Thursday, 31 May 2012

{review} Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey, FSOG, Fifty Shades Book Review, Fifty Sades Reviews, Book Reviews, YA Book Reviews, Teen Book Reviewing

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

My Review

I had no idea this was originally a fan fic for Twilight. I'm glad I didn't because i'd have never bought this book. I'm not a Twilight hater at all, but I've already stepped inside that world and when I start a new book I want a new story. FSoG was indeed a new reading experience and I honestly don't know what I feel about this book in an overall way.

Firstly, the writing style for me is so immature considering the book's adult content. A HUGE turn off. Let's talk about Ana.

Her repeated use of the same phrases over and over again well and truly grated on my every nerve. It became so bad at times I squirmed. I should have been squirming because of other things but most scenes instantly lost their power when Ana muttered in her childish mind 'Oh my'.

How is it that this man with so much depth and so many shades of interesting has found himself 'beguiled' (a word so overused through out this book) with such a flat and boring woman? I could see her lack of experience being a new and exciting thing for Mr Grey. It's a control freak's wet dream. But still... *YAWN*.

Ana does surprise me at times - especially during her emails - with her witty sense of humour. But in every scene in which Ana was in the same room with Grey, I could only see her as dull and I fail to see why Grey is so caught up in her.

As for the nature of this book, I get it. I really do. I understand the mechanics behind BDSM and the connection between trust and control. I didn't find him to be a monster at all, which many do. I guess at times his actions bordered on abusive but a book is such a great tool, allowing readers to experience things. Not every book has to be about good guys and good girls. I'm not ashamed to admit I enjoy a book with a controversial subject at hand. For those reasons, I found this book extremely interesting.

Grey is your cliche rich guy with a dark secret but every character is based on a cliche of some sort, so that did not put me off at all. He refers to himself as fifty shades of fucked up and that for me made him vulnerable. I'd be smitten with him in the real world too so I completely understand how Ana is so head over heels. Shame she's such a bore. Though saying that, at times near the end of the book, Ana became stronger and more powerful and I enjoyed that side of her.

As for James' writing style, it isn't for me. I enjoyed her story, but I find it incredible that she was published. The book appears to have not been edited at all. The overuse of words, phrases and descriptions desperately needed seeing to and had they have been, the writing would have flowed better. James' writing broke every rule of Good Writing 101 and whilst i'm all for breaking rules, in this case, it reduced the quality and maturity the book deserved.

The sex scenes were explicit although i'm sure they could have been much more graphic if we'd have been delved into the darker parts of BDSM. It was the right amount though. I did find towards the end I was breathing a sigh of relief when a scene didn't include them being intimate but I guess that's what erotica is all about.

I always wish that the love interests in YA book were a little spicier but couldn't stand to read a book that was completely based on graphic sex scenes so FSoG for me was a nice even ground. There was a story behind it to some extent.

Overall I have given this book 3 stars and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. It has lost a star for the poor writing skills and another for Ana's character. She could have been more well developed.

This book is worth a read, if only for the new experience but it could have been better.

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345803485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345803481

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

{review} Uglies by Scott Westerfeld


Scott Westerfeld, Uglies, Uglies Book Review, Uglies Reviews, Book Reviews, YA Book Reviews, Teen Book Reviewing
Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.
But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.
My Review
I love a good dystopian read. Sadly for me, Uglies was one long yawn.

It reminds of me Paranormal Activity 3.. Fantastic trailer, right? But none of the scenes featured in the actual movie.

So the back of the book has set this creepy Stepford Wives setting, which is what attracted me to it in the first place, because the covers are all dull. But the world i'm brought into is your typical 'living in the wilds' camp. Most of the book is spent describing landscape which was about as exciting as a paper bag. Any small scenes of action had me re-reading over and over, unsure how the story had gone from a yawn-a-thon to suddenly full paced dramas. But even then, the book was as dull as the cover.

So Tally is the protagonist. She's pretty much the same as most leading girls in a book. She makes friends with Shay who is annoying and pushy. They spend most of their time playing tricks.. By tricks I mean hover boarding pretty much ALL of the time and breaking the odd rule here and there.

When Shay runs away, the story becomes completely unrealistic. The 'Specials' become involved, preventing Tally from having her Pretty operation until she brings back Shay. The Specials are smart enough to know Tally knows where Shay is - even smart enough to retrieve a 3D copy of the cryptic-clue instructions for getting to the wild Smoke from Tally's bag without taking it from her. They have super awesome hovercrafts that could get to the Smoke in a few hours... But wait! They need a 16 year old girl with no experience alone in the wild to backpack for two weeks across derelict landscape to find Shay so that they can in return find the Smoke. I'm sorry, but that is ridiculous. I instantly lost patience from then on.

It was almost as if I was in Westerfeld's head, listening to him prattle on with a story that had nothing strong to back it up, whilst he invented easy and cheap plot lines where it suited his overall plan for the direction of the book.

And then introduce the Smoke. The Smoke that has managed to remain unfound in a futuristic society, where the officials have technology we can't even imagine anytime soon and the Specials with their super inhuman strength . Ugh - cheap, easy plot line. Oh but it's okay, they have brainwashed Tally to do it all for them.

And in the Smoke we have David. He's boring, lacking personality and you just know he's going to be the guy Tally will fall in love with after 2 minutes of being in the Smoke. I can't connect with him after reading about how ugly he is. I'm superficial to an extent... I like my guy characters to be hot.

This book was disappointing. I was seriously let down by the whole thing. The only thing going for it was a blurb that the actual book didn't live up to. Several times through out I said to myself, there's no way I can get through this. It reminded me of Cars, the Pixar movie. Tally was Mcqueen and the setting of the Smoke was Radiator Springs.

I won't be reading Pretties anytime soon. I read the first chapter at the end of Uglies and if a character says the word 'Bubbly' one more time I might lob the book through a window.

I gave the review 2 stars. Why? Well, it would have been 1 and 1/2. The book could have been great, and although I didn't enjoy Westerfeld's overall direction, I did manage to finish it (somehow) and I'd consider that better than not at all.

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (29 Mar 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0857079131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857079138

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A wedding reading based on Matched

This last weekend, my nearest and dearest best friend, Rachel tied the knot! I was so thrilled when she asked be to be her chief bridesmaid but even more honoured when she and her new husband asked me to do a reading at their ceremony.

I wanted her reading to be something a little different.  So what did I come up with?

I'd recently finished reading Matched by Ally Condie.  I know many of you found the romance in Matched to be a little on the dull side and many of you didn't connect with Cassia & Ky's story but I really did.  I think it was the subtle-ness of it.  It wasn't in your face.  It was graceful and slow approaching and their romance touched me in a way no other fictional romance ever had.  So what I did was take all the parts of the books Matched & Crossed that moved me and merged them together.  I then lent Rachel the book and told her to read it before her wedding, which she did and thankfully enjoyed.

This is what I read to them just before they said I do.


“I'll climb into the dark for you," she said
"Are you waiting in the stars for me?” 
His lips move silently, and she knows what he said: the words of a poem that only two people in the world know.
“Do not go gentle.” 
So in the middle of all the noise, she points to the sky. She hopes he understands what she means, because she means so many things.
Her heart will always fly his name. She won't go gentle. And she knows he understands as he looks straight at her - deep into her eyes. 
His lips move silently, and she knows what he said: the words of a poem that only two people in the world know.
“I love you."
Lightning. Once it has forked, hot-white, from sky to earth, there is no going back.
It's time. They feel it, They know it. Her eyes on him, his eyes on her, and both of them breathing, watching, tired of waiting.  He closes his eyes, but hers are still open. 
She wonders what will it feel like, his lips on hers? Like a secret told, a promise kept?  Like silvery rain falling all around them, where the lighting meets the earth? 
Wind & rain blows around her and tangles her hair, leaves water on her face, makes her know that she is alive, alive, alive. There are moments of calm and pause as there are in every storm, and moments when their words fork lightening.
Even far away, he know it's her by the way her hair tangles with the wind and how she stands on the red rocks of the Carving.  She's more beautiful than snow.
"Is this real?" he wonders.
And she points to the sky.
His lips move silently, and she knows what he said: the words of a poem that only two people in the world know.
"Do not go gentle."
And for a moment on the top of that bare pain of rock he wonders if he should run behind or ahead - which is the best way to protect her - and then he finds they just run.  Side by side.”
Everyone has something of beauty about them. 
But loving let's you look, and look, and look again. 
You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. 
When you first love, you look blind - and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, and then you see it as a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. 
And when you see the one you love as pieces, as why's, you can love those parts too, and it's  a love at once more complicated -- but much more complete.
Some things are simply created to be together

Thursday, 17 May 2012

I have news to share with you!

Good morning to you all! Its almost the weekend and I am starring as the Maid of Honour for my very dear friend's wedding on Saturday.  I really must go pack for the weekend, but before I do, I want to share with you my latest project.

<insert drumroll>

Indie Author, Networking Indie Author, Dystopian, Dystopia, Self Publishing, Dystopian Young Adult Fiction, Book Reviews, WAHM, YA Fiction

This is my latest book cover art.  But, not for fun this time.  Its actually the cover of my upcoming novel, 'Units'.

Ahh, how I would love to go into lengthy detail about this dystopian tale.  But there isn't enough time today and so I will send you over to the official page where you can read all about it.

I will be looking for reviewers prior to release and it will be available in eBook and paper back formats.

Indie Author, Networking Indie Author, Dystopian, Dystopia, Self Publishing, Dystopian Young Adult Fiction, Book Reviews, WAHM, YA Fiction

So, stop stalling and go take a peak

A huge thanks goes out to the stunning model who's stock I used for the cover

and her wonderful photographer

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Book series that have gone on for TOO long

I hate it when a series is about to end.  You've invested so much time into the characters and story and always had the next novel to look forward to.  Then it ends and if you are like me, you grieve the characters and want more!  But actually do you?  

I have had a few of my favourite books ruined because the series has been continued to a point where the books start to become almost silly after the 4th or 5th.  

House of Night was always a love/hate read for me anyway.  I found that the characters were quite childish but the story had me gripped, however it went on for far too long!  There are 10 books to the main series, not including the the sub-story books.  I got bored by book 4, but carried on until book 7 and very quickly lost interest after that.  I don't even remember which book was which.  It all merged as one long and increasingly boring read.  That is just me though and I am sure others have enjoyed the series.

L. J. Smith won me over with VD around the time the TV show started broadcasting the show.  We all know the books and TV show differ immensely but I still enjoyed them both separately.

But what went wrong for me?  The series got stupid! It didn't need to be extended.  Because the later books were in my opinion messy and over the top.  Damon' character is the only part that kept me reading.  Then we lost L. J. Smith to another writer and how I got through the last two books i'm not even sure.  I felt the series was ruined because of its extension and that's such a shame.

I have to say, Alyson Noel's Immortals series just didn't grip me from the start.  But I did enjoy the first book enough to attempt the entire series.  I didn't get further than Shadowland, however.  I own the further 2 books to the series, but I can't imagine i'll ever get around the reading them.  

Which books do you think were continued well past the time they needed to be?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Another pretend book cover

I think I may now be a little addicted to creating fake book covers...

My last post was a digital manipulation/painting I did inspired by YA fiction's beautiful cover trend.  Well... Here is another one!  I can't help myself.

I thought she looked like a Carrie.. And perhaps Carrie is a runaway from a twisted circus.

Here's my painting without the text

This is the original image credited to DXLogic

Friday, 11 May 2012

I've been in Photoshop...

So years ago, I used to make photo-manipulations.  This was before they started to become popular for book covers (not mine personally).  Since starting Paper Dreams and spending so much time looking at book covers, it got my creative juices flowing again so i've spent much of today in photoshop working on one.

If it was to be a book cover, what would you name the title?

Click for full size! Hope you enjoy...

Stock images used can be found here

EDIT... Ok, so I had another play in Photoshop to produce an imaginary book cover out of this work.

Thanks to Sel for the choice of name for her.  I liked Raven a lot.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Spring Carnival Entry for Midnight Book Girl's Booth

I had a giggle this morning putting book titles together to form sentences for Midnight Book Girl's Spring Blog Carnival giveaway.  So we were asked to take a picture of our book-title-sentences.

Here's mine... Not near as genius as some of the other entries i've seen but I had fun.

'The man of property John Galsworthy tempted the runaway, forgotten, dead beautiful Melody into the woods'

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

{ new on the shelf } Uglies & Hunger

So Mr W has arrived home today with two new additions for my collection.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Hunger by Michael Grant!

I'm noticing a common theme with the book covers lately... But I like the striking boldness of them!

Which to start first?

{Blog Decoration} "I LOVE BOOKS"

I love blog decorations! Here's my first set of freebies for all you lovely bloggers! Feel free to share :)
















{review} Gone by Michael Grant

I've seen this book many times over the last goodness knows how long when visiting my local Waterstones.  I've never really felt the need to pick it up and take a peak at the back.  But a few days ago I did because it was in a 'if you liked this book' section with 'Matched' by Ally Condie.

Well, Waterstones wasn't wrong.  I started this one slowly, reading a few pages before sleeping each night.  I've been busier than usual lately and haven't had the chance to completely delve in.  But the power of the story won me over eventually and I haven't put it down since.

So, everybody 15 years and over, amazingly disappears.  The children in their classes are stunned by their teachers 'poofing' and after the hilarity settles down, it's not long before the fear in them all starts to show through.  As the days pass by, things get rather intense and much scarier & some of these children are discovering they have super-hero type powers.  And talking of powers, I've never really had an interest in super-hero-esque fiction, so I'm glad I didn't know how much of that would feature in this book before I started it.   It wasn't off-putting in the slightest though and I actually really enjoyed the action.  But had I have known, I'm certain i'd have not bothered with it at all.

We meet Sam to begin with.  He's such a nice boy.  Too nice, really.  But I guess expecting a 14 year old protagonist to be edgy and sexy isn't really acceptable and so Sam in my opinion was an enjoyable character.  I find the intro to his mysterious secret at the beginning of the story a little confusing and had to back-read on a few occasions but in time it all started to smooth out.  Honestly, I really had no idea what direction his story would go in and there were some surprises along the way, but perhaps overall his character did become quite predictable.

We also meet Astrid (the genius) and a little later on her autistic little brother, Pete (who the characters annoying call Little-Pete and then LP through out the book).  Astrid is nice, like Sam.  A little dull if i'm honest.  I couldn't picture what she looked like in my head.  Sometimes a character easily forms but Astrid just wasn't given enough personality for her to become a part of my imagination.

Then there's Quinn & Edilio.  Quinn is Sam's best friend and probably my least favourite character in the book.  He's whiney, wimpish & I don't really understand why the others waste their time with him during such a critical time.  I think Grant tries his best to give Quinn an excuse for his behaviour but still, I wouldn't have missed him if he was left out of the book.  Edilio on the other hand I rather enjoyed.  He wasn't exciting but he was mature and respectable as a character.

From Coates (the school for rebellious children) we have Caine, Drake & Diana, along with a few others.  The others are all basically the same character with a different name.  We don't get to see any other side to them other than their bullying.  Drake was an interesting character.  He gets more and more twisted through-out the book and I was kind of hoping we would see a breakthrough with him and get to meet another side to him.  Diana I actually quite liked.  She was almost sorrowful as much as she was not-so-nice and that for me gave her some depth.

Then there are the bullies that Sam went to school with; Howard & Orc.  There are some interesting changes for Orc near to the end of the book and I liked that but Howard was a little dull for me too.

In all, none of the characters had me emotionally invested enough.  I wasn't really routing for anybody.  Saying that, I didn't really hate anybody either.  Not even the not-so-nice Coates kids, who at times were utterly vile.

I liked the way Grant wasn't afraid to inject some violence and gore into a book that centres around young teenagers and children.  There are scenes that readers may find a little hard to read and I do question why he didn't have the age of disappearance a little older and aim this book more to older teenagers rather than the 12-14 age-range.  I would have enjoyed it a little more, I think, had there have been more adult content *ahem*...  I like a good romance, which is just not believable when the characters are all under 15.

What really got me with this entire plot was the sheer panic it stirred within me.  What if this happened.  I have two small children.  They are 5 (today) and 6.  The thought of them being in the FAYZ, alone and having to look out for themselves is truly terrifying.  The consequences of adults disappearing is absolutely horrific. 

I've gave 'Gone' 4 stars.  I really enjoyed the story, the style of writing & what it exceeded my expectations by quite a large amount.  If the characters had been maybe a little older and more developed it could have quite easily been a 5 star.

Take a look inside, and in the mean time, i'll be starting on the second book of the series, 'Hunger'.

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site
  • Reading level: Ages 13 and up
  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061448761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061448768

Thursday, 3 May 2012

{review} Matched by Ally Condie

Where to start with this absolute beauty of a book?

The prose?  The characters? The romance?

Condie's writing skills moved me to feel things I didn't think were possible to feel.  I can't be sure what it is exactly about 'Matched' that has touched me so deeply but I urge any YA Fiction fan to get a hold of this little gem as quickly as possible because in my personal opinion, this novel is without flaws.

Cassia is nervously waiting to attend the ceremony that all teenagers approaching adulthood will go through when being officially 'matched' to their life partners.  The matches are chosen especially by the society based on what they consider to be the best matches for the perfect future reproduction of children.

All teenagers with the exception of aberrations & anomalies that is.  

Anomalies are outcasted, to live beyond the borders of the neighbourhoods that are properly governed by the Officials.  Under certain circumstances some aberrations live amongst normal folk, but are not treated the same.  They are not entitled to the same 'luxuries' as everybody else.  Although in this world, luxuries are not what they are today.  Luxuries include being able to 'match', having your DNA saved after you die to preserve it until they find a way to bring you back from the dead & being allowed to keep an artifact (usually an heirloom such as a pendent or a watch etc.)

“They are giving us pieces of a real life instead of the whole thing. They have perfected the art of giving us just enought freedom; just enough that when we are ready to snap, a little bone is offered and we roll over, belly up, comfortable and placated like a dog... - Cassia” 

Cassia has it all ready waiting for her.  She's bright and does well in her after school job.  She is a talented 'sorter' which is a good sign she will have a good career in the future.

And her match is perfect!  What could be better than being matched to your very best friend?  Well, being matched to someone else entirely different, it seems.  Because through-out this book, Cassia is falling beautifully in-love with a world that is against the rules and a boy she could never have.

With every page turn, I re-read over and over again certain sentences and paragraphs because they flowed so perfectly.  Cassia is such a beautiful character.  Not superficially, but deep within her heart.
The romance that unfolds is painful and desperate but completely breath-taking.  It isn't the sort that is shoved down your throat.  Instead it is steady & graceful and progresses in such a wonderful way you can't help but feel your own heart being ripped out at certain points of the story.

I think it is obvious why I gave this book all 5 stars.  I'd give it more but then i'd have to change my rating's graphics ;]

Go and read this book now!  I'm about to start 'Crossed' the second instalment of Condie's trilogy and will be back to report on that as soon as possible.

Hardcover366 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile

{review} Delirium by Lauren Oliver

When I first got hold of this book I was rambling about how awesome the concept of the plot was to my Husband, to which he replied, "Ah, just like Equilibrium."  Equi-what?  A movie with a similar concept. (Great movie by the way!)

Lena, another protagonist I actually quite like, is a seventeen year old who follows the rules and does as the government expect.  She's looking forward to going through with the procedure that will 'cure' her, like her other family members have been.  The world in which Lauren Oliver has created is one that has came up with the perfect solution to end war, heartache & depression.  They simply eradicate the emotion of love.

Lena, with not much time left before she turns eighteen and will go through with the procedure, meets a boy, Alex.  From this point on, Lena's world is turned upside-down & she is taken on a voyage of self-discovery. 

Not only was I completely emerged in Lena's personal story.  I was gripped by the action that was happening around her.  People living in a big-brother type of society in which nobody dared to step out of line.  The consequences were frightening & some scenes in the book were saddening.

I think this was one of the first books to make me form a lump in my throat.  I don't cry easily, especially with literature.  But one scene in this dystopian novel got me right in the tear-ducts!

I loved everything.  The action, the romance, the heartache.  It was written in such a beautiful way.  Oliver is one of my favourite Authors because of her knack for writing.  She creates such depth to all characters in her books.  And with Delirium she did just as well.

Sadly for me, I recently finished 'Matched' by Ally Condie, a book that is so similar to Delirium that a friend of mine I lent both books to swore I had given her the same book at first.  Matched however knocked Delirium out of the water and so it is because of that reason why I can't give this book a full 5 stars.  

This is definitely one to add to your wish lists.  If you have yet to have a taste of Dystopian fiction, let this be your first.

Hardcover448 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by HarperTeen (first published January 1st 2011)

{review} Wither by Lauren DeStefano

'Wither' by Lauren DeStefano was the book that set me off on a journey to discover more dystopian novels.  Sadly not because I enjoyed this book, but more because I was left disappointed.

The back of the book had me so intrigued.  What an interesting world Lauren has created!  I couldn't wait to get stuck in.  It sounded much like 'Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood which is one of my favourite reads.  But by the last page of Wither, I was still waiting for some action.

It wasn't a bad book.  It also wasn't as thrilling as I had hoped for.

The plus of this book was Rhine, who although didn't take me on the adventure I expected, she did become one of my favourite all-time protagonists.

I feel that Lauren could have taken this much, much further.  You are introduced to her mad scientist of a father-in-law, who is hiding corpses in the basement of the house where Rhine is pretty much held captive.  But his story was about as exciting as a paper bag.  And that is such a shame because given the atmosphere the reader is encompassed in, the setting was perfect for all kinds of sinister activity. 

Maybe it was on purpose that DeStefano didn't take us further into this world.  Perhaps we were suppose to be left feeling this way.  But it didn't leave me hungry for more.  It left me feeling unsatisfied & bored.

Having said all of that, Lauren certainly has a talent for writing.  Its easy to appreciate her prose & the way she builds and develops Rhine's character.

I have the second book of the Chemical Garden Trilogy, 'Fever'.  I've had it a while now and haven't felt compelled to read it whilst I still have so many more titles sitting on my shelf.  I hope however when the time comes, things become spicier & more exciting.

Until then, Wither gets just 3 stars.  One for Rhine, one for Lauren's talented writing & one for concept and being the first of all my dystopian finds.

Hardcover358 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

{review} Unwind by Neal Shusterman

I'd never read a book like Unwind before.  I was completely thrilled by the idea of it  --  In a near future a new law is in place, an agreement made to end a war over the rights of abortion.  Children between the ages of 13 & 18 can be 'aborted', a legal declaration from a parent or guardian to the system, which agrees to donate almost 100% of the child's body parts in order to save people who need & deserve them more  --  and I thought yes, i'll have some of that.  

I quickly browsed some reviews and found that so many people were left completely disturbed by a particular scene in the book which made me even more excited to get lost between the pages of this tale.  It did not disappoint.

In this world we meet Connor, who although could buff up on his attitude somewhat, is actually a nice guy.  Your typical misunderstood teenager with typical misunderstood issues.

It moves into the plot line quite quickly and within a few pages we are running down a highway with Connor, preparing to meet the rest of the gang -- Lev & Risa

I liked Lev's character so much.  He is a young boy with an entirely different opinion to the Unwinding process & at times that alone is so upsetting to get your head around but it sets up well for a few events that happen later on in their journey.

Risa is your average girl.  She's smart, but not gifted.  She does well in school, but isn't top of the class.  She has a talent, but so do many others who live as state children (orphans).  Unfortunately there isn't room for them all and Risa's future isn't looking too put together... *Ahem* Ignore my attempt at humour.

The relationships that develop between the characters are natural and believable.  Neal Shusterman has done well bringing them all together in the way he did.  Even the villains of the story are written in a believable way.  A certain villain will have you feeling all sorts of strange feelings about them by the end of the book.

What I liked most of all about 'Unwind' was the way Neal packed this story full off little stories.  Whilst we are mainly focused on the initial character's journey, we do end up following a couple of other character's too.

In all, this book did not fail my expectations & it was superbly written - Exciting, creepy and down-right heartbreaking at times.

The book cover is less than desirable (the UK cover is much prettier) but the story is magnificent & is a must read for sure!  I'm whacking 5 big stars on this one.

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416912045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416912040

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

{ review } Switched by Amanda Hocking

Where to start with 'Switched' by Amanda Hocking?  It was that book.  The one you shove on a shelf & forget about for some time.  I had such low expectations for the plot of this little delight.

I put it at the end of my reading list, but it should have been at the top.  It was such a surprise.  The world which Hocking has dragged us into is the sort you easily fall into, images forming as if you were watching the television.  I think time stopped as soon as I read the very first page.  It then became that book.  The one you find you're still holding whilst eating, bathing and yes, even peeing.

We are introduced to Wendy - A name choice I could have lived without, if i'm honest - who is 6 years old and having a 'fall out' with her Mother, Kim.  By fall out, I mean dodging death and thankfully being saved by her overly protective and at times completely moody Brother, Matt.

The mystery of her Mother's bizarre actions unfolds later when she meets a handsome, yet peculiar stranger.  That's Finn and you very quickly start to fall head over heels for this character.

Wendy's journey is indeed an adventurous one and her character develops constantly through-out the book (and the entire Trylle trilogy).  I actually really grew to like her which is not always easy when the protagonist is usually whiney and devoid of a realistic personality.  But no.  Not Wendy.  She's strong-willed but gentle & humourous at times but mature.

There's a whole host of characters that I really enjoyed getting to know & all with their own distinct personalities.  I feel that i've left good friends behind having finished the series.

I gave this book 5 stars... It held me captive and i'm sure it will you too.

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (5 Jan 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1447205693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447205692