Wednesday 28 December 2011

My Favourite Reads of 2011

Honestly, I have read so many great books in 2011 it has been impossible to create this list.  But I was determined to do it.  So here you go - my Top 10 favourite reads of 2011....

10: Where She Went by Gayle Forman
I loved If I Stay so I was equally excited and scared about this.  But I needn't have been.  It's the perfect companion - I absolutely loved it.

9: Across The Universe by Beth Revis
The first chapter of this blew me away.  And I loved the science fiction / romance.

8: Dear Zoe by Philip Beard
For some reason I haven't written a review for this yet - I think maybe because I don't know how to sum up how brilliant it is.  But it really is.

7: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
This is right up my street!  And how much did I love Alex?

6: Ashes by Ilsa J Bick
Dystopian and horror!  Just Wow! Creepy, suspenseful - seriously awesome!

5: Shelter by Harlan Coben
I love Harlan Coben - so a YA novel?  Everything I was looking for!  I have the feeling this will be one awesome series!

4: Entangled by Cat Clarke
I was supposed to go out but started reading this and didn't move until I finished it.  Utterly absorbing - I still think about Grace and what I think happened next. 

3: Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I thought I loved Before I Fall but this took my love for Lauren Oliver to a whole new level! 

2: Rockaholic by CJ Skuse
This completely took me by surprise and I loved everything about it!  I still can't think of a curly wurly without laughing to myself...

1: Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
This was just completely different - creepy and atmospheric and just brilliantly written.

What about you?  Which books were your favourite reads in 2011?

Thursday 22 December 2011

I want to read that...

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten

From Goodreads: When her boyfriend breaks up with her on the first day of sophomore year, Lucy has no idea how she’s going to make it through homeroom, let alone the rest of her life. Enter three stunning girls with a magical offer Lucy can’t refuse. All she has to do is get a guy to fall in love with her in the next seven days, and then…break his heart and collect one of his brokenhearted tears. As the girls teach Lucy how to hook a guy (with the help of a little magic), she quickly discovers how far she is willing to go—and who she is willing to cross—to get what she wants.

Fans of Lauren Myracle, Jodi Lynn Anderson, and Meg Cabot will love this tale of breakups, friendship, new crushes, and magic. Told with wit and charm, The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers is sure to be one of this winter’s most irresistible reads!

I love the sound of this! Plus the cover is ace. It's published 27 December 2012.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Book Trailer: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Here is the trailer for the second book in the Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand. It looks awesome - I can't wait to read it! I loved the first book - you can read my review for it here.

Hallowed is published 2 January 2012

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

From Goodreads:  In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

I really don't understand why I didn't read this one sooner.  I bought it as soon as it was published but for some (stupid) reason it's been sat on my shelf all this time.  The coming release of Hallowed - the second in the series - reminded me I really should read it.  And I am so glad I did because it is seriously good!

I loved Clara.  She's just really likeable - not too nice but really nice all the same.  I really liked her family too - especially her brother Jeffrey.  And her mother was interesting - I'm very intrigued by all the secrets she seems to be keeping.  I also think there may be more to the story of why Clara's dad left than we think.

The mythology in this is great - it's different enough to stand out.  Clara already knows that she is part angel - but at the same time there is a lot she doesn't know.  We get to learn a lot of that with her at the same time which is nice.  But also this reads a lot like a contemporary rather than a paranormal - there is a great deal of focus on relationships (friends, family and romance) which balances it nicely.

Now... Tucker.  What can I say?  He is just soooooo gorgeous and I can honestly say that if Clara does not end up with him at the end of this series there may be major tantrums on my part.  He is just completely and utterly swoon worthy!  Plus I love how their relationship and friendship develops.

Christian has the potential to be interesting - especially in Hallowed - but here he just didn't really make much of an impression.  I think I was too blinded by the brilliance of Tucker to be honest - but I do hope that he plays a bigger role in the next book so we can get to know him better.  I want to love him too. 

I am seriously looking forward to Hallowed now - I want to know what Jeffrey was up to?  What are her mother's secrets and will we ever know?  Plus I really need to know if Midas is okay... and of course I just want more Tucker!

Friday 16 December 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

From Goodreads: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

So I think I'm with the majority on this one - I loved it!  I read it in one sitting - pretty much growled at anyone who came near - and I completely and utterly fell in love with Anna and St Clair!

The story follows Anna and her year in Paris.  She doesn't want to go - but is forced to by her father.  She feels completely out of place - especially since she doesn't speak French - but she soon makes friends,  including the lovely (and gorgeous) Etienne St Clair.  The only problem?  He already has a girlfriend...

The chemistry between Anna and St Clair is seriously awesome!  And I loved that they are friends too.  They really talk to each other - and are there for each other.  I also liked that the whole girlfriend situation wasn't simple - they'd been together for a long time and I thought it was realistic that it wouldn't be easy to walk away from that.

I also liked the group of friends - Meredith, Josh and Rashmi .    Plus I loved the Paris setting - it was something completely different.  And I enjoyed the story lines involving St Clair's dad and Anna's friend Bridge - it added to their romance but it also gave us a story that is more than just a romance.

Cute, adorable and really romantic.  I loved it so much I had to buy Lola and the Boy Next Door to catch up with Anna and St Clair!  I can't wait to read more by this author!

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Fracture by Megan Miranda (Extract and Trailer)

I have been soooo excited to read Fracture by Megan Miranda - and I can tell you that it is all kinds of awesome.  I loved it!  I will have a review for you a bit nearer it's release date (5 January 2012) but in the meantime you can check out the trailer and the first chapter.  Enjoy:D

Fracture - first chapter

You can find out more about Megan Miranda at her Website and on Twitter.

Saturday 10 December 2011

In My Mailbox (121)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey - thanks Bloomsbury:)
Hit Squad by Sophie Mckenzie - thanks Simon & Schuster:)

Last Saturday I went to Simon & Schuster Christmas Blogger's Party where we were shown the 2012 highlights - it was a fab day so massive thanks to S&S for inviting me.  Plus they gave us all this awesome sounding proof:

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda


Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison
Illuminated by Erica Orloff

And Carly from Writing From The Tub was having a sort out and gave me these fab books - thanks Carly!

The Taming of Lilah May by Vanessa Curtis
She's With The Band by Georgia Clark
The Not Quite Perfect Boyfriend by Lili Wilkinson
That's Life, Samara Brooks by Daniel Ehrenhaft
Are You Going To Kiss Me Now? by Slone Tanen

Hope you all had a great week:)

Friday 9 December 2011

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

From Goodreads: What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

I really liked Catching Jordan.  Okay so I don't have a clue about football at all but I (surprisingly) found that aspect really exciting.  And, of course, I loved the romance.

Jordan is such a great character.  I loved the idea of her being a female quarterback and fighting to do something she really loves.  It's also interesting to see how loyal the rest of the team are to her - how she has earned their respect by being talented - but at the same time seeing how people outside her home town react to the idea of her playing football at college.

As for the men in her life - honestly Henry is just so gorgeous!  Even when I wanted to shake some sense into him.  And I love that him and Jordan have been friends for so long - that they know each other so well.  It's really sweet.  I also loved Carter and JJ - both are great friends.  Unfortunately I didn't completely warm to Ty - I understand there are reasons for him behaving the way he does but it still made me uncomfortable - they are his issues to deal with and I think he really needs to deal with them.

I also loved the story line with her dad - how it evolves and they come to really understand each other.  It makes for a really interesting read - and makes this more than just a typical romance.

Funny, romantic - this is a great read!  I'm really excited to see what Miranda Kenneally comes up with next!

Thursday 8 December 2011

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

For Review: Orchard
Published: 6 October 2011

From Amazon:  I felt myself slipping away, losing myself to the senses. 'Kiss me,' I whispered.

Violet Eden has only ever wanted to be with Lincoln. But when he reveals a secret so powerful it could tear them apart, her world spins out of control. Then she meets Phoenix. Intense and beautiful, Violet is helplessly drawn to him...

Caught up in a battle between light and dark - where angels seek vengeance and humans are warriors - Violet must decide how much she's willing to sacrifice. And who she can love...

Embrace was one of those books that totally blindsided me. I'd heard a few whispers that it was good so when the opportunity to review it came up I jumped at the chance. But obviously there's good and then there's good, and boy is it good!

I loved Violet and was completely sucked into her story. She's easy to like - a character who is both strong and flawed - it makes her believable and easy to relate too. I loved that we got to experience it alongside her.  I liked her best friend Steph, and I absolutely loved Lincoln and could definitely identify with what Violet sees in him. And that kiss? Wow! Phoenix on the other hand was someone I wasn't sure I liked but then found myself being completely seduced by. I'm still not sure we know all there is to know there - but I'm interested to find out.  And it all makes for a very interesting triangle.

The mythology created is where the novel excels - I loved it. Sure, it requires a lot of explanation which slows down the pace in parts but it's definitely worth it - the whole thing is fascinating. I was completely gripped the whole time - in fact I'm not sure my bottom lip will ever recover from all the lip biting I did while reading it!

Fast paced and completely thrilling. If you are a fan of paranormal stories you have to read this. I seriously can't wait for Entice when it's published next year.

Monday 5 December 2011

I want to read that...

This Is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott

From Goodreads:  After their long summer apart, Ally and Jake were hoping for a drama free senior year. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like things will work out that way...again. — It turns out that Chloe is pregnant and says that Jake is the father. Hammond is pissed at his best friend, but mostly can't believe that Ally would stay with Jake. But Ally is tired of being apart from Jake and is willing to make it work. But that is easier said than done when Jake starts blowing Ally off to go to doctor's appointments with Chloe and Ally joins the school play and meets a new cute guy.

But as graduation approaches, things get more complicated as new secrets come out and Ally realizes maybe Jake isn't the guy she thought he was. After everything they've been through can Ally and Jake get out of Orchard Hill with their relationship intact?

I can't wait for this.  I loved books 1 and 2 in the series (I really need to post my reviews!) and I'm excited to see how this will all pan out for Ally and Jake!

It's published May (US) and August (UK)

Saturday 3 December 2011

In My Mailbox (120)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren


Seizure by Kathy Reichs
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton
In Darkness by Nick Lake
After The Snow by S D Crocket
Vixen by Jillian Larken

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


She's So Money by Cherry Cheva
Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff
By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
The Secret Year by Jennifer R Hubbard
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher

Hope you all had a great week:)

Thursday 1 December 2011

Cover to Covet (21)

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

Smashed by Lisa Luedeke

I love the smashed glass effect on it - really eye catching - and makes me want to find out what happened.

From Goodreads:  Maine high school senior Katie Martin is set to win a field hockey scholarship until her life is derailed by drinking, a car accident, and an angry classmate.

What do you think?


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