Sunday, 18 May 2014

Book of the Week: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Inside the book:
Set in a world where men have no secrets or privacy. The Ask and the Answer is the second book in a very unique series. I haven't read this one yet, but I have read the first one and really enjoyed it. I look forward to finding out what happens next to Todd.

Outside the book:
I love this paperback edition of the Ask and the answer. It has a limited colour palette of black, white and blue. (do I talk about limited colour palettes too much...yes) I really like the font, and the bright blue spine. But most of all, I love the cracked look that the book has. This is done by making some of the shapes on the book matte, and some shiny. Creating a really cool effect, especially in the sun.

Buy the Ask and the Answer
Goodreads page

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Mass

*This is the second book in a series. If you haven't read Throne of Glass. Then don't read this review as there are spoilers.

Buy This Book
Throne of Glass #2
Pages: 432
Published: August 2013
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis...

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


I really enjoyed the second book in this series. Although theres something stopping me from really loving it. And Im not sure what. Maybe book three will win me over completely.

Crown of Midnight was so much better than Throne of Glass. First of all, the love triangle is gone! I was so happy when it went away, and also really surprised. I fully expected the author to keep it around longer, and I couldn't be happier that she decided not to. 

Secondly, we finally got to see Celaena being all assassin like. I have never been so happy that someone starting killing people. (Ok maybe I have) This is the bad ass character I was looking for in the first book. Finally the author decided to show and not just tell me, how awesome and strong the main character is.

Also the fantasy aspect of the story is developing more, and that is only good news. I cant wait for it to become an even bigger part of the story. But I really like where its going right now.

There were some things that I didn't like, the first of which was the romance. I just found it to be so dull, and uninteresting. Mostly because of who she chose. Don't get me wrong, I want her to be with the person she chose. He is definitely right for her. I just wish he weren't so boring as a character.

The start of the book is also kinda slow, especially compared to the rest of the book. Which is full of action and excitement. Also I was a bit underwhelmed by the end. I knew it was coming, and it just felt a bit messy and rushed.

With that said I still really enjoyed this book, and look forward to book 3.  


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Book Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Buy This Book
Pages: 254
Published: 1890
Genres: Classics, Horror, Literature

Goodreads Synopsis...
The tale of a youth whose features, year after year, retain the same appearance of innocent beauty while the shame of his abhorrent vices becomes mirrored on the features of his portrait.

I have never found so many quotes I like from one book, as I have in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Oscar Wilde is a true artist when it comes to words. Every sentence, every line revealed something more, it was like poetry and was exquisite to read.

The writing is without a doubt, my favourite thing about this book. I also feel as though there is so much I've missed, and I look forward to reading this again. To find the gems that I missed the first time.

The characters are another thing that I liked about this book. All of them are extremely unlikeable, but also extremely interesting. Basil and his love for Dorian, was such an interesting relationship. There's a kind of desperation to Basil that makes him both pathetic and endearing to me. Henry seemed to be the writers way of imparting new perspectives on things. I felt like whenever Henry spoke, I should be ready to take down a new favourite quote. And then there is Dorian, who becomes somewhat of a psychopath, while of course retaining his innocent beauty.

The way that this story explored themes of vanity, identity and the soul was quite unique. Also I really liked that there was a continual tone of elegance, even during situations of cruelty and horror. This was such an interesting book, and I look forward to reading it again.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Book Review: The Child Thief by Brom

Buy This Book
Pages: 481
Published: Aug 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Fairytale Retelling

The first time you see Peter, it is a strange sight to behold. Bright red hair, freckles, and pointy shoes. An ever present mischievous smile. And a laugh that is infectious, making you both wary and relaxed around him.

He will save you from your troubles, and take you to a magical place. Do you want to play a game? He will ask. Just be careful of your answer. Because the place he will take you to, is not like Neverland. And the game he wants you play could end in death.

In The Child Thief, Peter saves lost and scared children. Offering them a place in Avalon, a once beautiful and lush paradise. That is now gray and filled with war. Here is where Peter asks you to play, asks you to fight for him. 

So... Do you want to play a game?

This is a masterpiece. I don't remember ever saying that about a book, but this one demands I do. I am at a huge risk to just gush about this book, so heres why you MUST read it!

Characters: Everyone in this book was diverse and interesting. They were all unique in their own ways, and constantly surprised me. Each character is multidimensional, they are all both good and bad. With complicated back stories, that made me understand them fully and empathize, even with the characters I hated. Peter is one of the most complex characters I have even come across. He is charming and childlike. Then he is cruel and cold, and then he is lovable and pitiful. His back story which we get to see through flash backs, made me incredibly sad. And showed how this intricate person came to be.

Setting: I felt like I was there with the children in Avalon. Surrounded by the gray landscape that hinted at a magic beneath. With faeries trying to steal my food, and danger lurking outside the big round door. The illustrations also added to my vision of Avalon and its occupants. They were very detailed, and gave me a picture of Peter, Nick and the rest of the characters, that was so much better than my own. The atmosphere of Avalon, and also Boston was also really good, and added to the horror and creepiness of this book.

Plot: The darkness and the cruelty of this story were kind of a shock to read. Not because they were outrageous, in fact it was the opposite. The things that happen are realistic, and happen in the world today. But the way in which they were told, no sugar coating, no holding back, just simply described for me. Made me have to stop reading more than once. Overall the plot was rich and unique, and I loved seeing things from Peter and Nicks perspective. And although the ending wasn't as epic as I was hoping. It was still as dark and twisted as the rest of this book, and in a way felt just right.

I feel like Ive barely brushed the surface of how amazing this book is. It is probably my new favourite book ever, and I couldnt recomend it enough!


Monday, 12 May 2014

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Buy This Book
Throne of Glass #1
Pages: 426
Published: August 2012
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis...

Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?


This is going to be one of those reviews, where I say that I really liked a book. And then proceed to tell you the many things I didnt like.

Throne of Glass was a really enjoyable read. The writing style was fun, and kept me interested the whole way through. You also get to see the story through not only Celaena's eyes, but also Captain Westfall and Prince Dorian. It was great to be able to see what they were doing away from each other, especially as they were major parts of the story.

Another thing I really liked about the story was Celaena. She is this bad ass assassin, who can kill you and look amazing doing it. She embraces her looks and femininity, using them to her advantage. Also she was such a strong willed and stubborn character, even in precarious situations. And she loved to read. Need I say more.

Ok so those are the things I liked, now the things I didnt.

Unnecessary love triangle: Oh love triangles, how you plague me. The one that appeared in this story was expected, and turned out to be unoriginal and kind of dull. Mainly because it caused me no uncertainty. I knew who she would chose eventually. I wasn't worried, I wasn't rooting for the underdog. Because I knew it would be useless. (And I was right) Why couldn't they just be friends? Oh I know, because its YA. 

Implied Violence instead of actual violence: Basically I wanted more violence. Maas continually describes violent or action scenes after they have finished. The challenges were often skimmed over, in favor of the aforesaid useless love triangle. Also Celaena doesn't really get enough chances to show us her assassin side. Its something we always know about, but don't experience enough.

Slightly implausible: There were some situations, like the Prince being left alone with an assassin. That just didnt seem like they would actually happen. Also the whole challenge scenario also seems a bit dubious. Would a king actually allow an assassin or criminal to work closly with him, and have a high position in the kingdom. Then after a few years let them go free. I dont know about that.

So like I said at the beginning, I had my misgivings about this book. But I still enjoyed it, and I will definitely continue to read about Celaena the assassin.




I read a lot of ebooks last month, and none of my tbr except for Allegiant. So this months TBR is basically the same as April's, minus Allegiant, plus two new books. Lets Hope I actually read them.



Sunday, 11 May 2014

Book of the Week: The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green

Inside the book:
The Legend of the man who stole from the rich, and gave to the poor. I haven't read this book yet, but Im excited to explore this medieval world. And join in on the adventures of the band of merry men.

Outside the book:
I love having this book on my shelf. Its so bright and the colour is unlike any of my other books. The limited colour palette also makes me happy. And the illustrations are beautiful. Overall its such a pretty book, and I cant wait to get more puffin classics in the other bright colours.

Buy The Adventures of Robin Hood
Goodreads Page

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Manga Book Review: Death Note Volume 1 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata

Buy This Book
Volume 1: Boredom
Pages: 195
Published: Jan 2001
Genres: Manga, Ya, Fantasy 

Goodreads Synopsis... 
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil.

But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal...or his life?


I had very high expectations for Death Note, and they were all met! It was such a great book, and Im so glad it was my first manga.

The best thing about this book is its storyline and plot. At first glance it seems like it would be simple, but it is definitely not. There are so many layers to this story, which are only really touched on in this first volume. Also I loved the way in which the themes of death, power, and what is good and bad were addressed in this. And I cant wait to see them explored more through this unique story.

The characters were another thing I loved about this book. Light particularly surprised me in the ways he reacted to situations. He's so devious and convincing in the things that he does. The detective L, was very smart and I cant wait to see how he develops. And Ryuk the death god was very mysterious. Also his interactions with Light were awkwardly funny, which I really liked.

My only complaint is that sometimes I felt the illustrations were to packed together. Especially when showing the death god world. I would have loved to see this book in colour. I think it would make it even better. But overall I did enjoy the illustrations.

Cant wait to jump into volume 2, and see what happens next with Light and Ryuk!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

April Wrap Up

I read 10 books in April which is a great reading month for me. I'm so excited to review these books this month, because most of them were amazing.

Where She Went
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Free Four (ebook only)
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Transfer (ebook only)

Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Buy This Book
Pushing the Limits #1
Pages: 203
Published: July 2012
Genres: YA, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis... 
I can't remember the night that changed my life. The night I went from popular girl to loner freak. And my family are determined to keep it that way.

They said therapy was supposed to help. They didn't expect Noah.

Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned me about. But he's the only one who'll listen. The only one who'll help me find the truth.

I know every kiss, every promise, every touch is forbidden. But what if finding your destiny means breaking all the rules?

I started reading this book, and I really didn't like it. It was cliched and stereotypical. The voices of the main characters were not believable and their dialogue felt stiff. I was separated from the characters and their stories because of this. They were like cardboard cut-outs with difficult lives, that I didn't really care about. Then without even really noticing it, something changed.

After about 50 to 70 pages I really started enjoying the book. I also started caring about Echo and Noah. I wanted things to work out for them, and I wanted them to end up together. I think this change is mostly due to the voices of the characters. Somewhere along the way, they became much more individual and they felt honest. As well as this the smoothness of the writing definitely improved, making for a better reading experience.

By the end of the book, I was completely invested in this story, the characters and their struggles. It still had its flaws, and was still a bit predictable. But overall it was a great book about two very complicated lives coming together.


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Graphic Novel Review: Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Buy This Book
Volume 1
Pages: 160
Published: Oct 2012

Genres: Graphic Novel, Fantasy,Science Fiction, Adult

Goodreads Synopsis... 
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

I couldn't possibly have picked a better first graphic novel to read. Saga was amazing! It was like a 5 star meal with many courses. Each one incredibly delicious, making my mouth water for what would come next.

The writing and dialogue was interesting and funny. The characters were all crazy and different. Everyone having their own unique voice, and I loved all of them. I also really liked that the baby that is born, is the one telling the story. Its almost like you get a secret glimpse into their lives.

The world or should I say universe that this is set in, is captivating and rich. Both because of the strange and amazing characters that fill them. And also because of the beautiful and detailed way they are shown in the illustrations. The themes of family, race, war and love are dealt with in a subtle way which I appreciated. 

Just overall this was an amazing graphic novel, and I cant wait to read volume 2!


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Book of the Week: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Inside the book:
Ive never read this classic, but with all the books, tv shows and movies its spawned. I look forward to reading it, and being terrified. 

Outside the book:
I love this edition of Dracula! The cover illustration is beautiful, its dark and decrepit, with everything falling apart. And then the silhouette of Count Dracula is at the very top. I also love the limited colour palette of blacks, greys and then the stripe of red. This edition by Sterling is also hardback and it cost me $13.

Buy Dracula
Goodreads page