Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (5)

When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

Loved, Loved, Loved this book .......... And when I did some reading up on Neil Gaiman I found out that I had actually seen alot of his work .......... He worked on Babylon 5 one of my all time favourite shows ....... Wrote the script for Beowulf, had a hand in Princess Mononoke, wrote Stardust and also the up and coming movie Coraline .......... So I am officially calling myself a Neil Gaiman fan and going to seek out the rest of his books and comics to read ..........

Firstly let me say I loved the cover of this book ....... Not only is it Hardback but it is wonderfully Illustrated ..... It was a complete joy to read it ...... While reading it I did have a kind of Tim Burton image in my head which I loved ...... Neil said that he was inspired by The Jungle Book ( which is one of my favourite books ) So instead of animals raising the child it would be Ghosts !!!

The book is about a boy who's family has been murdered and as a baby is adopted by the people in the local graveyard ...... They protect and guide Bod ( Short for Nobody) ......... The characters are wonderful ..... And I can appreciate all the gravestone humour with having spend alot of my time as a child wandering around graveyards ( Not in a morbid way - just with my family doing family History - I have lost count how many childhood pictures of me are sitting by the gravestones ) So for me I got totally absorbed into this world ....... The characters are great .... And when you have a full graveyard of people you can really go anywhere .......

I am excited to hear that this is going to be made into a movie as well ...... So if you haven't read it yet ........ Go out and get a copy ......

This is a pretty cool site which you can listen to each chapter getting read to you by Neil himself ............. http://www.mousecircus.com/videotour.aspx Enjoy !!!!!!!!!

I rate this book 5 *****

Monday, June 29, 2009

'Garden Spells' by Sarah Addison Allen 4****

Welcome to Bascom,
North Carolina, where it seems that everyone has a story to tell about the Waverley women. The house that's been in the family for generations, the walled garden that mysteriously blooms year round, the rumours of dangerous loves and tragic passions. Every Waverley woman is somehow touched by magic.
Claire has always clung to the Wacerleys' roots, tending the enchanted soil in the family garden from which she makes her sought-after delicacies -

famed and feared for their curious effects. She has everything she thinks she needs -
until one day she wakes to find a stranger has moved in next door and a vine of ivy has crept into her garden...

Claire's carefully tended life is about to run gloriously out of control.

Be enchanted by a delicious international bestseller...

First time that I have read any of Sarah Addison Allen novels and I was thoroughly engrossed from the moment I even saw the front cover. This book and 'Sugar Queen' that Irish has also commented on have the most beautiful covers I've seen in a while... so of course I had to have them... hopeless aren't I! Beautiful written, in it's simplicity of a wonderful story, about family relationships and especially between sisters. I breezed through this novel in a day and just loved everything about it. The two sisters, Claire and Sydney are characters that could easily be any of us and you can relate to either one. It's a real girls novel and one you should share with your best friend or sisters.

No bad language in this one, but there is a bit of sex in it, but very mild and tastefully done.
It's a magically book and I would love to have a garden just like this one.Looking forward to reading her other one.

Truly enjoyable read...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

'My Hero' by Debbie Macomber 4****

Bailey York needs a man.

But only on paper. She's writing a romance novel and she's having difficulty creating a hero. So, she needs a real-life model for her story. Parker Davidson is perfect, everything a hero should be. But he wants to become the hero in her life, not just her book. And not just on Valentine's Day, either!

The third novel in the reading romance challenge and one of my favourite modern romance writers.

Every women dreams of her hero or knight in shining armour and the character of Parker is just that...

Debbie Macomber writes beautifully easy to read stories that involve you right from the first page until the very last and then leave you wanting more.

Parker and Bailey's story is one of hope... that dreams do come true, if you would only take that chance to believe that they can. We all want that hero in our lives and they do exist... I know because I have found mine.

'The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever' by Julia Quinn 4****

2 March 1810...

Today I fell in love.

At the age of ten, Miranda Cheever showed no signs of Great Beauty. And even at ten, Miranda learned to accept the expectations society held for her - until the afternoon when Nigel Bevelstoke, the handsome and dashing Viscount Turner, solemnly kissed the hand and promised her that one day she would grow into herself, that one day she would be as beautiful as she already was smart. And even at ten, Miranda knew she would love him forever.

An enchanting tale that touches the heart, absolutely delightful. Julia Quinn is one of my favourite romantic novelist and she delivers another wonderful story for the reader to immerse herself into. Her characters touch your heart, especially Viscount Turner who has been bitterly disappointed in a terrible marriage. Your heart aches for him to trust in the love that Miranda Cheever wants so desperately to give him.

A beautifully laid out novel, that aches to be read from cover to cover, thoroughly enjoyed reading this one.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

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

"The Thirty-Third President of the United States handed Bod over to the famous writer Victor Hugo, who threw the boy into his sack and put it over his shoulder. Bod was just glad the sack smelled of nothing worse than dusty wood"

Pg 80 of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Monday, June 22, 2009

Time Travellers Wife Trailer ......... As promised

OK girls here is the trailer for the movie ......... And I have to say judging by the clips I might just like the movie ........ Even though I hated the book ............. Any way judge for yourself .......

Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle (31/2)

When Thalia Langley spies a dark and handsome stranger in the shadows of her brother-in-law's study, she knows in an instant that she's found the dangerous, rakish sort of man she's always dreamt of. But the man she thinks she's seen and the complete stranger who comes into the light are two very different men. Tally suspects there is more to this man than meets the eye, and she has the perfect weapon to help tempt the truth from him: a little black gown she's found in a trunk. Lord Larken, posing as the duke's cousin, is searching for the notorious Captain Dashwell. His deception runs into trouble, however, when the duke's tempting sister-in-law starts to chip away at his reverent disguise and his icy, forgotten heart.

Don't you just love the cover ...... Well this is number 2 of my Romance Challenge ........ Thanks to Legs for lending me the book ........ And I totally devarded it in the space of a few hours ....... I really liked ......

You have your historical romance with the handsome Stranger and then you have the lovely female lead who is not afraid of abit of danger ...... I really enjoyed the story line and it was a very easy read ........ And I agree with Legs that every girl should have a wee Black Gown .....

So if you are looking for a really nice sweeping romance .... Look know further ....... There are a couple of sexy scenes in the novel but apart from that it is a nice wee story to be sweep away with ........

I rate this book 31/2***

Chosen by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast ( 31/2)

Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird's adventures at the school take a mysterious turn. Those who appear to be friends are turning out to be enemies. And oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends. So begins the gripping third installment of this "highly addictive series" (Romantic Times), in which Zoey's mettle will be tested like never before. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey doesn't have a clue how to help her, but she does know that anything she and Stevie Rae discover must be kept secret from everyone else at the House of Night, where trust has become a rare commodity. Speaking of rare: Zoey finds herself in the very unexpected and rare position of having three boyfriends. Mix a little bloodlust into the equation and the situation has the potential to spell social disaster. Just when it seems things couldn't get any tougher, vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. It looks like the People of Faith, and Zoey's horrid step-father in particular, are tired of living side-by-side with vampyres. But, as Zoey and her friends so often find out, how things appear rarely reflects the truth...

Well this is the third book in the series 'A House of Night' and as the books go on I am enjoying them more ......... At the end of the 2nd book you find that you cannot always trust everyone around you and Zoey finds herself in keeping alot of secrets ........ Even not telling her trusted Boyfriend and friends ......... You know that will not end well .......... Her love life is anything but smooth sailing ...... Try complicated ...... She has a human boyfriend and of course her hunky vampire boyfriend and then in walks a totally hot older Vampire Teacher ........ Will she make the right decisions ?????????

In the middle of all that she is trying to save her best friend ........ And be the leader of the Dark Daughters as well ...... Life is never dull !!!

I did enjoy this book and it ended in a way that I will have to go out and get the next one to see what happens ..........

I rate this book 31/2 ***

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Betrayed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

This is book 2 of the A House Of Night Series and I feel that it is getting a little bit better ....... There is not that much bad language in this one as there was in the first ....... So that is a good sign ......... The characters are now starting to come together which is good ...... Even though the main character of Zoey sometimes I just want to slap her at times when it comes to the boys in her life ........ She just is all over the place .....

I love the Character of Stevie Rae she is warm, funny and bubbly ..... As the title of the novel suggests Betrayed - You know something is going to happen :)

It has took me a couple of books to get into this series but if you do like your Vampire Books you will enjoy this series as well ... But for the more adult Teen than the younger end because of some of the content .....

I rate this book 31/2 ***

Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (3)

The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Well recently I have been on a Vampire kick ....... Reading lots of Vampire books both adult and Teen ....... This book is a teen book but I was disappointed with the swearing and also some sexual references which kind of spoiled it for me abit ........ The story line is good and the characters are solid but just some of the language :( ............. This is the 1st book from a Series ( what is with series at the moment !!! ) called A House of Night.

I was in two minds on reading the next book in the series because of the language ... Which is a shame !!! ..... The main character of Zoey is a young 16 year old looking to find her place in life when she gets Marked by the Tracker to become a Vampire ......... She is then send to attend A special Vampire School which trains the new found Vampires on their new lifes :) ............. You have the usual crowd ...... The nerdy kids and the In Group ......... And of course no novel would be complete without the hunky men ( Eric )

If you love Vampire books then you are going to love this series ( A house of Night ) ......... I probably would have rated it higher if not for the use of language ........

I rate this book 3 ***

Discussion Questions for The Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin

1. Several of the main characters in the novel are said to be on a pilgrimage – how is that reflected in their stories?

2. Why do you think the author decided to tell Elizabeth and Anthony's stories in two different voices?

3. What is the significance of the title of novel – discuss the role of Alchemy in the book

4. 'I loved you because you were the nearest thing I ever had to a son.' Discuss the role of uncles and surrogate fathers within A Secret Alchemy.

5. What do you think of Una's realization that there's only one way to get at the real, human truth of Elizabeth and Anthony?

6. How does the ancient Greek myth of Jason work within the story?

7. Discuss the ideas of storytelling, myth, fact and fiction in A SECRET ALCHEMY. Marriage and relationships are central to A SECRET ALCHEMY. Discuss the ways in which such partnerships are portrayed.

8. Discuss the idea of unrequited love in the novel.

9. How does the interplay of fact and fiction enliven the novel?

10. What did you think of the ending? Would you have liked it to end differently?

11. What other books would you compare this to? What books would you recommend to other readers who have enjoyed this book?

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Boy in the Striped Pyjama's by John Doyle (4)

The cautionary tale is about two boys, one the son of a commandant in Hitler’s army and the other a Jew, who come face-to-face at a barbed wire fence that separates, and eventually intertwines their lives.

Set during the Holocaust, Bruno is only nine-years-old when his father, a commandant in Hitler’s army, is transferred from Berlin to Auschwitz. The house at “Out-With,” as Bruno calls it, is small, dark, and strange. He spends long days gazing out the window of his new bedroom, where he notices people dressed in striped pajamas and rows of barracks surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Bored and lonely, and not really understanding the circumstance of his new existence, Bruno sets out to explore the area and discovers Shmuel, a very thin Jewish boy who lives on the other side of the fence. An unlikely friendship develops between the two boys, but when Bruno learns that his mother plans to take her children back to Berlin, he makes a last effort to explore the forbidden territory where the boy in the striped pajamas lives.

This is a book club book that we all decided to read ...... And I thought it was a good read ... It is definitely a Young Adult book as it is told from a nine years old perspective ....

It is a very easy read ....... And you could easily finish it in one sitting as it is also large print .... I loved the concept of the story being told from a child's view .... Very clever ... The way that he calls the place "Out-With" and also the name he calls the leader "Fury".

It did make me reflect on how Innocent Bruno is ......... And how much responsibility that we have as parents to teach our children correct principles because what we say and teach them is how they view the world ......

There is just enough of sadness in the book to reflect the awful circumstances that surround the two boys ....... My only complaint with the book is that if the reader doesn't have a knowledge of what happened in these camps you cannot really grasp what is occurring in the story .... I think this may be one of the rare occasions that a visual movie would capture the story better ...... And probably in my case cry the whole way through the movie ........

I enjoyed the book and like I said before it would be good for a young reader .... But you would have to have a good discussion about the book and the context to make sure that they understood what was happening ... But felt that The Book Thief was more sensitive to the victims of the Holocaust and War times ...... As it gives a more graphic and realistic description of what actually happens at war times ....

I rate this book 4****

This is the Books to Movie part of the review ........ And didn't I tell you that I would cry :( .......... But only at the very end :( ......... I enjoyed the movie but I have to say like so many times the book is far better ........ I was waiting and waiting for the little quirky sayings of 'Out-With' and 'Fury' but they never happened !!! ........ I felt the movie lost abit of its charm and innocent because of that ...... But I felt the movie was good and the acting excellent by the boys :) .... Well worth watching ........ But Please read the book !!!!

The Road Trailer ........... Hope it is as good as the book :)

Well I am excited to see this movie ........ I loved the book and of course it has Viggo in so it has to be good RIGHT !!!!!!!!!

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (4)

A tale of love, candy and magic to bewitch even the most skeptical reader... Twenty-seven-year-old Josey is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, shes a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mothers house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night Until she finds it harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis and two parts fairy godmother. Fleeing a life of bad luck and big mistakes, Della Lee has decided Josey's clandestine closet is the safest place to crash. In return shes going to change Josey's life because, clearly, it is not the closet of a happy woman. With Della Lee's tough love, Josey is soon forgoing pecan rolls and caramels, tapping into her startlingly keen feminine instincts, and finding her narrow existence quickly expanding. But her life is changing faster than she knows...

Well the picture of the cover really doesn't do this book justice ....... It is soooooooo pretty .... And sparkly .......

I read this book in two sitting ....... It is a really easy read ........ And really funny in parts ..... The mean character of Josey is a rich girl who is not what people would call pretty so she is stuck in this life looking after her older mother ....... which to be honest the mother (Margaret) is a real cow !!! .......... The only thing in her life that she enjoys is watching and seeing Adam the mailman every day ........ But her life starts to change after the appearance of Della Lee who for some strange reason is living in her Closet !!! ......... The character of Chloe I loved as well and the special relationship she has with books did make me smile ........ As you read the novel it does focus alot of Relationships ....... Not only the romantic kind but also Friendships and Family .......

I found this book a very easy read and if you love your Chick Lit books you will like this one ... I am rating it 4 **** mainly because in the world of Chick Lit books it is up there .... Light, funny and a no brainer ...... which sometimes it is great to escape to that world for a while ...... It would actually really make a good wee movie ......(Hint Hint - to any production company) ... There are a few swear words in the book but that is mostly to the end of the novel other from that it is just a cute wee read ......

I rate this book 4 ****

Warning: - While reading this book you may find yourself dreaming of food .... Then actually going into the Kitchen and eating it .......... I did ...... Ham and Cheese toasted Sandwiches !!!

Blue Moon by Scott Westerfeld (4)

"Bixby High's late bell shrieked in the distance, like something wounded and ready to be cut from the herd..." (from the first line)This third book of Westerfield's acclaimed series is a tale of pulse-pounding danger, electrifying power, and a race against time that may require the ultimate sacrifice.

When the dangerous, magical blue time that only happens just after midnight makes an appearance during a 9 a.m. pep rally at school, the five midnighters know that something is seriously amiss in Bixby. Born exactly at midnight, Rex, Melissa, Dess, Jonathan, and Jessica, are the only ones who know the freedom and terror that happens when the rest of the town is frozen for one hour. In the third book in the bestselling Midnighters series, the teens discover what is going on before it's too late.

The third book of this series ........ I am not a huge fan of the cover of this book at the front but what you don't see is the clock face on the spine of the book ........... When you put the three books together it makes up a clock face ........ Every cool !!! ........ Anyway I digress back to the story ...

You know things have to get a whole lot worse before they get better !!! So the Midnight hour is now starting to seep through into the daylight hours ....... Which is not good at all because it means if you are normal mortal you could just be standing in the wrong spot and get sucked into their world ........ Which take it from me ........ Not good !!!

So during the book our 5 Midnighters must find a way to stop this from happening ........ I have to say I really enjoyed this series ........ And it is a perfect read for a Young Teen ........ Scott Westerfeld wrote the Uglies Series and you all know I loved that ... well this is just the same ..... It will keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning ......

I rate this book 4****

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld (4)

The Midnighters of Bixby, Oklahoma, know that their town is full of secrets - especially since they keep the biggest secret of all: knowledge of the secret hour, the mysterious time at midnight when the world freezes, except for them and the creatures that inhabit the darkness. What they don't know is why earlier generations of Midnighters all disappeared, or why they are now the only Midnighters in town. As they learn more about the secret hour's twists and turns, they uncover terrifying mysteries woven into the very fabric of Bixby's history, and a conspiracy that touches both the midnight hour and the world of daylight. At the same time, the Midnighters' own secrets start to emerge, including some that were never meant to come to light, changing the fragile dynamics among the five. This time Jessica Day is not the only Midnighter in mortal danger. If the group can't find a way to overcome their differences, they could lose one of their own - forever.

Well the second installment of the Midnighters Series and this one is just as good as the first one only better :) .........

Jessica as discovered that she has a powerful gift that the Darklings do not like but she has found she can handle herself in the Blue Hour just fine ........ But now they have discovered that it is not just the Secret Hour that they need to be on their toes but also the other 24 hours as well .... Which is not good because your powers don't work in daylight hours :( .......

In this book you find out what happened to the other Midnighters and how come there is only the 5 of them left ........ Are they the only ones left after all ??????

This is a great wee series for Teens and I have to say although not a teen myself I am enjoying it ....... And I am anxious now what will happen in the last book ..........

I rate this book 4 ****

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan 3***

In Mary's world there are simple truths.
The sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the sisterhood and it's secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future - between the one she loves and the one who loves her.

And she must face the truth about the Forest of the Hands and Teeth.

Well... what can I say... wasn't quite what I was expecting, but then I'm not really sure what I was expecting.It's a bit like the Village/I am Legend, wasn't really my cup of tea, but for those of you that like zombie type books you'll enjoy reading this one.

The concept of the story was interesting but I found the plot a little slow at times, yet I still had this morbid fascination to see how it all ended, and even then I was a little disappointed. It is a bleak kind of story, but also a story of humanities need to survive.

I personally wouldn't pick it up again... but I'm not into zombies either...!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stargazer by Claudia Gray 4****

I kissed Lucas again, more slowly this time. We held each other tighter. and I started to wonder how much closer we could get - and then I remembered what it had felt like when I drank his blood.

Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all - vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.
But Bianca fell in love with Lucas - a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.

Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance too see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross - or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning...

Second book in the Evernight series.

I have been waiting to read this one for quite some time as it is one of my favourite series.Really enjoyed reading it and it just went on from where the first one finished.Love the character of Bianca, she is starting to stand on her own two feet as she discovers that her parents have been keeping secrets from her. Lucas hasn't been able to spend much time with Bianca and jealousies start to creep into the relationship. Both realize that in the end the only people they can count on each each other.

Great read, flows well... couldn't put it down until I had finished it.
Look forward to reading the next installment...Hourglass.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle 4****

And in an instant, Thalia Langley knew the man before her was no saint. He might claim to be the Duke of Hollindrake's unassuming country cousin, but no man that handsome, that arresting, could be anything but... well, he simply must be an unrepentant rogue. His cat-like grace and power leave Tally shivering in her slippers at the notion of all the wicked, forbidden things he might be capable of doing... to her.

Second novel in the reading challenge down and ohhh..... was really good.

I've not read Elizabeth Boyle before but I now know why she is an acclaimed writer.

Wit, passion and adventure all rolled into this great story, that keeps you wanting more.

Girls we all need a little black dress if it gets us a rogue like Lord Larken, he can like my fire any day.

Typical romance novel, a bit naughty for those that aren't looking for anything in this area.

Great to sit in front of a warm fire and let your amagination run away.

Will read more from this novelist.
thumbs up...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Triskellion by Will Peterson 3***

Rachel and Adam are sent from their New York home to stay with their grandmother, following their parents' bitter divorce. But the quiet English village where their mother was born is a sinister and unsettling place. Is there a genuinely dark heart beating beneath the thatched roofs of the picturesque village of Triskellion?

Against a brooding background of very real danger, the two young outsiders follow an incredible trail on an archaeological adventure with a startling paranormal twist. In a community that has existed in the same place for centuries, many terrible secrets lie hidden, and the villagers of Triskellion have a great deal to protect...

The front cover of this young teenagers book is what drew me too it, beautifully done with bees over it. {11,12,13 yr olds}

While I enjoyed reading the story I found it was probably a little young for my taste. Well written and easy to follow the young teenagers will quite enjoy reading it. Apparently there will be two more that will follow on from this novel.

One for the kids...

The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld (4)

Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma. Time freezes. Nobody moves. For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the shadows. Only a small group of people know about the secret hour - only they are free to move about the midnight time. These people call themselves Midnighters. Each one has a different power that is strongest at midnight: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. For years the Midnighters and the dark creatures have shared the secret hour, uneasily avoiding one another. All that changes when the new girl with an unmistakable midnight aura appears at Bixby High School.Jessica Day is not an outsider like the other Midnighters. She acts perfectly normal in every way. But it soon becomes clear that the dark creatures sense a hidden power in Jessica . . . and they're determined to stop her before she can use it.

Well I enjoyed the Uglies Series so much that I thought I would give this Trilogy a whirl .... This is book one of the Midnighters Series ....

What would you do if you managed to have an extra hour in the day ....... You are among a special group of people that can walk around in this hour while everyone else is frozen in the moment ........ Sounds great until you find out that there are creatures that come alive in this special hour at midnight that are trying to Kill you .... It sort of takes the buzz away !!!

I enjoyed this first novel ... And it stopped in a way that I am just itching to pick up the next book .... This would be classed as a Young Teen Read with really like able characters in Dess, Rex,Mel, Jonathan and Jessica the new girl in town ......

Can Jessica find out why the Darklings want her so much ........ And why is the small town of Bixby so strange !! A great new Fantasy Novel .....

A rate this book 4 ****

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

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

"It could fly too, and quickly. It was headed straight towards them. But Jonathan had seen lots of darklings before, Jessica reminded herself. He had been out in midnight hundreds of times. He was faster than the bullies."

Pg 136 of The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld (Midnighters Series)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris (41/2)

A new Sookie Stackhouse book is always a treat! Sookie is a sexy, sassy cocktail waitress who works at Merlotte's Bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She's just a regular gal, with all the normal hopes and fears, about dating, boys and life in general - oh, and she's telepathic. And her boyfriends have included Vampire Bill, her first love and the were-tiger Quinn. And Bon Temps is a pretty normal rural town, where murders are mercifully rare. Well, maybe not that rare, as Sookie keeps finding out in this award-winning, New York Times bestselling series!

This is book 9 in the Sookie Stackhouse series and I don't know what I am going to do because it is the last one for the present :( ............ I loved this book especially the relationship between Sookie and Eric really funny at times ... Now that the vampires have come out to the world it is time for the rest of the supernatural crowd to come out .... But is the world ready to handle that .......... Sookie has clocked up alot of favours over the past while and it is now time to call them in as someone is out to get her again !!!

The usual crowd are all in the book ... Werewolves, Vampires, Werepanthers,Witches, Shape shifters, Demons and of course Fairies .......... I really loved this series and one that I will be reading again soon :) ......... It is an easy read with lots of dangers and funny moments .... So if you love your fantasy you will love this series ........

I rate this book 41/2 ****

Saturday, June 6, 2009

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris (41/2)

The supernatural community in Bon Temps, Louisiana is reeling from two hard blows: the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina, and the manmade horror of the explosion at the vampire summit in the up-north city of Rhodes. Sookie Stackhouse is safe but dazed, and she's yearning for things to get back to normal. But that's just not happening. Too many vampires - some friends, some not - were killed or injured, and her were-tiger boyfriend Quinn is among the missing. It's clear that things are changing, whether the weres and vamps like it or not. And Sookie, Friend to the Pack, blood-bonded to the leader of the local vampire community, is caught up in those changes. She's about to find herself facing danger and death and, not for the first time, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood has stopped flowing, Sookie's world will be forever altered ...

Book 8 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series and everyone is trying to recover from the Vampire Conference ...... Who managed to stay alive ........ Where has Quinn gone and will Sookie wait for him?? ....... I have to say I loved this book another one of my favourites :) ....... Sookie learns that she is not alone in the world but she does have family after all just not your typical human family :) ........

Some strange new Vampires make an appearance which doesn't go down to well ...... What do they want !!! And will Amelia be able to change Bob back ???? ( Yes Mormons do get a mention !!!)

I read this book in a few hours just had to know what was going to happen and I am excited to read the next installment !!! So if you love your Fantasy books you definitely have to read this series !!!

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

All together Dead by Charlaine Harris (4)

Sookie's beginning to get used to being surrounded by all varieties of undead, changeling, shapeshifting and other supernatural beings - but even she has her limits. She'd really like to take a while to get over being betrayed by Bill, her long-time vampire lover, and get used to her new relationship with the sexy shapeshifter Quinn - but instead, she finds herself attending the long-planned vampire summit, the destination of choice for every undead power player around, as a sort-of human 'Geiger counter' for Sophie-Anne Leclerq, vampire queen of Louisiana. But the job is fraught with difficulties. Sophie-Anne's power base has been severely weakened by Hurricane Katrina, and she's about to be put on trial during the event for murdering her king. Sookie knows the queen is innocent, but she's hardly prepared for other shocking murders: it looks like there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. With secret alliances and backroom deals the order of the day - and night - Sookie must decide which side she'll stand with, and quickly, for her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.

This is book 7 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series and we find Sookie attending a Vampire Conference ..... She also finds herself getting closer to Eric the Viking Vampire .... She has been assigned to help the Queen Sophie-Anne with up and coming trial .... But as always it is dangerous being a human so close to a world of Vampires !!!

You have to feel sorry for Sookie because she always finds herself in situations that really aren't her fault ...... But I enjoyed this book it was fast paced and kept me guessing on who was trying to out play who !!!

As always you can read this book without reading the rest but it makes more sense if you start from the beginning ....

I rate this book 4 ****

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris (4)

Sookie doesn't have that many relations, so she hated to lose one - but of all the people to go, she didn't expect it to be her cousin Hadley, a consort of New Orleans' vampire queen - after all, Hadley was technically already dead. But she is gone, beyond recall and she's left Sookie an inheritance - one that comes with a bit of a risk - not least because someone doesn't want Sookie digging too deep into Hadley's past - or her possessions. Sookie's life is once again on the line and this time the suspects range from the rogue werewolves who have rejected Sookie as a friend of the pack to her first love, the vampire Bill. Sookie's got a lot to do if she's going to keep herself alive

Book 6 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series and we find that once again Sookie is getting herself into trouble .......

I found it a little confusing at the start with the mention of Hadley her cousin as there really isn't alot of mention of her in the other books and I thought I had maybe overlooked a book somewhere .... But after a few pages you get to know what is going on .... Sookie is summoned to the Royal Court to see the Queen with a new man/tiger in tow .... Hot on her heels are the Werewolves looking for some answers ..... And we find out Bill's true intentions .....

Will she manage to escape getting injured in this novel .... I think not !!! Again good story line with all your favourite characters ...

I rate this book ****

"Rumours" by Anna Godbersen 4****

'Manhattan has bid farewell to it's brightest star, the dazzling Miss Elizabeth Holland.
Yet the rumours about her untimely demise continue.
Meanwhile her sister, the irrepressible Diana,
has been seen in the company of not one, but three eligible bachelors.
Might there be a fourth?'

Second book in the Luxe series and the first in my Romance reading challenge.

I enjoyed reading the second novel but found it wasn't quite as good as the first. A bit like reading the twilight series in the sense you couldn't put the first one down until you finish, but the second just seemed to drag a bit. I look forward to finishing the series off to see how the author is going to deal with all the problems each of the characters are facing. I love the character of Diana, she has such a free spirit about her and for someone so young she is put into some difficult positions. I'm a big fan of historical romance novels as I love to imagine what the period would of been like... clothes, houses, food, manners etc...

I love the idea of men being genltemen and treating ladies with respect, though it also can be very restrive in how they speak and interreact with each other.

Love the book... well done Anna.

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris (4)

Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in a little bar in a small town deep in Louisiana. She's funny and pretty and well-mannered, but she doesn't have that many close friends - mind you, that's not so surprising when you consider how few people can appreciate her abilities as a mind-reader. It's not a quality that has the guys beating down her door - well, unless they're vampires or werewolves or the like . . . but they're not just supernatural freaks, some of them are friends, even family . . .

And much as Sookie might want a quiet life, when she's around, things just seem to happen . . . like her brother, who appears to be changing into a were-panther. He's not that bothered, but someone doesn't like it - someone's trying to wipe him out, as well as the rest of the shape-changing population, and that mean's Sookie's got just a month, before the next full moon, to find out who wants her brother dead, and stop the fiend.

Book Number #5 in the Sookie Stackhouse series and I really enjoyed this one as well ... Poor Jason is turning into a were-panther and Sookie as always is getting caught up into their world .... And it doesn't help when you have killed a Were yourself ......

Your favourite characters are here with Eric the cheeky viking vampire ... Your hunky Were-wolf Alcide ..... All wanting you to do favours for them .... You just know Sookie is going to end up in the trouble .... and it doesn't help when there is a sniper out there shooting your friends .......

Good story line and I am loving this series !!! So if you loved the last load of books you are going to love this one !!!

I rate this book 4****

Discussion Questions for the Boy in the Striped Pyjama's by John Doyle

Well Girlie's here are the questions for the next book .......

1. What did you think of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas? What did you particularly appreciate? How did your emotions change during the course of the story?

2. Do you think Boyne was right to look at this subject from the perspective of a naïve young boy? How effective do you think this was in helping you to approach the subject?

3. How did you feel about Bruno and his family when we first meet them in Berlin? To what extent did you struggle to identify with them because they are a Nazi family?

4. At age 12, Gretel is the proper age for membership in the League of Young Girls, a branch of Hitler’s Youth Organization. Why do you think she is not a member, especially since her father is a high-ranking officer in Hitler's army?

5. What did you think of Bruno’s character? What did you like about him? What didn’t you like?

6. To what extent could you understand Bruno’s adoration of his father, and his struggle to come to terms with what he was discovering?

7. Bruno asks his father about the people outside their house at Auschwitz. His father answers, “They’re not people at all Bruno.” (p. 53) Discuss the horror of this attitude. How does his father’s statement make Bruno more curious about Out-With?

8. What is it about the house at Out-With that makes Bruno feel “cold and unsafe”? How is this feeling perpetuated as he encounters people like Pavel, Maria, Lt. Kotler, and Shmuel?

9. How did your feelings about Ralph (Bruno’s father) change during the book? Was there a turning point in your feelings? If so, when?

10. Why do you think Ralph did what he did? How would he have justified it to himself and to others?

11. What do you think drove Obersturmf├╝hrer Kotler to be so cruel?

12. Why does Gretel change? What impact does this have on Bruno?

13. How would you describe Elsa? Were you surprised that Elsa (Bruno’s mother) was unaware of the true nature of the camp? How would you have responded to this situation if you had been in her position?

14 .‘Elsa doesn’t think. She doesn’t think for herself, she doesn’t think deeply. She chooses to be oblivious, concerning herself only with the safety of her family and her position in society – everything else is beyond her periphery. She’s a sort of accomplice and assistant to her husband’s ideals, his desires, his morals and his ambitions.’ (Vera Farmiga)
To what extent do you think she is morally responsible for what happens?

15. When Bruno dresses in the filthy striped pajamas, he remembers something his grandmother once said. “You wear the right outfit and you feel like the person you’re pretending to be.” (p, 205) How is this true for Bruno? What about his father? What does this statement contribute to the overall meaning of the story?

16. How would you describe the friendship between Bruno and Schmuel? What makes it a good friendship?

17. Why did Bruno betray Schmuel? Why was their friendship able to survive this?

18. How do you think the family, and Ralph in particular, would be impacted by the final scenes of the book?

19. How do the characters in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas exemplify Hannah Arendt’s notion of ‘the banality of evil’, that evil arises out of the tendency of ordinary people to follow orders, to accept what they’re told by authorities, to conform to the prevailing opinion? How easily could such evil arise in our own society? What might lead to it? What could prevent it?

20. When Bruno and his family board the train for Auschwitz, he notices an over-crowded train headed in the same direction. How does he later make the connection between Shmuel and that train? How are both trains symbolic of each boy’s final journey?

21. Bruno issues a protest about leaving Berlin. His father responds, “Do you think that I would have made such a success of my life if I hadn’t learned when to argue and when to keep my mouth shut and follow orders?” (p. 49) What question might Bruno’s father ask at the end of the novel?

22. In what sense is this a redemptive story?

23. Does The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas fill you with despair or hope? Why?

24. What would you identify as the most important messages from The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Sucker for a New Challenge ....

For this challenge you will need to read seven books in six months. To complete the challenge the title or author's name will need to begin with the letters R-O-M-A-N-C-E and must be classified as a romance novel (this includes as romance sub genre including contemporary, historical or paranormal).

To join us in the challenge, put a post on your blog saying you're participating in the challenge and the letters R-O-M-A-N-C-E down the post ready for you to put up your book list. Now you can post a suggested list or you can just put up the letters in preparation. You can change the your choice at any time, books can crossover with any other challenges but must be reviewed to be counted. Don't forget to put up the Button for this challenge in your side bar with a link to Royal Reviews. This challenge begins on June 1st and finishes on November 30,2009, although you can sign up anytime.

Well you all know Legs and I love to read and can never pass up a chance for a challenge and this one looks great so we will give it a try ........ We could all do with abit of Romance in our lifes ... RIGHT ....

Irish's List

R-Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
M- The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison
A- The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
C- Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
E- Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James

Leg's List
R- 'Rumours' by Anna Godbersen
O- 'The Other Queen' by Philippa Gregory
M- 'My Hero' by Debbie Macomber
A- The Angels Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
N-'Vision in White by Nora Roberts
C-'Confessions of a Little Black Gown' by Elizabeth Boyle
E-'The Rose and the Shield' byElaine Barbieri

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris (41/2)

When cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse sees a man on the side of the road, she doesn't just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn't a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It's Eric the vampire--but now he's a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life.

The 4th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series and I have to say I loved this book and couldn't put it down ... By far the best book of the series so far .......

You have your faithful characters in Bill and Amanda the Vampires .... Alcide the Werewolves ..... Sam the Shapeshifter and now you have the introduction of Witches and Were-Panthers ...... Great stuff ........

Sookie is hiding Eric the Viking Vampire from the Witches who are hunting him down and now her beloved Brother Jason is missing and she fears is dead ......... She cannot rely on Bill her ex vampire boyfriend as he is out of the country so it is basically up to her to protect Eric ....

Great story line ..... Couldn't stop reading ...... Looking forward to reading the next in the series ...

I rate this book 41/2 ****

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (31/2)

Sookie's boyfriend has been very distant-in another state, distant. Now she's off to Mississippi to mingle with the underworld at Club Dead-a little haunt where the vampire elite go to chill out. But when she finally finds Bill-caught in an act of betrayal-she's not sure whether to save him...or sharpen some stakes.

The 3rd book in the Sookie Stackhouse Series and it doesn't seem that Sookies life is getting any easier .....

This is not my most favourite book in the series and in a few parts found it quite slow .... But it does introduce you to a whole new set of characters which you will love and namely ... Alcide the hunky were-wolf ..............

Sookie has to make a decision whether to go after Bill the Vampire or not? There are alot of action and fights in this book and if you loved the first couple of books then you will love this one :)

I rate this book 31/2 ***
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