Saturday, 30 July 2016

What I Read In July - July Wrap Up.

I feel like I actually read a lot during July. However, a couple of these books were fairly short reads. With 'If I Stay' being only 201 pages and 'The Boy In Stripped Pyjamas' was also a fairly short read. Still, I'm quite pleased with what I managed to read during July. All things considered, July was a very busy month and also fairly stressful so yes, I am pleased with what how much I actually did read.

'If I stay' By Gayle Foreman which I really loved. I really would like to watch the movie now, too! I also need to read the second book. I wrote about and reviewed 'If I Stay'  on my blog but it was so hard to write a proper review without giving too much away!

Everything Everything by Nicola Yook book review @ Sarahs Book Hub Blog

I really enjoyed 'Everything, Everything' by Nicola Yoon. I was quite surprised because it's a contemporary book, I wasn't sure I'd like it. I absolutely loved it! Click here for the full review of 'Everything Everything'

I've wanted to read 'The Boy In Stripped Pajamas' for the longest time. I think most people have heard of this story and movie. It's a war time fictional story that follows a Nazi solider and his family who move close to a concentration camp. I finally got around to it in July. I really enjoyed the book. I also lived the film even though both were very sad. I do think the book was slightly better.

I finished reading 'The Girl With No Name' in July, too! I started this book at the end of June but it's quite a long book with 416 pages. Diney Costelloe writes this fictional story beautifully. It's another wartime fiction which I really enjoyed.

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I also started reading 'While my eyes were closed' by Lisa Green. It's a mystery/crime/thriller story which I just loved. I found is SO hard to put down. It's about a little girl that goes missing whilst playing hide and seek with her mum with a couple of twists and turns along the way!I wrote my review here.

I also starting reading a book called 'The Sisters' but I found it hard to get into. I will probably finish it August though as I really do want to know how it ends! I've added that to my 'August TBR' list.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green - Book Review.

While my eyes were closed by Lisa Green Book Review

"Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to one hundred during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter Ella is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa's family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn't a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa's little girl is in danger of disappearing forever?"

Pages: 402
Genre: Thriller/Crime/Mystery 

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This book was recommended to me by my good friend Laura aka Laura In Bookish Land. I love a good Thriller story and this one was no exception. I started this book when I was on the bus the other day. I love reading on the bus, it makes the journey go soooo much quicker. 

Lisa takes her youngest daughter Ella to the park. Ella loves to play hide and seek, while Lisa is counting to one hundred Ella disappears without a trace. Lisa looks for Ella without any luck finding her four year old daughter. Where could she have gone? Did she wander off alone? Did someone take her? Is she lost and injured somewhere? Or is she just hiding in a really good hiding spot? Lisa calls the police who come to the conclusion that Ella has been taken by someone. Is the person that took Ella someone Ella knows? What's if it's a complete stranger and what do they want with Ella? 
This book had me hooked from the word go. I found it very hard to put down. Linda Green has done wonderfully with this story and it is really well written. It was actually quite frustrating in places because I seriously wanted to scream at Lisa! And at the person who has Ella! There's a couple of twists and turns which had me gripped. I rated this book 4.5 stars (out of 5) and would totally recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller or crime book! 

What have you been reading lately? 

Sarah xXx 

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

If I stay by Gayle Foreman - Book Review.

"Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make" 

Pages: 201 
Genre: Young Adult contemporary fiction. 

I honestly don't know how to write a review on this book without adding spoilers. I'm going to be honest - I didn't think this was my kind of book. I was wrong. One snowy morning Mia and her family are involved in an accident. Mia's life changes in a split second.. The choices she faces are very hard. I found this book heartbreaking but it's also so beautiful in a way I can't really explain. I love how music comes into the story. It's written remarkably well. I actually felt quite connected to Mia's character. I couldn't put this book down as it is quite fast paced and being a fast reader, it didn't take long to read at all. I'd say this is quite realistic considering it's fiction. I can't wait to read the second book 'Where She Went'. I also can't wait to watch 'If I Stay'. 
This is such a hard book to write about without giving away any spoilers. I could honestly say a lot about this book but I've seen it on a few 'To Be Read' lists and I honestly don't wait to spoil it for anyone. 

What have you been reading lately? :) 

Sarah xXx
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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The boy in the striped Pyjamas by John Boyne - Book Review.

The boy in striped Pajams by John Boyne

"If you start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy named Bruno. (Though this isn't a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.

Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter one." 

I have wanted to read 'The boy in the striped Pyjamas' for the longest time. I have seen the movie but really, really wanted to read the book. I have been looking for this book in charity shops for a good few weeks now and the other day, i was passing one of my local charity shops which I wasn't even going to go into when I randomly just thought 'I know they won't have it but I'll have a quick browse in the book section, just incase" And there it was. The boy in the striped Pyjamas. Finally. For the bargain price of £1! I had to have it. I actually couldn't wait to start reading it and read it that same day. It took me overall about 3.5 hours to read as it's quite short. I could easily have read this book in one sitting had I not had distractions. Anyway onto my thoughts about this story. 

The boy in striped Pyjamas is an historical war fiction story about a family who move from Berlin into the countryside. The father is a Nazi soldier and the whole family have to move away with him because of his job. Bruno, the nine year old little boy, is not happy that he's had to move from there big five story house, away from all of his friends and grandparents. Bruno is use to being able to explore and live quite freely but it all changes when the family have to move. They move right next to a concentration camp 'Out With'. Bruno doesn't really understand what the place is and thinks it's perhaps a farm. Bruno goes exploring and walks by the fence where he meets a small boy the other side of the fence who is wearing stripey Pyjamas. He's a prisoner in the camp. They do become friends but Bruno doesn't tell anyone, not right at first anyway.I don't want to go any further as I don't want to spoil it for anyone but it truly is a page turner. 

It IS a little on the unrealistic side in places but again, it's fiction John Boyne has pulled this story off very well, it's written very well. I am in no way complaining as it's fiction and aimed at a younger audience. It is Young Adult style. My twelve year old son has started reading this book  and so far he really likes it, too!
A truly heartbreaking story indeed. I rated this book 4.5 stars. 

I'll just add in here that yes, the movie is fairly true to the book. The ending is slightly different, the movie is a bit more sadder in my opinion. Personally I preferred the book but the movie is certainly worth a watch too. 

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon - Book Review.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon book review

"My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster." 

Genre: Young adult contemporary fiction 
Pages: 310

I've seen this book floating around everywhere lately and I knew I just had to read it. I added this book to my TBR July list and purchased this book fro amazon. I'm not a huge contemporary fan but I'd heard good things about this book! The book follows the story of a young girl 'Madeline Whittier' who is allergic to literally everything. Madeline hasn't left the house for seventeen years because it could potentially kill her. Her mum is a doctor who takes care of Madeline and she also has a nurse called 'Carla' to help look after her. As Carla is with Madeline every day, they become quite good friends. Madeline doesn't have any other friends because she can't go outside. She is home schooled via the internet and the occasional tutor is allowed to visit but must be disinfected first! 
One day new neighbours move into the house next door. She eventually becomes friends with 'Olly' the boy next door, they IM each other and exchange emails, with the help of Carla they eventually meet... Maddy's life s changed forever. When Madeline's mum finds out she sacks Carla for putting Madeline at risk and things must go back to the way they were before but Madeline can't go back to that, not now she's met Olly. Madelines life has changed forever....

I absolutely LOVED this book. I started this book and put it down for a few days before picking it up again but when I did pick it up, it didn't take me long to read at all. I like the writing style and the IM/email conversations. It is YA genre, it's easy to read and I found myself reading and turning the pages very quick. I was totally hooked on this book from the start. I even liked the illustrations. I rated it 4.5 stars.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Still Alice by Lisa Genova - Book Review.

I watched the movie 'Still Alice' before I read the book. I actually didn't know it was even a book until after I watched the movie. 

Still Alice book to movie review

Book Blurb

"Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever."

Genre: Contemporary adult fiction 
292 pages. 

This is a truly heartbreaking story from Lisa Genova that gives a good insight to the alzheimers disease. 
 Alice is fifty years old when she starts forgetting things, she puts it down to being busy and having a busy lifestyle, she teaches lectures and has a lot to remember and think about. She has three grown up children and a husband. Alice soon realises there is much more to her forgetful memory and starts feeling disorientated, too! One day she's running the route she has always ran in the city she lives in and she completely forgets where she is and how to get home! Alice panics for a moment but her memory soon comes back. She seeks medical advice and under go a lot of tests. It turns out she has early Alzheimer’s and is put on medication to slow the Alzheimers down. There is no cure for the disease and it does get worse over time. Alice and her family learns that the type of  Alzheimers she's suffering with is hereditary. She remembers a lot of things about her childhood and I really like that Alice shares those memories. Alice's memory gets worse as time goes on, it's quite slow progressing alzheimers. I'm not going to lie, it is quite upsetting and yes, it's a hard subject to read about because it's so real and true but this is a page turner of a book! I actually learned a lot from this book, it's a real eye opener.

The book itself is very well written, it's very easy to follow! I found it quite hard to put down because I'd watched the movie, I knew what to expect. I did find the book slightly better than the movie. I found myself really connected to the characters, especially Alice! This is a story that is so real, even though it is fictional, it is something that could happen and DOES happen. 
I do wish I'd have read the book first but still, I enjoyed both the book and movie. I rated the book four stars out of five.

The movie is very true to the book. Alice is played by Julianne Moore and I honestly think she suited the role perfectly, I don't think anyone else could have played Alice. The acting is brilliant and I surprisingly like the fact that Kristen Stewart plays Alice's youngest daughter, 'Lydia'. I felt for Alice and her family. It is a sad movie to watch, especially feeling so connected to the characters. Overall I really enjoyed both the book and movie. I do think the book was a little better than the movie. 
I'd recommend reading the book first. 

Sarah xXx

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Girl With No Name by Diney Costeloe

"Thirteen-year-old Lisa escapes from Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport and arrives in England in August 1939. She can't speak a word of English and her only belongings are crammed into a small suitcase. Among them is one precious photograph of the family she has left behind in Germany.
Lonely and homesick, not knowing if she will ever see her family again, Lisa is adopted by a childless couple and then bullied at school for being German. But worse is to come when the Blitz blows her new home apart and she wakes up in hospital with no memory of who she is, or where she came from. The authorities give her a new name and despatch her to a children's home. With the war in full swing, what will become of Lisa now?" 

Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 416

I really like Diney Costeloe as an author, I think she writes beautifully and very discriptive. I have already read and reviewed 'The Runaway Family' by Diney Costeloe. I read the kindle version of 'The Girl With No Name'. I love a good war time story and this one is from the perspective of a German refugee that ends up living in England. I have read a fair few historical fiction stories and non fiction stories from the World War II era and this book is one I couldn't wait to read!
I've already mentioned how much I love the way Diney Costeloe writes her books. This book was so easy to read and so easy to follow. The characters are develop well throughout the story. This story follows a 13 year old Jewish girl who is evacuated from Europe to escape the Jews. She manages to stay in contact with her family by writing to her Uncle's address, she does however, loose contact with her family and has no idea what happened to them. Lisa ends up living with a childless couple on London, she learns to speak English with the help from her new friend 'Hilda' who can also speak German and English. The air raids in London are crazy, they're constant - Lisa fears small, dark spaces so going down into the air raid shelter is not something Lisa ever wants to do. One day Lisa is in the wrong place, at the wrong time with her new friend 'Harry' she gets caught up in an air raid and ends up having an accident, she looses her memory and can't remember who she is or where she comes from. Lisa is taken to a children's home for orphans and is evacuated once again, this time to the countryside in Wales.... Her foster family back in London have no idea what happened to Lisa, they suspect she was caught and died during the air raid.

Does Lisa eventually remember who she is? What happened to the first family who took Lisa in? Will she ever discover what happened to her real family back in Europe? 

I'm going to stop there as the rest would contain too many spoilers and I honestly don't want to spoil this story for anyone! It's a very good book, I rated this book five out of five stars and I highly recommend everyone to read this book, especially if you like war fiction! I can't wait to read Dineys other books!

What have you read lately?

Sarah xXx

Sunday, 3 July 2016

My TBR for July.

I read 6 or 7 books in June, which is a lot for me! Considering last year, I read a total of 25 books and I've already read 32 books this year, I am doing well. July is going to be a busy month for me as it's the end of the school term. I have three children who all have end of year plays, assemblies, induction days at high school... Sports days.. The list is endless. You can read more about all of that over on my blog. I am determined to read four books though!
The books I'd like to try and read are as follows..

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon - A young Adult contemporary book. I've seen this book floating around on youtube and book blogs, everyone seems to have read it. It's also one of Zoe Suggs book picks for her book club I do believe. It has good reviews and I'm really looking forward to reading this book. (I also really love the cover!)

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The girl with no name by Diney Costelloe - World War II fiction. I am reading this on my kindle. I started reading this book at the end of June but had to take a break from reading due to visual problems (I have a rare brain disease that causes my vision to become blurry). I read Diney Costelloes 'The Runaway Family' last month and throughly enjoyed that book. I reviewed that book here. So far I am really enjoying 'The Girl With No name'

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If I stay by Gayle Foreman - Young adult fiction. Another book I've heard a lot about and I was so pleased I found it in a charity shop in excellent condition. I'd also like to watch the movie after I've read the book. It seems to have really good reviews and a lot of people have recommended I read this book! I don't honestly know that much about it if I'm honest. Sometimes I prefer not knowing much about a book, I find I get into it better and have less expectations.

I'd also like to read 'The Boy In Stripped Pajamas' I have seen the movie (more than once!) and I'd like to see how true the movie is to the book. It's quite a short book so maybe I can squeeze it in somewhere.

What's on your 'To Be Read' list for July? Or what have you read lately?

Sarah xXx

 My lifestyle/family blog: Ups & Downs, Smiles & Frowns