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!