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Showing posts from July, 2012

July review

The summer holidays are finally here. That means lots of reading time!! Books read in July Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins My life next door by Huntley Fitzpatrick Purity by Jackson Pearce Confessions of an Angry girl by Louise Rozett Torn by Stephnie Guerra Pushing the limits by Katie McGarry Debutantes by Cora Harrison Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin The Loners by Lex Thomas Mistakes in the Background by Laura Dockrill Dr Horrible and other stories by Zach Whedon Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson The Terrible thing that happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne Dark eyes by William Ritcher Dollhouse: Epitaphs by Zach Whedon The Forsaken by Lisa Stasse Such a rush by Jennifer Echols Book of the month Without question it had to be Barnaby Brocket. I must admit it's not the sort of book I would have just picked up and read had it not been sent to me for review but I absolutely loved it Book events attended I didn't actually get to anything at

Review: Torn by Stephanie Guerra

Torn by Stephanie Guerra Stella Chavez is your classic good girl: straight As, clean-cut boyfriends, and soccer trophies . You’d never guess that Stella’s dad was a drug addict who walked out when she was a kid. Or that inside, Stella wishes for something more. New girl Ruby Caroline seems like Stella’s polar opposite: cursing, smoking, and teetering in sky-high heels . But with Ruby, Stella gets a taste of another world—a world in which parents act like roommates, college men are way more interesting than high school boys, and there is nothing that shouldn’t be tried once. It’s not long before Stella finds herself torn: between the best friend she’s ever had and the friends she’s known forever, between her family and her own independence, between who she was and who she wants to be. But Ruby has a darker side, a side she doesn’t show anyone—not even Stella. As Stella watches her friend slowly unravel, she will have to search deep inside herself for the strength to b

Nominate your favourite UKYA reads!

Just a quick post today from me to let you know about something quite exciting NPR have been complying a list of the 100 best ever teenage reads which features some reads from British authors which is fantastic news. Keris who blogs at UKYA wants to take it one step further and compile a best ever 100 UK YA reads which I think is a brilliant idea because there are so many awesome YA books out there by UK authors. Go to her post here to nominate your favourites

Bookcase Showcase author Keris Stainton

I used to be fanatical about keeping books, but once I started reviewing and then writing, I had to be more ruthless. Now I only keep books I really love (and sometimes not even then; if they're easily available from my local library and I'm running out of space, even much-loved books sometimes have to go) (which is why the Princess Diaries and Harry Potter series aren't here).  These shelf units actually have five shelves, but the bottom shelves are my husband's books and magazines, so I've ignored them!      Ah, my Secret Shame Shelves (No Longer a Secret). These are the books I've been sent for review and have yet to read. Some of them I've had for AGES. Some of them have been sent to me by lovely bloggers when I've said "Ooh! I really want to read that!" and then they sit there... so embarrassing.  I made the bugs with my 3-year-old a couple of weeks ago. We were quite proud of them.    

Review: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins Published by Harlequin Your heart misleads you.  That's what my friends and family say.  But I love Noah. And he loves me.  We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms. It should be  ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won't be. Because he's Amish. And I'm not. *** I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book. There are certain parts I really enjoyed and other parts that actually left me feeling a little uneasy. In some respects this book is completely compelling. The story between Noah and Rose is really touching and actually very believable. I liked seeing that really innocent first love unfold in spite of it all. To a certain extent you really find yourself routing for me. The thing that really gets me with this book is Rose. I found her to be a really weak character a

Review: The girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

The girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross Published by Harlequin In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous. Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves. One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens. *** I wanted to start this book the minute I finished the last one but deliberately held off to savour the experience as I really loved the world set up and the characters involved. This book picks up where the first left off as Griffin, Finley and co head off to American in attempt to save their friend who has been falsely accused of a crime. Throughout the book you start to get more of th

Review: The Glimpse by Claire Merle

The Glimpse by Claire Merle Published by Faber and Faber In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell. Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears. Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a

Review: Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas

Review: Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning. A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school. In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive. *** Quite honestly I do not know why I actually finished reading this book. I thought it was a poor imitation of several different nove

Review: Unravelling by Elizabeth Morris

Unravelling by Elizabeth Morris Published by HarperCollins 24 meets the X Files in the biggest teen blockbuster of the summer… STOP THE COUNTDOWN. SAVE THE WORLD… Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck. And killed. Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life… Meanwhile, Janelle's father, a special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device – one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time. That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets – and keep from falling in love with him in the process… ***  Unravelling is an awesome read. It twists and turns and keeps you on your toes

Review: Purity by Jackson Pearce

Purity by Jackson Pearce Published by Little Brown A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order. Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex. Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity. *** I really enjoyed Purity and I thought it was a brilliantly different read from an author I

Bookcase Showcase: Kieran Larwood

Before I started writing this, I had a peek through some of the other bookcases on this blog and have ended up with a bit of a complex. I certainly don’t have as many books as some folk. My Ikea shelving is a bit cheap and shoddy and I’m worried people will laugh at the size of my graphic novel collection. Here goes anyway. Space is a bit of an issue in our house, so books really have to earn their place on these shelves. I tend to only keep books that I want to read again- even though I know I’ll never get a chance to until I actually retire. I also tend to get a bit OCD with my book organisation, as you can see. I did have every shelf sorted into sections, but when my daughter was a toddler she discovered the joy of throwing any book she could reach onto the floor, so all that went out the window. The shelves she couldn’t reach are still in good order though, and you can spot my graphic novels at the top (Preacher, Sandman and some Alan Moore). There’s also a clutch of H.P.L

Review: Unison 3.0 by Andy Marino

Review: Unison 3.0 by Andy Marino Published by Catnip   Everyone is obsessed with Unison, the social network that knows you better than you know yourself. Everyone who can afford it, that is. Living beneath the vast ceiling that separates Eastern Seaboard City into rich topside and poor sub-canopy zones, Fifteen-year-old Mistletoe can only dream of logging in and has to make do with technological hand-me-downs. Worlds collide when Ambrose Truax, the privileged heir to the Unison empire, wanders into the dangerous sub-canopy streets and Mistletoe saves him from suspicious, uniformed men. They soon discover that they share eerily similar dreams, hinting at a significant past. Together, Ambrose and Mistletoe begin to unravel the mystery of their identities and learn that they’re pawns in a bigger game: the Unison 3.0 upgrade, a whole new kind of Friendship. ***  Unison 3.0 is a fast paced and interesting sci-fi which I enjoyed and left me with lots of think about.

Review: So yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld Ever wonder who was the first kid to keep a wallet on a big chunky chain, or wear way-too-big pants on purpose? What about the mythical first guy who wore his baseball cap backwards? These are the Innovators, the people on the very cusp of cool. Seventeen-year-old Hunter Braque's job is finding them for the retail market. But when a big-money client disappears, Hunter must use all his cool-hunting talents to find her. Along the way he's drawn into a web of brand-name intrigue-a missing cargo of the coolest shoes he's ever seen, ads for products that don't exist, and a shadowy group dedicated to the downfall of consumerism as we know it. *** I am a huge fan of Scott Westerfeld. I have loved much of what I have read of his books to date but unfortunately this one didn't live up to my expectations. The story itself was an interesting one which looks at consumerism, the role of media in pushing a brand and all of th

another one of my blogging ettiquette rants

To all the bloggers out there who sometimes think that the fact that you are 'hiding' behind a computer screen means you can say whatever the hell you like to whoever you like and ignore the social niceties called manners. Can I ask on the behalf all of the bloggers out there who know how to behave in polite society because the actions of few give us a bad name. Firstly you are entirely entitled to dislike a book. You are entitled to write a bad review of that book if you so wish and put it on your blog and tweet about it. However just think about what you are doing when you directly tweet that author / publishing house and air your opinions and the position you put that author in. Firstly they are generally going to feel like crap about something they have slaved over and secondly they can't go out there and start complaining back at you because it'll blow up into another author/blogger saga. As a rule of thumb think "would I say this to the person face to fac

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas Published by Bloomsbury Celaena Sardothien is a daredevil assassin with unrivalled fighting skills. After a year’s hard labour in the salt mines of the kingdom of Adarlan, Celaena is offered her freedom on one condition—she must fight as handsome Prince Dorian’s champion in a contest sponsored by the king, facing the deadliest thieves and assassins in the land in a series of set-piece battles in the country’s stunning glass palace. But there is more at stake than even her life—for Celaena is destined for a remarkable future.. *** This book is one that is set to be huge. People are already raving about it online because it already has a huge fan base having already been self published online in a slightly different format in previous years by the author. The concept is epic. A teenage girl assassin fighting other assassins in a competition to become the King's champion and win her freedom from the salt mines in which she has been a

Review: Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock  Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf. Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control. Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk. Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions abo

Bookcase Showcase: Author Susie Day

BOOKCASE SHOWCASE - Susie Day I don’t own a photo album, or keep a proper diary, but my bookshelves do a pretty good job of keeping track of my memories. The tattered copy of Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy top left, perched atop the reference books, is the one and only book I’ve ever destroyed. I was partway through reading All The Pretty Horses on a trip to Arizona, and was about to spend 3 days hiking down into - and back out of - the Grand Canyon. When you have to carry every last item on your back into a desert canyon in August, you take sunscreen and food and as much water as you can bear. You don’t take books. But I needed something to read down there; I just didn’t need to carry the other two books that happened to be attached to the back of the one I was halfway through. So - yes, I know, it’s awful - I I ripped through the spine, and wrapped the chapters I needed in a plastic bag. It’s still cloudy with canyon dust, that bag. But I’ll never forget r

When you just can't find the words .....

Is it just me or are there times when you just can't find the words.... Ok ok let's be more specific because being honest there are a lot of days when I get muddled word wise as the kids I teach will testify. I'm actually talking about the times you read a book and love it so much that you cannot find the words to do it justice and then get stuck when writing a review for it. I find this can happen for several reasons. 1) The book is just too fab but you can't find the words to explain its fab and wonderfulness 2) You don't want to include spoilers which means you can't say anything. I find this especially the case if the book is the 2nd/3rd/4th ... in a series. My question to your dear bookish folk is how do you get around it? Any tips or helpful hints would be gratefully appreciated!

Review: Soul Fire by Kate Harrison

Soul Fire by Kate Harrison Published by Indigo Alice Forster regularly talks with her dead sister, Meggie, in the virtual world of Soul Beach - an online paradise where dead teenagers are held in limbo. Alice has learned that if she can solve the mystery of someone's death in the real world, then that person is released from the Beach. Meggie needs Alice to solve her murder so she can be free, but as Alice is getting closer to discovering the murderer, the murderer is getting closer to Alice! The second thriller in this utterly gripping trilogy for teens that explores social networking in a whole new way - Facebook for the dead! *** This review is going to be quite short. Please don't think it's because I didn't enjoy the book because I really did. It's more because I can't say too much without spoiling it for others. What I liked: I liked seeing more Alice. I really liked her in book one and it was nice getting back to her. I loved seeing

Review: The Seeing by Diana Hendry

The Seeing by Diana Hendry Published by RHCB "What gave me a sudden shiver was the notion that there were two of me. The little sister me, who was good and mostly kind; the girl Alice and Dottie knew. And then there was this other me, the one lurking inside me, eager for danger and risk, for something that could be as wild as the sea in winter. For Natalie." Nothing ever seems to happen in the quiet, respectable seaside town of Norton. The war is over, and everyone's thrilled to be living peacefully - everyone but thirteen-year-old Lizzie, who's so bored she feels like she could scream. Until wild, dangerous, break-all-the-rules Natalie arrives. Lizzie is drawn irresistibly to the exciting new girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and as the girls grow closer over the summer, Lizzie discovers a new side to the town - and to herself - that she had never imagined before. Natalie and her young brother, Philip, let Lizzie in on a secret. Despite wha

Review: Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame Published by Simon and Schuster Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has turned into an entirely different person. The once spirited teen is now passive and reserved. A change Lord and Lady Darlington can’t help but be grateful for. It’s 1912, and the Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall have more than just the extensive grounds to maintain. As one of Britain’s most elite families, they need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been… even as their carefully constructed fa├žade rapidly comes undone. Maggie has a secret. And she’s not the only one… the handsome groom Michael, the beautiful new French nanny Therese, the Darlingtons’ teenage houseguests Teddy and Jessica, and even Maggie’s younger sister Lila are all hiding something. Passion, betrayal, heartache, and whispered declarations of love take place under the Darlingtons’ massive roof. And one of these secrets has the power to ruin the Darlingtons forever. When sca

Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Graffti Moon by Cath Crowley Published by Hodder Children's   "Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers." It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about. His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere. Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls. But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes. *** I really enjoyed Graffiti Moon for several reasons. I loved the two main characters Lucy and Ed and really thought the split narrative in this book worked well. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between the develop and ch

Bookcase Showcase: Author Caroline Lawrence

MY OVERFLOWING LIBRARY by Caroline Lawrence I live in a riverside flat with my husband Richard, an English graphic designer and author of non-fiction books. The flat is in Battersea, southwest London, about a half hour’s walk from the Kings Road in Chelsea or leafy Wandsworth Park in Putney. As an American, I never feel a stranger or out of place because London is so cosmopolitan.  Richard and I have just had a purge of about three hundred books but there are still thousands left. This section in my study (the second bedroom) is about a hundredth of the total number. When we moved in twelve years ago we had a carpenter put in an entire wall of bookshelves in our bedroom and also in our big living room. There are even books in the hallway, stacked against the walls.  This picture shows part of my Western Mysteries research shelf. The top shelf holds books about Mark Twain and his time in Virginia City as a reporter. I also have books on the history of that town and