Friday, December 26, 2014

Follow Friday #76

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.

The question this week is:

What books did you give other people this holiday season? - Suggested byAlison Can Read

I gave my 9 month old nephew a Winnie the Pooh book for his first Christmas. I plan on giving him a book every year for Christmas in the future. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Follow Friday #75

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.

The question this week is:

Question of the Week: Do you have a favourite place to read? - Suggested byLiberamans

I mainly sit on my bed when reading. I sometimes also read in front of the TV when there is music or sport on. My dog is almost always sitting at my feet or by my bed. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book Review #523 - Desires of the Dead (Body Finder #2) by Kimberly Derting


The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found. Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally, she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

My Rating: 4/5.5

This book is the sequel to The Body Finder which I read just under 3 months ago. 

I don't think I liked this book as much as the first but I definitely still enjoyed it. 

I loved the inclusion of new characters who were able to immediately involve themselves in the plot and were also able to blend well with the existing characters. 

Jay annoyed me for the first portion of the book. I didn't like how he would treat Violet like she was more his sister or friend rather than his girlfriend and then get angry when she wasn't able to communicate with him. 

Because the beginning of the book mainly deals with Jay and Violet's relationship, the whole mystery and key plot elements were a little slow to arise. 

Chelsea is such a loud and dominant character. She is definitely my favourite of all of the other secondary characters. I would love to have a chapter or anything really from her perspective. 

This book perfectly sets up the third book, The Last Echo with Violet thinking of releasing her life long secret with the knowledge of others with similar secrets. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review #522 - An Abundance of Katherines by John Green


Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart 

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

My Rating: 3.5/5

This was the last John Green book that I had yet to read. 

Like with all John Green books, An Abundance of Katherines contained a lot of unique, eccentric characters. 

I found the protagonist Colin rather annoying at first but was surprised by how fast I seemed to warm up to him. 

The use of footnotes didn't bother me by the end of the book as much as I thought they would especially when it took me a while to get used to them. 

When I first read the summary of this book I thought that it was extremely unrealistic that someone could get dumped 19 times by girls with the same name. When Colin was first introduced however I soon understood how that was possible. 

Colin's friend Hassan was my favourite character in the book. He definitely wasn't a stereotypical Muslim and I found him to be the funniest part of the book. 

With the success of the The Fault in Our Stars movie and with the Paper Towns movie on the way, I can definitely see An Abundance of Katherines being on the big screen in the future as John Green's writing just has a very cinematic feel to it. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Follow Friday #74

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.
The question this week is:

Question of the Week: Do you decide in advance what you read for the coming week or month? Why / why not? - Suggested byUnconventional Book Views

I try and read my review copies first then after that I will just pick whatever book I feel like. 

Book Review #521 - Foulsham (Iremonger #2) by Edward Carey


Foulsham, London's great filth repository, is bursting at the seams. The walls that keep the muck inside are buckling, and rubbish is spilling over the top, back into the city from which it came. In the Iremonger family offices, Grandfather Umbitt Iremonger broods. In his misery and fury at the people of London, he has found a way to make everyday objects assume human shapes—and to turn people into objects.

Abandoned in the depths of the Heaps, Lucy Pennant is rescued by Binadit Iremonger, a terrifying creature more animal than human. She is desperate and determined to find Clod Iremonger. But unbeknownst to her, Clod has become a golden sovereign and is "lost." He is being passed as currency from hand to hand all around Foulsham. Yet everywhere people are searching for him, desperate to get hold of this dangerous Iremonger who, it is believed, has the power to bring down the mighty Umbitt.

All around the city, things, everyday things, are twitching into life . . .

My Rating: 3/5

I received this book for review from The Five Mile Press and it is the sequel to Heap House

This book was just as imaginative and weird as the first installment. The plot was a little weaker though and I missed the setting of the Iremonger house. I did however enjoy the new setting of the Foulsham village and its enigmatic occupants. 

There were more characters in this book which I liked as it enabled the story to develop and progress more. Plus we got to see more of life outside the Iremonger family. 

The beginning of this book was rather slow. It did however pick up towards the middle and the ending was my favourite portion of the book. 

Given the way the book ended I am looking forward to reading the last book in this trilogy. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review #520 - Legacy of the Claw (Animas #1) by C.R. Grey


When Bailey enters the prestigious Fairmount Academy as a freshman, he is the only member of his class who doesn't yet have an Animas. And in a world where the bond between human and animal is the guiding principle to life, this makes him an outsider both at school and in the world at large.

But Bailey is more important than he knows. He is the key to an ancient prophecy that will restore the rightful heir to the throne of a kingdom ripping at the seams. Through his budding friendships with Hal, Tori, and Phi, along with the unlikely help of renegade teacher and former conspiracy theorist Tremelo, Bailey must learn to find his Animas, piece together the riddle of the prophecy and start on the path that will lead them all to their destinies.

My Rating: 3/5

I received this book for review from The Five Mile Press. 

I will pretty much read any kind of book involved with animals and so a book about animals bonding with them really intrigued me.

From very, very early in this book I began to pick up slight similarities with Harry Potter. By about 50 pages in I had already lost count of the amount of similarities there were. 

I really liked this book most when Bailey was narrating. I didn't care for the odd chapter from other characters as I felt like the book was trying to do too much. 

I loved the whole idea of humans and animals bonding however this didn't develop anywhere near enough for my liking. 

The way the book ends, it opens the door for there to be more development of the Fairmount Academy in the second book which I am interested to see. 

Overall, this book had an intriguing concept that got lost amongst the political subplot. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Review #519 - Take the Reins (Canterwood Crest #1) by Jessica Burkhart


When Sasha Silver and her horse, Charm, arrive on the campus of the elite Canterwood Crest Academy, Sasha knows that she's in trouble. She's not exactly welcomed with open arms. One group of girls in particular is used to being the best, the brightest, and the prettiest on the team, and when Sasha shows her skills in the arena, the girls' claws come out. 

Sasha is determined to prove that she belongs at Canterwood. Will she rise to the occasion and make the advanced riding team by the end of her first semester? Or will the pressure send Sasha packing?

My Rating: 3.5/5

I received this book for review from Simon and Schuster Australia.

I was looking forward to reading this book not only because I have heard a lot of amazing things about this series but because I have a guilty pleasure for animal related literature. 

As this book is rated more as a children's book rather than a young adult book I was surprised how mature the protagonist Sasha was. 

There was a bit of a romantic element developing which I didn't expect from a children's book. That really added a whole other dimension to the story. 

I found the plot unoriginal but the dialogue was fresh and kept me interested throughout. 

I have ridden a horse probably 2-3 times in my life and so know next to nothing about riding. I liked how this book didn't confuse me with all the technical terms etc about horses but rather educated me.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Review #518 - January Window by Philip Kerr


Scott Manson is team coach for London City football club. He's also their all-round fixer - he gets the lads in to training, and out of trouble, keeps the wags at bay and the press in his pocket. The players love him, the bosses trust him.

But now London City manager Joao Zarco is dead, killed at his team's beloved stadium at Silvertown Docks. Even Scott Manson can't smooth over murder... but can he catch the killer before he strikes again?

My Rating: 4.5/5

I received this book for review from HarperCollins Australia

What initially drew me to this book was the cover but once I discovered it was a murder mystery surrounding the inner world of premier league football I was completely sold as I am a massive sports fan. 

The sporting aspect was obviously my favourite element of the story as I loved how it combined real players, clubs, managers etc with the obvious fictional ones. 

I think if this had not been sports related I would not have liked it as much as I did as the whole mystery solving aspect was a little slow and definitely took a back seat to the football stuff. 

Whenever I visit a different city I always visit all the sporting stadiums so I really loved that this book was largely set in a stadium. 

I really enjoyed the behind the scenes parts of London City especially the relationships between the players, managers, coaches and owners. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review #517 - Shiver the Whole Night Through by Darragh McManus


After months of bullying and romantic heartbreak, seventeen-year-old Aidan Flood feels just about ready to end it all. But when he wakes up one morning to find that local beauty and town sweetheart Sláine McAuley actually has, he discovers a new sense of purpose, and becomes determined to find out what happened to her. The town is happy to put it down to suicide, but then one night Aidan gets a message, scratched in ice on his bedroom window: 'I didn't kill myself.' Who is contacting him? And if Sláine didn't end her own life... who did?

My Rating: 3/5 

I received this book for review from The Five Mile Press

This book is set in Ireland and so a lot of the characters had Irish names and whilst I just pronounced them my own way to save myself confusion I did appreciate the pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book. 

This book was rather slow and drawn out. At around 300 pages it could have perhaps been a little shorter in length. 

I live in one of the hottest places on Earth that rarely even gets rain so I have never experienced snow so I really enjoyed the way the author depicted the snow in a very descriptive manner.  

I would have liked there to have been more dialogue. There were long portions of this book that were simply Aidan's ramblings. 

The mystery element was the slowest to develop and I would have liked more suspense to go with it. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book Review #516 - Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. 

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

My Rating: 4/5

This is the second Aimee Carter book that I have read after I read The Goddess Test around 3 years ago. 

I really loved the dystopian setting with this book. I have heard the ranking system is similar to one used in the Legend Trilogy but as I have yet to read that series it was entirely unique to me. 

I found however that this book spent too much time outlining the basic premise and so the ending was a little rushed. 

Whilst nothing about this book really stood out I would definitely say that this was above average as I really loved the political aspects in the Hart family. 

The characters, especially the Hart family were all interesting people. I found that I never knew which of them were trustworthy and found that my opinions about certain characters changed numerous times throughout the book. 

The romantic aspect was a lot weaker than I think had been intended. It wasn't that I didn't care for Kitty's relationship with Benjy it was that I felt like it wasn't that much in focus at anytime throughout and also the book starts with them already in a relationship which I didn't like. 

The sequel to this book, Captive is to be published sometime this month and I cannot wait to read it as this one ended on a huge cliffhanger. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review #515 - When We Were Two by Robert Newton


Dan had to go,
He felt he had no choice,
but leaving home was never
going to be easy . . . 

Dan and his brother Eddie take off for the coast, in search of their lost mother, in search of a better life . . . but it's a long road they face and Dan must use all his wits to get them there in one piece.

When they are taken under the wings of a group of would-be soldiers marching over the mountains to join up for the Great War, Dan and Eddie's journey becomes something quite unexpected. The experiences they share will shape their future beyond recognition.

This extraordinary rite of passage is a powerful, heart-rending story – Robert Newton at his very best.

My Rating: 3.5/5

I knew nothing about this book before reading it and I only decided to borrow it from the Library solely based on the cover. 

This book is set in war-time Queensland, which is one of the 3 Australian states that I have never been to. 

This book was absolutely beautifully written and it weaved the enchanting story telling perfectly with the endlessly dimensional characters. 

My only problem with this book was that I picked a bad time to read it. I wasn't able to read it for long periods of time and so wasn't able to get any continuity with it. This definitely impacted my overall enjoyment. 

This book follows brothers Dan and Eddie on their journey full of hope whilst escaping from their abusive father. This journey ends up defining their lives. 

I loved their brotherly relationship and even though I think it is extremely hard to capture the true Australian spirit in a character without it coming across as stereotypical, I think that it was really pulled off with Dan. 

Eddie was the most enjoyable character in the book. His energy was evident on just about every page.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Review #514 - Knocked Out by My Nunga-nungas (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson #3) by Louise Rennison


Georgia Nicolson is now the girlfriend of the Sex God (aka Robbie), and things are wonderful. Except her loony parents are dragging her off to Och Aye land (aka Scotland), and the Sex God's band's chance at a record contract has left her something of a "pop widow."

Then up rears temptation in the form of old flame Dave the Laugh. Is Georgia about to become a shameless vixen?

My Rating: 3/5

I didn't particularly enjoy this book, at least not as much as I remember enjoying the first two. 

This book was just one long conversation. That's all the book seemed to be about. 

For a third book in a series the lack of development is bothering me. These seem to be more stand alone books that happen to contain the same characters. 

Robbie is always depicted as too perfect but to me he seems very boring. The way Georgia talks to Jas and her overall attitude in this book annoyed me endlessly. 

I will probably end up reading the rest of this series but it probably won't be for a while. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Review #513 - The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield


"A boy on a quest against the power of the storm"

Eleven-year-old Danny's parents are storm chasers - which sounds fun and exciting, and it is, so long as you aren't the son who has to wait behind at home. And one night, after a particularly fierce storm, Danny's parents don't come back. Stranger still, the old sycamore tree in Danny's yard seems to have been struck by lightning, and when he picks up a fragment of wood from the tree's heart, he finds he can hear voices ... including that of next door's rather uppity cat, Mitzy. The stick is a taro, a shard of lightning that bestows upon its bearer unnerving powers, including the ability to talk with plants and animals - and it is very valuable. 

So valuable, in fact, that it attracts the attention of a Sammael, an ancient figure of darkness and a buyer of souls. And he will do anything to get his hands on it ... And so begins a dangerous and daring quest. Danny, who is bewildered, alone and unaccustomed to acts of bravery, must confront his fears, find his parents and unravel the secrets of The Book of Storms.

My Rating: 3/5

I received this book for review from the Five Mile Press.

This was an interesting concept for a story however I found it rather slow and confusing throughout. Things aren't properly explained and the continual shifting in third person narrations didn't help either. 

I did find though that once the plot developed more progressively throughout I did start to enjoy it. 

Danny, the protagonist was a typical 11 year old boy who goes on a very unique adventure. Through this adventure he learns to understand his parents pain and they grow closer as a family. 

I would have preferred the book to have been entirely from Danny's perspective and in first person as I liked this book the most when it was solely focusing on Danny. 

I would have liked the antagonist Sammael to have had more character development. He is depicted as bad and someone to be feared throughout the book but I saw no real evidence of this. Him showing compassion at the end of the book wasn't that surprising for me because of this. 

This book deals a lot with nature which I loved as I found it very fascinating. I liked how the author was able to have talking animals, trees, rivers and storms without it ever seeming too immature or weird. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review #512 - The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Piorot #1) by Agatha Christie


The famous case that launched the career of Hercule Poirot. When a wealthy heiress is murdered, Poirot steps out of retirement to find the killer. As the master detective makes his way through the list of suspects, he finds the solution in an elaborately planned scheme almost impossible to believe.

My Rating: 3.5/5

I finally decided to read an Agatha Christie book. I have been wanting to read more mystery books and thought Agatha Christie was the perfect place to start. 

I was a little surprised at first to discover that Hercule Piorot, having the series named after him wasn't the narrator of the book although I was later glad this was the case as I didn't particularly like him. 

Piorot constantly talked down to other characters, Hastings the narrator in particular and I overall just found him quite arrogant and condescending

The mystery aspect on its own was amazing. It was a little slow paced but this enabled me to fully grasp what was happening and get a real understanding of the broad diversity of characters. 

I am really looking forward to reading the rest of this series and hope the mysteries are all as unpredictable as this one. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Review #511 - Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides


In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

The explanation for this shocking state of affairs is a rare genetic mutation - and a guilty secret - that have followed Callie's grandparents from the crumbling Ottoman Empire to Prohibition-era Detroit and beyond, outlasting the glory days of the Motor City, the race riots of 1967, and the family's second migration, into the foreign country known as suburbia. Thanks to the gene, Callie is part girl, part boy. And even though the gene's epic travels have ended, her own odyssey has only begun.

My Rating: 4.5/5

I read this book as part of my 1001 Books Challenge where I try and read at least 1 book from the list a month. (Note that I have now decided to read books from an updated 1001 books list that unfortunately does not include this book.)

When I decided to read books from that list I had hoped to read really well written books that I would love but were books that I wouldn't ever decide to read on my own. Middlesex is that type of book. 

All I knew about this book before reading it was that it was about a hermaphrodite. It is mainly about his grandparents and parents lives leading up to his birth whilst being very imaginative on an epic scale. 

The only thing I didn't like about this book was at times it was over descriptive. There was some parts of the book I had to skim over (like 2 pages full of how the conveyor belt at the car manufacturer works) because it was way too descriptive. 

My favourite aspects of this book was the family element. This book focuses on so many family relationships that I am amazed I didn't get any of them confused with one another.

Calliope/Cal was such a fascinating narrator. He was surprisingly very honest and genuine and had a very distinct voice. 

I loved the historical elements in the book. The book always seemed to take place somewhere at a time that was either historically or culturally significant which gave me something of a history lesson as I enjoyed reading the book. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book Review #510 - The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events #11) by Lemony Snicket


Dear Reader,
Unless you are a slug, a sea anemone, or mildew, you probably prefer not to be damp. You might also prefer not to read this book, in which the Baudelaire siblings encounter an unpleasant amount of dampness as they descend into the depths of despair, underwater.
In fact, the horrors they encounter are too numerous to list, and you wouldn't want me even to mention the worst of it, which includes mushrooms, a desperate search for something lost, a mechanical monster, a distressing message from a lost friend, and tap dancing.
As a dedicated author who has pledged to keep recording the depressing story of the Baudelaires, I must continue to delve deep into the cavernous depths of the orphans' lives. You, on the other hand, may delve into some happier book in order to keep your eyes and your spirits from being dampened.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

My Rating: 4/5

I was actually surprised by how much I loved this book. I haven't been the biggest fan of this series so far but with this book I actually started to understand why these books are as popular as they are.

I felt like I had to finish this series because the companion series All the Wrong Questions has started referencing this series a lot and I didn't want to get confused. 

This book was very adventurous, action packed and fast paced. It was also filled with the trademark Lemony Snicket wittiness of course. 

In this book the Baudelaires end up on a submarine and learn a lesson about distinguishing friends from foes. 

I am looking forward to reading the remaining 2 books in this series as I found that I am liking each book more than the one before it. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review #509 - Breakdown by Sarah Mussi


It is 2084. Nuclear radiation has poisoned the country. Society has fallen apart. Starvation is rampant, and power shortages have resulted in piles of obsolete gadgetry. Necessity has driven those who've survived to complete self-reliance, if they have the means to do so. For Melissa and her Nan, survival is just about possible, so long as they can guard the tiny crop of potatoes in their back garden and find enough fuel to cook on - and as long as they are safely barricaded inside their home by curfew.

For after dark, feral dogs hunt, and violent gangs from the old Olympic Stadium (now a miserable ghetto) roam to loot and plunder. If they catch you, they are not merciful; so when Melissa falls into the hands of Careem's gang, her prospects look bleak. But Careem soon realises that she might just be more valuable alive, as a ransom victim. However, he hasn't reckoned with Melissa's resourcefulness. Soon part of his young gang are completely beguiled by Melissa and her story of a hidden valley in Scotland - a place that sounds like a comparative paradise, if they can get there. But apparently only Melissa knows the way, and only she can lead them there. But Melissa is hiding a secret. She has never been to Scotland in her life, let alone a mythically  Elysian valley there. Can Melissa's stories keep her alive long enough to escape - or will they get her killed?

My Rating: 5/5

I received this book for review from the Five Mile Press. 

Dystopians are my favourite genre at the moment but this book has got to be one of the most realistic ones I have read. 

Unlike most dystopians I have read, this book actually explains how the world got the way it is. The reasons were also really believable. 

I loved how London was used as the setting and it was obvious by the vivid world building that it is a city (even in its dystopian state) that the author knows well. 

I also loved the Greek Mythology elements that were integrated into the story. 

Melissa was a strong female protagonist both physically and mentally. My favourite character was 6 year old Lenny as he always brought hope into otherwise hopeless situations. 

Usually I would be glad that a book is a stand alone because I am terrible at reading sequels but I really would have liked a sequel for this book. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book Review #508 - Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire


Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. 

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Rating: 4/5

This book is the sequel to Beautiful Disaster which I read a few months ago and absolutely loved it. 

The first book is told from Abby's perspective whereas this book is told from Travis'. Because this is more or less the same story, just with a different narrator I was surprised by how different that made the story. 

There were a few holes in the story which could be filled in by having read Beautiful Disaster so I would recommend reading the books in order to save confusion. 

I was really interested in reading this book from Travis' perspective because he is such a diverse and dynamic character whilst also being somewhat of an enigma. 

The large majority of contemporary books are stand-alones with either split narration or single narration so I love how these books broke away from that and did something unique. 

I was a little surprised by the epilogue because I know there are other book in this series (from Travis' brothers point-of-views) and so didn't expect the epilogue to be set so far into the future. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Review #507 - American Savage (The Savages #2) by Matt Whyman


Vegan, veggie, carnivore... humanitarian? Welcome to the top of the food chain.

The Savages are back - this time in a country where servings come supersized. Titus, Angelica and the kids go to great lengths to fit into their new lives in sunny Florida. But that's not easy when their appetite runs to feasts of human flesh.

In this dark comic serving of everyday family life with contemporary cannibals, the Savages seek to hide in plain sight by setting up a vegan café. But when the venture turns out to be a surprise sensation, and bad apples bob to the surface, Titus is forced to question whether the family have finally bitten off more than they can chew.

My Rating: 3.5/5

I received this book for review from the Five Mile Press and it is the sequel to The Savages

The Savages have been Americanized or are trying to be at least. After having to move to American after their cannibal ways were made public the Savages discover that the American way of life is impacting their waistlines. 

Titus, the father creates new business ventures that enables him to provide the "feasts" for his family. But when he creates new rules for this it annoys his family. 

Angelica, the mother has issues with her attractive, younger personal trainer who quickly develops a crush on her and doesn't seem to care that she is married. 

Sasha, the eldest child is not included in this book at all as she is away at university. 

Ivan, who is fast becoming my favourite character has the toughest time settling into life in the US. He is bullied mercilessly throughout but in true Ivan fashion creates a way to stop them. 

Katya, the youngest child has grown so much since the first book but because of her age doesn't really influence the story at all. 

Oleg, the grandfather falls in love with a fellow citizen at the nursing home and after discovering she has a life threatening illness wishes to include her in the family's secret recipe. 

The main complication in this book is when the family along with their lodger Amanda decide to open a vegan cafe to prevent backlash from a mob boss they accidentally angered. 

I liked that there was somewhat of a mystery aspect to this book as they kept eluding to the fact that they needed a "feast" but there was no obvious person to feast on. 

I love how this book is essentially about a family of cannibals but is approached in such a light-hearted and humerous manner. 

The ending of the book was surprising and actually quite disturbing.