Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

For Review: Puffin Razorbill
Published: 25 August 2011

From Goodreads:


Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

I am a major fan of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series so I was super, super excited when I heard she was writing this spin off. I loved Rose and Dimitri but I realised after reading Last Sacrifice that I was also very attached to all the other characters that lived in this world.

Bloodlines is narrated by Sydney, an Alchemist we were first introduced to in Blood Promise. I liked her then and I am so please Richelle Mead decided to write the story from her perspective. She is a very different character to Rose, much more reserved and thinks things through before jumping in, but there are qualities to her that kind of remind me of Rose too. She's caring, loyal, puts other before herself. And sometimes she can be just as badass - just in a different way!

The other characters that are back are Jill, Eddie and the wonderful Adrian. He really grew on me in the VA series, and with the way things ended for him in Last Sacrifice I am glad we get to see him move on from that. Or hopefully move on from that...

The story is awesome as well. Not only do we have the continuation from the previous series in terms of Jill, Eddie and Adrian but we also get to learn so much more about the Alchemists. Who quite frankly are a scary bunch - I'll be interested to hear other people's thoughts once they have read this one. There is also a mystery concerning young girls turning up dead with their throat slit that requires Sydney to investigate. Very exciting stuff!

Obviously coming to this as a fan of the VA series it's hard for me to say whether this works as a standalone. I think it would - most things were explained - but honestly the VA series is just so freaking good that I would definitely recommend reading them first! I mean, the last line at the end of Bloodlines? How on earth can it have that much impact?

An awesome start to what is going to be another addicting series for me! I can't wait for Golden Lily - I could spend so much more time in this world.   Loved it!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

POD Blog Tour: Review and Guest Post

For Review: Templer Publishing
Published: 1 September 2011

From Goodreads: POD's - strange alien spheres hover menacingly in the sky, zapping anyone who ventures outside.

Josh is 15 and stuck in his house with his OCD dad. They're running out of food... Megs is 12, alone and trapped in a multi-storey carpark. The hotel next door is under the control of dangerous security staff, but Megs has something they want, and they'll do anything to get it...

When the aliens invade, the real enemy becomes humanity itself.

What would you do to survive?

This is definitely my kind of book!  I really enjoyed it.

The story story begins with an alien invasion, where hundreds of strange spheres hover in the sky zapping any human that ventures outside.  Josh is stuck in his house with his father, and Megs has been left alone in a hotel parking garage.  Both have to find a way to survive...

I loved that this wasn't all about the alien invasion.  Yes, it's an important (and intriguing) part of the story but the main focus in on how these characters survive.  What they have to face and the decisions they make.  I found myself equally invested in both stories.  Josh comes across as a typical 15 year old boy - I liked how witty he was, and how nonchalant he was in the beginning and then how he slowly started to see the seriousness in what was happening around him - plus I loved how his relationship with his dad became really strong over the course of the story.   Megs was a great character too - she has a grit and determination about her that you have to admire.  I did find it hard to believe she was just 12 years old though, but that is explained in the story.  Her family background makes me think she would have had to grow up quick!

I really enjoyed the author's writing too.  He did a great job at giving both Josh and Megs distinct voices - I love dual narration and in this case it really makes the story work.  While Meg's part is more 'action packed' I found Josh's story really hits a mark. One other thing I really liked was that we aren't really given that much information about the PODs. We only know what the characters know and I thought that was really clever.

I understand the author is working on a second book and I'm very interested to see where he takes the story from here.  Great stuff!

As part of the UK blog tour for POD, Stephen kindly stopped by to tell us a bit about the inspiration for POD...

About those PODs

There are two events in my life that had a strong influence in writing POD. One involves a terrifying short story I read in my teens. The other happened when I was sitting in an automatic car wash about ten years ago.

I had a brief horror phase in high school and shivered through one of the classics, The Horla, by Guy de Maupassant. It told the story of a man that was repeatedly attacked at night in his bed by an unseen force. He wasn’t sure if it was a dream or for real, and as the attacks continued he sunk deeper and deeper into a sea of paranoia. I consider this one of the most frightening stories I’ve ever read. The reader, just like the narrator, never knew what was going on. The terrifying events that unfolded had no rhyme or reason, and the attacker remained faceless and invisible throughout.

Many years later I was sitting in my car in an automatic car wash, observing the various stages of the cleaning process: a giant mop, steam, wax, drenching water, car-shaking wind. During that time I wondered, how scary would this experience be if I had no idea what is happening? If I were some guy from the past dumped into the future, into this metal box while it is being worked over by some mechanized demon emitting all this frightening stuff. And in the silence afterward, when the process is complete—I’m really not sure what just happened, or worse—if it’s really over.

In both cases it is the fear of the unknown that is most frightening. And that sense of fear is what I wanted to put in POD. So I kept the aliens faceless, like the Horla. And I had a captive humanity endure the various stages of an attack without knowing why, or for how long, or what will come next. With this running as a pulse in the background, I then told the stories of two people on the ground, in real-time, of what they had to do to endure and survive, and the worst of it didn’t come from the sky. That premise formed the core of what eventually became POD.

Thanks Stephen! 

POD has it's own website you can check out here

The next stop on the tour is tomorrow at ComaCalm's Corner

Monday, 29 August 2011

I want to read that...

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

From Goodreads: Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends— the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art— and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

Honestly, how awesome does this book sound? It's published Feb 2012 and I can't wait to get my hands on it:)

Saturday, 27 August 2011

In My Mailbox (106)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
*keels over due to excitement overload*

Struts & Frets by Jon Skovron
I'm participating in a blog tour for this at the end of September.  It sounds awesome

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
I love the cover for this one! Plus it sounds really good:)

The Damned by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié
I haven't read this series yet but it sounds great.

Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien
I love the UK covers for this series! So eye catching and clever. Another series I need to catch up on.

Frogspell by C. J. Busby
This looks really cute!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
Squueeeeeee!  I've heard so many great things about this one I can't wait to read it!  It also came wrapped with a badge, heart shaped calculator and lolly.  Awesome!

Massive thanks to everyone who sent books for review:)


Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now by Claire LaZebnik
I've read and loved Olivia's Sister so I'm looking forward to these.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer
Dead and Gone by Susan Pfeffer
This World We Live In by Susan Pfeffer
I love this series and I really, really love the US covers for this series so I decided to buy them.  They are also really cute and dinky!  Also I was really excited to hear she's writing a fourth book!

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
Pride and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
Both of these look fab and I've heard great things about the author.

Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick
I've heard mixed things about this one but I really love the cover and it sounds really good.

Hope you all had a great week:)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Cover Wars: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick


The US cover kind of freaks me out - plus it feels more 'adult horror' than YA (which is not necessarily a bad thing!)  I really like the sepia tone of the UK one - and the girl used  - but does it make you think zombies?  It has a dystopian vibe about it though and I think out of the two I'd definitely be more likely to pick up the UK one, but either way I can't wait to read it as it sounds amazing!

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads: 

Alex has run away and is hiking through the wilderness with her dead parents' ashes, about to say goodbye to the life she no longer wants to live. But then the world suddenly changes. An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky zapping every electronic device and killing the vast majority of adults. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who has changed... Everyone still alive has turned - some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh). Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the zombies that are on the hunt, Alex meets up with Tom - an Army veteran who escaped one war only to find something worse at home - and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse. This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to find food, shelter, while fighting off the 'Changed' and those desperate to stay alive. A tense and involving adventure with shocks and sudden plot twists that will keep teen and adult readers gripped.

What do you think?  Which do you prefer?

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 1 September 2011

From Goodreads: It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen

I really like the idea behind this and loved Elizabeth Miles' writing. It was really accessible and I found myself drawn into the story.

It follows Em and Chase. Em is secretly in love with her best friend's boyfriend and thinks there is the chance he might like her back. Chase is guarding a secret and trying really hard to fit in with the popular crowd. But when he meets a beautiful girl things start to go wrong...

The story is told from both Em and Chase's point of view. While I loved Em - despite her actions - I couldn't connect to Chase at all. I just didn't like him and didn't understand why this beautiful girl could get him to do the things he did.  He seemed so focused on being perfect and fitting in I just couldn't see him abandoning that.   Em on the other hand was great. Yes, she shouldn't have done what she did but I still found myself really liking her.  Especially when she stopped deluding herself! Before that I did find myself wanting to shake some sense into her. I also liked Gabby and LOVED JD. He's awesome!

I've got to say I find it hard to categorise this book.  It's part paranormal, part horror and could also appeal to contemporary fans.  It surprised me and I really liked that! I would like to know more about the furies - who they are exactly and how they choose who will pay. I'm happy with what I've learnt so far but want more in the next instalment. I also hope we continue Em's story as I really want to know what happens next. And I hope JD and Drea have a large part of the story. They are both ace!

A brilliant concept - enjoyable to read and I looking forward to the rest in the series.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Loved But Never Wrote a Review For

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

There are quiet a few books I've loved but never reviewed - mostly because I either read them before I started blogging or because they are not YA titles.  But all of them are major awesome!  So, in no particular order, here are ten books I loved but have never reviewed.

1:  Letters From The Inside by John Marsden
I remember being blown away by this when I first read it and it's stayed with me.  I still wonder about it.  The author is best known for his Tomorrow Series which is equally awesome!

2:  Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer
An awesome book!  I was completely gripped and have recommended it so many times but for some reason I've never posted a review for it.  I really don't know why - but if you haven't read it I highly recommend it!

3:  Before I Die by Jenny Downham
This made me cry my eyes out!  A beautifully written book that will always be a favourite of mine.  I also have the audio - which is impossible to listen to when driving if you want to see where you are going - so I should really post a proper review for this!

4: The Harper Connelly Series by Charlaine Harris
I love this series!  Technically not YA but would definitely appeal as a crossover to YA readers.  It's crime with a paranormal/supernatural twist.  But seriously good!

5:  Christopher Pike's books - especially Remember Me and Weekend.
I know I keep going on about Christopher Pike - but I was (and still am) a massive fan of his books.  I'm so pleased they are being re-released in gorgeous new covers.  If you've not read any I would recommend Weekend, Remember Me (I like the first one as a standalone) , the Final Friends Trilogy and , of course,  the Last Vampire Series:)

6:  The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
Another author I'm a major fan girl over, but I think the Mediator series is still by favourite.  I also loved the 1800WhereRU series and her Heather Wells books.

7:  The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
I read this in a day (it's massive!) and apparently I didn't move.  I must say I was completely and utterly gripped - it's such a majorly awesome book.  And I had to wait 2 years before the sequel was published!  I've loved all of Paullina Simon's books that I've read - but Tully is the other one that really stands out.

8:  City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I loved this but I'm sure I don't need to say much about it!  For some reason I still haven't read the rest in the series so I should really rectify that soon.

9:  Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
Another favourite from when I was a teen.  It's one of those books I read over and over - absolutely loved it!

10:  Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling
Do I really need to say anything about this series!  Although I am still really behind and have only read books 1 - 4!  *hides*

Actually I could probably list many, many more!

What are your ten books you've loved but never reviewed?

Monday, 22 August 2011

I want to read that...

Slide by Jill Hathaway

From Goodreads: Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

I'm really loving the sound of this one! The concept sounds brilliant.   It's published March 2012.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

In My Mailbox (105)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen
I really enjoyed the first in this series so looking forward to this.

Envy by Gregg Olson
This looks soooooo good!  Plus I love the cover.

Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey
Yay!  I LOVE this series!

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
This sounds awesome!  Plus the cover is ace - I so didn't see the faces at first!

Nightshade by Maryrose Wood, The Duchess Of Northumberland
I've got the first in this series but haven't read it yet.  They look good though!

Big thanks to everyone who sent books for review:)


Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
I am a massive fan of Stacey Jay's Megan Berry series so I can't wait to get stuck into this one.

Haywired by Alex Keller
Alex Keller did a signing for this in the bookshop I work in and I couldn't resist getting myself a signed copy!  It sounds ace!

Boys for Beginners by Lil Chase
I have been told I will love this! 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I have been looking forward to this one for ages!  Can't wait to read it:)


I won this for taking part in a questionnaire. Massive thanks to Midas Public Relations:)  There was also some Minstrels but they didn't last long enough to make the photo...

Hope you all had a great week:)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Cover Wars: Dark Parties

UK   /   US

Dark Parties by Sara Grant

I like both of these.  There is something sinister about the US one - with the hands over the eyes - and it's intriguing because of it.  I'd definitely pick it up to see what it's about.  The UK one is pretty and caught my eye straight away - plus I like the tag line. I am kind of wondering why the girl on the front has her arms in the air though...

Here's the synopsis:

From Goodreads:  Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...

Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.

What do you think?  Do you prefer the UK or US?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Emerald by Karen Wallace

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published:  7 July 2011

From Goodreads: Emerald St. John is in trouble. She has been condemned to marry a man she hates. Her enemies are conspiring to have her pet bear Molly torn apart in the baiting pits, and the man she loves is far away on the high seas. And she has stumbled into a web of spies with a plot to poison Queen Elizabeth I. To save herself and the kingdom, she must beat the spies at their own game - which means transforming herself from a country girl into a Court lady. Can she do it in time? Set against a detailed and vivid recreation of a great Elizabethan manor house, EMERALD will bring to life a world where the most sophisticated rules of etiquette went hand in with brutality and superstition.

This was such fun to read!  For some reason I don't read much historical fiction but on the basis of this one I really think I should.

I really liked the character Emerald.  She was strong and determined - but also easy to like - and I was glad that she wanted to 'save' herself.  Arabella was a great character too - as much as I wanted to hate her at times I couldn't quite manage it.  And Sarah and Meg proved brilliant additions - and of course I adored Molly the bear!

The romance, I must admit, was very quick to happen.  But I imagine that if I were being forced to marry a man as vile as Lord Suckley I too might fall very quickly for someone as nice as a certain Viscount!  He's a great character - he comes across as  nice and kind but also with an air of intrigue.  A perfect match for Emerald and my only complaint would be that I wish he had been in more of it.

There is a good sense of mystery and twists and turns - something happened that I really didn't expect and that certainly grabbed my attention!  I really enjoyed it and am now looking forward to reading many more books along the same lines.

Winners: OTOLI and Legacy

The winner for the OTOLI giveaway:

The winner for the Legacy giveaway:

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaways:)

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

I want to read that...

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

From Goodreads: Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

I saw this on Sophie's (So Many Books, So Little Time) In My Mailbox this week and it looks/sounds AWESOME! Romance, photography and a teen superstar? Yep, sign me up:)

It's published Feb 2012

Monday, 15 August 2011

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

For Review: Galley Grab
Published: 19 July 2011

From Goodreads: She's writing about him. he's writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines..

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

I really enjoy Jennifer Echols' books.  I love the characters and there is always serious chemistry between the two leads.

I have to admit this one took a little while to get into but once I did I loved it.  I enjoyed the fact it's set at college - not many YA books I've read have this setting - and I loved the way the stories the character's wrote for their classes were integrated into the plot.  They were really fun to read and gave a really good insight into both Erin and Hunter.

Erin was an interesting character.  I was intrigued by her relationship with her grandmother and her decision to 'go it alone'.  I was hoping for a bit more closure on that aspect of the story but I thought it added an interesting layer to the story.  And I loved Hunter.  Jennifer Echols really does know how to create hot, gorgeous but accessible male leads for her books!  And the chemistry between him and Erin is great.  I loved all the banter and back and forth between them.  Great stuff!

The secondary characters really add to the story as well.  I especially loved Erin's roommate Jørdis who spent most of the book roping people into cutting out faces for her and their creative writing professor was awesome too.

I can't wait to read whatever Jennifer Echols writes next - if you haven't tried one of her books I recommend giving one a try.  I have the feeling you'll love it:)

Saturday, 13 August 2011

In My Mailbox (104)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
This looks so good!

Abandon by Meg Cabot
You can't see this very well in the photo because my flash make it look black!  But I so need to read this one - I've loved everything else I've read by Meg Cabot.

Velvet by Mary Hooper
Looks ace!

After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Seven E Wedel
I love the Need series by Carrie Jones so I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

Betrayal by Lee Nichols
Reading Deception at the moment and enjoying it!  This one should be good!

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Graphic Novel)
I didn't realise they were doing a graphic novel of this but it looks great!

The Haunting of Charity Delafield by Ian Beck
I love the cover for this!  And it sounds brilliant.  Can't wait to get stuck in!

Naked by Kevin Brooks
I loved iBoy so hopefully I will love this one too.  Sounds awesome!

Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry
I've heard such great things about this series.  I really need to read it.

Hidden by Jessica Verday
This is a series I haven't read yet - but I do own the books:)

Vengeance by Kate Brian
I also haven't read this series but I'm thinking I really should.  It sounds great!

Wired by Robin Wasserman
Another series I really must read - I have the first on my bookshelf and have been meaning to read it for ages!

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


Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume (Audiobook)
I love this book!  Really looking forward to listening to it:)

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

After by Amy Efaw
This sounds really good! 

Crave by Melinda Metz and Laura J Burns
Apparently I will love this one - or so I'm told!  Loving his eyes:)

Hooked by Catherine Greenman
I've been looking forward to this one since I first heard about it.  Hope it lives up to my expectations.

And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky
I am in love with the cover for this one.  Plus it sounds brilliant!

Thirst 4 by Christopher Pike
Yay!  Love this series:)  And pretty much anything by Christopher Pike:)

Hope you all had a great week :)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman

For Review: Random House Children's Books
Published: May 2011

From Goodreads:  This is the explosively page-turning new novel for teenagers from the author of the award-winning "Noughts and Crosses" sequence. You're about to receive your A-level results and then a future of university and journalism awaits. But the day they're due to arrive your old girlfriend Kendra turns up unexpectedly ...with a baby ...You assume Kendra's helping a friend, until she nips out to buy some essentials, leaving you literally holding the baby ...Malorie's dramatic new novel will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the final page.

This is a great book and I really enjoyed it.  It was much more than I was expecting.

The story is told by Dante and his brother Adam in alternating viewpoints.  I'm a major fan of this - it can work incredibly well and it certainly does here.  I was equally invested in both stories - and the two narratives complimented each other well.

I must admit that I wasn't sure about Dante at first but he quickly grew on me.  I loved seeing him build a relationship with his daughter and I also enjoyed how it affected his relationship with his father.  I loved Adam straight away and his storyline is really powerful.  I was not expecting it at all  - but I don't want to spoil that storyline for anyone so I think I shouldn't say anymore than that. 

On the basis of this I definitely need to check out more of Malorie Blackman's books!   I found Boy's Don't Cry to be incredibly moving and thought provoking.  Highly recommended!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Dark Ride by Caroline Green

For Review: Caroline Green
Published: 1 May 2011

From Goodreads: A mysterious boy. A haunting secret ...

'A shiver crawled up my spine. It felt like the loneliest place in the world. For a second
I thought I caught a snatch of music in the air, but it was just the wind whistling through cracks in the fairground hoardings.
My instincts screamed, "Run away, Bel! Run away and never return!"
But instead my fingers closed around the ticket in my pocket. ADMIT ONE.'

Bel has never met anyone like Luka. And the day she follows him into the abandoned fairground, she is totally unprepared for the turn her life is about to take.

I really liked this one. Caroline Green managed to capture my attention from the first chapter - it's fun, has great characters and an intriguing mystery.

Bel is great - she's funny and I liked how much she wanted to help Luka. I guessed what was going on with him but I loved how the mystery unfolded, and I thought the two had great chemistry. There was also some really great atmosphere in the book and there were a couple of scene where the tension truly makes this one gripping reading.

I also really liked the storyline involving Bel's father - how this affects her relationship with her mother and how she has to come to terms with what was happening to her family - I thought it really added to the story.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what Caroline Green writes next. This was a quick, but very enjoyable read.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Cover to Covet (18)

I LOVE book covers. Love, love love them. So I decided to make it a regular post - each post featuring a cover I love.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This is so gorgeous - I love it! It makes me want to stroke it lol.  Clicking on the image will make it bigger if you want a closer look:)

From Goodreads: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Monday, 8 August 2011

I want to read that ...

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

From Goodreads: Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

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

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

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

This sounds seriously awesome and I'm already hearing some great buzz for it! I'm not completely sure about the cover - it's very different from what I imagined it to be.

I love the trailer though:)

It's published November 2011

Sunday, 7 August 2011

In My Mailbox (103)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

Misfit by Jon Skovron
This sounds major awesome!  And I'm loving the cover and page edges.

Deception by Lee Nichols
I've been really excited about this one for a while now - can't wait to get stuck in.

The Shadowing: Skinned by Adam Slater
This sounds great but eek! The cover is seriously creepy!

Thanks to all the publishers who sent books for review :)

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Yay!  I loved You Wish and Prada and Prejudice so I am really excited to read this!

The Clearing by Heather Davis
I have finally bought myself a copy of this.  You can read my review for it here.

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
Sounds fab!

Sirensong by Jenna Black
I still haven't read this series - but the covers are so awesome they have to be good! Right?

Hope you all have a great week:)

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

For Review: Puffin
Published: 11 August 2011

From Goodreads: Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor.

When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn...

Having heard great things about Suzanne LaFleurs first novel Love, Aubrey I jumped at the chance to review this and I am so glad I did. It's a beautifully written story that will resonate with many readers, and I'm definitely keen to read more of her work.

Elise is such a great character and really comes across as an authentic 11 - 12 year old who is struggling to adjust to changes in her life.  It took me back in time and I remembered how difficult those changes could be - where suddenly you were expected to act older and more mature, and the pressure to fit in and not seem different became so important.  I also adored Franklin - who seemed to take it all in his stride and stayed a good friend to Elsie even when she wasn't that nice to him!

I loved the story line involving the keys!  It is such a brilliant idea and a great way to see Elise learn and grow - to decide who she wants to be.  And I loved her father for doing it for her - to give her a part of himself that she could discover - especially since she was so young when he died.  There was such a strong sense of family in this novel - how much they care for each other is evident and I really enjoyed that aspect of it as well.

A lovely, sweet and enjoyable story.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Giveaway: The legacy by Gemma Malley

From Goodreads:  When a Pincent Pharma lorry is ambushed by the Underground, its contents come as a huge surprise - not drugs, but corpses in a horrible state. It appears Longevity isn't working and the drugs promising eternal youth are failing to live up to their promises. A virus is sweeping the country, killing in its wake, and Longevity is powerless to fight it. When Richard Pincent of Pincent Pharma suggest that the Underground has released the virus, something has to be done to put the story straight and once and for all alert everyone to the truth.

Thanks to the lovely peeps at Bloomsbury I have one copy of this to giveaway. 

The Giveaway is open to everyone and closes 12 August 2011

Just fill in the form below - Good luck:)

This giveaway is now closed.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Hunting Lila Blog Tour: Review & Guest Post

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 4 August 2011

From Amazon: 17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. After a mugging exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. In a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...

I loved this!  I enjoyed every minute - it just ticked all the right boxes for me and I can't wait for more!

When Lila uses her ability to prevent being mugged, it scares her and she decides she need to get away.  She's desperate to see her brother Jack and his best friend Alex so she jumps on a plane to go see them in California   Lila has been secretly in love with Alex for as long as she can remember and she can't wait to see him.  But things are not what she expects when she gets there.  Who do Jack and Alex work for? And why are they both so determined to protect her? 

This is such a great balance of action, romance and the paranormal.  I love all things psychic so I was like a kid in a sweet shop reading this.  And I loved the romance element of the story.  Lila and Alex have some major chemistry!

Lila is perfect as the narrator as the story - I really liked her even if I did want to throttle her every time she ran away from Alex or Jack!  And Alex is all kinds of awesome.  He's just soooo hot!  And I loved Jack too.  The three were really great!  I also loved the characters that come into the story later on - I won't mention names as I don't want to spoil anything - but they are equally fab.

Great action, an engaging - and unpredictable - mystery, an intense and totally awesome romance, and some great humour.  Honestly, what are you waiting for?  Read this book!


As part of the Blog Tour for Hunting Lila, Sarah has stopped by to give us a day in her life...

Day in the Life

Let’s get one thing out the way first. I live in Bali. It’s basically paradise, with a few more coconuts thrown in for good measure. I live in a house overlooking the rice paddies, cloud-ringed volcanoes silhouetted in the distance, palm trees swaying in the breeze, the taco casa on speed dial – it’s pretty much heaven.

Once upon a time I lived in a row of terrace houses in South East London. I had to commute into work every day. I would write in the snatched hours after my daughter was in bed and edit on the train on the way into work the next morning. There were no coconuts.

Now my days are a bit different. I just scribbled down on a piece of paper everything I did today to try and figure out where the time goes. It went something like this:

• Woke up
• Checked email / Facebook etc,
• Made Alula (my daughter) breakfast (eggy bread),
• Got her ready for school, argued with her about wearing underwear
• Edited three chapters
• Had a pilates lesson (when will I get a body like my teacher’s?)
• Wrote a blog post
• Watched an episode of Game of Thrones
• Went out for lunch with a friend (lunch = two chocolate milkshakes).
• Picked up daughter from school and dropped her for a play date
• Went for a massage
• Ordered sushi and frozen margaritas
• Put daughter to bed
• Had a girlie movie night with four friends

Life’s a whole lot easier when you a) don’t have to commute, b) get coconuts and frozen margaritas delivered to the door c) don’t have to do your own laundry.

I admit there’s a lot of massage involved in my daily life these days. And a lot of sushi too. This was actually a pretty sociable day, but that’s because I’m not writing a book, I’m editing one. And that isn’t quite as absorbing. When I’m in the midst of writing a book (I’ve just finished my fifth) I’m a total recluse and pretty much hermit myself away, talking only to the taco delivery boy and occasionally my family.

I wake up at six every morning whatever I’m doing. The first thing I do is turn on my computer to check Twitter, email, Facebook, my blog and Goodreads. Social media addicts could learn something from me. I’m so addicted if you took away my computer I’d probably need to be hooked up to a drip of Valium until you gave it back.

If I’m in the middle of writing a book I might sneak out onto the balcony for sunrise and to use the precious minutes before my daughter wakes to pound out another chapter or two. I write very fast – up to 4000 words a day. My last book took just 30 days to complete. Generally I take six weeks between each book to get some headrest because after I finish a book it feels like someone pressed delete on my inner dictionary and I’m pretty much brain dead. I spend the time in between books tinkering with manuscripts, working on edits with my publisher and trying to think up new ideas.

Once my daughter’s at school I’m back at my desk, headphones on, listening to music and writing. If I’m not writing a book I’ll be writing something else – a blog post, an email, a Facebook status update, anything. I need to write. It’s an addiction.

The times I get stuck on plot or am feeling blocked I’ll go for a swim. It’s the most therapeutic thing I know, swimming under a wide blue sky, watching the butterflies dance. The pool is the place where all my plotting happens. I keep a notebook right by the edge of the pool and will stop and write down whatever comes to me.

I do Pilates twice a week too – not because I’m an exercise freak because um, if you saw me you’d know that I’m not, but because I have a really bad back and sitting for hours at a desk really doesn’t help much. Pilates is my only concession to exercise. The swimming doesn’t count as I go so slowly it’s more like floating.

I don’t cook. I gave up cooking after my husband decided he didn’t want to buy any more saucepans. I think I’d managed to destroy about six by that point. That frees up time for writing. Most days I either order food in (Sushi or Tacos) or my husband makes something (how lucky am I?).

Afternoons are generally spent having to manage a house-load of under fives without resorting to the drinks cabinet.

When my daughter’s bedtime rolls around at seven I’m back at my desk, writing some more until I can’t mentally produce another word. And then I’ll generally fall onto the sofa with the husband and watch a movie. But only if he makes his honey sugar popcorn. Though on a Friday I dance ecstatically (ie. Like a lunatic) in a big barn under the stars.

Life’s crazy good.

Thanks Sarah!  How jealous am I  - Bali sounds AMAZING!!!!

You can find Sarah on her Website and Twitter.  She also has the blog Can We Live Here - where she talks about her move to Bali.


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