Top 12 Books of 2012!

Monday, 31 December 2012
2012 has been a pretty good month for me in terms of books, and I have chosen my top 12 that I have read this year! Not in any particular order though!
  • Legend by Marie Lu (Review)
  • Blue Dust: Forbidden by Katy Krump (Review)
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Review)
  • A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan (Review)
  • Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (Review)
  • Timbuctoo by Tahir Shah
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien (Review)
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (Review)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Review)
  • Pure by Julianna Baggott (Review)
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (Review)
I hope you had a good year in books as well, and that 2013 is even better!

Book Review- A Thousand Splendid Suns

Sunday, 30 December 2012
Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Publication Date: May 22nd 2007
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 372

Rating: 4/5

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to the post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them.
 Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love—a stunning accomplishment.-Goodreads
 
The book club I'm a member of at school chose this for our first read, and as it has been on my TBR pile for a while, I was happy to read it.
This is a beautifully written novel, about hope and faith, and how we as humans cope with hardships in our life.
I found this novel very educational, as I knew very little about Afghanistan, or what had gone on there. I feel like this novel has really opened my eyes.
I really liked discovering the women's story, and how they felt during all of it, although it was brutal, it was also uplifting.
The plot was well written, it had plenty of dialogue, which told the story, and helped with your ideas of the characters. I also liked the addition of words in their native language, not English. I thought this added nicely to the setting, and to the idea that it wasn't anything like life here.
I din't like the ending quite so much, I found it quite sad, but I was also a little disappointed with the "Happily Ever After" feel to it.
Overall I enjoyed this novel, and it made me appreciate the freedom we have, and just how ignorant we are to this freedom. 

Reading Break #1

Saturday, 29 December 2012
Hello,
I wanted to do some other posts about things I love, just for something different, so I'm calling it reading break, as these are non book related posts!
Music Reccommendations #1
I love music, so I'm going to do a couple of posts about bands and artists that I love.
The first artist is Ed Sheeran. I love his music, how stripped back and uneditted it sounds, but is still catchy. My 2 favourite songs from him are The A Team and You Need Me, I Don't Need You. The A Team is the first single from his album +, and I had it stuck in my head for months. I love the lyrics too, even if it is about drugs, it's still a beautiful song. You Need Me, I Don't Need You is another song he released as a single, but it has a very different sound from The A Team. I love the kind of rappy feel to this song, and I can proudly say I can rap the whole thing. Again the lyrics are great, but this one has a more upbeat tempo.
The next band I love is Fun. I love the upbeat poppy sound they have, their songs make me smile. My favourite two songs from them are from their first album Aim & Ignite, and they are All The Pretty Girls and I Wanna Be The One. Fun released All The Pretty Girls as a single, and that's when I first discovered them. I think this is a really great catchy song, that always gets stuck in my head. I Wanna Be The One, is a much slower song, that has some really nice lyrics in it, but is still catchy.
The last band I'm going to mention in this post is The Plain White T's. They released their first album in 2005, and their newest in 2010. My 2 favourite songs from them are Hey There Delilah and Rhythm of Love. Hey There Delilah is from their first album, and is a very well known tune, which is very popular. It's a love song, that has a catchy tune. Rhythm of Love, is from their newest album, and is a bit faster paced, but is still a love song. I love this song, it is a feelgood song, that instantly makes you feel better.

Ed Sheeran
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAWcs5H-qgQ    The A Team
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXvzzTICvJs        You Need Me, I Don't Need You
Fun.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIoaiTwLk6I         All the Pretty Girls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APNJSP-lqmM       I Wanna Be the One
The Plain White T's
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbJtYqBYCV8      Hey There Delilah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWiwuiT58Yc        Rhythm of Love

Fall Into Reading 2012 Wrap Up!

Friday, 28 December 2012
This year, I took part in the Fall Into Reading challenge, which basically involved challenging yourself to read a set number of books before the end of December. I challenged myself to read 13 books for the set period of time. I am afraid to say I didn't manage, as of the finish date I had read 5 of them, although I finished the sixth just after. I am placing all blame for this failure on school, and the amount of homework I have been receiving.
My favourite book that I read from my list would have to be The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien, although The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams comes a close second. I had been uneasy about starting the Lord of the Rings trilogy, because I absolutely love the films, but I really wanted the books to stand up against them. I am glad to say, the book are just as good as I hoped they would be, and I can't wait to continue the trilogy.
I really enjoyed this challenge as it was something new that I discovered, which has helped me to read some books that have been in my TBR pile for a long time.
If you took part in the challenge, I hope you did better than I did, and thanks to Callapidderdays for hosting the challenge!

Callapidderdays post: http://callapidderdays.com/2012/12/fall-into-reading-2012-wrap-it-up.html

Book Review- Legend

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Publication Date: 29th November 2011
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 295
Series: Legend #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Rating: 4/5



What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.- Goodreads
 
This novel was quite a typical dystopian plot, it followed the well trodden path of boy meets girl, they fall in love, something is obstructing their love, they overcome said obstruction and discover secrets about their government.
Saying this, the novel had a fast paced plot, which made it easy to read. It was full of excitement and action scenes. I also quite enjoyed the government and political setting of this novel, as I thought it was interesting, and I thought the part with the plague was very interesting, if underexplored.
This novel also has the typical swapping point of view, which is so common in YA novels now. This does allow you to see from both characters sides, but I find it quite tiring, and I like to know one character better than another, it makes for a better story, in my opinion.
The novel was written in the present tense, which added to the action filled nature of the novel, and also to the pacing of the story.
I liked the main characters, June and Day. June was a real action here, trained to be a fighter, and she was pretty kick ass. She was also independent, she didn't rely on anyone else to save her. Day was also a real action hero, but he also seemed very loyal and protective of his family. The minor characters were some of the best I have read about in a while, Metias and Tess were my favourites, they really added to the story, and added to the main characters too.
I only had a couple of problems with this novel. I felt that the "love" that June and Day had for each other was a bit quick in developing, it seemed like "insta-love" to me. I disliked that the author had written both June and Day as "perfect" characters, with perfect IQs and perfect fitness/athleticism. I found this a tad annoying, as nobody is perfect. The plot was a tad predictable, probably because it is of a popular genre in YA at the moment.
Overall I would reccommend this novel, although it is quite similar to most dystopian novels out at the moment, it was an enjoyable read none the less. 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Hello everyone,
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that Santa was good to you! I received lots of great gifts, and ate so much yummy food, I didn't think I would be able to move ever again! If you don't celebrate Christmas, happy holidays, and if you do, Merry Christmas!! :)

Author Interview- Katy Krump

Thursday, 20 December 2012
Katy Krump is the author of the recently released sci fi novel Blue Dust: Forbidden, which was published by Ghostly Publishing on the 24th of November.

I asked Katy a couple of questions and she very kindly answered them!

Q. Can you tell us a bit about your novel Blue Dust: Forbidden?
A. It's a sci fi fantasy adventure, mainly for teen and YA girls but also for boys who aren't scared off by a bit of romance. It follows the journey of a Forbidden child, Qea, who comes from a distant galaxy, and is packed with adventure and non stop action. Qea is an interesting character. She comes from a world where warlords rule and her life has been unusual, to say the least. She is sent to Earth to hide from a warlord she has betrayed, and it's here that she meets Adam, the boy that will show her how to be human and help her find her true self. In doing so however, he puts both their lives at risk and they find themselves back in the Qarntaz Octad, the place of Qea's nightmares, where they are in constant danger from the strange beings that live there, the hostile environments, and Qea's enemies who will do anything to capture her. Forbidden is the first in the Blue Dust series. Book two, Destiny, will be out next year followed by a third, Insurrection, later in 2013.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
A. I myself am an 'alien' having emigrated from South Africa to the UK and there were times that I truly felt like I'd landed on another planet. I started writing a blog about being an alien and reaslied that it would make a good story. The blog then morphed into the story of Qea, Adam and Blue Dust.
Q. Do any of the characters reflect you in any way?
A. Qea reflects me in the way that she struggles to fit in to a strange environment, the sense of isolation and not belonging. Other than that she's not like me. Of course there are always aspects of the author in her characters, but also bits and pieces of other people I know or have met. Adam is a composition of teenage boys I knew over the years plus aspects of what I think the 'perfect' teenage boy should be.

Q. When is your favourite time and place to write?
A. I love writing late at night with music playing and rainy or misty days make me feel very inspired. I try to write everyday no matter the weather of course, as I have to get the sequel finished for my publisher. I'm happy to write anywhere really, but feel most comfortable at home with my own things around me. Or overlooking the sea...
Q. If you could live in one story which would it be?

A. Hmm, good question. Any of the worlds created by Terry Pratchett, but especially the Discworld. Imagine the fun that could be had there!
You can buy the book here and here!
Thanks for reading :)

 

WWW Wednesdays #2

Wednesday, 19 December 2012
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Timbuctoo by Tahir Shah

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

What do you think you'll read next?
I think I will read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens next.

Teaser Tuesday #3

Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Today's teaser is from Timbuctoo by Tahir Shah!

"At the end of the first week of suffering, James Davidson succumbed. He had been whipped so severely he choked blood until he coughed up part of a lung."

Enjoy, and have fun reading this week!

Book Review- Blue Dust: Forbidden

Sunday, 16 December 2012
Title: Blue Dust: Forbidden
Author: Katy Krump
Publication Date: 24th November
Publisher: Ghostly Publishing
Pages: 269 (Kindle Edition)
Series: Blue Dust #1
Genre: Sci-fi, YA

Rating: 4/5


All teenage girls keep secrets and Kerry Johnston is no exception. More than anyone else she knows how to lie, for ‘Kerry’ is an alias and her life is a nightmare of secrecy, violence and fear. In reality this overweight, limping teenage girl is Qea, a Forbidden child from the Qarntaz Octad, sent to Earth to hide from the warlord she has betrayed. Born third into her family in an overpopulated world where surplus offspring are Forbidden and killed or delivered as fodder for the malevolent Inquisitors, Qea has spent her life in hiding.

Qea (Pronounced Kee-ah) is a girl with an unusual history. She comes from a distant galaxy where warlords rule the law and corruption is rife, so she must become hard to survive, but here on Earth a young man will change her heart and risk her life, changing it forever.-Goodreads
 
I was contacted by the author, and offered a copy of the ebook, in return for an honest review.

This novel is a fast-paced sci-fi novel, from an author who's writing is some of the best YA writing I have read in a while. The whole plot is very imaginitive, from the world to all the strange but fantastical beasts that live on the planet.
Qea and Adam are excellent main characters, who are written in such a way that has you rooting for them the whole way through. I also really like the relationship between them, it seems to actually have some foundations, I like that the author begins the relationship before the action begins. It allows you to see their relationship develop, and see how their relationship takes the strain of the circumstances they find themselves in. I really liked Qea's character, and how she seems quite cold and calculating at the beginning, but as the novel progresses, who she thought she was starts to crumble, and she has to try and rediscover exactly who she is. She becomes almost human, she starts to feel things she isn't used to. Adam also changes through the novel, though in a different way from Qea. Adam grows and develops into more than just Qea's boyfriend, he becomes a leader and a hero, and becomes someone Qea relies on heavily to keep her going.
The writing of this novel was very engaging, keeping me on the edge of my seat, and making me want to read more and more. The descriptions were excellent, giving a very clear picture of the places and characters in the novel.
The plot has lots of questions and puzzles woven through it, some of these questions get answered and some don't. This always annoys me when an author leaves so many questions unanswered, but I presume they will be answered in the folowing books in the series.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel and I would definitely reccommend checking it out, whether you're a fan of sci-fi or not. The storyline is great, and the author has left lots of great questions hanging for the following books, which I will definitely be reading!

Book Review- The Perfect Storm

Saturday, 8 December 2012
Title: The Perfect Storm
Author: Sebastian Junger
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 227
Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Adventure

Rating: 3/5

It was the storm of the century —a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm."


When it struck in October, 1991, there was virtually no warning. "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong," radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail from off the coast of Nova Scotia. Soon afterward, the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace.


The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller, a stark and compelling journey into the dark heart of nature that leaves listeners with a breathless sense of what it feels like to be caught, helpless, in the grip of a force beyond understanding or control. -Goodreads

This is a true story, written by a journalist, of a large storm in 1991, and tells the tale of the people, and fishing ships caught up in the storm.
If you consider reading this book, I would first consider this point; do you know anything about fishing and boats? If the answer is yes, then by all means continue and pick up the book. If your answer is not really, as was mine, then I advise caution.
This book is filled with fishing and boating jargon, I couldn't make head nor tail of most of it, and skipped a good few pages trying to reach the story. The beginning of the story is very slow, the author gives the reader a lot of background knowledge about the history of fishing, and how a fishing vessle works. This may be interesting to some, but I found it quite boring, and confusing.
The main focus of the novel is on a ship called The Andrea Gail, which becomes caught in the centre of this storm.
Once you get past the slow beginning, the story does pick up. We follow the fate of a helicopter sent out to rescue fishermen, as well as The Andrea Gail and her crew. The author gives a very detailed description of what it's like to drown, which was interesting to read, but also a little scary.
Overall I thought this novel was ok, but I wouldn't read it again. I would recommend it if you have knowledge of fishing because this will enhance your reading.

December TBR

Saturday, 1 December 2012
This month I want to try and finsh the Fall into Reading Challenge, so I have all those novels to read, and I have a few requested reviews from authors that I want to get through too. I also have the book we're reading for the school book club I'm a part of.
  1. A Game of Thrones- George R.R. Martin
  2. Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
  3. The Woodlanders- Thomas Hardy
  4. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
  5. Winter in Madrid- C.J. Samson
  6. The Shipping News- Annie Proulx
  7. Timbuctoo- Tahir Shah
  8. Fugitive- Louise Miles
  9. Oaths of Servitude- C.E Wilson
  10. Blue Dust: Forbidden- Katy Krump
  11. A Thousand Splendid Suns- Khaled Hosseini
I realise this is a large list. so I better get reading!!

November Wrap Up

The first book I read this month was Fateful by  Claudia Gray. This is a YA novel, involving werewolves, set on the Titanic. I gave this novel 3/5 stars. The next novel I read was Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare. We are studying this text in English this year, so I counted it because we had to read it. I gave this 5/5 stars. The 3rd novel I read this month was The Fellowship of The Ring by J.R.R Tolkien. This was my first time reading this novel and I really enjoyed it. I gave it 5/5 too. The next book I read, which I just finished a couple of days ago was The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. This is a novel documenting a once in a lifetime storm, and the people caught up in it. I gave this novel 3/5. The last novel I read this month was The Great Gatsby by Scott F.Fitzgerald. We are studying this novel in English too, and I finished it yesterday. I gave it 5/5.

Book Review- The Fellowship of the Ring

Sunday, 25 November 2012
Title: The Fellowship of the Ring
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Publication Date: 1954
Publishers: Unwin Paperbacks
Pages: 529
Series: The Lord of the Rings #1
Genre: Fantasy, Classics

Rating: 5/5

Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power except one -- the One Ring that rules them all -- which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task when Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.-Goodreads

Before I started this review, I really had to think about it, how do you review such a book? This is a classic, one third of one of the most famous series in the world, and is loved by many many people.
I am one of these people, I really really enjoyed this novel, it is a great novel on its own, but also a good beginning to the series.
I watched all the movies in a weekend earlier this year, and I worried that this might hinder my enjoyment of the novel, but the opposite is true. Seeing the movies actually increased my enjoyment of the novel. It made keeping track of all the hundreds of characters easier, as I imagined the actors as their characters, and it helped with remembering who was who.
The plot of this novel is long, very long, and isn't exactly quick paced. The thing that makes it so long paced is the inclusion of lots of great descriptions. For example:
"Looking ahead they could see only tree-trunks of innumerable sizes and shapes: straight or bent, twisted, leaning, squat or slender, smooth or gnarled and branched; and all the stems were green or grey with moss and slimy, shaggy growths."
The large use of description does at times get tiring however, especially after long periods of it, but the imagery it creates is pretty spectacular.
One small negative to this book is the large cast of characters Tolkien has created. Although I completely understand why he did this, with such a diverse world, and many races of creatures, many characters was inevitable, it was perhaps too many.
My favourite characters were; Tom Bombadill, Sam and Aragorn. I thought Tom was a great character, and it's a shame he isn't featured in the movies. He was a really mystical and magical character that I just thought was cool. I liked Sam because I really valued his loyalty to Frodo, no matter what Frodo did, Sam stuck by him. He is brave too, which will appear more later in the series. Aragorn is the action hero of the book. He is a mysterious stranger that the Hobbits meet, that is very handy with a sword. He is basically just awesome and super kick-ass.
The setting is a great part of the novel, Middle Earth, is a completely unique setting, which must have taken some imagining to come up with. The world is very detailed, the addition of maps at the front of the novel help to increase the detail. The setting adds to the novel, it's definitely part of the appeal of the book. Middle Earth seems colourful and well crafted, with a nice diversity to it.
The novel focuses around Frodo. which help to increase your understanding of the main character. It is told from a 3rd person point of view though, so you still enjoy all the action from other characters too.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel, I am now officially a Lord of the Rings fan. I would really recommend this novel, even if you have been a little cautious about starting it, its definitely worth it. I can't wait to get started on the next novel. 

Shelf Candy Saturday #1

Saturday, 24 November 2012
Shelf Candy Saturday is a meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at Five Alarm Book Reviews. It's purpose is to showcase cover art that we find beautiful/interesting/unique/intriguing, etc.

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This is the first novel in the Covenant series, published on the 20th September 2011. The paperback version has 281 pages and is a YA novel.
Genres: Action, Paranormal, Vampires

The reviews on this novel are mixed, a lot of people say it is very similar to the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.
I chose this book because I think the cover is really pretty. My favourite colour is purple, so it really caught my eye on Goodreads. I love the typography of the title and the author name. It really adds to the mystical sense of the novel. I also love the flower, I like the way it looks like its made of wisps of smoke or cloud.

WWW Wednesdays #1

Wednesday, 21 November 2012
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
  • I'm currently reading The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
  • I recently finished The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien
  • I will probably read A Thousand Suns by Khaled Hosseini next

Fall Into Reading 2012 Update

Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Hello, after doing the Fall Into Reading challenge for 2 months now, I thought I would give an update to how I'm getting on. From my list of 13 novels, I have only read 4! I have some serious reading to do!!
The list now looks like this:
  • A Game of Thrones- George R.R Martin
  • Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
  • Perfect Storm- Sebastian Junger
  • At the Going Down of the Sun- Elizabeth Darrell
  • The Woodlanders- Thomas Hardy
  • Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
  • Winter in Madrid- C.J. Samson
  • The Shipping News- Annie Proulx
  • Timbuctoo- Tahir Shah
The 4 novels I have read are:
  • Last Bus to Woodstock- Colin Dexter
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
  • The Fellowship of the Ring- J.R.R Tolkien
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde- Robert Louis Stevenson

Book Review- Fateful

Title: Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
Publication Date: 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 325

Rating 3/5

A tragic tale about falling in love on the world’s most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing… and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever.

The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employment amid painful memories and family secrets.

When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn.

Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…




This novel, as you can tell if you've read the summary above, is set on the Titanic. I thought this was a really cool and unique setting for a novel, as I haven't read any fantasy/paranormal novels set on the Titanic. The author has obviously spent some time researching this, as the historical accuracy was impressive.
The novel revolves around a girl called Tess who is a ladies maid to the Lisle family, who are travelling to America. The plot was ok, it wasn't anything wonderfully special, nothing very unique about it. It was quite fast paced, however, I started and finished it in one day. The descriptions were ok, not too frequent as to break up the flow of the novel, but enough to make sure you knew what was going on.
The main character is Tess, who was an ok main character. She was quite practical and wasn't as weak as normal YA female characters tend to be. She was sensible and quite brave and level headed. The only problem I had with her was how easily she coped with seeing boys turn into werewolves right infront of her. If that had been me, I would have been freaking out, but she hardly batted an eyelid.
The romantic love interest in this novel was Alec, an upper class passenger, that saves Tess from another werewolf. He again was an ok character, but he doesn't reallystand out in my mind thinking back on the book.
The villain of the novel was Mikhail, another werewolf. He was a pretty cool baddie, he was quite menacing but again he wasn't anything special.
SPOILER COMING UP!



The ending of this novel really annoyed me. I felt it was really cliched, I would have prefered it if she hadn't put in the "happily ever after"


SPOILERS FINISHED

I felt that some of the things the two main characters, Tess and Alec said were sickly sweet, and not things that a normal teenager would say, even taking the time period into account.
This novel is written from Tess' point of view, which allows us to read exactly what she is thinking, and I think the author made good use of the reader's intimacy with Tess' thoughts and feelings to really develop the novel.
Overall I thought this was an ok novel (apparent by the number of times I've said "ok" in this review! 4 times if you're interested!), I gave it 3/5 stars.

Teaser Tuesday #2

This weeks teaser is from The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.
"Hey Charlie,look at this! he shouted to another crew member who was down below. Charlie sprinted up the companionway but didn't get to the wheelhouse in time; the wave bore down on them, slate-coloured and foaming, and blew the wheelhouse windows out."

Enjoy! :)

Musing Mondays #2

Monday, 19 November 2012
Is a weekly event where MizB will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.
Todays question:

Do you read the ending before you start a book? Do you ever skip ahead to read the ending?

Yes I have to own up and say that I quite often read the last page of the novel, just because I'm impatient, and I just want to know. Normally the very last page doesn't give away that much of the novel, but still it does spoil it but I can't help myself!

Friday Finds #2

Friday, 16 November 2012
Friday Finds is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
Just share what books you added to your TBR pile lately.
Post your link in the comments at Should Be Reading
and you are good to go!
  • The Universal Mirror- Gwen Perkins
  • Stupid Perfect World- Scott Westerfeld
  • The King's Sword- AJ Searle
  • The Chronicles of Narnia- C.S. Lewis
  • Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy
  • Slaughterhouse Five- Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Host- Stephenie Meyer
  • The Outsiders- S.E Hinton
  • Emma- Jane Austen
  • On the Road- Jack Kerouac
  • Lonesome Dove- Larry McMurtry
  • The Grapes of Wrath- John Steinbeck
  • Of Poseidon-Anna Bank

Book Review- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Publication Date: 1979
Publisher: Pan Books
Pages: 199
Series: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Humour, Fantasy

Rating: 5/5

On 12 October 1979 the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor (and Earth) was made available to humanity — The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It's an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards, to make way for a new hypersapce bypass, and his best friend has just announced that he's an alien. At this moment, they're hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON'T PANIC.

The weekend has only just begun...


This is probably one of the most famous sci-fi novels ever written, and after I watched the film with Martin Freeman and Zoey Deschanel, I couldn't wait to read the novel.
My favourite part of this novel was definitely the humour that ran through the novel. I was grinning my way through, and actually laughed out loud more than once! Adams' style of writing means everyone can get the jokes.
The plot revolves around our main character Arthur, and a bizarre day which involves having his house bulldozed down and being teleported onto a spaceship. Although the plot wasn't full of action, the humour of the novel, made up for this.
The characters are a really strong part of this novel, and the series in general. Arthur is a great main character, he reacts just how a normal person would react to the crazy situation he finds himself in. The rest of the characters in the novel are great too, Marvin the depressed robot is hilarious, and his sarcasm is really funny.
Basically this is just as good a novel as I hoped it would be, and didn't disappoint at all. I would recommend this novel if you enjoy sci-fi novels, but also if you just want a really funny, light read.

Friday Finds #1

Friday, 9 November 2012
Friday Finds is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
Just share what books you added to your TBR pile lately.
Post your link in the comments at Should Be Reading
and you are good to go!

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz.
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer.
Crash by Lisa McMann.
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole.
Hold Me CLoser, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Live and Let Die by Ian Flemming
Heaven by V.C. Andrews
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
Twelve Months by Steven Manchester
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Faithful by Janet Fox
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab
Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin





Teaser Tuesday #1

Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Fellowship Of The Ring-J.R.R Tolkien
Pg 56:
The wizard's face remained grave and attentive, and only a flicker in his deep eyes showed that he was startled and indeed alarmed. "It has been called that before," he said, "but not by you."

Musing Mondays #1

Monday, 29 October 2012
Musing Mondays   is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, where they will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.

Q. Do you have people online that you often discuss the books you read with? Not just book groups, but individual readers who share the same taste in books? If so, what do you like best about this? If not, do you wish you did?

A. No unfortunately I don't have anyone that I talk to. I sincerely wish I did have someone that I could get excited about new releases with, but so far I haven't found anyone. I do read a very interesting mix of books, so to find someone with the same tastes is going to be quite hard. I take this as a challenge, and I am definitely going to find someone soon.



New Release Sunday #6

Sunday, 28 October 2012
The book released this week that I am most looking forward to checking out is Flutter by Gina Linko. This novel has 352 pages in the hardback edition, and is published by Random House Books for Young Readers.
Basically this book is a sci fi adventure about a 17 year old girl who sufferes seizures, and during her seizures she travels through worm holes back in time. There is also the suggestion of some romance, and a mystery to unravel.
This sounds like a really unique and interesting idea for a novel, and anything involving time travel is good with me.
Blurb:  "All Emery Land wants is to be like any other 17-year-old—to go to school, hang out with her friends, and just be normal. But for as long as she can remember, she’s suffered from seizures. And in recent years they’ve consumed her life. To Emery they’re much more than seizures, she calls them loops—moments when she travels through wormholes back and forth in time and to a mysterious town. The loops are taking their toll on her physically. So she practically lives in the hospital where her scientist father and an ever-growing team of doctors monitor her every move. They’re extremely interested in the data they collect when Emery seizes. It appears that she’s tapping into parts of the brain typically left untouched by normal human beings.

Escaping from the hospital, Emery travels to Esperanza, the town from her loops on the upper peninsula of Michigan, where she meets Asher Clarke. Ash’s life is governed by his single-minded pursuit of performing good Samaritan acts to atone for the death of a loved one. His journey is very much entwined with Emery’s loops.

Drawn together they must unravel their complicated connection before it’s too late."-Goodreads

You may like this novel if you like; Young Adult, Paranormal, Sci-fi, Time Travel.


You can check it out on Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13452531-flutter and on The Book Depository and Amazon here: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Flutter-Gina-Linko/9780375869969http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flutter-Gina-Linko/dp/0375969969/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351442672&sr=8-2

New York, Barnes & Noble, The Mysterious BookShop

Friday, 26 October 2012
Hello,
I apologise for being absent for so long, but I promise I have a good reason. On Tuesday of last week, my family and I flew to New York, JFK airport. We did many awesome things and saw lots of iconic sights while there, but today I want to talk about two things we did.
On the last day in New York, we made a very special trip to a shop in New York, called The Mysterious BookShop ( http://www.mysteriousbookshop.com) I will insert some pictures here:

It was awesome,a room completely stuffed with mystery and thriller novels. There were stacks of novels everywhere, and so many different books to look at, we spent quite a while just browsing.
Although I didn't buy anything, it was really nice just to look through my brother did by a number of James Bond novels.


After this we decided to take a trip to Barnes & Noble, a big book store in the USA. I really wanted to visit this shop, after hearing so much about it from bloggers in the USA. I absolutely loved this shop, and saw so much stuff I wanted to buy. The choice of novels was much greater than in the UK, but it sold not only books but other merchandise as well. I did buy something here, I bought a tote bag and a Harry Potter t-shirt. I will post pictures of these later, but I can't at the moment because my camera isn't working.
We stayed in New York for 3 nights and then we stayed 4 nights in Washington D.C with my close family. I had a really enjoyable holiday, and these bookstores were definitely a highlight.
If you went on holiday these Tattie Holidays I hope you had a great time, and if you didn't go away or perhaps you don't get Tattie Holidays, I hope everything is good anyway.

Book Review- Last Bus to Woodstock

Monday, 15 October 2012
Title: Last Bus to Woodstock
Author: Colin Dexter
Publication Date: 1975
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 309
Series: Inspector Morse #1
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Detective, Adult

Rating: 3/5

The death of Sylvia Kaye figured dramatically in Thursday afternoon's edition of the Oxford Mail.

By Friday evening Inspector Morse had informed the nation that the police were looking for a dangerous man - facing charges of wilful murder, sexual assault and rape.

But as the obvious leads fade into twilight and darkness, Morse becomes more and more convinced that passion holds the key...- Goodreads

My mum watched a program on tv called Inspector Morse, a few years ago (I don't know when it was released). It's plot was based on the novels of the same name by Colin Dexter. My mum really enjoyed this program, so when she spotted the whole Inspector Morse collection for only a tenner on thebookpeople.com, she insisted I bought it (its only £5 now, if you're interested!). I am a massive Sherlock Holmes fan, so I hoped it would be of the same vein.
Alas it wasn't, where Sherlock is witty and sharp, Morse is rude and vulgar.
The plot in this novel is about a girl who is murdered one evening after hitchhiking a ride home with her friend. Morse spends a lot of time telling anyone who will listen that he knows who did it, and then being proven wrong. He treats the Sergeant, who he is working on the case with like dirt, and feels attracted to nearly every woman he interviews during the investigation.
The plotline itself wasn't that bad, Dexter kept you guessing as to who did it, with their being suspicion lingering around everyone. I do feel that a flaw in the plot was all the characters that Dexter kept introducing, there became so many that I struggled to keep track of who was who.
The major thing in this novel that I disliked was the characters, mainly Morse himself. To me he seemed quite old in this novel, late 50s in my mind, and he spent a good chunk of the novel flirting with, or going on dates with various suspects in the case. This jarred with me, as I really expect an Inspector to keep within certain boundaries when investigating a crime. Maybe this is just me being weird, but it felt wrong with me.
Apart from being a bit sleezy, Morse was also incredibly cocky, and childish, he would fly into terribly childish tantrums if things weren't going well.
The other characters weren't bad, but weren't really memorable at all. A few characters meet a rather sad and unfortunate end, which I won't mention just in case I spoil it for you. Also I didn't guess who had done it, so it was nice to be surprised at the end.
Overall I gave this novel 3/5, and I will pick up the next in the series (only because I own the whole series!) but I would be reluctant to recommend this as a mystery novel that anyone would enjoy. Maybe it was wrong of me to draw comparisons between Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Morse, as they are completely different. Maybe I was being to harsh on Morse, maybe it is better than I think, I guess you will have to read it to find out. In my mind, nobody can reach the writing masterpieces of Conan Doyle anyway!

Book Review- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Publication Date: 1886
Pages: 144
Genre: Classics, Horror, Science Fiction

Rating: 5/5

In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde.- Goodreads
This is a classic short story, that even if you haven't read the story, you will be familiar with the case of Dr Jekyll and his alter ego Mr Hyde. I wasn't sure whether I would like this story, as I'm not normally to keen on the archaic language, that was used in this era. I was pleasantly surprised by this novel, as I really enjoyed it, and found the language didn't reduce my enjoyment of the plot at all.
The novel itself is very eerie, especially when our main character is trying to discover what has become of Dr. Jekyll. Robert Louis Stevenson did a really good job of building the tension throughout the story so by the end, you are nervous about the outcome. The plot is written like a mystery story, with the main question being what has happened to Dr Jekyll. Unfortunately most people know the plot of this story, so the mystery aspect of the story is lost a little.
The characters in this story were really good, they were developed nicely by the author, even though it was a relatively short story. The main character in the story is Dr Jekyll who is a very clever scientist who creates a potion which allows his inner persona "his bad side" if you will, to take over his thoughts and his body.
The story is told from a 3rd person point of view, and we as the reader follow another character's story, Dr Lanyon. He is the man Dr Jekyll eventually trusts with his secret. Dr Lanyon is a good character, who is your typical gentleman, caring about others, brave and level headed.
I really enjoyed the end of the story, even if it was a little confusing. The story ended with a letter written by Dr. Jekyll describing exactly what happened and basically solving the mystery of the stroy. I thought this was a very clever way to end it, as it answered all questions and tied up all loose ends in a nice concise way.
Overall I absolutely loved this novel, and I think it's one of my favourite classics that I've read. I gave this 5/5 stars and I highly recommend that you read this, as it is short, but is definitely worth it.



Book Review- A Touch of Poison, and Wattpad!

Saturday, 6 October 2012
When looking through book apps on my iphone, I stumbled across Wattpad, an app where people can post and read each other's stories and novels. I think this is a really cool idea, as when I'm out and about, a light story, is just what I need. As well as amateur story writers, published novelists sometimes post their novels too. The first novel I have read on this app was A Touch of Poison.

Title: A Touch of Poison
Author: Iron Kite (Wattpad username)

A quick plot summary: This novel revolves around a princess, who cannot touch others with her bare skin without giving them terrible burns. When her father devises a plot to murder a nearby kingdom's prince, the princess must fight to save him, and her own life too.

My thoughts: This was a light read, although it had over 20 chapters too it! It was written well, with good description, and correct punctuation. The plot was fine, an idea that I had heard before, but nevertheless was good, quite fast paced, with no long winded descriptions. The only problem I had was with the ending, which I felt was a bit cliched, and was very "happily ever after". I also felt like the ending was written in a rush, and the fluid writing style completely left the author, meaning the ending was written childishly. Apart from that it was an enjoyable read, but not something I would read again. I gave it 3/5 stars.

Book Review- Unwind

Friday, 5 October 2012
Note: This is quite a short review, and I do apologise. This is simply because I read this a while ago, and have been too busy to post. I just wanted to put my opinions down anyway.

Title: Unwind
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publication Date: November 6th 2007
Publisher: Simon & Shuster's Children (USA)
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Series: Unwind Trilogy #1

Rating: 4/5

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them.
Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.- Goodreads


This is a dystopian novel, set in a world where adults can decide to "unwind" their child before they reach 18, if they see fit. In this novel we follow three "Unwinds" as they escape the future their parents/guardians had planned for them.
I really liked the idea for this novel as I thought it was a unique dystopian plot, that I had never read anything like before. Also lots of people have been raving about this novel, and its sequel on Goodreads, so I thought it was about time I checked it out.
I enjoyed this novel, I thought it was interesting, and action packed, which meant I didn't really have any problem picking it back up. I don't know what it was, but there was something that stopped me from giving it a 5/5, and I can't really put my finger on it, but the spark just wasn't there.
The characters were fine, diverse enough, but still relatable. They had flaws, so they weren't superheroes, and the "villains" were good too.
The writing style was ok, although I cant really remember that much about it, I know it was fine, and it kept me interested.
Overall I would recommend this novel, but I am glad I picked it up from the library, as I'm not sure it's one I would have spent money on.

September Book Haul!

This is a post listing all the books that I got last month. Enjoy!

The first 3 books I got when we were clearing out my Grandpa's house. They were Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray.
The next 3 books I was given by my mum, who recommends I read these novels: At the Going Down of the Sun, And in the Morning, and We Will Remember by Elizabeth Darrell.
The rest of these books were all purchased by me from TheBookPeople.com, which have some really great books! All of these books were under £4 each, which I thought was a good deal. Some of these are novels I have been wanting to check out. For instance; Ashes by Ilsa J Bick, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievwater and Fallen by Lauren Kate. The rest of these I bought on a whim, but I am glad I did. I bought a set of two novels by Julie Bertagna; Zenith and Exodus. I got a set of 3 novels by the late Siobhan Dowd. These were A Swift Pure Cry, Bog Child, and Solace of the Road. I also got two novels by Melissa Marr as well; Radiant Shadows and Darkest Mercy. The last set of novels I got were a set of classic Doctor Who novels by various authors. These are: Doctor Who and the Crusaders, Doctor Who and the Daleks, Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen, Doctor Who and the Cybermen, Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters and Doctor Who and the Auton Ivasion. 

New Release Sunday #5

Sunday, 23 September 2012
This weeks new release that I'm looking forward to is Safekeeping by Karen Hesse. This is a stand alone novel which is 304 pages long. It was published on the 18th of September by Feiwel & Friends in the USA. It is about a girl who is trying to get home and then find her parents immediately after the President has been assassinated and a new political party has taken power.
"Radley just wants to get home to her parents in Vermont. While she was volunteering abroad, the American People's Party took power; the new president was assassinated; and the government cracked down on citizens. Travel restrictions are worse than ever, and when her plane finally lands in New Hampshire, Radley’s parents aren’t there.

Exhausted; her phone dead; her credit cards worthless: Radley starts walking." - Goodreads
 
You may like this novel if you like: YA, Dystopian, Contemporary

Book Review- Deception Point

Title: Deception Point
Author: Dan Brown
Publication Date: May 1st 2001
Publisher: Corgi Books
Pages: 585
Genre: Adult, Thriller, Mystery

Rating: 3/5

When a new NASA satellite detects evidence of an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory...a victory that has profound implications for U.S. space policy and the impending presidential election. With the Oval Office in the balance, the President dispatches White House Intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton to the Arctic to verify the authenticity of the find. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic academic Michael Tolland, Rachel uncovers the unthinkable - evidence of scientific trickery - a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy...- Goodreads

Dan Brown is one of my favourite adult fiction authors, as I think he writes a really great thriller novel. When I found this novel in my local charity shop, I just had to buy it, so I could read another.
I have been very busy with school recently so I had very little time to read this novel, so it took me slightly longer than a Dan Brown novel would normally take. I don't know why, but I just couldn't get into this novel properly at all. It felt as if Dan Brown had just written the same novel again, except he had changed the names of his main characters. It felt predictable to me and I was disappointed that he couldn't think of anything unique to write, so he just churned out another book with the same formulaic feel as his last.
I can't even really remember what this novel was about, but I remember that it was quite fast paced, with a lot of action in it. It also had a reasonable twist at the end, with the reveal of who was the "baddie" in the book, of course this was someone totally unexpected. 
The two main characters are Rachel and Michael, who are supposedly "normal" people, thrust into these situations. As per most Dan Brown novels, these two characters are attracted to each other, and end up together. Also they both have something in their past that is a weakness, something that the other can get emotional when told about it. This is very similar to all other Dan Brown books, and although these relationships are written nicely, I still felt a bit cheated. 
One thing I do like about Dan Brown's books is his writing style. He writes in a nice, concise way, with a great ability to keep the reader in the dark about various plotlines. 
I know this is a very short review, and I do apologise, but I just don't have many feelings about this novel. Overall I gave it 3/5 as I still liked it even though.



Fall into Reading 2012

Friday, 21 September 2012
Hello,
I recently discovered this reading challenge, called The Fall into Reading Challenge. It was created by callapidderdays.com. This is basically a:
"fun low pressure reading challenge open to anyone and everyone. It will take place September 22nd to December 21st"- Callapidderdays.com
 


All you have to do in the challenge is create a list of books you want to read by the end date, and then read them! Simple!

I really reccommend everyone at least checks out the blog post made about this challenge which I have linked HERE.

Here is my list of books that I want to read by the end of December!
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde- Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Shipping News- Annie Proulx
  • Winter in Madrid- C.J Sansom
  • Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
  • The Woodlanders- Thomas Hardy
  • At the Going Down of the Sun- Elizabeth Darrell
  • The Fellowship of the Ring- J.R.R.Tolkien
  • Perfect Storm- Sebastian Junger
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
  • Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
  • A Game of Thrones- George R.R. Martin
  • Last Bus to Woodstock- Colin Dexter
  • Timbuctoo- Tahir Shah
Note: This list may change/be added to depending on how I feel the challenge is going.

Book Review- The Hunger Games

Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publication Date: January 1st 2008
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 458 (paperback)
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Rating: 5/5

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

May the odds be ever in your favour.
 
 
This is the second time I have read this novel, and I admit that I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. I read it a couple of years ago when it was a lot less well known in the UK, and I'm glad its got the attention it deserved. I owe this novel a lot, it is the novel that got me back into reading (and buying!) YA novels again, and just back into reading in general. Back when I read this novel, I wasn't reading very often, but when I was it was mostly adult novels, as I really didn't like YA novels, or reading at the time either! I picked this novel up from a shop on a whim, as I thought the premise sounded good, and I loved it. After reading this I wanted to check out some other YA novels, to try and find something that stood up to THG's standard. Basically I have to credit this novel with getting me back into reading, and into spending ridiculous amounts of money on books :)
Now onto the review.
First the plot; I think the plot is my favourite part of the novel, as it was something I had never read before, and even when I re-read it, it still stood up as a really great, unique plotline. It is a fast paced plot, it keeps you on the edge, never really allowing you to take a breath before the next piece of action takes place. This is also quite an emotionally driven story line, and the author writes in such a way that you find yourself upset or celebrating along with the characters.
I think the sign of a good author (and therefore a good book) is the author's ability to kill off characters. Of course this is terrible for the reader's emotional health, but it is a vital part of a good novel. The horrible feeling when a character you love is killed, and it feels as if you've lost a friend in real life. Collins does this perfectly, managing to kill off characters, without it turning into a bloodbath, and giving your favourite a suitably heroic/memorable death.
The novel is told in 1st person narrative, from Katniss' point of view. This gives you a great insight into her character, and also adds to the story as you only know what Katniss knows, so it adds an extra twist to the romance too. As the reader you really feel like you know Katniss, that you are going thorough the whole Hunger Games with her, and I often found myself wondering what I would do if I was in the same situation as Katniss.
The characters are another strong point of the novel, as they added to my enjoyment of the novel. The main character is Katniss, who is a sixteen year old, who volunteers for The Hunger Games in place of her younger sister. As I mentioned above, the story is told from her point of view, so this is the character you are closest to. She is probably the strongest female character in YA that I've ever read about, as she is brave, and a fighter. She is also one of my favourite female characters, as she isn't afraid, and doesn't need anybody to protect her, she also has buckets of common sense, and in this sense I think she is a relatable main character.
Another character who plays quite a big part is Peeta. He is the male volunteer from the same district as Katniss, and he has had feelings for Katniss since he was young. He is a really great guy, he's brave, and would do anything to protect Katniss. He also seems really strong, someone you could depend on. His feelings added a really great romantic twist to the novel, and the plotline.
Katniss' hunting partner back in her district is called Gale, and he adds a bit of confusion to the Peeta-Katniss love, as Katniss isn't sure about her feelings for him. I don't really like love triangles in YA novels, but this one doesn't play a huge part in the novel, so it's pretty easy to ignore. Gale seems like the cool, older brother figure to Katniss, he looks out for her, but also teases her like an older brother would.
The smaller characters in the novel were also really good, for example people like Rue, Cinna and Haymitch all added to Katniss' character development and the overall plot. I loved all the extra characters, even the other tributes, they were portrayed so well. Although they are "evil" they were still portrayed as human, which made sure you didn't forget what was going on, and how humans are being made to kill each other.
All the characters in this novel develop and grow really well, being more rounded and 3 dimensional, by the end. You feel very attached to the characters, which makes any deaths a lot more heart wrenching.
Although this was my second time reading this novel, I enjoyed it just as much as the first time, and still gave it 5/5. I have yet to see the movie adaptation, but I have high expectations of it.
Once I have seen the movie, I will definitely to a book to movie adaptation post.

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