30 November 2012

Monthly Wrap Up: November 2012

November was an insanely busy month for me, so I didn't expect to get much reading done. I'm impressed I managed to read seven books, though, considering there were three birthdays, a funeral and just general craziness happening throughout the month. I did start NaNoWriMo and once again I failed. I will be trying again in June, though!

Books Read in November:

1. Scent of Magic by Maria V Snyder (Enjoyable)
2. Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski (Enjoyable)
3. Elemental by Antony John (Enjoyable)
4. Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark Walden (Bland)
5. Undeadly by Michelle Vail (Enjoyable)
6. Splintered by A.G. Howard (Enjoyable)
7. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Book of the Month:

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Most of the books I read this month were good, but nothing amazing and so nothing really stood out from the bunch. I picked Ten Things because it's hilarious, witty, and deal with real teenage problems. Serious problems, as well, like STD's. Yup. Sarah Mlynowski is awesome.


29 November 2012

Undeadly by Michele Vail

Undeadly by Michele Vail
The Reaper Diaries #1
Release Date: November 20, 2012 (UK)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Enjoyable

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. 

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble.... Goodreads

The plot of Undeadly was fun and fast paced. The Egyptian mythology was woven into the story really well, and there were no huge info-dumps at all, which I really appreciated. I find that some YA books, when including mythology such as this, often try to throw everything at the reader at once but that wasn't the case with Undeadly. The mythology was very unique, and it's something that I loved reading about. I've read books about reapers before, but the Egyptian aspect was new to me. It's definitely convinced me to check out more books based on Egyptian mythology!

Molly was a great protagonist. She sounded and acted like a sixteen year old girl, which was both realistic and entertaining. She was the perfect mix of snarky, friendly and polite. It made me really feel for her when certain things were revealed in the story. Vail's writing style worked really well with Molly's character, too.

The only thing I disliked about the novel was how predictable it was. I knew almost exactly where the story was going from about fifty pages in, and I knew who the bad guy(s) would be, and what the 'surprise' reveal was going to be towards the end. This took away from my enjoyment of the story, because I love being surprised while reading.

Undeadly was a great read, and I'll definitely be reading the next book in the series, Unchosen, when it's released next year.

28 November 2012

27 November 2012

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books for 2013

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead
I think everyone and their cat is waiting for this one. I love this series, as well as the prequel series, and I can't wait to see what happens to Sydney and Adrian next!

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver
A lot of my favourite series are wrapping up in 2013, and this is just one of them. I discovered Lauren Oliver when I read Before I Fall, her debut novel, in 2010 and I have been a huge fan of hers ever since.

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis
After the way A Million Suns wrapped up, I am DYING to read this! I can't wait to see what goes on. Seriously, the possibilities are endless!

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
I adored Cinder when I read it at the beginning of this year. I can't wait to see Cinder again in this one, and to meet Scarlet!

Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White
I really liked Kiersten's debut trilogy - Paranormalcy - and the premise of this is so exciting!

Dead Silence (Body Finder #4) by Kimberly Derting
I've loved this series since I read the first book, and the main character, Violet, has been through so much in such a short space of time. I love her!

With All My Soul (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent
This is one of my four ALL TIME FAVOURITE series. I love it so much, and am both happy and sad for this book, since it's the last one. Conflicted feelings all round.

Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman
Doesn't this one sound amazing?! I have an ARC and I can't wait to get to it. The cover is gorgeous as well!

The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab
I'll be honest, I've been avoiding reading what this one is about. I want to go in surprised, but judging by the fact that a) everyone is excited for it and b) it's apparently set to be one of the best books of 2013, I AM EXCITED.

Unbreakable (Unravelling #2) by Elizabeth Norris
The first book in this series was SO, SO GOOD. I fangirled and squee-d all over the place. Cannot wait!

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster
I featured this recently on a WoW post. This is about magic, assassins and all that good stuff. EEP!

Feel free to link your posts below! I'd love to see what books you guys are looking forward to reading next year!

26 November 2012

New Releases: November 27 - December 3, 2012

All links go to Goodreads.

A Bright Young Things sequel.

The third book in the Midnight Dragonfly series.

 A novella in the very popular Covenant series.

This is about a girl who heals people by touching them, but every injury becomes her own once she's cured the other person. Her abusive stepfather goes a bit to far and the main character is sent to live with her real father. Then there's a mysterious guy and the two are meant to be enemies but undoubtedly fall in love. Whew. It sounds great, so I'm gonna be reading it!

23 November 2012

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
Release Date: August 30, 2012 (UK)
Publisher: Harper
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 2

Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family, but after her arrest, she awakens to a nightmare: she is lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes – criminals whose skin colour has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime – is a new and sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder. The victim, according to the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she’s shared a fierce and forbidden love.

WHEN SHE WOKE is a fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future – where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a path of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith. 

I had seen some friends rave about this book, and so I was really excited to finally get to it last month. Unfortunately, I didn't like it.

The beginning of the novel was promising. I really liked the concept of there being a world in which abortion was banned, and the main character being punished for it. Not because I agree, but because it's interesting... or, at least, it could have been. Despite my hopes, the book was just dull.

There were some really good moments sprinkled throughout, but most of the book felt like I was on a boring car journey through the desert with nothing at all to look at, not even cacti. Add to that your dad pointing out rocks that all look the same and you don't get a very good adventure. I'm not sure where I was going with that, but there it is. Boring boring boring.

The world it was set in was my favourite part about the novel. Criminals, rather than being imprisoned, get their skin dyed different colours to reflect their crimes. This is considered by most to be worse than imprisonment, due to the rest of the citizens treatment of the criminals. They become victims. I do wonder, though, what would happen if someone committed two crimes. I'd assume that if one was something like murder and the other was a petty crime then they'd be marked for murder, but what if the two crimes were as bad as each other?

There is a random lesbian love scene which I would have ADORED it if it had been developed more, but instead it felt as though it had just been thrown in. There was no build up to it, no curiosity from the main character (who started out as quite homophobic), and then it wasn't even mentioned again after it happened. What.

I don't even know what happened to Hannah's character. She seemed to yo-yo throughout the novel, which was incredibly annoying since we were stuck in the metaphorical car with her for the entire metaphorical journey. One minute she's against religion, the next she's completely for it. She didn't even develop into a badass by the end, by which I was incredibly disappointed.

Overall, it was a boring book with a stagnant main character. I wouldn't recommend it, despite the message... wait, what message was it even trying to send?

20 November 2012

Elemental by Antony John

Elemental by Antony John
Release Date: November 21 2012
Publisher: Dial
Source: Netgalley

Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable

A lost colony is reborn in this heart-pounding fantasy adventure set in the near future . . .

Sixteen-year-old Thomas has always been an outsider. The first child born without the power of an Element—earth, water, wind or fire—he has little to offer his tiny, remote Outer Banks colony. Or so the Guardians would have him believe.

In the wake of an unforeseen storm, desperate pirates kidnap the Guardians, intent on claiming the island as their own. Caught between the plague-ridden mainland and the advancing pirates, Thomas and his friends fight for survival in the battered remains of a mysterious abandoned settlement. But the secrets they unearth will turn Thomas’ world upside-down, and bring to light not only a treacherous past but also a future more dangerous than he can possibly imagine.
 - Goodreads

YESSSS another book about elemental powers! Have I told you how much I love those? I read Storm and Spark by Brigid Kemmerer purely because of the elemental stuff, and I am quite obsessed. The elemental stuff in this book was definitely my favourite part. I loved learning about all the abilities and their different limits.

Thomas had a really boring voice, which sent me to sleep during the parts where it was just him. Yawn. I didn't feel connected to him at all until the very end. I liked the other characters though, particularly Rose and someone who turns up halfway through the book. 

Also PIRATES! They were awesome, but I wish we had gotten to see more of them up close and personally. Thomas should have been kidnapped and tortured! Yes, I'm mean to characters, but at least it might have made Thomas a little more interesting.

There's a sort of love triangle, although it was difficult to tell whether or not the two ladies - Alice and Rose - were legitimate love interests or if they were just kinda there. Alice was all right (apart from her nagging and whining), but personally I preferred Rose, despite her being underdeveloped. I hope we get to see her more in the next book.

But honestly, there was little romance anyway because it all took a back seat to the action packed plot. Aside from when Thomas was wandering around by himself and we were stuck with just him, there wasn't a dull moment. 

There's an epilogue (which could have just been a normal chapter, but whatever) in which there's a shocking reveal, which I LOVED. I had thought that this book would be a standalone, because it wrapped things up pretty nicely, while also leaving a lot of mystery to interpretation. But nope, this is gonna be a trilogy (I think) and EEP! I'm definitely going to be reading the second book to see where it goes. Hopefully now that Thomas has discovered more about himself he'll be more interesting.

19 November 2012

New Releases: November 20 - 26, 2012

All links go to Goodreads.

These are the only two releases that I know about for this week. If there are any more that I'm missing (which there undoubtedly will be), leave them in the comments below!

The sequel to Awake.

OH MY GAWSH I'VE BEEN WAITING SO LONG FOR THIS BOOK! Go and read the description because it sounds FREAKIN' AWESOME. It's about people with (and without) elemental powers and there are pirates and things and it's all set on an island and EEEEEEEEP. I need this book!

15 November 2012

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: June 14 2012
Publisher: Dial
Source: Bought

Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over. - Goodreads

I knew going into this that I would really enjoy it. I've been on a continuous YA contemporary binge since the beginning of the year, and it's showing no signs of stopping. This book totally deserves all the hype surrounding it, and I'm so glad everyone seems to have enjoyed it as much as I did.

I loved the crazy life the Garrett family led (which was a lot like my family, tbqh) and how it contrasted in every way to Samantha's life. She was on her own a lot, and her house was always neat and tidy because of her mother's near-OCD. The Garrett house, however, was chaotic, crazy and just wonderful. I know which house I would rather live in.

Not gonna lie, I got SO. FREAKING. PISSED. OFF. with Samantha. She does something ridiculously stupid that could lead to many, many people getting their lives ruined, and... well, it's just not okay. I wanted to slap her. However, Sam is not me, and therefore I forgive her for making silly decisions that she did eventually correct.

Spoilers, in which I rage about this stupid thing that Samantha did:


Anyway, other than THAT small thing (which was an awesome plot point despite the headache it caused), I really did love Sam's character. I loved her evolution from someone who is always under her mother's thumb to a pretty great person. I also loved her relationship with Jase, even if it was cheesy at times. This is YA, what do you expect? ALL THE CHEESE. ALL THE CUTE.

Jase didn't really leave a huge impression on me, to be honest. I much preferred reading about his family as a whole, and the Garretts really do leave an impression! I guess that is how it's meant to be though because if you want one Garrett then you get them all! I loved the whole family, especially George because he's the one (apart from Jase, of course) who was given the most 'screen time'. I loved the random facts he came out with after he watched the Discovery Channel, and it's totally something my little sister does as well. 

Samantha's best friend, Nan, can go die in a fire. Be gone, no one likes you. Nan's brother, however, can stay. I can't remember his name, but I think it started with a T and I kind of wanted him to end up with Sam because EEP he was a great character.

I didn't read this during the summer, but this would have been the perfect summer read. You can definitely read it at any time, though, because in England we don't really have summer and so take what you can get! 

Also, this review is kinda insane. I watched Supernatural last night and it basically murdered my brain cells, so don't expect anything coherent from me in a while. Did anyone else watch it? DEAN BLAMED HIMSELF OH MY GOD AND CASTIEL BLAMED *HIMSELF* TOLD DEAN IT WASN'T HIS FAULT *TEARS EVERYWHERE*

Okay, I'm going now. 

13 November 2012

Two Truths and a Lie by Sara Shepard

Two Truths and a Lie by Sara Shepard
The Lying Game #3
Release Date: July 17, 2012 (US)
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Source: Bought
Rating: Essential

Sutton Mercer watches from the afterlife as her long-lost twin, Emma Paxton, takes over her identity to solve her murder. But after ruling out her early leads, Emma still hasn’t found Sutton’s killer. A lot of people wanted her dead—but one name keeps popping up: Thayer Vega. When the gorgeous and mysterious Thayer returns to town, Emma has to move fast to figure out whether he’s back for revenge…or if he already got it.

Set in a town where friends can turn into dangerous enemies and everyone harbors dark secrets, The Lying Game is a juicy new series that fans of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series—and the hit ABC Family show—will love. - Goodreads

Hmmmm. These are getting a bit repetitive now. Is the Pretty Little Liars series like this too?

Honestly, there is not much I can say about this that wasn't already covered in my reviews of the previous two books in the series. I haven't read the fourth book yet, so I can't say if the author breaks the mould with that one or if it's just like the other three.

I think watching the TV show may have impacted my feelings for this series a little, because right now I'm finding the show so much more enjoyable than the books. Although, that never happens normally, so either it's a really good show or these books really are becoming dull.

I can't say I didn't like Two Truths and a Lie, because I did. Really. I just thought the plot was way too similar to the other novels, and it's lost the thrilling mystery it had before. I knew going into it what was going to happen with Thayer, and while I was reading the outcome I didn't feel shocked at all, which was really disappointing.

Sara Shepard does have a fantastic writing style, however, and that's what kept me reading and made me enjoy the book in the end. I loved how she introduced Thayer's character, and I also loved the new revelations on how Sutton used to be. I still don't like many of the characters, and I still don't know who killed Sutton. So. Yes.

I will be continuing with this series, because I desperately want to know who killed Sutton. But if all six plus of them are going to follow the same theme, I think I'm going to end up hating it.

Ethan is totally on the top of my list of suspects right now, by the way. If you've read the series, let me know who is on yours! Although, please try not to spoil the fourth book for me, because I haven't read it yet!

12 November 2012

New Releases: November 13 - 19, 2012

All links go to Goodreads. I'm so excited about a lot of these, and they come out the day before my birthday which is even better!

This is obviously about witches.

This is about a guy who volunteers at a suicide hotline and goes on to fall for a troubled caller.

This is set in a domed city on Earth that was set up to protect the British royal family when astronomers saw a comet set on a collision course with Earth. My description wouldn't do it justice, so go read it! It sounds AMAAAAAZING.

I think everyone and their dog is excited for this book!

This is about a girl who lives in an underwater utopia, and a guy who is a Surface Dweller. It reminds me a little of Dark Life by Kat Falls, purely because that also has people living both underwater and on the surface. It sounds good, I'll definitely be checking it out eventually!

This is the third book in the Meridian series, which I have yet to read.

This is about a girl who goes on a class trip to London and is partnered with her nemesis. I love the cover, and it sounds cute so I'll be reading it!

This is a sequel so I have no idea what it's about!

This is about a girl who lives on an island off the coast of California. Her brother dies, and she kind of gets neglected until a boy arrives on the island.

This is the third and final book in the Matched trilogy. I still haven't finished Matched (it's been sitting on my shelf, half-read for nearly two years *headdesk*).

The second book in the Soul Seekers series.

This bind up contains My Soul to Keep (book three), My Soul to Steal (book four) and Reaper (novella). I LOVE THESE BOOKS! I already have them as standalones, so I won't be buying this, but if you get the chance and are interested in this series, you should totally buy the bind ups! This series is awesome.

Whew, that was a lot. Which ones are you most looking forward to? The Soul Screamers bind up? *wink wink nudge nudge*

08 November 2012

Survive by Alex Morel

Survive by Alex Morel
Release Date: August 2, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Borrowed
Rating: Enjoyable

Hatchet meets Lost in this modern-day adventure tale of one girl's reawakening

Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.

Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive. - Goodreads

This is a slightly newer novel which I have been wanting to read for quite a while now. I love survival stories, and I was expecting this to be awesome. It did turn out to be a good book, but it was nothing outstanding, unfortunately. 

The events that occurred in this novel once the characters were on the mountain were VERY coincidental. Which they had to be, if the story was to go forward. But I had a tough time accepting some of the things that happened. One of the things I had trouble accepting was the fact that only two characters survived the plane crash, Jane and Paul, and luckily Paul was an avid rock climber! This meant that Paul knew exactly what to do in this situation, and there wasn't much of a learning process for Jane, as she just got told what to and what not to do.

Another minor problem I had was the two characters smoking a cigarette while still on the mountain. Smoking a cigarette while dehydrated is definitely not a good idea, and I don't know why they thought it was. Is there something wrong with them? I mean, if they had given up hope then I would have understood, but they were still pretty determined to survive.

That said, I really did like the overall message that was in this book about the value of life. I almost got a bit teary eyed at the end over some things that were said concerning wanting to live. 

This is by no means a bad book, and I definitely liked it, but it's not something I would recommend to everyone and I wouldn't reread it. 

07 November 2012

06 November 2012

The Devouring by Simon Holt

The Devouring by Simon Holt

The Devouring #1
Release Date: September 1, 2008
Publisher: Little Brown
Source: Bought
Rating: Enjoyable

When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.

To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?

The Devouring is an engrossing tale of terror that will have you wondering: what if your worst fears became your living nightmare? - Goodreads

Everyone was talking about this trilogy a year or so ago, and I immediately wanted to pick it up once I heard it was a YA horror. Those don't happen too often! As a fan of Darren Shan, I was excited to read some creepy stories. 

I really enjoyed The Devouring. I loved the prologue at the beginning that introduced the story and the Vours. It really set the tone: dark, creepy and spine tingling. The Vours were an amazing concept, and I think they would creep anyone out, because having a something take over your body, or a body belonging to someone you know, it probably most people's worst nightmare. 

The characters were interesting enough, though compared to the story and horror aspect, they didn't really stand out. I really liked them, though, and I loved what was revealed about them all towards the end. 

I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy, because the twists and turns in this one are making me crave the second book, and I can't wait to find out what happens with the characters, and between the characters and the Vours!

05 November 2012

New Releases: November 6 - 12, 2012

All links go to Goodreads!

This is the third book in the Immortal Beloved series, which I haven't read!

I also haven't started this series, but people seem to love it.

I haven't read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, although I do have it on my shelf. I've been told that the beginning is AMAZING, but then the romance and the ending in general are poor. Have any of you guys read TDoSaB?

This is about a girl whose mother dies, leaving her alone. She goes to work at a shop and finds friends and things. It sounds cute!

I'm surprised there aren't more releases this week, but I guess next week everything will explode so this is the calm before the storm. 

03 November 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: Day Two

Stats for Day Two:

Words Written in Day 2: 2400
Words Written in Total: 4400
Words Remaining: 45,600
Days Left: 28

I'm still finding it fairly easy to write. I've completed one chapter so far, and am part way into the second. It's my third scene in total. I decided to stop writing once I hit 2400 because a) it's a nice round number and b) I don't want to write like crazy at the beginning and then lose my way. So I've stopped writing, written some notes for Day Three so I know what needs to be done, and I'm now about to go and read Scent of Magic. 

How did your day go? Did you write more or less than you did during the first day of NaNo? And most importantly, are you enjoying yourself?

Stacking the Shelves (6)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Here's what I got this week:


The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima (this is the BEAUTIFUL UK cover)

I've been seeing this around for years now, and I finally decided to go ahead and pick it up. It was only a few pounds on the Amazon Markplace, so I think this is quite the steal. I can't wait to get to it!

Rua by Miranda Kavi

This was free on Amazon so I downloaded it straight away. The cover... blows my mind. 

What did you get this week? Anything to celebrate the start of NaNoWriMo? Feel free to leave your links below!