Thursday, 30 June 2011
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore are inseparable until they meet Katherine, a stunning, mysterious woman who turns their world upside down. Siblings turned rivals, the Salvatores compete for Katherine's affection, only to discover that her sumptuous silk dresses and glittering gems hide a terrible secret: Katherine is a vampire. And she is intent on turning them into vampires so they can live together-forever.
My opinion on this book has not changed since the last time that I reviewed it. I think that it is great that they are writing about the tv show Stefan and Damon - because it shows how it has veered from the original L.J. Smith books. I will also commend these books for providing reading material for the fans of the show - promoting reading among those who are not such keen readers! - and giving us the backgrounds of Stefan and Damon as portrayed by Paul Wesley and the gorgeous Ian Somerhalder.
It is great to see the early relationship between Damon and Stefan and you really dislike Katherine for ruining the good relationship that Damon and Stefan had. You see how selfish Katherine was. It would actually be nice to see an account of this story from the perspective of Emily or even Katherine so that we can get a more rounded idea.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Tricia’s never been a fan of Bob, but when she reads that Bob is being tight-lipped about the “accident” and how it killed the owner of the town’s history bookstore, it’s time to take action. As the incriminating details emerge, Tricia gets wrapped up in a murder that proves to be as spine-tingling as the books that line her shelves…
Tricia’s sister, Angelica, considers herself to be the next celebrity chef. To celebrate her first cookbook, Angelica hosts a launch party, but sadly the only guest is an oversized cutout of herself. Worse than the lack of fans is a nearby gas explosion that injures her boyfriend, Bob Kelly, the head of the Chamber of Commerce.
This one really got me, I just could not figure it out. I was just as stumped as Tricia was. This was a very tricky crime, and I could understand why she suspected those that she suspected. I did not see it coming when it came to who the actual killer was. I thought about it but then dismissed it, the person who was actually guilty just did not seem that likely. But you know how it is, it is always the one that you least suspect.
I love Tricia's birthday surprise, it is a darling thing for a darling person. And I must say I am very intrigued by the new gorgeous Italian guy, I hope he will be sticking around. And I hope that Russ will finally get the message and that Grant and Tricia will get back together!!!!!!
Monday, 27 June 2011
This was a tricky one, I did not see who the culprit was until it was revealed, it was really sprung on the reader. I really enjoy this series because it all unravels in your mind with the unravelling on the page. I thought I had it figured out, but boy was I wrong!! I love that about these books! I am glad though that things are over between Tricia and Russ, because he really is a douche. Don't get me started on the delicious Captain Baker...
You actually start to feel sorry for Tricia - I mean how long can you take it being the one to find a corpse? It really is crazy, but I suppose that provides her with greater motivation for wanting to see justice served... Much like the rest of the series, this book is very well written.
Sunday, 26 June 2011
Once a struggling town, Stoneham, New Hampshire is now enjoying a renaissance--thanks to booksellers like Tricia Miles, proprietor of Haven’t Got a Clue. It’s a great place to find a good mystery to read--or to solve ….
To celebrate her bookstore’s anniversary, Tricia Miles hosts a book signing for bestselling author Zoë Carter. But the event takes a terrible turn when the author is found dead in the washroom. Before long, both police and reporters are demanding the real story. So far, the author’s obnoxious assistant/niece is the only suspect. And with a sheriff who provides more obstacles than answers, Tricia will have to take matters into her own hands--and read between the lines to solve this mystery….
TAKEN FROM www.lornabarrett.com
This book had me riveted, I did not see any of it coming. I did find it a bit strange though that the first and second book have similar male characters - possesive jerks. Is this the start of a trend? With so many possible suspects and so much circumstancial occurances, this book gave a lot to ponder.
I like how Tricia and Angelica's relationship is developing. I still cannot stand Bob and I am so happy for Mr Everett. The twist at the end really got me, it was truly brilliant. I cannot wait to see what the rest of this series has in store!
Saturday, 25 June 2011
When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn't killing by the book.
I like mysteries. I like cozy mysteries. So it comes as no surprise that I found this first book in the Booktown Mystery Series absolutely enthralling. This mystery was very interesting; unlike anything I had read before. The way the story unfolds on the page is excellent. I had an inkling about who the suspect could be, and it was nice to see I was following Tricia's line of thought. I am glad to have suspected who was responsible without being absolutely certain. This is the kind of mystery you can sit back with and be wondering the whole time, because it is not glaringly obvious who the killer is.
The characters are just wonderful!!! I love Miss Marple and Mr Everett - they are just adorable. This story really had me on the edge of my seat.
What I really appreciated about this book is that I was with Tricia every step of the way, I did not solve the mystery before she did - I had my suspicions, but I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoy that kind of thing. I don't like solving it before the time - I like having that Banana fish moment.
Friday, 24 June 2011
Thursday, 23 June 2011
One of the new things that I will be doing is posting the synopsis and picture of a new book that I am very excited about - so look for that. I started with my post on The Near Witch - it does sound like a wonderful read, doesn't it? It also sounds like the perfect book to be turned into a movie. I am hoping to get a copy of it so that I can read it and then tell you all about it.
I recently joined netGalley, and you will have to wait a while to see those reviews, but do watch this space as I have read some really great books from them. I am also very excited because one of the author's whose book I reviewed from netGalley emailed me to thank me for my review. It does warm the heart when an author appreciates your review.
So which reviews can you look forward to in the next while? Here is a list to give you an idea:
Origins - book 1 in the Stefan Diaries
Bloodlust - book 2 in the Stefan Diaries
The Craving - book 3 in the Stefan Diaries
Murder is Binding - Book 1 in the Booktown Mystery Series
Bookmarked for Death - Book 2 in the Booktown Mystery Series
Bookplate Special - Book 3 in the Booktown Mystery Series
Chapter and Hearse - Book 4 in the Booktown Mystery Series
Part 3 of Gone with the Wind
Also, I got a copy of Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini from Pan Macmillan South Africa in the mail yesterday, so look out for that review in the next few days. I am also going to reread the Vampire Diaries and then actually post on them, I read them last year and did not write about it so look out for that. Another reread for posting purposes - four actually is the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast; the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and the Ghost Hunter Mystery Series by Victoria Laurie.
I also plan on doing an about me page, and when I checked today it was 96 days till my blogoversary!
So do keep a look out for these posts and a few others inbetween, and till then happy reading!
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
Friday, 17 June 2011
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
There are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.
Does this not sound delectable?
Thursday, 16 June 2011
Ellen's life was not easy, nor was it happy, but she did not expect life to be easy, and, if it was not happy, that was woman's lot. It was a man's world, and she accepted it as such. The man owned the property, and the woman managed it. The man took the credit for the management and the woman praised his cleverness. The man roared like a bull when a splinter was in his finger, and the woman muffled the moans of childbirth, lest she disturb him. Men were rough of speech and often drunk. Women ignored the lapses of speech and put the drunkards to bed without bitter words. Men were rude and outspoken; women were always kind, gracious and forgiving.
It really does give you food for thought.
Friday, 10 June 2011
But, when I went to fetch my copy at Bargain Books, I was taken aback by the appearance of the cover of my copy. I did not understand it at first, and mulled it over for a while, but it only really came to me when I read my copy of The Color Purple. The Color Purple is essentially a diary telling us about Celie's experiences. At first the diary entries are written to God, but then the diary entries are written to her sister Nettie. It was a real "Ah Hah" moment for me when that finally made sense. Here are some photos of my copy of The Color Purple:
Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the story of Celie. a young black girl, born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father', she is seperated from two children and then entrapped by a husband who treats her no better than a slave.
But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker: a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from the past and reuniting her with those she loves.
This was my second read of the Color Purple, and it was just as profound a read as when I read it the first time. It was such a coincidence that two days after I read The Color Purple, the episode of Oprah with The Color Purple reunion aired here in South Africa. I loved being able to see parts of the movie again which just reaffirmed for me how I felt when reading that the book was written for the actors chosen to portray the characters from this magnificent book. I cannot imagine anyone else but Oprah Winfrey playing Sophia, or anyone else but Whoopi Goldberg playing Celie. These characters were written for them. Another reason why I am glad to have seen this episode and certain parts of the movie is that I don't know if I can sit through watching it again because it just makes me feel too much. It is always easier for me to read a book portraying the subject matter dealt with in The Color Purple than it is for me to watch a movie and be forced to confront the sexual, physical and emotional abuse. But enough about the movie and onto this beautiful novel.
But before I give my thoughts on it, I would like to share a quote that is at the back of my copy of The Color Purple:
If you are not touched by this book you can't be touched. Not a word is wasted, every breath is accounted for. We all know this is one of the greatest books of all time. Benjamin Zephaniah.
And now for my review:
The Color Purple is a beautiful novel, and it handles such delicate subject matter in such an incredible way. It is an incredibly sad story, but at least it has a happy ending, because other wise it would just be unbearable. I love that this book is so brutally honest with the subject matter that it deals with because so often stories like this are under rug swept. I love that this book is from the perspective of a woman who sees and experiences all the injustices that women experienced so frequently in the time which the novel was set, and which women still experience today. The way that Alice Walker captures the emotions is flawless and just so beautiful. This is a book that all feminists have to read.
It is quite difficult to write a review for The Color Purple that does this amazing book justice - I will then refer you again to the quote that I gave above, because nothing does this phenomenal book more justice than this quote. If you have not read The Color Purple before then you are doing yourself and this book an injustice, so go and read it now.
Thursday, 9 June 2011
The Tale of Mr Tod is one of the lesser known stories by Beatrix Potter. I chose this book so that I could better get to know Mr Tod, but also because I have a Mr Tod doll - as you can see in the pictures - so I thought he should get his 5 minutes of fame. But back to the story, The Tale of Mr Tod is not as enjoyable as Miss Potter's other stories like The Tale of Peter Rabbit or The Tale of Tom Kitten, but it is characteristic of the genius that is Beatrix Potter and it has a happy ending (well sort of anyway).
Definitely not my favourite Beatrix Potter story, but it is worth reading just to experience the genius of Beatrix Potter. Tommy Brock is an obnoxious character, and you sort of feel sorry for Mr Tod for having to put up with Tommy Brock's atrocious behaviour - but then you remember what he did to Jemima Puddleduck and then you get over it. I am just glad that the little bunnies are okay at the end of the story, and it is lovely to see into the world of a grown up Peter and Benjamin Bunny.
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Scarlet makes a long trip to Atlanta to stay with Melanie and Melanie’s aunt, Pittypat. The busy city agrees with Scarlett’s temperament, and she begins to see a great deal of Rhett. Rhett infuriates Scarlett with his bluntness and mockery, but he also encourages her to flout the severely restrictive social requirements for mourning Southern widows. As the war progresses, food and clothing run scarce in Atlanta. Scarlett and Melanie fear for Ashley’s safety. After the bloody battle of Gettysburg, Ashley is captured and sent to prison, and the Yankee army begins bearing down on Atlanta. Scarlett desperately wants to return home to Tara, but she has promised Ashley she will stay with the pregnant Melanie, who could give birth at any time.
This brief summary of Gone with the Wind was taken from Sparknotes.com
And now for my thoughts on Part II
In Part I I felt that Scarlet was being really stupid, spiting herself just to get back at Ashley for not wanting to marry her. In Part II we see how Scarlet has grown, and I love that she realises how foolish she was in her marriage to Charlie. She sees how she only succeeded in spiting herself by taking away everything she enjoyed - dancing, dances, beaux - by marrying Charlie. Through this foolish marriage she made herself wife to someone she did not even love, then became a widow restricting her even more and then the worst cherry on top - making her a mother long before she was ready for it.
I admire Scarlet's self control - being so nice to Melanie when all she really wants to do is rip her head off because she despises her so. Rhett Butler's character is developed more in Part II - and we see how despicable he is; despicable to those in the South with his boorishness, but I think that if Rhett Butler were to be put in a modern setting, no one would think as poorly of him as they did in the 1860s. I must say that I admire Rhett for helping Scarlet to come out of the shell that she has been forced into by her early widowhood. His dancing with her at the bazaar is something that raises my opinion of him.
And now for my general thoughts on Part II:
I find it amazing how the army from the South was able to fight so valiantly for as long as they did considering that their army had a limited supply. Whilst the Yankee's could and did get reinforcements from overseas. Had this not been the case then the South would not have been in such a terrible state as we see in Part II. I love how Margaret Mitchell has written this book - including historically relevant descriptions of how Atlanta changed from the start of the war in a way that you would not realise that you are not reading a story of the people in the book but are rather getting a more graphic picture painted in your mind's eye. If you were just reading and not paying attention you would not pick up the historical way in which she sets the scene - this is marvellous!
That is all I have to say about Part II of Gone with the Wind - Part III should be up some time next week.
And now for the review:
This so far has been the most interesting book in the series for me, not only because I could not spot who the perpetrator was, but because of the interesting facts about mourning jewellery. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the perpetrator in this novel, and was delighted that the plot was a lot more twisted in this book than in the other two. Laura Childs just gets better as she goes along! I love that we are getting to know the characters better, but Delaine Dish just annoys me. I only wish that there was more Jory Davis!! Theodosia is such a wonderful character and Burt Tidwell is a lot easier on the senses than he was in the first book. Earl Grey is also a wonderful character, and his brilliance shines through in this third installment of the series.
P.S. Sadly this is where my reviews on the Tea Shop Mystery Series ends, that is until I get my hands on books 4-12...
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
And now for the review:
I would like to start my review by saying how stoked I was that the author Laura Childs mentioned an indigenous South African tea in this book. Rooibos Tea or Redbush as it is written in this book is a wonderful South African tea, which if you have not yet had the pleasure of drinking you have to make a plan to have some. It is a wonderful, sweet tea with a beautiful red colour that you can have with or without milk. And because it is such a sweet tea you do not need as much sugar in it. Also it is a great source for antioxidants. But enough about Rooibos Tea and onto my thoughts on Gunpoweder Green...
I really enjoyed this book, and well even though I am only on book 2, I really think that this series shows a lot of promise. The only thing I did not like is that I figured out who the murderer was again before it was revealed. I like being surprised, but this did not detract from my enjoyment. I will say though that this book has a very clever plot and is a really enjoyable mystery, also I liked that there are so many possible suspects and an added twist to this story.
I am glad that in this book Timothy Neville gets the chance to redeem himself after the ghastly impression that he gave us all in the previous book. I love the vocabulary that Ms Childs uses, her inclusion of words that are not common place is wonderful and gives you the chance to expand your vocabulary. I also love the inclusion of recipes at the end of these books as the food that gets mentioned in this book is just delectable!
Monday, 6 June 2011
Ordinarily, Charleston's Indigo Tea Shop is an oasis of calm. But when tea shop owner, Theodosia Browning, caters the annual Lamplighter Tour of historic homes, one of the patrons turns up dead. Never mind that it's Hughes Barron, a slightly scurrilous real estate developer. Theodosia's reputation is suddenly on the line. Aided by her friends and fellow tea shop entrepreneurs, Theo sets about to unravel the mystery of the deadly Darjeeling and encounters a number of likely suspects. Tanner Joseph, the fiery environmentalist, held a grudge against the developer for his misuse of land. Timothy Neville, the octogenarian major domo for the Heritage Society, opposed Hughes Barron's election to the board. And Barron's unsavory partner might very well profit from a cleverly written buy-sell agreement!
And now for the review:
Unlike some mysteries I have read before, I was not immediately drawn into this story. There was nothing compelling me to keep reading. However, that does not mean that I did not like it. The characters are lovely, I especially love Drayton and Theodosia, and also Jory Davis who I think appeared far too little in this book.
Death by Darjeeling is a very cosy story - and it helps you not only learn about a new place, but also so many different teas! I did find though that I knew who the murderer was before it was revealed, but this is not something uncommon. Death by Darjeeling is a wonderful read when you are looking for something light to escape in, I cannot wait to see what the rest of the series has in store.
Sunday, 5 June 2011
Book 11 in the Southern Vampire Series, this book left me with mixed feelings. Whilst I am very glad to have had my next fix of Sookie, and seeing some of her problems eliminated, and her having a new mystery to solve (the cluvial dor); it left me disappointed too. Things between Sookie and eric are left at such an awkward place and ther is just too much to ponder (Appius' arrangements, the cluvial dor what are the fairies up to..) to be happily waiting in anticipation for the next installment. Though some of the revelations in this book (how it is that Sookie and Hunter have their special gift) gives greater insight into the world of Sookie, I was not left satisfied at the end. Sookie is so isolated at the end of the book, that it worries me a bit, so I just can't wait for the next book so that I can tie up some of the loose ends. But on a lighter note, I was happy that Bubba played a great role in this book because he is one of my favourites :P
Saturday, 4 June 2011
"I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . ."
Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.
If I had to describe this book in a word, it would have to be horrific. Not that it is badly written, it is written very clearly, Portia's thoughts are conveyed very concisely, but the story that she tells is absolutely horrific. This is absolutely not a book to be read for pleasure, but rather to learn more about people and what they go through. To be in the mind of an anorexic, to see how ridiculous behaviour becomes rationalised, is just shocking, and rather disturbing too.
The things that Portia did to her body all so that she could believe that she was worthy of the fame and attention she had and hiding her sexuality; it is all just so sad. It is terrible that anyone has to go through this and I am just glad that she made it to the other side healthy and alive and I think that this book is an eye opener for anyone; allowing us into the mindset of an illness that kills so many.
Friday, 3 June 2011
Lauren is downtown Chicago's youngest elite realtor. She's also a witch. She must be - the fetching spell for Witches' Chat isn't supposed to make mistakes. So says the woman who coded the spell, at least.
The tall, dark, and handsome guy sent to assess her is a witch too (and no, that doesn't end the way you might think). What he finds in Lauren will change lives, mess with a perfectly good career, and require lots of ice cream therapy.
And now for the review:
This story had me drawn in at the very beginning; the way Debora Geary introduces us to these characters just makes you want to know more! It is exceptionally written (much like those wonderful Novel Nibbles!) and very original. I love how the reader picks up on Lauren's intuitive nature because of her magical skill before she does (or maybe that was just me?). Nat is also a great character, and you feel her serenity coming off the page. All the characters are great and I have to say that Aervyn is my favourite! He is such a cute little kid and his character is just so great that it makes you wish you had a little Aervyn in your life because he is just so wonderful. The whole family of witches in A Modern Witch is just so great, it really made me wish that I had a witching family of my own!
The storyline is truly exceptional and very exciting, and did I mention how cute Aervyn is? I did, didn't I? But he is just so adorable that he is worth mentioning again. You really wish he was your kid because he is just so darn cute! This is a feel good novel that you simply have to share and it is wonderful news to share that this is book one in the series, with the second book due this summer. The magic in this book is just wonderful, and me not even get to Lauren's couch...
Debora Geary's witchin world is just so exciting and inviting, and all the characters are just so delightful and endearing that I was just sad when the book ended. Atleast there is the sequel to look forward to this Summer!
The synopsis taken from deborageary.com
Jake thought he had a juvenile delinquent witch in need of rescue. Romy couldn't decide if he was a kidnapper, liar, or too good to be true. Throw in Tattoo Boy, sparking fingers, and a seven-year-old who can see the future, and you have all the makings for a romance.
Well, there's some really great linguine and a duet from West Side Story, too.
With an unlikely beginning, this story has a romantic ending. The chemistry between Jake and Romy leaps off te page. All the witches in this story are so endearing, especially the little witch Jolie who is as cute as a button. This story is just adorable, not that I want to belittle the author, but there is not a better way to describe them. I love the adventure and the happy ending, and let's not talk about the delicious foods that come alive from the pages. Jake is one of those literary guys that you just fall in love with, and Romy is just the right girl for him. This story is cute and funny, and just the read that everyone needs.
I do think though that with the way this delicious story ends, there is definitely room for a sequel or two? *wink, wink, nudge, nudge I am so hinting that I want more from this world*
I have only got praise for Debora Geary's novel nibbles. They are the perfect little read inbetween reads, and are also good for those times when you just have to read something but don't have the time for a full novel. I thoroughly enjoyed To Love a Witch, but Matchmakers 2.0 is still my favourite novel nibble. So go on, go and get yourself a copy of To Love a Witch, you know you want to!
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
In a compelling story on living as an incest survivor and the how-to's of love, faith, and healing, Jo discovers she is not alone in her fight to leave her past behind and move beyond sorrow into joy.
When you can't do it better, take it from the book jacket I say. This is a succinct synopsis of what to expect from Spin the Plate the full novel. But if you have read the short story or even my review of the short story, then you already will have the gist of the story that is told in this poignant novel.
So what did I think of the full length novel?
I loved it! The short story gave the less detailed version of the story, but the novel gives you a more intimate glance in the life of Jo. Having read the full novel, I feel that the questions I had after reading the short story. I feel that I understand Jo a lot better, having been given the chance to have some more flashbacks on her life. I could not understand why she would go and visit her father in prison, but then you understand through a good memory of the past and you see what a strong and compassionate person Jo really is. I understand why she felt the responsibility to stand by him to the end even though he hurt her so badly. I truly applaud her for that, but in reading this book you expect nothing less of Jo. What I love most is that the full length novel has a less open ending than the short story. I love that we get to see a lot more of the joy that Jo experiences after she and Francis get married. I loved being witness to their wedding!! I was really happy at the end of this beautiful novel of survival, because it truly could not have had a better ending.