Saturday, 12 February 2011

Book Review: Jekel Loves Hyde - Beth Fantaskey

About: Jekel loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey is a romance book with bits of chemistry and paranormal thrown in.Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published it in 2010. It is a stand alone novel. Fantaskey has also written the popular Jessica's guide to Dating on the Dark Side.
Plot: 17 years of being the good girl. Jill Jekel has obeyed everything her parents told her. Including not opening that strange box in the study. But with her father brutally murdered and her college savings mysteriously disappeared, the only person she can really trust is Tristen Hyde. In a competiton where the prize is a scholarship that will pay for her education, Jekel and Hyde recreate the experiments from the novel Jekyll and Hyde. This ends up badly, and only gets worse when a taste of the formula on Tristan's lips brings out Jill's dark inner side.
Opinions: I thought this would be an absolutely brilliant book. The promise of a classics mutilated book with a romantic twist was too much for me to not be hyped up about. I ended up being slightly disappointed. The concept was amazing: Dr Jekyll was a real person who really created a split personality, Hyde, with a separate body, documenting all his notes as he went along. Both Jekyll and Hyde went on to have families, of which the present generation is Jill and Tristen. Tristen and Jill then go on to . its a shame Fantaskey didnt pull this off as well as she could have done. the character introductions were standard fare romance lovey dovey ones, without a real original twist. the characters themselves were slightly flat;Jill and Tristen are perfect stereotypical romance stars: the good virginal female and the tortured dark brooding male . In fact, all the characters were sort of boring and too typecast for my liking. The whole plotline is generally boring, but the scenes in the school laboratory were very interesting. either did her research, or is very good at inventing likely reactions for various chemicals. there is a lot of description in this, which depending on where you are in the book is a good or bad thing. the whole book is quite slow, only really picking up the pace at the end, by which time you may have given up.

In short
Plotrecreating the experiments of dr jekyll brings out a dark side in everyone
CharactersFlat boring and hard to connect with
ActionWhat action? Apart from the sciencey bit, nothing interesting actually happens
WarningsAttemted suicide, attempted rape, references to sex, kissing
WritingNicely descriptive, but quite slow
OverallGood formula, bad reaction

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Wishlist Wednesday 4

The joys of going to your (not-very) local Waterstones, the one in Picadilly, which is 5 floors high and is apparently the biggest bookstore in Europe. Anyway, due to this, there are a lot of books on my want to get list now, so here they are!

1. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney. I'm not sure what drew me in, because I don't normally read Fae books, but this looked good.

2. Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey. What is it with me and Faeries this weekend? The title and cover looked interesting, and so did the blurb, so I want it.

3. The bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter. I always like fairy tales twisted, so what better than this?

4. The Virago book of Ghost Stories. Its been a long time since I've sat down with a proper ghost story with no strings like romance attatched. Seems like a good read.

5. Once Dead Twice Shy by Kim Harrison. How could I not have noticed Kim Harrison had a YA series out? I don't know, but I'm glad I have now. I actualy noticed the next book in the series, but I don't like reading series books out of turn.

Thats all for now. What's on your wishlist?

Teaser Tuesday 1

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • 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!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

So, my current reads.

  "And finally, as the modern Dr. Jekel's document indidcated, I added the strychnine to the already dangerous potassium diochronate and poured that lethal mix into the flask"
  "Refusing to think further, to consider the future, the way the solution might feel as it seared my throat, paralysed my lungs ,I raised the flask before my eyes, toasting my own fate, and was actually about to say "cheers" when I heard my name screamed from the doorway."
-----Jekel Loves Hyde, P147, Beth Fantaskey

  "Believe me, if I was on vacation, following a bitchy vampire wouldn't be my first choice".
 "Resentment towards my parents for breaking the rules, resentment towards the dominae for blaming me for their actions and resentment towards Adam for reminding me of my red-headed stepchild status."
-----Red-headed Stepchild, P121, Jaye Wells

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Book Review: The Radleys- Matt Haig

About: The Radleys, by Matt Haig is a vampire ficton standalone novel aimed at young adults and adults. It was published in 2010 by Walker-canongate. Matt Haig has also written, among others, The Dead Father's Club and The Last Family in England. The Radleys is being made into a film produced by Alfonso Cuaron.

Plot: The Radleys seem decidedly average: the father, Pete, is a GP, the mother, Helen,  is your normal housewife, they have two kids, Clara and Rowan, and they live in an understated sub-urban house. But they are actually a family of abstaining vampires, who don't drink blood. The children do not know about this, so when  Clara decides to turn vegan, this makes her quite sick. Following on from there, Clara accidentally kills a boy who had untoward intentions.  To clean up the mess, Uncle Will is called in, and things really escalate from there. Add to that a marriage coming undone, a teen boy in love with his sisters best friend and blood by the bottleful and you have got the Radleys.

Opinions: Totally unrelated, this is book 1 of my Parajunkee Vampire Challenge. This book was first seen shelved among YA vampire books. I then looked carefully at it, and decided it was totally different to everything else on offer, and worth a try. And I read this, and I really enjoyed it. The characters are easy to connect with and pretty believable. Its extremely original: it portrays the vampire in a completely different way to what we're all used to. I like the black humour coming in every now and again, (ie when discussing what to do about Clara's killing, Helen says "I've brought the spade".), but not too frequently as to turn this into a comedy story. I especially like the clever sub-plots brewing underneath the main story-I won't tell you what they are because they're quite crucial to the main storyline and I dont want to spoil it. However, it is slightly disappointing. I dont like the way it's not really aimed at a certain audience; parts of this is a lovely YA novel, yet the more adult parts mean that,younger readers who like the look of this, thinking particularly of the younger members of my book club, arent allowed to read this, even though it is a brilliant book and they should read it. And although I like all the little subplots but I think they slightly detract from concentrating on the stories of Rowan and Clara, which I think is more important. And I don't like Will. Despite this, The Radleys is a story full of twists and turns with an extremely satisfying ending.
In short
PlotAn abstaining vampire family, a mad uncle and bottles of blood.
CharactersClear personalities that you see in every family.
ActionA lot of subplots woven together.
WarningsA few non-graphic sex scenes, references to adultery. Rec. age 14 up
WritingShort snappy chapters that doesnt cater to one audience
OverallA delightful ironic look at vampires, family and life in general.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Follow Friday 2

Book Blogger Hop
Welcome to Blood and Books! Enjoy looking around.

Follow Friday is hosted by Crazy for Books as a wonderful way to meet new blogging friends.This week's question: What are you reading now and why are you reading it?
A: I'm currently reading Teenage Wasteland: The Slasher Movie Uncut, because I saw it in a shop and, due to my love of slasher movies, had to read it. As well as this, I've almost finished Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street which I am reading because I saw the film and decided I wanted to read the original penny dreadful, which is actually completely different to the film.

Happy book hopping and enjoy your weekend!

Crazy Covers 1

Crazy Covers is a new feature that I will post whenever i feel like it. It will feature anything related to covers, such as my favourite covers, different covers of various books, look a like covers and anything else related. This time: Unusual covers for paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce. Beautiful gates and a pretty tree in black and white with accents of green. At a passing glance, you'd never think this was about witches, until you looked at the title and then the blurb.

Undead and Unappreciated by MaryJanice Davidson. Really, any of the Undead series, but I think this is the one that has the least connection with the paranormal romance it is. It features a tall blonde woman just standing outside of a door. and only slightly hints at the vampire novel with a couple of bats in the background.

I'm the Vampire Thats Why by Michelle Bardsley. Again, another cover that would not strike you as paranormal until you read the title and looked at the details, the fangs in the woman's mouth, the bats on top of the cupcakes she made.

Thats all for now. What are your thoughts on these covers?

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Wishlist Wednesday 3

And here is a list of some more books I'm hoping to read at some point. I discovered most of these by hopping around various blogs, so yeah, the books I want to read.
666 Park Avenue: A Novel1. 666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce. What if your mother-in-law turned out to be an evil, cold-blooded witch . . . literally? A lovely rhetorical question that seems to followed by a story of witches, a subject that seems quite under-done in this world of paranormal becoming mainstream.
2. Allison Hewitt Is Trapped: A Zombie Novel by Madeleine Roux. Another slightly underdone paranormal topic, this time zombies. An original idea, as it seems to be full of blog posts about the main charchter who is called (you'd never believe it!} Allison Hewitt surviving the zombie apocalypse with a few of her friends. Looks fun.
Allison Hewitt Is Trapped: A Zombie Novel3. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh. I absolutely love Poe's "The Raven", so with a title like that, I have to check it out. I like the idea of having Poe's stories coming to life, and I can't wait to read this.

NevermoreThats all for this week. Is there anything you think I should read, but don't know about? Or your own thoughts about what I've chosen?Please leave a comment!