Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logster (5)

When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they’ve both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she’s a girl, Bet’s world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Will’s world is much larger. He is allowed—forced, in his case—to go to school. Neither is happy.

So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: They’ll switch places. She’ll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. But once Bet gets to school, she soon realizes living as a boy is going to be much more difficult than she imagined.

I purchased this book because: The cover is lovely ....... I am just a sucker for a pretty cover

Opening lines: Everything I needed to wear beneath my clothes was already in place. I selected a shirt the color of unspoiled snow, eased my arms into the sleeves, slowly did up the buttons from narrow waist to chest and finally to neck.

Pages in Novel: 186

Isn't the cover to his novel lovely ... And it is hardback as well ... This is a lovely wee book to read and you will finish this in one sitting if you are a quick reader ... I am a sucker for stories about girls dressing up like boys Yentel and Shakespeare in Love to name a couple ... So I just loved this novel ...

When Bet and Will hatch their plan to let Bet pretend to be Will at an all boys school it sounds so simple ... But it turns out to be anything but ... Bet has to quickly adept to the world of men in order to survive .... There are some really cute parts in this novel that will have you laughing out loud .... And you do tend to forget that we as male and female are really quite different ... From the way we walk, talk and think .... Can Bet really get away with being a man?

Favourite quotes I liked:

And why give up and declare a thing impossible before even trying? Pg 11

Paul Garderner liked to say that there were no accidents in life, that everything happened out of choice or through design, that everything for a reason. But from where I sat, so much of life did seem accidental, haphazard. How else to explain why one person lived while another died? Pg 17

All I see, Will, is a boy who is unwilling to do what it takes to get what he wants out of life. pg 26

We were all willing to do whatever we had to in order to keep him happy. Pg 116

My only complaint about this book is that nearing the end of the novel I felt it was wrapped up to fast .... But in saying that I am giving it 5 stars because I really did enjoy it ... It is light hearted, funny and whisked me away to another world for a few hours of enjoyment :)

I rate this book 5 *****

me, the missing and the dead by Jenny Valentine (41/2)

Fifteen-year-old Lucas Swain hasn’t seen his father for five years. One day, his dad just vanished. And the strange thing is, except for Lucas, nobody seems to care.

Then things really take a turn for the bizaree when Lucas discovers someone who might be able to help find his father. Her name is Violet, and she's reaching out to Lucas. But it would all be so much easier if Violet wasn't a pile of ashes in an urn.

I purchased this book because: Saw it on another blog site and was curious

Opening lines: The minicab office was up a cobbled alley with little flat houses on either side. That's where I first met Violet Park, what was left of her.

Pages in Novel: 201

This is a short wee book but one that I really loved .... I can see how it was shortlisted to be a finalist in the William C Morris Debut award ... I felt it was abit jumpy at the start of the novel but then the storyline picked up and it flowed lovely after that ....

The story is about a young boy Lucas who finds an urn of a woman and is strangely draw en towards finding out about her. This curiosity leads Lucas on a journey to discover not only who Violet is but also alot about himself.

There are some really funny parts in this book but still manages to keep the serious side to some of the issues that are touched upon ... It is quite an honest book in its story-telling which I found really refreshing ...

I loved the banter between Lucas and his grandparents especially with his grandmother .... Very funny and touching at the same time .... And for a wee novel of just 201 pages there is alot hidden between its pages ...

Some of my favourite quotes are:

But doesn't getting up that early just mean there are more hours to fill with being old? Pg 12

If you think about it, a person being dead isn't any barrier to finding out what they are like. Half the people we learn about in school have been dead for ages. Pg 28

I've said it before - it's the not knowing that drives you mad. It's the imagining things that you wish you couldn't think up all by yourself. pg 64

Thug - I said he should tell her that we learned about thugs in history, and they were actually this amazing caste of assassins in India a hundred or so years ago. They strangled people with a long scarf with a rupee sewn into each end. It was their destiny to be a thug. They had no choice and they accepted it as their role in the order of things. Pg 70

For every decision I make there's the other thing, the alternative route, and I find myself hankering after it as soon as it's gone. Pg 79

It occurs to me that all most people do when they grow up is fix on something impossible and then hunger after it. Pg 115

This is a great wee book and I really liked it ... It is written beautifully and you cannot help but love the main character of Lucas and get invested into his world .... I would definitely go out and purchase another book by this author ...

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

The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A Nielson (41/2)

When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, she is convinced that the mermaid means her harm. After all, the island is steeped in stories of mermaids' curses and the ill-luck that they bring. But Adrianne is fierce-willed and courageous and is determined to protect her family and the islanders from danger. Yet when the islanders find out about Adrianne's encounters with the mermaid, her family is scorned. They believe that once active, the mermaid cannot be quieted until an islander sacrifices herself to the sea. But is the legend true? And will their fear make them force Adrienne to test it? This is a haunting story of love, surrender and strength

I purchased this book because: Alot of hype around the book and wanted to see if it lived up to the reputation ...

Opening Lines: Pelting rain battered against me, stinging my skin and eyes, almost driving me backwards, Forcing myself to continue, I felt my way down the slick rock face one foot at a time. I clung to the cliff face a moment, crying into the dark squall raging around me.

Well I have been reading lately about fairies, vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters so why not try Mermaids ....... This is a really nice book and actually deals with alot of grown up issues ... Bullying and feeling alone is a major one ...... I read this book in nearly one sitting .. I just gobbled it up ... My only complaint with the book was that it ended .......

I don't want to go into details because it would totally spoil the book but there are sooooo many different avenues and characters in the book that I would love the storyline to continue ....

I love the main character of Adrianne she is feisty, firely and vulnerable all rolled into one .... And it seems that no matter what she does it is never enough to satisfy those around her .... So when the legend of the Mermaid suddenly threatens the Island everyone turns to Adrianne ...

I loved the storyline of Lady Lauretta Durran and how it inter weaved throughout the whole novel ... There is nothing like a good mystery ......

Some of my favourite quotes are:

Don't let the few harsh things of life blot out your happiness in everything else, Adrianne. pg 40

If you let fear control what you do, you'll never get anything done. Pg 42

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely read more from the author ...

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

Monday, December 27, 2010

Meg Cabot Site

If you are a big fan of Meg Cabot then you have got to check out her site ......... There are loads of goodies and information on the site ...... Plus it is just fun ...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Looking for something to read in 2011

With the New Year just around the corner we thought you might like to know some of the books we'll be reading throughout 2011.

So what do you think?

Are we going to read something that you've read before or can't wait to read?

We'd love to hear your thoughts on our selection for 2011.

From us all here at Exclusively Books we'd like to thank you for visiting our site and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Insatiable" by Meg Cabot [5]

Sick of hearing about vampires? So is Meena Harper.
But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn't believe in them.
Not that Meena isn't familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you're going to die. [Not that you're going to believe her. No one ever does.]
But not even Meena's precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets - then makes the mistake of falling in love with - Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It's a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.
The problem is, Lucien's already dead. Maybe that's why he's the first guy Meena's ever met whom she could see herself having a future with. See, while meena's always been able to see everyone else's future, she's never been able to look into her own.
And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare. Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future...
If she ever has one.
OK, so after reading the Twilight and Evernight series ... I promised myself that I wouldn't pick up another vampire novel again ... Well so much for that promise ... So for all those lovers of vampire novels you will want to sink your teeth into this one.
Meg Cabot is a brilliant writer and I love her novels and she has really outdone herself with this one. It's funny, exciting, romantic and mocks the whole vampire genre which I love, but at the same time it keeps you glued to the pages to find out what happens next. The characters are all brilliant in there own special way and I couldn't decide who I like best as they each have something special about just them. The plot is well thought out and very funny as it takes the Mickey out of all those vampire novels and movies and I loved how she has made mention of a few of them.
While this book is quite light-hearted it is not a book for young teens, I would recommend 17 and over at least. This would be a great summer/winter read and you will enjoy it. Hopefully there will be sequel next year sometime.
I rate this book 5 stars.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sleepless by Thomas Fahy (4)

SOMEONE ELSE WILL DIE SOON she tells herself.


A few days after the first time you walk in your sleep, you kill someone. That's how the end begins.

Emma Montgomery has been having gruesome nightmares. Even worse, when she wakes up, she isn't where she was when she fell asleep. And she's not the only one. One by one the students of Saint Opportuna High start having nightmares, and sleepwalking. And the next morning one of their classmates turns up dead.

Something is making them kill in their sleep. Emma and her friends need to band together, to keep themselves awake until they can figure out what's behind the murders--before anyone else dies.

Thomas Fahy, author of The Unspoken, which Pubishers Weekly called, "a page-turner that just might keep readers up at night," again brings readers a nail-bitingly horrifying novel.

I purchased this novel because: Loved the cover .... Very creepy :)

Opening Lines: Emma doesn't really notice the cold night air or the damp grass beneath her feet. Only the howling sound in her ears. That same sound dragged her out of bed a while ago. It made her walk downstairs and go outside to the shed where her dad keeps the old splintery shovel. That sound is the reason she has to keep digging - to find out what it wants ...

Lovin the cover ... Very 'I know what you did last summer' and 'final destination' .... If you do not like a good horror book this book is not for you .... I have to admit I did read it in bed at night but I did leave the light on ........ lol ...

There is abit of swearing in the book a few words and it is definitely not a novel for young teens as some of the scenes are pretty graphic ... This novel will keep you guessing until the end of the book which is great :) .... And would be a pretty good film if someone picked it up ...

There are two major characters in this book Emma the female lead who is scared to fall asleep as strange things happen when you are asleep .... And Jake the male lead ...... Between the two of them can they figure out what is happening in time to save their friends and themselves ...

Some of my favourite quotes are:

She used to say that lists can remind you that the world isn't such a big place after all, that small things matter. Pg 23

Emma has been thinking about that wand - wishing that there were enough magic in the world to undo painful things. Pg 44

We can be so unaware of the messages behind what we're really seeing. Pg 139

Well if you want to get your blood pumping and your heart rate racing a little bit then read this wee book ... Just make sure you keep the lights on ...... You have been warned :)

I rate this book 4 ****

Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard (41/2)

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

I purchased this book because: Saw the cover and wanted a funny light read

Opening lines: It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a teen girl on a class trip to England should be having the time of her life.

This is a cute wee book to read ........ Light hearted and funny ..... If you love your Period romances and Pride and Prejudice then this book is for you .....

Callie the main character finds herself back in time and is thrown into a world of balls, dresses and where the men rule the world ........ And where would a novel be without its dashing Duke ....... Callie is definitely a girl from our time that has to adjust very quickly to ways of 1815 ...

This is a quick read and one that I really liked ... If you are a fan of Lost in Austen or Austenland then you will gobble up this book ...

Favourite Quotes from the novel are:

"Everyone has a place in society. It would do you good to observe yours" Pg 106

I force myself to turn away from the woman and look at the guy standing next to her. And when I do, I lose my breath entirely. The Duke. Pg 35

I really enjoyed this wee novel ... So if your looking for something nice and light with a few laughs along the way go out and get a copy :)

I rate this book 4 1/2

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I am not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells (5)

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

I purchased this book because: Saw it on a book blog site and just had to get it

Opening lines: Mrs Anderson was dead.

I could not put this book down ........ It was brilliant in a really weird and sick pageturning way ... Reading it ..... Did make me think of the Character of "Dexter" expect that it is a younger version when he is just finding out what he is .....

The Character of John is brilliant ... And very detailed ...... He has a very unique way that he looks at the world and sometimes you cannot help but laugh out loud with what he thinks ... I cannot tell you how much I really liked this book ..... Obviously it is about the character of John who thinks he is destined to be a serial Killer because he displays the 3 charactrists of a serial killer plus a number of other clues along the way .... When a series of murders happens in his small town how will he be able to keep himself away .... And will his curiousity get the better of him .........

I have so many favourite quotes in this book that it is hard to choose which ones I like ... But here are a few ...

"The project I did last year was on Jeffrey Dahmer," I said. " He was a cannibal who kept severed heads in his freezer." "I remember now," said Max, his eyes darkening. " Your posters gave me nightmares." "Nightmares are nothing." I said. "Those posters gave me a therapist." Pg 27

There was a new monster in town, it seemed - would its presence awaken the one I kept hidden? Pg 30

"I'm a good person." I said, "because I know what good people are supposed to act like, and I copy them." Pg 37

Sure, we have dead bodies in the basement, but we also have a chapel, so it all balances out. Right? pg 38

Could I stop myself? Once I tore that wall down, could I rebuilt it? Pg 133

This book is probably not for everyone ... But if you love thrillers and a book with a little bit of bite to it and do not mind some blood and guts along the way ......... Then you will love this book ......... The sense of humour in the book is brilliant .... The way it is written is very clever and I cannot wait to read the next book .... And you will fall in love with John Wayne Cleaver !!!

I rate this book 5 Stars .........

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Happy Ever After" by Nora Roberts [5]

Childhood friends Mackensie, Parker, Laurel and Emmaline
have formed a very successful wedding-planning
business together. while helping thousands
of happy couples to organize the biggest day of their lives,
three of the four women have all found love
themselves - but workaholic Parker
remains resolutely single.
Her business is her life and she devotes all her energies to it.
But as she is forced to re-evaluate her friendships,
Parker finds that someone is about to divert her focus...

This is the fourth book in the Bride Quartet series and the one that I have been dying to read. I have absolutely loved the previous three books and each of the other girls and their men have been wonderful to read about, but for me it was Parker's story that I have been waiting to read about.

Nora Roberts has finished this series off beautifully and it's such a shame to see it end, but it was done well. I loved watching the romance between the efficient and dedicated Parker and bad boy come hero Malcolm. They suit each other to a tee... Malcolm comes across as this bad boy but he has morals that match Parker's own. Parker is looking for love...just like the love her parents shared for each other. There is just something about Mal that makes him fascinating and infuriating at the same time and the chemistry sparks between them. There are so many wonderful moments between both of them...they make you laugh and sigh all in the same breath. The moments between the girls are wonderful and it's terrific to see that they all care for each others happiness as well as their own.

You'll just love this series...drama and romance mingled with breath-taking scenery as they put together the most wonderful wedding days as well as other parties, you'll be lost in your imagination. The book is easy to read and you'll laugh and cry and just get lost in the characters and just like me you'll become addicated to this wonderful series.

Books in order...
1. Vision in White
2. Bed of Roses
3. Savour the Moment
4. Happy Ever After

Give this series a try and I promise you'll love them.

I rate this book 5 stars.
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