Sunday, November 2, 2014

Eleanor loves Park loves Eleanor

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 5 out of 5 hearts
325 pages
Released: April 2012
Buy it @ book depository

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor
... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.







Review


I love when a book finds it's way into my heart and won't come out. This is an amazing book and John Green's quote on the front cover of my copy says exactly how I felt too.

'Reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book'

Obviously I change the 'in love with a girl' part to 'in love with a boy'. But otherwise it's spot on! I have been hearing so many wonderful things about this book and I LOVE when the book lives up to the hype. Everything about this book is unique - to the characters, the time period and the story.

Flashback to the 80's. I was born in the late 80's so I didn't experience it as a teenager, but it was still really cool to read a book set during a time that I remember.

Now onto Eleanor and Park, they were so fresh and real. All their moments together were so sweet and made my heart all a flutter. It reminded me of new love and all those little things that you do for the first time, it's all so exciting. 

Park's mum and dad were such an adorable couple. All the other characters had so many layers and Rainbow Rowell has superbly told their stories.

I didn't see what was coming in the end! What a turn of events, everything happened so fast that I was frantically reading through the last 30 pages. I'm about to give away a tiny spoiler so read at your own risk [I think the three words that Eleanor wrote on the postcard to Park were "I Miss you", what are your thoughts?]

Also, I liked the write up from Rainbow Rowell at the end of the book about the 'three words'. It made me love this book more (how that can be possible, I don't know!). She made me feel a bit better about the ending because to me, it felt like everything was left up in the air. She explained a few things, made me think that of course there's more to Eleanor and Park's story after the book finished, we just have to leave them to figure things out. She made me realise that characters do continue after the book is finished and their journey is just beginning, but we as readers aren't there to share it.

I have a copy of 'Fangirl' and I can not wait to read it, and inhale anything else Rainbow Rowell has written.

On the cover


This isn't the normal cover I'm used to seeing and I'm a little disappointed at myself when I bought it online. I didn't think to double check which copy/cover I was buying. I like the colours together, fonts and the overall design but I don't think it suits this story. The original cover with the backs of Eleanor and Parks heads with headphones connecting them fits them better. It signifies their connection and love of music better than the above cover.

What I'm reading next: Throne Of Glass by Sarah Maas




Friday, October 31, 2014

Books I'm pining for ~ Halloween Edition!

"Books I'm pining for" is a feature for new and old books that I want to read. So I thought I would share with everyone these books and to find out what books you are pining for. All these scary books are in honor of Halloween, so not for the faint-hearted!


Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...

I like short stories and these ones sound interesting!
The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

When twentysomething A., the unexpected European relative of the Wells family, and his companion, Niamh, a mute teenage girl with shockingly dyed hair, inherit the beautiful but eerie estate of Axton House, deep in the woods of Point Bless, Virginia, it comes as a surprise to everyone—including A. himself. After all, he never even knew he had a "second cousin, twice removed" in America, much less that the eccentric gentleman had recently committed suicide by jumping out of the third floor bedroom window—at the same age and in the same way as his father had before him . . .

Together, A. and Niamh quickly come to feel as if they have inherited much more than just a rambling home and a cushy lifestyle. Axton House is haunted, they know it, but that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the secrets they slowly but surely uncover. Why all the suicides? What became of the Axton House butler who fled shortly after his master died? What lurks in the garden maze and what does the basement vault keep? And what of the rumors in town about a mysterious gathering at Axton House on the night of the winter solstice?

Told vividly through a series of journal entries, scrawled notes, recovered security footage, letters to Aunt Liza, audio recordings, complicated ciphers, and even advertisements, Edgar Cantero has written a dazzling and original supernatural adventure featuring classic horror elements with a Neil Gaiman-ish twist.

This book sounds unique and creepy, and who doesn't love a Neil Gaiman-ish twist?


 Amity by Micol Ostow

Here is a house of ruin and rage, of death and deliverance.
Here is where I live, not living.
Here is always mine.


When Connor's family moves to Amity, a secluded house on the peaceful banks of New England's Concord River, his nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons. destruction, and revenge. Dreams he kind of likes. Dreams he could make real, with Amity's help.

Ten years later, Gwen's family moves to Amity for a fresh start. Instead, she's haunted by lurid visions, disturbing voices, and questions about her own sanity. But with her history, who would ever believe her? And what could be done if they did?

Because Amity isn't just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a violent end as she's done before. As she'll do again. And again. And again.

Inspired by a true-crime story, Amity spans generations to weave an overlapping, interconnected tale of terror, insanity. danger, and death.

I love watching scary movies and this seems like it'll take me on the same kind of journey.


The Shining by Stephen King

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control. 

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? 

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel - and that too had begun to shine...

I've never read a Stephen King novel, I'm expecting great things as I've seen the evidence from the movie. Classic scares!



Parasite by Mira Grant 

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.

Sounds gross but right up my alley, parasites taking over their hosts!



 Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her. 

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.

Intriguing story idea and I like my scary books mixed with a bit of romance.



Locke & Key Vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill

Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all...

Graphic novel horror story about a haunted house, I'm in! 












Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. 

Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family - before it's too late...

Books like this when the character has no idea what they did can be done really well or really bad. Hoping this is the first.




What books are you pining for?


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A bit broken but worth it in the end

Broken by C.J. Lyons

Rating: 3 out of 5 hearts
325 pages
Released: November 2013
Buy it @ book depository

WOULD YOU PUT YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE TO BE NORMAL?

Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, Scarlet has come to terms with the fact that she’s going to die. Literally of a broken heart. It could be tomorrow, or it could be next year. But the clock is ticking…

All Scarlet asks is for a chance to attend high school—even if just for a week-a chance to be just like everyone else. But Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with each slammed locker and vicious taunt. Is this normal? Really? Yet there’s more going on than she knows. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does…


Review


I didn't know much about this book, which is the way I like it. The less I know about it, the less I can judge. The problem with that is I don't usually give books I don't know much about a lot of time if I'm not enjoying them. I started off not liking this because I thought it seemed ridiculous that an extremely sick girl who almost died would get bullied for having her heart condition. That teachers and other students wouldn't stick up for her or even do anything for her. I don't like books about bullying so I think this another reason why I wasn't enjoying it. 

I also really despised the stepmother from the beginning, I thought she was weird and extremely uncool. As I read on though I soon realised why the author us (the readers) feel this way - very clever! I almost gave up because of all these things, there were only 7 CD's to listen to (which isn't very many in an audiobook) and I struggled through the first 4 CD's, then I read a few reviews online saying this is a thriller! I was thinking how could it be? I hadn't had any inkling that it was a thriller at all! I thought it was just a typical bullying/high school/sick girl story.

So I kept going and I'm glad I did because that was a pretty awesome ending! Initially this book was getting two stars, but it gets an extra star for the twist at the end. I'm glad I listened to this on audiobook instead of reading it because I would've been more likely to not finish as I have so many other books on my 'to read' list.

The last quarter really makes this book, and that is a shame because I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who may not give it that long. So a lot of people may miss this intriguing book. Hopefully you read my review before giving up!

On the cover


Another black cover with a striking image. Hearts are another thing I'm drawn to, I also really like the blue and red/pink color combo. 

What I'm listening to next: Reason to breathe by Rebecca Donovan



Monday, October 27, 2014

Stolen my heart and brain

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

Rating: 5 out of 5 hearts
301 pages
Released: May 2009
Buy it @ book depository

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere. 


Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? 

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.



Review


How can I write a review when I feel as confused as the character. This isn't a simple kidnapping story, it has so many layers and feelings you won't know what to think when you finish.

Gemma took me along with her through her ordeal and I was completely stolen by this book. It stole my whole day and I didn't want to let it go.

The backdrop of the Australian outback was perfect in setting the feeling of isolation, the power of silence and showing us it's utter beauty and danger. 

You want to think of Ty as this wild psychopathic murderer but he shows compassion and charm, he blurs the image you hold in your head.

"And it's hard to hate someone once you understand them"

I wanted so badly for there to be a happy ending for Gemma and Ty, but because of the circumstances there was no way that could happen. Lucy Christopher chose the perfect way to end it, even though it left me feeling a little empty. 

This book is meant to be experienced, I think people need to experience this for themselves as it is hard to explain in words what to feel or what really happened. It shared the wearing down of two helpless souls, showing us how Stockholm Syndrome is something that happens over time, without the sufferer from even knowing. I feel like I have shared in Gemma's disorientation.

There are so many moments to remember, which I will be thinking about for a long time. It truly amazes me how an author can write so exquisitely and simply, to take me away and leave me feeling this way.

"You've kidnapped me, put my life in danger...but I loved you too. Or thought I did. None of it made sense"



On the cover

What can't be seen in this picture is the butterfly shimmers. I'm immediately drawn to this cover because of the butterfly. I love butterflies and with the black cover it helps make it pop! 

What I'm reading next: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Holding Every Breath

Every Breath (Every #1) by Ellie Marney

Rating: 5 out of 5 hearts
335 pages
Released: September 2013
Buy it @ Angus & Robertson

Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally.

A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...



Review


Such a captivating story with a modern twist to that detective everyone loves so much. I was sucked in from the first few pages. Ellie Marney has a fantastic way of capturing Melbourne so that I could picture every detail in my mind so clearly. 

Rachel Watts is a fresh, new type of character who I liked straight away! A country girl trying to fit in while in the big city. The romance between Mycroft and Watts was something, after hearing reviews, that I was looking forward to and boy was I happy with what I got. It slowly crept up on me, it happened so quickly and all of a sudden I was left feeling all warm and gooey inside. 

There was also a lot of depth to both Mycroft and Watts. Their friendship is something I savoured and enjoyed. I was learning things about them that they were finding out for themselves and because of this I could really connect with them. 

The grisly murder that kick starts Mycroft and Watts into a duo detective team was developed perfectly. Little tastes of what may have happened were ever so slowly revealed until the most unlikely character is found out. I liked how the whole story seemed real, I didn't think while reading that certain things they were doing seemed too ridiculous. I believed that two teenagers can solve a murder. Although there is quite a unique and frightening escape made by Mycroft and Watts at the end which I found to be a bit unbelievable, but I can let that slide because it was so quirky. (there are others books in the series so I'm not giving any spoilers away by telling you they lived!)

I have heard even better things about "Every Word", so I'll have my magnifying glass ready. I fell into this book head first hoping and wishing for it to be wonderful, and I got that and SO much more! The game's afoot and I never want it to end!


On the cover

It's so awesome to see a local landmark on a book!! It's Flinders street station from Melbourne in the background. Both people on the front look very alike what I imagine the main characters to look like. It's a shame though that the girl on the cover is the same girl on the cover of "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher.

What I'm reading next: Stolen by Lucy Christopher



Friday, September 19, 2014

Falling....asleep....

Falling Fast (Flynn #1) by Sophie McKenzie

Rating: 2 out of 5 hearts
247 pages
Released: March 2012
Buy it @ book depository

This is life, not a rehearsal...
When River auditions for a part in an inter-school performance of Romeo and Juliet, she finds herself smitten by Flynn, the boy playing Romeo. River believes in romantic love, and she can't wait to experience it. But Flynn comes from a damaged family - is he even capable of giving River what she wants? The path of true love never did run smooth...






Review

Falling Fast is your typical boy/girl love story. Boy comes from the bad side of town and the girl is from the middle class side of town. There's also lots of family issues going on behind the scenes - throw in sex, alcohol and Shakespeare which adds up to be a fairly predictable Young Adult romance novel.

I might not have been in the mood, whatever it was, this was not the book for me. There must have been something though that made me want to keep listening. Could be the simple, easy story or that it was a quick 5 hour/4 CD set so I knew that if I kept going there wouldn't be much longer to go.

I didn't know this was the beginning to a series, and I have no desire to find out anything more about River and Flynn. Sorry guys! 


On the cover

Typical teen romance cover, couple cuddling in a field and looking so in love. I love the awesome bright colors of the title but that's about it. It's very boring..

What I'm listening to next: Broken by C.J Lyons



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Fox chases the O'Hare

The Heist (Fox and O'Hare #1) by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg

Rating: 4 out of 5 hearts
372 pages
Released: June 2013
Buy it @ book depository

FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world’s most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years the only name she’s cared about is Nicolas Fox—an international crook she wants in more ways than one.              

Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail—particularly Kate O’Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there’s no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman . . . even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: He convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.

Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate’s dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first.





Review 

I'm a huge fan of the 'Stephanie Plum' series also written by Janet Evanovich, so I thought I'd give this new, co-authored series a go.

I've never read anything by Lee Goldberg but after reading this, I really like his style. To me, it felt like I was watching a movie. I could imagine everything so easily in my head and the plot was more suited to a movie or tv show formula than that of Evanovich's normal writing method that I'm used to. 

This was another book I listened to as an audio and it wasn't too bad. The voice actor was a man and I didn't particularly like how he performed Kate's voice, but I learned to live with it.

People who read crime novels all the time may find this a little predictable and maybe even boring, but for me I found it to be an easy read that was a lot of fun, and what I've come to expect from Evanovich. What I usually expect from her is hot romance and she doesn't disappoint with this series. The sexual tension between Nick and Kate was steamy, but I have a feeling once something does happen between them, then it could fizzle out quite quickly. Here's hoping the series doesn't drag on too long with this going on.

If you're looking for something similar to the 'Stephanie Plum' series with a different twist, then I highly recommend this series. A bit of fun and a whole lot of action rolled in to one pretty cool book!

On the cover

I'm not a huge fan of this cover, I think it's the green and yellow. It almost looks like a movie cover - I can see it now, two well known rom-com actors (male & female) with arms crossed and back to back staring over their shoulders at each other...

What I'm listening to next: Falling Fast by Sophie McKenzie



Monday, September 15, 2014

Killing is what Jack Reacher does best

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1) by Lee Child

Rating: 4 out of 5 hearts
524 pages
Released: 1997
Buy it @ book depository

Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he’s arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn’t kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn’t stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell. 

The sleepy, forgotten town of Margrave, Georgia, hasn't seen a crime in decades, but within the span of three days it witnesses events that leave everyone stunned. An unidentified man is found beaten and shot to death on a lonely country road. The police chief and his wife are butchered on a quiet Sunday morning. Then a bank executive disappears from his home, leaving his keys on the table and his wife frozen with fear. The easiest suspect is Jack Reacher - an outsider, a man just passing through. But Reacher is a tough ex-military policeman, trained to think fast and act faster. When authorities learn the first victim was someone from Reacher's past, and he cannot convince them of his innocence, his patient self-defense becomes a raging crusade of revenge. With two cops who believe in him - a thoughtful black detective and a woman named Roscoe - he closes in on a ruthless conspiracy hiding behind Margrave's rural charm. But closing in on him is a team of killers. Step by step, the two teams circle - waiting to see which will be the first to walk onto the killing floor.




Review

I saw the movie adaption "Jack Reacher" and I thought it was awesome! Because of this I knew that I HAD to read the books, so I started at the beginning of the series. Now that I've read one I still think that even though Tom Cruise looks nothing like the 'book' version of Jack Reacher (blonde and VERY tall), he still did a pretty good job and I think the movie does the book justice.

I decided to listen to this on audio book mainly because it was available through the library, and when I can, I like to listen to books instead of read them. It means I can get through twice as many books - one I'm reading and the other I'm listening. I'm so glad I listened to this because it had me hooked almost right away.

Jack Reacher is a tough, ex-military bad ass who doesn't care who he has to kill to get answers. Normally I read mystery/crime novels in which the detective or main character catch the bad guy to put him in jail, but nope not Jack Reacher. He doesn't care about catching the bad guys - he kills the bad guys!

The story was really exciting and had me guessing the whole time. There was lots of detail and I learned a lot from this book (I can't tell you what I learnt because it will give away too much of the story). To sum up it was fast-paced, intriguing and at times very funny. I can't wait to read more about Jack Reacher.


On the cover

I'm not sure what the red hand print represents, makes me think this is a horror novel not just a thriller/crime novel. I do like the clean, simple look though.

What I'm listening to next: The Heist by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg




Monday, August 25, 2014

The Fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars. But in ourselves

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Rating: 5 out of 5 hearts
318 pages
Released: January 2012
Buy it @ book depository

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten




Review

This is the second John Green book that I've read and I have a feeling that it may be a bad idea reading this before any of the others, How will they live up to this?

I'm sure a lot of people have read this by now so my review is going to be in a sea of millions, so I'm going to simply speak about my thoughts and how the book made me feel.

I started off thinking that I may not like this and I've hyped it up too much, but it wasn't long before Hazel and Gus took me along with them on their journey

I found myself connecting to all the characters in different ways, even the minor players had so much to add to the story. I loved how Hazel & Gus fell so quickly and deeply in love - I guess it would be hard knowing you were going to die and not having forever to be with someone and grow old together. I also loved the connection they had with each other, they fit so well together. You know when it's meant to be, when you have that someone that just "gets" you. You can laugh and be silly with one another, but it's also the way you can know how the other person is feeling without even talking. I have that with my special someone and John Green has been able to capture this. 

This is such a quote worthy book - there are so many that I would wear on a t-shirt or as a framed print because there's so much meaning and 'realness' to them. Below are some of my favourites. Now get out there and read this!

"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once"

"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities"

"You gave me forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful"

"The world is not a wish granting factory"

"My thoughts are stars and I can't fathom the constellations"

"That's the things about pain, it demands to be felt"

On the cover

This cover is probably very well known by everyone since the movie release. I love this cover a lot! The colours, the font and the simplistic overall look. 

What I'm listening to next: Killing Floor by Lee Child



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