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Twilight By Stephenie Meyer February 28, 2010

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review.
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The following video is a requested review of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I discuss the different attitudes towards Twilight, as well as reviewing the novel.
Click here to read my written review of Twilight.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman June 18, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review, Uncategorized.
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Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses is a truly excellent book which treads the delicate path of racist attitudes weaving between a passionate and strong romance.

“I had to make a choice. I had to decide what kind of friend Callum was going to be to me. But what surprised and upset me was that I even had to think about it…

Callum is a nought – a second-class citizen in a world run by the ruling Crosses. He is also one of the first nought youngsters to be given the chance of a decent education by studying at a school for Crosses…

Sephy is a Cross, daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country – a man doing his best to keep power in the hands of the Crosses. Friends with Callum since early childhood, hoping for something more to develop, she is looking forward to Callum’s arrival at her school…

But in their world, noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. And as hostility turns to violence, can Callum and Sephy possibly find a way to be together? They are determined to try. And then a bomb explodes…”

This novel deals with many of the delicate issues in modern society, very carefully intertwining them with a romance story which will affect for days, weeks, months, years to come.

Racism is a main feature of this novel and the separation between the black people and the white people is heart wrenching as Sephy and Callum struggle to remain true to who they are and what they believe.

Terrorism also features, as it always does when extreme prejudice has occurred, and this provides a very real edge to the story which can be felt second hand as realistic in today’s society.

The story between Sephy and Callum is one, once again, of forbidden love. Where in Mansfield Park it’s the love of a cousin, or in Twilight of an immortal, here it is a divide of classes which causes the problem.

This story cuts deep into the heart as it unfolds, with many twists and emotional tales, the characters we very quickly feel close to and a part of, ruthlessly carry on the story, uncaring of our pleas to make different choices or for the cruel world to change in a sentence.

This story will most definitely take you on a journey you will not forget in a hurry, and even if you have a heart of stone, this story will hurt you and mend you, changing you throughout its course as we catch a glimpse of Sephy and Callum’s life.

This novel is definitely worth a read, if you haven’t picked it up already. All you will need to undertake the journey is a box of tissues and the beautifully crafted words of Malorie Blackman.

KJ
The BookGirl

New Moon By Stephenie Meyer May 25, 2009

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New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Following my post on the New Moon poster I thought I might as well review the amazing book it is based on. 

 

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“Shoot I muttered as the paper sliced my finger; I pullet out to examine the damage. A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut.

It all happened very quickly then.

“No!” Edward roared…Dazed and disorientated I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm – into the fevered eyed of six suddenly ravenous vampires.


For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella could ever have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just begining…

Passionate, riveting and deeply moving, New Moon, the compelling sequel to Twilight, irresistibly combines romance and suspense with a supernatural twist.”

 

The plot of this captivating sequel is enough to tear someone’s heart out and shatter it as various events occur determined to make the forbidden love between mortal and immortal remain forbidden forever.

I promise you now that this journey will cause you to cry with happiness and cry with pain at the events, circumstances and occurrences which the story methodically encounters, reacts and changes with.

The plot begins with Bella happily in love with the infamously gorgeous and sexy Edward Cullen, who possesses all the true characteristics of a born gentleman and all the chivalry one could wish for.

However, things begin to change dramatically and soon enough Bella has to deal with something far worse than she has encountered before.

During the journey she is taken upon by the turn of events she makes new friends and encounters another aspect of life in the form of Jacob Black.

Once again Meyer shows an amazing ability at relating the reader to Bella and consequently producing a whole spectra of emotions which few authors can persuade their reader to feel.

New Moon has often been criticised by even the most avid fan as a let down, unnecessary or simply a plot device. However, I feel that the characters would be much shallower and flatter if this novel did not follow a route such as it does as it explores a path which few authors are brave enough to take their characters. 

Without inducing spoilers this novel is the ultimate test for the Twilight characters and the saga would not be complete without it. It is far darker and even scary compared to the previous novel, but still deals with the themes of forbidden love, morals, and following your heart.

Bad points? Much the same as Twilight – even some of the mortal aspects are unrealistic and Bella can once again be criticised for being a moaning damsel in distress rather than a constructive heroine as desired by nowadays’ standards. However, here I must defend her by pointing out that we are listening to her whole soul and for her not to complain and moan at what is occurring would be totally unnatural.

In conclusion; a dark and epic novel happily follows the powerful first novel in the beautiful Twiligth Saga. Meyer easily shows her capability at writing with force and passion which fully develops the chemistry necessary for such an epic story of  love, courage and…ermm..vampires.

Of course, I feel I should point out, this story although featuring the supernatural isn’t actually about the supernatural; more so about very human feelings, which can only be truly shown when contrasted with the possibility of not being human at all.

And so I urge you dear reader, to pick up Twilight and then New Moon, in order to sweep you into the favourite love story of this generation!

KJ
theBookGirl KJ Reading

Eragon by Christopher Paolini May 16, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in Novel, review, theBookGirl.
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Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon is a fantasy hit worldwide. It follows the story of a teenage boy, Eragon, who finds a Dragon’s egg which hatches for him. Eragon now has to become a Rider, as in the ancient legends. However, this egg was wanted by King Galbatorix, evil king of the country, and this made Eragon infamous and top of his Most Wanted list. 

 

And so the epic story is born, a story of revenge and love, hate and honour, of all things powerful and motivational. Eragon begins a quest and the reader enters a world where to do what is right you have to fight against everything.

Here’s the blurb:

“One world… One dragon…  A world of adventure.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realises he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands…”

This book is extremely good as it is a perfect escapism novel, filled with action and fantasy where no one has to worry about the Credit Crunch or Swine Flu. 

The plot is thick and complex, maybe with a little too much detail for one not acquainted with Paolini’s intricate world, but otherwise easy to follow, with unexpected twists and turns.

The characters are well developed and although there are few sub-plots, this is improved in the second of the series. Eragon is well illustrated and most definitely a three dimensional character with flaws as well as honourable characteristics.

Paolini writes well, keeping the reader interested, and giving imaginative descriptions which aren’t too long winded.

Bad points? Some of the language and terms Paolini has made up are a little hard to remember and pronounce (although there is a guide at the back)

Good points? Complex, chunky plot, well developed characters, a clear style and gripping narrative makes you unable to put the book down, once you get into it.

Overall, I would recommend giving this a read. It lacks a developed romantic story, but the action and adventure do make up for that.

KJ
theBookGirl KJ Reading

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer May 3, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in book, books, Novel, recommendation, review, theBookGirl, Young Adult.
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TwilightTwilight: the most talked about book in the world (quite possibly).

You have to have been living on planet Zog to not have heard about the chick-lit young adult love story of Bella Swan, your typical teenage girl falling for the sexiest and most gentlemanly vampire in the history of literature…

The plot? Bella Swan is the new kid in town as she moves from sunny place-to-be Phoenix, Arizona where her Mum previously lived, to rainy, small town dullsville Forks, Washington where her dad, cheif cop Charlie, has always lived.

Bella dreads her first day of school, despite having a swanky new car, sorry, beat up old Chevvy Truck.

There she spots the sex God, archangel, embodiment of all things a girl desires, Edward Cullen *swoon*

Unfortunately, he’s a bad-guy-vampire (but with a conscience) and wants to drink her blood. Cue the most passionate and intense forbidden love story since Lizzy Bennett and Mr. Dashing Darcy.

Soon enough Bella has to suss out exactly what Edward is and then fight a battle with herself about what she wants, and what he might want.

This story is epic, written well, despite criticism, as Meyer manages to really get the reader to be Bella. Soon enough you will find yourself trapped in the frightening and fast-paced world of Bella Swan, and you will be rooting for her the whole way.

The story manages to dramatically capture exactly what a dream guy would be like for many a girl (too bad that to be this perfect he has to be immortal). This beautiful story stays with you far beyon the too few pages, even after the three equally awesome sequels.

To live as Bella and see these events unfold through her eyes is an unforgettable journey, especially with the perfect, sigh-enducing, fangirl-screaming lines Edward oh so casually drops, where in the real world would be so out of place, but are what many a girl would love to be told.

Bad points? Well, to start there are far, far too many typos throughout the book – seriously, the editor should have checked through this one more time!

On the style? Well Bella is developed, but there is room for more – she does complain an awful lot, where if I were her I would be dancing and giggling my life away. Also, the book focusses a little too much on looks – people are shallow but most people would want personality over looks; especially in a friend, but this isn’t always how Bella seems to feel.

Anyway, to summarise, Twilight is a light and funny novel, perfect for a summer read on the beach. It’s great for all ages (above 13 I would say, if you go on to read the whole series) and although Meyer is nowhere near being the next Austen, she has potential. She has potential.

KJ
theBookGirlKJ Reading

Slam by Nick Hornby May 1, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in book, Young Adult.
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Slam by Nick HornbyI received Slam for Christmas one year and read it straight away, finishing it in a day. It’s one of those incredible books which you just cannot put down. 

The synopsis of the book is as follows:

“Whoever invented skateboarding is a genius. There’s only one skater, and his name’s Tony Hawk. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know who he is, just trust me. Not only is Hawk the world’s best skater, he’s also good to talk to. So I talk to Tony Hawk, and Tony Hawk talks back. Because just when it seemed like everything had come together for me, I had to go and screw it all up. It only took two seconds. But all of me knew. One risk. One mistake and my life would never be the same. Hawk had a few things to say. And a few things to show me. Haveyou ever wondered what it would be like to see your own future? ”  

This novel outlines what it is like for the father during a teenage pregnancy, and is a thought-provoking tale about responsibility, expectations and breaking free from what everyone expects to do what and be who you want to do and be.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, after rereading it recently. It is well written in an intriguing style, through the eyes of a “typical” teenage boy. The hard-to-display emotion which so many teenage guys have during their first relationships is celeverly worked around by using a poster of Tony Hawks as the object to which a verbal journal is told.

I suppose I really like it because it is so different from the usual point of view of teenage pregnancies such as addressed  in popular films such as Juno. Hearing the side of the story of a guy who doesn’t want a child but knows he should be supporting the mother is worth it for the insight one gets into a world unknown. Also, the  addition of this world being so open and the motives so well explained means that every action any girl would take the “wrong way” really may have good intentions.

So, bad points? Well, sometimes the rough and unploished style of the narration can be a challenge to read when you just want to relax, and also a few twists and turns, in my opinion, made it just that bit too unrealistic, taking out the ability to relate and understand from the novel.

Overall, I would say the story was good, the style was interesting but not easy to read, and the plot was okay, but could have been more realistic. 

KJ
theBookGirl

 KJ Reading

Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy April 27, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in book, GCSE, girl, KJ, Mystery, read, recommendation, review, theBookGirl, Young Adult.
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Looking for JJ“Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of the town towards Berwick Waters. Later that day only two of them came back…”

Looking for JJ is a book which has stayed with me for years, I first picked it up when I was about 13, looking for something new and different in my local library and found the exciting new world of Young Adult. That’s where I cam across a beautiful book which on the inside flap read:

“Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago – though it’s still hard for her to believe it’s real. The images, the sounds and the aftermath are imprinted on her memory. She’ll never be able to forget, even though she’s trying to lead a normal life – she has a job, friends and a boyfriend whom she adores. She’s making a go of things, putting her past behind her at last. But Alice’s past is dangerous, and violent, and sad – and it’s about to rip her new life apart

A  gripping and emotionally searing novel from an accomplished author. Anne Cassidy has tackled a terrifying subject with subtlety and imagination – Looking for JJ will not let you go.”

That blurb captivated me straight away, and as soon as I got home I just read and read and read. A few years later I came across it again whilst volunteering in Oxfam. I immediately bought it, remembering how much I loved it, and read it over the next few days; impressed that it wasn’t just good to a tween. 

The book covers the story of Alice Tully, a girl who has to face the usual uncertainties and problems in life which everybody has…but with the added difficulty of a horrific past. She has deep problems and conflicts rooted from the past, which she has to try to overcome.

It’s an epic story of beating the odds, survival in an unforgiving world and being misunderstood. It deals with living with the consequences of your actions and not being able to sorry to the person you hurt. 

This book really does absorb you, the reader, and also makes you really consider everything you do, and the actions.

Bad points, I suppose, are that some areas of Alice’s life could be developed a little more, so we see mor eof who she really is. Also, without writing a spoiler,  I was a little disappointed with the ending because it didn’t quite seem to fit with Alice’s personality.

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in a crime novel, filled with chilling secrets and uncertainties. If you want to read something deep which can still communictae with you on a more basic level, this is definitely the way to go. 

Be warned, throughout this story I did need tissues.

KJ
theBookGirl

KJ Reading