The Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trials picks up where The Maze Runner left off. The Gladers have escaped the Maze, but now they face an even more treacherous challenge on the open roads of a devastated planet.
And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.
Can Thomas survive in such a violent world?

In the style of the first book The Scorch Trials provides a harsh task for Thomas and his friends to overcome. They now have to deal with the reality of the world they had been sheltered from crossing the most damaged part of the earth and coming into contact with those who have been infected. For me this book felt more brutal than the last as the boys were now all in danger and had no resources to help them through. For Thomas more questions and confusion were to come particularly about his relationship with Theresa. His dreams about her reveal more about their past but her action lead you to question what you may be thinking. There was one point I was annoyed at Thomas for not listening to her but within the next few chapters suspicion was starting to creep in. The unknown is something I am really enjoying about the books. I feel we still don’t really know if we can trust WICKED or not. Thomas is convinced they are bad, but he was part of them and Theresa still has her tattoo saying they are good so throughout we are fed conflicted idea’s about how good their intentions are. WICKEDs actions in this book were interesting because it showed not only their power over what they were controlling but also their passion or doing it and doing it in the right way. I am excited to find out how this series is going to come to an end and finally finding out the whole truth.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Favourite Beginnings/Endings in Books

We have another great topic from The Broke and The Bookish this week asking our Top Ten Favourite Beginnings/Endings In Books. I felt this could be interpreted in two ways as in books you often have the end of the plot before the last page and both could have counted but I’ve decided to go for the last page. Instead of just doing ten endings though I am doing 5 of each because I couldn’t think about one with out the other. Unlike the endings thought my favourite beginnings are defined by the initial statements rather than whole pages.

Beginnings

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling – This has to go at the top of my list because it isn’t the first page that I love but the whole first chapter. I think it’s my favourite start to any book every and is the exception to my list. 

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Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green – Who doesn’t love a book beginning about picking your nose?

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Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian – This book ended up on my list because my friend said she hated the start of it because it begins with the word ‘Yes’ but to me that makes it totally engaging.

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I’m sure this one will be very popular today but I would be lying to myself if I did say I loved it.

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Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell – The first paragraph of this book is so good because its is just full of the beauty of being young and free.

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Rapture by Lauren Kate – Some people have complained the ending of this book was  a little soppy but for me it was the perfect solution to the problem and the last pages encompasses the personalitites of the characters and the theme of the whole series.

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Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian – This in another book with a perfect ending as both characters finally have what they always wanted but more importantly needed.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling – I’m not sure what exactly about this one I like I think its a mixture of it all, Harry giving his money to the twins and asking them to give Ron a gift, his interactions with Molly and Hermione and the wisdom of Hagrid.

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by JK Rowling –  The ending to this book is so good because after being so dark its so comical, being threatened by Madeye would be terrifying.

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling – The last paragraph of this book is beautiful because it shows that the very reason Harry is able to defeat Voldemort, because he has friendship and love that give him hope. 

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What Are Your Favourite Book Beginnings and Endings?

 

 

The Maze Runner

Book Blurb

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. 

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Review

I was pretty skeptical about reading this book because of its cover claim that it is a must for fans of The Hunger Games. I’m not going to say that it is as good as the Hunger Games but I was pleased to find that I did enjoy the book. The start was a bit slow and the frustration the main character, Thomas, felt was shared by me. But it does allow the reader the better understand the position the characters are in. The world they are living in is harsh. The fact that they seem to have everything they could ask for to survive may seem lucky but they have lost their memories and are surrounded by a maze filled with hideous creatures that they can’t seem to solve. When Thomas turns up though things begin to change. People are suspicious about him particularly when the first ever girl is sent to the Glade but Thomas just want to be free and he will do what he thinks is right regardless of what they might find has happened to the world outside the maze. 

It is a really dark idea for a dystopian but as a book it was an enjoyable read, The story moved forward at what I think I may even call the perfect pace with chapters ending on points that made you want to continue on. The action in the story was well placed and just enough was revealed along the way to keep you wanting more. The writing was easy to understand and the characters reflected well how different people would respond to that situation, As the main character Thomas point of view was relatable even for female readers and I particularly liked that his relationship with the female character wasn’t put across as his main concern. Overall I found this a good book and I think that this surprising me made it more enjoyable. It is one fans of dystopian and action novels should give a go and I am interested now to read the second story and discover just what kind of world we were being sheltered from. 

Close My Eyes

Book Blurb

It’s been eight years since Gen Loxley lost her daughter, Beth: eight years of grief in which nothing’s really moved forward, for all that her husband, Art, wills it to. Gen, once a writer of novels, has settled in to a life of half-hearted teaching, while Art makes his name and their fortune – and pressures her into trying IVF once again. For Gen, it seems a cruel act of replacement; life without Beth is unthinkable, unbearable – but still it goes on. And then a woman arrives on Gen’s doorstep, saying the very thing she longs to hear: that her daughter was not stillborn, but was spirited away as a healthy child, and is out there, waiting to be found…So why is Art reluctant to get involved? To save his wife from further hurt? Or something much more sinister? What is the truth about Beth Loxley?

Review

I was really interested in this book as I really enjoyed Mckenzie’s more action based teenage and I felt the premise of this book may be similar to that. She did achieve a similar idea with this one although I did feel a little less of the energy she builds in her books for younger readers. I’m only really beginning to really explore more adult fiction so I’m not sure if this was done purposely however I did feel it was about the right level to go alone with the rest of the story. The book as a whole for me was OK but that’s really all. I don’t read a lot of adult fiction because I find it too everyday and although this wasn’t an normal life situation it was still approached with characters leading a life I’ve not got experience of yet. For that reason relating to the characters is more difficult and that effects my a level of enjoyment. The characters in the book were interesting though and there is a lot of suspision built up about them all throughout the story. This was what really made the book as it was really who was involved that you were reading till the end to find out about rather than what was going to happen. Throughout the book we are also given snippets of story from a child’s point of view and as the book progresses your opinion of who that child is changes. When I first read them related to the first character you initially believe them to be they seemed to build to what was going to be the action at the end of the story. The reveal however was a surprise for me at the end and although I was pleased to read the action I’d pick the book up for however the very last two pages really let the story down for me as I felt it added something unnecessary. Overall the book for me was fine, I didn’t particularly feel driven by the story but I am still glad I read it.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Worlds/Topics That Will Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

This week our topic from The Broke and The Bookish is Top Ten Worlds/Topics That Will Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book. I think this is a really interesting topic as I can be very fussy about the books I read although there are only a few key things I always avoid. I’m looking forward to seeing what other people are saying their bookish turnoff are too though so I no longer have to feel alone in my choosiness.

  • Vampires
  • Kingdoms
  • Witchcraft
  • Demons
  • Mythical Creatures
  • Fantasy Lands
  • Romance 

What Makes You Put Down A Book Without Opening It?

 

 

Holiday Reading Reviews

This year for this first time every I went for a purely relaxing holiday on a campsite in France. Of course I always takes books on holiday with me but this time reading was the planned activity for the fortnight. As I was away I didn’t want internet access so I couldn’t blog reviews as I went along  and now I’ve been back a bit too long so instead of individual reviews I’m going to do a group one.

I took 6 books with me and I really wanted to read the adult fiction ones as I often struggle to concentrate on them when I’m in my home surroundings. I was pleased that I did manage to get through 5 of them and to start the last one, although I’ve not read any more of it since, but more importantly that is a tiny dent in my massive to read pile.

 The Handmaid’s Tale was given to me just days before I left for my holiday and I will admit that I did start it before I left. My friend had really liked it and I was interested in the idea of the story as it appears almost dystopian, but it didn’t really live up to my expectations. The book is about the future when woman no longer have the same rights as men and are now split into rolls to be of service to the society as a whole. The main character is a Handmaid, who’s purpose is to bare children to couples who are unable to have their own. The handmaid’s aren’t looked upon favourably by the other women in society, although I have to admit I didn’t quite understand why, I think they are given this role because of some previous indescresions but I didn’t find it was very clearly explained. Throughout the book the main character talks about her life now and her past in which she had a husband and daughter. This drives her to take part in illegal behaviour for her status but could help change her life for the better. I did appreciate the idea behind this book but  for me it just wasn’t an enjoyable read. I struggled with the way it was written and the lack of punctuation making it hard to build a picture up of the society. Lots of people have praised this books and I am sure for many people it would be a great read but it a book that wants patience and thought and for a summer read it wasn’t quite light enough for me.

Chocolat in contrast to my first books of the holiday was a lot more what I would want from a summer read. The plot wasn’t challenging and the writing was flowing. The book hasn’t been on my to read pile to long as I only recently found out that it was a book. Of course this means that I have seen the film first but that didn’t effect my enjoyment of the book at all. As you might expect the story line in the book does play out differently from that of the film and for me the main difference was the character of the mayor. In the books he is a the Father of the church and he gets his say through chapters int he book from his point of view. For me his character is a lot more vurlnrable from the beginning in the book because we are seeing part of his history from his point of view and we get to experience his struggle with the desires around him. I also found that the book allowed me to appreciate a lot more of the issues that are addressed than the movie did. All of the characters are dealing with different struggles from learning to to let go and move on to dealing with abuse and death but the story also shows us the power of a community in dealing with these issues to help everyone with a little help from good old chocolate. This for me was the perfect summer read. It had a balance of being light and easy to read but still with an interesting plot and having seen the movie first who doesn’t enjoy picturing Johnny Depp while sun bathing.

 Looking For Alaska was the last John Green’s novel I needed to read. I was a bit nervous about it if I am honest as it is considered by so many to be so good but  thankfully I was not disappointed. I’m not sure why but I had it in my head that his book was about something totally different than it turned out to be. I think I was expecting it to be like Paper Towns but I’m pleased it wasn’t. Instead it tells the story of a clever high school boy who moves to a boarding school where his world is turned upside down. His new room mate nicknames him Pudge on the first day and introduces him to Alaska Young and from then on the excitement begins. He becomes part of a group of friends for the first time in his life and he can’t help but fall for the whirlwind that is Alaska. The problem of course with being part of something so great though is that the pain when it falls apart. A lot of people talk about this being a sad book and I agree that it was but for me that’s not what made it so good. Instead it was the friendships that Pudge got to build because, I think for the first time every, I felt a little hopefully that we do all have a people out there who are going to accept us for who we are. More powerful though was the fact that that place wasn’t with the people Pudge had expected but with people who were different from him and that made the friendship better because they all had something to unique to love about the others and help them through when they needed it.

 

 

 Undone had to be the most depressing book in my summer collection and not just because it was exploring suicide. Like many books for young adults the story was about acceptance among your peers. It was the lack of acceptance about his sexuality that lead Kai to kill himself and Jem knows that it’s all she needs to get her foot in the door to discover who outed Kai and get her revenge. Then she plans on killing herself. It turns out to be not that difficult for Jem to get involved the popular crowed when she is given 12 letters that had been left to her by Kai, one for every month for the next year. In these he sets her wee challenges to help her move on that include changing her hair and how she dresses and it almost that simple to get her noticed but the popular crowd. Once they accept her as one of them she just has to play along with their expectations and make her moves when the time is right. The problem for me however was that she did start to like being accepted. She got a boyfriend within the group that had real feelings for her and she found it hard to admit herself but who she had real feelings for too. She was also really liked by one of the girls, who wanted her to be her best friend but Gem’s revenge got in the way. The people around her did care about her and wanted to help her move on and she could have if she her plans hadn’t got in the way and driven things to and ending that I didn’t think would actually happen.

 The Kite Runer was also admittedly quite a depressing book. Amir loved his life in Afghanistan with his best friend, and servant’s son Hassan. His father was a wealthy man and he had everything he could wish for but his father approval. Amir liked to read and didn’t like up to his fathers reputation and a strong man known for fighting a bear so when he fails to stand up for Hassan when he is bullied he begins to fear the truth of being found out. His fierce desire to be loved by his father leads to Hassan and his father leaving and from then on life doesn’t get easier for Amir. When the communist regieme finally take over his father takes him to America in search of a better life. There Amir gets an education and even marries an Afghan women he loves but a letter from a close friend of his fathers takes him back to him old home many years later in search of redemption. Although this book is set in a difficult political time for Afghanistan it provides an perfect background for Amir’s story, which is one about redemption. For most of his life he is unable to forgive himself for running away when his most loyal friend needed him most however the situation in society at the time made the actions of all the people what they were. They also provide justification of strong actions later within the plot that would seem there just to drag the story out within other societies however for Amir’s story they allow him the closure he needs and in the end you are left feeling hopeful.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

The topic this week from The Broke and The Bookish is Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition. I found this quite a difficult topic as I wasn’t sure what counted as an author being recognised however I have just gone for the authors I think should be talked about more online as a couple have received awards.

  • Simmone Howell
  • Sophie McKenzie
  • Jenny Downham
  • Catherine MacPhail
  • Tabitha Suzuma 
  • Amanda Hocking 
  • Gena Showalter
  • Cat Patrick 
  • Michael Morpurgo
  • Jamie McGuire

Which Author Do You Feel Deserve More Recognition?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

Our topic this week from The Broke and The Bookish is the Top Ten Most Intimidating Books. I found this quite a hard list to write, I wasn’t sure what makes a book intimidating but I guess that it’s different for everyone. I couldn’t think of 10 books exactly but I do have a small list of the types of writing that I struggle with.

Jane AustenI have only read one of her novels and I did enjoy it and want to read them all but I find the way she writes less accessible than a lot of modern writing. 

ClassicsLike Jane Austen it is the way most classic are written that I find difficult. The often have a lot of words instead of just a few and that make is more of a drag to read.

Philosophy –  I have a book in my shelf that I have had for quite a long time about philosophy and although I really want to read it and have started it once but the in depth topic makes it more of a drag than a pleasure to read.   

FrenchReading was one of the parts of French at school that I was quite good at but when my Auntie gave me a whole book written in French was more scared to read it than excited and it’s still sitting unread on my shelf. 

Adult FictionI don’t find these books so much intimidating more inaccessible. I don’t relate to them very well and often find the topics lacking in imagination. 

What Books Do You Find Intimidating?