Archive for December, 2012

2012

So as the year comes to an end, let’s reflect upon the best books that we’ve read this year!
But instead of just listing them and commenting about their awesomeness, lets have a little fun, and play a guessing game!
Has anyone heard of Ditloids?
Stuff like 360 D in a C, which stands for 360 Degrees in a Circle? (maths nerd right here)
So lets play this Ditloid game in book form, with our books that have been released in 2012!

F S o G
NO. WE HAVE NOT READ THIS. It just seemed like an easy one to get started with!

M o A
The Greek and Roman Gods battle each other as their children also battle each other. 🙂images

T F i o S
This one is easy, because everyone refers to it as this anyway, even the author. Hint hint, it’s about cancer, and is also known to tear people’s hearts out with all the feelings it produces.

U
I see this could be a little unfair, as it is a one word book. I’ll give the syllables too!
UWL
What is there to say about it? It’s amazing! And it’s about taking teenagers apart… 😛 If you still haven’t got it, I’ll give you a hint, the book before it was UnWind.

images (1)

F & B
I LOVE ZOMBIES. Especially when the zombies aren’t the bad guys.

I
One letter. Let’s try the syllable thing again.
ISG
It’s a sequel, and is a dystopia with fighting and stuff. Also, there are factions.

P
Sequel about love with pretty writing style but a predictable plot line. Also a dystopia, also with a kind of love triangle (one of the points is kind of dead but not really dead, and no not in the mystical supernatural being way). I didn’t like this book much, why is it here?

C
Cinderella is a robot. It’s awesome.

Skulduggery_in_AustraliaT K o t W
7th in the series about  skeleton detective and Ireland and awesomeness and it’s located in the kids section at your book store.

F
Hint: I was so SCARED. (Nope, not really). It had stuff about overcoming PHOBIAS. It made me want to vomit. Someone clawed out his veins then tried to eat them. Sorry. Not quite the things you would want to be reading on the last day of 2012.

N
I don’t know why this is on the list, it shouldn’t be on the list. This is supposed to be a list of good books, this book isn’t good. The long title is “N: T F M R A”. It’s got kids with wings and an unnecessary love triangle.

the-hobbit_2409864k

T H (movie)
The book actually came out years and years ago, but since the movie was so good, I thought I mention it here! It’s got short people and adventures and dragons!

BZRK
I think this is actually really unfair. You already have the answer! So I guess, you’ll be scoring at least one!

C o L S
Why is this on here? I said books I loved. Also easy, but who cares. It’s basically Love Actually with the amount of couples there are. Also, killing demons and stuff.

T H
It’s not the hobbit.
It’s by a guy with a really cool surname; Fukuda! It’s also about vampires who DON’T sparkle!

T 3rd W
I couldn’t resist putting this one on, I love this series! Even though it could possibly be aimed at younger people… 😦

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Pandemonium – Lauren Oliver

Tadah! It’s sequel time!

If you haven’t read Delirium (the first book), you should probably do that before reading this review. There will be tons of spoilers in this review, btw, because… well…

It’s hard to talk about the book without giving away spoilers because it’s:

1. Really predictable. I mean, even I guessed the twists.

2. A really simple plot. Trying to summarise the plot without spoilers would be so short.

But let’s try it anyway.

Spoiler Free Summary:

Lena goes to the Wilds and meets some random people, including Raven who is cool and stuff. Then she goes undercover as part of the rebellion against the government, and meets Julian, the son of the… Mayor? I can’t remember. It’s been a while.

If you don’t want any more spoilers you should probably skip to the Overall at the end, just to find out the rating.

SPOILER-FEST SUMMARY

Lena falls in love with Julian. Yep, it’s another love triangle (even if one point is presumably dead). Then they get kidnapped by some evil people, and fall really really in love, Julian decides he doesn’t want to get cured, and yay it’s all happy again. Until…. DUN DUN DUN! Alex is alive, and walks in on Lena and Julian making out. Also there’s some stuff about Lena’s mother and yeah.

Cons

The Name

It didn’t help that I read this after Beautiful Darkness. (Well, 100 or so pages of Beautiful Darkness before I had to return it to the Library. Life is busy, it leaves hardly any time for books.) So every time I read “Lena” I couldn’t help thinking of Beautiful Creatures. People really like to call their characters Lena/Lina in books. Lena in Delirium, Lena in Beautiful Creatures, Lina in Between Shades of Gray, Lina in City of Ember… There are probably more.

The Plot

Was SO predictable. I knew what was going to happen at every single point. Nothing ever surprised me, not even the big “twist” at the end.

The Characters

Have no personality. I thought about this, trying to find a defining trait for Lena, or any trait at all, but seriously. She is so bland. I guess I didn’t notice because her descriptions are pretty and stuff, but when it comes down to it, she has no personality. Neither does Julian. I think I remember Alex having a personality, but I’m not too sure. He definitely has more of one than Julian.

The Romance

Yes, it was kind of sweet, a lot better than hush, hush, but was more like insta-love than anything else. They fell in love in like… a week? Two? Something ridiculous like that, even Lena was still really hung up over her last boyfriend DYING. You know, the “love of her life” GETTING SHOT. But no, she just falls for this other random guy with no personality.

Character Development

I hope they explain how Lena knows how to fight and how to shoot a gun. It was cool to see her become stronger, but it came out of nowhere. I don’t remember Raven ever giving her lessons on how to use a handgun.

Julian’s Eyes

Julian’s eyes are described like water, they reflect the colours they see. I’ve never met anyone who’s eyes are like that, but I guess it might be possible. But at some point his eyes are described as blue, gold and purple, all at the same time. What. No. Eyes don’t come in that colour. Just, no.

Pros

The Writing Style

Is still gorgeous. Lauren Oliver has beautiful imagery in her descriptions. I feel like sometimes the action can be very bland in comparison, but she really has a skill for description. Though the time spent on description really does slow down the book a lot. The majority of it seems like description.

No Book Flinging

I realised that I put a lot in the Cons, but I did not hate the book. On the contrary, it was pretty good. It was just so “meh” that I don’t know what else to say. This entire book screams “meh”. Well no, that’s kind of an oxymoron. It sighs “meh”, I guess.

Quotes

  • “Grief is like sinking, like being buried. I am in water the tawny color of kicked-up dirt. Every breath is full of choking. There is nothing to hold on to, no sides, no way to claw myself up. There is nothing to do but let go.
    Let go. Feel the weight all around you, feel the squeezing of your lungs, the slow, low pressure. Let yourself go deeper. There is nothing but bottom. There is nothing but the taste of metal, and the echoes of old things, and the days that look like darkness.”
     
  • “In approved places, every story serves a purpose. But forbidden books are so much more. Some of them are webs; you can feel your way along their threads, but just barely, into strange and dark corners. Some of them are balloons bobbing up through the sky: totally self-contained, and unreachable, but beautiful to watch.
    And some of them- the best ones- are doors.”

Overall

I seriously don’t know how to rate this. On one hand, the writing style is so beautiful. On the other, the plot was predictable, and the characters were boring. It feels far too harsh to rate it the same has Nevermore.

3 shuriken stars. Or maybe 2 1/2 shuriken stars. You choose.

Flesh and Bone – Jonathan Maberry

So as yesterday was supposed to be the “apocalypse” here’s a review of what could have happened 😛

Flesh & Bone (Benny Imura, #3)I hate you Jonathan Maberry. First you kill off my favourite character. Then you kill off my second favourite character… ;( WHY?!?!?! Why do you have to be such a good author and who then makes your readers suffer. And then you make me depressed and sad for characters who are already dead. WHY?
I have so many feelings.
But on a slightly calmer note (hopefully) here’s the summary:

Summary
Benny, Nix, Chong and Lilah are still in the Rot and Ruin. Benny goes off because he’s still sad about Tom and because he is so smart and such a “hero” he falls into a ravine full of zombies who want to bite him! While he is in the ravine he sees this girl who is still alive about to fall and get eaten, so of course he goes all macho and tries to save her, but in the end his friends end up saving him. So then they have a new mystery on their hands; who the girl is and where her family is. So to cut a long story short and to avoid spoilers; They get split up and they find themselves in the middle of a “war” between humans (NB not zombies). And lets just say in this war, there is no good guys… And everyone; the good guys, the bad guys, the zombies (kinda), EVERYONE, is trying to reach this place called Sanctuary.

Cons
er… This is the rare occasion where I can’t think of any…

Pros
Cover
I’ve always loved the Benny Imura covers, and by covers, I mean the UK ones. And I guess the US ones…. But not as much, I think I got put of mainly because it had someone’s face on the first book… (I don’t particularly like books with real people on it…), and also the UK covers are so much brighter, and more lively!!!

Dead and Gone
It was the short story given between Dust and Decay and this book. I read it a while ago and I think it really helped actually! It tells the story of Riot, the new character introduced, and it gives a lot of background information and I would definitely recommend it! But it did give me some ideas of what was going to happen (so maybe you should read it after?)

The bad guys
AKA the really weirdly obsessively religious people who think killing is what is the right and moral thing to do.
So you might be thinking why this is in the pros section…
WELL…
If the zombie apocalypse actually happened; I can actually imagine this happening. There would be people who would go kinda weird and think that zombies means lets kill everyone on the planet! So Jonathan Maberry has captured this PERFECTLY. Either that or I have been brainwashed by him 🙂

The Ending
To be honest I’m not sure whether this should go in the cons or pros… It was a such a good ending but at the same time it tore my heart out ;( In fact. It RIPPED my heart out.

;(
There’s no other way of describing this paragraph. It’s just full of tears and depression.
First he kills my favourite character. Then he kills my second favourite character. Then he makes my feel so sad for characters who are already dead.
Tom ;(. He was going to propose… ;( and Mrs Riley… ;(

Favourite Quotes

  • “The whole world turned into an all-you-can-eat buffet”
  • “He never did get right all the way again. And every once in a while he’d come down all bitey”
  • “Death is like that. Relentlessly efficient”
  • “What the hell was that all about?” he asked the elk.
    The elk, being and elk, said nothing.”
  • “When Chong made to sit down next to her, Lilah drew her knife and stabbed the point into the earth between them.
    “I can see that you need some quiet time,” he said and scuttled quickly away.”

Summary
So what are you thinking? 3 stars? 4 stars? 5 stars?
No question. It’s a zombie book. That will just explain everything. 5 shuriken stars. Definitely worth a read; but probably after reading the other books; Rot and Ruin and Dust and Decay and Dead and Gone- the short story.

Between Shades of Gray- Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of GrayNote: this is NOT the same book as Fifty Shades of Gray (NB from now on it will simply be known as “the other one” as I don’t want evil words cluttering up this blog) :P. You won’t believe how many people got freaked out when they saw me reading a book with “Shades of Gray” on the title. But believe me, this book is amazing.
This one is written well, and has no bad scenes in it whatsoever, compared to the other one.
It is one of the best books I have ever read.

Summary
It’s set in the past during WW2. Unlike other books though, this is about Russia or more specifically Lithuania rather than the holocaust.
It follows a girl called Lina, who has been deported with her mother and brother for being “criminals”. And their father isn’t with them.
They get shoved onto a truck and taken to a train station where these men try to separate her brother from them, and so their mum bribes them; the quote is below (the one about the pocket-watch). They then get taken on a long train journey and during stops Lina, her brother and this guy called Andrius try to find their fathers. And they do (at least Lina’s). And he gives them a piece of ham and tells Lina to send him drawings to help find them. Then they arrive at a farming place, where they are forced to farm and stuff. And something happens to Andrius’ mum… ;(
Then they get deported again…
Oh and because it’s a YA book. Of course Andrius and Lina fall in love. But its the cute type rather than the urgh and horrible type.

Cons
NONE

Pros
I love the cover
It symbolises everything the book stands for. And the shoot represents Lina. A person full of hope when everything around her is bleak and deadly.
Wow. Poetic I know. 😉

I love the title
It just goes onto so many levels… ;( It doesn’t just been the colour gray, and to do with drawing and painting and Lina, and oh the watercolour ash. Also the place where they were in, between snow and snow and snow and grays. And gray kinda means depressing doesn’t it? Oh yeah, and the gray people (NB. not zombies)

The Characters
There are too many to write about, and they all deserve their own little word:
Lina: She was awesome. I loved her. I loved how she always kept hope, she in a way reminded me of Viola from the New World, when she finally takes her mother’s hope. I loved her relationships between all the characters, especially all her family and Andruis. Though at times I wanted to punch her, such as when she was being “selfish” from Andrius, but I really loved her for her imperfections because it just made her more human than just a character in a book, which then just made it sadder and sadder because THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED ;(
Andrius: He was awesome. I loved him. He and Lina suited each other so well, and in a way I’m glad they weren’t all gooey and “I love you”, because it wouldn’t have been like that in real life. There was a point though when my heart literally broke for him, when you know… his mum… ;( and suicide and stuff… It hurt inside.
Jonas: Best. Little. Brother. Ever.
The mother: She was just such a good mother, and her relationship between her and her husband was so good. I loved how she always saw the good side of everyone, it was a nice contrast.
The dad: I felt like I actually knew him really well, even though we actually only met him once. The memories of him were just so heartbreaking and sad… ;(
All the other characters with their lives and stuff ;( including everyone who died.

Lina’s drawings
So clever. But it was sad because it was quite idealistic that it would ever arrive… ;(

The writing style
It’s just beautiful. Every little detail represented something. Like all of the characters who were mentioned once, and never again, they all represented something. And the description was amazing and so poetic and urg… it makes me want to reread it all over again despite the heartwrenchingness of it.
I also liked how she split the book so at the end or in the middle of chapters there were the memories of the past.

The ending ;(
I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
Yeah I guess if I just looked at the ending, it was a happy ending, but once I read the manuscript details… 12YEARS. ;(

Real. Life. 
This stuff happened in real life. Parts of it were real accountants of people there. It makes me feel cold and numb inside. How can people really be that horrible?

Favourite Quotes

  • “Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.”
  • “Sometimes there is such beauty in awkwardness.”
  • “November 20. Andrius’s birthday. I had counted the days carefully. I wished him a happy birthday when I woke and thought about him while hauling logs during the day. At night, I sat by the light of the stove, reading Dombey and Son. Krasivaya. I still hadn’t found the word. Maybe I’d find it if I jumped ahead. I flipped through some of the pages. A marking caught my eye. I leafed backward. Something was written in pencil in the margin of 278.
    Hello, Lina. You’ve gotten to page 278. That’s pretty good!
    I gasped, then pretend I was engrossed in the book. I looked at Andrius’s handwriting  I ran my finger over this elongated letters in my name. Were there more? I knew I should read onward. I couldn’t wait. I turned though the pages carefully, scanning the margins.
    Page 300:
    Are you really on page 300 or are you skipping ahead now?
    I had to stifle my laughter.
    Page 322:
    Dombey and Son is boring. Admit it.
    Page 364:
    I’m thinking of you.
    Page 412:
    Are you maybe thinking of me?
    I closed my eyes.
    Yes, I’m thinking of you. Happy birthday, Andrius.” (NB. Sorry for the long quote, but I just love it so much!)
  • “We’d been trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean.”
  • “I shut the bathroom door and caught sight of my face in the mirror. I had no idea how quickly it was to change, to fade. If I had, I would have stared at my reflection, memorizing it. It was the last time I would look into a real mirror for more than a decade.”
  • “I planted a seed of hatred in my heart. I swore it would grow to be a massive tree whose roots would strangle them all.”
  • “No. Don’t be scared. Don’t give them anything Lina, not even your fear.”
  • “Krasivaya. It means beautiful, but with strength. Unique.”

Summary
Are you joking? 5 shuriken stars. No doubt about it. You have no idea how much self control it takes to not put caps lock on now and scream for everyone to read it! So please, to avoid me screaming and hugging and god knows what else, READ IT. (Sorry couldn’t help myself…)

The Traitor Game- B R Collins

Just to let you know in advance I don’t have any strong feelings about this book; good and bad. But even saying that, it was a pretty good book.

The Traitor GameSummary
Michael Thompson gets bullied out of his old school and starts afresh. But that’s just background knowledge. So at his new school his mum makes him make friends with this guy from church or something called Francis. And yeah it becomes all happy and your totally my best friend even though Francis is considered “one of the cool guys” and Michael is considered a “loser”. And then they create this imaginary world together called Evgard, and it’s their secret. So then one day Michael gets a note in his locker saying that they have seen Evgard/ Ancaster (a town). Then he goes all physco and angry and is basically a complete idiot because he thinks Francis betrays him. Then blah blah they fall out and Michael does some really horrible things; e.g. telling the bully that Francis is gay and leaving Francis on his own when he’s getting beat up. But in the end they get back together, and dum dum dum he realises that some of the stuff that he said was true. Also, there are kinda two stories; one of real life and one of Evgard.

Wow… that was a short summary…(!)

Cons
Some parts were predictable
Like I could guess who placed the note there… That’s what I sometimes don’t get about authors… They just make it so obvious who does what later in the book, ie why else would they bother introducing another character?

Homophobicness
Some parts went a little too far I thought. Like when Michael kept going on about how it was the worst thing someone could say to a bully…

Pros
Francis’ secret (NB DON”T read below unless you don’t mind SPOILERS)
I like how he ended up gay. It was a small detail, but in the end I’m glad it happened, otherwise there would have been way too much homophobic stuff going on.

The Evgard story
Sometimes I liked the Evgard story more than the real one. Is that bad? That I like fiction fiction over fiction? I like how Michael’s parallel self wasn’t just an alterior ego but it was actually him.

No love triangle/ square/ line/ whatever shape you can think of
NO TYPICAL YA GOOEY STUFF!!! I guess, sometimes at parts I missed it, but hey ho, I’m putting it in the Pros because it makes the book stand out more as Fantasy than fading into the YA fiction stuff.

I love the cover
Yeah, I know, “never judge a book by its cover”… BUT BUT BUT… eurg… THIS COVER IS SO AWESOME!!! It’s like two books in one BOOKCEPTION! And it’s like Evgard and real life and how they mix and stuff… It just says so much to me after I’ve read it…

Favourite Quotes

  •  “I should have known better than to stand when the sky was blue”
  • “The earth’s orbit didn’t slow down. The world didn’t stop falling.”

Summary
4 shuriken stars.

Thirteen Days to Midnight- Patrick Carmen

I am Indestructible.

I love this phrase from the book (Yeah, I know it’s simple and stuff… but it’s awesome!). I really wish I had come up with it so I can use it as my catchphrase. Therefore throughout this review starting from now I am going to use it as many times as I possibly can to celebrate how awesome that phrase is.

Thirteen Days to Midnight. DUM DUM DUM!!! It’s a pretty awesome book. The best I’ve read in a long time (so this review may be slightly biased towards the good side…). But of course it’s going to be good when Michael Grant (author of Gone, Hunger, Lies, etc.) recommends it.

Thirteen Days to MidnightSummary
On the night of Jacob Fielding’s adopted dad’s death he whispers three words to him: “You are Indestructible“. Then he dies in a car crash, but miraculously Jacob escapes unharmed, not even a scratch, even though he was in the same car.
A new girl called Ophelia James (also known as “Oh”) arrives in his little town and becomes friends with Jacob and his best friend Milo. And so they discover what “I am Indestructible” really means…
Jacob and Jacob alone (and by alone I mean, Oh and Milo as well) has the power to keep someone from harm with his “I am Indestructible” power. So they check out the news and stuff, so if anyone ever goes missing or is drowning, Jacob passes his power to them and ends up saving them from Death…
But “The Grim Reaper doesn’t disappear… he catches up.” From the Blurb.
And then the ending happens… but I can’t talk about it because it is so so so so so so good and by good I mean the ending is “Indestructible” within my heart. So obviously I can’t tell you…

Cons
Oh and Jacob
… AFTER TWO (or maybe three or four or five- I can’t really remember- just a number under thirteen) DAYS HE MAKES A MOVE ON HER… Just because she’s “pretty and dangerous”… He didn’t even really care about her personality because seriously… how can you actually get to know someone after two days…
But on the other hand… They were really cute together… Their love was “Indestructible“… even up to and including death. ;(

Pros
The Ending
sfhNEUKNARLCU. It tore my heart out. It’s like one of those Monsters of Men endings… ;(. But the good thing is, this time there is a “One week Later”… Urg,.. Forget it. It says so on the blurb on goodreads. So I’m just going spit it out. So I guess. Spoiler Alert- From Goodreads” “What if to save the girl he loves, he has to kill her?”… ;( so so so so sad… And because their love was “Indestructible” it must have killed him so much doing it over and over… ;(

Milo
The name says it all. How can someone be called Milo and NOT BE AWESOME? (Yeah, I may be sighting tweenies…. but seriously… even on that, Milo was pretty epic). He’s just such a good friend and knows Oh and Jacob so well… There was this one time though that I wanted to hit Jacob because he just ditched Milo for someone else… ;( It also makes me want to hit my brother because he’s doing the same idiotic thing to his best friend…

The Black Lion
AWESOME. Two “personalities” in one! And the way that he wrote it and stuff made it seem alive and all “I’m going to eat you because I’m a lion” attitude. AWESOME. I also like how it got confused about it’s “home”. It was cute imagining a “Indestructible” lion get confused… Although I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to actually see that in real life.

Oh
Ophelia James. Oh. I liked the name Oh actually. Although at times I did get a little confused “Oh! NO!” I like how she “developed”. It was quite cool but at the same time quite sad how she became more and more consumed… But it really tore my heart out when she wrote each of the crosses… ;( It turned out at the end she wasn’t as “Indestructible” as she thought…

Superpowers!
The last line was really cute. I’ll put it below. It rounded the story off nicely starting and ending with superpowers. At the beginning I was thinking of the normal superpowers that people think of. In the end I think I settled with Flying. But at the end I found myself agreeing with Jacob, the superpower to never be alone would be nice (but at times it would be a little annoying…) All superpowers have their “Indestructible” downfall somehow I guess…

Favourite Quotes

  • “I’ve stabbed two people with a fork today. What’s wrong with me?”
  • “The Grim Reaper doesn’t disappear… he catches up.”
  • “I go to a Catholic school and I’m telling you: invisibility = eternal damnation. You can take it to the bank.”
  • “Did I mention you’re going to have to drive on our date?” I asked.
    “Cheap bastard
  • “All I really want is to stay with my friends all the way to the end.
    The power to never be alone is the only answer there is for a guy like me”

Summary
So if you’ve managed to put up with all of my “Indestructibleness” throughout this review, give a pat on your back. 😛
So at the beginning I’d say it’s a four star book, but it picks up and becomes so freaking amazing in the end when akdsfhjasdfkjhl happens… ;(
But I guess Overall I’d give it 4.5 shuriken stars 🙂 An “Indestructible” book.