Monday, 25 March 2013

Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion (2010)

2.5 stars

This book sounded really interesting when recommended to me on shelfari so I ordered it, however I was pretty disappointed.

This book is told from the perspective of R, a zombie, who is purposeless and very believable as a zombie with no passion in life. His perspective is written so wonderfully, the only problem I had with it was how he had such complex thoughts. However I thought the plot was predictable and not gripping enough for me to read it too often. My favourite character was probably Nora, asides from R and Julie, she was really the only other character who showed some depth and I thought she was definitely needed for when R and Julie were in the stadium, otherwise it would've been very dull and weird. I would recommend this to anyone who likes zombie novels and doesn't mind romance, but otherwise, even though I haven't seen it yet, I would probably recommend the movie as I think it would work better as a movie.

R is a normal zombie with no passion until he eats the brain of Perry Kelvin, a teenage boy who the threat of dying by zombies slowly drove him insane. However Kelvin was in love with Julie, and once R has experienced a significant amount of his memories when eating his brain, he saves Julie from the other zombies and pretends he's converted her and takes her back to his hideout with him. Julie and R become friends after he plays her his favourite music and she teaches him to drive, as this happens he starts to become more animated and falls in love with Julie. After other zombies attack her, Julie must return to the stadium where her overbearing dad controls everyone. R follows her and other zombies want to help as they also become more focused and "alive". Julie, R, and her friends Nora spend some time together until her dad finds out and an army of boneys (skeleton zombies) come after all the other zombies who are reanimating and R and Julie. A boney kills Julie's father and when she and R kiss, his blood starts to flow and he's turned human again.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Safe Haven - Nicholas Sparks (2010)

4 stars

Another beautiful book from the romantic Nicholas Sparks (all I can say his wife must have high expectations after reading his books....). I really liked this book - it was a bit of a switch-up from the usual romance, incorporating domestic violence which definitely gave it more substance.

I saw the movie before I read this book and surprisingly there were very few discrepancies. In the book, the male love interest has grey hair and the final scenes play out a little differently (I imagine only to be portrayed better on screen.) Otherwise, the movie was very true to the book. Have a look at the trailer, I really like the movie as well.

The lovely ClareBear has already read this one and done the summary for me!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A Feast for Crows - George R.R Martin (2005)

3 stars

It has taken me much longer to read this book than the others in the series. He had too much material for two books, so he told the stories of half the characters in this one and the other half in A Dance with Dragons. I think this was probably a good idea, but none of my favourite characters were in this book - which is possibly why it took me so long. The plot focuses on events in King's Landing and the Iron Islands. This book is also the first in the series to debut at number one on The New York Times Best Seller List (which has only ever been achieved by two other fantasy writers.)

Of course I recommend this book, I really do love this series. I am sure I will adore A Dance with Dragons when I get to hear from all my beloved characters again. As you should know, the series has its own TV show. It takes them a season to get through one book. The first episode on the third season is going to be aired in Australia on March 31st on HBO. Check out the trailer!

Cersei is trying to get rid of Queen Margaery, and manages to prove she is no longer a maiden only to find herself imprisoned instead. Jamie and Cersei are estranged, and Jamie is still learning to cope without his right hand. Brienne continues to search for Sansa Stark but is brutally attacked and captured. Sansa Stark has become Alayne Stone, the bastard daughter of Petyr Baelish and has to look after his sickly step-son Robert, the Lord of the Vale. Petyr Baelish has killed his new wife, Lysa Arryn - who was Robert's mother. Arya works selling seafood and returns to a sept each week to tell the septa what she has learnt. Sam journeys across the sea with Gilly, the baby and Aemon. Aemon dies, and Gilly goes to his parents home. Sam tells an archmaester about Aemon's beliefs about Daenerys and the prophecy. There is much debate about the new reign on the Iron Islands. The Sand Snakes of Dorne conspire to queen Myrcella, but are caught and imprisoned by their uncle.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Storyteller - Jodi Picoult (2013)

5 stars

Yay! New Picoult book! I am constantly waiting for her next book. I was not the greatest fan of her previous novel Lone Wolf, but The Storyteller is definitely my second favourite (after my beloved Handle with Care.) I couldn't put this down.  I was waiting for my breaks at work just so I could get a few chapters in. The majority of the book is recounts of two characters experiences during the Holocaust. These sections cleverly show how Jews were ostracised and how they were treated with increasing horror. I'm no expert, but I know a little about WW2 and I could find no faults or discrepancies within the writing. It is carefully researched and I feel the combination of fact and fiction was very well done especially considering the sensitive subject matter.

I would definitely recommend this. It's one of her best and I am really impressed with how well she managed to breach this topic. My favourite character was Minka. I loved hearing her recount how she managed to find joy in her misery and managed to fight her way out and build a new life after all she had been through.

Sage is a baker who uses her job to hide from the world. She has abandoned her Jewish faith and is very close to her grandmother, Minka, who is a Holocaust survivor. Sage befriends a customer from the bakery, Josef Weber - a beloved retired German teacher and Little League coach. He confesses to Sage that his real name is Reiner and he is a former member of the SS and asks her to kill him. Sage contacts Leo, who is an FBI agent specialising in tracking down Nazis. Leo and Sage talk to Minka and manage to get her to tell her story. Her story crosses over with Reiner's. Reiner was a particularly cruel guard, who oversaw the female bunks in Auschwitz where Minka was. His brother, Franz, was in charge of finance and was more sympathetic to the plight of the Jews and hired Minka as his secretary. Reiner falls ill and is in the hospital for a few days. Minka dies in her sleep and the crucial evidence dies with her. Sage picks up Reiner from the hospital and gets him to confess while she records it, but then she decides to help him die and gives him a poisoned baked good. She then sees the hospital bracelet on his wrist with a different blood type on it than the one in Reiner's file - Sage realises that she has killed Franz not Reiner.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs (2011)

4 stars

I bought this book because of how much John Green talked it up in all his videos. I wasn't disappointed, I was actually quite surprised by this book.

Even after buying it, I still wasn't really sure what this book was about, so it surprised me with how much fantasy the plot contained considering it's based on historical photos. The plot was really good, and although some of the photos were super scary or obviously fake, I still liked how he based the story around them making it seem a more lifelike and realistic. My favourite character was Olive, I thought her talent was the coolest, and altough she wasn't a very major character I liked how carefree and lovely she was compared to some of the other children. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good fantasy story with a realistic setting, also who doesn't get scared too easily by photos.

Jacob's grandfather has always told him stories about a children's home he hid in during the war, with peculiar children that could do cool things like create fire or fly. Jacob's parents tell him not to believe his granfather but when is grandfather is killed by a monster only Jacob could see he goes to the island to find the house. Once there he finds Miss Peregrine's house for peculiar children in a time loop where they are safe from any monsters that want to eat them. Jacob learns that he is a rare peculiar who, like his granfather, can see the monsters (they are invisible to everyone else). When the monsters capture Miss Peregrine Jacob and his friends get her back but destroy their loop in the process. Jacob decides to stay with the children inside the loop and they decide to time jump to another loop to go save the others that have been taken by the monsters.

Monday, 4 March 2013

World War Z - Max Brooks (2006)

3 stars

I wanted to read this book because of Kristina Horner's video. It was one of the only books I hadn't heard of that she listed and when I looked it up it sounded like it would be pretty good, I was a little disappointed.

I think the fact that I read the last half of the book in a day really affected how much I enjoyed it. Because it's a series of interviews, one or two at a time are really good, but lots of them packed together seems really rushed and it felt like I was being given too much information at once. Asides from having to pace yourself when reading this novel, I thought it was really good. Some of the interviews were really believable and emotional and I like that instead of staying with just a few people, hardly anyone was interviewed twice. There was a lot more wartime terminology and stories than I thought there would be (in hindsight that was kind of stupid of me) so if you want to read this book I hope you enjoy war battles and discussions of weaponry. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a big fan of zombie novels, or anyone who likes a believable wartime story.

This book is also set to become a movie starring Brad Pitt which comes out in June. It looks wildly different to the novel already, so I wouldn't read it just for that reason. Here's the trailer.

This story follows the zombie pandemic that sweeps the world and kills nearly everyone living in it. To kill a zombie you must destory their brain, any other injury and they will continue to attack you. The novel goes through the experience of soldiers, leaders, and victims and tells of how they eventually got the problem under control.