Saturday 31 December 2011

Final Post of 2011.... Stats, brief history and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

So, it’s been a long year. Lots of things have happened to everyone everywhere. I could go on and on about things that have happened in the year politically/personally or some other way, but seeing as this is my book blog, then I’m going to focus on what’s happened this year with Death Books and Tea.
Katy and I began this blog on 23 February 2011. We’d been thinking of starting one like Stephanie (whose blog is here), but couldn’t think of what we were going to call it. Somewhere along the line we though Death Books and Tea would sum us up quite well. Then we had doubts as to who would remember it, but then we left them and got set up.
We then decided we wanted a rating system that was a little different, and we went with tea. But we couldn’t decide exactly what to do, as we were thinking about having “English breakfast” being excellent and “chamomile” meaning terrible. Then we realised that 1. We’d easily forget this and 2. Some of you might love chamomile and hate English Breakfast. And some of you might not like tea at all. so I thought of having a numerical system, neither of us could think  up a better one, and now you have the tea rating system.
We got set up quite quickly, and as the follower count was around 1-20 I was still getting my bearings around the designy thing. I had my heart set on a grim reaper with tea reading, and I drew something, the attempt of which turned out very badly. Then Katy drew something, which turned out quite well. Then Miley/Emily (their blog is here and their deviantART account is here) offered to draw something, which turned out amazing and is now the grim reaper we put in various places. I knew I wanted a pink-light-hearted colour scheme to go against the darkness of the title. By mid-April I’d sorted out the design to what you have today.
And so we carried on with this, with me running it mainly and Katy adding when her computer wasn’t locking her out of Death Books and Tea because we put “Death” in the title/refusing to do things/broken. And there you have Death Books and Tea.
And now for some statistics that I’m quite proud of. This is what we’ve done this year!
  • 256 posts
  • 127 book reviews
  • 20 books read for Parajunkee! I finished!
  • 20,400 pageviews
  • 3,790 Unique Visitors from months of April-December, excluding August because Google Analyctics went wrong
  • 304 Google friend connect followers
  • 9  Feedburner readers
  • 221 books read (according to Goodreads)
  • 61894 pages (according to Goodreads)
  • 1530  books on my Goodreads wishlist

A big thanks to EVERYONE who visits and reads these mad ramblings, and we hope that you’ll  continue to read books and settle down with us into the new year!
Happy New Year Everybody!!

Friday 30 December 2011

My Favourite Books That I Read in 2011 That Were Published in 2011

As we’ve seen, 2011 has been a great year of releases. And despite not reading most things (see post I should have Read These...), I did actually read a few new things. and of course, I have my favourites. So...  in no particular order,from  5-10, and then my top 5 completely.  Because I just can’t put these things into order very well.
Links go to my reviews, either on Death Books and Tea (a full actual review) or to my review on Goodreads, which will be just a star rating and the day I read it. And from goodreads you can add it to your own shelves. And onwards...
5-10 in no order

My favourite 5

Thursday 29 December 2011

End of Year List #4- Favourite Books Read in 2011 published before

I read a lot of great books in 2011. Many of which weren’t brand new, but still. In no particular order, here are the best books that I read this year that weren’t fresh off the press.  Links go to the review on Death Books and Tea.  

What did you think of all these books? Did you read them when they were out, or only recently, or not at all? Do you agree with me on these?

Wednesday 28 December 2011

End of Year List #3 -Waiting on Wednesday #31 EXTENDED

WoW Exteneded – 10 books I’m looking Forwards To in 2012

I know I regularly participate in this...and normally I feature one book. But this time, as it’s my week of lists, and it’s the last one in 2011, I’m featuring ten. Links will go to either where I featured them in individual WoWs or to goodreads if I didn’t.Therefore, no reasons! 

 Any here on your list for 2012? Any that I've not heard of? Any that you've only just heard of? Comments are appreciated.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

End of year list #2- I should have read this, but I didn't.

And carrying on our lists of things, now for “The books published in 2011 that I got excited about along with everyone else, but didn’t read for some reason or another.” Hopefully in 2012 I’ll get round to reading them... any suggestions as to what I should mark as priority-obtain? No links in this one because I’m lazy. Sorry.

  • The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
  • 0.4/Human.4 by Mike A Lancaster
  • The Pearl Savage by Tamara Rose Blodgett
  • Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
  • Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
  • Enclave by Anne Aguirre
  • Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Dark Angel by Eden Maguire
  • The Pearl Wars by Nick James
  • Angel Burn by L A Weatherly
  • The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
  • Across the Universe by Beth Ravis
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  • Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  • Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
  • The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Any of these that I should prioritise getting? Any of these you want to read some day too? Share your thoughts please!

Monday 26 December 2011

End of Year List #1- New things I've discovered in 2011

So, this week is going to be full of lists to do with 2011 and 2012 and possibly other things...

So to kick it off, here’s a list of five  awesome new things that I’ve discovered in 2011.
1. Dystopia. I was reading dystopia a little before, such as The Hunger Games, but only in 2011 was I aware that it was an actual genre, that more people were writing it, and that it was awesome!  It also helps that there’s been a tonne of new stuff out this year, such as Divergent, Delirium and so on.
2. Indie authors.  I knew they existed, but never cared about them, due to the fact that I never spent my life on the computer reading/doing booky related things, so I never looked beyone the books that were in my library, to see if there was a sequel, and to then force the library to buy those books. Now I know about these, I now read a lot more stuff. And cost the library a lot more. Dear Bethany (woman who I think is the person who deals with item requests), thank you!
3. The joy of book trailers. I still don’t understand why a book (paper based) would have a video (multiple picture based) promotional tool, but i do watch them sometimes and think how the director has seen it differently, something quite interesting.
4. Goodreads. Actually, I discovered Goodreads ages ago, when I was playing around with my hotmail account and found there was something called goodreads. And so I signed up, spammed my friends who also had hotmail with the information that I wanted to read all these books, then didn’t understand why you’d put as you were reading it that you were reading it, and forgot about it. Then, when I started blogging, I realised this would be something useful, so I signed up again, and used it properly. And I don’t know how long I’ve spent my life on that site...
5. How amazing you guys (the blogging/publishing community) are! You’re all so nice and welcoming and willing to talk and be friends and so on. when I started, I wasn’t really sure as to how we’d be perceived- two teenagers that read weird stuff and feel the need to have a grim reaper at the top of our blog. But you guys are all so nice, and it’s been a great year!

Saturday 24 December 2011

Christmas Book Review- The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas (Manga)Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas
 Author: Tim Burton, Jun Asuga
Published: August 2005 by Disney  
Length: 176 pages
Warnings: Clean. 8+
Source: Forbidden Planet
Other info: Based of film. There’s a tonne of other stuff around too.
Summary : Jack Skellington's got the blues. He's sick and tired of his hometown holiday, Halloween, and is longing for something new. But when his soul searching leads to his good-intentioned kidnapping of Santa, things start getting pretty hairy!
 Review: A long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place that perhaps you've seen in your dreams, the King of Halloween Town is bored, gets lost in his own forest, and finds an even stranger town than his own. Before he knows it, Jack's got his town working hard to give Sandy Claws the day off this year. Only rag-doll Sally is objecting, and no-one listens. Plans are made-make gifts, build the rain gear(reindeer) and whatever happens, keep the Oogie Boogie Man out of it!
This is a manga adaptation of one of my favourite films. Halloween and Christmas together = awesome. There's not much space for you to go wrong here.
Give you a review of the story? Well, why not. It's really cute, combines two great holidays and has a nice clear message that you should follow your heart and that evil does not win.
The character designs are the same, and we still get close to Jack and Sally and Zero the dog. Yes, one of my favourite characters is the dog. I wish we'd gotten to see a bit more of Oogie Boogie and the Trick or Treaters though.
The art lacks a little something. I say this because when I think of The Nightmare Before Christmas, I think of the slightly whimsical art from Burton. The art in this, provided by Jun Asuga/Kodansha seemed a little bit too clean, but was a very good imitation of Burton's style, with the style of the eyes and  the scenery and so on.
As with almost any adaptation, you're going to lose a few things in the crossover. The songs have all been dramatically condensed, as have the less important parts to the story. The good thing is that it retains the signature lines, such as the opening, the cry of "snakes eyes" and other familiar things, all while, more importantly, still making sense.
Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a must-read for fans of the series.
Links: | Goodreads

P.S. That's my last post before Christmas. Then you'll have next week full of my look at 2011. Happy Christmas everyone!!

Friday 23 December 2011

Follow Friday (1)

I'm back in the hop! Kind of... Joined Alison and Parajunkee because the other one died...For consistancy, I'm tagging this with Book Hop though. Hope you don't mind. In case you don't know me, I'm Nina and I blog here with Katy. We read young adult of most types, with heavy emphasis on the slightly more fantastical. Steampunk, fantasy, dystopia, paranormal romance, horror, manga, we'll read most things if they look interesting enough to us.
Please stay around with us-next week looks to be good, as does the year ahead!

And on with the question...

Q:  If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

I think I answered this once before... I still say in the world of Black Butler/Kuroshitsuji. Demons mixed into your semi-traditional Victorian time? My thing exactly. If not, then the world of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan-Steampunky goodness and a tonne of adventure! (I know I kind of cheated here but it is hard to decide between these too). Somehow I sense a theme running through here...

What do you say?

Random fact- If I could get to 300 GFC followers before 2012, that would be awesome.
Random fact II - If you want, subscribe in a reader too! (Cos GFC is dying)

Thursday 22 December 2011

Book Review- Chibi Vampire Airmail by Yuna Kagesaki

Chibi Vampire AirmailTitle: Chibi Vampire Airmail
 Author: Yuna Kagesaki
Series:  Chibi Vampire side
Published:  2010 by Tokyopop
Length: 180 pages plus lots of bonus material
Warnings: (tokyopop’s view)Older Teen. (My view) Vampires, occult, cannibalism
Source: Tokyopop’s “Get rid of everything” stall at Expo
Other info: Chibi Vampire/Karin is a semi-popular manga/anime that you may have heard of. I reviewed some other related things earlier.
Summary : A collection of touching manga stories that follows the con;tinuing adventure of our favourite vampire, in these sweet tales and scary legends, discover what happned to Karin and her friends all while getting aglimpse of some mysterious vampires from the Marker family that were never befor9e seen in the main series. Also included are special bonus manga strips detailing Yuna Kagesaki’s trip to Seattle’s Sakura-con.
Review: I really enjoy this series, and before I’d heard of this Airmail book, without really understanding what it was/what the point was/what would be in it/many other things that you tend to find out before reading it. So when I saw it on sale, I just thought “get that! Why not?”. And so I did.
The first two stories I weren’t expecting at all, because I’d thought it would be entirely featuring Karin and her motley crew. It wasn’t a bad thing, and who knows? These characters might have featured at some point in the manga. I read volumes 1-4, and then 11. So I didn’t get the best idea. Anyway, story one features Marimo and Takuma, the second of which unexplicably regresses to baby-personality (explained by end) and their friendship. The next story features a fortune  teller who is asked to look for a missing girl by her boyfriend, and her shocking discovery by the end of it. Both of these stories are interesting, sweet with characters I feel somewhat attached to by the end of their 40 page stint of fame.
The second two feature the Markers, one being the tale of Friedrich Marker and his friendship with an otherwise solitary nun built on shared love of manga, and the other chronicling Maki and Kikuchi’s romance, and a little of Kenta and Karin too. Both were incredibly cute and gave a good sight to the world of Chibi Vampire. The family tree that was included was very helpful, and also reveals that Karin and Kenta had a child, something I wasn’t really expecting.
All the plots included were woven well, which is saying something considereing they each take less than fifty pages. Especially with Friedrich and Ren, the family resemblance was distinct, which I think says a little more about the art, and with Friedrich and Rosary and the fact their relationship goes back further than she knows, it adds a little something.  
Overall:  Strength  3 tea to a lovely collection of sidestories.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Book Review- The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

The Gathering Storm (Katerina Alexandrovna, #1)Title: The Gathering Storm
 Author: Robin Bridges
Series:  The Katerina Trilogy #1
To be published:  January 10 2012 by Delacorte Press
Length: 400 pages
Warnings: a little violence, romance
Source: Netgalley
Other info: This is Robin Bridge’s debut novel.
Summary : Debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.
 An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.
 The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?
Review: This is set in 1880s Russia, and centres around Katerina, a young necromancer. As well as the dead being brought back to life, this Russia also contains many different types of vampires, faeries, witches and many paranormal creatures connected somehow to Russian folkore. And with all the mystery going on at court, various things happen and Katerina is the only one who can really do anything about it.
I don’t normally read things involving Russia, mainly because there’s not that many YA books set in Russia. Or maybe they are, and I’ve not heard of them. But anyway, this was a new culture for me. The way the faerie and vampire and other paranormal races were woven into the Nobility was very interesting, and done in a way that I love.d. Really, the actual nobility were the creatures. Fun. 
Katerina is a great lead character, she’s strong, not afraid to voice her opinions and dreams of being a doctor, something almost unheard of for women in those days. I don’t think the other characters were quite as well done, possibly excepting her mother, who was strong and interesting in her own way. The romance, while not being particularly amazing, didn’t detract from enjoying the book either, and was just there.  The biggest drawback in this is the names. All very similar, as per Russian tradition, but hard to remember and distinguish.
The mystery and the part of the plot that was interesting didn’t really pick up until later on in the novel. Until then, it was fairly repetitive. And then when it did all pick up, I was hooked until the end.
I loved the rich mythology and the whole variety of things used. It was very interesting to read about the set up of the nobility, and also the set up of the Faerie and Vampire courts and so and so.
We're kept guessing throughout the second half, partly due to the stuff that's happening and the ways it could go, and partly because of the way things are easily mixed up (at least for me).
Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a very original book with a strong heroine that I want to see more of.
Links: Goodreads |

Monday 19 December 2011

Book Review- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of GrayTitle: Between Shades of Gray
 Author: Ruta Sepetys
Series:  N/A
Published:  22 March 2011 by Philomel
Length: 344
Warnings: violence, war, 
Source: Library
Other info: Between Shades of Grey has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2012.
Summary :Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously - and at great risk - documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.
Review: Lina is a Lithuanian girl living happily. And then Soviet guards force Lina and her family out, onto a cattle car, and north to a labour camp in Siberia. She’s separated from her father, and the only thing she can do to keep herself from going mad is to draw. Even though it carries a great risk, she draws, hoping her father can come, find her, and piece together a trail from recognising a scribble signature. Until then, all Lina has to do is stay alive.
I don’t normally read books like this. Depressing and true to life. But it’s on the Carnegie Longlist and my school librarian and her daughter loved it and so I thought I should read it too.
I’m really glad I did pick it up. From the first page I got right inside Lina’s head, feeling her pain, misery and joy at various parts in the novel.
The characters are all very well fleshed out, and we’re given backstory and context to all of them. We don’t learn their stories all in one block, but we learn little parts every so often at relevant parts of the story. Almost all of them are likeable, and we get a good sense of all of them, understanding their circumstances and the way they reacted to everything very well. Lina is  a strong, yet believably breakable, girl despite everything that is thrown at her, and it’s lovely seeing her develop in the face of everything that’s thrown at her.
I was shocked at the way they were treated, in the same way I’d be shocked if I read about this stuff in the news. I think it’s because this is dealing the side of World War II that we don’t normally hear about. Most books you pick up that  focus on WWII are on Hitler, and the Holocaust. This is the only one that I’ve noticed that deal with Stalin and the Baltic nations. You learn a lot reading this book.
I liked the little bit of romance woven into it. I don’t normally like falling  hardly in love with someone you’ve only known  for a little while, but I just felt so bad for Lina that it was the only thing that was going somewhat ok in her life.
Something’s always happening to Lina and her family. The story moves on fairly quickly, and I just kept turning the pages.
Overall:  strength 5 tea to a really powerful look at the side of World War Two that we don’t ever see

Friday 16 December 2011

Our Trip to the British Library

This is kind of a more personal post, chartering last Friday. Why? Because, Katy, me and the rest of my "book club" went to the British Library. And I'm going to tell you what happened. You ready?

Well, technically this isn't at the British Library, but to start with, we spent 20 minutes walking from school to the train station. As we were crossing the bridge above the tracks, we saw the train coming. So what did we do? Caused a stampede. And then we accidentally got on the train in the QUIET ZONE. Quiet. Right. Actually it was quite fun. Me, Baka, Mimz and Katy wrote on paper and to eachother and actually stayed quieter than could be expected.

So we got off at Marylebone station. And then we were told we would have to WALK to the library. Cue complaining. A lot of it. So we walked, in the freezing cold, and we got fairly excited about the fact that there was real grass in a block somewhere. We are easily excited.

Finally, we got to the library. And we took photos and we blocked up the entire pavement.
There, we waited in the courtyard. Now think. Book club + biggest library in England. What were we excited about? Yep, you guessed it. The fact there was somewhere selling warm stuff.  Warm food. After complaining about the fact the parent supervisors were getting coffee and we weren’t, we went inside.

And got overexcited about a bench. Because it was a seriously cool one. It was in the shape of a book with a metal chain. And then we went downstairs to where there was a locker. And the thing that caught our attention most. It was this art thing, 3D, when looking at it from a certain angle looked flat with the most amazing perspective work in it. We spent most of our time walking back and forth looking at it from different angles. Paradoxymoron, go look it up. It is amazing.

Then Julian Walker met us and took us round the lower bit. We saw a printing press and he explained how it worked. Then we all had a  go at folding paper so that all the pages were in the right order. We weren’t told until we were halfway through it that it wouldn’t be readable as the fold at the top was closed.

Then we went up to the gallery with lots of original manuscripts. I can’t begin to describe how awesome it was to see these things that we’re somewhat familiar with in the author’s own handwriting.

Then we were told to go and look at one case in particular and see what we could learn from it. Katy and I chose the music case and realised that our own composing in Sibelius were totally readable compared to the originals of things like Handel’s Messiah. We also learnt the Beatles couldn’t read sheet music.

Another group of four told us about the technology of books. We decided scrolls were cool, and that stone slabs were useful for hitting people around the head with. Of course the day was productive.

After a final get together with the whole group and Julian, we got to the most important, and looked forwards part of the day. Lunch. We went a little crazy (crazier) in the lunch room, before being chucked out as the next school wanted to come in.

Then it was time for the shopping, and we all jsut stood around and wrote in Narcissa’s copy of Mess. So now, whenever she opens it, it falls open at the right page for her to lose the game.

Finally it was time to go home. Back to school. As we ended up on the train a little earlier than expected, we sat and waved out of the window at passers by.  It was a good day.

Yep, we do have photos. And yes, we do have videos. But you can't see them because we'd rather you didn't track us down. And as a final note, names have been changed to protect the not-at-all-innocent.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Book Review- Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock StarTitle: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star
 Author: Heather Lynn Rigaud
Series:  N/A
Published:  2011 by Sourcebooks
Length:424 pages
Warnings: Profanity, drugs, many graphic sex scenes 16+
Source: Library
Summary : Darcy is as hot as he is talented. Fast music, powerful beats, and wild reputations, on and off stage, have made virtuso guitarist Fitzwilliam Darcy’s band into Rock’s newest bad boys. But they’ve lost their latest opening act, and their red-hot summer tour is on the fast track to disaster. Now Darcy and bandmates Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam are about to meet their match.   But she’s about to rock his world. Enter Liz Bennet, fiercely independent star of girl band Long Borne Suffering. Elizabeth, her sister Jane and friend Charlotte Lucas have talent to spare and jump at the opening band spot. Elizabeth is sure that she’s seen the worst the music industry has to offer/ But as the days and nights heat up, it becomes clear that everyone is in for a summer to remember.
Review: It’s a modern re-do of Pride and Prejudice. Having not enjoyed the original by Jane Austen and quite enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, it was interesting to see how it would be taken here. Shove the semi-well-known characters out of English Aristocracy and into the modern day rock world and it could be amazing. But it didn’t turn out how it could have done.
The romance, like in the original, was terrible.  How Darcy went from being arrogant and unlikeable to the hottest thing on earth in Elizabeth’s eyes, I will never know. Jane and  Charles’ and Charlotte’s and Richard’s relationships went too fast for my liking with little background.
The sex scenes weren't done very well, and either shouldn't have been done at all or someone mis-tagged it as Young Adult. This book is not Young Adult. However, it doesn't venture into Erotica either, as the sex scenes were boring blow-by-blow accounts that gave me mental images that I really didn't need. My views on including sex in a book, you either do it well and market it as erotica, or if you're going for YA, don't include the sex at all. This did neither. I know we were warned by the tagline, but by the fact it said on Goodreads it was YA and I trust Goodreads and it didn't say erotica and... Oh well.   And the general frequency of them... *reaches for mental bleach  knowing it will never be strong enough*
It had a promising start. It introduced Slurry, the boy band with Darcy and Richard and Charles, by way of a transcript of a video, and I got a good idea of the set up and the  circumstances surrounding it. And it was going quite well for a little while. It fell apart at the first sex scene, about 80 pages in. Too quick for any romance to develop.
The characters all seemed quite flat to me, and I didn't care for any of them really. Darcy was rude and arrogant, and the way that Jane was messed around by Charles was really horrible. Apart from Alex, a fairly minor character. He was quite nice.
As I said, the concept was very good and quite fitting if you thought about it. The plot picked up towards the end with a little story about someone being in trouble with the police and of course there's the whole thing with George Wickham underneath it. The bands, Slurry and Long Borne Suffering, were both well imagined and somewhat interesting. 
Overall:  Strength 2 tea to something that could have worked but didn’t.
Links: Goodreads |

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #30 Croak

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we show off books that we want to read but have not been published yet. 

Croak (Croak, #1)Title:  Croak
Author: Gina Damico
Release Date: 20 March 2012
Link to / Summary from Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.
Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
Why I want it:  The family business is reaping? Awesome. And love the cover. It may not be a dress, but that hoodie is  to die for. No pun intended.
What are YOU waiting on this week?

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Book Review- Ward against Death by Melanie Card

Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #1)Title: Ward against Death
 Author: Melanie Card
Series:  Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #1
Published:  August 2011 by Entangled Publishing
Length: 306 pages
Warnings: kissing, fantasy violence, 13+
Source: Library
Summary : Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.
 But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.
 However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…
Review: Edward “Ward” de’Ath (I love the name so much) is trying to start his career as a necromancer. This fails when his relatively easy task goes wrong and the dead girl (who he’s just risen) is dragging him out to the sewers, demanding they find justice for her murder. Celia (the girl) is insistant she's been murdered, and they go on an adventure through sewers and towns and all sorts. One thing's certain for Ward-something that should be simple, won't be, and something that should not be deadly, will be.
The fantasy setting of The Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer is amazing. It's easy to imagine, and get the feel of the place as everything from the layout of the sewers to the social hierarchy to the religion of the place is described. The only downside to this historical/fantastical new world is the fact that some names of things are long and hard to remember.
Ward and Celia are two strong characters. I think Ward developed most thoughout the novel, from being an unexperienced necromance semi-experienced necromancer who is a lot more confident than when we first find him.
The side characters were nice additions to the story too, but I never really cared about them throughout. They gave a good idea of possible characters to appear in later books though.
The romance was done nicely. It was interesting that Ward obviously felt for Celia in a romantic way, but (unlike most teenagers in YA fiction of today) also managed to remember that his love interest is dead.
I loved the plot. Completely original and very fun, it was paced well and had a few subplots not focussing on Celia, which was nice. I wasn't expecting the narration to be in the third person, but it flowed well with the occasional parts  that made me really laugh out loud.
Overall:  Strength  4 tea to a fun adventure/mystery with a great setting.
Links:  Goodreads | Author website

Monday 12 December 2011

Challenges, Competitions, Chemistry and other stuff...

So...a lot of things have been happening in the past week full of Japanese Young Adult Novels. Did you enjoy it?  Caroline and I certainly did.

So, here's what I want to say has been going on round here...


I'm going to participate in the 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge. I need to. And because I don't know exactly what is on my TBR pile, then I'm going to go for level 1, a firm handshake. But hopefully I'll get further than that.
Here's all the rules from Evie....

  • This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  • As we would like to see quality reviews linked up to our monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!
  • Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  • You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  • When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)
  • You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  • Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  • At the end of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. For participating in the mini-challenge you will get +1 entry.
  • If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;)
  • December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - 12 books, 12 winners, INTERNATIONAL.
  • You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!
Look interesting? I know I've got tonnes of stuff on my top shelf that has been completely neglected....but I'll probably forget to  do wrap up posts. Oh well.
And if I can find another challenge to do, I'll probably join that too...

Do you want to win a manuscript critique from someone already established in the industry? 
Book Wish Foundation is giving you the chance to get it from one of six somewhat-known authors and agents if you write a 500 essay about a short story in the anthology, What You Wish For. You can enter many times, so you could win all six.
For more details, go to the Book Wish website.

You might not know it from what I review, but one of my favourite imprints is Angry Robot, the side that deals with "SF, F and WTF" (the reason I haven't reviewed much of their stuff is cos it's somewhat inappropriate. And the final part of the description I think fits perfectly). Guess how happy I was when I heard there's going to be a subset of AR dealing specifically with Young Adult of that stuff! It's called Strange Chemistry and will get properly going in September 2012, publishing both in England and America. Looks good? I think so.

  • Katy and I went to the British Library on Friday with our "book" club. A full account will come soon....
  • I have a lot of catching up to do in terms of commenting on your blogs. Sorry.
  • Less than two weeks till Christmas! Have fun in the run up, the day, and in the new year!

Sunday 11 December 2011

Japanese YA Week review- Battle Royale by Koushun Tamaki

Title: Battle Royale
 Author: Koushun Tamaki
Series:  N/A
Published:  2003 by Viz. First published 1999.
Battle RoyaleLength:623 pages
Warnings: Nearly 40 deaths, almost all in graphic detail. Profanity. A few suggestive situations.
Source: Library
Other info: It has an M rated manga published once by Tokyopop and two films based on it.
Summary : Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan - where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller - Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. Made into a controversial hit movie of the same name, Battle Royale is already a contemporary Japanese pulp classic, now available for the first time in the English language
Review: This is probably the only one of the week you’ve heard of before now. In it there’s elements of Lord of the Flies, and the Hunger Games , and lots of other things. Even the title is used to mean a huge fight. So, maybe you have heard of this. Or maybe you haven’t.
A class of forty 15-year-olds are knocked out with gas on a school trip bus, and wake up in a strange classroom with collars around their necks. Then a relatively cheerful looking man tells them they have to kill eachother, gives them a few rules as to where and where not they can go, and sends them out with food, water and a weapon. Weapon meaning anything from a machine gun to a sickle to a fork. Shuya Nanahara and Noriko team up with mysterious Shogo, and 35 other students work out their own ways of playing THE GAME.
The premise is one that shocked readers when it first came out. It’s also one on which there have been a lot of variations. There’s a lot you can do witht hte kill or be killed idea, and Koushun Tamaki has taken just one route with it.
My favourite thing is the character depth. Almost all of the characters get a long backstory (what did you think the 600+ pages were full of? Thirty deaths in great detail won’t fill all of that!), some of which are funny, some are intriguing and some tragic. With that, and the actions of the students in the game, they all become real flesh and blood people, before they become just flesh and blood.
It’s very fast paced. People betray everyone left, right and centre and it’s really amazing to see what will happen to  people once they’re put into a situation that they weren’t expecting but s till have to fight for survival.
One really helpful bit about this is the fact that at the end of every chapter, it say “X students remaining.” With the X being the number of students remaining. Seriously, if it wasn’t for that, I would have lost count within the first few chapters of the game.
Overall: Strength 5 tea to a fast paced thriller with many many full characters. Can’t wait to see what Tamaki has next. Which is apparently in progress, if the author bio is to be believed.    
Links:  Goodreads

Saturday 10 December 2011

Japanese YA Week review- Kamikaze Girls by Novela Takemoto

Title: Kamikaze Girls
 Author: Novala Takemoto
Series:  Kamikaze Girls #1
Published:   English, 2006 by Viz Media
Kamikaze Girls Novel.jpgLength: 208 pages
Source: Library
Other info: There is apparently a sequel, which isn’t out in English, and also a manga, which is. Kamikaze Girls has also been made into a film rated 12 which is popular with people like me.
Summary : Life in the boondocks of rural Ibaraki prefecture is anything but glamorous, and so Momoko, a Lolita, daydreams about the Rococo period, Versailles, and dresses in the finest and frilliest of 18th century haute couture from an expensive Tokyo speciality store. Her dreams of an idyllic existence are rudely interrupted by the appearance of Ichiko/Ichigo, a tough talking Yanki motorcycle chick on a worn  out moped. Together, this unlikely duo strikes out to find a legendary embroiderer, pachinko parlours, chic boutiques, and epic bike punk battles. This is more than a quirky coming of age tale, its a new way of life.
Review: Before we go any further, you all need to understand a little terminology. In this book, "lolita" is a style of fashion in which the wearer dresses in frills and dresses inspired by France, the 18th century and everything that is cute. A "yanki" is harder to explain, but its garish fashion, sloppy and the general opposite of Lolita. For more information, go here for lolita and here for yanki. And the Tokyo Specialty Store mentioned in the summary really exists. Look up Baby the Stars Shine Bright and you will find a real shop. Actually, don’t. The clothes are 1)expensive, 2)impractical and 3)only somewhat pretty.
Momoko is a Lolita obsessed with Baby the Stars Shine Bright and embroidery and Ichiko(born Ichigo, changed name because a tough yanki girl shouldn't have a name meaning strawberry) is a Yanki obsessed with her highly customised scooter and her girl biker gang. Through various chains of events that stem from Momoko's birth, they meet. They have adventures, they fall in love (Ichigo only, with the guy who'll be getting married to the ex-leader of the gang and her idol) they gamble(underage) at pachinko places and win a lot of money(Momoko only-Ichigo, despite being self-proclaimed "pro", never gets anything out the machines). Through various events, Momoko and Ichigo develop a lasting friendship, despite the fact they have completely different fashion and logic.
The entire thing is told from Momoko's point of view, which gives us a good insight into her character. As for Ichigo, you can get a good enough idea of her character as a)She talks enough and b)Momoko is repeatedly making remarks as to her opinion on Ichigo's outlandish fashion and attitude.
Both of the girls have very strong characters fixed in their beliefs as yankis and lolitas. They also undergo serious character development, with Momoko deciding on how she's going to live her life without *spoiler, so can't tell. It's not that she'll live without Lolita though* and deciding she may just be a little more outgoing, and Ichigo getting enough courage to leave the gang(which isn't easy, considering the ways these gangs make you "draw the line") and ride on her own.
You get a lot of insight to Lolita and Yanki lives, and rural Japan in general. Some things were new, such as pachinko, but it was easy to guess what was happening (it helped that I saw the film before too).
The ending is great. I'd love to tell you what exactly happened, but that would spoil it for you. It's kind of tied into what's been happening throughout, but it's so unpredictable and is generally great.
I love the tight friendship that eventually forms between Ichigo and Momoko. The fact they are completely different in all respects just makes it better and proves that you don't have to be alike to form a great friendship.
The film of this book is also really good(Do you want a separate film review, despite the fact this is a book blog? You decide...) and I enjoyed the manga spin off. I really want to get hold of the sequel(there is one. Novala Takemoto said so in the afterword), but I think that depends on Shojo Beat translating and publishing that, as I can't read Japanese.
Overall:  Strength 5 tea to a great book of laughs, friendship, frills.
Links:Goodreads |  

Friday 9 December 2011

Japanese YA Week review- Vampire Hunter D by Hideyuki Kikuchi

Title: Vampire Hunter D
 Author: Hideyuki Kikuchi . Illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano
Series:  Vampire Hunter D
Published:  2005 by Dark Horse Publishing
Length: 268 pages
Warnings: Profanity, moderate sex content, vampires, violence, 16+
Source: Library
Vampire Hunter D Volume 1 Cover.jpgOther info: This has spawned an anime, manga, animated films, live action film, and video games.
Summary : It is the year 12,090 AD. The world has ended, ravaged in a firestorm of man's wars and madness. But from the wreckage a few humans manage to survive. A few humans...and something else. Doris Lang knew what her fate was when the vampire lord Count Magnus Lee bit her. An agonizing transformation into one of the undead, to be stalked by her fellow villagers or cursed to become the bride of the unholy creature and face an eternity of torment, driven by the thirst for human blood. There was only one chance, and as she watched him ride in from the distance she knew there was hope. Salvation...from a vampire named D.
Review: Some of you may have heard of Vampire Hunter D, some of you might not. It's post-apocalyptic, set 10,000 years in the future and a few humans are still alive. And there's some other things out there that aren't exactly human and aren't exactly alive either.
Vampire lord Count Magnus Lee has bitten Doris Lang, cursing her to transform into a vampire, be fought by her neighbours or marry this vampire. Not a bright outlook. But Vampire Hunter D is able to save her. Add in Rin-Ginsei, rogue who I can't really figure out the point of,  and you generally get the plot...
Some time ago, everyone seemed to have read or seen VHD, apart from me. So I got the library to buy it. I then got put off it at the content in the first chapter. Which looking back on it wasn't too bad, but to a young and somewhat innocent twelve year old was quite bad. So now I'm older, I went back to it to have another go.
 The set up is good, with a clear idea of where it can go if Doris doesn't get the help.
Doris was a fairly strong female main, able to stand up for herself and handy with a whip,  but does rely on D for help. As I said, I didn't see the point of Rin-Ginsei other than as a character to oppose D, but oh well.
The vampires in this are traditional ones, with   laws and ceremony surrounding wives, and biting and other things like that.
The writing was third person and seemed distanced from me through most of it. However, the action scenes were incredibly well written.
Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a book that I can understand why it spawned a huge franchise, but it just doesn't do it for me.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Japanese YA Week review- Chibi Vampire Novel 1 by Tohru Kai

Title: Chibi Vampire Novel 1
Chibi Vampire: The Novel Volume 1Author: Created by Yuna Kagesaki, written by Tohru Kai
Series: Chibi Vampire The Novel #1
Published: 2007 by Tokyopop
Length: 214 pages
Warnings: violence, attempted rape
Source: Library
Other info: Chibi Vampire is a fairly popular series that started as a manga and branched out into anime and novels.
Summary : Karin Maaka can bite a throat like a proper vampire, but where others of her kind need hot red blood, she has too much of it! Every month, she's compelled to inject blood into her victims the way a snake injects venom. And her handsome classmate Kenta Usui makes her feel like she's is going to spurt blood like a geyser. Talk about embarrassing! When Karin's latest victim turns out to be as rich as he is good looking, it causes hilarious chaos at her school. Will she ever live in peace?The much talked-about manga is now a supernatural-love-comedy-mystery novel starring our favorite clumsy blood injector, Karin!
Review: One day, Karin is out in the park when she feels e need to inject her blood into a passer by(because otherwise it'll all come out of her as one giant nosebleed). And so she does. In the next few weeks, the girls from her school start being kidnapped. And at the same time, rich senior Youichiro comes along, and everyone starts fawning over him. And it's up to Karin and Kenta to find out what's going on.
This is a light novel to accompany the Chibi Vampire manga series by Yuna Kagasaki. It helps if you have you've read the manga or seen the anime, as there are no character intros so you may be a bit lost at the start. The whole book is short and sweet, introducing and writing out Youichiro. On top of this, there are kidnappings, mystery and a bit of romance, so something for everyone.
Youichiro throughout seemed a little boring. I didn't get very attached to him and in the brief love triangle, I was rooting for Kenta throughout.
The writing meant that this novel was really easy to skim without missing anything. With that and the length of the book, this is easily a one-sit read.
The characters from the manga were kept in character, with Kenta and Karin continuing their awkward almost-romance, and Anju and the rest of the Maaka/Marker family staying the same as ever.
The new characters, we got a good idea of their backgrounds and motives. The twists and turns and the sub-plot with Youichiro and his staff was very interesting and while I didn't mind that he was written out by the end, I think their characters developed a fair bit.
Overall: Strength 3 tea to a must for fans of the Chibi Vampire/Karin franchise. Anyone else should read this if they want a quick, lighthearted vampire novel.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Japanese YA Week review- Audition by Ryu Murakami

Title: Audition
 Author: Ryu Murakami
Series:  N/A
Published:  Japanese, 1997. English, Jan 2009 by Bloomsbury
Length: 207 pages
Warnings: Profanity, violence, graphic gore, animal cruelty, sex 17+
Source: library
Other info: Ryu Murakami writes other psychological thrillers such as In the Miso Soup. Audition was made into a film.
Summary : Documentary-maker Aoyama hasn’t dated anyone in the seven years since the death of his beloved wife, Ryoko. Now, even his teenage son Shige has suggested he think about remarrying. So when his best friend Yoshikawa comes up with a plan to hold fake film auditions so that Aoyama can choose a new bride, he decides to go along with the idea. Of the thousands that apply, Aoyama only has eyes for Yamasaki Asami, a young, beautiful, delicate and talented ballerina with a turbulent past. But there is more to her than Aoyama, blinded by his infatuation, can see, and by the time he discovers the terrifying truth it may be too late.

Review: Seven years ago, Aoyama's wife died and since then, he's not dated anyone. But then his son and friend and many more people think he should re-marry, and Yoshikawa's plan is to hold an audition, asking just for those that are Aoyama's type of woman, for a film that they'll purposely not find funding for. So while the film won't get made, Aoyama's love life will be. Ballerina Yamasaki Asami is the one that catches his eye, and he falls hard and fast. 
It's  all rather slow and draggng on, with the main disturbing bit coming right at the last 20 pages. And when I say  disturbing, I mean it. Animal cruelty and human cruelty both feature. Unless it was changed drastically, how the film rated a 15 from the British film ratings board (the only reason I read this book was because I needed to read some Japanese book and the 15 meant that I’d probably be ok with it) I don't know. And that last bit was written so well, so powerfully, that it was just...right...exactly why have we been given this extreme amount of blood, gore etc? While I love blood in my books and films, there are some times where it goes a bit too far. Audition is one of those books that takes it too far.
We understand the motives behind it. Very well. In her earlier life, Yamasaki was abused. Now she's grown up, she still doesn't trust men. And so when she takes something Aoyama says the wrong way, she decides he must be punished. Hence the ending.
As for the rest of the book, it’s generally slow. Kind of good, fairly slow, not amazing, but bearable.
We get a lot of back story to Aoyama and Yamasaki. Yamasaki's delivered through an essay and Aoyama's delivered as a chapter near the beginning.
The idea of having an audition to find a wife is interesting, a good idea that I really can't see happening realistically.
It was interesting to see Aoyama fall harder and harder in love with Yamasaki, while we could tell that she obviously wasn't good for him. It says something rather negative about love I suppose...
Overall:  Strength 3 tea to an interesting book that wasn't really my kind of thing.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Japanese YA Week review- Chain Mail Addicted To You by Hiroshi Ishizaki

Chain Mail Addicted To YouTitle: Chain Mail Addicted To You
 Author: Hiroshi Ishizaki
Series:  N/A
Published:  January 2007 by Tokyopop
Length: 213 pages
Warnings: mild violence, 13+
Source: Library
Other info:
Summary : Four disillusioned Tokyo teenagers who have never met are suddenly drawn together by a mysterious chain mail message sent to their cell phones. In the tradition of classical Japanese tanka poetry, each teen takes on a role in the intriguing and absorbing narrative: the schoolgirl stalked by an older boy; her mysterious stalker; the schoolgirl's boyfriend; and the female detective. Written from each character's point of view, Chain Mail carries the reader on a suspenseful adventure juxtaposing teenage angst against a colorful Tokyo backdrop in an unforgettable tale that blurs the boundaries between reality and fantasy.
Review: Sawako, Yukari, Mai and Mayumi are four teenagers fed up with life.  And one day they get an email to their phones inviting them to write a story. Each takes on one charcter and writes a little from their character’s point of view, and then the next person carries on the narrative. Each takes one of the four characters to narrate in this way, a schoolgirl, her boyfriend/tutor, her stalker and a detective. Together they write the story, but there is also a little more than that. They start writing having never met eachother, but then start wanting to meet up. They go on an unforgettable journey, of a kind, set in Tokyo and blurring the lines between reality and their fantasy world.
I only picked this up because it was one of the few young adult novels that came up when I asked my library database for something “translated from original Japanese”. So I reserved this, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it looked good from the blurb.
It was much more interesting than I thought it would be. It started really quickly with Sawako receiving and passing on the chain mail within the first twenty pages. We got really close to Sawako, Mayumi and Mai, both in the fantasy and real lives.
I loved watching Sawako, Mayumi and Mai develop. Their characters, their maturity, their intelligence. They are all amazingly put together characters. The characters and the story they made up were just as realistic and well imagined as their real lives.
Hiroshi Ishizaki has a brilliant writing style. Five of them to be exact. One to narrate real life, and four more for each part of the story that was put together by the girls, as it was a voice varying with each girl.
It’s perfectly paced, with a nice balance between the girls and the story. Throughout I just wanted to read on and on and on. It finished on a perfect note, with closure, and a little room for letting your imagination wander.  
Overall:  Strength 5 tea to a really richly woven story.

Monday 5 December 2011

Japanese YA Week review- L Change the World by M

Death Note: L, Change the WorldTitle: L Change the World
 Author: M
Series:  Death Note Light Novel
Published:  October 2009 by Viz
Length:174 pages
Warnings: gun and knife violence
Source: Library
Other info: Death Note was created by Tsugami Ohba and Takeshi Obata. There are 12 volumes of manga reviewed here, another light novel reviewed here, and three films. And a lot more merchandise and a crazy fanbase and such... 
Summary : an alternative continuity in the DEATH NOTE setting, ace detective L's name has been placed in a Death Note. He has twenty-three days to bring a terrorist group to justice, or they will use a deadly new virus to change the killing off most of humanity. In an alternative continuity in the DEATH NOTE setting, ace detective L's name has been placed in a Death Note. He has twenty-three days to bring a terrorist group to justice, or they will use a deadly new virus to change the killing off most of humanity.
Review: Death Note fans, listen up-this isn’t following the manga or anime canon at all. To understand why L’s last days are spent like this, you need to watch the live acton films, Death Note and The Last Name. If you’ve watched L Change the World, also remember this isn’t an exact novelisation of the film as Boy (revealed to be Near, the albino one with a lot of toys) does not feature in the book, and certain parts have been changed a lot.
This book follows L, the world’s top detective, during his last 23 days. During that time he picks up Maki, a ten year old girl whose father was shot down by Blue Ship, bioterrorists looking to unleash a virus on the world that could very easily wipe out everyone. L’s last mission is to keep the virus contained and to pruducde an antidote and stop Blue Ship from getting hold of the recipe for the antidote.
As a Death Note enthusiast, I had to read this book. I read it straight after I watched the film though, so I spent half of the time I was reading it comparing it to the film. I shall try and keep this review to the book though.
L was kept in character for this, with his intelligence at his normal high levels and his love for sweets as prevalent as ever. Maki was a great character biring an excellent child’s innocent point of view in and complimenting L throughout.
The character introductions for the Blue Ship bioterrorists were terrible. As an example, Hatsune’s name was dropped in the middle of a paragraph and we just had to go with it. It would have been nice to have alittle more backtstory to the new characters.
The mystery levls were almost as high as those in the canon manga. L’s bluffing and schemes, as well as Blue Ship’s, were intriguing to watch develop and play out.
Overall:  Strength 4 tea to another addition to the well-loved Death Note franchise

Intro to Japanese YA Novel Week

So, we did set it for a while back, but then we moved it forwards, and I've been going on about it quite a bit, but we've got to it now.

For the next week, Caroline at Portrait of a Woman and I will be posting reviews of books that were originally Japanese. And of course, young adult (ish) because we both review young adult.

As it was Caroline's idea to host this, she has a lot more to say on it that I do. So go over to her and see what there is to look forwards to. And keep checking back through the week!

And if any of you want to spread the word, please do!

The button leads to Caroline.

Tanoshinde! Have fun!