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Friday 27 February 2009

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Synopsis:- Taylor Markham is not a popular choice. She is erratic, has no people skills and never turns up to meetings. Not to mention the incident when she ran off in search of her mother and only got halfway there. But she's lived at Jellicoe School most of her life and as leader of the boarders that's her greatest asset. Especially now the cadets, led by the infamous Jonah Griggs, have arrived. The territory wars between the boarders, townies and cadets are about to recommence.But Taylor has other things on her mind; a prayer tree, the hermit who whispered in her ear, and a vaguely familiar drawing in the local police station. Taylor wants to understand the mystery of her own past. But Hannah, the woman who found her, has suddenly disappeared, leaving nothing but an unfinished manuscript about five kids whose lives entwined twenty years ago on the Jellicoe Road. 

Review:- I just loved this book! It's got to be one of my favorite books of all time! It is very deep in meaning but it was so wonderfully told. At the start of the book it maybe confusing as there are two stories being told simultaneously and no connection can be seen apart from the location...Jellicoe Road. Then as Taylor starts piecing things together for herself the readers start seeing the connection between the past and the present story and it's got a lot more than just the location. The two stories eventually interweaves together and once you realize the connection the story becomes more intense, hence the reason as to why I think it's definitely a must to re-read, this time knowing all the information from the beginning.

I'm so impressed with Melina Marchetta, it was a hard story to read so I can imagine that it'd be a harder story to tell and yet she managed to do it perfectly. The combination of the two stories were placed together just at the right moments, just giving you enough clues to keep you going. It's definitely a book that gets you thinking, similar to that of a puzzle. I even had written on an envelope which I also used as my bookmark writing down the names of the characters in the stories and trying to figure out who was who and how they are connected to each other.

This is actually written for Young Adult and yet I feel that this book is so deep that I wonder if many teens would actually have the patience to persevere with the story and figure out what's happening. However, for a 26 year old adult it really did a piece on me and it's definitely a story that I will remember. 

Thursday 26 February 2009

Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Review:- Tally Youngblood has been made into a Cutter, a part of the Special Circumstances. Dr Cable has created these teenagers as weapons of destruction, from their bones, strength and reflexes they were built to control and to fight!

Tally goes to see Zane and due to the problems with the cure pills Zane has some disabilities which Tally cannot see beyond. His slight disability is seen as disgusting in Tally's eyes but yet she still feels love for him and wants him to be a Special like her. By having him "changed" into a Special he will no longer have his slight disabilities and it will be back the way it was between the two of them.

Shay, being the leader of the Cutters' main aim is bring the New Smoke down. Tally and Shay creates a plan where they get both their objectives achieved. They will help Zane with a clever escape where he will lead them to the New Smoke. Through this it will prove to Dr Cable that Zane is a "Specials" material and Shay will get to bring down the New Smoke. Unfortunately things didn't turn out as planned, their actions causing more trouble than worth and at the end neither of their objectives were accomplished.

Out of the three books I've read in the series this is the one that I disliked the most for several reasons. For starters Tally's attitude was just shocking in this one and it took too long into the book before she sees her evil ways. Westerfeld also did things within the book that I couldn't understand his motives for it. The most disappointing thing about this book is that it didn't give me the happily ever after ending that I was hoping for and the most likable character in the whole series, Zane, was killed off! However, if you've read Uglies and Pretties and enjoyed it, you'll still have to read Specials just so that you know how it ends, but it's not a happy ending.

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Review:- Tally Youngblood is a Pretty, a member of the most prestigious clique "The Crims" and their leader, Zane is Tally's boyfriend. What more can a girl want? A brain of her own perhaps?

As Tally is celebrating one of the bash (party) at New Pretty Town she gets a visitor from the past. Croy, a member of the New Smoke gives her instructions to retrieve something. Zane and Tally curious and following the clues and instructions come across a hidden pouch which contained a letter and two little pills. The letter was addressed to Tally from Tally, telling herself that she had given consent to trial Maddy's cure from being a Pretty. Special Circumstances were fast on their trail so Tally and Zane takes a pill each.

The couple are convinced that they are both cured but Zane is constantly getting bad headaches. This is un-pretty like and they feared that Special Circumstances would realize. They decide to escape to New Smoke to be free and to get help for Zane's headaches. This is where their adventures begin.

Out of the first 3 books in the series, Pretties is my favorite. Uglies does come a close second. Uglies and Pretties have a similar plot line where Tally goes for an adventure to try and "fix" things and make things right, the main difference between the two books is the leading men. Uglies, Tally had David and Pretties she had Zane. I think that I really liked Pretties because I really enjoyed Tally and Zane being together. They seemed to have had a lot more of a connection than Tally and David. Zane's presence changed Tally that she became a more likable character. I really liked Zane's characters and since he is one of the main characters in this book it was highly enjoyable.

Wednesday 25 February 2009

The Guernsey's Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Review:- This novel is like no other that I've read, it's a compilation of letters to and from the characters. I didn't realize that this would actually be an effective method of telling a story but for this book it worked a treat. 

This is certainly not a book that I would have picked up on my accord, which cements my decision in joining several book clubs, it has introduced me to books that I would normally not read. This is the scheduled book for both Book-a-month and Bookies Too, both Yahoo groups.

This book is set in the post-war era. A London-based writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a Dawsey Adams from Guernsey. He had come across a book by Charles Lamb originally owned by Juliet, she had written her details on the book. By contacting Juliet, Dawsey had hoped she could give him contact details of local London book stores that may stock more Charles Lamb books. During the correspondence he mentions the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society which, with a name like that obviously piqued Juliet's curiosity. Hence, this was the beginning of the stories to come.

Juliet stating her interest on this strangely named group started receiving letters from other members with their own tales of their lives and experiences during the war when the Germans had invaded Guernsey. The correspondence became intense and Juliet was soon invited and happily accepted a visit to Guernsey where both herself and her new friends all learn something about themselves, their lives and each other.

To be honest I'm not quite sure how to put my thoughts about this book onto a post. I don't even know at this stage whether I actually liked the book or not! However, I had read the book in less than 24 hours so it definitely sustained my interest but it wasn't your usual "I can't sleep till it's read" page-turner. 

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society is definitely very interesting and enjoyable. It's an easy read which is something that I appreciate considering it's heavy topic of war. I find that most war books are quite monotonous, being a very sad and depressing topic it's quite hard to find the right balance, but Mary Ann Shaffer did a wonderful job. Having said that, this book is still quite in depth regarding themes hence I will await till I have read and participated in the book club discussions before I write the conclusion of this review. Please bear with me till then.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Top 100 Book Launch

Yesterday I attended a "Top 100 Books" Launch sponsored by our local Angus & Robertson which was held at one of the branches of my local library. It was quite an event, which included the local mayor Nick Lalich and world-renowned author, Pamela Freeman (pic below). 

I was really quite embarrassed as the librarians loudly introduced me to all and I was the youngest person there. There were a lot of women aged around my Grandmother's age so I really felt out of place but nonetheless I love reading and books enough to endure and the attendees were wonderful! They were all so friendly and tried to help me feel more at home. I didn't regret attending at all.

I also purchased two books by Pamela Freeman from the Castings Trilogy. This is her first foray into writing for adults, she is normally a young adult and children's book author. Deep Water is the second book in the trilogy and was recently released, I was lucky enough to get both autographed by Pamela. She was amazing and prior to meeting her I had emailed her and she personally replied, within the same day! I was ecstatic!

Anyway, I had a great day and was thrilled to have attended such a lovely event. Hope that I could attend similar future events, now I could only hope that I could get all my books signed by the respective authors LoL...dreaming right?

Saturday 21 February 2009

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Review:- I've read two series by Scott Westerfeld and finally come to the series which introduced me to this writer to begin with. I'm just glad that I've finally got to read it, I read it in less than 24 hours. It was great, once again, I applaud Westerfeld for the creative world that he has created for this series. Like his other series, it's always unique and new, even if the themes aren't. Somehow he is able to write it as if it has been a theme that only he has created. However, Uglies, is definitely an original. 

In Westerfeld's Uglies series everyone are "Uglies" until they turn 16 where they undergo an operation which turns them into "Pretties". Tally Youngblood is turning 16 in a few months, she is lonely as her best friend, Peris, just turned into a Pretty leaving Tally all alone in Uglyville whilst he parties and creates a new life with new friends at New Pretty Town.

When sneaking to New Pretty Town to talk to Peris, a highly dangerous and criminal activity, she meets Shay. Shay being the youngest in her group of friends is also alone and friendless as all her friends have turned 16, however, unlike Tally's friends, Shay's friends haven't all gone to live in New Pretty Town. The two fast become best friends and soon the eve of their shared 16th birthday had arrived.

That night Shay arrives at Tally's dorm encouraging Tally to runaway with her to a town where they don't need to undergo the operation to turn Pretty. Tally is sad as Shay leaves but doesn't go with her. However, as Tally wakes up the next morning ready for her Pretty operation a "Special Circumstances" officer, an FBI-like authority in Westerfeld's world, tells Tally that she is unable to turn Pretty unless she works with them to find Shay, who had apparently ran away to a town filled with rebels. 

This book is is fast paced and contains many adventures. The plot is quite straight forward but its a highly exciting and original plot that keeps you wanting more. Unlike most first books in a series, Uglies was highly exciting and a page turner. Highly recommended! I've now started "Pretties" which is the second book in the series. Hopefully a beautiful box set will come out when the series is complete.

Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld

Review:- This book goes straight into adventure. Like I said in the review of the first book, I've noticed that the first book of a series is always not as good nor as exciting as it always has to introduce the readers to the world created by the author and it's characters, but once the first book is completed I've noticed it's much more fast paced after that. Hence, just be patient with the first book and if it's got a plot that's good, persevere with the rest in the series. So lectures aside...

The Midnighters are just getting over their last adventure of saving one of them from being turned into a half-ling when in the middle of the day, whilst at a pep rally the Midnight hour arrives. In search for answers, they find another human, unfrozen and a non-Midnighter, stuck in the midnight hour. They save the girl, but in doing so they soon unfold the answers to their questions.

The Midnight hour has a physical hole, one where the midnight world and the normal world coincides, allowing humans to be within it, unfrozen, which would mean that Darklings are able to hunt them. As if that's not bad enough, it seems that the hole will remain open once a year for 25 hours, leaving Darklings with an "all you can eat humans" for 25 hours. The Midnighters need to find a stop, a way to seal this hole, to keep the Darklings existence to the one midnight hour.

Like I said this book went straight to adventure but I personally didn't like the ending, there was no happy ending for the Midnighters but I'm unsure whether there are going to be other books to the series, so maybe that's not the ending after all. I'm really amazed that despite Westerfeld's unrealistic created world, I still enjoyed reading it. 

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Review:- Rose Hathaway and Princess Lissa Dragomir has finally been caught and returned to St Vladimir Academy, a college for vampires (Moroi) and half-breeds (Dhampirs). However, it soon turns out that their return to the safe threshold of the college is not as safe after all, when someone within the college starts leaving dead animals in Lissa's path, tempting her to heal.

Lissa's magic to heal is a secret, only known to Rose, Lissa and a teacher who was seemingly crazy and was taken away, but before she was taken she had warned Rose to take Lissa far away and ensure that no one finds out about Lissa's ability to heal. Rose followed the instructions and hence why she and Lissa ran away to begin with.

Now back within the Academy it seems someone else knows the secret but why are they forcing Lissa to heal? And why are they going about it like this? Luckily for Lissa, Rose, her best friend and future guardian have a very unique and strong bond where Rose is able to get within Lissa's mind, this is what eventually saves Lissa at the end.

I know that the summary isn't that great but I suppose that's all I can give without ruining the mystery within the book. I do like this book and have already borrowed the second book in the series, "Frostbite" and looking forward to reading it. 

Like Scott Westerfeld's Peeps series I like how Richelle Mead has created a totally different atmosphere, environment and history for her setting. It wasn't the usual vampire story and it is very adequate for Young Adults as it has many themes that teens can empathize and sympathize with. It shows that despite them living within this vampire underworld they were still susceptible to the high-school miseries. I think because of this normality within the book it seems to be more realistic as it's not all fights and vampire stuff. I enjoyed the book and it wasn't at all too childish for my liking. Definitely a must read for those that enjoy the vampire genre.

Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld

Review:- The Midnighters are finally gathered, organized and Jessica's power is known to her. She brings working technology into the Midnight hour and use that as weapons against the Darklings. In this book they realize that they're enemies do not only belong in the Midnight hour only, they are also from the daytime.

Jessica finds herself being stalked, a man is pointing a camera at her window at exactly midnight, someone knows about the Midnighters. They search and soon discover the mysteries behind the disappearance of the initial Midnighters 50 years ago. A family in the neighboring town, Broken Arrow, has been communicating with the Darklings through the use of a half ling, a Darkling who has placed a Midnighter inside of them, hence having their combined powers. 

The current half-ling is weak and dying, but the communication with these day lighters are important, one hour a day is simply not enough, they need these humans to do their bidding during the day. They need the Midnighter inside the half-ling replaced but who will they choose to take?

This is another good book from Scott Westerfeld and so much more fast paced than the first book. It has heaps of mysteries that have got you constantly thinking, it's definitely a page turner and this trilogy is just getting better by the book. 

The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

Review:- Did you know there are 25 hours in a day? According to Westerfeld's created "Midnighter's" world at the stroke of midnight the rest of the world freezes and an hour ticks on. Only those born at midnight have the opportunity to live through this extra hour, The Midnighters.

At Bixby, Oklahoma there are four, all have their own powers; Melissa the mind caster, Dess the polymath, Rex the seer and Johnathan the flyer. They've never felt any purpose for their powers nor the extra hour, it was merely used for their personal enjoyment, their secret playground until...Jessica Day arrived.

Jessica has recently moved to Bixby with her family and soon finds out about the whole Midnighter world that she belongs in, but unlike the rest of them her powers are unknown to her nor are they openly visible to the rest. They need to find out what Jessica is or what her powers are and fast as the Darklings (dark and evil creatures, enemies of the Midnighters)have sensed Jessica's arrival and are determined to get rid of her before she does any harm to them.

This is a great Young Adult fiction with a lot of creativeness. It is suitable for an Adult to read and the language and writing style is not at all simplified. The start of this book was a bit slow paced, but understandable as I've noticed that most books that carry sequels tend to be slow going at the start of the first book as the Author provides history, introduction to the characters and the environment. The sequel to this book is quite fast paced from the beginning, hence my theory. I also enjoyed that the characters of the book, despite it being targeted at  teens were still three dimensional not like most teen novels. I'm really quite impressed with all the different worlds that Westerfeld has created in the books that I have read of his.

Monday 16 February 2009

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Review:- The Earth has been invaded by aliens called "Souls". They use human bodies as their "host". Melanie Stryder, one of the few humans still uninhabited was seen and chased, she jumped hoping to die, she'd rather die than be inhabited. 

Wanderer is the "soul" that has been assigned to Melanie's body. She realizes that Melanie is not going to give up her body without a fight, she is within, alive and determined. Wanderer starts seeing Melanie's memories which starts the longing and loving for two humans, Jamie, Melanie's younger brother and Jared, Melanie's boyfriend. Wanderer sets out to find them.

However, when she finds them they don't believe that Melanie is still within her. They are hard to convince and they live with a lot of humans that are just simply not going to take the risk of them being found, which would mean that their bodies will also be inhabited. Wanderer, or rather Melanie's love for these humans keep Wanderer determined and soon she starts winning the humans over. Things get more complicated when another human, Ian, falls in love with Wanderer, the Soul. 

I had high expectations for this book as I love Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series and by reading the summary it was a great and creative story line, but I felt that it dragged on a bit. I personally felt that the story could have been told just as good with half or three quarters of the pages that Meyer used. Having said that, this book was still a good read, despite the parts dragging on, the main plot was great and the love story really gets you involved. I will definitely be reading the sequel but unlike the Twilight series, I don't think it holds quite the same addictive properties. 

Saturday 14 February 2009

If You Could See Me Now by Cecilia Ahern

Review:- When I read the above summary I didn't think that it was a book that I would enjoy, I thought that the summary seemed a bit strange but I fell in love with Ahern when reading PS I Love You so I persevered and I'm glad I did.

Ivan is sent to be Luke's "best friend", so he thought. His job is to help Luke with whatever personal challenge he is currently facing and when he has accomplished that goal he becomes invisible to Luke again and he gets assigned another "best friend". Soon, Ivan realizes that it's not Luke that needs him but his Aunty, Elizabeth. This is when the story gets good and Ivan teaches Elizabeth how to live her childhood dreams, let her hair down and just be happy and face the past head on. Elizabeth and Ivan fall in love but Ivan knows that he will eventually become "invisible" to Elizabeth when Elizabeth no longer needs him and it becomes not just a self discovery and change for Elizabeth but Ivan too. Ivan soon realizes that their time is coming to an end as he starts becoming invisible to Elizabeth at times. Eventually Elizabeth realizes that Ivan is in fact Luke's "imaginary" friend but he had just become visible to her as well, she was heart broken but soon realizes that she will use the knowledge and love that Ivan had given to accomplish what Ivan was trying to teach her about life, how to live.

If You Could See Me Now is a very different love story from the norm but it was great, I loved it! I read it in two sitting. It makes you realize that the innocence and purity of a child's mind is something that we adults should learn from and not discourage. The imaginary friend association and world that Ahern creates is so fascinating that you become astounded that another adult could create such a world. Whilst it may seem to have a whole imaginary and magical vibe to it, don't be discouraged, it's not something out of this world and Ahern has created this world to co-exist with ours that you nearly believe that it is actually true and possible. This book is a very light read despite it being very deep in meaning, which is another reason why I love it. Sometimes you just want a light read without it being light in meaning too. 

Friday 13 February 2009

North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Synopsis by Meredith Griffin:- When her father has a crisis of faith and leaves his position as a cleric in scenic southern England, Margaret and her tempestuous mother are moved to England's industrial north, where she must somehow find a way to survive. Her progess is hindered by the presence of Mr. Thornton, a factory owner who seeks to become a "gentleman" in order to win Margaret's affections and his mother, a money-grubbing cow who sees Margaret as a penniless hindrace to her son's glorious career. But in the end, Margaret's future becomes a great deal less bleak when an unexpected bank account arrives and she can finally realize her dreams.
Source:- All Readers

Review:- North & South is your typical classic love story. I love stories like this but what I really cannot stand about classic love stories is that you anticipate and wait for them to finally get together and when they do the writer doesn't dedicate more than one page to this ending! I just can't stand that! I feel like there's a huge...well a book full of anticipation and then the ending is just half a page so it's a big let down, but I've noticed most books in that era is very similar in the way they are written in terms of the ending anyway, but North & South was worse than the others that I've read. It dedicated less than a page to the ending. However, please do not get me wrong I love the story and it's worth the read if you love classics, it has a lot of themes to consider throughout the book.

Daughters of Darkness (Nightworld Series #2) by LJ Smith

Synopsis:- Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.

Review:- This is the second story in the Night World series. Whilst the main characters do not remain the same, like I'd thought and hoped it was still quite a decent read. It's something that you would read when you don't want to concentrate too much on what you are reading. However, having said that I would have probably enjoyed it a lot more had I read it in my teens.

2009 Read & Review Challenge

Another one of Miz B's challenges is the 2009 Read & Review. Seeing that I have personally decided to review as much of the books that I read this year I was thrilled to find the above challenge, this will ensure that I have the correct motivation to keep going. I will also ensure that from now on I will review as soon as I finish reading the book as I've got a few that are left unreviewed at this stage and some parts of the books I've already forgotten which isn't any good. I will try and get all my reviews up to date asap. 

Secret Vampire (Night World Series #1) by LJ Smith

Synopsis:- Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters - they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy's only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of the Night World.

Source:- Simon & Schuster

Review:- This is a typical story of hidden true love. James & Poppy have been best friends forever, both are in love with the other, unknown to the other. This is a very basic teens story but it does tug at the heart strings but it's a short and light read and it's very predictable. It's not unique in any way but the only thing I really liked about this particular book is that it captures the innocence of true and first love, which happens to be the same in this book. There is a suspenseful part towards the end but this is short lived. So don't expect too much from this book it's simply a guilty pleasure with lots of cliches.

Rating:- 5 out of 10

The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld

Synopsis:- Strange things are happening: people going crazy in the streets, friends disappearing, angels (or devils) clambering on the fire escapes of the city. But for Pearl, Moz and Zahler, all that matters is their new band. As the city reels under a mysterious epidemic, they combine their talents with a vampire lead singer and a drummer whose fractures mind can glimpse the coming darkness. Will their music stave off the end of the world? Or summon it? 

Set against the gritty apocalypse that began in Parasite Positive or Peeps, The Last Days is about five teenagers who find themselves creating the soundtrack for the end of the world.

Source:- The Last Days book cover by Scott Westerfeld

Personal Review:- This book is the sequel to Peeps and whilst I was disappointed that it didn't really take you from the end of Peeps it was still a good read. I was hoping that The Last Days will follow Cal, Lacey, Morgan and Sarah into their new lives and into the war that is raging, but unfortunately, whilst Lacey and Cal do make guest appearances towards the end they weren't the main characters of this book.

However, having said that, The Last Days still had it's own charm. It takes you from a simple story of a bunch of teenagers starting up a band to eventually realizing, amongst themselves, what is truly happening in the world, or in their world. Soon they are well informed and helping Peep carriers such as Lacey and Cal to kill the worm that made it's appearance towards the end of Peeps.

Once again I was slightly disappointed with the ending. Like Peeps' ending I found the Last Days ending a bit bizarre and unrealistic, but having said that, being a Young Adult novel I thought that maybe the ending is what is expected in this age group. Despite the ending I still thoroughly enjoyed the book, whilst it's something that I probably wouldn't re-read again it was an enjoyable read whilst it lasted. I read this book in less than 24 hours so it really wasn't bad at all.

Rating:- 6 out of 10

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

Synopsis:- This is the second of Charlaine Harris' books starring Harper Connelly a woman who got hit by lightning as a child and got left with a gift of finding the dead and being able to identify their cause of death.

Harper is hired by a skeptic Professor who wants to prove to his class that she's a fraud. His ultimate test was to take Harper to the College cemetery which hasn't been used for over 50 years and the list of the people buried there was recently uncovered and was impossible to obtain. 

Harper goes through the norm, naming the people buried in the graves and naming their cause of death when in the last grave something goes awfully wrong. Harper feels two bodies instead of one. Harper then realizes that the second body that was buried there recently, on top of the original body is that of the little girl that she was hired and failed to find a few months prior.

Due to this big coincidence Harper and Tolliver finds themselves in the middle of a murder investigation, both looking to be likely suspects. If things couldn't get worse, the Professor, after a heated and public argument with Harper is found dead on the very same grave! The duo seeks to find their own evidence, to solve the murder mystery and to untangle themselves from being seen as suspects. Unfortunately every evidence they uncover further points to them  being guilty. 

Personal Review:- Whilst I preferred the first book in the series, Grave Sight, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. The only reason I found Grave Sight to be a better book is because it took me awhile longer to figure out who the actual culprit to the crimes were, whereas with this one it was obvious early on in the story.

Having said that this book was still a great read. It's a very easy read, but the book contains enough mystery, twists and turns for it not to become a bore, even if you already guessed who the murderer was. I will definitely be reading more of Charlaine Harris' books.

Rating:- 6 out of 10

Thursday 12 February 2009

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Synopsis:- A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally Cal's life.

Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he's infected the girlfriends he's had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls Cal calls Peeps (Parasite-positive). The rest of us know them as vampires. It's Cal's job to hunt them down before they can create more of their kind.

Bursting with the sharp intelligence and sly humor that are fast becoming his trademark, Scott Westerfeld's novel is an utterly original take on an archetype of horror.

Personal Review:- As you will see from my reading list I have grown quite interested in the whole vampire stories, hence this was totally up my alley. This is the first Scott Westerfeld book that I've read and whilst it would be unlikely that I would re-read Peeps again I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time around and has gotten me interested in reading the rest of Westerfeld's books. 

This is not your usual vampire story. This had many twists, turns and theories. His take on the whole vampire environment was so unique and his explanations to the usual vampire themes were so realistic that it started sounding more facts than fiction. Westerfeld's writing technique was quite interesting as he makes every second chapter as a "fact" chapter about different types of parasites. I initially decided to skip these parts but strangely enough I found these chapters quite interesting, not so much due to the actual facts itself but due to the depth, interest and horror that it adds to the main story line.

Rating:- 6.5 out of 10

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Casual Classics Challenge 2009

MizB is hosting a "Casual Classics Challenge", which is to read 4 "Classics" between January 1st 2009 and December 31st 2009 and since I'm going to be reading a lot of classics already by personal choice I thought it'd be a great addition to my other reading challenges, but I think this would be it for me this year. I don't want to join too much and overwhelm myself as I do want to complete the challenges. As I finish reading I will write the titles of my "read" classics. Till then...


Tuesday 10 February 2009

2009 100+ Reading Challenge

This is another of my Reading Challenges. Further information can be found here. I will write and add to my list as I read and review the books. Hope you join and have fun!!

1. Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris 
2. Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
3. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
4. The Awakening by LJ Smith
5. The Struggle by LJ Smith
6. The Secret Vampire by LJ Smith
7. Daughters of Darkness by LJ Smith
8. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
9. The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld
10. One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

11. Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
12. If You Could See Me Now by Cecilia Ahern
13. Host by Stephanie Meyer
14. North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell
15. The Hobbit by Tolkien

16. Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien
17. Lord of the Rings Two Towers by Tolkien
18. Lord of the Rings Return of the King by Tolkien
19. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
20. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

21. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
22. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
23. Dracula by Bram Stoker
24. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
25. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

26. The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
27. Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld
28. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
29. The Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld
30. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

31. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
33. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
34. Jellicoe Road  by Melina Marchetta
35. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

36. The Society of S by Susan Hubbard
37. The Tortilla Curtain by T.C Boyle
38. Frostbite by Richelle Mead
39. The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike
40. Black Blood by Christopher Pike

41. Bride Stripped Bare by Anonymous (Nikki Gemmell)
42. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
43. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
44. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
45. So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

46. Thanks for the memories by Cecilia Ahern
47. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
48. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier


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