For some reason I've been reading a lot of really great books lately. I feel that itch to find something I can tear apart and relish in the destructioFor some reason I've been reading a lot of really great books lately. I feel that itch to find something I can tear apart and relish in the destruction. However, Howl's Moving Castle didn't provide me with that opportunity.
It is an amazing and fantastic book. The characters are so very different, funny, quirky and lovable that I was sucked in right away. The storyline was intriguing and fun to read. The writing was quite good and the world was utterly fascinating.
If you've watched the movie then you needn't worry about being spoiled of the book or ending. They are actually nothing alike. The movie, whilst I really enjoyed it, to the original premise and basic character traits and made its own story from there.
Sophie is hilarious. She almost makes me want to be an old lady, just so I can be cantankerous and boss people around. Howl is funny and sweet as the brilliant yet vain, thoughtless, mysterious wizard. The whole story is great and I highly, highly recommend it....more
How can I write this review without sounding like I'm about to start stalking Kelley Armstrong?
I loved this book. I loved all the characters in it. ItHow can I write this review without sounding like I'm about to start stalking Kelley Armstrong?
I loved this book. I loved all the characters in it. It was well written, with engaging, interesting characters. The plot was fast moving and interesting. I never got bored, I never felt like it was dragging and the story was a PLEASURE to read.
This is what reading should be! Turning from page to page, absolutely and completely emotionally invested in the characters and feeling like you're right there, experiencing things through their eyes, their fingers and their brains even.
This book, to me, equals The Hunger Games and that's VERY high praise. I think I may actually enjoy it more than the Fever Series - though I don't want to go saying anything I can't take back!
I'm off to read the next books, hoping against hope that this one wasn't a fluke and that they are as well written and incredible as this one was! If they're not, I think my heart is going to break!...more
I personally found that I enjoyed Ender's Shadow more than Ender's Game.
Perhaps because I found Bean, as a character, more relatable in how he analyzI personally found that I enjoyed Ender's Shadow more than Ender's Game.
Perhaps because I found Bean, as a character, more relatable in how he analyzes and views people and the world in general. He also felt more real as a character in that he is awkward and clueless and greatly flawed.
The pacing for this book is a little less smooth in comparison to Ender's Game. The plot, on the other hand, is a little better as you have a greater insight into the background workings of Ender's success. Graff and other characters come to life in a greater degree and have more personality and "air time". So too does Petra.
I picked this book up from the library and noticed stickers on the book declaring that it was part of a reading challenge here in NSW for grades 7-8.
"I picked this book up from the library and noticed stickers on the book declaring that it was part of a reading challenge here in NSW for grades 7-8.
"This book is acceptable to read for 12-13 year olds? Fuck me, can we turn around and go back to the library?" I asked my husband.
He shook his head and smiled at me. "Just try it. You never know."
"It's for twelve-to-thirteen year olds! No sex! No swearing! Minimum violence! I don't fucking think so!"
In the end, we brought it home and I sulked the whole way. However yesterday I opened it up and thought I'd actually give it a try and I'm really glad it did.
It actually managed to have more romance in it than Darkfever did, and that bloody book has NAKED people on the front cover, for crying out loud!
I thought this was going to be a story about a young girl on a magical adventure with a sword and a bad hair-do. But it turns out it's about an eighteen year old woman with dark, deadly skills being chased and hunted by a terrible and deadly enemy.
Sabriel has a good, clear head on her shoulder. She's smart, she's strong, she's a well-balanced and interesting character. The characters in Sabriel are all interesting and capturing in their way. Mogget was just pure win. He cracked me up. Touchstone was annoying at first but quickly won me over.
The world is interesting and complex, filled with enough creepy things that go bump in the night to really freak me out.
That's the best thing about this book. It's not TRYING to be a children's book. The rising action, climax and VERY short denouement had me on the edge of my seat. I was actually on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book.
In some parts it's really freaky and quite scary, in other parts it's sad.
This is the second male author I've come across lately that has written female characters BETTER than the women have been writing them lately. You can't even compare Sabriel to a character like Bella. Unless you were to really dumb it down into this: Bella - sucks, Sabriel - awesome beyond all belief.
Give this book a go. It was fun, scary, action packed and I absolutely can't wait to read the sequels!...more
There are few books that I've read that I love more than this book. However, if I had to choose a movie adaptation to punch in the face - it would beThere are few books that I've read that I love more than this book. However, if I had to choose a movie adaptation to punch in the face - it would be this one....more
I can count the number of times I've been to the circus on one hand. Actually, realistically, on one finger.
We were taken once by my grandparents whenI can count the number of times I've been to the circus on one hand. Actually, realistically, on one finger.
We were taken once by my grandparents when I was about five. First, last and only time. My parents hate the idea of the circus and scorned it with all the pretentious uninterest that would likely scar their children for life, causing them to grow up embittered, solitary and convicted to write scathing, snarky reviews on GoodReads as a form or self expression in order to share their own misery around and dump their unresolved feelings of angst on others lest it drown them.
So naturally I dove into this book with great excitement. Some dude carrying water for elephants? Sweet!
Well, I can only say that I received the education of a lifetime that led me to believe that in many ways, my parents were right to keep me away from the circus. I don't deceive myself with the thought that modern day circuses are anything like the depression era one featured in this book but I was glad to see that Gruen didn't glorify the trade.
I don't want to ruin the book for you but apparently people didn't just carry water for elephants. In fact, not a single person in this book carries water to an elephant. What? Misleading!
Okay, you don't carry water for elephants. They simply drink too much, apparently. Way to go, Gruen, for disenchanting me from a favored yet forbidden childhood dream of mine.
Isn't the circus supposed to be magical and wonderful and full of smiling faces and happy animals in funny outfits and clowns (actually, no, clowns freak me the hell out! I once attacked a clown when I was 10 years old and at a kid's birthday party and ended up needing stitches in my left foot. I wish I were kidding. Or lying, but I'm not.)
Well, embark on Gruen's, dark, textile and encapturing tale of one's mans journey into the circus to discover the life behind the big-top.
Jacob runs away to the circus, meeting the workers who keep the show running behind the scenes, the Equestrian and Managerie director and finally the Circus owner and Ring Leader, Uncle Al - all to discover that the circus isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Water for Elephants is full of characters both good, bad and in between. It's set in the Depression era and this detail adds a great deal of flavour to the underlying story. Jacob, a Cornell trained vet, goes to work in the Menagerei for the circus to care for the animals. The story gets packed tighter than a tiny car holding twenty-five clowns, all with a crazy foot itch, when Jacob falls in love with the wife of his volitile and crazy boss, August.
This story is at times melancholy, depressing, frustrating and down-right sad. In fact, there were many moments when I wanted to put the book down, pick up some bolt cutters and track down the nearest animal-carrying circus. Not for anything illegal like releasing the animals and releasing them to go and be free or anything. Just so we're all clear on that. If a circus loses it's animals somewhere near where you live, it wasn't me. Honest.
The romance aspect of this book was well done but wasn't actually the main focus. In fact, it was far overshadowed by Gruen's awesome portrayal of a cranky old man who didn't know whether he's ninety-one or ninety-three.
So over all it was a powerful, fun, gripping read that I would highly advise you go read so that when the movie comes out and people ask, you can sneak in with the line, "Well, in the book..." and make yourself look extra smart and well-read. C'mon, we all do it. Go knock yourself out....more
See how happy, how healthy, how loving they are. Imagine you've knownSee this family?
Or this family?
Take a good long hard look at all of their faces.
See how happy, how healthy, how loving they are. Imagine you've known them your entire life and that you love each one more than life itself.
Now imagine if you were one of the people in that photograph with them.
Now imagine that I told you and all those other people standing and smiling with you that I was going to kill you all so that I could go for a trip to the beach...
Okay, now you know the basic plot of The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
I've mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with zombies. On one hand, I love reading zombie books and watching zombie movies. On the other I will then spend two weeks wide awake clutching a baseball bat while waiting for the shuffle of feet and the moans of the undead outside my bedroom door.
I actually have something like this in my house...
I love the chase as things fall a part and slowly people are picked off one by one.
That's the thing that's almost a constant in the Zombie genre - is the psychological breakdown of the group. Usually in a zombie group, you'll find the differing personalities and human flaws are what slowly kills the group - not so much the zombies.
The difference between most of the zombie media, and this book, is that usually you watch things unfold from the sole sane person who is trying to keep all the crazies from turning themselves into meat patties and throwing themselves to the horde.
In this story you get to watch the gradual mental breakdown of a woman until she's willing to sacrifice anything and anyone just to live out a damn fantasy.
Okay, so I know the point of it is that there are dreams and dreams are important like freedom is important and you must always follow your dreams blah de blah blah!
Sorry, I'm a very pragmatic person.
Kill zombies first, fulfill life long dream of of seeing ocean second.
Yet, despite my utter hatred of the main character by the time I finished this novel, I still can't give it less than five stars.
I can't give it less than five stars because I spent most of this book gripping the bed covers in suspense. The characters were all great, realistic and interesting. Mary's decent into madness was COMPLETELY understandable and very well documented and this book was very well written and paced very well.
Then, of course, I had the satisfaction of knowing that if it had been me - I totally could have survived better than them. And that, my friends, is the biggest satisfaction you can get out of the zombie genre.
Oh yeah, baby.
My Zombie Plan totally beats the crap out of their Zombie plan.
Kristoff has said, many times, that he doesn’t believe in happy endings. For the sake of all his readers, I once took him out for drinks and tried toKristoff has said, many times, that he doesn’t believe in happy endings. For the sake of all his readers, I once took him out for drinks and tried to get him terribly drunk. The one flaw in my plan being that I am 5’8 and he is 7′monster. My intention was to discover his true plans for the Stormdancer trilogy, and his earnestness about causing angst and heartbreak to his readers.
Alas, good folks, I can only surmise that Kristoff truly believes in neither happy endings or sparing his readers pain. Kinslayer backs this up and more. It is a brilliantly written, emotionally-packed book. But I must warn you, it’s going to break your heart. Kristoff pulls no punches and spares no pain. Here is a visualization of my agony while reading.
The only thing I can imagine harder than readers needing extreme therapy for the pain this book will cause, is coping with the multiple view shifts. Kinslayer has so many characters and interaction storylines that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re not used to tracking that much angst at once.
I just can’t help but feel like all my feelings have been used up. Kristoff is an evil bastard.
The writing is, of course, beautiful. Just stunning. I can’t even with this writing. I wish I could quote some of it for you, but the second I finished reading this book, everyone I know turned up at my house and flogged the ARC from me. I haven’t seen it since. No, really. They all worked out a reading schedule between them. I’m told that I won’t see it again until 2014.
Of course, predictably, the Yukiko and Buruu dynamic is magic – and it really needed to be. Because Yukiko has the hardest time ever, and I doubt she would have made it through without Buruu. And no matter what else happens in this series, no matter what else shapes it, the relationship that Buruu and Yukiko have seems to be foundational. Rather like Spock and Kirk.
In other news, Kin should die.
And Michi is so badass. I mean, omg. I wasn’t sure I’d get a girl crush even harder than the ones I have for both Captain Corsair from the Iron Seas Trilogy and Veronica Rossi. But if Michi ever beckoned her finger at me, good lord I’d come running. Even if it was just so that she could murder the hell out of me.
As I went through my notes of reading this book, I notice how often I said things like, “OMG! They’re going to bone, aren’t they?” I don’t know what that either says about the novel or me. Maybe it just says that my love for this series is highly inappropriate but true and eternal.
If you haven’t read it yet – read it. READ IT NOW OR FACE MY WRATH!
Juliet Marillier is my arch-nemesis and main rival. We've been competing against each other for the cThe problem with this book is that it's not real.
Juliet Marillier is my arch-nemesis and main rival. We've been competing against each other for the coveted title of #1 most followed Australian for awhile now. The battle has been vicious. The competition fierce.
[image error] Okay, maybe she's not as "aware" of this competition as I am... so what if it appears that she's almost never even ON Goodreads and by all accounts may actually have forgotten that she has a GoodReads? It still counts as a competition, right?
But since I've beaten her three weeks in a row, I feel confident that I can once again read her books.
This was a mistake. My jealousy only makes me hate her more. Because this book was fantastic, fantabulous, fantasmagorical.
Recipe for a Juliet Marillier book:
3 parts brilliant written prose 2 parts whimsical fancy 1 awesome female protagonist 1 can of whoop-arse
Available from all major grocery chains and retail outlets
I doubt anybody does magical faery realms and myth retellings with the style, flair and gothic majesty of Juliet Marillier.
I strongly recommend this book to anybody with an inner child and a desire to have their mind blown.
Taylor’s gift is her ability to infuse every page with magic and emotion. I admire her writing even when my critical self finds fault with the story itself. Somehow, Dreams of Gods and Monsters is both far superior and somewhat inferior to Days of Blood and Starlight. Though neither can compare to the perfection of Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
There are good novels and then there are good novels. This one is the latter.
However, it's hard to pin down why it's such an amazing novel.
Sure, I coThere are good novels and then there are good novels. This one is the latter.
However, it's hard to pin down why it's such an amazing novel.
Sure, I could comment that the writing was flawless and brilliant. The characters were fleshed out, detailed and intricate. The setting was technicoloured, nostalgic and almost touchable.
But I think what really makes this novel is the gritty, raw, awkwardness of it.
Evie is on the cusp of womanhood. She's so close she can almost taste it and yet, she rankles with childishness. She's naive, with a dreamy, delusional view of life and the world. She sees the world and the people in it with a child's eyes and understanding that is portrayed so well by Blundell.
It doesn't help that her mother is classic. Effortlessly beautiful, with a rich understanding of humanity, people and how to work them. It can't be easy for any teenage girl to develop a healthy self-esteem about herself when she has that impossible image to live up to.
On their holiday in Florida, Evie meets Peter. He's suave, charismatic, worldly and charming. She's instantly caught up by him and clings tenaciously to her dreams and fantasies - blinding herself to the mystery, intrigue, and clues that surround her. The slight of hand, the winks, the double entendres all fly over her head whilst all are laid bare for the careful reader.
Then we watch, agonizingly, already knowing what's going to happen and powerless to stop it. What I love about this novel, is being able to read it as an adult. Because, I felt like Evie was my child, or even myself at fifteen. And I read this novel with great affection for her. I felt for her - because I knew the world she'd eventually end up living in. It's the world that adults go to and it's not a nice place. Teenage years are meant to bring the child into it bit by bit. But it doesn't go that way for Evie. She's suddenly catapulted into it - leaving me saddened at the childhood that was lost and can never be returned. I felt anguished knowing the world she had to step into.
If you're still a teenager, waiting to grow up - I guess this book is perfect for you. Listen when her mother says, "Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, baby. It's not all polka dots and moonbeams, you know."
But I know you won't listen, I didn't either at your age....more
I played the violin for five years and the viola for three. It is the piano that only lasted for one year. My older brother and I began our lessons toI played the violin for five years and the viola for three. It is the piano that only lasted for one year. My older brother and I began our lessons together when I was nine.
My brother was a smart kid, but he didn't know it then. It didn't help that his little sister was extremely competitive, precocious and bratty. I think he always believed he didn't have much going for him - but boy he has it where it counts.
Back then I thought I was so much smarter than him, and taking up the piano was another chance for me to prove that. Unlike my brother, who had never played an instrument before, I could sight-play and was already studied in the necessary music theory aspects from the violin.
And, in form, I was better than him. For a while. Effectively speaking, I always was always going to be better at him in the technical arena. But he was better where it counted. When it came to the heart of the music, bringing a piece alive and making it beautiful - I was completely outclassed. I played like a robot and he played with his soul.
This book makes me regret that more now than I've ever regretted it before in my life.
If I Stay is a beautifully written, character-driven novel about a girl choosing between life and death. It was also one of the best narrated audiobooks I have ever listened to.
Mia's body is in ICU and she is waiting to die. As the events from her car crash unfold, she examines her relationships with everyone to determine whether or not it's worth staying or dying peacefully from her crash.
There were parts of this novel that had me weeping, my heart aching and my chest pounding with emotion. Mia's voice, her relationships, her struggles and her pain are so brilliantly related to the audience.
The writing isn't perfect. There are some parts that could have been a little more polished. Some paragraphs that probably needed another edit. However, the technical writing aspects are far and above overcompensated by the heart and soul of this novel.
This novel is like Mia's Cello. It is beautiful, resounding and emotional. Just as Mia can play Adam like her instrument, so too can Forman play her audience - strumming all the high and low notes with perfect, breathtaking clarity. Without a doubt, Forman has it where it counts.