November Book Round-Up

November was a bit of a bumper month for reading, with another eight books finished – seven of them from the young adult section of the library where I’ve discovered some real gems, and one from my own shelf…

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RATINGS:
Like a Star @ heaven Dire – don’t waste your time
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven OK, but nothing to write home about
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Very good – worth a read
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Excellent
Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Superb – read it immediately!

BOOKS FINISHED:
73. Stephen Cole – Resurrection (Wereling Trilogy 3) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
This is the conclusion of the trilogy, and although it was pretty good, the ending was just slightly disappointing – a bit of a damp squib. I wanted the conclusion to resolve everything but it felt like it had been left just a little open in case the author had an idea for a further installment. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad – not by a long shot – it just didn’t quite deliver in the way I had hoped it would. Still, over all, the trilogy is a decent enough read and a fun way to fill a few hours if you like young adult paranormal books.

74. Sarah Singleton – Century Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
A young adult novel that is very cryptic and the mystery is rather compelling –   I felt like I was being slowly reeled in like a fish and at some point I would realise I couldn’t escape the pull. It was an enjoyable read but there was something about it that left me feeling there was something missing – some explanation as to the origins of the family’s secret. It is, however, beautifully written – Singleton is an author I will be trying again at some point in the future.

75. Julia Golding – Cat’s Cradle (Cat Royal 6) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
This series of young adult novels has touched on some serious subjects, from slavery to revolution to piracy and fighting for a cause, but this one didn’t really have a “big” theme – just the more personal one of finding one’s family. That said, it was still a warming and endearing story and an enjoyable read, and I look forward to completing the series with the novella which is only available as an e-book.

76. Chris Riddell – Ottoline and the Yellow Cat (Ottoline 1) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
I adore Chris Riddell’s illustrations, but before now I had only ever seen his work when accompanied by the words of another (Paul Stewart in The Edge Chronicles and Neil Gaiman in The Graveyard Book). This first experience of his own story with his gorgeous drawings is something of a revelation! I love the quirkiness of the characters and plot – Riddell has style and flair which, when coupled with those fantastic pen-and-ink renderings, is a winning combination.

77. Chris Riddell – Ottoline Goes to School (Ottoline 2) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
The second Ottoline adventure is just as wonderful as the first. Such a sensible little girl in an unusual situation (absent parents who travel the world while she stays home with Mr Munroe, a small, hairy fellow from the bogs of Norway) trying to find some kind of normality but remaining extraordinary. This series has enough charm to appeal to readers of all ages!

78. Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
When I first got notification of this novel’s impending publication, I fell completely in love with the hardback cover and just knew I had to have it. In the intervening time, I read synopses and then reviews before I bought it and everything pointed towards this being excellent. As a result, I had quite ridiculously high expectations of The Night Circus, but you know what? It pretty much lived up to them, which should have been almost impossible! The writing is just gorgeous and as the plot unfolds and the characters are developed, whilst hopping backwards and forwards in time to tell it, the mystery deepens till the reader is in exactly the same position as the participants – trying to work everything out and make sense of it all. It’s well worth reading this, so if you’re still on the fence, please do hop down on the side of “I’m going to try this book!”

79. Maria V Snyder – Fire Study (Study 3) Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
The final installment of the Study trilogy. Although I enjoyed this one, I wasn’t quite as enamoured of it as I was the others. The first in the series (Poison Study) is definitely the best, but that’s not to say the other two aren’t good – there’s marginal difference in my preference. Fire Study finished the story arc in a very satisfying manner with loads of action, adventure and intrigue between the pages.

80. Sarwat Chadda – Devil’s Kiss Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven
Fans of Arthurian legends will recognise a lot of names in Devil’s Kiss – Arthur, Kay, Gwain and Bors are all present and correct to name but a small handful, but they’re not the same old characters we all know and love from the Medieval histories and romances – this is bang up to date! This is a fresh take on the Knights Templar and their role in keeping the Faith. It’s exciting and energetic and will keep readers of all ages on their toes, although it will especially appeal to teenagers (well, it is a young adult novel). Devil’s Kiss is edgy and doesn’t pull any punches. Right from the first page there’s action and mystery in equal measure and you just can’t wait to turn the page and find out what happens next!

BOOKS STARTED (carrying over to November):
Muriel Marbery – The Elegance of the Hedgehog
I’ve only just started on this, so I can’t really comment yet…

BOOKS ABANDONED UNFINISHED:
Various – Dates From Hell
This is the second time I’ve abandoned this book and it’s doubtful I’ll ever try it again, as it feels like such a chore every time I pick it up!
Compilation of four novellas by four different authors as follows:

  • Kim Harrison – Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil Like a Star @ heaven
    Absolutely dire. Reading this novella reminded me why I never got past the second book in the Rachel Morgan series. This novella includes the most unsexy and unexciting blood/sex scene I have ever had the misfortune to encounter and the story is both dull and predictable. I will be happy if I never read anything by this author again as long as I live.
  • The Claire Switch Project (PARTIALLY READ)
    So far as I got it’s pretty decent and a damned sight better than the previous story, but not good enough to make me want to continue.
  • Kelley Armstrong – Chaotic
    I may read this part at some part in the future, because I love Armstrong and adore the WotOW novels.
  • Lori Handeland – Dead Man Dating
    Never read anything by this author and it’s unlikely I ever will…
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