Saturday, 18 June 2011

Why I haven't been around lately

So I know that my blog has been very slow lately, and that I haven't actually posted anything in a WEEK! But I have some reasonable excuses (honest!)

First of all, I've come to the end of my college course. And with the end of year show, I've been there non stop getting ready for it. And on top of that, I've had a 6-10 work shift every weeknight after college. Sometimes I'd come back from college as late as 5pm and then be off to work in half an hour. The final show was yesterday, and last week has been stressfully busy, and I've had no time to read - let alone blog!

Another thing is that I've been reading a few classics lately, and even though there's no rule, I like to keep the theme of YA on this blog. Which is why I haven't posted any reviews since last week.

But alas, college is pretty much over. And even though I'm still working, I'll have the daytime free to catch up on my reading/blogging.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Review: City of Ashes

Title: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: 2008
Pages: 464
My Rating: 4/5

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother....
I read City of Bones back in February, and I enjoyed and understood why it was so popular. But I wasn't as invested into it as most other people were with the series. I'm more of just a casual fan. As it had been so long since I read the first book, my memory of the story and the characters was a little faded. I know I should of probably recapped myself before going back into the series, but I just wanted to get started on it straight away.

As a whole, I enjoyed the book. The second half a lot more than the first. I really felt like they spent the whole first half of the book just talking. Talking and explaining. As I'm not that invested in the series, and am not really that interested in all the little details of the plot, I found this very boring. And I ended up reading it just to get through it, rather than finding it entertaining. But alas it picked up a lot in the second half and I found myself zooming through it eagerly. There were lots of twists and turns and action packed scenes. There was also one particular plot twist that I thought was brilliant and really loved.

One thing I love about Clare's writing, is that she paints such a perfect picture in your head of what's going on.  The way she writes her dialog is so real and believable, and also very funny at times. There's nothing stilted in the conversations the characters have. Their conversations bounce off each other so well. And their relationships are so relatable (save perhaps Jace's and Clary's, haha).

Of the characters in the book, I loved Simon the most. He started off as the usual geeky best-friend, but he's developed so much since then, and the things that happen to him in this book are both scary but great. Another character who's grown on me a lot is Jace. In the first book, I wasn't too keen on him because he just seemed like the typical mysterious guy love interest. But in this book, you can see how the events in the last have really taken their toll on him. He seems so conflicted, and doesn't seem to know what to think any more. And in showing this human side, I've began to love him some more.

So overall, I did quite enjoy this book. I'm in know rush to read the next one, but I definitely will sometime. I very much see why everyone loves this series so much, and I definitely recommend it if you're into Fantasy and Urban Fantasy.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Follow Friday/ Book Blogger Hop (16)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee!

Q. The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "you and your favorite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?

Oh wow, I'm going to be exceptionally boring again and go with Hermione. She's not my favorite character, but I would love to switch places with her and live in the Wizarding World, go to Hogwarts and be mates with Harry and Ron. 

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Review: Warm Bodies

Title: Warm Bodies
Author: Isaac Marion
Published: 2011
Pages: 226
My Rating: 3/5

R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.
After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

I was interested in this book a long time before I actually got it. I love zombie books and have read many different kinds of zombie books. But this one had the most interesting premise by far. Mainly because not only is it a zombie romance but it is in the point of view of......a zombie.

First off, I was quite shocked to see how short this book was. At just over 200 pages, I expected to get through it quickly. This was not the case however. The book started off with our lead zombie, R, telling us, with surprising intelligence and innocence, about his extremely simple day-to-day life as a zombie. Which was hilarious. It's written so well with R just casually explaining in brilliant detail these absurd things that zombies do in their everyday life. We also find out that zombies can actually speak, to a degree, and form (exceptionally simple) relationships. They have no knowledge of who they were but do have a vague understanding of how the human race used to live. 

Later on in the book we meet Julie. And R starts to feel alien affections for her after devouring her boyfriend's brain (which can give zombies a glimpse of the persons life). Throughout the book, we have chapters with 'clips' of his life through R's eyes. All the way from his childhood to when he met Julie. This starts to give R extra knowledge and make him different from the rest of the zombies. 

Julie was an interesting character and I really liked her. She was rebellious and quirky, but also very intelligent. One problem I found with her though, was how easily she accepted R. One of the mindless monsters that the Living have feared and fought off her entire life, and after the initial shock at seeing her boyfriend and team eaten alive while she is taken back to their home, she seems completely cool about it. I don't know if this is just part of her character, but I found it quite strange. 

Another part of the book I found odd, was how human R was. I know that he was supposed to be different than the rest after what he experienced, but I personally found him too real and human. He just seemed to forget he was a zombie and that his soul purpose was to eat people. And with that, I started to lose interest in the book. I found it interesting and funny at the beginning, but it became quite slow-moving, and I couldn't really figure out where it was going, causing me to take a while to read it.

But in the end, it picked up and I got into it again. The ending was quite epic and hollywood in a good way, and I thought that it ended well. Other than it being a bit slow-moving and hard to believe (even though it's a zombie book, I know), I did quite enjoy it. It was really interesting and I recommend it if you're a zombie lover (no pun intended).

Review: The Perks of being a Wallflower

Title: The Perks of being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Published: 1999
Pages: 214
My Rating: 4.5/5

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as 
growing up.

I've been sitting here for the past ten minutes, really trying to decide what to write about this book. First of all, I have to say that it was fantastic, and I absolutely loved it. It reminded me of other books that I've read and loved like Looking for Alaska. But I'm really struggling with how to structure this review, so just bare with me on this one. 

This book is written through anonymous letters to a stranger by a high-school boy called Charlie. It's clear very soon that this isn't just your run of the mill 'awkward-guy-likes-girl-in-high-school'. It's obvious that Charlie has inner demons and looks at the world in a very unique way. The writing, for one, shows all his thoughts about people, situations and events in his special way. It's written in very short, simple and to-the-point sentences, and this is what makes it shine. Even with the short to-the-point sentences, there is just enough detail, and brilliantly worded out descriptions to make you truly get what Charlie is telling you.  

Charlie's narration is very blunt, but innocent at the same time. He is incredibly selfless in the way he writes. He's always thinking and worrying about other people, even while he is suffering himself. There are different aspects about him that everyone in some way will find relatable. You also can't help but love him. He is so innocent and loving, and hardly any of the characters even come off that badly because he doesn't think of them in too hateful ways. It's almost like he can't because the biggest enemy he has is his-self.

As for the other characters, what makes them so believable is that they are all very real. None of them are described in tiny detail, even some of the main characters. That is left for our imagination and how we choose to see them. Also, none of the characters are at all cliche and none of them are black-and-white bad or good. They all have their downsides and their upsides.

Overall, this book was just brilliant. It's possibly one of the most perfectly written coming-of-age books. It has all the themes and grounds covered really well. Made perfect from Charlie's lovable perspective. I certainly recommend it if you're into John Green books like Looking for Alaska, as I mentioned earlier. It should be essential to all people, old and young.    


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Teaser Tuesday (10)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading!
  • 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!

'As Alec traced the patterns of runes along the backs of Isabelle's hands and the insides of her wrists, he glanced over at Clary. "You should probably head home."'

Friday, 3 June 2011

Follow Friday/ Book Blogger Hop (15)

Follow Friday, as always, is hosted by Parajunkee!

This week's question is:

Q. What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? (Both of which could be terrifying.)

(Sorry, for this epic ramble. This is more what I'm going to do if there is a zombie apocalypse rather than how I am preparing)

Haha, well I don't know about the Mel Gibson thing, but I've thought about what I would do in a zombie apocalypse many times (being a bit of a zombie fiction freak). I love this question.

It all depends on where I am at the time. I would like to think that I would have enough time to get back to my house, with my family. Once we are all there, I would make sure that we have a nice selection of weapons to fight off the zombies with (these could be, cricket bats, poles, hammers, mallets, swords lol). I'm hoping that at this point we are not completely overrun, and have time to gather up what supplies we need (these being, water....lots of it, non-perishable foods, the weapons, phones and communicators with chargers (if there is still electricity), first aid kit, blankets and clothing, a ladder, tools, hygiene supplies, important documents and books duh). I would then gather my family (this includes my cats of course) up into the attic with the supplies and somehow destroy or block the stairs. I would also make sure that our house is covered in blood and guts to block the smell of us living from the zombies. 

We would hide out there in the attic for as long as we could, and wait for the apocalypse to calm down. Then we would carefully send out scouts (which would probably be me) using the ladder, to check the coast. If it is clear, cover the car in blood and guts (again, for the smell). I would then carefully, bit-by-bit carrying down whats left of the supplies and food, and if there's any left in the house, to the car. We would then using maps, plan what would be the safest places to go (most likely out in the countryside), as well as meeting points, if we were to get lost. While going we would try and pick up more supplies, petrol and join up with any other groups of people who have made it, and then make our way into a safe-zone in the country, and try and hook up with any remaining military units. 

Wow, what do you know? Turns out I do have a detailed plan!

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:

Share your favorite post from the last month and tell us why it’s close to your heart!

It was probably my review of Between Shades of Grey here!
There isn't really any special reason, other than it was a really amazing and important book that I loved.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

May Round-Up!

I kinda went through a slight dry reading spell this month. I couldn't really get into any books. But saying that, I still managed to read 6 books, which I'm quite shocked by.

I've linked the titles to their reviews!

Books read this month:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

Have a great month everybody!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Teaser Tuesday (9)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading as you all probably know!

I'm currently reading two books at the moment. Warm Bodies and the Perks of being a Wallflower. But as I more recently put down The Perks of being a Wallflower, I decided to do that one. I also found out that this is going to be made into a film. I haven't even finished the book and I'm not happy about that. Only really because I really don't like most book-to-film adaptations (save LOTR and Harry Potter).

  • 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!

'I didn't know that other people thought things about me. I didn't know that they looked.'

Sunday, 29 May 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

As you all know, In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren!

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Friday, 27 May 2011

Follow Friday/ Book Blogger Hop (14)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee!

Q. How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

I only really read 'hard copies' as people say, the real books. As for how many I read a week - I'm quite a slow reader and I'm usually pretty busy, as I have college in the morning and work every evening during the week. But I will get through 2-3 on a good week. But occasionally I might only get through one. I don't like those weeks.

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!

Book Blogger Hop

"What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?"

Oooooooh! Tough one! I'm usually very critical when a production company even considers making a film out of a book I've read. Especially if i really liked it. 
One's that I've liked are Lord of the Rings (only my favorite films of all time), Harry Potter, Holes and also recently Tomorrow, when the War Began. I had a few problems with, but overall, I thought it was great! 

I'm sure there are loads that I've forgotten, but a couple that stick in my mind are Angus, thongs and full frontal snogging. I read those books when I was younger, and they were brilliantly funny. But the charm of the books was in the writing and how it was written, and it was ruined the second they decided to put it on the screen. I am Number Four was also pretty laughably bad. 

There are also loads of future movies coming out from books that I love. I'm not really happy about it at all. I know it's all about money making, but I'm honestly tired of seeing movies out of ever slightly popular book. The Hunger Games, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Uglies and City of Bones are all apparently future movies.

I'm just praying that they don't try and adapt the Gone Series. That just would NOT work as a movie on any level whatsoever. 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Review: Between Shades of Grey

Title: Between Shades of Grey
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Published: 2011
Pages: 338
My Rating: 5/5

One night fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother and younger brother are hauled from their home by Soviet guards, thrown into cattle cars and sent away. They are being deported to Siberia.
An unimaginable harrowing journey has began. Lina doesn't know if she'll ever see her father or her friends again. But she refuses to give up hope.

This book was truly remarkable. I can't even stop myself from saying it's one of the best books I've read, or at least the best historical fiction book I've read. The story is tragic, heart wrenching and shocking. The fact that it's based on true events makes it even more powerful.

Lina, her mother and her younger brother, Jonas are taken from their home one night by the Soviet guards and taken away in cattle carts. There is not a slow description moment in this book. Within the first sentence of the first page we are thrust into this dangerous journey with Lina and her family.

I read this book of over 300 pages in two days, which is pretty fast for me. It's never slow-paced and a proper page turner, and I spent the entire time desperate to know what will happen to Lina, her family and the other people she's suffered with at the hands of the Soviet guards. What they all went through is terrible and shocking, and it's almost impossible to imagine yourself in those situations. Or imagining people doing that to one another. I just hope that this book will open peoples eyes to what happened to these people.

The character's themselves are fictional, even though they are based on real events. The story was told through Lina's point of view, and she was an excellent character. I loved that she conveyed a lot of her stories and emotions through her drawing. When she would see something terrible happening, she would think of how she would draw it and document it in the hopes that some day, someone might know what happened to her and the people she was with.

For me, the stand-out character is by far Jonas, her 10-year-old brother. At the start of the book, it's obvious that he's just a young child by the way he talks and acts. But as the book goes along, and while he and his family witness such horrible things, he's forced to grow-up, and he grows up fast. At the beginning of the book he is the young child who's protected by his mother and Lina. But by the end, he is almost the man who has to look after Lina and his mother, and sometimes is the voice of logic and rationality towards them. I sometimes forgot that he was only 10-11 years old.

I also grew to love the people that are with Lina and her family. The one's who're also being deported by the Soviet guards. Some of them, we rarely even hear the names of. They're referred to as; The bald man, the man who wound his watch, the grouchy women. And yet, I really felt for them when anything happened to them. I especially loved Andrius. I hoped that they would all get out alright, as much as I hoped that for Lina and her family.

Overall, this was one of the most brilliant, powerful and shocking books I've ever read. It's a must-read for any historical fiction fans. And I really hope that more people read this so that they know the terrible things that these people went through, told brilliant through this book.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Teaser Tuesday (8)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading!

  • 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!

'I walked to the NKVD barracks. I felt my heartbeat thump in my ears.'

Monday, 23 May 2011

Review: A Monster Calls

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: 2011
Pages: 211
My Rating: 4/5

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

I hadn't heard anything about this book before I saw it in the shop. It caught my eye as the dark mysterious hardback that stuck out from the other books. As soon as I saw that it was by Patrick Ness (author of one of my favorite trilogies; The Chaos Walking Trilogy), I knew I had to get it. Even though it is written by Ness, it was based off an original idea by Siobhan Dowd, who sadly passed away before she could write it. 

I got the impression when I looked through the book when I got home that it was meant to younger readers because of the fantastic illustrations inside and the age of the main character. Even though the book had that younger image about it, I found it extremely heavy and dark like the pictures themselves. But this is what made the book so special. 

The blurb on the back gave very little indication as to what the book was about apart from a monster. I had no idea what I'd got myself into. The real meaning was extremely powerful and deep. Something I think many people can relate to. The main themes being loss, truth, and acceptance. It also had a lot to do with the inner demons one can carry.

Even though it was a very short read, it definitely packed a punch. The writing and story made sure that it would stay with me for a long time after I read it. I really felt for the main character, Conor, as what he was going through in the book is pretty much one of my very worst fears. It really got me thinking about what I would do if I was him. 

The book is pretty much how he copes with his stress and grief, and how he struggles with terms of acceptance. It is interesting how it is shown through the monster, painting a vivid image in your head of something you wouldn't normally be able to see.

definitely wasn't expecting this book to be so heavy, especially for what could be considered as a children's book. I wouldn't rush to give it to a child. But at the same time, it was brilliant. The concept was so well thought out, and then well written in turn. Not many books make me cry. But this book practically had me sobbing into a pillow by the end. It is a truly powerful book, with an extremely relevant and important meaning. I would only recommend this book if you have a box of tissues ready with you.  

It's Monday What are you Reading? (10)

Monday's What are you Reading is hosted by Book Journey!

Read last week:
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (review upcoming, I finished it yesterday)

Reading Now: 
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

Coming up: 
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Hesser

Friday, 20 May 2011

Follow Friday/ Book Blogger Hop (13)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee!

This week's question is:

It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them...

Wow, I have so many quirky habits, it's gonna be hard to narrow them down....

1. I love pesto. Yes, pesto that you have in salads and pastas. But I love it in sandwiches and on crackers.

2. I have two props used in two of my favorite war dramas. One is a rubber safety Bayonet used on the set of the Pacific. The other is a rubber hand Grenade actually used on the set of Saving Private Ryan. I intend to get a prop from Band of Brothers (my favorite favorite) next. 

3. I love and enjoy teaching myself Astronomy. I have always been interested in it, but we were NEVER taught anything about space at school, which I think is disgraceful. So I taught myself.

4. I am trying to teach myself to play the Ukulele. But I just don't have the time at the moment. 

5. My favorite film(s) from since I was 8 or 9 is Lord of the Rings. I've watched them hundreds of times over the years. This includes the extended version, and the commentaries and extras. Yet there is one part of the original Return of the King that I haven't seen. It's in the middle of the film and only about 5 seconds long, but I always ALWAYS look away on that part because I have some weird fear about what happens in it. I'm not gonna say what part or what fear it is though, I'll save that for another time. My mum told me not to look on that part when I first saw it (I was like 11 okay), and since then I've still never looked.

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!

Book Blogger Hop

"If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?"

I'm pretty sure I've answered something like this before. But Hogwarts obviously. I don't think I need to explain my reasoning. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

First look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss!

I've been following the development for the future Hunger Games movie quite closely. I still can't decide if I'm really excited about it, nor do I really think I still agree with the choice to make it into a movie, but I've been following it none the less.
I hadn't really posted anything about it yet, as it's been mostly casting announcements. But I just felt like this deserved a post.

We have our first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen!

Personally, I think they've done well with hair and make-up, getting her general style right. But honestly, one problem that I always have with stuff like this, and one problem that I was worried about for The Hunger Games: is that they would over-glamorize Katniss. I'm not saying she should be ugly. I just think that she looks way too Hollywood-attractive. I think it'll make her less relatable to the target audience of the film. 

But hey, this is just one photo, and hopefully we'll get a less photo-shopped one soon. I'm sure she'll be great as Katniss, as I've heard she's a very good actress, though I haven't seen her in anything.

Leave me any thoughts on what you think of this first look! 

Review: Stolen

Title: Stolen
Author: Lucy Christopher 
Published: 2009
Pages: 301
My Rating: 4.5/5

It happened like this.
I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him. This is my story. 
A letter from nowhere.

Stolen was one of those books that isn't so much about the story it takes you on, but more of the emotional journey it takes you on. And it certainly messed with my emotions alright.

Our main character, Gemma, tells the story in first person to her captor, Ty, in the form of a letter. The whole story revolves round these two characters, in pretty much the same setting. I was skeptical when I first started reading as to what could keep this book going with only two characters and one setting. But Christopher not only makes it work; she makes it work brilliantly.

This book is incredibly intimate. I kind of feel as though I've stumbled into two peoples lives and I couldn't feel closer to them if I was a fly on the wall. I, as the reader, feel as though I was Gemma. As though I was the one being kidnapped. I feel like I lived what happened with her. Through her. I felt the same strain on my emotions as Gemma was feeling them.

On the one hand I knew I should have hated Ty, and from the beginning I couldn't imagine myself liking him after what he did. Very much like Gemma was thinking. But in the end, even though I still couldn't really like him or condone what he did as right, I couldn't help loving him in some sense, even though it was completely wrong.

This has been an extremely gushy review, and I apologize for that as I literally just finished it. I can't really review this book like others that I've read, as you need to read it to understand it. There's not much else to say but I'd recommend it to anyone.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (4) - Minor Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This Top Ten is perfect for me! Someone told me it's because I'm English, but I always route for the Underdog, which can sometimes be used to refer to the more minor characters. These aren't all exactly minor characters, but a lot of them are quite underrated and it was pretty hard to choose.

1. Edilio Escobar: Gone Series by Michael Grant
I've raved about Edilio before. He's one of my all-time favorite book characters, and I also have a huge crush on him. He's so brave and underrated, and is personally my hero of the entire series. He's not necessarily a minor character, but when you consider him agaisnt all the other characters in the series, he's not really one of the mains.

2. Newt: The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Okay, I admit, this is another character that I've got a crush on. But he's a really kind and loyal character and a great friend to Thomas.

3. Luna Lovegood: Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling
Luna's a brilliant character, and is one of my favorites of the Harry Potter series. She's so clever and wacky, and a great friend to Harry. I also relate to her a lot, I just love her.

4. Foxface: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
(spoiler, if you haven't read the book) We never had a direct contact with Foxface (who's name is unknown) in the series. But as soon as she was mentioned, I thought she sounded interesting and I was proved right when we saw how cunning and agile she was in the games. She lasted really long, and I was really rooting for her. So I was pretty upset when she died a really nothing death that we didn't even get to see.

5. Thresh: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
(spoiler, if you haven't read the book) This is pretty much the same as with Foxface. I was really interested in Thresh, and thought he was going to amount to a lot. I was sad that we didn't even know how he died.

6. Chris: Tomorrow, when the War Began by John Marsden
I feel so sorry for Chris, he is easily the most tragic character by the fact that he isn't as close of friends with the main characters, nor has he been through as much with them. So he ends up feeling lonely and isolated and it doesn't end happily. I really related with Chris, and wish he was appreciated more.

7. Mary: Gone Series by Michael Grant
Mary is another very underrated character from the Gone Series. She takes it upon herself to look after all the younger children even with trouble with an Eating Disorder. She really just deserves more recognition.

8. Will: Divergent by Veronica Roth
(spoiler if you haven't read Divergent) I don't know why I liked Will so much. I really shipped him with Christina and thought he was a good friend to Tris. I was so upset and shocked when he died, not even in his own head. I still don't really feel like it was a proper death for him and I'm kinda hoping that we will find out that he didn't die in the next book, as it doesn't feel right that he died like that.

9. Takumi: Looking for Alaska by John Green
Again, I think it's just underdog syndrome, but I really liked Takumi. There's not really much else to say; 'I'm the motherfucking fox!' 

10. Lee: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
I read the Chaos Walking Trilogy a long time ago so I don't really remember a huge amount about Lee. But I do know that he was a kind and brave character, and wasn't appreciated enough in my opinion.

Monday, 16 May 2011

It's Monday What are you Reading? (9)

Monday's What are you Reading is hosted by Book Journey!

I've been kind of slow with reading lately. There's been nothing that I've been really dying to read, so I've been trying to get through some of the TBR books on my shelf. I keep starting a book, then stopping at about 30 pages and then starting another one.

Read Last Week:
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Reading Now: 
Stolen by Lucy Christopher

To Be Read:
Matched by Ally Condie
The Escape by Robert Muchamore

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Review: The Body Finder

Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Published: 2010
Pages: 327
My Rating: 3/5

The Body Finder is one book that I've been wanting to read for a while. I'm glad that I've finally got it out of the way, but I'm not really sure what I actually think of the book. 

The concept intrigued me. A girl who has a special gift of finding dead - more specifically - murdered bodies. This seemed original when I first heard it, but then I read Numbers and My Soul to Take (where the lead girls can see someone's deathdate and sense when someone's going to die respectively) and it didn't seem so new. I think that is one of the reasons I couldn't get too invested into the character's lives and story. 

Every few chapters, there would be a chapter from the point of view of the serial killer. Who kidnaps and kills girls from inside and outside the local area where Violet (the main character) lives. These I found to be the most interesting and quite frankly disturbing chapters. As you get inside the head of this monster and follow him as he goes on the 'hunt', as he refers to it. 

The actual murder mystery was quite interesting. But not really unusual enough to make it stand out from other murder mysteries I've read about or watched on television. I also found that the suspense felt quite stilted as many of the chapters focused on the second plotline of Violet's and Jay's (her lifelong friend and now love interest) relationship.

If you are into YA romance, then you'd definitely like this book. But unfortunately, I've become tired of the typical romantic characters from YA books like this one. They were the usual; 'girl and boy have been friends since childhood and are now starting to feel things for each other'. Their relationship was painfully obvious and inevitable, that I felt like yelling at them to stop with the drama and just get together. This is what sadly took away from the suspense for me. I also found both of their characters extremely boring and uninteresting. There was nothing that I disliked about them, it was just that there was nothing to make them stand out from other characters similar to them that I've read about. 

But saying this, I did think that the plot was well thought out, with a few excellent little twists, and the writing was very well done, and clear to read. Unfortunately, I just found the bland characters and lack of originality to be a bit of a let down. 

I'm not very invested in this YA paranormal romance that is going around at the moment, as you can probably tell. But if you are interested it in, then I'd really recommend this book for you! Particularly , if you liked My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent or Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Follow Friday/ Book Blogger Hop (12)

Oh dear, at last we have our blogger back, and now on to a very late friday post (even though there's only about an hour left of friday for me).

 Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee!

Q. The Blogger Apocalypse made me a little emotional. What is the most emotional scene in a book that you have read lately?

The only book that's made me cry recently is Looking for Alaska by John Green. It's beautiful and emotional, on such a deep level that it really makes you think, and I'm not ashamed for shedding a few tears with that book.

Other books that have made me cry more for what has happened in the plot rather than the depth and meaning behind it. Harry Potter obviously, but that was a long time ago so. I also cried like a baby at the end of Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness, and I probably would of cried at the end of A Killing Frost (part of the Tomorrow series by John Marsden) if I hadn't been so in shock. I also cried at the end of Mockingjay, but that was mainly because I was unhappy with the way it ended. 

This sounds like a lot considering I'm not that much of a cry baby. 

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!

Book Blogger Hop

Are you going to Book Expo America (BEA) and/or the Book Blogger Convention (BBC) this year?

I'd love to, but I live in the UK and circumstance and time are just not my friend with this one.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Teaser Tuesday (7)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading!

  • 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!

'He didn't even see her, and amid all the chaos of the search, with all the activity in the area, she stood out no more than any one of the hundreds of volunteers in the woods this morning. She drew back, only a little, to watch him, unnoticed from behind the wide trunk of a tree.'

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Review: Divergent

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: 2011
Pages: 487
My Rating: 4.5/5

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris, and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together, they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes-fascinating, sometimes-exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen.
But Tris also has a secret: one she’s kept hidden from everyone, because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly-perfect society, she also learns that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it 
might be what destroys her.

There'd been so much hype on the release of Divergent. The whole blogging community was buzzing at it's release and some people were even calling it 'the next Hunger Games'. Now having read it, I totally see what all the hypes about. 
Divergent is a perfect new edition to the Dystopic, Young Adult fiction. I would put it up there with The Hunger Games and the Uglies. The story follows a girl named Tris, who has to choose between five Factions to spend the rest of her life in, along with everyone else when they turn 16. The five factions being; Abnegation, Erudite, Candor, Amity and Dauntless. But little does Tris know that for her, it's not quite that simple. 
I thought Divergent was written brilliantly. It was so fast paced, and got into the story rivetingly quickly. The writing, as well as the Dystopian themes, reminded me of The Hunger Games often throughout the book. However, there were times during the book that I felt odd sentences didn't together. I can't really think of a way to describe it, but there just seemed to be a few errors in the sentence structures. But this is an extremely picky point, and barely puts a mark on the terrific book. 
The storyline was brilliantly thought-out. And the book gets more and more brutal as it goes along. The tests that Tris has to pace at the beginning are bad enough, but they seem to get worse and worse, and I really felt for the characters who had to go through it. Several times I put down the book and stared into space, imagining what I would do if I were in those circumstances.
The themes of war, corrupt government and identity were extremely strong throughout the book, but not too strong that they took away the entertainment of the story. The ending was exciting, tense and scary at the same time, though I did think it was a little bit weak and sudden compared to the rest of the book. The ending  had a killer cliff-hanger yet had enough of a resolution to not have you gasping for the next book. 
Overall, this was a fantastic, exhilarating book! I recommend it to anyone! But it's a must read if you're into YA or Dystopic. Or anyone who liked The Hunger Games or Uglies. Waiting for the next book will be torture!   

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we share what books we collected that week.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Time Riders: The Doomsday Code by Alex Scarrow
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Makers by Cory Doctorow

Friday, 6 May 2011

Follow Friday/ Book Blogger Hop (11)

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee!

Q. Circle time! Time to share. What character in a book would you most like to be, what character in a book would you most like to date?

Hmm, this is a tough one. I've thought about these two questions many times, but I've never really come to a conclusion.

When thinking about a character I'd like to be, I tend to lean towards the characters I'm most like, which I suppose isn't necessary. However, a character I'd most like to be is probably Hermione from Harry Potter. She goes to Hogwarts and is best friends with Harry and Ron. I think those are enough reasons. I also admire her a lot for her honesty and cleverness. 

A character I'd most like to date....have you got a couple hours? This is quite a tough one also. I always tend to lean away from the most obvious love interests of female leads in books, as they are always very similar and I'm not much of a romantic. 

One character whose probably my biggest crush at the moment is Edilio from the Gone series by Michael Grant. He's not one of the main characters, but is by far the unsung hero of the books! He's the bravest and always keeps it together while everyone else is falling apart, even with the fact that he doesn't have a power. But he is also 14-15, so it might be a bit odd if I dated him. Grant also likes giving me a mini heart attack as Edilio seems to have a near death experience each book. 

Also, any of John Green's lead male characters. This is probably better as they are all pretty much my age. But I always connect with his male leads so much, and can relate them to myself much better than any female leads I have read. Preferably Miles 'Pudge' or Quentin, from Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns respectively. 

Okay, WOW, I just rambled a lot, I'm sorry about that....

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books!

Book Blogger Hop

Which book blogger would you most like to meet in real life?