31 May 2012

What's Next? #1


This is a brand new meme created and hosted by Hafsah over at IceyBooks. I thought this would be a great way to interact with you readers, and it's an awesome opportunity for you to tell me what to read and review next! 

Here's how it works (copied from Hafsah's blog post):
-Every Thursday, starting today, select three-five books (not too many, not too little!) that you want to read but can't decide which one to read first.

-Post the cover, and if you want, the synopsis, the first line, or even a random line from the book, for each of your selections.

-At the end of your post, ask readers to vote on which one you should read next!

So, here are the books that I have to choose from:

Anna Dressed in Blood is about a guy called Cas who hunts ghosts. He is supposed to kill Anna, but she spares his life and I guess that makes Cas curious! It sounds a lot like the plot of a Supernatural episode. 

This is the third and final book in the Perfect Chemistry trilogy, centred around Luis, the youngest Fuentes brother.

In Deadly Hemlock (Hemlock, in the US), the lupine virus is spreading through the country while Mac investigates her friend's murder.

This is a historical fiction set in 1912. The family who lives at Wentworth Hall is one of Britain's elite. And there are lots and lots of secrets!

Which book should I read next?
Anna Dressed in Blood
Chain Reaction
Deadly Hemlock
Wentworth Hall
Create your own poll with LearnMyself

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Rating: Enjoyable

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is. - Goodreads

The Night She Disappeared is told from several points of view. I really enjoyed the switches, which were fluid and easy to follow. That said, a couple of the voices sounded the same, particularly Drew's and Gabie's. I don't feel that there was anything to make them unique, aside from their different families and lives. But other than that, it was great to see the situation from various points of views, including the kidnapper's/killer's.

As for the characters, the only ones I really loved were Kayla and, strangely, the antagonist. Kayla is someone who I would have loved to have seen more of, though this would probably have been difficult.

Gabie came across as very judgemental, particularly towards Drew, and I didn't like it. She also did a lot of stupid things, like jumping into a rushing river and almost drowning.

Drew was the most grounded of the two, but like Gabie, he was very stereotypical and he didn't really stand out all that much.

The plot was great, despite the annoying characters. It was a great little mystery, and kept me guessing. The antagonist was enjoyably creepy, and I loved it. You should all know that I love my evil antagonists by now!

I would recommend this if you're looking for a short, thrilling read. As long as you're able to ignore the idiotic main character, and focus on the mystery of it all!

30 May 2012

Cheap eBook Deals #2

It's been a little while since I did a post showcasing some great ebook deals, so I thought I would do another one now! I'm not sure what's going on this week, but there are so many cheap ebooks on Amazon right now! I've collected the ones I think you guys would be interested in. If you wish to buy any, then please use the links I provided. This won't cost you anything extra, but I will get a small percentage of the sale. I'm currently saving money for an epic blogoversary giveaway so if you want to help...

Anyway, on with the books!

< £1

< £2

< £3

< £4

Note: These are Amazon UK deals only! 

29 May 2012

Populazzi by Elise Allen

Populazzi by Elise Allen
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Rating: Enjoyable

Cara has never been one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and always ready with the perfect thing to say. A girl at the very top of the popularity tower. One of the Populazzi.

Now, junior year could change everything. Cara’s moving to a new school, and her best friend urges her to seize the moment—with the help of the Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms into the perfect girlfriend for guys ever-higher on the tower, she’ll reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi.

The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment, a straight climb up, but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted. And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right. - Goodreads

I read this while I was on my contemporary binge, and I really enjoyed it and thought it was a lot of fun. Straight of the bat, we know that Cara trying to climb the high school social ladder is not a good idea and it wasn't going to end well, but that was part of the fun!

Some of the scenes were simply hilarious and had me laughing out loud. I really liked Elise Allen's writing style, and it worked well with this type of book.

Cara, the main character, was also pretty awesome. I felt a real connection to her as she tried to change herself to fit in with different crowds, and when she lost friends because of this silly project.

Populazzi is a big book, but it didn't take me long to finish it and it didn't drag at all. It was a light and easy read that covered some pretty serious issues and I loved it. Definitely check this out if you're into contemporary novels set in high school!

28 May 2012

New Releases: May 29 - 31

I'm not planning on reading any of these any time soon, but I've added Keep Holding On to my TBR list. Yay for YA contemps! I really enjoy them, and this one is about bullying so it should be interesting. What do you guys think?

26 May 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
Rating: Enjoyable

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. - Goodreads

As you can imagine, this is quite a quick read that takes place over the course of just 24 hours. It's about two people who meet at an airport, and it turns out they're on the same flight.

This is a really cute read, and I liked that it wasn't just a love story. There were also family issues thrown in there, and it covered those nicely. I personally don't believe in love at first sight so I was a bit skeptical, but to be honest I don't think they did fall in love at first sight. The two characters got to know each other and their feelings developed from there.

Oliver was quite funny, and his bickering with Hadley was so cute. I laughed out loud a few times, and I really enjoyed reading their scenes together.

Overall, this was a cute book but it lackeed anything majorly substantial. It's still a good read to pass the time, and I definitely recommend getting a copy if you think it's your kind of thing. This definitely helped feed my contemporary binge!

24 May 2012

Slated by Teri Terry

Slated by Teri Terry
Slated #1
Release Date: May 3, 2012
Publisher: Orchard Books
Rating: Essential

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth? - Goodreads

Slated is nothing like I was expecting! It was a fantastic read, that I breezed through. Considering this is a big book, I managed to read it pretty quickly. And it had nothing to do with me being a reading machine!

The dystopian world in which this book is set is wonderfully developed. I really enjoyed learning and reading about it, and I was so intrigued. The information about the origins of the dystopian world/government was spread thinly throughout the novel, giving just enough info at each time when it was needed. This is also something I could totally see happening with our current government, if we had the technology, which made it even creepier!

I loved Kyla, the main character, because she was pretty kick ass. Her relationship with her new mother was something that I really enjoyed reading about, as the two had a great dynamic. I was also very interested in the doctor who runs the unit at the hospital, and I hope to learn more about her in the next book/s in the series!

I don't have any sound feelings about the love interest and his relationship with Kyla. I feel very neutral about the whole thing, because I found him to be very bland. Perhaps if we had seen more of him and his development, I would have liked him more. However, that wasn't the case.

For some reason I am not usually a huge fan of books set in the UK. I think it may have something to do with the writing style. That said, I really liked this! Ms Terry has an easy, flowing style that I was able to connect with. It made a 500 page book just fly by, and her writing style is one of the factors that made me love this book so much.

Overall, this book is full of thrilling suspense, mystery and intrigue. I'd definitely recommend it to fans of dystopian fiction, and those who would enjoy a more realistic dystopian world in particular.

22 May 2012

Blog Tour: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe

Welcome, everyone, this is me again! I'm back with another post for the awesome book that is Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe. If you haven't read my review, then be sure to go and do so. It includes a summary of the book as well as my thoughts, if you're interested!

Shelley Coriell has sent over a podcast which (and if you haven't read the book, then you probably won't understand the reference) features Chloe - the main character - explaining Garbage Games! Check it out below. It's such a fun video, and Trash Ball is something I used to do with my own brothers, until they got too good at it and I had to walk away before they took my place as champion.

Please also go and stop by the other blogs that are taking part in the tour. The details are to the right. There are some giveaways going on, and there are also lots of posts that Shelley has taken the time to write such as Inspiration Behind the Book and Title Woes

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
Rating: Enjoyable

Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counsellor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracised by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home. - Goodreads

Welcome, Caller... is such a quick, fun read, though I wasn't expecting it to be like that at first. It took me a couple of chapters to get into the story, because I couldn't connect with Chloe to begin with.

Chloe has a pretty unique personality, and while I love her now that I've finished the book, it did take me some time to warm up to her. She seems to be very shallow and spoilt, but as the novel progresses the character development kicks in and I started to sympathise with her a lot more, and I even started cheering for her. I love her personality, and how she can't shut up. She's awesomely quirky!

At the moment, I am LOVING books (hehe, Loving Books) that are light contemporaries, and this is definitely one of those. The overall story arc kept me interested, and I was really drawn in by a couple of the characters, particularly Chloe's grandmother.

The love interest, Duncan, also has a well developed storyline and background, which I really enjoyed and appreciated. I think everybody loves well rounded characters, especially in YA, and Duncan was incredibly interesting to read about. My heart broke for him!

Without going into spoilers - because nobody likes those, right? - I just want to mention that despite being, primarily, a light and fun read, this book also deals with some serious issues such as neglect, illness and drugs.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this book. Some of you may be annoyed with Chloe's character, but I think you'd also appreciate the messages presented in this book. I definitely liked how Shelley touched on heavier topics.

I am also taking part in a blog tour for this book, so be sure to check out the post later on. It's going to feature one of Chloe's podcasts!

21 May 2012

New Releases (14): May 22 - 28

6) Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

What are your thoughts on this week's releases? I'm looking forward to Of Poseidon and Unbreak My Heart! The Lost Code was a DNF for me last month, so I won't be buying that one, unfortunately. 

19 May 2012

Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris

Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris
Release Date: June 7, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Rating: Essential

Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck.

And killed.

Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life…

Meanwhile, Janelle’s father, a special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device – one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time.

That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets – and keep from falling in love with him in the process… - Goodreads

This is one of those books that I get completely sucked into. I get sucked in so much that I start fangirling about it all over the place. Unravelling was FLAWLESS. Well, not completely flawless, but almost.

The plot was well paced and kept me hooked. I mentioned in one of my previous reviews that I didn't feel a sense of urgency even though the world was/could be coming to an end. In Unravelling I definitely felt that! The climax had me holding my breath for so long, there was a legitimate chance of me fainting.

I was wondering how this was going to lean towards science fiction rather than paranormal, and can I just say it was NOT what I was expecting! At all!

The big reveal/plot twist came about half way through, and it blew me away. Did anybody actually see that coming?!

There were a couple of things that I did find unbelievable (I know, in a sci-fi novel!), particularly the amount of times Janelle went through her father's FBI files without proper consequences. She seemed to get away with too much.

I also had a problem with the way Janelle - the main character - used the word 'literally'. Your heart didn't literally jump into your throat and choke you, mate.

I didn't think I cared for the relationship between Ben and Janelle, but the ending changed my mind. I also really like her with another guy, and if there was a love triangle then I'd definitely root for those two! That would be one love triangle that I would enjoy.

The ending made me cry. A lot. Elizabeth Norris makes some bold moves there, and I adore her for it. I always love it when an author makes a decision to kill/maim/torture/destroy important characters!

Unravelling is a great novel with amazing twists, writing and world building. I adored it, and I think there is going to be a sequel. The set up for a second book was fantastic!

17 May 2012

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
The Klaatu Diskos #1
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rating: All Time Favourite

The first time his father disappeared, Tucker Feye had just turned thirteen. The Reverend Feye simply climbed on the roof to fix a shingle, let out a scream, and vanished - only to walk up the driveway an hour later, looking older and worn, with a strange girl named Lahlia in tow. In the months that followed, Tucker watched his father grow distant and his once loving mother slide into madness. But then both of his parents disappear. Now in the care of his wild Uncle Kosh, Tucker begins to suspect that the disks of shimmering air he keeps seeing - one right on top of the roof - hold the answer to restoring his family. And when he dares to step into one, he's launched on a time-twisting journey
- from a small Midwestern town to a futuristic hospital run by digitally augmented healers, from the death of an ancient prophet to a forest at the end of time. Inevitably, Tucker's actions alter the past and future, changing his world forever. - Goodreads

I can't believe The Obsidian Blade is rated under 4 stars on Goodreads! It's one of the best books I've read so far this year. I absolutely adored this book!

The Obsidian Blade has such a complicated and well thought out plot, it kept me hooked from the very beginning because I need to know more about what was happening. I was drawn in from the very beginning, when Tucker's father disappears for the first time. After that, I couldn't put the book down.

The world building was my favourite part of The Obsidian Blade. It was complicated and so well written that it's probably one of my favourite science fiction worlds! The whole thing about the diskos was fantastic, the history behind it and the different rules were things that I loved reading about.

There were so many plot twists thrown into this book, I had no idea what would happen next. I was totally gripped as I was trying to figure everything out before it happened, but I was proved wrong again and again.

I loved all the characters, even the antagonists. I'm really looking forward to seeing more of Tucker, Lahlia and Kosh if/when the next book comes out. I'm wondering if we'll see Tucker mature more after everything that's happened to him and... Well, that would be a spoiler!

Pete Hautman's prose is flawless. Like I said, I was kept completely hooked, and I think a lot of that had to do with the writing style. There is one scene in which Tucker goes through a disko and is thrown into a situation in which he could well have died. I was holding my breath through the whole thing because the descriptions were so vivid.

This is an AMAZING book, and I think everyone should read it because I'm sure you would really enjoy it too. If you're a fan of sci-fi then definitely give it a go!

16 May 2012

Away For A Long Weekend

Hi everyone! This is just a quick post to let you know that I'll be away from Thursday morning until Monday evening. I'm off to Birmingham with some friends to go to the Supernatural convention! So I won't be here to reply to comments or emails, sorry! I'll have to get back to you when I'm home.

The convention doesn't officially start until Friday evening, but we're leaving early because one friend is flying over from Switzerland a day early. It ends on Sunday night, but we're not leaving until Monday to avoid driving home in the dark when we're tired.

Does anyone want to see some pictures when I'm back? :D

I hope you're all well, and that you have a fabulous weekend! Happy reading!

Here, have some Gannicus to tide you over until I'm home.

Epic Review Month Readathon Wrap Up!

So I took part in a readathon over the weekend! It's the second readathon I've ever taken part in, and I must admit: these things really do help! If you read my May TBR/Epic Review Month post, then you'll know that I have challenged myself to read 17 books this month. Yes, I know I'm insane. But I'm currently on my 10th book, so I'm not doing too badly!

Anyway, over the weekend, I managed to finish two books and start another. Go me!

Books read:
1) Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby - Finished!
2) The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman - Finished!
3) Slated by Teri Terry - Started! 

Total pages read:
792 (according to Goodreads)

Total time spent reading:
~ 10.5 hours

Are you proud? You don't have to be, I'm proud enough to equal ten people! EEP! I ended up really enjoying all three of the books. Shooting Stars already has a review up, and my reviews for the other two are coming later this week/month.The Obsidian Blade actually got an All Time Favourite rating!

That's what I got up to this weekend. I hope you all had a fabulous one as well. How many books did you manage to read?

15 May 2012

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Walker & Company
Rating: Enjoyable

Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.. - Goodreads

I want to thank Allison for sending me a copy of her book to review. I ended up really enjoying it, and flew through it in just a couple of days.

Shooting Stars is a really fun, light read that you will just breeze through, thanks to the flowing writing style and the fast paced plot. I loved the entire concept, with Jo being shipped off to a retreat to secretly snap pictures of a hot teen celeb.

The glimpse into the world of the paparazzi that Shooting Stars gave me is definitely my favourite aspect of the novel. It really highlights the highs and lows (mostly the lows) of the job. It was unexpectedly enlightening.

I loved Jo, the main character. She was such an interesting girl, and really hardworking. I really admired her for doing her best to save up for photography classes while still being at school. I also loved Katrina, as she was really funny and I felt so bad for her for not being able to be a ballerina!

I didn't care much for the romance, unfortunately. I'm not a fan of fast paced romantic plots, and while the initial contact with Ned did take place a year earlier, I feel that Jo falling for him over the course of a couple of days was too rushed. That said, the book is only set over a period of a few days, so I guess the romance HAD to be rushed if it was to be included.

There was actually a plot twist thrown in there - two, actually - that I wasn't expecting at all! I had no idea these things were going to happen. I actually shouted out "Woah, plot twist!" while I was reading the book in the bath. After the first surprise, I found it very difficult to put the book down!

Overall, this is a really fun read. The book is very well written, and is fast paced so that there is no time for boring moments. The only thing that would have made me enjoy the book more - aside from what is mentioned above - is spending more time with Jo and her family, and a bit more closure at the end regarding that.

14 May 2012

New Releases (13): May 15 - 21

4) Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoote
I'm reading Talisman of El this month, and am really looking forward to it! Railsea and Torn also sound great. Well, I think they all do! They're all on my wishlist.

12 May 2012

Advent by James Treadwell

Advent by James Treadwell
Advent #1
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Publisher: Hodder
Rating: Bland

1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something unimaginably dangerous.

London, the present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is boarding a train to the countryside to live with his aunt. His school and his parents can’t cope with him and the things he sees, things they tell him don’t really exist. At Pendurra, Gavin finds people who are like him, who see things too. They all make the same strange claim: magic exists, it’s leaking back into our world, and it’s bringing something terrible with it.

First in an astonishingly imaginative fantasy trilogy, Advent describes how magic was lost to humanity, and how a fifteen-year-old boy discovers that its return is his inheritance. It begins in a world recognizably our own, and ends an extraordinarily long way from where it started—somewhere much bigger, stranger, and richer. - Goodreads

The beginning of Advent was very intriguing, as the author mixes flashback chapters with the present day, and it was enough to keep me reading steadily for the first fifty to seventy pages. The flashbacks were very enjoyable, and while I didn't enjoy the present day stuff as much, I was still looking forward to finding out more about the book.

After the first one hundred pages or so, I feel that the pacing began to slow down and I started to lose interest very quickly. Because I received this book for review, I kept going with it but if I had purchased it then I probably would have given up about 200 pages in.

I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters, even the main protagonist. None of them really stood out to me, so I wasn't able to invest in their storylines.

On the plus side, I really enjoyed James Treadwell's writing style. The book was beautifully written with lots of descriptions, which I love. It's a shame that I didn't enjoy the plot, because I would definitely have ended up really liking it if the pacing was better. Who needs to connect to the main characters, right?

So I won't be reading the rest of this trilogy, but I would definitely be willing to give James Treadwell's other future works a try one day.