Sunday, 30 September 2012

Book Haul

Picked up a few books yesterday - some from charity shops and some from The Works

1. The Maze Runner - James Dashner
2. Specials - Scott Westerfeld
3. The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
4. The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness
5. Monsters of Men - Patrick Ness
6. The Folklore of Discworld - Terry Pratchett & Jacqueline Simpson
7. The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett

I'm especially looking forward to reading The Maze Runner as it's been on my wanted list for SO long! As always though, it's going to be a while before I can get to these. I have some author requested reviews over the next few months and a lot of University books to get reading.

Keep an eye out for my next University edition book haul which should be coming soon!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Sick/Ill Book Tag

I love these book tags! I tag whoever reads this ;) As always, link me to your answers in the comments as I love seeing what people come up with :)

This tag is the Sick/Ill book tag. As the owner of an autoimmune disease myself, I thought this one could be fun/different to anything else. The aim of the game is to pick a book that suits the description of the condition.

A total of 9 illnesses whose symptoms mirror how a book made you feel:

1. Diabetes: a book too sweet, like really sweet.
Let It Snow - Green, Johnson & Myracle.
Such an adorable book, containing three short stories (one by each other). Very sweet and easy to read. 

2. Chicken Pox: a book you've read once, and will never pick up again.
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L.James or any autobiography.
Reading that book once was more than enough for me! Also autobiographies are really interesting to read but I can't see myself ever re-reading one.

3. Influenza: the flu a contagious book that spreads like a virus
The Study Series - Maria V Snyder
Since buying these books, i've gotten five other people to read them and LOVE them. I will forever push these books on to people :)

4. The cycle: a book you read every month, year or often
Harry Potter Series
I think every Potter fan re-reads these often! :)

5. Insomnia: a book that kept you up all night.
Twilight Series - Stephenie Meyer & The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson
The Twilight books were just so easy to read that I soaked them up. I'm an unashamed Twilight fan and they would probably still keep me up all night!
Johnson's book was just brilliant and I could not rest until I had the story finished.

6. Amnesia: a book that's forgotten and failed to leave a powerful impression in your memory
The Vampire Chronicles - Anne Rice
I really need to finish this series! It's not that I didn't enjoy what i've read so far - I honestly just keep forgetting that i'm in the middle of it. It's just not powerful enough to make me want to finish I guess.

7. Asthma: a book that took your breath away
The Fault in our Stars - John Green
Beautiful writing, fantastic characters and a plot line that literally takes your breath away. This is a total must read.

8. Malnutrition: a book that lacked food for thought
Hush, Hush / Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick
I recently reviewed Crescendo and as I explained there - there's just nothing to these stories so far but I can't stop eating them up! Sometimes, I just can't argue with the critic in me, and I just have to sit back and read...:)

9. Travel sickness: a book that took you on a journey through time or space or to a specific local on the map
Eragon Series - Christopher Paolini
(With the exception of Inheritence, which I am yet to read).
I read these a few years ago whilst I was in hospital. Not really a 'travel' journey, but a journey none-the-less. They're just wonderful stories that anyone can get into and I hope that by the end of the year i'll have read the final installment to complete the story!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Book Haul | University Edition

Another book haul!
I've just spend the last 30 minutes downloading books onto my kindle for university so I thought i'd share them with you! There will be at least one more of these, maybe more over the next two weeks.

1. The Moonstone - William Wilkie Collins
2. She - Henry Rider Haggard
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Charles Dickens

5. Barrack Room Ballads - Rudyard Kipling

I have around 10 books on my reading list yet to get (they're not available in e-book format!) so next week I get to go book shopping - finally.

Let me know what things you're reading for the next school year and/or just for fun!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Review // Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2) - Becca Fitzpatrick (SPOILERS)

Published - 19th October 2010
Published By - Simon & Schuster
Format - Paperback
Goodreads Synopsis - Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.
The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

Crescendo is the second book in the Hush, Hush series written by Becca Fitzpatrick. I reviewed Hush, Hush back in July and you can read it here.

The story continues to follow Nora and Patch who are having somewhat of a turbulent time. In fact, the biggest thing I feel I need to talk about in regards to Crescendo, is the relationship between the two of them.

I'm a 20-something year old female so I think it's fair to say that I have experienced young love/romance and can freely comment on this. So here goes...(be warned..Spoilers!)

At the beginning of Crescendo, Nora and Patch are doing great. Their relationship has lasted beyond the Chauncey incident of Hush, Hush and we are informed that they are currently in their second month of dating. I'm sure to some teenagers, two months seems like a really long time and maybe that's why i'm frustrated - I'm too *old* now. Well a short read into the book finds us listening to Nora proclaim her undying love for Patch and literally makes him promise to never leave her. This seems a little crazy to me. I mean, two months. So assuming we can get past the fact that the pair cannot stand to be apart, we then find ourselves witnessing Nora breaking up with Patch for what seems to be no reason whatsoever. I'm not ashamed to admit (and neither is my housemate) that the biggest reason I decided to carry on with the series was to read about Patch - so my reasoning fizzled out quite quickly.

These books (at least so far) are written from Nora's perspective so the lucky reader gets to participate in Nora's thoughts about how much she loves Patch, how much she doesn't trust him, how much she wants to be with him and of course, how much she wants him to stay away from her. My head actually started to hurt. Don't even get me started on Nora's jealousy issues. I could go on about this for a really long time but I do have other things I want to say.

Nora's mother. Oh where do I begin?! I refer you back to my review of Hush, Hush, where I talked about Nora's mother being completely irresponsible and that she seemed perfectly happy with Nora doing whatever she wanted as long as she could go to work for a week at a time. Well apparently she has had a complete change of heart as we are told that she is now overprotective. Oh wait...no. She's left her teenage daughter home alone again in order to work. But it's okay because she told Nora to be careful. Seriously?

HOWEVER. Surprisingly enough, Crescendo was not a bad book. Miles better than Hush, Hush as there was a continuous storyline and more interaction with people that weren't Patch. Vee continued to be annoying but Rixon, Scott and even Marcie to a degree, were pleasant surprises throughout the book. Patch was wonderful, as always and is fast becoming another YA crush that is endorsed and shared between me and my housemate. For those interested, I will be continuing the series as soon as I get my hands on the next book. Why? Because as infuriating as it makes me, I just can't stop myself. The Hush, Hush series is turning out to be one of those I love despite it's obvious and occasionally painful flaws. 

I realise that I haven't really reviewed the story, but let's face it, the story is interesting but nowhere near as interesting to me as what these particular characters are getting up to. 

Thanks for reading my review! Now I urge you to ignore it and go and read it anyway.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Review // Jack's Outpost - Elizabeth Braun

Published - 15th February 2012
Published By - Lulu
Format - Paperback
Goodreads Synopsis - Travel to Mars - on a one-way ticket? "I would go, but where would I find tonic water on Mars?" was Jack's initial response. Logistics resolved, his life in the Outpost on Mars centers around tending his vegetable garden and playing simulated golf on the state of the art entertainment system. This tranquil scientific assignment changes when budget cuts create new alliances and foreign space agencies start sending their own Martian explorers.

Buy it here - Buy Jack's Outpost (Amazon)

I was approached by Elizabeth Braun a while ago and she asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing Jack's Outpost. I had a quick scan of Amazon and read the information available and was intrigued by the concept of the novel. It was unlike anything i'd previously read and of course, i'm always looking for new reading material! 

I started reading the book without any idea of what was going to happen. As I said previously, I hadn't read anything like this or even close to it's genre before. However, after the first hour reading, I was drawn it. Jack's Outpost has a lovely charm to it. The concept of a one way mission to Mars was wonderful. I am certainly no expert on space, or any planet other than the one we live on, but I immediately wanted to know more. 

Jack's Outpost wasn't just a novel in which I could sit and enjoy a light fluffy story. I learned things. I found myself thinking about Jack and what his life must have been like, so alone, and so far from home. There wasn't a lot of action; the book being made up of mostly dialogue, but this worked because of the circumstance of the novel. I didn't find myself getting bored despite the repetitive lifestyles. 

I particularly liked the 'stories' and 'jokes' that Jack told. They seemed more like real life events than just a character's life. I can't quite put my finger on what it is about Jack's Outpost that I liked, only that I DID like it. I read the book over 24 hours and it was just wonderful in a special kind of way. The book didn't just end at the last word for me either. I found myself looking up one-way missions to Mars and other related things. Jack's Outpost is a lovely, different kind of read and if you're at all interested in things like this then I highly recommend you pick it up!

- Here's a fairly recent article I found regarding one-way missions to Mars that might interest you, The Hundred Year Starship

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Review // Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth #1) - Terry Goodkind

Published - 15th July 1997
Published By - Tor Fantasy
Format - Paperback
Goodreads Synopsis - In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help ... and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence. In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword-- to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed ... or that their time has run out.
This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

 I have been meaning to read Wizard's First Rule for a long time now after it being recommended to me by a handful of people over the last few years. I finally decided to get past the fact that it is one hell of a hefty book and get stuck in.

Terry Goodkind is a fan of long descriptive passages that usually I don't like to read (I prefer my imagination to create the image, rather than being spoon-fed) but somehow he managed to draw me in and I was genuinely interested in the world that he was creating. World building is important but sometimes in fantasy novels, the author can get a little carried away. Goodkind does sometimes go into too much detail and I had to skim through but 90% of the time, I was enjoying what was being described to me.

I don't even know where to start when it comes to the characters. Literally within minutes I was more than just attached to them. Even when I wasn't reading the book, my mind was wondering what was happening with Kahlen, Richard, Zedd and others. Luckily, I had someone at my beck and call who had read the book already so that I could discuss the story as it happened, and the characters. I was truly enthralled by Wizard's First Rule.

I read an awful lot of books for both study purposes and for pleasure. Unfortunately this sometimes means that I don't get as emotionally involved with books as I used to. This time however, I was there. I felt physically sick, I laughed out loud until it hurt, I cried so much that my friend was actually comforting me! 

The Sword of Truth books are a LONG series and I anticipate it will be years until i'm through with them but I will definitely be finishing them. I recommend them to any fantasy lover!

- A little side note: There was a short TV show based on this series; The Legend of the Seeker. It only lasted for 2 seasons but they are worth checking out if you're not sure you want to commit to such a huge collection of books.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Book Haul



I’ve been moving house the past two weeks and after carrying hundreds of books up and down stairs, I had all but swore off buying any books that were not for my Kindle. However after a 15 minute spree around a few local charity shops, I picked up three new books to find a home for!

1. The Witches - Roald Dahl
2. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole - Sue Townsend
3. Cloud Cat - Caroline Pitcher (signed!)

I haven’t heard of the latter book or author before but as all three came to a grand total of 99p I couldn’t say no. I loved Adrian Mole as a child and followed him through the years so I’m looking forward to re-reading that one someday!
Whilst I was out, I also pre-ordered The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling, which I am VERY excited about.
Let me know if you’ve picked up any gems recently, and if there is anything you think I should look out for :)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

September TBR

This month i've picked another 4 books that I hope to get through and reduce the piles that are rapidly growing in every corner. September's TBR pile consists of -

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth #1) - Terry Goodkind
Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2) - Becca Fitzpatrick
The Sign of Four - Arthur Conan Doyle
Jack's Outpost - Elizabeth Braun

September is a busy month for me, but I have every intention of reading all of them, and more. I think I can manage it! Although my shelves aren't getting any lighter, they are consisting of more 'read' then 'to-read' books lately so it must be almost time for buying new ones, right? Right?!

Let me know what you're reading during September!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

August Wrap-Up

This month I didn't make a TBR as I was busy taking my exams for university and wasn't sure what i'd be able to get through. I actually ended up reading more than I thought so although it's not quite as impressive as July, i'm happy with what I managed!

Books Read in August

Between The Lines - Jodi Picoult
The Master of Whitehall - Rick H Veal
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & The Olympians #1) - Rick Riordan
A Witch in Love (Winter Trilogy #2) - Ruth Warburton
The Craving (Stefan's Diaries #3) - LJ Smith

I chose not to review The Craving this month, mostly because it would read like all of my other reviews of The Vampire Diaries books. They are very hit and miss for me but I still feel the need to keep reading the series (two words: Damon Salvatore). All of the other books have been reviewed and are up so please check them out if you haven't already!

There was also the first guest review for Loaded Shelves, so please check that out too here - A Job From Hell - Jayde Scott

Let me know what you read during August!
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