Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup

No. of pages: 361
Rating: 10/10

Synopsis: Former tiffinboy Ram Mohammad Thomas has just got twelve questions correct on a TV quiz-show to win a cool one billion rupees. But he is brutally slung in prison on suspicion of cheating. Because how can a kid from the slums know who Shakespeare was, unless he is pulling a fast one. In the order of the questions on the show, Ram tells us which amazing adventures in his street-kid life gave him the answers. From orphanages to brothels, gangsters to beggar-masters, and into the homes of Bollywood's rich and famous, Ram's story is brimming with the chaotic comedy, heart-stopping tragedy and tear-inducing joyousness of modern India.

Review: When Ram wins the top prize - a billion rupees - on a tv quiz show, he is immediately arrested for cheating, for how could a poor boy from the slums of India possibly know the answers?! Through each chapter of the novel, Ram recounts each story behind how he knew the answer to the questions he was asked, ultimately making him the luckiest person alive.

I've been interested in reading this ever since the hype around the movie started, so I finally got around to buying it last month and decided to read it as part of my 'around the world' challenge. I'm so incredibly glad I finally picked it up, it was absolutely nothing how I imagined it to be. I had actually heard a lot of bad things about the book, and also heard that the movie was a lot better, so I went into it kind of thinking that it would be just an okay read, but I ended up really enjoying it. The writing is so vivid, that you can actually imagine the scene that's being created, and that's not always easy to do, especially with a foreign culture that you don't really know a whole lot about. I really liked the way the book was set out, with each chapter telling the story of how he knew the answer to that particular quiz question, although I found the author sometimes forgot to place the memory in time, so it was a little confusing as to how old Ram was supposed to be, but I managed to piece most of it together in the end. I loved the character of Ram, I thought that considering the awful life he'd had, he was just so kind and generous, especially as people were always trying to hurt him or take advantage of him. Slumdog Millionaire (originally named Q&A) is an unflinching look at the underbelly of India, and I think it's fantastically written, especially when you consider this is a debut novel. Recommended to people interested in the Indian culture, or just looking for an unusual, interesting story to read.

Book Blogger Hop (2)

Welcome hoppers from the book blogger hop! In case you don't know what I'm talking about, this is a weekly event hosted by Crazy for Books where bloggers and readers can find each other and share their love for books!

If you're hopping by here, leave a comment and I'll be sure to visit you in return! :)

Top Ten Picks: Favourite YA Novels

Top Ten Picks is a weekly meme by Jillian about your top 10 picks! Each week, there will be a different theme and this weeks theme is 'favourite young adult novels'. So here are my top 10 favourite young adult picks (in no particular order) ~


1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2. Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer


3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
6. Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver


7. Wicca series by Cate Tiernan
8. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater


9. Beauty by Robin McKinley
10. House Of Night series by P.C. & Kristin Cast

So what are your favourite YA books?

Teaser Tuesdays (1)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Just do the following:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
It is past midnight, but the lone customer at the bar refuses to budge. He has come by chauffer-driven Mercedes, which is parked outside. ~ p.159, Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (1)

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through Books.

In the past week I read:

Kelley Armstrong - Bitten
Kelley Armstrong - Stolen
Alexandra Sokoloff - The Harrowing

At the moment I'm reading:

Vikas Swarup - Slumdog Millionaire

In the next week I hope to read:

Carrie Ryan - The Forest Of Hands And Teeth
Becca Fitzpatrick - Hush, Hush
P.C. & Kristin Cast - Burned

The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff

No. of pages: 280
Rating: 8/10

Synopsis: Baird College's Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of students heading home for Thanksgiving break and Robin Stone, who won't be going home, swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. As a massive storm approaches, four other lonely students reveal themselves to Robin: Patrick, a handsome jock; Lisa, a manipulative tease; Cain, a brooding musician; and Martin, a scholarly eccentric. Each has forsaken a long weekend at home for their own secret reasons. The five unlikely companions establish a tentative rapport, but they soon become aware of another presence disturbing the building's ominous silence. Are they the victims of an elaborate prank, or is the energy evidence of something genuine - something intent on using them for its own terrifying ends?

Review: Robin Stone thinks she's the only one staying at the dorms for Thanksgiving, but she soon finds out that there are 4 others that have stayed behind. It seems that Patrick, Lisa, Cain and Martin all have family problems too, so to keep themselves amused they start playing with a ouija board. But when things start happening, they start to wonder what it is exactly that they've unleashed...

Well the cover describes this as 'Scream meets The Exorcist', and whilst I wouldn't say it was like either of those films, or even particularly scary, it was an entertaining read. It doesn't start great, the first several pages about Robin are very 'emo', but once you get past that and into the group story it picks up massively. The characters are easily relatable, each going through a different family situation which is affecting their life. It's nothing you wouldn't imagine a typical ghost story to be, but it's a really easy read, it only took me one sitting to shoot through it. Definitely worth a look if you're a fan of a creepy ghost tale.

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren, and sums up my past week in book purchases!

So this week I bought 9 books:


Becca Fitzpatrick - Hush, Hush

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.



Jessica Verday - The Hollow

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.



Lauren Kate - Fallen

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.



Carrie Ryan - The Forest Of Hands And Teeth

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future - between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?



Alexandra Sokoloff - The Harrowing

Baird College Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of the last home-bound students heading off for Thanksgiving break, and Robin Stone swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. Or perhaps it's only gathering itself for the coming weekend.

As a massive storm dumps rain on the isolated campus, four other lonely students reveal themselves: Patrick, a handsome jock; Lisa, a manipulative tease; Cain, a brooding musician; and finally Martin, a scholarly eccentric. Each has forsaken a long weekend at home for their own secret reasons.

The five unlikely companions establish a tentative rapport, but they soon become aware of a sixth presence disturbing the ominous silence that pervades the building. Are they the victims of a simple college prank taken way too far, or is the unusual energy evidence of something genuine---and intent on using the five students for its own terrifying ends? It's only Thursday afternoon, and they have three long days and dark nights before the rest of the world returns to find out what's become of them. But for now it's just the darkness keeping company with five students nobody wants and no one will miss.



Claire Seeber - Bad Friends

A terrible accident. A secret discovered. An inescapable nightmare. Who needs enemies with friends like these?

En route from ending a destructive love affair, TV producer Maggie Warren is involved in a freak accident. Lucky to escape with her life, Maggie's further disturbed to discover she's now front-page news. When invited to discuss her trauma on a chat-show, Maggie comes face to face with fellow survivor, the beautiful but damaged Fay Carter - fame-hungry, needy and now apparently infatuated. One by one the tentacles of Maggie's past mistakes seem to be reaching inexorably into her future. Her compromised career is catching up with her, ex-boyfriend Alex just won't take no for an answer - but worse, the secret Maggie has tried so hard to bury is coming back to haunt her. When Maggie's flat is ransacked, she refuses to believe it's a coincidence. Now Maggie's clutching onto sanity for dear life, but she's horribly aware that one final push might send her over the edge!or is that exactly what someone wants?



Richard Montanari - Play Dead

A teenage runaway’s body is found in the basement of a rancid tenement building in the desolate, dangerous North Philly district dubbed the Badlands. The inexplicable cause of death: drowning. Months later, this dormant homicide case stirs back to life. A confession to the bizarre murder sends Philadelphia police detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano rushing to make an arrest. But what they find will chill these hardened veterans to the bone. As the body count grows, a terrifying design literally takes shape. Pieces of a gruesome puzzle are being set into place by a madman using the city as his game board. His playthings are the innocent, and his opponents–and pawns–are Byrne and Balzano, who must, before time runs out, decipher the truth about a shadowy house of horrors and its elusive master.



Lisa Jewell - 31 Dream Street

Who lives in a house like this?

An Air Hostess. A Teenager. A Wild-Haired Recluse. A Rock Chick. An Old Man. A Human Chameleon.

Leah is fascinated by the strange mix of people living across the street from her at 31 Silversmith Road. She'd give anything to find out more about them, so when their reclusive landlord approaches her unexpectedly to ask for some advice, Leah is more than willing to help.

Toby is a failed poet and incurable romantic. For fifteen years he has lived happily in his rambling house filled with waifs and strays, until a quiet tragedy and an unwelcome letter force him to admit that it is time to move on. But how will he persuade his tenants to move on? His house is their refuge. Are they ready to face the real world?

Together, Leah and Toby must help the misfits at no. 31 to grow up and move out, but in doing so can they also make their own dreams come true?



Jonathan Ross - Why Do I Say These Things?

“I have been asked to speak on subjects as diverse as British sausages and boy scouts, and sit on panels focusing on gardening, the Olympics and wind farming. Clearly I have no expertise in any of these areas, and with the exception of the sausages, very little interest either. But that is not to say that I don’t enjoy holding ill-informed opinions on matters of great importance.Even when every sensible bone in my body tells me to shut up…”

Why is catalogue shopping responsible for Jonathan Ross's inimitable sense of style? Why might wearing cape and mask be a fast track to heaven? Why does Jonathan wince every time he sees a Hoover? And why did he fall in love with a deep-sea diver? Why? Because this is Jonathan Ross. And nothing is out of bounds when it comes to talking about life as he knows it. From sex and pugs to rock 'n' roll and genital warts, Jonathan holds forth as only he can. This sharply observed, laugh-out-loud, outrageous page-turner will leave you asking just one question ...Why didn't he write it sooner?

Book Blogger Hop (1)

Welcome hoppers from the book blogger hop! In case you don't know what I'm talking about, this is a weekly event hosted by Crazy for Books where bloggers and readers can find each other and share their love for books!

If you're hopping by here, leave a comment and I'll be sure to visit you in return! :)

Top Ten Picks: Worst Books You've Ever Read

Top Ten Picks is a weekly meme by Jillian about your top 10 picks! Each week, there will be a different theme and this weeks theme is 'worst books you've ever read'. So here are my top 10 worst books (in no particular order) ~


1. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
2. A Winter Book by Tove Jansson


3. The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom
4. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen


5. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
6. Home by Nicola Davies


7. The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith
8. The Treatment by Mo Hayder


9. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
10. All The Things We Didn't Say by Sara Shepard

So what are some of the worst books you've ever read?

Tales Of The Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

No. of pages: 547
Rating: 10/10
Series: Women Of The Otherworld (Short Stories)

Synopsis: Have you ever wondered how lone wolf Clayton Danvers finally got bitten by the last thing he ever expected: love? Or how the hot-blooded bad-girl witch Eve Levine managed to ensnare the cold, ruthless corporate sorcerer, Kristof Nast in one of the Otherworld’s most unlikely pairings? Would you like to be a fly on the wall at the wedding of Lucas Cortez and Paige Winterbourne, as their eminently practical plans are gradually upended by their well-meaning friends? Or tag along with Lucas and Paige as they investigate a rather gruesome case that looks to be the result of a rogue vampire? Tales Of The Otherworld contains the short stories: Rebirth, Bewitched, Birthright, Beginnings, Expectations, Ghosts, Wedding Bell Hell, and The Case of El Chupacabra.

Review: A collection of 8 short stories set in the Otherworld series. Rebirth: How Aaron becomes a vampire. Bewitched: A young Eve Levine meets Kristof Nast. Birthright: Logan becomes a member of the Pack. Beginnings: How Elena meets Clay, and their relationship development. Expectations: Lucas Cortez gets a case against Eve Levine. Ghosts: Jeremy reminisces about Clay and Elena at Stonehaven. Wedding Bell Hell: Lucas and Paige plan their wedding. The Case of El Chupacabra: Lucas and Paige receive a case that looks like a vampire kill.

An enjoyable book that fills in some of the gaps of the series, with things that are alluded too but not explained. Most of the stories are very short, but Beginnings and The Case of El Chupacabra are around 200 pages long, and I enjoyed them being a bit longer, it meant they had more depth than the others could go into. My favourite short story was Beginnings as it was really interesting to learn about how Clay and Elena met, as they are my favourite characters after all. I also really liked Ghosts and Bewitched, it was fun to read about Eve as she doesn't really crop up in the series too much, so even though the story was short, it was enough to learn a lot about the character. My least favourites were the stories with Paige and Lucas in as I don't really like the characters very much. Overall it's a great book for learning more about the characters, and the money spent buying the book all goes to charity, so what more could you ask for?!

Top Ten Picks: Books That Made You Cry

Top Ten Picks is a weekly meme by Jillian about your top 10 picks! Each week, there will be a different theme and this weeks theme is 'books that made you cry'. So here are my top 10 books that made me cry (in no particular order) ~


1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
2. Marley & Me by John Grogan


3. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


5. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
6. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


7. Tuesday's With Morrie by Mitch Albom
8. Hannah's Gift: Lessons From A Life Fully Lived - Maria Housden


9. P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern
10. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

What books have made you cry?

Top Ten Picks: Books You Have To Read At Least Once

Top Ten Picks is a weekly meme by Jillian about your top 10 picks! Each week, there will be a different theme and this weeks theme is 'books you have to read at least once'. So here are my top 10 books to read at least once (in no particular order) ~


1. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
2. J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter series


3. Audrey Niffenegger - The Time Traveler's Wife
4. Mitch Albom - The Five People You Meet In Heaven


5. John Boyne - The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
6. Jay Asher - Thirteen Reasons Why


7. Jodi Picoult - My Sister's Keeper
8. Dan Brown - The Da Vinci Code


9. Alice Sebold - The Lovely Bones
10. Laurie Halse Anderson - Speak

So what books do you think are must reads?
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