31 July 2011

In My Mailbox - (25)

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Remote Control by Andy McNab

Possessions by Nancy Holder
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Thank you R J

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine
Ultraviolet by R J Anderson
Thank you Becky!

For Review:
Forbidden by Jana Oliver
The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
Everlasting by Alyson Noel
Mister Creecher by Chris Priestly
The Legacy by Gemma Malley
Wolf Blood by N M Browne
Gamerunner by B R Collins
Tempest Rising by Tracey Deebs
A huge thank you to Bloomsbury and Macmillan!

If you've sent me an email and are waiting for a reply, I should be done with sorting through my inbox by tomorrow at the latest. While I was away I received over four hundred emails, including various notifications and junk mail, so you can imagine how much time it has taken to read and answer them! I'm about half way through now, and plan to spend a few hours today trying to catch up. I apologise for the late replies!

Have a great week everyone, and don't forget to leave your links below.

28 July 2011

Book Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Razorland #1
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Rating: Essential

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember. 

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning. 

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace. 

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known. - Goodreads Page
Enclave is a dark dystopian novel set in a world where being old age means surviving to your 20th birthday. Believe me, this is a hard task in this world, where fighting Freaks (zombie-like creatures) and deadly disease is a constant battle.

Deuce, our main character, becomes a Huntress at the beginning of the novel and is partnered with the outcast, Fade. Together they patrol the tunnels outside of their enclave, searching for meat and fighting Freaks. And this is where the plot kicks off.

The plot keeps a fast paced throughout the novel – I can’t think of one dull or slow moment. Deuce and Fade go through various trials together, and the tension keeps building and building until the climax of the story. Some parts were downright scary.

I loved Deuce and Fade as characters. Deuce was a strong female lead, and I loved how dedicated she was to her Huntress duties, and to her enclave. Her many fighting scenes were intriguing, and I felt as though I was right there with her – her voice was so clear.

Fade... well, he’s a little more than your typical mysterious love interest. There are so many layers there to be peeled back and explored, I can’t wait to find out more about him in the next book in the series. Fade actually reminded me a lot of Four from Divergent, so those of you who loved Four will definitely fall for Fade!

Enclave is an action packed debut with fascinating, layered characters and an intriguing and well thought out world. I’d highly recommend this book to those who love dystopian novels, and to those who crave fantastic fighting scenes – which Aguirre seems to specialise in. The only minor flaw of this novel in the damn love triangle! I really didn't like where that took the book. Especially as one half of the triangle was... Well, let's just say he wasn't the nicest person. Definitely pick this up next time you’re in the book store! 

27 July 2011

Homecoming + Giveaway! - Closed.

Yes, I am back! I had the most fantastic time in Crete; I didn’t want to return to England. Alas, if I had chained myself to the balcony of my hotel room I would have probably been arrested and thrown in a Greek jail. So, I reluctantly packed my bags, hopped on the plane and came back to cloudy Buckinghamshire.

How are you all? Has there been any pressing news since I left? I hope there wasn’t too much drama!

To celebrate my... Okay, I was going to say “To celebrate my return” but I don’t feel like celebrating that. To celebrate my beautiful holiday, I am giving away a hardback copy of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. All you have to do is fill in the form and follow the rules below.

Rules & Information:
-          Entrants must be 13 years of age or older
-          Deadline to enter is August 16, 2011
-          International!
-          One entry per person. Any duplicate entries will be deleted.

15 July 2011

Fave Reads of 2011 - The Scenes and The Randoms

The third and final part!

1. Best First Chapter
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins. It kicked off right away!

2. Best Climax
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead. You all know what I mean...

3. Best Ending
The Dark and Hollow Place by Carrie Ryan. I love how the story wrapped up, but left lots more to be told/imagined. 

4. Best Plot Twist/Revelation
Inside Out by Maria V Snyder. When you find out where Inside is, and what else makes up Inside. Could I be any more mysterious? Probably not!

5. Scariest/Most Disturbing Scene
Choker by Elizabeth Woods. The clown make-up scene. Not. Cool.

6. Steamiest Scene
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead. In the cabin. That is all.

7. Best Swoon-Worthy Moment
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead. "I don't belong to anyone. I make my own choices." "And you're with Adrian." "But I was meant for you." *SWOON* *CRIES*
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (are you seeing a pattern here?). "If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you." *SWOON* 

8. Biggest Nail-Biting Moment
Looking for Alaska by John Green. When they're running through campus playing that prank...

9. Most Hilarious Scene
My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent. When Tod gets a job as a pizza man. :D

The Random

1. Fave First Sentence
"The whole thing started with a wasted jock and a totaled car." - My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent.

2. Fave Book Title

3. Fave Reading Experience
The Vampire Academy series as a whole was a fantastic experience. I still think about it all the time. Poison Study was also amazing, as was Divergent. But Vampire Academy had me laughing, biting my nails, screaming at the pages and crying my eyes out. It's truly one of the best series out there. 

4. Book with the Best Food
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. At the wedding. I was drooling. I am now, just thinking about it.

5. Book with the Most Sensual Weather
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I was shivering while I was in bed reading this, it was that sensual.

6. Most Embarrassing Book Cover
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. It's... not nice. And it looks very cheesy.

7. Can't Believe You Waited This Long to Read It
Vampire Academy! I had the first book for a couple of months before I read it, and before that I had heard amazing things about it but I hadn't picked it up. I'm glad I took so long though, because that meant that I didn't have to wait ages for each new book in the series. And I don't have to wait as long for Bloodlines :D

13 July 2011

Fave Reads of 2011 - The Characters

Part dos - The Characters

Found over at Ink Crush

1. Best Female POV
I'm going to have to go with Rose from Vampire Academy. I think if these books had been written from any other POV, they would have sucked so hard. But Rose was the most awesome female (and overall) character I have come across in a long, long time. 

2. Best Male POV
I haven't read many books with a male protagonist this year, but one that stands out clearly is Alex from Perfect Chemistry. Just because I love him. Lots and lots. 

3. Best Couple
Rose and Dimitri, for sure! The two have been through so much together, and they totally deserved to be together in the end. I'm not saying they did get together at the end, you'll have to find out for yourselves if you haven't read the Vampire Academy series yet ;) Plus, they're both hot!

4. Who I So Want to be Best Friends With
St Clair from Anna and the French Kiss. I love this group of friends so much - there's so much drama!

5. Who I Fell Completely in Love With
Booth from Bones. Wait, you mean book characters? My bad ;) Tod from the Soul Screamers series. He's amazing <3

6. Worst (Best) Villain
Eric from Divergent. Need I say more?

7. Best Character Twist
Cara from Choker had the best twist. *zips mouth and throws away the key* Four from Divergent also deserves a mention!

8. Best Kick-Arse Female
Rose Hathaway! 

9. Best Kick-Arse Male
Dimitri Belikov! <3

10. Broke Your Heart The Most
There is a whole bunch of these. Dimitri broke my heart multiple times, as did Will from Angelfire. Patch... I'm kind of over that now but at the time he broke my heart a lot while I was reading Crescendo. Jace did in the first three TMI books, and Tod did in his novella Reaper.

11. Best/Worst Character Names
Dimitri Belikov has a name that makes me swoon whenever I read it. Etienne St Clair, Archer Cross and Patch deserve honourable mentions!
Belly from the Summer trilogy by Jenny Han has a ridiculous name/nickname. I can't think of any others that I didn't like, but I'm sure know I've posted this I'll think of loads more!