Monday, 28 November 2011

Book Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Saving JuneTitle: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Series: Standalone
Pages: 336
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of Publication: 22nd November 2011
Source: netGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: ‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

My Thoughts:
I wasn't really sure what I was expecting from this. Initially, I wasn't going to request it, because I had so much else to read, and because the synopsis didn't really grab me. But, after a couple of days and once people had started to read it and then post about it on Twitter, I knew that I had to request it because EVERYONE was saying that it was amazing, that they loved it, and that everyone should read it. So I requested it, got accepted for it, and now that I've read it, I'm very glad I did.

At first though, I didn't understand why people were so obsessed with it, and I didn't connect with the book or the characters very much at all. It was good, yes, and I liked it, but it was nothing special, in my opinion but I carried on with it because it wasn't awful. It wasn't until about half way through that the plot really started to grab me, and once I got to know the characters more and got a feel for who they were, I started to really enjoy it and I flew through the last third of the book.

The plot was interesting - it was basically a road trip book. I've not read many of these, and the ones I have read weren't amazing, so this was probably my favourite road trip book I've read so far. I liked how as the book went on more and more things began to happen, as the characters got to know each other better, just as it would have in real life if a couple of girls went on a huge road trip with a guy they'd only just met... That sounds really bad, but you know what I mean, right? ;)

The characters, for me, were great. Not the best they potentially could have been, but still, they were great. I really liked how they made me feel throughout the book, and even though I don't agree with quite a lot of what they did and I didn't like their attitudes, they felt very real to me, and they got me thinking. I thought quite a lot about what it must have been like for Harper to lose a sister, and it made me sad. Like, really, really sad. I don't cry at books, but my eyes watered during this one. Just imagining how someone could lose someone so close to them broke my heart. I haven't read a book that made me think like this for a rather long time...

I didn't like Jake though. He was full of attitude and throughout the whole book I couldn't make up my mind about him. Did he like Harper? Did anything go on between him and June? Why is he actually taking Laney and Harper to California? Is it really because of June? These questions and more where flying around in my head until the last 30 pages of the book, and it really annoyed me. I felt like screaming, 'JUST MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY! YOU'RE ANNOYING ME!' And then he did, and I hated it! That scene near the end, with him and Harper, oh my word, I hated it! I mean, she barely knows him... I'm sorry if I just spoilt it for you, but honestly, I hated it.

Overall though, there were some really good points and some points that I didn't enjoy so much. The beginning was slow and some of the ending scenes were not to my taste, but I really enjoyed the book and I would most definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of YA contemporaries that make you think, or if you're looking for something that you can really get stuck into that will really make you react in ways you didn't think you would (see previous paragraph ;P ). It was really great, and despite a lot of the things I've said I did enjoy it, so go and buy yourself a copy now!

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #99

Saturday, 26 November 2011

In My Mailbox #40

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren! I have lots to show you this week, so I'll understand if you don't watch the video, as it could be kind of long ;)


To Be A Cat by Matt Haig ~ Published February 2nd by Bodley Head
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan ~ Published February 2nd by David Fickling Books
Fated by Sarah Alderson ~ Published January 5th by Simon Pulse
Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale ~ Published February 2nd by Simon & Schuster Children's Books

Received from the ATOM Blogger Party 2011
Wicked by Sara Shepard
Unbelievable by Sara Shepard
Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink
Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
The Witch of Turlingham Academy by Ellie Boswell
Trapped by Michael Northrop
Night School by Christi Daugherty

Pure by Julianna Baggot ~ Gifted from Viv at Serendipity Reviews

Huge thanks to ATOM, Viv, Simon & Schuster and Random House for all my lovely books these last two weeks! :D 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Atom Blogger Party 2011!

On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to attend the ATOM blogger party 2011! It was my second blogger event, and it was great fun :) I thought I'd share a little about what happened.


I got the train up to London with Rhys from Thirst for Fiction, and then we had to get the tube from St. Pancras to Temple, which was 11 stops! It wasn't so bad though, luckily, and we were only 15(ish) minutes late, which wasn't that bad... ;)

We walked into the building for the Little, Brown Book Group, and it is seriously cool. It's big and open and it had huge 'space trumpet' sculptures hanging from the ceiling, which we were later told moved every hour, on the hour, though I didn't notice them moving. Anyway, we got out visitor badges and then we were sent up to the second floor, and that's where we met all the other bloggers!

For the first half an hour or so we mingled around, and there was a tuck shop that had cute little sandwiches and cakes, and around the room there were books laid out that were just there for the taking! I helped myself to a few, (which I will of course review) and then we were taken into a meeting room, where they told us about all the awesome new releases that will be coming out next year.

Under the Never Sky       Bunheads

I'm most looking forward to read Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Bunheads by Sophie Flack and 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (which we got proofs of and it looks AMAZING)! They also talked about a new range of titles aimed at 8-12 year olds, which looked really cute.

Night School  

There were two authors at the event, CJ Daugherty, author of Night School, and Sarra Manning, author of upcoming Adorkable, and other books such as Nobody's Girl, and Guitar Girl. They both talked briefly about their books, and they both sound great.

After that we went back out to the room with all the books and food and mingled and chatted some more. During the evening I talked to Stacey from The Pretty Books, who I had previously met at the Daughter of Smoke and Bone event run by Hodder in October, and I also met Jo from Once Upon A Bookcase for the first time and I had a great time chatting to them.

Then, as other bloggers started to leave, it ended up with it just being me, Rhys, Andy from The Pewter Wolf, Matt (@mattlibrarian), and the publicists from Atom, and they very kindly showed us around their offices! It was so cool to see all the separate parts of the imprint, from publicity to design, and we even saw where they pack all their books to send out to us bloggers!


After that it really was time to go, and it was so sad... Even though we had to speed walk and run (I don't run. Ever. ;P) through St. Pancras and we literally only just made it onto the train in time (like, we got on, they closed the doors and the train started moving), it was an awesome evening and I can't wait to read all the great books I received. I'd just like to say a HUGE thank you to the lovely people at Atom who ran the evening, as it truly was great fun!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I'd Want At My Thanksgiving Dinner


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish :) Every week we make a list - this week it's: 

TOP TEN AUTHORS I'D WANT AT MY THANKSGIVING DINNER! :D

1. Maggie Stiefvater - I went to her signing last week and her talk was hilarious! 

2. Maureen Johnson - Again, I went to her signing and she was awesome too :D

3. Kiersten White - I love love love her books, so I'd love to meet her!

4. Stephanie Perkins - Again, I love her books, so I'd love to ask her where she got her inspiration for Etienne and Cricket from, and how she is able to write such adorable books :)

5. Cassandra Clare - She's awesome. Her books are some of my favourites and I'd love to meet her!

6. Lauren Oliver - Her books are amazing :D She'd be awesome! 

7. Stephenie Meyer - Her books basically got me reading loads again... I read before Twilight, but nowhere near as much as I do now. It'd be great to meet her and thank her for introducing me to the young adult genre that finally got me reading again!

8. Kody Keplinger - I've only read Shut Out but I absolutely adored it! I had a convo with her once on Twitter about Gossip Girl and other TV shows, and I just think she'd be great to talk to about anything :) 

9. Jackson Pearce - I LOVE her YouTube videos! And her books too!

10. John Green - I've only read one book by him and it was good, but his YouTube videos are also awesome! It'd be great to meet him :D 

Let me know in the comments (or leave me a link) who you'd have at your Thanksgiving dinner! :D

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Book Review: Destined by PC & Kristin Cast

Destined (House of Night, #9)
Title: Destined
Author: PC & Kristin Cast
Series: House of Night, #9
Pages: 325
Publisher: ATOM
Date of Publication: 25th October 2011
Source: Gifted from Andy at The Pewter Wolf! THANKS! :D
Synopsis from Goodreads: In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa's House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness?

My Thoughts:
The House of Night series is a really long one. For the last few books, I'd thought that the story had been dragged on a little too long, and I felt that it could have ended a couple books ago, and there was no need for 12 books. Despite this I told myself I would stick with the series until the end, and I would definitely read them all. And I'm SO glad I did! Destined was back up to the standard I'd come to expect from this series. It was awesome.

Up until Zoey's soul got shattered, she was kind of annoying me. She wouldn't stop moaning, or deciding and then redeciding what she would do and which boy she would choose, and it was awesome when she finally decided that she wanted Stark and once she'd come to terms with what was expected of her, but I didn't know whether it would last. And sure, in Destined she's confused and she finds it difficult to decide what to do, but she calmly makes up her mind like a proper little High Priestess, and I found that her narratives were my favourite, as the book is told from many different points of view.

About that. I really like how in each book more and more points of view are added, and it really helps me to understand what is going on, as a lot of the time the books are full of action and I'm not sure what's going on and why, so having the multiple points of view from nearly EVERYONE involved, made it easy. While Zoey's narrative was my favourite, I REALLY liked Shaunee's. Despite her being one of the 'nerd herd' and being in all the books, Destined really made me realise how little we actually know about her, and the storyline that emerges about her was a really nice insight into her mind, and I understood her a lot more.

The plot of the whole series is confusing, but as always, Destined starts off with a little recap into everything that happened in the last couple of books so I wasn't entirely lost when I started reading. I wouldn't recommend reading this one without reading the rest of the series, but it's easy to pick up the plot again once you've started reading, if like me, you didn't have time to read the last eight books in the series again... Anyway, the plot of Destined was fast and exciting, and it builds up to a big awesome thing at the end, that I really enjoyed reading about and most definitely did NOT see coming. I love the twists in these books!

Overall, Destined was a great instalment into the House of Night series. I'd recommend this series to fans of Vampire Academy or Twilight, or if you're looking for an ongoing series to start following. It's never too late!

And lastly, a HUGE THANK YOU to ANDY for sending this to me! You're AWESOME :D

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #96
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #51

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Random House Acquires 4 New Dystopian Titles!


I opened my email today to find an email from Random House Children's Books with the subject line, 4 new dystopian books from Random House, and of course, I opened it immediately, and I have permission to share! :D There is a little information about each of the four books - two of them are coming out in 2012, and the other two in 2013! Also, they are ALL debuts, and they sound awesome, I'm not sure I can wait that long!

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All taken from the final press release:

Starters by Lissa Price, an American screenwriter, publishing in April 2012, is an action-packed thriller set in a world where eternal youthfulness can be had – at a price. One girl has the ability to bring it all tumbling down . . . RHCB acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Heather Shapiro at Baror International and will be launching globally alongside Random Inc for a truly international campaign.


A post- apocalyptic Los Angeles is the setting for Struck by Jenifer Bosworth, publishing in July 2012. After the city is devastated by an earthquake, Mia Price finds herself in the middle of a power struggle between two fanatical cults; one that wants to save the world and another that wants to destroy it. RHCB acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Alex Webb of the Rights People, acting on behalf of FSG.

Sangu Mandanna’s debut The Lost Girl publishes in early 2013 and centres around Eva, a feisty teen girl who technically has no true identity of her own. Eva is forced to abandon everything she's ever known and loved, finding herself torn between two worlds. RHCB acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Sarah Malloy of A.M. Heath acting on behalf of the Elizabeth Kaplan agency.

And finally, children’s librarian Emma Pass, releases ACID in early 2013. This action-packed novel introduces us to Jenna Strong, a truly kick-ass heroine who is serving time in an all-male prison for the murder of her parents. Set one hundred years in the future in a Big Brother style society; Britain is now under the control of ACID – a terrifying all-seeing police force. RHCB acquired world rights from Carolyn Whitaker of London Independent Books.

__________

Don't they all sound awesome? I especially like the sound of ACID, as well as Starters! Struck also sounds great - very much like Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts and Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick, which I loved :D Let me know in the comments which ones you like the sound of, and if you'll be looking out for them!



Monday, 14 November 2011

Book Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed (Matched)
Title: Crossed 
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched Trilogy #2
Pages: 367
Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: 24th November 2011
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Rules are different outside the Society.

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky-taken by the Society to his certain death-only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.

Narrated from both Cassia's and Ky's points of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever...

My Thoughts:
I really really enjoyed Crossed. I loved it, actually. It was a lot better than Matched, which I liked but not loved, and I read it even got me out of a reading funk, which I was stuck in again. I was so excited to receive it as I'd heard that it was a lot better than Matched, and as that was coming from bloggers who'd adored Matched too, I knew it had to be awesome, so when I got it I dropped the book I was reading as I wasn't very far (and of course I will go back to it) and got started reading straight away.

The ending of Matched set up really nicely (or nastily - depending on whether you like cliffhangers!) for the sequel, and because of this, I felt like I could jump in and read as if I hadn't been waiting for months to read it. As soon as I started reading everything from Matched came flooding to me, which rarely happens as I am SO bad at remembering what happens at the end of books... Anyway, the beginning was exciting and it really dragged me in and I knew that there'd be no way I could not finish it soon.

I really liked Cassia in this book. I felt that she was a lot stronger in herself, and a lot more confident. I liked how she'd finally chosen between Ky and Xander, and because of this in her chapters (as Crossed is told in a dual narrative) she was a lot more sure of herself and there wasn't any waffling about which boy she should choose. I loved how determined she was to find Ky, and how she never stopped even when she was ill, and should have died. Instead, she kept going because her love for him was so strong.

I also really liked Ky, a lot more than I thought I would. In Matched, I was always Team Xander - I don't believe in knowing someone your how life and being secretly in love with him, and then some new guy comes along and the girl forgets about the WHOLE OF HER LIFE... Anyway, Crossed really helped me to understand Ky, and now I get why Cassia chose him over Xander. Because Xander is safe and she'll have a fine life with him, but Ky brings adventure, and is just that little bit more mysterious and interesting...

The plot of this book was fantastic. I loved the whole thing, and I wouldn't really have guessed any of it at all. I liked how at the beginning there were Cassia and Ky's alternating narratives so we could find out about each of them and what they were doing, and I loved how each narrative was so different, and then about half way through they met up and they were together and we got two different perspectives on the same thing. Ky was so cute, in the way that he talked about not wanting to do something the whole way through the book and then at the end he does it for Cassia *sigh* It was adorable!

Overall, I really enjoyed Crossed. It's definitely the better of the two books so far, and this series is turning out to be one of my favourites, I think. If you haven't read Matched yet, and you are a YA dystopian fan, then what are you waiting for? Go and read them, because this series is definitely one that I think will be huge in the very near future.

*Huge thanks 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 5 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #95

Sunday, 13 November 2011

In My Mailbox #39

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

The lighting's not great, and neither is the sound. Again. My laptop camera is crappy... Sorry ;)


For Review:
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver - OMGosh, SO excited for this one!

Gifted:
Destined by PC & Kristin Cast - From Andy (@PewterWolf13) THANK YOU :D

Bought:
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - I already had a proof but I wanted a finished copy

Free:
Fracture by Megan Miranda - Free from the Maggie Stiefvater event

This week I went to another event in Foyles, this time it was Maggie Stiefvater! :D She is one of the coolest and nicest people ever, and her talk was hilarious! I had to try really hard not to snort-laugh at her, it was AWESOME :D I met Cicely from Cicely Loves Books and her mum (again) and as always they were lovely, and I got all 7 of my books signed by Maggie :D We were second in the queue too - I think that event was the best one I've been to :D

Maggie and me :)


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

Friday, 11 November 2011

Happily Ever Endings: Heist Society by Ally Carter


Happily Ever Endings... was born out of sheer frustration. You know how when you read a series and you love it but the last book takes a little while to come out and then you sort of forget parts of the novel? That's what these posts are going to serve to remedy. Happily Ever Ending... is a short post about what happened at the ending of each book that is going to be in a series for people who need a quick reminder of what happened in the previous installment. It's really annoying when you can't remember what happens and don't have time for a reread, so this hopefully will be a huge help!
________

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)Synopsis from Goodreads: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.



__________

Happily Ever Ending:  Kat is approached by Arturo Taccone, who accuses her dad of stealing some paintings from his very high security house in Italy. Her dad had once before tried to break in and steal them, but he failed, so Taccone assumes it was him again, but it wasn't. Taccone tells Kat that she must get him back his paintings, or her father will pay. Kat, even though she doesn't want anything more to do with the family business, couldn't say no when her father was in danger, and along with her friends, one of who is the mysterious Hale, they plan to find the paintings, steal them back and return them to Taccone.

Unfortunately, Kat doesn't know where the paintings are, and she can't ask her Uncle Eddie like she normally would because she is performing this heist without his permission. Then she hears about a break in to the Henley, which is the most securely guarded museum in the world. Nothing was stolen, but a card was left by a man called Visily Romani, and this causes Kat to think about why on earth a man would break into the most secure museum in the world. She then thinks that maybe he didn't take anything, but he did leave something more than just his card before. She works out that in the room the card was left, there were four paintings, which is the same number of paintings that was stolen from Taccone, and she thinks that the missing paintings must be hidden behind the existing paintings.

Kat and her friends then visit the Henley to test out their security system, and work out which would be the best possible way to attempt a break in. Kat's cousin Gabrielle, who had been helping out with the scheme, walked into the room and tried to touch one of the paintings. In a few seconds the whole room went into lockdown, and Kat is faced with a very big task.

They finally work it out and they carry out the task. It's very complicated, and all over the museum, one of Kat's gang of thieves is playing their part. In the end, the heist is successful, and Kat manages to steal all four paintings back. She leaves them in a house for Taccone to collect, but little does he know that she had also tipped off the police, who barged in on him with the paintings, and arresting him for breaking into the Henley. The book ends with a man and woman coming up to Kat and asking them if she can help them with something. Kat declines, but then they tell her that it was Visily Romani who sent them, and we never find out Kat's reaction.
__________

If there's anything important that I've missed out, or something's wrong, do let me know in the comments! Hope this helped! :) For more Happily Ever Endings, go to Down the Rabbit Hole!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Book Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society
Title: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #1
Pages: 304
Publisher: Orchard Children's Books
Date of Publication: 1st September 2011
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family's (very crooked) history.

My Thoughts:
I didn't really know what to expect from Heist Society. I wanted a quick, fun read, and I was hoping that that was what I would get. And it disappoint! I had great fun reading about all the heists Kat pulled, and I loved trying to figure out how she was going to pull off one the most difficult and most crazy burglaries of all time.

I really liked Ally's writing style - it was awesome how it was easy and simple to read, yet it didn't feel like anything was lacking. Maybe there could have been a little bit more explanation or description in some places (but not too much to slow it down), but in the most part I found that I could quite happily read for an hour or two without having felt like I've been bogged down in something deep for too long.

I also liked the characters. I really liked Kat in particular - I loved the way that Ally portrayed as a very real and almost believable teenager. (Only almost because she's a 'professional' theif!). Her reaction to being roped back into her family's business that she tried so hard to get out of was so realistic, and I could relate to her in that she didn't want to be doing something that she really had no choice in, if that makes sense.

However, the main downside of the book for me were the other characters. None of them really stood out too much to me, and I read the book a couple of weeks ago and I already have forgotten their names, apart from Uncle Eddie. I think it would have been nice to know a little bit more about the characters and I think I'd have liked it better if it had been written in first person, because then we'd get Kat's point of view about each character better than we did, even though as I said before, I really liked the writing style. (I am aware that makes little sense, but I don't know how else to put it...)

Lastly, I liked the way the book was structured. I liked how at the beginning, Kat was given her deadline, and then the rest of the book is split up into '13 days before the deadline'; '12 days before the deadline'; '11 days before the deadline'; etc. It helped me to keep track of whereabouts in the plot they were, and sometimes I get a bit confused about the timings and settings of books so it was nice to be able to flip back a few pages to find out what day it was, and also which country Kat and her friends were in at the time.

Overall, I really enjoyed Heist Society. While it wasn't my favourite book, I did feel that at the time I read it, it was what I really wanted, and for that, I give it extra points (not that I give points ;) ). I would definitely recommend it if you like simple and fun contemporary reads, but if you're looking for something that's deep and will make you think, maybe leave this one until you want something you can read, enjoy, and then forget. Having said this though, I think I will be reading the sequel, as I'd love to find out where Kat's adventures will take her next.

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #94

Monday, 7 November 2011

Lauren Kate Cover Reveals!

So, I just got an email from Random House with new covers for both of Lauren Kate's new books coming out in 2012! The first one is Rapture, which is book 4 of the Fallen series:


I really like this one - I really like how it's sort of gone back to the theme of the first two covers, how it is all blue and white, or colours from a similar colour scheme instead of lots of different colours like Passion was... If that makes sense. I also like how on this cover she's wearing a white dress instead of a black dress, so I'm wondering if that has any significance... 

Fallen (Fallen, #1)  Torment (Fallen, #2)  Passion (Fallen, #3)

The other cover reveal was for her other book, Fallen In Love. Fallen In Love is going to be a book set in the world of the Fallen series, but instead of focusing on Luce and Daniel, Fallen In Love will focus on some of the more minor characters, and their romances, like Miles, Shelby, Roland, Arriane and Luce and Daniel. It sounds awesome! And here is the cover: 


I really like this cover too. ALL of Lauren Kate's books have beautiful covers. I love the simplicity of them, but yet they look so effective. I really like the greens and purples on this cover, and while it looks very similar to the Fallen series covers, it's not quite the same, and if you look carefully there are subtle differences between this and the series which tell you it's not an actual main book in the series. I think it's gorgeous - and my one complaint is the sticker! I hate stickers on books, so hopefully, it won't be printed on the front, and I'll be able to peel it off! 

What do you think about these covers? Let me know in the comments!


Sunday, 6 November 2011

In My Mailbox #38

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


For Review:
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck
Wonder by RJ Palacio
Unleashed by Nancy Holder and Debbie Vigiuie
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan
Tempest by Julie Cross
Crossed by Ally Condie
The Haunting of Charity Delafield by Ian Beck
This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees


Thanks to Macmillan Children's Books, Hodder & Stoughton, Random House Children's Books, Penguin, and Bloomsbury!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Book Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1)Title: Perfect Chemistry 
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry, #1
Pages: 368
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: 29th April 2010
Source: RAK from Lesley at My Keeper Shelf
Synopsis from Goodreads: When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

My Thoughts:
I've had this book for a long time. I've been wanting to read it for a while now, and when I got it I was so excited to read it, but I had a couple of review books that I needed to read first, and after I read those, I never got around to reading Perfect Chemistry. And now, I regret leaving it so late. I WISH that I'd read it earlier, because it was AMAZING. Seriously, it was one of my favourite books I've read this year, and it's definitely one of my favourite YA contemporary reads of all time.

The idea of the book was very simple, and after reading a couple of books that had very complex plots and characters, it was nice to read something that I could sit back and relax with. Boy meets girl, they're completely different but they can't help but be drawn together. But, for some reason, they can't be together. This plot has the potential to be incredibly boring, but Elkeles writing made it very readable and extremely addictive. I sat down and started reading, just trying to get a feel for the book and see if it was what I wanted to read at that moment, but before long, I'd already read 50 pages and I had no intention of stopping any time soon. This was one of those books that you just can't stop reading.

I really enjoyed the setting of the book. It felt like a real high school, and the relationships and rivalries between characters were very believable. While I was reading, I felt like I could walk into an American high school, and the things that happened in Perfect Chemistry could be happening in the corridors, it was great. And maybe this is because I've never been to a real American high school, but still ;)

The characters were awesome too. I loved Brittany, and Alex, for that matter. They were all great. I loved how one of the main focuses of the book was that both Alex and Brittany were pretending to be someone that they weren't, and that the image they show their friends, and their schoolmates is completely different to the person that they actually are. I felt like I really understood Brittany - I understood her need to hide her sister, Shelley, because she has to be the school's It girl. While pretending to have the perfect life is not exactly what I would think to do in her situation, I understood why she did it and because of this I really related to her. And when she started to feel something for Alex, again, I believed in her, and I believed that what she was feeling could have actually been real because of the difficulties of deciding what to do that was best for her, and I could really imagine a real teenager going through those kind of decisions.

And Alex... Well, I think I might love him. He was amazing. Like, St Clair or Cricket amazing... At the beginning of the book I thought he was going to be a jerky and arrogant guy, who for some reason Brittany feel in love with, but it turned out that behind his carefully built up image of a rough gang member, he was actually a really nice, really sweet, and really funny guy. When Brittany introduces him to her sister, Shelley, and he doesn't judge her for being twenty and still needing her underwear changed, I swooned SO much. It was adorable, and suddenly I was rooting for Alex to get together with Brittany because no other guy was good enough.

Overall, I absolutely LOVED Perfect Chemistry. It was fun, adorable, and super readable, and I was addicted. While I was reading I didn't want to stop, and when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about the characters and what was going to happen next. I can't wait to get my hands on the next two books - they will definitely be in my basket on amazon very soon! I would DEFINITELY recommend this to all YA contemporary fans, or anyone looking for something awesome. It's a must read, so don't make the mistake of waiting to read it!

*My one complaint. The cover! It's awful - my brother teased me about it the whole time I was reading it... And the models aren't even good looking! ;)

My Rating:
I give it 5 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #93

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

NaNoWriMo

Participant2_180_180_white       NaNoWriMo Logo

Hey everyone, just thought I'd write a little post about what I'm going to be doing hopefully throughout the whole month of November. I'm taking part in NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. The aim of it is that during the month of November, you should try to write a 50,000 word novel. Sounds crazy, right? I know, I know, but everyone else was doing it, and I've had an idea floating around in my head for a little while so I decided to give it a go. I've never written anything before, and I hate creative writing in school, but I thought I may as well try, and see what happens :) I have no idea how long I will last, but I'm hoping I will win! Winning is just finishing, managing to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days!
But, if you are a young person, like me, you can sign up for the Young Writer's Programme. This is exactly the same as NaNoWriMo, but instead of writing 50,000 words, you can choose your goal, and make it shorter if you want to. I've signed up for both, and have set my goal on the YWP as 30,000 words, but I also have an account on the main site to see if I can do that too. So, wish me luck you guys, and let me know in the comments if you're taking part and what your username is, so I can add you to my buddy list! My username is Cheezyfeet on both sites, so add me too! :D Good luck everyone!

*If I don't post as much this month, this is why!
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