As some of my readers may have noticed, I normally create my own syOriginally published at Paperback Princess to view in it's entirety pls click here.
As some of my readers may have noticed, I normally create my own synopsis for my reviews. However, I'm struggling to keep up with reviewing the books I've read as it takes me forever to write my own synopsis. I've seen many reviewers using the Publisher's synopsis so I'm going to take this route and see how it goes. Let me know which you all think is better. I wanted to make special mention once again to Lisa from Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me for being my Blogger Fairy Godmother...Thanks Lisa!
The Beginner's Guide to Living" is a powerful and plot driven book, that must become a permanent in my book collection. There are few single books (not part of a series) that I feel worth buying.
This is a story of Will, a 17 year old boy in his journey to finding his reasons for living and understanding life, death, grief and love. The story begins with Will telling us his thoughts, what he was listening to, and things he remembered from that day... the day his Mother died. Will in his confused and angry state, begins to search for the meaning of life and death through philosophical books so the readers are immersed into these wonderful quotes and the revelation each of it brought.
"The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven." John Milton
"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved." George Sand
"Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represents a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be." Anton Chekhov
"The key to finding a happy balance in modern lives is simplicity." Sogyal Rinpoche
The writing technique was amazing! Hills wrote what was currently happening as well as putting in memories from his life before his Mother died. It's like how we live our lives, we do things and sometimes as we do something we recall a memory from the past...this was how this book was written. I would imagine that it's hard for Authors to write books like these, with some sort of continuity and for it not to get confusing but Hills did this splendidly. I can only think of another Author that has done this well, Melina Marchetta, in the "Jellicoe Road".
This book is an amazing debut novel, one that will be in your thoughts way after you have turned the last page. It is a thought provoking and very emotional story and the words within are poignant and lyrical....more
In 1585 England, Lady Jane Rievaulx (previously known as Percival) arrOriginally posted at Paperback Princess to view in it's entirety pls click here.
In 1585 England, Lady Jane Rievaulx (previously known as Percival) arrives at the Queen's court as she takes up position as one of the Queen's Ladies. Her late Husband has ensured this position to keep his young widow safe from his older children.
Unfortunately the late Lord did not anticipate that Lady Jane's position would have her running into her family, the Percivals. No longer having the security and defence of the late Lord they do all that they can to use Jane as their pawn to secure the family's riches.
Then there's James Lacey, he has been troubled as of late and plans to sail to the Americas in hope to find new land and hopefully to find his old self. James Lacey doesn't know the full story as to why Lady Jane departed his land and broke the engagement to his older brother but alas he did not think highly of her, despite his previous growing attraction.
"The Queen's Lady" is the second book to "The Lacey Chronicles" and I must say it was as enjoyable as it's predecessor. Lady Jane has grown so much in character that she is very likeable in this book, unlike the first. James Lacey was a bit less likeable in this book as he was extremely stubborn and just would not allow himself to be happy, despite happiness being pretty much forced upon him. However, once he realised what he wanted he was once again a hero and a likeable one at that.
I felt sorry for Lady Jane in this book. She's grieving for her late Husband whilst his grown children threatens her and does all to ensure she doesn't get to keep any of the riches their late Father had given her and if that's not the worse of her fate she has her own flesh and blood, Father and Brother plotting for a marriage she simply doesn't want, to benefit them and their pockets. I can't imagine how that must all have felt, and she only had one friend she could turn to.
Eve Edwards writing technique remains the same and whilst many may say that it was similar to "The Other Countess" I found the characters and the circumstances surrounding their love affair is different enough that it doesn't feel like your reading the same story with different characters.
Edwards is very descriptive and you are fully emerged into the world and time that her characters are in. You find yourself truly rooting for the best outcome.
There's also other characters that play quite a large part in this story; Diego, introduced in the first book, James Lacey's servant. Milly, Diego's previous employer and Lady Jane's good friend and then there's Christopher Turner, Milly's good friend and aspiring actor. Together, with the main characters, this book is filled with lots of love, laughter and frustration. Despite these characters being secondary to that of Lady Jane and James Lacey, they still fill the book and I don't think that the story would be the same without them. Milly and Diego's love affair, to me, was just as intriguing as Jane and James'. It was great to see two couples, despite the many odds against their relationship fight for their love.
Whilst "The Queen's Lady" does refer to parts in "The Other Countess" these books do not necessarily have to be read in order, but I would still advice you to, as you feel more invested in the characters if you already had previous knowledge of them. Looking forward to "The Rogue Princess". ...more
Divergent is captivating, thought provoking and an edge-of-your-seaOriginally published at Paperback Princess to view in it's entirety pls click here.
Divergent is captivating, thought provoking and an edge-of-your-seat dystopian thriller.
The world is divided into five different factions, each representing a virtue. Abnegatiion, selfless, Erudite, intelligent, Candor, honesty, Amity, peaceful and Dauntless, brave. At 16 years old they must choose a faction. They can choose to stay in the faction they were born into or choose a new faction, one that they must live within for the rest of their lives.
Beatrice (Tris) and Caleb Prior was born into Abnegation. At the eve of the Choosing Ceremony each 16-year-old must sit for an aptitude test. Depending on the actions performed within the test the result comes in a way of a 'recommendation' as to the best faction they are suited to. Tris' result = inconclusive!
The characters were very realistic and not overly perfect. Tris was sometimes annoying and not always a heroine. She was indecisive, foolish and lacked courage at times but she comes through at the end when it matters the most. Four, the Dauntless trainer, was a little harder to read and until he starts unfolding his past that's when he became a likeable character. Another one of my favourite characters was Tris' Mother, I found her courage and her unconditional love towards her children to be refreshing in the world that Roth created where factions come before families.
Veronica Roth's writing is very descriptive and you truly feel you are within the world she has created. You are constantly rooting for them to get through their personal challenges. The mystery within the story was well written and filled with lots of surprises. I enjoyed that I was able to slowly piece the puzzle together each time Roth threw the readers a clue. Each clue was just enough for further speculation but not give the solution.
I thoroughly enjoyed the fast pace and suspenseful turns in this adventurous book. I only wished that Roth gave the readers more understanding as to what it meant to be a "Divergent". We are only told that it's dangerous and should be kept a secret.
My only other gripe was the lack of progress in the story during the Dauntless initiation, whilst still fast-paced, action-filled and entertaining, I didn't think it needed to drag on as long as it did. Consequently, the climax of the story felt rushed. However, maybe Roth did that on purpose to further enhance our understanding for the sequel, Insurgent, which Roth just finished the draft of, you can read about it here....more
Finley Jane, a Lady's maid in 1897 London fights with a darker and danOriginally posted at Paperback Princess to view in it's entirety pls click here.
Finley Jane, a Lady's maid in 1897 London fights with a darker and dangerous entity within, one that comes out when she feels threatened. Lord Felix, the son of her Employer was unfortunate enough to feel the wrath of this "other side" of Finley when he tries to take advantage of her. Finley finds herself standing beside an unconscious Lord, mere moments after her anger overtook her. Finley's "other side" decides for them both that it's best to run away from the situation, a situation that could have her arrested...or worse!
Griffin King, Duke of Greythorne and his childhood best friend Samuel Morgan are riding around in their velocycle when they literally run over a girl. The danger oozing from the unconscious girl attracts Griffin in a strange, magnetic way and he finds himself wanting to look after the girl, while his friend does all to dissuade him from taking in more "problems".
Griffin and his friends; Samuel, Emily O'Brien and Jasper Reen have been investigating recent criminal activities within London. Activities that are being perpetuated by automatons (robots) and Peelers (Police) believe that it's a character that calls himself "The Machinist".
The group soon realises that the girl Griff brought home is no ordinary maid, they soon see the advantage in her joining their team. Sam on the other hand has a strong dislike for the girl that he fails to trust, he will do anything to ensure that his friends are safe, even if that means getting rid of Finley Jane.
According to the author, Kady Cross, this book is a cross between "The League of Extraordinary Gentleman" and the "XMen", this is the perfect description of this book. Whilst I was highly intrigued by this book due to it's enticing title, beautiful cover and interesting synopsis, I was slightly disappointed. This is my first adventure into the steampunk genre so I don't really have anything to compare it to, but I still gave it 4/5 in Goodreads.
I certainly didn't dislike it, but I had such high expectations for this book that it slightly disappointed when it didn't meet my expectations. I think that's the problem when books are publicised so much, readers end up having unrealistic expectations.
I did like the idea of the world that Cross created, it was very original and I'm sure that in Book 2 this series will be more intense. My favourite aspect of the story are it's characters, they were so likeable and their friendship and team work is what keeps you turning the pages, you just want to see what happens to each of the characters.
The mystery in the book was quite good too, it unfolds in perfect timing. However, once the perpetrator's character makes the appearance in the book, I kind of guessed he was "The Machinist".
This book is what made me decide on the mini-review as I have wrongly judged "first books" in a series before, only to be proven wrong when the consecutive books in the series are released. So I will leave it for now, till book 2......more
I must have been hiding under the rock as I had not heard of Jessica Spotswood until I read the Exclusive content released by Mrs Spotswood for the YAI must have been hiding under the rock as I had not heard of Jessica Spotswood until I read the Exclusive content released by Mrs Spotswood for the YA Scavenger Hunt; so whilst I didn't win any giveaways :( nor the major prize...double damn; I found some amazing authors and new books to read :D Definitely an consolation prize.
As soon as I read the exclusive content I knew that I had to seek out Born Wicked immediately. I found it at my local library and my oh my as you will see in my stats I read it in less than 24 hours within 2 sittings; I could have probably read it in 1 had I not had other life committments...oh how I wish.
Born Wicked is a story of three sisters who are witches; Cate Cahill, Maura and Tess, who lived in a time where witches are hunted and persecuted. Cate, the oldest of the Cahill girls had made a promise to their late Mother that she will look after her sisters, but as Cate's coming of age is getting closer she must soon make a decision on her future, marriage or join the Sisterhood. As Cate struggles to figure out how she can keep the promise to her Mother whilst not drawing any attention from the Brotherhood, a group who leads the revolt on witches, a prophecy is unearthed that changes the lives of the Cahill girls even more.
Cate is our protagonist but I like how she is kind, over protective of her sisters but at the same time she still has weakness. I don't really enjoy...more
Henri Vanger's niece, Harriet has been missing for over 20+ years but hOriginally posted at Paperback Princess to view in it's entirety pls click here
Henri Vanger's niece, Harriet has been missing for over 20+ years but he remains to receive dried pressed flowers yearly, a gift that only Harriet gave. Confused and extremely curious he wants to solve the mystery once and for all.
Mikael Blomkvist a Journalist has recently been charged and convicted for libel. He wrote a story about Wennerstorm, a corporation giant, and their illegal and underground dealings. Failing to provide his source, after Wennerstorm sued him he was then convicted.
Lisbeth Salander is a very disturbed woman with a bad past. Salander is now working for a security company, providing them with detailed and in depth report on individuals that their client wants investigated. Salander is the best in her field, but she finds these information illegally, she's a computer hacker.
After Blomkvist stint with the legal system, Henri Vanger took the opportunity to strike a deal that Blomkvist couldn't resist. Vanger hired Blomkvist to solve the mystery of his niece's disappearance in exchange for information about Wennerstorm that will prove that Mikael's story wasn't a lie after all. Despite hesitation Mikael takes the job and before long Mikael hires Lisbeth Salander to help him with the case. The two soon find out that the Harriet Vanger case is not what it seems.
This book was quite slow to start off with. I had past the half way point of the book before it started to get interesting, up to that point it was a lot of introduction. To be honest, it wasn't even introduction but it dragged through parts that was not necessary or even important in the case. I found that the first half of the book concentrated on points that by the end of the book you wonder why on earth did they go through that in so much detail? However, as I've said in previous posts, it seems that this is the norm for first books in a series, hence, maybe when I read the second book I will realize its importance, but as for now I felt that it was written simply to fill pages.
Having said that, once the book actually got going it became a very good mystery story. Filled with unexpected twists and turns it kept me interested and constantly thinking. It was certainly one of those stories that at the end you think "Wow! I didn't see that one coming!" So in that respect it certainly achieved it's goals in being a good mystery book, like I said, my only qualm was that I felt that some minor themes were explored too in-depth when it was not necessary.
Whilst I was not able to empathize with any of the characters, I felt that in this book, the characters were one of Larsson's best points. Larsson's characters had multiple dimensions and he explored their different dimensions in depth. Through the creation of his characters, you as the reader is brought into their lives and you want to find out what and why this and that happened in their lives.
Overall this was a great first book for Larsson, you can see his potential to be a great writer, but I think that he just needs to know when enough's enough and that sometimes going too much into a minor theme/plot of the story becomes information overload. Apart from the information overload the plot, themes and characters were well created and the book was well written....more
Joyce Conway awakes at the hospital. She has had an accident, she tripOriginally posted at Paperback Princess to view in it's entirety pls click here.
Joyce Conway awakes at the hospital. She has had an accident, she tripped on her stairs and she's lost her baby, the one she has been trying for, for the last ten years. She wants to start a new life and she decides to separate from her husband and moves in with her father, Henry.
Justin is a recently divorced Professor who has moved to London to be with his daughter. He's also a guest speaker at St Trinity College at Dublin. Whilst at St Trinity he is forced to donate blood by an attractive Doctor.
Justin and Joyce's lives collide before they meet. Joyce receives the blood that Justin donates. On the way home from the hospital Joyce and Justin meets at a hair salon as they were both feeling the urge to get a haircut. When they meet they feel a force drawing them together and they feel like they've known each other all their lives despite never having met. They leave and go their separate ways.
Then Joyce starts remembering memories that aren't hers, she also starts doing things unlike her eg. eating meat when she's a vegetarian. She also starts speaking languages she never knew how to speak eg. Latin, French and knows about things that she has previously not known about eg. historical buildings and architecture and art. Joyce tries to solve this mystery.
This book is a light and enjoyable read. It's one of those frustrating books though because they keep meeting and missing each other, one of those so close and yet so far kind of situation. However, through the book I sometimes found it a bit slow going, which I've never found with Ahern's previous books. Also whilst the ending is a happy ending, I was unhappy that they didn't put say another chapter to say what they ended up doing together, but I suppose that's what most book endings are like so I can't really complain. Apart from that, like I said, it's a typical Ahern book which is a sweet love story with a bit of magic thrown in. Anyone that has read other Ahern books would love this one as well. ...more
Synopsis:- Hunter is a "cool hunter" he seeks for all things "cool". HeOriginally posted at Paperback Princess to view in it's entirety pls click here
Synopsis:- Hunter is a "cool hunter" he seeks for all things "cool". He meets Jen who is an Innovator, those that come up with the cool ideas all by themselves, she has invented her own shoe laces which are the coolest shoe laces Hunter has ever seen. Hunter invites Jen to his workplace and Jen contributes to the discussion. Hunter's boss, Mandy ends up inviting Hunter and Jen to a job and upon arrival at the meeting point they find Mandy's phone but Mandy was nowhere to be found. The story is their search for Mandy and the conspiracy that's within consumerism.
Review:- This book is strange. The main plot of the story wasn't something exciting and a lot of it can visibly be viewed as totally made up, but having said that, Westerfeld, being such a great writer has still got you turning the pages. He keeps you interested in the characters and the story despite the plot being a bit "meh".
So this is a short review, the plot was not good but his writing excels and keeps you somehow interested. ...more
This is a story about an Irish 10 year old living in fictitious BarrytOriginally posted at Paperback Princess to view in it's entirety pls click here.
This is a story about an Irish 10 year old living in fictitious Barrytown in 1968. This book is written in first person and the format is similar to that of a manuscript from a taped interview with a child, one that allows the child to speak of his life openly and without limitations. Roddy Doyle captures the format of a child's thinking and speaking beautifully in his writing, the lack of pauses at times and the chop and change of stories according to what he remembers and decides to stem to from the current topic he is speaking about is so realistic. The book at times lacks cohesion and fluidity but I think that's his technique of making it seem child-like and it succeeds in this aspect.
Majority of this book consists of Paddy speaking of his daily activities with his friends and brother Francis (Sinbad). It's so entertaining to hear of all their activities, even their dialogue is captured by Doyle perfectly. Whilst many reviews love the book simply because they were able to relate to the things the boys did, I liked it because it was so different to my childhood and even more different to the childhood nowadays, but despite the differing in activities there is still the same underlying thoughts, fears, issues and child underneath all that.
Through the book his parents start having fights at night and Paddy sees himself as the unknown referee as his parent's are unaware that he hears these fights. He takes it on himself to stop these fights, unbeknown to him that it's actually not in his control. This also causes Paddy to mature and want to reach out to his brother, his only ally and the only one that knows what he's going through, but Sinbad doesn't know how to react to Paddy's change.
This was difficult read for me due to writing technique and the lack of cohesion and plot, but ultimately Doyle succeeded in his goal of capturing the true child, and he did do that, it just wasn't for me. It was too slow for me and it just didn't go anywhere, no particular plot and whilst the end was sad that was it. However, I do see the brilliance in his writing and hence can understand why it has won the Booker Prize, but it's just not for me. I've been told though that other Doyle books are terrific, so maybe I'll give another one a go....more
During world war 2 a little girl and her brother are being escorted byOriginally posted at Paperback Princess to view in it's entirety pls click here.
During world war 2 a little girl and her brother are being escorted by their Mother to Himmel Street where they've been adopted by an older couple, Rosa and Hans Hubermann. On the train trip there the little boy dies and Death comes for him and notices the little girl...this is her story, narrated by Death.
The little girl, Liesel Meminger, on the day of her Brother's funeral finds a book "A Gravedigger's Guide" and steals it as a remembrance of her brother's death a tangible item of remembrance and hence the title "The Book Thief".
This story tells of Liesel Meminger's life as she arrives at Himmel Street, as she is taught by Papa (Hans) to read her guide book, as she befriends Rudy Steiner who paints himself black to be like his idol, Jesse Owens an African-American Olympic champion, she befriends, fights and steals from the Mayor's wife, as she meets Max and befriends him and have the happiest time of her life with all four of them under one roof, up to the time that she was the only one left standing on Himmel Street, alone.
This novel is quite long but it's not a tedious read so persevere. Despite it's length it is a very entertaining and heart wrenching book filled with a mixture of laughter, joy, heart ache and tears. It also taught me many things about the war.
To be honest I do not know what else or how else to tell people about this book, it's brilliancy simply cannot be put into words. Hence, all I can say is that it's a must read for all and one that you are unlikely to ever forget once you've read it. Each part/chapter consisted of memorable story that added to the plot, I didn't feel that any parts of this book was a pointless tale, all contributed to the overall story. This is a beautiful book that all would appreciate. I do not normally read war books nor even have interest in war and I fell in love with this book. I personally think it should be written up to be a "classic" that's how good it was. ...more