I had seen this in book shops for months and had picked it up and put it down again so many times that I finally decided to give it ago based on so maI had seen this in book shops for months and had picked it up and put it down again so many times that I finally decided to give it ago based on so many positive reviews I had seen. I'm so glad I did. For the 3 days it took me to read it I was immersed in the life of a young German girl during World War 2 and although the book prepares the reader almost from the beginning for what is going to happen I wasn't prepared for the ending to pack such an emotional punch.
The book itself is narrated by Death (not the Grim Reaper image that most of us have, but a figure who roams the world collecting the souls of the newly departed and gently taking them away with him.) Death tells the story of Liesel, a young girl who has been placed with foster parents in a poor part of Munich and we follow her story throughout the war. We are told from the start that most of the characters we meet will die but because we spend so long with them and become so involved in their lives, it doesn't make it any less shocking by the end of the book.
This book is brilliant in the way that it manages to avoid the gory detials of war but involves us in the day to day lives of some of those who lived through it. It is so important that we never forget what happened during that time and that there were so many wonderful, selfless people out there that were prepared to help others.
I highly recommend this book and I'm sure it is one that will stay with me for a long time. ...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
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
This book mesmorised me from page one - I just couldn't put it down. After successfully managing to avoid all the hype around it until now I picked thThis book mesmorised me from page one - I just couldn't put it down. After successfully managing to avoid all the hype around it until now I picked this up a few days ago to finally see what the fuss was about now that it is out in the cinemas. I barely managed to stop for breath between the first and last page.
This is a beautiful and spell-binding love story between Bella and Edward, two highschool class mates in a school in Forks, Washington State. Nothing much unusual about that, but Edward is no ordinary teenager - he is a vampire. We watch them fall in love and the story is so tender and moving it completely draws you in. I may be in my late 30's (proving that this book is accessable to all ages) but I can still remember those heady days of watching someone across the food hall, memorising their time-table so you knew where they would be at all times and affording tiny glances across the classroom. The way that Bella and Edward fall in love is truly magical.
What makes this book so special is the brilliant mix of romance and adventure. There are plenty of nail-biting moments that make you keep wanting to turn those pages into the night.
My 5 stars are due to the fact that I found it such a page turner and couldn't wait to pick it up when I wasn't reading it. ...more
I thought this book was fabulous! The bizzare thing is, it is 20 years since I was a teenager and even then this is the sortRead this for Amazon Vine.
I thought this book was fabulous! The bizzare thing is, it is 20 years since I was a teenager and even then this is the sort of book that I would have been unlikely to read but yet I found myself not wanting to put it down!
It is the story of a freak accident involving tom-boy, nerdy Emerson Watts and teen supermodel Nikki Howard that means Em's brain is transplanted into Nikki's body. I read it while drying my hair, in the bath, eating tea, and I just wanted to keep turning those pages into the night. It really was such good fun and I am now looking forward to reading the next in the series when it comes out. Who'da thunk?
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.
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
What a quirky little book this is! I had great fun reading it. It even has its own website – yeah it’s aimed at teenagers but I still had a blast readWhat a quirky little book this is! I had great fun reading it. It even has its own website – yeah it’s aimed at teenagers but I still had a blast reading it.
Invisible I is the first book in The Amanda Project series. It starts with three pupils – Callie, Hal and Nia who are all in the same grade but have nothing in common – being summoned to the Principals office and accused of knowing where Amanda Valentino has disappeared to. They all claim ignorance to even knowing Amanda but it turns out that they had all been picked as “guides” for Amanda when she joined the school and nobody else knew about their friendships with the quirky, independent Amanda.
Although Callie, Hal and Nia previously had nothing to do with each other, especially Callie who was a member of the I-Girls (think Mean Girls), they find themselves teaming up to find out what happened to their secret friend, Amanda Valentino. Who was she? The plot thickens as they discover that they had all been told different things by her (where she was from, where she lived etc). They all discover that Amanda had each given them an animal totem that represented who they are too.
This first book in the series is narrated by Callie Leary, who has major problems of her own and is also trying to cope with the disappearance of her own Mum as well as her friend. I believe that the second book is narrated by Hal (which leaves me to guess that there will be a third by Nia). In this first book Hal’s younger sister, Cornelia, sets up a website called The Amanda Project to help them find out where she is. This website actually exists and is great fun. I did the totem test and it turns out that my totem is a Raven (which means I am an intellec – oh yeah!!). Also, the book itself has the cutest illustrations in the pages: ...more
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
I’m finding this book really difficult to review. The main reason for this is that it’s a few years now since I was a teenager (OK, a great many yearsI’m finding this book really difficult to review. The main reason for this is that it’s a few years now since I was a teenager (OK, a great many years) and to do this review justice I am going to have to take myself back to those days; those days of of falling out with your best friend and it ruining your life for an afternoon, unrequited crushes, rumours and gossip that can make your life a misery for a whole day (which feels like a whole year when you’re that age). That’s where I need to place myself in order to get under Hannah’s skin as if I don’t this review will be completely different. In fact, let’s go there – let’s talk about what I thought reading it now and then talk about how I would have felt over 20 year ago.
I’ll start by saying that the premise is brilliant. A box of cassettes lands on your doorstep and when you play them, the voice coming through your speaker-phone is that of Hannah Baker. Only Hannah Baker killed herself two weeks ago. The young boy, Clay, is one of 13 people who will recieve these tapes in turn and each one of those 13 people contributed to why Hannah killed herself. An interview with the author at the end of the book says that he got the idea for the tapes when he was listening to an audio in a museum and he was fascinated with how spooky it was to listen to someones voice who wasn’t really there. That’s how it must have felt to Clay when he played the tapes – for not only was Hannah dead but Clay really liked her. How can he be one of the reasons for her wanting to kill herself? Clay takes the tapes and plays them on a walkman while he follows the map that Hannah also left to point out various places that mean something within her story like the park where she had her first kiss and the party that changed everything.
Adult Head OK, so now onto what I thought: while reading this I decided that I didn’t actually like Hannah very much and had little sympathy for her most of the time. The things she was accusing people of doing to her (most of it unintentional) seemed (to my adult self) pretty lame in most cases. Hannah accuses people of not seeing the real her yet she makes little effort to make any real friends or to open up to others. Kids from her shcool are named and shamed as being one of the catalysts for her suicide and really they didn’t do much other than be normal high school kids. Don’t get me wrong, I know anyone who has read this book will be yelling at the screen “but what about so-and-so?” and yes, there were some horrible people who deserved their cummupance; Hannah was the victim of an untrue rumour that started the snowball effect of her downfall. So why am I so down on Hannah? The truth is, I don’t know. It could be that I’m over all the he-said-she-said school stuff, it could be becasue I’m a northerner and we’re well known up here for not being soft and “brushing ourselves down and just getting on with things”, it could be because Hannah seems so angry and vengeful – fancy making people listen to your last few days on earth and accusing them of putting you in an early grave! Suicidal people, from my understanding, tend to be in a depressive state, not a state of anger like Hannah is. She is bitter and wants people to pay. In my book, that makes her as bad as the people she claims to be the victim of – they will have to live with those tapes for the rest of their lives.
Teenage Head Now onto my “teenage head”. If I had read this book in school I would have loved it, I know I would. At a time when every little thing is magnified to epic proportions, then I would have felt Hannah’s pain. I would have cried for her. She never really got the chance to fit in at her new school because a boy she liked over-egged the details of their first kiss and Hannah had to deal with the consequences for the next few years. As a teenager, I loved the dramatics and what Hannah did with the tapes would have had me punching the air for her – go Hannah! There are some very tender moments in this book too when you really begin to understand how one thing can snowball into another and before you know it you’re at rock bottom.
So, to conclude: I’m still as unsure about it as I was before. Good book? Yes, it’s a great book and quick read. But I still have my problem with Hannah. So my blunt northern self says “come on, pull yourself together, girl!”. ...more
Up until about a week ago I hadn't even heard of this book. Then I saw that it had won both Best YA book and Best Book of 2011 on Goodreads as voted bUp until about a week ago I hadn't even heard of this book. Then I saw that it had won both Best YA book and Best Book of 2011 on Goodreads as voted by the members. I was curious about this book that hadn't reached my radar yet and upon reading the reviews discovered that it was being hailed as the new Hunger Games (which is one of my all-time favourite books). A day or so later I happened to be in a bookshop (what are the chances? Okay, I jest, I am almost a permanent fixture in bookshops) and saw a copy of Divergent staring out at me from the shelves and I just had to have it.
This is a world sometime in the future and set in a city that I believe was once Chicago (as the now-abandoned Sears Tower is based there). Every person in this city belongs to one of five factions: Abnegation (selflessness), Erudite (learning), Amity (kindness), Candor (honesty) or Dauntless (bravery). Beatrice Prior (or Tris as she becomes known) is a member of Abnegation and the book starts with the day that she and every other 16 year old from all factions undergo a test to see which faction they will belong to from then on: if they chose a faction other than the one that they were born into it means betraying their families and potentially never seeing them again). However, Tris's test doesn't turn out quite as she had expected as her results mean that she could choose one of 3 factions. She is told in confidence that this is because she is a Divergent but she must not tell anyone, even her family, as this is an extremely dangerous thing to be. On the day of the choosing ceremony, Tris abandons her family to join the Dauntless faction and that is where the adventure starts.
I thought the idea of this was brilliant and I was excited to find out about the factions and how Tris's choice to join Dauntless would affect her. However, the more I read the more disillusioned I became: I never felt that I got a proper sense of the city or why it was like that or why the factions had come about and I would have liked to have learnt more. Also, as the book moved along I became more and more frustrated at why each person would only fit into one of the factions; afterall I don't know anyone who is honest but can't be kind or intelligent with it or brave but can't be honest etc. I would expect that the majority of people would fit into more than one category - I certainly would; in fact I think I could fit into all of them (except Dauntless ironically - particularly after reading what they had to go through).
As well as some other minor annoyances, I did have one huge dislike too and that was the violence that went on for chapters and chapters. Each faction had to train its new recruits to pass an initiations (and those who fail are kicked out and become known as factionless and have to live on the streets), and despite knowing that the Dauntless faction was all about bravery, I found most of their training completely over the top and unsavoury to read. Fighting each other until someone passes out, throwing knives at each other, almost killing someone to test their mettle: I accept that some of this may have been necessary to show us what they recruits had to go through but for it to go on for so long and to be so brutal left a really bad taste in my mouth.
I would really have liked to know more about the other factions and how the city came to be like this but we got little information about anything outside the Dauntless compound until the end. Is this just in one city? Are there other cities exactly the same with their own compounds and set of factions? None of that was even addressed, never mind answered. I know this is the first book in a trilogy so maybe some of this will be answered in the future books, but even a little teaser or snippets of info would have been good.
Despite my little rants, I sort of enjoyed this book. I understand that it is the debut novel written by a 23 year old and that has to be commended. I hope that the books become tighter and more polished as the series continues and I am curious enough to want to read them to see what happens.
Verdict: Some major disappointments and it certainly is no Hunger Games (not in my mind at least). Aside from my ramblings though, it is still a fast-paced adventure story that sucked me right in for large amounts of it and should certainly appeal to the masses.
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