Friday, 30 September 2011

Maureen Johnson Competition!

Just in case all you lovelies didn't know, HarperCollins Childrens' Books, the lovely UK publishers of The Name of The Star, are hosting a most excellent competition involiving going on a Jack the Ripper tour around London with the author herself! Some more details:

To celebrate the publication of Maureen Johnsons new YA thriller The Name of the Star, HarperCollins Children’s Books is offering 10 lucky readers the opportunity to accompany Maureen Johnson on a private Jack the Ripper walk in London on Thursday, 13th October 2011.

The walk begins at 5:00 PM and will carry-on for two hours into the night! Visit the haunting sites of Jack the Ripper and hear first-hand from Maureen how they inspired her new book The Name of the Star.

To enter, simply email for a chance to attend the event with a friend.

Disclaimer: Entrants must be 13 or over. Please ensure that you are available to attend the event on Thursday, 13th October from 5.00pm to 7.00pm before entering. Winners will be informed on Friday, 7th October, and will be provided with further instructions then.

How bloody amazing does that sound! I am ridiculously tempted to enter myself... If I could get to London from school that early, I would be on it like a car bonnet! ;p 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door review

Lola and the Boy Next Door
Stephanie Perkins
29th September 2011
Dutton Books

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

You guys. YOU. GUYS. I swear, Stephanie Perkins is a freaking genius. She won us all over with her debut, Anna (ya'll know how much I adore that book, right?) and left us all wondering if her second book would be even remotely as good. Well, I'm telling you Lola is just as good, if not better. It had all the adorableness I expected, all the angst, all the humour, and plenty of Anna and Etienne to satiate our need to know that they're still happy and perfect together. Which they are. Seriously, can they just be real? Just for a day? Please?

I think Lola was a really interesting character, she was really different from Anna (which is good, because as much as I ADORE Anna, I would be a bit disappointed if Lola was just a carbon copy, you know?) I really loved her  sense of fashion and costume, and I thought all of her outfits were just amazing! Jeez, I would be so impressed with myself if I had the guts to wear the amazing outfits she does. And I think that's one of the things she should know about herself. She thinks she's this bad person, that's not worthy of a nice guy, but she's really tough. She's resilient. She has this whole major sense of identity expressed by her clothes which other people dismissing as an identity crisis kind of shook for a while, but she came back, strong and more awesome than ever.

And Cricket. OMG Cricket. He is THE most adorable boy ever. No lies. Again, I thought he was gonna be another St. Claire type, slightly cocky and self assured and just charming and brilliant, but he wasn't. And this is SUCH a good thing. Because as much as I love St. Claire, I don't want another one. I wanted a different boy to swoon over. And boy did I get that ;p (yay unintentional punnage! ;P) Cricket was tall and lanky and awkward and had crazy hair and he invented things and he was so NICE. Seriously, he is the embodiment of the nice guy. Him and Lola are so freaking perfect for each other it's UNBELIEVABLE. 

But, as with all books, there was an obstacle. By the name of Max. The BOYFRIEND. I really liked his and Lola's relationship, not in the way that it was a good one, because it wasn't. At all. It was rather unhealthy, and they weren't great together, but they were trapped in this dream where they were, and I loved that while a lot of books take this kind of relationship and present it as a good thing, where they end up (I like to imagine) unhappily married for eternity, this whole sort of bad relationship, where the boyfriend is not a nice guy, but just pretends to be, IS the bad thing. And it gets a resolution like that sort of thing would in reality. Which  is what I love about these books. Despite the dreamy boys and their perfect relationships with the main character, that only comes after work and angst and realisations and it's all so real and natural and utterly believable. 

Also, I LOVED Lola's dads. They were such great parents, and it was nice to see that after the void of parents in Anna. Also, despite the fact that they were gay, they weren't, like comic relief characters, like I see gay characters in a LOT of books being. They weren't overly camp, or stupidly girly, or overdramtic. There weren't any of the stereotypes there, and there was this wonderful bit when Lola was explaining the family dynamics, and she said neither of was the dominant 'father' or 'mother' figure of the relationship. They were just a couple, and they were both both. Lindsey and Calliope were characters I really liked too. Although I was preparing myself for Calliope to be kind of a bitch, she wasn't. I mean, she was, sometimes, too Lola, but she was three dimensional. She had a lot of pressure, and she really loved her twin (Cricket) and she didn't want to see him hurt is all.

Lola and the Boy Next Door was everything I wanted and more. It was so adorable, it was like staring at a barrel of sleepy puppies. It was so real, the story was so great, if not a tiny bit predictable, and the characters, as always, were brilliant, and real, and believable. I seriously don't think I'll be able to wait for Isla... ;)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #50

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

Anna Carey
October 4th 2011

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

This sounds like such a great Dystopia! I can't wait for it :) And the cover is awesome...

What are you waiting for?

Oh, and don't forget to enter my Blogoversary giveaway if you haven't! :)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To Reread

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers make lists about books and other suitably bookish things. This week we're doing books we really, really want to reread :)

1. Skellig by David Almond. I read this book in the first year of high school because we had to and I just really didn't like it, but everyone tells me it's great so I want to  read it again to see if I appreciate it more now... :)

2. Anna and the French Kiss. I will read and reread this book every time that insatiable need for general adorableness comes around ;)

3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. One of the most absolutely amazingly amazing books I've read, and if I ever want a good cry, this iswhere I'll go.  

4. Stolen by Lucy Christopher. I really, really loved this book. I read the end again today and it's just so sad! I mean, it's technically a happy ending, but still... :'(

5. The Hunger Games! I need o refresh my memory of all the little details before the film comes out.

6. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. It's just such a great book! I want to read through Melinda's story again...

7. Howl's Moving Castle by DWJ. I have some serious love for this book. And I have some serious love for Howl... ;p No, but it's such a great story, and DWJ was such a great storyteller... 

8. The Sky is Everwhere by Jandy Nelson. Another ridiculously beautiful book. I adore it and want to read it again and again and again, if not just to savour the words and the poems.

That's all I can think of this week! :)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Starcrossed review

Josephine Angelini
June 3rd 2011
Macmillan Children's Books (UK)

Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention.

Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?

I think Starcrossed is the first book I've read that's really been based on Greek mythology, and I really, really enjoyed it! I totally loved the whole demi-god vibe in it, but it did make me glad that I've been watching ridiculous amounts of Horrible Histories so I knew about most of the stuff happening ;)

Though I really did enjoy the whole Greek aspect of it, it was a bit of a grower for me. I thought the beginning was quite slow, and it took me a while to get into because I didn't really like Helen that much at the beginning. I'm not gonna lie, it took me a long time to warm up to a lot of the characters, and I was completely sporting Claire and Jason way more that Helen and Lucas for a long time. Seriously, they need a book all to themselves. I'd love to read something from Claire's perspective! I think she was my favourite character. Her, Jason, Hector and Ariadne. And Matt. Though I did get a tiny but of a Cullen vibe from the Delos family, once I overlooked that, I could see the various differences between them and I  got over it and enjoyed it a lot more for that.

Helen and Lucas were a bit hit and miss for me. It definitely took me a while to get to like them, and even then, Lucas did annoy me with his possessiveness over Helen. Especially as they weren't properly going out. I don't care if he's jealous, he can't just go around beating people up for looking at Helen! That's out of line whether you're a demi-god or not. But apart from that, when they were not being crazy in love, I liked them a lot more! I find this a lot with books though. One thing I did like about the beginning was the hating each other thing. THAT I could dig. That sounds bad, but it was different! Finally a girl who saw a pretty man and didn't just melt and become a puddle of adoration and generally sappiness! Oh joy! But then that stopped and they were automatically in love! Whoddathunk. So that annoyed me a teeny bit. But after I got over the whole insta-hate/insta-love thang and stuff besides Lucas and Helen getting loved up starting happening, then I was happy.

I think most of my favourite parts were the parts with all the Delos family. I really, really grew to love that and I'm genuinely upset at all the things that happened to them. They're all such genuinely lovely people and they did not deserve it! (I seriously need to get it into my head that they're NOT REAL.) I really loved the training scenes too, and I'm glad that Helen could stand up for herself and fight for herself, but again with the who it' actualy turns out I'm the powerful (insert thing here) EVAR! That annoys me. Which is why I liked Hunting Lila, but that's got nothing to do with this...

Yeah. Anyway... Despite my issues (sorry if this came across a bit ranty - it IS a really, really good book!) with some of it, I really loved the side characters and I think the plot was really interesting too. It wasn't too predictable, and I loved all the Greek mythology! Plus I can't wait to find out what will happen next! :)

Saturday, 24 September 2011

In My Mailbox (49)

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

Corsets & Clockwork by Trisha Telep (My first ever anthology! As soon as I saw this, my mind went Steamnpunk + Kiersten White = BUY ITTTT!)

Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Ya'll can see how much of a BEAST this book is right?! It's not even long, it's just MAHOOSIVE. But the lovely, lovely Iffath from Love Readingx sent this to me. Because she is awesome. :D)

What did you get?

Friday, 23 September 2011

Epic Fail review

*note* I know I've been pretty crappy at blogging lately, and I am trying! But sorry if I don't review as much this year 'cause I have got LOADS of work to do for school and stuff... *grumbles about GCSEs* But I will try my hardest! Just so you know, in case you were wondering :)

Epic Fail
Claire LeZebnik
August 2nd 2011

Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, I knew that it was just going to be awesome. I mean, come on! It's a modern P&P retelling! And I thought it would be pretty cool to read a retelling of one of my favourite books around about a year after I finally discovered it was wayyyy better than I thought it would be. And even if I wasn't a huge P&P fan, I would still love this book! It was just so adorable :)

As a retelling, it worked really well, as even if you hadn't read the book or known the story or seen the greatness that is Colin Firth as Mr Darcy... You would still be able to appreciate it just as much, and while it stuck to the story a lot, it also deviated in places to fit the modern setting and it made it almost seem like a new story, which I think is the way all retellings should go. Breathing new life into an old and much loved story. Plus it was kind of fun to read it with a sense of familiarity and just sort of laughing at some scenes just because I recognised them... Yeah, yeah... I need a life. I know. ;p

I really liked Elise (and I loved how all of the characters names started with the same letter as the person who they were based after. It made it easy to know who was who and what role they were playing!) I really thought Elise had a real essence of Elizabeth Bennet, but no too much. She felt as much like her own person as she did Elizabeth, and her and Derek together were so cute! I mean, even though they hated each other for a while... And Derek could be a bit a douche. Especially at the beginning. But I really warmed up to him at the end! And he was so Darcy-ish! Awww :3 So adorable.

Epic Fail is an awesome retelling that breathes new life into Pride & Prejudice while having enough different from it that people who have yet to experience the awesomeness of P&P will still be able to follow the story and love it and make them think 'hang on, if this is THIS awesome, how awesome is the original?!' ;) 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #49

Aimee Agresti
March 6th 2012

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

I literally only first heard about this book today, but doesn't it sound awesome?! And I am in LOVE with that cover! Do you see that wing? So freaking cool.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine :)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Think Everyone's Read But Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers make lists about books and other suitably bookish things. This week we're doing books we think everyone else has read but us!

1. Harry Potter. Yes, you can shout at me, but I STILL haven't read them... 

2.  The rest of the Vampire Academy series... I have Frostbit waiting to be read though! I'll definitely get round to it soon. Promise.. ;p

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door. I'm not sure if this counts because it's not technically out yet but I keep on seeing reviews for and thinking WHY CAN'T I HAVE IT! NINE MORE DAYS GUYS! :D

4.  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Though I've heard some pretty mixed reviews of this, I still just think it looks so good and again with everyone having ARCs! ;)

5. Morganville. So, I've read the first 2 of these, but I still have to read like another 11 to catch up... People keep telling me how awesome they are though!

6. The Book Thief. I'm always told how awesome this book is, and like everyone has read it but me! I seriously need to get my hands on a copy.

7. White Cat by Holly Black. I always hear people raving about this one too! It looks awesome and I've had it on my shelf for, like, a year now... But I just have so many other shiny books... ;p

8. Breaking Dawn. I've read all the other books, but for some reason I just could never put myself through it... I know I SHOULD read it, just for completion, but it's, like, 700 pages! And I just can't...

9.  Paper Towns by John Green. It's the one everyone says is so amazing, and I have it on my shelf... I just can't seem t get in the mood for it! ;)

10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Another one I have on my shelf, I just haven't read it yet! I intend on doing so soon though!

And don't forget to enter my blogoversary giveaway if you haven't! :D

Monday, 19 September 2011

Hunting Lila review

Hunting Lila
Sarah Alderson
August 4th
Simon & Schuster Childrens

17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...

Hunting Lila is definitely one of the more interesting books I've read lately. I've always loved the idea of having a psychic ability, like telekinesis (I was a nerdy kid. I always wanted to be Raven from Teen Titans ;p) and I haven't really read that many books that are just about a normal kid who happens to have a bit of psychic power, apart from Hourglass, which I was reminded of quite a lot reading this, which is a great thing because Hourglass was awesome!

I really liked Lila, and I thought she was a great main character. She had depth, and she had way more to herself than just her ability - and besides, that didn't really come into it much until the last half of the book anyway, when all the big secrets start getting revealed. Even through her 17 year long love for Alex, she didn't annoy me at all, and I thought her massive crush on him was just really cute, and I was glad to see how that all worked out. Plus, who could blame her?! Alex was HOT. I mean, come on! He rode a motorbike! I could've done with im having better hair though... #boocrewcuts ;p But he was everything you want from a love interest, plus he wasn't an asshole! There were times, but most of the time, he was sweet and understanding about Lila and her circumstances.

And OMG THE PLOT. I can honestly tell you, I was surprised with most of the things revealed in this book about Lila and her ability and her mother. I did not see most of it coming, and I was glad! Sometimes I want to read something fairly predictable, and sometimes I want something that just throws my guesses out of the ball park. I loved not really knowing who the bad guy was, and even know I'm still not sure who we should be trusting.

I also ended up really loving a lot of the side characters, even though they were only in it for a short while. Suki, Ryder and Amber especially. They were just so nice and they all had such a great relationship... I liked them more than Jack sometimes, but even though Jack had his moments, there was always a reason. I hate it when people do things and things happen with no believable motivation whatsoever. With what the Unit had told Jack about people like Lila, all his reactions were completely understandable, I mean, really everyone's was. Which was great. And it wasn't all just Black and White either. There were lots of shades of grey in the book, which was also really good :)

Hunting Lila is a fun, exciting, unique, fast-paced thrill ride of a book and I really enjoyed it! Sucks having to wait until next August (:O) for book 2 though... ;p

Sunday, 18 September 2011

In My Mailbox (48)

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

Dark Ride by Caroline Green (signed!) Thank you Mostly Reading YA! :D
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson. I just finished this yesterday. It was SO. GOOD. Thank you Carla from The Crooked Shelf! :D

What did you get?

Oh, and don't forget to enter my Blogoversary giveaway if you haven't already! :D YOu could win LOLA. :)

Friday, 16 September 2011



It is so pretty! And so not what I was expecting! I love the green, and I really love the tagline. Let's just hope it lives up to expectations! Divergent was so freaking amazing! ;D What do you think?

*edit* I just noticed the train on there! It is so cool! And important! #slightlyrandombutstill #justpointingitout ;p

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Two-Way Street review

Two-Way Street
Lauren Barnholdt
June 26th 2007
Simon Pulse

There are two sides to every breakup.

This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation.

Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet.

It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care.

But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot.

Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It's just what I needed after reading so many serious books lately! It was funny and cute and sweet and I loved Courtney and Jordan! Plus it was weighed down with just enough seriousness  and plot to keeping me flipping the pages. I feel like every time I start a book like this, I go into it thinking I'll like it a bit, and I always end up loving it! I would say I should read loads more contemps, but then I might start feeling like they're losing their charm... Apart from anything written by Stephanie Perkins.

I really liked Courntey! Seriously, we are so alike! Especially pre-break up, because on the actual trip she did come across a little psycho. But no too psycho, so that you didn't like her. But I do think if it wasn't for the flashbacks, I wouldn't have liked any of the characters as much. But really, I thought Courtney was funny, and we have quite a few similarities... But I'm no where  near rebel enough to text in math lessons... ;p

Jordan was also really sweet! I love me some nice guys, and even though Jordan wasn't technically one, he wasn't a bad boy either... He's that boy in school that gets with loads of the girls, and I guess he was a bit of a man whore before Courtney. But when he was with her... Aww... He just really loves her! And I feel really bad for him that due to some pretty suckish circumstances, he broke up with Courtney. Through the whole book I just wanted the truth to come out so they could finally get bad together! ;p

I think what made the book great for me, though, was just how the story was told. I loved seeing the entire situation, from beginning to end, through both of their eyes, and with the story being told in half flashbacks-half on the actual roadtrip, there was just this sense of the book coming completely full circle by the end. Plus, it made me root for them to get together so much harder! 

Two-Way Street is a fun, fast read about a couple who who just want to scream at for being so silly as to break up when they're obviously so perfect for each other! ;D Oh, and as a little side note, Courtney's dad is a slimy, horrible, little man. I did not like him. One bit.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #48

Under the Never Sky
Veronica Rossi
January 3rd 2012

Exiled from her comfortable home, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland – called the Death Shop – are slim. Violent energy storms can strike suddenly, and even the very air she breathes might kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild, dangerous – a savage. He’s also her only hope.

Because Aria alone holds the key to his redemption, Perry needs her, too. Their unlikely alliance will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Debut author Veronica Rossi is accumulating fans from all over the globe—the book has already sold to more than twenty countries. It’s not surprising that foreign rights for this title have been flying off the shelf. It’s a tantalizing romance in any language.

This book sounds amazing! I'm still eating these dystopias up like cake, and I love the look of this one. And I really, really love the title. I think it's awesome.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine :)

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

One Year Blogofreakingversary!!!

(You are more than welcome to skip to the giveaway, guys. I won't be offended. This part doesn't make sense anyway ;p) Guys, IT'S MY ONE YEAR BLOGOFREAKINGVERSARY! Yeah. I'm pretty excited. So, before I get too sentimental on you guys, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who follows me, so so much. I love your comments, and the fact that there are people who actually want to read whatever the crap I'm rambling on about, and I appreciate you all so much that sometimes even I don't believe it. If you'd of told me (not exactly) this time last year that I made a blog and I'd stuck with for a whole YEAR and people followed me, I would laughed in your face. But not too in your face because I respect your personal space and whatnot... (see what happens when I get all sentimental?! Just imagine me next year... ;p) But yeah. Thanks a lot, guys! 

Gee... A whole year. Honestly, I'm pretty proud of myself for going with this. I only started this blog on a whim, and while I'm not particularly influential or big in book blogging world, I'm damn happy! My reviews have gotten so much better, and I've met some of the coolest people through the blogosphere and on Twitter (which I have learnt is one of the best things. Ever.) Also, I'm proud of myself for sticking with reading as a whole. I sort of go through phases, and I am so glad that reading is not one of them. I cannot believe I ever stopped reading! There are just too many amazing books to be read. Seriously though, starting to blog has definitely been one of the better choices I've made ;) 

Anyhow, onto the part of the blogoversary post that y'all are probably expecting. *pauses for dramatic effect* It's giveaway time! (YAYYYY!). For the moment, I'll just be having two prizes (prize packs, call it what you want) because I'm broke as a stoke and that's about all I can afford (my own fault...) But if I get to 400 followers, I'll add another one! So tell your friends ;)

I will be giving away! *drum roll*

One very luck winner will get! One paperback copy of (probably my favourite book of 2010) Anna and the French Kiss! And One shiny brand new hardback of Lola and the Boy Next Door! (Prize #1)

And one other very lucky winner will get to pick any book they like so long as I have reviewed it! (Don't ask why... Just seemed like a good idea. I know I always struggle to pick a book from all of the books ever. It's tough. What am I even saying anymore... ;p)

One entry per person per prize pack! I am pretty terrible at extra entries so there won't be any!
You do NOT have to be a follower, but if you aren't, you are always welcome to ;)
INTERNATIONAL! (So long as Book Depository ships to you.)
Giveaway closes October 1st!

Just fill in THIS FORM!

(Sorry for the overly long, rambly post... I was just too excited!)

Monday, 12 September 2011

You Against Me review

You Against Me
Jenny Downham
December 2nd 2010
David Fickling Books

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another.

You Against Me is a seriously amazing book. I'd heard great things about Jenny Downham, so I knew I was in for a bit of a treat, but I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. I don't think I've ever even thought there was that many sides to sexual assualt case (or any case, really) than were represented in this book. As well as it just being great and easy to read, it made me think and almost sympathise with people I never thought I'd ever see some good in. And I think that was one of the great things about this book, none of it was black & white. All the characters had shades of grey. They were like real people. Three dimensional. Made me realise why contemps are so bloody good.

I really liked both Mikey and Ellie. I was completely rooting for them through the book, because despite everything they were just really great together. Even though for the first half of the book they were using each other, you could tell that they just liked each other, regardless. And even when they weren't with each other, I really enjoyed seeing the situation from the perspectives of both families. When you hear about sexual assualt cases, I only ever think about the victim. I've never thought, before, about the other family that'll get ripped up because of it. I didn't like Tom or Karen that much, though, but all of their behaviour was completely understandable.

Ellie and Mikey are really a sort of modern day R+J (as much as it pains me to reference that... :S) They're not meant to be together, their families don't want them together, heck, they're not even that sure they should be together! For the first bit, anyway... But still, as they get to know each other more, and as the truth is slowly revealed about the case, things start to get a little bit easier for them, as a couple. But worse for their families. 

I think one of my favourite parts of the book was when Ellie's family had fallen out with her, because of certain circumstances involving the case, and at the beginning it was kind of sucky for her because her family were under the impression that she'd betrayed them and that she wasn't on their side any more, and were pretty much ostracising her from the family, but then her mother started to take her side. It was like they'd just forgotten about her for most of the book, and that it was all about Tom, but then, despite everything, her mother had the realisation that this is also her child, her family, and that she needs looking after too no matter the circumstances. I liked that even through all of the problems, and the brokenness there, that there was this new, growing sense of family starting. That yes, something really crap has happened, but there might be a chance that they might actually start to deal with the reality. NOt get over it, but just start to accept it. 

You Against Me is a great, interesting, enjoyable book about Rape and how it can affect both sides. It'll make you think more about these sorts of situations, plus Jenny Downham is just a fantastic writer. I will be sure to pick up a copy of Before I Die soon!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

In My Mailbox (47)

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

For review:
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (I already have the hardcover of this, so if someone wants this, just ask! Thank you Bloomsbury! :D)

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan (From the lovely Jesse from Books 4 Teens :) Thank you! :D)

What did you get in your mailbox? :)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Dearly, Departed review

Dearly, Departed
Lia Habel
29th September 2011
Random House Children's

As far as romantic pairings go in the year 2195, you don't get much more unlikely than an upper-class schoolgirl and a poor miner from enemy tribes. Filter in the fact that he's a zombie, and you're definitely talking about star-crossed love.

Dearly, Departed is a cyber-Victorian/steampunk romance that takes place in the shadow of a new ice age. Nora Dearly, a mouthy teenage girl and apparent orphan, leaves school for Christmas - only to be dragged into the night by the living dead. Luckily for her, though, the good ones got to her first. From her reanimated rescuers she learns not only that zombies are roaming the countryside, but that her father is one - and that he's in terrible trouble. She also meets Captain Bram Griswold, a noble, strong, and rather sweet undead boy for whom she starts to fall.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Pamela Roe, is just trying to carry on with life as best she can in the wake of Nora's disappearance - when she ends up killing an evil zombie in self-defense. Pam is galvanized into action, and ends up leading a group of survivors as the city of New London is thronged by the ravenous dead.

Upon hearing of Pamela's plight, Nora and Bram set out to rescue her friends, find her missing father, and maybe just save what's left of the world.

Well Holy Moly and Sweet Mother of Zombie, this was one hell of an awesome book. I went in with pretty high expectations, and it did not disappoint. I mean, I don't even think it's possible for Steampunk-Zombie-Romance to fail. Unless the zombie that is involved in the romance is very, very dead. And, you know, has limbs falling off and skin hanging on by a thread. Literally. But, fortunately, this was not the case with our lovely Bram! He was pleasantly intact, I think you all will want to know. Not gross at all. Not breathing, but still.

Nora was an excellent character! In fact, pretty much all the girls in this book were awesome! They were each confronted with pretty crazy situations, and they all handled them pretty well. Especially that bit with Pamela and Michael, you'll know the bit, that made me laugh so much! He so deserved it. Back to Nora though, she was little headstrong and stubborn, but was also pretty good with a gun, and while she did seem a little unstable at times, she had just been kidnapped by a load of zombies. I think we'd ALL be a little unstable after that, regardless whether they're good or bad. Plus, she was pretty awesome with a gun, and really easy to like (or at least I thought so.)

The book itself was told from 5 (yes, FIVE) different perspective's, though it was mainly Nora and Bram's, and either way, it wasn't confusing at all. They all had pretty distinctive voices and made the story easy to follow because it let you into loads of other information that you wouldn't have known otherwise, and which would've made the story a little harder to follow. I especially loved Pamela's chapters later on in the book. I do love me some bad brain eating zombies, and in Pam's bits I got plenty! 

I loved Bram. Seriously, if you look past the fact that he's dead, I'm pretty sure you'll love him too. He doesn't sit around moping about being a zombie, he sees it as an almost second chance, and he lives his zombie life to the fullest! Plus he's just a really lovely guy, and death hasn't changed him at all. Why shouldn't a dead guy be nice, and sweet, and just brilliant?! There's no rule that says if you become a zombie/vamp/ghost/anything dead, that you have to be all depressing! And he treats Nora like an equal. If he ever patronises her, it's usually a joke. Possibly because Nora generally has a gun on her at all times, but they have such a sweet love ;3

The side characters in this book were awesome too, and I found myself really adoring all of the zombies at Z-Base. Tom and Chas were an adorable couple, even though they fought most of the time... But they worked you know? And I just really loved all of their attitudes to their situation. Yeah, they're dead, but that ain't gonna stop 'em! And Ren. N'aww, he was so cute with his AetherNet chess and engineering know how and readinginess. And how everyone else teased him. ;)

Dearly, Departed is another awesome zombie book (I should really read more... I'm really loving them lately!) that I really loved and thought was an excellent combination of zombiness, romance and cyber/steam punk, that I'd recommend to anyone who loves their undead! ;)
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