Saturday, 25 June 2011

My 1 Year Anniversary Scavenger Hunt!

It's the 25th June, and my first blogoversary is on Friday 1st July (yay!) which is just under a week away, and I'm going to make it special! I've decided, along with the help of five other awesome bloggers, I'm going to do a 'Guess the Book Scavenger Hunt!'


  

What is this 'Guess the Book Scavenger Hunt'?
I've chosen a book that I am highly anticipating, and you have to guess what it is. How do you do that? By hopping around some book blogs, who will post a clue on each day in the upcoming week, starting today, ending on Friday, my first blogoversary. I will be posting the first and last clue, and there will be a form to fill in for your answer. If you get it right, I will enter you into a giveaway to win a copy of that book! Also, I have some awesome swag for you lucky peeps living in the UK that I'll post on Friday :) 


Who's taking part and when? 
As I said before, there are five awesome bloggers who are helping me :) There will be seven clues, one today, and one every day after until Friday :) I'll tell you who the bloggers are, but you'll have to work out the order in which they post the clues. So, here are the bloggers and a link to their blogs in no particular order:

Katie @ Mon Palais
Daph @ Lvng Books

So, without further ado, I will announce the first clue, which is:

The author is very short, but she likes to crack jokes about it! 

So tomorrow, see if you can find the next clue! If you think you already know the answer then you can enter now, but you only get ONE GUESS (so it's probably best to wait until all the clues have been posted) and if it's wrong the first time then I'm sorry but that was your ONLY entry! Good luck everyone! 

Fill in the form, if you think you know the answer :)

Thanks for taking part, and most importantly, have fun! :D

___________

Also, if you want to grab the button, please go ahead and add it to your sidebar using the box below! :) 

Cheezyfeet Books

Friday, 24 June 2011

Cover Revealed: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead UK

The UK cover of Bloodlines by Richelle Mead is here! It's very cool, I really like it and I can't wait to read it! Hopefully I'll be getting a review copy soon, so look for a review in the next few weeks :) Without further ado, here it is:



LOVE AND LOYALTY RUN DEEPER THAN BLOOD…

Sydney protects vampire secrets – and human lives. As an alchemist, she is part of a secret group who dabbles in magic and serves to bridge the world of humans and vampires.

But when Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, she fears she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. What unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir—the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir—is in mortal danger, and goes into hiding. Now Sydney must act as Jill’s protector.

The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathising with vampires. And now she has to live with one...

Release Date: 25th August 2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Book Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Hate List
Title: Hate List 
Author: Jennifer Brown
Series: Standalone
Pages:  405
Publisher: Little, Brown
Date of Publication: 5th October 2010
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.


My Thoughts:
Reading the synopsis of Hate List, I really thought that this book was going to be amazing. It definitely has the potential to be an incredibly thought-provoking and inspiring read, but it just missed the mark for me. I still really enjoyed it though.

First off I want to say well done to Jennifer Brown for tackling such difficult subjects as murder and death and everything that comes with it, and other things that don't SEEM as bad but can often be WORSE, like bullying and exclusion from social groups in schools. Difficult 'taboo' subjects such as these are not talked about enough, as they are considered harmful and wrong for children and young people to read, but without books like these I would never have known how bad such events can affect people, and while I still don't understand completely what leads people to kill, to cut, or to bully people so much that they want to leave school or life or whatever, I have a much better understanding and reading it is MUCH more powerful than, say, a teacher or an adult telling you.

Anyway, onto the actual book. The story is more about the aftermath of the shooting from Valerie's point of view, and about her being bullied and excluded from social groups and how she has to try and cope with people accusing her of starting whatever caused her boyfriend Nick to shoot dead 6 students and teachers and injure a lot more. The book is very much character driven, as in terms of the plot - not much actually happens.

Val was a really good narrator, and I really enjoyed reading about her struggles. Perhaps 'enjoy' is the wrong word, but she kept me reading and interested in what she had to say. I found that I could relate to her struggles about people not listening to what she has to say, and how they just assumed that because she was the boyfriend of the shooter that she must have been 'in on everything' that was going to happen and she didn't even try to stop it, even though she was in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the leg... Val felt very real and even though the school massacre seems a little unbelievable (I've never heard of it happening and couldn't imagine it), everything about Hate List did feel to me to be real.

The other characters in the book also felt real, but I didn't think they were quite as well fleshed out as Val was. Perhaps this was just because the whole novel is told from Val's point of view so we are constantly in her head, but I felt that Jennifer Brown could have spent a little bit more time talking about the secondary characters - especially Jessica, Valerie's enemy turned friend. I think that she should have been a more important character and though the two girls had their ups and downs, I'm glad that they did become friends.

Another thing that I couldn't relate to was Val's relationship with her parents. Maybe I just don't realise that sometimes parents don't love their children, but I thought that if anybody believed her side of the story, it would be Val's parents because she's their DAUGHTER. I don't know, I could be wrong, but I think that the relationship Val had with her psychologist Dr. Hieler was a much better fit for her and her parents, if that makes sense.

Anyway, it's because of these reasons that I gave Hate List 4 Feet instead of 5. As I said before, I think this book could have been AMAZING and had the potential to be a must read for all teenagers around the world. However, I would still definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good contemporary fiction novel, though I will warn you that there is very little (if any) romance, so if you pick it up looking for a good romance, you will be disappointed! Don't let that put you off - the lack of love interest really gives Val a chance to think for herself and move on from the trauma, and I think it was a very effective thing for Brown to do. So if you're looking for a thought-provoking, problem tackling YA read, then Hate List would be perfect.

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!


Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #56

Sunday, 19 June 2011

In My Mailbox #21

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren :)



BOUGHT
I broke my book buying ban this week... But, I haven't bought anything for ages and it was a special occasion... I went to FOYLES! Yay :) Here is what I bought:






Entwined by Heather Dixon (Hardback)
This book is beautiful. The cover is gorgeous, and in real life it's even more gorgeous! The leave round the edge of the book are shiny, and the image looks like a scene out of a fairy tale... It looks amazing, it sounds amazing, I can't wait to read it!


Hate List by Jennifer Brown (US Paperback)
I can't wait to read this one it looks awesome! It sounds morbid but kind of funny... Lots of people dying - but because two people made a list of people they hate! If that makes sense at all... I'm not a weirdo, I promise! :L 


Blood Red Road by Moira Young (UK Paperback)
I'm really excited for this book, but also really nervous about reading it, because it's written in a different kind of style to 'normal' books. It's written like The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness which I couldn't get into, but I'm hoping that I can overlook the weird grammar and spelling and enjoy this one :) So hopefully this'll be an interesting read.


Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev (US Paperback)
This one sounds so fun :) I read a review a while ago and I really liked the sound of it, but I never ordered it because I had so much to read... And I still do, but I couldn't not buy it :L Can't wait to get to this one!


FOR REVIEW






Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore (UK Paperback)
This one looks awesome and I loved Rosemary's The Splendour Falls, and while this isn't a sequel, I'm sure it'll be just as good! I can't wait to read this one :D 


The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (UK Proof) *SQUEEE*
You have NO IDEA how happy I am to have this book. I found it on my doormat and did a little happy dance. It's a modern 'retelling' (it's more of a 'it's happening again in modern times' but I don't know what to call that and it's a bit like a retelling so that's what I'm calling it...) of Jack the Ripper, and I'm half way through it right now (which is Saturday) and I think it might just be one of my favourite's of the year. Maybe. I LOVE IT. *UPDATE: It's now Sunday and I have finished it and it is one of my favourite books of this year. Right up there with DIVERGENT and FORGOTTEN and STARCROSSED :D 


Fury (Fury, #1)  Nocturne


Fury by Elizabeth Miles (eGalley)
SO excited for this one!! It looks amazing, and I might actually read this one on the computer! :L Thanks to Simon & Schuster Galley Grab for this one!


Nocturne by Christine Johnson (eGalley)
I liked the first one, Claire de Lune, so when I saw this one there I thought I might as well get it, because I did enjoy the first one, and I think this one will be better :) Again, thanks to Simon & Schuster Galley Grab for this one!


WON






The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab Swag (Two signed bookmarks and a signed and numbered button)
I 'won' these in a giveaway that V was doing, where you had to comment and email her and then everyone would get a signed bookmark :) So they arrived, and there were two - one for me, and one for me to leave somewhere, like in a bookshop, a library, your school, etc. So I'm using one now in my book, and I left the other one in the YA section till in Foyles last night, so if you want it, be quick! :L The button is very cool too, so thanks to Victoria Schwab for these! 


FREE






Swag from Foyles
Also in Foyles, I got a bunch of bookmarks and postcards to give away in my blogoversary giveaway that is coming up next week *yay!* So look out for that, but unfortunately, the swag giveaway is UK only! :( But the main giveaway will be international as long as BD ships to you! :D 


What did you all get in your mailboxes? Leave me a link in the comments and I will try and get back to you all! And I know I say this every week, but I really will try this week, I'm in a commenting mood :D

Monday, 13 June 2011

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched
Title: Matched 
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched #1
Pages: 366
Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: 30th November 2010
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My Thoughts:
I had high hopes for this book. Being dystopian, I knew I was going to like it, so I was extremely excited to read it once it arrived. And I'm happy to say, I really enjoyed it.

The idea behind the story was good, and I enjoyed reading about and imagining what it would be like to live in a world where everything was decided for you. I'd hate it. Everything is chosen for you - who you'll marry, how many children you have, when you'll die, what you eat and how much you have, where you'll work... I can't imagine anything worse. The people living in the Boroughs built by Society are nothing but robots, doing what they're told and nothing else.

Cassia was a really good main character, and I loved how much she developed throughout the book. At the beginning she as just another one of the robots that the Society ruled, but by the end, because of certain 'mistakes' that had been made, and because of some of the things that people say to her, she became independent, strong and determined. I much preferred reading about this Cassia, she was a lot more interesting, and I felt I could relate to her a little bit, which always helps.

I also liked the dilemma that she had in choosing which boy she prefers - Xander or Ky. I know that this is not a new idea, and I know that I've read love triangles a lot before, but I think I will always love stories like these - ones that are a little bit different - where for her whole life the girl has grown up expecting to be with a particular person, only to find that when she finally gets what she's been waiting for, everything gets turned upside down.

I have to say, I'm on Team Ky. I did feel sorry for Xander, and I did want to like him more, but I couldn't help but fall a little bit in love with Ky. Xander has grown up with Cassia and has always day dreamed about being her Match, and when it finally happens, he's ecstatic. Then he finds out that Cassia does not return his feelings. How awful is that? I couldn't help but feel sorry for Xander, but I understand why Cassia chose Ky. He's so sweet and kind and he obviously cares for Cassia, and some of the things he does could win him any girl.

The plot was quite slow for the first three quarters of the book, but I still enjoyed reading about how Cassia had to live under the many rules of Society. The world that Cassia lives in is very well thought out and written, and even though (I hope) it will never happen, I could easily imagine how she had to live. Ally Condie's writing is excellent, and I absolutely loved every sentence.

Matched is a very good debut novel, and an awesome start to what is going to be an amazing series. I can't wait until November to get Crossed, book 2 in the series, as I'm sure it's going to be just as good, if not better than Matched. I would recommend this to all fans of young adult dystopian novels, as it definitely has the potential to become one of my favourite YA dystopian series :)

*Thank you to Penguin for sending me this review copy in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book or the author. 

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #53

Sunday, 12 June 2011

In My Mailbox #20

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

FOR REVIEW

MatchedMatched by Ally Condie (UK Paperback)
Almost finished this one, not quite as good as I'd hoped but I still really like it! Thanks to Penguin for this one!
Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.


GIFTED

Will Grayson, Will GraysonWill Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (US Paperback)
This was the last of my May RAKs, and it's from Nikki so thank you very much! This looks amazing and apparently it's HILARIOUS so I can't wait to get to it! :D Thanks again!
Synopsis from Goodreads: 
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them both legions of faithful fans.


(I will hopefully have a picture of the swag up soon, but I can't upload pictures because Blogger is being silly. Sorry! I'll get pictures up as soon as possible :D )

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton Swag
I managed to win a button in a contest that Kiki had, and it arrived this week, along with 3 bookmarks (2 signed) and a postcard written to me! (YAY) So thank you Kiki for those! :D 
Synopsis from Goodreads: 
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.

Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…



What did you get in your mailbox this week? Leave a link to your IMMs in the comments, and I'll try and come visit you all! :)

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Book Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellbound
Title: Spellbound
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Series: N/A
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Publication: 28th June 2011
Source: NetGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

My Thoughts:
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book. I'm going to be honest, I requested the book because I like the cover... ;) And then I read the synopsis, and I still wasn't sure I was going to like it. But, I'm happy to say I really enjoyed it.

The scenario was quite a new one (for me) and I thought it worked well. Emma's life so far has been tough; first her brother dies, then her mother dies and leaves Emma alone with her awful stepfather who almost killed her in a car crash. So she moves in with her aunt and attends a new school in the Upper East Side of New York - where students wear Christian Louboutin heels and carry Prada bags to school. There she meets Brendan, a gorgeous and exciting boy, and Angelique, the weird and wonderful school witch. Together, the three of them work out that Emma may have past lives with Brendan, but she's having odd dreams that are warning her to stay away from him. Which will she choose to follow? Her heart or her head?

I really liked Emma. She seemed very down to earth and I like how she was very 'normal' compared to the other kids at the school. She seemed like any girl you would find in a regular high school, not necessarily the most prestigious private school in New York. She was hard working and clever, and though people made fun of her and called her names, she didn't let it affect her too much, and she looked over the immature actions of the girls in her class who were jealous of her.

Brendan is also a good character in the book. He was written perfectly, with just the right amount of everything needed to make him the person everyone wants. He was cold and hard at times, and sweet and caring at others, and even though he could have been a rich snob who thinks the world of himself, he was definitely not. It was easy to see his love for Emma in the way that he handled all the difficult situations that they found themselves in, whether he was fighting for Emma, or looking after her after injuries... :)

The plot was fast paced and I was hooked from the first page. At the very beginning it is easy to work out who is who, and there isn't any long and boring world building at the beginning of the book, though there is just enough to grasp what the situation is without having to rack your brains to work out what is going on in the story. We find out who the goodies and the baddies are very early on in the book, and although perhaps the story would have been less predictable had these characters not been revealed for who they really are so early on, it was still enjoyable to read about. The end of the book is very predictable and the story ends quite abruptly, but I think it's nice for once to have a book that could nicely finish at the end of the first book, so we don't have to wait a year or so for the next one (though I could quite easily devour a second book...)

Overall, I enjoyed Spellbound much more than I thought I would, and it was a lovely surprise. I would definitely recommend it to all fans of young adult paranormal, especially those who like paranormal that isn't vampires and werewolves, as Spellbound is about magic and witchcraft. If you're looking for something fun and quick to read, then Spellbound is perfect. It comes out on June 28th, so go to your local bookstore and get yourself a copy because it is well worth the read.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for granting me access to this e-galley free in an exchange for an honest review. This in no way has affected my opinion of the book or the author.


My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!


Challenges:
2011 Debut Author Challenge #18
2011 eBook Challenge #13
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #30
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #52

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Settings in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


Top Ten Settings in Books
 (The places that you've read about that you wish you could visit)

1. The Victorian London from Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - I've been to London lots of times, but I adored this time period, so any book set in this time would have done, but I liked it in Clockwork Angel most because Cassie's writing is so descriptive and wonderful. I love her :) 

2. Idris from City of Glass by Cassandra Clare - Idris sounds amazing! A secret place that's not on any map, where only Shadowhunters are allowed?! Who wouldn't want to go there? :L

3. Hogwarts from Harry Potter by JK Rowling - Do I really need to explain this one? Though there always seems to be some dark magic going on somewhere at this place, it still sounds like an amazing place to visit!

4. The Capitol from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I'm just going to add, this is BEFORE Mockingjay, I don't think I'd like to go there in the midst of a rebellion... :L No, I would love to visit The Capitol and see all the weird and wonderful people - their wacky hair, their awesome clothes, and their brightly coloured skins :)

5. The International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA) from Paranormalcy by Kiersten White - This place sounds amazing. Not only would I like to meet Evie and Lend and Lish, I'd love to see all the paranormals that are brought in, and go on some of the recruitment trip to catch a vampire or faerie :D 

6. Dauntless HQ from Divergent by Veronica Roth - This place sounds so awesome, though I think I would be TERRIFIED of it. Seriously, I'd only go if I didn't have to jump off a super tall building to get there :L But, it would be an awesome place to visit, especially the fear landscapes even though that also sounds awfully scary.

7. Inside from Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder - Inside sounds amazing. A little cube, flying through space? What's not to like? :L Although I would like to visit the Lower Levels and the scrubs, I would much rather if I was stuck Inside be an Upper with all their posh apartments and everything... :) 


8. The Never Never from The Iron Fey series by Julia Kagawa - This place sounds amazing. And scary. But scary and awesome ;) Especially the parts that are part of the Iron Kingdom or whatever it's called, those parts sound amazing too :D Basically, anywhere in Faeryland :D 

I've only got seven for now, but I'll add more when I've thought about it a little more. :) 

Monday, 6 June 2011

Book Review: Passion by Lauren Kate

Passion (Fallen, #3)
Title: Passion
Author: Lauren Kate
Series: Fallen #3
Pages: 420
Publisher: Random House
Date of UK Publication: 23rd June 2011
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: "Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever."

Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . .

Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.

Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.

My Thoughts:
I have a confession to make. I didn't like Fallen, the first book in the series, all that much. Luce annoyed me, and the whole thing to me felt like a copy of Twilight (which I loved, and everything else paled in comparison at the time). I've recently reread it, and I'm happy to say I don't feel like that anymore. And now, having read Torment and Passion too, I'm going to take back what I said and say that this series is awesome, and if you haven't read it yet, what have you been doing for the past two years?! Because it's a series that you shouldn't miss.

I liked Luce in this book. I really think that she grows up a lot in this book, and I think she realises that moaning about things is not going to help anything or anyone, and she seems a lot less self centred and a lot more mature to me, which is something that I really hoped would happen in this book. She's a completely different person to the girl that she was at the beginning of Fallen, and I think travelling back in time to all her past lives really helped her become the young woman she is changing into.

Because the book is about Luce travelling backwards in time and visiting all her past lives to try to find out more about the curse and find a way to break it, and Daniel following her to try and make sure she doesn't rewrite time and change the future, I also learnt a lot about Daniel. I don't think I ever realised how much pain Lauren Kate has put Daniel through; every time Luce dies in each reincarnation his heart breaks again. I felt sorry for him, and it made me like him a lot more because of it. It helped me to understand why he was so flippant and rude to Luce at the beginning, and some of his actions made a lot more sense.

My favourite part of the book was the plot. I really enjoyed every single one of Luce's past lives, and finding out a little bit about each era that she visits. I especially liked the story of Luce's life as a member of a Mayan tribe, and how they made sacrifices to the Gods, in the hope that it would rain. I also enjoyed the past life Luce had in Helston, in England, with amazing balls with huge gowns. I love reading about events like this, and while this was only a small part of the book, it was one of my favourites. For a history geek like me, this whole book was awesome.

Passion is like the perfect game of cat and mouse through time. It answers a lot the questions that I had at the end of Torment, and also raises new questions that will hopefully be answered in Rapture, the last book in the series. I'm so glad I enjoyed this book, I was hesitant at first, but the beginning blew me away, and the rest of the book didn't disappoint. I can only hope that Rapture will be just as good, and I'm not going to enjoy waiting for it; I want it NOW.

*Thank you to the publishers for sending this review copy for free in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!


Challenges:
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #29
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #51

Saturday, 4 June 2011

In My Mailbox #19

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

FOR REVIEW




The Childe by CA Kunz (signed) and swag (Paperback)
This one looks pretty good, and it came with lots of swag which I should be hopefully giving away soon :) Thanks to the authors for this one! There are 6 bookmarks; 3 badges; 3 bags, two which contain a bracelet and a happy face penny each, and 1 that has a necklace and a happy face penny :) 


GIFTED
Before I start talking about the books I got gifted this week, I would just like to say how AWESOME Donna from Book Passion for Life is. She sent me 3 books this week. Three :) THANK YOU SO MUCH. :D

A Touch Mortal   Slice of Cherry    13 to Life (13 to Life, #1)

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (Kindle)
Really excited for this one, it looks really good and it's about angels :) Also, I love the title and cover, so thank you Donna for this one :)


Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves (Kindle)
This one also looks amazing, I LOVED Bleeding Violet so I can't wait to get to this one :) I think Dia Reeves is amazing! Again, thanks Donna for this one :)


13 to Life by Shannon Delany (Kindle)
And this is the last book she sent me this week, and it looks really good too :) I've heard awesome things about it from a couple of people who's tastes in books I trust, so am really looking forward to this :D So again, thank you very much Donna :D 


Swag (From Cari from Cari's Book Blog)
I won this swag in a giveaway and it arrived this week :) It's VERY cool. There is a selection of bookmarks, and they are lovely so thank you very much to Cari :) 


BOUGHT
And this isn't a book, but I had to share because I LOVE it, and I think it's super pretty :D



My new Kindle sleeve
My old Kindle case was apparently what caused my Kindle to crash, so I had to get a new one, and I've heard good things about this sleeve, so I ordered it and it's awesome :) It's made of the same stuff as wetsuits, and my Kindle doesn't fall out, even when I hold it upside down :D I'm very pleased with it. :)


What did you get in your mailboxes this week? Leave a link to your IMM in the comments :D

Friday, 3 June 2011

Book Review: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Blood MagicTitle: Blood Magic
Author: Tessa Gratton
Series: Blood Journals #1
Pages: 405
Publisher: Doubleday
Date of UK Publication: 7th July 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: For Nick Pardee and Silla Kennicot, the cemetery is the center of everything.

Nick is a city boy angry at being forced to move back to the nowhere town of Yaleylah, Missouri where he grew up. He can’t help remembering his mom and the blood magic she practiced – memories he’s tried for five years to escape. Silla, though, doesn’t want to forget; her parents’ apparent murder-suicide left her numb and needing answers. When a book of magic spells in her dad’s handwriting appears on her doorstep, she sees her chance to unravel the mystery of their deaths.

Together they plunge into the world of dark magic, but when a hundred-year-old blood witch comes hunting for the bones of Silla’s parents and the spell book, Nick and Silla will have to let go of everything they believe about who they are, the nature of life and death, and the deadly secrets that hide in blood.



My Thoughts:
This book was really good. The story was different from everything else I have ever read, and the whole idea of blood magic was completely new to me. The characters were awesome, and the plot kept the reader engaged and excited.

I liked how the book was told from both of the main leads, Silla and Nick's points of view. It gave me insight into each of the characters' thought and feelings, and it helped me really understand the relationship between them, though at times I felt their romance was rushed and a little bit unreal.

Silla has been through a lot, and it shows in the parts of the story told from her point of view. She came home from school or shopping (can't remember which) to find her parents lying in a huge pool of blood, dead one day. To add to that, she was told that the murderer was her very own dad - who killed his wife and then himself. Her dad, the town's Latin teacher, nice to everyone, loved by all. And that'd just the beginning of her troubles. She soon finds out that her father was involved in an ancient type of magic, called blood magic. So when she finds a spell book, Silla can't help but try at least one of the spells to see if it actually works. Little does she know that this will be the beginning of something she may not necessarily want...

Despite all she's been through, Silla was still a likeable and generally not too sad (for lack of a better word) a person. She still tries to cling on to the small threads of the life she had before the death of her parents, but gradually she begins to pull through and move on. She changes throughout the book, and the events she has to go through really take their toll.

I also enjoyed reading Nick's point of view, as he was completely different to Silla. I liked how the way that Tessa wrote the book made it easy for us to find out about Nick's mysterious past that involved with blood magic in a way that made it clear that Silla knew nothing about it. I also liked how half the book was told from a male point of view, which I think there could definitely be more of in YA fiction ;)

While I did enjoy the whole blood magic part of the plot, I did think that the relationships between some of the characters were a bit weird and rushed, which is why I gave the book 4 feet instead of 5. The romance between Nick and Silla was introduced very quickly into the book, and suddenly, they're a couple. However, I do think the brother/sister relationship that Silla and her brother Reese have was extremely well written, and I enjoyed reading about how far it had to be stretched... (You'll know what I mean if you've read the book :( )

Blood Magic was a very strong debut novel and I think it was an excellent start to what could potentially be a great series. There were lots of twists and turns in the plot that kept me guessing all the way through, and though it took me far longer than it should have to read, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to all fans of YA fiction, especially those looking for a slightly different take on the paranormal genre.

*I received this book free of charge from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!


Challenges:
2011 Debut Author Challenge #17
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #27
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #48

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Random Acts of Kindness May Round Up

Can I just say how much I love this programme? It's a great way to recommend books to people, and for them to recommend to you. I also love how I had no idea that some of them were coming, the surprise of opening the box or email is such a nice one! :) Thanks to Book Soulmates for organizing it, and to everyone who was so lovely and sent me books, I love you all! :D

RECEIVED:



Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender from Jill at 30 Nights Insomniac (Paperback)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis from Cherie at Mystrez's Crazy Maze (Paperback)

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles from Lesley at My Keeper Shelf (Paperback)

Two Way Street by Lauren Barndholdt from Sara at Just Another Story (Paperback)

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton also from Sara at Just Another Story (Hardback)

Nevermore (Nevermore, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss  Falling Under (Falling Under, #1)  The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch, #1)  Haven


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins from Mia at Gripped Into Books (Kindle)

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh from Mia at Gripped Into Books (Kindle)

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney from Rebecca at Kindle Fever (Kindle)

Haven by Kristi Cook from Donna at Book Passion For Life (Kindle)

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes from Donna at Book Passion For Life (Kindle)


GIFTED:


Die for Me  Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss  Nevermore (Nevermore, #1)

Die For Me by Amy Plum to Britta from I Like These Books (Paperback)

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White to Sara from Just Another Story (Paperback)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins to Iffath from Love Reading X (Kindle)

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh to Iffath from Love Reading X (Kindle)

Looking back over my month, I realise that I have received a lot of RAKs this month, so thank you so much to all of you awesome people who sent me these books! :) I did not expect to get so many amazing books, I will send more out next month, I promise! :) Thanks again to you all, I am SO GRATEFUL! :D

Book Review: Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Two-Way StreetTitle: Two Way Street
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Series: Standalone
Pages: 288
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date of Publication: June 26th 2007
Source: RAK from Sara @ Just Another Story
Synopsis from Goodreads: There are two sides to every breakup.

This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation.

Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet.

It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care.

But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot.

Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.



My Thoughts:
I had high expectations for this. I was told it was a funny, laugh out loud kind of book, one that was a quick read and unforgettable. And it was, but it didn't quite live up to these high expectations of mine. Almost, but not quite.

The characters felt real and like any teenager you would find starting university. Courtney was annoying and very whiny, and very indecisive about her feelings for Jordan, but that said, I did enjoy reading her narrative, as I felt she told the story a lot better than Jordan did.

Jordan, though, I really didn't like. In almost everything he says or thinks, he swears, and while I don't mind swearing, I think that when it is used so much in books it loses meaning and there is no longer any point to it. I think swearing is good when used in moderation, for example in the book when Courtney says the f word, you know how badly she is reacting to a situation because she doesn't say the word, only when she is extremely angry or upset. This gives the scene a lot more meaning and it has a greater effect on the reader, rather than Jordan who uses it in ways which I thought were unnecessary.

The plot was predictable and very sweet. Courtney and Jordan were the perfect couple. But then, all of a sudden, Jordan breaks up with Courtney for a mysterious internet girl. We find out that later on the book there is a secret that Jordan has been keeping, and as soon as it was revealed, I guessed that that was what was going to break the two of them up, and I was right. However, this didn't spoil the book for me, and I still enjoyed reading it, and finding out exactly how the plot unraveled. There was also a lot of sex in the book. I'm not saying this is bad, (after all it is a young adult book) I'm simply warning you ;)

Overall, I really enjoyed Two Way Street. It has a narratives from both Courtney and Jordan's point of view, and the chapters jump between before and during the road trip to Boston University that the whole book is based around. This made it easy to see both characters thoughts and let the reader get to know them better, and their relationship with each other. I also like how Two Way Street is a standalone novel, as it's nice to read a book and be finished with it, and not have to wait another year for the next book to out... ;) So if you're looking for a good contemporary novel about friendship and relationships that is also funny and light-hearted, I would recommend Two Way Street as a perfect fit.


My Rating:
I give it 3 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #49

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

New Releases in June

Here are all the amazing YA titles being released in June! If I've missed any, please leave it in the comments and I'll add it to the list :)
Also, Katie from Mon Palais has done her own version of New Releases in June, where she has picked a few that she is highly anticipating, and written a little bit about them in detail, and we thought it would be a cool idea to link, up, so here is Katie's Highly Anticpated June Releases! Even if you don't want to read her post, go and check out her blog because it's super cool and she is super nice ;)

Starcrossed  Forgotten

Release Date: 3rd June 2011

Release Date: 6th June 2011

One Seriously Messed-Up Week: in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite    Blood Red Road (Dustlands, #1)

Release Date: 2nd June 2011

Release Date: 2nd June 2011

Darkness Becomes Her  Passion

Release Date: 9th June 2011

Release Date: 23rd June 2011

The Revenant  Luminous

Release Date: 14th June 2011

Release Date: 31st June 2011

Possession  The Demon's Surrender

Release Date: 7th June 2011

Release Date: 9th June 2011

Hourglass  Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)

Release Date: 14th June 2011

Release Date: 21st June 2011

Ashes, Ashes  Dead Rules

Release Date: 1st June 2011

Release Date: 21st June 2011

A Need So Beautiful  The Day Before

Release Date: 21st June 2011

Release Date: 28th June 2011

Spoiled  Mad Love

Release Date: 1st June 2011

Release Date: 6th June 2011

What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay  Imaginary Girls

Release Date: 8th June 2011

Release Date: 14th June 2011

Vicious Little Darlings  What Happened to Goodbye

Release Date: 21st June 2011

Release Date: 2nd June 2011

He's So Not Worth It  Dark Heart Rising

Release Date: 7th June 2011

Dark Heart Rising by Lee Monroe
Release Date: 2nd June 2011






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