the first thing that comes to mind is the thing you most want to do.


I've set myself these goals, based on their prompts:
Learn how to write calligraphy
Start blogging regularly
Stop biting my nails
Take a vacation to Rome
Find a way to be more organized
Try sushi
Be more patient, especially with myself
reganoutloud: (Sing)
I've tried to keep a blog going a few times before but I've always stopped after a couple of weeks. I think it's because I've not really had a purpose behind starting. This time, I do. I read a lot and I love to talk about them. No-one in real life really cares so I don't have anyone to talk to about the books I'm reading. So, I said to myself, why don't I start bloging about the books?

And I go to the cinema regularly, at least once a week so why not post what I think of movies?
It makes sense to me.

I've also thought about goals from blogging, what I hope to get out of it.
Learn new things I want to share what I'm seeing in the world, and this will involve learning how to do so. And hopefully I'll learn new things about books and movies so that I can keep sharing
Think clearer The process of putting my thoughts down on paper will help me learn to stop and think deeper, think more critically. I also hope to learn to reflect more on my life, my relationships and the world around me.
Write better Practise makes perfect, after all and along with the critical thinking will help me outside of blogging too.
Challenge myself It's easy to start blogging, to have something to say to start with but coming up with new ideas will, linking again back to the other goals, will force me to keep learning and growing.
Meet new people All the bloggers I've come across so far are so friendly and I can't wait to meet more new people and make friends online :)
reganoutloud: (Bracelets)
Ransom Riggs - Hollow City
The blurb:Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: fantasy, paranormal, young-adult
Date I started this book: 13/01/2016
Date I finished this book 16/01/2016

What did I think? The mixture of photos and novel is one of the things I loved in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and this book is no different from the first. The book picks up right where the last one left off and consists of the group continuing there journey. The mix of humour, excitement and adventure is just right in this book, which makes the story progress and flow well.

Although this book has all the familiar characters from the first novel it also introduces enough new characters to keep the story refreshing and exciting. I have to say if there was any criticism I felt there were not as many pictures in this book than the first. However, this may have been my perception. I have always wondered whether the author fits the story to the pictures of the pictures to the story.

The ending of the book is a real cliff hanger and I'm moving straight on to the third one! A very good second book in the trilogy.
reganoutloud: (Sing)
Ransom Riggs - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
The blurb:A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: fantasy, mystery, paranormal, young-adult
Date I started this book: 09/01/2016
Date I finished this book 12/01/2016

What did I think? Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children reads like a fairy tale – a dark, spooky story combined with curious, mysterious photographs that took me a little by surprise. I went into this one uncharacteristically blind – normally I’m all over a synopsis, but for some reason although I was very much aware of the book, I didn’t really know what it was about.

I enjoyed it more than I thought I initially would – although there are slower parts in the plot it kept my attention pretty consistently, and I loved that the ending was so perfectly paced. It was short enough to feel like a climax but not so rushed that I didn’t feel satisfied.

It’s a book for lovers of fantasy and fairy tales with a darker vibe, and it is one of the most unique books I’ve read in a while.
reganoutloud: (Default)
Markus Zusak - I Am The Messenger
The blurb:From the author of The Book Thief comes this darkly funny and ultimately uplifting thriller which proves that anyone can be extraordinary.

Ed Kennedy is just your less-than-average Joe who is hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. But after he single-handedly manages to catch a bank robber, he receives a playing card in the mail: the Ace of Diamonds. This is the first message. Four more will follow. But before this particular card game can end, Ed will be changed forever . . .

Will Audrey love the man he has become?

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: mystery, young adult
Date I started this book: 03/01/2016
Date I finished this book 08/01/2016

What did I think? You know when the whole book rotates around the solution to a mystery and you can't wait to find out what's been going on? Well this was like Lost for me (the TV show) - the ending just disappointed, felt like a copout.

But this didn't mean that I felt differently about everything that had gone before - I loved it! And you may enjoy the ending. I had just hoped for more.

I loved the directions the story took, just my kind of whimsical, do-gooding, changing-lives story that I found full of warmth, smiles and also a mystery.
reganoutloud: (Bracelets)
Eve Bunting - Forbidden
The blurb:Sixteen-year-old Josie Ferguson has just lost both her parents. She is sent to live with an unknown aunt and uncle in a town on the stormy northwest coast of Scotland. But the townspeople, including her relatives, are as cold and hostile as the sea.

Josie has never felt so alone.

Then Eli appears. Mysterious but kind—and handsome—he sparks a desire in Josie unlike anything she has ever experienced. Even though she’s been warned that Eli is forbidden, she can’t stop thinking about him.

And the locals are harboring a secret. When curious, determined Josie sets out to uncover it, the truth is more horrific than she could have imagined.

It’s a truth terrible enough to raise the spirits of the dead.

My rating: 3/5
Tagged: fantasy, historical fiction, romance, young adult
Date I started this book: 01/01/2016
Date I finished this book 03/01/2016

What did I think? There are ideas in Eve Bunting's "Forbidden" that I really liked. I selected it to read because it seemed the old fashioned ghostly romantic story where a young girl is sent off to a remote place to relatives she barely knows and there she meets a mysterious man. In this case, her name is Josie and the young man is Eli. The remote place is Brindle Point and the home is called Raven's Roost. Bunting has a nice touch in the writing that it isn't contemporary but it isn't wholly historical either and it lends to the surrealism of the story.

That said, the story didn't completely work for me in the end. I'm not really sure if it was the characters, the pacing (it was slower than I expected), that it was too short or that it became too predictable but it lost steam for me just as it should have picked up.

Regan

Female. Seventeen. June 28th. Gemini. Londoner. College student. Future Sociocultural anthropologist. Gymnast. Swimmer. Cheerleader. Knitter. Baker.
Loves reading, watching tv/movies, chelsea fc, music, animals, fashion, disney, miley cyrus, one direction, 5 seconds of summer, science fiction, fantasy, horror, football, cupcakes, tea, space, pirates, dinosaurs, mythology, the paranormal, dolphins and wordsearches

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