Sunday 31 October 2010

Book Review - Torment

In Torment fallen angel Daniel and his mortal love Lucinda think they are safe but evil forces are massing against them. As Luce learns more about her past, and discovers that the lives she’s already lived hold the key to her future happiness; she starts to wonder if Daniel has told her the whole truth. What if his version of events isn’t the way things happened? What if that means that she’s really meant to be with someone else? 

My Review
As i struggled a bit with book 1, I wasn't overly enthused to read this one, but thought i would give it a chance and I'm glad I did. For me this book was sooo much better than the first. I was immediately hooked and couldn't read it fast enough. Swept away to a special school in California, Luce tries to find out more about her past and what Daniel really means to her. Whilst there she learns more about the Announcers (Shadows) and meets some new friends. I loved Shelby, her quick wit was great and Miles is a sweet heart. There is quite a bit of intrigue and as Luce discovered her past, i was as interested as she was. Some moments in this book surprised me and some I managed to guess as I went along. 
I did get confused at some points as to who was on what 'side', what with Truce's and different creatures and alliances, i had to really think about who did what, but once I had got it in my head, the book flowed. 
I can't say too much as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it, but the book gives you a much better insight into a lot of characters, and the Ending, OMG, the Ending!!! was amazing, cannot believe i have to wait until next summer for 'Passion'. After finishing the book, i just sat there going 'ooh, omg' I need the next part!!

On another note, my copy of the book had a special chapter, it was from Book 1, 'Daniels First Sighting' which tells you about the day Luce turns up at Swords & Cross, but from his point of view. It was very interesting, and I think it should be put in all editions. Fans of the book would love it. 

My Rating
 I would give this book 8.5, a definite must read!!! :D 

Saturday 30 October 2010

Book Review - Ghostgirl: Lovesick

Before she can rest in peace, Charlotte Usher must return to the tragic site of her death: High School.
On the brink of Dead Ed graduation, Charlotte and her fellow classmates learn they have one last mission to complete before gaining entrance to the much-anticipated afterlife: Observe one designated teen with an unexplained problem and help said-troubled teen by Prom.
For the life of her, Charlotte can't imagine why she has been assigned to help Damen, last year's Homecoming King and her former fatal crush. To make matters worse, her boyfriend Eric is sent to look after her best (breathing) friend Scarlet, who has since ditched her goth girl image for a girlier look that turns more heads than just her boyfriend Damen's.
Charlotte would die (again) for love. But when her only chance at an afterlife means having to face the dreaded, all-too-familiar pains of being invisible, it may be too much for her to handle. 

My Review
I was so excited to have a third part in this series and grabbed it as soon as i could. I had to know what happens to Charlotte next, and when she is so close to Graduating and moving on, she finds she has to go back, and not only does she have to go back to High School, she has to help her former crush Damon. This isn't as easy as it sounds, first she has to know what he needs help with, and when it all becomes entangled with all the other kids problems and their helpers, things can get messy.
I really enjoyed this book as much as the others in the series, if not more!
The writing again is excellent and the story is exciting, it's nice to see the characters (both dead and alive) grow, Eve is still my favourite but is more angsty in this book, she isn't sure of who she is or what she wants from life, but knows her friends are there for her (well sort of in Charlottes' case)
This book really tied up some loose ends for me from the first too books, and had a really beautiful ending. Everything is neatly tied off, but at the same time poised for a sequel, should Hurley wish to write one. (Here's hoping she does, as I can't get enough)
The artwork/illustrations are once again beautiful and the overall look of the book is gorgeous.

My Rating
I would give this book 9.5/10, you really should read it, but read the whole series, it's sooo good!

Contest you should check out

Great contest for a Blog Design. If like me, you aren't that great at the behind the scenes blog stuff, this is a contest for you.
Just pop over here at The Book Worms

Also 'Fallen Angels' contest, you should check out, to win 3 signed YA Angel Fiction books. just go here

Life Is Good Award

I was awarded this by The Book Bee. Go check out this blog! Thanks Book Bee

1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked to let them know about the award.

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
No, I don't mind blogging under my name, it's who I am!
2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
I have to have the last word on the phone.
3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
A girl with a lot going for her in her life, but still seems a bit unsure of where to go next.
4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
Oasis Summer Fruits
5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Curl up on my bed with a good book, a film  and some Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream.
6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in life? What is it?
I want to write a novel, have started it, but is taking quite a while, never have enough time to do it.
7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?
I was the shy person, i would sit at the back and do my work quietly, never raised my hand or messed about.
8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
The day i went to London last year on the train, this was a big moment for me as i had a terrible  fear of trains, but i managed to conquer it.
9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
No, i find it quite easy to share my true self.
1o. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
I would sit down and read, i hate talking on the phone, so impersonal, and i LOVE books, easy choice really.

The Recipients:
1) Frazzled Book Nommer
2) The Book Worm Is Here
3) Book Noise
4) Down The Rabbit Hole
5) Book Hounds
6) The Diary Of A Bookworm
7) Forever Young
8) Sarah Reads Too Much
9) I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
10) Reader Recommended
11) The Ladybug Reads
12) The Book Buff
13) A Dream Of Books
14) Reading World
15) Lori's Reading Corner

You all Rock!!!

Friday 29 October 2010

Book Blogger Hop: October 29th - November 1st

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and is an awesome way to for book bloggers to interact and find each other. Such a wonderful idea! There's a new question every week that all the participating blogs have to answer. This week's question is:

"What is the one bookish thing you would love to have, no matter the cost?"

I would love to have my own private library, a bit like the one in Beauty & The Beast, i know, massive and beautiful. Floor to ceiling shelves, comfy chairs and thousands of books to choose from.

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, go back later and join the fun!  This is a weekly event!  And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added

If you've stopped by my blog from the hop, welcome, it's great to have you here, please feel free to look around, and follow. I will then visit you in turn. :D

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Book Review - Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero

This is a thrilling new series featuring three brand-new demigod heroes, from the best-selling creator of Percy Jackson.

Old enemies awaken as Camp Half-Blood's new arrivals prepare for war.

When Jason, Piper and Leo crash land at Camp Half-Blood, they have no idea what to expect. Apparently this is the only safe place for children of the Greek Gods – despite the monsters roaming the woods and demigods practising archery with flaming arrows and explosives.

But rumours of a terrible curse – and a missing hero – are flying around camp.

It seems Jason, Piper and Leo are the chosen ones to embark on a terrifying new quest, which they must complete by the winter solstice. In just four days time. 
Can the trio succeed on this deadly mission- and what must they sacrifice in order to survive?

My Review
It has felt like a lifetime since I was immersed into the world of Percy Jackson, and I was sooo happy when I heard there was a new book. Diving back into the world of Greek Myths, Gods and Demigods, i picked up the book, and sped through it. Rick Riordan spins a fantastic story that is well paced, full of action and excitement.
Although set in the world of Percy Jackson, the hero himself is not in the book, he is missing. This immediately made me catch my breathe. What had Riordan done with him. Many of our favourites feature in the book, if only briefly. Annabeth is of course searching for Percy, but does play an important part.
This book is centered around three new heroes, Jason, Leo and Piper, all who have deep secrets that could threaten all they work for.
The book starts with Jason waking up on a bus not knowing who or what he is, he has total amnesia. Everyone on the bus seems to know him, except the teacher who seems suspicious of him. Things of course go from bad to worse.
The trio are taken to Camp Half-Blood and end up with a mission, I don't want to put too much here, because I don't want to give the plot away, of course though, the mission is filled with danger, conflict and adventure.
This book splits the world into another view, You still have the Greek Gods, but Riordan has bought in their other side, and delved into the Roman aspect of their 'lives'. What is the difference between 'Zeus' and 'Jupiter' is it just a name, or is there more to it? I found this really fascinating to read, I love the fact that these books teach you about Greek myths and now Roman, without seeming to be learning.
Although I missed the presence of Percy, I found myself drawn into the new characters, Pipers feisty nature mixed with uncertainties of who she is, Leo's quick wit and charm, and Jason's strong presence, mixed with his quest to discover who he is, and regain his memories, I felt like I'd known them all along.

My Rating
I would give this book 9/10, a fantastic read, absolutely gripping, only took a point of because I have to wait a whole year for the next part, Mr Riordan, what are you doing to me?

Monday 25 October 2010

30 Days Of Gratitude (1)

This is a weekly event run by 'Readings of a Busy Mum'

So I decided to tell you all what I'm grateful for once a week every Monday. This will be things that make my life a little easier and happier.

This week I'm grateful for:

I know, typical corny answer, but as I still live at home I see my family a lot, although we don't always talk a lot. But my parents do a lot for me and I for them. They look after me, make me smile and i'm lucky to have them!

What are you grateful for? I would love for you to tell me or take a picture, blog it and link me up there's nothing more than a little shared gratitude!

Friday 22 October 2010

Book Blogger Hop: October 22nd-25th

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and is an awesome way to for book bloggers to interact and find each other. Such a wonderful idea! There's a new question every week that all the participating blogs have to answer. This week's question comes from, well ME!!! so excited :D

"Where is your favorite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?"

My favourite place to read is curled up on the sofa, but also quite like reading in bed with my blanket round me, nice and cosy.

 The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, go back later and join the fun!  This is a weekly event!  And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added


Thursday 21 October 2010

Book Review - Diary of a Snob: Money Can't Buy Me Love

Poppet is back with Kwame, and keeping it a secret from her family and curious best friends Vixen and Striker...But it is not easy having a double life and sneaking out of Hampstead to an estate in Kilburn twice a week....But when Poppet's mother Jocasta finds out what's going on, Poppet is shocked at how snobby her 'liberal' mother is. Poppet knows she's a lucky girl...she'll never ever know what it's like to be poor...But all the money in the world can't buy you true love...
My Review
I have read all the other books by this author in the 'diary of a chav' series and book 1 in this series, so had to read this one. As it's been quite a while since i read the other one it took a while for me to remember who everyone was, but i soon got into it. This book is very easy to read, good for a giggle and even a little tear in some places. Poppet is hiding her boyfriend, failing classes and generally 'running wild' according to the papers. She realises that life isn't always easy and money can't buy you love. As her mum tries to find a way to control Poppet's behaviour, Poppet really starts to think about her life. I liked the writing, it flows quickly, there isn't really much to the story but that's how it's meant to be, a nice light read, but saying that it does have a message to it. Being rich isn't everything, it's what you do with it and with your life that is important. 
I would definitely read any more in this series.

My Rating
I would give this book 6.5/10. Give it a go, I promise you will laugh.

Book Awards

I received the Versatile Blogger Award from  YA Book Lover
The Versatile Blogger Award!
Here are the rules for this one:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
1) I read on average 3 books a week
2) I am a Trampolining Coach 2 nights a week
3) I work almost full time in a Public Library (and love it)
4) Cake is my weakness especially chocolate
5) I have over 1500 Beanie Babies
6) I am addicted to 'Gilmore Girls' & 'Ugly Betty' on TV
7) I have only ever been to 1 concert and it was to see Taylor Swift and i loved it!

Now to tag my 15! wow this will take a while
You're all awesome bloggers, and I love looking at your sites. 
I'll notify everyone tomorrow, I need to get to bed!

Sunday 17 October 2010

Book Review - Tuck Everlasting

The Tucks have a secret, and their secret can either be seen as a blessing or a curse. The Tucks drank from a magic spring and now they cannot die. Young Winnie Foster finds out their secret and so the Tucks take her home to try and explain the secret and the importance of keeping it. Yet now the town is in an uproar looking for the Tucks, and the family needs Winnie's help. 

My Review
I was intrigued by the idea of this story and couldn't wait to read it. It's very short at only 139 pages and quite big writing it only took me an hour to read. The Introduction is quite disjointed and had me wondering what was going on, but as the story started i earnest i really got into it. 
The Tuck's live on the outskirts of town, they are isolated and move around quite a lot. They can never stay in one place for too long otherwise people would find out their secret, 80 years ago when travelling through some woods they came across a small spring, and drank from it, but this was a magical spring, once you have drunk from it you become immortal. 
Winnie is 10 and lives in a grand house on the edge of some woods with her nagging parents and grandma. She craves freedom, when 'running away' one morning she comes across a boy in the woods, drinking from a spring, but when she tries to have some he won't let her.
Explaining that the water is magical he takes her home to his family to give her the full story and warn her not to tell anybody about it. At first Winnie thinks the family are mad, but as she hears about their lives and gets to know them, she comes to love them. 
When the Tuck's get into big trouble, little Winnie must help them, can they keep their secret and will she choose eternity with the Tucks or a normal life with her family. 
I really enjoyed the story, but i wanted more, as it is so short you don't really get involved. It only really skims the surface. I want to know more about the Tuck's history and then what happens to Winnie after the story is set, what did she do with her life, how did it all turn out? What was there was very good, but i definitely wanted more. 

My Rating
I would give this book a 6.5/10, a good read but missing something. Worth reading though.

Book Review - Witches Incorporated

It's also Gerald's first official government assignment. He's hunting down a deadly saboteur, and time is quickly running out. Old enemies and new combine forces to thwart him. Once again, innocent lives are on the line. He needs his friends. He can't do this alone. But Princess Melissande and Reg have troubles of their own. With the help of Monk Markham's brilliant, beautiful sister, they've opened a one-stop-shop witching locum agency, where magical problems are solved for a price. Problem is, the girls are struggling to keep the business afloat. Things are looking grim for Witches Incorporated - and that's before they accidentally cross paths with Gerald's saboteur. Suddenly everybody's lives are on the line and Gerald realises, too late, that there's a reason government agents aren't supposed to have friends ...

My Review
After struggling with Book 1 in the series, i was dubious about reading this book, but i have to say i was pleasantly surprised. This book is better paced and flowed well. I found the story a lot more interesting and found the characters blended better together. 
Gerald is on his first job as a 'Janitor' the clean up squad for Wizards, he's supposed to observe and try to solve the case without getting too involved. However being Gerald he gets stuck straight in, and to complicate matters, Melissande, Reg and Bibbie turn up in the same factory on their own case, and
there paths can't help but cross. Full of danger, mystery and skulduggery, this book hooked my attention and wouldn't let go. I finished this book fairly quickly as i couldn't put it down. I spent a lot of the book trying to solve the cases along with the characters, but could never make a decision, and the end result surprised me. It's almost as if book 1 was a warm up writing, and she has now found her rhythm. I'm even looking forward to reading book 3.

My Rating
I would give this book 7/10, well written and paced, worth a read. 


She got me!  Lou  at Reader Recommended Tagged me!  Thanks for the tagging, hope you enjoy my answers as much as I enjoyed yours.  If you haven't seen her site, you gotta get over there and check it out.  I've made it easy by a click of the link above :)

Can't have a game without rules, so here they are:

  1. Accept the tag and link to the tagger at the beginning of your post.
  2. Answer the questions honestly in your post by listing four things.
  3. Pass on the love by picking four other people to tag and listing them at the bottom of your post.  Notify them that you tagged them.
4 things that are in my handbag
  1. Blackberry
  2. Hairbrush
  3. Purse (gotta have that!!!)
  4. iPod
4 favorite things in my bedroom
  1. My Teddy Bear (Had him since I was 1 year old)
  2. My photo holder filled with pics of my family and friends
  3. My Book Shelves
  4. My DVD collection
4 things on my desk
  1. Photo Collage i made from my 18th Birthday
  2. Stationary pot filled with pens etc
  3. Dragonfly Paper Holder
  4. Books
4 things I've always wanted to do (but haven't yet)
  1. Write a novel
  2. Go to Disneyland!
  3. Sing in front of a big audience
  4. Get Married :D
4 things I enjoy very much at the moment
  1. Reading
  2. Trampolining
  3. Hanging out with my Friends
  4. Gilmore Girls on TV
4 songs I can't get out of my head
  1. Miley Cyrus - When I Look At You
  2. Taylor Swift - Mine
  3. Taio Cruz - Dynamite
  4. Katy Perry - Teenage Dreams
4 things you don't know about me
  1. I passed my driving test on my 4th attempt!
  2. My weakness is Chocolate Cake
  3. I have never been on a holiday!
  4. I can touch my nose with my tongue
4 Bloggers I am tagging
  1. Down The Rabbit Hole 
  2. Lori's Reading Corner
  3. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  4. Books Are Dreams

Friday 15 October 2010

Book Blogger Hop: October 15-18th

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and is an awesome way to for book bloggers to interact and find each other. Such a wonderful idea! There's a new question every week that all the participating blogs have to answer. This week's question comes from Christina who blogs at The Paperback Princesses.

"When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?"
  I hate giving up on books, i have this hope/trust that they will get better. I have only ever given up on 2 books. If i'm not hooked by page 100, i start to think about giving up, but i very often persevere, actually happened last week. Started reading a book, really wasn't enjoying it, but pressed on and read it all, and the last 100 pages were very good and i;m now on book 2 which is very good, so glad i didn't give up. Really also depends on my mood, but mostly i will try to carry on. 

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, go back later and join the fun!  This is a weekly event!  And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added 

Sunday 10 October 2010

Book Review - The Accidental Sorcerer

He's blown up a factory, lost his job, and there's a chance that he's not really a Third Grade wizard after all. Career disaster strikes again. Luckily, an influential friend manages to get him a posting. So it's off to New Ottosland to be the new Court Wizard for King Lional. His back-up, an ensorcelled bird with a mysterious past, seems dubious. But it's New Ottosland, or nothing. Unfortunately, King Lional isn't the vain, self-centred young man he appeared to be. With a Princess in danger, a bird-brained back-up, and a kingdom to save, Gerald soon suspects he might be out of his depth. And if he can't keep this job, how can he become the wizard he was destined to be ... 

My Review
I first saw this book about 6 months ago and thought it looked good, but found out book 3 wasn't out until this month, so i decided to wait to read it, so i could go through all of them at once. In the meantime my colleague at work read it and told me she really enjoyed it, so i was looking forward to reading it even more. It's quite a fat book, at 488 pages it's a good size, i sat down on Friday to start it with high hopes. 
Gerald is the main character, as a lowly third grade wizard with no real talent and always getting in trouble, he is sent on a general inspection job at a Wizard's Staff Factory. But unfortunately, gets involved in disaster which leads to the factory being blown up. He is of course fired and his name marked with disgrace. He finds a job in the paper in another 'country' for a Court Wizard for King Lionel the 43rd. Leaping at the chance to get away from the disaster he has left behind, Gerald goes for it. But the post isn't all it seems. 
I felt this could be a really good story, but to me it went on a bit too much. At 160 pages in, the only thing that had happened was what i summed up above, which is also what is on the blurb. Why it took so many pages to get that far i do not know. There was a lot of unnecessary description and conversations that seemed to have no real impact on the story. But i don't like to give up on a book so i decided to carry on. As the story progressed i began to enjoy it a bit more, but still can't say I was really into it. I fact I sat and read a magazine on the sofa just to avoid picking up this book. I made myself sit down this morning to finish the last half, and  in the last 150 pages it got a lot more exciting and i wanted to know what would happen. But when i had finished i didn't feel any satisfaction, the story comes to a natural end, but is clearly set for book two, and whereas usually i look forward to reading a series, i can only say the thought of two more fat books in this series puts me off. I'm not really sure i will bother with them, may try book 2 to see if it improves it's style. 
I will say though that it was refreshing to have characters aged 20-25, not many stories focus on this age group and it was nice to see, as that is my age, i could relate to some of the issues the characters were experiencing.
So overall, a good story with some interesting characters, but too much padding and unnecessary  writing. Could make an excellent 250 page book!

My Rating
I would give this book 5/10, good idea but too long, wouldn't read it again

Saturday 9 October 2010

Book Blogger Hop: October 8-11

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and is an awesome way to for book bloggers to interact and find each other. Such a wonderful idea! There's a new question every week that all the participating blogs have to answer. This week's question comes from Suko who blogs at Suko's Notebook.

What's your favorite beverage while reading or blogging, if any? Is it tea, coffee, water, a glass of wine, or something else?

My Answer - depends what i'm in the mood for. I have bottled drinks so i can put them down without fear of knocking them over. Mostly it would be Oasis Summer Fruits :D

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, go back later and join the fun!  This is a weekly event!  And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added

Friday 8 October 2010

Book Review - Life On The Refrigerator Door

Told entirely in a series of notes left on the kitchen fridge—some casual, some intimate, some funny, some angry—it is the story of nine months in the life of 15–year-old Claire and her single mother. Preoccupied with their busy separate lives, rarely in the same room at the same time, they talk to each other in a series of short snippets that reflect the daily drama of school, boyfriends, work and chores that make up their days. Yet the mundane soon becomes extraordinary when a crisis overtakes their lives—a momentous change that will redefine their relationship and unfold in their exchanges on the refrigerator door.
My Review
I will be honest, i only picked this up because it looked very short and i had half an hour with nothing to do. The idea of a book written entirely by notes intrigued me, i couldn't see how you could get a whole story, feel for characters, setting etc, with just notes. Most pages had about 20 words on it, really short. However once i started reading it, i began to enjoy it. The notes were sometimes funny, other times you could tell the characters distress or anger. And i did get a feel of the two characters and their lives. Both separate and apart. The notes are the pairs only real way of communicating, they are both too busy to spend time together, but that doesn't mean they ignore each other, you get more feel for the stories happenings as you know they do spend some time together, for example some notes say "was nice to spend time with you last night, the movie was great, thanks" or something like that, which i think helps bring another dimension to the story. This story is definitely short but sweet, and amazingly considering there was not much content in the story i had made a connection with the characters and i cried at the end. I could see what was coming from about 20 pages in, but it still got to me. The way the notes were written, so much feeling and expression put in.
I feel this book sends the message that life isn't forever, so you need to make the most of what you have and who you have with you, don't take anyone or anything for granted. Although not the most cheerful message, it really makes you think. 
I would have to say, it would be better to borrow this than to buy it, as it really is short, i finished it in 18 minutes! so isn't really good value for money, but definitely worth a read. 

My Rating
I would give this book 4.5/10 i know that seems low, but i don't think i would read it again. I really enjoyed it this time, but think it would have lost it's sparkle by the second read. So i say try it, read it, enjoy it. But not worth a repeat. 

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Book Review - The Agency: The Body at the Tower

Mary Quinn sets out to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death at St Stephen's Tower, better known as the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. The accident occurred after hours in a highly public part of town and despite the presence of night watchmen. Mary, disguised as Mark Quinn, becomes a builder's assistant to find out the truth about the body at the tower. 

My Review
I was so excited when I heard book 2 in this series was out and got hold of a copy as soon as I could. I Love the cover art too, i can't really describe why, just think it's amazing. Mary Quinn is now 18 years old, but still small for her age she accepts a mission to disguise herself as a 12 year old boy looking for work on a building site. She is there to investigate the death of one of the bricklayers who 'fell' off the top of the clock tower. Trying to fit in on a building site, get the work done and pretend to be a boy all at the same time is hard work but Mary likes a challenge, but  can she get past the reminders of her past and stay strong. When met with old friend James Easton, things change again, but is it for the best. 
I loved this book, i started it yesterday and stayed up till 1 in the morning finishing it. I just couldn't bring myself to put it down. I had to know what happened and knew if i tried to go to sleep before finishing it i wouldn't be able to, so i had to stay up to finish. And it was so worth it. I kept trying to guess who was responsible, and changed my mind every few chapters and kept being surprised, i was truly hooked in. 
Once again the writing and research are very good, the characters are fabulous, and i loved seeing another side to Felicity and Anne (Academy teachers/spies). I'm so glad James Easton is back and hope to see more of him. It's also good to see Mary grow as a character and face up to her fears and her past. The end of the book had me gasping and i cannot wait until the next book. Unfortunately I have to wait until June 2011 which at the moment seems so far away.
Another fabulous book from Y S Lee, she is definitely dominating my top 10 favourite books with these. 

My Rating
I would give this book 10/10. Go grab a copy, right now, I mean it, do it now, you won't regret it!

Book Review - The Agency: A Spy In The House

At a young age, Mary is rescued from the gallows by a woman masquerading as a prison warden. She is taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school, Mary learns, is a front for a private investigation agency and, at 17, she is taken on as an agent. In her new role she is catapulted into the family home of the Thorolds to investigate the shady business dealings of Mr Thorold. 

My Review
This was actually a re-read for me. I read it for the first time last year, but part two in the series just came out so i wanted to refresh my memory on the events of this book.
Set in Victorian London, At the age of 12 Mary Lang is caught housebreaking and sentenced to death at the gallows, she is rescued and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for girls, which turns out to be the cover for a spy agency. At the age of 17, Mary is taken on as an agent and sent on her first job. To be a companion to Angelica Thorold, so she can get close to the family and investigate their dodgy business dealings, but not everyone there is who they seam, not even Mary herself.
I was never one to really get into Historical novels, but something about this book caught my eye, and i'm glad it did, it is very well written and researched and the story hooks you in. You really get a feel for the place (not so pleasant when discussing the 'Great Stink' which happened to the Thames when it got polluted) but this also set the scene. I found myself throughout the novel trying to guess who the criminal was or if they were in it together. Obviously having read it before, this time round i could remember odd bits and so had a feeling more where the story was going, but i still thoroughly enjoyed it. The story still seemed fresh to me and kept me captivated. I like books you can read more than once that will still grab your attention, and this is definitely one of them. 
I'd have to say this is definitely on my top 10 list, as one of my favourite books. If you haven't read it, it is definitely worth it.
The author also has her own website so check that out too. :D

My Rating
I would give this book 10/10, full of mystery, suspense, intrigue and much more. LOVE IT!!!

Saturday 2 October 2010

Book Review - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge...

My Review
I could not wait to get my hands on this book. I had to order it from amazon, and the 3 days it took to arrive were agonizing. However when i did get it, it didn't grip me as much as the other two, proof in itself that the first two books i had read and finished in an evening, whereas i picked this up and put it down over the last 3 days. This book starts straight where book 2 left off. Katniss was rescued from teh arena by Plutarch and the rebels, and Peeta has been taken prisoner. The Capitol is out for revenge and Katniss is the only one who can lead the way, but doesn't seem in the right frame of mind to do this. The excitement of the first 2 novels, still exists in places, but is seperated by long paragraphs of arguments, hospitalizations and meetings. 
Katniss is still the main character but to me has lost most of her fire, she spends most of this book doing what's she is ordered to do, or defying orders and ending up drugged up in hospital. 
However as i go more into the book and further through the story i could see why this has been done. Peeta is absent for a lot of the book but where he does feature, he comes back with a bang. Gale seems to be drifting further from Katniss as the story goes on and growing up into a stranger. soemtimes a killing machine, sometimes there with the old support but never as close as before. I loved this book for the fact we see a lot more of Prim, and not as the frightened little girl of book 1, but a young girl with hopes, dreams and a plan for her future. She comes across more grown up and a real strength and support for Katniss. 
The story gets really exciting towards the last 150 pages, where the rebels really kick up a gear into the war and things begin to happen at an alarming pace. There were some points where i found myself confused as to what was happening and having to re-read the odd paragraph, but that may have been done to my excitement and eagerness to know what would happen next. Everything seems to come together at once leaving scary, shocking and tear-jerking scenes. 
I am trying not to put anything in that could be a spoiler, but there is so much i want to say about this book. You must all realize there will be a lot of deaths in this book, i won't say who, but know that i was in tears for a lot of the last 50 or so pages. Two of my favourite characters are killed, and many more lost. So get the tissues ready. The writing is really good, i could feel the raw emotion of the story and the tense situations had me gripping the pages of my book and biting my lip. 
This is definitely not my favourite part of the trilogy in some ways, but then in others it is. There isn't technically a "Hunger Games"  in this book but that doesn't take anything away from the story, if anything it makes a nice difference to see the fight happening in the 'real' world.
I would have to say this book has been very powerful and will stay with me for a while. It is a great climax to the series and a good ending. Nt everything is tied up as i would have liked, but enough to satisfy.
I would say to everyone out there, you must read these books, they are truly amazing and different from anything i have read before.

My Rating
I would give this book 8.5/10. Truly amazing!!!

Friday 1 October 2010

Book Review - 39 Castles: The White Castle

In the third novel of this exciting adventure series, the mysteries of Eleanor’s country are finally revealed . . . After the fall of the kingdom, everyone in England has divided into thirty-nine communities, each based within a castle. This is the way that people live now – in a future that seems like the past. Eleanor, one of a secret elite charged with taking on missions for the Clearheart Castle community, has survived adventure and betrayal. But after returning to the castle, she and Mary soon grow bored of waiting for a new mission. When a familiar figure from Eleanor’s past re-enters her life, it’s the beginning of their biggest and most dangerous expedition yet. Through her discovery of the White Castle, Eleanor discovers what has become of England and is forced to reevalue everything she has learned . . . 

My Review
Like the first two books, the cover is beautiful and the story is short, but i struggled with this book the most. It is supposed to be an exciting adventure, but i found my attention drifting and my concentration slipping. When the group are told of a place where treasures lay from the 'old world' before it became the castle communities, they decide to travel there to collect the lost knowledge and treasure before it falls in the hands of the bad guys. The Castle holding the knowledge is written as The Tower of London, now in the future and abandoned, the group go back to find out about the monarchy and even collect some jewels, all the while trying to prove themselves as a useful part of the community.
This book frustrated me more than anything, for the fact that it doesn't have a proper ending. You sit through the whole book wondering if they will claim the treasure only to have it snatched from under their noses, and then come up with ideas to get it back. then the book just ends. In fact the last sentence is something like "Eleanor knew for certain this was not the end" Well it is, because Matt Thorne hasn't written anything since. I know not every book can end with a happy ending, but it was more of a case of the bad guy has it, we need to do something, and the bad guy saying i have now i will do something with it. Then the book ends. No resolution grrr.
The story settings however are good, but i would like to know which Castles the ones in the story represents as i think they are meant to be based on real Castles. As i said the one featured in this one is The Tower of London, and i think one is Warwick Castle. but i would like to know what the others are.

My Rating
I would give this book 3/10 very disappointing and frustrating. wouldn't read again.

Book Review - 39 Castles: Kingmaker's Castle

After the fall of the kingdom, everyone in England has divided themselves into thirty-nine communities, each based within a castle. This is the way that people live now - in a future that seems like the past. Eleanor Conway is part of the secret organisation Castle Seven, charged with taking part in missions on behalf of the Clearheart Community. But Castle Seven is now Castle Six, following Anderson's dramatic departure. Anderson has kidnapped Eleanor's friend Mary. He tells her she is destined to be Queen of all England one day - but can she trust him? Eleanor and the Castle Six make preparations for a rescue. But by the time they end their adventure, they're destined to be one less in number. 

My Review
This book follows on from where book 1 left. Again it is a very short book at 168 pages, and so i thought it would be a quick read. However i struggled to get into it. The cover on this book is absolutely beautiful and think this is still why i picked it up in the first place. The story picks up now Anderson has left the group so they are now known as the Castle six. It also focuses more on Eleanor's friend Mary. I found this more interesting than the first group because you get more of a sense of what is happening in the world away from the Castle group. However, i found Mary very annoying in this book, one minute scared, then angry, then doing everything she's told, then hating her kidnapper again, then believing him again, i wanted to say, 'make your mind up'. For me, considering it was such a short book, the pace seemed slow again. I missed the presence of Justin in this book, who i really liked in book 1, i hope he comes back for the next one.
I wouldn't say this book was great, but it does draw you in and make you want to know more, so that's something. I don't know, maybe if i was more the intended age group i might have enjoyed it more, and not analyzed it so much, but to me it was an ok story but nothing to rave about, something to read if your bored and want something short. 

My Rating
I would give this book 4/10. Alright one time book, but don't think I'd read again

Book Review - 39 Castles: Greengrove Castle


Eleanor Conway is a 12-year-old girl living with her parents in a small castle community. One day Eleanor is visited by the mysterious Anderson; he tells her that she has been selected to join an illustrious and highly secretive organisation known as Castle Seven. Eleanor must begin training, alongside four other children, in disciplines such as horse-riding, sword-fighting and diplomacy so that she is fully prepared to take part in missions and adventures on the community's behalf. At first, Eleanor enjoys her training and her place amongst the elite Castle Seven members. But then she faces real danger - including wolves, imprisonment, and signs of betrayal from those closest to her. She must learn quickly who to trust - and how to hold her own.

My Review
I was captivated by the cover of this book, i thought it looked beautiful, well detailed and inviting, well they say don't judge a book by it's cover. when i received my copy i was slightly stunned by how small it was at only 167 pages it is very short. Therefore i was expecting a lot of content put into those pages, however i found the story quite slow and found it didn't really get anywhere. This is the first book in what was supposed to be a series and it seems the books flow from one to the next as although the plot was mostly rounded off by the end, it did leave some things open ready for the next. I liked the main character, she was quiet and hard-working and brave in the face of danger. My favourite character was Lucinda i think, not sure why but she grabbed my attention. I found Anderson annoying and knew right away he wasn't what he seemed. The story was well written but very simple. The only thing that confused me was all the different names for the group, one minute they were the castle seven, then the castle six, then just using their real character names, then they would refer to the castle they live in, got me a bit confused as to who the author was talking about. However, it did get more exciting and the characters began to come to life in the last 60 or so pages, for a first time children's novel it was a good book. And I look forward to reading more. 

My Rating 
I would give this book a 5/10. Not the best but a nice little read.  

Book Blogger Hop: October 1-4

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and is an awesome way to for book bloggers to interact and find each other. Such a wonderful idea! There's a new question every week that all the participating blogs have to answer. This week, question comes from Tina who blogs atBook Couture.
"How do you spread the word about your blog?
(e.g. Social Networking sites, Book Blog Directories, comments on other blogs...)"

My answer is, i'm still pretty new to this, so i visit blogs that look interesting and leave comments, and now participate in this the weekly Hop. It's a great way to get noticed and i now have some followers so it's awesome. Will keep spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter, but find this doesn't make a great difference. Visiting other blogs and leaving comments is more personal and more fun. Thanks for visiting my page!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, go back later and join the fun!  This is a weekly event!  And stop back throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added!  We get over 200 links every week!!