Monday, 30 April 2012

April 2012 Round-Up

Hey everyone! Welcome to my round up of what I've been reading in April :D

Starters (Starters, #1)  The Last Echo (The Body Finder #3)  When You Were Mine

1. The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
2. Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
3. Starters by Lissa Price
4. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
5. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
6. The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
7. When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
8. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

DNF: Fever by Dee Shulman

So, as always, I wanted to read more than I did this month... Surprise, surprise ;P I don't expect May and June to be any different because I have my first public exams coming up and I'm planning on revising and doing really well so I don't know how much time I'll get to actually read, but hopefully I won't completely abandon my books :S But I did manage to read more than I did in March so that's good ;P 

My monthly maths:

Number of pages read in April: 3032 (+ 150 of the DNF)
Average number of pages per book: 379

My favourite book of this month, hands down, is...

INSURGENT by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

My review will be posted on the 3rd. 

Here's what I'm most looking forward to reading in May:

Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry, #2)  Black Heart Blue  Struck

And lastly, let me announce who did the most commenting this month! The winner is...

Iffath!

Thanks for commenting Iffath! ;D I had fewer comments than last month... But I also didn't post as much so I guess that's why... Anyway, bye April, hello May (tomorrow...)! :D 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Book Review: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)Title: The Alchemy of Forever 
Author: Avery Williams
Series: Incarnation, #1
Pages: 256
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date of Publication: 26th April 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.


Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

My Thoughts:
I read The Alchemy of Forever hoping I would get a short and sweet read that would take my mind off things for a few hours, a quick weekend read. I wasn't looking for amazing things - I'd just read something amazing and needed something to wind down with, and this book is perfect for that.

The concept itself was interesting - Sera suddenly finds herself reincarnated inside the body of a girl who has a life. Friends, family, hobbies and interests - and Sera has to act like this girl and pretend that she is her, because who would believe her if she told her real story? I thought that this idea had potential for some great reading, and while it didn't quite keep me on the edge of my seat, I did feel engaged in the story, and I wanted to know what the outcome would be.

Most of the characters, for me, were pretty unremarkable. There were a few that stood out but the rest were pretty two dimensional. I wasn't sure how I felt about Sera - on the one hand she was strong and brave as she had to pretend to be someone else while knowing nothing about her, but on the other she was really weak because at the beginning she set out to do something and then her self control let her down spectacularly...

I also felt that the book was a little bit rushed. At 256 pages, it's very short, and I think the author could have taken a little bit more time to let us get to know the characters and the situations they found themselves in. Sometimes I needed just a page more about certain things, and I'd have loved to have read a little more about Sera's life before she left Cyrus, just so I could really understand where everything went wrong.

Overall though, The Alchemy of Forever is a strong debut, and I am looking forward to reading the sequel. The writing's good, if a little rushed, and the plot is interesting and will keep you reading for a few hours at a time. I'd recommend this to avid paranormal YA fans, or if you're looking for a short and sweet little read to calm down with at the end of a busy week.

*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.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Happily Ever Endings: Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins



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!
__________

Raising Demons (Hex Hall, #2)Synopsis from Goodreads: Sophie Mercer's first term at Hex Hall turned out to be quite eventful. First the ghost of her evil grandmother haunted her every move, then her best friend was accused of murder and of course there was the discovery that Archer Cross, aka the boy of her dreams, was actually an undercover demon hunter - which would probably be something she could have worked on, if she hadn't also discovered that she was actually the demon Archer was hunting…
So, despite their issues, Sophie is actually relieved to be spending the summer in London with her father. But when your father is Head of The Council of Prodigium and your summer is being spent at the headquarters of everything magical, then a quiet holiday isn't really that likely. And, as Sophie struggles to come to terms with her new found demon powers, she finds herself thrust once again into a world of dark magic and conspiracies. The only thing that could possibly make things more complicated would be for Archer Cross to show up again, which of course he wouldn't, would he?

__________

Happily Ever Ending: Sophie and Jenna have gone to England with Sophie's dad to stay with the council for the summer. When they get there, there are two demons called Nick and Daisy, who have no memory of how they were turned.

One night, Nick and Daisy take Sophie and Jenna to a Prodigium club that is raided by The Eye. Sophie meets Archer there, but he pretends that she is just a random girl, not the demon they're looking for. He lets her go but only on the promise that Sophie meets him another time.

When she meets Archer, they go to Graymalkin Island and find some very dark magic. When some ghouls appear from the ground they work out that this is where the Casnoff sisters have been raising demons. After defeating the ghouls they rush back to England in the Itineris, and plan to meet again to work out their feelings for each other and what they're going to do about it.

Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2)When she gets back to Thorne Abbey, she tells her dad about what she found out at Hecate. He agrees with her assumptions, and sends her to rest, but on the way to her room she gets attacked by Daisy, who has 'demoned out'. Lara Casnoff stops her, confirming Sophie's suspicions that she's the one raising the demons.

Back in her room, Elodie (the ghost) is there and she tells Sophie that Nick is currently at the mill where she's meeting Archer that night. She rushes out to meet him, but finds him bleeding to death, so she calls to Cal who comes to heal him. Then the Council interrupts and they're all taken back to Thorne Abbey.

Because the trial is run by the Casnoff sisters, so it ends with Sophie and her dad sentenced to the Removal, and Archer is sentenced to death. They are taken down to the cells in the basement, where they see Sophie's dad coming back from the Removal procedure, alive.

Then Sophie is taken away by Mrs Casnoff to have her Removal. However, they're interrupted by Elizabeth who says that Nick's 'demoned out'. Sophie manages to escape with the help of Elodie, and she finds Cal outside Thorne Abbey, which is now burning down. He kisses her on the lips quickly, before telling her to go and find her mother through the Itineris, who is, for some reason, with the Brannicks.

_________

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... ;)

Need a recap of book 1 too? Find it here

Monday, 23 April 2012

DNF Review: Fever by Dee Shulman

Fever
Title: Fever 
Author: Dee Shulman
Series: Fever, #1
Pages: 400
Publisher: Puffin
Date of Publication: 5th April 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: A fearless Roman gladiator. A reckless 21st century girl. A mysterious virus unites them . . .


152 AD. Sethos Leontis, a skilled and mesmerising fighter, is unexpectedly wounded and lies dangerously close to death.

2012 AD. Eva is brilliant - but troubled. Starting her new life at a school for the gifted, a single moment in the lab has terrifying results.

An extraordinary link brings Sethos and Eva together, but it could force them apart - because the fever that grips them cannot be cured and falling in love could be lethal . . . Can love survive when worlds collide and threaten time itself?

My Thoughts:
First and foremost I'll start by saying I have not finished this book. I've read to page 150, and I'm sorry but I just can't read anymore - there are too many things that I found too unrealistic or annoying about the book. I'm going to attempt to explain myself, so there WILL be spoilers, so don't read this if you're planning to read it soon and don't wish to be spoiled! Also, I'm sorry if it's harsh - I don't think it is but I don't know how to explain myself in any other way, and I promise I don't mean to  be!
__________

What I didn't like (I've narrowed it down to the three main points - not the nit-picking subtle ones, in an effort not to sound too mean):

Instalove:
Gahh, there is SO much instalove in this book! With Seth especially. When Seth meets Livia, he's instantly completely besotted with her. He can't stop thinking about her and it nearly kills him, LITERALLY. He's a gladiator, fighting for his life in the arena and all he can think about is some girl he met for five minutes, just a few minutes before. And yeah, Livia is also completely in love with Seth despite already being engaged to another man.

There's also the instalove between Omar and Eva, back in 2012 at St. Magdelene's. I couldn't help but feel like it's another case of the unattainable guy (this time because he's already got a girlfriend) falling for the new girl just because she's a little bit different to everyone else. He kisses her, and Eva was completely blind to it, but I saw it coming from a mile off.

Which brings me to my next point...

Predictability:
This book is so easy to predict, and I'm BAD at predicting plot lines. I saw almost every major plot twist before it happened, and it disappointed me that it didn't go off in some wacky and interesting direction - that I was right and that rather basic plot twist that I thought up very quickly was what actually happened...

Unlikeable characters:
I don't know what it was about them, but I just really didn't like most (but not all) of the characters. Seth was too caught up in his undying love for Livia, and I just wanted to slap some sense into him. He was after a girl who was completely out of his reach, (that much was made clear at the beginning) yet he still lusted after her and in the end they got together, even though that was completely forbidden between slaves/gladiators and the higher class Romans. Livia fell for Seth like a rock through water - she didn't even know him. (I won't say anymore or I'll repeat the instalove paragraph again). Then Livia's mum, Flavia, was just gross in her, um, fascination with Seth... :S

__________

There were things/people I liked, like Eva and Matthias, and the whole concept of the book was interesting and I really wanted to like it, but the bad far outweighed the good and I just don't have time to read a book I'm not enjoying when I have so much else to read. However, I seem to be in the minority of people who don't like this - every other review of this I have read was 3 stars or above, so please don't just take my word for it! If it sounds like something you'd enjoy, give it a go, and let me know what you think! I'm interested to know :)

Other reviews: 
The Overflowing Library
Fragments of Life
Best Books
Feeling Fictional

Friday, 20 April 2012

Announcement! May is Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month!


I have an announcement to make! The awesome Daph from Loving Books and I have been plotting something (hopefully) very exciting for the whole month of May - basically, it's a month where you try extra extra hard to make a dent in your review TBR pile! The last month or so I've been in a bit of a funk and I haven't read as much as I'd like to, and Goodreads keeps telling me I'm six or seven books behind on my target so I'm hoping this month will help both you and us! And the best thing? You can join in too! :D

We've got some really exciting things planned - international giveaways for all participants, Q&As with other bloggers on how they tackle their TBRs, their thoughts on NetGalley and loads of other tips and interesting things about being a book reader and reviewer! And if you're finding it difficult to find the time to read and review, we've got a readathon and a reviewathon planned out so you won't be alone!

The dates for these 'thons are as follows:
Readathon: 11th - 13th - make sure you have this weekend free so you can read and read and read!
Reviewathon: 18th - 20th - this is to give you that extra push needed to review all those books you read in the readathon ;P

Not a blogger?
That's fine! The whole point of the month is to get the reading out of the way to make room for all the awesome new books that are coming out in summer, so you don't have to be a blogger/reviewer to take part. You can just do all the reading and skip the reviewing - maybe even read more because of it :)

So, are you up for it? From May 1st to May 31st, a whole month of everything bookish - from reading to reviewing! Hopefully you can reduce your TBR pile, get some of those books that have been neglected read and reviewed, so everyone's happy. But the most important thing - we want to have lots of bookish fun! Kick-off post with more information and a tentative schedule goes up on May 1st - we can't wait to see you then! :D

Cheezyfeet Books
Want to grab our button?

Any questions? Tweet either me at @CheezyfeetBooks or Daph at @lvngbooks, or just leave a comment!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

In My Mailbox #47

I'm back with another In My Mailbox! :) Also, I just wanted to introduce you to my new design! I made it myself and I'm so proud - let me know what you think in the comments! Now, let's get onto the books I've received lately :)

FOR REVIEW




Unrest by Michelle Harrison (Finished copy, Simon & Schuster, 26th April 2012)
The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo (Proof, Indigo, 7th June 2012)
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (US proof, HarlequinTEEN, 24th April 2012) *signed*


Ahh I'm SO excited to read this, and it's signed!! :D 

GIFTED/BORROWED


Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Gifted from Vickie @ ComaCalm)
Dead Rules by RS Russell (Gifted from Laura @ SisterSpooky)
Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers (Borrowed from Iffath @ Painting With Words)
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (Borrowed from Iffath @ Painting With Words)

On Friday, I went to a launch party in London, for Sarwat Chadda's new book, Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress. So I bought a copy of that and got it signed, and got some signed swag too - so if I have a giveaway up any time soon you might see them in the prizes! ;D 

  
I forgot to put the border around the picture on the right... >.< annoying!

So that's everything I have received since my last In My Mailbox, what did you get in yours? Let me know in the comments and leave me a link! :D 

Thanks to HarlequinTEEN/MIRA Ink, Indigo, Simon & Schuster, Vickie, Laura and Iffath for everything I received! <3

Friday, 13 April 2012

Book Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Starters (Starters, #1)
Title: Starters 
Author: Lissa Price
Series: Starters, #1
Pages: 336
Publisher: Doubleday
Date of Publication: 5th April 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .

My Thoughts:
Having read a whole bunch of mediocre dystopian recently, my expectations for Starters really weren't very high. I'd heard it was good, but then I'd also heard that other books like it were good, and then I read those and they weren't as good as I'd hoped so for this I didn't really expect much. And maybe it was because of that, I don't know, but I was blown away by this. I absolutely, one hundred percent, loved every second of reading this. Ah-maze-ing.

The concept of Starters is weird. Very, very weird. I don't know whether it's been done before, but I've never read anything like it. People in the future can live until they're 150, maybe 200 (I can't remember exactly). Of course, their bodies get all wrinkly and old and withered, so they've discovered a way in which they can use their mind to hire out teenagers bodies and go skiing, clubbing, climbing, etc. I don't know about you, but I'd HATE for an old person to be inhabiting my body for a day, let alone a week or a month... :S

With Callie, something goes wrong, and that's where the story begins. She wakes up inside her body, one week into a month long rental. Something's gone wrong, and she doesn't know what, and then she finds out that her body is being used for murder. This whole idea fascinated me. I was so intrigued by how everything worked that I could have quite happily read up about it, if it were actually possible, because the nerdy side of me really wanted to understand, to see if I could work out what went wrong and how they could fix it. Super nerdy, and rather sad, I know, but whatever ;P

I really liked Callie. She had a mind of her own, even when she was being rented by Helena, and she stood up for herself when she needed to. She didn't let Helena control her, and despite being scared out of her mind when she woke up for the first time in her own body, she kept up the appearance of being a rental and made sure that noone suspected anything, which must have taken a lot of guts and a lot of brains. Her love for her brother was awesome - she looked out for him and thought of him in everything she did, and she did what she could to make sure he was safe and as healthy as possible.

The plot was fast paced and exciting, and literally, there was always something happening. There was no time for dawdling - I found it difficult to put down because I couldn't leave it hanging, I NEEDED to know what happened next, what the outcome of this would be, who was REALLY in the body of a sixteen-year-old boy over there. Had I not had a mountain of homework and revision, I would have read it in one sitting, definitely.

Starters was an amazing read, and I can't believe it's a debut. I'm now eagerly awaiting the sequel, Enders - the ending is awful (cliffhanger!!)! I MUST know what happens next... ;P I'd recommend this to any fans of YA dystopian - especially if you're a bit bored of it right now, I found it read more like a thriller that happened to be dystopian, than a book with dystopia as the main focus, if that makes sense. Also, if you go and see The Hunger Games, the book trailer plays before the film, so look out for it! :D

*Huge 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.
Also big thanks to NetGalley for allowing me access to the egalley! :) 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Book Review: Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs

Fins Are ForeverTitle: Fins Are Forever
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Series: Fins, #2
Pages: 298
Publisher: Templar
Date of Publication: 1st April 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mer girl, true, but signing the renunciation paperwork will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being human thing once and for all.

Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer-bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?

The seafoam on the surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up. Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her dreams?

My Thoughts:
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll probably know that I absolutely loved the first book in this series - Forgive My Fins - when I read it last year. I was on the blog tour for it, and I just thought it was absolutely brilliant. It was cute and funny and just one of those books you can get lost in for a few hours (because they don't take long to read ;P ) and then feel all warm and mushy inside once you've finished them, because they are so adorable. And Fins Are Forever was much the same - absolutely brilliant.

Once I'd started reading, I quickly fell in love with Tera's writing all over again. Despite having not read any of her books for almost a year, I quickly made up another vivid picture of the places in which Lily was visiting in the book, and again, Thalassinia was amazing. I don't think I've ever been able to imagine a fictional place so well!

I thought Lily has grown up a lot in this book. In my review of Forgive My Fins, I said that I thought Lily was a bit self-centred and a tiny bit blind... But in Fins Are Forever, she thought more about others, and I think her decision to leave behind Thalassinia and live on land with Quince has forced her to mature and think for others and not just herself for once, and especially once Dosinia had arrived.

While I don't really like Dosinia, she made the story really interesting. I was always wondering what she was going to do next, what trouble she was going to get herself into... And while I kind of saw it coming, I didn't mind because her snide remarks and Lily's annoyance at her made me giggle. All the undersea insults and comebacks sounded so silly (like 'guppy') yet they took it seriously... It was funny, okay? ;P

I liked the plot in this - I got to learn more about how Thalassinia and the mer kingdom worked. It was nice to have it set equally in the sea and on land, and while I think I saw most of the plot coming (well, *some* of it) it was still good to read about - these books are pure fun, and it's awesome :D

Overall, Fins Are Forever wasn't quite as good as Forgive My Fins but it was still an awesome addition to the series that has left me eagerly awaiting the next one. I'd recommend to younger fans of YA fiction, or someone looking for something short and cute that they can lose themselves in for a few hours before resurfacing feeling light-hearted and happy ;P (Cheesy, I know! xD )

*Thanks to Templar Publishing for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Book Review: The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

The Last Echo (The Body Finder #3)
Title: The Last Echo
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Body Finder series, #3
Pages: 358
Publisher: Headline
Date of Publication: 29th March 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: In the end, all that’s left is an echo.

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice.

When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye....

There may be tiny, tiny, tiny spoilers... Sorry but I went into a little bit of a rant concerning Jay and Rafe ;P

My Thoughts:
When I read the first two books in The Body Finder series this time last year, it was one of my favourites I'd read in a long long while, so when I finally got my grubby little hands on a copy of The Last Echo, I was so excited. I started it as soon as I could.

However, there was something about the beginning that was a little off for me. I think it's probably because I didn't really know what was going on because I'd completely forgotten everything that had happened at the end of the last book, and I'd forgotten who everyone apart from Violet, Jay and Rafe were. There were all these names, all these people and I couldn't for the life of me remember who they were... After about 50 pages it started coming back to me, but before reading this I'd recommend a recap of the first two books, or a reread if possible ;)

The plot of this book was amazing. I loved it. There's a killer - a man who's collecting girls to try and make them love him. He wants a girlfriend, and he's picking them out from the streets, stealing them from their homes and tying them up, painting their nails, and then killing them when he realises that they're not going to love him. He's the slimiest, creepiest, and most shiver-inducing characters I've ever read about. Seriously, he made me feel sick. Eurgh I don't know why I was affected so much by him, but I literally had nightmares about him. *shudder*

Of course though, this made for really exciting reading. It felt like I read the last 100 pages of the book in about 10 minutes (in reality it was probably about 50 minutes, but whatever) because I just could not put it down. I was glued to the pages, needing to make sure that the characters would be all right, that the Girlfriend Collector would not come out victorious. If I'd had the time to read the whole book in one sitting, I would have, just like I did with the first two books - Kimberly's writing had everything I expected from it.

My only complaint, and the reason it lost a half a star, is that THERE IS NOT ENOUGH JAY. There was far too much Rafe and not nearly enough Jay. Violet and Jay were the most adorable couple ever, and the threat of a love triangle emerging really, really annoyed me. Why do you have to ruin a perfect relationship that makes a perfect book, with a completely unnecessary and book-ruining love triangle (not that it did, Violet stays faithful I PROMISE)?! I don't have anything against them (believe it or not) but I think that ONLY when it adds to the story, and I don't think any potential relationship with Rafe would have made the book better. Violet and Jay belong together, and these books would never be as good if they're not. And that's all I'll say, it's already getting quite rant-ish ;P

The Last Echo had (almost) everything I expected from it (the almost being for Jay, of course). It was a fast-paced, action-packed mystery thriller, and I loved it. This series continues to be one of my favourites, and I'm hanging on the edge of my seat, waiting for the final book in the series, which isn't coming out for ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR. It's too long to wait, seriously, I don't know how I will survive. I recommend this series if you haven't started it already - you will NOT be disappointed! :D

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

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Book Review: Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellcaster (Spellbound, #2)
Title: Spellcaster
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Series: Spellbound, #2
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Date of Publication: 27th March 2012
Source: NetGalley*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Finding your eternal soulmate - easy.

Stopping a true-love-hungry evil - not so much…

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although...it's not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close....

But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in ├╝ber-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

My Thoughts:
The first book in this series, Spellbound was awesome. I really really loved it, but I thought it was a standalone - so you can imagine my excitement when I found out there was going to be a sequel. It started off a little slowly, but after the first five chapters or so, I really started to enjoy it.

I can't really remember much about the first book, to be honest, but as I was reading I sort of felt like I didn't really need to know. There was some referring back to 'what happened with Antony' and it took me a while to remember what that was and I guess that could be annoying for people who haven't read the first book, but the story in the book stands by itself, I think.

One of the few things I do remember from the last book, was Emma and her snarky and sarcastic personality, and that definitely wasn't missing from Spellcaster. Even at the worst of times, she made me laugh and I had no doubt that she'd get through. She was face to face with someone who could easily kill her, yet she still had time to come up with witty remarks and comebacks that lightened up some pretty appalling situations.

I liked that in this book we got to learn more about the witches of Emma's world. She comes into her powers (sort of) and it was amusing when she tried spells that went wrong, or when she accidentally performed spells on her friends at school. She had her ups and downs with the spells, and it was nice to read about someone who wasn't amazing at spells even though she's only known she was a witch for a short amount of time, like some leads in books.

The reason I didn't give this book five stars, only four, was because I didn't nearly enjoy it as much as the first one. I ADORED the first one, absolutely loved it. This one, I just really really liked. I don't think there was anything majorly different about it, I just think that the continuation of the story was unnecessary - the first one as a standalone worked fine, and while I'm glad this one was written, it didn't need to be, and it ruined the first book a teeny tiny bit for me.

Overall though, I really enjoyed Spellcaster and I think fans of the first book will love it. If you haven't read the series, you should! They're great for fans of YA paranormal - they're like Gossip Girl with a paranormal twist, they say ;) It really reminded me of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, so if you loved that, you'll love this!

*Huge thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for allowing me access to this galley in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Monday, 2 April 2012

New Releases in April 2012

Here are all the awesome new YA releases coming out in April! :D

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)  Fins Are Forever  Fever

A Million Suns by Beth Revis (Penguin, 5th April 2012)
Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs (Templar, 1st April 2012)
Fever by Dee Shulman (Penguin, 5th)


  Starters (Starters, #1)  Crave (The Clann #1)


When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle (Simon & Schuster, 26th April 2012)
Starters by Lissa Price (Random House, 5th April 2012)
Crave by Melissa Darnell (MIRA Ink, 6th April 2012)


Unrest  The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)  172 Hours on the Moon


Unrest by Michelle Harrison (Simon & Schuster, 26th April 2012)
The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams (Simon & Schuster, 26th April 2012)
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (ATOM, 5th) 


All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)    Breaking Beautiful


All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin (Macmillan, 6th April 2012)
Black Arts by Prentice and Weil (David Fickling Books, 5th April 2012)
Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf (Walker, 24th April 2012)


The Calling  The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)  Glimmer


The Calling by Kelley Armstrong (ATOM, 5th April 2012)
The Immortal Rules by Julia Kagawa (Harlequin TEEN, 24th April 2012)
Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis (Balzer + Bray, 17th April 2012)


The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)  Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)  The Intern


The Death Cure by James Dasher (Chicken House, 5th April 2012)
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 3rd April 2012)
The Intern by Dillon Khan (Puffin, 5th)


Storybound (Storybound #1)  Thou Shalt Not Road Trip  My Scorching Summer Diary


Storybound by Marissa Burt (HarperCollins Children's, 3rd April 2012)
Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John (Dial Books, 12th April 2012)
My Scorching Summer Diary by Liz Rettig (Corgi Children's, 1st April 2012

Sunday, 1 April 2012

March 2012 Round-Up

Hey! Welcome to my monthly round-up post for March - I remembered! ;) This is where I'll just post all the books I've read this month, what I liked, what I didn't like, what I'm excited for next month, and all stuff like that! So, here's everything I've read this month!

Forgiven (The Demon Trappers, #3)  Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)  Spellcaster (Spellbound, #2)

1. Forgiven by Jana Oliver
2. Fever by Lauren Destefano
3. Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
4. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
5. Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins
6. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
7. Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz 

So I didn't really read all that much this month... I was hoping to read more but lately I've been doing other things instead, even though I don't want to be. Mostly Twitter, to be honest, I just can't keep off it! I'm hoping to read more in April, because the first two weeks of it are the Easter holidays (woo!) so I'll have plenty of time, in theory ;)

Here's my monthly maths: 

Number of pages read in March: 2467
Average number of pages per book: 352

The honour of favourite book of the month goes to...

SPELL BOUND by Rachel Hawkins

Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3)

My review is posted here.

What am I looking forward to reading in April? Lots! But here's what I especially can't wait for:

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)  Fins Are Forever  Starters (Starters, #1)

So do any of you remember I said I'd post who commented the most on my posts this month? Yeah, I forgot too... ;P But I thought I'd count up anyway, see who it was ;D And it was...

Raimy-rawr!

Thanks for commenting! *hugs* I got more comments this month than last month, do you think it was this? I don't - I think it was just coincidence to be honest... Oh well, I'll keep counting up the comments, it only takes a couple of minutes ;) 

Thanks for reading! Leave me a comment about anything you read here, or if you just wanted to say something, etc... I love comments so seriously, just say whatever (but be nice ;P ) I hope you all had a great March and I wish you a happy April! :D
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