Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (5)

The story’s unlikely heroine is CatherineMorland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.

Well this is the book which is to blame for me not reading too many books this month ... I loved the cover and it is also hard backed .... With uneven pages which I loved !!!! .... I have had this sitting on my shelf for some time and have been itching to dive in ....

I cannot tell you how much I loved this book !!! I totally got lost in the Gothic period ..... And the reason it took me soooooo long to read it was because I just took my time and thoroughly got absorbed into the story and characters ..... So much so that I was actually saddened when I was finished and wanted to read it again !!! I love it when that happens !!!

The story is about a young girl called Catherine who really is coming of age and has lead a quite a happy sheltered life but this all changes when she goes to Bath for the first time .... You will have characters you will dislike and characters that you will fall in love with .... I have to say Henry is one of those characters !!! He is gentle, charming and funny and you do get swooped away !!! ..... The whole book is funny, lighthearted and makes you pause for thought that you should never jump to conclusions, because you might just be wrong !!!

I know that people love Mr Darcy ( I hasten to add that I am one of them ) but I just loved Henry Tilney from the moment he was mentioned ....... It must be the romantic in me !!! ....

This book has everything a girl could ask for Castles, Adventure, Romance and Danger !!!! With an adorable leading lady in Catherine and a most Charming leading Man in Henry !!! ... So if you haven't ever read this book before .... Lock your bedroom door ..... Get your husband to watch the kids and curl up with a wonderful book .... You will not be disappointed !!

Well I couldn't leave you without a couple of my favourite Quotes ...

"No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine"

"No young lady can be justified in falling in love before the gentleman's love is declared, it must be very improper that a young lady should dream of a gentleman before the gentleman is first known to have dreamt of her"

"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pang of disappointed love"

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid"

"I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible"

I rate this book 5 *****

If you have never seen the BBC production of it ... it is well worth the view .... And you can swoon over Henry with a box of chocolates ....

Well this part of the review is for the Books to Movie Challenge .... And this is one movie that I really enjoyed watching ..... I loved the character of Henry Tilney and felt that he was just right !! .........

Now anyone who is a avid reader will know that when you love a book and then see the movie you are most of the time disappointed because they leave so much out of the movie .... With this movie although there are pieces missing from it it does add a few scenes which the book just hints at or glosses over .... The novel as you know is written in such a way that you feel that you are a spectator watching what unfolds before you !!! .... A third party so to speak ... So alot of the novel is describing events and feelings which lets you as a reader imagine how it would have taken place .... Where the movie version actually fills some of those blanks in ...

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and recommend it but would still advise you to read the book .... It is brilliant !!!

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

"I wanted to run away. Lucas deserved better than that, so I would have to overcome my shame. Forcing myself to go towards him, I called, 'Lucas? Are you Okay"

pg 155 of Evernight by Claudia Gray

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's the End of the World !!!!

You know me and Challenges ..... Well I couldn't resist this one !!!! Actually I am really looking forward to it !!!

The Rules:
Read at least four books about "the end of the world." This includes both apocalyptic fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction. There is quite a bit of overlap with dystopic fiction as well. The point being something--be it coming from within or without, natural or unnatural--has changed civilization, society, humanity to such a degree that it radically differs from "life as we now know it." (Aliens, evil governments, war, plague, natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, depletion of resources, genetic manipulation, etc.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Settlefield (41/2)

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family - fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, brutal, dangerous Charlie, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart... Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield's past - and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic writer Vida Winter? And what is the secret that strikes at the heart of Margaret's own, troubled life? As Margaret digs deeper, two parallel stories unfold, and the tale she uncovers sheds a disturbing light on her own life...

I have seen this book floating around for a while and when I saw the cover I just had to purchase it .... It is hard to believe that this is a first novel as it is written so well and grips you from the very first page!!!

This book is definitely a page turner and will have you guessing the whole way through!!! I really loved it ... It did remind me of Wuthering Heights but only not as depressing but surprisingly enjoyable and making you yearn to uncover the mystery ....

The characters are really likeable and the main Character of Margaret is a delight and you really go along with her as she tries to unfold the truth !!! There are many twists and turns in the plot which I loved and just when you think you have it figured you realise that you don't !!! I love reading Historical novels and getting whisked away into that time period !!!

So if you love mystery books, Gothic novels and a little suspense this book is well worth the read !!!

I rate this book 4 1/2 ****

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

"There was nothing the new governess couldn't do if she put her mind to it. That's how it seemed at first, anyway."

pg 182 The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Field Guide, The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black (5)

Twins Jared and Simon Grace, and their older sister Mallory, move with their mother to a decaying Victorian house in the first of The Spiderwick Chronicles. There they discover a secret room, and clues which eventually lead them to an old, handwritten and illustrated book, Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You.

I have had these books for a while but to be honest they are my daughter's .... I have been reading alot of fantasy recently and really wanted to pick these books up and see how they rated with the movie which I quite enjoyed !!!

This is book 1 ... There are 5 books in total which make up the movie .... So I will review each book as I read them .... This is quite short only 107 pages in total but it is not only hard backed which I love but also illustrated throughout beautifully .... It was a real joy to read !!!

One of my favourite lines from the books was:
"He didn't want to find an old, dead body, even if there was something really cool inside it" pg 51

It is a story of 3 children finding a book which opens up a whole new world to them .... It allows them to see Faeries and another creatures that we humans cannot see !!! It is filled with adventure and every young teen would gobble this book up !!

I rate this book 5*****

Well this is the second part of the review which is to compare it to the movie ....

I am all for the books ........ I just find that they have so much details etc which the movies do not portray .... I am also a visual person so the book ticks another box for me as the drawings are wonderful .... Although the visual effects in a movie can be stunning !!!

For being a short book it really does have alot of detail in it !!! Which does not portray on the screen !!! I vital part of the book for me was the finding of the note to locate The Field Book which is totally missing from the movie ...... So although the movie is good .... The book gets my thumbs up !!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (5)

Twenty- four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Well who knew that walking in Big W the other day that I would come across a book that I have been after for a while now !!! And the thing was I was staring at it for a while before it registered that it was The Hunger Games .... I have come accustomed to a different cover ... But I have to say I am delighted with this cover and I couldn't put the book down .... I read it in one day and loved it .... The only down side to the whole thing is that it is a trilogy and the second part isn't coming out until September ...!!!

I have been reading alot of Young Adult reads lately and I am really loving it !!! I think I am going back to my own teen years ... when all I used to read was Fantasy Books ... And I have to admit I have missed them !!!

This is a brilliant first novel by Suzanne Collins ... That both a girl and boy could identify with ... And the front cover is really clever that you can change it to a boy or girl cover depending on what you want !! This book has it all action, danger and romance and you will be grounded to your seat until you finish it !!! It was definitely well worth the wait to receive it !!!!

I rate this book 5*****

A short movie of Suzanne talking about her book .... Enjoy :) It is nice to put a face to a name ...

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Witch of Portobella by Paulo Coelho

How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of whom we are?
That is the central question of international bestselling author Paulo Coelho's profound new work, The Witch of Portobello. It is the story of a mysterious woman named Athena, told by the many who knew her well—or hardly at all.
Among them:

"People create a reality and then become the victims of that reality. Athena rebelled against that—and paid a high price."Heron Ryan, journalist
"I was used and manipulated by Athena, with no consideration for my feelings. She was my teacher, charged with passing on the sacred mysteries, with awakening the unknown energy we all possess. When we venture into that unfamiliar sea, we trust blindly in those who guide us, believing that they know more than we do."Andrea McCain, actress

"Athena's great problem was that she was a woman of the twenty-second century living in the twenty-first, and making no secret of the fact, either. Did she pay a price? She certainly did. But she would have paid a still higher price if she had repressed her natural exuberance. She would have been bitter, frustrated, always concerned about 'what other people might think,' always saying, 'I'll just sort these things out, then I'll devote myself to my dream,' always complaining 'that the conditions are never quite right.'"Deidre O'Neill, known as Edda

Like The Alchemist, The Witch of Portobello is the kind of story that will transform the way readers think about love, passion, joy, and sacrifice.

This is the third book of Paulo Coelho that I have read ... And I have to say that The Alchemist is still my firm favourite ... I loved the cover of this novel ... And the concept to the story is very interesting as it is told from people who knew the main character of Athena ...

It is basically Athena's journey through life told from her friends and family ... Let me start by telling you the good things about the book ... It is littered with loads of stories and quotes which are as ever makes you stop and think ... Some of my favourites are

"What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows" Pg 88

"Look at a skilled blacksmith working steel. To the untrained eye, he's merely repeating the same hammer blows, but anyone trained in the art of calligraphy knows that each time the blacksmith lifts the hammer and rings it down, the intensity of the blow is different. The hand repeats the same gesture, but as it approaches the metal it understands that it must touch it with more or less force. It's the same things with repetition: it many seem the same, but it's always different. The moment will come when you no longer need to think about what you're doing" Pg 91

"Money brings happiness. Fine. In that case, everyone who earns enough to have a high standard of living would be able to stop work. But then they're more troubled than ever, as if they were afraid of losing everything. Money attracts money, that's true. Poverty might bring unhappiness, but money won't necessarily bring happiness" Pg 144

Ok they were among my favourite quotes ... But I have to say that I did struggle to finish this book and it took me alot longer than I thought .... I do know that the book is centred around Athena but I found her quite selfish ... I know that it is her journey but it seems that was all she cared about and she really didn't care about how it effected the people around her ... I do appreciate that you can lose yourself in dance and mediation but I think I would have found her abit weird if every second you see her that she just danced around the place ...

I know alot of people love Coelho's novels and The Alchemist still remains one of my favourites but I have struggled with his other novels ...

I rate this book 2**

Paulo Coelho talking about his novel

Here's a link to his blog ::: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/

Discussion Questions for Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Ok girls here are the discussion questions for our next book .... We meet at M's house in 2 weeks time !!

1. Pride and Prejudice is probably Austen's most famous, most beloved book. One element, the initial mutual dislike of two people destined to love each other, has become a cliché of the Hollywood romance. I'm sure you can think of numerous examples.This book has been described by scholars as a very conservative text. Did you find it so? What sort of position do you see it taking on the class system? It has also been described as Austen's most idealistic book. What do you suppose is meant by that?

2. In 1814 Mary Russell Mitford wrote: "It is impossible not to feel in every line of Pride and Prejudice. . . the entire want of taste which could produce so pert, so worldly a heroine as the beloved of such a man as Darcy. . . Darcy should have married Jane." Would you have liked the book as well if Jane were its heroine?Have you ever seen a movie version in which the woman playing Jane was, as Austen imagined her, truly more beautiful than the woman playing Elizabeth?Who doesn't love Elizabeth Bennet?!!

3. Two central characters in Austen have her own first name.In Emma: Jane Fairfax is a decorous, talented, beautiful woman.In Pride and Prejudice: Jane Bennet is everything lovely.What do you make of that?

4. Lydia and Wickham pose a danger to the Bennet family as long as they are unmarried and unchecked. But as a married couple, with little improvement in their behavior, this danger vanishes.In Pride and Prejudice marriage serves many functions. It is a romantic union, a financial merger, and a vehicle for social regulation. Scholar and writer Mary Poovey said that Austen's goal "is to make propriety and romantic desire absolutely congruent."Think about all the marriages in the book with respect to how well they are fulfilling those functions.Is marriage today still an institution of social regulation?

5. Austen suggests that in order to marry well a woman must be pretty, respectable, and have money. In the world of Pride and Prejudice, which of these is most important? Spare a thought for some of the unmarried women in the book-Mary and Kitty Bennet, Miss de Bourgh, Miss Georgiana Darcy, poor, disappointed Caroline Bingley. Which of them do you picture marrying some day? Which of them do you picture marrying well?

6. Was Charlotte Lucas right to marry Reverend Collins?

7. What are your feelings about Mr. Bennet? Is he a good father? A good husband? A good man?

8. Darcy says that one of Wickham's motivations in his attempted elopement with Georgiana was revenge. What motivations might he have had for running off with Lydia? (Besides the obvious. . .)

9. Elizabeth Bennet says, ". . . people themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them for ever."Do any of the characters in the book change substantially? Or do they, as Elizabeth says of Darcy, "in essentials" remain much as they ever were?

10. Elizabeth is furious with Darcy for breaking up the match between Jane and Mr. Bingley. Although he initially defends himself, she changes his mind. Later when Lady Catherine attempts to interfere in his own courtship, he describes this as unjustifiable.Should you tell a friend if you think they're about to make a big mistake romantically?Have you ever done so? How did that work out for you?

11. How does the visit to Pemberley affect Elizabeth's feelings towards Mr. Darcy? What does she learn about Mr. Darcy as a result of her visit?.

12. At what moment does Elizabeth begin to fall in love with Mr. Darcy"

13. Why does Austen call Elizabeth by her first name and Mr. Darcy by his last name throughout the novel? What is the effect of this naming? What are its social implications?

14. Consider the final resolution of the novel. Is the ending a fairy tale one (recall that fairy tales end with "and they lived happily ever after")? How does the novel expand upon and complicate this ending? Does the ending play up the romance, or the social satire? What is the final message, which the novel leaves us with?

15. What is the significance of the pairings and doublings, which Austen gives us: Jane and Elizabeth, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, Kitty and Lydia, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet? How do those pairings shift through the course of the novel?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

" I don't see anything," he called down, but he wasn't sure if anyone heard him.

The ascent was slow. Jared felt like he couldn't breathe. His knees were pressing against his chest, and his feet were cramping from being bent so long. He wondered if the candle was sucking up all the available oxygen. "

Page 28 of The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide by Tony Di Terlizzi and Holly Black

Roundup for Feb 09

Books read in February : 7 Books
Total Books Read in 2009: 15 Books
Pages read in February: 1802
Yearly page count: 4287
Paperbacked Books in Feb: 6
Paperbacked Books in 2009:
Hardbacked Books in Feb: 1
Hardbacked Books in 2009:

Young Teen

Challenges Updates
999: 15/81
Victorian Challenge: 1/3
What's in a Name: 1/8
1%: 7/10


1* -

2* - The Witch of Portobello

3* - The Spare Room, The Next thing on my List, Someone like me

31/2* -

4* - Life on the Refrigerater Door

41/2* - The Six Sacred Stones

5* - A Perfect Brightness of Hope

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