Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon is book number two in The Bone Season book series. Somewhat unwillingly, Paige finds herself back within the safety of the Seven Seals and there mime lord Jaxton Hall. However, things have changed this time round. Paige is now London’s most wanted and she now has knowledge including that of the existence of the Rephaim. The story is so complex it really is hard to describe what happens so I’ll include the books Goodreads synopsis in this blog post as well.
The Mime Order takes place literally seconds after The Bone Season stops. Truthfully as I read The Bone Season over a year ago now I’d forgotten a lot of the details about what happens and some of the information given in the first book so it took me a few chapters to reconnect myself with the story. If you’re planning to read The Mime Order definitely make sure you read The Bone Season first otherwise I think it may be quite difficult to get in to as it is set in the same world with the same characters.
What I liked about The Mime Season is how we see more of Paige’s life in the Seven Seals and how we’re introduced more and more to the other members of the group. Paige once again is such a great character to read about as she so desperately tries to solve what is happening. The plot is quite complex and throws so many twists at you and when you think you’ve got the storyline cracked, what happens isn’t what you expected to happen at all. Once again Samantha Shannon’s wonderful detailing of London is unbelievable, the world she has created just lifts straight from the page as you’re reading. I absolutely love the way that she writes. 
I can’t even begin to explain how much I need book number 3 in my life already. I felt like throwing my kindle out of the window when I turned for the next page and that was it, the end of the book. Exactly the same happened to me at the end of The Bone Season; Shannon certainly has a way of leaving the biggest cliff hangers at the end of books. However, I at least have an hunch of what may happen in book 3. Despite not being fond of the ending, I still managed to race through the quite thick book in a couple of days because I just could not put it down.
Although I’ve absolutely hated the endings of The Bone Season books so far because of the cliff hangers the rest of the book is superb. Follow up books tend not to be as good as the first book but I think I enjoyed The Mime Order even more. If you’re looking for a new book of the fantasy genre and you haven’t read The Bone Season yet you must pick them up next. It may take a bit to get into due to all the new information you’re given but I’m convinced most people will love these books! On a final note, these books seriously need to be made into films one day.
Synopsis - 
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Phantom Of The Opera - London

The Phantom Of The Opera tells the story of Christine Daae, who is a talented singer performing at the Paris Opera House. She manages to capture the attention of the Phantom who lives underneath the opera house and causes unexplained havoc around the theatre. With the Phantom’s help she manages to become the shows star performer. However as much as Christine is drawn to the Phantom little does she know he grows to love her which causes problems when Christine herself falls in love with childhood friend, Raoul. The musical really is a love story but believe me it’s so much better than I can describe the tale.   
Truthfully, I’m not a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber and his other musicals that I’ve seen I’ve not been overly fond of, so I’ve never been in a rush to go and see The Phantom Of The Opera. What a mistake that was! If you’ve ever wondered how The Phantom Of The Opera is one of London’s longest running shows on the West End you must get down to Her Majesty’s Theatre and see the show. Every set and every costume has such great attention of detail. The way they present the Paris Opera Houses productions are so cleverly done, in particular when Christine is bowing to the audience. Without revealing too much for those who want to go and watch the show, the chandelier above the crowd provides real breathtaking moments. However, the musicals most popular song which I’m sure everyone will have heard before, The Phantom Of The Opera, is the real showstopper. The stage transforms before your eyes into a lake with the Phantom navigating a boat with Christine on. Then when you get to the Phantom’s lair, candles just raise up from beneath the stage, it is such a beautiful scene to watch. I also really liked the fact that every part of the stage was used with the Phantom running across the very top of the theatre during one point of the show. 
Scott Davies who was on as the Phantom in the place of Geronimo Rauch, gave one of the best performances I have ever seen in a musical. I have never seen such emotion given in a performance before. The anger felt when during the iconic scene with the chandelier was felt all around the theatre and when he was sat watching Christine and Raoul I felt the Phantom’s heart breaking. That scene in particular made me sob more than any other musical I’ve ever seen. I believed every sentence of Davies performance, he was such a superb performer.   
For someone who wasn’t expecting much from The Phantom Of The Opera I can honestly say it is a truly breathtaking and wonderful production. I’ve been to see quite a number of West End shows and really The Phantom Of The Opera is most certainly one of the best. The intimacy of the theatre only adds in making show so much better. Even in my seat up in the upper circle I could see the actors emotions on their faces and the incredible detailing of the Phantom's make up. I could not recommend people to go and see The Phantom Of The Opera anymore, it really is fantastic.

Click here to go to the official Phantom Of The London website for more information

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Hitched - Dawn Rae Miller

Hitched by Dawn Rae Miller tells the story of the same group of friends as in the first book, Crushed, but a few years later at school friend Brady's wedding. Everything has changed in everyone's lives, and most importantly Fletch and Ellie, the couple everyone thought would be together forever, have broke up. It is quickly revealed how despite living completely different lives and having not seen each other for years Fletch and Ellie still have very strong feelings for each other, they just understand each other in a way that no one else does. Fletch is now a top businessman at GroundFloor on the West Coast whilst Ellie is struggling to make any money and is paying off student debt on the east coast. Their lives have just twisted off in different directions. 

It's been a long time since I became this obsessed with a book. I started worrying about things like how can I go about my day normally knowing that Fletch was around, planning my wedding and how I'd live my life surrounded by paparazzi once I was married - that's definitely not my life so I shouldn't be worrying about it! However, you know a book is really good when the lines between what you're reading and real life start to blur and Hitched certainly did that for me. I just had to know how Ellie and Fletch were going to end up so much so I found myself bringing my kindle into work just so I could sneakily read whenever I had a spare moment. It really was a page turning book that I couldn't put down. 

Hitched is the sequel to Crushed, although it could possibly be read as a standalone. What I liked is how Crushed was told from Fletch's point of view and Hitched from Ellie's, I felt like books from each perspective only made me want to keep reading. I do think that you'd probably get more out of the book if you read Crushed too. Having read the backstory between Ellie and Fletch and the rest of the gang, I already felt that attachment to the characters in this book. I think having read the first book only enhanced my reading of the sequel. 

If you can't tell by now I absolutely loved Hitched. Everyone needs to read this book! 

Synopsis -

Life hasn’t been easy for twenty-three year old Ellie Jacobs since her boyfriend, Fletch, walked out of her life two years earlier. She’s stuck in a consulting job she hates, buried under crushing student loans, and still longing for Fletch despite her best efforts to leave the past behind.

Letting go is hard when everywhere she turns, there’s a reminder of Fletch – from his face on gossip magazines to everyone being obsessed with his company, GroundFloor.

So when Ellie finds herself at a mutual friend’s wedding with Fletch, she decides to grin and bear it for the sake of the bride and groom. But years of anger have piled up, and Ellie doesn’t know if she can last the weekend without going crazy or lashing out.

However, as the wedding weekend progresses, Ellie realizes anger can only take you so far, but love can take you farther

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Crushed - Dawn Rae Miller

Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller is a brilliant book. Fletch Colson is a rich teenager at a boarding school, who sleeps around, drinks and on the odd occasion does drugs which is family think is fine as his dad did the same when he attended the same school. Plus anything Fletch does wrong, his dad is very influencial so just takes care of any trouble caused. Despite all this he is very smart and is aiming for attending a top college. Fletch sleeps around so much his friends think that it is impossible for him to just be friends with a girl so they make a bet with him that he can’t just be friends and they have to pick the girl. Even childhood friend Calista, can’t escape from Fletch’s ways. This is where Ellie comes into things, she is the girl chosen for Fletch to be friends with. Of course Ellie is attractive therefore someone who Fletch would normally go for. However, even if Fletch doesn’t even know if he’s able to do this but he really wants to prove everyone wrong and remain only friends with Ellie.

This book was a complete surprise for me. When I first started reading I really expected myself to despise Fletch due to his womanizing ways but I actually really liked him as a character. Admittedly at the beginning of the book I wanted to slap Fletch and his friends on multiple occasions but bare with it, I assume you it'll be worth it! You have to know how much of a womaniser he was to appreciate his friendship with Ellie. I also expected the story to just focus on Fletch’s inability to not sleep with every female he looks at but really the book is so much than that. The real struggle Fletch has when he discovers not only his family’s secret but also Calista’s turned the book into a real page turner for me. I ended up completely admiring him for the decisions he ultimately made. I thought that he was very well written and for me it was a refreshing read as I don’t often read from the male perspective. 
I really enjoyed reading Crushed and I’m so excited about the fact that it has a sequel set further in the future that is told from Ellie’s perspective. I can’t wait to find out what happens to all of the main characters. Crushed is so much more than other books of a similar story, I found that it had multiple messages throughout. I would definitely recommend reading this book, however before you read it is a more mature young adult book!
Synopsis - 
Having it all has never been so hard.

For eighteen-year-old serial womanizer Fletch Colson, life is a game and if he plays by the rules, he’ll win it all: his dream college, his parents’ money, and a hot (if a little vapid) girl on his arm. Really, it couldn’t be easier. All he has to do is get good grades, live a privileged life, and try not to mess up too much.

However, when he accepts the seemingly impossible bet to change his ways and be “just friends” with smart, beautiful, tempting Ellie Jacobs – a girl who turns his world inside out – Fletch discovers his perfect life isn’t so wonderful.

As family secrets begin tumbling out, what once seemed simple and clear, no longer feels right, and Fletch must decide if winning it all  is worth losing a piece of himself.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

What Stays In Vegas - Beth Labonte

Tessa is an artist but instead is stuck in a dead end secretary job in Boston, Massachusetts. She spends her days making figures out of office stationary to pass away the time and to make her boring job just a little more exciting. To make matters worse she is hopelessly in love with her colleague, Nick. Only problem is, he doesn’t have a clue and he’s married. Tessa is sick and tired of her job and is desperate for her life to get better before it’s too late. So when the companies owner’s daughter, Kendra, requests for Tessa to transfer to the companies Las Vegas office to cover a maternity leave she packs her bags quicker than you can say Elvis. Suddenly Tessa finds herself with a swish car and a posh hotel suite to stay in whilst she’s in Las Vegas all paid for by the company. Although she is still doing the same boring job, life seems to be looking up for her. 
Tessa ends up forming a real friendship with her boss, Kendra. It makes Tessa a genuienly likeable person to see that she literally dropped everything hell Kendra through her divorce for example. Then before she knows it she ends up falling for her new co worker Chris who seems to reciprocate her feelings. Just as everything seems to be going ok and she realises she is finally over Nick, she is able to start a relationship with Chris. That is until Nick flies across the country to Las Vegas to see Tessa after realising he’s in love with her. 
What I liked the most about What Stays In Vegas is how relatable Tessa and the story is. I’m sure at some point everyone has liked someone who hasn’t returned their feelings and I think everyone has been stuck in a dead end job they want out of. Even despite a married man being in the love triangle equation not once do you feel like Tessa is to blame for ruining relationships. In fact you’re constantly on her side which only adds to make the book even more enjoyable. The more What Stays In Vegas progresses you like her more and more, she constantly proves to the reader that she’s a great friend and I believe she ultimately makes the right decision as to which guy she wants to be with. I love a book that gives me closure and this book certainly did with both with Tessa’s relationship and career. My only gripe about the book is the amount of time Tessa and Kendra end up spending in nightclubs but at the end of the day they’re living in Las Vegas and working for a company that deals with them so I can’t really complain! 
I really enjoyed What Stays In Vegas. I loved the love triangle element, which I didn’t really see coming and I am very happy with the decisions that Tessa made. It didn’t take me too long to read this book and it provided me with some really laugh out loud moments so really I can only recommend people to read this book. Having had a quick search I've discovered that author Beth Labonte has another book just released called Summer At Sea, I enjoyed What Stays In Vegas so much so I'll certainly be adding her new book to my to read list.