Friday, 25 May 2012

Sneak Peek: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

From Goodreads: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

This is being published in August by Bloomsbury and I must say I am super excited for it - it sound so good!

For those of you who can't wait until August there is a sneak peek below:D Also, who's loving the UK cover? She looks seriously fierce!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe (Blog Tour)

As part of the blog tour for her new book, Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, author Shelley Coriell stopped by to talk about High School Radio Stations and the inspiration for the story...
On the Air: A Look at High School Radio Stations

When choosing the high school setting for my YA contemp debut – WELCOME, CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE – I knew I needed a place where a formerly popular girl could meet up with a bunch of quirky misfits and become an “outsider among outsiders.”

At first I considered having Chloe join a drama club or speech and debate team. Plenty of room for Chloe to show off her bold personality, but not too original. Since I was editor of my high school’s newspaper, I also thought about having her join the school’s online e-zine or blog as an advice columnist, but that, too, had been done.

Then I thought back to my college days when I was at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. There I loved to hang out with student friends who worked at ASU’s radio station, KASC (The Blaze). The radio students were a unique bunch — sometimes intense, sometimes crazy-creative, sometimes sketchy, but always fascinating.

The perfect place for Chloe.

As I researched high school radio stations, I met up with students at FM 98.7 KWXL in Tucson, Arizona, who showed me how they do live shows and record programming.

I toured the control room, the heart of the station with microphones, headsets, and a huge control board with a gazillion switches and dials. DJs sit here.

I hung out in the newsroom where students write stories, do research, and hold staff meetings.

And techie types demonstrated how to cut in sound effects and manipulate sound, including music.

(all photos courtesy KWXL High School Radio)

Um…yeah…label me impressed.

Shelley’s Question: If you could work in a radio station, what job would you like to have?

To learn more about young adult author Shelley Coriell and Chloe’s high school radio world, visit
Thanks Shelley! I loved the Radio station setting and could really picture Chloe in that environment!

To answer your question, if I could work in a radio station my job would probably need to be behind the scenes. I don't think I would be very good at the speaking part ... which I hear is pretty important lol.

Don't forget to check out the next stop on the tour, tomorrow at Totally Bookalicious.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

I want to read that

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

From Goodreads: Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.

And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

Ever since I read Carla's (The Crooked Shelf) review of this I have been DYING to read it! I am so pleased it's being published in the UK. Can't wait!

It's published by Catnip 1 August 2012.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Geekhood Blog Tour: Q&A with Andy Robb

As part of the blog tour for the release of his debut novel Geekhood, Andy Robb stopped by to answer a few of my questions...

How did you come up with the idea for Geekhood?

The idea for Geekhood started as something very different! I was fiddling around with an idea that I had for a medieval romance in which a young Witch-hunter falls in love with a girl accused of witchcraft. My agent, Jenny, didn’t think there was much appeal for Young Adults, what with the medieval background, so suggested I try and think of something a bit more contemporary. But, being a Geek, I didn’t want to let go of the fantasy-style aspect and it got me thinking about me when I was that age. And revisiting my teens gave me an interesting perspective on the RPGs I used to play; for me, they were more than just a bit of fun – they were a way of leaving all the Bad Stuff behind: my parents’ divorce, my repeated failure to get a girlfriend and practically everything else that makes being a young adult such hard work. Suddenly, I wanted it to be about the magic we can all create to step out of the real world and not about magic in the traditional YA sense,

I loved Archie’s IM and EM (and his PS!!) How did this come about?

The IM and EM came about from telling a friend about my first ham-fisted attempts to tell a girl I ‘liked’ her. Basically, there was this girl and I was besotted with her, to the point where my voice and body refused to behave normally – I’d suddenly find myself going all squeaky or gabbling like a madman and being unable to stand still or relax in her company. That was where I got the idea for the EM from. What happened with this girl was that, one day, I was given the opportunity on a plate to tell her how I felt. Once again, my body and voice decided to betray me and all through this ordeal, I was aware of this little narrator in my head, my IM, telling me that I was going to mess it up and say the wrong thing and generally make a goof of myself. Which I did. And the pressure got so much that I fainted. Not a good move... But, as I started writing the book, it also made me realise that my IM has been part of me all through my life – but has been most vocal in times of stress – particularly when my parents were splitting up. When my folks were separating, divorce was a big taboo; you didn’t talk about it. As a result, I would talk to myself about it – which isn’t a good idea, no matter how funny it might be. I hope Archie shows that the better idea is to talk to people you trust about your problems – it’s a pressure-release that can really help in the long-term.

I really liked the storyline involving Archie and his parents. It was really interesting seeing their divorce from his perspective. Was this an important aspect of the story for you?

The divorce was an important part of the story for me. I deliberately set the story after the divorce was official, because people tend to assume that once the dotted line is signed, then it’s all done with. Anyone who’s been through divorce as an adult, child or teenager knows that’s not what happens; the fall-out can last for weeks, months or years – it doesn’t just stop when everybody’s living in separate houses. I also wanted to highlight that, amongst all the hormonal carnage that comes with being a teenager, we are all capable of having some quite profound and even wise thoughts at that age. It’s almost as though, when your parents start behaving like they’re in the playground, you make a mental decision to try and see through all the fighting, sniping and insults. Even if it’s managed brilliantly, divorce is not just about the adults in the equation; divorce is an equal-opportunities trauma and it affects everyone, even if they’re keeping quiet about it.

Will Archie have any more Geekhood adventures?

Archie has another Geekhood adventure coming out in 2013 and, dare I say it, we’re exploring even Geekier pursuits than miniature-painting and RPGs...

What was the publication process like for you?

The publication process has been a real eye-opener and I’ve come to realise that there’s far more to writing a book than just writing a book. What, in my opinion, is most important is that you have utter trust in your publishers. I’ve been very lucky with Stripes as they have, to a man, had a great handle on what I think the book’s about. However, as the writer, you’ve also got to get your head around the idea that other people are going to have their thoughts about what the book’s about. That’s the point where you’ve got to stand back a bit and let the grown-ups do their job; that’s where the trust comes in.

What is your favourite aspect of writing? And the most challenging?

My favourite aspect of writing is also the most challenging: it’s sitting down, on your own and creating something from nothing. There’s a bit in the book where Matt, one of the Geeks, talks about Role-Play Gamers as being like alchemists – they create stories and fantasies from thin air. I think that’s true of any creative process, but it’s quite daunting to do.

Have there been any authors who have been a strong influence on you?

I don’t know if there have been any authors who have directly influenced my work, but a very well-known author once told me that “every writer is a thief”; without knowing it I’ll have sucked up aspects of other people’s work and turned them into something else. I know who I’d like to write like – it’d be Tolkien. The way he weaved such a rich tapestry to create a world full of history and an immediate present still astounds me. I think my influences probably come from people I admire in popular culture: Russell Brand, Bill Hicks and older comics like Tommy Cooper and Frankie Howerd. They knew how to use words to their best effect and I can quote from most of their routines without having to think too hard.

Are there any YA books you can recommend? Perhaps something you read recently that just blew you away?

My favourite, recent YA books have been Sarwat Chadda’s Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress , because he’s been able to create such a big, bold and beautiful world and stick a 21st Century kid in it and the Bartimaeus books by Jonathan Stroud. The Bartimaeus books pack the right amount of action, intrigue and dry wit alongside a character with whom you can really engage.

Finally, I’d just like to say thank you for having me on your blog and all the lovely things you’ve said about Geekhood.
Thanks Andy!  I'm very pleased to hear Archie will be having another geekhood adventure!

You can read my review of Geekhood here

The next stop on the blog tour is tomorrow over at Sister Spooky

And you can find Andy at his website and on twitter.

Geekhood by Andy Robb

From Goodreads:  If you haven't worked it out yet, girls don't do this. They don't come to the Hovel. They don't like goblins and dragons. They don't paint miniatures. They don't play role playing games or re-enact fictional battles. And they don't talk to Geeks like me especially if they're pretty. And this girl is pretty. What do you do if you're a fourteen-year-old Geek, and a Beautiful Girl has appeared in the midst of your geeky world? And she seems to like you... For Archie, the natural reaction would be to duck and cover ... run for the hills ... buy a new model elf... Anything but risk stepping into the Real World. But even Geeks have to put their heads above the parapet at some point. With his mum barely able to contain her excitement that her son is about to join the human race, and his step-father, Tony the Tosser, offering crass advice, it's time for Archie to embark on a daring Quest to win the Beautiful Girl's heart and shake off his Geekhood for good...

Geekhood is one of those books that you can't help but fall in love with.  And I have to agree with the quote of the front cover - the book makes being a geek feel pretty cool to me too!

I loved Archie's voice from the first page and he just grows on you more and more. I adored his IM (Interior Monologue) and EM (Exterior Monologue) and then his PS (Psychic Self) was particularly hilarious (if misguided!). I really liked his friends too, and of course, Sarah's lovely.  And surprisingly, I really enjoyed hearing all about the role playing games and fictional battles!

One of the things that really stood out for me was the focus on Archie's family life.  I found it interesting to hear about his parents divorce from his point of view - after it had happened and when both parents have new 'others' in their lives.  I laughed every time he referred to his mum's boyfriend as the 'tosser' but by the end of the book realised there was some affection there. It also shows how 'messy' things can be - how the grown ups don't always act like the grown ups, and how the divorce doesn't just affect those around it while it is happening but continues to do so - this was something I hadn't really appreciated before reading this.

I'm really excited to hear Archie will be having a new geekhood adventure next year!  I'm definitely looking forward to catching up with him.

Pop back later today - I have a Q&A with Andy Robb :)

Friday, 18 May 2012

New Girl by Paige Harbison (Review and Interview: Blog Tour)

For Review: Mira Ink
Published: 4 May 2012

From Goodreads:  A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

Having never read Rebecca I am probably not going to be the best judge on how well this works as a retelling, but what I can tell you is that I really enjoyed reading it.

I loved Harbison's debut, Here Lie's Bridget, when I read it last year and New Girl has all the same elements I enjoyed in it's predecessor.  She  really knows how to get into the heads of her characters, and while I may not always find all of them likeable, they are complex enough that I can't help but want to know more about them.

It took me almost until I was half-way through the novel to realise I did not know the name of New Girl.  In fact, it is not until the very end that we actually learn that particular detail.  But I did really like her and I felt really sorry for her too.  I think even the strongest of people would have found that situation hard to deal with.  But I really liked the fact she learns to stand up for herself.

I really liked Max too.  He seemed sweet and there was just something about him. And I liked the scenes between him and New Girl.  I'm not sure I would have paired him and Becca together though.

Becca was the second narrator of the story (with her parts being told in third person).  She is the character that I found myself disliking but also feeling for.  I love the way the author manages to walk that line between having a character I dislike but one I'm interested in reading about too.  It's as if I couldn't stop myself from reading more about her - even when I had the feeling nothing good was going to happen.

I really liked the ending too.  I wasn't surprised by it necessarily - some things were easy to work out and predict -  but I liked the way it ended for New Girl.

I'm looking forward to whatever Paige Harbison writes next - I'm sure it will be a winner.

As part of the UK blog tour Paige kindly stopped by to answer a few of my questions...

What made you decide to write a modern retelling of Rebecca?

Watching Hitchcock movies, remembering about Rebecca, and thinking: a girl is jealous of a girl and it’s fuelled by her interest in a guy? High school! I also wanted to delve into the obsessive compulsion teenagers have when it comes to tragedies involving their peers. If someone goes missing, dies, gets pregnant or anything at all, they obsess.

I loved the dual narration and felt it gave me the opportunity to get to know both characters. Was one easier to write than the other?

I write mean girls like it is my job. And…I guess it is, hah! It’s an odd gift of mine to be able to look into the mind of the irredeemable and understand it. Or maybe I’m just an awful person and all of my books are slightly biographical. =)

Both New Girl and Here Lies Bridget (although I loved Bridget in the end) have some unlikeable, but complex main characters. Do you know what it is that draws you into writing them?

I think everyone has a little B in them. Becca, Bridget, Bitch. They are both messed up people who mess up other people because they can’t figure themselves out. I like writing about them because I think they’re more real than the Good characters. If I don’t even consider myself to be someone who could translate to 100% likeable on paper, how am I supposed to write realistically and try and act like some imaginary character is? Other people can write about the wholly good, noble people. I’ll write about the ones who need to figure it out.

Is there a scene in the book that really stands out for you?

I like the scene after the Halloween ball when new girl falls asleep. She doesn’t know if it’s real or not, and really, neither do I.

What’s next for you? Are you currently working on something at the moment?

I am working on my next book now. I can’t say too much, but that it delves into the friendship between two girls that become driven apart by their own personal fears made worse by a boy and a discovery in a creepy shop.
Thanks Paige!  I look forward to reading your next book :D

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Endure by Carrie Jones

For Review: Bloomsbury
Published: 10 May 2012

From Goodreads: Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .

Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.

I have been super excited to read this one. I've really loved the series and have been dying to find out how it all ends.

The story picks up from where we left it in Entice. Zara is coming to terms with being Pixified, things are strained between her and Nick and the Apocalypse seems closer than ever...

Again I loved all the characters - Issie, Devyn, Betty,  Astley(!) - but Nick kind of disappointed me. Don't get me wrong - I still love him and his alpha-maleness but I just thought he should have been there more for Zara.

I fell in love with Astley in Entice and if possible I fell even more in love with him here. I know many people love Nick but I just found Astley treats her better, he's there for her when she needs him and he treats her as more of an equal.

There were quite a few surprises in this one and I wasn't sure how it was going to end.  There are some great action scenes and some really good moments between the characters.  I would have preferred it to be slightly longer - the ending is so fast paced it almost feels rushed but I loved how it all ended. How everything is tied up.  I don't want to give too much away but there was one point near the end when I thought my heart had stopped!  I may have even shouted NOOOOOO!  It was all very exciting (if slightly panic inducing!)

I really looking forward to reading more by Carrie Jones. I really love this series (so much so I am now the proud owner of the first three on audio so I can listen to them in the car!) and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Cover to Covet (26)

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

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

I freaking love this cover! The colours, the cracks in the earth in the foreground. It looks dystoptian (which it is) but it's pretty too. And it sounds ace:)

From Goodreads: Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .

The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

It's published in October 2012 (both UK and US)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Q&A: Julie Kagawa

As part of the blog tour for the release her new novel, The Immortal Rules, Julie kindly answered a few questions...

What made you decide to write a post-apocalyptic vampire series?

I had been toying with writing a post-apocalyptic YA story after The Iron Fey, when my agent suggested I might want to try vampires. Although not terribly intrigued with the idea at first, I then had the thought of combining the two, and from there everything sort of fell into place.

Allison Sekemoto, like Meghan Chase, is a very strong character.    Is this something that is important to you? How much of yourself did you put into her character?

I am far more similar to Allison then I am to Meghan Chase. We're short (as in, not tall), we like reading, we're not afraid to fight, and we have somewhat of a short temper (or I did, back when I was a teenager, lol). Out of all my characters, Allie is probably my favourite female because of her snark and her katana.

If The Immoral Rules became a movie or TV series what would be your ideal cast?

I'm soooooooo bad at this, lol. Maybe Jamie Chung or Devon Aoki for Allie, Zac Effron for Zeke and Ian Somerhalder for Kanin? I'm probably missing something obvious, but like I said, I'm bad at this.

What is your favourite and most challenging aspect of being a published author?

My favorite aspects of being a published author is being able to do something I love every single day and to share that work with fans. It sounds trite, but I really would be writing whether or not it was my job. The fact that those stories are being read and (I hope) enjoyed by people all over the world is just… well, it’s incredible. There are days when I still don’t believe it.

There are lots of challenging aspects to being a published author. The biggest challenge for me is probably trying to juggle everything – writing (and meeting deadlines), interviews, signings, blog tours, etc… It’s funny, because I enjoy doing all of those things, but sometimes trying to do them all at once can get a bit overwhelming.

Are there any authors who have been a strong influence on you?

A lot of my influence and inspiration comes from Japanese manga and from video games. I’d say the author that’s influenced me most though is Neil Gaiman, though. I’d love to be able to write like him.
Thanks Julie

You can read my review of The Immortal Rules here (it is awesome!)

The series has its own website here

And you can find Julie on her Website, Blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Giveaway: The Wintercraft Trilogy by Jenna Burtenshaw

To celebrate the release of Legacy by Jenna Burtenshaw, the final book in the Wintercraft series,  the lovely people at Headline have kindly provided one set of the Wintercraft Trilogy to giveaway!

The giveaway is open to UK entrants only and the closing date is 16 May 2012. 

Just fill in the form below - good luck :D

This giveaway is now closed.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Cover Wars: The Hunt


I really love both of these.  I love the 'ripped' design on the US one - it's really clever and I really like the contrast in colours.  But I think there should only be the boy figure in the middle - for a reason that I believe will be apparent once you've read the story.  The UK one suits the story slightly better I think - it kind of screams male point of view giving it more of an appeal to male readers and for the girls? Well...the guy on the front is rather hot don't you think? 

So I think my preference would be the UK cover.  What do you think?  Does the US or UK one appeal to you more?

Also don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour.  The next stop is tomorrow over at Narratively Speaking.

Andrew Fukuda has his own website and blog and Twitter, plus you can find out more about The Hunt on the Facebook page.

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published:  10 May 2012

From Goodreads:   

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

How much did I love this book?  I mean seriously!  It is awesome! I got completely lost in it and can't wait for more.

The concept is brilliant and terrifying - just the idea of having to live my life in that world, where one mistake is life or death - made me come out in a cold sweat.  I loved the male narrative and I loved Gene.  Who he is, how he is.  He's so strong - because he has to be -  but you also get the sense that underneath the surface is the belief that there has to be something better.  I can't imagine how you'd be able to continue otherwise.

As for the vampires - they are both terrifying and gross.  All that drooling?  Eww!  And what's with the wrist scratching?  It seriously creeped me out!  But I loved that they are real predators.  They are not cuddly creatures begging to be understood.  They would kill Gene if they realised just what he was - the threat is constant and there is one particular scene in the book that really drums home just what would become of Gene if they were to find out he was human.  I have to admit though, that if I thought about it too much, I started to wonder whether Gene would have realistically been able to hide who he was for so long.  The care in making sure he wasn't showing any hair, having to constantly wash so he didn't smell, or sweat, or bleed seemed as if it would be impossible to continue for a long period of time.  But having said that, I also think that when the impossible means certain death perhaps it wouldn't be so hard after all? And he didn't know any different - he'd lived his whole life that way.

The story is fast paced, and the action scenes are of the hold your breath, did that really happen kind!  But interlaced with that are some calmer, character driven moments.  Combined together, it really defines this as book well worth reading.  The ending has guaranteed I will be first in line for the second book in the series as I am itching to get back into this world.  I need to know what happens next. 

Make sure you pop back later - I have a Cover Wars post too.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I want to read that...

Blindspot by Laura Ellen

From Goodreads: There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.

Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer. This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.

I'm really liking the sound of this one! Plus I adore the cover.

It's published October 2012.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

For Review: HarperCollins
Published: 1 May 2012

From Goodreads:  One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature

I absolutely loved Divergent when I read it last year -  it really surprised me.  Not only did I love Insurgent but I loved it even more than Divergent - and it managed to surprised me too.

The story picks up pretty much where it left off in Divergent.  All the characters are having to face the consequences of what has happened and face up to their actions.  And that proves not to be an easy task. Plus there is still danger and more choices to face.

One of the things I love about this series is the relationship between Tris and Tobias.  I love them both as characters individually and I adore how there are together.  Even in this instalment, when their relationship is strained by the secrets they keep, you can still see how much they care for each other and how good they are for each other.  I loved that Tobias calls Tris on her recklessness and I loved that she tells him some hard truths too.  I love the way she stood up to him at the end.  It was kind of a fist pump, you go girl moment for me (internally at least, I'm kind of hoping I didn't actually do it...).

Again the story was action packed and I flew through it at break neck speed.  I think it's safe to say I enjoyed every minute.  What surprised me though, was how there were consequences for what happened in Divergent.  The characters were all given time to process it and their part in it - and I loved the fact that Tris found her part in it hard.  That she had to deal with what she'd done.  It gives the story an anchor, a believability that is needed given everything else that is going on.  It meant I emotionally invested in the story too and that really makes it a book of awesomeness!

I can't wait for the next instalment.  I loved the end to this - how it answers questions and raises new ones.  Characters I thought I knew completely surprised me (both in a good way and a bad way) and I'm really looking forward to the repercussions -  I really, seriously can't wait to continue the story!

Friday, 4 May 2012

I want to read that....

Meant To Be by Lauren Morill

From Goodreads: Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

I'm loving the sound of this!  I'm looking forward to the fact part will be set in London! Also, the cover is ace:)

It's published November 2012

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth

For Review: HarperCollins
Published: February 2012

From Goodreads:  In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

WOW! Just ... wow. I had heard so many great things about this one when it was first released so I was expecting it to be good but it completely blew me away. I read it in one sitting and absolutely loved it!

The story is set in a world where the society is divided into factions, each representing a particular virtue.  When you are sixteen you take a test to find out which faction will fit you best - and this is used (in theory) as a basis for your choice on which faction you want to belong to,   Once you choose you are faced with initiation - if you fail you end up factionless. 

I found the world they live in to be quite harsh.  Not only does choosing a faction mean having to face initiation and possible finding yourself factionless, but if you choose one different from your family then that means turning your back on them.  It must be a difficult choice.  But it does make for interesting reading!  There is an undercurrent of uncertainty, competition and the raised stakes doesn't always bring out the best in people.

I loved Tris and having her voice the story. There is just something about her I really like - she's strong but I'm not sure she realises it. And of course I absolutely loved Four!  And the two of them? Well...!!!!!!

This is seriously action packed.  I loved every minute and really enjoyed working out (or at least trying to work out) what was actually going on.  You know it's going to be something big but I was blown away by the end.  It is a brilliant first instalment in what promises to be a phenomenal series.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Book Trailer: Sruck by Jennifer Bosworth

How have I only just seen this?  Seriously awesome!

Struck is published 8 May (US) and 26 April (UK)

I know what I want to read next...


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