Saturday, 14 August 2010

Saturday Reviews #1

Good morning! (Or afternoon...or evening). Welcome to the first of many Saturday reviews. With a wonderful influx of books, I find that I have to pick which ones I review. I don't like doing that. I want to review more. With the definition and exploration of a review on Tuesday's post, I present this week's Saturday reviews!

Release Date:  July 2010
All around 110-120 pages, Paperback
Review copies

Children's Fiction
Cute, Funny, a few tissues needed
Extras: Includes puzzles and recipes

My thoughts:
This series of six books tells the tale of six special dogs as they become rescued. There is lots of laughter and tears in the books - the dogs love getting into mischief! What I like best is the fact that all the dogs are different: it's important that whichever pet a person gets matches up with their lifestyle and personality. This ensures that both owner and pet get on as well as possible. The books explain how you can adopt a dog, and tips for looking after dogs and cats. (I'm a cat lover. This year I said goodbye to a cat I'd had since a kitten for 19 years. We've now got a rescue cat (from RSPCA but the process is the same). Rescue animals are that bit extra special, especially if they've gone through a rough time before they are rescued.)

Final conclusion:
Sweet tales with important messages. I liked the pictures too!


Release Date:  February 2010
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
320 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Young Adult:  Paranormal
Lots of suspense, mild romance, magic, mysteries

Summary by Bloomsbury:
Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect Facebook friends. It’s little wonder, since she’s had a fairly rough life. Her father left when she was a baby, her stepfather just died and her mother’s almost given up – in fact, she’s sent her to live with her grandmother in cold and sleepy Maine to ‘keep Zara safe’. Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother just can’t cope.

Zara’s wrong. The man she sees everywhere – the tall, creepy guy who points at her from the side of the road – is not a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie. But not the cute, sweet kind with little wings. Maine’s got a whole assortment of unbelievable creatures. And they seem to need something – something from Zara .

My thoughts:
Less of the vampire more of the....well, I can't spoil the story with that! Zara's voice is compelling and funny. I love the way she's obsessed with phobias, and how each chapter title is a phobia (with an explanation of what it is). I really didn't guess the ending - that was one major twist! She is a bit of a loner, but slowly she comes out of her shell. She has a lot on her mind, and that makes for great personal conflict. There are more dramatic conflicts with other characters too (including the stalker guy). There is a second book out, Captivate (which I really need to read). I like this book most in some ways because it isn't vampire focused (I enjoy vampires, but changes are good), and focuses on a creature which I haven't read much about. I hope to review Captivate at some point.

Final conclusion:
I must read Captivate! I adore this book :)


Release Date:  April 2010
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster
304 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Young Adult:  Thriller/Mystery
Bit of violence, fair bit of suspense

Summary from Simon and Schuster:
Otto, Jen and Charlotte have planned the trip of a lifetime to India for their gap year, before going their separate ways to university. For Charlotte, it's an opportunity to get involved in an environmental project and finally feel like she's doing something worthwhile; for Otto, it's the perfect opportunity to take some real photos to help his career as a photojournalistic; for Jen, it's the realisation of a lifelong dream.

But when Otto discovers the body of a girl on the beach, things take a sinister turn as he finds himself a prime suspect in her murder. Together Otto, Charlotte and Jen start to unravel the mystery behind the girl's death. Can they discover the truth and clear Otto's name and even if they do will they be able to handle what they find as their dreams of paradise crumble around them…

My thoughts:
I'm not really sure what I expected this to be about. I prefer it a lot more to The Beach by Alex Garland. Having different points of view heightened the suspense, which was present in bucket loads. Personally Otto did a few stupid things at times (he wasn't the only one to be stupid), but he wasn't dealing with squeaky clean people. His curiosity leads him to places that he shouldn't see. I could feel everything that happened to him - I was so caught up in the telling of his tale I was thirsty when he was thirsty. (I still thought he was an idiot). I preferred hearing things from Charlotte's point of view. There is misunderstanding, miscommunication and some scary points which I couldn't predict. Probably not one to read if you're about to go off to Thailand (you might get worried!), but definitely safe for reading everywhere else.

Final conclusion:
Otto the sometimes idiot learnt a lot about life and his true friends. Will recommend it to friends.


Next up is a happy, cheery book...before another semi-dark one...


Release Date:  May 2010
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster
128 pages, Paperback
Personal Copy

Children's Fiction:  5+
Lots of humour, a few tears

Summary from Simon and Schuster:
Meet Harriet Houdini, a young rabbit with lots of attitude, as she settles into life with her new family. Never destined to be a boring bunny, Harriet finds herself scouted by the producer of hit TV show Superpets and starts her career on the showbiz ladder. From daring backflips to thrilling escape attempts Harriet really is a Stunt Bunny extraordinaire!

My thoughts:
I hand on heart admit I only heard of this because I've been in touch with Tamsyn via email regarding My So-Called Afterlife GINA I THINK I'VE REVIEWED IT and also on Twitter. Having loved MSCA, I was eager to grab a copy of this hilarious sounding book. You may want to be in a place where people won't look at you strangely, for I laughed from the first sentence to the last. Most of my tears were from laughter, Harriet is just such an adventurous bunny. No one messes with her and gets away with it! Sure, bad people try to contain her, but she makes her bid for freedom with her paws, teeth and high intellect. The illustrations had me laughing even harder at her adventure. I'm looking forward to the next one!

Final conclusion:
Harriet is one hilarious bunny. I want her! Great book when you need a laugh.


Release Date:  May 2010
Publisher:  Penguin Books
416 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Children's (12+)/Young Adult:  Paranormal
A lot of suspense, spine-tingling book.

Summary from Penguin:
The first death: Seventeen-year-old Lin Fox finds a body in an orchard. As she backs away in horror, she steps on broken glass. The second death: Then blood appears on her doorstep - blood, and broken glass.The third death: Something terrible is found in the cemetery. Shards of broken glass lie by a grave.Who will be next? As the attacks become more sinister, Lin doesn't know who to trust. She's getting closer to the truth behind these chilling discoveries, but with each move the danger deepens.

Because someone wants Lin gone - and won't give up until he's got rid of her and her family. Forever.

My thoughts:
Unlike the previous book I've just reviewed, from start to finish my spine was tingling. Seeing one murder is bad enough. But three? There's definitely a connection there. A connection that Lin will find out - or, in some respects, it finds her out. Lin is a likeable character, she has to put up with a lot from her family. They are deeply involved in the heart of mystery, which Lin tries to keep from them, but she can't. Those against Lin are pretty scary, and will go to great lengths to try and persuade her to stop her investigations. But she can't. I'm glad she doesn't. The way relationships develop between herself and her family (well, break and redevelop), and her nearby (sort of) neighbours played a dominant part in the story.

Nayuleska's final conclusion:
Will definitely read again, but not in the dark. Not on my own. Not near woods. Not on a dark day. It's that spine tingling, even knowing the truth of it all.


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

the puppy books look soooo cute!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

You always get me ordering books...

Stephanie said...

Having read Singleton's Century, I'm curious to check out The Island.

The Glass Demon looks incredibly eerie!