July 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Chrysalids (Re-Birth)This book (published in the U.S. as Re-Birth) was suggested to me on Yahoo Answers (if you don’t get it read my previous posts -_-‘) and I was surprised to learn that it is in fact considered a classic (HAHA! To everyone – my mom – that says I only read contemporary writers…NAHNAHNAHNAHNAH…) since it was published back in 1955! Well…yeah…I ordered it and read it and this is what I got!

Story- The story is a post apocalypse story about genetic mutation. It all starts with David Strorm, a young boy who one afternoon goes down to the river to splash in the water (how peachy!) There he meets a girl and the two of them play together. The girl (Sophie) then hurts her foot and after a long fuss about NOT taking her shoes off David carries her back to her home.  Once there he realizes that she has six toes and not five on each foot. Coming from a very religious home (the book is of course based in the future and the only text from the ‘Old People’ that was found is the Bible) and everything that doesn’t resemble God’s image in considered a blasphemy (is that how you write it??) One day one of the boys from town discovers the truth about Sophie and  tells the entire town. Sophie and her parents are forced to leave so to not be destroyed. Years pass and no mutation goes on until David one day learns he can communicate with others while not speaking with them. His group calls this communication ‘trading thought shapes’. As time passes and the kids in the group grow older the town begins to have superstitions and so David, his cousin Rosalind and his younger sister must run away to keep from being killed. They arrive where they are finally accepted…

This book was really really good and I really enjoyed it. I love sci-fi novels when they’re light and not Star-trekky. I do suggest this book to almost everyone and if you are an S. Meyer fan (like me!!!) and you read “the Host” you will love this book.


Volterra Reader ♥



HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE by Diana Wynne Jone

April 26, 2009 at 10:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Howl's Moving CastleSince probably third grade I have been obsessed with manga/anime and have loved it with an immense passion. In third grade my dad brought me to see “Spirited Away” at the movie theater. I HATED IT! It scared me and creeped me out and that pretty much closed off Hayao Miyazaki’s movies for me. In sixth grade (or was it fifth?) my dad came into the kitchen and said “Gemma, why don’t we go out tonight and see ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’? It was made by the same guy who did ‘Spirited Away’!” I hate to say this but I screamed and ran away to my room. That was the last I had heard of it. Last year my Italian teacher had us bring in all the books we would like to share in the class and started a sort of class library with all our books. My friend Alessia had brought in a load of books and I just chose one since we both had the same taste in books (Twilight anyone?) I took out a book that had “Il castello errante di Howl” written on the front cover and decided to read it (yes people…in Italian! If you haven’t understood it yet I AM bilingual and I DO read in Italian occasionally). I never really liked reading in Italian but I had too…so yeah! I couldn’t get into it seeing as it was in Italian so my mom had the ever so brilliant idea of buying the anime version for me on DVD. I screamed, I yelled but I still watched it and…LOVED IT! I immediately fell in love with Miyazaki’s work (but that’s a different story!) I decided I wanted to read the book again in English since I loved it so much…

The story- Sophie Hatter is an eighteen year old girl living in Market Chipping in Ingary (these are all imaginary places people! Deal with it!). She lives above her family’s hat shop (WOW! The Hatters’ own a hat shop! How original!) with her two sisters, father and stepmother. Her father soon dies and Fanny (her stepmother) has to pull the three girls out of school and send them off to be apprentices. Since Sophie is the eldest (and in Market Chipping it is known that the oldest can never make any fortune) stays in the hat shop (doing what? Making hats silly!) On May Day the Hatter’s shop is closed and Sophie decides to go visit her sister at Cesari’s bakery. On her way there she’s stopped by two guards who try to flirt with her but is dragged away by a mysterious man claiming to be her partner. She ends up at Cesari’s still amazed that a mysterious young man courted her. With her sister she speaks of everything   but in particular she speaks of Howl, a mysterious magician who has a magical castle that floats between Market Chipping and Upper Folding. After the May Day celebrations Sophie goes back to the hat shop when an eccentric woman walks into the store wanting to purchase a hat. She doesn’t generally like the hat Sophie shows her and before leaving turns Sophie into an old crone (gross!) Sophie leaves the next morning quite calmly to find some other place to stay. She comes across the moving castle and enters. Inside she sees a fire and sits in the chair right across from it. The fire speaks (WTF?! She really is crazy!) and claims to be a fire demon (Oh…that explains it!) He detects that Sophie is under a spell (which is a huge relief since Sophie can’t speak about the spell) and they both agree that they will try to break each other’s spell. Sophie falls asleep and when she awakes she sees a young boy of fifteen named Michael ( yummy!) busy bodying around the castle. He’s Howl’s apprentice and as if he had been summoned Howl walks into the castle. Sophie is amazed to see that it is the same man that had saved her on May Day (lucky her!) From then on they all bark on an adventure to destroy the Witch of the Waste (sorry…she’s the one who cast the spell on Sophie -_-’)

The author, Diana Wynne Jones, has also written two other books to complete the series. Though “Castle in the Air” (1990) was in fact published before “House of Many Ways” (2008) it is not in fact the sequel to the book but a companion to the series in which the main characters are featured at the end of the story. Do you all want to know a really random fact? The author’s husband was actually one of my mom’s university professors at Bristol! How random is that? I really do suggest this book to anyone but especially to people who have in fact seen the film adaption since it is 5000000000000000000 times better!




Volterra Reader

GENERATION DEAD by Daniel Waters

April 7, 2009 at 10:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Generation Dead

I’ve NEVER been someone who labeled myself unlike my friends. I have friends who practically go around with those “Hello my name is…” stickers attached to their shirts with their stereotype not their name in the name slot. You’ll find my friend Virginia with her “Hello my name is Emo” sticker or my friend Alice with “Hello my name is Hippie” stuck to her forehead. I’m not like that. I don’t get the point of labeling yourself and the people who live around you (I don’t see anything wrong with it though if you do. I just don’t see myself doing it!). Why can’t you just be yourself? Why do you have to fit in with the norm or with the people you find cool? I will never be afraid to go around with a sticker on my shirt saying “Hello my name is Gemma and I am 100% uniquely and perfectly me and if you have a problem you can stick it up your a$$”. Sorry if that got a little ugly but that’s who I am and people who have a problem with that have problems. I am myself. I consider that I have a little portion of any stereo stype in my blood. Yes I like slasher movies and I think blood is tasty, yes I wear indian and bohemian skirts, yes I sometimes wear a shit load of eyeliner, yes I love wearing pink and miniskirts, yes I love to read (as you can all see). Does that make me Goth/Vampire? Does that make me a Boho Hippie? Does that make me Emo or Scene? Does that make me a complete Girly Girl? Does that make me a bookworm? No…it doesn’t! it just makes me ME…Okay. Sorry I got slightly out of hand here…I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND LABELS!!!

Let’s move on to the book…

The story- Phoebe Kendall is your typical High School student attending Oakvale High. Yes she’ goth and has an immense passion for writing gothic poetry so how does that make her average? No, Oakvale High is not a school for goth kids (though that would be AWESOME) it is apparently one of the best schools in the USA for differently biotic kids. Only a few years earlier a strange phenomenon occured all over the world mostly concentrating itself in suburban United States. People are coming back from the dead! Well…not just people. It seemd that the differently biotic only seem to be teenagers and the scientists believe it’s because of fast food and comfort food. Pheobe and her best friend Margi have had a bad experience with differntly biotic kids before. Only a year or two before their close friend Collette died drowning and came back giving them all a shock. Since then Margi and Phoebe have never gotten close to any of the “zombie” kids. But that all seems to change. Tommy Williams is fairly new at Oakvale and along with Karen, he is quite different for the other “dead” students. He can speak quickly and use his brain without taking hude blocks of time. He walks instead of shuffling and suprising the entire country signs up for the Oakvale High football team. Adam, Phoebe’s neighbour and probably closest guy friend, is on the team and doesn’t understand his friends’ reaction to Tommy. His friend Pete for example doesn’t understand why they come back and honestly doesn’t want them to be back. The situation is quite normal; undead kids running around on the football field and stuff (OMG…I find that normal??? I am weirder than I recall!) But everything stirs when Margi sees a poem hanging in Tommy’s locker. Differently biotic kids aren’t known to be at all creative and Margi gets an even bigger scare when she notices that the poem is in Phoebe’s handwriting (WTF Pheebs?!) As the school becomes part of an experiment to study differently biotic kids and how they react in the company of normal kids Phoebe and Tommy get closer, close enough for him to ask her to the homecoming dance. Adam has already discovered that he likes Phoebe as more than a friend and knows that if he interferes she won’t be happy. As homecoming night approaches the zombies organize a party at the Haunted House, an old abandoned home where some of the zombies live. There Adam’s old gang conduct a plan to get rid of the differently biotic. In the exitement Pete aims at Phoebe and Adam jumps in front of her. Adam dies and come back. As he comes back to “life” Phoebe can think of only one thing; “Bringing him back. Bringing him back as far as she possibly can.” (page 392 GENERATION DEAD by Daniel Waters Hyperion New York 2008 hard copy edition).

This book was really good. It’s different from all the other zombie books out there. It’s a zombie love story if you will. I love the whole idea of going to school with undead beings. It truly makes you think what you would do if that actually happened. I suggest you read it if you like an originally spun tale.


Volterra Reader ♥



February 15, 2009 at 8:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Daughters of the Moon book 1Back when I still lived in the USA I would spend endless Saturdays in Barnes and Nobles with my best friend Sara. Our tradition started in 3rd grade and what we would do was go around all the isles and pick up books we thought found interesting by looking at the cover or reading the exert on the back. We would then bring a pile of 10 or so books to the little stage were they did afternoon shows for kids and we would read the first chapter of each book to decide which ones we wanted to buy. We would pretend to be literary agents, choosing the right book to publish! When I was in 4th grade Sara ran up to me with a golden tinted book in her hand saying “This looks good!” I read the back and looked at the cover and I agreed but it wasn’t the first book in the series so we went back to the right shelf and pulled off book number one. We then read it and decided to “publish” it. I’ve read this book before, back in 4th grade, and loved it but I thought that maybe now I was older I could just read it again and understand better…

The story- Vanessa Cleveland has ALWAYS wanted to be like everyone else. She wanted to worry about school and zits and have a relationship with the hot Michael Saratoga. But this all seemed impossible. Each time her emotions get too acute her molecules disappear making her invisible. Her best friend Catty has similar problems, she can turn back time. They’ve known each other forever and both wonder if they have a curse or a gift and they beg to know why they both have the same moon amulet that was given to them at birth. Slowly, with the help of two girls Serena and Jimena, the truth of their facts unravel!

I love this book! It’s a really good read! Back in 4th grade (when I didn’t know yet about the magical I searched EVERYWHERE for the second book but couldn’t find it. I just found out right now that it is a 13 book series!!!! OMG that’s long! If I ever live long enough I shall read them…LOL!


Volterra Reader ♥



February 15, 2009 at 8:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Companions Of the NightThis was one of the many books I ordered off Amazon. And may I just say everything about it caught my eye. The cover, the title, the exert and especially the author’s name (WTF?!?)

The story- Kerry Nowicki is any typical teenage girl. She lived with her father and younger brother Ian and her mother had left the year before. One night she drives down to the 24 hour laundry to pick up her brother’s stuffed animal. Once there a group of men, including the owner of the store, drag a boy in. His face is bruised and blood clings to his hair. The men are calling him a “vampire” and Kerry finds this hard to believe (no duh!) She then frees Ethan Bryne (sorry, the boy that was claimed “vampire”) and he drives her back home. The day after Kerry is at work and her father doesn’t arrive to pick her up. Ethan is at the store though and so he drives her home where she finds the living room destroyed, a message on the wall written in red paint. It’s then that Kerry’s two day adventure with Ethan begins. An adventure filled with kidnapping, car theft, vampires and true love!

I liked this book. It wasn’t “OMG this is fantastical!” good but it was good. The beginning of the story was more gripping than the end but I still found it fun to read. It was kind of repetitive for a vampire story, something you would expect of ANYONE (besides Stephenie Meyer of course) but in Ms. Vande Velde’s defence she made a vampire story with typical vampire characteristics much more interesting than I would expect. I suggest it to anyone who likes a good vampire novel


Volterra Reader ♥


VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead

February 13, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vampire Academy by Richelle MeadAs I’ve already stated I had asked for a lot of book suggestions on Yahoo Answers and one person suggested I should try out the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, so I did. First of all, awesome name!!! I love the name Richelle. Sounds so posh yet inconspicuous!

The story: Two years prior (god that sounds posh) Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir escaped from Sr. Vadimir’s academy for Vampires. Now, pay attention because this becomes complicated: Lissa is a royal Moroi princess. Now, Moroi are mortal vampires that are able to tap into the Earth’s magic. Rose instead is a dhamphir, a half human half vampire mortal hybrid. Now Rose attends St. Vlad’s (HEHE, nice nickname) to become a guardian so she can protect Lissa from Strigoi, EVIL and IMMORTAL vampires! Now the girls have been found and sent back to the academy where they take on a brand new adventure mixing with their old fears and stories.

I liked this book. It was a different twist on a over-told story: vampires! Thanks to Miss Mead I discovered probably one of the hottest bad boys known to literature: Christian (♥)! But the book contains MANY hot vampire (or half vampire) guys including Mason (who OMG reminds me of Mike Newton from the Twilight Saga)! I reccomend this book to people who like true life stories with an adventure twist to it.


Volterra Reader ♥


BURNED by Ellen Hopkins

February 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Burned by Ellen HopkinsI had ordered a bunch of books off that people had suggested to me through Yahoo Answers. One of the suggestions and answers to my question had said: “You should read Burned by Ellen Hopkins” so I ordered it. It arrived along with the other 20 or so books I had ordered and they sat on my desk (as they very much do now!) unopened. I had began reading Vampirus by Scott Westerfeld (which was in Italian…blech) and couldn’t get through it so I picked Burned up. It was about 10:30 p.m. and I read the back cover when I finally decided it was interesting I began reading it. Then I discovered it was in poetry form and I thought “OH CRAP!” but I read it anyway and finished it at 2 a.m. 

The cover: the cover is beautiful. It gives the true effect of burnt paper and I think is truly unique.

The story: Pattyn Von Stratten is a good, well mannered and very religious Mormon girl. She lives with her mother, father and sisters in Nevada. Her life is that of any typical, overly religious girl’s until she has a dream she never had experienced before, a sexual fantasy. From then her life starts becoming reckless and crashes. She’s then sent to live with her aunt in the Nevada wilds for the Summer. She expects to find punishment but she finds just the opposite. In her aunt she finds redemption, in the wilds she finds salvation and in Ethan Carter, a college student who lives down the road from her aunt, she finds true love. She finds everything she ever wanted until it all disappears

I truly enjoyed this book. Written in free verse poetry (no rhymes involved) I finally discovered that if written well even poetry can lead to the most amazing novel ever. I felt every emotion reading this story; love, hate, tenderness towards others. I laughed and cried (a lot!) and just fell in love with the words Ellen Hopkins created. It’s definitely amazingly written and stunning. It has one of the most gorgeous sayings of love in it

You’re like the ocean, Pattyn.

Pretty enough on the surface,

but dive down into your depths,

you’ll find beauty most 

people never see. Lucky me.

I fell in, headfirst.

Burned by Ellen Hopkins. Simon Pulse 2006 paperback edition

I reccomend it to anyone who loves life and love.


Volterra Reader ♥


REBEL ANGELS by Libba Bray

February 13, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Rebel Angels by Libba BrayLibba Bray yet again was able to make an AMAZING story come to life! In the sequel to her best selling A Great and Terrible Beauty Ms. Bray is still able to make characters jump off pages (not in the literal sense of course!)

The cover: I have decided to do this cover talk everyone hates every time I like the cover just so I write more. Well: this cover is awesome!!! I’ve always liked the Gemma Doyle Trilogy covers since they’re not typical, they’re different. I like the colors on this one…they pwetty!!!

The story: The story takes place three months after where we left off in A Great and Terrible Beauty, in other words three months after Pippa’s death. It’s December and both Gemma and Felicity will be spending Christmas in London while Ann stays at Spence. But after a promise to try and enter the Realms again while on holiday Felicity hastily invites Ann to stay with her in London (after making up one of the most outrageous stories ever!) Before they leave though a new teacher, Ms. McCleethy, arrives at Spence to take Miss Moore’s empty spot. Gemma doesn’t particularly warm to her and in conclusion, seeing her around London during Christmas, she thinks that she may just be Circe. The holidays progress and Gemma, Felictity and Ann are able to re-enter the realms. With Kartik nearby and being her family’s new driver Gemma discovers that she must find the Temple within the Realms to restore the magic! Plus, Simon Middleton, a posh young bachelor from London, asks Gemma “on a date”! YAY! More romance!!!

I really liked this novel, it was familiar yet AMAZINGLY refreshing! I found it great to read and I loved every moment of it. So many suprises and twists that I REALLY didn’t expect!! It was great, and to make it even greater Kartik (♥) kisses Gemma (I only find this great and I’m not jealous since MY name is Gemma!!! HEHEHE XD!!!)

Truly, I suggest this book to ANYONE who loves romance, adventure and fantasy!!


Volterra Reader ♥



January 31, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Diamond of DarkholdAs I have already said before I really enjoy the Books of Ember! And I found that The Diamond of Darkhold was a near-perfect conclusion.

The cover: It’s bright and I love that! Blue and yellow are two of my favorite colors and the contrast is great on the cover! (I think I might stop this cover talk…people no like it!)

The story: The story starts off where The People of Sparks left off! It’s the first winter above ground for the Emberites and things aren’t so easy. People are hungry and houses are being destroyed. One day a roamer passes through town and with a match Lina buys a book  for Doon. Only eight pages are left in the book but the cover has large print on it, “For the People of Ember“! Lina and Doon study the book but have trouble finding any clues. So, under desperate measures, Doon and Lina decide to head back to Ember to replenish Sparks’ supplies. Once at the ledge they see a flicker of light coming from the bottom of the city. They head down using a coiled ledge that winds all the way around the perimeter of the cave and leads them into the Unknown Regions. But they aren’t alone. There is a new family in Ember, the Troggs, who capture Doon and hold him hostage. He manages to escape and him and Lina discover the diamonds that where left for the Emberites but that were never found.

The story is amazing and in the end it hints that Lina and Doon (♥) get together! You then see a glimpse into the future when a gleaming city of light is created. Lina’s great-great-granddaughter lives here and she keeps a drawing, a drawing of a shining and gleaming city that is hundreds of years old!


Volterra Reader ♥



January 31, 2009 at 8:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The DeclarationMy dad bought me this book two or three years ago for only one reason: the author and I share the same first name! I was like “Great dad, thanks for picking a random book out!” I never did read it…until last week!

The cover: the cover is pretty and girly and frilly and I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE it ♥! I am lame…I know but i like this cover a lot! It’s cute!

The story: The book is based in 2140 and a cure to stop death has been found. But a document has been created, a document stating that whoever is to sign it may not have children. But people don’t always follow the rules. Anna’s parents didn’t and now she has been taken away to a Surplus Hall where she is to Learn Her Place as scum. She is truly convinced that she hates her parents for having her, for being selfish! But one day Peter (♥…I need to see a doctor! I love fictional eye-candy!) arrives and whispers to Anna during class: “You’re Anna Covey aren’t you? I know your parents!” Anna is flabbergasted (LOL…I ♥ that word!) since Surpluses don’t have two names, they only have one. Peter knows everything about Anna, her birth-date, her name and that she has a birth mark that looks like a butterfly on her stomach. He needs to convince Anna to leave Grange Hall and return to her parents.

I really, really liked this book! It is written extremely well (I hope it gets a movie deal!) I reccomend it to anyone who likes light science fiction and futuristic stories.


Volterra Reader ♥ (tell me if these hearts are getting on your nerves! I might not listen though!)


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