Sunday, 28 October 2012

Package from EmmaHeartsBooks!

Emma from EmmaHeartsBooks is someone that I've been talking to a lot recently and we've become super close through meeting each other on YouTube! She sent me this package!

In the package:

  • Hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K Rowling
  • Hardcover copy of A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • A Clockwork Orange DVD (movie based off the book)

I just wanted to send a HUGE thanks out to Emma! Originally she was only supposed to be sending me the A Clockwork Orange book but she also sent me the Harry Potter book (which I will be sending her a book for in return) and, being the amazingly kind person that she is, she threw in a copy of the A Clockwork Orange DVD! So nice of her! 
I'd really love and appreciate it if you could go check out her Blog and YouTube channel! She's an amazing person and book reviewer!


Saturday, 27 October 2012

[Mini] Book Haul! (27th October 2012)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith (Kindle eBook)

(This eBook - at the time that I am writing this - is currently 99p/$1.58 on Amazon!)

The Race - Clive Cussler (+ Justin Scott)

Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle #4) - Christopher Paolini

I've been wanting to get started on The Inhertiance Cycle by Christopher Paolini for a long time. I've already got Eragon on my shelf and now I have Inheritance, so all I need is Eldest and Brisingr, but I really want to read Eragon and get into the series. If you've read this series I'd really love it if you could tell me what it's like and even try to convince me to start the series! Thanks :D

Also, let me know if you have read or want to read either of these books!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Woman in Black - Susan Hill

Publication Details:

Published by Vintage Hammer in 2012 (first published in 1983)
200 pages
12 chapters

Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sol inhabitant of Eel Marsh House, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until Arthur glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to speak of the woman in black - and her terrible purpose.

Sounds awesome and scary, right?! Unfortunately, that is not the case. First off, Susan's writing style; I hate to say I wasn't a fan of it. A huge bookish pet peeve of mine is when the author writes really long, unnecessary paragraphs. I can stand these types of paragraphs if they show up occasionally and are about 3/4's of a page-a page at a stretch. However, with this book, these long paragraphs popped up extremely often and were usually about a full page-a page and a half in length. The reason I hate this - especially in a horror/thriller/creepy novel - is because it slows the pace of the book away down and completely weakens the thrill that this novel is supposed to provide to the reader. I feel like I would have enjoyed this book a bit more if there were a lot less of these unnecessarily long paragraphs as it would have sped the book up a lot more and kept me in suspense. This alone took a star immediately off my final rating.

The only character that we really get a chance to get to know and connect with is the main character himself; Arthur Kipps. I'm unsure about how I feel about Arthur, I didn't dislike him, but I didn't really love him either, I felt like I didn't know him personally which is how I usually like to feel towards the main character of a book. I did feel sympathy towards Arthur in his times of fear whilst he became a temporary resident of Eel Marsh House. Being surrounded by something that his 'other-worldly' is something I'm sure nobody wants so I definitely felt like I wanted him to make it through this trip and finish the job as quick as possible. Unfortunately though, this is the only emotion I felt towards Arthur and didn't care much for his character for the rest of the book.

Overall, I hate to say it, but I didn't enjoy this book at all. It was such a disappointment for me. I only enjoyed about 20 pages of this book - of 200 pages! - at a stretch, which is just horrible. For the 180 pages I didn't really enjoy is because I felt like there was absolutely nothing happening. The majority of the book is about Arthur travelling back and forth between Eel Marsh House and the town of Cryhtin Gifford, and then it talked about how Arthur needed to sort through Mrs Alice Drablow's paperwork and sort everything out. That's it. Nothing else happened apart from the occasional appearance of The Woman in Black which got me excited for something to happen, but nothing ever did. This book is basically a constant build up for something that doesn't even happen. There is no climax and I didn't enjoy it at all. Even though Susan Hill does create an eery and creepy atmosphere with the way she describes locations and the woman in black herself, this book just didn't do it for me in any way.

This book was adapted into a film in 2012 starring Daniel Radcliffe (anyone heard of him?) and on this rare occasion, I would recommend you watch the movie and avoid the book. The movie was much more suspenseful and thrilling in comparison to the dull and uneventful book. Disappointing read unfortunately.

2 out of 5 stars!

Check out my YouTube video review of The Woman in Black!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Cujo - Stephen King

Publication Details:
Published by MacDonald in 1982
345 pages
Unknown number of chapters

I want to start off by saying that this is my first ever Stephen King novel and I have to say, I'm not completely sold. 

King's writing style is interesting, it definitely made me want to keep reading if anything, although I am unsure about how this compares to his other books due to the fact that King was reportedly an alcoholic whilst he wrote this book - and I've even heard that he has claimed that he doesn't even remember writing this book at all. So I'm not too sure whether this decreased the quality of his writing or not, but I'm kind of hoping that it did, I'd like to read a better writing style in his other books I plan on reading in the future. 

So, the primary storyline/plot of this novel is this: Donna and Tad Trenton (a fully grown woman and her 4 year old son) take their car to get repaired by a man who lives miles out of town, in the middle of nowhere. When they arrive at the house, they just about make it before their car completely gives in and dies. They then discover that Joe Camber (the man they hoped would repair the car) and his wife and son have all left to go on separate trips for business and to visit family. The horror then begins when the recently rabid dog Cujo begins to torture Donna and Tad by constantly watching over them and waiting, ready to pounce and attack should they leave the vehicle. They are then trapped in their broken down car, in the middle of nowhere, with a rabid dog threatening to break its way into the car and chew the humans to death. 

This storyline was great and I really enjoyed reading it and hoping that both the mother and son would make it out alive. I was excited at the points where Cujo attempted to make his way into the car, and when Donna was contemplating getting out of the car and running for the possibly locked front door of the Camber household. This got me excited as I wanted to see what would happen had she attempted this. Putting this storyline aside, we also follow the story of when Vic Trenton (Donna's husband) goes on a business trip to New York with his friend/co-worker Roger. This storyline I didn't enjoy so much, I actually ended up skipping these sections of the book because they were just so boring and dull, there was nothing happening! And this doesn't affect the story of the book whatsoever, even skipping these sections, I still completely understood the main plot and wasn't confused by anything. We also follow the story of Charity and Brett Cambers (wife and 10 year old son of Joe Cambers) when they go on their trip to visit Charity's sister. This storyline didn't really interest me too much, but I still read it, it was far more interesting than the business chatter! Both of these storylines I felt were completely unnecessary, they were only there to explain why everyone wasn't at home and gone on trips. I feel like this could have easily been done within a couple of pages, maximum. They didn't need their own storylines. Without them, this 345 page novel could have easily been 100/150 pages shorter and a lot more fast paced and exciting.

As for the horror in this book, there is none. Sure there is a little bit of gore and a climax as you reach the end of the book, and there were a couple of gory bits that really made me gasp and become shocked, but that was about the height of it. There were moments when Donna and Tad were trapped in the car where I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out if they would survive or if something tragic was about to occur. 

I will be reading more of King's books in the future but this one just didn't do it for me.

2 out of 5 stars!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Book Haul! (21st October 2012)

These are the books that I have received over the last couple of weeks! Enjoy!

Delirium + Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver!

A Series of Unfortunate Events #8: The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket!

The Knife of Never Letting Go + The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness!

Inside Out + Outside In by Maria V. Snyder!

Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart!

Panic Room by James Ellison!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie!

Velveteen by Daniel Marks!

Let me know if you have read or want to read any of these books! 

Also, if you'd like, you can watch my video of this book haul from my YouTube channel below!


Thursday, 18 October 2012

Life and Laughing - Michael McIntyre (AudioBook Review)

Publication Details:
Published by Michael Joseph in 2010
294 Pages
25 Chapters

Michael McIntyre is a British comedian that I love watching on TV and he has been actively performing stand-up since approximately 2006. This is his story.

This is the first AudioBook that I have ever fully listened to and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The book is read by Michael himself and I'm glad he did it, it helped me understand the story better and definitely enhance the experience for me. "Life and Laughing" is Michael's autobiography and it tells his life story from the first experience of life that he remembers to the very point to which he decided to write this book.

Listening to Michael tell his story made me both laugh out loud and feel extremely sorrowful for some things he had to go through growing up. There were definitely moments that I rewinded and listened to over and over again because I found them that funny, I just had to control my laughter - I was listening to this in school, imagine how crazy I looked! Michael tells of his relationships with various family members, how he coped with his parents' divorce and the loss of particular family members.

There isn't much else I can say about this book, if you're aware of who Michael is and you enjoy his comedy, I highly recommend you pick up this book and give it a go. Although, I feel like I wouldn't have enjoyed the book as much had I read a physical copy in comparison to the AudioBook, the way Michael reads his story is fantastic and really does enhance the story a huge amount.

4 out of 5 stars!

Monday, 15 October 2012

GIVEAWAY: (SIGNED ebook) When the Siren Calls - Tom Barry

Hey everyone! So I've got something exciting to share with you all!

Author Tom Barry has offered to allow me to giveaway a SIGNED ebook copy of his book; 'When the Siren Calls'.


Seductive, deceptive, rapacious –   When restless and neglected Isobel is invited to an idyllic Tuscan retreat owned by the enigmatic Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage. Despite fear and guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate love affair, but is soon trapped in a web of feminine manipulation, business intrigue, and ruthless ambition, while controlling Jay encourages conservative Isobel to push beyond her sexual boundaries.
But all is not as it seems in the hilltop paradise and as her lover battles for survival, she finds herself a player in a dangerous love triangle. Unable to know who she can trust, she must fight to control both her own cravings and to save what little of herself is left. As her life falls apart, she is torn between the consequences of infidelity, her love for Jay, and fear that he will be her nemesis. For both Isobel and Jay, the excesses and confusions of an uncertain and largely amoral age are about to be brought home to roost, right in the heart of their lives.
Witty and smattered with the best sort of irony, with twists and turns that keep you guessing, When the Siren Calls is a sensual and moving emotional drama that titillates the senses while racing along like a Grisham thriller. The novel will appeal to adult readers of romantic suspense and to fans of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Make sure you enter below for a chance to win a SIGNED ebook of 'When the Siren Calls' by Tom Barry!

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews

Publication Details:
Published by Harry N. Abrams on March 1st 2012.
295 Pages
40 Chapters

I absolutely loved this book to pieces. It was just incredible. There isn't much to say about this book so I'm not going to say much at all. Just this:

Before I picked this book up I'd heard it was a cancer story (somewhat) so I kind of passed (on the story, not the beautiful cover), then I'd heard here and there that this is a book that had people cracking up with laughter. Once I heard this I thought: "An incredibly funny cancer story? I doubt it". So naturally, I couldn't resist and decided to pick it up. I am extremely glad that I made that choice.

This book is so hilariously funny and just completely amazing. There were several instances throughout this book where I lay in my room and laughed out loud at what I was reading, one of these times I laughed at one joke for a solid 15 minutes! It's just an incredible story that I can't describe in a way to do it the level of justice it deserves. 

Someone told me before I read the book that they like to describe it as this: "It's a book about everything and nothing all at once." And I myself couldn't think of a better way to describe this book if I tried. If you know what's good for you, you'll give this book a go.

5 out of 5 stars!

Ten - Gretchen McNeil

Publication Details:
Published by Balzer + Bray on September 18th 2012
294 Pages
38 Chapters

Words can't describe how much I loved this book. It's thrilling, exciting, intriguing and pretty gross at parts. I was truly horrified reading this book which is something I've never experienced before and I loved it. The way the author describes in detail the deaths of these teenagers put a vivid image in my mind and that's what scared me the most, how easily I was able to picture the horrific incidents playing out in the book. 

This is the first book that's ever made me cry, and not just once, twice! My emotions were so confused, they were all over the place and I was so unsure about how to react to the events in this book that on two occasions I just sat on my bed and cried from shock and horror. 

Being a murder mystery novel, I had created so many theories while reading this book and I was convinced I had worked out who the killer was and why he/she was murdering so many people, but I was wrong every time. I was in complete shock at the ending and the last 50 or so pages were just mind-blowing. 

Definitely one of my favourite books. I haven't read Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None", the book TEN is inspired by, but since finishing TEN I have order Agatha's book and I am eagerly awaiting it's arrival so I can get stuck in and experience the basic story again. This is definitely a book that I feel everyone needs to experience as soon as possible. If you're even remotely on the fence about buying this one, I recommend that you do. Without a doubt. 

5 out of 5 stars!

Check out my video review of TEN below!


Hello there! 
I'm Ryan Simpson (of no relation to Homer, Marge or any other yellow character of that cartoon!). I live in Northern Ireland, I've lived here my whole life and, although I do enjoy living here, there are times when I cannot wait to leave and so I hope to move to another country and possibly travel as many places as I can!
I'm 17 and still in school, also still currently living with my parents and sister who I'm extremely close to and spend a lot of my time with!
Anywho, I love reading. Books are something that have become a part of me and I doubt I could survive without them. I love the joy, excitement, fear and thrill that it gives me, and I love how easily I can escape from real life --> Sit down, huddle up, grab a book and BAM!, you're in a new world.
I'm excited to get started with this new blog of mine as I've been on YouTube since April 2012 and absolutely love having somewhere that I can interact and discuss books with people just like me! If you haven't already checked out my YouTube channel and would like to do so, feel free!

I hope that you enjoy this blog as much as I expect to enjoy creating and adding to it!

Signing off on my first of very many blog posts,