Friday, 31 August 2012

August 2012 Round-Up

Hello! Welcome to my round up of everything I've read in August! I've done A LOT better this month than I did the last couple of months, put together, so yay for that! Here's what I've read:

Hollow Pike  Hunting Lila (Lila, #1)  Shift

1. Foretold by Jana Oliver
2. Speechless by Hannah Harrington
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
4. Slide by Jill Hathaway
5. Hollow Pike by James Dawson
6. Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
7. Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
8. The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
9. Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
10. Torn by Cat Clarke
11. Shift by Kim Curran
12. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
13. A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
14. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
15. Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson

YAY! I read more than 4 books this month :D I had a two week holiday in the middle of August, and I managed to read 14 books - a book a day! I also read half of Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts, and have started Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen or school. It won't be like this next month, I know that, but whatever, I'm proud of myself... Still 15 books behind my schedule though. Oh well! Next up, my monthly maths ;P 

Number of pages read this month: 5189
Average number of pages per book: 346

My favourite book of August was:

AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

My review will be posted... Um, soon. Ish.

These are the books I'm most looking forward to reading in September:

The Diviners  Zom-B (Zom-B, #1)  Breathe (Breathe, #1)

And lastly, a selection of new releases you can look forward to in September! Thanks for reading this post guys - let me know in the comments what your favourite read of August was, and what you're most looking forward to reading in September! 

Zom-B (Zom-B, #1)  Blackwood  Shift

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)    The Raven Boys

Thanks for reading! I hope you all had a great bookish August too :D



Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Strange Chemistry Launch Party!

So, last Thursday, the 23rd August, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Strange Chemistry launch party. I thought I'd write up a little account of what happened there and tell you a little bit about what Strange Chemistry is, if you've not heard of it before!

Strange Chemistry

Strange Chemistry is a new exclusively YA imprint of Angry Robot books. They publish all kinds of YA - 'science fiction, fantasy and everything in between'. The first books from the imprint, Shift by Kim Curran and Blackwood by Gwenda Bond are launched in September, with more books coming each month following. Visit their website here to find out more!

About the event...
I met up with Liz from Planet Print and we walked around to The British Library, where the event was held. We met Nina from Death, Books and Tea and lots of other bloggers while we mingled with publicists and authors, chatting about good books and drinking wine, or in my case, water ;P Anyway, once we'd mingled for a while we were led into a room where we were told a little bit about Strange Chemistry and the books they would be publishing.

There were three readings - the first from Kim Curran, author of Shift (which is a BRILLIANT book if you haven't yet read it!), the second from Jonathon L. Howard, who wrote Katya's World, and then lastly, we had an exclusive reading from Laura Lam, the author of Pantomime, which isn't coming out until 2013 but sounds absolutely fantastic!

After that, we mingled some more, helped ourselves to the proofs and finished copies of the five lead titles (which I will tell you about below) and had some, um, interesting canapes... I'm sure they were very good canapes, if you like that kind of thing! I talked to Kim Curran and got my copy of Shift signed, and also had a great chat with Non Pratt from Catnip Books. Then it came to 8:15 and I had to leave to catch my train, but it really was a great evening and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to go!

A HUGE thank you goes to Amanda Rutter, the editor of Strange Chemistry for setting up and organising the whole event, it was amazing! I look forward to reading the forthcoming titles, so look out for my reviews in the future... Now, onto the books!

4th September:

ShiftShift by Kim Curran
When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he's not so average after all. He's a 'Shifter'. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he's ever made. 

At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed.

In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.



BlackwoodBlackwood by Gwenda Bond
On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America’s oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance.



4th October:

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings
15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection.

In fact, there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life.



The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. And when Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn’t really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.

To break the curse, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks—all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic, and the growing romantic tension between them.


8th November:

Katya's World by Jonathon L. Howard
The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean. It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it. But wars leave wounds that never quite heal, and secrets that never quite lie silent.

Katya Kuriakova doesn’t care much about ancient history like that, though. She is making her first submarine voyage as crew; the first nice, simple journey of what she expects to be a nice, simple career.

There is nothing nice and simple about the deep black waters of Russalka, however; soon she will encounter pirates and war criminals, see death and tragedy at first hand, and realise that her world’s future lies on the narrowest of knife edges. For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping monster, an abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet.

So, those are Strange Chemistry's lead five titles! A full list of their forthcoming titles can be found here.

And lastly, I have a little something for you! Amanda kindly gave me a goody bag full of little goodies and a couple of books to give away to one of you lucky readers! The bag contains a finished copy of Blackwood by Gwenda Bond and a proof copy of Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings. It also has some glow in the dark stars, pirate bubbles, a unicorn rubber, some flying saucers, and a Milky Way. Oh... And an Angry Robot USB stick, that contains:
       - The first 50 pages of Broken by AE Rought, coming out in January
       - The first 80 pages of Pantomime by Laura Lam, coming out in February
       - The first 50 pages of Shift, Blackwood, Poltergeeks, The Assassin's Curse, and Katya's World
       - Cover images of all books
And... It could be yours! Just enter the competition below, to be in with a chance of winning. Due to the large package, I can only open this giveaway to residents of the UK, sorry if you're international! The contest will run for a month, and there will be one winner. Thanks for reading and entering!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Book Review: Shift by Kim Curran

ShiftTitle: Shift
Author: Kim Curran
Series: N/A
Pages: 416
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date of Publication: September 4th 2012
Source: Publisher via NetGalley*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he's not so average after all. He's a 'Shifter'. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he's ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.

My Thoughts:
I must admit, I read Shift only because nothing else was taking my fancy. I was on holiday, and had left the books that I really wanted to read at home, so I was just searching through my Kindle, looking for something to read, and I thought, 'Why not?'. So I started reading with not too many expectations - expecting it to be a good, solid read, but not thinking it would become one of my favourite books of my holiday. And... If I had to rank the 14 books I read in those two weeks, Shift would most definitely appear in the top three! It was amazing.

The book doesn't take long to get started - we are quickly introduced to Scott's mysterious power to shift realities around him and change the decisions he made before they go badly wrong. Sound confusing? It kind of really is. It took me a little while to get to grips with shifting and even longer for me not to get confused as to what was going on, but soon I'd worked out what was happening and could just run with it. It took so many twists and turns and was so exciting that there was no way I could put it down because something would happen and I'd need to know how on earth Scott and Aubrey were going to get out of the tricky situations they kept managing to get themselves into.

I loved how there was an air of mystery throughout the whole book. I could never work out who were the good guys and who were the bad guys, and my thoughts kept changing as I read further and further into the book. I'd be sure I knew exactly who was who and what Scott needed to do and who to make friends with to be on the good side, and then some huge event would happen and everything would be turned upside down. Again. I couldn't keep up and eventually I just stopped guessing in favour of just reading and finding out as it went along.

The main character, Scott, was great. It was nice to read about a such a refreshingly normal character, even though he wasn't really normal at all, seeing that he could flip realities to his own accord... Anyhoo, I found him super easy to relate to because I could see his confusion over his new power, and because I had no idea what was going on either I found him easy to connect to. As he learnt what was going on, so did I, and it was nice to feel like I was at the same point as the character - that I knew just as much as he did and I wasn't patronised by the writing at all. I don't know if that makes sense, but sometimes I feel like the author is treating us as the reader like an idiot when we read because we don't know about the world they've created, but there was nothing that felt like that in Shift.

And another awesome thing? It spooked me. It really did. I read most of it upstairs in my room in the chateau we were staying in in France, and if you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that this was casually in the corner of this room. And while I know it has nothing to do with the book, it still freaked me out, because I didn't know what the scary brain-eating monster that was in the book was. Yeah, you read that right - a scary, brain-eating monster. It added creepy, mysterious and quite frankly some pretty gross scenes to the book and reading it before bed in that room was pretty terrifying, to a wimp like me. So if you're looking for a little creepy grossness, then this book is for you!

Overall, Shift was brilliant. Kim Curran is a master story-teller - she knows exactly what to write to keep you hanging on the edge of your seat, turning pages as fast as you can. With a unique idea that I've not come across before, I've never read anything like it and I loved it. I really did. I'd definitely recommend if you're looking for something new and interesting, and if you want a super fast, super exciting read in which you can lose yourself for a day. I absolutely adored it and I hope you will too!

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

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Happily Ever Endings... Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson



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!
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Hunting Lila (Lila, #1)Synopsis from Goodreads: 17-year-old Lila has two secrets she’s prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she’s been in love with her brother’s best friend, Alex, since forever.

After a mugging exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust—her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they’ve found them.

In a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone—there are others out there just like her—people with special powers—and her mother’s killer is one of them…

__________

Happily Ever Ending: Lila flies out to California to stay with her brother after she nearly kills some muggers with her telekinetic ability. She finds out that he and his best friend, Alex, have been working to find her mother’s killers, with a group called The Unit.

It’s Alex’s birthday party, and she finds out from a man called Key, who has a special ability just like she does, that they are actually hunting people with powers and ‘containing’ them. He asks her for his help to find his son and she agrees.

After seeing Alex supposedly flirting with his boss, Rachel, Lila decides to go home on her own, as she can’t bare to see the boy she loves flirting with another woman, especially since she just found out that he captures and possibly kills people like her. However, another man with a power called Demos is hunting her so he can trade her to the Unit to get his wife back. However, Key goes to her house to warn her Demos is coming, and Alex shows up and manages to get her away. They take Key and make a deal that if he keeps them updated on Demos (as Key’s power is to leave his body and therefore he can spy on them), they’ll not contain him and his son. At this point in the book, they all believe that Demos is the enemy and the Unit is trying to capture him and imprison him. However, when Alex finds out what Lila can do, he is forced to consider whether everything the Unit has told him is true - he’s believed for a while that the people with powers are ALL bad, but obviously Lila isn’t.

Then they arrange to meet up with Jack, Lila’s brother, and tell him about her ability. However, when they meet, they’re interrupted by Demos and all his friends. They kidnap Lila and they say they’ll only give her back once Alex and Jack have brought Alicia (Demos’ wife) back from imprisonment at the Unit base. They go to get her, but have to bring Rachel back in order to be able to get Alicia out safely without being caught.
It turns out that Demos didn’t kill Lila’s mother - it was the Unit because she could read minds. When Alex and Jack get back from rescuing Alicia, Lila tries to convince them that Demos didn’t kill her mother, and he was actually in love with her before she met Lila and Jack’s dad. It isn’t until Suki, Demos’ mind reading friend, reads Rachel’s mind and finds out that Lila’s mother is still alive but being held captive by the Unit, that Alex and Jack believe that the Unit is actually the enemy.

Unfortunately, during this whole discovery, the Unit arrived with an army and the book ends with a big fight between the Unit, and Lila, Alex,Jack, and Demos and his friends with powers. Jack is shot, potentially fatally, but his body couldn’t be recovered without Lila and Alex also getting killed so we never find out if Jack actually survived.

After the fight, Lila and Alex need to disappear and escape from the Unit to be able to even have a chance to save her brother and mother, so they escape south to Mexico City while Demos, Suki and their friends head north to distract the Unit.
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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!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Book Review: Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3)Title: Chain Reaction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry, #3
Pages: 320
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: July 5th 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -, don't trust a boy who says "I love you", boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex's wedding and suddenly she's tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?

My Thoughts:
As I've come to expect from Perfect Chemistry books, Chain Reaction was awesome. It's the third in the series, each book focusing on one of the Fuentes brothers. This one is about Luis, the youngest brother, and his relationship with a girl called Nikki Cruz.

It had everything in it to make the perfect YA romance novel, and a little bit extra, just as the other two Perfect Chemistry books have had. I was worried that it may feel as if I were just reading the same book for a second time, just with different character names, but I'm happy to report that it didn't feel *too* samey to the previous books. However, because both the previous books and this one were SO good, I could overlook that slight samey-ness.

I really liked Luis. I liked that he had goals and plans that had nothing to do with being in the Latino Blood gang like his brothers and father. I liked that he wanted to be an aeronautical engineer (or something - I can't remember exactly what it was!) and that he was able to talk to Nikki's brother about video games... He was a little bit nerdy! Gah, I loved it... What? I like the nerdy boys best :D Anyway, I digress, it was awesome that he had ambitions to actually do something amazing with his life. And then he goes and nearly throws it all away so flippantly. I get why he does it, but he didn't even try to put up a fight... Anyway, despite that flaw (and honestly, all the best characters have flaws), he was pretty freaking awesome.

However, Nikki and Luis had a LOT of relationship problems, and it was SO frustrating! Why couldn't they just admit to each other that they liked each other? GAH it was obvious to everyone, and they both knew it, but neither would confess and it was so annoying... But it wasn't entirely a bad thing, because it kept me glued to the pages, waiting for them to finally admit it and do something about it.

Alex and Carlos and their girlfriends have quite big parts in this book, and it was great to see how they've grown up and progressed from the delinquents they were at the beginning of their books. It was cool to see Alex take on an almost proper father role, and I really liked seeing him look after Luis and try to make sure that he didn't get into too much trouble, even if he did end up being a little bit unsuccessful. We also got to see the whole Fuentes family (and the girlfriends/wives (I know, WIVES)) interacting with each other and playing games and that family aspect was new and awesome.

My one complaint, is the epilogue. EURGH. I HATE epilogues like that. Remember the epilogue to Deathly Hallows? It's like that. And, I don't know how you felt about that but I hated it. I don't get it - I'd much prefer to leave my series open so that the readers could imagine their own future for their characters, if I were the author... Am I the only who hates these kind of epilogues? Please don't say yes ;P Whatever, I didn't like it at all and didn't think it was necessary, is all I'm saying.

Overall though, Chain Reaction was a great end to an amazing series. Apart from the epilogue, I loved every page and I'm super excited to start reading everything else that Simone Elkeles has written. If you haven't read the Perfect Chemistry series and you're a fan of teen romance, you seriously, absolutely, must, VERY soon. You won't be disappointed because these books are incredible.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Books Read Since the Blogging Started

Hey! I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday for yonks so I thought I'd do one today, seeing as I have a lot of reviews coming up and I don't want to bore you with just reviews. So, here's today's topic:


Top Ten Favourite Books You've Read During the Lifespan Of Your Blog 

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: Never would I EVER have gone anywhere near a book that had the words 'French kiss' in the title had I not become a blogger. If I hadn't read all the glowing reviews from other bloggers I wouldn't have read it, and because I liked it so much it quickly became one of my favourites when I read it last year.

The Fault in Our Stars2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: This book is incredible. Seriously. I cried like a baby, and it's so beautiful and powerful and oh my goodness if you haven't read it, you really must. 

3. The Demon Trappers Series by Jana Oliver:  I adore this series! It's fast-paced, exciting, and so so readable :D Definitely one of my most favourite series ever and I can't wait to read everything else that Jana Oliver writes for teens. 
My reviews: Forsaken | Forbidden | Forgiven | Foretold

4. Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth: These books, I'm sure, probably appears on lots of people's lists. They're just so gripping and exciting and so, so good! Definite must reads for all fans of young adult fiction. 

5. The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa: The story-telling and world building in these books is amazing. These have been one of my favourite series for a very long time, and I'm sure they will be for a long time coming. 

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)6. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson: Creepy, gripping, and set in a London boarding school. What's not to love? This book is one of my favourites EVER, and you simply MUST read it. You must. 

7. Paranormalcy Series by Kiersten White: Again, another series you simply must read. It's snarky, sarcastic, and there's a sparkly pink taser involved. If that's not enough to tempt you, I don't know what is ;P  My reviews: Paranormalcy | Supernaturally | Endlessly

8. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly: I've included this because it's the best historical I have ever read. It's quite long but I read it extremely quickly - it's so readable and exciting and so different from everything I've ever read. If you're a historical geek, read it! And if you're not, read it anyway! 

9. Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles: I never thought I'd enjoy these. Never. But on insistence from other bloggers I picked up the first one and read it in a day. All three books are just feel-good, super hot romances, and they're so good for a day's reading. Definitely recommend! 

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour10. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson: This is my most recent favourite. I read it a couple of days ago, and ever since then it's been on my mind. The road-trip of a lifetime, awesome food, and good music - there's nothing not to like about this. Read it. You need to. My review will be up soon, I hope! 

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Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting! Also, some of my reviews are a bit crappy and short because I wrote them back when I first started blogging... But the more recent ones, I like to think, are much better :) 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Book Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

SpeechlessTitle: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Series: Standalone
Pages: 288
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Publication: 28th August 2012
Source: Publisher through NetGalley*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret.

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

My Thoughts:
Having read and loved Saving June by Hannah Harrington last year, as soon as I saw Speechless up on NetGalley I requested it and started reading almost straight away, despite having a million other books that need reading. I couldn't wait to get started, hoping it would be as good as Saving June, if not better. And it wasn't. I'm trying not to be disappointed, as it was still a very enjoyable read, but I think in this case my expectations were a little bit too high.

When I read the synopsis, I didn't realise that Chelsea literally chose not to speak a word. I thought she'd just give up gossiping, or maybe just talking to the 'friends' involved at school, but nope, she actually doesn't talk at all for a whole month. I found this to be really weird. And I understand why she did it and why she felt she had to, but it just struck me as a little odd, not to talk to anyone at all - not even her parents or teachers, who were obviously unrelated to the whole issue and reason why she was not talking...

And because she wasn't talking, we got to see inside her head, and read everything that is going on inside her brain... And she annoyed me, especially at the beginning. She was self-centred and rambley and obsessed with this guy, convinced that he was stupid for not taking her up on her drunken offer when she was completely wasted and throwing herself at him. She was pissed that her friends hated her for what she did, but she failed to realise that actually those people were not people that she should want to be friends with, even though that much was obvious from the start. I mean, who would want to be friends with people who were annoyed with her because she put two almost murderers in jail?

She does get better as the book goes on, and as she meets new friends and new people I could see her becoming a better person. The Chelsea at the beginning and the Chelsea at the end are very different. It was great to see her growing as a person, and finally realising that popularity and gossip and boys and make-up aren't the most important things in life. She stood up for the things she believed were wrong and I admired her for that because that's not something I'd not always be confident enough to do, no matter how much I'd like to be able to.

The best thing about this book, were definitely Chelsea's new friends. They changed her completely, like I said before, and reading about them going about their lives in the cafe where the worked and the way they just accepted Chelsea in to their group without batting an judgmental eyelid at her vow of silence, and just respecting and honouring her decision to do so. I'm super glad that Chelsea ended up with them, and Sam is adorable! I may even be a little bit jealous of Chelsea and her relationship with him... ;P

Anyway, overall, Speechless was an enjoyable read that, despite everything that I've said, I did really like. I need to try and focus on the good things more, I think! I will definitely be reading everything else that Hannah Harrington writes as I think she is a very talented author, and I would recommend that you read this if you want to. Also pick up a copy of Saving June because that won't disappoint either!

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

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Happily Ever Endings... Destined by PC & Kristin Cast



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!
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Destined (House of Night, #9)Synopsis from Goodreads: In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa's House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow. 

But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness? Find out what s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

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Happily Ever Ending: Zoey's mum is dead. Neferet has a new consort, called Aurox, who is a human boy who changes into the white bull. Rephaim has enrolled at the House of Night and is struggling to fit in, as Raven Mockers had visited him to try and convince him to come back to Kalona, and noone believes him when he says he's not working with them. A new fledgling is Marked by Erik - the new tracker - but instead of being Marked with a blue crescent, she is Marked with a red crescent. Shaylin, the new fledgling can see auras - she has the True Sight.

The twins fall out - Shaunee connects with Rephaim because she has problems with her father too - and Erin gets annoyed because even though they were meant to be 'twins', Shaunee didn't tell her. Shaunee wants to go and live back at the House of Night and Erin refuses to go with her.

Destined (House of Night Series #9)Later on in the book, the Nerd Herd and Thanatos - who has a death affinity - decide to do a ritual at the lavender farm where Zoey's mother died to find out what actually happened. However, Aphrodite has a vision, where she see Rephaim being sliced in half by Dragon, so Dragon is not allowed to come, as he may be making connections and allies with Darkness, because of how Rephaim killed his love, Anastasia, in the previous book. But, Dragon sees the Nerd Herd plotting something and he looks up Zoey's home address (the lavender farm) and follows them.

Neferet could feel something in the Darkness, because it was uncomfortable, so once she worked out what was going on, she sends some Darkness to kill Zoey, because she had originally sent Aurox but he was disobeying her. Aurox is hiding in the shadows and deciding to disobey Neferet and not stop the ritual because he feels he shouldn't, when Darkness slides its tendrils round him and forces him to turn into the white bull and charge at Rephaim. Dragon then bursts out from where he was hiding in the shadows, and instead of Aurox plunging his horn into Rephaim's chest, he plunges it into Dragon's, and of course, Dragon dies instantly. Then Zoey sees the shadow of Heath's soul inside of Aurox and she protects him so he can't be killed.

Now, Neferet's power and title as High Priestess has finally been stripped away, and Thanatos becomes the new High Priestess of Tulsa House of Night. Kalona, who had appeared some time during the ritual, steps up to Thanatos and pledges his oath to become Thanatos Warrior, and she accepts.

_________

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!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Book Review: Foretold by Jana Oliver

Foretold (The Demon Trappers, #4)Title: Foretold
Author: Jana Oliver
Series: The Demon Trappers, #4
Pages:  438
Publisher: MacMillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 2nd August 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Riley’s always known that Beck had a chequered history, but she’s not prepared for what it actually means to be in love with a guy with this many dark secrets. Now that he’s finally admitted to himself that he’s in love with her too, there’s no more hiding the truth about his past. And as it turns out, fending off a demon apocalypse is nothing compared to what’s to come...

My Thoughts:
When I first started this series, I was under the impression it was going to be a trilogy. I can't remember if that was just me assuming that it would be, or whether it originally was planned to be a trilogy and then they added a fourth book, but when I heard that said fourth book had been added, I was kind of annoyed. So many trilogies were gaining fourth books and it looked like I would never see the end of any series, and find out how everything wraps up in the end. Before I read this, I was worried it may drag a little, or feel completely unnecessary and kind of ruin the series for me, (think, Breaking Dawn) since it was never planned in the first place, but I'm happy to report that it has everything I expected from a Demon Trappers book and it did not disappoint in the slightest. I think I'd even go as far as to say it was my favourite of the four.

As usual, the book dives straight into the action, and from then on, it never stops. (Forgive me for being repetitive in my reviews, but it seems that every book I'm reading now is action-packed and fast paced...) The first part of the book does not take place in the usual setting of Atlanta, but in Beck's hometown of Sadlersville. Riley is sent with him to visit his dying mother to see if she can finally gain some insight into the life that he is so desperately trying to hide from her. This was by far and away my favourite part of the book, possibly even the series. I loved getting to know Beck properly and it was SO awesome to finally see him opening up to Riley. If, like me, in the third book you were getting frustrated and just need to know what lies in Beck's past - don't worry, it all gets explained completely.

I've always loved Beck, even in the first book when he came across as a bit of jerk. He's always been there for Riley, without fail, and it's an awesome thing to see that it wasn't all for nothing. There were times when I thought that everything between them would just go to pot, but they stood by each other and didn't let the small things stop them. Despite everything that they're going through with the demons and the war between Heaven and Hell, they manage to get stronger everyday, and gah it's just adorable.** And Riley, as usual, is kick-butt and sarcastic, and she's such a great character. She never fails to entertain her readers, and I don't really think there's anything I can say that wouldn't just be repeating everything else I've said about her in my reviews of the previous books!

The battle between Heaven and Hell is finally wrapped up in this book and it was nice to see everything coming together. I must admit, sometimes I got a bit lost in the battles and I couldn't quite remember what side everyone was on, and it got confusing quite easily, but I don't think the tiny details I missed were that important. I have a good overall understanding, I like to think, so if you're worried about getting muddled, don't, because the nitty gritty details which I often miss in battles and lots of action aren't too important to the plot!

So apart from it being a bit confusing, Foretold really is a spectacular conclusion to a series which is definitely near the top of my List of All-Time Favourite Series. Ever. With awesome characters that you can laugh at, worry about, love and love to hate, and a super fast-paced and exciting plot line complete with a little drama, some romance and a lot of fighting, this book has everything. If you haven't read this series, YOU MUST. I insist. You'll love it!

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

**spoiler**
*People who've read it - the end, with the rings?! The most adorable thing I have EVER read about xD

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Blog Tour: Debutantes - Daisy Character Profile

Hey! Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for Debutantes by Cora Harrison! I have a great guest post from the author herself, and I've also posted my review here. (will link once posted!)
__________
It’s 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away.


Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet, however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country.


But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans—ruin everything—forever.
__________

Daisy Derrington was born in India in October 1906 and so she is sixteen-and-a-half in ‘The Debutantes’. The book is not told in the first person, but at the same time the whole story is told through Daisy’s eyes and it is Daisy whom we rely on to know what is going on with the other girls, and with Michael Derrington and with Great-Aunt Lizzie.

I picture Daisy as not as beautiful as either of her older sisters, Violet or Poppy, but as very pretty in a slightly plump style. She is also much smaller than either of her sisters and she doesn’t like that much. However, she has a sweetness of expression and the man who is in love with her regards her as the most attractive of all the family.

Daisy is the organizer of the family. She sees that Violet needs to be presented at court and needs to have a London season so she plans and schemes and keeps everybody’s courage up so that the dream can come true.

Daisy has a very nice character. She looks out for all of her sisters, but, perhaps, especially for Rose who is three years younger and is a very delicate girl. Daisy feels that Rose is very clever and that her education has been neglected.

In the early part of the book Daisy is not sure whether she is in love with Julian, the young lawyer, but then she realises that he is besotted by Violet, so she puts him out of her mind.

Favourite occupation: Taking photographs and making films.

Favourite sport: Drag hunting where the hounds follow a trail of aniseed and the riders follow the hounds. Great fun, rushing through woods, jumping over hedges and splashing through rivers until eventually the hounds find the bag filled with strong-smelling aniseed and sometimes a few treats.

Favourite colour: pink

Favourite Food: Italian ice cream

Daisy and Poppy get on very well, as they are, although twins, so very different. Daisy keeps an eye on Poppy as she feels that Poppy is so immersed in her music she may do something quite stupid if her sister is not at hand to prevent her.
__________

Wasn't that awesome? If you're not sure if this book's for you (if you like historicals, you should definitely get yourself a copy) then you can read my review here. And if you do want it (which you totally should), you can buy it here:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Waterstones | Kindle UK

So, that's it for my stop on the blog tour! Leave me a comment telling me what you thought if you have read it, and if you would like to read it if you haven't! Thanks to MacMillan for organising the blog tour and a huge thanks to Cora for writing this post for me!

Be sure to head over to the other stops on the blog tour for more Debutantes awesomeness!

Book Review: Debutantes by Cora Harrison

DebutantesTitle: Debutantes
Author: Cora Harrison
Series: N/A
Pages:  320
Publisher: MacMillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 2nd August 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away.

Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet, however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country.

But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans—ruin everything—forever.

My Thoughts:
Before I say anything else, isn't that cover just GORGEOUS? I love it :D *stares*

*recovers self* Anyway, I'll get started properly now. I haven't read a historical book for a good 5 months now, so I was really looking forward to reading Debutantes. I've only read one book set in the 1920s, but that was set in America, and knowing very little about the time period, I didn't know how society differed from country to country. And it would seem that it is very different, so don't expect that it will be like Vixen by Jillian Larkin, as I expected it to be. It's more sophisticated, very British, and a whole lot calmer.

The story follows four sisters and their quest to give Violet, the eldest, the season she deserves to be the best debutante she can be. Again, I know very little about becoming a debutante (all my knowledge comes from Gossip Girl, I must admit) but I figured it's a pretty vital part of girl's life if they wish to marry into a wealthy family and save her own from bankruptcy. I liked how while the story was mainly told from Daisy's point of view despite being in third person, we got to learn about each character and their traits and interests as we went along.

I really liked Daisy. She's described as the plainest of the three eldest sisters, and because of that I felt I could relate to her. I find it difficult to connect to characters who are described to have incredible beauty, because more often than not in real life, that isn't the case, in my opinion. Sorry! ;P She was the most down-to-earth of the sisters, I think - Violet seemed a little too obsessed with becoming a debutante that at times I thought she was selfish, Poppy was so engrossed in her music that I couldn't really decide what I thought of her and Rose was cute and she wants to be a writer, but while reading I kept having to remind myself that she was only twelve, because she really did seem older.

The plot was nice and solid - it was simple but still interesting. There was a mystery element which was really well done, and it helped to bring the book to a closed finish at the end, so I was left with no unanswered questions at the end, which is always nice. There's nothing worse than finishing a book and then wondering what on earth happened to someone, or something, etc! It was also great that the girls got to go and live with a wealthy family for a while - it meant we could really see the difference between having money and not having money in 1920s England.

I think my favourite part of the book was everything about Daisy's film-making. It was so interesting! Whether the trip to the film studio is based on fact or fiction, I found it really exciting and it was really awesome to learn about all the steps that are needed to produce a film. It was nice to learn a little about silent films to, and I liked how Daisy filmed some of the important events in the book and because she added them to her film, we got to see them through the camera's eyes, rather than just the characters'.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Debutantes, and it's got me all excited about historical fiction again. I'd recommend to fans of historicals, or anyone looking to read a good YA about family and friendship, with a little element of mystery thrown in to stir things up. I'll definitely be looking out for anything Cora Harrison writes in the future, and will be getting myself copies of her previous two books so I can read those too.

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


I'm on the blog tour for this book! It's my stop today and you can go and read my guest post from Cora herself - it's all about Daisy! You can read that here. (I will link once it's posted - if it's not linked yet, it's just the next post up!) Also, make sure you let me know in the comments what you thought of this book, if you've read it, or if you haven't read it, if you'd like to! Lastly, remember to check out all the other stops on the tour and thanks for reading!


Click the picture to embiggen (hopefully)! 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

May, June and July 2012 Round-Up

I've been a bad blogger, everybody, I know... But it's August now, it's the holidays, and I want to get back into blogging properly! So here is a round-up of everything I've read since I last did one of these round-ups... ;P

MAY

Struck (Struck, #1)  Black Heart Blue  Fall for Anything

1. Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid
2. Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
3. The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo
4. Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

Only four that month! This was my first exam month though, so that's why... Now, onto June! 

JUNE

The Glimpse  Emma Hearts LA  The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)

1. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
2. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
3. The Glimpse by Claire Merle
4. Devilish by Maureen Johnson
5. Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton
6. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

But I guess I can't use exams as an excuse... As in June I had three compared to the one I had in May and still read a whole two more books! Lastly, July! 

JULY

Starcrossed  Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2)  Debutantes

1. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (reread)
2. Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
3. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
4. Debutantes by Cora Harrison
5. Endlessly by Kiersten White

So July wasn't that great either... Oh well! School's over, and I'm going on holiday for two weeks and am planning to do nothing but read and watch Doctor Who so I should get lots read in August, hopefully! 

Oh my goodness, next is my monthly maths... 

Number of pages read in May: 1311
Average number of pages per book: 328

Number of pages read in June: 2188
Average number of pages per book: 365

Number of pages read in July: 2053
Average number of pages per book: 411

Well that was fun... ;P So my favourite books of these months were: 

May: THE GATHERING DARK by Leigh Bardugo
June: SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Morgan Matson
July: ENDLESSLY by Kiersten White

The Gathering Dark  Second Chance Summer  Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)


And these are the books I'm most looking forward to reading in August: 

Foretold (The Demon Trappers, #4)  Speechless  Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

And I'm not going to count up all the comments... I can't be bothered and I'm tired ;P Also decided to put some new releases in August at the bottom so that you can see what is coming out instead of just a whole post on it because they take AGES. So sorry for lots to read but I hope it's interesting and a break from just the reviews that I've been posting the last couple of months or so! I love you guys for sticking with me, if you're still here, you are officially AWESOME. And now, with those new releases! 

Rift  Debutantes  Foretold (The Demon Trappers, #4)
Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)  Pushing the Limits  Gods And Warriors (Gods And Warriors, #1)
  Losing Lila (Lila, #2)  Everneath
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