***The Tales Compendium blog is currently on hiatus. However you can still following along via the Instagram feed!***

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner #1

Release Date: 6th October 2009

My Rating: 3/5

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

In A Nutshell:
A promising beginning but it didn't follow through to an ending that interested me.

My Review:
The Maze Runner is sort of like a cross between The Hunger Games and the TV show Lost. A group of about fifty teenage boys have been placed in an unknown area with no escape. They are given certain supplies each week and once a month, another boy joins them with his memory wiped clean. With no way of leaving, the boys send groups into the maze which is connected to the area they have been remanded to, in the hope of finding an exit and the possibility of a normal life and finding the families they hope are looking for them on the outside. But the maze appears unsolvable and has Grievers, mechanical monsters that patrol, ready to kill any boy that comes into contact with them.

Despite their undesirable circumstances, the characters have managed to form their own working community with a type of government and jobs to keep them busy. Everyone has a job to do, whether it be maintaining the vegetable gardens and caring for the livestock, cleaning the living quarters, taking care of the sick and injured, preparing meals or entering the maze. With the arrival of Thomas, and then Teresa, things start to change and as people begin to remember snippets of their former lives, the maze and the community they have created may not be all that bad after all.

I enjoyed the story and the characters for a large portion of the novel and I was really intrigued as to which way the plot was going to go. However, the direction the author took wasn’t for me and I began to lose interest in the final chapters. The last pages introduced a whole new mystery which did not appeal to me so I won’t be continuing on with The Scorch Trials.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

Title: Psych Major Syndrome
Author: Alicia Thompson

Release Date: 11th August 2009

My Rating: 5/5 

Using the skills you've learned so far in Introduction to Psychology, please write a brief self-assessment describing how things are going in your freshman year.

Presenting Concerns:
The Patient, Leigh Nolan (that would be me), has just started her first year at Stiles College. She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards, not Rorschach blots). 

Patient has always been very good at helping her friends with their problems, but when it comes to solving her own...not so much. 

Patient has a tendency to overanalyze things, particularly when the opposite sex is involved. Like why doesn't Andrew, her boyfriend of over a year, ever invite her to spend the night? Or why can't she commit to taking the next step in their relationship? And why does his roommate Nathan dislike her so much? More importantly, why did Nathan have a starring role in a much-more-than-friendly dream

Aggravating factors include hyper-competitive fellow psych majors, a professor who’s badly in need of her own psychoanalysis, and mentoring a middle-school-aged girl who thinks Patient is, in a word, naive.

Psych Major Syndrome

In A Nutshell:
Psych Major Syndrome was a light, unputdownable read that totally filled my quota of favourite things for the day: a college setting, swoon-worthy guy, spunky alternative best friend and a road trip.

My Review:
Psych Major Syndrome has all my favourite things: a college setting, cute guy, spunky alternative best friend, dorm rooms and a roadtrip. It also has all the things that can make life miserable (excluding death and illness): an academic rival, a bitchy girl who you just want to throw the best comebacks at but can never think of them at the right time, and an arsehat of a boyfriend. Throw in a troubled teen in need of someone to talk to, a hippy/new age family and a loveable but rundown old car and you have Leigh Nolan’s life.

It really was just one of those books that makes you feel happy and go ‘awww’. It was a light, unputdownable read that totally filled my quota of favourite things for the day.

Leigh is somewhat neurotic. It seems to be true what they say about psychologists having just as many problems as their patients (Leigh is studying psychology). She can be annoying because, like a lot of girls, she over analyses things and can’t see what is blaringly obvious to everyone around her. But, the whole book was endearing and a total comfort read for me.

Nathan pretty much ticks all the boxes for perfect swoon-worthy guy. He is sweet, pays attention, plays guitar, believes Leigh deserves better *cough* him *cough* and is guaranteed to melt the hearts of everyone who reads Psych Major Syndrome. Prepare for major swoon-age.

Loved it.

Big thanks to Nomes over at inkcrush for this recommendation.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Times, They Are A Changing...

So, like everyone, I am somewhat confused about what is going to be happening with Blogger come July 1st.

I know that Google Reader is going bye-bye. I've had a look around at some of the other platforms we can use to follow our favourite blogs and after testing out Bloglovin over the last 2 weeks, I've decided that I'm really happy with it. So, now I am recommending it to all of you! You can really easily import all the blogs you currently follow on Google Reader into your (free) Bloglovin account. They have buttons that you can add to your blog for people to follow you and if someone doesn't have a button, you can still add the blog easily. And, they have a great phone app. I'm seriously loving it. So without further ado, please go and sign up for an account if you haven't already got one and sign up to follow my blog. Pretty please...

Follow on Bloglovin

But if you don't want to, I have other options!
I haven't been able to figure out if Google Friend Connect is also disappearing or if it is staying (does anyone know for sure?) but I'm assuming it is also leaving us since it is connected to the Google Reader. For the time being I still have the option to follow via GFC (see the little blogger book button over on the sidebar?) but at the risk of it disappearing, I would appreciate it if you could now follow using a different method. I've got email subscription and RSS, plus of course Bloglovin, but if they really don't work for you, or if it's just easier, then I've got Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. Or you could just follow all the different ways (I often post extra stuff on Facebook)! See those nifty little follow buttons? Over there on the right? I'm really loving them right now too.

That's right, keep up. You don't wanna lose me
I hope everyone enjoyed my Aussie Author Month that I ran throughout March. I had some hilarious interviews and discovered some excellent Aussie YA fiction. And all the signed give-aways are still open internationally until the end of April so make sure you go and check out all the awesome.

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