31 January 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu
Legend #1
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Publisher: Puffin
Source: Publisher
Rating: Essential

Born into the slums of Los Angeles, fifteen-year old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. A mysterious boy with no recorded image or fingerprints. A boy who should no longer exist. A boy who watches over his family until one evening, when the plague patrols mark his family's door with an X--the sign of plague infection. A death sentence for any family too poor to afford the antidote. Desperate, Day has no choice; he must steal it.

Born to an elite family in Los Angeles' wealthy Ruby sector, fifteen-year old June is the Republic's most promising prodigy. A superintelligent girl destined for great things in the country's highest military circles. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country--until the day her brother Metias is murdered while on patrol during a break-in at the plague hospital.

Only one person could be responsible.


And now it's June's mission to hunt him down.

The truth they'll uncover will become legend. - Goodreads
Legend was action packed from the word go. I loved the action, the drama and the humour that was rolled into one in this book. Marie Lu did a fantastic job of balancing all these elements and carving a fascinating and gripping story.

Lu has created a really well thought-out story with Legend. Things pop up in the final few chapters that were briefly mentioned right at the beginning. The smallest thing ties in with the plot so well, and there are no loose ends left to be tied.

The world that these characters live in is as fascinating as the characters themselves. I am a sucker for a good dystopian world, and Marie Lu didn't disappoint. Details of the world were revealed as the story progressed, and there are still lots of things left to build upon in the next books in the trilogy. I'm really looking forward to learning more because I think there is still so much history to be explored.

I loved both Day and June and reading from their alternating points of view was a great experience. I love how clever both of them are, and I love their similar traits and their individual personalities and views. There were times when I went from hating June to loving her again within a couple of chapters - I won't give any spoilers!

I am so happy that Lu wrote such well rounded and complex characters. Day provided some great humour at times with his sarcastic dialogue, and I was laughing out loud quite a bit during this book! Day and June's stories start of separately, and they begin to merge about a third of the way through. This is when I got completely hooked on the story and I couldn't put the book down.

I do feel that their relationship progressed a bit too quickly for my liking. I enjoy a good build up, and while there was no insta-love, they did 'fall for' (their words, not mine) each other quickly. They were also quick to forgive each other for various things, whereas I was expecting some underlying hatred to make its way to the surface for various reasons towards the end.

The ending of the novel was fantastic. It had me on the edge of my seat, and it even made me cry a couple of times. The book doesn't end in a major cliffhanger, which I am happy with and yet it doesn't stop me from wanting to read the next book NOW! I think if there had been a giant cliffhanger, I would be pulling my hair out (Delirium, anyone?)

I can only hope that the next book is going to be this amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am really looking forward to seeing where there Day and June will go next. I also need to know what happens with a certain 9-year old character, as it seems as though Day and June are leaving him/her/it *tries to remain spoiler-free*

I think every dystopian fan should give this book a chance. The plot isn't completely unique, but the world holds its own and is like nothing I've ever read before.

30 January 2012

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
Nightshade #3
Release Date: January 3, 2012 (US)
Publisher: Philomel
Rating: No rating

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

In the final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Andrea Cremer creates a novel with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final pages. A dynamic end to this breathtaking trilogy. - Goodreads
Note: I have no idea how to rate this book so I'm just going to leave that out.

The plot started off really well and at a fast pace. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, as it had a lot of action and there were enough interesting scenes to keep me interested. Shay had to find the rest of the pieces of the Elemental Cross, and a small team went with him each time. During the second half of the book, it started to go downhill. The ending was absolutely appalling and I despised it. The way Andrea Cremer dealt with the love triangle felt like a cop out and I wasn't pleased with it.

Calla, our protagonist, was a complete idiot in this book. She has Ren and Shay fighting over her, and at one point she tells them that she's not making a decision until after the war is over. Fair enough. But then she complains CONSTANTLY about the two of them as they argue and get defensive over her. They're two alpha males who are after her attention, so I'm not sure what she was expecting. Calla is also a giant hypocrite. She thought about her 'difficult' decision at the worst times, and I was almost shouting at my Kindle to tell her to worry about stopping yourself from falling down a deep crevice rather than which guy you prefer.

Shay was also a moron. Like in Wolfsbane, he was immature, bratty and he tried to control Calla. I didn't like him in Wolfsbane and I despised him in this book. He was one of the reasons behind the undermining of Calla's character. She is supposed to be a strong alpha female, and yet this guy is trying to control her life and tell her what she should be thinking.

I love Ren, though. He has gone through so much character development in this series - more than Calla, in my opinion. He's protective of Calla, yet he doesn't try to dominate her in the way Shay does. Ren takes her feelings into account.

Like I said, I have no idea how to rate this book. It started off as 'Enjoyable' but then the second half of the book was 'Troll'-worthy. I really don't know.

Have any of you read this book? Let me know what you think of it if you have. I'd be interested to see what rating you gave it.

In My Mailbox - (46)

hosted by The Story Siren

Tempest by Julie Cross (Thank you, Chicklish!)
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Thank you, Sally!)
Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe

28 January 2012

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Release Date:
October 26, 2010
Publisher: Knopf
Rating: Troll

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own. - Goodreads

I don’t know how to express how disappointed I am with this book. I had heard such amazing things about it last year when everyone in the book blogging community seemed to have a copy and I was dying to read it. I picked it up in January 2010, and I had to put it down. Until now. (Dun-dun-dun!)

The parts I was most looking forward to were the dares. I was expecting something creative and fun, but they weren’t interesting for me at all. The plot was boring, really. Nothing really happened that I could pick out and say ‘This was the book’s saving grace’.

Dash and Lily were both awful characters. Dash was overly moody, judgy and plain obnoxious. Lily was annoying, whiney and a childish brat. She is the most psychotic sane character I have ever read about. She randomly starts shouting at people at home or in the street if they pay her the slightest compliment. It’s not cute, or quirky, it’s just plain horrible. I would like to punch them both in the face Gannicus-style.

The writing wasn’t great either, as David Levithan used lots of big words and confusing dialogue for Dash. What sixteen year old talk like they’ve swallowed a dictionary? In the words of Dash, it was absurd.

And to top it all off, Lily – who is apparently very well read – referred to Hermione (yes, from HP) as Hermione POTTER. I can’t even...

Congratulations, Dash and Lily, you have just earned the first ever Troll rating of Books of Amber!

27 January 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop CLOSED

This giveaway hop is hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Amber at Down the Rabbit Hole

My previous giveaway was a success, so I'm going to be giving away another prize! I was going to choose some books from my favourites of last year, but I chose to do this instead. If enough people are interested then I might do another giveaway for that in the future! You can enter to win:

A YA book of your choice from Book Depository
(Up to £10)

- You must be over 13 years of age
(as long as BD delivers to your country)
- Giveaway ends at 12.01 AM GMT on February 1st, 2012
- One entry per person
- Must be a GFC follower

Check out the other awesome blogs on the linky below, and you might win some more prizes! 

26 January 2012

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
Release Date:
March 3, 2011
Publisher: ATOM
Rating: Essential

Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run.

Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface-not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller. - Goodreads

The thing that first drew me to Rosebush was the promise of a great mystery. A girl waking up in a rosebush with no idea how she got there? Sounds brilliant. The mystery definitely lived up to my expectations, and I thoroughly enjoyed trying to work out who tried to kill Jane. It’s normally pretty easy for me to figure out who the killer is, or at least narrow it down, but this book kept me guessing the whole way through! I kept changing my mind and going back to people who I had previously excluded. There were also lots of creepy moments throughout the story, both at the hospital and during the flashbacks. No, Daph, you won’t be scared! It was fantastic.

Jane was a very relatable character and I loved being inside her mind. There are also a lot of flashbacks in this novel which I know some people didn’t enjoy, but I really liked them. They gave more insight to Jane and her friends, as well as giving lots of clues and red herrings as to who the culprit was.

This book isn’t all about the mystery though. Jane also goes through a lot of issues with her mother and stepfather which was a great subplot. I loved seeing their relationships rekindle and form, and I especially loved Jane’s relationship with a certain director’s son.

And as for the climax - Well, in my notes I’ve just written “CLIMAX!!!!!!!!!” so I think that says it all. My heart was pounding and I was literally holding my breath through most of it!

25 January 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

Small Review has created this brilliant event for bloggers. It's running throughout January, and while I initially meant to make a post last week, I finally got round to it today. Busting the Newbie Blues is something I participated in when I first created my blog - Small and I started at around the same time - and it helped me in so many ways. Primarily, it helps out newbie bloggers and lets us all get to know each other better!

I'm filling in the questionnaire for established bloggers. I did the same last time, but that was silly of me because I was clearly still a newbie!

1. When did you start your blog?

Technically I started my blog early on in 2010, but I didn't post much. I think I posted one book review and the rest of the posts were about me and my family. I took a long break until I started book blogging in late September of 2010.

2. Do you ever still feel like a newbie?

All the time! Compared to some blogs out there, mine is still very new. I also still turn into a bit of a fangirl when I am contacted by authors by email, Twitter or Youtube. I can't help it!

3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?

Blogger and HTML. I still face these challenges. I'm awful with creative designs, and I found it really difficult to stick to one blog design as I always thought mine looked terrible compared to everyone else's. I tried creating banners and things for myself, but I couldn't do it. My friend made me my current banner, but this is only temporary while I wait for her to finish the other one. I also struggled with HTML in posts, such as quotes and those boxes, but after reading tutorials from the wonderful Small and Parajunkee, I managed to get the hang of it. Kinda. 

4. What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?

Getting so few comments and also handing them out. I think so many people have said this. In the beginning I didn't get many comments at all, but that changed slowly over time. As for me, I do try to comment on at least five posts a day, which really isn't all that much. I need to work on that. I promise I do READ every post, but I have so many posts to read that I just forget to comment. 

5. What do you find most encouraging?

The people! Everybody is so lovely and I've met some really good friends through this community. I've never encountered a rude book blogger. You're all awesome! 

Comments are also very encouraging, and I love getting them or receiving emails from people telling me they love my blog. I also love it when people tell me they've bought a book because of my review, or if they ask me for recommendations.

6. If you could go back in time and speak with your newbie self, what five bits of wisdom would you tell yourself? 

Oh, I love lists! Okay...

  1. Don't be afraid to join in with conversations you see happening on Twitter/other blogs. If they were meant to be private, these people would be emailing each other!
  2. Make bullet points before you write reviews! The amount of times I used to just sit staring at the screen was ridiculous. 
  3. Don't worry so much about stats! I wasn't extremely worried about them, but I did get a bit jealous of those other blogs that had tonnes more followers than I had. 
  4. Schedule posts! It took me a while to figure out how to do this (I told you I'm useless!) but I'm so glad I figured it out. Even if I don't always use this feature... 
  5. Read what you want! If you really aren't in the mood for a book, put it down. Don't be pressurised into reading something you're not enjoying. 

7. What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?

My favourite things to read are reviews. I like it when reviews to ramble (too much, anyway!) and I like it when the reviewer shows off their own personality through their reviews. Don't just follow the trends and describe the characters, plot and writing style in a monotonous 'voice'. Make the review your own.

I also love it when I get replies on comments I've made on other blogs. It makes me feel really welcome and it keeps me from feeling ignored. I try to reply as often as I can, usually on my own blog. Although I do worry about people not checking back to read the replies. 

8. What do you dislike about blogs you've seen? Do you try to avoid this?

I like simple blog designs. I hate it when a blog takes ages to load, or is really bright with clashing colours. I have to be able to read your posts without squinting or getting a headache. I like good grammar, which, thankfully, most book bloggers seem to have grasped. I also HATE it when there's music on a blog. At least, when the music plays automatically as soon as you click on the page. Same goes for those widgets that blare music or sounds (The Hunger Games widget, anyone?)

9. How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?

Memes, Twitter and giveaways. Memes are a brilliant way to discover new blogs. My favourites are Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday and In My Mailbox. Twitter is great because you can chat directly with other bloggers and authors, which is great. People also spread the word for my giveaways sometimes, which brings some traffic to my blog and often leads to more followers. 

10. When and how did you get your first ARC (or first few ARCs)?

I got my first ARC a few months after I started blogging, in December 2010. I was contacted by the publisher to see if I wanted to participate in a blog tour. I did, and I really enjoyed the experience. After that, I didn't get any more ARCs for a while until I started requesting review copies in February 2011. I felt I was established enough to be able to publicise these books, and I was also sure I wouldn't be quitting blogging any time soon. 

Whew, that's it! If you have any questions at all, then feel free to ask them below. I'd be more than happy to answer them for you. I'll try to visit as many blogs as I can!

24 January 2012

Top Ten Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie week, so I've decided to share my top ten recommendations. As a TV junkie, I've also taken the opportunity to recommend some of the shows that I adore!


1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
If you haven't read this series yet, I do not know where you've been. Seriously? Get to it! It's a great series, with tonnes of action and twists and the main character is pretty badass.

2. Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent
You have probably seen me ramble on about this series before, and I have a good reason. This book series is one of the best out there in YA at the moment. I think you'll love it if you read it! Give it a go and then come back to me so we can chat about it!

3. The Study Trilogy by Maria V Snyder
Maria V Snyder is one of my favourite authors, and this trilogy is fantastic. Poison Study is absolutely phenomenal, and I believe it was Maria's debut!

4. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
This is the book that got me hooked on contemporary YA. Before I read this, I had read a few books here and there within the genre, but now I'm craving it! The DUFF is fantastic and funny and I'd recommend it to everyone.

5. Deception by Lee Nichols
What would this list be without a ghost story? This book is highly underrated within the blogging community, at least from what I've seen. I'd definitely recommend giving it a go though, because the premise is fascinating and the writing is some of the best I've read.

6. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
So you've probably heard everyone fall head over heels for Delirium, but I'd recommend reading Before I Fall  too! This book was one of the first ones I reviewed, and it will forever be in my top ten favourites.

7. Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
This may be a MG novel, but it's a blimmin' good one! It's an adventure story following a boy named Twig, who lives in the Deepwoods. One day he leaves his village and he gets lost in the woods, so then he is put through a series of events that nearly cost him his life. There are also pictures that show what the different creatures look like, which is AMAZING.

8. The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan
This is a vampire series, yes, but it's a BRILLIANT vampire series. Trust me. I read it years and years ago, and it's one of my all time favourites. The world that Darren has created is so complex, and the vampires are REAL vampires. None of this sparkly rock stuff.

9. Choker by Elizabeth Woods
Choker is a fantastic mystery/thriller novel that deserves so much more hype than it got last year when it was released. I encourage everyone to pick it up, because I love it.

10. Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
This is another YA thriller that I absolutely loved. I'd definitely recommend trying it out. This is another book that deserves more hype that it gets!

TV Shows

1. Supernatural
You may have guessed by my Twitter background/blog header/profile picture that I'm a HUGE fan of Supernatural. If you hadn't guessed, then now you know. Supernatural is about two brothers who hunt ghosts, demons, angels (sometimes) and other things that go bump in the night. Sam and Dean drive around in an awesome '67 Impala - or the Metallicar, as us fans like to call it - blaring rock music and confessing their feelings. There's also a cute angel wearing a trenchcoat who joins them from time to time. It's an awesome show, and it sadly doesn't get enough recognition. Jensen and Jared are fantastic actors, and the co-stars are all awesome as well. If you don't watch this then I will never stop bugging you until you give in!

2. The Vampire Diaries
Another CW show. This series is based on the books by L J Smith but as someone who tried the books and hated them, this show is SO MUCH BETTER. I'm sure some of you already watch this and know what it's about, but if not... Elena is the main character, and she is in a middle of a love triangle between two brothers. Honestly, I'm a Delena shipper and think that it's the only side of the triangle worth focusing on, but there are lots of Stelena shippers too! There's also werewolves, ghosts and witches on this show, although none of those are as important as the sexy Original vampires. I also ship Elena with Klaus and Elijah, in case you were wondering. Come to think of it, I ship Elena with just about every male on the show. Including Jeremy.

3. Spartacus: Blood and Sand/Gods of the Arena/Vengeance
Words cannot describe how much I love this show. It's one of the best things I've watched since... well, since I started watching Supernatural! As the title suggests, this show is set in Ancient Rome and centers around Spartacus, the gladiator. Blood and Sand is the first season, Vengeance is the second (airing Friday!). Gods of the Arena is a short prequel series that was made after production for Vengeance was put back. BaS and GotA are both BRILLIANT and I can't recommend them highly enough. There is a lot of sex and violence, so let that be a warning to those who don't enjoy that kind of thing. But then again, there are lots of half naked men running around so that makes everything a lot better.

4. Game of Thrones
If you haven't heard of this series then I don't know which rock you've been hiding under. It's set on the book series by George R R Martin, and it's another very adult show with lots of sex and violence. I love it, though. There are lots of characters and the story is very complex. The world is fantastic and it makes for excellent viewing.

5. Castle
I admit, I'm only on the first season of this, but I'm loving it so far. Castle is a writer who is shadowing an FBI (?) agent as 'research' for his new book series. Castle is nerdy, and an author, and I love him to pieces. He has laser gun matches with his daughter, how awesome is that?

6. Once Upon A Time
As the title suggests, this show is about fairytales. The evil queen cursed the characters of the magical land, and they're all now stuck in our world in a town called Storybrooke. Emma, Snow White and Charming's daughter, was previously sent away for her safety, but she comes back to Storybrooke when she is found by her own son, Henry. Henry has been adopted by the evil queen, who is the town's mayor. The story is fantastic, and there are lots of flashbacks to the fairytale kingdom. Rumpelstiltskin is my personal favourite character. He's pretty insane.

7. Doctor Who
Seriously? Do I need to explain this? It's about an alien guy with two hearts, who flies around the universe in a police phone box. He usually has a companion or two.

8. Terra Nova
DINOSAURS!!!!!! Ehem. People seem to either love or despise this show, but I think it's great. There are things that could be improved if the show gets a second season, but I think this season was a great start to the series. And there are dinosaurs. (!!!) And hot men.

9. White Collar
A conman is taken from prison to help the FBI track down his previous 'colleagues'. It's an awesome show, filled with humour and lots and lots of cute bromance moments. Peter and Neal are one of my OTPs, but Peter is also amazing with his wife, Elizabeth.

10. The Walking Dead
Zombies apocalypse. That is all.

The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss
Release Date:
January 17, 2012
Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: Publisher
Rating: Bland

One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .

The Thorn and the Blossom is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning. - Goodreads
Firstly, I must say that this book is wonderfully put together. It’s so creative and unique, and it’s one of the things that initially drew me to the book.

The Thorn and the Blossom had a great premise with lots of potential, but I felt very disappointed by the execution of it.

I started with Brendan’s side of the story, and while you can start with either story, I definitely think Brendan’s is the best place to begin. Evelyn’s story answers a lot of questions that were brought up in Brendan’s instead of bringing up questions of its own.

My main issue with this book is the plot. Two lifetimes – almost – are condensed into very few pages. The story jumped from when the pair of them were teenagers to a few years later within a matter of paragraphs. I don’t think the creative presentation would have worked if this book was longer, but it felt as though the story suffered due to the presentation. It felt extremely rushed, and it made the experience less enjoyable.

The writing was good, although like I said there were times when the story jumped. There were also a couple of inconsistencies that I noticed, one of which was Brendan’s father complaining about having to work harder to pay for Brendan’s university tuition. Brendan would have received loans to pay for this, so it was an inaccuracy that annoyed me a little because it felt like poor research.

The dialogue was also a little strange at times but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Overall, the love story is sweet and the fantasy aspect was woven in quite nicely but it wasn’t enough to keep me entertained. 

22 January 2012

In My Mailbox - (45)

hosted by The Story Siren

Sorry about not being around this week, everyone. I was sick and I didn't have a chance to schedule any posts. But I did get lots of reading done, so that was a huge plus!

For Review:

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Legend by Marie Lu
The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena DVD! *happy dance*

17 January 2012

Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder

Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder
Healer #1
Release Date: December 20, 2011
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Source: NetGalley
Rating: Enjoyable

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life.... - Goodreads

Touch of Power was a pretty good book. I love all of Maria’s books, and I really enjoyed this newest one from her.

The Poison Study trilogy is one of my all time favourites, and I was so pleased to learn that Maria was bringing out another fantasy novel. Touch of Power had a very similar feel to Poison Study, and I was incredibly happy about this!

Avry was an awesome character, and I enjoyed reading things from her point of view. However, much like the other characters in this novel, she reminded me a lot of the protagonist in the Study trilogy. Avry is smart, kickass and just generally an all-round good person. Much like Yelena.

As for the love interest, Kerrick, I didn’t like him AT ALL. He was horrible in the beginning, and I just couldn’t get over how he treated Avry. I was going to spoiler block this next bit, but I think it needs to be said... Kerrick lashed out and hit Avry at one point in the novel. This is unacceptable, and the fact that they went on to be lovers really grated on my nerves. If a guy hits me, there is no way I would go on to falling for him or starting a relationship with him. NO WAY. Even if he was stressed, that is no excuse. I am really disappointed in the way their relationship was handled, and I would have loved for Avry to have gone down a different road and fallen for someone unexpected.

The side characters, as mentioned previously, were too much like the characters in the Study trilogy for my liking. I kept comparing them, and the huge similarities were a bit too much for me to handle and I found it to be really distracted.

The villain of the novel was creepy, and pretty awesome. I liked him well enough, and I thought he was a good antagonist for the story.

I loved the fantasy elements of the novel and, as always, Maria V Snyder handles these very well. I can’t describe how much I adored reading about the different types of powers and the people who wielded them. I’m always interested in these types of themes so I was pleased with this!

As usual, Maria’s writing had me hooked from the get go. I’m a HUGE fan of her writing style, and will definitely continue to read everything she comes out with. The world building in this novel was fantastic, and it was an excellent setting for a story such as this one, with all the different plants, conflicts and political challenges. The history of this world was also rich, and I can’t wait to learn more about the Healers in the next book.

I think if you haven’t read the Poison Study books then you’ll adore this novel, but I think those who have read them before will probably see where the plot and where the characters are going. This story was excellent, but it was missing the unique feel that Poison Study had when it pulled me into the world. I’m definitely going to be reading the next books in the series – trilogy? – but I feel I must warn those of you who may be expecting something completely unique.

13 January 2012

Replication by Jill Williamson

Replication by Jill Williamson
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Zondervan
Source: NetGalley
Rating: Enjoyable
Martyr---otherwise known as Jason 3:3---is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to 'expire' in less than a month. To see the sky.

Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars.

As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures---the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he's ever known. - Goodreads
The thing that initially attracted me to Replication was the science fiction-esque premise. While this book isn’t set thousands of years in the future, the cloning of humans was advanced to a stage that hundreds of clones had been made of this one man. I was fascinated, and couldn’t wait to read it.

The book had a solid start, introducing the cloning aspect of the book along with the various characters gradually. The pacing was excellent, with enough action and mystery to keep me interested.

Martyr, one of the clones, was a great character. He provided lots of humour throughout the book, with his clueless comments about various things that we would find completely usual.

Abby was also pretty cool, although not very well developed and I didn’t feel much of a connection to her. I didn’t know much about her, other than she’s rich, religious and she likes science.

Before I go on, I will say that this next part is totally on me. I didn’t realise that this book was Christian fiction and I should have done more research. I felt that during the second half of the book, it started to become very preachy, and Abby convinced Martyr that Christianity is the only way. Like I said, me being annoyed at this is my fault for not researching this book properly.

Overall, the story was enjoyable and the beginning was intriguing enough to keep me reading. The ending was fast paced and I just HAD to find out what was going to happen. I do have a question, though: What happened to JD?  

10 January 2012

TTT: Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's top ten list is
Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book

J K Rowling
I think Her Majesty is going to be on most people's lists this week. I've been waiting for a new Harry Potter book, a Harry Potter Encyclopedia or just a new series from this woman for years. I can't decide which I would prefer, because I feel that if she started a new series it would constantly be compared to Harry Potter.

Darren Shan
This guy is still writing books, of course, but I want more books set in the vampire world. More books in the Darren Shan Saga. Although that is pretty much over, I want to know what happened AFTER the war. I need to know everything! 

Elizabeth Woods
I read Choker last year and thought it was a fantastic read. I'm hoping that Ms Woods will write more, because she's a fantastic author, and I think her book deserves a lot more hype than it got.

Ransom Riggs
I think he's planning on writing a sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, now that I think about it. I really enjoyed that book, and I LOVED the photographs that were in the book. Pure awesome.  

Cat Patrick
She has a book coming out this year, but I need more! Forgotten was fantastic, and I'd love another book in that series, even though it's a standalone. I can't wait to read Revived, though!  

Kat Falls
The author of Dark Life, one of my favourite reads of last year. Kat has started the Dark Life series, and there are currently two books out, but I don't know when the third is going to by published, and I don't know the name. I need it right now!

Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden, in my opinion, is the best classic EVER. I love it.

F Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is also fantastic. This guy should have written way more books - on top of the load he had already written - to keep me occupied for life.

Oscar Wilde
Because his books are classics, and they are hilarious!

Anna Sewell
The author of Black Beauty, another favourite classic of mine.

If you're taking part in this meme, feel free to leave your links below!  

09 January 2012

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Paranormalcy #2
Release Date: January 5, 2012 (UK)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Publisher
Rating: Essential
Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal. - Goodreads
I absolutely loved Paranormalcy when I read it last year. I thought it was tremendously well written and so funny that it had me in stitches. I was dying to read Supernaturally when it came out, and had extremely high expectations. Some of those expectations were met, but some, however, were not.

The plot of Supernaturally is fast paced, just like Paranormalcy, and the action kicks off in the first few pages when Evie gets attacked by a cloud. Well, it's not really a cloud, but it looks just like one! Kiersten White hasn't lost her touch, because this book is hilarious, although I did find a couple of the lines to be a bit awkward. 

Evie was badass, of course. She finds out a lot of stuff about her heritage and her 'abilities', and I cant wait to see how she handles this in Endlessly. Evie does do some pretty stupid stuff in this book, like lying to and keeping things from her boyfriend, Lend. That annoyed me, and I hope that this is something her character will outgrow as she matures in the next book in the series. 

Lend wasn't really in this book as much as I hoped he would be, which is disappointing. I don't really have much to say about him, because he didn't really do much apart from moan and nag. 

Reth is also in this book, and despite not liking him at all in Paranormalcy, I thought he was pretty awesome in this book! Not that he isn't still a little creepy but... I want to see more of him! 

If you've been reading other reviews on this book, then you'll be aware that there is a new character called Jack. I loved Jack. He's hilarious. He seems to have some form of ADHD or something, because he never sits still and he's always playing around. I love him. 

The bad guy in this book was a little obvious, and I knew who it would turn out to be from the first few chapters. That said, this didn't spoil the book, because I wanted to find out WHY they were the villain and why they were doing these things to Evie. 

Overall, whilst I didn't enjoy Supernaturally as much as the first book in the trilogy, I still loved it and think that this is a trilogy that everyone needs to read at some point! (I also really, really love this cover!)

Midwinters Eve Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all of those who participated in this hop, and those of you who entered my giveaway! 

Congratulations to 
Sammy P. 
who has won $10 to spend on Book Depository! 
I've sent you and email, and can't wait to hear back from you! 

I'm taking part in another hop later on this month, so stay tuned for that. It will be international, although I'm not sure whether to giveaway another gift card, or if you would prefer I pick out some books. What do you guys think?

08 January 2012

In My Mailbox - (44)


For Review
Slide by Jill Hathway
Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Night School by C J Daugherty
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
Scattering Like Light by S C Ransom
Chocolate SOS by Sue Limb

Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Thank you so much, Vickie!

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Rip Tide by Kat Falls (alshalhfaklnfm,ebr)

Daphne, you are the best person ever. <3 

You can find all of the books here. I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on the links below and decide to buy, I get a small percentage of the money made from your purchase. Just to be clear. 

Cover: Frostbite Graphic Novel

While I wait for my IMM video to process - and believe me, I've been waiting a LONG time - I was casually looking through some Facebook pages, forums and the like. I was directed to Emma Vicieli's DeviantArt page and I found THIS, along with other previews from the book.

Have you all seen this before, and I'm really late in finding it? I cannot express how much I LOVE this cover! It says (quite clearly) that the cover is not final, but this is FANTASTIC and I love it. Mainly because Christian is on the front. And the Strigoi look like ninjas.

What do you all think of it? Have you guys read the Vampire Academy graphic novel yet? I believe that the Frostbite graphic novel is coming out in May of this year. I CAN'T WAIT!

05 January 2012

Night School by C J Daugherty

Night School by C J Daugherty
Night School #1
Release Date: January 5, 2012
Publisher: ATOM
Source: Publisher
Rating: Enjoyable
Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested.


This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.

But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.

When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy. - Goodreads
 Night School was a bit slow to begin with, and that meant that it took a while to get into the story and to start enjoying it. The first one hundred or so pages dragged a little bit, as there wasn’t much action and I was introduced to Allie’s new school and new life.

There were lots if mysteries that were introduced right at the very beginning of the novel, and these weren’t solved until the very end of the book, if at all. It was good as it left a lot of room for the sequels, but I thought that the unravelling of them could have been spread out a little bit more. Again, this is a pacing problem.

I LOVE books set in boarding schools! So the setting was absolutely perfect, and this boarding school was old fashioned, with secret passages. Perfection!

The ending of the novel was simply brilliant, with tonnes of action thrown in there. I loved it, and it definitely made the book better overall.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Allie to begin with as she did some stupid things. She did become a stronger character towards the end, and I hope to see more development in the rest of the series.

Carter, one of the love interests, is pretty cool. I didn’t like the way he was portrayed, as it was very stereotypical, but as Allie got to know him, he grew on me.

As for Sylvain... Well, can somebody please tell me how to pronounce his name? I’m too lazy to look it up, and I was calling him about five different names by the end of the novel. I didn’t like Sylvain one bit, and I hope nothing happens between him and Allie in the future.

I enjoyed the writing style; I think Daugherty did a really good job with describing the story. The only complaint I do have is that the dialogue, at times, was a bit wooden.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I did have some issues, but it was all together a solid start to a new series. I will be picking up the next book, because I am intrigued! 

Buy the book here: 

04 January 2012

Another Cover Reveal: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

*le gasp* What do you all think? I like it. There are no creepy green eyes in this one. I'm surprised that they didn't chop half of Jace's face off like they did with Simon's on the COFA cover.

Let me know your thoughts on this! It's very different to any of the other covers.

03 January 2012

Cover Reveal: Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #2)

This is the UK cover for Insurgent! What do you guys think? Personally, I love the US cover, but this one is also really pretty. I love the purples, and the burning leaves! I also love that the girl - who I'm assuming is meant to be Tris - is standing over a seemingly barren wasteland with just a long road ahead of her. 

There is also going to be a new cover for the first book in the trilogy, Divergent, so that the covers match nicely. I also like this one, although Tris' face looks slightly demonic. Or is that just me? 

You can find both books here: 

02 January 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles #1
Release Date: January 5, 2012 (UK)
Publisher: Puffin
Source: Publisher
Rating: Essential
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling. - Goodreads
My favourite part of Cinder was the world that Meyer has created to tell this fascinating story. The history of this futuristic universe is rich and thoroughly developed, which makes the sci-fi completely believable. The historical aspect of the novels was introduced by being woven into the story, and didn’t feel out of place or forced.

The links to the fairytale of Cinderella were prominent, and yet they were not over the top. Cinder lives with her wicked stepmother and her two stepsisters. She has to work as an engineer to feed the whole family, while her stepmother spends her hard earned money on luxurious items. The prince is also present throughout, and we even have a mouse like in the Disney movie (kind of).

I was very intrigued by the Lunar colony, and I enjoyed reading about how those people were living. I loved their evil yet beautiful queen, and I cannot wait to see what happens with her in the next books in the series because she’s a fantastic antagonist – and also pretty scary!

Cinder was a brilliant female lead. She was strong, reliable, and she doesn’t give up. She’s also able to look after herself, which is a great quality to have. She doesn’t rely on her stepmother, or anybody else, which also adds a lot to her story. Cinder tries to hide her situation - or her cyborg-ness - from Prince Kai, and I was holding my breath waiting for him to find out about her. I felt so much love for this character, and I would have hated for her to get hurt because society doesn't accept cyborgs like her.

I wasn’t too fond of the love interest, Prince Kai, because I didn’t feel as though he was as well developed in comparison to Cinder. This left me a little bit disappointed, although that is probably because as a reader I was spoilt with the awesome Cinder, and I had very high expectations. Nevertheless, Kai is still pretty awesome, and it was really interesting when I had the chance to read from his point of view.

I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel to this novel. I look forward to seeing what Marissa Meyer can do next with both Cinder, and the other fairytales that are going to be woven into the upcoming stories. I’m dying to know where Meyer will take us next. She is a brilliant writer and I would recommend this book to everyone!

Books in this series: 
0.5. Glitches
1. Cinder 
2. Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood) [2013]
3. Cress (Rapunzel) [2014]
4. Winter (Snow White) [2015]

Buy the book here: