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where our team of writers love to talk all things books, sharing reviews, features, lists, interviews and more.

Getting lost in a book is escapism at it's finest and it's what everyone who contributes here thrives on.

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Escape | Carolyn Jessop | Reviewed by Niina

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Escape | Carolyn Jessop | Reviewed by Niina

escape

“In a cult, you have two identities: your cult identity and your authentic self. Most of the time I operated from my cult identity, which was pliant, submissive and obedient. But when I was pushed to the point where it felt like my survival was at stake, my authentic self came to the fore." - Carolyn Jessop, Escape

When Carolyn Jessop was born and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). At the age of eighteen she was forced into a arranged marriage with a man who was thirty-two years older than her. Under the next years Carolyn had eight children with her husband and had to live through all kinds of different abuse from him and his other wives. Carolyn wanted to escape for years but couldn't find a way out. But in 2003 Carolyn fled with her children and Escape is her story about her life in FLDS and how she escaped. 

So, Escape by Carolyn Jessop isn’t an easy book to review. I know... If you’ve read any of my previous reviews I’ve probably stated the same thing, but this time I’m serious. This book is really hard to review…
As always there are two aspects of why I like or dislike a book. It’s about the overall quality of the authors work or about my personal reading experience. I can really appreciate the authors writing style in a book but still feel like the book wasn’t more than average when it comes to my reading experience. With Escape it’s the other way around. I felt that the quality of the writing and language wasn't that good. It felt a bit simple and even a bit sloppy from time to time. But I still really enjoyed the book and I found it hard to put down. Enjoy might not be the right word because this is not a feel-good book in any way. To be honest, Escape is a pretty discouraging read. It might be heartbreaking, but it’s also an interesting story. I’ve always been intrigued by religious cults and Escape gave me some new insight to that world. But I’m also aware of the fact that this is Carolyn’s story and her perspective is the only perspective we get to hear in this book (and that’s all what this book is supposed to be). I’m not i saying that I don’t believe in Carolyn's story but I think that you always have to be aware of the fact that there are many sides to every story.  

Overall I have to say that I found Escape to be an interesting and intruding read. It was hard to put down and it made me intrested in learning more about FLDS and other religious cults. It was an exciting (yet heartbreaking) read that made me feel so many different emotions. I felt sad and angry (really angry) but also happy and hopeful. Even if this might not be the most well written book out there I do really recommend it to everyone who’s intrigued by religious cults or are interested in these subjects.

I always think it’s harder to rate a non-fiction book because it's really more about interest in the subject than anything else. It’s extra difficult to rate a book that tells someone’s life-story especially when it is such a touching story as Carolyn’s. It's truly an interesting and intense read, but it could have been a bit more well written. So I give the Escape by Carolyn Jessop 3, 5/5 stars.

This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.


3halfstars
No comments

Monday, 29 July 2013

IOU | Helen Warner | Reviewed by Laura


This is a tale of 3 very different women, in 3 very different situations all facing challenges that could rock their very stable worlds. Amy lives in a gorgeously huge house, living the high life, shopping until she drops whilst the Nanny looks after the children.... that is until her husbands business goes down the pan. How will she cope? Kate on the other hand works incredibly hard along with her husband to help support their two children, she has a safe and stable home life. That is until she meets a dreamy stranger... Finally Jennifer who has recently lost her husband, when an old flame pops back into her life, but is the flame still burning?

This book is set out from the perspective of these three women, each chapter rotating between them.  This however is why I dropped it a star, however much it is really interesting to have more than one story line going at once - there is always one i'm less interested in.  In this case sadly I struggled to connect with Jennifer story and really didn't like her old flame and therefore I wasn't interested in reading about her life and found myself skimming her chapters to get onto the next.

Aside from that perspective I didn't really enjoy the other story lines, they were realistic, hard hitting and made me question how I would react when facing challenging situations.  When I was first introduced with Amy I really thought that she was going to annoy me and it was her story line that I'd be skipping but actually I really enjoyed watching/reading how her characters changed and grew.  Kate was different, I was immediately drawn to her story line but spent the whole time unsure as to which was I wanted it to turn out - I didn't agree with how it ended though.

This books fits perfectly into it's genre, I enjoyed reading it although it lacked that sparkle the whole way through.  I would recommend this book to any chic-lit lovers, it's easy reading and enjoyable.


4/5 stars

This post was written by regular reviewer Laura, get to know her here.
Image from Goodreads
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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Inkheart | Cornelia Funke | Reviewed by Anjali


Over the years I've had many favourite books, like I'm sure we've all had, and in the future I hope to have many more. Growing up, my favourite books changed a lot. From books like Spot and The Zoo, to the Famous Five and The Magic Faraway Tree, to the Edgewood Chronicles and A Series of Unfortunate Events, to The Hobbit and Eragon...and then my favourites more recently. And I still love all these books, but I remember absolutely loving Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke, both when I read it, and years after.

Inkheart is the story of Meggie, a 12 year old girl, who lives with her father, Mo, a bookbinder. Books are at the centre of their lives, and everything they do and are. I like to think that our houses are similar - small and with books piled high on every surface and inch of floor. But I digress...Despite that fact that Mo is a bookbinder, and that both he and Meggie read like there's no tomorrow, Mo has not read aloud to Meggie since before her mother disappeared, years earlier. One night, a stranger arrives at the house, and the truth starts to emerge. Mo doesn't read aloud to Meggie because every time he does, the characters literally come alive; they step out of the pages of the stories into the real world. When Meggie was 3, Mo read aloud from a book called Inkheart, and on that night, Meggie's mother disappeared into the story...

I won't say too much more, but I will tell you that it is a fantastic book, whether you're a fantasy lover or not. It's a story within a story, and the characters are so creative and extreme that they draw you in even more with every page. There are baddies and goodies, sadness and joy, and a whole heap of awesome.

It was first published in 2003, and since then, Funke has written 3 more books as sequels to Inkheart. I have to be honest, I haven't read them yet, but I'm sure they are just as amazing. There is also a movie that came out in 2008, which I haven't seen. I've heard mixed reviews about the movie...but if this sounds interesting to you, please please please start with the book.


This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here
Image from Goodreads



1 comment
The Monsters In Your Neighborhood | Jesse Petersen | Reviewed by Erin

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Monsters In Your Neighborhood | Jesse Petersen | Reviewed by Erin

*Review of an eARC c/o Netgalley
 
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Image via Goodreads
 

The Monsters In Your Neighborhood is the sequel to the fantastic Club Monstrosity which was published back in April (read my review here). The book picks up six months after the events of Club Monstrosity where the Van Helsing’s have finally declared war on the group. 

This time around we have two new additions, Dr. Frankenstein’s old assistant Igor and Patrick a Cthulhu who’s’ extensive knowledge of New York’s sewers ends up being very handy! Both new characters played an important part in the plot of this sequel and were entertaining additions to the group. One of my favourite things about Club Monstrosity was the interaction between all of the different monsters, their personalities clash so dramatically but still they are able to pull together due to their shared secret, and in terms of character interaction and development book two didn’t let me down. 

Social media also played a big part in the plot of the book which fitted in perfectly with the pop culture references that scatter the pages of this series. Seeing such iconic characters from classic literature as Dracula take on the technology was a great touch and definitely added to the humour. I also felt that word of the monsters existence spreading via Twitter and YouTube was an accurate representation of how things would play out if something like this really happened in today’s technology driven world. 

As is often the case with sequels unsurprisingly I didn’t quite enjoy this instalment as much as the first. Even though it was still a great read, the fact that this unique concept wasn’t new to me this time around did take away slightly from my excitement. Luckily, like the previous book, The Monsters In Your Neighborhood was well-written and had the same tongue-in-cheek humour that made Club Monstrosity such a fun read. 

Overall I would highly recommend this quick-read series and hopefully this won’t be the last we hear from the monsters of New York!


3halfstars



The Monsters In Your Neighborhood is due for release on July 29th - find it here

This post was written by regular reviewer Erin, get to know her here

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Apologies to those that read my personal blog & may have already seen this review. Today I’m cheating a little bit as I haven’t quite had the chance to finish compiling and editing my thoughts on either L.A. Candy or Data Runner into something readable. I promise that both of those reviews will be popping up on BB very soon though so keep an eye out!

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Briar Rose | Jane Yolen | Reviewed by Ria

Monday, 22 July 2013

Briar Rose | Jane Yolen | Reviewed by Ria

Briar-Rose-cover
“Once upon a time…” Becca and her sisters grew up hearing the story of Sleeping Beauty from their beloved Grandmother Gemma. On face value it feels like the original fairytale but it’s not the traditional story with a happy ending. Gemma’s version ‘Briar Rose’ was indeed the beautiful princess who was placed under a sleeping curse along with the rest of the inhabitants of her castle, but this princess was red headed – like Becca’s own Grandmother – and when the prince comes to save the day, the only person to wake from their slumber is Briar Rose. It was an unusual and at times scary story for the young girls but a tale that they made Gemma tell over and over again. 

Now a young woman, Becca still remembers the tale and as her ailing Grandmother Gemma is lying on her deathbed she makes a remarkable confession. Gemma is the princess who awoke from her slumber and her last wish is for Becca to find the castle and the prince from what she thought was just a fairytale. 
With only a single mismatched box of Gemma’s belongings to guide her, Becca embarks on a fairytale-like quest of her own into her family’s history. Her search for the truth isn’t the easiest when she finds out that Gemma may have lied about her whole past and even her name. Becca has a breakthrough, which takes her away from her life in America to Poland to follow tale that spans back in time to the Second World War and the horrors of the Holocaust. 

So what’s my verdict?
This book was not what I expected. What starts out as a girl trying to find out whether a fairytale can really exist in this world turns into a moving journey into her Grandmother’s life before she immigrated to America. Telling the finer details of this story would reveal major plot points, but as I mentioned in my summary the story takes Becca away from the fantastical elements of the Sleeping Beauty story and replaces it with something much more haunting. The truth in the tale, told in a separate story within the book, is more disturbing than Becca can imagine and even more to so for the reader when you realise there were many stories just like it during the midst of World War II. 
It’s not so much Becca’s story (though her journey does lead her to question everything she knew about her own life and childhood) but that of Gemma herself. Peppered with flashbacks to Becca’s past, when Gemma would be retelling the story to her young granddaughter, Gemma’s presence is felt throughout. Briar Rose is essentially historical fiction at it’s darkest; nevertheless it’s a poignant story that will leave you realising why Gemma chose to remember the fairytale than the truth. 

Reading Soundtrack: 
The Woods: Daughter; Young & Beautiful: Lana Del Ray; Fix You: Coldplay; Poison & Wine: The Civil Wars; Hospital Beds: Florence + The Machine; Human: Charlene Kaye 

For lovers of…The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Schindler’s List and The Diary of Anne Frank.

This book was reviewed by regular reviewer Ria, get to know more about her here!

Image (c)Ria Cagampang
2 comments

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Book Thief | Markus Zuzak | Reviewed by Lucy.

The Book Thief is one of my favourite stories of all time and here is why.


Liesel Meminger stands in the cold winter of Nazi Germany in 1939. She watches as her brother is buried in the snow. As she stands beside her brother's grave she sees a book lying among the snow left by accident. This book is the first of her book thefts. Shortly after this, she is sent to live with the Hubermann's and the book takes us through her life there and we see how she becomes The Book Thief. And when a Jew lives in their basement, things get only more complicated. Looking through Death's eyes, we see the hardship of the Second World War and the effects it has in this German town.

This book is brilliant. Truly and utterly brilliant.I first read it when I was thirteen or fourteen. From the first page, I was thinking of things that I never really considered before. For instance, the colour of the sky, the afterlife the list went on and on as I continued to read. I love Liesel as a character. At a time when books were really rare to come across, it shows her determination to read anything and how she gets to a point where she needs to steal these books. Liesel's foster father is also a brilliant character. He is a brilliant and kind man who teaches Liesel how to read. I would recommend towards the end though that you get some tissues to hand because trust me, you will need them! 

As I was reading, I thought to myself: It's hard to believe that these situations actually happened once. The majority of people in those days simply did not know how to read. They couldn't get books as easily as we now can. Nowadays, getting access to books is so easy, with libraries and online shopping and bookshops! For people who love reading (i.e all of you reading this), it is hard to imagine a world without our beloved books.

This book was brilliantly written by Markus Zuzak and I found his writing style easy to read and I finished this book within the week I had bought it. Since the first time I read it, I have read it a second time and plan to read it again this year because it's a story I love returning to.

I just found out that this book is going to be made into a movie. I am uncertain of release dates but as you can surely tell, I am really excited!!!!!

Obviously this is a five star book in my opinion. I would love to hear what you thought of it, if you're going to read it and what not. It's a historical fiction, teen, sort of book but with lots of amazing things in it. So really I would recommend it to anyone! 

This book was reviewed by regular reviewer Lucy, get to know more about her here!

Photos from Lucy Donnan.
3 comments

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Lucky One | Nicholas Sparks | Reviewed by Laura



A young U.S Marine finds a photograph of a young women in the mist of war but instead of passing it by he keeps it, thus leading him to have a streak of good luck.  When his tour finally ends he heads home taking the photograph with him, which does not seem to leave his mind. Finally he gives in and decides to search for the young woman in the photograph, he sets off on a journey across America.

This is a charming story that details the first meeting and ever building relationship between these two strangers. Two very intriguing and genuinely likable characters, who draw you in so much so that you can’t stop reading or hoping that they finish with their own happy ending. Because at the end of the day if you pull this story apart, forget the extras, writing style and back story it’s a love story. A captivating and enchanting love story which every girl wishes for.

When I first picked up the book my first thought was ‘will I cry?’ as Sparks seems to have a particular talent for this and as I’m on a run of reading his books, I’ve come to know that it is inevitable. What I love about his novels is that he deals with real life situations, yes I said it was a love story but it deals with so much more than that. The war is a huge theme within the book and dealing with the effects of coming out of it, death of course the two go hand in hand is also another huge theme within this book – and it was this of course which finally reduced me to tears towards the end.

I also watched the film adaptation of this book only a few days after finishing it (I had watched it before but couldn’t remember it to well). It isn’t quite how I imagined it but I did enjoy the film and thought it was a good adaptation of the book.


I would definitely recommend this book to any Nicholas Sparks fans and also anyone who loves  a good love story. 

5/5 stars

This post was written by regular reviewer Laura, get to know her here.
Image from Goodreads
1 comment

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Dark Summer | Lizzy Ford | Reviewed by Anjali




Yet another freebie on my Kindle. I actually quite enjoyed this book. I think perhaps because it has a school-like feature through it, and I really enjoy that. The description on Good Reads says:


A school for Witchlings. The ultimate choice between Light and Dark...Where the price of a mistake is your soul. Sixteen-year-old Summer doesn't expect her new boarding school to be any different than the rest: a temporary stay, until her uncontrollable magic gets her thrown out again. In her mind, there’s no point in getting too friendly with anyone. That is, until she notices Decker, the boy who will become the Master of Night and Fire on his eighteenth birthday.When she learns that this special school has attracted others with magic in their blood, she is hopeful that this time around, things may be different. Besides, she can’t deny her interest in Decker, and when he rescues her one night from the dark forests of the Rocky Mountains, their connection is instant.Yet a relationship with Decker may prove to be Summer’s downfall, forcing her to choose between Light and Dark, life and death, love – and their souls.One choice. One soul. One price.


Sounds kinda lame, but I quite liked it. Summer, the main character, arrives at this new school, one she is sure she will be kicked out of, and doesn't try hard to fit in or make friends. But then enter boy number one, who, it turns out, isn't the right boy...so enter boy number two.

The characters were quite typical of any teenage sort of story: The main character who feels like she doesn't fit in/she's different etc., the handsome popular boy, his brooding brother, the popular girl who is the biggest cow on earth, and the crazy friend who is just a little bit weird. There's even the trusty side-kick animal in there too. But even though they were typical characters, I found myself liking them anyway, and I actually thought the main character, Summer, was half-way decent. Normally, as you may know by now, I'm not really one for main characters - there's always another character I like better - but I think that Ford did a good job at writing her, so she had just enough damsel-in-distress/'I'm so different etc' and also a bit of kick and I'm-gonna-stand-up-for-myself-ness.

The end came only as a little of a surprise to me, as I had accidentally read the blurb of the second book, so slightly knew what was going to happen (guys, don't do that), but if I hadn't have read that, then I think it would have been a 'oh, really? What?' kinda moment.

For another free book, it was pretty good. Not as good as other books, but good enough, I think, that I will read the next one.


This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here
Image from Goodreads


1 comment
Blogger’s Bookshelf Review Round Up #9

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Blogger’s Bookshelf Review Round Up #9

16 6 - 10 7 review
*all images via GoodReads

Another month over, check out what you missed below… 

Alone by Robert J.Crane | Review by Anjali 
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen | Reviewed by guest blogger Lulu 
The Elite by Kiera Cass | Reviewed by Erin 
Blackbirds by Chuck Wending | Reviewed by Niina 
Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace | Reviewed by Lucy 
Shallow Pond by Alissa Grosso | Reviewed by Erin

Our bloggers also updated us on how they’re getting on with their 2013 Reading Goals

They also clued us in on where they would like to be spending their perfect fictional Summer holiday in our 'Wish You Were Where?!' group collaboration post! 

Next month we're revisiting May's subject of book covers. Previously we gathered your opinions on how important book covers are and what influence they have on your reading choices. 
So, for August's post we want you to let us know what your....
favourite book covers are

Let us know you opinions by email, tweet us or on our GoodReads page!

No comments
Shallow Pond | Alissa Grosso | Reviewed by Erin

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Shallow Pond | Alissa Grosso | Reviewed by Erin

*Review copy c/o Netgalley
Cover image via Goodreads

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 When her oldest sister, Annie, comes down with a mysterious illness—initially dismissed as “love sickness”—Babie and Zach start investigating what exactly killed the girls’ mother and why their late father became so consumed by grief. What they find changes everything - Source 

Shallow Pond tells the intriguing story of Barbara ‘Babie’ Bunting, just another teen growing up in a dead-end town… or is she? Ever since she was small Barbara has dreamed of escaping Shallow Pond, and whilst her two older sisters never quite managed to get away Barbara is determined not to make the same mistake.

I spent at least the first third of this book wondering what the point of the whole story was going to be, but not necessarily in a bad way. Let me try and explain… Right from the start the book seemed to detail the mundane daily activities of Barbara and her two sisters leaving me with no idea where the story was headed. However instead of becoming bored and wanting to give up this just made me more intrigued as to what the ‘big secret’ mentioned in the synopsis was going to be. A huge part of what makes this book enjoyable is the plot twists, and whilst some did feel a bit predictable, particularly after the first big reveal, I still think that the idea behind the story is pretty clever.

In addition to being a slightly unusual and different read within the YA genre (at least for me personally) it was also lovely to find another good standalone read. Although they obviously do exist within the genre the focus does tend to fall more on the series/trilogies and I feel like the one-offs can get lost in the shuffle. Whilst some of those series are great reads too I always think its nice to find an interesting standalone that feels complete without a sequel.

Its difficult for me to say too much more without giving away anything about the twist that would ruin the reading experience for you so I’ll wrap things up here. Overall Shallow Pond is a nice quick standalone read with an interesting premise that will keep you guessing… at least for a little while.

3halfstars

This post was written by regular reviewer Erin, get to know her here.

No comments
Harry: A History | Melissa Anelli | Reviewed by Ria

Monday, 8 July 2013

Harry: A History | Melissa Anelli | Reviewed by Ria

Harry-A-History-cover
'Harry: A History' chronicles the birth and evolution of the Harry Potter book series, the phenomenon and fan culture that surrounded it. 
Narrated through the eyes of Melissa Anelli, journalist and now the webmistress of one of the biggest Harry Potter fansites in the world - The Leaky Cauldron - the book opens with a prologue of her and many of her close friends affiliated with Potter and the fandom, finding out about the release date of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
In the subsequent chapters Melissa details not only her journey to discovering the series as an unemployed graduate, post 9/11, working an unfulfilling journalism job, but that of other facets of the fandom - of which there are dozens - the publishing teams behind the book series and JK Rowling herself. 
The timeline extends as far back to detail how the Harry Potter series was picked up by Bloomsbury, the initial release of Philosopher's Stone, and how the book was then taken across to Scholastic to market to the North American market. Anelli also details the history of the earliest Harry Potter fansites, blogs, fanfiction and Rowling's first interactions with the fan community and fame. 
The story of the Harry Potter fandom is a surprising roller-coaster ride of legal battles - known as the Potter Wars, where Warner Bros tried suing teenagers running Potter websites for copyright infringement, stories of book burning, the infamous evangelical Christian Laura Mallory (and her quest to get the series banned from public libraries due to it's supposed pagan influence on children) and - of course - shipping wars!
It's not all bad though, there are heartwarming stories of how the earliest fan communities helped people find friends who loved something as much as they did; how Wizard Rock lead the way to hundreds of amateur musicians to realise their dreams of playing to thousands of people; and how the series inspired writers and artists around the world to create. 
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So what's my verdict?
If anything, if you were remember buying your copy of Deathly Hallows at midnight, reading 'Harry' will leave you with a feeling of nostalgia. Arguably, Harry: A History captures a time in literary and publishing that will never happen again. For those of us who are fans - such as myself - who perhaps simply watched from the sidelines at the time, the book fills in the gaps of where we missed out or simply details parts of the fan community you may never have heard of. 
I've seen many reviewers criticizing the fact that this feels like too much of Anelli's own story than that of the fandom's, but for me that's part of the charm of the book. It would be impossible to capture every fan's personal story and journey with the Harry Potter series, but Melissa does a good job of including the stories of dozens of others from around the fandom. There's also the fact that Melissa's story is both interesting and remarkably unique in itself. Her position as webmistress means she's seen every facet of and experience the biggest moments of the Harry Potter fan community's history. So what better person to write a book about it?

All in all, Harry: A History really does pack a punch covering a truly unique point in literary history. Even for those who aren't - gasp - Harry Potter fans, the insight Melissa provides into the publishing process and the finer details of fan culture and popular culture is fascinating. And for die-hard Potter fans? Tissues at the ready, the anecdotes from people post-Potter may leave you a little weepy. Not to mention proud that you were part of something really special. 

Reading soundtrack:
To Have A Home: A Very Potter Sequel soundtrack; Accio Deathly Hallows: Hank Green; I Am A Wizard: Harry & the Potters; Meet Me At King's Cross: Alex Carpenter; End Of An Era: Oliver Boyd & The Rememberalls;

For lovers of...Harry Potter - duh - and popular culture enthusiasts

This post was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.

*image (c)Ria Cagampang
1 comment

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Charlotte Street | Danny Wallace | Reviewed by Lucy.


Jason Priestly (not that Jason Priestly) has just met the girl of his dreams. Or has he? After helping a girl get her bags into a taxi, he realises that the girl has left something behind. And not just a silly something like a shoebox or a cookery book. A disposable camera. Now Jason must decide what he wants to do. Should he develop the photos in the camera and find out who she is? Or should he just leave it and throw it away? You must read to find out!

I thoroughly enjoyed Charlotte Street. Danny Wallace has written several books before, including "Yes Man" (Yes he was the actual Yes Man, the Yes Man that was the movie Yes Man. YES. MAN) but this was his first novel and I really think it's an excellent story. The story was also really funny and made me laugh out loud so many times. At the end of the day, it's a love story but there are so many things that happen which make you think it's more of a comedy book. It reminded me of The Understudy where the main character just does all these stupid things but you feel really sorry for Jason when it all goes "tits up," and mix that with the Rivers of London series.

The characters in this book are really hilarious. Jason's best friend Dev reminds me of an older version of Ben from Paper Towns. He has the greatest one liners and is a big idiot. It was mostly him that made me keel over laughing. I wish I could tell you more about the story but there are too many spoilers.

So overall, I'm going to give this book a four out of five star rating. The reason why it's not five is because there were some bits which weren't quite as engaging as others. Nevertheless, I kept reading because I wanted to see where the story was going and how Jason was actually going to find "The Girl." I recommend this to anyone who loves a laugh and a good love story.

This book was reviewed by regular reviewer Lucy, get to know more about her here!

Photo from Goodreads :)
1 comment
Group Collaboration | Wish You Were Where?!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Group Collaboration | Wish You Were Where?!

This month we asked you which destinations from books you would love to visit and why. The possibilities are endless, from fictional worlds like Middle Earth to beautiful beaches, other planets, big cities and grand castles. Here are the results...

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Where would you choose to visit?

Fonts (via dafont.com) - Throw My Hands Up In The Air, Soljik-Darnbaek, Sugarpie, Strawberry Avalanche, Jenna Sue, Ammy's Handwriting, Sue Ellen Francisco, Loved By The King
Contributors - Ria, Anjali, Cat, Lulu, Laura, Laura C, Niina, Erin

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Next month we're revisiting May's subject of book covers. Previously we gathered your opinions on how important book covers are and what influence they have on your reading choices. So, for August's post we want to know what your favourite book covers are! 
Get in touch with us via Twitter (@blog_bookshelf) or email bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com

 
15 comments
Blackbirds | Chuck Wendig | Reviewed by Niina

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Blackbirds | Chuck Wendig | Reviewed by Niina

blackbirds

“She thinks, I want an orange soda. And I want vodka to mix into the orange soda. And while we're at it, I'd also like to stop being able to see how people are going to bite it. Oh, and a pony. I definitely want a goddamn pony.” - Chuck Wending, Blackbirds

Blackbirds by Chuck Wending is a story about  a girl named Miriam Black who can by a simple touch see how and when people are going to die. She has seen how hundreds of people are going to die in accidents, illness and suicides.

Miriam is getting used to seeing how people die and has learned that there’s nothing she can do to change the future. But one day she meets a trucker called Luis and when she touches his hand she sees him getting tortured to death while he’s calling her name. This time Miriam realizes that she has to try to do something...

I feel so conflicted about this book. First of all I loved the general story line. A girl who can see how and when people are going to die? That sounds pretty fascinating and interesting to me. But be aware, there’s a lot of swearing and violence going on in this novel. Don’t get me wrong, I usually don’t have a problem with swearing or violence, but even I felt that there was a bit too much of that stuff in Blackbirds. There’s a difference in using swearing and violence for a purpose and just simply overusing it. In the first half of the book this disturbed me quite a bit. Yes, I understand, Miriam and her fellow characters are the swearing and violent types. But I kind of felt that was the only thing there was to them. Sure, they all had a troubled past and everything, but still? Do people really talk like that? But in defense of the book I have to say that in the other half of the book both the characters (especially Miriam) and the story-line grew on me and I quite enjoyed the ride. That makes it extra sad that all the swearing, violence and weird sex dragged this book down for the first 150 pages because this could have been pretty darn good. 

So, let's wrap it up: I didn't fall in love with this novel, but Blackbirds was an interesting and exciting story. It would definitely have deserved a higher rating with a bit less of the stuff mentioned above and I have to say that I’m pretty interested in reading Mockingbird (the sequel to Blackbirds). I’m sensing that we might get to see more of who Miriam really is in that book. Because to be honest, in the last 20 pages I kind of started liking the girl! So my rating for Blackbirds is going to be 3/5 stars. I do recommend it if you think that you’re okay with A LOT of swearing and violence. If you’re sensitive to that kind of stuff, this is not the book for you...

This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.


3stars
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