Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Once Upon A Time... | #2014BloggerChallenge

I have to be honest when I say that I almost screamed from the excitement I felt when I received this topic. I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and I've been meaning to share my favourite books with others for quite some time.

I did end up adding my own little twist to this topic as we originally were only supposed to share one book with our readers. I was so conflicted and decided that I would just make a gigantic post out of this and bend the rules a little. Oops, haha, not sorry...

This is probably going to be one of my longest posts yet since I am so passionate about the books I read. It's going to take quite a while to go through all the books I love, so let's get started!

✎ recent reads ✎

Due to the intense work load I have had for the past 3 years of high school, I hadn't been able to read books as often as I would like to. Recently, I decided to start reading as a hobby again and... I went a little crazy... I may or may not have finished all these books in less than a week? I read a couple more books, as I just took out whatever eBook was available at my library and gave it a shot, but these three are the ones that stood out among the others. This list below is in the order of least to most favorite, but all the books are definitely worth the read! I hope this can bring more light to the books that definitely deserve more readers!

1. Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
Keep Holding On is a cute little novel about student life. What I loved about this book is the overall story about overcoming the peer pressure and discrimination found in the hallways of high school. It tells a story of a girl who is shunned by the students at school because of her family and how she works towards finding a spot in which she belongs. Though the story line itself is very cliche, this is the perfect light read for those daily long bus rides.

2. Amplified by Tara Kelly
A story about taking a leap of faith and chasing your dreams. From house hunting to auditioning to finding a job at a psychic shop, the protagonist of the story relentlessly pursues her dream of becoming a guitarist in a band. Throughout the story, you find yourself cheering her on through embarrassing, quirky and frustrating times as she tries to win over the hearts of her band mates and their fans. This was definitely a cute and inspiring story that can bring everyone some warm and fuzzy feelings...

3. The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
I've always had a bias for fantastic stories... The Treachery of Beautiful Things is a story based on William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The story beings when the protagonist goes searching for her brother who disappeared in front of her eyes years ago.This is definitely a slightly more action-packed story full of tear-shedding events, exciting twists and inspiring courageous acts. Definitely the best book I've read in a while!

✎ solo reads ✎
1. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
I'm sure a lot of you have heard of The Book Thief. I Am Messenger is by the same author and it's just as amazing of a read. It's a really eye-opening book about lending others a helping hand while finding yourself. There's not much else to say other than: Markus Zusak proved himself once again through this book.

2. Brave New Girl by Louisa Luna
If you enjoyed reading The Catcher in the Rye and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this book is the perfect mix. However, this book focuses on the hard life of a teenage girl in the modern times, so there are a couple of refreshing changes compared to the other two books. Though the subject is quite intense, I found it to be a pretty easy and fast read so be sure to give it a shot!

3. The Giver by Lois Lowry
I think I read this book at school in grade 8 and it has stuck with me since then. The novel focuses on a future society where everyone lives an identical, simple and happy life. When the time comes for annual job assignments, the protagonist of the story becomes the next Giver. Throughout the story, he begins to receive memories from past generations and discovering the flaws in his systematically perfect society.

✎ series reads ✎
1. Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
This series is a very refreshing read with its unique and quirky style. The coolest thing about these books is how Riggs uses real vintage photos along with his words to tell the story. The main story starts when the main character stumbles upon a time loop full of children with peculiar abilities. A time loop pretty much consists of living the same day over and over without aging. The twist is that the kids he meets are the exact same ones from the photos his grandfather used to show him of his childhood... The books have the perfect mixture of intensity, humor and spookiness and definitely worth the read.

2. Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore
The Graceling originally started as a story taking place in a world with seven kingdoms. In this world, it is possible, though rare, to have a child with a Grace, essentially they are extraordinary at a certain task. For our protagonist, that task is killing. After spending her entire life working and performing dirty work for her uncle, one of the kings, she finally decides to go on an adventure and take on a quest of her own. I've read this series many times and in fact, I think I'll give it another go... :)

3. Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
I remember lying down on the couch one night and finishing the entire The Last Olympian in one go. I was ecstatic to hear that Rick Riordan had planned another Percy Jackson series and quite frankly, I love them so far. If you like greek mythology, this is worth a shot for sure!

 favourite reads 

1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I don't think I'll go into too much detail about each of these books since I want you to experience it for yourselves, haha... :)

All I have to say is that I noticed that I really tend to enjoy books with a quirky and unique narrator. From a psychotic teenager to an innocent little girl to a depressed and scarred teenage boy, the point of views in these books have been able to open my eyes a lot to the world around us. 

I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower in grade 7 for the first time, and quite honestly, I didn't fully understand the whole book since it talks about some mature-ish topics. At the same time, as cheesy as it sounds, I feel like my personal character developed a lot to form who I am today because of Charlie. It opens your eyes so much to understanding the people around you as well as realizing that you really do have to treat yourself well.

For To Kill a Mockingbird, the whole innocent perspective of Scout along with the wisdom of Atticus brings so much light to how dumb some of the problems are in this world. People naturally feel the need to discriminate against others for no particular reason. The constant view of an innocent perspective reflecting over the stupidity of this and the seemingly simple solutions show the readers that it really isn't that hard to make a change in the world and yourself if even a little girl can figure that out.

Quite honestly, I did not immediately fall in love with The Catcher in the Rye when I first finished the book. Surprisingly enough, during the brainstorming and writing of my essay for school, I found the true meaning of Catcher and how closely it relates to my own, and everyone's lives. The world really is just a "phony" mess where everyone is expected to grow up and eventually mold themselves to fit society's image of being a proper adult.

✎ potterhead forever ✎
I literally do not think that I need to explain why these books will be my favourite. You may ask: After all this time? Always. (haha had to add a reference oops.) You all probably hear this a lot, but Harry Potter was a part of my childhood and probably literally shaped me, and loads of other kids of my generation, into who I am today. 

So many people give themselves excuses so they never have to start reading the series. The most common is that they think they are too old to start the series now. Honestly, it's never too late. The book genuinely brings you on such an amazing adventure that you could only otherwise dream of. It really does form you into a great mixture of all qualities of each house, from loyalty to intelligence. This series is definitely, though I am biased, the best experience and adventure you could ever hope for.

✎ final recommendation ✎
I mentioned earlier on in this post that I have only recently started reading again. Unfortunately, with my super busy schedule and intense school work load, I never have the time to actually go to the library. I think I should introduce my solution to all of you. There is an app called OverDrive Media Console that you can download completely for free (this isn't an ad or anything by the way). All you have to do once you download the app is check if your library is listed in the app. If it is, you can take out any eBook in your library and download it straight to your phone for reading on the go. It doesn't require any internet connection after downloading the book, so it's perfect for me to use when I'm on my daily 3 hour bus rides... Tough life, I know.

So there we have it! My "one" favourite book! I hope you all enjoyed the post and I am so happy I got the post out in time! I'll see you next time! xx

What are your favourite books? I'm looking for a lot of good recommendations!


  1. I can't get over how beautiful this post is... it's just so well organized, haha. The Giver is such a great book and like you, it's stuck with me for ages. I haven't read the sequel yet because I feel like it might spoil the after affects of The Giver... does that make sense? I have Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children on my ereader, I really want to start reading it soon but I'm a bit nervous about the images (I read alone in the dark before going to sleep). I didn't really enjoy The Perks of being a Wallflower... :/ I don't know why. And finally, yes, Potterhead forever!

    1. Thank you so much! :) Glad you enjoyed the post and hey, there's nothing like a good debate on books ;)

      Jenny xx

  2. Do you have a goodreads account? I would love to see you on there. Lots of books added to my "to read" list =)

    1. I don't! Maybe I'll give it a shot when I find the time :) And glad I could make some recommendations!

      Jenny xx

  3. Love Harry Potter, read them all twice.

    1. Oh noo, you make me look downright obsessed (though I probably am).... I think I've read all of them at least 4 times! xD

      Jenny xx

    2. I started reading them not so long ago and I wouldn't mind reading them again so it's just a matter of time before I'll catch up with you lol ;) I've read Lord of the Rings 5 or 6 times...

    3. As sad as this sounds, I still have to start reading Lord of the Rings! I have the books, but I haven't had the time to read them yet! (Poor excuse, I know) I don't doubt that they'll become a favourite series of mine as well :)

    4. It's strange with some books I've read when I was younger, it's not that I don't like them now that I'm older but I get bored easier now than back then. I first read TLOTR when I was 12 or 13 but when I tried to read them again in my late thirties I couldn't get passed the first 100 pages, the endless descriptions bored me to death so good luck with that.

    5. Haha, I've tried the first chapter of the Hobbit and have been told by many people that I should skip the first few chapters on my next attempt...