Booknut 101's Bookworm Haven

Bookworm. Notorious blogger. Music addict. Relatively human. Happily munching away on Snickers bars whilst waiting for fae to come knocking at her front door.

Guys VS Gals ~ Booknut's Ramblings


I decided today, to talk about how different guys and girls' tastes are when it comes to stories. 

Whether these stories are told by actors and actresses, or an author. Each gender seeks something different. 
But what? 
But why?
Hopefully this little spiel of mine provides both entertainment and insight into both genders and the battle faced by providers of stories to cater to our likes and dislikes.
And maybe it'll convince you that we're not so different after all!
It was a Friday night. 

I was tossing up between drowning my sorrows in hot chocolate, reading Pride and Prejudice for the twentieth time, or watching Pride and Prejudice for the fiftieth time. 

When all of a sudden I had the perfect idea. GIRLS NIGHT!

I headed over to my best friend's house, a copy of Sweet Home Alabama in hand. 

Together we gathered our supplies (popcorn, Allen's Lollies, chocolate for the emotional scenes and two boxes of Kleenex to be safe) before heading into her living room with the widescreen TV, ready to enjoy the movie...

...when we were thwarted. By Them.

Them. With a capital 'T'. Otherwise known as the opposite sex, the makers of inappropriate jokes, and the species that will test the female patience like none other.


My best friend's brothers to be exact. All four of them. Watching a bunch of guys in tight shirts and short shorts kick around a piece of sewn leather. Otherwise known as rugby.

"No!" I'd hissed, turning to my friend who was staring at her brothers as if seeing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. "This is not happening! Tonight was meant to be our Patrick Dempsey and Josh Lucas swoon fest!"

My friend grimaced, lifting her shoulders slightly to indicate her helplessness. "But what do we do?"

And so began WWIII.

We started off with a few casual hints:

"Hey, guys, you know rugby looks really good on the other television."
"Wouldn't it be super nice if you guys had a room all to yourselves?"
"Why don't you all head out tonight?"

Which then progressed into bribery:

"The chocolate for the TV, fellas."

Which then turned into threats:

"I will scream. Loudly."
"Say bye bye to the TV remote, gentlemen!"

But nothing worked.

"What's so great about this movie, anyway?" Brother #1 asked, eyes never leaving the screen.

"It's so romantic," my friend gushed. "And that scene at Tiffany's...!"

"Bor-ing," yelled Brother #2.
"Yuck," agreed Brother #3.
"Yeah," backed up Brother #4.

Apparently all it took was for us to rig the DVD system, and to begin the movie for them to flee the room. But it was only one instance where I came to understand that guys and girls were as different as night and day.

As a book blogger, reader and amateur creative writer, I've been asked over the years by both guys and girls for book recommendations. 

Girls are always fun. And prepared. They'll give you a long list of the books they've read, what kind of romance story they like, what king of guys they'd like to read about and even give you specific genres from which to look into.

Guys...not so much!

I remember my first 'guy recommendation' (guymendation (?)). 

It was actually one of my best friend's brothers - Brother #1. The family were over at my place, and he was casually eyeing my bookshelves. All of a sudden he asks:

"Hey. Have any good books?"

I opened my mouth to say something like, "All my books are good books!" but I swallowed my bookworm pride and opted instead to say:

"Sure. I'll grab one for you."

And so started the terrifying process of picking a book for a guy.

He didn't like books with 'girly' romance. (Whatever that means.)
He didn't like books that had 'girly' endings. (Again - a little confused.)
He didn't like books that had 'girly' characters. (Okay. By then I was just offended.)

So what did he like?! I couldn't help but feel horrible. Recommendations were supposed to be easy, weren't they? Why was this so hard?

And then it hit me. 

And this is the message I want to leave with both sides of the war - girls and guys. That maybe it isn't that guys are too fussy, or girls are too fussy, or that we have such different tastes from one another. 

Maybe it's just that we THINK we're so different, and that there is a criteria for 'guy' stories, and 'girl' stories.

So...I made a decision.

"Take this one," I told him, shoving The Prophecy of the Gems into his hands.

He stared at it.
He held it out before him.
He stared at me.

And said. "Ah...what?!"

"Take it," I repeated calmly. "And read it."
"It's pink-"
"Take it."
"But it's girly-"
"Take it, read it, and if you hate it, I'll swear that I'll never force you to read another book in your whole life."

NB: Boys love dares. 

So he took it.

For those who've never heard of the book, here's a blurb:

'In a magical realm, three teenage girls-Jade, Opal, and Amber-are chosen to fulfil an ancient prophecy. Although they meet as strangers, they must learn to trust one another with their lives as they embark on an epic journey, armed only with magical stones. On the day of their fourteenth birthdays, they set out on a quest that will require them to leave their homes and families to face fierce enemies in an effort to save an enchanted land called Fairytale, where magic reigns and evil is unknown.

At the same time, in a parallel world, a young girl named Joa fights for her life in a hospital bed in Paris. While she is dreaming, she is transported to a magical realm where three young heroines fight a spectacular battle. Their success or failure will determine the fate of Fairytale…and Joa's survival.'

It had 'girly' romance.
It had a 'girly' ending'.
It had 'girly' characters.

And you know what?

He loved it.

I still remember listening to him go on and on about it the next time we saw eachother. He was analysing the characters, commenting on how the plot could have been a little different at this or that point. And I remember thinking that it felt good. It feltright that such a great book was being appreciated by both genders, despite it's 'girly' cover and the misconceptions that accompanied it.

"So," I'd said to him, smirking. "Ever gonna judge a book by its cover again?"

NB: Boys never admit when they are wrong.

It got me thinking. And I'll admit, after that I made an effort to seek out 'boy' books - books that I heard girls at school say were too 'guy' for them to read, books with weaponry, bloody battles and pages and pages on the political runnings of mysterious kingdoms. I read them, and enjoyed a great many of them.

Which led me to the conclusion that I have today: that we need to start ridding society of negative stereotypes associated with stories - both in books and movies. Girls should be seen as feminine even if they enjoy watching a good action-packed horror movie. Guys should be seen as masculine even if they admit to like watching The Notebook from time to time.

Because everyone deserves the chance to enjoy a good story no matter their gender.

So think on it. And let me know your thoughts below :)
"Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men. "

Joseph Conrad

Mystery & Mayhem ~ Thornhill (Hemlock, #2) by Kathleen Peacock Review

Thornhill (Hemlock) - Kathleen Peacock

"You do know why I'm really here, don't you?"

I shook my head. I didn't. Not anymore.

Amy looked at me sadly, then glanced over her shoulder at the fountain. Something churned the leaves and gave off a sharp, metallic scent. With horror, I realised the liquid in the basin was blood. I scrambled to my feet, but Amy stayed sitting as though nothing were wrong.

She dipped her finger in the fountain and it came back coated red. "Things are about to get so interesting."

A search.

All Mac wants to do is track down Kyle and return with him to Hemlock. But how do you find someone that doesn't want to be found? It's no easy task, and with the Trackers hot on their heels, Mac is running out of time.

A raid.

Mac's ideal reunion is cut short as she and Kyle, along with a group of werewolves, are captured and sent to Thornhill, a rehabilitation camp for young werewolves - a camp shrouded in mystery. As they are assimilated into camp life, the dangers slowly reveal themselves...especially for Mac. 

If she tells those in charge she's a reg (a human) she might never see her friends again. But if she pretends to be one of the wolves, she's playing a dangerous game that may cost her her life.

A living nightmare.

Werewolves begin to disappear. Training regimes test the wolves physically and mentally. Cameras watch their every move. 

And the question remains: will Mac manage to uncover the dark secrets of Thornhill and save her friends before it's too late? 

Hearts collide, alliances crumble and form, horrors unfold and ghosts make their re-appearances in this thrilling sequel that is sure to have you on the edge of your seat!

Outsider (Outsider, #1) by Micalea Smeltzer ~ Review

Outsider - Micalea Smeltzer

'"I know nothing about being a shifter. I only just found this out a couple of weeks ago. I'm no leader," I said.


"It's in your blood," he said.

"Really? Because I've had my blood tested and ALPHA never came back in the toxicology."'


I'm going to admit that for the good majority of the first half of the book I was all like:

'Cause let's just face it - some female characters tend to overdo the whole I'm Not Pretty mantra. One minute she's all 'I'm plain and ugly no one could ever possibly think I'm beautiful', and the next:

Not to mention her reaction to any relatively good-looking male in a ten metre radius:

Okay. Maybe that was a little bit of an exaggeration.

The plot line was pretty obvious for the most part.
- Girl moves into town.
- Girl meets boy.
- Girl uncovers town secret.
- Girl and boy go out.
- Girl and boy face danger.
- Girl and boy make out.
- Girl and boy live happily ever after until the next book.

And although cheesy levels went through the roof at times...
(e.g.)'He shook his head. "One day you'll believe me when I tell you how smart, beautiful, and perfect you are."'

...but overall this book wasn't a total waste of time. It just required alot of patience, an open mind and an ability to stomach fluffy, Fanfiction-esque, lovey-dovey scenes and a very annoying main female protagonist.

However that's just my opinion. If you like werewolves, romance and alpha-male fights (where they totally should have had a cheerleading squad!) then this book could be for you :)

Redemption (The Alexa Montgomery Saga, #4) by H.D. Gordon ~ Review

Redemption - H.D. Gordon

'How is one broken thing meant to fix another?


With love.


Yes, love. That was what I was fighting for. That was what I was living for. And maybe, not so tragically, that was what I would die for.


If you asked me, there are worse ways to go.'



Me at the beginning of this novel:

Me during the Nelly & Alexa sister moments:

Me during the Alexa & Kayden scenes:

Me at the end of this novel:

Me for the next week:

Me for the next month:

The Cute Girl Network ~ Review

The Cute Girl Network - M.K. Reed, Greg Means, Joe Flood
The Cute Girl Network
By M.K. Reed, Greg Means & Joe Flood

Rating: 3.7

The Cute Girl Network is a testament to modern day love stories. A graphic novel with a chick-lit twist, it provides a romantic comedy that will touch both the heart and the funny bone!

Although the storyline can tend to become stagnant at times, it's very hard not to like the two main protagonists, Jane and Jack. Their relationship - from the jokes, stumbling, stuttering and the awkwardness to the locked gazes and sweet smiles - is cheesy...and yet weirdly satisfying. Despite its somewhat juvenile format, the novel lends its characters a depth not often reflected in graphic novels. Jane and Jack both deal with issues close to the heart: who to love, if to love, and whether or not love can win despite the odds in today's world. 

So if you're into chick lit, detailed illustrations, or are simply looking for a book to lift your spirits, pick up The Cute Girl Network and give it a try today.

"If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.

Anaïs Nin

"Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, in a house that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered, and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword, a pebble could be a diamond, a tree, a castle.

Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field, from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was queen and he was king. In the autumn light her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls, and when the sky grew dark, and they parted with leaves in their hair.

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering”

Nicole Krauss, The History of Love 


He Was A Boy, She Was A Girl ~ Love & Skate by Lila Felix Review

Love and Skate - Lila Felix

NA romance is like a packet of Allen's Lollies - sometimes, you'll get a handful of your faves, and sometimes you'll get one or two liquorice flavoured jelly babies which will ruin your day.


Well Love and Skate was definitely not a liquorice jelly baby! (unless you happen to love liquorice flavoured confectionary) Love and Skate is a NA romance with a punk twist, introducing two characters who you will grow to love, root for, and cry over during the course of this novel.


The first of them, being our main protagonist/roller derby gal, Nellie Forrester:


"Yes Mom, I know that I'll never find anybody who loves me with blue hair. That's why I dyed it pink."


Nellie's straightforward personality, wit and charm create a character who has depth and a brain where most female characters only have air and 'feelings'. She has the rare female character ability to see the difference between love and lust - and to only accept the former. With a strength built up from years of heartache and a lack of acceptance from her family, Nellie is ready to take on anything. 


Including Owen Black:


'I stood stunned. She had known me less than a week and had me all figured out. She pecked me on the lips and left me standing there in the parking lot, standing on the line that marked where her car was. But instead of feeling betrayed, I felt freed.'

Owen and Nellie are basically two peas in a pod. With his own skeletons in the closet, Owen has a hard time with trust - something that he admits he struggles to come to terms with on a daily basis. Yet, be ready to throw your fangirl pom-poms up and down, because this tattooed mountain of maleness is...


*drum roll*


That's right, ladies! He may have tats, but the guy has more chivalry packed into his frame than most clean-cut guy characters have at the end of a novel. 


Owen and Nellie's relationship spans across a little over 200 pages, and is allowed to grow, and to be explored by the reader in all its facets - good, bad, ugly. And downright adorable. 


So if you like novels about cute guys who meet feisty girls who happen to like playing at roller derbies, you'll definitely like Love and Skate


Although, be prepared to do this more than once:

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