Monday, December 16, 2013

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Published: Orion Books, September 2013

Pages: 386

Series: Book 1, Reckoners

Summary: Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning - and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I had heard so many good things about Brandon Sanderson that when I saw his new book Steelheart I figured it sounded interesting and so I picked it up to give it a go.  When I sat down to read the first page just to get a feel for the book I ended up reading for 50 pages before finally putting it down for a minute.

Needless to say, I absolutely loved Steelheart, it was so good.  Each chapter ended in such a way that I just had to know what happened next and so I would keep reading it.  I managed to get through the book in no time because it is really addictive.

The world-building and the way that the Epics work is so fascinating that I just had to know more.

There were a few big reveals at the end and some of them I had guessed at but others I was completely astounded by.  They have definitely given me more to think about and make me want the next book right away.

I can definitely see why so many people enjoy Brandon Sanderson's writing, he has such a fantastic way with words and weaves a story that leaves you hanging on page by page just dying to know what happens next.  I feel like Steelheart is one of those books that everyone needs to read because it is amazing.  I wish I could read the next one right now.

Source: Purchased

Friday, December 13, 2013

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Title: Asylum

Author: Madeleine Roux

Published: HarperTeen, August 2013

Pages: 310

Summary: For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After I heard that Asylum was a creepy book with creepy photos scattered throughout the book to add to the story I was intrigued.  I had read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and was interested in how this book would do.

The premise of the story was really interesting but I found the book hard to read.  For starters, I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters.  Dan was weird, and was supposed to be but his weirdness was to the point where I just couldn’t connect with him on any level.

I felt as though the pictures in the book didn’t really help with the plot and it was just sort of random when they would show up.  I felt like the majority of them were just there to add something to the lack of amazing plotline within the story.

There were all of these strange things going on and I felt like they missed being explained, either that or I missed something somewhere.  Some things would happen but then they were never acknowledged again which I thought was strange.  Then the reveals left too much to guess at so I wasn’t entirely sure if certain things were because of one thing or another thing within in the plot.

I thought the book was interesting and if done slightly better it could have made a good story, however, because I was only more confused by the end of the book, I thought it was just an ok read.
Source: Library

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Black Notice

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 2010

Pages: 464

Series: Book 10, Kay Scarpetta

Summary: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS A foreign ship arrives in Richmond, Virginia, among its cargo an unidentified body...

While Lucy Farinelli goes undercover in Miami to bring down a notorious criminal cartel, Dr Kay Scarpetta and Pete Marino discover a body in a cargo ship recently arrived from Belgium at Virginia's Deep Water Terminal in Richmond. Initially is seems as though it may be the decomposed remains of a stowaway, but Scarpetta's post mortem reveals neither a cause of death nor an identification. So the victim's personal effects and an odd tattoo take Scarpetta on a hunt for information that eventually leads her and Marino to Interpol's headquarters in Lyon.
At first the highly confidential information they receive seems incredible, a bizarre trail of conspiracy and deceit, but inexorably the facts reveal a web of privileged and criminal arrogance which puts Dr Kay Scarpetta directly in harm's way, and places her and those she holds most dear at mortal risk.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This is the tenth book in the Kay Scarpetta series and I have to say that seeing a new killer had me quite interested as I was starting to get sick of the same serial killers being dragged out over a whole bunch of books.

I feel as though the further I get into this series the more I miss the first few books.  Postmortem was such a good book and I hope that some of the later books are just as good.  The beginning of Black Notice made me feel like this but I have to say once the story progressed I did find myself to be really enjoying it.

The ending of this book was quite abrupt and I was really surprised by it because it just stopped at a really interesting part.  It actually made me want to pick up the next book in the series straight away though.

There’s not a lot more that I want to say about Black Notice, other than it’s an awesome book and I am very interested in reading the next book in the series, The Last Precinct.

Source: Purchased

Monday, December 9, 2013

Carrie by Stephen King

Title: Carrie

Author: Stephen King

Published: Hodder & Stroughton, 2011 (first published 242)

Pages: 242

Summary: Carrie White is no ordinary girl.

Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis.

To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie - the first step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.
But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her . . . (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I started reading this one when I found out they were making a new movie for it and so I wanted to read it before I went and seen the new movie.  I have seen the original movie and I did find it to be enjoyable.  I felt that knowing the plot of Carrie didn’t take away from the book at all because right from the start you know roughly what will happen anyway.

The book is told as a narrative but also has snippets of books, articles and other types of reports that relate to the events of the book.  I found this to be quite interesting but I also felt like it was a little disjointed because there aren’t any chapters in Carrie.

While there were some parts of the book I found to be really interesting I did find some parts of it to just be a little dry and they seemed to drag on a bit.

Overall, I did find Carrie to be quite an interesting book and I can see why a lot of people enjoyed it.  This is the first novel of Stephen King’s that I have read and while I didn’t find it horrifying I am curious as to see what some other novels of his are like.

If you enjoyed the movie and haven’t read the book yet, I would definitely suggest doing so because it’s always fun to see how different or how similar books and movie adaptions are to each other.

Source: Own Copy

Friday, December 6, 2013

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Published: Orion Books, 2005

Series: Book 1, Dexter

Pages: 275

Summary: Dexter Morgan appears to be the perfect gentleman. He leads a normal, quiet life working as a forensic officer for the Miami police. He has a nice, shy girlfriend and is liked by her young children.

But Dexter has a secret hobby. He's an accomplished serial killer. So far he's killed dozens of people and has never been caught, because he knows exactly how to dispose of the evidence. And there are those who would rather he wasn't caught at all, because Dexter is a serial killer with a difference. He only kills the city's bad guys. Then Dexter's well-organized life is thrown into chaos. Another serial killer is invading his territory - and he wants Dexter to come out and play...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After watching the tv series and absolutely loving it I was really excited and interested in reading the book series.  After reading the first book I have to say that I am definitely curious as to how the next book will go.

If you’ve seen the first season of Dexter then you pretty much know the rough plot of the first book.  There are of course variations and one thing that surprised me a little is just how little there is in the book.  I felt like there was so much missing and that some details were just skipped over.  This could just be due to my having watched the tv series first.

There were a few changes from the tv series, mainly the ending which I am very curious about and because of how the ending was done it has definitely got me curious about how the next book in the series will go.
I felt like the characters didn’t have a lot of development, they were just there and that was really it.  This could possibly be the way that Dexter perceives everyone which would make sense.

Overall, I really enjoyed Darkly, Dreaming Dexter and felt like it was just as exciting as the tv series.  I am definitely curious to see what the next book in the series will be like.

Source: Purchased

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Point of Origin

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 1998

Series: Book 9, Kay Scarpetta

Pages: 400

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! A farmhouse destroyed by fire. A body amongst the ruins. Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner and consulting pathologist for the federal law enforcement agency ATF, is called out to a farmhouse in Virginia which has been destroyed by fire. In the ruins of the house she finds a body which tells a story of a violent and grisly murder. — The fir... more »e has come at the same time as another, even more incendiary horror: Carrie Grethen, a killer who nearly destroyed the lives of Scarpetta and those closest to her, has escaped from a forensic psychiatric hospital. Her whereabouts is unknown, but her ultimate destination is not, for Carrie has begun to communicate with Scarpetta, conveying her deadly - if cryptic - plans for revenge.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Point of Origin is the ninth book in the Kay Scarpetta series and I wasn’t entirely sure how I would feel about this one, especially given that I really quite enjoyed the previous book in the series so was curious to see what would happen with this book.

The more I read in this series, the more I feel as though if someone isn’t absolutely in love with Kay Scarpetta, they dislike her and simply must be out to get her.  I swear it’s as though nobody can ever be neutral towards her.

I thought the mystery in this one was interesting and different to the last few books.  I am however, getting a little tired of the same characters being an issue.  Let’s just say that there is one character who has returned in this book and I have to say I’m getting a little bored with them.  I thought they wouldn’t be mentioned anymore because their story was over a while ago but here they are again.

There was one event that happened which really surprised me, it happened quite abruptly and unexpectedly and I was just so surprised that it even happened.

Overall, I found Point of Origin to be an interesting novel but I felt like it was lacking something new and exciting as the same bad guys keep coming back and no matter where she goes, Kay just seems to keep making enemies.  Either way, I am interested to see what happens next.

Source: Purchased

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

Title: The Last Straw

Author: Jeff Kinney

Published: Harry N. Abrams, 2009

Series: Book 3, Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Pages: 218

Summary: Let’s face it: Greg Heffley will never change his wimpy ways. Somebody just needs to explain that to Greg’s father. You see, Frank Heffley actually thinks he can get his son to toughen up, and he enlists Greg in organized sports and other "manly” endeavors. Of course, Greg is able to easily sidestep his father’s efforts to change him. But when Greg’s dad threatens to send him to military academy, Greg realizes he has to shape up . . . or get shipped out.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I’m really loving the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  They’re so hilarious and make me laugh so much.  The Last Straw has a few parts that are in the second diary of a wimpy kid film but there are also additional parts that are oftentimes even funnier than the ones that made it into the movie.

There was one particular part that referred to Shel Silverstein’s books that had me in stitches for at least five minutes, it was so hilarious.  I had to share it with anyone around me because it was so funny.

The bit where Greg started wearing his mum’s bath robe around the house was pretty hilarious too.  There are just so many funny parts in this book.

Overall, I really loved The Last Straw, it was so hilarious and I feel like it’s my favourite book in the series.  If you haven’t started reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series yet, I suggest you start soon.

Source: Purchased

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Goals

The end of the year is fast approaching and I feel as though I have some reading to catch up on.  I'm partway through about seven books and I really need to do something about that.  My reading challenge for this year was to read as many books as I buy and so far this year that total is 84.  So I have decided to make December all about books.  I need to read a total of 27 books in December to achieve my goal and so I figured a good way to do that would be to use this blog as a motivator/progress tracker.  And so for all of December I will be coming back and posting updates on my progress.  I will also be posting book reviews every Monday, Wednesday and Friday which means that I need to do some extra reading in order to put posts up on those days. 

So here is my list which I will be updating as I go:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Unnatural Exposure

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 2010 (first published 1997)

Pages: 384

Series: Book 8, Kay Scarpetta

Summary: Virginia Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta has a bloody puzzle on her hands: five headless, limbless cadavers in Ireland, plus four similar victims in a landfill back home. Is a serial butcher loose in Virginia? That's what the panicked public thinks, thanks to a local TV reporter who got the leaked news from her boyfriend, Scarpetta's vile rival, Investigator Percy Ring. But the butchered bodies are so many red herrings intended to throw idiots like Ring off the track. Instead of a run-of-the-mill serial killer, we're dealing with a shadowy figure who has plans involving mutant smallpox, mass murder, and messing with Scarpetta's mind by e-mailing her gory photos of the murder scenes, along with cryptic AOL chat-room messages. The coolest innovation: Scarpetta's gorgeous genius niece, Lucy, equips her with a DataGlove and a VPL Eyephone, and she takes a creepy virtual tour of the e-mailed crime scene.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have some strong feelings about Unnatural Exposure.  Some of these are positive and then some of them are negative.

This book has to be more engrossing than all of the books in the series so far.  Mostly because this virus was so interesting and I just had to know more about it and the outbreak that could potentially occur.  The descriptive detail was quite graphic and I found myself cringing as I was reading the gruesome description.

Kay’s behaviour in this book was so irritating.  Allow me this paragraph to get rant.  First of all, she starts being horrible about Benton and avoiding him and I seriously don’t see how Lucy and Marino could put up with that I mean seriously!  Then she acted like such a brat in other situations and I just really felt as though throughout the novel she was so selfish and it just drove me insane.

I’m curious as to how the next book will go as there was a mystery that was still left open so it might possibly reappear in the next book.  It would be a little strange if it didn’t in all honesty.

I quite enjoyed Unnatural Exposure, the mystery element was really awesome as I love reading about epidemics and how they find the source, where it came from and all of that sort of information.  Hence, I really enjoyed that aspect.  I just found Kay’s behaviour to be irritating.  I’m still enjoying the series as a whole and can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Source: Purchased

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

Title: The Caves of Steel

Author: Isaac Asimov

Published: Granada Publishing, 1980 (first published 1954)

Pages: 208

Series:  Book 1, Robot

Summary: A millennium into the future two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov's "Robot" novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together. Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions. But when a prominent Spacer is murdered under mysterious circumstances, Baley is ordered to the Outer Worlds to help track down the killer. The relationship between Life and his Spacer superiors, who distrusted all Earthmen, was strained from the start. Then he learned that they had assigned him a partner: R. Daneel Olivaw. Worst of all was that the " R" stood for robot--and his positronic partner was made in the image and likeness of the murder victim.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I haven’t read a book by Isaac Asimov for such a long time but I knew that I loved the last one I read so I was pretty excited to start reading The Caves of Steel.

The mystery was really interesting but I also felt that it was almost a side aspect.  I did find the reveal to be really interesting and so well done though, I thought it was so brilliant.  I didn’t even guess at who the bad guy was so that was a bonus.

The main part of the story was more about the relationship between robots and humans and why humans thought the way they did.  R. Daneel Olivaw acted as a voice for how humans acted and what human nature was like.

I almost felt like there was a philosophical debate between R. Daneel Olivaw and Lije which was really interesting because they both put forth their arguments and you could see where each one was coming from and it was just really enjoyable.

Overall, I really liked The Caves of Steel and am excited to read the next book in the series as Isaac Asimov is a fantastic writer whose books I adore.

Source: Library

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Cause of Death

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 2010 (first published 1996)

Series: Book 7, Kay Scarpetta

Pages: 372

Summary: An investigative reporter is found dead in Virginia's icy waters...

New Year's Eve and the final murder scene of Virginia's bloodiest year takes Scarpetta thirty feet below the Elizabeth River's icy surface. A diver, Ted Eddings, is dead, an investigative reporter who was a favourite at the medical examiner's office. Was Eddings probing the frigid depths of the Inactive Shipyard for a story, or simply diving for sunken trinkets? And why did Scarpetta receive a phone call from someone reporting the death before the police were notified?
The case envelops Scarpetta, her niece Lucy, and police captain Pete Marino in a world where both cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned detective work are critical offensive weapons. Together they follow the trail of death to a well of violence as dark and forbidding as the water that swirled over Ted Eddings.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I would have thought that reaching the seventh book in the series I would be starting to get a little bored with the Kay Scarpetta series but I have to say that I am still happily reading through the series.  I quite enjoyed Cause of Death.

One thing that surprised me was that this book started off like the others in the series; there’s a mysterious death in which Kay Scarpetta begins to investigate, some strange things start happening and then all of a sudden there are terrorists and it just really took a turn that I was not expecting.

I’m not sure if I missed a couple of things or not but I felt as though the ending was really abrupt and it left a couple of loose ends which weren’t explained, I felt as though there were a few important connections missing that kind of annoyed me.

Now, I am not one to put down coincidences but I have to say that after book 7 in the series I find it a little hard to swallow that once again Kay Scarpetta falls into solving part of the mystery thanks to an amazing coincidence.  I was also a little disappointed that there wasn’t as much lab work as in the previous books.

I did enjoy the mystery in this book; I got sucked into the beginning of the book because I was really curious as to how things would tie in together.  The beginning was so mysterious and it had this creepy element to it that I really loved.

While I don’t feel this is the strongest book in the series I am hoping that the series will get better as I have read the premise for the next book and it sounds amazing.

Source: Purchased

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Title: Call of the Wild

Author: Jack London

Published: Scholastic, 2001 (first published 1900)

Pages: 172

Summary: Buck is a dog born to luxury, but his life changes dramatically when he is sold to be a sled dog in the Yukon Terrority. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: The Call of the Wild isn’t the sort of book that I would normally read; for starters, I don’t tend to enjoy reading books which feature animals as a protagonist.  That being said, I did quite enjoy The Call of the Wild.

The Call of the Wild is extremely well written and the language is clear and picturesque.  I found it quite easy to read through the pages and enjoy every sentence put down on the page.

The story is an adventure story and I usually love high fantasy adventure stories but I really enjoyed this one.  I think the fact that it was from a dogs point of view added something unique so I found it to be a really enjoyable element.

Overall, I quite enjoyed The Call of the Wild.  It was something different from what I normally read and it made a nice change of pace.

Source: AudiobookSync

Friday, November 15, 2013

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Once Burned

Author: Jeaniene Frost

Published: Avon, 2012

Series: Book 1, Night Prince

Pages: She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: As someone who loved Vlad in the Night Huntress books I was so happy that he had been given his own little series and so I have been really excited to read this one since it first came out.  I actually had this one on pre-order but it sat on my shelf for a long time before I actually managed to pick it up.

That being said, now having read the book I am happy that I did but I also feel a little disappointed.  I just feel a little like Vlad was kind of boring in this book.  I wanted to get to know him a little more but really I didn’t feel like I discovered anything new and if anything, I found Vlad to be a little uninteresting.

Leila was an interesting character, but I didn’t find her to be someone that I really liked.  I thought it was great how she liked to fight her own battles.  The one thing that I found to be really awesome about her were her powers and I couldn’t but wonder what they would be like if she ever became a vampire.

I really enjoyed the story in this one.  At first I thought that this mysterious enemy was someone that was briefly mentioned in one of the previous books in the Night Huntress series but then I found out it was someone different.  It was still interesting but this person who was mentioned once or twice in the Night Huntress series would have been a far better and more interesting person.

I did however, find Once Burned enjoyable and I am interested in reading the next book in the series, which I just happen to already have.

Source: Purchased

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Title: Thinking, Fast and Slow

Author: Daniel Kahneman

Published: Farrar, Strous, and Giroux, 2011

Pages: 499

Summary: Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I started this book for my university work but I wanted to talk about it because it is such a good book that I feel like I should share it with anyone who will pay attention.  I really want to walk around with this book, shoving it into people’s hands and telling them to read it as it will really blow their minds.  Unless of course, you have a degree in psychology, then you probably won’t be surprised.

I feel like this book has practically everything, it talks statistics, psychology, philosophy, economics, almost everything you could think of.

Daniel Kahneman provides a narrative that sucks you in from the first page and from there it keeps flowing in such a way that pages just fly by.  It’s a non-fiction book that almost feels like a fictional novel.

I found Thinking, Fast and Slow to be quite intriguing as it discusses how people think in two systems, a fast, automatic response and a slower more logical response.  The book has examples for people to try out and it’s surprising just how many of the things I think I don’t do but that my responses to the examples showed I thought the same way for a lot of things.

This is definitely something different to what I would normally read but I would definitely encourage everyone to read it because it is highly insightful and is written in such a way that keeps you engaged right up until the very end.

Source: Purchased

Friday, November 1, 2013

And I'm back

I'm really excited to be back too.  I've finally finished university, not only for the year, but for the foreseeable future.  This year has been extremely busy and I had to let book blogging fall by the wayside for a while.  That being said, I'm back and 15 books behind on my challenge so that is what I am going to be doing in November.  Reading as many books as I can so I can get on top of my reading challenge and participating in NaNoWriMo so I can work on my novel too which I really love to do.

So yeah, I don't actually have a lot else to say right this minute, other than keep an eye out for my return.  I'll be doing the usual schedule of reviews every Monday and Friday and other content on Wednesday's.  I imagine once I get into the swing of reading for fun and actually having time to read whatever I want I will be more likely to post more content.

I really have missed book blogging and so I am really excited to pick up right from where I left off.  It seems surprisingly easy so far to be honest.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Return by Melissa Douthit

Title: The Return

Author: Melissa Douthit

Published: Couronne Press, 2013

Pages: 336

Series: Book 3, The Raie'Chaelia

Summary: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! After the fall from the Maaldan cliff, Chalice is reunited with her friends on a journey that takes them to the coastline of Ielieria. Little do Vlaad and his Fierain know what is in store for them as, bit by bit, their plans are thwarted by this blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty.

The small band of rebels then travels across the Realm, preparing it for war, while Chalice herself is brewing plans of her own that may just land her in the hot seat. What will happen when she returns her father to the throne? What will happen when he finds out what she has done? And … what will happen once Dar’Maalda learns of the rebels’ location?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After reading the first two books in the Raie'Chaelia series and really enjoying them I was looking forward to reading The Return.  Especially after the cliffhanger ending of the last book.

The story starts off straight away and promises to be exciting, with all that Chalice must do.  I know that a lot of people get annoyed at the large amounts of information about the world and aspects of the world but I actually enjoy reading about those parts.

The romance between Chalice and Jeremiah heats up in this book and yep, it definitely does heat up.  That's all I'm going to say about that.

I did really enjoy the story as a whole.  It was a good ending to the trilogy and I'm a little sad to see it ending.  Some of the sentence structure was worded a little strangely at some points but apart from that I found The Return to be quite enjoyable.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

In My Absence

So I realised that I haven't posted in a really long time.  This is because I'm inundated with a large amount of assignments right now so I will come back to posting on a regular schedule at the end of October. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Irises by Francisco X. Stork

Title: Irises

Author: Francisco X. Stork

Published: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2012

Pages: 288

Summary: TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. -- if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.

THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate's boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own. 
ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it's Mama's life that might divide them for good -- the question of *if* she lives, and what's worth living for.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Irises is a depressing novel.  The entire time I was reading this book I could feel the cold and sombre tones seeping through the pages and into my psyche.  It left me feeling a little gloomy in all honesty.

One thing that bothered me about this book is that I felt like the characters acted in such a strange and unrealistic way.  I mean, yeah, grief does strange things to people but it wasn’t just Mary and Kate who acted strangely.  I just felt like the decisions some of the characters made were so weird.

I feel as though there were things missing from the ending, like it didn’t give full closure.  There’s no sense of how much time has passed since the epilogue and not everything was given a resolution or explanation when they were considered to be main plot points, I found that a little awkward really.

Overall, I thought that Irises was a well-written book but I feel as though it just wasn’t for me.  I think I’m growing out of contemporary fiction and so while I can appreciate this novel for what it was, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as someone else who loves contemporary fiction would.

Source: AudiobookSync

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It’s not you, it’s me

I have decided that life is too short to read bad books.  That being said, sometimes I feel like I’ve invested so much time into a series that I don’t want to break up with the series.  However, I have now decided that if I don’t like the books in the series I am not going to continue them.  This is a little feature where I effectively “break up” with a series of books and the reasons why.

House of Night – The first book had so much potential, I adored it!  Unfortunately, as the series progressed I got less and less interested in the books.  Zoey became the type of person that she used to absolutely hate and she just seemed so hypocritical after that.  I felt like each book dragged out a lot and reading the back of the books would just give me about 2/3 of the plot which drove me nuts.

Maximum Ride - I really enjoyed the first couple of books in the series but I felt like once one storyline had ended I had no reason to pick up the fourth book.  I also just didn’t really like the premise of the fourth book.  I feel like the story had great potential in the first couple of books but after that it took a strange turn and I just can’t bring myself to pick up any more.

Gossip Girl – I started this series as a little brain melting experience and just felt like after a while all the drama was not something I was excited about anymore so I just haven’t read any more of the books.

Pretty Little Liars – I freaking loved these books, after book 4 I was surprised but also excited that A who may or may not have been the real A was found out but then books 5- 8 featured someone entirely new and it ended in such a way that left me feeling pretty happy, I thought awesome, it’s over, now I can move on.  
Then book 9 appeared and I read it and felt like it was enjoyable but when it was revealed that this series goes to at least book 14, I just decided to stop at book 9.  Some series can continue on in large amounts but I feel as though a book series like Pretty Little Liars has to end somewhere.

Fallen - I remember that I enjoyed the first book, Fallen, but then when I read the second book I struggled through it and it took me forever to get through it.  I didn't like where the book ended and I just hadn't felt inclined to read the next book in the series.  Now I have decided that I will never go back to finish the series.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

Title: Rodrick Rules

Author: Jeff Kinney

Published: Amulet Books, 2008

Pages: 224

Series: Book 2, Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Summary: Secrets have a way of getting out, especially when a diary is involved. 

Whatever you do, don’t ask Greg Heffley how he spent his summer vacation, because he definitely doesn’t want to talk about it. 

As Greg enters the new school year, he’s eager to put the past three months behind him . . . and one event in particular. 
Unfortunately for Greg, his older brother, Rodrick, knows all about the incident Greg wants to keep under wraps. But secrets have a way of getting out . . . especially when a diary is involved. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This is the second book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and I was really looking forward to reading it after the first one.  The first book was absolutely hilarious.  I have to say that while the second book is funny, I didn’t find it to be as funny as the first one.

Rodrick Rules is what the second Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie is partially based on.  While the first book follows the movie really closely, Rodrick Rules had similar elements to the movie but they definitely differed a lot more.

The illustrations are definitely what help make these books hilarious.  They just add this extra layer of hilarity which I love.

There’s not a lot else to say about this book really, I freaking love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series as it is so funny.  As soon as I finished this one I went online and purchased the third book in the series.  If you’re looking for something funny to read I would highly suggest reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Source: Purchased

Friday, August 23, 2013

From Potter's Field by Patricia Cornwell

Title: From Potter's Field

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 1995

Pages: 400

Series: Book 6, Kay Scarpetta

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! Christmas had never been a particularly good time for Dr Kay Scarpetta. Although a holiday for most, it always seem to heighten the alienation felt by society's violent fringe; and that usually means more work for Scarpetta, Virginia's Chief Medical ExaminerI. The body was naked, female and found propped against a fountain in a bleak area of New York's Central Park. Her apparent manner of death points to a modus operandi that is chillingly familiar: the gunshot wound to the head, the sections of skin excised from the body, the displayed corpse - all suggest that Temple Brooks Gault, Scarpetta's nemesis, is back at work. Calling on all her reserves of courage and skill, and the able assistance of colleagues Marino and Wesley, Scarpetta must track this most dangerous of killers in pursuit of survival as well as justice - heading inexorably to an electrifying climax amid the dark, menacing labyrinths of the New York subway.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I’ve been really loving this series so far and so I was really excited to pick up the sixth book to read through.

I have to say that From Potter’s Field wasn’t my favourite book in the series, mostly because this is the third book that features the same killer and I was starting to get a little tired of reading about him.  For that reason I felt as though the beginning of the book was a little slow.

Thankfully, the book picked up and the last quarter of the book was so good.  I flew through the pages to make it to the end.  I did feel that the conflict part was pretty fast but I did enjoy the lead up to it.

There’s not really a lot else to say about From Potter’s Field, it was an enjoyable book and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Source: Purchased

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A-Z Bookish Survey

Lately I have seen this one floating around the blogosphere and so I have decided to take part.  This survey was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-turner.

Author you’ve read the most books from:
R. L Stine, I read so many Goosebumps books when I was a kid and then when I was in high school I moved on to Fear Street.

Best Sequel Ever:
This is a hard one, I would probably have to say Perception by Kim Harrington

Currently Reading:
I am reading at the moment that I am typing this, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Irises by Francisco Stork, The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov, Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Call of Cthulhu and other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft, Carrie by Stephen King (yeah, I’m trying not to read so many books at once but it’s really difficult)

Drink of Choice While Reading:

E-reader or Physical Book?
Both but if I had to choose I would definitely choose physical book.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
This is a hard one because there are the dream guys but then in a realistic sense I would probably say Neville Longbottom just because he’s so sweet and well meaning, that would be my kind of guy.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, I am now in love.

Hidden Gem Book:
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford, such a fantastic book!

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
The day I got my first Goosebumps book, it was my first chapter book and I have huge memories about that day.

Just Finished:
Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

Kinds of Books You Won't Read:
These days I would have to say that I am not enjoying the contemporary genre that much.

Longest Book You’ve Read:
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, it took a really long time to read it too.

Major book hangover because of:

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Number of Bookcases You Own:

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Preferred Place To Read:

A big comfy chair

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
“I keep wishing, reflexively, for a glimpse of the future, so I'll know what to do. But I don't kid myself. I have to feel my way forward blindly. I try not to be afraid. Even if you know what's coming, you're never prepared for how it feels.” 

 Natalie Standiford, How to Say Goodbye in Robot

Reading Regret:
Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James (I read this to the end hoping it would get better but I really wish I had not started it at all)

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Unapologetic Fangirl For:
I would have to say R. L. Stine

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, I’m just really excited to try it.

Worst Bookish Habit:
Starting a book, reading a few pages, putting it down and then starting a brand new book so I end up reading a ton of books at once.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Fire by Kristin Cashore

Your latest book purchase:
The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
And then there were none by Agatha Christie