Monday, 30 January 2012

30012012: In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren

ebooks bought
The Night Circus: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart. 
Genus:  A dystopian vision of perfection from the acclaimed author of Boy A. 

In the Britain of a few tomorrows time, physical perfection is commonplace and self improvement has become an extinct expression: all the qualities men and women could aspire to can be purchased prior to birth. GENUS is a time of genetic selection and enrichment - life chances come on a sliding scale according to wealth. For some there is no money or choice, and an underclass has evolved; London's King's Cross, or The Kross as it is now known, has become a ghetto for the Unimproved. In The Kross, the natural, the dated, the cheap and the dull, live a brittle and unenviable existence. But unrest is growing; tension is mounting and a murderer is abroad in these dark quarters... Acclaimed author Jonathan Trigell's third novel is a breathtaking tour de force, exploring a dystopia of the not-too-distant-a future which will leave readers wondering not 'what if', as the original audience of Huxley's Brave New World did, but 'when'. 

ebooks won

Maid for Me: Feisty Mina Lin waltzes on glass shards when she lands a job as billionaire Jaiden Daniels's maid. What happens when Jaiden hires her to become his pretend girlfriend? Pretending to be in love with the hot Rich Boy is hard, when Mina's heart only beats for her boy next door, Kiterin Forrests. What happens when Mina doesn't know what her heart wants and a crazy Stalker is after Jaiden's life, and the only person who can save him is Mina? Find out in Maid for Me, starring Mina Lin, an ambitious, silly, funny, and talented Asian-American heroine who has even developed her own fighting styled called Mina-Jitsu. A fast-paced debut novel for young adults, by Kat Lieu. Filled with hilarious dialogue, suspense, sparkling wit and imagination-- a romance novel packed with action and humor!

books bought
Sword in the Storm: Fierce and proud, the Rigante dwell deep in the green mountain lands, worshiping the gods of air and water, and the spirits of the earth.  Among them lives a warrior who bears the mark of fate. Born of the storm that slew his father, he is Connavar, and tales of his courage spread like wildfire. The Seidh--a magical race as old as time--take note of the young warrior and cast a malignant shadow across his life. For soon a merciless army will cross the water, destroying forever the timeless rhythms of life among the Rigante. Swearing to protect his people, Connavar embarks on a quest that will take him into the heart of the enemy. Along the way, he receives a gift: a sword as powerful and deadly as the Seidh who forged it. Thus he receives a name that will strike fear into the hearts of friend and foe alike--a name proclaiming a glorious and bitter destiny . . . Demonblade. The Amazing Spider-Man: Coming Home: Through his life, Peter Parker has often felt alone. When he first discovered his spider-like abilities after being bitten by a radioactive spider, he kept them secret. His attempts to exploit them for profit resulted in his Uncle Ben's murder. It seemed as though no one understood the difficult balance between mortal and hero. 

Until now, that is. A mysterious figure appears suddenly, exhibiting similar powers to Peter. Who is this mystery man? Who are the people he represents? And what is this ancient evil that has arrived in America in search for Peter? 

Uncanny X-Men: Dark Phoenix: Gathered together by Professor Charles Xavier to protect a world that fears and hates them, the X-Men had fought many battles, been on adventures that spanned galaxies, grappled enemies of limitless might, but none of this could prepare them for the most shocking struggle they would ever face. Ine if their own members, Jean Grey, has gained power beyond all comprehension, and that power has corrupted her adsalutely! Now they must decide if the life of the woman they cherish is worth the existence of the entire universe! 
college book club/library
Water for Elephants: Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell. Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

25012012: The Hunger Games Trilogy

Title: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Page Count: 454, 472 and 455

Summary: In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
Other summaries have not been included to avoid spoilers. 

Reviews: I've been pondering over this review for a while because I kind of feel like "what's the point?", it's everywhere and I have yet to hear anyone say a negative thing about it and the chances are everyone who reads my reviews have already read The Hunger Games.
I was hoping to get this book for Christmas but instead I ended up buying it with a voucher I got for Christmas. I wasn't planning on reading it until my friend, Jacky, went absolutely bonkers over it, yes bonkers. In. Every. Way. Possible.
I picked it up Monday morning on the bus to college knowing I'd enjoy it but not realising how much... come Monday evening I ignored my college deadline, couldn't hold a decent conversation with the boyfriend and refused to game with him, as well as putting off sleep for as long as possible.
On Tuesday I got sent home from college for being ill and even upon arriving home then I tried to ignore how terrible I felt and to not through up so I could finish it. Probably not the best of ideas (
but its okay cause when I was sick the book was safe and the toilet was near). I know I'm getting a little distracted here but I'm just hoping you understand how quickly I got through this book and how desperately I did so, simply because it was that gripping. The story was great and held together by amazing characters that you can't help but love and a setting that was believable.
I made the stupid mistake of only buying the first book so come Tuesday afternoon I had order the other two off Amazon for next day delivery.
Once Catching Fire arrived after I had finished college on Wednesday I started to read it straight away, only taking a break to watch X-men with the boyfriend. Again I had a late night ahead of me and I refused to go to sleep until I had hit page 210 at 3am.
I found the start of this book a little slow but once I got past the initial re-introduction to the characters and setting things heated up, especially once shit started to hit the fan.
I had a full day at college on Thursday and a party to attend to but nevertheless this did not stop me from finishing the book that night! In fact not only did I finish it I also started reading Mockingjay which unfortunately I felt was the weakest of the books in some ways, for example it only picked up at page 100 and I felt a few supposed-to-be-main moments were hardly touched up, mostly towards the end, and the whole ending felt very rushed and ended kind of abruptly
but, now this is a big but at the same time I also feel it was possibly the strongest because dear lord, I didn't half cry. I don't even mean "oh I cried at the end" I mean I cried all. the. way. through. Seriously. I have no idea what was up with me.
I guess it shows either she's a really talented writer or I was over emotional that night and following day.
Now this is really as much as I'm willing to say because if you haven't read the books any in-depth review I give on this book and the following will be spoilers, I mean you know a few things for certain with there being more than one book but for the sake of spoilers, no more is being written.
Recommend: Hell yes.
Rating: 5/5

I've never really had to add this before but I know those of you who have read it will want to know certain things. For example, Peeta or Gale?
So here I am going to add anything that I deem spoilerific for the above review, and will probably contain some real opinions here.
  • I figured it would just be another Twilight the way everyone was going on about it. Ooops.
  • I watched the trailer after finishing the book and shivers, shivers everywhere! Let's hope it is good.
  • Gale or Peeta? Honestly? Peeta. It's not that I hate Gale it's that he had 6 months with Katniss where he knew how he felt towards her and to make a move or to mention it or to act upon his feelings no matter how small and its not like he didn't know about The Reaping coming up, especially with his name being entered so many times so why not do anything? Oh cause you don't want to ruin your friendship bro have you seen how you live? Do you really think she'd just ditch you because of feelings. Feelings are good especially if your living conditions aren't the best, gives you something to live for. If you can take the risk in hunting, take the bloody risk in getting the girl. Then there is how adorable Peeta is from the moment he's introduces and you can just tell he really does love her, with every ounce of him. It's cute. I also think that it was obvious from the outset that Katniss loved Peeta more, just the way she acted with him even when she was unsure herself or thinking she was pretending. I think she loves Gale too, just more as a brother? But due to her lack of experience in this department and being so used to being closed up she had no idea how to tell her feelings apart.
  • I got a little angry at Mockingjay -  (this is copied at pasted from when I was at about page 100) My friend asked me why I was getting angry to which I replied "Cause they want Katniss for her image and then need Peeta for his words but they just fuck him off and take people who aren’t nearly as important? Also Katniss is pissing me off cause she’s just so erhxcmksadiofhjnk it’s so obvious she loves Peeta and I don’t understand why she can’t see it clearly even though all her emotions, actions and thoughts make it so painstakingly obvious." He replied saying he hates Katniss, to which I said "I don’t hate her, I just wish she was more sure of herself. Like she constantly doubting herself and it’s getting a little annoying. But whatever. I mean she loves Gale too, but it’s nothing like she is with Peeta. I’d say Gale is more of a brother to her."

Sunday, 15 January 2012

15012012: In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren

A Whisper of Blood: Originally published in two separate volumes: Blood Is Not Enough (1989) and A Whisper of Blood (1991). Not all vampires shun sunlight and not all drink blood. In A Whisper of Blood you will encounter thirty-five of the most horrifying vampires you are ever likely to meet: monsters who often walk by day, look and think very much like you, and differ from ordinary people primarily by the zeal with which they prey upon others. You won't know them when you see them - and you may not even recognize their appetite for our destruction.

Catching Fire:  Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Suzanne Collins continues the amazing story of Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire, the second novel of the phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy. 

Mockingjay:  Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what' worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss' family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

14012012: On My Wishlist (5)

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City

Texas Gothic: Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: A beautifully written and darkly funny journey through the world of the allergic. Like twelve million other Americans, Sandra Beasley suffers from food allergies. Her allergies—severe and lifelong—include dairy, egg, soy, beef, shrimp, pine nuts, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, macadamias, pistachios, cashews, swordfish, and mustard. Add to that mold, dust, grass and tree pollen, cigarette smoke, dogs, rabbits, horses, and wool, and it’s no wonder Sandra felt she had to live her life as “Allergy Girl.” When butter is deadly and eggs can make your throat swell shut, cupcakes and other treats of childhood are out of the question—and so Sandra’s mother used to warn guests against a toxic, frosting-tinged kiss with “Don’t kill the birthday girl!”. It may seem that such a person is “not really designed to survive,” as one blunt nutritionist declared while visiting Sandra’s fourth-grade class. But Sandra has not only survived, she’s thrived—now an essayist, editor, and award-winning poet, she has learned to navigate a world in which danger can lurk in an unassuming corn chip. Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl is her story. With candor, wit, and a journalist’s curiosity, Sandra draws on her own experiences while covering the scientific, cultural, and sociological terrain of allergies. She explains exactly what an allergy is, describes surviving a family reunion in heart-of-Texas beef country with her vegetarian sister, delves into how being allergic has affected her romantic relationships, exposes the dark side of Benadryl, explains how parents can work with schools to protect their allergic children, and details how people with allergies should advocate for themselves in a restaurant. A compelling mix of memoir, cultural history, and science, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl is mandatory reading for the millions of families navigating the world of allergies—and a not-to-be-missed literary treat for the rest of us.

The Map of Time: 
The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma. Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time is a page-turner that boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence. What happens if we change history?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

01012012: 2011 Wrap Up

Happy New Year! I aimed to make this post last night but this year I was actually out celebrating in my own way. 2011 wasn't really a bad year over all but I certainly hope that 2012 will be miles better and I aim to make this possible.

25 Books read in 2011:
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry 
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Room by Emma Donoghue
Let The Right One In by John Alvide Lindqvist 
A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Hellsing Volume 6 by Kohta Hirano
Hellsing Volume 7 by Kohta Hirano
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
Death Note Volume 1 by Tsugumi Ohba
Death Note Volume 2 by Tsugumi Ohba

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
 The Hobbit: Or There And Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Hellsing Volume 8 by Kohta Hirano
Et Cetera Volume 1 by Tow Nakazaki

Dead Inside: Do Not Enter by Lost Zombies 
The Shining by Stephen KingKuroshitsuji Vol 1 by Yana Toboso
103 Films watched in 2011:
The Road
The Little Norse Prince
The Green Hornet
Social Network
Zack and Miri make a Porno
A Street Car Named Desire (1992)
A Street Car Named Desire (1951)

The Kite Runner
Cops Out
Black Swan
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Losers
Repo! The Genetic Opera
Tooth Fairy
Meet the Robinsons
Batman Returns
Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure
The Green Hornet
Thunderbirds (2004)
Batman Forever
The Girl Who Played With Fire
Batman & Robin
Batman Begins
Jackass 3
Get Him To The Greek
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest
The Other Guys
The Town
127 Hours
Death Note
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest
Operation: Endgame
Dinner With Schmucks
The American
I am Number Four
Fast 5
The Adjustment Bureau
Tomorrow, When The World Begins
Drive Angry
X-men: First Class
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt1
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The Switch
Animals United
Paranormal Activity 2
Sucker Punch
Green Lantern
Blood: The Last Vampire
Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon
Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended)
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt2
Tokyo Gore Police
The Machine Girl
The Inbetweeners
Horrid Henry
Captain America
Words, Words, Words
Hall Pass
Words, Words, Words
Source Code
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Morning Glory
The Smurfs
Gulliver's Travels (2010)
Horrible Bosses
The Shining
Full Metal Jacket
A Clockwork Orange
American Psycho
Paranormal Activity 3
Flight of the Phoenix
Stake Land
Bill & Tend's Excellent Adventure
Kung Foo Panda 2
Attack The Block
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
American Beauty
Captain America