Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Book review: Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery

Cell 7
Author: Kerry Drewery
Publisher: Hit Key Books
Pages: 400 pages
R.R.P: $19.99
Death is Justice is the only reality TV show where the power to save the innocent and execute the guilty lies in your hands.

A world where justice and the fate of those accused of murder is decided by the public, but has moved on from the Roman Gladiator 'thumbs up or thumbs down' public vote, to a public vote by telephone. If you are voted innocent you are set free; if you are voted guilty you are committed to death by electric chair. Those awaiting their sentence reside in ever decreasing cells, getting smaller each day, until Day 7 and Cell 7, where they hear their fate.

For the first time a teenager is in Cell 7. Sixteen-year-old Martha has confessed to killing a famous celebrity. But has she done it? And if not, why has she claimed the murder? Perhaps she wants to show up the flawed and brutal system of sacrificing herself in the hope of a better world...

My review
Thoughts on the book: Cell 7 you blew me away. I'm fighting to find the words to describe how truly fabulous this book is. I felt a real connection to this book and can't really explain why but I instantly fell in love with it. Cell 7 is broken up into seven main areas with each being a different Cell, Cell 1, Cell 2 etc and within each of these main areas we have different parts written with different points of view, interviews, past tenses which all lead to a fascinating tale which will stay with you long after the last word is read.

For those of you who haven't heard of Cell 7 it is set in the future where our normal jail system has been disbanded and a new system has been out in place. There are no more court rooms or lawyers there is just a place where you get put in different cells and then on day 7, cell 7 your fate is determined by the public. All they have to go off to determine your guilt or innocence is a 24 hour tv show called An Eye for an Eye and a reality show called Death is Justice and when they have made up their mind they ring either the guilty or innocent number. Everything seems to be going smoothly for this system until the first teenager is placed in Cell 1. Martha is found beside the body, holding the gun and admitting to the crime. But as we delve deeper and deeper into the story all is not so black and white and as this becomes clear we see faults in this new system. What if innocent until proven guilty was the right course of action all along? Now it's a race in time to save Martha from a fate it seems she doesn't actually deserve.

The concept behind this book is truly amazing. Cell 7 shows the faults with what we are shown and what actually happens and how these are two very different things and along the way things can get very misconstrued. This is what happens in the case of Martha, who is accused of murdering Jackson Paige but knows that no one will believe her innocence because she is found standing over the body with the gun in her hand. But as we read further and further into Cell 7 we realise that there is a lot of backstory to Martha and Jackson Paige's relationship that the public aren't actually getting to see and without it, it would seem that the public will make the wrong decision and vote her guilty. (It's hard to write this review without going into too much detail but I'm trying). I for one hope that this system is never brought into excistence in my time as I believe it is very wrong and has so many holes in it and that seven days is just not enough time to prove your innocence.

Rating: 5/5 but deserves so much more

Book Review: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

The Women in the Walls
Author: Amy Lukavics
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 
Pages: 272 pages
R.R.P: $19.99
Something isn't right in this house.

Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she and her best friend and cousin, Margaret, known the ancient hallways inside out. Or so they think...

When her beloved Aunt Penelope disappears while walking in the surrounding woods, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret, meanwhile, has been spending a LOT of time I'm the attic. She claims she can hear her mother's voice whispering from the walls.

Shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly and completely unravels. And then she begins hearing voices herself...

My review
Thoughts on the book: This was a surprise review book in the mail. I had requested it ages ago but completely forgot about it and because I haven't recieved many books from Simon and Schuster this year didn't think that I would get the chance to review it. So upon recieving The Women in The Walls I dived straight into however it took me awhile to get through. 

The Women in the Walls started off like all horrifying reads:
Walter the cook killed himself in his little bedroom downstairs, just a few hours after saying good-night.
From there things just seem to get stranger and stranger. Lucy's Aunt disappears suddenly one day after a walk, then her cousin Margaret suddenly starts going mad, a new girl appears and then Lucy herself starts hearing voices. I'm not a big fan of horror stories really so that could be another reason why it took effect me awhile to read. I found the main character Lucy to be very disturbed before all this started and to me she became less disturbed after all of the things that happened. She defiantly wasn't a main character that I think a lot of people can identify with or even really warm too. Also while reading a particular scary part of the book my husband came up behind me and scared the absolute crap out of me which didn't really help. I think one things that bothered me the most is that things just seem to happen so quickly throughout the book and then I found the ending was rushed even more. I wouldn't have picked it to end that way either. 

Even though The Women in the Walls wasn't my cup of tea don't let it out you off reading it. It might be just what you want in a scary story. 

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Book Review: Fly on the Wall by E.Lockhart

Fly on the Wall
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 182 pages
RRP: $16.99

At a school where everyone is unique, Gretchen Yee feels ordinary.

Even with her bright red hair, she's still the quiet girl who doesn't talk to anyone at lunch.

Then there are the Art Rats, a group of popular boys. Funny. Sweet. Annoying. Confusing. Especially Titus. Titus is definitely on Gretchen's radar, but she's too scared to make the first move.

If only she could be a fly on the wall, to find out what boys are really like,

This is the story of how one girl's wish came true. 

My review
Thoughts on the book: Fly on the Wall is a quite small book of only 182 pages long and unfortunately for me those 182 pages were too long. I didn't like the book at all and can't quite put my finger on why. I love E. Lockhart's previous books and was really excited to receive this one for review and dove in straight away as it was so short. But whether it was the unrealistic storyline of a girl being left alone in New York by herself why her recently divorced parents go out of town and ends up turning into a fly for a week. And for that whole week no one seems to notice that she is missing or even goes and tries to find out what's wrong. Really?! That's so not right and why a fly? She could have been something much better than a fly. I don't really have much else to say about the book unfortunately but I am still looking forward to reading more of E. Lockhart's books. 

Rating: 2/5

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Book Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The OriginalScreenplay by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beaste and Where To Find Them: The Orginal Screenplay
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Pages: 283 pages
R.R.P: $39.99

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone...

Inspired by the original Hogwarts textbook by Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. A feat of imagination and featuring a cast of remarkable characters and magical creatures, this is a epic adventure-packed storytelling at its very best. Whether an exisiting fan or new to the wizarding world, this screenplay is the perfect addition for any film lover or reader's bookshelf.

My review 
Thoughts on the book: I haven't seen the movie yet so when I recieved Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for review I was estates to read it. Being written by the world famous J.K. Rowling and being part of the Harry Potter world moved this book to the top of my TBR. Upon reading it and completing it I was left a little disappointed. I can't quite put my finger on why though. Like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is written just as a screenplay would be. However with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child I knew the main characters previously so I could envision what was happening but with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them I hadn't met the characters or creatures before so it was a little hard to envision them without a really accurate discription, which being written as a screenplay didn't really need. This could have been why I didn't like it as much. I think once I see the movie though it may make more sense to me.

Rating: 3/5

Book Review: The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia
Pages: 344 pages
R.R.P: $19.99
The story of a girl, a boy, and the universe

Natasha: I'm a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I'm defiantly not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won't be my story.

Daniel: I've always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents' high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when j see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store- for both of us.

The universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
My review
Thoughts on the book: Right from the start The Sun is Also a Star captures your interest and doesn't let go until the very last second and the possibilities that are intertwined in the story leave you contemplating the possibilities for hours. In the Sun is Also a Star, Natasha is on her way to make a last ditch effort to prevent her family from being extradited to Jamacia and Daniel is off to one of the biggest interview of his life, which he believes will mean the end of his childhood. A chance encounter sees Daniel and Natasha meeting and, acting on a whim Daniel decides is from above, decides that he is going to spend the day with her and make her fall in love with him. What follows is an amazingly day where we share some of the highs and lows that Natasha and Daniel experience, we fall in love all over again for the first time and all the while your hoping that the outcome that each character is seeking is the right one.

When you have a seven month old baby you don't tend to get much reading done, as in my case they are crawling all over the place, so you savour the time you do get. Well I certainly savoured the time I got to read this. I savoured it that much that I would stay up later than normal and wake up earlier than normal just to read it. I throughly enjoyed the writing in The Sun is Also a Star and I must commend the author, Nicola Yoon, for holding my attention throughout the book. I found the characters of Natasha and Daniel to be very likeable and I was thrilled that the author made them both of different nationalities  and discussed the hardships that they both faced when presenting the other to their parents. It's hard to remember that this all happened in one day in the book. Imagine what it would have been like to go through that everyday with your family. Having to try and get them to accept the person you love all the time all because they are a little different to you. It's a very good talking point as it the storyline about deportation.

One thing I find a little annoying is the whole falling in love in a day. Yes this is one of the major ingediants in this plot but I really find it hard to be,I've that you can fall in love with someone in a day. I have met some amazing people in my life but I wouldn't go so far as to say I have fallen in love instantly. I think it takes a while to get to know someone before you can love them. You may have strong feelings for them but how many times in your life have you absolutely hated someone and a week or a even a day later have changed your mind completely and loved them or the opposite. I do believe there is someone out there for everyone but I don't believe you will fall in love in one day. Take your time and enjoy the ride.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Book Review: Hotel for the Lost by Suzanne Young

Hotel for the Lost
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 281 pages
R.R.P: $17.99

Audrey and her family only plan to stay one night at the grand Hotel Ruby. But life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions- including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey's pulse racing. However, the note, proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn't have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel's dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she's met, the more her curiosity grows. She's torn in different directions- the pull of her past with his overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems...

Welcome to the Ruby.

My review
Thoughts on the book: Hotel for the Lost tells the story Audrey and how on the way to their grandmother's house (where she and her brother are being shipped of to live due to her bad behaviour after their mother's sudden death) her father pulls up at a place called the Hotel Ruby for a night. Upon arriving Audrey is placed on the 13th floor and her dad and brother are placed on completely different levels. Although she makes friends with the hotel staff, falls in love with Elias, she seems to get on the bad side of the hotel Concierge, Kenneth, seems to see a lot of things that aren't really there, ends up with some weird aches and pains that suddenly disappear and never seems to get an invite to the nightly party held behind the doors in the foyer. After their one night suddenly turns into two and then three Audrey is left wondering if they will ever leave.  

Having never read one of Suzanne Young's books I didn't quite no what to expect with Hotel for The Lost. I had read a lot of reviews previously to reading it and many people didn't seem to really like Audrey, saying she was quite rude and fell in love too quickly, which I'll admit I agree with her falling in love with Elias too quick. One second they are meeting and the next they are hit and heavy and she never wants to leave him. However I found her to be a really well rounded character. I believe that the anger and hurt she was portraying would be exactly how someone who has just lost their mother recently and in all purposes lost their father as well, would act. I'm sorry but if she hadn't had these qualities I don't believe she would have been as strong as a character. In a way she blames herself for her mothers death and also holds a little grudge against her mum because she was going to break up with Ryan that morning and because her mother was home she couldn't do it and therefore never got another chance. So in Hotel for Ruby she is trying to work out all her issues and I believe in the end she does and she can finally let her mother go. Audrey grows so much throughout the book and is a much better person at the end especially doing what she does in the last couple of chapters (no spoilers here). I found the mystery that we were presented with in Hotel for the Lost was a little easy to guess in the end but still held my attention. I guessed about half way through when she started seeing things what may have been the mystery but it was a lot more complex than I could have guessed.

I am looking forward to reading more by Suzanne Young.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Week in Review #3

I have been so busy lately with my three kids that I haven't been able to get online much to do many posts (they have had piano recitals, dance concerts and so much more). So I would just like to take this opportunity to say I'm so sorry but I'm hoping to catch you all up in the next couple of weeks.here is a little catch up of some of the books I have recieved recently.

Books I'm currently reading

Books I'm going to read next

Books I have recieved for review