Virals, by Kathy Reichs

I found the icy calm more unnerving than the fury. But anger kept my fear in check. Given the chance, I knew Karsten would execute Cooper.

Suddenly I pushed forward, craning over the table. The move caught the old bastard by surprise.

“Bring it on,” I hissed, inches from Karsten’s face.

Meet Tory Brennan. She’s a perfectly ordinary teenager, apart from one thing: her obsession with bones and dead bodies. No, she’s not a goth. She’s the niece of the famous forensic anthropologist, Tempe Brennan. And Tory has inherited her Aunts love for the dead, decaying, half-buried mysteries.

But when Tory and her friends stumble upon a shallow grave of a girl who was buried over thirty years ago, they suddenly find themselves caught up in events they don’t understand. Determined to get to the bottom of it, they break into a laboratory to decipher a vital clue. But they leave with far more than they reckoned for…

I loved this book. It’s full of page-turning action, chase scenes and near escapes, but at the same time forensic science and detective work. A must-read for scientists and action-fans alike.

“Reich’s seamless blending of fasinating science and dead-on psychological portrayals, not to mention a whirlwind of a plot, make her novels a must-read.”

– Jeffery Deaver

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The Hunger Games Movie Review

Winning means fame and wealth.

Losing means certain death.

The Hunger Games is set in a dystopian version of the future where, every year, one girl and one boy are from each of the twelve districts are selected to take part in the Hunger Games – a contest where all twenty-four tributes are released into an arena and forced to fight till the death… until there is only a lone victor remaining. Every single moment is televised everyone you see is out to kill you.

I had very high expectations for this movie: the book is brilliant, and so I expected the film to be brilliant too. I’m always so nervous when books become films because the directors tend to stray too far from the original plot.

But I’m pleased to say that the Hunger Games movie was pretty darn close to perfection!

Sure, they missed out some things. The Avox girl that Katniss recognised wasn’t there; it wasn’t Madge who gave Katniss the Mockingjay pin; and in the Arena, Peeta didn’t get blood poisoning. And of course, they had to fit the three weeks of the book into two hours of film, so everything seemed to progress a lot faster.

But still, they only missed out the most minute of details. Everything important from the book was in there: the reaping scene, the train to the Capitol, the interviews.

The Capitol was fantastic. The costumes that the citizens wore were insane and incredible, with crazy coloured wigs and lashings of make-up. Apparently, they had over three thousand extras for the Capitol scenes alone! The scenery of the Capitol was amazing too. Everything was marble and sleek and ultra-modern, in sharp contrast with the poverty of the outer districts.

I’m not ashamed to say that I cried during the movie. Even though I knew what was coming, I still cried like a baby. That, if nothing else, is proof that the film is (almost) as good as the book! I’ve heard rumours that even sixteen-year-old guys have sobbed during this!

I can’t criticize the acting, either; whoever did the casting did it well! Cato was just as terrifying, evil and slightly insane as he was in the book; Rue was just as sweet and adorable; and Effie was just as condescending, patronising and irritating as her fictional counterpart.

If you haven’t seen it yet… what’s taking you so long? This movie is not to be missed. And if you want to enjoy it even more, and find out exactly what’s going through Katniss’s head every second of the way, don’t forget to read the book too!

If you have seen it already, all you diehard fans… tell me what you thought! Was it what you expected?

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

 Enter a vanished world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver…

I loved this book. I loved the way it took me to a different country, a different time, a different world, and then was so absolutely believable that I smiled and groaned at the characters’ triumphs and failures.

I thought it dealt with racism incredibly delicately, highlighting all the terrible things that were everyday life for thousands of these women but in a such a simple, brilliant way.

I really enjoyed the characters: the mothering, simplistic Aibileen, who loves the little white girl she looks after as though she is her own child. The sassy cook Minny, whose smart tounge has led to her being fired seventeen times. And white Miss Skeeter, who seems so weak and powerless against the manipulative and terrifing Miss Hilly, but actually makes a difference, in the end.

If you haven’t read the book, I reckon you should give it a go. And as for the film… is it any good? I’ve heard it’s won loads of awards, but how close does it stick to the book?

“Stockett is brilliant on people, on food, on relationships, on the weather. Draws you completely into a world of okra and fried chicken and peach cobbler.”

 

– The Daily Telegraph

The Strawberry Picker

The Strawberry Picker is a crime novel set in a sunny, peaceful, idyllic part of Germany. Everything is perfect: the summer is just in bloom, and everything is beautiful. Rows and rows of scarlet strawberrys infuse the air with sweetness. But this illusion of heaven is quickly torn to shreds by a string of terrible murders.

This is unlike any other crime story I’ve ever read. The identity of the murderer is not a massive secret: the brilliance of this particular book is the way it juggles so many complex and realistic characters at the same time and still manages to have you turning the pages in a fever.

The climax is one that will set your heart racing; as all the pieces fall into place it begins to dawn on you just how much danger they are all in…

A great story that kept me hooked from the begining. The characters are all so complex and likeable that I had to continue reading, if only to discover their fates.

Inheritance

It began with Eragon… it ends with Inheritance.

Not so very long ago, Eragon – Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider – was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilisation rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no-one can. There will be no second chance…

This book is pure genius. Using the previous three books as a foothold, it takes the reader on an epic journey through all of Alagaësia, Paolini’s amazing fantasy world. The stakes are higher than ever before and I spent most of the book biting my nails and wondering how on earth Eragon was going to survive a meeting with the awful meglomaniac, Galbatorix!

The plot twists left me reeling, and the ending left me guessing up until the last page. Anyone remember Angela telling Eragon his future, back in book one? Well, everything she says comes true. Down to the very last world…

When I put the book down, I couldn’t help but smile. The ending is very clever indeed. It’s a happy ending, a sad ending, but all in all a very clever ending – it leaves nearly every loose thread neatly tied up. Although there are still enough questions remaining to make you stay up late at night, wondering.

Intrested this world of magic?  Read Eragon!

 

Molly Moon

I picked up one of the Molly Moon books the other day and suddenly found myself re-reading all of them again, sucked in to their imaginative world of hypnotism, friendships and dangerous adventures.

The first book is called ‘Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism’. It is about  Molly, an orphan who lives in a cruel, cold orphanage – ruled by the nasty Miss Adderstone. But Molly’s miserable life changes suddenly when she finds a book on hypnotism and she discovers that she is a very talented hypnotist. With her best friend, Rocky, she goes on an amazing adventure to New York… but soon finds that her unique talents are sought after by villains with less-than-innocent ideas in mind.

 

The second book is called, ‘Molly Moon Stops the World’ and is an exciting adventure in Los Angeles, where Molly must defeat a meglomaniac who is using his hypnotism to become president. Molly’s skills are tested to the extreme – and she realises that she may not be an orphan after all…

 

 

 

The third is entitled, ‘Molly Moon’s Hypnotic Time-Travel Adventure’ and is my ultimate favourite out of the four! Molly is kidnapped and taken through time to India, 1870, by a nasty piece of work called Waqt, where he plans to kill her so that she never finds the book on hypnotism. This is my favourite book because it’s so imaginative and takes you to places you’ve never been – riding an elephant, walking through the Indian streets, watching monsoon rains fall.

 

The fourth book is named, ‘Molly Moon, Micky Minus and the Mind Machine’. In this book, Molly is whisked into 2250 to try to locate her missing twin who was stolen as a baby. But soon she discovers that he was kidnapped by the maniac Princess Fang… and she finds herself in a world full of fantastic technology, space age vehicles, crazy clothing… and totally out of her depth!

 

These are fantastic books that every teenager and child should read! I read them when I was about ten, and adored them then – and even after five years they haven’t lost their shine! Parents, if you have a child aged 9-15, then buy them this series. Not only will they love you forever but you’ll enjoy reading it to them as well!

They are stuffed full of exciting adventures, hypnotic adventures and plot twists that’ll leave you reeling.

“Tired of Harry Potter?

Try Molly Moon… fast, funny and original”

The Telegraph

“It is hard to imagine a child who would not enjoy this original, funny and inventive book”

Eva Ibbotson

Sight

The Drifter took Clarence.
And then disappeared.
They said he wasn’t ever coming back.
But the first snow’s coming…
And he’s coming too.
Drifter, Drifter’s coming for you.

 

This is the freakiest book I have read in an awful long time. It tells the tale of Dylan, whose town is haunted by the murder of Clarence, who was killed ten years ago. Dylan and her friends grew up in the constant fear that the Drifter would strike again. But he never did.

Until now. In a nearby town, news comes of the murder of a child. A week later, another dead. The Drifter is on the march again, and with every corspe he gets a little closer to their town…

This book has no blood or gore. The murders are not discussed in detail. You wouldn’t have thought this book would scare you. But the thing that makes this book creepy is the presence of fear. It’s the unpredictability of Vrettos’s writing. It’s the fact that you can’t guess where the book is taking you, and until the last page you aren’t sure if the ending is going to be happy or sad.

There are so many unexpected twists and layers of secrets. As the Drifter crawls closer to the town, the tension rises to boiling point. Friendships shatter under the pressure. And Dylan’s secret of Sight is revealed…