Monday 30 May 2011

Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz

Series: Alex Rider, Book Nine
Publisher: Walker
Format: Paperback
Published: 31st March 2011
Number of Pages: 448
Book: Bought
Genre: Spy, Thriller, Action, Adventure, Suspense, YA, YA-Adult Crossover, YA-Child Crossover
Recommended Age: 12+ (Though William, who’s nine, is reading it after me)
Contains: Lots of Violence, Mild Swearing, Death, Smoking References, Strong Emotions
No Alcohol, Drug References

Synopsis From Blurb:
Alex Rider wants his life back.  But when you're the world's most successful spy, there's only one way out.  Alex's final mission will be the deadliest of all.
One bullet.  One life. 
The end starts here.

After over ten years, the final Alex Rider has arrived.  And I can honestly tell you, Anthony Horowitz did not disappoint. 
Five months have passed since we left Alex after his adventure in Crocodile Tears, and he’s just a normal teenager now, with no connections to the world of the spies and MI6, who have promised never to use him again.  They have kept their promise and for the first time in one long year, Alex feels safe, ordinary.
MI6 may have seemingly forgotten him, but Scorpia most certainly have not.  They were beaten twice by this single, fifteen-year-old boy, and their reputation is in ruins.  Now they’re back, with a brand new mission: To create a situation in which the British Government will be in fear of a scandal that will lead them to being cut of from the rest of the world.  Something so horrifying, so shocking, that no one will want anything to do with the British for years to come.  And the name of this scandal?  Alex Rider…
A sniper at school, a crashed helicopter.  Alex is in danger – again.  MI6 are more than happy to take him and Jack to safety until everything is safe again.  Of course, there is one condition…
I can’t believe this is the end of Alex Rider.  I’m truly going to miss these books, with their break-neck speed and non-stop action.  And as for the characters, well, Horowitz is the master at character development, and for creating believable ones that are at the same time often extraordinary.  Admittedly, this wasn’t the best of the series, but it had that same addictiveness, that same action.  And it was also the most emotionally powerful of the nine, as well as more serious.  I think
Alex has grown up so much: no more is he the innocent, confused boy he was in Stormbreaker, he’s now a damaged fifteen-year-old.  He’s still brilliant, and his instincts are breath-taking.  But Alex is legally still just a child, who is still searching for a home, a purpose, somewhere to fit in.  And from the start, I was hoping he would.  I really love Alex Rider.  I honestly have no idea how Horowitz managed to create such a unique, amazing character, so far apart from us, yet so relatable. 
As for the supporting cast: amazing.  Jack Starbright (I love her too!  She truly loves Alex, and would do absolutely anything for him); Smithers (gotta like the guy, with his “fast waddle”, mad inventions and great sense of humour); Scorpia; and a second, familiar face from the past, one that surprised me.  Just amazing.
The ending… I knew something bad would happen: I read it on Goodreads somewhere.  I was fairly sure of what it would be.  But I still cried when ‘it’ happened.  Horowitz didn’t end it happily ever after.  Alex Rider was always very much down-to-earth, based on true life.  Very rarely are there happy-ever-afters for teenage superspies.  And yet I still wish he’d had one.
I have loved this series, read every single one of the books, even have them on Audio CDs.  So this was bittersweet; more bitter than anything else.  I’ll miss this series. 

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Cherub by Robert Muchamore
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
The Power of Five by Anthony Horowitz

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading

I'm Looking For... of you, my fellow bloggers, to help me create a week of guests. 

Seven bloggers, seven days, seven posts.

I don't mind what you want to post; anything's good (review, cover critique, upcoming books), as long as it's YA fiction related.

Now, if you'd like to take part, leave me a comment or send me an email, telling me your blog and/or your email, and what you'd like to do as a guest post.

Thank you!

All will be decided on Monday June 13th!

In My Mailbox #16

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a perfect way to see who's reading and review what.  Awesome!

So, went to the library to pick up a book on body language (I'm just that weird) and ended up leaving with four more books.  Also went on a book website - just to browse.  I ended up ordering some.
But, on the bright side, all the books are good, and I got two new ones to review with a entirely different main girl: a mermaid!  Can you believe I've never read a mermaid book? 
Anyways, this is what I got:
For Review:
Between The Land And The Sea (Marina's Tales, #1)The Moon And The Tide (Marina's Tales, #2)
Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales, Book One) by Derrolyn Anderson (Goodreads | Amazon)
Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. In just a few weeks after moving to the small beach town, sixteen year old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can only manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past to learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her...and maybe even find true love along the way.
Between The Land And The Sea is the first book in the series "Marina's Tales". Her story continues on in book two, The Moon And The Tide.
The Moon and the Tide (Marina's Tales, Book Two) by Derrolyn Anderson (Goodreads | Amazon)
 These two were sent to me by Derrolyn, and she described them as: "sweet romantic suspense with a touch of the supernatural".  What kind of paranormal addict would I be if I turned down such an awesome mermaid supernatural love story?
 Tomorrow When the War BeganShadows (Dark Touch, #1)The Hunt (Dark Touch, #2)
Fever (Dark Touch, #3)
Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow Series, Book One) by John Marsden (Goodreads | Amazon)
Where Were You When The World Changed?
This was on my wishlist, and now I have it!  Yay!  ^.^  I can't wait to read it and see it!
Shadows (Dark Touch, Book One) by Amy Meredith (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Hunt (Dark Touch, Book Two) by Amy Meredith (Goodreads | Amazon)
Fever (Dark Touch, Book Three) by Amy Meredith (Goodreads | Amazon)
Borrowed from the Library:
CandorDancing JaxJust in Case
No and Me
Candor by Pam Bachorz (Goodreads | Amazon)
If You Stick Around, You'll Get The Message
Wow; this was an amazing book!  I sat down to read a little of it, then, suddenly I just couldn't put it down!  I still have my review to write, but I'll tell you now: this is a
Dancing Jax by Robin Jarvis (Goodreads | Amazon)
This is described as a "brilliant supernatural thriller with a modern twist" and I've only read the first chapter, but it looks amazing.  Can't wait to see where the playing-card world goes! 
Just In Case by Meg Rosof (Goodreads | Amazon)
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan (Goodreads | Amazon)
Two Girls, Three Friends.
One Family Falling Apart.
I've wanted to read this for ages, and so when I happened across it, how could I not take it home to read?  Just looks so good, and it was oringally in Francais.  Very cool.  (:
Well, that's me for this week.  Sorry this is so late, but my laptop's gone and died on me, and seeing as it's the bank holiday I can't get it fixed 'til tomorrow.  So, I'm sorry if my posts aren't as regular this week.
What did  you get in your mailbox?

Friday 27 May 2011

Book Blogger Hop (#1)

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share their love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!  So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky list below!!
And it's hosted by Crazy For Books.
I've decided to start hopping this as well.  :)

Book Blogger Hop
"What Book-To-Movie Adaptation Have You Most Liked?  Which Have You Dislike?"

Hmm, I really didn't like the movie adaptation of The Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman (The Golden Compass).  It just didn't feel right.  And they changed it all.  If you didn't compare it to the book, it was great, but since I'd read them, it was just... wrong.
Also, the Eragon movie totally didn't stick to the book.  It really annoyed me.

I loved the movie adaptations of Lord of the Rings, even if it was insanely long.  And the Harry Potters are always done well.  I love the Narnia films as well.  (:

Now, this is my first Blogger Hop.  I've seen them everywhere, and therefore I felt left out.  So, I've joined in the hopping!  (:

Have a great weekend - again! ;)

Gripped Into Books 500 Follower Giveaway!

Ok, this is by far the best giveaway I've come across in my blogging days.  Hosted by Gripped into Books, celebrating their 500 Followers it offers 4 different prize packs.

Gripped into Books

Prize Pack 1:
The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate
Passion (Pre-Ordered)

Prize Pack Two:
Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater
Forever (Pre-Ordered

Prize Pack Three:
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass

Prize Pack Four:
Any Three Out Of...
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Blood Magic by Tessa Graton
Pretty Twisted by Gina Baxill
Wither by Lauren Destefano

If you want a shot at winning, head right on over to Gripped into Books!

Follow Friday (#12)

Follow Friday is a fun way for bloggers to find new blogger friends!  It's hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View, and it's such an awesome idea! 

Our Feature Blog this week is:
Louise @ Book Bliss
And our question is...
"How Many Books Do You Read In A Week?  And In What Form Do You Read Them, Or Listen To Them?"
Well, ever since I got my Kindle, I've been reading a book on there, and one or two hard copies.  Since I started getting requests, I now read one or two of them on my Kindle, and still two or three hardcopies.  I'd like to read a classic at all times, but it's gotten a little harder since I began to juggle. 
How many I read really depends on how busy I am.  Some weeks I finish two or three.  Some only one.  Varies.
Well, asked and answered.  :)
If you've found me through FF, drop a link so I can follow back!  If not, well, you could answer the question too. (:
Have a great weekend all!

Thursday 26 May 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Series: Harry Potter, Book Seven
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Hardback
Published: 21st July 2007
Number of Pages: 608
Book: Bought
Genre: Magic, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Quest, Action, Adventure, YA, YA-Adult Crossover, YA-Child Crossover
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Lots of Violence, Mild Swearing, Death
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Blog: J.K. Rowling

Synopsis From Goodreads:
Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes.  Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows.  But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given.  He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him...

“I’m going to keep going until I succeed — or die. Don’t think I don’t know how this might end. I’ve known it for years.”
I’ve read this book three or four times, and still that quote jumps out at me.  It’s not something you expect from a seventeen-year-old boy, even if he is a wizard.  But Harry has faced death over and over, and he’s willing to do anything to defeat Voldemort, and to make the world better for the ones he loves.  Hard-core Potter fans may remember the prophecy from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; “neither shall live with the other survives”.  This fight for survival goes hand-in-hand with the quest to destroy the Horcruxes that are Voldemort’s back-up and his means for immortality. 
Voldemort is back, and his Death Eaters are everywhere.  Harry, Ron and Hermione have left Hogwarts to search for Voldemort’s Horcruxes: dark magical objects, created by ripping your soul apart (by murdering someone) and placing part of it in an object of your choice.  The only way to kill You-Know-Who – permanently – is to destroy all his Horcruxes, and to then kill him.  But, as if finding the things isn’t hard enough, there’s then the minor problem of actually destroying them.  And then of killing Voldemort...
Let’s face it: everyone knows of Harry Potter, whether it’s from the books, the films or the general hype surrounding the boy.  These books got me into magic and the paranormal, and I was a fan long before the films.  It’s managed to get children and adults alike read, and I’ve now raced to get to the end both with my mother four years ago, and a nine year old last month.  It’s one of those books that just appeals to all age groups, and you have to admire both J.K. and her world for that.  Especially as if asked ‘What fictional world would you pick to live in?’ most book-bloggers instantly say: Harry Potter’s world.  If that isn’t a literary achievement, I don’t know what is.
Now, you can’t have an epic finale or quest without casualties.  I knew this before I read it the first time, but still I cried bucket-loads.  I still actually cried as I reread it for the umpteenth time.  It was almost like a bloodbath, and I couldn’t help thinking ‘Why, why, why?!”  My heart ached, because even though to achieve epicness (yes, I know that isn’t a word), someone really does have to die heroically, I just couldn’t see why so many had to.
Of course, there are breaks; humour, and these normally come in the shape of Fred and George, and the secret radio station called Potterwatch.  Lee Jordan, AKA River, makes a very amusing appearance, and as do the Weasley Twins.  I laughed out loud every time at Fred’s:
“For instance, this new idea that You-Know-Who can kill with a single glance from his eyes. That's a Basilisk, listeners. One simple test, check whether the thing that's glaring at you has got legs. If it has, it's safe to look into its eyes, although if it really is You-Know-Who, that's still likely to be the last thing you ever do.”
And some of the characters really come into their own: I loved Neville and Luna before, but after this book I loved them.  Plus, a few secrets are exposed, and we finally get to see where all stand...
Now, downsides: the ending left me unsatisfied.  It felt a little rushed, and I just wanted to know more.  If you ask me, my mum, and my aunt, J.K. could’ve written a whole other book about ‘After’. 
Laugh, cry, smile, I do admit I do it all reading these books.  And if asked what my favourite series is, I say straight away Harry Potter.
Enough said.

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading

Thanks For The Help!

A while ago, I asked you to help me choose an icon.  The winner was pretty obvious, and it was.... A!

I may darken the words a little, as Alyssa from Teens Read Too suggested.  But I now have an official icon, and I would like to thank all who voted.


Thank you!!

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (#16)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it's a weekly meme all about the books that are coming out soon that we really can't wait to read.

Well, this is my list.  Randomness.  I'm in a bit of a rush!  :)

After Midnight (The Youngbloods, #1)After Midnight
Series: The Youngbloods, Book One
By: Lynn Viehl
Published: 1st June 2011
Published By: Flux
Found: On Amazon

Synopsis From Goodreads:
A Suspenseful New Series Featuring Vampires and Forbidden Love
Sophomore Catlyn Youngblood is used to the nomadic existence she and her two older brothers have shared since the death of their parents. When they settle down for good in the sleepy backwoods town of Lost Lake, Florida, Cat thinks they might finally fit in. Instead, they're shunned by the locals.
While riding her horse late one night, Cat meets an enigmatic and handsome boy named Jesse Raven. Even more strange than her overpowering attraction to him is Jesse's apparent aversion to the sun. As their attraction intensifies, long-kept secrets come to light. Cat learns that the Ravens are a centuries-old vampire clan . . . and worse still, that she and her brothers are descendents of Abraham Van Helsing, the world-famous vampire hunter. Mortal enemies by blood, the two families do all they can to keep them apart. But Cat and Jesse will risk everything to be together—including death.
Well, this looks pretty cool, what with the forbidden-paranormal-romance.  Plus, vamp hunters and horses?  Now, that sounds cool.

Ashes, Ashes
By: Jo Treggiari
Published: June 1st
Published By: Scholastic Press
Found: On Teens Read And Write

Synopsis From Goodreads:
A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.
Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.
This looks soo good!  I want this so much: end of the world, 99% of the population gone, bands of survivors, Sweepers: amazing.  I can't wait!

Bumped (Bumped, #1)Bumped
Series: Bumped, Book One
By: Megan McCafferty
Published: 1st June 2011
Published By: HarperCollins
Found: On Amazon

Synopsis From Goodreads:
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.
What is it with me and dystopia today?  But this looks so good!  And so, so horrible.  But mainly so good.  I want to read this!

The Horse GirlThe Horse Girl
By: Mary Finn
Published: 2nd June 2011
Published By: Walker
Found: On Amazon

Synopsis From Amazon:
When Thomas Rose discovers Ling, a young French girl who has run away from the circus, his life is suddenly and irrevocably changed...
19th-century Lincolnshire: Thomas, who is dyslexic, has never met anyone remotely like Ling – wild, care-free, determined – and he falls in love. Ling's horse, Belladonna, has been stolen and Ling fears she is in the hands of the painter Mr George Stubbs, known for flailing horses to learn about their anatomy. When Thomas and Ling pay Stubbs a visit, they learn the true whereabouts of Belladonna, and Thomas is offered a job with Stubbs, who also teaches him to read and write. Thomas and Ling devise a plan to steal back Belladonna, knowing, if caught, Ling could pay with her life.
Horses, love, circus life, danger.  I am so getting my hands on this book!

By: R.J. Anderson
Published: 2nd June 2011
Published By: Orchard
Found: On Amazon

Synopsis From Goodreads:
Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.
This is not her story.
Unless you count the part where I killed her.

Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?
Wow, wow,wow,wow,wow,wow.  I want to read this!  Special disintegrating skills?!  'Everything you believe is wrong'?  I really want to read this!  (P.S. Did I put enough 'wow's?)

Dark Woods
By: Steve Voake
Published: 2nd June 2011
Published By: Faber and Faber
Found: On Amazon

Synopsis From Goodreads:
Eden turned the teddy bear over in her hands and Cal saw the way her fingers stroked the worn patch of fur, touching the frayed threads where the glass eye used to be. 'Where did you get this?' she whispered. Jefferson smiled. 'From in here,' he told her, tapping a finger against his temple. 'From inside your head.' After meeting on holiday in Montana, Cal and Eden decide to explore the mountains beyond their campground. But deep in the woods, someone is watching them. Jefferson Boyd, a lone outcast, believes he has discovered a way of turning dreams into reality. But he needs someone to experiment upon. When Cal wakes up in an isolated cabin, he discovers they are not alone. And as the terrifying truth emerges, he realises that their only chance of survival is to finally confront the nightmares that are stalking them through the shadows of the forest ...
Spook-galore!  It looks awesome!  (:

Bitter EndBitter End
By: Jennifer Brown
Published: 2nd June 2011
Published By:
Found: On Amazon

Synopsis From Goodreads:
When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.
At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself.
Oh, I seem to be leaning towards emotionally powerful ones now.  But it does look good, and a real thought provoking read.

That's my list for this week.  Huh, longer than I thought it would be.  ;)

What are you waiting for?