Melinda's favourites book montage

The Mark of Athena
The Son of Neptune
The Lost Hero
The Last Olympian
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Titan's Curse
The Sea of Monsters
The Lightning Thief
Throne of Glass
City of Glass
The Red Pyramid
City of Ashes
City of Bones
The Golden Door
The Farseekers
The Poison Diaries
Catching Fire
The Hunger Games

Melinda's favorite books »

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Going on Holiday!

So as the business of Christmas is catching up with me I have decided to put my blog on holidays for a couple of weeks or so. Sorry for the sudden change of plans.

I should be be back by Sunday the 30th of December!

So I will take this opportunity to say


Sorry again,


Monday, 17 December 2012

Review: The Iron King (The Iron Fey 1) by Julie Kagawa

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. 

The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)

This was a book that I had heard mix reviews about but I thought I would like so I decided to give it a go. I did enjoy this book, there were somethings that annoyed me a little but I enjoyed the setting and plot.

What did I like?

  • I loved the world of the Fey. The descriptions where enough to let my imagination run wild without slowing down the story. I could envisage the differences between the realms. 
  • I love the Fey. I have always been a fan of faeries and the like and the number of different magical creatures in the book was heaven for me.
  • Any book with a talking animal, in this case a cat, appeals to me. I loved Grim. I can't wait to get to know him a bit better and see the reasons that drive him, because I feel we didn't know this yet.
  • I loved most of the characters. I also loved the complexities in the back stories of a couple of the characters, in particular Puck and Ash.
  • I just loved the story. I am not particularly sure why but I just really enjoyed it.
What didn't I like?
  • I found Meghan to be a fairly soft character, and she annoyed me because of it. She was really jumpy and screamed heaps in the start. She then seemed to not be scared about much near the end and I found that to be a little unrealistic. I also found her sudden shooting prowess to be a little bit unrealistic as well.
I really enjoyed this book so I gave it 4/5 stars.


Up next: Review: The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey 2) by Julie Kagawa

Sunday, 16 December 2012


So another week ends and we are getting closer to Christmas and 2013. So what happened this week and what is to come in the week ahead?

Firstly what happened this week?
On Monday I brought you a review for The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, which was a book that I had been looking forward to for a while. Tuesday brought you the books that I was looking forward to being released in December. Wednesday bought another review which was the first book of The Three Doors trilogy by Emily Rodda, The Golden Door. Thursday was the second edition of Throwback Thursday where I talked about the Harry Potter series. Friday brought my third review of the week, which was the heart wrenching The Fault In Ours Stars by John Green and Saturday brought Seven on Saturday - the books I was most looking forward to reading over the summer.
This week I also got my hands on some new books. From my local library I got a copy of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I also downloaded some free ebooks from a couple of sites. Some of the books that I managed to get my hands on were:

  • Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina (Amazon)
  • Branded by Keary Taylor (Amazon)
  • Artemis Rising by Cheri Lasota (Amazon)
  • Icefire by Patty Jansen (Bookworld)
  • The Sweetest Song by S.E. Gordon (Bookworld)
  • The House of Grey by Colin Earl (Bookworld)
Review for these books will come sometime or another.

So what should you expect of the week to come?
Monday - Review: The Iron King (The Iron Fey 1) by Julie Kagawa
Tuesday - Nothing as of yet and it will probably stay that way.
Wednesday - Review: The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey 2) by Julie Kagawa
Thursday - Throwback Thursday: Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
Friday - Review: The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey 3) by Julie Kagawa
Saturday - Seven on Saturday: Seven books I want for Christmas
Sunday - Wrap-up/Preview

Hope you guys are looking forward to the week ahead as much as I am! 


Up next: Review: The Iron King (The Iron Fey 1) by Julie Kagawa.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Seven on Saturday - Summer Reads

Its Saturday again, so that means Seven on Saturday!

This weeks topic is Summer reads because it is summer down here in Australia. So other than swimming heaps, I plan on reading heaps in those hot summer afternoons when it is so hot that your air conditioner doesn't even really work.

The seven books that I want to read this summer are (in no particular order):

  1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver 
  2. Matched by Ally Condie
  3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
  5. Nightshade by Andrea Creamer
  6. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  7. I am going to cheat with this last one and say The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
Delirium (Delirium, #1)Matched (Matched, #1)Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)

All these books are on this list because I have wanted to read them for a while and hopefully with holidays and a little more time on my hand I will get them read! Click the picture if you want to go to the book's Goodreads page.

So what do you want to read this Summer. Or, if you are from the Northern Hemisphere, what books do you want to read this winter? Leave a comment and let me know!


Up next: Wrap-up/Preview post.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

The Fault in Our Stars

Firstly, if you haven't read this book then I highly recommend that you do. Secondly, when you do read it make sure that you have a box of tissues with you because it is a tearjerker.

I have to say that I generally don't read contemporary/realistic young adult books. I prefer my books to be fantasy and the content of it not happening in the world around me. I decided to read this book because I had heard so many great reviews about it, and I thought that I had better try it.

I am so glad that I did. This book really blew me away! It was such a rich story and I got very emotionally involved in the story and the characters.

What did I like about this book?

  • Everything
  • The characters were amazing. They were easy to empathise with and you felt like you were going through the same emotions as the characters.
  • It was very thought provoking book. I won't go into too much depth here, but it really made me think about a lot of things.
  • The love in the book between the two main characters was so pure and strong. It was beautiful. 
  • The description of the places that Hazel goes was really detailed. I was able to picture it clearly, even though I had never been to any of the places.
  • The writing and the language was brilliant. It flowed really well and encouraged you to feel the emotions of the characters. The descriptions, whilst vivid, and the conversations, whilst informative, didn't take away from the story or slow it down in any way. It was just a beautifully written book.
  • The ending was really well done, even if it left me wondering what happened to everyone. I felt that it was the perfect way to end the book.

What didn't I like about this book?

  • Absolutely nothing, I loved it all!

This was such a beautiful book, that I could easily have read in a day. It was thought provoking and also insightful. It has made me want to go and read more of John Green's work, even if I am not usually into the genre.

I rate this book 5/5 stars because it was brilliant!


Up next: Seven on Saturday

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Throwback Thursday - Harry Potter

Harry Potter would have to be, possibly, my favourite series of all times. I have reread them so many times that I have lost count, I actually can't remember how old I was when I first read them either. I have also watched the movies more times than I can remember. Just a note for any who haven't read these books there will be spoilers in this post.

So how did I come across them? Which book is my favourite? Who are my favourite characters? What was my favourite scene? Which is my least favourite book? How did the books compare to the movies? Well these questions, and possibly more, will be answered in my 2nd ever Throwback Thursday.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

How did I com across the Harry Potter books?

  • Well I was given the first book as a Christmas present when I was younger (like back in primary school younger) from my brother. It then sat on my bookshelf for a good couple of years until I didn't have anything else to read that sounded interesting so I picked it up. I then kicked myself for not reading it earlier because, shock horror, I absolutely loved it. I then went to my library and read the others that were currently out. Once all seven where out, and I was doing some Christmas shopping, I saw all the books in Kmart and then I bought them all in one hit.

Which one is my favourite?
  • Prisoner of Azkaban would definitely be my favourite because you get introduced to two of my favourite characters in Remus and Sirius and you learn all about the Marauder's. I also thought it was a very interesting plot with the time travel.

Who are my favourite characters?
  • Well there are a few. The first one (not particularly in this order) would be Sirius Black. I love his loyalty, his fierceness and the fact that he has a sense of humor. I also loved that he tried his best to protect Harry but he didn't stifle Harry either, he let Harry be his own person and make is own choices.
  • I love Remus Lupin, as well. He is such a kind man and willing to help out anyone who needs it. He is caring and very protective of the ones he loves. He also has a sense of humor but he can be sensible too, which is also a plus.
  • Nymphadora Tonks is also another of my favourite characters. She doesn't care about what people think of her, in both her looks and her choice of a husband. She is kick-ass and a fiery character, and possibly the character that I would most like to be.
  • Hermione Granger is character I love. She is so strong and smart, and the boys wouldn't have survived first year without her, not to mention all the other years! 
  • My final favourite character, although I am sure I will think of more later, is Luna Lovegood. I love how unique she is and how serene. She is another character that is not afraid to be herself and she is incredibly smart. She believes in unseen things, and I also think that helps her to believe in the people around her. She is also such a brave character!
  • Oooh I knew I would think of some others. I forgot to add the Weasley twins, Dumbledore and Kingsley Shacklebolt. 
What was my favourite scene (major spoiler here)?
  • It would be where Harry goes through Snape's memories and finds out that Snape never went back to the Dark Lord. It is such a sad part, but it was Snape's redemption and I just love the story between him and Lily.
What is my least favourite book?
  • The Order of the Phoenix because Harry is really whinny and angry and gets on my nerves. Plus I can't stand Umbridge and a certain character's death.
What is my favourite movie?
  • Again it would be the Prisoner of Azkaban (for reasons, see above). They did a good job with the adaptation of this book to the movie as well. Not much was missed and I think the casting for the characters was spot on.
What is my least favourite movie?
  • Goblet of Fire because they cut so many scenes out and only really showed the scenes of the triwizard tournament. I felt that it missed important conversations, particularly meeting with Sirius in Hogsmeade.
Anyway, that is all I have to say on this issue for now. I really do love these books. Feel free to leave your answers to these questions in a comment below.


Up next: Review of The Fault in our Stars by John Green.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Review: The Golden Door (The Three Doors Triology 1) by Emily Rodda

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
The walled city of Weld is under attack from ferocious flying creatures that raid in the night, bringing death and destruction. The Warden calls for Volunteers to find and destroy the Enemy sending invaders, and the heroes of Weld answer the call one by one, never to return. Rye is officially too young to go, but his brothers are among the lost and he must find them. What terrors await him beyond the Wall. 

The Golden Door

The Golden Door really would be called a Middle Grade book, but being a fan of Emily Rodda since I read the Deltora Quest series I decided to give it a go. 

What did I like about the book?

  • The world building was great. Rodda is great at descriptions. It is so easy to form mental images of the places that Rye goes to. There is depth to the world, as well. We see the City of Weld with it's walls, that in some parts are crumbling, the forest outside the walls and the other towns/cities that they travel through. The descriptions of everything was really vivid. 
  • The characters were great. There was such a mix of characters from old to young, good to evil and everything in between, yet you don't lose track of any of the characters. I loved the character interactions. The relationship between Rye and his two brothers were different in many ways. Then there were the relationship with Rye and the adults around him. My favourite relationship was between Rye and Sonia. I loved that Sonia annoyed Rye at the start before a friendship formed that was essential for the rest of the book. The differences in the personalities and characteristics of the people from different areas was also interesting to observe.
  • The different creatures and monsters are great. I won't expand on this because I don't want to spoil anything.
  • I also loved the little pictures scattered throughout the book of signs and other things. Each one often gave a hint and allowed you to guess what was going on.
What didn't I like about the book?
  • It was a simple read. I could guess what was going to come and not much thinking was required from my part. In saying that, it is a book aimed at Middle Graders not 20 year old book lovers, so it is understandable. I just found that the writing was fairly simple as well, but again it is a Middle Grade book.
  • I found that it was slow at times. There were parts where either the descriptions or the conversations slowed down the story line, particularly at the start of the book and I almost stopped reading a couple of times because I wasn't getting into the story.
I am glad that I persevered through the start because I did end up enjoying the story. I give this story 3.5/5 stars.


Up next: Throwback Thursday.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

December Releases to watch out for!

Some of these books have already been released, but here is a list of books that I am looking forward to being released. Click the picture to go to Goodreads page for each book to find out more information on them.

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)The Friday SocietyThe Darkest MindsPrincess of the Silver Woods (Princess, #3)Scent of Magic (Healer, #2)

  1. Falling Kindoms (Falling Kindoms 1) by Morgan Rhodes - Young Adult/Fantasy - December 11th 2012
  2. The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress - Young Adult/Steampunk - December 6th 2012
  3. The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Mind 1) by Alexandra Bracken - Young Adult/Dystopian - December 18th 2012
  4. Princess of the Silver Woods (Princess 3) by Jessica Day George - Young Adult/Fantasy - December 11th 2012
  5. Scent of Magic (Healer 2) by Maria V. Snyder - Young Adult/Fantasy - December 18th 2012

Anyway they are the new releases that I am looking forward to for December. What are yours?


Up next: Review of The Golden Door by Emily Rodda

Monday, 10 December 2012

Review: Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus 3)

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare...

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)

As you may already know I am a huge fan of the Heroes of Olympus series. That meant that I had big expectations when it came to this book and, thankfully, it lived up to them.

So, what did I like about this book?
  • It was easy to read, yet it was complex. I can never explain properly just what I mean by this, yet it is something that I say about all of Rick Riordan's books. It is easy to read in that it flows well, there is never any long descriptions that slow the pace, the words are all fairly easy to read and the sentence structure is great. Yet the plot is complex. There are many themes that run not just right through the book but through the whole series. There are a lot of things going on at once, but it doesn't seem cluttered and you can still keep up with what is going on.
  • Another thing I loved was the third perspective aspect of the story. It was nice and refreshing to read the thoughts of the different characters, and really it was the only way that this story was going to work. It was also great to finally get into Annabeth's mind and I have to say it wasn't how I imagined her mind would work. 
  • As always the characters are great. With having seven main characters in the book you would think that they could start being similar, yet each were different. I loved the diversity in each of the character's backgrounds, fears and personalities. The new characters added depth to the story and each played an important role in the story, whether it was for character development for the main characters, posing problems or even solving problems. 
  • The speed of this book was great. It was fast-paced and action filled, yet there were also times of conversation and deep thinking which was also needed and I think Riordan got that balance just right. 
  • I enjoyed the world building. Even though I had been to this world seven times before (including the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series), Riordan was able to build and expand on it. All the new settings where described so well yet the descriptions didn't slow down the book in any way. It was great to imagine each setting that all the events took part on and I must say that I love the Argo II. It would have to be one of my more favourite settings in the series! :)
Now to what I didn't like, and to tell you the truth this isn't a dislike, more just a slight annoyance. It annoyed me that a slight love triangle was introduced, and the fact that it wasn't even the one I was expecting annoyed me a little too. I felt like it didn't really need to be there, there was already enough tension between the characters without adding it. I don't think it will end up being anything to big either so I don't think it will add anything to the series.

I also need to comment on the ending, which I liked (sort of). All I have to say is Riordan sure knows how to write a cliffhanger! Now I eagerly await the release of the next book, The House of Hades, which I think is to be released next October.

Anyway, even with the slight annoyance of a love triangle I rate this book 5/5 stars because it was just that good! :)


Up next: December releases I am looking forward to!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Wrap-up of this week and What is to come next week

What happened this week?

Good question. I decided to really get this blog up and running and I am excited for the time ahead. So what I brought you this week was a review of possibly my favourite book of 2012. I gave you my first ever entry of Throwback Thursday, where I looked at two favourite series of mine. I then gave you an outline of what you can expect from me over the coming weeks and, hopefully, months. Saturday saw the start of Seven on Saturday, where you got to see my taste in Book Couples. And then of course there were the challenges that I signed up for. These are the 2013 TBR Pile reading challenge, Short Story Summer challenge, Take Control March 2013 challenge and the Australian Women Writers challenge 2013. Click on the pictures of the challenges to sign up! I will be bringing you the progress of these challenges in this wrap-up post across the weeks. 

Short Story SummerTake Control of Your TBR pile

What will happen next week?

Monday: Review of The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus 3) by Rick Riordan
Tuesday: December releases that I am looking forward to
Wednesday: Review of The Golden Door by Emily Rodda
Thursday: Throwback Thursday - Harry Potter
Friday: Review of The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Saturday: Seven on Saturday - Summer Reads
Sunday: Wrap-up/Preview and Challenge updates

I hope you enjoyed this week and I am looking forward to sharing with you next week.

Up next: Review of The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus 3) by Rick Riordan

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Seven on Saturday - Favourite Book Couples

Seven on Saturday is where I will put up a list of seven bookish things and explain why each thing is put on the list.

The topic of this Seven on Saturday is my Favourite Book Couples.

1. Finnick Odair and Annie Cresta - Hunger Games

I love these two so much. Their love is so pure and strong. There is no judgement on either part and each seems to be the other's lifeline. Finnick grounds Annie and Annie brings out the best in Finnick. They are just so perfect for each other.

2. Elspeth Gordie and Rushton Seraphim - Obernewtyn Chronicles

I loved watching this relationship grow while reading the books. Rushton helped to ground Elspeth and to help her be less detached from the world. His love for her is so strong, and I loved how at first it scared Elspeth and then she grew to return it. I think the development of this relationship is why they are one of my favourite couples.

3. Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks - Harry Potter

Another couple that had quite a few ups and downs. I love Tonks' love for Remus because she loved him no matter what he was. She believed in him when he didn't even believe in herself. I also like that Remus was willing to sacrifice his heart for her safety (even if he was being a prat, the intentions where good enough). 

4. Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase - Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Again the reason that I love this couple is because of the development, and the fact that they are so cute together. They have had so many obstacles to overcome before they even became a couple and then they are faced with other obstacles when they become a couple. I find that their relationship is real and believable.

5. Frank Zhang and Hazel Levesque - Heroes of Olympus

What can I say? I love these guys together. Frank loves Hazel even with her background, which would cause other people to leave her alone, because he knows her and doesn't judge her. The are both so protective of each others life and despite their differences they love each other, and for that they are awesome.  

6. Gilan and Jenny - Ranger's Apprentice

I wasn't totally convinced that these two should be a couple until I read their short story in the Lost Stories. In that story they are just so cute together and I am glad that Gilan found someone brave and tenacious.

7. Faramir and Eowyn - Lord of the Rings

I love how Faramir grounds Eowyn. She was so focused on war and more in love with the idea of someone and then Faramir came along and showed her what real love feels like. I think that he is what she needs and vice versa.

Anyway they are my seven favourite book couples, it will probably change and I had trouble pinning it down to just seven. Some honorable mentions are Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, James Potter and Lily Evans from Harry Potter and Will and Alyss from Ranger's Apprentice.

Let me know who your favourite seven book couples are by commenting below! :)

Friday, 7 December 2012

What I will be blogging and when?

So this is going to be a short post explaining to you what I will be posting, how often I will be posting and anything else that needs mentioning.

So firstly I will be doing a book review three times a week. This will be done on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The books that I will review will mainly be young adult, of which I will try and do a range of sub-genres. I will also occasionally cover adult and middle-grade books, depending on what I feel like reading. I will also on occasions have polls where you can decide what book I shall read next for review. 

On the last Tuesday of every month I will do a post saying what books I am looking forward to being released for the month ahead. For December I will do it this Tuesday to make up for missing it. Otherwise on a Tuesday I will not post at all. However, if there is a topic or question that I want to discuss then I will be posting this on a Tuesday.

On Thursdays I will do Throwback Thursdays, as you may have seen yesterday. This is where I will talk about books that I have previously read and maybe say how I found them, what they mean to me, the parts that i liked/disliked and also maybe give a mini review, depending on where the mood takes me. 

Saturdays will be something that I am going to call Seven on Saturday. This will just be a list of seven things book related. For example this Saturday I am going to cover my seven favourite book couples. I will also give a reason as to why something is on my list. 

Finally Sunday's post will just be a short review of the week and what I will be planning for you next week. I may also answer any questions that have been asked.

Anyway, that is it from me.


Up next: Seven on Saturday.

2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

Guess what? I have decided to participate in another challenge again! :)

This time it is the 2013 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, and with my TBR being rather large this is really the challenge for me. I am signing up for the Friendly Hug Level (11-20 books) for now. I may end up moving up for now.

For detail of the challenge and to sign up, click the picture! :)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Short Story Summer Challenge

Short Story Summer

Ok another reading challenge that I have decided to do. This is a mini challenge hosted on Booklover Book Reviews called Short Story Summer (because it is summer down here in the Southern Hemisphere). It is held from the 1st December to the 28th February and the goal is to read four published collection of short stories.

If you want to join up, click the picture! :)

Throwback Thursday - Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus

On Thursday's I will be doing Throwback Thursday. This is where I will talk about previous books, in particular series but I will also do standalone books, that I have read. On a Throwback Thursday I might give a mini-review on each book (but not necessary everytime), tell you what my favourite/least favourite parts were and tell  you how I came by these books. 

So now to my first Throwback Thursday. This week I am going to cover two series because the second leads on from the first, that being Percy Jackson and the Olympians (PJO) and Heroes of Olympus (HOO). I first came across PJO because of the move, The Lightning Thief. I enjoyed the movie and then saw that it was based on a book, so I went out and bought the box set and read all the books in the series. Then I questioned how that could completely ruin the story line of the first book when they turned it into the movie. After falling in love with Percy and his friends in PJO I found out about HOO and then I read them. 

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3)The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4)The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1)The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, #2)

I recently took to rereading PJO and the books current released of HOO before I read the latest book out, the Mark of Athena. I will do a full review of Mark of Athena when I have finished reading it, but before then I had the idea to share some of my thoughts on each of the books so far. 

Firstly, just a comment about the writing style. In the PJO series the writing is first perspective, with the main voice being Percy (obviously). I am not usually a fan of first perspective writing because I feel like we miss out on other things (for example, The Hunger Games where I feel we miss so much of the action and revolution because it is all written from Katniss' perspective). However, in this series I felt it worked really well because Percy was generally right in the thick of the action and anything else important to the plot that he didn't experience he saw in dreams. In HOO the writing is third perspective and I really like this. It was refreshing to have someone else's point of view and it allowed you to see things important to the story line that the other characters didn't know at that point in time. 
I loved Rick Riordan's writing style. I found it so easy to read, but he put enough complexity into the plot so I wasn't certain of what was to come. I really like books where I have to guess what is coming, and the more wilder my theories the better.

So the first book in the PJO series is the Lightning Thief. One thing to say first, if you haven't read this but have seen the film please do not be put off, the book is different in so many ways to the movie, and heaps better. So what did I like about this book? I think the better question would be what didn't I like about the book, which other than the betrayal, which was needed but I didn't have to like it, the answer to that would be nothing. Probably the best thing I liked about this book was the complexity. I spent a lot of my time guessing why someone would do certain things and wondering how Percy was going to get out of each situation. I also really like the monsters. The descriptions were so vivid and imaginative and they could be fairly witty too.

My favourite part about the second book, the Sea of Monsters, would definitely be the humour. There were so many great mental images that I got from some of the scenes, particularly with Grover and his 'love' and also the Party Ponies (sorry about the vagueness but I am trying not to spoil anything if you haven't read it). The introduction of a couple of new characters was well done, each one having a particular part to play and they weren't unnecessary. Even though I liked the humour, it is a serious story and there are plenty of sad/somber parts. There isn't really anything that I didn't like about this book.

This also applies to the third book, the Titan's Curse. This was a great book, possibly the best. Again there was plenty of humour and again there was plenty of sadness. There was also quite a bit of tension and hostility in parts of this book, particularly between the Hunters of Artemis and the demigod's from Camp Half-Blood. I have to say, and I am a little ashamed to admit this, I absolutely love Apollo. His humour was refreshing, but he also showed that he could be serious, particularly if someone was messing with his family. I am pretty sure he is one god that you wouldn't want to mess with.

There were plenty of times in the fourth book, the Battle of the Labyrinth, that I had no idea how Percy and his friends would survive. There was so much suspicion, tension, spite and many near death experiences. It was really fast paced and action filled, although in saying that there was still humour with my favourite part involving a mortal, a blue plastic hairbrush and the king of the titans. I loved how a lot of the story lines were starting to come together before the final book, even though new questions were also posed.

The fifth and final book of the PJO, the Last Olympian, was probably my favourite of the series. It had me sobbing and laughing at different parts. The ending was brilliant, not what I expected to happen, but it was sad. I loved how at the very end Percy stood up to the gods, and made them accountable for their part in the what had happened. The flashbacks intertwined in this book was well done and gave you enough information that you started to piece together what had happened and what was possibly to come. It really was the best way to wrap up the series.

Then along came the HOO. In the Lost Hero, we met Jason, Piper and Leo, along with most of the regular members of Camp Half-Blood, with one major exception. I loved these three together. They all had their flaws but they all just gelled together. There were some major pieces of news in this story, particularly if you were familiar with PJO, which had me reading into the early hours of the morning, wanting to know what was going to happen next. The mixture of old places and new places and old characters and new characters was handled really well by Riordan and you didn't miss previous characters because you learnt to love the new ones. It was an intriguing and brilliant start to the new series.

In the second book, the Son of Neptune, Percy was joined by Frank and Hazel, as well as quite a few new faces. Again the mixture of new and old was handled brilliantly and I loved having the different perspectives. I felt that it was needed more in this book than the previous one because of the different backgrounds of the characters and the different secrets that each character had. Again, I was constantly wondering how on earth  the characters were going to survive and achieve their goals in time. It was fast paced and left me wanting to know more. One thing I didn't like was Octavian. Every time he was present in the story I wanted to strangle him, and usually I am a non-violent person. He drove me insane, but his character required that and I think it will be very important for the stories to come.

So now it is time for me to read Mark of Athena, which I have been wanting to read since it came out in October. There are so many questions that need answering, but may or may not be answered in this book, and I am pretty sure a ton more will pop up. 

Now my first ever Throwback Thursday is complete and it has been fun. I hope you have enjoyed it and please leave comments bellow on your thoughts about the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series.

Bye for now,


Up next: An introduction to what I will be posting and when.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Take Control Challenge - March 2013

I have decided to do the Take Control challenge in March 2013 because my TBR pile is huge and this provides a great opportunity for me to, well, take control of it. Here's hoping that I actually do make inroads on my pile! :)

Take Control of Your TBR pile

Australian Women Writers Challenge - 2013

I have decided to do the Australian Women Writers challenge in 2013. As I am Australian, I think that this is a great opportunity to support Australian female writers. It also gives me an excuse to read the books of authors that I love and that I haven't got around to reading the rest of their books. I signed up for the Franklin level of the challenge, which is to read 10 books and review at least six of those books. I will put up a list of the books that I plan to read at a later date. 

If any of you want to sign up for the challenge, click the picture!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

First thing I have to say is the Australian/UK/New Zealand (on the left) cover to this book is amazing! For once, it is so much better than the American cover (on the right). This wasn't the reason why I bought the book though. I bought it because the blurb intrigued me and it looked like it could be a really interesting book. It lived up to, and beat, all the expectations I had for this book. 

I read this book in 2 days because it was just so addictive! It was one of the best books I have read this year.

The things I liked about this book are:

- The world building. Sarah J. Maas build this fantasy world so well and so descriptively without slowing down the pace of the book and without taking away from the characters.

- The character building. You watch the main character Celaena,who is an assassin, open up and trust other people and learn about her history. It is also really fascinating to see how the other characters change in regards to how they feel about Celaena, particularly Captain Westfall.

- I also loved the balance of action and romance. There was plenty of action in the book which was fast paced and very entertaining but it was tempered with a little romance which worked really well.

- The character relationships were also really good.

The only thing that I didn't really like about the book was the few switches of perspective because it got a little confusing. The first time we saw something from another persons perspective I was a little confused because it was so unexpected. However these still really built on the story, it just took a minute to figure out who's perspective it was being told from.

Overall, I really loved this book. I was surprised by how much I could relate to Celaena and how I really worried about the events. This was one of the main characters that I haven't been annoyed with unlike some of the other books I have read recently.

I would give it 4.5/5 stars.

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