Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian ( Artemis Fowl #8) - Eoin Colfer

Published: 4/4/2013
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 306


It's Armageddon Time for Artemis Fowl

Opal Koboi, power-crazed pixie, is plotting to exterminate mankind and become fairy queen.

If she succeeds, the spirits of long-dead fairy warriors will rise from the earth, inhabit the nearest available bodies and wreak mass destruction. But what happens if those nearest bodies include crows, or deer, or badgers - or two curious little boys by the names of Myles and Beckett Fowl?

Yes, it's true. Criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl's four-year-old brothers could be involved in destroying the human race. Can Artemis and Captain Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police stop Opal and prevent the end of the world

Review :

I read my first Artemis Fowl book when I was about eight and I have never looked back since. It was around the same time I first discovered Harry Potter, and looking back on it, Harry Potter is to Artemis Fowl what Emma  is to Clueless.  While Harry Potter has everything a girl could ever want in a novel, Artemis Fowl has a certain revelrous, comic element that wouldn't work in Harry Potter, and that I am very fond of. And though I'm nearly eighteen and should be long past the stage of reading flamboyantly ridiculous children's books, I couldn't help but feel a pang of nostalgia and sadness when I heard the series was ending. 
I must say I wasn't disappointed by the big finale. (Well, I was in one respect but I won't say it for fear of spoiling the book.) It was full of ridiculous inventions, comic dialogue, Opal Koboi being power crazy and Mulch Diggums swooping in to save the day at the last minute, yet again. While Eoin Colfers series will never be Nobel prize winning literature , it does what it sets out to do, which is entertain. Though I'm certainly out of the intended age demographic, it still didn't fail to make me laugh. I may be a bit biased but I think this was the perfect ending to a fantastic series ( apart from that one thing,  God it makes me angry !!!!!!!).  Definitely a must read if you're a fan of Artemis and his cohorts, but if you're not you'll probably just think it's insane.

Four Stars ****

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green and David Levithan

Pages: 310
Published: 5/4/2011
Publisher: Speak

Blurb : 

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers cross paths. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, culminating in heroic turns-of-heart and the most epic musical ever to grace the high school stage.

Review : 

The biggest compliment I can give this book is the fact I just couldn't put it down. I literally couldn't put it down, a spent a whole day reading it, a day i should have spent studying for upcoming exams. First of all, the book is written from two points of view, both David Levithan and John Green write from two different Will Grayson's perspective. Personally I found Green's Will easy to read. I found Levithan's Will hard to get used to, he writes in all lower case letters ( which is supposed to signify that he doesn't think much of himself) and all dialogue is written like an IM conversation. But as the book went on I realised  it really enhances the character. Before i began I thought this book would be really preachy, a book about gay people and how they're just the same as straight people. But really this is a book about love and being yourself, and some of the characters just happen to be gay. I know that sounds really cheesy but I promise it's not. I have always been a big fan of John Green, he has an effortless style that is easy to get stuck into. This is the first book I've read by David Levithan and I wasn't too enchanted  by his writing, but maybe that's just the style he's taken on for this character. Green and Levithan have created some really realistic, memorable characters in "Will Grayson, Will Greyson" and a captivating plot line.  I really recommend this book if you want a quick, easy and interesting read.

Four Stars **** 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Missing Me - Sophie McKenzie (Girl Missing #3)

Published: 1/2/2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 315

Blurb : 

Six years have passed since the end of Sister, Missing and Madison is now a teenager. During a visit to her older sister Lauren, Madison learns that their biological father was an anonymous sperm donor and sets out to track him down. Her search bears fruit sooner than she expects, but is the father she discovers all he seems? As Madison gets drawn into a mysterious investigation involving missing girls and secret hideaways, she finds herself in more and more danger. A tense and thrilling end to the bestselling series, not to be missed!

Review : 

I read "Girl,  Missing" and " Sister, Missing"  a few years ago and was really excited to read "Missing, Me " . I think I left it too long before reading this book, because there were several holes in my memory when it came to plots and characters, but if you're in the same position that I was in don't worry, McKenzie does a great job subtly filling in the blanks.  This book is narrated by Madison, Lauren's little sister, and treads the familiar plot path of bad guys stealing children. The plot is pretty good, not fantastic, but unpredictable enough to keep you on your toes. There was one major " I saw that coming" moment, but maybe that's just me and my need to to predict the plot line of  every novel I read. The characters are pretty standard, nothing completely original but pretty realistic. McKenzie's writing flows, and the book is really easy to read, I read it in about two days (when I should have been studying), which is a compliment to the novel.  I really enjoyed this book, but I feel as if McKenzie took quite a good idea and stretched it beyond it's limits. But it's not as if she should have finished with the second book, McKenzie managers to make the plot work for a third time. I recommend this novel to anyone who wants a short quick easy read that doesn't ponder any big questions about what it is to be human etc, just a plain old kidnapping/action story.

Three Stars ***

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Reached - Ally Condie


 After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

Review : 

would like to begin by saying that I loved "Matched". I mean I really  loved "Matched". It was the first dystopian novel I had ever read, long before "The Hunger Games" and "Fahrenheit 451 ".  I loved the world Condie created, a society where everything is chosen for you, even your life-partner. but after "Matched" everything went down hill. "Crossed"  was a nightmare , so bad I don't even want to talk about it. Because of the tragedy that was book two I really didn't feel like continuing on , but I had so much time invested in it I decided to keep going and find out where Cassia, Xander and Ky end up.  This is where my first problem comes in. To me, Cassia, Xander and Ky all had the same personality. They just seemed like they were exactly the same person, which is really confusing and awkward when the story is supposed to be of told by three different points of view. The plot centres around a virus epidemic , which I thought was a very interesting idea. But I feel like Condie may have glossed over some of the details, like the dots don't fully connect, so this also confused me. Obviously with a massive virus running around some characters had to die ( I won't tell you who.... ), but I just didn't seem to care, Condie didn't really afford any sort of emotional connection to the characters. I think Condie broaches a very interesting idea, that when you have the right to choose, sometimes you choose wrong, which I thought was really the antithesis of the idea Condie had been pushing from the beginning.  To be fair to Condie, she is a good writer and the book was hard to put down once something exciting began. I think the operations of the Rebellion were accurate, it wasn't a purely 'the society is bad, anarchy is good ' simple plot line. But to be honest, I feel like I only read this book because of the first two and if it had been a stand alone book I wouldn't have bothered to finish it.

Three Stars  ***

Friday, 3 May 2013

Top 5 Favourite Books

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
J.K. Rowling - 1997

I first read "The Philosopher's Stone " when I was seven and I've loved it ever since.  I can find no fault in this magnificent book, I read it every time I feel sick or upset or stressed, it's my literary comfort blanket.  This book has the perfect combination of insane fantasy and beautifully crafted realistic characters. Hopefully my kids will grow up with this book just like I did. I think it's one of the best books of all time, hopefully you do to. :)

Five Stars *****

Pride and Prejudice 
Jane Austen - 1813

My mum gave me a copy of this book for my twelfth birthday, and since then I've been a little obsessed. Of course as a twelve year I missed a lot of the finer points of the novel, but it's all become clearer as I've grown older. It's a classic love story, with brilliant characters and a captivating plot. The language is a bit tricky if you're not used to it, and there's a lot of dialogue which can be hard to follow, but offers great insight into the characters. I think this book deserves all the recognition it receives, well, it has lasted 200 whole years.

Five Stars *****

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak - 2006

My favourite book of the last few years. It's perfect for me because of it's setting in WW2 Germany and it's unusual narration by death himself. This is a fantastically touching and inspirational novel that I couldn't put down once I started. Believe it or not, I've only read this once , but it remains one of my favourite books. I'm not really one for preachy books, but I think this sends a really powerful message about perseverance and strength in the bleakest of times.

Five Stars *****

Ian McEwan - 2001

I probably read this book too young so I may have missed some of the more subtle references in this book, but I'm pretty sure that I got the basics. This is the only book I've read by McEwan but in my opinion he's an amazing writer. I think this book really had a profound effect on me because it shows how a need for drama can really ruin someone's life, which I feel, looking back on it, is an important lesson for a teenaged girl to learn.

Five Stars *****

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky - 1999

You're probably thinking that this is going to be a complete cliché of a review, but I'll really try not to let it be. Unlike basically everyone else I've spoken to about this book, I did not feel a moment of sudden insight at the " I feel infinite " quote, and I know that in two to five years I'll have this book of this list, but right now I think it's a great book. It's really the only book written by an adult that I fell captures how we feel in our teenage years, a feeling we probably forget pretty soon after we grow out of that awkward stage. I think this book is unnecessarily profound, but I do think this is a teenage must read.

Five Stars *****