Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Fictional Crushes

February 9: Top Ten Fictional Crushes
This statement might well surprise you, Potterhead as I am: I have never had a crush on any character in the Wizarding World. I have, however, had one or two from other fandoms over the years. These are in no particular order (except for the first two!)

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1. Jacob Black (The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer)
Jake, Jake, Jake. He’s beautiful, funny and fiercely loyal. What more is there to say? *Taylor Lautner*

2. Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)
Peeta has the patience of a saint and is inherently selfless and caring.

3. Noah Calhoun (The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks)
If only someone loved me enough to write me a letter a day for a year, and fight for true love. *sigh*

4. Quentin Jacobsen (Paper Towns by John Green)
Q is just the cutest, most innocent guy, I can’t help but love him.

5. Peter Pevensie (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis)
When I was a kid I had a crush on Peter, even though he is overprotective (William Moseley might also have had something to do with it).

6. Alex Rider (Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz)
Another childhood crush, I loved Alex and championed him throughout all of his adventures.

7. Frank Porter (Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson)
Frank is such a good guy: funny, sweet and caring.

8. Lucien (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas)
As the leading male’s best friend, he’s never going to get the girl, but he’s so snarky and witty that I can’t help but love him.

9. Edward Cullen (The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer)
I know, I know. I have/had a crush on both Jacob and Edward for very different reasons (actually I guess they’re pretty much the same!) Sue me.

10. Michael Moscovitz (The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot)
Michael was the funny, slightly geeky, but fiercely protective lovable guy we all wanted Mia to end up with.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Check out their blog and get involved!

For more content, visit @charlottebibliophile on Goodreads, Instagram and YouTube

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Book Unhaul

Last month I gave up on a book, this month I’m giving away over 60 books. What’s going on?

I naturally have a hoarders personality. I keep things that really have no meaning to me, just because I don’t want to throw them away. This is especially relevant when it comes to books. I’ve always thought “I’ll read it someday” or “I received it as a present when I was seven, I can’t give it away”, which are both ridiculous things to think.

The simple fact is I own so many books, and will buy so many more in the coming months and years, that I will never get around to reading them all. Sometimes I’m interested in a book when I buy it, but then choose to read other books, and time has passed, I’ve changed, and I’m no longer interested in said book. What’s the point in keeping it?

So, on a whim I gathered together all the books I know I no longer want and I’m getting rid of them.

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Some are duplicate copies (eg. The Hunger Games, The Host, The Hobbit), some I read recently and either didn’t enjoy or know I will never read again (eg. Gone, All I Know Now, Buried Alive), and some I know I will never read (eg. Wolf Brother, Eldest, The Witch Trade). The majority, however, are books and series I read or started reading when I was in primary school. Some of these hold sentimental value as I really enjoyed them (eg. Cathy Cassidy’s books), others I just kept because of the sheer number of books in the series, which I thought I’d get around to reading eventually (eg. Louise Rennison and Michael Lawrence’s books).

Most of these books I will be giving to my 10 and 12 year old cousins. The ones with more adult material (eg. Good Girls) and ones I know they already have (eg. Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse) will be going to charity.

I’ve done mini-unhauls before, when I’ve given away about 10 books, but getting rid of such a large number of books feels amazing. I know they’ll be going to a good home and I now have more space for new books (not that lack of room ever stopped me before).

I’m not letting go of who I was, I’m accepting who I am now. It’s cleansing.

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‘Every Day’ by David Levithan [Book Review]

Today, whilst trying to avoid the essay looming over me, I finished reading my 6th book of the 2016 Reading Challenge: Every Day by David Levithan. Despite this being a YA novel, the sub-genre (sci-fi/paranormal) is one I only have minimal experience with.

Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Released: 2012
Pages: 371
Favourite character: “A”
Category: #20 A science-fiction novel
Rating: 6/10

Review:
“Self-preservation isn’t worth it if you can’t live with the self you’re preserving.”

Every Day is a Young Adult sci-fi/paranormal novel: “A” lives every day of his life in the body of another. The host is never the same and the gender is irrelevant (“A” is neither and both genders) but the host is always the same age as “A”, who ages the same as any human.

When “A” wakes up one morning in the body of Justin, “A’s” usually careful manner of living day to day takes an abrupt turn when “A” falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. Wanting to be able to live a normal life, “A” confides in her. Every Day tells the story of their turbulent relationship, and the barriers that try to prevent them from being together.

The concept itself is excellent, and it is generally executed well, but on occasion it is a little unbelieveable. The character development is good, especially in terms of “A” and it is well paced. However, the ending took rather an abrupt turn, which made the journey the novel went through slightly pointless.

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The primary thing I took away from reading this novel was about connecting with the person, not the gender (there is an LGBT theme here which could have been further developed). I enjoyed seeing the world through the eyes of different people (with “A” being the constant), and how their peers, family and teachers view them. Ultimately, it reads like a romance, and I was expecting something different.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Futuristic Books I Want To Read

February 2: Top Ten Futuristic Books I Want To Read
This week the TTT topic was rather vague (it had to be something either focusing on the past or future: eg. Top Ten Historical Settings You Love/Top Ten Futuristic Societies I’d Love To Read in Books) which I find more difficult to write about. After some deliberation I decided upon the less restrictive angle of futuristic (leaning towards dystopian) books on my TBR (and coincidentally bookshelf!)

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1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The synopsis for this book sounds so interesting: I can’t wait to experience it and see how it plays out (on the page – I’m almost positive it can’t end well in practice).

2. Legend by Marie Lu
I’ve heard comparisons to The Hunger Games, so I’m sold.

3. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This book has won so many literary awards, so I’m looking forward to discovering this critically acclaimed world for myself.

4. The 100 by Kass Morgan
I’m deliberately stayed away from the TV series (and spoilers) until I can read these books, so I’m relatively clueless about the plot – which is great!

5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Set in the year 2044, this book reminds me of 1984 with video games.

6. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
With the movie having just been released, I need to read this before I hear spoilers. Plus the final book in the trilogy is released later in the year, so it’s the perfect time to marathon the series.

7. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
I view this series as futuristic, and I’ve been wanting to jump into it for a while: I think 2016 might be the time to start.

8. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
I read Cinder last year and wasn’t blown away by it, but I want to give the series another chance by reading the sequel.

9. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
I loved Divergent and was incredibly disappointed with Insurgent, but I feel the trilogy must be completed.

10. The Death Cure by James Dashner
I really enjoyed the first two books in The Maze Runner series, so I can’t understand why I’ve not yet read the final book in the trilogy.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Check out their blog and get involved!

For more content, visit @charlottebibliophile on Goodreads, Instagram and YouTube

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Reading Wrap-Up: January 2016

My 2016 Reading Challenge kicked off with a bang this month. Not only did I exceed my monthly target of 3.5 books (I have to read 41 for the Reading Challenge, so this allows for one additional non-category fitting book to be read), but I also really enjoyed the majority of those I read. Bonus!

January 2016 statistics
Total books read: 5
Total pages read: 1,688
Favourite book: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (9/10)

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#3 A YA bestsellerSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (8/10)
#17 A book at least 100 years older than you areJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (6/10)
#23 A book that is published in 2016 – This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (9/10)
#30 A book with a blue cover – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (8/10)
#37 A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with – Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (4/10)

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Book Haul: January 2016

Remember when, only weeks ago, I said one of my 2016 resolutions was to “Buy 10 or fewer books per month (on average)“? Yeah, that failed. Say hello to my 28 new books, and no more shelf space!

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Already read:
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (9/10)

Most excited to read:
1. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
2. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
3. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

Most excited to own:
1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Gift Edition) by J.K. Rowling
2. The Wizard of Oz (Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Edition) by L Frank Baum
3. The Marvels by Brian Selznick

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‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’ by Becky Albertalli [Book Review]

I didn’t expect to read another book in January, but I devoured almost 200 pages of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda yesterday and finished it in the early hours of this morning – it was that good – making it my 5th book of the 2016 Reading Challenge.

Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Released: 2015
Pages: 303
Favourite character: Simon Spier
Category: #3 A YA bestseller
Rating: 8/10

Review:
“As a side note, don’t you think everyone should have to come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a bestselling Young Adult novel, written from the perspective of seventeen year old Simon Spier. Simon is gay, and the only person he is out to is his cyber friend, Blue, who just happens to be a student at his school, but neither Simon (codename Jacques) or Blue know the other person’s identity. When Jacques and Blue’s personal emails are hijacked, Simon is blackmailed. To keep his sexual orientation and his relationship with Blue a secret, Simon agrees to the demands of the blackmailer.

Despite the serious undertone of the novel, it is actually incredibly witty and charming. The main character is well fleshed out, and his thoughts and desires are believable. Simon’s friends and family also play interesting and pivotal roles in this contemporary romance and mystery novel. Ultimately it’s a story of self-discovery, first love and true friendship, and it’s delightful.

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This book was so cute, funny and realistic. I loved that it was a 21st century situation, showing the negative side of social media, and that it had some dark themes. However, I found it initially difficult to get into as there were so many characters introduced, but this wasn’t a problem once the story itself had begun unfolding. All in all, this book is an incredible debut, and I can’t wait to read more books by Becky Albertalli.

For more content, visit @charlottebibliophile on Goodreads, Instagram and YouTube

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