Monday, 26 May 2014

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Ashes * Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Haunted by her past, Clary is dragged deeper into New York city's terrifying underworld of demons and Shadowhunters - But can she control her feelings for a boy who will never be hers? 

Clary just wants her life to go back to normal, before she found out that her best friend Simon, is in love with her. Her hear mother is still in a coma. And that her crush is on Jace, who might just be her brother. 

If things couldn't get any worse, there is a strange woman in town that goes by the name of the Inquisitor, who soon decides to pin Valentines show up, on his son Jace Wayland. Jace isn't trusted anywhere, not even by the parents who adopted him and in the same house as Isabelle and Alec. 

Clary's quite happy at the moment besides wanting her life back to normal, she's got Simon back safe and sound and enjoying watching cheesy films with him and talking about comics. But things soon start to go strange when Simon can't stand to watch Nosferatu and goes pale at the sight of blood. Something is seriously wrong. 

Following Simon's incident, Clary soon finds out that her brother has gone missing and goes on the quest to find him as well as Simon. But New York has gotten darker and scarier, and whilst her father is lurking about around town, no one can be safe. 

Luke soon decides to help them all, Jace, Clary and Simon get to Valentine once and for all. But Valentines army will be much stronger than theirs, and once he has the final missing pieces for his puzzle, nothing will stop him raising the most dangerous demons known to man. 

Though when young kids go missing, including Simon and Jace locked up, things start to take a turn for the worse. Much worse to what any of them thought was possible, they need help but no one will come willingly to their side to fight. But Clary wont give up on her best friend and her brother, no matter what the cost or reason behind it, even if that means killing her own father. 

City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, is the second instalment in the fantasy book series, The Mortal Instruments. I think this book is much darker than the first, which is City Of Bones, and I love the fact that this one is much darker and more chilling. 

I thought that Cassandra caught the dark side to this book wonderfully and portrayed the characters great. I felt so much for Simon and Jace as they always seem to get the worse end of the stick. Simon the most, and I can tell you that I was shocked many times throughout this book and nearly shed a tear for Simon as I just love his character. He reminds me of a friend I have haha :) Which is lovely. 

Towards the end of the book my expectations went through the roof for Jace for what he did for Simon and his sister, but I won't tell you what that was! I don't usually like watching the film before the books as I like to imagine what the characters would look like. Though I must admit I personally think the actors that we're chosen for the films we're a great choice and I love being able to see who they are in my mind when I'm reading them. 

I'm really happy that the book is much darker as I feel it reflects on both Clary and Jace's lives and up bringing so far. I liked that Luke was in this book more as well cause I just love his character and how he is with Clary, Simon and Jace. 

However I do think that it did run a bit slow in places and I just wanted it to sometimes get to the point and the good stuff! I also wonder how they are going to make this into a film, as I cannot for the life of me see how they are going to make it! But, we shall soon see when it is due to be released! I hope it lives up to the book. 

(Also, I am terribly sorry on how late this book review is, I finished reading it about a few weeks ago but never got round to it, so I apologise if the review isn't much up to it's potential!)

I will give this book 5 out of 10

Friday, 16 May 2014

May Update

Afternoon everyone! 

Hope you are all feeling well, is it hot where you are? It's boiling over here, well it's very humid and sunny but it's lovely! nice day to get out into the garden with a good book and some sunshine :) 

Just a little update for this month seeing as I haven't done one in a while. I've written quite a few book reviews though, which is good and I'm really happy about :D 

As you can see with the above pictures, I have managed to grab hold of two new books! I finally used one of my Waterstones giftcard's and managed to get these two lovely books for about £2. I have also found out that I can now use a giftcard at Waterstones to buy books with it that are also on the Buy one get one half price offer which I am really happy about! (I didn't know you could do it you see, as some stores are funny with buying things on a giftcard if it is in a sale) 

Love, Nina - I loved the look of this book and thought it had quite a vintage look about it which I love. And that the book is based around the 1980's about a woman who write letters to her sister, about her triumphs and life working as a Nanny around London. 
Needless to say I can't wait to read this book, the look of it and the sound of it, seems like it's going to be a good read. I just hope I'm right!

Little Beach Street Bakery - I saw this book a few weeks ago whilst mooching around the shops and had a nosey at it. from then onward, I really liked the sound of it and really wanted to buy the book. Which I was over the moon when it was in the sale also! with my love for baking I thought this would be a great summer read and cannot wait to sink my teeth into it. 

The book is about a young woman with a relationship problem, moving away from that life and living near a seaside above a little shop. She soon starts to take her anger out on making bread and everything begins to take shape from there. 

I can't wait to read these books, keep your eyes peeled for their reviews and a couple of other reviews coming your way very soon! 

Thanks for looking at my blog :) 
- Emma xxx 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Lucy In The Sky * Paige Toon

Lucy In The Sky by Paige Toon

Settling down for a 24-hour flight to Australia, Lucy finds a text message on her phone - not from her boyfriend James, as she fondly hopes, but from a woman claiming to have slept with him four times in the past month. 

Trapped on the plane, she questions everything about her relationship with James. Nathan is a happy-go-lucky surfer boy, with no prospects, no place to live, an almost-girlfriend in tow. And the other side of the world...Lucy - a girl caught between two distant continents - and two very different men...

"Hi Lucy, Just shagged James in ur bed! 4 times this month! Nice Sheets xxx"

What could be worse than sitting on a plane for 24 hours? Receiving the above text from your loving boyfriend that someone has been shagging him in your own bed. But when Lucy phones James, he reassures her that the text was from a few friends just messing about. But this can't be right surely? As Lucy prepares for the worst flight in her life, things can only get better can't they? 

Three Singapore slings, two bossy flight attendants and a plane ride later. Lucy is in her home town in Sydney and on the way to see her childhood friends Molly and Sam for their wedding and a great holiday. But she can't help having a nagging suspicion about her lovable James at home in London, alone.

Seeing her two friends again and reminiscing about old times, is what Lucy's wanted to do for ages after she moved to London, and it's nice to know that she's finally over school crush for Sam. But when Sam's younger brother Nathan shows up, he knocks Lucy back into purgatory with her thoughts over James back at home. 

Nathan is a lovable, down to earth and an outright sexy surfer boy. He has no job, no permanent home, a woman in his life but not technically his girlfriend and is living every day as it comes. So when he sets his eyes on Lucy, things soon start to change and he soon knows what he wants in life. But it's not that easy, with her boyfriend stuck at home in London and his loved up friend who has the hots for him, but the feeling isn't mutual.

Though with Lucy leaving Australia in two weeks and her head in a mess over her feelings for both James and Nathan, where will this leave her? She doesn't want to go home, she doesn't want to leave Sam and Molly and she really doesn't want to leave Nathan. But she has too. Plus she has the best job to go back home too! What could be better than working with a well known PR Company? 

Will Lucy travel back to Australia? Which man will she choose? And will she ever decide on what she wants in life? 

Lucy In The Sky by Paige Toon, is the first book that I have read by Toon and I really don't know what to say about it, if I'm quite honest. I don't really know where to start but I'll give it a try. 

I thought the book was quite good at the start, I thought it had a good story line behind it with the text message and how Lucy was on the flight on the way to Australia, I could really sympathise with her and it was quite funny as well in places. I loved the story line with Nathan as well, and just liked Nathan's character in general. 

Though I think what ruined it for me on the whole was James's character and the way Lucy was with him. He was such a horrible person and treated her horribly and I just hated the fact that Lucy put up with that and just kind of accepted it even though she had feelings for Nathan and he made her happy. 

I think James's lie ran on a bit too long, I knew from the beginning what he had done and I know that it needs to be dragged on a bit more for the whole story, but I personally didn't think that it needed to be dragged out that long, it got a bit tedious and boring when it got to James.

Which sadly this was the only downside to the book, but it was quite a big downside. I don't know about reading anymore of Toon's books anytime soon. But I will do again at some point, keep your eyes peeled haha. 

One thing is for certain about this book that I did enjoy. It's made me really, really, REALLY want to go to Australia!! Haha Wanting a nice big summer, warm holiday now with a cocktail, a beach and a good book! I guess you'll find out if I go anywhere nice :) 

I will give this book 4.5 out of 10

Thursday, 8 May 2014

The Help * Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Mississippi 1962 Eugenia "Skeeter" doesn't want to be like every other white woman in Mississippi. She doesn't want to find a husband, settle down and have children at her age of twenty-two. She wants to be a journalist and excel in her dreams and ambitions, but finding the right things to write about let alone find a job is more difficult than it seems. Especially with her over controlling mother, who wishes her to join the crowd and be like every other woman. 

Though finding the right thing to write about, let alone finding a job is harder than she thinks. So when she grabs a job working as an editor for a cleaning column in the daily magazine, things start to look up for Skeeter. Although, she knows nothing about cleaning at all, and the only people who do know, asking them about it would be breaking many rules of the law. 

Aibileen Clarke, a middle aged black maid has worked for seventeen families and raised eighteen children, one of them being her own and only child. But when something goes drastically wrong in the past, she has to learn to get on with it. Now she works for Miss Leefolt and her husband, she tends and cares for their baby girl, Mae Mobley. 

Aibileen, finds it difficult to understand how Miss Leefolt cannot lover her daughter and see it as a struggle to spend time with her, let alone learn to love her. So little Mae Mobley clings to Aibileen like of she was her real mummy, but that will never be true.

Then there's her best friend Minny Jackson. Now, Minny isn't one for keeping her mouth shut, she tries hard to keep it locked, but can't help with something comes out of it. And working for Miss Hilly Holbrook, everyone should learn to keep their mouth shut and do what she tells you to do. But not Minny. 

Hilly has it in for Minny, ruining her life at every point possible and she won't stop until her whole family is destroyed and her friends too. So when Minny can't stand no more and does the unthinkable towards Miss Hilly, things soon start to escalate much quicker than she thought. 

Though Eugenia has a plan up her sleeve, a very risky plan indeed but it may just work and possibly change things for the better. Soon everyone is talking in secret, all the black maids around the town Jackson and there deciding to finally help a white woman, the white woman named Eugenia and her book that she wishes to be published and to help people see how everyone is being treated, a book about The Help itself. 

With some people not liking this idea such as Minny, Aibileen will also have to help Skeeter plan on how to get their stories shared and how to get Minny in on this to help them. And most of all, to help cover their tracks so no one finds anything about what there doing. 

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is the first novel that the author has written. I must say despite all the critics I have seen and read against this book, I think it is great! I understand how some people my find this offencive, which I also read that the author did base this on someone, which I can understand towards the person who she supposedly wrote the book about how it would be offencive if that person asked her not to and give her a different name. But alas! Stockett didn't and I can understand the persons upset towards the book. 

Though comments from people who have read it and taken away from it that it is a completely racist book, I personally think that it is daft. The book is portraying how Jackson, Mississippi was in the 1960's which was around those times, racist towards the African society. I see this book as a reminder of what it was like in those times, not that the book is racist now. 

I personally think if people read the book and think it's terrible because it's racist, then those people are not wanting to admit to themselves how white people treated black people back then. And that they are not wanting to admit to themselves how their past generations treated them. Things have changed now a lot since then which I think is bloody wonderful! There was no reason at all in those times for people to be treated differently because of the colour of their skin, there just wasn't. It was narrow minded. 

But I think the book was great and I couldn't put it down, I found the relationship with Aibileen and Mae Mobley beautiful and I honestly cried at the end because it was just so sad. I found Hilly Holbrook's character disgusting on how she treated her friends, family and especially black people. Just to the fact that there we're people like that back then and sadly that there are still some people like that in today's society. Her character made me cringe. 

I loved Skeeter's character and I just loved how she didn't want to be like anyone else, do what everyone else was doing and to follow her dreams. I really admired that.

All in all, to try to keep it short and sweet! (I promise to keep the next review short, but I wanted to get my opinion across) I thought this book was a great read and I would happily read it again and again, I'm glad I read the book first instead of watching the film first too! I would recommend this book to anyone as it's a wonderful and moving read. 

I will give this book 10 out of 10!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Afternoon everyone!

Hope your all doing well? Just posting a little update on here to let you all know that I will be joining in on Sheffield's Memory walk on the 11th October 2014 to help raise money for Alzheimer's!

My goal is to raise £100 for the cause, and I will be walking 1okm on the day. At the moment I have already raise £5 with my Just Giving page being up for only a couple of hours which is amazing! 

I am doing this for my Nanan who was diagnosed with Dementia nearly a couple of years ago now, she is still fighting the illness, but has deteriorated a great deal much to the upset of my family and my granddad. It has been very hard for all of us to cope with my nan and see her the way she is, it's an illness that is soul destroying and very upsetting, it's horrible. 

My nanan is still here though and my mum and auntie and my granddad have done an AMAZING! job with looking after her and caring for her in her own home throughout the past years and they have done exceptionally well and been caring, loving and patient with her. Everyone in my family helps my nan out in anyway they can as she has always done the same for us. 

I cannot think of any better way than to help my nan and the other people like her to help raise more money for this cause and charity into helping other people like my nan including her. 

I think that personally, the charity doesn't get half as much credit to what it should do and not as much recognition compared to other charities, but it is an illness that affects quite a few older people around the world and not just in the UK. 

With your help and mine we can help raise more money for the amazing charity who help people with Alzheimer's and their families as much as they can. If you would like to give a donation, please head on over to my Just Giving page linked below you can give whatever price you wish too. If you can't for any reason, or just don't wish to which is fine! A simple good luck would be much appreciated! :) 

Emma's Memory Walk 2014

Thank you ever so much for having the time to read this post, I know it's nothing to do with baking. But it's something that matters to me, and I feel I need to share it with you all! 

Ta very much! Much love, 
Emma xxx