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Life of Pi – Yann Martel

5 Mar

Started – 16/2/13

Finished – 4/3/13

Format – Paperback Book

 

Challenges – Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

1001 Books You Must Read

Ultimate Teen Book Guide Reading Challenge

501 Must Read Books

World Book Night Reading Challenge

 

Synopsis – One boy, one boat, one tiger …After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

 

My Thoughts – I brought this book back in 2010 way before the movie was out and I wanted to read this as it was such a high profile book. Now I did really enjoy the story especially the ending part where Pi spoke to the officals and the whole story became clear.

This book is about Pi Patel who lives in a zoo in India. I really enjoyed his descriptions of the zoo and the animals especially. His family decide to move away to Canada and sell the zoo and some of the animals. The ship that they are travelling on sinks and Pi is a survivor along with a few animals who are injured, this includes the Begal Tiger, Richard Parker.

He is adrift from everyone for months and lives with the tiger in a small space. The only part i didnt really understand was when they found an island, i didnt really understand the significance of that.

This book is quite religious too, three different religions howevr i didnt find that this was too heavy or forced upon the reader.

I do want to see the film but I’m not sure if this will live up to such a good book. I really enjoyed the story and i can see why its on so many reading challenge lists.

Rating – 4/5

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The Tenderness of Wolves – Stef Penney

15 Jan

Started – 7/1/13

Finished – 13/1/13

Format – Paperback Book

 

Synopsis – 1867, Canada: as winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a man is brutally murdered and a 17-year old boy disappears. Tracks leaving the dead man’s cabin head north towards the forest and the tundra beyond. In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the township – journalists, Hudson’s Bay Company men, trappers, traders – but do they want to solve the crime or exploit it? One-by-one the assembled searchers set out from Dove River, pursuing the tracks across a desolate landscape home only to wild animals, madmen and fugitives, variously seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for 17 years, a Native American culture, and a fortune in stolen furs before the snows settle and cover the tracks of the past for good. In an astonishingly assured debut Stef Penney deftly weaves adventure, suspense, revelation and humour into a story that is both panoramic historical romance and exhilarating thriller. Now reissued in an attractive new livery, The Tenderness of Wolves is one of the most widely liked and admired novels of the previous decade.

 

My Thoughts – I read this book as part of the January Reading Circle. I really liked the sound of this book especially as it has some Native American Culture in as this does fascinate me however i really did not enjoy this book.

 

This tells the story of Francis a young man who goes missing after a murder happens. People in the town are quick to point the finger at him due to his absence however his mother believes his innocence and sets off on a treck across snow covered wildness in search of her son and in search of the truth.

 

There are many simular characters in this book and i had great difficultly in remembering who was who and what was going on. There are also lots of sub plots that i really found difficult to understand and i also thought that these confused the plot a fair bit.

 

As the synopsis says ‘The Tenderness of Wolves is one of the most widely liked and admired novels of the previous decade.’ I think there must be something in my reading that doesnt appeal to the most liked books as i really couldnt get into this book which is a shame.

 

Rating – 2/5

Chocolat – Joanne Harris

7 Jan

Started – December 2012

Finished – 7th January 2013

Format – Paperback Book

Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide Challenge.

World Book Night 2012 Longlist

Synopsis – When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial.

As passions flare and the conflict escalates, the whole community takes sides. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the sinful pleasure of a chocolate truffle?

My Thoughts – I brought this book a couple of years back as its one of those books thats always talked about but id never read. This book is about Vianne Rocher and her daughter who move to a small village in France and set up a chocolate shop there. To start with she is met with some hardness from the locals but ends up really getting on with most of them. There is also Father Reynaud who is the local vicar who it transpires is not all that nice a person and is quite stuck in his ways.. Roux is a traveller, who in the film version of this book is played by Johnny Depp so i think i’ll have to have a look out for that now!

I really liked this book as it was told from two different perspectives, Vianne and Father Reynaud and they both have different views on the events that have happened. There is more to the story than just two people with different outlooks, for example good against evil, light against dark and magic against the church. I really liked the different themes in the book.

I also liked how you found out more about the characters as the book went on. It wasnt set in chronological order and i really liked how the information became more apparent as the book went on.

I really enjoyed this book and ive just found out its the first in a trilogy so im going to get the next book to put on my shelf soon.

Rating – 4/5

The Vanishing Act – Mette Jakobsen

14 Dec

Started – 5/12/12

Finished 11/12/12

Format – Paperback book

 

SynopsisThis is a story about a snow-covered island you won’t find on any map.

 

It’s the story of a girl, Minou. A year ago, her mother walked out into the rain and never came back.

 

It’s about a magician and a priest and a dog called No Name. It’s about a father’s endless hunt for the truth.

 

It’s about a dead boy who listens, and Minou’s search for her mother’s voice.

 

It’s a story of how even the most isolated places have their own secrets.

 

It’s a story you will never forget.

 

My Thoughts – This book was picked for the December reading circle and although i hadnt heard of it before i ended up really enjoying it.

 

This book is about a girl called Minou who lives on a tiny little island in the middle of nowhere. Hardly anyone knows of the island and they never get visitors. Minou lives with her father, who is mourning the loss of his wife that walked out on him one day.

 

One morning the body of a boy washes up on the beach and this changes the whole perpective of everyone that lives on the island. There is also Magician and Priest that live on the island and a dog called No Name. Its a very lonely place the island and i can understand why Minou’s mother wanted to leave and why she wasnt happy with her life.

 

The book is written quite poetically and it really drew me in with the writing style. I really liked the chaacter of Minou probably because she was the only character in the book with a proper name. I read the majority of this book in one sitting as i wanted to know what was going to happen and what all the answers were going to be.

 

This book is an enjoyable read, highly recommended.

 

Rating – 4/5

Friends With Partial Benefits – Luke Young

30 Sep

Started – 26/9/12

Finished – 29/9/12

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Synopsis – Filled with passion, longing, surprises and humor, Friends With Partial Benefits, the first novel in the four-book series, is hard to put down and will leave you laughing out loud and slightly sleep deprived.

Jillian Grayson is a disillusioned divorcée and best-selling romance novelist who suddenly can’t write a chapter without her hunky male heartthrob suffering ED, an STD, or even worse. Brian Nash is a tennis-obsessed college senior who’s unlucky in love and the roommate and best friend of Jillian’s son, Rob. When Rob brings Brian home for Spring Break, and Brian meets the surprisingly young and tennis passionate Jillian, their shared interest quickly develops into an intense mutual attraction. After nearly giving in to their feelings, they hatch a plan, while under the influence (of something more than just the perfect Miami night), to be Friends With Partial Benefits, complete with rules to define the boundaries. Will the lonely pair continue with this distinctive relationship, actually explore their desires, or discover all of it is a really bad idea?

 

My Thoughts – I got sent this book from the author as i had previously enjoyed one of his other novels, Shrinkage. This book is about a few people. Brian and his best friend Rob, Robs mother Jillian. her best friend Victoria and a few others too.

 

Rob comes home from college and brings Brian with him as he cant seem to get over a girl. Natalie. Its here that Brian first meets Rob’s mum and sparks seem to fly between the two of them. Victoria is Jillians best friend and for want of a better explaination sex mad!

 

Rob spends a lot of time with his girlfriend Laura, which enables Brian and Jillian to grow closer and closer. When they do it puts them both in a situation that they cannot figure out if its right or not.

 

I really enjoyed this book. To start with i do think its not a book that is for the faint-hearted, Its full of sexual encounters although i do think these are done quite tastefully. Its not too in your face but at the same time very racey. Its not a book that i would leave laying about for my nan to read for example.

 

I read three quarters of this book last night as i really couldnt put it down. It is a real page turner and i couldnt wait to read what was going to happen, figure out if people are going to get caught out, weather people are going to stay in relationships and plenty of twists and turns.

 

I think this is quite a good book for the market at the minute. What with all the 50 shades of grey hype and other books with simular themes i think this book is a nicer version. Although i havent read that particilar book i do think that this book would be the better option.

 

This book was very enjoyable, very easy reading too. This is the first in a series of four books and i will be buying the second for my kindle later on today.

 

Rating – 4.5/5

Shrinkage – Luke Young

21 Aug

Started – 12/8/12

Finished – 19/8/12

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Synopsis – Is it in yet? It’s the phrase that no man ever wants to hear. Luckily, Tim Garrett has never heard those words. At least he has never heard them out loud despite being on the wrong side of the bell curve in the male endowment department.

It has taken many years, but Tim has finally come to terms with being slightly below average below the belt. His life isn’t bad, he doesn’t hate his job, his girlfriend Jill is hot and doesn’t seem to mind his physical attribute. Things are good. That is, until the day Jill dumps him and his world comes crashing down around him.

That’s when Tim decides to make some changes in his life; big changes. When a bizarre mixture of pills combined with a not-as-directed, inventive use of an electronic device prove incredibly successful, Tim’s life begins to change for the better both in and out of the bedroom. But when things grow a little too much, everything spins out of control and the words be careful what you wish for begin to take on an entirely new meaning.

SHRINKAGE is a somewhat raunchy and completely funny comedy, which is intended for contemporary mature audiences only. (Whatever the hell that means…)

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as it was free for a day on Amazon and after reading the synopsis i thought it might be a book that i would enjoy. Before i start to say what i thought of this book ill just say that it is not a book for the faint hearted, its a book about the age old male question, does size really matter?

 

This book is about Tim, a man who isnt as average as he would like, and after being dumped by a girlfriend because of it he takes matters into his own hands. Using a combination of pills and other methods he tries to improve himself. But will he get the results that he wants? and will it really make him happy.

 

I liked the plot to this book, it was very funny in parts and very rude too, but with a book with this subject matter i felt that it was justified. I also liked the little side plots particually with Tims parents and also with Rob. I also liked the sub plot with the houses on the street, i felt like this part of the book added a bit more normality to it.

 

I’m not sure if i was the intended target audience for this book, being a twenty two year old female, i did wonder if it was more aimed at the male gender, but in fairness i did enjoy the book. Its not one to leave on the coffee table when your nan is round, but at the same time i didnt find it overly crude. All in all a good book.

 

Rating – 4/5

Apocalypse Cow – Michael Logan

11 May

Started – 7/5/12

Finished – 11/5/12

Format – Paperback Book

Synopsis – When scientists with warped imaginations accidentally unleash an experimental bioweapon that transforms Britain’s animals into sneezing, bloodthirsty zombies with a penchant for pre-dinner sex with their victims, three misfits become the unlikely hope for salvation.

Abattoir worker Terry Borders’ love life is crippled by the stench of death that clings to his skin from his days spent slaughtering cows; teenage vegan Geldof ‘Scabby’ Peters alternates between scratching furiously at his rash and baiting his overbearing New Age mother; and inept journalist Lesley McBrien struggles forlornly in the shadow of her famous war correspondent father and the star journalist at the Glasgow Tribune.

When Britain begins a rapid descent into chaos and ministers cynically attempt to blame al-Qaeda, Lesley stumbles upon proof that the government is behind the outbreak. During her bumbling quest to unveil the truth, she crosses paths with Terry and Geldof, and together they set out to escape a quarantined Britain with the evidence and vital data that could unlock a cure for the virus.

Standing in the way are rampaging hordes of animals, a ruthless security agent and an army ready to shoot anybody with a case of the sniffles on the off-chance the virus has mutated.

Three losers. Overwhelming odds. A single outcome: the world is screwed.

My Thoughts – I was sent this book by the publishers, Transworld in exchange for a review. Now although this book isnt my usual genre, when i read the synopsis i really had to read it.

This book is about several unlikely heroes who need to try and get out of Britain as the animals are turning into bloodythirsty zombies. There is Geldof, who is born to hippy parents and is a vegetarian. However, as a teenage boy he is none to happy about this and craves meat. Their is Lesley, a journalist, although not a very good one who is the daughter of a high profile journalist and wants to prove herself. Lastly there is Terry, an abattoir worker who is one of the first to come across the virus in its horrific form. Together they must work together to get the proof out of the country and the formula to develop a vaccine.

One of the main concerns throughout the book is can the virus spread from animals to humans? And what would happen if it did. Now i am not a fan of zombies at all, to be honest the idea of them scare me and i dont always enjoy zombie books. Now this was good. There is a bit of Zombie theme in the book, but not enough to be scary. This was a very good twist on the very much overdone zombie genre.

This book is very very good. It has all different themes to it. It is very funny in places some parts of the book had me laughing out loud. For example when Geldof is having his teenage fanasties about his next door neighbour. Also it is quite a sexual book, so probably not one to lend out to youngsters, but very good for a more adult audience. At the same time, parts are quite gruesome and upsetting, but this is to be expected from a book like this.

The overall thing that struck me was if this really happened the world would be screwed, Britain is a tiny little island and we could just be cut out from the rest of the world which was a bit of a scary thought.

The ending of the book was left open a bit so I’m hoping that their could be a sequal in the future, i would definitaly read it.

This book is seriously good, i would highly recommend it and would say . . . Read it 😀

Rating – 4.5/5