31 July 2012

The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman

The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Rating: Enjoyable

Are the woods behind St. Bede's Academy really haunted, or does bad stuff just happen there? When Calista Wood, a new student, arrives midway through her junior year, St. Bede's feels like a normal school . . . until she discovers that a girl had disappeared a couple of months earlier. Some kids think she ran away, others think she was murdered, but it's only when Cally starts digging around that she finds the startling truth.

Watch as Cally enters a world of privilege, weekend-long parties, high school romances, and . . . well-kept secrets. This page-turner will appeal to teens looking for a fast-paced thriller. Written in a voice at once gripping and crystal clear, debut novelist, McCormick Templeman, will take readers on a twisting and turning journey as only a "new girl" can experience. - Goodreads

I really enjoyed the whole ongoing mystery in this book. I have read a few reviews and they say that the reader knew the outcome before it happened, but I honestly had no idea how the missing children and Iris connected. I was accusing everybody! There were loads of red herrings, and I ate them up, so when the reveal finally came I was pretty surprised.

McCormick Templeman created a realistic story set in a boarding school with realistic teens and realistic events. Do you see a pattern here? The way the characters were portrayed is unlike most of the YA books I have read. These teens deal and take drugs, have sex, skip class and have a multitude of secrets. I loved this aspect of the book because it felt real, and this is something I miss in a lot of the books I read. Teenagers aren't perfect - nor are adults, but that's besides the point - and they shouldn't all be protrayed as loners who have never been kissed. Sure, there are teens like that, of course there are, but there are also many on the opposite side of the spectrum.

I liked the main character well enough, although her personality got a little grating at times. She got annoyed at her boyfriend for cheating on her, didn't really like her boyfriend all that much, and then she cheated on him with another guy for weeks. Just.. no. Aside from that, I liked Cally, and she wasn't a huge pushover all of the time.

I adored the secondary characters. There were so many of them that I do feel they were introduced al at once a little bit too soon. Having a bit more time to get used to their names and individual personalities would have been nice, because as soon as I took a break I forgot which character was which. But overall, they were awesome and the atmosphere they created was fantastic.

I really like Templeman's writing style, and I'll be checking out this author's future works, if there are any. This was a great story, and while it took a few chapters to get into, once I got sucked in it was difficult to put it down.

30 July 2012

Summer Book Talk: Day Six - Alexis from Tor Publishing

For the sixth day of the Summer Book Talk, I have another publicist post for you guys. I’m so happy to have Alexis Saarela from Tor Publishing here today as a part of the Summer Book Talk. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions, Alexis! And in such detail too.  


1. As bloggers/readers, we only know our side of it - the part involving ARCs. Could you please tell us more about your role as a publicity manager and what it involves?

We start planning our publicity and marketing campaigns for books many months (or even a year) in advance. In addition to sending out a big ARC mailing to key reviewers both online and in print, we are also deciding whether to do any events with the author, either bookstores or libraries, or many other venues, coordinating author travel if we do send them on book tour, writing press material, sending out pitches to media for both reviews and interviews with our authors, and working with marketing to come up with fun extras like book trailers and giveaway items. We also are responsible for making sure our sales reps (and in turn, the stores) know what is going on with each book, what media it is getting, etc. Publicists also often attend the events they set up, have meetings with bookstores and media, and on occasion, travel to represent the company and assist authors at big conventions (I just returned from San Diego Comic Con, where we had a booth and many authors doing panels and signings).

2. How did you get into the publishing industry? Is it as glamorous as it seems to us bibliophiles?

I spent a summer during college living in NYC and interning at a publisher so I got a real feel for the way that publishing is exciting, always changing, and made up of very great colleagues—definitely things I wanted in a workplace. At the time I worked in the marketing/publicity department and felt that it was a good fit for me, so when I graduated, I looked for jobs as a Publicity Assistant. Having an internship definitely gives you a foot in the door when you’re looking for a position. I definitely would say that I am happy to go to work each day – though I don’t know if I would describe it as glamorous, per se, I DO get to work in the historic Flatiron building though, which certainly looks beautiful, but our offices are constantly full of boxes of books –sometimes it looks like a fort in here!

3. What’s a typical day at work like?

Generally each member of our publicity department is responsible for 3-5 books per month—but you are not just working on them the month they are released, but starting your planning very early on. In addition to checking emails and answering questions from reviewers, bookstores, and more, I usually am doing any of the following: getting a mailing of ARCs or finished copies ready to go out, attending sales/marketing  meetings to update our publicity plans for upcoming titles, making sure a blog piece or author trailer has gone up on our website, deciding who we will send to regional independent booksellers annual trade shows, writing and getting out a press release announcement on a cool upcoming project from Tor, scheduling tour stops and travel for authors, or, if the author is already on tour, making sure they’re where they need to be! Oh, and there are a million other spur of the moment things that come up that need to be solved, so there is always something new to be working on – it keeps me on my toes!

4. How is it decided on how much publicity a book requires before its release? Is it sometimes the same for both published authors as well as debut authors?

A combination of smart people in sales, editorial, marketing, publicity, and even art decide pretty early on what kind of campaign each title will receive. A debut that we are really excited about may get the same type of campaign as a bestselling author might get – but it is always changing, especially as we are now exploring more and more creative ways to use online resources. And certainly it varies by genre – who we will send to, who will cover the book, etc.

5. How is a media kit usually put together?

When I first get to read a book I’m assigned, I generally put together a brief ARC letter that tries to express the uniqueness and main buzz angle of the book and author. This will later be fleshed out into a longer press release, and will often include some talking points for interviews or a Q and A with the author, especially if they have a unique background or expertise. Some authors will often write a piece that we can use as supplementary material as well. Before the final book mailing goes out we often have fun with putting some graphics or fonts on the press kit to make it stand out!

6. How do you discover new authors?

I read trade publications like Publishers Weekly every week, as well as a number of blogs, and that helps me see what’s getting great reviews. I also often chat with folks at other publishing houses and they’ll always give me great recommendations. I also think just exploring on Goodreads can be a fun way to find something new!

7. Tell us your top 3 favorite books!

It’s so hard to narrow it down! I’m going to go with 3 books that were my favorites growing up:

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

8. Could you tell us about a few exciting upcoming titles from Tor?

I am very excited for GIRL OF NIGTHMARES, the sequel to ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, by Kendare Blake. She is on tour in August as part of or Tor Teen/”Girls Nightmare Out” tour – check out: http://www.tor.com/features/series/girls-nightmare-out

Also coming up this fall: IRON SKIN by Tina Connelly, THE INEXPLICABLES by Cherie Priest, RIVER ROAD by Suzanne Johnson, and from our Forge imprint, the great new thriller THE OTHER WOMAN by Hank Phillippi Ryan!


Don't forget to enter the Summer Book giveaway I am currently hosting. It's international, and there are some AWESOME books to choose from! 

Be sure to check out Maji Bookshelf and Kindle and Me for their posts today!

New Releases: July 31 - August 06

There are lots of GREAT books coming out this week! I'm really excited for Survive, because I've heard amazing things about it. I also want to read The Waiting Sky. I have yet to read James Patterson's books, but I've heard they're good. Have you read any of them? I also discovered Kat Black's series, which sounds AWESOME, so I'm going to have to check it out. EEP. And Pushing the Limits was awesome!

Also, I've decided to start adding polls because I'm curious to see what your most anticipated book is!

Which of these are you most looking forward to?
Hide and Seek
Between You & Me
A Templar's Destiny
Pushing the Limits
Someday Dancer
The Waiting Sky
Create your own poll

29 July 2012

Summer Book Talk: Day Five - Most Anticipated Books of the Summer and Giveaway!

Because I love lists and I love books, I decided to join these two things together and show you guys some of my most anticipated book of Summer 2012! And to make that even better, I thought I would also host a giveaway for any one of those books. I haven't read any of these yet due to time constraints, but they have all been on my wishlist for a long time and I want to get to them all before the summer is over!


So these are my Top 8. There are loads more I'm looking forward to, and a couple of AMAZING ones I've already read. But these are the ones I'm just itching to read. Have you guys read any of them already? What did you think of them? TELL ME! I need to know!

On with the giveaway... 

- International as long as BD ships to you
- Must be 13 years old or over
- Must be a follower or subscriber
- Two winners, one book each
- Ends August 19th, 2012 at 12am GMT

28 July 2012

Summer Book Talk: Day Four - Diana Peterfreund, Author of For Darkness Shows the Stars!

Today on the blog we have another author interview. Here is Diana Peterfreund, author of the new novel, For Darkness Shows the Stars! Diana also wrote the Killer Unicorns series, which I know lots of you adore, and the Secret Society Girl series.


1. Can you describe your book For Darkness Shows the Stars in three words?

Post Apocalyptic Persuasion.

2. What inspired you to write a dystopian novel as your newest book?

I was very much driven by the idea of recasting Jane Austen's Persuasion in another time and place. I don't really think of it as a dystopian, since there's no all-powerful government telling people this is the perfect way of life. Still, it fits in well with those kind of novels and readers who like them.

3. When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?

Always. But I didn't realize I *could* be a writer until my twenties. I didn't know any writers growing up, and in the pre-internet days, it wasn't like you ever interacted with them.

4. Do you base your writing on your own past experiences?

In the case of FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, I set it in New Zealand. I visited New Zealand in 2004, and I was utterly enchanted by those islands. They were so beautiful, so remote, so unusual, so magical. I always wanted to set a book there, and for my post war, isolated survivors of English extraction -- well, it was perfect.

5. Where do you usually like to write or read?

I read in bed or on the couch. I write in my office or on the couch. I'm a big fan of my couch.

6. What are some of your favourite books you’ve read recently?

Ha! I have been secretly spending a lot of time reading books that aren't out yet, like the proofs for two anthologies I'm lucky enough to be in this fall: FORETOLD, edited by Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands
and Teeth) and including other writers like Meg Cabot, Simone Elkeles, Richelle Mead, Laini Taylor, and Michael Grant; and UNDER MY HAT: TALES FROM THE CAULDRON, edited by Jonathan Strahan and including stories by Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle, Holly Black, Garth Nix, Ellen Kushner, and Delia Sherman.

7. Do you have any favourite movies or shows? Do these relate to the novels you write in any way?

Oh, lots. I'm somewhat of a TV addict. I love teen culture, which is why I'm a fan of shows like Skins and Veronica Mars; I love well-wrought fantasy, which is why I adore stuff like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Game
of Thrones (Amber: YES! GoT takes over my life in April and May each year), Avatar: The Last Airbender, and (if we're being totally honest) The West Wing; and I'm also a big fan of lush historical stuff like Downtown Abbey and any Austen miniseries the BBC puts out.

8. What is one thing that you can’t do without when you’re writing?

I try not to get too tied to rituals like that, hence I jinx myself if I can't fit something in. In the winter, I do like a cup of tea to start the day, but it's so hot right now and my AC is broken, so I have to find an alternative (and iced tea doesn't quite do it for me).

9. How is the writing process for you? Do you sit and write until you are out of ideas or do you set a schedule for yourself?

It's a fight for me to find the time and focus I need to write. The former, because I have a toddler who can be quite persuasive about getting my attention. The latter because I find I'm very easily distracted, especially by the internet.

10. What are your plans for the next book? Different genre? A standalone, or a series?

Alas and alack, I cannot tell you that. My next book is shrouded in mystery. But I can promise you this: it's completely frockalicious. I've never stuffed so many gorgeous gowns in one story before.


Gowns, you say?! Anyone want to take a stab in the dark at what this could be about? 

Thank you so much for being so wonderful and answering these questions, Diana! Your newest book is one of the most talked about of the summer, which is exciting. It was a pleasure reading your answers regarding it and your writing!

For Darkness Shows the Stars was published on June 12, 2012, and has one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen! Has anyone read this already? What did you think of it?

Don't forget to check out Maji Bookshelf and Kindle and Me for their posts for the Summer Book Talk!

27 July 2012

Summer Book Talk: Day Three - Kat from Simon and Schuster!

Everyone, meet Kat, one of the wonderful people from the Simon & Schuster UK publicity department. She was kind enough to answer the questions I sent her, and her answers provide a TONNE of insight into the business. 

And so you guys can put a face to the name, Kat has sent along a cute photo. You may notice that she is dressed for summer but the people behind her are wearing wellies and Kat herself is posing in front of rain clouds. In Britain, this is how we roll.

1. As bloggers/readers, we only know our side of it - the part involving ARCs. Could you please tell us more about your role and what it involves? 
 My role involves both marketing and publicity which is somewhat unusual –from writing press releases to organising tours to securing review coverage to producing marketing materials such as sales sheets, catalogues and websites. Oh, and keeping up to date with Twitter, Facebook and all the brilliant social media available to us. Very varied but very fun! 

2. How did you get into the publishing industry? Is it as glamorous as it seems to us bibliophiles? 
I started out as a bookseller – I was 18 when I started selling children’s books and was very lucky to get a link into publishing when I was 23 due to having acquired five years’ worth of knowledge. Work experience is great but don’t be disheartened if you have trouble getting any as there are other routes in if you show your passion and enthusiasm for books. As for the glamour… we do get lovely opportunities to go to lovely launches and meet lovely authors – but there’s a lot of hard grind involved too. 

3. What’s a typical day at work like? 
There is no typical day! Given the sheer variety of tasks and different projects involved in this job, every day is different – which is why I love it. One day you can be working on zombies, and the next day it’s fluffy kittens and books about scorching teen luuuurve. 

4. How is it decided on how much publicity a book requires before its release? Is it the same for both published authors as well as debut authors? 
I think it is very varied – a campaign for a debut novel will always be very different to a campaign for an established author, in just the same way that a campaign for a new series on killer pirates would differ from a lyrical standalone tale of tragedy. Some books are better suited to an online audience, some books are ideal for print reviews. The key is to have creative ideas and ways to make a book stand out – which I’m making sound far easier than it is! Luckily we all love the books we promote, and that can get a publicist a long way. 

5. How is a media kit usually put together? 
Putting together information for the media is mostly about working out the message you’re sending about each book, and getting that across with the right copy, the right tone, and the right quotes. Quotes are particularly useful for debut novels, to show that people have read and loved the book already. Being concise is important as a lot of press contacts are very busy and receive a lot of emails and press releases – always a challenge for a chatterbox like me. 

6. How do you discover new authors? 
We have absolutely brilliant editors who work with agents and trawl through manuscript after manuscript after manuscript looking for just that – I don’t envy them, and I love getting to see what they bring to us for feedback. 

7. Tell us your top 3 favorite books. 
Off the top of my head – The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (I must have read it five times), Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, and The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. It is quite mean to make me pick just three! 

8. Could you tell us about a few exciting upcoming YA titles from Simon and Schuster? 
There are lots and lots - we are very much looking forward to continuing to publish with authors such as Darren Shan (Amber: EEEEEEEEP!), Philippa Gregory, Becca Fitzpatrick, Michelle Harrison, Andrew Fukuda, Sarah Alderson and more, whilst welcoming some absolutely fantastic debut YA talent to our list, and growing our new authors. Keep an eye on our Twitter - @simonkids_UK - and Facebook page as we are constantly posting reviews and snippets there of what’s coming up. You can also sign up to The Blurb, our quarterly fiction newsletter.


Don't forget to check out Maji Bookshelf and Kindle and Me for their posts today!

26 July 2012

Summer Book Talk: Day Two - Juhina from Maji Bookshelf!

For the second day of the event, I asked Juhina - one of the co-bloggers from Maji Bookshelf - to do a guest post matching the dystopian theme. Juhina brings up some really good points about female protagonists in dystopia, so read on to see what she has to say!


Hello Lovely readers! Just want to start off by thanking Amber for hosting me on her blog! And also hope you guys enjoy this post and keep the discussion alive by posting comments and your opinions!

Since Amber’s blog is hosting Dystopian world and novels, I wanted to spotlight the different types of dystopian female protagonists, how they are different from other genres and what are the main characteristics that define dystopian female protagonists, and also I will list 3 strong female protagonists and their strongest characteristic. Fun right? Let’s start off!

Let’s start off. To the new people to the world dystopia, here is the full definition:

“A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian”

The protagonists in dystopian novels are mainly female. Think of the first dystopian novel that pops in your head, is it The Hunger Games? Maybe Divergent? Or even Wither? All those have female protagonists and each one of them knows how to kick some butt!

The main characteristics a dystopian female protagonist usually possesses ranges from:

1.  Strength, whether in combat or just mentally 

2. Endurance 

3.  Level headed/Smart 

4.  Selfless

5.  Independent

Obviously there are many more characteristics that many dystopian female protagonists possess but these are the prominent characteristics found.

Here are the top five dystopian female protagonists that I love and wish to be more like them!

1. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games: Now who doesn’t know Katniss? The girl who sacrificed her life just to save her little sister; The girl who helped Peeta survive and was also about to give up her life for. She is the definition of selflessness. She is not only selfless but has all the characteristics listed above. She is a strong fighter, her endurance levels are sky high, she is smart and level headed, and finally she is one independent woman!

2. Tris Prior, from Divergent: This girl knows how to hold her ground during a fight. She is stealthy, everyone underestimates her until she strikes. She is independent, has her own opinions and isn’t swayed easily and she sticks to what she believes in. Tris definitely has a more feminine side to Katniss but that is all due to the environment. All I can say is Tris knows how to survive.

3. June Iparis, from Legend: Now here is a girl who is not only a strong fighter, but is genius smart. She is the top of her class and is one of the best fighters out there. She loves her family and would do anything for them. We’ve got her a person you can totally count on!

What other dystopian female protagonists you find empowering? Ones that you love and wish to be more alike? Juliett from Shatter Me? Vi from Possession, Wanda from The Host? Aria from Under the Never Sky? You’ve got more? Let us know below! And also give us your opinion on this topic and what other characteristics you think female dystopian novels possess!

Thanks everyone for reading and participating in this discussion, and for whoever didn’t, come on! Let’s discuss!!

- Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf


Thank you for your amazing post, Juhina! Okay, readers, I want to know your top three dystopian protagonists. Go!

The ladies from Maji Bookshelf are hosting an interview with Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door, which was one of my most anticipated books of the summer! I haven't got around to buying it yet, but I am so excited to read it once my TBR pile goes down a little!

Kindle and Me is hosting an interview with Brigid Kemmerer, author of the Elemental series! There is also an AMAZING giveaway, so be sure to go over there and check it out. Brigid gives some great insight to her work!

25 July 2012

Summer Book Talk: Day One - Heather Anastasiu, Author of Glitch!

To kick off the Summer Book Talk with a bang, we have a much anticipated debut author here on the blog! I read Heather Anastasiu's book, Glitch, a couple of weeks ago, and absolutely adored it. It's definitely a must read book this summer, so make sure you get your hands on it when it's released at the beginning of August. If you want to know more of my thoughts on it, then you can check out my review of Glitch here!

Looking at the stunning cover, how could you not want to read it?
Anywho, let's get on with the questions and answers, shall we? 

1. Can you describe your book Glitch in three words? 
Dystopia. Superpowers. Love.

2. What inspired you to write a science fiction novel? 
I've always loved sci-fi because it takes the fringe of scientific possibility and pushes it to it's creepiest possibilities. When sci-fi is done right, the worlds are just believable enough to make your hair stand up.

3. When did you realise that you wanted to be a writer? 
I wanted to be a writer in forth grade once my teacher told me you could do it as a profession! That's why my first novel is dedicated to her. 

4. Do you base your writing on your own past experiences? 
Lol, not too much since I live in a very free society. But I did try to interject the themes of what I experienced as a teenager when I really the world of emotion was first really opening up for me and everything seemed suddenly so vibrant and alive.

5. Where do you usually like to write and/or read? 
My couch, for both!

6. What are some of your favourite books you’ve read recently? 
I just read and loved Beth Revis' A Million Suns. Another summer release I really enjoyed is Anne Greenwood Brown's Lies Beneath. (A: YES, Beth Revis' trilogy is - so far - AMAZING.)

7. Do you have any favourite movies or shows? Do these relate to the novels you write in any way?
DOCTOR WHO. I absolutely try to think like the writer's of Doctor Who whenever I find myself lacking inspiration. I was just rewatching some of last season's episodes this week, and even though I've seen some of them three times, they still give me chillbumps. 

8. What is one thing that you can’t do without when you’re writing?
Definitely music, usually set to the Pandora station of Epic Soundtracks. That way I can envision my scenes like in a movie, with emotional music playing in the background :) 

9. How is the writing process for you? Do you sit and write until you are out of ideas or do you set a schedule for yourself? 
I set a schedule. I try to get up and write for a couple of hours every morning at least. Sometimes I'll set word counts for myself to meet. Whatever schedule I set, I'm pretty good about sticking too. I try not to let up for even a day or two, because then there's too much resistance when I get back to it. 

10. What are your plans for the next book? Different genre? A standalone, or a series? 
Series. Glitch is the first in a trilogy, and I'm so excited that St. Martin's is releasing the books every sixth months, so readers won't have to wait so long between instalments.

Thank you so much for answering my questions, Heather! YES, to Doctor Who! Stephen Moffat is the bane of my life.

Be sure to check out Maji Bookshelf today for a Know Your Publicist post, which provides a lot of insight into the world of publishing. And Kindle and Me is hosting fellow blogger Adeeb from Bookville!

19 July 2012

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass #1
Release Date: August 2 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: Enjoyable

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted? - Goodreads

After reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore I was on a bit of a fantasy high, so I decided to pick this one up seeing as it was already on my TBR list for the month of July.

The beginning of the novel pulled me in straight away. I loved the introduction to the world this was set in, and I loved the idea of a king who is trying to take over and rule ALL THE COUNTRIES *insert Tumblr gif here* and the fact that magic was outlawed like in Maria V Snyder's Study trilogy (which created awesome drama and tension, by the way).

The middle of the novel was, unfortunately, a very slow read and it seemed to lose all the momentum the beginning had built. There wasn't enough action going on, as very few of the trials that made up the tournament were actually given full descriptions. A few of them merely had a sentence to describe what had happened. I think there could have been a much better way to integrate them with the plot and to make it more exciting.

The ending managed to grab me and suck me back in, though, and it gave me hope for the sequels because it was action packed and it showed what an awesome writer Sarah J Maas can be.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked Celaena given her personality. She was very arrogant and hot headed, and this is something that would usually annoy me but I think it worked well with the story and with her role.

There was a love triangle, and I don't really have any strong feelings about either side of it. I'd be happy for Celaena to end up with either of the men, or neither. I think she's badass enough on her own, so if she ended up staying single at the end of the series without the love interests dying on her, I would adore that.

Like I said, I really enjoyed the world that this was set in and I am definitely intrigued by some of the plot points, especially with the magic. I'm going to be reading the sequels, and I hope that we get to see Celaena use her assassin abilities to kill some people. That makes me sound like a complete crazy person, but I think there is a lot of opportunity there and I would really like to see where the author goes with it!

17 July 2012

Summer Book Talk: Introduction

Hi everyone! Juhina, Farah (MajiBookshelf), Anjana (Kindle and Me) and myself have been planning this event for a while now, and we're so excited to finally see it launch. Well, it's not launching right this minute, but the introductions are going up, so it's a start, right?

We just wanted to give you all a heads up on what is happening so you have time to prepare yourselves for the awesome week of posts we have planned. It's not for the faint hearted!

What is the Summer Book Talk?

Basically it's just a fun event for our readers and bookish friends. We're planning on hosting some wonderful authors on each of our blogs, publicists and other book bloggers which should make for some fun discussions. We're also hosting a tonne of giveaways, so look out for those!

When is this happening?

The Summer Book Talk begins on July 25th and continues on through to July 31st. Multiple posts are going up every single day, so you're in for a lot of fun.

The Summer Book Talk is hosted by myself, MajiBookshelf and Kindle & Me. Be sure to check out each of the blogs every day because there are some awesome things going on!


Note: Also, I must mention that I am not at home right now, I'm actually at the hospital with the family. I won't be able to reply to any comments until tomorrow at the earliest, but I promise I will read them all and answer any questions you have as soon as I am able. If you have any pressing concerns regarding the Summer Book Talk, then please contact either Juhina, Farah or Anjana. Thanks!

16 July 2012

New Releases: July 17 - 23

1. Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan
2. Neferet's Curse by P.C and Kristin Cast
3. A World Away by Nancy Grossman

You have no idea just how excited I am for Spark! I read the first book a while ago, and absolutely loved it (despite the annoying MMC, who I just want to push off the spaceship) so I am DYING to read this one! A World Away also sounds really good, and the cover is so pretty.

12 July 2012

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
Release Date: August 7 2012
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Rating: Essential

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse. - Goodreads

This was aweeesomeeee *sings*

Glitch is a brilliant asset to the YA science fiction genre, and I bet a lot of you sci-fi fans out there will adore it. Glitch combines science fiction with some dystopian AND some typical fantasy elements - fully explained by science, of course -  and mixes them up in this fantastic story.

Zoe, the main character, was a badass. She goes through a hell of a lot throughout this novel, and at the end she manages to stay standing. Well, figuratively. Her powers and her character grow as she discovers more about the world she lives in, and it was a lot of fun to read about her struggles (I know, I'm evil) as well as her growth.

I think that, at first, the romance between Zoe and Adrien progressed a tiny bit too quickly. Then, for various reasons, the breaks were put on and I started to really enjoy their build up. There was an unexpected love triangle (I'm not sure why I didn't see it coming, because HELLO, look at the summary!) and I wasn't a fan of Max. That said, I do think that this love triangle was necessary for the story's progression as well as for Zoe's character growth. It didn't seem like it was just thrown in there for the sake of the current YA trend.

I absolutely ADORE books about people with powers or abilities. Don't you? In this world, some teenagers start to glitch if they begin to develop these abilities, and I thought it was a pretty awesome concept! We see several different types of abilities, and I hope to see a lot more in the future because this was one of my favourite elements of the story!

The world building in this was also great. You can tell that the author spent vast amounts of time on it, and she has thought this through to create a fantastic sci-fi setting.

If you're a fan of science fiction, then I think this book is a must read. It's captivating, fun and - at times - hilarious! There were several laugh out loud moments, a few of which I shared on Twitter and the people who replied thought it was awesome.

Glitch trilogy:
1. Glitch
2. Override

Also, have you seen the cover for the second book in the trilogy?!

It's not as pretty as the first, but it's a lot darker... A sign of things to come? 

11 July 2012

WoW: All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
Release Date: December 11, 2012 (US)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?

Is it just me that finds books about memory loss intriguing? No? Good. This one sounds awesome and mysterious, and I also really love the cover. It's definitely my kind of book! Or, at least, it seems like it.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

10 July 2012

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
Release Date: April 5, 2012 (UK)
Publisher: ATOM
Rating: Enjoyable

It's been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA's unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space--and change their lives forever.
Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band's ticket to fame and fortune.
Midori believes it's her way out of her restrained life in Japan.
Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible.
It's the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space... no one is coming to save them.

In this chilling adventure set in the most brutal landscape known to man, highly acclaimed Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad creates a vivid and frightening world of possibilities we can only hope never come true. - Goodreads

The beginning of the novel is very slow paced, as a lot of time was spent showing the main characters and their lives before going to the moon. I think less time could have been spent with these teenagers, and more time should have been spent with the teens as they trained with NASA in preparation for their flight. I wasn't really that interested in their lives beforehand, and they all had a similar backstory anyway. I also would have liked to have spent time at NASA because some friendships and relationships formed there, and while these weren't major plot points, they were thrown in my face once we joined the teens again afterwards.

Once they actually got to the moon, however, the plot really picked up and everything went crazy. I absolutely loved it. I loved the mystery of this threat that was on or to do with the moon, and I loved that the characters had no idea how to deal with this. It was chaotic and it was brilliant.

I didn't feel connected to any of the main characters, probably because we spent more time with their backstory than we did with them as people, if that makes any sense whatsoever. I really liked the secondary characters, however. They were (mostly) all very interesting, a lot more so than the mains.

My favourite part of the book was definitely the last fifty or so pages. It was soooooo creepy! That's all I can say without spoiling the novel, but EEEEEP, it was scaring! It gave me major chills as I was reading it.