31 January 2013

Monthly Wrap Up: January 2013

I wasn't able to read as much this month as I did in December, but I still got a tonne of books read, and I found a couple of AMAZING ones!
Books Read in January:
1. Pivot Point by Kasie West
2. Out of Easy by Ruta Sepetys
3. Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan
4. Sister Assassin (Mind Games) by Kiersten White
5. Altered by Jennifer Rush
6. Override by Heather Anastasiu
7. Vortex by Julie Cross
8. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
9. Prodigy by Marie Lu
10. Night School: Legacy by C J Daugherty
11. Feedback by Robison Wells
12. The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
13. Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Book of the Month:

30 January 2013

The Prey by Andrew Fukuda

The Prey by Andrew Fukuda
The Hunt #2
Release Date: January 31, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast... and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.

When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other... if they can only stay alive. - Goodreads

The majority of this novel is set in a creepy village, that I was both impressed and given shivers by. There's a lot of dark stuff going on there, which I won't spoil for you, but basically the way the girls live there is horrific, and the way the elders treat everyone else is much the same. Like I said, it was both creepy and kinda awesome, because I like dark and twisted things, it seems!

29 January 2013

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Philomel Books
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny. - Goodreads

After reading Between Shades of Gray, I knew I could count on Ruta to full engross me. Whenever I read her books it feels like I'm there, whether 'there' is the bustling New Orleans of the 50's, or a frozen Siberia. 

The main focus of this story is Josie, a prostitute's daughter, who has just finished school and is trying to save money to get into a good college. Josie was a fabulous main character. She was so different to her mother, and yet she had to deal with her heritage at every turn. It was heartbreaking that Josie couldn't get into the college of her dreams due to her lack of money and because of where she is from.

28 January 2013

YA Giveaway Hop 2013 (Closed)

This giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, and BookLove101. 


New Releases: January 29 - February 4, 2013

Here is a post showcasing some of the books that are coming out this week, starting tomorrow. I mostly cover the US releases, though I try to also include the UK ones when I know what's coming out!

26 January 2013

Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy by Marie Lu
Legend #2
Release Date: January 29, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action. - Goodreads
After much thought, I now feel comfortable saying that Prodigy is better than Legend. Yep, you heard that right. The middle book in the trilogy was better than the first. A rare occurence, right? And yet Marie Lu managed to pull it off. 

In Prodigy, the stakes felt much higher, and the risks were greater. In Legend, I didn't feel too worried about how it would end, and what would happen to the characters. Day and June are main characters, and they're not going to be killed off in the first book in the series. They're not Ned Stark. In this fantastic sequel, however, I felt as though everything could collapse around them as they fought for their lives. 

25 January 2013

Night School: Legacy by C. J. Daugherty

Night School: Legacy by C. J. Daugherty
Night School #2
Release Date: January 17, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: ATOM
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 1
Rating: -

In the last year, Allie's survived three arrests, two breakups and one family breakdown. The only bright point has been her new life at Cimmeria Academy. It's the one place she's felt she belongs. And the fact that it's brought the dreamy Carter West into her life hasn't hurt...But far from being a safe haven, the cloistered walls of Cimmeria are proving more dangerous than Allie could've imagined. The students, and faculty, are under threat and Allie's family - from her mysterious grandma to her runaway brother - are at the centre of the storm. Allie is going to have to choose between protecting her family and trusting her friends. But secrets have a way of ripping even the strongest relationships apart... - Goodreads

I didn't like Legacy all that much, if I'm honest. My dislike for the main characters and the messages in the book really affected my enjoyment of reading it. I'm not sure what to rate it on my scale, so I'm just going to leave that blank.

Let's start with Carter, Allie's boyfriend. Carter is an abusive arsehole, and I despise him. How could such a great character turn into such... I don't even know how to describe him. I can't find the words. Every time I think about him my blood turns to lava and I start glaring at the screen.

I Don't Have Internet Right Now

Unfortunately I don't have internet access at the moment. It's not even the fault of my internet provider, who I phoned yesterday and was ready to leave an angry message since we're paying so much money for this. Instead, BT (a major phone company in the UK) has a faulty line and it's affecting everyone in my village. Those who use BT, anyway.

We phoned BT last night and they said their engineers are "working as hard as they can" to fix the line. Then we got about five text messages this morning, telling us different things. The first said that they hope to fix the line by 5PM this evening. The latest said that they hope to have it fixed by January 30th.

Thank goodness my friend isn't with BT, is all I can say.

So yeah, I am fuming. Luckily I have had most of my posts scheduled for a long time, and so I won't have to spend too long playing catch up. I'm scheduling some more posts today while I am able to use my friend's internet, but I just wanted to let you guys know that I won't be around to comment or tweet or anything, and I'm not going to be able to upload anything onto Youtube until this phone line gets fixed.

On the plus side, I received some books in the mail - The Indigo Spell, Scarlet, Fractured and Monument 14 - so without internet access, what else can I do but read?

I'd love to know what you guys are currently reading. Let me know in the comments! I'm in the middle of Dance of Shadows, and I've just started The Indigo Spell. I couldn't wait!

Also, if any of you have reviews of Pivot Point that you would like me to link up in my review (which is up next week), then do let me know!

24 January 2013

The Disappeared by C. J. Harper

The Disappeared by C. J. Harper
Release Date: January 31, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

In a future where children are segregated into institutions that range from comfortable “Learning Communities” to prison-like “Local Academies”, seventeen-year-old Jackson is an academic high flyer, living in a top Learning Community and destined for a position in the Leadership. But when he is sent with his best friend Wilson to deliver a package to a factory block, the two boys are attacked, leaving Jackson badly beaten and Wilson dead.

Confused and upset, Jackson returns to his Learning Community only to be dismissed by his teachers who claim not to know him. Sent to an Academy, an institute set up to train factory workers, Jackson finds himself immersed in a world that couldn’t be further removed than the comfortable life he’s used to; a harsh, violent, semi-articulate society where the students have created their own hierarchy based on fighting ability.

Using his wits to survive, Jackson starts to realise that his whole life has been based on half-truths. And in order to survive he needs to expose the lies that surround the Academy and find out the truth about who he really is. As he builds alliances and begins to educate those closest to him, a plan for rebellion and escape gradually comes into shape...

Fast-paced, page-turning, moving, yet with a streak of dark humour, The Disappeared is a very British dystopia, with shades of Orwell and Huxley. - Goodreads

The Disappeared is intriguing, and entirely gripping. Once I started, I couldn't stop reading! I was captivated from the moment Jackson got sent to the Academy, after his records were deleted from the school files.

I was really impressed by how the author made this so dark and gritty. I love young adult novels that get really into their settings like this one does. I was honestly shocked at some of the things that happened in this book, both in and out of the Academy. This is a proper dystopian, none of this fluffy stuff that you sometimes see in YA.

23 January 2013

22 January 2013

Infinite Sky by C. J. Flood

Infinite Sky by C. J. Flood
Release Date: February 14, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 2
Rating: Bland

Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists.

When a family of travellers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth?

When tools go missing from the shed, the travellers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not sure he can be trusted himself.

Infinite Sky is a family story about betrayal and loyalty, and love. - Goodreads

I was expecting Infinite Sky to be a beautiful and captivating read, but unfortunately it didn't live up to those expectations. It was pretty dull. Despite being bored for most of the book, I did get kicked right in the feels towards the end.

21 January 2013

New Releases: January 22 - 28, 2013

Here is a post showing some of the books that are coming out this week, starting tomorrow. Click on the titles to go to Goodreads. If you purchase a copy of the book from the Amazon links that I provide, then I will receive a percentage of the money - at no extra charge to you, of course! - which will then go towards a future giveaway. I mostly cover the US releases, though I try to also include the UK ones when I know what's coming out!

20 January 2013

Weekly Wrap Up (14.01.13 - 20.01.13)

I've decided to start doing a weekly wrap up post to round up the posts and reviews I post each week. Hopefully this will give the people that have missed posts an easy way to catch up!


I also participated in Top Ten Tuesday, in which I talk about my most anticipated debuts for 2013.

This week was an excellent week for me. I read three books and started a fourth, and I got a lot of things done in general. I still have lots of reviews to write, though! Next week I've got lots of new reviews as well as a giveaway coming up, so I'm looking forward to it!

How was your week? Did you get much reading done? Let me know!

19 January 2013

Variant by Robison Wells

Variant by Robison Wells
Variant #1
Release Date: September 26, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Birthday gift from Daph
Goodreads Stars: 5
Rating: Essential

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.
Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death. But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape--his only real hope for survival--may be impossible. - Goodreads

I'd heard Daph talk about this book a little bit before, but I had no idea why she was so amazed by it. Sure, it's set in a boarding school, but so are a lot of books. What makes this one stand out?

Then she bought me it for my birthday (THANK YOU!!!!!!) and I read it, and I can honestly say it's one of the best books I have read all year. I was considering rating this as an All Time Favourite, but I'm not sure about that so I went with Essential instead. Maybe I can decide once I've read Feedback, the sequel.

18 January 2013

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
Across the Universe #3
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential
Buy the Book: Amazon UK

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing. Goodreads
I'm feeling a lot of different emotions now that I've read this book. Across the Universe is one of the first debuts and series that I started reading when I was a baby book blogger, and now it has come to an end. Since reading the first book, I've experienced so much both as a blogger, in 'real' life, and as a reader. I am so happy that such a good series has been with me along the way. Does that sound weird? Probably.

17 January 2013

Vortex by Julie Cross

Vortex by Julie Cross
Tempest #2
Release Date: January 6, 2013
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, allthat changes when Holly—the girl he altered history to save—re-enters his life. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents find themselves under attack and on the run. - Goodreads

I have no idea how to start this review, which seems to happen often with me. What am I even going to write about? Sometimes I think that book reviewing is the wrong hobby for me to have!

First thing's first, Tempest was an awesome debut. Most people I know loved it when they read it last year. I was nervous about how Vortex would hold up, because the possibilities for what could have happened were basically endless, considering the main character can travel through time and there are a bunch of people chasing after him. 

16 January 2013

15 January 2013

Top Ten 2013 Debuts I'm Looking Forward To

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's top ten list is
2013 Debuts I'm Looking Forward To
I'm really excited about this one, because it works well with my new feature, 2013 Debut Showcase, in which I talk about which debut novels I liked, disliked and am looking forward to. EEP! I can't wait to see which books everyone else lists. I have already read a few debuts for this year, so I made sure not to include those in this list.

14 January 2013

New Releases: January 15 - 21, 2013

Here is a post showcasing some of the books that are coming out this week, starting tomorrow. Click on the titles to go to Goodreads. If you purchase a copy of the book from the Amazon links that I provide, then I will receive a percentage of the money - at no extra charge to you, of course! - which will then go towards a future giveaway. I mostly cover the US releases, though I try to also include the UK ones when I know what's coming out!

13 January 2013

Weekly Wrap Up (07.01.13 - 13.01.13) and Stacking the Shelves (9)

I've decided to start doing a weekly wrap up post to round up the posts and reviews I post each week. Hopefully this will give the people that have missed posts an easy way to catch up!


In addition to my own reviews, I have also taken on a guest reviewer. The catch is, they wish to stay anonymous. So starting this year, and lasting for however long they want to keep their details to themselves, Reviewer X will be posting reviews on my blog. X reads books from all sorts of different genres, so you can expect a very eclectic set of reviews that are very different from my own.

Here is X's first review on Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
I read all of these back in December, but I had them on my Kindle. Since I loved them so much I just HAD to spend more money and buy them in paperback.
For Review
EEP! This is the sequel/companion to Pushing the Limits which I ADORED. So excited to read this! And look at that cover *__*
This is the first episode in a serial, which is set in the 1920's. I think it sounds great! 
The two books above were sent to be unsolicited, so I don't know when I'm going to get to them, but they sound AWESOME!
I received Override because I'm going to be part of the blog tour in February! I loved the first book, so I'm excited!
I have been waiting for this book for so long!
And this one! Excited! 

12 January 2013

Altered by Jennifer Rush

Altered by Jennifer Rush
Altered #1
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown and co.
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads Stars: 5
Rating: Essential

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away - Goodreads

Well, this was unexpected! I went into Altered not really knowing what it was about. In fact, I'm pretty sure I had heard it was about angels before picking it up. I had no idea what to expect, and I definitely did not know I would love this book as much as I did! Altered is thrilling, suspenseful, and action packed. I had no idea what to expect next!

11 January 2013

Reviewer X: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Throughout 2013, I'm going to be hosting some reviews written by a friend. Said friend wishes to remain anonymous (I think they're intimidated by the vast amount of readers I have *snorts*), so from now on they are going to be known as Reviewer X. I hope you enjoy reading X's reviews. They're certainly written in a different style to mine!


Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Release Date: November 1, 2012 (This edition)
Publisher: Canongate (This edition)
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 stars

Winner of the Booker Prize, Yann Martel's fantasy adventure,Life Of Pi, has now been adapted into a groundbreaking 3D film by Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee.

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild blue Pacific. The only survivors are a Pi, 16-year-old boy, a spotted hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, a female orangutan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal Tiger. As the 'crew' begin to grow restless and assert their natural place in the food chain, Pi's fear mounts and he must use his wit, knowledge and faith to survive against all odds.

Life Of Pi is a real treat for the imagination, an astonishing novel that will delight and stun readers in equal measures. - Goodreads

Everyone should read this book at least once in their life, I think. Not just because it's beautifully written, filled with vivid, surreal imagery or that the writing is poetic, meaningful and and descriptive, although these are good reasons in themselves. Rather, everyone should read this book because it's that rare kind of literature wherein each reader can take away something different and still be moved deeply by the story. Life of Pi, if you let it, will open your eyes to a deeper understanding of human nature, science and that eternal question of faith.

The story, on the surface, is deceptively simple - a young, teenage boy finds himself out on the open ocean, fighting for survival alongside a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker. The narrative follows his struggle to survive. But this is all just on the surface - there is a completely different story existing in the subtext. That is to say, it's not spelled out for you. This is the kind of book that will make you think, and doubt your own perception and in that way, draw you deeper into the real message of the book.

And at the end of it all, this book will make you question yourself. There are three kinds of people described in this book, and by the end of the novel you may have realised which one you are.

10 January 2013

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
Release Date: October 25, 2012
Publisher: Dial
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty. - Goodreads

I was quite disappointed with Burning Blue. Having seen such stories in the news, I was really interested in reading about someone who gets acid thrown at their face. Not because I'm a total psycho, but because I wanted to see how it affected the victim's life and thought process. I really wanted to get into Nicole's head, perhaps see her try to get back into school but... it just didn't happen. I would have liked to see more of Nicole and exactly how all this was affecting her, rather than the focus on Jay's hacking and investigating.

09 January 2013

08 January 2013

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable

Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

Revolution 19 is a cinematic thriller unlike anything else. With a dynamic cast of characters, this surefire blockbuster has everything teen readers want—action, drama, mystery, and romance. Written by debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum, this gripping story shouldn’t be missed. - Goodreads

I am muy disappointed. I was expecting something AMAZING with this one. I mean, come on, there are evil robots that turn on their creators. How could this NOT be good? So much potential was wasted here.

That rant was slightly more ranty than I intended. Because I did like Revolution 19. It was a good book. It just wasn't the Terminator 2 that I was expecting. Sorry, I'm just a little disappointed since this was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013 and I didn't love it, though I certainly liked it.

07 January 2013

Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan

Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan
Zom-B #2
Release Date: January 17, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential
Buy the Book: 
Amazon UK

Waking up in a military complex, months after zombies attacked school, B has no memory of the last few months. Life in the UK has turned tough since the outbreak, and B is woven into life- and battle- in the new military regime quickly. But as B learns more about the zombies held in the complex and the scientists keeping them captive, unease settles in. Why exactly was B saved? And is there anyone left in the world to trust? - Goodreads

There will be spoilers from the first book, Zom-B, so please DO NOT read this review if you haven't read the first book. There are two twists in Zom-B that you honestly would never want spoiled, so shoo!

New Releases: January 8 - 14, 2013

Here is a post showcasing some of the books that are coming out this week, starting tomorrow. Click on the titles to go to Goodreads. If you purchase a copy of the book from the Amazon links that I provide, then I will receive a percentage of the money - at no extra charge to you, of course! - which will then go towards a future giveaway. I mostly cover the US releases, though I try to also include the UK ones when I know what's coming out!

06 January 2013

Weekly Wrap Up (31.12.12 - 06.01.13) and Stacking the Shelves (8)

I've decided to start doing a weekly wrap up post to round up the posts and reviews I post each week. Hopefully this will give the people that have missed posts an easy way to catch up!


I also introduced one of the new features that will be happening on my blog during 2013, the 2013 Debut Showcase.
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.

05 January 2013

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Under the Never Sky #2
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Essential

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable. - Goodreads

I'm assuming that since you're reading this you are a fan of the first book, Under the Never Sky. Or you've at least read it. The first book is awesome, right? I loved it.

04 January 2013

2013 Debut Showcase: January

I'm so excited to start this new feature on my blog. 2013 is the start of quite a few new ideas from me, and this is the first of them. I'm a bit nervous about launching it, but it's really quite simple so I feel a bit silly for getting butterflies while I write this post.

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.

So, here it is! The 2013 Debut Showcase for January. Since this is the first month of the year, there is obviously nothing to wrap up yet. Let me just show you the debuts I'm looking forward to!

03 January 2013

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Release Date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 1
Rating: Troll

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power--brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished--and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past--and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed? - Goodreads

As you can tell by my ratings, I didn't enjoy this book in the slightest. I was looking for a good fantasy with strong characters, but I didn't get that with Falling Kingdoms. The following review is kinda all over the place, because my thoughts are still a jumbled mess. I've tried to make it organised but... well, see for yourself what a poor job I've done of it!

Warning: Ranting ahead...

02 January 2013

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Release Date: January 3, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 2
Rating: Bland

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor's peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian's ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah's just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn't there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realises that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life - and it's up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again. - Goodreads

This is the first novel I've ever read by Brenna, and I was really excited to finally get stuck into something she has written. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by Paper Valentine, as it didn't live up to my expectations at all. This isn't going to stop me from reading The Replacement, though! Nevertheless, I did have some issues with this book.

I was under the impression that Hannah, the main character, was going to be doing a lot more investigating regarding the murders than she actually did. I don't think this book focussed enough on the murders, and far too much on the silly romance that I simply HATED.

The romance between Hannah and Finny (which sounds like a little boy's name to me, by the way) was awful. I thought it was too rushed, since it came out of nowhere, and the two of them barely said a word to each other, even in the beginning when we are meant to see build up. One minute Hannah was running around staring at him (weird, btw) and the next he was cleaning a wound on her leg and kissing her. I didn't like it at all. What connection could there possibly be when they haven't spoken since he bullied her in primary school?!

I really liked the ghost storyline, although that too felt underdeveloped. We never found out why Lillian or the other ghosts were attracted to Hannah. I mean, I would have even liked a single sentence saying that she was simply more open to the paranormal or something, but there was nothing.

Another problem I had with Hannah - along with me having as much of a connection with her as Finny (lol) did - was that she didn't stick up for herself enough. She allowed herself to be walked all over, and when she did try to talk back to her idiot friends, her comebacks weren't even good. Hannah basically needed to learn to be a bitch back.

Some people have complained about the author trying to cover too much in one book, making it rushed and kind of all over the place. I do agree, and I am very disappointed because I was looking forward to an interesting murder mystery a la The Body Finder. Alas.

01 January 2013

Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's top ten topic is: 
Books I Resolve to Read in 2013
I picked books that I've always been meaning to read, but haven't managed to get to yet. There's also a reread in there because I read it ages ago, and need to reread before reading the sequel!
1. Jurassic Park/The Lost World by Michael Crichton
I read Jurassic Park years and years ago. Dinosaurs are my favourite thing EVER, and so of course I had to read this. The movie is also one of my favourites. I've never read The Lost World, though, so I need to reread Jurassic Park before getting to that. 

2. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I started this when I was about six or seven, and couldn't get into it. I'm trying again this year, though!

3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I've heard LOADS about this one, and I want to finally get to it. It's also part of my plan to read more 'adult' novels this year.

4. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I've heard so many mixed things about this one, but I want to read it so that I can watch the movie. Because you should always read the book first! 
5. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
I read The Hobbit back in December, and really didn't enjoy it. Nevertheless, I'm gonna give this one a go because I think I'll enjoy it a lot more. The story is much more complex than that of The Hobbit!

6. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
This is another one I want to read just so I can watch the movie. I've heard that the movie is better, but I'll have to read the book first before I can judge!

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I didn't get the chance to read this before the movie came out, but that's okay because I wasn't going to watch the movie anyway. I'll get to this at some point!

8. Matched by Ally Condie
Hahahaha, I've been trying to read this for two years. Okay, that's an exaggeration. I picked it up two years ago, stopped about fifty pages in and then never picked it back up again. I'm determined to finish it this year so that I can get it out of my Currently Reading shelf, and so I can see if I end up liking it!

9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
My auntie recommended this to me a couple of years ago, and I still haven't managed to read it. I have it on my shelf, and I WILL be reading it in 2013.

10. A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
I finished A Game of Thrones a couple of weeks ago, after I had been stuck reading it for over a year. I want to give this series a fair go, and I want to read these before the new season starts up on TV. Wish me luck!