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October/Halloween Bookhaul (20 books)

pumpkin

So it’s the end of the month again and it’s time to share with you my bargains from the charity shops and my other indulgences. So this month I bought 20! yes you read that right 20 books! However 10 of them were from the charity shops so they were really cheap and I am also doing a good deed.

There is one particular charity shop that always has the most amazing books, and it’s the Cancer research shop, every time I go in there they always have a book that I must have.

I am not going to include the synopsis for them, as I expect a lot of people will know what most of them are.

So first off I will start with my charity shop books.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)Fab Confessions of Georgia Nicolson Vol. 1 (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1-2)The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1)Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)

The Queen Of The Tearling

Then for the brand new books.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone: Illustrated EditionSex Criminals, Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One CopA Thousand Nights

Finding AudreyIlluminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)

I'll Give You the SunNight OwlsSiege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)Landline

As you can see I bought some pretty awesome books this month. Let me know if you have read any of these and what you think. November there won’t be so many…….unless I go to the Charity shop. Here is a picture of them all below.

Happy Halloween everyone xx

phone 4065

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House Rules by Jodi Picoult

House Rules

Author: Jodi Picoult

Published: 1st November 2010

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Source: Library

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary

Date read: 25th October 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads

Jacob Hunt is a teenager: brilliant at maths, wicked sense of humour, extraordinarily organised, hopeless at reading social cues. And Jacob has Asperger’s. His mother expects other people not to understand. But she doesn’t expect Jacob to be charged with murder.

My Thoughts:

I have read two other Jodi Picoult books (My sister’s keeper and Harvesting the heart) which were just MEH! So even though the synopsis intrigued me, I was apprehensive about reading this. As you know by now I will read pretty much any genre as long as it tickles my fancy.

The story is told from 5 points of view Jacob, Emma, Theo, Rich and Oliver for some people this could probably be confusing but I found it worked really well, it kept the book flowing at a nice pace and the chapters were only a few pages long before we heard from someone else’s perspective.

I don’t know why but certain conditions/disabilities really intrigue me, I want to see how the authors tackle the subject and turn it into a convincing story. I thought Jodi Picoult did a really good job in making her audience realise how hard life can be, not just for the sufferers of Aspergers but also the families.

Jacob is an 18-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome from the age of 3, he has always found it difficult to start a conversation, look in to people’s eyes or recognise emotions. Jacob’s latest obsession is forensics, before that it was dogs and before that it was dinosaurs. But his obsession gets out of hand and sees him arrested for murder. Jacob is a very difficult character what with all his quirks, I am not sure I really connected with him due to his lack of emotions and other traits, but obviously he was supposed to be portrayed that way.  I did feel very sorry for him, it must be so difficult for him especially with his hypersensitivity.

Emma is Jacob’s mum who has given her life up to care for him and to pay for all the drugs, vitamins and therapists appointments. She is a single mum, writing as an agony aunt who has two sons to provide for and love, but only one really gets the attention. I really felt for Emma, she was a strong woman and if I was in the same situation I would have gone crazy or at least have tried to get help from the government. She was working, hadn’t had a relationship in 15 years and was pretty much devoted to her son.

Theo is Jacob’s 15-year-old brother, who feels neglected and wishes that his brother was normal so that he could have friends over or even just a little one on one time with his mother. He starts to wander into people’s houses and take a memento from each (supposedly normal) household. I felt very sorry for Theo, he didn’t get much attention from his mother, he hasn’t heard from his father in years and has no friends as everyone snubs him due to Jacobs condition.

Rich is the local detective who is involved in the case, he is a nice enough character, feeling intimidated that Jacob knows more about forensics than himself, he asks Jacob awkward questions which leads to his arrest.

Oliver is the Lawyer that has literally just graduated from university, he finds himself chucked into the deep end of a murder case and doesn’t know much really, he basically learns on the job and you see him develop into a confident young lawyer and friend of the family.

I read on Goodreads that people found this book a bit too repetitive and yes I totally agree with them but I felt it needed to be repeated to appear realistic. A large portion of the book was set in court so you did have the symptoms of Aspergers syndrome repeated.

I found the book to be a bit too predictable, however I still really enjoyed it. I am wanting to read off the page by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha Van Leer.

Overall I rated this a 4 out of 5 stars.

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona

Author: Noelle Stevenson

Publisher: Harper Collins

Published: 12th May 2015

Genre: Graphic novel, Fantasy, YA

Source: Owned

Synopsis from goodreads

The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic.”

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

https://i1.wp.com/girlsreadcomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/nimonabynoellestevenson.png

My thoughts:

I saw this doing the rounds on booktube and was so taken in by everyone’s enthusiasm and praise for this graphic novel that I thought I gotta get me that book to see what all the hype is about.

I loved loved loved everything about this book, the artwork was amazing, the plot was amazing, the characters were amazing, what else can I say……..IT WAS AMAZING!!!! If you haven’t read this yet then what are you doing? go buy it! borrow it!

Lord Ballister Blackheart is not you typical Villain – he’s a bit like batman in the sense he doesn’t kill and wants to do good, he has a past which has made him the way he is. He is caring, funny, sensitive and everything you wouldn’t expect in a super villain.

Nimona is a shape shifter, with a mysterious past, she can turn in to pretty much anything which has its advantages, she is witty, enthusiastic and sometimes damn right evil but between her and Blackheart they make an awesome team.

Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin is they typical hero, but sort of in a Disney way! He was my least favorite character in the book.

This novel is quirky! It has heroes, villains, science and a lot of wittyness…if thats even a word. Nimona was perfection.

I have read the Lumberjanes issue 1 and 2 by Noelle Stevenson and enjoyed them, and OMG just realised she has written some adventure time graphic novels…..watch this space….much love for Adventure Time. I have an excuse I have an 8-year-old daughter, I don’t just sit around watching cartoons all day.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars

M

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Publisher: Harvill Secker

Published: 15th September 2011

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical fiction

Source: Library

Pages: 387

Synopsis from Goodreads

In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.

Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who call themselves the rêveurs – the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter’s daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer’s apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy masters, they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love…

My thoughts:

From the rating on Goodreads I had high expectations for this book, the synopsis was so intriguing it was a must read! I love magicians and circus’ (though I have actually never been to one)

The story was told in a third person narrative, it is very descriptive from the tents, the lavish dinners, magic and illusions that are performed. There are two young magicians, they are told that they’re in training for a competition, but not told who their opponents are or even when it begins.

Celia is the daughter of the legendary Prospero the enchanter, at 6 years old her after her mother’s death she is left to her fathers devices and signs her up for competition, She is then practicing constantly to become the best Magician possible.

Marco is the protegé of Mr A.H-, Marco was plucked from an orphanage one day after completing some menial tasks and was sent to live and study magic, he too was also informed that he would be in a competition but the details were very vague.

There are other characters in this book that all relate to the circus and intertwine with Celia and Marco’s story, however I don’t want to give too much away.

The descriptive writing in this book was wonderful I felt that I was at the circus, watching the illusionist,contortionists and acrobats, the tents, the magical clock, I could go on, however I felt this took a lot away from any character development and plot. There is not much of a plot to this book and each chapter goes back and  forth, which felt it a bit disjointed

The romance in this book was tiresome, it didn’t feel real, there was no spark, I felt no emotion in the writing and it was a bit instalovey, as soon as they knew they were opponents there was this sudden love for one another.

I did enjoy the book and the writing  but I didn’t love it, I think it has been overhyped a little.

Overall I rated this book 3.5 stars out 5

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This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

This Raging Light

Author: Estelle Laure

Publisher:HMH children’s book group

Expected publication :22nd December 2015

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Source: Netgalley

Date Read 11th October 2015

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lucille’s father has a mental breakdown, institutionalised and never returns, months later her mother admits she “needs space” to get her head together and will be on vacation for 2 weeks,however a fortnight comes and goes and the only contact is an envelope with a 100 dollars for groceries and bills.

Seventeen year old Lucille has been abandoned by her parents and left to fend for her 9-year-old sister Wren. Struggling to pay the bills, look after her sister, attend school and have a social life is hard work but despite being so young Lucille is determined, she will do everything she can to avoid the authorities.

The only person Lucille can confide in is her best friend Eden, who has a twin brother Digby. With the help of the twins she is starting to manage getting by, just! until she starts falling in love with Digby.

My thoughts:

This is Estelle Laure’s debut novel and as you may know this was one of my highly anticipated books of Winter 2015.

Unfortunately the book fell a bit flat for me and didn’t meet my expectations and I am gutted as I so wanted this to be a contender for best books read of 2015.

First off there is a love triangle and not a good one, I didn’t feel any emotions or bubbling excitement when they touched or hugged, it was just yeah ok so they kissed that’s cool, I suppose!

I felt no connection whatsoever with the characters, Lucille was just really boring there wasn’t that much development, the writing wasn’t emotionally charged so when I should be feeling really sad and sorry for her I didn’t. However she was headstrong and knew what she needed to do in order to survive and instead of wallowing in self-pity she did something about it. Eden was her best friend who she could tell anything too but again it felt a bit false. Digby was a really bland character, to me he just felt like a friend, didn’t know what he really wanted, giving off mixed signals. Wren is the sweetest little girl ever and doesn’t know if she is coming or going.

I wasn’t too keen on the writing style, I felt it was a bit disjointed at times but easy enough to read.

The ending! Oh the ending! nothing was resolved! I flipped over the page thinking there would be another chapter but there is nothing! And it keeps you hanging and thinking what happens next, I don’t know if this is going to be a duology or standalone.

I think the novel was just devoid of all emotions, nothing took my breath away or shocked me, I wanted excitement, sadness, to fall in love with the characters and all the emotions you get in an amazing book but sadly it wasn’t for me.

I do love the cover, if I saw this in my local bookstore I would be attracted to it straight away and yes sometimes I do judge the book by its cover. This is a fast paced and easy read with only 288 pages can easily be devoured.

There are some things to take away from this novel, there are dysfunctional families and young teens out there in similar situations who are forced to grow up way to fast and take on the role of parents, this is happening around the world, how do you know it’s not happening to the kids down the street? All families are complex!

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

M

The Bone clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks

Author: David Mitchell

Published: 2nd September 2014

Publisher: Sceptre

Source: Library

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Date Read: 4th October 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

One drowsy summer’s day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for ‘asylum’. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking…

The Bone Clocks follows the twists and turns of Holly’s life from a scarred adolescence in Gravesend to old age on Ireland’s Atlantic coast as Europe’s oil supply dries up – a life not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air and brief lapses in the laws of reality. For Holly Sykes – daughter, sister, mother, guardian – is also an unwitting player in a murderous feud played out in the shadows and margins of our world, and may prove to be its decisive weapon.

Metaphysical thriller, meditation on mortality and chronicle of our self-devouring times, this kaleidoscopic novel crackles with the invention and wit that have made David Mitchell one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. Here is fiction at its spellbinding and memorable best.

My thoughts:

I was overwhelmed by the volume of this book, which is never a good start! There are 595 pages,so it’s a chunky one! I am so glad that I didn’t buy this book and sourced from the library as it has a lot of mixed reviews on Goodreads – bit of a Marmite book! You either love it or you hate it!

The pace of this book was very slow, it actually put me into a bit of a reading slump and felt like it was taking me forever to make a dent.(Hence the lack of reviews)

Bone clocks is a chronological story of Holly Sykes which starts of in 1984 and then is told by four other perspectives in different time periods that involve Holly in some way or another and ends in 2043.

There were subjects/topics in the book that I just didn’t care for such as the war in Afghanistan and politics,I couldn’t see any relevance it had to the book.  The problem is that Mitchell tried to add so many different topics to cater for all audiences and for me it just didn’t work. If I wanted to read a book about war and Afghanistan I would have specifically picked a book in that genre.

There are fantastical elements throughout the book, however section 5 is heavy fantasy! I was like woah what the hell is going on.

Your are left wondering throughout the book what is actually happening and your just reading through these POV’s that are intertwining with Holly’s life and don’t really find out anything until chapter 5, and then its confusing as you don’t know who is in whose body(if that makes sense) and loads of background characters are added.

For me this book was too long, had some unnecessary characters (Hugo Lamb) and was just awfully slow and felt the explaining of the radio people was too late in the book and rushed.

I am not sure if I will read any other of David Mitchells novels as Cloud Atlas is supposed to be a lot similar.

Please let me know if you read this book and your thoughts.

I rated this book 2 out of 5 stars