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The Reapers Are The Angels | Alden Bell | Reviewed by Niina

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Reapers Are The Angels | Alden Bell | Reviewed by Niina

thereapers

“...a noisy parade of memories that frustrate her because of the way they play themselves out. These memories-it feels like she's back there in the moment, like she has the moment to do over and make different choices than she made. But she can't, because they're just memories and they're set down permanent as if they were chiseled in marble, and so she just has to watch herself do the same things over and over and it's a condemnation if it's anything.”  - Alden Bell, The Reapers are the Angels. 

The Reapers are the Angels is a story about a fifteen-year-old girl's journey through a country that has turned into a zombie-filled wasteland. But this story is so much more than what meets the eye, because this is not your classic zombie novel about gore, action and a desperate fight for survival. This story is about such more...

There might be a few new readers here so I have to start of by making one thing clear to everyone. I'm a huge fan of zombie fiction. That being said I really think this is a book that anyone could really enjoy (not only zombie fans). But you should still keep my zombie fandom in mind while reading this review, because to be honest, I get a bit excited even by the thought of a zombie apocalypse (I'm a bit weird like that). But I'll try my best to keep that excitement at a normal level and give you an honest and objective review of The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell. 

Okay, so you might have already guess it. I really loved this book. Wow, It's honestly such a different, engaging, weird, wonderful, cruel and beautiful story (yes, I just used the word beautiful to describe a zombie novel). The whole book has a special, almost magical feeling to it. I've heard it being describe as a magical western roadtrip and I think I have to agree with that description. And let me tell you a little about the main character Temple. She's such a weird, smart, broken, wonderful, strong, confusing and awesome character! The characters are always a big part of me liking or not liking a book. I don't have to like the character's personalities but there has to be some depth to them and Temple is a perfect example of that. She makes sense to me but there's also some kind of mystery around her that I quite can't wrap my head around. The other characters in this book were portrayed in an equally enjoyable way. One other thing I really liked about The Reapers are the Angels was Alden Bell's writing. It's a very classic and beautiful kind of story telling and that's unusual and a fresh touch to the zombie genre. 

 So yes, I really loved this book and recommend it to everyone (like I said, it's not only for zombie fans)! So please give this a try because this is such a different and beautiful read. I can even go as far as saying that it's one of my favorite books of all time. So... I guess my rating of The Reapers are the Angels is pretty obvious, 5/5 stars

This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.


5stars
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Monday, 25 February 2013

Dear John | Nicholas Sparks| Reviewed by Laura


Let me start of by saying I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book (and might I add the film). I also broke one of my many rules and watched the film before I read the book (because I failed to realise it was a book until after I’d seen the film). Not that you really needed to know any of that, now let’s go right back to the start and maybe I can explain my thoughts on this book a little more clearly.

The book introduces us to the main character John who has gone into the Army after dropping out of school and having a distinctive distant relationship with his Father. Whilst he is on leave for a couple of weeks, he inevitably meets Savannah who he falls hopelessly in love with (Yes this book is of course a love story). The novel tells of the trials and tribulations of their relationship, coping with months apart whilst John returns to the Army with the effects of 9/11 playing a huge role in the strength of their bond.

Although this couple are the focus point of this story, it is John’s relationship with his father which I found most intriguing. A coin collector and single Father, who shows signs of autism, John’s Dad proves to be an interesting character which I wish was focused more upon in the story.

I do absolutely adore this couple, both the characters separately and together are likable and appealing through their relationship which struggles through many twists and turns. Although I did mention this was a love story, it is not your typical love story, forget your fairy tales with happy endings which leaves your heart warm. The ending of this story was somewhat depressing, frustrating yet believable. It may not be the ending your heart craves but it certainly shows a more realistic side to love, war and life.

That being said, my rating somewhat reflects on this ending, I could not give this book 5/5 stars because it did leave me feeling frustrated and depressed. Now let’s be honest I read book partly to escape into another world, and no matter how realistic this book was, I’d of loved a happy ending!

4/5 stars

This post was written by regular reviewer Laura, get to know her here.
*Photo © Laura

2 comments

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Tempest | Julie Cross | Reviewed by Anjali




Apparently this book was super popular and everyone was reading it when it first came out *checks inside front cover* last year, but I hadn’t even heard of it until I saw it on Good Reads. I must have been living under a rock.

The back of the book reads: “Today: Jackson and Holly are in love. Tomorrow: She will lie bleeding in his arms. Yesterday: Jackson must undo it all.” Yup! You guessed correctly! Tempest is a time travelling story. Jackson, the main character, is a 19 year old time traveler who, after he and his girlfriend, Holly, are attacked in his dorm room (and she is lying bleeding on the floor) jumps back in time two years by accident and gets stuck in the past. In the past (2007), he meets Holly, and even though she is his girlfriend in 2009, they have never actually met before. Jackson’s best friend Adam is the only one who knows about Jackson’s time travelling abilities (or so they think) and they are constantly running experiments (in 2009) to try and figure out why it is that Jackson can do the impossible. In 2007, Adam and Jackson aren't friends. They don’t even know each other. After persistence on Jackson's part, they become acquaintances and Jackson tells 2007 Adam what he and 2009 Adam were up to in the future. Basically, it gets confusing often with all the time jumping. One tip: Pay attention to the note at the beginning of each chapter; it tells you exactly when Jackson is (not where, when).

With jumps between time lines, badies, goodies, the CIA, a lying father, Jackson’s twin sister and near death experiences, you’d think that this should be an un-put-downable-read. But I could put it down, and I did. It took me quite a bit of time to read this book, not because it was horrific to read, but maybe because it was a bit predictable. Although it’s written in first person, from Jackson’s point of view, the only character I actually liked was Adam. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it – gotta love a bit of time travel and a romance stretching on for years (Times Traveler’s Wife, anyone?) – but I think it could have been better.

The end was strange. Predictable in an unpredictable sort of way – I do realise that doesn't make much sense but just go with it for now. I expected something to happen at the end that would change everything, and it did, but I found it was just super annoying. I have just discovered that there’s another book after this one (thankfully, because there were so many unanswered questions!), and even though I did enjoy this one, I won’t be rushing to read the next one. If I run out of other things to read, I may read it, but it won’t be at the top of my list. I’ve given Tempest 3 stars, because I liked the concept and some of the ideas in it, but I feel it had more potential. 


This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here
Image from GoodReads. 


1 comment
Blogger's Bookshelf Review Round Up #4

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Blogger's Bookshelf Review Round Up #4

27 1 - 22 2 review
Missed any of our reviews this month? Never fear, find them all below!
We also had a quick tip for finding new book recommendations here and a interview with BookTuber Heather from the 'Bookables' here.

Don't forget to check out our wonderfully romantic February collab post featuring our 'Favourite Fictional Couples'! March's group collaboration post is gearing up for the great debate for book lovers...
Team Paper vs Team Plastic
a.k.a
Books vs E-Readers! 
Send us you views via Twitter, Email or GoodReads.
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Carry the One | Carol Anshaw | Reviewed by Elle

Friday, 22 February 2013

Carry the One | Carol Anshaw | Reviewed by Elle

 photo DSCF7225_zps33c7dc78.jpg
“When you add us up, you always have to carry the one.” Following a devastating moment in the hours after Carmen’s wedding, three siblings and their friends move through the next twenty-five years under its long shadow. - (s)

Now my mum bought me this for Christmas and upon reading the back I was a bit surprised it seemed not my usual cup of tea and even more unusual book for my mum to pick up for me, it seemed depressing and well.. slightly boring. However I dived into the book and got straight into it. The book begins at Carmen's wedding, a very nice setting and all seems well. A whirlwind later and everybody's lives have been turned upside down all because of drugs oh and the car crash. But hey they were just kids having fun right... ? The fun ended when prison started. 

Now this isn't your usual tragedy story, it's not immensely sad and it doesn't focus on the past. The book spends its time going in and out of the lives of our main characters which include Alice, Carmen and Nick. We see drama and sadness but also happiness with big events thrown up. Overall I was delightfully surprised with this book as I didn't know how the story would actually be written. It almost jumps in time between characters, entwining them all together with their own stories.

Despite what I first thought I really enjoyed this book. I especially enjoyed the character of Alice and her artistic ways. If you want something a little quirky, true to life and totally unsuspecting I would recommend this to you a lot. It's full of twists and turns, love and heartache and just people living their lives who carry a great weight. It's a wonderful book. 

This review was written by regular reviewer Elle, learn more about her here.
Photo credit to Elle.
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Pandemonium | Lauren Oliver | Reviewed by Ria

Monday, 18 February 2013

Pandemonium | Lauren Oliver | Reviewed by Ria

You may remember me reviewing Delirium last November, well I finally got off my ass and read its sequel Delirium! Here's my review...[with spoilers ahoy! You have been warned]
Pandemonium cover
Pandemonium picks up the moment Delirium leaves off. Our protagonist Lena is fighting her way through the Wilds in a haze of smoke and fighting for dear life, having left Alex behind. She's rescued by Raven, who welcomes her into the group of 'Invalids' and the hideout she calls home. There Lena is introduced to life without Deleria regulation. She deals with both trying to fit into this new lifestyle as well as coping with survivors guilt, as well as the mounting pressure of a potential rebellion against the 'Zombie-land' or the place Lena used to call home. 

Fast forward a couple of months, Lena is in New York with Raven and another 'invalid' boy called Tack. They're now part of the resistance, Lena as an observer. But like with all Dystopian novels, trouble is only just around the corner.

I would tell you the rest of the plot, but that's the trouble with trying to write a review of Pandemonium...I would be leading you into a review of an infinite amount of spoilers! 
The format of the story is no secret. Each chapter alternates between the past - which is Lena living in the woods with the other Invalids - and 'now' - which is Lena actively involved in the resistance movement.

There's brand new characters. Raven, a slightly mysterious leader of the 'Invalid' group that rescues Lena; Tack, another 'Invalid' working with Lena and Raven; and most importantly Julian Fineman, son of the leader of the Deleria-Free America movement. Not mention the dozens of other secondary character Lena meets along her journey. And then there's Lena of course, who is now hardened with grief, beaten, bruised and now with valid reasons to be angry at the injustice in their world. Her experience has made her bitter and cynical, which is a great comparison to the self-doubting Lena we saw in Delirium.
Pandemonium cover2
So what's my verdict?
Pandemonium for me was fast-paced,  bloodier and definitely less focused on love than Delirium. With less focus on the pure romance, the story feels richer and grounded firmer in reality. This slight change in tone mean Lena feels less annoying than she did in Delirium now that she's moving, keeping active and fighting for a real cause - well at least to me she did!
Another thing I really loved about Pandemonium was the introduction to a much more diverse range of characters, from the 'Invalids', to those using more violent methods of rebellion, other outcasts, the 'cured' and the ruling class. Not to mention complexity in the form of Julian Fineman, who by the end of the novel becomes an important secondary lead to Lena.
The one criticism of the book that I and most people had was the chapter split. As each chapter jumps continuously between time lines, it can be hard to keep up - especially when you consider just how much happens in each chapter. However, when I tried to imagine the whole story unfolding consecutively...I just couldn't see the book as engaging as it was. Part of what made Pandemonium more engaging than Delirium was its pace and constant flow of information. My only gripe would be that there seemed to be whole chunks of the story missing when it did switch time lines.
All in all, a good sequel and I can't wait till Requiem come out!

Soundtrack:
Home: Daughter; City of Delusion: Muse; Permafrost: Laurena; Alibi: 30 Seconds To Mars; All You Need Is Love: The Beatles; Too Close: Alex Clare; Hear Me: Kelly Clarkson

For lovers of...Delirium, Mockingjay, Divergent and other rebellion based dystopian novels.

*all images (c)Ria Cagampang
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Boys Don't Cry | Malorie Blackman | Reviewed by Lucy.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Boys Don't Cry | Malorie Blackman | Reviewed by Lucy.


Boys Don't Cry



Results day. The day where you find out your future. And for Dante, the postman can't come quick enough. But when there's a knock at the door, it isn't the postman. He finds his ex-girlfriend Mel standing with a pram instead. She comes in to tell him that he is the father to the baby girl in the pram. As Dante is taking the time to process all of this new information, Mel says she has to nip out to get a few things before going to move up with some relatives. This leaves Dante looking after, what was a few minutes ago, just a random baby.

Then Mel rings Dante saying that she can't take this anymore and that it would be better if Dante would look after their child. As the call suddenly ends, Dante calls her back, trying to find some way to make her reconsider. But soon it seems impossible to even get through to Mel. As the hours pass and sure enough Mel doesn't return, things dawn very quickly to Dante that his future no longer involves university and amazing promises for the future.

Boys Don't Cry is an amazing read. I was inspired to read this because I'm a very big fan of Malorie Blackman's older books, including the amazing Noughts and Crosses series. Malorie Blackman has shown in the past how good she is at talking from a man's point of view and it's the same with this book, as she shows how difficult it can be for single fathers to bring up a baby. Most of the characters that are in this book are also male so it's interesting to see how they react to a baby and how awkward they sometimes look when it comes to dealing with them when they cry or when they need their nappys changed.

It is a really really good story and I can't give too much away because there are a few spoilers but rest assured it is a great book. I'm going to give it a four star rating because it is a great book but from reading previous books from the same author, it just wasn't as good. That's just my opinion. If you have read any of Malorie Blackman's books, I would really encourage you to read this. Or if you really like the Young Adult genre and want to try something new, then this is a great book for that .

This book was reviewed by regular reviewer Lucy, get to know her here

Photo by Goodreads!
3 comments
Group Collaboration | Our Favourite Couples In Fiction

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Group Collaboration | Our Favourite Couples In Fiction

Since its February this month's group post has a Valentine's theme so we asked you to name your favourite couples from ficiton, here are the seven chosen couples...
couples warm bodies
couples bloodlines2

couples one day
couples pride 2
couples the fault
couples anna
couples harry potter

Next month we're talking ebooks! - Its going to be a battle between 'Team Paper' & 'Team Plastic' so if you have an opinion on the subject we'd love for you to share it with us. For more information on the reqirements and how to get involved just email bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com

Post contributors: Cat, Anjali, Lulu, Ria, Niina, Kath, Lucy, Elle, Heather & Erin
Font used for graphics: Simplicity by http://bythebutterfly.com, book cover images via goodreads.com
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The Secret | Rhonda Byrne | Reviewed by Francesca

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Secret | Rhonda Byrne | Reviewed by Francesca


'Remember that your thoughts are the primary cause of everything.' - Rhonda Byrne.

'The Secret' has been making serious waves across bestseller lists worldwide since its release nearly seven years ago, and it's not too hard to see why; promising to give readers a glimpse of the power of the 'Great Secret' that governs our universe, giving us all the power to access everything we've ever wanted, curiosity alone could prove a good enough incentive to grab a copy.
By letting readers in on the power of the 'law of attraction' (think 'cosmic ordering', only with a slightly more spiritual undertone), 'The Secret' claims you can utilize your internal 'untapped power' to turn around every aspect of your life; money, relationships, even your weight (!) - all of which can be improved in almost no time at all. Sounds a little too good to be true, right?

I don't generally opt for anything labelled a 'self-help' book, but then, I don't know if that's what I'd classify 'The Secret' as, necessarily; whilst the author and contributing writers definitely do take the 'Great Secret' as a way of life, a belief system, the be all and end all, the narrative is more than a little far-fetched, and even comes across as…well, evangelical, at some points, and quite like a fictional tale in others.
Generally, I have to admit to finding 'The Secret' a little challenging to get through, and not because it's poorly written, necessarily, but because it's quite repetitive; despite being quite a small, thin book, with large print, I couldn't shake the feeling that all the relevant information could have easily been summarized in a leaflet, if I'm completely honest.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say, I'm not a particularly religious person, but I do believe in some aspects of spiritual practice; that the universe is, for the most part, inherently good, so this kind of book is probably made for someone like me, and, whilst a lot of the concepts and 'case studies' referenced in 'The Secret' can be more than a little hard to swallow, I do think that anyone with an open mind will be able to take away some important lessons from the book.

If you're open-minded, prepared to take one or two slightly 'tall tales' with a pinch of salt, and want to learn a thing or two about improving your outlook on life and maintaining a more positive attitude, 'The Secret' might just be for you - I have to admit, I certainly wasn't expecting to find myself recommending it to anyone, but here I am...


3/5 stars


This review was written by regular reviewer Francesca, get to know her here.
Image Source.
 
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Chains | Laurie Halse Anderson | Reviewed By Niina

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Chains | Laurie Halse Anderson | Reviewed By Niina

chains

Momma said that ghosts couldn't move over water. That's why Africans got trapped in the Americas.. They kept moving us over the water, stealing us away from our ghosts and ancestors, who cried salty rivers into the sand. That's where Momma was now, wailing at the water's edge, while her girls were pulled out of sight under white sails that cracked in the wind.”  - Laurie Halse Anderson, Chains 

Chains is a story about freedom. A story about a nations fight for freedom. But most of all it's a story of a little girls fight for her and her sisters freedom. Isabel and her sister Ruth are two young slave girls living during the American Revolutionary War that are promised freedom upon their owners death. But instead of receiving freedom they  end up in a rich an influential Loyalist family in New York City. But Isabel never gives up her and her sisters fight for freedom and because of that she gets caught in a whole nations fight for freedom...

Chains is a very detailed story with lots of interesting information about the American Revolution era. That being said, I would like to start of by saying that historical fiction isn't usually a genre I go for, so you should probably keep that in mind while reading this review. For most parts I thought that Chains was an enjoyable, interesting and engaging read but I have to admit that there was one thing that made me struggle more than necessary while reading this book. I do think that Laurie Halse Anderson is a talented writer but this novel just suffered a bit from all the historical facts that were crammed into this story. Some explanations and parts of the  story were made just to prove or explain a historical fact and that did take away some of the flow and magic of the actual story. So I felt a bit lost and disconnected as a reader sometimes. Even if I felt for Isabel and her sister I also think that the character could have had a bit more depth to them. Sometimes I felt like there was no explanation or logic behind why a character was acting or doing what they were doing. With those little things out of the way, I still want to end this review with saying that I do think that this is a good novel and that I honestly think that you might enjoy it even more if you're used to reading historical fiction. Because this is a well-written book with an interesting story-line. But I have to base my rating on my personal reading experience and based on that Chains deserves 3/5 stars.

This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here


3stars
1 comment
Being A Booktuber | Interview With Heather aka Bookables

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Being A Booktuber | Interview With Heather aka Bookables

As I'm sure many of you will be aware there is a whole community of YouTubers dedicated to talking all things books, often more lovingly referred to as Booktubers. From reviews to bookshelf tours, tags to TBR piles just like us book bloggers this group of bibliophiles will always have a great book recommendation to suit everyone.

Today we're lucky enough to be featuring an interview with one of my personal favourites - Heather aka Bookables! Heather's channel is fun, informative and full of personality - here's what she had to say about being a Booktuber...

bookables

BB: For any of our readers who aren’t subscribed to your channel already could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Heather and I am 24 years old. While I am not the age bracket for the young adult genre, it is one of my favorites to read.

I have a Youtube channel under the name Bookables where you guessed it, I talk about books. I do Wrap ups/TBRs, reviews, book hauls as well as tv show and movie discussions. Simply put, I adore reading.

BB: What made you decide to create your own channel and were you ever nervous about starting to make videos?

I decided to venture into Youtube purely out of curiosity. When I stumbled onto the booktubing community I realized most of the people were just like me, just normal people that love to read. I decided what is there to lose and I have been making videos ever since. I was beyond nervous to make videos! My first video is a nightmare! It is full of bad lighting, the t.v on, and just plain old awkwardness.

BB: I love that you also talk about film and television, what do you think about Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series being turned into a tv show?

I didn't even know about that! Thanks for telling me! Now that I know, I'm pretty excited! My only fears with book to show adaptions is that they start off strong, staying true to the book then I feel like they stray from the book completely. That's not to say all book to show adaptions are bad, I just feel that they change the storylines alot. I am very excited for Delirium the show though!

BB: If you could choose one book that hasn’t yet been adapted to be turned into a movie which one would it be?

Oh boy, that's so hard because that's all the rage right now; turning books into movies. I would have to say The Maze Runner by James Dashner and Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Both of those would make great adventure movies.

heather 3

BB: Just for fun - if you could be best friends with any fictional character who would you choose and why?

Ronald Weasley. He would make me laugh all day and we would be best friends forever....I've thought about this multiple times!

BB: Back in January we posted about our reading goals for the year and each named 5 books or book series that we vowed to read in 2013. Which 5 books/series would make your list?

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien

2. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead (I've read the first two..I just need to finish them all!)

3. Any 2 Jane Austen novels

4. Dualed by Elsie Chapman ( This is a 2013 debut, perhaps the one I'm most excited for)

5.  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green ( I need to read this like, yesterday)

heather tbr

BB: Finally, which booktubers (other than yourself of course!) would you recommend our readers go and subscribe to?

There are literally tons! This might be a long list because I want every booktuber the attention they deserve!


I know so many but they are all amazing!
  
You can find Heather's channel 'Bookables' by clicking here & her Goodreads profile here

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I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Heather for taking part in this interview.
If you are a booktuber or book blogger and would like to be featured in a similar post we'd love to hear from you - just email us at bloggersbookshelf@gmail.com for information!

Interview & post by Erin  
Book cover images from goodreads.com

5 comments
Guest Review | The Knife Of Never Letting Go | Patrick Ness

Monday, 11 February 2013

Guest Review | The Knife Of Never Letting Go | Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go

I had been eyeing this book up for a while before I actually got ‘round to reserving it at the library. I worked at a book store over Christmas, and my boss loved this book, so I thought it was about time to read it. And it was awesome.

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in the town he lives in. There are no women or girls, and all the other men in the town are, well…men. Todd’s birthday is coming up and when he turns 13, he will be a man. Hence, last boy in Prentisstown. The story is set on New World, a planet far away from our own with settlers who came years before to start a new life. When they got there, they realised that there was something in the air that made all men suddenly be able to do the impossible: hear everyone’s thoughts. They call it Noise, and everything the men think, everyone can hear.

One day, Todd has to run away – the town is after him and he doesn’t know why. With his talking dog, Manchee, and he starts to run. He meets Viola, a girl without Noise. He’s never met a girl before, because in the town where he lives there are no women – ‘they all died’. The women, for some reason, weren’t affected by the Noise germ, and though they can hear what the men are thinking, the men can’t hear them, which is why Todd notices the silence that is Viola in amongst the Noise. Together they run, they meet other people from other settlements, hear rumours that Printisstown is building an army, they warn other towns, they discovers secrets about Printisstown that Todd could never have imagined, and eventually they reach their destination: Haven.

 I really liked this book. It’s been written in such a way that it seems like we are hearing Todd’s stream of consciousness through the entire book. At first this was incredibly annoying, and I found it hard to read the first few chapters. Because it’s written from the mind of a 12 year old boy who can’t read himself, the spelling throughout the book is incorrect a lot of the time. For example, ‘thru’, ‘yer’, ‘cuz’, ‘direkshuns’, ‘populayshun’, ‘affectshuns’ etc. Every sentence seems to have a double negative in it too, which is the most infuriating thing for me (seriously! “You ain’t got no…” means you do have something! Grrr), but after getting used these things, you realise that it is way more effective in regards to getting to know Todd and the way he would talk and act and be if he stepped out of the pages.

It’s a great story line, with so many mysteries and twists and turns, a bit of blood and deadly knives, and horrible characters alongside sweet characters like Viola and crazy characters like Manchee the talking dog. At the end of the book there’s a definite cliff hanger, so don’t expect the story to end. I believe there are two more books after this one, so I’m really looking forward to them. I’ve given it a 4/5 stars because it was awesome, but the double negative thing…wow. It seems silly, I know, but that was really annoying. I do recommend it.

This review was written by guest blogger Anjali.
Image c/o goodreads.com
6 comments
Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging | Louise Rennison | Reviewed by Taylah

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging | Louise Rennison | Reviewed by Taylah


I have some sad news. This will be my last scheduled review for Blogger's Bookshelf. I'll be taking a step back from blogging for a while but will hopefully contribute every now and then for guest posts. I was originally going to review The Host by Stephanie Meyer for you all as the trailers for the book adaption have started to appear on the net. But, I've had a change of heart. I've decided for my last review I'd love to review my first book. I call it my first book as in it was the first book I read that I really fell in love with, the one that really drew me into reading.

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal snogging is a young adult book that I find absolutely hilarious. The book follows Georgia Nicholson's witty journal entries as she struggles with her "mortifying" life. The book really is a typical teen read, there's love, family issues and friendship battles. As a 12 year old reading this book for the first time I thought it was perfect, when I go back and read it now as an 18 year old I still feel myself relating to Georgia's life. The main plot line of this book follows hilarious ill fated crush on an older guy, "sex god" Robbie who plays in the band Stiff Dylans. Disaster strikes multiple times throughout the book in her mission to have Robbie has her own. This equals to a lot agonizing third party embarrassment moments.

Louise Rennison's characters are by far my favourite part of her books, as well as the English slang. It took a while for an Aussie like me to pick up the slang (thank god for the glossary at the back or I never would have known what snogging was). There's little in the way of character development, but the character traits and witty thoughts of Georgia are quite possibly the highlight of the books.
I also really enjoyed how the book is written in journal entries, in particular the way the entries have a time or a place sometimes. It's easy to feel like you're there with Georgia, participating in her day to day life. Louise has a way of writing in a past present that sounds like it's truly happening for the first time as you read it.
I can honestly say this book is one of my favourites I've ever read. I have friends that I can be with and we just quote the book aloud. The book is basically a quote gold field. It's almost like Mean girls in literature form.

There's also a very popular film adaption of the book which I was so thrilled to purchase the day it came out. It's almost as hilarious as the book, but we all know a movie adaption can never quite be perfect. The movie is a mixture of the first and second book in the Georgia Nicholson series. I recommend watching it if you haven't, Aaron Johnson goes alright for a bit of eye candy. But to be quite honest I'm a bit of a Dave the Laugh girl myself.

I'd definitely give Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging a 5 out of 5. It's my book, my first favourite book. I'll always have a copy with me in the future. I feel the themes are almost ageless and will always be hilarious. If you're up for a lighthearted read, check out this book. There's not doubt about it, you'll be laughing your knickers off!

And I'm out everyone! Happy reading - Taylah.
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Ready Player One | Ernest Cline | Reviewed By Erin

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Ready Player One | Ernest Cline | Reviewed By Erin

ready player one

"It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them." Source

When OASIS creator James Halliday dies the world that worships him and his creation are presented with the ultimate challenge; Halliday has left them an Easter Egg and the one who finds it will win the ultimate prize of fortune and power.

At the beginning of the novel in the five years that have passed since Halliday’s death although many people have dedicated their lives to studying his pop culture favourites in the hope of finding clues no one has yet made any progress towards finding the first of the three keys; Copper. So when main character Wade Watts, or Parzival as he is known in the OASIS, becomes the first gunter (the name for Halliday’s fans which comes from ‘egg hunters’) to obtain the key and make it through the first gate the story really kicks off. From then on it is all action as we follow Wade on his quest to find the remaining two keys (Jade and Crystal) and hopefully to also be first to find the highly sought after Easter Egg. The gunters however are not the only ones after Halliday’s prize, there is of course a villain in the form of the IOI, a global internet service provider who are out to win by finding loopholes in order to gain control of the OASIS and monetize it.

The book is definitely very geeky, there are a ton of pop-culture references from games to films, television to music and for this reason it does need a little more concentration than your average read. Don’t let this put you off though, the story is very easy to follow even if you don’t fully appreciate each and every reference because Cline has foreseen this issue and they are all sufficiently explained. Amongst the references Ready Player One tackles the modern-world issue of how you choose to represent yourself online, something which most people can relate to – even if you don’t appreciate all of the geeky references!

Protagonist Wade is a likeable and sympathetic character who makes a great guide through this fairly complicated world. Along the way he meets fellow gunters and leaderboard toppers Shoto, Daito, Aech, and most importantly Art3mis. I personally loved the relationships that form between Wade and his fellow gunters, at first each out to win for themselves but at times coming together against the IOI. Without giving away too much I particularly enjoyed the reveal of what each of these characters looked like in real life and in turn the reasons behind the designs of their OASIS avatars. Co-creator of the OASIS Ogden Morrow, or Og, is also a fantastic character.

As much as I loved the plot and characters the most impressive thing about Ready Player One was the planning. Every little detail was so well thought out and things just seemed to fall into place making it much easier to immerse yourself in Cline’s version of the world. As I was reading I found myself asking questions but just paragraphs or even sentences later I would find the answers and overall I think this makes the whole story much more convincing.

Ready Player One has certainly been one of those books that has stuck with me long after reading it, and although I had never intended to review it, here I am months later still thinking about what a great read it was. This unusual and clever debut novel from Ernest Cline is suitably geeky and extremely enjoyable. 5/5 
3 comments
A Quick Tip For Book Recommendations!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Quick Tip For Book Recommendations!

Of course places like Goodreads, Amazon and collaborative blogs like one can all be great ways to find new books to read however I have recently discovered another way to find recommendations which I thought I would quickly share with you as it might be useful!

I stumbled across a website named What Should I Read Next? where basically you can type in the name of a book or author you like and it will give you suggestions of similar titles.

You can find the website here - www.whatshouldireadnext.com
1 comment
The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight | Jennifer E. Smith | Reviewed by Ria

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight | Jennifer E. Smith | Reviewed by Ria

Statistical Probability cover
Because there's nothing like an epically long title and a generous helping of YA, here's my review of The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. 

When Hadley misses her flight to London for her father's wedding she expects to spend the remaining hours waiting for the new plane and the flight over mulling over the fact that in 24 hours she'll have a new, supposedly, wicked step-mother. Instead by complete coincidence she meets Oliver. He's adorable and British...he's also scheduled on the same flight as her. And so ensues their story, it's one of luck and chance and just old school boy-meets-girl. The best part? Their story won't end in the departure lounge...it's just the beginning. 

Despite its the book's genre Hadley is not quite your typical plain Jane teen girl with a low self-esteem. She's actually fairly popular at school, had an equally popular but douche-y boyfriend, gets on well with her mother and by YA standards is pretty normal - albeit rather book-ish. She's confident and witty, which matches almost perfectly with the dashing Oliver. Oliver is pretty much the embodiment of every teen girl fantasy. Tall, dark and handsome with striking eyes, he's intelligent and with a sharp sense sarcasm. He's older too, a student at ? University - coincidentally not too far from Hadley herself.
Statistical Probability spineStatistical Probability chpt 1
So what's my verdict?
'Stats Prob', as I've lovingly nicknamed it, is pretty much your standard YA novel of girl meets boy and they fall in love. But there's something about Hadley that's quite endearing and a lot less annoying than the usual female protagonists in this genre. She is perfectly happy on her own and has her own set of problems outside of her love life - namely the prospect of meeting her father's new wife for the first time at their wedding. In fact, I actually found myself caring more about whether Hadley's reconciles with her father and what Oliver's real reasons for being on a flight back to England. Their romance feels secondary to what will surely be a stronger friendship in the long run.

Reading soundtrack:
Jet Lag: Simple Plan ft Natasha Bedingfield; World Of Chances: Demi Lovato; Paper Aeroplane: KT Tunstall; If You Ever Come Back: The Script; Kiss Me Slowly: Parachute

For lovers of...teen love stories, authors like Rachel Cohn, John Green, Meg Cabot and Maureen Johnson.

This review was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.

All photos (c)Ria Cagampang
1 comment
Wither | Lauren Destefano | Reviewed by Lucy.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Wither | Lauren Destefano | Reviewed by Lucy.

 
Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

 
Hello fellow book worms, let me tell you about the amazing first book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Wither. Wither is set in the future where a virus takes hold of girls when they reach the age of 20 and attacks boys at the age of 25. In this world, the need to reproduce is ten times more important so that they can keep the world populated, until they can find a cure. The story is told from Rhine Ellery's point of view, sixteen years old from Manhattan. The book starts with Rhine being kidnapped and sold to a wealthy man called Linden, twenty years of age and looking for wives. Rhine is chosen alongside two other girls and together they live in Linden's massive mansion. Rhine quickly makes it her mission to escape in any way possible and find her way back to her twin brother, Rowan. Even though the girls are told they can do anything they want, they still feel confined in ths prison. Also there is something slightly off about Rhine's father-in-law. He's always sneaking off into the basement which the girls are not allowed to venture. Can she find a way out?

This book had to be one of the books that got me into science fiction. I remember reading the second or third page and was instantly compelled to just keep reading. Even though the chapters are a bit long at times, I was tearing through the pages. This had to be because of the brilliant writing style and the amazing storyline that Lauren Destefano has. There are lots of twists in the series so you are in for a rollercoaster of a book. As I was reading, there were points when I was really into it that I was feeling scared for a certain character or nervous. There aren't many books which make me feel like that. I think the reason for this was that I really bonded with the characters. All of the likeable characters are really really likeable and you really want it to turn out happy for them. However there are characters which I hated with a passion because of the things they do.

I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to try something new. It is a sci-fi book so if you want to get into that particular genre, then I recommend you give this book a go. The second book in this series is already out and it is called Fever. The last installment comes out in a couple of weeks so I am very excited to see how Rhine's story ends. I must also say, that the author definitely leaves you with a cliffhanger after each book which leaves you dying for more. I'm definitely giving this book a five star rating because it definitely deserves it. Check it out!!!

This book was reviewed by regular reviewer Lucy, find out more about her here!

Photo from Goodreads :D.
1 comment

Friday, 1 February 2013

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People | Toby Young | Reviewed by Francesca

'It was journalism at its best: irreverent, mischievous and beholden to no one.'- Toby Young.

British journalist Toby Young is leaving behind his (nearly) successful career in London to head for greener pastures, namely a position as 'contributing editor' at Vanity Fair in New York, and finds the world seemingly settled at his feet. However, in the space of two years in 'the city that never sleeps', Toby's managed to get fired from his position, is desperately single, and faces the prospect of potentially having to call time on his dreams of making it in the US and moving back to London. 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People' is an autobiographical story which explains exactly how, in two years, everything could go so wrong for an ageing British writer, and details everything about his life in New York; how he got there, the ins and outs of life at Vanity Fair, and how he manages to somehow screw it all up.

I have to admit, I've never seen the silver-screen adaptation of this book, but, having had one-too-many of my friends rave about it, my interest was peaked, and I decided to grab a copy of the book before diving into the film (I never, ever watch the film before reading the book if I intend to read it at a later date). I have to say, I was sorely disappointed. I don't know what I was expecting, but given that the movie version is accredited with being a 'laugh out loud' kind of comedy, I was certainly expecting something. In the end, I was stuck with a whiney overgrown college 'frat boy' as a narrator, who spent the first half of the book complaining about the British newspaper industry, and the second half bemoaning how shallow the US is, in comparison.
Instead of being able to relate to my narrator, empathize with him in times of trouble or misfortune, I found myself loathing him; counting down the pages I had left to read with anticipation, and, on one night, falling asleep with the book on my face (something I have never done).
Now, as an autobiographical text, none of these things are really Toby Young's fault - and I'm sure he wouldn't care either way if I'm not his number one fan, but there's something about 'How to...' that really grated on me; along the way, if you manage to squint through the complaints, the unnecessary tangents that seem present if only to prove how well-educated Young is, there are attempts at wit. Unfortunately, these attempts come across as mean-spirited observations and hyperbole about the two cultures present in the book, and the result is that our narrator comes across as a bitter British journalist who couldn't quite make his 'big break' in America.

Overall, 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People' left me completely cold, and totally disappointed.


1/5 stars
(very nearly zero!)

This review was written by regular reviewer Francesca, get to know her here.
Photo © Francesca Sophia.
 
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