Welcome everyone :) Things may be a little slow at the moment as I am in my last few months of school so I am swamped with work and exams but if you had time to leave a comment it would make my day!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

In My Mailbox (19)

The Duff Review

The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)
Title: The DUFF
   Author: Kody Keplinger 

   Publisher: Poppy
   Released: Sept 7th 2010
   Pages: 277
   Rating: A+  

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff," she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.
I really enjoyed The DUFF. I hadn’t planned on reading it for a while but it kept calling to me so in the end I gave in. I read the whole thing from start to finish, not once putting it down. It was that good.

I loved the whole message throughout the novel. I think everyone has felt like the DUFF (designated ugly fat friend) at least once. I know I have on more than one occasion. The message really stuck the whole way through and it was really central to the plot.

Bianca was awesome. Sarcastic, witty and catty. She isn’t someone I should like but I couldn’t help but love both her strength and her vulnerability. She was very sure of herself and confident on the outside and whilst she genuinely is confident she, like every girl, has insecurities which are made worse by Wesley, resident manwhore of her school.
I heart Wesley. I know. Sure, he was a complete bastard jerk but he grew throughout the novel and became incredibly sweet and just pure perfection. Definitely my favourite character.

The thing I loved about the characters was that they are so real. They were just teenagers. I felt like I could know them in real life. The plot also felt realistic, though I don’t know if it is.

Now lets talk about sex. There is sex in this book. If you hate sex stay away. There is quite a bit of sex. However, I thought it was tastefully done despite the fact that the reason why they were having sex wasn’t overly so. It wasn’t unnecessarily graphic and wasn’t off putting (for me anyway).

I’m not a prude and I know some teenagers have sex. I can accept this, being a teenager myself. If I heard about a girl doing this in my school I would roll my eyes and judge. This book, however, completely changed my mind. I am not saying that I agree with Bianca using sex as a distraction for her problems, especially with a guy that she hated. I can understand why she did it though. Kody Keplinger managed to get me to sympathise with a character than in real life I would judge. She has mad skills.

The writing was great. It was intense and raw and just real. It wasn’t flowery or overly descriptive it just told it like it was. Bianca’s voice was very distinctive and gripping.

Kody also managed to address a lot of issues in addition to sex and self esteem. There were mentions of divorce and alcoholism and she also touched slightly upon the aftermath of sex.

I really like the ending. It felt really fitting and true to the novel and the characters. It wasn’t overly sweet and unrealistic. It had the right amount of cute and realism.

That is basically all I have to say. It rocked. I want to read it again, like, right now. I am off to go flick through and find my favourite bits!

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Originality: 9/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Voice: 10/10
Impact: 10/10
Style: 10/10

Cover: 7/10
Setting: 7/10
Overall 92/100 


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Book Swap

Hello :) I'm just back for a quick hello. I'm sorting my bookshelf out at the moment and I have come across some double ups or some books I want to replace with hardbacks. I did put them up on readitswapit and book mooch but I can't seem to find any books that spark any interest. 

Here is my swap list on goodreads:


Here is my readitswapit account:


You can contact me through either of these pages or leave me a comment (with a list of your books to trade) 

The books I wish to trade are:


Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - UK Edition goodreads
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - UK Edition goodreads
A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly - UK Edition goodreads (creased spine)
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff - UK Edition goodreads


Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce - UK Edition goodreads (cover slightly damaged, photo available on request - hardly noticeable) 

If you are international and willing to trade that is great too though UK is preferred. 

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Taking A Break

Hello my wonderful and loyal readers. You may have noticed I have been a bit absent this week. I haven't been responding to comments, my blog posts are few and far between and the quality of my posts has been lacking. I know this. To be honest I am feeling pretty sucky about my blogging skills at the moment. I have been a crappy blogger. 

School is killing me. I have my AS exams in May, all 7 of them in one week, 5 of those on my day. My life sucks. I did some modules in January and got 3 As so I am hoping I can keep this up. I am taking 5 A levels and the norm is 4. I am taking additional maths which is more difficult than other A level courses and it is bloody hard. One of my maths teachers had to leave due to illness and it has really stressed me out. I need to start spending more time revising and less time blogging.

I've also been reading less. I think I spend more like blogging and tweeting than I do reading. I don't want it to be like that. I blog because I love to read. I don't read because I love to blog (which I do). 

All these factors have led to me to this conclusion. I am taking a break. I am sorry for this. I may take a couple of weeks off and come back and then disappear in May or I may take the whole time off until June. I have a blog tour scheduled in April so I will be back around then, even if just for that one post. I may post on and off when I have a spare moment.

Again, I am sorry to have to do this but I would not be able to provide you with posts of the quality I do normally due to the huge distraction and lack of time. I hope to read lots so I should have lots of reviews for you all when I return.

Ciao for now :)

PS If you are a twitterbug I shan't be around there on weekdays. I am banning the internet from myself during weekdays, bar emails. Send me an email if you need something :)

In My Mailbox (18)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Read, Review, Recommend (8)

This week Lauren from 365 Days of Reading is going to be doing a review of 2 books this week and they book look AWESOME!


First off, thanks for inviting me to be a part of this feature, Alice! <3

I’m a huge fantasy fanatic, so I thought I should probably throw down a couple of my favorite fantasy titles. And let me clarify: by fantasy, I don’t mean paranormal—I mean the kind of fantasy that takes you to a whole different world!  

The first one I’ll mention is pretty old—it came out before YA became really popular—but it was recently reprinted with a fancy new cover!
Dreamhunter is one of my favorite YA fantasy titles. It has a kind of classic feel to it—you can tell by the way it’s written. Elizabeth Knox’s writing style is wonderfully descriptive, and though compared to today’s YA it may seem a tad dense, it’s truly beautiful. Another great thing about Dreamhunter? Its plot is completely unpredictable. I was blown away by the creativity of the story. To get the full effect, you’ll need to read both Dreamhunter and its sequel—my mind was completely blown, and yours will be, too!

Quick summary: Laura is one of the unique few that can enter into The Place, an invisible world that overlaps a piece of land in her country. In The Place, Dreamhunters can catch pleasant dreams and bring them back to share with people willing to pay a price. But when Laura catches a nightmare, she uncovers things that were never meant to be discovered.

Another one of my favorite fantasies is Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. If you haven’t read this book yet, I really recommend you do so! It’s absolutely amazing. Poison Study has a fantastic protagonist—Yelena is probably one of the first YA protagonists that I truly admired. Like Dreamhunter, Poison Study has a really unique storyline. I loved learning about different poisons with Yelena, and the romance she fell into was totally heart-melting. 

Quick summary: Yelena, a girl on death row, is offered a boon—she can be spared her sentence if she agrees to become a food-taster for the ruler of her country. Thus, Yelena begins to learn how to identify every kind of poison imaginable by taste. But surviving poisoning isn’t Yelena’s only obstacle—she must confront her inner demons and escape the person who wanted her on death row to begin with!

So those are my recommendations! If you haven’t read them before, I’d really suggest adding them to your wish list. You won’t be disappointed! :)


So make sure you check out Lauren's blog 365 Days of Reading and add these two wonderful books to your TBR piles!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Discussion Post: Book Lengths

How important is a length of a book to you? What is your preferred length? Personally I like a book between about 300-350 pages. That is not always the case. I read Divergent in 2 days which is almost 500 pages. I loved Beautiful Creatures and that was LONG. I read Breaking Dawn which was 750 pages (though I didn't enjoy it very much). I really enjoyed Harry Potter and I liked the length because it was so full of action.

Some books are perfect in 200 pages. If I stay at 224 pages really packed a punch! I really like it when a book can have such an impact in a small number of pages. Quick reads are great when you have a free evening. 

I don't mind too much about length. when it gets close to 500 it does put me off a bit but it won't stop me from reading it. Short books and long books both have a place in my reading schedule and I do try to work it so I'm alternating to keep things fresh!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Long Weekend Blog Tour & Giveaway

This blog tour is hosted by Melissa at I Swim For Oceans. The link has all the dates for the tour so you can check out where to visit tomorrow! Savita was kind enough to let me interview her so here are her answers!


Hello Alice!

Thanks for inviting me here today! I’m looking forward to answering your questions!

1.     Where did you get the idea for The Long Weekend?

The idea for the book came from a flyer that went round some of the local schools in Barnet warning that the driver of a large flashy car had been seen cruising outside schools and that he had tried to snatch children. Most kids are well aware of stranger danger, but child abduction still happens. A scenario came to my mind where something like that could happen with frightening ease, and, within a few days, I had started writing the book with Sam’s voice in my head propelling the story forward.

2.     Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?

Sam and Lloyd are two boys whose characters are based loosely on regular eleven year old boys. The character of the monster was based on a person I came across in my life, and the lives of other’s who have had the misfortune to suffer at the hands of such people.

3.     What was your favourite part of the writing process?

I really enjoyed being in Sam’s head, or was he in mine? Anyway, his voice was clear, and it was this that made the story move so quickly and made it so easy to write. Of course, the ending of the book is my favourite part.

4.     Do you have a favourite drink or snack that helps you write better?

I always eat apples at my laptop, which does mean that it gets spattered with apple juice! There’s often a cup of tea on the go, too. I make lots of tea because I forget to drink them and they end up going cold on me!

5.     Who are your top 3 YA authors?

My top 3 YA authors? I always struggle with this one because there are so many great YA authors out there! A personal favourite is Jennifer Donnelly for A Gathering Light as well as Revolution. I love Marcus Sedgwick – his writing has a darker feel to it, and I recently read Revolver and loved it. Speak by Laurie Halse Andersen was very good, so poignant – and so important to.
I’d love your followers to come over to my website, www.savitakalhan.com and have a look around, leave me a message on my message board and tell me what they think of The Long Weekend!
They can also find me on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/savitakalhan
 There’s a GIVEAWAY competition for one lucky follower to win a copy of THE LONG WEEKEND. All they have to do is tell me their top 3 YA authors in your comments section. I look forward to reading their responses.

Thanks so much for having me here, Alice!
Thank you so much for answering all my questions! It really made me appreciate the book more!
And remember to enter this international giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment below with your top 3 YA authors! Good Luck!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

In My Mailbox (17)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

Weekly Recap (2)

Hey :) I kind of stopped doing this for a while but I figured it would be a nice way to sum up my reading week so you could see what I have read, upcoming reviews and what I am now reading!


Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys


Divergent by Veronica Roth



Discussion: Books and Hype
Cover Crazy: Wintergirls
March 2011 Survey

I hope you are all having a fabulous week! I have lots of great reviews and a blog tour here this week so stay tuned :)

Saturday, 12 March 2011

The Reader Room March 2011 Survey

Hello readers :) I thought it was time to have another survey to see what you really think of my blog and to help me improve it. It is completely anonymous so be as honest as you like but please be nice :)

Thank you for your help :)

Friday, 11 March 2011

Read, Review, Recommend (7)

Today Cicely from Cicely Loves Books will be sharing a review of Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton today! Cicely is an absolute sweetheart and has an awesome blog. Go check her out!


First of all, thank you so much Alice for having me! So today I’m going to fangirl review Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton. I read this book in November thanks to the lovely netgalley and completely fell in love. This book is so different from all the other YA books I’ve read in a while, and for one reason. Ellie.

I don’t know about you, but at the time I read Angelfire, I’d just read a whole load of typical Paranormal books (which don’t get me wrong, I love) but the female leads are such wet blankets most of the time. I don’t really like girls who are too reliant on boys. Girl, you can look after yourself, without needing an overprotective/creepy Vampire/Werewolf/Ghost/Angel/Merman/Leprechaun/Whatever to look after you. But Ellie is kick-butt. Despite her initial apprehension about being the Preliator (the person who destroys all the bad guys [reapers]) , she is still awesome. Plus I want me some of them Khopesh swords, ‘cause they rock. The action scenes in this book are pretty. Damn. Epic.

And if all the awesome kick-buttness doesn’t convince you to read, then surely Will will. Will is Ellie’s gorgeous Guardian, helping her to fight off all of the evil Reapers that want to destroy her and, well, the world. Have I told you how amazing Will is yet? Well he is. Oh, and his eyes… It doesn’t matter that he’s not even real, his eyes are just… amazing. Everything about Will is amazing. Amazing is the only descriptive word I can think of for him. It just sums him up so well…

So yeah, if you want to read a book with a kick ass heroine, a sexy Guardian and a whole load of action, then this is the perfect book for you. Or even if you don’t, I still think you should read this book. Because it is awesome. That is all.
Thank you again for letting me fangirl on your blog Alice :D


You are more than welcome Cicely! It was lovely having you! I know that this is a book I REALLY want to read and your review has just got me that much more excited! Go check out Cicely Loves Books now!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Discussion Post: Books & Hype

The question I am asking today is about hype. Do you buy into the hype or does it put you off completely? I will admit to buying into it! I bought Anna and the French Kiss (though it is not yet read), Unearthly, The Hunger Games and numerous others due to hype. I like hype. Yes it does raise the expectation bar but a lot of the time it lives up to the hype. There must be a reason why everyone loves it so much, right?

That being said a few books have fallen a little short for me, namely Hush, Hush. It was only slightly (I gave it 4 stars) but I wanted to LOVE it and I didn't. Mainly they work for me though. I do like an un-hyped book too. I like feeling like I have discovered something rare and then being able to share it with all of you feels like a great gift!

Another thing I love is books that have insanely high ratings and insanely low ratings. I love books that divide readers. It gets me really interested. Low Red Moon was one of those books and unfortunately I didn't love it. Beautiful Creatures had some mixed reviews and I ADORED it. So did Fallen by Lauren Kate and I loved that too. I like being unsure going into a novel and of course you automatically expect less. 

So what do you think? Do you love the hype or does it completely turn you off?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson Review

Title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Pages: 278
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: March 19th 2009 US / January 3rd 2011 UK
Source: For Review (thank you :D )
Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her step-mother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way—thin, thinner, thinnest—maybe she'll disappear altogether. 

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, best-selling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl's chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.
(from goodreads)

I am in awe of this book. It was horrifying; captivating; moving; sickening; repulsive; emotional; harrowing; upsetting. I can't sum it up in a few words. It was the most horrifying book yet the most captivating at the same time. Many have said that despite it being so hard to read it is even harder to put down. I can't help but agree.

The writing was beautiful. It was lyrical and poetic. I loved how descriptive it was. Truly magical. Laurie is definitely a talented author; I do not think it can be disputed. The layout of the book was also really intriguing. Words were crossed out that were her true thoughts, showing how she was fooling herself alone with her family. The constant calorie count was really upsetting for me. I couldn't imagine picking up an orange and knowing the exact calorie count of it. It was extremely effective here.

The 1st person narrative was crucial. It wouldn't have had such a strong impact without it. Being able to see into the mind of someone with an eating disorder was rather terrifying. I felt scared for her, knowing she would never be content with how she looked. You could see her fears and her goals and all the private thoughts she didn't share with anyone else. 

The subject matter was rough. I won't lie. I winced. I literally had to put the book down, close my eyes and breath. It is extremely harrowing and there are some scenes some people may find disturbing. This is by no means a glossed over version of eating disorders. It is the harsh, brutal truth. If it is not something you can usually handle I wouldn't recommend it. I am usually okay with books like this but I struggled at times.

I did like Lia. I think if it was written in 3rd person I wouldn't have liked her so much. I could understand her and see myself in her shoes and how terrifying that must have been. As if the eating disorder wasn't enough the fact that Cassie called her 33 times before she died had to rest of Lia's conscience. She had it very very tough.

Jennifer angered me at times. I could understand why she did the things she did but I thought she was very self centred and just didn't care about anyone but herself and occasionally her daughter when it could risk her "perfect" image. 

The ending was good. I think it is how I wanted to end. One thing that happened really pissed me off and I mean REALLY pissed me off. I stopped reading for a few minute in a huff. I was having none of it. I get why it happened and it fit the character description and whatnot but no!

I apologise if this review is a bit disjointed. I found it very difficult to write because it was so difficult to read. It is a book I shall never forget, that is for sure.

4.5 stars

Monday, 7 March 2011

Cover Crazy/ Mouth Watering Monday: Wintergirls

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson


Stunning! It definitely captures the essence of the book for me. What what I have been on people's IMM it is covered in shiny too!

I like:
  • The title font
  • The image.
  • The fact that we only see one eye
  • How symbolic it is
I dislike:
  • The font of "Laurie Halse Anderson"

4.5 Stars


I don't even really want to talk about this one. It feels like a cop out. The words are very important but having them as the title didn't appeal to me.

I like:
  • The font of the title.
I dislike:
  • Having the text as the cover
  • not symbolism 
  • the colour scheme (doesn't fit the book at all)

2 Stars

What do you think of these covers?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

In My Mailbox (16)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

What did you get in your mailbox?

If I Stay by Gayle Forman Review

    If I StayTitle: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Pages: 210
Publisher: Dutton/Random House)
Release Date: January 1st 2009 US / May 6th 2010
Source: For Review (thank you :D )
Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars

What if you had everything:

A gorgeous boyfriend who was madly in love with you?

Quirky hip parents who totally got you?

A musical talent that could take you anywhere?

What if your biggest problem in life was choosing which path to take?
Follow your first love--music-- to New York City?
Or stay with your boyfriend, friends, and family?
What if one day, you went out for a drive...
And in an instant everything changed?
What if suddenly all the other choices were gone?
Except for one--the only one that truly mattered?
What would you do?

A sophisticated, layered, and heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands. 

What a beautiful and moving story. It may have been short but it definitely had an impact. There seem to be a lot of YA novels about death and making choices. Gayle Forman approaches it in such a respectful way. For me, death wasn't even the main point of the story. I felt it was about Mia finding herself and understanding how to be her one person.

Mia's narration through the novel was beautiful. It was so moving and so emotional. I could feel all her pain, all her happiness and sadness. Everything she felt, I felt. It felt so personal, like I was an onlooker into her life. She was a very easy character to like and despite her situation she seemed strong and I   really liked her. I also really liked Adam. He was a great secondary character and really helped me to understand Mia more. He was so sensitive and he obviously cared a great deal for Mia, making her choice that much harder.

The relationship between Mia and Adam was very real. They were great together but faced a lot of hardships, like all couples do. it made it a lot for realistic and therefore I respected it more.

The use of flashbacks was incredibly effective. It brought light relief, intensified the present scene and just heightened every emotion I was feeling.  It was a wonderful way of getting to know the secondary characters and how important they were to Mia.

The inner battle Mia faced was intriguing. I understood what a difficult choice and she had be constantly jumping back and forth until the end. I was never sure of her choice. I love that there was a little mystery in it. 

The ending was sublime. I haven't read that good an ending in a long while. It was just perfect. It concluded beautifully and left no immediate cliffhanger, yet left some things to the imagination.

Overall it was a really moving book that I thoroughly recommend! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...