21 September 2013


I did it. I finally did it. Okay, I did it a while ago, but I'm only getting around to writing about it now. I read City of Bones. And City of Ashes. And City of Class. And City of Fallen Angels. And, Twilight! Just kidding, (though I have read it) I bet you thought I was going to say City of Lost Souls, which really wouldn't be that wacky of a guess. Anyways, if you did guess that, you'd be right, and if you didn't I'm going to assume you haven't read this series (and you should, by the way, but I'll get to that). I devoured the series (too graphic?) and you know what else I did? I made Kelsey read it too. (It's Kristen, though I'm sure you've deduced that from the last sentence! :D) I didn't really know how to set up this review series, because it's such a looooooong series, and I didn't want to bombard you with 5 separate posts plus a book to movie review. So, this is the compromise. A masterpost, if you will. I'm a bit rusty, and supposed to be paying attention in class, so forgive me if this is jumbled! (which up to this point, I know it is.)

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
My Rating: 8 out of 10
Summary (thanks GRs): When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . 

What I thought (spoiler free!): This baby has been sitting on my book shelf, staring at me for at least a year. Actually, probably more than that. I got it for my birthday last year. So I seriously had no excuse. And yet, I kept putting it off. And off. Everyone was talking about it, and really by now I should have learned my lesson. That lesson being, people are probably talking about something for a reason. I mean, I loved Twilight and The Hunger Games, and people weren't wrong about those. Sorry Harry Potter, but I just couldn't get into you. But relax youngins, and put those tomatoes down, I don't know what it was, I tried twice, I promise! Anyways, back to this. I'm going to start out with the most important thing (in my book anyway), snarky boys! And don't you worry, there are looooots! But my favourite, hands down, get me one of those for Christmas was Jace. Because it's not humanly possibly to not be in love with Jace. And Alec. And Magnus (but we see more of him in the next couple of installments). Anyways, I don't know if I liked Clary. I mean, I'm pretty sure I did, but in the first one there were just some parts that were unrealistic to me. I mean, I know I'm reading about magic but she threw herself into Jace's world without a second thought. Which seemed a little Bella-ish to me, but for the most part, that's all that bothered me about her. I definitely saw parallels to Twilight and (even though I haven't read the series) Harry Potter, but that's not to say it's copied. It definitely isn't. Cassandra Clare creates a magical world that I really enjoyed. The runes were great, the characters compelling, and the story captured my attention from the beginning! I'm not sure what else to say without spoiling completely. I think this will be the only write up, because I don't want to ruin the others for anyone else either! 


1582996My Rating: 8 out of 10
Summary: So, I'm not going to post the summaries for the next four of the series because of the spoilers. I accidentally (on purpose) read the summary for the rest of the books before I even finished the first, and spoiled some pretty big plot lines for myself. If you want to be spoiled, you'll have to go to it's Goodreads page, which is HERE

My Thoughts: I'm gonna be quick this time, for the sole purpose of spoilers. I liked it. I liked where the characters went (for the most part). I'm excited by this story and I can't wait to find out where it leads to. 


City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)My Rating: 9 out of 10
Summary: I only put this here because I'm trying to see how many clever ways to say that I'm not going to put the summer because I spoiled myself on some major plot lines. These spoilery plot lines can be found HERAAAAAAH.
My Thoughts: I think it's safe to say that of the three, this is my favourite. I only think it's safe because I've actually read all five by this point. Anyways, characters were aces, though I'm not sure what I think about Simon. 


City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)My Rating: 9 out of 10
Summary: So, by now you probably know the deal with the whole summary thing. But to be honest, I'm just procrastinating doing my History of the English Language homework. So alright, back to this. Summary won't be posted because of spoilery reasons. This spoilery goodness can be found heeeeere.
My Thoughts: So um yeah, that ending though?! * SPOILER * I don't like what happened to my Jace! Screw you Sebastian! Kelsey got some very angry text messages while I was reading this one. 


8755776My Rating: 9 out of 10
Summary: My last one and I got nothin'. HERE you can find the Goodreads page which has lots of impatient readers anxiously gearing up for the next one. 
My Thoughts: Well, um, why, oh WHY, do I have to wait for the next one?! What would possess Cassandra Clare to wait two full years before I get to find out what happens to *SPOILER* my Jacey!  (look I disguised it and everything for all you none readers of this wonderfully heartbreaking series).  Anyways. I need this next one. Now. Today. Yesterday. I would even take tomorrow. But alas, I have to wait till MARCH. I'd shake my fist, but I don't think it would do anything. 

So anyways, that's my very brief overview of all the books. In my opinion, the series just improved upon what it was as it went on. But, I don't know if that's because as the series went on I fell more and more in love with the characters. Ahem, Magnus. This series really does live up to the hype. Actually, for serious. I'd say literally, but you know, the dictionary changed that definition and I just don't think my point would be made. 


For those living under the hypothetical rock, yes, this was turned into a movie (because really, when reading it you can totally see this becoming some serious movie magic). 

Book to Movie: 8 out of 10
Just the Movie: 7 out of 10

I really liked the movie! It lost some points for me, because in my no way professional opinion, if someone didn't read the book, I don't think that they would have followed as closely as they could have. Especially with things regarding Luke. I was pleasantly surprised when they didn't make the "love triangle" a central part to the story (LIKE THEY DID WITH THE HUNGER GAMES AND STUPID GALE HAWTHORNE BUT THAT IS ANOTHER RANT FOR ANOTHER DAY PROBABLY NOVEMBER 22nd). Anyways, I really liked this movie. Definitely translated to film well. And uh, hellllllooooooo Jamie Campbell Bower. If you could just make your way on over to me, that would be great!

I've been rambling long enough, but if anyone wants to discuss this series with me I would looooove it. I just didn't want to spoil anyone! My email may or may not be oca.kristen@gmail.com and you may or may not (definitely may, definitely may) email me and we will discuss to great lengths all things Cassandra Clare created. 

Until next time folks! 

17 September 2013

The Troop

The TroopReviewer: Kristen
Author: Nick Cutter
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback (ARC- sent by Simon and Schuster Canada)
My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Summary (thanks GR): Lord of the Flies meets The Ruins in this frightening novel written in the bestselling traditions of Stephen King and Scott Smith. 

Boy Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared.” However, nothing can prepare this group of young boys and their scoutmaster for what they encounter on a small, deserted island, as they settle down for a weekend of campfires, merit badges, and survival lessons.

Everything changes when a haggard stranger in tattered clothing appears out of nowhere and collapses on the campers’ doorstep. Before the night is through, this stranger will end up infecting one of the troop’s own with a bioengineered horror that’s straight out of their worst nightmares. Now stranded on the island with no communication to the outside world, the troop learns to battle much more than the elements, as they are pitted against something nature never intended…and eventually each other.

“Lean and crisp and over-the-top....Disquieting, disturbing,” says Scott Smith, author of The Ruins and A Simple PlanThe Troop is a visceral burn of a read that combines boldly drawn characters with a fantastically rendered narrative—a terrifying story you’ll never forget.

My Thoughts: So, Stephen King read this book (and loved it, and seriously, it's basically impossible not to) and said ""THE TROOP scared the hell out of me, and I couldn't put it down. This is old-school horror at its best. Not for the faint-hearted, but for the rest of us sick puppies, it's a perfect gift for a winter night.". I couldn't sum this novel up better myself. This book scared the bejesus out of me. The reason for that is probably because it just seems so real. The entire time, I had this super annoying and creepy mantra playing in my head that went something like: "This could happen, this could totally happen." All the characters were incredibly, for lack of a better word, real. The children were total shit heads, which made it seem like it was an actual scout group out camping in the wilderness. I really didn't know what to expect with this novel, especially in regards to "The Hungry Man". I knew it was going to be a horror, but I didn't know what kind of horror to expect. And let me just tell you how I did not, at all, expect this. I didn't know if I should be scared of "The Hungry Man" or the fact that there was something so blatantly wrong with him (cough cough tape worms). I didn't know if I should trust Tim (the scoutmaster). I didn't know what kid to trust, I didn't know what adult to trust (which turns out, neither do the children). But I think the scariest thing about this story was that more often then not, just because you don't trust someone, doesn't mean they become the boogy monster inside your closet. Not the case at all with this book. They all scared me. The bioengineered "this could only happen in ghost stories" illness, the messed up children, and the lack of response from the adults that were supposed to be their saviours. The only bone I really have to pick with this novel is the fact that little bitty animals were hurt. It wasn't gratuitous, but it was enough to make me frown. On the same hand, I understand why they're necessary to the story. My favourite part of this story is probably what separated each chapter. In between each chapter, the readers got little glimpses of what happened after the manufactured horror of the events that took place in P.E.I. The reader got to see glimpses of court readings, and reports from the scientist who "created" the monster worm, diaries from the kids who made it out of there but needed some intense therapy sessions. For any other novel, I think this could be a risky road to take, as it could easily give away too much information. However, the author weaved this together perfectly, and gave away the perfect amount of information to keep me reading till it got dark enough for the boogey man to get me. 

There were many a times when I had to just put this book down and walk away. I couldn't read it before bed, and I couldn't read it while I was eating. (Shoutout to Simon and Schuster for actually warning me of that fact, at first I thought you were kidding.... lesson learned!) This book is not at all for the faint of heart. It's graphic in all the right places. It explains everything without killing me in details. And it is so horrifyingly scary that it will keep you up nights after you have finished thinking of all kinds of "what if's". The writing was perfect and the story gave me my fair share of goose bumps. Probably more than my fair share! 

Final Thoughts: This novel is perfectly executed, and it's a story I haven't - and won't - be able to get out of my head for a long, long time. 

1 September 2013

Candy and the Cankersaur

ebooks, e-books, children's books, picture booksReviewer: Kristen Buchanan
Author: Jason Sandberg
Format: eBook
My Rating: 9 out of 10

----- This book was provided by the author for a fair and honest review. -----

Summary (provided by the author): "Candy and the Cankersaur" is a picture book about a girl who receives a dinosaur as a gift and her determination to train him to be a good pet.  It's a fun homage to Syd Hoff and will make all dinosaur-crazy boys and girls happy.

"Candy and the Cankersaur" is available on Amazon, Nook, iTunes and Kobo.

My Thoughts: This is the first children's book I've ever reviewed, so I'm excited to get started! To begin, I need to tell everyone how amaaaaaaaaaaaazing the pictures were! All the illustrations went perfectly with the story, and were sequenced wonderfully. The drawings were far from sketches, but didn't border on being creepily realistic. We all know a book or two with drawings almost too perfect. The story in itself was something I've not heard. It wasn't a retelling, and I can't think of any child's book that reminds me of this. Which is perfect. I absolutely love when that happens! The story is short and straight forward, and would definitely keep a kid's interest. I mean, it did keep mine! There are some words that are a little too advanced for a book a child would read to themselves (i.e. Paleontologist), so I definitely think this is a bedtime story that a parent or babysitter would read. I may or may not have loaded this onto my kobo for an awesome bedtime story for the kids I babysit. 

Anyways, I really liked Candy. I liked how the author portrayed her frienemy Chucky. I think that they're relationship (or lack thereof) was in tune with how kids act and how they see the opposite gender. I really liked how Candy interacted with Cank as though he was a normal pet. Hello, you have a dinosaur! I think the lesson in this book is obvious, and I liked how it wasn't the typical "listen to your parents" or "friends will always treat you right" bullhockey. I liked that it ended with "sometimes you've just gotta break the rules", even rules you've been taught since you were a baby. I'm a sucker for any kid story with a pet, even dinosaurs. This is definitely a cute read, and you should keep it on your radar! I bet you it'll be big. 

Final Thoughts: Super cute, super fast, and loaded with amazing artwork!
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