Monday, 26 March 2012

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Synopsis (from

 When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is 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.

What I Have to Say

 So after reading the Fault in our Stars, I went on a bit of a John Green binge. Well I say binge. I read this and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (which I won't be reviewing, not because it was bad, just 'cause it was nothing special. If you want to hear my thoughts, feel free to drop me an email). So a lot of my thoughts about this are in relation to the Fault in our Stars. If you haven't read my review of it then go and read it before reading this. Go on. I can wait.

Okay is everyone back? All on the same page? Great. :) So I think that John Green has some sort of amazing ability to make readers fall in love with normally unlikable characters. In the Fault in our Stars, there's Augustus. I mean come on he puts cigarettes in his mouth and doesn't light them just for the irony! What's there to like? And in Katherines, it's Colin. Colin is the typical child prodigy. He doesn't exactly think that everyone is beneath him, but he's smarter than them and knows it. In any other book I would hate both of them! But I love them so much.

I came away from the Fault in our Stars, thinking that it was the humour that did it. People like humour and if someone makes them laugh it makes them like the person.  But in the Fault in our Stars, it was Augustus's sarcasm that the humour came in. A typically, cynical, teenage sense of humour. I love it. In anything, I love that sort of humour. But with Katherines it's different. Colin is jokey and funny but what makes him lovable, in my opinion, is the simplistic view in which he sees the world. The very premise of the book shows this view. He dates girls called Katherine. He tries to use maths to solve his romantic problems. It's almost naive and that's why I love the Abundance of Katherines.

I'd love to hear other peoples opinions about this. Go read the book and then come back and comment. Or if you've already read the book, just comment. I'd be really interested.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

 Do not read this review unless you have already read Uglies or don't mind being spoiled. My review for Uglies is located here!

 Synopsis (From the Waterstones Website)
Tally has finally become 'pretty'. Her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are cool, her boyfriend is totally gorgeous, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted. But beneath all the fun - the non-stop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom - is a nagging feeling that something is very wrong. Something important. And sure enough, when a message from Tally's 'ugly' past arrives, the fun stops cold. Now Tally has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life...

What I Have to Say

I think that Pretties really lived up to the standard set by the first book. For one thing Westerfeld managed to smoothly do the recapping the story thing, that authors seem to think they have to do.  Because Tally's pretty-brain is affecting her memory she is slowly getting her memories back. It means that the reader gets reminded what's previously happened without it being intrusive or info dumpy. It's just smoothly worked into the story.

I thought that the book was really well written and it was just as good as the last one, so if you enjoyed Uglies you're likely to enjoy Pretties! :)

My comments still stand about the world and characters, I still love the world Scott Westerfeld described with it's dark secrets, but what struck me most was the slang that was used throughout the book.

Slang can be done badly in books, but it's really fun to read when it's done well. And I think that part of the reasons is how integral the slang was to the plot. Tally and Zane seemed to find it much easier to hide what they were saying and indeed the fact that they were bubbly because slang is very prominent in the Pretty personality. 

It also made it very easy to adapt what they where saying. Slang is often very easy to understand what they were saying. Slang is often very easy to adapt into code and the fact that the crims could convey that they where feeling less pretty-brained by being bubbly. It really works well to convey how much they're having to hide their conversations and how clever they're being. It's just very well constructed, with so much detail. It really feels that Westerfeld has thought about everything.

If every book had this much detail without becoming too infodumpy, then books would be so much better than they are now.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Fiktshun's Soul Screamers Reading Challenge: My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

 There will be spoilers in this post from My Soul to Take. If you want to know more about the Soul Screamers books then check out my review of My Soul to Take here!

  Synopsis (From the Waterstones Website)
When teenager Kaylee screams, someone dies...So when teen pop star Eden dies onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul. The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld - a consequence they can't possibly understand. Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk.

What I Have to Say

I didn't think My Soul to Save was any better than My Soul to Take, but I didn't think it was any worse either. They're both really great books, so this isn't a bad thing at all. Too many books try to escalate the drama until it becomes unrealistic - sustainable quality is a really good thing in a series and Rachel Vincent really pulls it off.

I liked seeing more of Tod and exploring other sides of his character. It made him more of a main character and less of just someone who's there.  I also really love the relationship between Nash and Tod. It works so well because it's both funny and realistic. 

Another good thing about this book is that we get to see Kaylee develop and start to learn about what she can do as a Bean Sidhe. She's getting more integrated into the supernatural world. 

Also we get to learn more about the Netherworld! Which is always cool and Vincent shows that she can be just as imaginative in creating faery worlds/ demon dimensions as the other writers around her. 

It's completely worth reading more of this series and I can't wait to read the next book (which I will do much sooner than I did this one!!! >< you can blame the reading I've had to do for uni for that xD). 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Pride by Rachel Vincent

Synopsis from (from Amazon)

The werecat council has three cardinal laws and headstrong Faythe stands accused of breaking two of them: infecting a human with her supernatural skills and killing him to cover her tracks. With the death penalty hanging over her head, Faythe has no escape route left. Until a shapeshifter informs the pride of a rash of rogue strays terrorising his land. Yet this threat is nothing like any they've seen before. Only Faythe has the knowledge to save the pride, but can she prove her worth? Or will the councils verdict condemn them all? 

What I Have to Say

About the Series in General
The best thing about Vincent's characters are the strong female protagonists. I think my favourite is Faythe. She's very tough and refuses to be talked down to. It makes it really easy to believe that she's a werecat raised among a bunch of older brothers.

It's the way that all the characters act that makes it feel real. It's very normal and human, but at the same time it's all very catlike. 

There are just little things that are scattered throughout the books: They can hear through most walls, identify each other by scent and have to eat much more than humans. Just these small details team up to make a really believable storyworld that's easy to immerse yourself in. 

About Pride in Particular
Pride was heartbreaking, but at the same time it's got a lot of action and humour. The other thing that was really well done was the pace and action of the storyline. The fact that the main plotline is Faythe's trial means that it could very easily become slow and technical, especially since the main character is banned from partaking in the action. But as we all know, trouble finds it's way in. 

In all, I loved the book just as much as the others in the series. It has a really well built world and a good range of characters. 

Now I have to go and buy the next book to find out what happens!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Plague by Michael Grant

Synopsis (FromThe Waterstones Website)

 (Contains mild spoilers for the rest of the series so I'm whiting it out. Highlight if you want to read it!)
The FAYZ goes from bad to worse...The darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe, with a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans for power in the town. In a small room of a house near the edge of town, Little Pete lies ill on a bed. In his fevered dreams, he continues his battle with the hidden evil that seeks to use his power to bring about anarchy and destruction.
 What I Have to Say

About the series in general

This is another really good story world. What happens when kids are left alone? Maybe throw in a few power mad kids. And then why not go the whole way and give them superpowers? What could possibly go wrong? 
In some ways it's rather like a modernised version of Lord of the Flies, but then the superpowers come in and it's a whole different thing. It's gives a new angle and updates it a lot by bringing in mental issues such as sociopathy and autism. 

I also think that Sam is perfect as the main narrator. The weight of responsibility and the decisions that he makes really show how hard it is to suddenly have responsibility for a lot of people. Especially when they're kids who just expect him to just solve everything. 

So I would really recommend the series. Especially if you like dark storylines and really, really twisted characters.  

About Plague in Particular (SPOILERS FOR THE REST OF THE SERIES)

I don't think I liked this book as much as the last one. It was still really good, but I'm feeling that it might be time to bring them out of the FAYZ now. Or at least put something new in there to make it feel fresh again. I'm so curious to know how everything would change without the FAYZ. I mean are Sam's worries really going to take place or is it just paranoia on his part? But for now, especially since the Blink, it's just feeling quite stretched out and just becoming the same fights over and over. 

Don't get me wrong, plague is still really worth reading. I just feel that the series needs something new for the next book. 

Anyway, that's just my opinion on the matter. Feel free to disagree in the comments. Then we could have a debate! :P