Dual Reviews: Discovering J.D. Salinger and Revisiting Charles Dickens

Hey guys, gals and enthusiastic bookworms. I’ve decided to go all highbrow today and review some classics, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I’m pleased to say that I’ve come to really enjoy reading classics, they make for such an interesting reading experience because even if you don’t end up loving them, you always learn something! I went through a patch last year of not reading many, but my enthusiasm for them has recently been renewed so I picked these two off the Rory Gilmore Challenge to give a go. As always, I am not an English major, but here’s what I thought:

Overall Impression: A fascinating character study of a young teen full of contradictions.The Catcher in the Rye

I don’t know why this book works, but it does. On paper, it sounds oh so boring and like a school child’s required reading worst nightmare. It’s a book where nothing happens, where the main character after getting expelled from his private school, wanders around New York City meeting up with random people because he doesn’t want to go home and confront his parents. It’s a story about a whiny privileged white kid who throws opportunities to have a good life away, and yet somehow, despite sounding like a recipe for disaster and epic hate, it’s absolutely wonderful. But I can definitely see why this book has split so many opinions! Continue reading

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Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan Review 3/5

Overall Impression:Dash and Lily's Book of Dares Sweet, teen hipsters ponder the meaning of life, words and love.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares reminded me of a weird mix between the film Serendipity and a John Green novel. I had seen this book making the rounds in the blogosphere for quite some time and was unsure whether to give it a go, however, when I spotted it for £1.99 I could hardly pass it up! Set in snowy, vibrant New York City it follows two teens during the Christmas period that take part in random, treasure hunt style escapades with the help of a mysterious red moleskin notebook. The concept was hard to resist, and once I read the first chapter and discovered the story began with a character pursuing the famous Strand bookshop, I knew I was going to like this story!

I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.
At the urge of her lucky-in-love brother, sixteen-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of dares on her favourite bookshop shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept.
Curious, snarky Dash isn’t one to back down from a challenge – and the Book of Dares is the perfect thing to keep him occupied this Christmas.
As they send each other on a snowbound scavenger hunt across Manhatten, they’re falling for each other on paper. But finding out if their real selves share their on-page chemistry could be their biggest dare yet. Continue reading

I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk Review 5/5

Overall Impression: This book takes escapism to a whole new level! Ridiculously I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk unrealistic yet fabulously entertaining.

Like. Candy. To. A. Baby. SERIOUSLY.
Although wait a minute, candy to a baby? Wouldn’t that be a bad idea? Anyway…
My friend who blogs sporadically over at Escaping Reality with Books lent me a tonne of literature, perhaps you remember? Yeah, it seems forever ago now but guess what? I still haven’t read most of them. 😛 When looking through her shelves she pushed this mysterious I Heart series (of which this book is the first) towards me with unrepressed excitement. I sort of turned my nose up a little bit unimpressed because hey, chick lit.
Wow I feel like such a snob, because it’s the best chick lit I’ve ever read! Like I said, candy to a baby. 🙂

Fleeing her cheating boyfriend and clutching little more than a crumpled bridesmaid dress, a pair of Louboutins and her passport, Angela jumps on a plane – destination NYC.
Holed up in a cute hotel room, Angela gets a New York makeover from her NBF Jenny and a whirlwind tour of the city that never sleeps. Before she knows it, Angela is dating two sexy guys. And, best of all, she gets to write about it on her new blog (Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out). But it’s one thing telling readers about your romantic dilemma’s, it’s another figuring them out for yourself…
Angela has fallen head over heels for the big apple, but does she heart New York more than home?

This is one of those books that if you look at it with your brain there is sooo much wrong with it, but if you go purely on your heart and the enjoyment factor it’s excellent, and isn’t it good to just go with your heart sometimes?
Yes, yes it is. 😀 Continue reading

Awesome Video: Girls rap on literature; Goodreads, J.K Rowling, Leo Tolstoy and more!

Ok so this is just a quick post as I came across something the other day and automatically knew that I wanted to share it with you guys. It’s a video called B*tches in Bookshops, a parody or literary interpretation of Jay Z and Kanye West’s song N*ggas in Paris. It had me cracking up in that appreciative way that only bookworms will understand. Plus, it gets a couple of bonus points for featuring several places in New York I got to see when I was on my trip! 😉 Continue reading

Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple Part #2

Ok so are you guys ready for part two? Here’s part one if you missed it: Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple Part #1 Sorry it’s taken a while, it’s that darn thing called life getting in the way again! But yeah, here we go! 🙂
We began our day by marching through Times Square and down into the subway. I was greeted with a blissfully metallic smell and bustling people all with determined grimaces on their faces. I have to say I absolutely loved the subway, discovering it was one of the best parts of the trip. It’s so different to the London under203ground with a much more urban stripped back feel. I love how when you stand on the platform and the train rushes through you feel like your going to be blown away like Mary Poppins! It really is like entering a different world, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. (Ok, I’ll stop with the book references now :P) At several platforms there were aspiring musicians, and the subway provided some fantastic acoustics; melodies of jazz and gospel bounced off every wall. We got off at the Staten Island Ferry, where we joined the commuters to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. Unfortunately it was a pretty cloudy day, but an amazing sight all the same.
After coming full circle we exited the Ferry and ambled idly through Battery Park, the world financial centre and The Sphere memorial. Along the way we encountered some very friendly squirrels. They were so tame that this man was able to feed them nuts straight from his hands, and they began climbing all over his body and up his trouser legs!

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Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple Part #1

For those of you who regularly read my blog, you may have noticed my recent post Any tips for a first time aeroplane flyer discussing little old me and my future trip to the immense New York City! Well I’m back, and I survived! Just 😉
Thank you to everyone who gave me tips for my first ever aeroplane flight, they really came in handy and I probably couldn’t have lasted without them.
At the request of several bloggers, I’ve decided to share my once in a lifetime experience with the rest of you. I’ll try not to make it too reminiscent of those naff old fashioned slideshows where family are forced to plaster smiles on their faces while bored stiff 😉 Please note, all the pictures below are my own so please don’t use them without permission.
So without further ado…023

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Any tips for a first time aeroplane flyer?

In just over a week, I will be embarking on what is probably the biggest adventure in my life to date. Visiting New York City! As soon as the opportunity arose at my school in the form of a Media Studies trip, I knew I had to go. I couldn’t let a once in a lifetime opportunity like this pass me by. New York City is a place I have always wanted to visit. Everything about it appeals to me; the fast paced atmosphere, the amazing architecture, the Broadway…… this trip is like a dream come true! I’m extremely excited, but also extremely nervous. Why? Because I am not a seasoned traveler, far from it in fact. I have never been on an aeroplane, I haven’t even set foot in an airport! Typical me picking a seven hour flight for my first time! But am I going to let my fear stop me from pursuing my dream? No! 🙂
So, with that in mind, Continue reading