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:

Friday, 5 October 2012

Cover Reveal (#3)

This cover was revealed yesterday, but I've only just gotten around to posting it. It wasn't one of my favourite books of this year, and I actually found it disappointing. But I am still really excited for The Elite by Kiera Cass, the second installment in The Selection trilogy. Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Phantom by Laura DeLuca

As soon as I heard about this blog tour, I had to sign up. Needless to say that I am a major fan of Phantom of the Opera, so a modern-day book following the same events that unfolded during the actual play/book is pretty much my idea of heaven. Here is my review of the novel, and an amazing giveaway to win not just a copy of the novel, but some other Phantom goodies!


PhantomTitle: Phantom
Author: Laura DeLuca
Publisher: Pagan Writers Press
Released: March 30th 2012
Pages: 270
Buy: Kindle Barnes & Noble

The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.

Now I'm a bit at odds with this novel. On one hand I want to rave about how amazing the last fifty or so pages were, as in literally the personification (booksonification?) of un-put-downable; it felt like it was glued to my fingertips. But then on the other hand, I want to rant about how disappointing I found it. Well, not exactly disappointing, it was definitely good - but I think my expectations were too high, and that's why I feel like it was a bit anticlimactic. But let me explain.

Blog Tour and Author Interview: Laura DeLuca

As soon as I heard about this blog tour, I had to sign up. Needless to say that I am a major fan of Phantom of the Opera, so a modern-day book following the same events that unfolded during the actual play/book is pretty much my idea of heaven. Here is an interview with the author herself, Lauren DeLuca, and the link to an awesome giveaway!

Author Interview

What inspired you to write a book based around Phantom of the Opera, aside from the musical?

It was kind of a spur of the moment decision to start writing Phantom. I was cleaning my house and listening to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack when I suddenly thought to myself that my gothic friend Justyn, who is an actor, would make a great Phantom. Then I thought, hey, that would make a great book…six months later it was done!

Who is your favourite character in your novel, and why?

Lord Justyn is my favorite character. He is actually based of a very real friend of mine.  The real Lord Justyn has the same way of speaking, and is just as talented. He is an actor and a musician, and also just a really sweet guy.  The fictional Lord Justyn developed some of his own unique traits as the story progressed, but I still believe I captured the essence of the real Justyn.  I will always be grateful to him for inspiring one of my favorite characters and books.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin
Released: January 3rd 2012
Pages: 387 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl...

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Book Haul (#12)

I was going to do a video, but I decided I was sniffling far too much (yes, I already have that Winter cold. Fantastic, right? I don't know who gave it to me, but they are currently not my favourite person!), so you've just got a post for today. But I am so excited for these reads, you have no idea!

Breathe by Sarah Crossan (from Bloomsbury)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (from Bloomsbury)
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black (from Bloomsbury)
Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan (from Pan Macmillan)
Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts (from Pan Macmillan)
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (bought myself)
Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (bought myself)

Book of the Month: September

Unfortunately, a few of the books I've read this month were quite disappointing. But there were some books that definitely stood out for me - particularly To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I rated both five stars, but for me, it is clear who the winner is.

The Book Thief was utterly amazing. It's just one of those novels that takes your breath away, and leaves you reeling for days after with a book hangover. There isn't anything else out there quite like it - it's definitely one of those books that you have got to read at least once in your lifetime. The writing style was excellent, the characterization was amazing, and frankly, it had everything I look for in a good book. If you haven't read it yet, you must; trust me when I say you won't regret it.