Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Review for What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 27th September 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Futuristic, Sci-Fi, Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Bought

Goodreads Summary: 
"Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.

Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.

Now meet Eva and Addie.

They don’t have to imagine."

What’s Left of Me has to be one of my most anticipated books of this year. I love the dystopian genre and this books premise sounded so interesting. What’s Left of Me is set in a futuristic world where everybody is born with two souls. After a certain amount of time one soul is supposed to become dominant and claim the body as its own whilst the recessive soul fades away into nothing. This book is about Eva a recessive soul who although has no control over her body has never completely faded away and so haunts her twin soul Addie. They are what’s known as a hybrid and because they are feared and hated by the government Addie has to keep Eva’s presence a secret.

What I didn’t expect from this book is for the story to be told from Eva, the recessive souls, perspective. With their body being shared I fully expected a dual narrative between Addie and Eva and whilst reading from Eva’s point of view didn’t do much for me liking and understanding Addie’s character it really got me into Eva’s mind set and got me thinking about how horrible it would be to have no control over your body, to no longer exist to the people you love, to essentially haunt what used to be your life. I felt so sorry for Eva and was rooting for her to get equal rights over her own body along with Addie.

Although Eva loves Addie and never holds a grudge against her for being the dominant soul, Addie did get on my nerves at times throughout the book. Even though I knew she couldn’t help how things were she was at times a bit selfish and I couldn’t help resent her as she held Eva back.

The world that the girls inhabit is a scary one indeed and I felt the girls’ fear and desperate need to stay together in a world where the government surgically want to remove and kill one of them. The only thing that made this book less than perfect for me was that I would have liked to have learned a bit more regarding the government and why exactly they feared the hybrids. I didn’t really understand why it was so important for people to only have one soul and I hope that plus what’s going on outside of America is touched upon more in the next book in the series.

Overall What’s Left of Me was a fascinating read that had me completely absorbed. I loved the characters, I loved the love story, and I loved the unique plot. But most of all I loved how this book totally got me inside Eva’s head and made me think about what life is like for her. What’s Left of Me is a gripping futuristic read about what it means to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to change you.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Review for The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray 
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: 18th September 2012
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Goodreads Summary:
"It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before.

For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.

But New York City isn't about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone.

Evie wasn't just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer - if he doesn't catch her first."

The Diviners is one of the most hyped over books of 2012 here in the YA blogosphere and although I was intimidated by its size (this book comes in at just under 600 pages) the promise of a read that was worth every page had me eager to check it out.

The Diviners certainly is an ambitious book that tackles many different themes; religion, the supernatural, the occult, and history itself to name a few. This is a huge accomplishment for Libba Bray and from start to finish I was absorbed. I wondered to myself with it being such a big book if it could have been edited down further, and whilst perhaps a few chapters could have been knocked off, this story wouldn’t be as richly developed as it is without them. Every page adds an extra layer to the story, characters, and mystery, and this book wouldn’t be as magnificent as it is without that added depth. So is it worth the extra reading time? Most definitely.

I can’t decide what I love best about this book; it’s such a solid, well rounded story with no weaknesses that let it down. Libba’s writing is sublime, atmospheric when setting the scene of a 1920’s New York City, majestic and intriguing when we’re following in the footsteps of our villain, and filled with all the splendour and fun of the bright young things that make up our main characters. Libba’s writing was absolutely phenomenal showcasing what a talent she is as a writer.

What I found really unique about this book was how diverse the plot was. Instead of picking one subject to write about Libba blends supernatural powers with ancient magic, religion and rituals with a murder mystery and of course there’s the historical aspect. I can only begin to imagine how much time and effort went into the research behind this book. This author has created something completely new with The Diviners and there was constantly something going on making it a real page turner.

I absolutely fell in love with this cast of characters! Evie is one of the sassiest, funniest, heroines I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. She’s a true good time girl through and through and she made this book so entertaining to read and lifted the mood with her witty and humorous remarks when needed. Despite being marvellous Evie is by no means perfect and can be a tad selfish and naughty at times but she’s certainly not a bad person. I love my humane and flawed characters and so I fell in love with Evie, warts and all. There’s a wide range of warm and vibrant characters to get to know and love, I loved all of them so much that I will gladly follow them into as many books as Libba Bray wants to write.

Normally I’d recommend a book to a person based on whether its character, plot, or writing, driven and their preferences but this book is just so all around fantastic that I’d recommend it to anyone who simply loves a good story. The Diviners is a wonderfully imagined, captivating book that you pos-i-tute-ly won’t want to miss!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Scary and Supernatural – My Top Picks for Halloween Reading 2012!

So this is my third year doing one of these posts now because you guys seem to love them so much! I love seasonal reading and love reading spooky books for the build-up to Halloween. So here is a selection of my most recommended scary books for the season which have all been read and loved by me. I’ve also included a FEAR FACTOR scale so you can find the right level of scares for your taste!

Fear Factor 
High – Is someone behind me? What’s that noise? Sleeping with the lights on scary! 
Medium – Oooh okay this is some scary stuff I…oh wait is that candy? Mediocre scares. 
Low - Oh man I wish my Halloween had as much spooky fun as this! Mild Halloween reading for those easily spooked.

Frost by Marianna Baer 
So I read Frost last Halloween and it was probably the scariest out of the bundle I read and one of the most scariest YA books I’ve ever read. This is the kind of Halloween story that I love where you’re not sure if it’s really happening or if this is all going on in the main characters head, plus its set in a creepy old boarding school which sets the mood perfectly! This is a psychological thriller that’s sure to keep you guessing until the end. Fear Factor = High
This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers 
I just had to have a zombie apocalypse novel on this list and this is the best one I’ve read. This Is Not A Test feels to me like the most realistic account of a zombie apocalypse and is surprisingly more desolate and haunting than action packed and gory which I found really refreshing. This is a chilling and beautifully written glimpse into a terrifying future. Fear Factor = High
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
I read this one earlier this year and whilst I was reading I couldn’t help but wish I’d saved it for Halloween! This is a terrifying ghost story about a powerful ghost called Anna Dressed in Blood nicknamed because her dress drips with the blood of her victims. This is a ghost story like no other that I absolutely loved.
Fear Factor = High
Unrest by Michelle Harrison
Because this is another ghost story I was going to choose between this or Anna to post about, but I couldn’t decide between them! They are both excellent, brilliantly scary, and entirely different from one another so I thought I’d include them both. You can never have too many ghost stories on Halloween right? This one literally chilled me to the bone the concept is so unique and creepy!
Fear Factor = High
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
I actually can’t say too much about this one without ruining the plot, but if you read the synopsis and aren’t intrigued I will eat my hat! This one had me hooked from the first chapter. I’ve actually ordered the sequel and hope it will be here in time for Halloween, I’m hoping to squeeze it in to my reading pile! Fear Factor = Medium
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa 
This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include a vampire book and I’m not talking cutesy will fall in love with you vampires either but the blood thirsty won’t hesitate to rip your throat out kind! Julie Kagawa takes vampires back to how they’re supposed to be in this high stakes immortal future where vampires rule over humans. Fear Factor = Medium
Slated by Teri Terry 
Following on from The Immortal Rules this is another one for you dystopian fans! This is one of the scariest dystopian books I’ve read about a future government that controls troubled kids by “slating” them a process that wipes them of their memories of who they are and what they’ve done. The plot is highly unique and I found the whole slating process terrifying. Fear Factor = Medium
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 
I recently read this one as part of my own Halloween reading this year and it was really creepy! This is the perfect supernatural read for Halloween with an eerie setting, a family of psychics, murder, ghosts and old magic. Maggie’s writing sets the tone for a haunting read. Fear Factor = Low
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
This is another one I read last Halloween and although it’s not as scary as some of the other books on this list to me it’s one of my favourite’s and I actually regard it as the ultimate Halloween read! This is a re-telling of the fairytale Hansel and Gretel. Candy? Check. Supernatural goings on? Check! Can’t get much more perfect than that! Fear Factor = Low
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan 
I read this one recently and absolutely loved it! This is probably the least scary on the list and is pretty much your typical supernatural read, but the place where its set has that whole small town creepy vibe going on and some scenes are quite haunting and eerie in the way they’re written. Basically if you’re looking for a good paranormal book recommendation, I’d check this one out!
Fear Factor = Low

I hope at least a few of these books have caught your attention and you’d like to check them out for Halloween! As always I’ve provided a link to goodreads for every book so if any have caught your eye and you’d like to learn more simply click on the books title and it will take you to its page for a full synopsis, reviews, and more!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Letterbox Love (12) Christmas Chick-lit and 2013 YA Releases

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey @ Narratively Speaking for UK based book bloggers to showcase the books that they’ve received each week. 

 Christmas Chick-lit (For Review)

Looks like the publishers got really into the festive spirit this week and started to send out their first batch of Christmassy reads! I love my Christmas chick-lit and was thrilled to receive so many wonderful looking books to help me get into the spirit of things. I’ve put your classic chick-lit at the top and the saucier bonkbusters on the bottom depending on if you’re feeling naughty or nice this season!

Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones (8th Nov 2012)
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements (25th Oct 2012)
Married by Christmas by Scarlett Bailey (25th Oct 2012)
Bad Angels by Rebecca Chance (8th Nov 2012)
The Pleasures of Winter by Evie Hunter (1st Nov 2012)

 2013 YA Releases (For Review)

So this was a bit exciting! This week’s YA books are all due out in 2013 and they sound fantastic which really got me looking forward to my reading in the new year, I’m especially looking forward to reading Through To You as I’ve heard a lot of good things already from US bloggers!

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth (3rd Jan 2013)
Silent Saturday by Helen Grant (4th Apr 2013, Proof Copy, no Goodreads page as of yet )
Infinite Sky by C. J. Flood (14th Feb 2013, Proof Copy)

So that’s it from me this week! If any of these beauties have caught your eye and you’d like to find out more about them simply click on the title and the link will take you to goodreads for a full synopsis, reviews, and to add them to your wishlists. As always thank you to the lovely publishing folk for the review copies. If you’re looking forward to a certain book in particular and want to request a review feel free to in the comments and I’ll do my best to get around to the book sooner rather than later. And if you decided to do a Letterbox Love, Book Haul, IMM, Showcase Sunday, Mailbox Monday or whatever else featuring the books you got this week leave me a link as I’d love to check out your books too! ^_^

 Happy reading till next time folks!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

My Latest Obsession…

So today I wanted to do something a little different and share with you guys something I have been loving lately. It is book related so I figured it suited the blog and with so many people starting Uni and are back at school now I thought this might be helpful to some of you. So you may know that I am OBSESSED with bookmarks and actually collect them, and you may also know that I was quite ill recently. And so my lovely friend and fellow blogger Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl actually introduced me to this obsession when she gifted me some mini magnetic travel bookmarks as a get well soon gift! I absolutely loved the idea of having instead of one big bookmark lots of little ones especially as being a book blogger I like to mark off several pages for quotes I want to use in reviews or references that kind of thing and because I found them so useful I went straight on to Amazon and bought some more.

Click on images to enlarge

You can get cute different designs but what I found really useful were the emotion, punctuation and word mini i-clips. I’d never come across this kind of bookmark before and immediately thought how useful they would be. Marking off a sad face with something I didn’t like about the book, a question mark for a word I needed to look up, an @ sign for something I needed to look up about the book online, they are so, so, handy for marking a quick quote or word in a book, selecting why your marking it off instead of actually having to write a note to yourself explaining and ending up having lots of bits of paper that tend to fall out and bulk up the book. And best of all, on the back of each clip is an arrow so you can point exactly to the sentence you’re referring to instead of having to read the whole page again to find the quote you bookmarked.

Click on images to enlarge

On top of being quick and easy to use the little magnets stay put and are nice and secure. They are so tiny that they look really discreet in your book and don’t make it too bulky. I like to store mine in the little plastic holders they come in using one for useful symbols and the other for the cute ones that are just for fun. I usually keep them on my desk so I can quickly grab one when I need it but they’re small enough to carry on the go as well. The i-clip bookmarks featured in this post are by Peter Pauper Press and can be found on Amazon for a mere £2.99 for eight. These little bookmarks really are a book bloggers best friend and have already been so useful to me so I really wanted to share a little post about them with you guys in case you’re a fellow book blogger, if you’re at school or uni and could use them for text books or required reading, or if you simply just love the idea and find them super cute and dinky! I have fallen in love with these little babies and have found them super useful when writing my book reviews, hopefully after reading this post some of you will try them out and fall in love with them too!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Review for Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe by Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 11th October 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopain, Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Goodreads Summary:
"When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart."

Breathe is a 2012 release that I’d been looking forward to for months so much so that I pushed aside a load of books I was meant to read first because I couldn’t wait to read it! Even though I had high expectations before starting this book Breathe by far passed those expectations so much so that I predict that Breathe will be the next big dystopian and up there with the best of its genre equal to books like The Hunger Games and Divergent, in my opinion, it deserves to be just as successful.

What initially attracted me to Breathe was the idea of a world without trees and therefore a world where society is totally dependent on the government to provide oxygen for them. As an asthmatic I know all too well how scary it is not to be able to breathe properly which is something that plenty of people take for granted and so the concept of a world that is suffocating seemed so terrifying to me. If the premise alone wasn’t intriguing enough there are plenty of exciting twists and turns along the way that make this book even more incredible.

I think what I enjoyed most about Breathe is that this future is highly plausible. There’s definitely a moral to the book of looking after our planet but it’s very subtle and never feels preachy. Sarah Crossan simply lays out a fictional glimpse into a future without the things we take for granted and believe will always be there and that alone is enough to get the message across.

Breathe is told in alternating chapters between three characters. Quinn a Premium boy whose father is high up in society and so he has never had to worry about not having enough oxygen and yet he’s different to other Premiums and doesn’t act like he’s better than anyone else in society. Then there is Bea, Quinn’s best friend, who is an Auxiliary. Her mother and father work hard to the point of illness just so that the three of them have enough air to get by. And then there’s Alina who’s part of a rebel group, and when she meets Quinn and Bea by chance, shows them that life inside and outside of the Pod is not all it seems. I loved having three very different voices narrating the story and it was so interesting to see what life is like for three different members of society.

Although I liked all three main characters my favourite hands down was Bea. Bea works really hard to help her parents and to hopefully one day become a Premium so she’s able to support them in their old age. Bea’s such a genuinely nice person and is really brave, selfless, and strong making her an inspirational heroine. She also happens to be hopelessly in love with Quinn although he’s never seen her as anything more than a friend. My heart really went out to Bea and I enjoyed reading her chapters the most.

Overall Breathe is a wonderfully imagined, highly developed dystopian. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and was so sad to reach the end. With a break-neck pace, conspiracy at every turn, and characters you can’t help but love Breathe is a dystopian that fans of the genre won’t want to miss out on!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

My October/ Halloween Reading Pile Vlog

This is my very first to be read pile for the month ahead video, so if you like it be sure to let me know if this is something you would like to see every month! I love this time of year and one of the things I love most about it is having a big ol’ pile of scary books to get me excited for Halloween. Hopefully this video will help introduce you to some scary sounding books if you’re looking for the perfect Halloween read, enjoy!


If you’ve read any of these books and thought they were scary let me know which one you liked best, I’m looking to save the best one for Halloween itself! What’s on your to be read pile this month? Any plans for Halloween? I’d love to know!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Letterbox Love (11)

Letterbox Love is a new meme hosted by Lynsey @ Narratively Speaking for UK based book bloggers to showcase the books that they’ve received each week.


Books Featured in this Video
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Noughts and Crosses Series by Malorie Blackman
Dance of Shadows by Yelana Black
Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Crewel by Gennifer Albin

For more information on the books featured click on the title of each book and it will take you to the books Goodreads page for a full description and so you can add it to your wishlists! If you’ve read or are looking forward to any of the books I got feel free to let me know what you thought about them or request reviews and such in the comments. And if you decided to do a Letterbox Love, Book Haul, IMM, Showcase Sunday, Mailbox Monday or whatever else featuring the books you got this week leave me a link as I’d love to check out your books too! ^_^

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

I’m Back!

So even though I’m still not 100% I’m getting there! And today I spent the afternoon updating the blog getting it ready for the Autumn and Winter so I can start posting again and I’m so happy to be getting back into blogging! Because I’m not 100% better yet and I haven’t blogged or written a review properly in months I’m going to be dipping my toe into the blogging waters to start with and taking it slow and steady until I’m caught up. Luckily with my headaches I didn’t read a lot whilst I’ve been away so you guys haven’t been missing out on much. But now I’m getting back into reading I can’t wait to write some reviews again and let you guys know which books I’ve been loving. First things first though, I’m going to be making a couple of Youtube video’s over the weekend simply because they’re quicker and easier to do and me talking to a camera is not as harsh on my head as typing up a post. I’m planning on doing a Halloween TBR Pile video, a Letterbox Love, and possibly trying out a video review for the first time. I’ve also got a guest post with an author planned, some back logged reviews to catch up on and of course I’ll be doing my reading picks for Halloween as I do every year later on in the month.

Anyway this is really just a quick update to let you guys know that you can be expecting some posts from me really soon, and that I’ve missed blogging and reading so much and am so happy to be back in the game. Thank you guys for being so patient whilst I was gone I hope you had a wonderful end to the summer and are looking forward to hearing about some excellent books to snuggle up with under a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate as the nights and the cold start drawing in!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog design by Imagination Designs using images from the Valentine Owls and Valentine's Day clip art kits by Pink Pueblo