Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Three by Sarah Lotz

Hailed as a cross between Justin Cronin's The passage and Stephen King, I just had to start reading this ASAP. I was a huge fan of The Passage when it came out, but in my opinion, The Three isn't anything like the Passage in any way.Saying that, it is a great read for a number of different reasons.

Black Thursday

The premise of the book is that on the same day, four separate planes crash within hours of each other across four areas of the world. That is interesting in itself isn't it. but then the crashes are so horrific no one survives, except three young children with minor to no injuries whatsoever.Hmm..more interesting.

The novel is made up of interviews with different people involved in 'Black Thursday' to try to piece together what happened that day and why the children survived. This involves many theories about the crashes and the children that survived including alien theories, religious theories and end of the world rapture. Sounds familiar doesn't it! The book also makes use of Skype conversations, interviews and reports and does a good job of showing how media obsession and intrusion can have dire consequences.

Not quite a horror

Whilst the book is hailed as a modern horror, I have to say that whilst I did find certain parts of the book creepy, especially those involving the children, overall I wouldn't say it is a horror rather a thriller with a few scary bits thrown in.It is a really interesting read and I was constantly trying to work out what had happened, which theory to believe and by the end of the book I was still unsure. There is talk of a sequel to this which I will hopefully explain more about what happened, why the planes crashed and if the children really were aliens/monsters.ghosts etc

Overall I would definitely recommend this book as it is an intriguing story, although if you are scared of flying, be warned, it might put your off flying in the near future. The creepy parts may haunt you in your sleep, but overall it isn't a full on horror story. I wasn't happy with the ending as it still left so many questions, but hopefully the sequel should answer some of those. This does annoy me though, even if a book is part of a  trilogy I still expect a good ending which answers at least a few of the questions raised in the novel. Still, a very interesting, well written, creepy thriller/horror that will leave you thinking over and over what really did happen to those four planes on `Black Thursday?

Have you read The Three? What are your thoughts?

Friday, 4 July 2014

Review of The Girl With All The Gifts by M R Carey

I read this after seeing a recommendation on Facebook by a friend still working with books and they had written "Let's see if this lives up to the hype'. That was all I needed! The title of the book is another name for the Pandora Greek myth which plays quite a large part throughout the story. It comes under the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre and has similarities to books such as The passage by Justin Cronin in my opinion!

So what is it about?

Without giving away the story it is about a little girl called Melanie who is ten years old. The story is told both from her view point and the other main characters in the book. Melanie lives alone in a cell where she has nothing to do except go over her school lessons, look at pictures on the cell wall and hope that her favourite teacher Miss Justineau will be teaching the next day. Every morning her cell door is opened and she has to be strapped into a wheelchair, and wheeled into class, where all the other children are sat in their very own wheelchairs. As she straps herself into the chair an a soldier hold a gun to her head until her legs, arms and neck are safely strapped to the chair.

During class the students learn about lots of Greek myths. mainly from Melanie's favourite teacher Miss Justineau, they learn about the outside world, write stories and do quiz's. Melanie very much resonates with the story of Pandora and there are many parallels with the myth as the story unfolds. Some of the teachers are not as nice as some of the others, one teacher actually drinks heavily throughout the lessons. Melanie is incredibly bright and eager to learn and is even polite to the soldiers who wheel her in and out. This is Melanie's whole world, she never goes outside, she has no windows in her cell, she has never felt fresh air on her face. That is until one day when everything changes. 

I will say no more about the story as to say more may ruin it, but it has many plot lines which raise issues with many events in our own lives, how we deal with certain things, the importance of education, science and relationships. The different characters are well written, each having a very strong personality and differing moral views on certain matters. It is easy to understand each of their view points, but the Mother/Daughter/student/teacher relationship of Miss Justineau and Melanie is the most touching and moving.

A brilliant read from the British writer of some highly successful fiction and comics..of course M R Carey is not his real name....

Review of We Were Liars by E Lockhart

I decided to read this book after watching a YouTube review of it by the wonderful BooksandQuills. I am always looking for recommendations because now I don't work with books, I often don't know what to read next. saying that, I have piles and piles of books already waiting to be read.Oops.

The Beautiful Sinclairs

The story focuses on the Sinclair family, a rich beautiful family with Harris Sinclair the head of the family. The narrator of the book is Candice Sinclair Eastman, the first granddaughter of Harris's three daughters. Every summer the whole of the Sinclair clan go to Beechwood Island off Massachusetts, their very own private island, where they spend the hot summer months as a family, eating drinking and bonding. The Sinclair's are powerful, rich, tall and blonde and are famous among the rich, glamorous social circles of Martha's Vineyard, New York and such. Each daughter has their very own house on the island where they can take their children, their friends and their partners. They have serving staff, cooks etc waiting on them hand and foot.

Not so perfect after all

Candice is 17 years old and at the beginning of the story she tells leads us to believe there are secrets among the family, that it is not so perfect after all. She also tells us she had dyed her once beautiful Sinclair blonde hair, black. She is also sick after a mysterious accident on the island which she has very little memory of during 'Summer 15'.She is also fed up of having to maintain an emotionless state when her father leaves them. One must maintain a smile at all times and NEVER speak of emotions or feelings.

The Liars

Candice and her cousins Johnny and Mirren and their friend Gat are called 'The Liars' because they cause trouble on the island as children do although the name 'The Liars' takes on more of a meaning as the book progresses.Candice has a crush on Gat since he started coming to the island when they were both eight. To her he seems different and unlike the stoic emotionless Sinclair family. He is also of Indian descent which causes many undertones of racist feelings amongst the elder members of the family.

The Twist

During the book we start to learn about the summers spent at the island and the different relationships, issues and arguments behind closed doors. We also follow Candice on her journey to remember what exactly happened to her during Summer 15, where she is found half drowned after running into the water alone one night. I actually didn't guess the twist at all, which I am glad about as it made the twist all the more shocking. The twist also makes you want to read the book all over again.

The book is easy to read, mysterious, intriguing, sad and atmospheric.You learn new information as Candice does and feel you are  trying to piece together what happened that night with her and why she is sick now. I really enjoyed reading the book and I do enjoy a good twist, and this really was. It does flit to different years, which can be a little confusing but overall I would thoroughly recommend it.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Welcome to my new blog!

I have always been a huge bookworm, reading every single book I could get hold of in the library as a child. Then later, borrowing my Mother's books; Danielle Steel, Jackie was a learning curve, in more ways than one! I loved all kinds of books when I was younger, travel, biographies, creative text books, serial killers, you name it, I had my head stuck in it.

As an adult I studied English at University and found my natural love for reading dwelled slightly after turning one of my most loved hobbies into an academic 'thing'. After graduating, I didn't read a book for nearly a year. A few years later I began working for Waterstone's, pretty much my dream job, and I loved working with books, recommending books, smelling books...TMI? I worked for them for almost ten years and got to read some amazing books and meet some amazing people.

I find that for me, reading takes to me to a whole different world and my mind creates a film in my head as I read. I know what the characters look like, the landscape, it's a great way to relax and escape from normal life. I often feel very sad when I finish a book, like I have lost friends and I have to mourn that book for a day or two before I can start another. Many of my friends love books too, and it's great to get recommendations and swap books. I wanted to create a blog where I could write about books I have read or want to read and make some new book loving friends along the way! As you will see I do read a range of genres, but mainly they come under the Fiction genre.