29 Sept 2010

Book Review - Wanted by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars #8: Wanted
In Rosewood, majestic estates sprawl for acres, and Tiffany toggle bracelets dangle from every girl's wrist. But not all that glitters is gold, and the town harbors secrets darker than anyone could imagine—like the truth about what really happened the night Alison DiLaurentis went missing. . . .

Back in middle school, Ali plucked Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer from obscurity and turned them into the beautiful, popular girls everyone wanted to be. Ali was the best friend they ever had. But she also made them do terrible things and taunted them with their worst secrets. Now, three years later, all their questions about Ali have finally been answered and they can put this awful chapter of their lives behind them. Or so they think.

Not every story has a happy ending, especially when four pretty little liars have done so many wicked things. In the dramatic conclusion of Sara Shepard's bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer could get everything they've ever wanted—unless A has one more horrifying twist in store. 

Wow!  What a book! Its very hard to do an in depth review of this book because there are so many 'secrets' and things happen that if you have not read the books before you really don't want to be finding out about it from someone else's review!  All I will say is that what you find out in this book is completely what I was not expecting at all...  I don't know whether I was being completely dense and should have realised what happened sooner but I didn't!   Without giving too much away, for those of you who have already read this book, I liked the way we found out all the piezes of the puzzle but the only thing that I did not like was how it really ended....  Hmmm....

A fantastic book and now I am really sad that there are no more pretty little liar books to read.....

10 out of 10

Best wishes

Continue reading Book Review - Wanted by Sara Shepard

26 Sept 2010

Book Review - He's Just Not that Into You by Greg Behrent and Liz Tuccilo

A brilliantly witty and entertaining guide to interpreting men from the writers of Sex and the City. Fresh from helping Carrie and the gang with their dating dilemmas, they've given the rest of us a decoder ring to the men in our lives. But this book isn't just about eliminating the bad apples -- it's also about holding onto the good ones. / This hilarious, playful, but honest explanation of male behaviour from the writers of Sex and the City is designed to stop women wasting their time chasing after men who aren't into them, and help them to move on -- and find men who really are. / The wisdom of the book can be summed up by the following: men don't want to tell women when they're not interested -- and women don't want to hear it anyway. / The book's positive message: It happens to the most beautiful, funny, interesting and intelligent women and all it means is that it's time to say 'Next!' / Upfront and forthright, the book explains why the man you're waiting for might not be worth the wait -- or all your excuses. It's not that he's too busy, just got out of a relationship or scared of intimacy. / It discloses such tell-tale signs of a lack of interest as 'He's Just Not That Into You If He's Not Calling You,' or 'If He's Not Dating You,' 'If He Only Wants To See You When He's Drunk,' 'If He's Having Sex With Someone Else,' not to mention 'If He's Married.' / Practical advice: reveals how to interpret the 'mystery' signals men give off that are shouting the obvious. / Just like Berger on SATC, helpfully (and outrageously) informing Miranda of a guy she liked that "he's just not into you," this book will show you how to eliminate the no-hopers, and give you the confidence to move onto those who recognise how gorgeous you are! 

Ok, so I bought this one for £3 in a book sale.  I had heard about the movie and it looked really good but as soon as I found out that there was a book, I wanted to read that first.

I have to be honest and say that this book was brilliant to start with but by the time I got to the middle part it became very repetitive.  You read all these different scenarios of different woman meeting men, should they call them etc etc and getting the same answer over and over again.

For me, this book did not do anything for me but do give it a go if you like reading informational books that gives advice about relationships and dating and all that.

3 out of 10

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Book Review - Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, twenty-eight-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is "like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair," has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him:
"That woman was sexy. . . . Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won't screw you. Don't do it for them."
"Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started fucking."
"The worst thing you can be is a liar. . . . Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two."
More than a million people now follow Mr. Halpern's philosophical musings on Twitter, and in this book, his son weaves a brilliantly funny, touching coming-of-age memoir around the best of his quotes. An all-American story that unfolds on the Little League field, in Denny's, during excruciating family road trips, and, most frequently, in the Halperns' kitchen over bowls of Grape-Nuts, Sh*t My Dad Says is a chaotic, hilarious, true portrait of a father-son relationship from a major new comic voice.

This book was so funny!  It was a very short book so it did not take me long to read this one but I enjoyed every minute of it.  It is not often when you can read a book and every single page makes you laugh out load and this one definitely did that for me.  I did start to read this one at work, at my desk, at lunchtime but I brought it home as it made me laugh too loudly all the time!!!!

This book has a lot of swear words and the like in it so if you are ok with that, this book is a hoot!  

10 out of 10

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Book Review - Heartless by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars #7: Heartless
Four gorgeous girls are telling very ugly stories.

First Emily, Aria, Hanna, and Spencer claimed they found a dead body in the woods behind Spencer's house, only to have it vanish without a trace. Then, when the same woods went up in flames, they swore they saw someone who's supposed to be dead rise from the ashes. And even after all that, the pretty little liars are still playing with fire. Call me heartless, but it's about time someone shut these liars up for good. After all, nobody likes a girl who cries wolf—least of all me. . . . 

Wow!!!!  Just when I thought I had it all figured out who was the killer and who was sending the messages etc etc etc....  I was wrong!    I have to say that this book I felt was a big long-winded in places and I took a while to get through this book but I was glad that I did because the plot and what you find out is definitely good...

I am on the last book now and feeling sad that there are no more to read....  I have read the same Pretty Little Liars books one after the other for a while, it really is going to be weird not having 'the next one to read'.... 

9 out of 10

Best wishes

Continue reading Book Review - Heartless by Sara Shepard

23 Sept 2010

Why I Don’t Like to Leave Books Unfinished

Don't you ever find that you wake up in the morning, think to yourself 'Right, what do I have to do today?' and then think 'Oh crap, I haven't finished that thing I started yesterday'. Let's say, for example, I started to clean the kitchen (and I mean completely clean it - gut the cupboards, clean and put items back etc etc etc). I would get to the emptying the cupboards part, clean the cupboards and get halfway through organising the stuff to put back but half way through get bored and leave it for a while. Well, a while becomes the next day making me fear going into the kitchen to see all the mess! I used to be like that and would find that I get annoyed with myself far too much. I am all up for an easy life so I decided to change. No longer do I leave things undone and that includes books.

I have to be honest and say that the majority of books that I read, I do enjoy and finish with no problems. Some may be slow reads, taking a while to complete, and some may be fast reads where I just can't put it down (which I love when I find a book like that) but, on the whole, I am very open minded when it comes to books and will try any genre as long as the plot is good. But there is the very rare occasion when I come across a book that I start, get about 50 pages in, put it down for the evening and never seem to have the need to pick it up and read it. I have one of those books at the moment. It is on my bed stand, ready for reading but I just can't seem to bring myself to pick it up to finish reading it. I am not going to give up though. I will read it at some point but, at the moment, I just feel there are other books that are screaming for my attention more than this one at the moment.

So, let me turn the question over to you. Have you ever had a book that you just could not manage to get through no matter how hard you try? I would love to hear your stories...

Best wishes.

Continue reading Why I Don’t Like to Leave Books Unfinished

21 Sept 2010

Book Review - Killer by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars #6: Killer
In picture-perfect Rosewood, Pennsylvania, ash-blond highlights gleam in the winter sun and frozen lakes sparkle like Swarovski crystals. But pictures often lie—and so do Rosewood's four prettiest girls.

Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily have been lying ever since they became friends with beautiful Alison DiLaurentis. Ali made them do terrible things—things they had to keep secret for years. And even though Ali was killed at the end of seventh grade, their bad-girl ways didn't die with her
Hanna's on a mission to corrupt Rosewood's youth, starting with a very attractive sophomore. Aria's snooping into her boyfriend's past. Spencer's stealing—from her family. And pure little Emily's abstaining from abstinence. 

The girls should be careful, though. They thought they were safe when Ali's killer was arrested and A's true identity was finally revealed. But now there's a new A in town turning up the heat. And this time Rosewood is going to burn. 

OMG!   I've only got two more books in the pretty little liars series and then it is all done, what am I going to do!  I just can't stop reading....   need to know some answers and I have a feeling that I am not going to get all the answers until the end of the last book.....

Not wanting to give anything away for those who have not read this book yet but I did love the way each of the main characters had obstacles they had to get through and/or overcome... 

This book was brilliant and I enjoyed this just as much as I did the ones before it....     What am I going to do when I have read the last one! 

10 out of 10

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18 Sept 2010

Book Haul - Charity Shop/Thrift Store

Hey guys!  Its been a little while since I have done a book haul post...   I did go into town with the intention of just posting some items and having a bit of a wander but I could not resist popping into a couple of charity shops and I got some amazing finds.  This is what I got:

Dream Makers by Nora Roberts

Wednesdays at Four (MIRA) (MIRA) by Debbie Macomber
Writers on Writing

Thursdays at Eight by Debbie Macomber

Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson

Dance upon the Air by Nora Roberts

Reflections & Dreams: Reflections\Dance Of Dreams (Stanislaski Saga) by Nora Roberts

311 Pelican Court by Debbie Macomber

Book Lover by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack

Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer

Shadow by Kate Alvtegen

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Book Review - Goodbye, Dearest Holly by Kevin Wells

Some tragedies become part of our national history. On August 4, 2002 Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman disappeared. For the next thirteen days their families, the police, and the local community searched for them, while the nation watched in horrific suspense. Almost two weeks after Holly and Jessica went missing, their bodies were found. Two days later Ian Huntley was charged with their murders. In the terrible weeks that followed Kevin started to make notes, fearful that he might forget important details. GOODBYE, DEAREST HOLLY tells the story of the nightmare that began on August 4th, from the moment it became clear that Holly and Jessica were missing, through the long investigation and its aftermath. An unflinching tale of surviving tragedy, Kevin's diaries tell of battles with the media, police bureaucracy and the legal system. The book also includes a gripping account of the trial and convictions of Huntley and Maxine Carr. Above all, GOODBYE, DEAREST HOLLY is a loving act of fatherhood.

So, this was the book that I chose to read in my lunchtimes during the week and I had nearly finished by the end of Friday so I have literally finished it just now...  This was such an emotional ready.  I remember when I heard all about this in the news and the story was just so shocking and sad.  The author is one of the victim's father so that made the story so much more emotional.

7 out of 10

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Book Review - Wicked by Sara Shepard

** Contains NO spoilers**

In idyllic Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four very pretty girls just can't help but be bad. . . .
Hanna will do anything to be Rosewood's queen bee. Spencer's digging up her family's secrets. Emily can't stop thinking about her new boyfriend. And Aria approves a little too strongly of her mom's taste in men.

Now that Ali's killer is finally behind bars, the girls think they're safe. But those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. And they should know by now that I'm always watching. . . . 

Wow!  I know I have probably started every review of the Pretty Little Liars series with the word Wow! but that is the first word that I think of when I finish the books and this one was no exception.  

This book was very surprising to say the least..  Without giving away any spoilers there isn't a lot I can explain about the book that isn't in the description above but all I do have to say is READ THIS BOOK!  Its amazing.....  I loved the ending although I had already predicted what was going to happen....


10 out of 10

Best wishes

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Book Review - Unbelievable by Sara Shepard

**Contains NO spoilers**

Four pretty little liars' charmed lives have turned into living nightmares.

Emily's been shipped off to Iowa to live with her überconservative cousins. Aria's boyfriend is behind bars—because of her. Spencer's afraid she was involved in Ali's murder. But Hanna's fate is far worse: She's clinging to life in the hospital because she knew too much.

If these girls don't start listening to me, Hanna's going to look like the lucky one. 

Wow!  Another fantastic book in the Pretty Little Liars series.....  I won't spoil the story line for those who have not read this book yet but this one has a very explosive ending...  What a shocker...  I never expected that although I am not sure whether what we found out is true or just another set up? Hmmm...

Brilliant read!   10 out of 10

Best wishes.

Continue reading Book Review - Unbelievable by Sara Shepard

14 Sept 2010

Book Review - Perfect by Sara Shepard

In Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four perfect-looking girls aren't nearly as perfect as they seem.

Aria can't resist her forbidden ex. Hanna is on the verge of losing her BFF. Emily is freaking out over a simple kiss. And Spencer can't keep her hands off anything that belongs to her sister.
Lucky me. I know these pretty little liars better than they know themselves. But it's hard keeping all of their secrets to myself. They better do as I say . . . or else! 

Ok, so now I am totally addicted.  I have read so much of these characters and story that every time I pick up the book to read I feel as though I am in their world right there watching what is going on rather than reading it!  The only thing I found annoying was the parents... Emily's parents reaction when they found out her secret was a bit unfair.

Utterly brilliant!  Can't wait to

10 out of 10

Best wishes

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11 Sept 2010

Book Review - When Daddy Comes Home by Tony Maguire

She finally thought she was safe! Toni Maguire, author of Don't Tell Mummy, takes up the story of her tragic childhood where she left off, revealing the awful truth about what happened when her father, sent to jail for abusing her, was released, and came home. Toni Maguire's father abused her from the age of six, and was only found out when she fell pregnant, losing the child from a botched abortion. Jailed for his crimes with the help of her testimony, Antoinette believed she was finally safe, but it was not to last. Being dispatched to collect her father from the station by herself marked a new low for young Antoinette. Realizing that she was no longer safe at home, she was forced to leave. Her mother did nothing to protect her or prevent her going. Traumatized and alone, Antoinette was unable to cope, and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, sinking deeper into despair every day. Finally transferred to the dead-end ward with no hope of recovery, Antoinette slowly began to improve, by the sheer force of her indomitable will.

This was a book that I had borrowed from a friend at work and because I like books written by Cathy Glass I thought that this one would be a good read.  Yes, it was good but also it was very frustrating.  In the first few chapters, it was great because you got to see why Antoinette was being abused and what happened to remedy the situation but after that it was all really all about Antoinette coming to terms with this and how she dealt with her relationship with her family which was, to be honest, not as exciting as the beginning of the book. 

5 out of 10

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Book Review - Flawless by Sara Shepard

Spencer stole her sister's boyfriend. Aria is brokenhearted over her English teacher. Emily likes her new friend Maya . . . as much more than a friend. Hanna's obsession with looking flawless is making her sick. And their most horrible secret yet is so scandalous that the truth would ruin them forever.

And why shouldn't I tell? They deserve to lose it all. With every crumpled note, wicked IM, and vindictive text message I send, I'll be taking these pretty little liars down. Trust me, I've got enough dirt to bury them alive. 

Oh my goodness...  I am now totally addicted to these books and this is only the second one!  Following the different characters around what they are doing, what they are trying to hide and watching them try to figure out who is sending them the messages....  I had taken me slightly longer to read this book but only because my work got in the way of my reading!!!!!

10 out of 10

Best wishes

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8 Sept 2010

Books That are Turned into Movies

* This article does not contain any spoilers

I was asked today 'What would you prefer – watch the movie and then read the book or read the book and then watch the movie?'. For me, the answer to that question is easy, my preferred option would be to read the book and then watch the movie. I have in the past had experience of watching a movie first and then turning to read the book but I found that the story line spoilt because I already knew it from watching the movie. The main drive for me when reading a book is the anticipation of what happens next. If that anticipation is lost, I have no drive to keep on reading the book. Let's take for example, the movie called Pay It Forward. I had actually purchased the book, which was sitting on my bookcase waiting to be read but I decided that I would watch the movie first. Big mistake. I thought the movie was an ok movie meaning one that I would watch once and then probably never watch again. That killed some of my drive to want to read the book. What killed the read of my drive to read the book was the fact that I knew the ending. The ending was such an explosive ending that I felt that the book probably could not offer anything more. I still have not read the book. If anyone has read the book and watched the movie, I would love to hear from you.

On the other hand, there are exceptions to the rule. Let's take Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks. I LOVED this movie. In fact, this movie is my favourite movie of all time. I did not come to read the book until a couple of years after I had watched the movie for the first time and I loved it. One of the reasons why I loved it was because the story had differences to the movie which made it an entirely new experience despite the fact that it was really the same story mainly.

Ok, let's turn the tables around. What about reading the book first and then watching the movie? Well, this is definitely the way I prefer to go. Not long ago I read My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult and LOVED it. It was a fantastic story. When I heard that the book was being turned into a movie, I was really excited and looking forward to the release. When I went to see it at the cinema, I had mixed feelings. The actors and actresses in the movie were really good but there were certain story lines which were in the book but not in the movie. I had been expecting to see one thing and was given another but I have to say that the book story line was better.

In summary I would have to say that, given the choice, I would read the book first and then watch the movie. As to movies that have then been turned into books, I might give one a chance one day but not sure...

So, how about you? I would love to hear which one you would choose?

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5 Sept 2010


Book Swap Website for the UK

For those of you guys who live in the UK, unfortunately we are not able to use Paperbackswap but I have found an amazing site called Read It Swap It that is brilliant.  You list the books that you want to swap and go for it.  Either search for ones that you want or wait for someone to request one of your books.... 

I have had my first successful swap being in the picture to the right hand side - The Cottage by Danielle Steel.  It was perfectly packaged and delivered within the week, which I thought was brilliant.  I have another four that I am going to be posting on Monday and look forward to receiving the book I swapped for...

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Book Review - Haunted by James Herbert

Three nights of terror at the house called Edbrook - three nights in which David Ash, there to investigate a haunting, will be victim of horrifying and maleficent games. These are the three nights in which he will face the blood-chilling enigma of his own past - the three nights before Edbrook's dreadful secret will be revealed...And the true nightmare will begin! Remember with fear. "Disturbing atmosphere and constant unpleasant shocks." - "Daily Mail".

This is a book that I took to work to read in my lunch break (mainly because it looked a bit scary and I never like to read those sorts of books in the evening).  I was so looking forward to reading it but I was very disappointed.  I could not get into the book, mainly because I found the style of writing very hard to follow.  Once I had finished the book, I was also very disappointed by the ending, which I felt to be very predictable.  I had already figured out what was going to happen at the end when I was only halfway through the book and, for me, that spoiled some of the build up to the ending.

Unfortunately, this book was not for me. 

2 out of 10

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Book Review - What the Hell is He Thinking by Zoe Strimpel

What does he think if I sleep with him on the first date? Why is he possessive even when he isn't all that into me? What does it mean when he won't call me his girlfriend? Why does he freak out when I leave my stuff at his house? What the hell is He Thinking? Having spent a good part of her post-pubescent life picking apart dating dilemmas with her girlfriends over cocktails, Zoe Strimpel decided it was time to do something once and for all about the mystery that is the male mind. So, instead of moping about in the Mars/Venus divide, Zoe did something completely crazy: she talked to actual guys, getting them to explain the tales of confusion that she had gathered from her friends. And - would you believe - they had a lot of gems to offer. So while she had their attention, she also asked them the eight questions you most want men to answer. 

This is such a funny book!  I am in a relationship and have been for the past four and a bit years and for all those out there in relationships you know that there are just some times when you think to yourself the same question as the title of this book......  Sometimes, I just don't have a clue.  I found this book so incredibly funny in reading the mini scenarios in it and comparing it to questions I have myself!

10 out of 10

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Book Review - Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

OMG!  This book is amazing...  OK, so I am completely biased because I believe that Nicholas Sparks is the greatest writer ever...  I like his style of writing, the way he tells a story and the way he builds his characters up throughout the story.  I just could not put this book down.  I immediatetly felt sorry for Katie and wanted desperately for her to win at the end of the day and I completely fell in love with the character Alex....

For all you Nicholas Sparks fans out there, this book will not disappoint you one bit....  For all those who have not yet read a book written by Nicholas Sparks, start with this one and work your way through the rest!!!!  I wonder if this one will be made into a movie?  I hope so, it will be brilliant.....

1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 out of 10

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Book Review – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by J K Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
'His hand closed automatically around the fake Horcrux, but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort he knew must come, whether in a month, in a year, or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione.' With these words "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" draws to a close. And here, in this seventh and final book, Harry discovers what fate truly has in store for him as he inexorably makes his way to that final meeting with Voldemort. In this thrilling climax to the phenomenally bestselling series, J.K. Rowling will reveal all to her eagerly waiting readers.

I loved this book just as much as I loved the first. Although it was quite a long book, it tied up all the loose ends that I had been wondering about throughout the whole series and I thought was an incredibly ending for such a long series of books.

The Harry Potter series has to be one of my most favourite book series ever. The only other book series that has to come just a step up would be The Babysitters Club by Ann M Martin, whose books I was totally hooked on for the whole of my teenage life!

10 out of 10

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