31 July 2013

July Wrap Up and August TBR

July turn out a lot better than I thought it would! I mean, I caught a horrible cold and lost my voice for a few days, but the fact that I read a bunch of amazing books made up for it. I didn't despise any of my ten reads this month, and, like I just mentioned, I finally reached my goal of double figures! I'm so pleased. 

30 July 2013

Zom-B City by Darren Shan

Zom-B City by Darren Shan
Zom-B #3
Release Date: March 14, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable
Buy it: Amazon UK

After escaping a secret military complex amid the zombie apocalypse, B roams the streets of a very changed London, dirty and dangerous and eerily quiet, except for the shuffling of the undead. Once again, B must find a way to survive against brain-eating zombies --and now also against those who have seized control of the city. With danger lurking around every corner and no one to trust, B must decide whether to join the creepy Mr. Dowling in exchange for his protection. When everyone around you is dead, where do you turn for help? - Goodreads

Is it just me, or do Shan's third books tend to be the worst in every series? I'm pretty sure I disliked the third books in both the Demonata series, and the Saga of Darren Shan, a lot more than the rest of the books. That's not to say I didn't enjoy them, but they weren't as great. This is such a funny trend.

29 July 2013

New Releases: July 30 - August 5, 2013

I hadn't realised I was so behind on the Lying Game series until I looked up the releases for this week! This is crazy. I definitely need to find the time to catch up at some point. Same goes for the Mythos Academy books, which is a series that I haven't even started yet, but I've been wanting to read it forever. The Boy on the Bridge sounds really interesting, and I know a couple of people have enjoyed it. Same goes for Bubble World, which I definitely wouldn't have picked up normally!

I also included The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic, even though it's not YA, because I think it sounds excellent!

26 July 2013

Cover Reveal: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Secret by Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Kensington Books  

Nowhere is safe. Not even home…

Nick Merrick is stretched to the breaking point.

Keep his grades sky-high or he’ll never escape his hometown.

Keep his brother’s business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.

Keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his own twin—or he’ll lose his family.

Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who’s supposed to be his “girlfriend’s” partner.

Of course there’s also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. There’s a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.

Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?

Okay, so I adore this series. You know how I often talk about how I'm looking for books that are either about people with elemental powers, or that include time travel or parallel universes? Well, this is one of the series that kicked off the former of those obsessions. I read Storm and Spark (books one and two) a while ago because everyone seemed to be talking about them, and now I can't get enough! Brigid is one of my favourite YA authors now, and I'm very impressed with the direction she is taking this series. I can't wait for Secret, Nick's book, since I read the Breathless novella and now I feel like I'm being tortured by this wait.

Anyway, so, the cover. What do you guys think? I was expecting the brothers to be on the cover again until Brigid mentioned it was different than the rest. I'm a bit disappointed that Nick's love interest isn't on there, but still. I cannot wait for this book, you guys! And do you want to know another reason I'm excited for it? "This is by far my steamiest novel yet (in both relationships), and I'm a little surprised that my editor didn't make me change anything. Maybe she didn't notice." Yep, that's what Brigid said. I am so ready for this. Are you?

Brigid Kemmerer is the author of The Elemental Series, about a family of four brothers who control the elements, and their battle with those who want them dead. Storm, Spark, and Spirit are available now wherever books are sold. To read the novella introducing Nick’s story, be sure to check out Breathless available as an e-book only from major e-book retailers. You can learn more about Brigid and the Elemental boys at www.brigidkemmerer.com.

You can read my reviews of the previous books in this series by clicking on the covers below. You know, in case you wanted to see if this is your kind of thing. 

25 July 2013

Room by Emma Donoghue

Room by Emma Donoghue
Release Date: September 13, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable
Buy it: Amazon UK

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. - Goodreads
Today I'm five.
I went into Room knowing very little about it. As you may know, I don't read synopses of books that I haven't read, nor do I tend to read reviews unless they're from a trusted source. I like to go in with a completely clean slate. So when I started this and discovered it's told from a young child's perspective, I was a bit thrown off. But in a good way, I promise.

This is one of those books that I'm going to have to split up into sections in order to review it, because it's quite difficult for me to get my thoughts straight.

24 July 2013

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential
Buy it: Amazon UK

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine? - Goodreads
Minnie's face was deathly pale.
I'm fairly certain that most people think I'm slightly disturbed when I announce my fascination with death, murders, etc. I can't help what I love, and creepy stories or murder mysteries tend to draw me in. I love having no clue who the killer is, and struggling to put the clues together before time runs out. So when I heard that Ten is a novel about a bunch of teenagers who get murdered while on a creepy island, I was all over that. Unfortunately, due to the ridiculous pricing, it took me a while to get to it. 

23 July 2013

Top Ten Words or Topics That Will Make Me GTFO Of There

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Words or Topics That Will Make Me GTFO of There
aka, things that will make me stay away from a book

22 July 2013

New Releases: July 23 - 29, 2013

There are quite a few intriguing releases this week! Thankfully, since last week was rather sparse. Which books are you looking forward to? I'm personally dying to read Extremities (thanks, Christina!), The Fury, OCD Love Story, and The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong. I need to hurry up and read the first books in the Something Strange and Deadly, and Ashes series. They sound GREAT.

19 July 2013

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Release Date: April 12, 2011 (UK)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Gift
Recommended by: Tatum
Goodreads Stars: 5
Rating: All Time Favourite

Buy it: Amazon UK

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. - Goodreads

My father was a king and the son of kings.
I honestly wouldn't expect me to be very coherent in this review. It's been a couple of weeks since I finished The Song of Achilles, and I'm still having a breakdown over it. Thanks a lot, Tatum. 

I both love and hate Tatum for sending me this. she knows how I love my mythology, and how Ancient History tends to ruin my life, and yet she still decided to go right ahead with recommending this one. And yep, my post-Spartacus life is officially ruined. I haven't read the epic poem (yet!) but this makes me even more desperate to check it out. Right. Now.

18 July 2013

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee
Penryn and the End of Days #1
Release Date: May 23, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton (UK)
Source: Publisher
Recommended by: Debby
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

Buy it: Amazon UK

It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back... - Goodreads

Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious.
I picked this one up during the Debut-a-Thon, despite frequently being told that it's not a 2013 debut (it totally is, guys, it was only published in the UK this year!), mostly because Debby wouldn't shut up about it. I mean it, every time I mentioned needing a new read, she started shouting about Angelfall. And I have to take this opportunity to thank her for it, because I can now confirm that Debby has joined Judith in the Queens of Book Pushing Club.

Angelfall first entered my radar back when it was released in the US, and I knew it was receiving a lot of amazingly positive reviews, but... angels. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of angel books. There are a couple that I have loved, but once the they started to become more heavily involved with religion I was out of there. Still, I got sent this as a surprise from the publisher, and friends had highly recommended it, so I decided to give it a go. And I'm very glad I did!

17 July 2013

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
Strands of Bronze and Gold #1
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Random House
Source: Bought
Rating: 1 out of 5
Amber: *cackles*

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world. - Goodreads

So if any of you follow Amber or myself on Twitter, you'll already be familiar with my feelings regarding this utter travesty of a novel. I really, really did not like it and this review will almost definitely be filled with rage so I figured I should warn you before we get started XD There are also spoilers because I can't be tamed.

I was already familiar with the Bluebeard story by Charles Perrault (which, in case you're worried about clicking the link, is actually a Public Domain story because it's old as the hills) so I was quite excited to read this adaptation because I'd enjoyed the original so much. ALAS. Strands of Bronze and Gold, in some ways, follows the original quite closely and in other ways it deviates inexplicably into the realm of nonsensical and more than that, pretty bloody offensive. Bluebeard, a nickname (just go with it) in this novel given to the Monsieur de Cressac, remains a mysteriously rich bachelor with a penchant for pretty wives but not so much for the old ball and chain. Sophia, like her original counterpart, is curious, naive and beautiful who is initially fascinated by de Cressac.

15 July 2013

New Releases: July 16 - 22, 2013

I couldn't find many releases for this week. I don't know if it's my researching skills, or if there's just nothing much being published. Huh.

12 July 2013

In the After by Demitria Lunetta

In the After by Demitria Lunetta
In the After #1
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

Buy it: Amazon UK

They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more. - Goodreads

 After six months and only a handful of great debuts, I went into In the After with low expectations. How could I not, after being disappointed by the likes of Taken and Reboot? But I think my lower expectations paid off, because I ended up really enjoying In the After. The siblings' relationship was a drawing point, and I also really enjoyed the survival feel that this had going on as the characters struggled to survive the apocalypse.

10 July 2013

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 5
Rating: Essential

Buy it: Amazon UK

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down. - Goodreads

If Judith has ever recommended this to you, raise your hand. If you've read it, then you pay lower your hand. Keep it up if you've ignored Judith's persistent tweeting, or have put off reading this due to being busy/having other books to read/not believing it's your thing. Is your hand still raised? Good. Now hit yourself with it.

09 July 2013

Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations

I'm actually quite impressed by the amount of positivity I've got going on in this post. I was expecting to be ranting about a bunch of shitty movies, but I've picked out quite a few awesome ones. Read on, my lovelies.

08 July 2013

New Releases: July 9 - 16, 2013

I need to hurry up and read Quarantine! Everyone seems to be excited for The Saints, so I neeeeeeed to hurry up and read the first book. It sounds awesome!

05 July 2013

Monthly Wrap Up: June 2013 + Debut-a-thon

Once again, I didn't reach my goal of ten books, however I did start my job (which I love) and I did host the debut-a-thon. So I shouldn't be too hard on myself, right? I had a really great month in June, and I hope this new trend continues!

04 July 2013

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Goodreads Stars: 2
Rating: Bland

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead… - Goodreads

When I saw that Lauren Barnholdt had another contemporary coming out, I was so excited. And while I didn't know this was a companion novel to Two-way Street, since I apparently don't know how to read book covers, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Imagine how happy I was when S&S approved me on Edelweiss! That's only happened to me once since this first time. Unfortunately (yes, negativity is coming), I couldn't get into this. I just wasn't a fan of the characters.

03 July 2013

2013 Debut Showcase: July

The purpose of this feature is to show you guys which YA debuts I'm most looking forward to, and which ones I've enjoyed. Hopefully it'll also help build some buzz around some of these debuts. There will be one post at the beginning of each month showing the top three upcoming debuts I'm most looking forward to and excited for, and it will also wrap up the previous month by showing which debuts I read and enjoyed.

01 July 2013

New Releases: July 2 - 8, 2013

I honestly did not know that R. L. Stine was still writing books. Anyway, once I got over my initial shock, I noticed that quite a few decent-sounding books are coming out this week! It almost makes up for the slump that happened during June. I'm definitely looking forward to Shutdown, and I'm curious about This is W.A.R. and Truly Madly Deadly. I love a good mystery!