I’m looking for Harry Potter fans! [Harry Potter Month]

Okay all, so I have this idea, but I need some help for it…Inspired by Rinn’s sci-fi month, (which I LOVED participating in) I’ve decided to take the plunge and try and organise a blog event for something I’m a huge fan of – Harry Potter. So, this is the announcement/gauging interest post for….

Harry Potter month
July 2014

[Why July? Because it gives me enough time to get organised, find participants etc, and because the 31st of July is Harry's birthday]

What is Harry Potter month?

A month full of Harry Potter celebrations including posts, prizes and a House Cup! If this sounds like something that might interest you, keep reading.

 

What does getting involved mean?

I’m looking for people for three things:
1) Posting! Whether you want to post once or every day, I’m looking for people to share their Harry Potter love.
2) Hogwarts students for the House Cup
3) I’m looking for at least two prefects per house (more on that below!)

You can just post, without taking part in the Cup, or vice versa – or you can do both!

 

What do I post about?

Absolutely anything (however loosely) Harry Potter related. That could be anything from reviews of the books to ‘If you liked Harry Potter you might like….’

 

Does it have to be about the books?

Not at all! If you want to post about the films, the games or something HP inspired, that’s all absolutely fine. Feel free to think outside the box!

 

Will there be a readalong/watchalong etc?

This one purely depends on interest. I can’t imagine there’d be much interest in reading all seven books in a month, but people may want to just readalong the first book, or just watch the films etc. This one is down to you guys!

 

How do I earn points in the House Cup?

This one will be explained more later on, but you’ll be able to earn points in a number of ways, from posting to commenting on someone else’s post, from watching a film to reading fanfiction.

 

What does being a Prefect involve?

Being a prefect basically means keeping on top of your House Points, and reporting them back to me so I can see who is winning! The duties will be shared between at least two of you (more if desired), and the points will be based on round numbers so there shouldn’t be any awful maths involved!

 

Will I get to be in X House?

I’ll do my best to try and keep everyone happy but in the interest of fairness, and trying to keep the houses reasonably even numbered, I’m asking for a first and second choice house. If we still end up with one house significantly larger/smaller than the others, I’ll have to figure out a different way to balance out the scores later on!

 

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please drop me an email to faith@studentspyglass.com and I’ll send you back some more details!

 

I think realistically I’m looking for at least ten people for the event to go ahead, so please let me know if you’re interested!

 

April check in: Goals and word of 2014

Is it me or has this year just flown by?! I was just thinking ‘I should probably post a goals check-in soon’, and then I looked at the calendar (well okay, Excel) and realised that we’re 107 days into 2014. 107! Almost a third of the way through!

So, admittedly, this check-in is at a slightly weird point – not quite a third of the way through the year, but more than a quarter, randomly in the middle of the week….but it felt like a good time to check-in, so I’m ignoring the slightly strange date! Plus, seeing how far I’ve got (or not got), is always motivational, and I’m feeling ready for a kick up the….well, y’know.
Now, I’ll be honest, at first I couldn’t even remember what my goals of 2014 were, so I had to go look them up (probably not a great sign). To refresh your memory too:

Get my NetGalley feedback to approval ratio above 80%

Current: 53.2%
Honestly, I’m really pleased with my progress on this so far. I know to a lot of you, 53% looks really low, but considering I had an enormous backlog and started the year with something pathetic like 18%, I’m pretty pleased with my progress! 80% still feels a long long way off, but as long as I keep going in the right direction, (and keep the requesting sprees to a minimum!) I’m okay with that.

 

Read at least 100 books

Current: 19 books
I genuinely don’t know what’s been going on with my reading the last month or so. For January and February I was doing okay, but somewhere along the way I hit a total wall, and am yet to get my reading mojo back to normal. I’m waiting for things to click back into place (as they inevitably do), but if I’m still really behind for my mid-year check-in I I might have to reduce my goal a bit.

 

Read 45,000 pages

Current: 7088
Er, see above for this one too!

 

Read 12 books off my 101 Fantasy Project

Current: 3
Woohoo, I’m vaguely on target for this one! I’m thinking of trying to break my reading slump with some great fantasy, as it’s my go-to genre of choice, so hopefully I can tick one more off here soon too.

 

Write 75 reviews

Current: 20
This has been going pretty well so far, and I think I should hit my target. January was particularly great and I’m hoping for another month that good in May.

 

Branch out more

I think this is one I’m accomplishing. From my word of the year 2014, to filofax postsbookish drinking games and posts like now and then, I’m slowly diversifying, which I love.

 

Change my layout

Not yet, BUT I have a defence…I’ve been looking into renaming StudentSpyglass, and working on ideas for a new layout that fit with the new name, so obviously I can’t implement it yet!

 

Be healthier

This is one I’m doing okay with. I’ve lost 8lbs, which isn’t huge but it’s a start. I’m also mostly eating less junk food, and doing a little exercise. (Although I fully admit I’m eating an Easter egg as I write this, because they were a £1 and my family are celebrating being free from work for a few days!)

 

Find a job & save towards my MSc

Well, I found a job (back doing the same temp work I was doing before Christmas). So far, I’ve managed to pay my 10% deposit, and pay off my overdraft, but that’s about it, so still a long way to go on the savings front, but I’m definitely making progress.

 

Get organized

Well…..January was fantastic, February was great, March was okay, but April….April has been a disaster! (I’m starting to notice I’m kind of an all or nothing person! Reading, blogging, scheduling, being healthy and being organised – they all seem to have gone out the window at once!). However, I’ve got ideas and plans, so fingers crossed I can make some headway on those and get back to being organised.

 

My word of 2014

fearless

As well as my goals, I wanted to check in on how I’ve been doing with my word of 2014, which was fearless. So, how have I been getting on? Pretty damn well actually! Here are a few of the fearless things I’ve done so far this year, that the ‘normal’ me would have balked at:

  • Signed up to the Race for Life (5k)
    • I’m about as unfit as a sloth.  In fact, that’s an insult to the sloth.  Maybe a dead sloth… Anyways, the point is, despite that, I’ve decided to sign up to the Race for Life – and I’m hoping to jog it, even though right now I can jog for about 30 seconds.  I have 9 weeks to fundraise and train, so any hints and tips greatly appreciated!
  • Requested review copies
    • Again, to some of you this is probably no big deal, but my review copies before this year came almost exclusively from NetGalley.  I haven’t requested many (and I haven’t had responses on everything I requested) but I’ve been branching out and requesting a few and it has been so worth it!
  • Dyed my hair a very different colour!
    • Until this year, my hair has been light blonde.  Like, forever, apart from one horrific incident when I experimented with brown that should probably never be talked about….  Last week I went totally different – the top is now very dark blonde (virtually brown) and the tips are red.  I maybe wasn’t fearless enough though, because I’ve decided to go back this weekend and go red all over!  Pre-2014 me would never have even dreamed of going so bold.

How are your 2014 goals going?  (And do you have any tips for a super-unfit me to survive 5k?!)

 

Now and Then

You’re possibly wondering where I’ve been for the last week or so….and honestly, so am I! I’d love to give you a great explanation but to be honest I’ve just been absurdly busy and still haven’t shaken my blogging/reading slump.  BUT I loved reading the Now and Then feature on Celine’s blog, and so I couldn’t resist joining in.  Some of the questions were easy, some were fun, and some reminded me just how grateful I am for the changes I’ve gone through in the last five years!

Then: 2009 (age 17)
Now: 2014  (age 22)

Location//
Then: Finishing up my A-Levels, working towards my university offer
Now: Graduated (from a different uni with a different subject!), saving for my MSc

Attitude//
Then: Insecure, scared of commitment, perfectionist
Now: More confident, happy in love, just as determined as ever!

Dreams//
Then: Clinical psychologist
Now: Animal conservation

Hair//
Then: Blonde, shoulder length, straightened
Now: (As of Saturday)…Red! curled (when I can be bothered), full fringe

Watching//
Then: Skins, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The OC,
Now: Once Upon a Time, Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory

Crushing on//
Then: James Marsters, Tom Felton,
Now: Chris Hemsworth, Alexander Skarsgard, Ian Somerhalder

Free time//
Then: TV, fanfiction, reading, karate, hanging out with friends, The Sims,
Now: Reading, blogging, cinema with friends, diving,

Listening to//
Then: Linkin Park, Greenday, My Chemical Romance, Dashboard Confessional
Now: Linkin Park, Paramore, Taylor Swift, Sam Tsui

Reading //
Then: Almost entirely fantasy
Now: Fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, YA, NA

Favourite authors//
Then: Jodi Picoult, David Eddings, Robin Hobb
Now: David Eddings, Robin Hobb, Maria V. Snyder, George R.R. Martin, Mira Grant

Where I got my books//
Then: Library, birthday gifts
Now: Library, purchased, review copies, gifts,

Time spent reading//
Then: A couple of hours at the weekend, on the bus to school
Now: Every spare moment!

What’s different in your life compared to 5 years ago? What are the best or biggest changes?

Tour & Giveaway: Opposites (T.M. Smith)

As a lover of both dystopia and LGBT fiction, I couldn’t resist joining in the tour for Opposites - you have to admit, that blurb sounds very intriguing! If you’d like to be in with a chance to win a copy or an amazon voucher, scroll down to the bottom and click onto the Rafflecopter link! (And yes, it’s International too!)

Opposites_Tour_Banner

OPPOSITES:
In the year 2081 our planet survived global warming of an apocalyptic scale. When the dust settled and the water receded Dr. Anthony Smith, one of only a few hundred survivors of GWI, started society anew. Having come to the conclusion that injudicious breeding played a huge role in the destruction of Earth as we knew it in the twenty first century, he worked closely with other survivors to isolate the Dionysus gene. This gene has the ability to manipulate human DNA to ensure that all male children be born gay, and all female children be born lesbians. A new society is born.

In the year 2300 Dr. Smith’s descendants are ushering in the twenty fourth century having maintained control of the government that still rules society. Twins Aiya and Aiyan are preparing to meet their matches and take control of House Gaeland, the current ruling House. But not everything is as it seems.

Love is Love.. it knows no gender and doesn’t conform to restrictions and boundaries. Aiyan has found his soul mate in Kaden, the prince of House Devi that he is matched with and eventually marries. But when the person Aiya falls in love with tests the boundaries put in place after GWI, all hell breaks loose. And in the midst of one secret unraveling, another will emerge. There is a growing anomaly that threatens to destroy over two hundred years of progression. This anomaly is known as Opposites.

THE LIBRARY (An Opposites Novella)
The Library, an Opposites Novella, by TM Smith
Three gay couples run amuck in this short story where clothing, beds, even four walls are all optional! 

Want to know what happened that night in the library?
Cirian and Rian had a fight in the library and Rian ends up naked on the desk, on his back, at Cirian’s mercy. 

Want to know how far things went with ice cream?
A romantic evening by the fire feeding his husband ice cream leads to a lot more than heavy petting for Aiyan and Kaden.

Want to know what was going on when those birds fled?
Travelling hundreds of miles, battling the rebels and then travelling back to House Gaeland will take it out of you. But when Tanis wants something, he takes it. Raven is about to be bent over a tree!

A Note from the Author: I’ve taken three scenes from Opposites that were cut short and elaborated on the shenanigans that ensued. I also focused more in the beginning on the relationship between Cirian and Rian, to give readers a chance to know them and their inner workings better. 

**Warning, The Library is a novella set in the same world as Opposites. It’s an adult dystopian M/M novella that includes consenting and explicit sexual relationships between gay couples**

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. She now calls Texas home from her small town on the outskirts of the DFW Metroplex. Most days you can find her curled up with her kindle and a good book alongside a glass of something aged and red or a steaming cup of coffee!

At 42 years young, she’s decided to enter the next phase of her life by adding the title of “author” to her list of accomplishments that includes single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Smith is and outspoken advocate for Autism and equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

Her Opposites series is based outside the normal parameters of social acceptability, examining a ‘what if’… What If to be gay or lesbian were the norm? What if to be straight labeled you as an Opposite and made YOU the Outkast?

Around the web: Author’s Amazon page | Author’s website
Goodreads: Opposites | GoodReads author page
Social media: FacebookAuthor Twitter | Pinterest | Youtube


GIVEAWAY:

Terms:
Must be 18 + to Enter

Prizes:
1 winner (International) ~ $20 giftcard winners choice (Amazon or B&N) to be delivered electronically at the time the giveaway ends
1 winner (US only) ~ ebook copies of Opposites and The Library, 2 bookmarks, Opposites book thong and spiral key chain
1 winner (US only) ~ NOH8 tote bag, Celtic Cross necklace, 2 bookmarks and The Library key chain
1 winner (International) ~ ebook copy winners choice Opposites OR The Library, 2 bookmarks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Sea of Shadows (Kelley Armstrong)

Review: Sea of Shadows Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (From Goodreads.com)

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

 

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Length: 416 pages
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Series: Age of Legends #1

Plot: ★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Readability: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★

I was really intrigued by Sea of Shadows, because the blurb sounded amazing.  I was a little apprehensive too though, because while I loved Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series to begin with, I’ve yet to make any progress with Haunted because I found it quite slow to begin with.

Moria and Ashyn have grown up knowing that their role is to quiet the souls that live in The Forest of The Dead.  After chaos erupts in their village, Moria and Ashyn are separated, and the two set off on a quest to find each other – and to figure out just what happened to their village.

The premise of Sea of Shadows was amazing, and I absolutely loved the beginning.  I loved the Forest of the Dead, learning about the twins, and the truly eerie atmosphere Armstrong created when the village is found devastated.  I found some of the middle a little slower going, but the story soon picked up again, and overall I really enjoyed the plot.

Sea of Shadows flicks back and forth between Moria and Ashyn’s point of view, but as the twins are so very different in personality, it’s easy to keep track of who’s chapter it is.  Moria is the feisty, short-tempered Keeper.  She scares the children with tales of mythical monsters – and they love her for it.  Ashyn is the quieter, more responsible Seeker.  It’s her job to go into the Forest of the Dead, locate bodies of the dead and put their spirits to rest.  I enjoyed both characters, and the two had a really interesting relationship – not too sugary-sweet, but still fundamentally loyal and good.  I also especially loved the girls’ pets.  Moria’s wildcat Daigo, Ashyn’s hound Toga, were great and the girl’s relationship with their pets made them that much more likeable.

I found Sea of Shadows a little strange genre-wise at first, because the beginning is pretty damn creepy (for me at least, though I admit to being a wimp!), whilst the rest is more of a standard fantasy-adventure.  Although I found the mix a little strange to begin with,  I enjoyed it overall – think a YA fantasy adventure with some creepy elements in the same sort of vein as the  Game of Thrones White Walkers.

My only real complaint with Sea of Shadows was the world-building, which I found a little lacking.  For a long time, I had only the vaguest sense of what Ashyn and Moria were supposed to do, or how.  Whilst some mystery can be a good thing, this went on a little too long so instead of feeling like intionally building intrigue it sometimes felt more like an accident.   While I found the world-building a little disappointing, I enjoyed the plotline and the characters, and I think the series has great premise, so I’ll definitely be checking out book two.

Buy it? This is one worth buying for me, but I’d probably buy it on a deal.
In a nutshell: Great premise and interesting characters – a very promising start to an exciting new series.

Other Reviews of Sea of Shadows: Dark Faerie Tales | My library in the making | The Diary of A Bookworm

The Weekly Recap (#13)

This week on the blog

Incoming

Nothing!

Total spend this week: £0



My Week

When you look at my weekly recap, it almost looks like I haven’t been here, but I have, honest!

This week, I’ve spent my evenings watching Once Upon a Time, and we’ve just finished season 1.  I spent a lot of time reading fanfics, and actually signing up for challenges again for the first time in years!

Other than that, I haven’t really done much.  I got a not-too-pathetic amount done blog wise, but the Monster Thons turned out to be a total failure for me this week!  I’ve spent so much time reading fanfiction, I haven’t really read anything else. Oops?!


Reading

Still Reading: Echo Boy [45%]

Challenge Progress

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Faith has
read 19 books toward her goal of 100 books.
hide
  • Seriously Series:
    • Series Started in 2014: 7/18
    • Series Started before 2014: 3/18
  • Library Books challenge: 6/36
  • LGBTQ: 1/3
  • TBR Pile Reading challenge: 3/31
  • Review Pile Reading Challenge: 9/31

How was your week?

Review: Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell)

Review: Fangirl Amazon| Goodreads

Summary (From Goodreads.com)

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Length: 445 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: No

Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Readability: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★

Cath and Wren are twin sisters, who until now have done everything together, including write hugely successful Simon Snow fanfiction.  Now that they’re going off to college though, Wren wants them to be a little more independent.  She’s slowly become less of a Simon Snow fangirl and she wants to go and have the college experience – and that doesn’t mean sharing a room with her twin.

While Wren bonds with her new roomate Courtney, settles in to the party lifestyle, and generally loves college so far, Cath is finding it a little harder to adjust.  She’s always been the quieter twin, and she’d really rather stay in her room and write than try to figure out the chaos that is the dining hall.  Not to mention that her roomate sort of seems to think she’s a freak, and that Cath is worried about her father, who’s alone for the first time and hasn’t always had the most stable mental health.

“There are other people on the Internet. It’s awesome. You get all the benefits of ‘other people’ without the body odor and the eye contact.”

Do you know how sometimes, a book just clicks with you, and you aren’t quite 100% sure why?  When you love a book, but can’t decide on the exact thing that takes it from a four or five star read to “Keep, recommend, re-read a thousand times” status?

When I first finished Fangirl, it was one of those books, but I think I’ve decided what it is that makes Fangirl a new favourite.  It’s not the plot, the characters, the romance or the writing (all of which I loved) – it’s the combination of those things, and the way that Rowell makes everything so easy to relate to.  I texted countless quotes from this to my partner and friends.  I want to buy everyone close to me a copy and say “THIS. THIS IS HOW MY BRAIN WORKS!”. 

Rainbow Rowell has managed to capture the fears of starting college perfectly.  She manages to include the little things like worrying about proper dining room protocol and the endless train of what ifs – like what if my roomate wants her boyfriend to stay here overnight?  On top of the little things, there are the bigger concerns, like her relationship with her sister, worrying about her father, and keeping up with both her work load and her Simon Snow stories.  And of course, there’s the romance!  Rowell has perfectly encapsulated Cath’s fears, and I think they’re something everyone (even those not as anxious as Cath) can understand.

“I’d rather pour myself into a world I love and understand than try to make something up out of nothing.”

The plot line is basically a coming-of-age story, with Cath adjusting to college, worrying that Wren is maybe adjusting a bit too enthusiastically, the twins’ relationship, their new love interests, and their’ father’s instability.  What really makes the story, is the characters.  Cath and Wren are very relatable, in totally different ways.  Although there will be times when one or the other baffles you (as their behaviour is sometimes pretty opposite, logic says you won’t always love both!), there will also be moments you can completely relate to.  Whether it’s hitting the party lifestyle or holing up in your bedroom, Rowell has captured the sometimes slightly skewed adjustment of first year students.

I freely admit, not only did I love Fangirl, but it also reminded me how much I love fanfiction, and being a crazy fangirl about the things that are important to me.  You know those quotes people always pin about being a geek? (You know the ones, the John Green and the Will Wheaton quotes and so on).  Fangirl is like an entire book that says the same things: that being enthusiastic is okay.  Not just okay in fact, but fun.  That being a geek makes you you, and the important people will understand if you absolutely need to go to a midnight release or spend hours reading every Game of Thrones conspiracy theory or whatever else it is you want to do to celebrate whatever you’re passionate about.

 

“What’s that thing you wrote about Simon once, that his eyes followed Baz ‘like he was the brightest thing in the room, like he cast everything else into shadow’? That’s you. You can’t look away from him.”

While I liked Eleanor and Park, I loved Fangirl. I loved the characters, the slow-building romance, the snippets of Simon Snow stories that made it feel like a real fandom.  I loved that Rowell had included sex, and partying hard, and plagiarism concerns, that the girls didn’t always get along perfectly and that Cath was anxious and geeky without being a pushover.   It’s never explicit, and yet it doesn’t shy away from those real concerns, those things that happen at college.  I think the reason Fangirl stands out, to me, is because it doesn’t feel like a cookie cutter version of something else; it’s unique, and it’s relatable.  It reads like it could literally be a story about one of the bloggers you follow.

Buy it? Definitely one worth buying – a new favourite.
In a nutshell: Fantastically relatable characters, a perfect reflection into starting college and the mind of a fangirl.

Other Reviews of Fangirl: Wondrous Reads | Daisy Chain Book Reviews | Recovering Potter Addict

Monster Thons Progress

 

 

Progress

★  Read 110 pages of Echo Boy

  ★ Scheduled review for Panic

  ★ Got distracted by Fanfiction.net….

★ Scheduled review for Fangirl

★ Drafted 2 discussion posts (er, this wasn’t part of the plan?!)

Review: Panic (Lauren Oliver)

Review: Panic Amazon| Goodreads

Summary (From Goodreads.com)

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

Author: Lauren Oliver
Length: 416 pages
Source: Review copy from Edelweiss
Series: No

Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Readability: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★

Panic is one of those books that seems to have confused people’s expectations. I’m not sure whether it’s because people had preconceptions of Lauren Oliver, or whether the blurb was too vague, or whether it was a bit like a game of chinese whispers, but I saw so many people who tagged/referred to Panic as dystopian.

Panic is most definitely not dystopian. It’s a contemporary story of a group of teenagers who push themselves to their limits (and beyond) to try and win a jackpot that would change their lives forever.

For Dodge, Panic has always been on the cards. He has a secret, and Panic is a key part of that secret, and coping with it. For Heather, Panic is a spur of the moment decision, fuelled by anger, unhappiness, and a desire to prove herself. For Nat, Panic is about the money. For Bishop, Panic is a risk, one he wishes his friends wouldn’t get themselves into. The teenagers each have their own motivations, but all four are drawn into a world of secrets, drama, and danger.

Panic is of course, about the game, and once the game began, I was hooked. I wanted to know what the next challenge would be, who would go through, who would drop out, and above all, who would win. The game keeps you hooked: it’s the dramatic, high intensity plot-line that has you flicking through pages feverishly, up until 2am dying to know what happens next. Despite that, it’s definitely not all the book is about, and Panic is a truly multi-layered story.

As well as the game itself, there’s also romance, which I enjoyed. Perhaps most brilliant is the way Lauren Oliver has written the characters, the insight into their personalities as they cope with the psychological toll of the game, and the way they grow throughout the story. Whether you like the characters or hate them, I found all four to be three-dimensional, and completely realistic.

I found I had to suspend my disbelief a few times in the story, because in a tiny dead-end town like Carp, where everyone knows everyone’s business, there were an awful lot of secrets. The banned game of Panic is not particularly discreetly played, there are relationships and associations people know nothing about, and a fair amount of law-breaking. In that sense, Panic felt a bit unbelievable, but once I suspended my disbelief, I enjoyed it.

My only real issue with Panic was the ending, which I was slightly disappointed by. Obviously I can’t say much about that without spoilers, so all I’ll say is that I felt it was a little too neat for me. If you’re curious, there’s a spoiler-laden paragraph further down the page!

Buy it? This is one that’s worth buying for me (but probably on a deal).
In a nutshell: Great characters, and a quick, gripping read, but this didn’t live up to Delirium.

Other Reviews of Panic: Miss Page-Turner’s City of Books | Little Birdie Books | It was Lovely Reading You

 

SPOILER ALERT

I have a few thoughts on the ending that I wanted to share, so don’t read on if you haven’t read the book yet!

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March Wrap-Up

March has been kinda crazy, as you’ve probably been able to tell from the truly sporadic posting!  Although I got the job in February, it was only in the last week or so of February, so for most of the month I still had plenty of time for blogging and reading and so on.  This month, I’ve been working the entire time (obviously, as people do!), and it’s been horrifically busy because we had a new intake of students this month.

In terms of reading I’ve been in a horrible reading slump. To be honest, the reading slump combined with general tiredness from work has not made me a happy blogger this month!  I think I’m finally edging my way out of it (fingers crossed) but I’m still kinda sticking to books I fancy until I feel a bit more secure!

 

Favourite things I did this month:

  • Went to see The Book Thief – In all honesty, I’d started the book, but couldn’t really get into it (I think partially because I was reading it because I felt like I ‘had’ to).  I went to see the film on a spur of the moment trip, and I really enjoyed it.
  • Visited Matt at uni – This is always good, because a) I get to see Matt and b) it’s almost like a little mini holiday for me!  I took two days off work this time, so I got to go up on the Thursday and come home on the Monday.  We had a great time hanging out with his housemates, watching lots of TV and generally just relaxing.
  • Took part in Bloggiesta – I always love taking part in Bloggiesta and this time was no exception!  I’m actually scheduling this a bit early, so I can’t comment on how much I’ll get done, but I’m certainly enjoying taking part.

Favourite purchase this month:
I treated myself to the Galaxy Chic eyeshadow palette this month and I absolutely love it.  The colours are a bit louder than I’d normally go for, but they’re so pretty and I love how pigmented they are.  (If you’re curious, Sparkage has really great swatches)

Reading





Books read: 5 (-1 from February)
Pages read: 2277 (+144 from February)
Average pages per day: 73 (-3 from February)
Favourites: Honestly, I loved all my reads this month except The Silver Chain.












Challenge Updates

(Challenge: # read this month [total/goal])

  • Seriously Series:
    • Series Started in 2014: 4 [7/18]
    • Series Started before 2014: 0 [3/18]
  • Library Books challenge: 2 [6/36]
  • LGBTQ: 0 [1/3]
  • TBR Pile Reading challenge: 1 [2/31]
  • Review Pile Reading Challenge: 2 [8/31]

Book Haul

Total Books gained: 8 (down 1)
Books bought: 1 (up 1)
Books for review: 3 (up 2)
Freebies/Gifts/Borrowed: 4 (down 4)
TBR pile change: +3 books

 

On the blog

Number of Posts: 12 (oh dear!)
Reviews: 1 (oh dear again!)

NetGalley % change: +4%

Most Popular posts:

Most Popular review: As I posted a pathetic one review this month, this seems a bit of a waste…


Search terms:

I have had a very weird month in terms of search terms – don’t say you weren’t warned!

  • the reapings film nude images
    Er, I have talked about The Reaping, but there are definitely no nude images….
  • Hansel and gretel incestuous sex
    Seriously, no idea…I think this is possibly vaguely linked to the Hansel and Gretel story in Grim, but er…no.
  • Can I use carrot and swede in a curry?
    You certainly can, in fact I’d recommend it!

How was your March?

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