Friday, April 30, 2010

In which I talk about reviews

Since I've joined up with Rebecca on Everything to do with books there have been heaps of little things we've been working on such as our blogoversary celebration last month. Now today I am going to be talking about book reviews and how they'll be going down from here.

I've been reading some YA titles recently and thats all fine because I do enjoy YA fiction. But I've been reading a lot of books that Rebecca reads, and they're not my all-time choices in books. From now on I'll be reading and reviewing the books that I choose to and so it'll be all me and the books I love and everything.
So here are the books that I will be reading and reviewing:
Science fiction

I don't always read YA but my next review is going to be a YA book!!!

On another note, Rebecca and I occasionally read the same books so we'll be doing joint reviews on these books. So that will be doubly awesome!

Lastly, I have a super exciting announcement to make and that is that from now on I will be posting up every Friday. Now I won't be reviewing books every week like this week, but some weeks will be really fun. I'd like some opinions from you guys!

So what would you like me to do on these randomly fun Friday's!!! Leave your comments below.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Valiant by Holly Black

Title: Valiant

Author: Holly Black

Published: New York : Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, c2005

Pages: 314

Series: Book 2, Modern Faerie Tales

Snippet: "Val thought of the story of the three goats, thought of the game warcraft and the little green trolls that carried axes and said, "Wanna buy a cigar?" and "Say hello to my little friend" when you clicked on them enough times."

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Valerie Russell runs away to New York City and takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the subway system and have dealings with mysterious creatures.

Review: It has been a while since I read the other two books in the series and so I was heading into Valiant hoping I wouldn't have to remember too much of the plot of the other two so I know what's going on but that wasn't really a problem for me because Valiant only has brief appearances from characters in Tithe and two of the main characters in Valiant are in Ironside in passing.  So yeah, that is how Valiant ties in with the rest of the series.

Anyway, my thoughts on the book. Well it was actually pretty slow going at the start and I didn't like a lot of the content like drug use. I mean they were fairy drugs but to a human they had the effect of regular drugs which I'm not such a fan of.  But I managed to get past that part and concentrated on some of the more interesting parts of the story.

Going back to the book being a little slow.  Well, it took me until I was about halfway into the book before there were fey creatures and that was the part that I really wanted to read about.

I liked Val, I didn't really like any of the other characters but Val was cool.  I loved the overall plot of the book too, it just had this really awesome story that kept me sucked in (once I got to the part where the fey creatures were), and there was this whole mystery element which I love.

Overall, Valiant is a really cool book. There were some things I didn't particularly like but Val is one strong female character that is worth reading about. Just one word of warning though, if you're not a fan of reading about drugs then this book might not be the best for you. I enjoyed it and I wish there were more books in the series.

Source: Library

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi

Title: Boys That Bite

Author: Mari Mancusi

Published: Berkley Jam Books, 2006

Pages: 262

Series: "Book 1, Blood Coven"

Snippet: ""Holy fu-" he starts then catches himself."Yes,this tithe will be most pleasing to her Goodness." Me and Magnus exchange amused glances."

Summary: Technically Sunshine can't get killed-because she's immortal. Well, not quite yet. Due to the worst case of mistaken identity with her dark-side-loving twin sister at a Goth club called Club Fang, Magnus, a vampire hottie, went for Sunshine's innocent neck. Now if she doesn't reverse it in time, Magnus will be her blood mate forever and she's doomed to be a blood-gulping, pasty, daylight-hating vampire. That would seriously bite. 

Review: Boys That Bite is a very cliche novel but it's actually really interesting.  It's pretty obvious what is going to happen all throughout the novel.  There were a couple of surprises to do with some of the characters but nothing that over the top.

At first glance, I thought the book would take a while to get through but I found that as I was reading it the pages seemed to just fly by.  It  didn't take me long to read at all.

One thing I liked about Boys That Bite was that it was just a lot of fun.  It's one of those books that you'd pick up if you felt like reading something light, breezy and fast.  It held my interest right throughout.

I loved Boys That Bite and I would be really interested to know more about Rayne, and Sunny and Magnus for that matter.  So next time I see the next book in the series I'm pretty sure I'm going to read it.

If you like vampires, or you're not tired of them yet.  Then Boys That Bite is a good vampire book filled with cheesy lines and cliche happenings.

Source: Own Copy

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wind-back review: Deadly

This week's Wind-back review is of the Deadly series by Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman. I am going to do this mini review a little differently today in the sense that I will be talking about the series as a whole instead of one book at a time because they're all one after another so it's like one book in six parts.

I got the Deadly series as a Christmas present one year and I have read it a few times. They're just really good books. The beginning of the first book is so good. Basically, you have to read it to get the full effect of it. I suppose at times you could call the series a little crude but they actually are pretty good books. There is so much humour in them. Plus Sprocket and Amy are two very interesting main characters. The whole idea of the plot is a little out there but it is totally awesome. I think that these books are really good for a summer's day when you just want a bit of a light read. I do warn you though, you need to read all of the books in one go because they are seriously addictive. I love the ending too. You just have to read them to find out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren.

This week I took another trip to the library and got out two more books.  I really can't help myself when it comes to books because there are just so many books I want to read that I go about crazy and start grabbing books left, right and center.  However, the books that  I got this week are:

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

'In less than a day I had been harassed, enchanted, shouted at, cried on, and clawed. I'd been cold, scared, dirty, exhausted, hungry, and miserable. And up until now, I'd been mildly impressed with my ability to cope.' A gripping fantasy set on the shifting boundary between what is real and what is legend. Can Ellie discover a power she never knew she possessed? At her boarding school in New Zealand, Ellie Spencer is like any ordinary teen: she hangs out with her best friend, Kevin; obsesses over her crush on a mysterious boy; and her biggest worry is her essay deadline. Until everything changes... In the foggy woods near the school, something ancient and deadly is waiting.

Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern

When her parents confine her to a mental hospital, an overweight teenaged girl, who suffers from panic attacks, describes her experiences in a series of letters to a friend.

And that was my week in the way of books.  Can't wait to see what everyone else got!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What About Me? by William G. Bentrim

Title: What About Me?

Author: William G. Bentrim

Published: Bearly Tolerable Publications, 2010

Pages: 25

Snippet: "He felt like he had a dark cloud over his head all the time."

Summary: A sick or injured child can disrupt the best of families. Parents are frequently so focused on the sick child that well siblings may feel abandoned. In spite of the love they feel for their sibling, a well child may be annoyed with all the attention their sick sibling receives. The well child may feel guilty about their anger or annoyance. Conflicting emotions can overwhelm the healthiest child. This book hopes to demonstrate to the healthy child that their feelings are normal, acceptable and guilt is not necessary. The book also hopes to alleviate any of the well child's feelings of alienation and loneliness by reassuring them of their parents love.

Review: I have read all of William G. Bentrim's books to date and they have never been a disappointment because they truly are great.  I can say that What About Me? is really good. It teaches children that their parents do care for them even if sometimes their attention is drawn away to a sick child in the family.

Once again, the illustrations are really neat, I definitely think they're eye catching and young children will definitely like them.

William G. Bentrim has once again created a great story that young children will enjoy and it teaches them a lesson at the same time.

Source: PDF from William G. Bentrim

Friday, April 23, 2010

Food in Books

Today I am posting about food in books. In this instance, have any books helped you discover some new kind of food or anything?

I have to say that one book has done this for me.


Sherbet Lemons from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

I love lemon flavoured things and when I was reading Harry Potter I wondered what these sherbet lemons tasted like. Then I went to a British Lolly shop and managed to find some sherbet lemons to try and I have loved them ever since. They are soooo good and I have Harry Potter to thank for that.

What about you? Found any interesting foods in books that you have loved when you tried them?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Firespell by Chloe Neill

Title: Firespell

Author: Chloe Neill

Published: Signet, 2010

Pages: 256

Snippet: "Scout released me, then wiped tears from beneath her eyes."

Summary: As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face… 

When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.

Review: Firespell was an interesting book.  The more I read it the more I was interested, it kind of had a little element of mystery and I really love mystery so I wanted to keep reading to know more.  Some of the little mysteries within the book were solved in this book but others weren't and no doubt will be answered in the next book.
I liked Lily, as far as main characters go she rocked.  She had attitude and she wasn't weak, she was very independent and so it was really refreshing to have a kick-butt main character.
As for the paranormal aspect of Firespell, it was there but there wasn't too much. Which is understandable because it is the first book in the series so it is setting the scene.
Overall, I really enjoyed Firespell, there was so much that made the book so enjoyable.  There were awesome characters, the story line was really interesting and there was an element of mystery which just makes the book so much more cooler.
I definitely cannot wait for the next book in the series because Firespell is an awesome read.

Source: Own copy

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I really love reading but...

There are other things that keep getting in the way of my reading.  I seem to find myself being a youtube addict lately and I just keep finding Zillions of really awesome youtube channels that I subscribe to and watch like crazy.
Then there is blogging, which doesn't actually take away from my reading time too much except on Sunday/Monday when I try to comment on everyone's In My Mailbox posts but I do that because it's really fun.
Then there are just the other bits and pieces like having a social life and studying and things like that but at the end of the day I try to do some reading every day. Lately, I haven't really been able to do much reading though.
Anyway, what I'm really trying to say is that sometimes it is pretty hard to get a lot of reading done because the internet is so addictive.
So for the rest of this month I will try not to spend so much time online and get some reading done.  I'll see how I go with that and then if it goes well I may carry on with it in May.
Really this post is just a huge question asking, how much reading do you get done a month? Do you feel the internet makes it harder to read books because it's such a huge distraction?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wicked by Sara Shepard

Title: Wicked

Author: Sara Shepard

Published: New York : HarperTeen, 2009

Pages: 310

Series: Book 5, Pretty Little Liars

Snippet: "It was as if Hanna had dreamed the whole thing."
Summary: The stalker's identity has finally been revealed but high school juniors Spencer, Emily, Hanna, and Aria seem condemned to repeat the past as they resume their unrepentant ways.

Review: Oh My Goodness! Wicked is such a great book.  So many secrets and so many mysteries, I'm dying to know more.
The ending was such a cliffhanger that as soon as I finished it I groaned inward because I hadn't gotten the next book in the series.
I'll be making this review short because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't read the books or haven't read up to this one.  But if you haven't read it you definitely should read it because this is such an amazing series and really addictive so make sure you have ready access to all of the books.
I found Wicked to be a really good book, so suspenseful and so addictive.  A couple of things I kind of expected to happen but most of it really surprised me.  I just wish I could read the next book.
If you haven't discovered the Pretty Little Liars Series yet then you definitely should.

Source: Library

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wind-back review: Song of the Lioness Quartet

This week's wind-back review is the best Tamora Pierce series I have ever read. I've only read a few of them but as you'll see in the mini reviews below I really do love these ones. Anyway, this weeks wind-back review is The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce.

Alanna : The First Adventure
The first time I read this book I was totally in love. Alanna : The First Adventure is one of my favourite books of all time. I loved Alanna, I loved the idea of a girl pretending to be a boy so she could train to be a knight. I loved the world it's set in. I pretty much loved everything about this book.

In the Hand of the Goddess
Not as great as the first one in the series but definitely a good read. I didn't like the relationships Alanna was in though. But the whole fantasy element is sooo cool.

The Woman Who Rides Like A Man
I didn't think this book was as memorable as the other ones in the series but it was still pretty cool. I like how it has magic and normal medieval fighting.

Lioness Rampant
I thought Lioness Ramant was a lot better than The Woman Who Rides Like A Man. As well as destroying evil Alanna has to pick someone to be with. I was kind of disappointed with who she chose to marry but oh well. I still liked this book immensely and thought it was a good ending to a great quartet.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren.

This week I paid a visit to the library, and I wasn't expecting to get any books out but I ended up getting out two books.  They are:

Valiant by Holly Black

Seventeen-year-old Valerie Russell runs away to New York City and takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the subway system and have dealings with mysterious creatures.

Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith

When Miranda's guardian angel Zachary recklessly saves her from falling into an open grave and dying, the result is that she turns into a vampire and he is left to try to reinstate his reputation by finally doing the right thing.

And that was my week in the way of books, can't wait to see what everyone else got.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: The Dead and the Gone

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Published: Harcourt Children's Books, 2008

Pages: 321

Series: Book 2, Moon

Snippet: "As long as lists were being made, there was order in the world."

Summary: When Alex's parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.
Review: I really liked Life As We Knew It so I picked up The Dead and the Gone.  To be honest I didn't find it as good as Life As We Knew It but it was still interesting enough.  I guess I just thought that Alex and his family weren't as bad off as Miranda's family in Life As We Knew It.  However, I'm not here to compare the two.
The characters in The Dead and The Gone were quite interesting.  I didn't really like Julie much but you can't like everyone.  I think my favourite character would have to be Briana.
I'm not really sure about this but when it ended I kind of felt like there was something missing in the story, like there was something the author didn't quite touch on.  I'm not really sure what though.
I think I've been on a bit of a dystopian kick at the moment and I really am loving it.  The Dead and the Gone was a pretty good follow-up to Life As We Knew It, introducing us to another  area and a different set of characters.  It wasn't too bad, I only wish Alex knew more about what was going on around New York so that me as a reader could know what was happening there.
If you're a fan of dystopian novels then The Dead and the Gone is definitely worth checking out.

Source: Library

Friday, April 16, 2010

What do you do with 'bad books'?

Say you're reading a book that you don't particularly like, do you keep reading? Do you take a break and then go back to reading? Or do you just stop reading it altogether?

For me, I just have to finish a book I've started, no matter how long it takes me I just have to finish it.
I remember once when I was a little kid I lost one of my books, I found it months later and finished it. I was reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer a while ago and I was at a boring patch so I took a break from it for a couple of months and then finished it.
Sometimes I'll take little breaks from reading the book if it's boring or if it needs returned to the library etc. but I will always finish a book. I don't think I've ever not finished a book. I'm a little obsessive about that.

What about you? What do you do?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Title: Life As We Knew It

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Published: Orlando : Harcourt, c2006

Pages: 337

Series: Book 1, Moon

Snippet: "I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald's would still be open." 

Summary: Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

Review: Every now and again I'll read a dystopian novel and I do enjoy them. My favourite would be 1984 by George Orwell, but I'm not here to talk about 1984. I'm here to talk about Life As We Knew It because Life As We Knew It is such a great book and from the first chapter I was hooked.
While the novel was largely focused on the characters I found them to be quite plain and I didn't really think about them.  I think there were only a couple of characters that stuck in my mind these being Sam and Miranda's dad. I also liked Mrs Nesbitt she seemed like such a nice lady.
Susan Beth Pfeffer has written a fantastic "what if" tale.  I felt that it was a really well-written and great portrayal of what could happen if the moon got closer to the Earth.
I know there is a companion novel and a sequel to Life As We Knew It.  I'll be really excited to read both.
Overall, Life As We Knew It is quite a sad book but also full of hope.  If you're a fan of dystopian fiction then you may just enjoy Life As We Knew It.

Source: Library

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bookish Webs

This weeks Bookish Webs post is The YA Blogosphere created by Steph Bowe of Hey! Teenager of the Year.

If you're looking for specific YA book blogs then the place to go is the YA blogosphere. It's a handy little blog that showcases YA book blogs and sorts them into categories so you can find specific book blogs.

There are two main ways in which the blogs are sorted. One is into countries so if you're looking for blogs from certain countries you can go to the sidebar piece entitled Country. As you can see in the picture above I did a quick search on book blogs from New Zealand.

The other way you can do a search for book blogs is by Genres & Features which you can find in the sidebar below the section for Country. As you can see in the picture above I did a search for blogs specializing in paranormal romance.

Another handy thing about The YA Blogosphere is that it is a blog on blogger so you can become a follower and then you will be updated whenever a new blog is added into the directory.

If you want to check it out go here.

Got a bookish web you'd like featured? Want to know more about Bookish Webs? Just go here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh

Title: The Night Tourist

Author: Katherine Marsh

Published: Hyperion, 2007

Pages: 240

Series: Book 1, The Night Tourist

Snippet:"You died this morning. You were ... hit by a train."

Summary: Jack Perdu, a ninth grade classics prodigy, lives his with father on the Yale University campus. Smart and introverted, Jack spends most of his time alone, his nose buried in a book. But one winter evening, a near-fatal accident changes Jack's life forever. His father sends him to see a mysterious doctor in New York City--a place Jack hasn't visited since his mother died there eight years ago. In Grand Central Terminal, he meets Euri, a girl who offers to show him the train station's hidden places--the ones only true urban explorers really know about. Eight flights below the train station, however, Jack discovers more than just hidden tracks and mysterious staircases. He has stumbled upon New York's ghostly underworld. This, Jack believes, is his chance to see his mother again. But as secrets about Euri's past are revealed, so are the true reasons for Jack's visit to the underworld.
Review: The Night Tourist was an interesting book. I have to say that it's more for a younger age than young adult but it is still a very enjoyable book.
I think that if you like mythology of the greek and roman sort then you'll definitely like this book. There were so many underlying references to several of the myths that I enjoyed it so much.
The story itself was really cool and I just loved the whole idea of it.
I just didn't think the characters were so great.
The whole time the book was hinting at this huge thing and I guessed what it was so it wasn't as enjoyable in my opinion.
This is the first book in a series and I know there is a sequel so I'll definitely read that at some point.

Source: Library

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wind-back review: Twilight

I know that a lot of people are over the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and I don't really talk about the Twilight series very much, so today's wind-back review will be my opinions on the Twilight series and I'll leave it at that.

I really liked reading Twilight. I read most of the book in one day because basically, it was entertaining and I wanted to know more about what happened. For a while it was my favourite book.

New Moon
I liked New Moon but at the same time I found it to be really sad. I read New Moon in a day more to get it finished because I just found it really sad. But I did develop the idea of how I wanted the series to end and my favourite character became Jacob.

I thought Eclipse was alright. It was entertaining. I didn't overly love it and I didn't hate it. I got a laugh out of one part of it though.

Breaking Dawn
To be honest I thought Breaking Dawn was an interesting read. But I didn't think it was overly great. It was a good ending to the series if you like endings where everyone has a happy ending. It wasn't too bad but it wasn't fantastic.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren.

So I haven't done an IMM post for ages but I didn't get anything last week so i'll just share what I got this week which was one book from the library and that is:

Youth In Revolt by C.D Payne

Told as the diary of an oversexed 14-year-old, this three-part comic-novel deals with the usual adolescent bugbears: divorced parents, rebellion, virginity. Set in the cultural wasteland of trailer-park northern California, the episodic plot involves arson, car theft, police brutality and more. Nick tries to win an even more precocious girl his age, Sheeni Saunders, by means of allusive letters and screwball schemes which eventually backfire.

And that was it for my week, can't wait to see what everyone else got.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Witch by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Title: Witch

Authors: Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Published: Simon Pulse, 2008

Pages: 368

Series: Book 1, Wicked

Summary: Holly Cathers's world shatters when her parents are killed in a rafting accident. She is wrenched from her home in San Francisco and sent to Seattle to live with her aunt, Marie-Claire, and her twin cousins, Amanda and Nicole.

But sorrow and grief soon give way to bewildered fascination as one by one, strange incidents begin to occur. Such as the fact that any desire Holly whispers to her cat seems to come true. Or the fact that a beloved friend is injured after a freak attack from a vicious falcon. Or the fact of an undeniably magnetic and familiar attraction to a boy Holly barely knows.

Review: Witch was an interesting book. I found it to be a little confusing at first but then I got into what was going on and it wasn't so confusing. To be honest it actually took quite a while to get the hang of what was going on.
I think that Witch is alright but it isn't a book I overly loved, nor hated.  Some of the characters annoyed me a little and I wasn't overly fond of the content of a lot of the book.
The story line was quite cool. I think it was a good opening for a series and I'll definitely read the rest of the series at some point.
One thing that annoyed me quite a lot was the amount of tragedy in the book. There was just so much I didn't think it was all necessary.
Overall, if you're into books about witches then I think you'll like Witch.

Source: Library