taketimetoshine: (Pink Flowers)
Suzanne Collins - Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)
The blurb:Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, science fiction, fantasy
Date I started this book: 15/02/16
Date I finished this book: 18/02/16

What did I think? Katniss and Peeta may have both survived the Hunger Games but that doesn't mean they are safe from danger. Katniss made some powerful enemies in the Capitol when she tricked them into letting both her and Peeta live and they aren't going to stop until they've taken her down. Especially since she has become something of a hero to the districts and has inadvertently caused some of them to start planning a rebellion. Katniss is facing her toughest challenge yet and she risks losing the people she cares about most if she doesn't do some very fast thinking.

I still really love Katniss, she is so fiercely loyal to those she cares about and will always put her life and her happiness below protecting the people she loves. Sometimes I desperately want her to make the selfish choice and run but I wouldn't like her half as much if she actually did. She is in so much trouble in this book, President Snow is a powerful enemy who is determined to make her pay for her actions during the hunger games. He wants to take her down and he wants to do it publicly to quash the rebellion that is threatening to rise in the districts. It was great to learn a bit more about how Panem is run but I do still have a lot of questions about how the districts were created in the first place that I'm hoping will be answered in the final book of the trilogy.

I don't want to say too much about the plot but I will say that we are introduced to some fabulous new characters along with getting the chance to catch up with old favourites. I still wish we'd spent more time with Gale but have high hopes he'll have a much larger role in the next book. I was firmly on his team in the first book, although I liked Peeta I just didn't feel he was the right guy for Katniss. Peeta needed her to look after him while Gale would be an equal partner. I have to admit that while I still want her to end up with Gale I did start to see more of a connection between Katniss and Peeta in this book, he shows several times how much she means to him and he definitely seems to have matured and come into his own a bit more. I'm kind of torn now but I don't think I'll be too upset whoever she ends up with. The last few chapters of Catching Fire were intense and they have left me desperate to know how the series concludes - I'm already well into Mockingjay
taketimetoshine: (Make Love Not War)
Jane Austen - Pride & Prejudice
The blurb: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

My rating: 4.5/5
Tagged: classics, romance, literature, british literature
Date I started this book: 07/02/16
Date I finished this book: 10/02/16

What did I think? Classic novel Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennett, and her struggle for matrimony in the 19th century north of England. This being the first classic I completed, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Firstly, I have to admit, Austen's writing style and narrative of events has a really nice tone, and offers a broad perspective. Because said narrator is impartial to the transpiring events, one can experience the book broadly, and develop personal opinions of each character, which I really enjoy doing. Furthermore, having a narrator like this makes it so that one can feel as though they are watching the story through a present - but quiet and impartial - character's mind's eye, which really helps to bring the story to life.

Next, I wasn't expecting I would say this, yet I am: Jane Austen is really funny. Frankly, I didn't expect to get the jokes interjected into this book, for they are from a differing era to my own, yet I found myself laughing along with some of the witty comments inserted into the story.

However, I would say there are too many sub-plots. Granted, they all tie together at the end, yet I would have preferred it if the book focused plainly on Elizabeth rather than Elizabeth and every one she's ever known. I found myself wishing the book would circle back around to Elizabeth and Darcy, but sometimes there were some rather big gaps away from the main plot line, which bored me quite a bit.

In comparison, I did really like the characters. Elizabeth is really nice to read about, for she is unlike all of her friends and sisters, and decides it is not a man she needs to live. Also, she likes reading, so what really is there to dislike?

Likewise, Darcy is really fun to read about. I love it when a character is so universally hated, only for the truth to dub them all wrong for prejudicing said character in such a way. This is exactly how it worked for Darcy, and I really loved it. Also, the switch between good/bad Darcy is really sudden, yet really natural, further accentuating the poor lighting the characters and the reader have seen Darcy's personality in, perceiving him not as the man he is, but instead the man he appears to be. In turn, this also offers a good message - do not prejudice! You could be prematurely judging the love of your life!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but did - unfortunately - feel as though the pacing was rather slow. There were moments when I found myself feeling rather bored, for the pace had hardly furthered, yet, granted, there were moments in which I was fully enticed by the novel.
taketimetoshine: (Pink Flowers)
I don't normally get on with the whole 'guilty pleasure' thing. If I like something, then I like something and that's that. I also don't understand shaming people for liking, or not liking, a particular type of book. Yes, there's things I don't like but hey, if people are reading then great.

Which is completely unrelated to the topic. My guity pleasure book.

I suppose it would have to be Twilight.

I enjoy the books. No, they're not great works of literature, they're not brilliantly written. They're not original stories, or even great ones. But they're fun and they're escapism, they're easy to read. And while I do have some issues with Edward & Bella's relationship, who doesn't actually want a guy who's completely devoted to them *happysigh*
taketimetoshine: (Believe In Love)
The Hobbit.

I first read it when I was a child, maybe 7 or 8 years old. I've read it pretty much every year since then so I've read it a good 20+ times.

I never get bored of it. I always always forget something, or discover something new, or rediscover something I thought I'd forgotten.

It's the book that made me fall in love with reading.
It's the book that made me fall in love with fantasy, that made me fall in love with magic, that made me fall in love with adventure
It's the book that made me realise what amazing and fantastical worlds could be found between the pages of a book.
It's the book that gave me awful night mares as a child
It's the book that makes me want to become a writer.

I really can't say anything less, and I have no doubt I will continue to re-read this every year until I'm dead
taketimetoshine: (Winter Warmth)
Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban.

I'd love to be able to say it was some great work of literature, that it's Pride & Prejudice or Great Expectations or Romeo & Juliet.

But I would be lying, because it's not. It's everyone's favourite boy wizard, Harry Potter.

Whenever I feel low, I've had a bad day, I pick up my very battered, very well loved copy of Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban from the bookshelf and curl up with a mug of coffee and some chocolate cake and it's like everything just goes away. It's the equivalent of a big hug in book format.

I love... pretty much everything about it. Blowing up Aunt Marge, Dementors, Werewolves, time travel, Sirius Black. Remus Lupin. Peter Pettigrew. The Marauders. So much love.

Why do I feel a Harry Potter series re-read coming along?
taketimetoshine: (Fighter)
I've started reading the Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer this year. I'm steadily working my way through the series and I'm thoroughly enjoying them. Yes, they're children's books but they're also fun and highly entertaining.

I've just finished the fourth book in the series, The Opal Deception )

I'm definitely looking forward to reading book five, The Lost Colony
taketimetoshine: (Taking Over The World)
I recently re-read Dan Brown's novels and had actually forgotten how much I enjoyed the Robert Langdon books - the whole cypher solving and religious aspects, the holy grail etc etc. I wanted to read more books in that general sphere so I consulted both the library and my new friend goodreads.com and have started reading the Cotton Malone series by Steve Berry.

In turn this has got me fascinated by the history and mythology surrounding the Knights Templar, the Holy Grail and Freemasons. How a fairly basic order designed to protect travelling pilgrims during the crusades only to become so powerful and rich and then their ultimate downfall has become such a ongoing and lasting mystery and how they still have such an impact and intrigue today is compelling. How even the order themselves were involved in starting the rumours and propaganda around them and how they're linked to the superstitions around Friday 13th. It's completely sucked me in.

Goodbye to-do lists, goodbye to-read pile.
Hello new interest!

I'm already collecting lists of books - both fiction and non-fiction - I need to read and movies that I need to see. I'm such a geek and am getting pages of notes. God bless my love of stationery and colourcoding. Yes, I am aware of how this sounds. I'm waiting impatiently for reserved books to come in the library, for DVDs to be shipped from lovefilm.

So now I'm going to throw this open to anyone reading who has any suggestions on any/every resource about the order. I'm especially interested in fiction books based around the order, similar to Steve Berry, Michael Jecks and Raymond Khoury. But really, anything and everything will be happily devoured.
Thank you
taketimetoshine: (Default)
Based on the books on my shelf, the main conclusion people would draw about me would be, quite correctly, that I am a bibliophile.
I have hundreds upon hundreds of books. My bookshelves, and I now have four of them, are groaning and creaking under the weight of… far too many books that I really need to get around to counting and cataloguing (I’m forever buying books only to get home and discover I already have them). I have a to-read pile that comes up to my knees – which again, I’m constantly adding to thanks to sites such as new favourites readitswapit and bookmooch – and not forgetting my old favourites ebay, amazon and book depository.

When it comes to genres and authors, it would again be very obvious that I'll read pretty much everything. A close look would reveal my love for fantasy, horror, thillers, medical, religion, crime and chicklit as well as some 'literary classics'
We’re talking author’s such as Kelley Armstrong, Sarah Ball, Louise Bagshawe, Poppy Z Brite, Terry Brooks, Dan Brown, Jenny Colgan, Michael Connelly, Michael Cordy, Michael Crichton, Raymond E Feist, Neil Gaiman, Mike Gayle, Tess Gerritsen, Terry Goodkind, John Grisham, Charlaine Harris, Torey Hayden, Belinda James, Marian Keyes, Stephen King, Dean R Koontz, Richard Laymon, C S Lewis, George R R Martin, Anne McCaffrey, Stephanie Meyer, Freya North, Jodi Piccoult, Terry Pratchett, Anne Rice, JK Rowling, Karin Slaughter, R L Stine, JRR Tolkien, Minette Walters… to be perfectly honest with you, it’s an ever-growing endless list!

There's also the remnants from my childhood that I cannot quite bear to part with: Alan Ahlberg, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Franklyn W Dixon, Carolyn Keene, R L Stine, CS Lewis, and the Point Horror, Point Fantasy, Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy books.

Another closer look at the shelves and you would see non-fiction books as well. Biographies, autobiographies, cook books, science, religion, psychology, philosophy, sociology...

I'm also always open to suggestions and recommendations of books and authors so please feel free to tell me what you love to read and who knows, I'll probably love it too!

June 2016



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