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!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Book Haul

For Review:

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Adorkable by Sara Manning
Until I Die by Amy Plum
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Review: Bunheads


Title: Bunheads
Author: Sophie Flack
Series: None
Pages: 294
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: Released
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #22

As a dancer with the Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward is living her childhood dream. She gets to be up on stage in front of adoring crowds every night. And while she might not be a prima ballerina yet, she's moving up the ranks and surely if she works hard enough she can make it happen.

But devoting her whole life to ballet leaves very little time for anything else: friends, family, school have all fallen by the wayside. Hannah doesn't mind, until a chance encounter in a restaurant brings Jacob into her life. He's cute, he plays guitar and he's offering a whole future that Hannah never considered. And now she must choose between her lifelong dream or what could be the love of her life...

I am fascinated with ballerinas. I have so much admiration for what they do. I cannot comprehend how ballet can be so elegant and graceful yet be so gruelling and challenging. Bunheads gave a behind the scenes look at how ballet companies can be and I must say I really enjoyed discovering about it.

Flack dealt with the balance of ballet and life really really well. With anything at such a high level it can be overwhelming and take over your whole life and at 19, it much be challenging to give up everything to do this one thing. The conflict Hannah felt was conveyed really well and I really empathised with her.

I liked Jacob. He was a nice guy and he was a nice romantic protagonist but the story was about so much more than the romance. I'm not saying it wasn't well placed, important and entertaining because it was all those things. Bunheads, however, shouldn't be tagged a "romance" book. It is about self-discovery, growth and the question of how much you should give up to succeed at something.

Bunheads is a fascinating read that sheds some light on the speculations surrounding ballet. If you like contemporaries or dance I think you'd enjoy this one!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Review: When You Were Mine

Title: When You Were Mine
Author: Rebecca Serle
Series: None
Pages: 352
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: April 26th 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #28

Rosie knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. They are best friends, next door neighbors, and the soon-to-be cutest couple in their senior class. Rosie has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her--and when he finally does, it's perfect. But just before their relationship becomes completely official, Rosie's cousin Juliet moves back into town. Juliet, who used to be Rosie's best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit crazy...and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn't even stand a chance. 

Rosie is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet's instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rosie starts to fear not only for Rob's heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends.

When You Were Mine is a fresh, interesting take on the classic that is Romeo and Juliet. It was the perfect balance of romance, conflict, heartbreak and self discovery.

I liked Rosaline as a character. Some people have described her as annoying but I really like her. At the start of the novel, yes, she only has eyes for Rob and she constantly thinks about him and what that touch meant and whether they were just friends BUT that is how teenagers are sometimes. There is all that awkwardness and the not knowing what the only person is thinking and it KILLING you because you wonder if it is all in your head. Totally happens (at least to me!). I found it to be a very realistic portrayal of young 'love'.

GRRRR. Rob. Juliet. Anger. Dislike. Fury. Anger. Hate. This is how I feel about them. SO MUCH ANGER. This did not ease for me in the way that it may do for  some others. Nope. It definitely made me feel closer to Rosaline though so yay!

The romance aspect was really lovely and definitely a favourite part of the book but her friends stole the show for me. SO MUCH LOVE THERE. I want her friends. Charlie and Olivia (but especially Charlie). They have so much compassion in their hearts that, and despite their seemingly shallow and preconscious ways, I couldn't help but love them. Props to the love interest though, he definitely melted my heart a little.

The ending surprised me, though it probably shouldn't have. Sometimes I can be so dense. Alas, I really enjoyed When You Were Mine. It was a nice, quick romance that is a really fun retelling. Not all hearts and daisies though, quite a bit of sadness within the pages so beware.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Review: The Alchemy of Forever

Title: The Alchemy of Forever
Author: Avery Williams
Series: Incarnation #1
Pages: 256
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: April 26th 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 3.5 stars
100 Book challenge: #27

After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again. 

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

The Alchemy of Forever is an interesting, fast paced story about a girl dealing with the struggles of immortality and the price she (or others) have to pay for it.

Seraphina takes over Kailey's body accidentally whilst trying to save her life. She then has to take over Kailey's life to stay hidden from Cyrus who is trying to find her. I liked Seraphina. She had a good heart and she really wanted to do the right thing which was admirable.

Noah, the love interest, was rather nice if I don't mind saying so. Sweet and sensitive and the typical boy next door. I thought their romance was sweet, if not a little fast moving. With these immortal style books I do find it a little hard to fully back the romance as she is about 600 years and he is a teenager. Despite being this old, her maturity was that of a teenager which I didn't feel was necessarily how someone would stay after living that long, but hey-ho.

Cyrus, the villain, creeps me out. He was possessive and stalkerish and just overly creepy. I definitely wasn't swooning over him in this kind-of-not-really love triangle!

The ending was a shocker! I was all "WHAT!" at the end. It was unexpected and I feel I must pick up the next book to find out how things go down!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Review: Fins are Forever

Title: Fins are Forever
Author: Tera Lynn Childa
Series: Fins #2
Pages: 304
Publisher: Templar publishing
Release Date: April 1st 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #28

On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mer girl, true, but signing the renunciation paperwork will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being human thing once and for all. 

Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer-bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody? 

The seafoam on the surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up. Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her dreams?

There will be spoilers for Forgive My Fins

Fins are Forever as well as the first in the series, Forgive My Fins, is a really fun, light read that shouldn't be taken too seriously. It is like watching a Disney movie. It is not deeply life-changing and doesn't make you come away a better person but who cares? It is just so much fun. Fins are Forever didn't quite live up to Forgive My Fins but it was still an enjoyable read.

One word I would use to sum up Fins are Forever is DRAMA. There was a lot going on so the plot never got boring. There are trials and tribulations. There are annoying cousins to contend with (annoying cousins that want to screw you over). Life is most certainly not easy for dear old Lily.

Lily and Quince were still very cute. Quince is so sweet and sensitive and it obvious how much he cares for Lily. Lily is obviously smitten with Quince but she has a lot on her plate and that can make things a little shaky. I really liked Lily in this book and found her to have matured a lot since Forgive my Fins.

I really enjoyed reading Fins are Forever and I cannot wait to see how the series ends. If you are looking for something light, quick and fun make sure you pick this one up.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Review: Everneath

Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath #1
Pages: 384
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: Released
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #16

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. 

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. 
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

There was so much hype surrounding Everneath that by the time I picked it up my expectations were through the roof. Unfortunately it was quite as amazing as I had hoped but it was still pretty darn good!

I love books surrounding greek mythology but I must admit my knowledge is pretty poor (I must remedy that this summer!) so I cannot comment on the credibility of this aspect but regardless of how accurate was, it was thoroughly enjoyable to learn some more about Greek myths.

Lately I have been a little iffy with romantic interests but I must say I really liked Jack. He was so normal and lovely and sweet which happen to be my favourite type of boys. I also liked that, despite the love interest, Nikki wasn't acting in love with both Cole and Jack. It is hard to explain really but I think spending 100 years with a person would make you connected to them in a way you can't really help. Ashton conveyed this very well.
I really liked Nikki. She was easy to relate to and whilst she was dealing with a lot of shit she wasn't constantly moping about it for the whole novel. She starts off in a bad place but she grows throughout the novel.

The ending definitely left me wanting more and, whilst I felt the novel was lacking that special spark, I am eager to be picking up the next book in the series!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Review: Wonder

Title: Wonder
Author: R.J. Palacio
Series: None
Pages: 310
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: March 1st 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 5 stars
100 Book challenge: #19

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. 

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances? 

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

Wonder is a beautifully written book that needs to be in every school, library and book shop. It is something everyone, both children and adults, could use reading. We all need to learn how to be sensitive to these types of issues.

Auggie is the most loveable little boy with such a big heart that you can't help but love him. The courage and bravery he has to deal with what he has and still go on with life smiling makes me want to have his strength. When you first start reading his facial disfigurement is a big part but as you continuing reading you forgot and that is how it needs to be. It is not who he is, just like our appearances aren't who we are. They are just the surface. Underneath the surface August is just incredible.

The alternating perspective between many characters gave an all-rounded view of the situation, from August to his family members, to friends. You could see how it felt from all sides and I really loved that. It showed how much his family loved him, his sister especially. It was so touching to see.

I could babble about this for ages but I would rather you just read it. Whether these types of books are what you enjoy or not this is something you need to read. Get your tissues at the ready, some of Auggie's one liners broke me.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

In My Mailbox {36}

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Review: A Million Suns

Title: A Million Suns
Author: Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #2
Pages: 386
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: April 5th 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #25

Trapped on board the spaceship Godspeed, Amy trusts no-one. 

The ship's ruler is dead and a rebellion threatens. Amy wants to help Elder as he tries to take charge, but she's torn between her feelings for him and the chaos that's pulling everything apart. As more harrowing discoveries are made about Godspeed, Amy is caught in a desperate race to unravel its secrets. Only one thing is certain. 

They have to get off this ship. 

The heart-stopping sequel to Across the Universe: a story of love, murder and madness - set in space.

There will be some spoilers of Across the Universe so be aware!

I absolutely adored Across the Universe and I was so impatiently desperate for A Million Suns. A Million Suns is action packed and full of SO MUCH DRAMA. If I lived on Godspeed I'd sleep with one eye open after all the happenings going on here!

Both Elder and Amy face some huge struggles in this book. Elder is trying to find a way to control the ship in a way that he sees fit but the course of ruling does run smooth. Amy still has to deal with the fact that she may never see her parents again and that her differences from people on the ship make her an easy target. I felt like they both grew in this book and learnt more about themselves.

Revis sure knows how to throw him some HUGE (and I mean HUGE) OMG moments. And they weren't all saved for the end, no! There were some very early on which pleased me. I don't like everything to be at the end. The book was a big mystery.

Now I didn't feel it was as good as A Million Suns BUT I read this in a reading slump and I was feeling all BLAH so please don't just take my word for it. Many people gave it five stars and I did really enjoy it so just remember that. Please read it and tell me what you thought. I would love to know!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Review: The DUFF

     The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

Author: Kody Keplinger
Series: None
Pages: 343
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: April 5th 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 5 stars
100 Book challenge: #6

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 "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face. 

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley. 

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that 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.

In 2011 I read The DUFF and absolutely adored it. When I was given the opportunity to review it I was ecstatic to read this wonderful novel again. I will post my original review and share my views on the book after my second reading.

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!


The DUFF was just as good the second time round. Kody is a really talented author and isn't afraid to tackle difficult issues. The DUFF will always be a book I can just pick up when I need to read something great. It will always have a home on my bookshelf.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Review: Ticket to Love

Title: Ticket to Love
Author: Marilyn Kaye
Series: Ticket to Love #1
Pages: 320
Publisher: Hodder
Release Date: Released
Source: For Review
Rating: 3.5 stars
100 Book challenge: #18

Erica, Megan, Jen and Serena are on the brink of their adult lives, hoping for fun together before the serious future sets in. So when Jennifer wins a competition and the prize is a long weekend in New York for all four of them, it couldn't have come at a better time. Erica will finally get to meet her online friend Dan ...Serena can't wait to hit Manhattan's cultural hotspots...Jen's going to stalk as many celebs as possible...and shopaholic Megan plans to give her credit card a serious work-out! But things don't always to run to plan, as each of the four girls discover. The weekend is full of surprises and some unexpected romance...By the time the plane touches back down in London, some big decisions will have been made...A funny, engaging and glamorous page turner!

The book had a very 'Sex and the City' meets 'Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants' vibe. These friendship books with individual stories of each girl showing their romances really appeals to me which is why I enjoyed this.

Each girl had her own personality so it was easy to distinguish between them. They all had their own 'quirks' like fashion or stalking celebrities which made them easy to identify. I liked how different they were and yet their friendship was still so strong. I did, however, find they were very mature for their age and they could have been a lot older than they were.

The romances were done really well. Jen's romance had to be my favourite I think. Things weren't always easy in the romance department for the girls and there were lots of obstacles in the way!

Ticket to Love is a light fun read that will leave you with a happy feeling. Nothing super special but really enjoyable none the less!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

In My Mailbox {35}

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

(no video as I am sick and my voice sounds terrible)

For Review:

Partials by Dan Wells
Fateful by Claudia Gray
Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr
Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
The Immortal Rules (signed) by Julia Kagawa

Bought with a birthday gift card (from September):

Paper Towns by John Green
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Sisterhood Everlasting (Book #4) by Ann Brashares

What did you get in your mailbox?

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