Friday, 24 February 2012

The Host by Stephenie Meyer - Book Review

I must confess. I started reading this books with negative preconceptions about its quality. Downloaded on a whim from an Amazon gift card it has been on my list of books that I should read, as it was from the author of the infamous Twilight series. Yet my best friend, Sam Crossley, had warned me this is the only book he hasn't finish. But, me being me it just made me want to read it more! So I pushed it up to the top of my reading pile, with his warning ringing in my ears.
Summary courtesy of Amazon : Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

On first impressions this science fiction book appeared to have potential for an interesting series of books, never mind just one, but I soon discovered why it often became unfinished. This book is too long. I made a comment on Twitter about how I was struggling and with a comment from my old English teacher I stuck at it and was rewarded in sorts.
This was a pure emotional rollercoaster. In my last post I commented how I am an emotional soul (no pun intended) but this had me in a steady stream of tears falling down my cheeks while finishing the final chapters last night.
The romance this book promised to be was easily the least interesting part. An impossible love triangle and the power of all consuming love… blah blah blah. It was too similar to the Twilight series in this respect, with Wanda hopelessly doomed to be the next Bella. Although the endings are very different the themes of the conclusions are almost identical which left me wanting more, or just something different from Meyer.
Overall this book had the foundations to be something so much more, but I did manage to finish this roller coaster ride of emotions, and I think by the end I began to enjoy it.

Thank you as always for reading,
Love Rie x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Books That Make You Cry.

Anyone who knows me will know I am a rather emotional person. It is ommon to sometimes see people crying in a cinema after a sad movie has finished, but how many people will admit to crying over a book?

I will hold up my hand. Whilst reading in bed two nights ago I was in floods of tears over a particularly emotional part in The Host by Stephanie Meyer. Don’t worry – I will NOT give away any spoilers about this one as I want to do a review!

So here are the books that have made me cry. Some have also been recommended as tear jerker's that I have not yet read so get your self a tissue - and lets get sobbing. To help rate these emotional books I have given them a Sob Scale, with 1 = a single tear to 5 = full out sobbing!

Dobby the House Elf may you R.I.P 
  •  As mentioned above – The Host by Stephenie Meyer
    Emotionally written and heart wrenching.  3/5
  •  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (SPOILER ALERT)
    There are a number of sob worthy scenes within this book, but the only thing that made me cry more than Mrs. Weasley screaming at Beatrix Potter “Not my daughter, you bitch” was the death of Dobby the house elf and his burial (just thinking of this leaves me fighting not to make a fool of myself in a public place while typing this!) 5/5

  •  Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    I read this book for GCSE English Literature, I cried in class while reading it. I cried again whilst revising it for the exam, possibly more than the first time. The absence of the emotion in the book probably making me more emotional!! 4/5
  • Marley and Me by John Grogan
    Still the only book that has made my Mum cry 4/5

  •  My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
    Written to make you cry, which is something that has received mixed reviews. This is not a book I have read, and something I don’t think I ever will. But on the sob scale it is meant to be a 4/5
  •  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    I am ashamed to say that I have never finished this book. After a shocking scene in the opening chapters I never really could apply myself to it. And it left me in angry and shocked tears. 3/5
  • New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
    Finally, a book that some people said made them cry and I didn’t! This book is my least favourite of the Twilight series however and I don’t think I would want to re-read it! 1/5

In the comments below let me know what books have made you cry and why.

Thanks for reading,

Love (emotional) Rie x

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Spotted: Free Kindle Books!!

I originally wanted to do this post as a video, but after filming and starting the editing process I realised that my editing software (Windows Movie Maker) is just not up to scratch. The audio and video keep going out of sync, and it was getting really frustrating. It was very important to me that I got this information out as soon as possible, as Kindle books do not stay free for long. So my apologies for the rather false start on providing some video posts via YouTube, but I will invest in some better equipment and software soon and come back with new vigour!

How you will often find me of an evening.
I love the colour of my Kindle cover, which was
a birthday present from my brother
As you can see in the title, this post is all about my top picks of free Kindle books on Amazon. I would like to add here that you do not need to feel left out if you do not have a Kindle. Amazon offers free applications for your computer, iPhone and other smart phones that you can download all Kindle books onto and enjoy the free literature.

I have divided this post in two; my first four picks are classics of the book world whose copyright has now expired and thus are now available for free. The second half however are the time sensitive ones. These are books that have been placed on Amazon for free for a limited time only, so if you like the sound of any of these titles do not delay and download them straight away. I have been introduced to some of my favourite new authors this way, and is well worth it for those that want to discover something new.


  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
    Before your Twilight, Vampire Diaries and True Blood, Dracula was the original vampire. If you like vampire books and have not read Dracula you need to get your head seen to. This is a classic and a must read to all.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 
    The first zombie book, before zombies were cool (if they ever were!). Even if you claim to have seen the movie, and all its tedious sequels and remakes it is well worth going back and reading the original.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 
    This is one of those books that I love to dip in and out of. If I am feeling stressed or restless this fantastically crafted fantasy world is true escapism. We did a play of this in primary school (and I didn't even get to be Alice... but we wont go into that...) and it really cemented my love of all its little quirks.
  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    I have searched high and low for the original Sherlock Holmes but cannot seem to find it anywhere for free. However this book does come highly recommend (although I must confess I have not read it myself). If you do want to read his full collection, you can purchase it for just 77p here.

New Publications - Free for a limited time only!!
Firstly I must say that I have not read any of these books, so cannot comment on their quality. The very nature of free Kindle books means that I have sourced these books very recently and not yet had chance to read them.

  •  Ghost Box: Six Supernatural Thrillers by Scott Nicholson [no longer free :(]
    This collection of ghost stories promises to have you scared witless!
  • Soul Mate by Richard Cawford
    The cover of this is very cliche with the moody haunted house and bats. But you should never judge a book by its cover, and the description sounds intriguing. And who can say no when it is free?
  • Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf 
    I really like the sound of this books description. With the main protagonists being a vampire and a werewolf and both of them being married sounds like a blood bath. But I am looking forward to seeing how this will read.
  • The Seventh Sister by Z. L. Arkaidie
    This paranormal romance book is the second in the Parched series, which makes it an odd one to be free. All I can assume is it will force people like me to purchase the first one as well, as they find it impossible not to read them in order! But I will have a look at this closer, and see if it is worth the investment.
  • Bewitching the Werewolf by Caroline Hanson
    Short stories with witches and vampires - has got to be worth a quick read! (comes with an adult warning).
  • Black Moon by C. L. Bevill
    Another short story, which is the first part of the Moon Trilogy. Containes Werejaguars, WereWolves and a Librarian was a warning it is not for minors.... I am going to have to read it now just to find out why!! You can also get the next two parts of the series, Amber Moon and Silver Moon for free too!
  • The Vampire's Warden by S. J. Wright
    A paranormal romance from the Undead in Brown series, which claims to be a different approach to your average Vampire story.
  • Thirst by Claire Farrell
    This is the first part of the Ava Delaney series, a protagonist who is a Human-Vampire hybrid that I want to read a lot more about!

Hopefully this is enough to keep you going, but if you would like to find more free Kindle books, make sure to follow me on Twitter and add me as a friend on Facebook, where I post links of free books on Amazon that I have spotted.

Let me know if you like these sort of posts, and would like to see more. 

Thank you as always for reading,

Love Rie

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Darkness Unbound: The Dark Angel Series #1 - Book Review

This author was recommend to me on as being similar to Kelley Armstrong. Regular readers will know I am a huge fan of Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, and I was excited to think I might have found something on a par with this adult fantasy collection. However I can't help but think I built this book up for a fall.

Summary courtesy of Amazon: Born from a lab-enhanced clone mother and an Aedh father, Risa Jones can not only talk to the souls of the dying and the dead, but she can see reapers and walk the grey fields that divide this world from the next. They are skills she rarely uses, however. But when her mother asks her to help the parents of a little girl locked in a coma, she reluctantly agrees. What she discovers terrifies her: someone has ripped the girl's soul from her flesh. As it turns out, a creature consuming the souls of the innocent - and not so innocent - is the least of her problems. Because someone wants to rip open the gates that divide hell from earth, and Risa is a key component in their plans. And the only person standing between her and disaster is a reaper who isn't exactly on her side.
I was disappointed by this book. I wanted it to be so much, which it did try to be, but just wasn't.

What confused me the most was the over complication of the supernatural races. The protagonist Risa Jones is half Werewolf, half Aedh, who can shift her facial features to look like others, see reapers who come to collect dead souls, walk the area between life and death, turn in to a wisp of smoke, has a large sex drive (thanks to the werewolf in her), can feel her Mom's emotions.... I'm sure there is more that I have missed out. And don't forget her Mom is a blind clone with spirit guides and Dad is full Aedh which only adds to the confusion of her true heritage. I just found it all so unnecessary. Why not just stick to one race and develop it?

It is also a very adult series. The beginning of the book hints at adult themes of friends with benefits and relieving her 'needs' by almost strangers that just didn't sit well with me. It gets almost pornographic at times, and not that nice romantic throes of passion pornographic - just graphic. This may be appealing to some, but it didn't add anything to the narrative, and her partner just disappears when the real action starts, never to be seen again.

This is also a second series for Keri Arthur, after a considerably more popular one. The Riley Jenson Guardian series has a total of 10 books, and has now been declared finished. But Riley Jenson plays quite a large role in this book as Moms friend / Auntie, leaving me feeling a lot has happened that I don't know about in previous books. It feels like it has been written for the fans and not for a new reader like myself.

In summary, I didn't like much about this book. But I did finish it. About half way I posted on Goodreads I was going to give it a rest and come back to it, as I really wasn't enjoying it, but in bed that night I opened it and began reading it again without even thinking.

For this point only I will give it:


Despite all this, I feel that the Riley Jenson Guardian series does sound very interesting. So I might be picking up one of these to read sometime in the future. However I am sad to say, I will not be seeking out the next book in this series.

Thanks for reading,

Rie x

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

My Top 10 Books I Want To Read, But Never Quite Got Round To!

Rather than the next ten books I am going to read, this post is about some classic titles and more contemporary supernatural fiction that I have heard a lot about, but has never made it to the top of my reading pile.

They do vary quite a lot, but are all on the list because they have been recommended to me at school, in college or from friends on and offline.

Listen what I have to say about them here:

  1. Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien [reading now!]
  3. 1984 by George Orwell
  4. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  5.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen [free to download on Kindle]
  7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (3 book series) [also available for single book download here]
    [First book read]

  8. Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith (10 book series) [also available for single book download here]
  9.  House of the Night Series (first six) by L.C.CastKristian Cast (10 book series) [also available for single book download here]
  10. The Host by Stephanie Meyer [read]
Please comment below and let me know what you have heard a lot about and is on your reading list.

Is there something I need to add to my reading list? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading & watching,

Love Rie x