Sunday, 30 September 2012

September 2012 Round-Up

I cannot believe it is October tomorrow! This year has gone so fast, as has this month, and it's time for another monthly round-up, yay! Haha, so if you don't know what these are yet, then basically it's just me, rounding up what I've read and telling you want my favourite was, what I didn't like (if there were any) etc etc. So, here's what I read!

Zom-B (Zom-B, #1)  Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)  Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)

1. Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts
2. Zom-B by Darren Shan
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. Hold Still by Nina LaCour
5. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
6. What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
7. Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman
8. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
9. Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings (half)

So, I'm still reading Poltergeeks while I'm writing this, but I want to hopefully finish it today, and if I do it will go into my September books so I've added it anyway... My favourite of the month is listed below, but some of my other favourites were Alice in Zombieland, and Unspoken. I had to read Pride and Prejudice for school as we are studying it in English, and while it took me a while to get used to the writing style, I really enjoyed it towards the end, when everything finally comes together for Elizabeth and Mr Darcy... I didn't read any bad books this month (yay!) although I had some trouble with Rage Within as I just don't think I was quite in the right mood for it. Never mind, it was a still a good read on the whole so all was okay in the end. 

Number of pages read this month: 2705
Average number of pages per book: 301

My favourite book of September was:

WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang

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

My review can be read here.

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

The Diviners  Breathe (Breathe, #1)  Time Between Us

And lastly, here are some awesome new releases, coming in October! 

Poltergeeks (Poltergeeks, #1)  The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)  Breathe (Breathe, #1)

  Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)  Eve and Adam  Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments what you've read this month, and if there's anything you're desperate to read in October! 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Book Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)Title: What's Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles, #1
Pages: 343
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's
Date of Publication: 27th September 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.

Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.

Now meet Eva and Addie.

They don’t have to imagine.

My Thoughts:
I didn't really know what to expect from this book. What I'd heard about it was good, but there'd been no hype, as far as I'm aware, so I didn't really expect amazing things. It's always the books that I don't expect to get anything amazing from that blow me away. It really was so very, very good.

At first, it's a bit confusing, while I was trying to understand the world that the book is set in. I didn't really get what was going on with the hybrids, but I was intrigued as to how it would work, trying to live as a person, but with another person living inside your head. Like, literally, a whole other person thinking and communicating with you, but never able to make themselves heard on their own in the real world. I kept reading to find out, and it only got more interesting as I found out more and more.

Once I'd got the world and the situations of Eva and Addie figured out, the plot moved quickly and had a lot of twists, but not too many that I couldn't keep up. I thought it was actually paced really well, and I was struggling to read the tiny font on my manuscript copy (I had a headache at the time) so it really helped that the writing is easy to read and to understand. It was slightly predictable, I guess, but I don't mind that so it didn't bother me.

I really liked both Addie and Eva, and even though they were sort of the same person, I could really tell the difference between the two of them, and they really did feel like two separate people. Despite Eva not having a body of her own, I think I liked her better, probably because I felt sorry for her not being able to move or communicate for herself and I could connect with her want to be able to do these things. I know I would drive myself crazy if all I could do was talk to myself! I kind of felt more sorry for Addie though, because she's had to live for her whole life pretending that she's 'settled' and that she doesn't have another person living inside her head. To have to give that up for your literal other half, and to have to watch them learn to move and talk with your body must be really difficult... Not that these characters are real, or anything, of course!

One of the most interesting things about the book for me though, happened near the end and has left me needing the next book very soon, and it was the idea of a romance between Eva and another character. I don't know how it would work, and it could definitely have some complications and I really want to know how it would work out! Does Addie have to just tune what her own body is doing out? Or is there a way she can disappear for a while, while Eva and the boy kiss, or do whatever...? I don't know, I'm just speculating ;P

What's Left of Me really was fantastic. It started off really well, and it only got better as the book went on. I would definitely recommend to YA fans who are looking for something a little bit different and a little bit new. With an interesting concept, easy writing style and unforgettable characters, I loved it and am really excited for the sequel!

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

Friday, 14 September 2012

Book Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)Title: Unspoken
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy, #1
Pages: 370
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Date of Publication: 27th September 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

My Thoughts:
I've never read anything by Sarah Rees Brennan before, but I've met her a couple of times now and she's awesome, so I was excited to read this book. It made me laugh, it made me sad, and it kept me glued to the pages, needing to know what happened, and to be honest, it was pretty awesome.

I really liked the whole idea of the book, even if it was a little cliched. At first I didn't really like the whole idea of Kami and Jared being able to read each others' minds and being able to communicate telepathically, it all sounded sort of familiar and just done way too many times before. It was cheesy and kind of annoying, and just weird, but as the book goes on and how it happened is explained, it fits really well and made the book even more interesting than it as before. It surprised me how much I liked it!

The book is based in a small town that has a lot of old stories, legends, and mythology associated with it, and I really liked that the Lynburns were the centre of it and the centre of the story. They were interesting and I liked guessing what they were, because it was obvious they weren't quite human. When I found out I was surprised but I'm pretty sure that's because I was just being ignorant and didn't realise how blindingly obvious it way... Anyway, I liked that they tied in with the local mystery, and it meant that Kami and Jared didn't have to be all secret about everything, and the best about this was that they could share what they were going through with Kami's best friends, Angela and Holly. I've had enough of the secretive best friend who falls in love with a boy and then becomes a crappy friend because they can't tell them they're not human...

The characters in this book are awesome. Every single one had some kind of purpose, and I definitely didn't feel like any of them were there just for the sake of giving Kami someone to talk to (which I've come across a couple of times in recent books I've read, which is why I've pointed it out). I really liked Angela and Rusty (Kami's best friend and her brother). Angela gets herself into a tricky situation but due to Rusty's self defense lessons, she could get herself out of it and it was so, so awesome. She was badass, seriously ;P Holly was cool too, though she seemed kind of shady... I don't know, maybe Kami's judgmental and confused ways have rubbed off on me!

And I was always changing my mind about Kami... She seemed kind of reckless and impulsive, and usually I don't mind that but Kami would blurt out things that you really shouldn't say to certain people, or she'd do something that was just so immensely stupid that you wonder what on earth was going through her brain. I don't know, for the most part I did really liked her and I loved seeing her relationship with Jared grow (or, not grow) but she did strike me as being kind of air-headed. It's not a hugely bad thing, I just like to see characters (and just people in general) be sensible and not always nearly get themselves killed.

The book is full of twists and turns, especially near the end, and I never knew who it was doing the killing. I had my suspicions, which turned out to be completely wrong, but still. I was confused by the ending a little bit, as it was incredibly fast paced, and to me the writing seemed a little bit jumpy (like there should have been a line break or something to indicate that at least a few moments had passed) but on the whole it wasn't too hard to understand, if I stopped and thought about it for a moment. It was very gripping though, and I literally read the last 100 pages in about 45 minutes (no, I'm not sure how either). I'm looking forward to reading other books by Sarah and am super excited for the next one!  I would definitely recommend it if you're a fan of young adult paranormal, and want something light and funny to read over the weekend.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Book Review: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Zom-B (Zom-B, #1)Title: Zom-B
Author: Darren Shan
Series: Zom-B, #1
Pages: 217
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Date of Publication: 27th September 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Zom-B is a radical new series about a zombie apocalypse, told in the first person by one of its victims. The series combines classic Shan action with a fiendishly twisting plot and hard-hitting and thought-provoking moral questions dealing with racism, abuse of power and more. This is challenging material, which will captivate existing Shan fans and bring in many new ones. As Darren says, "It's a big, sprawling, vicious tale...a grisly piece of escapism, and a barbed look at the world in which we live. Each book in the series is short, fast-paced and bloody. A high body-count is guaranteed!"

My Thoughts:
Having just finished reading Pride & Prejudice for school, I needed something short and kind of silly to read to get back into reading YA properly again. I chose Zom-B, because it's about as far from the Jane Austen regency era as you can get, and it was perfect.

One of the things I really liked about this book (because it surprised me) was that it wasn't full on zombie attacks the whole way through, as I expected it to be from looking at the cover. We hear about the zombies at the beginning, but it isn't until about halfway through that the zombies actually appear properly, if that makes sense. I liked the build-up, knowing they were coming, but not knowing when. It was tense, knowing that any minute a zombie could pop up, knock one of the characters out, and eat their brains. (Yeah, there was a lot of brain eating...) It meant we could see a lot of the characters in a normal environment and get to know them a little bit before they all get zombified...

But, I kind of really didn't like B. B seemed to be a bit of a delinquent, in that B steals things and smokes, and picks fights with people for no reason (or maybe I'm just being judgmental). There was also the whole racism thing. B's dad is a racist and B has just picked up his racist ways while living with him. B's mind could never be made up about black people, and even though I don't think B actually was a racist (the best friend is black), B still picked on them for no reason, and it annoyed me that B couldn't, or wouldn't, stand up and refuse to do what the dad wanted B to, even though it was obviously wrong. It did make me think though, about who the real monsters are, and B says it at the end. B's dad is VILE. I hated him. I haven't hated a character as much as I hate him for a long time, and it's nice to be able to read something that makes me feel so much, even if it *is* hatred.

The few other zombie books I've read (Dark Inside, The Way We Fall and Ashes) absolutely terrified me. This one, however, didn't really scare me at all. I don't know why, but it felt more silly than sinister, and in all honesty, every one getting ripped apart or having their brains eaten just grossed me out or made me giggle rather than frighten me. It's just so gory and so violent, that I couldn't really take it seriously... It's not necessarily a bad thing - it's nice to be able to not be expecting zombies to eat me in bed at night, but I was kind of expecting it to be just a little bit scary, at least. Maybe it was because I read it all at once in daylight... I don't know!

I did feel like there were too many characters and they all had stupid (although very inventive and amusing) nicknames, and I couldn't keep up with who was who. I'm sure some of them were just there so that they could be killed off by the zombies, and while I'm glad that not all the kids with B survived (that sounds really bad, but that would be very unrealistic in a zombie situation), I did feel like some more character building could have been added had there been fewer characters, and then I could actually care when they died. I was never really sad to see one of the characters eaten, or scratched, and left to die or turn into a zombie themselves - I didn't get a chance to connect with the characters enough to care about them.

Overall though, Zom-B was a really gripping read that is quick and exciting. It's super easy to read and at only 217 pages it's a great way to spend an evening after a long day at school. I'm not sure how far I'll make it through the 12 part series that this is the first of, but I'm most definitely looking forward to the next few after the couple of huge twists towards the end. I hope I'll get to read them all! I'd recommend for zombie fans, but if you're squeamish, you should probably steer clear!

*Thanks to Simon & Schuster Children's for sending me this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Happily Ever Endings... Vixen by Jillian Larkin (Flappers, #1)



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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VixenSynopsis from Goodreads: Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

__________

Happily Ever Ending: After Bastien discovers Gloria singing at the Green Mill, she blames Lorraine for telling him and she blocks her out of her life. Jerome no longer trusts her because she didn’t tell him about her engagement. Nobody at school likes her and they can’t stop gossiping about her.

Clara convinces Gloria to go and see Jerome again and tell her how she feels about him. When she gets there, she tells him everything and they kiss. Meanwhile, Clara goes out with Marcus to an art event, where she tells him all about her past New York life as a flapper. She expects him to leave her but he doesn't.

Lorraine goes to see Bastien to try to find out who told him about Gloria’s singing, and decides it was Clara. She searches Clara’s room and finds a picture of Clara dressed as a flapper in New York.

Gloria goes to see Jerome after school at the Green Mill and he takes her on a date. She realises she can never fit in with the black people.

At Gloria’s engagement party Clara is the star of the show. Marcus manages to pull her away and gives her a glittering bracelet, but they’re interrupted by Harris Brown, Clara’s ex, who tries to get her back. But then, the party is interrupted again by Lorraine, who tries to expose Clara. She reveals Clara was a flapper in New York and that she got pregnant with Harris’ child, but she miscarried. Lorraine thinks this will win back Gloria’s friendship but it doesn't, and Lorraine gets kicked out of the party.

Gloria decides that her relationship with Jerome will never work, so she plans to end things. She goes to the Green Mill to do this, but nearly gets raped in the dressing room by the club owner. Jerome comes to her rescue and the escape, planning to leave Chicago together. Clara finds her packing, and helps her to leave. When Gloria meets Jerome, he forgets something inside his apartment, and goes back to get it, leaving Gloria alone. Carlito and his men jump her, but Jerome comes back to help her escape. One of his men grabs Jerome and Gloria shoots him dead with a gun she stole from Bastien's apartment earlier in the book. Jerome’s sister Vera then helps them escape.

It turns out that Vera has secretly been working with Bastien but she’s not happy when her brother nearly gets killed and she plans to use the gun Gloria used to shoot Tony against Bastien. The book ends with Lorraine at another speakeasy, meeting Carlito; Gloria and Jerome are on their way to New York; and Clara is on her way back to Pennsylvania.

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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! I'm not all that good at these... ;) 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Book Review: Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson

Losing Lila (Lila, #2)Title: Losing Lila
Author: Sarah Alderson
Series: Lila, #2
Pages: 322
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Date of Publication: 2nd August 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which is somehow tracking their every move. While Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila's only thought is of finding a way back to California so she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they're being held. Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the others she's come to think of as family, Lila plans not only to save her brother and mum, but also to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for. But the plan requires Lila to return to California alone, and to make friends with the enemy - and in doing so, she risks losing everything: Alex, her family… even her life.

My Thoughts:
As soon as I finished Hunting Lila, I knew I needed to read this one as soon as I could. Being the idiot that I am and leaving it at home while I read Hunting Lila on holiday, so I was super excited to get started reading it, and read the first half all in one sitting. I tried to savour the last half, seeing as I can find no mention of a third book anywhere, but I ended up reading it on the train, much quicker than I thought I would be able to. It was just that good!

I still really liked Lila in this book. I've heard a couple of people say she gets a bit annoying in her impulsive ways and stubbornness, but I really liked that about her. If she were real and I was trying to convince her not to do something she wanted to do, she'd probably annoy the heck out of me, but as I never have to do that, I liked her a lot. It also shows her humanity and I liked that this proved the Unit wrong about all the psygens (people with powers) being evil and malevolent. Yeah. I had double English today...

Anyway, the rest of the characters, old and new, were also awesome. There was more Alex, and fewer clothes... I don't think I need to say anything more on the subject (apart from that it's still definitely YA ;P). The new characters were great, and finding out about new powers that I'd never thought of before was also really cool. It was nice to find out more about Lila's world and the people in it, and trying to understand why the Unit could ever think they were evil, was hard... They're twisted and horrid and I hate them. The Unit, I mean, not the psygens ;P

The plot was, as ever, fast-paced and exciting and was full of twists, turns, and a few things that genuinely shocked me. I won't go into detail, and maybe I should have seen them coming, but I had no idea... Anyway, the action is non-stop - this book has everything from Mafia drug-lords to blowing up military buildings. I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole way through and I found it difficult to find suitable breathing places where I could collect my thoughts and actually put the book down and do something else that (sadly) needed doing.

At the end of the book, there's a little story from Alex's point of view, and it's so adorable. If you read my Hunting Lila review, you'll know I got all mushy while talking about Alex and Lila, and while reading the Alex POV story at the end was the cutest. *more mushiness*

Anyway, enough with the Alex talk ;P Losing Lila is most definitely a worthy sequel to the brilliant Hunting Lila, and I really hope there will be another one some time in the future! Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to reading anything else that Sarah Alderson writes, and I would definitely recommend her books to all young adult fans! They're so readable, exciting, and fun and I really, really love them.

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

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Blog Tour: Imaginary Cast List for Rage Within

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts! It's the second book in the awesome Dark Inside series, and today I have a guest post from Jeyn for you to read. It's her imaginary cast for the four main characters in the book: Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael! I think she's picked great actors and actresses for the parts, and I can't wait to hear what you think about each one!

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After the earthquakes came the infectious rage, turning friends into deadly enemies. For survivors Michael, Aries, Mason and Clementine the battle to stay alive is about to get even tougher. The new world is organising itself, with camps that promise protection for the uninfected. But the reality of the sites is far more sinister. Besides, nobody is safe from the rage within their own soul...



__________

Cast List


Mason - Jeremy Irvine

Jeremy Irvine Picture

There’s just something about this guy’s expression that screams Mason to me. He's got a very serious look. He’s a great actor and I think he’d really do Mason justice.

Aries -Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld Picture

Can you picture her with auburn hair? I sure can. I thought she was amazing in True Grit. She’s a fantastic actress and she’s so beautiful. And she’s going to be in Ender’s Game which is very cool.

Clementine -Ella Purnell


To be honest, I hadn’t heard of this actress and my friend pointed her out to me. I have to admit, she screamed Clementine the moment I saw her face. She's got that girl-next-door beauty and a certain playful innocence about her that would be great for Clementine.

Michael - Douglas Booth


Completely how I see Michael but with longer hair. Not to mention a jaw line to die for! Haha drool.
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Thanks to Jeyn for that! Do you agree with her choices? I haven't heard of any of these people (should I have? I don't know ;P) but by their faces I think they suit the characters really well. Who would you pick, if you'd pick differently? 

Have you read Rage Within yet? It was released in the UK on 30th August, and in the US on 4th September, so it's available to buy now if you want it (which you do!). Links:


Also for the blog tour, I've reviewed the book here.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Don't forget to comment letting me know what you think of the cast choices, and your thoughts on the book featured! Check out the others stops on the blog tour, and I'll talk to you soon! 

Click picture to embiggen!

Book Review: Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts

Rage Within (Dark Inside, #2)
Title: Rage Within
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Series: Dark Inside, #2
Pages: 406
Publisher: Macmillan
Date of Publication: 30th August 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
After the earthquakes came the infectious rage, turning friends into deadly enemies. For survivors Michael, Aries, Mason and Clementine the battle to stay alive is about to get even tougher. The new world is organising itself, with camps that promise protection for the uninfected. But the reality of the sites is far more sinister. Besides, nobody is safe from the rage within their own soul...

"The world may be broken, but hope is not crazy." ~ John Green 

My Thoughts:
Rage Within was very different to Dark Inside. It was still the same series, obviously, but the super frightening action of the first book was replaced by a more subtle and creepy undertone in Rage Within. The characters are hiding from the Baggers, and they risk their lives every single time they leave their safe house. You never know when one of them might get killed, or captured, and it makes for very tense reading. I found that towards the end I was glued to the pages to make sure they weren't captured or killed, as if I could do anything to change the words on the page.

I really liked characters, although there were definitely too many. I got confused more than once about who was who, and who was good and who wasn't, but I pushed through and eventually it got easier. I must admit, I remember next to nothing about Dark Inside which definitely didn't help, but once I'd read for a while it started to come back a little, even if it was only small details about each character. I'd definitely recommend a reread of Dark Inside before you start this!

My favourite character was Aries. She was badass. I liked that she took on a sort of leadership role in the group and I found myself looking forward to reading her chapters the most. I liked that she had her little breakdowns and that she didn't know exactly what she was doing, and that when she hit problems she did what she thought was right, even though often it wasn't the best thing she could have done. It showed that they are still teenagers, and despite them being in such an awful environment that has forced them to grow up, they still are vulnerable and scared out of their minds. There is hope though, and that was awesome to see. Even if it was just a small victory against the Baggers, there was hope for the future and that was the best thing ever.

Unfortunately, this book isn't without its faults. It got slow in the middle, although whether that was because of the book, or because of me, I don't know. I hit a bit of a reading slump in the middle of the book and it just wasn't doing anything for me to keep me hanging on and reading it. I put it down for a few days and read something else, and then when I went back to it I enjoyed it a lot more, so I'm sure it was just me. Also, I got so confused! So much happens, and there are so many characters, and at times I felt like I just couldn't be bothered to keep up with the story anymore... And then something would happen and I'd need to carry on just to make sure the characters survived!

Despite that, the book ends on a high. It's exciting, full of action, and the last hundred pages are definitely the highlight of the book. I'd definitely recommend to anybody looking for a (mostly) fast-paced, page-turning thriller, and I think that despite its flaws, this series really is one that must be read. So, go out and pick up copies of both the books if you haven't already, or get reading this one if you've read the first! It's not for wimps - it's exciting, unpredictable and sometimes terrifying, but with it's little glimmers of hope in a broken world, it is so, so worth it.

*Huge thanks to Macmillan for sending me this book 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! Head over to here for a post from Jeyn herself, talking about who she would cast if a film or TV show of Dark Inside were to be made!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Book Review: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

Hunting Lila (Lila, #1)Title: Hunting Lila
Author: Sarah Alderson
Series: Lila, #1
Pages: 318
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Date of Publication: 5th August 2011
Source: Gifted
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…

My Thoughts:
Ever since I got this a year ago, I've picked it up and read the first 10 or so pages, and then picked up something else and read that instead. I don't know why, but before I actually read it, I read the first chapter or so about four times. It's not that I thought it was bad- I most definitely didn't- but I just always had something else that I wanted to read more. And now, having read it, I wonder why I ever wanted to read something else more than I wanted to read this. It was, quite simply, incredible.

I really loved the characters in this book. Lila was awesome - she was normal, chatty, and while (very!) lovestruck she made me laugh, so I didn't mind. Alex was, well... I love him! Despite his romance with Lila seeming to me as rather unrealistic, seeing as he was her big brother's best friend, and there was a five year age gap, and they hadn't seen each other in years... But still, I could look over that because they were adorable together and I loved him and I wanted them to get together so badly... GAH it was just so cute! And I've gone all mushy. *composes self*

Having never really been that interested in thrillers, this was different to everything I've read before. The plot never stopped moving, and it definitely kept me on my toes throughout the whole book. It did get confusing at times though- I had to stop and just think everything I'd read a couple of times, just so I could be sure what was going on, and who was good and who was bad. There was nothing majorly confusing though, I just sometimes wasn't paying as much attention to the book as I probably should have been... (My four year old cousin kept asking to play with me, but I didn't want to leave the book!)

I loved the whole concept of the book. I loved that there were certain people out there who had powers, and I really liked that they all had different ones. There were the obvious powers, like telekinesis and telepathy, but then there were others that I wouldn't have thought of at first like aura readers who can detect lies, sifters who could change memories, and then people who could, almost in spirit, leave their bodies and watch over people. It was interesting to find out about new characters and discover their abilities, and learn about how they were running from the Unit, and trying to work out why. There were twists and turns and people turning out to be good and not bad, or bad and not good, and everything just flowed together perfectly.

Ending on a huge cliffhanger (but don't worry, the second book's already out!), this book is kind of evil. It's fast-paced and exciting, and then it leaves you hanging, needing the next book. I was an idiot, and took this on holiday with me but left my copy of Losing Lila at home, so I had to wait to read it... I don't recommend that- definitely pick this up with the sequel close by! I'd recommend to readers looking for something exciting and interesting, but quick and easy to read. Sarah Alderson is a fantastic author and I can't wait to read everything else she writes!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Letterbox Love #1

Hello! Seeing as I haven't done an In My Mailbox in such a long time, I thought I'd do one again but switch over to the UK version - Letterbox Love, hosted by Lyndsey at Narratively Speaking. Not because I don't like IMM because of what happened agess ago, but I just thought that I should probably do the UK version now seeing as I'm a UK blogger... ;P


I have absolutely loads to show you, because I haven't done one for ages. Hopefully after this they'll be semi-regular, hopefully at least once a month, but we'll see. So this is for THE LAST FEW MONTHS. Sorry for caps lock, but I always get at least one person in the comments asking how I got so much in one week... ;)

FOR REVIEW: 


Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Simon Pulse, 2nd August 2012)
Torn by David Massey (Chicken House, 2nd August 2012)
Muddle and Win by John Dickinson (David Fickling Books, 30th August 2012)
Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts (Macmillan, 30th August 2012)
Shift by Kim Curran (Strange Chemistry, 4th September 2012)
Foretold by Jana Oliver (Macmillan, 2nd August 2012)
Fated by Alyson Noel (Macmillan, released)
Devilish by Maureen Johnson (HarperCollins, released)
Dreamless by Josephine Anglini (Macmillan, 5th July 2012)
Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson (Simon Pulse, 2nd August 2012)
The Wolf Princess by Catheryn Constable (Chicken House, 4th October 2012)
Breathe by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury, 11h October 2012)
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (Electric Monkey, 6th August 2012)
Blackwood by Gwenda Bond (Strange Chemistry, 4th September 2012)
The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Strange Chemistry, 2nd October 2012)
Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings (Strange Chemistry, 2nd October 2012)
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (Simon and Schuster, 27th September 2012)



Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter (MIRA Ink, 5th October 2012)
Zom-B by Darren Shan (Simon and Schuster, 27th September 2012)
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Random House, 25th October 2012)
Days of Blood and Starlight teaser by Laini Taylor (Hodder and Stoughton)
Envy by Elizabeth Miles (Simon Pulse, 4th September 2012)
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (HarperCollins, 27th September 2012)

BOUGHT/BORROWED:
The Diviners by Libba Bray (borrowed from Cicely at Cicely Loves Books)
Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton (won from Serendipity Reviews)
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (bought for school)
Endlessly by Kiersten White (bought)
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (gifted from Jim at YAYeahYeah)

Woah. All finished now. This is everything I received since the beginning of June. I have a question: Do you find this post braggy? I'm aware I have a received a lot of books recently, and I definitely don't want you guys to think I'm showing off or being braggy: I just haven't shown you what I've got for ages... And I like doing book hauls because I like to give books that I'm not going to get around to reading soon or ones that I miss out at least a little bit of a mention before their reviews... And I love looking at other people's! So let me know in the comments what you think of these posts and hopefully I can do them more regularly in the future so it won't be such a chore to read through next time! 

Thanks to Cicely, Viv, Jim, MIRA Ink, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Chicken House, Hodder and Stoughon, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Strange Chemistry, Bloomsbury and Egmont for all my books these last couple of months! You are all seriously awesome! :D
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