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)

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 fiancĂ©? 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)

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.