Monday, 25 January 2016

TTT: 9 Twins from Books

My Favourite Sets of Twins in Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created by the folks at The Broke and Bookish 

As a twin, I LOVE books about twins and have been reading every single books with twin characters, ever since I was a little girl! I especially love stories with unconventional twins and relationships, because that's what my twin and I have.

1. Bert/Nan, Freddie/Flossie- The Bobbsey Twins series

I know that this is technically two different sets of twins but since they always appear together in the same books I figured that they really only count as one! My grandma used to give me these books (from either her store of books she had as a kid or from the used bookstore) which made me love them even more!

2. Moira and Ashyn from Sea of Shadows 

I had the chance to read an ARC of this book and part of what drew me to the story was that it focused on twins in a fantasy setting!
3. Addie and Meryl from The Two Princesses of Bamarre 

This was one of my favourite books as a kid because I loved how it focused on the desire to help/save your twin, and the incredible bond that twins have

4. Alanna and Thom from Alanna: The First Adventure

We really only get to hear Alanna's story, with an occasional mention of Thom, but Alanna herself is pretty bad-ass

5. Sophie and Josh from The Alchemyst 

Funnily enough this series was recommended to me by my friends who are twins! Again I loved that it took twins and plopped them into a magical/mystical world (which are my two favourite things!)

6. Eva and Addie from What's Left of Me

I debated about whether or not these two are actually twins, but I eventually decided that that was the best way to describe them (after all they technically are two people)! They are a super unique version of twins that I haven't really seen before (or anything like it since!)

7. Lia and Alice from Prophecy of the Sisters 

I'm going to be honest, its been a long time since I read these books, but the main characters are twins and I did enough it

8.  John and Philippa from the Children of the Lamp series

Again this series combines my two favourite things, twins and magic/mystical realms. I was obsessed with these books, and this post makes me want to re-read them!

9. Fred and George from Harry Potter

Oh Fred and George, how could anyone NOT love you? Also these two are probably the twins who bring me to tears most when I read about them (because you know...)

What about you guys- have you read any books with twins? Comment below (and link me to your TTT!)

Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Martian

By: Andy Weird
Published: February 11th, 2014
Publisher: Crown
Source: Borrowed
My Rating: 5 out of 5!


Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive. (x)

My Thoughts

Storytime: I bought this book for my brother (a chemical engineer) in September and it turns out he bought it for our dad (also a chem eng) for his birthday in November! I was slightly miffed but it turned out okay because he loved it! I ended up borrowing it from my dad and then when I finished my mom also read it! 

I am a chemist, so I was really looking forward to the science aspects of this book, and I am a sucker for space so it seemed like the perfect fit for me. Probably me favourite thing about this was the level of accuracy in the science- almost all of it was very plausible and while the story line was super compelling the science also made me happy!

You don’t need to have a science background to read this book, but if you do (whether its computer programming, chemistry, biology, physics, engineering or anything else) this book is a super fun read. It’s not very often that you find a science fiction book with such good and (mostly) precise science. Combine that with an engaging and sassy main character and anyone can just fly through this book! All 4 members of my family who read it has experience in different fields of science, and varying levels of knowledge in it, but all of us loved it.

This book had so many great one liners that had me giggling and smiling at them, without a doubt Mark Watney definitely has the ‘engineer quality’. I know several engineers and they generally tend to have a very distinct personality/sense of humour so I found that Watney was very realistic and well-written. The storyline itself was also very well written, fast-paced and engaging and even my dad and brother (who are normally slow readers) finished it in record time. It just has the quality that it pulls you in and you can't put it down until you finish- you just need to know what happens to Mark! 

 There were many dinner conversations at our house discussing the various experiments and maneuvers pulled off by Watney, which of course led to the discussion question- could you survive on Mars? The general consensus was NO but really any one of us getting stranded on Mars would be amazing enough

I would highly recommend this book to sci-fi lovers, people looking to try out sci-fi, anyone who loves science (whether they understand it or not!)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Lost Girls

By: Angela Marsons
Published: November 6, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3/5


When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price? (x)

My Thoughts

I was given the opportunity to review this book from Bookouture, in no way has this influenced my review

The beginning of this hooked me in right away, this was the first book by Marsons I had read, and I immediately found myself interested and engaged in the story. I wanted to find out what was happening to the girls, and to see what Kim did with it. 

About halfway through the book I found that the pace really seemed to drop off, initially it was pretty high paced and intense but that seemed to all fade away. I struggled with reading and the only reason I kept going was because I wanted to see what happened to the girls and to see if my theories were correct. 

However towards the end it definitely picked up again and went along very fast. I was so close to seeing if the girls got saved, and to seeing if the team and Kim would figure out where and who had done the kidnapping. The base story line was very compelling, but at times the pacing did get to be a bit of a drag, but then other times it was so great, which was a bit disappointing. 

The characters were very well-written and interesting to read about. From the girls, to Kim to the evil kidnappers, they were all unique and made you feel things (sometimes good and sometimes bad!) The biggest problem really was the pacing. 

 I did find that I got confused because there were a lot of different characters. At one point I found myself wondering who on earth this character was, I had no clue and even when I tried to look back and search it up- I still couldn't figure it out! Also the one thing that bothered me (but might not necessarily be a bad thing) was that they kept eluding to other times/stories, especially when talking about Kim, but then we never got the answers! I like answers! 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

His Majesty's Dragon

By: Naomi Novik 
Published: March 28th, 2006
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 4/5


When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes the precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire. (x)

My Thoughts 

·       When I read this book I found that I had this nagging feeling that I had either read this book or something very like it. About halfway through realized that I had in fact, read it many years ago! 
·         I love books about dragons and have read so many of them that they do sometimes tend to blur together! 

I     I told my mom that this book reminded me a bit of The Dragonriders of Pern crossed with Leviathan both of which are some of my favourite books to read. 

·         I loved the characterization of the dragons, their intelligence and interest and real personalities were fun to read about and also helped make this book stand out from other books on dragon. I don't think that I have read very many books where the dragons actually speak out loud, or where they are capable of learning lots of different languages. Most of the time they seem to only speak directly to their rider's mind. 

·         Laurence’s journey was so  fun to follow along with, we learned about the dragons and aviators at the same time he did which allowed for more explanation that fit well into the story line. Sometimes the downfall of fantasy can be the clunkyness that comes when authors try to fit too much detail and worldbuilding without anyway to smoothly incorporate it into the story line. But Novik handled that super well with the way she had Laurence learn along with the reader. This really helped the book to flow smoothly and made for lots of twists and turns as Laurence/the reader learned things along the way.  At times Laurence was a bit annoying with all his honor and blah blah, loosen up man! Then again it did fit with his character, so it wasn't hugely out of place, it just ended up being a bit annoying. 

·         Plotwise it wasn't super thrilling, but there was a lot of worldbuildling and character relationships/development which I really enjoy so I didn’t mind. There wasn't a lot of constant tension and adventure but I’d imagine that the next few books have more moving/fast plot given that this book has established so much about the world

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Christmas/Birthday Haul

I have the joy of having my birthday pretty close to Christmas which I've actually never really cared about. Its actually pretty great because the way my family does Christmas (we all have bdays within a month of Christmas) is that you get all your 'fun' presents at Christmas time so that you can play with them/use them. Then for your birthday you get more of the practical things or a few little things. But I got books for both occasions so I thought I might as well combine the two!

Christmas book haul
When I was little my mom used to pick out my books for me because she had to preapprove a lot of my books due to the level that I was reading at. Now though, she pretty much just buys me the books that I specifically ask for because she doesn't know what I do/do not own already! 

So for Christmas I got

Mom and I read this one over the break, it was interesting! Review to come soon 

I binge-read Cinder, Scarlet and Cress just so I could read the final book in the series! I'm still processing what I read but I'll have a review up soon

This book was truly horrible and in lieu of posting a review I'm currently planning on making a little book talk post about it

This one profiles 52 women (from the past) who made significant contributions to a variety of different scientific fields- I'm super excited for it! I can't decided if I want to read it all at once or just read one lady a week

This one was originally recommended to me by one of my best friends as a perfect "university read" so I'm planning on saving it for when the semester gets more crazy

While the book itself sounds super crazy and intense and perfect I also love that Erin Bow is a physicist-  science ladies represent! 

I think that I will probably save this one for either reading week or summer break 

My birthday book haul

I bought the following 5 books for myself- for my birthday! I bought them all on Kobo for my ereader since I pretty much have the tiniest room ever and there is no more room for books

I am such a sucker for fantasy and I LOVE when there are princesses/queens/royalty involved!

I've heard so much about this book and I'm definitely looking forward to it. Probably one of my favourite things is that Susan is presenting a new take on magic (high five for being birthday buddies!)

I love Alex's other books and have recently been obsessed with time travel books so I knew I needed this one (also it came out on my bday- yeah for being birthday buddies!)

 4. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley 
A while ago, Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and Jodi Meadows mentioned how much they loved Robin's books so when I saw that this one was on sale I knew I'd have to give it a try. Plus its one of the Flights of Fantasy book club reads for this month!

5. Gone by Michael Grant
I borrowed this book from friends a couple years ago and found that it was sort of middle of the road. It was on sale though so I figured that it would be worth a try again!