The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Book Review

An emotional roller coaster that has changed my perspective on life.

Summary Courtesy of Amazon: 

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

I asked to borrow this book of my brother’s other half (and friend :)) Louise when I saw her talking about it on Facebook. Just days later I was presented with a signed hardback copy of this book with a smile. I didn’t know anything about it, I am not even sure I read the back of the book fully before I started it but this book gripped me and made me think about life in a way I never have before.

Yes I knew the books protagonist, Hazel, had terminal cancer but this book is more than cancer, more than an illness but something I can really relate to – a book. The Imperial Affliction. The book that finished halfway through a

I knew that a book on this topic would include a lot of emotions, but it wasn’t the ones I expected. I fell in love with Hazel and Gus and their travels to find out answers about this book. I laughed, and I cried… a lot! But when it finished, in a twist I didn’t even think of, I was not sad. It made me stop and think. I was happy that the characters could now be happy.

It is one of those books that I cannot talk about fully in a review, because I want you all to beg, borrow and purchase this book yourselves and experience it. John Green, I am now convinced, is a fantastic writer and you don’t read his words off a page, you experience them.

I finished this book in record time, even though at one point as I sobbed in my puzzled boyfriend’s arms that it was too sad to finish. But I am so glad I read this book. As I have seen in other reviews even writing about this book is sad, I am tearing up thinking about different sections. But I still urge you to read this book to find out why.

Ironically just a day after I finished this book I travelled to Amsterdam, and lets just say I couldn’t travel to Anne Frank’s house for fear of bursting into tears on the top floor!

This is not normally a book I would read, I like fantasy, demons, vampires and werewolves. But I enjoyed it just as much because the style was so effortless and the narrative to emotion packed. Because of this I will score it among some of my favourite books as being:

9/10 (lost 1 mark because I am still crying!)

I want to know, in the comments below what you thought of this book. Please tell me other people cried! What should be my next read from John Green?

Thank you all for reading,

Love Rie x


The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong – Review

Hi all.

As the title suggests, this is a review for The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. I have been wanting to read the Darkest Powers trilogy for a while now, and after downloading the first chapter onto my Kindle and giving it a quick read, I made the investment to my sanity by downloading all three at once. I know how difficult it can be to wait for new books to be released in a series so I thought I would just bite the bullet and buy them all, and I am so glad I did!

(I have done something a bit different here, by including a summary of the book so you can know what I am talking about. Let me know if you like this, or if I should stick to just my review.)

Summary courtesy of Amazon:

“The first book in the Darkest Powers trilogy – a brand new series by bestselling author Kelley Armstrong. All Chloe Saunders wants is a life like any normal teenager – the chance to get through school, make friends, and maybe meet a boy. But when she starts seeing ghosts, she knows that life will never be normal again. Soon ghosts are everywhere, demanding her attention. When Chloe finally breaks down, she’s admitted to a group home for disturbed kids. At first Lyle House seems okay, but as she gets to know the other patients – charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek; obnoxious Tori; and Rae, who has a ‘thing’ for fire – Chloe begins to realise that something strange and sinister binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual ‘problem kid’ behaviour. And they’re about to discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home, either …”

So what did I think of it?: It was good!

With a much younger protagonist than the books of the Women of the Otherworld series, I had my reservations if I would enjoy it as much. But they were defiantly not founded. Armstrong has a talent for creating well rounded characters, and this was no exception. It encapsulates a confused teenage mind in such a well articulated way it was a pleasure to read. 

At times I did find myself guessing what made each character unique within the book, and 99% of the time my guesses were correct. Without giving too much away, Armstrong is a fantasy writer and she doesn’t fail to provide that familiar supernatural flair.

This book really does get better towards the middle, the first half can be a little tedious with Chloe, the protagonist, explaining her predicament and her surroundings. Yet as I always, after a few too many late nights thanks to not being able to prise my Kindle from my hands, the book came to a gob-smacking conclusion. 

I want to be able to say I saw it coming, and it was predictable, but to be honest it was a really nice surprise ending. 

I am gagging to get reading the next book, The Awakening but with other reading commitments and a mountain of university work I am saving it for a treat. But one I will be tempted to start everyday!


Thanks for reading,

Rie xx

The Sims Medieval – Review

Hi All 🙂

I present to you a review from my inner computer nerd. 

I have been relying on The Sims 2 for my escapism since its release back in 2004, due to a computer that wasn’t up to anything more. It was only thanks to the boyfriend that it could run it at all with many hand-me-down parts from his old computers. But as a little present for finishing my second year of uni (and the fact he was upgrading) I was gifted the boyfriends old PC. After my little Shuttle this computer is AMAZING! And best of all I could indulge in a more recent release of Sims!

Many people may upgrade simply to Sims 3. I’m sure if you search elsewhere you will find many positive reviews on the upgraded platform – but it was just that. An upgrade. I wanted something more….

The Sims Medieval!

I am a seasoned computer nerd. Hours playing God on my created families suits me down to the ground! But now I have been upgraded to The Watcher. However my many years of experience did not help me when it came to the historical version. I decided to get the Collectors edition of the game, which came with a lot of tat such as a poster and plastic badges, as well as some exclusive content you can download that I haven’t yet had chance to look at. 

At first I was amazed at the drama of it all. The simple introduction video (that many players I am sure fail to watch it even once in haste to play the game) enthralled me. But the game play experience is more challenging than I could ever have imagined.

The game is centred on a series of Hero Sims, and rather than controlling them into your own destiny, you are directed through quests to actualize kingdom goals. Don’t confuse it with SimCity (my only purchase being the 4th edition), it is more like the consol versions of the franchise, in the sense you don’t have the same autonomy on game play. But its soooooo much better!!

The way you can change the Sims appearance is intimidating rather than inspiring. I found myself just choosing a pre-created Hero Sims after my first, as the customization takes so long. I wanted to launch into the quests, where you control 1 or more of the Hero Sims through a series of goals to complete the quest. It is a lot more challenging than you may expect. I found myself using Google a lot more than I wanted to, and I would like to think most people who have a normal length of patience will find themselves doing the same.

The system of ‘buffs’ which are achievements feeling or emotions that effect focus are a lot more satisfying than the aspirations for Sims 2, and the quest points achieved that pay for the expansion of the Kingdom are challenging but a real achievement. Hours fly by like never before, with the reading effect of wanting to finishing the chapter before you put the book down.

My favourite Sims so far by a mile, but possibly not for the under 15’s. More challenging then if first looks it provides hours of entertainment for those willing to stick at it. The achievements are worth the wait, and even after 2 days of solid playing I haven’t go past the first level (a kingdom goal).

4.5/5 (the 0.5 lost for the stress of not being able to find items in the Bric-a-Brac scavenger hunt quest!!)

Thanks for reading,

Love Rie xx

Avatar 3D (2009)

Director: James Cameron
Studio: Dune Entertainment, Giant Studios, Ingenious Film Partners, Lightstorm Entertainment.
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Corporation
Certificate: 12A
Run Time: 162 mins
Rating: 9/10

The must-see movie of 2009 still has a buzz 4 months after its release. The box office breaker, Avatar has well and truly secured its place in movie history.

Titanic’s director James Cameron has created a masterpiece in 3D that has helped millions of people around the world to escape from the mundane world. The planet of Pandora really does open up a magical box of colours in a never seen before 3D triumph.

The half-human half Na’vi creatures are stunningly beautiful in an alien kind of way, there iridescent blue skins providing a spectacle in themselves, not being lost within their beautifully and seemingly natural surroundings.

The narrative is also not lost to the special effects, with tales of love, preservation of sacred places and betrayal central in the plot line, and although they are not an innovate tale, I felt seduced by the fantasy of it all.

The hefty run time however did prove a little difficult, with attentions of the audience seemingly wandering around the half waypoint. Nonetheless, the battle scene of epic, fantastical value soon pulled viewers attentions back into the dream world.

The sense of community, love for each other and their environment displayed by the Na’vi tribe was truly moving and completely tangible with the 3D glasses allowing the audience to feel inside Cameron’s vision, and share the protagonist’s emotions at every stage.

Where as I was completely seduced by the world created, my partner felt disenchanted by the sight of me in truly ridiculous black framed sunglasses. Although a lot more sophisticated than the cardboard frames that have been provided at 3D screenings in the past, , they are not going to be the next big fashion accessory. On the other hand they did fit over my own frames easily and were comfortable so they are a lot more practical!

As a side note there has also been some cool merchandise launched in the way of interactive toys. It is a must-have purchase for any Avatar fan, the dragon figures being the most amazing. When an iTag is scanned via webcam on the Mattel website (which is provided with the toy) the character comes to life on screen in the background of you hand. I cannot explain the nerdy exhilaration you get from being admitted into Pandora’s universe. Two or more figures can even interact when scanned together. Happy Playing J

Overall, I give Avatar a 9/10. I am not ashamed to admit that I will be first in line to purchase it on DVD, and I am eagerly awaiting the rumoured sequel.

Rie xxxx