Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Review #255 - The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2) by Kelley Armstrong

The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2)
You don't have to be alive to be awakened.

Chloe Saunders is a living science experiment--not only can she see ghosts, but she was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. She's a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control, which means she can raise the dead without even trying. Now Chloe's running for her life with three of her supernatural friends--a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch--and they have to find someone who can help them before the Edison Group catches them.

Or die trying.
My Rating: 4/5
I didn't like this book as much as the first one. As I can't really pin point why that was it was probably because I read it over Christmas and so it took me longer to read than usual.
The only thing that I liked in this book more than the first was the location. The first one is only set in Lyle House whereas this book was set with them on the run so there was more variety.
The characters all developed to a degree. More so than some. Derek came out of his shell a bit and Tori's background was revealed.
There was less focus on their supernatural powers in this book and more on them being chased by the Edison Group which I would have liked to have seen their powers develop more.
I am excited to read the final book in the trilogy so all the unanswered questions will finally be answered.



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review #254 - Joshua Dread by Lee Bacon

Joshua Dread
He wants to save the world.

His parents want to destroy it.

When your parents are supervillains, it’s hard to have a normal life. In the past two days, Joshua’s parents have tried to destroy the world, the houseplant has threatened to kill him, and his body has started doing weird stuff. Really weird stuff. Then his parents give him a book to help explain his new Gyft. It turns out Joshua has a superpower, just like them. But he doesn’t have to use it for evil, right?

My Rating: 5/5

I received this book for review from Hardie Grant Egmont Australia.

I really enjoyed this book. I found the whole superhero/supervillian concept really unique and refreshing.

There were enough plot twists that made the book not entirely predictable but for the most part it was pretty straight forward.

I liked Joshua as the protagonist. He was a little immature at times but you can forgive him for that because he was a likeable character. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Book Review #253 - A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's 17th birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.

An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?
My Rating: 4/5
I received this book for review from the author. The author's website can be found here. You can also buy on Amazon here.
Given that this book was under 100 pages I was always going to finish it pretty quickly, but the fast paced plot also helped.
I really liked Sofia as a character although I would have liked more development.
I thought that Derek was the most developed character in the book which was probably why he was the character I connected to the most.
I really liked the idea of the island which protects vampires and am looking forward to seeing how this is used in future books.
Overall this was a very enjoyable read and I cannot wait to read the second book.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Book Review #252 - Twists and Turns by Matthew Mitcham

People kept remarking on how they were surprised that a gold medal and fame hadn't changed me. I always responded, 'Why would I change? Being me is the easiest person to be.' I was lying. It wasn't. At the Beijing Olympic Games, he made history with an unforgettable dive, the first to ever score perfect tens from all four judges, and won gold for Australia. Grinning with pride from front pages around the world, there was no hint of the personal demons that had led this supremely talented young dynamo to quit diving less than two years before. Joyously out and proud, Matthew was a role model for his courage both in and out of the pool. Yet the crippling self-doubt and shadow of depression that had plagued him all his life forced him into premature retirement, at one point reduced to circus diving to earn money. Even after Beijing and being ranked No 1 in the world, those closest to Matthew could not guess that beneath that cheeky, fun-loving exterior he was painfully aware of how easily it could unravel. In the lead-up to the London Olympics, when injury threatened his hopes, he will have to find the strength again to balance his striving for perfectionism with the fear of his self-doubt taking hold again. Told with the honesty and courage he is admired for, Twists and Turns is an inspiring story of a true champion, in and out of the pool.
My Rating: 4/5
I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did, I only decided to pick this book up from the library as I have a general interest in diving.
I also wasn't expecting the amount of issues that he has encountered throughout his life. From his drug use to self-harm and depression this book had a lot more depth than I was expecting.
This book really showcased the pressure he was under to perform and more importantly the pressure he put on himself.
I found all the pictures really interesting especially the ones about the London Olympics.
 It was good to see that his sense of humour came through in his writing especially in the captions under the photos.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Haul [23 December 2012] 28 Books

Books I got for review from Hardie Grant Egmont Australia: 

1. Who Could That Be At This Hour (All the Wrong Questions #1) by Lemony Snicket - Already read. Review can be found here.

2. Give Me Four Reasons by Lizzie Wilcock

3. Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil 

4. Joshua Dread by Lee Bacon - Already read. Review scheduled for Wednesday. 

5. Outside In by Chrissie Keighery

6. Whisper by Chrissie Keighery 

 Books I got from a Library sale: 

7. Persuasion by Jane Austen

8. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

9. Come the Night (Vampire/Werewolf Trilogy #3) by Susan Krinard

10. Summer and the City (Carrie Diaries #2) by Candace Bushnell

Books I bought: 

11. Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park #1) by Michael Crichton

12. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

13. Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me (Confessions of Georgia Nicholson #10) by Louise Rennison

14. Percy Jackson: The Ultimate Guide by Rick Riordan

15. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

16. The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl #3) by Eoin Colfer 

17. Storm Glass (Glass #1) by Maria V. Snyder

18. Bitten (Women of the Underworld #1) by Kelley Armstrong

19. 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares

20. Hades (Halo #2) by Alexandra Adornetto

21. The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien

22. The Last Straw (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #3) by Jeff Kinney

23. The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien

24. All That I Am by Anna Funder

25. Silence (Hush, Hush #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick

26. Fateful by Claudia Gray

27. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

28. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pulman - Now the largest book that I own and it only cost me $1.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Follow Friday #55

Gain New Blog Followers
Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.

This weeks question is:
What have you learned from book blogging that you didn't know before about the publishing industry?
Pretty much everything that I currently know. I didn't know that a blog can generate a lot of publicity for books. I still don't know though why they change the covers mid-series.

Book Review #251 - Who Could That Be At This Hour? (All the Wrong Questions #1) by Lemony Snicket

Who Could That Be At This Hour?
Before you consider reading "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" ask yourself these questions:

1. Are you curious about what is happening in a seaside town that is no longer by the sea?

2. Do you want to know more about a stolen item that wasn't stolen at all?

3. Do you think that's any of your business? Why? What kind of person are you? Really?

4. Who is that standing behind you?

My Rating: 4/5

I received this book for review from Hardie Grant Egmont Australia.
This book is completely different to the Series of Unfortunate Events series which is probably why I liked this as much as I did.

The only thing I didn't like about the Series of Unfortunate Events was that it gets repetitive and I don't see how this series could do that.
The only thing I didn't like about this book was that at times it felt like there were chapters missing, especially at the very beginning and also at the very end.

This book had a lot of interesting characters from the husband and wife cops to the cab driving kids.

It will be interesting to see if any characters from the Series of Unfortunate Events make an appearance in this series.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review #250 - The Eyes of the Desert Sand (The Chrysalis Chronicles #1) by Edwin Wolfe

The Eyes of the Desert Sand (Chrysalis Chronicles #1)

How many parents would believe their thirteen year old son who told them that two vampires and a hooded stranger had tried to abduct him? Strange thing is, young Ethan Fox is convinced his parents, George and Betsy do believe him. Could it have something to do with the mysterious poem he wrote in his sleep? Or maybe it has something to do with his past, the past he cannot remember before his eighth birthday. Something strange is afoot, and it is about to turn Ethan’s world upside down.While vacationing with his parents, to get away from the crazy events of the previous two weeks, Ethan encounters a young girl named Haley Hunt who he is strongly drawn to… and the feeling is mutual. Together, Ethan and Haley are lured to The Residence, home of the Caretakers, an organization of intelligent beings sent to earth to nurture the human race and protect them from un-earthly influences.Armed with special abilities, including the power to evolve any earthly creature, the Caretakers take in their unexpected guests. They have been watching young Ethan Fox, and are curious as to why the Grimleavers, their mortal enemy on earth, would want to abduct a young human child. Together, Ethan and Haley journey to magical worlds, make new friends, and help the Caretakers unravel the stories greatest mysteries. Along the way, they learn that the Caretakers have been here since the beginning of human history and have played a key role in shaping human lore. In their world, vampires, werewolves, trolls, and even Medusa herself really do exist but have been kept hidden from the human world around them. Ethan is the key as they ultimately discover the Grimleavers true intentions, to unlock the four portals to the elemental worlds of the Chrysalis.
My Rating: 4/5
I received this book for review from the author. The author's Goodreads page is here.
This book starts off slow but once the world building is over it really accelerates in pace.
I could definitely see the influence that Harry Potter had on the author. This was evident throughout the entire book.
I really liked the friendship between Ethan and Haley. I thought their personalities worked well together.
This book was a great platform to set up the rest of the series. It blends the science fiction and fantasy genres really well.
I would have liked more character development especially Ethan and Haley. There were some interesting secondary characters that stood out, but a few of them did blend together.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review #249 - Proximity (Proximity #1) by M.A. George

Proximity (Proximity, #1)

Dr. Palta Capal would be a typical American career woman…if only she were human.

She has found her calling in this world as a physician. It’s an ideal outlet for her compassionate spirit...and unearthly healing powers.

Palta may spend her nights rereading Jane Austen novels, but she deliberately avoids pursuing her own love story. Human men—attractive as they may be—inevitably grow old and wither, leaving her to grieve in solitude. Frankly, no one has seemed worth the torment.

Enter Eric Moran, the intensely attractive and enigmatic new coworker on the scene. With his quiet confidence and warm smile, he manages to draw Palta’s attention. Little does she know that he, too, holds a secret…one that will propel them both into an escalating collision of two worlds.
My Rating: 4/5
I received this book for review from the author. The author's Goodreads page is here. You can also find the author's website here.
Not being the biggest fan of the whole Science Fiction genre, this book really surprised me. I never expected to like this book as much as I did.
I thought that it started off slowly but the last third is so action packed it makes up for it.
Although I didn't particularly love any of the characters, I did like them all as a whole as I thought they bounced off one another really well.
I would have liked to have learnt more about Aeron because what was learnt about him was interesting. It also would have been good to have heard some of the story from his point of view.

I am looking forward to the next book so I can see how the cliff hanger gets resolved. I am also intrigued how Palta goes at discovering her roots.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #17

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week features a different topic, and you make a top ten list about it.

This weeks question is my top ten books of 2012. This question is just cruel. I spend ages condensing my list, but here it is:

10. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger;

9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky;

8. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson;

7. A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid;

6. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby;

5. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey;

4. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling;

3. Hourglass by Myra McEntire;

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins;

1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Book Review #248 - Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


"Last Night I Dreamt I Went To Manderley Again." So the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past ther beeches, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant -- the sinister Mrs. Danvers -- still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.
My Rating: 5/5
I read this book as part of my 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die challenge. This is by far the best book I have read so far off that list.
I really did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I knew very little about this prior to reading which I think was the ideal way to go. There were a number of plot twists at the end that I never saw coming.
The only thing I didn't really like about this book was that you never find out the protagonists name. It didn't stop me from connecting to her or anything, I just thought it was weird to not know her name.
My favourite part of this book was the setting and of Manderley in particular. The descriptions used were vivid and I could picture it clearly. Manderley had the presence of a character.

I am not sure whether I liked Maxim or not. He was power hungry and quite arrogant at times. I thought that he took advantage of the protagonist at times.

Given that Rebecca is dead the entire novel it is amazing of how much of a presence she still has throughout.
 I didn't know this was a mystery before reading but that was a pleasant surprise as I really enjoyed that aspect.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review #247 - Mage's Blood (Moontide Quartet #1) by David Hair

Mage's Blood (Moontide Quartet, #1)
Most of the time the Moontide Bridge lies deep below the sea, but every 12 years the tides sink and the bridge is revealed, its gates open for trade.

The Magi are hell-bent on ruling this new world, and for the last two Moontides they have led armies across the bridge on 'crusades' of conquest.

Now the third Moontide is almost here and, this time, the people of the East are ready for a fight ... but it is three seemingly ordinary people that will decide the fate of the world.
My Rating: 4/5

I received this book for review from Pan MacMillan Australia.

Given that this is one of the longest books I have ever read I can't believe I finished it in only two days.

The book starts off slowly and I was confused at first with the geographical layout and the amount of characters that were continuously being introduced.

However, once I was able to distinguish between the characters it sped up in pace and I found it more free flowing.

The book can be graphic at times with sex and violence and so would not be something I would recommend for younger readers.

The book ended with so many cliff-hangers (especially Elena's) and so I can't wait to read the second book The Scarlet Tides.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Book Haul

Books I got this week are:

1. Dog Days (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #4) by Jeff Kinney

2. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters and Jane Austen

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Follow Friday #54

Gain New Blog Followers
Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.

This weeks question is

What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...

Boring answer. I'm not much of a crier and can't even remember the last time I cried. I am yet to come across a book that has made me cry.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review #246 - Forgotten by Cat Patrick


With the intrigue of "Memento" and the romance of "The Time-Traveller's Wife", "Forgotten" is the perfect YA novel.

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.
My Rating: 4/5
I can only find two negatives with this book. The first is that I found it a bit confusing to begin with. With her only remembering her future and not her past.
The only other negative thing was the pacing. It felt like everything happened in the last 50 or so pages. Even then it wasn't fully resolved.
The main character London was an intriguing character and she develops slowly throughout the book. I did find her annoying at times but the majority of the time I did like her.
Luke had the potential to be a great character but there wasn't much depth to him and so I found it hard to connect with him.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review #245 - Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #2) by Jeff Kinney

Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #2)
Whatever you do, don't ask Greg Heffley how he spent his summer vacation, because he definitely doesn't want to talk about it.

As Greg enters the new school year, he's eager to put the past three months behind him ... and one even in particular.

Unfortunately for Greg, his older brother, Rodrick, knows all about the incident Greg wants to keep under wraps. But secrets have a way of getting out ... especially when a diary is involved.

My Rating: 4/5
After reading this book I have to say that Rodrick is by far my favourite character.
I found this book a lot funnier than the first one. I had seen the movie prior to reading but I found that didn't impact me at all whilst reading even though I knew the ending.
There were heaps of funny moments in the book that were not included in the movie which surprised me. Although I did enjoy the movie it didn't compare to the book.
I would have liked to have seen more of Rowley as he was my favourite character from the first book but enjoyed seeing the sibling rivalry between Greg and Rodrick.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review #244 - Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters #1) by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters #1)
A dark and lush paranormal romance set in a richly reimagined New Orleans--now in paperback Ari can't help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can't be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it's impossible to protect herself when she doesn't know what she's running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of "her."

Ari won't stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
My Rating: 3/5
This book was completely different to what I was expecting. I had no idea it was about mythology. This wasn't a bad thing, it just wasn't what I was expecting.
I found the first half of the book quite confusing. The world building was the most confusing. The reason for this was because there wasn't enough depth or description.
I really liked the second half of the book as it was action packed and very interesting.
I didn't like Ari at first, but by the end of the book I felt like I was starting to connect with her. Her relationship with Sebastian came from nowhere. There was no build-up or anything prior to them getting together.
My favourite part was the ending and so I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.