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Showing posts from September, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Published by Hodder


Featuring necklaces made of wishes; an underground shop dealing in teeth; magical tattoos; a wishbone on a cord, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE is a thrilling story about Karou and her secret life as an apprentice to a wishmonger. Karou manages to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she is a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to an inhuman creature who deals in wishes and is the closest thing she has to family. Her life is surrounded by mysteries she is desperate to unveil.

*** Daughter of Smoke and Bone is probably one of the most original books I have read this year and a gripping read. I was hooked from page one and didn't want it to end.

At the start of the book you meet the main character Karou. I loved her as a character. She is a mysterious 17 year old art student with crazy blue hair and the ability to do magical things alongside a hidden life which she hides from her friends…

Review: The name of the star by Maureen Johnson

The name of the star
Published by HarperCollins


The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

***
The…

BLOG TOUR: VIII by Harriet Castor

Today I am very very excited to be hosting the book tour story for VIII by Harriet Castor as it has to be the best Historical fiction novel I have read this year so far.

Review: VIII by HM Castor

VIII by HM Castor
Published by Templar
Challenge: BBC
Series: Given by owner of Norfolk Children's Book Centre


If I had to think of how to sell this book I would describe it as being along the lines of the Tudor TV series but toned down to be more suitable for a YA audience. I enjoyed every page and thought it was a prime example of how YA historical fiction should be written.

I do get quite a bee in my bonnet when it comes to YA historical fiction. I get sent a lot of it for review because I am a history teacher and I have found of late that some of the stuff out there is just too weighty and too boring to engage youngsters especially things written about historical events pre 19th century. What I loved about VIII is that it the author seems to know the age range she is writing for (which always helps) and uses story telling in an engaging and effective manner to put across historical events in a way which would be entertaining for teens.

The first thing I liked about…

Review: Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Love Story by Jennifer Echols
Published by MTV books
Source: Purchased myself


She's writing about him. he's writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines..

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he re…

Review: Love Inc by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

Love Inc by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
Published by Allison and Busby
Source: Review Copy



Zahra, Kali, and Syd would never have met if their parents' marriages hadn't fallen apart. But when the three girls collide in group counseling, they discover they have something else in common: they've each been triple-timed by the same nefarious charmer, Eric, aka Rico, aka Rick. Talk about eye-opening therapy.Cheerful, diplomatic Zahra is devastated. Rico had been her rock and sole confidant. How could she have missed the signs? Folksy, flirtatious Kali feels almost as bad. She and Rick had only been on a few dates, but they'd felt so promising. Hardened vintage-vixen Syd is beyond tears. She and Eric had real history... Or so she'd thought. Now all three girls have one mission: to show that cheater the folly of his ways.
Project Payback is such a success, the girls soon have clients lining up for their consulting services. Is your boyfriend acting shady? …

In my Mailbox (62)

In my Mailbox is hosted by Kristi www.thestorysiren.com

I got four fab books this week for review


Mist by Katherine James (UK paperback)
This looks awesome


Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (UK proof)
I  have been looking forward to this one for ages now!


The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima  (UK paperback)
Another one from the new Orion Imprint. I have loved everything they've published so far


15 days without a head by Dave Cousins (UK proof)
My lovely blogging friend Sarah managed to get me one of these. She is my book star

Bookcase Showcase: Author Christopher Edge

Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Published by
Source: Swapped on www.readitswapit.co.uk


The thing is, you can get used to anything. You think you can't, you want to die, but you don't. You won't. You just are.

This is Alice.
She was taken by Ray five years ago.
She thought she knew how her story would end.
She was wrong.

*** When I first opened this book I really didn't know what to expect from it but I most certainly did not expect the book I then read.

This book pulls no punches and doesn't shy away for one second from the horrors it portrays. The result is that you are left at the end feeling heartbroken for this tragically awful tale which continues to play on your mind long after you put it down.

Living Dead Girl is the tragic tale of a teenager who was kidnapped as a child and forced to live a terrifying life with a man who uses her to serve everything one of his nasty and horrible whims. It makes for uncomfortable reading through and as the stor…

Review: The Goddess Test

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Published by Mira
Challenge : DAC
Source: Review copy


It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.


***
I really enjoyed reading The Goddess Test and loved how the book was based on the ideas of Greek Mythology.The characters were interesting and the plot line was really engaging.

At the start of the book the reader meets Kate. She has just move…

Waiting on Wednesday: Twilight Graphic Novel Volume two

I love twilight and I love the artwork in the first volume so I am very excited about this even though I don't really read graphic novels

coming out October 2011

Review: Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper

Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
Published by Bloomsbury
Challenge: BBC
Source: Purchased from Topping and Co


Grace Parkes has just had to do a terrible thing. Having given birth to an illegitimate child, she has travelled to the famed Brookwood Cemetery to place her small infant's body in a rich lady's coffin. Following the advice of a kindly midwife, this is the only way that Grace can think of to give something at least to the little baby who died at birth, and to avoid the ignominy of a pauper's grave. Distraught and weeping, Grace meets two people at the cemetery: Mrs Emmeline Unwin and Mr James Solent. These two characters will have a profound affect upon Grace's life. But Grace doesn't know that yet. For now, she has to suppress her grief and get on with the business of living: scraping together enough pennies selling watercress for rent and food; looking after her older sister, who is incapable of caring for herself; thwarting the manipulative and c…

Review: Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
Published by Simon and Schuster
Challenge: DAC



IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother's footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be "advanced" into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

***
Birthmarked is one of those books that I have been waiting to read for a while as the concept is a fascinating one. I have read a lot of dystopian…

In my mailbox (61)

In my Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at www.thestorysiren.com

I got some fab books this week.

For Review

Darkness Falls by Mia James (UK hardback)
I was so excited to receive this in the post. I can't wait to get started on it.



The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (UK proof)
I got this via Amazon Vine after hearing quite a bit about it over the past few weeks. I am actually gutted because the author is coming to Norwich in October but it is during the day which means I can't make it.


Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan (UK paperback)
I just finished this one last week. This is the finished UK copy. The review will be on the blog in October but is already up on my goodreads account if you are interested.

Won


Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson (UK paperback)
Won in a competition on The Crooked Shelf (If you've never seen Carla's blog check it out because it is totally unique)


A year without Autumn by Liz Kessler (Signed UK paperback)
I won this from Liz herself on facebook. I love signed boo…

Bookcase Showcase: Scattered Laura from Scattered Figaments

Today's Bookcase Showcase guest post is by Scattered Laura from Scattered Figaments


I went back to work this week (I'm a teacher in mourning for the summer holidays), and after just two days my desk is groaning under the weight of books, desperate-to-be-filed paperwork, notebooks, stickers and hastily scribbled notes-to-self. These latter are a particular indication of my muddled madness. They read like fortune cookies or vague advice from a spiritual guru. This week's gems include:
"Values and Philosophy  are in the bottom of the schoolbag"
"The curly tree needs thumbprints and leaves"
"Bumblebee is still missing - needed a holiday?"
Now I  know what I mean. But to the more sensible eye, these are surely the writings of a mad woman. I'm sure there are plenty who would agree with that conclusion. 
If my desk is a mess, then my handbag is confused chaos. There are books, notebooks, pens, a purse, contacts, deodorant, makeup, loose cha…

Review: Sister Missing by Sophie McKenzie

Sister Missing by Sophie McKenzie
Published by Simon and Schuster
Series: Girl Missing #2
Challenge: BBC
Source: Review copy


I was a huge fan of Girl Missing and was very very excited to hear that there was another book in the series. I am pleased to say I enjoyed this instalment just as much as it was just as entertaining including all of the things I have come to expect from Sophie's novels: Fast pace, engaging story line, likable characters and loads of twists and turns to make for a thrilling read.

Sister missing follows a similar format as Girl Missing but goes off in its own direction which makes it different in its own right. Lauren is spending her holidays with her American family at a seaside resort in the UK. She takes her 8 year old sister to the beach and whilst there her sister is kidnapped in circumstances similar to her own abduction.

The story which follows is a fast paced rides with several twists and turns thrown in to take the story off in directio…

Review: Shelter by Harlan Coben

Shelter by Harlan Coben
Published by Orion
Challenge: DAC
Source: Review Copy


Mickey Bolitar’s year can’t get much worse. After witnessing his father’s death and sending his mom to rehab, he’s forced to live with his estranged Uncle Myron and switch high schools.

A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For awhile, it seems like Mickey’s train-wreck of a life is finally improving — until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley’s trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn’t who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey’s father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury – and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew. 

*** Harlan Coben is one of the very few adult authors I can claim to actually…

Waiting on Wednesday: Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

I know this is already out in America but I want the UK paperback to match my others which I loved. Anyone know who is publishing it and when??



Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles



Luis Fuentes has always been sheltered from the gang violence that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. But that didn’t stop him from taking risks—whether he’s scaling a mountain in the Rockies or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis can’t stop looking for the next thrill.

Nikki Cruz lives her life by three rules—boys lie to get their way, don’t trust a boy who says “I love you,” and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Her parents may be from Mexico, but as a doctor’s daughter, she has more in common with her north-side neighbors than the Latino Blood at her school. Then she meets Luis at Alex’s wedding, and suddenly, she’s tempted to break all her rules.

Getting Nikki to take a chance on a southsider is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by Chuy Soto, …

Review: pod by Stephen Wallenfels

Pod by Stephen Wallenfels
Published by Templar
Source: Review copy


POD's - strange alien spheres hover menacingly in the sky, zapping anyone who ventures outside.

Josh is 15 and stuck in his house with his OCD dad. They're running out of food... Megs is 12, alone and trapped in a multi-storey carpark. The hotel next door is under the control of dangerous security staff, but Megs has something they want, and they'll do anything to get it...

When the aliens invade, the real enemy becomes humanity itself.

What would you do to survive?

*** If I had to compare Pod to anything else I would say it is like the film signs in that they are both about an alien invasion but focusing on the human side of that invasion showing how ordinary humans would deal with such an event rather than the government or the aliens themselves. I thought it was a really clever book and liked more and more as the story went on.

The story alternates between two voices Josh who is 15 and stuck wi…