July 17, 2011

In My Mailbox

In my mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren. So onto the books:

 Bitter End - I loved Hate List by Jennifer Brown so couldn't wait to get my hand on this one. Having read it already I can say it was pretty amazing. Jennifer Brown is quickly becoming one of my favourite athours.

Beauty Queens - This story sounds amazing! Plus I haven't read anything from Libba Bray in such a long time!

Uncommon Criminals - I really enjoyed the first in the series and couldn't wait to order this one, hopefully it will be as good as the first.

Delirium - I'm currently reading Matched at the minute and heard that this was in a similar vein to it. Plus pretty much everyone has raved about this title!

Rampant - Whats not to like about killer unicorns? This will be my first unicorn book, so I am super excited.

The Red Pyramid - I really enjy finding out about ancient Eygpt, and having just visited most of the ancient temples along the Nile this year I decided I wanted to read this.

Can't wait to see what everytone else got this week! :)

July 01, 2011

What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?

I don't think you can truely judge a book until you have read around 150 pages, nothing would put me off a book that much after a few pages that I'd want to put it down.

After 150 pages in a book that I feel is going no where I will put it down, my reasoning for this is that there are plenty other books out there that I might enjoy more than the one I am reading. I also feel sometimes you get compeled by the hype of a book and feel that you need to read even though you know it is not for you, to them people I think that you will find a book that you enjoy so much more than that, if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work, move on to a book that you will enjoy!

June 27, 2011

Hate List

Hate List - Jennifer Brown
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

This book is so hard to review, I don't think I have rad anything like it in a long time, if ever to be perfectly frank with you. This book makes you think so much about what life is worth, mistakes you made and how you treat people. Not everyone is bad just because of one incident where they made a mistake. The whole book will leave you with tears in your eyes and your emotions running roit for a few days after, I couldn't pick up another book for a long time after. Even know a few weeks after finishing the book I am still thinking about it.

I personally love the writing style of Jennifer Brown, it seems that she really knows how to captivate an audience and produe just the right amount of drama and emotions at times when the book needed it.

The plot is told by the present, newspaper articles and memories that Valarie has of better times. This works really well and incorporates different perspectives into the novel. I think that a big advantage with this book was the ending, while I could have read more about Valarie I was glad that the story ended in a way it did. It finially seemed although her life was getting back on track and people were starting to trust her again. The ending leaves it wide open to your own perspective and opinion on what happens next.

Valarie is a great character, she knows she's not perfect and tries her best to do right for herself and others, though the waty she gets treated both at home and at school were dreadful. Her parents aren't the best at their job, her dad almost doesn't care about her and her mom just worries about how Valarie will hurt others in the future, there seems to be no one to trust in her life apart from her doctor. At the shooting Valarie saved the life of Jessica, when Jessica realises that Valarie is really struggling at school she starts to talk to her become her friend, I didn't like the way Valarie handled this as she basically dismissed her straight away, yet she was proably the only person she could turn to if she wanted help.

My favourite character had to be Nick, even though you aren't meant to like the bad guy through the flashbacks Valarie had you found possably more about him than any other character in the book. He wasn't a monster the newspapers made him out to be, he was normal, he liked to impress his girlfriend, go to the movies, read and hang out with his friends. Yet there was a darker side to him, that maybe others did help to incourage, those that bullied him, made fun of him and made he life a misery of a day to day basis. He was also a victium and I couldn't help feeling sorry for him.

Overall this is a very thought provoking book and one that I will perhaps pick up in a few years from now to see if I feel the same way. The book is possably one of the best I have ever read and I hope others out there pick it up and give it a chance. I don't think it would get pciked up by UK publishers because of the content, as the plot isn't something that is an accurance in the UK however I would urge people everywhere to read it as this isn't a book about a shooting but one about how lifes are shattered and built back up!

June 26, 2011

Flash Burnout

Flash Burnout - L. K. Madigan

Saturated self-portrait: Blake, nice guy, class clown, always trying to get a laugh, not sure where to focus.
Contrast. Shannon, Blake’s GF. Total. Babe. Marissa, just a friend and fellow photographer. Shannon loves him; Marissa needs him. How is he supposed to frame them both in one shot?

 Where do I start? I loved this book, it is perhaps one of my favourite books of the year! Blake's character is like someone you haven't met, but want to know really badly.While the story is certainly a simple love triangle, tthe character more than make up fo it.

The story revolves around Blake, the self proclaimed class clown, his girlfriend Shannon who is the one he loves and his friend Marissa who is going through her own problems. This causes problems from the outset, Shannon I feel is too needy, she needs Blake around consitantly although she has an argument with him about him saying it is alright for her to go round his whenever she feels like it. Marissa life it pretty much falling apart, even more so when Blake takes a photo of her Mom passed out in an alleyway. This is when Blake realises that he cares for her, yet he can't show it because he feels Shannon won't like the fact that he is helping another girl out. It's the classic love triangle, panned out from the boys perspective. This is something I rarely see in YA, especially a YA book from a female athour.

I didn't really like Shannon as a character, I was mostly cheering for Marissa throughout, while Marissa had her problems she generally seemed although she really felt for Blake, even if he couldn't see it. I feel that the characters would have developed more if there was more focus on Shannon, you don't really find anything out about her. Her parents play a horrible trick on Blake which had me in hystrics, as it would be something I would do.

There were so many things about this book that I loved, I can't possabley name all of them, howevr I would recommend this book to everyone. Even boys! With it being wrote from the male perspective you notice things about situations that you would perhaps not, girls think totally different to guys and this book proved it! I even got my boyfriend to read and this is totally not the kind of book he would read. I honestly have nothing but positives for this book, although I do feel the ending was rushed and maybe to perfect.

June 25, 2011

In My Mailbox

So, this is the first time I've done this. In my mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren. So onto the books:

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
This book seems quite interesting it has Greek mythology themes throughout which I love! I can't wait to read this, I've haven't really heard a bad review about the book and isn't the cover amazing?

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Can't wait to read this one, it's about a skeleton detective whats more to like? I love books that contain a little bit of mystery and crime, this book seems to have everything I would want in a book.

Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson
I haven't heard much about this book, though I have seen it doing the rounds a little bit at the moment. It seems a kind of mystery with supernatural elements. I really only got it for the cover, though I think I will be reading it soon.

April 28, 2011

The Iron King

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

My name is Meghan Chase. In less than twenty-four hours I'll be sixteen. Countless stories, songs and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset. I don't think it will be that way for me. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school...or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical fairy king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face...and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

 This book took me a while to get into, but once I was into it I loved it. I couldn't stop reading this book and would totally recommend it to others. I thought the characters were ok, but I think the thing that had me hooked was the Fey world, NeverNever. The mythology of the world and setting had me hooked I wanted to find out as much as I could and felt that this book let me explore a different Fairy story to which I am more familiar with.

The story focuses on Meghan who is half fey, her father being the Summer King. She does not know this at the beginig of the book, but when her brother goes missing, she sets out on a quest to find him and bring him back home. Her best and at times I felt her only friend Robbie helps her get to NeverNever, through a waredore (Narina?), she learns that Shakesphere's A Midsomers Nightdream was wrote about the fairy world and because of that Robbie (Puck) will not dissapeare altogether. The fairy world is based upon dreams and beliefs from humans that there is more out there, the world NeverNever reminded me alot of Neverland from Peter Pan. 

Although the story is unique I can't help but notice little details from other stories and I think that in a way it is made obivious what stories these are and it takes a little of the magic away from the book. Alog their travels Meghan meets Grims, a talking cat, this was my character of the book! I loved the way he spoke to them, how he knew more tha Ash and Puck at times and how he always looked out for himself no matter what! Yes, actually that moveds me onto another point, in the fairy world if a fairy helps you, they can ask for anything in return. Meghan knows this when she asks Ash to help her, yet when she thinks she knows him better she questions and gets upset that he will still get his end of the bargain. This annoyed me so much, as she knew this would happen, she was warned by Puck not to accept but she did anyway and then she does not expect Ash to take what he wants? Meghan was so naive at times it did make me want to throw the book across the room.

The book is really good, and I would totally recommend it. The first 70 or so pages are slow but after Ethan (Meghan's brother) is taken the pace intensifys and the book, story and characters come into there own. I loved the part where it explained why Puck and Ash could not get on. There is a lot f history between the characters and I think that in the future books, it will only be improved upon.

April 27, 2011

Here Lies Bridget

Here Lies Bridget - Paige Harbison
Bridget Duke is the uncontested ruler of her school. The meanest girl with the biggest secret insecurities. And when new girl Anna Judge arrives, things start to fall apart for Bridget: friends don't worship as attentively, teachers don't fall for her wide-eyed "who me?" look, expulsion looms ahead and the one boy she's always loved - Liam Ward - can barely even look at her anymore.
When a desperate Bridget drives too fast and crashes her car, she ends up in limbo, facing everyone she's wronged and walking a few uncomfortable miles in their shoes. Now she has only one chance to make a last impression.

 The tagline for this book is perfect, 'Can death be a fresh start?'. The prolouge opens with Bridget thinking about who would actually miss her if she were to die, who would be at her funeral, who would be at her bedside in hospital. She decides that they only way to find out is to crash her car. As you can tell, the only person Bridget thinks about is Bridget.

The main problem I had with this book was Bridget as a main character, I understand that we needed to hate her so that the ending would become apparent, but I kind of wanted a little time to get to know the real Bridget. It seems that this book was wrote so that the reader would gain an insight into the world of Bridget and feel her emotions and suffering and her eventual renewal of herself. I personally don't think Bridget had any emotions, other than self centtredness. I actually enjoyed the book more when Bridget had no one to boss around and no one was talking to her, I feel that, that moment was the only time we saw the real Bridget.

The story is split into three parts, before the crash, the events leading up to it. In limbo, where she got to feel what others were feeling because of her actions and after the crash, where she tries to make it alright. Before the crash I wanted to scream at her for the lies she told, the way she treated her so called friends and step mom. She seemed to have no idea how she was effecting others around her, she put her defences up straight away when she thought others were going to turn on her. This was her eventual downfall! While in limbo she has to step into the shoes of all the other people she has hurt in the past few weeks, the time frame for this ranges from her being young up until a few days before. This was the part of the book I enjoyed the most, I loved the way she what was happpening and she could see why these things were affecting those around her, yet she was powerless to do anything. In my opinion this was the best written and most entertaining part of the book. The last part I felt was rushed, there was only a few pages of after the crash in which she is given the chance to change all that has happened. I would have liked to have seen more and then maybe seen a little into the future to see if she had kept up her promise.

The book was well written, you can not deny that, however it would have been more enjoyable if Bridget was a more likable character. The book is fantasic for a debut book, and I look forward to reading more from the autor in the future. I hope there is a follow-up, maybe in a novella just to see what happened after the story ended. I think that the book does make an interesting read, it is fun and quick and won't bore you. However be warned you may end up hating Bridget!!!

April 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
'Beds empty! No note! Car gone-could have crashed-out of my mind with worry-did you care?-never, as long as I've lived-you wait until your father gets home, we never had trouble like this from Bill or Charlie or Percy- '

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling, Page 33

April 25, 2011

Deadly Little Secret

Deadly Little Secret - Laurie Faria Stolarz

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
 Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia’s life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia’s life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend’s accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She’s reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She’s inexplicably drawn to Ben…and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help—but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.

 Can I just say, how amazing is that cover? I was I admot drawn to the cover, I know you should not judge a book by it's cover but in the instance I couldn't not judge it. The story is mystical and thought provoking, you literally don't know what is going to happen until it happens! In my opinion that is the way a book should be. I don't want to know the plot before I've read it.

On to the characters, probably in my opinion the best part of the book. You have Camelia how has just overcome the near death experiance, you have the mystifing new boy Ben and the lovestruck ex, Matt. Although there is a supporting cast, the book focusses on these characters. Ben has came to the town to escape his old life and try to rebuild his reputation and lfe in a new town. Rumours however won't go away about his past and these make him vuneerable to everyone, the only person that talks to him is Camelia, even then she senses that something is not right about his character and wants to pin point the problem. As the plot devolps Camelia is recieving weird phone calls and letters. Everything points to Ben, yet she feels safe when she is with him, could it really be him who is sending the letters and photos. Matt is Camelia's ex, he feels the need to protect her at all times and I think in certain situtiations is a little out of line. You feel thathe wants to get close to her again, but doesn't quite know how.

The story is wrote from two different points of view, you have Camelia's and her supposedly stalker's point of view. This makes the book creepy and chilling, it made the book for me! We get to see the story from more than one perpective and I think it does add to the book. There is a major twist in the book, that I totally didn't see coming, though I knew in my gut that one of the characters deffianlty was inoccent, I never imangined that the real culprit was who it was...

Overall this book is amazing, I would totally recommend it to everyone. I read this because of the cover and the fact that I was sick of all the paranormal books out there at the minute. Although I supposse in some lights it does have a paranormal underside,  it is a contemporay book with a great cast and excellent story. Can't wait to get onto Deadly Little Lies.

April 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

easer Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

The Secret Circle: The Initiation and The Captive:Part 1
by L. J. Smith
'Grandmothers were supposed to be pink and cosy, with soft laps and large bank accounts. This woman looked stooped and coarse, with her grizzled hair and the prominent mole on her cheek.'

The Secret Circle: The Initiation, L. J. Smith, Page 43

April 05, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

 'She felt unsteady. Her heart beat painfully within her fox's chest. She remembered faces, girtl's laughinglike the soldiers. She remembered blood in her mouth and fear. She almost remembered more.'

Hunted, N. M. Browne, Page 162

March 30, 2011

Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard
Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic, sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back? A strong launch for a suspenseful series

I decided to read this book due to the fact that I watched the first episode of the TV show and really enjoyed it. I suppose in all fairness you should not judge a book by its cover. I for one was pleasently surprised that I ended up loving this book, in the first hundred and fifty pages I found myself almost bored. I wanted action and just wasn't getting it with this book, however the plot starts to move along at a nice pace after.

The story revolves around a set of privleged teens that were inseperatable until the leader of the group Alison goes missing. What this group does not however know is that the biggest secrets were all shared with Alison. Alison from reading this book was vicous! She wouldn't let anyone get one over her and she knew all the secrets they didn't want others to know. So in a way Alison going missing was a blessing in descise. The group falls apart pretty much after this point. Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily have all moved on from that night and three years later you would not think that they were one best friends. With all the secrets comes the biggest one, someone knows everything and is willing to tell! This person is A.

The pace of the book was rather slow, however it did keep you interested. The characters and all the lies and secrets they had kept made you want to carry on and find out who was behind it. Of course this being the first in a series you don't get to find this out. It did however make you want to turn the pages quickly and not miss a heartbeat. I found some of the characters a little annoying, for example I could have probably done without Hanna, it seems she takes a central role and I for one don't really like that I would have liked to see more of Emily. Although this book is centred around the four former friends the only two I felt I knew at all a little better were Aria and Hanna. Spencer and Emily didn't play that big a role I thought, however I would have liked to have seen more from both as I feel that their stories were the most interesting. Hopefully this slight issue can be resloved in the later books. Also was there a real need to describe EVERY designer item? I wasn't bothered what make the bag was or the trousers/jeans/t-shirt/shoes/earrings/necklace/bracelet you get the idea, it added nothing to the story.

Overall I loved this book and would recommend it, yes the first book is pretty much a re-run of the pilot, but it does give you an insight into the parts the pilot missed or what you may have been confused about. I can't wait to read Flawless, to try to figure out what the JENNA thing was and who A is? Could it be the long lost Alison? There is a great scene towards the end of the book, I don't want to spoil but it includes a very graphic dream about deadbodies!

March 26, 2011

First Impressions

Here I will give my imperssions of the books I am currently reading. I hope to do this every week.

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
I've been meaning to read this for a while now and never really got the opportunity to do so. I picked it up after a online book club I participate in choose it as the book of the month.

So far I am about two thirds of the way through. I will admit that when I start reading I wasn't really enjoying the book, the characters seemed to bland and nothing really jumped out at me. However I have started to really get into the book. The world that Julie Kagawa has manged to create in Nevernever is fantastic. I'm really enjoying finding out about the different relems and courts, who belongs to each court and why some characters dont't get along. Also what I find interesting tit the way in which the world works, you do a favour for someone and you can ask for anything in return, story wise I think this could lead to endless possabilities. Character wise I think the only character that has really shined has been Grims, I love the whole idea of a talking cat.

I am looking forward to finishing this, I should be finished some time this week. Look forward to the review.

The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson
The Sky is Everywhere is a novel I have wanted to try out for a long time, however every time I have seen it at the library I have walked past. Something else has caught my eye. For some reason I decided to pick it up this time. Plus the cover is lovely!

The story is rather a sad affair.  It follows Lennie (yes named after John Lennon) whos sister has died, her mother left her when she was young and is being brought up by her Gran and Uncle Big. I don't really have much to say about this book, while I find the story to be interesting and the first line in the book had me in stitches I just can't seem to find any reason to carry on. I haven't connected with the characters in the way I would have hoped by now. I kind of feel the character of Lennie has a lot of problems that are caused by her being the way she is. I now her sister died but keeping every object the same since? Maybe it's because I have never gone through that but I feel that moving on would be best for her. The semi main characters are all quite interesting and I am willing to read more. Story wise it does seem quite muddled at the moment, I don't think that is intentional but it is putting me off a little bit.

I will continiue to read this book, though I don't know if I will actually finish it. Maybe it is just that I can't relate to what is happening in the story.

Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepard
I bought this book when it was first re issued, though never felt the need to read it. That was until Thursday when I saw the Pilot for the show on MTV. I decided there and then that I wanted to read this book.

I am not that far into the book, though I think that I will be finishing it soon. I was really looking forward to the book, but it just seems like a re-run of the first episode. I keep picturing the actors when I'm reading and I think that is putting me off a little, for example in the book Emily looks nothing like her counterpart in the show same with Hanna. The one thing that is varing from the show is some of the plotline are slightly different.

I thought this would be a nice quick easy read, with mystry and intruige. What I am finiding is that it is a rather slow read, especially when you consider how small a book it is. I don't know, I know that I will finish it and proably love it but at the moment it is just far to slow!