Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours

I’d love to trade places with so many fictional characters. How to narrow it down to just ten?

1. Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games trilogy

IT may seem a little silly to want to change places with someone who’s fighting to the death in order to survive but I greatly admire many things about Katniss. She’s strong and brave, resourceful and intelligent. But I’d want to make sure that it wasn’t on the last day in the arena that her and I had our little switch of places.

2. Any of the X-men 

I’d love to be a mutant and train at Professor X’s school for gifted youngsters. Maybe I’m a little older than most of his students, I’d still love the chance to have special powers and use them in conjunction with other mutants. And they get to save the world – very cool.

3. A secret agent

Not going to be any more specific than that I’m afraid. Because there are so many fantastic secret agents from books and film that I’d love to be. From Maxwell Smart and 99 to James Bond and Annie Walker (from Covert Affairs). Just imagine what a day in the life would be like… especially James Bond – getting to drive around in my ultimate fantasy car, the Aston Martin DB9

4. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series

She might not be many people’s first choice of HP characters to switch places with but to me, she always looked like she was enjoying herself. She knew who she was and what she believed in. I also really like her way of viewing the world. She may be Loony to some but she’s lovely to me 🙂 And if not her, I think that Chloe Saunders from the Darkest Powers trilogy would be an interesting witch to trade places with too.

5. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

She’s intelligent and makes some tough decisions based not on what society would approve of but what is best for her. I admire her a lot and plus – I think it would be pretty cool to live back in the days when this book was set. And Mr Darcy.. he’s a plus too.

6. The Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The only thing I think would be better than living in Wonderland would be living inside the Hatter’s head…

7. The Doctor from Doctor Who (or any of his companions)

I feel like I might be cheating since so many of my picks this week come from TV or comics or something that’s NOT a book here’s another one. I am a bit of a whovian. I even made my mother a T.A.R.D.I.S. birthday cake this year. And both the Doctor and his companions always look like even when things are at their most dire and the whole world is at risk of invasion or being blown up or whatever, they’re still grinning and having the time of their lives. And plus, time machine that’s also a spaceship? Best vehicle ever!

8. Daenerys Targaryen from the A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka. Game of Thrones series) by George R.R. Martin.

I’ve only read the first book in the series and seen the first two seasons for the show but I love Dany. She’s so much more than what she appeared at first and plus – I love dragons.

9. Jo, Bessie or Fanny from the Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton

I loved these books when I was little and the appeal of being able to go into the Enchanted Wood and climb the Faraway tree with the chance to meet the different creatures that inhabit the tree and the magical worlds that it’s the gateway too… incredible.

10. Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride by William Goldman

This is my favourite book. And Inigo is my favourite character from my favourite book. He’s Spanish, a master swordsman and he’s someone who amuses me greatly. I’d love to switch places with him. Or possibly Buttercup. She annoys me slightly but to be Westley’s love for a day? Oh my…

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Book Review: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title: Infinity (Chronicles of Nick #1)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Genre: Paranormal. urban fantasy, zombies, shifters, vampires,
Publisher: Atom 
Publication Date: May 2010
Pages: 306
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn’t hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

My Review:

I’m a socially awkward mandork.

Nick Gautier is considered to be a loser. Born to a mother who has to work as a stripper just to make ends meet, he’s been looked down upon by everyone he’s ever met. When his friends decide to mug an elderly tourist couple, Nick has to decide whether he wants to be the street scum that people think he is or to be the bigger man who his mother has raised him to be.

Unfortunately for him, his friends don’t take too kindly to his interference and Nick now has the gunshot wound to prove it. Enter Kyrian Hunter, tall dark and mysterious stranger who not only makes sure that Nick gets the medical attention he needs as well as paying for it and giving Nick an after school job as his assistant which pays more in a week than his mother makes in months.

But there’s something strange brewing in Nick’s school. The star-footballer just tried to take a bite out of his best friend and the coach tried to snack on the principal’s brains.

Between the zombie apocalypse at the high school and the crazy cast of characters that Nick’s been introduced since working for Kyrian, things have gotten deadly and a grounding from his mother is the least of his worries.

I enjoyed this book. Zombies aren’t something I’m all that familiar with and I did enjoy reading about just how scary they can be when they’re on mass and backing their prey into a corner. Nick is a very engaging lead character. He’s sarcastic and somewhat angry at his circumstances. He’s not always politically correct and he’s somewhat charming in spite of all this. I enjoyed his rapport with his mother – despite finding Cherise’s nagging and over the top protectiveness a little overwhelming at times.

Bubba was a very pleasant surprise. A computer tech guy who runs a gun shop and has two pieces of advice that he advocates for: “Shoot first then ask questions” and “Double tap just for good measure. Better safe than sorry“. I think his side-kick, Mark, was just as amusing. They added some much-needed humour and comic relief when the threat of zombies was getting a little too much.

In some ways this was a strange novel to read. I have prior knowledge of Nick from reading Kenyon’s Dark Hunter’s series – an adult paranormal romance series. So many of the characters were familiar faces as well as their supernatural secrets. But this book is so much more than just a prequel telling Nick’s story. It’s a chance for Nick to redeem himself and to change everything that’s happened in his other future – which I’m glad of because things were looking extremely dark for him.

I do wonder if someone with no knowledge of the adult series would be able to keep up with the whole cast of characters who are not quite they seem but you’re not quite let in on the secret of their special ‘skills’ just yet.

This is a series that I think I’ll be continuing with. IF not just for Nick but for the brief cameo appearances by Kyrian, Ash and Tabitha.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository


Book Review: Otherkin by Nina Berry

Title: Otherkin (Otherkin #1)
Author: Nina Berry
Genre: Paranormal romance, shifters, magic
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: July 2012 (I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley)
Pages: 320
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
I thought I knew myself. Then I met Caleb.

Dez is a good girl who does as she’s told and tries not to be noticed.
Then she rescues a boy from a cage, and he tells her secrets about herself.
Now inside her burns a darkness that will transform her.

Everything is about to change — and neither Caleb, nor the Otherkin, nor those who hunt them are prepared for what Dez will unleash.

My Review:

This book starts with a bang.

Dez gets asked out on her first date, finds out she can shift into a tiger, gets kidnapped, shifts for the second time and manages to escape her abductors with the boy from the cage alongside in tow. All in the first couple of pages.

And the fast paced story just continues along at breakneck speed.

The action and suspense create a very exciting story where at times it seems as if you blink and you would miss a lot of important stuff that happens. For me it was a bit too much action and not enough explanation. I would have loved to have a bit more detail into a lot of the events and perhaps a but more forethought into the consequences. It’s fantastic that the characters are so spontaneous but there were times when I couldn’t quite work out why they were doing the things they were doing – and I’m not entirely sure that the characters understood it either.

I didn’t like how the romance unfolded in this novel. As with everything else, it just happened too quickly with no explanation why or any growth. It was only as I reached the end of the novel that I really started to feel that either Dez or Caleb even really knew who the other person was and it just wasn’t happening for the sake of having a romance sub-plot.

This book was an interesting and enjoyable read but I just felt that I would have enjoyed it more had the pace been slowed down a little and instead of all the action scenes there was a bit more discussion. About the characters, the concept of the Shadows, and about the relationships between the characters – not just that of  Dez and Caleb but also those between Dez and the minor characters, and between the minor characters themselves.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Title: Adorkable
Author: Sarra Manning
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit
Publisher: Atom 
Publication Date: May 2012
Pages: 387
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian’s 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane’s boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common – she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can’t she stop talking to him?

My Review:

I secretly love portmanteaux. From spork to staycation, liger to Brangelina – I love them all. So I was eagerly awaiting the day to get my hands on Adorkable. But it wasn’t exactly the dorky yet adorable read I was expecting from the title.

Jeane Smith is a seventeen year old entrepreneur. She has her own company, half a million twitter followers, writes articles for national newspapers and has people flying her half way around the world to hear her speak. As an emancipated minor with no one but the couple next door to make sure she’s eating well and cleaning up after herself, her flat looks like a bomb has hit it and her diet consists of sweets and take out.

Then there’s Michael Lee – ladies man, man’s man, man about town, sports star, and on the student council. Top it off, parents LOVE him.

Each is the centre of their own universe but their worlds seem to have nothing in common. Until Michael Lee brings to Jeane’s attention that her boyfriend and his girlfriend are making eyes at each other…

There were a few things that I really enjoyed about this novel. It’s quirky and at times rather fun. I did find myself laughing out loud at times (which my cat did not appreciate). But it’s been a long time since I read a book where I disliked the two main characters with a passion.

Jeane is pretentious, elitist, conceited, judgemental and just plain rude. Michael Lee isn’t much better. They’re both snarky – which I liked – and they both seem to think that they’re better than everyone else – which I didn’t like quite so much. They weren’t all bad… just mostly. I did like Jeane’s refreshingly blasé views towards sex. But for the most part her attitude towards every other person in the novel (with the exception of her sister, Bethan) started to get a little irritating. I do wonder if the reader was even supposed to like Michael Lee… especially after he described Jeane as having a pot-belly… super attractive, am I right?

By the end of the novel I could see that Jeane was evolving and changing – although it seemed to happen at a pace that was non-existent for most of the time and then a little rushed at the end – but Michael Lee remained the same as he appeared at the beginning. I was a little disappointed. I’d have liked to have seen some character growth from him. I have to admit that I don’t quite understand the Adorkable brand as Jeane intended it. I read the manifesto (and I liked it) but I felt like what she was presenting at the conference…whilst it didn’t contradict her message, it seemed like every single person who was there and (anyone who wasn’t) would have been rather insulted.

I loved how the author used social media throughout the novel – especially twitter. Jeane’s tweets were kind of perfect even when she and Michael started quoting Sartre at each other… although that shows just how pretentious the two of them are.

At time times they played the roles of teenagers perfectly but for the most part it felt like I was reading an adult chick lit story as they didn’t feel like they were only 17 and 18 years old but rather almost a decade older than that. I wonder how well this book will go down with YA readers because as a young adult novel, I’m not sure I entirely got it. But as a novel with a non-specified audience, I quite enjoyed how everything played out.

By the time I finished this book I did enjoy the story but I felt like it took a little too long to get to the end. Whilst I didn’t like the characters I did enjoy reading their interactions and adventures. And I think I’d definitely be a reader of Jeane’s blog if she was more than a fictional character – I just wouldn’t be a friend of hers.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

I’m pretty good at getting sucked into a world of a book when I’m reading it. Even if I spend most of the time I’m reading either in front of the TV, computer or on the train.

But the ten most vivid for me?

1. The Harry Potter series. 

There were times when I thought I could have been there along with Harry and the gang at Hogwarts. Although I think I imagined myself more tagging behind Malfoy and his sinister Slytherins rather than one of the Gryffindor Golden Trio but regardless – this is a world that was real for me whilst reading.

 

 

 

 

2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Okay… I may have only read these books because I thought it was cool that someone’s middle name was “Staples” but I ended up adoring them. I found myself searching the inside of my wardrobe (all I found was some stray socks) for a secret world or hoping to be swept away into a painting. This world was real to me as a child and still whenever I reread this series, it’s just as real to me as it was a decade ago.

 

 

 

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I think the reason why I was so affected by this series is because of how real it was for me. Children Survivor with a fatal ending for most of the participants… oh my. But everytime I watch Survivor now – which is every opportunity I get… I may or may not be half in love with Jeff Probst – I get the odd Hunger Games flashback that completely shocks me.

 

 

 

4. Divergent by Veronica Roth

I loved this world too. A world where people are segregated based on their aptitudes for certain things. From the started I wanted to choose my own faction and go along with them (I’d ideally be a Dauntless but I think it’s much more likely that I’d be Candor).

 

It seems that I’ve run out of vivid words… so the next six are all worlds/books that I wish I got the chance to be in.

 

5. The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

I love boarding schools. I love spies. So a boarding school where they teach young women the art of being a super secret special agent? Sign me up! With a mansion (complete with a lake to hide the secret entrance) and many eccentric teachers, it seems a little like the girls of St. Trinians but much better behaved.

 

 

 

 

6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This book seems to be on many of my top ten lists… but I really did enjoy it and I love talking about it. Because I am a book pusher. If I love a book then I want everyone I know to read and love it too…

But I really did enjoy the world that Cinder inhabits. A classic fairy tale set in a futuristic Bejing. Kind of crazy to think about but it worked so well.

 

 

7. Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart

I really enjoyed this book and the world in which it was set. A version of vampires who were different from those I’d read about in the past. And the land of Lharmell? Very odd but interesting.

I’m really struggling with this week’s top ten… My final three will be non-YA worlds that I loved.

 

 

 

8. The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs (also the Alpha & Omega series since they’re set in the same world)

These books are set in a world where there’s all kinds of supernatural creatures – werewolves, other shifters, vampires, fey. And somehow they all manage to co-exist with each other and with humans. It’s a fantastic series. I love the characters and the plots of all the books.

9. The Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong

This is one of those series where I’d HATE to be a character living in it. Why? Because everyone is so violent or crazy or just plain scary. But I love the characters in spite (or maybe it’s because) of this. And the settings are always fantastic. From Stonehaven to the facility that Elena resides in in the second book to Paige’s Massachusetts home… and to every setting in the subsequent books. I would love to be a spy on the wall and completely enjoy any chance I get to read this series and slip into their world.

 

 

10. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

Admittedly, I’m only a third of the way into this book so it’s probably cheating to mention it as my tenth choice but since Sunday afternoon I felt like I’m there. And it’s a place I’d love to be. The book opens in Oxford, England and currently the characters are in France. I love books set in Europe and even with the cold and rain that’s been described, it’s still a book that I’d love to be able to live inside of.

Book Review: The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

Title: The Goddess Legacy (The Goddess Test #2.5)
Author: Aimee Carter
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Mythology, Novella compilation 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: July 2012 (I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley)
Pages: 395
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
For millennia we’ve caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimee Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.

Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness….

Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal….

Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another….

James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others-but never knew true loss before….

Henry/Hades’s solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope….

Five original novellas of love, loss and longing and the will to survive throughout the ages.

My Review:

Usually I’m not a huge fan of novellas. But I really enjoyed reading this collection of short stories from the Goddess Test universe.

Whilst not imperative to understanding the novels of the series, this book does give a huge insight to why the characters behave in the way that they do. And finally I think I’ve got it straightened out just who is related/married to who and which modern names match up with each ancient god/goddess.

The first novella explains why Calliope/Hera seems to distrust her husband and why she hates Kate so much. The second focuses on Ava/Aphrodite and the exact relationship that exists between her and her husband. After being introduced to Persephone in the second novel, Goddess Interrupted, we’re shown just why she left the Underworld to be with Adonis. James/Hermes’ story is next and in it we get to see him not as Henry’s rival but as a romantic lead in his own right. We also get to see the beginning of how the gods and goddesses starting becoming the more modern figures we see in this series. The final story is that of Henry/Hades and how he made the decision to Fade… and how meeting Kate changed his mind.

These stories are entertaining and they answer a lot of questions that I’ve been accumulating since beginning the series. Why is Calliope so bitter? Just what is the deal between Henry and James? Who exactly is Ava in a relationship with?

But it also gives some much-needed insight into the behaviours of the characters. I think that from now on I’ll be seeing James and his actions in an entirely different light.

This was an enjoyable read for me. A little melodramatic at times but that’s just how these characters roll. And whilst I don’t think this is required reading to fully understand the events of the other books, I do think it adds just a little extra element to the motives of some of the secondary characters.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository


Book Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, 
Publisher: HarperCollins; Atom
Publication Date: April 2009
Pages: 360
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl — someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I’m as far away from normal as it gets. I’m a living science experiment — not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization call the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters. I’m a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control: I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I’m running for my life with three of my supernatural friends – a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch – and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

My Review:

I think the Darkest Powers trilogy is going to go down as one of my favourite YA paranormal series.

The Awakening picks up at the exact moment that the first book in the series, The Summoning, finishes – with Chloe stuck in the institution after a somewhat failed break out attempt from Lyle House and the heartbreaking betrayal from Chloe’s aunt.

Now, with her every move being monitored by the staff and no escape routes visible, Chloe needs to deal with the ghosts that won’t leave her alone and her anxiety over Simon’s health and Derek’s “condition” whilst they are on the run. Not one to sit around and pout, Chloe – with the help of Liz’s ghost – needs finds a way to get out, find the boys and get to the bottom of what the sinister scientists are up to.

For me, this book had what The Summoning was lacking. It was exciting, fast paced and suspenseful. I picked this book up when I couldn’t sleep, vowing only to read a few chapters… next thing I knew it was 3am and I’d finished it.

I complained about Chloe coming across as a little bland in the first book but she’s completely redeemed herself in my eyes. I found that I enjoyed getting to see her embrace her ghost busting powers more and more as well as not letting anyone who was bigger and badder than her push her around.

Derek is a character that I adored after the first book and now I like him even more. He and the other supporting characters have issues and complicated pasts. It makes them somewhat real in an unreal and paranormal world. Tori, Simon and the others are an incredibly mismatched group but their bickering entertained me and I loved the fact that they were flawed and kept their grudges despite their current circumstances.

As a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, I was thrilled to read the slight crossover that occurred in this novel (Clayton’s reputation precedes him!) and makes perfect sense to the plot of this story.

This book is not one that can be read as a stand alone – there is a lot that is assumed knowledge from the first book in the series – but is a fantastic story that includes some of my favourite supernatural creatures, exciting plot and interesting characters.

I jumped online and bought the third book as soon as I finished reading….

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository