31 August 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

Waiting on Wednesday is a fabulous meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we can show the books we are eagerly awaiting released (or would give our left arms to get our hands on).

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Taherah Mafi
Release Date: 15th November 2011
Publisher: Harper/Harper Collins
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.
- From Goodreads

I like the premise of this novel and I enjoy a book where one choice can take a person one way or another, and being able to look at a character and see them from another perspective (kind of like the devil, bad guy or just doing a job keeping all the bad guys in hell? hmmmm...).

What is your WOW?

30 August 2011

Review: The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Liz Baswell

Title: The Nine Lives of Chloe King
Author: Liz Braswell
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: 7th June 2011
Series: Chloe King # 1 - 3

Chloe King is a normal girl. She goes to class (most of the time), fights with her mom, and crushes on a boy…or two. But around her sixteenth birthday, Chloe finds that perhaps she isn’t so normal after all. There’s the heightened night vision, the super fast reflexes – oh, and the claws.
As she discovers who she is – and where she comes from – it is clear she is not alone. And someone is trying to get her.
Chloe has nine lives. But will nine be enough? - From Goodreads

I was desperate to read this book as I love the TV show and I felt it was not moving fast enough for me so I decided to find out the ending as soon as possible (OK so I have very little patience!!). This was a fine book. I did not have any major problems with any specific parts of this book, more just niggly annoyances. I think having seen most of season 1 before reading this gave me a better understanding of the vision and the concept.

So if you know absolutely nothing about Chloe King here are the top 5 things you need to know about Chloe King (the book character!) -

1. Chloe King is Mai. Descended from the Egyptian cat goddesses on her 16th birthday she develops crazy balancing skills, claws and generally becomes half human half cat!

2. Chloe is a special Mai and has 9 lives. After falling off the top of that tall tower in San Fransisco (hey I'm from the UK I can't remember everything!!) she dies and comes back to life.

3. I find Chloe's 2 best friends ridiculously annoying and wish she would just walk away from them. I thought the characters of Amy and Paul were weak and most of the time moaning about how bad a friend Chloe is.

4. Chloe has 2 hot guys chasing after her. Alec is Mai, Russian and cocky, you would think that this would make Chloe go all weak at the knees, but there is also Brian. The problem is Brian is human and Mai and humans cannot mix. In fact Mai are deadly for humans. This makes the whole Brian relationship doomed.

5. Lastly I think Chloe's attitude at the beginning of the book stinks!! In my day I would get a 4 hour lecture and grounded if I refused to talk to my mother, skipped school for a day to hang out with my buddies and snuck out most nights (damn, I didn't get away with anything.) Towards the end of the book she does seem to grow up a bit and take a bit more responsibility which is better.

There are some similarities between the books and the TV series, especially the first book, but the story seems to have diverged onto a different path in the TV show. I enjoyed the book and found it very easy and quick to get into and finish.

ABC Family

Rating: 3 / 5

28 August 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

Welcome to this weeks in my mailbox where we discuss all the new books we acquired through the week. This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren.

Here are the spoils of this week's haul -

Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli (Goodreads)
She's as magical as the desert sky. As mysterious as her own name. Nobody knows who she is or where she's from. But everyone loves her for being different. And she captures Leo's heart with just one smile. STARGIRL is a classic of our time that celebrates being true to ourselves and the thrill of first love. A life-changing read that touches souls of all ages.

Tap and Gown (Secret Society Girl #4) - Diana Peterfreund (Goodreads)
For Amy the countdown to graduation has begun, and suddenly the perfect ending to a perfectly iconoclastic Eli career is slipping from her grasp. Her new boyfriend’s been made an offer he just can’t refuse. Her fellowship applications haven’t even been filed. And the young woman she’s chosen to take her place in Rose & Grave—the country's most powerful and notorious secret society—seems to come complete with a secret life already intact.
Lunging toward the finish line, Amy finds trouble around every corner, from society intrigues and unlikely stalkers to former flames and mandatory science credits. Surely it couldn’t get worse . . . until Initiation Night explodes into a terrifying scene and into a last test of wits for a young woman just trying to make it out of the Ivy League in one piece.

She's So Dead To Us - Kieran Scott (Goodreads)
When having money is all that matters, what happens when you lose it all?
Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends -- friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing.
Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross.
But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan.
Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?

So much to read and so little time. What did you get this week?

24 August 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

Waiting on Wednesday, as always is a fabulous meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we can show the books we are eagerly awaiting released.

Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: 1st May 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Bloodlines #2

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series.

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students—children of the wealthy and powerful—carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead’s breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher. - From Goodreads

So I am currently still on book 4 of the first series and I am still to read Bloodlines (I don't want to inadvertantly spoil anything  for myself) but it is all so exciting to me. I have put all my other reading on hold for th momnet for these books!!

Liebster Blog Award

I would like to thank Amie @ Mom Reads My Books! for nominating me! So excited to have even been thought about for this award. The goal of this award is to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.

The rules of the award:

  1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
  2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
  4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
  5. And most of all--have bloggity-blog fun!
So this was a very difficult decision. I follow so many blogs, both well established and developing, so choosing only 5 was a bit of a challenge. In the end I managed it though, so... drum roll please...

My top 5 blogs are -

  1. Kellie @ A Reader With A Voice
  2. Karis @ YA Litwit
  3. Sommer @ Tell Great Stories
  4. Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic
  5. Jessica @ Jessica's Bookshelf
I look forward to to seeing the other up and coming blogs which are chosen for this. Thanks again Amie for the award, I hope I live up to it!

    23 August 2011

    Review: Vampire Academy (VA1) by Richelle Mead

    Title: Vampire Academy
    Author: Richelle Mead
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Published: 16th August 2007
    Series: Vampire Academy 1
    Source: Own Copy

    St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . . Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever. - From Goodreads
    I have been sitting on this review for a while, so long in fact, that I have reviewed book 2 of this series before reviewing this one!! The reason it has taken me so long to write this is that it took me a little while to figure out if I liked the book or not. I was on the fence between thinking I really enjoyed it or it annoyed me. The story stayed with me even after finishing the book, and while I was reading other books.

    Richelle Mead has created a world where there are two types of vampires (Moroi and Strigoi) and the Moroi are looked after by Guardians who are half breeds of Moroi and humans called damphirs. The story follows Lissa Dragomir (a Moroi princess from a royal bloodline) and Rose her Guardian. Rose and Lissa share a special connection where Rose can share Lissa's feelings.

    The story begins with Rose and Lissa being found and brought back to their school, which is a boarding school for vampires and guardians to learn to fight (the guardians) and use their magic (the vampires). Rose has to catch up on the Guardian training she has missed and has to train every day with the sexy Dimitri (even his name is hot!!). There are some great additional characters including Mia and Christian which make this book great.

    Ok so I think it is obvious that I really do like this book. I am currently on the 4th of the series and love being engulfed in this world.

    Review: Frostbite (VA2) by Richelle Mead

    Title: Frostbite
    Author: Richelle Mead
    Publisher: Razorbill
    Published: 10th April 2008
    Series: Vampire Academy #2
    Source: Own Copy

    Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…
    It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians—including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.
    But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price… - From Goodreads

    After reading this book I feel like I want to crawl into Richelle Mead's head and wander round. She has created this amazing world with 2 types of vampires and a half breed which all interact with each other in specific ways. The Moroi are a peaceful non violent vampire who specialise in one specific branch of magic each. Due to the moroi being a peaceful race the "half breeds" also known as damphirs are charged with being the moroi's guardians. So far so good... There are then the vampires who have drained humans blood to the point of death or have been fed the blood of the Strigoi. These evil vampires only want to kill the Damphirs and Morois. Good huh!?!

    Well in the second installment of this series I was pleased to see that Rose and the sizzlingly hot Dimitri still had some amazing moments. I absolutely love watching the dance that both of them preform. We know it can never happen yet both of them are itching for each other!! I also enjoyed watching the other relationships in the book play out, Rose and her mother, Rose and Lissa, Lissa and Christian, Rose and Mason and the ever charming Adrian.

    This book played out in both the school and the school's ski lodge. I enjoyed this change of pace with a easing up on all the training Rose did in 'Vampire Academy' but not without the interaction with other guardians. I found this book slightly more difficult to get into as Rose had lost a bit of her "grin and bare it" attitude which she had in the first book. She seemed to complain a bit more at the start of the novel, but either she got over it quite quickly or I did, as I was soon engrossed in the story and had difficulty putting it down.

    I am looking forward to the next in the series!

    21 August 2011

    In My Mailbox (6)

    Welcome to this weeks in my mailbox where we discuss all the new books we acquired through the week. This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren.

    Some more charity shop trolling in Edinburgh for me this weekend...

    Just Listen - Sarah Dessen (Goodreads)
    Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help,maybe Annabel can face what happened
    the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

    Save As Draft - Cavanaugh Lee (Goodreads)
    SAVE AS DRAFT @Readers A love triangle evolving over e-mails, texts, and Facebook messages that makes you wonder if the things we leave unsaid—or rather unsent—could change the story of our lives.6:59 PM Feb. 14th via twitterfeed
    Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011
    From: Izabell
    To: Reader
    Subject: Save as Draft
    Are we Facebook friends yet? I’m the wactress (waitress/actress) turned lawyer who lives her life online. (Don’t we all these days?)
    Anyway, I’ve got this problem. . . . There’s this guy. His name’s Peter. He’s my best friend and co-worker, and we just started dating, which is potentially a huge mistake. But, that’s not all. There’s this other guy, Marty. I met him on eHarm, and he ran with the bulls in Spain. I can’t get him off my mind. What a mess. I’d love your advice if you can take a second out of your crazy, high-tech life. Shoot me an e-mail. Or text me. Or BB messenger me.
    And friend me if you haven’t already! You can find me on Facebook under Save as Draft.

    The Guy Next Door (Boy #1) - Meg Cabot (Goodreads)
    Gossip columnist and single New York City girl Mel lives lives in the most exciting place in the world, yet she's bored with her lovelife. But things get interesting fast when the old lady next door is nearly murdered. Mel starts paying closer attention to her neighbors—what exactly is going on with the cute boy next door? Has Mel found the love of her life—or a killer?
    OMG Save as Draft sounds so much fun, I hope it lives up to the description. What are your thoughts?

    14 August 2011

    In My Mailbox (5)

    Welcome to this weeks in my mailbox where we discuss all the new books we acquired through the week. This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren.

    This week I have another Gallagher Girls and Secret Society books, cause I love them!!

    Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover (Gallagher Girls #3) - Ally Carter (Goodreads)
    When Cammie "the Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept a nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnapper's dangerous plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.
    As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can they keep her safe?
    Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth...

    Rites of Spring (Break) (Secret Society Girl #2) - Diana Peterfreund (Goodread)
    From “witty and endearing” to “impossible to put down,” the critics have given elite marks to Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl and Under the Rose. Now, in a wildly captivating new novel, Amy “Bugaboo” Haskel and her fellow Rose & Grave knights are trading cold, gray, hyperintellectual New Haven for an annual rite of spring (well, early March) in Florida.
    For Amy, a week of R&R on her secret society’s private island should be all fun in the sun—and an escape from an on-campus feud with a rival society that’s turned disturbingly personal. But along with her SPF 30 and a bikini, Amy is bringing a suitcase full of issues to remote Cavador Key. Graduation from Eli University looms, not to mention buckets of unfinished business with a former flame and—most pressing of all—the sudden, startling transformation of a mysterious Rose & Grave patriarch from sheerly evil to utterly…appealing?
    Just when Amy thinks Spring Break can’t get any less relaxing, a wacky “accident” puts everyone on edge. And that’s only the beginning, as Amy starts to suspect that someone has infiltrated the island. With some major Rose & Grave secrets to be exposed, and the potential fallout enough to take down one of America’s most loathsome figureheads, what she can’t know is that the party crasher is deadly serious about making sure “Bugaboo” doesn’t get back to Eli alive….

    Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells #1) - Meg Cabot (Goodreads)
    Heather Wells Rocks! 

    Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two — and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York's top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather's residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.
    The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls . . . and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen — not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives — even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!
    But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong . . .
    Leave a comment below with what you got this week.

    10 August 2011

    Waiting on Wednesday (7)

    Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we can show the books we are eagerly awaiting released.

    Title: As I Wake
    Author: Elizabeth Scott
    Release Date: 15th September 2011
    Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

    Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

    Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.
    - From Goodreads

    Oh how I do enjoy a book about memory loss, and this one has a kickass cover to boot!!

    08 August 2011

    New Book and Story Experience

    I was sent an email recently regarding a new project from Michael Grant, the author of the Gone Series.

    Michael Grant has a new series of books coming out this winter. The really interesting thing about this project is that it has been conceived as a book AND a "transmedia" project. This means that some aspects of the story will be interactive and told through dedicated blogs, video, puzzles and user interaction. I am quite intrigued to be part of the action. There are already 2 blogs which have been set up to give the background. These blogs are societytwins.com and nexushumanus.com. They are still in their infancy but there is still loads of content to explore.

    Here is a taste from the society twins blog to peak your interest -

    Hi everyone. We’re Sophie and Sylvie Morgenstein, just your run-of-the-mill identical twins… and no, this isn’t one of those sites so get your mind out of the gutter. You know who you are.
    We could be modest and say we’re pretty average, if you consider growing up with a father on the UN Security Council and a genius mother with blue in her veins “average.” Not that her side of the family is still Rockefeller rich or something, but we’re not exactly down town, either. It can be embarrassing, you know, having to explain all this to new people so we wanted to get that out of the way.
    Anyway, this site is really for our brother. We’re sure you could care less about our plans for school. We probably wouldn’t care either if it wasn’t us who’s going. But Davis is another story.

    Can I just say I think Sophie is adorable!! I will be keeping a close eye on these blogs!

    Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

    Title: The Hunger Games
    Author: Suzanne Collins
    Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
    Published: 14th December 2009
    Series: The Hunger Games #1
    Source: Own Kindle Copy

    In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love. - From Goodreads

    I have been sitting on this review for a while as I was unsure just how to express my passion for this book. I picked it up off the back of lots of good reviews. Reading the back of the book it sounded like a teen version of Battle Royale which is right up my street. I love a story which is a fight for survival which is exactly what this book held and more. I actually can't wait for the film to be made and I keep pushing this book on everyone I know (and some people I don't know!!)!

    Every year there is a draw in every district surrounding Capitol where 1 boy and 1 girl are chosen to fight to the death in a televised event called the Hunger Games. Unsurprisingly we find the lead character in this story, Katniss Everdeen, chosen to be the girl from her division. Katniss is everything you want from a heroine. She is headstrong, stubborn, smart and often questions herself.

    The book feels like it is split into sections. The first being with her family in her district, then going through prep and training, and finally the games themselves. I dont' want to give too much away from the story as to me the whole book was a joy with new delights on every page. All I can say is that if you have not read this already, do it now!!

    07 August 2011

    Review: Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund

    Title: Secret Society Girl
    Author: Diana Peterfreund
    Publisher: Dell
    Published: 1st May 2007
    Series: Secret Society Girl #1
    Source: Own Copy

    In a fabulous blend of the bestselling traditions of Prep and The Devil Wears Prada, Secret Society Girl.
    Elite Eli University junior Amy Haskel never expected to be tapped into Rose & Grave, the country’s most powerful—and notorious—secret society. She isn’t rich, politically connected, or…well, male.
    So when Amy receives the distinctive black-lined invitation with the Rose & Grave seal, she’s blown away. Could they really mean her?
    Whisked off into an initiation rite that’s a blend of Harry Potter and Alfred Hitchcock, Amy awakens the next day to a new reality and a whole new set of “friends”—from the gorgeous son of a conservative governor to an Afrocentric lesbian activist whose society name is Thorndike. And that’s when Amy starts to discover the truth about getting what you wish for. Because Rose & Grave is quickly taking her away from her familiar world of classes and keggers, fueling a feud, and undermining a very promising friendship with benefits. And that’s before Amy finds out that her first duty as a member of Rose & Grave is to take on a conspiracy of money and power that could, quite possibly, ruin her whole life.
     A smart, sexy introduction to the life and times of a young woman in way over her head, Secret Society Girl takes us into the heart of the Ivy League’s ultraexclusive secret societies when a young woman is invited to join as one of their first female members. is a charming and witty debut from a writer who knows her turf—and isn’t afraid to tell all.... - From Goodreads

    From the moment I read the blurb about this book I knew I had to read it. As far as I knew there were no secret societies at my university. I'm not entirely sure there were any non secret societies (Scottish universities are mostly about drinking!). Bearing all this in mind I have a fascination with all things Ivy League and Secret, I especially love the film The Skulls. So after starting this book it did not take me long to zip through it and get online to order the rest!

    Amy is currently attending Eli University and she thinks she is going to be tapped to the totally non secret literary society. However it turns out the uber selective and secret boys only society called Rose & Grave have decided this year to accept girls and Amy's name is on the list. There is everything I was looking for in this book, from crazy initiations to a slightly slutty leading lady!

    I related to Amy from the first page. She was a completely real character who makes mistakes in her relationships with her friends and the men in her life. The supporting characters are also well rounded and written each with there own personal troubles. I found keeping some of the society characters straight often confusing as they go by 2 names, however it did not diminish my enjoyment.

    I am ready to pick up the next book in the series and find out what Amy's challenge will be this time.

    In My Mailbox (4)

    Welcome to this weeks in my mailbox where we discuss all the new books we acquired through the week. This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren.

    I am still on my actual book spree, opting for real life paperbacks where I can't get a kindle copy. So this weeks haul looks like the following -

    Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy (Gallagher Girls #2) - Ally Carter (Goodreads)

    After staking out, obtaining, and then being forced to give up her first boyfriend, Josh, all Cammie Morgan wants is a peaceful semester. But that's easier said than done when you're a CIA legacy and go to the premier school in the world... for spies.
    Cammie Morgan may have a genius IQ and attend the best school in the country, but as she starts the spring semester of her sophomore year there are a lot of things she doesn't know. Like will her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble did she really get in last semester? And, most of all, exactly why is her mother acting so strangely?
    All Cammie wants is a nice, normal semester, but she's about to learn her greatest lesson yet—that when you go to a school for spies, nothing is ever as it seems

    Under The Rose (Secret Society Girl #2) - Diana Peterfreud (Goodreads)
    Amy Haskel made it into elite Eli University. Then she made it into the ultraselective Order of Rose & Grave. Now a senior, Amy is looking her future squarely in the eye—until someone starts selling society secrets. When a series of bizarre messages suggests conspiracy within the ranks and a female knight mysteriously disappears, no member of Rose & Grave is safe…or above suspicion.
    On her side, Amy has a few loyal Diggirls—her fellow female Rose & Grave knights. Against her? Certainly it’s a group of Rose & Grave’s ├╝berpowerful patriarchs who want their old boys’ club back. As new developments in her love life threaten to implode, and the case of the vanished Diggirl gets weirder by the moment, Amy will need to use every society trick she’s ever learned in order to set things right. Even if it means turning to old adversaries for help—or discovering that the real foes are closer than she’d thought….

    Zelah Green - Vanessa Curtis (Goodreads)
    A prizewinning story of a girl whose serious OCD starts to take over her life, how she conquers it with help and humor, and the friends with their own troubles whom she meets along the way.
    "My Name is Zelah Green and I'm a cleanaholic. I spend most of my life running away from germs. And dirt. And people. And I'm just about doing okay and then my stepmother packs me off to some kind of hospital to live with a bunch of strangers. It's stuck in the middle of nowhere. Great. There's Alice who's anorexic. Caro who cuts herself. Silent Sol who has the cutest smile. And then there's me."  Zelah's candid voice allows serious issues to be explored with empathy. With wonderful humor supplementing the emotional heart, this story presents real problems for teenagers while never being being heavy-handed.

    Alice Bliss - Laura Harrington (Goodreads)
    When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind. 
    Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full- blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday, and the phone calls are never long enough. 
    Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations--the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next- door. These characters' struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.

    So now you've seen mine, show me yours!!

    06 August 2011

    Review: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

    Title: It's Not Summer Without You
    Author: Jenny Han
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
    Published: 27th April 2010
    Series: Summer #2
    Source Own Copy

    Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
    But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach. - From Goodreads

    I think I may have mentioned it before, but this book made me cry like a baby! Jenny Han somehow manages to capture the pain and emotions of losing someone close to you and gets it all down. Somehow I get the feeling if Jenny Han was to give me her shopping list to read it might choke me up.

    This book picks up the summer on from "The Summer I Turned Pretty" and it has a very different feel. Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad are not at the summer house at Cousins Beach this year, but when Conrad goes missing Belly is the one that Jeremiah turns to for help. Parts of this story are so touching that I will admit that I was a total girl and cried along with Belly and the boy's pain. 

    From the first book in this series we already know the characters and have a feel for how they think. What I liked about this book was that there was not too much re-hashing of what had already passed in the first novel, but we do get to know of everything that has passed in the time from the last book. This story felt more like a journey type of a book and somehow keeps you rooting for both Conrad and Jeremiah at the same time. 

    If you enjoyed The Summer I turn Pretty, I beg you to continue reading these books. Without giving anything away, I will warn you that the end of the novel is so "oh my god did that just happen" that you will want the final installment at had to pick up straight away!! 

    03 August 2011

    Waiting on Wednesday (6)

    Title: Spellbound
    Athor: Rachel Hawkins
    Publisher: Hyperion
    Published: 13th March 2012

    Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

    Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

    Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late? - Goodreads

    This series is amazing and I can't wait to see what will come next for Sophie.

    What are you waiting for this week?