Saturday, 31 December 2011

Top 10 Books of 2011

Hey guys. I've had lots of trouble with this post. It's SO difficult to choose because I've read so much AWESOME this year and I don't know if I'll be able to pick just 10... I might have to have some honourable mentions down the bottom... Oh well, anyway, here goes! In no particular order my Top Ten of 2011!

Divergent (Divergent, #1)1. Divergent by Veronica Roth - Definitely my favourite dystopian ever. I think I've decided that it's even better than The Hunger Games... Maybe xD [My review]

2. The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler - SO SO SO GOOD! Read it. Now. [My review]

3. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - Creepy and it freaked me out so much but it's awesome freaking out over a book :D [My review]

4. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini - Greek mythology and starcrossed lovers... *sigh* [My review]

5. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting - JAY. [My review]

6. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly - Honestly I think it's the best historical fiction book EVER. Blew my mind - incredible. [My review]


Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2)
7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - So adorable. [My review]

8. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - So adorable. Maybe even more adorable than Anna. *melts* [My review]

9. Supernaturally by Kiersten White - These books are amazing. Mostly because of Evie, but everything else is awesome too :D [My review]

10. Dearly Departed by Lia Habel - Enjoyed it way more than I expected to! So AWESOME :D Can't wait for the next one! [My review]

HONOURABLE MENTIONS - Very nearly made the list! Because I couldn't decide on only 10. 

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles [My review]
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger [My review]
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab [My review]
Wither by Lauren Destefano [My review]
Delirium by Lauren Oliver [My review]

So there we have my top 15 favourite reads of 2011. If you haven't read any of these, YOU SO SHOULD. I buy you a copy myself but I've already spent all my money from Christmas on books for me... Sorry ;P Now go and read them! :D

Friday, 30 December 2011

Top 10 Books I Wish I'd Read In 2011

Good morning/evening/afternoon/night! Here is my list of the top ten books I wish I'd got around to reading in 2011! :D In no particular order, of course ;)

Angelfire (Angelfire, #1)1. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton - Everybody says it's amazing. I read a sample on my Kindle and it was amazing. WHY HAVEN'T I READ IT YET?!

2. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford - There have been mixed reviews of this one, but I'm still really excited to read it! I won it back in August and I still haven't read it... I'm so bad... Must get round to it soon, or I think Daph will kill me... ;)

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)
3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis - Another one that I've (nearly) only heard good things about. Again, I've had it on my shelf for AGES and I still haven't read it... I'll try and read it before A Million Suns comes out here! :D

4. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - I received this from Sara from Just Another Story for my birthday, and I feel really bad for not reading it... Especially because it looks so awesome and EVERYBODY says it's amazing :D Like, seriously, I literally don't know anyone that didn't like it... So I MUST get to this one in 2012!

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)5. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare - Yeah, I still haven't read it. I don't know why, but when I got it I just wasn't as excited as I wanted to be! So I haven't read it - I'm waiting for the hype to die down so I can read it with an open mind because if I'm expecting it to be my favourite read of the year and it's not, I'll be very sad, you know? ;) That said, I kind of wish I'd already read it - people are talking about it and I can't join in because I haven't read it yet!

6. Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman - I tweeted I needed to read this and so many people tweeted me back agreeing. So, I've downloaded it and I will most definitely read it next year because it looks AMAZING. I just wish I'd bought and read it earlier!

Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1)
7. Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs - This sounds SO good and I downloaded it onto my Kindle as soon as I could so I could read it as soon as possible... But I never did. Which is a shame because I adored Forgive My Fins... So hopefully I can get around to this one in 2012!

8. Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer - I LOVED the first one of these, but I just never got around to reading this one... I think I'll wait until the final book, Bloodrose comes out so I don't have to wait in between the books... ;)

9. Hourglass by Myra McEntire - A YA about Time Travel. YES PLEASE. I won it in September and I haven't read it yet... Again. AHH! I NEED MORE TIME TO READ! Definitely very high on my TBR for 2012 :D

Between Shades of Gray10. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys - I know, I know, this book is AMAZING. Like, everyone says so. And I HAVEN'T READ IT YET. I haven't even GOT it... Ahh! I'm going to read it next year, I promise. I promise I promise I promise ;D It's cheap on Kindle right now... ;D

And there it is! My list of ten books that I WILL most definitely (probably (hopefully)) read in 2012 because I'm naughty and didn't read them this year... Let me know in the comments the books that you wish you'd gotten around to!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Happily Ever Endings: Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve



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!
__________

Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1)Synopsis from Goodreads: It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea ...

The great traction city London is on the move again. It has been lying low, skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, as its great mountain of metal lumbers along in hot pursuit of its quarry, the sinister plans it has harbored for years can finally start to unfold behind its soaring walls ...

Thaddeus Valentine, London's Head Historian and most famous archaeologist, and his daughter, Katherine, are down in The Gut when the young assassin with the black scarf strikes. Only the quick intervention of Tom, a lowly third-class apprentice, prevents Valentine from being stabbed in the heart. Madly racing after the fleeing girl, Tom suddenly glimpses her hideous face: scarred from forehead to jaw, nose a smashed stump, a single eye glaring back at him. "Look at what your Valentine did to me!" she screams. "Ask him! Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw!" And with that she jumps down the waste chute to her death. Minutes later Tom finds himself tumbling down the same chute and stranded in the Out-Country, a sea of mud scored by the huge caterpillar tracks of cities like the one now steaming off over the horizon.

__________

Happily Ever Ending: When London finally finds a new city to chase and eat, Tom goes down to the observation deck against the orders of his superiors, and gets sent down to the Gut. There he meets Valentine, his hero, and his daughter Katherine, who he thinks he falls in love with. Suddenly, a girl jumps into the room, threatening to kill Valentine, but she is fought off and then Tom chases her away. When she gets to the waste chute, she jumps out and tells Tom to ask Valentine what he did to Hester Shaw. When Valentine arrives and finds out that Tom might know about Hester Shaw too, he pushes Tom down the waste chute too and that's how Tom and Hester find themselves a long way away from London.

Hester tells Tom about how Valentine is a cruel man who killed her parents and slashed her face. Tom decides he needs to tell everyone about how awful he is, and Tom and Hester decide to find their way to an air port where they could get to London. They come across a group of people who offer them food and shelter, but little did they know that they were only giving them food to drug them so they could sell them as slaves. However they manage to escape and they get picked up by an aviatrix called Miss Fang who agrees to take them to London.

While with Miss Fang they encounter a Stalker called Shrike who tries to kill them. They end up on a pirate suburb called Tunbridge Wheels, where they are locked up until the mayor realises that Tom is from London and can help the suburb become less common and more proper and respected. But, they soon decide to get off the ship, and luckily, Miss Fang and her ship, the Jenny Haniver come and rescue them, again. But the pirates tell Tom and Hester that she's a murderer who can't be trusted, but later on in the book Tom and Hester still go with her, after he manages to kill Shrike.

Meanwhile, Katherine has found out that her father is hiding something called the MEDUSA. With the help of an apprentice called Bevis Pod she hunts around and manages to find out what the MEDUSA actually is - a killing machine. Tom, Hester and Miss Fang also find out about the MEDUSA and they actually see it in action. They decide to go to the Shield Wall which is where Valentine is headed, so they can warn the people there. Tom discovers Valentine posing as a monk and he goes to get help but Miss Fang ends up being killed by him. Tom and Hester then head back home to make Valentine pay.

They find that MEDUSA was being built in a cathedral. Katherine and Pod also knew this and had made a bomb to try and blow it up. Katherine is the one who has to place it, but before she can, she sees that her father is about to kill Hester, so she jumps in front of his sword and he ends up killing his own daughter instead of Hester. The book ends with all other characters alive, and Tom and Hester are happy that even though they probably won't be happy in the future, they will be together and that's the next best thing.

_________

I hope this helped! Now you're all set up to read the next one! If I've missed anything important or you think there's something wrong, let me know in the comments! I'm not all that good at these... ;) 

Friday, 23 December 2011

End of Year Book Survey 2011

Hey everyone, welcome to my END OF YEAR BOOK SURVEY: 2011! This is hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner :D

Graphic created by Ginger at GReads!

So, onto the questions! There are a lot ;) 

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?

What a horrible question... There are SO MANY, how can I choose just ONE? o_O I'm going to go with my favourite from each genre... And there will probably be two ;)

Dearly DepartedDystopian - Divergent by Veronica Roth and Delirium/Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver... THESE BOOKS ARE AMAZING. READ THEM.
Contemp - Anna and the French Kiss, & Lola and the Boy Next Door both by Stephanie Perkins. Oh my days this girl CAN WRITE! :D Also, Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles was incredible. I NEED TO READ THE NEXT ONES ASAP.
Paranormal - Paranormalcy & Supernaturally by Kiersten White, Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, The Iron Queen by Julia Kagawa, The Body Finder Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting... Yeah. I'm SO bad at choosing just one. Sorry! ;) Oh, and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson :D
Steampunk - Dearly Departed by Lia Habel. This was AMAZING. Seriously. Go and read it. To be fair, I've only read, like, 3 steampunks this year, but still, this was the best one.

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel - This looked SO good and I really wanted to love it but I just didn't. I finished it and it just was nothing like I expected it to be, and it kind of disappointed me that it wasn't dark and scary and thrilling like I hoped it would be.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis - This book is ADORABLE. It is SO CUTE! :D I never thought that I would love it quite as much as I did, so it was very surprising to find that I loved it so so much! The second one, A Tangle of Magicks is awesome as well, but it didn't surprise me as much because obviously I knew what was coming... Can't wait for the next one! :D

Anna and the French Kiss4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - I bought this for a friend for her birthday and she's read it twice now, and then I sent it three or four people on Kindle and they all loved it, so this is probably my most recommended this year! It was AMAZING :D It IS amazing :D READ IT IF YOU HAVEN'T.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

Ooh. Ooh. DIFFICULT. Ahhh! I have NO idea! I can't pick just one! A series I discovered... OK. I'll pick one that I've read more than one book of, that I started this year... Should round it down a little seeing as I read a lot of debuts and first of series this year ;) Hmm...

The Body Finder & Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting - This series is SO good! I wish I'd read it when The Body Finder first came out because they are SO good :D Can't wait for The Last Echo!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Stephanie Perkins, Kiersten White, Kimberly Derting, Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver, Victoria Schwab, Simone Elkeles... The list goes ON AND ON... ;)

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve - This was recommended to me by so many people, and then my mum and Rhys from ThirstForFiction finally convinced me to read it, and I really enjoyed it! I'm not a fan of steampunk, and the only other steampunk books I'd read weren't quite as steampunky as this was... If you know what I mean. You probably don't. Whatever, it was really good and completely different to everything else I've ever read, and now I need to read the next ones :D

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

Another horrible question. Gah, I have no idea! There were so many! I think I'll say...
Divergent by Veronica Roth - this arrived early from Amazon and I was half way through a different book, but I put that one on hold and read Divergent instead, and read the 400 page book in a day. It was SO AWESOME :D I couldn't stop reading, and I fell in love with the whole story within minutes of starting it. It was great. If you haven't read it, WHY NOT?!

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Hmm... Probably Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. The Vampire Academy series is one of my favourites of all time, so when I heard there was going to be a spin off series, I was SO FREAKING HAPPY. And it was AWESOME. So, so, AWESOME.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?


Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Wither by Lauren Destefano. Seriously, the cover is the most gorgeous thing on the planet. If anyone wants to buy me a copy of the US hardback, I will love you forever :D

11. Most memorable character in 2011?

Oh my days. It HAS to be Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I'm sure everyone agrees with me... If he were real... *sigh* I think that is all I shall say about this ;P

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Ooh. That's a hard one... The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. It was amazing. The writing was amazing. The characters. Everything. It was just beautifully written, and I can't wait to read anything else that she writes in the future because she has SERIOUS TALENT.

Saving June13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

Hmm.. That's a good question, a very good question... I don't know! Saving June by Hannah Harrington really made me think, as did Hate List by Jennifer Brown. And The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. Ah!! There are SO many AWESOME YA contemps that had impact on me this year (I find that contemps have more of an impact on me than paranormals, because they could so easily be real), but these three are three I can remember off the top of my head. I hope to read many more like them next year.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles! I'd seen SO many people read it and love it, but I guess I just never thought that I'd enjoy it... Then I added it to my RAK wishlist figuring that I probably wouldn't get it, and the awesome Lesley from My Keeper Shelf sent it to me and I am SO grateful that she did because it was AMAZING :D Wish I'd read it earlier, but at least now I don't have to anticipate the release of the last book in the series because it's already out... ;)

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

Oh oh oh... I have no idea. From Wither by Lauren DeStefano:

"Eventually I realise I am holding onto him just as tightly as he is holds on to me. And here we are: Two small dying things, as the world ends around us like falling autumn leaves."

And here's one from Saving June by Hannah Harrington:

"Jake was right - I'm strong in a way June never was. Because I know that I want to be here. Even with the pain. Even with the ugliness."

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?

Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door both by Stephanie Perkins... I probably won't reread them because I don't reread things, but they are both AWESOME and they need to be reread so many times... :D

Also, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - I might reread this before the sequel comes out because I absolutely ADORED it and I need to read it again because it is made of so much awesome.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Hmm. I don't know! This question, I genuinely don't know... I shall think about it and get back to you.


That's it for my End of Year Book Survey 2011! Thanks to Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner for hosting, it was great fun! There is another bit of the survey that I might post another day, but I don't want to bore you with lots of questions and answers :D If you've taken part in the survey, link me in the comments and I'll come have a look! Hope you all have had an AMAZING and bookish 2011! :D Happy 2012 for when it comes!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Book Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

The Future of UsTitle: The Future of Us  
Author: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Series: --
Pages: 356
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: 5th January 2012
Source: For review from publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: It's 1996 and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Facebook will not be invented for several more years. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD-ROM with 100 free hours. When she and her best friend Josh log on to AOL they discover themselves on Facebook... fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what life has in store for them.
Josh and Emma are about to find out.

My Thoughts:
When I first read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to read it. There was just something about a world where nobody knew what Facebook was, and not many people had mobile phones, that made me want to read it, just because I can't imagine a world like that now. It fascinates me that at one point there was a time when everyone didn't feel the need to share their whole life on the internet... And obviously, I know there was a time like that once because obviously, Facebook isn't that old, but growing up as a teenager today, it's hard to remember that. And that's the truth of today's world, I think. And I'm guilty of it, because I spend WAY too much time on the internet, I know, I know...

Anyway, I seem to have strayed off my point a bit. Again. (It's Christmas - forgive me for being distracted ;P ) I think that was one of the reasons I enjoyed The Future of Us so much. Because it's set in a world that for me was so difficult to understand, to believe in, yet I could get hooked in and believe in it as if it were the world I lived in today. (This seems to be a good thing for me - I pointed it out in my last review too.) It was awesome.

This review is actually really difficult for me to write. There were SO many things running through my head the whole time I was reading it, and I only wish I could tell you about all of them, but we'd be here forever and I'm sure that's not what you want to read. It made me think about so many things - especially about my future. Or, more precisely, just the future in general. In the book, when Emma and Josh find out their future, they do what they can to try and change it so that it'll be how they want it to be. And it got me thinking. Would I like to know my future? If I knew it, would I do everything in my power to change it, even if I don't know what the outcome of that change I'm trying to make will be? And maybe, before reading this book, the answer to those questions would be yes, but now I'm not so sure.

Yes, I know this is fiction, and I know that it's not real and there's no way we can log on to Facebook and see what we'll be doing in fifteen years time, but still. I most definitely do NOT want to know if my future is crap. It would suck, really really bad. And I know that's kind of a lame statement, but it would. It would be awful. And maybe that doesn't sound like it would make you think all that much, but for me, it made a huge impact. I'm fifteen. I don't know what I want to do with my life yet, and I think that knowing what was coming for me would ruin my life. Literally. I'd obsess over everything I did now, trying to make my future perfect, for what could essentially only make my future worse.

There is so much I want say about this book, but I don't know how to put it into words. Seriously, I haven't had so many feelings after reading a book for a very long time. I probably won't say everything I want to here, because as of yet I don't know how, and you might say wait a while before posting your review, but this book is SO amazing, and everyone needs to read it, that I need to tell you all about it, NOW. And I know you can't get it in the UK yet but you can preorder or order from the US...

Anyway, I'll talk about the actual book now. Like, the characters and the plot, and all that stuff. So first, the characters. The book is narrated from both Emma and Josh's points of view, in a dual narrative. I'm guessing that Jay Asher wrote Josh and Carolyn Mackler wrote Emma, but to be honest I have no idea. Anyway, I really liked both characters, and I felt that they were very realistic and they reacted to situations in ways which would definitely happen today. I especially liked Emma, and I felt I could really relate to her in the ways that she felt about finding out her future. (See first 4 paragraphs) Josh was pretty awesome too, and to be honest, I don't know why Emma ever turned him down... ;)

The plot was great - it kept me reading late into the night, for longer than the ten minutes I had originally planned to read for. I liked how it didn't only revolve around the discovery of Facebook and their future, but how it had a strong focus on the relationship between Josh and Emma. And not just romantically - it had a very strong focus on their friendship, and every time they fell out it broke my heart, because they are obviously SUCH good friends, and to fall out over something so seemingly small was devastating for both them and me. I found that I got seriously into the characters, and everything they felt, I felt too... The amount of times I had to force myself not to cry because there were other people in the room was pretty big for me, because I don't ever cry at books, really.

Anyway, I think I shall end my review here. Otherwise, it will be really long (not that it isn't already) and I'm a firm believer in the fact that you'd much rather read the actual book than my review... You should buy this. Get your hands on a copy, any way you can (AS LONG AS IT'S LEGAL) because you will not be disappointed. It's SUCH a good book, and I am most definitely going to be buying everything else that Jay and Carolyn write in the future, whether they write it together or not, and I will be reading the unread copy of Thirteen Reasons Why that has been sitting on my shelf for yonks as soon as I can.

Now, stop reading this and go and buy The Future of Us. Please.

*HUGE thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book, I genuinely promise I loved it this much *spreads arms as wide as possible* ;D

My Rating:
I give it 5 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #103

Monday, 19 December 2011

Lauren Oliver News!

Are you a fan of Delirium, and eagerly awaiting Pandemonium? Well, Hodder have a treat for you!

Announcing... 

Hana

HANA!

This is a short story told from the point of view of, (you guessed it), Hana, Lena's best friend. She has her own story to tell, and you can read it and find out what her secret is. But, we want to give Lauren Oliver an awesome Christmas present, so Hodder have asked everyone to download the short story on Christmas Eve, so that on Christmas Day it can be number one on the eBook charts! So please, download this short story for just 99p on Christmas Eve and it will be AWESOME if we could get it to number 1! :D

    Merry Christmas - Lauren Oliver - Hodder & Stoughton<

I can't wait to read it, and I'll definitely be downloading it as soon as I can on Christmas Eve! Hopefully this'll help you get through the wait for Pandemonium! :D

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Book Review: Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1)Title: Mortal Engines 
Author: Philip Reeve
Series: The Mortal Engines Quartet #1
Pages: 293
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of Publication: 1st April 2002
Source: Found in the house ;)
Synopsis from Goodreads: It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea ...

The great traction city london is on the move again. It has been lying low, skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, as its great mountain of metal lumbers along in hot pursuit of its quarry, the sinister plans it has harbored for years can finally start to unfold behind its soaring walls ...

Thaddeus Valentine, London's Head Historian and most famous archaeologist, and his daughter, Katherine, are down in The Gut when the young assassin with the black scarf strikes. Only the quick intervention of Tom, a lowly third-class apprentice, prevents Valentine from being stabbed in the heart. Madly racing after the fleeing girl, Tom suddenly glimpses her hideous face: scarred from forehead to jaw, nose a smashed stump, a single eye glaring back at him. "Look at what your Valentine did to me!" she screams. "Ask him! Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw!" And with that she jumps down the waste chute to her death. Minutes later Tom finds himself tumbling down the same chute and stranded in the Out-Country, a sea of mud scored by the huge caterpillar tracks of cities like the one now steaming off over the horizon.

In a stunning literary debut, Philip Reeve has created an unforgettable adventure story set in a dark and utterly original world fueled by Municipal Darwinism -- and betrayal.

My Thoughts:
I actually really enjoyed this book, WAY more than I thought I would. I'm not a big fan of steampunk - sometimes it just goes straight over my head and I'm left feeling really confused, but with Mortal Engines I didn't find that I had this problem. (Much. Nothing that a short reread couldn't fix) At the beginning, sure, I found the concept very strange and a little difficult to get my head around, but once I stopped thinking too hard and just concentrated on the story, I was hooked.

Mortal Engines is about cities on wheels eating other cities on wheels. Weird, I know, but it actually makes for really good reading. As I said before, you kind of have to just turn off the voices in your heard screaming, 'It's not possible! HOW is that possible?!' and just concentrate on the story. I guess that's the beauty of Reeve's writing - that you could just sit back and concentrate so fully on the story that no matter how crazy the plot, no matter how unbelievable the world in which the story is set in is, you can still get sucked in and imagine it playing out like a movie in your head.

The world of this series is crazy, like super strange. However, it so well thought out and so well described that it makes perfect sense, once I'd read the description paragraphs a couple of times, just to make sure I knew what was going on. That makes it sound like there are whole paragraphs of description... Don't worry, there aren't! The description is cleverly placed throughout the book, and sometimes I missed it, I guess, is all I should really say on this matter. Anyway, I found it so easy to imagine it in my head, and I've said it on Twitter, but I'll say it again, this book would make an AWESOME movie. It would be SO good, but ONLY if it was done right... Have you ever played Professor Layton on DS? You know the little movie scenes in that? I couldn't stop imagining the movie being like that while I was reading... ;) If it was like that it would be AWESOME :D

Anyhoo, I've gotten a little off topic. Back to my review. I loved the intertwining of what is essentially two stories that start together, get separated, and then end together. I really enjoyed Katherine's story, I think I liked it better than Tom and Hester's... Oh, I don't know! Haha, I think Tom and Hester are ADORABLE - I love how they went from trying to kill each other to really good friends. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book, I hope they're OK! But back to Katherine... I really liked finding out with her all about what MEDUSA was, and as she found out the truth about her father I couldn't help but feel so awful for her. She was so sweet and she believed in her father so much, only to be let down.

And as I said, I love Tom and Hester. I feel so sorry for Hester and her face, and finding out why she was like that nearly broke my heart. Cheesy, I know, but still. It was SO sad! It must have been so awful, and then to have such a permanent and obvious reminder that you see everyday would be torture. I admire her for her strength, and I'm really looking forward to finding out if she grows anymore in the next books, because I think she might be my favourite character.

Overall, Mortal Engines is a great read. It came out in 2002, and I kind of really wish I had read it earlier, though I'm glad I read it now, if that makes sense. I will most definitely be reading the next books in the series as soon as I've got time away from my review books, because I'm itching to know what happens already. I NEED to know. I'd definitely recommend these books if you haven't already read them, because they are truly something special.

My Rating:
I give it 4 Feet! - Not quite 5 because there were times I got confused and had to reread... ;) But apart from that it was AWESOME :D


Challenges:
100+ Reading Challenge #102

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Book Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near WitchTitle: The Near Witch 
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Standalone
Pages: 282
Publisher: Hyperion Children's Books
Date of Publication: 2nd August 2011
Source: Borrowed from Cicely at Cicely Loves Books
Synopsis from Goodreads: The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

My Thoughts:
I got The Near Witch way back in July, from netGalley, but because it wasn't available on Kindle, I didn't read it because I hate reading on my laptop. So, I never read it, and it expired. I SO wish I had read it back then, because it is so good. So so good. I loved it.

I absolutely loved the plot line. It was so simple, yet there was enough mystery and suspense to keep me engaged and glued to the pages. Thinking back, not much actually happened, but reading it, it felt like there was so much going on that I HAD to keep reading. I loved the way that as each child was stolen, everybody in Near's feelings were getting more and more frustrated and angry, just as it would if such things happened in real life. I could feel the urgency rising as I neared the end of the book, and I flew through the last 100 pages, NEEDING to know what happened at the end, and if the children would come out safe and alive at the end.

I also really liked the characters. Victoria Schwab is REALLY good at creating very real and believable characters. I loved Lexi! I loved the way she was determined to find the children, protect the stranger AND protect her own little sister, all at the same time. She was incredibly strong and I thought that everything she did was admirable. I loved how she continued to push her way through everything that was against her, and time and time and again she managed to keep going and not give up when everything seemed to go wrong for her.

And then there was Cole... *sigh* He was pretty amazing, I must admit. I think, as soon as he was introduced, I loved him. I loved the mystery that surrounded him, and when Lexi wasn't sneaking out to see him, I was sitting there, hoping that she would some time again soon. I loved the way that he acted around Lexi, and he actually seemed rather considerate about everything that wasn't himself or Lexi. Sometimes, I find, guys in YA books can be a bit selfish and they only care about themselves and their girlfriends, but this is definitely not the case with Cole. He was very sensible and controlled, and I loved him for that.

My favourite character though, (or one of my favourites) was Wren. She reminded me SO MUCH of Prim from The Hunger Games, and when it came to Lexi and her love and protectiveness of her, she reminded me of Katniss too. It was great! Their relationship was amazing, and I'd like to think that if I ever had a sister, my relationship with her would be like that, though I'm nearly positive that it wouldn't be... ;)

Victoria Schwab's writing style is gorgeous. It hooked me in from the first page, and I loved the way that I could sit and read half of the book all at once... It's great to sit down and say you'll read for ten minutes or so, and then look up at the clock and realise you've been reading for an hour. It's a feeling I haven't had for a while so that made it even more awesome! ;)

Overall though, The Near Witch was an amazingly awesomely brilliant read. I enjoyed it so so much, and as I borrowed this copy, I may have to buy myself one to have on my shelf that I can read again and again... Not that I reread books usually, but with this one, I might have to. I would most definitely recommend this if you're looking for a mysterious, simply super sweet, amazingly awesome book that you can sit down and get lost in for a few hours at a time. Go and buy it. It will be SO worth it.

My Ratings:
I give it 5 Feet!

Challenges:
2011 Debut Author Challenge #30
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #52
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #101

Saturday, 10 December 2011

In My Mailbox #41

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

No video this week, sorry! I'm feeling lazy ;)

FOR REVIEW



Advent by James Treadwell (proof from Hodder)
This one sounds pretty good - not heard much about it but it looks good! 

Black Arts by Prentice and Weil (Proof from David Fickling Books)
Not heard of this before! It looks pretty good - not quite sure what it's about and it's HUGE but I might give it a read nearer it's release in April :)


Fracture by Megan Miranda (Finished copy from Bloomsbury)
This is my second copy of this now - it looks SO good! I can't wait to read it :D


BORROWED



The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (sent by the lovely Cicely from Cicely Loves Books)
Cic and I did a borrow swap kind of thing - I lent her a couple books and she lent me this! I'm on page 100 and it's very good, I can't wait to see what happens towards the end! Cole is very interesting... ;D Thanks Cicely!


GIFTED


Dash & Lily's Book of Dares


Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (gifted by the awesome Iffath from Painting With Words)
I'm so excited to read this! I'll be reading it nearer Christmas, and I'm hoping it will completely get into a Christmassy mood :D Can't wait! Thanks Iffath!


SWAG

 


Lenore Appelhans (@lenoreva) sent me an awesome swag pack, which contained a German Hunger Games tribute guide, a chapter sampler from Tempest by Julie Cross, and some awesome bookmarks, three of which were signed! :D Thanks so much! And them Cicely sent me some more awesome swag when she sent The Near Witch, (some more awesome bookmarks and another Hunger Games booklet), so I shall have to think of something awesome to send back when I'm done with TNW... :D

That's everything I got for the past two weeks - post has been quite slow but that's a good thing because I'm hoping to read lots before the end of the year! What did you get in your mailbox this week? Leave me a link and comment and I'll be sure to return the favour! :D

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Book Review: Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles, #1)Title: Unleashed 
Author: Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
Series: Wolf Springs Chronicles
Pages: 383
Publisher: Doubleday
Date of Publication: 8th December 2011
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.

Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.

My Thoughts:
Many people have compared Unleashed to Twilight, but with werewolves (as in, werewolves as the main paranormal creature). And in a way, I guess it is, but not really. At first when I was reading, I was thinking, 'This feels very familiar', but as a big fan of Twilight it didn't bother me too much... Anyway, after reading about a third of it, I realised that it was only the beginning that was similar, and that in a lot of ways it was completely different. And I've started my review this way, because I feel that this comparison to Twilight has put a lot of people off, and I want so many people to read it because it's a great book!

I really love Nancy and Debbie's writing! I've never read anything by either author before, but I really hope that this isn't the last book by the duo that I read! *makes note to get myself copies of their other books* I found it super easy to read and it sucked me in right from the start. I was in a little reading funk, but this pulled me out of it, and it's not just any book that can do that for me!

The characters, I thought, were extremely well written and fleshed out, and I felt I could believe in them. I really liked how the book itself is written in third person but it reads as if it was written in first person from Katelyn's point of view. It meant we got all of Katelyn's emotions in depth as well as a lot of the other characters. I really liked Katelyn. She seemed like a very normal girl, who was coping extremely well with everything awful that had happened to her. I think that because of the tragic events she had to go through, it was easy to relate to her and believe in her feelings, and I found I could forgive her a lot more for being shy and scared in a new school, even after she'd settled in, because sometimes it's unrealistic how long it takes new students to settle in to new schools, and it annoys me, reading about their moaning and annoyance at being new... ;)

I also really liked Trick, even though I really don't like his name. At first I thought he might be a bit of an idiot, and a bit of a jerk who would just spend the whole book trying to get Katelyn to kiss him, but he actually turned out to be a really sweet guy, and there were so many times in the book where I felt sorry for him, because he wasn't allowed to know what was going on or when something else happened (you'll know if you've read it ;P ), and it broke my heart to see him get so wound up and upset about Katelyn. I definitely can't wait to see where their relationship takes them in the next book - I do hope it's happy!

Overall though, I really really enjoyed Unleashed. There were a couple of things, minor things, that annoyed me, but they're not big enough of a deal to make a fuss about... Anyway, I would most definitely recommend this to all fans of young adult paranormal books, and it has just that little bit of romance to keep things interesting ;) It was also my 100th book of the year, and I wanted to make it special, and this definitely was a great book to pick! It comes out on Thursday, and I strongly suggest that you should go and buy it!

*Huge thanks to Random House Children's Books and Doubleday 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 #100 :D
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #52

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Happily Ever Endings... A Giveaway! :D


Hey everyone! Amber from Down the Rabbit Hole and myself are the hosts of a (hopefully) awesome new feature called Happily Ever Endings! It was born out of sheer frustration at not being able to remember what happened at the end of one book, just as you are about to start the sequel! It's annoyed me for a long time, so when I heard about this new feature that Amber was putting together, I decided to help out! The idea is, that we post the summary and then we take note of what happens at the end of the book, so you can read it and be refreshed as to what happened! It's the next best thing to rereading, but if you're anything like me you'll have too many books to have time to reread everything, so hopefully this will be of help to you.

But, neither me nor Amber can read all the books in the world, so WE NEED YOUR HELP! Does it frustrate you too? If so, go here to find out more about how you can help!

And if that isn't enough to tempt you, we're hosting a giveaway! Amber has made some super cute buttons to help advertise this feature and get it started, so more people will be able to use it. If you put one of these buttons in the sidebar of your blog, you're eligible to enter our giveaway! Amber has chosen four books, and I have chosen four books, and we will have two winners who win one book each out of the eight we have chosen! I hope that makes sense... ;)


Here are the buttons to choose from! 
  

  

   

Choose the one you like the best, post it on your sidebar, then come back here (or go here) and enter the giveaway! Remember, you can only enter once, and both this post and Amber's post are for the same giveaway so only enter one of them!

So, in short, the rules:
ONE mandatory entry - you have to put one of the adorable little buttons below on the sidebar of your blog!
And that's ALL you have to do! There are extra entries too, but of course, you don't HAVE to do them!

And now, for the prizes! TWO winners will pick ONE book each! Your choices...

Torn   Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)  Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Torn by Cat Clarke
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Cinder by Marrisa Meyer

The Alchemy of Forever  Dash & Lily's Book of Dares  Saving June

The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (It's Christmas ;P)
Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Still Waters  Legend (Legend, #1)

Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne
Legend by Marie Lu

Lastly before you enter, is this something you'd like to help with? Go here for more info on what being a helper entails, or just email Amber at amberinblunderland@yahoo.com, or me at cheezyfeetbooks@rocketmail.com!







I hope this post makes sense! Sorry for the rambliness... ;) Good luck and if you have any questions, ask me in the comments or tweet me (@CheezyfeetBooks) or Amber (@AmberlinBlunderl)! :D Thank you for entering and we hope Happily Ever Endings will help you in the future! :D

Thursday, 1 December 2011

New Releases in December

Here are all the awesome new YA releases coming out in December! Let me know if I've missed any, as this month I couldn't actually find that many!

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)  Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles, #1)  Kiss Crush Collide

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (6th December 2011 by Walker Books UK)
Unleashed by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie (8th December 2011 by Doubleday Children's Books)
Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith (27th December 2011 by Greenwillow Books)

Obsidian (Lux, #1)  Every Other Day  The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (6th December 2011 by Entangled Publishing)
Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (27th December 2011 by EgmontUSA)
The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten (December 27th 2011 by HarperTeen)

Torn   Still Waters  Legacy

Torn by Cat Clarke (22nd December 2011 by Quercus)
Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne (20th December 2011 by Simon Pulse)
Legacy by Molly Cochran (20th December 2011 by Simon & Schuster)

Shattered Souls  Flyaway  Touch of Power (Healer, #1)

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey (8th December 2011 by Philomel/Penguin)
Flyaway by Helen Landalf (19th December 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Touch of Power by maria V. Snyder (20th December 2011 by Mira)

The Probability of Miracles  Shattered Dreams (Midnight Dragonfly, #1)  Eternal Starling (Emblem of Eternity, #1)

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder (8th December 2011 by Razorbill)
Shattered Dreams by Ellie James (6th December 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin)
Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett (6th December 2011 by Pendrell Publishing)

Trapped

Trapped by Michael Northrop (15th December 2011 by ATOM)
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