Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Review for Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

This is a review for the second book in the Throne of Glass series and there may be spoilers about the first book in this review.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release: 15th August 2013
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic, Romance
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary: 
"Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her."

I’d read Throne of Glass last year when I was poorly and when I picked up Crown of Midnight I found that I couldn’t remember much from the first book (which didn’t surprise me as I was having really bad headaches at the time.) Turns out it didn’t really matter how much I remembered as Crown of Midnight is very much a new and separate story and there is clever and discreet re-capping when needed to jog the memory which made it easy to slip back into this world.

Crown of Midnight felt like quite a different read from Throne of Glass and I think those differences made it even stronger than the first book. Crown of Midnight is more mystery driven, don’t get me wrong, there is still a *lot* of fighting, although perhaps not as much as there was in Throne of Glass. Instead there are secrets, politics and conspiracy, murder, ancient magic and intrigue. With surprises and plot twists throughout, this book is expertly paced. I lost count of how many times my jaw physically dropped open in shock! Crown of Midnight showcases what a masterful storyteller Sarah J. Maas is. A good writer can write an action scene with lots of gore, blood and brutality for thrills but it takes a masterful writer indeed to weave a twisty turny mystery full of subtle hints and surprises around every corner.

The plot once again follows our beloved characters: Celaena, Chaol and Dorian, who have their own subplots and secrets that come together as the book goes on. We get to learn more about Celaena’s life before the tournament as she goes back to her roots as an assassin only this time tasked to kill for the King now that she is his champion. She also uncovers secrets in the castle about the King and his plans along the way. Meanwhile Chaol is struggling to balance his loyalty to the King with his ever growing feelings for Celaena and his need to keep her safe. And Dorian is hiding a powerful secret of his own that could cost him his life. I loved following each character and their stories individually and together, there was so much going on with each of them! The character development was wonderful and I felt like each character grew in this novel and that I got to know them all a bit better.

I’ve been on the Chaol and Celaena ship since day one and I loved watching their flirty banter from Throne of Glass build into a consuming romance in Crown of Midnight. Their relationship is fiery, passionate and emotionally compelling – it was well worth waiting for! Unfortunately the couples love story isn’t a smooth one and my heart would break for both characters at times. Celaena and Chaol’s romance struck me as an epic, end game, all time love and no matter what happens I will be pushing for them to end up together throughout the rest of this series!

Sarah J. Maas has completely upped her game with this stunning sequel. The world, the characters, and the plot everything is more vivid and polished compared to the first book. Crown of Midnight felt darker, more romantic and was entirely unpredictable. The quote from the cover “Before she was deadly. Now she is unstoppable” is completely true for Celaena’s character development as we see a darker more deadly side to her awaken in this book. Crown of Midnight is without doubt one of the strongest sequels I’ve ever read and is a favourite of mine for 2013. After that huge game changer of an ending I can’t wait to see what Sarah J. Maas has in store for us in book three!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Review for The Sound by Sarah Alderson

The Sound by Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 1st August 2013
Genre: Young Adult, UKYA, Thriller, Contemporary, Murder Mystery, Romance
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:
"When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston's elite, she's hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda.

What she doesn't count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer..."

I’m a big fan of Sarah Alderson’s Lila series so The Sound was a book I was eagerly anticipating. I loved the synopsis, the gorgeous cover, and the promise of a contemporary thriller set against a beachy, summer backdrop. The Sound sounded like a book that I’d love but in reality it was a bit hit and miss for me, I’m afraid.

Like the Lila books I enjoyed the English girl in America storyline as Ren is nannying in Nantucket for the summer. I loved the setting and as always Sarah Alderson’s writing was on the money and quickly pulled me into the story. But after the first fifty or so pages I started to wonder when we were going to get to the good stuff and when we’d get to the thriller aspect of the book that I was waiting for. I know that Sarah Alderson is more than capable of writing thrilling, none stop action scenes having read the Lila series but unfortunately it was lacking in this book. The Sound read more like a summer contemporary than a thriller until the very end. The pacing for the thriller/murder mystery aspect wasn’t the best. Although I enjoyed the contemporary side to this story I was expecting more action and was constantly waiting for something to happen.

I had mixed feelings on Ren as a heroine. On the one hand I loved that she was bookish and a blogger and I could relate to that side of her personality. On the other hand she’d constantly go on about not wanting to be a “Bella” but would then go ahead and make dumb choices of her own. I’m sorry, but if there was a serial killer targeting young, foreign nannies in the area and I was a young, foreign nanny I would haul ass out of there! Hot guy or no hot guy!

Ren’s love interest Jesse on the other hand *takes a moment to fan self* he gets an A+. I’ve got to hand it to Sarah Alderson she knows how to write really hot guys and I came to love Jesse just as much as Alex from the Lila series. Jesse is a misunderstood and brooding character who is loyal to his family, a Nantucket misfit, plays in a band and reads books. It took some time to figure out if I could trust Jesse but as we get to know him I loved him more and more and he was without a doubt my favourite thing about this book.

The ending was pretty intense but I was sad to discover that I’d sussed out most of the twists along the way and the big who done it reveal which is always disappointing when it comes to a thriller because you want to be shocked and surprised. However, I was gripped regardless and loved the danger and action that was finally delivered. I just wish that it wasn’t all saved until the end and was paced throughout the novel.

Overall The Sound was a book that I wanted to love but ended up being a bit hit and miss for me. However, despite wishing there was more action and feeling like it took too long to get going I’d recommend reading this book for Jesse alone. He was a brilliant distraction from the things that I didn’t enjoy about this book.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Book Trailer: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

So my blogger friend Casey makes these incredible book trailers on her Youtube channel The Bitter Productions and I wanted to share with you guys her most recent for one of Bloomsbury's big summer titles All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill! Rave reviews for this book have already been flooding in and watching this trailer has me even more excited to check this book out! In case you haven't heard about All Our Yesterdays yet here is the synopsis:

"Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet. Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future."

 The Trailer


 All Our Yesterdays will be out August 1st 2013 and you can pre-order your copy here! Give Casey @DarkReaders and Hooked on Books @hooked_books a tweet and let them know what you think of the trailer! I know they'd love to hear from you guys!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Spy Society Blog Tour: Robin Benway's Dream Cast!

I’m all fangirly and excited today because I have one of my favourite authors Robin Benway guest posting on the blog for the UK blog tour celebrating her new novel Spy Society! Here’s a little more about the book…

"Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover."

And now I’d like to welcome the awesome Robin Benway to Jess Hearts Books where she will be discussing her dream cast! Over to you Robin!

Robin Benway's Dream Cast

I have to say, SPY SOCIETY is the first book where I actually have a dream cast! Usually my characters don't look like anyone famous in my mind and I can't imagine what they'd look like onscreen, but that's not a problem this time:

MAGGIE: Okay, despite that disclaimer, Maggie's the one that's still a bit difficult for me to cast. In my head, she just looks like an average girl. Maybe it's an actress who hasn't been discovered yet. Any suggestions, readers?

ROUX: Someone once suggested Rebel Wilson (left), which I think would be amazing! I also recently saw Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring" and I thought maybe Claire Julien (right) would be good in that role. Just someone who can be funny, tough and vulnerable, all at the same time. No easy feat!

JESSE: To me, he looks like Tyler Posey (left) from "Teen Wolf." Or maybe the actor who played Freddie on "Skins," Luke Pasqualino (right). I think either of them would be perfect.

ANGELO: Angelo will always be Ian McKellan to me.

MAGGIE'S PARENTS: Hands down, every time, Amy Poehler and Louis CK. They would be such perfect spy parents! My absolute dream casting, to be sure.


Thank you so much for being on the blog today, Robin! Over to you readers! Who would play your dream Maggie? And who would you choose as Roux and Jesse? Is there someone else you have in mind entirely? I'd love to know!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review for If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch 
Publisher: Indigo
Release: 2nd May 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Crossover, Fiction, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey's younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and the girls are found by their father, a stranger, and taken to re-enter the "normal" life of school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must come to terms with the truth of why their mother spirited them away ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won't let her go ... a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn't spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down."

If You Find Me was a book that pulled me in straight away and had me emotionally invested. The book is told in first person from Carey who has such a strong presence and distinctive voice as our narrator. The writing and imagery was beautiful and I quickly became immersed in Carey’s story.

This book deals with many issues such as child abuse, neglect, survival, poverty, mental illness, and drug addiction making this a difficult book to read at times but there is always an underlining message of hope that stops this from being a tragic and depressing read. The book mainly deals with the after effects of the situation. You know Carey and Jenessa are safe now and getting the love and support they need which makes their story slightly easier to digest.

One of the things I loved about this book was the special bond between Carey and Jenessa. Carey is the eldest of the two and would do anything to protect her little sister. She has practically raised Nessa with their drug addict, mentally unstable, mother leaving them alone for weeks on end in a camper van in the middle of the woods. The girls have been through some truly horrific things and I wanted so badly to wrap them up in cotton wool and protect them! Early on in the book the sisters are found and custody is given to Carey’s father whom Carey was stolen from at a young age by her mother and that’s where the story really begins as we watch the girls experience and adjust to everyday life for the first time.

The loving family that Carey and Jenessa are introduced to was one of my favourite things about the book and what made it so interesting to read. Carey’s dad has a wife and step-daughter and the adjustment is a big one for everybody involved. For Carey and Jenessa modern living is one big discovery as they’re introduced to television for the first time, eat food that’s not from a tin, and attend school. Perhaps the biggest challenge they face is letting other people into their bubble and Carey handing the mothering role over to Melissa. For Carey’s father and his wife Melissa there is the horror of learning what the girls went through and helping them adjust to a new environment and supporting them. I wanted to kill their stepsister Delaney at times but then I’d remember that she’s a young girl going through a big change also and I’d feel bad about my original thought.

The characters were all so well developed and I fell in love with all of them even the family dog Shorty whose relationship with Jenessa brought a tear to my eye! Carey really shone as a heroine she’s so brave, selfless and inspiring to read about. Although Jenessa doesn’t talk, her lovely personality would shine through her actions. Both girls completely captured my heart and I felt fiercely protective of them.

I did have an inkling as to what might have happened regarding the ending. I could see it coming and was absolutely dreading it! I still wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact it had on me though and there was an added twist that left me completely shocked.

Overall If You Find Me is a powerful debut novel that brought out a range of emotions in me from despair to hope, from love to rage. It’s one of my favourite debuts of the year and is guaranteed to hold a special place in the hearts of those who read it.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Letterbox Love (29)

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.

So it's been almost a month since I last did one of these posts and that is simply because I haven't been requesting or buying as many books lately. The MAHOOSIVE pile of books by my bed actually fell down on top of me so I had to make the tough call of getting rid of some books. Basically I'm running out of places to put my books and so I'm trying to read what I've got and get my TBR down a bit. Although it's been a month I still only have 9 books to share with you - that is how good I've been! I used to get that in a week! Never mind a month! I'm pretty chuffed with myself. It's also very satisfying watching my TBR pile dwindle down. These Letterbox Love posts may be few and far between for a while whilst I continue to tackle Mount TBR. Instead I'll be saving the few books I do get and doing a Letterbox Love every few weeks when I have a good number to show you.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (For Review, Proof Copy)
Oh, yeah! I loved Throne of Glass and will be getting to this sequel this month, hopefully. The cover is awesome and it isn't even a finished copy! *Pets book and does a happy dance.*
Antigoddess by Kendare Blake (Review Copy)
Another exciting book! I loved Anna Dressed in Blood and am excited to read Kendare's new series.
Memory by Christoph Marzi (Review Copy)
I can't remember too much about this one (which is ironic given the title!) but I've heard good things about Christoph's books so I'm looking forward to giving this one a go.
Out of Breath by Rebecca Donovan (Review Copy)
I still have to start this series but now that I have all three books now is the perfect time, right?
Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines (Review Copy)
I have yet to read anything by Abbi but I love the sound of this series and want to start it this summer.
Carnaby by Cate Sampson (Review Copy)
I'm pretty sure this is a murder mystery/ thriller. I haven't heard very much about this one yet but the synopsis sounds interesting.

Book Geek tote bag which Mira Ink very kindly sent me! I love it! Perfect for book shopping!
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce (Review Copy)
I love Jackson's books and this is a re-telling of The Little Mermaid which is one of my favourite fairytales! This will make a great summer read.
Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Schwartz (Bought)
You guys! This book sounds awesome! I haven't seen it around but the synopsis sounds great so I had to get it. If you like Contemporary YA Thrillers this one needs to be on your radar!
Shipwrecked by Siobhan Curham (Bought)
Another YA Thriller that's pitched as Lost meets Gossip Girl both of which I have been obsessed with at some point or another. I'm really into my summer thrillers lately so I just had to get me a copy of this one!

*** My quote in Fathomless *** 
The awesome Casey from Dark Readers sent me a tweet letting me know I was quoted in Fathomless! This is the 5th book I've been quoted in this year and it's always so exciting and a little unbelievable, there I am underneath the authors of Beautiful Creatures. I mean... WHAT!?!? Is this real life!?

These are all of the lovely new books that found themselves a new home on my shelves over the past few weeks. If any of these books 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!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon: Wrap Up!

This Readathon is hosted by Angela and Loretta at Reading Angels, Candace at Candace’s Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination.

What I Read: 
A Cottage by the Sea by Carole Matthews
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Total Pages Read: 651

Challenges I Participated In: The Book BFF Challenge and The Genre Challenge

Favourite Book Read: Well The Archived is the only book I read from start to finish so probably that. The writing was beautiful blending grief and loss with a gothic and haunting paranormal story. The world building was excellent and I couldn't quite believe how original this "ghost story" was. Victoria Schwab took such an overused topic and made it completely unique and her own. I adored it. But then again I'm not quite finished with Eleanor and Park yet and that is wonderful in a totally different way. The characters are vibrant and bright and it feels like reading a real life account of a love story between two real people. I'm completely in love with it.

Final Thoughts: Well, I reached my goal of reading two books but this wasn't my best readathon. Simply because I know that I could have read more if it wasn't for the heat, my hayfever, my dog getting sick etc. Life kinda got in the way of this one but I'm still proud of what I accomplished in three days. I read some brilliant books and I'm looking forward to getting stuck back into Eleanor and Park later today.

 How did you do for the Readathon? What was your favourite read?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon: Days 2 and 3


This Readathon is hosted by Angela and Loretta at Reading Angels, Candace at Candace’s Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination.

Day 2 Updates
What I Read: The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Number of Pages Read: 222
Pages Read Total: 447
Books Read Total: 2
Challenge: No
Reading Snack:

A bowl of fresh strawberries and a Graze favourite of mine - el picante which consists of jumbo salted corn, spicy chilli peanuts and mini paprika breadsticks.

Non Reading Activity: Finishing off Glee Season 3! I've been watching this show for the first time over the past few months and yesterday I finished Season 3 and was so upset and crying over the end. If it wasn't enough that the original cast were all saying goodbye and going off to reach for their dreams THAT unexpected ending happened and I was just a mess. Glee has quickly become an all time favourite show of mine and waiting for Season 4 to come out on DVD in September is going to be agony.

Thoughts: I hate hayfever! My hayfever meds are just not touching it this year. My eyes and nose were streaming and I had a headache so I couldn't concentrate on my book. I sat and passed a few hours watching the last few episodes of Glee. It was then night-time and my hayfever had settled down at that point so I got stuck back into my book. The Archived was incredible and had me completely gripped and before I knew it I had it finished just turned midnight! That means I've technically reached my goal of reading two books. It'd be nice to squeeze in another book today before the readathon is over but I guess we'll see!

Day 3 Updates 
What I Read: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Number of Pages Read: 204
Pages Read Total: 651
Books Read Total: 2
Challenge: Yes, hosted by Dizneeee's World of Books 

Favorite genre, favorite book within that genre, and your favorite character from the same genre.
This is a tough one! My favourite genre changes all the time! As of right now though I'd say YA Contemporary. I have so many favourite contemps but I'll go with one that always stands out in my mind and that is Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. For favourite character I'll go with Cricket from the same book I absolutely love him! He's one of my favourite nerdy book guys!

Reading Snack: Graze's honeycomb and chocolate flapjack with a summer fruit smoothie.

Non Reading Activity: Catching up on the latest Skins episode and looking after my poorly dog. :(

Thoughts: Eleanor and Park is every bit as wonderful as you all have been telling me it is! I'm completely in love with it and I would have devoured it all today if life hadn't intervened. My dog Dylan was really sick today. He was shaking, panting, throwing up, wouldn't eat and I was such a worried Momma. We think he ate something he shouldn't have out on his walk and it upset his stomach, either that or the heat got to him (he's a black Labradoodle with a big fluffy black coat, weather like this must be horrible for him.) Thankfully he seems back to his normal self now but needless to say much of my reading time went to looking after him.

 Let me know which books you've been reading and how you've been doing! Follow my updates here, on Goodreads and Twitter!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon: Goals, TBR and Day 1 Update

This Readathon is hosted by Angela and Loretta at Reading Angels, Candace at Candace’s Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination. I've just finished watching the Wimbledon men's final and I'm feeling all patriotic and proud of Andy Murray's win and now I'm getting ready to bust a gut at my own personal best sport - readathoning! :P For more information on this readathon check out my sign up post here.

 What I'll Be Reading

A Cottage by the Sea by Carole Matthews 
 Shipwrecked by Siobhan Curham 
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell 
The Archived by Victoria Schwab 

The weather is gorgeous right now in the UK and is set to continue over the week, so I've chosen two summer reads. A Cottage by the Sea which is my current read and a fun, beachy, chick-lit. And Shipwrecked which is a thriller set on an Island and is being pitched as Lost meets Gossip Girl. I've also chosen two books that I've been wanting to read all year but for some reason haven't gotten around to The Archived and Eleanor and Park - I've heard incredible things for both of these books and am looking forward to finally (hopefully!) getting to them! 

My Goal 
I want to definitely read at least two books but it would be amazing to read all of these! With the gorgeous weather it will go one of two ways: I'll either be soaking up the sun getting lots of reading done or I'll be too hot and hayfeverery fanning myself with a book rather than reading it! I guess we'll see! 

I'm going to be recording my day one updates here and will make a separate post for days two and three. Once Upon a Read-a-Thon was the first ever readathon that I took part in last year. I did really well and had so much fun so I'm looking forward to round two! Bring it on! *Flexes reading muscles.* 

Day 1 Updates 
What I Read: A Cottage by the Sea by Carole Matthews and The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Number of Pages Read: 225
Pages Read Total: 225
Books Read Total: 1
Challenge: Yes, The Book BFF Challenge.
Reading Snack: None! It's the day before my Graze box arrives so I'm all out of snacks - rubbish timing for a readathon! I'm looking forward to it arriving tomorrow so I can indulge in some yummy, healthy, goodies whilst reading.
Non Reading Activity: Falling asleep in the sunshine, reading everybody's goals and watching the first episode of The Legend of Korra. I'm so happy that it's finally showing in the UK! I'm a big anime fan and Avatar: The Last Airbender is my absolute favourite! Legend of Korra is the spin off show and so far, so good!
Thoughts: One day down, one book finished! Although I haven't done as well as it sounds as I only had 126 pages of my book left to read today. I think next I'm going to pick up The Archived I'm hoping to squeeze in a hundred pages before bed. I've been really looking forward to this one, I'm just hoping I can deal with it at the minute. I recently lost two family members and this book (from the sounds of it) is primarily about the dead. There is already a snippet of the poem from my Grandad's funeral at the start. I think it'll either be a massive hit and something I can really relate to right now, or it'll be too much for my emotions and I'll have to put it aside for another time. It shouldn't be too heavy going though so I'm hoping I'll be fine.

 How has your first day been? Follow my updates here, on Goodreads and Twitter!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Review for The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release: 30th May 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Summer, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Source: Bought

Goodreads Summary:

"On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever."

If you know me you’ll know that I love nerdy contemporary YA, so as soon as I heard about The Summer I Became a Nerd I freaked out and bought it straight away and I’m so glad that I did! This was such a ‘Jess book’ and I loved it so much that it’s now up there as one of my favourite contemporaries.

Like her favourite superhero’s Maddie has a secret identity - popular cheerleader by day, nerdy comic book lover by night. Summer is Maddie’s favourite time of year, she gets a break from school and from being the person everyone expects her to be, can catch up on her TBR list and chat on online fan forums to her hearts content. I loved Maddie from the moment I found out that she keeps a comic book journal to write down her thoughts and favourite quotes! I could understand her wanting to keep her nerdy side a secret – although my friends knew about my nerdy ways when I was at school I was teased for it and know first-hand that that’s no fun. I love this book for busting stereotypes and Leah Rae Miller for creating a heroine who’s a cheerleader but who also loves comic books with a passion. Basically I thought that Maddie was pretty freakin’ awesome and only wished that she had the confidence to share her awesomeness with the rest of the world.

During a secret mission to the local comic book store for the latest issue of her favourite comic - The Super Ones #400 – Maddie runs into Logan the cute nerdy guy from school who works there. Logan quickly sees through Maddie’s poor disguise and the two soon start regularly hanging out as Logan introduces Maddie to the world of nerd and teaches her to embrace her inner geek. Sweet, nerdy, boy next door types are my favourite, so I fell for Logan at Flash speed. Maddie and Logan’s romance was so adorbs and is full of super cute moments. A personal favourite of mine was when they showed each other their very best happy dance. You see! Isn’t that adorable!? This book was full of moments like this one that made my cheeks hurt from the big goofy grin I wore during every page of this book.

The Summer I Became a Nerd is full of nerdy references that are worked into the story that you’ll appreciate if you’re into the same things as Maddie. I also enjoyed learning more about LARPing (live action role play) which is something I didn’t know a whole lot about before reading this book. Now I definitely want to take part in something like it in the future because it sounded like so much fun!

Overall I pretty much loved everything about this book. It was a cute, fun, summer read packed full of awesome nerdy goodness and the important message of being true to who you are. The Summer I Became a Nerd is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the summer so far!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Introducing My New Commenting System: IntenseDebate what is it?

Go to IntenseDebate

If you have your own blog run on blogger you’ll probably have noticed the amount of spam bloggers rubbish commenting system has been letting through recently. It’s something that’s been driving me nuts and so I’ve been on the lookout for a new commenting system for some time now. I’ve always liked the look of IntenseDebate but I didn’t realise you could install it on to blogger until recently so I decided to make the switch, mainly because of spam, but also because IntenseDebate is so much more user friendly and is a lot more advanced than what blogger has going on.

Some of you might be wondering what IntenseDebate is exactly? And why is it so much better? Basically it has a much stricter policy on spam and it lets the user have better control of what gets through. It also allows readers to leave a comment under the ‘Guest’ option where you post your name, email, and a link to your own website (if you have one) once and IntenseDebate will remember your information the next time you leave a comment on my blog. There is also the option of signing in with your IntenseDebate profile, Wordpress account, or Twitter. I really like how you can leave a comment through your Twitter account as that’s where most of my audience is based and comes in from. There is also the option of including CommentLuv which basically will link your comment with the most recent post from your own blog, so when you comment it’ll be much easier for me to find your blog and return the favour which is always something I like to do! There is also the option of putting a thumbs-up next to thoughtful comments therefore rewarding those people who take the time to give thoughtful feedback.

Basically Intensedebate is a lot more user friendly for both myself and you guys and I’m hoping it’ll encourage people to leave more comments. I LOVE getting comments from you guys; I really appreciate every one of them and reply to them all. I also try my hardest to stop by your blogs and return the favour. I’ve never been a particularly comment heavy blog which is a shame as I love discussing books with you guys and hearing your opinions too. The views are there but for some reason people just aren’t commenting. I’m hoping this new system might change that.

I’ve heard people who love IntenseDebate and people who haven’t gotten along with it at all so this is by no means permanent. It’s easy to uninstall at any time so I’m going to give it a fair run for a couple of months and then assess whether it has helped my comments or not in terms of how many I receive and how much spam gets let through. It’s easy enough to use so I really hope you guys like it! I’m going to leave it there but please feel free to test out the new system below. I optioned to start using IntenseDebate as of now so all of my old comments on older posts should still be there which is nice. If you’re looking to sign up and install IntenseDebate yourself it’s free and so far I’d really recommend it! I followed this tutorial here. It was fairly simple to install and the step by step guide was really helpful!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

June Round-Up and Book of the Month!

June's Book of the Month is Crash by Nicole Williams

Choosing this month's Book of the Month was really difficult because I read some brilliant books that all deserved the title, to be honest. In the end I decided to go with Crash because I've been completely in love with this series this past month. It's not often that I read a series pretty much back to back but I was so in love with Luce and Jude that I *had* to know what was going to happen to them next! I loved this love story and Crash was my favourite of the series although I did enjoy all three books. Crash reads more like a Mature YA and then the books venture into New Adult as Lucy and Jude go to college. The Crash series has been my addiction this month and you can read my review for Crash here. Keep an eye out for reviews for Clash and Crush this month!

Read in June 
49.) My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent (3*)
50.) Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (4.5*)
51.) The Program by Suzanne Young (2*)
52.) Crash by Nicole Williams (4.5*)
53.) Clash by Nicole Williams (4*)
54.) The Night Itself by Zoe Marriott (no rating*)
55.) Crush by Nicole Williams (4*)
56.) Pivot Point by Kasie West (4*)
57.) If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (4.5*)
58.) Altered by Jennifer Rush (3.5*)
59.) The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leigh Rae Miller (4*)

* I haven't given a rating for The Night Itself because I was reading it the day my grandad died and so my feelings were all over the place. I feel like I can't give it a fair/true rating or review because my thoughts and feelings were in overdrive at the time and I can't really remember too much of what happened. I did like it though and will be reading more from Zoe in the future.

June Book Awards
Best Plot: Pivot Point by Kasie West
Best Writing: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Best Cover: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Best Characters: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Best Ending: Crush by Nicole Williams
Best Romance: Crash by Nicole Williams
Most un-put-down-able: Crash by Nicole Williams
Most Memorable: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Best Moral: The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leigh Rae Miller

Top 3 Most Recommended Books: Crash, If You Find Me and Siege and Storm.

Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading/Being Released in July 
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Schwartz
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider

 How was your month in reading? Did you read any of the books I read? What are you looking forward to reading in July?

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