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Archive for May 2010

Sunday Salon: Review of Catching Fire

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Catching Fire

Catching Fire

After reading The Hunger Games I went straight to my library’s website to put the second book, Catching Fire on hold. To my dismay it was a large queue. I had to wait almost at least three or four months before I could get my hands on the book. It felt good to finally put my hands on it. Of course I could have just gone out to buy it, but I thought to myself that wouldn’t be such a great idea as there’s just too many books on my shelf at the moment.
It is greatly and strongly recommended to read The Hunger Games before reading Catching Fire.

To be nice to my readers, I will not provide a synopsis to Catching Fire as it will contain spoilers. So, if you haven’t read The Hunger Games, and don’t want to have any spoilers stop reading up to here. Otherwise, those who don’t care or have read the book can carry on!

The beginning of this book didn’t really appeal to me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book! I was left screaming at the end because of the wonderfully written cliffhanger ending. Yet I thought the beginning went off just a little too slow and I found Katniss just a little too “emo”. All of a sudden here was this very headstrong girl who suddenly became rather emotional (Gale over Peeta???? come on! Gale’s a geek!) and whiny. It was like as if her dark and dull mood suddenly brought you down as well. So, I thought the first half of the book was rather dissapointing. It did slowly start to pick up midway through and it was as if all the action, the suspense, the “meaty” parts were all reserved for the last part of the story.

It’s so nice to see Peeta and Katniss together. For some reason, I think of them as a nice perfect couple (Gale’s a bloody homewrecker and you know it!) and I’m hoping she would see it that way – however I guess we’ll see! Gale and Katniss just don’t seem right – but I think it’s because we don’t really know much about Gale and he doesn’t make such a significant appearance in the plot perhaps there will be more of him later in the next book

As regards to plot, I thought it was well done, albeit slow. Yet besides that complaint, I have none other. The intrigue and suspense came back in full. I love the cliffhanger ending which is making me eager for the next and final installment of the trilogy (Mockingjay). I really can’t wait for it to come out.

Overall, Catching Fire, a little slow to get the ball rolling, does end up living up to it’s predecessor. I’m eager to see how this series finishes.

I give it a 9.5 out of 10.

Note: My apologies for a rather not very well written review but I wanted to keep it spoiler free as much as possible!

Written by Karoline

May 30, 2010 at 9:24 am

Review of The Season

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The Season

The Season

I’m a bit behind in reviews, as you can see. I haven’t stopped reading, it’s just by the time I stop reading it’s already late at night and I got engrossed in the books I have been reading thus why you haven’t seen any reviews posted in a while. That and an active social life was the result in having no reviews for a week or so. Apologies!

The Season features Alexandra (also known as Alex) with her two beloved friends who are to debut in their respective society. Alex isn’t looking forward to it, and would rather do her own thing instead of going to parties and balls in search of that perfect husband. They encounter a suspecious meeting between two men and what seems like a mystery surrounding Alex’ good friend Gavin, and his father – which seems like it is related between the two suspecious men. What follows is a story filled with romance, espionage, and mystery.

Although the three girls were wonderful characters in this book, the story falls short. It didn’t have the excitement I thought it was going to have. The detail at their dinners and parties however was well written and very descriptive. Everything in the novel did seem authentic and although it did make a good read the plot and some unanswered questions sort of marred the book and my enjoyment of it. The parties and dinners were well written and also, it was nice to see a book not heavy on the description on dresses and where they came from (does that really matter?).

The characters in the novel were all right. Gavin and Alex did make a good couple and you can’t help but feel excited for Alex when she experiences these new found feelings of romance for a childhood friend. They could be compared to Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice – only younger. I couldn’t also help but smile at Freddie and Alex. He was a huge flirt but you couldn’t help but feel charmed by his presence and manner (as Alex did). However I wanted to know why Gavin disliked him so much (jealous perhaps?) and if there was a story behind it. I wish that was addressed. If there is going to be another book after this, it would be nice however I’m not sure if I will pursue it further.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading the book, but I expected a lot more intrigue and more action. It did pick up somewhat towards the end, but it was done and over with in an instant. There was also the “mystery” (if you could call it that) behind Freddie and why Gavin disliked him so much. Also Gavin stating he knew that Freddie is a cad. Hm. Well, I’d like to know why and what he did to make Gavin feel that way. They were friends before so what happened. It’s this sort of thing that frustrated me as it was never revealed.

Overall, it was a good historical novel. Authentic and true to the word. Yet the plot falls short and could have had a lot more added to it. However those who loved The Luxe series would enjoy this novel as it takes place around the same time period. It’s not the greatest book I’ve read, but no regrets either.

I give it a 6 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

May 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Musing Monday 5/10

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Do you have to carve out time in your day for reading (due to work and other obligations), or does your reading just happen naturally?

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YES! I always have to CARVE OUT READING TIME! (ahem. excuse the frustration) Not only do I have a very needy hombre and a very needy cat at home, I find someone (aka the hombre) always doing the social planning for me without telling me (hence I’m out often) and suddenly my book piles start piling up until I can’t even look at it without starting to cry. I solved this by turning the computer off or at least gaming for an hour and then reading…if the hombre and the kitty get TOO needy I start behaving rather moody and pissy. Then they stand back and let me read.

If I don’t have my reading time at least once a week I get really moody. I think they learnt the hard way 🙂

What’s your answer?

Written by Karoline

May 10, 2010 at 8:22 am

Posted in Meme, Musing Monday, reading

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Review of Homicide in Hardcover

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Homicide in HardcoverIt’s been a while since I read a cozy mystery. I figure this one suits me well (being a bibliophile) and decided to pick it up as it says on the cover: “A bibliophile mystery”. So I gave this a try to get my cozy mystery fix. This is also my last book for the Thriller and Suspense Challenge 2010! one challenge down! millions more to go 😉

Homicide in Hardcover features Brooklyn, a bibliophile herself who specializes in binding and restoring old books. When her mentor and teacher gets murdered, she’s the main suspect and is constantly followed by a very annoying (yet very sexy sounding) security officer named Derek who thinks she may have been behind the murder. Yet other suspects arise and suddenly Brooklyn feels her life is in danger. She tries to solve the mystery (reluctantly) with Derek trailing after her, and her potential murderer stalking her.

I’d have to say, I haven’t laughed so hard at a book in a while. Brooklyn isn’t your typical strong woman. She faints when she sees blood, she’s well..whimpy. Yet there’s nothing wrong with that. I thought she was filled with humor and wit, I found myself laughing at a lot of her thoughts and predicaments. What I found myself laughing more was her mother, who went into her mentras and chants when something was to go wrong. I think the entire story gets more kooky and crazy considering Brooklyn’s mother and father were part of a hippie community.

The plot is good and evenly paced. There’s a good amount of mystery and action. There’s bits of humor into it which certainly makes the mystery lighter and a more fun read. What I really enjoyed reading was the way Brooklyn eliminates the possible suspects and eventually finds out who the real murderer is. It was an interesting process of elimination and also helps the reader find out who the killer might be. I was close, but not close enough.

I enjoyed Brooklyn and her kooky family. Her possible relationship with Derek was also fun to read as he annoys her to no end. Especially moments where he makes fun of her and although Brooklyn is pretty good at comebacks herself, sometimes she stays dumbfounded and attempts to think of something to say while Derek keeps egging her on. They do make an interesting couple – however I have seen better.

Overall, a great cozy mystery that ended just a little too, but the humor and fun plot made it all the worthwhile read. This one is great for the bibliophiles and cozy mystery lovers alike.

I give it a 10 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

May 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Booking Through Thursday 5/6

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So … you’re halfway through a book and you’re hating it. It’s boring. It’s trite. It’s badly written. But … you’ve invested all this time to reading the first half.

What do you do? Read the second half? Just to finish out the story? Find out what happens?

Or, cut your losses and dump the second half?

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Oh gosh. Well it depends. Sometimes I get stubborn enough and end up finishing it. Then I read other people’s reviews. Maybe there’s something about it that I couldn’t perhaps grasp or understand? but then there are other times when the events in the book and the writing makes me roll my eyes too much and I have to stop before my eyes start rolling into my brain. Then I know the story is complete garbage and then I start wondering how other people could like it. Then it goes straight to the library chute under “donations” 🙂

Written by Karoline

May 6, 2010 at 9:23 am

Review of The Awakening

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The AwakeningIt is strongly recommended to have read The Summoning before you go into The Awakening. The story plot continues right after The Summoning and it’s fast paced, so there’s really little room for the reader to try and understand and catch up. There is hardly any background information to fall back on – as The Awakening just , so a little review on the previous novel is a good idea (if you’re like me, and don’t read a series one book after another). Please keep in mind if you have not read The Summoning, I may release a spoiler or two in my review. Or better yet, you can read my review on The Summoning instead.

The Awakening, takes place right after The Summoning and Chloe is now house in a facility where they keep the “supernaturals” under strict supervision. It may seem like an all right place, but Chloe finds out more about The Edison Group and attempts to make her escape to reunite with Derek and Simon. Chloe’s also found out more information on herself and her fellow supernaturals but she needs to be one step ahead of The Edison Group who are after them for a different purpose.

This book had all the great qualities that I liked previously in The Summoning. It certainly did live up to its standards and I nearly ate up the entire novel in one sitting. It was so interesting and the plot went by so fast that it just kept me turning the pages to figure out what was going to happen next. It certainly was consistent and it flowed. There weren’t any interruptions to hinder the plot or that deviated away from the main story. Which is nice to see. Usually you do get at least two or three (or insanely, even more) mini story arcs in novels nowadays that having this main one which focuses on Chloe was refreshing to read and easy to follow. It helps too, that it was told through Chloe’s point of view since she is very central to the story.

The characters are the same, although you do see a potential love triangle forming (I’m for Derek to win this one..you have to go for the underdog, Simon’s too…good). The tension between Derek, Chloe and Simon is there, but between Chloe and Derek, it’s just, almost electrifying. I think they seem perfect for each other, Chloe needs that protection and Derek provides it for her like a protective blanket. Tori, as usual, is still her annoying self, in fact even twice as annoying and really really snotty. She’s the type of character you’re forced to put up with, and I’m really surprised Chloe didn’t raise an army of zombies to chase Tori of the face of this earth.

The ending of this book wasn’t left in much of a cliffhanger as The Summoning, yet it still left me with a great interest in the next one (The Reckoning which has just been released). I wonder though, there’s still a lot of questions left unanswered and now I’m wondering if one last book is enough to explain everything. It just seems like a very long explanation(s) are left to do. I could be wrong when I get my hands on The Reckoning!

Overall, it definitely lives up to its predecessor. If you haven’t already, read The Summoning and onto this one! it’s certainly a great trilogy so far and one of the best I’ve read at the moment.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

Written by Karoline

May 5, 2010 at 8:25 am

Teaser Tuesday Featuring Homicide in Hardcover

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My teaser this week is from Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle:

“Dev-il” he whispered. His arms relaxed around his chest and his jacket loosened.

“What are you saying?”

He coughed again. “Remember…the…devil.”
What’s your teaser? 🙂

Written by Karoline

May 4, 2010 at 8:51 am