Friday, 6 September 2013

Book Review: Belladonna by Fiona Paul (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2)

Rating: 5 out of 5
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins NZ 2013/Philomel 2013
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction, Young Adult Romance, Mystery, Suspense

Belladonna is the second novel in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy. It picks up the story not far from where Venom left off...and becomes just as exhilarating and fast paced! Maybe even more!
Australian Edition

Goodreads Sypnosis:
In the second in the stunning Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancĂ©, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose—the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of vampirism, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who is working for the Order’s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all.

This doesn't do the book justice. 

Death, murder and Florentine romance (previously Venetian, but Florence? Even better) seem to swirl in intricate circles on the pages to form vivid images and, strangely enough, the 'are there spiders on my toes' feeling. That is one good feeling. Talking about feeling, this book made me switch and change through so many feelings! I found that I liked Belladonna better than Venom, the first installment.

The romance beneath arched bridges and behind roses was seriously swoon-worthy and the trailing scent of death only added to it. The only fault I might have with this book are the sometimes unrealistic chance meetings. But still, it's romantic.

If you've read Venom then I will definitely heavily and pushily encourage you to read this. Also, if you liked The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin or movies like The Illusionist or The Prestige.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Quick Reviews: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Hello there! Today I'm going to trial a new kind of review called 'Quick Reviews'. Short and sharp with a GoodReads blurb instead of my own. Let's see  how it goes!

The Fault in Our Stars
- John Green, 2012
5 Stars.

Blurb:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Quick Review:
I seriously love this book so much. I admit that I usually don't read books of this genre but it captured my heart and the style of writing intrigued me. John Green made some good use of metaphors and got me thinking about the world. The characters developed at a good pace and the way he portrayed them was very truly amazing. It will make you laugh. It will make you legit cry. I thought that the fandoms were making the book some over-rated spectacle but this book deserved the overratedness So. So. Much. Augustus Waters is my fave okay? 
Okay.

Inside: Tearjerker, Romance, Awesomness, Augustus, Augustus, Augustus, Metaphors, Worldly, Augustus.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Long time no see: A book rant


I must admit that Flurried Thoughts has been gathering virtual dust in an equally virtual corner for a great many weeks.

Well, since the dawn of Flurried Thoughts' neglect, I have discovered and devoured some truly amazing books that have me fangirling. Real GIF worthy fangirling. Some of the most anticipated novels on my to-read list are now marked read and ready for review. 

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
The Diviners by Libba Bray (The Diviners #1)
The Things We Did For Love
The Things we did for Love by Natasha Farrant
Rapture (Fallen, #4)
Rapture by Lauren Kate (Fallen #4)
Requiem (Delirium, #3)
Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #3)
Delirium (Delirium, #1)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #1)
Boundless (Unearthly, #3)
Boundless by Cynthia Hand (Unearthly #3)
Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #2)
Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Secrets and Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)
Secrets & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed (At Somerton #1)
Lets talk Rapture and Requiem, the endings to a series. Wow. In both books I felt a sense of loss once the series finished and both were beautifully written in my opinion. I found that what both of these books had in common were the ability to describe. To describe such emotions and worlds that could envelope you in belief and feeling. To connect with the reader so well that with a single twist in the plot the reader could feel torn in the same way as the character. All I must say is these series are now my favourites. You. Must. Read.Them. Otherwise I may reveal too much and cry all over again.

Boundless was the end to a series, also. However, after reading The Fallen Series and The Delirium Trilogy I just kept comparing. The emotion in this book was strong, yet not the best. Yes, I felt the feelings. Yes, the plot was strong. But not strong enough.

I can't wait for the upcoming novels that will follow up each novel. I'm fangirling. Fangirling to the highest extent. The Diviners (a creepy novel, with a unique and romantic storyline), Secrets and Sapphires (Downton Abbey incarnate), Lunar Chronicles (squeal!), Pivot Point (such a cliffhanger), the release dates of the the follow ups to these novels are so frustratingly far away! 

And then there's The Things We Did for Love. Such a romantic novel. I really do love this it, it's up among the favourites. I doubt my words convey strongly enough my infatuation with this novel, but take my word that it's amazing.

All reviews coming soon

Monday, 21 January 2013

Flurried Thoughts New Look!

Hiya.

I'm very excited to announce (officially ☺) that Flurried Thoughts has gotten a new look.
Starting 2013 fresh, I decided to design myself a new 'doodle' themed template. Not very easy, but this design was fun to make and I love the outcome (hope you do too *crosses fingers*).
I find that the doodle theme has more of a young adult feel.

 A few changes will be in place (not affecting the reviews):
  1. This one's obvious; The whole new look of the blog. This blog is still Flurried Thoughts so please don't stumble upon it and think you're at the wrong blog ☺
  2. The blog button. I'm in the process of creating a new blog button. If you have my old one I'd prefer if you switch to the new button as soon as possible (emphasis on prefer, if it's not possibble then don't worry about it. I still have a soft spot for my old button haha)
  3. I now have a link exchange so other bloggers can contact and promote their blogs. I'm open for blog button swaps too. Just post your link in the comments on the link exchange page and I'll contact you ASAP






Sunday, 20 January 2013

Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

Rating:  3.5 out of 5
Format: Hardback, 496 pages
Publisher: Candlewick 2008/Walker 2008
Genre: Young Adult, Action, Dystopian

The Knife of Never Letting Go
NESS, PATRICK


The Knife of Never letting go by Patrick Ness is a novel that prior to reading I wouldn’t have touched at all. What I would have missed if I hadn’t have.


This novel is a story of action, blood, sweat and determination in a new kind of dystopian world where everyone can hear each other’s thoughts.  A world where lies fester in equal measure to truth. A world devoid of women. New World. In New world, boys become men by turning 13, however strangely enough there are 13 months in a year so you can make the calculations. Todd Hewitt is the last boy in his settlement; Prentisstown and is on the verge of becoming a man. The constant streams of random, revealing and at times obscure thoughts of men cloud every man’s brain as a jumbled buzz of ‘Noise’. However one day Todd stumbles upon a patch of silence. No Noise. An impossible occurrence in New World. Suddenly Todd and his dog Manchee (whose thoughts he can hear also) are on the run from the people they know best and survival is no longer a given. Now the last boy in Prentisstown must make his own decisions and the tears that may cloud your eyes during reading this novel must not cloud his.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness is his first novel for young adults and it had been eagerly recommended to me. Despite this I had been slightly hesitant to read this novel as action is not the old fashioned romance, literature or young adult-y that I usually read. But I caved in, read the novel…and discovered a treasure.

This book is very fast paced (this kept me involved) and the way the main character narrates the story is quite colloquial. The author wrote Todd’s thoughts and words with differently and ‘slang-ified’ them to emphasise his accent and perhaps his lack of education (e.g. ‘explanashun’, ‘yer’) . At the beginning this annoyed me, but after a while I embraced it as Todd’s personality. In the novel different fonts and sizes are used to describe each person’s or creature’s thoughts and personality. I loved this element! The storyline flowed pretty well, however at times the ‘questions’ were a bit sharp edged. This novel got off to a slow start but built anticipation as the story progressed. The action was edgy and made The Knife of Never Letting Go a page turner. It’s a sort of ‘modern literature’. Yes, romance isn’t as evident in this novel but there are many components that make it a young adult novel.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is powerful, emotional and moving. Recommended for everyone. 

Monday, 14 January 2013

Liebster Blog Award

2013 was going to be amazing, but to start it off with an award? Splendiforous!
Thankyou to Jessica and Lyndsay at The Little Black Book Blog for nominating me. I am very honoured (and a little speechless) to be a recipient of this fabulous award. The Liebster was a real confidence booster and it makes me thankful for the incredible awesomeness known as the book community.
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The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you;


2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;


3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)


4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

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Questions from the nominators

1. What is your favorite book of all time and why?
Okay, this is a hard question. My favourite book of all time is probably The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern because the love story is so magical (literally!). The atmosphere and every personality is described exquisitely and everything just fitted together so well.  
 
2. If you had to choose between never eating chocolate or never eating cheese again which would you choose?
If I had to choose between never eating chocolate or never eating cheese again I would choose to never eat cheese again. It's not that I don't like cheese but chocolate is...chocolate.
 
3. Who are your top three book boyfriends?
My top three book boyfriends (in no particular order, I can't choose):
1 Luca from The Things we did for Love by Natasha Farrant
2 Akiva (Yes I know he's an angel) from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
3 Tucker from Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
I have to say this one...Romeo from Romeo and Juliet
 
4. Which actor could you match with your number one book boyfriend?
Leonardo de Caprio in Titanic?

5. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
If I could go anywhere in the world I would go for a tour in England of all the historical castles and historical sites. I would also go bicycle riding in London.

6. Where is your favorite place to read a book?
My favourite place to read a book is on my bed. Comfy. But the beach is also a nice place to read.

7. Are you planning to attend any book signings this year and if yes, which one(s)?
No I don't plan to unfortunately. I can be quite spontaneous though so you never know.

8. What was the first book you ever reviewed?
The first book I ever reviewed was Juliet by Anne Forteir on Goodreads.

9. What book character can you relate to the most?
The book character that I can relate to the most is Penelope from A Rogue by any name by Sarah Maclean. The way that she waits for someone to sweep her off her feet.

10. If you could see any book made into a movie, what book would it be?
I can see the book Cinder by Marissa Meyer being made into a movie. However, I don't like books getting made into movies so...please don't make a movie of this. Unless you can make it live up to my imagination.

11. What made you want to start blogging?
I started my book blog; Flurried Thoughts called Book Reviews, because I wanted to help authors by providing reviews and also because I like spreading the word about the books I read...so why not tell the whole world? Book blogging also gives me an insight into the world of reviewing and editing, an option that I might want to explore when older. Lastly, putting pen to paper (wait...finger to keyboard) helps me to organise my extreme passion and sometimes exaggerated critisicsm for a novel and these take form as reviews.
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11 Random Facts about myself
1. I'm a hopeless romantic. I surround myself with tragedies and love stories. Wherefore art thou Romeo?

2. I'm a musician. When I'm not reading, reviewing or bicycle riding (see below), I'm playing the piano, oboe or guitar.

3. I love bicycle riding, however I'm not a fan of lycra. I like to combine style with riding. Search Cycle Chic on the web...it's a whole movement!

4. I'm all for girly vintage and classic in fashion (and bicycles, vintage style bicycles ). However, I can't stand old clothes/books smell. Sometimes I over-do the vintage thing in my room decorating (think pastel colours and roses).

5.  I like to drink bubble tea, rooibos tea and lemon lime bitters (not mixed together ☺)

6.  Well this one's obvious.  I love to read! Hopefully many explanations are conveyed in those four words.

7.  I love my dogs. I swear the little bundles of fluff are the cutest animals on Earth.

8. I always wanted to try archery properly...

9.  I love to dance. I'm a ballet dancer and do spend quite some time in my pointe shoes (toe shoes).

10. Downton Abbey is my favourite television series. It's so addictive!

11. I like attending the theatre to see ballets, operas and musicals.

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These are my nominees (in no particular order)

These are blogs I believe should receive recognition. Some are quite new so I think this is a great way to introduce them. Please visit them and have fun!

Sarah         @ That Teenage Feeling
Erfa           @ Bring on the Ink
Summer    @ Miss Fictional's World of Young Adult Books
Kezia        @ Pansycake Reader
Megan      @ Southern Owl Reads
Faye         @ The Social Potato
Florentine@ READiculously Peachy
Sab           @ Sab the Book Eater
Ali            @ From Bows to Books

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Questions for my nominees

1. What is your favourite book of all time and why?
2. Would you go to your favourite place in the world alone or stay at home with your best friends?
3. What books can you see getting made into movies?
4. Who are your top three book boyfriends?
5. If you were to write a book what would be your main characters' names?
6. Print or eBook?
7. What's your favourite passtime apart from reading and reviewing?
8. Samsung Galaxy or Iphone 5?
9. What got you into blogging?
10. What book character can you relate to?
11. Oreos in milk: To dip or not to dip?



Thursday, 10 January 2013

Author interview and review coming soon

A Flurried Thoughts called Book Reviews exclusive:


 
And the thoughts of the author in an exclusive Flurried Thoughts interview

 

Monday, 7 January 2013

Book Review: Traitor's Kiss by Pauline Francis

Rating: 3 out of 5
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Usborne Books 2011
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Traitor's Kiss
FRANCIS, PAULINE

Traitor's Kiss tells the story of The young Elizabeth I and the famous scandal that she faced. At 15, her resemblence to her dead mother, Anne Boleyn, is becoming ever evident and rumours are starting to surround her...with the thought of a coronation constantly tagging at the back of her mind. Eager and desperate to find out the truth in her mother's crimes, it just happens that Elizabeth meets Francis, a collector of the dead and filled with the information that she needs. Francis claims his mother was a Lady in waiting to Anne Boleyn, but how far will the young Elizabeth go for information and at a time where scandals surround her.

Well, Tratior's Kiss was one of those books where you think that was a great book, if only the author made it better. After reading the blurb, the title and reading the first few chapters (not to mention the promising cover) I was slightly disappointed with the book as I had hoped it would have been...more. I would have liked the author to make the describing of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley's (Elizabeth's susposed love) romance more vivid and intense since this is a speciality of Tudor novels.

In reviews people have compared Pauline Francis's book to that of Phillipa Gregory's who is the master of tudor and historical fiction. I wish I hadn't seen those reviews, it made me set a higher standard for Traitor's Kiss, one that rivaled Phillipa Gregory's invincible 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. Traitor's Kiss was written extremely well, it portrayed Elizabeth beautifully. I really did like it. If only it had more meat to it.

I think the thick atmosphere of Tudor times was portrayed very well and I was able to relate to the characters and the characteristics of the time.

Traitor's Kiss is definitely a good introduction to the wonder's of historical fiction. If you haven't yet read novels in the historical genre I would recomend this young adult novel as a taster.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Book Review: Venom by Fiona Paul

Rating: 5 out of 5
Format: Paperback, 435 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins NZ 2012/Philomel 2012
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction, Young Adult Romance, Mystery, Suspense

Venom
PAUL, FIONA

USA Edition
I admit I had high expectations for this novel; the amazing cover, the 'over-the-top-with-praise' reviews, the 'hinting' blurb that got me itching with anticipation,the name of the series itself 'Secrets of the Eternal Rose'...

I must say that these expectations were well met. And surpassed.

Venom by Fiona Paul is set in the post-card worthy lush and realistic world of Renaissance Venice (Italy), a world that Paul describes very well.
Cassandra Caravello has had her fate sealed since her birth. A life of clipped 'wings' where she can't fly, a life in a cage where her life is sure to be controlled, the life of a female aristocrat. With an urge to live her life and a definite wild streak, her life starts to twist as her wedding approaches; when she is sure her cage of a life will be locked and she will become wife to her solid, shy (and handsome) fiancee Luca. But can she learn to love him?

AUS/NZ Edition
On an escapade of crescendos and grief, Cass stumbles upon the murder of a girl...with an X carved across her heart. A young artist, Falco offers his assistance but how involved is he really? As Cass's feelings start to assemble like a puzzle it seems the puzzle depicts Falco. Where will her heart lead her?

The suspense grows in more ways than one. Murder upon murder, linked together perfectly. 'Venom' kept me guessing until the end, where I still must guess...until Belladonna comes out. The intrigue, romance and confusion exquisitely weave into a magnificent tapestry with great detail and description. This isn't your average young adult novel. It is more.