Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ash review

Malinda Lo
March 4th 2010 (UK)
Hodder Children's (UK)

In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

Despite the fact that I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about Ash, I really enjoyed it! I've always been a bit of a sucker for fairytale retellings, and while the only ones I've read have been set in a modern environment, I really enjoyed the traditional fantasy setting of Ash.

But that was about the only traditional thing about it. The fairies were a real diversion from the typical fairies from Cinderella, being that they were a lot more like the faeries we all know and love (and I use the word Love VERY lightly, because those faeries are darn mischievous). I really liked Sidhean, and all of the fairy tales as well. I AM a complete sucker for anything fairytaley after all. But I thought the world building was really fabulous too. I had a great feel for the kingdom and The Wood, and it made me want to read a whole bunch of fantasy novels (a genre which, as much I'd like to, generally do not foray into often).

I enjoyed the characters, though I think that the way the story was told meant that I didn't really get to know any of them, and I don't think the characters are the things that I'll remember most about this book, despite the fact that the book was named after one. I think I liked Kaisa more than Ash even though she's only in the book for the last half, and my favourite character was Sidhean, though I did have a soft spot for Clara.

Some people might not pick up Ash because of the nature of the romance (it being girl-girl), but you shouldn't let that put you off. It's not explicit, if anything it's probably one of the tamest I've read romance wise, and the romance is really sweet. I don't think you should let gender/sexual orientation stop you from reading a book. But that's just my opinion, and the romance is genuinely sweet and lovely, and innocent.

Ash is a sweet, lovely written Cinderella retelling which I definitely think you should read if fantasy is your thing, or if you like fairy tales and their retellings like me. 4 stars :)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #26

Dawn Metcalf
July 7th 2011

As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong.
When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela's way home.

I am just ridiculously in love with this cover. It is damn fine. Plus the book sounds awesome too, and there's a character called Cicely in which makes me infinitely happy. Yay!

What are you waiting for?

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Truth About Forever review

The Truth About Forever
Sarah Dessen
May 1st 2008 (UK)
Puffin Books (UK)

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She's stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she'll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father's recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother's open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about, the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

The Truth About Forever is the best Sarah Dessen book out of the four I've read. In my opinion, of course. Seriously, everything about it was so good! While the plot went in a similar fashion to her other books, this is definitely the one I was most emotionally connected too. I really cared about the characters, as I guess I always do with Sarah Dessen books, and I think that Macy was the most relatable, plus I loved ALL of the characters. I think Monica was my favourite character though, either her or Bert. He just had his way with all of those apocalypse theories... ;)

Macy had just lost her father, and her whole family has been pretty messed up by it. She's been feeling pretty crappy since the death, and the fact that she has to spent her whole summer away from her boyfriend, taking his job at the library reception desk with two girls who hate her isn't exactly cheering her up. It's only when she starts to help out at Wish catering that she starts to feel truly happy again, and  who wouldn't with a lovely, handsome fella like Wes hanging around?

Macy was so lovely, and she was really struggling with the loss of her father, but still kept her walls up and didn't let on to how much it hurt her in front of her mother, who was a bit mean, but for good reason. And she was nice at the end. Wes was just... Definitely my favourite out of the Sarah Dessen boys, and even though he'd gone through a bit of a bad boy streak, he was so sweet and kind and lovely and I would definitely be sa-wooning over him. The whole crew at Wish were just adorable, Kristy, Delia, Monica, Bert. I just wanted to work there so bad, except I'd be pretty terrible at it.

Sarah Dessen has once again written a book that just makes me smile when I think about it, with a cast of characters I adore, and a book that, while it deals with grief, is sweet and funny and just rather brilliant. 5 stars :D

Saturday, 26 March 2011

In My Mailbox (25)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

Again, not a lot of books for me this week,

Ash by Malinda Lo (Reading this and enjoying it very much!)
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (a lot of people have been raving about this lately, I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about.)

Stolen (like a ninja) from my sisters bedroom:
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman. (I've been meaning to read her books for ages now!)

And so, in penitence for the small amount of books I've gotten the past 2 weeks, I present ye a Unicorn! I'm not sorry enough to draw rainbows and happy-dancing-cats for you though. Yet.

Also, something immensely sad happened today. If you haven't heard already, Diana Wynne Jones died today. :( This makes me so sad because she was a fabulous storyteller, and a wonderful person and I'll never have the chance to meet her. *goes off to reread all of her books*

What did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, 25 March 2011

Along for the Ride review

Along for the Ride
Sarah Dessen
February 4th 2010 (UK)
Puffin Books

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

Ha, and you thought that Sara Dessen had stopped taking over my reading life, but you were WRONG. In this month, Sarah Dessen has become one of my favourite authors, so there'll be no escaping her here! Anyway, I'd been expecting quite a lot from Along for the Ride, because my friend Alice (from The Reader Room) tells me it's her favourite SD book. And I was not disappointed. 

Along for the Ride was just what I was expecting, and sometimes I like knowing what I'm going to get. Sarah Dessen's characters make up for the fact that the plots are rather predictable (in a good way, of course) as they're always just so individual, so different from each other. So normal and relatable, and yet so unique. And Eli! Oh, Eli. Sarah Dessen knows how to write nice boys. Seriously, she is a master. I have yet to not fall for the boy in SD's books. And Eli was no exception. I think I liked him more than Owen and-dare I say it- Dexter. And I loved Dexter (what?! I have a thing for curly hair and nice boys... ;P) But Eli had the whole, longish, dark hair thing going for him. Plus he was lovely, even though he didn't seem it for the first 100 pages or so. Their nights together were so cute! I just wished I could've been there with them, but I'm not a complete insomniac. And also, they're fictional, so it ain't gonna happen :(... ;)

Maggie and the girls at the sop were lovely, Maggie especially. And the boys down at the bike shop were lovely too! They were all so sweet :) And Heidi was a really good character too, not how Auden thought she would be. Auden's mother was a bit harsh at first, always judging people, but she grew, and Auden's father, well I don't think there'll be any character development from him any time soon. He was a piece of work, such a lazy old man! I wouldn't put up with him. And Auden herself was wonderful, though there were a few similarities between her and Macy, which I suppose would be unavoidable seeing as they're in fairly similar predicaments (ish), but I could still separate them completely in my mind. And I love how her books are always set in the same places! It just makes me smile :)

Along for the Ride was a sweet book, full of lovely people (apart from her Father... *shakes head*) and a quick read, yet still with the deepness that comes with every Sarah Dessen book. (Okay, I fail at trying to be 'profound'. I shall not attempt it again.) 4.5 stars :)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #24

The Pledge
Kimberly Derting
November 15th 2011

Words are the most dangerous weapon of all. 

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed. 

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

How brilliant does this look?! I love her Body Finder books, plus I love me some dystopian! It looks like it'll be a fantastic read, plus how stunning is that cover?!

What are you waiting on?

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Liar Society review

The Liar Society
Lisa & Laura Roecker
March 1st 2011
Sourcebooks Fire

Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)

I'm here…
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell.
They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...

The Liar Society was awesome. Totally awesome. I was scared that with all the buzz that it was going to disappoint me, but it didn't. It completely didn't. For many, many, reasons.

First of all, Kate. She was so funny and snarky you just  couldn't NOT like her. And, though she'd probably hate me for saying this, I felt a bit bad for her too. She'd just recently lost her best friend, had been ostracised at her school for it and had to go to a shrink for, like, half a year. She was really messed up. But, she does have that darn awesome pink hair to show for it! Now I want pink hair... And despite all of this, she still managed to keep up her sarcasm, and just awesome personality which I loved.

Second of all, Liam. (Or, more specifically, his hair... ;D) Well, is hair was what sparked my love for him, but then his wonderful personality shone through, and it wasn't just his, and I quote, 'amazing hair' that kept me fancying him. He was brilliant. :D

Third of all, Seth ( I promise, the next thing isn't a character) Should I be worried that I seriously identified with Seth...? Don't worry, I'm not a conspiracy theorist and whatnot, (LOL, whatnot is actually a word!) but I felt a real nerdy connection with him. We probably would get on. I think this a good thing... Though I'm not really sure.

Last, but not least, was the plot. The ending totally took me by surprise and I loved how the mystery panned out. And now I feel like I should start watching Veronica Mars. People tell me it's good. More specifically, people who like TLS think it's good, so I shall be watching it soon.

The Liar Society is a book full of twists and turns, the snarkiest, most awesomely pink haired MC and a boy with 'amazing hair'. An awesome book! 4.5 stars :D

Monday, 21 March 2011

Clarity review

Kim Harrington
March 1st
Scholastic Point

When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?
This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.
And a curse.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

When I first heard of Clarity, I knew it was a book I needed to have. First of all, look at that stunning cover! I really get the feel of Eastport when I look at it. I love the bright colours and it just reminds me of the seaside. And then there's the blurb, which is awesome. Books about psychics? I'm in! Plus I love me some murder mystery!

And Clarity was everything I expected. An awesome, witty, strong-willed female lead, two very, very sexy boys... and a mystery that kept me guessing until the last 10 pages... (or maybe I just fail at mystery-solving, but whatever) Clarity (the MC, not the book) was brilliant! I loved her sarcasm, and that she rarely let her bullies get to her or prevent her from solving the mystery. But that she wasn't completely immune to it all. She was vulnerable too. And she wasn't exactly over the moon about being psychic either. She didn't deserve to get bullied for being a 'freak' or whatever, she didn't ask for it.

And I loved her family too. I admit I have a thing for Perry, despite his man whorish ways. He was a lovely boy, plus he was quite the handsome fella ;) And I loved Gabriel too! Sooo gorgeous.. ;p But he had secrets and a darker past than I suspected. And Justin! Boy, does Kim know how to write swoonish guys. He would do anything to get back together with is girlfriend, even if it meant getting into trouble with his dad (the mayor, I may add) or the police.

The mystery was twisty and turny, and I didn't see half of it coming. I was genuinely taken by surprise by the whole mystery and who actually did it. Kim definitely has a way of keeping the killer under wraps, although about halfway through I did get a bit suspicious about him.

Clarity was a wonderful murder mystery which kept me sitting on the edge of my seat, swooning over the boys and laughing at Clare's sarcastic comments and wit. Definitely a book you should check out! 4 stars :D 

Sunday, 20 March 2011

In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

This week I won:
Long Reach by Peter Cocks from Kirsty at The Overflowing Library :D Thanks!
Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari from Iffath at Love Reading x Iffath also sent me loads of awesome swag, so thank you! :D

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Divergent giveaway

So I have 250 followers now (which is AWESOME) and I just so happen to have a second proof copy (ARC) of Veronica Roth's debut novel Divergent (which is, too, AWESOME) and I put 2+2 together (or rather 250+AMAZEBALLSSUPERAWESOMEOMGOMG Book) and thought, Y'know what?! I might just do a giveaway! And so I am! :D Yay! All you have to do is fill out the form here :)

Open internationally :D
Ends March 31st

Oh, and to answer the question, I would definitely be Amity. I would WANT to be Dauntless, but all the heights, and the scary things... *shudders* Nope, just stick me in a farm out somewhere and I'll be just peachy. ;)

Good luck!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance review

 Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance

Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin
February 1st (US)/ March 7th (UK)
Walker Books (US)/ Bloomsbury (UK)

Fans of romance don't need to look any further than the fauxmance brewing between teen idols Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers—known on their hit TV show as Jenna and Jonah, next-door neighbors flush with the excitement of first love. But it's their off-screen relationship that has helped cement their fame, as passionate fans follow their every PDA. They grace the covers of magazines week after week. Their fan club has chapters all over the country. The only problem is their off-screen romance is one big publicity stunt, and Charlie and Fielding can't stand to be in the same room. Still, it's a great gig, so even when the cameras stop rolling, the show must go on, and on, and on. . . . Until the pesky paparazzi blow their cover, and Charlie and Fielding must disappear to weather the media storm. It's not until they're far off the grid of the Hollywood circuit that they realize that there's more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile.

Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance was nothing if not cute. Seriously, this book was so cute! The book is about two kids TV stars from a show reminiscent of Hannah Montana, who after having their show cancelled have to find another way back into their showbiz career, and in the mean time get to know each and maybe turn their alleged 'fauxmance' into a romance.

While I thought this book was immensely cute (as well as slightly predictable), there were a few things that irked me about it. Sometimes Charlie and Aaron (Fielding/Jonah's ACTUAL actual name) got on my nerves. Charlie in particular. She was really obsessed with the idea of being famous, and for the majority of the book all she cared about was getting back on the fame horse. And Aaron annoyed me because he was so perverted all the time. Half the time the only thing he thought about were tits, or sex, which I know is typical teenage boy behaviour, but, y'know, it'd be nice to know that you definitely like Charlie for MORE than her assets. Not that that would be all that realistic, but whatever. Apart from that they were fine. Lovely people. 

The story was a bit predictable, as you'd expect, and I think my favourite part was when they were secluded, where the acting wasn't important, and all they had to worry about was the newfound like of each other. No worries about appearances or breeching contracts, just about each other. I didn't mind the last part of the book either, but the ending was a bit cheesy (not that I'm opposed to a cheesy ending, mind) but satisfiying, and I quite liked their similarities to the situation of the characters they were playing in the play and to their real lives. It was cute. :)

Jenna & Jonah was a very cute, quick and predictable read, so if you're looking for a sweet and short romance, you know which book to read! 3.5 stars :D

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #23

City of Fallen Angels
Cassandra Clare
April 5th 2011

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the bestselling series The Mortal Instruments. 

“City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.”

AHH OMG IT'S NEARLY OUT!! I NEED my Jace fix. Like, now. I'm so freaking excited!! ;D Yay!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Guest Post: C.J Skuse

 The lovely C.J Skuse, author of Pretty Bad Things, and Rockoholic (which was just release last week) has been kind enough to stop by and write up a quickfire guest post for me celebrating the release of Rockoholic! How nice :) And yay! It's my first ever author guest post!

So, without further ado,

Top 5 films
1.    WANTED

Top 5 songs
3.    SOUL ONE by Blind Melon
5.    EVERLONG by Foo Fighters

Top 5 celebs to play people in my books





Top 5 bands

Top 5 books

1. The Madolescents by Chrissie Glazebrook
2. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
3. Misery by Stephen King
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
5. The Beggar Bride by Gillian White

Yay! Thank you so much for that C.J! I must say, I think she has impeccable taste in music, don't you agree! ;) I hope you enjoyed :D (And yes, I DID link all of those songs to youtube videos of them, just in case. And maybe it was just an excuse to listen to them all again...) Thank you for reading! :D

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