Top 5 Crime Novels

First can I apologise for our weird activity last week, it was a busy week for us but we’re back and ready to roll. This week we decided to pick our top five Crime novels because I don’t know about Ellie but its one of my favourite genres.

  1. ‘I let you go’ by Clare Mackintosh -Honestly I can never stop singing praises for Clare Mackintosh’s books. I adored I Let You Go and I See You was just as good! Both were packed with thriller vibes and I loved their plots. Both of her current novels are fantastic standalones and it’s no surprise that they’re my first thought when I think of my favourite crime novels.
  2. Clive Cussler novels – Cussler has been my guilty pleasure for as long as I can remember. It’s definitely not the sort of thing that people would expect me to read but I can’t get enough of the Oregon crew series and the others are quite good too!
  3. ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn – How could this not make it to the list? I mean this book was all kinds of messed up (in a good way) but I didn’t suspect any of it which what makes it such a great crime novel.
  4. Rizzoli and Isles series by Tess Gerritsen – Basically any one of the books from her Rizzoli and Isles series. They’re great and it’s got to be one of my favourite crime series, Tess Gerritsen is such a great writer. There’s actually a tv series called ‘Rizzoli and Isles’ based from her books.
  5. Bones series by Kathy Reichs  – Once again this isn’t a specific book but her whole series based around Temperance Brennan and once again there is also a tv show called ‘Bones’ based around these books. If you haven’t heard of them or you’ve watched the show but haven’t read the books I’d definitely recommend you do so!

Top 5 Super Powers

It’s Monday again, I think everyone has a love/hate relationship with this day – personally our plus side of it is doing our top 5. It’s one of my favourite posts we do. This week we decided to do top five superpowers, mainly because I’ve just finished reading ‘Starcrossed’ and there are quite a lot of powers and abilities in the book so we thought it would be cool to pick our personal favourites. We’d love to hear some of yours too, so comment down below what power you’d have if you could have any.

  1. Flying – Wouldn’t you just love to be able to fly anywhere you want? There would be no stopping you. I’ve always liked the idea of just being able to fly away from all your problems and visit somewhere new. Could you imagine just flying over to Italy or France for some dinner? This is literally the best power ever in my opinion.
  2. Water Manipulation – There’s a lot that comes under this heading and maybe I just miss the good old H20 days, but water manipulation has always been my favourite super power, for as long as I can remember. I always loved the idea of manipulating water, whether it was just to make giant bubbles or for splashing around in like an idiot. If I could have any ability, it would have to be this one.
  3. Clairvoyance – If you’d be allowed to use your powers for personal gain, this would definitely be the power to have. You could do so much with it. The best being able to predict the lottery numbers.
  4. Chronokinesis – I’m one of these people that always feel like time is slipping away, and I always worry that time is passing me by to quickly. I think it’s because of this that I would love to be able to have some sort of control over time, whether that would be to slow time down and cherish the moment or just something else. I think this is a power everyone would love to have after thinking about the possibilities with it.
  5. Invisibility – Yes, we’re suckers for the traditional. But who doesn’t love a bit of invisibility. This is one of the most popular super abilities used in modern literature, but also one of the most underused, as far as I’m concerned anyway! Harry had the invisibility cloak for how long and never once did he use it for a fun prank (not even on Umbridge)! How fun would that have been? Then there’s all of the battles that could have been made much easier with a bit of invisibility goodness. I just really love this super power, okay?

Top 5 Best Friends

In the UK it’s the Easter holidays at the minute. That means 2 weeks of freedom where we can do whatever the hell we want! Read a lot in my case. But when we’re not doing that or eating chocolate or spending precious time with our families then the best thing to do during holidays is to catch up with their friends. Or, for those of you at uni, bug them continuously with messages until you see each other again. That’s why this week is our top 5 best friends.

  • George’s and Lennie from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – While we read a lot of popular literature, we like to delve into classics now and then, which is why we had just had to mention these two. There friendship is so special as is shown throughout the book. There are times when they work together and there’s times when George loses his temper with Lennie, but we know deep down he loves him. In fact, he makes an ultimate sacrifice for him – what more could a friend ask for?!
  • Max and Liesel from The Book Thief by  Markus Zusak – I’m struggling what to say for this pairing, mainly because there’s so much I love about them it’s hard to pinpoint it. They are definitely one my favourite friendships.
  • Rose and Lissa from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – Although the film was a let down, I actually adored the books for Vampire Academy. I feel like their relationship wasn’t represented as well in the film as it was in the books, so if you haven’t read them then go snatch up the first one now, but Lissa and Rose are such good friends. They’d do literally anything for each other and I think that’s one of the best things that Mead show in her series. That despite everything they go through, they’re always there for each other.
  • Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino from the The Dirk Pitt Adventures by Clive Cussler – I admit it. I’m a huge Clive Cussler fan, which many would not expect of someone like me. However with dashing heroes like Al and Dirk, it’s no surprise as to why I’m so invested in these novels. Not only do these two constantly have each others back, regardless of the situation their adventures catapult them into, but they’re also an incredibly funny pair, who’s jokes always make light of a terrible situation. I just adore them and to have a friendship like this would be something else.
  • Famous Five from The Famous Five by Enid Blyton – The Famous Five! How are there people who haven’t heard of these five friends? Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog defined friendship for me. They worked hard together to solve cases that even the adults couldn’t solve and it was because of their determination and their trust in one and another that they were able to do it. Usually it’s hard to create characters so different and yet have them all as main characters, and best friends at that, but Blyton did it so well.

Top 5 Mainstream Fantasy Novels

There are a lot of things that we can’t help but love and after the death of a loved one (RIP Alan Rickman)  we decided to dedicate this week to our favourite mainstream fantasy novels. Perhaps we should have done our favourite villains-turned-good guys or misunderstood villains but we doubt anyone could relate to our hero – Snape.

  1. First up is the Harry Potter Series, obviously – The Harry Potter series follows a young male – Harry Potter – who finds out he is a wizard. The books then follows his adventures throughout his years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the problems that he gets into during his time there. Like any good book, the Harry Potter series is filled with amazing characters, who undergo serious character developments, and just the right amount of action and adventure!
  2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy – In today’s culture what could be considered more of a fantasy than Lord of the Rings? With Dragons, Elves, Humans, Magicians and more this is truly one of the most fantasy-filled novels that his hit the big league. Although the writing is a bit slow and overly-descriptive, in my opinion, Lord of the rings has one of the most amazing worlds created! The plot is great and the characters are so loveable! 
  3. Eragon – Eragon was one of the first fantasy novels that I devoured and it was so good! To this date it’s the first book I go to when I want to read a good fantasy. The film was a bit of a let down but the books are just stunning. Dragons and magic is always a promising combination! Eragon follows the story of a poor farm-boy called Eragon, who finds a dragon egg. After it hatches Eragon is left to raise the young dragon and the duty that she holds.
  4. The Chronicles of Narnia – Like most fantasy novels, Narnia is set in a fictional world – the world being Narnia. This world is full of magic and talking animals/mythical beasts. The series follow several children, all from the real world, being magically transported to this fictional world. Although many would think the series are created for children, it is something that you can enjoy at any age.
  5. Percy Jackson & the Olympians – The final mainstream fantasy that we can’t help but love is the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. This series follows the adventures of a young demigod (half mortal, half Greek god) named Percy Jackson and his friends as they attempt to battle the dark sides of Greek Mythology that live in secret in the modern world we know today. The writing is simple to read but the plot is so exciting. It’s impossible not to love the world Riordan has created, especially when he like Rowling managed to inject it so well alongside our own. 

First, I have to you our most sincere apologies for not being active over Christmas. Things got on top of us and it was hard for us to find time to maintain the blog – but we’re back now and there’s no getting rid of us!

This week for our top five of the week, we’ve decided to do our top five favourite group in books. So in no particular order, here are our choices:

  1. Dumbledore’s Army – Harry Potter Series

A lot of people wont need us to explain why this group is one of our favourites, but for those who haven’t read the books or just don’t understand why they made it to our top five we’ll try to explain their appeal.
I love how loyal the group is not only to Dumbledore and Harry, but just to each other. Hogwarts is their second home, and they are each other’s second family. They show great bravery to go into battle at their age, a lot of them could have run off and hidden like a lot of people did but they chose to stand and fight. When people tried to give Harry up they didn’t stand by and let it happen – they protected him. A lot of them actually gave their lives not just for Harry but for each other, to ensure they wouldn’t have to live in fear under Voldemort’s ruling.

     2.    Ares 3 Crew – The Martian

There’s just something about the Ares crew that really touches me. The entire novel itself focuses on humanity and what it is to be human. It explores the natural human reaction to certain situations but the Ares 3 Crew was something else entirely. Even in the first few chapters, I could see how close they were and as the novel developed, I was amazed by how close they still remained. I don’t want to ruin the book but throughout the novel you can see how guilty they feel for leaving Mark behind, even if they do torture him with 70’s TV shows and disco music. This is definitely one of my favourite groups in novels.

3.   The Golden Gang – The Hunger Games Trilogy

Everyone knows that the Hunger Games is an incredibly popular book and for us it holds some of the best groups. We’re talking about, of course, the arrangement existing between Peeta, Katniss and Finnick. Even though Katniss was totally against it, Haymitch knows what’s best for her and forms the best group to protect her during the 75th Hunger Games. But we can’t possibly discuss our favourite group without giving a mention to Rue and Katniss. Nothing was sweeter than the pairing between those two. The way it just worked together was just beautiful, regardless of their age difference, and you’d be lying if you said your eyes didn’t tear up at Rue’s passing. The Hunger Games is filled with our favourite teams, not only limited to these three but also involving the filming crew from the last book and our council in district 13.

4. The Gladers – The Maze Runner Series

 It’s hard to pick who is the bravest out of all the groups, but these are definitely strong contenders. I mean, I don’t know about you but I couldn’t just carry on with everyday life, building things and doing chores when I know there’s some kind of monster right on my doorstep. Another thing I loved was there determination, they all worked so hard together to build a civilisation to survive. Must I even go on to mention how they went into the maze each day, knowing they were risking their life, to try and find a way out for everyone.

5. The Sky People – The 100 Trilogy

Now out of all the groups we picked this has to be the most complicated group of all. They aren’t known for being loving and always getting on, I mean there are plenty of arguments and fights, but this doesn’t stop them being a family in their own weird way. They come together to fight and protect their camp against the grounders, without each other they probably would have lasted for as long as they have. It begins off with a rocky start, but eventually they make it work.

 

Woah! Is this already our last top 5 of December? Actually, no, I think we get one more before we have to change this pretty graphic, which is great because we have two final top 5’s to do before the end of this year! Have you guessed what it is already? No? Today’s top 5 is going to be the top 5 new book releases of 2015 and there’s a lot of them. So many good books were released this year and it was so hard to think of just 5 to do, in fact Paige and I were finding it so hard that we decided to split this. So I’ll be doing the top 5 released books and, because we had a couple of cross overs, next week Paige will be doing her top 5 released films! Sound good? So, without further ado, here are my favourites. Unfortunately these will be limited to what I’ve read. If there are any other books you’d suggest reading that I’ve not mentioned then let me know!

  1. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray – I honestly can’t sing more praises about this book! It just one of the nicest paranormal/mystery reads that I’ve read in a long time and it might just be my favourite book of the year! The only problem is that it is the second book of the series, but don’t let that stop you! Both of these books are amazing, as far as I’m concerned, and Libba’s writing is just beautiful!
  2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas – Remember that photogenic book? The one I took a ton of photos of? Remember how much I raved about it? Did you honestly expect it not to be on this list? I thought that A Court of Thorns and Roses really was a good book! The plot was awesome, the writing was beautiful and even now I can still remember the plot, which proves how well it stayed with me. For a YA novel, it manages to be different and if that’s not a reason to give it a shot then I don’t know what is.
  3. A Work in Progress by Connor Franta – Yet another gorgeous book that I cannot. Stop. Talking. About. Anyone, literally anyone at all that is interested in art and design should take a look at Connor’s autobiography because this book is literally a work in art itself. The way the photos are arranged and the creative pages, where he has literally screwed common protocol to chase his own inspiration, just make this book so much beautiful than anything else out there. Similar to Sally Nicholls ‘Ways to Live Forever’, this book is just photographic goodness and I swear to you that this one was designed to be in front of a camera lens. If you’re searching for a bit of creativity and inspiration then look no further, this is the book for you.
  4. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – For some reason, this one always gets grouped with A Court of Thorns and Roses. Maybe it was because they were both released at similar times or because they both focus on the YA, fantasy genre. Either way, they’re both getting grouped together again now because they both deserve to be on this list. Just as with ACOTAR, Red Queen is new to the YA market but still manages to be utterly different! There’s unfortunately parts of the genre that you can’t avoid (*cough* love triangles *cough*) but it was actually a thoroughly enjoyable book and the concept of the plot is simply amazing. I can’t wait for the next novel, so as to see where to go next.
  5. Are You Still There? by Sarah Lynn Scheerger – Now we come to the last book and it took me a few moments to toss up between the Night Vale novel and this book. Night Vale was definitely different and brought something else to our shelves that I’ve never experienced before, but Are You Still There just managed to steal the prize. I really enjoyed this book. It’s hard to find books that grip you the moment you turn the first few pages, but this book manages to do that. And it does it so well. I was hooked within minutes and still trapped hours later as I turned the last few pages. If you like mysteries, you should definitely give this one a try and revive the Nancy Drew inside you!

And that’s it! My last top 5 of 2015. I’ll be sad to see this year go but I’m so excited to see what the next year will bring! Don’t forget to stick around to see Paige’s top 5 films next week and if you have any recommendations for me that haven’t been featured on this list then please hit me up with a comment! I’d love to hear your best reads of this year~

Top 5 Christmas Films

For this week, we’ve decided to do our top five favourite Christmas films. This is for those of you who don’t have the time to read or just simply couldn’t find a Christmas book they liked. Here is something else to get you into that festive spirit.

  1. Scrooge  (1970) – A musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel about an old bitter miser taken on a journey of self – redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.
  2. Elf – After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf ar the North Pole is sent to the U.S in search of his true identity.
  3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas – The reclusive green Grinch decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Who ville. Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday related from the Whos. However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who.
  4. Christmas With The Kranks – With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.
  5. It’s A wonderful Life – After George Bailey wishes he had never been born, an angel is sent to earth to make George’s wish come true. George starts to realise how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there.