Monday, 31 January 2011

Linger

Book title: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
First published: 2010
No of pages: 416

Description: (from the back cover) Grace and Sam must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping dangerous secrets. For Sam, it means grappling with his werewolf past ... and figuring out a way to survive the future. But just when they manage to find happiness, Grace realizes she's changing in ways she could never have expected.

Review: Linger is the sequel to Shiver and the second in the trilogy ''The Wolves of Mercy Falls'', with the last book being Forever (which has still not been published). I bought the first book, Shiver, in England in the summer. I'd seen the Greek translation of it over here and had decided I had to read it. So, when I got the chance to buy it, I did! And I can honestly say I devoured the book! I absolutely loved it! So, I finished it in one day while we were on holiday. It was so hot that day and I ended up getting so sunburnt just because I wouldn't put the book down. You can imagine my dismay when I decided I had to read the next book straight away but had not bought it when I could. So, I had to wait until Christmas when I would go to Athens to buy it! But I did!!!

I absolutely loved Linger! This one actually took me two days to finish, but I was rather busy, so it was inderstandable. This book lived up to my expectations. I was quite excited to read it and it did not disappoint me! The theme of the book might resemble quite a few of the books that have been published over the past few year, but even still there is a very main difference. Even thought the plot revolves around werewolves, there are no vampires in sight, and the werewolf characteristic is brought on by a virus that is triggered by the weather.

The book is honestly worth reading. It is very well written and the story is very interesting and makes you want to keep on reading it. Even though I have to admit I had an inkling of what would happen in the second book just by reading the first one, it was even better than expected. I don't want to say anything more than that, because I don't want to spoil it for any of you who would like to read Linger, but have not read Shiver either. I totally recommend it though!

Rating: 8/10


Author: And as always, the info about the author. Maggie Stiefvater is the bestselling author of young adult fiction novels who is based in Virginia. She has a B.A. in history from the Mary Washington College and has also worked as a very successful portrait artist. She is currently married and has two children.
Her other novels include ''Lament'' and  ''Ballad'', and she has contributed a story to the book ''Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love''.


And the links for more information!

Counts as Book #3 in my 100 Books In A Year!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Dark Flame (The Immortals - Book 4)

Book title: Dark Flame (The Immortals - Book 4)
Author: Alyson Noel
Publisher: MacMillan
First published: 2010
No of pages: 320

Description: Ever is between three men: Roman, Damen and Jude. She knows who her true love is, but she is bound by magyck and is trapped by a passion that is uncontrollable. What will she do to remedy the situation?


Review:  Dark Flame is the fourth instalment of Alyson Noel's The Immotals series. I have read the previous three books in the series and I rather liked them, in a sort of easy-to-read-book way. So when I went to the bookshop, and I saw that the fourth book had come out, I bought it! I didn't start reading it straight away though.

When I did though, I have to admit that I actually found this book to be rather tiring. Nothing much seemed to be going on. The whole book revolved around two main themes, one of them being the passion mentioned in the description. The lack of themes was not my problem with the book. It was more the way that the author went about presenting them. I honestly got to a point where I had read approximately half of the book and it felt like a was basically reading one of the previous books in the series, with a slightly altered main theme.

It's not that it's a bad book per se, it's just that it resembles the previous ones a little too much and it makes the whole reading process a bit tedious. The fact that I did not particularly enjoy this book, however, will not put me off reading the next books in the series. I have already bought the fifth book, which I will be reading sometime this year and then reviewing!

Rating: 4/10


Author: Now, for the customary info about the author. Alyson Noel is an American author. She held a vast variety of jobs, before finally becoming an author. Noel credits the book ''Are you there God? It's me, Margaret'' by Judy Blume as inspiration for becoming an author. Her first ever book was called ''Faking 19'' and it focuses on the lifestyles of teens today. Some of her other books include ''Art Geeks and Prom Queens'', ''Kiss & Blog'' and ''Lacuna Cove''. The titles of the Immortals Series books are (in order):
1. Evermore
2. Blue Moon
3. Shadowland
4. Dark Flame
5. Nightstar
6. Everlasting (due June 7th, 2011)
Alyson Noel has also created a spin-off series from The Immortals, called ''The Riley Bloom Series'', which features Ever's sister, Riley. The first book, ''Radiance'', has been published and the second one, ''Shimmer'' is  due on the 15th March 2011. Here are some selected covers
And again, for anyone who is interested:

Counts as Book #2 in my 100 Books In A Year!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

It's a Kind of Magic

Book title: It's a Kind of Magic
Author: Carole Matthews
Publisher: Headline Review
First published: 2008
No of pages: 410

Description: Emma and Leo have been a couple for years, but when he turns up at her thirtieth birthday party very late and completely drunk, she starts wishing things were a little different. But then Leo meets a very unusual girl named Isobel, falls under her spell and his erratic behaviour seems to completely change before Emma's eyes, making her realise she should be careful what she wishes for...

Review: I bought this book on my Christmas trip to Athens. I had - as always - bought a whole load of books, but for a change, most of them were quite ''serious'' ones (and I don't mean that in a bad way). So, I decided to stick in a book that was a little ''unserious'' (again not meant in a bad way). And I picked this one.

My choice was pretty random. I had seen some books here and there, but I thought this one sounded sweet so I chose it. When I started reading it, it was a short time after New Year and I was in the mood for something sweet, funny and romantic.

I have to admit here that I was a bit disappointed with this book. It's not that it started well and then just lost it's interest. The book's interestingness (yes, new word) was the same pretty much the whole way, except for some paragraphs of ''drama'' in some of the last chapters. It was sweet, it was funny - and not overtly so - and it had romance, too. So I wasn't disappointed in that aspect. No. What disappointed me was the author's way of writing.

What I mean with that is that there were loads of parts in the book that just seemed to go on and on and on, when in all actuality, nothing was really going on. It was either going on and on about Emma's situation (I dumped my boyfriend, but now I want him back) or about Leo's new situation (I love my old girlfriend, but I love my new one too - or something along those lines). With Emma it was either chatter with one of her friends or with her mother and with Leo it was mainly conversations with his two best friends. Which was SO boring. I honestly think she managed to turn a 250-page book into a 400-page one, thus making it for too long for the kind of story she set up.

Rating: I think this book should get 5/10. It's not a bad book or anything like that, but I do find it very off-putting when authors drone on and on about not very much. So, I'm not saying you won't enjoy it. You probably would enjoy the story, just like I did. But, honestly, it was more tiring than enjoying.

Author facts: Carole Matthews was born in St Helen's, Merseyside (that's in the UK, near Liverpool) and was a very avid reader when she was young. But she had never really planned on becoming an author herself. In 1996, she entered a short story contest, which - to her suprise - she won, and was awarded a prize of 1,000 pounds, which she then spent on a writing course. Her tutor liked what she was writing and he recommended her to an agent, leading to the publication of her first book, ''Let's Meet On Platform 8'', in 1997. Since then she has published many books, such as ''The Sweetest Taboo'' and ''You Drive Me Crazy''. Her latest book is called ''The Only Way Is Up'' and is out in hardback right now.
And as always, sources of information about the author, for anyone who might be interested:
Carole Matthews Official Page
Carole Matthews on Lovereading.co.uk
Carole Matthews on Amazon.co.uk

So, Book #1 for my 100 books in a year challenge! Yay! And Book #1 for my British Books Challenge 2011 (as, from my info, Carole Matthews is British)! Good for me!!

Toodles!

100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2011 - Progress

Here I will record my progress for this particular challenge and link my reviews to each book I read!

January
1. It's a Kind of Magic by Carole Matthews
2. Dark Flame (The Immortals - Book 4) by Alyson Noel
3. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
4. One Thing Led To Another by Katy Regan
5. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

February
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
7. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
8. The Other Hand by Chris Cleave (known as Little Bee in the US)
9. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
10. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton
11. The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse
12. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
13. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #1)
14. A Maiden's Grave by Jeffery Deaver

March
15. Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
16. Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #1)
17. Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
18. A Calculated Risk by Katherine Neville
19. Just In Case by Meg Rosoff
20. The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi (The Mysteries of The Greek Detective #1)
21. The Cabinet of Curiosities by Paul Dowswell
22. Slam by Nick Hornby
23. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study #1)
24. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #2)

April
25. The Loop by Nicholas Evans
26. The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan
27. Vampire Diaries: The Awakening + The Struggle (Books 1+2) by L. J. Smith
28. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson
29. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #1)
30. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #2)
31. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study #2)
32. Tyme's End by B.R Collins
33. Wings by Aprilynne Pike (Wings #1)
34. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
35. Room by Emma Donoghue
36. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (Little Blue Envelope #1)
37. Night Star by Alyson Noel (The Immortals #5)
38. Rockoholic by C.J Skuse

May
39. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #2)
40. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
41. Love Falls by Esther Freud
42. The Secret Lives of Sisters by Linda Kelsey
43. Specials by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #3)
44. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
45. Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder (Study #3)
46. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
47. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #3)
48. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely #1)
49. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (eGalley)
50. In The Bag by Jim Carrington

June
51. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (The Caster Chronicles #1)
52. Beyond Nostalgia by Tom Winton
53. 1984 by George Orwell
54. One Chance by Steve May
55. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
56. Random by Craig Robertson
57. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade #1)
58. Beyond The Bougainvillea by Dolores Durando
59. Camille by Tess Oliver
60. The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough
61. Sleepwalking by Nicola Morgan
62. Wildflower Hill by Kimberely Freeman
63. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

July
64. Extras by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #4)
65. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush #1)
66. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey #1)
67. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely #2)
68. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (Paranormalcy #1)
69. A Season of Eden by Jennifer Laurens
70. Love Story by Jennifer Echols
71. The Cambridge List by Robert Clear
72. Wildefire by Karsten Knight (Wildefire #1)
73. Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien (Birthmarked #1)
74. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
75. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1)
76. Ash by Malinda Lo
77. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpartick (Hush, Hush #2)

August
78. The Wilding by Maria McCann
79. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
80. Where Or When by Anita Shreve
81. Babylon Revisited by F. Scott Fitzgerald
82. Candide by Voltaire
83. February by Lisa Moore
84. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
85. Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture by Apostolos Doxiadis
86. The Declaration by Gemma Malley (The Declaration #1)
87. Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon
88. Angle of Incidence by Christy Hayes
89. Fury by Elizabeth Miles (The Fury Trilogy #1)
90. Fake Me A Match by Lauren Barnholdt
91. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
92. Spellbound by Cara Lynn Schultz (Spellbound #1)
93. Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #1)
94. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
95. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

September
96. Sister by Rosamund Lupton
97. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker #1)
98. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
99. One Day by David Nicholls
100. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Caster Chronicles #2)
101. Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho
102. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
103. Past Perfect by Leila Sales
104. Mortlock by Jon Mayhew
105. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

October
106. One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin
107. String Bridge by Jessica Bell
108. The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
109. A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (Gemma Doyle #1)
110. The Hangman in the Mirror by Kate Cayley
111. One Seriously Messed-Up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Unevenful Life of Jack Samsonite by Tom Clempson
112. I heart New York by Lindsey Kelk
113. The Ocean by Mia Castile
114. Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

November
115. A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French
116. Forever by Maggie Stiefcater (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)
117. The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima (Heir Chronicles #1)
118. Face by Benjamin Zephaniah
119. Jessica's Guide To Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (Jessica #1)
120. The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deaver

December
121. Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren (River of Time #1)
122. Immortal by Gillian Shields (Immortal #1) - Audiobook
123. Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder (Healer #1)
124. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

(Note: the books in the above list that have not been reviewed yet, may be reviewed at a later date. Please check my review page for those particular titles)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2011

And now, after checking this blog, I have also decided to enter the 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge!
Don't actually know if I will manage it, but I can definitely try!

Good luck to me then! I have a lot of reading to do, it seems!

I will be updating my progress in a different post and link my reviews to it!

The post with updates to the books I have read can be found here!

British Books Challenge 2011

Hi everyone!

I have decided to participate in the British Books Challenge for the year 2011! I only just saw it on a blog yesterday while browsing and was delighted by the idea! I love reading, so it makes sense if I try one of these out!

I have composed a tentative list of books by English authors to read, which will probably be updated. But just to begin, here goes:

1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen  (Jan 2011)
2. The Declaration by Gemma Malley (Aug 2011)
3. The Loop by Nicholas Evans  (Apr 2011)
4. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby  (Feb 2011)
5. The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse  (Feb 2011)
6. It's a Kind of Magic by Carole Matthews  (Jan 2011)
7. One Chance by Steven May (Jun 2011)
8. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (May 2011)
9. The Other Hand by Chris Cleave  (Feb 2011)
10. The Secret Lives of Sisters by Linda Kelsey (May 2011)
11. One Seriously Messed-Up Week In The Otherwise Mundane And Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite by Tom Clempson (Oct 2011)
12. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (May 2011)
13. One Thing Led to Another by Katy Regan  (Jan 2011)
14. Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier  (Mar 2011)
15. Just In Case by Meg Rosoff  (Mar 2011)
16. The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi (The Mysteries of the Greek Detective #1)  (Mar 2011)
17. The Cabinet of Curiosities by Paul Dowswell  (Mar 2011)
18. Slam by Nick Hornby  (Mar 2011)
19. The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan  (Apr 2011)
20. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R. L. Stevenson  (Apr 2011)
21. Tyme's End by B.R. Collins  (Apr 2011)
22. Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse (Apr 2011)
23. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams (May 2011)
24. Love Falls by Esther Freud (May 2011)
25. In The Bag by Jim Carrington (May 2011)
26. 1984 by George Orwell (Jun 2011)
27. Sister by Rosamund Lupton (Sep 2011)
28. One Day by David Nicholls (Sep 2011)
29. I heart New York by Linsdey Kelk (Oct 2011)
30. A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French (Nov 2011)
31. Face by Benjamin Zephaniah (Nov 2011)


Total number of books read for the challenge: 31

(Note: the books in the above list that have not been reviewed yet, may be reviewed at a later date. Please check my review page for those particular titles)

Monday, 24 January 2011

Remarkable Creatures


Today I am going to write about another book I read quite recently, while on holiday in England! The book is ''Remarkable Creatures'' by Tracy Chevalier. For those to whom the name of the author might mean something, she is the author of the very well-known book ''The Girl With The Pearl Earring'', which has been made into a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth (yummy!!!). Anyway, this post is about ''Remarkable Creatures''. So, let's get on with it!




As someone might realise just by looking at the cover of the book, the story is about fossils. More specifically, it is the story of two women and their love of fossils, which led them to many great discoveries. Two women who are actual historical characters (even though I have to admit I had never heard of them before...). The book tells the story of two women pioneers in the field of fossils: Elizabeth Philpot and Mary Anning.
Set in Lyme Regis, the book tells the story of Mary Anning, who was struck by lightning when she was only a baby and miraculously survived. Mary Anning is an actual physical person, not a fictional character. She used to collect fossils (or ''curies'' as she called them) with her father from a very young age, which they used to sell to people who came to visit Lyme Regis. The used the curies as a way of providing an extra income for their family, as many people would pay for a memento such as that.
The story follows Mary through the years, beggining with her childhood and first meeting with Elizabeth Philpot and going through her big discoveries in the field of fossils, while, at the same time, describing her unique relationship with the other main character, Elizabeth.
I think that I have said more than enough about the book, now... Maybe even TOO much. I think you get the gist of it though!
So, now, on to my own comments about this book. As I mentioned in the introduction, I read this book in the summer after my Grandma recommended that I read it. I was a bit reluctant at first, because I had never read a story by Tracy Chevalier before (even though I had heard of her) and because of the fact that the story did not sound particularly interesting to me, after having read the back cover. But, nevertheless, I decided to read it and I have not regeretted my decision. It truly is a wonderful book! It is very well written and the story is not at all boring (as it turns out). She describes everything in great detail, which is very important, especially in the fossils' department. All in all, I would give this book a rating of 8/10.
Tracy Chevalier is an American novelist, who lives in London. She has a B.A. in English Language from Oberlin College. In 1993 - after many years of working as an editor - she quit her job in order to participate in an M.A. in creative writing, at the University of East Anglia. The first book she published was ''The Virgin Blue'' in 1997, but she rose to fame with her second book, ''The Girl With The Pearl Earring'', which was published in 1999. Her other books include ''The Girl and The Unicorn'' and ''Falling Angels''. ''Remarkable Creatures'' is her latest book.

And, as always, some links for anybody who is interested!

Goodbye for now! Until next time!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Just a note...

Hi everyone!
I'm back! For now! And I hope to be back for the forseeable future... I know I'm going to try...
I will probably have a few new posts in the next two weeks, with reviews that had been half finished before I stopped posting.
Oh! And I am now the proud owner of a book called ''1001 books to read before you die'', so I will be reading quite a few books from there! (And hopefully reviewing them here!)
Until next time!
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