Sunday, 25 December 2011

Book Haul: The Christmas Edition

Merry Christmas!

As always, Santa did well this year and brought me some shiny new books for Christmas.
I have already reviewed one but i'll still add it here, just for fun.

1. Let It Snow - John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle
2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green
3. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
4. The Shadow Wife - Diane Chamberlain


Very happy with my haul! I look forward to reading and reviewing these as soon as possible a long with a ton of other books that I have planned. As mentioned in a previous blog post, there will be more activity on this blog in 2012 (and hopefully someone will actually READ this blog :P).
Until then, keep reading!

Let It Snow - Green, Johnson & Myracle

Beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicoloured lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you only see in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss with a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks.
Thanks to three of today's best-selling teen authors - John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle - the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance and breathtaking kisses.




Followers of my blog will know that I am a big fan of John Green and his books so it probably comes as no surprise that this book was no exception and I 100% love it, and recommend it.

Aside from that little note, this is not just a John Green book. A collaborative effort between Green, Johnson and Myracle turned into something magnificent and will now forever be my favourite Christmas book, and top 5 all year books.

Let It Snow is three completely different stories that occur at the same time, same town and has mentions and appearances from characters in each of the stories, so you can always get a little fix from the previous one. I know that was a good thing for me anyway as I really didn't want to leave the characters from any of the stories once i'd grown to love them.

The writing styles of Green, Johnson and Myracle all seem quite similar to me. This is a GOOD thing as they are continuously easy to read, follow and love. I'm not sure if this is intentional or a happy chance as I haven't yet read any more of Johnson or Myracle's works.

The stories contain a heavy amount of snow which is WONDERFUL. I live in a very rainy place where snow is practically a myth, so to get the feeling of a real white Christmas filled with adventure was perfect and made me want to snuggle up in pjs whilst reading. The adventures are exciting and unpredictable too!

As the blurb suggests, there is a lot of teens and a lot of romance - but not in the tacky way that some books have. The characters are genuine, real and identifiable and as I keep repeating - so very LOVEABLE!

I'm sad to have reached the end of the book in such a short time (literally just a couple of hours) as I couldn't put it down, but I loved every word on every page and I wish more great authors would do collabs like this. In fact, Let It Snow is probably the only reason I have any Christmas spirit at all this year :)

The Magic of Christmas - Trisha Ashley

In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her cheating husband when tragedy strikes and she finds herself widowed. Her Christmas Pudding Circle - a group of friends swapping seasonal receipes - offers her a welcome distraction, whilst a simmering rivalry with local cookery writer Nick erupts over who will win Best Mince Pie at the village show...


Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play. But who will play Adam to Lizzy's Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch, or will someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it promises to be a Christmas to remember!


Last year, I read one of Ashley's books and absolutely loved it, so when I was given this as a pre-Christmas gift I was very happy :)

The Magic of Christmas was a slow starter and it took me until about half way through to really  get in to it.
The stories/relationships between the characters was lovely and homely and I did feel attached to Lizzy and enjoyed hearing about her son Jasper and the start of his university life.

One of the main things I enjoyed about this book was the references to other literary works such as classic Shakespeare plays and Synge's 'Playboy of the Western World'. It always makes me feel good when I understand the intertextuality in a book! It makes me feel like my lectures are paying off ;)

The biggest downside to the book for me, is that there wasn't enough Christmas. The title of the book and the blurb on the back promises lots of Christmassy fun when in fact, there isn't. More than half of the book is the lead up to Christmas when there is occasionally mention of Christmas Cake and mince pies and the rest is post Christmas with a few short pages regarding the day itself! I figured the book itself is more about the relationships between characters but I do feel a little cheated out of Christmas reading.

That said, it was a good, quick read and didn't take too much thinking about which is perfect for the season as it's been so busy around here with Christmas and exams coming up! I probably won't read it again but it'll sit happily on my bookshelves just waiting to be discovered again.

Last Breath - Rachel Caine (Morganville #11)

No blurb for this book as it has been loaned out!

It's been a while since I read this book now and I have a ton of catching up to do but here goes.

In my opinion, the Morganville series is going stronger, perhaps even stronger than ever. Despite Last Breath being book 11 in a what seems to be never-ending series - i'm still wishing for more.
The adventures of Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael are better than ever in this book and for the first time, I genuinely worried for their safety. Last Breath is also the first Morganville book I have honestly sobbed over! At every point in the book, I wasn't sure what was going to happen to the foursome and whether they could overcome the trouble that Morganville and it's vampires had in store for them.

Myrnin, as usual, was as ambiguous as ever and one of my favourite things about the series is that I absolutely adore him, and still don't know whether to trust him! Though I think my opinion on Myrnin has now been set for good (spoiler free blog, remember! - unless stated otherwise anyway).

It's not my favourite book of the series (not that I could decide anyway!) but I enjoyed it so much. I don't think i'll ever be ready to leave Morganville but thankfully there is still at least ONE more book on the way...

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Saga of Darren Shan Vol.1

Art by Takahiro Arai
Darren Shan was just an ordinary schoolboy until his visit to the Cirque Du Freak. There he meets Madam Octa and her master, and after that nothing is ever the same again.


Last year, I worked my way through all of the books in the Saga of Darren Shan and loved them despite hearing that they were children’s books. So when I recently saw this copy in a local bookstore for £1.99 I just HAD to have it. This is the first section of Cirque Du Freak, but in manga. I don’t own many manga’s so that was another reason to have this book in my collection, and it’s also the first “real” one I own. Meaning that the book is flipped so you read it backwards and from right to left. I’m sure you know the deal…

Despite the obvious need to condense the story in order to fit in the spectacular art work by Takahiro Arai, the story was pretty complete. As I said, the artwork itself (which is equally, if not more important, than the text) was truly amazing. I recommend this book to any Darren Shan fan and anyone who appreciates fine drawing. The RRP for this book is £5.99 which is reasonable but if anyone plans on buying it then definitely look around as it’s MUCH cheaper than that. My copy was bought from a shop called The Works.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

50 Book Challenge

I have completed the Goodreads 50 Book Challenge - early!

I thought this definitely needed blogging about. I'm actually really proud of myself for finishing. It's been a tough year for me personally and I felt that my reading had been quite slow but considering everything, it is fantastic! Originally I had planned to post a full list of everything I had read for the challenge, but as I may or may not have explained before, Goodreads isn't the full list. I had forgotten a lot of dates of the things i'd read so they didn't count, unfortunately. I'm actually closer to 60, but still :)

Instead, as i'm still reading and the year isn't over, I decided that i'll post an actual complete list all everything i've read since 1st January 2011 - 1st January 2012 in the new year :)

I enjoy writing this blog a lot, so I have also decided that i'll make it more active. Right now i'm just reviewing a book every so often rather than every one that I read. I'll change that to each book, plus i'll do book haul posts. I have been considering making videos to accompany these blog posts but I certainly don't have a face for the camera so we'll see. I will work something out!

If anyone reading this cares to follow my Goodreads account then it can be found here.
Good luck to everyone else that is frantically making their way to the end of the challenge, and here's to preparing for it all over again in the new year!


Monday, 21 November 2011

Everlasting - Alyson Noel




Ever and Damen have loved and lost each other for hundreds of years - facing deadly enemies, dark secrets and a powerful curse. Now their love will be tested to its limit.
Ever and Damen finally have the chance to discover their true destiny. The choice they're about to make will unite them - or tear them apart - forever.





*Contains spoilers*
 
The last book in the Immortals series is very different from the five previous stories. We get to delve deeply into Ever's previous lives and there are so many connections to be made with not just Ever and Damen, but ALL of the characters.

I have a bit of a problem with the middle of the book. When it is revealed that Ever, Damen, Jude, Drina, Roman, Ava, Romy, Rayne, Haven and whoever else I may have missed, have been vital from the *first* life right up until this one, and will continue to be important - things get a bit silly. It's really hard to concentrate on and there is a lot of information to take on board. It just seemed as though Noel had something important to say and never really got there.
As always though, that's purely my opinion.

I DID enjoy the book though. The ending was beautiful and though it played out exactly as I thought it would, it wasn't boring in the slightest. Who doesn't love a visit from Riley? ;)
I'm going to be a little bit lost for a while having no Immortals to keep me company, but i've had fun with Ever's story and it's time to put her away and move on...!


Books Read In 2011: 53

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Dark Flame - Alyson Noel

Roman. Damen. Jude. One is Ever's deadly enemy. One her great love. And the third might be the answer to all her problems. But Ever is trapped - bound by secrets, magyck and an uncontrollable passion beating in her veins.


She's being drawn towards someone - something - that risks everything she holds dear. And the one thing that can save her will also drive Damen away forever...

Book 4 in the Immortals series was such a big improvement on the previous 2 books. I was beginning to wonder if Noel had lost her way a little during the series but I am SO glad that i'm hooked again. The relationships that have been made and severed in this book are so big that I simply can't wait to see what becomes of it. Ever is once again becoming a character that I like and am interested in and I think the development of Haven is brilliant. It'll be interesting to see the dynamics between the two of them once Miles is back in town.

To anyone out there, who like me, lost interest over book 2 and 3, then I urge you to keep on reading as it does get much better :)

Unfortunately it's going to be a while until I can read the next in the series but it is definitely on my list of Christmas reading!

Currently Reading: - Yet to be decided.
Books Read In 2011: 48

Saturday, 5 November 2011

An Abundance of Katherines

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an over-weight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun - but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and may finally win him the girl.

John Green's Printz award winning book, An Abundance of Katherines, as the books i've read previously by him, didn't fail to win me over.

As with Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, I instantly became involved with the main character and just couldn't get enough from him! Colin is a character that almost everyone can relate to. I know that I definitely struggle with the possibility that I might not do anything that matters. To a degree, everyone wants their Eureka moment and so we're routing for Colin to find his, and hope that it works out.

The plot itself is something else that people can identify with. Growing up, loving and losing is all an experience that eventually makes us who we are, but there is always someone from the past that makes you think about past/present/future decisions, and sometimes it's very difficult to let go of that.

Following Colin's story was exciting, interesting and sometimes a little bit crazy. As the blurb suggests, Colin is working on a Theorem. Obviously, this includes a LOT of maths and Green provides all of the details in either footnotes, general explanations, diagrams and an appendix dedicated to the math work. Don't be put off though! The math isn't essential to the story and you're invited to skip over it if it doesn't interest you and the story isn't effected at all. It is an interesting read though - even for a maths hater like myself.

As always, (well, so far!) I highly recommend this book and the writing style is similar to his other books so please check them out if you enjoy this one!

Green's new novel "The Fault in our Stars" is available to pre-order EVERYWHERE, NOW! All pre-orders are GUARANTEED to be be signed by John himself.

Currently Reading: Dark Flame - Alyson Noel
Books Read In 2011: 46

Monday, 31 October 2011

The Color Purple

I started reading this book a LONG time ago, but eventually it got put aside for other things. Not because I wasn't enjoying it, just because that's life sometimes. I actually enjoyed it. Well it was as enjoyable as a story it could be.

I hadn't heard anything about The Color Purple or it's author, Alice Walker other than the fact it was "worth reading". So when a friend said she had it, natural curiosity took over and I gave it a go.

The story itself is so sad and tragic. We learn about the lives of Celie and her family/friends through letters written to God, Nettie and even letters to Celie herself. It's definitely something i'm going to look up in my free time as there are a lot of comments on race, religion, culture etc that I understood at a basic level but would love to know more about it.

In hindsight, it wasn't really a book "for fun", as it was more of a challenge than that. The writing was quite hard to get through at first but then after a while it was second nature. As I said before, it took me a long time to read it and I think that actually added to the story. Celie and Nettie go a long time between letters, despite never actually talking to each other, so I guess it felt right to also have to wait to read the next letter :)

If you're interested in literature, and not just story-telling then I would definitely recommend this book, but it's not light-hearted reading and leaves you with a lot to think about.

Currently Reading: An Abundance of Katherines - John Green
Books Read In 2011: 44

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Heart of Darkness

Generally regarded as the pre-eminent work of Conrad's shorter fiction, Heart of Darkness is a chilling tale of horror which, as the author intended, is capable of many interpretations. Set in the Congo during the period of rapid colonial expansion in the nineteenth century, the story deals with the highly disturbing effects of economic, social and political exploitation on European and African societies and the cataclysmic behaviour this induced in some individuals.



I read Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad as part of my English Literature degree.
I have to admit, it's the least favourite book I think i've ever read but not entirely because of the actual text. I struggled a lot to get through this book and honestly, I just don't think that I understand it. The context behind the novella is important in relation to reading it and I haven't had the time to research in depth and i'm no expert on the subject matters.

I also disliked the layers of narrating within the novella. The story is told by an unnamed narrator, who is then relaying a story told by a man named Marlow. Marlow's story is mostly about a man named Kurtz. It was very confusing to read and like I said before, I struggled quite a bit.

I feel a little bad that my first review in a LONG time has been negative but I guess it just shows that not every book is a winner but you should at least give it a try :)

Currently reading: A HUGE list that i'm working through as fast as possible!
Books read in 2011: 43


Saturday, 22 October 2011

Quick Update

It's almost 7am and i'm going out with the flatmates (minus Buzz - MISS YOU!) in 6 hours but I felt like I had to update before turning off the laptop.

I'm close to finishing both The Color Purple AND a new book I got as a present (and became top priority) An Abundance of Katherines so hopefully within the next week there will be at least one review on here and tallies will be back in business! I'm gonna get 10 minutes reading in before I finally drop off to sleep anyway. Good night Bookworms.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Recent Book Acquisitions

I've been absolutely awful at reading lately due to my absolutely amazing busy life. So as much as i'd like to write a review for this blog, I can't! However, I can tell you what books i've recently acquired and shall hopefully be reading and reviewing in the not too distant future (MAYBE!).

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter. S. Thompson
2. The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson
3. First Born - Torchwood

I also have the complete works of Beckett out of the university library but whether I get around to reading any of it remains to be seen.

If you're interested in knowing more about me other than the books I read then you can go to my main blog which is here :)

If you're more into reading blogs about books and authors then I direct you to Annamarie's Book Blog. She's got some exciting interviews coming up soon with authors i've previously reviewed!

Let me know in the comments what books you've recently bought!

Currently reading: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter.S.Thompson & The Color Purple - Alice Walker
Books read in 2011: (Tallies are a work in progress...)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Unintentional Reading Hiatus

There's a very good reason why I haven't updated this blog for a while. I haven't read anything in a while. The few books that I have read since my last review, I didn't want to as they're part of a series and honestly, I was reading so fast that I wasn't enjoying writing about every book read so I have decided that I will just review certain books. Anyway, i'm in the process of packing for university so reading has been put to the back of mind. Ironic really as I study English Literature. I move in 6-ish days and once i'm settled in I will be more active over here! (Tallies will resume as soon as reading does!)

Friday, 19 August 2011

Library!

I haven't updated here for a while as i'm usually over on my other blog or doing those pesky real life things ;)

I was getting on pretty well with my reading list as I was completely friendless during the part of summer that has now past. However my friends are now home and we're so RIDICULOUSLY busy for the next two weeks that I don't think i'll get much reading done. (Check out my other blog for info on what i've been up to!)

So this post isn't a review one. I'm taking a break from that for now due to the business.
I just wanted to say I took a trip to the library!
I haven't been in a library in SO LONG as I tend to buy my books rather than loan them (friends don't count).

I picked up;
Serenity: Those Left Behind - Joss Whedon
Wyrd Sisters - Terry Prachett
Beastly - Alex Flinn

I have read the Joss Whedon one already as it's a graphic novel and I absolutely LOVED it. I've now started on Prachett. It was kind of silly of me to get books out if i'm honest. I'm already reading a book and I only have a week to read the Prachett & Flinn books in between all of the real life things because after that i'm not going to be able to return the books until 18th September (when I move!). I will let you know how I get on though. Maybe if I spend less time making my friends watch Spider-man we'll be more productive and have more time :P

Currently Reading: The Color Purple - Alice Walker & Wyrd Sisters - Terry Prachett
Books Read in 2011: 38/39 ish?!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Top 100 Books

I found this list on Sanne's blog http://booksandquills.blogspot.com/p/100-books.html
And thought i'd post it here and mark off ones i've read. Hopefully someday I will complete it! :D

1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series, JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
6. The Bible (not in its entirety)
7. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
11. Little Women, Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
13. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare, William Shakespeare
15. Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch, George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis
34. Emma, Jane Austen
35. Persuasion, Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières
39. Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
41. Animal Farm, George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney, John Irving
45. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies, William Golding
50. Atonement, Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi, Yann Martel
52. Dune, Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
62. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
72. Dracula, Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island, Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses, James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal, Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession, AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web, EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven, Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection, Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
94. Watership Down, Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet, William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

100. Les Misérebles, Victor Hugo.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Paper Towns - John Green

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent, adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she opens his bedroom window late one night and summons him to join her on an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to find that Margo has not. Always an enigma, she now becomes a mystery and Q soon learns that there are clues to be followed in his search for Margo.


As a John Green fan and a very proud Nerdfighter and follower of the Vlogbrothers, I have been wanting to read this book for SO LONG. I was a little worried that i'd built it up too much in my head and would end up disappointed but I was wrong. It was everything I had imagined and more.

Q's journey to the end of his senior year and his quest to find Margo is inspiring and touching. Everyone wants an adventure and Q definitely got his. About halfway through I had started imagining that something terrible was going to happen (probably due to reading Looking For Alaska!) but although there was a surprise, it was more heartwarming than anything else. I can't honestly write the review I want to about Paper Towns because there no words for how much I loved it and I wouldn't do it justice.


Currently Reading: The Rainbow - D.H.Lawrence & Blue Moon - Alyson Noel
Books Read in 2011: 36

Evermore - Alyson Noel

Sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom is the sole survivor of a car accident that killed her family. Exiled to sunny California, Ever is haunted by her little sister and by the ability to see people's auras, hear their thoughts and know their entire life story by touching them. She wants to hide from the world, but when a stunningly handsome new guy arrives at school, she can't seem to keep away. Falling in love with Damen is dangerous - but he's not what he seems. But if Damen is her destiny, how can Ever walk away?

Evermore was really easy to read and get into which, for some reason, I wasn't expecting. Before i'd realised, the book was finished. It's always nice to just absorb a book like that. Like Ever, i automatically (wrongly)assumed that Damen and Drina were vampires, so i was pleasantly surprised that this became a completely different story. I don't think i've read a book quite the same as this before and that's definitely a good thing as i've read so many recently.

I found it both funny and sad - I even cried at one part! It's a series and i'm looking forward to reading the next one.

Currently Reading: The Rainbow - D.H.Lawrence & Blue Moon - Alyson Noel
Books Read in 2011: 36

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Marshmallow Magic and the Wild Rose Rouge - Karen McCombie

Lemmie Ferguson loves her eighteen-year-old sister Rose more than you can imagine. To Lemmie, Rose is everything - a best friend, hero, goddess.
Rose Rouge is impetuous, wild and arty.
Rose Rouge is FUN.

Thanks to the remarkable Rose, and Lemmie's own special marshmallow magic - her rainbow-coloured, vanilla-flavoured, sugar-spun way of looking at the world - Lemmie's life is bright and glittery and gorgeous.

But Lemmie's trying to forget that life hasn't always been so sweet. And then bullying, bossy Sian starts at school, and threatens to rub the sparkle off everything once and for all. Lemmie needs extra marshmallow magic now. She needs Rose Rouge. But where is she?

Marshmallow Magic..isn't the type of book I would usually read at all. Though with it being summer and the next university year coming faster than I imagined, I wanted something simple, sweet and fluffy to read before the big books come out. (I swear I will finish The Rainbow this week!)
It's definitely aimed at pre/young teens and so i'll review it as that. It was absolutely lovely.
I was bullied as a child myself so instantly I could relate to Lemmie (as most kids could, I imagine). Throughout the book Lemmie is sharing secrets and discovering who she really is, and how important relationships are.
I wasn't expecting the bombshell about Rose at the end of the book at all (no spoilers from me) but once it was revealed I felt even more protective of Lemmie. As a bullied child myself I had the same fears as her. How would I ever make friends? What if my friends decided to believe all the bad things people said? Why don't my parents realise what's going on?

Lemmie's story tells of a girl who faces her fears and comes out better for it. It shows that truth is important, especially when you're being true to yourself. It also shows that real friends stand by you no matter what, and the people who aren't there at the end were never worth bothering about. It's inspiring and a real feel good book.

Currently Reading: The Rainbow - D.H.Lawrence
Books Read in 2011: 34

Dating Hamlet - Lisa Fiedler

It isn't easy dating a prince, especially when that prince is Hamlet. In fact, it drives Ophelia to madness... Or does it?

Since the death of his father, Hamlet has descended into deep depression. To make matters worse, the Danish court is filled with lies and deceit.

Was hamlet's father murdered by King Claudius?
Is Polonius truly the father of Laertes?
Who can be trusted as a friend, and who are enemies?


Ophelia has to find a way to save her prince and herself in this gripping novel full of romance, ghosts and a touch of alchemy.

Could it be that Hamlet ISN'T the great tragedy we've believed it to be for all these years...?


I bought this book a fair few years ago for 25p at an old bookstore. Being a big Shakespeare fan it interested me but until now I never really felt like reading it. I wish I had read it sooner!
Despite all of the bad reviews i've read about Dating Hamlet, I loved every minute of it. The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia was so touching to read. I actually got emotional at how sweet they are together!

My favourite part in particular was definitely the ending. Hamlet and Ophelia lived and went on to Verona - the setting of Romeo and Juliet. The mention of a schoolfriend of Hamlet's by the name of Romeo and an apothecary that would be very interested in Ophelia's death-like sleeping potion made me laugh! How excellent would it be if Hamlet and Romeo were actually friends? Now THAT is a book I would read!

Obviously, it is not meant to follow the plot of Hamlet like it was scripture, and for that reason, I thought the book was fabulous and well worth the 25p I paid. A great find and just another reason why it's good to snoop around little bookstores rather than buying from places like Amazon (as wonderful as Amazon is!)

Currently Reading: The Rainbow - D.H.Lawrence
Books Read in 2011: 34

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Stefan's Diaries Vol 1 - L.J.Smith

Stefan and Damon weren't always fighting or succumbing to their bloodlust. Once they were loving siblings, who enjoyed all the riches and happiness that their wealthy lifestyle afforded them; loyal brothers who happened to both fall for the same beautiful woman. Once they were alive...

Most people who know me, also know that i'm not a fan of L.J.Smith's writing. However, being a big fan of the TV series The Vampire Diaries, I made my way through the books. This one however was different. I found that her writing was exciting and the story was fabulous. Katherine was finally portrayed as I imagined her to be and the relationship between the brothers was tender and enjoyable to read. This book was realistic whereas I found her previous works to be too farfetched and occasionally laughable. I am so glad that I continued reading her Vampire Diaries books and i'm very much looking forward to reading the next volumes in Stefan's Diaries.

Currently Reading: The Rainbow - D.H.Lawrence & Dating Hamlet - Lisa Fiedler
Books Read in 2011: 32

Wintercraft - Jenna Burtenshaw

When Kate Winters' uncle is taken by the wardens of war-torn Albion, just as her parents were ten years earlier, she is determined to rescue him.
But Kate is being hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane - a killer with a haunted past - has recognised Kate as one of the Skilled who have the rare ability to see through the veil between life and death. He's determined that she'll help end his own personal nightmare; unfortunately, she isn't the only one with plans for her...

As the Night of Souls approaches, a secret hidden deep beneath a graveyard city holds the key to the fate of Kate, those she loves and even Albion itself...the lost book of Wintercraft.


Wintercraft was one of a pile of books that my cousin had told me to read. I picked it up because the cover was pretty, despite the fact I shouldn't judge! I loved the story and immediately felt a connection between myself and the characters in the book. Silas may be the bad guy but I really felt for him and by the end of the book I was desperate to know more! The storyline hooked me straight away. I loved that I was reading a book where the main quest was to find a book! The only bits I didn't really enjoy were the lengthy descriptive sections. They weren't bad but I felt that they slowed the story down quite a bit and I was desperate to get back to Kate's adventure. As a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it. It's the first book in the Wintercraft series and hopefully i'll be able to read the next one soon.

Currently Reading: The Rainbow - D.H.Lawrence & Dating Hamlet
Books Read in 2011: 32

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Birth of a Killer - Darren Shan

When terrible events force young Larten Crepsley to flee his home he finds himself alone in the world. Then he meets the mysterious Seba Nile, who introduces him to the ways of the vampire clan. But will Larten turn his back on humanity forever...?

As a fan of 'The Saga of Darren Shan', this was a must read for me.
I really enjoyed it, though I was a little disappointed that I finished the whole book in three hours. I would have liked more detail but as it's primarily for children, I understand why it doesn't. The story moves fast and kept my attention solidly.
It was great when I came across characters like Seba Nile, Vancha March, Mr Tall, and Mr Tiny from the Saga of Darren Shan.

I really liked the fact that you don't need to have read The Saga of Darren Shan to enjoy or understand the book. It's a prequel so it can be read as a stand alone book. I've read that it's a series of 4 books, and book 2 is available now in hardback.

Currently Reading: The Rainbow - D.H.Lawrence & Wintercraft - Jenna Burtenshaw
Books Read in 2011: 30

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Write or Die

I was thinking about the writing competition I wrote about in a previous blog, and as I was looking up writing tips I came across this website: http://writeordie.com/

I haven't yet used it myself but if anyone has or does, please let me know what it's like! I plan on using it over the weekend as I make my first attempt at an entry for the competition :)

C x

Good Reads

I've recently started re-using a website called Good Reads. It's a place to keep track of books that you've read, want to read, find new books, follow your favourite authors and even make new friends!
I absolutely love it so if you want to check it out: www.goodreads.com

Feel free to add me as a friend, here: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4320856-caragh

C x

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Writing Contests

My best friend sent me a link to a writing contest and i'm seriously considering entering it! I thought i'd post the link here incase anybody is interested, and so i'll remember where to find it.

http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/blog/2011/04/10/fantasy-book-review-fantasy-short-story-competition-2011/

Currently Reading: The Rainbow - D.H.Lawrence
Books Read in 2011: 29
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