Thursday, 27 December 2012

Life of Pi- Yann Martel

Publisger: Mariner books
Published: May 1, 2003
319 pages
Goodreads page

Life of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe.

Growing up in Pondicherry, India, Piscine Molitor Patel - known as Pi - has a rich life. Bookish by nature, young Pi acquires a broad knowledge of not only the great religious texts but of all literature, and has a great curiosity about how the world works. His family runs the local zoo, and he spends many of his days among goats, hippos, swans, and bears, developing his own theories about the nature of animals and how human nature conforms to it. Pi’s family life is quite happy, even though his brother picks on him and his parents aren’t quite sure how to accept his decision to simultaneously embrace and practise three religions - Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam.

But despite the lush and nurturing variety of Pi’s world, there are broad political changes afoot in India, and when Pi is sixteen, his parents decide that the family needs to escape to a better life. Choosing to move to Canada, they close the zoo, pack their belongings, and board a Japanese cargo ship called the Tsimtsum. Travelling with them are many of their animals, bound for zoos in North America. However, they have only just begun their journey when the ship sinks, taking the dreams of the Patel family down with it. Only Pi survives, cast adrift in a lifeboat with the unlikeliest oftravelling companions: a zebra, an orang-utan, a hyena, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Thus begins Pi Patel’s epic, 227-day voyage across the Pacific, and the powerful story of faith and survival at the heart of Life of Pi. Worn and scared, oscillating between hope and despair, Pi is witness to the playing out of the food chain, quite aware of his new position within it. When only the tiger is left of the seafaring menagerie, Pi realizes that his survival depends on his ability to assert his own will, and sets upon a grand and ordered scheme to keep from being Richard Parker’s next meal.

As Yann Martel has said in one interview, “The theme of this novel can be summarized in three lines. Life is a story. You can choose your story. And a story with an imaginative overlay is the better story.” And for Martel, the greatest imaginative overlay is religion. “God is a shorthand for anything that is beyond the material - any greater pattern of meaning.” In Life of Pi, the question of stories, and of what stories to believe, is front and center from the beginning, when the author tells us how he was led to Pi Patel and to this novel: in an Indian coffee house, a gentleman told him, “I have a story that will make you believe in God.” And as this novel comes to its brilliant conclusion, Pi shows us that the story with the imaginative overlay is also the story that contains the most truth.

I want to start off by saying that this is the 50th book i read this year, which means i reached my goal! yay!

At first i didn't really get into this book, it was kind of slow at the start and i couldn't really see where it was going.
It wasn't until about halfway through that i actually started enjoying. 
I love the strength that Pi showed and even when there seemed to be no hope he never gave up. He was so strong willed and that's what is so inspiring.
There were a few slow bits and i had moments where i was like does it ever end? But the story really is fascinating.
The ending threw me off and then after a few minutes i realised it made perfect sense.You can tell its a really well thought out story and the author did a lot of research,

Overall it was a pretty interesting and well written story. I'm excited to see what the movie is like.

Four stars

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Pushing the limits- Katie McGarry

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: July 31, 2012
392 pages
Goodreads page

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty muchimpossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

We start off meeting Echo who went through a life changing event which kind of messed her up, the only thing is she cant remember what it was that happened. Then we meet Noah who also has his own issues that he is trying to sort through. They are both seeing the same councillor and they meet and the story kind of takes off from there..

This book kind of had highs and lows for me. There were times where i was really into it and then times where it was kind of just your regular teens with issues falling in love story.
I liked  the characters and the way we kind of go through Echos story with her learning as she learns what happened to her.
I also liked that it wasn't your typical insta-love story. I also liked the whole 'looking for normal' thing (those who have read it will get it), because in life i think a lot of people crave 'normal' but normal is what you make it. Its a good message to get out there.
I cant exactly pin point what the lows where for me but there were just times when i was easily distracted from the book. When i read i like to be fully absorbed and give it my full attention but there were times where i struggled.

Oh and i have to say that i really don't like this cover. Its just doesn't work for me.

Overall this is a good read and i recommend it for any lover of YA contemporaries that deal with issues.

Four stars

Monday, 3 December 2012

End of year book survey!

End of year book survey is created by Jamie over at perpetual page turner, its just a survey to look back at the books we read this year.
I know the year isn't over yet but i have a feeling i wont be getting a whole lot more reading done between now and the end of the year so without further ado here is my survey for 2012!

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
So probably my most favourite book of the year is was Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver but i have so many that i might just break it up into genres:

Adult fiction: The Casual Vacancy- J.K.Rowling
Contemporary YA- Cracked up to be- Courtney Summers and The Fault in our stars- John Green
Dystopian YA- Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Anna and the french kiss- Stephanie Perkins, i didn't completely hate this but after all the hype i thought it would be a lot better and i was pretty disappointed. It was kind of like any other YA contemporary

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 
The girls guide to homelessness- Brianna Karp, i didn't expect this book to touch me like it did. I really felt a lot of emotions while reading this and i really enjoyed it.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
I haven't really recommended any books to anyone because most the people around me don't read, but i did tell my mum she should read fifty shades of grey (not that she did).

 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
The delirium series is so good! i loved the second book way more than the first but they were both great, its such a good concept. I also enjoyed the maze runner series (although i have only read the first two so far)

 6. Favourite new authors you discovered in 2012?
John Green , i read two books by him this year and really enjoyed them both.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
The red queen and The white queen by Phillipa Gregory, i don't usually read much historical fiction but i actually really enjoyed these books, although it took me a little bit to get into because you kind of have to think a lot while reading to remember who's who and everything.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
Well there was only one book i read in one sitting and that was The fault in our stars by John Green

 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Probably pandemonium because when requiem comes out i will want to remember everything that happened

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2012?
Fallen- Lauren Kate
It wasn't the greatest read but it has such a pretty cover.

11. Most memorable character in 2012? 
Probably Ana from the fifty shades of grey trilogy, only because it was probably one of the weirdest books I've read so it stands out to me

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
The sky is everywhere- Jandy Nelson was really well written

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 
Either A girls guide to homelessness- Brianna Karp or Unbearable lightness- Portia De Rossi, they were both great reads about real issues and they really make you feel.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 
The Hobit-J.R.R.Tolkein, I've been wanting to read it for so long and i finally did it this year

 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 
“You have to understand. I am no one special. I am just a single girl. I am five feet two inches tall and I am in-between in every way. But I have a secret. You can build walls all the way to the sky and I will find a way to fly above them. You can try to pin me down with a hundred thousand arms, but I will find a way to resist. And there are many of us out there, more than you think. People who refuse to stop believing. People who refuse to come to earth. People who love in a world without walls, people who love into hate, into refusal, against hope,and without fear. I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.” 
 Lauren OliverDelirium

there were a lot more but this is one of the many

 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
shortest- Surviving the angel of death: the story of a mengele twin in auschwitz- Eva Mozes Kor
longest- A Game of Thrones- George R.R.Martin

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
the ending of delirium i was like WTF o.0 i wasn't exactly dying to talk to someone about it though

18. Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
I loved the relationship in What i didn't say-Keary Taylor, it was really great the way they communicated and discovered their love

19. Favourite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
The casual vacancy- J.K.Rowling, i was so happy to be reading her writing again even if it was a completely different concept. She still has one of the best writing styles I've ever read.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
I don't really get recommended books by people but i do get ideas from you tube and blogs. i cant really say one specific one though.

I'm looking forward to 2013 and all the books that come with it.
Thanks for reading!

Outside In- Maria V.Snyder

Published: July 2011
Publisher: Mira
326 pages
Goodreads page

Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion - between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again - while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learnt that there's outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In

Well to start off i didn't really enjoy this one as much as the first. I found that it was little bit repetitive and up until probably the last quarter of the book i kind of felt like it was the same as the first.

I still enjoyed all the characters, Trella is such a kick butt character. I love her determination. Riley sounds adorable, like a person you just want to hug.

I was hoping there would be a bit more action and drama in this book, and while there was stuff happening i wasn't really kept on my toes. It was kind of just ok.

I cant really say too much more because i don't want to ruin the first for those that haven't read it. Apologies for the short review.

Overall it was worth reading to see what happened after Inside out, but it didn't meet my expectations.

Three stars