Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
Series: The Dark Tower #2
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Age Group: Adults
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Published: 2003
First Published: 1987
Format: Paperback
Pages: 454
Source: Book Depository
Buy: $9 with free delivery
Rating: ★ 

IMPORTANT: do not read the following book description if you have not read the first book in the series, The Gunslinger. However, my review will not contain any series spoilers.

After his confrontation with the man in black at the end of The Gunslinger, Roland awakes to find three doors on the beach of Mid-World's Western Sea--each leading to New York City but at three different moments in time. Through these doors, Roland must "draw" three figures crucial to his quest for the Dark Tower. In 1987, he finds Eddie Dean, The Prisoner, a heroin addict. In 1964, he meets Odetta Holmes, the Lady of Shadows, a young African-American heiress who lost her lower legs in a subway accident and gained a second personality that rages within her. And in 1977, he encounters Jack mort, Death, a pusher responsible for cruelties beyond imagining. Has Roland found new companions to form the ka-tet of his quest? Or has he unleashed something else entirely? - Book Depository

It was almost two years ago since I read the first book in this series. I was so put off by it because it didn't seem like something I would enjoy from the first book. As a crazy King fanatic, I decided to give this another shot since I found my copy of it recently which I bought about two years ago, also. I was not disappointed by this one. It really picked up the pace from the previous book and it was way more King-ish.

It took a little while to get stuck into this book, about 50 or so pages. But once the pace picks up, it never lags from there on. Though, I found it a little bit of a struggle to get through the last 50 pages. I guess it was because there was a lot of action going on and I'm not a fan of action. But the pages in the middle were definitely far from boring.

My favourite character in this would have to be The Prisoner, Eddie Dean. He was just so lovable. There was also a few more side characters, The Lady of Shadows, Odetta Holmes/Detta Walker and The Pusher, Jack Mort. I don't want to spoil the first book so let's just say there was a great deal of character development throughout the book. Also, the 'drawing' concept was genius!

The writing style is easy to get into. It all flows well and there's nothing complex about it. It's very straightforward which I love about King's writing. He doesn't use flowery descriptions or pages upon pages of describing the setting. Though, he does have some good metaphors and descriptions here, don't get me wrong, but it's not overpowering. The plot is very much King's main focus in writing this.

Overall this book was awesome. There is still a lot of unanswered questions I have so I'm looking forward to the next books in the series to see how everything turns out.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Friday Finds #5

Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren't necessarily books you purchased).

Lisey's Story
The Running Man 


One Door Away from Heaven
Odd Thomas
Brother Odd
Confessions of an Angry Girl
Heart-Shaped Box
The Passage

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #5

Teaser Tuesdays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Grab a book you're currently reading and post a teaser (no spoilers) to persuade others to read the book.

He knew from being in Eddie's mind that the languages of the two worlds were similar to begin with. Similar, but not the same. Here a sandwich was a popkin. There to rustle was finding something to eat. So . . . was it not possible that the drug Eddie called cocaine was, in the gunslinger's world, called sugar? - p. 112 The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Musing Mondays #5

Do you set goals for yourself, while reading? For example, “I want to get this book finished this weekend“, or “I will read __ pages today“, etc. Why, or why not?

 Yes! For the last two or three years I have set myself a goal of reading at least 100 pages a day. I usually end up reading 120-150 pages a day now that I have no school but when I was at school it was a struggle to keep up with the 100 pages a day. Since most of the time I could only manage around 80 pages a day at school, I would get up a little earlier the next morning to read the extra 20 pages I missed out on. I have serious OCD with things like that. 

Since I read at least 100 pages a day I always know the day I will finish the book. If the book has just over or just under 500 pages, it will take me 5 days to read it. I usually read a long-ish book starting Sunday or Monday and will have it finished by the weekend so I pick a short book to read over the weekend. I am really weird with all these odd goals. It has become like a chore at this stage (especially if I'm not enjoying a book) to finish it by a certain day and have a certain amount of pages read at the end of this particular day. I get really aggravated if I can't meet my daily goal and I can't think of anything but reading so I've very on edge a lot.

What about you? Do you have any reading goals you set for yourself?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

1st to Die by James Patterson

1st to Die by James Patterson
Series: Woman's Murder Club #1
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Age Group: Adults
Publisher: Headline
Published: 2001
Format: Paperback
Pages: 453
Source: Used book store
Buy: $8 with free delivery
Rating: ★ 

Four women--four friends--share a determination to stop a killer who has been stalking newlyweds in San Francisco. Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy Thomas just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle. But the usual procedures aren't bringing them any closer to stopping the killings. So these women form a Women's Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case by sidestepping their bosses and giving each other a hand. The four women develop intense bonds as they pursue a killer whose crimes have stunned an entire city. Working together, they track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they have ever encountered--before a shocking conclusion in which everything they knew turns out to be devastatingly wrong. Full of the breathtaking drama and unforgettable emotions for which James Patterson is famous, 1st to Die is the start of a blazingly fast-paced and sensationally entertaining series of crime thrillers. - Book Depository
It starts out with a simple murder scene of a couple on their honeymoon in their hotel suite. A person whom we believe to be called 'Philip Campbell' has murdered these newlyweds. This is the part in third person. It then switches to first person from Lindsay's POV and from there on, with the help of her partner Raleigh, they try to solve this murder. Soon enough, there is a murder of another two newlywed couples and they attempt to track down the killer of the connected three murders.

Aside from the main plot there is a lot of character development. There is a little romance which I wasn't too sure about, it seemed to sudden. I also love how the main character had a suddenly diagnosed terminal illness at the beginning. It added more to Lindsay's character. Patterson definitely succeeded in adding some real life drama into this too, it wasn't just about the murders.

The last 100 or so pages were great! It was filled with so many twists. I thought I had the whole thing figured out until something else happened, and then something else, and something else! It ended and I was satisfied with the ending but I saw there was an epilogue. I read that (which was set about 6 months ahead) and there was an even bigger twist! It was amazing. It kept you guessing throughout.

My only critique with this book was the writing was a little too simple and help back. Nothing really impressed me with the writing but that's not too big of a deal.

If you like a good murder mystery, read this. This book is what I would call a page-turner! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Friday Finds #4

Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren't necessarily books you purchased).

This week I got Twined and Scarlett's from the author to be reviewed. I will hopefully be reviewing and reading these books in early July. I'm busy for the remainder of June.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #4

Teaser Tuesdays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Grab a book you're currently reading and post a teaser (no spoilers) to persuade others to read the book.

My skin tingles with the chill of resurrecting each detail of the murder. She fights, tries to run away. (The bruises and small abrasions on her arms and neck.) The killer stabs her at the foot of the bed. He is horrified, yet wildly excited about what he has done. She doesn't die immediately. He has no choice. He has to stab her again. And once more. - p. 79 1st to Die by James Patterson.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Musing Mondays #4

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should be Reading.

Do you think the book cover is “dead”? Do you care whether the “covers” on digital books exist or not? (based on this article)

No, I don't think the book cover is 'dead'. People are very attracted to the cover. It's like buying anything, the packaging has to attract you. In this case, the 'packaging' is the cover. If you were buying, say, a PS3 game or some other video game, you would want a nice box. You wouldn't be as inclined to buy it if it was a plain plastic box with nothing but the name printed on it. I can say that I have picked up books for the cover. I know, we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but it's human nature, we do.

On the other hand, I don't think book covers are as important for e-books. You can't browse an e-book store as effectively as you can with a regular bookstore, so usually you know what book you're buying without having to check out the cover. Though, covers on free e-books do help. Why would you take something free if you didn't like it? I do like the covers on e-books but I wouldn't be as upset about i if they got rid of them compared to what I'd be like if they did it to print books.

What are your thoughts? Share it in the comments! 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Age Group: Adults
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 2011
Format: Paperback
Source: O'Mahony's
Buy: $8 with free delivery

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads: Opens at Nightfall Closes at Dawn. As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears. Le Cirque des Reves The Circus of Dreams. Now the circus is open. Now you may enter. - Book Depository
 While I really enjoyed this book, it wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting something a lot more enthralling, captivating and fast moving. But what I got was something more gradual, slow and magical. Which was still okay but I would have hoped for it to be a bit better paced and more linear.

The writing style was amazing. It was told in the third person for the most part with small second person chapters scattered throughout. This made you, the reader, a part of the story. An example of what I mean is the excerpt above from Book Depository. It used many words I didn't know, which I had to look up. This made me slow down in my reading even more and make me disconnect slightly from the story as I was reading. But that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It had a lot of sensual descriptions. It felt like I was in the circus throughout the entire book. Though, the people weren't very well described but I liked that--I could discern for myself what they looked like. One person that was well described was Poppet but the rest were left more the imagination.

The story was told in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The problem I had with this was that it jumped back and forth between years and character POV's (each chapter is from a different person's POV).  It made it a little difficult to discern what had already happened and what had not happened when it went back and forward in time. If you concentrate enough it shouldn't be much of a problem. It was an interesting way to write the story. Though, if this becomes a movie I'm not sure how this will work.

The characters were (for the most part) developed well. I really enjoyed the chapters with Baily, Poppet and Widget. I feel they were the characters I connected with most. Most importantly, their friendship was believable! I found Celia and Marco (the main characters) to be a bit flat and dull. I didn't relate to them and the romance didn't come into it till over halfway through the book. It was all too sudden and I found it forced and unbelievable. I really didn't enjoy them and I feel like we were supposed to since they were the main the characters.

There was various circus acts (not typical acts) which I really liked. The descriptions of the circus acts and the acts seemed very magical. There are acts such as tarot card readers, contortionists and illusionists.The circus itself was described beautifully and I felt as if I was there! The sensual writing really helps that.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it to anyone who loves magic and illusions and romance.


Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday Finds #3

Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren't necessarily books you purchased).


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith.
Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Dweller by Jeff Strand

Ordered on Book Depository:

The Kid by Sapphire
B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa.
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

WWW Wednesdays #3

WWW Wednesdays a meme created by Should be Reading. All you need to is answer the questions bellow to participate.

  • What are you currently reading? 
  • What did you recently finish reading? 
  • What do you think you’ll read next? 
What are you currently reading?  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It's not living up to the hype. I guess I expected too much. I'm about 70% through with it and leaning towards a 3.5/5 stars.

What did you recently finish reading?  American Vampire by Scott Snyder and Stephen King. It was a graphic novel so I won't be reviewing it. I gave it a 5/5. It was amazing considering I usually hate vampires but this was fresh and original.

What do you think you'll read next?   1st to Die by James Patterson. It's the first in the Women's Murder Club series. But I will probably change my mind, as always!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Teaser Tuesday #3

Teaser Tuesdays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Grab a book you're currently reading and post a teaser (no spoilers) to persuade others to read the book.

The contortionist lifts a small silver metal hoop from the ground, brandishing it with a few simple but impressive movements. She passes it to a man in the front of the crowd, in order to establish that it is solid. When he hands it back to her, she passes her entire body through it, extending her limbs in fluid, dance-like motions. - p. 137 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Musing Mondays #3

Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should be Reading.

What is the longest book you have ever read? How long did it take you to read it?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which was 831 pages long. It was the mass market paperback adult edition. It took me about 8 days to read because I usually read 100 pages a day. It would be have been "It" by Stephen King which is something like 1300 pages but I stopped reading at around page 700 because it was so tiring! That took me around a week to read that much. I'm hoping to pick it back up soon.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Timeless Innocents by Janis Susan May

Timeless Innocents by Janis Susan May
Genre: Horror
Age Group: Adults
Publisher: Carina Press
Published: June 11th 2012
Format: Kindle eBook
Source: NetGalley
Pre-order: $1.22 on Amazon

When Brianna Forte is made executor of the Clerkwells' estate, she thinks it'll be a simple task to catalogue and liquidate their assets. After all, they lived very modestly, their only apparent interest in life being a large collection of eerily lifelike little figurines called Timeless Innocents.
Exquisitely crafted yet somehow ominously creepy, the figurines are all different and made of some hard fleshlike material. When a parade of sinister characters turn up demanding she sell them the figures, Brianna begins to investigate their origin—and what she learns will change her life forever... - Amazon
This was an enjoyable book that passed away a few hours. But, that was all it was. I didn't jump, I wasn't scared--I did not show any sign I was reading a horror book. This wasn't of any fault to Janis Susan May, however, it was merely the fact that this novella was very similar to the usual movie thriller. Yes, I didn't find it to be of the horror genre because usually a lot more happens and many people die but this was a thriller because everything was more or less resolved by the end and it just kept you on your toes, waiting for something to happen throughout.

The first 'horrifying' thing happened at 48% of the book. That's how slow it was. It was just dragging and talking about pointless things to do with the protagonist's personal life. We didn't need that much detail!

When it got a bit 'spooky' it was relatively enjoyable, however to be able to scare someone while reading can be difficult (Mr. King is the only one who has achieved that with me) so I would think this story would be much more suited to the big screen rather than a book.

The writing was excellent. There was very little errors considering it's an uncorrected proof which is always a plus. The descriptions were great and I could picture everything perfectly. I loved the little details about the main character, Brianna. Her actions and how she reacted to things said so much about her. I loved how whenever she felt a bit stressed she had a diet Dr. Pepper.

The bad things about the writing: There was a little bit of telling and explaining rather than doing and illustrating here but it wasn't much of a big deal. Also, it was told in third person and was from Brianna's POV but in the middle it suddenly switched to another person's POV and at the end it switched to Brianna's boyfriend's POV which was sort of random. I think it would have flowed better without those two minor glitches.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick read but don't expect to be scared!

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Genre: Mystery/literary fiction
Age Group: Adults
Publisher: Vintage
Year: 2004
First published: 2003
Format: Paperback
Pages: 271
Source: O'Mahony's
Buy It: $6 with free delivery

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years. - Book Depository

This book is amazing! I picked it up without reading the back or knowing anything about it because I heard a lot of good things about it. I was kind of disappointing when I did read the back but when I started the book, I knew it was going to be awesome!

Christopher 'wrote' this book and he wanted it to be as he liked so he added many things to this mystery novel to personalize it. The first chapter is '2', the second is, '3', then '5' and then '11'. Notice any pattern? They're all prime numbers. There is also a number of maths formulas and equations which are explained in detail in the appendix.  There's many diagrams and illustrations demonstrating what Christopher is talking about such as the constellation Orion. Christopher is very interested in maths and physics in case you hadn't noticed.

The main point of this book is the characters. At first you think it's about the mystery but it's not, that is simply a minor subplot which serve as as base for the characters. The father, mother and neighbors play a big part in this book as well as Christopher. The various subplots help the characters grow and develop.

There is a couple of themes I picked up on. The first one being right and wrong or morality. Christopher is very set in what he thinks is right and wrong because of his Asperger's. He finds it very hard to trust people so the people he interacts with have to do things 'right' to gain his trust. But everyone has a different idea of what is the moral thing to do so it was interesting to see what Christopher thought.

Another, which is sort of connected to the first, is family. Family is very important to Christopher because it's all he has. He needs to know he can love and trust his father, whom he lives with. Christopher finds it hard to show his love for his father because he can't express emotion well and he doesn't like being touched. But they work around that together.

The writing style is very effective. It is told in a very simplistic way which conveys well how Christopher thinks and how is trail of thought is just mashed together. There is many long paragraphs which are just one sentence but it works and not many authors can pull that off. One thing I did find annoying was that nearly every paragraph started with the word 'And'. It worked to a certain extent but there was times when I found it overused and repetitive.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants an insightful, fun read.

Friday Finds #2

Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren't necessarily books you purchased).

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

 Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

American Vampire by Scott Snyder and Stephen King.

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

WWW Wednesday #2

WWW Wednesdays a meme created by Should be Reading. All you need to is answer the questions bellow to participate.

  • What are you currently reading? 
  • What did you recently finish reading? 
  • What do you think you’ll read next?
What are you currently reading?  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Hoddon.

What did you recently finish reading? UR by Stephen King. It was a novella published for the Kindle only so I probably won't be reviewing this.

What do you think you'll read next? I will probably read Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James on my Kindle. (the same as last week but I still haven't gotten around to reading it).

Book Trade/Sale

I have a few books (20 to be exact) that I want to get rid of by selling or trading. I'll leave prices beside each book and you can contact me with where you live and I'll tell you the shipping price. Or, you can simply offer me books of the same value and we can do a trade. All books are mass market paperback save for one. You don't have to take all the books in the one series. There is very minor scuff marks, hardly noticeable and most books. The new books have no damage and the others have very little damage.You will receive the covers shown.

Also, this is open internationally if you're willing to pay the shipping prices.

New books:

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (Trade paperback with original sticker) €6
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (may give the first two books in the series also for a reasonable price/trade) €4

Graphic Novels:

Volumes 1, 2 and 3 of Bakuman by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (read but no visible damage, practically new) €3.50 each or €9 for all-saving €1.50
Volumes 1 and 2 of Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley (read but no visible damage, practically new) €3.50 each or €6 for all-saving €1

Adult books:

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist €4
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry (the bottom of a couple pages are cut--it was like that when I got it, it doesn't look obvious, no words are missing) €3.50
The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold (cracked spine) €3.50
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (cracked spine) €3.50

CHERUB series:
It is the original CHERUB series. I have books 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10. These are the most damaged as I was a lot younger reading them but the only major damage is the spines are cracked and the pages are beginning to yellow. €2.50 per book or €16 for all-saving €4

You can buy all of these books for €50 - saving €12