Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Books for Trade

So I've got a bunch of books that I don't read anymore, so I thought I'd put them up for trade and see how it goes. If there are any UK bloggers out there interested, just email me at planetprint8(at)gmail(dot)com and we can discuss! Most of these books are pretty old, but you never know :P.

Books I'm willing to part with (all in good condition, more details on request):
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (this is a new copy that has an extract from Delirium in it)
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
The Mosts by Melissa Senate
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Glee: The Beginning by Sophia Lowell
My Desperate Love Diary by Liz Rettig
My Now or Never Diary by Liz Rettig
Ruby Parker: Soapstar by Rowan Coleman
Ruby Parker: Film Star by Rowan Coleman
Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
The Switch by Anthony Horowitz
The Deadly Dare Mysteries (3 books in one) by Malorie Blackman
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
Children of the Lamp: The Akhenatan Adventure by Philip Kerr
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult
Private by James Patterson

I also have a bunch of CDs I'd be willing to trade (for either other CDs or books) but I might as well admit now that they kind of suck (...) so I'm not going to list them here due to embarrassment :P. Just email me if you'd like to see the list.

Some books on my wishlist:
Need by Carrie Jones
Eon by Alison Goodman
Evermore by Alyson Noel
Drive Me Crazy by Erin Downing
The Hollow by Jessica Verday
Finding Sky by Joss Stirling
Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire
I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It by Adam Selzer
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
January (Conspiracy 365) by Gabrielle Lord
You can view the rest here

Feel free to contact me! Sorry this is only for UK bloggers, but I can't afford to ship internationally :/.

Review: Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Glimpse (Zellie Wells #1) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Publisher: Orange House Press
Released: In paperback, May 9th 2010 (first published April 20th 2010)
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Zellie Wells has a devastating crush on Avery Adams, the son of her mom’s high school sweetheart. At her sixteenth birthday party, held in the basement of her dad’s church, she finally finds the courage to talk to him. Turns out, the devastating crush is mutual.

As Avery takes her hand and leads her out onto the makeshift dance floor, Zellie is overwhelmed by her first vision of his death; shocking because not only are they both covered in his blood, but they’re old, like 35, and she is pregnant.

Afraid to tell anyone about the vision, (she’d just be labeled a freaky black magic witch, right?) Zellie keeps the knowledge of Avery’s future to herself and tries to act like any other teenager in love. When they get caught on their way to a secret rendezvous by her mom and his dad, they are forbidden to see each other.

Convinced that their parents are freaking out unnecessarily, Avery and Zellie vow to be together no matter what. They continue their relationship in secret until Zellie learns that their parents are just trying to prevent her and Avery from suffering like they did. The visions are hereditary, they’re dangerous, and if they stay together the visions will come true.

Now Zellie must choose between severing all ties with Avery, like her mom did to prevent his father’s death, and finding a way to change Avery’s future. (from Goodreads)
 
Glimpse starts off with Zellie Wells daydreaming about her crush, Avery Adams, whilst waiting in line for communion. Zellie has liked Avery for ages, but she’s sure he can’t be interested in her. But when Avery appears to reciprocate her feelings, Zellie is ecstatic. Until she has a vision of his death that changes everything. At first, Zellie is content with ignoring the visions. Nothing bad will really happen, right? But after a while, Zellie has to face the fact that being with Avery will lead to his death, and there’s no way she can stop it. Will Zellie be able to let go of the guy she loves?
 
Glimpse is a fast-paced and thrilling novel with a very unique concept. I was intrigued by the premise from the very beginning – the idea of having visions of the future is something that has always interested me. Zellie was a great character; I liked how she was sure of herself and confident, yet was prone to embarrassment and spacing out as well, which made it easier for me to relate to her. She could be a bit shallow at times but I thought that made great reading because I thought she was funny too, and I laughed out loud at some of the situations she got herself into. Zellie’s not your typical pastor’s daughter and I really liked that about her. I also really liked her best friend Claire; I think they made a great pair and their friendship seemed real and easy – I could easily imagine seeing them at my school or out in town.

One thing I really liked about Glimpse is that not only do we hear the story from Zellie firsthand, but we also get to read about it in third person from Avery’s point of view. I think this really helped keep the book flowing, and it also gave us insight into Avery’s mind and what he was thinking. This means that we as readers find out a few things before Zellie and Avery do, so we get to formulate theories and ideas about what might happen next, which I think really involves us in the story. We also get to know Avery a little better; we discover how sweet and caring he is and how he gets just as embarrassed as Zellie does, and I found myself able to empathise with him more because of this. The connection between Avery and Zellie is very intense – there are definitely a lot of sparks flying, and they feel inexplicably drawn to each other. Whilst I think that perhaps the “I Love You” s were exchanged a bit too soon and their relationship progressed quite fast, I definitely understand why they felt so strongly about one another, and I loved the way Zellie’s mum and Avery’s dad reacted to the situation – they knew history was repeating itself and they felt powerless to stop it.

However, Glimpse isn’t just a love story. There’s a fair amount of action involved, some of it quite shocking – at certain points I felt my eyes glued to the page, unable to stop reading. There’s also a lot of learning going on; Zellie has to learn how to control her powers, and this was one of the parts that interested me most. I loved finding out about Zellie’s history, and discovering all the things she could do with her powers. Aunt Hazel was a quirky character, but also quite serious, and I enjoyed her interaction with Zellie and her sister Melody. But Zellie doesn’t just learn information, I think she grows emotionally too, and I thought it was very big of her to forgive her mother towards the end, even though she was still upset and angry. Even though I think Zellie should have told about her visions earlier, I think she makes up for it later on in the book and really begins to understand the seriousness of the situation.

The character who intrigued me most though was definitely Ben. He made a short and surprising appearance, and there are now a lot of questions surrounding him. I’m really eager to find out more about him – waiting for the sequel is going to be torture!

In conclusion, Glimpse was an exciting read, and I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to the sequel, Glimmer, and I would recommend this to anyone who liked Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready or The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

In My Mailbox #4

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.


For Review:
Hush Money by Susan Bischoff (already reviewed - thanks Susan!)
Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel (thanks Stacey!)

Bought:
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (FYI, I'm not reviewing this. It'd be near impossible for me, I'd end up writing ten pages)
Fallen by Lauren Kate (I feel like I'm the only person in the blogosphere who hasn't read this yet)

I'm happy with what I got this week. What did you guys get?

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Review: Hush Money by Susan Bischoff

Hush Money (Talent Chronicles #1) by Susan Bischoff
Publisher: Self-published
Released: August 3rd 2010
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Be normal, invisible. Don’t get close to anyone. Kids with psychic abilities tend to mysteriously disappear when they get noticed. Joss has spent years trying to hide. Now she has an unasked-for best friend, who is the victim of an extortion plot by the school bully, who used to like Joss, who is best friends with her long-time crush, who is actually talking to her. Life just got more complicated. (from Goodreads)

Hush Money starts off with Joss back in school after the “disappearance” of a classmate, Krista. Everyone knows Krista was taken away because of her Talent, but nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody ever likes to talk about Talents. Joss has been trained to be invisible, to blend in as much as possible. She avoids speaking in general and she doesn’t have any friends. But Kat, another student in Joss’s year, is determined to change this. And once Kat starts talking to Joss, other people begin to as well, like Joss’s long-time crush, Dylan. Joss soon realises she can’t go back to the way her life was before, but the fear she has always had still remains. What would happen if anyone found out she had a Talent?

Hush Money is an engrossing, fast-paced read. It’s told from two points of view; Joss’s and Dylan’s, and this dual narration is one reason this is such an engaging book. Hush Money is never boring because the switching of view-points keeps the story on track and moving forwards. I loved reading from both perspectives; I enjoyed Joss’s because it gave me a chance to relate to her, and it also helped build the back-story of the town and Talents. I liked Joss’s awkward first interaction with Kat – it’s easy to see that she’s not used to speaking to people because she’s been avoiding them for so long. I also liked how we got to see Joss become slightly more confident with each chapter and how she began to feel less uncomfortable around people than before. We were also given insight on Joss’s home life, which helped explain why Joss was the way she was and really built up and fleshed out her character. However, I also loved reading Dylan’s point of view, mostly because he’s a boy and it was just so interesting to get into his mind. I think his perspective was portrayed pretty realistically and it was definitely enlightening to see the course of events through his eyes. I liked his constant doubt about Marco, and how he was torn between doing the right thing and staying loyal to his best friend of so many years. One thing that really made me love Dylan though (besides the leather jacket :P) was the way he saw Joss, and the thoughts he had about her. He was protective, even from afar, and caring in a sweet yet dedicated way.

Other characters I liked were Kat and Heather. Kat’s very feisty and doesn’t take crap from anyone, and I thought she made a good friend for Joss because they sort of balanced each other out. Heather intrigued me because she has certain rules she abides by which I think make her a very decent person, but also kind of mysterious and almost wise.

Plot wise, Hush Money has the right amount of action, conspiracy, humour (four words: Dylan and Joss’s dad :D) and danger, and while there isn’t a lot of romance, I really appreciated the fact that this wasn’t one of those books where the characters fall in love after five minutes and then spend every waking moment together. The only problems I experienced were a few formatting issues and a few grammar errors, plus the use of a lot of ellipses toward the beginning, but I have no complaints about the story itself. The ending was a bit sudden (no cliff-hanger, just ended quite quickly) for me, but now I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series because I’m anxious to find out what happens next.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed Hush Money and I’d recommend it to anyone who liked Hex Hall or the Darkest Powers series (though there are no werewolves in this one!).

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Author Interview: Jennifer Laurens + Giveaway


I have the lovely Jennifer Laurens here today and she has kindly agreed to do an interview with me. Jennifer is the author of the Heavenly series and the third book, Absolution, is due for release October 1st 2010. Please help her feel very welcome!

1. Can you tell us a bit about Heavenly and its sequels?
Heavenly is the story of a teenage girl who falls in love with her autistic sister's guardian angel. Penitence and Absolution are about the results of that to a certain degree.

2. Why did you decide to write Heavenly?
I've always been fascinated with life after death. And, having a daughter with autism who will never marry and love and have children in this life, I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if she met someone in the life after?" The idea blossomed into Heavenly, which is quite different than THAT, but you get the idea.

3. What did you find hardest to write and why?
My son was struggling with a drug addiction at the time, and Luke's character is all him. There were days when I wept writing that out - because most of the events in Heavenly happened to us. Other difficult scenes were the ones with Zoe's frustration with Abria because all of my children have had to come to terms with their autistic sibling - in their own way - and that's been a huge challenge for them.

4. Can you tell us about any other writing projects you have coming up?
Absolution (the final book in the Heavenly series) comes out in Oct, then Overprotected comes out on Valentine's Day 2011. Another book will be released at the end of next year.

5. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I don't have a lot of spare time with 6 children, but if a second comes along, I read. I also LOVE movies. Dolls. Minatures. Shopping. Travel. Food. Cooking.

6. What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you?
Not something I can share here :).

7. Do you have a motto or philosophy that you live by?
No worldy accomplishment can compensate for failure in the home.

8. What advice would you give to others aspiring to be authors?
Read all genres. Write as much as you can. Join a critique group.

Quickfire Round:

9. Coke or Pepsi?
Pepsi!

10. Yahoo or Google?
Google.

11. Glass half empty or half full?
It's half way, period!

12. All time favourite book?
Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts.

13. Favourite movie?
The Parent Trap (new version).

14. If you were on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?
Food, water and sunscreen.

15. Any last words or comments?
Thanks for having me here!

Thank you very much! Now for the giveaway. Jennifer is offering one lucky winner a copy of her book, Heavenly and she's happy to ship internationally, so this giveaway is open worldwide! To enter, you must:
  • Be a GFC follower (old or new)
  • Leave a meaningful comment on this post including your email address so I can contact you if you win (this equals 1 entry)
Extra entries (please leave all links in your comment):
  • +2 for spreading the word (tweeting, sidebar, facebook, blogging - max 6 entries)
  • +1 for commenting on my review of Heavenly here
  • +1 for following Jennifer's blog here
Competiton closes midnight (UK time) September 2nd and the randomly selected winner will be announced shortly after.

That's it guys! I hope you enjoyed the interview, and good luck!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Mockingjay Pain

So I STILL haven't got my copy yet. Even though it came out officially in the UK today. This is because my local Waterstones and WHSmith are STUPID and didn't have it in stock. HOW could they not have it in stock? I mean, seriously. The websites do. Sometimes I wish I lived right in the centre of the city. I bet all the London Waterstoneses and WHSmiths have Mockingjay.

So I was forced to order from Amazon. And the delivery estimate - wait for it - is August 31st. 31st of August. That's next Tuesday. I paid first class delivery too! I can't wait that bloody long. I'm hoping this is just a precautionary date and that it'll really arrive on Friday.

Because if it doesn't arrive by Friday I'm going to the shops again and I don't even care if I end up with two copies because I just want to read this damn book so badly.

And that's it. Rant over. Everyone who already has a copy of Mockingjay, I'm very jealous. I've managed to avoid spoilers so far, so please no spoilers! Just enjoy your lovely book while I sit here next to my laptop, rocking back and forth muttering the words "must read now" over and over.

Review: Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

Heavenly (Heavenly #1) by Jennifer Laurens
Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
Released: August 15th 2009
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister's guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him.

Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can't last forever. (from Goodreads)

Heavenly begins with our main character, Zoe, in the park with her autistic sister Abria. While looking for Abria who has run off, Zoe meets a mysterious guy called Matthias who has the strange ability to calm Abria down and who radiates an aura of peace and happiness. Zoe doesn't know what to think and leaves the park confused yet unafraid. Then she sees Matthias again. And again. And every time he appears, he saves Abria from something dangerous. As Zoe gets to knows Matthias, her outlook on life begins to change, and she knows she's fighting a losing battle wanting something she can't ever have.

Wow. Heavenly. Just wow. I haven't read a lot of books regarding angels, so I don't have much to compare to, but Heavenly was amazing. I don't even know how to explain it; it was so real, like these characters could be living next door to me in my own neighbourhood. And Zoe, what a character. At first I was wary about her, I didn't know whether to like her or not so I saved my judgement until I'd read a bit further. And I decided that I really, really liked her. She's confident and opinionated and not scared to express herself. I could relate to her, even though I'd never experienced her situation before. Everything she was feeling, I was able to feel; how she struggled to care for her autistic sister, her uncertainty about what she should do about her brother's drug addiction, her own problems with alcohol - everything. And when she meets Matthias, who I absolutely adored (the way he speaks is just so cute!), she adds another struggle to her list - trying to suppress the feelings she begins to develop for him.

Matthias needs a whole paragraph to himself, though. He was just...awesome. I love how he admitted that he wasn't perfect when he lived, that he experienced similar problems and that he did a lot of things he wasn't proud of. I love how much he cares for Abria, and how he protects both her and Zoe. I love the fact he was willing to go through such lengths to save Zoe, to do something he shouldn't have to make sure she was okay. My tenses are all mixed up but I'm just too excited to go back and fix everything!

I haven't even started on the plot yet. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say that Zoe learns a lot as the book progresses, and she definitely grows as a person. And the ending, whoa. I have no words. All I can say is that I need to get my hands on the next book immediately, even if it means selling a vital organ.

In conclusion, Heavenly is a sweet, thought provoking novel that will have you reading past midnight (or in my case, until four in the morning). Highly recommended.

~

I'm having an interview with Jennifer tomorrow everyone, and there's going to be a chance to win a copy of Heavenly, so stay tuned for that!

"Waiting On" Wednesday #4

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


The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
November 9th 2010

Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.

There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.

Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.

Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.

But it’s not.

Andrew Smith has written his most beautiful and personal novel yet, as he explores the nightmarish outer limits of what trauma can do to our bodies and our minds. (from Goodreads)


Angel by L. A. Weatherly
October 29th 2010

In a world where angels are beyond redemption, Alex thinks he's found one that might deserve mercy. Alex is a ruthless assassin - of angels. Forget everything you've heard about them before. Angels are not benign celestial creatures, but fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans, draining them of their vitality until there is barely anything left. As far as Alex is concerned, the only good angel is a dead angel...until he meets Willow. She may look like a normal teenager but Willow is no ordinary girl. Half-angel, half-human, Willow may hold the key to defeating the evil angels. But as the hunter and the hunted embark on an epic and dangerous journey and Willow learns the dark and terrifying secrets of her past, Alex finds himself drawn to Willow...with devastating consequences. (from Goodreads)

Monday, 23 August 2010

Review: Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus *slight spoilers*

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Publisher: Egmont USA
Released: July 13th 2010
My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her.

Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life. (from Goodreads)

Shadow Hills starts off with Phe arriving at Devenish Prep. She belives that Devenish can help answer questions she has surrounding her sister's death, and also explain the weird nightmares she's been having. But when she meets Zach, she realises that something strange is going on in Shadow Hills, and she's determined to find out what is it is.

I enjoyed Shadow Hills for several reasons. Firstly, I like the whole concept - the fact that people can be different due to genetic mutations. I like how the powers are explained with science and how the author tries to make everything seem logical and realistic - as if it could be something that really happens and goes on in real life. I thought that was a nice touch and made the powers seem less mystical and more probable. I thought there was an interesting mix of science and Greek mythology which made the book quite original and intriguing. I also found the whole BV thing interesting and how the people with these mutations had to have a separate way of life and live differently from normal people.

I think Phe is a pretty strong heroine; she's not afraid to go looking for answers even if it's dangerous, and she thinks for herself and always speaks her mind. Graham is a great character, even though he can be a bit oblivious sometimes (which I actually think is quite cute :P) - I think he adds humour to the novel, and I enjoyed reading about his relationship with Toy. Adriana is another character who made me laugh - I didn't actually think I'd like her much because she was so snobby and rude to begin with, but she definitely grew on me as the story progressed. And of course, Zach. He's very sweet and caring, and it's really cute how happy he is whenever he's around Phe. My favourite character, however, is probably Sarah. She's an old lady that works in town who Phe meets by accident, but she knows more about Phe than is normal, so Phe seeks her out for some answers. Sarah's a mix of weird, kind and mysterious, and even though she only appears a few times in the book, I think she helps build up the ominous and unsettling atmosphere.

However, I did have a few issues with this book. I think Phe acts much older than fifteen - in fact, I didn't realise she was fifteen until she outright said it. Maybe she's just mature for her age, but I think she acts more like she's seventeen than fifteen. I also found the relationship between her and Zach a bit rushed; and again, since Phe is still pretty young I thought it was a bit early for Zach to say that she's "the most important thing" in his life now, especially since they haven't known each other very long. Plus, the whole "secret" Zach is hiding - he says it's dangerous and that no-one can ever find about it, but then he tells Phe about it almost immediately after. Then he's really worried about what would happen if anyone finds out Phe knows. But as soon as he tells her, everyone starts talking about it freely in front of her as if they don't care about it at all. Including Zach's dad. I mean, if this secret were so important and dangerous, wouldn't his parents be angry that he told Phe, an outsider? Zach, to me, is almost too accepting of everything as well. He says more than once "oh it doesn't matter" or "I don't care about that". He doesn't really express his own thoughts or opinions much, which makes him seem a little automated.

In conclusion, Shadow Hills was a good read, but not without its flaws. I'd definitely pick up a sequel, though (I'm really hoping there is one), and I look forward to more of Hopcus' work.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

In My Mailbox #3 + News

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Krist @ The Story Siren.


Won:
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus (from the wonderful Missie @ The Unread Reader)

Gift:
Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens (from the lovely author herself)

I'm also having an interview with Jennifer Laurens soon, hopefully sometime later this week, and there's going to be a giveaway, so make sure you check back for that!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Three Mini Reviews

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Publisher: Harcourt
Released: February 1st 2009
My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

The undead can really screw up your senior year ...

 
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into 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 fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction. (from Goodreads)
 
I know I'm in the minority here, but Jessica's Guide failed to really impress me. It started off promising; I thought Jessica was pretty witty, and it was funny to read about her spurning Lucius' advances. But I felt as the book progressed, she got a little predictable and slightly annoying, and her character just fell flat for me. Lucius also started off with a good sense of humour, and I enjoyed his initial interaction with Jessica, but again, as the book progressed he became less funny and the plot became more melodramatic; with both characters doing crazy things, desperate to protect each other. I just thought some parts were quite cliche and over the top, and I couldn't get into the story. I found myself not really caring what happened at the end because both characters were getting on my nerves. The relationship progressed unrealistically for me, from hate to love in a short period of time - from avoidance to willing to die for one another in a matter of a few weeks. I don't know, maybe I read it too quickly, but it didn't work for me. However, that being said, I did read the book in one go, only putting it down once, and it did keep me entertained. The writing was quite engrossing, and I did want to keep reading despite the fact that I didn't exactly love the characters. I think fans of Twilight and the House of Night series will probably enjoy this book.


Glee: The Beginning by Sophia Lowell
Publisher: Headline
Released: August 5th 2010
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Calling all Gleeks!

Get more of your favourite characters in this official Glee prequel!

All great performances deserve a warm-up! Enroll early at McKinley High--before New Directions was even a glimmer in Mr. Schuester's eye. When did Rachel first decide Finn was more than just a jock? When did Puck and Quinn start their secret romance? And how did the fledgling Glee Club function without a fearless leader? Hint: It wasn't exactly a perfect melody.

Break out the gold stars and refill the slushies: It's time to find out what happened to all your favorite characters before the show-mance began. (from Goodreads)

Glee: The Beginning is a short, fun read chronicling the events of McKinley High before Mr Schuester takes over Glee Club. I really liked this book because we get to learn more about our favourite characters from the TV series. Every wondered why Rachel is so determined? How long Kurt and Mercedes have been friends? How Puck really feels about Quinn? All these questions and more are answered in this prequel, and we get to see Glee Club at its first stages; where confidence is practically non-existent and motivation is just a ten letter word. It’s also great to see how the Glee Club start to improve and the members start to believe in themselves, and how Rachel begins to see Finn in a new light. We get to discover more about each main character in the series, helping us to understand why they do the things they do. In conclusion, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something quick and enjoyable, and for all Glee fans, this is a must read!
 
 
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: First published 1995, this edition published May 6th 2003
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. After receiving a cryptic message from her father, 18-year-old Sabriel leaves her ordinary school and returns across the Wall into the Old Kingdom. Fraught with peril and deadly trickery, her journey takes her to a world filled with parasitical spirits, Mordicants, and Shadow Hands -- for her father is none other than The Abhorson. His task is to lay the disturbed dead back to rest. This obliges him -- and now Sabriel, who has taken on her father's title and duties -- to slip over the border into the icy river of Death, sometimes battling the evil forces that lurk there, waiting for an opportunity to escape into the realm of the living. Desperate to find her father, and grimly determined to help save the Old Kingdom from destruction by the horrible forces of the evil undead, Sabriel endures almost impossible challenges whilst discovering her own supernatural abilities -- and her destiny. (from Goodreads)

Sabriel is, and there are no other words for it, an epic fantasy. Everything you'd expect to be in a great fantasy novel is in this book, lots of magic, other-worldly places, strong characters, great description - everything. I actually didn't think I'd like it this much, but that's me proved wrong, because I can safely say this book is very, very good. Sabriel is a great heroine; she (begrudgingly) accepts her responsibilities and does everything she can to find her father. Mogget is probably my favourite character, he's a cat that always appears to be unconcerned and he adds a lot of humour, and often sarcasm, to the book. However, there are some pretty dark tones to Sabriel, and some parts are pretty creepy. It's not for the faint-hearted. In conclusion, if you're a fan of fantasy, then you have to read this book.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday #3

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


The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner
October 12th 2010

The Maze was only the beginning...

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more Variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety... until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.
Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, much of the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated--and with it, order--and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim... and meal.

The Gladers are far from done running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder--does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED? (from Goodreads)
 
 
Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
August 25th 2010 (UK release date)
 
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year. (from Goodreads)
 
So it's kind of a dystopian theme this Wednesday. And I put Mockingjay up there because it's out NEXT WEEK. Next week, guys! I'm so excited for it, I have a bunch of theories and they're probably all wrong, but still. What do you guys think will happen?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Review: City of Thieves by Ellen Renner

City of Thieves by Ellen Renner
Publisher: Orchard Books
Released: August 5th 2010
My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

"The final shock of it hit home. The Petches were thieves, and they had stolen him."

Tobias is on the run. From the father who betrayed him...from the mother who couldn't comfort him...from his own desperate fear. But when he falls into the clutches of his uncle's sinister gang of thieves, his fear grows. And soon Toby realises, his nightmare has only just begun... (from Goodreads)

City of Thieves starts some time after Castle of Shadows ends, and the whole of Quale are gathered together to watch the hanging of Alistair Windlass. Charlie is now Queen of Quale, and is stuck in the Castle with her mother, the Dowager Queen. But soon the people find out their most wanted criminal has escaped, and Tobias Petch vows to leave the Castle and find him, no matter what it takes. However, he doesn’t get very far before his uncle Zebediah forcibly recruits him into “The Family”, and Tobias must learn the trade of thieving in order stay alive.

I absolutely loved City of Thieves, so much so that I was reading it until three in the morning. Like its predecessor, this book is thrilling and exciting and its treacherous characters will keep you guessing and on your toes. This time, the book centres around Tobias instead of Charlie, and Tobias has to do a lot of growing up in a short space of time. He experiences a lot of pain and confusion that we as readers can easily relate to, and he feels guilty for the way he left the Castle, and for the fact that he is helping his bullying uncle to steal and commit more crime. But he is also desperate to escape, and is willing to use whatever means necessary to do so. He even tries to bribe his cousin Ambrose, but ends up causing more trouble.

I really grew to like Tobias in this book, and he has become my favourite character. Put in his situation, I would have no idea what to do and so I think he acts very bravely and tries to do the best he can. He doesn’t get to interact much with Charlie in this book, which I missed, but he meets a lot of new people and it’s great to see how he gets along with all his cousins, especially Ambrose, the youngest of them all. The villains in this book are some of my favourites; Alistair Windlass is one of those characters whose motives are always hidden, someone you can never quite work out, but Uncle Zebediah is the opposite; he tells you what he wants and then he goes out and gets it, knocking down anything in his way. Both are tyrannous and cause Tobias a lot of anguish that he struggles to deal with throughout the book.

In conclusion, City of Thieves is a book that should be read by anyone and everyone, and the cliff-hanger type ending leaves me eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.

My First Award!


So I was awarded this by the lovely Danya @ A Tapestry Of Words. Completely shocked, as always, that there are people out there actually reading what I write. So thank you times a billion, Danya!

The rules for this award are:
  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
  • Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
Seven things about me:
  1. I watched all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender in less that five days. It's an awesome cartoon. I miss it already, but I have moved on to Danny Phantom.
  2. I'm one of those people who prefers crisps (and I say crisps because I'm British) over chocolate.
  3. I hate planes. I really do.
  4. After watching the entire film and a further three hours of research, I still have no idea what the movie "The Fountain" is about.
  5. Someday, I WILL go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  6. I signed a petition to bring the show "Kyle XY" back after it had been cut. It didn't work.
  7. Without Google, my life would be completely different. Google ♥.
 Fifteen blogs made of awesomeness:

Monday, 16 August 2010

Review: Castle of Shadows by Ellen Renner

Castle of Shadows by Ellen Renner
Publisher: Orchard Books
Released: January 7th 2010
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

"No clue about why the Queen vanished had ever been found. Until now..."

The day Charlie discovers a scrap of paper that could solve the dark mystery of her mother's disappearance, her world changes. Forever. Charlie and her friend, Toby, must race against time on a dangerous mission to uncover the sinister truth. But in this shadowy world of secrets and lies, there is more to fear than they can possibly imagine... (from Goodreads)

Castle of Shadows begins with the introduction of our heroine, the rather unruly Princess Charlie. After her mother had disappeared, Charlie's father, the King, chose to seclude himself from the Castle in order to build towers with packs of playing cards. Due to her father's absence, Charlie is now forced to take orders from Mrs O'Dair, the horrible woman in charge of the Castle. But when Charlie finds a letter from her mother in an old library book, she begins to question her mother's disappearance and finds herself unsatisfied with the answers she is being given. With help from Tobias, the gardener's boy, Charlie digs deep into the past in search for the truth and encounters dangers unlike anything she has ever known before.

I really enjoyed Castle of Shadows; it was exciting and dangerous and one of those books that you just can't put down. The main character Charlie is strong-willed, fiery and determined, and will do anything to find out more about her mother and protect her father. Tobias, who is equally determined but very loyal and full of snark, starts off as just another servant, who enjoys teasing the Princess. But when the pair are forced to trust each other and form an alliance, a begrudging bond eventually leads to friendship and Charlie and Tobias learn to stand up for themselves and one another, and stay with each other no matter what.

Other characters I really liked were Mr. Moleglass and Mrs O'Dair. Mr Moleglass is so kind and helpful and always worrying about the children's safety; he really cares about the people and the kingdom. Mrs O'Dair, on the other hand, is the perfect villain; a mixture of bitter, angry and crazy with no remorse. I also liked the Resistance's part in the book, and I think that they had a great impact on Charlie and the decisions she made. Another thing I enjoyed was the description of Charlie in dresses and petticoats. It still makes me laugh to think of her sweating and huffing and puffing in these clothes she obviously hates.

Overall, Castles of Shadows is a wonderful book that pulls you in and keeps you reading until you're finished. Recommended for ages 8-12 and young teens.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is a weekly hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.


I didn't bother taking a picture this time because I only got two books this week (plus I can't find the camera :P).

For Review (both from Bookbabblers):
Castle of Shadows by Ellen Renner
City of Thieves by Ellen Renner

So a slow week this week. What did you guys get?

Friday, 13 August 2010

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday #1

Book Blogger Hop  

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer @ Crazy-for-Books

The question this week is: How many books do you have on your 'to be read shelf’?

I don't really have a TBR shelf, but I do have a TBR list. An actual paper list (which is really just three sheets of A4 stapled together). And on that list, there are over a 250 books that I want to read. I think I add to that list every day, because I always seem to find something new every time I'm on the internet. And I'm on the internet a lot (I practically live on it), so next week that number may double.


Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee

If you're here from either the hop or Follow Friday, hello! Welcome. Make yourselves at home. I'm Liz, new blogger. I spent the whole of yesterday watching season one of Avatar: The Last Airbender (why have I never watched this before?) I like reading (obviously), and my favourite movie is Back to the Future (I have yet to meet a person who has seen it and doesn't like it). Feel free to look around!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday #2

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

(I cannot tell you how stupid Blogger is being. It won't allow me to layout anything the way I want it to, so I'm stuck with this.)

The Iron Witch (Ironbridge Chronicles #1) by Karen Mahoney
February 1st 2011

Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her m...more Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect. (from Goodreads)


The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan
October 12th 2010

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she’s his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids.” What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god. (from Goodreads)
 
I am so excited for the new camp half-blood series, anyone who has read the extract will know what I'm talking about.
 
What are your picks this week?

Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: May 4th 2010
My Rating: 4 starts out of 5

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

 Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

 Well, sort of.

 Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

 It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift. (from Goodreads)
 
Aura is a post-Shifter and has always thought that her ability to see and speak to ghosts has been nothing more than an inconvenience. But after the death of her boyfriend Logan, Aura has to re-evaluate the connection she has with the dead and must deal with the consequences of losing someone you love.
 
There a few reasons why this book didn't score the full five stars from me, but I'll get to that later. Let's start with the good stuff.

Aura, to me, is a very real character and it's easy to relate to her and empathise with the struggles she has trying to deal with Logan's death. Due to the fact she was born after "The Shift", an unexplained event which causes those born after it to be able to communicate with the dead, Aura still interacts with the violet ghost of Logan. But she can't touch him or feel him, and no matter how hard they both pretend, things can never be like they were before. Aura begins to realise this and throughout the book she tries to avoid coming to terms with the fact that continuing her relationship with Logan means she'd be giving up her future. She's upset, she's angry, and she's confused, and we as readers are all these things with her. Smith-Ready does a great job of portraying Aura's feelings without just stating the obvious.

In comes Zachary, the hot, Scottish guy Aura has to work with on her astronomy thesis. Ahhh, Zach. He made this book for me. Really. There’s a bit of mystery surrounding him which we find out about later on in the book. But Zach! He’s sweet and flirty and funny and the banter between him and Aura is hilarious! I found myself smiling at every page that involved them both; I loved reading about them. Zach helps Aura deal with her problems, he understands her and listens to her and makes her laugh, and with him, Aura can almost forget about all her troubles. I like how Smith-Ready reveals the relationship between Zach and his dad too, and we really understand why Zach has to keep so many secrets. I think Zach and Aura make a very good pairing, and I can’t what to see what happens next between them.

And here is where we reach the problem. Logan. Logan, Logan, Logan. I tried to like him, I really did. I mean he just died, right? Cut the guy some slack. But I couldn’t. I really couldn’t. There are things he does in the book are very sweet and he seems like a nice and caring boyfriend, not unwilling to talk about his feelings…but I just feel frustrated by him. It seems like every time Aura is making progress and moving on, he’s there to drag her back down. Maybe I’m being unsympathetic (probably :P), but I don’t like Logan as much as I should. I feel sorry for his family because of the circumstances of his death, but Logan himself can sometimes be pretty selfish in my opinion, and I find it hard to sympathise with him (though I do feel bad for him towards the end). I don’t want his constant presence to mess up Aura’s life, because obviously there is no future with a ghost. I feel like Logan could be more of an interesting, likeable character, instead of just someone who seems obsessed with his band and becoming famous (maybe that's how he's supposed to be, I don’t know, or maybe I just missed his better side). He does seem to love Aura but if you really loved someone that much, wouldn’t you let them go after you died? Would you really expect them to be with you and forgo all the normal things they could have? Logan in the end does redeem himself a little bit and I do like him slightly more. I do also appreciate the difficulty Aura has trying to move on from Logan, because she’s been with him a long time and loves him. It’s hard to get over that in a hurry, or even after years and years, as anyone who has lost someone close to them will know. But I just feel that we as readers aren’t having such a hard time doing so because we don’t really get to see a lot of Logan’s good side. I’m hoping this will get explored more in the second book, Shift, which is due out May 2011.

In conclusion, I really liked Shade and I think Smith-Ready has created an interesting world for her characters. I recommend this book to any supernatural/fantasy over the age of 13 (there are some scenes that I would say are only suitable for more mature teen readers).

Special thanks to The Book Smugglers and Simon & Schuster UK.
 
(I received a finished copy of the UK version, which is released September 2nd. The cover looks like this:
Which cover do you prefer?)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Teaser Tuesday #2

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!
"That's different," he muttered.
"Why?" A smile spread across her face. She didn't often win arguments with Tobias. It felt good.
He scowled at her. "It just is! I'm older."
"One year! What you mean is: you're a boy."
"Well of course. Girls isn't supposed to..." He stopped, sighed. "Oh sweet Betty! All right! You win."
- p. 180, "City of Shadows", Ellen Renner 

Monday, 9 August 2010

Review: The Badness of Ballydog by Garrett Carr

The Badness of Ballydog by Garrett Carr
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: September 7th 2009
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Something is coming...something big. May knows it, but no one will listen to her. She is an outcast due to her odd ways and freakish ability with animals. Andrew knows it, but he has his position as gang leader to maintain. Ewan knows it, but what can he do? The sea creature is the biggest living thing on the face of the earth. And it won't stop until it has destroyed Ballydog. Can three teenagers save the baddest town in the world from its fate? Is it even worth saving? (from Amazon)

The Badness of Ballydog focuses on three young teenagers and their lives in the small town of Ballydog. The book begins with Ewan moving to Ballydog from Northern Ireland as part of the witness protection program. He doesn’t fit in with his classmates at school, but he’s not the only one. May can speak to animals, and they’ve been telling her something bad is coming to town. But with everyone she knows thinking she’s “soft in the head” who will believe her? Andrew has been having nightmares, and finds himself drawing ominous pictures of a monstrous creature he’s never seen before, except in his dreams. Even his gang members have started to question his odd behaviour. Is Ballydog really in danger? And if so, what can these three kids do about it?

The Badness of Ballydog is a page-turning read full of adventure and action. The description allows you to picture everything clearly in your head like a movie, and it’s almost as if you’re right there in Ballydog with the characters. Though some of the language takes a bit of getting used to, it really adds to the setting and helps make the characters seem realistic and current. I liked how each character was introduced separately, with separate focus on each person’s back-story. One thing I wish we knew more about was Ewan’s father and why the family were forced to move, but I’m sure more will be revealed about this in the sequel, Lost Dogs.

My favourite part was the introduction of Alexander Bam Brilski Teodors, aka The Hunter. He was funny and witty and the three teenagers just didn’t know what to make of him. I also liked the seeing the friendship develop between Andrew and Ewan and May. The Badness of Ballydog is a book full of wit, suspense and great one-liners, and is based on an interesting and original concept. There are quite a few sort sentences, so the writing can seem a little choppy at times, but I thought it was a very engaging novel.

In conclusion, I enjoyed The Badness of Ballydog and would recommend it for ages 8-12 and younger teens. I look forward to read the next book in the series.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

In My Mailbox #1

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.


As you can see, I'm not very good at taking pictures...

For Review:
The Badness of Ballydog (from Bookbabblers, special thanks to Garrett Carr for signing it for me and for the cool postcard too)

Bought:
Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer (already reviewed)
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (already reviewed)

Swapped:
Sabriel by Garth Nix

A bit of a slow week this week, but I'm pretty pleased.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Books That Made Me Cry

I'm not a crier. Few books have made me tear up and it's the same with movies too; I sat through Titanic and I just couldn't see what all the fuss was about. I got more upset in The Lion King than I did in that film. That being said, however, there are a few books that have had me crying my eyes out like a two year old. In no particular order:


1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by J. K. Rowling

Whoever didn't cry in this books cannot be human. It was a freaking bloodbath. So many people died...it was just so sad! So many characters we loved, gone. And don't even get me started on the chapters "The Prince's Tale" and "The Forest Again". The words started to become blurry because I was crying so much I couldn't see. And plus, it was 1am in the morning when I was reading those chapters, and I had to cry silently otherwise I would have woken everyone up. Do you know how hard it is to read through silent tears? Very.

 
2. Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus #3) by Jonathan Stroud

Oh my God, what kind of kid's books is this? The worst part was that I totally did not expect the ending. I was just happily reading along, thinking, "What a nice, funny book!" and completely expecting there to be a "happily ever after" finish to it. Then BAM. I bawled like a baby for an entire hour after I finished it. A whole freaking hour. I've only ever read this book once, but I remember the last line so clearly; it's like I memorised it. Don't get me wrong, I still love the series. I did love this book. Jonathan Stroud is an amazing writer, and I recommend his books to anyone. But there's no way I can ever read this again. I'd just start crying and I wouldn't stop.


3. The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3) by Philip Pullman

What the..I can't even explain how this book makes me feel. It's like, just after everything's perfect and all the characters are finally happy even after everything they've been through, something happens just to screw it all up again. But this time, part of the screwiness is permanent and they'll never experience the happiness they just experienced ever again. Can you say unfair? The His Dark Materials trilogy is one of my favourite children's series, but I can't pretend this book didn't cause tears to splatter the pages. Will and Lyra...probably one of the unluckiest pairs ever to have (fictionally) lived.


4. Airhead (Airhead #1) by Meg Cabot

I know. You're thinking, "What the fudgesticks? A freaking Meg Cabot book is on this list?" But seriously, hear me out. Even though this books is mostly a comedy (it is hilarious :P), there's just this one line towards the end that has me tearing up every time I read it. It's just so tragically sweet, it makes me cry. And I don't know if I'm crying because the thing that was said is so sweet or because the person saying it was obviously so upset and completely unhappy with their life now...ah. I don't even know. I really don't. I just know I cry when I read it.

 
5. Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian (Percy Jackson #5) by Rick Riordan

The conclusion to the Percy Jackson series. I cried. A lot. The end scene...it was very upsetting. I felt so bad for "the villain", even after everything he'd done; I really didn't want the thing that happened to him to happen to him (I'm trying not to give away spoilers here :P). All the stuff he did - it's hard to even blame him, after the life he had. And he redeemed himself too! Ah, it was difficult reading that. But Percy Jackson will always remain one of my favourite series ever, and I can't wait for The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus  #1) to be released!


So looking back over that list, it appears that I'm more of a crier than I thought...

What books, if any, made you cry?

Friday, 6 August 2010

Hi5 - Favourite MG/YA Books to Movies

A meme hosted by Cara @ Chasing Words, Anne @ Potter, Percy and I and Nomes @ Inkcrush.

The topic for this week's Hi5 was chosen by Anne: choose your top 5 picks for MG/YA books made into movies. Mine are (in no particular order):

 
1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine 
 
 
 
 2. Holes by Louis Sachar
 
   
 
 
3. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg (a short story I've never actually read)
   
4. Matilda by Roal Dahl
5. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Ones that almost made it:

  • The Neverending Story (haven't actually read the book but I love the film!) by Michael Ende

  • Narnia novels by C. S Lewis

  • Harry Potter (except I love the books waaay more than the films)

  • Shrek (I had no idea this was a book - it's apparently a picture book by William Steig)


That's it for now!