Thursday, 3 November 2011

My October RAK!

This was my first month doing the Random Act of Kindness bit and it was awesome :) I will definitely be signing up again this month. 

Ok so the book I RECEIVED this month was from The Book Garden in the form of The Bronze Horeseman by Paullina Simons. I cannot tell you how much I have wanted to get my hands on this one! Thank you Birgit! Hop on over to her blog and check out her RAK.

And of course I sent a book this month. I sent Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater to Silvia at Darkest Sins. She has posted her RAK this month so check it out. 

Review (Kinda) - The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Goodreads Summary: First published in 1959 Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a ‘haunting’; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers – and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

I’m going to keep this short. This book was chosen by a member of my book club, keeping in line with Halloween. It is the first horror I have ever read and I was disappointed. I always thought I didn’t like scary books but upon starting this I had a huge feeling of excitement. I was expecting something that would make me sleep with the lights on but alas, this was very much NOT scary. At all. And I spook easy. 

Shirley Jackson is excellent, there is no denying that. Her story is wonderfully written, and while I didn’t personally like the characters, they too were excellent. I enjoyed the group dynamics and psychological aspects of the story but it wasn’t what we were looking for, for the book club. Funnily enough, we thought the badly made movie which is only rated 12s was a lot more terrifying than the book!  

Monday, 24 October 2011

Review: Grip - A Memoir of Fierce Attractions by Nina Hamberg

Goodreads Summary: Set in San Francisco in the 1970s, Grip: A Memoir of Fierce Attractions is the true story of how a teenager fends off an armed intruder with only her wits, then goes on to become the toughest female martial artist in her karate school and an early advocate for women’s rights. Yet in private this five-foot fighter forms one disastrous relationship with men after another. Ultimately, Nina Hamberg finds her real battle is an internal one. She has to bond with a different kind of man and allow herself to be vulnerable. Winner of the Maui Writers Conference Rupert Hughes Award and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association Book Award for “Best Memoir,” Grip reads like a novel. It is by turns riveting, funny, poignant and wise.
Hamberg has woven a memoir with wide appeal. She traces her emotional journey while providing such fast-paced action that reviewers call Grip a page-turner.
***I received this book from the author for an honest review.***
Wow, Wow, Wow. My review will not do this book and its author any justice. This is the first Memoir I have ever read and it certainly won’t be my last.  Nina Hamberg has had a remarkable life and is an inspiration to me. I loved reading her story. It was an emotional roller-coaster. The ups and downs of her family life, a stalker creeping into her bedroom at night, her explosive relationships with men, her fathers’ illness, a broken marriage and finally comes David.

Nina goes through life haunted by the memory of a stalker who took advantage and the fact it was ‘swept under the carpet’ and not addressed. From there she experiences a series of dysfunctional relationships before marrying Lee, the most intriguing and often, very scary, person in her life (in my opinion!). The men at her karate school called her Might Mouse, and rightly so.  Through all the hardship Nina learns to love and accept herself for who she really is.  She is a survivor. She does all of this with complaint and is truly inspiring.

It is gritty, honest and refreshing. She holds nothing back. If you are worried about being bogged down by a memoir, then fear not. Nina is a wonderful writer and the whole book flows beautifully and reads like a novel. The story moves along at a perfect pace; giving just enough details and keeping it interesting. I definitely recommend this powerful and emotional story. 5/5 Stars

Friday, 14 October 2011

Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books and is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love for the written word. The weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect to other book lovers, to make friends, to support each other and generally share our love for books.

This week’s question is: What is your favourite Spooky book?

I'm kicking it old school and picking Vampire Breath by R.L Stine. If you follow my blog you know by now that I'm into love stories and happy endings but this was on of my favourite books when I was a kid. "Reader Beware, you're in for a Scare" it doesn't get much better than that!

On to FF! Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read

This week's question is: If you could have characters from a particular book meet and form an epic storyline with characters from a particular TV series, who would you choose and why?

Well I guess I would go with Gossip Girl and the Trueblood series since I love all of characters involved. It would be absolute carnage. The likes of Eric Northman invading the Upper East Side.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Review: You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Goodreads Summary:Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.
Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move frequently and abruptly from place to place, perpetually running from what her mother calls the "No Good." One afternoon, Sophie breaks the rules, ventures out, and meets Joey and his two aunts. It is this loving family that gives Sophie the courage to look into her past. What she discovers changes her world forever. . . .
The riveting stories of Emmy and Sophie—alternating narratives of loss, imprisonment, and freedom regained—escalate with breathless suspense toward an unforgettable climax.
*** I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley ***

It takes a few pages to get used to the writing but once you do, you’ll be flying through this gem! It is a short book so I can’t say too much without giving the plot away. Emmy, who is stuck in a loveless marriage, is blamed for the disappearance of her child. From there she is admitted into a mental hospital where she can do nothing but hope her Baby is OK.  Meanwhile, Sophie who has moved house more times then she can keep track of and who always does what her mother tells her, breaks the rules in order to speak to the boy next door. An action that will change her life forever.

The story is written from both Sophie and Emmy’s perspective. I definitely preferred Emmy’s narrative and would have loved if the book was entirely from her perspective but at the same time I did enjoy the interaction between Sophie and Joey and all the secrecy of going behind her mother’s back. The background characters such as Joey and his two aunts are all loveable in their own way.

There were times when I found the book to be very slow and had to force myself to read on but it was worth it in the end. If this sounds like a story you would enjoy then don’t hesitate in picking it up. I for one am looking forward to reading more from Beth Kephart. It is an unforgettable and heartbreaking story. 4/5 Stars 

Monday, 10 October 2011

Review: Becoming Edward by Faye Meredith

Goodreads Summary: Rachel’s hooked on Twilight and is in love with Edward Cullen. Clive is obsessed with Rachel but he’s no Edward. Lewis is in love with himself until he meets Rachel. Both boys fail to win her until one of them has the bright idea of becoming Edward. Becoming Edward is a light hearted teen fiction novel for young adults who love paranormal romance, especially Twilight and Breaking Dawn.  There are no vampires in it but there is a boy who thinks he is Edward Cullen. The author is a huge Twilight fan and explores what it is like to be a Twi-hard when others just ‘don’t get it’.

**This book was kindly sent to me by the author for an honest review**

What I wanted from this book was a laugh and a laugh is what I got. The story opens well with Rachel, a Twi-hard, desperately wrestling a limited edition, signed copy of Twilight from her dog’s drooling bite. I really enjoyed Rachel’s character. She is sweet and funny and is struggling to find a real-life guy who is good enough to be her Edward. I think we all went through that when we finished Twilight! It was also so refreshing to have a protagonist who is beautiful and has guys falling at her feet. It is a break away from the not pretty, not ugly, nothing special girls that feature in so many young adult novels.

The thing I didn’t like about this book was the connection or really, the lack of connection, between Rachel and Lewis. It didn’t seem like there was a reason of them to be in to each other. Lewis saw Rachel one day in a book shop and immediately became obsessed with her. His personality did a complete 180 turn around for a girl he knew NOTHING about. It just didn’t seem real.

However, there were some funny situations towards the end of the story when Lewis stepped it up a gear and bought amber coloured contact lenses. The creepier he got, the more I enjoyed the story. I would recommend this book to any Twi-Hards out there or to someone looking for a nice fun read. 3/5 Stars

Friday, 30 September 2011

Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books and is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love for the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect to other book lovers, to make friends, support each other and to generally share our love for books.

This weeks question is: In honor of banned books week, What is your favourite banned or frequently challenged book? Click Here for the 2010-2011 list in PDF format.

I'm a big fan of The Hunger Games but I can understand why some schools don't allow it. I have just discovered that Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is on a banned or challenged list? Ah now...It is hardly that bad. Some animal cruelty, a few people thrown from a train, and some soft sexual content. That is what I read books for.

I have to say, I am really enjoying reading through all these PDF files. Did you know Twilight is banned in Australia because of the sexual content? It goes against religious beliefs. I would have thought parents would be pro Twilight because of the blatant no sex before marriage message?? No? 
Great question this week!

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can read

This week's question is: What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favourite character?

I am both delighted and saddened that I can't say Harry Potter this week!
To be honest, I don't really like when amazing books are made into movies. Without meaning to, my images of the characters and their world gets permanently changed in my mind. The Twilight movies ruined the books for me. I think KStew is a terrible Bella but she is imprinted in my head as Bella. How many people can say that when they re-read Harry Potter they don't picture Daniel Radcliffe? (although, I do love the Harry Potter movies!) Some how I have brought my answer back to HP! There are some other film adaptations that I do enjoy though. Water for Elephants for example.