Thursday, December 29, 2011

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling...

Series: Harry Potter (Book #1)
Published: November 1st 2003 by Scholastic Press
Pages: 309
Rating: 4 stars
Age Recommendation: -

Synopsis:

Harry hates living with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and their spoiled-rotten son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet beneath the stairs, and the entire family treats him with disdain. What's more, Harry keeps getting into trouble for making strange things happen - things he seems to have no control over. But then Harry discovers the truth about himself when a determined messenger delivers an enlightening message. It turns out that Harry's mother was a witch, his father a wizard. And not only is Harry also a wizard, he's a famous one! His survival of the attack by the evil wizard who killed his parents has marked him as a legendary hero - as has the lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.

Soon Harry finds himself attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he receives training in some magic basics, masters riding a broomstick, and discovers his incredible talent for a game called Quidditch, which is played in the air on flying brooms. And for the first time in his life, Harry has friends who care about him: his fellow students Hermione and Ron and a giant named Hagrid. But all is not rosy when Harry discovers his true destiny and finds he must once again face the evil one who killed his parents. His survival will depend upon the help of his newfound friends, as well as his own wit and powers.

Review:

After many years of looking at this series in the shops I finally got around to getting the full series in a box set. This book I had to admit did let me down a little, I had really high expectations for it with the series being THE most popular children's book series and everyone young and old loving the series so much. This isn't to say that I didn't like this book, I found that I really enjoyed it but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

The plot. I didn't really have any surpises when reading this book just because I had watched all the movies, but I thought it was great how I got to see where the movie skipped a part of the book or changed it slightly. I thought that this book was filled with adventure and suspense and I found myself staying up late because I had to know what was going to happen next but I found the ending to be a little boring as I thought that it would have been written in a way to make it a little more suspenseful.

The charaters. I loved almost all of the characters in the book but the one character that I had the most promblems with was Harry. I found him to be unrelatable and really I found him to be quite anoying. It seemed like at times he was ording around Ron and Hermione rather than them being a group of friends and I felt that his character lacked the personality that I was expecting him to have. I fond myslef really likeing Hermione and Ron's characters and I also loved the Weasley twins I thought that they added a lot of humour to the story. But one character that did suprise me was Nevel, he seemed to be a lot more confident in the book so I am really excited to see what happens to his character.

The art. I think that the artwork that has been put into this particular box set is stunning, Mary Gandpré really has done an amazing job and is an amazing artist. The artwork on the box itself itself is amazing as it is also with the book covers. But the artwork that stood out to me the most was the pictures at the start of each chapter and how detailed they were and how they really showed the main point of the chapter.

Overall I thought that this book was a pretty good start to the series and I am looking foward to starting "Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets" next.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins...

Series: -
Published: September 29th 2011 by Dutton
Pages: 338
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: -

Synopsis:

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.


Review:

I had really high expectation for this book when I started reading it because I had read Anna And The French Kiss a short while before and feel in love with that book and I had also seen reviews of people saying that they loved it even more than "Anna And The French Kiss" so I was really hoping that it lived up to all the hype, and it certainly did.

The plot. I loved it! To me it seemed to be similar to "Anna And The French Kiss" with a few differences but for me that really didn’t matter because I thought that it worked for both books. I really love Stephanie Perkins’ writing and how she writes in such a way that you really feel like you are standing next to Lola through every part of the book because her writing is so descriptive and really draws you into the story. Another thing that I really loved about this book was the romance, throughout the book I loved how we got to see Lola and Cricket’s relationship progress and change throughout the course of the book and even though most people will say that the end of the book was cheesy, I thought that it was the perfect way to end the book.

The characters. I really loved all the characters in this book, I really think that Stephanie Perkins has a knack for writing characters and making them feel really realistic and having their own little quirks that makes them unique. I loved Lola’s character, I thought that she was really relatable and unique character who had a great personality and was really believable as a character. I also really loved Cricket. I thought that his character was great, I loved how he would write everything on his hand, I thought that that was something that gave his character a lot of personality and really made me like his character a whole lot more.

Overall I thought that this book was AMAZING and I cannot wait till next year to read "Isla and the Happily Ever After" I think pretty soon I may be counting down the days till its release and I will definitely be pre-ordering my copy soon.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vampire Academy: A Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead illistrated by Emma Vieceli...

Series: Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel (Book #1)
Published: August 23rd 2011 by Razorbill
Pages: 144
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: -

Synopsis:

After two years on the run, best friends Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy, a private high school for vampires and half-bloods. It's filled with intrigue, danger - and even romance. Enter their dark, fascinating world through a new series of 144-page full-color graphic novels. The entire first Vampire Academy novel has been adapted for book one by Leigh Dragoon and overseen by Richelle Mead, while the beautiful art of acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli brings the story to life.


Review:

I am a HUGE Richelle Mead and Vampire Academy fan, so normally when something is released by Richelle Mead I pre-order it straight away or I buy it as soon as I know it exists. But when I saw that Vampire Academy was being made into a graphic novel series I was a little bit hesitant to pick it up because I was afraid that this would ruin the characters I already had in my head, but what made me finally go and pick this up was the insert in "Vampire Academy The Ultimate Guide" which I just finished reading a couple of days ago, the characters looked exactly as I had pictured them in my head when reading the book for the first time. So I deceided to go out and finally buy it and I am so glad I did, I loved it!

The plot. I think that this is definitley a graphic novel that wouldn't make sense to you if you hadn't read the series before. I found that the plot did jump quite a bit so it could be quite hard for someone to follow that hasn't read the series before. But if you are someone that has already read the series or atleast "Vampire Academy" then this graphic novel shouldn't be a problem for you. One thing that I really did like about this graphic novel was that even though the story was condensed down it still showed all of the main events that happened in the book which I loved.

The art. I thought that the artwork in this novel was stunning, I thought that the characters looked really life-like and you really could see the emotion on their faces which I thought was great.

Overall I thought that this was a great graphic novel and I am eagerly awaiting the next one to come out next year I will definitley be pre-ordering my copy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins...

Series: -
Published: August 4th 2011 by Speak
Pages: 375
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: -

Synopsis:

Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?

"Perkins's debut surpasses the usual chick-lit fare with smart dialogue, fresh characters and plenty of tingly interactions." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Very sly. Very funny. Very romantic. You should date this book." - Maureen Johnson, New York Times bestselling author

"Tantalizing pacing, sparkling repartee, vibrant supporting characters . . ." - Gayle Forman, New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay


Review:

I had really high expectations for this book just because I had read nothing but good things about this book and seeing raving reviews from friends and book bloggers who have the same taste in books that I have. I completely fell in love with this book.

I completely loved the plot. I think that this is the first book that I have read that has been set in Paris, so I loved how by reading this book it really felt like you were there in the city with Anna because everything was described so well that you really got a clear picture of what everything looked like. I also loved the relationship between St. Clair/√Čtienne and Anna, it felt like it was a real relationship not like in other books where the relationship seems forced just so they can get on with writting the next part of the book. For me this book really felt like it could be a re-telling of a part of someone's life.

The characters. I really loved the characters I thought that they were all written brilliantly, they really all seemed like they could have been real people and people that you would want to hang around with. I thought that Anna was a really relateable and likeable character and I found myself really feeling what she was feeling many times throughout the book and I think that that is what makes a really relateable character. I also loved St Clair's character just like Anna's character I thought that he was a very relateable character and you could really feel how hard it was for him being stuck in the middle of two relationships.

Overall I completely fell in love with this book and this book has put Stephanie Perkins in my top 3 authors of all time. I cannot wait to start "Lola And The Boy Next Door" luckily I have it waiting on my shelf otherwise I don't know what I would do.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Vampire Academy The Ultimate Guide by Michelle Rowan with Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy
Published: December 22nd 2011 by Razorbill
Pages: 305
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: -

Synopsis:

The official guide to the #1 international bestselling Vampire Academy series

Sink your teeth into the must-have collector's item for every fan of Richelle Mead's totally addicting Vampire Academy series.

Discover the history of St. Vladimir's Academy, explore the dark psychology behind Rose and Lissa's spirit bond, and find out even more illicit secrets about Moroi society. This ultimate guide will feature everything readers want and need to go even deeper into the world of Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, and Last Sacrifice . . . every heartache, every betrayal, every sacrifice, and so much more!

Review:

This is the first "guide" book that I have ever read for a book series, so I thought that it was only fitting that my first would be for my favourtie series, and I loved it!

The book re-caps. For a little bit over half of the book there are re-caps of all of the six books which I thought was great as they are all condesed down into about 30 pages each and I found that the re-cap for each of the books was quite in-depth and didn't brush over any of the important parts in the books. Another thing that I loved about these re-caps was that at the start of each new book there was a page of Richelle Mead talking about how she got her ideas for the book, how it was writing the book and the fans response which I really loved and what I was really hoping for when I read this book. when I first saw that there were going to be re-caps after buying this book I thought that I would skip it just because I am so farmiliar with the storyline of each of the book after reading them a couple a times a year for about the past three years, but I am really glad I didn't.

Character Bios. I thought it was great how in the book there war character bios, because this tells you really all you need to know about the character but it also goes into the main events that happened to the character throughout the course of the books so I thought that it was a great way to quickly find out all you need to know about the character.

Q&A with Richelle Mead. I didn't even know that this was going to be in the book and this is something that I really loved about the book because this is where we got to get more insight into what made he write the book the way she did and how she came up with the ideas for certain things in the book.

Overall I completley loved this book and it definitley has all you need to know about the Vampire Academy series in this one book which I love. This is definitley a must-have for all Vampire Academy fans.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard...

Series: The Lying Game (Book #1)
Published: December 7th 2010 by HarperTeen
Pages: 307
Rating: 4 stars
Age Recommendation: -
 
Synopsis:
 
 I had a life anyone would kill for. Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.
Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?
From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.
Let the lying game begin.

Review:

I didn't really know what to expect with this book because having just finished "Ruthless" which I really didn;t I was worried that I would feel about the same about this book, but I found that I enjoyed this book quite a lot.

I thought that the plot of this book was pretty good, I thought that it dragged for the first half of the book but then the plot really started to pick up. I thought that there was a lot of suspense in this book once I got about half way through and I found myself trying to figure out who the killer was along with Emma. There was a lot of twists in this book and things that I did not see coming at all and I loved how we got the dual narration and we got flashbacks throughout the book.

The characters. For me the side characters really seemed to fall flat. I found that I had to keep turning back pages and really thinking about who the side characters were whick I really do not like in a book. I thought that all of the main characters were written pretty well, for me Ethan and Emma were the two stand out characters for me, they seemed to be the most relatable and the most likeable characters out of the whole book. I really found myself not likeing the character of Laurel I found that he character got on my nerves a lot so I'm hoping that changes in the next book.

Overall I thought that this book was a solid start to The Lying Game series and the book left on such a cliff hanger that I am dying to get my hands on the next book in the series.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ruthless by Sara Shepard...

Series: Pretty Little Liars (Book #10)
Published: December 6th 2011 by HarperTeen
Pages: 336
Rating: 2 stars
Age Recommendation: -

Synopsis:

 For years scandal has rocked Rosewood, Pennsylvania—and high school seniors Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer have always been at the center of the drama. They’ve lost friends, been targeted by a ruthless stalker named A, and narrowly escaped death. And it’s not over yet.
Aria’s love life is on the fritz. Emily’s exploring her wild side. Hanna’s kissing the enemy. And someone from Spencer’s past—someone she never thought she’d see again—is back to haunt her.
But none of that compares to what happened last spring break. It’s their darkest secret yet and guess who found out? Now A is determined to make them pay for their crime, and the only thing scarier than A is the fear that maybe, just maybe, they deserve what’s coming to them.

Review:

I was really excited when I got my hands on this book a week early, thanks to another glitch from the website that I pre-ordered it from and I was really excited to start to read it because I loved the last book and it had me really wanting to know what was going to happen in this book. Unfortunatley I really did not like this book.

The plot. I thought that the plot was very slow and dragged for most of the book. For me I found that it didn't have any of the mystery and suspense that made this series so interesting, mysterious, enjoyable and fun to read and it ended up taking my about a week to read when all the rest of the books took me about a day or two because they were so great.

The characters. I found that there was really no character development in this book, we didn't get to see any of the characters grow throughout the book and become better in one way or another they just seemed to go along with their lives which I did find a little bit boring.

Overall for me this book was a let-down, but this could have been due to my high expectations for the book. I think that this will be my last "Pretty Little Liars" book that I will be reading or atleast for a while.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rules Of Attraction by Simone Elkeles...

Series: Perfect Chemistry (Book #2)
Published: January 6th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 326
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: -

Synopsis:

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

Review:

I completley loved this book! I had really high expecations when I began to read this book just because of how much I loved "Perfect Chemistry" and it definitley did live up to my very high expectations.

The plot. I thought that the plot followed pretty much the same plot that "Perfect Chemistry" did (with a few differences ofcourse) but I really didn't mind that because I loved the plot of the previous book so it didn't really bother me at all because since it was based on Carlos and Kiara it changed the feel of the book completely. I loved that there was quite a lot of action in this book but also romance. Another thing that I really love about these books is how in the epilogue we get to see their life twenty-six years later.

The characters. I really loved the characters in this book, I feel that Simone Elkeles really has a talent for writting characters, they are all written so realistically. I loved the charcter of Carlos and how we got to see what he was like a little but older and how his character changed in the years between when the two books were set. I also loved how we got te see his character develop in this book and how we saw him put his gaurd down. I also loved that character of Kiara. I know that some people would find her annoying but I thought that her character was really relatable and I loved seeing how she got stronger throughout the book and really just grew as a person. And Tuck, I loved his charatcer so much! He made this book so much more funny for me, I think that if he wasn't in this book I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did.

Overall I completley love this book and this series and now I am impatiently waiting for the next book to arrive which won't be here for the next couple of weeks! Because I really can't to see how this series ends!