After being reunited in New Moon, Bella and Edward are quite content, until they hear about a spate of murders in Seattle. The Cullens fear they’re not being carried out by your average murderer, rather a pack of ‘newborn’ vampires. 

Unfortunately they’re right and an army of vampires have been created by Victoria, who is still trying to avenge James’ death, and kill Bella.

Knowing they can’t take on a small army of vampires on their own, the Cullens and the werewolves are forced to work together and get along in order to save Bella’s life.

The Bella, Edward and Jacob love triangle really heats up during Eclipse, with Jacob seriously struggling to come to terms with her choosing Edward and choosing to become a vampire, as a result he’s continuously trying to win her over.

– – – –

I was absolutely gripped to New Moon, so I was really excited to start on Eclipse, but I felt let down and didn’t really find it as interesting as New Moon at all.

I had a couple of serious gripes with Bella in Eclipse. First off, she only agrees to marry Edward so that he will finally have sex with her, Perhaps I could understand if it’s so she will be turned into a vampire faster, but it appears it’s just for the sex. This just seems completely out of character for her given everything I’ve read during the past two books.

Secondly, her issue with marriage really annoyed me. We read that her parents marriages failed and she was scared that the same might happen to her, a fear I imagine quite common really, I have no issue with that. But she seems seriously against the idea of marriage but still says yes, again just for the sex.

If she doesn’t want her marriage to fail, maybe she should have said no? Or perhaps, yes because I love you lots and lots, not because I’m really horny and 50 Shades of Grey hasn’t been written yet.

Jacob really got on my nerves throughout the book, I really liked him in New Moon he seemed friendly and nice, but he comes across as so whiny and needy, for goodness sake Jacob, accept it and quit whining. He seems to spend the entire book trying to trick and convince Bella to go out with him instead. Maybe I’m just seriously Team Edward? He’s like a broken record throughout the entire book, ‘Oh Bella you do love me, you just don’t know it.’ that’s kind of stalker-ish Jacob, haven’t you heard of no means no?

My gripe with Edward, the only one I’ve had with him so far (apparently I love controlling vampires), is that he doesn’t beat the crap out of Jacob. Jacob kisses his fiancé and Edward blames himself? Oh come on, just punch him, just once, for me Edward he’s been annoying me for the last 500 pages!

I really enjoyed reading about the vampires and werewolves having to get along with each other, the tension was nice and it was nice that in the end a couple of them were friends instead of sworn enemies as they had been at the beginning of the book.

At the end of the book we read a chapter from Jacob’s point of view, which took a couple of pages to get into, but using something like that during the fight scenes would have been interesting. Since the fight was taking place in multiple locations it would have worked well.

I’ve just started reading Breaking Dawn and I’m hoping it will end the series well and won’t be a disappointment.

3. 5 / 5

What did you think of Eclipse?

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New Moon Book CoverBella feels that all is right with the world, until the Cullens throw her a birthday party, which goes disastrously wrong, forcing Edward and his family to leave Forks, leaving Bella behind.

New Moon follows Bella’s utter devastation as she tries to come to terms with her vampire lovers disappearance, which leaves her questioning whether he ever existed at all.

She finds comfort and safety in an old childhood friend, Jacob Black. It turns out that like the Cullens, Jacob also has a dark and dangerous secret, he’s a werewolf. Boy does she know how to pick mythical friends.

Bella finds out that she is being hunted by Victoria, who is trying to avenge her mate James who was finished off in Twilight after he tried to kill Bella. Luckily for her, werewolves and vampires are sworn enemies (you can already see how this is going to cause problems), so Jacob and his pack vow to take down Victoria.

While the werewolves are trying to hunt Victoria, Bella gets bored and decides she quite likes the idea of jumping off a cliff during a storm, makes sense. This results in another near-death experience for her, which is ‘seen’ by Alice Cullen who misunderstands Bella’s new love for extreme sports as a suicide attempt.

Word gets back to Edward who decides he doesn’t want to live without her in the world (even though you know, he left her) and decides to go and provoke the Volturi, a sort of vampire royal family only their faces aren’t on stamps.

Alice and Bella head to Volterra and in movie-like fashion, manage to save Edward just in time. The Volturi are less than happy that a human knows so much and allow them to leave on one condition, Bella must become a vampire one day. This of course leaves Bella jumping for joy.

Bella and the Cullens return to life in Forks and Bella eager as ever to become a vampire, holds a vote and finds that the Cullens would very much welcome her into their family, after she’s finished school. What thoughtful and responsible vampires.

– – – –

I really enjoyed New Moon, more than Twilight. It was much more immersing and we got to know about Bella and Jacob in a lot of detail and I really feel like I know the characters.

Jacob comes across as really likeable and seems to spend a large portion of his time topless, probably attempting to win Bella over, even though he’s been firmly placed in the friend-zone. Unfortunately like Edward, he seems to suffer irritating mood swings. Perhaps that’s just a mythological creature thing.

There wasn’t actually anything that bugged me too much about this book, I really really enjoyed it. However, her school friends were pretty annoying; one moment they didn’t want to talk to her or care about how she was recovering from a devastating break up. The next thing, they’re her best buds and are talking to her at lunch again. What the hell is going on here!

There’s a hell of a lot of inner monologue in this book, which is pretty interesting, however towards the end of the book I found myself wondering how this works as a film? I’ve only seen the first Twilight film, and I fell asleep oops, so I don’t really know how well it transfers to film. I can see myself watching the films over Christmas, so I’m sure I’ll have my answer before long.

Something that really niggled me in Twilight was the repeated use of the word ‘incredulous’, thankfully it didn’t appear once during New Moon.

A few years ago I gave New Moon a go, however put it down about a quarter of the way in because it was so depressing. This time it made sense and while reading about Bella’s devastation was gloomy to read, isn’t that the point? When the author can get that point across so well that you can almost feel it yourself, I’d say that’s a job well done. Pat on the back for Stephanie Meyer.

I can’t believe I’ve written yet another glowing review about a book from the Twilight series, but I’m really enjoying them and looking forward to getting my teeth into Eclipse, see what I did there?

4.5 out of 5.

What did you think of New Moon?

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Twilight FrontcoverI think I might be ill guys and gals – I enjoyed Twilight! Okay, okay, enough of me bashing Twilight. 

A few years ago when the Twilight craze first started in the UK, I decided to see what all the hype was about. I didn’t particularly enjoy it to be honest, I read all of Twilight and part of New Moon, but had to put it down because it was rather depressing. 

When I went to the cinema a couple of weeks back I saw a trailer for Breaking Dawn pt 2, which I thought looked interesting, which got me thinking perhaps I should give the books another go, and I’m not sorry I did.

I finished Twilight last night and I have to say I really enjoyed it, a lot more than I was expecting to. Sure I have a couple of issues with it, but it’s not as bad as I remember it. It does help that I don’t remember reading the last half of it so it’s like I’d never read it before. 

One of my first issues is how often Bella’s clumsiness is referred to. Yeah okay she’s clumsy, but half the time it just seemed completely irrelevant to mention it. I might feel a little patronised if one of the main reasons my vampire lover seemed interested in spending time with me was because I’m so clumsy and I need protecting.

Secondly, the word ‘incredulous’. I won’t lie, I had to look it up. If every other word isn’t clumsy, it’s incredulous. There are a whole wealth of descriptive words out their Ms Meyer, try using some of them! It’s incredulous that you’d only use two descriptive words!

In terms of the story itself, I really enjoyed it and you got a real feel for the places they were in and what was going on. One of my friends said he thought it was poorly paced, however I didn’t find any bits boring or too slow. Though, I did feel like the ending was rushed and I had to re-read a couple of pages to try and catch up.

I remember having real issue with Edward’s character when I first read it, but the second time around it didn’t bother me so much at all, obviously I’m all for the idea of a controlling vampire on and off lover. His mood swings were a bit annoying mind you. Though there was a nice bit of sexual tension, everyone loves that right?

My former self would be less than impressed with me liking the book but I think the issue the first time around that I was trying not to like it, magnifying any annoyances I had.  If you felt the same way about Twilight, or any other book for that matter, maybe pick it up again and have another go.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to turn into a full on Twihard and throw acid in the faces of those who dare to say less than pleasant things about the book. However, I might have to retract all of my negative and ranty statements about the books, oops I’m a hypocrite!

Onwards to New Moon! While I’m looking forward to it, I’m a touch weary because I remember how full of self-pity it was.

Anyone else who didn’t like Twilight the first time they read it but enjoyed it the second time around? 

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I’m a bit of an Apple fan girl, I love the simplicity and design of their products and how beautiful they look. So when someone I worked with offered to lend me Steve Jobs biography, I jumped at the chance.

After turning the first couple if pages I became slightly daunted, it’s the only biography I’ve ever read where there were a list of people and how they knew Jobs, so I was quite worried it might be difficult to follow. Thankfully I was completely wrong.

The book starts by looking at his childhood, how he grew up and then delves into his hippy years and starting Apple, where they’d quite often have to force him to shower, as he didn’t believe in it.

At the beginning Jobs comes off as a bit of an arrogant ass, but further into the book you begin to understand why and that he was just acting in the interest of his company to create a company full of A Players.

We then follow his ousting from Apple, the creation of Next, his time at Pixar and then his return to Apple.

The books moves in a fairly chronological order, sometimes the beginning of the chapters would talk about things which happened before the end of the last chapter, though it really wasn’t that hard to keep up with it.

In terms of detail, it’s by far the most in depth biography I’ve ever read, by the end of the book I really felt like I had a pretty good grasp on who he was and what motivated him.

One thing that really fascinated me was Steve’s ‘Reality Distortion Field’ as it was called. He had the power to empower people and make them think that they could actually do things that they didn’t think they could do. Without that, there’s no doubt that Apple wouldn’t have been able to create the products they did, they would have created B Class products, which left users frustrated.

It’s fantastically written, and interviews with Steve, his family and people he worked with, even the likes of Bill Gates, allows the reader to get the full picture.

On starting this book I really didn’t know a lot about Jobs at all, so I learnt an awful lot from it, I can’t believe I had no clue he had something to do with Pixar.

As odd as it might sound, after reading it I’ve got a whole new appreciation for my Apple products, even the iPad I’m writing this on now. Jobs accepted nothing less than perfection and convinced Apple’s engineers they could do things they didn’t think we’re possible.

I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good biography, not just Apple fans.

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Mark Webber Up Front Book CoverI’ve been meaning to post this review for a few weeks now, but just haven’t got round to it.

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a huge Formula 1 fan and that I was seriously frustrated by how difficult it is to get a copy of Mark Webber’s book. You see, it’s only available in Australia, it’s no long being printed and to ship it across to the UK is quite expensive.   Luckily for me, one of my friends came over from Australia in September and very kindly searched for and brought me a copy over with him. (Thank you AJ!) 

The first thing that struck me about this book, was the pictures. Every single page is full of beautiful high quality images, with the text slotted around it. It’s almost as if it was a picture book to begin with and the text was an after thought. I imagine that even if you aren’t an F1 or Motorsport nut, you’d find the pictures interesting – perhaps that’s just me though.

The beginning of the book is bit of a recap on the 2009 season and talks you through his recovery from a broken leg and his determination to take part in pre-season testing for the 2010 season. His determination and strength is pretty admirable. Having never broken a bone *touch wood* I don’t really know what it’s like, but to drive a Formula 1 car, being under the huge amount of G forces their body is put through, with a broken leg, really can’t be easy.

From pre-season testing onwards, the book is split up by race weekend, where we get a really detailed behind the scenes account of each weekend and what was really going on at Red Bull.

What I really admire about this book is Webber’s brutal honesty. He’s renown in Formula 1 for not sugar coating his words, he says how he feels. However reading this book you realise that despite everything Red Bull said, there were quite serious issues between the Aussie and his German team mate Sebastian Vettel. Things which Webber himself alluded to in interviews, but would never have got away with explaining fully at the time.

Using images on each page, which may be some on track action or Webber preparing for a race or celebrating, really helps to you to understand the emotion he’s feeling and makes it so much easier to relate to. Obviously we don’t all have issues with our F1 cars or World Champion team mates, but we all know what it’s like to be frustrated and elated.

I’ve read a few Formula 1 drivers autobiographies and biographies, but for me, this is the best one by far and Webber’s brutal honesty is a huge part of the reason why. I’m a huge Formula 1 fan and Red Bull are my chosen team, so reading through this there were a few open-mouth moments, which shocked me.

Up Front is a brilliant read for any Formula 1 or Motorsports fan – providing you can get your hands on it. I wish they’d publish it on eBooks if they’ve decided they aren’t going to re-print it.

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The Ice Cage follows a Londoner called Magnus who returns to Aland in Scandinavia, following his Fathers death. Despite it being 20 years since he last saw his Father, something strikes him as odd and wrong about his Father’s supposedly natural death.

The story is told from Magnus’ point of view, with the odd chapter written in italics, which is clearly being told from somebody else’s point of view. Half way through the book you come to realise that these are the actions and the thoughts of a killer. I really enjoyed that, it’s not something I’ve come across in a book yet so I found it really interesting and it makes you read on to find out whose thoughts these are.

Another brilliant thing about this book is that the way the author describes the island and the ice, combined with the locals who are clearly covering for someone. It makes it feel really claustrophobic and you can’t imagine that there could possibly be a positive ending to the story.

There’s not a dull moment in this book and you’re constantly trying to solve the murder in your head, which makes it very tricky to put down.

This book is currently free for the Kindle, MADNESS! I had always (and wrongly) assumed that free books wouldn’t be this good. I thought they’d be alright and a good stop gap between books, but The Ice Cage has proven me wrong. I’m really looking forward to the second instalment which comes out sometime next year.

I can’t recommend this book enough and seeing as it’s free, you’d be daft not to give it a go.

I give this book a 5/5.

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A week ago I posted my review of The Hunger Games, so it’s time for a review of Catching Fire.

Catching Fire follows the fallout of the ending of The Hunger Games, which ultimately sees Katniss, under the threat of her families death, Peeta and previous victors back in the arena for the ‘quarter quell’, which happens every 25 years.

I found the start of this book quite slow and I didn’t feel instantly hooked as I had with the Hunger Games.

Then there’s the Katniss, Peeta and Gale love triangle, which got somewhat annoying and I found myself shouting at the book on occasions. What I found more annoying was the lack of Gale in the book, she obviously likes Gale a lot and he’s at the very least a best friend to her, yet we don’t get to find out why and that frustrated me.

Another huge downside with this book is that there’s an awful lot of waffle and no action, we don’t see any real action towards the end. Suzanne Collins may have been able to get away with leaving action until the end if it were the first book in the series, but following on from an action packed book, this seemed a bit of a let down.

There wasn’t an awful lot about the other districts or the other characters who joined them in the area and at times I had trouble remember who was who during the final chapters when they were all back in the area. I found myself having to flick back through to book to figure out if they were on Katniss and Peeta’s side or not.

Though I really did enjoy President’s Snow, he came across as a really creepy and underhanded character and you could understand Katniss’ fear of him.

The last few chapters of the book were electrifying (pun intended) and made up for the lack of action throughout.

Not an awful book by any means, but certainly not on par with the Hunger Games.

I’d give Catching Fire a 3.9/5 but only because of the great ending.

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