Category Archives: Reviews ~ 2014

Girl, Missing Book Review


Girl, MissingHello everyone,

Today I am going to be doing another favourite book review. This week I am going to be reviewing Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie. Let’s get started!

Book Title: Girl, Missing
Author: Sophie McKenzie
Date Published: December 1st 2006
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:
Lauren has always known she was adopted but when a little research turns up the possibility that she was snatched from an American family as a baby, suddenly Lauren’s life seems like a sham. How can she find her biological parents? And are her adoptive parents really responsible for kidnapping her?

My Review:

So this book starts with a sixteen year old Lauren doing her English project. It’s kind of that classic first day back at school project titles something along the lines of Who am I? Considering as Lauren was adopted when she was about three months old, there isn’t really anything interesting that she could write. So during her research, she looks up different things which lead her onto a missing child website. Scrolling down the pictures, she reaches one that has similar sort of personal information to her own, leading to the conclusion: was she kidnapped as a baby?
This book was a lot of fun. I liked the depth of the characters and how strong the bonds of friendship between Lauren and Jam were. each individual character had an amazing personality and they all slotted together perfectly. I liked how the story flowed as a reasonable pace and that Lauren and Jam took the reader through every process that they went through. I liked this book because, as it was short, it didn’t take very long to get to the main point of the story. It kept the reader hooked on every word and I just loved it.
There were however some things that I didn’t liked. Such as when Lauren and Jam run away in America to start their mission, she doesn’t seem to be too worried about how her Mum is reacting to her disappearing in a completely different continent let alone country! I found that when they both *SPOILER WARNING* get kidnapped by the same person who kidnapped her earlier, I found this really unrealistic that a couple of teenagers would get into a car with a random stranger. I mean sure she was wearing a police outfit but it isn’t that hard to just buy one from a party shop, is it? I do agree however that without this point in the story, it could very well not have turned out the same. *SPOILERS OVER*
I did really enjoy this book overall. I’m very upset though because I had this book on my shelves and I either lent it to one of my friends and they haven’t given it back (unlikely as I asked all of them about it afterwards) or I’ve just lost it because, as with a lot of things that I lend to friends (or attempt to lend to friends) it went missing. Just like the title huh? So yeah I’m a bit miffed because I really wanted to reread it but oh well. I gave this book a 4.0 out of 5 stars because, well, it was fun! I would recommend it to anyone who loves mystery books but I do think that it may be a bit of a teen read as well so if you are a teenager who loves mystery novels then this is the book for you!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all next week!
Spike

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New Review Technique and Late Book Review


Hey guys,

Sorry about not posting on Sunday, I was out all week and have been really busy with homework over the past week but seeing as I am literally not doing anything, I thought I would do another review. I have thought about ways that I could do reviews and here’s my idea:

So you know how I’ve been doing a year long book jar sort of thing, right? So I have typed up every book I have read this year to date and three bullet points to remind me about the story. Each Sunday, I pick a random piece from the jar and each one that I’ve reviewed get’s a little tick next to it. That is what I have planned to do this week so today’s review is…

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter!

Let’s get on with the review!

***

Perfect Scoundrels cover

Book title: Perfect Scoundrels
Authors name: Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Date Published: February 5th 2013
Number of pages: 328 pages
Overall rating:

4.0 star

Blurb:

Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the son of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.

My Review:

Final book in the Heist Society series and I must make a little confession here. I didn’t read this series in order. I mean I read Heist Society in the school library and I never really thought much about it but after getting the final two for Christmas, I decided to read them obviously. I didn’t really pay much attention to the order so I read this one first. Just a tip, I didn’t really seem lost at all in this book. There are a few references to Uncommon Criminals (the previous book) but not too many.

I did enjoy this book. It was a great light read with to occasional twist and a lot of thick plot lines. I think this book was designed for twelve year olds so a little bit young for me but I still enjoyed it. There was a very strong depth to the characters that also helped to emphasise the story.

I didn’t like how they didn’t include much of a love interest. I mean it was there and it was still involved and all that but it left it on a sort of cliff hanger but not at the same time. Does this make any sense because I don’t really know how to put this into words? I mean the story line and main plot ended well but I found that the love interest could lead onto a new book or at least another short story to add into it. For example, they could get together and have another spy adventure together or it could flash forward a few years to where they have kids and teaching them to spy and so on. Just something to solve the mystery of this romance.

Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was a fun, light read and I would recommend it to practically anyone who enjoys spy novels.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you on Sunday!

Spike

If I Stay Book and Movie Review


Hey Everyone,
So a couple weeks ago, I finally finished reading If I Stay and went to watch the movie with one of my friends. I thought today I would do an If I Stay review before continuing with the old plans. So let’s get on with the review!

Book Review:
If I Stay cover
Book title: If I Stay
Authors name: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Date Published: April 2nd 2009
Number of pages: 201 pages
Overall rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:
Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

My Review:
In this book, Mia Hall is just a normal 17 year old teenage girl, with all the problems that comes along with that. In a split-second, her whole world begins crumbling around her and she’s faced with a sole choice that could make or break everyone around her.
I liked a lot of things about this book. I liked how the morale and the whole idea of the story is to highlight how fragile life is and how special every moment is. I liked the connection with all the characters and how real it all felt. I liked the memories and how special it all felt. This book added a really strong feeling about how special life is and how every moment should be lived as if it were your last. I liked how Adam and Mia’s love story wasn’t happy and perfect all the time and was more like a real life relationship.
If I’m honest, I didn’t find it as heart-breaking as all the reviews made it out to be. I loved the memories and I loved how special it felt but it felt more happy than heart-breaking. I find that it really helped to focus on living each moment as if it were my last.
I gave this book four stars out of five because I did love it but I didn’t think it was as sad as most people made it out to be.

Movie Review:
5.0 star

I loved this movie and I feel a little guilty in admitting that I found the movie better than the book. I loved the music that went into the movie. I feel that it accented the correct areas in the correct ways. I think that in the movie, the scenes flowed really well. I have to admit that I was tearing a lot in this movie, especially in the scene with Mia and her Granddad. That is all I shall say without any spoilers. The movie was very true to the book and I loved how I could tell exactly where we were in the book. My favourite scene was the bonfire scene. I like how the atmosphere was portrayed and how it was a bitter sweet scene.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!
Spike

Shadowland Book Review


Hey Guys,
So we are finally back to the Immortals series reviews for the final four books (Shadowland, Dark Flame, Night Star and Everlasting). As you can tell, it has been a long time since I have read these books and at the moment Shadowland is on loan to a friend so I apologise if I get some of the details wrong 🙂 Let’s get on with the review!

Shadowland

Book title:
Shadowland
Authors name: Alyson Noel
Publisher: St. Matrin’s Griffin
Date Published: November 17th 2009
Number of pages: 339 pages
Overall rating:
4.5 star

Blurb:
Ever and Damen have gone through countless lives and fought off the world’s darkest enemies so they could be together. But just when an everlasting future is finally within their reach, Damen is struck down by a curse—a dark spell separating him and Ever for eternity. Now sharing so much as a single touch could bring about Damen’s death…and send him plummeting into the Shadowland, an eternal abyss for lost souls. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses her herself in magick. And in her quest, she gets help from an unexpected source…a surfer named Jude.
Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She’s always believed Damen to be her soulmate and one true love—and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them from the darkness inhabiting his soul, Ever’s connection with Jude grows stronger—and tests her love for Damen like never before…

My Review:
This is the third instalment of the six book series, The Immortals. In this book, we follow Damen and Ever as Damen is overcome by a curse that threatens to separate them for good. Ever, meanwhile, is facing her own problems as she meddles with things that should not be meddled with and meets a stranger who may not be as strange as you think.
I liked this book. I feel that it is a great continuation of the story and allows readers to get a better understanding of the world of immortals and what happens to them if they do die. The lone world of Shadowland awaits those who suffer an unfortunate and unnecessary fate. Readers continue to get a stronger bond between characters as you start to feel their pain and loss but also their highs and a love that breaks all bonds of reality. I find that the characters are as good as real and I felt that I could just lose myself in the writing.
The one thing that I wasn’t so keen on was the faintness of Roman. I understand that he does have his important parts in other books but I feel like he should’ve had a stronger part. I also got a little bit confused in some parts as to what kind of magick Ever was using and what happened, but true to a great author, I understood everything by the end of the book!
Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars because I loved how in depth it went into Ever and Damen’s relationship. I would recommend this book to supernatural lovers from about 13 and up.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week with another review!
Spike

Thirteen Reasons Why Book Review


Hello everybody and welcome to another review Wednesday,
Today I am going to be reviewing Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Let’s get right to it.
Thirteen Reasons Why
Book title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Authors name: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razorbill
Date Published: October 18th 2007
Number of pages: 304 pages
Overall rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

My Review:
This book is about a teenager called Clay Jenson and his friend and crush, Hannah Baker. This book goes through in detail about the thirteen reasons why Hannah decided to commit suicide. You follow the story with Clay as he goes around their town discovering things he never knew and events that he couldn’t imagine.
I did like this book. I liked the way that you really felt that you were getting to know all the different characters and their background stories and hobbies and key features in their personalities. Even though this book only takes place overnight, it gives you enough to feel like you really click with the characters and feel what they feel.
The things that I didn’t like are almost hard to explain. I wasn’t too keen on a certain scene that was in the book. I felt that it were more explicit than the rest but I cannot judge this scene particularly well as I skipped over it.
I read this book on recommendation from lots of different places such as Bestsellers lists on Amazon, reviewers on YouTube shows that I watch, etc. I think that this book lives up to those standards and I did really enjoy it. I would recommend it as a daytime read for people around 14 or older as some of the problems Hannah and Clay confront would be difficult to understand at a lower age.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the review! See you next week for another review!
Spike

An Abundance of Katherines


Hey Everyone,
Time for another Review Wednesday! This time I will be reviewing one of the earliest John Green Book, An Abundance of Katherines. Let’s get on with it!
An Abundance of Katherines

Book title: An Abundance of Katherines
Authors name: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Date Published: September 21st 2006
Number of pages: 229 pages
Overall rating:
3.5 star

Blurb:
Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

My Review:
This book tells the story of Colin and his very weird habits. To start with, the only girls that he has ever dating all were named Katherine. Not with a C. It had to be a K. On his hunt to take a break and enjoy life while he still can, Colin discovers a theorem. One that should solve his problems for good.
I liked this book. I did like the ideas supporting the story and I liked the idea of the theorem and the road trip. I like those types of stories because I find them exciting because you never know what could happen yet it is a nice simple read. I definitely recommend this as a summer read because it is nice and relaxing and simple.
One thing that I didn’t like about this book is that it is definitely for the more mathematical minded. I like the theorem and I am going to try and test it to see if it actually did work when I get home from holiday to where my book is.
Overall I would recommend this book to ages 13+ because it does contain some swearing but other than that, a great book and a wonderful starting point into the world and books of John Green.
Thanks for reading and DFTBA
Spike

Paper Towns Book Review


Hey Guys,

So today is another Review Wednesday and I will be reviewing John Green’s 3rd book, Paper Towns. Let’s get to it!

Paper Towns

Book title: Paper Towns

Authors name: John Green

Publisher: Speak

Date Published: September 22nd 2009

Number of pages: 305 pages

Overall rating:

4.0 star

Blurb:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life — dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge — he follows.
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues — and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

My Review:

This story is about a boy called Quentin Jacobsen. He lives in an area in Florida. This story follows Q as he journeys across all parts of America to find his runaway friend, Margo both physically and metaphorically.

Before I go any further in this review, I must say it has been about 8 weeks since I read this book so it may not be very detailed. I am trying to tie up reviews that I need to do. I loved the way this story flowed through each scene and how the pieces of the puzzle fitted together perfectly. It almost appeared like John wrote it backwards to figure out how it would all slot together.

The one thing that I didn’t like was some of the references in the book. I also think that it could’ve delved a bit deeper into the other characters lives so you felt a deeper connection. I have kind of mixed feelings about the ending because… well I would tell you but that would involve spoilers and I am not a spoiler type of person.

I would recommend this book to anyone age 13 and up who loves mystery novels and most of all, loves John Green’s books!

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Spike

PS The release date has been announced! Look for this movie on July 31st 2015. For more information about this movie… read the book 🙂 😛 😉

The Selection Series Overview


Hey Everyone,
So for this Wednesday, I am going to be reviewing the whole of the Selection series. I got this idea because I have reviewed the whole series so I thought it would be a good idea. I have lots of books that I need to review so you will be pretty full of reviews for the next number of weeks. Anyway let’s get on with this!

Book title: The Selection Series
Authors name: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date Published: April 24th 2012 – May 6th 2014
Number of pages (average): 332 pages
Overall rating:

The Selection Blurb:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

The Elite Blurb:
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

The One Blurb:
For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.
Now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown – or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realises just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

My Review:
This series followers America Singer, a 5 in her world of Illea, as she joins the Selection competition to find a new Queen to rule by Prince Maxon’s side. Making friends and discovering secrets become the norm as the competition progresses. Love for two boys pulling her in all distances as the competition draws closer to the end.
I loved this series so much! I am a definite Maxon supporter and I loved how Kiera Cass spread the story over a perfect distance of time. The story making us fall in love with all of the characters and just the world in general. This is a world that one would want to explore just to know that it exists. I fell in love with America and all of the girls during the competition and I loved every part of this story. It left you on a cliffhanger and the right moments in each book. I loved… well I just loved everything!
The only thing stopping me from giving it 5 stars is the ending. I found the ending very predictable and slightly rushed but even though it was predictable, I loved the journey you were taken on to get to that point and I like how Kiera Cass created a perfect happy ending for all of the characters in this wonderful story.
Overall, I give this series 4.5 stars and I would recommend it to any fairy-tale lovers from about 12+ because some scenes are too confusing if you are too young. I loved this series and I hope you love it as much as me 🙂

Thanks for reading!
~Spike

The One Review


Hello hello hello everybody,
How is everyone? Good? Great! Anyway, today is Wednesday and it is time for another book review. This book is the final book in the Selection series so I will try and put as little spoilers as possible in this book review. Let’s get on with it!

The One

Book title: The One
Authors name: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Date Published: May 6th 2014
Number of pages: 323 pages
Overall rating:
3.5 star

Blurb:
For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.

Now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown – or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realises just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

My Review:
So in the final instalment of the famous Selection series, America is one of the few left in the competition. With the final four chosen, America has to work harder than ever to get the life she has only now realised she loves and doesn’t want to let go of.
I loved the characters in this book. The range of personalities and deeper secrets becomes a lot more prominent in the final book. After spending two books at the castle, you get a small glimpse of the other side of things including rebel forces. I liked the description and in some cases, the lack of description as it added a more unique feeling to the books.
I was torn between giving this book a 3 star or a 4 star rating because I found the ending extremely predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I love how it ended and I also love the path that it took to get there but in one particular scene, Maxon makes a decision and then changes it within half a day. That kind of situation I find very unrealistic but I like the fairy-tale aspect of the whole series as well.
Overall, I gave this book a 3.5 star rating because I did enjoy it. The depth of characters and storyline went far deeper than in the other books but the predictable ending and some unrealistic situations meant that this book couldn’t get the top ratings.

Thanks for reading and talk to you all soon 🙂
~Spike

PS My current reviews are very short in my opinion. I would love it if you could take the time to comment or email spikesbooks@hotmail.com if you have any tips for reviews or if you like them just as they are. Thanks 🙂

The Elite Book review


Hey Everyone,
Today is another Wednesday and I will be reviewing the second book in the Selection series The Elite. This book is quite good and I think it is… well you’ll find out what I think in the review now won’t you 🙂

Book title: The Elite
Authors name: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date Published: April 1st 2013
Number of pages: 336 pages
Overall rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

My review:
As the second book in the much loved series, I think it follows on the story well. America is almost certain of Maxon’s feelings and intentions but she is at a loss about her own. With six girls left, the heat in rising and it’s not long before something happens that can change everything.
The thing that makes this book one of my favourites is the pure fact that at this stage, you feel like you know the main six girls left in the competition as well as the two boys featured as well. America’s maids also contain a major part in the story as well. At this stage, Kiera Cass is able to focus on the sole things that knock the remaining girls out instead of forcing Maxon to send home masses at once. You also get a better feel for palace life. In the first book, America is introduced to the glamorous and sparking side of being a princess but in this sequel, you are introduced to the harsh, business side of things. As well as the temptation of both boys, America’s feelings and thoughts jump right off of the page.
I like the pace of the book and how, even though it only happens over the course of a year or two, you feel like the pace is perfect. There isn’t much I didn’t like about it. If I had to say one thing, I would say that I think that America and the story could’ve explored some of the minor characters lives as well to create a more rounded image. Queen Amberly is also a very vague character which could’ve been explored more.
Overall, again a very fairy-tale story but a great book. I like how the main part of book is set in and around the palace. It allows you to get a feel of the place and helps to provide a very vivid image of the scenes.

Thanks for reading and see you on Friday 🙂
~Spike