What I’ve Been Reading At University

For those who don’t know both myself and Eleanor are now in our first year of University, Eleanor is studying Midwifery at the University of West England and I’m studying English Literature at Chester. To be honest it’s been really difficult to read whilst at University thanks to our workload, long hours and reading lists. However being an English student I have been able to read some really interesting and enjoyable books so I’d thought I would share what I’ve read so far!

  1. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – I’d heard a lot about this play before studying it and I was really looking forward to it. I wasn’t expecting it to be so funny!
  2. First Love Last Rites by Ian McEwan – Pre-warning this book is very weird, I mean seriously weird. But after re-reading it, I am beginning to enjoy it and understand it more.
  3. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – This was a hidden treasure on my reading list and I’m glad that I was able to read it. It was a very short story filled with drama and twists…
  4. Hard Times by Charles Dickens – Probably one of my least favourite reads just because it was so complicated and detailed but nevertheless I’m glad that I’m finally being able to read so of Dickens work.
  5. Atonement by Ian McEwan – I loved this book!! It was heartbreakingly beautiful, and if I have to recommend any book on this list it would have to be this one.
  6. Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling – Who would have thought that I would be studying Harry Potter at degree level? Certainly not me! But I’m loving it and it’s even better that my lecturer is a massive fan like me.
  7. Hunger Games by Suzanne Colins – I am meant to be writing an essay of the Hunger Games now but instead, I’m writing this blog post and procrastinating. I love discussing all the different themes and discovering more about the book!

Please let me know if you’ve found this interesting and enjoyable because if so, then I’ll do another post later in the year with an update of the books I’ve read and studied.

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

There are many reason for why I picked up this book but the main is thanks  to BookTube, Tashapolis, in particular who always raves about this book as well as it’s author who may I add is very attractive! *heart eye emoji* I went into this book knowing nothing and if I had to describe it I would say it’s a mix of ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Red Queen’ which are two of my favourite series but at the same time this book had it’s own original and unique aspects!

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.

Everything about this book as so real, you had real suffering from the characters which made your heart explode with emotion, you had real villains who were easy to hate and had me looking forward to seeing them being ousted and outwitted. Each character was different and I found it easy to fall in love with a lot of them. Darrow, it a brilliant protagonist, an inherently good person but someone who knows he has to dirty his hands in order to fight for a greater cause. I became so attached to his character and found it easy to feel his pain and suffering and I look forward to reading more about his character in the next book! Not only did I love Darrow but I also loved all the other characters like Sevro, Mustang, Pax and the banter between all of them was brilliant and made me laugh; all of them were just perfect!

The storyline, was so badass. There were so many great scenes and behind every page was action and adventure as well as thousands of plot twists I wasn’t expecting! Although the plot is very similar to other novels, Brown puts it up a notch and makes this journey a remarkable, refreshing experience. He made such a worn out scenario engaging, breathtaking, and super exciting, putting elements and characters never seen and experienced before. The only downside of this book was that at the beginning there was a lot of world building and complicated names which made it difficult to follow but it wasn’t long till I caught up with everything that was going on.

Overall, I bloody dam loved this book and easily rate this book 5/5 stars as it was such a dramatic and exciting story full of unexpected plot twists and adventure which I highly recommend! I could go on and on about this book but I had to limit myself and I’m super excited to read the next book!


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

Today is the day. The final movie in the Hunger Games Franchise Mockingjay: Part 2 has been released! And what a journey it has been for all of us and I am really upset that it finally come to and end however I’m also really happy that we the fans can finally watch the final movie! Eeek, we are both really excited and will be seeing the tomorrow afternoon, so keep your eyes peeled for a review. Here, on A Fangirls Opinion we have decided to re-read and review the whole series, so if you want to check out our reviews on the Hunger Games and Catching Fire, that would be fab!

To end this series we also decided to include one of our favourite interviews this year with the cast (above)! It will very ‘hard and challenging’ not to laugh at it!

Mockingjay is the final book in the series and sees the revolution unfold. Katniss Everdeen, has survived. District 12 is gone. But District 13 exists. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. There are rebels. There are new leaders. Now Katniss must fight for the ones she loves and for her future.

“Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!”

Mockingjay is certainly a lot darker than the other books and see’s a lot more character deaths some of which I still haven’t gotten over. But at the same time it is still dramatic and powerful.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the fact we were able to see and experience life in different places which we haven’t visited in previous books like District 13 and The Capital. I also loved the fact the Capital was turned into an area which I thought worked really nicely linking the books together but what was nice was that it was completely different to all at the other games we had experienced; they all had their unique flare!

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 76th Hunger Games”

Katniss in this book I thought was great. She was powerful in leading the revolution and protecting the ones she’s loves but at the same time she was softer and more thoughtful which I thought was a really nice contrast to her badass exterior! She’s not a fighter but a survivor. Her relationship with Peeta is really where you see her softer and thoughtful side. She really tries to help him and her determination to save him is beautiful. It was also nice and fulfilling to see her realise finally how much she loves him and how much he loved her!

“You love me. Real or not real?” I tell him, “Real.”

My only negative is that I thought the writing was a bit sloppy at times which made me have to read over certain parts and I felt like at times the book was very rushed. However, I did like the comparisons of the two halves of the book; the beginning was very slow which helped the reader catch up with everything that was going on, then the second half threw you straight back into the action.

The ending, I thought was perfect and was the ending I thought the characters deserved. I have to admit, I was disappointed with the end just because it is now the end. It’s over! The last three pages though made all the heavy, intense, painfulness of the rest of the book almost worth it, in a strange way.

Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars as I thought it was a fabulous end to a fabulous series! If you haven’t yet read this series, again I highly recommend you do as it is equally as amazing as the books!

Have you seen the film yet? If so what did you think? But please no spoilers!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – World Premiere in Berlin


I can’t believe this series is coming to an end, oh it’s like Harry Potter all over again. I love these films and it’s cast is the best cast ever! Tonight saw the beginning of many worldwide premieres, but starting firstly in Berlin for it’s world premiere. Even though it was in German, I did watch the live-stream and if you missed it it can be found here. Anyway, it was really enjoyable to watch the cast not only answer lots of really interesting questions but also mess around and be their loveable selves!

One of the things though I did love to hear was how much fun the cast had shooting all theses films and learning more about the friendships they made with each other! The interviews (which were very short) did enable the cast to talk about their characters transition and development which was really interesting and it was nice to see how attached everyone was with their characters and how none of them wanted it to end. You and me together.

Fashion wise, I thought they all looked fabulous! We have a very stylish cast! I thought all the gents looked very handsome in their suits and as for the ladies I wish I had all their dresses. If I had to pick a favourite I would pick Jennifer’s long wine coloured dress and Elizabeth’s stunning floral number! But everyone looked equally stunning. If you want to check out the fashion or just see pictures from the premiere you can find them here.

Tomorrow is the London premiere and there’s no doubt we will both be watching that however through the live-stream! The lifestream for that can usually be found on Yahoo but if not check out the Official Mockingjay Twitter page for links! Will you be watching?

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

With the final film instalment of the Hunger Games being released in November (which I am super excited for!), we thought it would only right to do a re-read of the series and post our reviews for a nice lead up to the film release.

For those of you who don’t know what the Hunger Games is about, where have you been for the past 5 years? I mean seriously?! But for those who really don’t know, the book is set in a future North America known as “Panem”, the Capitol selects a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each of the twelve outlying districts to compete in the annual “Hunger Games”, a televised fight-to-the-death. The book is centred around Katniss Everdeen – a 16-year-old girl from District 12, who volunteers for her 12-year-old sister, Prim, when her name is chosen – and Katniss’s fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark. From there we follow her and the other competitors as they all must face the horrors of the Hunger Games.

One of the main things I love about this book is it’s unique storyline, there’s just something about teenagers murdering each other that I find brilliant! The balance of action, I thought in this book worked really well as in the first half you had the build up of preparing for the games and in the second half the action doubled as we entered the games and that is where I couldn’t put the book down. The build up allowed me to become emotionally attached to the characters which then made me all so much more worried for them during the games! And then you realise that only one person can win!

This book contains everything you would want in a young adult novel; a gripping storyline, a classic love triangle and a strong female character. The character of Katniss Everdeen is one of YA’s most famous and powerful heroines through her actions. But one of the main things I love about Katniss’s character isn’t that she is powerful one but the fact she is just a plain old girl who deeply loves and cares for her sister which I think makes it much more relatable. I have a sister, though she may be only 17 months younger than I but that sisterly bond is still there and Katniss’s bond with Prim is something that truly make my heart melt.

I also loved characters like Effie and Haymitch and I loved the relationship between them both, it’s funny and it’s cute. Rue is another character that I loved, her innocence and kindness was a complete contrast to all the fighting and it gave the book hope and a snippet of lightheartedness, however I don’t think I will ever be able to get over her fate.

All the action is great but Collins gives us a little extra through a ‘love triangle’ which can be considered cheesy but I think it helps the reader take their mind off all the death and destruction. Collins gives us two completely different love interests for Katniss; Gale the hunky boy from home she’s known all her life or Peeta the shy and kind baker she has to compete with in the games. It’s these two completely different boys which I love because both of them are perfect for Katniss and both have their good and bad features however I have to say I’m team Peeta!

Overall, I really loved this book and it’s uniqueness and I would highly recommend it to all teens – 4.5/5 stars. The movie adaptation again is brilliant and really captures the darkness and despair of Katniss’s world.

Endgame: The Calling – James Frey

Oooo I did enjoy this book, it was so exciting and intense, even though I started back at school and have less time, I still wizzed through it!

The story of this book is quite difficult to describe but I’m going to try my best…it’s about the events leading up to the end of the world, the fate of the world and the decision on who lives is decided through Endgame which is a game played by the direct descendants of the original ‘lines’ of the first humans on earth, all of whom are aged between 13-20. For example there are players from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania ect. These players have been trained since birth to play in Endgame but nobody knows when the game will be activated, it has been the same way for thousands of years. There can only be one winner of Endgame, all the other players will die. The player who wins will secure the survival of their entire ‘line’ during the impending apocalypse, so no pressure…

This book had a very Hunger Games feel to it, but in my opinion it was even more exciting as there is more to play for and there is action right from the beginning. As soon as you start this book you’re thrown into the crazy world of Endgame as it is being activated, things explode and people die in the first chapter, I don’t think I have ever been so hooked by a book before!

One thing that I really loved about this book is all the different perspectives, there are chapters in the perspective of all the players of Endgame. This makes the story really exciting because it’s like a new story every chapter from a different person in a different country. However they are all cleverly linked with the different clues that they know and their ultimate goal. Although it did take a while to get used to all the different perspectives because I kept forgetting who each person was and where they were from, but after a few chapters with them and you learn more about their characters it was easier to remember. Also, there was never a character that I didn’t want to know about or to find out more of what they were doing because they were all doing such cool things, but there were a few that I was cheering along more than others…

I think the characters are one of the best things about this book, I don’t want to describe any because I think, if you read it, you should form your own individual opinions on the different characters because any of them could be your favourite… well except for the real dick heads that don’t even deserve to be named… All the characters are all really feisty and badass, but also brave and (some are) kind.

The ending was so up in the air, I had no clue what would happen! It was a little bit sad but not enough to make me cry (if you know what I mean), but if you cry easily then perhaps keep some tissues on standby, because I’m sure someone has cried at this ending in the past… Although as I was getting towards the end of this book I realised that there wasn’t enough pages for Endgame to finish completely… which is a little annoying because I really want to know who wins!! I guess I’ll just go and get the second book… The ending was also quite confusing, not all of my questions were answered which kind of annoyed me, but I suppose it’s just another excuse to buy the sequel!

I really LOVED this book! If you enjoy things like the Hunger Games then you will love this book! It is packed will intense action and cryptic riddles that I had no hope of solving! I’m going to award this book a 5 out of 5 stars, a cracking read!

Fire and Flood – Victoria Scott

I picked up this book after hearing many people rave about and also from its storyline. Yes, it is very similar to ‘The Hunger Games’ however ‘Fire and Flood’ has many unique and different ideas which makes it at the same time very different. Apart from that I really enjoyed this book and I am desperate to get my hands on ‘Salt and Stone’ which is coming out in February!

The novel follows young adult Tella, who’s brother is slowly dying of cancer and there’s nothing she can do. Until she receives an invitation to participate in ‘The Brimstone Bleed’; a competition which is set across four different ecosystems and the prize is a cure for any illness. Risking her life for her brother, we follow Tella as she fights for survival across two of the four ecosystems; Jungle and Dessert. This book has action, romance, mystery, adventure, and so much more.

The main reason which makes this book different from ‘The Hunger Games’ is that each contestant is given a ‘Pandora’ which will help them survive throughout the race. I loved this idea and now I constantly wished I had a ‘Pandora’ of my own. Mine would have to be either a Cheetah or a Hawk, similar to Harper and Jaxon’s. What would yours be?

Tella’s pandora Madox was lovely and I quickly grew very attached to him; he is so cute. As for Tella, I didn’t connect with her as much as I wanted too however throughout the book I kept finding myself rooting for her to win! Guy, is another character that I love. His mysterious personality is driving me insane as I want to find out more about him! There are some charters that I wish we had seen more of, such as Harper, the female badass; and Levi and Ransom, the twins as I wanted to know more about their backstory. But from what we know, I thought they were great characters each one of them bringing humor and action to the storyline.

The ending was great as it left you at a cliffhanger which in some cases is really irritating but brilliant. I am so pleased that the race has been separated into two books as it means more can happen and we can spend more time in each specific stage of the race. I can’t wait to find out what happens next…

Overall I rate this book 4/5 stars and I would certainly recommend it to those who are fans of ‘The Hunger Games’ or who love a good action packed book!!