Letterbox Love #20

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

This is actualy a 4 week post. I didn’t have time before my holiday to post the haul, and I’ve been away for two weeks! Luckily I haven’t bought a lot of books. I did, however, have masses of books to pick up from my library. For such a small authority (only 16 libraries) they get really great teen books, and I am excited about lots of these. 

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First up is You Don’t Know Me by Sophia Bennett. This sounds like a really fun book AND it has blue edges. Win! Kite Spirit by Sita Brahmachari also looks like a good summer read.

There are lots of YA action/thrillers this week, which is something I’m really pleased about. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga is about the son of a serial killer, and Bodyguard: Hostage by Chris Bradford features a 14-year-old professional bodyguard. 

Two books that sound quite sad are Heroic by Phil Earle and Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid. Both these books have gotten good reviews from fellow bloggers, so I’m very excited to read these. 

Shadow Runners by Daniel Blythe looks very similar to Alex Scarrow’s Timeriders series, so it intrigued me as this is a series I love. A book that I’ve had on my ebook shelf for a while is Hysteria by Megan Miranda. I ordered the paperback from my library to push myself to read it! 

Lastly, two adult chick fic books, to lighten the mood from all that hard hitting YA. Both authors I have read before, Country Loving by Cathy Woodman and Happy Families by Janey Fraser are books I will save for when I need a laugh. 

P1060261 P1060263  I also got some books of my own. Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby was a book I ordered way back in Jan/Feb when Bloomsbury had a sale. Unfortunately the publication got delayed and I’ve only just received it! I couldn’t resist a trip to The Works where I snapped up Blood Red Road by Moira Young. I love this series and can’t wait till the third book comes out, which isn’t till 2014, so I will probably need to reread this nearer the release date. Even though I haven’t read Veronica Rossi’s first book yet, I decided to buy the second one, Through the Ever Night, as it is so cheap I didn’t want to miss out and I can always give it away if I don’t enjoy the first. I also picked up The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda as it sounded really cool. Having just looked on Goodreads, I think I may actually already have a copy of it but with a different cover. Damn those cover changes! 

I was lucky enough to win a giveaway for two signed Sarah Dessen books, What Happened to Goodbye and The Truth About Forever. I don’t think I have actually read any of her books, so this will be perfect in getting me started on her collection. Extra special thanks to Winterhaven Books for the giveaway, for signed books and for shipping it all this way for me! Thank you so much. 

 Now for those Ebooks:

Nowhere

The School for Good and Evil

I got an invitation to review Nowhere by Jon Robinson from Netgalley and Penguin. Described as a ‘fast-paced conspiracy thriller’ featuring teenagers locked inside a cube, I had to have it. Although the cover looks quite simple, I love the hands in the title! Its like the story is just seeping out the pages. Many thanks for the opportunity to read this 🙂

I love boarding school books, so The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani was a cert for me. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins for this.

Unbreakable (Unravelling, #2)AcidA book that I have been waiting to come out for ages is Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris. I loved Unravelling (review here), so will try and fit this in soon! And I love the UK cover much more than the US 🙂 Thanks Netgalley and Harper Collins once more.

I couldn’t resist requesting a couple when I got back from holiday (I have no willpower, sue me). I adore the cover of Acid by Emma Pass, and I love action YA so I am really looking forward to this. Thanks for the speedy approval Random House!

Noble Conflict

Happy Birthday to Me (Birthday Trilogy, #1)It seemed like the whole world was getting proofs of Malorie Blackman’s Noble Conflict and I was itching to see what it was like. So when it popped up on Netgalley there was no hesitation before requesting! Many thanks Random House.

Happy Birthday To Me by Brian Rowe sounds like a funny and intriguing book about a boy who ages a year every day. Thanks to Brian for the Netgalley approval!

What did you receive this week? Have you read any of my books and do you think it should be at the top or the bottom of my to read pile?  I’d love to hear from you! 

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Book Review: The Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles, variables and no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back.In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?

The Scorch Trials’ by James Dashner is the second in the Maze Runner series. If found the first book good, but lacking in passion for the characters (check out my review here). The book begins as the Gladers are taken to a building far away. Here, they are told that the maze was only the beginning. To survive, they must cross the scorch- the wasteland crawling with people infected with the Flare. The Flare turns people into human-eating crazies. 

I can see why the publishers are so eager to compare this to the Hunger Games. I agree it is a very dog-eat-dog scenario, but the first book was lacking reader connection to the characters. In the beginning of ‘the Scorch Trials’, Teresa is taken away. We do meet some new characters; Aris, Jorge and Brenda. I think Brenda was introduced as another love interest for Tom; however with lots of guys to choose from, I think it’s a bit stereotypical both her and Teresa go for Tom! 

I did devour this book in one day (long train journeys!) so this may have differed my review slightly, as I didn’t take the time to ponder over the characters. I did enjoy the book, and will definately read the third book. However, I just feel there is something missing? The books has action, and does have character development, but there is something that nags me about the book. 

The only thing I can think of is that in the Hunger Games we straight away have compassion for Katniss; she looks after her sister, as well as her mother, and evokes some sympathy, which makes you back her as a winner. Tom from the Maze Runner series just doesn’t evoke any emotion. He seems to have been plonked in the winner/underdog position, but I have no reason to love him.

However James Dashner’s writing is good, and the setting and concept is just amazing. Here’s hoping the third novel brings some satisfaction! 

Have you read the second or third novels? Do you agree with my opinion? Let me know if you think I should persevere with the series.

4/5 Sofas from me! 

                                                     

Letterbox Love #5

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

So this week I haven’t actually bought any books or got any from the library (probably the first week in years!). I’ve got about 50 library books at the moment, and I’m trying to work my way through them. 

I did however get some ebooks for review:

Thanks to Myrick Marketing & Media and NetGalley for ‘Pale‘ and ‘Crow Girl’. Both these books are part of the dyslexia-friendly books for teenagers, so will be quick reads. Look out for my reviews soon! 

Pantomime

Pantomime‘ is a novel that every blogger seems to have read, though it is not due to be published till February! I requested it to see if it lives up to the hype, and the cover is so good! Thanks to Angry Robot and NetGalley for allowing me to have this.

The Girl in the Wall

The Girl in the Wall‘ is an action/suspense young adult novel, a category I don’t think there are enough titles in! Thanks to FSB Associates and NetGalley for this.

So there you have it! Lots of ebooks this week. I don’t really use my tablet for reading, but in the job I start next week I have to take the train, so I’m hoping there will be plenty of opportunity for reading! 

What did you receive this week? Have you read any of my books and do you think it should be at the top or the bottom of my to read pile? I’d love to hear from you! 

Film Review: Skyfall (007)

I must confess that I haven’t seen any other Bond films (I don’t know how I’ve missed them all!) but I’ve spoken to people that have, and their view was that ‘Skyfall‘ lived up to the franchise, and was much better than the last film in the series.

As an outsider’s point of view, I thought it was very easy to pick up as a standalone film. The movie starts as Bond (Daniel Craig) is trying to retrieve a hard drive containing information about undercover agents from the enemy. The fight ends with James getting shot, and falling into a river.

I thought the action sequences throughout the film were good; I especially liked the beginning where Bond landed on the back of a train, and when he runs after the tube train and leaps after it.

The only thing that irritated me about the film was the girl, Severine. She seemed to appear out of nowhere, lead Bond to the villain and then seemingly disappear? She wasn’t involved or mentioned in the explosive closing scenes, but maybe I missed something!

I think overall I enjoyed the film; it made me want to watch previous Bond adventures (though perhaps not Quantum of Solace, as everyone tells me that was awful!). I think the action sequences were stunning, and I liked how they had many different settings (London, Shanghai and Scotland). I’ll admit the film did seem a bit long (at 143 minutes!) but it kept my attention long enough. The baddie (played by Javier Bardem) was very convincing, and gave a stunning psycho performance.

8 stars from me! What did you think?