Saturday, 30 June 2012

One-Year Blogaversary and 100 follower Giveaway

So I began Project Read and Review at the beginning of August 2011, and my ultimate goal for my one year Blogaversary was to reach 100 followers – a drop in the ocean, but a start and a major accomplishment for me. And guess what? As of yesterday (30th June) Project R & R has over 100 followers! I could never have done this without all of you guys, so to say thank you I am hosting my very first blog contest to celebrate that big first year and the massive one, zero, zero. I’m including a video explaining the rules and prizes of the contest, but if you want to skip it, go ahead; I’m including all the info below as well. (And if you want to grab the button, that would be super awesome!)

The Rules:
Yes, there are rules. I’m sorry!

1. To enter this contest you must be following me on GFC.
2. The contest will run from 1st July 2012 until the 31st August 2012. The closing time will be 12am EST time.
3. This is an international contest.
4. There will only be one winner of the overall contest, and they will only receive one of the different books below (of course, they get to choose which of those books they want).
5. I will announce the winner on the blog on 1st September 2012 unless something comes up, but I will keep you posted.
6. Rafflecopter (the giveaway site I'm using) will email the winner after the competition is over, and I will also email the winner asking for which novel they would like and what their address is. Addresses are completely confidential, and I will not be sharing them with anyone.

Anyway, with the rules out of the way, let’s get on to the fun stuff:

The Prizes:
So I thought the prizes should have a theme, so I chose different books that had a connection to me in one way or another.
File:Before i die cover.jpg

A Book That I Absolutely Adore: Before I Die by Jenny Downham
A Book That Changed My Life: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
A Book by My Favourite Author: Looking For Alaska by John Green
A Book at the Top of My TBR List: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
A Book I Surprisingly Loved: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

ForbiddenIncarnate (Newsoul, #1)

(As mentioned in the video, big thanks to MKB and Haley at YA-Aholic. Clicky for the links, and happy reading!) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 29 June 2012

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Title: The Hollow
Author: Jessica Verday
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: August 21st 2009
Pages: 531 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. It only makes things worse that everyone now treats Abbey like either a freak show or a charity case. Thank goodness for Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again, but also special. Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth about Caspian that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

Follow Friday (#10)

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: Birthday Wishes - Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake...who is it and what book are they from?

One character? Only one? Can't I choose two? Because if it was two, then I'd definitely choose Four from the Divergent series and Jem from The Infernal Devices series. They are seriously my biggest book crushes, which is really sad and nerdy, but oh my, if only they were real. Why aren't they real?!

But if I can only choose one, I'd choose Four. Jem could be a big brother of sorts, or something.

Who would you choose? Leave a comment below, and don't forget to follow!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#16)

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

I keep being reminded that this book is actually being released this year, which I am super excited about! I wanted to wait a while until I had read the previous installment, but I can't nip in my excitement any longer. This week, I am waiting on Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Wanted: Dead or Undead by Angela Scott

Title: Wanted: Dead or Undead
Author: Angela Scott
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Released: March 30th 2012
Pages: 225 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Trace Monroe doesn’t believe in luck. He never has. But when a fiery-headed cowgirl saunters through the saloon doors, wielding shotguns and a know-how for killing the living dead, he believes he just may be the luckiest man alive. Trace wants to join "Red’s" posse, but she prefers to work alone—less messy that way. 

In order to become her traveling companion, Trace has to agree to her terms: no names, no questions, and if he gets bit, he can’t beg for mercy when she severs his brain stem. He agrees, knowing only that Red is the sharpest shooter he’s ever encountered. The fact she’s stunning hasn’t escaped his attention either. 

What he doesn’t know, is that Red has a very good reason to be on top of her game. She not only has the answer for how they can all outlive the plague taking over the wild, wild west, she is the answer.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan

Title: Cirque Du Freak
Author: Darren Shan
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: June 1st 2002
Pages: 183 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Darren Shan is an ordinary schoolboy who enjoys hanging out with his three best friends. Then one day they stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque Du Freak, a mysterious freak show. As if by destiny, Darren wins a ticket, and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.

Liebster Blog Award

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have under 200 followers.
 Liebster is a German word that means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute endearing and welcoming.

The Rules:
1. Each person must post 10 facts about themselves
2. Answer 10 questions the tagger has given you and give 10 questions for the people you’ve tagged.
3. Choose 10 people and link them in your post.
4. Tell them you’ve tagged them.
5. Remember, no tag backs.

Ten Facts About Me:
1. My favourite book is Before I Die by Jenny Downham.
2. In 2010, I wrote a 50,000 worded novel in a month (for NaNoWriMo).
3. I constantly write novels and fanfictions.
4. I have a scar under my chin from when I fell off of a roundabout.
5. I broke my arm when I was seven from jumping on a beanbag and falling back into a cot.
6. Three novels that changed my life are The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Girl Interrupted, & The Fault In Our Stars.
7. I'm fifteen, yet I still adore Pokemon. Don't judge me.
8. I'm a massive gamer...and a massive nerd.
9. The first time I read the Harry Potter series, I read it in the wrong order: 3, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 6, 7.
10. When I have my own house, I'm dedicating a room to my books.

Questions From Jen (The Book Twins):
1. What do you love most about blogging? I think the fact that I have the opportunity to suggest amazing books to people and recommend them to read them.
2. What made you want to start blogging? I've always loved reading, and I wanted to keep a tab of what books I had read and what I thought of them.
3. What are three things you feel are most important in the blogging world? Giving honest reviews, supporting your fellow bloggers, and having fun.
4. What are some things you would change or add onto your blogging? I'd love it to be a bit more professional, have blogrolls and more images. I'm going to be getting a button soon, which is pretty awesome.
5. What do you love most about reading a book? How I can get completely caught up in the storyline, and forget about all the stresses of life, whether that be exams, fall-outs or whatever.
6. How many books do you own? I'm not currently at home so I can't count, but I currently have 30 books to be read, so overall I perhaps have a bit over 200? In my room anyway. There are tons more scattered around the house and in the attic, but that's my best guess.
7. Which Hero/Heroine would you like to be? It's odd, but I'd love to be Annie Cresta from The Hunger Games. I find something so courageous within her, and I'd love to be a brave as she is.
8. What's your favourite genre to review/read? Young Adult, of course!
9.  When did you start reading on a regular basis? Since I was about seven, with the Harry Potter series.
10. Do you prefer to buy or borrow books? Buy, definitely, because then I can reread them whenever I like.

Blogs I've Tagged:
1. A Reader In Time
2. A Booky Wonderland
3. Books And College
4. Infinitively Reading
5. Jez's Bookcase
6. Olivia's Bookaholic Life
7. Rally The Readers
8. The Travelling Owl
9. The Screaming Nitpicker
10. Whnbstihwsoft

My Questions For Them:
1. When did you start blogging?
2. Why did you start blogging?
3. Who's blog do you wish yours was more like?
4. What is your favourite series?
5. If you could live inside any novel, which would it be?
6. If you could unread any book, what would it be and why?
7. Which book is at the top of your To-Be-Read list?
8. What novel do you wish you had written yourself?
9. Where is your favourite place to read?
10. Which book character do you wish was real?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Hunger by Michael Grant

Title: Hunger
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Egmont UK
Released: September 6th 2010
Pages: 608 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ. Things have only gotten worse. Food is running out, and each day more kids are developing supernatural abilities. Soon tension rises between those with powers and those without, and when an unspeakable tragedy occurs, chaos erupts. It's the normals against the mutants, and the battle promises to turn bloody.

But something more dangerous lurks. A sinister creature known as the Darkness has begun to call to the survivors in the FAYZ. It needs their powers to sustain its own. When the Darkness calls, someone will answer -- with deadly results.

After reading Gone, I desperately wanted to get my hands on the sequel, Hunger - but I had to wait a while because someone had taken it out of the library before me. Anyway, when I finally got around to reading it, I have to say that I was slightly disappointed. But I loved it at the same time? I am so torn with this book, I don't know where to begin.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#15)

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

So I'm guessing that everyone knew that after yesterday's Cover Reveal, what I am waiting on this week is Hidden by P.C. and Kristin Cast.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Cover Reveal (#1)

Having been a fan of the House of Night series for many years, I was so excited when I finally got told that the cover to the latest book was revealed - and here it is, folks!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Book Haul (#7)

This week, I've received 3 books, which I should be reading soon (my current reading list being Hunger, Cirque Du Freak, these three, Crossed, etc.).

(I know, I know, I look just a bit like a book-hording lunatic.)

Wanted: Dead or Undead by Angela Scott (from Angela - thank you so much!)
The Hollow by Jessica Verday (borrowed from Paige)
I'd Tell You I Love You, But I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter (borrowed from Paige)

Yup, I'd call this a pretty awesome haul. What have you gotten this week?

Friday, 15 June 2012

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

War looms in sixteen-year-old Tris’s dark dystopian world as disputes between the factions grow. Tris must now fight against all odds to discover the truth that can save her and the people she loves. Sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge – and the choices she makes will have devastating and unexpected consequences.

If you haven't read Divergent (the first novel in this series) then go out and buy it now, so you can move on and read this book. I finished it last night, and I was utterly mindblown. I can't find another word to describe how I felt. These books are amazing; Roth is such a talented author, and I honestly cannot believe that I hadn't read this books sooner.

First of all, I love how smooth the continuation is from Divergent. Some sequels end up being like a completely different series, but this strongly sticks to the theme, which was brilliant because this series is amazing (as I keep saying). I think what I most liked about the storyline for Insurgent was that we got to see the other factions - if you haven't read my Divergent review where I explained them, there are five factions: Amity, Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless and Candor. All the citizens are split up into these different factions depending on their personalities. In Divergent, Roth mainly concentrated on Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless. In Insurgent, however, we saw the rest of the factions, as well as the previously-visited ones, and the place where the factionless live (the ones who don't survive the initiation to get into their chosen faction). Because we've seen all the different bases, I feel a bit more like I understand the background story to this dystopian world -  at the end of Divergent, we were left not really knowing much at all about Amity or Candor, which was a shame because all the factions have unique and interesting aspects to them. Now, I feel like I know their city a bit more completely.

The characterization was, again, brilliant. I still adore Tris and Tobias, as well as their relationship - I have to say, it is probably one of my favourite character relationships in all of the books I have read. I liked that we got to see a bit more of the Dauntless-born initiates, like Uriah, Lynn and Marlene - they are kind of like the ideal group of friends (well, aside from Lynn, but I think she is great on her own). I also liked the different habits the people in the different factions have, and it made me realize more than ever that no one can be solidly in one group, because we all have different opinions, even if we're taught to think the same.I think the best thing about Roth's writing is that even though the story is set way in the future, she still creates the characters to be a lot like us, which makes us relate to them easily, despite the time difference. And in novels, relation is always important, because it draws the reader further into the story.

Overall, I thought the book was absolutely brilliant, and definitely lived up to my expectations ever since it's prequel. If you love series like The Hunger Games and Crossed, you will adore this just as much, if not more. It is still just as good as The Hunger Games, which I never thought I would hear myself say. This series is definitely worth your time and money, so go out and get it!
Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (#14)

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

This week, the book I am waiting on is Mind Games by Kiersten White. It's basically set in a sort-of dystopian world, where psychics and mind-reader pretty much rule the world, and the novel is based around these two girls who are trying to save themselves from it.

Although that is pretty much all the synopsis I have found, I am still really keen on this book! Maybe it's because of the cover, which is so eye-catching, I can't tear myself away. I've never read a novel of White's before, but I have heard such good reviews that I'm sure I won't be disappointed! It's set to be published in February 2013.

So what are you waiting on this week? Comment & I will check out your blog.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

Can true love be forgotten?
As the only Scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.
Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out—a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.
As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

 Can I just say that I am in love with Orion? Why does Angelini make so many hot characters? It just makes my expectations of men ridiculously high. I didn't think that anything could beat Starcrossed, considering that most sequels don't live up to the original novel. But oh my demigod, Dreamless was amazing! I was hooked from the start. I think this is possibly one of the best releases this year.

For starts, the beginning of this novel is so smooth it may as well be just another part of the Starcrossed book - but it still gently reminds the reader of what happened previously, in case they have forgotten, which was nice but not annoyingly repetative. I already thought the plot was strong, but after finishing this, I never realised how huge it was going to be. I never saw most of it coming, which I thought  was great because it's always a surpise - but when I did guess, the suspense was so thick that I couldn't put it down, since I wanted to know whether my guess was right or not. And usually it wasn't - but the real plot was so much better!

I also loved the new characters Angelini created. As I pointed out earlier, Orion is amazing; he's the kind of character you wish was real, so that he could be your best friend or your boyfriend. He is kind and sensative, and pretty much the opposite of the Delos boys, which was quite nice. All the pre-existing characters lived up to their already-created personality, which again made the novel a smooth continuation. I found that the bad guys were definitely frightening and believable, and the gods were just like I'd imagine any god to be like. The only thing that disappointed me, character-wise, was Hector. I really liked him in Starcrossed, and after what happened to him I was in tears. And I know that his seperation from his family was hard for him, and it would change a man, but he was just too...nice? Throughout Starcossed, him and Helen was constantly at each others throats, and from what I recall he wasn't close to any of the girls, not really. But suddenly in Dreamless, as soon as Helen, Claire and Kate saw him, they leapt into his arms - literally. For one thing, I didn't realize he even knew Kate, and I just feel like I was missing something. I know him and Helen are cousins, but that doesn't instantly make you best of friends - Hector and Creon weren't for sure. It just felt like he was completely different - but he was the only one. (oh, and I nearly forgot: The Furies! Angelini's characterisation of them was so good! I loved the twist; you think they're these horrible witches, but really they're just frightened children. I've never seen that done before, so I thought that was brilliant.)

Overall, I loved this book, and I want to know when the next installment is coming out! Whenever it is, I don't think I can wait that long. The cliffhanger on the end of this thing is torturous, so watch out for an emotional ride. I didn't think the Starcrossed series was going to get better, but Angelini blew me away. If you're interested in Greek mythology and you're a boy, go and find the Percy Jackson series. But if you're a girl? Starcrossed is the way to go!
Rating: 5/5

Friday, 8 June 2012

Fable: Blood Ties by Peter David

When they write down the histories of Albion, the name of Ben Finn will be remembered in honor. But at present, I'm feeling a bit of wanderlust-and I'm on the move again. I had to leave the beautiful Page behind, unfortunately. So, instead of a brave woman at my side, I've acquired a troublesome toadstool of a gnome who will neither leave me alone nor shut his insolent mouth.
Not that verbal barbs can hurt me-they're nothing compared to the foe that is assaulting the walled city of Blackholm. A mysterious warlord has been slowly devouring the surrounding lands, and Blackholm is putting up a fight. What better place for a drifting warrior to make his way and earn his pay?
But a darkness that no mortal can withstand is about to be unleashed. And it holds a secret that is bound with my very blood.

I've wanted to read this book for a while, so as soon as my friend, Amber, lent it to me, I started reading it immediately. As a lover of Fable, I think it was pretty obvious that I was going to love this story, especially since it revolves around Ben Finn, who is one of the main canons in Fable 3.

Firstly, I really like the fact that David wrote a continuation about Ben Finn, because at the end of Fable 3, he does joke about writing a book about his adventures, which is what this technically is. I've read David's first Fable novel, The Balverine Order, and to be frank I loved this one so much more. I think David's ability to inhabit characters is brilliant. It's easy to make up your own characters from scratch,  because you can change them to how you want. But because Ben Finn was already created, David had to keep him as the Fable creators wanted, considering most of the readers will be Fable fans. And he did that really well - he got Ben's tone perfect, and all the events that unraveled throughout the novel seem legitimate to his character.

I also really liked the storyline. At first, I did think it was a bit boring - but as I read on, the story developed, and eventually I found myself getting through it so quickly because of how gripping it was. It really did keep me on-edge throughout. So if you have played Fable and have liked it, then I'd definitely suggest checking out Peter David's range of books; you won't be disappointed.
Rating: 4/5

Thursday, 7 June 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

So I was constantly hassling my friend to let me borrow her copy of this book whilst she was reading it (yes, I'm impatient), and as soon as she finished it, I already had it in my bag, awaiting to be started on the bus journey home. Although I've been avoiding reviews of this so as not to spoil anything, I have heard really good things about it, so I was pretty disappointed when I finished reading it.

First things first, I personally found this book heard to get into. Now I thought this was maybe just the mood I was in at the time, but in comparison to how enjoyable I found reading City of Bones, Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, this did feel a bit like a chore - like I was dragging myself through it. A lot of it was interesting, and I did find myself wondering what was going to happen next - but that was considerably less than usual. Everyone knows that I am a mad Shadowhunter fan, and I always adore these books...but this one just didn't cut it.

One of the main reasons I didn't absolutely love this book was Sebastian. The bad guy always had to have a hint of creepiness about him, that I can completely agree with. But Sebastian...he's really creepy. He's incest creepy. If he wasn't related to Clary, I suppose I could understand him kissing her and trying to get into her pants. But he is. He is her brother. And therefore, it just makes it stupidly uncomfortable to read. And I know some of you will think, but in City of Glass, Clary and Jace thought they were related yet their making out wasn't that uncomfortable. Personally, I still found that uncomfortable, but I think everyone knew that deep down, they weren't related. Jace was obviously the heartthrob, that would just lessen the appeal of the series. But with Sebastian, there isn't a chance of that. Which is what makes it really awkward.

To be honest, I do want to give this a good review, because I love The Mortal Instruments series. But I felt this novel didn't do this series justice. Most people know how I feel about brilliant series that just continue on and on until they ruin themselves, and although this hasn't knocked my faith in the series, part of me wishes it had been tied up at City of Glass, because that would have made this an amazing trilogy. But, it wasn't, and admittedly part of me is worried that the series won't end on the last book - that something will be left out once more, and it will continue on and will just lose what made it unique and special in the first place. I am really torn between giving this a rating of 3.5, because I am honestly torn between the two, but I think it will have to be a 4, because overall it is an amazing series. Although I didn't give it much praise, the book is good, and I continue to love the storyline between Simon and Isabelle, and Jordan and Maia. If you haven't yet read this series, I definitely recommend it.
Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#13)

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

If you know me well, you will know this had to come up sooner or later. This wee I am waiting on Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl. I have been following this series since I read a review copy of Beautiful Creatures, and have been hooked since the first page. Unlike a lot of series, the books keep managing to get better and better, and the mystery and suspense never lacks within any novel. These two authors are a phenomenal pair, and if you have not read Beautiful Creatures, then get your hands on it - and the rest of the novels - now! This is set to be released on 23rd Spetember this year, and it still feels like such a long wait! I will leave you with the Goodreads synopsis:

Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect. 

(I think I forgot to mention that this novel is the last in the series! Although I am eagerly awaiting it's release, I know I will put off reading it; I don't want this story to end!)

The Last Three by Almon Chu

"'Just three more stops,' I thought to myself. I gripped my knife, the handle digging into my flesh. I closed my eyes and tried to think of Eris." A descent down the path of self-destruction, does salvation lie around the corner or is it merely an illusion? The Last Three is a captivating story of a lost soul on the streets of a modern dystopia.

The author himself asked me if I'd review this book, and as soon as I read the Amazon synopsis, I knew I'd love it. And I absolutely did. The story is set in a sort of modern dystopian world, and revolves around this guy called Jon. Throughout the novella, it talks a little bit about his past, and how he will proceed in the future. But it is a tale of mice and men - no matter how you might plan for the future, something can - and will - change it.

What I first of all want to say about this novella is that nothing is really revealed throughout all of it. Although I found myself slightly annoyed at this, since I always want to know the nitty gritty details, I think it was a brilliant technique to cloak Jon and his backstory in mystery, which kept me hooked on reading it, keen to find out where the plot was going. It also doesn't give away anything about where he lives, how long he's lived there, what the worlds state is in, which gives the story a quite small, secluded setting. I think Chu wrote this story so that the reader could interpret certain events as they felt fit, which helped them to connect to the storyline. Personally, I felt like this was set in a few future decades, in small area of a big city. Jon, to me, felt like he had grown up with very few people around, and now he lived practically on his own, not really sharing his inner thoughts and feelings with anyone. This gradually built up inside him until the events in this book pushed him over the edge, ending the story with the Voices in his head mocking him.

I think the only word I can find sufficient enough to sum this up is powerful. This book is powerful. Although it is only 65 pages long, the depth of emotion in this story is so huge that you are left with a kind of aftershock, which can only be the combined product of an amazing plot and a brilliant brain. As a debut novel, I think it is really impressive, and the only thing I would fault is how short it is; even after I finished, I wanted more of Jon's story. I think it could possibly have been improved with a '10 years later' kind of scenario, but I think that depends on your preferences.

Overall, it is a beautiful piece of work, and if you haven't read it, I plead you to go and buy it from Amazon. It takes a lot for a book to change someone's life, and although I wouldn't call this one life-changing, I would say that it leaves a strong impression behind. Almon Chu is definitely a name we have to watch out for in the future.
Rating: 4/5

Monday, 4 June 2012

Book Haul (#6)

This is technically my first book haul, but if you want to see the other showcases, then you can go to labels and find 'In My Mailbox'.

This week, I have recieved:
Fable: Blood Ties by Peter David (from Amber)
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (from Paige)
Hunger by Michael Grant (from my library)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (from myself)
The Last Three by Almon Chu (from the author - thank you!)

Although I'm posting it on Monday, I made this video on Saturday, and since then I've received Dreamless by Josephine Angelini from Panmacmillian (thanks guys!)

So what have you gotten this week?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Cover Wars (#1) DOUBLE TROUBLE

I've been meaning to do a Cover Wars for ages, and since today I received Insurgent by Veronica Roth, I thought hey - why don't I do my first cover wars as a double: Divergent & Insurgent, UK versus US.


First Divergent. Now, the one on your left is the US version, and the one on your right is the UK version. I'm honestly torn betwee the two, because I like them for different reasons. The US one reflects a lot about the novel, with Tris and Four in the foreground and the city in the background. However, the fireball at the top - I'm not exactly sure what it is meant to symbolize, but it does look nice, and it compliments the blues perfectly. Now, with the UK version, I am not such a fan of the colour scheme, but I do like the three birds there, since they mimic the tattoo's Tris gets done. I also like the little quote: 'She turns to face the future in a world that's falling apart' - for me, it makes the book more appealing, because the quote draws you in and makes you turn the book over to read the synopsis.

Although I am torn, I think the US version has got to win. If I saw these two side-by-side in a shop, I would go for that one.

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

Now what I like about both sets of books is that they both follow a theme, and you can tell without reading who the author is that they're from the same series. Now, since I haven't read these books yet, I'm not too sure what the symbolism is meant by the tree on the US one, and the leaves on the UK one, but I like it. I don't think the colour scheme is as nice on the US one as it is on the UK one, but then this time, I prefer the quote on the US one than the UK one: 'One choice can destroy you'. I like this, because it compliments the quote from Divergent: 'One choice can transform you' - it's all about one choice, and I like that.

But, between these two books, I think I'd choose the UK copy

You've seen what I prefer - but what about you? UK, or US?

Friday, 1 June 2012

Book of the Month: May

Throughout this month, I have been complaining over the fact that I don't seem to be a harsh enough critic, and seemed to be handing out five stars left right and center. But heck - I read some good books who each deserved those fives.

But despite feeling that four of these books deserved the full rating, the book of the month has to be Divergent by Veronica Roth. It blew me away, it really did, and I know that I will read it again many times because heck, it is utterly amazing. If you haven't read it yet, you must must must read it soon, because it is utterly fantastic. I cannot give this book any more praise, so I'm gonna shut up. 

Here's to June's books being as good as May's, if not better!

Follow Friday (#9)

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: You are a matchmaker — your goal, hook up two characters from two of your favorite books. Who would it be? How do you think it would go?

I have always wanted to do this - I love crossovers! Now, this is going to sound really weird...but I'd get Four (from Veronica Roth's Divergent) and Gus (from John Green's The Fault In Our Stars) to hook up. I know that would never happen, considering Gus lives in the 21st century and sufferers from cancer, and Four is from the future in Chicago, but...I'd love it. And I think it would work out. Gus is the loveliest character I have ever read about, and Four, although sometimes threatening and violent, is absolutely adorable and great. So, yeah. I guess that's my pick.

What about you guys?