Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Review - 13 to Life - Shannon Delany

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early


***
I really enjoyed this book. It's a really original twist on the werewolf theme which was totally engaging to read. The book was quite slow on the whole and not all that much actually happened. In fact at the end of the book I had lots of unanswered questions rattling around my brain. While this would normally be a bad thing, this book had me totally hooked and I am desperate to know more.

I loved the main characters of Pietr and Jessica and I am dying to know how their relationship develops. I hope they get it sorted and Jessica shows Sarah what for. I have the feeling that Pietr is going to be a fascinating character who has a huge amount more than has already been revealed. I loved the whole Russian thing that this book had going on and I can't wait to find out if more about the Mafia Links. I also liked the that for the first half of the book (or more) the story could just be a boy meets girl in high school book, until it twists and becomes so much more.

Don't pick up this book expecting it to be a stand alone - it is a fab introduction to what will hopefully be a cracking series but it will leave you with far more questions than answers but if you are anything like me you'll be hooked.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Review - Blue Noon - Scott Westerfeld

The Midnighters have emerged victorious from their greatest challenge. They now know much more about the secret history of Bixby and, with the halfling dead, the Grayfoots' link to the darklings has been severed. But the cost is high. Rex's horrific experience in the desert has left him damaged, painfully suspended between light and dark. Melissa's violation of Dess's mind and the shameful revelations of her past deeds have shattered the uneasy bond among the five teenagers. What they need now is some time to heal, but what they get is the surprise of their lives when the blue time arrives in the middle of the day. It seems the walls between the secret hour and real time are crumbling, and soon the dark creatures will break through to hunt after centuries of waiting. And as if that wasn't enough for Jessica to deal with, her little sister, Beth, is becoming more and more determined to crack the secret of midnight - a goal that could have consequences more dire than she can ever have imagined. 

***
I really didn't get this book. I'd like to think I'm reasonably intelligent and all (what with having a degree, although I will admit I am still dizzy the difference between left and right still mystifies me) but I just didn't get it. Maybe it was because it just got too complicated and I gave up concentrating or maybe it was Westerfeld trying to be too clever but I just didn't get it.

I liked the idea that the history of the midnighters was being explored. I didn't like what happened to Rex, I didn't understand really why all these normal people are wandering around the blue time and I hated the ending (and I had to read it three times to make some sense out of it). It is quite repetitive in its plot line at the beginning and I just didn't get it. Definately the most disappointing book I have read this summer.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

In my Mailbox (12)

In my mailbox is hosted by kristi at www.thestorysiren.com - she rocks

I didn't receive loads of books this week but the ones I did were awesome and ones I had been waiting for, for a while. While making the most of my last week of not being at work I have read all of them (well I will have done in an hour or two) which was also helped by the fact that my cold came back and I have had a couple of days about the house not doing a lot

From www.amazon.co.uk (all preorders)

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (very excited about this)


I am number four - Pittacus Lore   (very very excited about the film coming out next year)


The Legacy - Gemma Malley (awesome series that I love brilliant dystopian fiction)


The Candidates - Inara Scott (this looks awesome - I am about 1/3 through and loving it)

Expect reviews for all of these soon! I intend to read as much as possible during my final three days of freedom - I literally do not know how I'm going to manage going back  after 5 and half weeks off work.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Review - Captivate - Carrie Jones

Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his


***
A very short review because I got quite bored through this as nothing actually happens until the last minute and that is only one thing. Then just as it is all about to kick off it stops. I'm not that put off that I won't read the next one but I need there to actually be a story to enjoy it.I probably won't be waiting too excitedly for it.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Fab Friday Find

eclectic eccentricity

I have been wanting to do a friday post on this little website find for a while. Some of you may know that in a former life I worked selling Jewellery both in a shop and online. One of my favourite things was buying for the shop. Our boss would take a couple of us to a trade fair with a price budget and tell us to get things. I was literally like a kid in a toyshop.

This is a brand I would have recommended they stock if I were still buying from them. All the Jewellery on the website is handmade and a little bit different. I ordered something not all that long ago and it was fab, arrived quickly and securely.

My favourite piece to long for at the moment is this necklace which is only £16.50. Awesome

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Review - Fallen - Lauren Kate

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her. 


***
I have been very keen to read this since I saw in in the bookshop. The cover is awesome.

This series has potential but you really have to stick with this book as it is very very slow to get going.

The book starts by introducing you to Luce and the situation she has suddenly found herself in, arriving at a boarding school for "troubled" teens.

The first two thirds of the book crawl along. It is vaguely interesting but not all that original or different to be anything all that special. I didn't warm to Luce all that much as I thought she was a bit dull. I did feel a little bit for what she went through as she clearly is surrounded by a load of head cases. I did love the character of Penn and thought she was really sweet.

Where the book does finally pick up is in the final third. Eveything starts to come out and loads and loads of questions are thrown up. I don't think I fully got any of it or really even know where it is going but I am very very interested to see where it is going.

A book which is worth sticking with it - a potenially exciting series - I hope it delivers

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - The legacy - Gemma Malley

I absolutely loved this series when it first came out. I recently got a beautiful first edition signed copy of the first book. I am looking forward to this lots!!

When a Pincent Pharma lorry is ambushed by the Underground, its contents come as a huge surprise - not drugs, but corpses in a horrible state. It appears Longevity isn't working and the drugs promising eternal youth are failing to live up to their promises. A virus is sweeping the country, killing in its wake, and Longevity is powerless to fight it. When Richard Pincent of Pincent Pharma suggest that the Underground has released the virus, something has to be done to put the story straight and once and for all alert everyone to the truth.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Review - The Rescue - Sophie McKenzie

The third title in a thrilling new series about four teenagers with psychic abilities, from Red House Book Award-winning author, Sophie McKenzie.

***
This series is improving with each book. It picks off where the last one left off with the 4 teenagers of the Medusa project heading of to a camp in Spain. I really enjoyed the fact that this book was for Ed's point of view as he has been a character who hasn't really developed all that much so far. I really enjoyed seeing him grow into his ability throughout the story. As with previous books the story is a very quick read. It is probably better for a younger age target audience as I find them a little predictable and sometimes want to shout at the characters for doing really silly really obvious stuff. The pace of the book was quick and there was a lot of action throughout the story. The final part in the church was particularly good. A series I'd really recommend for younger teens. Looking forward to seeing where it goes when the next one is published.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Review - Claire de Lune - Christine Johnson

description stolen from goodreads.com

Torn between two destinies? Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf. As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?.
***
I really enjoyed this book. I received it yesterday and haven't been able to put it down since. It is a brilliant introduction what what should be a cracking series.

The book was quite slow to start, introducing both Claire and the world she has found herself in. As is quite understandable she freaks out big time. While it was slow it was nice getting to know some of the characters before launching into the story along with the whole scene being set for the mystery of the killer werewolf. I must admit I thought I had the story cracked but was completely wrong when I got there.

I liked Claire as a character and thought she was really sweet and down to earth. I loved the relationship she had with her best friend and that Claire struggled to come to terms with the fact that their relationship had changed somewhat now that Claire had become a werewolf as she now couldn't be completely honest with her. I was interested in Matthew but he didn't really get enough scene time as it were to be developed enough for me.

The final section of the book is where all the action finally happens. I literally couldn't put the book down at this point and without saying too much I thought the outcome was awesome. Looking forward to the sequel already.


Saturday, 21 August 2010

In my mail box 11

Slow week this week on purpose I need to get through my TBR pile! Off to London this weekend so I will probably find some fab things there!

I bought


I bought a lovely hardback copy of Private Peaceful as I love the book and only had it in paperback. I have the 5th book in the Horowitz series  so found this secondhand so thought I'd get it.

frrom www.readitswapit.co.uk

I read the first one of these a while ago and found this on readitswapit.

from abebooks.co.uk



I got a lovely hardback version of this which was signed as I loved it and only had it in paperback.

Review - The adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E Pearson

Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a year-long coma, and she's still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. Her parents show her home movies of her life, her memories, but she has no recollection. Is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?

Little by little, Jenna begins to remember. Along with the memories come questions—questions no one wants to answer for her. What really happened after the accident?

In this fascinating novel, acclaimed author Mary E. Pearson presents an unforgettable look at one human life and a glimpse into a possible future that may be closer than we think


***
This was a fantastic book. I am deliberately only going to write a short review as I don't want to give anything away. The story is based on the story of Jenna a girl who has been in a coma following an accident. The story twists and turns throughout and keeps you guessing throughout. It deals with a range of moral questions which make you think. A thoroughly good read which will keep you guessing until the very end.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Fab Friday Find

Fab Friday Find is my weekly post where I share with you fab things I have found out about I think you should all know about

www.truffleshuffle.co.uk-  
A fantastic website which does Tshirts, jumpers and other things with retro cartoon characters and the like
This website is literally awesome - They send stuff out really quickly and their stuff is awesome.

My favourite (which I am wearing as I type this) is

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Review - Brightly Woven - Alexandra Bracken

Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.

Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.


***
I'm going to start by saying I bought this book purely for the cover. Before you tell me that is shallow just look at it. It is gorgeous.

I did enjoy this book even though fantasy isn't my thing at all. The book is well written and is fast paced action adventure meaning that I finished it very quickly. The main character Sydelle was sweet but feisty and I warmed to her quickly. It took me ages to warm to North (although I did in the end) as he come across badly to start with but I think this is intentional. It was nice to read a young adult book that wasn't full of bad language and/or sex (which many authors seem to think must be in a young adult novel to keep it engaging). The story was charming and completely unpredictable. I didn't once guess where it was going and it concludes quite nicely.
To sum up a fab little book which I enjoyed despite it not being at all the type of book I usually read. I will definitely keeping my eye out for future Bracken releases.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - raised by wolves - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I have had this book on preorder forever. I can't wait until it finally hits the UK!

Description from www.goodreads.com

Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two.

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian's basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents' murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she's shaped? 


 

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Review - The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family. 

***
This book is completely awesome. I have been hearing good things about it for a while and wasn't at all disappointed with it. I doubt this review will do justice to how good it is.

The story focuses around Kyra and her life in a religious cult called the chosen ones. She is told early into the book that she has been chosen to marry her uncle who is 60 years older than her and is horrified at the prospect. As a character you instantly warm to her. She a likeable, naive and loving character and from the instant you hear what she is up against you want to do anything to help save her from the life she is being forced into.

The thing that struck me the most is Kyra thinks all that is happening to her is her own fault as she had sinned by doing a variety of things teenagers take for granted (like reading Harry Potter).

The saddest thing in the story is Kyra's struggle as she is on the whole quite happy with her lot and she loves her family dearly and she is frightened that whatever she does will hurt them. As the story goes on it just gets worse and worse as she literally has no options and no where to go to get out of the situations she is being forced into.

A fantastic book which will leave you speechless. Not only because is it awesome also because it is true to life and highlights what some young girls living in some unsavoury religious cults must go through.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Reviews - The Secret hour and Touching Darkness - Scott Westerfeld

The Secret Hour

Nobody is safe in the secret hour. Strange things happen at midnight in the town of Bixby, Oklahoma.
Time freezes. Nobody moves. For one secret hour each night, the town belongs to the dark creatures that haunt the shadows. Only a small group of people know about the secret hour -- only they are free to move about the midnight time. These people call themselves Midnighters. Each one has a different power that is strongest at midnight: Seer, Mindcaster, Acrobat, Polymath. For years the Midnighters and the dark creatures have shared the secret hour, uneasily avoiding one another. All that changes when the new girl with an unmistakable midnight aura appears at Bixby High School. Jessica Day is not an outsider like the other Midnighters. She acts perfectly normal in every way. But it soon becomes clear that the dark creatures sense a hidden power in Jessica . . . and they're determined to stop her before she can use it. A story of courage, shadowy perils, and unexpected destiny, the secret hour is the first volume of the mesmerizing Midnighters trilogy by acclaimed author Scott Westerfeld.

***
I really enjoyed this book.

The whole story was set up around a group of midnighters - people born at the stroke of midnight who get to experience the 25th hour of the day. I loved idea from the outset. The focus of this book is the discovery of a new midnighter - the new girl in school. This book was fast paced and action packed. Whilst reading it you got brief overviews of each of the characters involved and the whole world built up around them It was really creepy in a lot of places when the group were coming up against the creatures that lived in the midnight hour which played on people's nightmares and could can form. I loved the different relationships between the characters and would like to see how they develop. All the characters themselves were interesting by my favourite by far was Dess and her weird and wacky ways.

To have given the book 5 stars I would have liked a little more background on the characters and whole midnighters world as I already have lots of unanswered questions. Let's hope they are answered over the course of the series.

Fast paced, action packed and leaves you wanting for more
_______
 
Touching Darkness


The Midnighters of Bixby, Oklahoma, know that their town is full of secrets. These five teenagers are the only ones who know about the mysterious hour at midnight when the world freezes, except for them and the creatures that inhabit the darkness.
But they do not know why earlier generations of Midnighters all disappeared, or why they are now the only Midnighters in town. As they learn more about the secret hour's twists and turns, they uncover terrifying mysteries woven into the very fabric of Bixby's history, and a conspiracy that touches both the midnight hour and the world of daylight.
At the same time, the Midnighters' own secrets start to emerge, including some that were never meant to come to light, changing the fragile dynamics among the five.
This time Jessica Day is not the only Midnighter in mortal danger, and if the group can't find a way to come together, they could lose one of their own — forever.
A tale of betrayal, horrifying revelations, and powerful alliances, touching darkness is the second volume of the riveting Midnighters trilogy by acclaimed author Scott Westerfeld.

***

I really enjoyed this book, an awesome follow up to the first book in the series. It picks up pretty much where the first book left off. What I enjoyed about it most is the book is finally giving the story a bit of background looking in more depth to the whole notion of midnighters. You are introduced to a new character who opens an awful lot of the story up and the main plot is superfast, gripping and suspenseful.



Looking forward to reading the final book in the series.


Sunday, 15 August 2010

In my mailbox (10)

I wasn't going to buy anything this week! It just sorta happened.
IMMB is hosted by Kristi at www.thestorysiren.com
all links go to www.goodreads.com


From http://www.reaveleybooks.co.uk 
This is an awesome website specialising in modern first editions

How I live now - Meg Rosoff
Before I die - Jenny Downham
The Declaration - Gemma Malley
I have read all three of these before and loved them so I thought I would invest in them as signed first editions.

From www.amazon.co.uk

13 to life - Shannon Delany - Had this on preorder for ages and very pleased it is already here!

From www.readitswapit.co.uk

Ash - Malinda Lo - The cover of this is beautiful.

Charity shop find

The charity shops in Norfolk are rubbish - I found this awesome gem in Ely in one of their many charity shops


The prophecy of the sisters - Michelle Zink

From Topping and company.
A fantastic bookshop in Ely. I loved it so much and am tempted to drive the over 2 hour drive every weekend just to visit the gorgeous children's section (it has a room to itself). The thing I really liked is they had loads and loads of signed first editions of books (therefore all of these are signed). I was like a kid in a sweet shop. If you are ever in Ely it is very close to the Catherdral in the main high street.

Fallen Grace - Mary Hooper
The fool's girl - Celia Rees
Revolver - Marcus Sedgwick

Won

I never win anything - I was so incredibly excited when this arrived.
A huge thanks to Jo at http://onceuponabookcase.blogspot.com and Simon and Schuster

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 - Vornholt, Cover and Henderson

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Review - My love lies bleeding - Alyxander Harvey

The Blakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.

***


I don't like to write less than good reviews but I just didn't get on with this book. The ideas behind it are original and could be very engaging but the story just doesn't deliver. I feel it was too rushed with too much content. I didn't warm to any of the characters as I didn't feel there was enough for me to get to know them. Therefore as things were happening I was often thinking "do I actually care". I didn't think enough of the background was explained so when different events happened I didn't really fully understand their significance. That said I think the series has potential but it won't be one I will rush out to buy any time soon and instead wait until I can get it on readitswapit.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Fab Friday Find (3)

Just a quick Friday finds post - I am off out today for a trip to Cambridge (I think my credit card might suffer) and am staying over for my friend's wedding in the evening.

I found this lovely little website this week that does modern first editions (many of which are signed). Not the snazziest website you'll ever see but they offer brilliant service and are mega friendly. I got some awesome signed books from here which I am very very excited about (I'll show you them on Sunday)

http://www.reaveleybooks.co.uk

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Review - Salvaged - Stefne Miller

'My body was being torn apart, and my stomach felt as if it exploded. The pain was excruciating, and I was aware that I was dying... 'Mom?' My vision was murky, but I could see her face. It was bloody, and her eyes were large and full of fear. Her voice calmed. 'Get out of the car, Attie.' Her words sounded crisp and clear. I looked into the backseat in search of Melody and found her lying covered in blood in a twisted heap on the floor. I turned my attention back to my mother and out of the corner of my eye saw fire. 'Get out, Attie!' 'Mom?' Everything went dark.' Attie Reed should have died in the wreck that stole the lives of her mother and best friend. But her life was spared. Why? When Attie moves to Oklahoma to stay with the Bennetts for the summer, she hopes she has left her nightmares behind. But her battle is far from over, and Riley Bennett steps forward to help her fight the nighttime monsters. As the battle wears on, Riley begins fighting monsters of his own: his feelings for Attie. And Attie realizes she must begin to face the monsters of the night herself if she wants to conquer them for good. Can Attie's life be Salvaged?

*****
First of all I must admit, had I realised this book was Christian YA I probably wouldn't haven't bought it. That would have been a shame as I really enjoyed this book.

The story is about a young girl who was a survivor of a car crash that killed her best friend and her mother. In it you see her move in with friends of the family and follow her story as she settles into the new household and falls in love.

The story is very very sweet. You can see the Christian influences throughout. I am not religious so I wasn't really into all of the Christian references and often flicked through the parts where Attie was talking to Jesus but that wasn't really a problem, just not really my thing.

I liked the character of Attie she was very lovely despite all what she'd been through and you felt for her a lot as she certainly did go through it a bit. I loved Riley as a character. He is absolutely gorgeous especially in the way he treated Attie.

The book is very Christian which meant there was no swearing, no unmarried sex or drinking or even anyone being very nasty to each other (even the girl who was the 'bitch' of the piece said a few nasty words and ignored Attie). While I think it was quite unrealistic in this day and age it was nice to read something which didn't include those things (unlike a certain Ms Cast who thinks those things are a vital ingredient for any YA novel - even if there is no plot). The author has also made a huge effort to be hip and quoted a variety of pop culture references (including twilight)

So overall - I didn't love all of it as it was a bit too religious for my liking but I did enjoy it quite a lot and it is certainly worth a read.
If you want a signed copy of this book for yourself go to www.stefnemiller.com  where the author herself is selling them

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Clarity - Kim Harrington

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by breaking the spine 

 This book looks awesome - I want it, I want it now! The cover is beautiful and go wonderfully on my shelf with all my other gorgeous books. The plot sounds awesome and I love debut authors. As soon as Amazon.co.uk have it available I shall be preordering it  (knowing my luck it'll be US only).

Released on March 1st 2011 by Scholastic Point

Description stolen from www.goodreads.com
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch an object and the visions come to her. It's a gift.  And a curse.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case — but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother — who has supernatural gifts of his own — becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

author interview - Siobhan Curham

Yesterday I posted by review of Dear Dylan, a book kindly sent to be by Siobhan Curham herself for review. If you would like to read her book for free (and I think you really should) go to her website www.siobhancurham.co.uk where you can download it for free.

About the author: Siobhan Curham is an experienced writer and a respected life coach. Her first book was the non-fiction Antenatal & Postnatal Depression, published by Vermillion, which was swiftly followed by a series of novels, Sweet FA, Frankie Says Relapse and The Scene Stealers, which were published by Hodder & Stoughton. She has written and directed for the theatre, is Writer in Residence for 13 London schools and runs weekly writing workshops for two London councils. She currently works as a story deviser and commissioning editor for a children’s fiction development company and lives with her family in North West London. Dear Dylan is her first novel for Young Adults which she self published.

Q) What inspired you to write Dear Dylan?

A) I've done lots of writing workshops with young people over the years and reading the things that they write about is a constant reminder of how tough life can be as a teenager. I wanted to write a novel that dealt with some of the issues young people face, such as bullying and problems at home. It was very important to me that I dealt with these issues in a realistic and non-preachy way. But I hope that anyone who reads the book who is going through similar problems to Georgie will be encouraged and inspired by her.

Q) The format of your novel is quite unusual. Why did you decide to write the novel in email format throughout?

A) I read a magazine article about a woman who was a teenager back in the sixties and an avid fan of the pop band The Beatles. She started writing fan letters to one of the band members, George Harrison and ended up having a ten year correspondence with the person who was dealing with his fan mail. I thought that this would make a great starting point for a novel and I brought it up to date by making the correspondence email rather than letters. I am a great fan of emails as a form of correspondence; I think they allow people to really open up to each other and can enable you to become very close very quickly, which is exactly what happens with the two characters in the book. I also like to set myself challenges as a writer and a book constructed entirely of emails seemed like quite a challenge!

Q) Describe your main character Georgie.

A) Georgie was very loosely based upon a girl who came to one of my drama workshops; someone who had been through an awful lot in her life and yet remained eternally upbeat and optimistic. I made her a real chatterbox too, so it was a lot of fun writing in her voice.

Q) The relationship between Georgie and Nancy is quite an unusual one. Despite being seemingly worlds apart in their ages and backgrounds it works and works both ways as they seem to gain from each other. Why did you decide to go with this choice?

I'm a great fan of the book 'Goodnight Mister Tom' and the friendship that develops between the two main characters, a young boy and a much older man, during the Second World War. As the mother of a teenage son and someone who has worked a lot with teenagers, I get sick of the bad press young people get. I think that older people can gain a lot from friendships with young people and I wanted to demonstrate this through Georgie and Nan. As an old fogey of forty - or thirty-ten as I prefer to call it - I certainly get loads from working with teenagers. I love their energy and enthusiasm.

Q) Which of your favourite authors have you gained inspiration from when writing?

A) My current favourite is an American writer called Jandy Nelson ('The Sky is Everywhere'). I think her writing is beautiful and I will often read a couple of pages of hers before I sit down to write in order to inspire me. I also really like Lorrie Moore's short stories and the poems of Carol Ann Duffy.

Q) Which five characters from books would you invite to a fantasy dinner party and why? 

A) Holden Cauldfield from The Catcher in the Rye because I love his voice and this was the book that inspired me to write as a teenager.

Aslan from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (although it may be a bit disconcerting having a lion at the dinner table!) I loved Aslan when I read this book as a child and remember crying my eyes out when I thought he'd been killed.

Laura Ingalls Wilder from The Little House on the Prairie so that I could quiz her all about her life with Ma and Pa and the girls.

Jo from 'Little Women' - another of my childhood favourites.

Lennie from 'The Sky is Everywhere' - such a great and interesting character and maybe I could get her to write one of her poems!

Q) To sum up explain why everyone should read Dear Dylan in 100 words or less.  

I guess the main theme of Dear Dylan is that you should never give up on your dreams. Hopefully the book will remind the reader of that and, whatever their own personal situation, they will feel inspired by Georgie to embrace life to the full. I also wanted to make it a page-turner so there are plenty of twists and turns in the plot.

www.siobhancurham.co.uk where you can download it in its entirety (you should it's awesome)

Monday, 9 August 2010

Review - Dear Dylan - Siobhan Curham

“I’m so tired of feeling sad. And waiting for other people to make me happy and they don’t. And if no-one else is going to make you happy, well maybe you just have to do it for yourself?”

Fourteen year old Georgie Harris feels as if the summer holidays are over before they have even begun. Banned from going to the local drama workshop by her bully of a step-dad and her increasingly fragile mum, she is consigned to six long weeks of looking after her tooth-fairy obsessed kid sister. Sick of feeling like the outsider at home and at school, she starts emailing the one person she thinks might understand; Dylan Curtland, star of the popular soap opera Jessop Close. And when Dylan starts emailing back, Georgie finally feels a spark of hope. At last she has someone who really gets her, someone who really wants to help. But in the faceless world of email all is not as it seems…
 

___________________________________________________________

I received this book from Siobhan herself for review. You can't know how excited I was about this as this is the first book I have received for review since I begun blogging!


I loved this book. It is written in email format throughout following an ongoing conversation between Georgie and her Emate over the course of 6 weeks. I initially was a little bit wary and wasn't sure if this idea would work but it did wonderfully.

When I first started reading the story I was a little skeptical as I thought the relationship between her and Nancy was a little weird. Georgie is your typical teenager (who is depicted exceptionally well might I add). She is normal was was wonderful - not a show off cool kid or a complete loser. Her friend Nancy is a lady in her older years and I didn't intially see what they had in common or how or why they would relate to each other or want to communicate with each other but as the story I went on I started to believe it and see how special their relationship was.

I loved Georgie as a character. As I said above she is wonderfully normal teenager with a heart of gold. She has a lot of real rubbish to deal with but deals with it and does all she can to help the people out she cares about most.

The relationship she has with Nancy surprisingly works well. They mirror each other well and the relationship works boths ways and they both gain from it rather than it being adult passing on wisdom and guidance to child. I really liked that about the book as so many people today label kids in that age bracket quickly as being hooligans and knife wielding hoodies! It is clear that the author has actually spent time with teenagers which I think helps.

The main story follows Georgie through her summer holidays and the differing events she goes through. While I don't want to go into too much detail I'll just say that some of them are very funny whereas others are quite moving and make you really feel for her.

To sum up - a fab little story with a plucky lovely normal main character who is a fab little role model for the age range the book is aimed at.


If you would like to read this book go to

http://www.siobhancurham.co.uk/

where you can download it for FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

In my mail box (9)

IMMB is hosted by Kristi at www.thestorysiren.com check out her blog it is fab! All links go to www.goodreads.com

This week has been an awesome week!

 From www.bookdepository.co.uk


Sunshine - Robin McKinley

I hadn't ever used this website before but it is fab. I have wanted this edition for a while as the cover is beautiful and sort of sparkly. It is the US edition rather than the UK one which is a bit dull. I haven't read anything of hers so excited to get into this one.




For review

 Dear Dylan - Siobhan Curham

“I’m so tired of feeling sad. And waiting for other people to make me happy and they don’t. And if no-one else is going to make you happy, well maybe you just have to do it for yourself?”  Fourteen year old Georgie Harris feels as if the summer holidays are over before they have even begun. Banned from going to the local drama workshop by her bully of a step-dad and her increasingly fragile mum, she is consigned to six long weeks of looking after her tooth-fairy obsessed kid sister. Sick of feeling like the outsider at home and at school, she starts emailing the one person she thinks might understand; Dylan Curtland, star of the popular soap opera Jessop Close. And when Dylan starts emailing back, Georgie finally feels a spark of hope. At last she has someone who really gets her, someone who really wants to help. But in the faceless world of email all is not as it seems…
I was super excited this week to receive a review request from Siobhan for Dear Dylan. It is the first book I have ever received for review. I did a full mini dance when it arrived! So a huge shout out and thanks to her for it!

 from www.amazon.co.uk

The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams

I have heard lots and lots of good things about this!

Tithe - Holly Black

I have had the third one in this series for a while and have been meaning to read for ages.

Forget-Her-Nots - Amy Brecount White

Debut author ( I believe) I got a lovely hardback edition of this which I am excited to read.

Parasite Positive - Scott Westerfeld

I believe this is called peeps in the states. I loved Westerfeld's uglies series and am reading through midnighters - thought this looked interesting

City of bones - Cassandra Clare

I have not read any of Clare's work but have heard good things


Glass Houses - Morganville Vampires - Rachel Caine

Another series I have heard loads about but not read.

The adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E Pearson

I have been wanting to read this for ages - looks freaky
 Arizona (beautiful dead 2) - Eden Maguire

I just love the covers to this series - the are really beautiful - Liked the first book so looking forward to this.
Claire de Lune - Christine Johnson

I have wanted this for ages and ages and it finally arrived (woo hoo)








Bought from the author at http://stefnemiller.com/

 Salvaged - Stefne Miller

I got this book from the lady herself. She was signed it for me. I was so excited to get this as it is another debut. At the moment she is doing an offer on her website to get this for $14.99 and she'll sign it for you (with personal dedication) and send it directly to you. (USA for free - elsewhere plus postage costs). It looks like an awesome read. If you want one of your own go her her website which is linked above.

Friday, 6 August 2010

my library pics

I have nicked these pictures from a guest post / feature I did for Amy's blog http://myoverstuffedbookshelf.blogspot.com/ last weekend.

These pictures will help you to see why I have given my blog the name I have.


When we moved house last year we found had a little strange room off the kitchen which we didn't know what to do with. It was too small to be a dining room and we didn't need a study. We ended up turning it into our library. Between us we have hundreds of books and we have bookcases stuffed everywhere in the old house and the way we have been now in one room is fab. The picture above shows you our little library from a variety of different angles. I will admit most of them are not mine and are my husbands (I have read a lot of his though). It's a peaceful little room set apart from the rest of the house. I often curl up in the big chair in there for a few hours. We are running out of space rapidly and I may need to invest in bespoke floor to ceiling book shelves (after all the other DIY jobs have been done)

This bookcase is my book case. I am hoping to branch out to a second one soon but I will need to move some of my husband's stuff elsewhere to do this.

I only keep books I really like. Most of my collection is Young Adult but there is the odd adult book mixed in there (along with my History of Norwich book - written by a lot of the lecturers who taught me at UEA). I have some fab ones in there like my first edition twilight which my husband bought for me years ago and a copy of gone to soldiers my friend bought me for my 21st birthday. You'll also notice I have a lovely pair of Harry and Hermione bookends which my Mother in Law bought my husband and I stole from him! (I do have another mini shelf tucked in the corner of my old children's books but I don't really read them any more).




In addition to this book case I also have a TBR mini bookcase next to my bed. This is the place where I put all my beautiful new purchases so I can look at them before I go to sleep. I love looking at them! Since I've been on my summer holidays it has changed a lot as my reading turnover has increased somewhat.

There is no order to this shelf at all I just pick them up as they call to me. You also she all my random bits of junk chucked all over it including mr plague rat who needs to be at school, my calming rock lamp and a variety of bookmarks.

Fab Friday Findings (2)

Fab Friday Findings is a newish weekly post of mine to tell you all about new things I have recently discovered that I think you might like to know about

Today's fab Friday find is UK book tours

http://ukbooktours.blogspot.com/

I have been waiting for a site like this is for ages and here it is

The site is run ny Lyndsey and it is a book tours site exclusively for bloggers in the UK. I am so pleased about it because it is really really difficult to get ARCs in the UK. I have had several requests for them turned down purely because I am in the UK. We are all very jealous of all you American bloggers with all of your shiny ARCs and we want some of the action!! Anyway this site is fab and I have already signed up for several books which I am very very excited about.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Review - By the time you'll read this I'll be dead - Julie Ann Peters

Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she's determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for "completers"- www.through-the-light.com.  While she's on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she's not on the Web, Daelyn's at her private school, where she's known as the freak who doesn't talk. Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she's waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she's made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won't give up. And it's too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life. Isn't it? National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.(description from goodreads.com)


I can't say that I enjoyed this book as I don't think it was one you are meant to enjoy.

The story was very bleak as it follows the story of a suicidal teen in her "last" days. As a character Daelyn is clearly broken. She has suffered years of abuse at the hands of bullies and you can see why, after years of the torment, she has finally decided to end it all. This book teaches you a lot about bullying and the profound effect snide remarks and teasing can have on someone long term.

I enjoyed the character Santana and for me he was a breath of fresh air in what was a miserable story. He was clearly one of those wonderful lovely people who accept anyone and everyone as they are and goes about his life as positively as possible.

Where I had a huge problem with this book  is because I think this book would not be suitable for the age range it is aimed at especially if the young person in question was vulnerable (I'm thinking with my professional head on as I work in education). I think this book would give a vulnerable young adult ideas and help to convince them that the whole concept of suicide was a good thing. The whole notion of suicide is glorified in a twisted way (although I'm hoping that wasn't what the author was hoping to do) and the ways and means of completing such an act are given and rated out of 5 which I think is very irresponsible. I know people are going to come back to me and say that someone who is thinking about suicide wouldn't need this book to figure that sort of thing out but I still think it is very irresponsible when aimed at an impressionable audience.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - The Candidates - Inara Scott

Dancia Lewis is far from popular. And that's not just because of her average grades or her less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia's mediocrity is a welcome cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just...happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt.  So Dancia does everything possible to avoid getting close to anyone, belieiving this way she can supress her powers and keep them hidden. But when recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy show up in her living room to offer her a full scholarship, Dancia's days of living under the radar may be over. Only, Delcroix is a school for diplomats' kids and child geniuses--not B students with uncontrollable telekinetic tendencies.  So why are they treating Dancia like she's special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make Dancia feel welcome. And then there's her mysterious new friend Jack, who can't stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at the Academy and wants Dancia to help him figure out what.  But Dancia isn't convinced. She hopes that maybe the recruiters know more about her "gift" than they're letting on. Maybe they can help her understand how to use it...But not even Dancia could have imagined what awaits her behind the gates of Delcroix Academy
This looks awesome - can't wait for it to be released!

WoW is hosted by http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Review - Killing God - Kevin Brooks


Dawn Bundy is fifteen. She doesn't fit in and she couldn't care less. Dawn has other things on her mind. Her dad disappeared two years ago and it's all God's fault. When Dawn's dad found God, it was the worst time ever. He thought he'd found the answer to everything. But that wasn't the end of it

I quite enjoyed this book. A quick read which doesn't really seem like it is going anywhere until the very end when everything finally kicks off. I must admit I did see the twist coming but not the ending. I liked the main character Dawn and could sympathese with her (although not really relate to her). Well worth the time and effort.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Review - Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.  Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.  Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless

I loved this book despite starting off thinking I probably wouldn't. I'd heard a few things to say it was little slow (which it is to start with) and that the main character was very much focused on hunting (which she was) but I don't really think these were faults. I loved how the story started by filling you in with the background giving you time to get properly introduced to the characters. I loved the bond between the two sisters. Scarlett reminded me a little of Buffy the vampire slayer in her drive for the hunt. It is what she is all about and what drives her. I think it takes you right until the end before you really grasp the point of it and click why it is so important. On the other hand I totally understand rosie and how she doesn't want to be labelled and is torn being being loyal to her sister and doing her own thing. I must admit I saw the first of the twists but not the second. Both of those things made the end of the book amazing. I would not have been abl to put it down if I'd tried. Fab book, brilliant reworking for an old fairy tale, excellent cover. Fingers crossed for a sequel!

In my Mail box (8)

In my Mail Box is hosted by Kristi of www.thestorysiren.com 

Fab books this week despite being limited in number

From Amazon.co.uk

Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for. Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless
I bought this as I have heard a lot of things about it already from a variety of bloggers. I must admit I did feel somewhat old when I saw the author is only 25 and already in print. Not that I have any ambitions to write novels, well since the age of about 9 when I realised I couldn't write. I might turn my hand to a textbook or two once I work my way up through the exam board (for those who don't know I work in addition to the day job for one of the major exam boards GCSE marking and supervising others GCSE marking) but that's a whole different ball game.

From readitswapit.co.uk

Some awesome swaps this week

Captivate - Carrie Jones

Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.  A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his

Read the first book this week (along with loads others - god i love school holidays!) looking forward to seeing where it goes.

By the time you read this I'll be dead - Julie Anne Peters

Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she's determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for "completers"- www.through-the-light.com.  While she's on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she's not on the Web, Daelyn's at her private school, where she's known as the freak who doesn't talk. Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she's waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she's made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won't give up. And it's too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life. Isn't it? National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge. 


Not sure what to expect from this but I have been recommended it a few times so I'll give it a go.


While you're on my blog please check out my interview with debut author Emma Michaels posted yesterday - I am very excited about her book.


I am also being featured today on Amy's blog http://myoverstuffedbookshelf.blogspot.com/ on the feature show me the shelves sunday. You'll see from it why my blog is named what it is. I can't thank her enough for featuring me!