Sunday, 23 January 2011

Book Review - Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Published by: Penguin UK
Release Date: 4th February 2010

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . . There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head. Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes. There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it. In the end, there is a grave. Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.

  I had this book on my shelf for a while and really couldn’t wait to get to it. I even bought the second one before reading this one because I was so interested in the storyline. The 4/5 star reviews people seemed to be giving it only encouraged me to really bump this up the pile…

 I think it’s time I stopped judging books by there covers (Time Traveller’s Wife is a good argument for this; hated the cover, loved the book) and looking at the millions of amazing reviews because usually I build the book up so much in my mind that I can’t kick it off it’s pedestal any quicker than I do when I finally start reading the book. I really was well and truly drawn in by the hype of Beautiful Creatures and I wish I hadn’t been.

  The book starts when Lena Duchannes moves into town and Ethan Wate is instantly enthralled, especially when he’s been having nightmares about trying to save her before he’d even laid eyes on her. Then we follow the story of seeing them grow close, even though Lena is against it, but Ethan persists. That’s all I can say on the story without giving too much away about why Lena has moved into town and why Ethan has been having the dreams.

 It really underwhelmed me, the whole story. By the time I’d reached a third of the way through I had to really make myself finish the book (I’m working my way to starting Beautiful Darkness because I hate leaving a series unfinished.) The story was dead to me. I didn’t feel any of the romance and guessed pretty much all the twists in the story before I’d gotten halfway through. I couldn’t even warm to any of the characters, they all got my nerves, especially Amma and Ethan’s father.

 What I will say is that the Civil War story behind it has me wanting to learn more about it. That was really intriguing to me. And it wasn’t that the authors were terrible at the writing, the book was beautifully written, but the story left me bored, especially when it was so drawn out too. Not all stories need to be 500+ these days, it’s okay to have an ending for them. Maybe Beautiful Darkness will be better now that everyone’s secrets are out.


Hobbies...I Have Too Many

 So as you can see, my New Year's blogging resolutions are not going so great. I've not updated regularly, I've barely commented and my reviews can't write themselves.

Here's my predicament; I have too many hobbies!

It's true, and then they get in the way of each other because I just don't know where to start or how to shut my brain down from thinking about the others whilst I'm doing one of them.

My list of hobbies looks something like this: reading, writing, cross-stitching, tv shows, films, writing lists, ticking things off said lists, making cards, sports (which is a bit redundant because I don't know anyone who would come rock climbing, snowboarding with me, or play badminton and tennis, and then there's my knee), video games...especially on the Wii, travelling, sightseeing, learning about history, learning useless facts, writing reviews, crocheting (still learning), knitting (see crocheting), jigsaw puzzles, coffee (don't argue with me, it's a hobby), and my latest cooking.

This is what happens when I'm not working, and I only work four hours of the day, five days a week; I get bored, so I make half-hearted attempts to do my chores for the day (feed the rabbits, feed the cats, feed the dog, feed the humans, possibly tidy up anything I forgot to pick up when I was done with it and so it goes on), but then when I've done the things I should do, I look at all my hobbies. This is where my problems start. I sit there thinking, I should probably get that book finished because it's due back at the library/getting on my nerves/I really wanna read one of the 300+ in my TBR piles. So I pick up the book, but because I'm forcing myself to read I then think, actually, I should get that cross-stitch sitting on my bay windowsill done- I can't wait to see it finished. But then I go to pick it up and put it in the hoop when I think, I should really get my reviews written, I've got 10 books backed up to be reviewed. Then I sit down at my computer and think, I haven't blogged in a while again, I should blog about something then do my reviews.

Anyway, this carries on through my other hobbies until it comes to the point where I've not actually done any of them and just end up wasting my evening lolling round the house attempting to do them.

Anyone else have this problem, or is just me and that I have procrastination completely and utterly ingrained my genes? I'm well aware of how I'm wasting my life being like this. Especially on the writing front. I want to see my book on those bookshop shelves, dammit! I know it's me getting in the way of myself, I just don't know how to give myself a slap and say, 'Look woman! Stop dragging your feet and do this!' Any tips on how to get over that?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

100 Books in a Year Reading Challenge 2011

I'm joining one last reading challenge for 2011. Don't want to overkill on trying to make myself read books when others keep staring at me from the TBR piles. This one I couldn't overlook, because I was aiming for this anyway, what with doing my personal reading challenge.

Anyway, the challenge is as it sounds; read 100 books or more throughout 2011. Make a blog post about doing it then add your post link to Book Chick City's blog post to be added to the challenge. For the full set of rules, head over to Book Chick City's blog.

I'll keep updating this post with the books I've read through the year.

1. No & Me
2. Katy Carter Wants a Hero
3. The Lucky One
4. I Am Number Four
5. City of Bones
6. The One Before the One
7. To the Moon & Back
8. Paranormalcy
9. Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings
10. My Soul to Lose
11. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
12. The 13 Secrets
13. Anna & the French Kiss
14. Across the Universe
15. A Simples Life
16. The Spook's Bestiary
17. Hereafter
18. Timeless
19. The Espressologist
20. Hunger
21. Rage
22. Kate's Wedding
23. R.S.V.P.
24. Die for Me

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

 Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a safe, happy Christmas and that the New Year will be a good, happy one.

I haven't forgotten my blog, it was just I stopped working for Christmas and decided that I would take a break from pretty much everything until the new year.

So my blogging resolutions are:

Blog regularly - I'm a little bit sporadic at the moment because I'm not organised. I'd show you my messy office, but I'm afraid you'd judge me it's that bad.

Keep up to date on book reviews - I read books and then don't review them straight away. I drag it on as long as I can.

Comment more - I don't do it much, even though I read all blog posts on my list.

My blogging goals are:

Keep a blogging diary - I'm hoping that it will help with the above resolutions.

Read, review and craft more - Exactly as it sounds. I've dropped my bad habit of playing facebook games now so I'll have more time to get my hobbies done.

Complete all reading challenges

And that's it for my resolutions and goals. What about everyone else?