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Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Published by Penguin

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . . Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
***
I bought this book ages ago and picked it in the last week. I hadn't picked it up because I was worried about reading the same old vampire thing again but I was really worrying about nothing.

Mead's Vampires are not the same old Vampires. I loved that she had her own twist …

Vampire Academy Fortnight!

I have decided to do a feature on the Vampire Academy series over the next fortnight to tie in with the release of the final book on the 7th December.



Over the next fortnight I have the following posts planned ...


Tuesday 30th November - Review of Book 1 - Vampire Academy
Wednesday 1st December - Waiting on Wednesday with a Vampire Academy twist
Thursday 2nd December - Review of Book 2 - Frostbite
Friday 3rd December - Review of Book 3 - Shadow Kiss
Saturday 4th December - Review of Book 4 - Blood Promise
Sunday 5th December - In my Mailbox - Vampire Academy Twist
Monday 6th December - Review of Book 5 - Spirit Bound
Tuesday 7th December - Review of Book 6 - Last Sacrifice
Wednesday 8th December - Waiting on Wednesday - book to pine for now VA has finished
Thursday 9th December - Cover vs Cover - Vampire Academy series
Friday 10th December - What to read now VA has finished
Saturday 11th December - Overview of the fortnight.

In My mailbox (25)

In My Mailbox is hosted by the awesome Kristi at www.thestorysiren.com

I only got one book this week - but it looks fab - found it on www.foyles.co.uk in their signed editions section

Noah Barleywater runs away by John Boyne




In Noah Barleywater Runs Away, bestselling author John Boyne explores the world of childhood and the adventures that we can all have there. Noah is running away from his problems, or at least that's what he thinks, the day he takes the untrodden path through the forest. When he comes across a very unusual toyshop and meets the even more unusual toymaker he's not sure what to expect. But the toymaker has a story to tell, a story full of adventure, and wonder and broken promises. And Noah travels with him on a journey that will change his life for ever. A thought-provoking fable for our modern world from the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

I am in two minds about whether I will like this book - the boy i…

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie
Published by Penguin on 2nd December 2010


In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic. 

*** This book is definately worth all the hype that has been built up around it. I will admit I did the happy dance when this book arrived on my doorstep recently. I loved it and literally couldn't put it down and am left wanting more!

The world you are entere…

Books I have previously loved: His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

This series is one I hold dear as it is the first young adult series I ever picked up. I went through a stage in my mid teens of not knowing what to read. I was too old for Enid Blyton but too young for a lot of the adult books I'd tried and failed to be interested in. On my 17th birthday Hadley bought me a copy of Northern Lights. I was hooked by the time I finished the first page and finished it within a day or two. I love Lyra as a character and I love the bears.The whole story is pure fantasy but it is so easy to relate to (How badly do I want a daemon - even now). I promptly managed to track down a copy of the Subtle Knife and loved it as much. I like the fact that you meet a whole new host of characters in a whole new setting which eventually intermingles with the one you started in - Will is an awesome character.

Just as I was about to get round to read The Amber Spyglass Phillip Pullman was doing a book to coincide with the release of it…

How I blog

I thoughts I'd do a little post on my blogging habits.

I am an OCD blogger. I don't know why it surprises me especially as I can be quite OCD about everything else.

This is my process

Read bookType up review on goodreads.com for transferal to blog at later date (I do have my first embargoed book coming - this is going to throw the OCD haywire but I'll have to manage and type it up somewhere secret instead). Most of the reviews I write are positive for a few reasons. Firstly I only read books I think I'll like. Secondly I am always impressed by the fact someone has actually written a book - I used to find it a struggle to write 6,000 word essays - I do not notice the use of English in the same way that other bloggers seem to (useless it is really horrific)Transfer to blog - I have now got to the point where I schedule my posts in advance (yes the OCD has taken over). I started blogging in the summer holidays. At that point I was posting as and when I finished a book. As …

Waiting on Wednesday: Hexbound by Chloe Neill

Hexbound by Chloe Neill
Published by Gollancz in January 2011

I literally can't wait for this look after loving the first one!!


Lily Parker is new to St. Sophia’s School for Girls, but she’s already learned that magic can be your best friend…or your worst enemy.

They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Turns out, even a little magic can turn you to the dark side. That’s why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities, on top of avoiding the snobs who think they run her school, nursing a crush on a cute sophomore with a big, werewolf-y secret, and fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago’s nastiest nightlife—including the tainted magic users known as Reapers.

Then Lily’s invited to a private meeting with Sebastian. He’s hot, powerful, and offering to help her harness the magic flowing in her veins in a way no one else can. He’s also a Reaper. Lily can’t hide her suspicions. But she’ll soon find out that…

Review: My Story. A London Girl's Diary 1665 - 1666. The great plague

My Story. A London Girl's Diary 1665 - 1666. The great plague by Pamela Oldfield




I'm going to be honest - this isn't a book I would have gone out and bought as it isn't Young Adult but I am really glad I received it.

This book follows the story of a young girl via her diary as she lives through the events of the Great Plague then the Great Fire of London in the years 1665 - 1666

I teach high school history and find it hard at times to find good, accurate historical novels for a younger audience and I am now pleased to say I have found a whole series of them.

What I liked about this book is that it was very accessible for younger readers and I liked the diary style of it. I liked that it was written by a person of a similiar age of the intended audience. I liked that it really gave a feel of the time period and looked in depth at the social impact of the plague and great fire of london on Britain. Definately a series I will be looking to get more of for school and recom…

Review: Drowned Sorrow by Vanessa Morgan

Drowned Sorrow by Vanessa Morgan



Megan Blackwood has just lost her son in a terrible accident. Now she has come to Moonlight Creek with her teenage daughter Jenna, hoping a change of scenery might help to put her life back together. But something odd is going on in Moonlight Creek. When rain falls over the village, its inhabitants commit grisly murders, leaving the place deserted with the first rays of sunshine. Beneath the lake's surface, an eerie presence watches... and waits... Waits to reveal a tragic past drowned in mystery and fear. One that doesn't bode well for visitors. By the time Megan realizes that her daughter's life is in danger, it may be too late to escape.   "Vanessa Morgan has the gift of pacing and spookiness" Scott Nicholson, author of They Hunger and The Farm "The female version of Stephen King" Pedro Chaves, director of Reiki "A racy thriller in the vein of Dean Koontz and John Saul" Dirk Vandereyk…

In my mailbox (24)

A quiet week for me - I am trying to control myself in the run up to christmas and not buy too much otherwise I won't have any money to buy any presents. Speaking of which I got my secret santa info through today - I am getting very excited about putting a parcel together for the person I have.

This is what I received this week


Bought

Angel by LA Weatherley 
I have heard lots of positive things about this book even though I can't really tell you what it is about off the top of my head. I found a signed copy of it (you know how much I love signed books) on Foyles.co.uk so thought I should order it before they all got snapped up!

For review

I got a selection of books from a new contact at Scholastic (I keep wanting to say Scholtastic because they are fantastic!) which I am excited to read.

Quarry by Ally Kennen
I haven't heard anything about this and have just made up the entry on goodreads based on the information that is on the back of the proof. It is coming out early next …

Review: Boys don't cry by Malorie Blackman

Boys don't cry by Malorie Blackman
Published by Doubleday Children's Books (Random House)


This is the explosively page-turning new novel for teenagers from the author of the award-winning "Noughts and Crosses" sequence. You're about to receive your A-level results and then a future of university and journalism awaits. But the day they're due to arrive your old girlfriend Melanie turns up unexpectedly ...with a baby ...You assume Melanie's helping a friend, until she nips out to buy some essentials, leaving you literally holding the baby ...Malorie's dramatic new novel will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the final page.

*** Everything I have ever read of Malorie Blackman's up to this book I loved and I was worried that this book might not be as good - I am very pleased to say that I was wrong and this book was also awesome.

The story alternates between narratives from Dante and Adam and tells two different but interwoven storie…

my shelves update!

I've been forced to have a bit of a reworking of my library now that my gorgeous collection books is rapidly expanding. this involving a semi aggressive takeover of shelves in the library (boy books being banished to the spare room) a rejiggle and compromise on another shelf and a whole new revamp for my TRB shelf.

My side of the library (yes side as I no longer just have 1 bookcase) now looks like this






















 The two shelves together have all of my young adult books on them - I have plenty of space to grow which means for the time being I can have my favourite covers facing forward so I can gaze at them. I must admit I get a bit OCD about these shelves and have rearranged them lots recently. The single shelf next to it has my children's books along with all the oversized books I have and some photoalbums.

In the library (and this was the compromise) we how have a collection adult books shelf, I have read or will read all of the books on this shelf (even though they aren't all …

Books I have previously loved: How I live now by Meg Rosoff

How I live now by Meg Rosoff
Published by Penguin


“Every war has turning points and every person too.”

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

A riveting and astonishing story.

*** I am not a hard and fast Meg Rosoff fan. I find a lot of her charcaters to be a bit wishy washy and some of her story lines to be a bit pointless. However I did love How I Live N…

Waiting on Wednesday: XVI by Julia Karr

XVI by Julia Karr
published by Speak

I am looking forward to this book loads - it looked amazing when I first saw it ages ago on www.thestorysiren.com and I have been waiting for it ever since.


In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina's father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he's been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens …

Review: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Published by Little Brown Books


Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

*** I read this book in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. A brave take on a hard hitting subject which was executed beautifully. I would highly recommend it to all.

To begin with I didn't quite get Alex and what had happened to he…

Anti Bullying Week

This week is Anti Bullying week. It is designed to raise awareness of bullying in all its forms and help to try to eradicate it. The theme this year is "taking action together". I personally think it is a brilliant campaign to get behind as I can't imagine that anyone has not been touched by bullying at one point in their life either themselves or by seeing a friend or relative having gone through it

Check out the official website
http://www.antibullyingweek.co.uk/

Also check out http://asamum.blogspot.com/ where Emma is hosting a themed week on bullying. I am doing a guest post at some point during the week.

In my Mailbox (23)

In my mailbox is hosted by the awesome Kristi at www.thestorysiren.com

I only got two books this week but both of them are awesome.

From penguin for review

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen


The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties. Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star... Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for...and someone will. The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper…

Review: Solid by Shelley Workinger

Solid by Shelley Workinger




Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him - except for the living, breathing, human products of his work. Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed "open-book" military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes, its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air 'athletes'; 'indies' as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance. While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and …

Books I have previously loved: Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
Published by Simon and Schuster

I thought I would do this post as I finally managed after 4 years of nagging to get my husband start reading this series. Uglies was the first dystopian novel I ever read and the main reason why I picked it up to start with was because of the cover.  At school every year the library holds a book fair and I usually make an effort to go and buy something from it. This book was on the stand and it looks so weird it immediately caught me eye. I love the book because it does so many things. It is dystopian, and sci fi and it hits on so many themes about image and teenagers that makes it really relevant and hard hitting. I love the character of Tally as she rebels against the system and does her own thing. I love the world view set out in the book, where everyone is living in cities, with access to everything they need. At 16 they become pretty so that people don't get jealous of each other. At face value everything se…

Rememberance Day

In memory of all the soldiers who have fallen protecting the free world. May we always remember them



In Flanders Fieldsby John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Waiting on Wednesday: You against me by Jenny Downham

You against me by Jenny Downham
Published by David Flickling Books on 2nd December 2010

It's rare for me to post on a book I haven't already preordered. In this case I haven't because I have put it on my wishlist on amazon in the hope someone will buy it for me for christmas. If not I'll get it in the new year. I literally can't wait for this book as it looks fab and I loved her first book so much. Can't wait!


If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two …

The CILIP Carnegie award nominations

I have been waiting for these to come out for while and finally found them today (it must be what normal people get like about the oscars or something like that!). This is the longlist of nominations before a short list is drawn up. I love the Carnegie awards as we always get copies of the finalists in school for about 3 months before the final decision is made about the winner. I didn't do it last year but the year before I read every young adult book in the final in the space of two weeks!

Adlington, L.J. Burning Mountain

Almond, David The Boy Who Climbed Into The Moon

Ashley, Bernard No way to Go

Augarde, Steve Xisle

Beck, IanPastworld


Breslin, Theresa Prisoner of the Inquisition

Brooks, KevinI Boy

Carrington, Jim Inside My Head

Christopher, LucyFlyaway


Corder, ZizouHalo

Craigie, Emma Chocolate Cake with Hitler 

Creech, Sharon Unfinished Angel

Cross, Gillian Where I Belong


David, Keren When I Was Joe 

Davies, Corinne V. Ralph is (not) a Vampire

Di Camillo, Kate  The Magician'…

Review: Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published by Quercus




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?

*** I did enjoy this book in the end and I am looking forward to the sequel but boy did I strugg…

In my Mailbox (22)

In my Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at www.thestorysiren.com . Check out her awesome website.

A fab week for books this week. I had some titles that I preordered ages ago turn up early and received some awesome review titles.


 For review

Vampire Academy books (shadow kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit bound). I received a lovely email this week asking if I was interested in reviewing the final Vampire Academy book. I emailed back saying I only had book 1 and 2 and hadn't quite got round to reading them. My lovely contact at penguin sent me book 3 - 5 so I catch up before book 6 is released. I have since whizzed round book 1 and am now on book 2 and have a awesome themed feature week in mind. Watch this space).

I also received a proof copy of Crusade by Linda Press Wulf from Bloomsbury. It looks like a wicked book (the cover looks amazing - follow the link to see it on goodreads) and I am very excited to read it.

Swapped

I got Alpha by Rachel Vincent in a swap this week. I really need to get …

Review: The Island by Sarah Singleton

The Island by Sarah Singleton
Published by Simon and Schuster



This book was a well written, nice little read, reminding me of Losing Gemma in its setting and style, with lots of mystery and intrigue.

The Island is a story following the adventures of three older teenagers on their gap year in India. The book alternatives between naarative told by each of the three main characters in separate chapters both in real time and through flashbacks. The story begins with Otto a laid back aspiring photographic journalist who mets a mysterious young girl named Maria on a Goan beach. They dance the night away and hours later she winds up dead with Otto being the main suspect in the case having found her body in the sea. Otto tries to find out more about Maria and her death and soon finds he is captured himself. His friends, arrived to Goa at a later date than Otto, arrive at the village unable to find Otto and at a loss of what to do. It soon becomes clear as they investigate that everything is n…

Happy Fireworks Night!

I didn't do any thing post related for Halloween. I suppose it says something about my Britishness that I don't celebrate Halloween but do celebrate the 5th November. Today I will be educating the youth of today about old Guy Fawkes and James I (and some lovely conspiracy theories about the Catholics being set up!). Tomorrow night I will be out at fireworks with friends, hoping there will be some Bonfire Toffee to be had. I hope you all have a fab 5th November whatever you have planned.

Oh and for those of you who have no idea what I'm on about check out this video - it's quite funny and gives a nice little overview. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX-Wjb68umg

New Harry Potter Website!!

Just thought I'd share this link with you!

http://harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/

This is the new bloomsbury website for Harry Potter launched to coincide with the new white edition Harry Potter books which look a bit like ...

 The website frankly looks awesome. I am off to play on the games like I am 14 again!

Waiting on Wednesday: The replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Published by Simon and Schuster in the UK January 2011


Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black, murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattoed princess. He is a replacement - left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago when it was stolen away by the fey. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world. Mackie would give anything just to be normal, to live quietly amongst humans, practice his bass guitar and spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem, where he must face down the dark creatures and find his rightful place - in our world, or theirs.

I can;t explain how excited I am about this book. I need it badly, really badly. I don't know if I'll be able to manage as long as January…

Review: Blood Ransom by Sophie McKenzie

Blood Ransom by Sophie McKenzie
Published by Simon and Schuster






Clones Rachel and Theo now live thousands of miles apart. They keep in touch, but things just aren't the same. When Rachel discovers that evil scientist Elijah is still working in secret for a section of the government and about to murder Daniel, she sets out to rescue the little boy, but her plans backfire with disastrous consequences. Across the Atlantic, Theo becomes suspicious when Rachel misses their weekly internet chat. He discovers a report online saying she's killed herself and travels to Scotland to find her, certain that she has been kidnapped. A clue leads him to Elijah's mysterious clinic, where the sinister Aphrodite Experiment is underway. But what is Elijah really planning? Why does he need to track Rachel down so badly? And will Rachel and Theo be able to pay the ultimate ransom that he demands?

*** I was really excited to be getting this book. I read the first one a while b…

Review: No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

No and Me by Delphine de Vigan
Published by Bloomsbury


Lou Bertignac has an IQ of 160 and a good friend in class rebel Lucas. At home her father puts a brave face on things but cries in secret in the bathroom, while her mother rarely speaks and hardly ever leaves the house. To escape this desolate world, Lou goes often to Gare d'Austerlitz to see the big emotions in the smiles and tears of arrival and departure. But there she also sees the homeless, meets a girl called No, only a few years older than herself, and decides to make homelessness the topic of her class presentation. Bit by bit, Lou and No become friends until, the project over, No disappears. Heartbroken, Lou asks her parents the unaskable question and her parents say: Yes, No can come to live with them. So Lou goes down into the underworld of Paris' street people to bring her friend up to the light of a home and family life, she thinks.

*** I recently got this book on a whim from readitswapit.co.uk.…