Confessions of a Reader

'Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.' – Mason Cooley


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Dead Silent – Sharon Jones

    DSFormat: e-Arc (Netgalley)*

    *I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Published: 6th February 2014

    Publisher: Orchard Books

    Pages: 336  Series: Poppy Sinclair #2

    Score: 4 out of 5

    Buy from Amazon

Synopsis taken from Amazon:

Shrouded in secrets, the truth is murder…A Poppy Sinclair Thriller.

When Poppy Sinclair and her boyfriend visit snowy Cambridge, she doesn’t expect to discover the body of a student – arms outstretched in the act of smearing bloody angel wings on the chapel’s floor.

Suddenly, Poppy is faced with the possibility that the one closest to her heart might be the one committing the most malicious of crimes.
Dodging porters and police, dreading what she might find, Poppy follows the clues left by a murderer bent on revenge…

Long-hidden secrets are chillingly revealed, an avenging angel seeks forgiveness and red-hot vengeance must be quelled in the amazing new Poppy Sinclair thriller.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this novel! This is the second book starring Poppy Sinclair, I haven’t read the first one. This does not matter in the slightest, you can read this as a complete standalone novel. It is also a YA mystery novel, which is rare in my opinion.

The relationship between Poppy and her boyfriend Michael was perfect. I really felt their teenage angst, affection, lust and longing for each other on every page. It wasn’t gushy or overly romantic though, a huge plus for me! I loved how they were torn between right and wrong, heart over head and it always kept me thinking ‘Will they? Won’t they?’.

The plot was good. It wasn’t predictable, it definitely kept me guessing. All of the characters were well developed and the story was certainly jam-packed from the start. I enjoyed how the murder mystery plot unfolded, it had fantastic pace throughout. I also enjoyed the setting, a YA novel set in the UK – what could be better?

There are elements of the paranormal in this novel. This was well thought through and effective. I enjoyed some elements of this. Parts of the story seemed a bit drawn out and over the top. It was a surprise, the synopsis did not give too much away. I did find myself questioning why Poppy made some of the decisions she did, getting a little frustrated with her at times.

I enjoyed this YA murder mystery. The pace was snappy with twists and turns on every page.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me a review copy.

‘A good YA mystery novel filled with suspense and drama, believable characters and relationships, in a picturesque setting. A plot full of twists and turns which will keep you wondering who the culprit really is.’


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Top Ten Tuesday – REWIND

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.

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Childhood Favourites

I have loved books from such a young age – this actually proved really difficult! These are in no particular order.

1 – Matilda by Roald Dahl. I absolutely loved this book as a kid. I always wished I could have powers like Matilda did!

2 – The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton. I actually loved all of Enid Blyton’s books as a kid. I always got given them for birthdays, Christmas, good school reports etc. I actually have a pristine set, to give to my children one day (hopefully).

3 – Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I mean come on, who didn’t love this book as a kid? I wanted to visit the chocolate factory – sweets, chocolate, oompa loompas…it was such a magical world when I was small.

4 – Goosebumps by R.L Stine. I read these as my devotion to reading grew and I was in the end of primary, beginning of secondary school. The covers were always so creepy to me back then! I remember ‘Say Cheese and Die!’ and ‘Stay out of the Basement’ vividly.

5 – Point Horror by R.L Stine. These were a step up from Goosebumps. I actually look out for these  in charity shops quite often. I might even purchase some of my favourites (The Boyfriend, The Beach Party, The Lifeguard) on Amazon so I can reminisce some more. I thought these were so scary as a kid.

6 – The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling. My childhood book memories would not be the same without this series. I absolutely devoured these. I remember insisting that my nan pre-ordered them for me at WHSmiths – so I was sure to get a copy. I loved every single one, still have them on my bookshelves and adore the fact that they will be timeless classics. J.K Rowling – I heart you!

7 – All About My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards & Shirley Hughes.  I must have read these a hundred times! I still have my hardback copy on my shelf, given to me by my uncle in 1992 – I was 5. I learnt to read at a very early age!

8 – James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. As you can probably tell, I loved Roald Dahl books. The ones listed here were my particular favourites. I will one day own the box set of Roald Dahl books – when I have more shelves! I have a treasury which I picked up for a £1 at a car boot sale. Bargain!

9 – Charlotte’s Web by E.B White. I am actually planning to re-read this one because I have almost forgotten it. Every time I see the cover though it brings back fond memories.

10 – The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson by Louise Rennison. This consists of 10 books in a series. The first, and most well known, book being ‘Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging’. I remember reading these in my early teens and loving the wit, humour and honesty within them. I purchased the whole set – 10 books – from The Works at the weekend for £9.99 – yes, you did read that right. £9.99! Can’t wait to receive them and relive my youth all over again!

Did you read any of these as a kid? Has this brought back any memories for you?


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Teaser Tuesday [3]

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme held over at Should be Reading. You basically grab your current read and open to a random page, choose two non-spoiler sentences and write them in your post. Always include the title and author so that others can add your book to their TBR if they want too!

My Teaser Tuesday is:

He hadn’t actually seen the dead guy, but he seemed even more freaked out about it than her. She opened the bathroom door to the sound of more voices than she’d ever heard on the corridor.

‘Dead Silent’ – Sharon Jones.


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Simply Sunday [3]

Simply Sunday is a weekly reading meme held over at Books for a Delicate Eternity. It’s where you can share your favourite quote of the week; be it from a book, novella, a short story, a song, a poem – whatever you like! I have decided to use my favourite quote from my current read each week.

Quote:

“I trust you with their lives,’ Prof said, still writing, ‘and them with yours. Don’t betray that trust, son. Keep your impulses in check. Don’t just act because you can; act because it’s the right thing to do. If you keep that in mind, you’ll be all right.”

 – Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Why this quote?

I love the simplicity of this. I feel that we should all try to act because it is the right thing to do not just because we can – humanity would be much stronger, the world might even be a nicer place.


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Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

“Don’t betray that trust, son. Keep your impulses in check. Don’t just act because you can; act because it’s the right thing to do. If you keep that in mind, you’ll be all right.”

    SteelheartFormat: Hardcover (Library)

    Published: 26th September 2013

    Publisher: Gollancz

    Pages: 400  Series: Reckoners #1

    Score: 5 out of 5

    Amazon | The Book Depository

 Synopsis taken from Amazon:

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart – the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning – and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

My Thoughts:

I have one word for this book – wow! Just wow! I absolutely loved it, every. single. word. It is the first novel I have read by this author, and it certainly won’t be my last. Brandon Sanderson – I salute you!

This is a YA fantasy novel in which average human beings have gained super powers, after some sort of chemical reaction in the sky (think misfits/heroes). These ‘super humans’ are known as Epics, rulers and dictators not afraid to kill and cause havoc. The protagonist, David, longs to join the reckoners – an elite force of people attempting to take the Epics down – every last one of them.

David, is a wonderfully awkward 18 year old and our narrator.  He is witty and comical – he struggles to use appropriate metaphors in conversation, conveying this geeky – and particularly awkward – persona. One of my favourites:

“It’s like a banana farm for guns!”

I enjoyed reading the book through his eyes. The Reckoners are a great bunch of misfits. Megan, Cody, Tia, Prof and Abraham all have their individual quirks and issues. Not one of them has the same voice, Sanderson has managed to give each of them their own personality – some superb character development here, a great balance.

Superheroes, powers and marvellous inventions too. Brandon Sanderson has created motorcycles with gravatonics and hand tensors that can vaporise buildings amongst other high tech, fantastical equipment. Everything is so vivid that it truly makes you believe that it’s all real.

The world is so dark and eerie yet picturesque. The attention to detail is fantastic, I really felt like I was walking the understreets or in the elevator shaft with them! The setting is wonderfully ‘real’ yet completely fictional. I loved seeing parts of the world unfold as much as I did the plot.

Now, the storyline – genius, absolute genius. Steelheart has a totally unpredictable plot that had me guessing all the way to the last page. Full of action, suspense, twists, turns and revelations. Hang in there, it is a fast ride! I loved the fact that there was a slight peak of romance, but it was not at all gushy or ‘insta-loved’. Thank you Brandon Sanderson, finally – more action, less romance – this makes me a happy girl!

Overall, I cannot praise this book enough. A fantastic novel that left me literally on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. I am gutted that the second book is not out yet. I will be purchasing The Mistborn Trilogy as soon as possible, to fill the void in the meantime.

‘Read this book now! A YA fantasy novel full of superheroes, villains, actions and surprises. Writing so vivid that you believe it is all real, a book that will keep you guessing the whole way through. I hope you like surprises!’


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Stacking the Shelves [#3]

Stacking the Shelves is a meme held over at Tyngna’s Reviews. It is all about sharing the books on your shelves, physical or virtual. A great way to share books that you have purchased online, in bookstores, borrowed from the library, received for review or purchased as e-books.

I went to the library today to pick up two reserved items. I have also got some books on my Kindle that I will share today.

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Library Books – I reserved these two books as I have recently begun teaching Literacy to KS3 and wanted to brush up on some strategies. Also, working with the school librarian and being a keen reader myself (obviously!) I want to encourage more students to read. You would be surprised how many do not read regularly, if at all.

  • Getting the buggers to Read by Claire Senior
  • Getting the buggers to Behave by Sue Cowley
NetGalley – I got my first batch of approvals on NetGalley this week, I’m so excited! My first two are:
DeadSilent

Dead Silent by Sharon Jones

WhiteHart

WhiteHart by Sarah Dalton

Kindle eBooks – I have three recent purchases on my kindle. They are:

TFioSThe Fault in our Stars by John Green

FanGirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

AngelFall

Angelfall by Susan EE

Have you read any of these books? Do any interest you?

I also read my first Brandon Sanderson novel this week too – Steelheart – and absolutely loved it! Such a gripping, action packed read. I’ve definitely found a new favourite author and genre for 2014 – my review will be up shortly.

 


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2014 TBR Pile – Reading Challenge

I have decided to join up and take part in the 2014 TBR Pile – Reading challenge being held over at Bookish.

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It is a year long challenge that aims to help you reduce your TBR pile. There are many different levels to choose from. I am going for a friendly hug, which is 11-20 books, because I need to be realistic with work commitments. You can also go up levels, but you can’t come down.

I will be doing a monthly wrap up specifically for this challenge, to keep myself on track. I will give details of books read and link to any reviews posted on my blog. I know I will definitely be reading the Chronicles of Narnia as part of this challenge.

Are you doing any reading challenges?