Saturday 30 April 2011

Book Review - Black Heart Of Jamaica

Title: Black Heart Of Jamaica
Author: Julia Golding
Series: Cat Royal (book 5)
Publisher: Egmont Books
Release Date: 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1405237574

Cat Royal turns pirate, undertakes a Caribbean Cruise and gets mixed up in a slave revolt. Prepare to swash your buckle in Cat's most outrageous adventure yet!  

My Review
It's decision time for Cat, what does she want to do with her future, fed up of being a burden on others she wants to make her own way and find a job, the perfect opportunity arises when she sees an advert for Peabody's theatre company who will be touring round the world and is looking for members. Together with Pedro, Cat signs up and they sail off to Jamaica. Loving life on stage Cat finally seems to be settling in to a family, but things never work out as planned. Pedro hears of a revolution taking place where Black people are finally fighting against slavery and trying to win freedom and he wants to help. Many characters from Cat's past turn up including Billy Shephard, but with a softer side to him, Cat wonders if he has really changed or has another plan up his sleeve, but when she runs into Mr Hawkins things really take a turn for the worse. Battling against slavery, malaria, pirates, gangs and her own conscience Cat has a tough time.
We see Cat much more vulnerable in this book and it is refreshing - reminds us she is human and just trying to survive in the world, but still determined not to give up. There are some great new characters and Julia Golding has tackled the issue of slavery very well, getting sympathy from the reader.
Another gripping tale that i read in about 3 hours - I couldn't put it down.

My Rating
I would give this book 10/10 - another great read, bring on the next one.  

Quote Love (6)

Quote Love is a new meme hosted by 'Midnight Twilight'. It's kind of like Teaser Tuesday from Should Be Reading, but with this one you can choose any quote from any book, not just the one you're currently reading. The quote can be thought provoking, or funny, or just really powerful, it's all up to you which kind of quote you choose.

Here is what you have to do to participate:
1) Choose one of your favorite quotes.
2) Post the quote, and write what you like about it.
3) Make sure to put the title and author so if someone else likes the quote they can check out the book.
4) Post your link on Midnight Twilight's Post.

So here is my quote for the week:
"My life flies away like a dream:
Why should I stay behind?"
Julia Golding (Cat-O'nine Tails
I'm not sure why I picked this quote, just something about it rang true with me. Sometimes I feel like my life is running away from me and I'm being left behind looking at what i've missed. So I'm going to try and follow my dreams and see where life takes me. I won't be left behind!!! :D

Book Review - Cat O'Nine Tails

Title: Cat O'Nine Tails
Author: Julia Golding
Series: Cat Royal (book 4)
Publisher: Egmont Books
Release Date: 4th February 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1405241854

Cat becomes an unlikely recruit for the British Navy, takes passage to America and navigates her way through a fiendish plot to do away with Lord Francis, heir to a dukedom. From the grand Assembly Rooms of Bath to the wilds of a new frontier, Cat finds she is for once quite out of her depth. All aboard, Cat's going abroad.  

My Review
Once more I was thrust into Cat's world, she is living with Frank and the Avon family, you'd think this would be the life of luxury for Cat but she is bored out of her mind. Ready for the next adventure, she has no idea something big is waiting for her, but it is not what she imagined. When reports come through that Syd is missing and possibly press ganged into the navy service, Cat rushes to his rescue, but someone is setting them up. Thrown onto the ship and disguised as a boy Cat must become an expert sailor. Her friends Frank and Pedro join her on the ship, they have to learn quickly if to be spared the moods of the captain, but life at sea is hard work and Cat isn't used to the sea.
This book once more throws us into the unexpected, a whole new world for Cat and her friends, but I could feel myself riding the waves with them and climbing the rigging. I love sort of pirate/ship stories and this was perfect. Cat really seems to be growing up and her wit and snappy retorts are as good as ever. Having Syd play a more prominent part was great, I love him as a character and how he is so protective and loving towards Cat, he's the gentle giant. 
I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say that i think you should grab a set of the series, lock yourself in a room and don't come out until you've read them! 

My Rating
I would of course give this book 10/10, can't get enough.    

Friday 29 April 2011

Book Review - Den of Thieves

Title: Den Of Thieves
Author: Julia Golding
Series: Cat Royal (book 3)
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Release Date: 5 Feb 2007
ISBN-13: 978-1405228183

Our hardy heroine, Cat Royal, finds herself homeless, travels to Paris, becomes an underground reporter, nearly gets hung for being a traitor to the revolution, and is baffled by attention from numerous suitors; all the while being disguised as a prissy ballerina! As the French Royal family flee, Cat discovers the power of the people. Vive La Revolution! 

My Review
Once again picking up where the previous book left off we are back in Drury Lane with our heroin Cat Royal, but once again life never stays simple - Drury Lane Theatre is going to be refurbished, but this means it will be knocked down and then rebuilt which will take a couple of years to be completed. Knowing the place as her only home Cat finds herself out on the streets, turning down help from her friends she is determined she can look after herself, but life is hard for a poor orphan girl and Cat once more finds herself in trouble. Rescuing Cat from life on the streets her patron Mr Sheridan gives her a job - she is to travel to France disguised as part of the ballet troupe and once there send him messages detailing the goings on in Paris. A revolution is on the horizon and the people are fighting back and Sheridan wants to know it all.
Thrown in at the deep end Cat must contend with snooty, stuck up dancers, French police, street gangs, injustice and avoiding being seriously injured. Life certainly doesn't get easier for Cat.
This book carries on the high standard set by the first. The story sounds as though it will be very political and dry but it is not. One of the more exciting stories, Cat is thrown into a whole other world and we as the reader are there to experience it with her. There are some great new characters in this book as well as the return of favourites. Frank journeys with Cat and becomes quite the street boy, Pedro shows up and so does Lizzie. This book also brings the return of Johnny, who has always been one of my favourite characters. We are also introduced to JF, a young street boy head of one of the gangs, he takes a shine to Cat and i love how they bounce off each other. I hope to see more of him in future books.
The setting is well detailed and I could really picture the places in France they visit, some well known that are around in modern day, others just well written that they spring an image in your mind.
Julia Golding really is a master of the craft and I have already plunged deeply into the next installment. These really are great reads for all ages.

My Rating
I would give this book a 10/10 of course, just keeps getting better.

Book Blogger Hop: April 29th-May 2nd & Follow Friday (15)

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:

 "Summer is coming quickly - what 2011 summer release are you are most looking forward to?"

  My answer: I am always looking out for new books and there are a lot of upcoming books that i am psyched about. But the book I am most looking forward to is 'Forever' by Maggie Stiefvater due for release 13th July. 
Can't wait :D

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee.

This week's question comes from Marla @ Starting the Next Chapter

Q. Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on, I have one very hard question for you: If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?

My Answer: Wow that's a tough question, lets have a think.

1) Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

2) Eragon by Christopher Paolini

3) Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis (I have a big book of all stories in one)

4) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling

5) Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

6) The Glass House by Rachel Caine

7) Mrs Frisby & The Rats of Nimh by Robert C O'Brien

8) The Gift by Alison Croggon

9) Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

10) The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable

 I want more than 10, too many good books not included. PLus would rather take whole series than the odd book.

 Happy Hopping, have a great weekend everyone!!!


Thursday 28 April 2011

Author Interview - Alexander Gordon Smith

 I have a special treat for all you bloggers. :D

I have an interview with Alexander Gordon Smith author of the 'Furnace' Series!

It was great talking to him, so without further ado, here's what he has to say to us. :D

Hi Becky, thanks for interviewing me on your blog!

1) For those reading this that don't know who you are (shame on them!) can you give us a quick introduction?
Hi, my name is Alexander Gordon Smith, but call me Gordon – my parents wanted me to be a Gordon, but made it my middle name so that my initials wouldn’t spell GAS. I’m best known as being the author of the Furnace series (Escape From Furnace in the States). The books are about a fourteen-year-old criminal called Alex Sawyer who gets framed for murder and sentenced to life without parole in Furnace Penitentiary – the world’s most terrifying prison for young offenders. Furnace is a true nightmare, an underground hellhole full of monsters, and Alex has to find a way out or face an unimaginable fate at the bottom of the world. I also wrote The Inventors (and its sequel) with my nine-year-old brother Jamie, and have several more books in the pipeline. I write screenplays too, and my first film (a horror) is hopefully being made this year.
2) What was your childhood ambition?
To be a writer! I know most writers say that, but it’s true – I remember that moment of epiphany when I realised books didn’t magically appear on the shelves, that they were written by real people. And if other people could write books, then so could I. When I was really young I used to make little books of stories complete with barcodes on them, then I’d go into the shops and try to buy them, claiming that I was the author! I feel so lucky to be living my childhood dream now.

3) What was the first thing you wrote and how old were you?
I wrote my first book, The Little Book Of Monsters, when I was about six, and my first novel (well, it was about forty pages which was a novel to me), Super Carrot, when I was about ten. I thought that the monster book would scare my mum and dad (even back then I knew I wanted to write horror), but they just thought it was cute and I got upset that I hadn’t managed to terrify them!
 I saw an example of this book when I met Gordon, it really was cute! 

4) Who was your favourite author as a child? Who is it now?
I don’t really remember having a favourite author when I was a child, I just loved books – all books! Opening a book was like opening a door to a brand new adventure, it was an amazing feeling. I just devoured stories – everything from Ransome and Tolkien and Lewis to Stoker and Shelley to Hergé and Asimov to King and Barker and Poe and Bradbury and Lovecraft when I was a teenager. I’m the same now, really, I try to read as much as possible, and as widely as possible. If I had to pick an author that I always come back to, though, then it would be Stephen King. I’m a huge fan. He invests so much time in his characters, that’s what he’s really, really good at. You feel like you know these people so well, so when the horror starts you can’t help but experience it alongside them. He’s brilliant. But my all time favourite book is Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, flawless genius.
 Shamed to admit I've never read it, will have to pick up a copy now. 

5) Where did the idea for 'Furnace' come from?
The genesis of the story was in the main character, Alex. He’s basically me, but a version of me that made a few bad decisions in his life. When I was a teenager, I went through a phase of getting into trouble – nothing as bad as Alex, but staying out all night, getting into fights, drinking in biker bars, that kind of thing. Thanks to my family I got back on track before it got too serious, but Alex was a version of me that didn’t get rescued. Whereas I grew up and lived my life, he never got the chance to – he was stuck in this weird purgatory in my mind. Years later, when I was looking for a scary story to write, I realised that Alex’s life was the perfect starting place. He wanted to live, to have a story to tell, so I kind of just sat back and let him tell it. Luckily for me that story involved a terrifying prison and some incredible adventures! I wrote the story exactly as Alex lived it. It really felt as though I was just transcribing the events, rather than creating them – sometimes the story moved so fast I could barely keep up with him!

6) Are any of the characters based on people you know? (personality wise, not that they are genetic monsters, hehe)
I couldn’t possibly say… :-)  I think there are elements of everyone I know in every character, but nothing too recognisable I hope! There is one guy in life I’m not too fond of, and he always ends up being a character in my books but always with a slightly different name. I’d better not say who he is in Furnace, but he does meet a rather messy end. I guess that’s one of the advantages of being an author!
 hehe I wonder who it is. Definite plus of being an author, I'll bear that in mind. 

7) If you had to pick one as you're favourite character who would it be and why?
Well the character I can relate to most is Alex, because we were essentially once the same person. I grew so close to him during the course of the series. I think my favourite character, though, has to be Donovan. He is such an important part of the story, of Alex’s life. He really is the big brother I never had.
I love Donovan, but think Simon is my favourite! 

8) When writing a book do you plan it out before you start or do you just begin and see where the story and characters take you?
Working out every detail of your story in advance, especially when you don’t yet know your main characters, always seems a little too much like playing God. You’re working out your characters’ lives, their destiny, before they’ve had a chance to discover who they are and what kind of people they want to be. Each character’s history and personality will drive their actions, and if you don’t know what kind of life they have led, what their greatest achievements or tragedies are, what their personal relationships have been like – everything – then how can you know how they will react to the events of the story? I have attempted to plot before, but I find that my plan for the characters will always conflict with their plan for themselves! Forcing them to go against their instincts, to just do what they’re told, will make for a less believable story.

9) How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I tend to write books very quickly. I wrote the bulk of my first novel – with my nine-year-old brother Jamie – in a week to meet the deadline for the Wow Factor Competition (we were shortlisted on the strength of the first three chapters). It was grueling writing 80,000 words in seven days, but writing that quickly gave the book a huge amount of momentum, of drive. The story was propelled onwards and just didn’t stop until the end. I’ve written books that way ever since – never in a week, but usually in three or four or five weeks. I’ll think about the story, let it percolate in my head for ages, then when it feels ready I’ll just blast it out onto the page. It’s what gives the books their relentless pace.
 Wow that's quite an achievement! Good way of doing it though I think. 

10) Zee has a great sense of humour in the books, are you that funny in real life? Can you tell us a joke right now?
Zee is great. His sense of humour is what kept Alex (and me!) sane throughout the five books. Unfortunately I’m nowhere near as funny as he is. I can’t even think of any jokes! Um (five minutes later), how about this one…

A man is driving through the countryside and he sees a farmer standing in the middle of his crops by himself. Thinking there might be something wrong, the man stops his car and walks over to the famer.
‘Is everything okay?’ he asks.
‘Oh yes,’ says the farmer. ‘I’m just waiting for my Nobel Prize.’
‘Wow,’ says the man. ‘Have you invented a new kind of genetic crop or something?’
‘No…’ says the farmer with a frown. ‘I just heard they gave it to people out standing in their field.’

Well it made me smile, what about the rest of you, any giggles there?

11) When I met you at Book Day, you told us some great stories about the things you and your younger brother got up to, can you tell us one here, and are you still making mischief together?
Writing a book with my little brother was one of the best experiences of my life! He was nine when we first came up with the idea, and eleven when it was published. We came up with the story together – two young inventors who have to save the world from an evil genius – but it was Jamie who suggested that as we were writing about two inventors we should actually try to build all of the inventions in the book for real before we wrote about them. It was genius, as getting to know your characters is the most important part of writing, and what better way to get to know them then trying to live their life?

So we did try to build as many inventions as we could. Well, Jamie tried to build them, and my role in the whole thing was basically his guinea pig! He constructed elaborate traps all over the house and garden, some of which nearly killed me, and he built a remote control robot that he used to stick a pencil up my nose when I was sunbathing. The funniest (and scariest) thing he ever suggested was rocket boots, which he wanted to build from ski boots and jet fuel. He said to me, ‘We’ll put them on you and see how far you go!’ Fortunately we built them and tried them out on an action figure first, because they blew its legs clean off! Jamie is fifteen now, and we’re not writing books together at the moment. But I hope we will again at some point!
 I remember laughing like a maniac when you told us that story. still makes me laugh. Stay away from rocket boots! You have been warned people lol.

12) Do you ever give yourself nightmares with some of the plot ideas you come up with?
Yes, all the time!! I see that as a sign that the story is going well! If a horror author doesn’t scare him or herself when they’re writing, then how do they expect to scare others?

13) If you were given the choice of becoming a Beserker, a Rat, A Blacksuit or a Wheezer, which would you choose and why?
Wow, great question, I’ve never been asked this before! Well, Berserkers are awesome in their sheer destructive power, but their minds have just been devastated. The same with the rats. In a way, Wheezers have the worst fate of them all because they are trapped in this nightmare existence, driven by their dark desire to experiment. They really are in hell. So I’d have to say a Blacksuit – slaves to Furnace and the Warden, but still kind of self-aware, and strong and fast and able to kick some serious ass!

14) I felt the ending of 'Execution' was very satisfying, but will there ever be any more Furnace books, or is that really the end?
Thanks, I’m really glad you enjoyed the ending! This series is definitely finished, but there will be more adventures set in the Furnace universe. At the moment I’m writing a short novella about when Furnace first meets the Warden during the war. I’d also love to write a series set in the future, where the nectar has made a reappearance and there is a massive war raging between different factions. That would be awesome!!
Ooh, I'm excited already! Can't wait. 

15) What are your plans for the future? Any other awesome ideas for books that you can share with us?
I’ve just finished the first book in a new series, called The Fury. It’s horror again, but it’s very, very different to Furnace. In a nutshell, it’s a zombie book without zombies. It follows a small group of unrelated children and teenagers who, for an unknown reason, trigger a brutal, violent reaction in every single other person they meet. Everyone – even their loved ones – turns against them, but as soon as these kids are dead, or gain enough distance, their attackers forget all about it and go on with their lives as usual. I won’t say why it’s happening, but it’s tied in with a terrible secret that could destroy the world! All going smoothly, it should be coming out in the UK in March 2012.
Sounds very intriguing and gripping. I look forward to it. 

16) Is there anything else you want to tell us, either about yourself or your books?
I just want to say a huge thanks to everyone who has read my books, the stories would be nothing without you guys! And if you want to get in touch then email me at

Thanks again for interviewing me on your blog!
A massive thank you to Gordon for taking the time to answer all my questions! I think you'll agree he sounds awesome. If you haven't read his books I strongly encourage you to do so.

check out his personal website here
check out the books website here 

If you want to read my reviews you can find them here:

Hope you enjoyed that, let me know if you've read or are going to read his books. :D Happy Reading.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Book Review - Cat Among The Pigeons

Title: Cat Among The Pigeons
Author: Julia Golding
Series: Cat Royal (Book 2)
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Release Date: 7 Aug 2006
ISBN-13: 978-1405224239

Pedro’s old slave master wants him back, but his friends on Drury Lane won’t give him up without a fight. Disguised as a boy, Cat enters an aristocratic boarding school and scales the heights of London society before joining a street gang to probe its depths, all to secure the freedom of her friend.
My Review
I have mentioned before but I love these books, and this is technically a re-read but it has been quite a while since I read them so they seemed new and fresh.
This book follows on from the end of book 1, Cat is safe in Drury Lane Royal Theatre, her friend Pedro is by her side and the pair are causing mischief, but the fun is soon over when Pedro's old master Mr Kingston Hawkins returns and claims Pedro as his slave. Demanding him back, Cat and the gang must do everything they can to get Pedro his freedom before he is taken away and put back into slavery. Along the way Cat gets in trouble with the police and ends up hiding in a posh boarding school for boys, dressed in disguise and posing as "Tom Hengrave". This book sweeps you up and takes you on a journey with Cat, the book is written as if Cat were telling you her story and it really flows and makes you feel as if you are right in the action, i love her quick wit and language, not quite as lady like as was expected in those days but funny and fast paced. 
Cat is like a naughty little sister, always getting in trouble, very headstrong and never does as she is told but i love her willful spirit. Lord Frank is a great character also pushing the boundaries of his class he has a great rapport with Cat and the pair make for great fun.
These books really do grab you and whisk you away. I went straight from this book into the next. I can't leave! just Fantastic.

My Rating
I would give this book 10/10 - I love it, doesn't get better than this, oh wait it's a series of 6! it does get better, a whole set of top quality reads. :D  

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Cat Among The Pigeons

TEAser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!
Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles!
My Teasers: Cat Among The Pigeons by Julia Golding

"I nodded and clambered on to the sill as Mr Sheridan closed the window behind me. Clutching my bag under one arm, I scrambled up on to the ridge of the roof and sat  astride it."

Page 100

"Our situation suddenly struck me as being so absurd it was funny."

Page 193
What are your teasers?

Monday 25 April 2011

10 Good Things on a Monday (11)

Ten Good Things on a Monday is a fancy meme hosted by Nice Nina @ Brush Up on Your Reading!

Here's how it works:

  1. Think of a particular group of good things you want to make a list on, does not necessarily have to be about books, e.g. your current book wish list, or your favorite book foods (you know, foods you love to eat while reading, if you're like me), or your favorite girly names, whatever you can think of, as long as it makes you feel good.
  2. If you have no ideas for a list, you can always visit my blog post to check out my theme for that week and you can take a cue from my list.
  3. Post your list on your blog, grab that cute ARGH button above and put it on your post too, so we'd know you're doing this meme.
  4. Leave the link for your post on my own 10 Good Things post for the week, if you see others doing it, comment too and let's share our good things with everybody.
  5. Everybody goes through the whole week happy!

This week I am going to do 10 random Good things

1) I am well again! - after spending 3 days in bed with a sore throat and temperature - fever etc, I am so happy to be up and about feeling good. There's no better feeling!

2) I went to the shopping centre today for a look and realized this was out: 
Bought a copy right away, it's so pretty and completes my set perfectly. Can't wait to read it.
3) Chocolate Eggs - as I wasn't fully back in health yesterday I didn't get to eat any of my easter eggs, but I had my first piece of chocolate in four days this afternoon and it was yum!! Somehow chocolate just tastes better when it's an Easter Egg.

4) My dad got an ipod touch a few months ago but didn't really use it, he found it when tidying and asked if I wanted it and so gave it to me!!! I know so cool right, a wicked gift.

5) In my family we tend to give presents rather than Easter Eggs (although i always buy everyone an egg and i always get at least one back, but anyway, I got some great gifts this year including: 
-Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows pt 1 on DVD, 
-Cat's Cradle by Julia Golding - book 6 in the Cat Royal series (been waiting for this book for about two years!! shame they've changed the covers the old ones were better but never mind.)
-Rain & Fire by Chris D'Lacey a guide to the Last Dragon Chronicles
-Fire World by Chris D'Lacey - book 6 in the Last Dragon Chronicles - great series.

How spoilt am I? :D

6) It has been gorgeous sunshine here for the last week. Shame I missed some of it, but today was about 22oC, nice and warm

7) I found a 'Worms' app on the ipod touch, I used to play this game when I was younger and I loved it, there are now about 5 different ones out over different platforms but number one was always the best. Already spent an hour playing it, I can see lots of time being wasted on this when I should be doing other things! (reading) (If you've never heard of worms search on google 'worms team 17' it should bring it right up.

8) It's Monday which means Glee night!!! Wooooo

9) Because of the Royal Wedding I have a 3 day working week then a five day weekend to come - gotta love it. :D

10) I've written 53 pages of my second novel, I'm on a role and loving it. Here's hoping the inspiration stays.

So that's my 10 for this week.

Have a good week everyone. :D

Sunday 24 April 2011

Book Review - Outside In

Title: Outside In
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Release Date: 18 Mar 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0778304135
Series: Inside (book 2)

 Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there s more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we re free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again while still touching base with Riley, of course. He s the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there s outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In. 

My Review
First I'll apologize for how long it's been since I posted a review, but I've been ill for the last few days, but it wasn't the sort of ill where I could read as I had a temperature and headache. Anyway, enough of my moaning for sympathy, I'll get on with the review.
Outside In picks up right where Inside Out left off. Trella and her friends think they will be happy now they have overthrown authority and discovered more space, but life is never that simple, arguments break out, jobs refuse to get done, and something strange is trying to take over, computer systems are blowing up, wiping or overloading. Someone is planting bombs throughout Inside to create chaos and injury and in worse cases mass deaths. The people of Inside must learn to work together to get back on track, but they are more divided than ever.
I felt myself straight back into their world and part of their lives, Trella and Riley are up and down in their relationship and I spent a lot of the story wising they would end up together. I still love them both as characters and think they make a great couple. A lot of the other characters we met in book one are still around and play a more prominent role such as Logan and Anne-Jade and even Jacy. But their are also a lot of new characters, all bringing their own thing to the world of Inside and great characters. I love 'Bubba-Boom' he is such a great character! Bet you can't guess what his specialty is!!!
I have to be honest though, I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second. The first half was a lot of Trella exploring inside and characters interacting and the world of Inside trying to change, their was a lot of excitement with the bomb explosions and other dangers, but the second half I found slightly silly. Everything is explained to have been caused by the 'Outsiders', this had me thinking of course who are these 'Outsiders' i thought Inside was floating through space. I became skeptical, hoping it wouldn't become another cheesy 'aliens are boarding us' books, and I was left wondering who these beings are. It did get better again when some things were explained, but there is definitely a lot of back story we are not told. These other beings were exiled for 'something bad they did to us', but we never find out what. I'm still slightly confused as to what or who they were. 
However that said, I did still overall really enjoy the story, Snyder really has a magical way with words that can captivate and entrance you. I really feel part of the world and the characters become like friends, or enemies depending on who they are.
I hope there will be another part to this series, I'm desperate to know more. 

My Rating
I would give this book 9/10 an exciting gripping read.

Friday 22 April 2011

Book Blogger Hop: April 22nd-25th & Follow Friday (14)

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:

"If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?"

My answer: All the time, I figure if one is good then the rest are likely to be right? I am one of the worst for doing this. I end up with stacks of an authors work on my pile. 

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee.

This week's question comes from Caitlin @ The Cait Files

Q. What is on your current playlist right now?

My Answer: I have over 3000 songs on my iTunes, so i mostly have it on shuffle. But my top played tracks include a lot of Glee, Disney and film songs.

 Happy Hopping, have a great weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Hunger Games Cast Update! 2 more Tributes

Two new roles have now been cast - Marvel & Glimmer

Jack Quaid as Marvel
Leven Rambin as Glimmer

These are the tributes from District 1 
Picture taken from Hunger Games Facebook Page

So, what do you think of the choices!

I'm super excited, can't wait to see who will fill out the other roles. 

Teaser Tuesday: Outside In

TEAser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!
Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles!
My Teasers:Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

"Unable to trust my legs, I crawled, shoving aside debris as I moved toward the door."

Page 24

"Dirt and rust harmed our world. They weren't as bad as sabotage, but they could do plenty of damage."

Page 132

What are your teasers?

Book Review - Inside Out

Title: Inside Out
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Release Date: 1 Jan 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0778304111

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I just do my job and try to avoid the Population Control Police, who dream of recycling scrubs into fertiliser. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels?It’s not like it’s dangerous… Well, turns out it is. Because I know every corridor, pipe and shortcut I’ve become the go-to girl to lead a revolution. I know if we find a gateway to Outside it’ll be suicide plain and simple. But guess who likes a challenge? I should have just said no…

My Review
I was lucky enough to get a free copy of this at Book-day with my work, I love all of Maria V. Snyder's books, so I was excited to get my hands on this one. Don't know why I took so long to get round to it, but I picked it up yesterday and then just couldn't stop.
Trella is a Scrub, one of the millions on the lower levels, her job is to keep everything clean and functioning for the Uppers on the higher levels. She doesn't have many friends and tends to avoid the other scrubs, known as the Queen of the Pipes she knows her way round better than anyone and feels at home in the vents. But this leads to trouble for Trella, for she is the go-to girl when a revolution threatens to break out. Can she hide from the pop cops and fight her way to freedom, this is an exciting story of a girl and a nation fighting back.
Trella is a great character, the story gets you straight into the action and her life and I felt like I really knew her. She is feisty and strong-willed but also lost and in need of some care.
I love the idea of 'Inside', I wasn't entirely sure at first whether it was a place underground, or on a different world or a space ship, but it didn't really matter, I accepted what I knew and could picture the surroundings.
Cog is Trella's only real friend and I liked his spirit, Riley is an Upper, but not like the others, he is sweet and kind, and really intelligent, he's also willing to question authority and help others. I loved him, I think he was my favourite character - next to 'Sheepy' his toy sheep. 
I read this in about three hours, I just couldn't put it down. Was really fast paced and exciting and I had to know what would happen to Trella and all the other Scrubs.
There were some surprising twists and breath-taking moments that kept me clued to the seat.
I loved it so much that I went out this morning and bought book 2 (Outside In), can't wait to get stuck into that one.

My Rating
 I would give this book 9.5/10 a breath-taking, action packed story that will keep you hooked til the last page.

Monday 18 April 2011

Hunger Games Cast Update!

Two new roles have now been cast - Thresh & Rue!

As we know Katniss will be played by Jennifer Lawrence, Peeta will be played by Josh Hutcherson and Gale will be played by Liam Hemsworth, but now we have two new kids on the blog.

Playing the District 11 pair are:

Amandla Stenberg as Rue
Dayo Okeniyias Thresh

They are both new to the acting game but I think they look great, can't wait to see them in action, especially Amandla, Rue is my favourite!

If you want to read the official article go here

So, what do you think, good choices or not?

I'm super excited, can't wait to see who will fill out the other roles.

10 Good Things on a Monday (10)

Ten Good Things on a Monday is a fancy meme hosted by Nice Nina @ Brush Up on Your Reading!

Here's how it works:

  1. Think of a particular group of good things you want to make a list on, does not necessarily have to be about books, e.g. your current book wish list, or your favorite book foods (you know, foods you love to eat while reading, if you're like me), or your favorite girly names, whatever you can think of, as long as it makes you feel good.
  2. If you have no ideas for a list, you can always visit my blog post to check out my theme for that week and you can take a cue from my list.
  3. Post your list on your blog, grab that cute ARGH button above and put it on your post too, so we'd know you're doing this meme.
  4. Leave the link for your post on my own 10 Good Things post for the week, if you see others doing it, comment too and let's share our good things with everybody.
  5. Everybody goes through the whole week happy!

This week I am going to do my top 10 favourite things about spring

1) The sun - it comes out more and makes me smile

2) The warm weather - no more bundling up in hundred of layers.

3) Flowers - daffodils everywhere and blossom on the trees.

4) Being able to wear dresses - Get those pretty outfits out again

5) Lying in the garden just chilling.

6) The Birdsong always seems more cheerful

7) Easter - a time to thank our Lord for his sacrifice and of course eat chocolate.

8) Lighter atmosphere - everyone seems to cheer up when Spring hits, all the stress of winter has passed,

9) Fruit Salads and other cooling tasty snacks. - no more constant cooking food to keep us warm, we can relax with some refreshing fruit, or my guilty pleasure cake!!!

10) Ladybirds come out. I love these little fellows, so cute. :D

So that's my 10 for this week.

Have a good week everyone. :D

Sunday 17 April 2011

Book Review - Wings: A Fairy Tale

Title: Wings
Author: E.D. Baker
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Release Date: Reprint edition Sep 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1599903804

Tamisin has always recognized that she's a bit odd and doesn't quite fit in. Her appearance and the fact that she sees things others don't has always set her apart.
But she's shocked when she suddenly grows wings and is kidnapped and taken to a world where goblins and fairies exist. She'll soon learn that many things, even love, aren't all that they appear to be at first.

My Review
I bought this book about a year ago in an Amazon sale, it got shoved on my shelf and forgotten about. When browsing my shelves friday for my next read I came across this and decided to give it a go. The beginning is very similar to the book by Aprilynne Pike by the same title, high school girl unsure of who she is, doesn't fit in, then suddenly grows wings - although I have to say Pike does it a lot better. Up to there though this is where the similarities end, and the stories take on very different routes. 
Tamisin has always been able to see goblins, but now they are showing up more often and they seem to be very interested in her. Jak turns up at school, he is cute and friendly, but does he have a hidden agenda. When Tamisin gets carried through a Gateway into the fey world by a group of goblins, Jak follows and sets out to rescue her, but their journey takes them to places they never thought they would see and meet creatures they had only dreamed of.
I have to admit that bits of this book seemed very slow and I would put it down for a few minutes, but then would be intrigued enough to know what happens that i would pick it back up. In the end it really came to a point of just trying to finish it.
The story is fairly well written, but I didn't feel particularly connected to the characters, I was sort of interested in the two main characters, but the rest I couldn't really care about.
This book also plays on an adaptation of Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream, including Titania, Oberon and others into the story line. Just seemed like a poor adaptation.
This book isn't all bad, it does have some good action scenes and some of the descriptions are well detailed. I could really picture the forest of magic flowers, it sounded beautiful, but overall I was left feeling disappointed with the book.

My Rating
I would give this book 5.5/10 - some good parts but overall disappointing.