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Book Review - Forbidden

 Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Well hai, I know I've been rather lax with reviews recently and I apologise (sheesh I seem to be doing that a lot) but I'm gonna try and do my best to catch up on reviews for my last few reads before I disappear later this week.

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Date: 23/8/2010 AM
Source: Borrowed from Library
Description: Sixteen-year-old Maya and seventeen-year-old Lochan have never had the chance to be 'normal' teenagers. Having pulled together for years to take care of their younger siblings while their wayward, drunken mother leaves them to fend alone, they have become much more than brother and sister. And now, they have fallen in love. But this is a love that can never be allowed, a love that will have devastating consequences ... 
How can something so wrong feel so right? (Taken from Goodreads)

I started this not really knowing much about the plot except from what the blurb told me but I was intrigued and I have to say that I was utterly surpassed in my expectations. We follow the story of Maya and Lochan through their alternating perspectives as they try to cope with looking after 3 younger siblings on their own own since their mother has been leaving them alone more and more to spend time with her toyboy boyfriend. 

The whole book is written in the most gorgeous prose that it makes the incredibly difficult subject matter of the story remarkable easy to read about. You can really feel the heightened state of emotion that these two teenagers are going through and the tension is sometimes so intense that you literally have to put the book down cos your heart can't bear to keep going when you instinctively *know* that something awful will happen to keep Maya and Lochie apart.

All the main characters in Forbidden have depths to them and you can really sympathise with the inter-family struggles and the individual problems of the other children. None of them are simple or predictable, Lochan is one of the most unusual male protagonists I've read in a long while, he's a real brainbox but is introverted to the point of it being crippling. He physically can't interact with his peers at school without having panic attacks although he is fine amongst his siblings. He's a fiercely caring and protective brother and a very competent parent figure despite the crap he often has to put up with from his rebellious brother Kit.  

Maya is a much calmer and more stable individual than her brother and she has this sense of innocence about her despite all the hard times her family has been through. She's the white light to Lochan's sometimes dark temper although interestingly she's the one who sort of instigates their relationship. Although she's not as antisocial as Lochan, she still doesn't have lots of friends besides her brother and Francie. She's a sweet and likeable character even if she does have a slightly questionable taste in appropriate guys. 

The plot concept of consensual sibling incest (there's something I don't get to type very often) is pretty darn rare and I doubt that it's been portrayed as well as it is in Forbidden. Although you know that their relationship is *so* wrong and that they really need therapy, the story is so well written that you actually want them to be together and it's heart-breaking to think that no matter how they may try to conceal their love for each other, eventually someone will find out and then the shit will *really* hit the fan.

Overall this book blew me away with it's raw emotion from start to finish, I was sobbing by the end as you get so invested in the characters and their story that the ending just breaks your heart into little pieces. I find it slightly mental that I'm saying this but Forbidden is one of my favourite books of this month and considering that the book's about incest, that's saying a lot. I am going to have to get another of Tabitha's books because if they're all as beautifully written and complex as this one then I'm in for a real treat.

Y'all need to read this. Oh but I should point out that it's not being published in the US until  2011 methinks. Sorry but it's kinda neat that we UK folk get such an awesome book so long before you guys over the pond I'm not gloating honestly :P (no seriously I'm not, I feel sorry that you have to wait months to discover the amazingness that is this book). So yea as soon as you can read it, I heartily suggest that you do, or I'll set the goons on ya.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Phew! It took me several hours spanning over two days to get this done but I have finished it which is fab since I really wanted to review this before I went away.
Now I just gotta do like 4 more posts to schedule for later this week *sigh*

Have a nice evening


It's Monday What are you Reading (13)

 Monday, 30 August 2010

Good Morning Folks, my the month of August has just flown by hasn't it? It's now less than 3 weeks until I go back to university and heck knows I'm not all that prepared. But now is not the time for stressing since it's Monday and we all know what that means - I have some reading to plan!

It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through a World of Books

Books I read Last Week
Again quite a slow reading week for me but I read two cracking books so that's something I guess
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (I'm working on a review it should be up soonish)
Strange Angels By Lili St. Crow (I'll do a series review when I get to the 3rd book)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Review of the Trilogy coming soon)

Books I'm Currently Reading
I'd Tell You I love you, but then I'd have to kill you- Ally Carter So far this is a really fun read and I reckon that this series will be a great laugh.

Pharaoh - Valerio Massimo Manfredi. I've had this sat about for ages and fancied giving it a go.

Books I plan on Reading this Week
Since I'm gonna be down in London for the second half of this week I may not get much reading done. My boyfriend and I are gonna go visit the Sherlock Holmes museum while we're there so I'll probably take one of the few Holmes books I have left to read just for kicks *hehe*
Other than that I don't really know what I'll be reading, whatever tickles my fancy I guess.

So there you go, my wholly unplanned week lol.
What are you Reading this Monday?


In My Mailbox #19 The Small yet massive one

 Sunday, 29 August 2010

Evenin' folks tis a fine time for books methinks. I've had a cracking week for book acquisitions and I'm positively amazed that I'm not bouncing off the walls. I've got more awesome books this week than I know what to do with and I will *have* to start reading them as soon as possible before my TBR pile gets even more out-of-control.

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

Books Acquired This Week
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Assorted Swag (Won from Wondrous Reads)

I also have the other load of books from the Two-Day Roadtrip with Jess which I didn't show in the Vlog but I'll show the photo I took of them all.

If you want to see the posts from the Road Trip the First Day is Here and the Second Day is (here)

So that's What I had in my Mailbox this week. What have you got in yours?



Jess and Rach's Book-Hauling Trip of Awesome The Return - Day 2

After the fabulousness of Wednesday Jess and I were very much looking forward to hopping onto the train into Coventry to go and raid our favourite charity shops and the two Waterstones shops. We cut things a tad fine in the morning for catching our train but we made it and caught our breath once we had a seat :P

The first order of business was to meet Jess's mum and give her the bags which we didn't want to carry round all day then we dashed into Waterstones to get Jess a copy of Mockingjay before she went mad. We then proceeded to buy more books than was prudent but since I found some cracking bargains I really didn't care.
At one point we had to buy Jess some cheap and comfy shoes since the ones she was wearing were murdering her feet *silly Jess* :P.

I did a vlog when I got home showing the books that *I* got but I'm hoping Jess will put up a picture of all the books she got on her blog Jess Hearts Books

Rachel's Books from the Second Day
The Enemy by Charlie Higson (Bought)
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan (Bought)
I'd Tell you I love you but then I'd have to Kill You by Ally Carter (Bought)
Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin (Bought)
Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter (Bought)
Numbers by Rachel Ward (Bought)
The Conquest by Elizabeth Chadwick (Bought)
The Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick (Bought)
The Marsh-King's Daughter by Elizabeth Chadwick (Bought)

It was brilliant being able to see Jess even if it was only for two days since once I go back to University it'll be several months until we can meet up again and it really sucks not being able to see your best friend on a regular basis. We had a great time doing what we do best - buy books! Thanks for being Awesome Jess *hugs*



Jess and Rach's Book-Hauling Trip of Awesome The Return- Day 1

 Saturday, 28 August 2010

Howdy hey folks sorry for the absence of posts over the last few days, I've kind of been ignoring my blogger and Twitter in the hopes of avoiding Mockingjay spoilers (Thankfully I've been successful so far). But since the Roadtrip of Awesome is now over *sad face* I thought I'd better tell y'all about it as soon as possible.

This trip was only to be a two-day venture since last time Jess felt really ill after the second day and had to go home so we didn't want to risk that happening again. Thankfully there were no mishaps along the way.

To save repeating myself I shall simply embed the Youtube Videos we filmed telling you about the first day adventures and showing off our wonderful haul. Apologies for the cut-off at the end of the second video- it was originally *much* longer than that but when it was processed loads of it has been lost :( I shall summarise the contents for you at the bottom.

Rachel's Books from Day 1
A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell (From Jess's Weeded Bags)
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (From Jess's Weeded Bags)
Ivy by Julie Hearn (From Jess's Weeded Bags)
Let the Right One in by John Ajvide Lindqvist (From Jess's Weeded Bags)
Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner (From Jess's Weeded Bags)
Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (From Jess's Weeded Bags)
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (From Jess's Weeded Bags)
The Lady in the Tower by Marie Louise Jensen (From Jess's Weeded Bags)
The Poisoned House by Michael Ford (From Jess via Bloomsbury)
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper (From Jess via Bloomsbury)
Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow (From Jess via Quercus)
Betrayals by Lili St. Crow (From Jess via Quercus)
Jealousy by Lili St. Crow (From Jess via Quercus)
The Siege by Helen Dunmore (Bought)
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushell (Bought)

Jess's Books from Day 1
Vampire Beach - Bloodlust & Initiation by Alex Duval (From Rachel's weeded pile)
Vampire Beach - Ritual & Legacy by Alex Duval (From Rachel's weeded pile)
Vampire Beach - High Stakes & Hunted by Alex Duval (From Rachel's weeded pile)
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf (From Ellie)
Sabriel by Garth Nix (Bought)
The Angel Experiment By James Patterson (From Ellie's Shop)
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (Bought)
Dewey by Vicki Myron (Bought)
The Truth about Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell (Bought)
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (Bought)
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Bought)

There may be one or two books of Jess's that I've forgotten so forgive me. We had an awesome first day and even though the weather wasn't quite as sunny as would have been preferable at least it didn't chuck it down with rain like was predicted. When we got home we had pizza for dinner *nom nom nom* and then we watched The Little Mermaid on dvd *nerdy grin*. A generally fabulous day all round :D

Check out the next post for my second day haul and the picture of all my books and I'll link to Jess's post with the photos of her books.


It's Monday What are you Reading (12)

 Monday, 23 August 2010

Morning all, chances are that I'll wake up hours *after* this posts since I'm totally shattered and finding it hard to wake up before noon (I suppose it doesn't help that I'm still up at 1:30am watching various US tv shows just because I can) but anyway I need to get cracking so I can get to sleep.

It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through a World of Books

Books I read last week
I've just realised that I had a pretty poor week of reading and only finished two books.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 
I am working on getting reviews up for both of these but I'm having a slight block at the moment so it may be a couple of days yet.

Book I reviewed Last Week
The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith - Review Here

Books I'm Currently Reading

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma - this is possibly one of the most intense books I've read this year and I've actually had to put it down because I just know the part I was about to read was going to blow everything out of the water. Hopefully I'll pluck up the courage to carry on soon, but I keep desperately wanting for things to work out in the character's favour and I know that it's extremely unlikely to happen. 

Books I'm Planning on Reading This Week
MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins - I don't care what it takes or how much it costs me I *am* reading this book the second I get my hands on it which *will* happen this week. I'm seriously considering cancelling my lame-ass amazon order which isn't even due to dispatch until the 26th and just buying it in a bookstore on Wednesday cos dammit I don't wanna wait the 5 days it'd take to arrive. 

Besides that I have no clue what I'm gonna be reading, hopefully I'll get my reading mojo back although I reckon that'll happen when I stop staying up stupidly late watching TV and then sleeping in until the PM *sigh* I'm such an idiot really.

ALSO; this week is going to be when Jess, Ellie and I reunite for Book Hauling Road Trip of Awesome Part Deux, on Wednesday and Thursday we'll be raiding charity shops etc. for fabulous bargains although we'll be doing it with a bit more selectiveness since both Jess and I are a tad broke and already have far too many books :P So keep an eye out for posts from those days.

Anyways I'm beat and signing off now to go collapse on my bed.
Night y'all


In My Mailbox #18 The one in Two Parts

 Sunday, 22 August 2010

Howdy Folks, this here is a kinda special IMM cos I have got books on opposite sides of the Atlantic although I won't see the bunch from Florida for another 2 weeks.

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie where we all get together to share what books we've acquired in the past week.

Ze Vlog

Books Mentioned in Vlog
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Everlost by Neal Shusterman
Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Now for the cool part...
Several thousand miles away on t'other side of the Atlantic my dear sister has a list of 15 books that I'd really rather like and she has recently informed me that 5 of these books have been found and purchased for me.
So I'm now the proud owner (in spirit) of the following books

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Still Sucks to be Me by Kimberley Pauley

It's quite hard to describe how excited I am to read Inside Out, I know it's being released in the UK in Jan 2011 but dang it I can't wait that long! I'm hoping that next week I'll be able to show you actual footage of my spangly new books cos I'm gonna try and enlist my sister (and her Flip camera) to film them and post it up on Youtube.
But if not then you'll just see the books I acquire during next week.

Anyways this has been a rather lovely evening (I watched Up earlier - it's so awesome :D) and now I shall get myself off to sleep or I'm gonna have *loads* of trouble getting up tomorrow for a cricket game which I have no clue how to get to. Oh yea I think tomorrow is gonna be stressful - unless of course the game gets cancelled because of rain *does special tribal rain dance*. Let's hope that's enough lol.

So what have ye got in your mailboxes this week?


Book Blogger Hop #8/ Follow my Book Blog Friday #5

 Friday, 20 August 2010

Gurd Mornin' Campers! How are y'all doing this morning? (technically it is morning for me although it's not long into the AM). It's time for another hop!

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer @ Crazy For Books where we get to meet new bloggers and find awesome new blogs! It's on from Friday-Sunday so Let's Get a-hopping!

Follow my book blog Friday is another blogger hop hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's ViewTo join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!  
  8. If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

    Every week Jennifer also asks a question of the Hop participants, this weeks question is; How many blogs do you follow?
    I reckon I follow between 250 and 300 blogs although I'm not entirely sure about that number since it's impossible for me to read every post from every blog.

    So Howdy folks new and old, feel free to comment, follow or have a general nosy about at some of my recent posts.
    Have a good Friday


    Booking Through Thursday - Meme of Reading Questions

     Thursday, 19 August 2010

    I've been pondering over the last few days what to actually do for my 100th post but frankly my brain was dishing up peanuts so I reckon it'll be miles easier just to do a normal post for now and have a good chatty post at another time :P

    This week's Booking Through Thursday question is not so much *one* question but a whole ruck of them. Oh how I love meme's like this.

    1. Favorite childhood book?
    Erm I'm not sure actually, but I reckon the 1st Harry Potter book was a fav when I was 8
    2. What are you reading right now?
    I'm currently reading the Alchemist's Daughter by Katherine McMahon
    3. What books do you have on request at the library?
    None, I don't tend to request books
    4. Bad book habit?
    I keep buying more books than I have the time to read? :P
    5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
    Nothing at this present moment but I'm hoping to check out the Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness later
    6. Do you have an e-reader?
    nope and I don't plan on getting one
    7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
    I tend to read one at a time but occasionally I'll read bits of several
    8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
    I reckon they've changed slightly, I think I'm more critical of the books I read but nothing major
    9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
    Possibly Fallen by Lauren Kate, it was just meh and I'm not all that bothered about Torment
    10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
    So far, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - unbelievably amazing
    11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
    Not very often, I like sticking with what I know I like
    12. What is your reading comfort zone?
    YA fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction
    13. Can you read on the bus?
    Probably I can read in the car but I've never properly tried on a bus
    14. Favorite place to read?
    In bed mostly or somewhere comfy
    15. What is your policy on book lending?
    Only trusted individuals may borrow my books, any damage and I lynch ya! :P
    16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
    *le gasp* Heaven forbid!!
    17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
    *faints* How can you suggest such a thing?!
    18.  Not even with text books?
    Only if they were my own textbooks
    19. What is your favorite language to read in?
    Well English although I should be able to read in French (but I'm not very good)
    20. What makes you love a book?
    It's a mixture of the story and the characters but I can forgive a mediocre plot if the characters are amazing
    21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
    How late I stay up to finish it and my rating
    22. Favorite genre?
    Fantasy I guess
    23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
    Non-fiction, I really should read more actual history books cos I find it interesting
    Favorite biography?
    I've only read two biographies and neither were fantastic
    25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
    Yeah sort-of do writing books count?
    26. Favorite cookbook?
    I don't have one - I don't really like cooking although I do own cookbooks
    27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
    Erm I don't know if I'd call any of the books I've read "inspirational" *ponders*
    28. Favorite reading snack?
    I don't usually eat whilst reading and I don't really have a preference of snacks
    29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
    Hmm I dunno I can't remember any specific book which I was disappointed with because of hype
    30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
    Well if the majority of reviews I see of a book are positive I'm likely to enjoy it too
    31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
    If I really didn't like a book I wouldn't review it on my blog, but kinda meh books I'll still review
    32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
    Well since I study French and Spanish I'd kinda like to be able to read well in both
    33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
    The Count of Monte Cristo - that thing is *massive*! Although it's actually a pretty fast-paced read
    34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
    A Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray - I've been putting it off cos it's a rather beefy-looking book
    35. Favorite Poet?
    I don't have one - I don't read poetry cos most of it just goes over my head
    36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
    Usually no more than 3
    37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
    I've done it at least 6 times when I just haven't got into the book
    38. Favorite fictional character?
    God that's too difficult I have loads!
    39. Favorite fictional villain?
    Argh again I can't choose!! (I'll do another post on this in the future maybe)
    40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
    Any I fancy taking really I'm not one for differentiating between "beach" books and normal ones
    41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
    Probably no more than a week and a half?
    42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
    Wuthering Heights , I got about 40 pages in and gave up. I may try again one day
    43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
    TV I cannot concentrate on a book if I'm in a room with a TV
    44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
    Hmm I'm rather wary of most film adaptations but I *adore* the Lord of the Rings films
    45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - just too much was left out of that
    46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
    I can't quite remember but I think I may have once spent £56 in one go two years ago
    47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
    Not very often at all, I don't like to flick through at random in case I spot a spoiler
    48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
    Erm falling asleep? 
    49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
    Heck yea, I'm an organisational freak
    50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
    Nah I'm a hoarder, and I will often re-read books at some point in the future
    51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
    Probably although I can't remember precisely which books
    52. Name a book that made you angry.
    Catching Fire - that ending coupled with the fact that I had to wait almost a year to read Mockingjay made me rather tetchy :P
    53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
    Cracked up to be by Courtney Summers - Parker was a total bitch yet I really liked her
    54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
    The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han - I expected to like it more than I actually did
    55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
    Any of my Tamora Pierce books, I love reading her books when I want a great comfort re-read

    So there you go folks, I've tried to keep my answers short to save y'all a ton of reading. At another time I'm gonna try and do some posts about my favourite male and female characters and my favourite villains so keep an eye out for those in the next few weeks.

    This has taken me a good hour or two to answer but it's been fun, I always like these types of meme. I hope everyone is having a good Thursday and YAY for my 100th post!! *dances*


    Book Review - The Forbidden Game

     Wednesday, 18 August 2010

    Happy Wednesday! Since I don't really do memes on Wednesday I'm gonna try and make sure I get a review up instead so there's at least *something* going on here for y'all to look at :)

    I know I said I was reading just Dystopian fiction up until next Wednesday when *holy crap* Mockingjay is coming out but I read this book last Thursday and I wanted to review it before I forgot about it.

    Title: The Forbidden Game
    Author: L.J. Smith
    Date: 12/8/2010 AM
    Source: Bought
    Description: It all started with a board game. But what was supposed to be an evening of friends, fun, and games, becomes a night of danger, drama, and obsessive love. Because when Jenny and her friends try to play the Game, it comes to life. Suddenly they are in a dark world where Julian, the gorgeous guy who sold Jenny the game, rules as Prince of the Shadows. Julian is in charge, making their darkest nightmares reality. And he will do anything to claim the beautiful Jenny as his prize. The Game is real, and these friends must play through - and the only way to win is to face their most secret fears. To lose the Game is to lose your life. And that is only the beginning... (Description from Amazon)

    My Review: It's a vlog sorry and a tad non-sensical but I hope it's useful.

    My Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

    Another very enjoyable read from L.J. Smith and I'm really quite glad that they've reprinted all of her books cos she's someone I missed out on back in the 90's when they were originally published. Now the bloody publishers just need to get their act together and get Strange Fate released already!! Surely it can't still be unfinished?!?

    Anyways have a great Wednesday y'all.


    Teaser Tuesdays #11

     Tuesday, 17 August 2010

    Since I failed to do a post for this meme last week through my own laziness I'd thought I'd better redeem myself now although it is already the afternoon here so I'm kinda late lol.

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

    • Grab you current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
    • Share the title and author too so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!
    My Teaser
    "Ok," I say. So I keep holding on, but I can't help feeling strange about the way Cinna has linked us together. It's not really fair to present us as a team and lock us into the arena to kill each other. " -Pg 86 of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

    I started re-reading this last night and it's so good to be back in Panem, I love this series so much and Katniss is just a great heroine. I'm also firmly on Team Peeta :P

    So what teasing bookish goodness have folks got this week?


    Book Review - The Knife of Never Letting Go

     Monday, 16 August 2010

    Wow I've gone from doing hardly any reviews to churning out two in quick succession! I'm also hoping that I'll get up a joint review of Hunger Games and Catching Fire when I re-read those next week ahead of Mockingjay coming out *dances*.

    This review is being entered into Presenting Lenore's dystopian contest for an awesome 6 book prize pack as part of her Dystopian August event.

    Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
    Author: Patrick Ness
    Date: 14/8/2010 AM
    Source: Bought
    Description: Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. 
    But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. 
    Or are there? 
    Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence. 
    Which is impossible. 
    Prentisstown has been lying to him. 
    And now he's going to have to run... 

    My Review: 
    Holy hell in a hand-basket! Now I'll be honest when I started this I had already been blown-away by the Maze Runner the night before but bloody hell I was not expecting to be quite as gobsmacked by the time I finished. I read this in a ridiculously short time and I have no clue how I did it - it took me less than 3 hours to devour this nearly 500 pg book and I frankly wished it had been longer because I was so invested in this world and it's characters that I would have gladly gone along with them for 800 pages or more!

    Patrick Ness has created such a complex and vivid world full of mystery and secrets that we get to explore through Todd, the main character and narrator. All his life Todd thought he knew the truth about his mother's death and the situation in Prentisstown but one day he finds a spot of silence when it shouldn't exist and from then on everything he knew is thrown into doubt and his life's in danger because of it. The reader is pulled along on this adventure at break-neck speed as Todd runs from Prentisstown and after he meets Viola, the first girl he's ever seen, he realises that *she* is the silence he found and both of them are being hunted by the hoards of men from Prentisstown.

    Todd as a narrator was wonderful albeit a tad naive and stubborn about his knowledge of the world. The book is actually written in his rather uneducated vernacular which takes a bit of getting used to (especially for a spelling nazi like me :P) but it just helps to make Todd feel so real that my "attenshun" wasn't going anywhere.

    I also adored his dog Manchee, who through some strange occurrence of the New World can talk with a reasonable degree of intelligence (for a dog anyway). Manchee is the most loyal companion that any boy with no one else to talk to could ask for, sure he could a bit annoying with his doggy ADD as it were but he looked out for Todd and protected him when danger threatened. He was quite possibly the best dog ever to grace the pages of fiction *cuddles Manchee*.

    Viola was a bit of an enigma since we don't find out a huge amount about her in this book except that her and her parents were the scouts for another settler ship coming from the Old World (it takes 64 years to travel the distance between the two planets). She proves herself to be a very capable and brave girl and after a slightly rocky start her and Todd become good friends. I'm quite looking forward to learning more about her in the second book.

    Although this is a YA book there are several moments of quite distressing violence and I swear my heart broke a little half-way through (people who've read it will know exactly what I mean ). Ness's world is cruel one and Todd grows up a *lot* over the course of the story which makes me so proud of him. 

    After the non-stop action of the flight from Prentisstown, the ending stops us dead in our tracks and oh my god do I need to read the Ask and the Answer like NOW! Getting a cliff hanger like that makes you very pissed about the fact that there's no 24hr bookshops for sequel emergencies of this nature. I will be getting my hands on a copy from the library tomorrow or I may just die.

    Now I know there's been a lot of talk about this book recently and some people have been wondering whether they should read it or not. Simple answer really - OF COURSE YOU BLOODY SHOULD!! If you like dystopian fiction or even you don't you *need* to read this series. If you're not absolutely blown away by the awesomeness that is this book then I'm afraid there's something really wrong with you and I'll have to disown you. The characters are fabulous, the world is amazing and the plot is so gripping that it's driving me crazy thinking about what may happen next! What more could you ask of a book?

    My Rating: 5 Stars out of 5!!!! (heck I'd give it 7)

    Seriously read this book like now or I may have to force y'all and it won't be pretty :P



    It's Monday What are you Reading (11)

    Crikey where are all these Mondays disappearing to? It's only another 5 weeks until I go back to university and *that's* bloody strange! Ah well, let's get cracking with this week's post shall we?

    It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through a World of Books 

    Books I read Last Week
    The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan
    Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt (Review coming.. eventually)
    The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith (Review coming on Wednesday)
    The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Review Here)
    The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Review Here)

    Book I Reviewed Last Week
    By Midnight by Mia James (Review here)

    Books I'm Currently Reading
    I'm still going with the Alchemist's Daughter but I'm concentrating on my Dystopia books at the moment so I read bits when I can.

    Books I'm Planning to Read this Week

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I'll be re-reading this and Catching Fire to remind myself what's going on before the awesomeness continues in Mockingjay. 

    Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

    Besides those two I'm now quite sure just yet what I'm gonna be reading this week but those are the definite fixtures. 

    So that's my week in Reading, What are you reading this Monday?



    In My Mailbox #17 The one before I'm Home Alone

     Sunday, 15 August 2010

    Morning All! What's slightly horrifying to me is that I may already be awake when this posts (I tend to schedule posts for 7am). My parents and sister are off to Florida for three weeks tomorrow and by some insane decree *I* have been ordered to be conscious and lucid at 6:30AM!! on a Sunday!?!? to see them off to the airport. I'm fairly sure I can at least manage to be vertical but there's no way in hell that I'll make any sense at such a ridiculous hour.
    Why am I not going as well you ask? Simple, the flights cost too damn much and I've already had a holiday in the Sun this summer. I would love to go since I've not been for nearly 2 years and I miss the immense rollercoasters and the huge bookstores :P but alas I cannot - perhaps next year before I embark on my year abroad in France and Spain. So I have the house all to myself for three weeks Yay me!! (god I should never say that again)

    Anyways on with business. As always In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie where we all get together to share what books we've acquired during the week.

    Un Vlog pour vous

    Books Mentioned in Vlog
    Forest Born by Shannon Hale 
    The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (because I read it last night, I bought it back in Feb)
    The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (Not shown because I don't have it yet, but I will hopefully soon)

    So that's all I've had this week and I've been given strict instructions by my lovely, yet tyrannical sister NOT to buy more than 7 books with my own money while they're away so the next few weeks of IMM could be pretty sparse unless I get books given to me cos they don't count into the 7 book limit :P. However luck be willing my marvellous sister will be hunting out 15 books that I really, really want whilst in Florida so when she comes back I'll have a MASSIVE IMM to show y'all and it'll be jam-packed with awesome and I may not be able to talk for excitement *can't wait!*

    What did y'all get this week in *your* mailboxes?


    Book Review - The Maze Runner

     Saturday, 14 August 2010

    As part of the lead-up to the release of Mockingjay *omfg* on the 25th of August I'm reading primarily dystopian novels until then and I will do best to get the reviews up in a timely fashion as I'm planning on entering the contest running on Presenting Lenore where you can win 6 dystopia novels by linking your reviews (of dystopia books duh) on the post I've linked to above. She's also got loads of other stuff going on as part of her Dystopian August Event including reviews, interviews and reader insight into what makes dystopia such a popular genre.

    Title: The Maze Runner
    Author: James Dashner
    Date: 13/8/2010
    Source: Bought
    Description: When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
    Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
    Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. 
    Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind. (Description from

    My Review:
    Well dang, where do I begin with this? When I finished this in the early hours of Friday morning I was instantaneously craving the sequel - The Scorch Trials - but it's not out in the US until October!! *dies* so I'll have to just settle with squeeing about it to you lovely folk.

    The book starts off in a box, and when the protagonist Thomas gets yanked out of the box we're all just as lost and bewildered as he is. We get thrown into this new and strange world with no chance to catch our breath or find our bearings. We have new characters and weird slang thrown at us before we even know where the shuck we are (hehe :P). Although it was a little hard to take in all at once I rather liked the Glader terms once I deciphered what they meant - rather like A Clockwork Orange where there's no translation of the  Nadsat you just gotta figure it out from context - Thomas gets a little help from Chuck but most of it is fairly obvious after a while. 

    Dashner's writing style is pretty plain and to-the-point which is great for this type of book and after Thomas arrives in the Glade we very quickly get dragged into the action and it's almost non-stop until the end. The descriptions we do get of the Maze, the Glade and the Grievers are fab  - I could really imagine the scale of the whole complex and although the visual description of the horrific Grievers is kinda hard to picture, the sounds it makes as it moves are pretty darn terrifying. 

    Admittedly Thomas doesn't have much of a personality besides his general heroic qualities but when you have no memories of your life before getting dumped in the Glade I suppose it's kinda hard to be a fully-rounded person. I'm hoping we find out in the second book why him and Teresa are special like they are cos it seems a wee bit convenient.

    The character I adored was Chuck, lovely cuddly Chuck. He was the first semi-friendly person we meet when so far all the reply Thomas got to his multitude of questions was the equivalent of "shut your shucking face, shank!". I don't know about Thomas but *I* was bloody frustrated with no one answering his questions - there's so much we don't know about the Glade, the Maze and the point of it all but NO ONE will tell us anything! ARGH! Chuck, however gives us some insight into what the fandazzle is going on which is comforting - slightly. He's a loyal friend and is part brother and part mother figure to Thomas by looking after him during his first few days when the other Gladers are suspicious of him. Chuck Rocked. 

    The whole concept of the maze, changing every night and even after two years no exit ever appearing is fantastic as a test of human resilience - that these kids have spent so long running through the maze searching all corridors for even a hint of a way out is so inspiring. Many less determined people would have given up months ago once it became apparent that the maze was impossible to solve.

    Although the characterisation was limited in this first book I'm hopeful that there'll be improvement on this aspect in the next books. The action was very fast paced and I raced through this in a couple of hours although it was only a shortish book (370 pages) but there's a lot packed into it - some questions are answered but a *lot* more are raised especially at the end of the book which has me dying to know what's gonna happen next. 

    When I finished this I originally gave it 5 stars but last night after finishing The Knife of Never Letting Go I felt I needed to differentiate slightly between the two cos TKoNLG was better imho and it deserves 5 stars. But Jess (Jess Hearts Books) reckons I should keep my original rating so as a compromise I'll rate it thus;

    My Rating: 4.75 Stars out of 5

    Amazing read but not quite as mind-blowing as the Knife of Never Letting Go - which I'll be reviewing very soon so keep an eye out for that on either Monday or Tuesday.



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