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Chocolat – Joanne Harris – Reading Challenge Recap

21 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide – #5/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – #6/782.

Series – Chocolat

  • Chocolat
  • The Lollypop Shoes
  • Peaches For Father Francis
  • The Strawberry Thief

The Link to my original review can be found here.

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 read this back in 2013 – I’ve linked my original review above incase anyone wants to read it and I can remember enjoying it a lot! I did buy the next in the series The Lollypop Shoes back then aswell but for some reason I havent read it yet. Currently its in one of my boxes of books that hopefully when we move again I can unpack but I will be reading it at some point!

Rating – I rated this 4/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris, Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel, Lucas – Kevin Brooks (Challenge Book), Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – The Lollypop Shoes – Joanne Harris, Blackberry Wine – Joanne Harris, Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel, Lucas – Kevin Brooks (Challenge Book), The Food of Love – Anthony Capella

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The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger *Reading Challenge Recap*

19 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide #4/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition #5/782.

Link to my original review can be found here.

Synopsis – It’s Christmas and Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from yet another school. Fleeing the crooks at Pencey Prep, he pinballs around New York City seeking solace in fleeting encounters – shooting the bull with strangers in dive hotels, wandering alone round Central Park, getting beaten up by pimps and cut down by erstwhile girlfriends.

The city is beautiful and terrible, in all its neon loneliness and seedy glamour, its mingled sense of possibility and emptiness. Holden passes through it like a ghost, thinking always of his kid sister Phoebe, the only person who really understands him, and his determination to escape the phonies and find a life of true meaning.

The Catcher in the Rye is an all-time classic coming-of-age story: an elegy to teenage alienation, capturing the deeply human need for connection and the bewildering sense of loss as we leave childhood behind.

My Thoughts – I read this book back in 2010 and even now it sticks in my mind as a book I really didn’t enjoy. I wont go too deep into my thoughts about it as I’ve linked my original review above. I do sometimes struggle with ‘classic’ books that everyone raves about so maybe that’s why I didnt enjoy it!

Rating – 2/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – The Beet Fields – Gary Paulsen (Challenge Book), King Dork – Frank Portman (Challenge Book) Nine Stories – J. D. Salinger (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition. The Beet Fields – Gary Paulsen (Challenge Book), Billy Liar – Keith Waterhouse, For Esme – with Love and Squalor – J.D. Salinger (Challenge Book), Just in Case – Meg Rosoff (Challenge Book)

Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding * Reading Challenge Recap *

13 Nov

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide #4/61, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – #4/782.

Books in the Series

  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • The Edge of Reason
  • Mad About the Boy
  • Bridget Jones’s Baby

Synopsis – A dazzlingly urban satire on modern relationships?
An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family?
Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?

Welcome to Bridget’s first diary: mercilessly funny, endlessly touching and utterly addictive.

My Thoughts – It was a very long time ago that I read this book – probably around 10 years or so however it resonates true the older that I get! It is so funny in places and I feel as though most women can identify with Bridget and her life in some way – for example weighing yourself so much that it becomes obsessive or obsessing over men. I read the first and second book in very quick succession however I’m not too sure why I didn’t read the rest – maybe I just forgot to add it to my wish list at the time! I’m definitely going to go back and finish this series though as i really enjoyed the first two books and the films are equally as good in my opinion!

Rating – 4/5

Recommendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, Angus Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging – Louise Rennison (Challenge Book), High Fidelity – Nick Hornby (Challenge book)

Ultimate Teen Book guide Second Edition – Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, Does my Bum Look Big in this? – Arabella Weir (Challenge Book), Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (Challenge Book), Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things – Carolyn Mackler

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne *Reading Challenge Recap*

31 Oct

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Challenges – #3/691 Ultimate Teen Book Guide, #3/782 Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition.

Synopsis – Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

My original thoughts from back in 2012 can be found here.

Rating – I rated this 5/5

Recomendations

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – Book of Fairy Tales – Angela Carter, Private Peaceful – Michael Murpurgo (Challenge Book), The Book Thief – Markus Zusak (Challenge Book)

There is also a section on prison books which are listed below.

  • Furnace:Lockdown – Alexander Gordon Smith
  • Guantanamo Boy – Anna Perera
  • Incarceron – Catherine Fisher
  • Papillion – Henri Charriere
  • The Colditz Story – P.R. Reid (Challenge Book)
  • The Prison Runner – Deborah Ellis
  • Inside the Cage – Matt Whyman

Alex Rider Series -Anthony Horowitz * Reading Challenge Recap*

15 Oct

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Challenges

1/672 Ultimate Book Guide

1/691 Ultimate Teen Book Guide

1/782 Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition

Books in the Series

  • Stormbreaker
  • Point Blanc
  • Skeleton Key
  • Eagle Strike
  • Scorpia
  • Ark Angel
  • Snake Head
  • Crocodile Tears
  • Scorpia Rising
  • Russian Roulette
  • Never Say Die

Synopsis – In the number one bestselling series by Anthony Horowitz, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is forcibly recruited into the deadly world of espionage and sent on his first mission. But the teenage spy soon finds himself in mortal danger, and in demand again by MI6. The ever popular Alex Rider series has action, adrenaline and adventure at every turn.

My Thoughts on this series – I read the first three books in this series last year however they didn’t capture my imagination as much as I’d hoped they would. I found them quite samey which was quite unfortunate as I really wanted to enjoy this series. I think that I’d probably try to read them again in the future but I think my kids would probably enjoy them once they get old enough!

Rating – 2.5/5

Recommendations from the Challenges

Ultimate Book Guide – The Power of Five – Anthony Horowitz (Challenge Book), Cherub series – Robert Muchamore (Challenge Book), The Joshua Files: invisible City – M. G. Harris (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – The Power of Five – Anthony Horowitz (Challenge book), The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – The Power of Five – Anthony Horowitz (Challenge Book), Empty Quarter – Julia Golding, The Devil’s Breath – David Gilman (Challenge Book)

 

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

28 Apr

Started – 19/4/13

Finished – 25/4/13

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Challenges – Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

BBC Top 200 Books

1001 Books You Must Read

Ultimate Teen Book Guide Challenge

501 Must Read Books

World Book Night 2012 Challenge

 

SynopsisWuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.

The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book when I first got my Kindle as there are a lot of classics out there that I havent read and as it was free i didnt really have a lot to loose. I seem to have a rather love/hate relationship with the classics i either really love them and get sucked into them or i hate them and cant get into the story or understand them. Happily this was a book that I absolutely loved and got really into the story.

This book tells the story of Catherine and Heathcliff who have grown up together and social class is really the main factor in the reason that there relationship doesnt get going. They both end up marrying other people and Heathcliff ends up vowing revenge on Catherines new husband.

At the start of the book you see how the story ends up and as its told through the eyes of someone else the story is revealed all the way through the book. I did enjoy the story told in this way and it added to the mystery of the book and how the characters ended up in the way that they did.

I found this book very east to get into and i really understood the language too. Another good point for me was there is not an extensive list of characters which made this book a lot easier to read.

I do wish i had read this in the middle of the winter though as i think it would have added to the atmosphere of the book.

This book is very good and it had also made me make my mind up to try more classics as this was a book that i very much enjoyed.

Rating – 4.5/5

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