Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Signing (1)

These are some cricketers autobiographies that I got signed when the England Cricket Team toured Australia during the most recent Ashes series in November 2010-January 2011.

Books are: 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday (3)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week features a different topic, and you make a top ten list about it. This week is the top ten books you think are perfect Halloween reads.

We don't really have Halloween here in Australia. But I will still give it a go: 

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins;

2. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff;

3. The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead;

4. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Series by Heather Brewer;

5. The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris;

6. The Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine;

7. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling;

8. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce;

9. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer;

10. Carrie by Stephen King

October Book Haul

Click on the book's title for link to the books Goodreads page. This will be my last huge book haul for a while as I am going to Sydney soon to see the Harry Potter Exhibit.

      Monday, October 24, 2011

      Book Review #79 - Scarlett Fever (Scarlett #2) by Maureen Johnson

      Faced with her family's financial woes, Scarlett has taken on the job of assistant/indentured servant to a newly minted theatrical agent, professional eccentric Mrs. Amy Amberson. Scarlett ends up at the beck and call of a Broadway star (her own age!), dealing with territorial doormen, and walking a small dog with insecurity issues - all while starting her sophomore year at one of New York's most rigorous high schools. 

      It doesn't help that Scarlett's brain is clouded with thoughts of Eric, her former sort-of boyfriend. She has thousands of things to say to him, if only he would call. And then there's her new lab partner, the impossible Max, who's on a quest to destroy what little mind she has left. 

      Meanwhile, her older brother, Spencer, has become New York City's most controversial TV villain; her ever-reliable older sister, Lola, is sliding off the rails; her younger sister, Marlene, most worryingly, has suddenly become.....nice. 

      But somehow Scarlett will prevail......right? 

      My Rating: 3/5
      I definitely did not like this book as much as the first book in the series Suite Scarlett. 

      I felt like for a second book in the series, it never built on the first book at all. 

      The Spencer storyline was good, but I felt like ALOT more could have been done with it. 

      Lola, who I didn't really care for at all in the first book really grew on me in this one and I still don't really like Marlene at all. I didn't really like Scarlett that much either, she was whiny at times and immature. 

      Altogether though, this is a really interesting series and I am definitely going to check out other Maureen Johnson books.

      Blog Hop #11

      Book Blogger Hop is a bookish meme hosted by the blog Crazy For Books. It is designed to get book bloggers talking about, what else, books.

      Question: What is your favorite type of candy?

      Answer: I know I'm weird, but I absolutely HATE chocolate and lollies (and ice-cream). The only chocolate I can withstand is Tim Tams.  

      Follow Friday #19

      Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.

      Question:What superhero is your alter-ego?

      Answer: I did a quiz and it told me I was:
      Your results:
      You are Superman

      The Flash
      Green Lantern
      Wonder Woman
      Iron Man

      You are mild-mannered, good,
      strong and you love to help others.

      Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...

      On My Wishlist #2

      On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.

      A book that is high on my wishlist is The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I want it because it just sounds really interesting and I really like the cover. 

      Wednesday, October 19, 2011

      Book Review #78 - Silvermay (Silvermay #1) by James Moloney

      Sixteen-year old Silvermay Hawker feels drawn to the newcomer in her village - a young man of solemn good looks named Tamlyn. But only heartache can come of this, because Tamlyn is devoted to Nerigold and to little Lucien, her son. 

      So things seem, until the dark forces of Coyle Strongbow come in search of Nerigold's baby and Silvermay is swept up in the young family's escape. When Lucien is entrusted to her care, she discovers the startling horror of what he might become, and the truth about Tamlyn, too. 

      Can Lucien be spared his fate, or is he doomed to become like Coyle? And Tamlyn, can he be trusted, can he be loved and can he love in return? Silvermay's heart will not give him up, but what happens when devotion becomes a weapon in the hands of the ruthless?

      My Rating: 5/5

      I had never read anything by James Moloney before reading this book, in fact I had never even heard of James Moloney - yet after reading this book, I want to read everything he has ever written.

      This book is the first in a trilogy, and if the next two books are at the same standard as this one then this trilogy will be one of my favourite series.  

      What I loved most about this book was how quickly you get pulled into their world. The characters were all very likable and well developed. 

      The plot was engaging with amazing depth. I definitely cannot wait for the next book in the series to be released.  

      Tuesday, October 18, 2011

      Top 10 Tuesday (2)

      Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week features a different topic, and you make a top ten list about it. This week is the top ten books you only bought because of the cover. 

      1. No way to Say Goodbye by Anna McPartlin - I bought this book because of the dog.
      2. Radiance by Alyson Noel - I bought this book again because of the dog as it looks exactly like my dog.

      Monday, October 17, 2011

      Library Book Haul - October 2011 (2)

      Books I got from the Library during the week: 

      • Ashes Victory: The official Story of the greatest ever Test Series in the team's own words by the England Cricket Team;
      • The Ashes Strangest Moments: Extraordinary But True Tales from Over a Century of the Ashes by Mark Baldwin;
      • Going Bovine by Libba Bray;
      • The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen;
      • Prom Nights from Hell by Various Authors;
      • Love is Hell by Various Authors;
      • Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

      Saturday, October 15, 2011

      On My Wishlist #1

      On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.
      A book that I want to buy is Divergent by Veronica Roth. It sounds really interesting and has received alot of positive reviews. 

      Blog Hop #10

      Book Blogger Hop is a bookish meme hosted by the blog Crazy For Books. It is designed to get book bloggers talking about, what else, books.

      Q:What is your favorite spooky book (i.e. mystery/suspense, thriller, ghost story, etc.)?

      Answer: I haven't read anything spooky yet. It normally takes alot to scare me. 

      Follow Friday #18

      Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.

      Question:.If you could have characters from a particular book meet and form an epic storyline with characters from a particular TV series, which would you choose and why? 

      Answer: I don't really watch TV other than to watch sport. So I would choose the characters from Vampire Academy to play some kind of sport against the pros of that sport.

      TGIF #7

      Hosted by Ginger over at G-Reads 

      Question: Show & Tell: Where do you grab a book and get lost in it? Show us your favorite spot you like to read at.

      Answer: I read everywhere throughout my house, but mainly in the family room where my dog sits with me. 

      I would show a picture but my grandparents have their belongings in boxes throughout our house as they are building their new home. 

      Friday, October 14, 2011

      Book Review #77 - The Adoration of Jenna Fox (The Fox Chronicles #1) by Mary E Pearson

      A girl wakes from a coma following a devastating accident, her memory is blank. One day she can't walk; the next she can. One day her right eyelid droops; the next it doesn't. Her parents call her recovery a miracle - but at what cost has it come? What are they hiding from her? 

      My Rating: 3.5/5

      I am not sure what I expected from this book, but what I read definitely wasn't it. I still enjoyed the book, but the plot wasn't what I was expecting.

      What I liked most about this book was the writing style. 

      I didn't really connect with any of the characters especially Jenna. I found her cold, which I know she is meant to be because she is trying to remember herself and everything but it made it hard for me to like her. 

      There is a second book in this series called The Fox Inheritance, and I am not sure if there needed to be a second book as I think book one finished perfectly.

      Wednesday, October 12, 2011

      Top 10 Tuesday (1)

      Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week features a different topic, and you make a top ten list about it. This week is the Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time.
       1. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling - by far my favourite book series of all time. 

      2. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer - The series I give credit to for getting me back into reading. 

      3. The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris - I like the books better than the TV show, and I love the TV show. 

      4. The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead - I wish I could read this series again for the first time because the first time I read it, I had just finished reading Twilight, so reading it for the first time now I would probably value it more.

      5. The Tomorrow Series by John Marsden - My first reading of this book was via audio and it was at school, and so it took about four months to finish it so I didn't like it as much as I do now. 

      6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver - I would like to read this again for the first time because the first time I read it, I had to rush the last 50 or so pages because I had to go somewhere. I actually read the last 50 pages in the car. 

      7. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - Would read again for the first time just to experience everything new again. 

      This or That Book Tag

      I found this tag here and decided to participate. 

      This Or That?

      1. Audio or Book in Hand?
      I have only listened to Audio once and that was at school, so book in hand.

      2. Soft Cover or Hardback?
      I have half and half and I am starting to buy all my favourite books again in hardcover.

      3. Fiction or Non-Fiction?
      I like both but prefer Fiction

      4. Fantasy World or Real Life Issues?
      Fantasy for sure.
      5. Harry Potter or Twilight?

       I like both, but I have to choose Harry Potter.

      6. Kindle, iPad, or Other?
      I have an ereader that I got for Christmas a few years ago but I am yet to read anything on it.

      7. Borrow or Buy?
      I hadn't gone to the library in ages because we owed late fees, but I just started going again. I prefer to buy books though because I like having books on my shelves.

      8. Bookstore or Online?
      I buy from both.

      9. Tell Me One Time or Total Trilogy?

      10. Monster Read or Short and Sweet?
      Depends how I'm going in my reading challenge.

      11. Starry-Eyed Romance or Full of Action?

      12. Curl Up in Your Snuggie or Bathe in the Sun?
      It would be unAustralian of me to not to choose the sun.

      13. Hot Chocolate or Latte?
      Neither - I hate coffee and I hate chocolate.

      14. Read the Review or Decide for Yourself?

      Book Review #76 - Suite Scarlett (Scarlett #1) by Maureen Johnson

      Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small Art Deco hotel in the heart of New York City. 

      When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite. For Scarlett's fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn't quite know what to make of this C-list starlet and world traveler. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn. 

      Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery and romantic missteps. But in the city where anything can happen, she might be able to pull it off. 

      My Rating: 4/5
      This is the second book I have read by Maureen Johnson, the first being 13 Little Blue Envelopes (review here).
      I found this book more enjoyable than 13 Little Blue Envelopes simply because of the characters. 
      The characters in this book were the main aspect of the book that I enjoyed. I loved the way the protagonist Scarlett interacted with everyone and her relationships with each member of her family. 
      I also loved the setting, seeing as it was set in my favourite city in the world, I was bound to love this book. 
      The plot was unexpected. Before reading I just thought it would be about her life living in a hotel, but it was much more deeper and complex than that which was a welcomed surprise. 
      I already have the next book in the series Scarlett Fever and will be starting it soon. 

      Book Review #75 - The Ghost and the Goth (The Ghost and the Goth #1) by Stacey Kade

      The Ghost:

      It wasn't my fault that I was born with it all - good looks, silky blond hair, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing. My life isn't perfect, though, especially since I died. Run over by bus of band geeks - could there be a worse fate? As it turns out, yes - I'm starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. To top it off, the only person who can see or hear me is Will Killian, TOTAL loser boy, and he refuses to help? 

      I need to get control of my afterlife, and fast, before I'm dead AND gone good. If I can get Will to talk to me, I might have a chance. But that means trusting him with my secrets......and I don't trust anyone, living or dead.

      The Goth:

      My mum thinks I'm crazy. My shrink wants to lock me up. Basically, my life sucks. And that was before the homecoming queen started haunting me. Alona Dare was a pain when she was alive; dead, she's even worse. 
      Yeah, I can see, hear, and touch ghosts. With just a few weeks of school left, all I want to do is graduate and get out of here, find some place with less spiritual interference. But with a dead cheerleader who won't leave me alone, and a violent new ghost who wants me dead.....I'm screwed. 

      Alona and I might be able to help each other....if we can stop hating each other long enough to try. Yeah, right. 
      My Rating: 3.5/5

      It took me three days to read this book which is longest I have taken to read a book in a long time. The reason for taking so long to read was because I found the book to be really slowly paced. 

      It took me about 3/4 of the book to warm up to Alona, as I just didn't like her. I liked Will from the beginning as he was just a fun, enjoyable character to read about.

      The plot doesn't have much depth, but that fact took nothing away from the amazing story that was created. 
      I can't wait to read the second book in the series Queen of the Dead because I think that will be where the series develops as The Ghost and the Goth was just setting up the story and introducing you to the characters.

      Book Review #74 - Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larten Crepsley #1) by Darren Shan

      For every vampire, the just the beginning. When terrible events force young Larten Crepsley to flee his home he finds himself alone in the world. 

      Then he meets the mysterious Seba Nile, who introduces him to the ways of the vampire clan. But will Larten turn his back on humanity and join a world from which there can be no return? 

      So begins the blood-soaked tale of a vampire who starts out a nobody - but who will change the world forever......

      My Rating: 3.5/5

      This book is the first in the prequel series to the Cirque Du Freak series which I haven't read. This book still made sense to me though, and I still enjoyed it, although I probably would have liked it more had I started the series from the beginning. This is also the first Darren Shan book I have read. 

      The only things that I didn't like about the book were because I hadn't read the Cirque Du Freak series, like even after I was finished reading the book I didn't know much about the characters. 

      Darren Shan's vampires are completely unique to any others I have read about, and that is probably what I liked most about this book.

      I found the book slow paced, but still managed to read it in a day. I am definitely going to put the Cirque Du Freak series on my Wishlist because I am interested in learning more about these awesome characters and the world that Darren Shan has created. 

      Friday, October 7, 2011

      Follow Friday #17

      Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.

      Question: If you could pick one character in a book, movie or television show to swap places with, who would it be?

      Answer: I always answer Harry Potter, so I will do something different. I would like to swap places with one of the characters on Friends because they all have fun, interesting lives.

      TGIF #6

      Hosted by Ginger over at G-Reads 

      Question: To-Be-Read's: How big is your pile? Which book keeps getting pushed down the stack, but you keep meaning to read it?

      Answer: I have 69 books on my bookshelf that I need to read. here is my goodreads bookshelf listing them.

      Book Review #73 - Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

       My old school, St Stella's only goes to Year Ten and most of my friends now go to Pius Senior College, but my mother wouldn't allow it because she says the girls there leave with limited options and she didn't bring me up to have limitations placed upon me. If you know my mother you'll sense there's an irony there, based on the fact that she is Queen of Limitation Placers in my life.

      Francesca is at the beginning of her second term in Year Eleven at an all boys' school that has just started accepting girls. She misses her old friends, and, to make things worse, her mother has had a breakdown and can barely move from her bed. 

      But Francesca had not counted on the fierce loyalty of her new friends, or falling in love, or finding that it's within her power to bring her family back together.  

      My Rating: 3/5 

      This is the second Melina Marchetta book I have read, the first being Looking for Alibrandi which I had to read at school nearly ten years ago. 

      I didn't like this book as much as I remember liking Looking for Alibrandi but I still enjoyed it. I finished it within 20 minutes.

      Frankie was a likeable protagonist and had a strong voice. This was definitely a character driven book.  

      Book Review #72 - 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope #1) by Maureen Johnson

      Would you follow the direction? 

      Would you travel around the world? 

      Would you open the envelopes one by one? 

      Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket. 

      In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat. 

      The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: find a starving artist. 

      Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/bloke-about-town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous - though utterly romantic - results. But will she ever see him again? 

      Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes. 

      My Rating: 4.5/5

      I was excited to read this book because I found the premise of it very intriguing and interesting. 

      Whilst aspects of it are unrealistic, like her parents letting her go especially when her mother was never a fan of the aunties lifestyle it is fiction. 

      The only negative aspect of this book was the characters. You don't learn much about Ginny at all.

      Book Review #71 - Nightlight: A Parody by Harvard Lampoon

      About three things I was absolutely certain. 

      First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. 
      Second, there was a vampire part of him - which I assumed was wildly out of control - that wanted me dead. 

      And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologic ally, and disreputably wished he had kissed me. 

      And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Harvard Lampoon's hilarious send-up. 
      Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon, looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events - Edwart leaves his chips untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball! - Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive? 

      Complete with romance, danger, insufficient guardianship, creepy stalkerlike behavior, and a vampire prom, Nightlight is the uproarious tale of a vampire-obsessed girl, looking for love in all the wrong places.   

      My Rating: 2.5/5 

      I have had the opportunity to buy this book numerous times but didn't because I thought I wouldn't like it. 

      The book doesn't have a plot and it wouldn't make sense unless you have read Twilight. 

      It was fast paced and a really quick read. I finished the book in 15-20 minutes.
      I found less than a quarter of the jokes funny, although when I did they were hilarious. 

      This is definitely a book that I will not be buying my own copy of.

      Book Review #70 - If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman

      Life can change in an instant. 

      A cold February morning....

      A snowy road....

      and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone......

      Except one. 

      As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all. 

      My Rating: 4/5
      I wasn't sure about this book before reading, given the subject matter I thought it would be more emotional than what it was - which I'm glad for. 

      I don't really read that many contemporary fiction books, but I decided this one sounded  interesting enough to read, and I'm so glad I gave it a shot. 
      The depth in the story and the characters especially were amazingly written. 

      I normally find books with flashbacks to be confusing but the way it is written in this book makes the two time-schemes fit perfectly together. 
      This is definitely one of those books that linger in your mind long after you turn the last page. 

      I am definitely excited for the movie that is in talks for production. 

      Book Review #69 - Burn Bright (Night Creatures #1) by Marianne de Pierres

      Retra doesn't want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night. Retra is a seal - sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn't crave parties and pleasure like all the others. But her brother left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. 

      Braving the pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she's ever known, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me whispers a voice in her head. Who are Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the night creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion? 

      Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures - but its secrets are deadly. 

      My Rating: 3.5/5 

      I knew nothing about this book at all before reading it. Nor had I heard of the Australian Author.

      The first thing you notice when you start reading is how unique every aspect of the book is, from the plot to the protagonists name.

      The thing that I liked most about this book was the atmosphere building language that the author used. You could picture Ixion so clearly that it made it easier to suck you into the world.

      Too many things were left open at the end of the book to fully understand what the book was about.

      Library Haul - October 2011

      Books I got from Library #1: 
      • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta;
      • Silvermay (Silvermay #1) by James Maloney;
      •  Scarlett Fever (Scarlett #2) by Maureen Johnson;
      •  Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larton Crepsley #1) by Darren Shan;
      • Extras (Uglies #4) by Scott Westerfeld;
      • Nightlight: A Parody by Harvard Lampoon;
      • 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope #1) by Maureen Johnson. 
      Books I got from Library #2: 
      • All we know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard;
      • The Ghost and the Goth (The Ghost and the Goth #1) by Stacey Kade;
      • The Dead Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2) by Carrie Ryan;
      • Suite Scarlett (Scarlett #1) by Maureen Johnson;
      • The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles #1) by Mary E Pearson;
      • Vamps (Vamps #1) by Nancy A. Collins.

      Monday, October 3, 2011

      Book Review #68 - Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

      There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it. 

      Then, at last, they found the cure. 

      My Rating: 5/5

      This is by far the best book I have read so far in 2011. The writing is what makes this book so good. 
      I definitely liked this book better than the author's first book Before I Fall. 
      I liked how quickly the characters and plot seemed to develop, and suck you into their world. 
      Given how open the end of the book was, I can't wait for the second book in the series Pandemonium