28 February 2011

Review: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Title: I Am Number Four
Author: Pittacus Lore
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 3rd August 2010
Series: Lorien Legacies #1
Source: Own Copy

Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.
Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing.
But they know.
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.
I am Number Four.
I am next.

I decided to read this book as I want to go and see the film but with all things, I like to know what I am going into. So I picked up this book and I was surprised at how easy and quickly I fell into the story. This was one of those books where you are lying in bed saying just one more chapter and before you know it, it's 3am and you have work in the morning!! This is the first book of 6 planned books and I can't wait for the next one.

This story begins with number Four knowing that he will be next in the sequence of his kind to die. You are thrown right into the story with the back story and explanations of who they are and why they are on earth slowly being revealed throughout the first half of the book. This is well done as it does not keep you wondering about the relationship between Four and Henri too long but you quickly care about the characters and you want to know who they are.

The relationships between Four and the other characters is also well done. The relationship between Four and Sarah does not feel too rushed and develops realistically and the friendship between Sam and Four feels very sweet and you can see how the 2 would be friends.

There were slow parts to this story but they were few and far between so the pace kept you interested. Before I knew it the action had started and story carried me along to the last page. What I really liked, and what made me smile while I was reading it, was reading about the Loric Elder called Pittacus Lore. Pittacus Lore is a pen name for the author and makes me wonder if he chose the name for the Elder first or for himself first.

This was a predictable story and you could often guess some of the plot points which were to be surprises but it was an incredibly enjoyable read. As I have said before this is a series of books I am really looking forward to and I will definitely be picking up the next in the series.

23 February 2011

Review: Twelve by Nick McDonell

Title: Twelve
Author: Nick McDonell
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Published: May 15th 2003
Source: Own Copy

Nick McDonell's electrifying novel tells the story of a fictional drug called Twelve and its devastating effects on the beautiful rich and desperate poor of New York City. A bleak Manhattan midwinter and a group of wealthy teenagers, left to their own devices by disregarding parents, delve into the excesses of drugs, sex and the most chilling acts of violence imaginable. Hunter ----- falsely accused of murder after a fight on the basketball courts; White Mike - a straight-A student who makes a fortune selling illegal substances; Laura - gorgeous but obsessed with a fabulous new designer drug called 'twelve'; and Claude - whose trips into the shadier corners of Chinatown have fuelled a macabre fascination with deadly weapons...From page one, this novel pulsates towards its apocalyptic climax.

I was drawn into picking up this book. A book written by an 17 year old about a 17 year old drug dealer. I mean I am a little jealous that Nick McDonell had the dedication to write his novel during one summer, I have been working on mine for 6 months and I have managed a chapter so far!! I also really enjoyed the film adaptation and wanted to read the book. Bearing all of this in mind I had high expectations.

I was surprised at how easy this was to read. The subject matter, 3 days in the life of White Mike, is not an easy one to make enjoyable and easy to read. I didn't particularly like White Mike, but I don't think you are supposed to like him. The majority of the characters in this book are deeply flawed, but you keep reading to see how all of the little plot lines tie together in an unforgettable ending. I think at some point in the future I will pick this up again and reread it and I know that I will definitely pick up any other Nick McDonell books which cross my path in the future.

22 February 2011

Coming Soon

Between the long gap from my last post and this one I have been very productive with my time. I seem to have plowed my way through quite a few books, so keep your eyes peeled and the reviews will be appearing here soon. As a taster here are some of the books I will be writing up soon:

04 February 2011

Review: Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

Title: Cracked Up To Be
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Published: Dec 23rd 2008
Source: Own Copy

When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?
Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.
Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.
Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault.

I have heard lots of good things surrounding the writing of Courtney Summers. I thought this may just be hype but none the less I was excited to begin her d├ębut novel. I was not expecting what I got...

Reading this book was like jumping into cold water. It hits you like a punch to the stomach you were not expecting. Once you give in to the bluntness of the writing and just go with the flow this is a book which grips you until the last word. The book takes off and drops you right into the middle of the story with no explanation. You learn little by little the events of the past which influence the behaviour of the main character. The writer gives away only a fraction of the past events at a time, making it feel like you have earned the whole story once you reach the end.

The book focuses on Parker Fadley who is a complete bitch and has made a decision to discard her friends, cheerleading and has been coming into school drunk causing her perfect grades to plummet As a person Parker is deeply flawed and is suffering after the events of a horrific night. In an attempt to distance herself from everyone around her decides to be as self destructive as possible. For me this makes her an incredibly real and likeable character who I can begin to imagine having conversations with throughout my day. She does not complain or feel sorry for herself and she knows that she is hurting the people around her however justifies most of her actions. Each of the characters in this book are written into life and I feel just as real as the people I work with.

The events held within the pages of this book don't unfold as much as they just happen and you are expected to accept them and move on. There is no hand holding with this story, it is delivered to you and you can either like it or leave it. I picked this book up one evening expecting to read only a few pages but I found it very difficult to put down. I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a little more bite with their book.

03 February 2011

2011 Challenge - Read 100 books

I am so excited to be participating in the 100 books in 2011 challenge and I expect this will be the motivation I need to make a large dent in my massive pile of books to read. The challenge is hosted by the wonderful Book Chick City.

Challenge Details
Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
Rules - Read 100 or more books in 2011
All books can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
Only print books and ebooks count (no audiobooks).
You can join anytime.
As this is a new blog I over the next few days I will review all of the books I have read so far in 2011 and I will also be seeing which other reading challenges out there I want to attempt this year.
Happy reading!

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Random House
Published: Dec 8th 2009
Series: Fallen #1
Source: Own Copy

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret...even if it kills her.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

There is something about angels which has always fascinated me. I like the thought of angels being strong and powerful and not always good. Also the wings! Bearing this in mind I was very excited to get stuck into Fallen. Very quickly I felt that Lauren Kate had created a world for me to escape to and feel welcome in. The story seemed to take me by the hand and run along with me not allowing me to rest until I had come to the end.

I think what I like best about this was the likability of the main protagonist Luce. You felt you could understand her confusion as for most of the novel she is in the dark regarding the truth. For me this allowed me to accept whenever she complained or resented about being stuck in a reform school, I know I would be an absolute nightmare to be around in that situation. I also liked most of the other characters in the book, especially her close friends Penn and Arriane. My main complaint would have to be with Daniel, one of the hot, hot love interests. The difficulty I had relating to him was that I did not understand him enough for him to become a real rounded character in my head. I am hoping that the rest of the series of books will help to rectify this issue.

I enjoy most books based around the supernatural and for me Fallen did not disappoint. I am looking forward to the next rainy day for me to curl up and devour Torment, the second novel in this series of 4.