Saturday, 18 June 2011

Reading Challenge Update

C&P'd from Goodreads...

You have read 46 books toward your goal of 150 books.

46 of 150 (30%) Great work, you're 6 books (3%) ahead.


Review: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I'd kinda been shying away from this series due to the hype the books received, especially Mockingjay. I don't think it help that Mockingjay was all over twitter when it came out. But I knew I wanted to read them so I tried to avoid the spoilers, but jeez it was just everywhere.

I really shouldn't have waited, save the benefit of having all 3 books already published so no waiting months on end (years?!).

I really, really liked it. I was hooked from the start. Katniss's voice and personality were so strong. Wow the Games. What can I say that hasn't been said? The concept was brilliant and the world building was vivid. I loved the ease she had with Gale while they were out hunting at the beginning.

I think my heart broke a little when she told peeta that he had no competition... anywhere . All through the book I held out for Gale, and although I knew that romance wasn't the main theme in the book, I still held out for some. When you're fighting for you life I guess romance takes a back seat. The guys created the love triangle though not katniss. I don't think she would have a had a clue otherwise.

This book made me laugh out loud, cry, and tug at my hair . Well worth all the uncertainty.

Rating: 6/6 - It Was Amazing

Monthly Round Up: March

Only 14 read this month but I've read some really good ones.

I Absolutely loved The Disillusionists trilogy (well the first 2 books. I'm waiting impatiently for book 3!), and of course, the last 2 books in The Hunger Games trilogy. I found a new series that I'm really enjoying; The Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series. I've just started book 7. I also have to mention River Marked, the 5th book in the Mercy Thompson series, I really liked that one. There have been no re-reads this month, although I did start to re-read Unholy Ghosts by Staci Kane but I got distracted and didn't finish it.

28. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
29. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
30. River Marked, Patricia Briggs
31. Wild Rain, Christine Feehan
32. Dead Witch Walking, Kim Harrison
33. The Good the Bad and the Undead, Kim Harrison
34. Every which way but dead, Kim Harrison
35. The Demon Trapper's Daughter,
36. A Fistful of Charms, Kim Harrison
37. Living Dead girl
38. Mind Games
39. Double cross
40. For a Few Demons More, kim Harrison
41. Outlaw Demon Wails, Kim Harrison

Total read for March = 14

Review: Bitten (women of the otherworld #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Description (from Goodreads)

Ever since her parents were killed in a car accident when she was five, Elena Michaels has longed for a normal family life. Smart, beautiful, and engaged to be married, Elena hopes to fulfill that dream when disaster strikes. Not only has her fiancé lied about his secret life as a werewolf, but he's made her one, too. She has no choice but to join him at Stonehaven, the upstate New York home of an elite pack of werewolves.

In an attempt to break away, she moves to Toronto to lead a normal life. Working as a journalist, Elena now lives with her new architect boyfriend, works out in the basement gym of their high-rise apartment, lunches with girlfriends from the office, and —once a week, at four in the morning —runs naked and furred through a downtown Toronto ravine, ripping out the throats of her animal prey. But when a band of outlaw werewolves threatens the Stonehaven pack, Elena's feral instincts drive her back there to join the defense. What follows is a war for territory, for pride, and ultimately for Elena herself.

I'll be blunt; I LOVED this book. I loved Elena, in fact I loved all of the characters. Armstrong writes wonderfully. The emotional pull you feel is subtle. Armstrong doesn't give it to you easy, the clues are there you just have to see them. She doesn't tell you, she shows you. You feel everything Elena feels.

I must admit I'm apprehensive about the rest of these books. I don't know how this series is going to pan out; the reading order seems confused; the otherworld, women of the otherworld, short stories; are they seperate yet together? I read a short (rebirth) Which starts these books (or did it, did it start the men of the otherworld?).  It was okay, not my style but then again shorts aren't my style. So this series may take a wrong turn for me somewhere along the line but I'm willing to try. I have to try. I loved this book too much not to try. I just hope the rest are as good as this.

Rating 6/6 - It Was Amazing

Review: This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress #5) by Jeaniene Frost

Description (from Goodreads)
Danger waits on both sides of the grave.
Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .
With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.
I never did managed to read all of the previous books before this installment came out, as was my plan. I had to stop half way through Destined for an Early Grave, when book 5 was delivered to my kindle via Whispernet at 12:06.

I was so excited. My stomach was doing somersaults. I did what I said I wasn't going to do and started to read it (i didn't want to binge read it so told myself I wouldn't read it until the morning). Then I remembered that I'd already read the first 2 chapters on Jeaniene's website so, I re-read them, then forced myself to go to bed. I'm glad to say that Cat has grown. She didn't make those stupid snap decisions she usually make which was a relief. There was less action than usual, though. Usually lots of things happen, but it seemed like not a lot happened. I think this was the reason I was able to take my time and read it slowly, which I don't usually do. I binge read then regret it later. Yet it took me two full days to read this book. Unusual.

I debated giving it a 6 but I couldn't decide if the edge was taken off due to all the anticipation, or it was because of there was less action. I really want to give it a 6 because it's Cat and Bones for God sake, but I can't, it doesn't feel right :/ I'll definitely read it again soon though. It was great, just not amazing.

I really did enjoy reading it. It's a great series.

Rating 5/6 - Really Liked It

Review: Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3) by Chloe Neill

Description (from Goodreads)

Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit, Chicago's newest vampire. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene-and to spy for the vamps while she's at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan's offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

Unfortunately, someone is gunning for Gabriel, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She'll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals-not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries-old master vampire.

To be honest I deleted this review by mistake and I can't remember for the life of me what the hell I wrote. I've read loads of books since, and with my shitty memory I can't remember much about it. That's not a slight on the book, only on my memory. I do remember that I really enjoyed, and I'd even go as far as saying that it's my favourite one. I loved the action with the werewolves (yes I remember the weres :).

I even kinda like Ethan now.

Rating: 5/6 - Really Liked It

Review: The Turning (Blood Ties #1) by Jennifer Armintrout

Description (from Goodreads)
I'm no coward. I want to make that perfectly clear. But after my life turned into a horror movie, I take fear a lot more seriously now. I finally became Dr. Carrie Ames just eight months ago. Then I was attacked in the hospital morgue by a vampire. Just my luck.
So now I'm a vampire, and it turns out I have a blood tie to the monster who sired me. The tie works like an invisible leash and I'm bound to him no matter what I do. And of course he's one of the most evil vampires on earth. With my sire hell-bent on turning me into a soulless killer and his sworn enemy set to exterminate me, things couldn't get much worse -- except I'm attracted to them both.
Drinking blood, living as an immortal demon and being a pawn between two warring vampire factions isn't exactly how I'd imagined my future. But as my father used to say, the only way to conquer fear is to face it. So that's what I'll do. Fangs bared.

I immediately like the fact that it seems more grown up and more realistic than the books I've been reading lately (I was 2 chapters in at that point).

It annoyed me that she went off to find Cyrus, and I was even more annoyed that all she took was a stake. I don't get why she would go. "There was no way to soften the truth" ?? What truth? It may have been believable if the blood tie thing had been written well but it wasn't, and then when she goes back to Nate and is all like 'well he can't be that bad if I'm drawn to him'.

Armintrout didn't write the blood tie well enough for me to believe it, any of it.

Although the first few chapters were interesting and showed promise, it had less humour than I'm used to and I found it all just a bit dull. I think it was because there wasn't much emotion. I was surprised at the lack of emotion she showed while Cyrus was breakfasting in front of her. Especially when he swaped eyes. She showed no emotion what-so-ever. And that sums this book up for me; it didn't make me feel anything. Nothing. Nada.

The fight scene (when she went to cyrus 's mansion with ziggy and fought 3 guards) was boring, unrealistic and poorly written.

Also, I couldn't believe that she suddenly started calling him her 'sire'! Jesus christ when/how did this come about? All this I could forgive if it was written well but it isn't. Not by a long shot. I managed to keep reading up until she was explaining to Ziggy that she was leaving and then I just couldn't take any more.

Another one for my DNF December challenge :/

Rating: 1/6 - Did Not Finish

Review: Friday Night Bites (Chigagoland Vampires #2) by Chloe Neill

Description (from Goodreads)
Ten months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they're enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But should people learn about the Raves-mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle-the citizens will start sharpening their stakes.
So now it's up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn't want peace between them-someone with an ancient grudge.

Again there's not much action within the first 2/3's of the book . It's just as enjoyable without it, actually no, it needs the action but I enjoyed reading the non action as much as the action. If ya know what I mean. It all flowed nicely.

I got half way through before I began hoping the word Chagrin stopped popping up without warning, it was getting distracting.

All in all though it was a great read. I definitely read this one again.

Rating: 4/6 - Liked It