Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: The Dealer by Robert Muchamore

The DealerThe Dealer (Cherub #2)
Robert Muchamore
Middle grade spy book

Drugs, cars and guns!
Keith Moore is Europe's biggest cocaine dealer. The police have been trying to get enough evidence to nail him for more than twenty years.

Now, four CHERUB agents are joining the hunt. Can a group of kids successfully infiltrate Keith Moore's organisation when dozens of attempts by undercover police officers have failed?

James Adams must start at the bottom, making deliveries for small time drug dealers and getting to know the dangerous underworld they inhabit. He needs to make a big splash if he's going to win the confidence of the man at the top.

You can read my review of book 1 here. No spoilers, don't worry(:

As you know, I loved loved loved The Recruit! I couldn't wait to get my hands on this installment and I was sure it would just get better and better as we went along. While I did love this one, too, It didn't live up to my expectations of it.

One of the reasons for that was the raising of the stakes. Now usually, that's a good thing, right? It adds suspense and thrill to a story. Except this time, it hurt the believability of the series. In The Dealer drugs and guns were involved, and people got killed. It's not gory or anything, and the only people dying were the bad guys, but still. The fact that these kids are 10-14 made me uneasy. The person in charge of CHERUB acknowledged that and kept warning them that if anything happened that threatened their lives they would be pulled out immediately and don't they dare keep fighting when there's a gun etc. But that didn't hold back the action almost at all. I couldn't really buy that- MI5 allowing minors to be risked like that - you know, international law and kids' rights and ethics and little things like that. 

HOWEVER, overall, The Dealer was a hilarious roller coaster ride of fun and I don't think the above should spoil the experience for the older reader (I find that the actual middle graders usually don't have realistic issues with their books) . The characters are as lovable and great as ever, but I'm hoping to see a little more development in book 3. There are hints the Lauren (the protagonist's little sister) will be playing a bigger part in the next one so I can't wait for that.

If you love Percy Jackson meets Alex Rider with elements of the Gallagher Girls this is your book. Rating: 


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Book to Movie Review: Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy, Blood Sisters.jpeg
Vampire Academy
Book by Rachelle Mead

Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story.

As usual, horrible description, IMDb. Whatever. Great series of books, very recommended. 

I came into the theatre with VERY low expectations. Critics always say movies like these have a built-in fanbase, but that's not true. They have a built-in turnout to the opening weekend, but we book lovers tend to come out kvetching about why didn't they show this scene?? And reassuring our non-book lover friends that don't worry, in the book it didn't end like that. Or UGH THATS SO STUPID IN THE BOOK IT WAS LIKE THIS. (*cue coughing fit* Percy Jackson) 

The trailer looked like a big joke to me. Naturally, I came to the movie with much trepidition. And was greeted with much hilarity.

Thankfully, the people working on this film realized that if they took themselves too seriously, they would become a Twilight knock-off and the subject to much eye-rolling. So they decided to do just the opposite.

Picture Mean Girls. Now add in magical vampires and action scenes. Congratulations, you now have an idea of what Vampire Academy looked like. It was freaking BRILLIANT. My friends and I were laughing the whole time- and as soon as we got home, began quoting the whole thing on Facebook. For the life of me I can't understand why all the official places gave the movie bad reviews- I loved it and I was book-lover biased!! As for the actors:

*Dmitri comes on*
Friends and I: "What? He's too old."
*Progressively gets hotter*
*some point mid-movie*

So unfortunately, one friend called dibs on Christian, the other on Dmitri.
But not to worry.
I called Adrian.

Everyone played their parts really well, and I liked the CGI too. Only nitpicks I have are Lissa's monologue in the end ("Blood is family. Blood is sustenance. Only if we stand together can we overcome. HUH) and the part when she's compelling everyone to make her popular again. It's didn't really fit in with everything going on before and after. Whatevs. 

Whether or not we get a movie adaptation of Frostbite depends on how well this movie does. So I implore you, GO WATCH THIS MOVIE. YOU WILL THANK ME. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Weekly Spotlight

Hey guys! I've now began working with Pubshelf! It's a marketing business that promotes self published authors and authors published by smaller publishing houses. I'm very happy to say that I am now an affiliate blogger with them(: Every week I'll be posting a new release that they're currently promoting .. feedback is welcome! Leave comments and say what you think! Sounds good? Pick up the book! 
This week's pick is...

Inline image 1In the Line of Ire by Edwin Dasso
Release: February 3rd 2014
Amazon UK

The Prequel to Past Aghast... 

Captain Jack Bass becomes the target of hatred and malicious jealousy from his commanding officer. Blaming Jack for his own failings, he sets his sights on Jack as a scapegoat. Fighting for his life, and new found love with Lori Darden, the pair learn how dangerous it can be to raise the ire of a psychopathic boss. 

When the chain of command breaks down, Jack Bass fights back and attempts to prevent his world from turning to ash right before his very eyes. 

Jack Bass is… 

In the Line of Ire.

About the author:

Ed Dasso's works of fiction leverage many of his "stranger than fiction" experiences from years of practice at major medical centers and community hospitals. Fiction writing is reviving a lost love from earlier periods in his life. In addition to a number of years as a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care specialist, he has published articles in national healthcare journals, written many "Ask the Doctor" columns and has spoken frequently at national healthcare forums. He has also been instrumental in designing and deploying population health programs to help people deal with depression.

Inline image 2

Sounds great! Thank you, Pubshelf!
Have a great weekend, people(:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves!

Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post are weekly memes hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Recently, I bought:
Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Only problem is, I haven't read If I Stay yet. I should get on that.

From the library:
The Dealer by Robert Muchamore

I loooooved book 1 and am currently really liking this one! Review to come soon(:

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Which blogger hasn't raved about this? Can't wait!

13 Little Blue Envolopes by Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson^^ . Nuff said.

That's it for me! Sooo psyched for my haul! What's in yours?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

BACK AGAIN! Review: Escape from Camp 14

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the WestEscape from Camp 14
Blaine Harden

North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk.
In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother.
The late “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il was recognized throughout the world, but his country remains sealed as his third son and chosen heir, Kim Jong Eun, consolidates power. Few foreigners are allowed in, and few North Koreans are able to leave. North Korea is hungry, bankrupt, and armed with nuclear weapons. It is also a human rights catastrophe. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people work as slaves in its political prison camps. These camps are clearly visible in satellite photographs, yet North Korea’s government denies they exist.
Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. Escape from Camp 14 offers an unequalled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.

Hey guys! I'm back! Been a crazy month, had a great time, but all the same it's good to get back to routine. So this last week since my return to reading I finished Escape from Camp 14- a biography (aren't you proud of me??) documenting the above. And wow. 

I'll start with this- it's an emotionally tough read. Don't give it to a kid. But even if you have a sensitive stomach, I firmly believe we all have a moral obligation to learn from this. In fact, I won't be surprised if it props up on one of my siblings' English curriculums when they hit high school. I had NO IDEA of the atrocities I read about, and was inspired to do the research as a result. I'm astounded by what I found- both of the occurences and the tremendous, (yet not big enough) beautiful efforts volunteers are making to put a stop to it. 

So that was my opinion as a human being^^. As a reader I was really intrigued by the psycological effects Shin's life has on him today and was satisfied by their presentation. However, I do wish the biography would've had a more solid resolution- the book was clearly published at a very confused time for Shin so that's how we left off. 

The publication includes pictures, illistrations and general knowledge of Korean history which was really helpful and much appreciated! So all that's left for me to say is, any ideas of how I could get involved? 


P.S. Much as you'll impress your teacher, I do not recommend doing a book report on this. It was exhausting and complicated. Yes, I speak from experience :/