Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review #283 - Chasers (Alone #1) by James Phelan

Chasers (Alone, #1)


Jesse is on a UN Youth Ambassadors camp in New York when his subway carriage is rocked by an explosion. Jesse and his three friends, Anna, Dave and Mini, crawl out from the wreckage only to discover a city in chaos.

Streets are deserted. Buildings are in ruins. Worse, the only other survivors seem to be infected with a virus that turns them into horrifying predators ... Outnumbered. No sign of life. Just Them. And you... ALONE.
My Rating: 4/5
This was a very interesting book and completly different to any other zombie book I had previously read.
It was a bit slow paced and I spent the majority of the book waiting for something to happen.
The description of the setting was probably my favourite aspect as I could picture it perfectly which added to the horror of the story.
The cliff hanger at the end was something that I thought I would have been more shocked by but for some reason I wasn't.
I would have liked some definitive answers to some questions but am happy to just read the rest of the series to find out.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Review #281 - The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5) by Jeff Kinney

The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #5)

Greg Heffley has always been in a hurry to grow up. But is getting older really all it's cracked up to be?

Greg suddenly finds himself dealing with the pressures of boy-girl parties, increased responsibilities, and even the awkward changes that come with getting older-all without his best friend, Rowley, at his side. Can Greg make it through on his own? Or will he have to face the "ugly truth"?
My Rating: 3.5/5
Like all the previous books in the series, I read this book in under a hour and I loved every page of it.
Whilst I didn't think this book was as funny as the previous ones in the series it still had a lot of funny moments.
Greg's extended family are present in this book which gives fresh new characters.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Review #280 - The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas

Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
My Rating: 4/5
I knew very little about this book prior to reading which is probably the reason that I liked it as much as I did.
The best way to describe the protagonist Bruno is innocent. Through the entire book he is completely oblivious to the horrible world that he lives in.
The plot was rather simple but it has so much depth and is really beautifully written.
The ending is something that is probably going to stay with me for a very long time.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Review #279 - Take Me There by Carolee Dean

Take Me There
Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. He knows that rich, beautiful Jess is way too good for him—but she has always been the one person who sees through his tough exterior and straight to his heart, and he has been hopelessly in love with her from the first time they met. He would change his life for a chance with her.

But trouble follows Dylan wherever he goes, and a deadly mistake soon forces him to hit the road and leave his dreams behind. He’s on the run and in search of answers—answers to questions he wishes he’d never asked.
My Rating: 4/5
I bought this book solely based on the cover and after reading a few reviews I didn't have high expectations.
The only problem I had with this book was that I found it really choppy. At the beginning, it kept switching between the present and flashbacks and I found that disorientating.
Once the story focused solely on the present time I was fully able to be captivated by the story.
I never really liked to the romance aspect. It is not as strongly portrayed as what the cover would suggest. Also, I didn't really care for Jess that much as I didn't feel like she developed enough.  
The protagonist Dylan is a good guy that has had bad things happen to him. Once his whole family life is exposed, it is not hard to see why he is so messed up.
The ending was a little unexpected although I did foresee numerous plot twists.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review #278 - Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan Maberry

Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura, #1)

In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
My Rating: 5/5
I have had this book loaned from the Library for a while now and the first time I tried reading it months ago I couldn't get further than the first chapter.
When I picked it up this time I never expected to like it as much as  did. Once I got into the storyline I finished it in less than a day.
It is really fast paced, and given that it is over 400 pages it contains alot of action.
The protagonist Benny was immature at times. Even though I found that annoying at times I could see that it was justified.
My favourite character other than Benny was his brother Tom. I would have liked to have seen some of the story from his perspective.
The only character that I didn't like was Nix. Given that she seems to be a main character, I hope I warm up to her in future books.
I really liked the setting, it reminded me at times of The Forest of Hands and Teeth with the fence keeping the zombies out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review #277 - One For The Money (Stephanie Plum #1) by Janet Evanovich

One For The Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)
Stephanie Plum is down on her luck. She's lost her job, her car's on the brink of repossession, and her apartment is fast becoming furniture-free.

Enter Cousin Vinnie, a low-life who runs a bail-bond company. If Stephanie can bring in vice cop turned outlaw Joe Morelli, she stands to pick up $10,000. But tracking down a cop wanted for murder isn't easy...

And when Benito Ramirez, a prize-fighter with more menace than mentality, wants to be her friend Stephanie soon knows what it's like to be pursued. Unfortunately the best person to protect her just happens to be on the run...
My Rating: 5/5
This is a series that I have been meaning to read for a very long time. Now that I have read the first book, I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
This book was published almost 20 years ago, but the only part that felt dated was the description of clothing.
The characters in this book are all full of personality. I really liked Stephanie's family, especially Grandma Mazur as she was hilarious.
The mystery aspect was my favourite part. I read this book in one sitting because I wanted to find out the ending.
I am looking forward to watching the film based on this book, which I will probably watch and review soon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Review #276 - The Real Grey's Anatomy by Andrew Holtz

The Real Grey's Anatomy: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at The Real Lives of Surgical Residents

A behind-the-scenes look at the real lives of surgical residents, from the author of The Medical Science of House, M.D.   

 Do surgeons talk about their sex lives while cutting a heart open? How do surgeons respond to death? How do they react when asked to save the life of an abuser, criminal, or addict?

Since its debut, the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy has asked such questions. With an emphasis on the personal lives of the surgical interns, residents, and attending physicians, the show has generated interest in how these professionals survive this rigorous educational program. How much of its drama is entertainment, and how much is accurate? Here, a medical journalist provides answers. He examines a group of new surgical residents in the Pacific Northwest as they tackle long hours, fascinating procedures, and emotional ups and downs that comprise the life of a student of surgery.
My Rating: 3.5/5
I found this book really interesting and would recommend it to anyone interested in the medical profession.
My Mum tried reading this book before me, but she didn't like how it referenced the TV show and constantly compared it to the real doctors.
The only real negative thing I could say about this book was that it was really choppy. At times it felt like alot was skipped over and rushed.
I liked the interviews with the doctors that were at the end of some chapters. The questions that they were asked were really interesting and insightful.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review #275 - Torn by David Massey


Afghanistan. In the heat and dust, young British army medic Elinor Nielson watches an Afghan girl walk into a hail of bullets. But when she runs to help, Ellie finds her gone. Who is she? And what's happened to her? What Ellie discovers makes her question everything she believes in, even her feelings for the American lieutenant who takes her side.
My Rating: 3.5/5
I received this book for review from Scholastic Australia.
I didn't really know what to expect from this book as I have never read anything like this.
I liked the amount of action involved and also the strength of the relationships that Ellie made.
I found this book really interesting as it gave a real insight into life on the front line.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Review #274 - Winter by John Marsden


For twelve years Winter has been haunted. Her past, her memories, her feelings, will not leave her alone. And now, at sixteen, the time has come for her to act. She must head back to her old home, where a pair of family tragedies forever altered her life. What she discovers is powerful and shocking - but must be dealt with in order for life to go on.
My Rating: 5/5
I have read quite alot of John Marsden's novels but this one is by far my favourite.
The whole book has a dark undertone to it that builds throughout but I pictured it ending the way it did.
The whole setting was typical Australian bushland which is why I could picture it as clearly as I did.
It was only 135 pages long and it does take a while to get going but the ending was well worth it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Book Review #273 - April (Conspiracy 365 #4) by Gabrielle Lord

April (Conspiracy 365 #4)
On New Year’s Eve, Cal is chased down the street by a crazed man with a deadly warning: They killed your father. They’ll kill you. You must survive the next 365 days! Now everyone’s searching for Cal, the psycho kid who’s meant to have attacked his uncle and put his sister in a coma. He’s desperate to clear his name and protect his family, but he also has less than a year to solve an ancient family secret: the Ormond Singularity. And the closer he gets to the truth, the more dangerous his life becomes. He has 306 days. The threat is growing…
My Rating: 3/5
I read this book in less than a hour. It was fast paced, action packed and very suspenseful.
The only problem I had with this book is that I didn't feel like it advanced at all and it started to feel repititive.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series as I want to find out what happens, but I will probably take my time with them.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Review #272 - Undead (Undead #1) by Kirsty McKay

Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.


The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.

Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.

But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.
My Rating: 4/5
This book is fast paced from the very first page. The action starts almost immediately and at first I liked that but I was soon overwhelmed.
I felt the characters were never properly introduced and so throughout the book I was never able to connect with any of them.
I haven't read very many zombie books and so I didn't have any expectations for this but now I want to read more zombie books.
There was a key plot twist that I did predict, but other than that it was never really straight forward. I especially liked the ending and can't wait to read the sequel Unfed.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review #271 - Dark Secrets 2 (Dark Secrets #3-4) by Elizabeth Chandler

No Time to Die & The Deep End of Fear (Dark Secrets, #3-4)
Secrets taken to the grave don’t always stay buried. In No Time to Die, Jenny is devastated by the recent death of her sister, Liza. Looking for a sense of closure, she secretly signs up for the drama camp where Liza died. Jenny knows that someone here holds the key to what really happened to Liza that night, but if she doesn’t find out the truth soon, she may become the next victim.

In The Deep End of Fear, Kate has tried to bury the horrible memories associated with the Westbrook estate. After her best friend Ashley drowned on the estate, Kate vowed never to return. But now, twelve years later, she is drawn back towards the house and that fatal icy pond. There, Kate still feels Ashley’s presence and the past seems to be pulling her back towards Ashley’s life-threatening dares.
My Rating: 4/5
I read and reviewed the first bind-up in this series over two years ago. My link to that review is here.
Like that first book I also felt like the second story was superior to the first one.
In No Time to Tell, I found it hard to connect with any of the characters and I found the whole play/stage acting aspect a bit boring.
I really liked the whole mystery aspect in all these books as I haven't been able to predict the outcome in any of them yet.
The second book The Deep End of Fear is by far my favourite book of the series so far.
I liked all the characters especially Katie, Sam and Patrick. I also thought the plot was alot deeper than any of the previous books.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review #270 - Whisper by Chrissie Keighery


I'm always trying to figure out what's really going on. Always having to fill in the gaps, but never getting all the details. It's like trying to do a jigsaw when I don't even know what the picture is, and I'm missing one of the vital middle pieces.

How do you know if your friends are talking about you behind your back or if a boy likes you? They could act innocent, but you'd know from the rumours. You'd hear the whispers. But what if you couldn't hear those whispers anymore? What if everything you took for granted was gone? Being a teenager is hard enough.

But being a deaf teenager?
My Rating: 3.5/5
I received this book for review from Hardie Grant Egmont Australia.
I really liked the concept of this book as Demi had been able to hear all her life until sickness. The book focuses on how she has to adapt herself between two very different worlds.  

I have known quite a few deaf people and I felt like this book helped me understand more of what they go through.

Demi's family could have been more supportive and even at the end of the book, I felt like they still didn't fully accept her disability.
The ending was a little abrupt and there were a few things I felt weren't fully resolved, but other than that I really enjoyed this book.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Book Review #269 - Dog Days (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #4) by Jeff Kinney

Dog Days: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 4)

It's the summer holidays, the weather's great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where's Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.

Greg, a self-confessed 'indoor person,' is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg's mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and 'family togetherness.'

Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything?
My Rating: 3.5/5
I liked this book more than the third one, but I still don't think it matched the first two.
When you look at Greg's characteristics he doesn't seem like a very nice character, but I find I can't help but like him whilst reading about him.
His relationship with Rowley is the best aspect of this series. I would have liked more of Rodrick involved.
The plot in this instalment is over a short period of time and the writing was as funny as always.