Thursday 31 May 2012

Best of the Bunch- May 2012

Best of the Bunch is a meme hosted here on the last day of each month, where we can look back over the books we have read and give a Best of the Bunch award to our favourite book of that month.
For more info and to grab the button and stickers visit the BOTB page here and then add your linky to the list below.

May 2012
This month I have reviewed on the blog:

  • Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley My Review- 3 of 5 stars
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver My Review- 4 of 5 stars
  • Starters by Lissa Price My Review- 4 of 5 stars
  • The Calling by Kelley Armstrong My Review- 5 of 5 stars
  • The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross My Review- 5 of 5 stars
  • If I Die by Rachel Vincent My Review- 4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry My Review- 4.5 of 5 stars
and the award for Best of the Bunch May 2012 goes to...


... The Girl In The Steel Corset by Kady Cross!

I loved this book, the first one in what promises to be a fantastic new series.
This has action, romance, and kick-ass lead girls!
I loved the wonderfully quirky characters, and the whole steampunk/ mechanical Victorian world they live in. It is like a steampunk X-Men, very cool and so much fun to read. 

Highly recommended!

(I have also read book 2 The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, which is also awesome- review to come)

So, which book was your Best of the Bunch this month? 
Who gets your bananas? Let me know, and leave your link below.

Sunday 27 May 2012

In My Mailbox 27th May 2012

IMM is hosted by The Story Siren

Here are all the great books I got this week-

From the Library:

  • Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen. This is the third time I have checked this hilarious looking book out of the library. I am definitely going to read it this time, as part of the Married With Zombies readalong event. 

  • Everlasting by Elizabeth Chandler. This is a new release, and part of the Kissed by an Angel series, which is so beautiful and I love it. In the UK the first 3 books in the series were published as one book- so this is either book 3, or book 5 in the series, depending on how you look at it! 

Kindle Freebies:

  • Entangled by Nikki Jefford. I was offered this book for review a few months ago, but turned it down, not because I wasn't interested but because I have so many books to read right now, and I knew I wouldn't be able to give it any priority. I feel guilty accepting books that I know I won't read for ages. But this is free for kindle at the moment, so I have it but no pressure. This is a twin story with powers. 


  • Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick. This is a contemporary that looks harsh and traumatic, but I'm encouraged by the fact that it has so many 5 star reviews. Plus I absolutely loved this author's other book Ashes

  • The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda. Vampires, baby! Yeah, I'm looking forward to this one as well. :D

For Review:

  • Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. This is another contemporary- a romance. I'm not too sure what it's about, but I've heard enough praise of it to make me intrigued. 
Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the review copy. 

That was all my books this week, looking good!
What books did you get? Leave me a link
Happy reading!

I have been so crazy busy this week that I haven't had a chance to write a single book review, but hopefully I can catch up during the Bank Holiday next week. 
Don't forget Thursday is the last day of the month so it's time for another Best of the Bunch wrap-up. Stop by and check out everyone's favourite read of May, or join in and add your post to the linky! 

Friday 25 May 2012

Married With Zombies readalong- count me in!

I have found a very fun looking readalong to take part in, every Friday for the next few weeks.
Together we are reading Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen, reading a few chapters a week, and there will be a scavenger hunt- with photos and everything! This sounds like it could be so much fun!

This event is hosted by In The Closet with a Bibliophile, The Bookish Brunette, Between The Pages, Tina's Book Reviews, and The Unread Reader.
It starts next week Friday 1st June with the first set of questions about chapters 1-5 over at In The Closet With A Bibliophile.

Married With Zombies is a book I have wanted to read for over a year now. I keep checking it out of the library, and then having to return it again unread because I don't have time to read it. I like readalongs like this because I only have to read a couple of chapters each week, which is definitely manageable, and it's so much fun answering the questions each week, checking out other blogs, and networking with other bloggers.
It's not too late to sign up if you're interested in taking part- just visit one of the hosting blogs and add your details to the list.

Thursday 24 May 2012

From The Review Pile #2

From The Review Pile is a weekly meme hosted by Stepping Out Of The Page, where bloggers and reviewers can showcase all those books received for review that we really want to read, but haven't managed to get around to reading yet.

This is one that I received from the author back around September/ October time. I do really want to read it, because it sounds so good, it's getting great reviews, and I love witchy books. I did tell the author at the time she contacted me that I wouldn't be able to read it until after Christmas, because I was so busy. Well, it's now a long time after Christmas, and I feel guilty but I still haven't had a chance to read it yet. I haven't forgotten about it though, and I do still mean to read it at some point. 

Something Witchy This Way Comes by Veronica Blade
Brainiac Tessa McClean’s newly discovered magical powers give her hope of an escape from her inadequate life. But the thrill of being a witch fades when she learns of a rival coven and begins to suspect her own coven’s objective. Evidence tells Tessa to trust one side, but instinct drives her toward the other. 
When Hayden Anders, the most delinquent kid in school — and the toughest — offers self-defense lessons in exchange for tutoring, the timing couldn’t be better. Though the idea of hanging out with a bad-boy that tempting is unnerving, staying alive amidst warring witches takes priority. She vows to hold onto her values and not surrender to the bad-boy she begins to secretly want. 
Together, Tessa and Hayden uncover the truth about the two factions — a truth that explains why the covens will stop at nothing to lure her to their side. Tessa has only a matter of weeks to form an alliance with one coven or the other, but the wrong decision could cost Tessa the lives of all those she loves — including Hayden.

Sunday 20 May 2012

In My Mailbox 20th May 2012

IMM is hosted by The Story Siren.
Slower week again this week  *sigh of relief* It gives me a chance to try and catch up!


  • City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. Goodreads. Finally! This is book 5 in the Mortal Instruments series. I just love everything by this author. I got this on Wednesday, and even I'm shocked that I still haven't started reading it yet. 

From the library:

  • Soul Beach by Kate Harrison. Goodreads. This is about a girl who starts to receive emails from her murdered sister, followed by an invitation to Soul Beach, where she can see her sister again. This looks like a creepy mystery book. 

That was it for me this week. What books did you get this week? Link me up!
Happy reading!

Saturday 19 May 2012

Review: Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Source: Borrowed from library

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Nearly fourteen years ago, a freak virus swept across the world turning the living into the undead. Benny Imura was only a toddler, but his last memory of his parents is tainted by the image of them becoming zombies, and he blames his older brother, Tom, for not saving them.

Now Benny is fifteen, and Tom wants them to put their difficult relationship behind them and work together in the “family business”: as zombie killers. It’s the last thing Benny wants to do, but he needs a job and he thinks it’ll be an easy ride.

But when they head into the Rot and Ruin, an area full of wandering zombies, Benny soon realises that there’s more to the job than just whacking zombies. And, as he’s confronted with the truth about the world around him Benny makes the most terrifying discovery of all, that the worst monsters you can imagine might actually be human ...

It took me about 50 pages for me to get into this book, but after the slow start I thought it was AMAZING! Full of drama, twists and turns, new revelations, constant action, and fantastic characters. It is a zombie apocalyse book that is both traumatic and hope filled- an emotional rollercoaster.

It really is a story where the world has broken down. There is no law and order, and the tough guys with the weapons can get away with whatever they like. Many times, these characters were scarier than the zombies. This is a dangerous story set in a world that is harsh and terrifying. The zombie plague years earlier came very suddenly, and all the survivors now lives in isolated fenced off communities. The world outside the fence has grown wild, and only a few people will brave stepping out.

The characters felt real, and I really connected with them. Although Benny could be a bit of a brat at times, his brother Tom is the kind of person who wants a better world, and strives to be the kind of person he would like everyone to be. He helps the vulnerable people of the village and only takes jobs that he believes are moral.

Tom recognises that the zombies used to be people, and always treats them with respect. He wants the families of the zombies he deals with to know that they are now at peace. Benny doesn't really understand Tom. He thinks Tom is a bit of a coward and wishes he was more like the tough-guys of the village, who brag about their kills and their adventures in the Wilds. But as the pair begin to work together, Benny really starts to appreciate what Tom does and what he has been through.

Another genius stroke was adding into the mix the mystery of the "Lost Girl" on Benny and Nix's zombie collector cards. As the story of who she is and whether she might still be alive out there, and the whole traumatic history and background story of the zombies gradually unfolds, it better hits home what all of the characters have had to go through over the years, just to survive.

The story really becomes a quest to find out the truth, and to save the people they care about from the people who would try to take control for their own gain. There are some truly nasty characters in the book, and Benny, Tom and Nix race to find the Lost Girl before they do.

I thought this book was powerfully moving for being so harsh and heartbreaking. I loved the main characters, and after the slow start the story was fast and exciting, and I loved the world-building and the whole back-story. It made the places really come alive in my imagination. Such a great book- harsh, thrilling and scary, a story of personal discovery and growth, with a smidgen of romance. I gotta get the next one now!

Friday 18 May 2012

Review: If I Die by Rachel Vincent

If I Die by Rachel Vincent

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Source: Bought

Synopsis from Goodreads:
No one wants to be this teacher's pet…

The entire school’s talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr Beck. That is, everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee’s no ordinary high-school junior. She’s a banshee — she screams when someone dies. 

But the next scream might be for Kaylee. 

Yeah — it’s a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee’s going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine — her boyfriend’s needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr Beck…before he discovers they aren’t quite human, either. 

But Kaylee’s borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life. Anything.

Book 5 in the Soul Screamers series

I know I say this after each book in this series, but I'm going to say it again- THIS IS THE BEST ONE YET!!

I'm loving this series. Each book leaves me desperate for the next one, and wanting to re-read my favourite bits of the previous books all over again in the meantime. I couldn't put this book down!

I love these characters. I love how the writing always tugs at my heart-strings. I'm a big one for trauma and heartbreak in a story, and I love it when a book makes me feel the character's emotions so strongly that I spend an afternoon reading and bawling my eyes out! These books make me laugh and cry, and afraid, and there is always so much going on. I just loved the whole package!

In this book the dynamics of the group are so dramatically changed by the end- Kaylee, Nash, Tod and Emma, have so much happening to them, and Kaylee relies on Tod so much more after Nash's addiction to Demon's Breath. This is definitely a turning point in the series, and so much is changing for all of them. This book felt darker than the previous ones, and had a lot more depth to it in terms of the plotline.

I still adore Tod the most out of all the characters. He has this sweet, innate goodness, and a total selflessness and complete need to try and save everybody all the time. He is so very protective of everybody, that his crush on Kaylee didn't really register with me until part way through this book. I always thought he thought of her like a sister.

The drama is racked up a notch in this book, as Tod finds out that Kaylee is on the death list. And as everybody else rushes about trying to make sure that Kaylee's death doesn't happen, Kaylee is surprising calm and accepting, instead trying to evaluate what is important to her, and spending her last days doing what she wants to do. The countdown is so tense and dramatic, and left me anxious to know whether or not they would be able to stop it.

I'm so glad that I picked this series up. So, if you don't know and are curious about what this is about-
*Spoiler free- if you haven't heard of this series before*
Right, (in a nutshell)- Kaylee and Nash are Bean-sidhes (more commonly known as Banshees) and Kaylee screams uncontrollably if somebody is about to die. They have a complicated on-again-off again relationship. Nash's brother Tod is a Reaper, which means he takes care of people's souls when they die, and he is invisible to most people. Emma is Kaylee's mortal best friend , and they all have to occasionally rescue their classmates from demons who want to suck the life-force out of them. They can shift between this plane and the Underworld which is like an alternate dimension pasted over the top of our world and populated by demons.
I won't be able to do this book justice, but I'M LOVING THIS SERIES!!

Rest of the series:
    Book 6 is due out this summer

Thursday 17 May 2012

From The Review Pile #1

From The Review Pile is a weekly meme hosted by Stepping Out Of The Page, where bloggers and reviewers can showcase all those books received for review that we want to read, but haven't managed to get around to reading yet.

This is one that I requested from Netgalley back around September time (Thanks Egmont!). It has not yet been published in the UK (that I can find), but was published in the US back in December. I love the sound of it, it sounds so sinister, and emotional, and it looks fairly short as well (so I have no excuse really!)
I will read this book at some point- I am determined! I just have waaaayyy too many books to read right now...

 You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.

Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move frequently and abruptly from place to place, perpetually running from what her mother calls the "No Good." One afternoon, Sophie breaks the rules, ventures out, and meets Joey and his two aunts. It is this loving family that gives Sophie the courage to look into her past. What she discovers changes her world forever. . . .

The riveting stories of Emmy and Sophie—alternating narratives of loss, imprisonment, and freedom regained—escalate with breathless suspense toward an unforgettable climax.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Its a sequel summer!

Wow, there are so many YA sequels coming out over the next few weeks that I am so excited to read. Most books now seem to part of a series. So here are some of the next-in-series books that I am most looking forward to being released soon.

*These are all the UK covers and release dates.

7th June
5th July
5th July
5th July
6th July
2nd August
2nd August
30th August
12th June
20th July
7th June
5th July
Yeah, so a lot of bookish goodness released soon. Anybody else looking forward to any of these?

Also, purple seems to be the in colour at the moment doesn't it? A lot of purples in there, as well as Until I Die by Amy Plum and the US cover of Last Echo by Kimberly Derting, both of which are recently released, and both purple. I like purple.

Monday 14 May 2012

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: Bought

Synopsis from Goodreads:

She thought there was something wrong with her. She was right.
Finley Jayne has known for quite some time that she isn’t ‘normal,’ but when she beats up the son of her employer and is forced to flee, she stumbles into a world where there are bigger freaks than her. They take her in, treat her like family and demand her trust. How can Finley trust them when she can’t trust herself? And why is she drawn to the powerful Griffin as well as the dangerous Jack? She has to get herself under control before she gets into trouble she can’t get out of.

Griffin King is one of the most powerful men in Britain but he couldn’t save his best friend from almost dying. He is determined to save Finley and help her become the person he knows she can be, but there’s evil afoot in London. Machines have attacked humans under the orders of a nefarious criminal called The Machinist. He has sworn to protect his country against such a threat, but he’s never faced any foe like this. However, when he discovers The Machinist’s connection to his past, Griffin vows to end the villain once and for all — but he’ll need the help of all his friends, including the beautiful Finley Jayne – the girl in the steel corset.

This book is so good! It's like a steampunk X-Men with action, drama, romance, weird technology, and a creepy super-villain called The Machinist! I love it when I'm reading a book and it suddenly hits me- this is really good and I'm really enjoying it.

Within the acknowledgments at the end of her book, Kady Cross describes her original desire to write The Girl in the Steel Corset as "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets teen X-Men." There's really no better way to describe this novel than that- it really comes across as a band of people with something that makes each of them different from the average person. What I loved was the camaraderie and the sense of family between them all.

Finley has a kind of Jekyll and Hyde type problem. When she is threatened or upset her darker self takes over, and she has the strength of a prizewinning boxer. Finley is the perfect kind of lead character because she is so feisty, and such a strong independent character, but she also has a very endearing vulnerability about her.

When she is fired from her job after knocking out her sleazy boss with one punch she is found by Griffin- a duke who works for Queen Victoria manipulating a newly discovered substance found deep underground. Griffin again is such a perfect character to read about because he has this innate need to try and look after everybody, and he is very sweet. Griffin has a secret power as well, but despite all his wealth and power he has no snobbery about him at all. The whole background of the story, was so cool, with an element of magic about it.

I also really enjoyed the developing relationships between the main characters. Griffin and Finley just like each other and there are no complications and no dancing around each other denying that they do. But I also adored lovable rogue Jack Dandy, who is also attracted to Finley, and who has a dangerous reputation, but is also a total gentleman, and such a mysterious character.

This book is so much fun. I love the band of oddball characters, and the whole world of the book- with airships floating above Victorian London, and all the cool clockwork technology and gadgetry that they have, created by their kooky inventor friend Emily. This story has adventure, excitement, laughs and romance. It is so unique- and I loved it!

This is due to be published in the UK by Mira books in June this year. Look out for it!


The Girl in the Clockwork Collar. I'm looking forward to reading this. 

Sunday 13 May 2012

New to my shelves 13th May 2012

Every week on a Sunday I post which books I got during the week.

I got some great books but my bank balance has taken a massive bashing this week- oh dear.
Check 'em out!


  • Hourglass by Myra McEntire. This one that I have been desperate to read for about a year. It's a time-travel book, and it's finally out in paperback. I already have book 2 Timepiece from Netgalley, so I'll be getting on to this book pretty soon. 

  •  The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. I've heard so many good things about this book and I can't wait to read it. I've been waiting and waiting but it looks like my library is not going to buy it, so I just had to buy it!
  • Body and Soul by Stacey Kade. This was a bit of a surprise because I forgot that I had ordered it! This is book 3 in the Ghost and the Goth series, I LOVED the first book, but I STILL haven't read book 2 yet so I'm a little bit behind!

Bought at Foyles author signing event:

This is where my wallet really took a bashing! Yesterday I attended a signing in London with authors Kimberly Derting, James Dawson, Cat Clarke and Tanya Byrne. I had a fab time and left with an armload of books.
I bought The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead, and had them signed by Kimberly, who was so lovely.
I also bought a copy of Torn and had Cat Clarke sign it. She was also so lovely and chatty. 
I ended up buying a copy of James Dawson's Hollow Pike after he spoke about his book and it sounded so good. He signed it for me, and was really funny and (here's that word again-) lovely. 
I had wanted to go to the Foyles author signing the week before with Amy Plum and CJ Daugherty but I couldn't make it. Still I ended up buying pre-signed copies of their books, and snagged some signed bookmarks of theirs as well (because signed stuff is always better!). I loved Die For Me when I read it last year so I'm looking forward to reading Until I Die.

That was my week in books! Someone lock up my credit card so I can't buy any more!
What books did you get?
Happy reading!

Saturday 12 May 2012

Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars  

Source: Bought

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In The Calling, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of The Gathering clamoring for more.

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. Plentiful action and romance in this second installment in the Darkness Rising series will keep readers enthralled to the very last page!

Book 2 in the Darkness Rising series

The Calling has Kelley Armstrong's typical page-turning, attention-grabbing magic, with full-on action and drama right from the start that doesn't let up. Right from the start Maya and her friends are fleeing a forest fire, only to be in a terrifying helicopter crash, and are then hunted through a forest by an evil corporation with guns, who want to capture them.

I love Kelley Armstrong's writing- the way the characters feel like they are someone you know, and the emotion behind the story. I also just love these characters, and their small-town lives filled with all these memories and backstory. Maya and Daniel have been best friends since they were 5 years old, and have supported each other each other through tragedy and everything that has happened to them in the past few years. They trust each other completely, and their protection of each other is so sweet.  They always have each other's back.

The beautiful Canadian rainforest setting, with all the wonderfully described flora and fauna feels like another character of the book as well. It is so easy to picture the places and scenes, and I would love to visit there.

In this book the teens are starting to realise the true extent of their powers, to discover what they are capable of, and exactly how much danger they are in from the organisation that wants to capture them. They start to piece together the clues from what they have each found out, to work out what is going on. There are a range of supernaturals in this series, and also a subtle link to the characters from her other YA series- The Darkest Powers series (which you should also read BTW- it's amazing!).

It is a quintessential middle book, a "bridge" story with another cliff hanger at the end, but it was definitely worth the wait, and it filled my itch for a Kelley Armstrong book for a little while. Now I have another long wait until book 3 comes out!

Read my review of Book 1 The Gathering here. (5 of 5 stars)


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