Noughts & Crosses
(Noughts & Crosses, book #1) by Malorie Blackman 5/10 It sounded like a good Romeo and Juliet story so I bought the box set of all four of the series. After reading the first one I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest. On the surface it was a basic R&J, but it floated on the sea of a political and anti-racism rant. Now you’re wondering what I have against that, aren’t you? Well, the answer...
(Monument 14, book #1) by Emmy Laybourne 3/10 I was so excited for the Monument 14 series when I first read the synopsis! It sounded like a really good – if a bit cliché – story idea that I hadn’t read before. Fourteen children in the town of Monument find themselves in superstore without supervision when their buses crash in a freak hail storm on the way to their schools. They end up in the...
by Chuck Palahniuk 7/10 I’ve seen the movie several times and I absolutely love it. I didn’t even know it was based on a book before I saw it on sale. I snatched it up and it sat on my shelf for a while. Finally, a friend told me I should read it, because it’s really messed up. He wasn’t kidding. Fight Club is one of the more twisted books I have ever read. Everyone who knows the movie knows the...
by Robert Westall 3/10 Blitzcat isn’t the kind of book I would have picked up to read of my own accord. A good friend handed it to me because it’s one of his favourite books, and so I said I would give it a shot. It’s not a bad book. In fact, it’s very easy to read. I got through it in a couple of hours. It’s definitely geared towards younger readers with language and style, but the content (some...
(Gone, book 6) by Michael Grant 10/10 I finished Light two three hours ago. I can still feel it. I’ve barely moved. [You should know, though, that Michael Grant’s errors and inconsistencies are back (eg. “Sanjit’s sister, Bowie…” but Bowie is a boy). But at this point I’m done really caring. It’s just Grant’s style. If Garth Nix can be forgiven then Michael Grant definitely should. I do have one...
(Gone, book 5) by Michael Grant 10/10 Well. That was intense. As you may have guessed already, the Gone series has had me hooked for the last two weeks or so. Fear was released about a year ago and, like the rest, I bought it as soon as I could. I did a bit of research and found a poll that asked which book of the first five was the reader’s favourite. About 55% of votes were for Fear (something...
(Gone, book 4) by Michael Grant 8/10 Plague had a bit of a slow start. As you might have guessed, Plague is about the happenings in the FAYZ while the children are getting sick and, in some cases, dying. For the first third of the book or so all you get is a build-up. You find out where everyone is and what they’re up to, and just how bad the illnesses that are plaguing (sorry) the kids really...
(Gone, book 3) by Michael Grant 9/10 I went straight from Hunger (book 2) to Lies with just a few hours break between. I had already started reading two other books but I couldn’t resist the pull of the Gone series, so I dove right in. Lies is still riddled with the typos, mistakes and the repetition that I’ve come to expect from these books. Grant definitely isn’t the best author I’ve read and I...
(Gone, book 2) by Michael Grant 8/10 I bought Gone (book 1) way back in 2008 when it was first released. I read it and, as far as I can remember, thought it was a very good book. I hadn’t been writing reviews to keep my memory in check back then but even now, five years on, I can still remember a lot of that book. That’s pretty impressive. Over the years, as Hunger (2), Lies (3), Plague (4) and...
A Confusion of Princes
by Garth Nix 9/10 I haven’t read many Garth Nix books and I am aware that this is a problem. In fact, I’ve only read one other. Shade’s Children. I mostly loved it. My sister and my boyfriend are both huge Garth Nix fans and they are forever telling me to read more of his works. And I will. I even have Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday and Sabriel on my book shelves. Really, I should read those before...
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the...
by Lewis Carroll 8/10 When I read Peter Pan for the first time last year I fell in love. It was like someone wrapped up a childhood I had long since forgotten and handed it to me with a bow on top, saying, ‘Here. Enjoy.’ This made me want to read more children’s classics, and at top of that list was Alice. I was going to buy it right before I would read it, but that option was taken away when a...
City of Fallen Angels
(The Mortal Instruments, book 4) by Cassandra Clare 6/10 I read this one a while ago and just now realised that I hadn’t written a review for it. I couldn’t understand why until I went to the Wikipedia page for the plot and glanced through it. Not a lot happens. Ultimately it is a sort-of-decent set-up for another story arch in the world of the Shadowhunters, but the more I think about it, the...
The Casual Vacancy
by J.K Rowling 3/10 I can see why the BBC snapped up the idea to turn this into a TV show: 1. It has JK Rowling’s name on it. 2. It’s basically Eastenders in a book. I wanted to like this so much, because Jo Rowling is my one true leader. She penned the series that changed my life quite literally and I was so sure The Casual Vacancy would be great in every way. I even preordered it and started...
Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher 9/10 You know how I’ve said before that male writers often can’t express emotions as well as they should be expressed? That is the only reason why this book doesn’t have full marks from me (though I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, so you know). There are moments when I wanted to read more than I was getting from the book, but those moments were few and very far between. Right now I can...
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
(Miss Peregrine #1) by Ransom Riggs 8/10 See, this is why I write reviews as soon as possible after reading a book. I have a terrible memory and I like to be able to look back and see what I liked about a book, or what I hated about it. I read Miss Peregrine back in August – four months ago – and I have no idea why I didn’t review it. I forgot that I hadn’t until last week and now I have to...
by Cat Patrick 2/10 The best part of this book was the synopsis on the back. The premise sounded entirely amazing. We have a girl who can only ‘remember’ the future, but nothing from her past. She sees her future life in pieces like the way we remember things from our pasts; the good, the bad, missing parts here and there. Once she experiences a day, even if she has already predicted what will...
Struck by Lightning
(Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal) by Chris Colfer 9/10 I’ll start off by saying I’m a fan of Chris Colfer as an actor and a generally all-round charming gent. I have not yet read his other book (though it’s on my wishlist!) and I picked this one up because I could get it for half off and I was feeling that excitement you get when you see a book on a shelf that you didn’t know...
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon 9/10 What grabbed me about this book was the premise at its most basic level. It is a story from the point of view of a fifteen-year-old boy, Christopher, with Asperger’s Syndrome who has decided to solve the mystery of the murder of his neighbour’s dog. It does sound like it could be a huge failure of writing, but it is brilliant. I’ve known someone with AS and know on a personal...
Volume 1 by Natsuki Takaya 8/10 Everyone should read Fruits Basket. Whether you’re a fan of manga or not, you should give this a go. It is one of the funniest books I’ve opened in a long time and had me giggling hysterically at inappropriate moments. It’s not a very complicated plot for the beginning of the series which only adds to the humor. The story follows Tohru Honda, you average wide-eyed...
The Freedom Writers Diary
(The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them.) by Erin Gruwell 2/10 Meeehhhh. I saw the movie a long time ago and I loved it. I was excited to get reading the inspiration behind it and was sure it wasn’t going to disappoint. It did. It disappointed in a big way. I understand the appeal in a book like this. A book made up of 146...
Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L James 0/10 Can you imagine what people will think in a hundred years when they look back at the ‘classics’ of our time and find is bilge? Easily the worst written book I’ve ever read. I’m aware that it started out as fanfiction but I’m still surprised that a middle-aged woman came out with it and not a fifteen year old girl, as the complete lack of writing skill suggests. Even the content...
A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd illustrated by Jim Kay 10/10 Siobhan Dowd had been suffering from terminal cancer when she started A Monster Calls and died before she could write it. Her publisher, Walker Books, approached another of their authors and asked him, Patrick Ness, to complete her work. It is supposed to be a children’s book, and in many ways I can see why a 9-12...
We Are Anonymous
(We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency) by Parmy Olsen 6/10 I picked this one up because ever since Anonymous made the news and became a familiar name for anyone with a decent internet presence I had been intrigued and fascinated by everything about them. Of course, because of the nature of Anonymous finding out any information in the...
City of Glass
(The Mortal Instruments, book 3) by Cassandra Clare 7.5/10 City of Glass is the third book of six, of the Mortal Instruments series, and the final book of the first cycle trilogy. Confused? Let me explain. Cassandra Clare initially meant for the Mortal Instruments to be a trilogy, which means the first three books (City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass) still are a stand-alone story....
The Sword of Shannara
by Terry Brooks 1/10 I’ll admit it. I couldn’t finish this one. Why are all fantasy books exactly the same as the next?! The similarities to The Lord of the Rings (which I also didn’t finish because I didn’t like it) are far too close. I’ve heard this book referred to as ‘Undigested Tolkien’ and I have to agree. It might be well written and easy to...
(An ARCTIC 6 Adventure, #3) by C. T. Furlong 5/10 Imagine the Famous Five kids in modern-day London, with gadgets and science. The ARCTIC 6 series is definitely one for the youngsters and I would definitely recommend it to anyone between eight and twelve years old, especially to any little boys with a love for adventure and science. That being said, I think that some of the references might be...
by Cory Doctorow 6/10 The only reason I got Little Brother was because I’m going to meet Cory Doctorow next year a writers’ convention here in Dublin. I knew I wanted to read at least one of his books so I had an idea what he is about, what his style and genre is and whether or not I like him. Little Brother is special. Doctorow released it under a creative commons license, which means that there...
by Libba Bray 9/10 I had never read a Libba Bray book before and had no idea what to expect. I knew she was a good friend of, or was at least acquainted with John Green, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Holly Black, who, even though I don’t particularly like all of their novels, are pretty cool people. I would give my left leg to be in that social group. I picked up Beauty Queens when I...
The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger 2/10 And the award for Most Irritating Narrator goes to… Holden Caulfield, a seventeen year old boy, gets kicked out of school for failing most of his classes. He decides to leave school a few days before the scheduled Christmas break, and spends a couple of days wandering around New York City, dating girls, getting drunk, smoking, pissing off prostitutes, questioning his...
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
(First published as Het Achterhuis. Dagboekbrieven 14 july 1942 – 1 augustus 1944 (The Annex: Diary Notes from 14 June 1942 – 1 August 1944)) by Anne Frank 10/10 Everyone knows the story of Anne Frank, so there is no reason for me to avoid spoilers. No one reads it nowadays to find out what happens in the end. The beauty of this book doesn’t lie with mystery or intrigue or fantasy, and...
World War Z
by Max Brooks 9/10 Oh, good books, how I missed thee. Zombies never really did anything for me, I have to admit. When everyone else was flapping about the latest zombie book/game/movie/theory I was much more interested in other things, like wizards and Shadowhunters. I just never really ‘got’ zombies. They weren’t scary to me, just gross, and I thought people were kinda silly...
by Emma Donoghue 2/10 I can see what Donoghue was trying to do and for all intents and purposes, she did it well. Room is the novel which echoes the Fritzl case; a huge news story from a few years back about a woman who walked into a police station in Austria and told them that she had been held captive in a basement for twenty-four years. Room is about a young woman who was kidnapped some years...
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky 6/10 The Perks of Being a Wallflower was one of those that I wanted to read before the movie hit the big screen (in September this year, by the way). I searched every book shop for a few months trying to find one that had it for less than a tenner, because I was on a self-imposed book-buying ban, but thought that five euro might not be so bad. I did find it for five euro, second...
The Boy Who Kicked Pigs
by Tom Baker 4/10 If you have an hour to kill and want a tiny book to give you a bit of a giggle and a cringe, pick this one up. It’s small enough that it gets lost on my bookshelf even though every second page is an illustration. It’s dark, twisted comedy about a young boy who has a viciously violent streak that lands him in a bit of a pickle. Because it is probably the shortest book I’ve ever...
(CHERUB, book 1) by Robert Muchamore 2/10 I was really excited for this book. The premise is great: kids are recruited by a secret division known as CHERUB to be spies in situations where adults would be too suspicious or inconvenient. People are wary of adult strangers, but at the same time parents let their kids bring home other kids all the time, right? What better way to infiltrate a home and...
(Traces, book 1) by Malcolm Rose 4/10 Luke Harding, at sixteen years old, is the youngest ever qualified Forensic Investigator. Just as he graduates school he gets his first case, a murder on campus, and all the clues point to him! GASP! Now he has just days to solve the case before he leaves. Framed! was possibly the first ‘crime/thriller’ book I’ve read that I actually liked. It’s like CSI for...
City of Ashes
(The Mortal Instruments, book 2) by Cassandra Clare. 8/10 When I reviewed City of Ashes (book 1) I started off saying that I wasn’t going to say much about it because it was part of a series and I don’t really like to review a part of a story when there is more of it accessible. However, I went on to ramble for the length of a leg anyway. This time I am really not going to say too much. City of...
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusac 9/10 The Book Thief had been sitting on my shelf since Christmas 2010. Any of you who know me will know that this isn’t an unusual thing for a book to do. I bought it with a few others and, for some reason I’m not quite sure of, it lost priority and dropped onto my List of Books I’ll Read Eventually. That is something I regret now. I regret it because when I finally got around...
(The Dresden Files, book 1) by Jim Butcher 3/10 I got the audiobook from a friend who told me that this series was one of his favourites ever, rivalling Harry Potter, and that I had to listen to it rather than read it. Which is exactly what I did. I’m not going to repeat my reasons why I personally should have read and not listened to it, but you can read about it in my other...
by J.M. Barrie 10/10 Unlike most kids, I didn’t read Peter Pan when I was younger. By the time I was old enough to join the library I was all about the Babysitters Club and Point Horror. Before then I was far too into Barbie dolls to waste time with books. I finally bought Peter Pan about two years ago and it had been sitting in my Life’s Library ever since. I had seen all the movies...
An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green 5/10 Thus far, An Abundance of Katherines is my least favourite John Green book. That’s not to say that it was a bad book, but it just wasn’t as phenomenally great as The Fault in Our Stars or Looking For Alaska. It started off slightly heavy with An Abundance of mathematical jargon and plenty of pointless and somewhat unnecessary random facts, all of them in footnotes on almost...
by George Orwell 7/10 I was excited to sink my teeth into this one. I had heard a lot about it, how this was where ideas like Big Brother and Room 101 came from. I’m not sure about anyone else but if an old book is mentioned as the source of something popular or well known I usually add it to my list. Nineteen Eighty-Four was added to my list about three years ago. And now you see why I had to...
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
(“A Trilogy of Five Parts”) by Douglas Adams 7/10 It took me a long time to get through the, uh, trilogy. It’s the kind of series that you have to be in the mood for. If you want something serious, dramatic and life-changing you should probably pick up something else instead. However, if you want something hilarious, face-paced, mildly confusing and extremely clever, you’re on the...
Anonymous asked: As simple as snow is not about the author, gregory galloway has stated. The book is not a mystery, it's a Bildungsroman. The answers you marked as obvious are of course obvious to you, not to a character who just lost his girlfriend and has no idea where she is or what has happened to her. I think your critique on As Simple As Snow was ignorant and belittling to the actually message the book...
As Simple As Snow
by Gregory Galloway 2/10 Spoilers and bad language to follow. Buh. All right, let’s get this over with. I wanted to read this book so much. I had whined about it and bragged about the wondrous reviews that people gave it, and how one of the brothers Green had said it would be one of the best books I would ever read. This book was a gift from my everything-friend when he was just my...
The Fault In Our Stars
by John Green 10/10 I admit it. I hadn’t been this excited for the release of a book since Deathly Hallows. So great was my anticipation that even though my everything-friend’s pre-ordered copy which he had bought for me months ago arrived to him when it was supposed to (purple J-Scribble, for the record. Win!), and even though I pre-ordered the special edition of the audiobook when...
Looking for Alaska
by John Green. 10/10 I’m sure I’m not the only person to have picked up Looking for Alaska well after its publication only because of the discovery and subsequent love of the VlogBrothers. Perhaps my view of the book is a tad biased because of that, but I severely doubt it. Looking for Alaska is a new favourite. I knew about one-third of the way through that I had fallen head-over-heels in love...
City of Bones
(The Mortal Instruments, book 1) by Cassandra Clare. 8/10 As with any first book of a series I try not to say too much about it until I’ve read the rest, and I will definitely be reading the rest. City of Bones isn’t a very original base concept. Angel-blooded demon hunters (‘Shadowhunters’) versus an evil man who wants to take over the world with an army of underworld creatures and righteous...
by Cat Clarke. 9/10 I bought this book on a whim. I went on holiday with two books, finished one and didn’t feel like starting the other, so I went to town and found a book shop with a tiny Young Adult section, most of which already reside on my bookshelf at home. The cover of Entangled stood out for me though; a vulnerable looking girl with dyed scarlet hair, dark eyes and broken nail polish. I...
I Am David
(aka ‘North to Freedom’) by Anne Holm. 5/10 Another short and sweet one, I Am David was written in 1963 and follows the adventures of a young boy after he has been set free from a concentration camp in World War Two Bulgaria. There isn’t a lot to say about the story as to say anything at all would spoil it for anyone wishing to read it themselves. However, I will say that I was pleasantly...