Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Haul - July 2011

Books I got this month are: 

  • Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder,
  • Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria V. Snyder,
  • Fire Study (Study #3) by Maria V. Snyder,
  • The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2) by Kelley Armstrong,
  • The Reckoning (Darkest Powers #3) by Kelley Armstrong.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review #50 - Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid #1) by Richelle Mead

Succubus (n.) An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. 

Pathetic (adj.) A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georgina Kincaid.

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they can often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies, and she can't get a decent date without sucking away part of the guy's life. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore - free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny.......

My Rating: 3.5/5
I liked this book from the very first page. Georgina was realistic and easy to relate to. I never really liked Roman from the first time he was mentioned and my favourite male character was Seth.
I thought that the writing was well done and the characters developed timely throughout. 
Although this book is the first in a series, I think it does more than just set up the story. It would still be an amazing book if it was by itself. 
The only thing I didn't like about the book was that some aspects were very predictable and easy to interpret. 
The next book in the series is Succubus Nights or Succubus On Top. There are currently 6 books so far in the series.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review #49 - Grave Sight (Harper Connelly #1) by Charlaine Harris

Harper Connelly is honest, ethical and loyal - and ever since a bolt of lightning zapped her on the head, she's had an extra-special talent: she can find dead people. It's not a common-or-garden job. Some people find Harper's talent useful and fascinating, but she's getting used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. She's become an expert at getting in, getting paid and getting out, fast. 

When Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver, travel to the Ozarks to find a local teenager, missing, believed dead, they discover that someone is willing to go to great lengths to bury a secret. 

Before long Tolliver's locked away on trumped-up-charges and Harper's fighting for her own life.......

My Rating: 4.5/5

I don't read mystery books that much. I only decided to read this one because I liked the authors Sookie Stackhouse series, plus the story sounded really interesting. Finally, when someone at a book signing recommended it to me I decided to definitely read it. 

I like how similar this book is to the Sookie Stackhouse series. Apart from the vampire aspect of the Stackhouse books they are almost the same. The main character Harper has a mental gift just like Sookie and they are both set out in the country. 

Although Harper took a while to connect to the plot and the interesting twists and turns along the way keep you turning each page. 

I thought that Harper and Tolliver's relationship was weird, and I never really understood it. I never really understood Harper's relationship with Hollis either. 

The writing in this book is amazing, and I can't wait to read the next three books in this series. I am also interested to see how the TV Show comes along.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book Review #48 - Tantalize (Tantalize #1) by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Trouble brews when Quincie Morris and her uncle decide to remodel the family restaurant with a vampire theme. One month before the grand reopening the chef is mauled to death in the kitchen and the murder suspect is......a werewolf!

Quincie has to transform Henry, the new chef, into Sanguini's vampire extraordinaire - and fast. But strange things are happening to her boyfriend, Kieren, and a deadly love triangle forms.

My Rating: 3/5

I liked this book from the start. Quincie was a strong and likeable character. I liked the way the book was set out to the design of a menu. 

About five chapters in I correctly predicted half the story. The other half was a surprise though. 

The author focused too heavily on the restaurant and so character development rarely existed.  

I thought that there were gaps in the story, and that made the story confusing at times. The ending just came out of nowhere, with no buildup to it at all which made it even more confusing. 

I liked the premise of the book more than the execution of the book.

Book Review #47 - Beastly by Alex Flinn

A beast. Not quite wolf or gorilla or dog, but a horrible new creature with fangs, claws, and hair springing from every pore. I am a walking monster. 

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. And I'll stay this way forever - unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, the perfect girl, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly.....beastly. 

My Rating: 5/5

As this is the modern retelling of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast I wasn't quite sure if I was going to like it. I knew nothing about the fairytale before reading this book. 

From the first page I was into the story, although I didn't like the protagonist at first I warmed up to him as the story progressed and so did he. 

I liked the IM conversation parts at the end of each part of the book, but what was the purpose of it? It was unnecessary.

Although I can't compare this book to the original story, I can say that this book was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone especially those, like me aren't familiar with the story.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blog Hop #7

The Book Blogger Hop is sponsored by Crazy for Books and is a place where bloggers and readers connect over the weekend and chat about books. This week's question is:

Question: What is the one genre you wish you could get into, but just can't?

Answer: Classics - I just can't read them, I find them boring.

Follow Friday #12

To participate click here.

Question: Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

Answer: The first would be J.K Rowling because she wrote Harry Potter. The second would be Richelle Mead because I love Vampire Academy. The third would have to be Tim Winton, although I am yet to read any of his books we support the same football team so we'd have something to talk about. 


To participate click here

Question: Bookshelf Tour - Where do you keep your books at home? Are they organised?
Answer: I have a room that leads through to my bedroom that I call my library. My books are organised by genre.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Review #46 - 13 to Life (13 to Life #1) by Shannon Delany

Everything about Jessie Gillmansen's life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing. Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But while showing a new guy around Junction High, she's about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than just good looks and a fascinating accent - he's a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie's small town. It seems change is the one thing Jessie can't avoid. 

My Rating: 3/5

I thought that Jessie was a great protagonist. She was likeable, intelligent, brave and strong. Although I thought some of her actions were unrealistic. 

I didn't like Amy and Sarah, they were too one-dimensional and Derek was probably only written to allow for a love triangle later in the series.

The plot was slow, but kept me entertained enough to make me keep turning the pages. 

Pietr's secret was so obvious so it didn't need to be drawn out and revealed with only about 20 pages to go, although the last 20 pages of the book were the most exciting. 

I liked this book, but I didn't love it. It was a perfect book for setting up the story and introducing the characters for the rest of the series. 

The second book in the series is already out and is called Secrets and Shadows. The soon to be released third book is called Bargains and Betrayals and the fourth book which will be published next year is called Destiny and Deception.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review #45 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by J.K. Rowling

Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfil the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him? 

My Rating: 5/5
Although this book had the exact same amount of pages as the Half Blood Prince it felt like it was alot longer as there is alot more going on. 

What I liked about this book is that you get a more detailed background of Harry's parents especially his mother.

The final battle scene is so well described that you can picture it all very vividly whilst reading, which makes it more enjoyable.

I liked the 19 years part at the end, but I wish it wasn't written as now we know there won't be any more additions to the Harry Potter story.

For my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (the movie) click here.

Book Review #44 - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by J.K. Rowling

It is the middle of summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys' house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can't quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys' of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks' time? Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine.......

My Rating: 5/5
This book has been my favourite one in this series, since I read it for the first time in 2005.

You get a full background of Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort) which sets the series up for the last book. 

I liked how Harry is made Quidditch captain and so Quidditch is involved more than in the other books. 

Background characters like Ginny and some Slytherin's develop into main characters. I'm not sure if I like Professor Slughorn or not, but I did enjoy reading about his Potions classes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review #43 - Night World (Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, Enchantress) by L.J. Smith (Night World #1)

The Night World is a secret society of vampires, werewolves, witches and creatures of darkness - a place too dangerous to fall in love. 

In Secret Vampire, Poppy is dying, and it seems that James can offer her her only chance for surival.... but is the price too high?

In Daughters of Darkness, Mary Lynette has just met three mysterious sisters - on the run from their cruel brother. But can she protect them or herself with another threat lurking nearby? 
In Enchantress, Blaise is irresistible.... and deadly, but the Night World has rules, and Blaise is breaking them all.....

My Rating: 3/5

If I had reviewed these three books that are in this bind-up separately I would have given four stars to Daughters of Darkness and three stars each for Secret Vampire and Enchantress.

Something that I didn't like about this series so far is how perfect the whole outcome always turns out to be. All three books were all pretty similar and so it became repetitive and predictable. 

What I did like about it was how the author included Vampires, Werewolves and Witches all in the same book. The writing, and the tone of the book was also something that I liked.

An aspect of the book that I didn't understand was how the characters just took one look at each other and they were suddenly very deeply in love and ready to die for one another when they had only just met. 

I am looking forward to reading the second bind-up in this series, but will probably wait until next year.

Book Review #42 - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J.K. Rowling

"Dumbledore lowered his hands and surveyed Harry through his half-moon glasses. 'It is time,' he said, 'for me to tell you what I should have told you five years ago, Harry. Please sit down. I am going to tell you everything. 
Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is desperate to get back to school and find out why his friends, Ron and Hermione have been so secretive all summer. However, what Harry is about to discover in his new year at Hogwarts will turn his world upside down.....


This is my least favourite of the Harry Potter series, that's not to say I didn't like it though.
It is the bridge between the youthful, lighter first four books and the mature, darker last two books in the series.
You have to read over 100 pages until Harry returns to Hogwarts, which mainly deals with the end of Goblet of Fire.  

Again J.K Rowling's introduction of a new character makes you feel like they have been part of the story since the beginning, this time in Luna Lovegood. 
The themes on the book are starting to get darker, as the characters start to mature. Harry is very emotional throughout the entire book.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Review #41 - Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K. Rowling

The summer holidays are dragging on and Harry Potter can't wait for the start of the school year. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and there are spells to be learnt, potions to be brewed, and Divination lessons (sigh) to be attended. Harry is expecting these: however other quite unexpected events are already on the march...

My Rating: 5/5

Just when you think the series can't get any better, it does. 
This book shows the new found maturity that the characters have. The plot gets darker and more complex. 
You get a look at the wizardry world outside of Hogwarts with the other two schools. You also get the true sense of fear of what it means to other wizards that Voldemort is back.
The whole idea of the Tri-Wizard Tournament gave you a whole new Hogwarts experience. 
The fight and reunion between Harry and Ron showed the extent of their friendship and their loyalty towards each other.

This book also has emotional aspects that the other three in the series never really had, like when Harry saw his parents.

Ultimate Harry Potter Experience Tag

I found a Harry Potter Tag on YouTube and decided to participate here on my blog. There are three questions all to do with Harry Potter. Feel free to participate also.

1. Favourite book? 
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

2. Favourite movie? 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was my favourite until about 10 hours ago). 

3. First Harry Potter experience? 
I was in primary school when the first book came out and pretty much everyone in the entire school had their name on the waiting list at the school library to borrow the book. I came home from school and made my mum go and buy me the book.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Haul - June 2011

I didn't buy as many books as I usually do last month. The books I did buy, I only bought cause they were heavily discounted as most of the major booksellers in Australia are closing down.

The books I did get are: 

1.Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider's Guide to the World of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
2. A Pet Love Guide to Labrador Retrievers by Marjorie Satterthwaite (hardcover)
3. Immortal: Love Stories with Bite by PC Cast.

4. Impossible by Nancy Werlin 

5. Meridan (Fenestra #1) by Amber Kizer

6. Burn Bright (Night Creatures #1) by Marianne de Pierres

7.  Way to Go: Sadness, Euphoria and the Fremantle Dockers by Matt Price

8. The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

9.  The Footy Almanac (2010)

10. Dickie Bird: My Autobiography by Dickie Bird (hardcover)

11. Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate (hardcover) 

12. Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate (hardcover)

Book Review #40 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)          

Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Published: 1999
Pages: 317

Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can't wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn't if they lived with the horrible Dursley's?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There's an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school....

My Rating: 5/5 
This is by far the best in the series so far. It goes way deeper into the story than the first two. 

First, we learn alot more about Lily and James Potter and their deaths. 

Secondly, Rowling has the amazing ability to introduce new characters like Lupin and Sirius that you like immediately and they feel like they've been there the whole time. 
Considering how complicated the plot is, the book is free-flowing and very easy to understand.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review #39 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is a wizard. He is in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Little does he know that this year will be just as eventful as the last......

My Rating: 5/5

I liked this book slightly more than the first simply because I love the plot with the Chamber. The characters have grown up a bit and Ginny is properly introduced. 

This book is not my favourite book in the series, although it is one of my favourite movies. 

Book Review #38 - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy - until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The reason: HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!

My Rating: 5/5

This is not the first time I have read this book, nor is it the second or the third, well I think you get the point. I first read this book when I was in primary school and the book still pulls me in now just as it did back then. From the very first page you are sucked into Harry's world.

Book Review #37 - The Cursed Ones (Crusade #1) by Nancy Holder and Debbie Vigue

For the past two years, Jenn has been secretly training to be a Hunter, learning to defend humanity against the vampire uprising. Her home city is now a vampire stronghold and when she visits as a lone hunter, separated from her team, she puts herself at risk. Craving the support of her fighting partner, Antonio - and his touch - she finds herself betrayed by someone close. Her relationship with Antonio holds its own dangers, but right now Jenn needs someone she can trust.....

My Rating: 4.5/5

This book got off to a slow start, but after the first three or four chapters I couldn't put the book down. 
Although I never really liked any of the characters, the plot was amazing and was timed perfectly. 
I can't wait to read the second book in the series Damned which is released next month.

Book Review #36 - Masquerade (Blue Bloods #2)

Preparations are underway for the ball of the century. But as any Blue Blood knows, it's the after-party that counts. And the cunning Mimi Force is getting ready to make sure her masquerade ball is the place to be for the young, fabulous and fanged. 

Schuyler Van Alen has more on her mind than fancy dresses, even if her crush Jack Force is sure to make an appearance. She's getting closer to finding out what's been preying on the young vamps - and discovering the deadly secrets hiding under the masks.....

My Rating: 3.5/5

I didn't like this book as much as the first one. The first one had a plot, this one did not. 

It was still interesting enough to keep me reading the entire book, but I felt like nothing new was added from the first book.