24 May 2012

Cover Reveal: Stormdancer

Recently the cover for Stormdancer, the first in this Japanese Steampunk series, has been released to the public. I think the cover is beautiful and gives a better idea of what the book is about compared to the UK cover, but I think the UK cover is a bit more public transport friendly. I am so excited to read this book, I hope it's as good as it looks!

Title: Stormdancer
Author: Jay Kristoff
Published: 18th September 2012
Publisher: Thomas Dunne books/St Martin’s PressSeries: The Lotus War #1

And the previously released UK cover -

The Shima Imperium is verging on the brink of environmental collapse; decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, land choked with toxic pollution, wildlife ravaged by mass extinctions.
The hunters of the imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary beast, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows thunder tigers have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a hidden gift that would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.
But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire. - From Goodreads

So what do you think. Do you prefer one cover over the other and are you excited for this? Japanese lore and Steampunk, can this book live up to the hype?

23 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (36) - Stealing Parker

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

Title: Stealing Parker
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Published: 1st Oct 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.
Now Parker wants a new life.
So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?
But how far is too far before she loses herself completely? - From Goodreads

I loved Catching Jordan and I hope that this book has a similar feel to it, a lovely feel good read that makes me all gooey on the inside.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

21 May 2012

Give me some skin!!

As you may know Emma's Kindle 1.0 is no longer. Emma's Kindle 2.0 was delivered recently and it is lovely and new, but I think it is missing something. I have loaded it with all the books I had on before (plus a few extras!!) and now I am looking for a new kindle skin to personalise it.

There are so many online that I feel spoiled for choice. There is one site that has skins that I just love and has masses of choice, Gelaskins.com. I just wish that the postage to the UK was a little more affordable. Now all I have to do is chose one I like. I am doing well, I have managed to narrow it down to my top 10 so far and I thought that I would share these with you and see what you think of my choices.

So here are my top 10 skins...

Digitalis by Andy Gilmore

Intermezzo by Andy Gilmore

Bull Fight Her by Brian Viveros

Cherry Pie by Cosmo Cricket

Winona by Cosmo Cricket

Graffiti Skyline by Derek Prospero

Monad by Joan Saló

Skull Damask by Michael Miller

Cable Cranes by Nanami Cowdroy

Facade by Warren Mack
All of the above and more can be found at www.gelaskins.com.

So let me know what you think. Do you have any favourites from above?

Review: Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman

Title: Jersey Angel
Author: Beth Ann Bauman
Published: 8th May 2012
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Source: eARC thanks to NetGalley and Publisher

It’s the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She’s not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn’t sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn’t start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn’t want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn’t want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself spending more time with Inggy’s boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves. - From Goodreads

This sounded like a great summer read, nothing too challenging, the kind of book you can read in a few hours beside a pool. Even though I currently don't have any plans on the horizon for a little summer getaway, I hoped that this book might get me into the summer mood. Well it is STILL freezing here in Edinburgh, I don't feel remotely summery, and this book did not turn out to be what I was expecting.

Angel has the whole summer ahead of her but she does not know what she wants or what she is going to do. After her on and off boyfriend calls it quits and her best friend, Inggy, leaves to tour colleges, Angel ends up spending time with Inggy's boyfriend and questioning what it is she really wants.

The main character in this book is Angel and the whole story is told from Angel's point of view, but it felt really detached. It was almost like she was recounting a story that happened a long time ago. This was actually a bonus for this book as it kept me feeling distanced from Angel's questionable actions.

Even though one of the main strands through this story is Angel having an affair with her best friend's boyfriend, I could not stop reading. The way the story is told made it feel like you were engaged in some really juicy gossip, and if there is one thing I love it's some good gossip.

I did not love this book, but I also did not hate this book. It did not give me the summer feeling I was looking for but gave me the feeling that I had been let in on some really interesting gossip. The story was not really very deep or detailed and did not have any ground breaking themes or messages, it was an OK piece of YA writing.

08 May 2012

Review: Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux

Title: Allison Hewitt is Trapped
Author: Madeleine Roux
Published: 1st Jan 2011
Publisher: Headline
Series: Zombie #1
Source: Own copy

One woman's story as she blogs - and fights back - the zombie apocalypse

Allison Hewitt and her five colleagues at the Brooks and Peabody Bookstore are trapped together when the zombie outbreak hits. Allison reaches out for help through her blog, writing on her laptop and utilizing the military's emergency wireless network (SNET). It may also be her only chance to reach her mother. But as the reality of their situation sinks in, Allison’s blog becomes a harrowing account of her edge-of-the-seat adventures (with some witty sarcasm thrown in) as she and her companions fight their way through ravenous zombies and sometimes even more dangerous humans. - From Goodreads

This book had been on my want list for months and months. On my last birthday I got this as a present (thanks mum and dad!). I was over the moon and could not wait to start reading. I really enjoy the whole zombie genre and have been a fan of The Walking Dead graphic novels and the TV show, add that to this book is written in the style of a blog and to me it sounded like a winner!

Alison Hewitt is trapped. In the back room of the book shop where she worked with five of her colleagues. The only thing separating her from the zombies roaming outside is the heavy metal door. To stop herself from going insane Allison starts a blog connecting to SNET, an emergency military network. After deciding that there is no chance of surviving as they are the group start scavenging using the shop's security camera as a lookout. Zombies are not the only thing however that you need to look out for.

Alison was a great character and as she was talking to us through the medium of a blog (that she thinks no one was reading to start with) we really got to feel how she and the others were dealing with the situation. For me, I thought Allison was a really strong character and I really liked how she took charge of the situation when it was looking desperate. She starts off quite normal, but with everything she is going through we really see her evolve to be a bit of a badass!!

This was such a well executed idea with each chapter being a blog post. There were also comments from other survivors at the end of the chapter which added to the enjoyment. The whole story had the right level of tension running through it at all times, with some bits being quite mellow and almost relaxed and other parts where I could have put the book down if I wanted to. This book is all about expecting the unexpected, but not veering off into the ridiculous.

I liked this book, but learned very quickly not to get too attached to any of the other characters. Zombies and blogs are the perfect mix, with a little violence thrown in for good measure!! There were a few of the plot points I didn't like so much, but only because of the direction it took the story in and in the situation of "what would I do?" I probably would have done different! All in all however this was a great read and I can't wait to read the next book from Madeleine Roux, Sadie Walker Is Stranded!

02 May 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (35) - Cursed

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

Title: Cursed
Author: Jennifer L Armentrout
Published: 18th Sept 2012
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time. - From Goodreads

This sounds like a great twist on the Pushing Daisies premise. I am excited to see how this works, I think there may be an element of Chloe and Brian (Nine Lives of Chloe King) going on here!! September seems so far away!!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

01 May 2012

Farewell Emma's Kindle 1.0 - I will miss you!

Picture the scene: it was 11pm last night and it was particularly cold. I have just put on the kettle to make some herbal tea to drink while I read in bed. I pull my kindle out of my bag and flick the switch to read while I get organised. What did I see? Not a whole lot of anything!!! My poor kindle screen had frozen and nothing suggested on the kindle help page was making any difference!!

My Poor Broken Kindle

After asking my clever technical sister if this was something she could fix, she told me it sounded like it was truly passed it and suggested that I call Amazon. What a helpful phone all I had. It was confirmed that my kindle was beyond fixing and that I was about 6 months out of my warranty period. *sad face* 

All was not lost however, Mr Amazon offered to replace my broken kindle for the exact same model for £50. That is £100 off what I would have had to pay for the same again. YAY!! I use my kindle almost every day and I am going through withdrawals!!

Now I only have to wait until Tuesday for delivery (silly May Day holiday!!), so all that is left for me now is to choose a pretty new skin for Emma's Kindle 2.0!