Thursday 31 March 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

I *almost* forgot about Waiting on Wednesday this week what with all the new job stuff going on but thank goodness I didn't. In case you need reminding, "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 As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott. Here is the description from Goodreads:

What if you woke up and didn't know where you were?

What if you didn't know who you were?

And what if, when your memories started to come back--what if they didn't match the you that you're supposed to be?"

It's short and sweet, although I expect there may be more as it gets nearer to release date. I like the leading questions and the "what if's". I also like the subtext of "why is this happening?" I do like Elizabeth Scott's writing and that cover is to DIE FOR, so it's going on the wishlist. As I Wake is not published until September 15th, 2011 but I know I'll be ordering the hardback.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

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 one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year, Crossed by Ally Condie. Here is the description from Goodreads:

"In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky — taken by the Society to his certain death — only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander — who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart — change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever

I absolutely *LOVED* Matched and I remember being so desperate to read it last year when I first heard about the book . A very kind soul who happened to have what I consider to be one of the most pretty ARC's EVER took pity on me and let me borrow it (sending it all the way from the US) and I now have a really good friend in her AND I got to read Matched before release date. HUZZAH! If you're interested in my crazy ramblings about the book, the review is here. Matched was the first Dystopian book I'd ever read and it opened up a whole new reading world for me, one that I'd previously written off. Now of course, I'm a HUGE fan of Dystopia so I owe all of that to Matched.

So here we are again, deja vu. Now I'm desperate to read Crossed and the quest to get an ARC starts all over again. I'm normally dying to read particular books but Ally's books elicit this primal response from me and one that I'm not completely comfortable with because I NEED THIS BOOK, LIKE NOW! I'm not even sure if ARC's are available yet but I would do pretty much anything to get one (y'know, besides selling my soul to the devil and all that malarkey).

And look at that cover! I really like the way that Penguin has carried on the theme from Matched and the blue is pretty. The fact that the girl on the front is breaking out of the bubble is also a nice touch ;)

So um yeah, pretty desperate to read this one and it doesn't come out until November, 2011 and that's the US release date. I have no idea what the UK release date is at present but when I find out, I'll let you know. To find out more about Ally and her books, click here to visit her website. There are also facebook pages and other fan websites available such as, and

Thursday 17 March 2011

Meeting Laini Taylor

I was very lucky to be invited to dinner last night in London with the very lovely Hodder & Stoughton Books in order to meet Laini Taylor. Laini is of course making her UK debut this autumn with her new book “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”. If you haven’t seen the UK cover for it yet (which is absolutely gorgeous) here it is:

To those of you who are curious as to what the book is about, take a look at my Waiting on Wednesday post this week which will give you everything you need to know.

I went with Liz, a fellow blogger from My Favourite Books and we met at a beautiful little French restaurant called The Bleeding Heart, which was tucked away in a courtyard and looked lovely all lit up. We made our way through to The Parlour Room which was a separate dining area downstairs. It looked like we were having dinner in someone’s house, all cozy and intimate. Liz and I were the first to arrive, quickly followed by Leni from Hodder & Stoughton. It seemed that we had spoiled her surprise somewhat as she had arrived early to place feathers on the table, which was a lovely touch!

We spent a few minutes chatting until the rest of the Hodder Books people arrived with Laini. I have to say, I love her hair even more in person. If you’ve never seen a picture of Laini, she has the most amazing hot pink hair.

After greetings, we ate a beautiful meal and drank lots of champagne and wine. It was a fantastic evening spent getting to know everyone and it was full of conversation about books among other things. Laini had just visited Rome and Marrakesh so we talked a little about that too. Two places I’ve always wanted to go to but haven’t managed to get to yet! Laini had only arrived in the UK the day before and I imagine she was very tired but she was in good spirits!

I brought my copy of Lips Touch Three Times along with me (which I've owned since 2009 but have only read recently) and I know Liz brought her copies of the Dreamdark books with her to get signed.

I was extremely pleased to get my book signed and I was ECSTATIC to be one of the first people to be presented with an ARC of her new book (which I also got signed). There’s ALREADY a buzz building around this book, not only from Hodder but also from authors across the pond who have already read it and I feel extremely privileged to have a copy in my hands! Laini, if you're reading this then I love what you wrote in it and I will definitely let you know!

Today, I believe Laini has gone sightseeing with her family. Knowing that she would be in London for a few days, I wanted to get Laini a gift as a sort of “welcome to London” and this was proving quite difficult. Obviously there is the usual touristy tack like keyrings, magnets, anything you can put a British flag on basically. In the end, I got her something book related (naturally). I found this amazing little pocket size book, which was a pop up of all the major sights in London. Not only useful but also COOL. WIN! She really liked it and I hope it’s a little bit useful for her. If not, then I think it’s a cool souvenir.

We ended up leaving the restaurant after 10pm and all shared cabs back to train stations. It was a wonderful night and I’m sure Liz will agree that we were truly spoilt by Hodder books that night and we really appreciate it ;)

I ended up getting back to Southampton after midnight and had to rescue a lady and her child who I saw looking at a map of the city. They were looking for their hotel and planning to walk (in the cold and dark, UPHILL *shudder*). I insisted she shared my taxi (as I thought her hotel was on my way anyway) and the kid was practically asleep! So we dropped them off and I felt good about doing a good deed. It was my way of giving back to the universe for such a wonderful night. Thank you again to Hodder and Laini Taylor.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is published on 29th September, 2011 in the UK and 3rd October, 2011 in the US. YAY for something that the Brits actually get before America ;) I also heard a little rumour last night that Laini's other books may be published in the UK too.

To find out more about Laini, click here and to visit her new blog, click here. I'll bet you didn't know that Laini is also a talented artist and makes the "Laini's Ladies" gift and stationery collection, did you? Take a look at those beauties here. Finally, if you are an aspiring writer then you could do worse than to look at Not for Robots.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

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 Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Here is the description from Goodreads:

"Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?"

And this is from Laini herself....

There are weird tattoos and giant marionettes; art school, mustaches, and vintage ballet costumes; scary knives, naked ex-boyfriends, and vengeance; heartbreak, a masquerade, a light dusting of sugar, a wishbone on a cord, a cafe full of statues wearing gas masks, plentiful creatures, necklaces made of teeth, and . . . . . there's a boy. A man. He is beautiful and terrifying, with eyes the color of fire and a shadow that does not match his shape . .

OK, WOAH! I love the rich descriptions in the synopsis ALONE and I've always wanted to go to Marrakesh. I'll just bet that Laini describes it so well that I won't actually NEED to go to Marrakesh by the time I'm done reading, as I'll have already been there in my mind! What I love most about this synopsis is the mystery. I have so many questions - Who? What? Why? How does it end? How does it begin?

And did you see the cover? Daughter of Smoke and Bone is being published in both the US and UK IN HARDBACK (deep joy!!!!!!). This is the UK cover and I actually prefer it to the US one below.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is published on 29th September, 2011 in the UK and 3rd October, 2011 in the US. YAY for something that the Brits actually get before America ;)

To find out more about Laini, click here and to visit her new blog, click here. I'll bet you didn't know that Laini is also a talented artist and makes the "Laini's Ladies" gift and stationery collection, did you? Take a look at those beauties here. Finally, if you are an aspiring writer then you could do worse than to look at Not for Robots.

Monday 14 March 2011

The Iron King Review

The Iron King is one of those books that I’ve seen around the blogosphere for a really long time now but just never got around to reading it. Then, on 21st January 2011 it was published in the UK and it seemed like the right time to pick up the book. Now, I freely admit that I’m not a big reader of fey stories and I honestly didn’t know whether I was going to like this book, I just knew that I WANTED to like the book as it had received such good reviews. I started reading and immediately liked it but the first four chapters freaked me out so badly that I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I’m not kidding. I have to say though that I did myself no favours by reading in the early hours of the morning in a dimly lit room with the wind howling outside. So, let me make something clear to you. DO NOT start reading this book under THOSE particular set of circumstances because if you’re anything like me, then your imagination will run wild. It was silly really and I found myself thinking “how can I be scared of faeries, this is ridiculous?!” but of course I wasn’t banking on ‘meeting’ faeries with homicidal tendencies.

It is with slight trepidation that I carried on reading but boy, I’m glad I did. Because it wasn’t scary anymore and I became immersed into that world, a world I would describe as Alice in Wonderland meets Labyrinth. Sounds interesting, right? Let me tell you a bit about what The Iron King is about. On this particular occasion, I’m going to cheat by grabbing the synopsis from Goodreads:

“Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.”

Every time I read that, I immediately think “ooooooooooooh” LOL. I really enjoyed The Iron King and it kinda took me by surprise considering my early admission about reading/liking fey stories. I thought the writing was excellent, I loved the characters and I really fell into the whole concept of the story. And of course, there is Ash the dark winter prince. I’d heard mumblings of “Team Ash” and “Team Puck” some time ago now and at that time, I wondered which team I would be on. I was still questioning this as I was reading and I’m still not sure! I LOVE Ash and I think I’m leaning towards Team Ash but I have a little soft spot for dear old Puck too. Inventive, witty, clever Puck who is a loyal friend to Meghan (I suspect there may be more to it than that actually) who seems to be able to get out of any tricky situation. There were a lot of times when Puck made me laugh and I appreciated the light relief!

But Ash, oh Ash. He’s brave, dashing, very dangerous and thus verrrrrrry sexy. I absolutely ADORE how the relationship between Meghan and Ash starts and how it develops throughout the book. It’s exciting and dangerous but then it becomes sweeter as we learn more about the characters and their affections for one another grow.

I also liked the sparring between Ash and Puck although part of me wishes that they could be friends again. I did enjoy the scenes between them and also the scenes between Ash and Meghan. Meghan is of course the main narrator of the story and so we see everything through her eyes. She has an amazing strength of will in that she will never give up looking for her brother and this drives her every action. What I liked about Meghan is that she is seemingly nothing special in that she could be me or you or anyone. I thought Meghan’s teenage voice was spot on and it was nice to see the changes in her attitude and demeanour as the book went on. She certainly grew up a bit.

Another favourite character was Grimalkin, the cat. I could see and hear him as plain as day and kept imagining a deep, British voice circa Stephen Fry. He also appeared to have the same dry sense of humour shared by Stephen Fry too so if this ever gets made into a movie, he’s your Grimalkin.

With regards to the story, I will admit to getting a little lost at times with regards to remembering the different courts but I think I’ve got it now. I would really have appreciated some kind of map in the front of the book though, which I think would have helped. Overall though, I’m really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and definitely want to carry on with the series. You’ll be pleased to know that the story doesn’t end on a cliffhanger as such, but you KNOW there’s more and you WANT more.

The Iron King has magic, mystery, faeries, romance, humour – you name it, it’s in there! I thought this was a fantastic debut from Julie Kagawa and I can’t wait to read the next instalment “The Iron Daughter” which is already published in the US and is released in the UK on 15th April, 2011. Thank you to Mira Ink for providing me with a review copy of the book.

To find out more about Julie and her books, please click here. She is active on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday 13 March 2011

Divergent Review

“I guess I am what I’ve always been.
Not Dauntless, not Abnegation, not factionless.

So far today, it is 6 45pm and I have not yet showered, dressed, brushed my hair or even my teeth. I have only been on the internet once today, in the middle of the afternoon and even this was for a short period. Why? Because I’ve been reading an ARC of Divergent by Veronica Roth, which is such a compelling read that I haven’t been able to put it down. To be fair, in the front of the ARC there is a warning that such behaviours will develop once reading commences so it’s not like I wasn’t told beforehand. And consider this fair warning to yourself. When you have the opportunity to read this amazing novel, CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE.

I have to say that I’ve been desperate to read Divergent since I first heard about it, which seems like a really long time ago now. I live in the UK and it’s really difficult to get any US ARC’s so I didn’t hold out much hope of reading this until the release date. I was so confident that this book was amazing that I pre-ordered before I’d even read it! Then, I heard that a friend won a contest on Veronica’s blog post it notes with little insights from Veronica herself. And said friend let me borrow the book (Zoe, I might just love you for that). I started the book this morning and finished it this evening. At 487 pages, I consider Divergent to be a masterpiece of epic proportions and an outstanding debut novel.

Divergent is the story of 16 year old Beatrice (Tris) and her journey into adulthood. Set in a dystopian society, in order to eradicate war and ensure peace, people are sectioned into five factions based on their personality types. These are Abnegation (selflessness), Candor (honesty), Dauntless (protection), Amity (peacefulness) and Erudite (Knowledge/learning). Tris was born and raised in Abnegation but doesn’t always feel like she fits in. Having just turned 16, she must take the aptitude test to determine which faction she will join for the rest of her life. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But the test results are inconclusive and suddenly she is the one who has to choose. The rest of the book is one long initiation ceremony into her chosen faction with three stages that she must pass not only to join the faction, but ultimately to survive.

I have a confession to make. I was not always a fan of the Dystopian genre. I figured it was all doom and gloom, a post apocalyptic nightmare and ultimately a depressing read. This was of course before I had started reading Dystopian novels and believe me when I tell you that I was wrong. Very wrong. Having read books like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Matched by Allyson Condie and Delirium by Lauren Oliver, I can firmly say that I am now a HUGE fan of Dystopia.

Whilst I think there will be the inevitable comparisons with The Hunger Games, I truly believe that Divergent is what fans of The Hunger Games have been waiting for since that series ended. You wanted a new Katniss Everdeen? Well you got one in Tris Prior. Tris is an unlikely hero of sorts. She’s small and skinny in stature and has no physical attributes to speak of. But she’s smart and level headed (even if she does like heights – eek). She isn’t afraid to stick up for others and her bravery is demonstrated by the choices she makes. Although I really don’t want to, I keep picturing Avril Lavigne in my head as Tris. The way Avril used to be all dressed up in her skater getup.

Tris’s love interest comes in the form of Four who is such a great character. I loved the strength emanating from him, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. His strength of character made him stand out for the reader. Despite his strength, there is a section of the book where we are privileged to see his vulnerable side and instead of making him appear weak, I just found it endearing and by this point I was already in love with him anyway! LOL Did I mention he was hot?! Of course he is and I can add another guy to my list of literary crushes. Only this time, it may be more than a crush ;)

There were a lot of minor characters in the book (as you would expect) and what I liked about ALL the characters in the book is that they are neither good nor bad. They all seem to have elements of both to them and isn’t this how it is? No yin without yang, right? No darkness without light? It’s all about balance. So the society decided to divide the people into factions in order to keep the peace but did it really work? Well you’ll just have to read the book to find out what happens.

I’m trying really hard not to say too much about plot and where the story goes as I’m wary of spoiling it for people. I will say though that the book 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.

I’m very happy to report that whilst the ending is left open for a sequel, you won’t be shouting or throwing the book across the room because there is no cliffhanger so to speak. Yep, you heard it right, THERE IS NO CLIFFHANGER. I find this, together with the absence of a love triangle remarkably and surprisingly refreshing.

Divergent had everything for me – a strong plot, interesting characters, secrets, mystery, murder and romance. It ticked all the boxes and is sure to become this year’s big hit. I certainly hope so because the book deserves it. I’ll say it again, this is an OUTSTANDING debut novel and might just be my book of the year.

Thank you to Harper Collins Children's Books for sending me my very own ARC after borrowing my friend's. Divergent is published on 28th April in the UK and 3rd May in the US. To find out more about Veronica and her book, click here. She is also active on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday 10 March 2011

The Lemniscate Quote Hop

I'm very excited to be taking part in The Lemniscate Quote Hop and today it's my turn! Lemniscate is of course the sequel to Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia (which I reviewed here) and is released on 21st March, 2011. Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

"For Teagan, these last few months have been heaven on earth- especially now that Garreth, her boyfriend and guardian angel, is earthbound. But perhaps Garreth is becoming a little more human than either of them expected. Now, Teagan must realize that her world is once again about to shift, as she questions the faith she held in others against those once considered enemies.

In this continuation of Angel Star, Lemniscate will draw you even deeper into the world of dark and light as Teagan realizes the angel who could possibly save them all is the one angel she feared the most."

I have to say that I'm really looking forward to reading Lemniscate and finding out what happens!! But for now, back to the Quote Hop. There are 20 blogs participating and if you follow each blog and leave a comment, you'll be entered into a drawing to win signed copies of Angel Star and Lemniscate as well as a little surprise! Sounds good, right?! And I know you're not just here for the prizes, you want to read the quote too so here it is...

"Are you afraid of the dark, Teagan?" he asked, mockingly.


"But you're not afraid of me?"

I answered him with silence.

"You are a strange girl, indeed, Teagan McNeel", he smirked.

Oh I think I know who Teagan is having a conversation with! Want to read more? Go to tomorrow. Also, don't forget to visit Jennifer's blog here to keep track of all the quotes and blogs participating. Good luck to everyone that enters!

Wednesday 9 March 2011

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 Posess by Gretchen McNeil. Here is the Goodreads description:

"Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her overprotective mom, by the hunky son of the police officer who got her father killed, and by the eerie voices which she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Turns out the voices are demons--the Biblical kind, not the Buffy kind--and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them.

San Francisco's senior exorcist and his newly assigned partner from the Vatican enlist Bridget's help with increasingly bizarre and dangerous cases of demonic possession. But when one of Bridget's oldest friends turns up dead in a ritualistic sacrifice that mirrors her father's murder, Bridget realizes she can't trust anyone. An interview with her father's murderer reveals a link between Bridget and the Emim: a race of part-demons intent on raising their forefathers to the earth in human form. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the Emim's plan before someone else close to her winds up dead, or worse--the human vessel for a Demon King

Oooooh, look at that creepy but beautiful cover? WIN. I'm slighly scared but awed by this book because it sounds creepy and potentially a frightening read but I can't help myself, I WANT TO READ IT. Posess is published on 23rd August, 2011 by HarperCollins in the US. There's no word about the UK to the best of my knowledge but of course you can still order from online resellers. To find out more about Gretchen McNeil and Possess, click here.

Monday 7 March 2011

Anna and the French Kiss Review

Lauren Myracle (author of Peace, Love and Baby Ducks) wasn’t wrong when she described Anna and the French Kiss as "richer, sweeter and hotter than a mug of rich, thick, hot chocolate". YUM. What a gorgeous read this is. It felt so comforting, like slipping into something more comfortable whenever I picked up the book.

Anna and the French Kiss centres around the main character Anna, a teenage girl who has been sent to a Parisian boarding school for her senior year, against her will, in order to broaden her horizons. Personally, I don’t think this sounds like a bad deal but she doesn’t want to leave her younger brother, her best friend or the guy she has just started hooking up with. Not to mention the fact that she doesn’t speak the language and she’s going to be on her own, in a foreign country. I can certainly understand how that would terrify her. But, everything changes when she meets the very attractive and charming Etienne St. Clair. There’s just one problem...he has a long term girlfriend. But as the relationship between Anna and Etienne develops from acquaintances to best friends, is there something more between them? Will Anna get her French kiss?

Anna and the French Kiss took me right back to my days in sixth form college (16 -18 years old) when I slowly but surely fell in love with my best friend - who just so happened to have a girlfriend at the time. Despite this and the fact that his girlfriend went to a different college, he spent most of his time with me. I may be looking back through rose tinted spectacles but our relationship was near perfect. We could talk, really talk and we felt so comfortable with each other but I knew I could never have him. And in case you’re wondering....we never kissed, although we came incredibly close to it. It was something to do with that guilty conscience of mine that stopped me from going any further. I’d never kissed anyone before and I hadn’t even thought to be nervous about that. I guess when it feels right, it really does feel right. So, what I’m trying to say is that in a lot of ways I could relate to Anna and her feelings towards Etienne.

Speaking of Etienne, I liked the fact that although he was attractive (he has nice hair, apparently) and charming and popular, HE ISN’T PERFECT. His bottom teeth are crooked and he’s vertically challenged. In fact, his height is mentioned several times. And emotionally speaking, he’s definitely got flaws but who hasn’t?! He was more real to me than most boys I read about in YA fiction and I really appreciated that. I don't know why but throughout the entire book, I could not help but picture James McAvoy as Etienne right from the start and I just couldn’t see anyone else in that role.

Anna also had some physical imperfections like the gap between her front teeth and the stripe through her hair which was something unique to her character, I thought. Again, these individualisms only served to make the characters more real for me.

I really enjoyed the developing relationship between Anna and Etienne. It wasn’t one of those instant “OMG you’re my soul mate” type of things, as their relationship blossomed slowly and they became best friends which was beautiful to watch. I also liked the fact that Anna didn’t fawn all over Etienne in the beginning like the other girls at school and probably Etienne had to like this too because it made her different from the rest.

I LOVE the messages jumping out of this book, especially about how important communication is and how funny it is that even though we speak the same language, sometimes we do not. The final lines are incredibly profound and I agree with their sentiment wholeheartedly. I’m really hoping that those people that normally skip to the end just to have a sneaky peek are NOT going to do that because you will miss the meaning behind the words. Trust me on this and read from beginning to end. It’s worth it.

I have to say that from reading this book, I’ve never loved the idea of going to Paris more. Anna’s whole adventure was romantic and exciting – although she certainly didn’t see it like that to begin with. One of my favourite movies of all time is Sabrina and this book had a touch of Sabrina about it for me. I wish I could go back to my teenage years and spend a transformative year of my life in Paris. It sounds selfish (especially as it’s considered to be the most romantic city on Earth) but I like the idea of the experience being mine and mine alone.

Anna and the French Kiss gave me warm and fuzzy feelings whilst reading and I couldn’t wait to dive into that world every night. It’s a book you can lose yourself in, the kind of book that makes you want to keep reading even though it’s 3 am, whilst at the same time a book you want to savour for as long as possible.

I really loved this book and I’m so glad it lived up to the hype. It’s the kind of book that I know I will re-read in the future as I loved every minute of it. I only hope it gets published in the UK as it truly deserves to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. A beautiful debut novel from Stephanie Perkins and I can’t wait to read more from her.

Anna and the French Kiss was published on 2nd December, 2010. The paperback will be released in August, 2011. There will be two future companion novels, entitled Lola and the Boy Next Door (published 29th September, 2011) and Isla and the Happily Ever After (published in Autumn, 2012).

You can find out more about Stephanie and her books by visiting her website here. She writes a regular blog and is active on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE: Across the Blogosphere Challenge!


Come on board and enter the ‘Across the Blogosphere’ challenge to celebrate the UK launch of Across the Universe by Beth Revis & WIN the chance to experience zero-gravity!

Across the Universe by Beth Revis is one of my favourite books EVER. It comes highly recommended by me, I loved it so much and reviewed it here. Also, Beth is kinda awesome ;)

So you want to win a zero gravity experience for you and a friend? Sounds cool right? Well, all you need to do is follow the blog schedule below and make a note of just ONE item that ONE of the bloggers would like to add to a time capsule of 2011. You will also need to make note of Beth Revis’ time capsule item, which will be uploaded to the Across the Universe UK Facebook page AT RANDOM during this week. Become a fan now, so you don’t miss out! Click here to become a fan.

So, that’s only TWO items in total- ONE from any of the blog sites listed and ONE from Beth Revis that you’ll find on facebook.


Monday 28th February: Wondrous Reads
Tuesday 1st March: onceuponabookcase
Wednesday 2nd March: So Little Time for Books
Thursday 3rd March (PUBLICATION DAY!): Narratively Speaking

THE PRIZE IS AIRKIX KIK-START vouchers for you and a friend to experience the thrill of indoor skydiving! (Manchester & Milton Keynes). Find out more here:

Enter here to WIN! And good luck! :)

So what did I decide to put in my time capsule? Well, I thought about what the people of the future might like to see (and that didn't work) so I thought about what I'd quite like to conserve for the future (and that didn't really work either) so I thought of a thought provoking article I read on the internet years ago about time travel. It was about someone who claimed that they had buried a letter (inside a time capsule) addressed to future time travellers inviting them to come and visit. If I remember correctly, I believe the writer claimed that this had indeed worked and whilst I'm a little more skeptical about it, I have to admit to loving the idea. It even inspired a short story that may one day turn into something a bit longer! Can you imagine if you did this and then immediately after burying it, future time travellers turned up as they knew where you'd be? It would BLOW MY MIND. So, that's my item. A letter addressed to future time travellers, inviting them to visit me (and don't frighten me to death, please!!)

You can visit Beth at her beautifully designed website here. She is also part of The League of Extraordinary Writers (debut YA Dystopian writers) and you can access the website here. Beth is active on Twitter and Across the Universe has its own fan page. To read the exciting first chapter, click here.

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 Hereafter by Tara Hudson. Here is the Goodreads description:

"Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won't want to miss."

OK, firstly I am in love with the cover which is simply DIVINE. Secondly, this is a very, very special book. Want to know why? Because it's published on my birthday which is 7th June and therefore it automatically carries a certain special significance to it ;) And thirdly, I love the storyline and how a relationship is forged out of death defying circumstances. If you know me, the books I like and my own writing which I've been working on for some time now (which is also a ghost love story) then you'd know that OF COURSE I'm going to like this book. I'm so, so glad that it's being published both in the US and the UK although we have to wait an extra month as it isn't released until 7th July in the UK. Y'all know how much I love hardbacks, right? So naturally, I'll be getting it on my birthday...hopefully :D

To find out more about Tara and her book, click here to visit her website. You can find her blog here. She is active on both Facebook and Twitter.