Monday, 30 April 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Blurb
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen 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.

**************************************Review*****************************************

Thirteen Reasons why is definitely one of the books with meaning. I meant to pick it up a long time ago, but always looked over it. Seemed like a typical teen fiction, so I didn't think to much until I heard all the praise.... so here I am now. The ideas are put together really well, using voices that really brought out the best in the novel.

Hannah Baker- dead girl- seemed to have a lot to say about thirteen specific people, and there were times when I would be like... ok, that's not THAT big of a deal to die over... but then she said other things. Things such as (not exact words) little things can grow into big things, kind of like a snow ball effect. So I felt for her. She also seems to have a little humour in her voice here and there. Helps escape all the dreariness.

Then there was Clay Jensen. He's a typical teenage boy who has to listen to all thirteen tapes, waiting dreadfully for his turn- while wondering what he did wrong. I have to say, his reactions were kind of unsatisfying. How do I put this? He didn't seem as alive to me as some of the other characters. When he did react in big ways, it seemed like something the author just had to put there, and not something Clay Jenson would actually do.

There's also the setting. The places in the story were well described, and well thought out. I also liked how each tape was matched with a place on a map. It helped to comprehend the tapes better.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I learned a lot from it, too. I learned that pictures aren't necessarily worth a million words. They can be misleading. I also learned to not judge people, and not ignore them either, because that's just as bad. I'm giving this a four stars.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

0.4 by Mike A. Lancaster

It's a brave new world. 'My name is Kyle Straker. And I don't exist anymore.' So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded on to old audio tapes. You might think these tapes are a hoax. But perhaps they contain the history of a past world...If what the tapes say are true, it means that everything we think we know is a lie. And if everything we know is a lie does that mean that we are, too?


****************Review*************
0.4 by Mike Lancaster is one of those books that put ideas into your head. Ideas about life, and all that we know. This particular book is told in tape form by a boy named Kyle Straker. He tells us about all that he's been through, and his voice is a very memorable one. He and four others, also known as the 0.4, are the only percent of the pouplation that are still human. The rest have been upgraded, like a computer program, and the 0.4 are left behind. Forgotten.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was definitely a different generation of sci-fi then what I've read before. It was well thought out with ideas that make you wonder how people come up with this kind of stuff. It wasn't very long, but by the end, my head was full of thoughts and possibilities about this world. If the author was trying to make people think about the world we live in, then he has succeeded. For that reason, this book deserves four stars.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Everlost by Neal Shusterman

                 Goodreads Blurb
Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident... ...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the centre of the Earth. When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he's found a home, but Allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.
                      ******************************Review*********************************                  
Neal Shusterman has done an amazing job with Everlost, book one in the Skinjacker trilogy. He has created many memorable characters, and the action is going in a breathtakingly steady pace. I loved how Nick and Allie enter this whole new world hovering between life and death. You'd think this was just some other world, but no. It has its own system, own rules created by the children who roam the place. More specifically, Mary, who is like a ruler in Everlost. Mary, I think, is just as lost as the children in Everlost (no pun intended), and she refuses to deny it. I do admire her persistency, but I find her really annoying, and snobby.

Allie, I have to say, was my favourite character. She's the exact opposite of Nick. He's more of a settle down, hide from trouble kind of guy, whereas Allie wants to get into action. In this case, she wants to get back into life. And so she over hears rumours of ways you can actually reach earth, and decides to go find the big bad Monster of Everlost. The McGill. What she finds in the end, of course, is totally different.

I would recommend this book to EVERYONE. Neal Shusterman has created an awesome piece of book, and honestly, why let it go to waste? If you're a fantasy, adventure, horror, lets not forget romance kind of person, pick this book up! It's got many twists and turns to last you an eternity! I'm giving this one a five out of five, even though it deserves a billion.
      

Teaser Tuesday: 24/04/2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do 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!

My teaser for this Tuesday
                                                 
Author: Jay Asher
Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Year Published: 2007

                       Teaser Page: 171
        'But you did nothing, Zach.'
'She said hello to everyone in the class'


Friday, 13 April 2012

The Catastrophic History of You and Me

Goodreads Blurb
Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?


                                                        *************************REVIEW******************************
What can I say? Jess Rothenberg has merged together three key elements to create a successful book. Witt, romance, and a few tears. I have to say, the character development was amazingly done, and the plot itself had many twists and turns that kept the book alive. Even the writing style. It'll capture you in the first line like it did me.

First, Brie was a very interesting character. She's your average teenager who has the life. Perfect friends, perfect family, and perfect boyfriend. It's interesting to see how a girl like her will react to everything beyond. How she'll react to finding out that her perfect life wasn't so perfect after all, and that the truth's she found out where lies, ended up being truths? Complicated, I know, and that's what I liked about it. Brie has a really witty personality (love the 'your mom' jokes), and she's definitely a character who's point of you you'll enjoy witnessing.

On to the plot. Poor Brie died of a broken heart-literally- which I find a little bit unreasonable, but I guess all is fair in the game of love and books. Anyway, so she finds herself in a little pizza place where she has an encounter with a boy named Patrick. Patrick helps Brie out, and the more she learns about the after life, the more she starts to discover about her life. It wasn't as perfect as she thought it was.

I would recommend this book to anyone (over the age of maybe... 12?). It has a very active plot, well developed characters, and an amazing voice, definitely a five stars.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Title: The Mark of Athena
Author: Rick Riordan
Date of publication: Unknown (October 2012?)

Third book in the Lost Heroes series.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Teaser Tuesday: 10/04/2012


  Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do 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!

My teaser for this Tuesday

Author: Jess Rothenberg
Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Year published: 2012



Teaser
Page 76
"So, what, is this like your perfect vision of heaven or something?"
He met my eyes. "It is now."
I felt myself blush, despite being sick with fear.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Home Truths by Jill MacLean

Fifteen year old Brick MacAvoy's parents are a hard case. His mother is always away at work, leaving Brick to babysit his sister, and his father has a temper that he releases on Brick. With a self-absorbed mother, and an abusive father, it's no wonder that Brick has been saving up all the money he can so that on his sixteen birthday, he can leave his house, his town, and everything that has always tormented him. So when he gets the chance to scrape Rolf Langille's shingles for a hundred dollars, he jumps at it without a second thought. As he starts to come over more to Mr. Langille's, he realises that not everyone is like his mother and father, and soon he starts to question everything. Is Brick a bully? And does he still want to move out when he's sixteen? That would mean leaving his sister behind....

*******************************Opinions***********************

Jill MacLean has done it again. This is the third book that I have read by her, and every time, she amazes me to no extent. Home Truths was a very compelling, and down to earth novel about a teenage boy with an abusive father. The characters and events that took place were so emotional, and well written that you could really feel what the protagonist was feeling. The details were very precise and written in a style that had me wanting more.

Brick was a very interesting character. He was abused at home by his father, yet he himself bullied those who were smaller then him, and he didn't realise what he was doing until a girl he was sort of crushing on told him. On the inside, though, Brick is a very caring person who takes his sister out for ice cream, and reads her books at night, and so every time Bricks father hit him for something he didn't do, I always felt like "Argh!" The fact that I was feeling for the character just goes to show how much I was into it.

Also, I like the topic Jill chose to write about. It really relates to what some teens go through these days, and it shows that not everything is always hopeless. The book, by the way, is a nominee for the Red Maple award this year, and I can for sure say that my vote is going towards Jill MacLean.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Being the Star Wars fanatic that I am, I couldn't resist to pick up this book. I mean, it's got Yoda written all over it! Literally!
Tom Angleberger has spun a tale using Yoda from the Star wars films. It surrounds a boy named Dwight, who has created this finger origami Yoda, and apparently, the finger origami Yoda can give advice- even though it is just a piece of paper. So the question is. Is Origami Yoda Real? Tommy, the protagonist needs to find out, so he begins to collect stories from different people in his school and creates a case file.
I absolutely LOVED this book because it had me laughing, and believe me, that's not an easy task to do. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the sequel.

Shelter by Harlan Coben

Blurb:
Mickey Bolitar's year can't get much worse. After witnessing his father's death and sending his mom to rehab, he's forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools.

A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For a while, it seems like Mickey's train-wreck of a life is finally improving - until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn't who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey's father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury - and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.


Review:
 I personally thought this books was an amazing piece of work, very original with a little sense of humour in it. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is because it didn't really exceed over my expectations. I knew it would be good, but nothing about the book made me think 'Oh, my, gosh! I can't believe that happened! Over all though, it was well laid out. So maybe a three stars.

Thirst no.4 by Christopher Pike


BLURB
 Alisa is a five-thousand-year-old vampire, stronger and more cunning than her adversaries. But now she's trapped in the body of a newborn vampire and at the mercy of a terrible thirst. Worst of all, she's facing enemies whose fierce desire for domination grows ever stronger.

The immortal race the Telar is threatening to release a virus to decimate humanity. But Alisa and her friends can't take down the Telar on their own, and they must turn to the mysterious organization the IIC for help. But the IIC has secrets of its own and may have ulterior motives.

With two rivals and no one to trust, Alisa must rely on her dark side to defeat them. But it could cost her life, or her soul...

***************SPOILERS*******************I have to say, out of all the books in the Thirst trilogy, this one stuck with me the most. I felt like the plots were those out of another world, I mean, the Telar, the IIC, the Cradle. It's like a big plot surrounded by a bunch of smaller yet still effective ones. I honestly found the idea of the 'Lens' very scary, and it sort of took my breath away. The author seems to have a vast knowledge on a lot of stuff, and you can clearly see that in this book.

The one thing that threw me off was the ending. I felt it was a little abrupt. I wanted to know how Matt and Seymour would react to seeing a dead Shanti. I mean, sure, ends up she's actually Tarana, but Seymour and Matt don't know that. Anyway, the other thing That ticked me off in the whole trilogy was the fact that there was no 'single' love interest. To put it simply. I miss Ray. You guys remember him from the very first book? I still cant seem to get over him *sobs*.

The other thing I miss a lot is one of Sita's famous phrases. Allow me to play it out.
Person A: "No, please! I don't want to die!"
Sita: ".... Then you should never have been born."
 
It's funny, I envy her for getting to say such an amazing line! Other then that, This book was just fantastic, and I might go over and re-read this trilogy some day.

Friday, 6 April 2012

The Mum Hunt by Gwyneth Rees

Twelve year old Esmie, along with her brother Mathew, lives in a residence run by a single parent, and and their nanny, Juliette. For as long as Esmie can remember, her dad has been single, and she decides that it's finally time that things changed around here. And so we begin the mum hunt- searching for the perfect mother is harder then it seems.

There were many things that intrigued me about this book- including the characters, their personalities, the plot, the writing style, and the voice. The thing is, I got this book a long time ago, maybe when I was six years old? Back then, I didn't really like reading- wow- so I never really picked the book up. The cover didn't really help either. I mean now, I don't usually judge a book by its cover, but back then, I had a very strict policy. So just a few days ago, I had nothing better to read, and I just saw this lying around on my shelf. I picked it up and read the first few lines, and guess what? I was hooked. I just couldn't resist the witty style.

 The story itself is told by 12 year old Esmie- short for Esmeralda. The girl seems to have a lot to say. You'll find yourself in her shoes and really feeling what she's feeling. Then there's her brother, Mathew. Definitely an interesting character. A little bit of a rebel really. There were times when Mathew made decisions that really made me angry. Like the time he went and got his ear pierced even though his dad forbade him. It brought down the whole mood in the story, and it brought down my mood as well. The nanny, Juliet, is only 20, and you really get attached to her after a while. She's always interfering with Esmie's father's love life, trying to find dates for him. At one point of the story, because of all the times she interfered, you'd think that Juliet and Esmie's dad were made for each other, but boy, things just seemed to go a different way.

That brings us to the plot. When you first read the story, you meet lots of women. One of them being Esmie's french teacher. Apparently, she's single, and you automatically think: It's so obvious that she'll be Esmie's step-mother. I don't blame you, because that's exactly what I thought! The interesting thing is, that phase usually passes and returns, and so you never know who will end up with Esmie's father. It's as if you're walking down a dark corridor, and when you think you've reached a door, there's nothing, so you have to go down another hallway. That was the plot, and it always had me wanting more.

Overall, there was lots of witt in this story, and I am a huge fan of humour. The plot was something lots of people can relate to, and the characters were very realistic. I'd recommend this book to anyone, even though it is a little old.

I'd give this book a four stars.


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Introducing... Random Rant Thursday (#1)


Random Rant Thursday's is a weekly meme hosted by Zanib Dawn of the Books! If there's one thing I absolutely love, it's ranting. I don't really care what the rant is about, as long as it's related to books. So there I was, bored out of my wits, hoping I'd get a chance to rant with someone who couldn't possibly top me, that I had my idea. Random Rant Thursday's. Every Thursday, I will rant about something from dog folding the pages of a book, to clich├ęs that make we want to puke. Today, The topic will be about vampires. Yes, the good ol' vamps.

You see, ever since Stephanie Meyers released Twilight, vampires became the next big thing. She, Stephanie Meyers, is who we must thank for the glorious blood sucking creatures.... RIGHT?! No, no, no! If I am correct, vampires were the big thing even way before that! And who brought them to life? That's right, our beloved Bram Stoker. I am an uber fan of his work, and boy, did I love 'Dracula'. The vampire in his book was the original, the loyal, and the vicious. The vampires in Twilight are the copies that are... a little 'different'. I swear, sparkling vampires? At least Stephanie had the guts to go with such a crazy, and bemusing idea. Sparkling... *giggles*.

It's true that vampires are really high right now, but it's also true that some people are getting sick of the 'drop dead gorgeous' male vampires who all seem to have muscles chiselled out of stone... I, on the other hand am not. Well, the gorgeous dudes are getting on my nerves, but not vampires. There are many stories out there that hold a lot of originality, and if you haven't read 'Cirque du Freak' by Darren Shan yet, then close this screen and go to your nearest emergency book store and buy it! Yes, that was my pathetic attempt at a joke. Let us move on.

I love vampires, I am obsessed, in fact. It all began with Darren Shan, and ever since then, I vowed that I would never let go of my dear blood suckers. Guess what? Twilight was awesome too. I read the whole series maybe twice? People have been bad mouthing those books a lot, comparing them to Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. First of all, Twilight is not as good as Harry Potter. It's a fact. People argue that the romance in Twilight is so much heavier and quicker then in Harry Potter, well news-flash, Twilight is a romance, while HP is an action/adventure/fantasy. Second, Twilight is better then The Hunger Games, now that's my opinion.

My point here is, don't ever be discouraged when you pick up the word vampire on the back of a book. You know it, and I know it, that vampire lovers are turning into vampire haters because of influence. Believe it or not, people like me (bookaholics/book reviewers) have a really big impact on the people who read are stuff (because we're cool like that), and sometimes, we change peoples minds on things just because we're talented in the arts of persuasion. Then again, there are always those hot-shots who think they know everything, and you'll probably listen to them because they have so much confidence. Whatever, just don't be discouraged. Vampire's rock, and we all know it.... Get the pun?

What're you guys ranting about?

Timeriders By Alex Scarrow

Liam O'Connor should have died in the Titanic in the year 1912. Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in the year 2010, and Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026, yet just as the three came close to touching death, a mysterious man appeared out of no where and said '...Take my hand...'
They were saved, lucky, call it what you want, but in truth, the three were chosen to play very important roles in a time travelling agency that no one knows exists. Time travel had been invented, and that is why the three were needed. They had special talents that fit the job requirements of time travel, and they find themselves working along side each other to correct history that had been altered by the people from the future. They are the Timeriders, and they are here to protect us. Here to make sure that mankind doesn't go back and wreck the world.

***************************OPINIONS******************

I remember the first day I got this book in my hands. It sounded interesting, the cover looked intriguing, futuristic, and definitely had that sci-fi look to it. Even the blurb was good, but when a classmate of mine read the blurb, he said
'Oh, sounds cool... but also kind of cheesy..'
(me) 'Really, no it doesn't! Explain?'
(him) 'Well, time travel is cool, but it's always the same... something always happens with time, and someone needs to go fix it'
What he said was absolutely true. This is exactly what this book was about. Someone went back in time, which caused a 'sign' that let the Timeriders know something was wrong, and someone went back to fix it. It doesn't take a genius to realise that's what's going to happen, but that's not the point. You see, the thing is, obviously in books such as this one, something bad has to happen to history, but I think what counts is the event the author chooses. Whether it is made up, or something... say, like changing the history of the Germans?
    This story was absolutely amazing in any way possible. The plot was creative, and the characters would really surprise you. For example, the supposed 'bad guys' were actually very good guys who thought they could make a better future. Also, this book may not be under the humour section, but there were parts where I found myself laughing uncontrollably.
    The plot itself was really well thought out, and had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Of course, there were times where I would start to slouch on my chair because there was too much description, and not enough action, but none the less, this book deserves a good:
                      ★★★★

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari (review)

 The end of the world came, and went.
16 year old Lucy Holloway (or was it 17?) lives in the wilderness because her whole family has died thanks to the plague. She lives off of mashed acorns, and the very few animals that she catches in her traps. Life is rough, but she seems to manage... that is until a wild pack of dogs are on her lead. She gets recued by some 'handsome' guy named Aiden, who invites her to his camp 'Hellgate'. Of course, she refuses at first, because frankly, she's totally capable of surviving on her own. Things change when a tsunami hits and Lucy has no choice but to head for safety. She finds herself racing through the wilderness, past bridges, over rocky lands to reach Camp Hellgate. The journey is short, and tiresome, but it's all worth it, right? No, when she arrives at the camp, she finds the Sweepers, people who find survivors of the plague to 'help' them, or so Lucy was taught to believe. In truth, the Sweepers take the innocent into their labs and test on them.

    There were some who were never vaccinated as children, Lucy being one of them, and the un-vaccinated should have died one hundred percent. Lucy is still alive. What makes her so special? Why are the Sweepers after her?

    I hope I didn't spoil too much, and sorry for the short and belated (I finished the book a few weeks ago) review.  
    Hmm... I was a little disappointed at this book. I was seriously looking forward to reading it, because it was a dystopian and the cover page was just... killer! Unfortunately, from the very start, I was bored. I find that it's ok to describe things in the beginning, you know, let the readers become familiar with the main aspect or the protagonists life, but to go on and on and on... well, it really started to drain my enthusiasm. I did not give up, though. I was hoping that maybe all the excitement was just around the corner, and when something did happen (the scene where the wild pack of dogs were after Lucy) it happened around page 40 or something, and lasted a few pages. In those few pages, she met Aiden- who later on proves to be a love interest- and he told her about his camp. He invited. She declined, and we're back to the wilderness where Lucy made her camp. That's all fine, because she later on seeks out the help of camp Hellgate because her own camp has been devastated by a tsunami, and get this; when she arrives at the camp, she sees Aiden hanging out with this other girl who we later find out is Del. Love triangle much? The Del girl proves to be very annoying, and the worst part was that Aiden didn't seem to mind her flirting habits. He leaned into them. The romance between Aiden and Lucy only started to develop near the end, and by develop, well, I don't really mean develop, it just sort of became a little bit obvious that the two liked each other. That's all.

    Then there was the plot.... To be honest, I'm not even sure what the plot was- ok, I'm exaggerating. The plot was clear, but it wasn't very developed. Of course, that's just my opinion. I find that our protagonist and her friends didn't face to many challenges, and the solutions were very simple... I don't want to give away to much. If you're reading this, I suggest you still read the book, but don't put your hopes up too high... Still, try it, because everyone has different tastes. 

             I'll give this one ★★★  
By the way, go check out the post where I mentioned this was one of my top ten wanted books of 2012: http://ellechanteremporium.blogspot.ca/2012/03/ok-heres-other-half-of-my-must-read.html