Friday, December 26, 2014

Follow Friday #76

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:

What books did you give other people this holiday season? - Suggested byAlison Can Read

I gave my 9 month old nephew a Winnie the Pooh book for his first Christmas. I plan on giving him a book every year for Christmas in the future. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Follow Friday #75

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:

Question of the Week: Do you have a favourite place to read? - Suggested byLiberamans

I mainly sit on my bed when reading. I sometimes also read in front of the TV when there is music or sport on. My dog is almost always sitting at my feet or by my bed. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book Review #523 - Desires of the Dead (Body Finder #2) by Kimberly Derting


The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found. Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally, she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

My Rating: 4/5.5

This book is the sequel to The Body Finder which I read just under 3 months ago. 

I don't think I liked this book as much as the first but I definitely still enjoyed it. 

I loved the inclusion of new characters who were able to immediately involve themselves in the plot and were also able to blend well with the existing characters. 

Jay annoyed me for the first portion of the book. I didn't like how he would treat Violet like she was more his sister or friend rather than his girlfriend and then get angry when she wasn't able to communicate with him. 

Because the beginning of the book mainly deals with Jay and Violet's relationship, the whole mystery and key plot elements were a little slow to arise. 

Chelsea is such a loud and dominant character. She is definitely my favourite of all of the other secondary characters. I would love to have a chapter or anything really from her perspective. 

This book perfectly sets up the third book, The Last Echo with Violet thinking of releasing her life long secret with the knowledge of others with similar secrets. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review #522 - An Abundance of Katherines by John Green


Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart 

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

My Rating: 3.5/5

This was the last John Green book that I had yet to read. 

Like with all John Green books, An Abundance of Katherines contained a lot of unique, eccentric characters. 

I found the protagonist Colin rather annoying at first but was surprised by how fast I seemed to warm up to him. 

The use of footnotes didn't bother me by the end of the book as much as I thought they would especially when it took me a while to get used to them. 

When I first read the summary of this book I thought that it was extremely unrealistic that someone could get dumped 19 times by girls with the same name. When Colin was first introduced however I soon understood how that was possible. 

Colin's friend Hassan was my favourite character in the book. He definitely wasn't a stereotypical Muslim and I found him to be the funniest part of the book. 

With the success of the The Fault in Our Stars movie and with the Paper Towns movie on the way, I can definitely see An Abundance of Katherines being on the big screen in the future as John Green's writing just has a very cinematic feel to it. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Follow Friday #74

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:

Question of the Week: Do you decide in advance what you read for the coming week or month? Why / why not? - Suggested byUnconventional Book Views

I try and read my review copies first then after that I will just pick whatever book I feel like. 

Book Review #521 - Foulsham (Iremonger #2) by Edward Carey


Foulsham, London's great filth repository, is bursting at the seams. The walls that keep the muck inside are buckling, and rubbish is spilling over the top, back into the city from which it came. In the Iremonger family offices, Grandfather Umbitt Iremonger broods. In his misery and fury at the people of London, he has found a way to make everyday objects assume human shapes—and to turn people into objects.

Abandoned in the depths of the Heaps, Lucy Pennant is rescued by Binadit Iremonger, a terrifying creature more animal than human. She is desperate and determined to find Clod Iremonger. But unbeknownst to her, Clod has become a golden sovereign and is "lost." He is being passed as currency from hand to hand all around Foulsham. Yet everywhere people are searching for him, desperate to get hold of this dangerous Iremonger who, it is believed, has the power to bring down the mighty Umbitt.

All around the city, things, everyday things, are twitching into life . . .

My Rating: 3/5

I received this book for review from The Five Mile Press and it is the sequel to Heap House

This book was just as imaginative and weird as the first installment. The plot was a little weaker though and I missed the setting of the Iremonger house. I did however enjoy the new setting of the Foulsham village and its enigmatic occupants. 

There were more characters in this book which I liked as it enabled the story to develop and progress more. Plus we got to see more of life outside the Iremonger family. 

The beginning of this book was rather slow. It did however pick up towards the middle and the ending was my favourite portion of the book. 

Given the way the book ended I am looking forward to reading the last book in this trilogy. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review #520 - Legacy of the Claw (Animas #1) by C.R. Grey


When Bailey enters the prestigious Fairmount Academy as a freshman, he is the only member of his class who doesn't yet have an Animas. And in a world where the bond between human and animal is the guiding principle to life, this makes him an outsider both at school and in the world at large.

But Bailey is more important than he knows. He is the key to an ancient prophecy that will restore the rightful heir to the throne of a kingdom ripping at the seams. Through his budding friendships with Hal, Tori, and Phi, along with the unlikely help of renegade teacher and former conspiracy theorist Tremelo, Bailey must learn to find his Animas, piece together the riddle of the prophecy and start on the path that will lead them all to their destinies.

My Rating: 3/5

I received this book for review from The Five Mile Press. 

I will pretty much read any kind of book involved with animals and so a book about animals bonding with them really intrigued me.

From very, very early in this book I began to pick up slight similarities with Harry Potter. By about 50 pages in I had already lost count of the amount of similarities there were. 

I really liked this book most when Bailey was narrating. I didn't care for the odd chapter from other characters as I felt like the book was trying to do too much. 

I loved the whole idea of humans and animals bonding however this didn't develop anywhere near enough for my liking. 

The way the book ends, it opens the door for there to be more development of the Fairmount Academy in the second book which I am interested to see. 

Overall, this book had an intriguing concept that got lost amongst the political subplot. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Review #519 - Take the Reins (Canterwood Crest #1) by Jessica Burkhart


When Sasha Silver and her horse, Charm, arrive on the campus of the elite Canterwood Crest Academy, Sasha knows that she's in trouble. She's not exactly welcomed with open arms. One group of girls in particular is used to being the best, the brightest, and the prettiest on the team, and when Sasha shows her skills in the arena, the girls' claws come out. 

Sasha is determined to prove that she belongs at Canterwood. Will she rise to the occasion and make the advanced riding team by the end of her first semester? Or will the pressure send Sasha packing?

My Rating: 3.5/5

I received this book for review from Simon and Schuster Australia.

I was looking forward to reading this book not only because I have heard a lot of amazing things about this series but because I have a guilty pleasure for animal related literature. 

As this book is rated more as a children's book rather than a young adult book I was surprised how mature the protagonist Sasha was. 

There was a bit of a romantic element developing which I didn't expect from a children's book. That really added a whole other dimension to the story. 

I found the plot unoriginal but the dialogue was fresh and kept me interested throughout. 

I have ridden a horse probably 2-3 times in my life and so know next to nothing about riding. I liked how this book didn't confuse me with all the technical terms etc about horses but rather educated me.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Review #518 - January Window by Philip Kerr


Scott Manson is team coach for London City football club. He's also their all-round fixer - he gets the lads in to training, and out of trouble, keeps the wags at bay and the press in his pocket. The players love him, the bosses trust him.

But now London City manager Joao Zarco is dead, killed at his team's beloved stadium at Silvertown Docks. Even Scott Manson can't smooth over murder... but can he catch the killer before he strikes again?

My Rating: 4.5/5

I received this book for review from HarperCollins Australia

What initially drew me to this book was the cover but once I discovered it was a murder mystery surrounding the inner world of premier league football I was completely sold as I am a massive sports fan. 

The sporting aspect was obviously my favourite element of the story as I loved how it combined real players, clubs, managers etc with the obvious fictional ones. 

I think if this had not been sports related I would not have liked it as much as I did as the whole mystery solving aspect was a little slow and definitely took a back seat to the football stuff. 

Whenever I visit a different city I always visit all the sporting stadiums so I really loved that this book was largely set in a stadium. 

I really enjoyed the behind the scenes parts of London City especially the relationships between the players, managers, coaches and owners. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review #517 - Shiver the Whole Night Through by Darragh McManus


After months of bullying and romantic heartbreak, seventeen-year-old Aidan Flood feels just about ready to end it all. But when he wakes up one morning to find that local beauty and town sweetheart Sláine McAuley actually has, he discovers a new sense of purpose, and becomes determined to find out what happened to her. The town is happy to put it down to suicide, but then one night Aidan gets a message, scratched in ice on his bedroom window: 'I didn't kill myself.' Who is contacting him? And if Sláine didn't end her own life... who did?

My Rating: 3/5 

I received this book for review from The Five Mile Press

This book is set in Ireland and so a lot of the characters had Irish names and whilst I just pronounced them my own way to save myself confusion I did appreciate the pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book. 

This book was rather slow and drawn out. At around 300 pages it could have perhaps been a little shorter in length. 

I live in one of the hottest places on Earth that rarely even gets rain so I have never experienced snow so I really enjoyed the way the author depicted the snow in a very descriptive manner.  

I would have liked there to have been more dialogue. There were long portions of this book that were simply Aidan's ramblings. 

The mystery element was the slowest to develop and I would have liked more suspense to go with it.