Monthly Archives: Sep 2014

Friday Finds #3

FRIDAY FINDS, a book meme by MzB of Should Be Reading, showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).
My Finds

20140926-123716.jpg
Borrowed from the library

20140926-123754.jpg
Borrowed from the library

20140926-123820.jpg
Discovered and borrowed from the library

20140926-123849.jpg
Placed on hold at the library

20140926-124220.jpg
Discovered

20140926-124654.jpg
Discovered

20140926-124729.jpg
Placed on hold at the library

What are your Friday Finds? Let me know and I’ll be sure to check them out 🙂

Advertisements

The FitzOsbornes at War (Montmaray Journals #3)

Read on 24th September, 2014

Author: Michelle Cooper

20140925-013034.jpg

4.5 Stars

* * * * * * * * * *

Michelle Cooper completes her heart-stealing epic drama of history and romance with The FitzOsbornes at War.

Sophie FitzOsborne and the royal family of Montmaray escaped their remote island home when the Nazis attacked. But as war breaks out in England and around the world, nowhere is safe. Sophie fills her journal with tales of a life during wartime. Blackouts and the Blitz. Dancing in nightclubs with soliders on leave. And endlessly waiting for news of her brother Toby, whose plane was shot down over enemy territory.

But even as bombs rain down on London, hope springs up, and love blooms for this most endearing princess. And when the Allies begin to drive their way across Europe, the FitzOsbornes take heart—maybe, just maybe, there will be a way to liberate Montmaray as well.

* * * * * * * * * *

A beautiful story that will brake your heart – multiple times – and make you laugh to no end. A story of bravery, intelligence, loss, family, growing up and the realities of war. The FitzOsbornes at War is absolutely stunning, with twists and turns that will have you smiling and balling your eyes out, laughing and grieving. The characters that you’ve grown to love will not disappoint, but rather endear themselves to you further. A brilliant conclusion to a wonderful series.

I cried – boy did I cry – but I was sucked into a torrent of emotions that would not let me go. After that absolutely heart-wrenching moment (about three quarters or so in – you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about once you’ve read it), the smallest things made me remember and a new round of tears burst forth. The thing is though, The FotzOsbornes at War, while terribly sad at some parts, was not a massive sob story – so don’t let that turn you off from reading it! It was the perfect finale to the trilogy and as beautifully written as the previous books.

There was so much character development. We’d grown to love them, but now we were able to see them flourish and face the harsh realities of life and war. Losses were sustained, old friends came back, relationships were tested, new love was found and support shared. All this came full circle and made them become stronger people, a closer family. Thankfully, Rebecca was hardly mentioned, I grew to love Simon and Henry – she grew up too fast, but I absolutely adore her and couldn’t get enough of her. The other characters were brilliant as well and I just loved them all!

Wow, my eyes are still prickling with tears… But The FitzOsbornes at War is definitely high on my recommendations – it is just an absolutely stunning piece of work that deeply touched my heart and which I hope will touch yours too.

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)

Read from 22-23rd September, 2014

Author: Alexandra Bracken

20140923-170039.jpg

5 Stars

* * * * * * * * * *

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

* * * * * * * * * *

Can I cry now? Please?

This book – I can’t even begin to say how absolutely amazing The Darkest Minds is. I have nothing but praise for this absolutely stunning, heart-wrenching piece of work.

The plot was thick, with hidden twists and turns all over the place. It was real, believable and I formed a real connection with the story in itself, as well as the characters – who, might I add, were absolutely fantastic. Chubs, with his medical skills, bad eye-sight and love of books; Zu, with her beautiful personality that made you fall in love with her time after time, so sweet and adorable, your heart breaks for her; Liam, the perfect guy – innovative, protective, a great leader, seeks the good in everyone and is just so pure; Ruby, with her kick-ass attitude, her wicked abilities that she wants to control, but will never abuse, her desire to protect her friends, her will to put others first, no matter what personal cost. I just fell in love with them all!! And, (please don’t kill me here) I also kind of fell in love with Clancy, so… yeah.

I was going to wait to read the rest of the series until I bought them, but… Well, let’s just say that despite the ginormous pile of books on my bedside table waiting to be read, that isn’t going to happen – this series is just too good.

I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in a dystopian, slightly supernatural/adventure read that has characters that will warm your heart and break it in the same sentence. (Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but seriously, it’s amazing)

Teaser Tuesday #4

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

Grab your current read.

Randomly open a page.

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

20140923-123242.jpg

But it still didn’t make me feel any less ashamed of how relieved I felt to find it still there-to know that Cate, with all of her promises to take care of things, was still out there, still only a touch away.

– The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken

Share a link to your own Teaser Tuesday in the Comments and I’ll be checking it out! 🙂

The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1)

Read on 22nd September, 2014

Author: James Dashner

20140922-195535.jpg

4.5 Stars

* * * * * * * * * *

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

* * * * * * * * * *

An action-packed, riveting, fast-paced, page-turning novel, The Maze Runner is everything you could ask for and more.

Typically, I don’t go for books with lots of action and a male protagonists, but The Maze Runner had me enthralled. I honestly don’t have any criticism for this novel – it was believable, realistic, fast-paced but by no means rushed, the characters were quite intellectual, it had great character development not only of the main protagonist, but the side characters – it was just a brilliant read.

That ending though… Well, you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve read the book…

I highly recommend this for fans of dystopian, adventure, sci-fi, with a hint of romance.

I’m interested to see how the movie turns out – if it’s anything like the book. I suspect as much, but you never know…

The Giver (The Giver #1)

Read from 20-21st September, 2014

Author: Lois Lowry

20140921-171452.jpg

4.5 Stars

* * * * * * * * * *

Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

* * * * * * * * * *

A hauntingly enchanting read that makes you think about the deeper issues in life. The Giver – “the book that made dystopia” – is a classic read for all ages.

This novel is beautifully written. The language is eloquent and intelligent, delivering an intriguing story based in a fascinating world so unlike our own, yet believable all the same.

I found this utopian society fascinating. At first, I actually felt like I wanted to be part of The Community – it sounded pretty cool. Everyone seemed intelligent, you pretty much got your idea job, and marriages seemed to work out pretty well. But then we started to see the flaws. There was no books to read for fun, there was no love, I’m not even going to go near the releasing process (how can anyone be okay with that? And if they truly feel that it is the right thing to do, why do they lie about it?) – oh, and there’s no colour. Literally. Everything’s in black and white – the “Sameness” is what the Giver called it.

The concepts and importance of identity, memory, emotions and choice were addressed. Lois writes, “It was a community without danger or pain. But it was also a community without music, colour or art. And it was a community without books.”

The ending, however, let me down. While there are three other books in the quartet, they are seemingly unrelated to The Giver – so we don’t find out what happens to the characters we have grown to love. I understand the idea of “open-ended” book, but I felt that the ending was rushed and that the novel didn’t really have a conclusion.

Despite this, I did love the story. The Giver is a book that can be read on a philosophical level or just for fun. Either way, I believe that this well-rounded book can be read by all ages (starting with children around eleven).

I look forward to seeing the movie – the characters have been ages about four years and a romance has been added in, but I’m interested in how true the movie is to the book.

Book Haul #1: September 2014

I apologise for my absense! I managed to post a few reviews but that was all. However, now the holidays are back and so am I! And with a brand new book haul to start them off, no less ^_^ (This isn’t my first book haul – just the first one that I’ve documented).

Aaaaaaaaaand here they are!

20140919-205307.jpg

Plus a pre-order of…

20140919-205445.jpg

Aren’t they just so beautiful? *anime cries*

Believe it or not, I went out with the intention of only getting one book but here I am – 9 books and *cough* $90 *cough* later. This is why I don’t go shopping that often… But I’m still on the book-buying high!

With all those and some more bedside-table reads…

20140919-212708.jpg

… (yes, that is the first season of Doctor Who, I’m working my way through) I’ve got an (awesome) busy holiday before me!

I’ll also be starting up the book memes again and try to write a review every time I finish a book (regardless of the quality).

I’m thinking of attempting some movie reviews, what do you think? Good idea? bad idea?

What do you think of my book haul? Have you any book hauls yourself? Are you on holidays? Any good books you’d like to recommend? Any Doctor Who fans? I’d love to hear from you! 🙂