Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mini Reviews (2) The Maze Runner Series.

Mini Reviews.
The Maze Runner Series.
*Warning- review of books 2 and 3 will contain spoilers to those who have not read the series.*

The Maze Runner- James Dashner.
Published by Ember.
I knew hardly anything about this series, apart from the back cover synopsis, when I bought it- it was a whim book, a narrowed down choice from a few various titles I was keen to read, and this ended up being my choice. There is so much I love about this book- the cover, unlike so many covers for books around the place, really suits the story- I look it and I see the maze, the danger, the unknown. I see what the characters go through. The storyline is fascinating and captivating and full of ideas that are yet to be tried, questions I yearned to learn the answers for. The excitement, the terror, the Grievers- it was all so clear to me as I read, and from beginning to end, that clarity didn't fade. 
Rating- Excellent/Big Explosion MIND BLOWN-
It didn't quite get to be one of my all time favourite books, though this did make it's way onto my top ten for 2012. It was missing something that would have pushed it across to MIND BLOWN level, but it was very close. Definitely recommend.

The Scorch Trials- James Dashner.
Published by Ember.
The Scorch Trials (which is a title I am still mastering because I'm terrible at spelling scorch without a t- don't ask me why) starts off directly after The Maze Runner finishes, something I always love in a book, and it sets itself up for another trial, this one perhaps more dangerous and life-threatening than what they experianced in the maze. I enjoyed this, but it definitely felt like a step down from The Maze Runner- nothing felt quite so fresh, even the new ideas felt tainted by what I saw as the complete brilliance that was the first book. This wasn't for the lack of new ideas, there were so many additions and new characters and just so much NEW that it couldn't have been from that, but I didn't connect to it as well as the first book, the clarity was still strong, but everything was a little... less.
This was a step up, however, on the creepy/almost horror side of things- everything was three times more scary and we meet the Cranks... there's a scene where two characters are being chased by these humans who have lost their minds and... that is a scary scene. I was reading it and heard a knock on the door and my heartbeat rose to about ten times average.
Towards the end I found myself faced by mega disappointment, a disappointment that leaks through to the final book and really annoyed me. You can't just stop reading at the end of book one, but I'd have been happier if I had.
Rating- Hmm...
I didn't hate this book but I certainly felt a lot less love for it, mainly due to one of the twists about 75 pages from the end. Had that twist not been there my rating would probably be higher, but I still wouldn't have loved this as much as the first book.
(Starting to get a little confused)

Published by Ember.
The Death Cure, like The Scorch Trials, begins almost immediately after the end of the previous book, and it begins with what turns out to be a series of let downs for me. The clarity that I felt with both the previous novels still was there, though since the second book it continued to dim slightly, and I just felt myself loosing the connection I felt in the beginning to the world, the mission, the characters.
I really felt like this book dragged on, wondering how there could still be two thirds to go since the story felt practically over (bring on the new twists), and it did pick up, but still fell flat.
I found the ending confusing and unsatisfying- I never really liked the love interest and how things ended just left me really disappointed, as most of the novel did. In ways it wasn't so bad, it was quite a neat ending, but it also felt wrong the way things happened. Thomas lost a lot of his strengh, I felt, in this final book- understandably- but he also began to gradually turn into a character I didn't like, and by the end I felt no great connection to him, it felt very neither here nor there.
Rating- Somewhere between Oh Noooo and Poor.
I disliked this book- I didn't even feel like I was kind of glad that I finished the series, because I just really didn't like so much about it. I lost the connection that I found in the first book and kind of wish I hadn't continued after that stellar beginning. Not the worst book I've ever read, far from it, but after such a magnificent start this was a mega let down.
I spent a lot of time staring off into the distance, uncomprehendingly.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Get to know a blogger {1} Mel from The Daily Prophecy.

{Get to know a blogger is a new feature I'm hosting on my blog during 2013- every fortnight I will be posting a Q&A with a blogger, and together we can get to know just a little of the awesomeness that surrounds those in the blogging community. I think it's going to be fun.}

Today I am featuring Mel from The Daily Prophecy.

Describe yourself in 10 words or less.
That's difficult! Let me see..
Happy. Shy. Fairytale-lover. Bookworm. Collector. Disney. Passionate. Stubborn. Student. Nerd.
Describe your blog in 5 words.
Unique. Fairytales. YA. Active. Blue.
Has blogging changed anything about you?
Yes. I DNF books much earlier now, because it's a waste of time to read a book if you aren't enjoying it. I used to finish every book, but I don't want that anymore. There are too many great books out there :)
Please describe the awesomeness of blogging in three words. (Hyphen’s may be used to cheat.)
Meeting other booklovers.
What author/book/both have you found since you started to blog, that you can’t get enough of?
Where do I start? I've found many new authors, but I can't get enough of Julie Kagawa. I can't wait to read The eternity cure!
What is one thing that people might not know about you?
I study Biology and Medical Laboratory research - and I love it! :)
What is the first book you truly loved. Like Darcy and Lizzie LOVE.
You know, I've always been a little bookworm. I have a lot of pictures where I am 'reading', holding the book upside down, haha. I used to be a big fan of R.L Stine's Goosebumps and Virginia Andrews. It's hard to pick the first book I fell in love with, but I think I need to go with Harry Potter or The book thief.
What fictional character do you think most resembles you?I wish I could pick a real kick-ass character, but I'm not so tough unfortunately and I don't have crazy fightskills. I can identify with Belle from Beauty and the Beast, especially in the retelling from Cameron Dokey. Belle is very shy and insecure. She loves to read and she is rather on the background in big groups with unknown people. That's me. 
I had a great time answering these questions, thanks for having me! :D

Thank you so much for taking part in this new feature of mine, Mel, and being the one to bring it into the blogging community. 

Follow Mel (everywhere)-


Monday, February 18, 2013

Blogspiration (13) On the idea jar.

Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author’s choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

So... I haven't done a blogspiration post in a while and now I feel incredibly awkward because I don't quite know what to say, even if I do know, if that makes sense. I've been wanting to get myself organised enough to do more of these for the past few weeks and I probably wouldn't have yet if it wasn't for an email I recently received, notifying me and many others of the end of blogspiration.

So I want to share this with you- I was going to quote a section of it and link the video, but I was re-watching it, trying to find the words I wanted to write down, when I realised that I just wanted to share the video. 

It's about ideas.

Happy blogspiration! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mini Reviews (1)

Mini Review.

Chu's Day- Neil Gaiman.
Published by Bloomsbury.
So last year I read my first ever Neil Gaiman book. It was Coraline and it ended up being one of my top ten books for 2012, but also one of my top books for life. I was incredibly excited to see what would come from a picture book written by that incredible man. I didn't think that this was the best picture book I ever read, I thought it could have had a lot more substance, but I also think it's very sweet. It's simple. I started to wonder wether there was actually going to be anything to it, when the last few pages revealed that I should not have doubted Neil Gaiman. This book I would recommend, particularly for one of those first books. It is undoubtably not what I expected, but I found it amusing and that, actual amusement-in-a-good-way is what I like to see in a picture book.
Rating- Hmm...
So I didn't outright love this, I think it could have been a little more, but I definitely didn't hate it. A fun read that is really actually funny. 'Specially towards the end.

Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for this review book.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Books for when you're... (2)

Each fortnight I will showcase 1-2 books that I think would be fantastic reading if you're going through a  certian emotion/stage in your life.

After the sucess that I call not doing another of these posts after the first week until now, I'm fresh and ready to go with a lot of ideas. I will try not to fall behind again.

Books for when you're having a terrible day/week/month/theyearisn'tlookingtoofantasticeither.
It's not unheard of to have a terrible day or for nothing to be going right for you, so here are some protagonists who definitely have it worse than you, and that is an fact.

    A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
Why I chose this book:
The Baudelaire siblings are definitely worse off than you are, and they are hopefully forever worse off than you will ever have the misfortune to be. It's so easy to feel like nothing is going right and have no idea how things could ever get any worse because they're just so terrible and it's generally the WORST, but if you only have to look at the title of the series, at the book names, to appreciate how well off you are. There are thirteen books in which these siblings go through some of the absolute worst things you can imagine, and they still manage to get through it, so I think reading this and taking a little strength from the Baudelaire's might help.

    The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.
Why I chose this book:
I think it's kind of universally known that Mara Dyer has it bad.
I'm not going to go giving out spoilers, but ohh yes, she certainly does have it bad. Life has not been as bad to her as it was for the above siblings, but it's not been a joy-ride, either, and yet she's so awesome and brilliant and such a wonderous and awesome character that I think this is a definite recommendation.
And if you're still unsure if this book would make you feel better, there's this kind of slightly interesting character called Noah Shaw, who shows us that Mara Dyer has not lost absolutely everything, and that might be helpful if you feel like you have. 

Stay tuned for some more bookish suggestions for the good times, and the bad.
So far I've covered-

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Looking for Alaska by John Green...

Title- Looking for Alaska.
Author- John Green.
Publish date- 2006.
Publisher- Speak (US) AU-?



What I thought:
Looking For Alaska was the second John Green novel I ever read- I had tried to read it once before but have a nack of being able to open a book I'm not 100% sure about and find the scene that will most put me off. I didn't know hardly anything about this book and I opened it on the "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" scene. What was I to think? So I didn't try it again until this year, when I had become a firm fan of John Green's writing and awesomeness and read my first novel by him- the gloriousness that is The Fault in our Stars.

If I am judging the rest of his work off the general sadness and overall feeling of heartbreak that TFiOS and LFA have left me with, I am heading for a very wonderful, completely quoteworthy and heartbreaking/shattering/sobworthy few books, aren't I? I honestly don't doubt it.

There are quite a few things I disliked about LFA- there was an amount of swearing that I didn't like, certain things that the characters did/the ways they did them were things I didn't agree with, but overall I think that is part of the reason why I love it so- it's a book about righting wrongs, of youth and recklessness  and it's beautiful. It is a novel I want to study, to circle my favourite quotes in and read over and over, a novel I want to share with people in my future, to give to people growing up. Because I'm so glad I read this now, at the age I am. If I had read it when I was 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 (60 I would have been fine with...) I would have felt so much regret that I didn't read it as a teenager.

There's a lot of hilarity to this book- scenes and dialouge and words that are interesting and amusing and it is one I love for all the reasons in this review, and fifty or so more. It's a book that feels real. It feels like life (not saying it feels like a lifering when one has fallen off a boat, but saying it feels like it is true. And it is, really.)

And it's oh, oh so quoteworthy.

I don't think you could go too wrong if you just bought the John Green boxed set and were done with it.