Saturday, 27 July 2013

July 2013 Wrap-Up

Hey everyone! Hope you're having a good summer so far! Sorry for not posting for a while, again, but I've been busy! I'll tell you about that later on in the post though. Also, I won't be posting anything this week, but I'm hoping to start up again around the 4th August. So, onto what I've been reading this month!

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)  Vivian Versus The Apocalypse  The Rig

1. Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
2. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
3. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
4. Vivian Versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle
5. The Rig by Joe Ducie

I've had Anna Dressed In Blood for so long and I've only ever heard good things, so I thought it was about time I read it! It was super awesome so I went on to read the sequel, Girl of Nightmares, straight away. While not as good as the first, I still really enjoyed it! All Our Yesterdays was really, really good, and hopefully I'll get my review of that up soon. I absolutely loved Vivian Versus the Apocalypse, which was from Hot Key Books and out in September, as is The Rig. Those two books were last year's winner of the Young Writers Prize award and they're definitely worthy, I think!

I didn't read as much as I wanted to this month, because it was my first month of holiday and I've been busy doing lots of things with friends and family and haven't really had that much time to myself. Also, I did some work experience! It was for four days at Usborne Publishing, and it was super fun and I really enjoyed it. I did it for school, and there's a blogging competition for it, so if I blog about my experience for school I'll be sure to post it here too, for you all to read if you're interested!

My book of the month was...

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays

Hopefully I'll be reviewing this one soon! It's a time travel thriller, and it's awesome.

I only posted a couple of reviews this month, and you can read those here:

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Spy Society by Robin Benway

and you can also read an extract of Spy Society here.

I'm going on holiday in August, so I'm looking forward to catching up with lots and lots of reading while I'm there, so that should be good! Also hoping to do some blogging but that didn't really work last year so we'll see! I'm going to be reading:

The Lucy Variations  One Moment  The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)

Lastly, here are some awesome new releases you can look forward to in August!

All Our Yesterdays  Angel Fever (Angel, #3)  The Sound
Little White Lies  Cruel Summer  Listening for Lucca

Thanks for reading! What have you been up to this July? 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Blog Tour: Spy Society by Robin Benway Extract

Spy SocietyHey everyone! Today I have an excerpt from Spy Society by Robin Benway for you to read, which is publishing tomorrow by Simon and Schuster in the UK. Hope you enjoy! It's a really great book.

__________

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.


*Click the little arrow in the top left corner to get rid of the sidebar, and then if you click the zoom out magnifying glass (-) once you should be able to fit the text on the page without having to use the left/right slider. Sorry it's a complete pain but I don't know how to do it any other way!*



__________

I hope you liked that and it makes you want to read the whole book! And I'm sorry, I know it's awkward to read it like that, but I couldn't find any other way to share it with you.

If you'd like to read my review of Spy Society, go here, and if you want to buy the book, click on one of the links below to go to the merchant of your choice!

Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

Book Review: Spy Society by Robin Benway

Spy SocietyTitle: Spy Society
Author: Robin Benway
Series:  Also Known As, #1
Pages:  320
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: 18th July 2013
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.


My Thoughts:
This book was brilliant. I read it in two sittings (which would have been one if I hadn't been dragged out by my friends in the evening) and loved every minute of it. It's really easy to read and one of those books that is just great fun. Loved it!

I haven't really read any spy books before (that I can remember, anyway!) and therefore the whole book was kind of new to me. Maggie Silver is a safecracker in a family of spies and she's been breaking into safes to help solve cases all her life, but in Spy Society she's sent on her first solo mission to infiltrate the local high school. This means actually attending school, doing all the work, and pretending to be your average, normal non-spy student.

I really loved this idea. Going undercover and pretending to be normal just seems so cool! Haha maybe it's just because I can't imagine someone doing it, yet I'm now wondering if anyone in my school is actually a spy (I doubt it, but this book just proves that it could happen I guess) and yes I am aware that this book is a work of fiction, but anyway! Also, I really loved the set up of The Collective and the mystery surrounding it, and how it sent through the files and cases but still was so secretive to even its employees, and it makes me wonder what kind of secret services there are now and what they're doing...

Maggie, the main character, is written so perfectly and authentically and her voice was just right for me to imagine her as a real teenager despite her unusual circumstances. Her narrative is so easy to read and I quickly got hooked into the story - both the spying and secrecy side of things as well as the normal teenage aspects such as falling for Jesse, making friends, and going to her first party. I felt sorry for her having to move around a lot and never being able to make any friends, and also I kind of fell in love with Jesse right along with her... ;) It's just written so well that it could just be the story of Maggie's life even if she weren't a spy and I'd still enjoy it, if that makes sense. Robin would still make it interesting even if she was just a normal high school student!

Roux was great and she made me laugh and proved to be a valuable friend for Maggie to have. I've said it many times now on this blog, but strong friendships in books make me so happy, so Roux and Maggie's relationship definitely won some points with me! Also, I really loved Angelo and his three piece suits, and his complete support for Maggie and her family was really great. He was pretty funny at times, too!

Overall I really enjoyed Spy Society and I cannot wait to read more of Robin's books. Fans of fun and witty contemporaries need look no further!


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

I hope that made you want to read the book! I'm also on the blog tour for this book, so if my review didn't quite convince you (or even if it did and you want to read some), you can go here to read the first chapter!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Book Review: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

InvisibilityTitle: Invisibility
Author: Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Series: ~
Pages:  358
Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: 7th May, 2013
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: Stephen is used to invisibility. He was born that way. Invisible. Cursed.
Elizabeth sometimes wishes for invisibility. When you’re invisible, no one can hurt you. So when her mother decides to move the family to New York City, Elizabeth is thrilled. It’s easy to blend in there.
Then Stephen and Elizabeth meet. To Stephen’s amazement, she can see him. And to Elizabeth’s amazement, she wants him to be able to see her—all of her. But as the two become closer, an invisible world gets in their way—a world of grudges and misfortunes, spells and curses. And once they’re thrust into this world, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how deep they’re going to go—because the answer could mean the difference between love and death.


My Thoughts:
I really, really enjoyed Invisibility. It was the first book I read over the holidays after a term of hard work and it was a really good read. It's super easy to read and it didn't take me very long at all, which is always a good sign, especially as I've been reading pretty slowly lately... Anyway.

Invisibility, believe it or not, is about an invisible boy who can only be seen by one person- a girl who's just moved into his block of flats, Elizabeth. This concept was SO difficult for me to get my head around. The idea of invisible people obviously wasn't a new one to me, but I've never really thought of it seriously, you know? Like, it's a jokey kind of thing - 'oh, what would you do if you were invisible for a day?' or it's like a superpower that you could turn on and off. I'd never considered it as material for a proper book, so it was completely new to me in that sense and it took me a little while to get used to it. (Also, imagine two invisible people having a conversation? It's the WEIRDEST thing. Apart from maybe the idea of giving birth to an invisible baby which is mentioned in the beginning of the book...) Anyway, you'll be pleased to know that by about half way through I got over it ;)

The characters in Invisibility are really great. Characters are always such a huge part of the story for me, so it was awesome to see such brilliant ones in this one. I felt I could really connect with Stephen, as a few months ago my friends were ignoring me and it was horrid, so I can imagine how awful it must have felt to be invisible the whole of the time. Elizabeth felt very realistic - when she found out that Stephen, her boyfriend, was invisible, her reaction was absolutely perfect. She kicked and screamed (not literally) and did not believe it. Just like you would if someone in your world turned out to be invisible. It was a reaction of disbelief and incredulity and it was exactly right, I think. Lastly, Laurie was my favourite character. He made me laugh and I loved that he was so close to his sister (Elizabeth) and I'm so glad he was brought in to help break Stephen's curse because it always sucks for characters to have to leave their family out of things like that. Or so I hear... :P

I really enjoyed the plot, and thought it was paced just right. It was fast enough that I never got bored but not so quick that I couldn't keep up with everything that was happening. I also really liked that it was told in a dual narrative - sometimes it can be very annoying but in Invisibility I actually thought it was really effective and a great way to tell the story. It was definitely a thriller! Also, littered throughout the book are various references to Doctor Who and Harry Potter, which obviously made the book even better... The ending's really good too - it did not finish the way I expected it too, but I'm kind of glad that it didn't, if that makes sense. You'll have to read it to find out what happened though!

Overall Invisibility was a really great read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Incredibly readable and very exciting, it's great for fans of YA thrillers who are looking for something a little bit different. I'll definitely be looking out for anything else written by this pair of authors!

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

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day 1

Hey! I've been a rubbish blogger lately, despite saying that I wouldn't be once exams are over... Anyway, I feel like I've kind of lost my 'blogging mojo', so hopefully this will get me all excited for blogging again!

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge is hosted by April over at Good Books and Good Wine so if you wanted to find out a little bit more or take part yourself, head on over there.

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Good Books And Good Wine

So today's challenge is Make 15 book related confessions, so here goes!

1. I'm scared of big books. Well. Not scared exactly, but the number of pages a book has definitely has an influence on whether or not I choose it to read next. Books over 500 pages take me a long time to read and I'm impatient, so I like to read things quickly, and with big books I can't do that. I will read them, it'll just take me a while to get round to reading them.

2. I don't lend books. I like to keep my books in perfect condition, and I can't trust people not to ruin them when I give them out. So I don't. I feel kind of bad, but if you want to borrow books, there's always the library!

3. I don't buy books very much, and hardly ever at full price. Because I get books from the publishers, I have so many to read and I don't have time to read books that I've bought myself that aren't high priority for reviews. So I don't buy many books, and also when I do I nearly always buy them from Amazon where they're cheaper... About a month ago I bought two full price though, so I don't solely rely on publishers completely ;)

4. I'm awful at writing reviews soon after I finish a book. I write notes about the book so I know what I want to write when I come to write the reviews, but it's often at least a week before I actually get around to writing the review... And not because I'm really busy, but because I'm lazy. This needs to change! 

5. I like boys in books more than boys in real life. Enough said for that one, I think...

6. I judge books by their covers, at least at first. If a book has a crappy cover, I'll be more hesitant to read it, and if it's got a really lovely cover, sometimes I'll buy it without even knowing what it's about. I know this is bad, but everyone does it, right? 

7. I rarely reread. I only reread when I've completely forgotten what happened in a previous book in the series and can't even wing it as I read the sequel. I'm getting better though, at rereading things just because I want to. I'm trying to do it more, but I feel that if I read something I've already read, that's one new story that I won't have time to read, if that makes sense? 

8. I started reading YA because of Twilight, so it will always have a place in my heart. Aww. How sweet. But seriously, I loved it then, I still love it now. Deal :P
9. I have about 100 books (and counting) that don't fit on my bookshelves yet I can't give any away or sell them. Even though I'm sure they'd be loved and well read if I gave them to charity or sold them, I can't bear to get rid of any of them, even if I know I'm never going to reread them.

10. My TBR pile is taller than me. I feel kind of bad, but it's nice to know I always have something to read once I've finished something. 

11. I haven't read many classics. Like, at all. I've read Pride & Prejudice (but only because we had to read it for school (and I actually loved it)) and Alice In Wonderland... But I think that's it! I'd like to read more but I think I'll wait until I'm a little bit older. 

12. I absolutely hate it when covers are changed mid-way through the series. ARGH it is SO annoying. Why?! The most annoying perhaps was the Vampire Academy series, when they changed the cover of the 6th and final book, Last Sacrifice. They changed them to a red version, which meant the spines don't even look remotely similar on my bookshelves. I don't understand. 

13. I rarely read outside of YA. It's not that I won't read adult, it's just that I'm happy reading YA, there's so much of it that I can read and I love it so much, so why change? There are already too many YA books for me to read, why add to that? Hehe.

14. Every now and again I absolutely love a love triangle. Don't judge okay? But if I haven't read one for a while and it pops up, I have no problem. I kind of love the whole picking teams thing and rivalry between them with my friends (for example at school there was an ongoing rivalry between Team Edward and Team Jacob) and it's just fun when you can discuss books with friends like that. However, I have to be in the right mood and not read too many in a row, or else they get tiring and frustrating, especially if the girl doesn't pick the right guy, in my opinion ;)

15. Before I got my Kindle I hated the idea of ebooks. I just love print books so much - the way they feel, the way they look all lined up on my shelf, the way they smell... But ebooks are great too and I think I even read them quicker than I do print books. It also makes reading lying down easier, and I don't have to lug loads of books around when I go on holiday, so ebooks are great too. Now I read a mix of print and ebooks.

It's surprisingly difficult to come up with 15 confessions! 

What are your bookish confessions?

Monday, 1 July 2013

April, May and June 2013 Wrap-Up

My apologies for not doing any of these wrap-ups for a while, but I've been busy... Procrastinating and just generally being a rubbish blogger. I apologise, I do! Anyway, I thought I'd share with you everything I've read since I last did one of these, so that you can see what reviews and posts you can expect in the coming weeks, as I plan to catch up now that I HAVE FINISHED EXAMS! HUZZAH! Anyway. Onto the books that I've been reading!

The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)  After Eden (After Eden, #1)

APRIL
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
After Eden by Helen Douglas

This month was pretty slow going... April was the first month of exam preparation really, so that's why... I really enjoyed The Madman's Daughter despite it being quite slow - it was actually really interesting. After Eden was good but not great - however it was just perfect for a three hour plane journey on the way back from our family holiday. 

Between Shades of Gray  Invisibility

MAY
Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

Oh you guys, Between Shades of Grey is incredible. I'd been told so many times that it was and I never got round to reading it... But I finally did and it's absolutely brilliant. Looking forward to reading Out of the Easy very soon! Invisibility was really good too - I read that after my Pride and Prejudice exam as an antidote and I really enjoyed it. Look out for my review of that one!

Life After Theft  SOULMATES

JUNE
1. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
2. Spy Society by Robin Benway
4. Soulmates by Holly Bourne
5. The Sound by Sarah Alderson
6. Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

I'm quite proud that I managed to read more books in July than I did in April and May put together, but still, 10 books in three months is not that great, considering last year I was reading 10 books a month! Ah well. Look out for my blog tour stop for Spy Society coming up this month, and also look out for exciting things about Soulmates, later this year! Harry Potter of course was excellent (a reread, but still!) and you can read my review of The School for Good and Evil here.

My favourite book of these three months is...

BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray

I'm probably not going to be reviewing this one as I didn't make any notes about it and I read it a while ago, and because it wasn't a review book I don't have to review it... Sorry guys! Just take my word for it and read it - it's absolutely brilliant and I loved it. 

I'm looking forward to catching up more with my reading in July, especially:

Gloss  The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)  Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

And lastly, here are some awesome books that are coming out in July to look forward to! 

Dangerous Girls  Spy Society  Dead Jealous

Thanks for reading! How was your reading this month? 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...