My small corner of the web dedicated to the booklove :)

22 Feb 2010

Book Review: Ash - Malinda Lo

 "Is this why you sought me out? To tell me a-" He paused, his lip curling, and continued, "A fairy tale?" Pg86

With her parents both gone, Ash finds herself a servant in the house of her ruthless stepmother and there seems no hope of finding happiness again.
But Ash is unaware of her mother's legacy, and that it will lead her to a magical place. A place where love, identity and belonging are all waiting...

Everyone knows the story of Cinderella, it's a staple part of our childhood and with this debut novel, it is not simply a re-telling of a classic. It is so much more than that.
Consumed with grief for her parents, Ash finds solace in the book of fairy tales her mother used to read to her, and dreams of one day falling in to the arms of a handsome faerie forevermore. So when she meets the dark and dangerous Sidhean, all her wishes seems to have come true.
 But when she befriends the King's Huntress, who teaches her the ways of the forest and other survival skills, she feels her heart beginning to change and discovers she is chasing fairy tales less and less...

 I truly loved this re-telling. The lore, The Wood, the fact that Prince Charming doesn't come to Ash's rescue. And thank the Gods, it was nice to have a little deviation from the (dare I say) 'Twilight-type' romances that have been cropping up in YA novels more and more these days.
All in all, this is a beautifully written novel - one that I will definitely re-read in the years to come, as I would any other fairy-tale.

Published by HodderChildren's Books - March 2010

20 Feb 2010

Book Review: The Game - Diana Wynne Jones

"I swear not to say a word about what we do in this game to anyone outside..."

Hayley's parents disappeared when she was a baby. Since then, she has been raised and homeschooled by her grandparents. Grandad is overworked and travels a lot; Grandma is too strict, and never lets her meet any children her own age. When Hayley does something wrong - she is not quite sure what - her grandmother packs her off to her aunts in Ireland. To Hayley's shock, her family is much bigger than she thought; to her delight, the children all play what they call 'the game', where they visit a place called 'the mythosphere.' And while she plays the game, Hayley learns more about her own place in the world than she could have expected.

Anyone who has read Diana's works before - know that they're in for a treat. To those of you who haven't had the pleasure - this is a wonderful book to start with. So simple yet full of charm, innocence and fun. I don't think I'll ever get tired of Diana's ability to weave a story in your heart and have you feeling so full of joy and amazement throughout.
The Blurb says it all in this case, anything more would be a spoiler and I wouldn't want to do that! Though I must say - I much prefer the US cover (top) to the UK, but I'll let you be the judge *grins*


First published in the US by Puffin - March 2007 
Published in the UK by HarperCollins - February 2008

17 Feb 2010

Book Review: Do the Creepy Thing - Graham Joyce

"...that's the game: fighting against the screaming need to run. But you don't. You breathe through it, and you put one foot in front of the other and you keep going. You don't even know why." Pg 34.

Caz and Lucy thinks it's pretty cool to do the Creepy Thing. After all, it's just a game. No one gets hurt, right? But Caz plays one game too many and gets more than she bargains for. MUCH more.
Caz believes she's been cursed. Her life is now chained to the hag who lives at 13 Briar Street and she's being stalked by a terrifying shadow-person. What does it want? And how can Caz get her life back?
Maybe the answers are to be found  in the seedy Black Dog pub, or the hair-raising church, or down at the tattoo parlour. One thing is for certain - Caz wont be doing the Creepy Thing again.

Anyone who knows me has probably heard me mention Graham Joyce once or twice, and while I have not read all of his books so far, I can safely say that anything he writes is a wonder to behold.
In this, one of Graham's few Young Adult titles, the story begins with two girls - Caz and Lucy - both of whom are restless in their small England town. To stave away the boredom they do the 'Creepy', essentially sneaking into other peoples homes in the middle of the night when all is silent and sleeping. Not to steal, just to take it in turns to stare at the sleeping residents face for fifteen seconds. The reason? Fifteen seconds can last a long time and the adrenaline that courses through Caz and Lucy during those times is as addictive as any drug. What's more, they know they should stop, but find it beyond their ability to do so.
That is until during one 'Creepy' their subject wakes up and slaps a silver bracelet on Cazs' wrist. Then things get really interesting...

I love Graham Joyce's works. I love the way he writes, the way he pulls you in when you least expect it, and especially the goose-bumps gained as a result. Granted, I do not think his Young Adult novels are as gripping as his Adults ones are - this is still a thrilling and exciting ride. Do you dare take it?

Published by Faber and Faber - July 2006

9 Feb 2010

Small update of the book-kind (could it be anything else?)

Hello folks, it is me - Alex - your effervescent book eater in residence. I figured it was that time to kick my rear-end into gear and remind myself of just what I need to do to get this blog continuing along on it's rickety path! So, I present you with one of my favourite activities (besides the obvious of course) - Lists!

Currently Reading:
Ash by Malinda Lo
Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling by D.M. Cornish

Books to be reviewed:  
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Invisible City by M.G. Harris
The Game by Diana Wynne Jones
Do the Creepy Thing by Graham Joyce

Next on the 'To-Read' list:
Ruined by Paula Morris
Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas

Books that I must re-read soon:
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Dreamside by Graham Joyce

Also, if any of you have a account, feel free to add me -
And if you have any books to recommend to me - I'd love to hear about them!


1 Feb 2010

Book Review: Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder

Choose: A quick death or slow poison...

Yelena has a choice - be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.
Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can't. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?
When Yelena realises she has extraordinary magical powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death...

What happens when one friend raves about a book, but another dismisses it out of hand? Well, the only thing a bibliophile can do - find out for ones self!
From the very first page you are thrust into a world coming to grips with a new leader and with it, a new way of living. All magic and sorcery has been exiled by the commander and with it a higher risk of assassination. In comes Yelena - in chains for the murder of General Brazell's son and the next in line for the noose. Until she is brought to Valek (the Commanders personal security chief) and given a choice. But is anything that easy? To ensure her loyalty Valek poisons Yelena with Butterfly's Dust, with which she must go to him to take the antidote every morning, ensuring her survival. No antidote and she dies a rather unpleasant death.
And that's just the first chapter!

I am very pleased to note that this book contains a very strong and worthy heroine. Intelligent and endearing heroines are increasingly rare in a genre filled with silly girls who follow their immortal hunks to greener pastures. Yelena is no follower. She is resourceful, witty and quick to act. Throughout Poison Study she is plagued by her tragic and haunting past and the consequences of her murder - all of which is gradually revealed as you read on.
So, for a series that has magic, murder, mystery, corruption, secrecy and love interwoven throughout - how could I not love it?

And onwards to book two...

Published by Mira Books - 2004