Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie

Lies dieses Review auf Deutsch
Title: The betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie (AUS)
Alternative: Becoming Bindy Mackenzie (UK), The murder of Bindy Mackenzie (USA)
Author: Jaclyn Moriarty
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Australia Pty Limited
Price: 9.99 $
Source? bought
Pages: 494

The betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie follows Bindy, the cleverest student at Ashbury High and, if you ask her, the nicest one aswell. The school introduces a new mandatory course called Friendship and Development (FAD), which obviously Bindy is not okay with since the students only talk about themselves and there's no new subject matter to be learned. In this course she finds out that everybody at her school dislikes her, so she seeks revenge, but it only results in more dislike (which is hardly possible), worse grades in school and a strange illness. So she decides to climb the problem-mountain from another side which is becoming a better person and changing her character to become liked. Finnegan Blonde, her FAD partner is the first one to discover her new character and presents a possible lov, also the other FAD-classmates get along better with Bindy (and her beloved grades get better aswell). But then Bindy's illness gets worse until she even faints in a school office. Her family finds out that she suffers from an arsenic poisoning and the book takes a sudden twist...

Personal Opinion:
It's been a while since I read this book, but I remember really enjoying it, I had read it on one weekend which doesn't happen that often to me. The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie was written in a very thrilling way, not as one continuous prosa text but as a collection of diary entries, leaflets and other documents that would have existed if this were a true story. I had to guess a bit every now and then that couldn't be told because of that, but considering all, it was written coherent.
The con of this way of writing is of course, that a few details or strands of plot had to go in there that weren't neccessary to the whole story.
Mrs. Moriarty did good work with this book, especially with the sudden change of plot: first it's all about the dislike against Bindy and then the arsen poisoning moves into the center of plot, but there have been a few subtile clues that introduced that, but you'd only realize that after you read far enough.

I recommend The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie to younger girls, up to the age of thirteen or fourteen, obviously, also "older" people can read it, but they might not enjoy it quite as much since they might put the stress more on love which is more in the backround here.

by Cecile

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Clockwork Angel

Lies dieses Review auf Deutsch!
Title: Clockwork Angel
Series: The Infernal Devices
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry/ Simon & Schuster (USA), Walker Books (GB)
Price: 19.99 $ (USA), 9.99 £ (GB)
Source: bought
Pages: 496 (USA), 476 (GB)
Series: Infernal Devices
Books: 1. Clockwork Angel, 2. Clockwork Prince (September 2011), 3. Clockwork Princess (December 2012)

The book 'Clockwork Angel' takes place in the victorian era in England, following 16-year-old Miss Tessa Gray as she comes from New York City to England to find her brother Nate. She gets inprisoned by the Dark Sisters, Miss Black and Miss Dark, who teach her to "Change", meaning she can change into any human (dead or alive) and touch their minds by holding one of their items. After about six weeks in the Dark House, a handsome guy with black hair and blue eyes, William 'Will' Herondale, frees her. She learns that Will is a so-called 'shadowhunter', fighting demons to protect normal people, the mundanes. He takes her to the Institute (an old church used as shadowhunter base in London) where Tessa makes a deal: she helps the shadowhunters with fighting potential danger (using her talent to Change) and they help her find her brother.
Besides that, she also gets to know Charlotte and Henry Branwell who run the London Institute, Jessamine Lovelace who doesn't want to be a shadowhunter and hates being with the others and James 'Jem' Carstairs who actually has an illness...
Tessa agrees to Change into the vampire Camille to expose London's vampire clan leader de Quincey of breaking the law. During that event she finds her brother and everything seems to end well, but this is only the beginning... (otherwhise there wouldn't be 3 books, duh!?)
Also Tessa develops a little bit of intimacy with one of the guys, you're gonna have to read the book yourself to find out with whom (huge spoiler: it's not Henry!).

Personal Opinion:
I really liked this book, especially that it was set in victorian times, it actually makes me want to live during that time period, obviously as a mundane, I'm too much of a coward to face a demon or vampire. The way Mrs. Clare wrote 'Clockwork Angel' made me think I was actually there with Tessa experiencing what she did, the only thing I couldn't understand was the way Tessa Changed, but that might be a consequence of me being German and not understanding the words properly %D.
I bought the book in September and didn't read it until christmas, so I was pretty spoilered by Twitter and I had thought it was the same concept as the Mortal Instruments: girl misses a family member, tries to search it, finds help with the shadowhunters, a love triangle develops, but this is not entirely the case, considering that I didn't see a love triangle at all - obviously people compare Jace-Clary-Simon to Will-Tessa-Jem, but in my opinion, there was too few Jem-Tessa interaction to judge wether it's team Jem or team Will.
I personally have the feeling that Jem is a part of Will, the good part, like - if you're familiar with classic German literature - Mephistopheles being a part of Faust, with Mephisto being the bodily driving side and Faust the academic side. Transfered to Clockwork Angel Jem would be the 'human' side and Will the one driving everything to its extreme.
Clockwork Angel also provides some historical facts and how the world was back then, even Tessa critizising emancipation.
The only things I don't understand are what these cogs really are and what the carriages really look like, but that's based on my being German.

I recommend Clockwork Angel to everyone who is a fan of fantasy, Cassandra Clare's shadowhunter world and especially everyone who wants to read a book that contains love and action, without too big stress on one of them. Now even though this is a Young Adult book, I also recommend it to historians interested in the victorian era since CA has much information how people behaved back then. I'm sure even my dad would read Clockwork Angel if it were already out in German and he's one to only read enciclopedia an non-fiction books and he seemed pretty interested when I told him about the story.

by Cecile

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Vampire Diaries (Series)

Lies dieses Review auf Deutsch!
Title: The Vampire Diaries
Author: Lisa J. Smith
Publisher: Harper/HarperTeen
Price: 9.99 $ /two-in-one-book
Source: bought
Pages: ca. 500-530
Books: 1. The Awakening, 2. The Struggle, 3. The Fury, 4. Dark Reunion, 5. The Return: Nightfall, 6. The Return: Shadow Souls, 7. The Return: Midnight (March 2011)

Elena is the most popular girl at school and falls in love with Stefan Salvatore. What nobody knows is, that Stefan is a vampire, a vegetarion one (=he only consumes animal blood), but if he lost control, he'd be a huge danger for the humans. He came to Fell's Church to escape his brother Damon, who is a vampire too, drinks human blood, tho. And he loves giving Stefan a hard time.
The brothers are bound by their love to the vampire Catarina, who, back then, couldn't decide between them and just picked to change them both into vampires. But Damon and Stefan didn't want to share and since then, there's a bitter "war" between them. Catarina may have died soon after the change (because she went into the sun), but that didn't stop the fight between the brothers.
And it doesn't really help that Elena look exactly like Catarina and that Stefan falls in love with her. Damon follows his brother to Fell's Church to terrorize hime there with the help of his powers. He kills a couple of people and makes the evidence looks like Stefan was the murderer in order to get the citizens against him.
Elena looses nearly all her friends because she's the hated Stefan's girlfriend. Only her and her friends Meredith and Bonnie know the truth about Stefan, so they try to proof the guy's innocence. But then they find out that Damon isn't he only one behind all of it...

Personal opinion:
Looking at the plot, "The Vampire Diaries" is a very interesting book series, but especially the first three books are written very cheesy, looking at the worst situation as if there's always something good to it. For example, if I found out my boyfriend were a vampire, I'd first of all break up with him and follow my instinct of self-preservation, but Elena acts in that situation as if she found out that Stefan played Pokémon or something like that, so it's really surreal. The cheesyness fades with the books, but it's still there.
As most of you know, there's also a TV series called "The Vampire Diaries", loosely based on the novels, but it really only has veeery few got to do with the books: some characters behave differently, don't exist, were newly invented or have different names. The unbearably cheesiness doesn't exist there, it's more trimmed on being a thriller/horror. And Elena even behaves reasonable!
If you want to read those books, you sure can, but I'd recommend the series instead of the book due to the lack of reason behind some character's actions. But still, I think the series was good, the plot is original and the characters lovable.

Who is your favourite character? Mine is Damon in the books, especially in book 4 and 5, and Jeremy in the series. Write down your favourite character in the comments!

by Cecile

Fisherman's friend in meiner Koje

Lies dieses Review auf Deutsch!
 Original title: Fisherman's friend in meiner Koje
English title: (not available)
Author: Kerstin Gier
Publisher: Bastei Lübbe (Germany)
Price: 7,00 €
Source? bought it in Italy, but for 9 € due to Italy being a foreign country
Pages: 332

The book is about 28-year-old Judith who attends a sailing training course together with her sister Rebecca and her friend Bille. Judith herself is only there to finde a couple of "handsome men", but she's at the wrong adress for that because there's mainly old crazy married couples at the training course. Finally, she falls madly in love with the sailing teacher Stefan, but she finds out that he's an assumed drug smuggler. She tries to "cleverly" get him back on the right path - for example by plunging his "smuggling goodies" in the sea...
Rebecca has husband and kid and is the perfect houswife, but she wants some excitement and is on the lookout for a nice escapade. And - look at that - there's Dirk whom she really likes.
Bille is actually really doing the sailing training in order to learn how to sail, but only to make her boyfriend jelous, who always brags about his oh-so-endless knowledge about sailing but doesn't have a certificate for it.
At the end of the training course, the participants and Stefan go on a two-week sailing trip during which, while divided in two boats, they can enjoy the sport and (more or less) perfectionate their skills.
Due to the fact that Judith shares a boat with Stefan (and others), it could be so perfect but she ain't the only one with an interest in  him: Angela, another attendant of the training, who is Stefan's new girlfriend. And she even has a boyfriend herself! Plus, how could she stop Stefan smuggling goodies?
And how will the cruise end up for Bille and Rebecca?

Personal opinion:
This book is some good summer reading: it has an attractive plot, but doesn't go too deep, so it's perfect for beach and pool (which I even tested out :D). Kerstin Gier writes with witty comments in first person and even writes down the thoughts I'd have myself if I were in Judith's place, even if they weren't really thematically relevant (a/k/a just the funny, unimportant crap ^^).
I had some good laughs with this book and other pool visitors even looked at me as if I were a loonatic.
You'd hardly believe it, but this book has even some literarily quality - you'd learn plenty of stuff. If you pay attention, you can learn how to produce some knots and get to know parts of the ship, like the scuppers, which are the pipes in the walls of the deck that allow the water (if it's been raining on etc.) to drain off.
To sum it all up, the book was good, even though adressed to women between the ages of 25 and 30, it is suitable for all the other women out there.
Of course I'd recommend it to anybody asking for an easy reading, but it's more suitible for summer than for winter.

by Cecile, sorry for that weird review and for not posting at all for nearly a month >.<

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Mortal Instruments (Series)

Lies dieses Review auf Deutsch 

Title: The Mortal Instruments
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderly
Price: 10.99 $
Source: selfpurchase / gift
Pages: each ca. 500
Books: 1. City of Bones, 2. City of Ashes, 3. City of Glass, 4. City of Fallen Angels (Release: April 2011), 5. City of Lost Souls (Release: May 2012), 6. City of Heavenly Fire (Release: September 2013)

The book series is about fifteen- / sixteen-year-old Clarissa Fray whose mom Jocelyn has been kidnapped. In search of her, Clary meets the muscular, handsome shadowhunter Jace and - of course - falls in love with him. He explains to her, that shadowhunters fight the downworlders (a/k/a vampires, werewolves, faeries, demons etc.) that violate against an accord. Their home is a small country called Idris which is set, invisible for normal people/Mundies, between Germany and France. It turns out that Jocelyn was one of these warrior, too, but she turned her back on the shadow world and escaped to New York.
With Jace's help she finds out that her father is Valentine, the ex-villain of the shadowhunterworld: he tore his folk apart and startet a civil war which everybody lost. People thought for fifteen years that he was dead but really he had only been hiding - and now he kidnapped Jocelyn.
And what is necessary if there's so much trouble? Of course, more trouble! Clary tells her best friend Simon about her "real" home (and about Jace ;D) and he tries to help her, but for the new shadowhunter-friends Alec and Isabella he's only standing in the way. Of course, it appears that Simon is in love with Clary and doesn't like it at all that she likes Jace. Aching for attention he somehow gets turned into a vampire during one of his standing-in-the-way-actions.
Will Clary be able to find her mother? Will she healthily survive a confrontation with Valentine? What will happen to the love-triangle Clary-Jace-Simon - whom will she pick? And of course there's a business between Jace and Clary that won't be witout consequences...

Personal Opinion
So far, three books have been released and I read them all - and I'm thrilled! While reading I always had to smile because the story was so fascinating and perfect. There's been many laughs and of course, sentimental me, I had to cry pretty often. I think Cassandra Clare has done a great job! Personally, my favorite part has been... JACE!!! OMG, he's just perfect: he's handsome and knows how to deal with it, pisses people off to keep them on distance and he's so beautifully sarcastic ;D. I'd like to have a boyfriend like him, that would be fun. Hard shell, soft heart applies to him, it's only that the shell... is extremely big and resistant.
Sadly, I don't think you would be able to deal with the story of the books so easily if you accidentally bought them in the wrong order because in the following books the so far passed story isn't lit up well enough. But maybe that's not everybody's wish to endure a long-drawn-out backstory if you're just waiting for Jace to spill one of his witty comments. (the other caracters weren't bad either)

If you're interested in these books, follow @cassieclare on Twitter, she posts monthly excerpts of the next book City of Fallen Angels until it's released.
Here's the July-excerpt:
Clary made a surprised noise, but didn’t protest, even when Jace lifted her up and carried her over to the bed.
They sprawled onto it together, crushing some of the letters, Jace knocking the box itself aside to make room for them. His heart was hammering against the inside of his ribs. They had never been in bed together like this before, not really — there had been that night in her room in Idris, but they had barely touched. Jocelyn was careful never to let either of them spend the night where the other one lived. She didn’t care much for him, Jace suspected, and he could hardly blame her. He doubted her would have liked himself much, in her position.
“I love you,” Clary whispered. She had his shirt off, and her fingertips were tracing the scars on his back, and the star-shaped scar on his shoulder than was the twin of her own, a relic of the angel whose blood they both shared. “I don’t ever want to lose you.”
He slid his hand down her cheek, to her throat, to the top button of her blouse.
 Click here for the original posting!

I received permission by Cassandra Clare to post the excerpt.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children)

Lies dieses Review auf Deutsch
 Original Title: The Clan of the Cave Bear
Author: Jean M. Auel
Publisher: Crown Publishers
ISB N: 060961097X / 978-0609610978
Price: 22.95 US-$
Source: My Mom bought it when our currency was still DM
Pages: 480
Preceeded by: /
Followed by: 2. The Valley of Horses, 3. The Mammoth Hunters, 4. The Plains of Passage, 5. The Shelters of Stone, 6. The Land of Painted Caves (To be published March 2011)

The book is set during the Stone Age and is about the small girl Ayla who lost her complete clan during an earthquake. She tries to survive on her own and soon meets the "Clan of the Cave Bear", who is searching a new cave because the earthquake had destroyed their old one. Iza, the clan's healer, accomodates Ayla like an own daughter, much dismayed by some of the other clan members, like Broud, son of the clan headman. Due to the fact that Iza hasn't got any bodily decendants, she teaches Ayla her healing powers and her and Creb, the clan's spritual clerk, teach her the sign and grunt language. Soon after that, Iza gives birth to a child of her husband that (she didn't like and) died during the earthquake. Nonetheless, Iza still treats Ayla the same way.
Due to an offense to the clan's rules Ayla had to spend a moon cycle (=1 Month) in the wilderness which she actually couldn't survive because it was winter, but Iza's daughter regularely brought her food without the other clan members' knowledge. After she served her sentence, she came back to the clan since then has the respect of all clan members, except for Broud.
After that, Ayla experiences many other adventures like going on a tour with a few members to find the rest of their main clan.

Own opinion:
(sry that the story part ends so suddenly), I personally only read the first installment of the Earth's Children cycle, honestly I didn't even know there were more books than that until an hour ago, but I'm gonna read those fow shouw!
"The Clan of the Cave Bear" is a phenomenal book, even though I read it when I was 11 or 12 and it is more of an adult book. Since then, it has been my unchallenged favourite book. It's written very emotional, it was even  the first book where I cried while reading (if I had seen the movie hat would probably have been the first movie for me to cry).
To me, it seems as if the book is divided in smaller substories like the first meeting with the clan, her first punishment, the meeting with the main clan etc.
The book shows the different progress of that past time (about 30 000 years ago), because the members of the clan were still Neanderthal , but - quite obviously - Ayla's brain was already more progressed than theirs.
I'd especially recommend this book to emotional stable people because it does get very very sad at some points and makes you wanna put some characters in a bag and hit them with a stick. And maybe you should be kinda older than 16 because it has some adult content (rape, but I don't remember how much that was described because it's so long ago when I read it).

by Cecile

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Was? Wäre? Wenn?

 Lies dieses Review auf Deutsch
Original title: Was? Wäre? Wenn?
Author: Wiebke Lorenz
Publisher: Piper Boulevard (Germany)
ISB N: 3-492-23843-2 / 978-3-492-23843-4 (Germany)
Price: 8.95 €
Source: Christmas gift 2008
Pages: 284 (Germany)

Charly's life is a mess. She dropped out of university and now works as a waitress in her best friend Tim's pub. When one day her school flame Moritz comes into the pub and carries her on a date, she redevelops feelings for him. Soon after that the 10-year-school reunion of her graduation class is due and Moritz asks her for a dance, so Charly thinks he has feelings for her, too - ya think!
She finds out that Moritz only used her to make his fiancée Isa jealous, who went to the same school.  Charly leaves the party red-arsed.
A few days later she finds a business card for a recruitment consultant in Tim's jacket, so she thinks he wants to close the pub down, which is why she goes to the named adress to get to know more. There she finds out that this "consultant" offers her for free to take memories out of her life to make them undone. Of corse, Charly takes the offer and "deletes" memories of her one-night stands, her first time (with Moritz that went so horribly wrong) and many more.
When she comes home after that procedure, she finds out that due to her deleted memories her and Moritz are a couple since school and planned to marry on that same day.
In fact, they doy marry, even though Charly is kind of confused, and life couldn't be more perfect. But Isa happens to be in love with Moritz also in this univers, so she tries everything to break their luck. She actually manages that, so Charly has nobody to offer her a shoulder to cry on, because Tim  never opened the pub and so isn't her friend but Moritz' boss.
Will everything turn out good for Charly? What will happen to Isa and Moritz? Will she be able to convince Tim who he "really" is? And most importantly, will she be able to get back into her former world?

Personal opinion
I really liked this book, it was written enjoyably and so it was easy to read - I did it within one to two weeks. At the end I wasn't even able to put it away anymore and read into the night because it was so thrilling. I got the book as a gift and hadn't heard about it yet, but if I did I would definately have bought it myself.
I think this book is perfect for those people who would have liked to make some things undone in their life, because after reading this novel they realize it might turn out a lot worse!
I recommend this book to everyone who can sacrifice one or two hours to read.

by Cecile


Lies diesen Post auf Deutsch

Hello everybody ^^

This blog's name is "Kick their butt while reading" and available over the URL (The enlish posts have the matching URL, but the posts will be linked directly on the review-blogposts.) Here I will post one to two book reviews per week which you can use to inform yourself about Young Adult literature.

Of course these books are subjectively rated by my own reading experience, so it might be possible that other readers will rate books differently than I do, but I'll try my best to emblaze the books from all sides.

The revies will tell you the story of the books up to a certain point so you will still be interested in reading the book yourself. Plus, I will also state price and publisher of the copy I read and will try to find a good price and publisher for the english reviews. After that, I will post my opinion and personal reading experience on the book.

As you can  see, I will try to also translate the reviews into english in a different blog post so the possible english followers of this blog will have joy reading as well.

Have fun and look forward to a couple of interesting posts ^^