Monday, 31 December 2012

The Best of 2012

It's nearly the end of 2012, and the start of a new year that promises the release of so many good books! I'm excited for the change, but I don't want to let go of what a great year this has been; so what better way to celebrate than to look back over all the books I have read this year, and choose some of my favourites for a spotlight?

Top Five Anticipated Releases of 2012
books that i eagerly awaited the release of
The Fault in Our Stars
5. Reached by Ally Condie - I adored Matched, was disappointed with Crossed, but could not resist buying Reached! Look out for a review sometime this year.
4. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - The first three of the trilogy were amazing, but the fourth and fifth really disappointed me. Here's to hoping that the last installment, City of Heavenly Fire, ends the series off with a bang!
3. Hidden by P.C. and Kristin Cast - The House of Night series was starting to become dreary, but Destined really upped its game. I've recently bought Hidden, so fingers crossed!
2. Dreamless by Josephine Angelini - This was the first proof copy of a book I ever received, and what an amazing read it was! I possibly liked it more than Starcrossed, the book that started it all, which is a rarity. Definitely worth a read.
1. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green - Green is my favourite author, and I waited ages for this release - and it didn't disappoint! I have a signed hardback copy, and I treasure it with my all; brilliant novel, brilliant man.


Sunday, 30 December 2012

Obsidian by Jennifer L.Armentrout

Title: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L.Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Released: November 23rd 2011
Pages: 271 (Kindle)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US


Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 
If I don't kill him first, that is.


Stacking the Shelves (#5)

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get together and show off what new reads are stacking up on their shelves.

CHRISTMAS HAUL! So for Christmas, I didn't get loads of books (well, not as many as I usually get, which is pretty much waves) down to the fact that a) I have about 50 to read on my shelf, and b) I've worked in Waterstones over Christmas; I'm constantly surrounded by books. However, with the Kindle voucher I received as well as some money, I've gathered together a pretty massive haul - and I have already begun to work my way through it!

Christmas Gifts:
Anna and the French Kiss
Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith (from my mum)
This Is Not A Book by Keri Smith (from my mum)
Batman: Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison (from my dad)
Tessa of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (from my mum)
Kindle voucher (from my mum):

  • Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Ekleles
  • Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter


Bought by Me:
Hidden by P.C. and Kristin Cast
The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
SplinteredThe Immortals by Julie Kagawa

Borrowed:
The Silver Linings Playbook by (from my mum)

From Author:
Splintered by A.G.Howard (thank you sososo much, Anita!)
Signed Hysteria bookmarks from Megan Miranda (thank you!)

From Netgalley:
And All The Stars by Andrea K Höst (self-published)

Yeah...I think this is possibly my biggest haul yet? How will I get through them all -  where do I start? What books have you received over the Christmas period? Leave a comment below, and Happy New Year!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Follow Friday (#18)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where you meet and follow different bloggers.

Question of the Week: What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book?

The obvious answer would be Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - but considering everyone has already read the series (that is a hint for those who haven't!) so my answer would have to be Before I Die by Jenny Downham. I haven't read the book in a few years, so I therefore haven't got a review to link you to, but it was seriously brilliant. Even after all this time, I'm still reeling from it. Note to self - read it again soon!

So what book would you suggest I read? Leave a comment below, and don't forget to check out the New Year, New Books! giveaway - there are only four days left to enter!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#26)

'Waiting on Wednesday' is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Follow Friday (#17)


Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where you meet and follow different bloggers.

Question of the Week: What have you learned from book blogging that you didn't know before about the publishing industry?

Well, I never knew what ARC meant, for sure! I think the best thing I've learnt about the publishing world is how accessible it is. When I used to just read novels, you'd see all these big names - HarperCollins, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster - and they'd just seem so foreign and, frankly, intimidating. Since I started Project Read and Review, I've talked to so many publishing companies, and now I know how lovely all the workers there are, and how easy it is to talk to them. The same goes for authors - they're not just a name on a book cover, they are actually real people who do have the time of day to talk to you. 

So what have you learnt from book blogging? Post a comment below - and don't forget to enter my New Year, New Books! giveaway.

Undeadly by Michele Vail

Title: Undeadly
Author: Michele Vail
Publisher: Harlequin
Released: November 20th 2012
Pages: 304 (eBook)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. 

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Stacking the Shelves (#4)

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get together and show off what new reads are stacking up on their shelves.

Sneak by Evan Angler (from Thomas Nelson via Netgalley)
Geek Girl by Holly Smale (from HarperCollins via Netgalley)
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa (from Harlequin via Netgalley)

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Title: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Authors: Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
Publisher: Mira Ink
Released: October 26th 2010
Pages: 274 (Kindle)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Friday, 14 December 2012

Lies by Michael Grant

Title: Lies
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: May 4th 2010
Pages: 472 (Hardcover)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most - Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness - or so they thought. As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.

Follow Friday (#16)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where you meet and follow different bloggers.

Question of the Week: What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...

Oh dear. Is it sad to admit that I cry a lot at books? I think the last one I cried at was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. There wasn't a specific scene - it's about World War II, how can you not cry at pretty much everything? But I remember four scenes that really set me off. Not to post spoilers, but the first one was about Max, the second was about Hans, the third...the third really got the waterworks going, and it was again about Max (yes, favourite character right there!), and the last was the scene with Rudy...if you've read it; yeah, that scene.

However, my all-time worst tear-jerker was My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I kid you not when I say that I finished it and just wept - I was literally hysterical. How lovely.

So what books are your ultimate tear-jerkers? Leave a comment below, and don't forget to enter the New Year, New Books! giveaway!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#25)

'Waiting on Wednesday' is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Struck By Lightning by Chris Colfer

Title: Struck By Lightning
Author: Chris Colfer
Publisher: Atom
Released: November 20th 2012
Pages: 272 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips, who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school. At a time when bullying torments so many young people today, this unique and important novel sheds light with humor and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers.

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien

Title: The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R.Tolkien
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: September 21st 1937
Pages: 277 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon...

I feel quite disappointed in myself, based on the fact that after years of owning a copy of this book, I only picked it up so that I could go and watch The Hobbit in the cinema (I love Martin Freeman, sue me!). But OH MY GIDDY GOSH this novel was and is amazing! I can't believe it took a bloody film to rouse me round into reading it! If you're planning on going to see the film, I implore you to read it first - even if Christmas shopping has made you broke, go to your closest library, I'm sure they'll have several gazillion copies. This is a must-read.

New Year, New Books! Giveaway

(image originally from: http://2dhouse.com/blog/2011/04/)

I think this may be my best giveaway yet! Until today, I didn't know whether I'd be able to run this - but I can, and I am so excited! The giveaway, as the title suggests, is to celebrate the coming of a new year - new year, new start, right? So many great books are set to be published in 2013, so I want to celebrate all the great releases from this year and all years previous. Below there is a very bad video you can watch (and get distracted by the annoying laptop reflection in my glasses!) or you can read the rules written below and check out the prize packs!

video

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Stacking the Shelves (#3)


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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get together and show off what new reads are stacking up on their shelves.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (from the library)
Lies by Michael Grant (from the library)
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (from HarperCollins via Netgalley)
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (from Harlequin via Netgalley)
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (from Harlequin via Netgalley)
Shadowhunters and Downhunters by Cassandra Clare (from Smart Pop Books via Netgalley)
Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine (from Harlequin via Netgalley)
Reached by Ally Condie (bought by me)
Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer (bought by me)

So what's stacking up your shelves today? Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Title: Hysteria
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release: February 5th 2013
Pages: 272 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Mallory's life is falling apart. Her boyfriend was stabbed. He bled to death in her kitchen. Mallory was the one who stabbed him. But she can't remember what happened that night. She only remembers the fear ...When Mallory's parents send her away to a boarding school, she thinks she can escape the gossip and the threats. But someone, or something, has followed her. There's the hand that touches her shoulder when she's drifting off to sleep. A voice whispering her name. And everyone knows what happened. So when a pupil is found dead, Mallory's name is on their lips. Her past can be forgotten but it's never gone. Can Mallory live with that?

Waiting on Wednesday (#24)

'Waiting on Wednesday' is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Monday, 3 December 2012

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: September 29th 2011
Pages: 374 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon


The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. 

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Book of the Month: November

I read a lot of brilliant novels this month, but only two really stood out for me, and both for very different reasons. I rated both Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath five stars because although nothing alike, they were both interesting and excellently written. But although I did thoroughly enjoy both of them, there is still a clear winner to me.

Throne of Glass was the first novel I read this month, but it has stuck with me all this time. The concept was so unique that Maas had me hooked right from the beginning. I loved all of the characters, the descriptions were fabulous, and the whole world she created was so well thought-out, it may as well have been real. If you haven't read Throne of Glass, you must add it to your TBR list immediately! It is definitely worth it.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Follow Friday (#15)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where you meet and follow different bloggers.

Question of the Week: Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.

EASY. Tobias from Veronica Roth's Divergent series! Although I love other characters like Jem from The Infernal Devices series, and Dimitri from the Vampire Academy series, Tobias is just perfection. Why aren't all real guys like him? I think that with book characters, you will never find a model who truly fits the image of that character in your head. However, I think for Tobis, I've found one pretty close:


Yeah, Max Irons. I thought about a few different actors, like Tom Hardy and Logan Lerman, but I feel like Max is the balance between a man and a boy, just like how Tobias is.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Publisher: Young Picador
Released: October 12th 1979
Pages: 224 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

I have never read a bad review of this novel. Whenever I mentioned that I wanted to read this book, people immediately told me that I'd love it - that I have a Babelfish in my ear, anyway. I was convinced that I would find this book amazing - great concept, witty author, and a film with Martin Freeman in it - what could be better? Unfortunately - brace yourself for the anticlimaxes of all anticlimaxes since Twilight - I didn't like it.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Uglies
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Released: February 8th 2005
Pages: 425 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Tally can't wait to turn sixteen and become pretty. Sixteen is the magic number that brings a transformation from repellent Ugly into a stunningly attractive Pretty, and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks, Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend, Shay, isn't sure she wants to be Pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the Pretty world - and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn Pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Stacking the Shelves (#2)

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get together and show off what new reads are stacking up on their shelves.

This week I've mainly gotten books from publisher, and I'm especially excited to have received The Resistance and The Legacy, because I read The Declaration a few years back, and it's the book that got my hooked on dystopian reads.

The Resistance by Gemma Malley (from Bloomsbury)
The Legacy by Gemma Malley (from Bloomsbury)
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (from HarperCollins through NetGalley)
The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (from my school library)

So what's been stacked on your shelves this week? Leave a comment below!

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Released: 1963
Pages: 234 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Esther Greenwood is at college and is fighting two battles, one against her own desire for perfection in all things - grades, boyfriend, looks, career - and the other against remorseless mental illness. As her depression deepens she finds herself encased in it, bell-jarred away from the rest of the world. This is the story of her journey back into reality. 

About this time last year, I read Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, possibly one of my all-time favourite books. After I'd finished, a lot of people recommended that I read The Bell Jar, saying that if I loved Girl Interrupted, The Bell Jar would blow my socks off. And blow them off it did, indeed.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Title: Spark
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Released: July 17th 2012
Pages: 375 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancé? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her? 

In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

TRIPLE Cover Wars (#3)

I know what you're thinking - two cover wars in a singular month?! Nina, are you feeling okay? I am actually! Back at the end of October, I did a cover reveal for Goddess by Josephine Angelini, the final installment in the Starcrossed trilogy. Today the UK cover was revealled (the copy I should be getting!) so I thought, you know what? Let's do a massive cover wars of the whole trilogy; UK (right) versus US (left).

Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1)

Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1)Firstly, I'll do the US versions. As I said in the cover reveal, I love how each one links together, through using the same fonts, same model, same dress, same place. In each one, all they have changed is the colour of the sky and what the model is doing, which I think reflects what happens in the novels. However, I would say that for the second novel, Dreamless, it doesn't fit the theme quite as well - I don't know whether that's because whilst the other two are mainly blue and purple, or the fact that the model is looking at the camera rather than off into the distance.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Stacking The Shelves (#1)


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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get together and show off what new reads are stacking up on their shelves.

Right, so I have switched from doing In My Mailbox to my own book hauls, and now I've changed again to Stacking the Shelves! Maybe I'll stick with this meme this time? Anyway, this week I've gotten a few books, all of which I am super excited about!

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (from my dad)
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (from my dad)
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (borrowed from my mum)
Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (bought by me)
Hysteria by Megan Miranda (from Bloomsbury through NetGalley)
Rape Girl by Alina Klein (from Namelos through NetGalley)
Entangled by Nikki Jefford (from Nikki through NetGalley)
The Panem Companion by V. Arrow (from BenBella Books, Inc through NetGalley)

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Awaken by Kristen Day

At the end of September, I read the first novel in this amazing trilogy, Forsaken, and took part in the blog tour. So when I got the opportunity to take part in the sequel's tour - well, I just couldn't resist! And lucky for you guys, there is also another amazing giveaway. Click below for more information.


About The Author


Kristen Day is a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity.  She loves all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky.  She’s been told she sees the world through rose-colored glasses, but she prefers to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses - swirling and morphing reality into something she can digest (who hasn't pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?).

She is the author of the Daughters of the Sea trilogy, which includes Forsaken, Awaken (October 2012), and Chosen (Winter 2012).  She loves all books, but really enjoys writing young adult, paranormal romances.  She’s loved to write for as long as she can remember.  Her first published work was her poem RED in second grade (you guessed it - it was a poem about the color red - life altering, right?) that won her 5 gold stars and a spot in her elementary school's poetry book. That's when her addiction to the written word officially began.  She was the only kid in fifth grade that actually enjoyed diagramming sentences. Go ahead and laugh - its okay.

When she’s not writing she’s making jewelry, painting, feeding her addiction to sweet tea, watching the Discovery Channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with her amazing husband. She was born in Boone, NC and graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Marketing in 2001.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

The Lure of ShapinsayTitle: The Lure of Shapinsay
Author: Krista Holle
Publisher: Sweet River Romance
Released: December 16th 2011
Pages: 260 (ebook)
Buy: Amazon

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant. 

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure. 

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Cover Wars (#2)

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)While Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is still fresh in my mind, I thought I'd post a Cover Wars about it, seeing as I haven't done one in ages! Again, this is the US versus the UK.

First up, the US cover. Now I love the background image of the castle. In the novel, apart from the bits at the bottom, the castle is completely made of glass - something Celaena, the heroine, finds ridiculous. I love how they've placed that there to give the whole cover a bit of a mystery and slightly fantastical effect - it doesn't look quite real.

Then we move on to the model. While she is gorgeous, she just isn't the Celaena I've read about in the book. If I could put a caption beside her head, it would say "See this dagger? I've hidden some extra hairpins and my make up brush in it. Sneaky, right?" It just looks a bit boring and typical - nothing really eye-catching. She's just another pretty face.

Then we move on to the UK cover. Aside from the fact that I have this copy, I just think it has that wow-factor that mimics how great the story is. Although it is a drawing, Celaena's essence seems to have been captured in this cover; even without the swords she would look dangerous, with the black of her clothing contrasting drastically with the white of her hair and the background. She looks like an Ice Queen, ready to shove a sword straight through your heart. If this had a caption, it would definitely say, "Look at me the wrong way, and I will mess you up."

Personally, I think it's been apparent right from the start who the winner would be. Although I like certain aspects of the US cover, the UK cover is better by miles. It truly manages to capture the danger and actions of the story.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: August 2nd 2012
Pages: 404 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

I stayed up so late last night to try and finish this book. Whilst it was gripping from start to end, the final 100 pages...I just couldn't put it down! I know I can say that a lot, but literally this time, I couldn't put it down. Every chapter ended on a cliffhanger, and just when I said to myself, Okay after I've finished this chapter I will put it down, another mystery was about to be unraveled! I have read many fantasy novels and fairytale retellings, but I have never come across a book as unique and as amazing as this. Maas, where have you been all my life?

NaNoWriMo 2012

I'm sure a lot of you have been seeing this title around quite a bit, especially recently. But what is it? For those of you that don't know, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, and it is basically a competition to try and write a 50,000 worded novel in the month of November. It occurs every year, and as the time goes on, more and more people join.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Book of the Month: October

So at the beginning of the month, I'd read some good books...but nothing that I absolutely fell in love with. And then, all at once, I read The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I rated all of them five stars - and if I'm honest, I would have given them a lot more if the scale went any higher! Each of them had a very different plot; The Iron King was about Fae living in the Nevernever, an alternative, magical Universe to our own; Dance of Shadows was about ballet, demons, and dark magic; Water for Elephants followed a young man as he ran away and joined a circus. Although they are all so different, I loved them all equally. However, there can only be one book of the month, so I think my final choice will have to be...

Water for Elephants. Why? Well, firstly Dance of Shadows is going to be released in 2013, so is it really fair for it to be my book of the month although it isn't even published yet? And although I rated The Iron King five stars, it just didn't grip me as much as this. And secondly, aside from this being an absolutely amazing novel, today marks the first day of NaNoWriMo 2012 - and Gruen first began writing Water for Elephants for a previous NaNoWriMo, so it seems perfect to include it here.

Although this is an adult novel - and has some pretty sexy scenes - I think it is aimed at people of all ages (well, 14+). I adore circuses anyway, but I think even for people who don't have that connection to the novel, they will still find a way to relate to it. As I said in my review, it isn't just a novel about some circus - or even about the main character, Jacob. For me, it taught me a lot about life, and it did change my perception of things ever so slightly - which is a pretty powerful thing for a book to do. But it did, and I really think this is one of those modern novels that is a must-read for at least once in your lifetime. It is utterly breathtaking.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cover Reveal (#4)

I was so excited for this cover reveal! I have followed Josephine Angelini's Starcrossed trilogy from the very beginning, and I even managed to get my hands on a proof copy of Dreamless, the second installment. So it is needless to say that I am even more excited about the last release, Goddess, where everything will come to a climax - and if this cover is anything to go by, it should be amazing. Here's the Goodreads synopsis:

After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Why We Broke Up by David Handler

Title: Why We Broke Up
Author: David Handler
Illustrator: Maira Kalman
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Released: December 27th 2011
Pages: 354 (Hardcover)
Buy: Amazon


I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Follow Friday (#14)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read where you meet and follow different bloggers.

Question of the Week: What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book?

Oh dear, this will set me off on a rant. I hate hate hate it when author's force love triangles on the reader! Love triangles happen in a lot of different novels, and if they occur naturally, then I'm fine with them. But when authors spend most of the novel with the heroine contemplating on whether to be with the sweet, loving guy who cares so much about her, and the mysterious bad-boy who acts as if he couldn't give two hoots, it really gets on my nerves. Unless it is a trashy romance, novels should have more of a depth to their story than just a girl choosing between two guys.

Another thing that annoys me is when an author attempts to make the reader's believe that their novel is a piece of amazing literary work, when in reality, it isn't that great. A fantastical example of this is Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L.James - I've read it, and I honestly believe she was sat with a thesaurus open on her lap, changing every other word to something that sounds more prestigious. It didn't work.

So - what writing tricks annoy you? Love triangles? Wrong thesaurus use? Leave a comment below!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Title: Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Released: May 26th 2006
Pages: 335 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and for Jacob the circus was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was ultimately their only hope for survival.

Blog Tour: The Last Witch by Debbie Dee


As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. So when the opportunity arose to participate in the blog tour, I just couldn't turn it down! And it turns out I'll be kicking it off too - so let's start this tour with a bang!

About The Author

Debbie Dee recently moved to southern Idaho with her husband and three children where she is learning how to be a country girl in her favorite pair of blue heels. She adores fairy tales and happy endings, but secretly crushes on the bad guy now and then. As a dedicated musician who practices way too much, she never expected writing would sweep her off her feet until she jotted down a scene from a daydream, which turned into two scenes, which turned into a messy house and her first novel. Since then she hasn't been able to let a day go by without writing. Her website is www.debbiedee.com.






Friday, 19 October 2012

Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Title: Dance of Shadows
Author: Yelena Black
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release: February 12th 2013
Pages: 300 (Paperback)
Pre-Order: Amazon

Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you're close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner's heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts...

Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister's shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames...

Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Josh, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: MiraInk
Released: February 1st 2010
Pages: 363 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Title: I Am The Messenger
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Knopf Books
Released: May 9th 2006
Pages: 357 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Meet Ed Kennedy—underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger...

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is a yearly event, where the worldwide book community group together to raise awareness about the censorship of books through celebrating the freedom to read and everyone's right to have access to information. This year, it is has been taking place from September 30th, to October 6th, which is today. So I thought, hey, better late than never to write a post, right?

Now on Ala.org, I managed to find a list of the top 100 most banned or challenged books from 2000 to 2009. Here's the top ten: