Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.
Well I was sooooo excited for this book and boy was I disappointed ... I got totally hooked when I read the back cover and couldn't wait to dive in ........ Then all I can say is GRRRRRRRR .... I hate to give a bad review especially when it is from my home country of Ireland but seriously ........ GRRRRRRRRRRR ..................
I felt the book was seriously two long ......... With about 200 pages too long ....... I honestly didn't have to know every single detail of Ryan's Day from what he had for breakfast to when he took his smoke breaks ........ I felt that the title of the book was misleading as it touches on Ryan's story to be only left high and dry ..... It should have been called "The Stone Alter" or something .... Something that had to do with the recent murder and not about Ryan ....
I know that some authors like not to wrap every storyline up with a pretty bow but come on ... I felt like Tana French came up with a good situation and just either couldn't be bothered telling us what actually happened or she can't really explain it herself ..... The whole purpose of this novel is what happened to the three kids 'In the Woods" and do we ever find out ....... NO ..... again with the GRRRRRRRRRR .................
Although the other murder gets solved you are left with a empty feeling at the end abit like Homer Simpson 'Duh' .......... When you realise you have finished the book and nothing is explained ..... And I hasten to add over 500 pages worth of small print .... I even thought I had missed something when I was reading and went over some of the pages again ...... But sadly know ...... I then thought maybe it may be explained in the second novel but reading the reviews of that I found it is not explained there either but if anything it leaves you wondering about Ryan's Partner Cassie with yet more questions ....
There has been mixed views about this book it seems you either love it or hate it .... And unfortunately I am leaning towards the dislike end ........ Which is a real shame because it had sooo much potential ..... And be warned there is alot of swearing throughout the novel ...
So if you don't mind a good mystery as in you never find out what is going on ..... This book is for you ........ The first 1/3 of the book is really good and then it sort of fizzles out ...... A shame .....
I rate this book 2 **
Books in order to read
In the Woods
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
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 have been a number of pet-fighting games over the years, Pokemon was the most popular of many," the Phoenix said. She grinned. " Yeah, one of the Dragon's Kids in Japan invented the concept, based on elementals. Made a fortune."
Pg 181 Earth to Hell by Kylie Chan
Monday, June 28, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human's. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odour he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill...
Really looking forward to this one and lovin the cover .... This will be one of my pics of bookclub next year !! Roll on ....
The Windup Girl by Paolo Baciqalupi
Ok I have been after this one for a while now and excited about reading it ...
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
While clearing out her grandmother's cottage for sale, Connie Goodwin finds a hidden parchment inscribed with the name Deliverance Dane. And so begins the hunt to uncover the woman behind the name, a hunt that takes her back to Salem in 1692 ...and the infamous witchcraft trials. But nothing is entirely as it seems and when Connie unearths the existence of Deliverance's spell book, the Physick Book, the situation takes on a menacing edge as interested parties reveal their desperation to find this precious artefact at any cost. What secrets does the Physick Book contain? What magic is scrawled across its parchment pages? Connie must race to answer these questions - and reveal the truth about Salem's women - before an ancient family curse once more fulfils its dark and devastating prophecy ...
I just love love love the cover of this book and I am really into witches at the moment so I am looking forward to reading it ..
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Alyss, born in Wonderland, is destined to be a warrior queen. After a bloody coup topples the Heart regime, Alyss is exiled to another world entirely, where she is adopted into a new family, renamed Alice and befriended by Lewis Carroll. At age 20 she returns to Wonderland to battle Redd and lead Wonderland into its next golden age of imagination.
This is the first in the series of the Alice series and I am loving the covers ...
Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
Alyss of Wonderland's rule has only just begun, but the Queendom and her White Imagination are already under threat. Someone has resurrected the brutal Glass Eyes, and they are attacking Wonderland on all sides. Has renegade Redd Heart freed herself and her assassin Cat from the prism of the Heart Crystal?
The second installment of the Looking Glass Wars
2. Austenland, besides chronicling Jane's stay at Pembrook Park, lists all thirteen "boyfriends" she's had in her lifetime. How well does the reader get to know Jane's past? How much has she changed from her first relationship at age twelve to the one that is now just beginning?
3. Jane observes of the BBC's Pride and Prejudice: "Stripped of Austen's funny, insightful, biting narrator, the movie became a pure romance" (2). What would Austenland be like without Jane's own insightful, biting narration?
4. Looking at the gallery of portraits in Pembrook Park, Jane feels "an itch inside her hand" to paint a portrait, "but she scratched the desire away. She hadn't picked up a paintbrush since college" (36). How is Jane's artistic itch intensified during her stay at Pembrook Park? How does she come to the realization that "she wanted to love someone the way she felt when painting - fearless, messy, vivid" (125)? In the end, has she found that type of artistic love?
5. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth's mother, Mrs. Bennet, is known for her determination to marry off her daughters and for her frequent social blunders. How does Miss Charming, Jane's fellow visitor to Pembrook Park, resemble Mrs. Bennet? What are some of Charming's funny faux pas and verbal blunders?
6. Jane realizes, "Wait a minute, why was she always so worried about the Austen gentlemen, anyway? What about the Austen heroine? (105). Is the heroine given short shrift by many Austen fans today? Why or why not?
7. Jane calls herself and Mr. Nobley "Impertinence and Inflexibility" (133). How do these nicknames originate? How do these traits compare to the pride and prejudice of Darcy and Elizabeth in Austen's novel?
8. Jane's great-aunt Carolyn set the whole Pembrook Park adventure into motion. What do you think Carolyn's intentions were in sending Jane to this Austenland? Do you think Jane fulfilled those expectations?
9. Jane comes to wonder what kind of fantasy world Jane Austen might have created for herself: "Did Austen herself feel this way? Was she hopeful? Jane wondered if the unmarried writer had lived inside Austenland with close to Jane's own sensibility - amused, horrified, but in very realy danger of being swept away" (123). Is it possible to guess at Austen's attitude toward romance by reading her work? Why or why not?
10. Looking at Henry Jenkins, Jane realizes that "just then she herself was more Darcy than Erstwhile, sitting there admiring his fine eyes, feeling dangerously close to falling in love against her will" (190). Are there other occasions in which Jane is more Darcy than Erstwhile? Is it possible that today's single, thirtysomething woman is more Darcy than a so-called spinster?
11. Jane walks away from Nobley and Martin at the airport with the parting words, "Tell Mrs. Wattlesbrook I said tallyho" (186). Why does Jane enjoy her last line so much? What does she mean by "tallyho"?
12. What might Jane Austen think of Austenland, if she were alive today? Could she have possibly anticipated how influential her novels would become, even for twenty-first-century audiences? Could she ever imagine a fan like Jane Hayes?
13. Shannon Hale reveals on her Web site (www.squeetus.com/stage/austen_journey.html) that the original title for Austenland was Ostensibly Jane, and that evolved from a short story, to a novella, to a screenplay, to this novel. Can you imagine a shorter version of Austenland? A feature film? What would each be like?
14. Hale lists her "fantasy casting" of a movie version of Austenland at www.squeetus.com/stage/austen_casting.html. What is your own fantasy cast of Austenland? How does it compare to Hale's?
Special thanks to the girls at Mesa 8 for the questions :)
But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think.
Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the heady backdrop of the rich, young, and powerful in the heart of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz's legion fans.
This is a series that I have on my TRL for ages ... And I am finally getting around to reading them ... I spent a fortune getting the first book and luckily for me K-Mart got the rest of the series in for half the price .... Go K-Mart ...
OK back to the book ...... How would I describe this book .... A cross between Gossip Girl and Buffy probably ... And I am loving the series ...
Schuyler is the main character and I really like her .... She is down to earth but still has the air of the upper New Yorkers .... The only problem is that she has to try and convince the Elite Blue Bloods that an ancient enemy is starting to rise again and they need to prepare themselves for war .... (While still in high school and trying hard not to be like all the rest of the elite designer girls)
As always there is the boy factor ... Especially the most popular boy at school Jack who for some reason is paying her alot of attention recently ....
Will she be able to control her new powers and unearth the traiter in their ranks?
This is a great wee series that I am enjoying ... If you love your fantasy vampire books then this is a series for you to get your teeth into :) ...
I rate this book 4 ****
Books in the Blue Blood Series in order:
1) Blue Blood
4) The Van Allen Legacy
5) Misguided Angel ( released Oct 5th 2010)
I really liked the character of Lia and reading the story you felt that you where on the journey with her to discover who she is and what role she has to play in the future ... The character of Alice her twin sister is great ... Very spooky and sinister ... loved her :)
The only downside with this book is that it did frustrate me as a reader that the author assumed that you already knew the back story line of the role the sisters have to play .... Which of course you do not find that out until way into the book ... But as a first novel I would definitely give it the thumbs up ..
It will be interesting as this is a another trilogy as to where the story is going to go ... There are a few twists and turns in the novel when just when you think you know what is going on .... You really don't ...
All in all it is a good wee novel .... The characters are just now evolving ..... It is written very well and flows ..... And it will have you begging for more when you finish this book .........
A rate this book 4 ****
Prophecy of the Sisters Series in order
1) Prophecy of the Sisters
2) Guardian of the Gate ( released 1st August 2010)
The aim is to read a total 20 books, over ten categories, in 2010. (Was this challenge based solely around the name? I’ll let you decide!)
- Read 2 books from each category, making a requirement of 20 books total.
- The categories are intended to be loose guidelines only, if you decide it fits, then it fits. (Apart from those marked **)
- Categories marked with ** have tighter rules, and these must be followed.
- Each book can only qualify for one category.
- Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
- Books read from 01/01/2010 to 31/12/2010 are eligible.
So, on with the categories
- Young Adult
Any book classified as young adult or featuring a teenage protagonist counts for this category.
- T.B.R. **
Intended to help reduce the old T.B.R. pile. Books for this category must be already residents of your bookshelves as of 1/11/09.
- Shiny & New
Bought a book NEW during 2010 from a bookstore, online, or a supermarket? Then it counts for this category. Second-hand books do not count for this one, but, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts or won in a giveaway also count!
- Bad Blogger’s ***
Books in this category, should be ones you’ve picked up purely on the recommendation of another blogger count for this category (any reviews you post should also link to the post that convinced you give the book ago).
*** Bad Bloggers: Is hosted by Chris of Stuff as Dreams are Made on.
Support your local charity shops with this category, by picking up books from one of their shops. Again, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts also count, as long as they were bought from a charity shop.
- New in 2010
This category is for those books newly published in 2010 (whether it be the first time it is has been released, or you had to wait for it to be published in your country, it counts for this one!)
- Older Than You
Read two books that were published before you were born, whether that be the day before or 100 years prior!
- Win! Win!
Have a couple of books you need to read for another challenge? Then this is the category to use, as long that is, you don’t break the rules of the other challenge by doing so!
- Who Are You Again?
This one isn’t just for authors you’ve never read before, this is for those authors you have never even heard of before!
- Up to You!The requirements for this category are up to you! Want to challenge yourself to read some graphic novels? A genre outside your comfort zone? Something completely wild and wacky? Then this is the category to you.
8) Unwind by Neal Shusterman
20) Austenland by Shannon Hale
Here's the rules:
The first week of September, right before the release of this new translation. The novel is a very manageable size at approximately 300 pages. Here is the reading/posting schedule:
Part 1: Thursday, October 14 (58 pages)
Part 2: Thursday, October 21 (141 pages)
Part 3: Thursday, October 28 (106 pages)
Here's a wee sneak peak at the back cover of the book ..."Emma Rouault is the original desperate housewife, When she marries the dull, provincial doctor Charles Bovary, her dreams of an elegant and passionate life crumble. She escapes into sentimental novels but finds her fantasies dashed by the tedium of her days. Motherhood proves to be a burden; religion is only a brief distraction. She spends lavishly and embarks on a series of disappointing affairs. Soon heartbroken and crippled by debts, Emma takes drastic action with tragic consequences for her husband and daughter."
This is a fun wee challenge that starts at the beginning of July and ends at the end of October ... As ever there is a range of how many books you wish to complete ...
Here is the rules: ...
5 Point Challenges
Read a chick lit book
Read a name with a proper name in the title
Read a historical fiction book
Read a book with a one word title
Read a book made into a movie
10 Point Challenges
Read a book with a Civil War theme (any country)
Read a Biblical fiction book
Read a hardcover book
Read a book about a king or queen
Read a book set in France
15 Point Challenges
Read a book by an author you’ve never read before
Read a biography or autobiography
Read a book with a number in the title
Read any book and then post a review
Read any book but read it outside
20 Point Challenges
Read a book in a series AND the one after it
Read a book that was a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Read a book considered Christian fiction
Read a book from The Modern Library Top 100
Read a book by an author born in July, August, September or October
I am excited about this one ..... And at the moment going to do the 5 book challenge with Legs .... Let me know Girls if you wish to join in ...
1) Unwind by Neal Shusterman
1) Alphabet Weekend by Elizabeth Noble.
2) Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
3) The Counterfeit Guest by Rose Melikan
4) Ironside by Holly Black
5) Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love.
Laurel suspects her new found ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out.
Clues and signs and secret messages seem to be all around Laurel at Avondale School, where her mother has also boarded as a student. Can Laurel piece everything together quickly enough to control her power, which is growing more potent every day? Or will she set the stage for the most lovestruck, infamous prom in the history of the school?
I rate this book 4 stars.
Life in far-off Breton isn't so bad, not when there's money to be won playing cards and a handsome prince promising friendship ...
and maybe something more. But when a hapless servant named Eleanora enters the picture and sets her sights on the prince, too, which girl will win his heart? And who is behind the magnificent gowns and slippers that the penniless Eleanora has been wearing to the balls? Only Princess Poppy can see through the magic that holds the rest of the kingdom in it's spell. And having fought against one curse before, she's just the girl to take on another!
The sequel to "The princess of the Midnight Ball" or I think a companion, as it is a novel in itself. I really enjoyed this next one, even more than the first. Ball gowns, cinders, enchanted glass slippers - all reminds you of the fairy tale Cinderella, but with a little twist to it. I love the character of Poppy, she is one determined and feisty girl, who has been through a terrible ordeal with her sisters, now she has to find a way to help Ellen, the clumsy maid ... but is she?
Really well written, flows beautifully, the story stands on it's own two feet, and you get caught up in it and before you know you've finished it. I hope that the author might write another novel in this lovely series about another of the sisters ... great teen read, the girls will just love it!
I rate this book 4 stars.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Two hundred years apart,
One eternal story.
Eva and Gabe explored the golden forest of their seaside town in Maine, tracing the footsteps of two teens, Evangeline and Gabriel, who lived in the same idyllic woods more than two hundred years ago. On the day that Evangeline and Gabriel were to be wed, their village was besieged and the two were separated. And now, in the present, Gabe too has mysteriously disappeared from Eva.
A dreamlike tale of romance and undeterred faith inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic love poem "Evangeline," Anxious Hearts tells the story of a love so strong it sometimes causes one to lose oneself. Yet it also avows that even when lost somewhere on life's journey, true love can be found and there is a way home again.
A really lovely teen story, that was based on a poem, that was based on a real story in 1755. With a truly beautiful cover, this book will make you think in true love again. While possibly a little light on the story it gives you enough to enjoy the idea of finding your true love through whatever life might throw at you. You won't get lost in the telling of the two stories as the author has the novel idea of changing the color of the pages for the story of Evangeline and Gabriel. I enjoyed all four characters and just wished that there was a little more to the story ... it finished a little too quickly for me.
A lovely teen read.
I rate this book 3 1/2 stars.
Friday, June 11, 2010
There's a mystery to be solved in Cedar Cove. Local private detective Roy McAfee and his wife Corrie have been receiving anonymous postcards with messages asking if they "regret the past'. What does it mean?
On a more positive note, Roy and Corrie's daughter Linette is now working at the new medical clinic and is very taken with the new doctor. But where does this leave Cal Washburn, who works for Cliff at the horse farm?
There are a few new surprises, and a new romance in the making. A wonderful next novel in this so very like able series, you feel like you are catching up on gossip with your own friends and family.
So this novel is mainly about Roy and Corrie McAfee and the mysterious postcards they have been receiving. While the messages haven't been threatening Corrie is nevertheless extremely worried and Roy won't discuss any findings with her so she decides to do some detective work on her own. Little does she know that their past does seem to be haunting them ... and what will the consequences be?
Ben and Charlotte have some interesting developments happening in their own lives with Roy's son coming out of the woodwork [so to speak] and all is not happy.
These are just a few snippets of some of the mysteries going on in Cedar Cove ... wet your appetites ... well you'll need to read the novel.
I rate this book 4 stars.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love - and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
While the story was interesting, for me it did get a little monotonous with all the soul searching that Ash was going through, although that was part of her deep grieving and she needed to find a connection to life. The characters are strong and well written. The story is fine but I was really disappointed with the ending. This is the debut novel for Malinda Lo and because of her life style she has put a twist into the original story, which is her prerogative, but for me it did nothing and actually took away from the romance of the story of 'Cinderella'.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
You're twelve years old. It's the summer holidays. You're playing in the woods with your two best friends. Something happens. Something terrible. And the other two are never seen again.
Twenty years on, Rob Ryan - the child who came back - is a detective in the Dublin police force. He's changed his name. No one knows about his past. Even he has no memory of what happened that day.
Then a little girl's body is found at the site of the old tragedy and Rob is drawn back into the mystery. For him and his DI partner, Cassie, every lead comes with it's own sinister undercurrents. The victim's apparently normal family is hiding layers of secrets. Rob's own private enquiries are taking a toll on his mind. And every trail leads inexorably back ... into the woods.
1. What do the woods represent in Tana French's novel? Does their significance change as the story progresses?
2. The loss or absence of stable families is a recurring motif in 'In the Woods'. How do French's characters, particularly Ryan, attempt to compensate for this absence?
3. Does the Irish setting of 'In the Woods' contribute significantly to the telling of the story, or do you find French's novel to be about humanity on a more universal level?
4. How does Ryan's experience in the woods at the age of twelve affect his ability to function as a detective? Is it always a hindrance to him, or are there ways in which it improves and deepens his insight?
5. Cassie Maddox, Ryan's partner, is perhaps the most consistently appealing character in the novel. What are her most attractive qualities? What are the weaker points of her personality? Does Ryan ever fully appreciate her?
6. After sleeping together, Ryan and Cassie cease to be friends. Why do you think the experience of physical intimacy is so damaging to their relationship? Are there other reasons why their relationship falls apart?
7. Ryan states that he both craves truth and tells lies. How reliable do you find him as a narrator? In what ways does the theme of truth and misrepresentation lie at the heart of 'In the Woods'?
8. Imagine that you are Ryan's therapist. With what aspects of his personality would you most want to help him come to terms? Do you think there would be any way to lead him out of the woods?
9. How convincing is French's explanation of the motivating forces that lead to Katy's murder - forces that come close to a definition of pure evil? Are such events and motivations ever truly explicable?
10. The plan to build the new motorway, trampling as it does on a past that some regard as sacred, is an outrage to the archaeologists who are trying to preserve an ancient legacy. How does this conflict fit thematically with Ryan's own contradictory desires to unearth and pave over his past?
11. Do you have your own theories about the mysteries that remain unsolved at the of 'In the Woods'? What are they?
12. What were your thoughts and emotions upon finishing 'In the Woods'? If this book affected you differently from other mysteries you have read, why do you think this was true?