The second in the trilogy of the amazing Hunger Games. There's not so much I can say about the plot of this book without giving away the ending of theThe second in the trilogy of the amazing Hunger Games. There's not so much I can say about the plot of this book without giving away the ending of the first one, or ruining the surprise of the second.
What I can say is that it is just a brilliant! I cannot wait to read the last in the trilogy. I want it NOW!...more
I'm struggling somewhat to write a review of this book as really not much happened.
The premise is great: British girl at Bangkok airport gets kidnappI'm struggling somewhat to write a review of this book as really not much happened.
The premise is great: British girl at Bangkok airport gets kidnapped and drugged and taken to Australia by her captor where he keeps her in the middle of the baron outback with no way of escape. I wanted to like it but the truth be told I was bored throughout most of it. I didn't feel any anxiety for Gemma's predicament or feel her fear, I never really got a sense that the book was set in the Australian outback (I knew it was set there, but it didn't feel real). There was not an adequate enough explanation for why her kidnapper, Ty, had taken her.
I have read other books about being in the Australian outback (Douglas Kennedy's The Dead Heart scared the life out of me) but as far as this book goes, it's not one I could recommend unfortunatley....more
Love, love, loved it!!! I feel like I'm on a bit of a YA kick at the moment - I like to think I can still live vicariously through teenagers (it's beeLove, love, loved it!!! I feel like I'm on a bit of a YA kick at the moment - I like to think I can still live vicariously through teenagers (it's been a while!). I read this book in less than a day; I could not put it down. Infact I was up at 2am this morning with my eye-sockets sagging half way down my cheeks 'cos I just had to keep reading the damn thing!
The story starts in France in 1565, when a fallen angel appears to a boy in a remote field and tells him that he has a job for him to do and an oath to swear. Flashforward several hundred years and Nora Grey is a sixteen year old student in Maine, with little interest in boys until Patch turns up in her Biology class, as a lab partner, seemingly hell-bent on making her life a misery with his arrogant, uncommunicative ways. Everywhere she turns, there he is, and trouble seems to follow him around. Nora soon finds herself in the middle of something that she can't explain but she doesn't know who to trust.
The book has a great setting: eery fog, desolate roads and rainswept coastal towns. It's dark yet vibrant and pacy at the same time. The characters were great; I especially loved Nora's best friend, Vee. Her humour alone could have sold the book to me.
I really enjoyed this book; I almost turned into a prune in the bath when reading it because I couldn't bear to put it down to even climb out. Highly recommended!...more
Grace was attacked by a pack of wolves when she was eleven years old. She was dragged from her back garden which back onto Boundry Woods. But she didnGrace was attacked by a pack of wolves when she was eleven years old. She was dragged from her back garden which back onto Boundry Woods. But she didn't struggle or cry even though she could see her own blood in the snow: instead what she remembers about that day is the wolf who saved her. The wolf with the yellow eyes who looked right at her and dragged the other wolves off her.
Over the next six years, Grace becomes obssessed with the wolves in Mercy Falls, where she lives. But it's the one with the yellow eyes who she seeks out. On the occasions when he's appeared at the edge of her garden they watch each other, waiting. One day, a local boy from her school is attacked by wolves and dies and the town is in uproar and a party of men go hunting the wolves in the woods. When Grace returns home she finds a naked boy about her age on her porch who has been shot. She takes him inside and recognises him instantly - the yellow eyes, Sam.
What follows is a love story between two people who have "known" each other for years. It's simple, tender and subtle. They are drawn together and can't be apart, but there is something in their way - whenever it gets cold, Sam changes back into a wolf and this year there is a race against time to stop him changing as Sam thinks it may be his last year as a human.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I can absolutely see how it would appeal to teenagers but I think it's a good one for adults too. It's touching and tender. I am looking forward to reading LINGER, the next in the series when it's out....more
I am a huge fan of Mary Higgins Clark (her books are real comfort reads) but this one really let me down. It is the first I have read by both MHC andI am a huge fan of Mary Higgins Clark (her books are real comfort reads) but this one really let me down. It is the first I have read by both MHC and her daughter, Carol, and I noticed such a difference in the quality of both the plot and the narrative. The plot was really pretty terrible and had me rolling my eyes and groaning on a page by page basis. A small town is gearing up for a Christmas festival when a small group of shop-workers in a syndicate win the lottery, then the next day one of them goes missing. Throw in a couple of dastardly crooks with corny lines and a some amatuer sleuths whose reason for being there I can't quite figure out, and that is pretty much it. Such a shame.
Having said that, it certainly won't put me off reading any more of MHC's books, but I may give the joint written ones a wide berth in the future....more
This was the perfect good ole-fashioned whodunnit to read while being wrapped up in the front of the fire poorly. I am pretty new to Mary Higgins ClarThis was the perfect good ole-fashioned whodunnit to read while being wrapped up in the front of the fire poorly. I am pretty new to Mary Higgins Clark but I now know that she can be completely and utterly relied on for comfort reading.
Emily Graham moves in to her ansestoral home in Spring Lake, NJ knowing that over 100 years ago a family member was murdered in that very town. In the following years, two more of her ancestors friends were also murdered and the town now appears to have a copycat murdered over a century later with young girls disappearing on the same dates. The last date that fits with the older crimes is less than a week ago so there is a race against time to find the perpertrator before he strikes again.
As with all MHG's books, there are suspects aplently and you soon learn that, true to form, it could be anyone of them. I love the fact that her books have no gratuitous gore in them, just an old- fashioned whodunnit. I enjoy her books in the same way that I enjoy Agatha Christie's; you know what you're getting and can rely on them.
This book is amazing! It was so difficult to put it down that I cursed every time I had to. Such a brilliant idea for a plot and coupled with being soThis book is amazing! It was so difficult to put it down that I cursed every time I had to. Such a brilliant idea for a plot and coupled with being so well executed has made it one of my favourite books, possibly of all time.
The book is set in Panem (formerly the USA) where there are districts known as the Capitol (who rule everything else) and Districts 1-12. Seventy-five years ago, the people of the Districts (who are fenced in and not allowed to communicate with other districts) staged a rebellion so in order to make sure that it never happens again, the Capitol invented THE HUNGER GAMES. Every year, two children (one girl and one boy, aged 12-18) are picked randomly from each district and are put into an arena which can be anything from swamps to lakes or forrests or deserts and the victor is the last one standing once all the others are dead. The Hunger Games are mandatory TV viewing for all Districts who have to watch their loved ones be killed on live TV. The only ones who relish this are the people of the Capitol where the cheer their favourite tributes on and place bets about who will survive and who will die.
Katniss Everdeen is sixteen years old and when her 12 year old sister's name is read out at the reaping (the televised event where the names are called) she steps up and volunteers to go in her place. Katniss's district partner is Peeta, a boy from school who has always liked her. The book follows their journey from District 12 to the Capitol where they are put into the arena to fend for themselves.
I read that the author got her idea for the book when she was flicking between channesl on the TV and on one side was a reality TV show and on the other was footage of the horrors of the war in Iraq and she wondered what it would be like to put these two together. The synopsys for this book may seem farfetched but to be honest I'm not so sure that we're all that far away from these games anyway. You only need to watch Jerry Springer or Big Brother (the UK version) to realise that so much of it is set up or instigated to get the best arguments and subsequently ratings possible. It's not that far away from the Gladiators in Rome killing each other for the publics viewing pleasure.
Having said that, this book is aimed at young adults and although the theme of the book is one that really makes you think, it isn't gory or gruesome and is appropriate for its intended audience. I may be well past my teenage years but I can honestly say that this book is one of the best I have read for pure excitement and that "un-put-downable" factor.
Although I am not a young adult (and haven't been for far longer than I care to remember) I really did enjoy this book. Ever Bloom has survived a carAlthough I am not a young adult (and haven't been for far longer than I care to remember) I really did enjoy this book. Ever Bloom has survived a car accident that kills her whole family, including the dog and she is the only surviving member. When she awakes she is able to read peoples minds, know their entire life story, see their auras and not only that but her younger sister, Riley, who was killed in the accident is still very much around. Enter Damen, a drop-dead-gorgeous boy who joins her new school (after she is whisked off to live with her Aunty in California) who starts leaving her red tulips everywhere and confesses that he is an "immortal".
When I first opened it I was determined not to make the obvious Twilight comparissons but I'm afraid that they just leaped off the page at me and I feel unable to avoid them: High school students, a girl with hardly any friends and wanting to be left alone, mysterious and gorgeous boy who can move at the speed of light, knows his school-work off by heart without even doing homework etc and never eats anything. That said, that's where the comparissons end. The love story between Ever and Damen isn't even close to that of Bella and Edward. There was no real "falling in love" or the romance of Twilight. In fact, some of the narrative felt very clumsy and verged on ridiculous.
That said, I still couldn't put it down. I read it in less than a day and was glued to the pages. Ever's sister, Riley, was a wonderful character and gave some great light relief. It says in the author interview at the end of the book that Riley is to get her own series soon - I shall be looking out for that, as I will the next 5 books in this series. ...more
What a wonderful children's book. It took me back to the sort of books I loved as a child.
Winter Shadow is a story about a girl and her Grandfather whWhat a wonderful children's book. It took me back to the sort of books I loved as a child.
Winter Shadow is a story about a girl and her Grandfather who live in a little house in a tiny village on the edge of a forest where the snow is knee-deep. Maria finds an abandoned wolf cub on the way to school one day and takes it home to warm it by the fire and look after it. What follows is a lovely tale about friendship and nurturing and fun. It might not end in the way that you think it will either.
I devoured this in one go last night and it brought back all the cosy feelings of being read to as a child. The illustrations are beautiful and really capture the magic of this little snowy village and Maria's companionship with her little wolf, Shadow. I didn't think they made 'em like this anymore. I am going to give this as a gift to my 6 year old neice and I just know she'll love it....more
Ahh, yes. The Twilight series; my (not so) secret guilty pleasure. If you're a fan of this series (or a fan of Rob or Taylor) then you'll love this boAhh, yes. The Twilight series; my (not so) secret guilty pleasure. If you're a fan of this series (or a fan of Rob or Taylor) then you'll love this book.
The photos on their own are stunning as it shows how some of the scenes were shot (cliff diving, motorbike riding etc) and how the stunts were done. But not only that, there is commentary from the cast and crew and details about how the locations were chosen, how the scene was shot etc. If this had been a picture book alone I would have loved it as they are such stunning photos but for any fan of the series the commentary is a must to get behind the the film and the actors.
What a great book; especially the end where I did NOT see any of those twists coming. It's the sort of book that makes you want to turn to the beginniWhat a great book; especially the end where I did NOT see any of those twists coming. It's the sort of book that makes you want to turn to the beginning again to see where you might have picked up clues or see what you missed.
I am a HUGE Joanne Harris fan, my favourites of hers being the "foodie" books and I must admit to being a tad sceptical when I picked this up thinking that maybe she wouldn't do thriller novels quite as well. I was wrong - this lady is no one-trick-pony. From the first page you know that there are a murder or two which sets the reader up for the unfolding story ahead. The story is set in a public boys school that is centuries old and has a mighty reputation to uphold and is narrated by two people in turn to keep us guessing. The old school teacher, Mr Straitley, adds some real comic moments too which add warmth to the book. However, whatever you think you know about this book, think again. By three quarters of the way through I guarantee that you will flick back wondering when you could possibly have missed the signs (not once but twice). Mwaaaaahahahahahaha!
I highly recommend this book; I had great fun reading it.
What a wonderful trip down memory lane this book was. I remember watching the TV series back in the 70's and 80's and picking this book up for the firWhat a wonderful trip down memory lane this book was. I remember watching the TV series back in the 70's and 80's and picking this book up for the first time was like settling down by the fire with old friends.
Set in the Yorkshire Dales, this is the first book in a series by rookie vet James Herriot and his new life in the countryside and among the animals and his struggle to win over the old Yorkshire farmers and eccentric characters he meets there. There were so many times when I literally laughed out loud (once in a quiet hospital corridor while waiting for someone to come out of the theatre - which got me a few horrified looks!). The character of Mrs Pumphrey and her dog Tricki Woo had me bent over crying with laughter!
I just loved this book. I live in Yorkshire, about an hour from the Dales, and it has made me want to jump in my car and head off to Herriot country; the whole place just came alive with his passion for the region. I am really looking forward to reading the rest in the series - this is the sort of comfort reading that I know I can look forward to if I need a break from real life. In the words of James Herriot while describing his beloved countryside - I felt like I could breathe. This book is a real tonic - highly recommended. ...more
From monkey prostitution to raising a terrorist......
I found this book interesting, frustrating, fascinating and infuriating (mostly at the same time)From monkey prostitution to raising a terrorist......
I found this book interesting, frustrating, fascinating and infuriating (mostly at the same time). The duo that brought Freakonomics with answers to why drug dealers live with their mothers and how the name that your parents gave you can determine which job you end up getting have now given us Superfreakonomics.
To rogue economists or mad scientists this books meanderings may be make perfect sense, but to the likes of me I had a job trying to fathom how we got from one subject to another and then back to the original one at times. It almost seemed like a couple of kids that get so excited about their school project that they just want to tell you everything all about it all at once. That said, some of the themes and questions posed I found fascinating:
Why should suicide bombers buy life insurance? Why is May the worst month for a baby in Uganda and Michigan, USA to be born? How did 9/11 start the trickle down effect of the credit crunch? Why could eating kangaroo meat help save the planet? Why did 38 people watch Kitty Genovese be murdered and say nothing?
When I read Freakonomics a few years ago I gave it 2 stars. It attempted to tell us that teachers cheat, estate agents lie and black kids are usually given different names to white kids. You don't say! After having read this second offering I have decided to accept it for what it is - fun and light entertainment. Some of the findings are really fascinating and some are pretty banal and even confusing (the global warming section had my eyes glazing over).
However, to end on a positive note, the epilogue was genius! If you have ever wondered if monkey prostitution exists, wonder no more..... ...more
I loved this book so much I didn't want it to end.
Based on the real-life characters of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot in the early 19th century, tI loved this book so much I didn't want it to end.
Based on the real-life characters of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot in the early 19th century, this is a story of two pioneering women in the coastal town of Lyme Regis who discover some of the most amazing fossils ever found and who influence scientific thinking around the possiblility that extinction may exist and who also discovered the fossils of previously unknown prehistoric animals. So little is known about these characters becuase of the fact that they were women in a time when it was thought that science was a mans game. In fact, Mary is only mentioned briefly in a science paper years later. The relationship between Mary and Elizabeth is such a charming one too due to the fact that there is almost a 20 year age gap and Elizabeth is a well-off spinster and Mary is an uneducated working class girl. What brings them together is their love of the great outdoors, fossil hunting and discovery. Elizabeth is also later instrumental in getting Mary some of the recognition she deserves for her finds.
I am a huge Tracy Chevalier fan and this book just reinforced all the reasons why. This book was a joy to read from start to finish and I could have read on for another 300 pages easily. I highly recommend!...more
This is the third Mary Higgins Clark book that I have listened to on audiobook and I just love them. They are perfect car journey listening. I love thThis is the third Mary Higgins Clark book that I have listened to on audiobook and I just love them. They are perfect car journey listening. I love the way that there are always a handful of potential suspects and trying to work out "whodunnit". I also love that they always have a great epilogue that leaves you feeling satisfied.
In this book, a university student vanishes without a trace for no apparant reason and calls home every mothers day for the next 10 years. After his latest call home, his sister vowes to find him and opens a can of worms that someone wants to stay buried when long buried secrets are unearthed.
These Higgins Clark audiobooks are definitely a winner witj me for easing the pain of traffic-jams....more
I loathe cooking but I love books (and food!). My husband loathes reading but loves cooking - et voila! I read the book and tell him what yummy foodsI loathe cooking but I love books (and food!). My husband loathes reading but loves cooking - et voila! I read the book and tell him what yummy foods I want him to cook and he gets down and dirty in the kitchen while I bark orders. Perfect!
Did I mention I hate cooking? Well, I really do. I am totally crap at it. However, I can spend many an hour drooling over a good cook book like Jamie's latest offering. In this one he has toured America and experienced local cooking for himself and in true Jamie style added a few twists of his own. There are sections on food from New York, Louisiana, Arizona, Georgia, Los Angeles etc and each section comes with at least a 2 page spread about his time there and who he met that inspired him, complete with lots of pictures. He then dedicates each section to dishes from that region, which all look totally scrummy, and tells us how to cook them rather than just listing the ingredients and bullet point instructions.
I have had 3 dishes from this book now, all lovingly prepared while I sit with my feet up, and I can give it a huge thumbs up so far. ...more
I just love these Eyewitness guides, they are so colourful and vibrant. I bought this prior to my latest trip to Paris and found it so much better andI just love these Eyewitness guides, they are so colourful and vibrant. I bought this prior to my latest trip to Paris and found it so much better and more useful that other giudes I have used in the past. There is so much history and detail in it that I found places that I didn't know about despite several previous visits.
The book is split into really easy to follow sections - basically the diffrerent quarters (i.e. The Latin Quarter, Le Marais, Monmartre, The Opera Quarter etc). At the beginning of each section there is a small map of Paris at the bottom of the page highlighting where it is in relation to the other areas and then over the page a more detailed map of the sites in that area with snippets of info. The following pages go into more detail about various sites, buildings etc. It's choc full of so many things I wanted to cram into my weekend but alas some will have to be saved for another trip (any excuse!).
There is also loads of info on the best places to eat (again by area, and also price), different types of shops, markets etc as well as all the practical info about getting around and underground and overground maps. I read the whole things from start to finish before I left for Paris becuase I found it so interesting as a book as well as just a city guide.
I highly recommend this book - perfect for planning and drooling over....more
Tanya, a young interior designer in her twenties is shocked when she sees in a news article that underground chamber has been found with the bodies ofTanya, a young interior designer in her twenties is shocked when she sees in a news article that underground chamber has been found with the bodies of 6 young girls who have been there for a few decades - one of the bodies is found with a silver locket with the name "Annabelle M Granger" on it. Twenty five years earlier, before her family went on the run, Tanya's name was Annabelle Granger, and that was her locket! Annabelle and her family have moved and changed identities so many times since she was 7 years old, always hiding from something but she doesn't know what. Now the underground chamber has been found and her past appears to be catching up with her.
I listened to this on Audio CD and I was gripped from the start. There are a few suspects and plenty of surprises, particulary at the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this - although if you plan on listening to it in the car like I did, then best not to in the dark on a lonely road........more
I listeded to this on audio CD in the car and was gripped from start to finish.
Celia Nolan is given a very expensive gift for her birthday by her newI listeded to this on audio CD in the car and was gripped from start to finish.
Celia Nolan is given a very expensive gift for her birthday by her new husband who wanted to surprise her - a house! The house is beautiful and set in lovely countryside, but what Alex Nolan doesn't know is that his wife has already been there. In fact she lived there as a child under a different name - Liza Barton. The same Liza Barton (now dubbed Little Lizzie Borden by the townsfolk) who shot and killed her Mother and wounded her stepfather in that very house aged 10.
Twenty-four years later, all Celia's old memories are awakened by the house as it appears that someone is trying to scare her by painting messages on the lawn and leaving old newspaper clippings around of the Liza Barton case. Does somebody remember her and know who she is? Just when she thinks things can't get any worse, people start turning up dead and all the evidence seems to be pointing at Celia.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this. There were enough potential suspects to make it interesting and the plot didn't have any unecesaary lulls in it. I loved the ending too; very satisfactory. I really recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good whodunnit. No blood, guts and gore, just good story-telling....more
I loved this! I didn't realised when I picked this from Amazon Vine that it was the 3rd book in a series and when it arrived I did wonder if it would bI loved this! I didn't realised when I picked this from Amazon Vine that it was the 3rd book in a series and when it arrived I did wonder if it would be OK as a stand alone read. I needent have worried, it's fine on its own although it has now made me want to race out and buy the first two in the series.
The series is about a sexy, female serial killer, Gretchen Lowell, who in this 3rd book has escpaped from jail shortly before a new spree of killings begin. Police are not only trying to work out if these new grisly murders are the work of their old friend Gretchen, or if they are dealing with a crazed copy-cat killer. Not only that but they are also battling with the celebrity-like status Gretchen has earned herself as the beauty killer by the way of websites, tour buses to the sites of her murders, and FREE GRETCHEN T-shirts.
I just loved this; I couldn't put it down it was so much fun to read. OK, it lacks some of the finesse of more seasoned crime writers such as Val McDermid and Lynda La Plante etc, but I would certainly buy more from this author and I'm dying to pick up the first 2 in the series to see how Gretchen started her one-woman crime wave.