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Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Boy in Striped Pajama Giveaway



The Eclectic Reader is giving away a copy of The Boy In The Striped Pajamas which is a recently released movie as well. Giveaway info can be found here. It is open to International visitors which is not something that happens often so please support the blogger!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong


Review:- I borrowed this awhile back from the library and I thought that I would thoroughly enjoy it. Sad to say that I did judge the book by it's cover. Yes towards the end it certainly became very interesting but the first 40 chapters, book ended with chapter 47 was a bit tedious.

This story is about Chloe Saunders. A child who used to see ghosts in her basement. Now turning 15, she has not seen any ghosts since hence, she has put her fear/sightings in the past as a childhood fear, the running of a child's imagination. However, on her 15th birthday, whilst at school she sees another! Due to this sighting she is sent to Lyle House, a group home for kids/teens with mental problems eg. Schizophrenia which is what Chloe is eventually diagnosed with.

At Lyle House Chloe and the other kids soon realize that this group home is not what it seems and that the teens in this home did not end up in there by accident. The story consists mainly of the experiences of Chloe and the other kids in the Lyle House and whilst it does build up on the story, that something is wrong with Lyle House and there's a mystery behind them being there it just moved quite slowly. However, having said that I will still be reading the sequel which is The Awakening.

This is definitely a terrific plot but it just dragged on a bit. Had the story moved a bit quicker this would have been a terrific read but that's just my opinion, many have loved this book.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Happy Easter!!!



I just wanted to apologize for the lack of posts. I've just been busy and the last week have had a bad bout of the flu. So I've been missing out on my readings and my "What are you reading on Monday" posts. This is probably the slowest week in my "reading" this year. However, in note I've completed my two challenges from J-Kaye; "YA" and the "1st in Series" challenge. 

Happy Easter Weekend Everyone!!!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Book Trailer ~ The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

The Compulsive Reader: The Book Thief Trailer

The Compulsive Reader blog has posted The Book Thief's trailer courtesy of Youtube and it is wonderful! I am so excited, this is definitely going to be a Gold Class cinema screening for me. This book is a modern-day classic so if you haven't as yet read it please grab it soon. Here's my review on The Book Thief



Saturday, 4 April 2009

Taxi Instruction Napkins


I found this on a bridal blog that I frequent and thought what an excellent idea! Whilst owning a pub/bar/club is not something that I have ever considered, I thought what an awesome idea for those that do own one. Picture this, a customer is way too intoxicated, his keys are in the pot of "too drunk to drive" pile and the bar tender can't wait to get rid of him/her. They call a taxi, fill in the said napkin and hands it to the drunk or even put it into their pockets. Then it will eventually become a well-renowned phenomenon that the taxi driver simply takes it out of the customer's pockets or simply asks "Napkin please?" It even has a tick box to say where the money can be found so the taxi driver has all info he needs without having to really communicate with the drunk passenger. This is like a hall/bus/travel pass for the drunks, I love the concept!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier


Review:- I loved this book and very much understand why it has become a classic. "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier is a suspenseful thriller with a touch of romance and horror. The story is about the narrator who remains unnamed throughout the book, who meets and marries Mr Max de Winter, a recent widow and the owner of a beautiful estate, Manderley.

The story consists of her arrival at Manderley and her feelings of inadequacies as she realizes that she is nothing like the first Mrs de Winter, Rebecca. Rebecca seemed to be the perfect wife, hostess and in general the perfect woman. Our narrator goes through her life being shadowed by the dead but yet still very much alive in people's memories, the first Mrs de Winter. However, she soon hears from her Husband that the portrayed and "known" Rebecca amongst the public is not what she seemed and this is when the mystery and thrilling parts of the book commences.

I don't want to put spoilers although I'm sure many have read Rebecca but this is a wonderfully written book with enough of the different genre to keep all readers interested. The plot was amazing and it's twists and turns is certainly not something that you expect or realize straight away. I cannot say more about this book but that I loved the plot and the writing was terrific and I'm definitely going to be seeking for other du Maurier books. 


Overnight @ Sydney

Source:- Travel Now

Last weekend Mr & I went and spent the night in the city (Sydney). Friends of ours got "Complimentary" rooms at the Star City Casino (pic above) and so we thought we'd go too. Our night started so stressful that we just wanted to turn the car around and go home. Why? Well we got to the city in no time, no problems there, but when looking for our hotel, Novotel Rockford and with the city streets all being one way and very confusing for those that do not drive there, well we got lost. We were right at the entrance of our hotel but we see a sign "Novotel" and to go straight so off we went and we were directed to the Darling Harbour Novotel...where's my Novotel, ours was in the heart of Darling Harbour but the one further from Darling Harbour was called "Darling Harbour Novotel" and the one that's in the heart of Darling Harbour they call the "Rockford Novotel"! So despite it being a few blocks down the road we just got lost and went round, round and round some more till finally we found it and was quite happy with the location. Those that have been to Sydney will see from the Rockford Novotel pic below that it's literally in the Darling Harbour complex. 

Source:- Twohigs

So this is where the night gets better...well sort of. Mr & I finally settled into the hotel at 10pm when we got to the city at 9.15pm, we call our friends who are sitting down for dinner and told them to also order for us. He then tell us to go to Sussex Street...we get directed all the way around when at the end he realises it was only in Chinatown and rather than a 2-3 minute walk we walked for over 10 minutes because he didn't just tell us it was at Chinatown!!!

So we're hungry and grumpy, we eat lobster and duck and all the good things Chinese and then we finally start having a good time. We walk to the Star City Casino where said friends are staying and we see their room, not bad but not the $600 price tag it's worth either. Our location was actually better and ours was a mere $200!

Mr is so excited to play at the tables and not even 15 minutes later I get a call...he wants to go to bed LoL. So we traveled to the city, stayed at a hotel to; have dinner at a Chinese Restaurant, a 15 minute stint at the casino, half an hour shopping at Chinatown and the best part of the trip...the breakfast!!!


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


Review:- Henri Vanger's niece, Harriet has been missing for over 20+ years but he remains to receive dried pressed flowers yearly, a gift that only Harriet gave. Confused and extremely curious he wants to solve the mystery once and for all. 

Mikael Blomkvist a Journalist has recently been charged and convicted for libel. He wrote a story about Wennerstorm, a corporation giant, and their illegal and underground dealings. Failing to provide his source, after Wennerstorm sued him he was then convicted. 

Lisbeth Salander is a very disturbed woman with a bad past. Salander is now working for a security company, providing them with detailed and in depth report on individuals that their client wants investigated. Salander is the best in her field, but she finds these information illegally, she's a computer hacker.

After Blomkvist stint with the legal system, Henri Vanger took the opportunity to strike a deal that Blomkvist couldn't resist. Vanger hired Blomkvist to solve the mystery of his niece's disappearance in exchange for information about Wennerstorm that will prove that Mikael's story wasn't a lie after all. Despite hesitation Mikael takes the job and before long Mikael hires Lisbeth Salander to help him with the case. The two soon find out that the Harriet Vanger case is not what it seems. 

This book was quite slow to start off with. I had past the half way point of the book before it started to get interesting, up to that point it was a lot of introduction. To be honest, it wasn't even introduction but it dragged through parts that was not necessary or even important in the case. I found that the first half of the book concentrated on points that by the end of the book you wonder why on earth did they go through that in so much detail? However, as I've said in previous posts, it seems that this is the norm for first books in a series, hence, maybe when I read the second book I will realize its importance, but as for now I felt that it was written simply to fill pages.

Having said that, once the book actually got going it became a very good mystery story. Filled with unexpected twists and turns it kept me interested and constantly thinking. It was certainly one of those stories that at the end you think "Wow! I didn't see that one coming!" So in that respect it certainly achieved it's goals in being a good mystery book, like I said, my only qualm was that I felt that some minor themes were explored too in-depth when it was not necessary.

Whilst I was not able to empathize with any of the characters, I felt that in this book, the characters were one of Larsson's best points. Larsson's characters had multiple dimensions and he explored their different dimensions in depth. Through the creation of his characters, you as the reader is brought into their lives and you want to find out what and why this and that happened in their lives.

Overall this was a great first book for Larsson, you can see his potential to be a great writer, but I think that he just needs to know when enough's enough and that sometimes going too much into a minor theme/plot of the story becomes information overload. Apart from the information overload the plot, themes and characters were well created and the book was well written. 

* Stieg Larsson soon died after writing the trilogy, hence he never knew the fame that his books claimed.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Melina Marchetta Book Giveaway & Competition


This is the first competition I am hosting so please bare with me. This is in honor of one of my favorite author, Melina Marchetta who is based in my home country, Australia.

To enter you must:-
1. Place a comment on this entry and link me to a review written by you, on your favorite Melina Marchetta book. Those that do not own a blog, please place a comment with your email address and I will give further instructions on how to get the review and question (see #2) to me. Comments with email addresses will not be published, hence it will not be viewed by the public. Email addresses will be used for this competition only and it will be deleted as soon as I've contacted the entrants regarding this competition. 

2. Within the same comment write ONE question that you would want to ask Melina Marchetta if you got the chance.

Conditions:-
1. Winner will be drawn at 6pm (GMT10+) on Friday the 10th of April 2009. 
2. Winners can only enter once, with one review, one book and one question.
3. Winners will NOT be notified by email so please subscribe or RSS feed this entry to ensure that you do not miss out.
4. Winners will have 24 hours to get back to me with information that I will need for their prize. If the winner does not contact me within the provided 24 hours a new winner will be chosen. 
5. Open to all readers worldwide.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

What Are you reading on Mondays?


I haven't been on my blog as often as usual...apologies. I also missed out on "What are you Reading on Mondays" and am one day late so please bare with me. There was no point writing a "What are you Reading on Monday" post last week as I did not complete any of the books that I had wished to read.

Books I've finished last week:-
1. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Books I'm currently reading:- 
1. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
2. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
3. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
4. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Books I plan to read this week:-
1. The Risen Empire by Scott Westerfeld
2. The Foundling by D.M Cornish

At the moment I'm going by what needs to be returned at the library next so please bare with me if the "Books I plan to read this week" doesn't end up being accurate. 

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