Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss



Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Penguin
Published: December 2nd 2010

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

It's been a long time since I've cried so much whilst reading a book. Stephanie Perkins writes in a way so realistic that you can't do anything but experience the whole journey right along with Anna and reminisce about your own memories of friendship and love.

This novel has the perfect blend of humour, heartbreak, love and normal teenage school conflict. Anna and the French Kiss made me giggle a terribly huge amount. I read it on my flight to Italy, so it was either very funny or I was very delirious from the lack of sleep - I'm thinking both? Anna's thoughts are spot on and perfectly represent what most girls are thinking when they're around really sweet and really cute guys. *wink*

Etienne St. Clair is possibly the coolest fictional character ever. Born in San Francisco, raised in London, currently going to school in France…hell yes. British accents and the ability to speak French = serious hotness. He and Anna become best of friends and the developments in their relationship are fascinating to read about. It seems that they take one step forward, three steps back, and it's an exciting game of 'When Will They Get Together?'.

There are a few heartbreaking/warming moments in this novel that hit the nail on the head and really touch your heart. While I was reading this, I couldn't believe how it so perfectly echoed my past and current thoughts. Anna's character was so relatable and adorable so you're easily invested in her life. You never know how the characters will behave next - prepare for a quick read as you'll be rushing to get to the end!

This is a magnificent novel that you need to read right this moment. Anna and the French Kiss is a beautiful story about love, heartbreak, friendship, enemies, making mistakes and fixing things again. Fall in love with Etienne or else I'll lock him away and keep him to myself!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Ultraviolet


Title: Ultraviolet
Author: R.J. Anderson
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Published: September 1st 2011
Source: Net Galley

Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?

While the cover is not the best, this novel is its own kind of unique and will catch your interest from the very first page. It's not everyday that the main character in a novel has the rare condition of synesthesia. While it is not explicitly stated until later on in the novel, readers are aware of her condition from the beginning, though some will not recognise it. If synesthesia is a new concept for you, it's a condition where people associate one or more sense with another such as seeing sound, tasting shapes and smelling colours. I found this addition to Allison's character intriguing, as it keeps both readers and Allison wondering whether she is sane or whether her condition is altering her perceptions of reality. This is something Ultraviolet constantly shapes and changes, whether it be of the world, of the characters or of the events that have occurred. One way or another, what we think about almost everything is rebuffed and completely turned around which makes for a good and unpredictable read.

In the beginning, the main storyline of the novel is to do with the disappearance of Allison's schoolmate, Tori. We are left in the dark about what has happened truly happened until towards the end, as Allison herself cannot comprehend the situation. The novel is unexpectedly sci-fi so when we are first introduced to it (or maybe thrown in head first, to be specific), I imagine most are left confused. It's something that takes us by surprise, as it comes suddenly and completely out of the blue. Also, the abilities that Allison has is sometimes unbelievable and all too coincidental. Perhaps this part of the story could have been written better, but don't give up on it. At first, it all seems ridiculous and too out of this world but suspend your disbelief and read on. You'll get used to it and it ends up actually being quite exciting. It  somehow makes sense and isn't a big pile of "crazy" after all. Who would've thought?

While Allison is at the mental institute, she meets a variety of people, each with their own conditions and stories. I feel as if these characters weren't developed enough and they were just in the background, occasionally popping in to conveniently serve whatever purpose the author wanted them to at that very moment. Kirk, a pyromaniac, seems like a love interest but after a few vague interactions and a loose ending, I guess not. During her stay, she is also introduced to Sebastian Faraday, someone who has come in to study her. Please do not make the same mistake I did and think that he is a thirty or forty year old. This will make your reading experience very creepy as Allison begins to develop an affection for him and vice versa. He is indeed around 20 years old…so remember that. If it weren't for my stupid misconceptions, I would've found their relationship quite adorable. He offers her the help and knowledge she needs, and later plays a pivotal part in the novel.

The plot's pace is something that I'm at war with. The first third of the novel is sort of fascinating, in that we are seeing things with new eyes and learning interesting pieces of information. As the novel continues, things seem to slow down and speed up at the same time. While still nothing truly exciting has happened, we've moved on from the introductory phase and are getting more into the mystery of things. In the final third is where things really start picking up. There's more action and the story moves at a faster pace. This section will keep you on edge, waiting to see what will happen next.

At the beginning of every chapter is of course the title. Instead of the usual "Chapter 4", we get "Four is Blue". Each chapter is associated with a colour and this later transitions to emotion and mood - "Sixteen is Overwhelmed". This represents how Allison is growing and how her abilities are becoming more and more complex as time passes. On one occasion, we're shown an image and this further emphasises how different she is, as well as makes us think about what it's like for people in the real world who have this condition. Wouldn't it be amazing to see things so differently?

Ultraviolet is unique and a nice change from my usual reads, despite the flaws that it has. Give it a chance and maybe you'll like it more than I did.

Ciao! I'm Leaving For Italy!


Please read!

Dear Bloggers: If I have entered a giveaway of yours and won, please contact my good friend Brodie over at Eleusinian Mysteries via her email. She has all of my contact information and preferences. Thank you!

Dear Readers: No blabbering from me for a whole two weeks! I'll think of you all while I'm snacking on tasty lasagna and feasting my eyes on the lovely Italian men ;)

Everyone: I'll return on the 6th of May with lots of pictures and maybe even some diary entries! I think I'll finish Ultraviolet and Anna and the French Kiss while I'm over there so watch out for reviews? I'll get random access to the internet for the first week and full for the second, so don't be surprised when I just appear!
Oh...and how could I forget? The winner for my contest will be drawn and announced! Remember it ends 5/5 and is international!


Mwah! xx.

*goes off to be a tourist*

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday & Top Ten Tuesday: Rewind

This meme is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.




This week's Top Ten Tuesday is a chance for you to go back through the archives and chose a past TTT that you want to do, or maybe even redo! Have fun going through the linky lists this week ;)

So I'm doing a mash up of two rewinds. Why not keep things interesting while I'm away, hmm?

Books I'll Never Read

1. Fallen by Lauren Kate
2. House of Night by P.C. Cast
3. Evernight by Claudia Gray
These three sound so cheesy and immature. If another person gushes about them to me, they will get a slap in the face. I've had enough of your cruddy retellings! If I wanted to know about what ghosts were confusingly floating around or which guy the girl was in love with this time, I'd read them myself!

4. Evermore by Alyson Noel
Poor character construction. Apparently very annoying and the "worst one ever"? Guess I'm staying well away.

5. Charles Dickens
After reading the train wreck that was Great Expectations, I can't ever read another one of his books. The annoying thing is, his writing is actually very clever and the plots aren't half-bad…it's just his run on sentences! I can't take reading another ten pages about someone walking down a hallway and opening the door, okay?

Fictional Crushes

1. Edward Cullen - Twilight
Shut up. It's been a long time since I've read this series but he's stuck with me. We all know he's romantic so let's leave it at that.

2. Jace Wayland - The Mortal Instruments
A crush list would not be complete without Jace. I think we all know that. I'll take Jace, preferably when he's in a good mood. None of that depressing self-hate stuff, please.

3. Archer Cross - Hex Hall
Just recently read this…tell me you're not in love! Evil guy or not, I love him. Who knew a warlock could be so sweet?

4. Tucker Avery - Unearthly
Yes, he's a total ass at the beginning of the book but isn't he a total sweetheart at the end? Can't wait to see more of him! He's not in this list, but Christian' sa sweetie too. Why does Clara get all the luck?

5. Peeta Mellark - The Hunger GamesI love that he fell in love when he was just a little boy! I figure I can save a bunch of money too when he bakes our wedding cake himself :)

I have so many new books to read and so many old series to catch up on. I think I'm about 20 behind on the really good and really popular ones! I should take ten billion books with me to Italy, right? I won't have an excuse because I'm away from real life and on vacay! :)

~x-x-x~


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.



The rules are simple!
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 This week I'm reading Ultraviolet! Here's my teaser from page 31.
"I hadn't meant to do it. I hadn't even known I could. But I'd been so angry, and before I could stop myself…"

Yes, I can count and see that that's three sentences but I guess I'm breaking all the rules this week.

Where did your rewind take you this week? Any good reads I should be aware of?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Musing Mondays & Cover Crazy: 18/4/11

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading.




This week’s musing asks…

What’s at the top of your must-buy list, right now? (or, if you don’t wait — if you’re more impulsive — what books have you recently purchased?)

You see...I used to have a bit more control. These days, if books are at a reasonable price I'll grab them all! I think I've spent more on books this month than I ever have before! I went from a few books every couple of months to...not-so-few books a month.
Anyways, I recently bought:

                             
Die For Me by Amy Plum
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Divergent by Veronica Roth
These, as well as other books I'm receiving soon will surely prevent me from buying books for the next month..............  *shifty eyes*

~x-x-x~ 

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted over at The Book Worms! The point of this meme is to admire the art and beauty of a book’s design. So get over there and share your loved covers!

Double post this week since I'll be away for the next two!

Great photography, I think. I absolutely love it when photos are taken when things are in motion! Falling petals, rippling water.... love! The expression on the girl's face seems half calm and half troubled, but the guy wrapping himself around her makes up for whatever it is! Guys in protective mode get me. Who doesn't want to stare at that back all day, too? ;)



This cover is so much better than the other! I walked by this in the book store the other day and couldn't stop staring! It's so simple and yet, conveys so many emotions. All of the elements work perfectly with one another, don't you think? Can I have this on my bookshelf soon? 

What books have got you mesmerised this week? 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My Mailbox and On My Wishlist: 17/4/11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Let us know what books you've bought, borrowed or received for review!

Firstly, a big happy birthday to Kristi!
Secondly, this will be my last IMM for 2 weeks. The stash will probably be good by the time I come back from Italy though. I'm expecting lots of packages!

This week I won:


Signed promo-cards, a bookmark and guitar pick from Jennifer Armentrout. Who's excited for for Half-Blood? *raises hand* ME!

I bought:

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Can't wait to read Falling Under!

I've got some fantastic books coming this week but who knows if I'll get them before I leave this Thursday! Fingers crossed.

~x-x-x~



On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet! They can be old, new or forthcoming. Join in and let us know what you're wishing for!

This week I'm wishing for: The Survivors by Amanda Havard


This book sounds really interesting and unique. Who's with me?

Summary from Goodreads:
In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived.The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family's sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.


On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she's sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. 

After all...
HOW DO YOU KILL A SURVIVOR? 

~x-x-x~

What's in your mailbox this week? Anything on that wishlist?

Cassandra Clare News

So Cassandra Clare has told us a ton of news via her Twitter.

1. This is from Clockwork Prince and is now called the DSBS (Dirty Sexy Balcony Scene)!
He reached up and unlocked Tessa's hands from around his neck. He drew her gloves off, and they joined her mask and the hairpins on the stone floor of the balcony. He pulled off his own mask next and cast it aside, running his hands through his sweat-dampened hair, pushing it back from his forehead. The lower edge of the mask had left marks across his high cheekbones, like light scars, but when she reached to touch them, he gently caught at her hands and pressed them down.
“No,” he said. “Let me touch you first."

2. Some exciting news on a new series!
"I have a plan for another Shadowhunter trilogy (contemporary, but not about the characters from TMI). Working title: The Dark Artifices. It takes place five years after the end of TMI (ie in 2012) and deals with the Shadowhunters of the Los Angeles Institute. There is a tangential connection to the characters of TMI but they are not main characters. The main characters are teens (meaning that during the events of TMI they'd be 11, 12 years old.) The main female protagonist's name is Emma, the main male protagonist's name is Julian. They are both Shadowhunters. They both have always known they are Shadowhunters. There is love, magic, romantic confusion, etc. and so on. I have not sold these books; I haven't written any of them, I won't until I'm done with what I'm writing now. So I don't have a pub date beyond "after CoHF."

3. She also tells us that Clockwork Prince will be the longest book! I'm very excited since I love The Infernal Devices hard.

4. City of Lost Souls teaser - Yes, please!
Magnus made a soft, pleased sound, and he gripped the back of Alec’s shirt.

5. COLS takes place 2 weeks after the end of City of Fallen Angels. 2 weeks? How can you jump 2 weeks after that cliffhanger?!

6. Cassie has written 3/4 of COLS so far.

7. She also did a fun little Q&A session where she played the part of several characters! Check it out here but be warned. Spoilers for those who haven't read COFA yet!

I'm sure there's more news floating around but she just tweets so much! So make sure you're following and stalking her page ;)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: City of Fallen Angels


Title: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: April 5th 2011

The Mortal War is over, Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possiblities before her. She’s training to beome a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love her life, Downworldsers and Shadowhutners are all at peace at last. And most important of all Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend. But nothing comes without a price. Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Cirecle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side along with the power of the curse that’s wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself haas set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Who else can't believe that it's been two years since City of Glass was released? Kind of mind-blowing if you ask me. Long time without Jace + mad blogger raves + anticipation of getting the book in the mail = Very high expectations.
I was expecting a mind-blowing plot but unfortunately I feel as if it wasn't as interesting and prominent as the previous three, though the novel is certainly the most tension-filled and suspenseful of them all. As for the final quarter? Wow. I think everyone will be on the edge of their seats just waiting to see what will happen! Cassandra Clare is able to twist situations around so quickly that you never see them coming. That's great but absolutely terrible too, right?

Simon definitely comes into his own in this novel and I really enjoyed exploring his storyline. Girlfriend dilemmas, vampire dilemmas, overall demon dilemmas - when's he going to get a break?
Jace is gorgeous, as usual, but something dark is haunting Jace. It's made him reluctant to be with Clary and he pushes her further and further away as he tries to protect her. Does this sound familiar? Typical, predictable Jace behaviour!
Clary is somewhat absent, surprisingly. Until the final quarter, Jace and Clary are both more minor characters than anything. Still, Clary's character was so relatable and I felt awful for her. What's wrong with men these days?
Malec are adorable as ever, though they do go through a bit of a rough patch! Wish we could've seen more of them.
Maia and Isabelle are interesting characters once again. You can't help but laugh a little at poor Simon and his not-so-little predicament.
We meet new characters in this novel, as well as get reacquainted with some oldies. Let's just say that one's surprising/mysterious, one's interesting/fun, and the other is horrifying/shocking. Loved the tie-in with Clockwork Angel!

Once again, Cassandra Clare keeps us in unbearable suspense as she switches between story lines rapidly. Just as we get invested in one, the chapter ends and it changes. Then by the end of the next, we're dying for more of the new storyline before we're forced to switch again! You never know what scene you're going to get so the anticipation-meter is going off the charts the whole way through.

I had some idea of what would be in City of Fallen Angels but I really was expecting a bit more Jace/Clary. I'm a little devastated that we didn't get to explore their relationship more than we did but having said that, the other characters were just so interesting. I didn't mind reading about them at all! This novel was considerably different from the previous three, in that there's a darker tone and more focus on the other characters.

Sad thought: "YES! Jace and Clary can finally be together after the catastrophe that we call The Epic Fail The Sibling Situation! …oh wait. No. Not yet. Looks like they've got another craptastic hurdle to get across. Tell me they actually get together by the last book!"

Something to make you feel better:
"You're just worried they'll hire a male instructor and he'll be hotter than you."
"Hotter than me?"
"It could happen. You know, theoretically."
"Theoretically the planet could suddenly crack in half, leaving me on one side and you on the other side, but i'm not worried about that, either. Some things are just too unlikely to dwell upon."

The ending is shocking, as is the whole final quarter as I said before. Jaws will drop, fingernails might chip, profanities may be uttered and books may be ripped in half. But hey, only one year until the next book, right? I found that City of Fallen Angels wasn't as gripping and OMG-I-must-finish-this-in-one-day as the previous books, but it's a good read, nonetheless.



Yes, I'm shocked that I'm rating this less than a five too. I've never done that for a TMI book before. Please excuse the negativity if that's what you're feeling because that was not my intention at all. This review came out somewhat oddly and not the way I wanted!

What did you think of this book?

Review: Demonglass


Title: Demonglass
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #2
Publisher: Hyperion
Published: March 1st 2011

**Spoilers if you have not read Hex Hall**

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium. But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth. 

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers. But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?


I really don't know what to say about this book, but I don't think you'd all appreciate it if I just said that this book was AMAZING. The previous book, Hex Hall, was good but not earth-shatteringly so. Does Demonglass fit the bill? YES! I enjoyed this one from start to finish and I can't wait to read it again one day.

Once again, Rachel Hawkins puts us on an emotional rollercoaster. Her ability to make us laugh freely one second and then heartbroken in the next is magnificent. Sophie is a character who is so easy to relate to. Even though she's a demon, she has human qualities and emotions. I feel as if I know her and all of the other characters very well, and every single thing that happened to them had an impact on me too. Let me just say, Sophie's interactions with every single character was gripping and tugged on the heart-strings in some way.

I firstly just have to say that I absolutely loved meeting Sophie's father. Gone is the terrible image of him I had in the previous book and in is the caring and protective man who loves his daughter. In comparison with Sophie's other relationships, this one was so heartwarming. There are some really sweet father/daughter scenes that fill in some gaps from the previous book which were very enjoyable to read. The two are as snarky as the other and these moments of comic relief are godsend! If you didn't know where Sophie's wit came from before, you do now. Also, if you were missing the magic from Hex Hall you definitely won't be whilst reading this!

Now, I know what you're waiting for. What about Archer? Yes, what about Archer?
I'll tell you that fans will be pleased. There are some frustrating moments, confusing moments and most importantly, some swoony moments. And did I forget to mention the steamy moments? Oh yes, you can look forward to those. Every scene of theirs was a joy to read, and so you'll be anxiously waiting for the next after one has just finished! But here's something that you may or may not have seen coming - Cal, the young groundskeeper from Hex Hall. We discover that Cal isn't as indifferent and blasé about things as we thought.

The long flight from Georgia to England had been pretty uneventful. Except that Cal had sat next to me. Which was fine. Really. It wasn’t like I’d been hyperaware of his presence and jumped the three times his knee bumped mine. And after that third time, he definitely hadn’t shot me a kind of disgusted look and said, “Chill out, will you?”
And when Jenna gave us both a quizzical look, we hadn’t snapped, in unison, “Nothing!” Because all of that would have been weird, and Cal and I weren’t weird. We were cool.

I won't spoil it but I will tell you that Cal's a bit of a key player in this novel. Nothing terrible though - mostly awkwardly sweet. Everything is well on Team Archer Island!

I had so much fun reading this novel, the most I've had in a while. The plot is intriguing and the book is riddled with incredible scenes. Every single piece of dialogue is perfect and it was like the letters on the page just spelt out what I was wanting! That is, until the climax of the novel, which I must say is awful. Shocking discoveries are made, tensions are running high and everyone's fear is tangible. I flew through the final few chapters of the novel and couldn't believe that it had ended. It honestly leaves us on an evil cliffhanger, right in the midst of action! I cannot wait until the next book is released in 2012. One more year, really? *devastated* This novel is packed with punches, twists and turns as we meet some interesting new characters who are unpredictable and somewhat crazy. Demonglass is fast-paced and filled with action, suspense, mystery and romance. It'll keep you on the edge of your seat until you reach the end so…what are you still doing here? Go out and get your copy now!



This book could really be a 6/5. It's shot up into my top 5 favourite books of all time, I think. I'll just go swoon some more now…

Friday, April 15, 2011

Follow Friday/TGIF: 15/4/11

Follow Friday is a weekly event where every Friday/Thursday, we all get together and say HI! Each week has a different feature from the book blogging community. Check out the question, blog about it, meet new friends and have fun!
The featured blog this week is
Romance Around The Corner!

Q. Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.

 

Yeah...this sucks to say...but NO I do not have someone to discuss books with in real life! I do have a friend who I can blabber to sometimes about the occasional book she's read but that's it. Everyone I know either thinks reading is "lame", pointless, boring, or difficult. Does anyone want to egg them for me? Or is there somewhere I can BUY a book friend? *sighs* 

 

TGIF is a weekly feature where bloggers can recap their week and let others know a bit more about them! Get involved and check out other posts over at GReads.

 

If you could visit any fictional setting in a story, where would you go?

 

I'm going to have to visit the guys in the Infernal Devices series. Victorian England? Hell yes! I kind of love that era and it would be so fun to live in that time, even just for a while! I'll go pick up my super classy dress soon ;)


What about you? Any places you'd love to visit? 


What's Happening?

 

First of all, let me just say that I am absolutely exhausted. It's been such a long week! I'm leaving for Italy on Thursday and have so many things so get done before then. 

 

I've participated in a couple of memes this week and I'm looking to post up reviews for City of Fallen Angels and Demonglass within the next few days!

After that, I will be reading Anna and the French Kiss! What a great book to read in Italy! Authentic, yes? Well...almost. I'm in Europe, okay? Then I'm thinking I should read the two ARCs I received from Netgalley as well as a book I'm receiving from an author. Pretty sure I'll be getting a box of goodies from Simon & Schuster soon, too. Keep your eyes peeled!

 

Also, thank you all for entering my giveaway! It's going fantastically so keep spreading the word! I do think I'll add another winner with the way this is going.



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Third Sentence Thursday: 14/4/11

Third Sentence Thursday

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme that inhales third sentences for breakfast!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want
3) Post a link to your sentence at Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books!




"At Hecate Hall, a.k.a. Juvie for Monsters, it meant I was getting thrown in the pond."

This was a seriously funny opening. I wish I could share the first two sentences with you! If you haven't gotten this book already, I strongly suggest you do! Fantastic read.

Update: City of Fallen Angels and Demonglass will have their reviews up this weekend! I've been busy lately, with real life and with preparing for Italy! ;)

Waiting on Wednesday: 13/4/11

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine! Each week, bloggers spotlight what upcoming release they're eager for.

My pick this week: Forgotten by Cat Patrick
 

Summary from Goodreads:
Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.
Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies

Why I want to read this: Apart from hearing a ton of great things about this book from everyone, I absolutely love the storyline! I can imagine this novel containing some of that heartbreakingly good romance, as well being a book where you'll take something away from after reading. Very excited to get my hands on this book. June's getting closer!

What are you lusting for this week?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday & Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Turn Into Movies

This meme is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.



This week's Top Ten Tuesday is about the books you'd most like to become movies! With great series such as The Mortal Instruments and The Hunger Games already being made, what's left?
In no particular order.....

1. Vampire Academy
You don't know how long I've waited to see this become a movie! Fantastic characters, great plot, great potential for transfer onto screen (action sequences FTW!), the ability to draw in all kinds of viewers..... Film makers, are you taking note? Fingers crossed this wish of mine comes true one day!

2. Hex Hall
Well I've just read this series...3/4 anyways. I stopped in the middle of Demonglass so that I could whizz through City of Fallen Angels. But anyways, I'd really love to see this! Very interesting storyline.

3. Unearthly
Another one I've recently read! Who doesn't want to see Tucker and Christian on the big screen? I think Clara's visions would look magnificent on the big screen, as well as all of the other special effects!

4. Across the Universe
Great mystery/romance novel. It would be really interesting to see Godspeed all made up! Across the Universe really does have a wonderful setting, which is quite ironic seeing as it's just an isolated ship...

5. Matched
I just generally loved this one a lot. I think it'd do well as a movie!

6. Delirium
As with Matched, great plot! I want to see me some Alex! ...played by Alex Pettyfer, perhaps? 

7. Clockwork Angel
Now that I think about it, I would really really really like to see this become a movie. I love the Victorian era so that would be super exciting. Who wants to travel back in time with me?

8 & 9. Divergent and The Goddess Test
I haven't even read these yet (they're on their way to me in the mail!) but I know they'll be fantastic in print and I know they'll be fantastic as movies. Like VA, THG and TMI these books both have great potential for the big screen.

10. I WON'T REPEAT MYSELF
Oh yes, I'm cheating and only posting 9 but I think it would be unfair continuing on. There are SO many books out there that would do well as movies! Also I'm just waiting to read them all. My TBR list is miles long. And the load of books that should be coming my way this week will kill me. Can't wait to get stuck into all of the brilliant books though!

What do you think should be made into movies? Do you agree with my choices or are there any you'd stay well away from?

~~x-x-x~~

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.


The rules are simple!
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Obviously, this week it's City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. I received this yesterday at 5pm. I started reading it at 10pm. Finished it at 2am. All in a work's day! If I could, I'd share this hilarious four line conversation but I can't because of this blasted 2 line restriction! So anyways, here's a little teaser...

"And if I can't be with her, it doesn't really matter to me where I am. I might as well be with you, because at least if she knew I was trying to protect you, that might make her happy."

Ooh yes, there's some tension in the room!

What juicy teasers have you come across this week?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Musing Mondays & Cover Crazy: 11/4/11

 
 Cover Crazy is a meme over at The Book Worms! The point of this meme is to admire the art and beauty of a book’s design. So get over there and share your loved covers!

This week, I really have to go with this...



Could the cover be any more gorgeous? The long, flowing red dress runs almost the entire length of the cover. Nice typography and all of the elements fit well together. Tick, tick, tick!

What's your cover crazy this week?

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading.


This week’s musing asks…


If you’re a mood reader, what (genre) do your moods usually call you to read?
  
On a normal day, I'll want to read some paranormal romance. I find it very relaxing and then I can't help but get giddy over the epic love story and mystery. If it's an odd day and I'm happy, ordinary YA it is! As for sad days, romance of any kind will cheer me up!
Gee, is there a trend we're seeing here?

What do your moods make you read?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Mailbox: 10/4/11



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Let us know what books you've bought, borrowed or received for review!





This week Matched and Anna & The French Kiss arrived in the mail! I've read Matched already but didn't own it, and I'm really looking forward to reading AATFK!

From Netgalley, I received:


They both look pretty good so I'll be reading those...soon? I kind of just bought 10 books this week from The Book Depository...

What's in your mailbox this week?

Review: Hex Hall


Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #1
Publisher: Hyperion
Published: March 2nd 2010

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I had high expectations for Hex Hall. Did it deliver? Most definitely! The writing style is very enjoyable to read as we're in the head of Sophie Mercer, the main character. We're introduced to Hawkins' humour from the very start, when the novel begins with a slight mishap. We find Sophie in a bathroom…on prom night. She's trying to comfort a fellow schoolmate who is dateless and wishing for a boy named Ryan to take interest in her. Sophie's attempt at rectifying the situation goes horribly wrong, as Ryan falls insanely "in love" and goes after the girl desperately. Drive-my-van-through-walls kind of desperately.

"It's okay, baby!" he shouted after her. "I don't need eyes to see you! I see you with the eyes of my heart, Felicia! My HEART!"
Great. Not only was my spell too strong, it was also lame.

Funny, yes? This is an example of the humour that is present throughout the book, though this is the most out-there of them all. The usual humour is mostly just very witty and sarcastic, and captures a teenager's snarky thoughts perfectly. Aren't we all guilty for wanting to scratch the pretty girl's eyes out for liking the guy we fancy at least once in our lives?

So as a consequence of using her magic in public, Sophie is shipped off to Hex Hall where she must stay until she is 18 years old. There, we meet many interesting characters who have all misbehaved in some way and are there to serve their time also. Sophie gets a warm welcome to the school as she is attacked by a werewolf and saved by…a cocky warlock? One called Archer that makes fun of her less than impressive skills. That's, of course, before we run into some fierce faeries, an annoyed shapeshifter and a strange vampire! At first, the large amount of characters and history we're presented with is total madness. We're told so much in such a short amount of time and so it made me a little uneasy. Don't you just hate it when something important happens later on in the book but you're lost because it didn't sink in at the beginning? Luckily, we're pulled in after a short while and all of the characters become familiar, so there's no need to worry!

As mentioned before, Sophie finds herself enamoured with a seriously hot boy named Archer. Thing is, he has a girlfriend and something's a little off with him… Prior to Sophie's enrolment, he disappeared for a month and no one knew where he went. He doesn't ever speak about his family either. Are the bells ringing?

As I watched him lope up the stairs, I gritted my teeth and repeated a mantra in my head:
I will not have a crush on Archer Cross, I will not have a crush on Archer Cross, I will not . . .
When I got back to my room, Jenna was sitting cross-legged on her bed, reading a book. I heaved a sigh and leaned against the door, pushing it shut with a loud click.
"What's wrong? The Moving Picture Show get to you?" Jenna asked without looking up.
"No. I mean, yeah, of course. That stuff was messed up."
"Mm-hmm," Jenna agreed. "Anything else?"
"I have a crush on Archer Cross."

That little goal didn't last long, did it? To be perfectly fair, it's hard not to like Archer. He's charming and sweet, and you just want him to run away with Sophie so that he can get away from his witch of a girlfriend (ha!). Elodie is the queen bee, I guess. She's the leader of a witch coven whose members are all attractive and wield strong powers. They try to recruit Sophie but luckily she stays away. Reading about the conflicts and tensions between the girls is such a joy, as are the Archer/Sophie scenes. Their relationship is slow and build little by little so it is believable.

I took a deep breath and hoped he didn't notice. Weird little moments like this one were getting too common with Archer and me. Maybe it was all the time we spent together alone in the cellar, or how familiar we'd gotten with each other's bodies while kicking the crap out of each other in Defense, but I was beginning to notice a subtle shift in our relationship.

Mhmm, you read that right. They're in dark cellars together and getting "familiar" with each other's bodies. Does that make you want to read this book? It better!

Bitchy girls and romance aside, the other main plotline in the novel revolves around the girls who are being mysteriously attacked by the same person who previously killed a girl at the school. These darker scenes are all very suspenseful and quite creepy if I do say so myself. Rachel Hawkins has created these daunting enemies who we fear - L'Occhio di Dio (The Eye of God) - even though we do not make contact with them at all. You'll be kept guessing until the very end, as Hex Hall takes many twists and turns, many of which you would have never guessed! Better make sure you remember to pick those jaws back up…

Sophie, a stereotypical teenage girl whose thoughts are very much centred on Archer, is a very loveable character. Her running commentary never gets aggravating and is actually quite endearing. The other side characters are fantastic also. You either love them for being so hilariously cool or love to hate them because they're so stubborn and snobby. I'm sure readers will all be scrambling for the next book, Demonglass, to see what will happen next with them all as we're left on a cliffhanger! I cannot wait to get more history on Sophie and her powers as what we've been told so far is great! It's not totally evil and ending mid-scene but it definitely gets you curious. Hex Hall is a light and fun read with a splash of dark, something everyone needs to give a go!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vacation + Giveaway

Dear lovely readers, I'll be going to Italy on the 21st! It's a two week trip and I'll be checking out the sites at several places such as Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Venice and Milan. Jealous? You should be!

So for my leave of absence and as a general thank you for sticking with me, even when real life is sucking up all of my book time, I'll be hosting a giveaway! You can win the books pictured below, and more! Details are in the form.




To enter you must:
- Be a GFC follower
- Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)
- Fill in the form
  


This contest will be open internationally and will end on the 5th of May, the day I return. Winner will be announced on the 8th! Please read my giveaway policy and leave a comment!

If by some chance, I'm feeling really nice or I get a lot of new followers, I may or may not add another winner ;) So get entering and spread the word! Fingers crossed I'm not too poor by the time I get back from Italy!

The Mortal Instruments Giveaway

Yes, I don't usually do full posts about giveaways but this one needs to be done! I think everyone needs to click on this link and enter!

Why? Well, you can win this...

and this...


Yes, you see that right! It's a handmade stele. How great would that look on your bookshelf next to your TMI books, huh?

The contest is international and ends on the 22nd of this month! Get going!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Follow Friday: 8/4/11

Happy Friday, everyone! Autumn has FINALLY started in Australia (yes, a month late). Guess it's time for me to pull out the jackets, huh? No Book Blogger Friday from me today! It's postponed until...much later so I'll be standing back this week. Anyways...




Follow Friday is a weekly event where every Friday/Thursday, we all get together and say HI! Each week has a different feature from the book blogging community. Check out the question, blog about it, meet new friends and have fun!
This week's featured blogger is Leslie at My Keeper Shelf!

Q. Do you judge a book by it's cover? 

Yes I do! Well, sort of. My first impression of a book obviously comes from its cover. If I'm browsing shelves or looking through an online list, I'll most likely pass right by the book without a second glance if its cover isn't good! But if I do happen to read the summary, I'll give it a chance!Not every book I read has to have an absolutely gorgeous and eye-catching cover but...it's always nice to see. My final opinion is based on the book itself so if I like it, I'll buy the darn thing, cherish and read it ten times over even if the cover is hideous!
  
What about you? Do you read summaries for all books or are you only attracted to the ones with nice covers? 

Just on a side note, I'm really loving the Hex Hall series! Review for the first should be up very soon and we'll see how quickly I can finish Demonglass!
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