28 February 2011

February Wrap Up

A quick post to show what went on in the month of February - it was a brilliant month!

Books Read and Reviewed:
1. Hungry For You by Lynsay Sands (Adult)
2. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (Blog | Youtube)
3. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting (Blog | Youtube)
4. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (Blog | Youtube)
5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Blog | Youtube)
6. An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris (Adult)
7. My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent (Blog | Youtube)
8. Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen (Blog | Youtube)
9. Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles (Blog | Youtube)
10. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Blog | Youtube)

11. VA: Frostbite by Richelle Mead (Blog | Youtube)

Total: 11

Books Bought:
IMM#14 IMM#15 IMM#16

Post You Shouldn't Have Missed!:
- Guest Posts from Alice and Cicely
- Guest Post from Julie Kagawa (The author of The Iron Fey series)
- Supernaturally Cover Reveal
- Vanish Cover Reveal

Overall, aside from my laptop breaking down and then the internet connection also failing, I had a pretty good month! How was your February? Feel free to link me to your wrap up posts, if you have them. 

Wishing you all an excellent month of March!

27 February 2011

In My Mailbox - (16)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
Thank goodness  I'm back into the weekly book hauls. That means that now there aren't going to be videos that are 10+ minutes long, showing over 20 books! At least for a while. I'm also restricting my spending for a while, because I'm saving for both my holiday in July and my future backpacking trip to Australia. 

This week I bought (all links go to Amazon US):

- I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
- Heist Society by Ally Carter
- Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
- I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
- Candor by Pam Bachorz
- Salem Falls by Jodie Picoult

And Supernatural Season Four on DVD!!! YES!!

26 February 2011

Book Review: Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Release Date: April 1st, 2007
Publisher: Flux (US)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Recommended? Give it a try.
Buy the Book: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares—has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other. - Goodreads page
I actually had a bit of trouble stirring up a review for this book.. so bear with me: 

I have to say, after reading Perfect Chemistry and hearing that Leaving Paradise is a better book (from some people at least) I was excited to start reading. However, I was left disappointed. 

Maybe I had set my standards too high, or maybe this book is just not for me.
The overall plot was, like in Perfect Chemistry, rather cliché, but I can live with that. There’s nothing wrong with clichés! However, if you nitpick (as I do) then I think you’ll find a few things that you dislike about this book. I won’t go into too much detail in case of spoilers, but the ending was a major throwback for me. As was the fact that this book seemed to go in circles.

I did not like the ending. Perhaps that’s because I know that there is a sequel, but I think this book could have benefited from being a standalone novel, and leaving the ending as it is. I just felt that the last couple of chapters seemed pretty pointless, and had too much lined up for the sequel, rather than focussing on the current story. 

As with Perfect Chemistry, the story is told from the alternating points of view of Caleb - an ‘ex-con’ - and Maggie, the girl that Caleb ran over in his car. As characters go, I felt that these two were fairly average in their personalities. 

Although the two had amazing back-stories, and there was so much to tell about their lives, I felt that their personalities fell a little flat. 

I found that Caleb was annoying and, at times, incredibly selfish. This trait didn’t seem to be developed or go away during the novel, and that’s one of the main things that put me off this character. 

To be completely honest, the writing style is one of the few things that drew me into this book and kept me reading. If Simone Elkeles didn’t have such an amazing skill of keeping me interested, I don’t think I would have made it to the end of the book. 

25 February 2011

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday


Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it...

I have two favourites that I just can't choose from. The first is the CW's Supernatural (Friday nights, 9pm EST) starring Jensen Ackles (<3) and Jared Padalecki. They play two brothers who are supernatural hunters. They travel around the US (and at one point they were in the UK!) hunting "monsters" such as demons, ghosts and vampires. The show is currently in its sixth season, and I'm certainly hoping there's more to come! It's such a fun show, and watching the brothers' relationship is one of the main draws. As well as Jensen (see below). Dean Winchester has some of the best lines on television.

[after being arrested for murder, fraud etc]
Henricksen [special agent]: You think you're funny?
Dean: I think I'm adorable.

My other favourite show is also on the CW (Thursday nights, 8pm EST). It's The Vampire Diaries, starring Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. As you may be able to tell, the show is about vampires - and occasionally the odd werewolf. There's too much going on to really explain, but it is such a great show, you should definitely check it out if you haven't seen it already. Damon Salvatore (IS), again, has some of the best lines of television. He needs them, really, as he has so much going on in his life at the moment. And Nina Dobrev playing two characters at once definitely makes for an interesting viewing!

Damon: It's cool not growing old. I like being the eternal stud.

Book Blogger Hop


Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?

Some of my long term followers may remember that I actually renamed my blog a while back. When I first started this blog, I didn't know it was going to be primarily for book reviews. I was going to keep it as a travel journal for when I visit Australia. But that took too long coming around (2013!) and so I decided to turn this into a book blog. And of course, "Coconuts and Cream" wasn't the best name! So a couple of months into blogging, I renamed my blog. I'm glad I picked "Books of Amber". It fits nicely, and I think it has a nice flow to it.

24 February 2011

Cover Reveal: Vanish by Sophie Jordan!

Most of you will probably be familiar with the stunning cover of Firelight by Sophie Jordan. It really is a beauty. 

I know that everyone has been waiting with baited breath for the reveal of the cover for book two in the series - Vanish. After yesterday's puzzle piece game of matching up the images from various different blogs, I can now announce that the time has come for the final cover to be revealed. And here it is!

Was it worth the wait? I think so! It's gorgeous! Out of the two, though, I think I still prefer Firelight's cover. But that's just because of the red hair. Although I do love the purple on white.. What do you lovely people think? Leave your thoughts below! :D

Internet Problems

It seems that something always has to go wrong when I have posts to write. First, there was my laptop going crazy. I sent it off to someone to get it fixed, he did nothing to it (because he apparently couldn't find anything wrong!) and so I had to fix it myself. And now my internet is playing up. It's always been pretty unpredictable. Seriously, SKY is the worst internet provider EVER. *angry face*

But it seems to be back in business now. So I'm going to get writing some reviews. I think I'm going to have to start scheduling posts long before I post them, so then if this happens again I'm not so screwed. 

I hope you guys didn't miss me too much over the past few days. *waves* :)

22 February 2011

Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberley Derting

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommended? Yes.
Buy the Book: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself. - Goodreads page.
As a huge fan of murder mysteries and thrillers, I was so excited to read this book when I discovered that it was about a girl who could find dead bodies. I was also, initially, a bit reluctant to read it, as I’ve read Charlaine Harris’ “Grave” series, which is also about a woman who can sense dead bodies. Thankfully, though, the two abilities are as different as they are similar. 

Violet, our main protagonist, has been able to find dead bodies ever since she can remember. And now, when a girl is found murdered in the lake, she sets out to use her ability for the greater good, and find the killer. 

I loved the character of Violet. She had a brilliant backstory, and I loved how funny she was. That was one of the main reasons I loved her character. She was also strong, and determined, which actually made her quite a good “detective”. 

Her relationship with Jay was one of the best parts of the novel. The pair have known each other all their lives, ever since Violet dared Jay to kiss a girl in the playground. I loved the way the pair bickered and joked with each other, and it was nice to see them being so close. It was great to see their love for each other develop into something more than just friendship. And although we couldn’t get inside Jay’s head, it was pretty obvious what he was thinking!

The were various chapters in which Derting took us into the mind of the killer, which I believe really added to the story. We were able to see what he was thinking when he was “hunting” for his next victim, and it was very creepy to see what he did in order to capture the girls. 

I found that the pacing for this story was fairly average. A lot of the focus was on Violet and Jay’s relationship, which was mixed in with the mystery plot. I found that this slowed the mystery part slightly, however I don’t think it took away from the story. 

Overall, I really enjoyed The Body Finder. I thought it was a great mystery that will leave the reader guessing. I recommend it for YA readers who enjoy a good murder mystery and those who enjoy thrilling plots.

21 February 2011

Weekly Round-Up: Feb 14 - Feb 20

As some of you already know, I was having a lot of laptop problems last week, and so I didn't get to post as much as I would have liked to. But without my trusty laptop, I wasn't able to spend much time on the internet and therefore I spent lots of time reading! :D

Books Read: 
^^ My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent. Really, really good! 

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen. Also very good! >>

<< An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris. It's an adult book, so I won't be reviewing it, but it's a great series if you want to check it out! 

Books Reviewed:
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - 5/5!

- The Iron King Blog Tour (Guest post from Julie Kagawa)
- Cover Reveal for Supernaturally by Kiersten White
- Guest posts from both Alice and Cicely, listing their top five YA boys!
- Top Ten Tuesday: Love Stories
- Another huge IMM! 

20 February 2011

In My Mailbox - (15)

Hi all! This is a book haul video which shows the books that I bought and received over the past two weeks. There are A LOT, so if you don't want to watch a long video (12+ mins) then just scroll down and look at the list below the video. Also, please excuse my extremely loud family who you can hear at various points in the background. They wouldn't shut up :) I can't wait to see what you all got in your mailboxes! 

Test by William Sleator (Amazon)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (Adult, yes?) (Amazon)
Glass Houses by Rachel Caine (Amazon)
Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Amazon)
Sabriel by Garth Nix (Amazon)
Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen (Amazon)
The Book of Luke by Jenny O'Connell (Amazon)
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent (Amazon)
A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcombe (Amazon)
Meridian by Amber Kizer (Amazon)
Knife by R. J. Anderson (Amazon)
Impossible by Nancy Werlin (Amazon)
Before I Die by Jenny Downham (Amazon)
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles (Amazon)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Amazon)
You Against Me by Jenny Downham (Amazon)
Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Amazon)

Wood Angel by Erin Bow (Amazon)
Mieradome by Kate O'Hegarty (Amazon)
The Family That Wasn't by Gene Twaronite (Amazon)
Stay by Deb Caletti (Amazon)
Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell (Amazon)
Wither by Lauren Destefano (Amazon)
Shine by Lauren Myracle (Amazon)
Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly (Amazon)

Whew! I told you it was a big haul! I'm insane, I know. 

Leave your links below so I can visit your posts!