Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Book Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Published by Harlequin Teen on September 25th 2012
416 Pages

She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that's all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right.
The monsters are real.
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.
Don’t let the title fool you with book it is most certainly not an Alice in Wonderland retelling and generally falls more toward my guilty pleasure reading side but if like me you don’t mind a touch of cheese and some insta-love then you might enjoy this.

Following Alice Bell this book tells the story of her life after her family dies and she gains the ability to see zombies. That is basically the redeeming factor of this book that it has some pretty cool zombies that are a bit of a different take than I had read before. The zombie’s in this story are not corporal and only certain people can see them. To kick off the troupes of YA Alice is sent to a new school where there is a group of strange kids who are super tough and intimidating; they turn out to know all about the zombies. Big surprise there, really I was so shocked. Within in this group of delinquent like teens is Cole their leader and supreme bad boy, who would be much more impressive but he’s only 16 and has probably just gone through puberty. As normal he and Alice have a supreme connection and things go on from there.

This is the type of book that can’t be taken to seriously if you want to get any enjoyment out of it. If you can laugh of the insta-love then Cole and Alice’s devotion to each other is cute in a god this is so unreal kind of way. The insta-love between Cole and Alice has a strong focus all throughout the book sometimes even out weighing the zombies, which really only came into play strongly in the battles which also also left quiet a bit to be desired, they just don’t seem to have any real oomph or structure but they did interest me and I did enjoy reading each one.

All in all this is a hard book to review because it overall just left me with a “meh” feeling that was positive or negative. I am curious enough to want to continue on with this series just to see where things progress to.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Book Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
Published on June 1st 2014 by Hardie Grant Egmont
I received this book courtesy of the publisher
199 pages
5 Stars

There are a lot of rumours about Alice Franklin, and it's stopped mattering whether any of them are true.

It all started at a party, when Alice was supposedly with two guys in one night.
Soon everyone at Healy High has picked a side in this game of he said/she said. Do they believe Brandon Fitzsimmons, the most popular guy at school and the football hero of Healy? Or do they believe Alice, the girl who wears too-tight T-shirts and was caught kissing Brandon in a closet a couple years before?
When Brandon dies in a car crash, there are serious allegations that his death was Alice's fault. As the rumour mill spins into overdrive, Alice's small town becomes suffocating. And when the truth becomes a matter of opinion, something's got to give.

The way to the truth is to usually start at the beginning and work your way back from so this is the way I’m going to tell you about The Truth About Alice. Alice Franklin goes to a party one night and supposedly sleeps with 2 guys and this makes her the biggest slut in all to the town. Things get worse when a few weeks later one of them, the star quarterback and town golden boy ends up dead and its all her fault. In aftermath we get a glimpse of how Alice deals with the rumours and her dealing with becoming the outcast of a town in which everyone has something bad to say about her. One word to describe this book is raw, everything about it is honest from the characters thoughts and actions to how they live their lives nothing is hidden behind the usual novel glow.

One of my favourite things about this multi-points of view style book, is how each character really had their own voice and completely different writing style to the next. At no point was I left wondering whose point of view I was reading from or where they should with in the Alice drama. Lets not kid ourselves here the characters like us stood firm on whether they believed Alice guilty of her so called crimes. One of my favourite quotes of this book that I think sums up the whole situation in a few short sentences is about how everyone is to afraid to stand up for an injustice no matter how huge or small which is one of the sad hard hitting facts that this novels bring to light so well. And yes in my belief slut-shaming is an injustice.

“It’s like when we read The Diary of Anne Frank in seventh grade, and I had the sneaking suspicion that I would have been a Nazi back then because I wouldn’t have had the guts to be anything else. Because I would have been too scared to not go along with the majority. Like, I would have been a passive sort of Nazi, but I still would have been a Nazi.”

The ending of this book was just prefect on so many levels. My heart really broke for Alice and the ending just really topped it off in the most perfect heart felt way. I can’t say anything to in depth obviously without ruining it but to say that this book has such an amazing ending for everything that goes on is an understatement. Alice learns something so important and special, I just get so many feels when I think of it.

To conclude one of my most incoherent reviews ever I just want to say read this book, it’s not a long one and I found it extremely spectacular and realistic in every sense. If your looking for a book that encourages thought and how we have different standards for males and females pick this up. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Book Review: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Published in 2003
534 pages
3 Stars
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.
Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can "read" characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie's mother disappeared into the story. This "story within a story" will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters.

So I’m finally back after a very long and completely unplanned hiatus, things really didn’t go my way in the second half of last year and I had to take some time to work on my mental health and now that the explanations done lets get down to the review.

To kick things off and start the New Year in my favourite way I read a classic fantasy book that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. That book was of course Inkheat by Cornelia Funke and in all honest I did see the movie many a year ago and I loved it.  That made things hard when reading Inkheart, because it really isn’t the fastest paced book and more tends to dawdle along and check out the scenery where the movie is quiet action packed. So after all my thoughts on what the book was going to be were thrown out the window I started to really enjoy Inkheart and its fantastic descriptive scenery, characters and world.

Following the journey of a young girl called Meggie who discovers her dad Mo as she’s always called him has a strange talent for accidently reading characters and things out of books. This leads to Meggie and Mo having a run in with some very bad guys who aren’t from this world but were once accidently read out of a book called Inkheart. Chaos occurs and we are led on a magical adventure following some really pleasant characters.

Now this book really is up there on the page count with my edition sliding in at 534 pages making it quiet a hefty tome. But gosh is it filled with details, from the covers of books, which were so elegantly described that I had little fangirl moments over some of them. Sometime I honest to goodness forgot this was set in our world it was so magically described, I get happy just thinking about how beautiful it all way.

Getting down to the nitty gritty part of why I gave such a wonderful sounding book only a 3 star rating which in my book equates to an “eh, it was okay” is hard there wasn’t a particular reason. I really just could not get into the story as deeply as I wanted to. The characters didn’t feel as life like as I hoped them to and I really had to push myself to finish the last 200ish pages, which is the movies fault for giving away the ending.

To wrap things up this book is definitely worth a read just to get a taste of the beautiful writing but be warned if you have seen the movie it might ruin it for it for you. My favourite characters by far are Meggie and Fenoglio, they really added that extra something to me that some of the other characters seemed to be missing.

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