Monday, 12 September 2011

The To-Read Pile.

1. Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult. (Currently reading)
A book that I got at a charity shop, and so far it's pretty good. Up to scratch with the other Jodi Picoluit books that I've read.
-This book isn't as good as The Pact, or My Sister's Keeper. But it's definitely worth a read if you enjoy Jodi Picoult. Although I still think her best book is Second Glance. Probably a 3 or 4 out of 5. Also, it might be a tear-jerker for some people.

2. I Am Number Four by Pitticus Lore.
After seeing the film, I decided, as books are better (you know, in general) so I've got high hopes for this one!

3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
Now i've had this in my reading pile for a while. Since early May, in fact. But I really wanted to read it when I got back to Uni. And so soon there will be a chance to do so. And as it's a classic story I like, I'm hoping I can get through the masses of small pages.

4. Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
I was given this by my sister to read, as she loves Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This being the smallest of his books that she owns, she has lent to me to read.
- On reading this book I  would say that it is amazing. Definitely a 5/5. For a childrens story it's actually quite scary, much like Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. But it is amazing, with beautiful characters and themes. Please read it.

5. Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett.
My boyfriend lent this one to me a while ago. I have actually started it, and then promptly forgot I was reading it and stated reading other good books.
- I have now read this book and would give it 4/5. Very entertaining, as always with Mr. Pratchett, but also as always, a little difficult to read at times.

I will most definitely be looking forward to reading this batch :)

Numbers by Rachel Ward

Image from google
Jem has seen the numbers all her life. 'When she looks in someones eyes, she can see the date they will die'. When she goes on a trip to the London Eye with her new friend Spider, their lives change forever.

I have to say, Rachel Ward has written a stunning book. Everything in it, no matter how different to our lives or how spectacular, is so utterly believable.
All the characters are very well-rounded. Their emotional journeys are perfect. Even the smaller, less featured characters seem to be quite well developed, which is remarkable for such a small book.

One thing which is also pretty cool, is that this time I knew that Ward had definitely done her research as a writer, or at least been to Basingstoke, among other areas. If you know/have driven in Basingstoke, please, please read the part of this book that mentions it. I won't ruin it for you. So very, very funny.
The amount of detail that the book goes into it utterly brilliant.
Numbers has everything I wanted from a book; adventure, morals, explorations of society (free will, control and predestination to name a few), mortality and even romance.
I may have also teared up a tiny bit at the end. (It was quite emotional, to be fair.)

So I'm giving this book a definite 5 out of 5. Number 2: The Chaos is on it's way in the post and Numbers 3 I'm sure will be too!
Image from google

Rachel Ward's Website.
The Guardian's Review
Review by Galleysmith

Monday, 29 August 2011

Reckless by Cornelia Funke

I have to admit at first I thought that Reckless was about werewolves, what with the vampire-werewolf-paranormal hype going on at the moment.  But I soon learnt that this wasn't the case.

Jacob Reckless has been going through the mirror for a long time. But never before has he been followed through. Now his brother Will is in deep trouble. Will is becoming a Goyl, the stone-faced creatures who prefer darkness, whose cold and angry characters are revealed in their golden eyes. Jacob will go through everything to stop it, but how far is too far?

Image from Wikipedia
Now, I love Cornelia Funke. Inkdeath is one of my favourite books. So this book just reminded me how much I adore her beautiful prose and wonderful descriptions of both the land beyond the mirror, and the imaginative creatures roaming around the land.  I think my favourite part was the novel idea of stone/jewel people. I've always loved the beauty and idea of precious stones, so this kind of topped it a little for me.

I was quite surprised when the second chapter landed us smack-bang in the middle of the story, and even though it did vaguely tell us how Will had become hurt and how he could become as Goyl, it was never fully explained.

Another thing that I wasn't overly impressed with, that seemed to be explored better in Funke's Inkworld (although probably because it was a trilogy, and the books were bigger.. I think) was the relationships and any bonds between the characters. There was already bonds between them and so nothing was really introduced in the story. The existing relationships weren't explored during the book. As readers we were expected to believe that the relationships had substance, without much evidence. The only real conviction I got was how much Jacob wanted Will not to become a Goyl.

Saying this, Reckless was filled with adventure, fairy tales and creatures of all sorts. Quite a lot happened within the book that I loved. It's the kind of book I knew I would like.

Luckily, there seems to be a sequel in the works, so hopefully the relationships will be explored more, and we get to know what happens in the next chapter of Jacob's life. Should make for an interesting read.

I'm giving reckless around a 4 out of 5. Although because of the relationships I was tempted to give it a little less. But the adventure was exceedingly likable, as was Jacob.
And I WILL be getting the sequel, when it comes out.
------------------------------------------------------------------------ Reviews
Wikipedia Page
Reckless Website

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

This book was an interesting find. After seeing it elsewhere on the Internet, and then spotting it on the shelves of Asda for around £4, I snapped it up.

Upon perusing the book cover and blurb I had absolutely no idea what this book was about. It intrigued me.  So it's contents were a massive surprise. It was very, very different, which is exactly what I've been looking for.

The story centers around Alison, a young woman who is locked up in a mental hospital. At first she has no idea why she is there.. or how. But then she remembers. She killed someone.

But that's not where it ends. Because there is no body.

I'll warn you, this story was very interesting, but I found it separated into two separate parts. The first part includes a mental hospital, mental illness and self-discovery and the second part comes out of nowhere. It's completely different. But it explains everything.
I have a problem with this though. It felt like it was written by a completely different person. The themes were different, the subject matter was different, and I just wondered how it could be in the same book. I have to say that perhaps it would have been better to conclude this book in a way more in line with the story, and save the last part for a different book.

As for the characters, I really liked Alison. I understood her, but I would have made the same choices that she did, even though later on some are decreed to be naive and wrong. Also, despite the flaws in the characters I did understand their choices and ambitions. This is definitely proof of a writer with well rounded characters.

The idea of exploring and explaining how people with mental health problems might feel, and some mental health disorders was a great idea. Also I loved that the author wanted to challenge the idea of being 'insane' or 'sane', and how they might intermingle. But I think perhaps the best idea was that something that may be considered 'insane' or 'mentally instable' might actually be explained by other things, or might be something different to what it seems.

I found R.J. Anderson's writing style to be fluid and easy to read, and the descriptions of Alison's condition was quite beautiful.

I'm giving Ultraviolet 4 out of 5 stars as I'm not quite sure about the ending, but the idea for the book itself was something completely new and different.

The Truth About Books Review

Monday, 27 June 2011

To the Moon and Back By Jill Mansell

Ellie Kendall has everything she needs from life, until her husband is suddenly taken from her.
She eventually emerges from her hollow existence, realising all she needs is a new start (due to her father-in-law), even though she still keeps something old with her. Her husband Jamie. But the thing with Jamie is, he talks to her.

Roo is a party girl. And she just so happens to live opposite Ellie. She has a secret. in fact.. a few really.

From Book
Zack has just met the woman of his dreams. But she doesn't know he exists, and wouldn't be interested if she did.

This story is about the intricacies of relationships, both old and new, and the pain of loss. But most of all it's about love. And if anything describes a Jill Mansell novel, it's the word romance.
This book is quick, indulgent and a perfect summer read. Always a good book for lazing around on a beach or reading in the garden (when the weather perks up). Although this is not altogether as light hearted and fun as some of Jill Mansells other novels, but still rather good.
It also weaves and interlaces the characters stories skillfully, as you may expect from seasoned writer.

So I'm giving this book 4 out of 5.
It's only a 4 because I'm looking for new and different aspects to be brought to the table now, especially after reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Although it is always comforting to settle down with something you know will be a well written predominantly light-hearted romance.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins


Raising Demons is the explosive second book of the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins.
The story starts where it left off, at Hex Hall. it's been six months since the last book, and not much has changed, unlike Sophie's life so far. And there's more to come. So much more.
Picture from

This summer Sophie has even more to think about. The mysteries keep unfolding and the tables keep on turning. This book really does have twists an turns that I did not expect, although some I really did.
I also managed to read this within 24 hours. With long breaks. That includes sleeping and a film.

The characters are just as lovable, especially Jenna, the pink-loving Vampire, and the story may just grab hold of you even more than the first book.
I really looked forward to reading this one, and the next one I'll definitely be buying as soon as possible.

As before with Rachel Hawkins the book flows well, with laughs here and there, elegant descriptions, ghosts, demons and men. Everything a good book should most definitely have.

So, after what seems a pretty glowing review, I'd better give it 5 out of 5, and admit that these books are kind of addictive.
Hex Hall Series Website
Review on Wondrous Reads
Raising Demons on

Monday, 16 May 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium is a quiet masterpiece. The descriptions are beautiful and the storyline is good. It's different, even from other futuristic society novels.

Delirium is all about love. Only love is a disease. Amor Deliria Nervosa to be precise. And the way it's described is perfect. It wreacks havoc upon you. At least, that's what the government is saying. Lena believes whole heartedly in the cure for this disease. A cure you have at 18. She has 95 days.
But then something happens on the day of her Evaluation. And that's when the adventure really begins.

Picture from Google
Delirium is a haunting and detailed story. I'm sure I'll have it in my head for a good few days, even if I start reading another book. But this book. Wow.
It shows a change of perspectives, this time it's from the viewpoint of someone who agrees with society. And it takes a hell of a lot for her to think that it may not be right. It's quite refreshing to see this. Usually people who are against society in fiction are already inclined to be against it.
Whereas her best friend Hana is breaking rules left right and centre.

Lena is the perfect herione. She's flawed and interesting. But she's just like you and me, which makes you like her even more. In fact, the only thing that annoyed me about her was the fact that during the first half of the book she was very derogatory about herself. She was hard on herself. but as always she matures and grows throughout the book., so I guess it was kind of needed.

If anyone thought that we didn't need love, reading this book would make them think otherwise. It's heart wrenching and beautiful, and makes you see all kinds of love. Romantic, Friendship, Familial and so on.

It also made me think about the divide and difference between adults and children. This was defined even more by the cureds and uncureds, the adults and children in Lena's world. It made me think that adults still need fun in their lives, otherwise it's not really living.
And the ending is a complete heart breaker.

This book is stunning. And I'm giving it 5 out of 5.
And I'm getting her previous book.

Lauren Oliver's Website.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver in Cari's Book Blogs.
Wikipedia: Love

Friday, 6 May 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia has waited all her life to be matched. And on her seventeenth birthday she is matched with a young man. Except all is not what it seems. Cassia has two matches. The Society has made a mistake. The society never makes a mistake. Cassia is determined to find out why.

Cassia's world is our future. Set in an indeterminable place where The Society dictates exactly how people live; what they wear, what they eat, who they love, when they die.
It's a world I would hate to live in.

This story is a beautiful one about people, love and rules, exploring in detail various facets of love and society, and how lucky we are to be able to have choices of our own.
Picture from google

The themes here are ones only ever lightly touched upon in today's novels: People's choices, Slow burning love, different types of love, the importance of words and culture and the importance of knowledge.

In fact, to me the scariest part of this Society was that there was such a limited amount of culture and history. Only alarming perhaps because so much of how we live today is influenced by it. This book really highlighted that fact. There were only 100 songs, 100 paintings, 100 stories and 100 poems. It made me realise how hungry people really are for knowledge.

I also liked how the love scenes were so pure and thoughtful. How it wasn't just a rushed love story, and the characters fitted well together, and actually talked. Even though it was set fatalistically, this was realistic.
Cassia, in my opinion was a good heroine. She is thoughtful and clever, yet not quite as daring as I thought she would be, but that is also realistic. How often do we stop to think about our society? I very much enjoyed journeying through the questioning of society with her.

For me, there are many questions that need answering, so I hope that when I get 'Crossed', the next installment, that it will be just as thoughtful and well written as 'Matched'.

Of course, this book isn't one to be read lightly, and probably isn't for a lot of readers, but for me it was 5 out of 5 stars.


Official Website for Matched by Ally Condie
Matched in Cari's Book Blogs

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

I have literally just put the book down.
I only started it yesterday.

I think that tells you that this books was an easy read with plenty of twists and plot lines to keep me hooked. It was just one of those books.
Book Cover - From Google/Waterstones
This is the story of 16 year old Sophie, who, upon casting a pretty disastrous love spell, is relocated to Hecate/Hex Hall, a magical reform school. Even the first day of this school goes wrong, and Sophie finds she's left at a weird school where she doesn't fit in.
But what's under the surface of this school is the interesting part.
And this book tells the story of Sophie's discoveries of the best kept secrets the school has.

Although the story may not be overly original, and I could see what was going to happen in the book, it happened in a different way to what I had expected. There were twists and turns and the characters have some substance. There are always layers beneath what Hawkins has already shown us.

It was like an older version of a mash up between Harry Potter and the Worst Witch, only set in America, and with other creatures at the school. You could definitely see the inspiration from R.K Rowling's masterpiece sluicing through the book. And although Rachel Hawkins adored the use of the word 'heinous' I can forgive her because some of the circumstances were just that.

Also, I loved the ending. A bit of a cliffhanger and there are now endless possibilities running through my head.

At times the book was funny, sad, scary. But not a complete emotional roller coaster. And possibly a little on the younger side for the young adult readers out there. But still, I am very much looking forward to the next installment.

4 out of 5 stars


The Hex Hall Website

Monday, 11 April 2011

Weddings and Love Galore.

With the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton coming up, I thought I'd do something for the occasion and also to try to be a little patriotic.

So I've ditched the fantasy adventures for a small while and have gone on to reading some love and romance adventures instead. (Yay!?)

So at the moment that consists of reading anything at all lovey I can get my hands on.

But here's a few reccommendations for you:
1. Anything by Jill Mansell. She is a romantic literary genius if you want easy to read feel good stories about love and romance with some laughs along the way. (albeit prehaps a little obvious)
2. Any fairy tale you can get your hands on. Always a major plot point in it are the princes and princesses destined to fall in love.
3. A favourite of mine: Stardust by Neil Gaiman (for love, fantasy and adventure!)
4. A classic - Jane Austens' Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility
5. Another Classic - Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet.
6. Something a little different. - The Venus Conspiricy by Michael Cordy.

Hope that satisfies a few romantics.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Birthday Books

So this year for my birthday there's a list of books I'll be asking for.
A few of them have come from the excellent reviewing at Cari's Book Blogs. Ands of course a few I've been wanting for a while.

So here it goes with the list (in no particular order):
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Matched by Ally Condie - This one I REALLY want to read.
The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
1984 (or Nineteen eighty-four) by George Orwell

Friday, 25 March 2011

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a story about life. Eddie's life in particular. But also yours and mine. Every single person's.

I adore this book, and can say right away that its 5 out of 5 stars.
To explain what this book is about, here's a passage from it:

' "There are five people you meet in heaven," The Blue Man suddenly said. "Each of us was in your life for a reason. you may not have known the reason at the time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth." '

So the book follows Eddie on his journey through the first step of heaven; making sense of your 'yesterdays'. As we walk through heaven with Eddie, as so look deeper into his life, I found myself looking at similarities with my own.

This is a story about many many things. There's Loss, Pain, Death and Shadows but also Love, Change, Stories and most of all Happiness.

Even if, like me, you don't believe in Heaven or God, this book is still about you.
Mitch Albom writes in such a way that you can't help but be drawn in, and to think about how it would reflect on your life.

It's simplicity and explanations of life will leave you quietly contemplating your own, and your version of a heaven, and also the people within your life.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld

The Interpretation of Murder tells the story of Sigmund Freud (the famous Psychoanalyst) and his first and only trip to America. Freud said that he had experienced a traumatic event there, and his opinion of America was not the same afterwards. It is this trauma that Rubenfeld plays out. And what a dramatic one it is.

If you're interesting in an American version of a Sherlock Holmes style Murder Mystery featuring Freud and his theories then this is the book for you.

But if you're not interested in Psychology I suggest you don't read it. Even I, a student partially studying psychology and fascinated by Freud and his odd ideas, found some theoretical conversations a little hard to chew.

Book Cover.
This book covers a little bit of everything: from Relationships and Love to New York history, and then to medicine and therapies, and then to Shakespeare's Hamlet? But most of all covering the murder mystery themes of crime and detection.

I found this book to be a little slow at the beginning, and a little too fast with the whole explanation of what had happened at the end, but that is usually how murder mysteries pan out anyway. The part where usually Sherlock Holmes would remind us of small things that his clever mind had picked up. Except the protagonist is more likeable than Mr Holmes.

The story, however, was told wonderfully. I'd say it was very, very clever. Of course having read this book before, I was not surprised at the twists and turns it was making, but originally remember being slightly shocked and very much enjoyed fitting all of the pieces together in my head.

So, owing to the fact that I enjoyed it, but that I expect quite a lot of people may not, I'm giving this book 3 and a half stars.

The wikipedia page for The Interpretation of Murder can be found HERE.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.

First and foremost. I loved this book when I read it.
As a fan of fantasy and adventure, and also fairy tales, this captured my eye when I saw it in a charity shop. The dark red cover with black creepers edging their way around it told me it was a dark and powerful book. I was under it's spell.

My sister has already reviewed this book, and seeing as it's pretty much exactly what I would have said about it I think that I can safely say that you should visit her review HERE.

Saying this, after reading such books as Fire by Kristin Cashore and The Pact by Jodi Picoult, I would have to give it more of a 4 1/2 out of 5.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Fire by Kristin Cashore

This novel by Kristin Cashore is set in the same, beautifully detailed world that her debut novel Graceling was set in. But a different part. Fire is the writers second book and is a companion book to Graceling.
(by that way, Graceling is a wonderful book, do give it a read.)

But this book in a way was a little more sophisticated than the writers first novel.
It explores the life a woman named Fire.

Fire is a monster. This means that she possesses a beauty so stunning that it entrances peoples minds. They can't help but feel something for her.
This is an intoxicating tale of a woman's quest to uncover her purpose whilst battling against her own horrific beauty.

It explores many themes; Monsters, Beauty and Control, Power, Strength, Parental Influence, Grief and Loss, Individuality, Embracing Yourself and so on, all in a mix of wonderfully developed characters and a wonderfully ambitious setting.

Again, as with Jodi Picoults The Pact, at first I found the names and areas confusing, having to retreat to the map a few times, but I was completely into it from the start.
I just couldn't put it down. Which is always a sign of a good book. (Though I would say this book was particularly suited to me, as I adore fantasy adventures.)

Another minor downfall was that it was slightly predictable, although so many twists and turns arose that for the most part I was a little dumbfounded.
Quite an intense read (if you read it all at once like I did) and infused with such a comprehensive set of emotions it leaves the mind wondering what exactly just happened.

This book I would say is along the Lines of Cornelia Funke and Tolkien proportions.

Though through multiple twists Cashore kept me reading and wanting to know how it panned out, and she ties up the ends rather nicely.

A definite 5 out of 5. But not for the idle reader.

Another readers take on Fire by Kristin Cashore
A readers take on Graceling
Kristin Cashore's Blog

Saturday, 5 March 2011

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Another masterpiece by the wonderful Jodi Picoult.

The Pact is a story that every one on us can relate to in some way. Even though the actual storyline is something which very few of us would ever have to go through, there are so many layers of thought put into it that you feel like you know each characters story personally.

And it goes like this:
Chris Harte and Emily Gold have known each other their whole lives so far. But today one of those lives has been cut short. Emily has died, and Chris is the prime suspect in her murder case. Is it murder, or is it suicide, or is it something completely different? What is the Truth?

Book Cover
This book immerses the reader into the lives of Chris and Emily and all those involved in the case. The sad thing is, Jodi Picoult tells Emily's story from so many loving points of view that you don't want her to be dead, even though she is. You see her through everybody else's eyes, very rarely her own.

It not only explores a large range of topics including: Loss, Prison, Trauma, Relationships, Expectations, How Well You Can Know A Person, Love, Family, Truth and so on, but also areas of research such as Crime, Law, Science, Psychology and Art. Which is always wonderful to see in a book.

Although it is at first confusing, noting who is who, and what their relationships are, soon you are entrapped in their world. This way you feel a great affinity for the characters. 
I also adore the fact that you don't know what happens until nearing the end. You're free to make your own assumptions on whether Chris did kill Emily or not.
I absolutely despise an ending that I can foresee in a book. Especially if I can foresee it a mile off. But in this book, although I had my theories, there was nothing telling me the true story until the point it was revealed. And that's just how I like it.

Perhaps the only real bad thing about it is that you can't read it lightly. (But I hardly think that's a deal breaker.) And that it took me a small amount of time to get truly into it. But once you are, you're in for a literary treat with this suspenseful, emotional masterpiece.

As this book gave the the heart-wrenching story I was looking for, albeit with a few bad things, I give it 5 out of 5 stars.
Another Review on The Pact.
Review #2 on The Pact.
Buy it Here at Amazon.

Friday, 4 March 2011

To Buy or Not to Buy? (And Where From?)

So while I'm reading and finishing my current book, I thought I'd tell you about where I get my books from. And how I go about which ones to buy or not.

Usually when buying a new book, I'll lovingly have a look around the local Waterstones and gaze adoringly at covers of new books and older books alike. Then make a mental note of which ones sound the most interesting.
Then, It's time to buy.

Firstly, there's the wonderful world that is Amazon, (or, depending where you live). The majority of books that I want come from there. Basically because it's a place where you can find any book you like, at a cheaper price. (usually).
I'll also have a good gander at before buying. Just in case.

Although sometimes when you wander into a good charity shop and browse the shelves for a while you can find some treasures. I found the first volume of Les Miserables by (Victor Hugo) in a charity shop not too long ago. And they'll always have Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella or Gill Mansell on the shelves (if you're into Chick-lit of course.)

Another good place I've found is Asda. They do newer and more popular books for a relatively small amount of money (in comparison to book shops) and I've frequently found a book I'd like to read there. Such as the new Rick Riordan book - The Lost Hero (in the Percy Jackson series - heroes of Olympus).

So yes, those are a few of my favourite haunts. Please use them well.

Monday, 21 February 2011

A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn

I was going to review this book, but I lent it to my sister to read.
She has now finished and reviewed it, so here's a wonderful link to My Sisters Blog (The Review List).

Book Cover
The story is a modern day take on Sleeping Beauty. Unfortunately I'd say it's not as good as Alex Flinn's Beastly. And Still too teeny for my liking, but it was an easy, light-hearted read. (And I quite liked the take on the Prince being a normal boy, who liked gardening, also apparent in Beastly. Interesting.)

I also quite like the more soft and empathetic telling of the 'witch'. It tells her small story in a way I hadn't seen before.
Then again, I always like stories being told from a different point of view. Especially fairy tales where there is usually a good side and an evil side, and you rarely get a hero or heroine with major personality flaws, or an antagonist with a good streak. Whereas in this book both things are apparent. Which is always good.
Still. Nice book to read, if only as one of many in the summer.

I'd say 3 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn.

Beastly Movie Poster.
I bought this book because I happened to see the trailer for the new movie coming out, with Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer as the leading roles.
I didn't think much of the trailer (especially upon learning that the weird wiry tattoo things were supposed to make Alex Pettyfer look like a beast instead of fur, and the fact that he has to put on an American accent) but as soon as I knew it was a book I was there.

You see... I'm a massive fan of the fairytale genre. Especially the revamped fairytale genre.
Now I've read Neil Gaiman's 'Stardust', Gregory Maguires 'Mirror, Mirror', 'Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister' and 'Wicked' series (although, yes, those aren't really fairytales, just reworkings) and John Connolly's 'The Book of Lost Things'. All of which contain sometimes very dark interpretations of fairy tales.

And that's the way I like them.

Beastly Book Cover
So Beastly was a surprisingly small book. I ordered it from Amazon and surprisingly it came a couple of days later at a bargain price. The blurb on the back says: " I Am a Beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dogbut a horrible creature who walks upright - a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a Monster." And this is how Kyle Kingsbury, an ex popular guy who had it all (looks, money, popularity :/ ) now looks. Which is great. Because he was a right ass.
So yeah, a witch turns him into the beast and he now has 2 years to find true love.

I think what I liked most about Beastly was the way that it told the tale of Beauty and the Beast in the Beasts point of view. Sure, we all would know what it's like, but you never knew before what the Beasts life was like beforehand, how being a Beast, and falling in love, changed him.
And this story does just that.
Obviously aimed at teens and young adults (but I'd recommend it to anyone) Beastly plays out a beautiful friendship and romance and I'm sure a character or two might live in your heart for a while. Kyle's tutor was a favourite of mine. (Who, in the film is played by the wonderful Neil Patrick Harris.)

Something I didn't find quite so great though, was the way that Alex Flinn tried to incorporate other fairytale. Sure, It works for some books, but to me the chat room and other obvious fairytale characters in it wasn't needed. Sure, it made it modern, but it already felt modern to me. One thing it does do is highlight a flaw of Kyles- self-centredness. I'm not so sure this was supposed to happen. So I've taken a point off for that.
And because it's just a little bit too teeny for my liking, another half point.

So I give Beastly 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Either way, lets just say, I've found a new love of roses.

On the to read/review list

Some of these I have yet to read, and some I have read, and have yet to read again and then review.
So here's the first set of 10:
(picture from google)

1. Beastly - Alex Flinn
2. A Kiss in Time - Alex Flinn
3. Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath (Inkworld Trilogy)- Cornelia Funke
4. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
5. The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly
6. The Pact - Jodi Picoult
7. Fire - Kristin Cashore
8. The Interpretation of Murder - Jed Rubenfield
9.The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
10. Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman

I've chosen these first because I have all of these around my house/s somewhere. And read a few very, very recently. (The ones with links on them (in green) are the one's I've already done.)
I look forward to reading and reviewing them.
Wish me luck!