Tuesday 30 March 2010

My So-called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray

From Goodreads: "I knew it was time to move on when a tramp peed on my Uggs..."

Meet Lucy Shaw. She's not your average fifteen year old - for a start, she's dead. And as if being a ghost wasn't bad enough, she's also trapped haunting the men's toilets on Carnaby Street. So when a lighting engineer called Jeremy walks in and she realises he can see and hear her, she isn't about to let him walk out of her afterlife. Not least until he's updated her on what's happening in her beloved soaps.

With Jeremy's help, Lucy escapes the toilet and is soon meeting up with other ghosts, including the perpetually enraged Hep and the snogtastic Ryan. But when Jeremy suggests Lucy track down the man who murdered her, things go down hill. Can Lucy face up to the events of that terrible night? And what will it cost her if she does?

I found this a really fun, quick read. Although it does have some dark moments it’s mostly a very light and humorous read. I really loved the characters and the ‘afterlife’ world was brilliantly created – so many small details were added to make it feel really believable. I really liked Lucy – really sassy and witty - and her relationship with Jeremy was so sweet. I really enjoyed their friendship and the way she completely takes over his life (and TV!) Her budding friendship and later ‘intervention’ with Hep was really poignant for me and definitely the part of the book that stood out for me. There is also a really sweet romance between Lucy and Ryan that I loved.

I did feel as if some things were a little too convenient or were achieved too easily. One example is Lucy's murderer and how that storyline is resolved. But, having said that, it does all add to the overall ‘feel good’ factor of the book. Although there was definitely potential for the story to be a much darker and longer read, I worry that had this been done it may have lost the quirky cuteness that really made it for me.

Overall a really enjoyable read, with great characters, and fun dialogue. I’m really looking forward to reading many more books by this author.

Monday 29 March 2010

I want to read that...

Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
From Amazon: The year is 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. His life is that of a perfectly ordinary army officer’s son: boarding school, good manners, a classical education – the backbone of the British Empire. But all that is about to change. With his father suddenly posted to India, and his mother mysteriously ‘unwell’, Sherlock is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire. So begins a summer that leads Sherlock to uncover his first murder, a kidnap, corruption and a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent . . .
The Death Cloud is the first in a series of novels in which the iconic detective is reimagined as a brilliant, troubled and engaging teenager – creating unputdownable detective adventures that remain true to the spirit of the original books.

I really like the sound of this. It's published 4 June 2010 by Macmillan Children's Books.

Saturday 27 March 2010

In My Mailbox (32)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

This week I bought:

Captivate by Carrie Jones (Yay!)
Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Go Figure by Jo Edwards
From Goodreads: Ryan is not obsessing....
But she does want to lose weight. Ever since she was outted as a "fat girl" at chearleading camp in fifth grade, Ryan's been on a mission to shed more than a few pounds.
Lately she's also on the hunt for a new relationship. Now that her ex-boyfriend is a rock star - currently posing on the cover of Rolling Stone - Ryan seriously needs to move on. They haven't spoken in months,but in the magazine Noah's wearing the bracelet Ryan gave him. She can't wondering what that means...Not that she wants him back or anything.No, Ryan's plan is to make the most of senior year. After all, she's popular, funny, a talented photographer...she's got a lot going for her.So it's not all about losing weight or gaining a boyfriend. It's about getting what she wants. And it's about time.

Life Swap by Abby McDonald
From Goodreads: Who better than a twenty-four-year-old author to satirize the college experience? An uptight Brit and a hard-partying American swap lives in the smartest comedy of the season. Take an administrative snafu, a bad break-up, and what shall heretofore be known as "The Hot-Tub Incident", and you've got two thoroughly unprepared sophomores on a semester abroad. For American party girl Tasha, an escape to tweedy Oxford may be a chance to ditch her recent fame as a tabloid temptress, but wading Uggs-deep in feminist theory is not her idea of a break. Meanwhile, the British half of the exchange, studious control-freak Emily, nurses an aching heart amid the bikinis and beer pong of U.C. Santa Barbara. Soon desperation has the girls texting each other tips - on fitting in, finding love and figuring out who they really are. With an anthropologist's eye for cultural detail and a true ear for teen-speak, exciting new novelist Abigail McDonald crafts a very funny, fast-paced, poignant look at survival, sisterhood, and the surprising ways we discover our true selves. This is a humorous debut novel by young author. It is presented by a sophisticated chick lit.

Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
From Goodreads:
Austin music fest Yay, summer in Austin! Good food, good times. Fun for everyone! Okay, living with my sorority-brainwashed cousin, who willingly goes by "Party Penny," is not exactly what I had in mind. All your favorite bands. But the cute musicians I've met totally make up for it . . . like Sebastian. Swoon. All ages welcome. So why can't I stop thinking about Penny's friend All-American Russ and his Texas twang?? Saturday & Sunday, from noon to midnight. Don't wait up!

And on Wednesday I attended an event at Headline where we saw a presentation and met with authors (including Alex Bell and Dan Wells) It was a great day- a big thanks to Headline for organising such a fun event!

Dan Wells kindly signed copies of his books for me - thanks Dan!

I'm Not a Serial Killer - signed "May you have many horrible nightmares"
From Goodreads: The first book in a darkly comic new series from a debut author John works in his family’s mortuary and has an obsession with serial killers. He wants to be a good person, but fears he is a sociopath, and for years he has suppressed his dark side through a strict system of rules designed to mimic 'normal' behavior. Then a demon begins stalking his small town and killing people one by one, and John is forced to give in to his darker nature in order to save them. As he struggles to understand the demon and find a way to kill it, his own mind begins to unravel until he fears he may never regain control. Faced with the reality that he is, perhaps, more monstrous than the monster he is fighting, John must make a final stand against the horrors of both the demon and himself.

Mr Monster - signed "I appologise in advance for the cat"
From Goodreads:From the author of I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER...John Wayne Cleaver has always known he has a dark side but he's fought hard to oppress it and live a normal life -- separating John from Mr Monster to survive. But after confronting and destroying the vicious killer that was terrorizing his town, his inner monster is getting stronger and harder to contain. And now more bodies are being discovered...With the police failing to catch Clayton County's second serial killer John is going to have to use his secret knowledge of the first demon-killer to trap the second...but will he be able to avoid suspicion falling on him, and, in the face of extreme horrors, will he be able to restrain Mr Monster?

What did you get?

Friday 26 March 2010

When did my love of books turn into an obsession?

I have loved reading for a long as I can remember – I don’t ever recall it not being part of my life. When I was really young I loved all things Enid Blyton. The Magic Faraway tree was my absolute favourite, followed by the Famous Five and then the Mystery and Adventure series until I discovered Judy Blume. It was ‘Are you there God? It’s me Margaret’ and was given to me by my sister while I was at my grandparents house. I must have been 10 or 11 at the time it was the first time I realised how amazing books could be. Up to that point I had loved reading but it had never captured me in the way this book had. I was transfixed by it – just so absorbed by the characters and story – it’s a feeling I’ve never forgotten.

My reading tastes have changed over the years. I devoured all of Judy Blume's books, loved Paula Danziger and (embarrassingly) sweet dream romances. Point Horror books were a favourite of mind until I moved on to adult books when I discovered John Saul. And then I found Christopher Pike. Again I had that feeling I found when I first read Judy Blume. This time the book was ‘Remember Me’ and I absolutely loved it!

I have had that feeling over and over again in following years. You never know when it’s going to hit and I wonder if it is the cause of my book buying addiction. Am I trying to find that perfect book in the way a drug user gets his fix? I don’t know. All I do know is I love books. I love everything about them. Finding them, what they look like, the promise of what is inside. The magic they could contain!

Which is possibly where my problem lies?

So why do I think my love of books has become an obsession. Well let’s see...

I have a ridiculously high TBR pile yet I still buy more books.

I have acquired 63 books so far this year (and it’s only March!)

I have only read 25 books this year


So the question is ... why can’t I STOP BUYING BOOKS?

I wish I could blame this on my blog but in all truth I developed this ‘problem’ years ago. I had a ridiculously high TBR pile before I started I Want To Read That. It’s one of the reasons I started. Perhaps my working in a bookshop and being surrounded by temptation all day is too much to ask? But I even go to bookshops on my day off! And don’t even ask me about charity shops!

So am I alone in this problem? Is there a magic cure or will someone find me buried under my pile of unread books?

Thursday 25 March 2010

Walk of the Spirits by Richie Tankersley Cusick

From Goodreads: When Miranda Barnes first sees the sleepy town of St. Yvette, Louisiana, with its moss-draped trees, above-ground cemeteries, and her grandfather's creepy historic home, she realizes that life as she knew it is officially over. Almost immediately, there seems to be something cloying at her. Something lonely and sad and . . . very pressing. Even at school and in the group project she's been thrown into, she can't escape it. Whispers when she's alone, shadows when no one is there to make them, and a distant pleading voice that wakes her from sleep. The other members in Miranda's group project, especially handsome Etienne, can see that Miranda is in distress. She is beginning to understand that, like her grandfather before her, she has a special gift of communicating with spirits who still walk the town of St. Yvette. And no matter where she turns, Miranda feels bound by their whispered pleas for help . . . unless she can somehow find a way to bring them peace.

I was a massive fan of Richie Tankersley Cusick when I was younger so I was really excited to see she had written this series. It didn't quite meet all my expectations but I did enjoy it.

I really loved the characters – especially Etienne and Roo. It did take a while for me to warm to Miranda but by the end I really liked her. What I really loved was the playful banter and continuous teasing between all of the characters. It was really fun to read and my favourite aspect of the book. I also enjoyed the mystery and watching them put the pieces together. Once Miranda embraced her ‘gift’ it became really interesting and I loved how it all played out in the end.

Unfortunately, I felt the story lacked a bit of momentum to begin with. It does make up for it at the end – the last third is really exciting and I found myself completely gripped. It also really sets up the next instalment and I’m looking forward to spending more time with the characters. I hope this time Roo gets a bit more ‘screen’ time as I really loved her sarcastic comments. I’m also looking forward to more of the mysterious Etienne – there were a few loose ends surrounding his character I hope are addressed in the next book ‘Shadow Mirror’

Overall this was good. It’s a shame it’s a bit slow to begin with but if you stick with it you are rewarded in the end and I think it has the potential to be a great series.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

I want to read that...

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

From Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.

Normal is so overrated.

I wanted to read this for a while but now I've seen the cover I really want to read it. How great does it sound? It's published September 21st 2010 by Harper Teen.

Monday 22 March 2010

Scarred (aka Willow) by Julia Hoban

From Amazon: Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow’s parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it—Willow lost control of the car and her parents died in the accident. Now she has left behind her old home, friends, and school, and blocks the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she begins an intense, life-changing relationship that turns her world upside down.
Told in an arresting, fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl’s struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy’s refusal to give up on her.

Scarred was one of those books I had such high expectations for and it still managed to exceed them all. From the first page I found myself completely immersed in the story and didn’t want to stop reading until the end. Even 320 pages later I found myself disappointed that it had finished. I just loved everything about it and know it will be one of those books I read again and again.

Usually I prefer first person narrative so I was surprised when I got half way through this novel and only just noticed it was written in third person. I think this is because will still get the whole story from Willow’s point of view and are privy to everything she is feeling. I loved how Julia Hoban created this character. Since the story is such a character driven piece it was essential that Willow felt real and this is where the book excels. I don’t think I have a read a book with character that felt more real. She came across with all her complexities and flaws - it was just amazing. The other characters were equally brilliant. Her brother’s grief was almost palpable and Guy was just such a lovable character who was so good and nice you could understand completely how he could be such a positive influence to Willow

The story is essentially about Willow's grief over the death of her parents and the fact that she was driving the car that killed them. Blaming herself and believing no one should forgive her, including her brother, she finds an outlet for her emotions. Self harm. Reading those scenes was just brutal. I think that is the best word to describe how I felt. I applaud Hoban for dealing with a subject that is still such a taboo and hopefully managing to throw light on it. It definitely opened my eyes.

There are some scenes that really stand out for me. A confrontation between Willow and her brother had me so overwhelmed I had to put the book down for a few minutes before I could read on - I was just so invested in the story and Willow’s journey it felt as if her pain was mine. There were also some incredibly sweet moments between Willow and Guy and I just loved their relationship.

Reading over what I have written it still feels as if I haven’t done the book the justice it deserves. It made me smile, cry, wish will all my heart that things could be different for Willow, just so many different emotions. It’s not just one of the best books I have read this year but one of the best I've ever read. Truly brilliant.

Saturday 20 March 2010

In My Mailbox (31)

In my mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

For Review:

Kiss and Break Up by Kate Kingsley (Headline, 1 April 2010)
From Amazon: Half term may be over but the chaos has just begun. Mr Logan has run off and eloped with Miss Sharkreve leaving the Lower Sixth with a new housemistress - the tyrannical, catty Mrs Dicks. And with the rules getting tighter at St Cecilia's the students are getting way more creative in finding ways to break them - especially as they're all feeling a bit frisky.

Tally, broken hearted and on the rebound, sets her sights on safe bet Rando, while Alice and Tristan decide to take their relationship to the next level. Things between Dylan and Jasper are seriously heating up - could she finally have found a guy who won't disappoint her?

As tensions reach an explosive high, a pool party at Rando's country estate should be just the thing to cool everyone down. Or will it push the temperature up a notch?

Lottie Biggs Not Desperate by Hayley Long (Macmillan, 7 May 2010)
From Amazon: Lottie Biggs is recovering from her mental disorder of a reasonably significant nature with the help of her counsellor, who rather helpfully looks like Johnny Depp. Things are looking up - her hair is an excellent shade of black, she has a Saturday job in a hairdresser and Gareth Stingecombe and his manly thighs are still the love of her life. When Gareth undoes his trousers to show Lottie a fetching bruise on one of the aforementioned thighs, she comes to the realisation that, unlike everyone else she knows, she is A TOTAL UTTER VIRGIN. But how can she get any sort of experience when her boyfriend is doggedly, stubbornly and infuriatingly determined to preserve his energies for the rugby field?


The Compound by S A Bodeen (I had to get this after reading a review by Lauren @ I was a teenage book geek! Sounds Ace!)
From Amazon: Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they’ve become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy. No amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day. As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can’t help but wonder if he’d rather take his chances outside. Eli’s father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe—really?

Would You by Marthe Jocelyn
From Goodreads: Would you rather know what’s going to happen or not know?
A summer night. A Saturday. For Natalie’s amazing older sister, Claire, this summer is fantastic, because she’s zooming off to college in the fall. For Natalie, it’s a fun summer with her friends; nothing special. When Claire is hit by a car, the world changes in a heartbeat. Over the next four days, moment by moment, Natalie, her parents, and their friends wait to learn if Claire will ever recover.

Heartbreak River by Tricia Mills
From Amazon: Alex thought she’d be spending the summer focused on her family’s rafting business, burying the memories of her father’s death last year, and leaving behind all the messes she made in its wake.

But when Sean returns to town, she is forced to reckon with her mixed-up crushy feelings for him—more powerful than ever before. It takes another tragedy to make Alex realize Sean has loved her, and forgiven her, all along.

My So Called Death by Stacey Jay
From Goodreads: All in all it was a good day to die. If there really is such a thing.

You hear characters in movies say that all the time, but does anyone really believe the words “good” and “die” belong in the same sentence?

Still, it could have been worse. It could have been dark and spooky night instead of a beautiful Georgia morning in late October, with a light wind whipping across the Peachtree High School football field, making zombies seem like the last thing anyone needed to worry about…

Fifteen-year-old freshman, Karen Vera, is well on her way to ruling her school when a freak cheer leading accident turns her into, well, a freak. Much to her Horror and Dismay, Karen learns she is a genetic mutation, one of the Death Challenged--a politically correct term for a zombie!

Now she has to go to a top secret zombie school, eat brains for lunch, and take courses with names like "Secrets of Successful Morticians and their Uses for the Undead: Foundation and Beyond". And to make matters worse, her roommate is the most reviled girl at DEAD High, a complete head case, and maybe...a murderer.

Can Karen find out who's offing the nearly un-off-able Undead before she becomes the next victim? Can she convince the super-cute captain of the swim team that a girl can have a pathological love for pink and still carry on an intelligent conversation? Will she ever pass remedial Algebra for the Death Challenged?

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
From Goodreads: "A serial killer on the loose. A girl with a morbid ability. And the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

Violet Ambrose can find the dead. Or at least, those who have been murdered. She can sense the echoes they leave behind... and the imprints they leave on their killers. As if that weren't enough to deal with during junior year, she also has a sudden, inexplicable, and consuming crush on her best friend since childhood, Jay Heaton.

Now a serial killer has begun terrorizing Violet's small town... and she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him."

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
From Goodreads: Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...

Scarred by Julia Hoban (I have already read this and it is just AMAZING!)
From Amazon: Seven months ago on a rainy March night, Willow's parents drank too much wine at dinner and asked her to drive them home. But they never made it - Willow lost control of the car, and both of her parents were killed. Now seventeen, Willow is living with her older brother, who can barely speak to her. She has left behind her old home, friends, and school. But Willow has found a way to survive, to numb the new reality of her life: She is secretly cutting herself. And then she meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is. When Guy discovers Willow's secret, he pulls her out of the solitary world she's created for herself, and into a difficult, intense, and potentially life-changing relationship.

I have no idea which to read first - I want to read them all - RIGHT NOW!

What did you get this week?

Thursday 18 March 2010

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

From Amazon:
Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares—has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

Considering how much I loved Perfect Chemistry I had to read this! I was not disappointed! Everything I loved about Simone’s writing in Perfect Chemistry is here too: a great plot, fantastic characters and brilliant romance.

In similar fashion to Perfect Chemistry we have a dual narrative so we get the story from both Caleb and Maggie’s point of view. This works wonders and I just love it! Both characters were brilliantly crafted and I completely believed in them. I loved how the two characters kept getting thrown together and I found myself completely invested in their relationship.

As for the story it’s just fantastic. I didn’t find it predictable at all and had no idea what direction the story would take. I loved that it completely surprised me. If I was in awe of Simone Elkeles writing after Perfect chemistry I am even more so now. I just loved it!

The only thing I found slightly disappointing is the ‘cliff-hanger’ ending. I loved the ending - it is just that there are so many things left unanswered at the end of the book it cries out for a sequel. Luckily there is one due at the end of this year – but as a book on its own it feels more like part one of a larger story. I think if I had read this when it was first published in 2007 I would be pulling my hair out by now. I really need the rest of the story and can’t wait for Return to Paradise to hit the shelves later this year.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Author Interview: Julia Green

Julia Green is the author of several novels for teens, including the fabulous Drawing With Light and Breathing Underwater. She kindly took the time to answer a few questions.


What inspired you to write Drawing With Light?
Lots of things inspired 'Drawing with Light'; I started with a landscape (the Pyrennes in France ) and an image of a mother and a teenaged daughter meeting for the first time. That led me on to asking lots of questions: what had happened? Why did she leave? I started working out these things, and seeing the connections that might be there between the mother and Emily even though they have been apart for most of Emily's life. This led me to thinking about art, and photography, and other things. I really wanted to write a love story, about real first love, and how it changes you and makes things possible...

I loved Emily’s passion for photography. Is this a subject that interests you too?
Yes, I'm interested in the same things as Emily - art, and photography... I got more interested when one of my sons did A level Photography. He was very helpful to me while I was writing my story!

I really loved the character Seb – he was just really sweet. Do you have a favourite character from any of your books?
I'm glad you liked Seb! He's based on a real person I once knew and loved! I love all my characters: it's too hard to choose one favourite (it would be like choosing one of your own family as your favourite!)

I love that your books deal with very emotional and real life topics. What made you decide to tackle these subjects?
I'm so glad you like the fact I write about real life emotions. I write about the things that are important to me, that fascinate me. That means people and relationships. Real life rather than fantasy. I want to explore complex emotions. I think you feel everything deeply when you are a teenager (but actually, all our lives we feel like that, I realise now!). I write the books I would have liked to read when I was a young adult.

What authors/books did you love when you were growing up? Did any of these inspire you to become a writer yourself?
Yes, I loved reading so much when I was younger I wanted to write my own stories. Everything has influenced me, I think, right from the very beginning (Peter Rabbit, The Borrowers, Tom's Midnight Garden, The Children of Green Knowe .. then I Capture the Castle, the Flambards series .. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights ; more recently, Skellig and Heaven Eyes by David Almond... and I've just read a book called 'Tender Morsels' which I thought was brilliant.

What is next for you? Will we see more of Emily and Seb?
I'm writing some more about Freya, from 'Breathing Underwater' at the moment... and I'd love to write more about Emily and Seb. I have to talk to my publishers first, to see what they think about that idea!

Thanks for asking such good and interesting questions!


Thanks Julia! I'm really looking forward to reading more about Freya and really hope you get to write more about Emily and Seb! You can read my review of Drawing With Light here and you can read an extract of Breathing Underwater here. You can also visit Julia's website here.

Tuesday 16 March 2010

I want to read that...

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck here in spirit form with no sign of the big, bright light coming to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser/outcast type who hates the social elite. He alone can see and hear her, but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High. Can they get over their mutual distrust—and this weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist?

I really fancy this one! It's published (in the US) July 6th 2010 by Hyperion Book CH

Monday 15 March 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Published: Simon & Schuster 1 April
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.

I don’t think words can describe how much I loved this book! Well, actually, two would probably sum it up... Alex Fuentes! Joking aside, there is much more to this novel than just Alex but I don’t think I’ve come across a character I have enjoyed more.

I loved the dual narrative. As I have said in previous reviews this has fast become my favourite style of narration as not only do we get inside the head of each character but we get to see them from each other’s point of view. I adored Alex – hot, sexy, tough, yet at times, sensitive and sweet - and Brittney was incredible sweet too. You could understand her need to be perfect and I loved that she was more than she appeared to be. I especially loved how her relationship with her sister was portrayed. There were many other characters, all of them fleshed out enough to really pull you into the story.

The story itself was really enjoyable. Kind of predictable but in an unpredictable way –you have a good idea of where the story will end up but the journey itself takes you in directions you don’t see coming. I loved it and want to read it again and again.

Simone Elkeles has really impressed me. If I’d had any idea it was going to be this good I would have tried to get my hands on a copy ages ago. If you love romance try this. You won’t regret it!

A massive thank you to Jenny @
Wondrous Reads for sending me a copy to review:)

Saturday 13 March 2010

In my mailbox (30)

In my mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

For Review:

Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty (Yay!!!)
From Goodreads: Amelia and Riley have transferred to Ashbury for their final year of school, and everyone is completely obsessed with them. Glamorous, talented and totally devoted to one another, the two of them drift through school in their own world. But there's more to the couple than meets the eye - they have secrets. And some of them are dangerous to share. As Riley starts to lose his grip on Amelia, the repercussions affect everyone around them. It is a spellbinding story about ghosts, secrets, madness, passion, locked doors, femme fatales, and that terrifying moment in the final year of high school when you realise that the future's coming to get you.

From Goodreads: Things have changed for Ever since she met her beloved Damen - not least because she's got a whole new set of powers, courtesy of her new Immortal status. Just as she's getting stronger, though, Damen seems to be weakening. Panicked at the thought of losing him, Ever finds a path to the in-between world known as Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen's tortured past. But in searching for a cure for him, Ever accidentally discovers a way to twist time so she can save her family from the accident that killed them. It's all she's ever wanted - but so is Damen. And Ever must choose between them...

In My Sky at Twilight - chosen by Gaby Morgan
From Goodreads: This swooningly gorgeous collection of poems celebrates love in all its guises from silent admiration through heart-stopping passion to tearful resignation. Whether you are star-crossed lovers, kindred spirits or smitten by the boy next door these exquisite verses speak of the universal experiences of the heart and prove that love transcends time itself. From "In My Sky At Twilight": 'In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud And your form and colour are the way I love them. You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips And in your life my infinite dreams live' - 'Pablo Neruda'.

Many thanks to Nicola @ Macmillan for sending me these for review:)

I bought:

Breathing Underwater by Julia Green
From Goodreads: Freya has come to visit her grandparents who live on a remote island. Last year she visited them with her brother - but last year her brother died alone in a boating accident. Whilst back on the island, Freya finds a way, with the calming presence of her grandparents and the gentle care and attention of the people around her, to adjust to the fact that her brother has gone, and that life - and love - are still vibrantly in the air. A perfect coming of age for any young girl just tipping into teenhood.

Walk of the Spirits by Richie Tankersley Cusick
From Goodreads: When Miranda Barnes first sees the sleepy town of St. Yvette, Louisiana, with its moss-draped trees, above-ground cemeteries, and her grandfather's creepy historic home, she realizes that life as she knew it is officially over. Almost immediately, there seems to be something cloying at her. Something lonely and sad and . . . very pressing. Even at school and in the group project she's been thrown into, she can't escape it. Whispers when she's alone, shadows when no one is there to make them, and a distant pleading voice that wakes her from sleep. The other members in Miranda's group project, especially handsome Etienne, can see that Miranda is in distress. She is beginning to understand that, like her grandfather before her, she has a special gift of communicating with spirits who still walk the town of St. Yvette. And no matter where she turns, Miranda feels bound by their whispered pleas for help . . . unless she can somehow find a way to bring them peace.

How did you all do?

Thursday 11 March 2010

Cover Wars: Generation Dead Series by Dan Waters

I really like both the US and the UK designs for these books but there is just something really quirky about the US ones that I really love! I find them really eye catching and original.

US Covers:

UK Covers:

What do you think?

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Drawing With Light by Julia Green

Review Copy: Bloomsbury. Published 1 March
From Amazon: Kat and Emily have grown up without their mother for almost as long as they can remember. And now Dad is with Cassy and they all muddle along together well enough - even though they are living in a cramped caravan while their new house is being renovated. Then Cassy and Dad tell them that Cassy is pregnant, and everything seems to shift. Emily feels a new urge to find her own mother. How could she have left them the way she did? Never writing to them? Not communicating with them? And as Emily begins her search, not knowing what she will find, she is at the same time embarking on a new relationship of her own, that of her romance with Seb. This is an evocative and finely drawn novel about family relationships, in particular that of mother and daughter, and the shifting emotions of a teenager trying to make sense of her family and her world.

This is the first Julia Green novel I have read and I really enjoyed it. She has a lovely writing style and I found myself gripped by Emily’s story. Many things happen in the course of the book but it is really about Emily and her journey to find out who she really is.

There were so many aspects that I loved. Being really interested in Photography I loved that Emily had a passion for this and that it played such a large part in the story. I loved her relationship with Seb - It was really sweet and touching and you could really see how he gave her the strength to do what she needed to do. I also just enjoyed watching Emily blossom from a young girl into a strong, independent adult. I found it all really engaging and told with wonderful insight.

My only quibble would be that there were a few things left unanswered that I really wanted to know. I felt that Emily’s journey was complete but would have loved that little bit extra to see what happened to the other characters. Otherwise this is a great novel. I have already ordered Breathing Underwater and can’t wait to read it.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

I want to read that...

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
From Goodreads: After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents are arrested.

Badly scarred since childhood, Gaia is a strong, resourceful loner who begins to question her society. As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she herself is arrested and imprisoned.

Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, BIRTHMARKED explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where one girl can make all the difference, and a real hero makes her own moral code.

Oooh I really like the sound of this one! It is published March 30th 2010 by Roaring Brook Press (US)

Monday 8 March 2010

The Splendour Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore

From Amazon: Can love last beyond the grave?

Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.

Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.

Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

I found myself immersed in this story from the first page. I really enjoyed the character Sylvie and found myself connecting to her straight away. I really liked her voice - she came across as strong yet vulnerable and I loved the fact she questioned everything that happening, including her sanity! I also found myself really drawn to Rhys - I even missed him when he wasn't in the story And I completely adored her dog Gigi!

The story itself is an intriguing one. There was a lot of detail included - at times it felt every conversation and action was documented - but I really liked this. It felt as if I were putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to solve what was going on at the same time as the characters. I did find myself getting impatient toward the end - I really needed to know what was happening. The ending was really good - very exciting and I wasn't sure what direction the story would take. I really liked that I found it completely unpredictable and I loved the way all the information collected throughout the story made perfect sense by the end.

I appreciate though, that at over 500 pages, this is a long book. And although I found it a refreshing change to some of the really quick and fast paced books I've read recently, it is slow paced. If you are after a rollercoaster ride of action this probably isn't going to be the book for you. But, if you fancy a really well written mystery with a supernatural edge this is a great story. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more books by the author.


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