Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Heaven Sent - Meg Cabot (2005)

This was the best book in the series, even if the idea of time travel seemed like it was a last minute idea. I enjoyed the plot of this book immensly, and I like how there wasn't an evil ghost in this one, as it would've have been a predictable ending, unlike the actual ending which was very surprising. My favourite character in this book was Paul, even though he was "evil" for the majority of it, I found him hilarious and very entertaining to read about.

Paul tells Suze that he can travel back in time and he decides to go back in time to stop Jesse from being murdered in the first place. Suze is outraged and when she complains to Father Dominic he suggests that that might've been why Jesse was still around. Suze follows Paul back in time and decides to save Jesse after seeing him alive, however after Jesse kills Diego there is a fire in the barn and Jesse tries to save Suze. When Jesse is holding on to Suze she shifts back to her normal time and accidently takes Jesse back with her. Once there he is in a coma, and the ghost Jesse comes to talk to Suze and is moved by what she has done for him. He then touches his body and he wakes up with all his memories including the 150 years as a ghost. Suze then takes him to her prom.

Grave Doubts - Meg Cabot (2003)

I don't like this book as much as the previous two, I thought it didn't have very much of a plot and Suze annoyed me in this book, I hate it when the characters are all angsty and whiny. The only ghost in this book is Craig Jankow, and there is like two sentences about him in the whole book, and after reading four of these books I knew he wouldn't leave peacefully so this book was a bit predictable. The thing that makes it interesting is all the new information about what Suze can do.

This book is all about how Suze loves Jesse, but he's been ignoring her since their kiss. It is also about Paul, who loves Suze and wants her to be with him, not Jesse. It ends in a massive fight between Paul and Jesse at a party at Suze's house which ends in Suze taking Craig and Paul to the next plain via shifting. Craig is then forced to move on, and Paul returns with Suze to see Jesse has left since his opponent passed out. Jesse then tells Suze that he loves her and has only been ignoring her because he wants her to be with someone she can grow old with.

Young Blood - Meg Cabot (2001)

Continuing to read the mediator series because I want to know how it ends.

This book is just as good as the last one, with new interesting characters that the book is more focused on than the plot. I like the character of Paul, because he's so mysterious it's hard to tell whether he's good or bad most of the time. My favourite character in this book though was Jack, I thought he was really cute and quite smart for a boy his age, and his character also showed how Suze could have been without her dad.

Suze's stepdad Andy is digging in the backyard to put in a hot tub, and Suze is awoken in her sleep by Maria Diego who wants her to stop the digging or she'll hurt her. Suze doesn't give in and tells Jesse that she thinks his bones are buried there and he tells her that he won't move on to the next plain because his murder is proven. However after the bones are found, Jesse goes missing and it's because Jack, a young mediator Suze has been babysitting exorcized him because Maria told him to. Suze then exorcizes herself to get Jesse's soul and bring him back to earth. She then exorcizes Maria and Diego then Jesse kisses her.

Mean Spirits - Meg Cabot (2001)

Once again reading this series I thought this book was better than the previous one.

I thought the plot in this book was even richer than the last one, actually having her get close to the killer and having to interact with him regularly. My favourite character in this book was Father Dominic, I enjoyed learning about his past, and thought it was really nice how much he's starting to care for Suze.

Suze sees a group of teenage ghosts that drove off a cliff try to kill the person in the crash that survived. The boy is Michael Meducci, a nerd with no friends, who starts dating Suze, who only agreed so she could keep him safe. One afternoon when she is driving somewhere with Michael, Sleepy intervenes and says that she has to ride in his car. Once in the car they have an accident because the brakes aren't working, and Suze realizes that it was Michael who tried to hurt them. He purposely drove the other teenagers off the cliff because they threw the party where his sister fell into a pool and into in a coma, and Brad, her other brother who was in the car was also at the party. Suze tries to stop him from killing again but he tries to kill her, and before he can finish the ghosts show up and start beating him, the cops then arrive and take him to jail for attempted murder of Suze and the murder of the other teenagers.

High Stakes - Meg Cabot (2001)

I continued reading this series and I think this book is better than the first.

I enjoyed this book more than the first one because I thought it had a more interesting plot, with an intriguing plot twist which the first book lacked. My favourite character in this book was probably Jesse, I thought it was good how we started to see more of him and to see his character develop some jealously and love for animals. I would recommend this book to any teenage girl because it encompasses many different genres, you don't have to read previous ones to be able to read any of the books in this series either.

A screaming ghost wakes Suze up in the night because she wants her to tell "Red" that it wasn't his fault and he didn't kill her. Suze thinks she means Red Beaumont, a prominent local businessman who turns out to have a very dark past with all his competitors going missing. When Suze questions Red about this, it turns out he wasn't the one who had been killing the people, it had been his brother Marcus, who intends to kill Suze. Before he can kill her though, Jesse intervenes and then all the ghosts of people Marcus has killed pull him into purgatory. It turns out the woman was Andy's previous wife and David's mum, and Suze was to tell David the message because he felt guilty that they pulled the plug on her.

Love You to Death - Meg Cabot (2000)

I read this book because I've read a lot of other Meg Cabot books and Mac told me these were good.

I thought this book was good, there are better Meg Cabot books than this one, but I still liked it. It was well written, and I thought the plot was pretty interesting. My favourite character was David, I thought he was very cute and I like how someone that has only known her a couple months could figure it out before her mum could.

Suze is a mediator, someone who can see and speak to ghosts. When she moves to a new house in California she finds a ghost named Jesse living in her room. She goes to school to find that her principal is also a mediator, the first one other than herself that she's met and he wants her help to get rid of Heather. Heather is the ghost of a teenage girl who won't move on until she kills the boy who dumped her so Suze is forced to exorcize her.

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Brain That Changes Itself - Norman Doidge (2007)

I wanted to read this ever since my psychology teacher waxed lyrical about it. just on opening it, the first 5 and a half pages are filled with raving reviews from journals, newspapers, book-stores and doctors.

This book explains neuroplasticity in plain English. It has amazing stories detailing how the brain is not hardwired, but plastic and can adapt and change. Senses reorganise and strengthen when one is lost, learning disabilities can be remedied through constant repetition, stroke victims can walk and talk again, psychoanalysis changes the brain structurally and as we age there are a variety of activities to keep our brains 'young'.

This book has several chapters, each detailing a different aspect of neuroplasticity using case studies. For exxample, in the first chapter, one woman is constantly falling over because her organ for the balance system is damaged. She is given a hat with a device attached to it that gives tiny electric shocks to her tongue depending on where she is leaning. With this device she can walk without falling. The first time she wore it, once she took it off, her balance remained for a minute. But after months of using it for hours at a time, she no longer needs it. Her brain adapted to percieve balance from input from this device and eventually could perceive balance wthout the necessary organ or an artificial device

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Lone Wolf - Jodi Picoult (2012)

Yes, yet another Picoult book. I pre-ordered this one and picked it up as soon as it was released. Sadly, I haven't had much time to do anything let alone read. So, unlike Picoult novel I would usually devour this one has taken me weeks.

It's not quite up to her usual standards, but I still liked it. The main character Luke was hard to relate and empathise with, which made it a little hard to read.

Luke's life revolves around wolves. It caused his wife and son Edward to leave him. Luke and his daughter, Cara, are in a car crash that leaves Luke in a vegetative state. Edward is called back from Thailand as he is his father's only next of kin as Cara is only 17. Edward wants to terminate life support and Cara does not. He tries to and Cara interrupts, then Edward pulls the plug. Cara tries to bring a murder lawsuit against him, but it does not work out. A guardian is appointed to decide who should be allowed to make the choice. She recommends Cara. The judge however, decides that Luke would not want to live his life lying in a bed and appoints Edward guardian.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Paper Towns - John Green (2008)

When looking through dymocks I found another John Green book, I only have one to go now. Although I didn't like this one as much as The Fault in our Stars I still enjoyed it.

LinkWhen reading John Green's books I always love finding little nerdfighteria references, my parents can't understand why I'm laughing so hard when someone is "editing the blue spotted anglerfish page". Green writes well, if a bit boring in the second part, but it still interested me enough to read it in five days, it would've been faster if I didn't have two tests to study for this week. But it was still an excellent book with a quirky plotline and main character that would interest most people that read the first couple pages. My favourite character was Radar, I thought his character was the perfect combination of funny and sensitive, although I may be biased towards the band geeks in any book, being one myself. I would recommend this to any teen, boy or girl, that likes this genre of book.

Quentin is a month away from graduating high school when his next door neighbour, and most popular girl in school, Margo Roth Spiegelman climbs into his window. She takes him on an adventure to get revenge on her enemies and Quentin has the night of his life and realizes how much he missed hanging out with Margo. When they return home the next morning she tells him that she will miss hanging out with him and then disappears on what everyone thinks is another of her road trips. Every time she leaves on her trips Margo leaves clues for her parents to find her, but they never do. This times she leaves clues for Quentin and he and his friends try to find her. The search ends on graduation day when they have 24 hours to travel to the "paper town" of Agloe to find her. Once they do Margo tells Quentin she's not coming back this time, she's going travelling but will keep in touch. They kiss then he says he'll visit her at the end of summer and she says she'll look forward to it.

Monday, 2 April 2012

The Princess Diaries: Ten Out Of Ten - Meg Cabot (2008)

I never regret reading this series because it always results in me reading this book, probably the best in the series, on par with the second book.

This book has skipped two years since the last book, very similar to the last book in the Mediator series, and Mia's life has developed along the storylines that were set up in the ninth book. This is the longest book in the series, but deservedly so considering it has so much to tell and so much suspense to keep you reading. It is well written like the other books in the series, and I think part of the reason I like this one so much is because the character of Mia has been written like she has matured and it's not as annoying to read as the sixth and seventh. My favourite characters were Michael, Lilly and Boris, Michael was lovely and sweet, Lilly knew just when to butt out and when to state her opinion, and Boris was just extremely cute and nice to Mia.

Michael has returned to Manhattan, Mia has written a romance novel and is trying to get it published, and JP has written a play. Michael flirts with Mia throughout the book and they end up kissing while Mia is still dating JP. Mia's book gets a publishing deal and JP frowns upon it, as well as being unsupportive of her novel, JP's play is actually about him and Mia, although grossly exaggerated on his part. Michael donates a CardioArm to Genovia to help Mia's dad win the election and then saves her on prom night after she breaks up with JP. She learns from Lilly that JP broke up with her because Mia and Michael had broken up and he wanted Mia not Lilly, he also lied to Mia about being a virgin as Lilly told him she had sex with him, and he also had been calling the paparazzi whenever he and Mia went out to get his name in the papers. Michael and Mia reunite, as do Mia and Lilly, and Mia decides to go to Sara Lawrence for college.

The Princess Diaries: To The Nines - Meg Cabot (2007)

When reading this book I always think it might be kind of unnecessary to write the last book because you could end the series with this one, but then I always remember how good the last one is, even though this one has quite a nice ending.

I love the plot twist in this book with the past princess storyline, it makes the book so much more interesting, and is a good way for Mia to accomplish something. I think what the author does in getting rid of Mia's oldest friend and replacing her with her oldest enemy is very clever and is written in a way that makes it seems plausible and seem like you would do the same. My favourite character in this book is definitely Boris, in this and the next book he shows his loyalty for Michael and really looks after Mia without Tina telling him to, I love the last two books partly because of Boris' character becoming more prominent.

Michael replies to Mia's email saying that it's probably best if they date other people and just go back to being friends. This causes Mia to become depressed and her dad forces her to see Dr Knutz, a psychologist, who gets her to try neew things including be friends with Lana considering Lilly won't talk to her after the JP media storm. Michael starts to email Mia occasionally and Mia deletes them because she doesn't think she can reply without begging him to take her back, while this is happening Mia discovers the journal of a past princess who only ruled for twelve days because she died of the plague. It turns out Amelie did accomplished a lot in her twelve days that helped minimize the plague in Genovia as well as constructing a document that made Genovia a democracy rather than a monarchy. Mia reveals this to everyone and then starts to date JP after his persistent efforts to go out with her ever since she broke up with Michael, Boris then tells Mia to reply to Michael so he knows she hasn't forgotten about him and she does.

The Princess Diaries: After Eight - Meg Cabot (2007)

This book marks a bit of a rise for the series coming out of the six and seventh books. It adds a bit of a twist to the storyline to make things more interesting.

This book starts to include samples of Mia's writing as well as her grades from her english teacher which acomplishes two things; it makes you hate Mia's english teacher along with her, and makes you realize how serious she is about writing. This book shows the events leading up to Mia and Michael's break up and in this book I'm sure it's not my future knowledge that makes me hate JP. I probably didn't have a favourite character because they all annoyed me in some way or other so because I just enjoy the little snippets of them I'm going to say Fat Louie and Rocky because they both are so cute and cheer Mia up, also they can't really talk so they can't say anything that will annoy me.

Michael has invented a prototype of a robotic arm that can be used in open heart surgery, he has been invited to Japan to get the actual machine up and running and will be away for a year or more. Mia decides that having sexx with him will make him stay, however the night before he leaves he tells her he isn't a virgin and has slept with Judith Gershner. Mia, of course, freaks out and throws his snowflake necklace at him, symbolising a break up. He comes to school to try to talk about things with her but he comes in when she is hugging JP who convieniently moves his head at the right moment so she kisses him, Michael walked away. She then realizes that she shouldn't have made such a big deal out of the Judith Gershner thing and chases him to the airport but misses him so she sends him an email saying sorry.

The Princess Diaries: Seventh Heaven - Meg Cabot (2006)

Continuing reading this series. I've decided that this is probably the worst in the series.

This book tries to do something different than the last trying to bring all the characters together for a musical of all things, but it doesn't really work as well as the others and I didn't think there was much plot to this book. In this book, Cabot decides to give The Guy That Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chilli a name and character, I don't know if it's because I have read the books and know what he's going to do, but I didn't like JP from the start. My favourite character would have to be Tina, most of the time I find her naivety quite annoying, but in this book she is quite cute and pretty funny.

Mia bankrupts the student council and needs to raise $5000, she tells Grandmere who decides to put on a musical that she has written. She casts Mia as the female lead and JP as her love interest, she also makes them put the musical on in front of all these celebrities she invites for a Genovian benefit. Mia is worried because she'll have to kiss JP in the end but he switches places with Michael at the last minute and he kisses her instead.

The Princess Diaries: Sixsational - Meg Cabot (2004)

I used to think that this was the worst book in the series, but after rereading it now, I have changed my mind and made it second last. The student election plot keeps me pretty interested to keep reading.

This book incorporates school notes and letters in the book that help make it feel more like you actually go to the school. This book and the next are filled with Mia's insecurities about having sex, which get more and more annoying as she reapeats them again and again through the book, the student council election however is very intriguing as it really could go either way which is why this book is still worth a read. My favourite character in this book was probably Lilly, she is very supportive in this book and we also get to see her vulnerability, a rarity for her character, which I quite enjoy.

Lana tells Mia that all college boys expect their girlfriends to "do it" and Mia freaks out without even talking to Michael for the entirety of the book, minus the last ten pages. Lilly also gets Mia to run for student council president because she knows Mia is liked by people even if she doesn't know it, Lana runs against her but Mia's speech about equality wins it for her in the end.

The Princess Diaries: Give Me Five - Meg Cabot (2003)

This book used to be one of my favourites when I was younger and I can see how it's better than a lot of the others in the series, although this is where Mia's behaviour starts to become more and more annoying.

In this book Cabot incorporates the school newspaper into the book, giving the reader an insight into the school environment. This book is better than the last, and has a lot of plotlines on at once, including Helen's pregnancy, Michael's prom, the busboy strike, and Lilly and Boris' break up. My favourite character in this book is probably hormone crazed Helen, I think she is extremely hilarious in this book, and although her mood seems a little exaggerated, it's still believable.

Michael hasn't asked Mia to his senior prom yet and when she breaches the subject with him he says it's lame and he doesn't want to go. Grandmere causes a nation-wide busboy strike, lead by Lilly who falls in lust with Jangbu and dumps Boris. Boris then drops a globe on his head and is saved by Mia and Michael before falling in love with Tina. Mia gets Michael's band to play at the prom so he will go and on the night of the prom her mum gives birth to her brother, Rocky.

The Princess Diaries: Mia Goes Fourth - Meg Cabot (2002)

In continuing reading this series, I remembered how slow it can be at times, and this is a whole book about one date, that's the only plotline in this story, whether Mia will make it to her first date with Michael. Better than some of the later books in my opinion, but still kind of frustrating.

This is the shortest book in the series, although it probably spans a larger time period (three weeks) than most of the other books. I found Mia's inner monologue extremely frustrating in this book, I think it might be because I know she's freaking out for THE ENTIRE BOOK for nothing, but it was still pretty entertaining. My favourite character in this book was probably Michael, mainly because he's so lovely you can't help but love him.

Mia gets back from her first trip to Genovia as princess and is looking forward to her first date with Michael to give him his belated birthday present as well as just spending time with him. However Grandmere wants her to go to a black and white ball on the same night, Mia thinks that by cancelling on Michael he will eternally hate her and break up with her. She goes to the ball, then leaves at eleven and goes over to Michael's where he has set up the movie at his house. She gives him his present, a moon rock, and they enjoy their first date.