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Showing posts from November, 2012

November review

I have finally hit a wall when it comes to reading for this year. After 3 months of being in a housebound broken legged state I have managed to read about 100 books and I've finally hit a slump earlier this month. I got myself out of it by picking up some new adult titles in a bid to have a go at reading something completely different which ws nice. I'm now scheduled up with reviews for the blog until the end of the year and am now concentrating on reading all the lovely 2013 release books that are now coming my way.

Read in November
Harry Potter and the Philsopher's Stone (Reread)
The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriot
Clockwork Angel (graphic novel) by Cassandra Clare
Hit Squad by Sophie McKenzie
Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw
Easy by Tammara Webber
Taking Chances by Molly McAdams
The perfect game by J Sterling
Down to you by M Leighton
Broken by AE Rought (DNF)
Through to you by Emily Hainsworth (DNF)
Reached by Ally Condie
Burning Bright by Sophie McKenzie
The Vincent Boys …

Review: A Witch in Love by Ruth Warburton

Anna still finds it hard to believe that Seth loves her and has vowed to suppress her powers, no matter what.

But magic – like love – is uncontrollable. It spills out with terrible consequences, and soon, Anna is being hunted.

***
I thoroughly enjoyed a Witch in Love. The sequel was just as exciting as the first book and has left me excited for the final book in the series.

I found this instalment just as compelling as the first and I whizzed through it finishing it in one sitting in a matter of hours.

The story kicks off a short while after the first book. Anna has been trying to avoid magic to keep under the radar but it has been difficult. At times she slips up and the magic seeps out. After a while it becomes apparent that carrying on that way isn't going to be practical especially once Anna's house gets attacked.

I enjoyed seeing the relationship between Anna and Seth develop as the book went on. I also loved getting more into the background of Anna as she starts t…

Review: Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

1910. A cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Fifteen-year-old Sig Andersson is alone. Alone, except for the corpse of his father, who died earlier that day after falling through a weak spot on the ice-covered lake. His sister, Anna, and step-mother, Nadya, have gone to the local town for help. Then comes a knock at the door. It's a man, the flash of a revolver's butt at his hip, and a mean glare in his eyes. Sig has never seen him before but Wolff claims to have unfinished business with his father. As Sig gradually learns the awful truth about Wolff's connection to his father, Sig finds his thoughts drawn to a certain box hidden on a shelf in the storeroom, in which lies his father's prized possession - a revolver. When Anna returns alone, and Wolff begins to close in, Sigs choice is pulled into sharp focus. Should he use the gun, or not?

***


This book is a prime example of what makes Marcus Sedgwick a brilliant author.

Revolver is a thriller set in the Arcti…

Review: Blink Once by Cylin Busby

West is a high school senior who has everything going for him – until an accident leaves him paralysed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, moving in and out of consciousness, West is isolated and alone. Until he meets Olivia.

Olivia is the girl next door – though not the typical girl next door. She is in the hospital room next to his, and before long, she’s sneaking into his room to talk with him. Only Olivia seems to know what he’s thinking, and even dreaming about. Yet certain questions haunt him: Why is Olivia in the hospital? And how is she connected to the terrible dreams he’s been having? But the biggest shock of all comes when West must face the possibility that the girl he’s fallen in love with – and who’s done more to aid his recovery than anyone else – may not even be alive.

***
I have mixed feeling about this book. There were some things I really enjoyed about it but other things I wasn't as keen on.

Things I liked
I enjoyed following the story from the perspect…

Bookcase Showcase: Author Lydia Syson

Chaos and order battle it out on the bookshelves in my house.  There are six of us – me, my partner and our four children – and we’re always swapping books with each other, and borrowing them or lending them to other people, so there’s a lot of movement, and plenty of interlopers.  And I find it almost impossible to get rid of books. What follows then is a snapshot of some of the shelves this week, starting at the bottom and working up to the top of our Victorian terrace in south London. 


Last month we did some filming here for the enhanced iBook edition of A World Between Us, (link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/world-between-us-multi-touch/id576421338?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 ) so I got together as much of my Spanish Civil War research as I still could lay my hands on.  Poetry books nestle alongside technical weaponry manuals and CDs as they did in my research.  (I nearly always had a song in my head when I was writing.) By shifting a lamp and various bits of children’s pottery, …

Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

***
This book made for an interesting read.

Chelsea has learnt the hard way that spreading gossip can hurt people. Up until the fateful party where she spread gossip to disastrous consequences Chelsea is part of the popular crowd and suddenly after speaking up she's no longer welcome and suddenly finds herself isolated from everyone else. To…

Review: The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff

On the morning of her wedding, Pell Ridley creeps out of bed in the dark, kisses her sisters goodbye and flees -- determined to escape a future that offers nothing but hard work and sorrow. She takes the only thing that truly belongs to her: Jack, a white horse.
The road ahead is rich with longing, silence and secrets, and each encounter leads her closer to the untold story of her past. Then Pell meets a hunter, infuriating, mysterious and cold. Will he help her to find what she seeks?
With all the hallmarks of Meg Rosoff's extraordinary writing, The Bride's Farewell also breaks new ground for this author, in a nineteenth-century, Hardyesque setting. This is a moving story of love and lost things, with a core of deep, beautiful romance. 

***
The Bride's farewell is a interesting different book from Meg Rosoff. It is completely different from her other books.

The book is the story of Pell. She decides to leave home the morning of her wedding day as she doesn'…

Review: 1.4 by Mike Lancaster

Thousands of years in the future the divide between humanity and technology has become nearly unrecognizable. Each thought, each action is logged, coded, backed up. Data is as easily exchanged through the fiber-optic-like cables that extend from fingertips as it might be through ordinary conversation. It's a brave new world: A world that the Straker Tapes say is a result of many human "upgrades." But no one is sure whether the Straker Tapes are a work of fiction or an eerie peek into an unimaginable past.
Nearly sixteen-year-old Peter Vincent has been raised to believe that everything that the backward Strakerites cling to is insane--an utter waste of time and potential. Since his father is David Vincent, genius inventor of the artificial bees that saved the world's crops and prevented massive famine, how could Peter believe anything else?

But when Peter meets Alpha, a Strakerite his own age, suddenly the theories about society-upgrades don't sound q…

Review: Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares—has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

***


Leaving paradise is the story of Caleb a teenage boy who has just been let out of prison f…

Bookcase Showcase: Author KA Laity

Because I'm living a bit of a gypsy life, I offer up some shelves from my office which -- cough -- also shows the signs of my itinerant existence, still being in the midst of unpacking all the things that had to be packed away while the office was given over to a replacement while I was off in Ireland for a year. Without meaning to do so I seem to accumulate tchotchkes of various kinds: medieval stuff, female action figures, pirate thingees. There's the viking my dad carved for me, the Cthulhu my pal Jan Kozlowski made and the sock zombie my pal Mildred gave me. Oh, and the nun doll Alice Loweecey made for her mystery series! I have mostly medieval books here. There's the Anglo-Saxon and medieval women shelf then the Old Norse and Chaucer and oversize shelf. Because our offices are in converted houses, I also make use of the closets in my office. My vinyl collection has found a home here on the way to being discarded (cough, five years it's been there...)…

Review: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

***
I really enjoyed this book. It was super cute and the perfect Christmassy read.

The story revolves around Lily and Dash, teenagers…

Review: The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick

It is 1915 and the First World War has only just begun.

17 year old Sasha is a well-to-do, sheltered-English girl. Just as her brother Thomas longs to be a doctor, she wants to nurse, yet girls of her class don't do that kind of work. But as the war begins and the hospitals fill with young soldiers, she gets a chance to help. But working in the hospital confirms what Sasha has suspected--she can see when someone is going to die. Her premonitions show her the brutal horrors on the battlefields of the Somme, and the faces of the soldiers who will die. And one of them is her brother Thomas.

Pretending to be a real nurse, Sasha goes behind the front lines searching for Thomas, risking her own life as she races to find him, and somehow prevent his death.

***


In all honesty if you want a book about the horrors of the trenches, the impact of world war one on people left behind or the role of nurses in the war the are far better books out there to read. However despite this …

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

***
I have been waiting excitedly for this book since I finished The Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

This book was beautifully written and spends a huge amount of time getting deep into the story that was started in book one. It focuses on switching between looking at the two sides of the ongoing war between the angels and the chimaera and gives the reader a real insight into the two different worlds and the pressures they face.

However for me this book really suffers from bein…

Review: Double Cross by Sophie McKenzie

Narrated by Nico, Double-Cross is full of telekinetic action as the Medusa Project team arrive in Sydney, Australia, for another exciting mission - and unexpectedly come face-to-face with two more Medusa teens: Cal, a boy who can fly, and Amy, a girl who can shapeshift... but who is double-crossing who? And how many others are out there carrying the Medusa gene?

***
Double cross is the 5th instalment in the medusa Project series. I've really been enjoying them and think they just keep getting stronger.

I won't say too much as I could so easily spoil the book for someone. I will say that there are loads of twists and turns and revelations thrown in which are brilliantly unexpected and exciting and much as been set up for the last book. I literally cannot wait to see when the series finally ends up in the next and final instalment. I particularly enjoyed the addition of Cal to the story.

Roll on the final book!

Bookcase Showcase: Blogger Sarah from Feeling Fictional

Hey everyone, I'm Sarah and my blog is called Feeling Fictional (http://www.feelingfictional.com/). You can occasionally catch me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/sarahsreviews) but I seem to have cured myself of my tweeting addiction so you're much more likely to catch me on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3344685) if you want to talk about books :o)
I've been promising Kirsty a Bookcase Showcase post for months now but since I now have my very own library (it's my favourite room in the house!) it was about time I got around to taking some pics for her. I'll be the first to admit I'm not the world's tidiest person - I'm messy, I hate my hoover and you can probably write your name in the dust (if the dust bunnies don't eat you first!) but I'm actually surprisingly organised when it comes to my books. You see like many other book bloggers I have a book addiction - I seem to be constantly acquiring new books because I…

Review: The Returners by Gemma Malley

London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead, his father's political leanings have grown radical, and his friends barely talk to him. To top it off, he's having nightmares about things like concentration camps. Then Will notices he's being followed by a group of people who claim to know him from another time in history. It turns out they are Returners, reincarnated people who carry with them the memory of atrocities they have witnessed in the past. Will realizes that he, too, is a Returner. But something about his memories is different, and with dawning horror, Will suspects that he wasn't just a witness to the events, he was instrumental in making them happen. Set in the near future, with the world on the verge of a new wave of ethnic cleansing, Will must choose to confront the cruelty he's known in his past lives, or be doomed to repeat it…

***
I was very keen to get my hands on a copy of this book after loving Gemma Malley's The De…

Review: Hunted by Sophie McKenzie

Dylan, the daughter of the scientist who created the Medusa gene for psychic powers, has never felt she really fits into the crime-fighting Medusa Project. But then she makes a discovery about her father's death which changes everything. As she and the other Medusa teens search for the truth, Dylan meets Harry - a boy who seems to know more about Dylan's past than she does. But can Dylan trust him? While Dylan searches for the mysterious legacy that her father has left her from beyond the grave, her dad's killer closes in. But just how far is the murderer prepared to go to keep Dylan from finding out the truth?

***
Hunted is another cracking instalment in the Medusa Project series.

I loved to have a book in this series from Dylan's point of view because I have found her to be a bit of a mystery over the series. She is standoffish and keeps herself separate from the rest of the group and I enjoyed having the chance to see the world from her perspective.…

Review: Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd

Holly’s story will leave a lasting impression on all who travel with her.
Memories of mum are the only thing that make Holly Hogan happy. She hates her foster family with their too-nice ways and their false sympathy. And she hates her life, her stupid school, and the way everyone is always on at her. Then she finds the wig, and everything changes. Wearing the long, flowing blond locks she feels transformed. She’s not Holly anymore, she’s Solace: the girl with the slinkster walk and the supersharp talk. She’s older, more confident—the kind of girl who can walk right out of her humdrum life, hitch to Ireland, and find her mum. The kind of girl who can face the world head-on.

So begins a bittersweet and sometimes hilarious journey as Solace swaggers and Holly tiptoes across England and through memory, discovering her true self and unlocking the secrets of her past.

***


I really enjoyed Solace of the road and thought it was really poignant and thought provoking read.

Solace of…

Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss.
She wouldn't have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn't have hit her head on the steps.
She wouldn't have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia.
She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place.
She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her "Chief." She'd get all his inside jokes, and maybe he wouldn't be so frustrated with her for forgetting things she can't possibly remember.
She'd know about her mom's new family.
She'd know about her dad's fiancee.
She wouldn't have to spend her junior year relearning all the French she supposedly knew already.
She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her.
She wouldn't have wanted to kiss him back.
But Naomi picked heads…

Bookcase Showcase: Author Alex McQuay