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Chrissi Read (UK)

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Stolen
Stolen
by Lucy Christopher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing story, 18 April 2015
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This review is from: Stolen (Paperback)
Stolen tells the story of Gemma, who is taken from an airport far away to Australia. A controversial story, that’s for sure. I have really mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed reading it (despite the tough subject matter) but at the same time, I was expecting to be blown away…and I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I would totally recommend this book, I just think I had too high expectations going into it. This book is unique and interesting to read with a very intriguing view of Stockholm Syndrome.

I really enjoyed reading Gemma’s story. The story was told through Gemma addressing her kidnapper in a letter. I think this was a really effective way to portray how Gemma was feeling and how her feelings changed with time.The use of this narrative works because it feels much more intimate. The reader feels like they get to know her and live through her terrible experience with her.

Ty, the kidnapper, is an interesting character. He’s one that utterly confused me. I wasn’t sure what to make of him. Obviously, it’s completely wrong what he did and the fact he didn’t seem to realise what he did was wrong really frustrated me. My mixed feelings come from feeling somewhat sorry for him. He clearly needed help. It may have been interesting to learn about the kidnapping from Ty’s point of view. It’s not often that I long for alternate points of view (I don’t think it always works) but I’m certainly intrigued to Ty’s reasons behind the kidnapping.

This book made me think. It may not have been as amazing as I wanted it to be, but it was still a decent reading experience!


The Giver (Essential Modern Classics)
The Giver (Essential Modern Classics)
by Lois Lowry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 12 April 2015
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The Giver follows a world in which every choice individuals make are limited. The community that you live in controls your life. This is even to the extent of the role you play in society. Everyone has a role to play in society, and that role is picked for the people. The world in which individuals live in features no fear or pain. Our main protagonist Jonas is picked to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver is an incredibly important person in this community, because they alone hold memories of pain and pleasure!

The Giver is a short, but powerful read that makes you question what it would be like to live in a community that completely controls your life. If you’ve read this book after The Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent (or most other dystopian reads…) and not realised that The Giver came first- then you might think the ideas explored are not particularly original. However, The Giver was published in the ’90s, so its ideas were both scary and exciting at the time!

This book is part of a quartet, which I knew going into it. I think if you didn’t know that then you might be incredibly frustrated by the ending. The ending seems quite frustrating anyway, as it’s open ended. I’m intrigued to see what the next book is like. Luckily I have my hands on a copy already…


Awaken (Awaken 1)
Awaken (Awaken 1)
by Katie Kacvinsky
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to the series!, 2 April 2015
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This review is from: Awaken (Awaken 1) (Paperback)
I have had this book on my radar for a while now. The synopsis intrigued me, and scared me at the same time. It definitely seems like our world seems to revolve a lot more around computers now. It’s a future that could be possible and that terrified me!

Awaken is set in 2060 and is centred around Maddie who lives in a world in which everything is done on the computer. She doesn’t even go to school. Maddie thought she was okay with the solitary, virtual, digital life, but then she meets Justin, who completely changes her views on things. Justin likes being with people. Justin encourages Maddie to be with people, to be with him. Maddie feels torn as society and her family (especially her Dad) are telling her the exact opposite. Maddie has to decide what’s best for her and her family and what’s best for the rest of the world.

I think the reason why the world building was so good in this book, is because it’s something that could totally happen. The thought of people not actually writing with a pen terrifies me. I can imagine us all just having to press buttons and that’s how we create our words. Much like I’m doing now, but at least I still take the time to actually write. What would a world be like without it? *shudders*

I really liked the characters as well, although I’m not so sure on the romance elements yet. I’ll see how it progresses as the series continues, as I’ll definitely be reading the next instalment!


Unhinged (Splintered Series)
Unhinged (Splintered Series)
by A. G. Howard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 2 April 2015
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It had been a while since I had read Splintered which is A.G Howard’s twisted reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. So it was with much trepidation that I picked up Unhinged. Now I’m wondering why it took me SO long to read it. It didn’t let me down and now I can’t wait to read Ensnared. I shall be reading it ASAP!

Unhinged follows Alyssa one year after her adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa is drawn back into that crazy world into a battle against the Red Queen. Most of Unhinged takes place in Alyssa’s ‘normal’ world, but much of the Wonderland Weirdness seeps through into Alyssa’s life. I absolutely adored the character of Morpheus in Unhinged. He’s as intriguing as ever as he tries to encourage Alyssa to return to Wonderland.

I can’t express how much I enjoyed reading this book. I loved how the normal and the weird entwined. I loved learning more about Alyssa’s family. I feel like all of the characters developed well within this book. I feel like I know them really well now and want to find out what’s going to happen next. I’m torn between Jeb and Morpheus. Both are wonderfully written male characters.

A.G Howard’s writing is just so easy to read. It’s imaginative, original and paints such a vivid picture for the reader. Her characters pull you in and keep you turning the pages!


Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 1)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 1)
by Jeff Kinney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Great book for kids!, 2 April 2015
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Diary of A Wimpy Kid didn’t take me long to read at all. It’s in a short diary entry format, so for more relectuant or slower readers, it’s bite sized and easy to digest. I thought it was chatty and fun to read for young children. Greg writes about his life, family and school.

I didn’t think he was a particularly likeable character, but that could be because this book isn’t aimed at me. I just found him to be a bad friend. I don’t know, perhaps this will improve with the series, but I don’t think it’s a series I will continue to read. I’m glad it’s on my radar to use with young children though.

I know the children that have read this book are lapping up the series and I’m pleased it’s inspiring children to read.


Picture Perfect (Geek Girl, Book 3)
Picture Perfect (Geek Girl, Book 3)
by Holly Smale
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 13 Mar. 2015
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It’s been a while since I lost myself in Harriet’s world. Oh, how I’ve missed reading about Harriet. She’s just so darn normal and easy to relate to. Holly Smale really is a terrific writer and she deserves every success with this series.

Picture Perfect follows Harriet’s adventures in New York, after Harriet and her family have to move there for her father’s job. Harriet ends up landing a modelling job, but modelling in New York is a completely different experience. Harriet feels alone, her friends are back at home and her boyfriend Nick seems to be distant from her despite being in the same country!

I’m trying not to say too much, as it is best left for each reader to enjoy. What I will say though, is I love how Harriet is growing as a character. She’s still recognisable as our lovable Geek Girl, but she’s changing, she’s maturing, she’s rebelling! Harriet Manners is one of the most real characters I’ve read about. Any girl could be Harriet and I think this is what makes this series such a success.


Fixing Delilah
Fixing Delilah
by Sarah Ockler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars An okay read!, 13 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Fixing Delilah (Paperback)
Fixing Delilah is going to be hard to review, because whilst I didn’t hate it, I wouldn’t exactly rave about it either. There wasn’t exactly anything bad about the book, I just didn’t really connect with it. It’s one of those books that I would call ‘okay’.

I do really like Sarah Ockler’s writing. It’s really easy to read and I love how she injects humour into books, despite most of her books being about tough issues. Fixing Delilah is all about family secrets. It does have the typical YA story, with relationship drama. I thought Delilah was a good character though. She was believable and easy to believe in as she struggled with some confusion about her family.

I liked how Sarah Ockler covered some serious issues like suicide and tough family issues, but they weren’t covered in nearly as much depth as I would’ve liked. There was so much scope for a real gritty read. I can’t deny that Sarah Ockler is a brilliant writer though, and I’d definitely read more of her work.


Can't Look Away
Can't Look Away
by Donna D. Cooner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, relevant read!, 13 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Can't Look Away (Hardcover)
Can’t Look Away immediately drew me in with its synopsis. It feels incredibly current given the popularity of Youtubers at the moment!

Can’t Look Away follows Torrey Grey. Torrey’s Youtube beauty channel ‘Beautystarz15′ is a hit. Torrey’s subscribers believe she has the perfect life with her beauty hauls and other beauty features. They want to be like her, they feel incredibly connected to her. Yet Torrey’s life isn’t as simple as it may seem. Torrey’s younger sister Miranda dies and the events leading up to her death play on Torrey’s mind. Miranda’s last conversation with Torrey was an argument, so Torrey feels immensely guilty. Torrey finds it hard to return to Youtube and be that person that her subscribers are used to. Can’t Look Away tells Torrey’s story as she tries to adapt to life without her sister.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure that I was going to like Torrey as she seemed incredibly self-centred and more worried about what people thought of her and how she looked. Of course, many teens feel this way, so I guess it was realistic, I just worried that I wasn’t going to connect with her. I needn’t have worried though. Torrey grows throughout this book and whilst sometimes her actions may seem a little shallow, she has a good heart.

Can’t Look Away deals with some incredibly tough issues in a sensitive and realistic manner. I think it’s well worth reading!


Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
by Jesse Andrews
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars A good read!, 13 Mar. 2015
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I have had this book on my radar for a while now, so I was glad to finally pick it up! I was expecting this book to be really unique, which it was, but it fell a little short for me.

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is a book about a serious issue, but it’s cleverly laced with some humour which lightens the mood of the book. It’s refreshing. So often books with characters suffering from cancer are understandably heart-breaking, yet this book takes the issue in a lighter manner, which some, I think will appreciate and others won’t!

I think the reason I felt a little let down by this book was that it didn’t really go anywhere. The characters didn’t really develop and the story doesn’t really progress. Yet, I think it’s still enjoyable enough to pick up. Just don’t pick it up expecting an overly emotional, character driven book. It’s not that. It’s not even that much about cancer. It’s about Greg, his self deprecating humour and his own issues.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good read. It’s just not as plot driven as I had hoped!


The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas
The Assassin's Blade: The Throne of Glass Novellas
by Sarah J. Maas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.12

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but not necessarily a must read to read the rest of the series, 13 Mar. 2015
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I know many people recommended that I should have read The Assassin’s Blade before Throne of Glass, but I’m one of those people that doesn’t agree with that. I think The Assassin’s Blade was a great companion to the series even though I know that the novellas in The Assassin’s Blade come before we meet Celaena in Throne of Glass. I preferred knowing Celaena’s story before filling in some gaps with this read. I’m glad I read it though, I loved being back with Celaena and seeing what she had got up to before we met her!

The Assassin’s Blade is made up of five novellas prior to the events of Throne of Glass. I think fans of this series will absolutely love this addition and for new fans it will really enhance the series. You need not worry that you will be spoiled with this book too, they don’t give away any spoilers.

I personally much prefer the main series to the novellas, but novellas have never really been my sort of thing, so I’d definitely give this book a go, especially if you’re longing for the next instalment!


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