Wednesday, 28 October 2009

CONTEST (CLOSED)

CONTEST OVER - I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

To make up for the lack of reviews, I figured I'd have another contest. It'll work the same as the last one did.

Here's how it works:

This is a "Pick Your Poison" contest, meaning I provide a list of books and the winner will get to choose one book from the list (and I'll have it sent to them from Amazon, it's just easier that way).

Now, onto the list (which will be longer than last time). The winner gets to choose one out of the following books:

+ Any of the books from The Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare (City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass).
+ Any of the books from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise).
+ The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
+ Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
+ Paper Towns by John Green
+ Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
+ Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
+ Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
+ Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
+ Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
+ Looking for Alaska by John Green
+ Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn
+ The Host by Stephenie Meyer
+ Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles



How to Enter:

+Leave a comment on this post and also mention whether you're in the US/UK/Canada/Australia etc. (Meaning this contest is open to everyone, being from Scotland I know the US/Canada only contests can be annoying. XD)

For extra entries (tell me which of these you did in the comment):

+1 entry if you follow this blog/if you're already following.
+1 entry for linking this in the sidebar of your blog.
+1 entry for posting about the contest on your blog.

Contest ends on November 6th. Anyone can enter, including the other authors of this blog seeing as I'm the only one hosting the contest and the winner will be chosen randomly.

Later.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Double Dose: Gone and Hunger by Michael Grant

SPOILERS ALERT! (the spoilers are in white, so you'll have to highlight them to read them.)

Title: Gone
Author: Michael Grant
Summary (from Amazon): It’s a scenario that every kid has dreamed about: adults suddenly disappear, and kids have free reign. In this case, though, it’s everyone 14 and older who disappears, and the harsh reality of such unreal circumstances isn’t a joyride after all. A girl driving with her grandfather plunges into a horrific car wreck; gas burners left on ignite a home with a young child trapped inside; food and medical supplies dwindle; and malicious youths take over as the remaining children attempt to set up some form of workable society. Even stranger than the disappearance of much of humanity, though, are the bizarre, sometimes terrifying powers that some of the kids are developing, not to mention the rapidly mutating animals or the impenetrable wall 20 miles in diameter that encircles them.

The first time I read this book was last year in 8th grade for a book club. My teacher was looking up books online that we could read for it and we saw this book and were like, "Okay, sure, let's try reading this" because it sounded fairly decent.

"Fairly decent" doesn't even
begin to describe this book.

From the very first paragraph I was captivated. This story was action packed and fast paced that you could never guess what would happen next. I never thought that Sam would have powers.
I thought Caine was adorable in the beginning... then a little scary later on. What was once a sweet, caring boy who just wanted to help everyone in the FAYZ (the Fallout Alley Youth Zone - what they call the big area they're trapped in) turned out to be an evil, power-hungry 14 year old with powers of his own.I would have never guessed that he and a few others had powers.

Drake terrified me, to be honest. He's crazy in the head and doesn't mind harming people, even little kids.

Astrid is my favourite character after Sam. She's witty, a genius, and stands up for herself, which I love. She's gorgeous too, according to Sam, but isn't an airhead. I'm glad Michael Grant didn't add that stereotype to the book and made Astrid into a gorgeous girl who is also a genius.


The first question that popped into my mind after reading the first chapter was, "what happened to all of the older kids and adults?" I foun
d out later in the chapter that Astrid's brother, Little Pete (who is dyslexic), has incredible powers and actually saved Perdido Beach (where they live) from becoming a radioactive danger zone. He stopped a meltdown that would have wiped out the town, but also somehow created the FAYZ.
There's a lot more stuff I want to say about Gone, but I'm thinking you should just buy or check out the book yourself and read it. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

9/10 stars

xx

--

Title: Hunger
Author: Michael Grant
Summary (from Amazon): In the second in a planned six-book series, the children of Perdido Beach, CA, have survived without adults for three months following the FAYZ, a nuclear event that caused everyone over the age of 14 to vanish and an impenetrable barrier to rise for 20 miles around the town. Now their food is almost gone, and in their desperation and fear, the young people are beginning to sort themselves into factions; those without special powers opposing those who have them. To add to the suspense, a terrifying presence that calls itself the Gaiaphage, a being of overwhelming hunger, is insinuating itself into the minds of the susceptible.

So far, I like this one more than the first one. I usually like sequels better than the originals because the first books have more to explain and the sequels skip to the action while explaining at the same time.

So, after three months in the FAYZ, there is a shortage of food. Kids everywhere are hungry. People are fighting over little pieces of jerky, or a few Junior Mints. It's hopeless to calm everyone down, and Sam knows it.

He's now the "Mayor" of the FAYZ, and kids come to him with every little problem, ranging from "when am I allowed to go to bed?" to "My brother ate my dog." Yes, it's true, kids are cooking up their pets to stay alive.

With everything that's going on, no one suspects Caine to attempt to control the power plant. He has a plan, and Sam has to stop him before it's too late.

Meanwhile, the "normals" and the "freaks" - the ones with powers - reach their last straws with one another. After a "freak" accidentally murders one of his "normal" friends, a boy named Zil, one of the "normals", decides enough is enough. He's tired of freaks acting like they own the place, having more food than the "normals" (which isn't true), and acting as though they're superior to everyone else.

He's going to teach the freaks a lesson, one way or another. Although, what you don't expect Zil to do is lynch his former friend, the "freak" who murdered a normal on accident.

Just when a war with Caine has begun, the war between the "freaks" and the "normals" has begun as well. There's also something else lurking in the dark, waiting for just the right time to feed.

This book is action packed, and I swear I could barely put it down.

10/10 stars

xx

Monday, 5 October 2009

The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols...

Title: The Ex Games
Author: Jennifer Echols
Summary: Hayden and Nick used to be a hot item, but their brief affair ended with a highly publicized break-up. Now the two are "just friends," excluding the occasional flirtation.

When Hayden wins the girls' division of a local snowboarding competition, Nick is unimpressed, claiming that Hayden wouldn't have a chance against a guy. Hayden calls Nick's bluff and challenges him to a head-to-head boarding contest. Their mutual friends quickly take sides, the girls on Hayden's and the boys on Nick's, making for an all-out battle of the sexes. This friendly competition is bound to get heated--and if they're not careful, they might end up igniting some old flames.

So, when this book arrived in my mail a few days ago, pretty much the only thing that prevented me from squealing from happiness was the fact that my family was in the room with me but I was so excited to read it and it really didn't disappoint.

Jennifer Echols is one of my favourite authors, definitely among the best at writing the romantic comedy genre and I've yet to read a book of hers that I don't love and this one was no exception.

The Ex Games was simply awesome - one of my absolute favourite things about Jennifers books are that she writes the characters really well, while some books will take a few chapters to really get you knowing the characters, in her books their personalities jump right off the pages from pretty much the beginning and you'll cringe for them and laugh with them and hurt for them because they are so realistic.

I loved the definitions at the start of chapters, they were really cute and funny and Hayden was hilarious, I got the urge the grab her and Nick and bang their heads together multiple times during the story (darn them being fictional!). I really liked her brother and his friends too, they were awesome.

Another thing I loved was the setting of this, I'm a total winter/autumn girl and I adore the snow and reading this story it just gave me that warm fuzzy feeling I get when I watch the snow from my bedroom window at night when it snows in winter (it also made me wish that I could snowboard - safe to say I now fully regret not going on the school ski trip a few years ago *facepalm*).

And seeing as I'm at risk of fangirling the whole book, I'll just say I really recommend you read the book, it'll totally put a smile on your face. Also, you should check out Jennifers other books too (my favourites, aside from this one, have been The Boys Next Door and Going Too Far - they're both epic and I can't wait for the sequel to The Boys Next Door).

You can read the first chapter of The Ex Games and check out Jennifers other books on her website.

Later.

Friday, 2 October 2009

The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst



Title: The Scarlet Ibis
Author: James Hurst
Summary: Ashamed of his younger brother's physical handicaps, an older brother teaches him how to walk and pushes him to attempt more strenuous activities.

The Scarlet Ibis is a short story - therefore I can't talk in lengths about it.

First, it's a tragedy. We see the story through the narrator's eyes, we never get his name, as his brother (the brother he's always wanted) is born. Doodle has a disability though and many restrictions on what he can and can't do. At first, they don't even think he'll survive. But the narrator is determined to teach Doodle to be the ideal brother.

The story has a very somber tone and focuses a lot on the good and bad sides of pride and expectations.

It's very well written and one of James Hurst's amazing stories.

Because it is a tragedy, the ending is very sad. But the story is brilliant so I suggest you read it.

You can read it online here.

We may start a Short Story Meme, perhaps. I read a lot of them so it would be nice to be able to review them as well. I already have a few more I could: Contents of a Dead Man's Pockets and The Most Dangerous Game.

-Mari.

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