Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Book Trailer: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Fracture by Megan Miranda
Release Date: 5th January
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Young Adult

Eleven minutes might as well be eternity underwater. It only takes three minutes without air for loss of consciousness. Permanent brain damage begins at four minutes. And then, when the oxygen runs out, full cardiac arrest occurs.  Death is possible at five minutes. Probable at seven. Definite at ten. Delaney Maxwell was underwater for eleven minutes. And she’s alive.

Note: There's an extract from the book below here, if you can't see it, then click on the title of the blog post and you can read it. Blogger apparently won't play fair with these jump breaks.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Book Trailer & Extract: This is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees

This is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees
Release Date: 2nd February 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: YA

Everyone says that Caro is bad news, but Jamie can’t help himself. He thinks of her night and day and can’t believe that she wants to be his girlfriend. Gorgeous, impulsive and unconventional, she is totally different to all the other girls he knows. His sister, Martha, hates her. Jamie doesn’t know why, but there’s no way he’s going to take any notice of her warnings to stay away from Caro.
As Jamie falls deeper and deeper under her spell, he realises there is much more to Caro than he first thought. She disappears for days on end, she has small scars on her wrists, she talks about revolutions and taking action, and then there are the rumours he hears about the other men in her life.
Always in the background is Rob, Jamie’s older brother, back from Afghanistan and traumatised after having his leg smashed to bits there. Jamie wants to help him, but Rob seems to be living in a world of his own and is increasingly difficult to reach. With Caro, the summer should have been perfect . . . but that isn’t how things work out in real life and Jamie is going to find out the hard way.
You can now read an extract here 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Book Review - A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 5th November 2011
Genre: Young Adult

Summary (Goodreads):
On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites; like fire and ice; Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past. In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
 I didn't really know what to make of this story. I liked it, it kept me gripped enough that I whizzed through the book but...I think my issue with it were Asher and Devin and Skye's barely there strength to just say, 'I have a mind of my own, now do one.' I found the two males need to have Skye do as she's told really, really frustrating to read. In fact it's probably frustrating me more thinking back on it now because I'm reading another book where the male is doing the same thing, only worse! Anyway...

 In saying that, it was well written and I loved the back story that leads up to Asher and Devin being in her life. Skye was a good protagonist, if somewhat weak whenever she was in close proximity to the boys, but at least the thought process is there of how she wishes she wasn't like that and fights it more and more.

I don't want to say too much about it as I'll give too much away about the story. You should go read it, enjoy it and then be like, 'What kind of ending was that?!' then race to check the release date for the next one!

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a story about Angels and some unique ideas of what they are, and to anyone who doesn't mind a bit of damsel-in-distress moments.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Book Review - Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 4th July 2011
Genre: YA - Paranormal/Historical Fiction

Summary (Amazon):
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts, especially since her mother has worked as a fraudulent medium for a decade. Violet has taken part in enough of her mother's tricks to feel more than a little jaded about anyhting supernatural. The ghosts, however, believe in Violet and she's been seeing them everywhere. One ghost in particular needs Violet to use her emerging gift to solve her murder ...and prevent the ghost's twin sister from suffering the same fate.

I love a good historical fiction and this one definitely didn't disappoint. It was a very different style for Harvey, but it had to be with it being set in a different time and country, and she did it so well. If you'd given me this book and My Love Lies Bleeding with no author name on it, I'd never have known it was the same person.

 You meet Violet when she's first taken to a seance that her mother will be holding and realise quite quickly why Violet wouldn't believe in ghosts. Then fast forward a couple of years and Violet's on her way to a major seance with her mother, which is about the time she now starts to see ghosts. She tries to ignore them, but there's one in particular that wants her attention.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story worked, Violet was a good, strong character and I adored her interactions with Colin. It was nice to read a story where the most scandalous thing was a stolen kiss, which was a big no-no for the time. It was all so innocent and respectful. I should've been born in those times.

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes ghost stories and historical fiction.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

NaNoWriMo - Week One is Over!

Yes, once again I'm taking part in NaNoWriMo (hit the link to find out more at their website) and I'm determined to win this year with a good, honest book that I would consider sending off. I have won before but I wrote such twaddle just to make sure that I hit 50k that I cringe every time I think about the storyline.

My word count currently stands at just under 2k. Yes, that's right, less than 2,000 words sit in my NaNo document. But that's okay. I can do this. No, really, I think I can. The novel I'm working on, the one that I absolutely feel will get published...hopefully...maybe...anyway, it currently stands at over 50k of words with the first 25k written in three days. So I know I have it in me to get this novel done this month. It's just pinning me down and getting rid of my bad procrastination habit!

How's everyone else coming along? Hitting that word count every day? Steaming ahead? Or are you like me and know what you want to write but can't get the words down? Or maybe even the dreaded Writer's Block has hit?

Happy writing everyone!

Friday, 4 November 2011

On My Radar - November Release: YA Edition

Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
8th November 2011
Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon
8th November 2011

Mercy Lily by Lisa Albert
12th November 2011
Eve by Anna Carey
5th November 2011

The Sharp Time by Mary O'Connell
8th November 2011
The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
21st November 2011

Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
24th November 2011
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
24th November 2011

On My Radar - November Release

Breakfast at Darcy's by Ali McNamara
24th November 2011
24th November 2011

The Anti-Model Agency by Nicky Schmidt
23rd November 2011
Christmas Magic by Cathy Kelly
10th November 2011

10th November 2011
A Gift for my Sister by Ann Pearlman
10th November 2011

10th November 2011
Home for Christmas by Cally Taylor
10th November 2011

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Cover Love - Until I Die by Amy Plum

Until I Die by Amy Plum
Publisher: Atom (Little, Brown imprint)
Release Date: 3rd May 2012

Summary (Amazon):
Kate may have defeated her boyfriend's nemesis, showing off her sword skills in the process, but Vincent is sure that she will be at risk as long as they stay together. What's more, it's becoming clear that their relationship might prevent him from fulfilling his true purpose: saving the lives of others. They might have the romance of the century, but will that be enough?
The cover for Until I Die was revealed this past week and already I'm in love. And what I love more is that it's in keeping with the look Die for Me had. Nothing worse than having mismatched covers for a series. I would totally have the covers as posters on my office walls.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-thon Take 2

A bit late in the posting of this (again) but this week I'm taking part in the second Bout of Books read-a-thon over at On a Book Bender. You basically read as many books as you can in the week. It's not a race and you go at whatever speed you're comfortable with.

My goal is to read at least 7 books. I'd really like to aim for maybe 10.

The books I plan on reading are:

A Beautiful Darkness (40% remaining to read coming into the start of the read-a-thon)
Haunting Violet
The Replacement
The Spook's Destiny
The Iron Witch
Spook's: I am Grimalkin
The Ghost and the Goth

If I'm doing really well then I hope to tackle these:

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Past Perfect
The Perfect Hero

Books read: 0
Currently Reading: A Beautiful Dark
Pages read: 10% (It's on the Kindle)

Books read: 0
Currently Reading: A Beautiful Dark
Pages read: 20%

Books read: 1
Currently Reading: Haunting Violet
Pages read: 136 + last 10% of A Beautiful Dark

Books read: 1
Currently Reading: Haunting Violet
Pages read: 102

Books read: 2
Currently Reading: Hourglass
Pages read: 114

Books read: 2
Currently reading: Hourglass
Pages read: 56

Books read: 2
Currently reading: Hourglass
Pages read: 142

31st October - update
So once again I didn't read as much as I intended to. Work was stressful this month so my mind was constantly elsewhere whilst trying to read. Maybe next time I'll actually get a book a day read. I remain ever optimistic that I can do better than this!

Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon Roundup


 Just a quick round up, and a late one at that, of my reading for the read-a-thon. When I signed up, I didn't realise that it would coincide with a trip to London, so I wasn't here to participate in the chats and whatnot with everyone else, but 4 hour car journeys means a good chunk of reading can be done. In theory. I'm distracted easily and always fall asleep at some point, even when I was perfectly wide awake not two minutes ago.

Anyway, I'm going on, my reading consisted of:

Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey (Car journey to London)
60% of A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (Evening reading, car journey home)

So not a great deal done, but I'll be sure to check my calendar next time :D.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Breakfast at Darcy's

'Waiting On' Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Breakfast at Darcy's by Ali McNamara

Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown imprint)
Release Date: 24th November

Summary (Amazon):
When Darcy McCall loses her beloved Aunt Molly, she doesn't expect any sort of inheritance - let alone a small island. Located off the west coast of Ireland, Tara hasn't been lived on for years, but according to Molly's will Darcy must stay there for twelve months in order to fully inherit, and she needs to persuade a village full of people to settle there, too. Darcy has to leave behind her independent city life and swap stylish heels for muddy wellies. Between sorting everything from the plumbing to the pub, Darcy meets confident Conor and ever-grumpy Dermot - but who will make her feel really at home?

I absolutely adored From Notting Hill with Love...Actually. It's just the cutest, feel-good book and I definitely feel this one will be the same :).

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Book Review - Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 1st September 2011
Genre: Young Adult

Summary (Amazon):
In book one of the Fury trilogy, Em Winters and Chase Singer discover that a little guilt isn't the only consequence of doing wrong. After Em hooks up with her best friend's boyfriend and Chase's secret harassment of a social outcast spirals out of control, three mysterious Furies-paranormal creatures that often assume the form of beautiful women-come to town to make sure that Em and Chase get what they deserve. Not everyone will survive-and those who do will discover there are worse punishments than death. 
For some reason I didn't know what to expect from the book, and probably because I went in to it with no expectations I ended up loving it. The writing had a pace that was just right. It didn't rush through the story but it didn't drag on either. You got to know the characters and the storyline at a steady pace.

 I wasn't a fan of anyone in this, but I think that's the point. These people are making mistakes that are sometimes unforgivable, except for JD, and I loved the way the Furies were showing up every so often. The way they were written just made the experience so creepy. There was even a couple of shocks that came into the book that I didn't see coming, but really, with the Furies around, anything is possible.

My only gripe with this book, and it's a personal thing more than anything, was the way the characters were for their age. Some of their actions came across as more university student than high school student. Maybe that's how today's teens are in America, probably here in the UK too, but I just felt some of the thought process and actions were those of an adult. That's just me, I never appear to be happy with the way characters behave for their age.

I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a bit of a scary story with a hint of Greek mythology thrown in. This very much reminded me of my Point Horror reading days- oh how I miss Point Horror!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Book Review - The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: 2nd August 2011
Genre: Young Adult

Summary (Goodreads):
The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
For some reason I had it in my head that this book was a contemporary paranormal book, so it threw me a bit when I started it to find it's historical, but I feel that made the book so much better. I love historical fiction anyway, but it's nice to read something that doesn't have all the mod-cons and teenagers worrying over shallow things.

This story was beautifully crafted, like every sentence was thought about before Schwab put it down. The creepiness was just the right amount and you could almost imagine the Near Witch story being real with it being told to children through the generations within the town.

The characters were like you could really imagine them existing at the time. They were really well-rounded with such different personalities and flaws. I loved the protagonist, Lexi- she was so strong and never gave in to anyone, even when it meant she would  be in serious trouble. I wasn't sure about the strange boy, I didn't warm to him, but even he was fantastically created.

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good storytelling, just like they used to be told.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Book Review - Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin Imprint)
Release Date: 29th September 2011
Genre: Young Adult

Summary (Goodreads):
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
This is probably the first book in a long time that I couldn't wait for. Literally. I had it on pre-order for 6 months and when it arrived, I pushed everything else to one side and read it in about 3 hours. It definitely didn't disappoint!

I loved that Lola wasn't an Anna clone and Cricket wasn't a St. Clair clone. These very different characters and I loved them just as much with their own stories and chemistry. Though I must admit, I love Anna and St. Clair's chemistry more, but that still doesn't take away from this amazing story.

I also loved that this had some very real subject matters that people deal with every day and it wasn't all fairytale stories. They were handled really well without bringing the lightness of the book down. Not a gift many authors can get away with (Marian Keyes is the only other author off the top of my head that I can think of doing that.)

Stephanie Perkins has a writing gift. Her writing is effortless to read and has you racing through to know what happens to the characters. You feel like they're real and can relate to them all in some way. It's not often that I read a book and within the hour I'm halfway through (I'm not the fastest of readers, I just make a lot of time for books.)

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good contemporary romance- no matter what age you are!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Time of my Life

'Waiting On' Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Time of my Life by Cecelia Ahern

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 13th October 2011

Summary (Amazon):
Lying on Lucy Silchester’s carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she's been ignoring it and it needs to meet with her face to face.
It sounds peculiar, but Lucy’s read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can’t make the date: she’s much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends friends and avoiding her family.
But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.
Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life – and she’s going to have to keep it
 I love Cecelia's magical themes in her novels. So can't wait for this one!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Book Review - How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith

How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 26th May 2011
Genre: Creative Journaling

Summary (Amazon):

Artists and scientists analyze the world around them in surprisingly similar ways, by observing, collecting, documenting, analyzing, and comparing. In this captivating guided journal, readers are encouraged to explore their world as both artists and scientists.
The mission Smith proposes? "To document and observe the world around you. As if you've never seen it before. Take notes. Collect things you find on your travels. Document findings. Notice patterns. Copy. Trace. Focus on one thing at a time. Record what you are drawn to."
With a series of interactive prompts and a beautifully hand-illustrated two-colour package, readers will enjoy exploring and discovering the world through this gorgeous book.
 How to be an Explorer of the World needs more than one review to show how fantastic this book is! Just like with Finish This Book I'll be doing a few reviews of my progress.

Keri Smith is the master of encouraging you to see things you usually wouldn't see in life. Just flicking through this book I wanted to race out and start doing everything she tells me to do in it.

There are 59 exploration ideas/activities from creating a survey and documenting peoples answers to experimenting with different items as a writing utensil. It takes you out of your box and makes you think like a child again, when creativity had no boundaries.

You're highly encouraged to write/draw/paint in the book and glue things you've collected in to it. I love this idea, but I have such a bad notebook obsession that I couldn't help but open up a new one for my 'explorations'. For me, that means I can keep coming back to some of the ideas and do them again, but some people might prefer to just throw caution to the wind and get stuck in gluing everything you find into the pages of the book. Whatever floats your boat.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is ready to be a child again and start exploring the things in the world we'd forgotten to look closely at. Join me in exploring as I add more and more posts on here!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Silence

'Waiting On' Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: 4th October 2011 (UK)

Summary (Goodreads):
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

Patch. Nora. Angels. That's all.

Book Review - Finish This Book by Keri Smith

Finish This Book by Keri Smith
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 6th September 2011
Genre: Creative Journalling

Dear Reader,
One dark and stormy night, I found some strange scattered pages abandoned in a park...
I collected and assembled them, trying to solve the mystery of this unexpected discovery, and I am now passing the task on to you.
Your mission is to become the new author of this work. You will continue the research and provide the content. In order to complete the task, you will have to undergo some secret intelligence training, which I have included in this volume. 
Since no one knows what lies ahead, please proceed with caution, but know...
This book does not exist without you.
Yours truly,Keri Smith
 This book is not one you can review in one go. So this is the start of a few reviews for this one.

 Finish This Book is something for all those people who never really grew up. You have to start from the beginning and not skip ahead. Throughout the book, you'll become a detective of sorts and explore your world like a child would.

Throughout the book you make observations, notes and create secret codes- and yes, you write in the book. I know, right?! As a person who can't even break the spine of a book when reading, this took some getting used to, but it's so much fun once you get going.

Now what I've said isn't much about the book, because it needs more than one post to really get the idea of how it works. So I'll be updating every so often with progress on how I'm getting on. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to be a child for a few hours and unleash their creativity. The beauty of it is that you don't have to be amazingly good at anything creative- just do, don't think.

So I have my coffee, some of my favourite pens and now I'm going to continue with my exploring detection of the world. There's a mystery out there and it needs solving! Go get this book, guys and join me!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Sweetly

'Waiting On' Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: 6th October 2011

Summary (Amazon):
As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch-like monster in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear, too. When their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out as teens, they stumble upon a sleepy Southern town and are invited to stay with Sophia Kelly at her sweet shop. Sophia moulds candied magic: coveted treats that inspire confidence, bravery, and passion. Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel finally start to forget their haunted past - until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel, who gives Gretchen a reason to fear Sophia: girls have been vanishing at Sophia's annual chocolate festival, taken by the insatiable 'witch' of Gretchen's nightmares. Can Gretchen save herself, the girls of Live Oak, and Sophia?  Of one thing, Gretchen is certain: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.
I really enjoyed Sisters Red and I have a weakness for fairytales retold, so I definitely can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Top 100 YA Books

I've seen this on quite a few blogs today and I can never resist going through it myself. No one seems to be sure where this is from, but I can agree with most of these being there :).

Bold means I've read it.
Italics means I own it, but have not
 read it yet.
Bold italics means I have read it and own it.
  1. Alex Finn – Beastly
  2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
  3. Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
  4. Ally Condie – Matched
  5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
  7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
  9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
  10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
  12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
  13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
  15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
  16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
  17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3)
  18. Christopher Paolini - Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
  19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
  20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
  21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
  22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
  23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
  25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
  26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
  27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
  28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
  29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
  31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
  33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
  34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
  37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
  38. John Green – Paper Towns
  39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
  40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
  41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
  42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
  43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
  44. Lemony Snicket - Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
  45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
  46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
  47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
  49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
  50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
  52. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
  53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
  54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
  56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
  57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
  58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  60. Meg Rosoff – How I live now
  61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
  63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
  64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
  67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
  68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
  69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
  70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
  71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
  72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
  73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
  74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
  79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
  80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
  81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
  82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
  83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
  84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  85. Scott Westerfeld - Leviathan (1, 2)
  86. Scott Westerfeld - Uglies (1, 2, 3, 4)
  87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
  88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
  89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
  90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
  92. Stephanie Meyer – The Host
  93. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
  94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
  95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
  96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
  97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
  99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
  100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

Not read as much as I thought. I need to remedy this.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Book Review - Soul Beach by Kate Harrison

Soul Beach by Kate Harrison
Publisher: Indigo (Orion Imprint)
Release Date: 1st September 2011
Genre:  Young adult

Thank you to Waterstones for sending this to me.

Summary (Goodreads):
When Alice Forster receives an email from her dead sister she assumes it must be a sick practical joke. Then an invitation arrives to the virtual world of Soul Beach, an idyllic online paradise of sun, sea and sand where Alice can finally talk to her sister again - and discover a new world of friendships, secrets and maybe even love . . . . But why is Soul Beach only inhabited by the young, the beautiful and the dead? Who really murdered Megan Forster? And could Alice be next? The first book in an intriguing and compelling trilogy centred around the mystery of Megan Forster's death.

 This was a fantastic start to a trilogy. It really set up the story so that you know the characters, know the social network of Soul Beach and are ready for whatever the next books will bring. You meet Alice and her family on the day of Megan's funeral and you really get the feel for what the family has gone through since losing Megan.

 I love the unique storyline of Megan being a reality singing show winner. I've always wondered what it would be like for the family of someone famous or on one of these reality shows. The way everything is portrayed is believable. I could really imagine the family life being this way.

 Overall I think all the characters were fleshed out perfectly. These were characters you could imagine to be real people somewhere in reality. Everyone had their flaws, their own way of coping with Megan's death and their own way of interacting with people. The writing moved at a steady pace and kept me reading to find out more about how Soul Beach works and who the killer was (I have my thoughts on this and usually I'm not wrong).

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good ghost story. This definitely worked for me and I can't wait to read the next two books.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Cover Love - A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell

I think I'll always love Jill Mansell's covers. So here is the obligatory post of her new cover. Adore it!

It's been a while, but Lara Carson's back in Bath and lives are set to change as a result. Because Lara left her family and boyfriend Flynn eighteen years ago without a word to anyone. Why has no one heard from her since? Her childhood best friend Evie is thrilled Lara's back and able to share her happiness. Evie's about to walk down the aisle with her dream man, Joel. Or so she thinks... Then there's Flynn Erskine, even more attractive now and stunned to see Lara again. The spark between them is as strong as ever, but how's Flynn going to react when he discovers the secret she's been keeping from him? Oh yes, there's a lot of catching up to be done...

Monday, 5 September 2011

Coffee Break - The Urge of Writing

Lately I've had such an overwhelming urge to write. However, I can't seem to actually do the deed.

I have plenty of ideas and sometimes I have subplots and other ideas that stem from those original ideas. Then I sit down and look at that blank word document and just can't seem to put down what's swirling through my head. The words won't come yet I can see the pictures of what I want to write.

I've never had this problem before. Usually when I can't/don't write it's because the idea of what to write next isn't there. Mostly I can see the end, just not how to get to that point because my imagination has stalled on what to put in the journey.

This time I know the journey, just not the words to put it down. My urge to write is becoming unbearable now. I sit with a blank document open all the time and have a notepad and pen with me ready for when I can find the right words. I need to get these stories out of my head before they drive me insane.

Writers, have you ever had this problem? What did you do to work yourself out of it?

Book Review - Vampire Academy Series (Books 2-6) by Richelle Mead

My intention was to review these individually, but I found recently I wasn't the only one who hadn't read this series yet. I saw at least 5 other bloggers reading these books at the same time as me. So I decided to review the last 5 all together so that I didn't give much away and ruin anything for those who haven't read the series yet. I'm also not putting a summary here because I made the mistake of reading the summary of Last Sacrifice whilst I was still reading Blood Promise and new a major plot coming up because of it

Originally I had never felt the need to read this series, vampires were being done to death, but then Last Sacrifice was coming out just before last Christmas and the book blogging world appeared to be going crazy to find out what happens to Rose and her friends. So I added it to my library books list and finally got round to them over the summer.

I wasn't blown away by the first book Vampire Academy but there was something in the chemistry between Rose and Dimitri that held my interest for me to keep going. The further I got into the Vampire Academy world, the quicker I devoured the books. I was completely hooked. I'm glad I didn't get into them before all the books were out as I think I would've gone crazy waiting for each one.

The only interesting character for me was Dimitri. There were a lot of layers to this character and with the things that happened to him, I wanted more on him than anyone else. I found myself slowing down on my pace of reading when there was no Dimitri involved in the storyline. He was just so interesting to read and I would love to see more of him with his family and before he met Rose. Or even something during the time he wasn't with Rose.

As feisty and strong as I found Rose, I also grew irritated by her sometimes. I would cringe in embarrassment at some of her outbursts. Especially the childish ones involving Dimitri. I could never relate to her when she was like that. She was selfish and self-centred too, which she didn't seem to realise a great deal. However, I did love the fact she refused to be a victim, even if it did get repeated- a lot. I think that's what makes Rose such a good protagonist. She has these flaws, but her heart can be in the right place.

I wasn't that interested in the rest of the subplots of the series involving some of the other characters. I found Rose's bond with Lissa a little bit too convenient for the sake of these subplots. I did adore the friendship between Rose and Lissa, but I wasn't a great fan of Lissa. She seemed to be lacking something for me.

The series wasn't without it's flaws, but the writing was addictive and fast-paced. Every book had an issue that was resolved by the end of it, yet left with enough of a cliffhanger to keep the stories going. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves vampires and are looking for something new in the genre.