Sunday, 4 September 2011

Monthly Reads - August

Well hello there. It's been a while. I've been through a phase of having a complete lack of motivation recently and have just been getting through the weeks a day at a time. Gosh I sound so depressing don't I?! I don't mean to but it's a slightly tough time for me at the moment, nothing I won't get through but is still taking a lot to get used to. But I am ever the optimist. And don't worry it's nothing super serious I just clearly like to make things sound a lot more dramatic than they actually are. 

One thing I have been doing this past month without fail is reading. I managed to flick through the pages of 7 books in August which is insane. I've read some amazing books, some books I'm not too crazy about, and one book that almost drove me crazy. So without wasting any more time here are my monthly reads...

Linger - Maggie Stiefvater
Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone - J.K.Rowling
True Blood Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris
Babyville - Jane Green 
Forever - Maggie Stiefvater
The Immortals Series Book 3 Shadowland - Alyson Noel
Underworld - Catherine MacPhail

Linger is the second book in the Mercy Falls Wolves Series. Though I didn't really enjoy the writing style of Shiver (the first book) I still needed to know where Maggie Stiefvater was taking the story. I wont go into too much detail about Linger just incase you have not read Shiver but I will say that you have to read this series.
At first I struggled with the writing style due to the story being written from the point of view of all the main characters. I felt that in Shiver I struggled to differentiate between the characters Sam and Grace and found myself flicking back to the beginning of each chapter to find out which character I was reading about. When I realised that in Linger even more characters had been added with the same writing style I wondered how I was going to cope. I'm not sure if I just got used to it or if Maggie's writing improved but I coped a lot better than I expected.
One negative point about this book was the new characters. I found that more emphasis was put upon them and less upon the original characters, Grace and Sam. This I didn't enjoy as much as I loved Sam and Grace's growth in book one and wanted to learn more about them. But once I got my head around the new dynamics I learnt to enjoy these new characters. Phew! It's tricky to review a book that's part of a series without spoilers so I'm hoping that this is ok.

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I really enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series. Over the past year or so I've read the whole series from the beginning to end and loved every single book. I must admit that at times they can be a little raunchy but Sookie is a young character but not a teenager so it is to be expected really. I love the world that is created and I really love Sookie's character. I'm not sure if I could read the series one after another as I think that it would be a little overpowering but that doesn't make the series any less enjoyable. 
What I'm trying to say is that I love True Blood and I recommend the books to anyone. I have watched the first season on TV and enjoyed that too but I wanted to finish the books before I watched anymore as I heard that they mix the stories up a lot and I didn't want any spoilers.  
The one thing I'm not too happy with is the front cover. I had to pick up the TV series version which I personally hate doing. Book 1 to book 9 I have in the typically UK edition version which I love, but I couldn't find Dead and Gone in this version anywhere so now I have the collection on my bookcase that doesn't match. I know, I know what a trivial thing to moan about. 

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What can else I say about Harry Potter that hasn't already been said? Well apart from while I was re-reading this book, after almost 10 years (yes I was slow on the uptake of HP but I got there) I found numerous amounts of people that have never even read a Harry Potter book, and one who had never even seen any of the movies. Seriously, what is this world coming to?
The first time I read Harry Potter many, many years ago I fell in love with the magical world, but as I was so young I just read the books, enjoyed the stories and took everything at face value. This time around I could truly appreciate them. J.K. Rowling's writing is exquisite and it's amazing how within the first few pages you are opened up to this world with such great detail and can see everything purely with the use of her words and your imagination. I remember when I first read this book I had no idea what any of the magical things were or looked like but somehow J.K. Rowling showed me the way.
Slowing over the next year I'm going to re-read all seven books and I'm so excited to re-live the series. I've not yet watched the final movie but I think I'm going to re-read the last book before I do as I don't want to movie to spoil anything for me.
If you've not yet read the books like some of the crazy people I have met recently, please pick it up as I assure you, you will not regret it.

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Shock horror, a book that is not part of the young adult section. Crazy. I've been on such a young adult (book) frenzy recently but I still love my chick lits. A this one was amazing. I love Jane Greens writing. She can really tell a story. 
Babyville follows the lives of Julia, Maeve and Sam. Julia is desperate for a baby and after months of trying she can think of little else, Maeve is a career girl and babies are the last thing on her mind, and Sam is pregnant with her first child. The book is spilt into three parts and each part is written from the perspective of the three main characters. 
Oh gosh, I loved this book. I could put it down. Now I'm not particularly 'broody' at the moment, one day I will have children but it's a long way off. Though this is the case I could still fully appreciate the story. 
The book starts off with Julia's story and I'm telling you that by the end of her part I was begging for more. I wasn't at all interested in reading about Maeve, I wanted more Julia. At the end of Maeve's part I wanted more Maeve and so on. Jane Green has a talent of making you fall in love with her characters with such ease that by the end of the book you never want to let them go. 
I urge you all to pick up this book. It's been out for quite some time now so I'm sure you'll find it on offer somewhere. 

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Forever, the third and final (and best in my opinion) instalment in the Mercy Falls series. But first lets start with that front cover  >>>>
How pretty is that?! When it comes to front cover I really do have a bit of magpie in me. Anything shinny and pretty I will pick up, and forever was no exception. Well actually it was, as I got it as a gift from my husband for my birthday. The US version of this book is not as pretty in my opinion but each to their own I guess. 
Now onto the plot. Forever follows the story of some of the characters in Linger (see no spoilers.) There are more twist and turns in this book and though most are predictable I enjoyed going along for the ride. There's not a great deal I can say about this book without spoiling the other two books but I will say I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more that the other two. 
Though saying that I don't believe that the ending was as satisfying as it could have been. Now I've read quite a few of the book reviews on goodreads and though a lot of people agree with me there are a lot who thought it was perfect. I guess I'll leave it up you to see who's side you take, but whatever you do don't let it put you off from reading it. 

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Now if you've read my other mini reviews about The Immortals series you will know how much I love them. Shadowland is the third book in the series about Ever and Damen. At the end of the second book something unimaginable happened that left me gasping and the plot of Shadowland picks up from there. Now I'm a sucker for Alyson Noel's writing. I love the way the story can be going nowhere but I'm that sucked into her world that I don't really care. Out of all of the books this is probably the slowest in terms of plot. Not a great deal happens and not a lot is learnt. Now I know there are many people out there (thank you Goodreads) that are easily irritated by Ever's constant poor choices but to me it's just the charm of the book. I know that this doesn't sound like a good book review but believe me I really enjoyed it, and I still recommend it to anyone. It's not my favourite but it still is an important instalment which then makes it a necessary read. 

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And last and most definitely least is Undeworld. Oh how I hated this book. What too harsh? Maybe, but let me explain why it holds such a dramatic impression. Now the idea behind the plot is pretty interesting. A group of teenagers are taken down into a cave on a school trip when the entrance to the cave 'caves' in and they are trapped. They then have to find a way out, without the help of their guide and that's when things really start to go wrong. A legend of a worm is also unnecessarily added the plot which we then have to deal with. But for me the thing that really annoyed me about the book was the over use of the word Zonk! I now hate this word beyond belief. I'd start to enjoy the story then zonk, zonking, zonked or any other version of that word would be mentioned and my ears would ring and my blood would boil. Too extreme? No! Yes I fully understand that teenagers generally overuse words, and yes it is rather irritating but I can be irritated by that on my own, I don't need you, Cathy MacPhail, to remind me every two sentences. Plus what makes it even worse is that the term zonk is very outdated. I've always been a firm believer that certain things should be omitted from books, like the mention of TV shows for example, as they are too time specific, and speech is one of those things. Now I don't mean speech as in old english against 'new' english, I refer to speech as in slang. Slang is so quickly changed that within a year or less it can be outdated. But the word zonk is even worse. According to my Mum (the best source of knowledge) the word zonk was common when she was young and she's 50. Because of this super annoying word I cannot fully review this book as I cannot get past 'zonk' so if you care to brave it I'll leave you to make up your own mind about this book. But don't say that you weren't warned. Now I've only got to find something to do with this book as it's not going anywhere near my book shelf.

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And that's that, my August monthly reads. I've had a pretty good month book wise and found some  truly amazing books and a truly awful book. These monthly books posts have to be my favourite posts on my blog. They take forever to write but I definitely feel that it's worth it. I love to round up the month and it's nice to relive the stories I've been sucked into each month. Plus it's a nice way to remember what I've actually read. I'm thinking of starting a youtube channel dedication to books but I'm not 100% yet. What do you think?

That's it for now.
I'm sure I'll speak soon.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back! I think i'm going to start rereading the harry potter's too, after seeing the final film x


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