Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Fire and Thorns #1
Pages: 432
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: 20th September 2011
Source: NetGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who needs her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.


My Thoughts:
I had sky high hopes for this. I hadn't heard a single thing about this book that wasn't absolutely glowing. All the reviews I'd read had made it seem like it was going to be THE book of the year. Unfortunately, for me, it just didn't live up to that.

That's not to say I didn't like it. I just didn't love it. There were good things and bad things, so I have a very mixed opinion about The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

I'll start at the beginning. It was really slow for me, and more than once I considered putting it down because I was getting bored. I try very hard not to put things down, but there were times when I was SO close. There was so much world-building and times when not much really happened - for example when the whole Godstone thing was explained - I just got bored. I had no interest. Then, luckily, about a third of the way through, the plot began to pick up and I finally became interested in the story.

I quite liked Elisa, though at times I just wanted to give her a slap and tell her to stop being so pathetic. She was annoying and whiny - always going on about how fat she was, but in ways I liked her a little bit. She seemed to care about the people around her even if they were spying or kidnapping her, and for that I admire her...

I liked the elements of romance in this book - they weren't overpowering but in a way they were essential to the plot. I liked how when Elisa was married off to the extremely handsome king, she didn't just fall head over heels in love with him because of how he looked, but she decided to wait and get to know him before making any decisions about how she would feel about him. It was nice then that the actual romance between Elisa and a different character was built up slowly and even though she was already married, there was no feeling of cheating or betrayal between the characters.

Overall though, The Girl of Fire and Thorns fell a little flat for me. While it did pick up towards the end, and I enjoyed the end rather a lot, I'm not sure how I got through the first half. However, don't let that put you off because almost everyone else I've spoken to who's read this absolutely ADORED it, so if it sounds like your kind of thing, go for it! You'll probably enjoy it :)

*Thanks to netGalley and HarperTeen for giving 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 #25
2011 eBook Challenge #19
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #83

Monday, 26 September 2011

Book Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #4
Pages: 386
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Publication: 25th October 2011
Source: NetGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.


To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.


My Thoughts:
I am a huge fan of The Iron Fey series - it has to be one of my favourite series EVER. Originally it was going to just be a trilogy, ending with The Iron Queen. I was happy with the ending of The Iron Queen, and I didn't feel like there needed to be another book, so I was a little nervous about reading The Iron Knight. However, I had no need for this nervousness because The Iron Knight was AWESOME.

I went into reading this book without knowing anything about it. I didn't read the synopsis, I just went straight into reading it once I got it. I didn't know what to expect, and I had NO idea that it was told from Ash's point of view... I just assumed it would be from Meghan's like all the other books in the series...

I don't like Ash all that much. I never have. So I was a little apprehensive about reading once I realised that he would be telling the story. Forgive me, but Ash is just so cold! I know he's a Winter prince and all, but he just is so cold and bitter and heartless, I just don't see what Meghan sees in him... But, now having had a little peek inside his head, I quite like him. I don't think I could ever really like him, but having that little insight into his head has made me realise that perhaps he's not so bad. I'll still always be Team Puck though ;)

DO NOT READ THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE IRON QUEEN AND DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED. SKIP ON TO NEXT PARAGRAPH.

The plot was strong and kept me reading the whole way through. At the end of The Iron Queen, Meghan had become Queen of the Iron Kingdom and the Iron Fey, and had banished Ash from the land because, with him being a Winter fey who was allergic to iron, he would have quickly perished in the Iron kingdom. However, because Ash's love for Meghan is SO strong, in The Iron Knight he makes his way to the End of the World to try and gain a soul and become mortal.

SPOILERS FINISH HERE!

As always, Julie's writing is amazing. Her storytelling skills are awesome, and I could completely imagine all the weird and wonderful monsters and Fey that live in the NeverNever and the wyldwood, and all the settings and landscapes that she describes so amazingly are so easy to imagine and get lost in. Even if you don't like YA paranormal, I recommend that you read these books, if only for the incredible settings and descriptions.

Overall, The Iron Knight is a wonderful ending to one of, in my opinion, one of the best series for young adults out there. I'm sad to see it end, and to leave the world or Ash and Meghan, and Puck and Grimalkin behind, but I look forward to anything else Julie writes, including the untitled spin off series that she's writing! I would recommend this series to EVERYBODY, whether young or old, male or female, because I truly believe that everyone will enjoy them. So if you haven't read them, or even heard of them, where have you been? Go and buy them, now! :D

*I want to say a huge thank you to Harlequin Teen and netGalley for giving me access to this e-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 eBook Challenge #13
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #45
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #62

Saturday, 24 September 2011

In My Mailbox #34

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

This week I decided to do another vlog, as I've got quite a lot to show you... It's better than the last one I did, so if you saw that, that's good I guess ;) Sorry about the rubbish lighting and sound, I recorded it with my laptop camera and it's not the best one in the world ;) Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!


Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Won from Vickie at ComaCalm)
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (Gifted from Cicely at Cicely Loves Books)
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington (For review from Orchard Books)
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce *Squee* (For review from Hodder Children's)
This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel (For review from Random House Children's Books)
Heist Society *signed* (For review from Orchard Books)
Nightshade by Maryrose Wood SWAG 
Heist Society swag - bookmark, buttons and a nail file(!)

In case you didn't watch the video, I went to the Heist Society signing in Bluewater today, and I got my copy of Heist Society signed, and some swag!

I also got a couple ebooks this week, which I completely forgot to show you... ;) I got:

Daimon (Covenant, #0.5)  Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)

Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Both of these books were under £3 and they're newly released this week, and I've heard so much awesome about them that I thought I may as well buy them while they're still cheap! :D

Anyway, that's what I got this week, leave me a comment and a link to your IMM in the comments! :D


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Discussion Post: Love Triangles in YA

Hey everyone! I've decided to do something different for today - I've decided to try doing a discussion post! I've never done one of these before, and I've never even taken part in one, but I've always wanted to so I thought I might host one myself, just to see what it's like :) I've chosen a topic that I know a lot of people have very strong opinions about...

LOVE TRIANGLES IN YA

It can sometimes seem like every young adult fiction book has some kind of love triangle in it, especially paranormal books. Some people are sick of them, others absolutely love them. 

Personally, I like love triangles. If they are well written and well thought out, then I think they can add a great aspect to the story, and they can make it a whole lot more interesting. However, I do think that if the love triangle is not an integral part of the story and is just used as a filler, then it can get very annoying. They have to be meaningful, and in some way it should make the story better. 

While on the whole, I like love triangles, there is one 'type' that I really DON'T like: when a girl has known a guy her whole life - they're in a relationship and they're happy, and then a new guy comes along, and suddenly the guy she's known her WHOLE FREAKIN' LIFE is forgotten for a guy she barely knows. I'm just sitting there thinking, 'What are you doing?!' Would you really dump a guy you know and feel comfortable with for you whole life for someone you've literally known a week?! It just seems silly, but I've read many books that I've really enjoyed that have this kind of love triangle and it's the ONE THING about the book that ruins it for me... 

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)For example, Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. I LOVED this book. It was amazing, one of my favourite werewolf book ever. BUT, and it's a big but. It has a really annoying love triangle in it! Calla is going to be the leader of her pack of werewolves, and she's 'destined' to lead the pack with Ren, and she has been her whole life. Then, one day, she meets a guy called Shay, and she just happens to reveal to him that she is a werewolf, and then suddenly, they're in a relationship! I was not impressed. I haven't yet read Wolfsbane, so maybe it'll change... 

And then there's the other kind of love triangle - the one where there's a happy couple, guy and a girl, and then the guy who's always been left out. I don't mind this kind of love triangle, but as I said before, ONLY if it's written well. For example, one of the best ever love triangles is the triangle from the Summer series by Jenny Han (if you have not read these, BUY THEM). I haven't yet read the last book as it's not out in the UK yet, so I don't yet know who Belly chooses, but oh my word, either Conrad or Jeremiah would be a good choice. I think one of the best things about this triangle is that the situation is totally believable. Belly has grown up with both Jeremiah and Conrad all her life, and at some point in their lives, the guys have both had feelings for Belly and vice versa. Then, when Belly finally does choose, you as the reader can't decide whether or not she's made the right choice. Team Jeremiah or Team Conrad? The indecisiveness and the hesitation at choosing your team is what I think makes a good and effective love triangle.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)
Of course, there are so many different variations of the common love triangle, not just the two that you can see here. So, let me know. Do you like love triangles, or do you hate them? Have any examples of your own that demonstrate either good or bad love triangles? You can leave your thoughts in the comments, tweet me using the hashtag #lovetrianglesinYA, or you could even write up your own blog post, and I'll link up to you at the bottom of this post! If this works well and gets you all talking, I might even make it a weekly or monthly feature! :)

Other love triangles to think about: Bella, Edward and Jacob from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer | Jacinda, Will and Cassian from Firelight by Sophie Jordan | Cassia, Ky and Xander from Matched by Ally Condie | Zoey, Stark, and Heath from House of Night by PC & Kristin Cast

Books mentioned: The Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer | The Summer Series by Jenny Han

So remember, leave a comment, make a blog post, or tweet using the hashtag: #lovetrianglesinYA! I can't wait to hear your thoughts!


Monday, 19 September 2011

Book Review: Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl and PoTitle: Liesl and Po
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: N/A
Pages: 320
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of Publication: 29th September 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable

Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.


My Thoughts:
This book was adorable! I really enjoyed reading it, and while it wasn't my favourite of Lauren's books, I really enjoyed reading it. It was cute and fun, and I'm sure it'll be a huge success.
Liesl and Po is about a girl who lives in an attic. One day she meets two ghosts, one called Po, and one called Bundle, who have come over to her world from the Other Side. Both the two ghosts and Liesl are lonely, and together they decide to see if they can get Liesl out of the miserable attic that she has been confined too, and bury her dad's ashes where they belong. But, the box containing her father's ashes was accidentally switched by Will, an alchemist's apprentice, for the most powerful magic in the world. This obviously causes problems for both Will and Liesl, and they are brought together on an amazing journey.
I wasn't sure how much I was going to like this, but I was super excited anyway... I mean, it's LAUREN FREAKIN' OLIVER! I absolutely ADORED Delirium, so even if I didn't like the sound of anything else she's written, I'll still read it (though I did like the idea of this one) ;) Anyway, I thought it sounded cute and fun, and that was just what I fancied reading, so I read it. In two days. It was so easy to read, and I found that I'd read half of it within about an hour of reading it... Whether this was because it was a middle grade and therefore aimed at a younger audience and easier to read, I don't know, but I flew through it.
The characters were adorable (EVERYTHING was adorable). I absolutely loved Liesl, she was like a cute little sister... Po was pretty cool too, it* was so nice to Liesl, and it helped her to get out of some very sticky situations... I liked Will too; he was cute and everyone blamed him for the whole thing and while technically it was his fault, he shouldn't have been treated like he was and I just felt so sorry for him.
The plot was quite fast paced and while there were lots of twists, I saw most of them coming. But, I didn't mind, as it still kept me interested and I didn't get bored once.
The only reason I gave this 3 feet is because I think that while it was super cute, it wasn't something that I would read time and time and again. I think maybe it's because I'm an older reader (compared to the age group), the plot seemed a little thin in places. I still really liked it, but it felt like it was lacking at times, which kind of disappointed me. However, for the intended age group (middle grade), I think it would be PERFECT. I can imagine so many children picking this up and becoming so engrossed that they couldn't put it down...
Overall though, I really enjoyed Liesl and Po, and it was just such a cute, fun and quick read. While I kind of had mixed opinions, I'd recommend it to everyone who is a fan of middle grade fiction, especially MG fantasy fans, and anyone who is trying to get their children to enjoy reading, because I really think that Liesl and Po could capture the imagination of children's minds everywhere. *cue cheesy music* ;D

*Po doesn't have a gender as it is just a blurry outline, and because everything becomes blurred on the Other Side, it can't remember if it was a boy or a girl.

**Thanks 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 3 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #79

Sunday, 18 September 2011

In My Mailbox #33

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

WON






The Poison Diaries: Nightshade by Maryrose Wood (UK Paperback)
I won this from Donna and Jess from Book Passion For Life and I can't wait to read it, though I'll have to read the first one first... ;)


GIFTED






Slide by Jill Hathaway bookmark! 
This is SO pretty! The colour is gorgeous, and Jill wrote on it and signed it for me :) If you can't see what it says, it says: 'For Bella! SLIDE into the mystery!' Thanks Jill!


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

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Book Review: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly Departed
Title: Dearly Departed  
Author: Lia Habel
Series: N/A
Pages: 451
Publisher: Doubleday
Date of Publication: 29th September 2011
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis:
As far as romantic pairings go in the year 2195, you don't get much more unlikely than an upper-class schoolgirl and a poor miner from enemy tribes. Filter in the fact that he's a zombie, and you're definitely talking about star-crossed love.

Dearly, Departed is a cyber-Victorian/steampunk romance that takes place in the shadow of a new ice age. Nora Dearly, a mouthy teenage girl and apparent orphan, leaves school for Christmas - only to be dragged into the night by the living dead. Luckily for her, though, the good ones got to her first. From her reanimated rescuers she learns not only that zombies are roaming the countryside, but that her father is one - and that he's in terrible trouble. She also meets Captain Bram Griswold, a noble, strong, and rather sweet undead boy for whom she starts to fall.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Pamela Roe, is just trying to carry on with life as best she can in the wake of Nora's disappearance - when she ends up killing an evil zombie in self-defense. Pam is galvanized into action, and ends up leading a group of survivors as the city of New London is thronged by the ravenous dead.

Upon hearing of Pamela's plight, Nora and Bram set out to rescue her friends, find her missing father, and maybe just save what's left of the world.



My Thoughts:
I absolutely adored this book. I didn't have very high hopes for it at first - I'd read it was steampunk and I've only read one other steampunk book before and I wasn't sure whether or not I liked it, and I didn't know whether it was the steampunk or the writing that I didn't like. Anyway, that's a different story about a different book. Luckily, I absolutely loved this one, and I'd recommend it to you all. Even if you don't like zombies.

This is a zombie book. (woo, go zombies!) Don't be put off though, because the zombies in it are not your typical zombies... (Well, some of them are, but most of them are not). They're kind, sweet, funny and adorable... Most of them are not interested in eating your brains and peeling off your skin... Okay, okay, I'll promise I'll stop now. ;)

It's the year 2195, and Nora Dearly has just got home from boarding school, and is now officially out of her year-long mourning period for her father. She's home alone when a band of the living undead break into her house and kidnap her. It turns out that this group of zombies had kidnapped her to keep her in a safe place from the evil zombies who also had planned to try to kidnap her. (Confused yet? ;) ) Anyway, Nora has to help the nice zombies try to defeat the evil zombies, so they can find a cure or vaccine against the zombie virus, to stop healthy humans from contracting the 'disease'. But, can she do this surrounded by nice zombies who are still zombies and still want to eat her? And to top it all off, she might even be falling for one of them - Bram, the cute, sweet, and very dead zombie who's been looking after her...

I loved Nora. I thought she was a great main character, and loved reading about her story. I liked how even though the book was told from five very different points of view, she still played the biggest and most important part in the book, even when she wasn't physically in the scene. Sometimes with books told by multiple narratives, you just get a number of different stories that seem to have no relevance until they start to weave together near the end which then confuses me, but with Dearly Departed there is absolutely no confusion at all. The narratives were interwoven beautifully, and the story flowed through the book wonderfully.

Nora herself was an awesome character. She was dedicated and caring, and even though she was grossed out by the zombies, she still couldn't help but feel something for the kind man who had been helping her. Despite the difficult situations she found herself in, she always seemed to be worrying about someone else, and about how they were feeling at the time, and just generally whether they were OK. I loved how her relationship with Bram developed, and how it slowly built up, and even though it was only over the course of one week, it didn't feel rushed at all. It felt natural and it was so cute! Definitely no insta-love here, if you don't like that ;)

The plot was action-packed and full of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Not that I'm good at guessing plots, but even if I was I don't think I would have. I'm not going to say anything else about the plot because I really don't want to spoil you, but just trust me when I say it was awesome. :D
Dearly Departed was a great surprise for me - I wasn't expecting much but after about a quarter of the book I was hooked. It's a mixture of dystopian/post-apocalyptic/paranormal with a smidgen of romance mixed in near the end... It was the perfect blend of action and suspense, and every single page was made of awesome. It comes out on 29th September, and I strongly suggest that you go and buy yourself a copy, because you WILL NOT be disappointed.

*Thanks to Random House for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. :) 


My Rating:
I give it 5 well-deserved feet!

Challenges:
2011 Debut Author Challenge #24
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #45
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #81

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Kill All Enemies Blog Tour

Kill All EnemiesHey everyone, and today is my stop on the Kill All Enemies by Melvin Burgess blog tour! Yay! I have my first author Q&A session to share with you, which I'm super excited about, and his answers are awesome, in my opinion :) So here they are!

____________________

Bella: Hi Melvin, welcome to Cheezyfeet Books! Tell us about Kill All Enemies in less than 20 words.
Melvin: It follows three teenagers in deep trouble, who turn out to be heroes in other areas of their lives.

B: What inspired you to write Kill All Enemies?
M: We’re always hearing abut bad kids – the kind who get excluded from school, get into fights – maybe the kind of kids who were out in the recent riots. I wanted to try and find out what was going inside their heads, so I went out to interview them. I was as amazed as any9one when I found out that so many of them were real heroes.

B: Could you tell us a little about what it was like to go to the PRUs to research for Kill All Enemies?
M: Really interesting. PRU’s vary so much – some of them are as rough as an old man’s beard, and some are just beautiful. I found one where they have fresh flowers and fruit in every classroom every day of the week – it was lovely. They were full of characters, that was for sure – everyone in there had a story to tell.
The main difference between a school and a PRU was the staff. It was usually more informal, and the teachers were not so proud, as one head of a Pry called it. He meant, if I kid was rude to them, they didn’t stand on their pride, but did their best to handle it another way. They used discipline, but in a situation where people often have some very difficult and often upsetting situations to deal with at home, it’s not good simply trying to come down on someone when they blow up. It may not be rudeness – it may just be someone reaching the end of their tether.

Melvin Burgess
B: In the PRUs you visited, you must have spoken to lots of kids and teens. What was it about Chris, Rob and Billie’s stories that made them stand out?
M: Different reasons. Billie was such a charismatic figure, who’d tried so hard in her life and had some great disappointments. But she was basically a very responsible person, and a very charismatic one. Everyone who came into contact with her loved her – she was really quite remarkable.

Rob is really made up from two separate lads I met – not in a PRU, but at the Corn Exchange in Leeds. They’d both had some very difficult experiences, but they had really risen above it all – partly, I think, by using their music to deal with it all. I have the greatest respect for them.

Chris was different – his mother told me about him. He was unusual because he just put his foot and refused to work – and yet, when he left school, he turned pout to be relay responsible – got a job in a bar and was the manager with a year or two. I thought that was great! I admired him very much for sticking to his principles.


B: If Kill All Enemies was to be made into a movie or TV series, who would you cast to play Billie, Rob and Chris?
M: I have no idea! I love films and TV but I can never remember anyone's name. Sorry.


B: What made you become an author and what made you choose to write about ‘difficult’ subjects such as addiction and underage sex?
M: I took up writing because I was no good at anything else. Really – I was rubbish at school, but I always loved reading and writing. So I just went where the sun shone, so to speak.
As for my subject matter, I do write about other stuff – but the more difficult side of life is always interesting. There are so many areas adults find it difficult to talk to young people about – lots of subjects for novels that no one has written yet!



B: What are your writing plans for the future?
M: I’m just finishing my next book – a horror. See – I told you I write other stuff rather than “difficult” subjects. After that, I have a thriller to write. I’m looking forward to that. And after that – I’m going to write a book about University life.

B: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, is there anything else you would like to share?
M: Yes! I’ve spent all day at my desk, so now I’m going to go inside and have a glass of wine and cook dinner for me and my son, who’s staying here at the moment. Pork chops with sticky pear sauce – yum!
Good luck, and thanks for having me guest at Cheezyfeet Books.
Melvinx
____________________

Wasn't that great? You can read my review of Kill All Enemies here, and there are some useful links below that you might want :) Also at the bottom of this post is the blog tour schedule, so you check out all the other interviews and guest posts and giveaway going on or Kill All Enemies!

Useful links:
Buy the book: amazon.co.uk | thebookdepository.co.uk | thebookdepository.com
Melvin Burgess' Goodreads: Melvin Burgess
Melvin Burgess' Website: melvinburgess.net

Tour schedule:


Introduction: Melvin Burgess
1st September: Book Trust
5th September: The Book Memoirs
6th September: Wondrous Reads
7 September: BookZone4Boys
8th September: Hayfever Blog
9th September: The Book Smugglers
10th September: Book Angel Booktopia
12th September: My Favourite Books
13th September: Fluttering Butterflies
14th September: Cheezyfeet Books
15th September: Chicklish


Book Review: Kill All Enemies by Melvin Burgess

Kill All EnemiesTitle: Kill All Enemies
Author: Melvin Burgess
Series: N/A
Pages: 271
Publisher: Penguin Books
Date of Publication: 1st September 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Everyone says fourteen-year-old Billie is nothing but trouble. A fighter. A danger to her family and friends. But her care worker sees someone different. Her classmate Rob is big, strong; he can take care of himself and his brother. But his violent stepdad sees someone to humiliate. And Chris is struggling at school; he just doesn't want to be there. But his dad sees a useless no-hoper. Billie, Rob and Chris each have a story to tell. But there are two sides to every story, and the question is ...who do you believe?


My Thoughts:
I wasn't sure what I was going to think about Kill All Enemies before I read it. On the one hand, it sounded really interesting and I was curious to find out about what the 'troublesome' kids thought when they were fighting, or running away etc, but on the other hand I'd never read anything like it before, and I was a little bit apprehensive. But, I thought I may as well give it a go, as I like to try new things every once in a while. And I'm glad I did, because Kill All Enemies was awesome.

The book focuses on three different characters - Billie, Chris and Rob. Billie has a reputation for being trouble, always getting involved in fights, and even her mother doesn't want her. Chris wants to be an entrepreneur - he thinks school is a waste of time, he just wants to get out into the world and make money. And lastly Rob, he's big and stong, and he can take care of himself and his brother, until his violent stepdad gets involved, that is. All three of these characters are much more than they seem, and I loved reading about them.

My favourite of the three kids to read about had to be Billie. Even though I didn't understand her at the beginning, couldn't understand why she would get into fights because of something small, I believed that there was a reason for how she acted, and I kept an open mind about her, and slowly, I began to understand. Once I found out the reasons behind her constant fighting, I realised how hard she was trying and how determined she was, and a quote from Hannah (her social worker) summed up my thoughts about her really well:

What is it about that girl? How come we all keep on coming back to her, despite everything she does? She's violent, unpredictable; she's dangerous. And you can't help loving her. ~ pg 144-1445 (UK proof copy)


I think it was Hannah who made me think the most. She is a care worker at the Brant, the place where the kids go when they get kicked out of school. She had a few chapters from her point of view throughout the book, and they made me realise things that I never would have realised before. Small things, like how the kids are actually normal people with normal dreams in life, but something has happened to them that means they react to things differently and have different thoughts to the 'non-troublesome' kids at school. Or, that the kids are actually heroes, as Hannah so wonderfully puts here:

Those kids, to me, they're not troublemakers - they'e heroes. Proper, real-life heroes. Giving up their chances in life to make sure that the people who are important to them are properly cared for - that's heroic, isn't it? - pg 179 (UK Uncorrected Bound Proof edition)

Then there were Rob and Chris. Their two stories interwove together brilliantly throughout the book - from the start where Chris is a bully to Rob, to the end when they are really good friends. Rob was probably the one that I related to most - if I was bullied like he was at school, I probably would just have let them do it, and not fight back, just like him. And I understood why he couldn't tell his mum what his stepdad was doing to him - he was SO caring, and didn't want to do anything to hurt his mum or his brother, but people just couldn't see that... It made me sad, and a little angry. And Chris, he just wanted to get on with his life - he didn't see the point of school, as there was nothing to learn that would benefit his future career. He was probably the one who was least likely to get into trouble, but he ended up being the one who got hurt. I felt sorry for him, and I'm glad the ending worked for him. ;)

The only thing that I can fault is that the ending felt unrealistic and a little bit rushed. I really liked it, the idea was brilliant and it was the happy ending that I wanted, I just think that Melvin could have maybe taken a couple more pages just to space it out a little bit, and not make it so rushed. In my opinion, anyway.
Overall though, I'd recommend this to all YA contemporary fans. This was my first Melvin Burgess book, and I don't think it'll be my last. Described as 'Hard-hitting, shocking, powerful' and I'd agree with that. So buy yourself a copy, if you're looking for something that will truly make you think :)


My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #69

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

BBAW: Blogger Interview with Pam from Bookalicious!

So, on Twitter, blogs, Goodreads, Facebook, wherever, you may have heard about this thing going on called BBAW. Wondering what it is? Well, it's the Book Blogger Appreciation Week, where you can nominate and vote for your favourite blogs to win awards like Best Written Book Blog, or Best Book Blog Meme. They also have blogger interviews, which is what I'm doing today. So, here is my interview with Pam from Bookalicious! (The text in italic is my comment on Pam's answer, my actual answers to the questions are over at her blog :) )


If you could go anywhere in the world for a week’s holiday, free of charge, where would you go and what would you do there?
I would go to Iceland and sit in those hot springs with a book featuring extremely cold weather.
Bella: Ooh, hot springs :) 

If you could choose ONE meal to eat at least once every day for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
You know I don't really eat breakfast but if I did and I had to choose only one thing I would have to say coffee and yogurt with blackberries and granola.


What was your favourite YA book you’ve read this year?
This year so far? Wow that is a hard one. I read so many and my favorite changes monthly. I think I will do this question by genre :)

Contemporary: The Sky is Everywhere
Paranormal: Witch Eyes
Fantasy: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Dystopian: Shatter Me
B:  I can't wait for Witch Eyes and Shatter Me, they look SO awesome! Glad to hear they're good!

Let's do the three books on an island thing!
Inkheart
Wuthering Heights
Neuromancer

Do you have any animals?
I have a Jack Russell Terrier named Jackie. You may have seen her on my vlogs or Twitter account. She is in everything I do.
B: I've seen her in your videos and she's SO cute! :D 

What is the one book you always shove into the hands of people or give as a gift?
Magyk by Angie Sage.
B: I think I might have it on my shelf somewhere, maybe I'll actually read it now ;) 


Thanks to Pam for answering these questions! To find out my answers to these same 6 questions, head over to Bookalicious! :D

Monday, 12 September 2011

Book Review: Ten Things We Shouldn't Have Done by Sarah Mlynowski

Ten Things We Shouldn't Have DoneTitle: Ten Things We Shouldn't Have Done
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Series: N/A
Pages: 329
Publisher: Orchard Books
Date of Publication: 4th August 2011
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: I was about to live a sixteen-year-old's dream. House on the beach. No parents. Parties whenever we wanted. Boys wherever we wanted. April and her best friend, Vi, are living by themselves. Of course, April's parents don't know that. They think she's living with Vi and Vi's mum. But it's not April's fault that her dad decided to move away in the middle of high school. So who could blame her for a little white lie? Or the other nine things that April (probably) shouldn't have done that year...

Apologies for the rambley review... It hopefully makes sense though ;)

My Thoughts:
I was super excited to read this book - it sounded funny and silly and after reading a lot of paranormal books I decided that I wanted to read something light-hearted, and that's exactly what I got from Ten Things We Shouldn't Have Done. I'd heard amazing things about it from other bloggers and readers, and I had really high expectations, and while it didn't quite live up to them, it was still an awesomely good read with some serious laugh out loud moments.

April's dad and stepmum want to move away, but April doesn't. Her mum had already moved to France, so really, she should have had no choice whether to go with her dad, or stay behind. That is, until she has the great idea to move in with her friend Vi, who is a year older. And her dad agrees to let her stay, but only because Vi's mother would be there too... Only, she wouldn't be, because she was touring with her theatre company as Mary Poppins. While she's gone, Vi and April get up to a lot of things, some of them things that they probably shouldn't have.

I liked April. She seemed like a normal, sensible high school student, though at times she could be very silly and didn't think things through properly, which I guess is understandable when you suddenly are living without a parent... I liked how even though living with Vi forced her to grow up and become responsible, she still managed to ring her parents/answer the phone first time when they rang, and she kept up with her schoolwork, and do things that a regular teenager would do, as well as the cooking and the cleaning, and the shopping and paying the bills, and all the scary grown up stuff like that. I just thought she was pretty awesome. ;)

I didn't like Vi though, there were a lot of times that she could be a bitch, or just really annoying and full of herself. At times I felt that she was treating April more like a little sister than a friend, and while she is a year older and it's kind of understandable, there were times when I think that April really needed a friend in Vi, and she just wasn't there for her, which I think was really sad. I don't know whether I was meant to feel this way about Vi, like, maybe I should feel that way because it made her a better friend in the end, but I don't know, there was something about her that I just didn't like.

The plot however, was great fun, I loved it! The ten things were awesome, and I found it was a really good way to set out the book. Each of the 'things' they did was a chapter, and then it was divided into little subheadings inside the chapters. It made it easy to follow, though occasionally one of these subheadings would be a flashback, and there'd be no warning and I'd get confused, but it quickly became easy to follow again once it got back to the present, which was good :L The actual plot was fast-paced and there was always something going on, and it was the perfect teenage read.

Overall though, I really enjoyed reading Ten Things We Shouldn't Have Done. I'd recommend it to everyone who is a fan of contemporary YA fiction, but I would say it's for older readers due to quite a lot of sex, swearing and drinking. Apart from that though, it was really good, so go buy it!

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #78

Sunday, 11 September 2011

In My Mailbox #32

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

BOUGHT






Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs (Kindle version)
I am SO excited to read this! It sounds so awesome :D I loved Forgive My Fins and I love Greek mythology, so nothing can go wrong with this, right? ;)


FOR REVIEW




The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker (UK Proof)
I'd seen this around other people's IMMs and thought it looked pretty interesting, and then it turned up on my doorstep on Monday, and I've read the back and looked it up on GR and it looks awesome! Can't wait to read it!


WON






A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (US Hardback)
I won this in Daph from Loving Books' Birthday Bash giveaway! I was so happy and the book is beautiful, so THANK YOU DAPH!! I can't wait to read it, I've heard mixed things about it but I've always thought it sounded good :) 


FREE






Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen with bonus material (Kindle edition)
This was free and I've been wanting to read it for a while, so of course I had to preorder it, as it only came out (this edition) on 6th, but that was a couple of weeks ago, and I'd completely forgotten it until it arrived on my Kindle... It's looks really good though, I can't wait to read it!



What did you get in your mailboxes this week? Leave me a link in the comments and I'll be sure to pop over to yours and have a little look! :D

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Top 100 YA Books

I had nothing scheduled for today, and I found this over at What's Your Story?, and I thought it would be cool to see how many of these Top 100 YA books I have read :) As Ashley says in her post, I have no idea how recent or correct this list is, but still, I think it's pretty cool ;) The ones that I have read will be in bold, and italics means I have it on my bookshelf but have not read it yet.

1. Alex Finn – Beastly
2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
3. Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
4. Ally Condie – Matched
5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3)
18. Christopher Paolini - Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
38. John Green – Paper Towns
39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
44. Lemony Snicket - Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
52. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
60. Meg Rosoff – How I live now
61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
85. Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan (1, 2)
86. Scott Westerfeld - Uglies (1, 2, 3, 4)
87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
92. Stephenie Meyer – The Host
93. Stephenie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

Total: 32 (not including the individual books in the series) - I'm quite proud of this, in a way, I mean, it doesn't seem like much (nearly a third) but or a lot of them I've read all the books in the series so far :) Nearly a third of them :D

Thanks to What's Your Story? for bringing this to my attention, and let me know in the comments how many you've read!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick


Ashes Title: Ashes 
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Series: Ashes Trilogy #1
Pages: 480
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Date of Publication: 6th September 2011
Source: netGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: It could happen tomorrow...

A cataclysmic event. An army of "The Changed."
Can one teen really survive on her own?

An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human...

Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom---a young army veteran---and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.

This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive.


My Thoughts:
I really loved this book, SO much more than I thought I would. It had a really interesting plot line with lots of twists and turns that I did not see coming, and there was so much about it that kept me hooked and reading for hours.

Alex is camping in the woods, trying to escape from all the reminders of her terminal brain tumour that she gets at home, when an electromagnetic pulse sweeps across the world, and turns around half of the world's population into something that is not entirely human. She meets up with two seemingly unharmed humans, eight year old Ellie, and a guy called Tom, and together they set out to see if they can find out what's happened to the world. But the EMP has wiped out all electrical equipment, and so they are forced to set out on foot. The journey will be difficult, and they'll need all their strength to survive.

Before I requested this book on netGalley, I didn't realise it was a post-apocalyptic book. I'd never even read a post-apocalyptic book before, so I didn't know what to expect until I read Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts, a couple of books before I read this. And Ashes was VERY similar to Dark Inside, I felt sometimes that the story and characters in Ashes had somehow slipped into Dark Inside, and it still made perfect sense, because they are VERY similar books. Whether this is the case for all post-apocalyptic books or this was just my luck, I have no idea, and that is probably my only complaint about this book - that the first half felt familiar.

However, I still really enjoyed it. It terrified me, and at times I didn't want to read on because I honestly had no idea what would happen and if the characters would survive, but I did because at the same time I also really needed to know what happened next. I raced through the book really quickly, and even though it was a huge 480 pages, I still read it in under 24 hours (which, may I add, I am VERY proud of ;) ) The plot had lots of fast-paced action and suspense, but it also had bits that were calmer, when the characters were resting, and it was nice to have those, just to give me a little breathing room.

The book is kind of told in two parts, the first being the three trying to figure out what the heck was going on, and then the second half is about Alex *minor spoiler* when she finds a cult. *spoiler over* I was a little disappointed by what happened at first, but then as I read more of it, I found it was interesting and I actually really enjoyed it. Some people had been saying that the second half was a bit odd and boring and just not as good as the first half, but I really liked it and thought that it was a great way to take the story.

I really liked Alex, I thought she was a great character. I really liked the way she took on a sort of maternal/big sister kind of role to Ellie, who was only eight, and I loved the way she persevered through Ellie's moods and eventually they became great friends, despite the age difference. I also liked how she didn't think of Tom as a love interest until she'd really got to know him, and even then their romance didn't go very far. It was nice to have a more action focused plot, one that didn't rely on the romance to make it good.

Overall, I really loved Ashes. I thought it was an awesome book, and I'd really recommend it to fans of YA dystopian and post-apocalyptic, though I would warn you (based on my very minute knowledge of the post-apocalyptic genre) to read it when you haven't read a post-apocalyptic book in a while, as this is very similar to the others I have read. Anyway, it has awesome characters, an awesome plot, and a HUGE cliffhanger at the end that has me eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

*Thank you to netGalley and EgmontUSA 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 #17
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #74

Monday, 5 September 2011

Book Review: Running From Secrets by Stephanie Void

Running from Secrets
Title: Running From Secrets 
Author: Stephanie Void
Series: N/A
Pages: N/A
Publisher: Self-Published
Date of Publication: 23rd January 2010
Source: Author
Synopsis from Goodreads: Bethany has never felt as alone as she feels in Linwood—until she dreams up Chime, a woman on the run because of a magic crime she didn’t commit. The dreams get more and more urgent, so Bethany tries to banish them by writing them down, only to discover she’s stumbled into the role of unwitting controller of Chime’s world.

Chime is real here, and so is the possessed queen, minion army, mysterious professor, Vault Five, wind chimes with a secret code, child’s rhyme that can kill, the naked painting, and other things Chime’s story leads her to.

She has to fix the story without erasing Chime and her world, because if she erases Chime, she will die as well.


My Thoughts:
I didn't really know what to expect from this book. I was pleasantly surprised, and I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed the book.

After the death of her twin sister, Bethany and her family move to Linwood. Bethany feels so alone, that is, until she suddenly dreams up a girl called Chime, and a whole world and story for her. At least, she thinks she's only dreamt it up. But, she soon finds herself inside Chime's world, inside the world that she's written down. In this world Chime is real, and she's running away from the very real queen who is trying to kill her.

This book is a story within a story, and I thought that that aspect of the book was really well done. It's one of those things that is either done really badly or really well, and luckily, this one is good :) I really liked how Stephanie made it so that Bethany knew a huge amount about the world because she'd written it, but when she was there, she didn't know what was going to happen to either her or Chime. It helped me to understand the world more (which I thought was rather confusing but more on that later) and it gave it a little bit of suspense too.

I mostly liked the characters, although I was always getting confused by David and Duluge - I could never remember which was which... I liked Bethany, I thought she was very real and believable, if a little irrational at times. For example, when she just agreed to pose naked for a BOY; I found that to be a little strange... I did like how she coped with all the things that happened to her and Chime in New Velerethland though, and I thought she was very noble and brave at the end.

I also really liked Chime. My only complaint was that she was quite weak at times in the book, where she could have been stronger and tried harder to do things, instead of just giving up. Her romance with either David or Duluge (I can't remember which one, they're all mixed up in my head) was sweet too, and I liked how it was very much a sub plot in the story, and it could have been fine without it.

The plot was well thought out and very fast paced. Lots of things happened in a short space of time, and while that could be confusing, I followed it almost perfectly I think, and I really enjoyed reading about Bethany and Chime's adventures in New Velerethland. The whole possession of the queen plotline made for an interesting book, and it was great to read.

As I said before, I got rather confused about the world of New Velerethland. It was very confusing and to be honest I think the author has it so planned out and so detailed in her head that there was just too much information crammed into not enough words. Maybe if it was spread out over the book more I would have understood about the world and what it consisted of, but unfortunately every time I tried to imagine the world that Chime lived in, I didn't know what to picture in my head, which is the main reason why it got 4 stars instead of 5.

Overall though, I really enjoyed reading Running From Secrets. I could look over all the confusing aspects and just enjoy the plot, which I thought was very well thought out and written. It was action packed, interesting, and there were times where I couldn't stop reading. I'd recommend it to YA fantasy fans who like books with lots of fast paced action.

*Thanks to the author or 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 eBook Challenge #18
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #44
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #80

Saturday, 3 September 2011

In My Mailbox #31

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

BOUGHT






Journey's End by RC Sherriff (UK Hardback)
Yay... I actually bought a book this week, but for once I'm not excited about it! ;) This is for my English GCSE, but it's a book I got this week so I thought I'd share it because I only got one other, which is good for my TBR pile :D 


SWAPPED






Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (US Hardback)
I swapped this using UK Swap Shop on Goodreads, and it's SO pretty and shiny! :D Can't wait to read it, I loved the first one (though I need a reminder what happened...) so this should be great :) 


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

Friday, 2 September 2011

Book Review: Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead, Emma Viceli and Leigh Dragoon

Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel
Title: Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novels #1
Pages: 144
Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: 23rd August 2011
Source: Publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: After two years on the run, best friends Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy, a private high school for vampires and half-bloods. It's filled with intrigue, danger - and even romance. Enter their dark, fascinating world through a new series of 144-page full-color graphic novels. The entire first Vampire Academy novel has been adapted for book one by Leigh Dragoon and overseen by Richelle Mead, while the beautiful art of acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli brings the story to life.


My Thoughts:
I'd never read a graphic novel before, so this was my first. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to read a familiar story told in a completely new way. It was great to be reminded of the story from the first VA book and I really hope the rest of the VA series will be released as graphic novels too.

First up, I'll talk about the drawings. Obviously the first thing most people will notice about a graphic novel are the drawings. I thought that the drawings by Emma Vieceli were fabulous, although they didn't look like how I'd imagined the characters to look in my head (because everyone imagines them differently ;) ). My only complaint was that the vampires were meant to be stunningly beautiful, but they were just pretty... But apart from that, all the other characters were drawn really well. Especially Dimitri... *swoon*

Leigh Dragoon did a great job of adapting the story to fit a graphic novel, and there was just enough of the details from VA that a new reader of the series would understand the complex world of Moroi, dhampirs and Strigoi without it slowing down the super fast pace of the book. Some of the emotions and bonding between characters (Lissa and Christian, and Rose and Dimitri) were lost, and it was a shame because at times their relationships felt rushed, but I think I only think that because I've read the actual book which of course is a lot more detailed...

Overall though, Vampire Academy: A Graphic Novel is a perfect addition to any VA fans' collections. Whether you've read the books or not, the graphic novel would make perfect sense, and I'm sure it will bing many new readers to the series. It's not one to miss, and I can't wait to read the graphic novel of Frostbite, the second book in the series, and in the future it'd be great if there was a Bloodlines graphic novel too.


*Thank you to the publishers 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 #43
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #76

Thursday, 1 September 2011

New Releases in September

Here are all the new releases in September! If I've missed any, let me know in the comments and I'll add them! :)

Epic Fail  Kill All Enemies  Abandon (Abandon Trilogy #1)

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik (5th September 2011)
Kill All Enemies by Melvin Burgess (1st September 2011)
Abandon by Meg Cabot (1st September 2011)

Dark Inside  A Beautiful Dark  Vanish (Firelight, #2)

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts (2nd September 2011)
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (27th September 2011)
Vanish by Sophie Jordan (6th September 2011)

Lola and the Boy Next Door  Sister, Missing  The Faerie Ring

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (29th September 2011)
Sister, Missing by Sophie McKenzie (29th September 2011)
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (27th September 2011)

Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)    Fire and Thorns

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (29th September 2011)
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver (29th September 2011)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (22nd September 2011)

Ashes  Cold Kiss  Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick (29th September 2011)
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey (20th September 2011)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (29th September 2011)

Beautiful Days  Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1)  The Name of the Star (Shades of London)

Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen (1st September 2011)
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs (6th September 2011)
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (29th September 2011)

The Predicteds  Fateful  Every You, Every Me

The Predicteds by Christine Seifert (1st September 2011)
Fateful by Claudia Gray (13th September 2011)
Every You, Every Me by David Levithan (13th September 2011)

My Beating Teenage Heart  Bloodborn (Other, #2)  Perfect (Impulse, #2)

My Beating Teenage Heart by CK Kelly Martin (27th September 2011)
Bloodborn by Karen Kincy (8th September 2011)
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins (13th September 2011)

Drink, Slay, Love  The Beginning of After  The Mephisto Covenant (The Mephisto Covenant, #1)

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst (13th September 2011)
The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle (6th September 2011)
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan (27th September 2011)

Darkness Falls (Ravenwood, #2)  Witch Eyes (Witch Eyes, #1)  As I Wake

Darkness Falls by Mia James (1st September 2011)
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey (8th September 2011)
As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott (15th September 2011)

Away (The Line, #2)  Velvet  The Hidden

Away by Teri Hall (15th September 2011)
Velvet by Mary Hooper (5th September 2011)
The Hidden by Jessica Verday (1st September 2011)

Blood Wounds  Frost  Goliath (Leviathan, #3)

Blood Wounds by Sarah Beth Pfeffer (12th September 2011)
Frost by Marianna Baer (13th September 2011)
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (20th September 2011)

The Vision (The Mark #2)  Shifting  Fury (The Fury Trilogy #1)

The Vision by Jen Nadol (27th September 2011)
Shifting by Bethany Wiggins (27th September 2011)
Fury by Elizabeth Miles (1st September 2011)

So Silver Bright (Théâtre Illuminata, #3)  Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions 

So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev (13th September 2011)
Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions edited by Melissa Marr (20th September 2011)





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