Friday, 29 February 2008

Eclipse


Eclipse - Stephanie Meyer

Rating 4/5

Read as part of Joy's YA Challenge

When the opening chapter contains references to Cathy and Heathcliffe you know your probably going to get angst, selfishness and broken hearts.

Eclipse is exactly that. There is a great deal of Bella not wanting to hurt Edward or Jacob and then going ahead and doing it anyway. Part of me wishes there had never been sequels to Twilight. I loved it so much and I do feel Bella and Edward's love is tarnished now. It's not quite the fairy tale it was if the heroine loves someone else too. On the other hand I have been up very late finishing this book and I can't wait to read the next one.

So I'm torn. Just as Bella is torn between Jacob and Edward. I have no idea how all this is going to be resolved in Breaking Dawn. I don't even know what I want to happen. I would like Edward to go back to being the Edward of Twilight rather than the unbelievably accepting but also over domineering Edward he's become. One time I did completely agree with Bella was when she said

"Don't start with the noble self-sacrificing now!. . . Fight! Make me forget him. Make me forget my own name. Fight back!"

On the whole I really enjoyed the book. There were lots of back stories of the different characters but they were interesting and I enjoyed learning more about the Cullens. The plot as usual speed along pulling me with it and the last few chapters were an excellent climax.

I am hoping Stephanie Meyer does some spin off books about the other member of the Cullen Family especially Alice and Jasper.

Other Reviews

Alison So many books so little time

Heroines


Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course, you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these things to one name, why should I force you to?)



The first heroine to spring to mind was the incomparable Elizabeth Bennett, she has been a favourite of mine for a long time.

I also love Linda from the Pursuit of Love firstly because she is the Radlett's distilled. Then because she will not settle for second best, she doesn't let one mistake ruin her life she goes on trying to find happiness.

Lyra Silvertonuge is another favourite. I love how we see her change and develop across the books. I love how she finds herself and strives to become the person she wants to be. I love how loving Will changes her too but she is still strong enough to give him up and go through life without him.

Finally I adore Stephanie Plum she just makes me laugh out loud. Her narration of the Plum novels are what make them brilliant.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Vampire or Werewolf?

New Moon - Stephanie Meyer

Rating 4/5

Read for Joy's YA Challenge


After finishing Twilight I did go straight out and buy New Moon. I just couldn't wait to see what happened next, it didn't disappoint. I was as thoroughly drawn into this book as I was with Twilight, I couldn't put it down.

Stephanie Meyer creates such wonderful characters. I really didn't think anyone could rival Edward but I just adore Jacob. He is so sweet and so very real, even when he was angry I still liked him. But just as I was beginning to think Bella should take her chance at trying to be happy with him Edward came back. I really don't know who I want her to end up with now. I do think Edward is her soul mate but then again if Romeo and Juliet had lived would they have been happy or was it all a bit too intense?

I thought Bella's depression was handled very well. Parts of that nearly broke my heart. I understood the adrenaline inducing activities she entered into as well. Sometimes when you're in pain only fear and shock can make you feel like you're still alive.

It was good to get out of Forks for a while and see some other Vampires and learn about their habits and talents. I thought Italy set up a lot of interesting questions that I'm hoping for answers to in Eclipse especially concerning what will happen if Bella does become a vampire. I also enjoyed the return of Alice who is one of my favourite extra characters.

Other Reviews

Alison So many books so little time

The Owl Service

The Owl Service - Alan Garner

Rating 3/5

Read for Joy's YA Challenge


This was such a strange little story. It concerns three teenagers; step siblings Alison and Roger who are on holiday in Wales and the cooks son Gwyn. They're doomed to play out a love triangle that has haunted the valley for years.

There is a mixture of welsh legend, mystery, romance and social awareness. I didn't feel any of the characters were very well portrayed apart form Gwyn - he is at the heart of the story and the only one the reader really connects with.

The use of dialogue to advance the plot was interesting. The reader is never told what the characters are feeling or thinking we're left to infer it form what they say. This can be confusing but also very powerful. When Alison betrays Gwyn's secret to Roger the dialogue conveys both Alison's regret and Gwyn's immense hurt, without anything more needing to be added.

"Alison." Gwyn backed away from them. "Alison."
"Gwyn! Don't look at me like that. Don't."
"Alison."
"Don't! Don't look at me like that! - Don't! - I can't stand it!"
"Alison"

I did enjoy the story I thought the tension built up very well but the end left me a little mystified as to what had happened. It seemed a little to simple if this legend had been haunting the valley for centuries.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Please tell me it's not just me?


So does anyone else fall a little bit in love with fictional characters or is this my own personal quirk?

Monday, 25 February 2008

Quote of the Day



"She remembered it like a filmstrip from school, a series of unconnected images she wished she didn't have to watch"


Pilgrims, How to Breathe Underwater - Julia Orringer

Twlight

Twlight by Stephanie Meyer


Read for Joy's Young Adult Challenge

Rating 4/5


I was expecting to like this book, I'm quite a fan of Vampire fiction but I completely fell in love with it. I read it in two days. I probably would have read it in one if my husband hadn't dragged me out to dinner last night.

Bella and Edward's relationship is magical, the scene in the forest was one of the most sensual I've read in a long time.

"I don't know how to be close to you," he admitted. "I don't know if I can."
I leaned forward very slowly, cautioning him with my eyes. I placed my cheek against his stone chest. I could hear his breath, and nothing else. "This is enough," I sighed, closing my eyes. In a very human gesture, he put his arms round me and pressed his face against my hair."

I have read quite a few reviews criticising the book. The main complaint seeming to be why exactly they fall in love, because Edward is beautiful and Bella smells good? Yes, on a superficial level you could say that was the reason. What I felt was that Bella and Edward recognised something more than that in each other. They're drawn together because neither fits in, neither has found there place in the world yet and they find it with each other.
"For almost ninety years I've walked among my kind, and yours . . . all the time thinking I was complete in myself, not realising what I was seeking. And not finding anything, because you weren't alive yet."

I'll be reading the next book I've heard it features Edward less and Jacob Black more, which I'm ambivalent about. I love Edward but I did like Jacobs character's. I'd also like to find out more about the Cullen family. I just found this online. It's the first part of Twilight written from Edwards point of view, it needs of bit of editing but it's interesting.

Other Reviews of Twilight

Marg at Reading Adventures

Kristi - Passion for the Page

Alison - So many book, so little time

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Format


All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

For fiction it has to be paperbacks, easy to read in bed and easy to slip in your bag. For reference books you can't beat a nice hardcover, there is something reassuring about a hardcover. I just feel the information in there is going to worth knowing!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

After the Honeymoon



Here’s something for Valentine’s Day.

Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?


Jilly Cooper, I adored her first novels Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man who made Husbands Jealous and then she started to get a bit too much. The same stories got recycled always featuring Rupert Campbell-Black - still the most handsome man is Britain. Really? come on! He must be about 60 by now. Are ALL women still falling at his feet? It's time to find new characters but ones who are fun not obnoxious like Emerald and Abby. I didn't buy the last book, maybe if she returns to the world of horses I'll buy the next one.


I am also beginning to fall out of Love with Diana Gabaldon. I did buy the last book but I really feel she needs to say goodbye to Jamie and Claire. I realise this must be hard and I do love them but how much longer can their story continue? Also her editor needs to intercede a bit and cut the word count, I could barely lift A Breath of Snow and Ashes. the Lord John books sound interesting though so I will keep buying her.

A Valentine's Day Quote



She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
She walks in Beauty - Lord Byron

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

QOTD



"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Quote of the Day

"once, when he met my eyes, we stared at each other for a uncomfortably long time. I blushed, remembering something I'd read in abook: If someone looked into your eyes for more than five seconds it meant they were either going to sleep with you or kill you."
Ask for Pain - Julie Orringer

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Quote of the Day

"We think the world is ours forever, but we are little more than squatters."

The careful use of compliments - Alexander McCall Smith

Friday, 8 February 2008

Inkheart

Inkheart - Cornelia Funke

Rating 3/5

Read for the 888 challenge


Meggie's father, Mo can read characters out of books into the real world and read people from the real world into stories. What fabulous concept! Which bookaholic wouldn't love to be able to drop into their favourite story or have a well loved character standing in your living room? The only problem is Mo can't control who comes out and who goes in. Nine years ago Meggie's mother disappeared into Inkheart and a villain called Capricorn, his henchman Basta and Dustfinger, a fire eater, came out.

I expected to adore this novel but actually found it quite hard going. After an exciting beginning the plot meanders along and the same things keep happening. The main character Meggie isn't very captivating and the villain of the piece, the dreaded Capricorn, isn't that scary.

The most engaging character is Dustfinger, torn between helping Meggie and Mo and getting himself back into the pages of his story. Farid was also interesting and I hope will have a bigger part to play in the next book.

I did enjoy the book. It is a good story and Cornelia Funke loves books and many passages will have book lovers nodding their heads in agreement.

"Look at this Meggie!" he had whispered when he showed her the sheet of paper. "What an artist I am, eh? Is there anything in the world better than words on the page? Magic signs, the voices of the dead, building blocks to make wonderful worlds better than this one, comforters, companions in loneliness. Keepers of secrets, speakers of truth. . . all those glorious words."

It might have been a better story if Meggie had been the one reading people in and out of the books, so there was less adult involvement. There is a sequel Inkspell which I have heard is much more fast paced and interesting. I will be reading it to find out what happens next.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

But enough about books





Okay, even I can’t read ALL the time, so I’m guessing that you folks might voluntarily shut the covers from time to time as well… What else do you do with your leisure to pass the time? Walk the dog? Knit? Run marathons? Construct grandfather clocks? Collect eggshells?

Since discovering blogs last September reading them has slowly encroached into the time I used to spend reading books. There are so many wonderful things sites to visit on the internet and one thing leads to the next and suddenly a whole hour has gone by. When I'm not reading blogs or books. I can be found;

running - I'm trying to train for a half marathon,

trying to learn French with the Rosetta Stone,

cooking, I'm trying to become a domestic goddess. I have a long way to go.

watching television. I am a complete TV addict. Current must see shows included House, Lost, Chuck and Terminator. I am also catching up on series I haven't seen, on DVD; Grey Anatomy, Friday Night Lights and Fire Fly.

Reading is still my first choice though. Nothing transports me into a different world in quite the same way as a good book, so I'll be getting back to mine now.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Quote of the Day



"Look at this Meggie!" he had whispered when he showed her the sheet of paper. "What an artist I am, eh? Is there anything in the world better than words on the page? Magic signs, the voices of the dead, building blocks to make wonderful worlds better than this one, comforters, companions in loneliness. Keepers of secrets, speakers of truth. . . all those glorious words."

Inkheart- Cornelia Funke

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Quote of the Day

"It's a gentle word, secret almost she hardly needs to move her tongue at all. She thinks of blue -purple petals, the muscular ring of an eye"
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox - Maggie O'Farrell