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?



Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I’d Want On A Desert Island

This weeks topic from The Broke and The Bookish is Top Ten Books I’d Want On A Desert Island. This is both a really good and bad topic and there are some great books I would love to take but how to cut them down to only ten!. Here are my choices.

1. The Cay by Theodore Taylor This book is about getting stranded on an island so it would be helpful as well as a good read.

Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curacao. War has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand — until the freighter he and his mother are traveling to the United States on is torpedoed.When Phillip comes to, he is on a small raft in the middle of the sea. Besides Stew Cat, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timothy. Phillip remembers his mother’s warning about black people: “They are different, and they live differently.”

2. Harry Potter by JK Rowling I know there are 7 so this is a little be of a cheat answer by a bit of magic to get away from it all would be great.

Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of a wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The mainstory arc concerns Harry’s quest to overcome the Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, whose aims are to become immortal, conquer the wizarding world, subjugate non-magical people, and destroy all those who stand in his way, especially Harry Potter.

3. The Owl and The Pussy Cat by Edward Lear This is my favourite book from when I was little and I would love to have it with me.

Edward Lear’s nonsense poem about two unlikely sweethearts–an elegant owl and a beautiful cat

4. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire My favourite book of 2012 and maybe ever…

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer I just love this books

Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

6. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma An amazing book to pass a day

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

7. Holes by Louis Sachar Another good books that may be useful

Camp Greenlake is a place for bad boys, where the belief is: “if you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.” When Stanley Yelnats, accused and found guilty of a crime he did not commit, is sent to Camp Greenlake he really doesn’t think it can be so bad. Stanley and his family try to pretend that he is just going away to camp like the rich kids do, and he promises to write to them every day. But the harsh realities of the camp, and the evil Warden with her lizard-venom impregnated fingernails with her own reasons for making the boys in her charge dig so many holes, sometimes make dying seem like a great idea. When Stanley leaves the camp to go in search of his friend Zero, their journey towards freedom becomes a battle with hunger, thirst and heat in the shadow of Big Thumb–a mountain so entwined in Stanley’s own family history that he knows if they can reach it they will somehow find salvation.

8. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian Yet another childhood favourite I would love to have to pass time

The gruff and surly Mr Thomas Oakley is less than pleased when he is landed with a scrawny little city boy as a guest, but because it is compulsory that each villager takes in an evacuee he reluctantly agrees. It soon becomes obvious to Mister Tom that young Willie Beech is hiding something, and as the pair begin to form an unlikely bond and Willie grows in stature and in confidence he begins to forget the past. But when he has to return to war-torn London to face his mother again he retreats into his shy and awkward ways once more.

9. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank To remind me to have hope and it could be much worse

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

10. Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking Another cheat but I enjoy this trilogy 

Seventeen-year-old Wendy Everly has always been different, but she never thought she was more than human. However, when she’s thrown into a world unlike any she’s ever imagined, Wendy must uncover her heritage, tap into her powers, and fight against those who want to use her gifts for evil. Enter a world of magic, mystery, and romance in Amanda Hocking’s bestselling young adult series that takes readers to Trylle, a world as beautiful as it is deadly. Torn between worlds, Wendy must decide who she really is and what she wants, between love and duty, in a struggle for her very survival.

Allies of the Night

Allies of the Night follows on from 7 with Darren, Harkart and Mr Crepsely continuing their search for the vampaneze lord. They are following their heart as Mr Tiny told them to and have returned to the town Mr Crepsely lived when he was human. However they are met by a surprise visitor. Someone has set Darren up and he has to return to school. They decide it would be best for him to go and when Mr Crespley is called back to vampire mountain after some sad news it gives him something to do. It is there he bumps into his childhood sweetheart Debbie. Things seem great at first, Darren and Harkart have a close call with a vampaneze but are saved by someone from Darren’s past and from then on it all seems to be going ok. As time passes they don’t seem to be finding any vampaneze and get ready to leave. As expected though at the last moment they are led into an attack and all hell brakes loose. Darren learnt the identity of his mystery attacker and the what has become of more than just one person from his past. The book ends of a cliff hanger as they all seem to from this point on with the team taking advantage of a small lee-way they get from an unexpected foe.

This book see’s many people from Darren’s past become part of his dark new world. It is a good introduction to the next section of the story and is interesting to see how the people he was once close to have changed.

Hunters of the Dusk

Book 7 in the Saga of Darren Shan is set 6 years after book 6. Darren has resit trials and passed them and has been learning about his new role within vampire mountain. The vampires are also trying to track down the destined lord of the vampaneze and the many battles have become known as the war of scars. However an unexpected visit from Mr Des Tiny see’s Darren, Harkat and Mr Crepsley leaving vampire mountain in search of the Vampaneze lord alone. They are destined to find another vampire to help them on their trial  and have been told they will have 4 chances to save their race.

Following their hearts they find their travelling companion and go and see Evanna. A woman destined to be able to carry the child of a vampire. They enjoy her company and Darren is told more stories about his friends. They then travel back to the cirque where they catch up with their  fiends but the happiness if spoilt by an unexpected betrayal and an unsettling revelation.

Book 7 isn’t one of my favourite’s but it allows us to learn more about the destiny of the characters that provides the plot for the next few books.


The Vampire Prince

I had forgotten what had happened in this book and I ended up enjoying it. Darren is having to deal with the consequences of the end of book 5 and at the beginning is just happy to be alive. He is nursed back to health by the pack of wolves he meet on his way to vampire mountain and although he is grateful and part of him would love to stay and hide he knows he has a responsibility to go back and warn the rest of the clan about the betrayal he has learnt of. It isn’t easy though and he is the first to admit he wasn’t totally aware of the consequences. When Darren returns to the mountain there is a lot for everyone to deal with, not just his return but the accusations he is making. Plans are made to resolve the issue, with Darren’s help but it is only when it is too late he realises what he has done and that he doesn’t totally agree with the way vampire’s run things. After the tragedy of that he also has to meet his fate for failing his trials and running away. However he has earned the respect of the clan and they find a unique loophole to get him out of his punishment. 

As I’ve already said I had kind of forgotten what happened in this book. I enjoyed  finding out how Darren gets round his issues but I also found that his reaction was one I agreed with and allows you to connect with him as a human still. The end was my favourite bit though as the way he is pardoned was a surprise to me again. 

Trials of Death

Book 5 in the series is my favourite. It is in this book that we learn more about the customs and traditions of the world of Shan’s vampires. It carries straight on from the end of book 4 and see’s Darren meeting his fate to prove himself a worthy vampire. There is a lot going on in Vampire mountain with the threat of the vampaneze brought by Darren’s travelling companion, Harkat the little person but he as suggested by the title he is still having to face various physical trials that will see him meeting death several times. However although he is trying hard, and does very well, they do not all go to plan and Darren finds his life out of his own hands. All seems ok when a friend comes to his aid but we are soon to learn that we cannot trust everyone, even those close to us and Darren has to make a decision that could yet again cost him his life.

I think what I enjoy so much about this book is the balance of action and detail. We are learning not just about what is going on for Darren but this whole world that Shan has created. It is these details that make the whole series a success because it is not just a story about a boy but a story about a whole new world that has its own rules and regulations. I also like the idea’s of the task and I find them not too brutal but still challenging and exciting.

Vampire Mountain

6 years after the end of Book three the fourth book in The Saga of Darren Shan see’s Darren and Mr Crepsely leaving the Cirque once again. This time however it is not for a holidays but to go to Vampire Mountain and Evra doesn’t come with them as although they are still good friend he has aged whilst Darren only looks a few months older. However they are not travelling alone as Mr Tiny has insisted they take two little people along to take a message to the Princes. Along the way Darren learns more about the tough world of vampires and the good things. They are joined by an old friend of Mr Crepsley’s who tells Darren lots of stories and he also makes friends with a pack of wolves. When the reach the mountain Darren continues to be educated in his new life. However they are still burdened by the problem of what will be said about Mr Crepsley blooding a child.

I think this in an important book about learning about the life of vampire’s. There isn’t a lot that goes on but I still enjoyed the book and the end sets up book 5 very nicely.

Tunnels of Blood

Book 3 in this series is one of my favourite. Darren has finally began accepting that he is a vampire’s assistant and he is enjoying his life at the cirque. However just when things seem great an old friend of Mr Crepsely turns up and they have to leave. Thankfully though Erva, Darren’s new best friend gets to come along too and the enjoy a break from all the hard work and enjoy a little be of normal life. The boys keep each other company during the day as time heads towards Christmas whilst the see very little of Mr Crepsley. Darren even gets a girlfriend. As always though things turn ugly when they hear about 6 bodies found drained of blood. The boys blame Mr Crepsely at first but they are soon introduced to a whole new part of the dark world of night creatures.

I like that in this book Darren finally gets to enjoy a little bit of normality. However I also think it is the first one that I enjoy the action side of it. It also has many happy moments in it to balance out the continuing theme of tragedy that seems so follow Darren about.

The Vampire’s Assistant

In book 2 in The Saga of Darren Shan Darren is trying to come to terms with his new life. He is on the road with Mr Crepsley but as just a half vampire spends a lot of time on his own. His boredom eventually gives him the courage to go out during the day and try and meet people but this doesn’t work out quite as he planned and he ends up feeling worse than ever. Refusing to drink blood from humans makes him weaker and Mr Crepsely worry but to try and help Darren feel better the pair go back to travel with the Cirque du Freak. There he finally makes friends and starts to feel good again. He helps out around the camp getting close to one act in particular and together they even make friends with a couple of humans. We are also introduced to another important character in this book that appears frequently later on. Sadly however the happiness doesn’t last and trouble does occur for Darren and his new friends leading to an emotional ending.

I really like this story. It is easy to understand the lonliness that Darren must be feeling as a young boy trapped by his new blood. He is also battling with himself because he won’t drink human blood. He know this could kill him and Mr Crepsley does try to make him, showing he does care, but in the end it has to be Darren’s choice. It is also easy to feel sorry for him when he is stuck not being able to connect with people his own age. This makes the move to the cirque more enjoyable to read and it really is sad when things end the way they do.

Cirque du Freak

I originally read this series years ago but I’ve decided to re-read. It is so easy to get into due to how it is written and I’m still enjoying it second time around.

Book 1 of 12 Cirque du Freak introduces us to the main character, Darren Shan, and how he becomes involved in the world of vampires. A normal boy Darren loves his family and his a great group of friends at school. He is good at football and has a fascination for spiders. However this becomes part of how his world turns around. When the friends come across a flyer for the Cirque du Freak Darren and best friend Steve are amazed by what they see so amazed the Darren learns that Steve has a secret. It is a special spider though that gets Darren into trouble as he risks his life for it. Although things start of great for Darren his world drastically has to change in order to keep his loyalty to his friend something that later isn’t returned.

These books are very easy to read and I think as a one off I’m not sure I would have read them all. I have the trilogy collections however and it makes it a better read. The first book sets the scene for the series quite well and haven read the series before I am enjoying picking out the bit of information that are important later on.