Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Book Review: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Title: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Author: Gregory Maguire
Release Date: 1st November 1999
Publisher: William Morrow
Price (English Pounds): £7.99
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Series: None
No. Pages:398
This is the second adult book written by author Gregory Maguire, who is well known for his different take on well known stories and fairytales.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is based on the fairytale Cinderella which is very well known, and Maguire take on the story has many similaties but also difference, almost making it a completely different story.
The story follows Iris, the plain younger daughter of Margarethe Fisher, as she takes care of her mentally-challenged older sister Ruth and her stepsister Clara. After the death of Iris's father and her mother being accused of being a witch, her family fled from England to Holland.While caring for her sisters and keeping the peace between Clara and Margarethe, Iris develops a painter's eye and spends time apprenticing with a local painter known as The Master, and his apprentice, Caspar.

On the verge of losing everything after a sudden drop in their stock market, Margarethe devises a plan for Iris and Ruth to attend the ball being held in honor of the Dowager Queen of France and her godson, the Prince of Marsillac. She leaves out Clara because she knows full well that if the girl wed the prince, she would abandon her family and they'd end up in the poorhouse. While at the ball, Ruth does the unthinkable for jealousy and love of Clara and Master. That night the fairy tale of Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage is spun, and the next morning her prince comes to collect her.

Gregory Maguire seems to have this ability to change your opnion of people such as the ugly stepsisters in the classic story, who everyone has grown to hate, and make you feel sympathetic for them. Especially Iris who is slightly at odds agianst the world due to her plainess, in a world who only properly accepts beauty into the higher society.

What i do like most about this story is how it does give us a different outlook on the ugly stepsister, yes this novel and classic story are not the same, so the sisters past will obviously be different, but it makes you think what really did bring the sisters and there mother to meet Cinderella's father, why are they so mean and cruel, and I guess it's hard when you have a strict and hateful mother like they do.

I only had one dissapointment about the book, but I see that as a fault to myself. I thought the end of the book wasnt as developed as it could be, but maybe seeing as I was almost asleep when I finished the book, i didnt fully understand the ending.

But all in all the book was very good and I recommend this book to anyone who is particually intrested in fairytales and think like this.

I give this book

Saturday, 24 July 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

This week I bought:

Interview with the Vampire By Anne Rice

In a darkened room a young man sits telling the macabre and eerie story of his life... the story of a vampire gifted with eternal life, cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood.

Magic Study by Maria V.Snyder
Book 2 in the Yelena Zaltana Novels

Confronting the past
Controlling the future

With an execution order on her head, Yelena has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth. With only a year to master her magic- or face death- Yelena must begin her apprenticeship and travel to the Four Towers of the Magician's Keep.

But nothing in Sitis is familiar. No the family to whom she is a stranger. Not the unsettling new faces of her magic. Not the brother who resents her return. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her rare powers, a rogue magician emerges- and Yelena catches his eye.

Suddenly she is embroiled in battle against good and evil. And once again it will be her magical abilites that will either save her life or be her downfall.

Book 3 in the Yelena Zaltana Novel

The apprenticeship is over
Now the real test has begun

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder- able to capture and release souls- spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilties and past have set her apart. As the council debates Yelena's fare, she recieves distrubing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.

Honour sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies and enemies. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself- and save the land she golds dear.

Book 1 in the Opal Cowan Series

With her unique magical abilties, Opal has always felt unsure of her place at Sitia's magic academy. But when the Stormdancer clan needs help, Opal's knowledge makes her the perfect choice- until the mission goes awry.

Pulling her powers in unfamiliar directions, Opal finds herself tapping into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. Now Opal must deal with plotters out to destroy the Stormdancer clan, aswell as a traitor in their midst.

With danger and deception rising around her, will Opal's untested abilties destroy her- or save them all?

Book 2 in the Opal Cowan Series

Her abilties remain hidden- Unyil challeneged by enemy forces.

Student glass magician Opal Cowan's newfound skills to steal a magician;s strength make her too powerful.

Kept under house arrest, Opal dares defy her imprisionment to search for Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. Thinks because she is sure another man- now her prisoner- has switched souls with Ulrick.

In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn't sure whom to trust. And now everyone is after Opal's special powers for their own deadly gain.

Book Review: Noughts And Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Title: Noughts And Crosses + An Eye For An Eye
Author: Malorie Blackman
Release Date:
Price (English Pounds): £6.99
Series: Noughts and Crosses book 1
No. Pages:478

This thought provoking book will linger in your mind long after being read.

Nought and Crosses, is the first book in the Noughts and Crosses trilogy, which also includes the novella book An Eye for an Eye, which Malorie Blackman wrote for World Book Day a few years back.

Noughts and Crosses is a book mainly focused on politices and racism.
Sephy and Callum, the two protaganists of the story are both from different races, who fall in love. Sephy is black, also known as a cross, also she is daughter to one of the countries most powerful men, Callum is white, also known as a nought. And they are both living in a world where Crosses rule, bascially kind of the oppisite of what was happening a few decades back.

They were first introduced, when Callum's mother worked for Sephy's family as a nanny. Sephy and Callum spent a lot of time together back then, but their mothers had a fall out, and Callum's mum was sacked. But to the distaste of their parents wishes Sephy and Callum still carry on being friends in secret.
But Callum's family slowly fall apart due to the Liberation Militia, a groups of freedomfighters, fighting for equal rights between Crosses and Noughts. And Sephy moves away to a boarding school.

A few years later, they meet again and all trouble breaks out.

The main reason I enjoy this book is because it gives people the awareness of racism, and what it can cause, and how people are effected by it, still today people are racist, even after all races have been given equal rights. Even after readin this book a while ago, the story line lingers in my mind, making me think before i will do soemthing, which may be classed as discrimination.

The story is well written and planned out, i enjoy that you can follow both Sepht and Callum throughout a few years in the story, and i dont feel likt it has been rushed like in some books. Also the characters are well developed and you can tell they are bestfriends who basically depend on each other to keep their world spinning.

This is a great book, which everyone should read, even if you don't find yourself into this kind of thing, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy it.

I give this book

Friday, 23 July 2010

Book Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Release Date: September 2007
Publisher: MIRA
Price: (English Pounds): £6.99
Genre: YA, historical fantasy
No. Pages:409

Poison Study is an intriguing fantasy story, which could possibly be one of the best books I have ever came across. With a unique storyline and characters Maria V. Snyder sure reaches full potential with this novel, the first in the Yelena Zaltana trilogy.

Yelena lives in Ixia, a nation ruled by it's zero tolerance, Code of Behaviour, which massively effects Yelena, after killing one of the nations most powerful generals sons, Yelena is sent to be executed. But the day after before Yelena faces her execution she is given the choice, to be expected or to become the Commander's (the ruler of all of Ixia) food taster, where she could slowly die from poison at almost anytime.

She is put in the care of Valek, who knows that she is likely to try and escape, so he laces her food with a poison called Butterfly Dust, which is known for the torture it creates on the victim before dying, of course the only way for Yelena to avoid the painful death is to report to Valek every moening for the antidote. But as time goes by Yelena and Valek gain a deep and meaningful relationship.

General Brazell is furious that his sons death has not be avenged, and begin to take matters into his own hands, and constantly attempts to capture and kill Yelena.

I wasn't so sure about this book once I came across it, but I decided to give it a chance and am so glas I did. I had never expected myself to be in anyway intrested in a book based around the adventures of a food taster, but I just can't get over how amazing and brilliant it is, without a doubt this book is my second favourite book all time.

I would definately recommend this book to anyone, especially if you enjoy historical and fantasy type books.

I give this book

Friday, 16 July 2010

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

You can't stop the future
You can't rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret... is to press play

Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker- his classmates and first love- who commited suicide two weeks earlier.
Hannah's voice explains there are thirteen reason's why she killed herself. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.
All through the night, Clay keeps listening - and what he discovers changes his life...


Title:Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Release Date: Ocotber 18th 2007
Publisher: (Uk) Penguin
Price (English Pounds):
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
No. Pages:288

'Hello boys ang girls. Hannah Baker here. Live and in stereo. No return engagments. No encore. And this time absoultly no requests.
I hope you're ready, because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to these tapes, you're one of the reasons why.'

Clay returns home one day and finds a mysterious package waiting for him. When he opens the package he finds 7 tapes, all holding the reasons why the girl he once fancied, Hannah Baker killed herself two weeks earlier.Clay begins to listen to the tapes, in an attempt to find out why he is to blame and Hannah tells her heartrendering story.

This was Jay Asher's first book and was published in Oct 2007. It was first going to be called Baker's Dozen: The AudioBiography of Hannah Baker.The book is told by both Clay and Hannah, in my opnion making the story so much better, as we also hear Hannah's story in her words and Clay's feelings.
The story was beautifully written, and the use of the two narrators could not possibly of been done in a better way. The storyline is orginal and unique, i have never came across a book which is anything like this one.
But for me the only downside to the book was some of the reasons to why she killed herself, i saw them as pathetic and just petty reasons, but them other reasons I could understand why.

I give this book

Sunday, 11 July 2010

All About Me

Hey Im Kayleigh, I'm 14 and this is my new blog. :)

This post is basically going to be me answering a few questions about me and what i love to read, so you my lovely followers get to know me.

When did I start to read?

I have honestly always been kind of a reader, but more of an ocassional book kind of reader. I grew up with a mum and sister who were constantly obsessed with reading (but have recently lost that obession, which i have now gained). But i became a proper book nerd about the time Twilight came out as a film, so near the end of 2008, when i began to read the Twilight Saga and absolutly loved it.

What genre's do I like to read?

Anything YA basically, but some adults aswell. Mainly I love reading vampire books, but i hope to move away from that and actually begin reading classic books such as: Pride and Predudice and Jane Eyre.

All time favourite series?

Honestly the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. This in some way may seem so cliche, as at the moment it is probably most teenage girls favorite series. But im not in love with it because of Jacob or Edward, but because I absolutly love the story line, and each time I read the books it seems sort of magical to me in a way.

All time favourite book?

Probably Hush,Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. It liertally took me a matter of 4-5hours to read this book, it was so amazing and I just can't wait for Cresendo, which is the second in the series.

But if i had to pick a book which was not in a series I would have to pick Stolen By Lucy Christopher, I had found this book on Amazon and spent ages trying to find it in my local bookstore. Finally I found it and had probably never been so happy to get a book. As soon as I got home I quickly finished reading Betrayed By PC and Kristen Cast which I was currently reading, and then read Stolen for like rest of the day until i finished it.

All time favourite author?

Now once again this is bit of a cliche answer: Stephenie Meyer. Seeing as I love the Twilight Saga and The Host I just couldn't help but put this. I do like other authors and was thinking about putting them on here, but I only believe that your favorite author cant be your favourite if you have only read one book or series by him/her, which I mianly have on my shelf, so it was almost impossible for me to pick a different author.

What I love about books?

My main fasination about books is that they have this amazing ability to make things which seem impossibe in the real world actually happen: vampires, werewolves, faries, etc... only properly exsist in the book world. Also escapism. This is another main reason why i love to read, when I am really stressed I can just picked up a book and all my promblems just seem to vanish.

How Often Do I Read?

I guess it depends on how much i like the book. If it's a good book i could be almost on known stop reading whenever i can, but if I dont enjoy the book as much as i hoped to, it will be a slow reading process.

If you have any questions for me, feel free to comment with more.