Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

5 stars

I wanted to read this book because I saw the previews for the movie and knew I would want to see it because it has Emma Watson and Ezra Miller in it, both whom I love. I had heard great things about this book, and I wasn't disappointed.

This book is told through letters to an unknown party from the main character, Charlie, I loved how as Charlie's writing got better so did the letters that comprise this book. That, and the fact that the book is written to a "good person" gives the book an aspect of reality that other books don't and made me kind of feel like it was written just for me. I read this book in two days, it was so excellent and really hard to put down especially once you're past part one because although the plot is nothing special, I got really attatched to the main character and his writing and insights on his world were amazing to read. My favourite character was Patrick, he was hilarious and adorable and helped Charlie when he didn't understand what he should do. I would recommend this book to anyone.

This book is written through letters from Charlie, who is starting his first year at high school. At first he has no friends due to his strange behaviour, however he soon makes friends with step siblings Sam and Patrick. This book details their adventures over the year, including Charlie falling in love with Sam, him having his first girlfriend, and learning that he has depression due to his Aunt dying while going to buy him his birthday present and his best friend killing himself when he was in middle school. At the end of the novel before Sam leaves for college she and Charlie are going to have sex however Charlie freezes and has to sleep on their couch, it turns out that his Aunt Helen molested him as a child and he had repressed it until now. The book ends with Charlie getting out of recovery in the hospital and looking forward to his sophmore year.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (2012)

5 stars

I have been wanting to read this for a while and when my little sister bought a copy, I begged to borrow it. I can honestly say that I read this book in one sitting. It was a warm afternoon, and I sat on the swing chair on my deck and read for a few hours. The only time I stopped was when I couldn't see through my tears anymore. I really love this book because it made me laugh out loud and smile even though tears were streaming down my face.

I recommend this to anyone who has a heart. It is brutally real and easy to relate to. It has the capacity to make you happy and sad, and gives a heart-breakingly clear view into the life of a teen fighting cancer.

Clare has already read it - so check out her summary!

Pure - Julianna Baggott (2012)

5 stars

I borrowed this at the school library  because I'd heard about it and really wanted to read it. And it was totally worth the hype. I love this book, it is the best dystopian I have ever read. It was realistic and heartbreaking. The greatest part was there was no underlying romance that overtook the dystopian setting. The world and the terrifying situations it presents to the characters are the main focus of the story and they are original and compelling.

It's definitely a confronting read, but it gives you a lot to think about. It's a big improvement on the last few dystopians I've read (ie. Delirium and Birthmarked). I really like the world the author has created and the story she has constructed around it. The best part it - it's a trilogy! So keep your eyes open in February 2013, because Fuse is going to be released!

Fast forward to a world where everything is destroyed, with only a sustainable nuclear-proof dome left intact. The people outside the dome have everyday objects fused to them. Pressia is one of these people. She has a doll's head fused to her hand. She lives with her grandfather and she makes toys from junk so they can buy food. Partridge is in the dome, and he escapes to be with his mother on the outside. Pressia is recruited by a corrupt police force and is bugged (unbeknownst to her). Pressia and Partridge meet and try and find his mother. They find that there have been forces inside the dome working to help those outside, organised by Partridge's mum. They find Partridge's mum, only for it to be revealed that she is Pressia's mum too. The police force surrounds them and kills their mother. The pair continue on with the goal of overthrowing the corrupt forces that govern the dome.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Rise of Nine - Pittacus Lore

5 stars

I read the previous two books in this series and really enjoyed them, this book didn't let me down and is my favourite in the series so far.

Much like the second book in the series, The Power of Six, the book is told from different perspectives, except in this book it adds the perspective of Six, to Marina's and John's. I really enjoyed reading from Six's perspective and I really hope to read from Nine's in the next book, if they continue adding a new perspective each book, because I think he is a character that has a lot of hidden depth. I also really enjoy the whole "this is real" pretense of this book, being written by Pittacus Lore and the intro and outro that tell you that the events in the book are real. I liked this book better than the previous because it had a good balance of action, and discovery about Lorien and the other members of the Garde, the previous book didn't have much action till the very end. I also really enjoyed having a realistic bad guy that I could really hate for a change. Setrakus didn't give in to petty insults that work on most villians, my favourite part during the battle was when they were saying he's weak for not fighting fair and he replies with: "You can call me whatever names you want. It's not going to change the fact that you're about to die". My favourite character in this book was Eight, I loved the playfulness he brought to the group that no-one had done yet, and he had really cool legacies. I would recommend this series to any science fiction or action fans of any age.

John and Nine are travelling together and although John doesn't like him at first, him and Nine bond over their commitment to Lorien and after discovering how the tablet that John found in Paradise works, they learn that their ship, and another member of the Garde, Six, is in New Mexico so they head there. Six, Marina and Ella follow Crayton's lead where he thinks another Garde is and they find Eight in India. Eight has the legacy of telporting, so he teleports the group to New Mexico after a battle with the Mogs where Crayton dies. However he wasn't used to teleporting groups of people and while Six gets to New Mexico, Eight, Ella and Marina take a few more tries before they get there. Before they can get to New Mexico, Six gets captured and taken to the FBI base there where they are working with Setrakus Ra and other Mogs. Setrakus then immobilises her in rock and changes shape into her, meanwhile Ella has developed her first legacy to communicate to other members of the Garde and gets her, Eight and Marina to meet up with Nine and John. They fight their way into the base, finding Sarah on the way, however when they find "Six" Eight teleports to her to give her a hug and Setrakus stabs him. Setrakus then takes away the Garde's legacies and they continue a losing battle with him until Ella uses a dart on Setrakus that gives them all their legacies back. Marina then heals Eight and after Sarah and Ella are shot, Four discovers he also has the healing legacy and heals them. Setrakus then disappears when he realizes he is losing and the novel finishes with the Garde almost fully united and ready to fight.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Killables - Gemma Malley (2012)

3 stars

I bought this book because I absolutely adored The Declaration by Gemma Malley and I thought another dystopian novel by her would be just as good, unfortunately I was underwhelmed.

I thought the idea for this novel was good, although similar to many other dystopian novels I've read. I think because I've read so many dystopian novels it made it hard to read this book without getting bored because I found it predictable. I also found it irritating how there had to be a love triangle, I've had enough of them in popular novels lately and I think in this book it's obvious who she really loves. I liked how this book kept using the same memory, and as her journey progressed the memory grew then at the end she used the same pattern but changed it for the present situation. My favourite character was Lucas, he always knew what he was doing and I never doubted him, I really liked the parts from his perspective as well. I would recommend this book to any big dystopian fans.

Evie lives in the City, where evil doesn't exist because everyone that enters the City must undergo a "new baptism" where their amygdalas are removed so they are incapable of evil. Evie thinks she is evil as she is in love with Raffy, her childhood friend. However when Raffy is going to be labelled a K, for killable, his brother Lucas helps him and Evie to escape because killables are left outside the City to be killed by the "evils". Once they escape together Evie and Raffy are captured by Linus, who tells them that he started the City with the Great Leader and the Brother however he wanted to make it so everyones needs were taken care of by the system, whereas the Great Leader wanted to continue his experiments, which he did and ended up creating the "evils", people who are irreparably brain damaged. With Lucas' help, Linus and his men invade the City and disable the system. The book ends with Lucas and Linus staying in the City to restore order and reassure everyone of the truth about the Brother, and Lucas helping Evie and Raffy to escape after telling Evie he loves her.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Delirium - Lauren Oliver (2011)

2.5 stars

I bought this book online, because I bought it for a friend and I really wanted to read it (also it had a really cool cover). To be honest, it was a bit of a disappointment, and the ending was downright depressing. It reminded me a lot of Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien and the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. It seemed to present nothing new to the YA dystopian genre. It had an oppressive society that tries to run your life, and it had an area outside that society who were free from restrictions - just like the two aforementioned novels.

It does have a cool concept - love is a disease that they cure so people can function. I really liked that part. The author does into a lot of depth on the hows and whys and the history of this particular society. All in all, a good read, but not particularly original.

I also found another blogger who wrote about this book - it was especially interesting that she compared it to Birthmarked like I did and compared it to Matched like Clare did. hmmm....
On a sidenote, I managed to find a cute little poem someone wrote inspired by this novel.

ClareBear has already done a summary!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Golden Lily - Richelle Mead (2012)

3.5 stars

I read all the books in the Vampire Academy series and enjoyed most of them, I then read Bloodlines and was interested to see how The Golden Lily would continue from it.

I didn't enjoy this book as much as Bloodlines but I still found it hard to do other things when I could be reading it. It follows the usual style of Mead's books with a lot of build up and sub-plots occurring before the last hundred or so pages when the action and resolution happens. I think the more of her books you read the easier it is to call the twist that she hints at early on, I found with this book I worked it out earlier than I would in most other books, usually stuff like that occurs to me right before it's revealed (or not at all and I startle people around me by exclaiming my surprise). My favourite character was Adrian, I loved him in the Vampire Academy series and in this series he is one of the few prominent characters, and I enjoy watching his character be examined thoughroughly and develop. The end set up for a very interesting next book which I think could be really good, I would recommend this series to anyone who likes paranormal YA fiction.

The book starts with Sydney being interviewed at the alchemists base about Keith, while there she sees a human prisoner who is chained up because he is determined to become strigoi, this reinforces in Sydney why she shouldn't get too close to vampires. She returns to Palm Springs amd talks to Sonya and Adrian about their experiments to try to find something that stops someone turning strigoi, Sonya thinks it would be useful to use some of Sydney's blood since the strigoi couldn't drink it and she complies. Sonya and Sydney are walking the streets together when they are attacked by men who want to decapitate Sonya as they think she's still a strigoi, Dimitri comes and saves them but after a few days Sonya goes missing. Sydney, using the help of Ms. Terwilliger creates a spell to find Sonya and discovers that the rumours of "vampire hunters" were real and that Trey is one of them. He manages to get Sydney into their compound to speak on behalf of Sonya before they execute her, and although her point is completely valid, they refuse to let Sonya go and are about to kill her when Dimitri, Eddie and a heap of other guardians break in to save Sonya. Sydney escapes out a back door and gets lost until Adrian finds her and they escape together, once home Adrian confesses his feelings for Sydney and kisses her. Although she enjoys it (and clearly loves him back) she denies it and tells him that her belief against vampires is too strong.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Between the Lines - Jodi Picoult (2012)

3 stars

I bought this because it had Picoult emblazoned across the cover (and she is one of my favourite authors!) She and her daughter Sammy wrote it together. I think I would have liked it a lot more if I was a part of the intended audience - ie pre-teens. It is well written, and it includes the classic Picoult character narration swapping. It is about a fairy-tale that one girl sees come to life and she tries to bring the hero into the real world. It changes between character narration and the fairy-tale with beautiful illustrations throughout the novel.

I did like it, and I was definitely an original idea. However, the end wasn't suitably thought out and seemed too easy to be realistic.

Delilah finds herself enthralled by a child's fairy-tale. And to her surprise, the hero Oliver comes to life in the book. Delilah has had a crush on him ever since she started reading. So she starts spending all her time brainstorming with Oliver to find a way to bring him into the real world. Her mother begins to worry about her spending so much time with her head in a fairy-tale and sends her to a psychologist. Delilah continues talking to Oliver in secret. He concocts a plan, and he brings Delilah into the story. She is not happy and misses her life and soon manages to return. In desperation, Delilah tracks down the author of the fairy-tale and begs her to change the ending so Oliver can leave the story. The author says that she can't, the story is is the hands of the reader's now. Delilah gets onto her computer and gives the story a new ending. She writes the author's son into the story, who chooses voluntarily to swap places with Oliver.