Tag Archives: Book

Book Reviews: Hold Still by Nina LaCour


This book was good, but it could have been much, much more. What was meant to be a story of grief and loss felt underdeveloped and slightly unrealistic, relationships between characters were often confusing and it didn’t seem like the behaviour of the teenaged characters was quite right. The boys populating the story seemed more like the fantasies of what girls want them to be like – openly sensitive and vulnerable in a way that I have never heard of guys acting. I have also never heard a guy say “he’s my best friend” about someone, yet they say it frequently in this story.
Despite its flaws, this was not a bad book. It had its good parts and many of the characters were interesting, it just was not as deep or powerful or thought-provoking as it could have been. The way the characters deal with their grief, while probably in line with real-life reactions, didn’t strike any chords with me as a reader. All I could glean from it was that if I lost my friend, I would have no amazing carpentry or photography skills to fall back on.
All in all this felt more like a Looking For Alaska by way of Paper Towns attempt, with a little bit of Thirteen Reasons Why thrown in but it never reaches the emotion or poignancy of John Green or Jay Asher’s work. Somehow, though, I still found things to enjoy about this book. It’s worth checking out if only for the awesome cubby-house ideas. Recommended for ages 15-18. Contains coarse language, mature themes and sexual references.
View this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6373717-hold-still?ac=1
View all current information on the movie adaptation: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2334536/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1


Movie Reviews: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

City Of BonesPoster tmi
There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that this movie was designed for those who had read and loved the book, rather than as a movie that could stand on its own. There are gaps in the movie that are filled in the book, so for those people who hate this movie and are dismissing it as Twilight-esque, I encourage you to read the books. I think this movie would be better enjoyed as a companion to the novel. Nonetheless, it was highly exciting and enjoyable and stuck to the original story about as much as could be expected. Some highlights for the movie were the inclusion of some of the funnier lines from the book, which sets the story apart nicely, and Jamie Campbell Bower and Robert Sheehan who play Jace Wayland and Simon Lewis to perfection. It’s no fantastic, it’s not horrible, it is just what you would expect – a funny, action-packed and enjoyable movie best enjoyed along with the novels rather than as an alternative.
WARNING: If you have only read the first book than I suggest waiting to see this until you have read City of Glass, as they added some major spoilers for some reason!

Book Reviews: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

It is very rare for me to find a book which I find genuinely in-your-face and scary and hard to handle, but I finally found such a book in Poison Study. One of this book’s strongest points is the main voice of Yelena – As she navigates her treacherous world, you are completely pulled into the story along with her. Most interestingly, you rarely see evidence of her being a good, moral person. Instead you are transported into the mind of this incredibly flawed, broken human being, and yet you can’t help but want her to pull through, and find things to care about and learn to be whole again. The brutality was sometimes difficult for me to read through, but it added to the story as much as the book’s other elements. A powerful, dark and absorbing book. Recommended for ages 16+. Contains strong violence and themes, sexual references and coarse language.
View this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60510.Poison_Study?from_search=true

Book Reviews: Wither by Lauren Destefano

A large part of what makes Wither so compelling is the muted sense of terror and danger Destefano maintains throughout the book. As you read, you quickly begin to realise just how vulnerable these young characters are, and how dire the circumstances under which they are living have become. From the very first page this book had me under its mesmerising spell – the richly woven narrative of love, sisterhood, loss, fear, murder and the desire for freedom is one that you don’t see executed so well in some books. Here it is near perfect. A delightfully creepy sucker-punch of a book, Wither is sure to thrill, scare and move teenagers and adults alike who are looking for a dark, intriguing dystopian world to sink into.  Recommended for ages 15-18. Contains violence, strong themes and sexual references.
View this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8525590-wither?ac=1
View all current information on the movie adaptation: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3111104/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3

Book Reviews: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

While Green’s attempt at a more light-hearted novel doesn’t quite hit the mark the way Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars do, this book remains a complete delight to read. Packed with all the clever humour, host of well-written characters, and pretentious use of excessively large words we have come to expect from Green, Katherines is a nice attempt to avoid the more serious issues explored in his other novels.
The little facts included on the pages are really what make this book special, not just because they are informative, but also because the wry humour of the novel reaches even into the tiny footnotes. I think a sign of a great novel is when even the smallest of passages at the bottom of the page can make you giggle while reading.
This is probably the one Green book which will not cut your heart into a million pieces, and for that it has its place, maybe not as a classic, but as a genuinely lovable novel with real heart. Check it out, you won’t regret it.
Recommended for ages 14+. Contains coarse language, sexual references and mathematical formulas which may make your head explode.
View this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49750.An_Abundance_of_Katherines

Book Reviews: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Unexpectedly charming despite it’s undead main characters, Warm Bodies captures the essence of human emotion and hope in a dying world. While alot of the story can be confusing and poorly written at times, especially during dialogue between R and Perry, it still managed to be an engaging story which I very much enjoyed. Appropriately gory without being over-the-top, and genuinely touching in many places, Warm Bodies is a good novel friend to those who are not usually horror fans or who are looking for something a little different. Recommended for ages 15+. Contains violence and brief descriptions of gore, coarse language and sexual references.
View this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7619057-warm-bodies
View all information on the movie adaptation: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588173/?ref_=sr_1

Book Reviews: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

**WARNING: This is not going to be a positive review, I apologise to any fans of these novels and hope this will not deter you from the rest of this blog, but I really did not like this book**
I so, so wanted to love this book, the idea seemed so crazy but also sounded like it would prove to be an interesting look about how our world rates worth and beauty. Sadly I found myself incredibly disappointed by the result. Predictable, poorly written and with a plot that plods along rather then spiriting. Tally is severely unlikeable, incredibly annoying  and appears rather moronic at several points throughout the book. The idea was fantastic, but in the end it felt like Westerfeld was trying to encourage girls to judge one another by their looks instead of telling them not to. I have not bothered with the other books but am told that they are even worse then this one – even going as far as to almost glorifying things like self harm. My strong advice is avoid this book! Recommended for – well, no one… but ages 14-16 if you really want to give it a try. I have tried hard to forget the contents of this novel so I have no idea what to warn you about – Let’s just say violence, coarse language, sexual references, mature themes and stupidity.

View this book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24770.Uglies
View all current information on the movie adaptation (here’s hoping the premise can be done justice this time): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0986270/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1