My Foxy Reading Corner: #39-44

Hi All,

Apologies for the long gap between posts. Life sometimes takes an unknown turn and suddenly blogging takes a back seat.

I know I should be blogging solely about all things Christmas but I am in dire need of throwing a quick reading update in as I have one more after this to do at the end of the year. So hear are books 39-44!

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1. One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

I had high hopes for this book but was a little disappointed in what was a rather busy, shallow chick lit read. The characters were mostly rather unlikeable and the story lines were nothing spectacular. It took me a while to get into it and once I did I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the read to some extent but not something I would recommend seeing as there is so much to read and so little time. 3 Stars

2.  Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

Okay so confession time….I didn’t enjoy this very much at all and thought the characters lacked proper development, the reader was thrown into the middle of a pretty confusing story and it was pretty average. Here is where it gets rather shameful. I realised after reading and complaining about this that it is in fact the third book in a series. The conclusion in fact. And somehow I read the entire thing thinking it was the first. Suddenly the lack of information on characters and sub plots make a lot of sense whilst I sit in a corner sorry for all my criticisms. So yeah, average book but mainly because I am sure the two books before hand do a lot for the story. It still wasn’t good enough that I can be bothered going back to the first two… 3 Stars (Probably deserves more but who knows)

3. Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

Ah, I love authors that never fail to dissapoint. Whilst this isn’t my favourite novel of hers I can always rely on a very enjoyable read when it comes to Gerritsen. This creepy story centered around a child who is the lone survivor of his family’s mass murder and a pretty strange school sanctuary this book was a quick and satisfying read. One of my favourite crime/thriller authors and the two females leads are great characters throughout most of her books. 4 Stars

4. Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale by Zack Whedon et al.

Are graphic novels cheating cause if so I kind of cheated. I have been pining after Serenity since falling in love with the TV series and Shepherd’s mysterious, religious character was one I was desperate to know more about. I don’t read many graphic novels but this one was a quick and easy read however I was left with a sense that I had just seen the shorts for  a movie and not really delved into a character’s past like I had hoped to. The drawing was nice to look at but at times it was a little difficult to read. Not bad but could have been SO MUCH MORE. 3 Stars

5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

So this is the third book in another series but I had actually read the first two in this case so I guess that’s progress.. I loved this dystopian series and was very excited for this books released. The conclusion to the series was okay but also felt a little forced in some places. The narration by the two characters was weird at first but worked once I got used to it. I like that the author wasn’t afraid to make big moves and overall they were done well. Very enjoyable thought not perfection but a good end for a must read series. 4 Stars

6. The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides (I will never say his name right. Ever.)

I was excited to finally read my first book by this rather popular author and the novel did not disappoint. At first I kind of floundered around in what felt at times a little over written but by a quarter of the way I was taken. Not everyone loves this book and I can see why. Some sentences are just so strange and bizarre but at the same time were what made me fall in love with the writing and the characters. For me I guess the juxtaposed characters, pretentious prose and the beautifully written love triangle cliche come across as unique and absorbing. A book that I just wanted to spend hours with so I could savour every word and that doesn’t happen very often. 5 Stars

All in all a bunch of solid books but a couple I could have happily missed. If you want to keep an eye on my reading follow me on Goodreads where I am happy to announce I am officially on track for reading 50 books in 2013! Exciting stuff guys.

Hope you are all having a great week!

My Foxy Reading Corner: #25-32

Hi All!

Having a sick day off work today to try and recover from this combo cold/migraine situation so lets pray one day of rest is enough. Not that I don’t enjoy the chance to sit at home and drink tea all day. I would read if my eyes would stop watering for no reason haha. Anyway, who is ready for another installment? I am currently two books behind in my challenge…but I have faith I can make that up..hopefully.

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#25 Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V Snyder: So this is a random book I picked up which is the first in a YA series around a young girl who is due to be executed but instead is offered the option of being a poison taster for the Commander. I enjoyed the read but it wasn’t anything particularly special. I enjoyed the characters and their relationships but overall it was an average book and I doubt I will read the other books in the Study series. 3 Stars

#26 The New World (Chaos Walking #0.5) by Patrick Ness: So this probably shoudn’t count seeing as it was very short and just functioned as an introduction into the world and characters from the Chaos Walking series. However seeing as I am currently 2 books behind in my 50 book challenge I’m gonna go ahead and count it anyway…so sue me. This prequel introduces one of the two core characters of the series and was a nice short intro into Viola’s story. 3 Stars

#27 The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness: This was the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, I can’t remember where I first heard of the series but I went into it knowing basically nothing about the stories (apart from what the prequel revealed). The main character Todd is likable in naive kind of way and as the reader you really feel for him in the confusion of his story. This YA series is set on a planet where men’s thoughts are not able to be hidden. Todd then finds a female (of which there are none left in his town) and together they embark on a pretty intense task. There was only part of this series I DID NOT ENJOY. I won’t say too much but it made me want to bawl my eyes out. Be warned. 4 Stars

#28 City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare: With the movie having come out here recently for the first in The Mortal Instruments series I thought I should venture into this fantasy YA series that seems to be so popular. It was ok…I have to admit I was a little disappointed. I don’t have a lot to say, it was a fine read, the characters were at times a little annoying. I may push through and try read some more in the series if I get my hands on them. We shall see. 3 (generous) stars

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#29 The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell: I loved Sex and the City but have never read any books by Candace Bushnell so when I got my hands on the first story about Carrie when she was at a small town high school I gave it a go. I really enjoyed this light hearted read. The characters were at times annoying/frustrating but in a way that was reflective of what people were like at highschool. Carrie was true to form, fabulous and unique. The story was surprising and moving and funny. Candace’s writing was easy to read and I would love to read some more books by her! 4 Stars

#30 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time by Mark Haddon: Okay, so I have already read this book ages ago but couldn’t resist picking it up again. The story of a young high functioning autistic individual who sets about to solve a neighborhood animal murder is a gem of a book. Mark Haddon captures the young Christopher’s narration and thoughts in a truly unique and captivating way. Trying to keep up with an autistic mind’s tangents and points of view was overwhelming at times but in a truthful and realistic way. A book I would recommend to anyone and everyone. 5 Stars

#31 The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness: I couldn’t wait long before reading the next book in the Chaos Walking series, especially because the first book left us in quite a cliff hanger of a situation. This book was narrated by both Todd and Viola in alternative chapters which offered up an insight into both sides of a tense and stressful situation. The story was again emotional and moving at times and action packed at others. The characters just continue to improve and develop and I enjoyed the writing style in this even better than in the first book. 4 Stars

#32 I Am Legend by Richard Matheson: I LOVED the movie with Will Smith however I knew going into reading this book it was very different to the movie. Robert Neville is our main character and the last “living” man on Earth so hasn’t succumbed to a bacterial infection that turned human race into a vampire-like species. Most of the book is devoted to the monotonyo of his daily survival (but it doesn’t come across as boring, just depressing). Towards the end he meets another character and the already depressing story takes a turn for the worse, The story ends in a thought-provoking manner. All in all I didn’t enjoy reading the story cause it was depressing as hell but I still think its an amazingly written story that is at the top of my read list. 5 Stars.

Done! Only 28 books to go. Any recommendations please share 🙂 And don’t forget to follow me on Goodreads

Liz xx

My Foxy Reading Corner: #10-16

Hi All!!

Ready for the next instalment in my 50 Book reading challenge for 2013? Today I have 7 more books to share with you. There are have been some great books and some average books but overall I’m so happy to be immersed in reading again. I should forewarn you that almost all of these got 4 stars!! I apologise for the lack in variety but I guess most of what I read was really good haha.

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10. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
This was a really interesting read as I guess it falls into the YA dystopian genre but was different from stories like divergent and delirium in that was more of a thriller and ALOT less romance. It’s also told from a male main character as opposed to the typical female lead characters I was used to. At first this slightly more “male” take on the genre wasn’t my cup of tea by the more I read the more I enjoyed it and now I think the book did an awesome job or creatinga world that drew the reader in. Give it a read if you like Dystopian books.
4 Stars

11. Toxin by Robin Cook
I love Robin Cook and his medical thrillers but they might not be everyone’s typical read. He’s one of those few authors for me who I know I can pick up one of his books and ill thoroughly enjoy it. This one was no exception, a great, enthralling read about a fathers daughter who gets sick with food poisoning. Layers of disgusting meat processing investigations and thrilling murders take place in a quick but exciting read that pretty much put me off eating me meat forever (but not really cause I love meat).
4 Stars

12. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
As soon as I read that this was a book about the zombie apocalypse but from a zombie’s perspective (the adorable “R”) I had to read it and I wasn’t disappointed. A unique story with great characters and an enjoyable style of writing. Quick and fun so I definitely recommend it.
4 Stars

13. Tripwire by Lee Child
Like Robin Cook, Lee Child is an author I know I love and can trust that each book will be enjoyable. This one (the third in the Jack Reacher world I believe) was a great, fun action read with a very enjoyable romantic side story. I love the fast paced writing of Lee Child at make reading his books a breeze.
4 Stars

14. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
This horror story takes place on a an isolated island mansion, in the midst of a terrible storm with 10 teenagers ready to party when things start to go wrong. If this doesn’t sound like a cheesy 90s slasher film crossed with an Agatha Christie murder mystery then let me just confirm that that is EXACTLY what this felt like to me. Regardless of the totally predictable plot & characters I have to admit I enjoyed the read (the same way I enjoy a terrible slasher film). It was a fun quick read so I don’t care that the writing was very average and the characters were terribly annoying.
2 Stars

15. Unwind by Neil Shusterman
My other dystopian YA read (can you tell I enjoy these?) was set in a future where between the ages of 13-18 (if I recall correctly) can be chosen to be unwound and have their body distributed to those who need it. I enjoyed the story of the three main characters but I felt like the setting and the background story weren’t really explained enough. It made the whole thing feel a little less plausible however despite that I still really enjoyed the story and its originality.
4 Stars

16.1984 by George Orwell
My last read was this classic novel describing Orwell’s imagined future in a society run on fear, war and complete power. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as a story as I knew it was more of a long essay on one man’s predictions. Having said this I actually found the main character and his struggle in this society watched over by “Big Brother” incredibly interesting and thought provoking. It did take a while to get through but I left the book with questions all through my mind which I love. A hopeless, depressing story that described expertly a terrifying future society.
5 Stars

That’s it for now! Check out my last post on books 1-9 and don’t forget to join me on Goodreads 🙂
Xx

My Foxy Reading Corner: #1-9

Hi All!

So I have become more than a little obsessed with Goodreads…yup. Who knew social media for books could be so fun! Suddenly I have a huge list of books to read and am getting through them much faster than I was. I have always loved reading but Uni kind of killed it for me and fiction fell to the pile of things I wished I had the time and energy for. Not anymore!! I have a goal to read 50 books by the end of 2013, I don’t know how hard or easy this will be but thought it would be fun to try. So far I have found some really amazing books and a lot of young adult fiction that was well worth a read. Here are the 9 books I have read so far.

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#1: the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I was drawn into this book and the story and life of the main character who communicates through letters straight off the bat. A faultless book which deserves all its surrounding hype. A short read but one that left me with a head of emotions and thoughts. A slice in the life of a confused and shy young man and a set of characters that were charming and complex.
5 Stars

11870085#2: The fault in our stars by John Green

I hadn’t read anything by John Green and yet kept seeing his name all over the show. Finally I started this book about a Teenage girl with thyroid cancer and a romance that develops with a wonderful and heartwarming young man. Their characters were a joy to read and their resistance at letting their illness define them was inspiring. The romance was believable and so beautiful, I am pretty sure everyone falls in love with Augustus. I cried like a baby and never wanted the story to end (yet I loved the way it did end). Green’s writing was personal and sensitive and a joy to read. I can’t wait to read the other books by him. In my opinion this book deserves all the raves it gets.
5 Stars

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#3 and #4: Divergent and insurgent by Veronica Roth

I really enjoyed the first two books in this series of a dystopian universe where there are different factions in society and as usual something isn’t quite right. I actually preferred this to Hunger Games series (which I loved reading) maybe because I thought the story and the environment were a bit more thought provoking and complex and I also preferred the characters just a little. A great pair of books and I’m very excited to read the third. The romance in these….I loved it. I think these young adult dystopian novels can often use quite unbelievable or cliche romances which are fine to read but nothing special but I felt emotionally attached to the love story of these characters (creepy).
5 stars and 4 stars respectively

343#5: Perfume – the story of a murderer by Patrick Suskind

I adored this book (what can I say, I read a lot of good books in the last couple of months!). It was grotesque and disturbing in a way I have never experienced. The focus on smells as the core descriptive imagery was powerful and visceral and the characters were despicable and disgusting and yet still I was completely attached to them. A story unlike anything I have read before and a new favorite.
5 Stars

4268#6: How to be good by Nick Hornby

I picked this up from an Opshop because I really enjoyed About a Boy and thought I would enjoy this too. Sadly I didn’t enjoy this and really struggled to actually finish which doesn’t happen often. I finally dragged myself to the end and felt completely indifferent to the book (which again doesn’t usually happen). I don’t think there was anything really wrong, the story was fine, the characters were okay, the writing was enjoyable but I just didn’t gel with the plot and the main character kind of annoyed me haha.
1 Star

345627#7: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

So I hate admitting I enjoyed the Twilight series…but I did….and so when I saw this series and how popular it was I decided to give it a read. Being another YA book it was short and quick to get through and I’m kind of happy I didn’t spend too long on it. Interesting premise but I really didn’t enjoy the casual writing style or the characters. The story was predictable and not that exciting and I don’t think I will bother reading the rest of the series.
1 Star

4667024#8: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Phew, away with the books I didn’t enjoy and on to one I LOVED! I wasn’t expecting a lot from this but it was at a Bed and Breakfast Edd and I stayed at so I thought I should read it while I was there. I adored this story and I absolutely loved the three main characters who told the story. This glimpse into 1960s Mississippi and the complex relationships between Families and their “help” was portrayed in a sensitive and honest way. This book managed to be both light hearted and yet serious which I love. Definitely a great read. I should add that I watched the movie last night and thought it was very average. I think the complexity of these three ladie’s stories was lost in a sugar-coated quick over view of the core story.
5 Stars

11614718#9: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

And on to my last book that I finished last night! This is yet another Young Adult dystopian book set in the future where America has discovered a cure for Love and all it’s associated craziness. I loved the premise and the dystopian story of this but I felt that not enough time was spent explaining and developing this future and I had a lot of unanswered questions (which I hope might be addressed later in the series). I know a lot of people loved this book but after Divergent and Insurgent which I loved a lot more I couldn’t give this more than 3 stars. The characters lacked some depth and the romance was unbelievable and a bit forced. Despite this I thought parts of the book were very exciting and the writing was really excellent. I look forward to reading the second in this series and seeing where the story goes. Definitely worth a read if you enjoy dystopian stuff!
3 Stars

Made Me Smile

Hi All!

Happy Monday and a start to the new week. This means it is back to Uni for me after a brief but much needed two week study holiday in which I did zero study (why change the habit of a lifetime) and plenty of nothing. As usual today’s post is on what made me smile last week and was rather useful as I got to Saturday and couldn’t really think about anything positive this week. After doing the post it made me remember the really positive times that were so overshadowed by the negative ones in my mind.

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A Tuesday Trip

Hi All!

So today I took my self on a wee roadtrip (does a 1 hour drive count as a roadtrip? I say yes…) out of Auckland and down to the wee town of Waiuku, south of Auckland on the West Coast kinda. This is where 1 half of my rather extensive family lives (mum, nana, Mr 19, Miss 17 and Mr 15) along with their very large menagerie of animals. This is all in one rather moderate house by the way. It is always chaos but a chaos that I love and miss like crazy!

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