Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Here's the synopsis:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE

Honestly speaking, I would probably never pick this up because I'm not that interested in things that remind me of The OC and things like that BUT this book is getting such buzz from the US at the moment and everyone is saying that the writing is captivating, the plot is brilliant and the twistyness is inspired.  So yes, I'm more than a little curious and yes, now I DO want to read it.  I just hope it can live up to the hype!

We Were Liars is published on 13th May, 2014 and will be published in the UK by HotKey Books.  To find out more about E. Lockhart and her books, please click here to visit her website. 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Bloggers supporting authors (Please help Sarah Daltry)


I'm not a huge fan of Facebook but I like the funny GIFs, catching up with friends and family, and connecting with authors as well as finding out about book news. What I saw in my feed today saddens me beyond belief and it concerns a published author with several books to her name - SARAH DALTRY.  I will start by saying that I do not know her at all and I've never read or reviewed any of her books although I believe there are a couple of them in my TBR pile. Rather than copying and pasting, it's easier to link you to Sarah's final blog post which I urge you to read.  If you can, open it up in a new window so that you can come back here...

Closing Time
It's not clear to me but it sounds like this author is a victim of bullying which has probably contributed to some serious depression.  Because of this, she has given up on her dreams and is no longer going to write.  She has said that she will withdraw all her books in the next few days and there will be no more.  Ever.  My heart breaks for this woman and I desperately want to reach out to her but she is retracting from all forms of communication and deleting all her social media accounts.  The only way I can think of to support her is to buy her books and so that's what I've done.  I urge you to PLEASE show your support by doing the same.  PLEASE show Sarah that people really do "give a fuck" as she thinks that no one does.  PLEASE let her know that the blogging community really does care about authors because I know that we do.

Thank you
Sarah Daltry's Amazon page in the UK
  Sarah Daltry's Amazon page in the USA

Divergent Movie Review

In 2011, I was one of the first UK book bloggers to read and review an unknown novel entitled DIVERGENT by debut author Veronica Roth and back then, I knew it was something special.  The book was so compelling that I spent a whole day reading without showering, dressing or even brushing my teeth.  I realise that sounds somewhat gross but I could. Not. Put. It. Down.  Fast forward to the present day and the movie has just been released in the UK.   I went to see it on Saturday night (one day after the official UK release) and with all YA book to movie adaptations that have come out recently, I admit to having been slightly nervous.  Would the movie live up to my expectations?  Would it be true to the book?  Did they get the casting right?  Ultimately, would I be disappointed? The answer is this...


The casting was SPOT ON for all the characters, and Shailene Woodley and Theo James were surprisingly PERFECT as their respective characters, Tris and Four.  There was one particular scene where Shailene almost had me bawling.  I only held it back because I hate crying in public but it was hard!

Every single scene in the movie looked exactly like I saw them in my head when I read the book, and I might have squealed when I saw Veronica herself make a cameo in the movie (if you’re wondering where, I believe she was in the zip lining scene).   Just as an aside, I’m going on holiday later in the year and have the opportunity to do a bit of zip lining myself.  I’m terribly afraid of heights, we’re talking deer in the headlights kind of afraid, but I’m hoping to channel my inner Tris to conquer my fear.

DIVERGENT was pretty much perfection and there was nothing I would change particularly apart from the very last scene.  In the final scenes of the book, Four spoke one of my most favourite lines ever but sadly, it wasn’t used.  I can see why that wouldn’t work so well on screen but that’s the only criticism I have. 

DIVERGENT was outrageously good, I’m desperate to see it again and whilst I haven’t actually bought any of the other YA adaptations on blueray/DVD, I will DEFINITELY be buying this one.   In fact, I’m pre-ordering RIGHT NOW.

My advice to you is go and see this movie, even if you haven’t read the book because it’s highly entertaining and not just “another teen movie”.  DIVERGENT asks a lot of questions about choice, leadership qualities, what it means to be brave, and if it’s possible to create an idealistic society.  It doesn’t do the thinking for you, it makes YOU think.  DIVERGENT had an impressive opening weekend in the states, so much so that the sequel INSURGENT has already been given the green light to be made by Summit and quite frankly, I can’t bloody wait!

DIVERGENT was published in the UK on 23rd April, 2011. The movie was released in the UK on 4th April, 2014. To find out more about Veronica Roth and her books, please click here. If you’re interested in my book review of DIVERGENT, please click here and if you want to read about the time I met Veronica Roth (and Shailene Woodley walked into the room) then please click here.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper. Here's the synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whale men safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother, the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic, stole Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape from her mother before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roes’ power.

When Avery awakens from a dream foretelling her own murder, she realizes time is running short—for her and for the people of her island, who, without the Roes, will lose their ships and the only life they know.

With the help of Tane, a tattooed harpoon boy from the Pacific Islands, Avery plots her escape from her mother and unravels the mysteries of her mother’s and grandmother’s pasts. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected—one she might not be able to make.

Firstly, I LOVE the cover for this book.  Simple, elegant and to the point.  Secondly, this book has witches, islands and a tattooed boy, what's not to like?  I think it sounds like a refreshing YA novel and one that I would certainly like to read. 

Salt & Storm is published on 23rd September, 2014 with no news at present of a UK release.  To find out more about Kendall Kulper and her books, please click here to visit her website. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis. Here's the synopsis:

Everyone has a theory about what’s wrong with Nolan. He has hallucinations. He has seizures. He has an overactive imagination. Or is what Nolan sees whenever he closes his eyes impossibly, fantastically real?

Nolan longs for a life uninterrupted. Every single time he blinks, he’s transported into the mind of Amara, a girl in another world. As a mute servant who’s tasked with protecting a renegade princess, Amara lives a life of magic and danger and pain; she’s completely unaware that Nolan can see through her eyes.

Until he becomes more than an observer. Until he learns to control her—and the two of them communicate for the first time. Amara is terrified. Then furious. She’s already spent a lifetime as property and punching bag. The last thing she needs is another force controlling her.

All Amara and Nolan want is to be free of each other. But Nolan’s breakthrough has dangerous consequences. Now, they’ll have to work together to survive . . . and discover the truth about their connection.

I absolutely LOVE the sound of this book and I have a good feeling that I'm going to love it.  I'm very excited about the release and if I could pre order it for kindle, believe me I would have already.  Cannot wait. 

Otherbound is published on 17th June, 2014 with no news at present of a UK release.  To find out more about Corinne Duyvis and her books, please click here to visit her website. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Recklessly Royal Review

Catherine has spent her life being the perfect princess. She’s kept her hands clean, her head down, and most importantly—men at arm’s length. After all, most men are after only one thing, and for Cathy there’s a lot more at stake than her bed; she has to worry about the fate of an entire nation. But at the rate she’s going, Cathy is afraid she’ll give the Virgin Queen a run for her money. She is tired of waiting for someone good enough to come along. She has a plan, and it all hinges on seducing the one man who seems utterly unimpressed by all things royal. The one man she is tempted by more than any other . . .

When David arrives at the royal wedding of his friend, the newly ordained Duchess Samantha Rousseau, he expected to feel uncomfortable and out of his element, but he wasn’t prepared to be targeted by Prince Alex’s gorgeous younger sister. With Cathy’s giant blue eyes, killer figure, and sense of humor, it won’t take long before he gives in. But when he finds out just how innocent the crown princess really is, will he play the part of knight in shining armor or the dashing rogue?

You need to know right off the bat that Recklessly Royal is the second book in this series so if you haven’t read Suddenly Royal, you may encounter some spoilers.  If you’re interested, my review for Suddenly Royal is here.

I adored the first book and couldn’t wait to read the sequel but as it turns out, Recklessly Royal is not a direct sequel, but more of a companion novel featuring Princess Catherine or Cathy, who is Alex’s younger sister.  Do not fear though, what I liked immediately about this book was that although it was Cathy’s story, we still got to find out what happened to Samantha and Alex.

The story is told from Cathy’s point of view.  She’s a good girl and has done exactly what has been expected of her since birth.  She knows how to be a princess but she doesn’t know how to relax as someone is always watching.  When it comes to men? That’s pretty much a no go area as she is afraid that guys will just use her to land a princess.  In a lot of ways, I felt sorry for Cathy because although she leads a very privileged life, it certainly has its downfalls.  Samantha and Alex are getting married and one of Sam’s friends, David, has been invited to the wedding.  There’s an instant mutual attraction (and one funny scene were Cathy gets unexpectedly drunk) and suddenly, Cathy feels like being more than a little reckless where David is concerned.

Recklessly Royal is a cute read and I enjoyed seeing things from Cathy’s point of view not just as a person, but as a princess.  Her relationship with David was more cute than hot but I liked it just the same.   The only thing that irked me was a decision they both made toward the end of the book which blatantly went against everything she was ever taught to believe and everything David was telling her.  It was something so stupid and I really thought Cathy was smarter than that.  I’m still not sure it was a massive oversight from the author or whether maybe it’s a set up for a future storyline but either way, it was a small omission that would have made all the difference.  I will say though that I read an advanced copy so perhaps this has been changed in the final copy, I have no idea.

If I’m honest, I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first book and I’ve been trying to figure out why ever since I finished reading it. Maybe it’s because the dashing prince isn’t there anymore because it’s the princess who’s narrating.  Regardless, I still liked the book and I will read the next book which will no doubt feature Alex and Cathy’s brother, Prince Max. 

Overall, Recklessly Royal is a cute story and I’m glad I got the chance to read it.

Recklessly Royal is published on 25th March, 2014.  To find out more about Nichole Chase and her books, please click here to visit her website.

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Review

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

I have a confession to make.  This is my first John Green novel.  I’ve heard so many good things about this book but knowing it was a book about a girl with cancer, I’d put off reading it since it was published.  There was never a right time to read the book – I’m feeling sad at the moment, I’m on my period, it’s not a good time etc.  And then I ignored all that and read it anyway, mostly because the movie is about to be released and I really wanted to read the book first.  I hadn’t intended to read it all in one sitting but that’s exactly what I did one Saturday morning. 

Hazel has cancer but she’s on some kind of wonder drug that has shrunk her tumours.  She’s still terminal but this has bought her some time.  Her lungs don’t work properly and she’s forced to carry around oxygen wherever she goes as a constant reminder of her illness but Hazel isn’t all “woe is me” though.  She’s a teenager who is quite rightly a bit pissed off at having cancer and lungs that don’t work properly.  She’s sarcastic, but smart with it and thoughtful.  She’s just trying to live her life the best way she can.  Her mother however thinks that Hazel is getting depressed and so she sends her to a support group which is where Hazel meets Augustus (Gus).  He’s a cancer survivor but lost a leg in the process.  Together, they share the same sense of humour and a way of looking at the world but Hazel keeps Gus at a distance because she knows there’s no future for them.  But love won’t be denied. 

I’m pretty sure I can’t add anything new to what’s already been said about this book but it was definitely a great read and surprising since I wasn’t sure I would like it.  There were quite a few laugh out loud moments in the book, especially through something Gus would say and I fell in love with the characters “slowly, and then all at once.”  John Green is obviously a very intelligent writer with an extensive vocabulary that quite frankly intimidated me at times.  This was mostly through one character in particular who was meant to be a pompous ass but even the teenagers used big words at times and I wasn’t entirely convinced of the authenticity of that.  I didn’t know what some of the words meant now, let alone when I was seventeen and I consider myself to be well educated! Anyhow, what I liked the most about this book was how the characters dealt with having cancer.  It didn’t become them, it was just something annoying that they carried around with them.  I have to applaud John Green on his portrayal of cancer sufferers because he didn’t dress it up or only show you the nice parts.  He showed you the reality, warts and all.

The Fault in Our Stars has got to be one of the best books I’ve read about teenagers with cancer and one that will stay with me for a very long time.  Do yourself a favour and go read it before the movie comes out.

The Fault in Our Stars was published on 10th January, 2012. To find out more about John Green and his books, please click here to visit his website.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Winterspell by Claire Legrand. Here's the synopsis:

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

A book inspired by The Nutcracker? This I have to read!!!  I think Winterspell sounds like a fantastic fairytale-esque kind of book and one that you can truly get lost in over the Winter months.  Sounds like a me kind of book and I'm hoping it is.  

Winterspell is published on 30th September, 2014 and a novella entitled Summerfall is published on 26th August, 2014.  To find out more about Claire Legrand and her books, please click here to visit her website.