Friday, 26 August 2011

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece - Annabel Pitcher

Terrorism. Bereavement. Alcoholism. Eating disorders. Love. Hate. Life. Death. Hope. 'My sister lives on the mantelpiece' is a book that faces many modern day issues and has a million and one different perspectives to take. Jamie is ten years old and has just moved to the Lake District with his Dad, his sister Jasmine and his other special sister, Rose, but she lives on the mantelpiece. Before five years ago Rose was Jas's twin: then she was tragically killed in a terrorist attack; for Jamie and Jas life as not been the same again. Jas has turned to piercings, hair dye and not eating, Dad has turned to drink, Mum has abandoned them but Jamie is possibly affected worst as he is yet to cry. Jamie can't really remember Rose and often feels negatively towards her memory - after all her death has destroyed his family. He begins to become friends with a girl at school called Sunya - but will his Dads prejudice get in the way of their friendship? Will Dad ever let go of his deceased daughter, or is that something no human can possibly ever do?

This book is deep, really deep. It affects you on every level emotionally and makes you think about situations you wouldn't necessarily think about. Prejudice and letting go are the main things that are striking to me in this book. Jamie's Dad takes Rose's death badly and develops a big prejudice and anger towards people of the Islamic faith. This gave me a real insight into why someone in this particular situation might be so stereotypical towards Muslims. It also put me right in Jamie's head and allowed me to see from his point of view why he doesn't miss/cry about his sister Rose. Though in the first few pages (chapter even) I certainly thought he was just insensitive, but as you go through the book you begin to love Jamie and sympathise with him. I enjoyed this book a lot and give it a four star rating!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

My Kindle!

So today was very exciting! I got a cover for my kindle which is quite cute! (Yes I get excited about the small things!). So here is my opportunity to review the Amazon Kindle 3g. Here we go!

The amazon kindle is an ereader which is as thin as a pencil and is only 247 grams heavy! It can store an incredible 3,500 books which can be downloaded from the kindle store to the device in just 60 seconds. With the type I have (kindle 3g) you can have free 3g internet connections whereever you go to download books anytime.  You can also connect to the wifi internet in a specific plsce. The device is small and light enough to hold in one hand and you are also able to turn the page with one hand too. The screen is fantastic and looks just like paper it isn't backlit so you can read easily outside in sunlight. On the kindle Estore you can choose from up to 700,000 books all availible to you and your imagination.

The cover I got is a 'Gelaskin' I love it because it was easy to apply and it stays firmly on. I am also told they are easy to remove. There are lots of designs but I chose the owl because it is so sweet and for some reason makes me think about reading! Get yourself a kindle, They are awesome! If you are in the mood for a treat go for a gelaskin too!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Book Giveaway!

Hey Guys,
Since my sight went downhill I still have piles of unused books! So I am going to do a trial giveaway and see how it goes... this is my first giveaway! YAY!

So I am giving away a book called 'Emily the Strange: the lost days'. Emily the strange has come out of cartoon and is now a feature length novel in this lovely hardback edition! Emily is a thirteen year old amnesiac who lives alone with lots of black cats. If she isn't making monsters or napping with her cats she is planning or carrying out some form of an evil plan... this is an amazing and unusual read, definitely not to be missed out on! Oh and I am throwing in a paperback copy of 'Glass Houses' which (as many of you may know) is the first of the morganvilla vampires series.

So: For your chance to win you must follow these terms and conditions:
1. You must live in England
2. You must follow this blog.
3. You must re-post about this giveaway on your blog.
4. You must comment with your email.

Winner will be chosen by !

Keep smiling,
Dizzy thinker.

Scarlett - Cathy Cassidy

Another book from the kind folks at National Blind Children's Society. Scarlett is a story about a girl who is a bit of a trouble maker. She has been expelled from five schools in two years and she only lasted four months at Greenhall Academy. Now Mum's had enough, the suitcases are packed and Scarlett is shoved onto a plane to go and live with her Dad who - as far as Scarlett is concerned- is a waste of oxygen. As if this isn't enough, she has a new stepsister to ignore and her evil stepmum who keeps trying to be nice AND her Dad's new baby on the way. She has to be on gaurd - Scarlett doesn't want to be dragged into this happy family charade. Then there is Kian... the mystery boy by the loch... could he make her stay?

Scarlett is a great young adult read. You really feel like you are in the story because of Scarlett's strong narrative. I read this book in a day and it had me gripped. It has great morals - maybe not in the first chapters, but towards the end. It's main moral is that you should embrace second chances and make the most of whatever situation you are in. These are morals I certainly believe in. I would recommend this to any young adult (12+) wanting a read that will keep you gripped! I give it a fabulous four star!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz

'Stormbreaker' is the first of the explosively popular 'Alex Rider' series. Alex Rider is just a normal school boy, he lives with his uncle Ian and his house keeper Jack. Everything is going pretty normal until his uncle Ian Rider is killed in a car crash. It's funny though... Alex remembers Ian as such a careful driver... Alex is called to the Royal & General bank to discuss details of the will, it also happens to be Ian Rider's old work place. The Royal and General is not a bank... Nor was Ian rider an accountant... it's the MI6 headquarters... and Ian Rider was a spy who was killed on a mission. Before Alex knows whats coming he has been persuaded to become a spy and is packed off to Sayle Enterprises to investigate. Herod Sayle has invented an amazing computer, it's advanced technology is something to show the world, so Sayle is going to give one to every school. But is this extreme generosity or revengeful genocide?

This book is very gripping. You get a real emotional bond with Alex as you see him go through so much: Normal life, the death of Ian Rider, Training, Sayle Enterprises, ecetera, that you actually miss the character after you have turned the final page. The plot is carefully worked out and well put together with very good consistency. There were no boring parts and Anthony Horowitz gave excellent descriptions of each character as they were introduced. These characters were also very memorable and there was no need to remind yourself of their roles as you read.

I give Stormbreaker a five star rating!

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Arrival of Harry Potter - Why Reading is so Important to Me!

Today was very very exciting. My new books arrived!!! My books are very special - they come from the National Blind Children's Society (life savers in my opinion) in my own preferences so I can read them properly. Mine personally come in Arial, Bold, 24pt on yellow paper and if they weren't like that I would not be able to read any of the fantastic books I have reviewed on here. I think I read because I spent a few years of my life unable to read though I wanted to, and now I know where to get these books from I never stop reading!!

Today the books that arrived were the entire Harry Potter series plus the Tales of Beedle the Bard. I wanted to get these because I have pretended to read them so many times and would now like to finally take in these world phenomenons of stories. I think it is safe to say that you can expect a lot of J.K Rowling book reviews on here in the near future!

Let the reading commence!!

Forget Me Not - Anne Cassidy

This book is a great read for journeys! I read 'Forget Me Not' on a car journey from my home in the East of England to my friends house in West Wales and it kept me busy! The blurb promises kidnap and a long forgotten secret and that's what it delivers! 'Forget Me Not' won the 2009 Angus Book Award.

The story is about Stella Parfitt who is seventeen and her mum Terri, who live together in a street full of close neighbours. Everyone knows each other except for 'that family a few doors down'. The Henderson's are a mystery to the neighbourhood, no-one knows what they do but whatever it is they are 'up to no good'. Then news erupts, Jade Henderson, a toddler in the trouble makers' home goes missing. The events that follow reveal an alarming truth about Stella's Mum that the press want the world to hear... Surely it's not true?

This is an excellent book though I did find in some chapters there are flash backs to when Terri was a teenager, and I found these hard to understand. These flash backs went on for chapter after chapter, and there wasn't enough of a change from Stella's narration so it takes a while for the reader to understand  if it is a current event being described or a memory. Anne Cassidy writes a lot about missing children and in one biography she describes and acknowledges this:
'I write about missing children because for me it is a metaphor for the loss of childhood, the loss of innocence. The teenagers in my books are all losing their innocence in one way or another.' she also writes about missing children in her other books: 'Looking for JJ' and 'Missing Judy' but is three books sufficient to cover the controversial topic of missing kids?

A good all round book - three stars!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Marked - P.C. and Kristin Cast

Teenager Zoey's world is thrown upside down when she is found by a tracker and forced to go to the house of night Vampire finishing school. She has new teachers, new friends to make and then there is that little issue of love... with a clingy but stupid boyfriend back at home and the gorgeous Erik Night as her new vampire crush - what's a girl to do?! The dark daughters are a secret society that rules the school, it is believed that during their meetings the vampire goddess herself, Nyx, is present. Zoey is instantly off on the wrong foot with the dark daughters leader Aphrodite, first she caught Aphrodite getting very 'up close and personal' with Erik on her first day, THEN Zoey falls for Erik and THEN she is different. The half moon crescent that all vampires have on their foreheads is usually just an outline at her age, but hers is filled in inky blue. Could it have something to do with the vision she had of the Goddess Nyx when she passed out at her Grans? You need to find out...
This book is written by a mother and daughter who are clearly very committed as a whole series follows this book. The tales of Zoey Redbird is a must read for every teenager and is very popular in the Dark Romance category. I rate this book four stars because it does tend to drone on slightly in between very exciting parts and it did take me quite a long time (with a lot of motivation) to read.

Breaking the Silence - Diane Chamberlain

This is a book about the most important thing in life: family. Laura Brandon rushes to her fathers side in hospital, he is on his death bed. He asks her to solemnly swear to look after a woman she has never heard. Sarah Tolley. Her husband Ray - who has battled with depression all his life - is solid against the idea of Laura following her fathers death wish. When she says that she is dead set on finding her father's friend, she returns home one day to find her young daughter crying inconsolably and Ray lying still with a gun in his hand - bullet in his skull. Laura's daughter, Emma, since that day when her dad killed himself has never spoken a word. But what did Ray say to Emma? What is the link between Sarah Tolley and Laura's Dad? And do the two have a connexion?

This book is a marvellous mind messer! It had me thinkingg for days! Each chapter brings a new twist and turn in the plot. There are slight romance elements and it is very upsetting in some places... I give it a five star rating!

Does it have a happy ending?
You'll have to find out!

Coraline - Neil Gaiman

Coraline was a book brought to my attention because friends of mine have seen the film and said it was fairly good. So I read it and I must say I wasn't very impressed... It was a good concept - young coraline gets sucked away from her parents into an alternative world and is held hostage there by an alterntive mother and father. But it seemed altogether a very rushed book, events were either to far spread apart or came in a mad rush of excitment. I think this book might have been too young for me but I think - even as a younger child - it would disapoint me. I give it a two - but hats off to the author for a very good concept!

Before I Die - Jenny Downham

Hello, me again... just reviewing a few books I read in the few weeks I was away. So here is a classic Young Adult novel - Before I Die. The miserable title is enough to make any teen want to flick through the pages! It has a lovely saddening cover of a girl lying morbidly in a field which will most certainy appeal to the target market.

Tessa has leukemia, a cancet of the blood. It is fatal in some cases and to live agonising chemotherapy is needed. Tessa is like any other teen, she lies in bed most of the day - but she is held down by pain not laziness. She quit her hospital treatments and has made a list of things she wants to do before she dies. So the book follows her as she works through her list which include: shoplifting, sex, going back to a family holiday home, driving, falling in love, riding a motorbike, drugs and alcohol. There are high's and lows, and the book faces a lot of issues head on such as: peer pressure, Drug and alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy.

The ending is incredibly sad, well... the title gives it a way. This book makes your heart flutter and your tears flow! I give it a five star rating! It is a brilliant plot, excellent characters and amazing from the first to the last page!

To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

OK, so we have all heard of this classic, everyone knows it and every teen is being nagged by parents/teachers to get their head out of Twilight and read something more like this. But now hear comes the surprise.... READ IT! No, I haven't turned into a boring adult my dear bloggers - this book is actually really really good. I also believed it has changed many a persons' attitude towards other races.

It is narrated by a young girl called Scout as she tells the story of her life and how it changes due to racial controversy. She has a brother called Jem and she feels deeply sad as he grows up and he 'doesn't wanna see her no more!' and wants to be a scowly teenager. She also has a father called Atticus, he for me is one of the finest characters in English literature, he is a loner but is respected greatly by both the black and the white communities of their town, Maycomb. The charatcer of Atticus is such a great work, he is mysterious but conveys a good heart and great caring with very little description of this. He really comes alive in your imagination. Atticus is a lawyer and is very good at his job, he is incredibly well educated and taught Scout to read as soon as she could hold a book. The story tells the tale of when Atticus takes on a rape case. Tom Robbinson,a good black man, is thought to have raped a white women who the whole town didn't like. Until now that is.

I read this in the lovely oriental gardens on holiday in Monte-carlo and I have re-read it since, I love this book so much. It also makes you feel great to know you've finally read it when you turn the final page! I would recommend it to just about anyone and give it a Five star rating!