Friday, 18 April 2014

Gone series by Michael Grant - Read 100 books: numbers 27-32

I haven't updated my, 'read 100 books' challenge, I set myself as part of my day zero challenge recently so I figured it was about time I did, especially as I've got quite a few to add!

Aiden got the Gone series for his birthday last year. He read the first book and when he'd done he said I should read it. The last time he'd said that to me was after he'd finished The Hunger Games which he absolutely loved, as did I so I gave this a go.
I have to say, I wasn't expecting great things but right from the start this book totally grabbed me and sucked me in.

Here's a short synopsis, not written by me because I tend to waffle on and can't really keep it short and without spoilers so this is from Amazon!

Suddenly it’s a world without adults and normal has crashed and burned. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.
In the blink of an eye all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. Cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. They must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen – strong or weak. Cruel or humane. And then there are those who begin to develop powers . . . It’s Lord of the Flies for the Heroes generation.

It's not for the faint of heart as some of it, and the rest of the books in the series, can be quite gruesome. I'm not going to suggest an age range for this series of books because it really does depend on the maturity levels of the individual so what I'd say is to check them out yourself before letting your young adult read them.

Book 2 - Hunger.

When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes. The clock is ticking for Sam Temple and the kids of Perdido Beach but it’s not the big one-five that they face now; it’s starvation that threatens the FAYZ. In an abandoned mineshaft a faceless animal lurks, pulling the strings, toying with human and mutant alike. And he’s hungry – hungry in the darkness.
An uneasy calm has settled over Perdido Beach. But soon, fear explodes into desperation as starvation sets in and the mob look to place blame. For the ‘normals’ the buck must stop somewhere: with the ‘freaks’. More and more kids are developing strange powers and, just as frighteningly, so are the animals in the FAYZ: talking coyotes, swimming bats and deadly worms with razor-sharp teeth are just the beginning.
For Sam Temple the strain of leadership is beginning to show and he’s got more than just dwindling rations and in-fighting to worry about – Caine is back with the psychotic whiphand, Drake, by his side. And in the background lies the greatest danger of all – and he too needs to be fed.

Book 3 - Lies

It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most – Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness . . . or so they thought.
As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.

Book 4 - Plague

The FAYZ goes from bad to worse . . . The Darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe. With a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans, power in the town hangs in the balance. In a small room of a house near the edge of town Little Pete lies ill on a bed. In his fevered dreams he continues his battle with the hidden evil that seeks to use his power to bring about anarchy and destruction.

Book 5 - Plague

Night is falling in the FAYZ. Permanently. The gaiaphage has blotted out the sun and the barrier that surrounds the town of Perdido Beach is turning black. It’s Sam’s worst nightmare. With Astrid still missing and Edilio and Lana struggling to maintain order, Sam and his followers need all the courage they can get. As their world descends into darkness, only real heroes will survive.

Book 5 - Light

All eyes are on Perdido Beach. The barrier wall is now as clear as glass and life in the FAYZ is visible for the entire outside world to see. Life inside the dome remains a constant battle and the Darkness, away from watchful eyes, grows and grows . . . The society that Sam and Astrid have struggled so hard to build is about to be shattered for good. It’s the end of the FAYZ. Who will survive to see the light of day?

The rest of the books in the series all kept me hooked and I have to admit to being quite sad when I reached the end of the final book, especially when I read the note from the author. It felt like I'd lost friends with whom I'd been on a long and exhausting, epic adventure!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

How does your garden grow? April 17th

Not many changes in the garden this week and I still haven't had time to get out there much so it still needs weeding!

Any idea what this is going to be? Have a few of them popping up all round the border :)

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Gallery - A favourite place

It's been a while since I joined in with The Gallery. I decided to make time for this one because it's a place we've been talking about a lot just lately. The girls really want to go back to Hubbard's Hills (Louth, Lincolnshire) soon and keep asking when we'll be able to make time to go.

I've used some of these photos a few times before but I couldn't resist using them again, they're some of my favourites because I had borrowed a DSLR camera from Ant's friend and I just adore the quality of the photos :)

Hubbard's Hills is a really lovely place, no matter what the weather.
We've been in summer with some of the cousins and spent hours in the shallow river

We went in the freezing cold winter (yes it looks lovely weather but believe me, it was freezing!) wearing wellies and warm coats and still managed to get wet but it didn't dampen spirits, it added to the fun!

Hopefully we'll be able to go again soon; I'm looking forward to it just as much as the kids!

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Photo Challenge - Late again!

April 5th - I've been helping Ant get his garage sorted. We have about 300 VHS tapes that Ant was going to put on the computer but we decided it would probably never get done because he's always so busy. We decided to get rid of them and was going to send them to the tip but thought we ought to offer them up free for collection in case anyone wanted them. It seemed such a shame to bin the lot, especially as they contain all complete seasons of Buffy and Angel. I've listed them on a Facebook group, free for local collection and if no one wants them, we'll ask granddad to take them to the tip.
April 6th - Ella and her doll (actually, I think this one may be Kaycee's doll!) and lots of bracelets she found while helping sort the bedroom.

April 7th - An attempt to make a den. The wind was very strong however and kept blowing it down. Excuse all the mess on the patio, it's from the garage and it's taking a while to sort through everything!

April 8th - My first ever Scrabble game! I played with the girls and didn't know until Ant came home and pointed it out, that we'd put a word on backwards and that wasn't allowed! I was working with Ella and Kaycee was on her own until Ant sat and joined her team. It was a really enjoyable game and I hope we get time to play it again soon :)

April 9th - The girls 'helping' to paint the arch!

April 10th - The girls have been pestering to have Aiden's tent out for a while now and I kept saying no because I didn't want them to break it. I gave in and said yes and they broke it! We found this one left in the attic by the previous owner. Ant said it's really old but it's in excellent condition so he put it up for them and they decided to sleep in it that night! None of us thought they'd actually make it the whole night because they were scared once it got dark but they did it and were pleased with themselves the next morning :)

April 11th - For some reason my laptop can't see my iPhone anymore and I spent hours trawling forums and websites trying to find a solution. I stayed up till 2am just trying to get my photos off my phone and onto my laptop. I gave up and used Ant's laptop the next day and I'm leaving the problem to the super wonderful husband to fix. It is his job after all!! 

Monday, 14 April 2014

How does your garden grow? April 14th

I'm not doing very well at keeping up with the blog just lately. Hopefully it won't be for much longer as we're nearing the end of all the big projects we have to do in the house :D

Once the kitchen is done I'll be able to concentrate on the garden and I can't wait. I'm itching to get out there and get the borders weeded and the veg garden sorted. It's quickly filling with weeds and if I don't want it to become a major eyesore I need to start digging and planting.

I don't know where this one tulip came from! It's in one of the pots that we brought from the other house so I must have planted it but I can't remember doing so and if I did, why is there just one?!

From a Google search, I think this is a Japanese quince. I'm really excited to harvest the fruit and have a go making quince jelly or quince poached in honey :)

I was worried my peony had been stressed with the move. I dug it up from the other garden and put it in a pot for a while until I found a place to put it in this garden and I kept checking on it but it didn't seem to be getting any bigger. I've had a it a couple of years and this should be the year I see the first flowers so I was really happy to see how much it had grown in just one week. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the first flowers this summer :)

If anyone knows what these are I'd be very grateful if you could share! I didn't see them last week so they must be very fast growing to be this big already.

We were very excited to see the start of the apple blossom this week. The girls have been trying to make a den using chairs, pieces of wood and finally the tree  (which is why the sheet is draped in the background!) but gave up when the wind kept blowing everything down!

The rhubarb is growing well. It won't be much longer before we're making pie :)

Another single tulip, this time behind a bush in one of the borders!

Lots of new growth on the wisteria. I'm hoping the sun it gets in this garden will help it grow much bigger and stronger.

The girls wanted to help paint. They had a great time but it took me ages to sort it out and get it painted properly once they got bored! I'm sure there was more paint on the floor than on the wood!

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Monday, 7 April 2014

Whisby garden centre

Granddad took us to the garden centre last weekend to buy craft stuff to make Ella's Easter bonnet for the parade at school.

We ended up going to feed the ducks, swans and fish which then led to us going to see the animals they have in the small farm. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed with the farm. It cost £1.50 each (the sign said £1.50 for each adult and child so we thought it was going to cost us £3 because there were 2 adults and 2 children) which was too expensive for what there was in my opinion. It felt like they'd tried to make it a good attraction but had become fed up with it and given up.

Granddad wasn't impressed because none of the birds in the aviary were labelled so apart from the obvious ones, we didn't know what they were.
It looked a bit shabby and run down which was a shame because if it had all been really nice and more effort put into it, it would have been worth £1.50 each and it would be somewhere we'd go again when we wanted something to do at the weekends.

Despite the farm, we still had a lovely afternoon which was finished off with some delicious ice cream :)


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