Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and BoneTitle: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series:
Pages: 420
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of Publication: 29th September 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger. Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her life is surrounded by mysteries she is desperate to unveil.


My Thoughts:
This book has a lot of hype surrounding it, so I went into reading it thinking it was going to be one of the best books of the year. And it was really good, awesome even, but it just didn't quite live up to the hype. Very, very nearly, but just not quite.

The idea of the book was amazing. Really it was. The whole character of Karou fascinated me, with her blue hair and her amazing drawings. I was intrigued by her little 'errands' and I wanted to learn more about her life as a child, growing up with Brimstone and Issa in the shop, collecting teeth. I wanted to know more about her, because she was such an interesting character. She wasn't really believable, but it didn't matter, because I could imagine her anyway. And some of the things she thought of - the wishes especially, (with Kaz at the beginning, with the itch? ;) ) had me laughing out loud, or chuckling to myself. She was very loyal to her 'family' of chimaera in the shop, as she would go on errands, sometimes blindly, or sometimes to place she hated or previously been hurt in, just for them, because they asked her to. I admired her bravery and her determination, and I loved everything about her.

And then there was Akiva. He's the perfect villain at the start, he's mysterious and you don't really know what he's doing but you can guess he's dangerous, yet you can't stop wondering about him, and thinking about what he'd be like if you were to meet him. And then we get to know him a little, and you can't help but fall for him as you learn more and more about him. I also liked how every few chapters, there was a chapter based around him and his thoughts about Karou, and it gave us another view of her, almost as an outsider would look at her, in the beginning, at least.

One of the reasons I only gave the book 4 feet out of 5 was because for me, the beginning and a little bit in the middle were rather slow for me. It wasn't that it was bad, but I just think it was a little bit of an information overload. A lot of worldbuilding was packed into not a lot of pages, and it just confused me because I was being told so much about so many things and they all got mixed up in my head... (maybe that was just me) ;) And then about a third of the way in the plot started picking up, once everything was explained and I started to understand the world that Laini Taylor had created.

Overall all though, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an awesome book, and I can't wait for the next book in the series. I think that the story will carry on in a really good way, and that this series has the potential to be AMAZING. While this just missed out on being one of my top 2011 reads, I'm sure you'll still enjoy it, if you're a fan of paranormal YA, or if you just want something with a very well thought out plot and amazing characters. So, when it's released on 29th September, go and buy it, because you will NOT be disappointed. And also, the UK cover looks absolutely GORGEOUS ;)

*Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for sending me this 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 #22
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #39
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #68

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Sweet Venom 2 Title Hunt!

Hi everyone! Are you here for the Sweet Venom 2 Title Hunt?

Don't know what that is? Tera Lynn Childs is the author of a book called Sweet Venom, and the second book now has a title! But, YOU have to find the letters and unscramble to find out what the title is! Then, once you've figured it out, you can enter to win amazing prizes, which are: 5 signed copies of Sweet Venom and a grand prize of $50 bookstore gift card! So what are you waiting for? Collect my letter and follow the link below to find the others and enter to win!

My letter is...



So there we go, my work is done. To find the other letters and enter the competition go here to Tera Lynn Childs' website! 

Monday, 29 August 2011

Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London)
Title: The Name of the Star 
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #1
Pages: 370
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Date of Publication: 29th September 2011
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

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

My Thoughts:
This book was amazing. It's one of my favourites of this year so far, definitely. I loved everything about it. It was SO GOOD.

Rory Deveaux has moved to a boarding school in London, but the day she arrives, a series of brutal murders breaks out across the city of London, murders which are similar in method and time and place to the killings of Jack the Ripper. However, Rory thinks she's safe in her school, that is, until she happens to see a mysterious man on campus that nobody else has seen, even when they were looking straight at him. Turns out, he is a major suspect in the copycat Jack the Ripper killings...

I loved everything about this book, but I especially loved the characters. I thought Rory was an awesome main character, and I liked how she seemed like just a normal American girl living in England (not that I know any of those...). Maureen managed to create an authentic teenage voice, and she was completely believable. And it wasn't just Rory who was awesome, but all the other characters too. Jazza, Rory's roommate was so nice and kind and she looked after Rory when she first arrived at Wexford, and Boo was just hilarious. I absolutely LOVED how Maureen gave her a cockney accent - Rory didn't know what to make of it and being British I knew how it sounded, so whenever I read her dialogue I just couldn't help but laugh out loud.

Another thing I loved was how there wasn't very much romance in the book. Don't get me wrong, I love romance in books, but I liked how in this it was subtle and very much a sub plot. I loved Rory and Jerome's relationship - how they got to know each other beforehand and then when they did kiss, they never really became boyfriend and girlfriend. It was sweet and cute, but the story didn't rely on it to make it a good book, it would have still been awesome without it. (Though I'm glad it WAS there).

I loved the plot! It was exciting and engaging, and it kept me reading for hours. It was full of twists and turns that I didn't see coming at all, and it was so creepy towards the end. I loved the whole idea of how only select people can see the ghosts, it really made them even more creepy and they freaked me out even more... Imagine if they were real - but you couldn't see them walking around you... In your house, in your car, in your bedroom at night?! Maureen created the perfect atmosphere for the book with her awesome writing, and it really freaked me out when I was up late reading in the dark at 11 o'clock... ;)

I adored The Name of the Star. When it comes out in September, BUY IT. Or, better yet, pre-order it! It is SO worth it! I had no complaints at all - I loved everything about it! I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good, plot driven book, whether they are young adults or adults... I think it can and would be enjoyed by everyone! Now I must prepare myself for a year of waiting for the next one - who's waiting with me?

*I'd like to say a massive thank you to HarperCollins 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 5 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #55
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #32

Sunday, 28 August 2011

In My Mailbox #30

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

FOR REVIEW






Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (UK Paperback) *SQUEEE*
I was SO excited when this arrived, and it was AMAZING! :D I loved it! If you were a little worried that it didn't live up to VA, don't be, because it's awesome... Thanks to Penguin for this one!


Vampire Academy: A Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead, Emma Vieceli and Leigh Dragoon (UK Paperback)
Again, I was so excited for this one too, as it is a graphic novel of the first VA book, and it was awesome! I read it all in one sitting completely by accident - I was only going to read a few pages but I ended up reading it all! Thanks again to Penguin for this one!


GIFTED/WON






Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough (UK Proof)
Caroline from Portrait of a Woman sent me this; she had a first come first serve giveaway and I managed to get this :) I've heard lots of good things about it, and it looks awesome, (if a little creepy) so I can't wait to read it! Thanks Caroline!


OTHER







Angel Fire by LA Weatherly Sneak Peak
YAY! I LOVED Angel, the first book, so I was really excited to get this sneak peak! Now I can't wait for Angel Fire even more... And I don't think that sentence makes sense... Oh well, thanks to Usborne for this! :) 


That's all I got this week, what did you guys get? Leave me a link in the comments! :)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Book Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)
Title: Bloodlines  
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #1
Pages: 421
Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: 25th August 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

*SPOILER INFO: This review will NOT contain spoilers from Bloodlines, but it WILL contain spoilers from the Vampire Academy series. If you have not yet read all the Vampire Academy series and do not wish to be spoiled, I'd recommend you don't read this review...*

My Thoughts:
I'm a huge fan of the Vampire Academy books, so I was super excited to read Bloodlines. Before I read it, I was a little worried that it wouldn't live up to VA, or it would just be the same story repeated in a slightly different way but with different characters, but now, I can safely say that neither of these things were an issue with Bloodlines. It was different, exciting, and I couldn't stop reading.

Bloodlines is a story about Sydney, who is an Alchemist. Alchemists are the humans who protect vampire secrets from humans, and therefore keep the humans safe and alive. Because of her helping Rose in VA, when Sydney is woken in the middle of the night and shipped off to Palm Springs, she thinks it may be punishment for 'sympathizing with vampires'. In fact, she is there to protect Jill Dragomir, the vampire queen Lissa Dragomir's illegitimate sister, and the only person who can keep Lissa on the throne. Jill's being hidden away in a human school in Palm Springs, and along with guardian, Eddie Castile, Sydney must keep Jill and her identity safe from harm.

I really enjoyed reading from Sydney's point of view, it gave me a new insight into the Moroi world, as I was reading from the point of view of someone who thought vampires were unnatural, and that they're feeding habits were disgusting. I knew from the VA books that Alchemists didn't like the vampires, but it wasn't until I'd read Bloodlines that I realised how scared they were of them, and how uncomfortable they were around them. I loved learning about Alchemist traditions and all the things that they had to do, and about Sydney's difficult childhood, growing up preparing to be an Alchemist.

Sydney herself was a great character. She was smart, kind, and some of the things she did had me laughing out loud. She cared for Jill right from the beginning even when she was uncomfortable around her, and I'd really love to have a friend who could plot revenge on classmates like she did to Laurel for Jill. ;)

I really liked Adrian in this book. I didn't really like him in VA, I guess he was always overshadowed by Dimitri... But in this book he really shone for me. He was really sweet in what he did for Jill, and the way that he tried to do things right and got stuck into them made me see a different side of him, a side that I could possibly fall for in future books... :)

I really liked the setting in the book, it was nice to read about stories that take place in the Moroi universe that aren't set in a Moroi school or the Moroi court. It was interesting to read about Jill had to adapt to living in a human school - the PE lessons especially. I wish I could get out of PE because I was 'allergic to the sun' ;)

The plot twists towards the end just kept coming. I didn't see any of them coming, and I certainly didn't guess the huge one towards the end. It was fast paced and exciting and I couldn't stop reading. I was so glued to it, that I managed to read while the TV was on in the same room with a programme I like, and I didn't get distracted, which has only ever happened once before, with Last Sacrifice. It must be Richelle Mead's amazing writing...

Overall, Bloodlines is the perfect first in a spin off series. As it is a spin off, it didn't need lots of explaining at world building at the beginning; the story just got started and from there, the action didn't stop until I'd finished. If you have any doubts about Bloodlines, forget them. It will NOT disappoint!

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

My Rating:
I give it well deserved 5 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #42
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #75

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Book Review: Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Vanish (Firelight, #2)
Title: Vanish 
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: Firelight #2
Pages: 304
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: 6th September 2011
Source: netGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?


My Thoughts:
I read Firelight, the first book in this series last year in October, and I loved it. It was one of my favourite reads from last year and I’d recommend it to everyone. I jumped at the chance to review Vanish from NetGalley, and once I was approved, I couldn’t wait to read it. Despite hearing from a friend that it wasn’t as good as the first book, I was still extremely excited, and let me tell you, it was awesome. I loved it, just like I loved Firelight.

There will be spoilers from book one here, so don’t read on if you don’t want to be spoiled!
Vanish starts off with Jacinda, Mom, Tamra and Cassian on the way back to the pride after they ran away in the last book. Jacinda’s in huge trouble with the pride for having revealed herself as a draki to the human she’d fallen in love with, who also happened to be a draki hunter. There wasn’t much of a recap of what happened in Firelight, but despite having read it back in October, I found that slowly, as I read, things kept reminding me of the events that took place.
spoiler over :)

I’m not sure if I liked Jacinda as much in this book as I did in Firelight. She was a little bit mopey, if I’m honest. She’s just been separated from the human love of her life so it’s understandable, but she got on my nerves a little bit. And then, while she was pining for her lost love, minor spoiler she goes and kisses another guy, and I just thought that that was more than a little bit wrong of her. spoiler over. However, later on the book, I grew to like her again, as her caring side came out – as soon as something happened to Tamra or her mother, Jacinda tried to do what she could to protect them.  She also tried to make amends with all the people she’d upset when she left, as she couldn’t bear the thought of hurting someone. So, all in all, actually, I think I did like her.

There is a love triangle in this book. For quite a lot of the book, it looked like Cassian might have actually had a chance with Jacinda, as Will seemed to no longer be in the picture. And I actually grew to like him. He was a jerk in Firelight, and he seemed to only like Jacinda because of her fire breathing talent, but it quickly became clear that he wanted her for more than that, even if Jacinda herself couldn’t see that.

The plot was fast paced and I really enjoyed it. There was action right from the start, and there were a lot of plot twists that I didn’t see coming. More than once I found myself on the edge of my seat, trying to see if I could guess what the outcome of a particular scene would be, and of course, as usual, I had no idea. It kept me hooked, and I read the whole book in one sitting.

Overall, Vanish was an awesome sequel to Firelight. I was hoping that it would continue on the story from Firelight with just the same amount of action and romance, and while there perhaps wasn't too much romance in this one, there was definitely enough action to make up for it. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who hasn't read it yet – you’re missing out! And it ends on a huge cliffhanger, so I’m going to settle down and eagerly wait for the final book in the trilogy… ;)

*Thank you to netGalley and HarperTeen for allowing me access to this galley in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book! :) 

My Rating:


I give it 5 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 e-book Challenge #16
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #41
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #73

Monday, 22 August 2011

Book Review: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Dark Inside
Title: Dark Inside 
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Series: N/A
Pages: 360
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 2nd September 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everday people into hunters, killers, crazies.

Mason's mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police--who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the bystanding crowd.

Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.


My Thoughts:
I’d never heard of this book before I received it from Macmillan, but it sounded good, so I thought I’d read it. I went in not knowing what to think or expect, and now, having finished it, I’m still not sure how to think of it.

There are earthquakes, huge earthquakes, that shudder across the world, and they let something out. Nobody knows what it is, they only know that it is making half of the world’s population into crazy, merciless killing machines. Four kids have survived, and they need to figure out a way to keep surviving the killing game that has taken over the world.

First off, I will say, that this book scared me. It was creepy, it freaked me out, and on more than one occasion I nearly put it down because I was so scared. I get scared easily, but still, it all seemed very real to me. Maybe there won’t be huge earthquakes that unleash a ‘disease’ across the world, but I couldn’t help imagining that this could actually happen. I know that it’s unlikely and that it most probably won’t, but I couldn’t help it. I was tired, and I was reading with my little book light in bed in the dark at night, and my imagination ran away with me a little… Or a lot ;)

The book is told in four parts. Each chapter alternates between the four main characters: Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael. They’re all from different parts of America, but they all witness the same horror going on around them in completely different ways. For Mason, his school was blown up but he wasn’t in it at the time, for Aries, she was on the bus on the way to play practise when the earthquakes struck. Clementine was at a town meeting when two of her friends from childhood shot down everyone alive in the building after she managed to escape, and Michael witnessed a murder AND an execution in the space of around ten minutes. And that’s all in the first 50 pages. The rest of the book is them fighting the crazy killing people, and trying to survive and figure out what is going on, with all internet and communications destroyed in the earthquakes.

I admired each and every one of the four main characters. I admired their strength, and their determination to keep going, even when it looked like there was no way out of the horror. I’m not saying they didn’t have bad times, but despite these, they kept going. They were SO brave and SO courageous, and so inspiring. Even though it’s fiction, it just shows that when things are hard, you have to keep going, no matter how much it hurts.

As I said before, I don’t know what to make of this book. On the one hand, it was AMAZINGLY written. I could see everything playing out like a movie in my head – could see all the almost ghostlike towns, all the crummy little hidey holes that the four kids used to survive. The writing was brilliant, and it’s hard to believe that this is Jeyn Roberts first book, because it was just SO good. She has some serious talent. But, on the other hand, it terrified me. I know I’ve already said it, but it did. And for someone who gets scared easily this might not mean much, I know, but still. ;)

Overall though, I think I really did enjoy it. I’d recommend it to fans of YA fiction, who are looking for something new and different to read. I’ve certainly never read anything like it before. I’ll definitely be reading more post-apocalyptic fiction in the future, but I think I might need to read some light and fluffy novels before I do. ;)

*Thank you to Macmillan for sending me this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book! :) 

Challenges:
2011 Debut Author Challenge #23
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #72

Sunday, 21 August 2011

In My Mailbox #29

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

FOR REVIEW


9199346-dearly-departed.jpg   11992460-this-dark-endeavour.jpg


Dearly Departed by Lia Habel (UK Proof)
This is described as steampunk and zombies - I'm not sure about steampunk, but I LOVE zombies :D It sounds awesome, so I can't wait to read this! Thank you to Random House for this one!


This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel (UK Proof)
This one sounds awesome too! It has something to do with Frankenstein, and it sounds super creepy and I love creepy! :) Thank you again to Random House for this one! 


SWAPPED


6707693-my-love-lies-bleeding.jpg


My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey (UK paperback)
I got this in my first ever swap (swapped it for Shimmer by Alyson Noel) and it looks awesome! I got it from the library a couple of months ago but I never got around to reading it and had to take it back because realistically at the time there was no way I would be able to read it. But, there’s time now, and it’s mine to keep so I can’t wait to read it!


What did you get in your mailboxes? Leave me a link in the comments! :D


*** I don't have internet at the moment at home, and I probably won't get it back until Wednesday so I won't be able to comment or email, but I can tweet so if you need me, tweet me, @CheezyfeetBooks! :D 

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Impromptu Read-a-thon End Post!


So, I don’t know if you read it, but yesterday I posted about an Impromptu read-a-thon hosted by Amber at Down the Rabbit Hole that I was taking part in. I posted my goals, which were:

  •         To finish the 190 pages I had left of Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts.
  •         To read ALL of Vanish by Sophie Jordan
  •        To make a dent in Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick (At least 50 pages)


Well, I’m happy to say, I completed all three of my goals! I started reading at 2 yesterday, and read non-stop (when I wasn’t eating or sleeping…) until 2 today. So, here’s what I managed to read:

  •        190 pages of Dark Inside
  •        100% of Vanish (304 pages)
  •        50% of Ashes (225 pages)


So, using Goodreads page counts, I’ve totalled that up to 719 pages! And in the 24 hours that I took part, I managed to read for 10 hours, 53 minutes. Which is 653 minutes, so I think I did pretty well, as that’s just over a page a minute :)

I’d like to thank Amber for hosting this awesome read-a-thon, and it made a great way to end the week for me :) It was great fun and it was my first read-a-thon, and I don’t think it will be my last! 

Book Review: Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Cold KissTitle: Cold Kiss 
Author: Amy Garvey
Series: N/A
Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: 20th September 2011
Source: netGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: “It seemed so right. Danny was mine, I was his, and that wasn’t going to work if he was dead. So I would make him not dead, not anymore. I didn’t think any further than what it would feel like to kiss him again, to wrap my arms around him and bury my head against his shoulder.
That was my first mistake. It also turned out to be the biggest.”


When her boyfriend, Danny, is killed in a car accident, Wren can’t imagine living without him. Wild with grief, she uses the untamed powers she’s inherited to bring him back. But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy she once loved.

Wren has spent four months keeping Danny hidden, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school and somehow, inexplicably, he can sense her secret. Wren finds herself drawn to Gabriel, who is so much more alive than the ghost of the boy she loved. But Wren can’t turn her back on Danny or the choice she made for him—and she realizes she must find a way to make things right, even if it means breaking her own heart.


My Thoughts:
I don't know why, but I had really high expectations for this book. And it didn't disappoint, necessarily, but it didn't live up to them.

I enjoyed the plot of this book, and the idea was one that I haven't read before. Wren's boyfriend Danny was killed in a car accident, and she missed him so much he raised him from the dead, with the strange powers that her family has, but she knows very little about. At first, Wren is over the moon - who wouldn't be? Her boyfriend has returned, from the dead :) But, Danny soon becomes little more than a reanimated corpse - cold, unbreathing, and nothing like the Danny she fell in love with. Now she doesn't know what to do about Danny - she knows she can't keep him hidden forever, but she doesn't quite know what else to do... Until Gabriel comes along, that is.

I'm not sure whether I liked Wren all that much. In some ways I did - I felt she was a very real and believable character, and I felt that I could relate to her, but she annoyed me in some of the stupid decisions she made, and how indecisive she was. I mean, I understand why she couldn't decide what to do about the situation with Danny, and I'm not saying I know any better, because you know, I haven't recently raised my dead boyfriend from the dead, but I think she was too dependent on Gabriel to tell her what to do.
And the thing about Gabriel was, he felt like he was just a mixture of lots of different YA paranormal romance lead guys... He was a little Edward Cullen, in that he could read Wren's mind... There was nothing about him that stood out and nothing was unique about him. He was just another average guy...

The plot moved quickly and the whole book itself didn't take me very long to read at all. I finished it a while ago and I can't quite remember quite a lot of what happened in it, because nothing really stood out all that much. The plot did pick up towards the end however, and it was pretty good, even though it was extremely predictable and I knew what was coming way before it happened.

Despite everything though, I did quite enjoy the book as a whole. It was a nice quick read, and it kept me entertained for the 3 or so hours it took me to read. If you're looking for a cute, quick, summer read, then Cold Kiss would be great, but it is definitely not for you if you're looking for a deep, unforgettable read that makes you think. I would recommend it though, to fans of YA paranormal romances! :)

*Thank you to HarperTeen and netGalley for allowing me access to this galley in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book! :) 

My Rating:
I give it 3 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 Debut Author Challenge #21
2011 e-Book Challenge #15
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #36
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #64

Friday, 19 August 2011

Impromptu Read-a-thon! :D

Amber from Down the Rabbit Hole is hosting an Impromptu Read-a-thon! I've never taken part in a read-a-thon before, but I've always wanted to, and as far as I know I have nothing planned for the rest of today and tomorrow, so I thought I'd give it a go!

I'll be starting today at 2 (or earlier, it depends) and I'll finish around the same time tomorrow, so it'll probably be around 24 hours... These are the books I hope to get read!

Dark Inside
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts - I'm on page 168 and have about 190 pages left, so I hope to finish this!

Vanish (Firelight, #2)

Vanish by Sophie Jordan - 304 pages - this isn't very long so I'd like to finish this!

Ashes

Ashes by Ilsa J Bick - 480 pages - I'd like to make a dent in this one, at least 50 pages :) I doubt I'll finish it though ;) 

So these are my goals, do you think I can do it? Wish me luck! Are you taking part? Leave me a link to your post below, or let me know what you want to read! :D 

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Book Review: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Abandon Title: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon Trilogy #1
Pages: 292
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 1st September 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away... especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.


My Thoughts:
I've not really read anything by Meg Cabot before, apart from the first Mediator book (which I can't remember much at all) and a short story, but I'd heard so much about her all over Twitter, blogs, Goodreads and Facebook. Everywhere, Meg Cabot's name pops up. So I thought, I'll read something by her, and see what all the fuss is about. Now I know :)

Abandon is based around Greek mythology, and this was awesome because I love books based on Greek mythology (Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini and The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, to name a few). Even though this was based on the Persephone myth, I felt that it was done in a unique way, and I know the myth but I didn't guess what would happen during the story. I thought that the book was well paced and there was a nice balance between action packed scenes and 'calmer' scenes. The characters were awesome and believable and I read the whole book in a few hours.

It started off being quite vague, and over the course of the book, things that were mentioned or hinted at at the beginning slowly got explained. Sometimes this was annoying, for example, Pierce would think about a certain event, and then that event wouldn't get explained until say, 50 pages later. It wasn't so bad though, because I'd read so quickly that it didn't take me long to find out.

I really liked Pierce. At first she seemed a little full of herself, going on all the time about how she died, and that she didn't want people asking questions about her experience, but how often do people get to meet someone who DIED? Anyway, after about 50 pages, I grew to like her, so it was fine. She was so nice and caring, and once I found out what she tried to do for Hannah (who was her EX-best-friend), I think that was when I realised that she was awesome. And then later on in the book when anything bad happened, she blamed it on herself and tried to help in anyway she could, even though there wasn't really anything she could do.

On the other hand, I really didn't like John that much. I don't think I was meant to like him... I'm not sure, but he came across as an arrogant, annoying, and just a plain old jerk. And when something really bad happened near the end, all he did was start kissing Pierce, as if that would make everything better. I hope that in the next book, Underworld, I'll like him better...

Apart from my dislike of John, the only other thing about the book that perhaps let me down a little was that Pierce gets let off from the consequences of her actions too easily, and in an unrealistic way. Like if someone died, she'd get let off by the police even though her bike was at the scene, small things like that. And sure, I've never been in her situation, but I don't think you'd get let off for like that with only a few questions...

Anyway, Abandon was a great book, and I'd really recommend it to anyone who loves YA fiction. It has an element of everything - there's a small paranormal element, there's a little bit of romance, and there's action too. It's a great one to start with if you've not read any Meg Cabot books (like me), or if you haven't read any Greek mythology books either! So go out, and buy yourself a copy, because it's awesome :) And can I just say how BEAUTIFUL the new UK cover is?

*Thank you to MacMillan for sending me this 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 #40
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #71

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Top Ten Tuesday #2: Dystopians

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. :)

This week was a freebie week, so I could choose anything about literature to do a top ten of. And Top Ten Dystopians was suggested, so I thought, hey, I love dystopians, so let's do that... Not sure how many I've read though! ;) If I haven't read 10 I'll add ones that I like the sound of :D


1. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - Do I really need to say anything about this series? I think most people have read it now, but if you haven't, I'm ordering you to go and buy/borrow/swap a copy, and read it. And don't worry if 24 children killing each other doesn't sound like your thing, because I didn't think it would be mine either... ;) My review is here.

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth - This book was AMAZING. I'm still not sure whether or not I liked this better than The Hunger Games, but it was at least as good as they were... If you're a YA dystopian fan (or not YA, doesn't matter) I'm sure you will LOVE this :D It's SO good. My review is here.

3. Wither by Lauren DeStefano - This book was awesome too... I have much love for dystopians, if you couldn't already tell... ;) It was an idea I'd never read before, but it was awesome anyway :) And Rhine was an awesome main character :) Here is my review.

4. Inside Out and Outside In by Maria V. Snyder - These books are AMAZING. They are so good, but they're are not doing as well as the publishers originally thought so unfortunately there probably won't be another book in the series... It's SO SADD!! So please, go out and buy a copy, and see what you think! Please? *bats eyelids* My review is here, if that didn't convince you ;)

5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver - This one is also awesome. Basically, I think you should just read all the books on this list, because they are ALL awesome :D Anyway, this one is about a world where love is a disease, and you get cured from it once you turn eighteen. Lauren Oliver has a beautiful writing style, and I think this one is a great one to start with if you've never read a dystopian before. You can read my review here.

6. Uglies, Pretties, Specials and Extras by Scott Westerfeld - I read these before I started blogging, so I haven't reviewed them, and I've read better since, but these were my first dystopians so they'll always be a little bit special for me :) They have an awesome plotline, awesome lingo, and they're so fun :)

7. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan - This series is a cross between dystopian and paranormal - it's dystopian, with ZOMBIES :D This is the first book in a series, and the second one's even better :) Haven't read the 3rd one yet though, I really need to! I know a lot of people don't like this one because of the zombies, but it's really good :)

8. Matched by Ally Condie - This had a good synopsis, and I really liked it, but it's not as good as the others in this list :L BUT, it ends on a massive cliffhanger that sets up really well for a sequel that has the potential to be AMAZING :D So if you're a dystopian fan, then read this, as I think you'll like it :) It has some awesome parts, and you can read my review here.

9. Bumped by Megan McCafferty - This book is SUPER WEIRD. It's about a world where you become infertile at the age of eighteen so the teenagers of the world are relied on to have your babies for you... I know it sounds weird and kind of gross, but it was good... You can read my review here.

10. The Declaration by Gemma Malley - I read these ages ago, back when I was about 11... Not sure though ;) I can't remember much about it, apart from that it was really good and I really need to read the rest of the series ;) So I'd recommend these! :D

Have you done a Top Ten Tuesday this week? Leave me a link to yours in the comments! :D

Sunday, 14 August 2011

In My Mailbox #28

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

FOR REVIEW


Sorry for the dark picture... ;) 


Kill All Enemies by Melvin Burgess (UK Proof)
I was a little bit worried about what I would think of this as it's not the kind of book I would normally read, and it was for a blog tour... But I'm half way through and it's AMAZING :D So good! Thanks to Penguin for this one!


Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan (UK Proof) *SQUEE*
I am SO EXCITED to have this one, it sounds AMAZING :D Thanks to MacMillan for this one!


VIII by H.M. Castor (UK Proof)
This is also for a blog tour coming up in October, and I'm really excited for it! It's a fictional account of Henry VIII's life and it sounds really good, and it's had some amazing review, so I'm excited to read this! Thanks to Templar Publishing for this one!


Abandon


Abandon by Meg Cabot (UK Proof) *Squee*
Again, another really exciting book! :D And the UK paperback cover is GORGEOUS. I mean, the US hardback is nice, but this one is even better :D I've even included a picture so you can see the amazingness of it :) In my opinion, anyway... ;) Thanks to MacMillan for this one!


Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts (UK Paperback)
I'd never heard of this one before I opened the parcel, but it sounds really good so I'm excited to give this one a try! Thanks to MacMillan again for this one!


WON







Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey and some goodies! (Won from Liz at My Favourite Books)
I'm so excited to read this one too, and I know I've said that about almost every book I got this week... ;P Anyway, it looks really good and the goodies are awesome! I got 4 HV badges and a tote bag :D Thanks Liz! :D 


What did you all get in your mailboxes? Anything nice? Leave me a link in the comments! :D

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Book Review: Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2)Title: Supernaturally
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Paranormalcy #2
Pages: 420
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: 26th July 2011
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.


My Thoughts:
I LOVED Paranormalcy when I read it in December - it's definitely one of my favourite books EVER. So when I got my hands on Supernaturally I had to read it as soon and as quickly as I could. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

One of the best things about Paranormalcy (possible the BEST thing) was Evie. She was snarky, sarcastic, and funny, and so great to read about. And in Supernaturally, she's all that, and more. It was a pleasure to be back reading from her point of view, and without her, these books would be nowhere near as good, or as readable. I mean, I'd still like them, because of the awesome plot lines, but they probably wouldn't be my favourite. But of course, she wouldn't be the same without Lend...

I didn't like Lend as much in this one, or, it wasn't that I didn't like him, it was more that he wasn't in it nearly as much and I missed him. I thought he overreacted to a few things in the book, and I felt that he took on a more responsible and sensible boyfriend role, but he was still cute and kind and looked out for Evie, and did what he thought was best for her.

And then there was Jack... He was hilarious. Some of the things he does, made me laugh out loud in a way that books never make me laugh. First, there was the girls' locker room scene - if you've read it you'll know what I'm talking about and if you haven't, I'm sure you can guess, and then there were the times in the faerie paths when he was guiding Evie through... Everything he did made me giggle, right until the very end, even when things go wrong... I don't know how else to put it without spoiling it... ;)

I really enjoyed reading about Evie and her adventures outside of the IPCA, it gave a different kind of feeling to the book, and it was nice to have a change of scenery. Evie in school sounded so funny, and I would have loved to have been in her class, especially in her gym class! She sounded just like me ;) As in, she hated it and wondered why anyone would want to do it... ;P And her obsession with lockers was nice to read about again... Little things like that that I'd forgotten about while waiting for Supernaturally made me smile when I remembered about them.

The plot was exciting, fast paced, and the action started right at the start of the book. Literally, it's about on page 2 or 3 when she gets whisked out of class and something happens. And I expected nothing less. The action carried on throughout the book, and there was never a dull moment. Even in the parts where not much was happening, I was never bored, and Evie's thoughts kept me entertained.

Overall, Supernaturally was the perfect sequel to Paranormalcy, and I devoured it in one day. I was really looking forward to reading it, I had high hopes, and it delivered exactly what I wanted. I LOVED it. So if you loved Paranormalcy, then Supernaturally will not disappoint you, and if you haven't read Paranormalcy yet, I'm telling you, go and READ IT. Please. ;)

My Rating:
I give it 5 feet!

Challenges:
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #38
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #67

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

UK Cover Reveal: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Hey everyone, I have some exciting news to share today! Here is the UK cover of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor! I think it's so pretty, and I've been told that the finished version even has extra foiling to make it super pretty and super shiny :) So, here is the final cover...


And here is the final dust jacket :) I think you can click on the images for a larger version, if you want to look closer :)


So you all probably saw it yesterday but I already had a post up so I posted it today :) What do you think about it? You like? Let me know in the comments! :D 

Monday, 8 August 2011

Book Review: Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Eight KeysTitle: Eight Keys
Author: Suzanne LaFleur
Series: N/A
Pages: 216
Publisher: Puffin
Date of Publication: 11th August 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor.

When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the barn...


My Thoughts:
This book is one of the cutest books I've ever read. It's adorable!

Elise is just starting middle school (I think?) and she's finding it difficult to adjust. She lives with her Aunt and Uncle, because sadly her parents passed away when she was very young. She's finding it difficult to fit in at school, and everyday her lunch gets squished by the school's mean girl, and her best friend Franklin is making things even more hard for her by telling everyone that she still plays games, making her seem like a baby.

I really liked Elise. I thought Suzanne really captured the voice of a twelve year old girl, and I really felt for her. I could relate to her feelings of not fitting in, and even though at times she was annoying and a little bit whiny, I really enjoyed reading about her story. Also, she changed and grew up so much in the book - at the beginning she was young and a little naive, and by the end she was becoming a young adult, and once she realised that she didn't have to be what everyone else expected her to be, she could just be herself, I really thought that she could do great things with her life, if she were real.

And then there was Franklin. I really liked him, and I felt that Elise treated him really badly for most of the book, so I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He was a really good friend to Elise, and he stood up for her, even when perhaps he shouldn't have. He was sweet and funny and I'm so glad that Elise had a friend like him, to play with her and help her with the keys and everything a good friend should.

Speaking of the keys... What an AWESOME idea! It was great fun to read about, and SO cute :) Elise's father passed away when she was three years old, and he wrote her 9 letters just before he died, one for each birthday. But, when they ran out, Elise found a key, that opened one of eight rooms that had been locked her whole life. In each room her dad had left something that would teach her a life lesson, and each one was so true. I won't spoil what was in the room or the lesson learned from it, but I think they could be applied to our lives now, whether we are twelve, twenty, or older.

Overall, I'm so glad that I got the chance to read Eight Keys. I wasn't sure what it was going to be like, but I really enjoyed it. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves cute, coming of age novels, or anyone looking for a good summer read. I'll definitely be reading Love, Aubrey, and anything else that Suzanne publishes in the future, as I'm sure they'll be just as fun, and just as cute as this one.

*Thank you to Puffin for sending me this, by accident! :) In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. :) 

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #66

Sunday, 7 August 2011

In My Mailbox #27

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and showcases the books you received in the week, whether it came to you in the mail, or you bought it in a shop :) Bought, borrowed, gifted, one, or for review, they all count! :) Also, I have no actual photos today because my camera's out of battery and I can't be bothered to charge it because I am a lazy person. So all pictures are from Goodreads :)

BOUGHT

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour  Ten Things We Shouldn't Have Done

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (UK Paperback)
I'm so excited to read this - I've only heard good things about it, so yay! I'm going to try and fit it in with my summer reading :) Also, the back is so cool, it's like a postcard...

Ten Things We Shouldn't Have Done by Sarah Mlynowski (UK Paperback)
Lots of people don't like this cover and title, and I agree that the US one is better, but this one isn't hideous... And it was cheaper :) It looks hilarious and it's got really good reviews, so like Amy & Roger I'm going to try and fit it in with my summer reading too :)

FOR REVIEW

The Scorpio Races  Blood Red Road (Dustlands, #1)

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (UK Proof) *SQUEEEEEE*
Oh. My. Gosh. I have this and I'm SO EXCITED!!! I cannot wait to read this, it looks AMAZING :D It's by Maggie so it will be awesome, and I just can't say how I excited I am to have this XD *happy dance* Thank you Scholastic!

Blood Red Road by Moira Young (UK Paperback)
I already have this book, but I got another copy for review this week so I've put one of them up on ReadItSwapIt :) It's in perfect condition so if you want it, I'm 'cheezyfeetbooks' :P I haven't read it yet though, so I'm excited to now! Thank you Scholastic!

GIFTED

Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (UK Paperback, RAK from Scattered Laura)
Yay! This completes my Lauren Oliver collection :) I'm really excited to read it, I've heard mixed things about it, but I still want to read it! :D Thank you very much Laura!


What did you get in your mailboxes? Leave me a link in the comments and I'll try and stop by your blogs! :D

Friday, 5 August 2011

Book Review: Forbidden by Jana Oliver

Forbidden (The Demon Trappers, #2)Title: Forbidden
Author: Jana Oliver
Series: The Demon Trappers #2
Pages: 418
Publisher: MacMillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 5th August 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Riley's beginning to think being a demon trapper isn't all it's cracked up to be. Her dad's been stolen by a necromancer, her boyfriend's gone all weird and she's getting warm and fuzzy feelings for someone who's seriously bad news. It's tempting to give it all up and try to be normal, but that's not an option. Because the demons have plans for Riley. And they're not the only ones.

*There WILL be spoilers from the first book in this review. If you have not read the first book and do not wish to be spoiled, do not read any further ;)

My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Forsaken, and the second book, Forbidden, is nearly as good.

Riley Blackthorne is the daughter of one of Atlanta's greatest demon trappers, who sadly died, but has now been stolen and raised by a necromancer. She's having problems - many of the guild of Atlanta trappers are blaming her for the invasion of the demons and even her boyfriend is turning on her. To make it worse, a Grade Five demon, a Geo-Fiend, is after her, and it won't stop until Riley gives it her soul.

Forbidden picks up the day after the first book ended, after the guild was invaded and she made a deal with an angel to keep her boyfriend alive. Riley is dealing with the aftermath - being blamed for the failure of the Holy Water, and is also trying to figure out what she's going to do next. She's still kick ass and determined, like she was in the first book, but she also lets us see a different side of her, the side of her that is vulnerable and can be hurt. I felt sorry for her at times, and at others I was happy and excited. She was an awesome character to read about and I can't wait to see where the next book takes her.

And Beck, he was just as yummy as he was in the first book... But, like with Riley, we get to see a different side of him in Forbidden. In the first book he comes across as quite hard and cold, and he's not very sensitive, but in this book, at times he's still like that, but there are other times when he lets his feelings for Riley show and it's the sweetest thing ever... He's so cute! And I never EVER thought I'd say that about Denver Beck!

The reason I only gave the book four stars out of five though, was because the beginning was extremely slow for me. I have no idea why - maybe it was because I'd just got back from an action packed holiday, but I just couldn't read it for very long. I had no desire to sit and read for hours, I just couldn't concentrate on it. It wasn't, bad, necessarily, but it wasn't what I had expected from the second book in this series, if you know what I mean.

However, about a third of the way in, the plot picks up and so does the pace, and even though I still read it slowly, I was completely and utterly hooked. So much happens in a short space of time, I wonder how the characters keep going...

I think Forbidden is a really good sequel to Forsaken and it ends on a nice big cliffhanger that's got me needing the last book in the trilogy. If you've started it and you're finding the beginning a little slow, stick with it because it does get better! Now I'm off to (im)patiently wait for Forgiven, the final book in the trilogy... ;)

*Thank you very much to MacMillan for sending me this book 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 #37
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #65
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