Sunday, 21 November 2010

If I stay by Gayle Forman


The last thing Mia remembers is the music. After the accident, she can still hear it. And she can see her damaged body being taken from the wreck of her parents' car - even though she can't feel a thing. All she can do is watch as doctors rush to save her life, as her friends and

relatives gather outside her room, as the boy she loves struggles to be near her. As the next twenty-four hours unfold, Mia must come to terms with what came before the crash - and what could come after. And she knows she must make the most difficult choice of all.


This is only a short book but is gripping and will really touch you. I read a lot of books, but this is the most memorable book I have ever read. In fact, it is extrememly hard to describe just how good this book is. It's a simply beautiful book filled with incredible relationships and heartbreaking moments.

Gayle Forman has a lovely style of writing and although there are not that many characters involved in this book (the main people you meet are Mia, her parents and her brother, her grandparents, her boyfriend (Adam) and her best friend (Kim)) you come to love them all and so you are totally gripped by the decision she has to make.

The connection between Mia and her boyfriend is depicted incredibly and as you are reading the book, you can really feel the love. The rivalry between Mia's boyfriend and her best friend is a common tale that I imagine most people will be able to relate to (whether from personal experience or witnessing it amongst their friends), but is very cleverly twisted into something deeper as they come to realise what Mia meant to them both.

The book switches between the present (mostly set in the hospital) and her memories in which you gain a true understanding of her life and relationships with those she loves. The most moving scene for me was when her grandparents visit her in the hospital - even thinking about it now gives me goosebumps and in fact brings tears to my eyes. Her grandfather is generally a strong and silent man, but in just a few lines, he will make your heart melt and have tears streaming down your face.

I also think the main thread of the book - that Mia ultimately is in control of whether she dies or not - is very throught-provoking in itself. Most of us probably tend to avoid thinking about this subject, but it certainly is a different way of thinking about it and is brought to life really well throughout the book. All in all, it was a very thought-provoking book, and certainly makes you realise that life can change in an instant and makes you appreciate what you have!! Once you have turned the last page, you'll be left wondering - Would you stay?

I had never read any of Gayle Forman's books before - but will certainly keep an eye out in the future!!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

A graphic tale of a very dark history catching up with the present!

Photobucket** WHAT IS IT ABOUT **

Some doors are better left closed . . .

In Barrington House, an upmarket block in London, there is an empty apartment. No one goes in, no one comes out. And it's been that way for fifty years. Until the night watchman hears a disturbance after midnight and investigates. What he experiences is enough to change his life forever.

A young American woman, Apryl, arrives at Barrington House. She's been left an apartment by her mysterious Great Aunt Lillian who died in strange circumstances. Rumours claim Lillian was mad. But her diary suggests she was implicated in a horrific and inexplicable event decades ago.

Determined to learn something of this eccentric woman, Apryl begins to unravel the hidden story of Barrington House. She discovers that a transforming, evil force still inhabits the building. And the doorway to Apartment 16 is a gateway to something altogether more terrifying . . .


I won this in a competition and when it dropped through my letterbox, my first impression was that it sounded intriguing and gripping - a standard ghost story.

Having read the first paragraph, I was convinced this was going to scare the hell out of me but I am not one to put a book down once I've started as I always NEED to know what happens so I persevered. As I got further into the book I realised that it was not what I had expected, and actually was a story of some extremely dark forces which had destroyed people's lives and had every intention of destroying more.

It is extremely well written and the author easily makes you like certain characters, feel sorry for others, and be repulsed by Felix Hessen. It is very deep in places, and I often had to go back and re-read sentences or paragraphs. Nevill really makes you feel that Felix Hessen is an actual figure in the past, and you feel the need to know what happened to him. Nevill creates the atmosphere well throughout, which I must say is sometimes quite horrific. There are some hints throughout the book which keep you guessing and also a twist towards the end! The chapters jump back and forth from Seth to Apryl's points of view so depending on which character you relate to best can mean you look forward to some chapters more than others.

It's quite a graphic book, and certainly not for the faint hearted or those prone to nightmares (I could only read this during daylight hours for fear of having nightmares!!)

However, ultimately for me, no matter how good the prose throughout the book had been I felt the storyline was building and building, but then was really quite disappointed with the ending (I won't say anymore). But for a debut novel, a good read if you're into supernatural/horror/ghost stories!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Ghost Town - Book 9 of the Morganville Series by Rachel Caine

Photobucket** WHAT IT'S ABOUT **

While developing a new system to maintain Morganville's defenses, student Claire Danvers discovers a way to amplify vampire mental powers. Through this, she's able to re-establish the field around this vampire-infested Texas college town that protects it from outsiders.

But the new upgrades have an unexpected consequence: people inside the town begin to slowly forget who they are-even the vampires. Soon, the town's little memory problem has turned into a full-on epidemic. Now Claire needs to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment- before she forgets how to save Morganville...


My first book review and since Vampire books are one of the, if not the, most popular books around, I thought this would be a great place to start!

I was sent this book by WHSmith to review and having seen the Twilight films and read a couple of the J.R.Ward Vampire series, I was very interested to read it! However, the cover said “Book Nine” and after a little google-ing, I discovered this was indeed the ninth book in a very interesting looking series.  I’d not heard of the Morganville Series before and not read any of the previous eight books, so was a little sceptical over whether I would be able to get into it and really enjoy it without knowing any of the previous storylines.  However, after only a few pages of reading those concerns were put to bed.  The book can certainly stand alone, although there are moments where it is clear you would understand more if you’d read the previous books but I certainly don’t feel this takes anything away from reading the book out of order.

SFX Magazine claims ‘Dump Meyer’s Twilight books and replace them with the Morganvilles’. Having not read the Twilight books, and only seen the films I cannot really comment on this claim.  However, I imagine that this series would certainly appeal to Twilight fans and since Vampire books are popping up all over the place now – I think this series is absolutely one to get your hands on!

I warmed very quickly to the main character, Claire, and this strengthens and develops as you get further into the book.  Rachel Caine has a wonderful way of making you feel the emotions of the characters – I went from loving to hating Myrnin many times throughout the book.  Shane is certainly a character for the girls, and if made into a film, I am sure that a suitably attractive actor would be enrolled!

I don’t want to give too much away storyline-wise, so all I will say is imagine a town full of both vampires and humans is hit by mass amnesia – carnage ensues and it is up to Claire to save Morganville!  The storyline is gripping and certainly kept me turning pages! In fact once I’d got to Chapter 7 I didn’t put the book down until it got to and I had turned the last page. 

The part of the book in which Shane succumbs to the amnesia brings both heartbreaking and uplifting moments.  For any romance-lover, it is beautiful to see Claire and Shane fall in love again!  The interaction between Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire is wonderful.  All-in-all I really loved Rachel Caine’ portrayal of their friendship and alliance to one another.  Can’t wait to read the rest of the series!