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Showing posts from January, 2012

January Review

I have never done a month in review post on my blog but I thought I'd try it out and see how it goes ...

Books read in January
BZRK by Michael Grant
Oliver Twisted by JD Sharpe
The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Desert Angel by Charlie Price
Slide by Jill Hathaway
The truth about forever by Sarah Dessen
Hollow Pike by James Dawson
The Fault in our stars by John Green
12 minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Starters by Lissa Price
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jessica Rothenberg
Legend by Marie Lu
Daylight Saving by Ed Hogan
The Look by Sophia Bennett
Every other day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Choker by Elizabeth Wood
Dark Storm by Sarah Singleton

Favourite Books read in January



Hollow Pike by James Dawson.
I literally devoured this book in the space of a few hours. I loved every page and cannot praise it highly enough

(Close runners up would have be…

Review: Night School by CJ Daugherty

Night School by CJ Daugherty
Published by Atom



Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested.

Again.

This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.

But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.

When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy.

***
Night school is one of those books I wanted from day one just because of …

Bookcase Showcase: Author Phil Earle

We’ve three alcoves in our house that are rammed full of books.
Two which house the humdrum, run-of-the-mill novels that are apparently very good for adults to read. Apart from a few choice authors, I can’t say I pay that much attention to them.

This is the only bookcase that counts in our house.


The one with the good stuff in it.
The one where the kids and YA novels live.
It used to be bigger, until our third child was born, then I lost a shelf to jigsaws and games. A sad day it was, as I chopped out books that in reality I wanted to keep.

It’s still a collection I’m proud of, a mass of dog-eared proofs from my time working for Ottakar’s Bookstores, first editions that I had signed, and a number of titles that I’ve been lucky enough to work on whilst at Random House and Simon and Schuster.




I thought I’d show you the first books that appear, the “A’s”, as that’s where Mr Almond lives. Without ‘Skellig’ I would never have started writing for young adults. I re-read i…

Review: Seizure by Kathy Reichs

Seizure by Kathy Reichs
Series: Virals #2
Published by RCHB



Ever since Tory Brennan and her friends rescued Cooper, a kidnapped wolf pup with a rare strain of canine parvovirus, they've turned from regular kids into a crime-solving pack. But now the very place that brought them together - the Loggerhead Island Research Institute - is out of funding and will have to shut down. That is, unless the Virals can figure out a way to save it.

So when Tory learns of an old Charleston legend about a famous she-pirate, Anne Bonney, whose fortune was never found, she can't believe her luck - buried treasure is exactly what she needs to save the Institute on Loggerhead! Trouble is, she and her friends aren't the only ones looking for it. And this time, the Virals' special powers may not be enough to dig them out of trouble . . .

*** Seizure is the second book is the Virals series. It was simple and easy read which meant I didn't need to concentrate all that much to f…

Review: The unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Published by Simon and Schuster




Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.

***

The unbecoming of Mara Dyer was uniquely different read and the main thing I liked about it was throughout 90% of the book you weren't quite sure what was going on.

At the very start of the book Mara is involved in an accident which kills three of her best friends and leaves her in a very fragile state. To try to help her recover the family decide to move across the country to start afresh somewhere new.

After the move Mara is faced with the usual "new girl at high school" problems of fitting in. She runs foul o…

Random House Bloggers Brunch

On saturday I was lucky enough to go the the RHCB Bloggers Brunch. As always it was a fantastic morning because of all the exciting future releases they teased us with and because it was another chance to see all my lovely blogging friends.

Now I was going to do a whole break down of all the exciting books they teased us with but in my truly chaotic I lost the piece of paper somewhere between London and Cromer with all the titles and details on. So instead I am going to give you a heads up on the titles they spoke about which I am most excited about

Wonder by RJ Palacio



I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. …

Review: The future of us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Published by Simon and Schuster



It's 1996 and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Facebook will not be invented for several more years. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD-ROM with 100 free hours. When she and her best friend Josh log on to AOL they discover themselves on Facebook... fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what life has in store for them.
Josh and Emma are about to find out.

*** I'm the first to admit when I started this book I wasn't a Jay Asher fan. I hated 13 reasons why but I loved this book.

The story follows Emma and Josh. Emma gets a computer and on her first time online she opens up facebook featuring herself 15 years in the future. At first they think it is a joke but as they delve deeper and as their day to day actions change details in the future things start to get more complicated. They both start to ponder about what t…

A bit of a rant ....

I'm not one for ranting on the whole. I like a quite life but there's something about blogging that has been winding me up of late and I need to get it out ...

As you well know some bloggers get free books. Some of us get a lot of free books and I know 99.9% of us are very excited to receive them and grateful for every one that turns up at our door. I personally have read such a range of titles that I would have never otherwise read if I hadn't had them for review and discovered some real gems. I read a hell of a lot and try my hardest to review whatever I have as quickly as I can (well as quickly as one would expect with a job like mine). There are times however when I get a book which isn't really me and even then I'll give it a go and if it still isn't me I'll pass it onto another blogger who has mentioned they would like to read it or take it into school for the library or one of kids I teach would love reading. Either way I am always grateful for whate…

Bookcase Showcase: Author Sara Grant

Review: Saving Daisy by Phil Earle

Saving Daisy by Phil Earle
Published by Puffin



Losing love, fighting guilt, seeking hope.

Daisy’s mum is gone. Her dad refuses to talk about it and as far as Daisy’s concerned, it’s all her fault…

Saving Daisy is a powerful and moving story that follows the life of Daisy Houghton who first featured in Phil Earle’s critically acclaimed debut, Being Billy.
As Daisy struggles with misplaced guilt over her mother’s death, she turns to extreme and violent measures and soon her life starts spiralling out of control. This leads to tragedy and suddenly Daisy finds herself left all alone. But sometimes the kindness of a stranger can turn things around. A stranger who desperately wants to save Daisy – if she’ll only let herself be saved.

***

Saving Daisy is one of the books I have been looking forward to for month now and I am pleased to say it lived up to all expectations and I enjoyed it as much, if not more than, I enjoyed Being Billy.

The thing I loved about this book the most …

Review: Darkness Falls by Cate Tieran

Darkness Falls by Cate Tieran
Published by Hodder



I'm still here. Still immortal. The eagerly anticipated sequel to Immortal Beloved, the deeply alluring gothic romance.

Reyn: the thorn in my side, nightmare of my past, destroyer of my family, constant irritant of my now . . . and the one whose fevered kisses I had relived over and over as I lay exhausted and unable to sleep.

And yet night after night, he--who has kicked down hundreds of doors--had not brought himself to knock on mine.

Are you dizzy from being flung into my world like this? I feel the same way every morning when I open my eyes to find I'm still me, still here

*** Darkness Falls is the sequel to Immortal beloved and a completely different read from book one.

The thing I love about this series is Nasty's narrative. The way she is written is so entertain and actually really comical in places as she talks away to herself about the things going on around her.

I enjoyed the first part of the book finding…

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published by Penguin


Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. 

*** Cinder is a retelling of the fairytale Cinderella and does it's own interesting take on the story we all know so well.

Cinder is a cyborg. She was adopted at a young age by her father who since died and left her under the guardianship of her…

Review: Smoulder by Brenna Yovanoff

Smoulder by Brenna Yovanoff
Published by Simon and Schuster



Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be. 

*** I don't think I could sum up this …

Review: Fated by Sarah Alderson

Fated by Sarah Alderson
Published by Simon and Schuster


What happens when you discover you aren't who you thought you were? And that the person you love is the person who will betray you? If your fate is already determined, can you fight it?

When Evie Tremain discovers that she’s the last in a long line of Demon slayers and that she’s being hunted by an elite band of assassins –Shapeshifters, Vampires and Mixen demons amongst them – she knows she can’t run. They’ll find her wherever she goes. Instead she must learn to stand and fight.

But when the half-human, half-Shadow Warrior Lucas Gray - is sent to spy on Evie and then ordered to kill her before she can fulfil a dangerous prophecy, their fates become inextricably linked. The war that has raged for one thousand years between humans and demons is about to reach a devastating and inevitable conclusion. Either one or both of them will die before this war ends.

If your life becomes bound to another’s, what will it tak…

Bookcase Showcase: Author Cate Tieran

Today it's the turn of author Cate Tieran on bookcase showcase



This is the bookcase in my office. You can see some of my collection of Dorothy Dainty children's books from the early 1900s (top right). Top left we have my Barbara Hambly books--a great fantasy writer whose writing has been very influential for me.  Some favorite romances, lower right. Self-help/psychology books, lower left--helping me understand the human mind and emotions.  Bottom shelf, photos of my kids and a picture of my dad from the 1930s. Books on New Orleans, my hometown. Little clay animals made by me and my brother when we were little, supplemented by little clay animals made by my younger daughter when she was little.

This is a glass-fronted barrister bookcase that was my grandfather's, from the early 1900s. He was a judge in New Orleans and had two of these bookcases in his law office. I have one and my brother has one.  This holds weird medical books, my Barbara Pym novels, and a bunch of travel b…

Review: India Dark by Kirsty Murray

India Dark by Kirsty Murray
Published by Templar



Melbourne, Australia, 1909: faced with the prospect of employment in either the match factory or the jam factory, 13-year old Poesy Swift auditions for a children’s theatre company that specialises in popular music-hall songs.

Before she knows it, she’s on a two-year tour through Asia. At first it’s all an adventure, but by the time they reach south India, many of them have been disciplined by the manager and their performances hide enormous turmoil backstage. At the end of their last show, all but two of the children turn on their minders and go on strike, then walk out into the hot Madras night.

***

India dark is a nice little novel set in a historical setting which was an engaging read and would be perfect to give youngsters a real feel for the British Empire around the turn of the century.

The story follows Poesy and Tilly two girls who are part of a travelling act who are enroute to America performing along the way to an…