Friday, July 30, 2010

Book review: Evermore

Losing your loved ones can sometimes bring about the best or worst changes in your life… depending on how you look at things.

Evermore by Alyson Noёl (MacMillan)
After losing her entire family in a horrific car accident, 16-year old Ever moves to sunny California to live with her deceased father's twin. 

Retreating into herself, avoiding physical human contact at all costs and constantly wearing baggy and loose-fitting hoodies, Ever is quickly labelled the school's new freak.

If they realised that she could actually see people's aura's, hear people's thoughts and know someone's life story with just a single touch - an ability gained after the death of her family - they would, no doubt, have a field day with this knowledge.

Haunted by her little sister Riley (whose ghostly presence is a source of ), Ever is all about just trying to get through the hum drum of the day.

Then she meets Damen Auguste.

Dangerously attractive, wealthy and undeniably charismatic, Ever feels a connection to him that she just can't explain. And as much as she tries to stay away, she just can't seem to help but gravitate towards him… even though there is something off about him - something that tells her that he's more than what he seems.

My thoughts?

Let me start off by tackling the Twilight comparisons.  I'm a big believer in trying not to compare books that have similar concepts to each other, because let's face it, I think that at some point or another, there will always be one book that will:

a) Make use of a similar concept
b) Be critiqued, reviewed and judged based on the fact that they seemingly make use of what is perceived as a stolen concept, regardless of whether or not the book provides its own unique spin on the idea.

Of course, it's hard not to draw comparisons when you take into consideration that both Twilight and Evermore have the following in common:

a) A sexy male interest who has lived for a long, long time, is able to read minds, drives a fast car and is incredibly wealthy.
b) The withdrawn female protagonist who, against her better judgement finds herself falling in love with him. 

But (and this is only my humble opinion), I think the comparisons end there. I loved this book in a different way than I loved Twilight. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I loved this book far more than I ever loved Twilight and it's probably because of the characters.

The book itself was a light, easy and highly enjoyable read (beautifully written too) and Ever and Damen were both characters that were incredibly likeable.  I think Alyson did such a great job in portraying Ever as both a strong, independent but vulnerable and grieving teen, that I really couldn't help but want things to work out for her.

Her reactions to situations are blessedly normal and, unlike Bella, she doesn't react in the way that Damen would probably have wanted her too, which, considering all that she's been through, is certainly understandable.

And Damen?

Gosh, the guy is hot. I thought I wanted to marry Nick from Need, but I wouldn't mind having a piece of Damen too.  *side rant* Why on earth do these fabulous YA authors make their characters so darn hot? It's so unfair - it just makes us wish they were human. *rant over, but proceeds to going into sulking pout mode*

Aside from his hotness, I really enjoyed the interactions between Ever and him and thought that the chemistry between them was absolutely sizzling.  The additional characters like Haven and Miles (both of whom are Ever's only friends) are interesting ones too and I especially have a soft spot for the OTT Miles (who I wouldn't mind having as my gay bff).

My only complaint?

It would have to be Drina, who just happens to be evil personified and hates Ever simply because Damen loves her.

I did feel that her introduction into the book was a little forced and her major appearances toward the end (I felt) was rather over the top and prolonged to the point where I really just wanted to jump in and kill her myself.

But apart from that, I really, really enjoyed this book. It took me a while (ok, it took me a couple of years) to get around to reading this, but I'm glad I did.

And I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this book series.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Gathering

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. The idea behind this meme is to highlight up and coming releases that we just can't wait to read.

This week's WoW pick is The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong. I have to admit to not having read any of her books yet, but when I stumbled upon this one while browsing through Goodreads yesterday, I couldn't help but fall in love.

The cover is gorgeous and the book itself sounds awesome.

The book is set to be released in April 2011 so it's quite a long wait.

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Maya lives in a small medical-research town on Vancouver Island. How small? You can’t find it on the map. 

It has less than two-hundred people, and her school has only sixty-eight students—for every grade from kindergarten to twelve.

Now, strange things are happening in this claustrophobic town, and Maya's determined to get to the bottom of them. First, the captain of the swim team drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. 

A year later, mountain lions start appearing around Maya's home, and they won’t go away. Her best friend, Daniel, starts getting negative vibes from certain people and things. 

It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret—and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy: Her paw-print birthmark.

So, what's on your WoW list for today?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Book pet peeves

Hmm, so I was going to do a book review today, but the topic of book pet peeves has been on my mind for quite some time, so I first thought I'd just sit down and write this out before I post a new book review...

Pet Peeve #5:

People who don't look after my books
I recently lent one of my favourite books to a friend of mine. The book was relatively new and in pristine condition. When I got the book back, there were large globs of brown coffee stains all over it and the pages were bent and curled.

Now, I don't know about you, but I believe that if I lend you a book of mine, you should return it to me in the same condition as when it was first loaned out to you. I'm the one who used money to pay for it, and if any one gets to ruin the books, then that privilege should be afforded to me (Not that I would ever think of doing this as my books are my babies).
Of course, many may argue that a book well read is a book with curled and tattered pages, but unfortunately I don't subscribe to that rule. Besides, I've read plenty of my books over and over again and almost all of them are intact, in great condition and without coffee stains.

I just don't get how other people think nothing of other people's books and manage to return it in a disgusting state and then think nothing of it. 

I can forgive accidents, but then I expect you to tell me about it, not keep quiet and skulk about for weeks before returning my book with the thought that just maybe I originally gave the book to you in that state.

Pet Peeve #4:
People who try to strike up a conversation with me when I'm reading. I don't know about you, but I become very cranky when people try to interrupt me during my reading time. My editorial deadlines keep me busy on a constant basis, so every single moment that I get free I try to get as much reading done as possible.

As someone who travels to work using the train, this is one of the few chances I really get (besides weekends) to squeeze some reading in - and people on the train just don't seem to get this. 

Look, I'm a social girl and I'm happy to tell you the name of the book I'm reading, but take it any further by telling me about your dog's bowel problems, your family issues or anything that detracts from my precious reading time and I'll eventually end up tuning you out or moving to another seat.

Gosh, I sound like a cow don't I? Someone please tell me I'm not alone?

Pet Peeve #3:
People who spoil book endings.

Right, so it's movie night with you and your buddies and there you are - comfortably seated on the couch, large bowl of buttery popcorn in your hands and great company.

You're also halfway through what has proven to be a good-bordering-on-fantastic movie at the rate at which it's going.

Then, during the middle of an intense build-up to what could possibly be a fantastic and climatic scene, a voice from the back of the darkened room pipes up: "Oh look - here's the part where she dies!"

I don't even need to tell you how that feels, but I am going to tell you that it feels exactly the same way when you do that with books.

So do try to remember that other people who haven't read the book would like to read it without knowing what happens. (Unless of course, you're the kind of reader who actively seeks out spoilers).

Also, if you're going to include spoilers, I think it would only be fair that a warning is given to the reader, don't you?

Pet Peeve #2:
People who judge you based on the type of books you read

I love books and will read just about anything - although I do have a really soft spot for Young Adult Fiction.

Here's the thing though - I often find that people who don't read books from this genre always tend to mock this genre and question my taste in reading.

Of course, I've discovered that the easiest way to shut these book snobs up (because that is what they are) is to ask them if they've read any books in this genre and what it is about the books that have made them hate this genre.

Usually they don't have anything to say - because, as you may have guessed, they haven't' read any books in the genre.  (I'm using YA fic as an example, but the snobbishness happens across all genres)

Point is, we all have different tastes in reading and as an ardent bibliophile I respect, embrace and welcome that. I try to make sure that I never mock someone who has different tastes in books and I believe that it's our different choices in reading that could get other people to try out books that they normally wouldn't think of reading.

So don't judge people based on the types of books they're reading. You may just end up becoming the new poster child for that genre.

Pet Peeve #1:
Book thieves

My number one pet peeve would have to be book thieves. 

And by that I don't mean people who rob book stores (although they certainly should be jailed and never be allowed near books again), but I'm talking about the people you've lent a book to, but who just couldn't be bothered to return it.

Yes, if you have done this, then you are a book thief.

I don't know if people assume that just because I'm done with a book, that I don't want it anymore, but this not true. I'm a bibliophile for goodness sake. I am never done with books. I love to see them in my bookshelves and I love being able to take them out and read them again and again and again.

And since I bought the book, it is my right to get the book back, so book thieves please - if you love a book so much, go and buy your own.  The only way you get to keep the book is if I actually tell you that you can have the book.

Otherwise, consider the book a borrowed item. It's name is return.

Gosh, well now that that little rant is over, I'd love to hear what your major book pet peeves are. Oh  and also so that you can make me feel better about my rather bitchy rant. *grins*

Come on, I know you all have your own pet peeves  - it's  time to share :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Falling Under

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. The idea behind this meme is to highlight up and coming releases that we just can't wait to read.

This week's book choice is Falling Under by Gwen Hayes. I stumbled upon this one quite by accident, but am I glad I did, because:
a) How fabulous is the cover and
b) Doesn't the book just sound awesome?

I featured the trailer in one of my Friday trailer posts, which you can go and check out here. Trust me, you'll love it as much as the cover and the synopsis of the actual book.

Release date: March 2011 (*wail* Quite a long wait isn't it?)
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
In her dreams he’s irresistible—seductive, charming, and undoubtedly dangerous. But when he appears to her when she’s awake—and captivates her just the same—she’s not sure which way is up and which is down.

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, not allowed the same freedoms as the rest of the teenagers in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. 

But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, she feels every urge she’s ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black.

Theia knows she’s seen Haden before—not around town, but in her dreams. 

Theia doesn’t understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy.

And as the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear. 

And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

So, what's on your Waiting on Wednesday list today?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book review: Need

A dark, sexy romance filled with wicked pixies, shape shifters and one foolishly brave, but incredibly likeable kick-ass heroine.

Need by Carrie Jones (Bloomsbury)
"There's something not right in the sleepy town of Charleston, Maine. Something eerie and something not human. "

Ever since her much adored stepfather has died, Zara seems to have become a walking Zombie. Counting, memorising and chanting phobias (she does this whenever she's nervous or afraid), she spends a fair amount of time writing letters to Amnesty International in a bid to save the world - not realizing that she herself is in need of rescuing.

With a freaky guy that keeps trailing her every move, and a highly concerned Mother (who decides to ship her off to Charleston, Maine in the hopes that she'll be safer with her step grandmother, Betty), Zara's life couldn't get any worse.

Not being a huge fan of the cold, Zara hates Charleston the instant she arrives - and things only get worse when she discovers that stalker guy is still pursuing her and keeps leaving an eerie trail of gold dust in his wake.

Of course, not everything is all doom and gloom. With a new and very sexy love interest (who may have a secret of his own), some new found friends, and a fabulously active and loving grandmother,  Zara slowly, but surely makes her way back to the land of the living.

But, with a gold-dust trailing follower shadowing her every move, Zara knows it's only a matter of time before the sleepy town of Maine is once again plagued by a nightmare that's been hounding the town for years.

Only this time, Zara is at the centre of it. 

I loved this book.

I first fell in love with the cover, but what really caught my attention was the description of the stalker leaving a trail of gold dust behind.

Naturally I was curious, because last time I checked, even though some vampires sparkle, most of them don't leave trails of gold dust behind - which meant that this book had to be dealing with some other kind of supernatural creature.

Of course, it's not hard to figure out that we're dealing with a Pixie problem here, but what really surprised me was the incorporation of other type of shape shifting characters in the book. I thought the book was well-written and Carrie's description of the snowy and cold Maine landscape is indescribably exquisite.

I also loved how Carrie capably showed how Zara (who I really loved by the way) slowly transforms from being a grieving and mournfully glum teen, to a girl who finds her inner Lara Croft (never mind if being brave equals being foolish and self-sacrificing), and happiness with her new friends and her impossibly sexy love interest.

Zara is genuine and I found myself rooting for the uber cool chick who would love nothing better than to save the world. I think that her interesting habit of memorising phobias is, to date, one of the most interesting characteristic traits that I've come across in a book character by far.

And of course there is Nick.

The very sexy Nick, with a Superhero complex and with a secret of his own.  As a character, I think his introduction in the story was great, but I can't help but feel that there is still more that we've yet to discover. 

I still want to marry him though.

I have to also mention that as much as Zara and Nick stood out for me, I was just as impressed with the rest of the characters (Betty - her gran and Issie and Devyn - her friends) and how well-developed they are.

The plot was fairly fast-paced and even though you could see a few things coming, there were a lot of moments that caught me off-guard. Especially towards the end when the actual reason for the Pixie (he's not the only one around by the way) stalking Zara is finally made known. Definitely didn't see that one coming.

All in all, if you're looking for a young adult paranormal fic with fantasy, mythology, romance and action, t hen you should definitely read Need.

It's one of my favourites that I've read this year!

My rating: 4 / 5 stars

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fabulous contest: Torment ARC copy over @ Writing from the Tub's blog

So, if you're an ardent fan of Lauren Kate's Fallen, then you must, must be looking forward to Torment, the follow up book to Fallen. 

Carly over at Writing from the Tub has decided to host a giveaway on her blog where readers can stand a chance to win an ARC copy of Torment. I'd waffle on, but I'm betting that you're all very shrieky with excitement, so without further ado, head on over here to enter!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

In my mailbox (7)

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Here are the books I received this week.

Here's what I received this week.

Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales
A lovesick count and the ghost of his brutalized servant . . . a serial killer who defies death . . . a house with a violent mind of its own and another that holds a grotesque secret within its peeling walls. 

Here are witches who feast on faces, changeling rites of passage, a venerable vampire contemplating his end, and a fanged brat who drains the patience of a bumbling teenage boy.

 Here too are a flamboyant young novelist in search of a subject more compelling than his own eerie existence and the daughter of a sorcerer fighting to free her lover and her will from sinister bonds.

Enter the world of GOTHIC!, a celebration of the literary form made famous by such writers as Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe.

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.

Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul.

But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death.

She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.

The Castle in the Pyrenees by Jostein Gaarder

Through five intense years in the 1970s, Steinn and Solrunn had a happy life together. Then they suddenly parted ways, for reasons that are unclear to both. In the summer of 2007 they meet again on a balcony of an old wooden hotel by a fjord in western Norway.

It is a place they both have fond memories from, and their meeting turns out to be fateful. But is it purely coincidental that they meet at that particular spot at that particular time?

Over a couple of weeks that summer they write emails to each other, and it becomes clear that they have been living with very different interpretations of their shared past.

THE CASTLE IN THE PYRENEES is both a love story and a novel of ideas, exploring the place of human consciousness in the universe. Its main theme is of great current interest: can science explain everything, or does some invisible force influence our lives?

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende

Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarité -- known as Tété -- is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage.

Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tété finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in the voodoo loas she discovers through her fellow slaves.

When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it’s with powdered wigs in his baggage and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father’s plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. 

It will be eight years before he brings home a bride - but marriage, too, proves more difficult than he imagined. And Valmorain remains dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.

Spanning four decades, Island Beneath the Sea is the moving story of the intertwined lives of Tété and Valmorain, and of one woman’s determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.

That's it from me for this week. I was really hoping to go out and buy Shadow Hills and Linger, but will hopefully get around to it this week. Still, I'm looking forward to reading all of these, especially considering the fact that both Jostein Gaarder and Isabel Allende are 2 of my favourite authors of all time.

What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Undead and Unwed: Giveaway winner

So my mini giveaway has come to an end and a winner has to be announced. 

I've actually kept this one rather small and didn't focus with getting this one out on the blogs too much, but I will be doing a bigger contest towards the end of the month where I'll be giving away a number of goodies.

Anyway, the winner of The Undead and Unwed giveaway is Gaby @ Oh my Books! Congratulations! I'll be contacting you for details very soon!.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Timeless

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. The idea behind this meme is to highlight up and coming releases that we just can't wait to read.

This week's choice is a book I've seen on a few blogs before. I fell in love with the cover, but then I read the synopsis and that had me hooked too. The name of the book?

Timeless by Alexandra Monir
Release date: January 2011
When her mother is killed in a car accident, Michele Windsor has no choice but to move in with the wealthy grandparents she's never met in New York. Disillusioned by their coldness, Michele retreats into her room, where she discovers her great-great-aunt's journal--and, once she touches its pages, finds herself hurtled back in time.

In the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele learns that a wedding is coming up between the Windsors and another prominent family, the Walkers. But when Michele attends a party, something miraculous happens: while almost no one can see her in this era, one gorgeous young man with sparkling blue eyes can. Drawn together by mutual attraction, the two bond over music and the parents they've recently lost. But when the party is over, Michele learns the truth--the man she just fell for is Phillip Walker. And she, unknowingly, has just inspired him to call off his wedding to her great-great-aunt, prompting a family feud that will last for generations.

As Michele travels back and forth in time, she and Phillip meet over and over, always frustrated by their inability to have more than a few hours together. Michele knows she should try to make a life in the present, but none of the boys at school can hold a candle to Phillip. 

Finally, Michele tries to end their romance altogether--spurring a tragedy that transcends generations. Has Michele destroyed her chances for happiness? Or is her love for Phillip . . . timeless?

That's it from me for this week. What's on your Waiting on Wednesday wish list?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book review: Shiver

A young girl obsessed with wolves, a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breathe away and a new twist on werewolf folklore makes for one of the most beautifully written YA fiction books ever.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic)

Ever since she was saved by a yellow-eyed wolf when she was young, 17-year old Grace has developed an obsession with wolves.

Keenly observing the wolf pack in the woods just behind her home, her instincts tell her that the yellow-eyed wolf she sees is the very same wolf that saved her back when she was but a little girl. It's his presence that she always looks out for, and it is his presence that she just can't seem to live without.

When she meets a yellow-eyed boy whose startling familiarity leaves her breathless, she can't help but be convinced that the boy and the wolf are one and the same. 

Sometimes a boy, sometimes a wolf, Sam spends the icy and cold winter season in wolf form, while summer times sees him  shifting to his human form. When Grace falls in love with Sam -whose seasons of becoming human decrease each year - they have to decide just how much they're willing to risk in order to be together.

Ever loved a book so much that you actually can't even begin to find the words to describe just how much you loved it?

Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver is one such book.

I have to admit that I wasn't sure what to expect when I came across this book as I've never heard of Maggie Stiefvater before (even though she had previously released Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception and Ballad), and for some odd reason, the book didn't grab me at first (Looking back now, I can't for the life of me figure out why I was so reluctant to read this book).

I loved everything about this book. The writing, the characters and the way the story just flowed seamlessly and beautifully together. Anyone who is a fan of werewolf books will love the completely different twist on the werewolf lore that many people normally associate werewolves with (read: full-moon transformations, silver as a weakness, etc.)

Considering the fact that Maggie's love of music is exquisitely incorporated into the book, I thought that if I had to find a musical instrument that could sum up what her writing style is like, then the musical instrument I would most likely compare her writing to, is a harp.  Lyrical and compellingly beautiful with traces of melancholy that seems to linger (I had to get that in somehow) behind and tug at one's heartstrings.

And the characters?

Don't even get me started on how much I love the characters. I've read a lot of YA fiction where the characters are completely modelled to be just another Mary Sue cliché, but not this one.  Grace is, for lack of a better word, far more real and relatable to than most of the girls who populate this genre. She's pragmatic, well-grounded and refreshingly extraordinary in her ordinariness. 

Know what I mean? 

I also loved the fact that Sam wasn't the bad-boy, the charmer or the playboy in need of reformation. He's just a sensitive, all-round good guy who bonds with an almost, but not quite average everyday kind of girl over time.

Narrated in turns by Grace and Sam, Maggie effortlessly and seamlessly showcases the chemistry between them without the change of point of view being jarring at all. In fact, I often had to look twice at the heading to check whose "voice" was resonating at specific points in time.  Two different voices, both riding the same wavelength.

If that doesn't show how well Grace and Sam suit each other, then I dare you to tell me otherwise. 

You just have to read this.  That's an order!

My overall rating: 5 stars - yes, it's that good of a book!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In my mailbox (6)

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.Here are the books I received this week.

Celtic Magic Tales (Classic Celtic Tales) by Liam Mac Uistin

Four ancient Celtic myths that have been passed from generation to generation are woven together in this collection of mythology, magic, and supernatural tales.

From the love quest of Mir and Aideen to the adventures of the sons of Tuireann, who must perform many incredible tasks as penance for murder, and from the story of mischievous Bricriu, who sets the warriors of Ulster against each other, to the tragic love epic of Deirdre and the three brave sons of Usnach, these myths have kept the young and old alike spellbound for generations.

I can't wait to read this one as I adore Celtic mythology and my sister was kind enough to surprise me with this book which she bought while she was on holiday in Ireland.

Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James
This was a book that's been on my To buy list for ages, so I was surprised when a publisher sent this through to me at random. Yay randomness!


Following a terrible tragedy that leaves her once-perfect family shattered, Katherine Patterson moves to a new city, starts at a new school, and looks forward to a new life of quiet anonymity.

But when Katherine meets the gregarious and beautiful Alice Parrie her resolution to live a solitary life becomes difficult. Katherine is unable resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is so charmed by Alice’s contagious enthusiasm that the two girls soon become firm friends. 

Alice’s joie de vivre is transformative; it helps Katherine forget her painful past and slowly, tentatively, Katherine allows herself to start enjoying life again.

But being friends with Alice is complicated – and as Katherine gets to know her better she discovers that although Alice can be charming and generous she can also be selfish and egocentric. Sometimes, even, Alice is cruel.

And when Katherine starts to wonder if Alice is really the kind of person she wants as a friend, she discovers something else about Alice - she doesn’t like being cast off.

Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
I have to admit that I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to reading this. I didn't enjoy Wicked Lovely or Ink Exchange as much as I actually thought I would, but maybe this will surprise me. (And I am all about giving books a chance)


Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone—but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he'd ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen.

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who'd always terrified her—but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she'd ever imagined.

In Melissa Marr's third mesmerizing tale of Faerie, Seth and Aislinn struggle to stay true to themselves and each other in a milieu of shadowy rules and shifting allegiances, where old friends become new enemies and one wrong move could plunge the Earth into chaos.

Anyway, that's it from me. I've got tons of review catching up to do, so will probably focus on  that next. What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday's fab 5 trailers (3)

So it's been a while since I've done this, but this last week or so has seen me with very little time to do a proper post. For those of you who don't know, I've recently started a Friday's fab 5 trailers feature - a feature which showcases 5 of my favourite (new and old) book trailers of the week and which is, very obviously, done on a Friday.

Here are this week's selection of trailers

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood, The Duchess Of Northumberland
Teaser synopsis:Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.

When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret

I love this trailer for its visual imagery, but do think they could have used a different voice over? Either way, this book is still one of the books that I'm definitely looking to reading very soon.

Ghostgirl: Lovesick by Tonya Hurley (3rd book in the Ghostgirl series)
Teaser synopsis:Before she can rest in peace, Charlotte Usher must return to the tragic site of her death: high school. Once there, her assignment is to help a designated teen solve a personal problem in time for the allimportant prom. But no one explained what happens if you fall in love with your class project.

This has got to be one of the most beautifully done trailers I've ever seen. In fact, I think it's probably my new favourite book trailer that I've come across so far. I think the reason I love this so much is because it reminds me of Tim Burton's Nightmare before Christmas, which happens to be one of my favourite movies of all time!

Raven by Allison van Diepen
Teaser synopsis: Zin dances with fire in every step, speaks with a honey-sweet voice, and sees with eyes that can peer into your soul. It's no wonder Nicole is madly in love with him. Their friendship is the only thing that saves her from the boredom of school and the turmoil of her family life. But she cannot understand why he keeps her at a distance, even though she can feel his soul reaching out for hers.

I've wanted to read this book for the longest time now and when I stumbled upon the trailer, I just thought I have to include it in my list of book trailers for this week. I'm hoping to get a copy this weekend and once I've done reading this one, may even do this as a giveaway.

Give up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
Teaser synopsis: Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over "breathers". Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody... and Cass loves dirt. She's on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.

But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass's whole scheme hangs in the balance.

Surprisingly enough, I haven't heard of this book until now. Love the trailer and think this sounds like a great read!

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
Teaser synopsis: Torn between two destinies?
Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger

I can't wait to get this book. I've been trawling the blogs all over and have read so many great reviews for this book. And how gorgeous is the trailer? This one's a definite must-read.

That's it for this week. More to come next week.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Dead Beautiful

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. The idea behind this meme is to highlight up and coming releases that we just can't wait to read.

This week's choice is Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon. I stumbled upon this one on Goodreads quite by accident, but am I glad I did because this sounds right up my alley!

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon
Summary: (from Goodreads)
A haunting love story about desire, danger, and destiny.

After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California’s Redwood Forest in what appears to be a strange double murder, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, “crude sciences,” and Latin: the Language of the Dead. 

It’s here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student to whom she feels inexplicably drawn.

As they get to know each other better, Dante can’t seem to control his attraction either, and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. 

Dangerous because Dante is hiding a frightening secret. A secret so terrible, it has him fearing for Renee’s life.

Dante’s not the only one with secrets, though. Turns out Gottfried Academy has a few of its own… Like, how come students keep disappearing? Why are the prefect-like Monitors creeping around campus during the night? And what exactly are the Headmistress and Professors really up to? Renee is determined to find out why.

Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.

That's it from me for this week. What's on your list for this week?

Final note: A huge thank you to Leanna from Daisy Chain Book Reviews who has chosen me as a winner of her Sisters Red giveaway. I'm so excited about reading this!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Shadow Hills competition

Not too long ago I featured Anastasia Hopcus's Shadow Hills book trailer. Am I glad I did, because not only am I looking forward to the book coming out soon, but because Anastasia's is hosting a fabulous contest where you can win the following:

- 1 signed (personalized if you'd like) hardcover of Shadow Hills

- 1 signed bookmark, 2 unsigned bookmarks and 2 SH buttons & 1 SH magnet

To enter the competition, you can click here and to read the first chapter of Shadow Hills, you can click here.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Book review: Undead and Unwed

Undead and Unwed
A long-legged, ditzy blonde bombshell prophesised to be queen of all vampires? Sceptic? Yeah, well Betsy Taylor didn't want to believe it either.

Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson (Piatkus books)
Few things in life are worse than waking up after an accident and discovering that you're dead. Or rather, the living dead.

So when Betsy Taylor suddenly finds herself waking up as a vampire in the morgue after being killed in an accident, she naturally freaks.

Luckily being the eternal optimist that she is (seriously, this chick just doesn't know how to channel that dark, seductive and brooding angst that fits most vamps like a second skin), Betsy quickly adjusts to the living life in the dead of night.

And then Eric Sinclair decides to rain on her vampire parade.

Who's Eric you might ask?

Eric is the infuriatingly attractive leech (actually, make that king of leeches) who wants to enlist her help in overthrowing the evil (actually, he's more obnoxious and stupid than evil) power-hungry (ok, that much is true) vampire, Nosferatu.

Of course fashion-conscious, shoe-loving Betsy is having none of that, but Eric has a couple of tricks up his undead sleeve - not least of which includes unlimited access to Manolo Blahnik's Spring shoe collection.

And really, what person, dead or alive, can resist that? 

Surprisingly enough, I really enjoyed this Chick-lit with bite fiction. When it comes to vampire fiction, I usually prefer the vampires to be 1) male and 2) dark and all broody, but there are times when even I get sick of the typical stereotyped vamp. Which is why I was surprised by this offering.

I know that this is the first book in the Betsy Taylor series, but now that I've started it, I'm definitely going to get around to reading the rest of this too. The romance in the novel was a little understated, but I suspect that this was only done because the relationship dynamic between Eric and Betsy are explored further in the rest of the books.

I also really loved Betsy's character - I loved how she was the complete antithesis to what you'd expect the vampire to be and how she wasn't instantly enamoured with the tall, dark and uh hum, well-endowed Eric. (You'll have to read and find out how she discovers that bit)

I'm going to be ordering the rest of this series in this week and will review each of them as I finish them... but in the mean time, I've decided I'm going to read it forward.

... yep, I'm going to give away my copy of Undead and Unwed. Want the copy? All you have to do is:
a)be a follower &
b)leave a comment and tell me who you'd want as your vampire boyfriend and why?

I'm going to make this an International - so anyone can enter.
This giveaway is now closed!