30 December 2011

Switched Book Trailer

I often feel like book trailers are a way of imposing the feelings that the author wants to get across in the book and little about getting you excited for the story.

This trailer for Switched by Amanda Hocking makes me VERY excited to read this series,and not long to wait until the 1st book is re-released (3rd Jan 2012 - they had a bit of a makeover)!!

Title: Switched
Author: Amanda Hocking
Published: 3rd Jan 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Series: Trylle #1

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it. - From Goodreads

What do you think of this trailer?

27 December 2011

2012 100 Books in a Year Challenge

Last year (2011) I participated in the 100+ books in a year challenge hosted by Book Chick City and managed to achieve my target. This year I have a much busier first quarter, but I am going to participate again none the less!!

The details of the challenge are as follows:

Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012

Rules: Read 100+ books in 2012 (any genre)

You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

You can join at anytime. All books read in 2012 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.

At the beginning of Jan 2012, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews.

Audiobooks do not count, but all other formats are accepted.

Only fiction, no non-fiction.

This challenge can crossover to other challenges.

23 December 2011

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Published: 1st December 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Own Kindle Copy

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate. - From Goodreads

I absolutely adore Friday Night Lights!! Even though I have very little interest in sport I had a massive emotional investment in the show and it made me feel like I would love Friday night football if I could just give it a chance (it might help if I didn't live in Scotland!!). So when I saw that this book was about a girl football player I was sold before I even finished reading the synopsis. I managed to avoid all reviews and discussions about this book before reading it as I wanted no spoilers. Oh it was so worth it!!

Jordan Woods is the captain of the school football team who has the respect of all the players. The unusual thing is that Jordan is a girl. All Jordan has ever wanted all her life is to play football and, with an NFL father and a collage star brother, she has big shoes to fill. When a new team mate threatens to take everything she has worked for from her, Jordan begins to see her relationships for what they really are. Will her Dad ever support her football dreams? Why is her best Friend, Sam Henry, being so weird? Will she still be respected if she dates one of her team mates? And will she ever get to play football for the university of her dreams?

At the start of this story Jordan Woods is a very simple character who is so focused on getting a scholarship to play football at university she is not completely aware of the relationships around her. When --- turns up he flips her life on it's head. This seems to be the first time that she has found a boy so attractive that she gets completely blind sided* and distracted. Slowly we get introduced to Jordan's slightly crazy and neurotic side (this includes writing poetry, hiding in her shed and crying every five minutes). All of this made me love Jordan as a character, I thought she was a joy to read and quite funny!

There were a great number of additional characters which helped make the book a really good read. I thought Jordan's family were well written and had a good family dynamic. Jordan's dad is totally disapproving of her love of football as he wants to protect her and her mother and brother just seemed really warm and supportive. I think too often in YA books the family gets dismissed as something that must exist but is not worth mentioning, in this book however they are an important and lovely aspect to the story.

Jordan's friends. I can't not comment on them. I loved them!! Jordan has never really had any friends who were girls, they have always been boys, and I thought that they had amazing relationships. You can see very clearly why the adorable Sam Henry is her best friend. he is such a great character and I felt he was a very human character with all of his man-whoring. We see Jordan's friendship with 2 girls also grow through the book as she realises that it is OK to be herself sometimes and it is OK to talk about your feelings!

I thought this was a very emotional book with the emotions written into every page. It made the book an absolute pleasure to read and you could really feel what Jordan was feeling! The pace of this book was great and I was never bored, even when reading about the football games, I'm not up to speed on my terminology and thought I might get lost, but it was fine! The only other thing I want to mention is how much Jordan reminded me of P.J. from My Boys**. Am I the only one who thought this? I am excited to see what Miranda Kenneally does in the future.

*see my use of sports terminology? Whoop!!
** Such a brilliant TV show. So sad when it finished!

22 December 2011

Review: Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

Title: Tris and Izzie
Author: Mette Ivie Harrison
Published: 11th October 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Source: eARC (thanks to Netgalley and Egmount USA)

A modern retelling of the German fairytale "Tristan and Isolde", Tris and Izzie is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until -- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school. - From Goodreads

I feel that often retellings can be very hit or miss. I am vaguely familiar with Tristan and Isolde, but I have never actually read it. Unfortunately after reading this book I have no desire to read the original. I wanted to like this book so much, I mean look at that cover, it is stunning, but for me the story did not live up to my expectations.

Izzie has the perfect life, a best friend, a hot superstar boyfriend, Mark, and a witch mother. So when Tris turns up as the new boy at school he throws Izzie into a spin. Izzie tries to help her best friend fall for Tris by trying to give them both a love potion, but she accidentally eds up drinking it herself with Tris. This starts the beginning for Izzie's inner war between staying with Mark or following her heart and going with Tris. After she is attacked by a two headed dog at a football game Izzie finds out that not only is she also magic, but she is only one who can save the magical community from a giant snake who eats magic.

I found a lot of things about this book rather annoying. Firstly the dialogue felt very immature and one dimensional. Tris's speech felt very stiff. I understand that it is intended to show that he is from a different society where modern day has little influence, but I am sure that he would still revert to don't, won't and can't. The magic love potion in this novel is referred to as a love philtre throughout, and was spoken about quite a bit which left me wanting to shout "just call it a love potion"!!

As I say I have not read the original text, so I am not sure if there is magic in the original story, but it all felt a little thin for me. It is just assumed that some people are magic and some are not, and that few non-magical people know about magic. I thought that this could have used a little more back story, like have they always lived in their own community, and have the fairies, dragons, giant butterflies or any other creatures ever been seen in the real world, and if so how was it covered up? I thought it could have used a little more depth.

I thought Izzie was also a little annoying. She was constantly moaning about how awful it was that she had taken the love potion and was going to forever love Tris, but she was going to do this to her "best friend" in the first place! The other characters also seemed to be quite happy about swapping relationships, all with no hard feelings.

This book was a bit of a struggle for me to finish as I didn't particularly care what was going to happen and the battle at the end all seemed to be quite easy for Izzie, I didn't feel her struggle or pain the way I have with other characters. I am interested to find out how close this is to Tristian and Isolde, but after reading this I realise there are other stories out there I want to read more.

21 December 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (19) - Dreamless

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're pining after.

Title: Dreamless
Author: Josephine Angelini
Published: 29th May 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Starcrossed #2
As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos.
As an unforgettable love triangle emerges, Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding. The eagerly awaited sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed, Dreamless delivers with a huge emotional impact that will leave readers satisfied—and longing for more. - From Goodreads
I am super excited about this one as I loved Starcrossed!! What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

18 December 2011

In My Mailbox (18)

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.

Have I mentioned it's my Birthday today? No? Well it is which is why I am hosting my current birthday Giveaway here. I am sure I will have a few birthday/Christmas book gifts for the next IMM, but for now I have these beauties -


Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe - Shelley Coriell (Thanks to Netgalley and Amulet Books)
Katana - Cole Gibsen (Thanks to Netgalley and Flux)

For Review

Notes to Self - Avery Sawyer (Thanks to Laura Schafer!)

I hope you all have amazing days!! What did you get in your mailbox?

Birthday Giveaway

To celebrate my birthday this year (18th Dec) I have decided to give back and run a giveaway for 3 people to win a copy of one of my favourite books which I have read in the last year. All you have to do to enter is to fill in the form below.

My top ten books that I have read during this past year, and are up for offer, are:

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake
Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
Divergent - Veronica Roth
Across the Universe - Beth Revis
Some Girls Are - Courtney Summers
Witches of the East - Melissa de la Cruz
Catching Jordan - Miranda Kenneally
Hunting Lila - Sarah Alderson
Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
Hourglass - Myra McEntire

Grab a button using the code below:

<center><a href="http://lostinayabook.blogspot.com/2011/12/birthday-giveaway.html"><img src="http://i1115.photobucket.com/albums/k558/carteremma/Giveaway2.jpg" /></a></center>

Let me know in the comments below what your favourite read of 2011 was.

May the odds be ever in your favour.
Emma x

16 December 2011

New Hunger Games Poster

I just saw this poster on tumbler and had to share it with you!! I wish we could see Katniss in the middle better, what do you think?

15 December 2011

It's my Birthday

It's my Birthday on Sunday (quite a significant one) and I thought to myself that it's better to give than to receive, so I am hosting my first giveaway.

The giveaway is open for one month form my birthday (18th) and I will be giving away a book from a selection of my favourite reads from the past year to 3 winners. Hopefully that will help cheer up a dreary January!!

Stay tuned for all the details appearing on Sunday!

Emma x

Review: Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Title: Forgive My Fins
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published: 19th May 2010
Series: Fins #1
Source: Own Kindle Copy

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned. - From Goodreads
I have a really weird fear, not only am I afraid of open water I am also afraid of fish. The big ones scare the bejezus out of me and make me want to crawn into my nice safe dry bed, far from the water, and hide. For this book however I cast aside the heebie jeebies and prepared to dive into the deep end of a story about a mermaid. A good thing to because I really enjoyed it!

On the outside Lily looks like a normal teenage girl, she even has a crush on the school hottie, but she has one massive secret; she is a mermaid princess! With a mermaid father and human mother Lily never quite feels like she belongs anywhere and has been spending the last few years going to high school as a human. When the Brody, Lily's crush, does not live up to expectations Quince, Lily's annoying neighbour, steps in.

I really liked Lily, but her focus was a bit annoying and I did not really understand why she hated her neighbour so much! Apart from that I thought she was an interesting character and you can tell she is conflicted about where she belongs. It was quite refreshing to have a strong female character who stepped up to take charge especially when they are underwater! I also really liked Quince and found him to be a very likeable character, maybe I just have a thing for bad boys who are really very sweet!

As I have mentioned above, I love that when we were in the underwater world, which is Lily's Kingdom, she was the one who was confident and knew what was going on and Quince was the one who was uncertain and unsure. I felt rather empowering reading it as often it is the female character who is portrayed unsure and needs the male character to help her on her journey. I like that there was a real challenge for the male character, metaphorically and literally, which was just part of Lily's everyday.

It was great that part of the story was set underwater and the world beneath the sea was painted as a beautiful and exciting place. I found it a little hard to picture, only because my mind kept picturing Spongebob Square Pants and all the other cartoons like Shark Tale and Little Mermaid. When I could get rid of these from my mind I loved reading about this new and different world, which was painted to be a beautiful underwater fairytale kingdom.

I thought this was a fun read that moved at a good pace and the story often kept you on your toes. It had likeable characters you wanted to get to know better. It also had an ending that I was not expecting and I can't wait to read the next book in the series to see what happens next!!

14 December 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (18) - The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're pining after.

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: 5th January 2012
Publisher: Headline
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. - From Goodreads

Not only does this have an amazing cover, but this contemporary read sounds right up my street!!

What are you waiting on this Wed? Let me know below!

12 December 2011

Review: Hushed by Kelley York

Title: Hushed
Author: Kelley York
Published: 6th December 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Source: eARC (thank you Netgalley and Entangled Publishing)

He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is always there, waiting to be noticed.

Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption. - From Goodreads

I had read a few things about this book before I started it and I was excited to read it as it sounded like an all out thriller. Archer has always looked out for Vivian and does what he thinks is in her best interest, even if that means killing! When Archer meets Evan he starts to let his walls fall and starts to build the relationship he has always wanted from Vivian. The only problem is that Vivian does not want to share Archer with anyone and she will go to some extreme lengths!

Right from the start I felt that Archer reminded me of a young Dexter Morgan! Cold and detached, the only time we see any kind of emotion from Archer is when he is with Vivian and trying to comfort her. I did not like particularly like Archer as a character as I disliked his actions and, as I have said, I found him cold and distant. That being said I thought he was one of the most interesting characters I have read in a long time.

Then there was Evan and Vivian. It seemed obvious right from the start that Vivian is bad news. she completely manipulates Archer and most of the other people around her. It also seems like she ends up in one destructive relationship after another! Evan on the other hand is a sweet and nice guy who has no ulterior motives past wanting to be with Archer. I really enjoyed that Archer was torn between sweet Evan and Vivian, who he has had on a pedestal for years.

I thought that the tone of this book was much more serious than anything I had read in a while. For me the characters were what kept me reading and involved to the end. I thought the story running through the book was quite dark and disturbing, but I enjoyed it and I liked seeing it spiralling out of control. The only part of the story I had an issue with was Evan and Archer towards the end of the book. I think Evan's reactions were nowhere close to a "normal" person's reaction. That spoiled it a little for me, but I loved the ending I thought it was exciting and tense and I was satisfied by the last page.

I enjoyed this book and was only let down by the minor points above. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys thrillers, lgbt fiction or contemporary fiction.

11 December 2011

Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Title: Beastly
Author: Alex Flinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: 1st October 2007
Source: Own Copy

I am a beast.
A beast!
Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll, stay this way forever ruined unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly...beastly. - From Goodreads
So from reading my past reviews of books such as The Lying Game and The Secret Circle, it should come as no surprise that when I saw there was a movie coming out for Beastly I wanted to read the book. I thought the trailer looked great and (I am truly ashamed when I say this) I thought this was the book of the movie (I know I'm hanging my head in shame) and grabbed a copy. Now it was stupid of me to think that the movie came first, but what I got was a richly woven tale of magic and romance.

It is a story we all know, beauty and the beast. Kyle is popular, vain and a total ass. Everything is all about him and these are the morals his father has instilled in him, to get ahead you have to be attractive. So when the unusual looking Kendra asks Kyle to the school dance he decides to make a bit of an example from her by standing her up in front of everyone and waling in with someone else. But Kendra is a witch and gets her revenge later on that evening. She turns him into a Beast. Over the next 2 years Kyle has to find true love. He is also banished to a house with only a housekeeper and a tutor by his father.

OMG I loved this book so much. I thought the film was good, but there were some important parts which were changed from the book to film. At the start of the book Kendra appears as a tubby unattractive girl, but this is just what she is portraying to Kyle, she is actually quite an attractive witch who we learn has made quite a few mistakes in her past. Kyle and Kendra can communicate with each other through a magic looking glass.

Kendra was one of my favourite characters. I thought she brought some humour to the role, worrying about messing up again and making mistakes. There were other snapshots of humour peppered through this book with short chapters of conversations going on in an internet chat-room. The conversation is between other mystical creatures like a frog / prince and a mermaid.

In the film the very pretty Alex Pettyfer is made to be bald with weird tattoos and scars all over him, however in the book Kyle is a proper Beast. Hair, claws and all. I think this is more of a challenge and made his reclusiveness seem to make more sense.

I loved this book. I loved it so much I felt like I wanted to slow down my reading of it towards the end so that I made it spin out just a little more. There was little mystery in the story as we all know what happens in Beauty and the Beast, but this made little difference to me. This tale was worked with such enchanting magic that I can't wait to read Bewitched which will focus on some of the other spells Kendra has cast and the fallout!

In My Mailbox (17)

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 it's all about the eARC love from Netgalley, so here we go...

Hushed by Kelley York Thank you Netgalley and Entangled Publishing
New Girl by Paige Harbison Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin
Halflings by Heather Burch Thank you Netgalley and Zondervan
Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser Thank you Netgalley and Flux Books
The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal Thank you Netgalley and Albert Whitman & Company

Excited about these books, and is it just me or does the guy on the front of The Lifeguard look like a young Lucas Scott from the amazing One Tree Hill?

What did you get this week?

10 December 2011

Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Title: Forgotten
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Published: 7th June 2011
Source: Own Copy

With the intrigue of "Memento" and the romance of "The Time-Traveller's Wife", "Forgotten" is the perfect YA novel.

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.
Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognise the power they have to control their destinies. - From Goodreads
I had seen this book a few times before I gave in and bought a copy. I mean of all of the supernatural books on the market just now this has to be one of the more unique stories and abilities. Not only that, it has an awesome cover. It was the reason I kept picking it up was that it called to me, and I am so glad I answered the call!

London Lane is a 16 year old girl who lives a relatively normal life, apart from the fact she can tell you detailed accounts of things that will happen to her in the future. Unfortunately she can't tell you what she wore yesterday, anything that happened over the last week in school or even if she spoke to her mother in the last few days. London's memory only looks forward. She has managed to cope this far by working a system of notes which she leaves for herself every night. This starts to fall apart when she begins dating the handsome Luke who she can't see in her future.

I really liked London Lane, and her name? London Lane. If she ever wanted to become a superhero then she already has the cool alter ego name. Through London's journey in this book we see how much she struggles with day to day. I loved London. I thought she was sweet and patient and managed to keep herself reasonably calm in some impossible situations. I men how often do you fall asleep in the back of someones car only to wake and find that your entire memory of how you go there and who you are with has been erased (That's without the addition of alcohol thank you!).

In addition to London I also loved some of the other characters. Luke. What a genuinely sweet and nice guy. He keeps chasing after London and is so patient and charming. Luke is not moody, brooding, dark or dangerous, he is just a sweet guy who makes it easy for us to fall in love with him. I also liked London's Mum, in so many books the parents are kept as minor parts, if they are in the book at all, but London's Mum is her foundation. London has someone who loves and cares about her which gives the book some warmth and heart.

The one stumbling block for me was the pacing at the start of the novel. I felt that we spent a little bit too much time just living in London's world to sympathise with her. I was drawn into her world and sucked into this dark mystery of the one dark memory that she can't pin in the future and can't remember from her past. I wish the crux of the story had occurred a little bit sooner for me.

This book had such a satisfactory ending that it almost felt complete. ALMOST. Cleverly hidden in the plot towards the end are a number of threads that I can totally see being picked up to create a thrilling series that I will want to consume all in one go! Unfortunately I will have to wait for the next book, and then probably have to wait some more for the book after that!

09 December 2011

Follow Friday (5)

Welcome to another Follow My Book Blog Friday. Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

This week's question is: Keeping with the Spirit of Giving this season, what book do you think EVERYONE should read and if you could, you would buy it for all of your family and friends?

I have so many books I want to force onto people that I have read recently and loved. For me however I think the one book that has stuck with me through my whole life, that I think everyone should read, is Jane Eyre. A true story of survival, patience and perseverance with some juicy scandal thrown in to spice it up. If I had the money I would buy a copy of Jane Eyre for everyone I have ever met!!

08 December 2011

Review: Entangled by Cat Clarke

Title: Entangled
Author: Cat Clarke
Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc
Published: 6th January 2011
Source: Own Kindle Copy

The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

A story of dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction. - From Goodreads
I knew very little about this book when I picked it up except for the fact it has a rocking cover, the blurb on the back and the girl has the same hair colour as me! This book was nothing like I was expecting and it took me on a journey I didn't expect.

Grace has decided to take her life. Before she goes through with it in a children's playground she speaks to a stranger on the swings and before she knows it she is being taken into a van and then she wakes up in a white room with a bed, a desk, pens and a stack of paper. After a while Grace starts to write her life story not knowing how long she is going to be in the room or if she will ever get out of it alive.

This whole book is a mystery from the start and the more we learn about Grace the more we realise that her life is troubled and more messed up than even she knew. I was unsure if I liked Grace. To me she seemed selfish, right from the start when she was considering suicide I took a disliking to her. After reading the book and hearing her story I am not sure if she is just selfish or incredibly damaged.

Grace also has a problem with self harming. I had read a review on Amazon where the reviewer believes that this book glamorises cutting. To me there was no glamour involved in this and you could clearly see that after a while even grace knew she had a problem. This problem is one that Grace struggles to control and for us helps to see how she views herself. I used to know a girl who also struggled with this, to a much lesser extent as far as I knew. In a way this book helped me see that there was very little I could do for her besides be her friend.

For the whole book we are as clueless as Grace is about what is going on. Why is she locked in this room? Who is Ethan and is he helping her or keeping her captive. Information is trickled to us slowly so that we are kept as much in the dark as Grace is, however I personally felt there were lots of questions left unanswered that I really wanted to know the answer to. The writing felt raw, powerful and gritty and that was what kept me on the journey.

07 December 2011

Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Published: 13th October 2009
Series: Hush, Hush #1
Source: Own Kindle Copy

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life. - From Goodreads
There seems to have been a rash of books revolving around angels released lately. This combined with reading Hush, Hush a few months ago, and reading other angel books after it, meant that when I sat down to type my thoughts I had no idea what had happened in this book. As luck would have it I had a couple of Audible credit's in my account so decided that this would be a great purchase and would not impact on my reading time as I could listen to it while driving, walking to work... Oh am I glad I did this, and how could I have forgotten? It all came flooding back to me.

Nora lives a fairly quiet life with her best friend and her biggest decision will be to decide between the ivy league schools she is set to be accepted to. Then one day in class all the seats get moved around sitting Nora beside Patch. Dark and mysterious, Patch seems to know everything about Nora, but she knows nothing about him except that she can't stop thinking about him.This story was full of suspense, romance, danger and fallen angels.

I liked Nora. I could relate to her and unlike other female characters Nora tends to over think situations instead of under thinking them! This tends to mean she does not jump to ridiculous conclusions (or sometimes any conclusions). And then can we talk about Patch? At the start I think he seems like, as we say in the UK, a total Dick! It took me a while to warm to patch, but as soon as I did I think I fell in love!! Patch can save me from danger any day of the week! I'm not completely blind to Patch being a tad over protective, but I'm willing to overlook that.

There were a couple of points to this story which I felt were cleverly tidied up at the end with a, without giving away to much, "all of those reasons was because..." which perhaps felt a little contrived. Another point that stuck in my mind was that at the start of the book Nora talks about how they are best friends who are an extension of each other. Even as an outsider I thought some of V's behaviour was a bit off, why did Nora not notice? Does V usually act shady?

In a way I am happy that it has taken me so long to get round to doing this review as I can now swiftly move on to Crescendo and the Silence, and by the time I have finished those two books and reviewing them the final chapter of this story will probably be close to publication!! I can't wait to read the next books.

Waiting On Wednesday (17) - Goddess Interrupted

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're pining after.

Title: Goddess Interrupted
Author: Aimee Carter
Published 27th March 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Goddess Test #2

Kate Winters has won immortality.

But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone. - From Goodreads

I loved the Goddess test so I can't wait for the sequel to see what's next for Kate, and who can resist that cover?!?

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? 

06 December 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list topic is posted and book bloggers fill in their own choices. I love a good list so here goes with this week's topic...

Top Ten Childhood Favourites

(Oohh... good top ten, I was having a conversation with friends about this recently)

1. Matilda by Roald Dahl. This was one of the first non picture books I ever read. I remember it felt like it took forever to finish it, but I was so proud of myself when I did.

2. Esio Trot by Roald Dahl. I loved this story and felt like I was in the know because I got the joke (even though it is explained in the book).

3. Conrad by Christine Nostlinger. I remember my teacher reading this to the class in primary school and I loved it.

4. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend. My dad gave me a copy of this to read one day and I love it, it made me laugh so much as a teenager.

5. Any Judy Blume book. Whenever I got one out of the library which I had not read I was so happy. I am sure I have probably read them all and I remember feeling grown up reading Forever when I was 11.

6. Point Horror books by R.L. Stein, Christopher Pike and others. I loved being scared by these books and read as many as I could. Some of my favourites include The Babysitter, Beach Party, April Fools... I just got cover nostalgia searching on Goodreads!

7. The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin. I wished that these girls were my friends and I always wanted to be Claudia! I think I had a slight obsession with this series and I used to spend all of my money on them.

8. The Face On The Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney. This was a find from rummaging through the shelves of my library and for some reason I fell in love with this book. Still a good read.

9. Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal. I used to like reading these when I found a new one in the library, but it was not the same book obsession I had with the Babysitters Club.

10. There's A Bat In Bunk Five by Paula Danziger. I loved this book and the Cat Ate My Gymsuit. They always made me laugh!!

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 2nd March 2010
Source: Own Kindle Copy

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing. -From Goodreads

I picked this up as it was my first Lauren Oliver book and it had a story that interested me, a sort of Groundhog day where the main character knows that each day she relives ends with her death. I really wanted to like this book and went into it with an open mind. Unfortunately something did not click for me.
Sam is a privileged teenager who has a sweet life. Hot boyfriend and a powerful group of friends who rule the school with Sam at the middle of it. After a party one night there is an accident which kills Sam, but this is not the end of her story as she gets the chance to come back time and time again to change her actions on the day of the accident.

Maybe I am too different from Sam, but I did not care for her and in all honesty did not care if she learned the valuable life lessons of repeating the same day over and over again. I found her to be quite fake at the start of the book, and thought that she had not grown at the end of her journey. I think this instant dislike of the main character meant that I never really invested in the book.

I have always thought that there could be a lot of mileage in the repeating days story, I mean I am a fan of Groundhog Day! For some reason in this book I found the storyline to be slightly dull and predictable. There was a real focus on certain things on the first day which you knew would be changed or manipulated later on during one of the repeating days. I like a bit of unpredictability in my stories. Once it was obvious that this was what was happening I felt there was little point in finishing the book (I did though as I hate leaving books unfinished!).

Following on from that, I was hoping for a really interesting ending, and while there were details in the ending that made me go "oh, that's how it fits together", I still felt the ending was very unsatisfying. I was left with a slight feeling of disappointment. I have not read any of Lauren Oliver's other books, but I will be giving Delirium a try as I do think that potentially the only reason I did not like this book was because I could not gel with the main character and that made the rest of the story fall apart for me.

05 December 2011

Review: Private by Kate Brian

Title: Private
Author: Kate Brian
Published: 5th February 2007
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Series: Private #1
Source: Own Copy

Tradition, Honor, Excellence...and secrets so dark they're almost invisible Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in.
Until she meets the Billings Girls.
They are the most beautiful, intelligent, and intensely confident girls on campus. And they know it. They hold all the power in a world where power is fleeting but means everything. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle.
Reed uses every part of herself -- the good, the bad, the beautiful -- to get closer to the Billings Girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private. - From Goodreads

So it is no secret that I love a good story set in a privileged school, and let face it there are masses to choose from, all with their own unique take and spin. So I was incredibly excited to read  this book even if there was not a sniff of super powers or any other particular twist over and above, small town girl moves to a posh school. Also there are 14 books so far in this series so I thought it must be a good series to have so many. If this is the case then I think I am missing something.

Reed Brennan was a straight A student in her old school which helped her to get a scholarship to Easton Academy. At the Easton Academy Reed does not excel the same way she used to and quickly begins to struggle with the work. Not long after arriving Reed notices a group of girls across  from her room window. These girls are smart and beautiful and the creme de la creme of the school. They are the Billings Girls. Slowly Reed tries to get closer to the group and integrate herself into the group.

I had some issues with the main character. I thought Reed was incredibly annoying that she let Noelle, the leader of the Billings girls continue to call her "glass licker" for the whole book. I am a fairly laid back girl and my friends and I have ridiculous nicknames for each other, but even I would have cracked with that and stood up to ---. I also thought that some of the stunts she was asked to do (namely the one where she has to break into school and risks expulsion if caught) were beyond risky. When she finally does stand up to the girls it felt  to me like too little too late!

I thought that the character of Noelle, and her group of friends, were the most interesting. Noelle may have been nasty and mean, but when she demanded something, no matter how over the top, she stuck by it and followed through. Also we were treated to seeing a softer side of her at times which was a refreshing contrast. When there was no one to play up to she could be nice, and she respected her friends for standing up to her. Also in my head she looked and sounded exactly like the actress who plays Faye in the TV series of the Secret Circle.

I found there was very little to this book and actually read it in a couple of hours. I thought there was little story to this book, most of it was centred around Thomas. It could just have been that the book was setting the scene for the rest of the series and I will read the next few books to see if there is a sizzling story buried in there somewhere.

04 December 2011

Inspired by TV

So I was watching America's Next Top Model with my sister today. I knew that Tyra had written a book, but I had not heard too much about this book past a few people commenting on having read it. Well having heard Tyra talk about it on ANTM it sounds crazy! I think it could be my kind of crazy, but possibly it has passed crazy into insane!!

Well on the show the all-stars were filming the trailer for the book, so here it is.

Title: Modelland
Author: Tyra Banks
Published: 13th September 2011
Publisher: Random House Children's Books

No one gets in without being asked. And with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body, Tookie De La Crème isn’t expecting an invitation. Modelland—the exclusive, mysterious place on top of the mountain—never dares to make an appearance in her dreams.

But someone has plans for Tookie. Before she can blink her mismatched eyes, Tookie finds herself in the very place every girl in the world obsesses about. And three unlikely girls have joined her.

Only seven extraordinary young women become Intoxibellas each year. Famous. Worshipped. Magical. What happens to those who don’t make it? Well, no one really speaks of that. Some things are better left unsaid.

Thrown into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong, Tookie glimpses a future that could be hers—if she survives the beastly Catwalk Corridor and terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp. Or could it? Dark rumors like silken threads swirl around the question of why Tookie and her new friends were selected . . . and the shadows around Modelland hide sinister secrets.

Are you ready? Modelland is waiting for you. . . .  - From Goodreads

So what do you think? Will you read it?

In My Mailbox (16)

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.

Not many books this week, I bought a couple for the kindle.

Halo (Halo #1) by Alexandra Adornetto
Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

I was also at a small independent cinema in Edinburgh last night to see Hugo (it was brilliant!) and I saw some promotional postcards for books (who would have thought?!?!) so I picked them up.

And some promotional postcard sized booklets for the Hunger Games which has a sample from chapter 1 inside.

So what did you get in your mailbox this week?

03 December 2011

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: 24th August 2010
Series: The Hunger Games #3
Source: Own Kindle Copy

Warning: Synopsis and Review Contain Spoilers For Hunger Games #1 and #2.

Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final instalment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding. - From Goodreads

I am constantly telling people they should read this book. The one thing I struggle with is trying to convey to them just how amazing the story is. Whenever someone asks what the story is about I either give them With the all the love I had for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire still running through me, I quickly moved on to Mockingjay.

Right away I thought there was a different feeling to this book. There was a different kind of tension running through the story. We pick up about an hour after the end of Catching Fire and the action starts right away. This book stays away from hunger games and focuses on the aftermath from the end of book 2 and how it changes the districts. By the way did I mention that I went to The Capitol and I was registered to District 1. Here's my id -

I think we saw a different side to Katniss in this book. She seemed to step up to the plate in the first book and sulk in reluctance in the second book. In this book she seemed to just want to pretend that she is not a pivotal figure and focus on her own worries, namely Peeta. Oh Peeta, his part to this story made my heart break and I wanted nothing more than for everything to be back to normal!!

This had to be my least favourite of the 3 books due to the political nature of the story and because in a strange way I love the Hunger Games and I missed them. However, for me, the ending to this book made up for no hunger games and left me weeping and heartbroken! I finished this series crying but feeling very satisfied.

I can't wait to see these films, I will be first in the queue. I say again to anyone who has not picked up any of these books yet, what are you waiting for go and get them now and start reading the minute you get home. I know I will be giving a few sets of these books to people for their Christmas, lucky them!!

2012 Sophomore Reading Challenge

So I wouldn't be me if I didn't take loads all at once, so in addition to the challenges I have already signed up for, I will also be signing up for the 2012 Sophomore Reading Challenge.

With so many books I read this year being the firsts in a series I am super excited for the next in the series to come out. Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit is hosting the Sophomore Reading Challenge. As with all of my other challenges, you can check out my progress during the year on the challenges tab at the top.

The Challenge is to read at least 10 seconds during 2012. My list so far looks like this -

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Reves
Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephing Angelini
Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire
Girl of Nightmares (Anna Dressed in Blood #2) by Kendare Blake
Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2) by Aimee Carter

I am sure I will be adding to this list as the year progresses.

02 December 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Published: 9th April 2009
Series: If I Stay #1
Source: Own Kindle Copy

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces - to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time. -From Goodreads

This book stunned me from the very beginning. It was nothing that I expected. This was a fresh new take on a story that I will admit made me cry quite a bit and left me speechless.

From the first chapter you are thrown into Mia's life, with her happy Family, love of classical music and amazing boyfriend. I was completely sucked in from the first page and then the crash. The way the crash was described was so heartbreaking and out of her whole family Mia is the only one who did not die on impact. However Mia is not OK.

This story is told by Mia while she is in the coma and her observations from her out-of-body experience. We hear Mia talk about her past and experience what is going on in the present. I loved the use of past and present, and often when I was wrapped up in Mia's description of her life as it was, I would forget what was actually going on.

I have been thinking about this book for months not quite sure how to express my feelings for it. I loved this book even though there was a rawness to it which made me ache inside and be grateful for everything I have. I don't want to keep gushing over how emotional a read this was for me. It made me cry, but it made me happy at the same time. To me this felt like a stand alone book as I would be completely satisfied to just leave the story as it is, but I am happy to be given the chance in Where she Went to read more!

01 December 2011

Follow Friday (4)

Welcome to another Follow My Book Blog Friday. Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

This week's question is: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don’t like love triangles or thin plots? Tell us about it!

I have seen a lot of people saying insta-love. I dont' have a problem with this, my issue is with abrupt endings. I hate books that end only a couple of pages after the conclusion. Sometimes it is necessary, especially if the book is part of a series, and I accept this. But when a book is a stand alone we need a bit of closure to say a small goodbye to the characters we have just come to know. I don't find the abrupt ending too often, but when I do I feel so unsatisfied.

Happy Friday!

TBR Reading Challenge

I have to believe that it is not just me who has a TBR pile which is about to topple over and bury me... So the point of this reading challenge is to try and shrink this pile so that if (when) it falls on you, there will still be a chance for survival. Am I being over dramatic? OK, well if you look at my TBR tab at the top of the page you will see that I have a massive list and I would love to make a dent in it during 2012.

The sign in for this challenge is here and I will be aiming for "a sweet kiss" which is 21-30 books, although I am hoping to accomplish more!

I will be posting my list of books I aim to read on the challenges tab above, although I have a feeling this will change over the course of next year.

 Oh and did I mention the prizes? Check out the list of hosts over at Evie's site - Bookish.

A selection of the books I will be reading is -
The Darkest Power Series By Kelly Armstrong (books 1-3)
The Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine (books 1-5)
The Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz (books 1-5)
Oh. My. Gods. by Tera  Lynne Childs
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynne Childs
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Daughters of Fortune by Tara Hyland

I am stopping there as I feel like I am just retyping my TBR list!

This is just the pile beside my bed!

Keep checking the challenges tab above to keep track of where I'm at.