Friday, August 30, 2013

Movie News: MORE Divergent!!

Can you guys tell that I'm really excited for this? More footage from the Divergent set has surfaced - a behind the scenes look and cast interview. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday (16)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...

Eve by Anna Carey 

Summary from Goodreads:

"The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. 

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
Lately my local shopping centre has set up a little stall with piles and piles of books for only $5. So, naturally, I decided to buy a ton of books. One of the books I picked up was Once by Anna Carey, which just so happens to be the sequel to Eve - so, naturally, I have to get the first novel eventually. 

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Movie News: Divergent Teaser Trailer

The first teaser trailer for Divergent was just shown at the VMAs - how exciting! What do you think?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book Review: A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone #1) by Sue Grafton

A is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone #1) by Sue Grafton
Release Date: 1st November 2005
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia 
Format: eBook
Pages: 320
Rating: 4.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY, 2013 EBC, 2013 GVR and 2013 BSR

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"PI Kinsey Milhone, in a pretty California town, gets her first case. Laurence Fife was a slick divorce lawyer and slippery ladies' man until someone killed him. Released from jail after 8 years, his wife Nikki wants the truth. But the trail is cold, and at the end is a chilling twist - a second eight-year-old murder and a brand new corpse."

It took a while for me to get into this. I wasn't find anything spectacular in the story, and I felt that it was really just going through the motions - Kinsey was finding evidence, formulating some sort of idea as to who the killer was, but then, of course, her theory gets knocked around because things aren't adding up, etc etc. It wasn't really until at least half way through the book that things started to pick up.

Around about here was when some genuine surprises were thrown my way. There were some twists in there that I didn't see coming, even though I had some sort of inkling as to who the killer was. And it wasn't until the final 3 chapters or so that everything fell into place. Kinsey had it all figured out, there was the final showdown that I was expecting, and then very abruptly, the novel ended. Maybe it was just me, but I found that ending very quick, pretty convenient, and it prevented me from seeing some other things I wanted to see - Kinsey explaining it all to Nikki, telling the police - I just think that ending could have been longer, we could have seen some things after. 

Overall, this was a quick and easy read, and although it took me some time to get really interested in it, I really enjoyed it - my only major qualm is with the ending. Definitely something worth checking out if you're interested in a short, quick crime read. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday (15)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Summary from Goodreads:

"It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.
Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
I was watching Carrie on her Youtube channel ItsWayPastMyBedtime just yesterday, and she decided to make a video recommending 10 novels. Her last pick was this one, and she couldn't stop gushing about how amazing it was. So of course I had to go and check it out online - and it sounds right up my alley. I just had to add this to my wishlist. 

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Release Date: 28th June 2011
Publisher: Baker and Taylor
Format: eBook
Pages: 544
Rating: 4.5/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY, 2013 EBC and 2013 GVR

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed."

Coming off from reading Days of Blood and Starlight, this was always going to have to fight an uphill battle. And, surprisingly, this book didn't fail to impress. 

The Help is set in the small town of Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960s, during the time of the civil rights movement. We follow three ladies - Skeeter, a young aspiring author, and Aibileen and Minny, two black maids working for two white families - as they come together and try to make a difference, however small it may be. 

I've never read about this period of time before, so that it itself was quite interesting. The racism everywhere - from how the town is segregated into sections based on race, to Hilly's campaign to install additional bathrooms in all houses employing black maids because of their 'diseases' - it's just astounding to read that and think that people used to live like that. And nothing was ever done about it because either a) people had just come to accept the way things were (in Aibileen's case) or b) they just never thought about how wrong it all was (in Skeeter's case). Just that in itself was fascinating to read. 

I loved each of our three narrators for different reasons. Each had their own little story, and each grew throughout the novel and bridged the gap between the races. Minny grew to care for her employer on a personal level, for the first time. Skeeter grew to really appreciate her childhood maid, Constantine, and see her friends' true colours. And my favourite part by far, Aibileen decided to teach Maw Mobley, the little girl she looked after, that there was no difference between black people and white people. It may have gotten Maw Mobley in trouble a couple of times, but I loved that Aibileen taught her to see people for who they really are, not just the colour of their skin.

I loved so very many aspects of this novel, and it's a fascinating read - I'd suggest checking it out (or even just the movie, I heard that was pretty good too).    

Friday, August 16, 2013

A to Z Book Blogger Survey

A little while ago Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner created this little survey about all things bookish. I love surveys, so I thought I'd have a go!

Author You've Read the Most Books From: 
Marian Keyes (I think). I've read all her books so it's a good guess that she's the one I've read the most of 

Best Sequel Ever:

Currently Reading:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett 

Drink of Choice While Reading:
Probably just water

E-reader or Physical Book?
I love my e-reader, oh so very much, but I'm always going to prefer a physical book over an electronic one

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School:
Let's go with Noah from the Mara Dyer series

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - I always knew I was going to read this, but it took me quite some time to actually get around to that. I'm glad I finally did!

Hidden Book Gem:
Juliet by Anne Fortier - I picked this up on a whim and was really surprised

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
Probably when I decided to start this blog. Reading had been falling to the wayside for a few years but I really wanted to get back to it, and having a blog to write down my thoughts pushed me to read more than I ever have before - and I love it!

Just Finished:

Kinds of Books You Won't Read:
Almost anything non-fiction

Longest Book You've Read:
At 864 pages, that would be A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Major Book Hangover Because of:
I don't usually suffer from book hangovers, but I did find it a struggle to pick up a book after Days of Blood and Starlight

Number of Bookcases You Own:
Just one

One Book you have Read Multiple Times:
I don't tend to re-read books, and if I do, it's only to skim over the plot before I move onto the sequel

Preferred Place to Read:
Curled up in my bed

Quote That Inspires You:
I don't record quotes from books, but I'll hit you up with one from Charlie Chaplin: A day without laughter is a day wasted

Reading Regret:
Not reading the Harry Potter series. When the books first came out my mum tried to get me into it, but it just never happened - I've only read that last one

Series You Started and Need to Finish:
The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Two down, two to go)

Three of your All Time Favourite Books:

Unapologetic Fangirl for:
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Mara Dyer series

Very Excited for this Release More than All the Others:
Allegiant By Veronica Roth (just over 2 months to go)

Worst Book Habit:
Maybe sometimes I don't treat my books so well...

X Marks the Spot: Start at the Top of your Shelf and pick the 27th Book:

Your Latest Book Purchase:
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Zzz-Snatcher Book (last one that kept you up way to late):

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday (14)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...

Easy by Tammara Webber 

Summary from Amazon:

"Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn't easy...

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior...
The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he'd worked so hard to overcome, and the future she'd put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth - and find the unexpected power of  love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
New Adult isn't something I've read a lot of, if any. It's not that I don't want to, its just that I haven't gotten around to it yet. So, what better way to introduce myself to the genre than with a book that I've heard nothing but good stories about? I've heard everyone raving about Easy, I just had to at it to my wishlist!

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
Release Date: 6th November 2012
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 513
Rating: 5.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 ODY and 2013 BSR

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?"

**This review has spoilers! (Sorry, I couldn't help myself). Read at your own risk!**

Ahh this series. It just gets better and better - which means I'm super excited for the final instalment next year (I mean, who isn't?!?). It's just soooo good guys.

Right, so onto the book. Now that Karou knows all about her past, she's travelled to Eretz to help the chimaera with their new rebellion against the seraphim. On the other side, we've got Akiva grieving over the loss of Karou, and as punishment for everything he's done, he forces himself to continue fighting the seraphim's battles. 

From there, a range of events occur, ranging from the terribly sad, to the downright awesome, to crazy moments where shit goes down. And every single thing that happened in this book, I absolutely loved. The story went places that I wasn't expecting, this occurred that I could never have predicted, and I absolutely love that. These days, predictability in books can be an issue, so it's always refreshing to come across a book that doesn't fail to surprise you. 

There were a multitude of POV's in this book, which I'm always a fan of since they usually keep me extra interested in the story. We got to hear from Zuzanna, Akiva, various chimaera and seraphim, but I particularly liked reading about Karou and her POV, now that she has her chimaera memories. It was interesting to see how Madrigal influenced her personality and decisions - how she had this fierce need to redeem herself with the chimaera because of Madrigal's actions, and also this overwhelming desire to do Brimstone proud because of what he did for her, in both her Madrigal and Karou life. It was interesting to see how she managed her chimaera and human sides.

Overall, everything I loved about the first book was carried through in the second. I absolutely love this series, and I couldn't recommend it enough. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday (13)

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Summary from Goodreads:

"Rapunzel's tower is a satellite. She can't let down her hair - or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 
When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can." 

Why I'm Wishing for It:
We're two books into this series and I'm absolutely loving it! Anything that includes a story re-told is an instant fave of mine, so this series, which so far has retold the classic fairytales of Cinderalla and Little Red Riding Hood was always going to be something I loved. And now this - a retelling of Rapunzel - it's just genius. I can't wait until this one's released next year. 

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Book Review: A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin
Release Date: 16th June 1999
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: eBook
Pages: 752
Rating: 5.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 OTS, 2013 ODY, 2013 EBC and 2013 BSR

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"In this thrilling sequel to A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a work of unsurpassed vision, power, and imagination. A Clash of Kings transports us to a world of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare unlike any we have ever experienced.

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel . . . and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles."

**This review has spoilers! (Sorry, I couldn't help myself). Read at your own risk!**

Everything I loved in the first book is delivered in this great sequel, and so, so much more. Lets take this one step at a time.

Firstly, along with the characters we all know and love, we're given two new narrators - Theon Greyjoy (who we've met before) and Davos, a knight (?) who serves Stannis Baratheon. This takes our narrator count up to 9 (those of you who have read my review for A Game of Thrones will know we had 8 narrators in that book). The range of narrators just makes this novel so much more interesting - not only do you get to see everything, but you get to know these characters much more so than if we had one narrator. Plus, you'll come to love (almost) every character, each for their own unique reasons.

With the range of narrators, balancing how much we hear from each one can be tricky. We need to know the full story, and some parts of that can only be provided by one narrator, so the balance is crucial. I think it's done pretty well, but I do wish that we heard more for Danaerys. I want to hear more about her dragons! And I'm eagerly awaiting the day that she makes her strike and begins the war to reclaim her throne. That will be some enthralling stuff. 

The plot itself is a solid follow on from what was established in the first novel. For a rather long novel, I was surprised that I did feel like the story lagged at all; the plot itself really was quite solid. Whilst I did find that I got weary with the story the more I read, that was more to do with the length of the novel itself, rather than the plot. Whilst I wish that maybe the books were just a little shorter, I don't think that could have been achieved - I think this book covered everything it needed to, none of which could have been left out. Each character's story forged ahead at a solid pace, and I am really looking forward to picking up the third novel to see where it leads them. If the TV series is any indication, I'm going to need to prepare myself. 

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