Saturday, 31 May 2014

Book Review - Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind

Title: Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind
Author: Andy Robb
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Release Date: 4 Jun 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1847152312

Synopsis
If you haven't worked it out yet, girls don't do this. They don't come to the Hovel. They don't like goblins and dragons. They don't paint miniatures. They don't play role playing games or re-enact fictional battles. And they don't talk to Geeks like me especially if they're pretty. And this girl is pretty. What do you do if you're a fourteen-year-old Geek, and a Beautiful Girl has appeared in the midst of your geeky world? And she seems to like you... For Archie, the natural reaction would be to duck and cover ... run for the hills ... buy a new model elf... Anything but risk stepping into the Real World. But even Geeks have to put their heads above the parapet at some point. With his mum barely able to contain her excitement that her son is about to join the human race, and his step-father, Tony the Tosser, offering crass advice, it's time for Archie to embark on a daring Quest to win the Beautiful Girl's heart and shake off his Geekhood for good...

My Review
I noticed this a while ago in the library, the title and cover attracted my attention and the blurb on the back sounded funny too, but I had too much to read so I never picked it up. 
I'm got to the London Film and Comic Con (LFCC) in July and this year they are having a massive author event (cue my geeky excitement) and Andy Robb is on the guest list. So when I was sitting at lunch today, between books I decided to pick this up.
I will admit I don't know anything about Role Playing Fantasy Adventures like Dungeons and Dragons and I was worried that would affect my enjoyment of this story but it didn't. Archie explains enough of his world and hobbies to give you an insight but not too much so it overwhelms you. And I found myself really enjoying his explanations and introductions into the Game. 
Archie is 14 and a Geek through and through, he hangs out with 3 other boys and they spend their time at 'The Hovel' a Gaming shop where you can take part in battles, tournaments and buy new figures and extras for your games. It's a world, a place for them to escape from reality. But then Sarah walks into the shop - an actual girl! Never before has Archie and his friends been this close to a girl, and when she talks to him it's like he's left the planet. Hereon starts his journey into a whole different world, but also back into reality.
Archie is really sweet and I couldn't help but like him, he's sarcastic and enthusiastic and a total nerdy Geek, so sweet. This book ends up being so much more than Games and girls, you learn all about Archie and his other issues too - parents divorce, new relationships, friendship, first crushes, bullies and inner demons. We've all questioned who we are and what the point of our choices are, and this book handles them perfectly with a pinch of salt and a dash of laughter. 
I read this book in one sitting and found myself giggling along, it's a cute heartfelt story and I am so glad I picked it up. I have now ordered book 2 to read. I want to know what mischief Archie gets into next, and whether Sarah will play a part in that.
 So psyched to meet Andy Robb at LFCC now, he's an awesome author with a real wit. 

My Rating
    

Friday, 30 May 2014

Book Review - City of Fallen Angels

Title: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book 4)
Publisher: Walker
Release Date: 1 Sep 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1406330335

 Synopsis
The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.


My Review
I nearly didn't go on to this one, after struggling a bit with book 3, but that one ended quite well and I was intrigued so I decided to give it a go. 
Within a couple of hours I had read through to page 250 and was really enjoying it, I had to put it down for the night though but looked forward to picking it up the next day.
I found myself still liking it until the last 75 or so pages, then I felt like it just started to get silly. Just when things are resolved something else springs up and takes over. Jace now spends most of his time moping or feeling sorry for himself - he plays the martyr card very well and I want to tell him to get on with it and sort something out instead of moaning, 'I'm not good enough for you' - pull yourself together man, either resolve your issues or accept that she loves you anyway, flaws and all for goodness sake. 
Clary was a bit better in this book and started to fight more for what she wanted but she still irritated me a bit.
I got the whole Valentine plot and he was a good bad guy - you were never quite sure if he was all bad or just misguided, but in this book you had so many potential bad guys I just found myself not caring anymore and hoping that one of them would do something to get it all over with.
I loved the Simon plot again - he has definitely become my favourite character, I don't know why but I seem to connect with him, and although he has it hard and things really suck for him, he still puts his friends first - no matter what. That boy has a big heart and a pretty good wit.
This one was better, the plot was much more enjoyable and the pacing carried me along, but for me this is all just getting drawn out a bit too much. 
I've just had book 5 come in at the library and part of me thinks I've got this far so maybe I should finish the series, but then I'm clearly not really enjoying them that much, so maybe I should give up. I feel bad if I read it knowing I won't enjoy it and then giving a bad review. I would much rather be positive, but for me this series is clearly not clicking so I may throw in the towel now.
I am going to try the Infernal Devices spin of sequel series though as everyone tells me they are so much better.

My Rating
      This was almost a 'Really Enjoyed It' rating, as I sailed through the first half of the book, but I struggled at the end so it pulled it down.

FF (164)


Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read

This week's question feature is
Margo L. Dill

How important is good writing to you? In an ideal world, a book would be beautifully written AND have great character development, plot, etc. But in the real world, which do you prefer: (1) Great characters and plot with lousy writing or (2) Middling character development and plot but gorgeous writing.

My Answer: I would have to say that good writing is very important, if I can't get into the flow of the story I won't enjoy it. The writing has to be of a high enough standard that it comes naturally to read it. Of course you then have to have a good plot and characters to make that writing interesting. but then again you can have truly amazing characters but if the writing is disjointed and badly put together you won't enjoy it - I think they are equally important!

Happy hopping and Blogging!


And don't forget to check out and comment on my new weekly discussion post 'Thursday Thoughts' this week I looked at TBR Piles.

 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Thursday Thoughts (3) - TBR Piles

Hi,

Welcome to my new Weekly post - Thursday Thoughts.

This is going to be a weekly discussion post that I hope will get all my blog readers commenting and giving their opinion. I will pick a topic and write how my thoughts and feelings about it and then hopefully all you lovely readers will leave a comment below with your own opinions.

The only rule I have is that everyone is respectful of each other's opinions, there is no real right or wrong here, this is a chance to experience a topic from someone else's perspective. Please listen to each other and be nice.

If you wish to take a more active part in this discussion and make your own blog post about the topic, I will create a Linky list below that you can link your post to. If more and more people take part - the bigger and better it will become.

Some discussions will be light and silly, others will be more serious but they will all be about books and book related things.

So come on everyone, pull up a chair and lets hear your voice.

This weeks topic is:

TBR piles - how long is too long to wait to read a book?

I have a massive TBR  pile, there is absolutely no denying that. I have a page with my TBR list on, and that I will admit isn't up to date, add about another 25-30 books and you may be getting close. And it's not that I don't read, sure I have slowed down a bit over the past few months which hasn't helped, but I still read one or two books a week at worst. It's just that for every 1 book I finish - I find another 3 I want to read.
As you may know by now, I work in a library. If you came into the library you could take 10 books out for 3 weeks at a time and renew them up to 10 times, so you can basically take these books home for 30 weeks. As a staff member I am allowed 20 books at a time, this is fab, but it is like letting a kid loose in a candy store, it means I see lots of books I want and can have without worrying. My average number of books out is about 15. We have the same renew limit - 10 times, but as we tell our borrowers, as long as no one else wants the book you can return it after your 10 renewals and then just take it out again - bingo, another 30 weeks possible. Now I try not to keep a book too long, I don't think it's fair on other people - the book should have a chance to be taken by someone else. But last month I was shocked to realise that I had kept a book out for 2 years! 2 whole years!!! I got so used to just renewing and then re-validating that I didn't really realise how long it had been. I felt terrible, this book will have 1 as it's issue figure and no one else has had a chance to read it. 
I confessed to my supervisor and she said 'well if you haven't read it by now you probably never will - just return it' and that made me think - would I ever read it? why hadn't I picked it up in those 2 years? I knew I had it but something 'better' or at least 'different' would always take my attention. Would I ever bother reading it?
I decided that yes - I had kept it so long, it deserved to be read. It meant re-reading book 1 first but that didn't take me long. Turns out I didn't particularly like it, but I was glad to say I had read it. 
But then that also made me think about all the books I had bought/won/been sent by publishers etc that I hadn't read. I've got books on my shelf that I bought cheap from a discount store years ago that I still haven't read. They sit on my TBR pile but I always seem to glaze over them, and it made me wonder - should there be a cut-off point. Should I get rid of these neglected books and make space for the hundreds of other books I still have? Or is it OK to have them sitting there - waiting for their turn. 
I do want to read them, I wouldn't have bought them otherwise or put them on my shelves/pile in the first place. But they are obviously not grabbing my attention, making me desperate to read them. For example the Skulduggery Pleasant books - as soon as one of those comes out I drop everything and read it straight away, because I know it will be awesome. But I guess I don't know about these other books - some of them are ones that I was really excited about and bought around their release date, but for one reason or another I put them aside and never went back.
With hundreds of books being released every month there is always more and more that I want to read, so older ones get pushed even further back. I promise I will read them one day - but will I?

So come on people tell me, is there a limit, should I clear my shelves and give these books a chance with someone else - someone who will open their pages and enjoy their stories, or should I keep them, in the hopes that one day I will pull them down and dive inside. 

Is there a time limit on keeping a book? Do you have a similar problem?

Do you believe the "If you haven't read it by now - you're not likely to" or do you follow the "one day I will read them all"

Discuss. :)

Got your own post? Link it here: 

 

Next Weeks topic will be 'Libraries - Why they still matter'

Book Tour & Top 10 - The Dragon's Egg



dragonbanner


    The Dragon's EggThe Dragon’s Egg (Relics of Mysticus- Book Three) by H.B. Bolton



    Sure, the glass castle floating over Evan’s head makes him uneasy, but that’s the least of his worries. With each step inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, he must battle against his worst nightmares. One after the other, wispy smoke-filled bull sharks come at him — he must remember they’re only illusions pulled from his imagination by those dreaded shadowlike hands. If only the vengeful dragon circling above was also an illusion and didn’t have his mind set on destroying the one person who can control him: Emrys.

    Inside the castle’s glass tower, Emrys sleeps in an eternal slumber, and Evan’s uncertain whether he can save the great wizard. Especially now that Emrys’ former student, the Lady of the Lake, has joined forces with the cunning immortal Alamaz. Together they have already stolen the Dragon’s Egg, but their greed doesn’t end there. The Siren’s Pearl calls to them, and that means only one thing … Atlantis is in trouble.

    Join Evan, Claire, and Dunkle — along with a few other unlikely heroes — as they travel across the realm of Medieval Legends, float through the Ancient Isle of Avalon, plunge inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, and be there when Atlantis rises once again.







      
    The Serpents Ring
      The Serpent's Ring (Relics of Mysticus- Book One)


    Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum … that is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed exhibit, Evan and his older sister, Claire, discover the Serpent’s Ring, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, they have awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, land of ancient gods.

    Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent’s Ring is wrenched from Evan’s hand by an enormous fish and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent’s Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.

    tricksters-totem-cover-low-res-200x300The Trickster's Totem (Relics of Mysticus - Book Two)
    Life has returned to normal for fourteen-year-old Evan and his older sister, Claire. That is until Dunkle, a clever but stinky little imp, pays an unexpected visit to their school. He has come to take the siblings back to Sagaas, the mythical realm of the gods. Once again, a Relic from the ancient Mysticus Orb has fallen into the wrong hands. Only Evan and Claire, with their unique mystical abilities, can help find it.

    Through the power of the Trickster’s Totem, a coyote trickster has escaped. His laughter echoes throughout the realm, as he spreads mischief and mayhem. He burns an entire crop of popcorn, carves his grinning image into sacred artifacts, and things really get interesting when he shape-shifts into Evan’s friends.

    Claire and Evan must capture the Trickster, retrieve the Totem, and be careful not to become sidetracked by robotic Steampunk animals, “sweet” pixie-like Pains, and a problematic mermaid … all while dodging Mothman-like aces. Most surprising, Evan discovers the true reason dragons exist in the Native American Spirit World.


     About the Author:
    A magical part of H.B. Bolton’s childhood was being swept into worlds of enchanting
    characters, fantastical creatures and extraordinary powers—simply by picking up a book. As a mother and a teacher, she was compelled to create imaginary worlds of her own in order to share them, not just with her children, but with all children. H.B. Bolton lives in Florida with her supportive husband and two highly spirited children. Shh, can you keep a secret? Not only does she write books for the young-at-heart, adventurous sort who yearn to dive into a good young-adult fantasy story, she also writes spellbinding, heart pounding women’s fiction. These particular books are written under the name Barbara Brooke, but that’s another story, altogether.


    Connect with H.B. Bolton here:




    Giveaway:
    $25 gift card (Int), paperback set of all 3 books (US), ebook set of all books (INT)

    a Rafflecopter giveaway




    Top Ten — Places I like to take my laptop and write

    I become distracted rather easily. When my surroundings are quiet, I’m able to imagine other worlds, construct stronger story plots, and tap into my characters’ thoughts and emotions. Having said that, here are a few tranquil places where I’d like to chill and write:

    1. Resting under an umbrella with my toes digging into the sand at
    the beach.

    2. Lounging on a blanket near a creek.

    3. In a quiet café somewhere in a small town.

    4. On a deck overlooking mountains.

    5. Sitting amid a vineyard lined with vines.

    6. On a bench in the middle of an English garden.

    7. In Italy, overlooking ancient history.

    8. Nestled in a nook in an art gallery.

    9. In a meadow at sunset with fireflies bobbing along the lush grass.

    10. Poolside at a fancy resort with fluffy towels and a soft breeze.


    Photo Credits:

    At the Beach

    photo credit: Robb

    North
    via photopin cc

    In a Café

    photo credit: sizima via photopin
    href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc


    Grassy Meadow

    photo credit: Dimit®i via photopin
    href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc


    Wednesday, 28 May 2014

    Book Review - City of Glass

    Title: City of Glass
    Author: Cassandra Clare
    Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book 3)
    Publisher: Walker
    Release Date: 22 Jun 2009
    ISBN-13: 978-1406307641

    Synopsis
    To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
    As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City - whatever the cost?


    My Review
    After finishing book 2 and having really enjoyed it I was quite looking forward to this one. I wanted to know what would come of Clary's mum and Valentine's plot. So I got stuck right in. At 543 pages this one was 100 pages bigger than the previous 2, so I was looking forward to an action packed book. 
    I started off quite well, I liked Simon's part and the explosive beginning with the portal, but for me it went downhill after that. I found my attention starting to wander, but I persevered. But I got to page 300 and very nearly gave up. Clary seemed to be a bit whiny, life wasn't fair, it was all too hard, she seemed to have lost some of that kick ass spark that she had. It re-appeared in moments but she started to annoy me. Jace does the dark and brooding thing too well, I just wanted to tell him to get over himself. In an online vote last year he was announced as the Hottest YA Male, the 'Book Boyfriend' we all want - well, there must be something wrong with me because I just don't see the appeal, he's just an arrogant jerk, sure he has his softer side but it appears all too rarely.
    There was so much build up in this book, padding and information, I just wanted it to get on with it. BUt the last 80 pages it did pick up a bit again, the big battle was some very good writing and had me gripped once more.
    After wanting to give up at about half way, I then finished and actually wanted to read the next book. What is it about this series that keeps me reading, I feel like I'm not enjoying it that much and then something happens that pulls me back in. There is something captivating about the world and the characters.
    I'm just hoping the next book gets better again. I shall persevere for now.

    My Rating
         
     

    Sunday, 25 May 2014

    Book Review - City of Ashes

    Title: City of Ashes
    Author: Cassandra Clare
    Series: Mortal Instruments (Book 2)
    Publisher: Walker
    Release Date: 7 July 2008
    ISBN-13: 978-1406307634

    Synopsis
    Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.
    To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?


    My Review
    So book 1 didn't 'Wow' me, I wasn't expecting much more from this one. I was intrigued enough to read it but not desperate to know what comes next. But with not much else to do I sat down and got stuck in, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, I actually enjoyed this one a lot more than the first one. It seemed to move quicker, flow better and was just overall more exciting. 
    The whole Clary/Jace angst started to get on my nerves a bit, it's a bit forced and over the top and drawn out way too long in my opinion. But they work well together when they are not all goggly eyed at each other and for that I'm grateful. When they are fighting demons they totally kick butt.
    Simon - now I didn't see much relevance to Simon in the first book so I was really glad he plays a much more important role in this one and I've actually come to really like him, he's a great guy and handles all these situations really well - whatever is thrown at him, and a lot is thrown at him - he handles it and still puts Clary first.
    There were still odd parts that felt quite drawn out and over explained but not as much as in book 1 and I got through this book a lot quicker because of it. This one took me less than a day whereas book 1 took me about 4 days on and off.
    The world of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders really develops in this book and I had a much more 3D image of it all in my head, it's a place that I think would be very interesting to explore and delve deeper into. 
    This series seems to be picking up a bit for me, so maybe it can still live up to it's hype. I'm going to move straight on to book 3 and hope it keeps getting better.

    My Rating
         

    Author Interview - Ryan T Petty

     How do you move on in your life after a horrible tragedy? That's what Hope Kilpatrick must ask after losing her family in a horrible car accident right before Christmas. Unable to deal with the pain, she leaves the haunting memories of her New York home behind and escapes to Texas with an estranged aunt that is her only family. Still reeling from her loss and the culture shock of her new home, she must also deal with a school bully that has set her sights upon her. Hope's only solace is the quiet girl at the vacant lunch table, an eccentric history teacher, and the introverted handsome young man she meets at a Texas parade. Finding Hope in Texas deals with the tragedy of loss, the sardonic struggles of teenage life, and the sanguinity in finding a special someone that will help her discover the strength to live again.

    1)    When you write, do you plan the storyline or just go with the flow and see where it takes you? Plotter or Panster?
    I have to plan, it's just my nature.  Still, getting to the next page, chapter, or twist is part of the fun.


    2) Where do you do most of your writing? Do you have a special spot?

    I do most of my writing on the couch with my laptop.  I usually have the TV on in the background.  It works for me.
           
     
    3) Are any of your characters based on people you know?

    In my first book, The Life He Never Knew, I took the personalities of a lot of my Civil War reenacting friends and created actual Civil War soldiers out of them, which was fun for me, and fun for them trying to figure out who was who.  In my second book, Finding Hope in Texas, I can only say that the history teacher is based off of me.  He's kind of a jerk, but has a good heart.




    4) Who was your favourite author as a child? Who is it now?

    I was one of those kids that fought reading as a child and really didn't get into books until high school.  I still don't have a favorite author, but I like authors from different genres.  I teach history, so a lot of what I read is historical.  I have enjoyed Eric Larson and his historical books though.


    5) Did you always want to be an author? If not what was your ambition?

    Well, like I said, I'm a history teacher.  History was my calling and what got me into reading finally.  I enjoy what I do.  My only greater ambition would to be teach at a junior college or something like that.
     

    6) A lot of authors have playlists for their books. Do you like to listen to music whilst you write and if so can you give us any recommendations?
     
    No, it's the background noise of television that helps me.  I think I would get confused between my writing and my singing outload if I played music.
     
     
    7) Can you tell us a bit more about your book and how it came about?
     
    Hope has gone through a horrible tragedy at home.  Her family was killed in a car accident and she wants to get away from their memories.  She moves to Texas to start over, with an aunt she hardly knows, only to find that a school bully is trying to make her life worse.  She makes a new friend though, is encouraged by a teacher, and meets a handsome young man at a Texas parade.  Finding Hope in Texas is a story about survival from tragedy, bullying, and culture shock.  It really came from me wanting to write something that I think many teenagers nowadays could relate to.  Many have difficulties in their lives and I wanted to make a character that even though she is struggling, she continues to have the strength to keep going, to do the best she can, and is a better person because of it.

    8) What made you want to write for the YA market?

    It's probably a little bit of the teacher in me.  Like I said, I wanted a character and a story line that teenagers could relate to.  I wanted them to see that even though they may go through tough times, it's their will and determination that will make them better people in the end.

    9) Do you ever get writers block and if you do, how do you beat it?
     
    I do.  And for me, I just have to get away from writing for a bit.  Sometimes I can knock out many pages in just one sitting and sometimes I will go days or weeks without looking at my laptop.  I have to do other things so that I have time to think, reflect, and evaluate what I need to do next.   I'm not on a time limit, so I write when I know I can only give it 100%, which, with two little guys in my house, is usually between 9 and 11pm.

    10) If you could take only 3 things with you onto a desert island what would they be and why?
     
    Food, clothing, shelter, because I want to survive. 

    Saturday, 24 May 2014

    Book Review - City of Bones

    Title: City of Bones
    Author: Cassandra Clare
    Series: The Mortal Instruments (book1)
    Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
    Release Date: 2 July 2007
    ISBN-13: 978-1406307627

    Synopsis
    When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
    This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...  


    My Review
    I have had these books on my shelves for years, but have never got round to reading them, they were always my 'one day I'll read them' books. Then a couple of weeks ago my dad bought me the DVD of the movie, but I can't watch the film until I have read the books - that is my rule. So out came the book. 
    I have heard some truly amazing things about this series so I was hopeful that this would sweep me into an incredible new world and I would be hooked. Unfortunately I wasn't though, don't get me wrong - i did enjoy the book but nothing about it made me go WOW! I will admit that I haven't exactly been in the best of moods lately which can affect the way you enjoy a book I know. But we can only ever review the book as we read them so here goes.
    I liked the start, I was intrigued and wanted to know more, the world was introduced well and the characters made you want to get to know them. The revealing of Clary's sight pulled me in and I found myself turning the pages to find out more. Overall I actually think this book is done well - it reveals the world bit by bit, adding more of the magic and mystery to it as you go and makes you feel part of it. 
    I liked Clary as a character, she has a fiery determination to her and a fairly sarcastic wit which I liked. 
    Jace - now I had heard rumours about Jace - that he was the 'ultimate book boyfriend' and 'totally dreamy' etc etc. But to be honest, I jsut thought he was a smarmy git who needed to get over himself. He really irritated me for most of the book, I only started to warm to him in the later part of the book and even only then a little bit. I just didn't like his attitude and blatant disregard for others. He has his redeeming moments but mostly I'd say he's a bit of a git.
    Now as for Simon for the first half of the book I wondered what his purpose was. From what I saw of him I was pretty sure the plot could have progressed just as easily if he didn't exist, but I liked him, he's a bit like a lost puppy but I liked him. I just hoped his part would become more relevant later.
    The rest of the characters help to create the world and bring it to life. I really like Isabelle - she's sassy, and Luke is a mystery. 
    The world is very well created and the characters do come across as real and the sort of people you could meet. I liked the idea of the different groups and the history behind their organisation.
    I wouldn't say that this book was totally amazing,
    maybe I just missed something that everyone else got with it, but I did enjoy it and am glad I read it. I am curious enough to read the next one and have already started it.

    My Rating

     

    Friday, 23 May 2014

    FF (163)


    Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read

    This week's question feature is
    Orange Owls and Books

    Have you ever convinced someone to read a book, a series, or a whole genre? What book(s) and who was it? Did they like it?

    My Answer: I actually have an advantage here, as I work in a public library and very often recommend books and love it when someone takes a book I've convinced them to try and then have them come back when they return the book and tell me they want the next one in the series. 

    I got my mum to read The Hunger Games, which then got her into Dystopian and things like Divergent. She loved them and read them really quickly.

    Happy hopping and Blogging!

     

    And don't forget to check out and comment on my new weekly discussion post 'Thursday Thoughts' this week I looked at Books and Films.

    Thursday, 22 May 2014

    Thursday Thoughts (2)

    Hi,

    Welcome to my new Weekly post - Thursday Thoughts.

    This is going to be a weekly discussion post that I hope will get all my blog readers commenting and giving their opinion. I will pick a topic and write how my thoughts and feelings about it and then hopefully all you lovely readers will leave a comment below with your own opinions.

    The only rule I have is that everyone is respectful of each other's opinions, there is no real right or wrong here, this is a chance to experience a topic from someone else's perspective. Please listen to each other and be nice.

    If you wish to take a more active part in this discussion and make your own blog post about the topic, I will create a Linky list below that you can link your post to. If more and more people take part - the bigger and better it will become.

    Some discussions will be light and silly, others will be more serious but they will all be about books and book related things.

    So come on everyone, pull up a chair and lets hear your voice.

    This weeks topic is:

    'Books into Films - Is it always a good thing?' 

    If you look at the recent and upcoming film releases you will realize that a large percentage of them are book adaptations. It seems that film producers are taking their inspiration more and more from the literary world.
    If you are a fan of the book, this can be great, exciting and one of the best ways of delving further into the world. If you're not a fan of the book it can introduce you to the world which can lead you to reading the book.
    But is it always a good thing? Are there some books that just shouldn't be made into a film. How do they decide which ones to make?
    Obviously best sellers and prize winners are often picked up. Just think Hunger Games, Fault In Our Stars, Harry Potter - all these books swept the nation and sold thousands of copies, and had a big online presence that only got bigger and bigger with the making of the films.
    I haven't seen Fault In Our Stars yet of course, but I'm hoping too, as for Hunger Games and Harry Potter - these films were expertly done, I think they did an amazing job with these films and although some details were changed the overall story retains the heart of the book. But what about the films that don't live up to expectations.

    One of my all time favourite books was Eragon, I loved it, still do for the most part, so when the film came out I thought my dreams were coming true, but when I saw the film I was terribly disappointed - in my opinion it was awful! They changed so much and it just didn't really make sense. I don't think the producers/writers had even read the book before they wrote the film script, it's like they were told a quick summary, an outline of the story and they just filled in the gaps themselves. I felt so let down and it actually put me off the books for a while, it tainted my view of it.
    Do you think a bad movie could also put someone off reading the book? I've seen films I didn't enjoy and would never consider reading the book afterwards.

    But then again I ended up finding one of my favourite books through a film - I saw a trailer for 'Now is Good' starring Dakota Fanning, I was always a fan of Dakota so I knew I would see the film no matter what it was about, when I heard it was based on a book (Before I Die) I tracked it down and loved it. If it wasn't for that movie release I wouldn't have ever picked up that book and missed out on such an amazing book, which then led me to some other great books.

    So I want to know, is it always a good thing to have a film of the book. If someone offered to turn your favourite book into a movie would you agree or decline, knowing that the film could be totally awesome or really bad. Would it change the way you see the book?

    Got your own post? Link it here:



    Next Weeks topic will be 'TBR piles - how long is too long to wait to read a book?'

    Wednesday, 21 May 2014

    Cover Reveal - FAE


    FAE
    EDITED BY RHONDA PARRISH 

    Fae- a new anthology of fairy stories from classic tales to urban fantasy, edited by Rhonda Parrish, will be available in trade paperback and ebook Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    Meet Robin Goodfellow as you’ve never seen him before, watch damsels in distress rescue themselves, get swept away with the selkies and enjoy tales of hobs, green men, pixies and phookas. One thing is for certain, these are not your grandmother’s fairy tales. Fairies have been both mischievous and malignant creatures throughout history. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. Fae is full of stories that honor that rich history while exploring new and interesting takes on the fair folk from castles to computer technologies and modern midwifing, the Old World to Indianapolis.  
    Fae covers a vast swath of the fairy story spectrum, making the old new and exploring lush settings with beautiful prose and complex characters. Enjoy the familiar feeling of a good old-fashioned fairy tale alongside urban fantasy and horror with a fae twist. 



     Can i just point out how awesome that cover it, really mysterious with gorgeous colours. It certainly makes me want to read it. 

    With an introduction by Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman, and new stories from Sidney Blaylock Jr., Amanda Block, Kari Castor, Beth Cato, Liz Colter, Rhonda Eikamp, Lor Graham, Alexis A. Hunter, L.S. Johnson, Jon Arthur Kitson, Adria Laycraft, Lauren Liebowitz, Christine Morgan, Shannon Phillips, Sara Puls, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek


    Fae will be available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kobo.com, and other online retailers, and for wholesale through Ingram. 
    You can also find Fae on Goodreads

    Anthologist Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the benefit anthology, Metastasis. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. Her website, updated weekly, is at rhondaparrish.com.
    World Weaver Press is a publisher of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction, dedicated to producing quality works. We believe in great storytelling. 


    Publication Date: July 22, 2014 Fantasy / Horror Anthology Trade paperback, 250 pages • ebook
    ISBN: 978-0692207918 Publicity/Reviews: publicity@worldweaverpress.com

    Information: www.worldweaverpress.com/books/fae
    worldweaverpress.com 
    @WorldWeaver_wwp
    #####

    Tuesday, 20 May 2014

    Book Review - The Weight of Water

    Title: The Weight of Water
    Author: Sarah Crossan
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
    Release Date: 3 Jan 2013
    ISBN-13: 978-1408830239

    Synopsis
    Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother's heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat. "The Weight of Water" is a startlingly original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles the alienation experienced by many young immigrants. Moving, unsentimental and utterly page-turning, we meet and share the experiences of a remarkable girl who shows us how quiet courage prevails.

    My Review
    I read 'Breathe' and 'Resist' by Crossan and absolutely loved them so when I heard she had written something else I wanted to read it. So i put in a request at the library.
    I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but was very surprised by what I got. The whole book was written in verse, I was tempted to just put it back without reading it, but decided that it was worth a try.
    It only took me an hour to read, and is very easy to get through. It took me a while to get used to the writing style but soon found myself racing through and I think it was very cleverly done. 
    Kasienka is polish, she has come to Coventry, England with her mum who is heartbroken but determine. Her dad left, only leaving them a note saying he was moving to England, so now her mum is determined to track him down. Leaving her home, family and friends is hard and fitting into a whole new school in a different country is hard too. Kasienka just wants to go home, but then she meets someone who makes her realise that life her could be good.
    The story is very simply done and covers topics like immigration, bullying and separation. It's all done very well and gets the messages across without being offensive or too preachy. 
    I did find it a bit hard to relate to the character and her situation but it was cleverly done, certainly very different.
    Good if you want a quick read with a different angle. 

    My Rating
        

    Cover Reveal - Gone

    Tess Waters’ life is perfect. She has everything she’s ever wanted all wrapped up in her boyfriend Alec. But Alec has a different plan and one day, he’s gone.

    Tess is devastated. She doesn’t remember how to be herself and she doesn’t want to.Her family believes she needs to move on and get over him. It’s easier said than done.

    Tess doesn’t know where to begin because everywhere she turns, she thinks of Alec. She doesn’t think this heartbreak will ever stop. Eventually, Tess finds comfort in places she never realized she had. From there she discovers a person she never knew she could be.


    Monday, 19 May 2014

    Book Promo - Kissed

    Summary:
     
    Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks.  With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.
     
    Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had.  As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself.
     




    Author bio
      
    Kimberly Loth can’t decide where she wants to settle down. She’s lived in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Utah, California, Oregon, and South Carolina. She finally decided to make the leap and leave the U.S. behind for a few years. Currently, she lives in Cairo, Egypt with her husband and two kids. 
    She is a high school math teacher by day (please don’t hold that against her) and YA author by night. She loves romantic movies, chocolate, roses, and crazy adventures. Kissed is her first novel.




    Social media links–
    Twitter: @kimberlyloth         https://twitter.com/Kimberlyloth

    To purchase:  http://amzn.to/1ix9Bcd
     
     
    Chapter 1 Extract
    Birthdays are supposed to be special like my Kaiser Wilhelm rosebushes. They bloom once a year, huge violet and crimson cups full to bursting with petals. When I part the petals with my nose and inhale, I go weak in the knees from the fruity perfume. But my birthdays are more like the daisies that grow alongside the roses. Ignored.

     The sink looked odd next to our front door. My mother had it installed after I kept tracking in dirt and fertilizer from my green house. I washed the soil off my hands with the warm water and used a file to clear the dirt out from under my nails. Then I exchanged one dirty pair of ugly tennis shoes for a pair of clean ugly tennis shoes and made my way into the kitchen. Mother didn’t allow a speck of soil from my greenhouse to dirty her home. 
     
     Paint on the cabinets peeled away in white curls. A single light bulb gave enough light to cook but not enough to read a recipe. My mother stood by the tiny window, her bottle blond hair twisted in a bun on the back of her head. She wiped her hands on her apron then smoothed a stray hair from my braid. I knelt down to tie my shoes, anything to avoid her touch. Physical touch burned, even something as little as a finger brushing my forehead.

    “Wash your face. We have guests for dinner.” My stomach knotted. I tied and untied my shoes three times, wondering how to respond. Years ago, my father had closed our home to visitors. No one crossed our threshold. I was allowed to leave only to go to school and to church.

    Well, if you want to call it that. I’ve watched movies in school and I went to the Baptist church until I was eight. Our new church, Crusaders of God, was a bigger shock than no more pants. But Mother and Father called it church.

     “Why?” I asked. My curiosity overrode my memory of the last question I asked when Grandma died and I wanted to know why I couldn’t go to the funeral. I stood and waited for the slap and the lecture


    Instead, she smiled like she was hiding something important. “For your birthday. They’re friends of your father’s from church. We have a big surprise Of course. Friends of my father. Nothing ever happened in our house unless he was the center of attention. Even on my birthday. At least they remembered. The surprise concerned me though, as the last surprise they announced turned out to be a drastic lifestyle change complete with long denim skirts and strict obedience. Oh, and no more birthdays. Until now, apparently.

    Maybe the surprise would be that my father finally found his sanity. That would be an amazing birthday present. I doubted I’d get that lucky. Dinner took place in the dining room. The cheap chandelier struggled to fill the room with light as two of the bulbs were out and nobody bothered to replace them. Our mysterious dinner guest turned out to be familiar. And not the good kind of familiar either.

     Dwayne Yerdin sat at the table. He was a senior at my school but ended up in quite a few of my classes even though he was two years older. I probably shouldn’t judge him. But with his heavy lidded, half closed eyes, buzzed head, and classic bully laugh, I had disliked him the moment I saw him. Perhaps he would prove my judgment wrong tonight. Seated next to him was a pudgy man in a suit. He wore a tie, but his neck was too thick to fasten the top button. He had the same heavy lidded eyes as Dwayne.

    My father, a tall thin man with thick blond hair, saw me waiting in the doorway.