Wednesday, 26 September 2012

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 Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols.  Here's the synopsis:

Wendy Mann loves her job rescuing celebrities from public relations scrapes. She grew up with nothing, and now she’s drawn to glitz, glamour, and a lighthearted lifestyle. She speaks her mind, so she’s just the tough cookie to tell stars the truth about how other people see them, even when they don’t want to hear it. But after six years at the top of her game, Wendy crosses the line. A star she was sent to save rebels against her and nearly gets her fired. To salvage her job, she must rehabilitate the career of a singing starlet with a penchant for posting inappropriate photos of herself and arguing online with her famous ex. Problem is, the ex is represented by Wendy’s arch nemesis from college, the hot and haughty Daniel Blackstone. And both stars are scheduled for a collision course on national television, broadcast live from Las Vegas.

Daniel’s uneasy when he hears Wendy Mann from his firm’s most hated competitor has been brought in to revive the career of his client’s ex-girlfriend. Daniel must win at any cost. And if he has to seduce Wendy to smooth the way to their partnership, he’s willing to sacrifice himself for the cause. But Daniel doesn’t count on the scorching heat between them—and when they get to Vegas, all bets are off.

Jennifer Echols has written an adult book *squee* and I can't wait to read it.  I don't even care what it's about, it's Jennifer Echols and so I know immediately that I need to read it!   HOWEVER, the synopsis does sound entertaining and so I will be waiting with baited breath until February, 2013 when it is released.  The only question now is do I pre-order for my kindle or get a paperback?

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Letterbox Love (#21)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it.  Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers.  Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about.  Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there.  It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

All I can say is that it's a good job Chris had Wednesday off otherwise he wouldn't have been home to receive the TEN parcels I got, all in the same day!!

Review Books


Leaving Poppy by Kate Cann
This sounds a little creepy if I'm being honest and I don't know if I'm brave enough to read it LOL.

Possessed by Kate Cann
This is another creepy, paranormal book that apparently is a fast paced read.  The cover reminds me of a haunted house. 

Fire by Kate Cann
I believe this is the sequel to Possessed (see above)
 
Witch Crag by Kate Cann
This is Kate Cann's latest book and all I really know about it is that it's about witches.  I think the title really stands out because of how strange it is. 
 
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
This is a fantasy novel and I think it sounds awesome, for some reason I'm really getting into fantasy at the moment (I think it's got something to do with the book I'm working on).

On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming (Unsolicited)
This looks like a creepy little book which has been sent in plenty of time for Halloween.



Review Books



The Palladin Prophecy by Mark Frost
The synopsis of this sounds a little bit like Insignia (minus the computer games aspect) and I believe the writer is the co-creator for TV series, Twin Peaks.   I also understand that the movie rights have already been sold and this book is part of a trilogy.  It's quite a thick book but I have a feeling I'm going to love this one if I get stuck in.

Thank you Publishers!!!




Books Bought



Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
This is a dystopian novel featuring hackers and I think it sounds really good!  There is a free short story entitled No Escape (which I featured in last week's Letterbox Love) for kindle if you want to sample the story world.  

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
I remember some drama from a while back about the cover for Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon and how the gorgeous cover (featuring an Asian character) was changed for the paperbacks.  I want to go on record as saying I LOVE THIS COVER so much (which also features an Asian character) and I would hate to see this changed! This is an epic fantasy novel and I think it sounds amazing so I hope it lives up to my expectations.  If not, I will just sit and drool over the cover ;)
 
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
It's no secret that I'm a HUGE fan of Maggie's and I would buy any novel she wrote.  Naturally, I had to get a US hardback for my collection and I really must get round to reading this!  I was tempted to buy a signed copy from an independent bookstore in the US (they were offering special bookplates designed by Maggie which are BEAUTIFUL) but it was going to cost too much in the end and I thought I might end up seeing her again in the UK soon anyway. 

The Truth about Faking It by Leigh Talbert Moore
OK, so I randomly saw someone raving about this book on Goodreads and I was all "SOLD!" and went on Amazon to order it.  I *think* it's self published but I'm going to give it a go.  It's a contemporary and I've just seen that the kindle version has gone live after I paid for the paperback (DAMN IT) but never mind!

The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer
I can't remember who I heard talking about this book but I liked the sound of it so I tracked it down and ended up finding a used copy that was actually a library book (it still has all the library labels on it!).  I believe it's Young Adult and it's definitely a romance so I'm in.

 
Books Won


Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Timing is everything and I just happened to turn on Twitter when Saundra Mitchell was running a contest to win Unspoken and I WON!!!  I'm ecstatic to have a US hardback which is BEAUTIFUL although I'm a little nervous about reading the story now as I've heard people say that they loved it but Sarah ripped their heart out.  Eeek.

E-Books

Aftermath by Andrea Cremer (Bought)
I *JUST* found out from another book blogger about this novella which is set after Bloodrose!  'Nuff said.

The Siren by Keira Cass (Bought)
I was tempted to buy the paperback of this after hearing such good reviews but I chickened out and bought the kindle version because it was cheaper and I started to panic about shelf space considering how many books I'm buying lately!  Kiera Cass also wrote The Selection which is hopefully being made into a TV series and I will be reviewing this soon (I loved it). 

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young (Bought)
This is an adult contemporary romance and was recommended to me by a friend who swore she could not put it down and started recommending it before she had even finished it!! 
 
Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha (Bought)  
This was a recommendation posted on Twitter by Ann Aguirre (author of  Enclave) who said it was hot, hot, hot.  This is a dystopian erotica novel and I think it sounds interesting.

Among the Nameless Stars by Diana Peterfreund (Free)
This is a prequel to the novel For Darkness Shows the Stars which I ordered recently. 


Second Chance by Katie Kacvinsky(Free)
I didn't realise at the time but this is actually a sequel to a book called First Comes Love which is a little more expensive on kindle than I would like and I'm tempted to wait to see if the price comes down first before starting these books.  Note that this book is no longer free on Amazon but the price is still lower than the first book.

Blood Like Poison: For the Love of a Vampire (Book 1, Blood Like Poison Series) by M. Leighton (Free) 
I recently read The Wild Ones (which I reviewed over at Wastepaperprose) and although it had some negatives, overall the story was wildly entertaining and I still want to read more from this author.  I'm actually waiting for Down to You which is not out yet so I thought I could give this a go as it's had some good reviews and it was free. 


I've got to try not to buy so many books and am really considering culling my bookshelves (and being brutal) and/or buying kindle books only as I'm seriously running out of shelf space.  How do you buy books?  Hope you had a great week and as always, please leave me your links :)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Beautiful Creatures Trailer!!


Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (review here) not only has an official movie poster but NOW, you can watch the trailer.  I cannot wait for February, 2013 when the movie is released and I will be wearing my Beautiful Creatures T-shirt, THAT'S FOR SURE.



So, what do you think? I've watched it several times now and I think it looks really good!!

Friday, 21 September 2012

OPAL Cover Reveal


No one is like Daemon Black.
 

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble

WOW, I LOVE THIS SERIES and this cover is PERFECT! Very romantic :)

Follow THIS LINK to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement. You will want to bookmark this page!


USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Gwenda Bond (Author of Blackwood): A day in the Writing Life



Blackwood by debut novelist Gwenda Bond was recently published by Strange Chemistry, a new YA imprint for Angry Robot Books and to celebrate this, I have a post from the lady herself to talk about a day in her writing life.  Just before we get on to that though, in case you haven't heard of the book, here's the synopsis:

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America’s oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance.


Doesn't that sound interesting?  Now, without further ado, here's Gwenda:

I wish I could weave a pretty narrative of an ideal writing day. It would start when my butler/chef/ninja assassin/confidante woke me with perfectly brewed coffee at 10 or so, served me breakfast on a veranda overlooking the beach, after which there’d be a swim, and then several hours of writing before an awesome parade of activities unfurled through the evening.

Of course, this is no one’s writing life. Because writing is inherently untidy. We make schedules, force it into certain times, but the truth is the process is pretty much nonstop and often mentally messy. This isn’t to say it doesn’t require dedicated time, because it does—oh, it does. I only “count” my writing time that produces words. That said, one of the most valuable pieces of advice I was ever given as a young writer was that you’d better be thinking about your story vast amounts of the time. In the background while you’re doing other things, when you’re driving or walking places, let it hum along—while you’re sleeping even maybe, turn it over and around in your brain so your subconscious has plenty to spit out when you sit down at the keyboard.

Here’s my actual usual writing day when I’m drafting something. Get up, have breakfast, coffee. If a really good day, exert enough willpower to avoid looking at email or twitter until after morning writing session. If a less chipper one, check these things and hopefully not lose too much time to them, then start writing. Note: I always regret checking, and yet I still sometimes do it. Especially if there’s a chance of news. The flesh is weak.

I’ll get in an hour or two on a good day, then go to work. Lunch, I usually try to split in half. A walk outside with my iPod, listening to my playlist, going two miles around a track through tall green trees, in which I allow myself to do nothing but think about the story. If I got a lot done that morning, I may be more than ready by the time I come back in to squeeze in another half hour of writing and get an impressive amount done for such a small time block. If I didn’t, then usually I’m able to crack whatever was holding me up during the walk, and I’ll come back in and make notes or sketch out the scene, maybe get started on it…and then write more later in the backyard on my Alphasmart Neo keyboard after work. I prefer the days that go the first way, because then I get the whole night off. Yay. There must be some time off, for sanity’s sake. But, regardless, I do more or less shoot for a decent word count, whatever that establishes itself at for a given project, each day, more or less.

I’m not a morning person by nature, so this wasn’t an easy pattern to establish. But it works well for me. I’ve come to really enjoy that early time when I’m the only one up, when my inner critique hasn’t yet shown up to criticize and the dream state is still clinging, and to place some importance on the symbolism of putting writing first. If my later sessions don’t happen for whatever unavoidable reason, I’ll have made some progress anyway. And that, most days, is enough to shut down the part of my mind that always believes I could and should be doing more work.









I really admire people who hold down a day job and still find the time to write and that's the key - FIND THE TIME and I shall be heeding this advice from now on.  Thanks Gwenda!


Blackwood was published on 4th September, 2012.  To find out more about Gwenda and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

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 Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe. Here's the synopsis:

To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father’s capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart’s twisted world, Zara’s path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara’s hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father’s evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels’ command and where the prince’s heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she’s truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.

Basically, it's a fantasy AND I WANT IT LIKE NOW but we've got a long wait ahead of us I'm afraid as it's not scheduled for publication until October, 2013.  Just to let you know, there is a short prequel to this story available now on kindle entitled Unveiled which might just satisfy your appetite until this book comes out.  

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Meeting Tessa Gratton

When I was offered the chance to meet Tessa Gratton (author of Blood Magic and The Blood Keeper) recently in London, I jumped at the chance.  I really enjoyed Blood Magic (review: here) and have talked to Tessa online since before her book was published.  She's very funny and talented (have you seen her perform any Shakespeare?) and she probably should have been an actress if the writing hadn't worked out so well for her.

Seriously, she's amazing

Anyway, I requested the time off work and even though I'd worked a night shift the night before, I stayed awake and traveled into London to do some book shopping before going off to meet her.  As an aside, some random guy in the book shop started asking me about whether Twilight was any good and said that he was writing his first novel as he'd been inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey (I don't even know what to say about this) and when I asked him about Fifty Shades, he said he'd only read up to chapter 14 LOL.  I wanted to be encouraging, I really did so I just wished him luck and left it at that. 

Back to the meeting...admittedly Tessa probably didn't see the best version of me because of being exhausted and all and I'm also carrying a little bit of holiday weight but no matter, nothing would stop me from getting there.  As an added bonus, Karen Mahoney (author of The Iron Witch, The Wood Queen and Falling to Ash) was there together with Natalie C. Parker (upcoming author of Beware the Wild).  I've met Karen before (seriously, this woman can pose for silly photographs for hours) and it was really nice to meet Natalie as I've also interacted with her online.


We ended up having a cocktail at a little place called Drink, Shop, Do in London which incidentally is where I met Lauren Oliver last year.  The cocktails had some amusing names and I think I was the only one who snickered when Tessa ordered a "Front Garden".  Nurses have a warped sense of humour, let me tell you.  Or maybe it has to do with some naughty books I've been reading recently ;)

We talked about books (obviously) and writing as well as other things and Tessa looked young and carefree although she claimed to be a bit jet lagged.  I'm so grateful that I got a chance to meet her and get my books signed.  It was also really interesting to hear about Natalie's upcoming novel Beware the Wild (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13639182-beware-the-wild) which quite frankly sounds AH-MAZING but we have to wait until 2014 for it so keep an eye out for that one!  Maybe she'll let me read an ARC of it one day ;)

All in all, it was definitely worth going and even though I wasn't quite as bubbly as I might have been (cos I was KNACKERED) I'm glad I got a chance to hang out with some really cool ladies for the evening.  Thank you to Random House for organising the event.

Monday, 17 September 2012

WINNERS

I recently had two contests and it's taken me a while to get round to choosing winners (randomly, of course) as I've been on vacation but here they are...



Firstly, for the signed copy of Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (as part of the Author's Are Rockstars Tour), the winner is:

MELANIE (from Canada)



And the winner of the signed copy of Stolen Night by Rebecca Maizel (as part of the UK blog tour) is:

ShreShre (from Chocolate Coated Reviews)

Congratulations to both of the winners who have been contacted and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  Thank you to everyone who entered.

Spellbound Review


What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?

Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to...Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives...visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz has been around for a while now but is only recently being published in the UK.  Fast paced and somewhat entertaining, whilst there were some funny one liners from Emma, the main protagonist, I’m sorry to say that I thought this book was distinctly average compared to the outstanding quality of YA we’re seeing nowadays.  I really don’t like giving mixed reviews but there was nothing new or original about the story.  I didn’t mind the instalove but I thought that Anthony (the bad guy for want of a better description) was incredibly farfetched as a character and I just couldn’t believe that someone would go to those extremes.
 
Spellbound was not badly written at all but there was no spark there for me which is disappointing as I wanted to love it.  I would still read the next book in the series but it won’t be top of my priorities.   If you want a book about a curse that’s AMAZING, then read Anew by Chelsea Fine (review here).  Spellbound pales in comparison I’m afraid.

As always, I would urge you to check out a mix of reviews and try the book for yourself to make up your own mind.   Here are some positive reviews to balance this one:

Bookangel Booktopia
Serendipity Reviews

Spellbound was published on 21st June, 2011 in the US and will be published on 7th September, 2012 in the UK. To find out more about Cara Lynn Shultz and her books, please click here

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Letterbox Love (#20)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it.  Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers.  Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about.  Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there.  It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

I've received some great books this week...


Review Books



Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney
This is Karen's new book about a character called Moth (you might recall that she previously wrote a short story about this character which featured in an anthology).  The cover is GORGEOUS and I was lucky enough to get mine signed as I met up with her, Tessa Gratton and Natalie C. Parker as well as some other bloggers of course (as you do).  One thing you need to know about Karen and yes this is totally random, she can pose for silly photo's for HOURS.  For reals. 

The Dark Heroine (Dinner with a Vampire) by Abigail Gibbs
 This book has been seriously hyped up recently with 18 year old Abigail featuring in the national press and even on breakfast television.  She started writing the story when she was fifteen and posted snippets on Wattpad where it's had 17 million views.  The book sold to Harper Collins for six figures.  At 522 pages, it's not a quick read but I read it IN A DAY as I couldn't put it down. Look out for my review in the near future.

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
This book by NYT best selling author Kresley Cole sounds AWESOME albeit slightly scary as it's set in a post-apocalyptic world.  Very interested to read this one which looks like it's part of a new series.

Entice by Jessica Shirvington
I have been waiting and waiting for this book ever since I finished Embrace as I was desperate for more.  Let's just say that I am totally reading this next and I can't wait to see what happens.

Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne
This is one of those books that I've been meaning to read for ages as I love Tanya online and I love the cover of the new paperback.  I will get round to it, damn it. 

Tigers Destiny by Colleen Houck
I've never read this series so I can't really comment other than to say that I'll be passing it on to the library. 


Review Books




What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
I've been wanting to read this book for months so I'm really glad I've got a copy!  It sounds a bit like The Host to me but nevertheless, it definitely sounds interesting. 

Ruthless by Sara Shepard
This is the TENTH book in a series I've never read and I have no idea why it's been sent to me.  I did start watching the television series but I got bored with it, especially when I realised we were never going to find out who A is, or at least not for another 3 books or series.  If anyone knows and would like to message me privately or e mail me the answer, I'd be very grateful!


Thank you publishers!!!

Books Bought



The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
I really enjoyed I am Number Four but I have to admit that I'm a bit behind with the series now.  This is the third book and yet another pretty cover.  One day, I will catch up!

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
I love the title and idea of this book but I was never sure if I should get it or not.  I ended up seeing it in Foyles (London) and decided to get it so it's become an impulse buy.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd
I've been reading a bit about this book in the press lately and it's just been reissued in paperback (not the one above).  I decided to buy it as it's been critically appraised and quite frankly, I'm curious.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
I've been looking for a decent mermaid book for what seems the longest time and fingers crossed, this is it. I've heard some great things from bloggers whose opinions I respect so I'm hopeful! This purchase is a risk so I hope it pays off.


E-Books


The Story Book: A Writer's Guide to Story Development, Priniciples, Problem Resolution and Marketing by David Baboulene (Bought)
As you may know, I'm an aspiring author and I saw this book that had a ton of five star reviews so I thought I'd check it out. 


Try Me (Take a Chance) by Diane Alberts (Bought)
I can't remember where I saw this but I LOVED the fact that the main protagonist is a marine and the love story is not instalove but a relationship that has been years in the making.

Perigree Moon by Tara Fuller (Bought)
I just finished reading Inbetween by Tara Fuller and absolutely loved it like woah, therefore I immediately looked online to see what else she has written and I found this.  From what I can gather, I think this is going to be relaunched so I snapped it up whilst it was still available

Crazy Love by Nicola Marsh (Bought)
I really enjoyed Not the Marrying Kind and so when I heard that Nicola had written another book, I bought it. 


No Escape by Michelle Gagnon (Free)
This is a short story and I think a prequel to the novel Don't Turn Around by debut author Michelle Gagnon.  I would urge you to check out these books as they sound fantastic and I have the main book on pre-order. 


Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey (Bought)
This is the first book in the Kowalski series and I wanted to try it before investing in the rest of the books. I love any sort of books about brothers ;)


Little Red Riding Crop by Tiffany Reisz (Free)
This is the prequel to Siren, a book that took me WELL out of my comfort zone but was EXCEPTIONALLY written.  I'm invested in the story so of course, I have to read this.

I've been on a bit of a kindle spree this week (as you can see) and I've also pre-ordered some books which means that pretty soon I'm going to go broke LOL.  I know you all know that despite having millions of books to read, I just can't stop buying books!  I love them!  The only problem is, I read fast but I write slower which means my reviews are often backed up but I'll be working on that tomorrow.  As always, I hope you had a good week for books and please leave me your links below :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

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 Requiem by Lauren Oliver.  Here's the synopsis:

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight. Of Pandemonium, ALA Booklist noted that “like all successful second volumes, this expands the world and ups the stakes, setting us up for the big finale.”

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

Requiem is of course the final book in the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver and this is the US cover.  I've loved this series so far and with the way Pandemonium ended, who can say they aren't desperate to read Requiem?!  Nuff said.

Requiem is published in March, 2013 so we've got a bit of a wait I'm afraid. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Duff Review


Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages but now it’s been released in the UK, it seemed like the perfect time.  I have to say that I’ve seen some appalling reviews for this book – some are downright rude and I don’t really know why as I enjoyed it!

You’ve heard of friends with benefits? Well, this is enemies with benefits.  Bianca believes she is The Duff (Designated, Ugly, Fat Friend) in her social group and ends up getting it on with the biggest player in school as a way of making herself feel better and distracting her from all the shit that’s going down at home. Like all relationships that try to be purely about the physical, somewhere along the line, feelings creep in.  There’s a fine line between love and hate. 

Bianca and Wesley are basically using each other but they’re both upfront about that and it’s consensual so I don’t see a problem with that apart from the fact that Bianca needs a good old healthy dose of self esteem and I can guarantee she won’t find it in someone else’s bed.  The sad thing is, Bianca is smart and witty and isn’t afraid to tell you what she thinks.  There’s no way she’s kissing anyone’s arse, especially not Wesley Rush.  Which is why it’s such a surprise that they end up together but they see it as meeting each other’s physical needs.  As the story progresses, they end up helping each other emotionally too.  The only thing I didn’t like was the way Wesley referred to himself in the third person but it was necessary to show us that the name, the brand, the reputation that is Wesley Rush is someone else and not the real him.

The Duff is full of snark and smexy times but it’s not just superficial.  As Kody explains, Bianca finds out that EVERY GIRL has felt like The Duff at some point or another and I can testament to this.  Us girls are full of insecurities whether the world likes it or not I’m afraid but I guess it’s what you do about it that counts.  What I like about Kody’s novels is that whilst I wouldn’t say she courts controversy, she is definitely not afraid to write a story that’s edgy and full of issues that some people perhaps would rather weren’t talked about.  For this reason alone, I will be looking out for her future books.

The Duff was published on 5th April, 2012 in the UK and 7th September, 2010 in the US.  To find out more about Kody and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Letterbox Love (#19)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it.  Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers.  Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about.  Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there.  It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

So, as you know I've been on holiday for a couple of weeks and yes, I had an amazing time thank you :)  I got back to lots of red cards from Royal Mail so this is going to be an epic post, I'm just warning you now!

Review Books 


Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
I really like the UK cover for this book although I think the US version just pips it at the post.  I love the idea of being in love with someone you've never met, someone in your head that everyone thinks is an imaginary friend (it's the romantic in me).  I can't believe I still haven't read a Sarah Rees Brennan book, even though I've met her and I know she's hilarious.  I must rectify this ASAP!

The Diviners by Libba Bray
I've heard a lot about this book and I have to say that I LOVE the cover and the fact that it's a hardback.  Initially, I had reservations about reading the book simply because I thought it might be a 1920's crime book but I'm hoping it's much, much more and I'm going to give it a go!

The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
I've seen some mixed reviews for this book but I think it looks and sounds interesting - AND it's set in Canada and usually the books I read are set in the US or England (with the occasional European destination) so it's something a little bit new for me.  I believe Elizabeth usually writes adult books so it will be interesting to see how her YA debut turns out.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
This is the UK paperback version and although I read it ages ago, I have no idea what happened to my review so I think I'm going to have to rewrite it!  

The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
This is the UK finished copy which is a hardback (LOVE) and although it's middle grade, it's Lauren Oliver so I'm sure I'll read this at some point. 

Entice by Jessica Shirvington
ARGH, I've been dying to read this since I finished Embrace so I'm thrilled to finally get my hands on it!! 

 Review Books


Scramasax by Kevin Crossley-Holland (unsolicited)
This is book two in the Viking Saga and unfortunately, I have not read the first one yet (Bracelet of Bones) and I'm not actually sure I was sent it to be honest.  

Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson (unsolicited)
This is an urban fantasy novel about a girl who is born the only female in an all male werewolf race which already sounds interesting although I think they see her more as a threat than anything else.   

Wolf Pact by Melissa de la Cruz (unsolicited)
Continuing on the wolfy theme, I just got Wolf Pact in the post.  I have no idea if this is a book in a series or book one in a new series or what as I've never read a book by this author.  

Summertime of the Dead by Gregory Hughes (unsolicited)
I don't know how I feel about this book which features the Japanese mafia.  I don't think it will be one of the first books I pick up to read.

 Books Bought


Defiance by C.J. Redwine (US HB)
 I've just finished reading this as one of two books I took with me on holiday and I really, really enjoyed it.  I love the cover and it has a nice effect close up. 

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (US HB)
I read and reviewed this a while ago but I loved it so much that I decided to buy myself a US hardback.  The fact that I had to get it from America (as all the UK online sellers had sold out) says everything really.  If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favour and get it in any way possible you can (legally of course).

Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto (US HB)
This is the third book in the series and I now have all three US hardbacks AND...I still haven't started the series.  I know my sister loves it though and as it's about angels, I'm sure to love it too. 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (US HB)
Don't even get me started on how many versions of this book I have but since I came up with the title, it's only fitting. 

Origin by Jessica Khoury (US HB)
This is a debut novel and one that sounds highly original.  Actually, I think it sounds amazing and I'm hoping it lives up to the hype it's been getting across the pond.

Revived by Cat Patrick (US HB)
I remember wanting this for the longest time but I really don't like the UK covers (sorry).  I enjoyed Forgotten and I know I'm going to like this one :)

Books Bought


The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton (US HB)
I really enjoyed Blood Magic and I love Tessa's personality and passion so of course, I had to get the companion novel.

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout (US HB)
I will read anything Jennifer writes.  The end.  

Every Day by David Levithan (US HB)
 I've heard some really good things from US bloggers about this book and I think it sounds amazing.  Every morning, the same person or soul wakes up in a different person's body and never knows who or where they will be.  That premise definitely piqued my interest!

The Blessed by Tonya Hurley
This is one of those rare books where I really don't like the US cover so I bought the UK paperback.  I haven't read it yet but I'm definitely going to. 

Books Bought 


I've always wanted to go to Rome and I got the chance recently as it was one of the stops on the cruise I've just been on so of course I had to buy some books! The book about Rome is fantastic because it includes a DVD and also overlays in the book so you can see what a particular monument looks like now AND what it used to look like.  I also had a chance to go to the Vatican (although it was a fleeting visit) and I was riveted by the history so I bought a book about it. 

E Books

No Dress Required by Cari Quinn (Bought)
I read a positive review of this and I thought it sounded good, besides it was only 77p :)


No Flowers Required by Cari Quinn (Bought)
This is the newest book from the Brazen imprint of Entangled Publishing (I love them) and so I had to get it, especially as I thoroughly enjoyed the last two releases. 

Insatiable by Cari Quinn (Bought)
I saw this on Amazon and whilst it's more expensive than most ebooks I buy, I thought it sounded really good so I had to get it.   It's an adult book about two friends who have grown up together and for the past few years, the guy has realised that what he feels for the girl is a little more than friendship.  When the girl plans a trip to see an ex boyfriend, it's time to put up or shut up haha.   

Grace Doll by Jennifer Laurens (Free)
This is a great book that I've already read and reviewed on the blog but it was a free download so I thought I would get it for my kindle.

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Bought)
Whilst I've already got the paperback version, I also wanted a version for the kindle (don't ask).  It's worth it anyway. 

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer (Bought)
I love this series (I've recently read and reviewed this) so of course I had to get it.
 

Love Unscripted by Tina Reber (Netgalley)
I saw this in an e mail from Netgalley and I thought it sounded like a fun read.

So, yeah keep in mind that this is a couple of weeks worth of mail!  In case you're wondering what books I took on holiday with me, I ended up taking four paperbacks (as well as my kindle with tons on it) but I only had time to read two and they were Defiance by C.J. Redwine and Shadow and Bone (AKA The Gathering Dark) by Leigh Bardugo.  FABULOUS reads and highly recommended. This post is a little later than planned but I'm been cooking and cleaning all day (ah, the glamour of it all) and it's also taken ages to write! I hope you all got some great books this week and as always, please leave your links :)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Spark (Elementals #2) Review




Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.

Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.

Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.

The fuse is lit…


You have no idea how ecstatic I was to get Spark by Brigid Kemmerer off netgalley, on my birthday no less and yes, I read it in one sitting.  Storm was mostly about Chris, the younger of the Merrick brothers but Spark is all about Gabriel, baby.  Obviously, if you haven’t read Storm (review here) then don’t spoil it for yourself, read that book first.

Gabriel has always struggled to control the element of fire and he thinks of himself as a fuck up, always disappointing people.  Failing math is the least of his problems and anyway his twin brother Nick takes his tests for him so he can play sports so it’s all good, right? Wrong.  Gabriel gets busted and is offered one last chance to prove himself before he’s off the teams for good.  Enter Layne, a shy sophomore student who offers to help.   It’s not all smooth sailing of course (this is Gabriel we’re talking about after all) and whilst he might be smart, he’s definitely a wiseass and blunt at the best of times but it’s all part of his charm.  Honestly.  Layne and Gabriel are both hiding secrets and will have to share them in order to help each other but can they do it? Will they?  In the midst of it all, Gabriel is getting a little extra help controlling his element and becomes an unlikely hero whilst keeping his identity hidden.  When fires start raging all over town however, the finger is firmly pointed at him only this time, he’s innocent.

I’m not sure if there are enough words to describe how much I love Gabriel and Spark definitely made me love him more.  He’s tough on the outside but he’s really just a lost little boy and that makes my insides go all gooey.  This series is so good and it’s the characters that make it what it is.  Brigid really knows them inside out and they all have such unique voices.  I actually forgot at one point that this was written by a woman as the male voices in particular are so authentic.  Spark was fabulous and flawless and I’m incredibly glad I discovered this series.  Brigid Kemmerer has definitely made a fan out of me.  

Spark was published on 28th August, 2012.  To find out more about Brigid Kemmerer and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

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 Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor.  Here's the synopsis:

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed "Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a great book and subsequently everyone is dying to read the sequel.  Laini's writing alone makes it lust worthy but the beautiful covers help too.  I'm actually liking the US covers right now although it could be argued that they're just pretty and don't necessarily tell you anything about the book.  But what about the UK cover? Still pretty but does it tell you anything noteworthy? Not really.  Oh well, who cares as I just want to read the damn thing!  I recently won an ARC of this so I'm pretty excited to receive it!  :)


Days of Blood and Starlight is published in November, 2012 in both the US and the UK.


Monday, 3 September 2012

Going Too Far Review



HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO?


All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.


John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....


There’s a reason I have a ton of Jennifer Echols books on the shelves but haven’t read them all yet – this is done purposefully so that every now and then when I need  a Jennifer Echols fix, I can get one!  I got the urge last night and pulled Going Too Far off the shelves.  As always, Jennifer never fails to deliver and I loved every minute of it.

Meg is seventeen and cannot wait to get out of the backwater town she grew up in.  Just before Spring break, Meg and three friends are drinking and generally messing around by the railroad when they are busted by the cops.  Goodbye Spring break as their punishment is to ride around with one of the emergency services for the foreseeable and Meg gets stuck with the cop who just so happens to be someone she went to school with.  AWKWARD.

From John’s job description, I was worried that he was going to be mid forties but thankfully he’s only nineteen which is much less creepy considering what I thought was going to happen.  He is very much the hero and a man in uniform definitely does it for me!  As for Meg, her snarkiness was very much appreciated and I enjoyed her character.  There is much hostility between them at first (as you can imagine) but slowly they start to understand each other and more but can anything really happen between them?

I’m sure most people will probably have read this by now so I’m going to keep my review short and sweet.  It’s Jennifer Echols, it’s awesome, go get it.

Going Too Far was published on 17th March, 2009.  To find out more about Jennifer Echols, please click here to visit her website.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Letterbox Love (#18)





As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it.  Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers.  Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about.  Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there.  It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)


Still on holiday I'm afraid so no post from me again this week.  As I said last week, I'm still happy for you guys to leave me your links and I'll take a look when I can.  Happy reading :)