Friday, 28 December 2012

Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (UK) Ltd (5 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848451725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848451728
"I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a cosmic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Cover: I really like that the titles and authors names are on the New York styled street signs, but others wise it's kind of a boring cover and doesn't scream 'READ ME' at me.

Unfortunately this just wasn't for me.
I found the protagonists Dash and Lily, plus the writing styles very pretentious.
Their characters and the plot lines were not believable and verged on the ridiculous.
Lily annoyed me- for a sixteen year old girl, she was highly immature and this just grated on me.  Maybe because I was not like that at sixteen, and even my brother who is now sixteen isn't even that immature- it just grated on my nerves.  I mean who would use a chalk board instead of talking to their parents at that age???
Plus the idea that family members would help you communicate with a random stranger in New York seems to go against all safe guarding to me.
I think it also tries too hard to be funny and resonating at the same time.  The over use of parenthesis drove me insane- to the point where if I see another bracket any time soon I may flip.
At the end of the day I was disappointed with this book.  What I really wanted was a cute, Christmas contemporary with a sweet romance to it.  And I didn't get that.  I got something I had to force myself to finish- it never gripped me and made me want to turn another page.
I think this book appeals to a niche sector that I'm not in.
Over all 1.5/5 stars.

The Infinite Book Challenge

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

A deceptively easy question for this week (easy to ask but possibly hard to answer): What are/were your favorite book(s) of the year? (Bonus points if you know how many books you read.)

Bonus points! I've read 110 books this year!  I'm hoping to squeeze in a couple more before the end of the year though.

This would be a tough question if I had to limit how many I could say were favourites, but as it doesn't I assume the sky is the limit...or at least 110 anyway ;)

In all seriousness I have discovered loads of new favourites this year, here are a lot of them-

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

Any books you’re particularly hoping to be gifted this year? Any that you’re giving as presents this holiday season?

I doubt that I will get books for Christmas simply because even though I'd really love them, my family and friends struggle to keep up with what I have and what I haven't read or got, so they find it hard to buy them for me.  If anything I may receive some gift cards or money for books :)

I am giving some people books for Christmas- my grandad and a couple of friends, but I can hardly say what here in case they read this.

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker; First Edition edition (15 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184655523X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846555237
  • In this mesmerizing debut, a competition between two magicians becomes a star-crossed love story. 
    The circus arrives at night, without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within nocturnal black and white striped tents awaits a unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stand awestruck as a tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and gaze in wonderment at an illusionist performing impossible feats of magic. 
    Welcome to Le Cirque des Reves. Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is underway - a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game," in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.
  • Cover: Both the UK and US covers of this book are not only stunning but relevant as well!  I know I bang on about that a lot but for me, that's an important factor in a cover.  The black and white colour scheme with a burst of red, the circus, the man and woman even down to the umbrella, hat, birds and cards ARE ALL IN THE BOOK.  Beautiful and relevant- the best type of cover.  This has to be one of my all time favourite covers.
  • This book had been sitting on my shelf for over a year!  It's taken me this long to pick it up as a few reviews I'd read commented on the detail of the book, saying it was overly detailed, and the fact that it is an adult fantasy, and not my normal 'go-to' YA I was a little hesitant.
  • But now I regret putting it off for as long as I did!   I felt drawn to pick it up as a fancied reading something 'magical' for this time of year.
  • I loved this book.  The beautiful setting of the circus- dozens of amazingly detailed and different tents from fortune telling and bottled memories to a cloudmaze and grand illusions.  The variations are wonderful and I couldn't wait to read more of them, discovering more and more tents.  I loved that every once in a while there would be a page addressing the reader directly, 'you walk through the tents' etc and it would wonderful!  It was like Erin Morgenstern placed you into the circus and it gave you the depth to experience it yourself.
  • The romance was an aspect I really liked.  I enjoyed both Marco and Celia as characters but felt that I wanted them to interact a little bit more before they were irrevocably in love with each other.  That's my only complaint, otherwise I loved them as a couple.
  • The game between the illusionists was definitely interesting, seeing them come up with elaborate ideas and build on each others work.
  • The only problem is at the end, despite revelations, I just felt 'what was the whole game for?'
  • I have to give The Night Circus 5/5 stars!  I was hooked from the first page!  Every page was sensational and magical and I definitely recommend it to everyone!  It's a must-experience book!
  • Whilst it is an adult book I can see this appealing to many readers of YA.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

So … you’ve just finished reading a book. For the sake of the discussion, we’ll say it was everything a book should be—engaging, entertaining, interesting, thought-provoking. The kind you want to gush over. The question is—do you immediately move on to your next book? Or do you take time to contemplate this writerly masterpiece and all its associated thoughts/emotions/ideas for a while first?

Normally when I've finished a good book I have what is known as a 'book- hangover'.

When I'm still in love with the characters, and the world building, that for just a little while longer, I don't want to leave it and move on.
Some example are, Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Throne of Glass and Anne of Green Gables.
It's when everything about the book you've just read it perfect, and in your mind nothing will ever live up to it, so every book from then on will be a disappointment.
Of course it's not, but it's an irrational thought at the time.
So...normally when I finished a book I don't start another book that day.  I start a fresh the next, that gives me time to put my thought in order and start to put together a review on it.  Otherwise reviews back up, thoughts get jumbled and my blog ends up a mess.

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

Received for review
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (18 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007498845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007498840
  • THE GRAVEYARD BOOK meets JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL in this gothic steampunk page-turner for readers of all ages.

    Bartholomew Kettle won't live long. Changelings never do. The child of a human mother and a faery father, Bartholomew is a secret, despised by both his races. If the English don't hang him for witchcraft, the faerys will do something worse. So his mother keeps him locked away, hidden from the world in the faery slums of Bath.

    But one day Bartholomew witnesses a mysterious lady kidnap another changeling through a shadowy portal, and he realizes the danger is closer than ever before. Changelings are surfacing in the rivers, their bodies empty of blood and bone and their skin covered in red markings. A powerful figure sits in the shadows, pushing the pieces in place for some terrible victory. When a sinister faery in a top-hat begins to stalk Bartholomew's steps, he knows it's his turn. Something is coming for him. Something needs him. But when you're a changeling there's no where to run...
  • Cover: I love this cover! Beautiful, bright and relevant!
I'm not a huge middle-grade reader but thought this sounded amazing, the cover drew me in and after reading Chris Colfer's The Land of Stories, I definitely wanted to give more middle grade a try.
I had such high expectations of this book.  
I loved the steampunk/gothic setting of an alternative Bath and London, filled with fey.
I loved the original and creative character names that made the book feel completely different to anything I'd read before.  For example Arthur Jelliby and Mr Lickerish.
I really liked Arthur's character- he was very much a reluctant hero.  He hates being the only one with the knowledge of who is killing changlelings as he knows putting a stop to it is dangerous, and yet it's the right thing to do.
Bartholomew is a sweet, funny yet lonely character, and we get to follow him on his adventure of trying to find his sister as well as a desperately needed friend.
It did take a while for me to get into this book.  I found the first 150-200 pages were a lot of build up and were quite slow, which for me at the age of 20 is fine, but I think as this is a 'middle-grade' book aimed at younger readers, the slowness may bore them before the action really kicks in.
I really enjoyed this book, but it never got to the point where I couldn't put it down.  
However, having said that, I think now that the world building has set up, plus a cliff hanger, will mean that the sequel will get going much faster and hopefully draw me in much quicker.
Definitely an enjoyable read with an amazing world that has made me want to read the next book.
3.5/5 stars.
Definitely check it out if you're a middle-grade fan.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

Do you keep a list of the books you’ve read? How? In a journal? Through one of the online services? If so, WHY? To keep good records for future reference? To make sure you don’t accidentally reread? If not, why not? Too eager to move on to the next book? Too lazy? Never thought to bother?

I do keep a list.  I use, which keeps track of what I read, when, etc plus of course this blog keeps track of what I read.
I don't do it so I don't accidentally re-read, I have a good memory for what I've read and what I haven't.  I really only started keeping track when I started book blogging/vlogging since it helps me know what I've reviewed and what I still need to.
Plus I love that you can set yourself challenges on Goodreads so you know the actual amount of books you read in a year etc.