Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Book Review: Marked by PC and Kristen Cast

Title: Marked

Author: PC and Kristen Cast
Release Date (England): May 2007
Publisher (English): ATOM
Price (UK pounds): £6.99
Genre: YA- Fantasy
Series: House of Night- Book 1
No. Pages: 368

(Synopsis According to Waterstones one of my local bookstores)
When sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird gets Marked as a fledgling vampire she must join the House of Night school where she will train to become an adult vampire. That is, if she makes it through the Change. But Zoe is no ordinary fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the Goddess Nyx and discovers her amazing new power to conjure the elements: earth, air, fire, water and spirit. When Zoey discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look within herself to embrace her destiny - with a little help from her new vampire friends.

I started Marked over a year and a half ago, this was one of the first books I read during the beginning of my book craze, I didn’t know what to expect, it was the cover which drew me to it, aswell as the blurb.
Before reading it myself I lent it to a friend, who did really like it so I started it myself.
But I did not enjoy it, like many beginning of the series books it wasn’t that good, it was to factual in a way and was introducing everything.
Within the first 75 pages I gave up, and went back to it July time, where the book began to get a bit better. So I didn’t really enjoy the book.

The worst point in the book had to be, once Zoey is at the House of Night School one of the first things she witnesses is Aphrodite giving oral sex to Erik, which honestly doesn’t phase me reading about, its just the fact this is kind of the first things about the school even for the reader, and not a nice way to introduce it.
Also there is alot of rituals, when the same words are being said, and even within the first ritual i was bored, but after the second and the third i was once again ready to give up reading the books.

I guess I will say that I also like the characters, there not the best I have came across, but still good well developed characters. My favourite, for the majority of the series would have to be Stevie Rae, I couldn’t exactly say what I liked most about her but I just liked her, basically everything about her is likable.
Also you have your common cliché characters, but in a good way as I don’t think you could have a story set in a school without your two main cliché’s. The cliché’s would have to be popular rich and fake Aphrodite and her boyfriend, popular, described as drop dead gorgeous Eric.

I guess it is good to have another Harry Potter boarding school type book, and I can promise that the series does get better.

I give this book

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Book Review: My Sister's Kepper by Jodi Picoult

Author: Jodi Picoult
Release Date: May 2004
Publisher: Hodder
Price (UK Pound): £7.99
Genre: Adult
Series: None
No. Pages: 432

My sister keeper is probably Jodi Picoults most successful book, which recently was turned into film which is an emotional, passionate, sad and heart wrenching story, which follows the Fitzgerald’s story, a family who love each other very much, but divide when it comes to the boundaries of family sacrifice.

The middle child Kate was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 2. Five years later Kate’s body explodes with runaway cancer cells, she desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. Her mother Sara is determined to keep her daughter alive and persuaded her husband to let them make a genetically engineered daughter, Anna.

The story is mainly based around Anna who at 13 knows that her soul purpose in life and the only reason for her birth was to save her older sister, but now she’s expected to give up a kidney, and her mother is so intent of saving Kate she doesn’t see it as a big deal. But now Anna has had enough and hires a lawyer, to help her sue her parents over the rights of her body.

I bought this book just as the film was being released, and I had promised myself before I watch the film I will read the book. Which I did.

The book really lived up to my expectations, and better.

Jodi Picoult really did a good job at presenting the dilemma, and related to her own experiences with her son Jake who, who fortunately was not in a life-threatening situation.

The book shows how far a mother would go in an attempt to save a child, even if it means hurting the people around her, but sometimes a mother, doctor or others know what’s best, they just do what they can to save the patient in question.

Whilst reading this book I couldn’t help but hate the mother, Sara who thought it was ok to bring another child into the world, to save another, who thought that putting one of her daughters life at risk was ok as long as the other was saved. But then again wouldn’t most mothers do whatever they could if it means saving there child, even if it was just for a few more days. And the moment Anna came up to her mum and told her she no longer wanted to be forced, but wanted to choose if she was going to go through any more medical practises to save her older sister, I just wanted to strangle her.

Then there’s Anna, the girl who the story revolves around, obviously knowing her only meaning in life was to save her sister. Who more than likely thinks that her mother doesn’t love her as much as Kate, and makes the heart rendering decision to sue her parents, just so she has the chance to live a normal life, where she isn’t in hospitals with wires sticking out of her arm every other day, but instead wants to go to school, have friends and have a future, that’s not just putting her life at risk in an attempt to save another.

Brian the father, who is stuck between the tension of his wife, and daughter. Not being able to pick a side because he knows each are right in there own way, and refuses to choose.

Jesse, the older brother, who was unfortunately not a match to Kate. Jesse, was always left out in the family, with his mother and father being obsessed with the health of one daughter, and taking care of the other. Jesse was never properly cared for once his sister was diagnosed with cancer, so he started to rebel and getting slightly into trouble in a way of getting attention for once.

And then there’s Kate, the girl who everyone is obsessed with every time something slightly bad happens. Who just wants everything to end, to get rid of the tension in the house, and let her mum finally live on with her life.

My Sister’s Keeper is a very amazing book, which I recommend to everyone.
I give this book:

In My Mailbox (3)

Late Birthday Gift:
Dreamland By Sarah Dessen
Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe. Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semi-concious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Catlin has ever known. He's magnetic. He's compelling. He's dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about eveything else- her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when Rogerson becomes a lager promblem than with out him?

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
They say to live everyday as its your last- but you never actually think it’s going to be. You always think you’ll have more time.

That’s what I thought. But I was wrong.
The thing is, you don’t get to know when it happens.

You don’t remember to tell your family that you love them or- in my case- remember to say good bye to them at all.

What if, like me, you could live the last day over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have any regrets? Are there things you’d wanted to change?

Book Review: Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Title: Dreamland

Author: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: May 2004?
Publisher: Speak
Price (US Dollars): RRP $8.99
Genre: YA
Series: None
No. Pages: 250

On Caitlin's 16th Birthday her sister ran away, to Newyork to be with her boyfriend. Her parents were devistated and obviously effected by the runaway of their oldest daughter.
When Caitlin joins the school cheerleading club, her mum finally feels like she has a reason to live again and see's caitlin as the daughter she had basically lost.
But Caitlin falls in love with Rogerson Biscoe and being with him makes Caitlin forget all of her worries, intil he becomes her biggest worry, after that first hit, she realises Rogerson is not as amazing as she first thought he was.
For some reason I am fasinated by books about abuse, which was why i bought this book. With it not being avaliable in England I had to wait for ages to get it, and during that wait I began to guess what it would be like. And what I had guessed was nothing like the book, this then caused the book to be a big disappointment to me.
This was the fourth Sarah Dessen book I have read, so I will honestly say I expected better, i'm not saying the book was bad because it wasn't nor am i saying that the writing quality was bad. But the length of the book, only 250 pages was not enough to fit the story into, in my personal opnion, especially seeing what the book was about. Abusive relationships, runaway sibling and a family slightly falling apart, the story could of been developed much more, seeing as these are important issues that effect many teenagers, and with Sarah Dessen being a very popular author for many teenage girls it would help get the effects out much easier.

I liked the character, yes i say this in every review but i mean it everytime. Caitlin feels as though she must live up to her sisters many achievemnets so far in life, but still be different.
Rogerson was/is abused by his father which shows why he abuses Caitlin, this is something that happens in many relationships when one of the people have been abused.
Caitlin's mother, is the typical soccer type mum, getting intrested in all the goings on at school and expecting her children to join on the clubs, to make her feel as though she does have a meaning to be on this world. She is very cliche, but the good kind.

I would still say this book was good, and would recommed it, if you can find it. A good short, summer read especially for all the girls out there, but maybe not the best Sarah Dessen book to start with.

I give this book a:

Monday, 23 August 2010

Book Review: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins
Release Date:
Publisher: Scholastic
Price (English Pounds): RRP £6.99
Genre: YA
Series: 1st book in the Hunger Games Trilogy
No. Pages: 454

In the near future, a reality television show basically rules peoples lives: 'The Hunger Games.'
Every year 12 boys and 12 girls (1 of each chose from each a different district) are chosen to take part in the show. There is no rules to the game, its basically a kill or be killed situation, only one player can make it out alive.

But when Prim Everdeen is chosen to take part, her oilder sister Katniss takes her place, being a hunter Katniss's second nature is survival.

I didnt know what to expect from this, I was never really intrigued by the blurb, but come on this is basically everyones favourite book, so there had to be something good about it, so I was given it for a my birthday, and put it after the majority of books i recieved, but kinda regretting it.
It was infact amazing.
Throughout the whole book I was completely hooked, and dispised myself for putting it down.

The plot line was unique and fantastic, keeping me gripped on every word. The characters were obviously well-thought out and all different in their own ways, with the majority of the characters being from different districts they all have something about them which gives away their districts.

I cant really place a down side of the story, because i dont think i have ever came across one or there is one. This book and series could possibly class as one of the most popular of our time, how could anything possibly be bad about it.

I give this book a

Sunday, 8 August 2010

In My Mailbox 2- Birthday Edition

Gifts and bought:

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn't fit in to Jessica Packwood's senior-year 'get a life' plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire Princess by birth and he's her long lost fiance. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire's Guide to Dating, Health and Emotions, Jessica makes a drmatic transition from average Americain teenager to glam European vampire princess. But Jessica has never even been kissed- how can she possibly commit herself to a long-term relationship? Or an eternal relationship for that matter?

Book 1 in the Wolves of MercyFalls
The pack circled around me, tounges and teeth and growls.

When a local boy is killed by wolves, Grace's small town becomes a place of fear and suspicion. But Grace can't help being fascinated by the pack, and by one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. There's something about him- something almost human.
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Book 2 in the Wolves of MercyFalls
 I feel the weight of the packs gaze....

Grace and Sam must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping the dangerous secrets. For Sam, it means grappling with this werewolf past... and figuring out a way to survive the future. But just when they manage to find happiness, Grace realizes she's changing in ways she never have expected... 

Countless teenage girls have been brutally murdered... and Scarlett and Rosie March know how they died: torn apart by werewolves. For Scarlett, the memories of a similar attack have left not just emotional scars, but physical ones. The sisters fight side by side to save others from the same fate.

When the mysterious and brooding Silas arrives he inadvertently causes a series of events that could endanger them all. As passion grows between Rosie and Silias, Scarlett uncovers some shocking secrets about Silia’s family history that could tear the sisters apart- one way or another…

Book 1 in the Immortality Bites Series
Dear mum,

I might be a wee bit late for cousin Missy’s wedding. Iy’s been a rough week. Turns out my blind date from hell was literally from hell. Guy bit me. Next thing I know I’m being chased all over the city by vampire hunters. And did I mention I got fired too?

Bightside- I met a man. Thierry de Bennicoeur. How great is that name? Anyway he’s sexy, six hundred years old, and a tad bit suicidal, but no one’s perfect right? And we have a deal: he’s going to show me the roped of the vampire world, and im supposed to help him end his existence. Or maybe I’ll just try to convince him life is worth living- no small challenge with the mostly immortal, let me tell you I’ll admit it’s a complicated relationship. But with any luck, I might just have a date to the wedding after all.

Hugs and kissies,

Book 1 in the Hunger Game Series
Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen year old Kitniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her survival is a second nature.

Book 3 in the Luxe Novels
New York City, 1900

In high society nothing is more dangerous that a scandal. Two months have passed since the esteemed Holland Family’s shocking fall from grace and those watching impetuous Miss Diana Holland are beginning to whisper again.

Further uptown, notorious cad Henry Schoomaker and his new bride are the city’s most celebrated couple. But the glittering diamond she wears hasn’t yet bought her all she desires.

Manhattan’s most envied residents appear to have everything: wealth, beauty, happiness.

But in a city ruled by reputation sometimes the most practised smiles hide the most scandalous secrets.

Book 4 in the Luxe Novels
New York City, 1900

While once revered Holland family recovers from the scandal, the spirited Miss Diana Holland is seeking adventured abroad. But then a surprising clue about her father’s death is revealed and everything is thrown into question.

Meanwhile, the delectable Henry Schoonaker has left the city and bravely gone to war, while his wif relished her role as Manhattan royalty- until a real prince pays a visit and turned her fickle head.

As New york’s most dazzling stars chase dreams, cling to promised and tempt fate, society wonders: at exactly what price does a life of splendour come?

If you loved WICKED…

We all known the story of the beautiful girl, Cinderella, made to work among the ashed, but what if the fairy tale told only half the story? What fate befell her ugly stepsisters…and what curses accompanied Cinderella’s looks?


Saturday, 7 August 2010

Book Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: 20th July 2010
Publisher: Scholastic
Price (English Pounds): £7.99
Genre: YA
Series: 2nd Book in the Wolves Of Mercyfalls Series
No. Pages: 416
Sam and Grace's story continues, in the second book in the Wolves of MercyFalls. Now Grace is disobeying her parents and becoming dreadfully ill, as the wolf gene is coming back to haunt her. And Sam discovers that Beck  may of changed someone into a werewolf who could possibly blow the werewolves secret.
As soon as I picked up the book I was immediatly hocked, I didnt particually find it exciting for a beginning but I felt like I was back into the world of Sam and Grace, a world I had grown to love in the 1st book in the series Shiver.
The Prologue has been used to quickly sum up the first book, and also introduce this book, in a way, then it goes straight into the story, unlike a few sequals which will spend the first few chapters telling the story and also talking about the book before, which always annoys me because after the first page of the book I almost automatically know escatly what happened in the book before.
In some ways I saw the book as a two-in-one book, as it follows the story of Sam and Grace, but also Isabel and Cole (Isabel being Grace's friend and Cole being a newly turned wolf). I will admit this slightly annoyed be a bit, but after a while I got used to it, as the story ocassionally tied in with each other and there became a purpose for the two stories in one.
What I loved about this book is the flash-backs, which is used to help the develop the characters more, especially new character Cole, who is portrayed as the bad-ass in this book, and is one of the only wolves who was willingly changed, and the flash-backs are used as an easier way to explain his reasons why.
All in all I definatly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a bit of romance, but other things at the same time. It is also definatly an all year round read, a good read for sitting outside in the sun in Summer and also for sitting cuddled up in bed in the Winter.
I give this book a rating of: