31 October 2010

In My Mailbox - (4)

IMM is a meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren. Basically, you just take a picture/make a video showing what you got in the mail this past week. Pretty simple, yes? So, here's what I got this past fortnight.


YA Books:
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Read)
- Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (Read)
- Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Read)
- The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (Read; click for review)
- Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
- Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Adult Books:
- The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
- Nemesis by Jo Nesbo
- The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo
- Blood & Ice by Robert Masello
- Kiss of Evil by Richard Montanari
- A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter
- Sister by Rosamund Lupton
- One Shot by Lee Child
- Die Trying by Lee Child
- 61 Hours by Lee Child
- Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell


YA Books:
- Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Come back next week as I have a few more books in mind. This is seriously turning into an obsession. Before I was just an addict.

What did you get this week? :)

28 October 2010

The Dead Tossed Waves: Carrie Ryan

Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's ever known and, and all she needs for happiness.

But life after the Return is never safe and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back.

Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but, like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling.

One night beyond the Barrier . . .
One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery . . .
One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned.

Now Gabry knows only one thing: if she has any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past. - Summary from Goodreads

If you read my review on Carrie Ryan’s previous book in the series “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” you’ll know that I wasn’t too impressed by it overall. Like I said in that review, I wanted to read the second book in the series because I did find the whole world that Ryan created very intriguing, even if I didn’t particularly like Mary, the main protagonist. I saw that “The Dead Tossed Waves” followed the story of Mary’s daughter instead, a fact that I was both relieved and worried about. What if Gabry was just like her mother?

Nonetheless, I read “The Dead Tossed Waves”, and ended up really liking it. The plot is a lot more organised than the plot in TFOHAT, as I felt that there was a lot more thought put into the pacing and the timeline. As in the first novel, the zombies - or “Mudo” - in this book are still my favourite part. The whole story about The Return is very interesting, and I honestly felt really connected with the story because the zombies were so realistic. 

The love triangle aspect of the story is another similarity to the previous novel. Gabry struggles with her feelings for her childhood friend, Catcher, and her new, mysterious friend Elias, and a lot of the novel is based around these three people, and Gabry trying to figure out which one she should give up. I didn’t think there was much need for a love triangle in this book. A lot of authors seem to love the triangles at the moment, and I admit, sometimes they can be very interesting. However, I do not think that this love triangle did anything for the overall story. Catcher could just have easily been a good friend to Gabry, rather than a love interest. 

I loved Gabry as a character. She was a lot more easy to connect with than her mother, Mary, as she is quite rightly frightened of the world outside the walls of her town. She shows fear of the Mudo and I find this to be one of her greater qualities. She’s scared, and yet she still ventures out of the town to look after her friend and to find her mother. 

I also really liked Elias, who was an interesting asset to the story. However, I did not particularly like Catcher. His own story was interesting, and the twist was a nice touch but when teamed with Gabry’s, I did not find him interesting at all, and very two dimensional.

Mary was the same, selfish little girl that she was in the first book. So much for my expectations of her growing up after the demise of her friends and family! *spoiler* I mean, the day after Gabry’s friends are killed and Returned, she runs off to the Forest to go and find her old village? And then she stays there without going back to find her daughter? What kind of a mother does that? 

Overall, I really did enjoy this book, and the ending is a great lead up to the next book in the series “The Dark and Hollow Places”.  A few things brought this book down a peg or two, though.

Rating: 4/5

You can buy The Dead Tossed Waves from Amazon UK, Amazon US or The Book Depository.

25 October 2010

Monday 10/25 - What Are You Reading?

My fourth It's Monday, What Are You Reading? post. Onto the books!

Last week I read and reviewed: (click title for review!)
Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

I reviewed: (click title for review!)
Gone by Michael Grant

Books read last week and still awaiting review:
The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (I'm still trying to get my head round this one)

I'm STILL reading:
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton (I had no laptop to read the ebook.. the darn charger broke!)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I bought:
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
Sister by Rosamund Lupton
61 Hours by Lee Childs

I'm about to start reading The Maze Runner :) I need to get on to my reviews, but can't get my head round Mockingjay at the moment. I don't know whether I love it, hate it or ... if I just want to cry haha. Has anyone else read it? Let me know what you think!

22 October 2010

Wildthorn: Jane Eagland

Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor's daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labeled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself - and others - in order to be set free. And love may be the key... - Summary from Goodreads.com

To start with, it took me a while to get into this book and because of this I was a little hesitant to continue reading. However, I am very glad I did continue, as this book was a truly great read in the end.

The story is set in the 19th century and starts when our protagonist, Louisa, is sent to an insane asylum. Louisa has no idea why she has been sent there, or who has sent her, and she spends a good length of the book trying to figure these things out. She knows that she is not insane, however it's up to the reader if they believe her or not. 

The narrative takes us from the present day, back to the past to Louisa's childhood, and there we learn about how she has always wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and become a doctor. A female doctor was not seen as acceptable in Louisa's time and as we read various 'flashbacks' we see how Louisa struggles with being different to most girls, and not living up to her mother's expectations of her. 

I thought that the plot was well thought out, and there were even a couple of twists, which I am not used to in a historical novel. I was very interested in the asylum and the culture of 19th century England, and Eagland managed to keep me intrigued throughout the novel. She painted a perfect picture of the era and some of the descriptions were so vivid I had to stop reading for a moment to take it all in. 

The character of Louisa was very likable, and I felt able to connect with her easily. I felt so sorry for her being locked up in the asylum for no apparent reason, but she was strong and that is what gave me hope.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. As Jane Eagland's first book, I think she did a phenomenal job with it, and I will certainly be reading more of her works in the future.
Rating: 4/5

 You can buy 'Wildthorn' from Amazon US, Amazon UK or The Book Depository in both hardback and paperback. Go and check it out!

19 October 2010

Gone: Michael Grant

In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.
It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...
- Goodreads.com

I really enjoyed this book.

The writing style is what initially drew me in, as well as the plot, because it is well suited for a young adult audience and the description/dialogue is very well balanced out. It is great not reading a book that has a focus on the dialogue with little description, and also not reading twenty pages about a tree.  

The plot is fast, and action packed. It was very hard to put this book down, as every time I was about to something would happen to make me have to carry on. I think I read this book in one day, as it was so good.  

Each of the main characters have a purpose, they are not just thrown in there. I found this to be brilliant, because there is a HUGE amount of characters in this book, and I applaud Grant for keeping up with them all. Each and every one was subject to some character development and I think that's exactly what every book needs. The protagonist was not perfect, as they sometimes are in YA book *cough*Edward*cough* and the antagonist actually had a reason to be bad. I loved that.

The supernatural powers that some of the kids develop are very interesting, and I loved reading about them as I love books about superpowers and such. There is not much that I didn't like about this book - other than I didn't get the edition with the green pages! Why?? It is a great YA dystopian novel (yay, my favourite genre!) so it gets a very good rating!

Rating: 4/5
The series so far:
Gone (2008)
Hunger (2009)
Lies (2010)
Plague (2011)
Links go to Goodreads
You can buy Gone from Amazon US, Amazon UK or The Book Depository.

Teaser Tuesday! (2)

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can join in, all you have to do is the following:

- Grab your current read 
- Open to a random page 
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Right now, I'm in the middle of reading 'Wildthorn' by Jane Eagland.


"... china shepherdesses on the mantelpiece, a canary singing in a cage. Homely things. But this isn't home. The shadow of bars fall across the carpet.

An asylum. For the insane." - pg. 42

I hope you liked the teaser! It's a really good book so far, and I highly recommend reading it! Happy reading everyone! :)

18 October 2010

Monday 10/18 - What Are You Reading?

My second It's Monday, What Are You Reading? post. Like last week, my pace is a bit slow compared to some. I blame school. Agh. I have so much cousrework it's unbelievable, but I still manage to squeeze in some reading. Do I really need to explain myself? Onto the books!

Last week I read and reviewed (click link for review!):
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (Which I absolutely loved!)

I started reading and plan to finish soon:
Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald

I'm STILL reading:
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

I bought:
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (hahahaha, I've just realised - 'Runner'... 'Dashner'. *facepalm* I'm tired, okay?)
The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

I'm crazy, I'm sure of it. I keep buying all these books, and then not finishing the ones I've bought before buying another batch. It's an addiction. I've tried fighting it but what can you do? My brother suggested going to a hypnotist. Haha. If only it was that easy.

I'm not planning to read anything else this week, because I have enough to read as it is! I really need to finish TGG before half term. I don't think it's going to happen though, as I'm going a bit slowly. I would blame the coursework, but I actually... no. I refuse to blame the YA books. Nope. 

I hope you all have a great week!

17 October 2010

In My MailBox - (3)

IMM is a meme created by Kristi at The Story Siren. Basically, you just take a picture/make a video showing what you got in the mail this past week. Pretty simple, yes? So, here's what I got. It was a lot slower than last week, which isn't surprising because last week I went crazy buying books! 

I bought Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick from Amazon.co.uk. It arrived on Thursday and I've read it already. I can honestly say I loved it, and there's a review on my blog (the post before this one). You should definitely pick up this book!

I also bought Wings by Aprilynne Pike. I haven't started it yet, but it looks really good! It's about faeries :) Don't let the quote from Stephenie Meyer put you off trying it, as I've heard great things.

The third and final book that arrived was Iced Under by Nadine Doolittle. I won it from Goodreads.com and it came signed with a bookmark from the author's local library (!) and a letter addressed to me. I can't wait to read it. Don't you think the cover looks creepy? It's a person trapped under the ice.

And that's all this week. Hopefully I'll get some more books in the week to come! Happy reading everyone!

Crescendo: Becca Fitzpatrick

Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described as anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away, and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home. 

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch, or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine? 
- Goodreads.com

As usual, Becca Fitzpatrick knows exactly what to do to get your heart racing. I don’t think I’ve ever been so eager to turn the pages as I have with Crescendo, and during certain scenes I honestly thought my heart was going to explode out of my rib cage. The plot of this book was as, if not more, fast paced as that in Hush, Hush and it started from the very first page. There was no slow build up, Fitzpatrick just threw you in there and let you have it. 

This book is based around more of the Nephilim, who want to take on the fallen angels who have been invading their bodies for centuries. Honestly, I don’t blame them for wanted to do this - who wants your body invaded every year? But this upcoming war means that, potentially, thousands and thousands of humans could get hurt - including Nora. 

Nora and Patch’s relationship is also a main focus in this book, as after the steamy first chapter it takes a nose dive. I think this was the main reason for my near heart failure. Nora became very jealous of Patch and his new found relationship with Marcie and, as usual, Patch kept a lot of things from her. This was the most frustrating part for me, as I honestly do hate Marcie, and I couldn’t understand why Patch would want to spend time with her.

Vee and Nora were, yet again, hilarious together. Vee was a lot less annoying than she was in Hush, Hush and I think that’s a huge plus. I really loved her in this book and her and Nora’s detective skills were amazing. 

As for the main twist of the novel… I saw it coming. Does this mean my detective skills are getting better? Or maybe the twist was just predictable. I don’t know, it’s hard to tell. The ending was very intense and if I had been in a room with my parents they would have probably ask me why in the world I am pulling such weird facial expressions. 

A certain line on the second to last page is very squee-worthy, but that’s short lived due to the ENORMOUS cliffhanger at the end. I don’t know how I’m going to last until next year to read the third book in the series because I am seriously freaking out here. 

Overall, an amazing, breathtaking, suspenseful book. Try to compare it to Twilight now, you haters! If you’ve read Hush, Hush, then you’d be crazy not to pick up this book. What’s holding you back? If you haven’t read this series yet, then I highly recommend reading it - but start with Hush, Hush because otherwise you won’t understand the characters at all - especially Patch. 

I couldn’t decide whether this deserved a five star rating for being absolutely amazing, or a four star rating for annoying the heck out of me and keeping me in the dark for a majority of the book. But, finally, I have settled on five stars because how could I give it anything else?

Rating: A well deserved 5/5

You can buy Crescendo at Amazon.co.uk; The Book Depository or at Amazon.com

13 October 2010

What Made Your Day Today? #13

My day has already been made, even though it's only 4pm. 'Crescendo' has been shipped! That means it should be arriving the day after tomorrow - Friday. And if not, then Saturday! I can't wait, I'm rather excited. Can you tell? *grins*

The Forest of Hands and Teeth: Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths.
 The Sisterhood always knows best.
 The Guardians will protect and serve.
 The Unconsecrated will never relent.
 And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
 But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and the one who loves her.
 And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death? - Summary from Goodreads

I have very mixed feelings about this book. The plot had real potential, as I love dystopian novels and I was very excited to start this one. However, I don’t think that the plot lived up to said potential, as a lot of it was dragged out - such as Mary’s involvement in the Sisterhood. Whereas other parts of the plot were rushed over and there was no real development - *spoiler* for example, in the XIV village, when Mary and Travis were living together, and also when Mary lost Jed in the Forest. 

I loved the idea of the village and the Forest, and the Infected. I loved how Carrie Ryan told the reader about different parts of the history involving how the village(s) came to be, and how the civilisations were developed.

Carrie Ryan’s writing style was acceptable. I was really drawn in by the story but I found that some of the similes used were quite strange and the description was lacking at times. 

As for the main character, I found Mary to be very selfish and this frustrated me. She was raised in a community in which everyone cared for each other and looked out for one another. And yet, she only wanted to look out for herself. She chases after a wild dream, and doesn’t care who she loses along the way, even if she apparently loves them. To love a book, I have to love the main character and Mary was just not likable. That said, I did like Travis and Harry, even Jed, and I felt a little sorry for them for reasons I’m not going to go into, because they’ll spoil the book!

For the most part, the book was really good and I plan to read the second book ‘The Dead Tossed Waves’ even if it is only for the plot and I can't wait to read more about the history aspect and how the Infection started!

Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book at The Book Depository, Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

12 October 2010

Fifty Five Questions: #3

My third post for the meme on Booking Through Thursday -instead of completing all of the questions in one long post, I've decided to do one every few days so that the posts are smaller, and it will keep going for longer :) 

Question Five: What do you currently have checked out at the library?
 Like I said before, I don't use the library because the ones around here are totally useless. I just buy my books instead. So, to answer the question, nada. 

Question Six: Do you have an e-reader?
 Nope, I just use my faithful laptop if I want to read an e-book. I don't want to fork out a load of money for a Kindle or anything when I can just use this :)

Question Seven: Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
 Well, I prefer to read one book at a time. However, I do start books, get halfway through and then buy a few more that look interesting and start one of those. And then the cycle continues. So at the moment, I'm reading six books, but I'm only really focussing on two - one for review, and one that I just want to read. And then there's school books. Don't even get me started on those. 

Teaser Tuesday! (1)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading.

Here's what to do:
· 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 author and title, too, so that the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

"The Unconsecrated are now within touching distance and as we close in on the door to the house we have to push them aside, their mouths gaping open as they grope for us. They lean toward us and I smell their death and then we are inside and Travis pushes at the door until it clicks shut."

I hope that got you interested if you haven't read the book!
Happy reading everyone!

What Made Your Day Today? #11 and 12

- Yesterday I stayed at my friend's house and we had a good chat and just sat around doing nothing for ages. Which was relaxing, and fun! She has a new kitten (I'll post a picture tomorrow) and he is named Aubrey after my Grandad. He's adorable and he quite obviously loves me. I think I'm his favourite... okay maybe not. Unless, of course, biting is his way of showing affection.

- Today.. The Vampire Diaries is on! ITV2, 9pm everyone! That's half an hour. I've already seen the episode at least five times, but I'm going to watch it again anyway. I must support the show in any way I can! Random fact for you - did you know that Ian Somerhalder gets paid approx. $40,000 per episode? That's $880,000 per season! It's crazy.. I'm betting he donates a lot of that money though, I can't see him keeping it when there are animals in need! *loves*

I hope everyone had a good couple of days!

11 October 2010

Monday 10/11 - What Are You Reading?

This week I'm beginning with the meme It's Monday What Are You Reading because it looks like a good way to keep track of things. Even if I'm not going as fast as I hoped.

So, last week I read and reviewed (click to see review):
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

I started reading, and plan to finish reading this week:
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

And this week I plan to read:
The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald

Have a good week everyone, and happy reading! 

10 October 2010

What Made Your Day Today? #9 and 10

- Today, we went to a lovely little restaurant for dinner. I had meatballs and spaghetti (I'm still drooling, it was GOOD!) and then for dessert I had a Rocky Horror, which is ice cream, whipped cream and sauce on top of chocolate fudge brownies. *dribble dribble* No I feel like I'm about to explode, but it was soooo worth it. 

- Yesterday night I had a night in with my step sister and her friend. We watched a movie - 'Orphan', which is a thriller - and had a load of snacks and then we just had some fun mucking around and taking pictures. It was nice to spend time with Emily because she's usually out when I go to visit. 

So, all in all, it was a pretty uneventful weekend. But, it was a wonderful one! Now I'm off to continue reading "The Forest of Hands and Teeth." Although I really should be doing some coursework... -.-


In My Mail Box - (2)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren :) 

- Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
- Wicked Lovely by Melinda Marr
- Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
- The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
- Tithe by Holly Black
- Evermore by Alyson Noel
- Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
- Fallen by Lauren Kate

- Forest Dancers by Garry Kilworth
- All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

Fifty Five Questions: #2

My second post for the meme on Booking Through Thursday -instead of completing all of the questions in one long post, I've decided to do one every few days so that the posts are smaller, and it will keep going for longer :)

Question Two: What are you reading right now?
Right now? I'm writing this. But I'm currently in the middle of reading 'Tyger Tyger' by Kersten Hamilton. I really need to start 'The Great Gatsby' because I need to read it for school... but I have so many other books to read I keep getting distracted! I have just finished 'Hush, Hush' and loved it, and now I'm finding it hard to get into any other books. I think I have a new obsession.

Question Three: What books do you have on request at the library?
I don't take books out of the library. Simply because, my local library is useless and doesn't have many YA books. The books they do have are mainly non fiction and there are a few picture books for children. The library in the next town is pretty much the same. The best library is in a different county, and it would take far too long to get to and from every few days. I've tried ordering in a couple of times but I prefer to just buy my books now and take my sweet time with them.

Question Four: Bad book habit?
I read in the bath. And I sometimes *cringe* splash my book or - once in a blue moon - I drop my book in the water. *Runs away in shame.*