Friday 31 August 2012

Best of the Bunch August 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.
I always put up my post on the last day of the month, but remember, you can add your link anytime in the following month :D
For more info and to grab the button and stickers visit the BOTB page here and then add your linky to the list below.

August 2012
This month I have reviewed on the blog...

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas My Review 5 of 5 stars
  • Glitch by Heather Anastasiu My Review 4 of 5 stars
  • Bloodlines by Richelle Mead My Review 4.5 of 5 stars
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi My Review 5 of 5 stars
And the winner of Best of the Bunch for August goes to...


... Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi!

I loved this book for it's originality, it's unique style, the kick-ass characters and a love story that slowly grows on you. Read my full review here
It's dramatic and exciting and feels almost like a superhero movie. So, so good- can't wait for the sequel!

(From Goodreads)
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

August has been a very bad month for me time-wise, but I have read some fantastic books lately, and I will get around to writing more reviews (fingers crossed!) in September. Four book reviews is pitiful I know, and is actually the lowest number of review posts per month in the history of the blog. I will do better!

I would love to know which book wins your Best of the Bunch for August. Please let me know which book you read or reviewed in August was your favourite by linking up below.

Who gets your bananas?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday 26 August 2012

Showcase Sunday 26th August 2012

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea, and inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox. This is a chance for all us book bloggers to showcase our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.
It's a great way to see what new books are coming out, which books people are most excited for, and a great way for me to find new books to pine after, to find new blogs to follow, and new bloggers to squee over books with! 

Another awesome book haul this week- 

Bought: Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck. *Massive squeee!!* This is book 4 in the Tiger series, and I love this series so much. Nothing will get done now until I finish this book!
For review: Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick. This is book 2 in the Ashes series- again, I absolutely loved Ashes and I'm so excited to read this book. Thanks to Netgalley and Egmont for the review copy.
From the library: Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey, this is book 5 in the Drake Chronicles, an awesome vampire series, and Clarity by Kim Harrington- I've heard great things about this book.

That was my book haul this week- I can't wait to read them. What books did you get?
Happy reading!

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: Own bought

Synopsis from Goodreads:

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

I got this book for Christmas, and it's taken me this long to read it. Why didn't anyone tell me that it was this good?!!! I would've read it sooner! As soon as I started I was completely engrossed and I could not put it down.

Juliette has been locked up by herself for 264 days, hungry and alone and feeling traumatised after blaming herself for the accidental death of a child. Juliet has a fatal touch, she can kill anyone just by putting her hand on them. As such she is feared and misunderstood, and completely controlled. I really enjoyed the world building of the book, and the destroyed society of the story, which made everything feel out of control and exciting.

I also just loved Juliette's voice in telling the story. After being locked up for so long in solitutude, she doesn't know if she is crazy, and it comes across in the stuttering, sometimes repetitive way she thinks, and gave a real insight into her mind.

I LOVED the way it was written as well- with crossed out parts of the sentences- kind of like what she is really saying, and then what is implied or left unsaid.
"What's wrong?"
My parents stopped touching me when I was old enough to crawl. Teachers made me work alone so I wouldn't hurt the other children. I've never had a friend. I've never known the comfort of a mother's hug. I've never felt the tenderness of a father's kiss. I'm not insane. "Nothing."
5 more seconds. "Can I sit next to you?"
That would be wonderful. "No."

The way she communicates, combined with her obsession with having to count everything gave the narrative that something different, and made it really different and interesting. I felt like I was going crazy just reading it!

My favourite part was when Adam tells Juliette how he sees her, and his memories of her from when they were at school together and he could never talk to her- I just melted.

Hearing what Juliette has gone through as seen through another person's perspective gave everything a real sense of depth and perfectly explained Juliette's history and backstory, in a way that Juliette's own fogged brain just couldn't. But the gradual building romance was so sweet to read, and really moved me.

There are so many different stages to Juliette's journey in the book as well. I liked never knowing where the story was going to go next, and always being surprised. The tension and the suspense just builds and builds. Some of the people in power want to use Juliette as a weapon. In particular bad guy general Warner is fascinated by Juliette and he becomes an incredibly sinister force in the book.

I loved this book for it's uniqueness, it's fun, it's tragedy, and the twisty turny plotline that always threw up something unexpected. It is exciting and cool, and dangerous, and I adore the fierce characters.

Kooky, dramatic and exciting, with an almost superhero element to it- I
thought that this book was absolutely fantastic! I recommend this book- it'll blow your mind and melt your heart. A well-deserved 5 stars, I couldn't put it down! Next one, next one!

Film rights have been bought by 20th Century Fox
"In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men."

Sunday 19 August 2012

Sunday Showcase 19th August 2012

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea, and inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox. This is a chance for all us book bloggers to showcase our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.
It's a great way to see what new books are coming out, which books people are most excited for, and a great way for me to find new books to pine after, to find new blogs to follow, and new bloggers to squee over books with! 

I got so many amazing books this week- I am a lucky girl!

Bought: Noughts and Crosses and Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman. This is one of my favourite ever series and these two books are only £3.50 at Tesco at the moment. But I love owning copies of my favourite books, usually I borrow everything from the library first.

From the library:  Tricked by Kevin Hearne, book 4 in the Druid Chronicles series. I've listened to the others in the series on audiobook, so it's disappointing that this one isn't available as an audiobook.

On Audiobook: Yeah, I went a bit mad and bought a bunch of new Audible credits. I got Wake by Amanda Hocking, Feed by Mira Grant, Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield, Belles by Jen Calonita, and Revived by Cat Patrick.

For review: I got an advance proof copy of Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner, a love story set 200 years in the future. Thanks Piccadilly Press!
This is due to be published in September.

Borrowed: On loan to me from the lovely Jodie at Books For Company Article 5 by Kristen Simmons. This is one that I had been dying to read. Thanks Jodie!

Prize win: I won a paperback copy of Touch by Jus Accardo from the lovely Carmel at Rabid Reads. I have heard so many great things about this book and can't wait to read it. Thanks Carmel!

Phew! That was all the books I got this week. What books did you get to read?
Happy reading!

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Source: Borrowed from the library

Synopsis from Goodreads:
I wasn't free of my past, not yet.

Sydney's blood is special. That's because she's an alchemist - one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worls of humans and vampire. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiances in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far orse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside - and within - the school grounds. Now that they're hiding, the drama is only just beginning.

Book 1 in the Bloodlines series
Well- it's bound to be a good book isn't it? Because it's written by Richelle Mead, one of my all time favourite authors. All of her books have the power to move me. To make me feel completely absorbed in the world of the book, to laugh, cry, fall in love, and to be so completely engrossed in the lives of the characters that I don't even notice the pages turning. And Bloodlines was no exception.

This is a new spin-off series set in the familiar world of the Vampire Academy books, but with the focus shifted to some of the minor characters of that series. It felt like meeting old friends again to catch up with how things have been going since the end of Last Sacrifice, and to just slip back into the world of vampire politics, and the different races of Human, Moroi, Strigoi and Dhamphir.

Bloodlines focuses on the human Alchemist Sydney,  who was a relatively minor character in the Vampire Academy seres. She is sent by her order to help protect and guide the new Moroi princess Jill at a human school.

Sydney is smart, dedicated, and strong minded- but there were still some moments when I wanted to shake her, and shout "stick up for yourself"! The group of Alchemists that she comes from are so hard on her, so closed minded, and so mean. They are so steadfast in their belief that vampires are completely evil, but are themselves just so harsh. It's surprising that Sydney came out of that atmosphere as strong and as good as she is. I admired her more for it.

You also have such a great character in Adrian, he is such a lost boy, a bit of joker, and you never know what to expect with him. But that is another reason that I love Richelle Mead's books- there is always such a great vibe, quirky personalities and an element of humour.

As well as the fantastic characters the actual plotline is so clever. It definitely keeps you on your toes- with twists, and betrayals. There is a constant sense of being in suspense, expecting something drastic to happen at any moment.

Sydney for the most part is so determined to try and handle everything herself, but I loved how she grew closer to the others as time went on, and forms strong bonds of friendship with the vampires that she didn't expect to. It was great that Sydney the steadfast rule-follower toughens up, and learns to listen to her own instincts.

What can I say- an exciting, heartwarming, uplifting, absorbing, book! With a great storyline, amazing characters, and fun dialogue, of course Bloodlines is a winner! This is a fantastic start to a series that I can tell is only going to get better and better.

Rest of the series:

Book 2- The Golden Lily
Book 3- Indigo Spell (due for release Febraury 2013)

Monday 13 August 2012

Review: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

I really enjoyed this novel- a futuristic sci-fi romance. There is a major world-explaining info-dump right at the start of the book, which I struggled to plow through, (and then instantly forgot everything that I'd just been told), but then after that, oooh, it got gooood!

The early info-dump is completely unnecessary as well, as I was surprised how quickly I accepted Zoe's world as completely regular. She plugs herself in to a community link network each day, and can insert a memory chip into the back of head- the easy flowing writing, and the focus on the characters made it seem like that was completely normal!

Zoe however, is "glitching". She keeps disengaging from the link, and missing messages and information. As she gets used to it though, she finds that she likes being able to think for herself, she notices people more clearly, and she can do things that other people can't.

Glitchers can not only choose to free themselves from the link, they can also develop different powers, and this added a very clever element to the story later. She starts to wonder if there are other glitchers out there, and if there is something bigger going on.

It is very creepy how controlled everybody else is- they are like drones- they will do their work and interact with their families but they are totally emotionless- just fed information from the link. They can erase dead family members from their memories, and they live in a peaceful, productive and fair society as stated in the community creed fed to them daily through the link, but they have no personality or real lives.

That is why the rebels seem so colourful- Adrien can pretend to be a part of the link while looking out for other glitchers, but in private he uses strange words and different vocabulary, and when he first leaves with Zoe, we see that there is a whole other society, scraping a living together and trying to escape the notice of those in power- but at least living free.

This is one of my favourite parts of the book- *warning-possible spoilers!*

"I won't remember any of this. I won't remember you." The cutting loss of the thought felt almost like a physical pain. I squeezed my eyes shut. I knew I'd only just found it- found him- but being with him felt like the single most significant thing that had ever happened to me. It wouldn't be imprinted on my memory chip, but it seemed too important a thing to be removed so simply, so permanently. How could that be? Adrien said that our humanity was a precious and unbreakable thing, but how could that be if it could be stolen away with a single piece of hardware? It wasn't fair!
I tried to bury my thoughts so I wouldn't lose this moment here with him. I couldn't think about the future or the past. All I could do was be fully present right now. I reached up a finger to trace his full lips. Tears gathered in my eyes. "You'll just be another subject in the crowd. I won't know you. I won't remember how to do this-" I lifted my lips to his.
He finally pulled away, sounding out of breath. His eyes blazed into mine with an intensity I'd never seen before.
"Listen to me, Zoe," he said, his hands resting firmly on my shoulders. "We will find each other. I will get your medicine to you. And we'll escape that shuntin' place for good this time. I'll teach you how to kiss all over again. I know it."

So starts a love triangle with a difference, as Zoe can't actually remember that she loves Adrien!

As Zoe discovers emotions and makes her own choices she also feels everything very strongly. She is very brave and cares a lot, and just wants to try and save everyone. Max is another glitcher and he is very... intense. He is not very likable, but I loved his character because of this- because he is a bit brash and possessive and mean! It made it interesting!

This was a really good book- I throroughly enjoyed being caught up in Zoe's world, and I liked the bonds between the characters as they had to all work together. A really good futuristic/ technological adventure with a heart to it. I liked the characters, the action, and the disturbing world of the story. An excellent addition to the YA science fiction genre.

Rest of the series:

Book 2- Override is due out February 2013

Sunday 12 August 2012

Showcase Sunday 12th August 2012

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea, and inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox. This is a chance for all us book bloggers to showcase our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.
It's a great way to see what new books are coming out, which books people are most excited for, and a great way for me to find new books to pine after, to find new blogs to follow, and new bloggers to squee over books with! 

I got a few new books this week-

From the library: The Taker by Alma Katsu on audiobook.
For review: 1.4 (Also titled The Future We Left Behind) by Mike Lancaster, this is the sequel to 0.4 (also titled Human.4).
Alchemy by K.J Wignall, this is the sequel to Blood- a vampire series.
The Mephisto Kiss by Trinity Faegen, this is the sequel to The Mephisto Covenant which I have read but haven't finished a review for yet.
Thanks to Egmont and Netgalley for the review copies.

Those were the books I got to read this week. What did you get?
Happy reading!

Monday 6 August 2012

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Meet Celaena Sardothien.

Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

Throne of Glass is such a treat to read- the best kind of fantasy, because you can believe in this magical world and these characters are so real and lovable and their experiences are relatable.

First of all, Celaena is my favourite type of heroine because she is so feisty and independent. She is a powerfully deadly assassin, a fierce woman who can totally look after herself, has a strong will to survive, and a spunky attitude, but she also has a strong moral compass, a playful side, a snarky, sarcastic wit, and also an emotional vulnerability that makes you want to wrap her up and look after her. Plus she is smart and she loves books!

When we first meet Celaena she has spent a year as a slave in the salt mines of Endovier as a punishment for her crimes as an assassin. She is beaten and half-starved, but still has a strong spirit, and still talks back to anyone in authority.

When she is offered a choice- to stay and die in Endovier, or to come to the capital, and compete for the chance to become the King's Champion, and after four years her freedom- she knows that there is no choice.

The captain of the guard Chaol Westfell assigned to watch her is accutely aware of what Celaena is capable of and never for a minute underestimates her- he is quite cold and extremely dedicated to his job, but even he starts to thaw out  around Celaena's character eventually, and it's obvious that he grows to really respect her, and even trust her.

The other main character that I really loved was Dorian the Crown Prince- so different from his cruel father the King- a bit of a joker with a reputation as a bit of a player, but who is also a big reader, and who is drawn to Calaena's wit and her spunkiness- she is so different from the rest of the simpering girls at court. I really loved both of these men for different reasons, and I liked reading the the growing bonds of friendship between these three.

Another fantastic character is Princess Nehemia, a visiting princess from a neighbouring country, who quickly befriends Celaena, and is another character who is not what she first seems. But all the characters in this- from the good guys to the bad, are all so fleshed out and therefore really believable. Celaena quickly and easily adapts to her new surroundings and her new role, and makes a new life for herself within the palace.

Celeana has to use her brain, her instincts and her ability to sneak around the palace to work out who she can trust, especially when the potential champions start getting killed off in mysterious circumstances, discovered next to banned magical symbols. But this mystery and the politics of the warring countries all adds extra layers to a fantastic story where the main focus is on the charactersand their emotions. .

I wish that more of the intriguing hinted at backstory had been told, but overall this is a brilliantly told tale, with mystery, intrigue, action, humour, magic and love. It has many elements that reminded me of Maria V. Snyder's Poison Study. This is such a fantastic fantasy debut, and I would love to see more in this series.

Alternative cover:

Published in the US and other parts of the world.

This was originally published under the title Queen of Glass on FictionPress

Sunday 5 August 2012

Showcase Sunday 5th August 2012

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted every Sunday by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea, and inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox. This is a chance for all us book bloggers to showcase our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.
It's a great way to see what new books are coming out, which books people are most excited for, and a great way for me to find new books to pine after, to find new blogs to follow, and new bloggers to squee over books with! 

I got a bunch of great new books this week- check 'em out!


  • Always A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough. This is the sequel to Once a Witch which I enjoyed and I had completely forgotten that I had preordered this one ages ago- so it was a nice surprise.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. This was the best book I read last year- I utterly adored it. I borrowed it as part of UK Book Tours, but now it has finally come out in paperback and I'm thrilled to grab my own copy. When it arrived I started flicking through the pages, and it is even more beautifully written than I remember- just magical. Hopefully I'll find time to completely re-read it soon. 

  • The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and Death Cure by James Dashner. I already have these on audiobook (haven't listened to them yet), but the Works bookshop had them in their 3 books for £5 sale, and I couldn't resist!
From the Library:

  • Taken By Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This is book 3 in the awesome werewolf series which started with Raised By Wolves. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

  • Fever by Lauren DeStefano. This is the sequel to Wither which I adored when I read it earlier this year. I NEED to make time to read this one soon. 

  • The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead. This is the sequel to Bloodlines- a spin off series from the Vampire Academy series. I always love anything by Richelle Mead, and this series is no exception. My review of Bloodlines should be up this week.

  • The Glimpse by Claire Merle. After seeing three or four 5 star reviews of this book within a week I went and ordered this book, but I now can't remember what it's actually about. A dystopian I think... 


  • The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures. This is a whacking great hardbook textbook, that I got through ReadItSwapIt. I'm always fascinated by mythology though, so I'm really pleased with this one. 

Those were my book this week- can't wait to read them all! What books did you get this week?
Happy reading!

Thursday 2 August 2012

From The Review Pile #11

This is a weekly meme hosted every Thursday by Stephanie at Stepping Out of the Page where we can showcase books that we have either bought, borrowed, or been given for review that we haven't gotten around to reading yet.

Okay- I love time travel books and I've heard such great things about this series. 
I bought a copy of the first book Hourglass and got a review copy of the second book Timepiece from Netgalley. I can't believe that I still haven't read these books yet! 

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
One hour to rewrite the past . . . 

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Hourglass published June 2011

Timepiece published June 2012

Has anybody read these yet? Do I need to bump them up my reading pile?


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