Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review #178 - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go

As a child, Kathy–now thirty-one years old–lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.




And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed–even comforted–by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood–and about their lives now.
My Rating: 4/5
I didn't really know what this book was about prior to reading as the description was very cryptic, and even after finishing the book I still wasn't completely sure what the book was about.


Through the entirety of the novel, I felt like I knew enough to understand what was happening, but I never completely grasped the concept of the novel nor did I ever know what was about to happen.


I didn't like any of the characters. I didn't hate them though, I just didn't connect with any of them. I think it was the writing style. From the very first page you feel distanced from them.


Kathy was the character that I liked the most though, as she is the protagonist. Tommy was my second favourite character. I didn't like Ruth at all. She was too controlling for my liking.


I am going to watch the movie based on this movie soon and I hope that it will help me understand what this book was about.


50 Books 2012

The 50 Books You Can't Put Down list for 2012 is out now. You can view the ebook version of the list here.

TGIF #25


Hosted by Ginger over at G-Reads





This weeks question is:
 
 
Choose Your Next Read: How do you go about choosing
what you read next? Do you have a schedule you follow, or do you read whatever makes you happy at the moment?
 
 
 
I almost always read the books I receive for review first. When I finish those I just choose whichever book I feel like reading at the time.
 
 
 

 

Follow Friday #45

Gain New Blog Followers


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



This weeks question is:
 
 
 
Best cover? What is the best cover of a book that you've read and loved?
 
 
Hourglass
 
 
Hourglass by Myra McEntire. The cover looks even better when you tilt your head to the left.

Blog Hop #26

 
 
 
Book Blogger Hop is a bookish meme hosted by the blog Crazy For Books.



This weeks question:
 
 
 
What is the one book or series you are dying to see turned into a movie or tv series?
 
 
Either the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead, The Duff by Kody Keplinger or Hourglass by Myra McEntire.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review #177 - Winter's Light (Winter Saga #2) by M.J. Hearle

Winter's Light (Winter Saga, #2)

Blake is gone.

He sacrificed himself to save Winter, leaving her alone, unprotected... hunted.

An ancient enemy is rising, but Winter is no longer the innocent girl who was fated to die at Pilgrim's Lament. She will not wait to be saved. She will do what she must to survive, even accept an unsavoury alliance with those who destroyed her love.

In the gathering darkness, the enemy of an enemy is not always a friend, and Winter must find the strength to stand alone and fight for the one she loves. For she is the key to unlocking the secrets beyond the veil of shadows.

And she is Blake's only hope.
 
 
My Rating: 4/5
 
 
 
I would like to thank Pan Macmillan Australia for kindly sending me a copy for review.
 
 
This book is set three months after Winter's Shadow ends and so it took me a while to get back into Winter's world.
 
 
I liked Winter alot more in this book than the first. I like how strong and determined she is and she definitely made up for the fact that Blake is not present in this book.
 
 
The other characters were great, I liked how like Winter you weren't sure who you were able to trust. Jasmine was a great inclusion and a really loyal friend for Winter.
 
 
The ending was completely not what I expected and so I cannot wait until the third book is published.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Review #176 - Spark (Sky Chasers #2) by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Spark (Sky Chasers, #2)

Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancĂ©? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her?

 



In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end...
 
 
My Rating: 5/5
 
 
I would like to thank Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy for review.
 
 
I read this book straight after reading Glow, which was good because it picked up right from where Glow left off and so I was invested in the book instantly.
 
 
What really showed the quality of the writing was how quickly a good character can suddenly turn bad and vise versa. Seth was a character that I despised in Glow, yet the further into Spark I got the more I liked him.
 
 
With Keiran and Waverly breaking up and hence hating each other, it would be easy to take a side, but the way in which the book is written, whenever you are reading Waverly's point of view you dislike Keiran and whenever you are reading Keiran's point of view, you dislike Waverley.
 
 
This book has a much more darker theme than Glow, which makes it much more intriguing and adds further depth.
 
 
The cliff hanger at the end was worse than the one at the end of Glow, and so I cannot wait for the third book.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review #175 - Glow (Sky Chasers #1) by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?


Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...


Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.


But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.
 
 
My Rating: 4/5
 
 
It took me forever to get invested into this book, but I found that the further I progressed with the story the more I enjoyed it. I ended up not being able to put it down.
 
 
The story is told from two perspectives, Waverly and Keiran. I really liked that it did that as you could see inside both ships. Although, I didn't feel completely connected to either of them, and I am not sure why.
 
 
This book has a really strong sci-fi element to it, which I didn't think I would like, but it was probably what made me enjoy it as much as I did.
 
 
The writing in this book, is first class, and it is hard to believe it is the author's debut novel.
 
 
The way the book is written, you are never sure who the villians are. The people on the New Horizon are not all evil, and the people on The Empyrean are not all good.



Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review #174 - The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)

Some summers are just destined to be pretty.
 

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along
.


My Rating: 4/5

I have had this book on my bookshelf unread since June, and am not sure why it took me so long to read it.

This book reminded me constantly of Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols, they are very similar with certain aspects.

The protagonist, Belly came across as immature - from her name to her personality. Although, she isn't too annoying. I didn't hate her.
The male characters were better portrayed. Conrad, was probably the least likeable one. He was too arrogant and selfishf or me and always seemed to be sulking. Jeremiah was predictable, but he was my favourite character in the book. He definitely had the most likeable qualities about him. I didn't really understand Belly's relationship with either of them though. It just made any sense to me.

I didn't like Cam at all, the scenes with him and Belly came across as awkward.

Belly's mum and Suzannah had an interesting relationship, one which I would have liked to have seen more depth added to. I saw the Suzannah twist coming a mile away, and so that kind of ruined the ending a bit for me.

The love triangle was perfectly composed, as you can see it ending in either result. The book just kind of ended abruptly, definitely unfinished and set up perfectly for the second book.

Book Haul (27 August 2012)


Books I bought:


1. Windfall (Weather Warden #4) by Rachel Caine;


2. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult;


3. January (Conspiracy 365 #1) by Gabrielle Lord;


4. Artemis Foul (Artemis Foul #1) by Eoin Colfer;


5. Dear Miffy by John Marsden;


6. Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby;


7. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey




Books from the Library:


8. Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan;


9. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen.




For review from Scholastic Australia:


10. Hammering Iron by L.S. Lawrence;


11. Haunters by Thomas Taylor

Saturday, August 25, 2012

TGIF #24



Hosted by Ginger over at G-Reads




This weeks question is:
 
 
Back to School Reading: Which books would you like to see
in today's high school Literature classrooms?
 
 
 
Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Harry Potter.

Follow Friday #44

Gain New Blog Followers

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





This weeks question is:
 
 
 
Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you've read and loved?
 
 
That would have to be the Australian covers of The Hunger Games. I prefer the US cover with the Mockingjay on it.
 
 
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
 
 

Blog Hop #25


Book Blogger Hop is a bookish meme hosted by the blog Crazy For Books.



This weeks question:
 
 
 
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
 
 
Probably either the fact that I get to share my views on books, or the fact that I get introduced to so many different books I would never of heard of otherwise.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review #173 - Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie

Maybe it was a grandparent, a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and impassioned, helped you to see the world as a more profound place, and gave you sound advice to guide your way through it. For Mitch Albom, it was Morrie Schwartz, the college professor who taught him nearly twenty years ago.


Perhaps, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as the years passed, the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, to ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, and receive wisdom for your busy life the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch Albom got that second chance, rediscovering Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final 'class': lessons in how to live. 'Tuesdays with Morrie' is a magical chronicle of their time together.
 
 
My Rating: 3/5
 
 
I wasn't too sure if I would like this book or not as the only biographical material I read is usually only people I am interested in.
 
 
This book was interesting enough, but I didn't completely love it. Morrie was genuine and he was the aspect that I liked the most about the book.
 
 
Not too much happens throughout the book, and so at times the book flatlines. It is quite short though, so it didn't take me long at all to read it.
 
 
I would still recommend this to anyone, as it does present some great values.



 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review #172 - Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier.


On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.



My Rating: 3/5


I had really high expectations for this book as I had read only positive reviews about it. I found out that I liked the premise more than the execution.


The main problem I had with this book was that it took me forever to stop getting confused between Clay and Hannah's points of views. Hannah's were in italic and Clay's were not.


I found the book to be very interesting and I was definitely invested in the characters, I just failed to feel any kind of emotion or sympathy towards them, especially Hannah.


The whole book I kept waiting for a valid reason why Hannah killed herself, but there wasn't one. I think all those little things just built up.


I really liked the writing style though, and am definitely going to read other books Jay Asher writes.

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #9

"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is a fun meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. This is where we share the books we have read last week and our reading plans for this week.


The books that I reviewed last week are:


Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1) by Jeff Kinney;


Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones #1) by Helen Fielding;


Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby



The book I am currently reading is:

Glow



What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Book Review #171 - Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

Fever Pitch

Nick Hornby has been a soccer fan since the moment he was conceived. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity, Hornby's award-winning memoir captures the fever pitch of fandom--its agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young men's coming of age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above all, it is one for everyone who knows what it really means to have a losing season.



My Rating: 5/5


I don't know why it took me so long to hear about this book, as this is a book that I can 100% relate to. Not only am I also an Arsenal fan but I also have a very unhealthy obsession with my favourite team (although not Arsenal).


This is the perfect book that I would recommend to people who don't understand how important sport can be to people and the different emotions it can create.


I really enjoyed reading about Arsenal in an era before I was born as the book starts in the year 1968 when he went to his first game.


What was refreshing at times was how much I could relate to his story. It was good to know I wasn't the only person who loves a sporting team a little too much.


The only thing that bothered me was when he said that he didn't go to games for a while because they were losing or that they lost a key player. It just contradicted everything he had previously stated throughout the book.


Although this book is mainly about the author's experiences with supporting Arsenal the book would not have been anywhere near as good as it was if it weren't for his writing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blog Hop #24

Book Blogger Hop is a bookish meme hosted by the blog Crazy For Books.

This weeks question:
 
 
 
What is the one genre you will NEVER read?
 
 
 
Erotica for sure. It is definitely not for me.

Book Review #170 - Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones #1) by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1)

Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:
a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise


"123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)..."

Bridget Jone's Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you'll find yourself shouting, "Bridget Jones is me!"


My Rating: 2/5


The biggest issue I had with this book was the protagonist Bridget. When you are reading a diary, you would expect the character to be interesting and entertaining, but I found Bridget really boring and I hated her from the first page.


Another issue that I had was that absolutely nothing happens throughout the book. It is basically Bridget whinging about her weight, the fact that she doesn't have a boyfriend and that she drinks quite alot.


The format in which the book is set was really irritating. I ended up skipping over the update part of each diary entry as I found that part pointless.


Even though I do own the second book in this series, I never plan on reading it.

Book Review #169 - Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1) by Jeff Kinney



Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #1) 




Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they?


The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to




It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.



My Rating: 5/5



I watched the movie before I read this book. The reason for this was because I wasn't sure I would like the book as it is a children's book.


I read this book in less than a hour. I found it to be very funny with an interesting concept and intriguing characters.


Every single character in this book had depth and the pictures depicted throughout gave you a visual idea of what they looked like.


This is one of those books that children will get the most enjoyment out of reading, but there is something there that adults will enjoy as well.



 

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading? #8



"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is a fun meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. This is where we share the books we have read last week and our reading plans for this week.






The books that I reviewed last week are:



The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross;


7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker;


One Day by David Nicholls




The book I am currently reading is:


Thirteen Reasons Why


Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.


Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Friday, August 10, 2012

TGIF #23



Hosted by Ginger over at G-Reads





This weeks question is:



Unexpected Books: Which books did you have reservations about reading, but ended up loving once you did?




All chick lit books, any contemporary book. The Pretty Little Liars Series changed my mind about these genres.

Follow Friday #43

Gain New Blog Followers


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




This weeks question is:
 
 
 
What would you do over if you were to start your blog again from scratch?
 
 
 
Probably come up with a better name and have a different layout for my reviews.

Blog Hop #23





Book Blogger Hop is a bookish meme hosted by the blog Crazy For Books.

This weeks question:
 
 
 
Who is your go-to author when you are in a reading rut?
 
 
 
J.K. Rowling. I always re-read the Harry Potter series when I am in a reading rut.

Book Review #168 - One Day by David Nicholls

One Day

'I can imagine you at forty,' she said, a hint of malice in her voice. 'I can picture it right now.' He smiled without opening his eyes. 'Go on then.' 15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY.



My Rating: 4/5


I wasn't sure about this book, and never intended to buy and read it until I found it for $2.


Before I even started reading, I knew it would be a book that I would either love or hate, and it would probably depend on how much the year changing every chapter would annoy me.


I didn't have any problem with the year jumping, but I did have a slight problem with the characters. I really wanted to like Dexter, but the way he came across at times just made it impossible. I liked Emma at first but as the novel went on she became annoying.


I read the last 55 or so pages in about the same time as I had read the previous 350 odd, because I didn't want to read it anymore after a certain plot twist and this book would have been 5 stars if it weren't for that plot twist.