Wednesday 30 June 2010

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

Review copy: Bloomsbury. Published 5th July 2010
From Goodreads:
The action and romance continue as the Drakes face a new vampire with a 200-year-old grudge.

It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.

The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.

This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan’s and Isabeau’s perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.

I really do enjoy this series. I was really looking forward to Blood Feud and it didn’t disappoint at all! Again we get a dual narrative: this time from Logan and Isabeau’s point of view.

I really took to Isabeau. She is a very strong character, with plenty of attitude, and I found her incredibly likeable. I loved the flashbacks to her life during the French Revolution as it really gave a great insight into her character.

Logan is rather sweet and witty. Nicholas is still my favourite Drake but I really enjoyed spending time with Logan. I think the dual narrative worked slightly better having it from the ‘couples ‘point of view. I was also pleased that we still got to see the other characters, especially Lucy! I love her character and like the way she was present in the story through conversation or thoughts even when she was not in the scenes.

I thought this instalment was much more humorous that the first and was better for it. It also has loads of action and vampire shenanigans! I just love the world Harvey has created and think there is room for many more instalments. One for each brother perhaps? I absolutely cannot wait for Out For Blood when it’s released!

Tuesday 29 June 2010

I want to read that...

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

From Goodreads: Freak. That’s what they called seventeen year-old Donna Underwood in high school after a horrific fey attack that killed her father when she was just a child. Her injuries and rehabilitation resulted in magically enhanced strength, thanks to the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. As a child of the alchemists, she is both blessed and cursed with a magical heritage that doesn't leave much room for boys, parties and homework. Now, after ten years of wishing for a normal life, she finally has to accept her role in the centuries-old war against the darkest outcasts of Faerie: the Dark Elves. Aided by a gorgeous half-fey dropout, Donna must race to save her best friend’s life - even if it means betraying one of the world’s greatest secrets and confronting the very thing that destroyed her family.

Well, I think this one looks rather fantastic! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover! It's published by Flux in Feb 2011. Can't wait!

Monday 28 June 2010

Review and Giveaway: Seriously Sassy - Crazy Days by Maggi Gibson.

Review Copy: Puffin. Published 1st July 2010
From Amazon: ‘I’m gonna use my fame and money to make the world a better place . . . OK?’ Life is seriously good for Sassy Wilde – she’s had her first kiss, she has the two bestest bezzies ever and her rock-chick dreams are on the verge of coming true. But just as everything's set to take off, her new boyfriend starts acting weird - and then the record company turns Sassy’s world upside down! Sassy feels like giving it all up – until a real disaster strikes. Now's not the time for Sassy to pack away her guitar, cos her talents are needed more than ever . . .

How fabulous is this book? It is so much fun and very witty. I loved Sassy! She is really sweet, somewhat melodramatic perhaps and has the marvelous ability of getting herself into the most ridiculous (and hilarious) situations. But you can't help but love her.

There are a whole cast of great characters, even the pet hamster plays a role. I really liked the story too - a really good message about helping others. It didn't matter at all that I hadn't read the other two books in the series, it was really easy to pick up what had happened previously. However, based on how much I enjoyed this one I would recommend that you read all three!

A really, really fun story that had me laughing out loud! I think the series will really appeal to both younger and older readers. Great fun!

Sound good? The lovely team at Puffin have offered a set of all 3 books to one lucky winner.


Sunday 27 June 2010

In My Mailbox (45)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

The Passage by Justin Cronin

For Review:
Seriously Sassy: Crazy Days by Maggi Gibson. Published: Puffin, July 1st 2010. (Already read this one and it's fab! Check back tomorrow for a chance to win the series!)

Trash by Andy Mulligan. Published: David Fickling Books, October 12th 2010.

Noah's Castle by John Rowe Townsend. Published: October Mist Publishing, March 22nd 2010.

Don't Know Where, Don't Know When (The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 1) by Annette Laing. Published: Confusion Press, August 20th 2007

From Netgalley:

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen.

Friday 25 June 2010

Star Crossed by Jo Cotterill

For review: Red Fox, 27 May
From Goodreads: 'You did WHAT?' screamed Mari. 'You turned down the cutest boy ever? Are you crazy?' Fliss isn't exactly outgoing. But on stage she really comes alive. And this summer, she's playing Juliet opposite her dream Romeo - Tom Mayerling. If only she could tell him how she feels! But unless Fliss finds some inner confidence, she's going to miss her chance with Tom. Because someone else has her eyes on Fliss' role - and her leading man...

This is a sweet book and I enjoyed it. I really liked the central character Fliss. She’s very nice and wants to do the right thing, even when that means letting someone walk all over her. For me, the story was more about her learning to have confidence and stand up for herself than the romance between her and Tom.

As for the other characters I really liked her friend Mari. She had attitude and I really liked that – she was definitely not afraid to stand up for herself! I also liked Fliss’ mum and could understand where she was coming from. She had to really struggle to raise Fliss and she desperately wants a better life for her daughter - even if that means sacrificing Fliss’ dreams. I liked how the relationship between the two developed, how they started to understand each other better and learn from each other.

As for Tom – he was okay. He kind of annoyed me a bit but he was sweet towards Fliss. I just didn’t feel that invested in their relationship which was a bit of a shame. But it’s a minor quibble. There were just more interesting elements to the story for me but that may have been because I’m older than the intended audience.

Overall - A light, fun read that will really appeal to younger teens. I really liked the Romeo and Juliet backdrop and think other readers will too. A really cute read.

You can check out Jo Cotterill's fab website by clicking here. She has a great 'Top Five' section and I have to say I agree with Number 3 of her leading men! Although I think I might have him listed higher... To check them out click here.

Thursday 24 June 2010

I want to read that...

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

From Goodreads:

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

I'm loving the sound of this one and how awesome is the cover? It's published September 2010 (US)

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Cover Wars: The Cardturner

I really like the US one - I like the way they have done title but I ADORE the UK one! It looks even better in person and is just so eyecatching! I've also seen a blue version.


Which do you prefer?

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Fallen Grace Trailer and Sample Chapter

From Goodreads: Grace Parkes has just had to do a terrible thing. Having given birth to an illegitimate child, she has travelled to the famed Brookwood Cemetery to place her small infant's body in a rich lady's coffin. Following the advice of a kindly midwife, this is the only way that Grace can think of to give something at least to the little baby who died at birth, and to avoid the ignominy of a pauper's grave. Distraught and weeping, Grace meets two people at the cemetery: Mrs Emmeline Unwin and Mr James Solent. These two characters will have a profound affect upon Grace's life. But Grace doesn't know that yet. For now, she has to suppress her grief and get on with the business of living: scraping together enough pennies selling watercress for rent and food; looking after her older sister, who is incapable of caring for herself; thwarting the manipulative and conscience-free Unwin family, who are as capable of running a lucrative funeral business as they are of defrauding a young woman of her fortune. A stunning evocation of life in Victorian London, with vivid and accurate depictions, ranging from the deprivation that the truly poor suffered to the unthinking luxuries enjoyed by the rich: all bound up with a pacy and thrilling plot, as Grace races to unravel the fraud about to be perpetrated against her and her sister.

Sounds great doesn't it? Check out the trailer below:

Look Good? Here's a peek at the first chapter:

Fallen Grace Sample Chapter

Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper - published by Bloomsbury 7 June 2010.

Monday 21 June 2010

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

For Review: Puffin (3 June 2010)
From Goodreads:
Some summers are just destined to be pretty
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

I REALLY enjoyed this one. I loved the concept of the book – how Belly grew up spending every summer going to Cousins. I just love the idea of doing that – the idea of knowing people your whole life and growing up with them. I spent the entire novel wishing I could have had the same thing!

I found Belly to be rather sweet. She definitely comes across as a 15 year old girl and is obviously enjoying the attention she is getting now that she is ‘pretty’. I really enjoyed the flashbacks to a much younger Belly – it gave great insight into her character.

Conrad and Jeremiah were rather awesome. Jeremiah was the one I warmed to the most – sweet and a great friend to Belly. Conrad (at the time we meet him) is obviously bothered by something so comes across as slightly harsh – but we do get to see him through Belly’s memories and that gives a true idea of who is really is. There is a scene between him and Belly toward the end of the book that I think is one of my favourite scenes ever! I also really liked Cam – he seemed really sweet and caring towards Belly.

The plot is simple but really effective. It was great experiencing it with Belly and I enjoyed watching her character grow. She didn’t make the best decisions though, and I must admit that I was slightly annoyed at her for not picking up on what Conrad and Jeremiah obviously knew - and what I felt was rather obvious. .

I loved the ending and it certainly left me wanting more. Having said that the story does end feeling unfinished so I do feel as if I’m kind of hanging in the middle. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it means I’m really looking forward to the next instalment and I hope there are many more to come. I'm not sure I could ever tire of these characters.

Sunday 20 June 2010

In My Mailbox (44)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

This week I bought:

So Many Boys by Suzanne Young
From Goodreads: Tessa goes from strawberry smoothie to suddenly single!
After her center-court split with Aiden, Tessa puts the SOS behind her. After all, cheaters never prosper! Now she’s busy working on her faux-relationship with Aiden and negotiating the unfamiliar waters of “technically single and pseudo-dating.”
Life can’t get any more dismal for a one-guy kind of girl until an imposter hijacks the SOS, and it’s up to Tessa to save her squad from slander. But with her best boy hot and cold, what’s a kitten to do?
Even worse, Tessa doesn’t realize how much she’s up against—because this copykitten is far more naughty than nice.

Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman
From Goodreads: Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town working at the library and lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she’s convinced he’s the one—her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama’s strict rules, and stays by her side during a hospitalization for severe asthma, which Savannah becomes convinced is only improving because Jackson is there. But when he’s called away to help his family—and seems uncertain about returning—Savannah has to learn to breathe on her own, both literally and figuratively.

How did you all do?

Tuesday 15 June 2010

I want to read that...

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

From Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I really fancy reading this one and have seen some really good reviews for it! It's published September 7th 2010 (US)

Monday 14 June 2010

The Boyfriend Game by Stephie Davis

From Goodreads:
I rested the ball on my hip and walked back toward the equipment shed. In the dark.
Alone. With a boy.
I would be completely freaking out over varsity soccer tryouts if it weren't for the new student, Graham, who's helping me practice. He has the most amazing green eyes, curly brown hair, and perfect legs. Plus, we have lots in common, since all we both care about is soccer! Well, that's all he cares about. But my heart beats so fast when we're on the field together . . . and I don't think it's just from all the running around.

This is a really sweet read that I would recommend for younger readers. It perfectly describes that period in our life when we first discover that we (gasp!) really like someone.

This story follows Trisha and her goal to get onto the Varsity soccer team. She loves football and shares that passion with her friends. Her friends, however, are slightly more interested in boys which is something Trisha doesn't understand until she meets Graham. Given the opportunity to train with him she does and that where things get incredibly cute! I remember (many moons ago) the first feelings of attraction - when I 'liked him but didn't want to say I liked him in case he didn't like me but wanted to find ways of spending time with him because I couldn't stop thinking about him....' You know what I mean? I think we all remember that and this book brilliantly brings it to life.

It's a very quick read, and as I said really sweet. I liked the authors style of writing and she really brings the characters to life. It's also romantic in a really cute way! I'll definitely be looking for more of her books.

Saturday 12 June 2010

In My Mailbox (43)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

This week I bought:

Knight Angels: Book of Love by Abra Ebner
Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski
The Season by Sarah MacLean

and for review:

Star Crossed by Jo Cotterill. (Red Fox, 27 May 2010) I received some sweets too...and for some reason this made me really happy!
Classic (It Girl) by Cecily von Ziegesar. (Headline, 10 June 2010)
Forest Born by Shannon Hale. (Bloomsbury, 5 July 2010)
Pastworld by Ian Beck. (Bloomsbury, 5 July 2010)
Check out the awesome trailer.. Looks good, doesn't it?

Big thanks to Random House, Bloomsbury and Headline for sending me books to review:)

Hope you all had a great week for books:)

Thursday 10 June 2010

I want to read that...

Trance by Linda Gerber

From Amazon: Ashlyn Greenfield has always known when bad things are going to happen. Every time she gets that familiar tingling feeling at the back of her neck, she knows what's about to come - a trance. She's pulled in, blindsided; an unwilling witness to a horrible upcoming event. But she's never been able to stop it - not even when she had a vision of her mother's fatal car accident. When soulful Jake enters Ashlyn's life, she begins having trances about another car accident. And as her trances escalate, one thing becomes clear: it's going to be up to her to save Jake from near-certain death.

This sounds ace! It's published by Speak in October (US) and November (UK).
You can check out the author's website here

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Cover Wars: Rich and Mad by William Nicholson

Oooh I REALLY like the US one. There's just something about it. Both are really great covers though - maybe I'm just a little put off by the feet in the UK one...


Which do you prefer?

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

From Goodreads:
Two irresistible boys. One unforgettable summer.
Lori can't wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wakeboarding and hanging with her friends--including the two hotties next door. With the Vader brothers, she's always been just one of the guys. Now that she's turning sixteen, she wants to be seen as one of the girls, especially in the eyes of Sean, the older brother. But that's not going to happen--not if the younger brother, Adam, can help it.

Lori plans to make Sean jealous by spending time with Adam. Adam has plans of his own for Lori. As the air heats up, so does this love triangle. Will Lori's romantic summer melt into one hot mess?

Endless Summer contains The Boys Next Door and it's sequel Endless Summer. You can read my review for The Boys Next Door here.

I love Jennifer Echols. I think I may officially be a complete fan-girl! I was very excited when I heard she was writing a sequel to The Boys Next Door - I really enjoyed that book and loved the characters. Endless Summer picks up where the last book ended and it's fantastic to revisit the characters I fell in love with the first time around.

Lori is such a great character. She is a complete tomboy who is desperately trying to be a bit more girlie but just completely losing the battle. Bearing in mind she was raised by her father and surrounded by boys this is not surprising! She also comes up with the most ridiculous (but equally funny) plans that just never go the way they are supposed to.

I adored Adam in The Boys Next Door and if it's possible I adored him even more in Endless Summer. We have the added bonus this time around that we get alternate chapters from his point of view which is completely brilliant. The romance is really sweet and the treehouse scene? LOVED it! The other characters are great too and I loved the interactions between the guys and Lori. This time Sean has more heart which was nice and I really liked Lori's brother.

Overall - another great book by the amazing Echols! I hope she writes many more of these romantic comedies as they are really good and I absolutely can't wait for Forget You when it's published in July!

*end of fan-girl gush*

Saturday 5 June 2010

In My Mailbox (42)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

This week I bought:

Thirst #1 by Christopher Pike
Thirst #2 by Christopher Pike - I LOVE the covers for these:)
Passing Strange by Dan Waters - I love the US covers for these:)
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson - if this is half as good as it looks it will be awesome!
Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols - YAY!
Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins

and from NetGalley:

Manifest by Artist Arthur
The Secret of Ka by Christopher Pike - How excited am I????
The Oracle of Dating by Allison van Diepen

How did you all do this week?

Thursday 3 June 2010

Cover Wars: Gimme a Call

I like both of these. I like the simplicity of the US one and it has a more adult feel, whereas I really like the colours on the UK one. I think that the US one just has the edge for me though.


What do you think?

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Book Trailer of the Month: The Chosen One

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

I really looking forward to reading this one - it sounds fab and completely different from anything I've read before. I just love the trailer - very simple but it completely caught my attention. And any book that has a quote from Meg Cabot is always worth checking out:) It's published in August by Simon & Schuster UK.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Winner of Wasted by Nicola Morgan

Thanks for all your entries:) Since they were all really good and it was just too hard to choose one I decided to let Random Org make the decision for me:)

So, without further ado, the winner is:

Caroline S

Caroline - I have emailed you:)

This Is Me From Now On by Barbara Dee

For review: Barbara Dee
From Amazon: Sometimes your life just needs a little jolt.
This is what Evie's new friend Francesca tells her, and soon enough, Evie's life has had something more like an earthquake. Francesca thinks life is dull unless you go after everything you want and say everything on your mind all the time--and sometimes that includes giving other people a little behind the scenes help to give them what she thinks they want.
Evie can't always tell if she's horrified or fascinated by everything Francesca convinces her to do, but ultimately, she comes to see friendship--and life--in a whole new light.

I loved this! It is a really sweet and fun read that tweens and teens would really enjoy.

Barbara Dee is a great writer and I found myself easily immersed in the story. Evie and Francesca are wonderful characters - I loved how real they felt. Evie comes across as really sweet and kind, very witty with her observations. I enjoyed her journey - about friendships and discovering who you are and who you want to be. I absolutely adored Francesca. I loved her individuality and although she is slightly with the truth I do think she has people's best interests at heart. I thought she was really good for Evie, bringing her out of her shell and really seeing her for who she is rather than who she wanted her to be, and I thought Evie was good for Francesca too. She is a stable influence in her life that could have otherwise be lacking.

The plot is simple but really enjoyable. It's more about the characters and how they grow, and about the friendships you have when you are still discovering who you are. It brought back memories of my friendships at that age, and of the boys I really liked . I'd loved to catch up with Evie and Francesca at a later date and see how they are getting on, but in the meantime I plan to track down some more of Barbara Dee's work!


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