Tag Archives: 4.0 stars

Pretty Little Liars #1 Book Review


pllHey Guys,
(NB. this was meant to be posted last Sunday. I’ve been really busy so apologies for the lateness)

So today I will be reviewing the first book in the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. As many people, I have seen the TV show and have been loving it (review on my reaction and thoughts on the season 6a finale up soon) so I thought it would be great to read the book and see if it’s different and what they changed. So on with the review!

Book Title: Pretty Little Liars
Author: Sara Shepard
Date Published: October 1st 2006
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:
Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back?

My Review:

This book is the first in a series following four teenage girls as they go through high school receiving anonymous texts by a complete stranger, reminding them of all the bad they have done before. This brings their group closer as they are constantly reminded about the night when their best friend Ali disappeared.

I did like a lot about this book. I found that the characters were very realistic and relatable for people who have gone through a lot in their life. It shows how all of us have secrets and how much we try to keep the things that hurt us locked down. As I watched the TV show before I read the books, I did already know what would happen. However I really liked the different timeline in the book and how it was in a more first person description in the book. I felt that it really allowed me to get more connected to the characters and allowed me to form more of an understanding. One thing, however, that really shocked me about the TV show is that they changed Emily’s whole family. Her Dad stays at home, she has 2 siblings and she isn’t coloured. It brought about a whole new diameter between Maya and Emily’s Mum in the book that isn’t able to be conveyed in the TV show.

Some of the things I didn’t like were the fact that it was quite slow paced. The space of the entire book was only about an episode and a bit of the TV show. This kind of disappointed me as I wished that we got more going on than there actually was. But other than that, it was a really good and interesting way to see the story from a different media.

Overall, anyone who loves the PLL TV show should read this as it provides a really interesting retelling of the story. There is some language in it so probably if you’re 13+. I gave this a 4.0 stars as I really liked the depth of the characters yet I found it rather slow at point.

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

~Spike

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Anna and the French Kiss Review


Anna and the French KissHey Guys,
So today I will be reviewing Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I read this book last week and it just was so much more than I expected! Let’s get on with the review!

Book Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Date Published: December 2nd 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

My Review:

This book follows the tale of Anna Oliphant, a privileged senior sent away to a boarding school in Paris where, kind of ironically, most of the kids speak in English and there isn’t much French said throughout the whole novel. Add in some not so loyal friends and a guy with looks to die for and this basically becomes the perfect teen novel. I’ve heard mixed things about this book. Some of my favourite authors such as (John Green or Cassandra Clare) have had nothing but praise for this book, though many members of online communities (like Goodreads for example) have been rather different.
***
There were a lot of things I loved about this book. I have always been an honest romantic and love reading about romances because, let’s face it, we all know how it’s going to end. For me, it’s more reading their story. In this book, the story follows a strange twisting pathway that brings us close and then far continuously until you almost hope the ending is different. Stephanie Perkins also has the amazing ability to bring humour to her writing. By around page 6 I was already laughing and the way she described many tragic novels and seeing the humour within them. This book is also extremely quotable. For example: “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home”.
***
The characters also developed, some more than others. I feel at times, Anna became very rebellious and quite emotional. At the age they are, you would expect them to have extreme emotion and this is perfectly captured by Stephanie. St. Clair also developed. He became a lot more aware of how his actions affected others around him. Meredith became more absorbed into herself part way through the novel before becoming closer to Anna than ever. Even though there were some slight character developments, none were really very dramatic.
***
However much I loved this novel, I found the thing that stopped this being 5 stars was that right at the beginning, Anna hated the opportunity to go to Paris. Don’t get me wrong, if my parents forced me to attend a school over 4000 miles away, I would be pretty annoyed. But the fact still remains, it’s a brilliant opportunity and, what does Anna spend her first days doing? Lying in her room watching TV and acting like she lost everything. In my opinion, I felt like she should’ve been a bit more courageous and asked her new friends if they could show her Paris as she’s never been before. However, as the book progresses, she does start to enjoy it more and started taking advantage of the opportunity she had been given.
***
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves classic romance novels, humour and some drama as well. I feel like the ideal age for this would be 13+ as there are occasional conversations of more serious matters that, to avoid spoilers, I will not get into now. Overall, I loved this book and hope anyone else who reads it will love it too.

Thanks for reading!

~Spike

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth Review


Hey guys,

So today I’m going to be reviewing the 4th book in the Percy Jackson series. This book took me quite a while to finish as I just went through exam season so that is why this review is so late. Let’s get on with it 🙂

Book Title: Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth2120932

Author: Rick Riordan

Date: Published: April 1st 2006

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Overall Rating:

4.0 star

Blurb: Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse. In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

My Review: This book is the fourth book in the Percy Jackson Olympians series. In this, we see the rise of the Titan army and is also sets the scene and builds up tension for the final book which I am now currently reading. I did like the overall plot line of the story. I found it very easy to follow and it made for a calming read. I am also enjoying watching character development throughout this series. For example, Percy has become more confident within his own abilities and Annabeth has also become more opinionated about each decision that she or her team make. I think that I’ve found Nico’s development within this story to be really enjoyable to read. *SPOILERS START* I loved how in this book, Nico finally came to terms with the death of his sister and how he accepted that it wasn’t Percy’s fault. He kind of came into his own in this story as he accepted who his father was and that he couldn’t change it but he could embrace it and use the powers for good. *SPOILERS END* I think that the one thing that I didn’t like was that I didn’t find this book particularly compelling. I found it rather difficult to continue reading this novel as I didn’t find it very gripping. I think that if the last two books are anything to go by, I will have to force myself through the next book however it will be a good read and hopefully come to some very useful conclusions. Overall, I did enjoy this book, however I think it was perfectly designed for younger readers as it allowed them to stop at any place without having a cliffhanger over them and distracting them from their next activity. I would recommend this to anyone who liked the Harry Potter series and is looking for something similar yet different at the same time.

Thanks for reading and I’ll post again soon! ~Spike

Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse Review


9780786297016_p0_v1_s260x420*POST MAY CONTAIN SMALL SPOILERS*

Hey Guys,
So today is the first time in while that I’ve done a book review. I’m reviewing Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse this time. Lets get on with the review!

Book Title: Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
Author: Rick Riordan
Date: Published: April 1st 2006
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Overall Rating:

4.0 star

Blurb:

 IT’S NOT EVERYDAY YOU FIND YOURSELF IN COMBAT WITH A HALF-LION, HALF-HUMAN.

But when you’re the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive… 

My Review:

Okay so this is the 3rd book in the Percy Jackson series. Percy must venture out with 4 other people across the country to find Annabeth. With the Oracle’s words stuck in their mind, who will be the first to go? We are introduced to the Hunters of Artemis, Nico DiAngelis and his sister Bianca.

There was a lot that I liked about this book. For example, the introduction of the new characters. With Annabeth’s life in danger, there had to be someone to take her place on the quest. We found that in Zoë Nightshade. Her character was always in doubt of Percy and she was always looking to do her own thing. This made her similar to Annabeth (although she’d never admit it). We also had the rest of the Hunters that followed in Zoë ‘s footsteps. The introduction of Nico and Bianca was also a great addition as they were the cliché siblings who couldn’t be separated. However, Nico being too young and inexperienced to venture out on the quest, was left alone at camp while we got to know Bianca’s character as she went as part of the team on the Quest.

As well as there were things that I liked about this book, there were also things that I didn’t like. I found that, at times, the book became a bit tedious and slow paced for my taste. It took me a while to get through the novel which surprised me because usually I am a fast reader.

My overall opinion is that this was a good book. If you read the other Percy Jackson books and enjoyed them, obviously this book would be great for you even if it wasn’t perfect for me. I would recommend it to anyone reading the Percy Jackson Series.

Thanks for reading!

~Spike

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

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

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 🙂 😛 😉