Monday, February 24, 2014

This is not a test, it wasn't the best.

This is not a test by Courtney Summers

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
323 pages
Released: June 2012
Buy it @ book depository

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Review

 

This was one of those books that I've been dying to read for a while, and when I finally did read it I was a little disappointed. I wasn't expecting a zombie novel with lots of blood & gore because I knew that it wasn't all about that. I get that there was more to this novel, but it wasn't doing it for me.

This is a story about six teenagers trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, and as I mentioned earlier it's more than that. There's issues of death, abuse, suicide and under-age sex to name a few. Very hard hitting at times.

Courtney Summers writes a fantastic book with realistic characters that have flaws. I think I have a love/hate relationship with her books because I enjoy the writing and the story but I usually dislike the characters. As with her books, nothing is off limits and intimate issues are discussed.

There are a few squeamish zombie moments in this, but it's good for someone who scares easily because they're not that bad. Overall I'm glad I read it, but I couldn't connect with the characters.

On the cover

 

I like this cover but not as much as the normal book cover. They are very similar with the hair flowing across the face and the light blue. The cover shows an actual scene that happens in the book, well I'm pretty sure anyway.


What I'm listening to next: More than this by Patrick Ness


 
 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Neon Nails using ChiChi polish


These nails were a lot of fun and so simple. The best tip I can give you with using neon colour nail polish is to put a coat of white nail polish on first and then put the neon colour on over the white. It makes the colour more vibrant. I used a toothpick to pick out the little bits of glitter and positioned them around my nails. I used the nail polish set below to create both the designs in this post.


With this mani I painted some white nail polish on first using the Sinful Colors I'm holding in the picture, then I picked 5 of the colours above and simply painted one side with one colour and continued it along to all the other fingers and the other colours.


What manicure are you wearing at the moment?


Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to get inside a serial killers head

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Rating: 4 out of 5 hearts
361 Pages
Released: April 2012
Buy it @ book depository

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?




Review

This book should come with a warning "Not for the faint hearted"! It was very disturbing at times. But don't think that I didn't like it, because I did!

Serial killer Billy Dent has taught his son, Jazz Dent, everything there is to know about how to kill people and get rid of their bodies - how to become the perfect serial killer just like him. Jazz doesn't want to like his dad though and tries hard to get him out of his head, which is hard when dead bodies start showing up in his local town. Jazz desperately wants to help the police in figuring out who the killer is. As the bodies pile up will they be able to find the killer before he/she moves on? You will have to read to find out.

Jazz is a hard character to like - he's a bit like Dexter (for any one who has ever watched that show like me). In the TV show you come to love Dexter because he has real feelings and is a good person even though he has evil tendencies and wants to kill people. Jazz is similar because he hunts down serial killers like Dexter except he doesn't kill them. Jazz is trying to fit into society after his father is convicted and thrown into jail. Before this Jazz had been there for all of "Dear Old Dad's" triple number kills, he didn't witness them all but he may well have because his father would give him a play by play how it happened. Poor kid!

The secondary characters were very easy to like. Jazz's best friend, Howie, is a hemophiliac (someone who's blood is thin and would bleed out quite quickly with a small cut). He has a quirky sense of humor and lightens, at times, a dark novel.

Then there's Connie, Jazz's level headed African-American girlfriend and lastly G. William, who is the typical round, older sheriff of the town. He already has a connection with Jazz because of their past, but they become closer as the book goes on.

There's a little twist at the end and I didn't guess who the killer was which as always is a good thing. I can not wait to read the rest of the books. Even though this is in the teen books, I think adults who love crime would love this series. I don't recommend this to younger teens, some sections are gruesome.


On the cover

This cover depicts the grisly things you can expect on the inside, blood splatter and all. This time you can definitely judge a book by it's cover.

What I'm reading next: The Reluctant Hallelujah by Gabrielle Williams 



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Books I'm pining for - February 2014

"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. Some very pretty covers in this line up.


From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.


I adored Stephanie Perkin's other books and I have been hanging out for this one for so long!




Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility. 

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

I can not wait to read this one! Something like normal was a treasure and I'm hoping this one is too! 


A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE


I've loved everything I've read by E. Lockhart and I was extremely excited to find out she had written another book. This sounds pretty rad! 


An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.


I have heard so many great things about this book and it sounds like it's right up my alley.


In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense


I'm a huge fan of the Vampire Academy series so I'm looking forward to reading this new series by the same author. Sounds interesting too!


Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary, the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.

A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY.


This sounds so mysterious and I love a good thriller!



 


For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.


I read "Speak" and thought it was an interesting read so I want to see if this would be any good.



It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

--

A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy


An interesting idea and I love a good love story with a twist.

What books are you pining for?





Thursday, February 6, 2014

I loved living in the wild

Wildlife by Fiona Wood

Rating: 5 out of 5 hearts
384 pages
Released: June 2013
Buy it @ angus & robertson

Life? It’s simple: be true to yourself.
The tricky part is finding out exactly who you are…

In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened.
A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard.
And I kissed Ben Capaldi.


Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray.

And as Sibylla confronts a tangle of betrayal, she needs to renegotiate everything she thought she knew about surviving in the wild.

A story about first love, friendship and NOT fitting in.


Review

 

What a lovely surprise of a book. I'm a bit over reading series at the moment, so I thought I'd read a stand alone novel for a change. Little did I know this could be seen as a companion type novel to Fiona Wood's first book "Six Impossible Things". Oh well, I will just have to read that one now because I'm completely hooked on Wood's writing. She has created the perfect teenage voice in her book.

Now for the characters. Sibylla (interesting name) is such a sweetie but is also a little lost. At times I felt for her. She's searching for herself and what better place to do that than the quiet wilderness. Lou is the broken girl, who, even though she may not think it, is actually quite strong. I want to read Six Impossible Things so I can see the Lou from the photobooth pictures she treasures so much. Another character which I probably loved the most was Michael. He is a super genius, nerdy guy which I think would be fun to be around. He's an interesting character.

I didn't read the blurb so I didn't know that we are reading from two character's point of view. Sibylla is written from the first person and Lou is written in the form of journal entries. It took me a couple of chapters to figure it out, so you can imagine it was a little confusing.

I wanted to read this because I had heard about it at one of the State Library's seminars and one of the presenters raved about it. I'm finding that Australian authors are amazing and their writing/books should be read all over the world. Makes me proud to be Australian. 

If you're looking for a quick read with lots of heart, and things that will make you think about long after reading, then this is the book for you!

On the cover

 

Such a bright, pleasant cover. I can imagine laying/sitting along with those boots and looking up at the clouds and making shapes out of them. Being lazy and wasting the day away, dreaming of all those things you want in life. 


What I'm reading next: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Golfballs recipe


I have loved golfballs ever since I was a kid. I always thought they were really hard to make but they are surprisingly easy. The reason I thought they were hard is because my mum never had a food processor so the biscuits had to get broken up in a bowl with a mallet, which let me tell you, takes AGES!

I don't have a food processor either and I used to do it the same as my mum, but I found a way to break up the biscuits quickly and easily without a food processor. I put the biscuits in a ziploc bag and then step all over them! Ok, Ok you may think that's weird but it works! You can also use a rolling pin if you like instead because that also works haha!

Makes: approx 25 - 30 (all depends on how big you make your balls)

Prep time: approx 30mins

Setting time: approx 30mins

Ingredients:

1 250g pack of Marie biscuits
1/2 cup of dessicated coconut (plus more coconut for rolling in)
2 tablsepoons of cocoa
1 tin 395g sweetend condensed milk

Instructions:

1. Crush up all the biscuits whichever way you like (or you can do it like me) then put into a big bowl.

2. Add the cocoa and coconut, mix then add the condensed milk and mix some more. This is your golfball mixture.

3. Put some extra coconut in a seperate bowl ready for the rolling.

4. Using a teaspoon, scoop small amounts of mixture and roll into balls with your hands. Then roll in the coconut bowl.

5. Do this until all mixture is used. You will need to continually wash your hands because they get a bit sticky unless you wear gloves.

6. Set aside balls on a tray already lined with baking paper and then put them in the fridge for approx 30mins.

7. Enjoy!

This is such a simple recipe and they are delicious! Perfect for kids and also fun for them to make with you.

Do you have a favourite food you loved as a kid?







Monday, February 3, 2014

Not sure if this is legendary material

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

Rating: 3 out of 5 hearts
320 pages
Released: November 2011
Buy it @ book depository

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills. 



Review

I've heard a lot of good things about this series and I was really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately it wasn't as good as I had hoped. The story was fairly predictable, about a girl living the rich luxurious life and a boy living the poor low life. They meet and the action begins.

The mystery and suspense kept me intrigued enough, but I saw a lot of things coming. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but it didn't feel like there was anything new to this that I haven't already read. One thing I did like was the romance between June and Day. There were some swoony moments that were quite nice and done well, no insta-love here.

It's clear this book is merely written to set up bigger things, there's lots of conspiracies going on but not much is revealed. I will read the rest of the books in the series but I'm not in any rush to do so. I'm hoping for a bit more in the second novel.

 

On the cover 

This cover is very stiff and stark. It's not all that appealing to me and even after reading this I don't know what the symbol is on the front cover. Can someone explain it to me please?!


What I'm reading next: Wildlife by Fiona Woods



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Crackle Nail Polish

I know you've probably seen tons of crackle nail polish already as it's old news but it's another mani that I love doing because it's so simple and looks amazing! Many of your favourite nail polish brands have their own crackle nail polish so take your pick which one you would like to use.



Step 1. Apply base colour - my color is white.
Step 2. Once base coat is dry, apply your crackle nail polish colour.
Step 3. Watch your nail polish crackle before your eyes!

Tips.
The thicker you apply your crackle top coat, the bigger the crackle is.
Try not to go over the crackle too many times because it may not work.
Always apply a clear top coat to make it shiny as most crackle polishes dry with a matte look.

Which colours do you like best?



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