Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Chocolate Book Tag

I recently took part in the 'Chocolate Book Tag' which was pretty interesting, originally created by A Daydreamer's Ramblings! I've tagged a few people on booktube but thought why not also tag some people in the book blogging community. So here it goes. I tag Saira at Growing Wings and Amanda at Adventures from the Bookshelf. Looking forward to your responses, ladies!

Here are the questions!

Dark Chocolate - A book that covers a dark topic (abuse, domestic violence, rape, loneliness, bullying, death etc)

White Chocolate - Your favourite light hearted/humorous read

Milk Chocolate - A book that has a lot of hype that you're dying to read

Chocolate with a Caramel Centre - Name a book that made you feel all gooey in the middle while you were reading it

Wafer Free Kit Kat - Name a book that surprised you lately

Snickers - A book that you are going nuts about

Hot Chocolate with Cream and Marshmallows - What book would you turn to for a comfort read?

Box of Chocolates - What series have you read that you feel has a wide variety and a little something for everyone?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Holy Crêpe!: Mocha Chocolate Gâteau

After being gifted a Mary Berry book for my birthday I have been itching to try it out. I finally got around to baking something from there and although it's not the most adventurous of cakes it was nice to be baking again.

The recipe called for coffee essence and I couldn't find any so I had a choice to substitute in either instant coffee or ground coffee. Believing that the ground coffee would have a stronger flavour I chose that one and thought that it would dissolve in like instant. This did not happen. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the wet mix but it looked like what you expect cake mix to look like but with many dark brown flecks.

After a bit of a wobble over whether I should start over, the sandwich tins went into the oven for 35 minutes. Once they came out the flecks weren't so obvious and considering I needed to ice them I think I got away with it.

I probably should have left my butter out of the fridge for a little bit in order to let it soften before making the icing as it was much harder to mix and extended the process by a good few minutes. 

Overall I don't think it looked (or tasted) that bad. I think I'll want to try my hand at brownies next considering I've never made them!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead

Title: Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Vampire Academy #1 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Service: Own 

Release Date: 11/2013
Pages: 332
Format: Paperback


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Lissa Dragomir is a mortal vampire. She must be protected at all times from fiercest and most dangerous vampires of all – the ones who will never die.

Rose Hathway is Lissa’s best friend – and her bodyguard.

Now, after two years of illicit freedom, they’ve been dragged back inside of the iron gates of St Vladimir’s Academy. The girls must survive a world of forbidden romances, a ruthless social scene and terrifying night-time rituals.

Give me one word…

Why do you say that?

Vampire Academy is set in a private school that houses and trains Vampires and Dhampirs (half human/half vampire) species. This story starts with a Dhampir, Rose and her best friend and Vampire princess, Lissa, returning to school after being away for quite some time.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a nice, easy read and Richelle Mead kept up a good pace throughout the whole book. I finished within two days wanting to know what was going on. I liked the fact that we were drip fed secrets rather than being given them all in one go and that was the primary reason for me to continue on to the end of the novel.

I did have some issues with the characterisation. Rose and Lissa are our main characters and I struggled to read them at times. Although their friendship is heart warming and genuine their personalities are somewhat bland. I just felt that they seemed to be ‘too perfect’ at times and balanced each other out in an almost unnatural way, with Lissa being girly and polite and Rose being an utter badass. That being said I managed to look past it and considering there are various books in the series I am hoping that development will be present.

There are a variety of other character in this book that bring the plot to life. I personally love Christian’s quick wit and hope to see more of him as the series progresses.

You may have heard/seen a lot about the romance aspect of this book but I felt this really did not overshadow the whole storyline, which I was glad about. There was a healthy mix of romance and action.

If you want paranormal romance and friendship with some witty humour thrown in then Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is a definite.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts - Robyn Schneider

Title: Severed Heads, Broken Hearts - Robyn Schneider
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Series: N/A
Service: Own
Release Date: 01/09/2013
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback


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Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them - a moment after which everything that really matter will happen. His own tragedy waited until he had everything to lose - in one night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his athletic career and his perfect life.

No longer part of the popular crowd, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he meets Cassidy Thorpe. Intelligent, effortless and wonderfully weird, she is unlike anyone Ezra's ever known before. Together they discover flash mobs, buried treasure, secret movie screenings and a poodle with a questionable history.

But as Ezra dives into new friendships and new love, he is forced to ask: if you survive a disaster the first time round, what happens when it strikes again?

Give us a few words...

Why do you say that?

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts was a book that I had heard a lot about and decided that I must read. I will never forgive myself for waiting so long to get around to it.

From the first few pages Robyn Schneider pulls you in by describing the tragedy that befell Ezra’s old best friend Toby when they were younger. What a way to open a book!

Narrated by Ezra Faulkner, an athletic boy that once had it all but loses it after a car accident. We follow Ezra’s story as he adjusts to no longer being part of the popular crowd and reconnecting with friends he had drifted away from.

Ezra was definitely the reason I was drawn to reading this book. His character was realistic and written so well. From his sarcastic quips at his over bearing mother to the pity parties in his room to the longing to be popular and ditching the people that really mattered, Ezra was the perfect mix. His interaction with the other characters is what really drives this book that is less about plot and more about his self discovery.

Schneider delves into the school yard politics that exist from the different lunch tables to the mock nominations for prom. Her characterisation was something I could not fault. There are characters in this book you will love easily (Toby) and those that you will hate (Charlotte) but all for the right reasons.

Romance plays a massive role in this plot but I think that was to be expected from the high school settings. Ezra and Cassidy seem so perfectly matched for a number of reasons. They are both hurt and broken and although they never discuss it, it is this unspoken similarity that binds them. At times I did dislike the way Cassidy uses it as leverage against him but by the end of the book this makes sense. Their tumultuous relationship keeps you guessing and Cassidy’s secrets are slowly exposed as the book goes on. The first revelation was something I did not expect but the second was more predictable afterwards.

For me, the best part of this book was the very end. Ezra’s revelations about his life are very refreshing. It was nice to see that his journey of self discovery had not been fruitless and that he understood what had happened in his life and why.

I would say that Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is something you should pick up if you are looking for a broody and confused guy teamed with an intelligent and feisty girl in a typical high school setting.