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The Reading Tree: The Seed

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The other day I started thinking about what started my love for the written word, and I came to the conclusion that it was those bedtime stories that my dad used to read to me. Though I cannot remember the names of most of the stories, one that I do remember and still love was The Hobbit. Though I loved some of the kids books that were read to me, it was these more serious books that my sparked my passion for reading and even writing.

If it were not for having parents that read, being read to as a child, and being surrounded by books for my childhood, I don’t know if I would have ever picked it up. If I remove from my life all the memories/influences of books that I read because of those three things, the only books left would be the ones that I was forced to read in school. I hated most of those books, and having to study them didn’t really improve the feelings I had towards them. I think I only really liked one book I was asked to read, and I didn’t read that book until my final year of schooling.

But then again, perhaps if you are meant to love books they will find you no matter what. Perhaps one day I would have been bored and someone had left behind a book with a cover that caught my eye, and lacking anything better I pick it up and fall inlove.

How did everyone else get the seed planted for their love of reading? Do you think it is harder for those who aren’t introduced to it by their family to discover books? Are they less likely to ever enjoy reading? All I know is that I’m grateful for my parents to get the ball rolling for me!

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The Book Chain Exchange Idea

ImageI have been thinking about this for awhile now, and the more I think about it the more I really want it to happen.

I would like to start up a book chain exchange.

How it would work would be someone, myself for example, would post a blog stating they are looking to find a another person out there in the world to exchange books with, and we would post each other a book we have already read. The title and genre of this book can be left unknown if the giver so desires. But before we post the books we shall write on the inside of the front cover “This Book Was Read By” and we would write our own names and state and country underneath to start a column. For example I would write Jazmin Pitt-Gill VIC AU. Then once we have read the book we shall write our details down under the other persons, then find another person to exchange books with and post the book onto another person! And so the cycle continues.

To keep track of how far your original book has travelled around the world and how many people have added their names to the list, each person who is putting the book up for exchange will just repost the original blog to do so. This was the original giver can see how many times it has been exchanged :) Or you can post a picture of the names in your own blog, and share the link with the original person.

You may start more than one chain.

I dont know how well this idea will work, but I think it would be awesome to watch the list grow, and to see how many names may be already be on a book you receive. If anyone out there is interested in starting this up with me, give me a shout!

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Book Review – Nerissa The Forgotten Siren

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Title: Nerissa The Forgotten Siren

Author: Lainy Lane

Genre: Mythology

Length: 39

Rating: 1 Star

Description/Synopsis:

Legends are unable to go very far if there are no survivors to carry the stories.
You’ve heard of mythology before, but not like this.
The Untold Myths series tells the side of mythology that no one has dared to tell before.
Sirens, the songs that lead sailors to their watery graves. Ships sink at the hands of the people that steer them. Once the song has left a sirens mouth you are doomed. You may know the story of the three original sirens, but did you know there were actually four? Nerissa is the forgotten siren. Her story has never been told, until now…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Such a shame. I always have such high hopes when it comes to stories about mermaids and this one just destroyed all of them.

The book pretty much was set in my bad books when it started off in the perspective of the Greek God Aphrodite. As someone who believes in these kinds of Gods, not necessarily these Gods but they are all along the same lines anyway and I have great respect for them all, I people are going to change things, add things, and make them their own when they bring them into their stories and when they do it well I really enjoy it, so don’t take my opinion against it as some religious disagreement. The portrayal of Aphrodite and all the other Gods was just horrible. Aphrodite, the god of love, was portrayed as someone who didn’t believe in it and hated it. Thats just stupid in my books. I can see someone changing it so that she ‘loves’ in the sense that she sleeps around all the time, but she can’t not believe in the very thing that makes her who she is. Her and all the other Gods were portrayed as over the top dramatic children. All they did was complain, and bitch and wallow in self pity. Not very Godly at all. Zeus was portrayed by Aphrodite as someone who got off on others pain. I mean come on now… Self pity runs strong in the main character as well.

I could have almost liked the ending how she becomes a human because Aphrodite sacrificed her ability to see her daughter so she could live happily ever after, but the whole love things that Nerissa was altering her life for happened way to quickly, there were a number of grammatically flawed sections, and just sections of the writing was horrid, excluding all the stupid nonsense of Gods being bitchy little cry babies.

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Book Review – Losing It

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Title: Losing It [Losing it 1]

Author: Cora Carmack

Genre: Romance

Length: 184

Rating: 5 Star

Release Date: March 28th 2013

Series Review: 1, 1.5, 233.5

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Description/Synopsis:

Love.Romance. Sex. There’s a first time for everything…
As far as Bliss Edwards can tell, she’s the last virgin standing, certainly amongst her friends. And she’s determined to deal with the ‘problem’ as quickly and simply as possible.
But her plan for a no-strings one night stand turns out to be anything but simple. Especially when she arrives for her first class and recognises her hot new British professor.
She’d left him naked in her bed just 8 hours earlier…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was immensely happy the entire time I was reading this and just could not put it down. With such obvious passion from the author, it was nearly impossible to not fall in love with her brilliantly crafted characters and get swept away as the story unfolds.

I got this book from the author off of NetGalley, and I am so happy that the author allowed me to read it. Most time these days I pick up a romance novel with the mind set of and now for another trashy romance novel… Regardless of whether or not I enjoy the trashy kind, I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to find it was not the case here. Even though the book seems to start off faced paced, it isn’t at all. It moves along at a pace that the book itself, you, and even the main character Bliss, are perfectly happy to move along at.

At first I was sceptical about our main characters name… Bliss… It certainly didn’t really help me not to think of the trashy kind of romance novel to say the least. But as I read on and got to know Bliss through her delightful and just down right funny inner dialogue I found that she had that name because it was her name. She couldn’t have any other. It was a kind of funny ironic fit considering pretty much nothing ever seems to work out quite as ‘blissfully’ as she always hopes.

Throughout the book I was continuing laughing at things that were said/happening. For example~

‘ “I have a cat! I do!” Damn it… why couldn’t I ever remember my imaginary cat’s gender? “Umm… she’s grey and adorable and her name is…” I said the first thing that popped into my head, “Hamlet.”

I was a genius.’

I can’t even to begin to tell you what that line did to me. Just thinking about it makes me want to just go back and read it again so that the warmth I felt the first time around can be felt over again and last just that little bit longer.

Encase it wasn’t obvious enough, I highly recommend this book. If you are a lover of romance novels and want a heart warming and loveable change from the more erotic sex based books, pick up a copy of Losing It.

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Book Review – Unpredictable Webs

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Title: Unpredictable Webs

Author: Darlene Quinn

Genre: Suspense, Thriller

Length: 451

Rating:  3 Star

Release Date: May 1st 2013

Description/Synopsis:

Betrayal, rebellion, jealousy, and a kidnapping gone awry are at the core of this fourth novel in Darlene Quinn’s ensnaring series. Unpredictable Webs picks up the Webs series five years after Twisted Webs.

About to turn sixteen, Marnie Taylor is rebellious–fighting often with her mother, Ashleigh–and jealous of her more even-tempered and popular twin sister, Callie. Lonely, Marnie finds a compassionate listener in Brad, whom she meets online. Spinning a web of lies to throw her parents off, Marnie arranges an in-person meet-up with Brad. But she realizes too late that she has been targeted in a sinister scheme for ransom.

Quinn’s vivid cast of characters returns in this high-tension, stand-alone sequel. Though their actions are plausible, none of them behaves as others might predict in this tale that discloses the darker behaviors people are capable of. Cougar Viviana De Mornay takes Chicago’s fashion world and ”Italian Stallion” Gino Cabello by storm. Tony Wainwright, who has paid his dues for a past crime and appears to have turned his life around, is catapulted to the top of the list of suspects. PI Ross Pocino is on the scene with his surprising insights into criminal behavior, and Paige Toddman’s mother, Helen, seems to grow younger every day. While some mothers can unintentionally do unspeakable harm to their children, Ashleigh’s steel-magnolia efforts to wrest her daughter from her captor redeem the sacredness of that role.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I received this book from the author off of NetGalley and I had serious issues with rating this book. On some levels I felt it needed to be held around the four star mark, but on other ones I felt it required one.

I don’t know if it was just because of the draft I was given to read, but I found the book to be riddled with structural, grammatical, and perspective errors and found myself placing multiple bookmarks along the way for the more serious ones I came across to point out to the author when I give her my review.

The structure of the book has a new chapter pop up every 4 or so pages on average, and at first I found this really rather distracting and it kind of reminded me of walking though a series of small spider webs, as soon as I removed one web I was thrust into another. At first I thought this was because of the constant perspective changes between the many, many characters but later worked out it was not the case because sometimes the author would give someone a paragraph in the chapter, leave a bigger gap between it and the next, then move onto someone else. Towards the end of the book though I rather started to enjoy this very broken up style of chaptering and only became slightly ‘disturbed’ by it when the chapters were longer than normal. I would not think this kind of writing would appeal to everyone however, and you should probably keep it in mind if you choose to try and read this book once its published.

The introduction of the characters was also a bit of a head spin at first because they all got introduced in rapid succession, and I found I had trouble keeping up with all of them, specially if I stopped reading for a bit and came back or with the lesser main characters. At certain points I found myself thinking Oh please no more characters… But after all this introduction if done in the beginning with pretty much everyone, it slows way down and you only get to meet a couple more people towards the end of the book.

If you ignore of that though the story itself was rather enjoyable. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was ‘unpredictable,’ but you care about what is happening to each character along the way. The character development I found was enhanced by the multiple character view points and rapid changes, because you got to see which personality traits each character picked up/focussed on with the rest of the characters. Some parts confused me with backstory since I haven’t read the first books in the series, but I got enough that I generally got the gist of what was happening/happened between everyone, and I look forward to going back and reading the first instalments.

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NetGalley – Unpredictable Webs

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I’m currently very excited because I got access to my first NetGalley book Unpredictable Webs by Darlene Quinn. It is also my very first reading of book that hasn’t been published yet! Unpredictable Webs doesn’t come out till the first of May. I can’t wait to to start reading it and give a review, but sadly I don’t know exactly when that will be.

A couple of hours ago I started getting a sharp pain in the back of my neck that is radiating up into my head. I get this every now and then, I don’t know what causes it, lack of water, this horrible that wave that is happening in Melbourne at the moment, or simply how I have been sitting, but if I don’t rest is completely it often gets worst. It often ends with my entire body being sore and me being unable to move for two weeks. This thing that happens make it hard for me to sit up enough to read a hard cover, but the copy of Unpredictable Webs is a  digital one and I find these hard enough to read as it is. Looking at a screen too long hurts my eyes. So, the book has to be put on hold until I can sit up and focus on what I’m actually reading. I don’t want to mark the book low because I wasn’t well and couldn’t focus. 

On the note of digital/hard copies of books, does anyone know if NetGalley only works with digital? The book said it was in hardcover format so I thought that meant I was going to me mailed the book but apparently not? I don’t know so if anyone does let me know :) And does anyone else have the issue with reading on the computer? If you do, do you have the same issue with things like Kindles?

To keep up with my reviews I’m going to slowly read some paperbacks (I’m trying to read number two in the Vampire Kisses series but its getting difficult), so hopefully I will have something up for you guys soon!

 

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Book Review – The Poison Garden

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Title: The Poison Garden

Author: Sarah Singleton

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 283

Rating: 1 Star

Description/Synopsis:

It is the 1850’s, and a young boy, Thomas, leaves his family to be apprenticed to a pharmacist, at the behest of his dead grandmother. He also inherits a magical box from her, which provides him entry into a mysterious garden. But while visiting it, he sees a ghostly vision of his grandmother, who tells him she was poisoned, and warns him that he must find the person responsible, and save her precious garden. For she was one of five members of an arcane guild, each of whom cultivated an individual garden, mastering the art of poison, perfume and medicine. The guild members jostle for power as, one by one, they are murdered …

Can Thomas solve the mystery, before he in turn is threatened?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

My opinion of this book is not great. Within the first couple of pages I was getting annoyed with the style of writing and found myself drifting off while reading and thinking about other things, and it took me far longer to read because I kept putting it down and trying to find something else to distract myself so I didn’t have to keep reading. But, I hate to leave a book unfinished and I committed to trying to post a review each day, so I pushed myself through it.

The contents of the book is described in way to much pointless detail that you dont get to form your own opinion or idea, and it happens way to fast for me. You get have barely started reading before major stuff starts happening, and though this can often work in some books it is not the case here. I felt as if I was being rushed through because the author themselves was already bored and was trying to get to the end of the book. Because of this rushed feeling you don’t get to connect to any of the characters. When bad things happen you don’t care because why should you? You haven’t gotten to feel any warmth or connection to them, you have just been told “This is this guy,” and then they just remain some random you know of but don’t give a damn about.

This feeling of disconnectedness could also be contributed to the pore dialogue. The conversations feel forced the entire way through, and for me they sealed the deal when it came to not caring about the characters. Towards the end I started to feel something, my head was focussed on the story I was being told and I wasn’t looking to see how many pages where left, but then some forced dialogue reared its ugly head and I was pushed outside of the book again. Things are danced around in a too obvious way, or they are just too plainly laid out for all the world to see. Conversations don’t seem natural (or feelings or reactions for that matter), and I felt as though I was reading school students running through a scripted play for the first time.

That being said however I did love the idea behind the book and feel it has so much untapped potential which makes the failings stand out that much more for me. Gardens which are all connect but all apart, which shape to your imagination and inner most ideals, and are boundless to restrictions of simply ‘good’ or ‘evil’ magic/abilities sounds like a fantastic concept that should have been looked at it more detail. I so desperately wanted to know more about each garden, to spend more that 10-30 pages I was given exploring each garden world.

This one book could easily have been an awesome series if it wasn’t so rushed.

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Hello There + The System

I decided since I love to read and since I do so much of it, that I might as well start a blog reviewing the ones I read. If you would like me to review a certain book, or if you are an author and would like your book reviewed, please let me know <3

I shall be using the same five star rating system because I think that will be the most simply way to do things.

1 Stars – If I finished this book, I probably regret it.

2 Stars – I finished it, but I don’t have anything good to say about it.

3 Stars – This book was borderline. It wasn’t painful to read, but then it was fantastic either. Would be a good read to fill in the time, or as a break from more ‘serious’ reads.

4 Stars – This book was really good. It may have had a few things that drop it from a five star, but not enough to ruin the overall experience and I highly recommend it.

5 Stars – This book altered my soul, and I mean that in the best way. When this book finished, I felt as though I had lost a very best friend and I was devastated to have it end.

When all is said and done remember these are just my opinions and you may not share them. I shall review every book I read with complete honesty and hope to be constructive with my comments. However, if I don’t like it I probably wont sugar coat it so I apologise if the ones rated 1 or 2 stars seem less that constructive and more rant like.