Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Along For The Ride Review


Hello everyone,

Just a few minutes ago, I finished reading Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen. It is my fourth book by this author, and like the others, I enjoyed it. On Goodreads I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars, however, it felt more like a 3 and a half stars to me.


It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend. (

There's something about Sarah Dessen's books that are just so appealing, and Along For The Ride was no exception. Like a lot of her books, there's plenty of your typical, fluffy teenager stuff - falling in love, doing crazy things with your friends, etc. But as always, there's a more serious side to her novels, and in Along For The Ride it's Auden's parents' divorce, which she never really got over.

The book itself was 399 pages, which I read through pretty quickly, but it was a bit boring at times. For the most part, though, it was a quick, easy read. I really liked Auden's character and could relate to her quite well. To be honest, a lot of the time, I thought I was reading about myself! The character development she goes through in this book is quite phenomenal as well. In the beginning, Auden is very naive and antisocial, but by the end of the book her character has blossomed. She becomes more open, girly, confident in herself, and willing to stand up to others.

The other characters were interesting as well. Heidi's character was very likable and well-written. Sarah Dessen makes you feel sympathetic towards her, but she has also written a character who is very capable, can take care of herself, and full of compassion. Maggie's character was enjoyable as well, and as Auden grew to like her, so did I. Auden's parents are a bit more difficult. Her mother's superiority was mildly irritating at the best of times, and I was often waiting for Auden to stand up for herself, which she didn't really do. Her father is lazy, selfish and manipulating, probably my most disliked character in the book. However, both of them were redeemed slightly in the end. Heidi was still my favourite, and the only one who ever showed any true affection towards Auden.

I had a few little issues with the book, which is why I'm stuck on a 3 and a half star rating. The first being that one of the main plot points in the beginning of the book is Auden's insomnia, but it really didn't genuine to me. Insomnia is when a person has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep on a regular basis. However, Auden states that she used to purposefully keep herself awake in order to keep her parents from fighting. She's also always drinking coffee, often two or three of them late at night. She just didn't seem like an insomniac. She just seemed like some one who drank a lot of caffeine, was used to staying up and sleeping in late.

We are also never given a reason as to why Eli can't sleep. I'm going to assume it has something to do with Abe and / or nightmares, but it was never really clarified. In fact, we never really learn that much about Eli. He always seems to show up at the most convenient times. For a character that's supposed to be the main love interest, he really isn't in the book that much. Or maybe I just want more of him? :P Also, he seems to get over Abe's death without an explanation. I'm assuming that Auden is helping him heal, but it's like one day he's depressed and then the next, he's fine and competing at bike competitions again. Convenient.

As for the writing itself, it was typical Sarah Dessen. It's easy to read and understand, with a lot of relatable quotes and witty lines. It balances itself out with the perfect combination of humour and seriousness. However, in this book, I found that we were too often stuck off in Auden's own little world. Time would pass, things would happen, and then we would only be told about them as an afterthought. Too many plot points seemed to have just been thrown in haphazardly, and I found myself wondering when something had happened and wishing I had gotten more details in the scenes.

Overall, however, the book was enjoyable and entertaining. As a fan of Sarah Dessen, I don't think it was her best work, but I would still recommend it. Her books are always a good way to pass the time, and I will definitely continue to read more of them, so look forward to more reviews on her novels!

On a different note, I know some people were bothered by the cover changes of all of Sarah Dessen's books. Comment down below your thoughts! I bought the new cover of Along For The Ride because it was on sale, but I have two of her other books with the older covers. It doesn't bother me too much, because the covers are still similar looking. But what do you guys think? Which cover of Along For The Ride do you prefer?

Favourite Quotes

“You couldn't just pick and choose at will when someone depended on you, or loved you. It wasn't like a light switch, easy to turn on or off. If you were in, you were in. Out, you were out.”

“Who says there has to be a point?" He asked. "Or a reason. Maybe it's just something you have to do."

And while they were proud of me, my accomplishments never seemed to get me what I really wanted. I was such a smart kid, I should have figured out that the only way to get my parent's attention was to disappoint them or fail. But by the time I finally realized that, succeeding was already a habit too ingrained to break.

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Sunday, 26 May 2013


Hello everyone,

This is just a little update post to tell you all what I'm up to at the moment. What I originally planned to post for today was a book review for The Help by Kathryn Stockett, but due to many reasons, I've decided not to. I had to read The Help for a class I am currently taking, and if any of you are following my Goodreads account, you'll see that I finished it and I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars. The first reason I decided not to review it today is that I'm going to be watching the movie sometime in the next few weeks, so I thought that I would do a book review as well as a book-to-movie adaptation review all in one post. What do you guys think?

The second reason I'm not reviewing it today is because I will be discussing this book in my class and learning more about it in the next few weeks. I decided to wait to review it until after all of that because I feel like after doing all my assignments for it, I will be able to present you all with a much more informative review.

The same goes for my review of The Great Gatsby. I'm going to wait until I see the movie so that I can do a book-to-movie adaptation review as well. Hopefully, I will be seeing it this week. Other than that, I am reading a little bit more in my collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. I'm also going to be starting another book this week, but I'm not quite sure which one I want to read yet.

I'm currently trying to decide on what I want my posting schedule for you all to be. I'm trying to figure out which days I have the most time to update the blog. As soon as I decide on a schedule, I'll let you all know. Either way, I'm sure I'll find some content to post this week for you all! :) I hope you all had a great weekend and have an awesome week as well! Feel free to post down in the comments what some of you guys are reading as well.

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Anna And The French Kiss Review


Hello everyone,

During the Bout of Books Readathon, I managed to start and finish Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, which I rated 4 out of 5 stars.


Everything had seemed to be going Anna's way. She was going to start her senior year in Atlanta with her best friend Bridgette and her hot coworker Toph, who was just beginning to return her affections. Until her father sends her to boarding school in Paris, France, that is. Now she is stuck alone in a new city with no idea how to speak French, and she's certain this year is going to be terrible. Then she makes friends with Meredith, Josh, Rashmi, and the handsome Étienne St. Clair, wanted by every girl in the school and who is currently in a relationship. But in the city of love, anything can happen.

Review (Spoiler-free)

Anna and the French Kiss was your typical YA romance, but it was never cheesy or annoying. At 372 pages, I managed to finish it fairly quickly, and I quite enjoyed it. The writing style didn't blow my mind, but it was easy to understand and you got a clear feel for Anna's personality. It was filled with quips and witty banter, which was quite enjoyable, but it also had a serious side when it needed to. Overall, I quite liked Stephanie Perkins' style, and would probably read more of her books if I ever get the chance.

As for the characters, they were believable and likeable. Although the book did contain your typical one-dimensional mean girl (like the majority of YA novels), the rest of the characters seemed well thought out and were given sufficient back stories and character development. The focus of the book was, of course, on Anna and Étienne, but I found myself wishing for a little more information about the other characters. It is written from Anna's point of view, so we are always aware of what happens to her, but a lot of the time it can be unclear exactly what is going on with some of the side characters, and I enjoyed the secondary characters so much that I wanted to know a bit more about what they were doing.

Other than that, I had no problems with the characters. I liked that they were all very realistic, that they all had both good points and bad points. Anna is the protagonist and she was a likable character, but she wasn't perfect. She has her faults, as does Étienne, but these imperfections just make them more relatable and enjoyable. I really liked Anna's character. Her thoughts were amusing to read, and although she was awkward at times, she was also sharp and witty. As for Étienne, he was your perfect YA boy – the one who knows how to make you fall in love with him. He was cute, intelligent, kind, loved his mother, but was also afraid of heights, which probably just made him more adorable.

Plot-wise, the book was nothing too unique. As I stated above, it was a typical YA romance, but every girl needs a cute, fluffy pick-me-up kind of book every once in a while. For me, it was a welcome reprieve after reading The Catcher In The Rye. The Paris setting was a nice touch, though. There were some parts in the book that were quite predictable, but others caught me off guard. It's definitely a more light-hearted read, but it was balanced out with some serious moments so that it wasn't cheesy or overdone. Also, if there is one thing I hate in a book, it's instant romance. In Anna and The French Kiss, there is definitely an instant attraction between Anna and Étienne, but the real romance doesn't start until a little later in the book, so it was believable.

Overall, Anna and the French Kiss was entertaining and an easy way to pass the time. I gave it a four star rating because I really liked it, but it didn't blow my mind. If you hate romance, then I would avoid this book. But if you're looking for a quick, girly, romantic read, then this is the book for you.

Favourite Quotes

“I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I'm not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.”

“Seriously, I don't know any American girl who can resist an English accent.”

“What my parents never considered is that I just wanted a choice.”

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Monday, 20 May 2013

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon Roundup

Hello everyone,

It seems we've finally reached the end of this read-a-thon! It was my first read-a-thon, and I enjoyed it immensely! I managed to successfully complete all of the goals I set for myself, and then some! This week, I've finished A Storm Of Swords, The Catcher In The Rye, and Anna And The French Kiss. I also read up to page 120 of The Help. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get much reading done yesterday, which was disappointing, but I read a lot more during the week than I expected, so I'm happy with what I've accomplished.

All of this brings my total count to : 1170 pages read this week!

All in all, I've had a very successful and enjoyable reading week. For those of you who participated as well, how did you do on your goals? Did you enjoy yourself? For those of you who didn't participate this time, are you going to next time? (I know I'm going to!) Or are you just looking forward to all the book reviews everyone is surely going to be posting in a few days? Let me know!:)

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Catcher In The Rye Review

Hello everyone,

Today I have a review of The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, which I gave a 1 out of 5 stars. Unlike most people, I wasn't forced to read this in school, but I was interested, and since it was a classic, I borrowed it from one of my friends. Also, I'll just say right now that this review will pretty much remain spoiler free.

In The Catcher in the Rye, we follow Holden Caulfield as he gets kicked out of his boarding school and wanders around New York City for three days. I don't have much else to say. I'm not quite sure how to give a summary of this book at all. You can follow the Goodreads link for one, but I don't quite agree with it and it doesn't give you a clear idea of what the book is about either.

For 214 pages, we follow Holden's stream of consciousness through New York, but I'm still not quite sure what to make of it. To be honest, one of the main reasons I rated it a 1 out of 5 stars was that it didn't make me feel anything at all. It wasn't that it was a bad book per say, I didn't have to force myself to finish it, but neither did I particularly want to keep reading. Not too much actually happens in the book. It's mostly just Holden's thoughts, which I found to be quite confusing and hard to relate to.

I found the book itself to be very unorganized. Holden quickly changes topics at random, and I often found myself confused. He will also often tell the readers that he likes something, then proceed to give plenty of reasons as to why he doesn't like it. Even when talking to the people around him, I found his speech very spontaneous and confusing, often switching from idea to idea too quickly.

As for the writing, I wasn't very impressed by J.D. Salinger's style. I understand that it was supposed to be a stream of consciousness, but his overuse of certain words (ex. "phony", "it killed me", etc.) quickly grew to be annoying. Also, even though it was 214 pages of Holden's personal thoughts, I couldn't really tell you all that much about him. We learn about his family and the people he knows, but never enough to really get to know them. We learn about events in his past, but never go too far in depth with them. They're not given much attention nor explained very well.

Overall, the Catcher in the Rye wasn't a terrible book, but I will definitely never be picking it up for a reread. It wasn't really to my taste, but I'm not going to tell people not to try it out. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but feel free to give it a try if you're interested, as one of my friends really likes the book. Perhaps it was just me?

Favourite Quotes

“Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.”

“I was trying to feel some kind of good-bye. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-bye or a bad good-bye, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t you feel even worse.”

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Friday, 17 May 2013

Bout of Books : Day 5

Hello everyone,

It's day 5 of the Bout of Books Readathon! Only two more days left! How are you all doing on your reading goals?

So, this is just a little update on what I read today. I finished The Catcher In The Rye, so I moved on to reading Anna And The French Kiss. I'm 212 pages into it, and I'm really liking it. It's just such a nice, fun, fluffy, girly novel. It's definitely just the light-hearted novel I needed after reading Catcher In The Rye (which I will have a review for posted sometime this weekend).

That's 312 pages read today, which brings my total count to 890 pages read this week!

My reading plans for tomorrow are going to be finishing Anna And The French Kiss, which I know I can accomplish because I have a ton of free time tomorrow. Then, I'm going to start reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which I need to read for a class I have. I'm not sure yet what other books I'll get to. I have the ebook of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo that I never got around to reading, and I also have the complete works of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that I really need to get through! I think I've only read A Study In Scarlet... We shall see what happens. I'll keep you all updated, and I hope you are all having a successful readathon week as well!

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Bout Of Books : Day 4

Hello everyone,

It's the fourth day of the Bout Of Books Readathon, and my current pages read so far is 578! Is everyone making good progress on their goals? I'm pleased with what I have accomplished! My sincerest apologies for not keeping daily updates of my progress, though. Real life has kept me very busy, and it was difficult enough making sure I got up the reviews I promised. Most of them I wrote very late at night, as real life has been surprisingly busy this week. However, I will have quite a bit more time to read tomorrow, and through the weekend.

As you've all probably guessed since I posted the review, I finally finished A Storm Of Swords by George R. R. Martin Tuesday night. I loved it and I'm really glad I completed it! Who knows how long it would have taken me, if not for this readathon? Wednesday night, I began reading The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, and I'm currently on page 120. I'm not sure what to think of it yet. I can't say I like it, but I can't quite say I horribly dislike it either. I'll have to wait until I finish it to decide, which will hopefully be tomorrow night. I'll have a review up on it probably some time this weekend, if I do manage to finish it tomorrow. A review of The Great Gatsby (which I finished last week) will also be posted once I get around to writing it, though I make no promises on when that will be.

Once I'm finished The Catcher In The Rye, I'll move on to Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, which I am quite excited to read. Now, I'm off to get some more reading done before bed. Happy reading everyone!

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

A Storm Of Swords Review


Hello everyone,

Finally, as promised, here is the review for A Storm Of Swords by George R. R. Martin, which I rated a 5 out of 5 stars.


War continues to rage across the land. With Renly Baratheon dead, his brother Stannis defeated, and Robb Stark stuck in Riverrun, victory appears to be in Lannister hands. Across the sea, Daenerys Targaryen is rallying her army and her dragons grow ever stronger, while in the North, the men of the Night's Watch fight their own war against savage wildlings and their own dead rise to attack them. But as the fight for power rages on, it may be the evils hidden from within that prove to be the most dangerous.

My Review

The third book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Storm of Swords is, so far, the best book in the series, in my opinion. It's longer than ever at 1128 pages (1177 with the Appendix), but it's definitely the most fast-paced. It did take me over a month to read it, but I'll chalk that up to the busyness of my everyday life, not the quality of the book, as I read the last 600 pages in only a few days. Compared to A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin really stepped up his game with this book. Some parts were, as always, a bit long, but on the whole it was action-packed and full of amazing (and heartbreaking) plot twists. We get to see chapters from the point of view of a few other characters, like Jaime Lannister and Samwell Tarly, which is nice, although we still didn't get anything from Robb's point of view, which I found extremely disappointing. But anyways, this book made me so glad I continued with the series, and I can't wait to pick up A Feast For Crows. If you liked A Game of Thrones and/or A Clash Of Kings, then you'll definitely love this next installment.

Alright, so from here on, this review will contain spoilers, so if you haven't read it yet, then go pick it up right now!

Now, I'd just like to start by saying that in this book, I was definitely reminded that with George R. R. Martin, anyone can die. You all know what I'm talking about. No one is safe.

So much happened in this huge book that I'm not sure where to begin. I guess I'll begin with the 'new' characters. In this book, we were introduced to Samwell Tarly's point of view, which was alright with me. Personally, I love (most of) the men of the Night's Watch, and Sam is a perfectly good character, even if he isn't a particular favourite of mine. It was nice to see him find his courage in this book, and I was ecstatic and amused with his plot to get Jon promoted to Lord Commander at the end. The Old Bear's death was quite an unwelcome surprise in the first place, but this sufficiently pacified me.

Next up is Jaime Lannister, whom I never, not in a million years, expected to like. In fact, before this book, I would probably say I hated him for what he did to Bran and his cocky attitude. But he definitely gets taken down a few pegs in here, and he turned out to be not a half-bad guy. Well, I'll be honest, by the end he was one of my favourite characters. His relationship with Brienne was always fun to read, he was intelligent and witty, although quite arrogant, and I can't wait to see what will happen to him next.

Arya, once again, was not very interesting to read, although I enjoyed her a little more than the last book. Through her, we were introduced to Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr and the rest of the Brotherhood Without Banners, all of whom I liked. Her escapades with the Hound were interesting to read, and I'm curious about whether he survives at the end or not. She also managed to get Needle, the sword Jon Snow gave her, back from the man who stole it in the last book, which I was happy about. For some reason, this books makes me sentimental about swords, of all things. When I found out that Tywin Lannister melted Ned Stark's sword, Ice, down to make new swords, I nearly screamed in anger.

Bran's chapters became more interesting as well as he learned more about being a warg and also got to know Jojen and Meera better. I'm curious as to when Arya will figure out she's a warg, and if Sansa is one as well. Jon seems to know already, though his powers still aren't as advanced as Bran's. Speaking of Jon, plenty happened to him in this book. Learning more about the wildlings through him was an interesting perspective, and we finally got to meet Mance Rayder. Here I must say that for a long time, I felt I was the only one who had read these books and... dare I say it?... didn't like Ygritte. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but I just didn't care much for her character, and I was disappointed that Jon went against his vows (both to the Night's Watch and his personal desire not to have sex out of wedlock in the fear of siring a bastard) for her. However, I must admit I had grown to like her a bit by the end, and that I cried when she died.

Now, let's talk about Sansa and Tyrion. I grew to like Sansa even more in this book, and her marriage to Tyrion came as a great shock, although I can't say I was opposed to it. I think that, if Sansa had only gotten over her vanity, they could have been a decent couple. As usual, I adored Tyrion in A Storm of Swords. I was often angry at the blatant hatred people showed him for no reason other than his looks, and I was enraged at his trial. I loved the plot twist with Prince Oberyn acting as his champion, even though nothing came of it.  Then I was once again dumbfounded by learning that Tysha was apparently not a paid prostitute, and I would have never expected Tyrion to murder Tywin, although it was a fitting end for the man.

Daenerys was perfect as usual. Not too much else to say other than I'm glad she finally found out about Jorah and Barristan, and that she appears to be quite the queen. I wouldn't mind her sitting the Iron Throne herself one day (hopefully soon). As for Davos, I was overjoyed when I found out he was alive! I still hate Melisandre and don't particularly like Stannis, but I'm glad that Davos is his Hand now. Maester Aemon also finally revealed what everyone was thinking - that Stannis is probably not the hero Melisandre keeps mentioning (my money's on Beric Dondarrion, based on his description).

Lastly, Catelyn Tully. Oh, boy. Once again, I wish everyone would just stop for a second and listen to Catelyn Tully, because if they had, things would definitely not have become as messy as they did. Robb marrying the Westerling girl was quite the surprise - and not the good kind. I wanted Robb to follow in Ned's footsteps as an honourable man and keep his word to the Freys, yet I was mistaken, even if I did see something like this coming. I have no words for The Red Wedding other than it was horrible, and I cried quite a bit, and I'd really rather pretend like it never happened. However, the fact remains that Jon is now Robb's heir, as well as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, which should make quite the dilemma in the next book. I'm also wondering how Catelyn came back from the dead?

The only problem I had with the book was the extremely convenient timing of Balon Greyjoy's death. It wasn't very clearly explained. One moment he was alive, and the next, we are getting reports that he fell off a bridge. I feel like this will be expanded on in the next book though, so I'm okay with it for now.

Overall, this was a huge book full of action, plot twists, answered questions, more still unanswered questions, tears, sobbing, heartbreak, and terrible cliffhangers. I absolutely loved it, and can't wait to get my hands on a copy of A Feast For Crows.

Favourite Quotes

"I have made kings and unmade them." - Jaime Lannister

"All men must die, Jon Snow. But first, we'll live." - Ygritte

"A wall is only as strong as the men who defend it." - Eddard Stark

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Clash Of Kings Review


Hello everyone,

Here is my review for A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin, to which I gave a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.


The sequel to A Game Of Thrones , A Clash of Kings takes us back to the world of Westeros, where the Seven Kingdoms are in turmoil. With Robert Baratheon dead, his son Joffrey has taken the throne, although his right to it may be questionable. With multiple people claiming rights to the Iron Throne, the Seven Kingdoms are divided between Joffrey and House Lannister, Robb Stark in the North, Stannis Baratheon on Dragonstone, and Renly Baratheon in the South, while things more mysterious and sinister rise beyond the Wall and Daenerys Targaryen begins to rise across the sea.

Brief Review

I found A Clash of Kings to be interesting, but things were often too long and drawn out. Being 969 pages (1009 with the Appendix), it was an even longer read than A Game Of Thrones, and it didn't quite live up to its predecessor. I felt like many scenes were unnecessary, while others were extremely interesting. Thankfully, the book picked up in the last few hundred pages, and I got through the second half of the book much faster than the first. It was still a good book, although more on the politics side of things than the action side, so if that's not quite for you, you may not like this book very much. However, I trudged through it, and, having just finished the third book as I write this review, I can tell you that it is worth the read and that I was very glad I continued with the series.

Okay, from this point on, this review will contain spoilers, so if you haven't read it yet, I suggest you stop here and go pick up the book!

Like I said above, I found A Clash of Kings to be quite a bit more boring than A Game Of Thrones was. However, there were a lot of highlights, Tyrion Lannister, surprisingly being one of them. He was probably my favourite character in the book, with his wit, intelligence, and unusual charm once again winning me over. His relationship with Bronn was humourous and I felt that he was the only one in the capital with any sense when it came to making battle decisions.

I found myself liking Sansa more and more as the book went on. Now that she has gotten over her infatuation with Joffrey, she has become a much more likable character, and her relationship with the Hound was definitely intriguing. Daenerys is another character I continue to love, although there was not a lot of her in this book, which I found most disappointing. But, as ever, I enjoyed her free spirit and kind nature, and being the Mother of Dragons kept things interesting.

Jon Snow is another character I just can't get enough of. I love the men of the Night's Watch, and him especially. He's just such a complex, interesting character, and Ghost is definitely my favourite direwolf. The last scene with Qhorin Halfhand nearly broke my heart, though. As for Catelyn Tully, I liked her chapters as well, probably more than I did the last book. Her point of view allows us to see what's going on with Robb, Renly, and we get to meet new characters, Brienne, Edmure Tully, and the Blackfish, Brynden Tully. I often find myself saying that I wish people would listen to Catelyn more, as a lot of their problems wouldn't exist if they had just listened to her in the first place. I know she's a woman, but she's as experienced and intelligent as any man. I also really wish that we could have some chapters written from Robb's point of view.

Bran's story line still didn't interest me, at least until he met Meera and Jojen Reed and we learned he was a warg. Then things started getting interesting, but we'll see where that goes. Arya's chapters weren't that bad, but I didn't enjoy them as much either. Yoren was a good character, but unfortunately, like many others, he dies too quickly. Most of her chapters consisted of her travelling from place to place, with not too much plot development, in my opinion, but Gendry quickly rose to the list of characters that I like. Jaqen was also quite the plot twist, and I can't wait to find out what this "Valar Morghulis" bit is about.

In this book, we also got some chapters from two new points of view, one old character and one new. The new character was Davos, the onion knight. He allowed us to see what was going on from Stannis Baratheon's part in the war, and I enjoyed it immensely. I loved reading Davos' chapters and adored his intelligent, but humble character. I still haven't decided if I like Stannis or not, but Melisandre is definitely a character I need to keep an eye on. As for the other character, in this book we were allowed to see from Theon Greyjoy's point of view, which I did not enjoy. Through his actions in this book (you all know what I'm talking about), I quickly grew to despise him. I hate it when people stab their good friends in the back for no good reason, and Theon was no exception. The murder of those two farmer's boys didn't help his case, either, although karma appears to hit him in the end.

Overall, although it didn't quite live up to its predecessor, A Clash Of Kings was still a good book and a worthwhile read. If you've made it this far, and really liked A Game Of Thrones, then I would definitely suggest continuing, as the third book in the series, A Storm Of Swords, was absolutely amazing. My review for that will be up tomorrow.

Favourite Quotes

“I will hurt you for this. I don't know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid.” -Tyrion Lannister

“When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Game Of Thrones Review


      Hello everyone,

As promised, here is my review for A Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, which I gave a 5 out of 5 stars.


A Game of Thrones takes place in the land of Westeros, with its Seven Kingdoms being ruled by a single King, Robert Baratheon. The story follows one Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, along with his family, consisting of his wife Catelyn Tully, daughters Sansa and Arya, sons Robb, Bran and Rickon, and illegitimate child, Jon Snow. They live a relatively peaceful life in the North until Eddard's old friend, and King, Robert Baratheon, arrives and offers Ned the position of the King's Hand, which is the King's topmost advisor and the highest position in the realm after the King himself. At first, Ned is unwilling to take the honour, but when he receives word of a possible plot against the realm by the Lannisters, family to the Queen, Cersei Lannister, he agrees. He takes his daughters and heads South to the capital, which may just be the most dangerous place in the Seven Kingdoms, for when you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.


As a long time lover of the fantasy genre, this book was right up my alley. Being 807 pages long (835 if you count the Appendix), it's not a quick, easy read, but I would say that it was worth it. I found George R. R. Martin's writing style hard to read in some places, but I quickly grew used to it. Each chapter is written from the point of view of a different character, so it can get slightly confusing at times, but once again, it was something that I managed to get used to. In this book, we get to see from the point of view of Eddard, Catelyn, Arya, Sansa, Bran, Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Tyrion Lannister. Although it makes it confusing, this also makes it better for many different readers, because if you don't like the character, it's only a chapter before the point of view changes. Overall, I quite enjoyed the read and I thought the book was a great beginning to the series. As long as you are a fantasy fan and prepared for a long read, I would definitely recommend it. The only other problem that I found with the book was that it can get quite vulgar and explicit at times. It contains a lot of sexual themes as well as bloody fight scenes, so if you're not comfortable that, then this isn't the book for you.

Alright, from this point on, the review will contain spoilers. If you haven't read the book yet, and are planning to, you probably shouldn't continue reading.

I think it's safe to say that Ned was my favourite character. I'm a sucker for a man of honour, and Ned was nothing if not that. He was often the voice of reason in the story and one of the most merciful and sensible, and so I easily related to him. I hated that he had to die, but what I hated the most was that they tried to take his honour by doing so. After him, Daenerys was my next favourite. Her story line was always a welcome respite from what was going on in Westeros. I quickly grew to hate Viserys, and his death was highly anticipated, let's be honest. As for Khal Drogo, I grew to love him just as Dany did, and I found his death quite unexpected and a little too convenient, but oh well. I love that Daenerys hatched the dragons, although I think everyone saw that coming. As for Jon Snow, I enjoyed his story line as well, although his arrogance occasionally annoyed me. But I think he successfully got over that in this book. A+ character development on his part. I liked Tyrion a little too much, actually. At first, I expected to hate the man, but quickly grew to appreciate his wit and intelligence. The amount of people that judge him just based on his looks annoyed me, but he outwitted most of them anyway. I'm curious to find out who actually sent the man to kill Bran, though.

Speaking of Bran, I actually really didn't like his story line  I found it dull, boring, and pretty much pointless. I would have much rather read the point of view of Robb rather than him, but hopefully his story line will get better in the later books? Arya's chapters were a little more interesting. I like her rebellious attitude a lot more than Sansa's vain one, and it's always good to see a woman learning the way of the sword in these types of books, even if Syrio Forel's death made me cry like a baby. I just couldn't stand Sansa in this book. Her childish, petty admiration for Joffrey (when he was so obviously disgusting) made my skin crawl. Also, family is a very important thing to me, so when Sansa defended Joffrey over Arya, it made me hate her even more. However, the relationship between her and Sandor Clegane is definitely interesting, and I wonder where it will lead. Last is Catelyn's story line, which was so-so for me. I didn't love her, but I didn't hate her either. She is obviously a strong character, which I like. (I hated her sister Lysa, however).

I saw some of the plot twists coming, but not others, which is always a good thing. All the characters are pretty well developed, with distinct, unique personalities, even if it can be hard to keep the names straight. Some characters I loved, while others I hated. It was realistic in the way that the 'good' characters didn't always win out over the 'bad' characters, even if I wished they would. I also like how many of the characters are neither totally good, nor totally evil. They're more often shades of grey, which keeps things realistic as well, even if at times I don't want to see the good side of a character I dislike.

Overall, A Game of Thrones kept me entertained and on the edge of my seat most of the time. It was a good first book, and as you all know, I liked it enough to continue the series.

Favourite Quotes

"Winter is coming" - The Stark words, of course I had to include them.

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” - Cersei Lannister

“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.” - Eddard Stark

“Bran thought about it. 'Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?'
'That is the only time a man can be brave,' his father told him.” - Bran & Eddard

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Monday, 13 May 2013

Bout Of Books : Day 1


Hello everyone,

So far, things are going well. I managed to spend most of my free time today reading, so that's an accomplishment! I started the day on page 670 of A Storm Of Swords by George R. R. Martin and I'm now on page 946. That makes a total of 276 pages read today, and about 182 pages to go! Considering the relatively small size of the font, I'm pleased with what I accomplished.

I will save most of my thoughts for my review of this book, but I can say that I am really liking it! I think it's safe to say that it's my favourite of the series so far, which I hear is the popular opinion out there, and I can understand why. The last 400 pages have definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, and I am loving the character development for many of the characters in this book! There's definitely some major plot twists in this one - some good, some not so good. My plan is to finish it tomorrow, then begin The Catcher In The Rye.

On the topic of reviews, since I've just started this blog, I know I haven't posted reviews for the first two books in the Song Of Ice And Fire series. Personally, I do not want to start with just the third one, so I've decided to do reviews for all three and post them this week. I will post a review for A Game Of Thrones tomorrow, A Clash Of Kings on Wednesday, and, if I've finished it, then the review for A Storm of Swords will be up on Thursday. A review for The Great Gatsby is also on it's way, and should be posted sometime between now and the end of next week.

Speaking of The Great Gatsby, has anyone seen the movie? I haven't seen it yet, but I'll probably be seeing it within the next few weeks. In fact, I might just combine it into a book and movie review. We'll see what happens.

To everyone participating in Bout Of Books, good luck and happy reading!

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Bout of Books Week-Long Read-a-thon

Hello everyone,

In order to celebrate the beginning of my blogging journey, I have decided to participate in the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon this year! If you don't know what Bout of Books is, here's some information: The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.

What will I be reading this week?

To start off, I will be finishing A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. I have been reading it for quite a while now, and I am just barely keeping up with the new season 3 episodes. I am about 650 pages in, so I'd really like to finish it this week! If I can accomplish that, then I will move on to The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger. I borrowed it from a friend a little while ago and personally, I don't like keeping other people's books for too long, so I'd like to finish it. If, by some miracle, I manage to finish both of them, I'll move on to Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, which I bought on sale about a month ago.

So that's what I'll be doing this week! Although I am busy during the day every day this week, I am sure I can find extra time at night to read. If anyone else wants to participate in the Bout of Books, just visit their blog here in order to find out more information. Good luck everyone!

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

An Old Review - I Am Number Four

Hello everyone,

I was looking through my read shelf on Goodreads and I noticed that I had written a review for the book I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore a long time ago. I had totally forgotten about writing it, but since it was my first (and only, so far) review for a book, I figured I would post it here just to get things started. I read it back in December, 2012, and I think I rated it 2 out of 5 stars. I have seen the movie since writing this review, but it didn't change my opinion of the book at all. I didn't particularly care for the movie either. Anyways, here we go.

"Very disappointed.

I Am Number Four promised to be a very interesting and entertaining book. I have not seen the movie, but I have heard multiple good reviews about the book. When I saw it in the bookstore, I didn't hesitate to pick it up. From reading the summary on the back, I was impressed, and expected a fast-paced, action-packed novel.

Instead, it turned out to be very slow going. The writing was very boring, unimaginative, and dull. I had to force myself to continue reading, waiting for it to pick up and maybe prove that it was as good as everyone seemed to think it was. The second half of the book did pick up a little, but still, it didn't improve much.

For me, John was a very hard character to like. He acted far too young for his age, and seemed at times to be very ignorant. Often times, he would point out strange things that he noticed, but does nothing about him. For example, when he went on the hayride with Sarah. He often mentions that they need to keep a lookout for strange occurrences, yet he doesn't notice anything strange about his dog at all.

He continues to stress the fact that he needs to keep a low profile, yet does nothing of the sort. He refuses to listen to Henri, and insists on staying in Paradise because of a girl, often acting like a spoiled little brat while doing so. He talks a lot about his native planet, Lorien, yet doesn't seem to have any true attachment to it. For a teenager far from home, constantly running from his enemies, he doesn't appear to have much anger or hatred towards them at all until the end of the book.

The love story between John and Sarah was very cliche, seeming forced and unrealistic at the best of times. Sarah often comes off as a silly pretty girl without much dimension. We don't learn much about her, other than she has blonde hair, likes photography and animals, and she used to date Mark.

Sam's character was a bit more realistic. Although believing that aliens abducted his father seems a bit naive, it is understandable. However, it is never explained how (spoiler alert) he can just leave his mother at the end of the book to go off with John and Six. (end spoiler)

Henri was at least likable and somewhat sensible, although he let John have his way far too often. (spoilers) Six was probably the most interesting character in the whole book. She was intelligent and mysterious, and had useful legacies like controlling the elements. (end spoilers)

All in all, the book was alright. It was boring, but it got a bit better near the end. I was disappointed, because it had sounded like such a good book. Maybe it's just not for me. I might go watch the movie, because I think I may like it more that way, but I don't think I will be continuing this series."

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel

Just A Little Introduction...

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog, Beloved Books.

My name is Emily Noel, and this will be my first time keeping a blog. As you've probably already guessed, it will be a book blog. I've always loved reading and was recently inspired to make a blog. Most of my posts on here will be book reviews, updates on what I'm reading, and other book related things. I can't guarantee how often I will update, but I am trying to aim for once a week. I read quite a lot, however real life often gets in the way and sometimes I can't read as much as I like. I will try to keep this updated at least with what I'm reading, and will have reviews up of the books I read as fast as I can. Or if any of you are interested, you can keep up to date with what I'm reading on my Goodreads acount at .

Currently I'm making my way slowly through A Storm Of Swords by George R. R. Martin. Just so you know a little bit about what I like to read, I read a lot of fantasy and young adult fiction. I'm also trying to read more classics. I love Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, the Divergent trilogy, anything by Cassandra Clare, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Hunger Games trilogy, The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and a lot more. I'll probably do reviews talking about my favourites and why I love them soon. Anyways, thanks for reading, feel free to leave comments, and hopefully we'll be seeing one another again soon.

Goodbye for now,
Emily Noel