Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d recommend to reluctant readers.

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the topic is Books you would recommend to X.

I have gone for books that I would recommend to reluctant readers and split them into boys and girls and narrowed it down to the 8 – 14 age bracket. Not that I think these books are limited to those demographics.. of course!

Boys:

Why don’t more boys read? Especially teenagers….is it just not cool? There are some great books aimed at boys though, of all ages.

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Girls:

When I was younger I was encouraged to read books like Little Women and Pride & Prejudice, and I’m not dissing them (I am a bit) but they’re not the most exciting are they. If I’d discovered books like these earlier, I think I would have been a prolific reader from an earlier age.

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Feel free leave a link to your TTT post and I’ll check them out!

Orbital Kin by James E. Parsons

18206543After an unusual disease breaks out and begins to threaten the country, a group of postgraduate students at a British university focus their research upon it, aiming to find out the cause and the cure.
The experimentations move out to space stations soon enough, in hope of a cure being produced while more mysterious events take place. The two graduate students find success, breakthroughs and the sudden spreading illness takes them in directions they never expected.
Can university graduates Steven and Alan save the country from the spread of the disease? Only time will tell…

Orbital Kin was such a Rollercoaster of a read for me. One minute I loved it and the next I wanted it to end!

We start with Univeristy students Steven and Alan partying, finishing up their degrees and continuing their scientific research. When people suddenly begin falling ill with an unprecedented, deadly disease which results in violent attacks, Steven and Alan’s research is taken in a new direction.

There was good action from the start, but I found the first third of Orbital Kin a bit clunky and awkward, making it hard to get into. The dialogue started off pretty bad too (so many mate’s and man’s– whether it was supposed to be regional dialect I don’t know, but it didn’t work for me) but as I read on I realised that it was just a case of teething pains and after a couple of chapters it settled into a rhythm and really began to improve.

There were a lot of things in this story that intrigued and excited me, mainly centered around protagonist Steven. His strange visions of The Red Man, his father’s involvement in some pretty messed up scientific experiments who also uses his daughter Lucy as human guinea pig, and the secrets lurking between his whole family.

Lucy, Steven’s little sister, was really the only character I had any feelings about. The main disappointment for me was that I didn’t like any of the characters in this story so I found it hard to care about was happening until Lucy came along. She kind of reminded me of Abra in Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, in that she has some strange abilities. The difference here though was that it’s clear these abilities have been the result of some kind of experiment by her father.

When things move on to the space station I got a bit lost again. I felt that there were too many unnecessary sequences and even whole chapters that didn’t need to be there. Too much walking between zones with not a lot happening.

But then, (I told you it was a rollercoaster!) people begin to get sick, they discover one of the team can breathe on Mars and paranoia grows, insanity and alien visions spread and it’s all pretty good again.

There is no doubt in my mind that Orbital Kin needs another thorough edit, but there are some great moments. It is Science Fiction in the true, original sense of the term and I’d recommend it to any fans of the genre.

Disclosure: I received a copy from the Publisher/ Author for an HONEST review. Many Thanks!
Details: Paperback, 387 pages. Published July 31st 2013 by Austin Macauley
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Unicorns
If you liked this try: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Coming Up: Winter Vs Summer

I have two very different books coming up. Watch this space.

18633458Title: A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1)
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Details: E-book, Hardback, Paperback, 496 pages
Expected Publication: January 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens

Emma Day and her two cousins, Gretchen and Penelope, are uninterested in their debutante lives. All the boring balls, tiresome curtsying and polite conversation leave much to be desired. Then a girl is found dead, frost clinging to her lifeless body, and the murder is traced to Emma. As their world is turned upside down, Emma discovers more about herself and her cousins, from her connection to the murders to the secrets of her family legacy. Now the girls must embrace their true Lovegrove inheritance in order to stop the chaos, even if that means risking their lives. Dangerously handsome Cormac Fairfax wants to help Emma – but, with secrets of his own to hide, can she trust him?

The first book in a deliciously dark new trilogy. Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Ruth Warburton.

cover32711-medium Title: Game, Set and Murder
Author: Elizabeth Flynn
Details: Paperback, 272 pages
Expected Publication: October 18th 2013 by Lion Fiction

It’s the first day of the tennis tournament at Wimbledon. And a dead body is lying on court nineteen. Newly-promoted detective inspector Angela Costello recognizes the dead man as the Croatian champion-turned-coach, Petar Belic. Double grand-slam winner, Petar was one of the best-known and best loved players of the modern era. Petar had a complicated life: an ex-wife who wanted him back; a girlfriend who didn’t want to let him go; a business partner with secrets. Then there was leading Brit Stewart Bickerstaff, not universally popular with his fellow players, whom Petar had been coaching. Little by little DI Costello, despite awkward and prickly colleagues, discerns a trail through the mass of information. Unfortunately she has no way of proving her suspicions. But a prime suspect has overlooked a vital detail …

I’m excited about both of these, even if Game, Set and Murder sounds like more of a summer read, murder at Wimbledon…I couldn’t resist!

Favourites Friday #17: The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly

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This one of my favourite books to read in the winter. It is a dark reimagining and fusion of various fairy tales and the whole thing is just a bit sinister yet magical! Plus how epic is that cover!?

There’s Wolf-men, trolls, slutty Red-riding Hood and evil Snow White, a girl in a jar, a great villian in The Crooked Man and a whole lot more.

Goodreads Synopsis:
High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.
Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

What People Are Saying About The Book of Lost Things:

This was one of the best books i’ve read in a long while. every single page was amazing…the characters rich and full of life.

Beth Anne (Goodreads)

“The Book Of Lost Things” can at times be extremely violent as Connolly seems to enjoy twisting and taking apart various fairy tales.

Brandon (Goodreads)

John Connolly, a Dubliner, is best known – celebrated, indeed – in America, where he sets his supernatural crime fiction. Evidently The Book of Lost Things represents a major departure for him, and Heaven forbid we should discourage ambition. His publisher claims it’s “a novel to transcend genre”: positive spin for what a less partial commentator might call uncertainty of address. Who is this book for? Generic boy hero, schematic adventure plot, heavy-handed explicatory narrative tone: all would try the patience of any reader no longer juvenile. Yet the material is as grim as Connolly’s customary horrific fare. The torture chambers, martial dismemberments and surgical miscegenations, the continual nervous drift towards themes of sexual corruption: all firmly indicate adults only.

Colin Greenland (The Guardian)

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare: A mini review (Reread)!

1582996Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

I am totally into this now, on the second go round! I haven’t read past book 2, not because I didn’t want to , I just got distracted with other shiny books and kinda forgot about it. But watching the film made me want to start the series again AND I WILL FINISH IT.

I enjoyed the characters much more this time. Clary was getting on my nerves before, and I didn’t like the way she treated Simon but I think I’ve got over that now. And Jace just cracks me up.

Magnus has to be my favourite character though, (if you know me, this would be obvious, the big fag hag that I am!) and I really hope we get to see more of him in later books, and see his and Alec’s relationship develop.

I also liked the role reversal thing going on. It’s nearly always the girls mooning over the boys in Paranormal Romance so it’s nice to see a guy doing the hard work and pouring his heart out for once. Poor Jace. However, SHE’S SUPPOSED TO BE YOUR SISTER YEAH! Not cool (but also a bit hot… until you think about your own siblings and then feel a bit sick. Gross).

I do have one gripe though: The titles. Surely they should be named after whichever ‘mortal instrument’ the book is about…there is not even a place called City of Ashes, it is all a lie. But in summary, I’m pretty psyched for the next book!

It’s here! *Cover Reveal* The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas

I am FANGIRLING all over this. It is everything I knew it would be!!! Stunning!

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Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

Title: The Assassin’s Blade
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Details: E-book, Paperback, 448 pages
Expected Publication: March 13th 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

I want that cape SO HARD!

WWW Wednesday (13/11/2013)

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: I’m reading Orbital Kin by James E. Parsons. It started off a bit slow but I’m hoping it’ll pick up soon.

Recently Finished: City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare. Mini review to follow (busy, busy, busy). I also read How to Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich. My aim isn’t to make any money from this, even if I thought I could, but I read that this book had some good general blogging tips, and how to increase traffic and so on. I wasn’t that impressed, but there are a few things I’ll take from it.

Up Next: I am definitely enjoying The Mortal Instruments more the second time round and so I want to start the 3rd book (which I never got to last time). But I also reeeeeeallllly need to read Crown of Midnight which I’ll be getting off my friend Di on Sunday. I’ve got The Knife of Never Letting Go on the top of my pile too. Ahhh. Not enough time!

Leave a comment with the link to your post (or your books) and I’ll take a look later! 🙂

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Premiere!

Thanks to two awesome friends of mine (LOVE YOU GUYS!) I was able to go to the World Premiere of Catching Fire and the aftershow party on Monday, and IT WAS AWESOME.

I was famously not a huge fan of the first film, but who’s gonna turn down an opportunity to walk down the red carpet?? Err no one, obviously. And I must say, the film was soooooooooo much better than the first one and now I feel like I was maybe a bit harsh about it, but the book is just so perfect!

A few things that happened:

  • We decided to walk around the red carpet twice and it was in no way because we went the wrong way. Honest.
  • The J-Law looked beautiful in a long red coat…not huge on the short hair though.
  • I actually enjoyed the film. Hurrah!
  • The aftershow party was at The Royal Court of Justice which is STUNNING. I have never been plied with so much free booze and food before in my entire life. We only meant to stay for a little while. I got home at 4am.
  • I had to try really hard to not lose my shit over McFly/ McBusted. Especially Dougie, even if he did look stupid in his hat.
  • I may or may not have ‘accidentally’ brushed past Danny McFly on my way to the toilet. I did not need the toilet.
  • GALE WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND 😦 But Finnick was EVERYWHERE.
  • I spotted the geeky guy From Atlantis, no one else had any idea who he was.
  • Too much Champagne.
  • All in all, a successful night of fangirling was had. And we somehow managed to not embarrass ourselves…I think.

The night in pictures:
I didn’t want to be *that* person so I didn’t take many photos but here are some I managed to snap.

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Leicester Square

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The Royal Court of Justice Aftershow Party. In trying not to be *that* person, I basically just took some blurry photos of the building and myself and Di.

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I’m sure I was trying to sneakily take a picture of a Famous here but I don’t know who. #TooMuchChampagne

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Yes, I stole the menu, and what!?

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There was a pretty awesome photobooth!

The Night in Tweets:

So usually I would do a post ranting about the how film is not as good as the book. But I’m not going to this time. I’m going to try and embrace it. See, I can grow as a person! That, or I’m just too hungover.

Festive Incoming!

My first festive purchase arrived at the weekend! Can’t wait to curl up with some mulled wine and read this. That book funk seems like a distant memory! 🙂

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The Night Before Christmas by Scarlett Bailey

Goodreads Synopsis:

All Lydia’s ever wanted is a perfect Christmas…

So when her oldest friends invite her to spend the holidays with them, it seems like a dream come true. She’s been promised log fires, roasted chestnuts, her own weight in mince pies – all in a setting that looks like something out of a Christmas card.

But her winter wonderland is ruined when she finds herself snowed in with her current boyfriend, her old flame and a hunky stranger. Well, three (wise) men is traditional at this time of year…

I’m still looking for more festive recommendations (leave a comment)!

NaNoWriMo

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This is the first year in three that I haven’t taken part in NaNoWriMo! I just didn’t feel like I had it in me to try this year after three failed attempts. Three failed attempts also means three more incomplete manuscripts to add to my growing collection and I just couldn’t handle a fourth. They sit in my computer laughing at me!

I also didn’t think I’d be able to take part and have enough time to blog but I’ve seen that a lot people are managing to do that….HOW ARE YOU DOING THAT???

Anyway, I wish you all luck, you are braver souls than me and I’m hopefully going to find time this month to complete at least one of my unfinished novels so I don’t feel too left out!

If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month in which crazy people attempt to write at least 50,000 words in November, for better or for worse. It’s a really fun way to force yourself to write everyday. But, I’ve also found it completely impossible. There’s always next year.

More info Here.

Happy NaNo-ing!