Friday, 28 October 2011

T.G.I.F - Friday, Oct. 28th - Spooktacular Reads

Friday, Oct. 28th - Spooktacular Reads: Which books do you consider festive Halloween reads? Which stories have chilled you to the bone?

I currently can't think of anything that was scary to read yet. I know there's lots on my pile to read that people have said are scary. I think I'm going to read Practical Magic again, all the witchyness will satisfy my need to read something Halloweeny!  

Any books people can advise?
Hope you all have a spooky Halloween!!!

Steffikins xx

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz

When his guardian dies in suspicious circumstances, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider finds his world turned upside down. Forcibly recruited into MI6, Alex has to take part in grueling SAS training exercises. 

Then, armed with his own special set of secret gadgets, he's off on his first mission to Cornwall, where Middle-Eastern multi-billionaire Herod Sayle is producing his state-of-the-art Stormbreaker computers. 

Sayle has offered to give one free to every school in the country - but there's more to the gift than meets the eye. 


So I have already read this 5 times...the most recent one is probably the 6th time since it came out 10 years ago! 

Alex is 14, lives in London with his Uncle, Ian, and housekeeper, Jack, as his parents died when he was a baby. One morning Alex is woken up with the news that Ian was killed in a car accident, as he wasn't wearing his seat belt. Alex finds this suspicious and begins to investigate the Van that has been sat outside his house, and the attempts to track the car down so he can see if the seat belt was damaged.All of a sudden he is attached and after pulling off karate moves goes home. Then MI6 show up..

This is a very action packed, quick packed novel and even though the idea of a 14 year old spy makes me giggle, the author has managed to make it seem believable! Everything is explained and it really seems that it could happen! (But then again I'm the same person who was upset when I didn't get a letter from Hogwarts at the age of 11...).

The sentences are short and not too complicated which is great when reading it as a kid, but for me I felt it was too easy to read. Luckily the plot drew me in so much I didn't notice. If it wasn't an entertaining plot I think I may have gotten bored with it all.

One of my favourite characters from the entire series is Smithers, who is a weapon maker for MI6. Since Alex is 14 they will not give him a gun or put him through target practice, however cannot send him into the field empty handed...bring in Smithers! I don't want to give away the awesomeness he creates but I love how simple and genius the ideas are...I'm also very jealous and want some for myself! 

It is definitely a young, young adult book, around 11-14 years old, but doesn't mean I don't think adults should at least give the first one a try! It's very comical and even has adult humour in I didn't understand as a child so great for rereading over and over!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Entangled - Cat Clarke

'The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got there.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here? 


I have no idea where to start with this book!!
Firstly the cover is gorgeous, I loved just staring at it and the pattern on her arm it's just beautiful! 

Grace wakes up in a very white room and begins writing after 3 days of being locked in the room, only see Ethan, who she doesn't remember who he is or why he is there or why she is there in the first place. He isn't much help and can't give her the answers she needs so she begins to write. I adore the fact you are in her head and totally engrossed. It's also very believable writing! It reads like Grace is writing the first thing that pops into her head. I remember reading the first mention of Nat and panicking that I had missed something completely...after reading back I bit I realised Grace wasn't writing for an audience...she was writing as a form of therapy which made me all the more interested in the end!

In terms of Nat, Sal and the mother I found it very creepy (and exact) that they reminded me of relationships I had had when I was younger with friends and parents. It made the story more authentic that Cat has managed to capture personality for these three in the bits they say and that the characters are so true. 

I thought towards the end that things were starting to look up for Grace. I'd spent the first quarter of the book believing that she was being abducted and kept captive, then I thought she might be in a psychiatric ward. I soon gave up trying to figure out what was happening because I was too wrapped in Grace's recollections of her relationships.

By the end I was sat there going "What?!" and re-read the last chapter again! I have to admit I overheard (over-read?) a conversation on Twitter and what happened at the ending was hinted at but the way the story was going I never thought it could actually happen!

I am really annoyed it took me this long to read this book! It’s been on my shelf since June and I am kicking myself for leaving it that long!


Sunday, 23 October 2011

IMM (#14) 23/10/11

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 I got...


Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz
Point Blanc - Anthony Horowitz
Skeleton Key - Anthony Horowitz
Eagle Strike - Anthony Horowitz
Scorpia - Anthony Horowitz
Ark Angel - Anthony Horowitz
Snakehead - Anthony Horowitz
Crocodile Tears - Anthony Horowitz
Scorpia Rising - Anthony Horowitz

They were on offer and I couldn't help I actually have book 7 and book 8 (duplicates) free to a good home if there is anyone else who reads them! I'm thinking about trying to read them all as soon as possible and review them all. I can't wait to see what I think now I'm older as I started reading them when they first came out!

Girl Meets Boy - edited by Kelly Milner Halls

The lovely people at Abrams & Chronicle ran a twitter giveaway (@ACKidsUK) for this book and I won! Having some great luck recently! This is an anthology of "he said/she said" stories that are paired and sounds brilliant, it also doesn't come out till March 2012 so I feel super lucky! Look out for the review on that one as soon as I'm done!
What did you get this week?!


x x

Thursday, 20 October 2011

0.4 - Mike Lancaster

It's a brave new world.

'My name is Kyle Straker. And I don't exist anymore.'

So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded onto old audiotapes. You might think these tapes are a hoax, but perhaps they contain the history of a past world....If what the tapes say is true, it means that everything we think we know is a lie.

And if everything we know is a lie, does that mean that we are, too?


I found this book randomly in WH Smith's one day, and at first I was shocked that I hadn't seen a review of it yet...then I started to worry that maybe it was awful...I was very wrong!
The novel is written verbatim from a set of cassette tapes and explains how this young boy discovered the truth about what was happening around him. At first as the story started I wasn’t sure the background story was going to intrigue me enough to continue, but I battled through, and am really glad I did. I did feel that some of the background information wasn’t needed and that things could have worked well without it.

Kyle as a character was okay, something with him just didn’t sit right with me but that may just be teenage boys...I never could understand them! I loved the other characters, Kate was amazingly calm and level headed. While Kyle's personality annoyed me, the readers get a chance to see how much he has matured since the incident occurred and when the tapes are being recorded. 

There is so much I want to say about the actual plot, however massive spoilers would occur and there would be a lot of unhappy people. I absolutely LOVED the last few chapters...I actually squealed because I thought it was so brilliant and that Lancaster (the author) is a genius for coming up with something so plausible and something I never would have guessed.

One of my favourite bits of the novel was the little footnotes at the end explaining references such as Teletubbies and Reality TV shows! It really helped set the scene that this was a set of found tapes from another time period. They appear lots at the start of the book and while it helped set the scene and the idea of what world the book was actually meant for really got me thinking. They stopped after a while and at first I was upset as they helped break the story up and added more comedy, but looking back on it, they vanished when the story became more critical and dramatic so adding comedy wouldn't be the best option!

Each chapter ends mid sentence, which is explained at the beginning of the novel that the tapes “cut off” and Kyle doesn’t notice, and each tape starts mid sentence as he doesn’t realise that there is a blank bit at the side. This suggests that it is a time after the common use of tape recorders and that the story isn’t set in the current time but set in the future, and then the book is written even further.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think I missed the least I hope I missed the hype, because I would hate to think this book was missed by lots of people! I also found out while trying to get a synopsis that there is a idea how that is going to work but I'm excited to see how it will work!!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover - Ally Carter

When Cammie "the Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept a nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnapper's dangerous plot, with only their espionage skills to save them. 

As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can they keep her safe?

Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth..


 Yet another Gallagher Girl's review!! I have to say it took me till this book to realise the little things on each cover, including the insignia...and the spaghetti on the first one! 

With the third book there was a lot less of classes and school routine mentioned, which I was a bit upset about at first, but then thinking about it most of it has already been covered in the other two books! 

One thing that was mentioned in this book that wasn't in the other one was Cammie's family!! (yey!) Still no more mention of her father (boo....) but there were more hints that keep me waiting and wishing for the next book to appear! 

This edition of the saga is more focused on Macey, which at first I was apprehensive. As I stated in my review of I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You I didn't really like Macey as a character as one minute she is a snob, the next they are all close friends and it was like we missed a massive chunk of them all getting to know each other. However finally getting to see another side to Macey was brilliant! She really grew on me as a character when you get to see a different side to her and the whole idea of what cover does she actually have! (Big reference to the title which I only realised once I had finished the book...woops?)

As this series progresses I can really see a difference in the characters and that they are developing and not a stand alone point in their lives, which in comparison to other boarding school books (The Twins at St Clare's and Malory Towers) in which they get older age wise, but not really in how they speak or the topics they discuss.

The next book in the series is already on my shelf and I can't wait till I get to read it and be all excited. It is a book that I can read in one sitting and then an hour later wish I had another 4 hours to read it all over again. It is also a very nice light series which after some of the heavier dystopian and thought provoking books I've been reading it is lovely to just sit down and read about teenage girls who are spys....!

Friday, 14 October 2011

T.G.I.F. Friday, Oct. 14th - Show & Tell

Friday, Oct. 14th -Show & Tell: Where do you grab a book and get lost in it? Show us your favourite spot you like to read at.

Anywhere!! However my most common place is here:

Yep..Plain old (very, very comfy) sofa with my phone, my ashtray & cigarettes, and usually a cat or two jumping on me. The kitten (pictured) has a habit of hitting the book as I'm reading it as she wants attention!

I also love to read next to an open fire, or lying on the floor however I don't have a fireplace in my house (booo) and if I lie on the floor then the cats have to be locked out the room. I also try to make sure I have random paper/receipts/vouchers for bookmarks lying around as I never end up using the same bookmark again! 

As much as I love to read outdoors, my only problem is that I end up getting distracted and people watch...or pretend I'm reading while hearing random conversations or watching people and that's not good when trying to read something really interesting!

Where do you like to read?



Sunday, 9 October 2011

IMM (#13) 25/09/11 & 08/10/11

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'm still alive!! *waves* and I have lots of pretty books to show off!

The week of the 25th September I got these two books:

Dark Angel - Eden Maguire

Gifted by the lovely Emma at BookAngelBooktopia!...ha...Book Angel gave me Dark Angel...teehee...

The Demon Trappers: Forsaken - Jana Oliver 

I saw this through a giveaway on Laura's (Sisterspooky) blog, and I thought it sounded really good so bought the first one in the series!

Then...there was a week of silence in the book department...then this week..(8th October):

Lots and lots and lots and lots!!! 


Born Free - Laura Hind
Zodiac - Robert Greysmith
Jack - A.M. Homes
Juliet, Naked - Nick Hornby

The brilliant and funny Beth at Pieces of Me posted a very long list of books, that were free to a good home...Who can pass that up?! So defiantly did well there!

Kill All Enemies - Melvin Burgess
Delirium - Lauren Oliver
Die For Me - Amy Plum

Thanks to Laura, I discovered Delirium and Die for Me on offer together for 3 for £5! I ran to the shop to get hold of it and bounced around! 

And I saw Kill All Enemies on Emma's blog a while ago and was so interested, I loved Junk by Melvin Burgess and can defiantly recommended it! 

The Demon Trappers: Forbidden- Jana Oliver

I WON A BOOK!!! =D I bounced around the office when I found this out! Thanks to Laura's giveaway I now have the second in the series! And I got a lovely chocolate bar from Cocoapod...but thats hidden from Mike, and if I bring it out to take a pic he might find it and eat it all up!!

So life has been super hectic lately...I've been dealing with a sick kitty, a boyfriend who got attacked by sick kitty and is "now unable to do anything", sick sort-of-dad-in-law, sick sort-of-sister-in-law (i.e. boyfriends family), I've been under redundancy consultation and found out I didn't get my own job (that I had to apply for again).
I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it.
So with all that I haven't read a book in three weeks (the thought makes me want to cry) and I haven't blogged anything in 3 weeks (the previous posts were written 3 weeks ago!).
I will be back! and I want to give special mentions to the following people on Twitter:
Raimy who always gets a mention because she's always there for me anytime I need her
Emma who spent a night just nattering to me to distract me
Stuart who is always there to make you laugh...or maybe just because he has the same form of cynical humour but definatly worth a follow!
Laura/Sisterspooky for all the super pretty books and information