Books 5,6,7,8

YES I’m slacking again….working full time sucks! That’s for sure 😉 although it does give me the opportunity to buy books, I don’t have the time to read as much as I would like and I do not have time to blog….*ends rant*

I’ve finished 4 books since my last post. I’m 2 books behind on schedule, but I’m sure as soon as I’m leaving for NYC for a well deserved break, I’ll catch up on those during the long flight 😉

Book 5: Legend – Marie Lu, Summary:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. (source: Goodreads)

Personal Opinion:
It was a bit of a slow start to me, I didn’t get into the story right away. But as the first few chapters of world building were over, I got into it more and more and came to love the book in the end. It’s been a while since I read it, so I don’t remember all the details anymore, but I did like the way the story unfolds and applaud both main characters for their bravery! If you like distopian fiction, you should totally give it a try 🙂

Book 6 & 7: The Hunger Games part 1 & 2
I don’t think I’ll have to introduce this trilogy to anyone as it’s widely known and loved by many many people. The movie adaptation of the first book was released in March and I wanted to re-read the books. I LOVED reading them again, I discovered many details that I didn’t see before. Also, it was refreshing to read them after one another, instead of having to wait 1,5 years between each release. It really is the next best thing beside my Harry Potter addiction 😉 I’m sure I can re-read these books over and over again. As I’m not much of a re-reader that says enough 😉

Book 8: Fear – Michael Grant, Summary:
It’s been one year since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

Despite the hunger and the lies, even despite the plague, the kids of Perdido Beach are determined to survive. Creeping into the tenuous new world they’ve built, though, is perhaps the worst incarnation yet of the enemy known as the Darkness: fear.

Within the FAYZ, life breaks down while the Darkness takes over, literally—turning the dome-world of the FAYZ entirely black. In darkness, the worst fears of all emerge, and the cruelest of intentions are carried out. But even in their darkest moments, the inhabitants of the FAYZ maintain a will to survive and a desire to take care of the others in their ravaged band that endures, no matter what the cost.
(source: Goodreads)

Personal Opinion:
The more frequent visitors of this blog have read about Michael Grant before. His Gone series is so freaking amazing! This is the 5th book of 6 in total and I can’t wait for the last book to be released. The 4th book was a little less good compared to the other ones, but with book 5 Grant makes it all up to me again 😉 The ending, oh my, the ending is FREAKY and makes me ache for the last book. I NEED TO KNOW HOW IT ALL UNFOLDS like.right.now! I was literally swearing in bed when I finished the book….(and yeah that was a good thing lol)

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Book 4: Room – Emma Donoghue

Summary:
In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way–he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows, but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their insular world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary. Despite its profoundly disturbing premise, Emma Donoghue’s Room is rife with moments of hope and beauty, and the dogged determination to live, even in the most desolate circumstances. A stunning and original novel of survival in captivity, readers who enter Room will leave staggered, as though, like Jack, they are seeing the world for the very first time. (Source: Amazon)

Personal Opinion:
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads. Yes, it was THAT good! What a marvellous book! It is so unbelievable and yet believable how Jack percieves the world. He thinks that everything that is not inside Room is only on tv and that the ‘outside world’ does not exist. It is hard to imagine to live this way, but for Jack this is ‘normal’. He doesn’t know any better. This makes it obviously even more shocking for him when he finds out that the world he sees on tv in most ways is real! He’s such a brave little boy and he made me laugh and cry multiple times while reading the book.

The little things that we take for granted, like feeling the wind blow in our faces or feel the warmth of the sun on our skin, is something that Jack doesn’t know. When he experiences them for the first time he gets confused and scared, which is totally understandable but also so sad. I loved how Donoghue makes the reader understand how the little things in life are BIG things for Jack. There are so many things he has to learn and understand, so much confusing and conflicting information coming his way, it’s just heartbreaking. However, Jack is such a lovable and cute kid, you just want him to do well. It’s weird to realize that his life in Room is NOT the traumatizing part of his life, it’s being in the outside world after 5 years in Room that makes things really hard for him.

This book really impressed me and I applaud Donoghue for the psychological insights that she gives her readers 🙂

Book 3: The Death Cure – James Dashner

Summary:
Thomas knows that Wicked can’t be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they’ve collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It’s up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn’t know is that something’s happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can’t believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure? (Source: Goodreads.com)

Personal Opinion:
This was the final book of the Mazerunner trilogy by James Dashner. I enjoyed the first two books very much, so I was looking forward to read how it all would unfold in the last book. It was a good read! However, just like with the Hunger Games trilogy, I thought the first two books were the best. The Death Cure is a bit like Mockingjay, where the first two books were all set in a confined space, the last one is all over the place with lots of fighting scenes. I didn’t mind this much, but for some reason I like the whole concept of a game or trial that sets in one place better than a war against multiple enemies around the country/planet.

I also thought there was a bit too much of *fighting-being captured-miraculously escape-fighting-being captured-miraculously escape* going on in The Death Cure. It did keep things alive and at a fast pace though 🙂

I loved how Thomas is torn between trusting his (former) friends and (former) enemies. At some point he just does not know anymore who is talking the truth and who is trying to trick him. The whole psychological game that is played by WICKED and the way Thomas deals with this by totally trusting his instincts, is very nicely done!

Book 2: The BFG – Roald Dahl

Summary:
“Well, first of all, ” said the BFG, “human beans is not really believing in giants, is they? Human beans is not thinking we exist.”

Sophie discovers that giants not only exist, but that there are a great many of them who like to guzzle and swallomp nice little chiddlers. But not the Big Friendly Giant. He and Sophie cook up an ingenious plot to free the world of troggle-humping — forever.

Personal Opinion:
I used to read this book when I was little and I watched the movie/cartoon version every Christmas when it was on TV. Unfortunately it hasn’t been aired the last 10 years that I can think of. So when my friend told me she had a copy of the book, I just HAD to pick it up, for old times sake. I totally forgot the story, because it had been so long ago. I loved reading this again. I marvelled at the Giant’s funny way of talking! Roald Dahl really had to invent stuff and be very creative to get this way of speech to be so ‘natural’ for the BFG. It was great to go back in time and plunge back into a world that is as special as the world that Roald Dahl envisioned in his novels.

I heard that there is a new movie in the making. I know for sure that I’ll be the first to stand in line at the movie theater to see this new version of the story!

Book 1: Lament – Maggie Stiefvater

Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She’s about to find out she’s also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen’s sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren’t so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn’t exactly what she had in mind . . . (Source: Goodreads)

Personal Opinion:
I loved loved loved Maggie Stiefvater’s other work, especially the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. Naturally, I wanted to read more by this author and picked up Lament when I was in London for a weekend. The book was okay, but it didn’t sweep me off my feet, like Shiver did for example.

I had a hard time connecting to Deirdre in the beginning. She wasn’t very likable to me. Also, I didn’t think it was very believable how blind she trusts Luke, even when all the signs are screaming DANGER, she still does not even question him when he does something really awful. The last thing that was a bit annoying that the plot twists and suspenseful moments for some reason were so rushed, that I had to go back a page to see if I missed something, because at times I had NO CLUE what was going on….

However, I did like the story itself and wished it had a bit more depth here and there. I think I will read the second book in this series, just because I want to know how the story unfolds 🙂

2012: a 30 books challenge

Alright, I know, I know, I’ve failed again miserably this year with my bookchallenge. It’s not that I didn’t read any books after my last post, but I never reached my goal of 50 and I didn’t have time to blog about the books I did read because I was working on the renovation of our new home!

I still love keeping my book blog and I hope to find the time next year to update more often. However, to finally be able to reach my goal, I’m changing my standards 😉 Instead of 50 books, I’m hoping to read 30 books in 2012. Maybe this time I will finally get to celebrate a finished challenge at the end of the new year!

Keep your eyes open, because the first book in 2012 that I will review is ‘Lament’ by Maggie Stiefvater 🙂

 

Book 14 & 15 & 16

I’m way behind again with my blogs, that I don’t even seem to remember which books I’ve read lately :S Here’s a quick recap from my latest reads.

Book 14: Lies – Michael Grant

Summary:  It’s been seven months since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

It happens in one night. A girl who died now walks among the living; Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach; and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most: Drake. But Drake is dead. Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness—or so they thought.

As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake, who is back from the dead and ready to finish where he and Sam left off. And all the while deadly rumors are raging like the fire itself, spread by the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza. They say that death is a way to escape the FAYZ. Conditions are worse than ever and kids are desperate to get out. But are they desperate enough to believe that death will set them free? (source: goodreads.com)

Personal Opinion: I LOVE MICHAEL GRANT! His books are brilliant and his plots are always thrilling and totally unpredictable. Can’t wait to read book 4 in the series.

Book 15: The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it. (Source: goodreads.com)

Personal Opinion: For some reason I always end up crying over movies/tv series, but with a book I almost never cry. Well, with this one I did! And that says a lot about the book. If you read the summary it seems like nothing really happens and it’s one of those predictable coming of age stories. However, I never imagined that this would be so beautifully written and so rich with emotions….I loved every page and every word of it!

Book 15: Beauty Queens – Libba Bray

Summary: The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program–or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan–or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again. (Source: goodreads.com)

Personal Opinion: At first I was like WTF is this. I totally did NOT expect the book to be the way it is. I imagined a whole different story. But when I warmed up a bit and got used to the funny writing style and the AWESOME hilarious footnotes, I raced through this book like a madman and found to have a soft spot for almost all the girls in the book. It’s a book with satire and it’s way over the top, but that’s what makes the message even stronger; beauty isn’t everything 🙂

ps: When I traveled by train to work and brought this book with me to read, I totally left the cover at home. I would be so embarrased to read it with this cover for everyone to see, lol. But again, the cover totally fits the book…

Book 12 & 13: Living Dead in Dallas & Club Dead – Charlaine Harris

Book 12: Living Dead in Dallas – Charlaine Harris

Summary: Waiting tables, sweeping floors, reading minds and solving mysteries for the undead. It’s all in a day’s work for Sookie…

Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of real bad luck. First, her co-worker gets murdered and no one seems to care. Then Sookie is attacked – and poisoned – late one night by some weird and apparently mythical beast. She only survives because the local vampires roll up and graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn’t enjoy it). But in return the blood-suckers need a favor.

Which is why Sookie ends up in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire, on the condition that her undead friends don’t do anything, well, vampiric while she’s there. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly… (source: Goodreads.com)

Book 13: Club Dead – Charlaine Harris

Summary: Things between cocktail waitress Sookie and her vampire boyfriend Bill seem to be going excellently (apart from the small matter of him being undead) until he leaves town for a while. A long while. Bill’s sinister boss Eric has an idea of where to find him, whisking her off to Jackson, Mississippi to mingle with the under-underworld at Club Dead. When she finally catches up with the errant vampire, he is in big trouble and caught in an act of serious betrayal. This raises serious doubts as to whether she should save him or start sharpening a few stakes of her own … (Source: Goodreads.com)

 

Personal Opinion: I’ve been watching True Blood (the TV series) and am a tiny bit addicted…which made me decide to read the books as well. Most of the time, this doesn’t work for me, because when I already know as story from a movie, it’s hard for me to finish the book because I already know what will happen. So I always try to do things the other way around. However, I discovered these books through the TV series, so I didn’t have a choice. The first book wasn’t really impressive, and I kept comparing the series to the book. Which was really annoying. With book 2 & 3 the stories are continuing to be different from the TV series, which makes it easier for me to keep the two apart 🙂 The writing style is very simple, which annoyed me in the beginning. All the short sentences and the quick emotions without much background were bugging me, but after a while I got used to it and the storyline itself just keeps on getting better. I especially like the role of Eric in the books…in the TV series he’s a bit more on the background in Sookies life and she’s all over Bill, but in the books she really does have feelings for him. Eric is so funny sometimes and I love his sarcastic humor 🙂 I can’t wait to find out what happens next, in both the books and the TV series! True Blood will start again next week with Season 4, yay!

Book 9, 10 & 11

I’m a little behind on my bookreviews, but I did read! So I decided to give you a quick overview of book 9, 10 and 11, so I can hopefully continue with my reviews a bit more frequently after that 🙂

Book 9: Spells – Aprilynne Pike

Summary: Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger–and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

Personal Opinion: I got Wings, the first book in the series from a friend for my birthday and really loved it. It was cute, wonderful and thrilling as well. This second book in the series was no less fun! I especially really enjoyed the descriptions of life in Avalon. It must be heaven! Although the author is not scared to fit in some questionmarks about racism and slavery. Avalon is not as perfect at you might think, but the way this world is described makes me want to go and look for it! lol.

Book 10: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon

Summary: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.

Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind. (source: Goodreads.com)

Personal Opinion: I read this book in 2 days. It was such a lovely read! I really liked how the reader gets to feel what it is like to have autism and how Christopher perceives the world. The story is so funny sometimes, even though Christopher literally says in the book that he doesn’t make jokes….I also cried while reading this book, it’s heartbreaking to see how Christopher’s world is falling apart, especially when it comes to his family. I really wanted to go up to him and try to make him feel loved without hugging (because obviously he does not like to be touched). It’s just a very interesting book! And I recommend it to everyone!!!

Book 11: This World We Live In – Susan Beth Pfeffer

Summary:

It’s been a year since a meteor collided with the moon, catastrophically altering the earth’s climate. Miranda and her two brothers spend their days scavenging for food and household items, while their mother stays at home and desperately tries to hold on to the ordinary activities of their previous life. But they all know that nothing is truly normal in this surreal new world they live in.
           
The struggle to survive intensifies when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers is Alex Morales, and as Miranda’s complicated feelings for him turn to love, his plans for his future thwart their relationship. Then a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever. (source: Goodreads.com)

Personal Opinion: I loved the first book in this series, I liked the second book, and this third one was ok, but I was expecting more of it. I was so excited to read this because the characters of the first and second book finally come together in this novel. I was expecting much more action and darkness. Of course the world is still in turmoil and life sucks in general, but it took AGES for the story to go somewhere. Because you already know about the tornade from the summary, you wait for it to come, but it’s not until the very last minute that it happens, which makes the ending feel very rushed to me. I also didn’t like the romance between Miranda and Alex. At first they hate each other and all of a sudden they love each other to death and don’t want to ever be apart from each other again? Nope, I just didn’t buy that at all…So it was a bit of a dissappointment in some ways, but it was still a nice read!

Book 7 & 8: Hush, Hush & Crescendo – Becca Fitzpatrick

Again for this review, mind that I am reviewing 2 books of a trilogy, where if you have not read the first book and you are planning to do so in the future, you might not want to read on with the review about the next book, because it might spoil things for you. I’ll try not to give away too much…

Summary Hush, Hush:

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her…until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life. (Source: Goodreads.com)

Personal Opinion:

As you know, I like young adult novels with a bit of a fantasy touch. This is one of those novels. It starts out as a typical highschool story, but of course there is more to it! There is a dark side to everything and in Nora’s life this is stranger Patch. She is infatuated by him. He is mysterious and she feels the danger, but she is also very curious and he can be so charming if he wants to! This book kept me on the edge of my seat, I didn’t see everything coming and loved the thrilling sensation with every little piece of the puzzle that fell into place. At some point I suspected everyone whom I thought to be a ‘good guy’ to be on the bad side. And everyone seems to have a secret…I love unraveling secrets. And Patch, yeah, doesn’t everyone like a bad boy every once in a while??? 😉

Oh and don’t you just LOVE the cover of this book! I know I do!  It totally made me wonder what the heck this book would be about 😀 and yes, that’s a good thing 🙂

Summary Crescendo:

Nora Grey’s life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn’t pleasant, but atleast she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He’s more elusive than ever and even worse, he’s started spending time with Nora’s arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Path hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott’s totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him – despite her lingering feeling that he’s hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperatly searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything – and everyone – she trusts. (Source: Goodreads.com)

Personal Opinion:

Where the first book needed some time to get going, this book immediately starts with another mystery that you just can’t wait to have solved. This Scott guy Nora knew from her past shows up and you just know there’s something more to it. Patch is still a mystery and you do not know half of the things that he is hiding. Furthermore, this book really is thrilling from beginning to end. And don’t get me started on the cliffhanger! I was freaking out when I finished the book and discovered I have to wait until october before the next book is released. SHOOT! Anyway, if you like young adult novels with a bit of a fantasy twist, this trilogy is definitely a MUST read!!!