Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #26

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week features a different topic, and you make a top ten list about it.

This weeks topic is my top ten book and movies to get in the Halloween spirit: 

1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - I am reading this book right now and even though it is not as scary as I thought it would be it still has a creepy type feel to it.

2.  The Simpsons Halloween Episodes - We don't have Halloween at all in Australia and so growing up the only time I was exposed to it was through watching American TV. The major one I can think of is The Simpsons with their Treehouse of Horror episodes. 

3. Any of the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine - I grew up reading these and would be perfect to read around Halloween. 

4. Coraline by Neil Gaiman - Both the book and the movie. 

5. ParaNorman - I love animated movies so this one had to be on my list. 

6. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake - a book about a ghost, what more is there to say? 

7. American Horror Story - I never got past the first season but this would be perfect to marathon around Halloween!

8. The Walking Dead - a TV show about zombies which also happens to be one of my favourites at the moment. 

9. Any Stephen King novel - I have only read one of his books but have a lot of them on my TBR. 

10. The Nightmare Before Christmas - I watched this years ago and remember not liking it that much, but considering how popular it is it seems I am in the minority. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review #502 - The Perfectionists (The Perfectionists #1) by Sara Shepard


In Beacon Heights High, Nolan Hotchkiss is king. His charm, wealth and good looks are deceptively seductive, and many are the students whose lives and reputations have been ruined by it. All while Nolan continues to reign, unquestioned and undisrupted. Until now, that is.

Mackenzie, Ava, Julie, Caitlin and Parker seemingly don't have much in common. Each has their own friends, dramas and goals. But one thing they do share: they all have a deep hatred of Nolan Hotchkiss. And they all think it's about time he paid for what he's done. They come up with the perfect murder - a hypothetical murder, of course. It's all wishful thinking ... until they wake up one morning to find that their wish has come true. Nolan has been killed - in exactly the way they planned. The thing is, they didn't do it. So who did?

My Rating: 3.5/5

I received this book for review from Five Mile Press. 

I was excited to read this book as I really enjoyed the Pretty Little Liars series. 

This book has the same format as PLL which at first I wasn't so sure of but it became better when it settled down into its own rhythm and style. 

Like with PLL, this book follows a group of teenage girls who are all equal narrators in the story. These characters were a lot more diverse and relatable than the ones in PLL which was definitely a positive. 

This book wasn't as fast paced as I had expected it to be although it did accelerate towards the end. 

Overall I am really pleased that Sara Shepard has decided to write another series. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Follow Friday #73

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.

The question this week is:

Characters, sometimes our favorites, die during books. If you'd get to choose, who would you bring back? - Suggested by Howling for Books

Probably either Tris from Divergent or Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars. Although it would be good to have Lord Voldemort back so then we have some more Harry Potter books to read!!

Book Review #501 - The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1) by Kimberly Derting


Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the 16 year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend, she is more disturbed by her 'power' to sense dead bodies - or at least those that have been murdered.

My Rating: 4.5/5

The basic premise of this book reminded me of the adult fiction book I read a few years ago Grave Sight. I liked how this book put its own unique twist on this though.

The first half of the book mainly deals with Violet's apparent unrequited feelings towards her childhood friend Jay.The only part of this that irritated me was the unrealistic nature of just about every girl in their school throwing themselves at him.

I loved this book though. It wasn't overly suspenseful but it did blend the small amounts of suspense with the romance really well.

The secondary characters weren't that memorable. For example, apart from Chelsea I cannot remember any of Violet's other friends' names.

The romance in this book was more believable and realistic than in most other YA books.

I would have liked more character development of the serial killer. I think this could have added some suspense to the story.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review #500 - Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks


Tuesday McGillycuddy loves stories - and her mother is a writer. A very famous writer, who has locked herself away in her writing room to finish the final book in her best-selling series for children. But when Tuesday knocks on her door, she discovers her mother is missing!

In search of Serendipity, Tuesday and her faithful dog Baxterr soon find themselves on a very dangerous mission. They enter the magical world where stories come from, a mysterious and unpredictable world, full of real danger and heart-stopping adventure.

With the help of pint-sized heroine Vivienne Small, Tuesday will need all her wit, courage, perseverance and imagination in order to get to The End and be reunited with the people she loves.

My Rating: 3/5

This was an enchanting, adventurous read and I really would have loved this book had I read it as a child. I am really glad I judged this book based on the cover otherwise I wouldn't have picked it up.

This book was similar to Between the Lines but focused more on the adventure rather that the romance.

This book was written by two authors under one pen name which I never would have guessed as the writing is seamless and fluid.

This book was just what I needed after reading a few heavier books. It was a light, fun read and I would recommend it to anyone who loves writing as it show an interesting portrayal of the process of writing a book.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Review #499 - BZRK (BZRK #1) by Michael Grant


A global war is racing. You can't see it, but it's happening all around you. 

Inside YOU.

Down in the meat. 

Welcome to the nano-microscopic matrix where invisible armies will determine the future of mankind. Here, the ultimate battle is for sanity. Losing is not an option when a world of madness is at stake.

My Rating: 3/5

This is the fourth Michael Grant book that I have read and the third series of his that I have started. 

This is a hard book to review and it was equally as difficult to read. I am not the biggest fan of sci-fi and prefer it to be a sub-genre. 

I found this book extremely confusing. It was slow to develop into the overall concept because it kept slowing itself down with over descriptive details about the life through a nanobot. 

Like with the Gone series this book is told from a third person narrative and follows a handful of different characters. I love this style because of the broad range of diversity and perspective this brings. 

However, with this book because I was already struggling with it I would have preferred to to have had only Noah and Sadie as dual narrators. I found it really hard to connect with any of the characters and I think if it had a stable narrator this would have helped. 

I will definitely be reading the rest of this series, hopefully by the end of the month and I seriously hope that they give me a greater understanding of what this book is about.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #25

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week features a different topic, and you make a top ten list about it.

This weeks topic is my top ten series I want to start: 

1.  The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare - Given how much I love the The Mortal Instruments I can't believe I haven't started this companion series yet. 

2.  The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan - I keep hearing nothing but good things about Rick Riordan so as soon as I finish the Percy Jackson and the Olympians I definitely plan on reading this one. 

3. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin - I really want to watch the TV show based on these books but I never watch anything without reading the books first. I just find these books really intimidating. 

4. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini - I met the author of this series a few years ago and that makes me feel really bad that I haven't even started his books yet. 

5.  His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman - The Golden Compass was recommended to me over a decade ago now so I feel like it's long overdue that I start this series. 

6. The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke - I have this series in my list for no reason other than I am sick of seeing it sitting on my TBR shelf. I have had these books for the longest time and just haven't read them. 

7. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa - I'm not really into faerie books but I have heard a lot of positive things about this series. I have the entire series sitting on my bookshelf ready to be read so that helps. 

8. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr - This is another series that has been on my bookshelf unread for the longest time. 

9. The Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan - I read the first book in the companion series a few years ago and it was interesting so I have no idea why I haven't started what is regarded as the superior series. 

10. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - I was forced to watch the movies last year and even though it broke my 'book first' rule, I hope that the movies can help me get into this series as I find it really intimidating.

Book Review #498 - Echo (Soul Seekers #2) by Alyson Noel


Daire Santos has already saved her grandmother's life and her soul. But at a cost: the Richter family has been let loose in the Lowerworld. Daire and her boyfriend Dace Richter must work together to find them before chaos ensues and the balance between good and evil is destroyed. As their relationship deepens, Dace's evil brother Cade grows stronger than ever, building his power and forcing Daire and Dace to confront the horrifying prophecy that has brought them all together. It will leave Daire no choice but to claim her true destiny as Seeker, but only by making an unthinkable sacrifice.

My Rating: 3.5/5

I received this book for review from Pan MacMillan Australia and it is the sequel to Fated. 

I was a little worried about this book because as it had been a while since I read Fated and for some reason I didn't take any notes whilst reading it, and I wasn't sure how much of it I remembered. 

As soon as I started reading this, Fated came flooding back to me and I found myself absorbed in the story once more. 

The first 100 or so pages were solely narrated by Daire as it was in Fated however after a small plot twist it changes into split narration. The only thing I didn't like about the split narration was the fact that Daire's chapters were significantly longer than Dace's. 

This book delves deeper into not only the characters and the whole prophecy saga but also Daire and Dace's relationship and the sacrifices they have to go through. 

Daire has grown so much since the first book not only as a character but with her capabilities as a Seeker. 

I predicted the major plot twist in this book really early which wasn't ideal but the amazing cliffhanger at the end made up for it.   

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review #497 - Arena One (The Survival Trilogy #1) by Morgan Rice


After her sister is captured by slaverunners, Brooke teams up on a rescue mission with with another survivor, Ben, whose brother was also taken. What follows is a post-apocalyptic, action-packed thriller where they will have to make some of the hardest choices and sacrifices of their lives.

My Rating: 3/5

Dystopians are my favourite genre of books at the moment so I was always probably going to enjoy this book. 

This book took me a few months to read. This wasn't because it was a tough book to get into or anything, it was because I was reading it on my iPhone and iPad when I was away from the house. 

This changed however when I got to the third portion of the book where I was actually reading this over preference of whatever physical book I was reading at the time because I couldn't put this book down. 

There were parts of this book that were completely unbelievable at times especially during Brooke and Ben's journey into Arena One where there were countless car crashes where the death count of their enemies was endless yet also left them both unharmed (apart from a broken nose). 

The main issue I had with this book was that it was too over descriptive. There was way too much internal monologue and there needed to be A LOT more dialogue.

I loved that it was set in New York because even though I have never been there it is still a very familiar landscape and it was intriguing reading about it in a dystopian state.

The strong sisterly bond between Brooke and Bree reminded me of Katniss and Prim in The Hunger Games, but this was where the similarities between the two ended. 

I can see that there is definitely a love triangle brewing which is something I am not too fond of. 

I am looking forward to reading Arena Two and am hoping I get an iTunes card for Christmas so I can purchase it!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Review #496 - Aesop's Fables by Aesop


A timeless collection of 80 of Aesop's best-loved fables--punctuated by the age-old morals that have instructed countless generations. This volume highlights such fables as "The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs," "The Mouse and the Frog," and the one and only "The Tortoise and the Hare."

My Rating: 3/5

I loved how all the characters in this book were animals as it added to the whole enchanting fable feel.

There were a few stories in the book that I had actually heard of like The Hare and the Tortoise.

The only issue I had with this book was the outdated language. The moral at the end of each story was actually quite confusing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review #495 - Followers (Point Horror) by Anna Davies


To tweet or not to tweet . . . what a deadly question.

When Briana loses out on a starring role in the school's production of Hamlet, she reluctantly agrees to be the drama department's "social media director" and starts tweeting half-hearted updates. She barely has any followers, so when someone hacks her twitter account, Briana can't muster the energy to stop it. After all, tweets like "Something's rotten in the state of Denmark . . . and a body's rotting in the theater" are obviously a joke.

But then a body IS discovered in the theater: Briana's rival. Suddenly, what seemed like a prank turns deadly serious. To everyone's horror, the grisly tweets continue . . . and the body count starts to rise.

There's no other explanation; someone is live-tweeting murders on campus.

With the school in chaos and the police unable to find the culprit, it's up to Briana to unmask the psycho-tweeter before the carnage reaches Shakespearian proportions . . . or she becomes the next victim.

My Rating: 3/5

I received this book for review from Scholastic Australia.

This was the perfect book to read around the October/Halloween season.

Whenever books surround their plot with theatre I tend to find it boring but I didn't in this book which surprised me.

I have read two of these Point Horror books, Wickedpedia being the other and I really enjoyed both of them. They are the perfect blend of suspense and mystery.

I like how they are very modern and use social media for the main twists.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week features a different topic, and you make a top ten list about it.

This weeks topic is my top ten places that books have made me want to visit:

1. Hogwarts - I'm still waiting for my letter......

2. Amsterdam - The Fault in Our Stars made me want to go there plus I've always wanted to go to the Anne Frank House.

3. Chicago - so it might not be the Chicago of today in Divergent, but the constant mentions of looking up at the Willis Tower has made me want to go there.

4. New York - I have always wanted to go to New York but the Mortal Instruments series have made me want to go there even more.

5. Forks - It seems really enchanting in the Twilight books. Plus it has completely different weather to where I live.

6. Narnia - Just the fact that this place has talking animals makes me want to go there.

7. London - There are too many books to mentioned that have influenced me to want to go to London.

8. Paris - Anna and the French Kiss describes Paris in a way that made me want to go there.

9. Corrigan - Jasper Jones made me want to go to this small Australian mining town.

10. Camp Half Blood - I've only read the first 2 Percy Jackson books but Camp Half Blood sounds really awesome.

Book Review #494 - Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Stories by A.A. Milne

This picture book contains 3 different christmas stories surrounding The Hundred Acre Wood.

My Rating: 3/5

I received this book for review from Hardie Grant Egmont.

This is the first picture book I have reviewed and also the first time in forever I have even read one.

The reason I decided to read this book was because I was a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh as a child and wanted to share the story with my young nephew.

This book was very nostaligic for me and I the stories were very familiar.

I loved how just about every character got mentioned at some point throughout the three enchanting stories.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review #493 - Shouldn't You Be in School (All the Wrong Questions #3) by Lemony Snicket


Before you think anything at all about "Shouldn't You Be In School?" ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you smell smoke?

2. Are schoolchildren in danger?

3. There's a witness to a notorious fire, but he appears to have gone missing. Also, these fish tanks are empty. And these books are blank.

4. Wait, those aren't questions. What is
going on?

My Rating: 3.5/5

I received this book for review from Hardie Grant Egmont and it is the sequel to Who Could That be at This Hour? and When did you Last See Her?

This book was as witty and adventurous as the many other books Lemony Snicket has written.

I am yet to complete The Series of Unfortunate Events books (I think I have around 3 books left) but I could see some minor references to it throughout. The most notable one was to the VFD.

I should probably finish off the last few books before I read this next book in this series. 

This book felt more like a stepping stone. Nothing really significant happens throughout other than a few characters showing their true nature. It was all basically just setting everything up for the next book. 

I loved the small mentions of Lemony Snicket's past and would like to know more about him particularly about his sister.

Overall, this was my favourite book in this series to date and I am looking forward to the fourth instalment.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Follow Friday #72

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Parajunkee & Alison of Alison Can Read.

The question this week is:

Book Merchandise - show off some of your stuff - posters, t-shirts. Whatever you got! - Suggested by Becky's Barmy Book Blog

These are just the stuff I had lying around and didn't have to work to hard to find. I have so many posters mainly of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games under my bed. I also have boxes of Twilight stuff in storage.