Monday, 6 December 2010

Cover Love: To The Moon and Back - Jill Mansell

I love Jill Mansell's books and her covers are always a firm favourite of mine, but I'm loving this one so much because of the blue.


When Ellie Kendall tragically loses her husband she feels her life is over. But eventually she’s ready for a new start – at work, that is. She doesn’t need a new man when she has a certain secret visitor to keep her company...

Zack McLaren seems to have it all, but the girl he can’t stop thinking about won’t give him a second glance. If only she’d pay him the same attention she lavishes on his dog.

Moving to North London, Ellie meets neighbour Roo who has a secret of her own. Can the girls sort out their lives? Guilt is a powerful emotion, but a lot can happen in a year in Primrose Hill...

Book Review - Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey


Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 1st November 2010 (UK)

Summary (amazon):
Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?


I love the first two Drake chronicle books, My Heart Lies Bleeding and Blood Feud and I think that was what made me have high expectations for Out for Blood because I only liked it instead of loving it. The formula was the same, but it was missing something and I didn’t devour the book as I thought I would.

The chapters, like the other two books, bounce between characters and this time it’s Quinn Drake and Hunter Wild that we’re following. Hunter is a vampire hunter and Quinn is a vampire, so that’s complicated enough but add in some Hel-Blar attacks and some very suspicious things going on in the Helios-Ra and nothing is simple for these two lovebirds.

 I didn’t really love this book because this was more about Hunter and the Academy and not a great deal about the Drakes. Hunter isn’t irritating, but she’s bordering it. Her friends, on the other hand, definitely making it on to the irritating train, Chloe especially- she’s worse than Lucy. And Quinn…well apart from the odd one or two personality traits, I can’t really say he’s all that different from the other male Drakes that have taken the lead in previous books. I would certainly get lost if there are a lot of scenes with all the Drake boys in it.

 I will continue reading this series because the writing is so light and frothy, and it flows so naturally. I wish it had had that sharp humour in this one though like it did with the others. Apart from that, still worth the read if you've started the series.

3/5

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Off the Shelf Challenge

I'm throwing my hat in for this challenge, Off the Shelf hosted by BA Reading Challenges. The gist of the challenge to is to read those multiplying books off your shelf that you already own and have been sat there for months, maybe years (some of mine are older than my animals!) and get that TBR pile right down over 2011. This will also kick me into touch with get my Personal Reading Challenge done.

For more information and to grab a button to put on your blog go here. This post will be where I update what I've read, I don't have any in mind just yet, because I've got all of December to get through and I don't know what I'm reading through it.

I'm going hardcore and taking on the Buried level, which is 126-200 books.

1. I Am Number Four
2. Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings
3. My Soul to Lose

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011





Another reading challenge I'm taking on for 2011. This one is hosted by The Book Vixen and you can find her blog post about this challenge here. The challenge is basically read more books in 2011 than you did in 2010.

I know 2010 is not over yet and there's still reading time left, but I know if I knuckle down I can get some good reading done in 2011, so I'm heading for the hardest challenge level: I'm On Fire - Read 16+ more books.

I'd put a list here of what I'm going to read, but I still don't know what I'm going to attack out of my TBR this month, so I'll just leave this post to be my little update area for my list.

ToBeReMo

Think NaNoWriMo only reading, not writing. For more information visit here. It's a great little challenge having neglected my reading a fair bit in November due to me procrastinating (and not winning) NaNoWriMo. It even has it's own hashtag on Twitter for updates: #ToBeReMo

There's 6 levels and I'm challenging myself to the Insane level (11-13 books). It runs through December, so quick, join in the fun. I figure if this is on my blog, I'll get my reading mojo on again. So here goes...

1. From Notting Hill with Love...Actually by Ali McNamara
2. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
3. Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon
4. Mrs Fry's Diary by Mrs Fry
5. Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
6. A Weekend with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly
7. The Good Man Jesus & the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

EDIT: (1/1/2011) So, didn't quite get to the thirteen I was hoping for. I blame Christmas ;).

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

I'm Doing the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, Are You?

 

I'm participating in The Story Siren's 2011 Debut Author Challenge. All info and signing up can be found here.
This is my post for me to keep track of the books I've read over the year of 2011.

4. Hereafter
6. Die for Me

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The BBC Reading Survery

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES.
• Bold those books you've read in their entirety.
• Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read only an excerpt.

I don't do a lot of these, but I love doing the book ones just to see how I'm fairing up.


1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen


2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling


5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee


6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott


12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare


15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis


37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov


63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas.

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker


84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Saturday, 20 November 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

Hosted by the Story Siren

It's that time of year to sign up for the debut author challenge which Kristi over at The Story Siren hosts. This is my first time actually doing a reading challenge publicly. I've got my own personal reading challenge, and reading challenges I've done by myself without publicly announcing it, just did it to see if I could. So here I am, signing up for it.

You can get all your info and how to sign up here.

Here's the list I'm trying to work through along with my many other books:

Timeless
Being Billy
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Unearthly
Angelfire
The Lipstick Laws
Paranormalcy
Entwined
The Near Witch
Dark Mirror
Divergent
Hereafter
Starcrossed
Die for Me
The False Princess
The Latte Rebellion
XVI
Across the Universe
The Iron Witch
Here Lies Bridget
Forsaken (The Demon Trappers)
Halo
Entangled
The Iron King
My Soul to Take
The Replacement
Firelight
Between Shades of Grey
Angel Kiss
Soul Beach
Haven
Wither
Darkness Becomes Her
Falling Under
Other Words for Love
Where I Belong
Wake Unto Me
Bumped
The Goddess Test
Hourglass

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Atom Love

This is my Atom Love Post. I'm proving something, so go with it :).

Little, Brown have an imprint called Atom (I'm sure you all know that), and they're compiling a list of bloggers over in their Tower of Awesome Books. So while I was pondering if my blog was too new to be added, I glanced at me books and realised how much I really do love Atom books.

I'm missing my black Twilight series (don't judge me...I really liked the white covers (my husband already laughed in outrage at me)), the rest of my House of Night series and an Atom book at the bottom of one of my TBR piles. Can't remember what it is, I just see the Atom logo on it.

 I knew I had read a lot of Atom books, with loads still in my TBR pile, I just didn't realise how many until I yanked them out to prove my love to the guys over at Atom. So what do you think, Atom peeps? Is my love big enough?

Monday, 15 November 2010

My Week In Reading

Think of My Week in Reading like Kristi's (The Story Siren) In My Mailbox...only what you've read this week instead of what books you've received for the week. 

So I totally read this many books in the past three weeks:

 Honest...I really did...you're not buying it, are you? I wouldn't either. However, you would think that with the time I've not posted about what I've read I'd more than caught up on my challenge, wouldn't you? Nope. This reading slump has taken a good hold AND NaNoWriMo is here too, so my challenge is struggling a bit.

Anyway, this is what I read:
 
Hunter Wild is training at the Helio-Ra Academy to be a vampire slayer only to find herself falling in love with one of the Drake vampires! Add some mysterious illness at the academy, Hel-Blar attacks and a traitor within, it's all getting a bit complicated. Imagine if Hunter's grandfather found out?! 

 Yes, that's right, one book read in all this time. Not even waiting 21 hours for the Harry Potter premiere (I met Ralph Fiennes so it was all worth it) had me catching up on some reading thanks to the heavy rain. Quite a pitiful state of affairs. I figured out before that at this rate I need to read 1.1 books a day to still complete my personal challenge.

What did everyone else read this week?



Sunday, 7 November 2010

A NaNoWriMo Post

Just a mini post. So...how's it going everyone? On target? Good, good. I'm not. Just look at the pitiful excuse for a word count over there *to the left*.

Last year I 'won' NaNo, but I won't deny that was with some padding out of certain scenes, like describing what every person in the room was wearing including the nurse who happened to pass by the door at that moment in time or having a whole conversation on the beauty of a good cup of tea (I hate tea by the way). The previous years I didn't win, but the unfinished novels were good, honest writing work and so I just wanted to get to the finish line just for one year. Now that I've done that, I'm back to where I started and that's behind on my word count. Again.

The novel idea I'm working on out of my idea notebook has potential. Or at least I feel like it has potential. I got so excited about writing it and what I could do with the characters but they're just not talking to me yet. Damn them! Don't they know it's rude to ignore their creator? At the minute it's feeling a bit forced and more like work than something I enjoy doing.

So yeah, that's where I am. Talk to me, where are you guys?

Friday, 29 October 2010

Book Review: Nanny Returns by Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin

Ten years after the fateful night when Nan was fired, she returns to New York with her husband, HH. Finally settling in to build a permanent home and get her consulting business off the ground, Nan's plans are derailed by HH's sudden desire to start a family - and her surprisingly strong resistance to the idea. Matters are further complicated by a late-night, drunken visit from a now fifteen-year-old Grayer, who's stumbled upon the nanny-cam tape Nan made on her last night in his mother's employment - and wants some answers. Racked with guilt and struggling to find a way to help Grayer and his seven-year-old brother, Stilton, through their parents' vicious divorce, Nan finds herself getting sucked into the Upper East Side world of wealth, power and dysfunction all over again. Set against the backdrop of a Manhattan economy cracking along the fault lines, The Nanny Returns plumbs the humour and heartbreak of a community who chose money over love, only to find the money evaporate - and their children ready to tell all.

You don’t necessarily need to have read the previous book The Nanny Diaries. This book stands by itself fairly well apart from a couple of references to previous events, which are easy enough to understand and figure out what happened.

Now, I didn’t really enjoy this book, but that isn’t what you think it means. Emma and Nicola are fantastic writers and I’ve loved their previous books, with The Nanny Diaries being the least fave…well, this one takes it’s place now. Nanny Returns was really easy to read, the plotline flowed easily and you really get to know the characters quickly. The reason I didn’t enjoy it was because of the story. It makes me absolutely terrified that people like Grayer, his parents and school peers actually exist. Terrifies. Me. I suppose that means Emma and Nicola did their job then.

Nan returns to New York after ten years of following HH (Harvard Hottie), her husband, round the globe with his job whilst getting her qualifications and whatnot in various countries. Not long after her return Grayer turns up on her doorstep, drunk, doesn’t really remember her, and isn’t impressed with Nan and the tape she left him when she was sacked as his nanny all those years ago.

Feeling guilty, Nan gets sucked back into the Xes’ lives because she wants to help Grayer and his little brother, Stilton, in whatever way she can. Add to that HH’s need to have children now and a new client for her business being a money school that panders to the students because mummy and daddy pay lots of money into the school, and you’ve got a complicated life for Nan. Oh yeah, and we’re at the start of the global recession.

As I said before, the story flows so easily that the reading of it was not an effort. It was the plot- the characters- that made me not enjoy it. Manhattan money people are scary, vicious human beings that shouldn’t have the privileges they have. Of course, I’m tarring them all with the same brush, I’m sure some, or maybe most are actually very nice people, but not in this book they weren’t.

If you don’t mind reading about your Average Joe trying to understand these money people while doing her thing, then this is for you. But if you’re like me and sit cringing with every page just reading the things these characters do and say, then avoid, avoid, avoid. Even saying that, I’m giving the rating that I am because the writing is fantastic and I can’t knock them for rounding out their characters so much that I hate them. Job well done on that front.

3.5/5

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

National Novel Writing Month 2010!

I can't believe it's here already! Where has this month gone? Actually...where has the year gone?

Someone mentioned on Twitter it being nearly November and I had this moment of thinking, 'There's something about November...but what?' Then I looked at my great big to-do poster on my notice board and under November, in great big green letters, it said, 'NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH!' I've no idea how it escaped me that it was looming. I've planned nothing. Luckily, I've got a couple of story ideas floating round in notebooks that I haven't used yet, so I'm gonna pick one of those and work on the plot tonight. I've never been so disorganised for it since I did my first one in 2006.

Anyway, are you taking part? Buddy me if you are...please?: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/177761

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

My Week in Reading

Think of My Week in Reading like Kristi's (The Story Siren) In My Mailbox...only what you've read this week instead of what books you've received for the week. 

Guys...I've read this many books...

 Alright, you got me. I read this many books...
Still not buying it? Okay...this is what I read this week...
Well, to be more specific, I read 2 books that were rolled into one, so it's one step up from last week but no where near where I should be now! I'm just not getting out of this reading slump, even though the week started so promising. I read the first book in the bind-up in less than a day.
  Wicked: Witch & Curse (Amazon UK) by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie. Holly Cathers is cruelly ripped away from her life in San Francisco when her parents and best friend die in a tragic accident, and the woman she was meant to live with inexplicably takes ill. She is off to live with the aunt her father hadn't spoken to in years and her two daughters (husband is there too...just). Strange things start to happen with her family history racing into the forefront of everything.
 As well as Nanny Returns, I shall get reviews for them up here this week as things around me settle a bit more.
So readers, what have you been reading this week?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

'Waiting On' Wednesday: Out For Blood

'Waiting On' Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Totally jumping on the bandwagon with this event. (Image Source)

Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey

- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
- Release Date: 1st November 2010

Amazon.co.uk summary:

Hunter Wild just wants to get through her last year at the secret Helios-Ra Academy. To do so, she'll have to betray her grandfather, date a vampire and possibly take down the entire League - all before the end of term. 

 Loved the first two books, My Love Lies Bleeding and Blood Feud more than I thought I would. I find the lineage of Vampires intriguing and that they can be born and turn at a certain age is something that I'm loving 100%. At least I don't have long left to wait to see what happens next.

Monday, 18 October 2010

My Week in Reading

Okay, think of My Week in Reading like Kristi's (The Story Siren) In My Mailbox...only what I've read this week instead of what books I've received for the week. It's all to do with that bloody personal challenge I've set myself and helping me to keep track on how I'm doing.

I'm doing it like this to help me build up my blog a little bit more on the book side of things and because Kristi is my book blogger idol, so I look to her blog for my little bits of inspiration on what to do with this blog.

 Anyway, my reading this week has been poor. Would you believe it- I'm in a reading slump. Either that or the book I read wasn't that great, which I suspect it really wasn't.

My one read this week was Nanny Returns (Amazon) by Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin. It's ten years on from The Nanny Diaries (Amazon) and Grayer is back in Nan's life, bringing his little brother, Stilton with him. Add the politics of upper class Manhattan, the recession and Nan's husband wanting to start a family and you've got some very stressful times ahead for Nan.

I'll pop my review up at some point this week and hopefully have a better reading week coming up.

On another note before I wrap this post up, I've had a nosey round and can't find any other blogs that do their week of reading. I know there's the reviews and In My Mailbox, but I want to know what you're reading right....now! Let me know...I'm nosey like that.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

It's Time...

 When I was little, from about the age of 5 years onwards, I had hair down to my waist. (See picture to your right. I was nearly 6 and playing golf in Spain.) My parents loved it a bit...no, I lie- a lot more than me...I think they forgot it was me that had to live with it 24 hours a day, and wouldn't let me cut it unless it was a trim of the split ends.

 Then I turned 15 and 10 years of begging, pleading- literally on my knees- clinging on to my mother's hand asking her to get my hair cut finally paid off. I took her, 'I give in, do what you want' as a yes, grabbed my sister and raced to the hairdresser's. One hour later and I was swishing my shoulder-length hair with the best of them...but still wished it could be shorter. Like pixie-cut short.

The closest I got to a pixie cut was a long bob when I was 17 (naturally my mother hated it because it was so short) and I realised that even though I wanted to go shorter, I couldn't bear the embarrassment if it looked ridiculous on me and the people I worked with would ridicule me. So, I promised myself that if I ever got the chance to work from home and not see my co-workers every day, then I would do it.

It would appear that day has come. I finally got the job working from home and the promise to myself was shouting out to me loud and clear when I spotted Ginnifer Goodwin looking absolutely adorable with a pixie cut on the cover of Instyle. (Let's not mention Emma Watson at this point because I feel she looks like a boy and the cut does nothing for her.)

I'm giving myself the weekend to mull this position over, but chances are, my hair will be as short as Ginnifer's (see pic to your left) in less than a couple of weeks...should my hairdresser be able to fit me in.

I'm rather excited about it now. It's only another 10 years on from that original major cut!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Book Review - Della Says OMG by Keris Stainton

Della’s over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party – but then she discovers her diary has disappeared...
When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della’s distraught – how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?


This is the first book I have completely enjoyed for a very long time. Every page was a joy to read and I couldn’t really fault the book other than it was probably a bit young for me, but hey…I’m a female Peter Pan! I’m never growing up! In all seriousness though, this book was just what I needed to get out of my reading slump. Just a nice normal read with no paranormal beings falling in love with us humans.

Della is your normal sixteen-year-old girl with all those thoughts, worries and doubts girls her age have. Then the boy she has fancied all her school life comes to her sister’s going away party and takes an interest in her. The story centres around their developing relationship, with a sub-plot of Della’s diary going missing and trying to figure out who has it when they start sending her pages or quotes from it.

See, nothing complicated about the story. It was a breath of fresh-air. The writing flowed nicely. Nothing seemed forced. The characters were believable. What I loved most about the characters was the love and support of each other. Sometimes families and friends are there for each other just because they can be. No need for sullenness and ‘get out of my life’ drama from Della only for her to realise at the end they were only trying to help her. She knew from the beginning, which made the story even more lovely and warm.

I do have one gripe about the book; it needed more about the diary. That’s all. So I’m giving it full marks. I know it wasn’t the most intelligent, thought-provoking books I’ve read, but as I said before, this book wasn’t aimed at people my age, and Keris Stainton thoroughly entertained me with this story of Della.

5/5

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Book Review - Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.


This book definitely left an impression on me. It starts off with Isobel and Varen being forced into a pairing for an English project and their disdain for each other completely rolls off the page. Then the attraction for each other slowly comes into it, much to Isobel’s friends’ horror, and the boyfriend isn’t too happy about her spending time with him either. Then strange things start to happen around Varen and Isobel is getting caught up in it too, all with Edgar Allan Poe being linked to it all somehow. It can’t be a coincidence that Varen picked Poe for their project…can it?

I absolutely adored this book and the way Kelly Creagh wove the elements of Poe and his mysterious death into the plot (I’ll definitely be making more of an effort to read his works now more than ever). All the events, conversations, arguments, thoughts flowed so effortlessly and the characters were all well-rounded and realistic. The hint of supernatural goings-on was just right…until the last third of the book, then I got a little bit lost and wasn’t enjoying the book as much for about 50 pages. It just didn’t fit with how the book was going. That was my only issue with the story.

I fell in love with the way Kelly took Poe’s death and the mystery around it, and she ran with it. The whole story worked and you could almost imagine this was why Poe died the way he did. Having never read Poe’s works, I did get a little bit lost with that part of the book, but it wasn’t an issue. Kelly definitely helps by adding some facts about Poe throughout the book when they’re doing the project. If anything, it gets me intrigued to really sit down and learn about Poe. It’s a pity he wasn’t on my school curriculum…or my university module of American literature; go figure.

I know I could write so much more about this book, like some of my peeves, but my gist is this: I adore this book. 

Nevermore isn’t getting full rating only because of that small bit in the book where it goes from being about this strong attraction to all-out paranormal happenings that I couldn’t follow completely. It lost the chemistry between the characters a little bit. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series and I cannot wait for the next book! I shall just have to catch up on my Edgar Allan Poe while I do wait.

4/5

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Start of the Epic Book Reading Challenge.

Image source
Today (11th Oct '10) I started my personal reading challenge of 365 books in 365 days. I say started loosely. I'm only a few chapters in my first book. Got a few things going on that are playing on my mind, so reading wasn't a go today. Concentrating on the plot while my head is going ten-to-the-dozen about stuff just wasn't fun.

So. Not a great start, but I think I can catch up this week. My plan is to just update every week with where I'm at rather than bombarded this blog with, 'Yay. Finished a book- praise me for it!' But most of them will probably be reviewed, so you might just get that.

Off I go.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Setting a Personal Reading Challenge

After having a a small conversation with Michelle Harrison on Twitter about To Be Read Books/Piles, I realised that I had no idea exactly how many books I'd accumulated and not read yet. I just knew that they'd been gathered up in my office and the pile wasn't going down.

 I decided the other night to haul the lot of them out of my office and on to the hallway upstairs and see how ridiculous it all looked. I didn't know whether to dance with glee or hang my head in shame at having so many to read. Even the cat took one look at them, threw a dirty look and trotted into my office in disgust.

Anyway, some show and tell. Here's my To Read Pile...

 ...of the books that I've borrowed from a friend. You were thinking, 'Is that it?' Weren't you? Well, 20+ books from a friend is enough to be getting on with as it is...you would think? I'm not even going to think about how many books she has unread too.

Okay...*drumroll*...here is my sickeningly large pile of unread books (no, I can't show you my read books. They're gathered in the far corners of the house praying for someone to rescue them and be read again)!

 Isn't that just the most obscene thing you've ever seen?! I think I need an intervention. Or find a husband that isn't such an enabler. He's got many books unread too!

Once I saw them all laid out like that, I realised just how much I needed to get a move on with reading them. So, here's my personal challenge *takes a breath*...

In that obscene pile is 354 books. If you add my friend's books too, my To Be Read Pile comes to 392. And then there's my Kindle and the books on there...well, you get the point.

 My personal challenge is this: 365 books in 365 days *wince*.

 That's a book a day. Well, in theory anyway. You, me, the husband, and the four cats know I won't do a book a day. However, my plan is this: no life for me. Just kidding. Kinda.

My real plan is this: no reading drought from May to September this year. Year in, year out I read about 60-70 books, but for some reason, I just can't seem to read in between those months. I might get 2 books read if that. That should bump up the amount I read quite dramatically. Then there's the odd trips to London when I'd usually fall asleep with my mouth wide open, drooling ungracefully, and waking up suddenly with the grunt of coffee stop to husband. (Woes is him for being the only one of the two of us who can drive!)


Also, I've spent many a day this past year wasting away before Facebook and their addictive games. Then there's work, which I can't avoid until I'm a big selling author, so I'll have to read around it. I'd say my many other hobbies might called to be done, but let me be honest here; I've an addictive personality and those Facebook games totally own me at the moment. My cross-stitching, card making, jigsaw puzzling and film watching have all gone by the wayside because of those pesky pixels called crops. Woe betide anyone if my crops wither! But not anymore! For I have my challenge to complete! And complete it I will...try my hardest!

 Back to the matter at hand- I'm going to start my challenge on Monday 11th October. That gives me the weekend to read my library books and another book I have on the go. (We'll just ignore the 15 other books I"m currently reading too as they're on shelves and not in that pile.) It gives me some time to really organise myself and see what sort of tactic I want to take on this.

I figured that if I actually blogged about this then I'm more likely to work at getting these lovely books read. Otherwise I'd have the half-hearted attempt at keeping note of my challenge on the notice board and by the time new year rolled round I'd have forgotten all about it. Now that it's out there for the world to see about it, I'm more like to try and reach my goal! Especially when the plan is to blog every week where I'm up to.

Anyhoo...wish me luck, hate me, laugh at me...or join me...what say you?

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Day Zero Project: Number 99

Own a white cat. Bit of a bizarre goal to have but I just love, love, love white cats, with black cats coming in a close second. Now I have both :).

I'd spotted my next door neighbour had gotten a white cat with just two small patches of black on its head and I was jealous! It had the most prettiest face I'd seen on a cat. My love for white cats was up and running again. So, on the off chance they had a white cat, I went for a wander at our local RSPCA on Saturday (25/9/10). Plus, I'm on the firm belief that animals pick you and completely own you, so if one did pick me and it wasn't white...better in my home owning me than being in a rescue shelter. (Not a word to the hubby.)

We'd barely gotten into the cat section and there he was. Drew.


At first we were nervous that he couldn't be ours. He needed a quiet home...three cats, a King Charles cavalier and two very vocal parrots in our house...what do you think? We asked anyway...I'm using the Royal 'we' here. I got hubby to go the asking. They'd only put it because he was a bit nervous/skittish. Well, we could handle that! Two of our three cats are tortoishell cats! Skittish is putting it lightly with them two!

We put a second reserve on him (someone else wanted him too, but they really needed a house cat because of where they lived, and Drew isn't a house cat...he needs his space, don't you know?!). Sunday afternoon comes around and we get a phone call, 'Would you like to come pick Drew up now?'

Never moved so quick in me life! Got Drew home and he's settling in quickly. Not phased by the dog one little bit. Marley thinks he can play with him like he can with our black kitten, Riley, but Drew's faaaar too sophisticated for that nonsense.

  The other two tortoishell cats, Fred (Winifred) and Gismo, are a pair of miserable, sour old women (they need their sleep), and don't take too kindly to the kitten at the best of times, even though he's been with us for 3 months now. Now add a white cat into the mix and they don't know whether they're coming or going, the poor things. Got one in my office under my chair as we speak and the other one under the hubby's chair in his office.

Now Riley the kitten is a little bit freaked by Drew and his colour but still does that child thing of, 'Ah! New cat to talk to! Hi, I'm Riley, who are you?' Only Drew isn't too keen on this way of doing things and gives him a warning before running away.

All will settle soon enough though. I think Riley and Drew will be sleeping pals in a few months, once Riley is out of the 'play-all-day-don't-need-sleep' phase. Although I do think Drew has been hit before he ended up in the rescue centre. He's very nervous round quick moving hands and people moving too quickly to him. Other than that, he's an affectionate, slightly forceful, soul who wants loving.

I can haz cheezburger nao?
That's Marley and Riley having a play. Best friends forever them two! Also, excuse the carpet, having recently decorated, and with a dog in the house, the carpet is due for its clean. *shame*

Friday, 17 September 2010

Day Zero Project: Number 75

Number 75 on the list is to start a blog and paper diary to keep a note of everything I do on the list. Well, here's the blog...and now the paper journal.
And it's all nicely decorated with stickers...love me a good notebook. Still fairly empty because I've not updated the tasks I've completed on my list and I've still got a fair few to go.

Go me with my organisation. Getting there slowly.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Start of a Beautiful Friendship

I've had my Kindle for nearly two weeks and it's love! All them books at the touch of a button. I can even get passages to see if I'll like the book...couldn't do that in a bookshop without getting some funny looks off the staff, with mutterings of, 'This is not a library!'

I'll still be a lover of the hard copy in my hands (I'm a secret page smeller...shhh! Don't tell anyone) and the feel of the covers, but being able to take a ton a books with me in that little thing is my idea of heaven. I'm terrible for taking at least ten books with me for a weekend trip anywhere, just so that I have choice, and sometimes they get a little ruined- I can't abide ruined books. Dog-eared and creased books make me cry and don't get me started on seeing someone lay a book flat down to hold their place whilst bending the spine so. I can almost hear the book whimper when I see that.

So yes. May I proudly introduce Emma's Amazon Kindle!
My only gripe, Mr Amazon, is when prices of books are the same or more as the hard copy. I'm well aware that the author needs paying and so do the people working their little socks off to get the book there, but you've no printing costs! What's that about?!

Still love it though! Now, anyone need ebooks reviewing?



Saturday, 11 September 2010

Book Review - Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver


They say 'live every day as if it's your last' -- but you never actually think it's going to be. At least I didn't. The thing is, you don't get to know when it happens. You don't remember to tell your family that you love them or -- in my case -- remember to say goodbye to them at all. But what if, like me, you could live your last day over and over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have no regrets? Or are there some things you'd want to change...?

Lauren Oliver did a wonderful job with this book. Every word, sentence and paragraph was just right. If one word had been different it wouldn’t have been the novel that it is. It’s deep, thought provoking and makes you sit back and think about the decisions you make in your life.

The story starts with Samantha Kingston living the last day of her life without her realising it. She goes about her business with her popular friends like there is always going to be a tomorrow to wake up to. Then she has to keep reliving that day, changing things and seeing the consequences every one of her actions have on the people around her. Everything is linked even when she doesn’t see it.

There are snippets of Sam’s life before Lindsay takes her in to the fold of the popular groups. That was when Sam was relatable and her own person. But as a popular person, she was a sheep, doing whatever it took to keep her place at the top of the hierarchy. For me, I really couldn’t relate to her then, as I’m not one to follow the crowd. I’m too stubborn for that. I would read the moments when she knew she could make a different decision but didn’t want to be seen to be the odd one and I wanted to scream at Sam to be her own person.

Even though I couldn’t relate, it shows what an extraordinary job Lauren has done with her characters.  They’re well-rounded with flaws and reasons for their behaviour, slowly making the reason people are the way they are, even when they are deliberately cruel. Constantly testing each other just to get a reaction. And there’s her ability to describe everything perfectly and set up scenes that aren’t needed, but at the same time they are needed because we all do some things in our lives that no one sees. Like when Sam stands in front of a mirror letting the steam from her shower slowly dissipate from it and she sees herself coming into view. Those were nice touches to get a real sense of who Sam really is away from her friends.

Unfortunately, this book is a year or two too late for me to make me think about the consequences of my actions. Things have already happened that make me realise how precious life is. That doesn’t take away from the story though because we watch Sam learn all this. It’s usually at her age they really do start to realise; we’re just seeing it at a moment where she’s had to learn in the extreme.

As I grew up in the UK school system, I’ve no idea what the American school system is like, so I couldn’t help but feel that the book was a mixture of the films Mean Girls and Groundhog Day. It was really unoriginal and predictable in that sense. When Sam starts her story on the last day of her life, and we meet her friends, from then on I constantly had the ‘Queen Bees’ in mind. That’s all I could think about whenever Sam et al did something cruel or shameful. That was the only thing stopping this book going on to my favourites list and getting a full score.

4/5

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Cross-Stitching Weekend

Last week I was taken to a shop, with the husband and mother, so that my mother could buy some wool for her knitting. I've lived in this area and I had no clue about this shop...the cross-stitching, card-making and crafting stuff available is unreal! HEAVEN!

Anyhoo, I bought 3 large cross-stitch kits and 4 tiny ones.


I spent the whole of the weekend doing the little ones on and off, while catching up on some reading too. Definitely a nice weekend all round.


Book Review - Evermore by Alyson Noel



Sixteen-year-old Ever is the sole survivor of a car crash that killed her entire family. Living with her aunt in Southern California, she's plagued by the ability to hear the thoughts of those around her, and haunted by the ghost of her little sister. She tries to tune everyone out, shunning her old lifestyle as the pretty, popular cheerleader, but somehow she can't hide from Damen, the new guy at school. Stunningly handsome, clever and not a little bit intimidating, there's something about him that doesn't quite add up. Ever realises he's hiding something, but nothing could prepare her for the truth - especially when the truth involves past lives, murderous enemies, everlasting love and the secret of eternal youth.

This book was predictable but it was done in a nice, comfortable way that made the entire thing a pleasure to read. I loved every word of this book and was sorry to see it end, but at least it’s just the start of a series.

It starts off with Ever quickly explaining how her ‘gift’ works and how it came about and why she keeps herself away from the popular crowd, having previously been part of the popular crowd before her parents died. The story then quickly moves to Ever’s two friends, Haven and Miles, then we meet Damen, who quickly becomes Ever’s love interest, and has some strange qualities about him.

The story follows the romance that blossoms between Ever and Damen but through one reason or another it never quite happens. This was the only frustrating and unnatural flow of the plotline. It felt like Ever kept making problems out of nothing and Damen’s response at times was childish considering how old he is. However, even with this, the story still remained a page-turner.

The characters were uniquely shaped with little tics and quirks that made them real and believable. Everything about everyone made the story feel natural even with its paranormal plotline, which is a gift in itself. It’s a job well done on Alyson Noel’s part and I look forward to delving deeper into these characters’ stories.

A refreshing read that I would recommend to anyone who loves a good paranormal romance.

4/5

Book Review - The 13 Curses by Michelle Harrison


The Thirteen Treasures have become the Thirteen Curses. When fairies stole her brother, Red vowed to get him back. Now trapped in the fairy realm, she begs an audience with the fairy court where she strikes a bargain. Her brother will be returned - but only if she can find the thirteen charms of Tanya's bracelet that have been scattered in the human world. Returning to Elvesden Manor, Red is assisted by Tanya and Fabian and a desperate hunt begins. Soon they make a shocking discovery. The charms now have twisted qualities of the thirteen treasures they represent...and the longer they are missing the worse the consequences will be. Can Red, Tanya and Fabian find all the charms? And even if they do, will the fairies keep their promise?

In this installment, The Thirteen Curses, from Michelle Harrison we follow the story of Red who we met in the first installment- The Thirteen Treasures. For me, this second installment was amazing. Even now I’m sat here trying not to gush and say, ‘I loved this book just because.’

Due to the fact that the truth had come out in the previous novel, there was more freedom to give a back-story to the characters from the beginning rather than throw it at the reader all at once near the end. It was nice to go along for the ride with Red, to experience things for the first time with her and not try and second-guess why other characters are doing or saying the things they are doing or saying. It’s one thing to have a twist in the plot but it can get too much, causing you to race through the book for the characters motives therefore not enjoying the story as much as you would. With The Thirteen Curses you can enjoy every moment, detail, and storytelling with ease. There’s never a lull in the book, there’s always something going on, with a reason behind every action.

Michelle Harrison has done a wonderful job creating this refreshing world of fairies and weaving the fairies folklore and history into a subject matter done many times before. When the stories of the some of the ‘Thirteen Treasures’ are told to Red, the reader can almost believe them because they’re been written with such amazing detail. Even the descriptions of different fairies give the reader a clear picture of how they look. It’s this detail that gives the reader a sense of believability. Your imagination can take over and you could almost be sat with Red as she tells you her adventure to get her brother back.

In all honesty, my review does not do this book justice. I’ve yet to see a review do any justice for The Thirteen Curses. I wish this book had been published when I was younger. This is a magical book that every young person should read before they grow up. Even with that thought, anyone and everyone should read this book, whether they are young or old. All I can say now is go read this book and I hope you’ll love it as much as I did.
5/5

Book Review - Uninvited by Amanda Marrone


Jordan hates her life! Her boyfriend Michael dumped her, hooked up with half the other girls in the neighbourhood, and then killed himself. And then there's the broken record of boring parties, meaningless flirting and friends she can't relate to. But now, somehow, Michael is back, appearing at her window every night, begging her to let him in. Jordan can't understand why he wants to get back together; he was the one that dumped her! But, as the weeks drag on, she feels her resistance wearing down. Instead of partying and socialising with her so-called friends, now Jordan runs home to the safety of her room before dark, and waits, alone and terrified, for the sun to go down. Creatures like Michael need to be invited in before they can cross over the threshold. All Jordan has to do is say the words...

I did and didn’t like this book. I loved that Jordan feared Michael and that he was something to be feared. It was refreshing to read a vampire story that kept a vampire as something to be feared. I didn’t love Jordan’s need to blame everything around her for what was going wrong in her life. Even with a mother who is never there for and can’t seem to love Jordan for who she is, it still angered me no end that she couldn’t seem to accept responsibility for her own actions.

The book was fairly short and had an ‘indie’ feel to the plotline. If it hadn’t been so highly recommended to me and I didn’t love supernatural stories so much, then I probably wouldn’t have even glanced at this book. (The cover was just as bland as the story.) The best part of the book was the last 50 pages when the reader finally understands what Michael’s plan is and how truly evil vampires are. The rest I found dull.

Jordan’s actions throughout the story- the drinking, partying, sleeping around, skipping school- was all very unoriginal and I felt like I’d read the whole story a thousand times. The same goes for her three friends. Rachael has an answer to everything and is easily angered. Gabby and Janine are the flaky ones who don’t really care and are just looking for a good time. All their actions and comments were predictable.

Overall the book was intensely written with a dark foreshadowing on the plot, but I would’ve enjoyed it more if Michael had revealed his actions earlier and it had been prolonged. Or maybe if Jordan had just done the obvious and had one of her friends to stay over so that they could see Michael and understand what she was going through.

The end of this book saved itself and so I’ve given it a generous rating. I would recommend it to anyone who loves how vampires are meant to be written, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it.

3/5

Book Review - Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon


If you fall too fast, you just might crash...Daisy has been dumped, unceremoniously jilted. Not by any ordinary guy, no...Daisy has a secret in her past that she won't even tell her best friend, Holly. She's given up on men - and on her own family. But life still has to be lived and where better to recover than as far away from home as possible. Grabbing a chance to see the world, Daisy packs her bags and joins the team catering to the world's highest-paid, supercharged racing drivers on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. From Brazil to Italy, from Melbourne to Monte Carlo, life passes in a dizzying whirlwind. But nothing - and no one - can stop Daisy from falling again...this time for a man who is prepared to risk his life, and his heart, for the sake of speed, danger and ultimate success.

Paige Toon knows how to hook a reader into her story. By the end of the first chapter I was drawn into Daisy’s story and stayed up late reading the first half of the book. I will admit the story is predictable, bar one plot twist that shocked me, but I liked that predictability of it all. It was like slipping into a comfortable pair of pyjamas and you could relax in the knowledge that you were getting into a good, warm story.

You meet Daisy as she meets Will and Luis, two Formula 1 drivers who have just been signed up with the team she ‘caters’ for. Will she falls for instantly. Luis she hates at first sight when he nearly runs her off her scooter. The story between the three characters stays at a nice steady pace and everything is described in such a manner that you’re there with Daisy. You feel her all her emotions as she tries to stop herself from falling for Will due to him having a girlfriend, and you especially feel her anger when she argues with Luis, but those were the best bits for me.

All of the characters, even the ones mingling in the background, were well rounded out, each with their own quirks that make them slightly more real. The descriptions are all innocuous yet fantastic for building the bigger picture and padding out this warm story. Everything is believable to such a degree that this story could be real. Toon’s history and research has paid off because it’s a job well done.

Daisy fell for Will but I personally fell for Luis. Such a feisty, cheeky character with hidden depths and warmth. I devoured every page he was on like reading was going out of fashion. Luis made the story for me. On the flipside, Holly, Daisy’s co-worker and best friend, her sub-plot was distracting and pointless. I thought it didn’t really serve any purpose in the story and I wasn’t interested in it, I wanted the story to get back to Daisy’s predicament with Will every time Holly’s secrets were brought up.

Paige Toon has a natural gift for writing. The story can be read with ease and enjoyment. Not one part of this story, even Holly, wasn’t a chore to read. Everything moved along fluidly and naturally, and the descriptions of Daisy’s environment and everyday activities were spot on; not too much and not too little. I would highly recommend this book.

4/5

Book Review - The Hollow by Jessica Verday



When Abby’s best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone in the town assumes that she is dead. Everyone, that is, except Abbey.


Struggling to come to terms with Kristen’s disappearance and desperately seeking some answers, Abbey finds herself drawn more and more to the mysterious- and drop-dead gorgeous- Caspian, who keeps reappearing in her life. But Caspian has secrets of his own, and when Abbey uncovers the frightening truth about him, she starts to question not only their emerging love but also her own sanity…

To start off with, I have a confession. I judge a book by its cover. I know I shouldn’t but if the cover doesn’t call out to me then I’ll just keep walking. This is why I join book clubs- they make me read books with ugly covers and fall in love with them.

When I first saw The Hollow looking so pretty in the young adult section, it took all my willpower to not race to the till with it immediately, especially as the blurb just wasn’t as seductive. Every time I went into a bookshop, I would immediately go to this book and then play the deciding game. I think in doing this I hyped the book up for myself too much.

It does a good job in drawing you in the first few chapters. It kept me interested long enough to get a third of the way through. Then the boredom hit. It was incredibly dull.

The general story, and I would say sixty per cent of it, was about everyday activities. School, homework, perfumes, eating, etc. Out of the 500+ pages Caspian appeared in about 100-150 of them. It felt like the big romance was all in Abbey’s head most of the time because when she did meet with Caspian, the spark of their romance wasn’t jumping off the page. The words used to describe the scene were lackluster and do nothing for the reader. Even the ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ doesn’t pick up the blandness.

The tagline at the bottom of the blurb says, ‘Sometimes love knows no boundaries…’ What love? There is no love in this story. There was more love in the Legend of Sleep Hollow quotes at the beginning of each chapter. The great thing about teenagers and romance is that they have these raging hormones that make it all seem more dramatic and intense. There was none of that. Not even on Abbey’s part- who is four years younger than Caspian. At sixteen years old there wasn’t even a hint of excitement that an older guy was interested in her, but then where is Caspian’s interest in Abbey? It wasn’t on the pages that I was reading.

There was also very little on Kristen and her death. That was the only interesting part of the story and it drops out of the plot right in the middle with not even a neatly tied-up goodbye note for the reader. If it wasn’t for the fact that Abbey thinks about Kristen once a chapter, then you would completely forget about the mystery brought up in the plot.

As for the end of the book- it was rushed, it was lacking and it was a big cop-out. Even with the knowledge that there will be two books to follow this one that will answer all my questions cannot excuse the bad ending. Everything that is left wide open in the plot is done in a sloppy manner. It doesn’t make the reader get excited about continuing Abbey and Caspian’s story. In fact, I will be avoiding the next two books like the plague.

However, I do have a good note for the Verday’s writing; she is fantastic at setting a scene. The town of Sleepy Hollow was vividly described. The reader could imagine everything as though they were there themselves. Unfortunately, this same ability that Verday had didn’t work on her characters because I still don’t have a clear imagine of how anyone looks. They blend in to each other.

1.5/5

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Book Review - The Splendour Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Sylvie Davies is a ballerina who can't dance. A broken leg ended her career, but what broke her heart was her father's death, and what's breaking her spirit is her mother's remarriage. Still reeling Sylvie is shipped off to stay with relatives in the back of beyond. Or so she thinks, in fact she ends up in a town rich with her family's history ...and as it turns out her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys she can't stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, is the expected choice. But handsome and mysterious Rhys has a hold on her that she doesn't quite understand. Then Sylvie starts seeing things - a girl by the lake and a man with dark unseeing eyes peering in through the window ...Sylvie's lost nearly everything - is she starting to lose her mind as well?

 




This was drawn out and pointless for the better part of it. It redeemed itself to two stars for the last hundred pages but even that was rushed and didn’t flow smoothly. It was like reading the author’s train of thoughts as they jumped from one thing to another.

It took, sometimes, up to 20 pages just to get through one scene. If my timeline has been worked out correctly I think the entire 500+ pages takes place in one week with the first 200 pages being covered over 2 days. So I will echo my previous sentiments, because it really is the only thing that springs to mind when thinking of this book- it was too bloody drawn out!

Whoever wrote the blurb on the back of the book deserves a pay rise because it held more promise for the book than it could actually offer.

My review could be a little more eloquent but, quite frankly, I've wasted enough of my life on this book. I wish I were someone who could give up on a book. I've only ever done it once and it still kills me that I didn't finish it. At least 'The Splendour Falls' wasn't as bad as that book.


 Rating: 2/5

Friday, 30 July 2010

The Post That Started It All!

If you've found your way to this post, either you really want to know more about my blog and me, or I've not updated my blog since this post...hello anyway!

I have a ridiculous amount of hobbies. So many, in fact, that I have piles of hobby things and none of them have been touched in a while. For example, I cross-stitch and I have over 200+ cross-stitch kits to be completed thanks to a magazine I collected a few years ago. Imagine that with jigsaw puzzles, card-making, scrapbooks, reading, writing and anything to do with Fairies. My office is full of piles of books, notebooks, jigsaw puzzles and boxes containing a variety of hobby things, not to mention the ornaments.

So, it's time I organised myself, stop collecting and started doing, and my thinking is that if I do a blog then it'll spur me to do the hobbies, rather than be in the habit of collecting them. Hopefully I'll be able to make a load of blog friends too and we can trade tips, reviews and the like.

My blog will be made up of the following:

- Any projects that I'm working on like cross-stitch kits, scrapbooks, and card-making.

- Book reviews. There's 300+ books sitting in my office needing to be read and I like reviewing, keeps me writing.

- Writing. I like writing. I'm writing two novels at the moment with a notebook full of ideas to be worked on. Maybe one day someone will want to publish them but I'm just having fun writing them at the moment.

- Day Zero Project. Another thing to get me organised and doing stuff with my life rather than idling along. It's a wonderful site to help you set goals out and achieve them.

- And maybe some ramblings in general. I like to ramble. Especially when I'm excited about something.

There you have it. That's me and my ability to horde everything in my life! Join me and comment so I can follow your blog too.