Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Title: Shine


Author: Lauren Myracle


Published: Amulet Books, 1 May 2011


Pages: 376


First Line: "Patrick's house was a ghost."


Summary: When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.   (Taken from Goodreads)


Thoughts: This is the second book by Lauren Myracle that I’ve read and while I didn’t really like the other book of hers I read I absolutely adored Shine.  I knew that Shine was about a hate crime but I wasn’t sure if it was a racial or sexual hate crime.  In the case of Shine it is a sexual hate crime as Patrick is gay and was attacked by an unknown person or group of people.


Shine is beautifully written and once I started it, I found it incredibly hard to tear away from.  Lauren Myracle did a brilliant job at telling the story of Cat and how she goes about solving the mystery of what happened to her friend Patrick.

The whole novel I was hoping and hoping that Patrick would get better.  I really wished that he would wake up.  I also hoped that Cat would get better from her own wounds.

As for the mystery element of Shine, I loved that all of the clues were there and I had no trouble piecing together what had happened.  It was actually quite fun to find out that my suspicions were correct in the end.

Shine is an amazing novel and if you like more contemporary fiction then I am sure you will love Shine.  It is well worth a read.

Source: NetGalley

Friday, April 29, 2011

Six Moon Summer by S M Reine

Title: Six Moon Summer


Author: S M Reine


Published: 29 April 2011


Pages: 197


First Line: "The moon rose high in the sky."


Summary: Rylie's parents are going through a messy divorce. They send her to summer camp to get her out of the way of their fighting lawyers, but she's just as miserable at the girls' camp as she was at home-- there's nothing vegetarian for her to eat at the mess hall, she hates hiking and archery, and the other campers taunt Rylie mercilessly. 

One night, the bullying goes too far, and Rylie runs away. She doesn't get far. It's a full moon, and she isn't alone in the forest. A wild animal mauls her. She's certain she won't survive. 

Instead of dying, she wakes up unharmed in her cabin the next morning. The only sign that something has changed are the healed scars on her chest, her increasingly keen senses, and her sudden craving for raw, bloody meat. A boy from the other camp seems to know what's happening to her, but Rylie isn't sure if she can trust herself with Seth. 

Rylie soon learns that she only has until the end of summer before she becomes just like the monster that attacked her: a man-eating werewolf hungry for human flesh. Unless she can find a cure, she's only six moons away from transforming forever and losing her life to the hunger...  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Six Moon Summer is a book about werewolves and it is awesome.  I am not really one to read many books about werewolves because I just don’t find them very interesting.  However, when I read Six Moon Summer’s description I just knew it would be one I would enjoy and I did.


Six Moon Summer had me really interested from the beginning.  The details given about everything were really vague which kept me reading because I just had to know what was going on.  There were some subtle clues in there that I picked up on somewhat but I was still really surprised at some of the things that happened.

I remember at one point I felt like crying because of what was going on.  I felt so bad for Riley.  I just really felt bad for her, especially because she just seemed like such an awesome person.  Although there were times where I felt like she wasn’t exactly helping the situation.

Another thing I really loved was that this book was set at a summer camp.  Not really knowing much about summer camps (living in New Zealand where we don’t really have that sort of thing) I love reading about summer camps.  So that was a huge bonus.

I’m very interested in reading the next book in the series as the ending of this one was interesting.  I’m just wondering what the second book will be like.

In a nutshell, Six Moon Summer is more of a traditional werewolf story and while there is a slight romantic element it isn’t there like a huge slap in the face as so many other YA books about werewolves seem to be doing.  Six Moon Summer is really refreshing and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I would definitely recommend checking this one out because it is well worth it.  It’s also quite a quick, short read so it doesn’t take long to plough through.  Especially when there are so many questions that kept me reading too.

Source: S M Reine for review

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis

Published: Razorbill, 2011

Pages: 398

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming. (Taken from Goodreads)


Thoughts: Science fiction, YA, and a sprinkling of romance; not to mention a beautiful cover I simply adore. All things I needed to bring me out of my reading funk.

Across the Universe is one of the best stories I have read in a really long time. Maybe my entire reading life. The whole idea of being on a ship just as Amy and Elder were is such a unique and amazingly awesome idea.

The writing was perfect. I just loved Beth Revis' writing, she is so talented that I wish I could read more by her right now.

I think that Across the Universe is a book that everyone should read at least once. If you are sitting on the fence with this book due to it being a science fiction, I say just read it because this book is amazing for both science fiction and non science fiction fans alike.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brutal by Michael Harmon

Title: Brutal


Author: Michael Harmon


Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2009


Pages: 256


First Line: "If I'd known I'd be living in Bender's Hollow, California when I was sixteen I would've traded back every complaint I ever had about my life for a bus ticket out of this place."


Summary: With her martyr-doctor mother gone to save lives in some South American country, Poe Holly suddenly finds herself on the suburban doorstep of the father she never knew, who also happens to be a counselor at her new high school. She misses Los Angeles. She misses the guys in her punk band. Weirdly, she even misses the shouting matches she used to have with her mom.

But Poe manages to find a few friends: Theo, the cute guy in the anarchy Tshirt, and Velveeta, her oddly likeable neighbor—and a born victim who’s the butt of every prank at Benders High. But when the pranks turn deadly at the hands of invincible football star Colby Morris, Poe knows she’s got to fix the system and take down the hero.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Brutal is a brutal story.  Brutal starts off almost lightly, with a little bit of seriousness.  There was just something about Brutal that drew me into the story and made me love it.  I didn’t really know much about Brutal when I started reading it and thought it would have been a light, contemporary story.  It wasn’t though.  Brutal was quite a heavy story in the end and I loved every part of it.

I liked Brutal, it was realistic even if Poe wasn’t and I think that was the point.  Poe is supposed to be cliché and a huge hypocrite.  The events that were happening around Poe were real and they felt real.  What was happening to Velveeta was really sad and I felt anger that nobody was doing anything to help him.

Brutal is really emotional.  There were moments where I laughed and laughed and laughed.  Then there were moments I felt like curling into a ball just like Velveeta.  I also felt the anger that Poe felt.  The disappointment.  Everything.

Brutal is the kind of book that left me thinking for a long time afterwards.  It was so right and it just felt so real to me.  The message the author is trying to convey with Brutal is definitely there and I strongly encourage people to check this one out if you haven’t already.

Brutal is brutally true in some of its aspects and has a bittersweet taste to it.  Brutal isn’t the kind of book for everyone as it is quite a deep novel but it is truly a wonderful piece of writing.  Michael Harmon is an amazing author and I will definitely be reading more books by him.

Source: Own book

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strom Front by Jim Butcher

Title: Storm Front


Author: Jim Butcher


Published: Orbit, 2005


Pages: 352


Series: Book 1, The Dresden Files


First Line: "I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual."


Summary: Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he's the onlyat what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the "everyday" world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. 

There's just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name. And that's when things start to get interesting.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I never thought I would see the day where I would pick up a book about a wizard named Harry and absolutely love it.  Who am I kidding?  I loved Harry Potter and now I love Harry Dresden.  Though, they are actually both very different, and this review is about Storm Front which is the first book in a series about Harry Dresden, wizard.


Having seen the tv episode loosely based on this book I already had a fair idea of what was going to happen but that did not detract from the story any.  I still absolutely adored it.  There’s just something about the fantasy genre that I love and Storm Front was sooo good.

There were so many moments that I laughed out loud.  Storm Front had so many hilarious elements that I couldn’t help but laugh.  It just seemed like if Harry could get into a bad situation then he would.

I feel like I could ramble on and on about how much I loved Storm Front but I’m just going to say that I absolutely adored it leave it at that.

Storm Front had magic, hilarity, seriousness, adventure and action.  All around it was just generally awesome.  If you love urban type fantasy, then I think you might just like Storm Front.  I loved it and will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

Source: Library

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Family that Wasn't by Gene Twaronite

Title: The Family That Wasn't


Author: Gene Twaronite


Published: iUniverse, 2010


Pages: 128


First Line: "People lose families all the time."


Summary: The Family That Wasn't is a humorous fable of how our families live inside us. It will appeal to both teen and adult readers. The 13-year-old narrator, John Boggle (whose real name is John Bazukas-O'Reilly-Geronimo-Giovanni-Li Choy-Echeverria), finds his family so impossibly crazy that he cannot stand living with them another moment. He invents a new perfect family so convincing that he suddenly finds himself living inside this imaginary world.
But John finds that he too has changed. He sees his too perfect image in the mirror and begins to wonder if it is all some kind of mistake. Only trouble is, now he can't remember who he is. He only knows that he must leave this family at once. His sole clue is the name, John Boggle.
To find his true family he embarks on a cross country quest. Along the way he encounters other characters who have also lost touch with their families. Together they must find a way to reconstruct the connections to bring back the family that once was.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: The Family That Wasn’t is an interesting story that focuses on John Boggle (Boggle is actually just an acronym for his actual last name of Bazukas-O'Reilly-Geronimo-Giovanni-Li Choy-Echeverria) and he one day writes his family off and ends up going on an adventure to get them back after the new family he created turned out to not be so fantastic.

The Family that Wasn’t is a really quick read so it didn’t take me long to read through it at all.  It starts off with a little bit of background into John’s family history which I thought was really good as it really put the story into perspective and set the scene for the rest of the book.

I went into The Family that Wasn’t with no expectations because I had no idea what it would be like.  I have to say that I found it to be quite entertaining and a nice little story that is quite unlike any other I have read for a while.

The characters in The Family that Wasn’t are all very unique and very interesting characters.  I’d say there would never be a true dull day in the Boggle household.

If you’re looking for a quick but highly original novel that focuses on family then give The Family that Wasn’t a go because it is quite a good story.

Source: Gene Twaronite for review

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Inkpop Weekly Writing Contest

This Week Inkpop are having another awesome contest and this time it is related to the book Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.




PRIZES FOR 4 WINNERS!
Two writing winners and two commenters will be also be selected to win a copy of STARCROSSED as well as three additional books of their choice from the HarperTeen catalog. Winners will be announced here on inkpop Forums.

STARCROSSED WRITING CHALLENGE DETAILS
inkpop Challenge Marker: ic#58
Format Selection: Any
Genre: Short Story,Poem, Essay
Launch Date: April 21st, 2011
Deadline: April 28th, 2011 (12 p.m. EST) 



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Berserk by Ally Kennen

Title: Berserk


Author: Ally Kennen


Published: Marion Lloyd Books, 2007


Pages: 320


Summary: You'd have to be crazy to make friends with a murderer. When 15-year-old Chas finds a website asking people to write to prisoners on Death Row, he decides it would be funny to get letters from a murderer. He writes to an inmate, pretending to be his mum, but the chilling replies are not at all what he expects. Chas' own wild escapades eventually land him in a young offender's institute, where he learns that his scary penpal has been released. And is heading for England to find him...  (Taken from Goodreads)


Thoughts: Berserk had a really intriguing premise which is what drew me to the book in the first place.  I have to say that the summary I read of it doesn’t really give the best idea of what the book is about because I had an idea about what the book would be about but it was completely different.


I still enjoyed it though.  The ex convict actually made me think of Hannibal Lector, i.e Anthony Hopkins, and so every time Lenny Darling was mentioned or in it all I could think of was Hannibal Lector.  Even though Lenny wasn’t a cannibal or anything like that.

Oftentimes there were events that didn’t seem to be a part of the main story but then they prove to be useful later on in the book which was really cool.  I did think that some of the events happened to be a little too convenient but that was what made it interesting to be honest.

Berserk was really interesting.  I thought it would be a thriller of sorts but it was more of a contemporary novel with a little bit of action at the end.

The character interactions were all really interesting and they weren’t perfect which is what made their behaviour and interactions all the more believable.

I didn’t think the ending was the best but I did enjoy Berserk enough to say that it is well worth a read if you’re looking for something light that is set in England.

Source: Library

Friday, April 22, 2011

Reunion in Carmel by Tim Comstock

Title: Reunion in Carmel


Author: Tim Comstock


Published: AuthorHouse, 2010


Pages: 236


First Line: "The flash of lightning was razor-true, sending the top quarter of the huge cypress crashing to the beach below."


Summary: A brutal killer stalks Carmel, threatening its very existence. Police Chief Will Kempton must call on skills long untested to save himself, his family and the village he comes to love. The trail twists and turns as as the hunter becomes the hunted and the crimes escalate. Unique characters and Carmel's bizarre politics are thrown into the mix in ways that are not helpful to the chief. As time runs out only desperate measures can save the day.  (Taken from Goodreads)


Thoughts: Reunion in Carmel took me by surprise when it jumped straight into the action right away.  It was quite a good book too.  After reading through a lot of it I had an idea about what I thought was going to happen but as I read more I turned out to be very wrong.


The characters are all really interesting and while I did find it confusing to get to know exactly who was who it didn’t matter too much in the overall picture.  I knew who the main characters were and that was enough to get through the book.

I thought that the pacing of the book was pretty good until the end.  I felt like it could’ve ended a little sooner than it did but apart from that it wasn’t too bad.

Reunion in Carmel is quite a good murder mystery and I enjoyed reading through it.  One thing I have to say is that it has quite a lot of swearing in it.  It doesn’t bother me too much, but if it isn’t your thing then you might want to give this a miss.

But, if you’re a fan of murder mysteries then Reunion in Carmel is worth checking out.

Source: Bohlsen PR

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reading Challenge Readathon

This is the starting line/starting post for my reading challenge readathon hosted by Kristen of Bookworming in the 21st Century.  (It is midnight Thursday, April 21st my time when I first posted this.)


This is what my little progress picture looks like today:




I will be updating this post at the end of each day so you can see my progress.  That way I can also post reviews up every day as well.

So wish me luck!

Thursday
I didn't get too much reading done, but I did read 100 pages of Storm Front by Jim Butcher.

Friday
I didn't get much reading done today either, just another 100 pages of Storm Front by Jim Butcher.

Saturday
I got quite a bit of reading done today.  I finished reading Storm Front by Jim Butcher, started Six Moon Summer by S M Reine and I read some of Brutal by Michael Harmon.

Finish Line
Overall, while I didn't get 7 books read I thought I did quite well.  I read:
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Brutal by Michael Harmon
Between by Cyndi Tefft
Six Moon Summer by S M Reine

I also started:
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My TBR Pile

Just a picture of my TBR pile.  I get five days off for Easter so I'm thinking I'll be doing a whole lot of reading.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Catching Up Readathon

Kristen of Bookworming in the 21st Century is having a readathon and this one is about catching up on your reading challenges for the year.  My Goodreads Challenge looks like this at the moment:




But I'm thinking that I will be falling behind soon considering I have barely been reading lately.  So I would like to stay ahead and participate in this readathon.  Plus, my tbr pile is massive and only getting bigger so I really want to try and actually get through a lot of it.


Here are the details:
When: Thursday, April 21st through the end of Monday, April 25th. Any time zone, start when you want, read when you want.
Where: Here, on your blog, on your couch, on Goodreads.. wherever!
What: Read books - duh! If you'd like to make a goal, go ahead.


My goal is to read 7 books.  I say 7 because there are 5 days and I'm a fairly slow reader so if I finish two of the three I'll be currently reading and then 5 more after that hopefully I'll get through it.  I think for those 5 days I'll just transform the blog into my readathon progress posts like, I'll do one every day.  Anyway, this looks really fun and a great idea.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Scott Pilgrim vs the World by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Title: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World


Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley


Published: Oni Press, 2005


Pages: 200


Series: Book 2, Scott Pilgrim


Summary: Does Scott and Ramona's burgeoning relationship have a future? Isn't Scott still supposedly dating Knives Chau? Who is Ramona's second evil ex-boyfriend, and why is he in Toronto? Who are The Clash At Demonhead, and what kind of bizarre art-punky music do they play? Who's their hot girl keyboardist, and what is Scott's relation to her? Why are they Knives Chau's new favourite band? Fights! Drama! Secrets revealed! The answers to all these questions and more!  (Taken from Goodreads)


Thoughts: After enjoying the first one in the series, I picked this one up the very next day because I really wanted to know what happened next and it did not disappoint.  I really enjoyed Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and laughed out loud quite a few times.


This one is pretty similar to part of the movie as well but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it any.  There are still a few scenes that weren’t in the movie so that was cool.

I really like Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers, they’re just both really cool characters and I really love reading about them.  Actually, most of the characters seem pretty great to be honest.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a good graphic novel and I suggest this one and the first one, if you like graphic novels, are looking for something humorous, looking for something a little different to regular graphic novels, or you’re a fan of video games.

Source: Library

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren.


This week I got just the one book in the mail.  It sounds really good too.  The book I got was:


Six Moon Summer by S M Reine




Rylie's parents are going through a messy divorce. They send her to summer camp to get her out of the way of their fighting lawyers, but she's just as miserable at the girls' camp as she was at home-- there's nothing vegetarian for her to eat at the mess hall, she hates hiking and archery, and the other campers taunt Rylie mercilessly. 

One night, the bullying goes too far, and Rylie runs away. She doesn't get far. It's a full moon, and she isn't alone in the forest. A wild animal mauls her. She's certain she won't survive. 

Instead of dying, she wakes up unharmed in her cabin the next morning. The only sign that something has changed are the healed scars on her chest, her increasingly keen senses, and her sudden craving for raw, bloody meat. A boy from the other camp seems to know what's happening to her, but Rylie isn't sure if she can trust herself with Seth. 

Rylie soon learns that she only has until the end of summer before she becomes just like the monster that attacked her: a man-eating werewolf hungry for human flesh. Unless she can find a cure, she's only six moons away from transforming forever and losing her life to the hunger... (Taken from Goodreads)


And that was my week.  Can't wait to see what everyone else got.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Inkpop Weekly Writing Contest

Hey guys, once again I'm here to tell you about Inkpop's Weekly Writing contest and this week it is related to Amy Plum's Die for Me.




Here are some of the details:
inkpop Challenge Marker: ic#57
Format Selection: Any
Genre: Short Story,Poem, Essay
Launch Date: April 14th, 2011
Deadline: April 21st, 2011 (12 p.m. EST) 



Inkpop are absolutely amazing so you should definitely check it out.