Friday, 30 September 2011

T.G.I.F. - Friday, Sept. 30th - Banned Books

Friday, Sept. 30th -Banned Books: How do you feel about the censorship of the freedom to read? Do you think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to in books?

I don't think any books should be banned at all!

Half the books that were banned before are now read continuously and no-one can see an issue with why they were banned in the first place!! It also meant the books that were banned were more popular and more people wanted to read them...complete mistake banning them really!

I also think attempting to ban books nowadays, with the mass use of the internet, would fail dramatically! You can get hold of anything online so if a book was banned I'm sure there would be someone somewhere who had a copy and would put it on the internet!

There are some books which kids shouldnt read at certain ages...I remember stopping my 6 year old sister reading a LGBT novel I had, but that was more I didn't want to answer her questions, or have to explain to my mum what the book was about or why I had it!

But I know she read it a few years later and that doesn't bother me, I think there are books with some topics that young kids shouldn't read but as you get older its a persons choice and right to read what they want!

What do you think??



Saturday, 24 September 2011

Forget You - Jennifer Echols

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.

But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them?

Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her.

Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

The writing in this book has been written brilliantly. It flows so nicely and the plot idea is really thought out.

There is so much going on in Zoey's life and I was really impressed with the character about how she kept it all together. I also could see why she kept it from her friends regarding what happened with her mum and how she couldn't remember anything. She is a very intelligent character, who also has high emotional intelligence and understands what can happen in her small town when people find things out. 

However there were a few things that irritated me about this book. For starters I hated the dad. Like really wish he would just vanish with the girlfriend and never come back. I mean, he was annoyed that he might have to cancel his honeymoon with his young pregnant girlfriend because his daughter was in a massive car accident! I really just wanted to walk up and slap the guy!

The plot twists went well and there were some I worked out but there were slight additions I hadn't thought of like I realised who was in who's car, but not why. The author really thought about Why people did things  not just deciding they would do them because she wanted them to be like that. 

However...saying seemed that at the beginning Zoey was a nice innocent girl who wanted boys to be interested but she was all sweet and quiet. Then she goes "Parking" with one boy, and it appears instantly that she is now always "parking" and is just not herself any more. I'm not sure whether the author was trying to show that the trauma can change her, or if that is how she believes teens to be that once they've had sex they will just jump around. 

While discussing the sex, I felt like Zoey followed around Brendan like a lost puppy after sleeping with him, and at first thought she was a bit pathetic and wimpy...but after rethinking I'm sure all of us have done it or known someone to follow blindly after a boy!

All in all it was a good book...Lots of people have raved about Jennifer Echols and currently, if I'm honest, I cannot see it...It was really good and fast paced but some bits were a bit off. I will defiantly try another of her books, so hopefully that will go better!

Friday, 23 September 2011

T.G.I.F. Friday, Sept. 23rd - Reading Challenges

Friday, Sept. 23rd - Reading Challenges: Did you sign up for any this year? How has your progression been? 

I came to the blogging party half way through the year, so I've missed out on joining any large reading Challenges.
I did set one up through my Birthday Challenges and am currently on book numbers 24 and 25 out of 100. I'm also trying to make sure I review at least 50 (currently written 10!), though this has now changed into at least do a blog post about as some are a bit too hard to review or I don't feel I can do the book justice!

I think I will start seeing what new challenges start towards the start of the next year and join in, I'd love to try and look at all the books that are based on computer games, or Zombies. I think these are an awesome niche market!

Any Reading Challenges people can advise that I should take part in? Or where I will be able to find a list?


Steffikins xx

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Wintergirls - Laurie Hanlse Anderson

Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. 
But now Cassie is dead.
Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her stepmother is clueless. 
And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling hero remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. 
If she keeps on going in this way - thin, thinner; thinnest - maybe she'll disappear altogether. 


So this is not a review...more a collection of my thoughts.

This book was written so brilliantly it completely drags you into the story! You can't help but just be say on the side lines as you watch Lia and her world collapse through her need to count calories and be thinner.

The way the text is laid out is amazing, it really made me feel that I was at the heart of Lia's mind and hearing her non-stop monologue. I've been unable to find a picture on the internet, so I've take a picture of a page in mine:

(Very bad quality but as I of the book uploaded to internet!)Usually the layout is nice but this to me it really showed what was going through her head, and how her brain processed the idea of food and her ability to be "strong/empty".

The reason this isn't a review is because this has been something that has affected me in the past and reading the book was quite triggering and I feel writing a review would cause more problems than it's worth! Laurie (the author) has really gotten into the head of someone suffering with an eating disorder and how your mind thinks and negotiates food.

I have to say I wouldn't advise this to anyone who has suffered with an eating disorder but for people who can't understand the innate thoughts involved I really think this will help you understand more.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Truth About Celia Frost - Paula Rawsthorne

Celia Frost is a freak.

At least that's what everyone thinks. Her life is ruled by a rare disorder that means she could bleed to death from the slightest cut, confirming her to a gloomy bubble of "safety". No friends. No fun. No life.

But when a knife attack on celia has unexpected consquences, her mum reacts strangely - and suddenly theyr're on the run. Why is her mum so scared? Someone out there knows. And when they find Celia, she's going to wish the truth was a lie...

A buried secret, a gripping manhunt, a dangerous deceit...What is the truth about Celia Frost?


First of all...go buy this book...go buy it now, read it and them come back...Awesome isn't it?! 

Celia's life is controlled by the thought she may get cut, or caused to bleed in some way and die. At the start of the book you can tell she really knows nothing about her disorder...but what ever you personally feel you believe about her disorder...believe won't at the end...

I was very lucky that I got stuck in traffic (for an hour) on the bus last week as it gave me a chance to read this book non stop. This is not a book you can read a few pages when you have a chance, this is a "sit down with full supplies to get you through at least 2 hours of non-stop reading" novel.

This is definitely a book full of plot twists. Every time I thought I had just gotten everything figured out and knew what was going to come next everything was tipped back upside down. I think the guy on the bus was confused because I was alternating between gasping, giggling and stopping myself before I screamed.

This is one of the first Young Adult novels I have read where the parents are not mysterious beings who just survive to make life more complicated, possibly due to the books I’m reading..., but it was brilliant to have Janice. Janice is Celia’s mother and while at first I didn’t like her and felt like she was causing Celia problems it became clearer that everything she did was all for her daughter and the love she felt. It gave a new layer to all mothers and fathers within Young Adult novels for me, that they are not always working against the offspring.

I also could not help but love Frank! I know he was supposed to be evil and such but I couldn’t help it, I really liked him and in the most part his heart was in the right place!

The ending of the book was very thought out and wrapped everything up, without making a big deal about all the little details and explaining each one individually. the author also made sure we only knew what we needed to know at that point, and that left it open for massive plot twists that made me re-read chapters because I could not believe they had taken the story in such a massive turning point. Every different twist worked so well and kept me on my toes.

I fully recommended this book...really go buy it now! I will be plugging this book for months because I was not expecting this at all, and they are my favorite types of reads!

The Truth about Celia Frost is written by Paula Rawsthorne and published by Usborne in 2011. I bought my copy in Waterstones.

Last note:
There have been so many reviews of this book at the moment! However my favourite (and the one that made me feel that I needed to order this book was by Emma at BookAngelBooktopia. She also completed this musical post of Celia's soundtrack to her life here

Sunday, 18 September 2011

IMM (#12) 18/09/11

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren as a way of showing off our addiction to books every week. You can learn more about this here.

I hadn't bought anything, and was so proud due to the fact I'm sure my to be read pile is the height of me... Then my work colleague wanted to look for a book for her little boy...and that was it...I was lost for 40 minutes! 

This week I have:

Hiest Society - Ally Carter
0.4 - Mike Lancaster
POD - Stephen Wallenfels 

More Ally Carter!!! I do think I'm going to have to finish reading the Gallagher Girls novel I have first otherwise I'm going to get confused by the two series. 
POD has been shown on quiet a few peoples blogs and its been looking really cool. 0.4 was a complete fluke..Not sure if I've seen this on anyone elses page so I'm quite excited and it sounds very sci-fiy!

Currently having a small reading block because I'm unable to pick which book to read next =S I feel bad for the books I haven't read yet, but were bought 6 months ago!! However theres too many brilliant books that need reading right now!

What did everyone else get this week?



Friday, 16 September 2011

T.G.I.F. Friday, Sept 16 - Book Disappointments

Friday, Sept. 16th - Book Disappointments: Have you ever come across a book you were so stoked to read, but it failed miserably in your eyes?

Part of me really wants to respond "No, of course not!!" but somethings stopping me posting that reply..
I think part of what I'm internally disagreeing with is that I'm never disappointed with a full book, it's always just a section which then continues through the rest of the book. I think the book which failed the most to me recently was "Not My Idea of Heaven" by Lindsey Rosa (Review here) and I think it was because I was so excited, so hyped, and then it all came crashing down. 

Lots of small things disappoint me within books, but I can't think of any in particular...I try to ignore them or forget them!

What do you think??

Steffi xx

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Teaser Tuesday 13/09/11

  Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser: 

"'Zombie blood is probably contagious,' Logan said.
Sam scowled. 'In that case, 
I'll try to resist the temptation to lick myself clean.'"

Pg.83 , Dead Island: The Book by Mark Morris

Monday, 12 September 2011

Witch Child - Celia Rees

"She was locked in the keep for more than a week. First they walked her up and down, up and down between them, for a day and a night until she could no longer hobble, her feet all bloody and swollen. She would not confess. So they set about to prove she was a witch..."

Mary's grandmother is executed for witchcraft, and Mary is forced to leave her home to avoid the same fate. At first she flees to the English countryside, but when the atmosphere of superstition and suspicion becomes all consuming she leaves on a boat for America in the hope that she can start over and forget her past. But during the journey, she realises that the past is not so easy to escape. 


I first read this book when I was around 13....and now at 22 I still love it to pieces! 

The book has a brilliant mix of history and young adult drama so it avoids feeling like a history book! 

The first 3 lines of the book are some of the best:
I am Mary. I am a witch. Or so some would call me, "Spawn of the devil", 'Witch child',
To me that sets up the entire book. It is written in the style of a diary that has been found sown inside a quilt (reasons behind that are found out later) and because it is a young girls diary it is all "this happened then this happened", however I realise that makes it sound very standard and in a sense of "i did this...then i did this".
It really isn't like that though! Conversations are written in the diary as if they were taking place and she is jotting down verbatim what is being said.

The action and drama is still kept even though it is a diary and each page is eagerly turned. Ever since reading this book I've always wanted to visit Salem, Massachusetts and see where it all took place.

Celia Rees managed to still get teenage drama into the novel with the introduction of 3 girls, who are Marys age, and decide to accuse her of witchcraft so that her friend won't get married. It is amazing that she has managed to do it without leaving the time period or the tension of living in puritan life in America.

When I finished the book the first time, there was no mention of a sequel, but there was a website created (a big thing in 2001!) stating they needed help finding more information on Mary which I felt was a lovely thing to bring people more into the book and help it continue.

Now there is a sequel, and I once owned it...and I will own it again!

Witch Child was published by Bloomsbury in 2001. I bought mine from a charity shop, and in the back of this edition is a list of books to look out for...number 6 is the first Harry Potter (Which I really love the idea of a time when it was so new it had to be advertised...!)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

IMM (#11) 11/09/11

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren as a way of showing off our addiction to books every week. You can learn more about this here.

This week is a tiny haul...=[ but admittedly...its an awesome book!!


*cough* ahem...I mean

Dead Island: The Book - Mark Morris

It is all thanks to Caroline at Portrait of a Woman who tweeted about this book...I already had the game on pre-order so thought the book would give me something to read while the ESP played the game! 

I may complete a week of books based on computer games in November...I have 3 Assassins Creed Novels to read and I'm sure there's many others! Anyone interested in joining me?

What did you get this week?!



Friday, 9 September 2011

T.G.I.F. - Friday, Sept 9th - Books to Television

Friday, Sept. 9th - Books to Television: Which books would you love to see made in to a tv series? or movie? 

So many books have made me wish to see them being acted out...but so many have come across and failed!

Currently I am in love with the Gallagher Girls Series (Reviews here for book 1, and here for book 2) and I would love to see them do a series...however there's a deep sinking feeling inside when I think "They will kill it". Stormbreaker was the same. Both are about spies, teenagers and the cross between and I always thought it would be amazing as they are so full of action. HOWEVER...within 10 minutes of Stormbreaker being on I was close to crying.

Alex wasn't how I imagined him. Looks wise they'd made him too good looking, sounds very odd but as I read it I imagined a quiet boy who blended in, and in the film they'd made him popular, super good looking, lots of charm and I wanted to just cry or yell at the people.

So I think making books into movies is a hard thing and any director/producer/writer/actor that takes it on must have to know somewhere in the back of their mind they have all these fans of the books to keep happy!

And I know I've just rambled how much it upset me...doesn't me a small part of me wants a Gallagher TV series/movie!!

What do you think??



Thursday, 8 September 2011

Update & Guestpost

I've realised I really need to stop doing updates and y'know actually write some reviews!!!

However this week has been one of those weeks where my Car is no longer legal to drive, I'm applying for my own job and the cats have been stealing the warmth of the laptop every time I try and write!!

I have a few reviews ready to be written so they will be done very quickly (promise!) and I will be completing NaNoWriMo in November so I will make sure I am prepared to do that and keep all you lovely people up to date with that!

In other (and more exciting) news today...I've completed a Guest post on the utterly lovely and stunning BookAngelBooktopia, so head on over to read my post here and I advise you to follow her as she is a brilliant blogger!! =)

I will be back soon...Promise!!

Steffi xxx

Sunday, 4 September 2011

IMM (#10) 04/09/11

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren as a way of showing off our addiction to books every week. You can learn more about this here.

Hellllooo! *waves*

I haven't done this for a while...and thats always good because I was on a book buying ban!

If you follow me on Twitter then you will know that I went to visit Raimy last weekend, and when I see Raimy it means I get more books!


So here we go:

Life on the Refrigerator Door - Alice Kuipers
Fallen Grace - Mary Hooper
Deception - Lee Nichols
Dont Judge a Girl by her Cover (Gallagher Girls #3) - Ally Carter
Tempest Rising - Tracey Deebs
Nick and Norah's infinite playlist -Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Rochoholic -C.J. Skuse
After Obsession - Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel
The Swan Kingdom - Zoe Marriott

Some of these I've been hearing loads about and I'm really happy Raimy has lent me all of these!! I just need to get so many of these now read!!

Numbers - Rachel Ward
Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls #4) - Ally Carter
The Truth about Celia Frost - Paula Rawsthorne
Wintergirls -Laurie Halse Anderson (Not pictured!) 
I couldn't help myself buying some new books when I was in Waterstones in Deansgate...WOW...Middlesbrough YA section is two shelves..Deansgate's YA section is similar to half the entire Middlesbrough shop!! Everyones been talking so much about Celia Frost and I thought I'd just have to get it!!


So I've nearly finished the Gallagher series...well the ones that are out...but argh...least I have lots of other books to catch up my reading pile is still about 40 books...

And thats not all! Go check out my post here which is another In My Mailbox...but more..."Reclaimed from my Mothers Attic" and has some books that made me go "awwwwww I NEED IT!" =D

So what did everyone get?! Any books you screamed over?


Steffi xx

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Super Special "Books I saved from the Attic"

So last weekend I popped over to my mums to pick up some pretty shoes for @BookAngelEmma and ended up raiding the attic and I found the following:

What Katy Did At School - Susan Coolidge
Running with Scissors -Augusten Burroughs
Third Year at Mallory Towers - Enid Blyton
The Brownies Day Abroad - Verily Anderson (This one is more for my Guides and Brownies!)
The Naughtiest Girls in the School - Enid Blyton
Are you There God? Its me, Margaret/Blubber/ Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself - Judy Blume (Not pictured as Raimy has it already!)

All were and still technically are mine but I haven't had them for around 10 years!! I LOVED Enid Blyton and have always sworn when I have kids they will grow up reading Famous Five and the school series such as Mallory Towers and the Twins at St Clares! (along with all the other classics but they were always a favorite of mine)

Finding these has made me remember how much I loved reading as a kid and can't wait to get through all of these!

Do you find you prefer old books or new books?!



Life on the Refrigerator Door - Alice Kuipers

Claire and her mom share the same house but they live on different planets...While Claire’s world revolves around school, shopping and her new boyfriend, Mom is always busy with work, work and more work. But they do have one thing in common: the kitchen fridge. It’s where they leave little notes for each other. It’s how they keep in touch. Then one day Claire comes home to a note that’s different from all the others.

And life is never the same again.


First of all this is a VERY quick read. It took me 15 minutes...though I read very quickly. My friend who isn't as speedy took 30 minutes so do not expect this to be a sit down and loose yourself for hours and hours! It would be fantastic for a bus ride or short car journey. 

The premise of this book really intrigued me, the idea of constantly leaving notes for each other first made me think it was very sweet and a cute way to communicate between two people who keep missing each other. the book went on I found it annoying! I was irritated with the mum for not managing to grab Claire for even 10 minutes to say to her in person what should never be said on a post it note. Growing up I know it was sometimes hard for my mum to find me, but I'm sure if it was something like that I personally would make it my mission to speak to my daughter...then again I suppose if she doesn't want to accept it herself would she really want to speak about it...

It does seem after the big revelation that Claire tries harder with her mum and its nice to see but part of me felt like it was a little too late, but that is how real life is unfortunately!

For the last 20 pages I was silently sobbing...I couldn't stop reading to get a tissue because I needed...and I mean *NEEDED* to know what happened, but I also couldn't stop crying. I advise to have a pack of tissues next to you! Then again you might not be as big of an emotional wreck as I am!

I do agree with Raimy's comment on her review of this book that I just really wanted to go give my mum a big hug at the end and the feeling does not leave you. I think I sulked about it for a few hours, but to me a good book is one that hits you and sticks with you hours and hours later!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy - Ally Carter


Cammie Morgan is back, and it's clear that her life hasn't calmed down since the events of I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You. At first, giddy anticipation is in the air. Gallagher Academy, Cammie's elite spy school, is hosting a visit from the Blackthorne Institute for Boys, a covert training centre for boys. Soon after the boys' arrival, though, everything goes dangerously awry when a series of security breaches are discovered at the academy. Worse yet, teenage agent-in-training Cammie is being blamed for the penetration. With the school's top-secret status at risk, the Gallagher Girls have to work quickly to save their beloved school. Girl sleuths with nice asides on youthful crushes.

I was so excited to finally get hold of this book, the Gallagher Girls series is just brilliantly funny as well as being a very nice easy read. Which is perfect when you’ve just read something heavy or had a super long day it is brilliant to just jump into a world that reminds me so much of Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers/Twins at St. Clares, but has so much going on that it is not in any way predictable!

The second book in the series begins with Cammie going through a debrief situation following the incident at the end of the first book. When she returns to school she finds a wing has been blocked off, and very soon they realise why...a threat none of them had ever expected has arrived at the Gallagher Academy For Exceptional Women...BOYS.

Honestly when I read that bit I burst into giggles and knew I was going to love the rest of the book! Ally Carter is brilliant at showing how intelligent these girls are, but how emotionally stunted they are when it comes to boys and clothes. It’s mentioned how suddenly all the girls are wearing makeup and becoming jealous at the girls who the new boys are paired with.

Looking back at my review of I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You some things still stand. The book seemed to end too quickly, not sure if it is because I read it so fast but the ending did seem a little rushed and over in a matter of around 15 pages.

As I’ve said before, this is a very light funny read, and there are so many points where I laughed out loud and just told whoever was in the room funny sentences (something the cats got sick of...). I love how quickly it changes from a novel about teenage girls to suddenly show them organised with their mini reports.
Of course there was more mention of family history which just makes me hope and pray that it will be wrapped up by the end of the series. As mentioned before I do enjoy the fact it is a very light read, which is why the reoccurring plot lines are so memorable because there isn’t 20 different story lines to try and remember at once!

Now I’m off to read the Third one... Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover...