Thursday, 31 May 2012

B&DERM: Final Wrap-Up!



Hello! This is the final post for Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month! We hope you enjoyed it, we certainly did! Hopefully you managed to make a dent in your towering TBRs and get some reviews written have been sitting waiting for ages. I didn't get as much as reading done as I'd have like, due to revision and schoolwork, but I think it's definitely helped to know other people are reading as much as they can too!

What I read this month:
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo
Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

Like I said, with revision and everything, I think I've done pretty well! I'm also part-way through The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead, but there's no way I'll finish that tonight so I won't count it...

What have you read this month?
This is the part where you tell us what you read! Make a post and link below, or just leave a comment letting us know what you read, what you thought, if you read more than usual, etc etc. We really want to know if this helped anyone!

What have you reviewed this month?
Also, don't forget to leave links to all the reviews you've posted for books read this month! We want to read them, see if there's anything we've missed that we really must read! Link up reviews and wrap-up posts in the linky below in the format:

Your name: Book Title/Wrap Up
eg. Bella: Fall For Anything (or Bella: Wrap Up) 

__________

__________

So, that's it! Remember, all reviews linked up make you eligible for giveaways! (links below) :D The winners will be announced next week sometime, probably... Leave us a comment telling us what you thought of the whole month, and we really hope you enjoyed it! THANK YOU all for taking part and if you missed it, where were you?! Just kidding - maybe we'll do it again? Who knows! 

In case you missed it:
The other B&DERM posts so far:
Kickoff! Bella | Daph
Blogger Q&A #1: How do you tackle your TBR pile?
Weekly Wrap-up and International Giveaway #1
Blogger Q&A #2: Finding the time for Reading and Reviewing
Weekly Wrap-up #2 and UK Giveaway #1
Blogger Q&A #3: Do You Have a Review Format? 
Weekly Wrap-up #3 and International Giveaway #2
Blogger Q&A #4: Deciding What Books to Read
Weekly Wrap-up #4 and UK Giveaway #2

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

B&DERM: Q&A #5: All about NetGalley



Hello! Welcome to the fifth and last B&DERM question and answer post! I have one question and answers from five awesome bloggers, as well as your hosts, Daph from Loving Books and myself! We hope they'll be interesting for you ;) This week's question is...

If you use NetGalley, do you tackle that TBR the same way as you tackle your physical TBR pile? Do you prioritise one over the other?

Stacey from Pretty Books:
I tend to tackle them in the exact same way - e-galleys/proofs/review copies are all on my schedule, but I'll be honest and say that I tend to give priority to physical copies. This is because they're mostly from publishers that I've personally talked to, and so I'd feel bad if I neglected them for too long. I do love to get my NetGalley list down though! It's nice to switch between formats too.

Ashley from What's Your Story?:
I don’t treat my Netgalley titles any differently than a normal review book. They go onto my Kindle (which is my designated review book e-reader), and then they also go up onto my big easel pad of need-to-be-reviewed by their release date. I read all of my review books in the order of which is being released first.

Sara from Just Another Story:
I generally chose to read the physical copies books that I have. I do use NetGalley, but more often then not, those books are neglected. I do try to get to them, however it is not at often. I feel like SO many people are using NetGalley and that a lot of the same books are being read nad reviewed that it's ok if I miss them.

Amber from Books of Amber:
Ah, NetGalley... Usually, I just pick whatever takes my fancy because I often can't be bothered to look up the release date when I'm not online. I do sometimes read the shorter ones first, and sometimes I do look up the release date and I read the earlier ones first. I really need to sort this out, because my NG TBR is a mess right now.

Carina from Fictional Distraction:
While I try to read physical reviews copies from publishers and review copies from authors first, I really do my best to reduce my pile of NetGalley books. It's difficult to find a balance between everything, because on the one hand, I want to keep getting these awesome eGalleys, but on the other hand, there are review titles that just have to be read first. If only I could stop myself from requesting more and more NetGalley books... any ideas?

Daph from Loving Books:
I seriously hope someone has some tips for me to tackle this, because my NG TBR is ridiculous.. And I can't seem to be able to stop requesting new titles. Since the beginning of the year, I've tried to read galleys before the books are published, and it works, partly. I still read what strikes my interest without thinking about the releasedate, although now I also pay attention to the publication date. It's just.. Not fully implemented in my reading habits. Sometimes I'll get a new galley and immediately read that one, even though I still have like 5 galleys that come out this month, let alone all the other ones that I still haven't read. Yes, it's a problem!

Bella from Cheezyfeet Books:
I wish it wasn't like this, but my NetGalley books get neglected too. My physical review copies get priority, especially the proofs, then it's the already released review copies, and THEN it's NetGalley titles. I know I shouldn't treat them any differently but I guess because I can't actually see the books piling up, I forget about them, or I don't get around to reading them in time. Lately I've been good though and I only have 3 left to read, so at the moment it's going okay, though I have a lot of requests that haven't been accepted or declined yet, which could be very bad news for my TBR! ;)

__________

This is the last Q&A post for B&DERM! :( We hope you've enjoyed them and found them interesting if not useful too. The next B&DERM post will be the final wrap-up, with posts from both myself and Daph, so look out for those! :D Remember, if you haven't signed up yet, head over to the kick off post where you can add your name to the linky - there's still time! Grab the button too, if you want! :D There'll be a linky on Thursday for you to link up any reviews you've posted during the month, and don't forget to use the #BandDERM hashtag when tweeting about it on Twitter! :D Also, don't forget, all reviews linked up this month enter you into the giveaways mentioned below, and there are more coming too! ;D

In case you missed it:
The other B&DERM posts so far:
Kickoff! Bella | Daph
Blogger Q&A #1: How do you tackle your TBR pile?
Weekly Wrap-up and International Giveaway #1
Blogger Q&A #2: Finding the time for Reading and Reviewing
Weekly Wrap-up #2 and UK Giveaway #1
Blogger Q&A #3: Do You Have a Review Format? 
Weekly Wrap-up #3 and International Giveaway #2
Blogger Q&A #4: Deciding What Books to Read
Weekly Wrap-up #4 and UK Giveaway #2

Monday, 28 May 2012

Book Review: We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han


We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)Title: We'll Always Have Summer
Author: Jenny Han
Series: Summer, #3
Pages:  304
Publisher: Puffin
Date of Publication: 3rd May 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: One girl.

Two brothers.

The biggest decision of her life . . .


Just when she thought she had all the answers . . .

Isabel has only ever loved two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher.

One broke her heart; the other made her happier than she ever thought she'd be. But each brother is keeping a secret, and this summer Isabel must choose between the Fisher boys, once and for all. Which brother will it be?

My Thoughts:
This series really surprised me - I never expected to like it quite as much as did. It was one of my first YA contemporary reads and I wasn't really all that sure as to what I should expect, and to be honest, from the covers, it wasn't promising me too much. And then I loved it, and you can guess how I excited I was when this book, We'll Always Have Summer, dropped through my letterbox. I started reading almost immediately and only stopped because I had stupid revision for my stupid exams. Anyway.

However, I do think that this book was the weakest of the three. I loved that I could finally make my choice about which boy I thought was better, and it was great to see Belly making her choice, but I just found that the storyline itself felt really weird... I don't really know how to describe it. At first I thought that the book was the perfect ending, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised I wished it could have been a different way.

I'll attempt to explain myself but I'm not promising anything... For the majority of the book, Belly seems to have made her decision about which boy she will choose, Conrad or Jeremiah. I really wanted her to think about her decision, to not make a snap decision the moment one of them asks her something she thinks she really wants but doesn't really. She jumps to conclusions about her heart and while I think her response was realistic, I kind of really didn't like it. It's difficult to explain and I don't know if that makes sense, but basically it annoyed me that it happened that way and while I enjoyed reading it, looking back it wasn't that great.

And it makes me sad to say that, because I truly did enjoy this book, and saying that doesn't make me sound like I did, I know... Anyway, I'll shut up about that now, and tell you about what I did like. I loved being back in Belly's world - it felt so good! Seriously, to be back at Cousins (even though not much of it is actually set there) and 'spend time' with all the characters again felt great. There were sad bits and happy bits, good things and bad things, just as there always is, and it was awesome.

And of course, there were the boys. I've finally chosen which one I like better, and it's... CONRAD! I like Jeremiah enough, but Conrad's more exciting, more interesting, just all round a better character. Not to say I'd be disappointed with Jeremiah... ;P Aaand that's all I shall say ;D

While I didn't think this book was the perfect ending or the best in the series, it really is a very good read and a must for fans of this series, and ultimately the ending is the right one. If you haven't started the series, you should! If you're worried about not enjoying it because you've not read much contemporary, you should try and see what you think! I promise this series is more than just a bunch of pretty covers.

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


Saturday, 26 May 2012

B&DERM: Wrap-up #4 and UK Giveaway


Hey! The fourth(ish) week of May is now over and it's time for our fourth wrap-up post for Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month! Hopefully you've managed to make a dent in your TBR pile - a bigger one than I have! :) 

What I read:
I've only read one book in the last two weeks - and that was The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo (called Shadow and Bone in the US). I've had my first exams (and they went well, I think) but I've still got revision to do so I probably won't get much else read! But, I have read 60 pages of Fall For Anything by Courtney Summer, which isn't a review book, but shhh ;P 

What have you read this week?
Leave a comment below telling us what you read this week and what you thought of it, etc etc! Or, you can write your own wrap-up post and link up in the linky below :) 

Written any reviews for books you've read this month?
If you have, link them below! They'll make you eligible for a giveaway ;P A couple sentences on Goodreads or Shelfari or Facebook, or a full review on your blog or wherever is awesome! :) Just remember to link up in the format:

Your name: Book Title
eg. Bella: The Gathering Dark
__________



__________

And now for the UK giveaway!
If you've linked up any reviews in the linky above, signed up in the main kick-off post, and you live in the UK, you are eligible for this giveaway! One winner can choose from these prizes:

A signed UK paperback of The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
A signed UK paperback of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
A UK paperback of Department 19 by Will Hill
A UK paperback of Fever by Lauren Destefano

The prize will (probably) come with an assortment of signed and unsigned swag :)

As I have now run two giveaways - some of these prizes may already have been claimed in the first giveaway. As I have not contacted the winner yet, I do not know which book they would like so these prizes are subject to change (in that one of them may not be available).

I know the prizes aren't great, but it's everything I have to offer! Again, I'm sorry it's not open internationally, but there are and will be international B&DERM giveaways too!



In case you missed it:
The other B&DERM posts so far:
Kickoff! Bella | Daph
Blogger Q&A #1: How do you tackle your TBR pile?
Weekly Wrap-up and International Giveaway #1
Blogger Q&A #2: Finding the time for Reading and Reviewing
Weekly Wrap-up #2 and UK Giveaway #1
Blogger Q&A #3: Do You Have a Review Format? 
Weekly Wrap-up #3 and International Giveaway #2
Blogger Q&A #4: Deciding What Books to Read

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Book Review: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

When You Were Mine
Title: When You Were Mine 
Author: Rebecca Serle
Series: Standalone
Pages:  352
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: 26th April 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Rosaline has been best friends with Rob since they were little kids. Recently, something deeper and more electric has entered their friendship, and when Rob returns after the summer break and asks Rosaline on a sort-of date, it seems they are destined to become a couple, just as Rosaline always knew they would be. The next day at school, a mysterious, beautiful girl arrives: Rosaline's long-lost cousin, Juliet. And suddenly it looks as if Rosaline might be about to lose her best friend AND her new boyfriend…

This review is kind of spoilery. Not anything you couldn't guess from it being a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, but still it's kind of spoilery. But only a bit.

My Thoughts:
This book was amazing. I loved it so much more than I thought I would. I wasn't sure about the book at first, seeing as I'm not really a fan of Romeo & Juliet but the synopsis sounded pretty good and it was getting amazing reviews so I decided to see what all the fuss was about, and I'm so glad I did!

When You Were Mine tells the story of Rosaline and Rob - Rosaline and Romeo - before Juliet comes along, and it was nice to get a different take on possibly the most famous love story of all time. I haven't read Romeo & Juliet since we read it at primary school, so I don't really know much apart from the basic storyline, so I don't know if there is a romance between Rose and Romeo before Juliet... I could look it up, but I'm lazy so I'm not going to...

Once the story got started I could not stop reading. I was wide awake one night so I planned to read around twenty pages just to send me off to sleep... And I read 110 in about an hour. It hooked me in and I couldn't stop reading! I loved that we didn't meet Juliet properly until quite a way into the book, so that Rebecca Serle could really build up a relationship between Rose and Rob that we could root for, only to shoot it down once Juliet arrived, and it was this relationship between Rose and Rob - their easy friendship - that sucked me in.

I was kind of worried that I wouldn't be sad when Juliet came along - that I wouldn't be sad that Rose and Rob's relationship was falling apart. I don't know why, but I didn't exactly expect to be so affected by Juliet... I guess up until that point it has just felt like a short and sweet romance that I love while reading, but in the end I'd probably forget it. But once Juliet appeared I knew that wasn't the case. Seriously, I *hated* her. Eurgh, she was horrid... She stole away Rob from Rose without a second thought, and all for her own gain. I don't think I've hated a character as much as I hated her for a very long time.

So as you can guess, the whole way through I was rooting for Rose and Rob, and though I knew what would happen at the end, because of course it's based on Romeo & Juliet, I was hoping and wishing that it wouldn't end in the same way, but it does. And while that might be a spoiler, I think it's pretty obvious so I'm sorry if you didn't realise... But the ending broke my heart. Honestly, I was right there with Rose, feeling like if she hadn't said this to a particular person at that point in time, it would have ended differently; she could have saved both Rob and Juliet... *sigh*

Anyway, this book is incredible. It makes you happy to see Rose and Rob happy, and then Juliet comes along and you're right there with Rose, feeling crappy because Juliet's stolen the thing you want most. Then it looks like it'll all be alright again, and then it isn't. It's horrid, but at the same time it's everything you want from a book. I absolutely freaking loved it! I would most definitely recommend to all YA contemp fans, or if you're just looking for a really good read, because it will hook you in and won't let you go until you've read the very last page.

*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! 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

B&DERM: Q&A #3: Do you have a review format?


Hello! Welcome to the third B&DERM question and answer post! I have one question and answers from five awesome bloggers, as well as your hosts, Daph from Loving Books and myself! We hope they'll be interesting for you ;) This week's question is...

Do you have a particular format or way of reviewing (for example, talking about characters, then setting, then plot, etc for every book you read) or do you just write whatever comes to mind for each particular book?

Stacey from Pretty Books:
It's different for every book. I always provide a spoiler-free summary and then just talk about what I enjoyed, which may be the plot, or the characters, or the world-building, or the writing. I tend to write one sentence at the end to summarise how I felt about the book overall and then give the book a rating out of five (which I think is good for people who don't want to read the review yet but want to know whether I enjoyed the book or not).

Ashley from What's Your Story?:
I really just write whatever comes to mind. I guess I follow a general format, but I don’t do it consciously. I just write about the things I notice in books, like the main character, the plot, the mythology if there is any. You know, the big stuff. Anything I really liked, or really hated.

Sara from Just Another Story:
In my opinion you need to have some kind of format to write review. The most important part of a novel for me are the characters and the plot. That is what I like to write about when I am reviewing a book. I also like to talk about how the author excecuted their plot. The writing- I discuss whether it was a well written novel or not. Sometimes it's willy nilly. But I try to be as organised as possible.

Amber from Books of Amber:
When I jot down notes after reading the book, I break it up into sections: Plot, Pacing, Characters, Writing Style. After I've written down the notes, I write the review on the computer and even more stuff tends to come spilling out.

Carina from Fictional Distraction:
I think I've developed some kind of format for my reviews during the last year, but that's mostly unintentional. At first I always sum up my opinion about it (especially for those people who don't want to read an elaborate review, but just an overview) and then I usually talk about the characters. But since these are influenced by the way the world they live in and the things that happen in the book, I end up talking about the most important aspects while I always trying my best to stay spoiler-free.

Daph from Loving Books:
Not really.. I usually point out things I liked and disliked and explain why. The things that jump out to me get attention, whether it's in a positive or negative way doesn't matter. If the characters are great but the world building wasn't all that, I'll say that in my review (often in the order it comes to mind. Hey, I never said my reviews were structured).

Bella from Cheezyfeet Books:
Not really! I just say whatever comes to mind - which, to be fair, is usually the characters, then the plot, and then anything else that stood out for me. I have no set way, but a lot of the time they come out in the same kind of format, if that makes sense. I guess it depends on the book too, and on how much I liked/didn't like it.

__________

The next Q&A post will be next week, over at Loving Books, and the next B&DERM post will be there too on Saturday! :D Remember, if you haven't signed up yet, head over to the kick off post where you can add your name to the linky! Grab the button too, if you want! :D There'll be a linky on Saturday for you to link up your reviews posted this week (12th-19th May), and there's a linky here for you to post reviews from last week (5th-11th May), and don't forget to use the #BandDERM hashtag when tweeting about it on Twitter! :D Also, don't forget, all reviews linked up this month enter you into the giveaways mentioned below, and there are more coming too! ;D

In case you missed it:
The other B&DERM posts so far:
Kickoff! Bella | Daph
Blogger Q&A #1: How do you tackle your TBR pile?
Weekly Wrap-up and International Giveaway #1
Blogger Q&A #2: Finding the time for Reading and Reviewing
Weekly Wrap-up and UK Giveaway #1

Friday, 11 May 2012

B&DERM: Wrap-up #2 and UK Giveaway



Hello! The first full week of May has gone by, and now it's time for our second Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month weekly wrap up post! We hope you got lots of review book reading done - I did, I think! :)


What I read:
So since the beginning of May, since I didn't do a wrap-up post for myself last week, I have read three books! I'm pretty proud of that, as I have exams coming up soon and I'm constantly revising (okay, that's more than a little bit of an overstatement - I'm maybe doing an hour and a half a night AND I have school ;P ) and so I have less reading time, but it's going okay. Here's what I've read and what I thought:

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han - A wonderfully lovely ending to an amazing series. Team Conrad!!
Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid - A completely different contemp to the WAHS - and nearly as good. The writing at the beginning was a little slow but the story was incredible and the journey the characters took was amazing.
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth - A post-apocalyptic novel about a girl who's addicted to getting struck by lightning. Awesome.


Let us know what you've been reading!
Leave a comment below telling us what you read and what you thought of it, or how many books you read, or whatever you want! Alternatively, you can write your own wrap-up post and link that in the linky down below!


There's a readathon!
So, as announced in the kick-off post, today is the start of our three-day weekend readathon! I'm not taking part (I might on Sunday for a little bit) because I've got a signing (to get your prizes signed, more on that below) and loads of revision and homework to do, but I'll be here, motivating you all to keep going! Daph will have a post with more about that later :)

Written any reviews this week?
There's a linky below - use it to link up your reviews! If you're not a blogger that's fine - a sentence or two on Goodreads or Shelfari or Facebook or wherever you document what you've read (just so we know you've read it) should be linked in the linky below, and by doing this, you'll be eligible for a UK only giveaway! (SORRY international peeps - I can't afford to send out books overseas! Daph has some international B&DERM giveaways running too though so don't you worry!)

In the linky, please link your name and review in this format:
Your name: Book Title
eg: Bella: We'll Always Have Summer
__________

__________

And now for the UK giveaway!
If you've linked up any reviews in the linky above, signed up in the main kick-off post, and you live in the UK, you are eligible for this giveaway! One winner can choose from these prizes:

A signed UK paperback of The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
A UK paperback of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
A UK paperback of Department 19 by Will Hill
A UK paperback of Fever by Lauren Destefano

The prize will (probably) come with an assortment of signed and unsigned swag :)

I know the prizes aren't great, but it's everything I have to offer! Again, I'm sorry it's not open internationally, but there are and will be international B&DERM giveaways too!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


In case you missed it:
The other B&DERM posts so far:
Kickoff! Bella | Daph
Blogger Q&A #1: How do you tackle your TBR pile?
Weekly Wrap-up and International Giveaway #1
Blogger Q&A #2: Finding the time for Reading and Reviewing

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)
Title: The Immortal Rules 
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden, #1
Pages: 485
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Date of Publication: 24th April 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

My Thoughts:
So, as you may (or may not) know, one of my favourite series EVER is The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. Her writing is flawless and her stories are weird and wonderful, and I could get lost in those books for hours without getting even slightly bored. So when I heard that she was writing a dystopian, with vampires, no less, I could hardly contain my excitement. Seriously, one of my favourite genres with my favourite of all paranormal creatures, written by one of my favourite authors? YES PLEASE!

Allison Sekemoto has to chose between becoming something she's hated her whole life, and death. She doesn't want to die so she chooses to become one of the evil, bloodsucking vampires that she has always hidden from. This decision in itself changed Allison's life and I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to have to live with hating the very thing that she has now become. I mean, not like she's a real person or anything... ;P

I really loved the plot. I loved how it changed and became something completely new by the end of the book, if that makes sense. At first, I thought it was going to be something that it totally wasn't, like, it changed in ways I didn't expect and that made it exciting and kept me hooked. It was great seeing how Allie tried to hide her vampireness from Zeke and Jeb and all the humans - and it was interesting how different a take on vampires Julie Kagawa took.

Which brings me to my next point. I felt that while reading The Immortal Rules, I was reading about a whole different species of vampire. Maybe it's just because I haven't actually read any proper vampire books where they are bloodsucking monsters (which is probably the case and I will admit that) but they are so much more interesting this way! Seriously, why I ever though sparkly vampires were awesome I have absolutely no idea...

There's more I could say, but not without spoiling it, so I'll just say this: If you're getting tired of young adult vampire books, pick this one up. It might just change your mind. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series, and it's just as good, if not better, than Kagawa's Iron Fey series. I'd recommend to fans of YA paranormal and/or dystopian, and if you're a fan of Julie Kagawa, it's definitely not one to miss!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent, #2
Pages: 525
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Date of Publication: 1st May 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

My Thoughts:
Oh my goodness me, this book was INCREDIBLE. I mean, I absolutely loved Divergent, so I was expecting this one to be good, but I didn't realise that it could be *that* good. Seriously, my mind is blown. As a result, I'm not sure how much sense this review will make, and it may well be extremely gushy. Sorry about that ;P

I'm going to start this by saying: THE END. OH MY DAYS, THE END. I had to sit and ponder for a while after I finished, just to make sure I had read what I thought I'd just read, and that I knew what actually happened, because I have to say it was a little bit confusing, and completely and utterly unexpected. Never in a million years would I EVER have guessed that that's what would happen, and now, almost two weeks after finishing it, I still can't quite get my head around it.

As in Divergent, Veronica Roth starts the book by throwing us straight into action, and it never stops until the very end. There were so many twists and turns, so many plot points, that there was no way that I could stop reading for fear of forgetting what had just happened and getting all confused, because it would have happened.  Like, I was staying up at night, reading, but I was so tired that I had to stop because I couldn't keep up with the story... So yeah, don't read if you're tired. ;P

I love Tris. I love her even more than I loved her in the first book. She became even more brave, even more determined even when she realised that she doesn't want to carry on fighting this war anymore, and she did everything she could to make the world right again. She risked her life so many times and it's so exciting! That sounds bad... But it is! The situations she finds herself in kept me on the edge of my seat all the time - I had no clue how she'd get out of them, and I had to keep reading to find out.

And Four (I REFUSE to call him Tobias - eurgh.)... Oh Four, I love you so much xD It was awesome that he opened up more in Insurgent, and it was great to get to know him better. Even though his relationship with Tris hit some rocky patches and it wasn't the easiest thing for them to maintain, I'm pleased to report that there's even more about him for you to love, so you won't be disappointed ;P

Overall, Insurgent completely blew Divergent out of the water. If you loved Divergent, trust me, you'll *adore* Insurgent. I promise you, you won't be disappointed! If you haven't read Divergent yet (and why not?!), I implore you to go out and buy it, and don't come back until you've read it. These books are a must read and I can't wait until the third and final book in the series is released so I can see where on earth Veronica Roth will take us next.

*HUGE thank you to Rosi at HarperCollins for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book! :) 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

B&DERM: Q&A #1: How do you tackle your TBR pile?


Hello! Welcome to the first B&DERM question and answer post! I have one question and answers from five awesome bloggers, as well as your hosts, Daph from Loving Books and myself! We hope they'll be interesting for you ;) This week's question is...

How do you tackle your TBR pile? Do you try to read everything before release date (if it’s a proof) or do you just read whatever takes your fancy? 

Stacey from Pretty Books:
I do try to read everything before/around the publication date but I'm failing miserably at the moment! I still have February books I've not gotten to. I read about 1-2 books a week, so it's difficult to catch up if I'm behind. I have a note on my phone with them all listed by publication date and I try to go through it in order. I do skip over some books sometimes if I'm not in the mood to read them, and I also prioritise others (for example, I'll definitely be reading Insurgent as soon as it arrives!).

Ashley from What's Your Story?:
I have a huge easel pad hanging on my wall, divided into months, and that’s where I list all my review books according to release date. It helps me keep track of everything and know what I need to read next. To keep my TBR down, especially my review books, I use my planner along with the big easel pad, and I plan out how many books I’ll try to read in a week. Sometimes I don’t meet the goal, but knowing I have a mini-TBR pile for the week really helps.

Sara from Just Another Story:
Every month I make a list of the books I am going to read that month. For the most part I consider the books that I have for review. As far as review books go, I prefer to have them done before the release date, and I make every effort to have them read and reviewed prior. Sometimes that doesn't happen. When it doesn't I have it read and reviwed the week of release.

Amber from Books of Amber:
I tend to read review copies in the month before they're released. If they're being released in July, then I'll read them in June. Sometimes this isn't possible because I don't get sent them soon enough, and in that case I try my hardest to get to them before the release date, or at least around the time of release.

Carina from Fictional Distraction:
I actually try to read everything before its release date, but with university coming in the way more than once, it doesn't really work out at the moment. Utmost priority have these books that I need to review for blog tours, then ARCs, then review copies of books that have already been released, then my own books. Needless to say, it's been a while since I've read one of my own books.

Daph from Loving Books:
I wouldn't call my reading tackling my TBR.. It's too big for that! I used to read everything just when I felt like it, but since the beginning of 2012 I've set up reading lists for each month and a list of all the galleys I have and their publication date. It helps me structure my reading, so I don't forget a certain book will come out in the next month. I try to make a mix of review books and my own books, but sometimes it's a bit off balance.I try to read all my review copies before they come out, but I'm not always able to.

Bella from Cheezyfeet Books:
I try and read all my proofs before release date, but most of the time this doesn't work! I try and read the books the month before publication - that way I can keep on top of everything I need to have read and reviewed... In theory. Sometimes though, if I don't get books in time or if I'm just not in the mood (which seems to be all the time recently) I'll just read whatever I want ;P

__________

The next Q&A post will be next week, over at Loving Books, and the next B&DERM post will be there too this Saturday! :D Remember, if you haven't signed up yet, head over to the kick of post where you can add your name to the linky! Grab the button too, if you want! :D There'll be a linky on Saturday for you to link up your reviews, and don't forget to use the #BandDERM hashtag when tweeting about it on Twitter! :D

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Bella and Daph's Epic Review Month: Kick-Off


Hello! Welcome to the kick-off post for Bella & Daph's Epic Review Month! May has finally arrived, so our month of reading and reviewing can get started - and so can yours! :D

If you missed the announcement, basically, Daph from Loving Books and I are using May as a chance to read and review as many review books as we can, to get our review piles down to make room for all of the awesome new releases coming out in the next couple of months. We decided to make it a feature, so you can join in too! If you don't have review books - that's fine - just read as much as you can! :D For more info go here or here.

Here's what I'm planning on reading...
Unrest by Michelle Harrison
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid
Rules of Attraction & Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
*whispers* And then I have some sneaky exceptions to the review only rule...
Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

We have a tentative schedule for you, so you'll know who's posting what and when:
Wednesdays: Q&As - with other bloggers about reading and reviewing!
Fridays and Saturdays: Weekly wrap-up days! This is where you'll link up reviews and check-up posts, etc.
Friday 11th: Readathon #1 - the whole weekend - join in when you can!
Saturday 19th: Readathon #2 - mini 24hrs for anyone who can't join in the first one.
Sat 26th & Sun 27th: Reviewathon - to catch up with all those pesky reviews :D

Sound good? We hope so! If you're still not sure, we have giveaways planned too, just in case you need that extra incentive ;P So...
Once you're all signed up and you've grabbed the button from below (not necessary, but you know, sharing is good and all that ;P ) then you can get reading! We'll have weekly check ups for you all, so you can see how we are doing, and we're hoping you'll link up reviews and any weekly check ups that you post throughout the month to keep us updated too! Check back here and at Loving Books too so you don't miss any posts, and most of all, HAVE FUN!! :D We'll see you soon! :D

Cheezyfeet Books

Next post: Q&A #1 - Cheezyfeet Books, Wednesday 2nd May.
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