Saturday, 3 October 2015

Coco Caramel & 172 Hours on the Moon (Mini Reviews)

Hi there!

Today I have two mini reviews for you, so let's get started! I have been reading a lot and have a lot of reviews waiting in the wings to be spurned out onto the blog :D

Title: Coco Caramel (The Chocolate Box Girls #4)
Author:  Cathy Cassidy
Publisher:  Penguin
Published Date: 6th June 2013
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Another delicious book in the Chocolate Box Girls series from bestselling girls' favourite, Cathy Cassidy. Coco is the youngest of the Tanberry sisters and while she thinks she's the most sensible, she's as headstrong as any of them. Coco is crazy about animals and loves her riding lessons. When Caramel her favourite pony at the stables is sold, Coco scopes out the new owner - and she's not happy about what she discovers. Coco needs to rescue Caramel from a horrid fate. With big sister Honey going off at the deep end and Summer only just recovering from her eating disorder, there's no-one at Tanglewood to help Coco out. Can she do it alone - or will a new friend help her? A perfect next step for fans of Jacqueline Wilson, by the bestselling author of Angel Cake and Ginger Snaps.



Review: I am someone who usually sticks to adult or young adult fiction and never really dip into books below that age range. As a child and younger ages teen I did read a lot of Cathy Cassidy books as I grew up – and by that I mean all. She still does classify as YA though, although more so the younger kind. Either way, her books still have a mature feel to them that I have always been able to enjoy. I read the previous three books in this series before I started blogging which is why I am suddenly reviewing the fourth book. Each of these books do link up are all so individual that I think they can be read as standalones as well.

This book follows the youngest sister of the family, called Coco. She is into looking after animals and wants to save all the endangered creatures. She finds it hard to struggle with the fact that most people find her too young to do anything by herself, or think she won’t be committed. As well as that, all her friends have suddenly become interested in make-up and boys, none of them are interested in saving animals like her! As well as having some family problems going on at school, there is a mean boy called Lawrie in her class. He makes sure to be particularly cruel to Coco, even though she tries her best to be nice to her. Can Coco get along with Lawrie or has she bitten off more than she can chew this time?

I love Coco’s character so much because even though she is quite young, she is heart-strong and just begging to be an independent person. She gets looked down on too much. And even though she is supposed to be ten or eleven in the book, I am sure so many other older teenagers like me can relate to this. Don’t we all want a bit of independence and what to feel like we are taken seriously? As well as this, Cathy Cassidy also manages to create a lovely romance in her stories that will have your heart fluttering.

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Title: 172 Hours on the Moon
Author:  John Harstad
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Readers
Published Date: 15th September 2008
Rating: 1 stars
 
Synopsis: Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back. It's been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2.

Review: I am going to be honest and say I didn't like this book, at all. It was incredibly hard for me to push through. 

The book is told from multiple points of view (it seems to randomly jump from one to another) although the point of view that returns the most is Mia’s. The story follows three teens who win a trip to the moon with NASA, after no one has been there for many years. But there is something else on the moon, and there is a reason why no one has ever been back, until now…

There only seemed to be one good thing about this book, and that was the ending. The ending was something even I didn’t expect, with a pretty chilling plot twist. I am glad I kept reading it all the way to the end because that at least made the book a little bit more worthwhile.

And now for my list of problems with this story: Firstly, I didn’t see any character development really. The story switched points of view so much we didn’t get a clear view on anyone’s personality or how they developed. That means I didn’t feel much for the characters at all and felt sort of distant. What didn’t help was that the storyline wasn’t amazingly compelling either. If the plot is lacking in some books, they can get away with awesome characters, and vice versa, but this book had neither.

At the beginning of the book there is a lot of preparation needed before the kids can go up to space, which I find very realistic. The book kind of time jumps over all these training sessions except one. It would’ve been the perfect place to develop relationships and characters I think, in working with zero gravity for the first time or something. Instead the time jumps seemed random and kind of sudden. And the lessons they did show us were so packed with boring information I started to scan over it and well, it wasn’t exciting at all. Unless you are personally into all that space stuff.


I generally haven't been able to enjoyed many translated books and am a strong believer of the fact that things do get lost in translation. I didn't know that this one was translated until I started writing this review, so maybe that has something to do with it? I would also say that this book, although classified for young adults is more of a middle grade read. It seemed like I would’ve been more excited, petrified and just generally enjoyed this book more if I was younger. 

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia's Question: If you could go to the moon, would you do so?

Olivia-Savannah x

26 comments:

  1. Hi Olivia-Savannah my answer would be yes! I would love to travel out of space it would an amazing thing to do!

    I also have a blog and I would love you to check it out. I only have one entry but you did say you like nail polish and in one of my links I did mention nail polish. Here is my link to my blog and I hope you enjoy!

    http://expressthosefeelings.blogspot.co.uk/

    xoxo Tianya

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    1. I do love my nail polish and have checked out your latest post! Hope you stick around the blogsphere ;)

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  2. Both great reviews! I liked how you still like Cathy Cassidy's books even though you're older than when you first started reading them. Too bad for 172 Hours on the Moon. Seems like from the premise this could have been better. Either way, I loved the little snoozy duck! :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. I think those are the kind of books that will stay with me forever. <3 It did have potential but to me the book just didn't live up to it :P

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  3. Awwww but the second book looked like it actually had more promise to it especially since it takes place off earth! But I'll be honest girl, I'm SO not a fan of multiple POV books in which it seems like it is bouncing around from place to place. No thank you!

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    1. I haven't been having a good time with space books/movies lately... I hope The Martian will correct that. But yep, the bouncing around was a huge turn off.

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  4. [ Smiles ] It is nice to know that you read a lot; your personal library is probably a huge one.

    Do have yourself a lovely weekend, my friend!

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  5. Great reviews! I love all things science fiction, but I do not want to go to the moon. LOL! I'll leave that to all the other space freaks.

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    1. Ahaha yep, I don't think I am going to the moon anytime soon :P

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  6. Excellent reviews and the duckie is adorable.

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  7. Wonderful reviews, you have me curious about the ending of 172 Hours.

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  8. The first book is not something I would pick up now for at least you enjoyed it and I was so surprised to see your 1 star rating on 172 Hours on the Moon because although I've heard mixed things, most people I know seemed to liked it and got the chills after the ending which I see didn't leave you indifferent. I didn't know it was a translated work as well :/ and about your question.... the moon is great, from a far. We are here and the moon is there for a reason LOL

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    1. I know a lot of people would be past the age of wanting to read it. The ending was chilly but for me if I am honest, it was too little too late :/ Ahaha I am gonna have to agree with you.

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  9. I haven't read any of the Cathy Cassidy books but they seem like something I would have enjoyed when I was younger. My childhood was dominated by Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew and Roald Dahl.
    The second book doesn't sound like much of a space thriller. Also, I'm not very found of the head hopping technique unless it is not more than two. It's sad you didn't enjoy it much.
    I probably wouldn't go to moon, I feel I have way too many things to do right now. XD But when I'm 40? Definitely!

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    1. I didn't read Enid Blyton or Nancy Drew, but Roald Dhal was a huge part of my childhood and well, part of me now too.

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  10. Oh gosh. And I was so looking forward to reading 172 Hours. It looks so interesting! After that lunar eclipse that we just had, I had the craving to read something space-y. So I picked up Seveneves again. I'm having a better time at it this time around. Those Sci-Fi books sure are tricky!

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    1. Maybe you will be able to enjoy it more than I did? I just couldn't find a liking for it. I know what you mean about being infected with the space-y mood though! I definitely have been. I haven't read that one before but it sounds cool.

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  11. OMG THAT LITTLE DUCK @#&$bA^* I JUST CAN'T <3 <3 <3
    I haven't read any of these, although The Chocolate Box Girls series sounds really nice!
    I agree with you that a lot of things get lost in translation, when I was a kid I had to read in Spanish, so that meant lots of translated books, and nowadays I always prefer to read the original if I'm able.

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. Ahahaa everyone loves lil' duckie :D
      Yeah, there is some sort of difference. Sometimes it doesn't take anything away from the novel, but sometimes it does.

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  12. Oh darn, I'm sorry that second one was a disappointment! It sounds a bit sketchy in the plot for me- NASA sending teenagers to the moon when there's something unsafe there? That seems beyond unlikely, and I do like some level of realism to my stories, at least enough that I can go along with the idea. Definitely doesn't sound like it was a winner for you. Hopefully you find a better fit with a space story, though, so you get some good memories! xx

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  13. I don't know about that one. It was just not my kind of book :/ But I am looking for better space ones to keep me interested in that type of book because at this current moment I feel like giving up on space related things :(

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  14. No I wouldn't go to the moon, I read this book - I actually didn't mind it!! But it freaked me out a little plus the whole travelling to it would not be my idea of a good time! I think the end of the book was definitely better than the first half but that ending was a bit woah, I really need to know what happened after it.

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    1. It definitely was freaky - especially the ending. I wish it wasn't such a cliffhanger! I think there could be a good sequel?

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