31 January 2011

January Wrap Up

A quick post to show what I have read, reviewed and bought in January. 

Read and Reviewed:
1. Choker by Elizabeth Woods
2. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
3. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
4. My Soul To Take by Rachel Vincent
5. Inside Out by Maria V Snyder
6. Outside In by Maria V Snyder
7. The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton
8. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
9. Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling
10. Alpha by Rachel Vincent

Total: 10

I won't put a full list, as it'll be too long! But if you want to see what I bought this month, have a look at my IMM posts: IMM#12 IMM#13

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Total: 25

I'm actually really impressed by how much I managed to read this month. Usually I average on four to five books per month - that being a good month - but in January I just about doubled that! Are you proud of me? I still have a few reviews to do this week, so I'll update this list once I'm done with those!

I hope you all had a brilliant month, and that you have a brilliant February! 

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

The It's Monday... meme is hosted by the wonderful Sheila at Book Journey and takes place every Monday. The aim is to share books that you read in the past week, and what you're planning to read this week. 

Last week I read:
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent (Review coming soon!)
All in all, this was a really great YA debut from the lovely Rachel Vincent! I was definitely kept intrigued, and it was so original!

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (Review coming soon!)
Ah, a new favourite! I fell hard for this book. Very hard. And now I don't know what to do. Do I read the next two books in the series, or will it ruin the magic of Alex and Brittany's relationship? I have yet to decide. Thoughts are welcome!

I'm currently reading:
XVI by Julia Karr 
I am determined to finish this!

This week I plan to read:
I honestly have no idea yet. The Iron King, perhaps?

I'm taking a long break from Matched by Ally Condie. Something about it is just not drawing me in.

I didn't read as many books as I did last week, mainly because I'm rushing to finish my ICT work. Although my average is usually one book a week, so two and a bit isn't bad!

Sorry I didn't do an In My Mailbox at the weekend, I just didn't have time to record all of the books that I got! I'll do a huge haul at the end of this week though.

Please feel free to leave a link below to your It's Monday... post!

28 January 2011

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question:
"What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011?  Why are you anticipating that book?"

My Answer:
This question was quite an easy one for me! Which is surprising, because usually I have to sit and ponder over these Hop questions. I picked City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. This is probably going to be a popular one, but I had to answer honestly didn't I? I've been waiting for this book to come out ever since Cassandra Clare announced that she's writing three more books in the TMI series. Now I just can't wait to see some more Jace! Ehem, of course, I want to see more of Clary and Simon too... *shifty eyes*

This week's question:

What is/was your favorite subject in school?

Hmm.. this one is slightly harder! At the moment, I'm only studying ICT, which I quite enjoy. When I was doing my GCSEs, my favourite subject would probably have been history or English. But we had rubbish teachers, and so I didn't really feel into it at the time. Now I miss them! 
I wish I had a better Spanish teacher, because I am in love with that language, but my teacher was horrific. But now I'm teaching myself, and my great aunt (who lives in Mallorca) is helping me. I love it!

27 January 2011

Do You Recommend This Book?

Hello ladies and gentlemen! I was just wondering if you guys could help me. 

I have just finished reading Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and absolutely loved it. I fell in love with Alex and Brittany, and this book has become one of my all-time favourites. I'm reading lots of five star books this year, huh?

Anyway, I know there's a sequel called Rules of Attraction, and I wanted to know your opinions of it. Do you think I should read it? The main reason I am a bit hesitant is because I know it's about Carlos and another girl, not Alex and Brittany. I get that Alex and Brittany's story was pretty much wrapped up in the first book, but I'm worried that reading Rules of Attraction will take away from the magic of the first one - as I've heard the plot is quite similar. 

Also, how much of Alex do we see in Rules of Attraction? Not much, I'm guessing, but I'd like to know! I have a bit of a crush on him. 

Please let me know your thoughts! 

Book Review: Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Sixteen-year-old Cara Lange has been a loner ever since she moved away from her best and only friend, Zoe, years ago. She eats lunch with the other girls from the track team, but they're not really her friends. Mostly she spends her time watching Ethan Gray from a distance, wishing he would finally notice her, and avoiding the popular girls who call her "Choker" after a humiliating incident in the cafeteria.

Then one day Cara comes home to find Zoe waiting for her. Zoe's on the run from problems at home, and Cara agrees to help her hide. With her best friend back, Cara's life changes overnight. Zoe gives her a new look and new confidence, and next thing she knows, she's getting invited to parties and flirting with Ethan. Best of all, she has her BFF there to confide in.

But just as quickly as Cara's life came together, it starts to unravel. A girl goes missing in her town, and everyone is a suspect—including Ethan. Worse still, Zoe starts behaving strangely, and Cara begins to wonder what exactly her friend does all day when she's at school. You're supposed to trust your best friend no matter what, but what if she turns into a total stranger? -
Visit Choker's Goodreads page

My Review:

The plot in this book picks up pretty quickly. It has to, as this book has little over 200 pages. The story follows Cara through her day-to-day life, and especially focuses on her relationship with her friend Zoe, who has moved into Cara’s bedroom with her. This relationship develops throughout the book, and is really the main focus, and it shows Cara starting to realise that maybe Zoe isn’t such a great friend after all. However, she’s her best friend and she can’t just make her leave. 

The murder mystery part of the plot kept me very intrigued. I was enjoying reading about it, and guessing who the murderer could be. It will definitely keep you interested, even if you're a hardcore CSI addict like myself. 

I felt so sorry for Cara when she was being bullied. I really liked her character, and when she grew more confident with herself I was literally cheering for her. 

I won’t say much about Zoe, because the whole mystery that surrounds her in the beginning is amazing and yet terrifying. 

I really loved Cara’s love interest, Ethan. I thought he was really sweet, even though he was the boyfriend of one of the bullies who started calling Cara “Choker”. I wish we had seen more of him. 

The book is super creepy at times. I read it just before going to sleep, and I admit I had shivers running down my spine.

Now to my favourite part - the ending! If you were starting to get a little bored of this book, then I do urge you to keep reading, just for the amazing ending! I’m not going to say too much about it, but I will say you learn who the killer is, and it may come to a shock to a lot of you. There were a few hints thrown in throughout the books, and if you picked up on those then you may well have figured it out (I did) but you have to keep reading to see if your theory was correct, right? And even if you did guess correctly, learning about why the killer did it is especially interesting and captivating!

Let me tell you, this story is one that will stay with you for a long time!

Rating: 5/5

Published on January 4, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Edition: Hardcover; 233 pages

26 January 2011

Giveaway Winners Announced!

This has taken me a little while, because I was trying to coincide this post with a video on Youtube. But, Youtube decided to be all rubbish and slow, so I'll just have to put a video up later on. 
So without further ado, I'd like to take this opportunity to announce the winners of the two giveaways I was hosting! 

The winner of the UK giveaway for Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf is:

#12 - Hollie Marsh

Congratulations Hollie! You have been emailed, and I have forwarded your details to the publisher so that they can send your copy of the book to you!

The winner of the International giveaway for Nightshade is:

#52 - Olga! (Fantazy88

Congrats Olga! As you know, I'll be sending the book as soon as I can. Hopefully by the end of this week!

I also want to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered these two giveaways! I have over 150 entries and over 60 people enter altogether, which I think is just amazing. Thank you all for being so wonderful and lovely! Hopefully I'll get to host another giveaway in the future!

25 January 2011

Teaser Tuesday! (4)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser Tuesday for My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent:

The unspoken shriek burned my throat, and if I unclenched my jaws - if I lost control - my scream would shatter eardrums all over Taboo. It would put the thumping dance beat to shame, and possibly blow out the speakers - if not the windows. - pg 18.

 I hope this teaser gets you interested. I'm really enjoying this book! I've read Rachel Vincent's Shifters series, and I found that the writing in this is ten times better! She's definitely improving!

24 January 2011

Kay Scarpetta Reading Challenge

Hosted HERE
The goal is to have read the whole Kay Scarpetta series by August 2012. My auntie recommended this series to me back in the summer, knowing that I loved books, and I managed to read the first couple of pages of Postmortem. I bought a copy, but never managed to read any more, due to me buying hundreds (or what feels like hundreds anyway!) of YA books. So I thought I'd sign up to this challenge! I don't think I'll be reviewing them, but I may decide to review them later on on another blog, as this one is for YA only!

1. Postmortem - OWN
2. Body of Evidence
3. All That Remains
4. Cruel & Unusual
5. The Body Farm
6. From Potter's Field
7. Cause of Death
8. Unnatural Exposure
9. Point of Origin
10. Black Notice
11. The Last Precinct
12. Blow Fly
13. Trace
14. Predator
15. Book of the Dead
16. Scarpetta
17. The Scarpetta Factor
18. Post Mortuary

  • Challenge will run February 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012. Participants can join at any time throughout the challenge.
  • Create an intro post, linking back to this post.
  • Sign up using the Linky below. Make sure to add your post about this challenge, not your blog home page.
  • All forms of books acceptable (audiobooks, eBooks, etc.), rereads are allowed and these books and be used for other challenges.
  • You don't need a blog to participate. Just ignore the Linky and sign up in the comments. Leave any thoughts about the books on the challenge's review linky post.
  • Reviews, while always appreciated, are not mandatory.

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming. - Goodreads

After all the hype surrounding this debut YA novel, I was a little nervous about starting it. I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to my extremely high expectations, and I’d be disappointed, after spending so much money on it. 

I was wrong to worry though. 

Across the Universe was an amazing read. The plot started off slowly - for me - but it was still enough to pull me in. The first few chapters were spent introducing the reader to the new world inside the spaceship Godspeed. The technology and life there was so interesting, and my favourite part of the novel - apart from the murder mystery! - was probably reading about how the people of Godspeeds’ life is now. 

The plot picks up very quickly after the main female protagonist, Amy is awoken from her centuries long sleep by someone who is running around the ship and trying to kill the frozen people. 

The two main characters, Amy and Elder, are very interesting. Amy is from Earth, and has no idea about life on Godspeed. Elder was born and raised on the ship, yet he hasn’t really discovered the whole truth about what goes on in it. 

The chapters alternated between Amy and Elder’s points of view, and although this was only my second time reading a YA book set out this way, I loved it. I loved knowing what each character was thinking, and what they were both doing - something we wouldn’t know if it was from one person’s POV. And yet, even though we were inside their heads, there was still so much to discover!

All in all, the story gripped me from the word go, and I was unable to put this book down. For a story of almost 400 pages, it went surprisingly fast! The ending was outstanding, and it was so much fun trying to figure out who the killer was until the very end. Outstanding.

Rating: 5/5

You can buy Across the Universe here:

Series: Across the Universe #1
Published on January 11, 2011 by Razorbill
Edition: Hardback; 398 pages

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

The It's Monday... meme is hosted HERE and takes place every Monday. The aim is to share books that you read in the past week, and what you're planning to read this week. 

Last week I read:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Review)
The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton (Review)
Across the Universe by Beth Revis (Review)
Choker by Elizabeth Woods

I am currently reading:

Matched by Allie Condie
XVI by Julia Karr - I plan to finish it this week. 

This week I plan to read:

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

I actually really impressed myself by reading four books last week! My usual pace is just one book a week. I'm not sure where I found the time to read four! But let's not complain. I'm definitely not setting my standards as high this week, but I shall definitely try my best. 

What about you? What are your plans for the coming week? I'd love to know!

23 January 2011

In My Mailbox - (13)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. The idea is to share with your readers and other bloggers which books you bought or were given in the past week. 

0.4 by Mike Lancaster
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
The Bronze Horseman by Paulinna Simons
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
For Review:
A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

I hope all of you got some wonderful books in your mailbox this week. Let me know what you got!
Happy reading everyone.
Please excuse the fact that the video is layered over the side bar. I tried to fix it, but I couldn't :(

21 January 2011

Guest Post!

Today I made my first ever guest post on another blog! I wrote a shorter review of Inside Out on Alice from The Reader Room's new meme "Read, Review, Recommend" and today the post is up. Go and check it out!

I'm so thrilled that Alice asked me to write a post for her blog - as I've already said, it's my first ever guest post! Alice is really wonderful, and if you aren't following her already, you really should. And to make her even more brilliant, she's from England. *grin* 

Go go go!

Book Review: Inside Out by Maria V Snyder

Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.
I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution. - Goodreads

My Review:

Having never read any of Maria V Snyder’s works in the past, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I bought it from Amazon. However, what I found was an epic dystopian novel packed with a fast paced plot and fun, interesting and well developed characters. 

The world in which the novel is set was brilliantly described by Snyder, and I felt so absorbed in the book it was as if I was actually there in the Inside, living through Trella’s eyes. There was history behind everything, and I loved delving deeper and deeper and learning so much about the scrubs and the uppers. The division of the classes was brilliantly done, along with the descriptions of the levels and just the Inside in general. 

Trella, our main protagonist, is a scrub who lives on the lower levels, earning her living through cleaning the pipes that are all over the Inside. She’s a fantastic main character, I really loved her voice and her personality, and I felt she was the perfect choice to lead a rebellion against those who control her. Usually I dislike female lead characters as they tend to have a very annoying voice, and are extremely whiney. However, Trella has neither of those qualities which is why I loved her.

As with every teenage novel, Trella also has a love interest whose name is Riley. Their connection is clear from the start, and Riley was a great character and was fun to read about.

There were plenty of secondary characters, which would normally be overwhelming, but Snyder pulls it off very well and I found it easy to differentiate between all of the minor characters, and they each had their own distinctive personality. My favourite secondary character was Jacy, and although we didn’t see as much of him as I would have liked, I was kind of ‘shipping him and Trella. *Grin*

The ending was a huge surprise, which I did not see coming, and it left me wanting so much more! Luckily I had a galley of the second book, Outside In, waiting for me to open and start reading! 

Rating: 5/5

  • Series: Inside Out #1
  • Paperback: UK edition; 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Books (1 Jan 2011)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778304111

20 January 2011

The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton
Mind Readers #1
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Publisher: Smashwords
Rating: Enjoyable

Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows that Cameron can read minds. When Lewis Douglas arrives, he tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a place where she meets other Mind Readers. But when the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. - Goodreads

I’ve always been interested in stories about people with special powers, kind of like the X-Men, and so I was thrilled when I received a copy of The Mind Readers to review. It sounded so amazing when I read about the main protagonist, Cameron, being able to read minds.
The plot takes off quickly, Cameron and her friends find a dead body, and Cameron hears the murderer’s thoughts. Now, I thought the whole story was going to be about Cameron investigating the murder, but boy, was I wrong. It is so much more than that.

Cameron is an interesting main character, she really struggles with her power to read minds, and although she uses to it to become popular and to fit in at school, she's really not completely happy with that. She hates that she can't tell anyone about her power.

So when Lewis turns up, and he seems to know all about Cameron, she is heavily suspicious yet secretly thrilled. Lewis is a hot and mysterious new boy at school, who takes an interest in Cameron. I did like Lewis at first, and the whole mystery surrounding him, however he did start to annoy me as the story progressed. I would say why, but that would give far too much away!

The other characters are also well done - especially Aaron - but I would have loved to see more of Maddox, who I just thought was brilliant. I absolutely LOVE what I've read of him so far.

The ending.. oh the ending! The story end at a rather large cliffhanger, and I am now dying to read more about Cameron and her world. I don't think there is any news of a sequel just yet, but I'm hoping that something will be announced soon!

Overall, I love this book, and would recommend it to any YA paranormal fan. The only main thing I didn't like about this book is that it's so short (at 170 pages, it's not short short, but after reading 400+ page novels, it felt short).