Monday, April 29, 2013

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Title: Geek Girl

Author: Holly Smale

Published: HarperCollins Children's Books, February 2013

Pages: 378

Summary: Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. 

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. 

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did. 
And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?  (Taken from Goodreads)


Thoughts: I thought that Geek Girl sounded like it could be quite a funny read and after seeing a couple of really good reviews for Geek Girl I thought I would give it a go.

Needless to say, I did quite enjoy Geek Girl but I didn't laugh as much as I thought I would.  I did laugh here and there at a few things but I also felt like Geek Girl had a few sad moments too.

Harriet is a pretty likeable character although at times I felt like grabbing her and telling her that she's going about everything all wrong.  I really liked Annabel too and I thought it was really awesome that for once a step mother is not a horrible person in literature.  I'm sure there are a few more out there but I couldn't tell you any off the top of my head.  I have to say though, Nat was an awesome best friend and I thought it was cool how, even though Harriet and Nat were completely different people they still got along really well.

The story line was quite interesting and I was surprised by how quickly things got resolved.  It kind of made me feel like the end was missing things.  I did find out, however, there is currently a sequel being written which is good because hopefully then I will get my fulfilment with how fast the ending showed up.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Geek Girl.  I didn't think it was overly amazing but I thought it was a nice fun read that kept me entertained at night time.

Source: Library

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dead Rules by Randy Russell

Title: Dead Rules

Author: Randy Russell

Published: HarperTeen, 2011

Pages: 376

Summary: Till death

Jana Webster and Michael Haynes were in love. They were destined to be together forever.

Do

But Jana's destiny was fatally flawed. And now she's in Dead School, where Mars Dreamcote lurks in the back of the classroom, with his beguiling blue eyes, mysterious smile, and irresistibly warm touch.

Us

Michael and Jana were incomplete without each other. There was no room for Mars in Jana's life--or death--story. Jana was sure Michael would rush to her side soon.

Part
But things aren't going according to Jana's plan. So Jana decides to do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true--no matter what rules she has to break.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: When I read the premise of Dead Rules I thought it sounded like it could be light and funny; this however, was not entirely true.  For the most part the book has some heavy content delivered in a somewhat light manner but it is no way humorous really.

I feel for the most part I was really nervous reading Dead Rules because it felt like standing on a train track and waiting for the train to hit.  I knew that there would be a point in the book that would be so painful for Jana and so I wanted to get there but at the same time I was so apprehensive because I just didn’t want to have to go through those emotions with Jana.

The weird part that while there was the emotional wreck of Jana, it wasn’t at all how I thought it would be.  I spent the majority of the book feeling sorry for Jana because she just couldn’t see what everyone else could see.

I did enjoy reading the book.  It had a really unique spin on it and I thought the stories the others told about how they died was quite interesting.  I did think the ending was a little sad though.  It wasn’t at all what I was expecting but at the same time it kind of made sense.

Source: Purchased

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Title: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Published: Ballantyne Books, 1991

Pages: 190

Summary: Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires...

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning ... along with the houses in which they were hidden.

Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames... never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.
Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think... and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have a lot of thoughts about Fahrenheit 451 but it’s really difficult to put them into coherent words on this page.  I feel like the book was so well written and well thought out that anything I have to say about it probably won’t do the book any justice.

Let’s start with Guy Montag; he’s a strange character.  I suppose he starts out as just another average guy who carries on about life until a couple of events leave him curious.  I have to wonder if he didn’t already have a questioning spark in his mind or whether or not one day his mind got a little bit more curious from one of the events that took place in the book.  It’s something I’ve been pondering for a while.

The story is really tragic but at the same time, it’s highly engrossing.  Guy Montag just does some incredibly outrageous things and you just have to keep reading to find out if he will be caught or if things will just get overlooked.  I definitely feel like Fahrenheit 451 makes a point of the old saying that every action has a consequence.

I’m still thinking about the overall idea of the story.  Would it have been better for Guy Montag if he had never read any books or if he had burned them straight away?  Were the people in control, right for banning books because they only encourage more people to think for themselves and to question?  These are the thoughts that Fahrenheit 451 has left me with.

Overall, I think that Fahrenheit 451 is such a great book and it leaves you thinking and questioning everything that happened within the book for days after.  I know that I am not going to easily forget Fahrenheit 451 so I would definitely recommend this book to others.

Source: Library

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang

Title: Tales from the Arabian Nights

Author: Andrew Lang

Published: Naxos Audiobooks, 2004

Summary:  Contains the four stories Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor and The Story of Blind Baba-Abdalla.

Thoughts: I knew the stories of Sinbad and Aladdin and I had heard the name Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves but had never read any interpretations of the stories. 

I really liked these ones as it expanded on the Disney Aladdin and I really enjoyed the full story of Aladdin.  I also really enjoyed the expansion of the Sinbad story which I had read an abridged version of in a children’s book I used to own.


So the stories featured in this little anthology are Aladdin and The Wonderful Lamp, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor and The Story of Blind Baba-Abdalla. 

I really enjoyed them all and I would have to say that Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves would be my favourite story of the four of them and my least favourite would be The Story of Blind Baba-Abdalla but they were all fairly close in my enjoyment of them.

I have to say that I was really happy with this book.  It has definitely got me interested in more tales from the Arabian Nights and so I will probably be picking up more of these in the future.

Source: Audiobook Sync

Monday, April 15, 2013

How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff

Title: How to Lie with Statistics

Author: Darrell Huff

Published: Penguin Group, 2009

Pages: 142

Summary: Darrell Huff runs the gamut of every popularly used type of statistic, probes such things as the sample study, the tabulation method, the interview technique, or the way the results are derived from the figures, and points up the countless number of dodges which are used to fool rather than inform.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this one.  It had been on my list of books that I need to read for such a long time that I am glad to say that I have finally read it.


While the examples are somewhat dated considering this book was originally published in the 50’s, the statistics still apply and the wrongdoings of the statistics are still happening and relevant.  The little cartoons add to the book and just give it a lighter and more fun feeling.

What I loved the most about this book is that it was really simplistic in the writing and even easy to understand so anyone can read it; even those who don’t have a lot of background in statistics.  I feel like it’s a good tool or guide when reading statistics in newspaper articles and in news reports.

I think that anyone interested in either what not to do when writing a report using statistics or how other people can try to give you misleading information will definitely enjoy reading this book.  I would definitely recommend that anyone who works in a statistical job should give this one a read too.

Source: Purchased

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Title: The Last Wish

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski

Published: Gollancz, 2012

Pages: 280

Series: Book 1, The Witcher

Summary: Geralt was always going to stand out, with his white hair and piercing eyes, his cynicism and lack of respect for authority ... but he is far more than a striking-looking man. He's a witcher, with powers that make him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin - his targets are the vile fiends that ravage the land.

As guardian of the innocent, Geralt meets incestuous kings with undead daughters, vengeful djinns, shrieking harpies, lovelorn vampires and despondent ghouls. Many are pernicious, some are merely, and none are quite as they appear.  (Taken from Goodreads)


Thoughts: I had some apprehension when it came to reading The Last Wish but when I started it I found myself genuinely interested in the story.  This book series is what started off The Witcher game and I can see through reading the book, how these stories could be translated over into video games because the stories leave themselves open for that sort of thing.

I found all of the short stories to be really interesting and if I had to pick a favourite I wouldn’t be able to because I found them all to be of the same quality.  I wouldn’t say they were absolutely perfect but I would say that I definitely enjoyed them.

One small issue I had was with the structure and wording of some of the sentences.  It just seemed to be worded strangely and this could just be from the translation.  It initially distracted me but as I got further into the book I found it not so bad.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Last Wish.  It was an entertaining book and I am curious to continue with the book series as well as possibly venture into the video games.  I think anyone who enjoys a good fantasy novel will enjoy this one.

Source: Purchased

Monday, April 8, 2013

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Title: Notes from Ghost Town

Author: Kate Ellison

Published: Egmont USA, February 2013

Pages: 336

Purchase Links:
Book Depository*

Summary: They say first love never dies...

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death. 

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?
With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: After reading and spending hours thinking about Kate’s first book The Butterfly Clues I jumped at the chance to read Notes from Ghost Town.  Needless to say, I am just as impressed by Notes From Ghost Town as I was by The Butterfly Clues.

The story starts with a bang and just kept getting more and more interesting.  I really enjoyed it from the very beginning.  I love the way that Kate Ellison is able to weave such heart-breaking but also really enthralling mysteries together.

I liked Olivia as a character because she was relatable and I also felt like I could really get inside her head and feel the same emotions she was feeling.  I did find the colour blindness to be missing through parts of the book, like it was there but I felt that it was forgotten for a long part of the book and then only popped up later on after not being discussed for such a long time.

I always love trying to figure out who the bad guy was and why they did it.  Notes from Ghost Town was no exception and I have to say that I had guessed who done it by the time it was revealed but I hadn’t figured out why.

Overall, I really loved reading Notes from Ghost Town.  It was such a good book!  I felt it was really well written, the mystery was intriguing and the emotions were all there.  Kate Ellison is such a talented writer and I look forward to reading more from her.

Source: NetGalley

Friday, April 5, 2013

Guys Read: Funny Business

Title: Guys Read: Funny Business

Editor: Jon Scieszka

Contributing Authors:  


Summary: It’s here: Volume One of the official Guys Read Library. Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read initiative was founded on a simple premise: that young guys enjoy reading most when they have reading they can enjoy. And out of this comes a series that aims to give them just that. Ten books, arranged by theme, featuring the best of the best where writing for kids is concerned. Each book is a collection of original short stories, but these aren’t your typical anthologies—each book is edgy, inventive, visual, and one-of-a-kind, featuring a different theme for guys to get excited about.
Funny Business is based around the theme of—what else?—humor, and if you’re familiar with Jon and Guys Read, you already know what you’re in store for: ten hilarious stories from some of the funniest writers around. Before you’re through, you’ll meet a teenage mummy; a kid desperate to take a dip in the world’s largest pool of chocolate milk; a homicidal turkey; parents who hand over their son’s room to a biker; the only kid in his middle school who hasn’t turned into a vampire, wizard, or superhero; and more. (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts: There is a range of different stories in this one and I have some thoughts on each story individually so I thought I would talk a little bit about each story.
Best of Friends
I had an idea of how this story would go but I was actually a little bit wrong and the ending was not how I had expected it to go.  I thought the story was pretty entertaining.

Will
Will was not a story I was expecting at all.  It’s set in a world different from ours because a lot of the characters have different abilities and special powers.  I wouldn’t define this one as comedy but I would still say that it’s a really entertaining science fiction/ fantasy read.

Artemis Begins
I really enjoyed this one.  I thought it was well-written and it had quite a few funny parts.  I could see what would happen in the end but I still really enjoyed reading through this one.

Kid Appeal
I thought that this one had some funny moments in it.  I did laugh out loud at a couple of things but I felt like there was something missing with the story.

Your Question for Author Here
I thought this story was pretty good.  The story was intriguing and the ending was predictable but I thought that it was a well-written and interesting story.

A Fistful of Feathers
The ending of this one was really funny and I enjoyed reading through it but I did find it to be a really long story and some of the parts were a little dull.  I would say it’s worth reading through for the ending though.

Unaccompanied Minors
I don’t have a lot to say about this one.  It was basically just a bunch of little stories where the brothers play pranks on each other.  It was interesting enough but not the greatest story I’ve ever read.

What? You think you got it rough?
This one was basically just about a guy whose Grandad was quite a mean guy.  Nothing exceptionally intriguing happened in this one it just wasn’t all that appealing to me either.

My Parents gave my Bedroom to a biker
I thought this one was interesting at first but then when it got into the story it edged over to absurd and I just really didn’t like the direction that it headed.

The Bloody Souvenir
Oh my goodness, I’m not usually squeamish but I did feel a little weak reading this one, ugh it was just so gross.  It was funny but man the main character was very very idiotic which I laughed at but was also really grossed out by his actions.  Not wanting to give away let’s just say he tries to deal with a wart he finds on his foot, all by himself.  Eww it was a little gross but still an entertaining read.  I have to say that it was a good finish to the book because I did have a smile on my face after finishing it.

Source: Audiobook Sync

Monday, April 1, 2013

Covet by Felicity E. Heaton

Title: Covet

Author: Felicity Heaton

Published: Dark Rose Publishing, 2012

Pages: 103

Series: Book 1, Vampire Erotic Theatre Romance

Summary: They’ve burned for each other for two years, the forbidden attraction between them growing each night. Now resisting the sinful desires of their hearts is becoming impossible.

Javier knows better than to succumb to his hunger for Lilah. The mortal female belongs to a powerful aristocrat patron of Vampirerotique, the theatre he runs with three other vampires. A single touch is all it would take to break the sacred law of his kind, sentencing himself to death, but his passion for her has become too fierce to ignore and he will risk everything to make Lilah his.

Lilah has fought her desire for Javier since arriving at his theatre as a servant but each glance he has stolen, his eyes promising pleasure that will satisfy her longing for him, has chipped away at her defences and she can no longer deny her need and her forbidden feelings for the powerful vampire male.

When they find themselves alone in a private box during one of the erotic performances, will they surrender to their passion and live out their wildest fantasies in a night of wicked pleasure or will the threat of Lilah’s master keep them apart forever? (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  This book was super steamy and really awesome.  I've been getting into the erotic fiction genre a lot lately and I had been seeing this one around the blogosphere so I was like, well, I think I shall give this a read.

Needless to say, I'm super stoked that I did because I absolutely adored reading this book.  It has drama and the love interest between the two characters is so sweet and so awesome.

I do love my supernatural elements of books and the vampires in this one are really interesting and the way that they have slaves is quite different to a lot of the stuff I usually read.

Javier, was such an awesome character and I fell in love with him in this book.

Really, I just loved this book and I am looking forward to reading more in the series.  I am a little disappointed that the covers for the books are all the same though.  But, if the content is good then that's alright by me.

Source: Purchased