Tag Archives: Young Adult

Kindle Haul #1

I’ve brought a load of Kindle books since my last haul so I’m not going to go back to them, rather I thought I’d have a an hour looking around at Kindle books and I can write this blog post at the same time, so you really are getting my very first impressions as I make the decision to buy and download a Kindle book.

As for physical books, I’ll do a mini catch up haul of those and just show you a selection I got since my last haul post soon – telling you about all of them would be simply too much! Then we’ll be all up to date.

You may notice that a lot of my Kindle books are free or cheap – if you’re wondering how to find free and cheap ones, I have a blog post about that right here. Be sure to check that out!

So lets get started!

Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl by Elizabeth Byler Younts
Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl by Elizabeth Byler Younts

Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl by Elizabeth Byler Younts
Although I’m a little disappointed that this says “real story” and yet it’s fiction – just drawn from the authors experiences as a child in the Amish community, I’m still finding myself wanting to read this book anyway. I would much rather read a true real account in a lot of respects but the fact that the author has the knowledge to write accurately about the Amish way of life does help.
I can’t help but be fascinated by the different ways people live their lives and see the world.
I absolutely love documentaries like this so thought this was definitely worth a read – if only to learn a little more about the human experience and how it differs from person to person.
It’s only 192 pages so not all that big of a read so it shouldn’t take too long to get through and hopefully it will be a nice break from my usual reading habits.

I Think I’m OK by C S Kenny
This book has quite mixed reviews but mostly because it has a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes, which I can totally understand as I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi myself but reading the synopsis of this book which is about the author looking back on his childhood as a “problem child” it’s clear that although there maybe spelling mistakes the author is writing exactly how he would tell you the story in person. It’s very personal to him.
I think – I hope I am right in thinking that a lot of editing would really take away from the charm of this genuine man telling his story.
Either way I look forward to reading it and finding out.
H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection. (With Accompanying Facts): 62 Short Stories and 5 Novellas. by H.P. Lovecraft
H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection

H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection. (With Accompanying Facts): 62 Short Stories and 5 Novellas. by H.P. Lovecraft
I’ve only read a few H.P. Lovecraft short stories before as horror isn’t really my thing usually but what I have read of his, I did enjoy.
So I thought I’d give this a go, as you get the biggest collection from this version at the cheapest price (£0.77) – not to mention it says it has facts and I love me some facts.
Perhaps this will serve me well for the Halloween season, we shall see – I don’t very often read something especially for this time of year but perhaps a few short stories from this will go down well.
As I said though I’m not really a horror fan, I have a far too active imagination and it doesn’t mix well with horror. So if I go quiet, I’m probably still hiding under my duvet.

Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1) by Robin Hobb
Robin Hobb is one of the authors I really want to get into but just haven’t yet. A case of so many books so little time I’m afraid, but I will read one of her books one day. This caught my eye as it’s currently free on Kindle, so naturally I snatched it up.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This is one of those books that seems to keep showing up everywhere and everytime I see it I pick it up… but then put it back down. There’s something about it but I just couldn’t seem to fully commit myself to buying it.
Then I read ConfessionsofaBookGeek’s Review and I started to think that maybe this book really was worth reading.
I still had to a read a few more reviews on Amazon UK to convince myself fully but I finally took the plunge and brought this book.
I’m not sure why I’m so hesitant but hopefully it will prove me a fool for being so undecided and be a fantastic read. I know this book is gaining quite a bit of momentum in the YA community so hope it lives up to the hype.

The Unicorn Crisis (The Hidden Academy Book 1) by Jon Rosenberg
Ever just be scrolling through Kindle Books and something just catches your attention? This is what happened with this book.
And then I read the synopsis – it’s fantasy with humor, perhaps even a bit along the lines of Terry Pratchett – which is right up my street.
Hopefully this will be a fun read.

Other Kindle books purchased at this time – Ethan Wright and the Curse of Silence by Kimbro West, Peter: The Untold True Story by Christopher Mechling, Wild-born (Psionic Pentalogy Book 1) by Adrian Howell

What was the last eBook you brought?

Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I’ve been wanting to read The Maze Runner by James Dashner for a while, heck I’ve even had the book for a year (so many books so little time!) but I finally started it about a week ago and I’m surprised at how much I liked it. Sure I had been interested from the many good reviews it has gotten, but at the same time I was pretty reserved about how a story about a boy or a few boys running around a maze could really be that enthralling.

The story surrounds Thomas, who we meet as he wakes up in darkness feeling around walls to get some sense of his surroundings. He has no memory of who he is; he only remembers that his name is Thomas. He doesn’t know how old he is, his last name and he can’t remember any relatives, friends or well… anyone actually. He can remember absolutely nothing specific about his life – he has knowledge, he knows what things are but he doesn’t know how he learnt about them, who taught him.
Thomas arrives at the Glade which is a walled community in the middle of a maze where other teenage boys have lived for 2 years now. None of the boys their have memories of their life before being in the maze either. Together, they have one aim – to get solve the maze, to get out, to get home – wherever that is.

This is a fast paced book with pretty short chapters most of which have a cliffhanger at the end, so it’s definitely one of those “just one more chapter” books.
There a lot of boys in the glade but the book focuses on the just a few of them that are involved with Thomas. These main characters are very likable but Dashner makes sure to show how each has their own faults. As for the community as a whole, even though you don’t meet the vast majority of the gladers you just know they have fostered great solidarity as a whole.
I love how Dashner has captured the whole “boys will be boys” part. The gladers swear as teenage boys around peers would, but he has kept hit clean by creating a system of slang swear words used within the glade like “shank” and “klunk”. It makes the boys personalities more realistic whilst staying in the realms of the Young Adult genre.

Overall it’s a quick read because of the fast pace, the intensity never really lets up and I really enjoyed the relationships and compassion between the characters.

Rating: stars_4

———-

Author Website: http://jamesdashner.com/
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 371
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Purchased From: Waterstones

 

Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

So I’ve joined Gollancz Geeks and about a month ago I was given my first book to review. I’ll write about being a Gollancz Geek another time, but for now – here’s my first review for them. 

The Falconer by Elizabeth May
The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer by Elizabeth May holds many firsts for me – it’s the first time I’ve been chosen to read and review for Gollancz Geeks, my first encounter with this author and my first delve into a steam-punk-esque world.

The Victorian era of proper etiquette is in full swing, with a splash of steampunk for good measure and not forgetting fae feeding upon their human victims… as you do.

The heroine Lady Aileana has a conflicted personality since her mother’s death – which she witnessed with her own eyes. Fitting in with Scottish High Society whilst vengeance rages through her veins is a balance she just can’t seem to keep. Though her night murderous rampages do calm her for a short time.

The main characters are all very believable and likeable; despite their sometimes venomous banter.

The faeries are not just your general opposite of nice kind of evil, they have a dark almost Gothic feel to them. They are unrelenting and emotionless. And perhaps more shockingly so… only a few fae are gob-smackingly gorgeous.

Aileana may have unlocked the secrets of being a fairy killers, but the book focuses on her grief over losing her mother. How it has changed her as a person, her perceptions of the world, her priorities but most importantly how she must learn to control her grief if she is going to stop the fae from destroying Edinburgh.

This was a really enjoyable read and although I was skeptical of the steampunk at first it really did add to the story.
The book is well within Young Adult realms and isn’t overly complex but with this book clearly being the first of a larger series the story has great potential.
I found Aileana easy to identify with and I most definitely want a pixie like Derrick living in my closet!
I soon found I didn’t want to put the book down and with the ending being a complete cliffhanger I was left craving a second book (which better not take a age to be released otherwise I might explode!).

 

Rating: stars_4

———-

Author Website: http://www.elizabethmaywrites.com/
Publisher: Gollancz
Publication Date: September 26th 2013
Pages: 312
Genre(s): Steampunk, Fantasy, Adventure, Young Adult
Purchased From: ARC from Gollancz

Book Review: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

I picked up The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer whilst in Holland, as Maaike has pointed it out to me – she hadn’t read it yet, but thought it was my sort of thing.

The Wishing Spell is a young adult book which meshes together the modern world and the world of classic fairy tales such as Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and lots more.
Alex and Conner Bailey (twins) have grown up on fairy tales, specifically from a huge book which their grandparents have always read to them. On their twelfth birthday their Grandma passes this book down to them and then the trouble really begins.
After some strange happenings, the twins fall through a portal into the book – landing themselves in The Land of Stories. The portal doesn’t seem to work both ways so they find themselves stuck until they can find a way home again.

The Land of Stories is full of fairy tale folk which the twins meet along the way – most are well known or descendants of well known characters in fairy tales – so you’ll have no trouble in following who is who.
There are also some general fantasy type creatures such as goblins, trolls and fairies – their role in this alternative world is well explained but there isn’t much depth to their stories.

There are two stories running alongside each other in this book – that of Alex and Conner, making their way through the different Kingdoms, trying to find a way home and that of the fairy tale folk.
Unfortunately it seems the twins, although the main characters are much more of a pawn in Colfer’s game to gain a way to write about classic fairy tales. To give another character’s perspective on a classic story or simply document that there was life after that “happily ever after” and it wasn’t all roses.
Whilst it’s interesting to see these different views – I didn’t feel a whole lot was done with them once they were “uncovered”. Without giving any spoilers – it felt very much like “this happened, and then that happened, and then this happened” and so on and so forth. Nothing really strong connected one scene to the next, or one storyline to another.

Unfortunately this left the characters – for the most part – largely flat. Alex the overachiever and Conner the comedian just about sums up what you get to know about the twins.

That being said, I did enjoy the book – it’s just very obvious that this is on the younger end of “Young Adult”. The story is fairly simple but enjoyable. I felt it was sort of a bridge book – between the very simple stories for 9-10 year olds to the more complex, longer books of teenage fiction.

There is a second book in the series and I must say, I’m rather hoping this first book is mostly doing the setting up for that – as it does have the potential to be pretty good.

Rating: stars_3

———-

Other information:

Author Website: http://thelandofstoriesbook.com/
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: July 17th 2012
Pages: 438
Genre(s): Young Adult, Children’s, Fantasy
Purchased From: The American Book Center

Side note – Decided to do my reviews a little differently – with a rating system and extra information. What do you think? Does this help you more?

Book Review: Unhinged by A. G. Howard (Sneak Peek)

Unhinged by A. G. Howard
Unhinged by A. G. Howard

Please note, this is a review of a sneak peek, one chapter sampler. Not the full book.

It’s not very often I say this, but the cover really did draw my interest first and then I read that this based on Alice in Wonderland – loosely though, as this series takes place after Alice.

Unhinged is the second book in the Splintered series and having not (yet) read the first book – I was unsure what to expect but what can I say, Alice in Wonderland related things intrigue me.

Alyssa Gardner is a descendant of Alice (of the Wonderland fame of course) and she’s found herself involved in Wonderland – much more than she imagined.

Just enough information was giving in this one chapter to wet my appetite. Alyssa is pulled – much against her will, despite now being Queen of the Red Court – back into Wonderland, only to meet Morpheus.

Morpheus is a dark mysterious character. A very modern and grown up take on the Mad Hatter.
His message is simple – Wonderland is in danger, it’s crumbling and only Alyssa can save it.
However Morpheus is a conflicted character – he threatens Alyssa, restrains her but it’s clear he has some affection for her. He very much reminds me of Jareth in Labyrinth in that sense.

Alyssa has to make a choice it seems – the human world, or Wonderland, the catch is can one exist without the other?

I’m really taken in by this sample chapter – so I’ll definitely be buying the first book, and then Unhinged when it’s released.

*Unhinged (Splintered Series) by A. G. Howard is released 1 Oct 2013 in the United Kingdom. Check release dates for your country as they maybe different.