Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Stories are wild creatures

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
215 pages
Buy it @ book depository

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

Review: What can I say that probably hasn't already been said about this. It's so sad at times but also funny, Patrick Ness weaves such a beautiful story and the illustrations compliment it so well. I wasn't sure what to expect when a friend first showed me the book trailer. I just remembering feeling that this was going to be something truly special and it was.

Conor gets visited by an ancient monster at seven minutes past midnight, and the monster isn't who he was expecting. Conor isn't scared of this monster, he has seen worse in his nightmares. This monster wants to know the truth but first he has some tales to tell before Conor must tell the fourth.

As the story unfolds it felt very obvious to me what was happening but what we find out at the end is kind of unexpected but not in a way you think. This book is so hard to explain because nothing is really as it seems.

It honors stories and how they make the reader feel. I urge people to please read this! The only way you are going to truly know what I mean is by reading it. I've recommended this to so many people so far and convinced them to read it.

I'm am really looking forward to reading "The knife of never letting go" also by Patrick Ness as it has been on my radar of books to read for a long time now.

Check out the Book Smugglers review of this book, it's very inspiring!


On the cover: This cover is amazing! It helps give an image of the monster in your mind. What you can't see are the also amazing illustrations through-out the book. You see a few in the above book trailer.

What I'm reading next: Nevermore by James Patterson

Have you read a book that you can't seem to explain how it made you feel?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Publisher's Showcase

On Tuesday night (4th) I was lucky enough to go to the Publisher's Showcase at the State Library of Victoria. We heard from lots of publishers discussing a couple of their favorite books from 2012 and a couple of books to look forward to in 2013.

We got a fantastic goodie bag filled some books and lots of information from the publisher's upcoming titles.
Below are pictures of the four books we got.

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
Things a map won't show you edited by Susan Lamarca & Pam MacIntyre
I made lattes for a love god by Wendy Harmer
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Some of my favorite books that I want to read from the night were:

The Shadow Girl by John Larkin
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield
Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil
Who could that be at this hour? by Lemony Snicket
The Farm by Emily McKay
Timmy Failure: Mistakes were made by Stephen Pastis
Earthfall by Mark Walden
Hidden by Marianne Curley
Girl Defective by Simmone Howell
Into that Forest by Louis Nowra

Have you got any books you're looking forward to?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Beauty or Beast

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
482 pages
Buy it @ book depository

Every year, the Scorpio Races are run on the beaches of Skarmouth. Every year, the sea washes blood from the sand. To race the savage water horses can mean death, but the danger is irresistible.
When Puck enters the races to save her family, she is drawn to the mysterious Sean, the only person on the island capable of taming the beasts.
Even if they stay together, can they stay alive?
A breathtaking ride that will make your heart race.

Review: My first thoughts of this book when I started reading were that the writing was so beautiful but I couldn't connect with the story.

I read "The Wolves of Mercy Falls" (also by Stiefvater) and was interested at the idea behind the story but I didn't really connect with the main characters. It was the same feeling I had when I was reading this, such a unique idea to write a story about sea horses that eat people but the people still go ahead and 'tame' them to ride them in the "Scorpio Races". It took me 300 pages before I started to love the book, it took an interesting turn and I started to feel for Puck & Sean.

We read the book from two characters points of view; Puck (aka Kate Connolly) & Sean. The book doesn't go backwards and forwards between characters, as in one chapter Puck the next Sean. At times you will read three consecutive chapters from Puck's point of view. This I found a little confusing at times when I didn't concentrate on which character I was reading, at times it was quite funny because I would think I'm reading Sean's part when in fact it was Puck. The times when I did this the most was at the end because I wanted to rush through to find out what happened next.

I have to mention Corr. Corr is Sean's waterhorse that he has ridden in the last 4 'Scorpio Races'. Sean has created a close bond with this beast and I couldn't help but fall for Corr by the end. I think it's because we see Corr through Sean's eyes and see the love that's there.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned in previous reviews before but I'm not a crier. I rarely cry in movies or books and if either of these achieve tears then they must be good! Well I didn't cry at the end but my eyes did well up. I don't want to give too much away but it felt like losing a pet and them finding their way back to you.

I have taken a star off mainly because I didn't have that connection to begin with but it got there in the end. On a side note, I liked how the book threw you in the deep end when it came to the story behind the waterhorses or 'capill usice', as you read you learn bits and pieces of background mythology.

Read my other Maggie Stiefvater reviews: 'Shiver', 'Linger', 'Forever'

On the cover: I LOVE this cover! It's so pretty and the swirls continue onto the back cover as well.

What I'm reading next: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Have you read a Maggie Stiefvater book before?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

90's cartoons were and are awesome!

This is my part two to my nostalgic post about kids TV shows I grew up watching and loving. This time I'm showing you some shows from the 90's, so enjoy!

Captain Planet and the planeteers

Captain Planet, what can I say? A blue guy with green hair helping some teens to save the planet, very cool!

Widget the World Watcher

That purple alien sent to save the earth from evil. Another cartoon based on saving the planet, looks like they were trying to tell us to care for our planet over 20 years ago!

The Ren & Stimpy Show

That crazy cat & dog pair who are crude and hilarious!

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Those Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were awesome! I loved the Pink Ranger of course.


Gotta catch 'em all! I remember getting up early before school to watch Pokemon on tv, I still play it on my gameboy :)

What cartoons did you love to watch as a kid?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Handle with care...because you'll be disappointed

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
477 Pages
Buy it @ book depository

Things break all the time.

Day breaks, waves break, voices break.

Promises break.

Hearts break.

Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle with Care brings us into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love. Written with the grace and wisdom she's become famous for, beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable novel about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.

Review: Firstly I need to say I didn't actually finish this book. My initial reason for not finishing this is because I was bored and one of the characters frustrated me. But that wasn't my final reason for not finishing.

I've read many Picoult books before so I know what to expect from them but this one felt like she simply used her formula of 'Mum', 'Dad', 'Child with issue', 'Sibling', 'Lawyer' & 'Extra' as her characters and picking something wrong with the child that is confronting and completely devastating.

You find out that Willow (the Child with issue) has Osteogenesis Imperfecta also known as OI or what I liked to call it, brittle bones. She is born with it and will have hundreds of breaks over a period of her life. I wanted to know what someone with OI would look like so I googled it and I was deeply disturbed. The pictures I found on the internet were so horrific I had to stop looking.

Basically, Willow's mother decides that she can sue her obstetrician (which happens to be her best friend) for not picking up Willow's disability in an early ultrasound.

There were 15 discs in this Audiobook and I had gotten to the 6th Disc and was so bored! Willow's sister really irritated me too. I was sick of her always complaining about living in 'the sticks', not being able to go to the mall and many other teenage selfishness because of her sister's disability. While Willow was the one not complaining even if she had a bad break! I just wished that for once Picoult had written about a sibling that was supportive of not only her disabled brother/sister but also her parents. I know a lot of teenagers think of only themselves but it would've made at least one character interesting in the story.

There was a side story with the lawyer being adopted and trying to find her birth mother. So I'm assuming Picoult put that in there to flesh out the story because there wasn't enough in the main story to keep people interested.

So because of these two things (boring & sister was annoying) I decided to skip to the 13th Disc to see how the story was going and found that it was up to the court case and was still boring! I then went onto Wikipedia to read the plot and found out what happens in the end and I was angry! I was so glad I didn't invest my time listening to this just to have THAT happen in the end, I would've felt like throwing the audiobook out the window of the car! People who have read this will know what I'm talking about.

That's when I made the decision to not continue listening, I could've put up with boring and the annoying sister but not that happening in the end. I have read other reviews about this book and some people think the same as me.

On the Cover: The little girl on this cover is really adorable and her eyelashes are awesome! I wish I had eyelashes like that.

What I'm listening on Audio to next: Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Have you read a book that you were glad you didn't finish?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

'Tis the Season to be jolly

Don't you just love Christmas? I know I do. Living in Australia we don't get a white Christmas which is disappointing because snow makes everything look magical. I also love buying & receiving gifts, I like to see the look on people's faces when they're opening up their present I chose for them. What I also like about Christmas is that you get a holiday to spend with your loved ones, and after a year of work it's nice to have some time off. Yesterday I put up my Christmas Tree and wrapped a whole lot of presents, phew took me most of the day! But there is more wrapping to be done (once I buy some extra gifts).

Above is a cute Christmas video I made using Animoto to showcase some of my Christmassy products available through my Love Sami Facebook page

Do you love or loath Christmas?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...