Monday 31 January 2011

I want to read that...

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

From Goodreads:  Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

I'm really liking the sound of this one - and I adore the cover!

It's published June 2011 by Harper Collins.

Saturday 29 January 2011

Win a signed copy of The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (UK only)

From Goodreads: Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper. His best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids”, as Leo puts it. What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea — except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father, a famous actor, has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.

Sound good?  Well, thanks to Just So I have one signed copy to giveaway! 

  • The contest is open to UK only.
  • Closing date is 5 February 2011
  • You don't need to be a follower of my blog to enter.
  • I will need to forward the winner's details on to my contact with Just So - so please only enter if you are happy for me to do so.

Just fill in the form below - Good Luck:)

This giveaway is now closed.

Friday 28 January 2011

Entangled by Cat Clarke

From Goodreads:
The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

A story of dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.

I devoured this book.  I started it at 9am in the morning and didn't move until I had finished it - yes it was that good!  I really,  really loved it!

The story begins with Grace held captive in a white room. She has no idea how she got there or why she is there.  Only that there is paper and pens and she is supposed to write.  So she does, and this forces her to remember -  to remember things she has been trying to forget...

I absolutely adored Grace.  Her voice was the driving force of this novel and I loved how her story unfolded.  I found myself completely immersed in it, desperately wanted to know what had happened but also savouring every moment.  Grace is such a complex character and it really works.  She's not always the nicest person to those around her but underneath that you really sense 'her' and I just wanted to hug her.  Nat and Sal were also great characters.  I loved that all three of them weren't perfect - that they all made mistakes.  It made it more honest and real, and something I could completely invest in.

I loved the whole mystery aspect as well.  Who was Ethan?  Why was she there?  But also in the story Grace tells.  You know something must have happened because of the place she was in at the beginning of the story - she tells you that much - but you don't know what happened.  I really enjoyed the pace at which we found out all the details - and what they were.  There is something very honest about it - it all makes sense in retrospect and everything just falls into place.

Not everything in this novel is answered.  As the reader we are left to make up our own minds about certain things and I found that really refreshing.  I still find myself thinking about Grace and I read Entangled weeks ago.  I just can't seem to get her out of my head.  I can honestly say I can't wait to read whatever Cat Clarke writes next!  An awesome debut!

Thursday 27 January 2011

Cover Wars: Pretty Bad Things


I am so in love with the US cover for this one! It really caught my eye when I saw it and it took me a few minutes to process it was the same book as the UK one.  I love the sunglasses and the boy in the background - and the way the title/author looks like it's taped on!

What do you think?

Wednesday 26 January 2011

The Book of Luke by Jenny O'connell

From Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of Plan B comes a funny and touching new novel about a girl, a boy, and a notebook that could ruin everything.

Emily Abbott has always been considered the Girl Most Likely to Be Nice — but lately being nice hasn't done her any good. Her parents have decided to move the family from Chicago back to their hometown of Boston in the middle of Emily's senior year. Only Emily's first real boyfriend, Sean, is in Chicago, and so is her shot at class valedictorian and early admission to the Ivy League. What's a nice girl to do?

Then Sean dumps Emily on moving day and her father announces he's staying behind in Chicago "to tie up loose ends," and Emily decides that what a nice girl needs to do is to stop being nice.

She reconnects with her best friends in Boston, Josie and Lucy, only to discover that they too have been on the receiving end of some glaring Guy Don'ts. So when the girls have to come up with something to put in the senior class time capsule, they know exactly what to do. They'll create a not-so-nice reference guide for future generations of guys — an instruction book that teaches them the right way to treat girls.

But when her friends draft Emily to test out their tips on Luke Preston — the hottest, most popular guy in school, who just broke up with Josie by email — Emily soon finds that Luke is the trickiest of test subjects . . . and that even a nice girl like Emily has a few things to learn about love.

When we first meet Emily she is being forced to move back to Boston, her boyfriend dumps her and it turns out her father is not coming with them!  But being back in Boston is not all bad. She reconnects with her old best friends, Josie and Lucy,  and together they come up with a perfect idea for their senior time capsule:  an instruction book for guys teaching them the right way to treat girls.  Of course, they decide they should test it out and who better to test it on than Luke Preston - Josie's ex boyfriend who dumped her by email!  Determined not to be a nice girl anymore Emily launches herself into the plan with gusto - but things don't go according to plan...

This was a fun read.  I like Jenny O'Connell's  writing style - she always creates really interesting characters.  I really liked Emily despite the fact that what she was doing was really mean.  And there is no way round that - the three friends are being incredibly mean.  But you can see why they do it which makes it work.  Also you get a good insight into Emily and her home life - and you take the journey with her as she learns that not all things are black and white.

I really loved Luke.  I liked how Jenny O'Connell made him three dimensional.  He wasn't just another hot guy but came across as a real person with flaws.  He hasn't always done the right thing but he's not being  intentionally mean.  And I loved the scenes with him and Emily.  They really seemed to connect - they told each other things they hadn't told anyone else.

My favourite aspect of the story though was Emily and her father and I was a bit disappointed this wasn't explored a bit more.  I would also have liked more on Emily reconnecting with her friends and looking at her relationship with her friends back in Chicago.   I would rather have had the 'test out the guide' plot end a bit sooner and have these elements become the focus but overall I enjoyed the book. And I'm definitely interested in reading whatever Jenny O'Connell writes next.

Monday 24 January 2011

I want to read that....

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

From Goodreads:  Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

So...  this one caught my attention at the 'hot neighbor cowboy'!  I really enjoyed Splendor Falls so I'm looking forward to this -  it sounds fab!

It's published by Delacorte Books July 2011.

Sunday 23 January 2011

In My Mailbox (75)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I loved Before I Fall (review here) so I am beyond excited to read this.  The finished cover is lovely!

Gladiator: Fight For Freedom by Simon Scarrow
I've never read anything by Simon Scarrow before so I'm interested to see what this will be like.

Dancing Jax by Robin Jarvis
The cover is amazing!  And it sounds really brilliant and creepy!

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel (Proof copy)
I can't believe I haven't realised this is a series I might actually really enjoy!

Wuthering Tights by Louise Renninson
Can't wait to read this one!


Loving Spirit:  Dreams by Linda Chapman
I really liked the first book in this series (my review is here) so I'm looking forward to catching up with the characters.

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
I have read this one a while back and really enjoyed it - wanted my own copy. 

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison
This looks like great fun!

Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell
Thought this one sounded good.  Anyone read it?

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
Loved this book! (see my review here)  And it has gold edges!  And Karen Mahoney was at a blogger's brunch I attended (see below) so I managed to get this signed. Thanks Karen:) 

Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell
People keep telling me this one is really good so when it came into work I decided to get it.  Very excited to see if it's as good as everyone says.

Very LaFreak by Rachel Cohn
Sounds different and interesting!  Looking forward to seeing what I think of it.  Also how much do I love the model's hair?  Gorgeous!

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
I've heard some very good things about this one and some not so good.  But I really fancy it so hopefully I will love it, and I *so* love the cover - really pretty!

The Only Alien On The Planet by Kristen D. Randle
I'd never heard of this one before but thought it sounded good.  Not keen on the cover though:(

The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon by Sara Beitia
Love the cover and thought this sounded really good. Hope it lives up to my expectations!.


Also, I went to RHCB's Blogger's brunch on Saturday, where we all got a goody bag and got to pick some books from their shelves!  MASSIVE thanks to everyone at RHCB for such a great day (and for being amazingly generous!) 

Goody Bag:

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
Can't wait to read this one!  It sounds phenomenal! Also just look at the cover - awesome!

In the Sea there are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda
This sounds remarkable but I have the feeling it might make me cry.

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens  + Notebook
A page-turner in tradition of CS Lewis, JK Rowling and Philip Pullman?  Yep, so there!

The Kissing Game by Aidan Chambers
A collection of short stories.  Sounds great!

My shelf raid (They all sound so good I couldn't resist!):

Fever by Amy Meredith
Sweet Hearts: Strictly Friends? by Jo Cotteril
Jumping to Confusions by Liz Rettig
Agent 21 by Chris Ryan
The Medici Seal by Theresa Breslin
The Nostradamus Prophecy by Theresa Breslin
Prisoner of the Inquisition by Theresa Breslin
Beauty by Robin McKinley
Selina Penaluna by Jan Page

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 21 January 2011

Cover Wars: Die For Me by Amy Plum


I really like the US one but I love the UK one. While I think the US one is very atmospheric I find the UK one very eye catching - I think it's the colouring! And I really like the swirly design and how it wraps around her arms..

What do you think?

Thursday 20 January 2011

Review and giveaway: The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney.

For Review: Random House.  Published 20 January 2011.
From Goodreads: Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

I have really been looking forward to this one and I loved every minute of it!

Donna has had to keep her world of magic and alchemy a secret all her life. A brutal fey attack on her family when she was seven left her father dead, her mother insane and Donna with 'fixed' arms - they are magically branded with iron tattoos. When her best friend, Nav, stumbles upon her secret he puts himself in danger. Desperate to save him, Donna enlists the help of Xan, a boy with secrets of his own...

If there's a team I'm definitely Team Xan! Or I'm a Xan Fan - that has a nice ring to it! I loved every scene he was in (especially the shirtless one!). Don't get me wrong I adored Nav too. And Donna. In fact I loved all the characters!  Donna is a great main character - she has the right balance of strength and vulnerability to make her likeable. Navin is fun as her best friend. The two obviously have a strong friendship and I'm interested to see how this will develop now he knows the truth about Donna's world. And Xan (gorgeous Xan!) is the mysterious, sexy. and (kind of) bad boy that Donna is instantly attracted to (and who could blame her?). I really liked the pace of their relationship. Although they are obviously drawn to each other they take their time in developing their friendship and I really enjoyed that.

I also loved Karen Mahoney's writing. And the world she created is just brilliant. It's all very exciting and moves along swiftly, making this a rather quick but addictive read! I can't wait to get my hands on The Wood Queen!  I need more Xan!


Thanks to the lovely team at Random House I have 5 copies to give away!

The giveaway is open to everyone (4 UK winners and 1 International winner).
Closing date is 31 January 2011
You don't need to be a follower of my blog to enter.
Just fill in the form below - Good luck:)

This giveaway is now closed.

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling. Review and Trailer (Blog Tour)

For Review: Puffin.  Published 6 January 2011
From Goodreads: 'You're the last of the werewolves son. Don't fight it...Conquer it'. When the air is clear, sixteen year-old Drew Ferran can pick up the scent of a predator. When the moon breaks through the clouds, a terrifying fever grips him. And when a vicious beast invades his home, his gums begin to tear, his fingers become claws, and Drew transforms ...Forced to flee the family he loves, Drew seeks refuge in the most godforsaken parts of Lyssia. But when he is captured by Lord Bergan's men, Drew must prove he is not the enemy. Can Drew battle the werecreatures determined to destroy him - and master the animal within?

I don't know why I find myself hesitant to read fantasy books because when I do I seem to really enjoy them.  This is a prime example!  I found myself completely lost in the story and characters.

The story begins with Drew and his family.  When his father and brother leave for the day,  Drew and his mother are brutally attacked by a monster.  But things take an unexpected turn when Drew himself turns ... and realises not all is as it seems.  Forced to run from his family he takes refuge in Dyrewood forest and that's where his story really begins....

Curtis Jobling managed to capture my attention straight away.  I really liked his writing style - really descriptive which I found a pleasure to read and get lost in.  I really liked the world of Lyssia and the mythology behind it - and how we get to learn it all at the same time as Drew.

The book is action packed and very exciting.  There are a host of characters that we meet over the course of the story and I loved each one (even those I loved to hate!).  Whitley made an instant impression, as did Hector and Gretchen.  I loved the dynamic between Drew,  Hector and Gretchen.  But mainly I loved Drew.  He's an awesome character that I just instantly fell in love with.

One of those books that plays out in your imagination as if you are watching it on screen.  Definitely epic in it's scope - so much happened with many twists and turns - and I can't wait for the next installment!  More please!


Check out the brilliant trailer below:

You can find the official Wereworld website here

And you check out the rest of the tour - the schedule can be found here.

Monday 17 January 2011

I want to read that...

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

From Goodreads: At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

• As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

• As the daughter of the new principal, new-girl-on-campus Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long. Fans of Susane Colasanti (When It Happens), Polly Shulman (Enthusiasm), and, of course, Jane Austen will love finding out if Elise’s love life will be an epic win or an epic fail.

I want, I want!  I *so* want to read this one!  I adored Olivia's Sister (Same As It Never Was).  I will have to wait though as it's not published until August 2011 (HarperTeen).   Grrrr!.  *learns to be patient*

Saturday 15 January 2011

In My Mailbox (74)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


In The Bag by Jim Carrington
Looks interesting!  I haven't read anything by this author before.

Grace by Morris Gleitzman
This one looks really good!  I've heard great things about this author so am really looking forward to reading this one.

Siren by Trish Rayburn
Love the look of this one!  And I love the effect on the eyes (which you can't see properly in the photo as the flash made them look funny) - but they are blue and shiny!


Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
FINALLY my order came in!  I'm planning on devouring this one this week!

Chain Letter (1&2) by Christopher Pike
I am getting a kick out of seeing his books being re-released.  Can't believe these were originally published in 1986 & 1992!  *gulps*  Now I feel really old lol!  Looking forward to re-reading them though:)

Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
I've wanted to try this series for a while.  Looks like it could be really good.

Almost To Die For by Tate Hallaway
This was one of my 'I want to read that...' posts last year.  Sounds great!

Reckless by Cornelia Funke
I'm intrigued - and it was in the sale so how could I resist?

Trapped by Michael Northrop
For the Comtemps Challenge.  Looks fab:)

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 14 January 2011

100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2011!

I decided to participate in Book Chick City's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2011! For more information or to sign up for the challenge just click on the image below:)

Books I've read in 2011:


1: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
2: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
3: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
4: Entangled by Cat Clarke
5: The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
6: Being Billy by Phil Earle
7: Wereworld by Curtis Jobling
8: The Book of Luke by Jenny O'Connell


9: Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll
10: Delirium by Lauren Oliver
11: Girl Missing by Sophie McKenzie
12: Priscilla The Great by Sybil Nelson
13: Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
14: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
15: Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins
16: Rockoholic by C J Skuse
17: Across The Universe by Beth Revis


18: The 10pm Question by Kate de Goldi
19: Where She Went by Gayle Forman
20: The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
21: Forsaken (The Demon Trappers) by Jana Oliver
22: My So Called Phantom Love Life by Tamsyn Murray
23: Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Haplin
24: Valentine's Day of the Undead by Stacey Jay (Novella)
25: Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
26: Siren by Trica Rayburn
27: My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent


28: The Medusa Project: The Set Up by Sophie Mckenzie
29: Trauma Queen by Barbara Dee
30: Jessie Hearts NY by Keris Stainton
31: The Taker by Alma Katsu
32: Freefall by Mindi Scott
33: Heartbreak River by Tricia Mills
34: Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott


35: Divine Freaks by Fiona Dunbar
36: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
37: We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
38: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
39: Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
40: Winter Longing by Tricia Mills
41: Dear Zoe by Philip Beard


42: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
43: Forgotten by Cat Patrick
44: Five Star Fiasco by Sue Limb
45: Dark Touch: Shadows by Amy Meredith
46: Dark Touch: The Hunt by Amy Meredith
47: Dark Touch: Fever by Amy Meredith
48: Dark Touch: Betrayal by Amy Meredith
49: Wuthering Hearts by Kay Woodward
50: Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison
51: Heart Burn by Anne Cassidy
52: Love Story by Jennifer Echols
53: Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs


54: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
55: OTOLI by Bryony Allen
56: Fury by Elizabeth Miles
57: Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
58: Clarity by Kim Harrnigton
59: Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
60: Sean Grisworld's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
61: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
62: Sharks & Boys by Kirsten Tracy
63: Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman


64: Shelter by Harlan Coben
65: Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur
66: Dark Ride by Caroline Green
67: The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
68: Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon
69: Emerald by Karen Wallace
70: POD by Stephen Wallenfels
71: Wintercraft: Blackwatch by Jenna Burtenshaw
72: Divergent by Veronica Roth
73: Priscilla the Great: Kiss of Life by Sybil Nelson
74: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
75: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead


76: Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling
77:  Deception by Lee Nichols
78:  Betrayal by Lee Nichols
79:  Slide by Jill Hathaway
80:  She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott
81:  He's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
82:  Between by Jessica Warman
83:  The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
84:  Ultraviolet by R J Anderson
85:  Velvet by Mary Hooper
86:  Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
87:  Naked by Kevin Brooks
88:  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
89:  Stuts & Frets by Jon Skovron


90:  Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey
91:  Ashes by Ilas J Bick
92:  The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
93:  My Soul To Keep by Rachel Vincent
94:  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
95:  Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
96:  My Soul To Steal by Rachel Vincent
97:  Reaper by Rachel Vincent


98:  Abandon by Meg Cabot
99:  Eve by Anna Carey
100:  Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
101:  Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
102:  Crossed by Ally Condie
103:  Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby
104:  Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
105:  After Obsession by Carrie Jone and Steven E Wedel
106:  And By The Way by Denise Deegan
107:  And For Your Information by Denise Deegan
108:  Epic Fail by Claire LaZebrik
109:  Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
110:  One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt


111:  Getting Revenge On Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
112:  Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
113:  Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
114:  Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
115:  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
116:  A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton
117:  Fracture by Megan Miranda
118:  Fated by Sarah Alderson
119:  Priscilla The Great:  Too Little Too Late by Sybil Nelson
120:  How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr
121:  Watch Me by Lauren Barnholdt
122:  Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
123:  Geek Magnet by Kieran Scott
124:  Uneartly by Cynthia Hand
125:  Night School by C J Daugherty

UPDATE:  Challenge completed :D

Book Trailer of the Month: January

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

I've been wanting to read this one for a while and the trailer makes me really want to read it!  It makes it look like it could be a bit creepy!

What do you think?

Thursday 13 January 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

For Review: Harpercollins.  Published 6 January 2011
From Goodreads: Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

This one has been on my radar for nearly a year and was one of those books that I just had to read. I just knew it would be my kind of book.  Thankfully, it lived up to my expectations!

Evie has spent most of her life working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA).  Having spent most of her life in one foster home or another,  the agency took her in when she was eight and it became clear she could see through the paranormals glamours.  She spends her time bagging and tagging paranormals,  trying to avoid her (kind-of)  ex-boyfriend and dreaming of a normal life (including boys, school and ... er... lockers).  But when paranormals start turning up murdered on-mass, Evie starts to learn the truth  - and realises not everything was what she thought...

I loved Evie from the first page.  She's witty, fun and a great narrator for the story.  I also really liked her best friend Lish (a mermaid), as well as Racquel (her boss, and only mother figure she knows).  And I adored Lend!  This may be a bit spoilerly but a guy who can look like anyone they want including your favourite TV star?  Yep the possibilities are endless!  But more importantly he was really kind and sweet and I grew to like him more and more as the book progressed.

Reth on the other hand was a complete mystery to me.  Part of me found him scary and just a tad creepy but the other part found him completely fascinating.  I absolutely do not trust him but he is very intriguing and I really enjoyed all the scenes he was in.

The world and mythology behind the book is fantastic.  It's obviously well planned out and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it all works out.  Kiersten White has a really accessible writing style that keeps everything light and fun, but with a believability about it.   I felt completely invested in the story and the characters and I can't wait to read the next book. 

'Bleeping' great!

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Giveaway: Witch and Wizard by James Patterson

From Goodreads:  The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?

Sound good?  You can also check out the Witch & Wizard Facebook page where you can discuss the book and more.

Thanks to Unity I have 1 copy to giveaway.   Just fill in the form below.  Giveaway is open to everyone.  Closing date is 24 January.  Good luck:)

This giveaway has now closed. The winner will be notified shortly. Thanks for entering:)

Tuesday 11 January 2011

I want to read that...

Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

From Goodreads: A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.

There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.

And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.

Yep! Loving the sound of this one! It's published March 31st 2011 by Speak.

Monday 10 January 2011

Review, Interview and Giveaway: Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter.

For Review: Orchard Books.  Published January 2011
From Amazon:  Here’s the thing about covert operations: the really bad things always happen when you least expect them. The enemies don’t give you a heads-up. And they never let you stop to put on comfortable shoes.

A spy-in-training, Cammie Morgan has a cover for every occasion. But what happens when she is forced to lose her cover to save her best friend, Macey? Cammie and her friends are determined to hunt down the group that threatens to tear their secret sisterhood apart. This time it's personal.

I really look forward to new books in this series.  I'm a bit addicted to them if I'm honest and this was another fun installment.

When Cammie visits her friend Macey in Boston things don't exactly go to plan.  Unless the plan was being ambushed! Or finding themselves part of an attempted kidnap they barely manage to escape. Desperately wanting to help keep their friend safe,  Cammie, Liz and Bex use their spy skills to find the truth...

I really like how the author manages to give us a completely different story each time but at the same time continuing the overall arc.  This time it focuses on Macey and Cammie, but the others are on fine form too.  I found Macey's storyline really interesting - she forced into the limelight because of her father's political campaign and you can see how it has an effect on her.

I loved Cammie in this one.  She's very protective of her friends and determined to be there for Macey.  I love Cammie's voice - it's the trademark of the series for me - so I love having the story told from her point of view.  Aunt Abby makes an appearance and I really liked her - although I wasn't sure if I completely trusted her.  However, I completely agree with what she says about Mr Solomon!  Someone really did have to do it!

Zach is back and I adored the scenes between him and Cammie.  I think my only complaint was that there wasn't enough Zach - I wanted more!  This time though I have no idea if we should trust him or not.  Also, I'm slightly worried about whether I should trust Mr Solomon, which will break my heart if proved true as I love him!

Again the were surprises and things I didn't see coming.  I was left with even more questions making the next book a must read.  I need to know what is going on!  I pretty much inhale these books as soon as I get my hands on them and I can't wait for the next!  Great fun and totally addictive!


Ally Carter kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions...

How did you come up with the idea for the Gallagher Girls Series?
My agent emailed out of the blue one day, suggesting that I try my hand writing for teens, so I immediately set to work thinking of ideas (which were all terrible). Later that evening, I was watching the TV show Alias which, of course, was about a spy. During the episode, I wondered what it would be like to go to a boarding school for spies, and the rest as they say is history.

I love the whole concept of a spy school! Did you need to do a lot of ‘spy’ research for the series?
Thank you! Initially, I did quite a bit of research so that I could set the school up in the most believable way possible. What subjects do undercover operatives study? What kinds of training exercises do they do? What are the skill-sets the clandestine services would value most? Now I still do research but it’s more specific to what I need for a certain situation or when I’m looking for some inspiration.

I love Cammie, Bex, Macey and Liz! How did you come up with their characters?
Cammie came first. I’d heard once that real undercover operatives aren’t really the stand-out beauties that the movies make them out to be. In the real spy biz, it pays to blend it, so I knew my main character had to be “the chameleon.” From there, I knew that her best friends should all be strong where Cammie is weak, and I essentially just went to the extremes in every direction, and that rounded out the cast.

How many books are planned for the series?
I don’t have a firm outline in place for the whole series, but right now I’m thinking six might wrap it up quite nicely. That plan could change, but it is the current plan for what that’s worth.

If you could cast a TV or film version of Gallagher Girls who would you choose for the roles?
I get this question a lot, but the very sincere answer is that by the time I’ve heard of a teen actress she’s far past her teens. That’s why it’s a very good thing that I would never have any say on any casting decisions IF the Gallagher Girls were ever portrayed on film (which is a massive “if”, especially considering the books are currently not under option anywhere).

What was the road to publication like for you?
Like most writers, I initially looked at the publishing process as if it were Mount Everest, thinking it would take a miracle to see the other side. But, like Everest, you just climb it step by step, day by day. And it starts with writing a book and rewriting it until it’s publishable; then you research literary agents and go through their submission procedures. Really, writing the good book is the hard part. Once you do that, it’s really all downhill.

Was it a conscious decision to write YA?
Initially, I just wanted to write. It was my agent who suggested I might have a better voice for YA and she was right. This very much feels like my home genre.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
I wish I had more a strict writing routine—that’s certainly a goal for 2011. As it is, I’m a bit of an inertia writer. When I’m writing, I’m writing almost constantly. Then when I get a little break I don’t write at all. As for what my day looks like, I tend to do my best work in the afternoon and evening, so I spend my mornings running errands, taking care of email and my website and other paperwork types of things. Then I get to work!

Are there any ‘must haves’ you need before you can sit down to write?
Not really. I usually have some water or something else to drink. What’s far more important are the things I CAN’T have if I’m going to get any work done—like internet or people to talk to. Basically, if it’s a potential distraction, I need to have it far, far away.

Are there any YA books you can recommend? Perhaps something you read recently that just blew you away?
I absolutely loved Holly Black’s WHITE CAT and its forthcoming sequel, RED GLOVE. I’m a huge Rick Riordan fan and thought THE LOST HERO was pure genius.

And finally, what’s next for you?
Right before the holidays I finished up Heist Society 2, UNCOMMON CRIMINALS. That will be released in the US in June of 2011. The next order of business is to write Gallagher Girls 5. I don’t have a title or release date yet, I’m afraid, but I’m sure I’ll be talking about the writing process both on Twitter and my blog, so stay tuned in to those places for updates.

Thanks Ally!  I can't wait to read the rest of the series and am really looking forward to Heist Society!

You can find Ally at the following places:


Thanks to the wonderful team at Orchard Books (Hachette) I have 10 copies to giveaway! 

Contest is open to UK entrants only. 
Closing date is 20 January 2011
You don't have to be a follower of my blog to enter. 

Just fill in the form below - good luck:)

This giveaway is now closed.

Sunday 9 January 2011

In My Mailbox (73)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

For Review:

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
I've heard really good things about this series.  And how awesome is the cover?

Awakened by P C Cast
I really need to catch up with this series - I really enjoyed Marked and Betrayed.


Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
I just had to get myself a finished copy as I LOVE the cover!  And the book is awesome:)

0.4 by Mike Lancaster
I was being indecisive about this one until I read this review.  Then I decided I HAD to buy it!

A Summer To Die by Lois Lowry
I've always wanted to try a book by Lois Lowry so I picked this one. Guaranteed to make me cry I think!

Entangled by Cat Clarke
Just look at that cover! *sighs*  Really,  REALLY looking forward to reading this one.

Lucky by Rachel Vail
I thought this one sounded like fun.

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 7 January 2011

Review and Interview: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent.

For Review:  Mira Ink.  Published 6 January 2011
From Goodreads:  She doesn't see dead people, but… 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…

After reading her Shifter Series I am a massive fan of Rachel Vincent!  I absolutely adore that series so I was especially eager to read My Soul to Take .  I'm glad to say I was not at all disappointed!

We first meet Kaylee sneaking into a nightclub with her friend Emma.  While there she runs into Nash, a guy she knows from school. But when Kaylee see a girl from across the room she knows with absolute certainty that the girl will soon die. At the same time she has an uncontrollable urge to scream and it's only with Nash's help that she manages to prevent herself from doing so. The next day she finds out that the girl is dead and her prediction came true. When more girls die unexpectedly, Kaylee starts to question what is happening. Is she crazy or is something else going on...?

I really loved the mythology behind this one. With so many paranormal books hitting the shelves lately it's great to read something that feels completely fresh.  I loved that we get to learn all about the world with Kaylee,  as she is as much in the dark as we are.  And the world created is great!  I loved the idea of Bean Sidhes, Reapers and the Netherworld.

Character wise I loved Kaylee and Nash.  They definitely have chemistry!  Kaylee gained more and more confidence as time progressed.  She was very likeable and I will be interested to see what she's like now she know the truth.   Nash was fun and I liked him instantly.  I think he has the potential to be an interesting character and I'm hoping that the chemistry between him and Kaylee continues but that they also develop a genuine friendship.

Sophie was awesome!  Such attitude that's just great fun and she's definitely the cousin 'I love to hate but may end up loving'.  Although Emma seemed fun we don't really get the chance to know her well but she appeared to be a great friend to Kaylee.   As for Tod ... well he's very interesting!

The writing is top notch and what I have come to expect from this author.  I love the way she gets inside the characters heads and she always manages to surprise me!  Things happen in this one that I just didn't see coming but I always kick myself afterwards because the hints are always there!

 So .. enough fan-girl gushing from me!  Except to say I loved it and can't wait for more!


Rachel kindly took the time to answer a few of my questions...

How did you come up with the idea for the Soul Screamers series?
I did a lot of research and a lot of brainstorming. And a lot of plotting. Boring, but true. It’s mostly just a lot of hard work.

If it was made into a film or TV series who would you like cast in the roles?
I don’t know! Hopefully someone not known from another film. I’d like to have actors who don’t bring any previous associations to the roles.

How many books are planned for the series? Can you give us any hints on what’s in store for the characters?
Right now, I’m contracted through book 5 (IF I DIE) in the US/Canada. After that, only time (and sales) will tell. As for what’s coming…soul-stealing hellions, addictive Netherworld substances, and Nightmare ex-girlfriends. Lots of drama. Lots of danger. Lots of kissing. ;)

What is your favourite aspect of being a writer? And the most challenging?
I love getting to make stuff up for a living. I love living in my own head. I love feeling like I’ve been able to capture an emotion with words in a way that no other writer could have, because they’re MY words.

The most challenging thing is forcing my brain to be creative, when I REALLY don’t feel like working. You know how some days you want to do nothing but veg? Yeah, I rarely get those days. Writing is my job. It pays my bills. So I don’t have time to be a sensitive artist. I must create on a deadline. ;)

What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have any ‘must-haves’ before you can start?
Get up. Make coffee. Eat cereal. Drink coffee. Check email and answer urgent messages. Blog. Cross-post blog onto other networking sites. Answer Qs on Facebook and Twitter. Start writing, or revising, or editing, depending on what deadline is most pressing. Watch an episode of something on Netflix while I eat lunch. Then back to work. And I work until the goal is met. If I meet it early, I get to read, watch TV or play video games. If not, I work until I fall into bed around midnight.

Who are some of your favourite authors? Are there any books you would recommend?
My favourite author is Stephen King. My favourite of his books are The Stand, It, and all of the Dark Tower books.


Thanks Rachel!  It is wrong that I'm very glad about the lots of kissing part - especially if it's between Kaylee and Nash?  :)

You can find Rachel at the following places:


Also,  Mira Ink will be launching it's website on Monday so check back here for the link:)

Thursday 6 January 2011

Review and giveaway: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate.

For Review: Random House.  Published 6 January 2011
From Goodreads:  A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake.

Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school’s Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn’t share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie’s nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party—when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.

From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should’ve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.

Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth in this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence

The story centers around Natalie and her obsession to be crowned the next Palmetto Princess, with her boyfriend Mike being crown Prince.   But when a prank they play goes horribly wrong and Justin Balmer is found dead , Natalie is forced to do everything in her power to keep their involvement under wraps.  Otherwise she'll lose everything she has worked so hard for...

I was surprised at how quickly I read this one - I finished the whole book in a couple of hours.  I thought it was skillfully plotted with the story unfolding slowly and building momentum. The author held my interest by not revealing everything about Natalie and her past straight away.  Instead,  we get snippets that explain why Natalie is the way she is but I'm not sure they really justify her actions.   I found it hard to identify with her and understand why being the next Palmetto Princess was that important.  Mike was likeable enough though and I did rather liked J.B.  I think I found him intriguing and really wanted to know why Natalie disliked him so much. 

As the story progresses, the more Natalie and Mike unravel.  I loved their relationship in the beginning and found it really interesting watching the repercussions to what they had done.  While the prank they played on J.B could be deemed a horrible accident it is their later decisions and actions that seal their own fate so to speak.  And I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a guilty pleasure out of watching them get their just deserves!

Described as 'Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth' I thought the idea behind the book was clever and I really liked Lauren Kate's writing -  it made this one quick and easy to read.  However,  I just could not bring myself to like Natalie, and despite the  suspicion that I wasn't supposed to, I wanted to.   I was hoping the ending would redeem her in some way but, for me at least, it did not.  I think this is a personal preference on my part and many readers will enjoy having the story narrated by a character they 'love to hate'.

Fun to read and had more than enough drama to hold my interest.  The writing makes this one worth reading and I'll definitely be trying more of Lauren Kate's work.


Thanks to the lovely team at Random House I have 5 copies to giveaway!
The contest is open to everyone (there will be 4 UK winners and 1 International winner).
Closing date is 16 January 2011
You do not need to be a follower of my blog to enter.

Just fill in the form below - Good Luck:)

This giveaway is now closed. Winners will be contacted shortly.

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

For Review: Puffin  Published 6 January 2011
From Amazon: It’s 1929 and Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey have escaped their small Midwestern town to chase big dreams and even bigger secrets. Amongst the glittering metropolis of New York City, they meet Astrid Donal, a flapper who has everything she could ever want, except for the one thing Letty and Cordelia have to offer—true friendship. Set in the dizzying summer before the market crash, against the vast lawns of the glamorous Long Island mansions and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, three girls will find scandal, intrigue, and romance. . .

Having not read anything by Anna Godbersen, and not really having read much historical fiction before, I was really excited to read this.

The story follows Cordelia and Letty as they escape their small hometown in Ohio for New York City.  Letty wants to be a famous singer and Cordelia has her own secret reason for wanting to go: she wants to find her father.  Once there,  her path crosses with Astrid, a girl who seems to have everything she could possibly want - but does she?  Cordelia and Letty discover not all is as it initially seems, that beneath all the wonderful glamour lurks something seedy and possibly dangerous...

Although it took me a few chapters to get into this,  once I had I found myself really immersed in the story.  I really enjoyed reading about New York in 1929 and witnessing it through Cordelia and Letty's eyes. 

For me where the book really shines was in the characters.  I loved Cordelia, she seems so strong and capable but there is a softness to her too .  And Astrid was great. Initially she comes across as spoilt and demanding but as the novel progress you really got to see a different side to her.  Letty on the other hand was rather naive but she has such a great heart I couldn't help but love her.  And Charlie was awesome.  I like how I hated him to begin with but then he turned out to be one of my favourite characters.

I had no idea what was going to happen and loved the direction it took - it really surprised me.  I did think that some things seemed to happen a bit too easily for the girls in the beginning but the later half in the book more than makes up for that.   I'm really looking forward to Beautiful Days when it's published.  I have to find out what happens to these characters! 

Monday 3 January 2011

Entice by Carrie Jones

Warning: Contains spoilers for the previous books in the series.

For Review: Bloomsbury.  Published 4 January 2010
From Goodreads:  Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that's not quite how things have worked out.

For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla?

And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't just turned. She's Astley's queen.

Continuing straight on from the events in Captivate Zara is determined to find Valhalla and get Nick back.  At the same time more and more teens are going missing, more pixies are turning up and not all are as good as Astley, and Zara has to come to terms with her decision to turn...

First of all:  I Love love love Astley!  I am definitely Team Astley!  I adored that he sees Zara as an equal - someone he wants to protect but also as someone he wants to stand and fight by his side.  They had so many great (and emotional ) scenes together in this - I'm very interested to see how this will all play out in the next book.  There is a strength and vulnerability to Astley that I just adore.  And his speech towards the end?  Made me want to reach into the book and hug him! 

I really enjoyed seeing how Zara progressed now that she's pixified. She is still the same in many ways (impulsive!) but I also got the sense that she's going to gain a lot from her decision.  It really felt as if she was coming into her own in Entice.   She was very determined to find Nick and although some may see this as selfish I think she felt responsible for what happened to him and, on top of that, I don't think she could cope with losing someone else so close to her losing her dad.  I think this made her determination to find Valhalla and Nick understandable.

Cassidy proved to be a great addition - I now see her as part of the family.  Again I loved Issie, Devyn, and Betty.  I kind of wanted to slap Zara's mother but I'll reserve judgement until next time.  I'm really enjoying their dynamic and am really excited to see what will happen between them all.

This is definitely my favourite of the series so far.  I love what the author is doing and cant wait for more!  So ... should I say it one more time?  TEAM ASTLEY!

Saturday 1 January 2011

In my mailbox (71) and (72)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

For Review:

I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells
I'm really looking forward to this as I loved Mr Monster.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
I have been looking forward to this one for ages - just want to drop everything and read it RIGHT NOW!

Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari
I've heard some really great things about this one already! 

The Pain Merchants by Janice Hardy
Sounds great!

Witch Wizard by James Patterson
I've enjoyed the Patterson crime novels I've read but never read any of his YA.  Looking forward to trying this (I also have an extra copy so look out for a giveaway later in the month:) )

Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Read it already and loved it!

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
I really need to read this as I've heard only good things about it.

If I Could Fly by Jill Hucklesby
Looking forward to this one.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Er squeee!  And I LOVE the cover!

Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz
I MUST read this series.  I think this is a standalone so I might try this first.

And for a Simon & Schuster event I'm attending in February:

* Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
* Girl Missing by Sophie McKenzie
* 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison
* A Summer Fling by Milly Johnson
* RSVP by Helen Warner
* Hellhole by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

A massive thanks to all the publishers who sent books for review:)


Although I didn't get any books for Christmas *sulks* I did get in the ... er... festive spirit and treated myself to some:)

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
I've read some great reviews for this so thought I would give it a try.

The Hostage by Sophie McKenzie
The Rescue by Sophie McKenzie
I loved McKenzie 'Blood' series so I'm planning of reading these for my BBC.

You Against Me By Jenny Downham (You can read my review here)
Matched by Ally Condie (You can read my review here)
I really wanted finished copies of these!

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Loved Shiver so wanted to try this.  Looks great!

How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison
Thought this one sounded like a cute read!

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
I adored Twenty Boy Summer so am really looking forward to this one. Also reading it as part of the Contemps challenge.

Paparazzi Princess (Secrets of My Hollywood Life 4) by Jen Calonita
This series is great fun!  I couldn't resist getting this when I saw it come into the shop.

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
I really enjoyed The Dark Divine so I can't wait to find out what happens next!

Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year!


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