Sunday, 8 April 2012

Book Challenge Update (March Books)

Okay! So, I have done pretty well last month for my book challenge, not great, but it could have been worse. I am going to lay out the categories I have read books for, and then write a brief summary of the books and all of that.

Number of books read: 8

Categories completed: 2
To Be Read
Kindle Books

Categories not completed but started: 3
Bookclub Frenzy Month 1
Golden Oldies

Books read:
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
The Culling by J.C. Andrijeski


Grave Witch: This was a good interesting start of a book, very much followed the structure for a paranormal investigation style adult novel, but it was a good book to read, I enjoyed it.

Storm Glass: This was a reread, I wanted to read it before I read the second and third one. Still don't like the series as much as I enjoyed the Study Series.

Sea Glass: I really didn't enjoy this book, it was boring and suffered from 'middle book syndrome'. It didn't really hold my attention well.

Spy Glass: This one was ten times better than Sea Glass, this was my favourite of the series.

The Hunger Games: Had to reread it for the film coming out, do I need to explain how awesome it was?

Catching Fire: Again rereading for the movie.

Death of a Salesman: This was a class book, American Literature, I'm not a fan of the play.

The Culling: Far too short, seemed like it was literally just a first few chapters, so yeah.

That was it for March, I'm slowly slowly slowly getting out of my reading lull, hopefully I'll be reading more soon.

Spirit Fighter

Author: Jerel Law
Publishing Company: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Blurb: Seventh-grader Jonah Stone discovers that he is one-quarter angel—his mother is the daughter of a human and a fallen angel—and after she is kidnapped, Jonah and his sister, Eliza, must try to rescue her, with the help of prayers and a guardian angel.

The Review:

Before I start this review, I’d like to say that I’m definitely not the target audience of this book, so I’m going to tell you all of the things I’ve enjoyed about this book, and then explain the things I didn’t, and why I didn’t, but mainly it will be because I’m not the target audience. So I did have a few problems with this book, but I don’t think that the people who are likely to pick up this book will have the same problems.

It’s hard not to compare this book to the Percy Jackson series, because of a few things. One, same target audience, two, it’s mentioned to be what the book is supposed to be a replacement for, three, there are a lot of similarities in the series and characters. I can definitely see some of the same characters in the two books. I’m not saying that’s bad, but it’s unexpected to see so many similarities.

I think for what the book is aiming for, the author has definitely achieved what he wanted, you have a good adventure story, with a lot of Christian background, so it’s educational and interesting to read as well as having enough action to keep you invested in the story.

I think one of the things I would have to say about it though, is that I don’t really feel much for the main characters. Jonah and Eliza are two kids who are the good kids in the school. You can see that, they obviously love their parents, one of them is really smart, the other tries out for the basketball team, you see these amazing kids go into this fantastical mission from a higher power. But throughout the book you don’t get this emotion and feeling that you’d expect. You see them go from one thing to another and you don’t get enough of their thoughts and feelings. We get their thoughts and feelings on religion and God, which is fine, but you only see this slight panic at the beginning when everything goes bad, and they just seem to go through everything else.

Now, I can’t be sure if this is done on purpose, because I know that this is about faith in God, and they might not have the emotions the same because they’re putting all their trust in God, but it didn’t feel right to me.

I liked the contrasts between the good and the bad, and how you could never really tell when something was good or bad. It gave you a lot of times where you did want the characters to pull through and realise what was going on. It kept you thinking that something bad was going to happen all the time, and it’s interesting to see how they’d get out of the predicaments they were in. Plus, it’s telling you all of these Bible stories that you might not have known before you read this book, and gave you an insight to all of the interesting things that are in the Bible.

I have to admit I loved the idea of corruption that oversaw the story. You got this idea that anyone at any time could become corrupted because of the Fallen, and it was interesting to see how it was achieved. I think that because the underlying message of how anyone can lose their faith was there, it was interesting to look into this world of complete faith from someone who isn’t religious like myself. The end of chapter 22 is an example of this that is very alien to me, but at the same time you can admire it for someone being so invested in what they believe.

I think my main problem with this book was the fact that I’m not overly religious, and because of this it seemed very pushy when I was hearing about all of this faith that the characters had in God. However, I think that people who are religious and who do follow the Christian faith will be able to read it and understand this faith that the characters have, so I don’t think it’s a bad thing about the book, I just think it’s something that should be taken on board if someone who isn’t religious picks up this book.

I do have to say that the end of this book, the way it wrapped up was very cool. I did definitely enjoy it.

Over all I have to say it’s not something I would have picked up by myself, it’s not something I’m used to reading, but it was a pretty good book to read.

Thanks to net-galley for letting me review this, and if you guys check this book out I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Spy Glass


Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publishing Company: Mira Books

Blurb: An undercover mission leads to danger, adventure and an impossible choice…

After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, student glass magician Opal Cowan has lost her powers. Immune to the effects of magic, Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had. Powers that make a difference in the world.

Suddenly the beautiful pieces she makes begin to flash in the presence of magic and Opal learns that someone has stolen some of her blood. Finding it might let her regain her powers or discover that they’re lost forever…

The review:

So diving into this book I was so apprehensive and so worried that it would be awful and one of those books where it wasn’t needed to finish the series, I expected to be disappointed. I was extremely wrong. From the get go you could tell that it was going to be something so extremely different to Maria V. Snyder’s other books that it was interesting and unique. I think it was more that some of my favourite characters were in this a lot more as well, it was just something that you can get excited about. I mean, Valek was in it so much, wow, I was very happy with that.

Again I want to stress that this book is different. In the Study series and the rest of the Glass series we have a protagonist who has magic. In this book, we see the protagonist without magic and how she deals with it. So from the start you know that we have such a different view point and it’s interesting to see this standing and also how much the characters have developed, for better or for worse.

The plot was so richly dense you genuinely don’t know what to do about it. You have so much going on that you can’t help but get swept up and spouting out ideas of what could happen or where the plot could go. And what’s wonderful in this book is just as you think you’ve got it figured out, you’re swept in an entirely other direction. And I think to see Opal’s character growing, but growing in a different way, is amazing. You see her completely change and you see how she’s grown as a person, as a fighter, as everything really.

I understand I’m gushing, but I don’t actually know what to say about this. I think that it has to be said that I probably enjoyed this book more because I was so disappointed with the previous one, but that doesn’t bother me. This was such an amazing way to end a series. And the way that the plot went, the differences in the book, the way the characters went, the plot twists, the scary moments, the sad moments, the hilarious moments (I was laughing for the first couple hundred pages at some of the writing because it was so witty).

I think that this book is definitely worth it, though the second book wasn’t great, this definitely compensates for it.

My rating:

Setting: 5 out of 5
Characters: 4 out of 5
Plot: 4.5 out of 5
Writing: 4 out of 5

If you read the book, I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll talk to you guys later! Bye x

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Ashers' Personal Three Month Challenge

Okay, if you've ever been on goodreads you'll know they have groups, and on these groups they can have some pretty awesome challenges. I took part in the Winter Challenge on goodreads and got 9 books read. Now I am going to do my very own challenge that I can create, edit, and talk about on this blog. Suggests are welcome.

Please note this is still in the first stages of creating, it's most likely going to change. But! Let's get on with it. And I shall show you the categories!

1. Bookclub frenzy- I am on four goodreads bookclubs, and each one has one or more books we read a month. So in each month I want to read at least TWO BOOKS that have been chosen for the monthly read.

2. Friend's request- Recommendations from friends, or borrowed from friends, I want to read at least THREE BOOKS recommended or borrowed from friends in the next three months.

3. TBR- I have the worst case of buying books I don't need (check out my IMMs if you don't believe me) so in the next three months I want to read TWO BOOKS that have been on my shelf for at least a year.

4. Creature Feature- This is a very broad category of any form of creature (examples: zombies, vampires, werewolves, trolls, fairies etc) I want to read FOUR BOOKS in the next three months to do with creatures.

5. Realistic- I'm not the biggest realism fan, and I want to change that. So, I am aiming to read TWO BOOKS without any form of paranormal or fantasy or horror in them.

6. Rereads- I'm a massive fan of rereading books, like a lot of the times I like rereading books over picking up a new book, because if I've enjoyed it enough to want to reread it, then I know it won't disappoint me when I pick it up. With this in mind I want to reread ONE SERIES in the next three months.

7. Golden Oldies- I'm not a big fan of classics, but I know that they're supposed to be appreciated. Which is why I want to read TWO BOOKS that are not contemporary.

8. Kindle Books- I have over a hundred books on my kindle, and most of them I've wanted to read for a while, therefore I want to read at least THREE BOOKS that are on my kindle.

9. New Releases- I love new books, but I often get them, put them on my shelf, and wait til they're old releases. I want to read at least ONE BOOK that has just been released in the next three months.

Those are the categories, and if you think about it, that's a bucket load of books I'm wanting to read, I mean, at least twenty books in three months. That's a lot. I'm not saying that I will get through them all, but I'm going to have a good try at it.


No overlapping books: if you have one book representing one category, it cannot represent another one as well. You can change the category it's in, but you can't have it double worth.

No cheating: Read the books.

Reviews: This hopefully will give me incentive to review more. Each book I read will have a review of it up on the blog.

Monthly check in: I will come in at the end of the month and tell you how I am doing.

If you want to take part then please do so, help me along with it, if you don't that's fine, this is just a bit of fun for me to be honest. But yeah, this is hopefully going to get me more read this year and get me out of my reading slump!

Sea Glass


Author: Maria V. Snyder

Publishing Company: Mira Books

Blurb: Her abilities remained hidden- Until challenged by enemy forces.

Student glass magician Opal Cowan's newfound skills to steal a magician's strength make her too powerful.

Kept under house arrest, Opal dares defy her imprisonment to search for Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. Thinks because she is sure another man- now her prisoner- has switched souls with Ulrick.

In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn't sure whom to trust. And now everyone is after Opal's special powers for their own deadly gain...

The review:

I only picked this book back up after remembering that I was supposed to lend it to a friend a while ago and I hadn’t actually read it. I hadn’t read the Study series for a while, and hadn’t read the first one since I bought it, I picked the book up rather nervously, I mean I hadn’t gotten far through it before I’d put it down last time so I was worried the plot wouldn’t entrap me.

Compared to the Study series, this one is no where near as good, I have to say it right off the bat, however I think most people realise that when jumping into a companion series. Usually (not always, but often) the original series is a lot better. Also seeing different characters in different lights because you’ve got a different character’s point of view, it’s very odd.

When I started reading this I was apprehensive. The thing with Maria V. Snyder’s writing is that you don’t ever know where her plot is going to go, and though most of the time that is a blessing because you’re continuously guessing, at the end of quite a few of these chapters I was thinking ‘JUST GIVE OPAL A BREAK!’ because Opal always seemed to be getting into worse and worse trouble, and everyone was out to get her. It was annoying. I did think some of the twists were cool, and some of the book was just funny and kept me reading on and on, but sometimes I was just thinking ‘can we just have some more of the nice cosy scenes or funny scenes’.

I will say that I loved how the end of this book all came together, it was dead interesting to see how everything would be resolved and how everything had happened. I’m pretty nervous for the next book though, because in my eyes Opal’s plot could just be left at the end of Sea Glass, and now I’m venturing onto Spy Glass, I’m worried about the turns this will take.

My rating:

Setting: 5 out of 5
Characters: 4 out of 5
Plot: 2.5 out of 5
Writing: 3 out of 5

If you read the book, I hope you enjoy it, and I'll talk to you guys later! Bye x

Friday, 24 February 2012


Okay, I've been doing this blog for a while now (well you know here and there with intervals when I don't have time), and I'm wondering what books you guys want from the blog. I want to make it better for everyone to read and experience.

So, this includes what books you want me to review, when you want me to post, if there are any weekly memes you want me to include, layouts, anything and everything.

I know I haven't been very good at posting lately, and I do want some feedback of what you want because I want to get back into reviewing and blogging. So if you want to help, please let me know what you want from the blog :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Furnace: Lockdown

Author: Alexander Gordon Smith

Publishing Company: Faber and Faber (Kindle Edition)

Blurb: (taken from goodreads)

Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries.

Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison.

Together with a bunch of inmates—some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers—Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world.

The review:

Okay, I am finally back, I’m sorry that I disappeared, but I have a few reviews coming up. So here is my review of Furnace: Lockdown. I’ve wanted to read this book for a couple of months now, ever since a Goodreads book club put it up for a vote for Halloween read. I finally started reading it after Christmas, and just finished it now. Didn’t get far in the first month (I’ve really been in a reading rut lately!), but I swept through it today like crazy.

First thing about this book, it is very much like the Maze Runner, I saw a lot of parallels in these stories. Not a bad thing. Second thing I want to say about it, I honestly think this book does it better. It is definitely more of a boys read, mainly boy characters, bar the mention of one or two girls, so it’s very much centred around all these boyish problems. Yeah, I don’t know how to word that.

The book starts off introducing Alex Sawyer as this ‘I’m not an innocent kid, I’ve done my own bad things’ which is different because it’s nice to see characters being instantly thrown out as not perfect, and you can see that even though he’s the main character of the book, he isn’t a perfect little angel either. Alex gets framed for a murder he didn’t commit after he did something pretty bad to begin with. I have to admit before Alex got put into Furnace Penitentiary, I wasn’t that interested, in fact it was the main reason I didn’t pick up the book for so long.

When you get into the depths of the prison though, that’s when the fun begins. We meet interesting characters, find out that many of the “new fish” have been framed too, and we find an escape plan. Lots of fights, and horror, and things that go bump in the night too. Wheezers and Black Suits and Hell Hounds. It’s very Darren Shan meets James Dashner in a prison with unknown monsters.

I don’t want to give much away though. I mean, the book is packed with things that you have to explore yourself, if you want a new and interesting book, I’d definitely say pick this one up though.

Donovan was definitely my favourite character. You can tell that though he has done bad in his past, he’s definitely not a bad guy. You find out how long he was in there, what he did to get in there, and I really felt myself sympathising to him over all of the other characters. He’s definitely an interesting character and I cannot wait to find out what happens to him in the next book (which I’m going to have to pick up because of the horrible horrible horrible cliffhanger ending, it wasn’t nice!).

I’m keeping this review short, because I don’t know exactly what to say about this book, I enjoyed it, and yet at the same time I didn’t feel like it was one of the best books I’ve read. It was a bit of a let down because it does sound like a really good book, but it wasn’t the best one I’ve read. But I recommend it for people who are fans of Darren Shan or James Dashner.

My rating:

Setting: 3.5 out of 5
Characters: 4 out of 5
Plot: 4 out of 5
Writing: 3 out of 5

If you read the book, I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll talk to you guys later! Bye x

Saturday, 21 January 2012

More posts after 25th

Yeah I keep trying to write blog posts, but I've been doing a lot of homework/studying. I have an exam on the 25th and then I have a week free of lessons/studying/homework so I will do a lot of posts then and just upload them in the coming weeks.

If you have any requests or reviews you'd like to see, any recommendations for books or what I could do with the blog or anything please let me know below!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Books I'm reading - January 2012

This is the second book in the Tale of Lunarmorte. The first one was fantastic, and I wanted to read this one as soon as I'd finished it. I'm just over half way through this and it's pretty good so far. I definitely recommend them if you haven't checked them out!

I tried to read this a couple months ago and I couldn't get through it, I watched the new movie and it was awesome, so I'm trying to read it again. The film was amazing, I'm hoping the book is as good.

I can't wait for this book and I'm keeping it until after my exam at Uni so I have something to look forward to after exam prep.

These are the three main books I want to read, however I don't know if I'll definitely get to all of them this month, I have lots of work to do. But yeah, I'm hoping to get through these and more.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

2011 Favourites

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

This was a book I wasn't going to pick up, but the woman in my bookshop just handed me it and said 'that looks good' and I decided to pick it up. Very glad I did, the story was amazing, the characters were phenomenal, and it was so fast paced from the first line.

 Feed by Mira Grant

I have never really been a lover of zombie books, but seriously this one blew me away. The characters and the writing were amazing, and the way you see blogging and how media has changed and how it could change if there was a zombie apocalypse. This one I picked up because it sounded pretty interesting, but I wasn't expecting much from it. It was amazing, and I recommend anyone to pick it up and read it.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

I don't have a clue why I took so long picking these up, but I'm so glad I did. The world is so well thought out, the characters have such a great mix of humour and seriousness. The plot keeps you desperate for more, and just then ending is amazing. I haven't picked up City of Fallen Angels yet, but I plan to soon.

 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This book is amazing because of how different it is. The blending of the story with pictures, the way you book showed you all of this amazing story as well as these interesting characters and this wonderfully different way of how it was put together. It was just a stunning read.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

This book was fun and just a nice fun read. The characters were funny and interesting, the book is amazing and interesting, it was just a nice fun read. It wasn't like a life altering book (though I must admit for a few days I was pretending to be a spy...come can't say you haven't before!)

 Hereafter by Tara Hudson

This was just...I dunno. I just loved reading it, and I loved the writing, it just read so beautifully. The story was still simple enough that it was easy to read, but it had enough mystery and fun that made me love reading it.

 Virals by Kathy Reichs

This book was just such a different book, it was something I wasn't expecting. I've tried to read Kathy Reichs books before and failed because of the science jargon and stuff. This was definitely a way to ease your way into her writing. The book was interesting and fun, there was enough mystery and suspense to keep you reading. Just a good book.

These aren't all of my favourite books from last year, but they are the main ones that stand out. I'm gonna do a post soon on the books I'm looking forward to for 2012, and yeah, I'll talk to you guys later.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

In My Mailbox (5)- October, November & December

I didn't post any of these in the months they should have been posted, so here is a massive haul. I don't blame you if you don't want to watch the 22 minute video so the list of the books are below.

  • Palace of the Damned by Darren Shan
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  • The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen
  • City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
  • Blood Trail by Tanya Huff
  • Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead
  • The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
  • The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
  • The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
  • By Midnight by Mia James
  • Darkness Falls by Mia James
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephenie Perkins
  • Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
  • Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
  • A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin
  • The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton
  • My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
  • Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  • Blood & Ice by Robert Masello
  • One Day by David Nicholls
  • The Rapture by Liz Jensen
  • Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon
  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
  • The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
  • Steampunk Anthology
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke
  • Rosebush by Michelle Jaffe
  • Dark Angel by Eden Maguire
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • Gone by Michael Grant
  • Angel by L.A. Weatherly
  • Magyk by Angie Sage
  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Ekleles
  • The Missing by Lisa McMann
  • Runelight by Joanne Harris
  • Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
  • Consequences by Michelle Birbeck
  • Seizure by Kathy Reichs

Non book things- Kindle
The Elder Wand

If you want a review of any of the books above please let me know!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Kindle vs Real Books

Okay, so a couple months ago I was definitely pro books down with kindles/e-readers etc. I mean, there's so many things you can have with a book that you can't with an e-reader, the smell, the little scratches & cracks in the spine, everything about it is a way of enjoying and reading a book that's an experience.

However, for Christmas I couldn't think of anything I wanted, so I got myself a Kindle. And I've read a few books on it (reviews to come, I'm gonna get into the swing of reviews after my homework craziness is done) and I can't say that I find it as bad as I did.

Okay, so we don't have the book smell. The book smell isn't in it, but there's something amazing about having over 100 books in my bag that I wouldn't be able to have if I had them in book form. There's something amazing with being able to instantly share with the world via twitter or facebook that you've finished a book. There's something that is new and different about reading from a Kindle that I enjoy, but I don't know what it is.

And this is not saying that I'm all 'go Kindle down with books' because I'm not. I don't think I'll ever be. I've promised that any books I own that are in a series I'm going to buy the rest of the books in book form. Same goes with my favourite authors, same goes with books I just want to pick up. I don't think I'd ever be able to replace a physical paper book, but I think it'll be easier to get to books I wouldn't usually buy through a Kindle. Like right now I'm reading the Sherlock Holmes books which I wouldn't have if I couldn't have them on my Kindle, because I wouldn't carry around a massive book filled with the complete works, and I don't think I'd be willing to buy each one separately.

I know this is a bit of a weird post, but to be honest, I just wanted to write it to have something on the blog early in the year to say yes I am coming back, I promise, just not sure when the reviews will start. I have exams and stuff to worry about first!

So tell me what you think on the Kindle vs Books things, you pro Kindle? Pro books? All of the above? I'd love to hear.