Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Picoult is a true storyteller

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Rating: 5 out of 5 hearts
460 pages
Released: February 2013
Buy it @ book depository

Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret - he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all - if Sage even considers his request - is it murder, or justice?


“My grandmother told me that her father used to ask her a riddle: What must you break apart in order to bring a family close together?

Bread, of course.”   

Jodi Picoult has won me over again with the beautifully written tale of sadness, war, love & forgiveness. To begin with I wasn't all that sure about this, but after getting through the first few chapters the tale truly began.

Picoult doesn't stray away from her normal tradition of writing from multiple characters points of view, which in my opinion gives the reader a greater understanding of each characters personalities. The main players are: Sage; the baker, Josef; the elderly ex-nazi, Minka; Sage's Jewish grandmother and Leo; the love interest. Even though Sage is the main character, her grandmother Minka really stole the show with her story. I think I loved this book so much because of Minka, her story was so moving and it felt like it was a true re-telling of someone's life during World war 2.

Something new that I haven't noticed Picoult do before this is write a book mainly from one person's point of view. Probably 50% of the book is Minka's story and weaved through that is a story within her story. I really liked that she did this, it was a really nice change.

I find that Picoult has a great way of telling romance from a male character's point of view. We are lucky enough to get that again in this with Leo, it helps ease some of the more tense parts of the story. Leo is more than just a love interest though but I won't tell you what that is because it may give too much away.

There must've been a great deal of research done to write this because of the amount of detail that is told not only during the World war 2 scenes, but also the process of making bread (as this is Sage's job it's spoken about quite a lot). There was also a pretty big twist which I had kind of guessed but it was still very well done.

If you are a fan of Jodi Picoult or even if you aren't, you MUST read this book! I look forward to see what she writes next.

On the cover

This isn't the normal cover, this is the audiobook cover. I actually like it, the colours and the dress the girl is wearing is really nice. The barbed wire fence is very poignant.

What I'm listening to next: The Knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Books I'm pining for July

"Books I'm pining for" is a feature for new and old books that I want to read. So I thought I would share with everyone these books and to find out what books you are pining for. Most of these you may notice are sequels to other books I really enjoyed.

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop.

Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours.

They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter.

A mesmerising story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.

This sounds so cool and written by an Australian. I always like to read local authors stuff.

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

Kiersten White is a favourite author of mine and I look forward to reading something new from her. It's also about Egyptian mythology which sounds awesome!

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem's story, picking up where Just One Day ended. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson's own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.

I really liked 'Just One Day' and it ended so abruptly that I can't wait to read from Willem's point of view.

BZRK Reloaded by Michael Grant

The entire BZRK cell--including Noah and Sadie--has been left in pieces after the last round of battle with the Armstrong Twins, conjoined brother who plot to rob mankind of its free will. Vincent's mind is shattered, and his memories hold dangerous secrets--secrets that Lear, BZRK's mysterious leader, will stop at nothing to protect.

Meanwhile, Bug Man has taken control of the President's brain, but playing with sanity is a dangerous game. The consequences can spiral way out of control, and the Armstrong Twins are not people Bug Man can afford to disappoint.

The nano is as terrifying, exhilarating, and unpredictable as ever. But the wall of secrets that surrounds it is cracking. What will it reveal? And once the dust has settled, who will be sane enough to find out?

The first book was so fast-paced and I look forward to seeing what else Michael Grant can throw at me.

Dare you to by Katie McGarry

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

I adored 'Pushing the limits' and I am hoping that Katie McGarry delivers on this companion novel.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

This is set the year before I was born so it will be cool to see what growing up during that time will be like. I've also heard some great things about this.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

This sounds amazing! Right up my alley - thrills and mystery, maybe even some romance thrown in.

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

With such a cliffhanger at the end of the first book, it was always going to end up on my pining for list.

That's it for now, What books are you pining for?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Story was a little dead

The dead and buried by Kim Harrington

Rating: 2 out of 5 hearts
295 pages
Released: January 2013
Buy it @ book depository

A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?


"And perhaps heavier than the ghosts were the secrets we carried"

Ok, I have to start by saying that this book wasn't horrible, it just wasn't for me. I was expecting a really chilling story and a mystery behind it to boot. It was all a little sub par.

The idea behind the book was really intriguing and I liked how the book was written. The book was written from the main character, Jade's, point of view but every now again there is a diary entry written from the ghost girl back when she was alive. This was cool because we as the reader get a little more insight to maybe what happened to her, while the characters don't know.

I think what did let me down though was the mystery, I had it pegged from very early on who murdered the girl. At one stage though the author did manage to make me second guess myself which was good. Another thing that let the story down a tiny bit was the less than eerie feel. I was hoping for real moments of spookyness but I didn't get that.

On a little side note, something I really loved was that Jade collects jewelry with precious gemstones in them and It was awesome to read the different meanings for each stone whenever Jade would wear one. It got me inspired to want to have a gemstone collection of my own.

The Dead and buried got two stars from me because I was very disappointed and was expecting so much more from this because it had lots of potential.

On the cover

I've read a couple of books recently where girls are lying on the ground. Its a bit weird, is she dead? If so I don't like the idea of showing off a cover with a dead person on the front. I guess a lot of crime/thriller writers have some sort body part on the cover of their book but I really don't think this books warrants a dead body.

What I'm reading next: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Monday, July 8, 2013

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge

We are more than halfway through the year and I am more than halfway through my goodreads 2013 reading challenge. I decided to challenge myself with reading 60 books this year, At the moment I'm 4% ahead of schedule. I wanted to show off all the books I've read so far. I love looking at the different covers, It shows that I have a wide variety of books that I like to read. Here are all the covers so far...

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you thought and check out my good reads account to see reviews of these books.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some very dark tales

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes by Multiple Authors

Rating: 2 out of 5 hearts
340 pages
Released: October 2012
Buy it @ book depository

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.


You've probably read, like me, many fairytale re-tellings of Hans Christian Anderson and The Brothers Grimm - well these are all Mother Goose nursery rhymes. At times with only a few lines to work with, these authors have weaved some haunting and truly imaginative re-tellings of these well known nursery rhymes.

With so many different writing styles it was hard to get absorbed in the story but at times the author was able to take me away and get totally wrapped up in their spine tingling tale of horror. It must be terribly hard to suck the reader in with such a short amount of time, but when the author got it right it was amazing.

While some of these stories were pretty amazing, some of them were a bit so so. I didn't end up finishing all the short stories, I only got through 12 of the 20. So below is a short write up of each of the stories that I read.

'As Blue as the sky and just as old' by Nina Berry: This one tells the nursery rhyme of Taffy was a welshman. It was ok but I'd never really heard of the rhyme before because it's a welsh tale.

'Sing a song of sixpence' by Sarwat Chadda: It must be hard to write a short story with interesting characters but I felt like this author achieved that with this story. It was interesting and had plenty of depth to it for something written in a short amount of pages.

'Clockwork' by Leah Cypess: This was an interesting spin on the Hickory Dickory Dock nursery rhyme.It was a great short story that didn't need a lot of back story, although it did seem a little cliche.

'Blue' by Sayantani DasGupta: Tale based on Little boy blue rhyme which was written in verse and very imaginative.

'Pieces of eight' by Shannon Delaney: I didn't know this rhyme either, some sleep baby sleep rhyme. I found it a bit boring but I did like the slight humor between two characters.

'Wee Willie Winkie' by Leigh Fallon: Such a haunting tale. In such a short period of time I was grabbed and taken along for the spooky tale of Wee Willie Winkie. A favourite so far and I want to read more by this author.

'Boys and girls come out to play' by Angie Frazer: Another really great story that was very imaginative about witches and witchcraft.

'I Come bearing souls' By Jessie Harrell: A creepy egyptian twist on the well known Hey Diddle Diddle rhyme.

'The Lion and the unicorn: part the first' by Nancy Holder: This one was really confusing and I didn't really get the meaning behind the story.

'Life in a shoe' by Heidi R. King: Very interesting and a little bit dystopian. Based on the rhyme there was an old lady who lived in a shoe. The idea behind this story would be the only reason why an old lady would have a reason to have so many children. This one whisked me away into it's world right away.

'Candlelight' by Suzanne Lazear: This was amazing! I would've loved reading a whole book about it. So much more of the background story could get fleshed out and I could read more about these characters in a full length book.

'One for sorrow' by Karen Mahoney: A little boring and felt very long for a short story. I've never heard this rhyme before either and I didn't really understand what the story had to do with the rhyme. The story was fairly predictable too.

Overall there were some fantastic stories and it made me want to read other books by those authors, but I gave this 2 stars mainly because I didn't finish it and because I was disappointed. Thank you to Month9Books and Netgalley for my copy.

On the cover

This cover is a bit creepy which I guess sums up a lot of the short stories in this anthology. I never really got to see this cover as this was a kindle edition.

What I'm reading next: The Dead and buried by Kim Harrington

Monday, July 1, 2013

June Photo A Day

Last month I took part in the June Photo Challenge which is hosted by Fat Mum Slim.

I did this challenge last year for January, February & March! I've decided to give it a break this month and try it again in a few months time.

I had lots of fun doing this again and I did a pretty good job at posting a photo everyday and not missing a day. I did post two days in one which was 'you!' & 'something funny'.

I thought I'd share all my photos for this month's challenge, so enjoy!

That's it for now!

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