30 November 2013

November Wrap Up and December TBR

As expected, November was a busy month for me, with three birthdays in the family, the build up to Christmas, and a whole bunch of family drama. I expect December to be even busier, so I do wonder how my reading is going to go. My plan for the first week of December is to get all my December posts written so that I don't have to worry about those, and to get cracking with my January ones. 

Also in November, I went to see Catching Fire, and I'm going again tonight. SUCH a good film, you guys! It reawakened my love for Finnick, and Finnick/Katniss. I don't even care, they should have been endgame.

28 November 2013

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Source: Borrowed
Star Rating: ★★★
Rating: Enjoyable

Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.

Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?
Josie crouched behind the photon laser module and aligned it with the beam splitter at the other end of the lab table.
I am a little bit disappointed by 3:59. Everyone should know by now that I love stories about parallel universes. Since they starting springing up in YA last year, I have been hunting them down and trying to get to as many as possible. It's a great trend, as is the time travel one, and I am so pleased that the science fiction genre is blowing up. But... 3:59 wasn't all that great.

27 November 2013

Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein

Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Borrowed
Star Rating: ★★★★
Rating: Enjoyable

A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.
Killing someone’s easier than you think.
I love a good revenge story, and I adore thrillers, so I knew that Premeditated would be a book for me. Add to that the fact that I loved McQuein's debut, Arclight, and, well, we have a winner. After finishing this book and sitting on it for a while, I still feel pretty much the same about it. It's a great revenge story, packed with many different themes and topics, and without an overbearing romance.

26 November 2013

Top Ten Bookish Things I'm Thankful For

Top Ten Bookish Things I'm Thankful For

I think this is a Thanksgiving thing? We don't celebrate it in England but I'm doing this TTT because it looked like it could be fun :)

25 November 2013

New Releases: November 26 - December 2, 2013

Aside from Crash Into You, which I am a bit wary about, after the ridiculous relationship in Dare You To, I'm not particularly looking forward to any of these. Least of all Pawn, since The Goddess Test series was awful. AWFUL.

22 November 2013

The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle #1 
Release Date: September 18th, 2012 (UK)
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★


Even if Blue hadn’t been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.

But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.

This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.

This is the year she will fall in love.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Cycle #2
Release Date: September 17th, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★

Blue didn’t mean to fall for the Raven Boys, but she has - and the more her life entwines with theirs, the more dangerous it becomes.

Ronan is the most dangerous of all. he’s the haunted one, the darkest, the most raven.

His dreams invade reality and confuse what is true.

With magic growing stronger around them, now is a time to be wary. Before everything unravels... Friendships will be tested. Someone will get hurt.

And a kiss will be shared.

Okay, this review is kind of a two for one deal, because I read both The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves within a week of each other, despite having had the former lounging around on my bookshelves for almost a year. The reason for this was that I had read Stiefvater’s Shiver series and... I hadn’t been all that impressed, if I’m honest. I actually think that was more my fault than Stiefvater’s, because while her prose was beautifully lyrical, I just didn’t like either the story or the characters (Sam and Grace, oh honeys, I wish I could like you but you were just so terribly dull tbh), which was more a personal reason rather than a literary one. The Raven Cycle series however, is right up my street, and I’m going to tell you all why:

21 November 2013

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Chaos Walking #2
Release Date: May 4, 2009
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Bought
Recommended by: Daph & Tatum
Star Rating: 5
Rating: All Time Favourite

We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

"The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second title in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy.
"Your Noise reveals you, Todd Hewitt."
Let me tell you about how I had my life ruined by aliens. The Knife of Never Letting Go was a great book. I loved it, and I've been recommending it like crazy. But The Ask and the Answer completely blows its predecessor out of the water. So much happens in such a (relatively) short book, it's a wonder people's heads don't explode while they're reading it. I loved it, and before writing this review I was going to just give it a 4 stars/Essential rating, but now I've decided to go with All Time Favourite. Because my life is ruined and I am crying.

20 November 2013

Head Games by Joe Hill

Head Games by Joe Hill
Locke & Key #2
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Source: Bought
Star Rating: 4
Rating: Essential

New York Times bestselling writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez, the creators behind the acclaimed Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, return with the next chapter in the ongoing tale, Head Games. Following a shocking death that dredges up memories of their father's murder, Kinsey and Tyler Locke are thrown into choppy emotional waters, and turn to their new friend, Zack Wells, for support, little suspecting Zack's dark secret. Meanwhile, six-year-old Bode Locke tries to puzzle out the secret of the head key, and Uncle Duncan is jarred into the past by a disturbingly familiar face. Open your mind - the head games are just getting started.

Since reading Welcome to Lovecraft, I haven't been able to stop thinking about this world. The artwork is amazing, and the storyline is dark, creepy, and totally captivating. I had to order Head Games as soon as pay day arrived, because I simply couldn't wait any longer. The wait for it was awful, but I finally got my hands on it and I loved it! Locke & Key is a fantastic series, and I am so happy that the second graphic novel lived up - even surpassed! - my expectations.

19 November 2013


Last week I asked Twitter if there were any readathons coming up any time in the near future. The response: *crickets*. I noticed that some other people were craving a readathon too, so I decided to go ahead and host my own. 

A huge thank you is in order to Audris, who helped spur me on and sort out the dates that this readathon would be happening. Also Rose, for also helping with dates and for coming up with the hashtag, Tatum and Lauren for their input and encouragement, and Judith for coming up with an epic hashtag (#novamberthon), even though I won't use it because it would make me sound really bloody arrogant.

So, anyway, on with the details. The readathon is a very spur of the moment thing, so it's coming up fast, and I won't be hosting any challenges or giveaways or anything like that. I don't have time to plan that stuff in less than a week, so we're going to stick with good ol' reading, which is what we're here for, right?

Start: November 24, 2013 at midnight
End: December 1, 2013 at midnight
Rules: There are no rules.

What will I be reading? Well, I'm not really sure, since I don't know how many books I'm going to finish before Sunday. But here's a quick list, that I'll probably change several times before the readathon starts:

- Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder
- Just One Day by Gayle Foreman
- The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
- No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
- A Storm of Swords Part 2 by George R. R. Martin
- Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Go ahead and leave your sign up tweet/post/video in the linky below if you want. You don't have to officially sign up, I just like looking at other people's posts to see what they're planning on reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me! 


Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to Amber and Lauren

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to Amber and Lauren
I love recommending books, especially to people who are as passionate about reading as I am. Amber and Lauren are two of my favourite people, so I thought I'd harass encourage them to read some of the best most life-ruining novels I've ever read :')

18 November 2013

New Releases: November 19 - 25, 2013

I'm not sure what's happened this week, but I can only find three releases. BUT WHATEVER, THE FIERY HEART IS OUT. I'm not a huge fan of the Bloodlines series in general, mostly because it didn't live up to Vampire Academy at all, but I still really enjoy reading them. And Adrian remains hilarious.

15 November 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

“Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,” Wren said. “It’s the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”

I read Fangirl on a whim; I'd really enjoyed Eleanor & Park so I was pretty intrigued to see whether Fangirl would be as good. I still prefer Eleanor & Park, mostly because it deals with more serious issues, but Fangirl is, I think, a very cute novel that is so much fun to read.

14 November 2013

Twinmaker by Sean Williams

Twinmaker by Sean Williams
Twinmaker #1
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Star Rating: 1
Rating: Bland

You can be Improved....

In a near-future world in which technology can transport you anywhere instantly, can a coded note enable you to change your body—to become taller, stronger, more beautiful? Clair is pretty sure the offer is too good to be true. But her best friend, Libby, is determined to give it a try, longing for a new, improved version of herself.

What starts as Libby’s dream turns into Clair’s nightmare when Libby falls foul of a deadly trap. With the help of Jesse, the school freak, and a mysterious—but powerful—stranger called Q, Clair’s attempt to protect Libby leads her to an unimagined world of conspiracies and cover-ups. Soon her own life is at risk, and Clair is chased across the world in a desperate race against time.

Action and danger fuel Sean Williams’ tale of technology, identity, and the lengths to which one girl will go to save her best friend.

I requested this book at the last minute from Edelweiss, because I had recently been auto-approved for Balzar + Bray and I had heard a couple of people rave about this one. Of course, I had to stick my nose in and find out what all the hype was about. 

13 November 2013

The Uprising by Lisa M. Stasse

The Uprising by Lisa M. Stasse
The Forsaken #2
Release Date: November 7, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Orchard Books
Source: Publisher
Star Rating: 1
Rating: Troll

Alenna is being hunted. She can run and hide. Or she can stand and fight. Alenna is being chased by the government that destroyed her life. Determined to strike back, she joins the uprising. But victory has a high price. Will she risk everything and return to the Wheel? Or will she leave Liam, the boy she loves, to his fate? Battered. Bloodied. Defiant. Alenna's fight for survival continues.
I sit in an uncomfortable metal chair, facing a row of six scientists in white lab coats. These are my inquisitors.
The romance in this book ruined it for me. I was so excited to see Alenna and co. start to fight back against the oppressive government who sent them to the island in the first place. I mean, this is called The UPRISING, after all. However, not much happened in this book aside from the constant "I love you"'s and "I don't want you to get hurt"'s, much to the disgust of everyone involved.

12 November 2013

Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Redesign

Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Redesign
hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Like most book bloggers/lovers I know, I judge a book by its cover. All the time. And you know what, I feel no guilt about that. Covers are supposed to look appealing and enticing, and if they're not then they're not doing their job. Finding covers that I actually wanted to get rid of was more difficult than I thought it would be. Apparently I only add pretty books to my shelves. Oops.

11 November 2013

New Releases: November 12 - 17, 2013

This week in books is looking a little more packed than the previous couple of weeks have been. I'm particularly looking forward to The F-It List, and Save the Enemy and Loud Awake and Lost both sound rather good. Nothing I would kill for, though.

08 November 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
The Grisha #2
Release date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Source: Bought.
Rating: 3/5

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

*contains some spoilers because Tatum has no control*

Siege and Storm picks up where Shadow and Bone left off - Mal and Alina are on the run with The Darkling in pursuit of them. Alina is still struggling between her darker nature and the girl she used to be, as well the unavoidable connection she has with The Darkling. New characters are introduced, all of them fantastic and of course Mal and Alina continue their tedious ~romance.

07 November 2013

The Trap by Andrew Fukuda

The Trap by Andrew Fukuda
The Hunt #3
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Source: Publisher
Star Rating: 3
Rating: Enjoyable

After barely escaping the Mission alive, Gene and Sissy face an impossible task: staying alive long enough to stop an entire world bent on their destruction. Bound on a train heading into the unknown with the surviving Mission girls, Gene, Sissy, David, and Epap must stick together and use everything they have to protect each other and their only hope: the cure that will turn the blood-thirsty creatures around them into humans again. Now that they know how to reverse the virus, Gene and Sissy have one final chance to save those they love and create a better life for themselves. But as they struggle to get there, Gene's mission sets him on a crash course with Ashley June, his first love . . . and his deadliest enemy.
The train arrives in the dead of day.
As a whole, The Hunt series is a pretty good one. I loved the first book in the series, despite the similarities it shared with The Hunger Games, the second was great, and The Trap wraps things up really well. It concludes all the mysteries from the first two books, and answers most of the questions that I had. I didn't enjoy it as much as The Prey, which is my favourite out of the three, but it was still a good book and it kept me entertained the whole way through.

06 November 2013

DNF: Night Witches by L. J. Adlington

Night Witches by L. J. Adlington
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Source: Publisher
Star Rating: DNF
Rating: DNF

Pages Read: 50

Rain Aranoza is a teenage bomber-pilot from Rodina, a nation of science and fact ruled by the all knowing Aura, where the belief in witches or any type of superstition is outlawed. Rain's regiment is made up of only teenage girls and their role is vital to the war effort against the Crux, a nation of faith and belief, where nature and God are celebrated and worshipped.

But Rain is struggling with another battle. She's always had a sense that her nature is different from everyone else's, and that a dormant power threatens to burst out of her.

When she encounters a young Scrutiner she falls in love with him, but is torn between what she has been taught is right, and what feels right. As her understanding of her latent power grows, the enemy threatens both her friends and her love. She can no longer ignore the power but she must choose how she uses it ...
But what will she lose in the process?

In the past, I never used to post reviews of books that I didn't finish. I didn't feel like I could write enough about them for the post to be considered a review. But I have changed my mind, and decided to give this a try. Please don't class this as an "official" review, more of my jumbled thoughts on the book and why I wasn't able to finish it.

It's probably best to jump straight into this, and tell you the reason that I stopped reading. Well, on page 13, "the most beautiful boy I've ever seen" showed up. Yeah. Page 13. After that, I knew this book would just be about the romance, like so many YA books are, so I must admit that I didn't try very hard to get into it. 

05 November 2013

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On

I read a hell of a lot of series, so much so that I even help run an entire blog dedicated to helping people keep up with the ones they're reading, because I feel their pain. But, despite being in the middle of dozens upon dozens of series right now, there are only a few that I am dying to get my hands on. Some are not yet released, others I just need to buy. I haven't included the ones that are already on my TBR shelf, because that feels like cheating.

04 November 2013

New Releases: November 5 - 11, 2013

This week is a good week for new releases! I've already read The Trap, and while it wasn't amazing, I think people are going to really like the way it ends. It gave me shivers! I'm very excited for Champion, and Broken sounds rather good. Other than that, this post mostly consists of a bunch of sequels in series that I have yet to start or haven't yet caught up on.

03 November 2013

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Demon's Lexicon #1
Release date: June 2nd 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Source: Bought

Nick and his brother Alan are on the run with their mother, who was once the lover of a powerful magician. When she left him, she stole an important charm - and he will stop at nothing to reclaim it. Now Alan has been marked with the sign of death by the magician's demon, and only Nick can save him. But to do so he must face those he has fled from all his life - the magicians - and kill them. So the hunted becomes the hunter...but in saving his brother, Nick discovers something that will unravel his whole past...

“The word 'home', it seemed, once learned, was a hard one to forget.”

The Demon's Lexicon, I think, can be best described as Supernatural set in England. And depending on your viewpoint of the show, it does many things better. So we have our protagonist, Nick, and his brother Alan - laughing at the generic English names tbh - living on the run with their mother, who is wanted by a powerful dark magician for ~reasons. We then have Jamie and his sister Mae, who are thrown together with Nick and Alan, also because of ~reasons. It is the bond between these two sets of siblings that lie at the heart of this novel, and while the plot moves at a staggeringly fast pace with brilliant twists that make it near impossible to put the book down for any extended period of time, it is the scenes between these four characters that move the novel from 'good' to 'fantastic'. Brennan never forgets that characters drive stories and as a result each of the four characters are vivid, unique and utterly heartbreaking.

02 November 2013

October Wrap Up and November TBR

The month of October started out really well, as far as reading goes. I read some amazing books in the beginning, and I was sure people would think I was crazy for rating most of them between four and five stars. Then, at the end of the month, things took a downward spiral, and I ended up really disliked the last two books that I read. But it's fine, November's going to be great, I can tell. 

01 November 2013

Epic Recs: November Books and Announcement

A few months ago, Judith and I started up an impromptu book club called Epic Recs. The aim of this was to force each other to read books that we have previously loved. You know, because Judith is a self proclaimed book pusher, and I just like forcing people to do things. It was a bit troubling when I hated Shatter Me, and I thought our friendship was over for good, but other than that it has been a great experience. Some of you showed a lot of enthusiasm for this book club of ours, and we had a few requests to open it up to our readers. And that is precisely what we're doing!