My policy is here

I can't wait to hear from you!

Also if you're a YA author and are interested in being involved with an Indie August event I'm planning please email me!!

I need books to review and give away! I also want some of you lovely people to interview!!

Char :)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

***Review*** The Forest of Hands & Teeth (Forest of Hands & Teeth #1) by Carrie Ryan

On the Back of the Book

In Mary's world there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future - between the one she loves and the one who loves her.

And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

Pre Read Thoughts

I've been meaning to read this book for ever such a  long time and when a buddy read was started for it in my GR group Basically Books! I decided to go for it. I picked this up in WHSmith for £6.99 which, as I point out a lot, is a reasonable price for a brand new YA paperback, in fact it's the RRP. Moving swiftly on to the cover I feel that it's way too bland. Nothing draws me to it, in fact I hate it so much it just looks as though the publisher couldn't be bothered to create a semi-decent cover for it. I like the synopsis and the title, they're the two things that made me take this book to the counter.

Post Read Thoughts

The only word I can use to describe this book is "meh". Everything was either okay or rubbish. Nothing was good and it was certainly nowhere near amazing. The writing was okay, nothing to write home about. I personally don't think that the 1st person POV worked as you're stuck in one person's head and that leaves you with little to no answers. The plot was okay, although some of what happened frustrated me. The pace was slow, it dragged and my mind wandered constantly away from the plot. I think I'd have liked more backstory. I want to know more about the Sisterhood and the religion that they force on the villagers.

I didn't like any of the characters but the most annoying by far was the MC, Mary. Being stuck in her head is torture. She's shallow, selfish, obsessive and dull as dishwater. I detested her, she just never stopped blithering on about irrelevant stuff. She had three main trains of thought: Travis, Gabrielle and the ocean, not necessarily in that order though. None of the other characters really stood out for me in any way so I don't feel that I can comment on them.

Overall I didn't really feel much for the story. I felt that the author went about the story in the wrong way and that pretty much ruined it for me. I don't mean to be rude but this book didn't get anything from me. I just don't see the appeal of it. The pace was so relaxed that not even the "exciting" parts got my heart beating a little faster. I think that the word I'm going to sum this book up with is generic.

My Rating

2 stars - This book could have been really good but it falls flat. I would've given this 1 star but it didn't get my blood boiling so I can't even give it that. For a book to have 1 star I have to hate it with a passion because I don't give out 1 star ratings lightly. I think I'd recommend this to diehard fans of YA dystopian. There isn't any sex or swearing but there are some decapitations.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

***Review*** 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope #1) by Maureen Johnson

On the Back of the Book

If your free-spirited aunt left you 13 little blue envelopes:

Would you follow the directions?
Would you travel around the world?
Would you open the envelopes one by one?

Inside envelope 1
is money and instructions to buy a plane ticket
Inside envelope 2
are directions to a specific London flat
Inside envelope 3
tells Ginny: Find a starving artist
Because of envelope 4
Ginny and a playwright/thief/man-about-town called Keith go to Scotland together, with disastrous - though really romantic - results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes...

Pre Read Thoughts

I've had my eye on this book for a long time so when I saw it as part of a 3 for £5 deal I just had to pick it up. I'd like to point out that it was the first time I'd seen this book in my town and I'm not meant to be buying books online. Technically I'm not meant to be buying books full stop but that's another story. I'm not a huge fan of the cover, it's quite boring and doesn't really stand out from the crowd. This is a title book for me, it always was. The synopsis intrigues me just as much as the title and I can't wait to read this.

Post Read Thoughts

I read this book with a stupid grin on my face, it's just that adorable. I love the premise of the story and the way it was executed. I was really sucked into the story and had a really hard time putting it down. I thought the writing was good but I had a couple of issues (I know, issues again! I'm sorry, I will read a book that doesn't have any one day). I don't know what it's like in America but in the UK a bank pin is only 4 digits not 5 so the answer wouldn't actually work and we don't say "you look tan" we say "you look tanned". I realise that these are minor things but they really stood out for me. I am so fussy when it comes to stuff like that and what's more I actually remember.

I liked Ginny, I thought she was pretty cool and some of the scrapes she got herself into were hilarious. I don't think the story would've worked if she'd been one of those really popular girls but she wasn't and now I'm going round in circles. So moving on I thought Keith was a good love interest but he wasn't a character that blew me away. He was nice. I like that he wasn't constantly all over Ginny and practically stalking her, that's an alarming custom in YA right now. Where did it come from? It felt far more realistic and that's never a bad thing. The final person I want to talk about is Peg. I love her personality and how the book is just as much about her as it is Ginny. It was a lovely touch to be able to discover them both at the same time.

Overall this book is a great escape from life for a few hours, and when I say a few hours I mean that. This is a really quick read. I loved so much about this and I wish that I had the 2nd book in my house so that I could read it now. The characters were wonderful, the pace was just perfect, the plot idea was amazing and I liked the writing. I'd definitely recommend this to people who like their YA to be a little different from the norm. I actually think this would be a great beach read so if you're going on holiday somewhere sunny you should pack this.

My Rating

4 stars - It's really high on the scale of 4 but I couldn't give it a 5. It's just not quite as good as the books I've given that rating to. I really enjoyed the story and would say that it's suitable for the younger end of the YA audience as there's no sex, violence, swearing and all the rest of it. What are you waiting for? Go buy it!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

***Review*** City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare

On the Back of the Book

Amid the chaos of war, the Shadowhunters must decide to fight with the vampires, werewolves and other Downworlders - or against them. Meanwhile Jace and Clary have their own decision to make: should they pursue the love they know is forbidden?

Pre Read Thoughts

So here I am, about to read the "final" book in the Mortal Instruments "trilogy". I'm only reading this because I have to find out how it ends for myself. My luck ran out when it came to my hunt for a used copy of this and there was no way I was going to the next town to look there. It would have to be a fantastic book to make me get travel sick. Oh and when I say "luck ran out" I mean my brother very kindly bought me a brand new copy of this so it cost me nothing. (Cheers Dave.) It set him back £7.99 though and that's £1 more than the average YA paperback novel. So I'm going to move on before I start ranting about that. I don't like the cover, I'd like to see the characters eyes and there's a quote from SMeyer. I can't look at it because of that. The synopsis is pretty pathetic, it's literally two sentences, there's creating mystery and there's stupidness. That synopsis is the latter.

Post Read Thoughts

I'm not a sucker for happy endings and I hate cliches and this statement leads me to a question: why did I ever think I would enjoy this series? Well since I actually had to read it for my GR group (technically I share it with the two most awesomesauce mods ever) I guess the answer is that I didn't. I've actually just noticed that I'm rambling because I don't know what to say. I'll give it a good go anyway, there wasn't any improvement with the pace and the predictability was just as bad if not worse. This is incredibly disappointing because I was constantly either pages or even chapters in front of the charcters so I couldn't concentrate on where I was. So either I'm a genius (unlikely) or the characters are exceptionally dense (probably).

Speaking of the characters, please can I bash Clary's head in? I never really connected with her but she seems to be slipping further away with every book. She like smoke. Any individuality she may have had has just slipped away with every book and by this point she's pining after Jace like a lovesick puppy. I don't like Jace either, I never did, he's a complete idiot. Nothing he does in this book endears him to me. I think some of the things he does get some girls swooning but not me. Valentine is the dullest bad guy I've read in a long time. His "climax" had me yawning. I wanted more than I got and I felt like I'd been ripped off. I've met people in real life that are more evil than him.

Overall I didn't like the book, the further in I got the more I realised that I just didn't care and without that initial hatred this book is less than nothing to me. I guess that's why I don't really have much to say about it. I wish I'd never read these books, they haven't given me anything except for ranting material, I didn't gain any enjoyment from them and especially not this one. Needless to say I don't recommend this.

My Rating

1 star - I'm speechless. It's horrific, I really don't get all the glowing reviews. I think I'm missing something. I would like the time that I've invested in this series back but since that's impossible I'll settle for a refund... The glimpses of okayness (there are a few) are few and far between. So in memory of the tree that died for my copy of this book I'm going to stand next to the mini-forest next door to my house and have a little sob.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

***Review*** Candy and the Broken Biscuits Candypop #1 by Lauren Laverne

On the Back of the Book

This cannot be my life.

*****THE PLAN*****

  • Stop Mum marrying the World's Boringest Stepdad tm
  • Track down BioDad for Happy Ever After
  • Achieve world domination with my band
  • Enlist supernatural Fairy Godbrother to assist in the above*

*Not part of the original plan but you've got to roll with the punches.

There must be something better. Something bigger, louder, faster, MORE...

Pre Read Thoughts

I found this in my local branch of The Works. They have this 3 for £5 offer on a massive range of paperbacks and I use it as an opportunity to try books I normally wouldn't read. Two things attracted me to the book: 1. The cover, I love the guitars. I love books about wannabe music artists and music lovers so I had a feeling I'd like this. 2. The synopsis, It's really quirky and I love quirky ones because they intrigue me and I'm curious. The reason I've started reading this is because my mum has demanded that I read a "happy book". I think she may be a bit bored of the Cassandra Clare rants...

Post Read Thoughts

I really liked the story of this. It did take a few chapters to get going as the author found her stride with the plot though. I've decided to forgive her though as this is her debut novel and there are bound to be a few teething issues. The plot isn't too serious and is a bit far-fetched but I liked that. It was a nice escape from the more serious YA that I've been reading (If you can call Mortal Instruments 'serious' that is). There were quite a few laugh out loud moments. I also really liked the writing style and the fact that I didn't have to put too much energy into reading it.

I loved all the characters. I'm going to start out with my personal stand out character: Holly a.k.a. Pirate, Candy's best friend, crazy person and legend. She's easily one of my favourite characters of the year. Moving on to the MC Candy, I enjoyed being in her head, she was funny without trying too hard to be. There were some scenes where I just had to laugh, even though it was really late at night. I can't move on until I've mentioned the other important character though, Clarence B Major: Candy's Fairy Godbrother. First of all: What a name! It's awesome, I never thought I'd see a character called Clarence. I think he's crazy cool, he's absolutely 100% bonkers but I do like him, he's the character that made me giggle the most.

Overall this is a quick, fun, easy read. The writing's simple to understand, the pace improves the further in the story you get, the characters are hilarious and I personally adored the plot. I quickly want to to point out that the joke about Candy feigning lactose intolerancy when people get all cheesy made me smile. It's one of my favourite jokes, I use it all the time. Not that anyone gets it when I do...

My Rating

4 stars - This is a solid debut novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The further in I got the more it grew on me. This was a great bargain buy that I don't regret buying. I'm now so excited for the sequel. What could possibly happen next to Candy Caine?

A Final Note

There's no content that you need to worry about, I just wanted to apologise if this review doesn't make sense. I wrote it at midnight and I've just edited it as best I can.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

***Review*** Sister, Missing by Sophie McKenzie

On the Back of the Book

It's been two years since the events of Girl, Missing and life is not getting any easier for sixteen-year-old Lauren, as exam pressure and a recent family tragedy take their toll. Lauren's birth mother takes Lauren and her two sisters on holiday in the hope that some time together will help, but a few days into the holiday one of the sisters disappears, under circumstances very similar to those in which Lauren was taken years before. Can Lauren save her sister, and stop the nightmare happening all over again?

Pre Read Thoughts

The second I saw this book in WHSmith I knew that I wouldn't be leaving without it.  As I am poor, this involved me sidling up to my big brother and looking immensely cute. You may mock me but I'm about to read the book so it obviously worked so cheers for the book Dave. I have no idea how much he paid for the book but the RRP is £9.99. Now I know that sounds a bit dear but it is a hardback. I love the cover, it's clean, it's simple, it's eyecatching. As the synopsis tels you this is book 2 so I'm hoping I don't need to remember too much from Girl, Missing.

Post Read Thoughts

Wow. I thought Girl, Missing had a solid ending and didn't nees a sequel but I sure am glad that Sophie McKenzie disagreed with me. I loved it and I nearly shed a few tears over the end. The writing was superb. I've been a fan of McKenzie for quite a few years now and this book just tells you why. I do have a couple of tiny niggles though (to be honest when don't I?). Issue 1: The ransom money as Annie and Sam are American surely the life insurance would have been in dollars not pounds? Issue 2: I guessed a bit of the plot. I know that doesn't seem like much but it was a big revelation to Lauren and I would've liked to have shared her shock.

Lauren is a well written character and being in her head is a joy. She's realistic, she has flaws, she has conflicting emotions and all that makes me love her more. Madison is as cute as a button, I hate kids and even I can see that. Jam is awesome. It's nice to have a leading man that treats his girlfriend with some respect. It's such a refreshing change to half of the guys in YA lit.

Overall I loved this book. It's hard to put down and at 250 pages it's a relatively quick read. The writing was good, the story touching and the characters felt real. Also the lack of supernatural creatures made returning to YA after a few dodgy books a pleasure. I don't regret reading this book, it's a must for fans of Girl, Missing.

My Rating

 4 stars - I don't have any words left to describe how much I enjoyed it. I hoope this book does as well as its predecessor. It deserves great reviews and awards because it just paints an awesomely terrifying concept. Hats off to Sophie, She's delivered again.

***Review*** City of Ashes Mortal Instruments #2 by Cassandra Clare

On the Back of the Book

With her mother in a coma and her father hellbent on destroying the world, Clary Fray is dragged deeper into New York City's terrifying underworld of werewolves, demons and the mysterious Shadowhunters. Discovering the truth about her past was only the beginning. Now the fate of the world rests on Clary's shoulders, but can she master her new-found powers and control her feelings for a boy that can never be hers?

Pre Read Thoughts

I'm not looking forward to reading this. Reading book one involved lota of *facepalm*, *headdesk* and the occasional rant. Different people have said different things to me about the rest of the trilogy but the general consensus seems to be that I'm gonna hate it. I have to finish what I start though so I'm going forth and everyone I know is taking this opportunity to hide (I assume, I would if I were them anyway). Once again I managed to get a used copy, this one's a bit battered but no worries, it cost me £2.50 and the money went to a great cause (British Heart Foundation for the record). I have the creepy face cover, I don't like it, not even the fact that it's shiny can save it. Once again I don't like the synopsis, it's very cheesy, or do I mean cliche? Either way I wouldn't have bought it for that.

Post Read Thoughts

I don't know what to say without sounding like a broken record. I guess I'll start with the explanations or rather lack thereof. After two books I still don't have a clue what a stele is. It does some things but not others, why is this? The serpah blades: Why are they named? Why can't they be called 'Raziel'? Am I the only one thinking these questions? I also disliked the use of 'bitterer' on page 89. If you want to be intelligent and use the archaic form of 'more bitter' then that's jolly nice but in schools today a kid would be shot down in flames for using it. Surely an author should be using more recognisable terms so teens can learn correct spelling and grammar while they read a book that they enjoy?

Don't get me started on the characters, oh actually I've started now, I may as well continue. Clary and Jace, it's disgusting. Or am I the only sane person that read the end of book one? I mean it just made me physically sick. As for the Simon storyline, it screamed cop out. Seriously, you set it up for something good to happen and you kill it. The Inquisitor was transparent, I knew exactly what her motives were. Luke is as dull as very dirty dishwater and Valentine is one of the worst baddies I've ever come across. By 'worst' I mean 'awful' not 'scary', just to clear up any confusion.

Overall I was thoroughly unimpressed. The pace was intersting if you like being put to sleep and then just as you're dozing off "BAM" something happens. The plot was predictable, the characters were boring, explanations of the world just don't exist and the ending, it was a cop out. I swear on my kitty's very regular washing habits (what? He likes to be clean!) that this is one of the worst books I've come across this year.

My Rating

 1 star - I can't bring myself to give it any more. I am horrified by some of the plot and I wouldn't give it to anyone under 16 because of that. Also carrying on with a point I've made before. The trees! The trees! I'm devastated that yet more of them are being sacrificed for this, if you want to waste precious electricity reading this as an e-book then go ahead but please, not the trees. They can't take anymore. Needless to say, I don't recommend it to anyone.

A Final Note

There's some swearing and a lot of violence. I just want to make you all aware of this.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

***Review*** Rumours (The Luxe #2) by Anna Godbersen

On the Back of the Book

December 1899 - New York City

Manhatten has bid farewell to its brightest star, the dazzling Miss Elizabeth Holland. Yet the rumours about her untimely demise continue. Meanwhile her sister, the irrepressible Diana, has been seen in the company of not one but three eligible bachelors. Might there be a fourth?

In high society, reputation is everything.
The Holland family simply can't afford to be the subject of such wicked whispers. Heaven forbid that they should fall so spectacularly from grace...

There is a very fine line between truth and lies, love and hate. And all is about to be gloriously revealed.

Pre Read Thoughts

Once again this is a re-read and I was initially attracted by the cover, looking at the UK cover now though it's too busy with all the stuff coming out of the corners. They take over the picture and detract from the beautiful girl in the beautiful dress (which is why I'm using the US cover). The RRP is £6.99 and that's what I paid for it. It's a fair price. I admit that I was disappointed with the generic symopsis because The Luxe's was so indvidual and I guess I was hoping that they'd stick with that idea.

Post Read Thoughts

After reading this book for a second time, I'm beginning to thoroughly regret my decision to re-read this series. What 18 year-old me loved, 20 year-old me detests and this is no exception. This book would be so much better if it was a couple of hundred pages shorter and if every single item of clothing was given its own paragraph. Okay, I may have exagerrated about the clothing a little but so much of this book is irrelevant to the plot development. It took me nearly a month to read this I was so bored and frustrated. I kept putting it down after a couple of pages. Reading a book should be fun.

The characters are so incredibly dull. They don't want to make me read the book, they make me want to throw it into a fire or at the very least at a wall. I don't connect with them in any way or have any sympathy for them whatsoever. Their behaviour  is atrocious and there don't seem to be any repercussions for them either. If I had to choose a character that was tolerable I'd say Diana, but only because I liked her in book one, she's had a complete personality transplant in this one and I missed the old her. I have nithing further to say on any of them because they aren't worth my time and I should be naming a character because I either liked them or loathed them, not because I have to.

Overall I'm not a fan of this book anymore, it's too like Gossip Girl and that series bored me to tears. There's too much fashion and not enough depth to the story. I found the writing to be boring and too focussed on unimportant, trivial details. On a positive note I like the idea of starting the book with the main event from the end of the book. Granted, I'd like the idea more if the rest of the book was good quality writing but apparently I'm asking far too much.

My Rating

2 stars - No more Mrs Nice Reviewer, I gave the first one 3 stars because I used to like it but I can't do it with this one as well. It isn't fair to the books that I give a good rating to because I like them. This book is distinctly average. There's not too much that I did like but there isn't anything that truly drove me crazy and made me feel anything towards this book. If you're absolutely desperate and this is the only book you have to read then go ahead, otherwise steer clear unless you're a Gossip Girl fan.

Friday, 16 September 2011

***Review*** City of Bones Mortal Instruments #1 by Cassandra Clare

On the Back of the Book

Clary Fray is seeing things. First she witnesses three teenagers stab a boy in a New York Nightclub - then the victim vanishes before her very eyes. Her mother has disappeared, and a hideous monster is lurking in her apartment. With her life spiralling into darkness, Clary discovers she has stumbled across an invisible war between ancient demonic forces and the secretive Shadowhunters - a war in which she may have a fateful role to play.

Pre Read Thoughts

I have a cnfession to make: I've been avoiding this series. It's had so much hype and I'm the girl who hates Vampire Academy and thinks that the Hunger Games is average. I have high standards and I don't think this series will live up to them. Also this series has been endorsed by Stephenie Meyer and my opinion of her is pretty low so I don't trust her opinion. However I had to pick this up when it got chosen as a September group read for the GR group I moderate. I managed to find a used copy for the princely sum of £1.90. Another upside is I have the old cover that doesn't have a shining, naked man on it. Saying that, I don't like that cover either, neither of them grab me and make me want to read the book. Finally I want to point out that I detest the synopsis. It makes Clary sound like she belongs in a mental asylum.

Post Read Thoughts

I don't know what to say. Trust me, I don't mean that in a good way. I can't describe how I feel about this book. I will say this though: it frustrates me. It could have been amazing like so many other YA books could have been amazing, but it isn't, it's rubbish. The execution is poor, things aren't explained properly, the pacing is a disgrace (It reminded me of the VA pacing), there are major continuity issues and worst of all it's predictable. I could see everything coming from a mile off. I hate that, I read a book to escape not to sit here and whinge once I've finished it.

On to the characters. I'm going to start with Simon because he's easily the least annoying of the love triangle but that may be because he's barely involved. I figured out on page 1 that he was in love with Clary, the author didn't even bother to hide it, this just made Clary seem even more stupid when he told her. Next up on my hit list: Jace. I hate him. He's an idiot, there's absolutely nothing sexy about a guy who thinks he knows everything and not only that but he's the best at doing it all. His sarcasm grew old quickly, especially as Clary and Simon are also sarcastic. Sarcasm overload from the main characters and I like sarcasm. Some of his actions didn't make sense with how he came across and I didn't feel like he was actually even attracted to Clary. Speaking of Clary. She's my worst enemy when it comes to this book. She's boring, woe is me, stupid, blind, self-centred and lacks personality. Well of course she lacks personality, this is an alarming trend in YA at the moment. She's another self insert where teens can pretend that Jace is their boyfriend and that they're in love and it's going to last forever and ever. Well I'm 20 years old and I expect more than that from a character. I'm not asking for much, just a little depth. Anyway... I'm ranting. I shall tell you how I feel about Clary in a sentence: I detest her.

Overall this is one of the worst books I've read all year. I can't think of one positive thing to say about it. It's rubbish and I hate it and after I've read the trilogy if I see the name 'Cassandra Clare' it will be too soon and may cause me to do damage to something close to me. This author is hereby banned from Basically Books! for as long as I moderate the group. I am not going through this again.

My Rating

1 star - I was going to give this 2 to be nice but writing this review has showed me just how much I detest this book. I am so upset about this book that I'm currently in mourning for all the trees that lost their lives so that this could be printed. No tree deserves to die for this. I recommend this to no one in the world especially not the impressionable 12 year olds that this is 'suitable' for.

Monday, 12 September 2011

***Review*** The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

On The Back of the Book

Here is a small fact

You are going to die.

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.

Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

Some important information

This novel is narrated by death.

It's a small story, about:

a girl

an accordionist

some fanatical Germans

a Jewish fist fighter

and quite a lot of thievery.

Another thing you should know

Death will visit the book thief three times.

Pre Read Thoughts

Now the story of how I came to read this book is slightly different from normal. I moderate a group on Goodreads and this is one of this month's (September's) group reads. My mum then bought it for me as a sort of 'it's actually your brother's birthday but here's one for you' present. What can I say? She's thoughtful is my mum. I love the cover, Liesel dancing with Death. It's very simple but it's very effective. I also love how the background has a sort of stained parchment look to it. The UK RRP is £7.99 which is what I'd expect to pay for an adult paperback. Finally I want to point out that I'm in love with the synopsis.

Post Read Thoughts

First of all I have a suggestion: if you're going to read this book you're going to need some tissues. The ending comes at you like a steel freight train. You can see it coming but you stand there in denial until it hits you... Okay I think we've just discovered that analogies aren't my thing so moving swiftly on...

I've been left so speechless by this book that I think I've forgotten how to review. I'll give it a good go anyway though. I absolutely adored this book, when it was in my hands I never wanted to put it down. The scene setting was phenomenal, the story played like a film in my head all the way through. I also adored the choice of narrator. I love books where the layout or the narrator is a little unconventional and this one is no exception. The idea to have Death narrate a book set during a period of time when millions of lives were lost is genius. Saying that, to pull it off you have to really know how to weave a tale and fortunately Marcus Zusak can do that.

Liesel is a great character, I really loved her and I sympathised with her greatly. I wanted everything to work out for her but she wasn't my favourite character. That title is reserved for her best friend, the boy with hair the colour of lemons, Rudy Steiner. He filled the pages with life and I felt that I could almost reach out and touch him. Something I want to point out, and this happens very rarely for me, there wasn't a character that I detested. Sure there were some nasty articles but they all added to the bigger picture and that picture is sublime.

Overall I've done a very poor job of telling you why you should read this book but read it you must. The writing is stellar, the world vivid and the idea so original that it must be calling to you. I'll let you in on a couple of secrets. Not only did this book make me cry but it's going on to my very rarely used favourites shelf. This is one of the best books I've read all year.

My Rating

5 stars - Beautiful, magnificent, worth every bit of hype that it gets. This blew me away and made me eager to read after a bit of a reading slump. I'm going to recommend this to everyone. It's a must read as far as I'm concerned.

A Final Note

There's swearing and violence. Don't let that hold you back though. Go forth and read The Book Thief!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

***Series Review*** The Kin by Peter Dickinson

I think that an overall review is a great way to summarise a series without having to trawl through the internet without looking for loads of reviews.


1. Brilliant premise

2. Well Written

3. Full of excitement

4. Beautiful covers

5. The oldtales between the chapters add another layer to the story.


1. I didn't find the characters easy to connect with.

2. They got a bit repetitive

3. Quite a lot of people die.

4. The language is quite simple as it's a children's book.

5.  They were'n long enough.

Best Book: Both Suth's Story and Noli's Story are equally as good.

Worst Book: Mana's Story

My Rating

3.5 stars - Although flawed and weakened by the final story this is still a quality series. if you have children or just like books about how human evolution may have happened then you should definitely give this series a read.

The Individual Reviews

The Kin: Suth's Story
The Kin: Noli's Story
The Kin: Ko's Story
The Kin: Mana's Story

***Review*** The Kin: Mana's Story The Kin #4 by Peter Dickinson

On the Back of the Book

'Blood falls,' said the voice. 'Men follow.'  Mana knows the awful prophecy could mean the end of the Kin.

The long journey of the children of the Kin has led them to a distant land. But here they are threatened by the deadliest enemy of all. People. Terrifying demon men, collectors of human skulls ...

The Kin's plan to trap the demon men is clever, horrifying, and very dangerous. But it is their only chance of survival. And it depends on Mana ...

Pre Read Thoughts

The final book in the Kin series and like the rest it was an impulse buy that cost me £1.50. I have to say, considering it's a second hand book it's in stunning condition. I'v seen brand new books that look tattier than this. Once again the cover illustration is absolutely gorgeous. It really draws you to it and makes you want to dive into it to see what it's all about. The synopsis is brilliant, I find myself so excited to read the book so that I can know what the Kin have to face next. I can't wait to finish the series.

Post Read Thoughts

The author changed things with this book and I don't think it worked. The main thing is the style of the oldtales, I personally didn't like the simpler way of telling them. I get that it's how the Kin would have told them but after three books of the other way it wasn't necessary to change the style. Also I think the plot of this story was slower than the others and it didn't grab me as the others did. I had to force myself to sit down and read the story. Saying that, the wirting and scene setting were phenomenal and I enjoyed them very much.

This is Mana's story and if I'm honest I wish it wasn't. Mana never really stood out in the previous stories as she had no personality or any quirks whatsoever. Wuth that opinion pretty much on my mind as I picked this up I hoped that the author was going to change my mind. That didn't happen though. She was dull as dishwater and being stuck with her PoV nearly bored me to tears. Tan was barely even mentioned but the other former children of the Kin (Suth, Tinu, Noli and Ko) seemed to have rediscovered the closeness of the first two books which I was glad to see.

Overall this book isn't as good as the others and I'm really disappointed by this. The oldtales were weak, the plot never really got going and the lead character failed to connect with me. As this is the last book I was hoping that such a good series would have a strong end. I found that there were still some loose ends that I would've liked clearing up. As it is this is pretty forgettable. I only finished this 2 hours ago and the details are starting to slip away. However I stand by my positive notes, the writing and scene setting were incredible and I think that having the children that were abandoned by the Kin close to one another is incredibly important.

My Rating

3 stars - I knew about halfway through the book that this wa gonna be my rating. I wish that this had been from either Tan or Tinu's PoV, I feel that using Mana was the wrong decision and this really held the story back.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

***Review*** The Kin: Ko's Story (The Kin #3) by Peter Dickinson

On the Back of the Book

Ko is full of dreams. In his imagination he's always the hero who saves the Kin. Now he must face real dangers, real enemies...

The rains have failed, there is no food, and starving beasts are one of the many perils that face the Moonhawk Kin. Their long journey in search of Good Places meets an impassable marsh, where hungry crocodiles lie in wait. Ko, of course, dreams of finding a way across. And his adventures lead the Kin to an astonishing discovery ...

Pre Read Thoughts

As with the rest of the series, this was an impulse buy I made a couple of years ago. It cost me £1.50 at my favourite used book shop and it's in incredibly good condition. The cover illustration is once again absolutely stunning, it tells you so much about the story at a glance. The synopsis is filled with danger and tension and it makes me want to read the book so much.

Post Read Thoughts

This didn't grab me as much as the previous two books. I wasn't entirely sure why at first but I figured it out a bit later on in the paragraph. This book doesn't lack anything that the other two had, the scene setting was beautiful, the oldtale was wonderful and the writing sublime. Now I'll get on to why I didn't fully enjoy this book as I promised I would. It wasn't the book in any way, shape or form, it was me. I've been distracted all day in preparation of one of my other passions in life: the British Touring Car Championship qualifying (It's a form of motorsport and my personal favourite. Just in case you were wondering).

The main character of this story is Ko and I have to say I really liked him, he reminds me of myself. He's a dreamer and I found myself connecting with him in a way that I hadn't with Suth and Noli. I hadn't liked him in the previous books because some of his actions were incredibly stupid and although he's hardly mature in this one I found myself liking him anyway. Noli, Suth, Tan and Tinu aren't mentioned as much in this one and I think that it's a shame as the closeness they had in books 1 and 2 was integral to the story.

Overall I liked the book but my distraction and quite possibly the lack of chemistry between the characters made this book slightly less enjoyable. I still liked the author's writing style but some things that I personally thought were important weren't mentioned and I'd have liked them to be. I think if you've read the previous books it's definitely worth picking this one up.

My Rating

3.5 stars - A great book but probably the weakest in the series. I still want the books to be longer so that, as the reader I can learn more about the lives of the Kin members. I can't wait to read the final book in the series.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

***Review*** The Kin: Noli's Story (The Kin #2) by Peter Dickinson

On the Back of the Book

Noli heard Moonhawk's voice inside her head. 'Go!' it said. She felt the mountain shudder. Was there time to escape?

Noli, Suth and their little band of orphans are all that's left of the brave Moonhawk Kin. Fleeing from an erupting volcano, they seek safety in a huge ravine. But Noli's visions warn of more terrifying violence from beneath the earth... And when they reach what seems to be safety they find a new and fearsome enemy waiting for them.

Pre Read Thoughts

As with book one this was an impulse buy. It cost me £1.50 at the same used book shop and is in excellent condition considering it's 12 years old. The cover illustration is stunning, I adore it. I think it's a lot different to what would be put on the cover of a children's book now. The synopsis is enough to intrigue you and make you want to delve into the story. I'm really excited to see if this book's as good as its predecessor.

Post Read Thoughts

I have to say that I loved this one too. It was every bit as good as Suth's Story. The scene setting was once again incredible, I could picture the landscapes in my mind clearly. I also adored the oldtales in between the chapters. They add another story into the mix as we learn of the legends and beliefs of the Kins. Once again the writing was of great quality and I found myself craving more.

The main character of this story is a girl called Noli (as you'd probably figured from the title). I liked her in the first book and I liked her even more in this one. She is wise beyond her years and her maturity shines through beautifully. Although Noli is likeable I wouldn't go so far as to say I loved her. Once again my favourite character was Tinu, she was even better in this book. She's a painfully shy girl but she's also incredibly intelligent and her ideas help to keep the Kin alive.

Overall this is another awesome story. I can see the ideas growing as each Kin member becomes an adult and also as they discover new things about the world that they live in. The writing is really good, the author knows exactly what he's doing and it shows. Once again I recommend this to people of all ages.

My Rating

4 stars - Another book that deserves 4 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact  I wish it were longer, I'd have loved to know some of the things that happened in more detail. In a way being a children's book is what stops this from getting 5 stars.


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