Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Review for Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

"He is my soul mate, my fresh air, the reason I look forward to getting up every morning." Maya and Lochan have known each other their entire lives. They’ve been each others rock, soul mate and best friend. Maya’s pretty and kind, sweet sixteen and never been kissed. Lochan is gorgeous, generous and super intelligent and now they’ve fallen in love. This couple should be destined to be together, except they never can be… because they are brother and sister. When I first found out about this book I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to read it or not. I like to think that I’m a pretty open minded person but just the thought of incest turns my stomach and makes me a little queasy but because there’s nothing else quiet like this out there at the moment and because of all the rave reviews I decided to put my personal feelings to the side and read this book. Boy am I glad that I did! Before reading this book I like many people thought of incest as a taboo subject, but after reading this it’s completely changed my opinion on it. Not all incest is as black and white as it may seem, especially that of the consensual type and this book fills in all of those shades of grey in between. It wasn’t until I was half way through reading this that I realised that I didn’t find Maya and Lochan’s relationship sick or repulsive at all - in fact quiet the opposite! I was desperate for them to be together and find a way to figure everything out and ultimately found their situation sad and unfortunate. Like Lochan and Maya I never saw them as brother and sister but as star crossed lovers who had so much against them. They were two normal, wonderful people who I just wanted the best for and if that was with each other then so be it. Their relationship wasn’t all that sexual which just showed that above all they deeply loved each other and just wanted to be able to be a proper couple. All they wanted was to be accepted and to be able to do all the things that a normal boyfriend and girlfriend take for granted. It actually shocked me that Lochan and Maya could go to prison for something they had no control over. You can’t choose who you fall in love with and it made me think that if homosexuals are allowed to love each other and transsexuals are allowed to defy the ‘norm’ because of feelings they cant control then why on earth are not only Lochan and Maya not allowed to be together but face a prison sentence because of it? Why, if under some circumstances and if an incest relationship is consensual and they aren’t hurting each other or other people must they be punished for that? Ultimately it’s not about if their relationship is wrong or right – that could be debated back and forth forever. It’s about why should they be punished so harshly for something they can’t control? Maya and Lochan try numerous times to end their relationship but can you imagine trying to get over someone who’s been a part of you for your entire life? Who you’ve loved for as long as you can remember? Who you never get chance to get away from because you live under the same roof? It would take two very strong people to push that aside so it’s no wonder that they always ended up back together. Tabitha Suzuma’s writing is exquisite and you can definitely feel the love that Lochan and Maya share. I cried so many times whilst reading this book especially towards the end. The ending was perfect- sad – but perfect, I think it ended how it had to end. I’m so glad that I bought another of Tabitha’s books along with this one because Forbidden has definitely become one of my favourite books of all time and I can see Tabitha becoming one of my very favourite authors if the rest of her books are even half as good as Forbidden. This isn’t an easy read. Far from it, but it’s one of those books that demands to be read. It’ll change the way you think. It’ll have you falling in love with the characters. It will have you weeping with the unfairness of it all. There’s not really much more I can say about it other than forget your vampires and humans, jocks and geeks, Forbidden is the ultimate forbidden love story and you’d be crazy to miss out on it. 5 stars. My Rating 5/5 stars *****

Sunday, 29 August 2010

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren Hey guys, well it’s that time of week again! As many of you may know I went to visit my friends Rachel and Ellie this week and well when were together we buy/swap books so I always come away with so many on our get togethers. Word of warning this weeks haul is HUGE. I’m not that bad though some of them were swapped with the girls and on special offers, and well some of them weren’t *sheepish face* I’m going to do a post on the trip over the next few days so keep your eyes peeled for that but for now lets bring out the books! Books from the Trip Vampire Beach - Bloodlust & Initiation by Alex Duval (From Rachel) Vampire Beach - Ritual & Legacy by Alex Duval (From Rachel) Vampire Beach - High Stakes & Hunted by Alex Duval (From Rachel) The Inheritance Cycle Box set (down from £40 to a measly £9.99) The Truth about Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf (From Ellie) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell Whisper My Name by Jane Eagland Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (already read and LOVED review here) TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter Last Vampire: The Last Vampire / Black Blood by Christopher Pike Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz Sabriel by Garth Nix Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (From Ellie) The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (From Ellie) Dewey by Vicki Myron Books from Amazon A Note of Madness by Tabitha Suzuma Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan The Radleys by Matt Haig Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma The History of Love by Nicole Krauss Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen The Enemy by Charlie Higson So that’s what I got in my mailbox this week. Feel free to leave me a link to what you got. Have you read any of the books I got this week? Get commenting and I hope your all having a great weekend! :)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Review for Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins– Spoiler Free!

This review is being entered into Presenting Lenore's dystopian contest for an awesome 6 book prize pack as part of her Dystopian August event. This is a spoiler free review so if you haven’t read the book yet feel free to continue on. Although it may contain spoilers from books one and two so proceed with caution if you haven’t read them. Well where do I start with this one? I guess everybody reading this knows how highly anticipated this book has been so it should come as no surprise when I say that I snatched up the first copy I could find and devoured the entire thing in one sitting. I avoided reading reviews on this book until I finished it so when I logged on to my computer this morning I was surprised to see the mixed reviews for it. Some love it some thought it was ok some even hated it but one thing everyone seems to have in common is that they don’t quiet know what to say about this book. One thing’s for sure either way it will leave you speechless. My thoughts? I personally loved it. A lot of people seem not to like it because they didn’t get the happy ending they expected but that’s exactly what I loved about it. I thought it was very brave of Suzanne Collins to stay true to the theme of this book and not give in to the pressure of wanting everyone to be happy with it. What you have to remember is that this book is set in a world where the government have gone mad. This is a story of hardship and death and to change that in the final book and make everything just rosy would be unrealistic. This didn’t necessarily end how I wanted it to end but it ended how it needed to be ended. Because of this the book is truly heartbreaking to read. The hunger game’s is taken out from the arena and is taking place all over Panem. The districts need a Mockingjay and Katniss sacrifices so much to become that person for them. This book is definitely a more heavier, heartbreaking read than the first two books in the series and because of the events that take place in this book the characters change and grow a lot. Some not for the better- another brave move from Suzanne Collins, but again she’s keeping it real. If I went through what some of the characters went through I think I’d behave in the same way too. Whilst reading this book I think it becomes clear who Katniss needs to be with. All through the trilogy it could have really gone either way but in this one the change of events due to circumstance make it obvious who is right for Katniss. It was really heartbreaking to read that part because the boy who she doesn’t chose moves on to a completely different path and way of life because the passion to take down the capitol is now gone and Katniss realises that’s what they were based on. Again no spoilers with that, up until that point it could have gone either way. I cried whilst reading this book, I laughed and I put the book down feeling very confused about how I felt towards it. It’s heartbreaking, thought provoking, and controversial. The end is both sad and happy but ultimately hopeful. I can’t say that you’ll enjoy this book as it clearly isn’t for everyone and either way I don’t think enjoy is the right word. One things for sure though, you will definitely be mesmerised. 5 stars. My Rating 5/5 stars *****

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

THE END IS NIGH – Mockingjay, Road-Trip, Charity Event, and other things…

Hello everyone! This is just a little update I wanted to do because I have a few things to tell you. Tomorrow I am going to visit and stay with my friend Rachel over @ In the Library of LadyViolet and during that time were going to be going to visit our other friend Ellie over @ Musings of a Bookshop Girl and her lovely little bookshop. We’re going to be doing lots of awesome bookish things, for one were going on a book crawl hopping from one bookshop to another in search of awesome new books to add to our shelves. I think me and Rach will also be making a Vlog or two which I’ll post about when I get home. Because I’ll be away I probably wont do any posts until the weekend now, so I just wanted to let you all know so your not wondering where I am. Second thing I wanted to talk to you about is MOCKINGJAY. It came out in the US today and it comes out over here in the UK tomorrow. I know me and Rach will definitely be on the look out for this on the trip I can’t wait I’m so excited and uber jealous of all of you people who got it today. If you want to leave me a comment telling me if you loved it or if it left you disappointed feel free but please don’t include spoilers! Did you go to a midnight release party? How do you like the book so far? Feel free to get a little spoiler free discussion going on in the comments. I’m going to read Mockingjay next so stay tuned for a review soon! I got an email yesterday from some bloggers doing a really cool thing. There trying to raise money for First book and Save the Children and if you make a donation you automatically get entered into an awesome giveaway where you could win tons of signed books and signed swag from various authors. If you wish to take part please head over to Random Ramblings, 21 Pages, and Books Out Of The Bookshelves for more information. So that’s pretty much it. I wanted to try and get another post done before I left but I have a lot left to do tonight so that can wait until I get back. I hope your all enjoying Mockingjay and will look out for my posts about what me, Rach and Ellie got up to on the trip. Happy Mockingday and I’ll speak to you all soon :) Jessica

Monday, 23 August 2010

Review for The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

I had this book sent to me from Bloomsbury to review a week or so ago and I was immediately excited to read it. The cover intrigued me and the synopsis sounded right up my street so I moved it up to the top of my To Be Read pile and picked it up this weekend when it was rather miserable and rainy and I fancied a creepy historical fiction novel and I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Having never read anything by Michael Ford before I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this but I loved it! Right from the start you can tell that Ford is an excellent story teller. You’re immediately transported into 18th century London so much so that you can very nearly smell the stench of the streets of London wafting off the pages. The story starts when Abi an orphaned servant at the brooding and dark Greave Hall runs away. She’s desperate to escape the crutches of sadistic housekeeper Mrs Cotton and her harsh lifestyle there. Soon after escaping, Abi is caught and brought back to Greave Hall and things start going from bad to worse. The widowed master of the house Lord Greave is slipping slowly into madness, leaving Mrs Cotton his dead wife’s sister to take advantage of her position and adopt the role of Mistress of the house wearing her sisters jewellery and entertaining guests. As Mrs Cotton’s malice intensifies odd things start happening around the house. It seems as though a ghostly presence is trying to get Abi to leave Greave Hall for good and reveal that the house and the people within it are hiding terrible secrets, ones that may cost Abi her very life. I find that ghost stories can be very hit or miss. If you do it right it can be excellent if you do it wrong it can be disastrous and Michael Ford definitely gets it right with The Poisoned House. It reminded me very much of a sort of Rebecca for teens with a supernatural twist. It has all of the things that make Rebecca the wonderful classic that it is. The big brooding house, mystery, a malicious housekeeper, a grieving widower, suspense and death. I found myself turning the pages just as desperate to discover the secrets of the house as much as Abi. There’s always something exciting going on that makes you keep reading and reading. Michael Ford definitely has himself a new fan and I hope he writes more historical fiction in the future as he truly does excel at it. The only reason I couldn’t quiet give this the full top marks is because for me the book was a tad short. I would have liked more time with the characters and for them to have been a little more developed. If you’re looking for a suspenseful, gothic, quick read then your sure to love this. Thank you for sending it to me for review Bloomsbury it’s now become one of my favourite books of the year! 4 stars. My Rating 4/5 stars ****

Saturday, 21 August 2010

In My Mailbox! Another great week...

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren Hello my lovelies, seems as it’s Saturday and I have nothing to do I thought I’d get my in my mailbox post up nice and early again this week. I rather like doing it on Saturday nights because then I have more time to look through others IMM’s on Sunday. I got 16 books again this week (what is it with me and 16 books?) none for review sadly but I did get 2 packages that arrived from contests I’d won. Anyway enough nattering lets get on to the good stuff which is of corse the books! Books from Amazon Deception by Lee Nichols The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore The Agency by Y S Lee The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard Wasted by Nicola Morgan Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James Della Says: OMG! by Keris Stainton The Declaration by Gemma Malley The Resistance by Gemma Malley One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner One Day by David Nicholls I’m very excited for all of these. Especially I am Number Four and The Eternal Ones! Books Won Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 1) by Stacia Kane Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, Book 2) by Stacia Kane City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 3) by Stacia Kane The Star Shack by Lila Castle Big thank you’s go to Carolyn over at Book Chick City and Carly over at Writing From the Tub. Thanks for my books girls and for hosting such awesome contests I’m very much looking forward to reading my books :) So that’s what’s new to my little (cough erm HUGE) book family this week. What books did you get to add to yours? Leave me a comment with a link to your post and let me know if you’ve read any of the books I got this week and your thoughts. Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Review for Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

I bought this book after reading and adoring Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry. Even though Leaving Paradise isn’t out over here in the UK yet I managed to find and buy it off of Amazon because I was just desperate for more of Simone’s writing and romance. I started this book with high expectations and it didn’t disappoint! Simone Elkeles is the kind of author that is born to write she’s just a brilliant story teller and I honestly don’t think she could write a bad book even if she tried. This book has such an original plot and the romance is just as touching as Perfect Chemistry although surprising Maggie and Caleb’s romance felt very different to that of Alex and Brittany. Where Alex and Brittany’s relationship in Perfect Chemistry was fiery and passionate Maggie and Caleb’s is raw and emotional. I really loved the difference between them because for me that just showed how well Simone manages to develop her characters and relationships. Leaving Paradise starts with Caleb getting released from Juvie after spending a year in there for being the driver behind a drunken hit and run. The point of view then shifts in the next chapter to Maggie the girl Caleb has scarred for life and has left with a permanent limp. After taking a year off school to under go painful surgeries and physical therapy, Maggie’s finally ready to go back and face the music at school. Each chapter is told from either Caleb or Maggie’s perspective which I love about Simone Elkeles’ books as you get to see both sides of the story/romance. You really get a sense of how isolated and alone Maggie and Caleb feel after the accident so it’s not surprising when they turn to each other for support as their the only two who can really understand what the other is going through. Caleb’s such a sweet guy who desperately wants to protect Maggie from the cruel remarks she gets at school and Maggie whilst being vulnerable never shows weakness and who I actually thought was a really tough admirable girl. Their romance is so sad and tragic and I loved how they turned something bad into something good. I think that’s a really good moral that the readers get to take away with them after reading this book. I really loved everything about this book and I got a bit teary eyed reading the end! Even the secondary characters are wonderful. I especially had a soft spot for the elderly Mrs Reynolds. Despite how much I enjoyed this book I couldn’t give it the full 5 stars that I gave Perfect Chemistry just because I didn’t enjoy it quiet as much. That said this is still a good book in its own right and I’m really glad that the sequel Return to Paradise is out soon because I’m already itching to read it to find out what happens next to Maggie and Caleb. A bitter sweet romance which comes fully recommended. 4 stars. My Rating 4/5 stars ****

Friday, 20 August 2010

Book Bloggers Hop & Follow My Book Blog Friday!

Hello to all my wonderful followers and to hopefully some potential new ones! This Friday I’m participating in The Book Bloggers hop which is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books and Follow my Book Blog Friday that’s hosted over at Parajunkee's View if you wish to take part please stop by there and sign the Mr Linky. This week’s question from the hop is... How many blogs do you follow? My answer: I follow just over 300 blogs which is kind of crazy- I’ve never looked to see how many I actually follow before this question so I was surprised at the overall number. There are just so many brilliant blogs out there that I wish I had time to visit you all more often but sadly I don’t because it’s impossible. The people on my blog roll I follow religiously especially other UK book bloggers and my friends Ellie and Rachel. What I love though is when you find a new blogger who you just love and you become obsessed with following them and they quickly move up to being one of your favourite bloggers. I guess to answer this question in short like my TBR pile there’s so many wonderful blogs and too little time to read them all in! I really enjoyed answering this week’s question it was a good one. I hope your all enjoying my blog. Make sure you check out my most recent review on The Maze Runner and if you like what you see please follow and comment. Leave me a link with your blog and if you follow I’ll check you out too :) Happy hopping guys!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Update!

Hello my lovelies, Some of you may or may not of noticed that I’ve been MIA the last few days. I get terrible migraines and when they strike I usually can’t do very much of anything especially not be on the computer or even read for a great length of time. I’m feeling much better now and so I’m catching up on some posts for you. Not being able to read or blog made for some very sad times and so to cheer myself up I bought a bunch of books which I’ll share with you on Sunday for IMM. I also got an email from the Lovely Emma over at Bloomsbury letting me know that the first chapter for Out for Blood (Drake Chronicles) by Alyxandra Harvey is up on the Bloomsbury website and can be found here. So I’ve left the link for you all to check out. I hope your all well and enjoy my The Maze Runner review and My latest Booking Through Thursday! Jessica

Booking Through Thursday

Meme of Reading Questions: 1. Favorite childhood book? Like now theres too many to name but mainly anything by Jacqueline Wilson, Enid Blyton, C. S. Lewis, Roald Dahl and J. K. Rowling. 2. What are you reading right now? I’m currently reading and nearly done with Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles 3. What books do you have on request at the library? None, my library’s not that great so I mainly just buy my books. 4. Bad book habit? I buy too many of them, way too many! 5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? Nothing. 6. Do you have an e-reader? Electronic book technology makes me sad :( 7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? I hate reading more than one book at a time, I figure that if you’re reading a good book why would you want to switch between other books? In my opinion a good book should grip you until the end and not make you want to read anything else. I’ve tried reading two books at a time and it never works I always favour one over the other and devour the book I’m more interested in then come back to the other when I’m done. 8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? Not really. Although I try to fit in books for review in between my normal reading. 9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?) Probably either Sunshine by Robin McKinley or The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. They weren’t bad books, just not for me. 10. Favorite book you’ve read this year? Ultimate favourite? I guess that has to be The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon which is the very first book I read this year :) 11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I’d say once a month I try to read something I wouldn’t normally pick up that’s been recommended to me. 12. What is your reading comfort zone? YA and chick- lit. 13. Can you read on the bus? No. I wish I could but I get really bad travel sickness. 14. Favorite place to read? In the summer I try to read outside as much as I can. During winter in my bed or by the fire with a blanket :) 15. What is your policy on book lending? I don’t book lend to anyone other than my best friend Rachel because I know she’d never destroy my books because she’s the same as me about keeping them in good condition and to my mum because I can keep an eye on her! ;) 16. Do you ever dog-ear books? OMG NOOOOO! Dog earing makes me sad. 17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? OMG NOOOOO! Writing in books makes me sad. 18. Not even with text books? Not even. 19. What is your favorite language to read in? English is the only language I can read in sadly. 20. What makes you love a book? If a book can make me laugh or cry or better yet both I’ll love it. I love characters that feel like friends and an original plot that has plenty of twists and turns. 21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? If I love it and I know someone who enjoys that genre I’ll recommend it. If they don’t like the genre I won’t push it on them. 22. Favorite genre? Too many but I guess if I had to pick just one then YA 23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?) Classics I find them a little intimidating but would love to read them all some day. 24. Favorite biography? Russell Brands- so funny! 25. Have you ever read a self-help book? Yes a couple, I’m not really into them that much although Eat Pray Love and The Happiness Project are on my TBR pile. 26. Favorite cookbook? Bah! I can’t cook! Which I guess is why I need a cookbook… 27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? I have a few. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, Sea by Heidi R. Kling, Thin by Grace Bowman, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver and Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert. 28. Favorite reading snack? I rarely snack whilst I read because I worry I’ll get crumbs or stains on my book. So if I’m hungry I’ll usually break off and get something to eat. If I do eat whilst reading it tends to be sweets or mints that I can just pop into my mouth. 29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me… 30. How often do you agree with critics about a book? Not very often. Especially with the whole twilight thing and critics comparing every YA book to twilight when it’s nothing like it *rolls eyes* 31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? Fine. I don’t really like doing it and always try to point out some positives and keep it professional. 32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? Latin would be very cool. 33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber – That book’s pretty huge. 34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? A lot of the classics. 35. Favorite Poet? Sylvia Plath. 36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? None. 37. How often have you returned book to the library unread? When I used to go to the library I’d maybe return one or two unread because I’d usually check out too many! 38. Favorite fictional character? Rose from Vampire Academy I have a girl crush on her. 39. Favorite fictional villain? Voldemort! Who doesn’t love to hate Voldemort? 40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation? Chick-lit and easy reads. 41. The longest I’ve gone without reading. Probably a couple of weeks when I’ve been really ill. Worst times of my life! 42. Name a book that you could/would not finish. I don’t think theres been one I like to always finish a book even if I hate it. 43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? Noises, I have to have silence when I read I’m a very distractible person. 44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel? The Notebook 45. Most disappointing film adaptation? Twilight 46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time? Haha you don’t want to know! I’m thinking just over a hundred maybe? 47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? I do that quiet a lot to see what the text is like and how long the chapters are. 48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? Not really anything I always like to finish what I’m reading. 49. Do you like to keep your books organized? Yes very! I’m OCD when it comes to my books. 50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? I mainly keep all of my books. If I don’t enjoy a book I’ll usually either give it to a friend who I think will like it, or donate it to charity or my friends second hand bookshop *waves at Ellie* I keep books I plan to re-read. If I find a book just Ok I’ll pass it on or if I don’t like a book but its part of a series then I’ll keep it until I’ve read the others just in case I end up liking the other books and am then a book short. 51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? Classics. 52. Name a book that made you angry. A lot of books make me angry. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd was one because of the racism. Anything to do with abuse, racism, cruelty that kind of thing makes me angry. Oh and cliff-hangers make me very angry too! 53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway. I didn’t expect not to like it but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. 54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t? Evermore by Alyson Noel. I was so excited for that book and I just hated it so much. One of the very few books that I hate. 55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading? I don’t really have a guilty pleasure book. One of my favourite books is Taming the Beast by Emily Maguire. It’s a really saucy disturbing book that isn’t the type of book that I usually read but I love it. Ok so that’s my answers for this week, I hope you enjoy reading them. Feel free to leave me a comment with your answers :)

Review for The Maze Runner by James Dashner

This review is being entered into Presenting Lenore's dystopian contest for an awesome 6 book prize pack as part of her Dystopian August event.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for the longest time but couldn’t find the US copy over here in the UK anywhere, so I had to contain myself and wait for months for it to finally be published a year later here in the UK *sighs.* But at last the release date finally came and I snatched up a copy as soon as I could and read it straight away and well let's just say all that waiting definitely paid off!

When Thomas wakes up in a blacked out lift all he can remember is his first name. Sure, he knows about the world and how it works. He knows how to ride a bike and that you're suppose to have parents and he knows all about the birds and the bees but he doesn’t remember how he knows. He has no personal memories. He can’t remember who taught him these things, his family’s faces or even his last name.

When the lift cranks to a halt Thomas finds himself in the Glade. A walled off encampment at the centre of a monstrous never ending maze with only other boys of his own age for company. The other boys don’t know why or how they got there all they know is that every morning when the walls slide back to reveal the horrific labyrinth they will face the terrors of the maze and the Grievers half-machine half-animal beasts to find out.

What I loved about this book was that you don’t know what’s going on anymore than the characters do so you feel just as desperate and frightened as them. You have no idea why they're there, how and why the maze came to be and what the outside world is like. This keeps you reading and reading and in that respect this book is very much like a runner itself. At the start you’re just getting your bearings, warming up, trying to figure out what’s going on. Then after a few chapters you get going into a jog that builds into a faster and faster stride because like the boys you’re desperate to find out the secrets of the maze and let me tell you the answers don’t disappoint!

When I reached the end I was out of breath, desperate for more and I absolutely must get my hands on the second book in this series The Scorch Trials the moment it comes out in October. Whether it’s out over here then I don’t know but I will get my hands on the US copy if not because believe me I really, really need to. This is simply one of the best books I’ve read so far this year – in fact scrap that- ever and is highly recommended to dystopian fans.

If you’re looking for something to keep you occupied until Mockingjay comes out this is the book for you. If after reading Mockingjay you’re looking for a new dystopian series to fall in love with this is for you. If you’re simply looking for an action packed brilliant book this is for you.


My Rating 5/5 stars


Saturday, 14 August 2010

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren Hey guys, I’m doing my IMM post early this week because I’m going to be super busy tomorrow with family things and I wanted to get this up before late Sunday night because I have some awesome books to share with you! I didn’t buy that many books this week but then I got a ton of awesome books for review so I’m really happy. Anyways, Bring out the books! Books from Charity Shops/ The Works All The Things We Didn't Say by Sara Shepard Eldest by Christopher Paolini The Shack by Wm Paul Young The Winter House by Nicci Gerrard These books were all between £1.99 and £2.50, all of them are in crisp condition and have never been read so these were some good finds! Books from The Book Depository Aces up by Lauren Barnholdt The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa 13 to Life by Shannon Delany Some of you might have read my review for The Iron King and be wondering why I got the sequel seems as I’m not a huge fan of the first book. Well I pre-ordered it ages ago before I read the first book. They’d already took the money out for it and it’s finally arrived. I will read it though because I’m a completest like that and I’ll always finish a series unless I really didn’t like the first book! Very excited for both 13 to life and Aces up they sound great. Books for review from Bloomsbury My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey The Other Girl by Sarah Miller Captivate by Carrie Jones Inside My Head by Jim Carrington The Returners by Gemma Malley The Legacy by Gemma Malley No and Me by Delphine de Vigan I got a ton of books from Bloomsbury this week, they’ve been very good to me and I love them :) So that’s what I got in my mailbox this week, leave me a comment letting me know what you got in yours!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Book Bloggers Hop & Follow My Book Blog Friday!

Hello and welcome to anyone hopping by from the Hop or follow Friday. Feel free to take a nose around my little book blog. If you like what you see please follow and leave a comment with your blog address so I can check you out too :) The Book Bloggers hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books and Follow my Book Blog Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View if you wish to take part please stop by there and sign the Mr Linky. This week’s question from the hop is... How Many books do you have on your TBR Shelf? Too many! But to get specific *consults Librarything* 236 books. Kind of crazy I know but I’m addicted to buying books I seriously can’t stop and I will read them all one day. I like having my own personal Library so I’ll always have something I’m exactly in the mood for. Thanks for stopping by everyone.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Booking Through Thursday

Evolution: Have your reading choices changed over the years? Or pretty much stayed the same? (And yes, from childhood to adulthood we usually read different things, but some people stick to basically the same kind of book their entire lives, so…) Yes I think it has. When I was a child I loved reading fantasy books like Narnia, Harry Potter etc; but then when I hit my early teens I would read nothing but chick-lit and teen realism books. I think mainly because it was what I could relate to with all these hormones raging around, suddenly taking an interest in boys and being in high school. I’d read books like The Gossip girl series, books by Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson and for the adult chick lit books by Marian Keyes, Jane Green and Cecilia Ahern. Between the ages of 14 and 18 my reading changed again. I was going through a hard time with an abusive boyfriend and couldn’t relate to my fluffy girly romance books anymore so instead I sought out Horrors, thrillers and just all around sad realism books as it was just something I related to at the time and it matched my mood. It was then that I discovered my beloved Stephen King and Jodi Picoult books. I don’t really read any thrillers now as they tend to make me jumpy these days but Stephen King and Jodi Picoult have remained two of my favourite authors and I read them still to this day. Then of course Twilight hit the big time and like most of you out there I read it and fell in love with YA fiction all over again I immediately after reading the saga sought out some more YA books ( one of them being the wonderful Hunger Games) and the rest is history. These days my reading is a mish mash of all of the above books I’ve mentioned. I love my fantasy books, My YA, chick lit and the odd adult fiction book here and there. My taste in books has definitely changed over the years not in a way in which I abandon books in favour of others but more in a way that I’m trying a lot of different genres and adding them along to my reading. No wonder my to be read pile is now known as Mount To be read hey? ;) I hope you enjoyed my answer this week. Please feel free to leave me a comment with your answers :)

Bloomsbury Author Signings in the UK

Great news for all you UK book lovers! This morning I received an email from Emma over at Bloomsbury with a list of signings that their authors are attending here in the UK over the next few months. I decided to share the news with you lovely people so you can spread the word and write the date in your diary to meet some of your favourite authors. Here’s the list :) John Green, author of Paper Towns has already sold out his event at Waterstone’s Piccadilly and his event at Edinburgh Festival. Due to popular demand we have added another event to John’s all too brief visit to the UK . If you would like to see John and the amazing Sons of Admirals you can catch them for one night only at Ice Father Nation, 33-35 Commercial Road , London E1 1LN on Saturday 14th August. Doors open at 6:30pm and the main event starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are available on the door priced £7. For the latest from John take a look at http://www.johngreenbooks.com/ or see the man himself in action at www.youtube.com/vlogbrothers Mary Hoffman, author of numerous YA novels including the hugely successful Stravaganza series will be at Edinburgh Festival on Saturday 21st August at 1pm. To book your tickets call 0845 373 5888 or visit the website http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ Cathy MacPhail, author of Underworld, Roxy’s Baby and a whole host of other action-packed titles will be at Edinburgh Festival on Monday 23rd August at 10am. To book your tickets call 0845 373 5888 or visit the website http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ Simmone Howell is making a rare visit from her native Australia for two appearances at Edinburgh Festival. The author of Notes from the Teenage Underground and Everything Beautiful will be running a workshop on Tuesday 24th August at 6pm and talking about her writing on Wednesday 25th August at 10am. To book your tickets call 0845 373 5888 or visit the website http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ Ian Beck (Pastworld) will be joining Philip Reeve at Edinburgh Festival on Wednesday 25th August at 5pm to talk steampunk and much more. To book your tickets call 0845 373 5888 or visit the website http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ Gemma Malley (The Declaration, The Resistance, The Returners and The Legacy) and Sophie Mackenzie will be appearing at Edinbugh Festival on Thursday 26th August at 6:30pm. To book your tickets call 0845 373 5888 or visit the website http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ Lucy Jago will be at Montacute House, the National Trust property that inspire her book of the same name, on Saturday 28th August at 2pm. She will be signing copies of her book. If you can’t make it, but would like to reserve a signed copy call 01935 823 289 Jim Carrington (Inside My Head) will be on a panel alongside Alex Diaz and C.J. Skuse, chaired by Julia Green (Drawing with Light) at the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature on Thursday 30th September at 8:30pm. To book your tickets call 01225 463 362 or visit the website http://www.bathkidslitfest.co.uk/ Mary Hooper (Fallen Grace) and Celia Rees (Witch Child and The Fool’s Girl) will be talking all things historical at Cheltenham Festival on Saturday 16th October at 6pm. To book your tickets call 0844 576 7979 or visit the website http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/ Celia Rees will be running a workshop on writing for teenagers at Cheltenham Festival on Sunday 17th October at 10am. Place are limited. To book your tickets call 0844 576 7979 or visit the website http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/

Monday, 9 August 2010

Review for Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick

I was going to get this book when it was out in hardcover but I’m so glad I waited for it to come out in paperback. Not because it’s a bad book - no quiet the contrary but because the cover for this book is gorgeous. I love it and down the side of the book there’s a beautiful paisley design. A very pretty one for on your bookshelf and what’s inside this book is just as gorgeous. It’s only a short book being just over 200 pages long but it packs a punch. I read this one last Sunday and couldn’t put it down here’s a little bit on what it’s about. ‘‘You think he’s yours, but he’s not.’’ I thought. ‘‘You think he’s yours but really he’s mine.’’ Ever since Holly’s mom died 6 months ago Holly’s felt numb. Desperate to feel something- anything - Holly loses her virginity to Paul in what she assumes is a one night stand. After all, what would popular, gorgeous Paul see in ordinary Holly? Especially when he’s dating perfect, blond Saskia. But to Holly’s surprise Paul wants to continue their secret affair which is fine by Holly. Paul makes her feel good something she desperately needs. But when Holly’s paired up with Saskia at school and the girls begin to form a friendship Holly realises that what she’s needed all along is a friend and now that she’s got one she might lose her. Holly’s gone about trying to find love the completely wrong way because all along the kind of love Holly’s really needed is the love only she can give to herself. This book was so much more than what I expected it to be. I really liked Holly and Saskia and wanted the best for both girls. This is a book about making the wrong decisions and learning to live with the consequences, it’s about learning what truly matters in this world and that despite everything you have to love yourself. I got teary eyed a few times whilst reading this, its just such a real book. Holly makes mistakes and learns from them along the way whilst all the time grieving for her mother making her incredibly endearing. This is definitely a book I would recommend if you’re looking for a quick yet brilliant summer read. I now can’t wait for Lauren’s second novel ‘Her and Me and You’ to come out. 4 stars. My Rating 4/5 stars ****

Review for The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Ok I have a slight confession to make. I’ve been procrastinating and trying to put off doing this review for a while for several reasons. The main two being that I don’t want to be verbally attacked and I really don’t know what to say about this book. I guess I better start at the beginning. So I was really looking forward to reading this, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months it’s one of those books that a lot of people are raving about. So I saved if for a weekend when I wanted something really amazing to read and at first I loved it. I loved Julie Kagawa’s writing and I loved awkward dorky Meghan and her best friend Robbie/Puck and things were going great until something happened that really disturbed me. They entered faerie land through the back of a closet. I had a slight sense of Déjà vu at that point and thought I was re-reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and shook it off, but then bits from a bunch of my favourite stories kept showing up. It was like reading a mish mash of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, A fairytale, Peter Pan, Labyrinth and The Never-ending story all merged into one - rather unabashedly so at that. That seriously lowered this books standards for me because to be frank anyone can coble together a story with bits of all their favourite tales give it a title and put their name to it. So this really didn’t showcase Julie Kagawa’s ability to story tell for me. Whilst reading the middle of this book I wanted to put it down so many times. The Meghan I loved at the beginning of the book turned into a whiny weakling who was constantly getting herself kidnapped or putting herself in unnecessary danger. And the middle was action packed but not in the usual way that I like. It seemed really stupid the amount of times Meghan got into trouble and yet she always miraculously found someway to escape. Because there was so much action going on you barely got any interaction time with the characters making me feel like I didn’t get to know them as well as I would have liked and making the friendships Meghan made seem a little bit unrealistic. Then at the end things changed around again. I loved the ending. Julie finally brings some originality to the book with the Iron fey and Meghan finally develops a back bone. The end of the book really made me want to read the next book The Iron Daughter and so I closed the book very confused about my feelings towards it. I loved both Puck and Ash towards the end and I really began to like Meghan again once she became a bit more kick ass. But the middle of the book was a real let down. I don’t know if I’ll be buying the sequel and I don’t know if I’d recommend this book. I can see why people love it and I can see why people wouldn’t like it. I just hope that with The Iron Daughter Kagawa focuses more on the Iron fey than trying to rip off other great stories, if she does and if Meghan continues to grow as a character it’ll be an amazing read. If she keeps mish mashing other stories and Meghan gets kidnapped numerous times then I’ll probably give it a miss. Over all I give this book a 3.5, you might love it you might hate it, this ones a bit of a risk taker. One to borrow or buy when you’re feeling reckless. My Rating 3.5/5 stars ***1/2

Sunday, 8 August 2010

In My Mailbox!

Hello my fellow book freaks, It’s time for In My Mailbox! At the start of this week I didn’t think I was going to get that many books, but then a bunch of books that I pre-ordered arrived along with some I got for review plus some that I ordered from Amazon cranking it up to 16 books! My last few IMM have been pretty beasty, this could become quiet the regular thing. I’m so addicted to buying books and then books sent for review just makes it even bigger- not that I’m complaining :P Anyway on with the books! Books from the Book Depository The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway You Wish by Mandy Hubbard Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick (currently reading this one- I like it so far!) The Maze Runner by James Dashner Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith Books from Amazon Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta Claire De Lune by Christine Johnson The Child Thief by Brom To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Candor by Pam Bachorz (hate our UK cover but it sounds so good!) Sleepless by Cyn Balog Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C. K. Kelly Martin Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus Books for review from Bloomsbury Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper The Poisoned House by Michael Ford (Really excited for both of these, thanks Bloomsbury!) So that’s what I got In My Mailbox this week, what did you get in yours? :)

Friday, 6 August 2010

Book Bloggers Hop & Follow My Book Blog Friday!

It’s time to do a hop, skip and a jump onto some new book blogs! Yep you guessed it its time for The Book Bloggers Hop and Follow my Book Blog Friday. The Book Bloggers hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books and Follow my Book Blog Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View if you wish to take part please stop by there and sign the Mr Linky. This week’s question from the hop is... Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what are your favorite reading tunes? I can’t stand to listen to music whilst I read. I just find it too distracting. I’m definitely not someone who can multitask so if music’s playing while I’m reading I find myself singing along to the what I’m listening to instead. So no, no music for me, peace and quiet please so I can concentrate on my book! If you like my blog please follow I’d really appreciate it and make sure you leave a link to your blog so I can check you out too. Thanks for hopping by!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Booking Through Thursday

What is the first book you remember reading? What about the first that made you really love reading? From an early age I loved being read to; however I didn’t really like reading to myself as it was normally set as homework to do and like most children at that age all homework was *obviously* boring. I adored people telling me stories though and would spend Saturday afternoons when I was being babysat by my aunty snuggled up with my sweets whilst she read me some books. I had a wonderful teacher as well who had a real gift for story telling she used to make up stories to tell us off the top of her head usually about a boy named Sam and his granddad who always had some sort of adventure. You could of heard a pin drop in those last half hours before the school day ended when we would all sit captivated wanting to hear another Sam and granddad adventure. For the next school year we had a new teacher who read us actual story books and that’s where my love of reading begins. One day she started to read to us The Twits by Roald Dahl and I found myself looking forward to going to school and going in even when I was sick just so I could find out what happened next in the book. As we got further into the story I found myself becoming impatient so instead of waiting out another whole weekend to find out what happens that Saturday me and my aunty went to the bookshop and brought my very own copy of The Twits so I could read it at my leisure along with a bind up of three other Roald Dahl books The BFG, Matilda and Georges Marvellous Medicine. Because I found reading in my head much faster than someone reading to me, I took it upon myself to finish The Twits and then read my other Roald Dahl bind up. When I had finished with all of Roald Dahl’s books I’d go to the school library and take out books like The Secret Garden and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Book’s by Jacqueline Wilson, Enid Blyton and C. S. Lewis and a few years after that I stumbled upon Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone when a girl in my class was reading it during reading hour and seemed rather engrossed. The Harry Potter books were the first books that I became seriously obsessed with and my library and love of reading has just grew and grew since then :) I loved this question I think it’s my favourite yet so leave me a link with your answer so I can check out your first book or the first book you loved.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Review for The Sisterhood by Emily Barr

I’ve had this book on mount To Be Read for a while now. I found it going cheap at Tesco and liking the sound of it brought it on a bit of a whim. Then I read another of Emily Barr’s novels Backpack which I loved. She’s a terrific writer, at first I thought she was an author of chick lit but her books are much darker than chick lit yet her writing still has that easy going nature to it. Fancying something different to what I’d been reading recently, on a rainy day I decided to finally get this read and I really enjoyed it. Backpacks still my favourite but this one comes in at a close second. This is going to be a hard book to review because it’s got so many twists that there’s not much I can say without giving it all away, so the description may be brief but bare in mind that there’s so much more to this book than just that and I guess if you want to find out you’ll have to pick it up and read it yourself (which I would recommend by the way.) Anyway here it goes. This book is told from the point of view of two women alternating from chapter to chapter between Liz in London and Helen in France. Liz has just come out of a relationship and has found herself pregnant and alone after a one night stand. Helen bored of her sheltered life in France has just found- after poking around in her mothers things- a birth certificate for another baby a sibling she knows nothing about - Miss Elizabeth Greene. After finding Liz on the internet Helen plans to move to England to get to know her sister more and bring her home to reunite her with their mother - pretty straight forward right? But with Helen things aren’t quiet what they seem. Both sisters are keeping secrets from each other and they find one thing they definitely have in common is their dark side… I really did enjoy this book. Straight off the bat you know that Helens a bit of an odd young woman but you don’t get to find out the lengths of it until the very end. This book is full of twists and turns that honestly surprised me. The ending however fell a little bit flat for me as I was expecting a much bigger ending which is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 but the idea for the story itself is original and I very much enjoyed the rest of the book. If you’re looking for something dark but yet easy to read Emily Barr is the author for you. Not quiet girly enough to be called chick lit and not quiet dark enough to be called a thriller her books meet nicely in the middle and the outcome is a rather compelling enjoyable read. I’m very much looking forward to reading some more of Emily’s books. 4 stars. My Rating 4/5 stars ****

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Teaser Tuesday - The Iron King

Hey guys, its time to do one of my very favourite bookish meme’s Teaser Tuesday! I started a really awesome book yesterday and can’t wait to share a teaser with you all. I started The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and although I’m only 50 pages in I really like it so far. The second books just come out and I’ve heard so much hype about this book that I decided to finally pick it up and read it. My teaser will be somewhere in the first 50 pages as I don’t want to spoil myself! Here it is… 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 (2) "Teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page * BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!! * Share the title and author as well so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser! My Teaser
''My mother lay on her back on the checkered tile floor, arms and legs flung akimbo, one side of her face covered in glistening crimson. Her purse, its contents scattered everywhere, lay beside one limp white hand. Standing over her in the doorway, his head cocked to one side like a curious cat, was Ethan. And he was smiling.''
pg 49 of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa Hope you enjoyed my teaser for this week, make sure you leave me a comment with your Teaser Tuesdays, and if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought :)

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Reaching 100 followers and Update!

Hello everyone, I just wanted to do a little post to say a huge thank you to all my lovely followers. This weekend I’ve reached over a 100 followers. I’ve only been blogging for 2 months so I really didn’t expect to gain this many followers in such a short time. It really means a lot to me so I just wanted to say thanks for taking an interest in what I have to say and I hope you enjoy following my blog as much as I do keeping it. I’m also considering doing either a 150 or 200 followers give away depending on how long it takes so spread the word and get people to follow! As for the update I just wanted to leave a list of all the books I’ve read this month and let you know my ultimate favourite so you can all rush out and buy it. So here it is! July 48.) Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (5*) RR 49.) Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (4*) 50.) Two-way Street by Lauren Barnholdt (5*) 51.) Beastly by Alex Flinn (4*) 52.) The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong (4*) 53.) Forget You by Jennifer Echols (4*) 54.) Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (4.5*) 55.) The Sisterhood by Emily Barr (4*) Favourite book of July: Two-way Street by Lauren Barnholdt Everybody rush out and buy Two-way Street! I really did love this book though. It was really hard to pick a favourite this month because I honestly haven’t read a book I didn’t like. I’ve loved them all and I have to add that Dreamland and Linger come in at a close second so if you’re interested in those I’d highly recommend them. If you want to learn more about the books you can find my reviews for them in my review archive which can be found at the top of the page. Also keep your eyes peeled for my review of The Sisterhood by Emily Barr coming soon. Hope your all having a wonderful weekend and getting lots of reading done! Ever bookishly yours Jess

In My Mailbox: The week of awesomeness!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren Hey everyone, well I got some really good books this week! I’m going to start with what I got first this week on Wednesday morning through the post. I got a signed copy of Endless Summer by the wonderful Jennifer Echols! She was kind enough to send me a copy all the way to England for review and it come with a funky little business card. I was super excited about this as I love Jennifer she really is such a lovely person and always makes time to talk to her fans. So here are the pictures of that and here’s Jennifer Echols’s website so you can go check out her and her books! http://www.jennifer-echols.com/ Then on Wednesday afternoon I went into The Works this little discount store in the UK and got a bunch of books I wanted cheap. I’ve already got the first 4 Morganville Vampire books so I got the last ones for £1.99 each or 3 for £5 in my case. Then to make up another 3 for £5 I got a P.C Cast book and an Anne Rice book with the last Morganville book. Note that these are all brand new books and I got 6 of them for £10 so I was so excited about that. I may go back next week because there were so many more books I wanted. Lord of Misrule (Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine Fade Out (Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice Divine by Mistake by P.C. Cast And then on Friday I made an Amazon order which arrived yesterday and got 3 other books that I really wanted. Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith Jealousy by Lili St.Crow Katy Carter Wants a Hero by Ruth Saberton So that’s what I got in my mailbox this week. Leave me a comment letting me know what you guys got :)
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