Sunday, 30 January 2011

Review: Calling for Angels by Alex Smith

Title: Calling for Angels

Author: Alex Smith

Publisher: The Red Telephone

Publication date: 15/11/2010

Book source: Received from publisher

My Rating: 6/10 (a good read)

Buy the book


Summary:

Em tries to avoid the annoying clones – the girls in her year at Philiton Comprehensive who spend all their time thinking about clothes, make-up and boys. She worries about her aging grandparents and her older brother Ollie, who seems to be behaving in a distinctly odd way.

Then three new people come into her life: the mysterious woman who gives her a beautifully carved figurine, Kai whose own story has a touch of sadness, and Zak, the new guy who causes a stir amongst the girls.

And she discovers she needs to call for angels.


My thoughts:

I was intrigued when I heard about this story. It sounded different and it immediately caught my attention – as well as the cover of course which is unlike anything I’ve seen before (in a good way).

I have to admit though, this book wasn’t entirely for me. I did like it for the most part, but I felt that the plot didn’t grab hold of me as much as I wanted it to.

I did like the idea of the story, but I thought there were too many things missing for me that should have been included. I did think maybe there could be a sequel where these things could be brought back to light but I found it too vital for the plot for it not to be included in the first book. For example, who was the woman who gave Em the figurine that lead to the drastic change in her life? And what did Kai do to warrant him being thrown into hell?

These questions were what kept me reading and kept me interested. But then I got to the end of the book and they still weren’t answered which I found a bit disappointing.

However, I did love the characters. Em was a sweetie and took me right back to high school (which wasn’t that long ago I don’t know why I’m exaggerating). High school, especially towards the end, is not just about getting those crucial qualifications for later life, but for finding yourself, who you want to become and maybe how to change to achieve that. Em goes through all those things throughout the book which I found refreshing. She grew up and took responsibility for her own actions.

Em’s former best friend, Caitlyn, was a great character in that she was so unlikeable which was made obvious to be the author’s intention. She was the girl to find popularity more important than true friendship and the one to abandon Em completely. She was refreshing to read about. The only problem I had with Caitlyn and Em’s relationship was that I would have loved to see how they interacted before things became awkward and they became distanced.

Zak was a cutie! I loved Zak I really did. He was so realistic and such a good representation of a high school boy. Kai was great too. I loved how torn he was in what to do and how to help. I only wish I found out more about him at the end of the book!

That’s more or less the only problem I had with the book. The ending. It was too fast and not enough vital questions were answered. But I did enjoy reading the story, it was a cute, fast read.

I also have to mention that the author was 14 when she finished writing this book. Reading it, I can see so much potential for the future and I seriously think that she will write many great reads! Hats off to Alex Smith!


This book counts as:

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Saturday, 29 January 2011

In My Mailbox #7

 

Hey guys, so I didn’t buy any books this week but I did win one from My Kinda Book.

 

I love the cover for this one ( you can probably tell from how big I made it Smile with tongue out) and it looks like it will be an amazing read! Let me know what you thought of it if any of you have already got your hands on a copy and read it.

On My Wishlist #13

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I want but haven't haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.


I don’t have that many on my wishlist this week. I can’t actually think why but…oh well Smile with tongue out


Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthral, and thoroughly enchant.


One choice

One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs, and determines your loyalties . . . forever.

Or, one choice can transform you.

In Veronica Roth's debut novel, Divergent, a perfect society unfolds into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heart-breaking betrayals, and unexpected romance.

And that’s all that’s on my wishlist this week. What’s on yours?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Black Swan
Publication date: 01/01/2007
Book source: Swapped
My Rating: 10/10
Buy the book

Summary:
HERE IS A SMALL FACT:
YOU ARE GOING TO DIE

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.

Liesel, a nine year old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.

SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION

THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
it’s a small story, about:
a girl
an accordionist
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.

ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW
DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES


 My thoughts:
I have honestly never – considering the amount of books I have actually read – read a book as beautiful and well-written as this one. Never. At all. Nope. Wow.

I kind of don’t know what to say when I start to think about what happened throughout the book and what I thought about it. It left me shell-shocked the whole way through. I was just in a constant state of shock. I still am and I finished it two days ago. It just overwhelms me when I think back to how utterly fantastic it really was.

It kind of reminded me of one of those old stories my Granddad still tells me….it has that sort of feel to it I think, but in a better, more masterfully written sort of way – no offense to my Granddad of course!

There is just no faulting this book there really isn’t. The story was breath-taking, wonderful description, a unique narrative, whole and realistic characters and the events that occurred were just….like I said shell-shocking.

This book was so well-written that there didn’t need to be a build up of suspense to any disastrous event. In fact, before anything happened the narrator of the story (death) mentions that such a thing is going to happen and that that was the only warning you was going to get in the meantime. And yet, when it came to happen, I was still as surprised as if I hadn’t been told it would happen in the first place. Only a story as masterfully written as The Book Thief  could make you feel like that.

This is another one of those books that will stay with me forever and one that I will never tire of reading. It’s just so thought-provoking and heart-breaking it left me numb with surprise….I actually sat for about an hour, in the same place, without moving, just thinking about it and not knowing what to do.

I suppose this kind of seems like an exaggerated review reading back but this book is seriously glorious in every way. If you haven’t read it I strongly suggest you do so because it certainly is one of my all-time favourite reads now!

Great quotes:
"I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant."
"He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.
She was the book thief without the words.
Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain."

About the author:

Markus Zusak (born in 1975 in Sydney) is an Australian author. He is the son of an Austrian father and German mother and he is the youngest of four children.
Zusak is best known for his novels I Am The Messenger and The Book Thief. These have been very successful both in Australia and internationally, and have sold more copies and received more publicity and critical acclaim than his other novels.


In November 2006, a book video of The Book Thief was created by Jon Haller, a student at the Columbia University graduate film program and was nominated in The Book Standard's Teen Book Video Awards.

Zusak lives in Sydney, with his wife and daughter and has taken up surfing.

This is book #4 in the 100 books in a year challenge


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CymLowell

Monday, 24 January 2011

Teaser Tuesday #16

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can take part! All you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us (2) teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12 (but don't give any spoilers!)
  • Share the title of the book that the teaser is from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!

You can find out more here!


My current read: Calling for Angels by Alex Smith

Random Page: #45

Teaser:

Everyone’s expecting him to effortlessly get into Oxbridge. What are they going to say when they find out that the reason he failed his exams is because he was skinning up and getting wasted?

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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Review: Alpha by Rachel Vincent

Title: Alpha

Author: Rachel Vincent

Series: Book 6 in the Shifters series

Publisher: Mira

Publication date: 01/10/2010

Book source: Bought

My Rating: 10/10

Buy the book


Summary:

The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we've been busy. But now it's time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother's death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.

It's not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I'm heading for a final showdown that can—that will—change everything forever. A showdown I'm not sure I'm ready for.

But life never waits until you're ready.


My thoughts:

Wow….what an intense read. The last book in the Shifters series certainly didn’t disappoint! This story could have gone so many different ways so I was kind of worried about finally reading it but it really pulled the whole of the series together.

It was definitely another one of those emotional reads where there can be an overload of different emotions pushed on you all at once. I cried at parts, laughed, felt the anger and anticipation of all of the characters and at times a lot of immense frustration when big decisions had to be made.

The level of suspense in this story was incredible. There was the whole rivalry between Prides, the love triangle between Marc, Faythe and Jace, who Faythe would choose in the end and loads of action to make you gasp in shock.

I don’t know what else to say, I’m so sad it’s the end of the series but at the same time, there really couldn’t have been a better ending.

If you haven’t read the series yet, please, please, please go and pick up the first book and read them all!

The Shifters series is definitely one of my favourite Urban Fantasy series of all time.


Great quotes:

"So instead of ignoring the pain, I called out to it, reaching for more. Pain is part of who I am. It’s the defining characteristic of a Shifter’s transformation. Pain is what I suffer from my enemies. It is what I deal out to those who break our laws. It is what I protect my charges from. Pain is what I inherited from fate, that fickle bitch who gave me a mouth and fists, then put me in a world that wanted only my womb and my cradled arms."

 

"I don’t want to love him—this would be so much simpler if I didn’t. But I do.
He’s funny, and passionate, and strong, and he believes in me more than I even believe in myself.
When he looks at me, I feel like I could take on the whole world and come out standing tall. I like
myself better when I’m with him, because of how he sees me. He makes me feel beautiful and
powerful, like I’m the most important thing in the world, and I don’t know how to walk away from
that. I don’t know how to walk away from him."


About the author:

  A resident of San Antonio, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx) and her # 1 fan. Rachel is older than she looks-seriously-and younger than she feels, but remains convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan.

 

 

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Saturday, 22 January 2011

In My Mailbox #6

 

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi with The Story Siren.

 

I bought all of my books this week; here's what I got:

         

       

Friday, 21 January 2011

On My Wishlist #12

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I want but haven't haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.


Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.


When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?


 

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.


 

Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.


In the beginning there was me and Mum and Dad and the twins.


And talk about happy families, we were bountiful.


But it came to pass that I started doing sins.


And lo, that when all our problems began.

So that’s what’s On My Wishlist this week; what’s on yours?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Giveaway: The Life O’Reilly

Competition is now closed






So this is a very big deal for me…it’s my very first giveaway!
Brian Cohen has very kindly offered to giveaway a signed copy of his book The Life O’Reilly.

I have already read and reviewed this book and I loved it! It was a thought-provoking and tear-jerking rollercoaster of a book. Check out my review here.

Rules:
  • The giveaway is international!
  • The book will be sent out by the author.
  • Giveaway ends 15th February.
  • To enter comment on this post and include your email address.
  • Winners will be chosen 15th February at 12:00 GMT
  • Winners will be chosen randomly with a little help from random.org

Reading Challenge: 100 Books in a year

 

 

Hi guys…

So I’ve decided to take part in Book Chick City’s 100 books in a year reading challenge.

 

I’ve never actually kept count of how many books I do read in a year – part of the reason I started blogging in the first place – so I thought why not? It’ll be interesting!

 

For those of you who don’t know, this challenge is basically self-explanatory. You just have to try and read 100 books (or more) in a year. Check out the sign-up page for more info.  

 

This is actually going to be pretty fun for me I think. I’m wondering whether or not I read as much as everyone says I do what with college and exams at the same time! We’ll just have to wait and see!

So tell me, who else is taking part and if you are, how many books have you read?

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Review: Finding Sky by Joss Stirling


Title: Finding Sky
Author: Joss Stirling
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/10/2010
Book source: UK Book Tours
My Rating: 9/10
Buy the book

Summary:
‘You have half our gifts, I have the other…’

When English girl, Sky, catches a glimpse of bad boy Zed in her new American high school, she can’t get him out of her head. He talks to her with his thoughts. He reads her mind. He is the boy she will love for ever. Shadows stalk her past but a new evil threatens her future. Sky must face the dark even if it means losing her heart.

My thoughts:
This was a surprising read I have to admit. I never expected it would turn out to be the kind of story it was.

Since this book is primarily about finding your ‘soul mate’ I was worried that the romance would be one of those ‘I fell for you as soon as I saw you’ kind of reads. It certainly wasn’t. The romance was not at all rushed as was really believable as well as perfectly written. The characters still had substance and depth before they met each other and continued to develop afterwards making the romance very realistic. It helped that the guy involved was a total bad boy…sigh.

I loved how original the story was too. The idea behind some of the characters being ‘Savants’ and the story behind it was really cool to put it simply. It was a new and refreshing read. I only wish it was longer!

About the author:

Joss Stirling lives in Oxford and has always been fascinated by the idea that life is more than what we see on the surface. Researching Finding Sky saw her travelling in the characters’ footsteps, from the awe-inspiring landscape of the Rockies, down a white-river river on a raft, and to the artificial skyline of Las Vegas.
You can visit her website at http://jossstirling.com/




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Monday, 17 January 2011

Teaser Tuesday #15

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can take part! All you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us (2) teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12 (but don't give any spoilers!)
  • Share the title of the book that the teaser is from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!

You can find out more here!


My current read: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Random Page: #550

Teaser:

People who were at the service of Hans and Rosa Hubermann always talked about the girl who stood there wearing a pretty dress and a layer of Himmel Street dirt. There was also a rumour that later in the day, she walked fully clothed into the Amper River and said something very strange.

Something about a kiss.

Something about a Saumensch.

How many times did she have to say goodbye?

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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Review: The Life O’Reilly by Brian Cohen

Title: The Life O’Reilly

Author: Brian Cohen

Publisher: iUniverse (Rising Star)

Publication Date: 18/8/2009

Book source: Received from author.

My Rating: 8/10

Buy the book


Summary:

On the outside, Nick O’Reilly has it all: a high-flying legal career, as a partner of an elite Wall Street law firm, and financial security, with an apartment overlooking Central Park. Having grown up in a working-class family, as far back as Nick can remember this was his dream. But at the age of thirty-six, after several years of sacrificing his personal life for professional gain, Nick has started to ponder his future and consider the mark he wants to leave on society both professionally and personally – his legacy.

After being chastised in the press for turning a cold shoulder to the community, the firm calls upon Nick to help rehabilitate its image by handling its first pro bono case. Nick is asked to represent Dawn Nelson, a domestic violence victim who is fighting for custody of her younger son, Jordan. A far cry from Nick’s speciality of defending the misdeeds of Corporate America, it is up to Nick to set Dawn and Jordan on a path to a better life. But Nick gets much more than he signed up for, as Dawn forces him to reassess his life choices and, ultimately, be true to himself. Only when Nick finally realizes what is truly important in life does he face his toughest – and possibly final – challenge: a battle for his own survival.


My thoughts:

This book certainly takes you on one big rollercoaster of an emotional ride. From love to despair and sorrow with a blend of every feeling possible in between.

Brian Cohen has a blunt, matter of fact way of writing about events in the book making it so realistic as if they were happening right in front of you to your closest friend. It was so engrossing in that manner and kept me reading until I finished the book in just a couple of sittings.

When I read the summary of the book I immediately jumped to the conclusion that this would be a nice read but one that is sort of similar to a lot of books of this genre. I started to think about what I thought I knew would happen before I started reading. It really threw me (in a good way) when I read the first page because it turned out to be so much more than I was expecting. It really gets you thinking about life and what is actually important rather than the stupid things we worry about that don’t actually matter.

It’s a poignant story about life. It’s about sorting out our priorities and about realising our values and what we already have before we lose it. It was wonderful.

This is a story that lingers in your heart as well as your mind and is well recommended.

A big thank you to Mr Cohen for sending me his book to review!


About the author:

Brian Cohen earned his Bachelor of Accountancy from George Washington University and his Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law. He has been practicing law for twelve years. Brian lives with his wife and their daughters in the suburbs of New York City.

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Friday, 7 January 2011

On My Wishlist #11

 

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I want but haven't haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.


 

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?


When the sun goes down, passion is unleashed.


Kennedy Beaumont loves her bartending job, even if her spirited nature sometimes gets her in trouble. Like threatening to hose down one of Pendragon’s co-owners. When it comes to Tristan, she could use a good hosing down herself—maybe it’ll help her stop casting him as the star of her wickedest dreams. Since he goes out of his way to avoid her, it ought to be easy to put him out of her head—until he reluctantly offers her a ride home.


Gargoyle shape-shifter Tristan Callaghan hasn’t had time for anything other than recovering the mystical dagger that was used to permanently lock his brother in a prison of stone. The cat inside him should have stopped craving Kennedy’s touch long ago, but now that she’s sitting next to him in his car, his very human need for her is sharper than ever.


The distraction is costly. In a split second, Kennedy finds herself thrust into a dangerous, millennia-old hunt for Excalibur. A hunt that marks her for death—and leaves Tristan with a painful choice—sacrifice his family, his quest…or the one woman meant to be his.


Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….

So that’s what’s on my wishlist this week…what’s on yours?

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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Title: The Replacement

Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: 06/01/11

Book source: UK Book Tours

My rating: 8/10

Buy the book


Summary:

Mackie Doyle is the Replacement. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement – left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass guitar or spend time with an oddly intriguing girl called Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place – in our world, or theirs.


My thoughts:

This was such a beautifully written book that flowed perfectly.

It was definitely not what I was expecting. The Replacement turned out to have such a creepy tone to it which could be morbid at times. I loved it!

I loved how every event just seemed to meld with the next into a continuous event emphasising a feeling of urgency at points and of darkness.

I didn’t really have any problem with this book apart from the fact that I found it hard to warm to Mackie as a character at first. I think his past and his personality could have been explored a little bit more just to give him that touch more depth to his character. I did eventually grow to love him as I kept reading though.

What I loved most about this book though was the level of description. I’ve never read anything like this before. The descriptive writing was so beautiful and yet so eerie at the same time. It was brilliant.

I really do recommend this book to everyone. It is quite unique in it’s writing and tone. This book is one to stay with you for a while I think.


About the author:

Brenna Yovanoff once thought she wanted to grow up to become an editor. Although it turns out she was was mistaken, she doesn’t regret her days as a slush-pile reader or the fact that she’s memorised large stretches of The Chicago Manual of Style. Her short fiction has appeared in Chiaroscuro and Strange Horizons. She has an MFA in creative writing from Colorado State University and currently lives in Denver. The Replacement is her first novel.

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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore


 Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Gollancz Fiction (Orion books)
Publication date: 22/01/09
Series: The Seven Kingdoms #1
Book source: Bought
My Rating: 10/10
Buy the book

Summary:

In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are both feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing.

Feared by the court and shunned by those her own age, the darkness of her Grace casts a heavy shadow over Katsa’s life. Yet she remains defiant: when the King of Lienid’s father is kidnapped she investigates and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap the old man and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced man whose fighting abilities rivalled her own?

The only thing Katsa is sure of is that she no longer wants to kill. The intrigue around this kidnapping offers her a way out – but little does she realise, when she takes it, that something insidious and dark lurks behind the mystery. Something spreading from the shadowy figure of a one eyed king…

My thoughts:

Oh…my…word….where do I start?

I seriously fell in love with this book from the get-go.

It had everything I personally love in a book; steady romance, fighting, strong female protagonists, characters with mysterious backgrounds, a bit of humour, engrossing action and did I mention the main character has a ‘Grace’ for killing? If that’s not enough to pull you in I don’t know what will.

I loved the history to the characters. They were all well rounded, developed nicely throughout the story and had a unique depth to them making them all relatable somewhat.

Throughout the book, Katsa, the main character, revealed parts of her history that made you really feel for her and made you realise why she did what she did. There was a really nice flow to the story and the memories or flashbacks of Katsa’s, if you will, never seemed out of place.

The other characters in the story were equally amazing. They all had a different relationship with Katsa and were all loveable in different ways. Apart from the evil king with one eye of course!

I seriously can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a fantastic read set in a fantastic world told through the eyes of a fabulous character. Go out and get it! And one for your best friend too while you’re at it!

About the author:



So, here's the short tale of me: I grew up in the countryside of north-eastern Pennsylvania in a village with cows and barns and beautiful views from the top  of the hill and all that good stuff. I lived in a rickety old house with my parents, three sisters, and a scattering of cats, and I READ READ READ READ READ. I read while brushing my teeth, I read while chopping parsley, the first thing I reached for when I woke up in the morning was my book; the only two places I didn't read were in the car and in bed. What did I do then? The one thing I liked even more than reading: I daydreamed.

And so, without knowing it, I was planting the seeds. Reading and daydreaming = perfect preparation for writing.








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Monday, 3 January 2011

Teaser Tuesday #14

 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can take part! All you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us (2) teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12 (but don't give any spoilers!)
  • Share the title of the book that the teaser is from...that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!

You can find out more here!

 

My current read: Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber

Random Page: #24

Teaser:

I gazed outside. I could see the moon hanging in the cloudless blue sky. It looked lonely, staring back at me. I wondered if it thought the same as me.

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Sunday, 2 January 2011

Review: Stone Kissed by Keri Stevens

 

  Title: Stone Kissed

Author: Keri Stevens

Publisher: Carina Press

Publication date: 27/12/10

Book source: Netgalley

My Rating: 6/10

Buy the book


Summary:

When Delia Forrest talks to statues, they talk back. She is, after all, the last of the Steward witches.

After an arsonist torches her ancestral home with her estranged father still inside, Delia is forced to sell the estate to pay his medical bills. Her childhood crush, Grant Wolverton, makes a handsome offer for Steward House, vowing to return it to its former glory. Delia agrees, as long as he'll allow her to oversee the restoration.

Working so closely with Grant, Delia finds it difficult to hide her unique talent—especially when their growing passion fuels her abilities.

But someone else lusts after both her man and the raw power contained in the Steward land. Soon Delia finds herself fighting not just for Grant's love, but for both their lives...


My thoughts:

This is a really difficult read to review mainly because I’m struggling to put my opinion of it into words that actually make sense…

I didn’t ‘not like’ the book, in fact I quite enjoyed reading it, but there was something missing for me. I can’t say what it is though because I can’t put my finger on it.

I thought the story was unusual which gave it a unique twist. You don’t get many stories about witches who can talk to statues…

The plot was intriguing and kept me guessing throughout the whole story. And yet, I still don’t feel entirely satisfied with it on the whole.

I thought the characters had great depth – especially – Delia who I found to be adorable. The main characters had interesting pasts that made them that touch more realistic and maybe relatable in some ways.

I loved the ending. The ending just took the biscuit for me. It pulled the pieces together perfectly and was a  great end to the story.

So, you see, I did enjoy reading this story, I was just left with a feeling of dissatisfaction for no reason that I can name…


About the author:

KERI STEVENS was raised in southern Missouri and has lived in Germany, Arizona, North Carolina and Kentucky. Along the way she acquired degrees in writing and German, a romance hero of her very own, three sons, two miraculous cats and a mutt who licks her when she speaks German.


Her husband gave Keri her first romance novel to read, which unleashed a passion. Several years and a couple thousand novels later, Keri took up her laptop and began writing her own books.
By day, she is a mild-mannered yoga and Oriental dance instructor. By night she creates mayhem and magic in small-town paranormal romance novels like her award-winning debut, Stone Kissed, coming December 27, 2010 from Carina Press.


 

 

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Saturday, 1 January 2011

In My Mailbox #5

 

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi with The Story Siren.

This week I bought Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare!

 

 

I absolutely adore this cover too! What do you think?