Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vampire Diaries: The Fury & Dark Reunion

Author: L.J. Smith
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult

I read the first two books from Vampire Diaries sometime back and quite enjoyed reading them. The Fury and Dark Reunion is the third and fourth instalment for the Vampire Diaries. Like the first two books, I enjoyed reading The Fury and Dark Reunion. Its kinda hard to review the books without revealing the storyline so it won’t be much of a review because I don’t want to spoil it for those who have not read it yet. So here goes the short review:

The Fury was quite an exciting read and I was caught up with the mystery surrounding the group. In fact, I think I enjoyed reading The Fury more than the Awakening & The Struggle. The ending of the book surprised me but it was still an amazing read.
I really enjoyed The Fury but The Struggle didn’t seem to have the same impact on me. I suppose it was because the book came from Bonnie’s point of view. As much as I love Bonnie’s character I loved Elena’s character better. Plus as much as the ending was good for all the characters involved, I somehow didn’t quite like it.
Well, just because I didn’t enjoy the fourth book as much as The Fury doesn’t mean that I am not going to read The Nightfall. I’m so behind on my reading and I hope that I’ll be able to start The Nightfall soon.
To read my review of The Awakening & The Struggle, please click here.
Note: The Vampire Diaries- The Fury & Dark Reunion is part of the L.J. Smith Reading Challenge & The 2009 100+

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Monday! What are You Reading? - 7 December 2009

This week I am reading A Clash of Kings which is the second book from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Sometime this year I was introduced to the first book A Game of Thrones and absolutely love it, you can read my review here. I’ve had too many commitments since then that I am only able to read the second book now. So far, am at page 140 and I’m loving it.

"What are you reading on Mondays?" is a weekly event held by J.Kaye's Book Blog.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

2010 Reading Challenge: Young Adult Reading Challenge

I’m signing up for the Young Adult Reading Challenge hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog. I’ve decided to take the Mini YA Reading Challenge where you are required to read 12 books from January 1 to December 31, 2010.
Wish me luck!
  1. Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
  3. Hush Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick
  4. Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  5. Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater
  6. The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary E. Pearson
  7. Fallen, Lauren Kate
  8. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
  9. I Am Number Four, Pittacus Lore
  10. Generation Dead, Daniel Waters
  11. The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
  12. Beautiful Darkness, Kami Garcia and Margarent Stohl

    I, Coriander

    Author: Sally Gardner
    Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy 
    Reading Level: Ages 9-12

    Coriander lives a comfortable life until the sudden death of her mother. Soon after, Coriander’s father is forced to flee London and she is left in the care of her evil step mother. As things turn from bad to worst, Coriander’s step mother decides to lock her up in a chest and leave her to die. However, Coriander is suddenly transported to a fairy world where she learns the truth about her mother's death and thereafter begins her quest to look for her mother's shadow.

    I found I, Coriander quite a magical book to read. It had a great combo of fact and fantasy. The characters were excellent, you’ll either love them or loathe them. I especially love Coriander's step sister for her lovely character and very much despise her step-mother and the preacher that she was in cahoots with. The character development, the story flow was all good and the magical aspects made the book even better.
    A definite must read.

    2010 Reading Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge

    When I first started blogging in September 2008, one of the first challenges that I participated for 2009 is the 100+ Reading Challenge hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog. To date, I’ve only managed to read about 57 books. Though I did not meet the 100 mark, I am proud that I’ve read and reviewed so many books already and am hoping that I’ll achieve more in 2010.

    So in 2010, I am taking part in the 100+ Reading Challenge yet again and hope that I’d be able to read more than I did in 2009.

    For more information on the 100+ Reading Challenge, please visit J. Kaye’s Book Blog.

    Do visit me from time to time to see how I'm doing as I will list down the books I've read and link the reviews in the post.
    1. Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
    2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
    3. The Ice Dragon, George R.R. Martin
    4. Hush Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick
    5. Mr. Punch, Neil Gaiman and David McKean
    6. My Brother's Ghost, Allan Ahlberg
    7. Usborne Young Reading Series: The Railway Children, E.Nesbit
    8. A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin
    9. Shooting War, Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman 
    10. All Together Dead, Charlaine Harris
    11. Little Miss Sunshine Keeps Her Smile, Roger Hargreaves
    12. Little Miss Contrary All in a Muddle, Roger Hargreaves
    13. Little Miss Helpful and the Green House, Roger Hargreaves
    14. Little Miss Naughty Worries Mr. Worry, Roger Hargreaves
    15. Little Miss Trouble Moving House, Roger Hargreaves
    16. Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
    17. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw, Jeff Kinney
    18. From Dead to Worse, Charlaine Harris
    19. Dead and Gone, Charlaine Harris 
    20. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
    21. The Soloist, Steve Lopez
    22. Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater
    23. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, Tiffany Baker
    24. The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary E. Pearson
    25. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald
    26. Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story, Frederik Peeters
    27. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
    28. The Old Man at the Foot of the Mountain, Azizi Hj Abdullah
    29. Fallen, Lauren Kate
    30. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
    31. I Am Number Four, Pittacus Lore
    32. Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell
    33. Life of Pi, Yann Martel
    34. Generation Dead, Daniel Waters
    35. The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
    36. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrow
    37. Never the Bride, Paul Magrs
    38. The Girl Who Could Fly, Victoria Forester
    39. Blankets, Craig Thompson
    40. The 19th Wife, David Ebershoff
    41. The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
    42. Room, Emma Donoghue
    43. Beautiful Darkness, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl


          Monday, November 30, 2009

          New Moon: My thoughts on the movie

          When I first saw Twilight last year, my first thoughts were that it came across as a B grade movie. So with the release of New Moon, I went to the movies with very low expectations and was only looking forward to see young half naked men strutting their stuff on screen… guess what, I got what I asked for!

          Honestly, I thought New Moon was corny. It felt as though they were trying too hard to make Edward a cool vampire that he turned out just the opposite. Jacob, on the other hand, turned out hawt, hawt, hawt… those abs could kill the worst monsters just by flexing! (Its probably illegal for me to ogle at the boy seeing that he is only 17 but the hot bod is making me contemplate if I should move to Team Jacob... LOL)

          Apparently they have a new Director for the third installment of the movie and I really hope that Eclipse and Breaking Dawn will turn out better. I’m also hoping that they will improve on the scripting. Oh well, fingers crossed, let’s hope that Eclipse will be a better movie.

          By the way, I always thought that New Moon was the worst in the Twilight book series so maybe that’s why I wasn’t too excited to watch the movie.

          Wonder who else I know has seen New Moon. Thoughts?

          Thursday, November 26, 2009

          Definitely Dead

          Author: Charlaine Harris
          Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy- Vampire/Mystery/ Thriller

          I started off reading Definitely Dead in utter confusion. When did Hadley get murdered? When did Sookie become close to the Vampire Queen of Louisiana? I began the first few chapters wondering if I missed a book from the series and even checked the last book to see if I had missed a couple of chapters. Eventually I found out that Definitely Dead was a continuation of Charlaine Harris’s short story “One Word Answer”, which I have yet to read. Despite the confusion, Definitely Dead was still a good read that carried the traditional suspense and excitement in the mysteries that surround Sookie.
          My only issue with Sookie while I was reading the book was that I thought she should start settling on one guy instead of falling for every guy she meets! It was getting a tad annoying but thank God she settled for someone in the end. Lets hope the relationship lasts at least until the end of the next book in the series!
          There were a few plots in the book that I thought was unnecessary but overall Definitely Dead was still a fun book to read.

          Friday, November 6, 2009

          Cuci the Musical- Istana Budaya, 6 November 2009

          If you haven’t watched Cuci the Musical then you should! I managed to catch the show yesterday at Istana Budaya and I enjoyed myself tremendously. The show was absolutely hilarious and had me in stitches and tears the whole night. I did think that some parts of the show was unnecessary and made it a tad draggy but other than that the show was excellent.
          The casting was great and you could see the actors had chemistry on stage and they were having fun doing the show. AC Mizal was my favourite and Hans Isaac absolutely suprise me with his singing. Afdlin, Awie and Vanida were great as expected. It was an excellent, excellent show and an absolutely MUST SEE!

          Monday, October 19, 2009


          Author: Steven R. Boyett
          Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

          It’s been five years since the Change: cars stopped, lights went out, electrical items just cease to function and magical creatures appear and roam the earth. Pete Garey a survivor of the Change wonders the deserted streets alone until he encounters an injured unicorn he calls Ariel. Through their travels together they start to form a special bond. Unicorns are highly priced for their magic and due to Ariel’s magical possessions both Pete and Ariel are hunted by a necromancer from New York City.

          I didn’t exactly enjoy reading Ariel but I did appreciate the special bond that exists between Pete and Ariel which kept me wanting to read more. The overall storyline is revealed in a slow pace and at times I felt that certain pages seem to drag on unnecessarily but I have to say that the author manages to combine both science fiction and fantasy successfully. What got me about the book was that you didn’t know why the Change happened, why magical creatures appeared and also the ending… I didn’t like the ending….At ALL.
          I’m still curious as to why the Change happened and might pick up Elegy Beach which is the sequel to Ariel targeted for release in November 2009. Hopefully the sequel will have more answers.

          Kenny & the Dragon

          Author: Tony DiTerlizzi
          Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
          Reading Level: Ages 9-12 

          Kenny and the Dragon is a heart warming story about friendship between Kenny the Rabbit and Grahame the Dragon who share the same interest despite their differences. However when the local villagers are made aware of the presence of a dragon within their countryside, they panic.
          Unfortunately for Kenny, his other good friend George who is a bookstore owner and a retired knight has been dispatched by the King to slay and save the village from the dragon whom they believe is a threat to their community. Kenny is now caught in between two friends and frantically tries to find a way to save his friendship with both George and Grahame as well as trying to keep Grahame from the being slayed.
          I absolutely love, love, love this book! I love the simplicity of the story and the strong message on friendship and how negative beliefs or prejudice can effect the nicest of beings. Kenny and the Dragon is a suitable read for both the young and old. The adventure is exciting and the characters are absolutely lovable. Its a light read and the drawings included in the book are just so cute. Definitely a recommended read and I'm keeping this to read to my kids someday!

          Friday, October 16, 2009

          Vampire Diaries: The Awakening & The Struggle

          Author: L.J. Smith
          Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
          Reading Level: Young Adult

          I don’t know how and why I’ve never heard of Vampire Diaries before until recently when I noticed it as a trending topic on Twitter. The TV series had taken off in the US and I think just about everyone I was connected to from the US was raving about it. Then I found out that My Friend Amy was hosting the Vampire Diaries Reading Challenge and I thought I should join in to see what the hype was all about.

          Vampire Diaries is a young adult novel which was originally published in 1991. I read a comment somewhere (can't remember where) that Vampire Diaries is the original Twilight and I can understand how that comment came about. There are some similarities based on the premise of girl falls in love with good vampire. However, unlike Twilight I didn’t find Elena as annoying as Bella :)

          I absolutely love Stefan’s character…BIG SURPRISE! I always fall for the same type of characters; brooding, mysterious, heroic vamps. I found Elena’s character to be spoilt and can be quite bitchy but she also came across as independent, confident and knew clearly what she wanted and how she was going to get it thus why she wasn't as annoying to me as Bella was when I was reading Twilight.
          Anyway, the storyline itself was entertaining. There was enough mystery, excitement and activities that kept me wanting to read on. I absolutely enjoyed reading this book and have the next instalment to the series ‘The Fury & Dark Reunion’ on my TBR pile already.

          I’m also going to catch the first series of Vampire Diaries soon. Hope I’ll enjoy it as much as the book.

          Monday, October 12, 2009

          Zombie Blondes

          Author: Brian James
          Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy- Paranormal
          Reading Level: Young Adult

          The first time I read about Zombie Blondes was through reviews by The Book Smugglers and Becky’s Book Reviews. Shortly after, I found the book at Kinokuniya with a 20% off discount on the book so I decided to get myself a copy.

          Zombie Blondes is about Hannah, a teenage girl who moves from one town to another every time her father faces financial difficulties. Moving so many times has made her sort of an expert in identifying who the cool crowd is in her new school. Like any teenage girl, she wants to be part of the cool, popular crowd (who happen to be cheerleaders of course) but this time she’s been given an opportunity to join them… the only thing is the cool chicks are zombies!

          The plot was predictable; teenager moves into new town and wants to be part of popular group the only difference is there’s zombies involved. I didn’t really enjoy the book but I did like how it picked up towards the end and I also liked the ending. In between, it was really just an okay read. The only other problem I had with the book was that there was no explanation on how the town’s occupants became zombies so I wish the author would have elaborated a bit more on that.

          Overall, Zombie Blondes is an easy read, nothing complicated, a bit predictable but still enjoyable.

          Ps- I forgot to mention, I absolutely love the book cover.

          Friday, October 9, 2009

          Friday Finds, October 9

          Here are some books I found over the past week that I'd like to share for this week's Friday Finds:

          Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
          I’ve read The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Three Incestuous Sisters sometime back from the same author and really can’t wait to read Her Fearful Symmetry. I might get this book over the weekend so that it can be my next Halloween read for October.

          The Year of the Flood by Margarent Atwood
          I found a review of this book from Book Nook Club and found the premise of the book quite interesting. I’ve never read any of Atwood’s work before though I have a couple of her books on my TBR pile and this one seems like an interesting read.

          Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading.

          Wednesday, October 7, 2009

          Mr Toppit

          Author: Charles Elton
          Genre: Fiction

          ‘Once upon a time a book broke a family…’ – Those were the words on the cover of the book that attracted me to purchase Mr Toppit. Mr Toppit is a story about a dysfunctional family and how each and every one of them is affected by the popularity of a book written by the father, Arthur Hayseed. The novel traces the history of the Hayseed Chronicles and the series of events that leads to the book becoming a sudden worldwide phenomenon after the death of Arthur Hayseed.
          The story was engaging at first and was an okay read for maybe about 200+ pages or so, after that I was no longer interested about the characters or the series of events that were happening. I ended up skimming through the pages towards the end of the book trying to look for the punch line but when the dark secret was revealed, it was a no biggie.
          I was a bit disappointed with Mr Toppit. I was hoping for a big family drama with a big wow ending. The family drama was definitely there but the book didn’t have a big impact to me as a reader despite the tragic and dramatic end.
          Was there anything good about the book? Well, it did have some funny lines here and there that did made me laugh other than that it just wasn't outstanding enough. I really wanted to like this book but unfortunately I don't.

          Friday, October 2, 2009

          Friday Finds, October 2

          Sometime back I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I absolutely enjoyed it. This week I found out about another Quirk Books publication which I absolutely MUST get my hands on titled Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. (Btw, if you click on the amazon link they have really cool wallpaper background that you can download for free!)

          Bryan’s Book Blog gave a great review of the book, please click here to read the review. I also found a book trailer on YouTube on the book.

          I’ve gotta get this book!

          Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading.

          Wednesday, September 30, 2009

          Non-Fiction 5 Challenge Wrap Up

          Phew! I made it just in time and finished my last book for the Non-Fiction 5 challenge yesterday… I’m so glad I took part in this challenge but really hope that I’d be able to read more from the non-fiction genre in the future.

          Anyway for this challenge, I managed to read the following books:
          1. Early American Advertising: A Fabulous Compilation of Advertisements, Honest and Otherwise Large and Small from 1799 to 1924 by Bob Perlongo (May 21)
          2. A Child Called ‘It’ by Dave Pelzer (May 25)
          3. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson (June 8)
          4. Quotations by David Ogilvy (Sept 15)
          5. Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite by Paul Arden (Sept 29)

          Thanks to Trish from Trish's Reading Nook for hosting the challenge. I look forward to participating again next year! In the meantime, Happy Reading everybody!

          Tuesday, September 29, 2009

          Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite

          Author: Paul Arden
          Genre: Non-Fiction

          Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite is written by the author of It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be, Paul Arden. I’ve actually read Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite a few years back and loved it and thought that I should re-read it again for my non-fiction 5 challenge.

          The whole premise of this book is based on how sometimes making a bad decision and taking risks can be so much better than going through a safer route. The lessons are not new but the presentation used to put across the key messages in this book is unique.

          Paul Arden who was a former executive director at Saatchi & Saatchi puts his creative skills to good use by including great visual elements in the book to bring his message across. His use of strong visual elements makes it visually appealing and the use of short and concise text makes this book an easy and read.
          Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite is a book that I personally keep just to read whenever I need a quick pick me up. It offers inspirational quotes and also insightful stories of individuals who have succeeded by making mistakes in their life.

          Note: This book counts as the fifth book read for the Non- Fiction Five Challenge.

          Monday, September 28, 2009

          What are you Reading on Mondays? - 28 September

          Gasp! I have ONLY two days more to meet the deadline for my Non- Fiction 5 Challenge, so I'm picking up a non-fiction book that I hope I can read, review and wrap up in time within the next two days.

          So, this week I am reading:

          Last week I managed to read Fahrenheit 451 and truly it is an excellent book which I would recommend everyone to read. If you'd like to read my review, please click here.

          “What are you reading on Mondays?” is a weekly event held by J.Kaye’s Book Blog.

          Sunday, September 27, 2009

          L.J. Smith Reading Challenge

          I’ve decided to join in My Friend Amy’s L.J. Smith Reading Challenge. Amy says that The Vampire Diaries “Changed.My. Life.”. So if it’s changed her life I thought I should maybe give it a try.

          Plus, the US started showing the Vampire Diaries TV series a couple of weeks back and there’s been a lot of buzz amongst my book blogger friends on twitterverse about this series. Its probably gonna take a few months before they start showing it in Malaysia but I’m gonna take the time to read the books first before the program arrives.

          A quick note to Malaysian TV Broadcasters: Please Mr Broadcaster, bring Vampire Diaries to Malaysia faster! I wanna be able to discuss the series with my friends too… :(

          I've actually got the first Vampire Diaries on my TBR pile for sometime now so thanks Amy for hosting the challenge. Hopefully it will make me read the book instead of leaving it on the shelf for far too long.

          The challenge begins on September 1 2009 and ends on August 31st 2010 and following are the books in the series:
          The Awakening
          The Struggle
          The Fury
          Dark Reunion
          And the ongoing story in
          The Vampire Diaries: The Return: The Nightfall

          If you’d like to join in the challenge, please visit My Friend Amy’s blog here and if you'd like to find out a bit more about the book, you can visit the official book site here.

          Fahrenheit 451

          Author: Ray Bradbury
          Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

          Guy Montag is a fireman but instead of being tasked to kill fires, he starts them with the purpose of destroying books. Fahrenheit 451 is set in an unspecified time and place in the future where books are banned and firemen are the ones responsible to seek and destroy them. In this society strong censorship has taken affect and it is accepted that knowledge is bad.

          I didn't exceptionally enjoy reading the book as it does tend to drag at some points but I also think that it is a classic which must be read. Fahrenheit 451 is an excellent book and I loved the message that it presented. The effects of strong censorship and the lost of interest to read and think was something worth pondering upon.

          I sympathized with the main character as realization hits him on the state of society that he lives in. Montag who is not the best of heroes often makes rash decisions (which can be frustrating), sometimes easily swayed and often confused. But these are the elements that made the character seemed real and more human to me as a reader. I was also quite intrigued with Captain Beatty’s character who appears to have much hatred towards books but is able to quote the best lines from known literature.

          So the verdict: Fahrenheit 451 is an absolutely must read despite some parts which I thought can drag a bit. So, if you haven't read it yet, read it.

          Other than Fahrenheit 451 being a ‘must read’, the history of how Ray Bradbury developed Fahrenheit 451 itself is interesting which is explained as a short afterword at the end of the book. I’ve also stumbled upon some sites that mentioned Fahrenheit 451 was once a banned book but after further research I’m still not able to find out when and where it was exactly banned. If you have this information, please do share it with me as I’m curious as to why it was banned.

          Friday, September 25, 2009

          Friday Finds, September 25

          I generally stay away from books with post-apocalyptic themes. I’ve read The Road but didn’t really like it much but after reading The Forest of Hands & Teeth (must read!) earlier this month, it suddenly created an interest to read other books with the same theme. To read my review of The Forest of Hands & Teeth please click here.
          This week, I found another post apocalyptic themed book titled Ariel by Steven R. Boyett from the Book Smugglers blog (I love their blog it’s just so cool). They are also running a contest to win two copies of the book ending on the 26th of September. The contest is open only in the US and Canada which sadly means I can’t enter the contest… which also means I’m off to the bookstore to get myself a copy this weekend! :)
          To enter the contest, please visit the Book Smugglers.

          Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading.

          Thursday, September 24, 2009

          The Three Shadows

          Author: Cyril Pedrosa
          Genre: Graphic Novel

          The Three Shadows is a graphic novel that tells the story of a family that lives an idyllic and peaceful life until it is disrupted by the appearance of three mysterious figures. The three shadowy figures can’t be approached and lurk around ominously near their home.

          Lise, who is worried about the sudden appearance of the three shadows consulted a witch who informed her that the shadows are after their son, Joachim. Upon hearing this Louis runs away with Joachim, literally crossing the ocean to keep his son as far away from the three shadows as possible.

          I am very new to graphic novels and stumbled upon The Three Shadows while browsing at the store. I read all 200+ pages in one sitting. It is truly a beautiful story complemented by the black and white artwork which created a dark tone and suspenseful effect to the overall storyline.

          The Three Shadows was inspired by the author Cyril Pedrosa’s experience of watching his close friends’ child die at a very young age. Through this experience, Pedrosa manages to bring across the message of how far a parent would go to protect their child. The effect: A heartbreaking and touching tale that is definitely a recommended read.

          Wednesday, September 23, 2009

          The Forest of Hands & Teeth

          The Forest of Hands & Teeth is a young adult post apocalyptic romance novel surrounding a girl name Mary who lives her life in a village cut off from the world. The village is protected by a fence that keeps the occupants safe from the Forest of Hands & Teeth, where the Unconsecrated dwells. Believing that there is more to life than what is offered in the village Mary has a strong urge to go beyond and explore the world.

          What I liked about the book?
          The Forest of Hands & Teeth is one of the best post-apocalyptic books that I have ever read. Carrie Ryan’s style of writing transported me to Mary’s world. It was an intense read which manages to bring the character to life. I was literally living her fear, anguish and despair. The Forest of Hands & Teeth also provided an adrenalin rush as the villagers and those who survive try to escape and save themselves from the attacks of the Unconsecrated.

          What I didn’t like about the book?
          I felt that there were a lot of loose ends in the book that was not resolved so it had an anti-climatic ending. However, I found out from Wikipedia that it is part of a trilogy. Maybe Ryan left many unanswered questions in the first book to tie up the loose ends in the future books to come and I eagerly await the release of the second book to find out how it turns out for Mary as well as closure to some of the loose ends.
          Verdict: Whilst The Forest of Hands & Teeth left much for me to ponder, it is to me one of the best books I’ve read in 2009. Despite the loose ends, Ryans writing was excellent and successfully brought me into Mary’s world.

          If you’d like to read The Forest of Hands & Teeth, here’s a quick preview of the book from YouTube:

          Tuesday, September 22, 2009

          Dead as a Doornail

          Small town cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is back as the unwilling heroine of the supernatural world in Dead as a Doornail. In the fifth instalment, a sniper is on the loose and attacking the local shape shifting community. Unfortunately, they suspect Jason is the mysterious shooter and Sookie is back to sleuthing to try and save him.

          In Dead to the World, there was an introduction of the werewolf/shape shifting community which lead to a more detailed understanding of their social and political culture in Dead as a Doornail.

          What did I think of this book?
          Well, the werewolf community is a bit more complex and less interesting (for me) though Harris’s style of writing is still easy to read and the mystery surrounding the sniper was not so...mysterious. I unfortunately didn’t enjoy Dead as a Doornail as much as the rest of the other books I’ve read.

          In Dead to the World, I thought that the list of suitors who were after Sookie was a tad annoying and unfortunately in Dead as a Doornail it was just too O.T.T.

          Verdict: Hmmm… not my favourite in the series. The romance and the mystery was not as exciting and I kinda lost interest. I’m really hoping that Definitely Dead would be a better read.
          I’m taking a short break from reading Sookie to catch up with the HBO series as well as my other unattended books in my TBR pile. I think I’m doing okay so far with the Sookie Stackhouse challenge; 5 down 2 more to go!

          Note: Book 5 completed for the Sookie Stackhouse challenge. If you’d like to participate, please visit Beth Fish Reads’ blog.

          Monday, September 21, 2009

          What are you reading on Mondays? - 21 September

          This week we are celebrating Hari Raya or more known as Eid is other parts of the world. I actually picked up this book last week on Friday but have been so busy with the celebrations that I haven’t been able to read much.
          So, what am I reading on Mondays?
          I am currently reading We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
          What are you reading on Mondays? is a weekly book event held by J.Kaye's Book Blog.

          Friday, September 18, 2009

          Dead to the World

          It’s New Years in Bon Temps and Sookie is trying to keep herself busy at work. Not only is she broke from her last adventure but she’s also trying to keep her mind off her cheating ex-boyfriend Vampire Bill.

          On her way back home from work, she almost ran over a half naked man on the street only to find out its Eric who seems to have suffered from amnesia. Apparently, Eric has been cursed by a witch who wants to take over his life and has to take refuge with Sookie whilst they try to solve the problem.

          There are two separate storylines in Dead to the World:
          1. Eric’s memory loss which is connected to other supernatural elements leading to a huge battle with the witches and…
          2. Jason who seems to have gone missing or as Sookie suspects, may have been kidnapped.
          What I liked about this book?
          Well, there were more supernatural elements that were introduced in the book with more insights on the werewolf community as well as the witches. The war that raged amongst the vampires and the witches was a serious problem in the supernatural world and leads to a (normally unlikely) collaborative effort between the vamps and weres to win the battle. Introducing the new supernatural element kept the book interesting.

          In terms of romance, Bill is gone and Eric takes lead in this book. I actually like Eric’s character better while he suffers from amnesia; he’s kinder, gentler and oh so sweet. The chemistry added some pizzazz to the romance but Eric is just not Bill. (Can you tell I'm pro Bill?)

          What I didn’t like about this book?
          Harris seems to have a style of featuring too many plots in one book which can be a bit convoluted but it was still an easy read. I also felt that there were too many possible suitors for Sookie featured in the book with the introduction of Calvin Norris a shapeshifter from a nearby town. Personally, the male attention for Sookie was getting a tad too much for me.

          Verdict: I still prefer Dead until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas. Comparatively, Dead to the World to me is a better read than Club Dead because it introduced further understanding of Harris’s supernatural world which kept it exciting.

          Note: Book 4 completed for the Sookie Stackhouse challenge. If you'd like to participate, please visit Beth Fish Reads' blog.

          Club Dead

          Club Dead is the third installation of the Sookie Stackhouse southern vampire series. I’ve read the first two books and absolutely loved Dead until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas. I love Sookie’s character, I think she’s fun and resourceful and her supernatural adventures make a great weekend read.
          In Club Dead, Bill is kidnapped and Sookie seeks out to find him with the help of Alcide Herveaux who happens to be a werewolf. Like the two previous books, Club Dead is an easy and fun read though I found the plot to be a bit more intricate than the previous books. The introduction of new supernatural elements with insights to the world of werewolves and shape shifter adds a bit more excitement and engagement to the reading.
          Bill doesn’t appear much in the book and he wasn’t acting like the best boyfriend in the world, so obviously he’s not so hot in Sookie’s books this time around. Eric’s character comes out stronger and I’m kinda starting to like him a bit more compared to the first two books. Alcide is a nice guy who also seems to have fallen for Sookie whilst in their quest to save Bill; so there was some interesting connection happening between the two of them. The list of possible suitors that seem to have fallen for Sookie can be a tad annoying but nevertheless, Club Dead was definitely a fun read.
          Definitely an enjoyable read though the first two books are still my favourite.
          Note: Book 3 completed for the Sookie Stackhouse challenge. If you’d like to participate, please visit Beth Fish Reads’ blog.

          Friday Finds, 18 September

          It’s been a while since I participated in Friday Finds. It’s been a good week this week; the clients behaved, the bosses were away, work load was acceptable and the long holiday for Eid celebrations is just one day away. Yippeeee! So, I’m taking the opportunity to take part in Friday Finds.

          This week on Twitter, I noticed Nely and Julie reading The Hunger Games, a YA Science Fiction novel by Suzanne Collins. Sounds like an interesting read cause Nely seems to be losing sleep trying to finish the book! LOL.
          For more information on The Hunger Games click here.

          Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.
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