Monday, 30 July 2012

Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Pages: 368
Publisher: Chicken House
Released: 1st of March 2011

Jody loves Jackson Gatlin. At his only UK rock concert, she’s right at the front. But when she's caught in the crush and carried back stage she has more than concussion to contend with. Throw in a menacing manager, a super-wired super-star, and a curly-wurly, and she finds herself taking home more than just a poster. It’s the accidental kidnapping of the decade. But what happens if you’ve a rock-god in your garage who doesn’t want to leave? Jody’s stuck between a rock-idol and a hard place! 

What I Have to Say

A really good, lighthearted, non-serious read. If you're looking for something quite lighthearted to read then this is the perfect book for you! 

While, for me, Jodie started out as incredibly dislikeable, she grew on me. The way she speaks is really realistic too. And all the pop culture references were great, because real people will just talk about things like that. I especially liked the way she described one of the places as looking like Knocturn Alley, because Harry Potter is a very big part of most of our generations' childhood, so it's really realistic to have someone reference it so casually. 

I loved Cree so much! She was absolutely adorable! I really think she added a lot to the book, because it showed a side of Jodie that wasn't just a rock-star obsessed, immature girl. 

In the end, this is a story about a girl growing up. It's a really interesting read and very funny.

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Pages: 440
Publisher: Atom
Released: 19th of January 2012

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.

When the night began, Nora had two best friends and a boyfriend she adored. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands. Chris was dead. Adriane couldn’t speak. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora’s determined to follow the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. But Chris’s murder is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

What I Have to Say 

This book was great! The mystery of it was so intriguing and the tension of it mounted in just the right places. 

I really liked the main character too. She was very intelligent and had such an interesting back story. I will definitely read more about her if there's a sequel. 

The latin was really interesting too. As someone who is learning a second language, it was really cool to see a translation storyline that was so intregral to the plot. Also, the translation didn't drag down the story. When so much of the plot depends on sitting down and pouring over documents, it would be so easy for it to slow down the plot, but even in the scenes where the act of translation was described, Wasserman managed to keep the pace of the plot going.

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Synopsis (From the Waterstones Website)

Pages: 304
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Released: 10th of May 2011

Against all odds, 17-year-old Gene has survived in a world where humans have been eaten to near extinction by the general population. The only remaining humans, or hepers as they are known, are housed in domes on the savannah and studied at the nearby Heper Institute. Every decade there is a government sponsored hunt. When Gene is selected to be one of the combatants he must learn the art of the hunt but also elude his fellow competitors whose suspicions about his true nature are growing

What I Have to Say 

I heard so many good things about The Hunt so I was prepared for something amazing. It didn't disappoint! It was very original and well thought out, which is really hard to do with a vampire book. Completely disgusting, but a whole unique take on vampires, which is really hard to do because so much vampires stuff has been done already!

Reversing the myth was a really cool idea too. Having the humans as the ones that are hiding in society, rather than the vampires was a really great idea.  It also meant that he could explore a world of vampires which had already been fully formed.

So, basically, this book isn't for people who get grossed out easily. Whether it's by gore or by bodily functions, if that stuff puts you off, this isn't for you. But if you can handle that sort of thing then go for it! It's an excellent read.

Monday, 9 July 2012

13 Little Blue Envelopes + The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

I'm talking about 13 Little Blue Envelopes a lot in this review so I thought I should post a summary for that too. The Last Little Blue Envelopes summary will contain spoilers for 13 Little Blue Envelopes, but the review doesn't have any.

Summary (from Goodreads) 

Pages: 336
Publisher: Harper Collins
Released: 23rd of August 2005

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them.

Pages: 288
Publisher: Harper Collins
Released: 26th of April 2011

 (Highlight to read)

Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

What I Have to Say

For anyone who doesn't follow Maureen Johnson on twitter, she is insane. If you have twitter, follow her. Seriously, it's so much fun.

Now that I've established that fact, I can move on to my point. The madness that Maureen Johnson shows on twitter (and at signings) really shows through in her writing, without taking away from her characters voice. Especially in these two books.

I really loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes when I read it and what I think I loved most about both books was the perspective. Having lived here all my life, there are many things about England that I just accept as the natural way of things, so when reading a book where the narrator is not English, there are a lot of "Wait, do they not have that in America?" moments.

I guess I just find it interesting to see an American's viewpoint on my country. Especially with Maureen Johnson's brand of slightly insane characters.

Both 13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Last Little Blue Envelopes go firmly on my recommended list, especially for people interested in travelling around Europe.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Fiktshun's Soul Screamers Reading Challenge: Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent

BIW Mini Challenge

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages:  339
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Published: 6th of July 2012 (UK)
I died on a Thursday-killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul. The good news? He didn't get it. The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school...  Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent "recovering," she's back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend. But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won't keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn't just gambling with her own life...

What I Have to Say 

Rachel Vincent is so cruel to her characters. She hurts them viciously and makes me cry. This is why I love her books so much! I don't know what it is about me as a reader, but I love books that make me really upset for the characters. 

This series, it's just so good. I cannot wait for the next book, but it's going to be a whole year!! How can I wait so long? 

As I said in my review of If I Die, I was really interested to see how Kaylee developed after the end of If I Die and Vincent didn't disappoint! It's brought a whole new level to the character with the new powers she has and the new challenges she faces. And a whole new level of emotion :'( 

Her relationship with Tod is moving really fast too. I can see why, and the whole situation that she's in completely explains it. I like that it's moving fast, I think. It feels right. And I'm coming to terms with the whole Kaylee and Tod thing. I mean, I still think Tod and Emma would be wonderful together, but I've accepted him with Kaylee. 

All in all, I think that If I Die is still my favourite book in the Soul Screamers series. But Before I Wake is a brilliant follow up book and I can't wait for the next book. Though that will be the last in the series! :'( I don't want this series to be over!!!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Pages: 448
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: 1st of October 2009

Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

What I Have to Say

It took me a while to get into this one. I found it a bit overly detailed, especially towards the start, but once I got the fact that it was a parallel of World War One, I managed to get into it. The fact is though, I get put off by too much political stuff in books. I appreciate that for some books it's needed, but if I have to process too much information in order to understand the book, then it just puts me off. 

I really do recommend this book though. Politics aside, the world he's created is just as creative and interesting as the Uglies universe. 

I especially like the Darwinists. It was a really interesting take on steampunk, to have the traditional steam powered walkers and then to have a different branch of technology running alongside it where they have used animals and evolution to create their tech. I haven't read much steampunk, but I have never heard of this idea before. Westerfeld is a genius. 

In all, I would recommend this book to steampunk fans especially. Also, people who are interested in History, especially the First World War. But anyone who likes sci fi can find a lot of enjoyment from this book really.