Wednesday 31 August 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays read-along Discussion#1

Waterfall Wednesdays-A Read-a-Along Event

Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Discussion 1- Chapters 1-6

Today's questions hosted by Tinasbookreviews

Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi, shes depressed, a little angry and is dealing with feelings of loneliness. Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel? Do you see things you like or dislike?

I really like Gabi- I like how fearless and independent she is. When she is transported back in time she doesn't start to panic, she just invents a cover story and gets on with getting by. I also really like her voice in narrating the story- like how she will say things like "mayhaps" in a sentence to the knights, speaking in flowery sentences that match how they speak, but then her thoughts will be modern American, like "awesome" and "totally", and "I was getting seriously good at talking their lingo!"

I think that I would be too afraid to do anything if I were in her situation! If it was me in her place, I think that once I was in Marcello's castle in a safe room with food, I would want to cower away, and wait for everything to change back! I love that Gabi is really spunky and will stand up for herself to the men, even demanding to go with them on a ride.

Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy- The Dark Ages in its prime. Is there anytime in history that fascinates you and would you travel back if you could?

I've always thought I was born in the wrong century- I hate modern gadgets and things! The time period that I'm most interested in is the 19th century. I love how it's a period of transition between old customs and new technology and machinery. I think I am most fascinated by Thomas Hardy's rural England. It's a really simple time and people are still clinging to old beliefs, traditions and superstitions.

Most of the men, including Marcello have a very set opinion about a woman's place. Gabi gets manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if shes a witch. The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls. What do you think of men's mentality back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?

It was just the way it was done back then. I think if the men in the story could have seen in to the future and seen women in the 21st century they would be stunned. We have women in the army, and women doctors and lawyers- it was just inconceivable back then. Marcello so far seems quite accepting of Gabi, and even admiring of her feistiness.

When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her. Many judge her by her difference. Do you think this is fair? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or that others were misjudging you?

She is so completely different to them. She appears wearing jeans and a cami top. Everything about her from her appearance to her manners is so alien. I think there is nothing more intimidating than standing out so completely. I've been to other countries where I felt like I stuck out so badly. It's a scary feeling!

What do think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?

I can't think of anything cool about living in the Dark Ages! If you're rich though you're lucky to have plenty to eat, lots of luxury and fine clothes, but also no chance to do anything that you want to do. You are tied to the responsibilites of whatever station you're born into, with no chance to improve yourself, or change your station. There is also disease, poverty, and no hot showers or flushing toilets!
I would also miss books. Books in the fourteenth century had be copied out by hand by a scribe, and were therefore very rare and very expensive. I read every day, and can't imagine a life without books- without being able to escape into another world and live other lives.

Waiting On Wednesday #9

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week is Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. This is the second book in a dystopian trilogy where love is considered a dangerous disease and all teenagers must receive a cure, so that they can go out and be perfect zombie-like citizens. I absolutely loved book 1- Delirium and cannot wait to read this next one! If you haved read Delirium yet go and read it, it's fantastic!

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with DELIRIUM, the first book in a thrilling dystopian trilogy in which Lena Haloway dared to fall in love with Alex and escape the cure, the government-mandated procedure that renders a person immune to the disease of love. Lena and Alex staked their lives on leaving their oppressive society, but only Lena broke free.

PANDEMONIUM continues Lena’s gripping story. After escaping from Portland, Maine, Lena makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance. A future without Alex is unimaginable, but Lena pushes forward and fights, both for him and for a world in which love is no longer considered a disease. Swept up in a volatile mix of revolutionaries and counterinsurgents, Lena struggles to survive—and wonders if she may be falling in love again.
Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of THE HUNGER GAMES and the bittersweet love story of ROMEO AND JULIET.

This is released March 2012. I think this cover is gorgeous, I just love these colours.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens (Audio CD)Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From Goodreads:
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness.

I love LOVE this book! This is a very tongue-in-cheek novel- definitely not to be taken too seriously- about a group of teenage beauty queens stranded on a desert island. I was actually snickering out loud most of the time while reading this novel, at it's ridiculousness- but also admiring it's bold commentary on so many issues, like the shallowness of most of society in it's attitude towards beauty.

Try to imagine the novel that would be produced when a brilliant author falls asleep whilst channel hopping between the Sandra Bullock film Miss Congeniality and the first season of Lost, and then writes down the bizarre dream that results. This is Beauty Queens.

The girls are stranded on an island following a plane crash, with no help, and a rummage through the wreckage of the plane reveals only several sets of hair curlers, leg wax, teeth bleaching kits, and a suitcase full of ballgowns. With no food to be found all one girl can think is "awesome- I'm going to be so skinny!". Assuming that rescue must be imminent, they at first opt to work on their tans, and practice their talent for the pageant, instead of trying to find food and shelter, and a way to get rescued. They do eventually pull themselves together, and with the help of practical no-nonsense Taylor and smart wannabe journalist Edina they get organised, find food, build huts and a system for collecting water, and get along quite well.

It is the humour and the range of wonderful characters that really makes this book what it is. Pink and sparkly Tiara is the silliest, dumbest and potentially most unlikeable of all the characters, but she gets the best one-liners! Like saying that she thinks her toy dinosaur touched her "down there" when she is high on hallucinogenic berries, or demanding that girls should stay pure- before admitting that her talent was "Christian pole-dancing", or it used to be, before she gave it up when she was 12. I have so many favourite moments from this book, that it's difficult to pick the best one. Like the time when the pirate gets stung by a jellyfish and none of his friends will help him by peeing on him, so the mid-sex-change beauty contestant whips it out and does the business to a stunned audience of pirates. I think of this book and I think of Taylor setting her traps and pacing the island with her AK47 slung over her shoulder.

This novel is completely off the wall crazy sometimes but so so funny! Someone should definitely make this into a TV series. I have read some funny books but this one had me laughing so much- not just the occasional smirk or snicker but all-out guffawing. There are so many different stories from all the myriad different characters and so many different threads of the story all inter-weaving together perfectly, skillfully managing to mock corporate america, reality TV, bible-bashing fanatisism, homophobia, and a plethora of other issues.

Despite showing us the complete ridiculousness of the shallowness of the beauty pageant world you still end up loving all these girls and rooting for them through snake attacks, quicksand, giant waves and reality-tv "rockstar-pirate" induced heartbreak. The final showdown against "The Corporation" (inside the volcano- of course, where else would the secret hideout of an evil corporation be!!) shows that you should never underestimate a group of pretty girls! And who knew that by mixing leg wax and teeth whitener you could produce a powerful explosive?

This is an absolute genius of a book! I would give it 6 stars if I could! I finished this a couple of weeks ago and I still chuckle when I think about it. I loved these girls and their stories and unique personalities, and this is the kind of book that I would re-read over and over again. I have so many favourite bits, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone with a quirky sense of humour.

Monday 29 August 2011

Review: She Smells The Dead by E.J Stevens

This is a review of the first 3 books in the Spirit Guide series so far

Book 3- Legend Of Witchtrot Road

Book 1- She Smells The Dead
Book 2- Spirit Storm

Overall rating- 4 of 5 stars

Book 1- She Smells The Dead
These books are brilliant- such a wonderful mix of mystery and magic with really quirky and lovable characters. Think back to poor little Haley Joel Osment plagued by spirits of unnatural deaths that only he can see- clutching at his covers and whispering "I see dead people". Creepy right? Similarly, Yuki is a teenage girl haunted by spirits who need her assistance to solve or avenge their deaths. But this is a haunting with a difference. Instead of seeing and hearing the ghosts asking for her help, Yuki can only smell their unique lingering smell impressions. Waking up to the strong smell of vinegar one morning leads Yuki into investigating the strange death of a vinegar empire boss, and the possibility that he has been murdered by his family. Yuki is very accepting of her strange power, however, and takes it all in her stride, determined to help the spirits to move on.

But running parrallel to this unique mystery story is also the burgeoning romance between Yuki and her long-time best friend Calvin- who is starting to develop some new powers of his own. Calvin is developing into the werewolf leader of his pack, and needs Yuki's help to make him stronger. There is a lot of talk throughout all three books of spirits, and Calvin and Yuki's are joined. Calvin is a bit of a hippy and very protective of Yuki, and the relationship that develops between them is really sweet.  They make a great pair because they really support each other.

I especially loved the character of Yuki who is quirky and stubborn (in a good way), and who is clearly her own person no matter what. She has a fun sense of humour, and her own unique sense of fashion. Ignoring all their jibes that she is a witch, Yuki herself is scornful of the popular crowd at school, and especially the cheerleaders, who she nicknames "the bimbettes". Yuki has wonderful friends who are good and loyal to her. They know all about her strange her powers and always try to help her. Each of Yuki's friends has their own individual personality, but together they all work so well as a group. I love Yuki's other friend research-obsessed Emma who is really funny. With her obsession with eating vegan, and helping all animals, Emma is outraged by the murder victim's wife for for keeping bees in what she calls "Bee Oppression"! The other great addition is Simon- who is assigned to help Calvin tune into his werewolf powers, and flirts with Yuki and Emma any chance he gets. He acts very confident but he has a very sensitive side underneath all his posturing.

Funny, quirky, supernatural and romantic, this is a unique read that will get you loving these characters and their situations. A mystery story, a romance, a completely different supernatural twist, all rolled into one book. The cover for this is perfect and actually exactly how I imagined that Yuki would look. I defy you not to get swept up in this fun story, which is like a refreshing breath of fresh air in this genre.

Book 2- Spirit Storm is an exciting mixture of the threat of a werewolf murderer on the loose (which the gang need to track down before he can harm anyone else), and the approaching danger of Samhain- where the veil between the spirit world is at it's thinnest and therefore Yuki is most in danger of being completely overwhelmed. Her endurance is tested at the funeral of the murdered werewolf boy, where just being in a graveyard Yuki is bombarded with smell impressions, images, and the resulting migraine nearly drives her over the edge. Aware that Samhain will be ten times worse and Yuki would be lucky to survive with her mind intact the gang need to find some way to protect her mind from the approaching spirit storm. This protection takes the form of an old necklace guarded by witches, but as the friends devise a plan to steal it, Calvin is injured and all of Yuki's attention and energy focus back to him. There is a constant sense of the clock ticking down and the tension building throughout the book.

Book 3- The Legend Of Witchtrot Road follows Yuki and friends investigating the death of a football player, killed whilst driving down the supposedly haunted Witchtrot Road. His smell impression keeps leading them back to the school, but Yuki herself is in grave danger when the rest of the football team accuse Yuki of being a witch and of casting a fatal curse on the team. Yuki, Calvin, Simon and Emma need to find out exactly what is happening in the town (and preferably before the full moon). I love the sense of family and loyalty between these four friends, and how they always work together to help each other out. As vegan vet-in-training Emma and smarmy werewolf boy Simon are thrown together more and more often in various situations, there is a hint that their constant bickering is the beginning of the unlikely couple starting a budding relationship themselves.

Overall, I just love these characters and the style that the book is written in, with the constant interjection of Yuki's thoughts. This is such a fun story to read because Yuki has such a unique voice. These books are definitely addictive and always sweep me up, leaving me craving more!

Thankyou to the author E. J Stevens for sending me a review copy of these books to read.


Book 4- Brush With Death expected publication 2012

Sunday 28 August 2011

In My Mailbox 28th August 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where we can talk about all the books that we received this past week, whether bought, borrowed or given for review.
I got some really good books this week-

From the Library:

  • Shadows On The Moon by Zoe Marriott. I have loved the previous books by this author, so I really want to read it. I entered every contest going to try to win a copy of this but no such luck! This is about a girl who can assume different faces to disguise herself and uses this power to try to avenge her murdered family.


  • Supernaturally by Kiersten White. This is the sequel to Paranormalcy which was so much fun to read that I couldn't wait for this next one to be published in the UK. I'm reading this one next, Evie and Lend= awww!

  • Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. This is a fairly new book that I thought sounded really interesting. The tag line is "The greatest love story ever told is a lie" and the blurb on the back says that it tells how Juliet's story has always been mis-told and that Juliet was actually murdered by Romeo so that he could attain immortality. Sounds pretty intriguing!


  • Passing Strange by Daniel Waters. This is book 3 in the Generation Strange series. I bought books 2 and 3 last week, and they sound so good, I thought I might as well get this one as well. I haven't read many zombie books yet but I'm always drawn to them!
Swapped through UK website Read It Swap It

For Review:

  • Life Eternal by Yvonne Woon. This is the next book in the Dead Beautiful series. I think I have forgotten completely how the first book ended so I'll need to check up book 1 before I start this one.
This is published in February. Thanks to Hyperion and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book.

  • Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. When I finished reading Trial by Fire by this author there was a paragraph in the back to say that she was working on her next book- this one. I thought it sounded fantastic, and I was eagerly awaiting it coming out. It sounds really original, about a high school girl who is human, but every other day turns into a powerful demon hunter with killer instincts.
This is published in December. Thanks to Egmont and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book.

  • POD by Stephen Wallenfels. This looks like a post-alien-invasion sci-fi gem. I like the sound of this book because it looks like a survival story with heart and not just an action thriller. I'll let you know when I read it!
I was sent this thanks to the hard work of Emma and Carly at UK Book Tours.
Thanks guys!

Those were all the books that I got to read this week. I'm really excited to read all of them. What did you get in your mailbox?
Happy reading!

Thursday 25 August 2011

The Time Will Come #28

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company, where we can spotlight those books that we've had sitting on our shelves for too long. Books that we really want to read but never seem to get around to.

Rockoholic by C.J Skuse was the result of my very first swap at UK book swapping website Read It Swap It a few months ago and I was so pleased with it when it came. This looks like a really fun and hilarious book, and I need the odd injection of "real-life" drama to give my brain a rest from all the supernatural/ paranoramal (vampires, werewolves, angels, faeries and goblins) that I normally subject it to (but I love it!) Books that I own generally take a lower reading priority to the masses of library books or review books that I also get to read, but I do really want to read this, and it will be saved for a time when I need a funny, cute read to cheer me up.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Jody loves Jackson Gatlin. At his only UK rock concert, she's right at the front. But when she's caught in the crush and carried back stage she has more than concussion to contend with. Throw in a menacing manager, a super-wired super-star, and a curly-wurly, and she finds herself taking home more than just a poster. It's the accidental kidnapping of the decade. But what happens if you've a rock-god in your garage who doesn't want to leave? Jody's stuck between a rock-idol and a hard place!

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Waterfall Read-along event- count me in!

I have only just heard about the awesome event hosted by Tina at Tina's Book Reviews, Missie at The Unread Reader, Joy &Serena at Edgy Inspirational Romance, Nic at Irresistible Reads and Jenny from Supernatural Snark.
It's a read-along of Lisa T. Bergren's YA novel Waterfall. From the 31st August and every wednesday for the month of September we can read a few chapters of the book and then talk about the book and the characters. Also, every week somebody taking part will win a box set of the 3 books in the series. That's five winners.
The discussion schedule-
August 31- Chapters 1-6 Hosted by Tina at Tinasbookreviews

Sept 7- Chapters 7-11 Hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader

Sept 14- Chapters 12-17 Hosted by Joy&Serena at Edgy Inspirational Romance

Sept 21- Chapters 18-23 Hosted by Jenny at Supernatural Snark

Sept 28- Chapters 24-28 and Wrap Up Hosted by Nic at Irresistible Reads

I got a copy of Waterfall a couple of weeks ago and am really looking to reading it. This is just the push that I need to get started on what looks like a fantastic time-travelling series.

If you want to join in it's not too late- follow the link to Tina's blog, sign up with the linky, find yourself a copy of the book and read chapters 1-6 by the 31st of August.

Waiting On Wednesday #8

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on The Calling by Kelley Armstrong. This is book 2 in the Darkness Rising trilogy and the sequel to The Gathering. I just love Kelley Armstrong's writing, and her characters, and the way that whilst you are reading one of her books you just feel like like you are right there with them. There is always action, always drama, and always the all-important romance, that is guaranteed to make you fall in love or break your heart! Book 1 ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger, and I want to know what happens next!

Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is—a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

This is published April 2012

Sunday 21 August 2011

Impromtu read-a-thon results!

On Friday I posted that I was joining in with a weekend read-a-thon hosted by Amber at Down The Rabbit Hole. I didn't get as much reading done as I had hoped (I'm too easily distracted darn it!) but I did manage to finish a couple of books and think I have at least read as much as I had challenged myself to read.
I finished reading The Iron Knight. (Great series)
I read all of A Monster Calls (fantastic, beautiful, powerful book- review coming soon!)
And I'm up to page 110 of Starcrossed (which is a 500 page book)

Back to work tomorrow (boo!)

                                                                                110/513 pages

aaaThanks Amber for hosting this!

In My Mailbox 21st August 2011

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

These are all the books I bought this past fortnight (I didn't do an IMM last week as I only had 2 books to show). Quite a mixture here- but some pretty good books, and all cheap, hence me breaking my book-buying ban yet again!

  • Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This is the kind of book that I never would have picked up myself or even looked twice at, but it was receiving such high praise from everyone who read it that it made me really want this book! Now it has finally come out in paperback and a copy is mine!
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, another one that I never would have chosen for myself but kept being recommended to me by other bloggers. This was in the Amazon kindle sale and I'm really looking forward to reading it.
  • Looking For Alaska by John Green. I'm not totally sure what this is about but I do recognise the cover from seeing it about the blogs. It caught my eye in the Works bookshop and when books are that cheap I can't resist!
  • Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren (Book 1 in the River Of Time series) This is one series that I have really wanted to read for a while, I love time-travel stories and this one sounds really romantic as well. The fact that it is currently free for kindle sealed the deal for me!
  • Dead Kiss by Daniel Waters. This is a bind up of the high-school zombie books Generation Dead and Kiss Of Life which looks really good, and was practically nothing in my local supermarket.
Those were all the books I got. What did you get?
Happy reading!

Saturday 20 August 2011

Review: Girl Parts by John Cusick

Girl PartsGirl Parts by John M. Cusick

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
What happens when a robot designed to be a boy’s ideal “companion” develops a will of her own? 

David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody. When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot designed to encourage healthy bonds and treat his “dissociative disorder,” he can’t get enough of luscious redheaded Rose — and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Parted from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up, knowing Rose isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal “companion” is about to become her own best friend. In a stunning and hilarious debut, John Cusick takes rollicking aim at internet culture and our craving for meaningful connection in an uberconnected world.

I loved the premise of this book when I first read it. It actually seems like it could be a very real possibilty in the not too distant distant future, in a world where some people can have hundreds of facebook friends and be very outspoken on online forums, but be very isolated and withdrawn in real life. More and more people seem to struggle with the basics of face-to-face conversation, and have no clue how to talk to people, what to say, and it's not uncommon to meet someone new who can't even make eye contact with you.

I think I liked the idea of this story, better than the execution of it. There are a lot of points in the book that are just skipped over, and we never really get to genuinely know any the characters. David didn't seem to be very disassociated to me, he is just a jerk- and likewise there is nothing wrong with Charlie either, he is very sweet and very capable of conversation and asking a girl on a date, it's just that he is very shy, and lacks confidence. I also thought it was quite disturbing that a lot of the other boys with companion dolls were taking them to backstreet mechanics to get the electric shocker removed, and nobody seemed to think that this was wrong or did anything about it. The only character that I did like was Rose, the "companion doll", who started to develop a real personality and sense of humour all on her own, while not really helping the boys to mature at all. She has to adapt to everything that is unfamiliar to her and in struggling to cope she also starts to form her own opinions and make her own choices.

Overall the whole book felt kind of rushed and the ending was extremely unsatisfying. A lot was still unexplained. I felt that this book was trying to convey a parody on modern society, and deliver a moral message but that it kind of missed the mark.

Here is the Youtube promo video from Candlewick Press:

Friday 19 August 2011

Impromtu read-a-thon, count me in!

Amber over at Down The Rabbit Hole is hosting an impromptu read-a-thon over the weekend, and, as I'm not working this weekend, I have decided to join in and try to tackle some of the mammoth reading pile that I have lined up to read. I'm hoping it will be sunny this weekend, and that I can soak up the rays with a book and a cup of tea- bliss!
I'll post regular status updates on my Goodreads profile and hopefully finish a couple of books!

During the readathon I hope to:

Finish reading The Iron Knight. I'm reading this on my kindle and am currently at 40% through.

Read all of A Monster Calls. I love the sound of this. It doesn't look very long, so I'm hoping that I can set a couple of hours aside tomorrow and read it in one sitting.

Start reading Starcrossed and get a respectable way through it before I start back at work again on Monday.

Those are the books I've challenged myself to try and get through, I think that this is fairly realistic and achieveable. If you want to join in, hop on over to Amber's blog and check it out (she is generously doing a giveaway as well).

Down the Rabbit Hole

Thursday 18 August 2011

The Time Will Come #27

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company where we can spotlight those books that we've had sitting on our shelves for too long. Books that we really want to read and never seem to get around to.
I have had The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff on my shelves since it first came out- and I was dying to read it at the time. I still really want to read it but my need-to-read-right-now list is crazy at the moment and this one will stay on the shelves unread for a while yet. It looks good though, it's about a faery changeling child and has got great reviews.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black, murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattoed princess. He is a replacement - left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago when it was stolen away by the fey. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world. Mackie would give anything just to be normal, to live quietly amongst humans, practice his bass guitar and spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem, where he must face down the dark creatures and find his rightful place - in our world, or theirs.

This is the UK cover.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #7

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, where we can drool over all those books that we are dying to read that aren't out yet.
I am waiting on The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting (Book 3 in the Body Finder series) because I have absolutely loved all the books so far. I love these characters, Violet's unique powers, and the way that the mystery is set up and that the story is never what you expect. It's also great that each book is a self-contained story (no cliff-hangers!), and so I'm waiting and dying to get my hands on this next book not because I want to know what happens next, but because the writing is so fantastic, and Violet and Jay are so great to read about.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye....

This is published by HarperCollins April 2012.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

ForbiddenForbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But ...They are brother and sister.

Wow- just wow! This really is as harrowing as it sounds but also just so perfectly written it's completely un-putdownable! Maya and Lochan's efforts to raise their younger siblings paints such a perfect picture of a stressful, busy family life, of the hardship and monotony of the everyday battles, but also a positive picture of a family who love each other through everything and just strive to be together. Both Maya and Lochan's attitude toward their family is so touching. They really do care, and strive to get the younger children to eat healthily and to get their homework done- to try to do better than just manage.

Lochan is painfully shy at school, and both he and Maya have the shared experience of working hard, and having to cope beyond what should be expected of them for their age, trying to raise their younger brothers and sister and maintain a facade of normalcy so that Social Services don't find out. They have always worked together, always shared everything and supported each other, always been best friends, and always been the only one the other can confide in- the only one who understands. By telling the story in Maya and Lochan's own voices, you can really get inside their heads, and get an understanding of their thoughts, feelings and fears. The tension builds up and up throughout the book.

This is horrifying and brilliant, and brilliant for being so shocking. In the hands of a bad author, this could've turned out so badly wrong, but it actually turned out moving, shocking, powerful and beautiful. I loved Maya and Lochan and their story. This is one book that is definitely going to stay with me for a long time. No review can do this book justice- just read it!

View all my reviews

Monday 15 August 2011

Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

ForgottenForgotten by Cat Patrick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

The whole idea behind this story sets it aside from other YA novels. This is so fun, really unique, and I've never heard of anything like like before. The main character London is just lovely, and a perfect combination of sweet and naive, and smart and tough. Because of her unusual situation, she has to be very adaptable and by not telling anyone else except her mother about her memory problem she makes herself very isolated and vulnerable. She really determinedly throws herself out into the world each day and has to cope with not remembering previous conversations with people, or making excuses for forgetting a piece of homework. The way that she just makes herself get through the day shows how strong she is.

As for the memory thing- I'm normally the type of person who will be trying to logically trying to pick holes in this kind of idea, and although I tried, there isn't any fault with the logic, and the way her memory works- it's bizarre but it just seems to work. She has memories from the future but none from the past. She copes by reading and writing notes to keep track of what is happening in her life, and she remembers the people who are important to her (her Mom and her best friend), because she knows them from the future. When she meets Luke, she has to remind herself every day who he is- through her notes and photos, and hope that he doesn't mind that she can never hold onto the little details about him.

Luke is so great, just wonderfully cute and weird (except for this creepy obsession he has with painting pictures of people ears?!) and London has found a way to be herself and still keep her secret. It's funny that as she has to keep reminding herself through her notes what is happening in her life at the moment and her memory is wiped at the start of every day she sometimes ends up having the same thoughts over and over. The first time she sees Luke in the flesh takes her breath away every day. I love the way that the story doesn't just seem to slide after Luke and London have been dating for a while. About halfway through the book other mysteries are set in motion, there are several ideas/ future memories that London is trying to work out, and the story keeps on building on itself right up until the end. All these added mysteries, revelations and surprises are what really makes this book stand out for me. Just when you think you can predict what will happen and how it will all end, then bam, something else is thrown in, and nothing is ever what you would expect.

This is very clever, very sweet, and kept me absolutely gripped all through the way through.

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Saturday 13 August 2011

Review: Numbers by Rachel Ward

Numbers (Numbers, #1)Numbers by Rachel Ward

My rating:  3.5 of 5 stars

For as long as she can remember Jem sees the numbers when she looks into someone's eyes. They show the date that person will die. She avoids making eye contact with anyone, and getting close to people. She is labelled a "problem child" and passed from foster home to foster home. This is a very dark and gritty novel from the start as Jem's mother died of a drug overdose and Jem has obviously had a very hard life. When Jem meets Spider she is at first her usual rude and distant self, but Spider's jokes and persistence wear her down, and Jem agrees to skip school and enjoy a day out in London. As they walk past the London Eye Jem notices that everyone has the same number- it's that day, and as she and Spider flee the scene of a what turns into a tragedy, they themselves become suspects.

This is also a spotlight on poverty and life on the wrong side of the tracks. Jem and Spider are flawed by the process of a social care system, school system and prison system that don't really care about them. Their teacher Mr McNulty shows a complete contempt for his class and has clearly already written them off, completely taking away any sense of self-worth from his pupils, and Spider's wonderful but quirky Nan loves Spider and is proud of him but gives him absolutely no support or direction. Ward's dark and gritty descriptions of the teenagers of the slums of London's suburbs, are uneducated, angry and bitter at the world. When their faces appear as suspects on the news Spider is adamant that no-one will see the truth- only a black guy from a bad background already in trouble with the law, and that their only choice is to hide.

This was a fantastically unique and original story set in the UK. At first I had a little trouble identifying with the main characters Jem and Spider, who are the skipping school, vandalising, car stealing types, but from about half-way through the book you can't help but love them and root for them. Spider especially is very funny and you know that he would do anything for Jem. And Jem herself is so strong in some ways but completely vulnerable in other ways. It took me until the second half of the book to feel any connection to these characters, but their connection to each other and their emotional journey is very touching. Knowing the date that Spider will die is a curse on Jem. As they rapidly come to rely on each other on the run from the law Jem wonders if the future is set, or if by knowing about it she can change their future.

The ending itself is just perfect- powerful and emotional, leaving you with that just punched in the gut feeling! I really need to get my hands on book 2 now!

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Thursday 11 August 2011

The Time Will Come #26

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company where we can spotlight those books that we've had sitting on our shelves for too long. Books that we really want to read and never seem to get around to.

This week, I'm waiting to find time to read Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. I got this through a swap a few months ago and was really pleased with it. It sounds so good, and I keep seeing my Goodreads friends reading it and then rating it 5 stars. One day!

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Review: Die For Me by Amy Plum

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)Die for Me by Amy Plum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5/ 5 stars

This was such a good book with a totally unique and intriguing supernatural twist, plenty of action and characters that I just loved.

The story is set around Kate who moves to Paris with her older sister to live with her grandparents after the death of their parents in a car accident. Still devastated after her parent's deaths, nervous about the prospect of starting a new school and depressed about moving her life to Paris, Kate gradually cuts off contact with her friends from back home and starts closing herself off, preferring to be by herself and just read. Whilst sat reading in a coffee shop one day, she notices a group of guys acting strangely, and this is where the story takes off.

I didn't read a lot of reviews before reading this book, I just knew that it had a lot of positive feedback, and just dived into the story, and I think that this was the best way to read it- to discover Vincent's secret as Kate does. So I'm saying nothing- only that the folklore and supernatural elements of this are completely fascinating and original and beautifully interwoven into a modern day Paris setting. The story moves at just the right pace as well, letting everything soak in before moving on to the next thing.

Kate is a great protagonist to read about as she is smart and sensible and very grounded. Vincent's friends, especially Jules and Ambrose are also great and really had me laughing at times. When Kate is introduced to Vincent's whole family there is a sense of a real connection between them all that is very endearing, and Kate effortlessly fits into their world. Kate's family are very close, with her grandparents fussing over her, and her sister Georgia, who is completely different from Kate in many ways, enjoying partying rather than reading and visiting museums, but who is also very protective of Kate and is there for her when she needs a big sister. Then there is Vincent who is the typical perfect boyfriend type, dreamy looking and sickeningly romantic. However, the romance between them moved at a nice speed and never felt like the instant-connection-destiny type, and never felt forced or too fast. They both question whether they should be together at varying parts of the story, and it's a constant struggle between them. Their relationship is very sweet.

I was completely hooked on this book and drawn into this world, loving the story, the action, the bad-guys, the romance, the beautiful writing, and the whole package. I recommend this if you're looking for an intelligent and independent heroine, a tender love story and paranormal read with lots of heart. This also reads fine as a standalone book (no cliffhangers, yay!) with a great ending.

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Monday 8 August 2011

In My Mailbox 7th August 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, where book bloggers can talk about the books they've gotten the past week- whether bought, borrowed, swapped or given for review. This feature was started to increase interaction between bloggers and improve our awareness of all the new books coming out.
I got some more great books to read this week-


  • Wither by Lauren DeStephano. I have been dying to read this book since in first came out in hardback earlier this year and it seemed like everyone was reading it and raving about it. It was a little bit pricey though, and now it has finally come out in paperback I can't wait to read it.
  • Bumped by Megan McCafferty. This is another futuristic dystopian novel that sounds really exciting, finally came out in paperback, and I'm really looking forward to reading it.
From the Library:

  • Exile by Rebecca Lim. This is book 2 in the Mercy series. I read Mercy recently and really liked it but I was hoping for more character development. I hope it will be here in the sequel.
  • Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. I've heard so many positive things about this series that I need to read it! But I really don't like the cover for it here (I think it looks a bit too kiddie), and I prefer the American covers for the series. But what I do think is kind of cool is that if you look closely at the shadows that the girls cast they all have wings or horns.
For Review:

  • I saw this on Netgalley and thought it sounded really interesting, and I was in the mood for something other than YA. I've read it already, and although it was completely different from what I was expecting, I loved it and rated it 4 stars. This isn't being published until December 2011, and still needs a little bit of polishing but I can recommend it.
Thanks to Random House Publishing for letting me read this book.

So those were the books that were added to my reading pile (mountain!) this week. What did you get in your mailbox?
Happy reading!


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