Friday, 29 April 2011

Review: As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

As You WishAs You Wish by Jackson Pearce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Viola is desperate to get back that sense of belonging she had when she was with her boyfriend Lawrence. Although they have stayed good friends after their break-up Viola now feels that she is only on the fringes of her high school group, and hating feeling like "invisible girl" Viola inadvertently summons a genie who will grant her 3 wishes. But Viola is determined not to waste her wishes and stalls wishing until she is positive that she knows exactly what will make her happy- leading to one frustrated and impatient genie! Genies age while they are on earth and every minute that Viola wastes stalling Jinn can feel himself aging and hates it.

This was such a fun, sweet story. Even though I could guess exactly what would happen at the end of the book by the time I was 20 pages in- it didn't matter- I liked that feeling of knowing what to expect and seeing the funny trail of events that got them there. I also loved the shifting persepective from Viola to Jinn's point of view which let us see what both of them were thinking and feeling in different situations, and showed us how their friendship developed.

What happens when you get what you wish for and it turns out that it isn't what you want? If you want a cutesy funny love story that does exactly what it says on the tin- this book is for you.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—for someone to love her again and, most important, to belong again—until her wishes inadvertently summon a genie named Jinn out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.

Jackson Pearce spins a magical tale about star-crossed lovers, what it means to belong . . . and how important it is to be careful what you wish for.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Time Will Come #12

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company where we can spotlight books that we've had for ages and never seem to get around to reading.
I've had Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken on my shelf for months and I really want to read it- and it looks great and the reviews on it are mostly positive- but I never seem to be able to find time to read it. I have so many books that I have to read right now, and so a lot of books that I've bought end up being sidelined. But I really love the cover too!
This one is a fantasy story about a wizard and a quest, and a slow boiling love story (my favourite kind!). Hopefully one day I'll find time to read it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.
Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Review: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a while to get into this book. I didn't like Lenah, the main character at all, and it seemed to take a while for the story to get going. After about 50/60 pages though I was hooked! This is the first book in the Vampire Queen series. Lenah was a ruthless killing vampire queen who was desperate to become a human again to be able to feel and touch and experience the world. Her best friend and life long soulmate Rhode sacrificed himself in an ancient ritual to help her to achieve this. The story tells Lenah's struggle as a 592 year old ex-vampire to rejoin human society as a 16 year old girl in the 21st century, making friends, learning to live and love again, and see the world with fresh eyes whilst hiding out from her former vampire coven.

Lenah joins an exclusive boarding school and instantly makes friends with Tony who is a bit of an outcast himself, and just as instantly makes enemies with the popular clique of girls. Some of her expressions and reactions to modern gadgets that we take for granted predictably make Lenah look a little odd, but she starts to catch the eye of the one of the sports players who is also the boyfriend of one of the most popular girls.

This book has glimpses of Lenah's whole bloody history in flashbacks, a teenage love triangle, drama, loss, action, and a bunch of great characters. The ending is a shocker and I am baffled to see how the series is going to continue. Verdict- I loved this! Very fresh take on vampire fiction, mixed with high-school drama and the stuggle to find yourself and belong.

View all my reviews

Monday, 25 April 2011

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Sky Is EverywhereThe Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Sky is Everywhere is an absolutely beautiful book for 2 different reasons. Firstly- it's just a beautiful book. The text is blue, and almost every chapter is accompanied by a real colour picture of a note from Lennie scribbled on a scrap of notepaper, the back of an envelope, on a coffee cup, on a bench, a tree, or the inside cover of a book. Lennie loves to doodle and write poetry, and then scatter these notes to the wind, and it is so great to actually see these scribbles in such a life-like way on the page. Most often they are random thoughts or memories about her sister Bailey. They are just a refreshing break from what is happening in the story, and provide us with a deeper understanding of Lennie's memories and her bond with her sister- and showing us why her loss is even more raw.

Which brings me on to second reason why this is such a beautiful book- it is so utterly heartbreaking and touching. Lennie's older sister Bailey has just died suddenly and inexplicably from a heart failure, and Lennie and the rest of the family are falling apart without her. Shy, bookish, band-geek Lennie, the quiet half of "the Walker girls" is suddenly alone, and desperately struggling to cope without her exuberant big sister- the girl who was always laughing, who had such grand plans, and who demanded that they must paint their bedroom bright orange.

But the book is not just a tear-fest it is also so sweet and very funny. Some of Lennie's private thoughts just had me laughing out loud, and Uncle Big's weird pot-head behaviour and kooky Gram's bizarre beliefs made the characters so 3-dimensional and lovable. New-kid in town Joe Fontaine has never met Bailey, but is instantly interested by Lennie and tries to draw her out of her funk and engage with her love of music. But Bailey's devastated boyfriend Toby (the only one who can really understand what she is going through) keeps coming around to share memories of Bailey and as Lennie and Toby offer comfort to each other they also grow closer. Suddenly Lennie must deal with her confusing feeling for two different guys in the midst of her overpowering grief.

I have barely skimmed the surface in this review of what this book is about, and barely mentioned some of all the wonderfully quirky characters in it- I can only recommend that you check it out and read it yourself. This book is so sweet and must surely appeal to everybody with a heart. Verdict- Excellent.

View all my reviews

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Book Trailer)

This is the UK book trailer for The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson- A fantastic book, read my review of it here.
I personally hate the music in it- it is far too jaunty and strange and doesn't really capture the spirit of the book at all, but the rest of the trailer gives some idea as to the subject of the book.
I really like the quotes given in the separate US version of the book trailer- view here if you're interested.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

In My Mailbox 24th April 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, where we can show off what books we have received throughout the week- whether bought, borrowed, swapped, library, or given for review.
This week I got to read...

From the Library
  • Matched by Ally Condie- I've been on a waiting list for this book for months, so I'm glad that it's finally here. This is a YA dystopian novel where "Officials" decide who people love, how many children they will have and where they will work.
  • Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon- Mermaids and princesses (but it's classed as adult fiction- not childrens). Plus how gorgeous is the cover!


From Swapping

  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles- This sounds fantastic, all of my Goodreads friends who have read it have loved it. About a high-school girl with a perfect life who starts to fall for a gang member from the wrong side of town.

(UK website Readitswapit)

So those were the books that I got this week. What did you get in your mailbox?
Happy reading!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Book Blogger Hop #1

Book Blogger Hop

This is the first book blogger hop I've been able to join in with- normally I'm too busy on a friday, but with today being a bank holiday (yippee!), I'm at home and at the ready with my computer.
The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Crazy For Books where we can talk books, visit some new blogs, make new friends, and find out more about each other. Todays question is-

"If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?"

My answer:
Yes, most of the time. If I really loved a certain book or series then I may have a look to see what else that author has written. There are some books where the story just captures you and you're so caught up you forget where you really are (Richelle Mead, Kelley Armstrong). These are the authors where I know anytime they publish something new it's bound to be great no matter what it's about. But I'll not always get it- only if that new book is in a genre that I know I'll be interested in.
But yes, I'm definitely more interested in new titles where I recognise the author. Most recently for example- I'm definitely more interested in the upcoming books Pledge by Kimberley Derting, and Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs just because I've loved other books by these authors.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Time Will Come #11

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company where we can spotlight books that we've had on our shelves for ages. Books that we really want to read and never seem to be able to get around to.
My pick for this week is Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook. I saw a couple of reviews for this months ago and readers seemed to love this story. However, (shallow as I am) I just loved the cover and had to have it. It just makes me chuckle to look at it- which probably makes me look a bit psychotic- but just look at it- it's funny! Here's what it's about:

 Synopsis from Goodreads:
Popularity is the best revenge.

In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn’t dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.

Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.

I think it looks a bit like 'Mean Girls' or 'Pretty Little Liars' or something like that- cheesy and fluffy, but it could be funny, and just a simple light read in between all the vampire/werewolf/demon stuff that I usually read! Anyone else heard of this? I know I still won't get around to it for ages because I borrow so many library books and I really need to read those first because they need to go back- but it would be nice to know that this is worth the wait!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Review: Angel by James Patterson

Maximum Ride: AngelMaximum Ride: Angel by James Patterson

My rating: 3.5 stars

Max is back! I had missed her snarky sarcastic voice. Book 7 in the Maximum Ride series launches us straight back into the action where Fang left off. This is one of the better books in the series, and I really enjoyed this. These books have been a bit hit and miss sometimes (book four The Final Warning was particularly bad), but this one gets my approval, and I'm glad I stuck with the series. This is maybe because there is a little romantic intrigue in this book which I especially love, as well as the whole cast of funny tough characters that we already know and love. Iggy still comes out with his one-liners, Gasman is still obsessed with explosives, Nudge is still brilliant with computers, a real girly geek, and cute innocent-looking little Angel still reads minds and tries to manipulate everyone around her. We are also introduced to a host of interesting new characters in this book.

Max is great as the main character- she is tough and snide and but also sweet and vulnerable with a determination to look after her little family the best she can. Half of the chapters are from Max's first person point of view, and I love hearing her sarcastic witty thoughts. The other chapters follow Fang and his new life trying to make it on his own.

The rest of the gang are still trying to save the world and coming up against all kinds of crazy environmental groups and evil corporations, but (as Max would say) hey, nothing can faze you when you're a genetically modified kid with wings, and an escaped scientific experiment, right? In this book Max and Fang have gone their separate ways, with Fang forming his own gang of teenagers with special powers, but the two groups will have to work together when a new power The Doomsday Group appear to be hypnotising everyone into docile obedient followers. Facing Fang again is hard for Max when he seems to have already moved on to Maya, and Max is also trying to work out her complicated feelings for Dylan.

So this book has got plenty of humour, action, adventure, teenage love, jealousy, oh and a talking dog. Also sacrifice- be prepared for a tear-jerker ending.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

In My Mailbox 17th April 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. This is where we can show off the books we got this week.
So my attempt at trying to reign myself in and not get any more books until I've read some of the mountain of books I've already got - yeah, that didn't last very long. These are the books I got this week-

  • City Of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare- Yay! It finally came! *Happy dance!* Surely this needs no explanation. If you haven't read 'The Mortal Instruments' yet, why not?
  • The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley- This is a very short book, written as diary entries by a girl who is a Folk keeper. "Her job is to keep the mysterious Folk who live beneath the ground at bay." Sounds interesting right?
  • Dark Visions by L.J Smith. I've actually never read anything by this author despite her being recommended to me by a few different people. I really need to stay away from The Works bookshop- I just can't resist it when I see new books for £1.60!

From the Library:
  •  Siren by Tricia Rayburn- Wow, this looks great and it's getting great reviews. The eyes on the cover are really creepy!
  • Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin- Ok, I'll admit it, I have no idea what this is about but I keep seeing it on the blogs. Sometimes it's quite nice to dive into a story and have no idea beforehand what to expect!
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore- Saw the film and really liked it. Now going to read the book. I always try and read the book before I see the film but just didn't get a chance with this one.
  • Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry- Zombies baby! This looks like an action packed read about 2 brothers who hunt zombies.
  • Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon- I went searching for Mermaid by this author and found this instead. It looks great, a story about the fairy godmother who got Cinderella to the ball, and is now a lonely old woman working in a Manhattan book store.

For Review:
  • Ultraviolet by R.J Anderson- Love the sound of this one. Story about a girl accused of murder and sectioned in a mental institution after claiming that the victim just disintegrated in front of her. Sounds eerily supernatural. Published in June. For review from the publisher.

So those are my books! What books did you get this week?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

On My Wishlist #2

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City where we can highlight books that we desperately want to read but haven't bought yet, (just can't get them all!)
I need to curb my spending on books and I'm trying really hard not to buy anything else but I really, really, REALLY want all the following books-

Wither by Lauren DeStephano

Gah- how badly do I want to read this book! Everone seems to love this and from the description it sounds just my kind of book. I think it's being published in paperback in June, so I might wait till then and the price has gone down a bit.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

This sounds fantastic. I love the idea of presenting characters from ancient Greek legends in the modern world. This looks very romantic and moving.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker

This book looks cutesy and funny and original. I love the description of the characters, and really want to give this one a try.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)

I'm here…
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell.
They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...

The Girl in The Steel Corset by Kady Cross

This is another one that looks great. Lots of action and people with powers. Steampunk-tastic! Plus I love the cover. This is published in May.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.

What's on your wishlist?

Friday, 15 April 2011

Review: The Gathering By Kelley Armstrong

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is so good to be reading Kelley Armstrong again- I just love her writing style, and always connect with the characters. She writes at just the right pace as well, the story keeps flowing but isn't too busy or confusing. The Gathering is set in the same world as the Darkest Powers series (The Summoning etc.) but you don't at all have to have read these books to get into The Gathering, as the links are very subtle. I was also hoping for a mention of Chloe and co. but despite their absence, I really loved this book.

The description in the book is excellent. I have always wanted to go to Canada, but this book has really made me want to see it! I could just picture this very small town in the middle of Canadian rainforest, and it has a very woodsy, country feel to it. The whole town of Salmon Creek is privately owned by a major drug research corporation and there are less than 200 citizens. Secrecy over the drug research means that everyone is very suspicious of strangers.

Main character Maya has grown up with the same people- everyone knows everybody else, and there are only 68 students in her school from all age ranges. As such, they know everything about one another, they all get along really well, and they feel very safe and very connected in their community. Maya, Daniel and Serena were all best friends growing up, until Serena's sudden and mysterious death from drowning. As such Maya and Daniel grew even closer, and they really are best friends and very protective of each other. I love the dialogue between these two as they really are so close and have their in-jokes and are so comfortable with each other. I really liked the camaraderie between all the students, and all of Maya's friends- all the characters in this book feel like you know them, they have such a believable history and "reallness" to them. She has such a sweet and easy-going relationship with her adoptive parents too, and loves teasingly goading her Dad to embarass him. When new boy at school Rafe starts trying to get close to her Maya is originally very cautious and skeptical of his interest, but his charm and honesty start to overcome Maya's hesitancy.

There are so many questions raised in this book- not only do some people seem to have odd powers, there is so much mystery surrounding Serena's death, what the drug corporation is really up to, as well as Maya's strange heritage, and Rafe's secrets. The whole story is mysterious, funny, heart-warming, and eerily supernatural, in a gorgeous setting. This is really just the start of what promises to be a great series, but the cliff-hanger ending leaves it a little unsatisfying. I can't wait to find out where this story is going! This is must read for anyone who loves paranormal YA. Book 2 is out 2012.

Still not convinced? Read these excellent reviews-
The Gathering review at Stories and Sweeties (Becky)
The Gathering review at Magic Of Reading (Leanne)
The Gathering review at The Story Siren (Kristi)
The Gathering review at The Overflowing Library (Kirsty)

See?! It's not just me that loved this book!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Time Will Come #10

The Time Will Come is weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company where we can show off books that we've had for ages and really want to read but never seem to get round to.
My pick this week is Storm Born by Richelle Mead. This is book 1 in the Dark Swan series.
I have absolutely loved anything written by this author. Her Vampire Academy series and Succubus series are my all-time favourite books, and she just has this incredible way of writing really believable, heartbreaking romance, in a story packed with action. Both the main heroines in these series (Rose in VA, and Georgina in Succubus) are really tough, very funny, unique and lovable women. Eugenie in Storm Born promises to be more of the same. Without even looking what its about I know that this will be a cracking series. And I'll get to it... eventually!

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants...

Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy--one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.

Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Review: Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

Outside In (Inside Out, #2)Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

Book 2- sequel to Inside Out

In the first book Inside Out we were introduced to a society living in a metal cube, divided into sectors and quadrants, and split into uppers (who ran the computing and engineering side of things), and the scrubs (who lived in cramped conditions and did all the manual labour). Trella led a revolution and overthrew the corrupt Trava family who had put themselves in charge, and started trying to free the workers and create a fairer, happier society. After searching for a legendary gateway to "outside", it was revealed that the metal world they lived in was all that there was and nobody was going anywhere. The teaser line for this book on the front of the book reads "A million miles from home there's something outside and it wants in". This instantly grabs your attention and makes you wonder how that is possible and what is going to happen. So starts the revelations, surprises, betrayals, and plot-twists.

Wow, there is a lot going on in this book! This is definitely for people who like their books fast paced and full of danger. Trella whips here, there and everywhere diffusing bombs, plotting rebellions, being patched up after a fight and straight back into the fray again- meetings, spying, sneaking supplies- I was exhausted just reading this book! And I had trouble keeping track of who she is speaking to and where she was at any given time- this book is very... busy. I also thought a map or diagram of the world would have been very helpful as the description of all the different areas of the ship were very confusing. Despite my confusion though, the world- building was very believable and very claustrophobic. You can really imagine the sense being closed in, and almost taste the metal of the walls in the air.

Trella is the same girl that we meet in book 1- very tough and determined, and someone who wouldn't hesitate to put herself in harms way to protect others, but who lacks confidence in herself as a leader. Aside from everything that is happening politically, Trella also has to cope with her mixed feelings about her burgeoning relationship with Riley, help her best friends Logan and Anne-Jade restore order in the new society, and try to understand how she feels about her once- traitorous found-again mother. Phew! The best thing about this book is Riley, Trella's on-again-off-again boyfriend, who is so sweet, and really passionate. The pages with both of them together sparkle with their banter, Riley is just very funny and adorable. All the characters in this story are fantastic with lots of humour, sadness, and mixed loyalties.

Outside In has a mystery, plenty of action, romance, heartbreak and sabotage. It is a story about another world with technology we can only imagine, but characters that you can definitely relate to and love. It is a beliveable sci-fi story with a heart.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 10 April 2011

In My Mailbox 10th April 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where we can show off all the books we got this week.
I don't have a lot to report this week as I'm trying desperately to reign myself in and stop getting more books before my reading pile buries me! This won't take long- it's just one book that I'd pre-ordered from Amazon ages ago and it finally dropped through the letterbox on Friday.


  • The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong- This is another author that I love and although this book is the first in a new series (the Darkness Rising series), it is based on the world in her Darkest Powers trilogy, and features some of the minor characters from those books. The Summoning, The Awakening, and The Reckoning were all such brilliant books with supernaturals and a romance story that I just loved, and Kelley Armstrong's fantastic writing and her ability to hook you into the story and really connect with the characters. I wanted this book when I first heard about it a year ago, and am really excited that it's finally here.

I started reading it on Friday, the day I got it, and am already more than half way through. I absolutely love it so far, so look for my review in the next couple of days!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

How many books do you read at once?- A response

Jodie started a really interesting discussion over at her blog Books For Company about how many books we have on the go at any one time. A lot of people said that they would get confused reading more than one book at once- others said they had no problem and read different books at different times of day, or read one e-book and one hardback depending on where they were.
Read Jodie's original post here

Here was my answer:
Usually it is about 3 at a time- but there is a very good reason! I read one book at home before bed and in the mornings on my days off, but if it is a heavy hardback book or a book on my kindle, I don't want to carry this backwards and forwards between home and work so I have a small, light paperback for work. I get an hours lunchbreak at work and I love to find a quiet corner and sit with my book and my sandwich. The third book is an audiobook. Any time I can't hold a book in my hands I listen to an audiobook. This is every morning when I am getting dressed and putting my makeup on, and in the evening when I am cooking dinner and doing the washing up. So that's why the three:

1) Book for home (heavy or kindle)
2) Book to read while at work
3) Audiobook

I'm quite good at being able to compartmentalise the different stories and rarely get mixed up- but I have to make sure that all the books are a bit different, eg. I couldn't read 2 werewolf books at once or anything too similar. I would get confused if the books had the same main character's name, but usually I am fine.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Review: Defiance by Lili St. Crow

Defiance (Strange Angels, #4)Defiance by Lilith Saintcrow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book four in the Strange Angels series

I have loved this series right from the start and this book is a welcome continuation of Dru's story- exciting, nail-biting and action packed. Dru is part vampire and living at the schola for dhamphir and werwulfen boys, training with Christophe and attending class. Dru is svetocha- a rare female part vampire part human, and as such she is treated like a princess at the schola, and accorded a lot of respect and influence. She uses this to command everyone to help in the search for Graves, her missing best friend. I am Team Graves all the way and have always found Christophe a little creepy. Graves is not in this book a lot which is a shame, because he is a very funny and comforting character, who can always be relied upon. His absence makes Dru brooding and miserable, and leaves a hole in the story. There is no comic relief so Dru's emotions are always dark and raw. She also has a confusing time trying to sort out her feelings for both Graves and Christophe. Her status as svetocha also means that she must always be watched and protected, leaving Dru feeling smothered. Dru is the type of person to hate being treated like she is precious and never takes advantage of her power. Dru is such a great heroine- really likeable. She is such a funny mix of spunky tough-girl tom-boyishness and real vulnerability. Her powers are only just starting to develop in this book, and her confidence is also growing with them.

After a slow start the action picks up again and Dru's strength and determination kicks in over her depression and renews her desperation to help Graves. I love the constant shift in narrative between what is happening and Dru's memories of her Grandmother's kooky advice and her Dad's training. Dru never knows who to trust and alliances shift, and she is lied to and betrayed from unexpected quarters. But she also finds an unexpected ally...

Book 5 The Reckoning is due to be published November 2011 and looks like it will be an explosive finale to the series with Dru really coming into her own- bring it on!

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Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Time Will Come #9

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books for Company where we spotlight books that we've had for ages and really want to read but never get round to.
I have had Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz sitting on my shelf for absolutely ages, and never got around to picking it up. This is the first book in a series that some people seem to love and others hate. It first came to my attention as recommended to fans of Twilight after that craze a couple of years ago. I've just never been in the right mood to start it or always have newer books that I want to read first.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the glittery backdrop of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz's legion fans.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Review: The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

The Lost Saint (Dark Divine)The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 2 in the Dark Divine series

I actually liked this book a little better than the first one, as there was a bit more action in this book. Grace is discovering her powers and testing out what she can do, and while they are still in love Daniel feels he can no longer protect her and starts becoming even more secretive and distant. Enter Talbot, who befriends Grace at a club, understands what she is going through and tries to help her. Talbot is a mysterious character and it takes us a while to really find out anything about him, but I loved the tension between him and Grace (and I love a good love triangle!) Grace's goody goody-ness actually became a little annoying in this book though, and I did want to scream at "stand up for yourself" a couple of times, especially with her mother. Grace is the angelic pastor's daughter, and willingly does her chores and obeys her parents. Grace's brother Jude is missing and the hunt for him is the biggest part of the storyline and the reason Grace is constantly in trouble! The relationship between Grace and Daniel is very intense but sweet, and the character of Talbot is interesting because we get to see a completely different side to Grace.

There are plenty of twists and turns and unexpected surprises in this book, as well as lots of action and romance. The ending definitely leaves us hanging and I now have to wait until next year for book 3!

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Sunday, 3 April 2011

In My Mailbox 3rd April 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, where we can show off the books we got this week.
(This covers the past fortnight in my case!)
  • Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz- This looks great, heard good things about it, really exited to read it. An obsessed stalker I think?
  • Chime by Franny Billingsley- gorgeous cover, story about witches in Wales.
  • Defiance by Lili St. Crow- Fourth book in the Strange Angels series. Vampires, werewolves and all that jazz! I had to start reading this as soon as it dropped through the door!


From the Library:
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman- I have been reading a lot of reviews on blogs for the sequel to this recently and everybody seems to be loving these books.
  • As You Wish by Jackson Pearce- How cute does this book sound?! A modern girl falls in love with the magical genie who is granting her 3 wishes and becomes reluctant to make a wish because she'll lose him in her life.

For Review:
  • Predators of Darkness: Aftermath by Leonard D. Hilley II- Dark dystopian sci-fi thriller set in the world after a radioactive fallout, with genetic mutants (and a talking cat!). From the author.
  • Wherever You Go by Heather Davis- I'm really excited about this one, not published until November that looks excellent. A moving story about a girl whose dead boyfriend watches over her and has to let go when she starts getting close to his best friend. From the publisher.

Quite a mixed bundle this week- just the way I like it!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Review: My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2)My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My Soul to Save is the sequel to My Soul to Take, and picks up a few weeks after the end of the first book. Kaylee is now living with her dad and trying to re-adjust to having him in her life again. She is also having how-to-be-a-banshee lessons with Harmony, and Kaylee and Nash are spending more and more time together.

While Kaylee and Nash are at a pop concert Eden, the star suddenly drops dead on stage without any warning- and without Kaylee screaming. They discover a corrupt corporate media production company who are selling girl's souls in exchange for their success, and it is up to Kaylee, Nash and Tod to prevent it from happening again. I liked this book a little better than the first one, and loved the action and the drama. There was also a little mystery and suspense and twists and turns just like in the first book. There was a slightly different storyline in this book, and Kaylee discovers a lot more that she can do with her powers. We venture with Kaylee and Nash into a dangerous alternate realm- the Netherworld- that had only been briefly mentioned in the first book. They are determined to try and handle everything themselves, and manage to get themselves into all kinds of situations- often putting themselves at risk. Kaylee is desperate to protect her new friends and save their souls, and Nash is desperate to protect Kaylee. My favourite character is still Tod, and the dynamic between the two brothers is great.

I think I'm really warming up to this series and want to read the next one now!

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Friday, 1 April 2011

Review: My Soul To Take by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

Kaylee is a banshee (or bean-sidhe in Irish legend) but has been raised completely unaware of her heritage and her powers. What she originally thinks are panic attacks are soon revealed to actually be premonitions of death. When she sees a girl surrounded in shadow in a club she knows that girl is going to die and struggles to hold back an ear-splitting scream of despair. She is helped by her best friend Emma, and Nash- a guy from school. When Kaylee later learns what she is and learns how to recognise what is happening to her she is horrified when it starts happening again- another young girl dies suddenly without cause, and Kaylee and Nash start trying to discover who is harvesting souls and why, and need to make a plan to try and stop it. They are helped by Tod- a young grim reaper whose job it is to collect souls according to his "schedule" (death is very organised and beaurocratic don'tcha know and reapers have a strict heirarchy). The story becomes a mystery, and all the different supernatural aspects are revealed to us as Kaylee learns about it.

I don't like being negative with reviews but it needs to be said. Ok- barely twenty pages in and we had the main character Kaylee who doesn't think she is very pretty, being chatted up by "hottest guy in school" football player Nash, and I couldn't help rolling my eyes. Despite their relationship feeling a bit rushed the story does get better nearer the end of the book. I can't understand why everyone else seems to be rating this 5 stars, and although I thought this was a good book that's all it was, just "good". Although the concept of soul screamers is new to the paranormal genre, the romance and premise wasn't anything new or exceptional.

On the positive side I did like the characterisation in this book. Kaylee and Nash are both great, typical teenagers and very likeable, and the secondary cast of characters were excellent- Kaylee's self-absorbed cousin and health-obsessed aunt, and I liked Tod a lot despite not knowing who he really was or what he was after for most of the book. And I didn't see the ending coming- excellent.

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