Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
Friday, 30 October 2009
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Having not read Homer’s ‘Iliad’ I’m afraid my knowledge of the story of Troy is limited to the film starring Brad Pitt! Therefore I’m not going to be an expert on how good a retelling it is. What I can tell you though, is that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I connected to Cassie straight away and liked seeing the cast of characters through her eyes. The friendship and feelings she had for Greg felt real - meaning I was really rooting for them. I also really enjoyed her budding friendship with Elena and watching her relationship with her brothers change because of all the rivalry. I found the whole rivalry between the schools really interesting to read – and although there was some fun in the pranks to begin with it was interesting to see how easy it is for them to turn into something more sinister.
Overall I found it really engaging. It felt really fresh – different from anything I’ve read recently and I found myself staying awake until one o'clock in the morning to finish it!
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Mary Naylus, the author of The Dresskeeper kindly took the time to answer a few of my questions:
• I loved Picky’s voice (and her humorous observations) – was this easy to develop? Did you base her on anyone you know?
I suppose Picky is an adult’s humorous take on how teenagers see themselves and the world. Having a teenager myself it was quite easy to develop the voice, but also I write in coffee shops in the main, and there is plenty of teenage talk there too, some of which is quite eye-opening!
• I loved the time travel aspect of the book. How much research did you need to do for the 17th century setting and what interested you most about this period?
Quite a lot, and in fact I had my mother read and research all the same material too, so that I didn’t make any silly errors. I wanted to have a relatively factual book in terms of history, but needed to ensure the plot was fast-moving and appealing to teens. Hence the knowledge and research had to be quite ingrained before I began to write.
What interested me most was that 1685 London was already on the cusp of modernity, in terms of architectural development; the coffee houses that doubled as mini-stock exchanges; the acceptance of scientific developments; the many newspapers and so on. Even the political situation was relatively peaceful.
• Do you have a favourite scene in the book?
I think the part where Picky talks about the dome of St Paul’s with Christopher Wren would have to be my favourite. The political situation at the time (not fully played out in the book because I don’t think teenagers would have been as intrigued as adults might) meant that he had to build the cathedral without revealing his dome until it was too late to change the design. The fact that a young girl knew about his secret dome would have been an eye-opener to Sir Christopher.
• If you could travel back in time like Picky when/where would you like to travel to? Is there a Historical figure you’d like to meet?
That’s a difficult question because there are so many time periods I would love to visit. Personally I would avoid any time period that featured excessive military action, but off the top of my head travelling back to Florence in the 1400s-1500s and meeting the Medici’s at the height of their power would be fun. Maybe I could incorporate that period into a novel at some point.
• Did you always intend on becoming a writer? Who are some of your favourite authors?
Yes, I’ve always loved to write, and to be perfectly honest, my taste in authors is wide-ranging, from mainstream to lesser-known talents. I would have to say that Pompeii by Robert Harris is one book that stands out.
• Can you tell us anything about your next book The Plaguemaker?
Sure, it’s set in modern day London, where 15-year-old Blessie is receiving ghostly messages that she discovers relate to a family of plague victims from the start of the great plague of 1665. These people appear to have been buried beneath the land Blessie’s architect father is hoping to build on to keep them out bankruptcy.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Many thanks go the Becky from The Bookette for giving me this award.
Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when you're relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of cookies with family and friends? You know the feeling you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea, or a hot toddy? That is what the Heartfelt Award is all about, feeling warm inside.
Rules: Put the logo on your blog/post. Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside. Be sure to link your nominees within your post. Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.
I know some of you may already have this award but this way you get one from me too:)
Jenny @ Wondrous Reads
Lauren @ I was a teenage book geek
Sophie @ So Many Books, So Little Time
Everyone @ Chicklish
Michelle @ Michelle's bookshelf
La Coccinelle @ The Ladybug Reads
@Juju @ Tales of whimsy
Jo @ Once Upon a Bookcase
Justine @ A Bookful of Thoughts
I really enjoy reading your blogs and I want to thank you for taking the time to visit and comment on my blog:)
Many thanks go to Lauren from I was a teenage book geek for giving me this award.
Here's the rules:
1. Each Superior Scribbler, must in turn, pass the Award on to 5 most-deserving bloggy buds.
2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and name of the blog from whom he/she has received the Award.
3. Each Superior Scribbler must display the Award on his/her blog and link to this post which explains the Award.
I decided to give this award to the blogs I visit every day because they are amazing and because I love them. So my five are:
Becky @ The Bookette
Lauren @ Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf
Jenny @ Wondrous Reads
Kristi @ The Story Siren
Everyone @ Chicklish
Monday, 26 October 2009
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
I loved Nora –she seemed kind, intelligent, independent, but she also seemed vulnerable and didn't always make the best decisions. In other words she was easy to relate to. I liked the fact that she wasn’t sure if she were going crazy or if the things happening were real. It gave the story more believability in my eyes and I think this was the basis for some of her ‘bad’ choices. I found her best friend Vee funny – she provided the light relief and was the girl who leads Nora astray. I felt that if Nora was friends with ‘bad girl’ Vee it wasn’t a surprise she would be attracted to ‘bad boy’ Patch. There were times when I didn’t like Vee’s actions though – there is one particular time when she dismisses and trivialises a nasty incident –(I’m trying not to get spoilery here) – but overall I liked her.
As for the character Patch – I really loved him. He was a real bad boy and completely mysterious. I felt he did genuinely have feelings for Nora that grew over the space of the novel, but at same time I didn’t know if I trusted him. I could understand her attraction to him though– l looked forward to him being scenes – but also slightly uneasy whenever he was. Good or bad - I felt there was definitely an intensity to their relationship.
I really liked the mythology too – it felt really new and different and it is a good basis for a series. As for the ending - I Loved it! I don’t want to give anything away but after reading the book I felt it was believable. It also sets the scene for more books to follow which is good as I was left with a few questions and a need for more, so I can say with 100 percent certainty that I will be reading CRESCENDO as soon as it hits the shelves next year!
Sunday, 25 October 2009
This week I bought:
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
From Amazon: Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast. Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.
And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.
Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them....
How do you do this week?
Friday, 23 October 2009
You can see my review for this here. For anyone who hasn't had a chance to get their hands on a copy yet you can read the first 3 chapters below. Many thanks to Prospera Publishing for sending them to me.
I was warned this was slow going at first but then impossible to put down. Well, for me the advice was half right. I loved it from the get-go. It was obvious a great deal of thought had gone into creating the world - it really showed and felt believable. I adored Rose – vulnerable, sassy, with just the right amount of that ‘kick-ass’ attitude I love (and wish I had!) yet still responsible in her duties as a Guardian (and to Lissa). I must say that I didn’t warm as much to Lissa at first as she kind of worried me – I couldn't really put my finger on why– but it all came together in the end and I get the impression that perhaps I was supposed to feel that way.
Overall this was a fantastic introduction to a thrilling new series. Mead really knows how to write both action and romance. It also felt quite dark, especially the strigoi - very creepy! . I was completely hooked and didn’t want to put it down . Really addictive!.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful - in words and illustrations, Ingrid left begind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend's suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons and start to realise that true friendship didn't die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid's depression becomes the tool by which Caitlin reaches out to all those who loved her.
I really like the sound of this - I expect it will make me cry though! It's published 12 November 2009 (in the UK).
Check out the trailer below:
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Overall this was great fun! My only quibble would be that it ended too quickly – I would have like to known more about what happened both in the past and the present – but that's just testament to how much I enjoyed it. I will certainly be keeping my eye out for her next novel The Plaguemaker in 2010.
You can read the first 3 chapters here
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
Sunday, 18 October 2009
This week I got the following books:
The Dresskeeper by Mary Naylus (For review)
30 November Prospera Publishing
From Back cover:
Have you ever pretended to be someone else?
Picky Robson thought things couldn't get any worse. Her life is a boy-free aone, she's being bullied at school, then mum announces she has to look after gran every weekend for the foreseeable future. One night, unknowingly tempting fate, Picky slips into a flouncy old dress from the depths of an ancient chess and finds herself back in 17th Century London. But she is not alone. A weirdo in a wig is trying to kill her - mistaking her for a girl called Amelia. Who is Amelia? Can Picky change the past by exposing the murderer? And will she make it back alive?
Major Crush by Jennifer Echols
Marching to the beat of a different drum...
Tired of the beauty-pagean circuit, Virginia Sauter tosses her tiara, pierces her nose, and auditions for the most unlikely of roles -- drum major of the high school marching band.
Virginia wins, but is forced to share the title with Drew, whose family has held the position for generations. Sure, Drew is hot, but because of his superior attitude, he and Virginia are constantly arguing. That is, until they share more than just their half-time salute...
But as the drum major's heated competition turns to sizzling romance, explosive rumors threaten everything -- including the band's success. Love seemed to be a sure hit, but Virginia and Drew may be marching straight into disaster.
The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
Lori lives for summertime on the lake. She spends all season wakeboarding, swimming, and hanging with her friends -- including the two hotties in the house next door. With the Vader brothers, Lori's always been one of the guys.
But while Lori and the "baby" brother, Adam, are inseparable friends, she can't deny a secret crush on Sean, the older Vader boy. This year Sean's been paying Lori a lot of attention, and not in a brotherly way.
But just as Lori decides to prove to Sean she's girlfriend material, she realizes that her role as girl friend to Adam may be even more important. And by trying so hard for the perfect summer romance, she could be going way overboard....
Hayden and Nick used to be a hot item, but their brief affair ended with a highly publicized breakup. Now the two are "just friends," excluding the occasional flirtation.
When Hayden wins the girls' division of a local snowboarding competition, Nick is unimpressed, claiming that Hayden wouldn't have a chance against a guy. Hayden calls Nick's bluff and challenges him to a head-to-head boarding contest. Their mutual friends quickly take sides, the girls on Hayden's and the boys on Nick's, making for an all-out battle of the sexes. This friendly competition is bound to get heated -- and they might end up igniting some old flames.
Sparrow makes a new best friend and has her eye on an irritatingly appealing guy in her history class. She feels like she's well on her way to a normal life. But it's another boy—a dead one—who wants Sparrow's attention, and he won't let her be till she's helped him Move On.
You see, Sparrow Delaney's secret is that she's a psychic. And there's one very persistent ghost who won't let her forget it.
How did you all do?
Friday, 16 October 2009
BOOK EDITORS AND MUSIC EDITORS FOR SPINEBREAKERS.CO.UK
Calling all creative whizzes, book heads, musos and budding writers. We are recruiting a team of 13-18 year olds to become the next line up of music and books editors for Penguin’s online community, www.spinebreakers.co.uk/ , run by teens for teens
Spinebreakers launched in 2007 and is now crammed full of creative content inspired by books, contributed by 13-18 year olds. The website is backed by publisher Penguin but the content of the site is totally in the hands of the young editors.
The past editors have had brilliant experiences interviewing famous authors like Nick Hornby, being the first to hear and review brand new music from Island records, sitting on the first ever Orange Prize for Fiction Youth Panel, attending the Underage Festival, speaking at events, and letting the world know their opinions when it came to books. We are now looking to recruit a second generation of editors: this is your chance to fill their footsteps, gain some amazing experiences and be a part of something unique.
- Receive tonnes of free books
- Get to listen and review some of the hottest new music around
- Work with industry professionals
- Meet and interview famous authors and musicians
- Explore imaginative topics around books and writing
- Unleash your creativity
- Get something totally amazing on your CV
- Have all travel expenses covered
“I have to say my involvement with Spinebreakers has helped me a great deal, not only it's given me the confidence to stand out within a crowd, public speaking, writing articles, but it has also given me the opportunity to be on BBC Radio 4, which I'm really proud of.” Osman Diallo (ex-Spinebreakers Editor, aged 20)
If you have a passion for books, music, reading, writing, drawing, filming – anything creative – then we want to hear from you.
The editors will receive a half-day workshop at a youth marketing agency in London.
- Within commuting distance of London (for Books Editors only)
- Able to attend monthly meetings at Penguin in Central London
- Able to commit to creating monthly content
To apply, we want you to show us what you can do. Send us your favourite piece of writing you’ve done – it could be a short story, book or album review, rant or feature. Plus we want you to tell us in 100 words or less why you should become one of our teen editors. And, don’t forget to state if you’d rather be a books or music editor. Send the info to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send your submissions to reach us no later than 22nd OCTOBER 2009
Please visit www.spinebreakers.co.uk/ to find out more about the site and to apply to become an editor. email@example.com
Can’t wait to hear from you!
Meg’s also being stalked by a hot—albeit undead— seer named Cliff. Can Cliff’s premonitions help Megan stop a zombies-on-ice deathscapade and discover who’s really behind the coma-killer crusade before an entire army of undead rise up? And when Megan’s boyfriend Ethan grows jealous of Cliff, will it end their intra-settler romance?
Stacey Jay’s snarky teen-speak is “dead”-on and hysterical! Ally Carter better get used to the smell of grave dirt . . .
I can't tell you how much I loved You are so Undead to Me. It was such great fun - really easy to read and I found myself completely gripped not wanting to stop until I'd finished it. Therefore, it is probably of no suprised that I CAN'T WAIT to read it's sequel. It's published (in the US) in January 2010. There is also a sneek peek at the authors website which you can read by clicking here.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Check it out below:
You can also read the first chapter by clicking here.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
I enjoyed this – I don’t often read short stories but these were long enough to feel like a complete story, with the added bonus I could read the whole story in my lunch break. It was also a great introduction to authors I hadn’t read before - I’ve also got Love is Hell and Vacations from Hell which I look forward to reading.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
I really enjoyed all of Danziger's books but the one that stood out for me was Remember Me to Harold Square.
From Goodreads: This summer could be a disaster. Kendra's parents have invited Frank, a 15-year-old she's never met, to stay with them. And they've planned a goofy scavenger hunt for the kids, including Kendra's bratty younger brother. They have to race all around New York City and visit places like the Empire State Building and the United Nations to find answers. But once they get started, Kendra doesn't mind the scavenger hunt so much, mostly because Frank turns out to be just as interesting as all of the sights.
I was completely addicted to that book - it was a really good romance story made better by the fact that the two characters became really good friends too.
Other Paula Danziger books include The Pistachio Prescription, The Divorce Express, The Cat ate my Gymsuit and it's sequel There's a Bat in Bunk Five . They are all very quick reads but great fun! I believe they are aimed at younger teens and are probably very tame by today's standards but I remember really enjoying them.
Monday, 12 October 2009
What do you think?
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Serena just wants to fly under the radar at her new school. But Serena is deaf, and she can read lips really well-even across the busy cafeteria. So when the popular girls discover her talent, there's no turning back.
From skater chick to cookie-cutter prep, Serena's identity has done a 180...almost. She still wants to date Miller, the school rebel, and she's not ready to trade her hoodies for pink tees just yet. But she is rising through the ranks in the school's most exclusive clique.
With each new secret she uncovers, Serena feels pressure to find out more. Reading lips has always been her greatest talent, but now Serena just feels like a gigantic snoop...
Love Bites Boxset - containing:
Dirty Angels by Andrew Clover, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire, Darke Academy by Gabriella Poole, Vamprie Diaries - The Awakening, The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike.
How did you all do?
Friday, 9 October 2009
"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"
According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
I loved this. It is beautifully written – the writing just flows and I found myself so absorbed I completely forgot I was reading. All the characters were three dimensional – including Matt who the author fleshed out enough for the reader to believe in the grief the characters felt. I really liked Anna and she had a great voice – very witty at times but you could feel her grief throughout the book. Frankie was suitably complex and I got a hint of how she used to be and understood why she acted the way she did – I can’t say I always liked her though.
Overall I really enjoyed this – so much I found myself savouring it and not wanting it to end. In fact, I think I could have read another 300 pages of her writing and not tired of it. Strongly recommended and I can't wait for her next book!
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Zoey’s life in her Florida beach resort town is happy and organized. She’s the captain of her high school swim team, and she works for her dad at his popular water park. Then her dad has an affair with one of his employees, and her mother has a breakdown. But Zoey begins a committed relationship with a hot lifeguard, which makes her feel stable, even if things aren’t perfect at home. Everything is still under control.
Until she has a car accident that she can’t remember. She should have been with her boyfriend that night, but he doesn’t seem to know anything about the accident—and he doesn’t seem to care. The person who does care, and knows more than he’s telling, is Doug, Zoey’s darkly handsome arch-enemy who saved her from the wreckage. As Zoey begins to piece together what happened that night, she finds her sense of control over her life was only an illusion. And she inches closer to discovering the darkest secret of all: why Doug has fallen in love with her.
Published by MTV Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. July 2010
I really really love Going too Far so even if this is only half as good it will still be brilliant! Can't wait as it sounds amazing!
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
This is the Honest Scrap award. It is for those bloggers who write from the heart. The rules are to pass it along to seven bloggers and then list 10 honest things about myself. Here are those deserving of this honor, bloggers who write from the heart and touch me because of it:
Ten honest things about me (but not necessarily that interesting....)
1. I was vegetarian for 20 years.
2. I am addicted to DVD’s and own far too many.
3. I love Horror films.
4. I have a ridiculously large TBR pile – last count was around the 1000 mark! I stopped counting after that!
5. I can’t stop buying books – which adds to the problem above!
6. I am terrified of snakes :(
7. I love photography.
8. I’m told I don’t have any patience – but I can’t possibly comment.
9. I love the sound of rain.
10. I’m a cat person...but have a dog called Gideon...unfortunately he's afraid of cats :(
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Sunday, 4 October 2009
She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next…
Friday, 2 October 2009
Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.
Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.
I absolutely loved Cracked Up to Be so I can't wait to read this! It is published 5th January 2010.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Check it out for yourself.
You can also read an excerpt and listen to Maggie Stiefvater read the first 2 chapters by clicking here