Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro

So Howard Shapiro messaged me on Instagram and asked me to read his graphic novel which was really nice of him. Before I get into my review I just want to say thank you to Howard, he's a really nice person and I am so grateful for the opportunity to read his novel. Unfortunately for me it wasn't some of the best work I have read but it was definitely enjoyable. I'd probably recommend this to my younger readers and to start from the first novel in the Forever Friends series. It's a really fun read and goes by super fast; I'd rate it overall 3 out of 5 stars. The whole review is honest, even though Howard asked me to review it for free this in no way changes my opinion. Also the review will be as spoiler free as possible so you can read the first one without being spoiled about the ending.

Review

Good reads description:

The highly anticipated sequel to the award winning “The Hockey Saint” taking place ten years after “Saint” ends. The legendary Jeremiah “Jake” Jacobson, now thirty two, has been the world’s best hockey player over his fourteen year career because of his out of this world talent level and his smart play. But he can’t stay on top forever, and when he starts making mistakes on the ice, his career and family life start to crumble.

At the same time, Tom Leonard, his agent and best friend, is completely overwhelmed by a project that he and Jake were supposed to be working on together. A project that could have a huge impact on people throughout their city in need of a helping hand. As Jake sinks deeper into a funk over his lost status due to his deteriorating play and the emergence of teammate and rookie phenom Barclay Pedersen, Tom realizes he’s on his own. At the same time he rediscovers someone from his past who he never thought he’d see again. In that burgeoning relationship, Tom discovers the importance of taking chances and starts to believe in himself.

Can Jake break out of his downward spiral and Tom finally find the courage to step out of Jake’s shadow?


My thoughts:

There are so many different issues/topics that are covered in this graphic novel and I think that is possibly one of the greatest things about Hockey Karma. I obviously haven't read the first two novels which I think is why I didn't enjoy it as much as other people. There are different characters who are perfectly drawn and make the story that little bit more unique.

If your looking for a diverse book I would definitely recommend this one, you get equality/ diversity in a sport, some drug addiction and generally making your life better when you've done something that's not acceptable in society. At some points in the graphic novel the characters do lose some of their character and become a little flavourless but Howard pulls it back quickly.

The art work in this graphic novel is outstanding, it kind of reminded me of Noelle Stevenson's work. It's beautiful on screen and I guarantee from the images I've seen it's just as beautiful in physical edition.

I know this review is super short but honestly I don't want to spoil it for anyone. If you are interested in purchasing this novel it's out now, it was released 1st November of this year. Again I just want to thank Howard for letting me review his novel. Below I will add the information that's on his Goodreads account so you can get to know him that little bit more.

Hockey Karma

Info:

I live in Pittsburgh, PA with my wife and two sons. I am the Controller for the Pittsburgh-based Visual Effects firm, Animal Inc., and I have written four children’s books and "The Stereotypical Freaks" will be my debut Graphic Novel.

My 2008 book, "Hockey Player for Life", has been the #1 downloaded children’s hockey e-book on Amazon’s Kindle chart since its arrival as an e-book in November of 2011.

My "Hockey Days" book was the only book featured in the December 2007 Sporting News Annual Gift Guide as a Best Buy Gift for Children. Through a corporate
sponsorship program I set up (and maintain), since the 2010-11 season, both of my children’s hockey books have been given to NHL teams (over 2,500 copies to date) for use in their community and educational initiatives.

Since 2006 my annual charity raffle, which he matches dollar for dollar donated, has raised funds for several hockey-related charities including the Mario Lemieux Foundation, Hockey Fights Cancer and the Keith and Lisa Primeau Scholarship Fund.





Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Giveaway and random discussion about life

First of all I just want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who has stuck by me in these last few years I absolutely love my blog and what it has become. I have been slacking at this point because my reading has slowed down massively so thank you for staying with me. I am on the way up to writing plenty of reviews. So lets get onto the reason why I'm typing today. If you are here to enter the giveaway the little box will be at the end of this post. I want to wish everyone luck.

Life

As you know I am expecting my first child and it's starting to get hard. I'm worried about money mostly and it doesn't help that this government/ world penalises you for working your ass off. I currently work 2 jobs which means in this amazing world I have to pay nearly double the Tax, I think it's absolutely disgusting. I do honestly want to scream in the face of all the Tax men and say stop taking my money! All I'm trying to do is survive. It's idiotic, I honestly want give up at this point but I know I can't do that because a little boy is now counting on me.

I would love to find a way where the government would actually help us, there are so many rules it's ridiculous. You can't claim if your under 25 and have no children, if you work just over 16 hours. They come out with all this "oh we want to help young people" yeah right, only on your terms. I only need a little bit of help but it looks like I'm not going to get it. So life is hard in this day and age, I have no idea how people in the past survived but as the death toll shows they didn't.

I appreciate that there are a lot of people in the UK but if I'm totally honest you are better off not working if you don't have a £20,000 per annum salary. It's all getting a bit ridiculous, I think people who work should be rewarded not the other way round, people who don't work need help getting back into work and money in the mean time. I'm stuck in a rut and I would truly appreciate it if you guys would give me your opinion, am I just being a moody cow?

I know a lot of people are going to be like 'your healthy? you have a roof over your head? what are you complaining about?' Well I need help to get by when my baby comes because it's expensive. I love the fact that I'm having a little boy, he already means the world to me. I pay tax's and NI I should be entitled to help from the government! I guess I'll have to find another job or sell every valuable item I own. If you have a different opinion feel free to express it to me.

New Video

Also I uploaded another video to +Air, Fire, Water and the Stones which you can check out here. Its all about my top 5 favourite books of this year so far!  

Giveaway

So the giveaway is open from today 15/11/2016 to 16/12/2016. There are many ways to enter and as I said above I wish you the best of luck!
Love, Becky.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Little Big News

Well I never in a million years thought I'd be announcing this news, I always doubted myself but it just goes to show things happen unexpectedly. If you don't follow me or +Air, Fire, Water and the Stones on Instagram then you might not know but we've been hiding something from you.
Long story short, Dave and I are having a baby! If you'd like to check the video then the link is here.
We do a short clip where it is announced and then we go into a small discussion.

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Alfie Paul Nicholas Stone.

So we are having a little boy due 20th March 2017 and the name we have decided so far is Alfie Paul Nicholas Stone. I know it's long or whatever but we wanted to honour both our dads names. This is our first child and we as super excited to be on this journey.

Obviously I am super nervous, scared about what's to come. I would love any advice whether I take it or not. Everything so far has been relatively smooth, we have started buying baby clothes and necessities. At this point in time I am 21 weeks.

I've been watching endless amounts of videos, reading things online and talking to other mums. I honestly need all the help I can get. I will carry on blogging throughout the pregnancy and afterward I just wont be as active for obvious reasons. I'm going to be reading a lot more children's books so that I have a huge collection for when my little boy arrives.

If you want me to do anything specific then don't be afraid to ask I don't want this blog to all of a sudden become really mumsie. I know I'm becoming a mum but my blog is primarily about books and it will stay that way.

I hope you join us on this epic journey, we are doing a Monster Calls book review tomorrow so please check it out.
Love, Becky.  



Tuesday, 1 November 2016

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The first time I read this book I didn't have chance to write a review as life was just so busy. Thank goodness I got the chance to devour this novel once again. I think I can safely say that this book is for every reader, I may be wrong, if you didn't like it please let me know. But just to wrap up the story without spoiling it for those who haven't read A Monster Calls the novel is all about a young boy facing the truth. He hides behind many factors without facing the truth and that's all the Monster wants. I would 100% hand on my heart rate this novel 5 out of 5 stars. It is so unique and I can't wait to watch the movie now, the trailer looks incredible.

Review (minor spoilers)

So as we go into the novel we find out that Conor's mum isn't very well, she is in fact critically ill but surviving. As time goes on you start to realise that maybe Conor is being told the whole truth when he has to go live with his grandma. There's so much emotion inside of Conor and the Monster definitely brings out his fears and real desires. By the end of the novel he becomes himself, opens up and shows his bravery. The ending is very sad but you feel that Conor will be able to cope with his new life all because he's learned to take control and express himself as the Monster taught him. When Conor tells the truth he lets himself be free to be a child again instead of worrying what the future might bring.

Characters

Conor is fantastic and he shows what it is like to be going through such a hard time with not only his mum but the nasty bullies at school. I almost applauded him when he got a little bit of his own back, it was a little confusing but it soon makes sense. The Monster was so insightful, witty and such a good character. I never thought in a million years that you could connect with him but I did. You start to see all the good and bad he's been through. We don't see much of his mum, dad or grandma but you do see how they fit into his story. How they all have secrets but in the end they do come out, they are really good parental figures to have in a novel like this.

Wrap it up

If you haven't read this book yet then please do it is such a masterpiece, my all time favourite Patrick Ness book so far. It doesn't take long and if you haven't read it in a long time now will be great as the movie is coming out in a few months. Also we have two copies and I really prefer the one with blue and black on the front with the moon shining through. Dave and I read this book within a few days apart and both immensely enjoyed it. We will definitely be doing a review on our channel @airfirewaterandthestones We want to wait for the movie but I think it will be doing it sooner.

My Instagram post: 



I hope you guys enjoyed my post, absolutely loved the novel again second time round. Have a nice day/ evening.
Love, Becky.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Winter Read suggestions

Winter is the perfect time to do the most of your reading but you've also got to think of your other priorities like school or work. Sometimes reading is impossible to fit into your already busy day but I'm here today to give some easy reads/ recommendations that will make you feel accomplished even if you only read one of them. Any accomplishment is better than someone else in the world.

  1. The Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier - This series is incredible and I think the element of time travel makes them perfect for this time of year. The main girl called Gwen learns that she is the chosen time traveller and has so much to learn. There is some romance which I think is perfect for this time of year. I think I rated most of this series a 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton  - This book is more of a transition book between Halloween and through to Christmas/ Winter. It's so magical and a fantastic read, not to mention the beautiful cover. It's a weird mix of who's really in control the dolls or the one behind them? So I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
  3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness - So not only is the movie coming out January 1st 2017, which is not as long as it sounds. Anyway this story is so poetic and is mainly about a boy dealing with the fact his mother is not well. Patrick Ness' writing is outstanding in this novel and I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars.
  4. White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Jennifer has an amazing talent of knowing how to make her books just so easy to read. This whole book is different to her others simply because it has gargoyles. The book will keep you hooked from page 1! I'd definitely rate 5 out of 5 stars.
  5.  The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker - The Witch Hunter is a fantastic book that really gives you that autumnal feeling the whole burning ceremonies, I'm kidding. But this book is definitely the perfect read for those late nights where you want to be cozied up in bed and read for ours on end. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars and it's funny because it was this time last year that I was delving into the novel.
So there you have it my top 5 winter read suggestions, It's exactly the right time to stay in doors with the heating on or the fire roaring reading an engrossing easy book. I would love to hear your suggestions or if you have a specific genre you read around this time of year.
Love, Becky.

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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

This Or That Tag

So I thought you know what I haven't done in a while? A tag post, super easy and quick since my life is super hectic at the moment, I hope you all enjoy. Have a nice day.

The Rules:
  • Mention the creator of the tag.
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you!
  • Choose one of the options, you don’t have to tell the reasons why you chose that but you can also do them if you want to.
  • Tag (10) other people to do this tag to spread the love!


I wasn't tagged by anyone to do this tag but I saw it on Bloglovin by MayaTheBookExplorer and thought it was really interesting to try so lets begin.

1. Reading on the couch or in the bed?

Honestly I mainly read in my bed because it's one of the most quietest place in my house, I normally cuddle up with multiple blankets, pillows, hot water bottle and a cup of tea. However don't get me wrong if I'm in the mood to be near our fire under my blanket I will take over the sofa in seconds. There's something relaxing about being in front of a fire when it's getting dark and you just have nothing to get in your way.

Image result for purple cosy bed tumblr  This picture was from google but I thought it fit the post really well, I mean who doesn't have these thoughts go through their mind on most days.
Image result for bedroom tumblr This room just looks like the most perfect place to read!

2.Sweet Snacks or Salty Snacks?

This most definitely has to be sweet, I am a super sweet tooth and could devour most sweet things whilst reading but most of the time I get super distracted and forget about my snack.

3.Trilogies or Quartets?

Always, Always has to be trilogies, I feel that when it's four books they always try to hard on the last one or go over board and don't wrap up quick enough.

4. First person POV or third person?

I don't like third person most of the time so for this one straight answer is first. It's a lot easier to see yourself in the character that way.

5. Reading at night or in the morning?

I would love to be able to read in the morning but there is no way in hell that I have time in my small window before I get to work. If I did have the time though I would most definitely read in the morning but I read before I go to bed. It sets you up to have some awesome dreams.
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6. Libraries or Bookstore?

This one has it's pros and cons but I would definitely say bookstore. Simply because where I normally shop they are so friendly, tell you about amazing discounts and give you good recommendations.

7. Books that make you laugh or books that make you cry?

I'd have to say books that make you cry simply because they give you more out of a book for me. You can have a good cry about something that doesn't even have to be sad and then something incredible happens later on.

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8. Black book covers or white book covers?

This was quite hard to think about but looking up at my shelves tonight I can see that I buy a LOT of black books which I am SO happy about. They do have this more classy look but I do like white as well so both, ha.

9. Character driven stories or plot driven?

What a stumper, I would say plot driven because even if you have good characters you need a good plot for them to go through.

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Well that's that done for today, I hope you all have a lovely week. If your reading this then I TAG you! I'd love to see your answers so please tag me in them so I can see it. Disclaimer all these images are off google, I have no idea who has created them.
Love, Becky.






Monday, 17 October 2016

A Court Of Thornes And Roses

Thinking about this book makes me like it that little bit less. I did enjoy reading the novel but for some reason I just didn't like how much description was included with everything, it made it a little bit difficult for me. Obviously I got through but it was really hard to keep motivated when the story got slower and the description kept coming. I didn't realise how big the book was and then I looked at the next one, I am definitely waiting as the third book isn't releasing till May 2017! I get that writing a book takes time but if I ever become an author I definitely want to have the whole series/ books written before releasing them so people wont have to wait. At first I thought I was going to rate this book low but it definitely changed my mind when I got towards the last half of the book. So overall I would rate ACOTAR 4 out of 5 stars, there isn't anything to fault for Sarah's book but it was just a little too much for me personally.

Review (no major spoilers)

We start off learning about Feyre, her two sisters and her father. They are a poor family but that wasn't always the case, all down to her father. You can definitely see how much Feyre has taken over since her mothers death and I honestly can't see why the rest of the family didn't pull their weight. Anyway when Feyre is hunting she shoots a big wolf that turns out to be the biggest mistake of her life. Through out the novel we see Feyre growing into a free woman that knows exactly what she wants. There are a lot of twists, turns and near missed with Feyre. It definitely will keep you entertained. This book definitely has a good ending but it doesn't seem to have a continuous ending, I thought this book would be a stand alone.

The main character Feyre is one of the most kick ass characters I have ever read about and I think that Sarah J. Maas is known for making kick ass female characters. Feyre is very adventurous but I also think she could be shy at the same time especially when it comes to men or other new comers in the story. When you meet Tamlin and Lucien you kind of pick a favourite straight away but both their personalities come through. Tamlin is a little shy but you can tell he means business, he definitely resembles the Beast in Beauty And The Beast which I do believe this is VERY loosely based on. Lucien is chilled but there's something beyond him that you need to find out but we don't. All the other characters were developed well and we were introduced to Amarantha who is high Fae. Amarantha is a nasty women that you don't want to be on the wrong side of.
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So all in all the book was good and I definitely can't wait for the next books in the series but like I said above I will be waiting a little while. The characters are the best part along with the relationships they create. I would recommend this book but be prepared to read through plenty of description. It took me around a week to finish the whole book; I was really, really trying to push myself.

So here's the book if you haven't seen it yet which I doubt is likely. I hope you all enjoyed my blogpost, and I'll see you soon for another on Saturday when we're having a party!!
Love, Becky.

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