Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day of the Assassins by Johnny O'Brien

The Year: 1914, The Place: Sarajevo, The Mission: assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Jack Christie and his friend Angus are caught up in a major event that will dramatically change the future. Should they intervene? And, more importantly, will they survive? Join Jack and his friends on a dangerous chase across pre-war Europe to the rain-sodden trenches of World War I, as the future of mankind hangs in the balance. 

When I was approached about reviewing Day of the Assassins, I thought it would be an exciting and educational (in a fun way!) book. And although, at times I did find it a bit boring, and a little confusing, it proved to be an enjoyable read!

Angus and Jack made such a pair! Angus was confident, funny, loyal and a little bit of an idiot. But I loved him! He was a fantastic character, my favourite in the book. Jack was the quieter, more intelligent of the two. He was kind and loyal. I liked his character as well. Another character I thought was fantastic was the professor! He was a bit crazy, but really good to the two boys. And Anna, the woman from 1914. There wasn't many girl characters so she was great! The way she was fighter, and didn't just sit back and let the men do everything!

The writing was exquisite. The descriptions were very exact. For some people, that is the type of writing they would like the most, but for just didn't work. I found the descriptions a bit too long and tedious. At times I even skipped over little bits of it. Also, the words that were used were very.. Ehh...Big. OMG I can't believe I can't think of a better word! Sorry! I'm awful :) And I'm meant to be good at English?! Anyway, the words were very big for the targeted age group (9-11) and I don't think a lot of children that age would understand them. Even I didn't understand a few...

This was a book with a lot of machinery and guns in it. Guns, cars and tanks and all that aren't quite my thing, so I didn't understand a lot of the terms used! I think kids who are interested in that type of stuff would love this book, but I do wish that there were more explanations of the different machinery for those of us who don't know anything about stuff like that (in other words, me)!

I liked the way you didn't know who were the bad guys and who were the good guys. It added a bit of mystery, to go alongside the adventure, to the story. Because VIGIL'S cause seemed better, but the Revisionist people seemed nicer. It was really hard to tell who was right! But in the end I think Jack and Angus made the right choice. 

The book was really good at the beginning and the end. I found the middle part a bit boring. In fact, none of it was 'gripping' as such. It was enjoyable, but I didn't feel, you know, compelled to turn the page at any point. I stopped reading it for a while when I got bored, and read another couple of other books, but then when I started reading this again I enjoyed it much more! I think I just needed a break to read something lighter!

Overall, I did like Day of the Assasins, but I just don't think it was my type of book. I think younger girls and boys, but maybe more boys, would really enjoy it. It is educational too, in a subtle way! Reading it, I even found myself learning a lot!

                                                    Rating: 3.5/5
Source: For review
Pages: 224
Age Group: 9+
Official Publication Date: First 1st June 2009, this edition 1st February 2010
Publisher: Templar
Author Website: or

Monday, September 19, 2011

In My Mailbox #15

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers show what book they received that week, via mailbox, library, bought, borrowed or any other way. It's a great way to see who's reading what so make sure you head on over and join in! This week was fab! I got...

Million Dollar Mates: Catwalk Queen by Cathy Hopkins
I won this off  the brilliant Girls Heart Books website, and was really happy! I love Cathy Hopkins! I haven't read the others in this series, but I'll just get them at the library. :)

For Review/Gift
Ask Amy Green:Love and Other Drama-Ramas by Sarah Webb
Squeeeeeeeeee :) I love this series so much, and was really looking forward to this being released. And then the brilliant Luisa Plaja e-mailed me and asked if I wanted to review it for Chicklish! I of course said yes and here I am! I've already read and loved this!

Cinnamon Girl: This Way to Paradise by Cathy Hopkins
I've read the second and the third in this series, but never the first! The lovely Luisa also sent me this and the book below, after seeing them on my wishlist. I can't wait to read it!

Extreme Kissing by Luisa Plaja
I LOVED Luisa's other two books, and her book on Fiction Express so I was so happy when I got this! Signed and dedicated to me too :D I am really looking forward to starting it!

So that's my mailbox for this week. Not bad :) I am really happy with what I got!

What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Top 100 YA Books

Here is the list of the 'Top 100 YA Books'! This list was compiled by Word Fiend and All the Days of. I first saw it posted on That Book Blog and just though I would re-post it, just in case you haven't seen it already! The books and series I have read are written in bold.

Total Books I Have Read: 13/1000. Wow, is that all?! Including all of the series books though it is 29 books.

  1. Alex Finn – Beastly
  2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
  3. Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
  4. Ally Condie – Matched
  5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
  7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
  9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
  10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
  12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
  13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
  15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
  16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
  17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
  18. Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
  19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
  20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
  21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
  22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
  23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
  25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
  26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
  27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
  28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
  29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
  31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
  33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
  34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, )
  35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
  37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
  38. John Green – Paper Towns
  39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
  40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
  41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
  42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
  43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
  44. Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
  45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
  46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
  47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
  49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
  50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
  52. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
  53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
  54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
  56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
  57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
  58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  60. Meg Rosoff – How I Live Now
  61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
  63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
  64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
  67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
  68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
  69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
  70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
  71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
  72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
  74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere Carnal Over 40 Winks
  79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
  80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
  81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
  82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
  83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
  84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  85. Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2)
  86. Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3)
  87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
  88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
  89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
  90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
  92. Stephenie Meyer – The Host
  93. Stephenie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
  94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
  95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
  96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
  97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
  99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
  100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped
OK, to tell you the truth, I only read about half of the third Inkheart book (Inkdeath) and about three quarters of Stardust :) But I'm counting them anyway! 
Now, this is just my opinion, but I really think Robert Muchamore's 'CHERUB' series and The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson should have been on this list! I was kind of disappointed that they weren't :( Especially CHERUB because that's a very popular and well known series, so I thought it would be. Oh well! 

What do you think of this list? Have you read many of the books on it? Which ones? What books do you think should be on the list, that aren't? And what books do you think shouldn't be on this list?

P.S. This list is in alphatbetic order, so it's not like 'Beastly' is the best YA book ever, and 'The Lovely Bones' is the second best and so on, it's just laid out that way! I, stupidly, didn't even notice this at first!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day of Vengeance by Johnny O' Brien Blog Tour: Guest Post!

Today I welcome Johnny O'Brien to Bookster Reviews, as part of  the Day of Vengeance blog tour!  Day of Vengeance, published by Templar, is the latest installment in the exciting Jack Christie Adventures. On this stop, Johnny will be guest posting on his favourite periods of history. And now over to Johnny...

History is a brilliant subject and teaches great skills (and is invaluable for pub quizzes which becomes quite important in later life).

Download Johnny.jpg (89.2 KB)As you learn more about history, you realise that every period has its own fascination – amazing characters, extraordinary events. Trouble is, history is so vast that there is always loads of stuff that you will never know.

I suppose three of my favourite periods are those that feature in the three Jack Christie books so far:

Day of the Assassins is the first in the series and is based around the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914 which triggered the First World War. What fascinates me about this period is how the First World War, which ended in nearly ten million deaths and changed the world, almost didn’t happen. The build up to the war is a mixture of comedy, farce and tragedy... one that might easily have been avoided – and I suppose that is the central idea of ‘Assassins.’

Download ASSASSINS...jpg (146.5 KB)The next in the series is called Day of Deliverance and is based in Elizabethan England around the time of the Armada. This is a fantastic period of history. Not only have you got the great political and religious turmoil of the age but you have this incredible artistic renaissance – Shakespeare, Marlowe and much more besides. Again, you’ve got a big historical turning point – the defeat of the Spanish Armada – which of course is one of the great stories in European history and features in the book.

Just out is Day of Vengeance which takes Jack and Angus back to the twentieth century and the Battle of Britain, the defeat of France in 1940 and Hitler’s visit to Paris (which you can see astonishing actual footage of on YouTube – very spooky and sinister). The Second World War also changed the world and was the worst military conflict of all time.  The period is really without match in history – in terms of scale and significance. In some ways, a lot of our history since then has been about people trying to make sure it never happens again. One of the things I like about modern history, particularly the Second World War, is the availability of real footage of events – it helps bring it to life.

Download VENGEANCE...jpg (126.6 KB)The topics in the first three ‘Jack Christie’ adventures are probably better known bits of history. For that reason, for the fourth book, we’re going to go somewhere a bit different and take our readers to China. This story features the Taiping Rebellion. Never heard of it? Well you will. It was a civil war in China about a hundred and fifty years ago and more people died in it than in the First World War. It’s going to be great to take Jack and Angus somewhere new, where many people know a lot less than they do about some of the other periods they have been to. Hopefully you will agree!

Thanks Johnny! What an interesting post! I haven't heard much about the Taiping Rebellion, but I'm looking forward to finding out more about it. 

And make sure you check out the rest of the blog tour. See above,the tour's banner, for more. Tomorrows stop, which is the last on the blog tour, is on Booktastic Reviews.

I hope you enjoyed reading Johnny's post as much as I did! My reviews of the books should be up soon!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In My Mailbox #14

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers show what book they received that week, via mailbox, library, bought, borrowed or any other way. It's a great way to see who's reading what so make sure you head on  over and join in! This week was great! I got...

The Client by John Grisham
I don't usually read adult books, but my auntie gave this on to me and told me it was good, so I thought I better give it a go! It sounds great!

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel (ARC)
Thanks to the fantastic Caroline at Portrait of a Woman! I've wanted to read this for a while, and now I can! It looks brilliant.

How To Be Popular by Meg Cabot
I went to a book swap for charity and I donated five books, and so each of the following books only cost 50 CENT! YES!!! Anyway, I love Meg Cabot, and this is great so far!

The Year the Gypsies Came by Linzi Glass
I haven't heard of this before, but this sounds really sweet, so I got it.

Dark Touch:Shadows by Amy Merdith
This looks really good!

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Greogry Maguire
I've never read a fairytale re-telling before, but since Fluttering Butterflies Fairy Tale Themed Week I've wanted to. And this sounds really fun!

32C, That's Me by Chris Higgins

I've read another Chris Higgins book, Would You Rather, and I enjoyed it so I'm looking forward to reading this!

Well that's my lot for the week! I'm mega-happy!!! I probably shouldn't have bought more books though, I have too many already :) But it was for charity. So that's OK!

What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Zodiac Girls:Double Trouble by Cathy Hopkins

Like most Scorpios, Eve has secrets that no one knows about - not even her twin sister Lilith. Usually bossy Lilith leads the way, but when Eve is chosen to be Zodiac Girl, for once Lilith is left behind. With the help of the planets, can Eve finally step out of her sister's shadow?

I love this series! It's so fun! I like the concept and the writing, and the characters and everything. It's perfect for young tween girls. And while in my opinion Double Trouble isn't the best installment, I still enjoyed reading it.

The story is about Eve, a girl who is overshadowed by her bossy twin Lilith. I did like Eve, but I wished she was a little more outgoing. Lilith was outgoing but I didn't really like her a lot, at least not at first, because she pretty much didn't let Eve have an opinion and was sulky when Eve got something she didn't. I wanted to tell Eve to stand up to her and say 'Get 
over yourself! Grow up and stop being such a brat!'

My favourite character was Mary, Eve's best friend. She was always encouraging Eve to be  herself and not care what Lilith and other people thought. And even though Eve didn't always listen to her, that was definitely what she needed to hear! She was also really fun and kind, and a great friend, the type everyone should have!

And of course, our favourite 'planets' were back again! I really liked Nessa, or Venus, as she's also known. And PJ, who wasn't really in the other books much (the ones that I've read anyway), we got to know a lot better. While sometimes I couldn't understand what he was saying (he has a...Russian..? Is it? I can't remember! But anyway he had a strong accent!), he was a cool character.

I thought sometimes the teenage characters, especially Eve, spoke in a way teenagers don't speak! I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, but I'll just say it was in the way that older, people in they're 50's or 60's, would talk. But that's just my opinion! It was very predictable book too. I knew what was going to happen in the end, and I knew what Eve's secrets were. I do wish there was more going on in the story, it was a bit boring sometimes!

Overall this is a short, lighthearted, girly read which I did enjoy reading. Fans of Sarah Webb, Judi Curtin and Cathy Cassidy will enjoy this series. I wouldn't recommend this book, but I would recommend the series, particularly the books Recipe For Rebellion and From Geek to Goddess. 
Source: Bought
Pages: 160
Age Group: 9+
Official Publication Date: 2nd October 2009
Publisher: Macmillan Childrens Books
Author Website: