Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Pages: 278

" “I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever."

I read a few reviews for this book awhile back, and heard that it was the type of book that book-lovers connect with, because of the characters love of books.

I showed my dad the cover of the book and he asked 'Do you know what Guernsey is?'
'An island in the English Channel?' I had looked at the map inside the cover of the book already
'Well, that and also the guernsey cow.' of course my dad would think of agriculture :)

I didn't really expect to like the book since it was written as a series of letters sent from this person, to that person, and back again etc. etc.... I wrong.

The first half of the book was good, the second half of the book was fantastic! I have never laughed so much while reading before. The characters are odd, witty (I love the word 'witty', I think I'll start using it more often), and absolutely lovable. Although the book was funny, it was also serious. I was near tears twice while reading Remy's letter.

I found this novel immensely enjoyable. Have you read it? If so, what are you're thoughts on the book? Who were you're favorite characters?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Shifter-By Janice Hardy

'Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers' League apprentices, Nya's skill is flawed: She can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she'd be used as a human weapon against her own people.

Rumors of another war make Nya's life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. At first Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she's faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price; but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?'

The Shifter, or The Pain Merchant, is the first book in the Healing Wars series by Janice Hardy. I knew from the first page that I would like this book. It started with Nya narrating, talking about how to steal an egg from a chicken. Since I have had to deal with chickens on many occasions(I almost got attacked by a rooster today), I formed an instant bond with Nya.
Click HERE for a excerpt from The Shifter.

I have been lucky to find so many great books lately, this is one such book. I love how it was written, Janice Hardy is a great author. The world was so detailed, the storyline so dark, filled to the brim with drama, the characters lovable and easy to connect with. There was nothing I didn't love about this book. If you haven't read it already, you need to.

Fire-By Kristin Cashore

She is the last of her kind... It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.'

This book is kind of a prequel to Graceling. I thought I would like this book as much as the first, but Fire just seemed to fall flat. There was nothing wrong with it, other then the fact that I didn't care about the characters, or the story. there was a whole bunch of twists and turns, but I didn't find any of them shocking or interesting because I just wasn't interested. I don't know why.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mercy Thompson Series- By Patricia Briggs

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal, her neighbor is a werewolf, her old boss is a Gremlin (fae), and she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. Oh yeah, and she's a 'Walker'(a Native American shapeshifter who turns into a coyote).

This is an amazing series, everything about it is fantastic. It's got fantastic characters, a good storyline, great writing. Most of the time I hate books that are written in first person; with these books I didn't mind it at all. The story just flows.

Usually I don't get scared when I read books. Vampires and werewolves, just really don't scare me when I'm reading about them. Except one scene in Blood Bound, just thinking about it still gives me chills. It's just plain creepy. So, congratulations Patricia Briggs, you have succeed in writing one terrifying chapter ;)

A couple of times when I was sitting down watching a movie, I kept on thinking 'that person should be able to smell them lying,' or 'they should never had been able to sneak up on him'. I don't know when I started relating werewolf super powers to every movie, but it was starting to get on my nerves a bit. I guess it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

I'm finding it really difficult to describe Mercy's character, I've been trying to write this review since 12/31/09 and I just can't seem to put it in the right words. I might try again when Silver Bourne, the 5th Mercy Thompson book, comes out. I just read on Patricia Briggs' website that she finished it 1/4/10, it' supposed to be released at the end of March 2010.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Graceling-By Kristin Cashore

"Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po. She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace - or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."

This book is absolutely fantastic!!! The story had me on the edge of my seat from page one. If I didn't need sleep, I would have finished it the first night. Sometimes when I get obsessed with reading it becomes more about the need to finish the book, instead of just enjoying the story, this book reminded me, again, just how much fun it is to read. Graceling has action, mystery, romance, great writing, lovable characters; everything a good book needs.




The only thing I could NOT stand about this book was: Katsa found a guy who she loved, and who loved her in return. But instead of marrying him like he wanted, she did not even consider the idea of marriage because it would take away her freedom, so she decided having a lover was better then having a husband. Okay, that's the end of my rant.


Get if from the library, or pick it up from a book shop, it is definitely a book worth reading, especially if you love fantasy.