Heist Society

Book Blurb

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. But now her dad’s life is on the line, and Kat must go back to the world she tried so hard to escape…

My Synopsis

Kat has been pulling off tricks for as long as she can remember so when she is being accused of one she wasn’t involved in she knows something is up. For a short time she had managed to escape the world of crime but it seems it wont leave her alone. When her fathers life is on the line she has no choice but to go back to doing what she knows best and with her friends in tow they have to travel all around Europe before they can pull of the biggest heist heard of. 

Review 

I was excited to read this after enjoying the Gallagher Girls series and this was also worth reading. I’ve read a few reviews of the book being an Ally Carter fan and seen the tumblr so I had some idea about the characters involved and was excited to finally get to met Hale. I thought he was written as a really good romantic interest and I am definatley going to read the other books to find out how their relationship develops. All the characters had really interesting personalities though and I felt that each was given the right amount of attention in the book to fill you and in keep the story going.

The plot was also exciting although maybe a tiny bit lacking in energy at the start. Right for the beginning though we were faced with the work Kat and her friends are capable of and it lures you in to find out just how they are going to be able to solve their issue. I almost felt like I was reading Ocean’s Eleven and was excited to find out just what they were going to do and how they would get away with it. I think you could make a really good movie or TV show out of the book, which isn’t something I would admit often but the mystery/crime nature of the story lends itself to that sort of interpretation. 

You should check this book out if you are a fan of the Gallagher girls series and I can’t want to read the next book in Heist Society.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Freebie – Top Ten Bookish Animals Pet Names

This week I have chosen to do my Top Ten Freebie from The Broke and The Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesay on Top Ten Bookish Animal Pet Names. I have restricted myself to just the names of animals in books just to make it a bit more interesting (plus gives me another topic for another freebie week). This is one of my rare lists that I am putting in order so here are my favourite animal pet names.

  1. Wilbur – this is the name of both the cat from Winnie the Witch and the pig in Charlotte’s Web
  2. Reepcheep – I may like this as much as I do mainly because of the film but it’s still a great name
  3. Templeton – in Charlotte’s web the rat is called Templeton and he’s just an amusing character with a worthy name
  4. Padfoot – this may be a little controversial when it comes to my restrictions but…
  5. Faulks – although we can’t ever get a pheonix this is  still a really cool name
  6. Aslan – I think I could only call a cat Aslan and he would have to be ginger and fluffy just like the lion in Narnia
  7. Sebastian – This is the name of the cat from Teri Terry’s Slated
  8. Toto – from the Wizard of Oz of course
  9. Mrs Norris – Might have trouble taking this one seriously but she had such a good relationship with Filtch
  10. Hedwig – who wouldn’t want their own beautiful owl like Harry had, or at least a pet just like her

What Animals From Books Would You Name Your Pets After?

Black Heart Blue

Book Blurb

‘They tried to make me go to my sister’s funeral today. In the end I had to give in … I’d been walking in her shadow for sixteen years and I liked its cool darkness. It was a good place to hide.’

Rebecca’s twin sister Hephzibah was beautiful and daring. She was the one who always wanted more. The one who wouldn’t listen. Now she’s gone, Rebecca is alone.

While there were two of them, they stayed silent about their home life. But Rebecca, who knows the truth about how her twin died, suddenly finds herself keeping too many secrets. Hephzibah dreamt of escape, but failed. Could Rebecca be the one to find freedom?

Original and unforgettable, Black Heart Blue is not just Rebecca and Hephzibah’s story. It’s a story about all of us: a story about the lies we want to believe, the truth we sometimes can’t, and having the courage to discover the difference.

My Synopsis

Rebecca has just lost her sister and in a world where no-one even wants to talk to her she is now more alone than ever. Somewhere in her subconscious though Hephzibah is trying to convince her she has to get free but it turns out that these twins don’t everything about one another. 

Hephzibah had always just wanted to be normal and when her parents are finally convinced into letting them go to college she takes the chance without a second thought. She finally has a plan to get free and for just a little bit each day can feel like everyone else. Ignoring her sisters warnings she begins to dream of a normal life but she is unaware that her actions will cost her her life. 

Rebecca has a secret too though and when she looses Hephzibah she might just find it within her to save her sisters dreams.

Review

The first two-thirds of this book give you Hephzibah’s story till her death and how Rebecca is coping with it, the last third is just about Rebecca. I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book but it turned out to be a lot darker than I’d imagined. Nothing in Rebecca’s life is easy and although I could sympathise with Heph wanting to feel normal there were often times I was just annoyed at her and how selfish she could be.

Ultimately this a story about secrets. How right from the beginning of their lives there were secrets and they had to cover up the truth form the outside world. Even at home however as the sisters grew older they began having secrets from one another that in some ways lead to the tragedy that starts off this story. However it is also important to see the hope that Heph brings to the story. She never gave up on freedom and in the end it is this power that brings peace to them both. 

Massive

Book Blurb

I’m fat,” I hear myself saying. I look in the mirror. My face has gone hot and red; I feel like I’m going to explode. “I’m fat.” It sizzles under my skin, puffing me up, pushing me out, making me massive.

Weight has always been a big issue in Carmen’s life. How could it not? Her mom is obsessed with the idea that thin equals beautiful, thin equals successful, thin equals the way to get what you want. Carmen knows that as far as her mom is concerned, there is only one option: be thin.

When her mother sweeps her off to live in the city, Carmen finds that her old world is disappearing. As her life spirals out of control Carmen begins to take charge of the only thing she can — what she eats. If she were thin, very thin, could it all be different?

My Synopsis

Carmen’s mum is obsessed with dieting and worse she expects her to be too. Carmen likes food though and her Dad agrees with her and so he makes sure she is fed but when her mum takes her off to Birmingham things are about to change. Carmen’s gran is the opposite of her mum, she eats loads and is round as a result of it. Carmen can tell her mum doesn’t really want to be around her family again, particularly her sister but they are here for her job and it doesn’t matter that Carmen wants to go back and live with her dad. When she starts back at a new school things don’t get any better and eventually Carmen begins to feel like getting thin is the only way to be happy. However to get there she is about to turn to extreme measures and the consequences of her actions are about to be shown to her. 

Review

With weight and dieting being such a central focus so often in the media at the moment this is a really interesting and powerful book highlighting just how people can become so obsessed with fo0d. Between her Gran and her mother Carmen is experiencing both ends of the scale and she doesn’t know what is best and I think this reflects how a lot of people are feeling with the media coverage of weight we are often faced with.

The attitude of Carmen’s mum is this book really hit me. Having your own mother trying to force you into a diet and telling you you are fat must be one of the worst feelings in the world. I really felt like she didn’t really care at all for Carmen there points I wanted to shout at the book. There were other characters in the book though that helped round out the experience many people are having. At school there are the thin popular bullies and that one fat girl who they bully that help fuel the idea thin is better whilst her Dad and Auntie just wants her and her mum to be healthy.

This is a really worthwhile read and one I think many teenagers should get there hands on. It highlights the dangerous of dieting and how our feelings towards food can effect those around us not always for the better.

Requiem

Book Blurb

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

My Synopsis

Lena is about to have to get use to having more than just one person from her past back into her life. Both of whom she has loved and is struggling to deal with her feelings towards them now. But that isn’t the only thing going on around her she needs to deal with. In the towns and cities the resistance is getting stronger and the governments are trying harder to clamp down. Lena and her group have to make a decision about where they want to go and what they want to do but it isn’t going to be easy and there is more discoveries and pain still to come. 

Back in the city however Lena isn’t the only one struggling to make a decision about her future. As the days count down to Hana’s marriage to the mayor she starts having dreams and visions that the cure should have taken away. She can’t help feeling guilty about Lena and her family and she begins to discover things are not at all as perfect as she expected.  Then suddenly she has a chance to make things up to Lena, but can she take it?

Review

I wasn’t sure where she was going to take this story. For me although there is the dystopian world and Lena disagrees with it I never really seen her as becoming a main part of the resistance, the story was about her discovery of love and freedom. I think that the series did finished off how I was expecting to although that doesn’t make it the most exciting of endings. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the introduction of Hana’s point of view in this book. Having read the short story about her previously it was good to hear from her again and I also found it worth while to be able to understand what was going on inside the cities and towns still. It also kept the Hana we met in the first book alive. It would have been too easy to have let her be cured and forgotten about but she still had more to give to Lena. 

For me this book wasn’t as good as the second but still better than the first. There was lots of action going on, people where making discoveries and relationships built and changed. I didn’t feel like the story built well enough to its conclusion, it felt a little last minute but I did like that the end was not only about the love of the characters but about how everyone should have choice and freedom.  

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Favourite Covers Of Books I’ve Read

The Broke and The Bookish having given us the topic this week of Top Ten Fourite Covers Of Books I’ve Read. Seen as I did this one last year I’m just going to pick my favourites from the books I have read so far this year. A lot of my reading this year has been re-read so there may be a few the same but there is plenty of new ones too.

    

  • Girl, Defective by Simmone Howell
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Dead Time by Anne Cassidy
  • Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
  • The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • Crossed by Ally Condie
  • Reached by Ally Condie
  • How Girl Guides Won The War by Janie Hampton
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

    

What Are Your Favourite Book Covers?

Re-Read Review – Pandemonium

The second book in this series is a lot better than the first one in my opinion. I feel there is a much stronger plot to the story and the characters have stronger personalities. I also prefer the way it is written. The chapter alternate between Lena’s experiences when she initially enters the wilds and a few years down the line and this give the story an extra boost to keep you turning pages. I think that what also appeals to me in this one is you really start to get into the active rebellion that dystopian fiction is just now and it’s that feeling of being part of fighting for the right thing that makes the book engaging.

Re-Read Review – Delirium

I’m not sure what it is about this book but for me it just lacks a bit of energy. I’m quite happy to sit and read it but it doesn’t get my pulse going or my mind racing. I think the idea of love as a disease is a great base for a dystopian novel and although it doesn’t get my mind racing I do find some of the concepts interesting. Maybe it’s because of the books I am enjoying at the moment that I don’t appreciate this as a good book about teenage love and I’m sure for many people this is a really good book. It brings up questions about just how much control the government should and how often they become violent and horrible to uphold their values as well as endangering and de-humanising people.However it is also about the power of love and how although it can be painful it can also bring us alive and allow us to enjoy everything around us.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books With Tough Subjects

This week our topic from The Broke and The Bookish is perfect for me. Top Ten Books With Tough Subjects. I could’t pick just 10 however so I’ve picked 11 topics and shared some worthwhile reads about them as books about tough subjects are ones that I tend to go for. It’s not so much that I like them, in some cases the topic isn’t something you can enjoy reading about, it’s more that I find them interesting. That might sound odd and maybe even horrible to some people but for me I guess it’s partly about knowing that things could always be worse but more allowing myself not to be desensitized by issue that are always in the news and really understand the pain that people are feeling right now and hoping they can get help.

Self-Harm

  • Red Teas by Joanna Kenrick

Incest

  • Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  • Flowers in the Attic by Virgina Andrews

Death/Suicide

  • The Pact by Jodi Picoult
  • If I stay by Gayle Formam

Illness

  • Before I Die by Jenny Downham
  • My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • The puzzle Master be Heather Spiva

Teenage Pregnancy

  • Roxy’s Baby by Catherine MacPhail

Racism

  • Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Drugs

  • Junk by Melvin Burgees

War/Genocide

  • Malka by Mirjam Pressler
  • Before We Say Goodbye by Gabrielle Ambrossio
  • Between Shade of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
  • Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
  • Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Hannah Jansen

Loosing a family member

  • Many Stones by Carolyn Coman
  • The Shack by Wm Paul Young

Bullying

  • Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman

Criminal Past

  • Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy

Dirty Work

Book Blurb

Hope’s mum doesn’t get her. In fact, Hope knows that as far as her preoccupied parents are concerned, she’s hope”less.” She may be spoilt – but money doesn’t buy happiness.

Oksana doesn’t even have a mum. And her dad and brother are miles away, left behind in Russia. She thought Europe would offer a better life – instead, bought and sold into prostitution, she feels dirty and used.

Then Oksana and Hope are thrown together in the most terrifying circumstances imaginable. Their only real chance of escape lies with each other, but how do two teenagers with so little in common find the way . . . ?

A tense, shocking novel – with a hint of hope.

My Synopsis

Oksana is stuck looking after her brother now her mother has gone and she can’t wait to get out of Russia. When her best friend gets a job with the mysterious rich Tommy she thinks he can get her out too. It takes a long time for him to agree and when he does things don’t turn out how she expected. The very night she leaves she is met with the horrible truth about Tommy’s buisness and as time has gone on he hope of finding her best friend again is fading.

She about to find hope again in unexpected way however. She meets her own the ferry to England. Hope is English and the daughter of a rich man. Sent to trap her Oksana chickens out when she discovers how innocent Hope is but it seems their fates are connected. When   the pair get caught it seems Hope has ended up in trouble anyway and Oksana can’t help feeling guilty but Hope still got the will to get free and she although she is angry at Oksana she also can’t bare to leave he in that world. 

Review

This book caught my attention because of it’s cover and it’s name. I tend to go for books that are a bit controversial and on often uncomfortable topics and the blurb of this one (slightly different from that above) was why I read it. 

The books tells us the story of two girls and how the end up being sold as sex slaves. It is set right now and shows just how easy it is for girls often from Eastern Europe get themselves caught up in this horrible world hoping for a better life. For me this is would stands out from the book. There isn’t countless scenes of abuse and action as they try to escape it’s about being in a constant state of fear, trapped in a situation that makes you hopeless when all you wanted was a better life. 

I think there was maybe something missing from the book. I’m not sure exactly what it was but it don’t have that power I thought it would. That’s not to say it isn’t worth reading as I think it is important to be aware how these thing can happen and are happening and I’m sure it reflects someones story somewhere. This is something going on that we have to stop and reading books like this can open our eyes to the situation.