Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Book of the month - June

I've decided to dedicate a post to the best book that I read the previous month. For June, Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready was easily the stand out book for me. Shade is a book that I think I will find hard to ever forget. You can find my review here.

I was extremely lucky and privileged enough to have a quick Q&A session with Jeri, who was so nice to take some time out of her busy schedule for me.

What made you make the move from adult novels to YA?
I'm actually still writing adult novels as well. In fact, my next book in the WVMP RADIO vampire series, BRING ON THE NIGHT, comes out on July 27, and the fourth book will be released next August. I really hope I can continue to do exactly what I'm doing now--writing one adult and one YA book per year--because I enjoy both equally.

For me it's not so much a decision to write one or the other in general as it is figuring out the best way to tell a certain story. I had the original idea for SHADE several years ago as an adult series, but it went nowhere until the character of Aura popped into my head in the starring role.

Right now I have a new series idea percolating in the back of my head that hasn't decided yet whether it wants to be adult or YA. It depends on which character steps forward and yells loudest.

If you were forced to choose between Logan and Zachary, which would it be?
Ooh, great question! If I were Aura, it would be tough to choose. She has a long history with Logan, but personality-wise Zachary is probably a better match for her. Then again, opposites attract, right?

If I were myself (and you know, seventeen and single), it'd be slightly less tough. Zachary has the accent, but Logan has the guitar, so their good points balance each other out. But Zachary has that whole "being alive" thing going for him, which is hard for Logan to compete with. So Zachary would probably be my choice. And again, the accent.

But as the author, my favorite guy is always the one who's in the scene I'm writing at the moment. Which makes me just as confused and torn as Aura.

We already know that Shift will be the second book in this series but are there going to be any more?
I hope so! Ideally there would be four books, two each for Aura's junior and senior years of high school. By the end of SHIFT, Aura knows the answers to most of the important mysteries (including which guy is right for her). But then, what does she do with those answers? How does she take control of her destiny? Who wants to stop her or use her? There's a lot more story to tell, some of it across the Atlantic. ;-)

Hopefully I will know by the end of this year how many books will be in the series. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thanks for featuring SHADE as your book of the month, Lyndsey, and thanks for having me on your blog!

Jeri loves to hear from readers, so come visit her at, or better yet, at or

Waiting On Wednesday (#3)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires Bk 9) - Rachel Caine
UK Release Date: 1st November 2010

The fragile peace between humans and vampires in Morganville is in trouble, and when Claire takes drastic action, she's put under serious pressure to re-establish the barriers that keep the town residents inside, and wipe the memories of those who leave. But working with her half-crazy vampire boss Myrnin means that things don't always turn out as planned ... and as the people of Morganville begin acting strangely, Claire and her friends must solve the mystery and try to put things right. But one by one, her allies are turning on her ... even the ones she trusts most. (Taken from Good Reads)

I said in an earlier IMM post that I got books 1-8 in this series in a 3 for £5 offer which has turned out to be one of the best bargains ever. I was hooked from the very beginning of book 1 and I managed to read all 8 books in only 3 days. I think it is quite safe to say that this is one of my favourite series' now and I am so excited to find out what happens next after reading the synopsis.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Shade - Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade is Jeri Smith-Ready’s debut YA novel and it will be released on 2nd September 2010 in the UK. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Shade for review.

Aura was born after the Shift, meaning that she can see and talk to ghosts who haven’t moved on, but it isn’t an ability that she enjoys or wishes to have. In fact, she finds it annoying more than anything else. Ghosts are an everyday part of life and everyone is now quite used to them being around. Ghosts can testify at trials with the help of translators and there is a government agency that stops any ghosts who turn into the bad guys, Shades.

Aura has a pretty good life considering what she has to put up with. She has a soon to be rock star boyfriend (Logan) who she is completely in love with despite the little arguments they have, she also goes to school and has a job. When Logan suddenly dies, it changes everything that Aura thought she believed.

Instead of wanting to stay away from the ghosts, now all that Aura wants is to spend time with Logan. She knows that Logan should be passing over but all she wants is her boyfriend back, no matter how it happens. She knows that spending time with him isn’t doing either of them any good but she just cant help herself. At the same time, Aura has to work on her thesis with hot, Scottish guy Zachary, whom she has a strange connection with and cant help having feelings for. Torn between a world of the living and the dead, Aura has to decide whether or not loving a ghost will be worth it in the long run.

What I thought
Jeri Smith-Ready has invented a world so complex (but not so you don’t understand) and interesting that I couldn’t help but be drawn deep into it right from the start. In a time where paranormal/ fantasy novels are so popular, debut authors in this genre really have to do something to stand out from the next and this is a book that stands out completely. Shade is a paranormal story with a very strong plot as well as a love triangle that you will want to be a part of.

I’ve read books before about people being able to talk to ghosts and helping them cross over (very Ghost Whisper-ish) but here, this wasn’t the whole story. There is a lot of history behind the Shift which isn’t fully expanded upon in this book but that only means that we will get a sequel (I’d cry if we didn’t). I found the concept of only a certain amount of people, born in a certain time, having this ability extremely interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed learning little snippets of why and how this happened.

The characters as a whole were so real to me. Teenagers in books are sometimes misrepresented and written in a way that make them seem like they are from a fairytale. Not these teenagers. They’re between 16 and 18 and live like I would expect a teenager to do… or close to how I did at that age. They go out partying underage, they swear (although it isn’t overdone) and they aren’t afraid to talk about sex. There isn’t really any sugar coating here which was what made them so real. Obviously, life is not easy or perfect for them and Shade covers quite a few important issues for teens like peer pressure, relationships/ friendships and emotions.

Aura was such a likable character, especially when I began to feel her grief but she is also very complex. She has quite a mysterious background, with her mum dying when she was little and not having a clue who her father is, but she does know that they were somehow connected with the Shift. Though she doesn’t let anyone know, Aura makes her thesis research into her past. What I loved about Aura was that before Logan’s death, she was such a strong character who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in. After Logan’s death, she feels so much grief that it is like she becomes a ghost herself when no one is looking, consumed by her grief. If having Logan’s death wasn't enough to deal with, she also has a lot of other problems which she tries to deal with the best she can. I don’t think that I could have kept it quite so together or even pretended to be ok if I were put in that situation.

I think anyone would find it hard not to fall in love with Logan. He’s so full of life, even after he dies and is always full of hope and with a positive attitude about everything. Even though he is always up for a good time and knows how good he is in the band, he isn’t afraid to show his feelings for Aura which pretty much makes him the near perfect guy for me. Who wouldn’t want a hot but sensitive rock star?

The relationship between Aura and Logan was so beautiful and I truly felt like I was a part of this story due to the amazing writing. Even though they have their problems, like any normal relationship, it is clear that they love each other unconditionally and would do anything for each other, to be with each other. Here lies the problem. If the love of your life came back as a ghost, would you be able to turn him away? I don’t know that I could, especially if it was Logan. There were a couple of scenes, especially when Aura and Logan talk about their feelings for each other, which were so beautiful (both happy and sad though) that I couldn’t help but cry. I’m not talking a little cry either, I was full on blubbering… which did make carrying on with the story a bit hard. I cant remember the last time that I felt so close to the main characters in a book that they made me feel this way.

That brings me on to Zachary. Jeri, how could you give me two boys that I just couldn’t choose between? I wanted them both! Zach is a smooth talking, confident Scotsman with an accent I happen to love. It is quite clear that Zach has a particular interest in Aura from the moment they meet and it isn’t only her thesis. There is quite a big build up to the reasons behind Zach being in America being revealed until quite far into the story and although I knew that it had something to do with the Shift, I couldn’t guess exactly what that reason was. Where Logan makes Aura happy, Zach has a way of making her forget what is happening outside of their time together and ultimately easing her pain inch by inch.

I was so completely drawn into the story and what each of the characters were going through that I just couldn’t put this book down. I managed to read it in one sitting and ended up staying awake until 4am because I couldn’t bare to go to sleep without knowing what happened. Now, the sequel cannot come soon enough for me. There were so many questions that I wanted answers to that I didn’t get but I’m not saying this as something negative. The best authors know how to keep their readers hooked and this is something that Jeri Smith-Ready does extremely well. I am so excited to see what will happen next and how this complex world unfolds in Shade, due to be released in 2011.

I have read some amazing books so far this year but Shade is right up there with the best of them. If this book isn’t a bestseller then I will be shocked. You will be missing out on an amazing story of love, loss and life if you don’t read this one.

The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires Book 2) - Rachel Caine

The Dead Girls' Dance is the second book in The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.

Here's what has happened so far
In Glass Houses (the first book), 16year old Claire Danvers had moved to Morganville to go to college. After being bullied in the dorms, Claire went to live with Michael, Shane and Eve at Glass House to be safer but it was then that she found out that the whole town was being run by vampires. Claire found something that the vampires desperately wanted but refused to hand it over, resulting in head vampire, Amelie promising her and her friends protection in exchange. Just when they thought everything was going back to normal, as normal as they can be in Morganville, Shane's crazy Dad arrives wanting revenge.

The Dead Girls' Dance
Claire, Michael, Shane and Eve just want a bit of peace and quiet around Glass House. They thought that when Amelie gave them protection, everything would be ok, but that was until Shane's Dad, Frank, turned up. Amelie's deal was that no more trouble would be caused but Frank is trouble with a capital T. He doesn't mess around with stating his intentions, he wants revenge on the vampires or anyone who looks remotely like one for the deaths of his daughter and wife. Unfortunately for Michael, being a ghost doesn't do him any favours.

With Frank threatening Amelie's protection, Claire and her friends must figure out a way to stop Frank and his thug sidekicks before he ruins everything that they have worked for. They manage to stay out of trouble for a couple of days but then Brandon, a well known vampire is found dead and all fingers point to Shane and his Dad (who is no where to be seen) so Shane ends up taking the rap for the whole thing, being sentenced to death by fire.

Claire, Michael and Eve need to think of a way to save Shane and fast. In two days he's going up in flames. Will they be able to do it?

What I thought
After reading Glass Houses, I was hooked to this series and I picked up Dead Girls' Dance immediately. I couldn't wait to find out what happened due to the cliff-hanger at the end of the first book.

Dead Girls' Dance wastes no time in getting straight back into the action of the story. I really liked the fact that it picked up straight from where the first book left off. Other series' that I have read seem to have some time missing between books and I always feel like I've missed out on the important, but small things that go on in-between books. Again, there were a lot of things that I didn't see coming with enough plot twists to keep me guessing all of the time. Sometimes I felt like there was a little too much going on and the plot could have been simpler. The mix of vampires and humans, who owns who and what is going on is confusing enough sometimes but then Shane's Dad was thrown in there as well. Luckily, the way Rachel Caine writes makes everything quite easy to follow most of the time.

Rachel Caine leaves us again with a really big cliff-hanger, making me want to start book 3 straight away (which I couldn't do as it was 3am). Some people may hate this though, especially if they don't have the next book waiting but I loved being left wanting a whole lot more.

There are quite a few new characters introduced in this book and they are all well tied to someone else. The connections were explained really well so I was never unsure of who came from where or what they were doing. There was a good mix of both good and bad guys, old and new and this time, the bad doesn't only comes from the vampires. Frank on his own was utterly terrifying and I couldn't help but feel sorry for Shane for having to deal with that, although I could also understand why Frank was doing what he was. The scariest thing about Frank was the fact that he was only out to do what he wanted and didn't care about anything or anyone that got in his way, including Shane. He was one of my favourites from the first book so I really didn't want to see anything bad happen to him.

I said in my review of Glass Houses that the character development wasn't quite there for me but I definitely cannot say the same about this book. So much happens to all four of the main characters that I would have been extremely upset if certain things about them didn't change.

Claire really grew in this book from being a quite naïve 16 year old to being more mature and sure of herself. She still isn't extremely confident but has a quiet strength about her which was really nice to see. Living away from her parents and with people of similar age really does Claire a lot of good because she has to learn to fend for and look after herself. Shane is the first boyfriend she has ever had (I think. It isn't stated otherwise) and she obviously cares about him a lot, which shows very clearly when he is put in prison. Claire's intelligence is also shown a lot more this time around which was something that I found quite interesting. Her being as clever as she is, is the whole reason why she is in Morganville in the first place so for her to not be able to think and plan out well just wouldn't have made much sense.

Due to Shane being in prison for a good amount of the story, I missed him. His personality and banter with Michael brings a lot of humour when there is so much seriousness going on and it was a shame that this was missing for such a long time. The small amount of time that he does get though shows a lot about where his character is going. Although Shane seemed like the typical, moody teenage boy to begin with, I can see that there is a lot more depth to him, largely due to things that have happened in his past. He does think that he has a certain image to uphold though and doesn't want anyone else to see what is really underneath.

I was glad to see the relationships between Shane and Claire and Eve and Michael progress a little more but some parts just didn't make sense to me. As Claire is under the legal age (17), Shane has decided and made a promise that they wont have sex, even though it is obvious that they both really want to. I know that this is supposed to make him look like the gentleman and be all chivalrous but I just didn't believe it. So many teenage couples have sex before it is legal and this is why it didn't feel all that real to me. I do understand though that the author is probably trying to teach young people a lesson in this department and also wanted to make Shane be the good guy. I have to say though that there was quite a lot of built up tension between the two and it left me wondering how long it is going to be before anything really happens between the two.

Even though this is a YA novel, there were some parts that I didn't think very suitable for anyone under the age of at least 15 or so. The aspects of violence, date rape and sex were quite large parts of the story and something that I don't think anyone too young should be reading about. I do think that this series is aimed at a slightly older audience than most YA fantasy novels. There is also some swearing but I would expect that from teenagers in a situation such as Claire, Shane, Michael and Eve's. The swearing isn't overdone though and it is in context to what is going on in the story.

To even have a chance of following this book, you will need to have read Glass Houses otherwise you will be incredibly lost. I don't think that any of these books are going to be able to stand on their own but it isn't something that bothers me. I like having to read the characters background and have the chance to really get to know and feel for them.

Dead Girls' Dance is a fantastic sequel in this series and was everything and more than what I was expecting. If you haven't read this series yet then you need to go out and buy book one ASAP!! I can't recommend them highly enough.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

In My Mailbox (#3)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren to show what books everyone has been recieving or buying each week. 

Here's what I got this week:

For Review 

Shade - Jeri Smith Ready
(Released in UK on 2nd September 2010)

Like everyone born after the Shift, sixteen year-old Aura can see and talk to ghosts. She's always found this mysterious ability pretty annoying, wishing only that she could reverse it and have some peace. But when her boyfriend, Logan, dies unexpectedly, Aura is forced to reconsider her connections to the dead...

Devastated by Logan's sudden death, Aura realises that her ability to see ghosts might actually be a blessing. Surely a violet-hued spirit Logan is better than no Logan at all? But just when Aura is coming to terms with having a ghost for a boyfriend, she starts developing feelings for her new friend Zachary, who is understanding, supportive and, most of all, alive. Each boy holds a piece of her heart - as well as vital clues to the secret of the Shift - and it's time for Aura to choose between loving the living, or embracing the dead...

This is the first book that I have recieved for review since starting my blog so a big thanks to Jeri Smith Ready for getting me put on the list and also Simon and Schuster for sending me the book. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw it lying infront of the door!

My lovely friend over at Rhiana Reads... sent me a couple of books that she had doubles of which were:

Della says: OMG! - Keris Stainton

Della’s over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party – but then she discovers her diary has disappeared...

When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della’s distraught – how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?

Girl, 16. Five Star Fiasco - Sue Limb
The teenage world of Jess Jordon is looking characteristically chaotic: Mum has joined an online dating programme and has recruited Jess as advisor, while Jess' best friend Flora has a rich new boyfriend who Jess can't possibly keep up with. Then Jess' own boyfriend, Fred, does something unbelievably treacherous and spineless. Jess is becoming completely fed up with the male sex, and is beginning to think that the only reliable form of male is e-mail ...Never mind, there's Valentine's Day to look forward to. Fred is sure to make amends then. Isn't he?
Quite a mixture of genres there for me this week but I'm really looking forward to reading each of them.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Glass Houses: The Morganville Vampires Bk1 - Rachel Caine

Claire Danvers is 16 and incredibly clever. So clever that she got early acceptance into college, including MIT. Having lead quite a sheltered life, Claire's parents don't think that it's a good idea for her to be so far from home only being 16 so they sent her to Morganville, which isn't that far away.

Claire isn't happy about it but doesn't really have much of a choice. Not only is Claire at a college she didn't want to go to but she's also being bullied by Monica and her popular friends. Bullying would be putting it lightly actually. Monica and her friends really don't like Claire and end up pushing her down some stairs, warning her that she is in deep trouble later that night. Not wanting to find out of Monica is going to stand by her words, Claire heads off to seek off campus accommodation, even though it isn't really allowed.

Glass House is looking for a fourth housemate. Claire heads over to the house, not really knowing what to expect but when she gets there, she finds an old, mansion looking building which is pretty creepy. The only girl living there, Eve, finds her outside and invites her to come look around but lets her know that it is Michael that makes the decisions. Eve and Shane (one of the other housemates) have no problems with letting her stay but Michael doesn't think it's a good idea. He doesn't want anyone underage living there, knowing that it could cause trouble over anything else but after hearing about Claire's problems at the dorms, he can't help but say yes.

Claire thought she had it as bad as it could get at the dorms but then her new housemates tell her what is really going on around town. Morganville is a vampire town and they're everywhere. Her friends have some secrets of their own though and are going to have to pull together if they intend to stay alive in a town where anything could happen.

What I thought!
I was lucky enough to find books #1-8 in this series in The Works the other week in their 3 for £5 offer. When I first heard about these books, I wasn't that bothered about reading them in all honesty but when I saw how cheap they were, I couldn't resist. Each book was at least £5 on Amazon so I was saving myself a hell of a lot of money.

So many times I have read about supernatural beings that were actually the good guys. Not this time. There are no Edward Cullens in Morganville that's for sure. These vampires, although following the rules of the town, are pretty badass and have everyone, humans included, running around after them. The vampires try to use everything that they have to get what they want which means charm and creepy smiles. Sometimes this does make some of them seem like good guys but I wouldn't be too quick to believe them. After all, it just isn't in their nature to be nice is it?

Claire was easy to like. The book started off explaining the situation with her and Monica and I couldn't help but feel extremely sorry for her. Everyone else at the college is older than her and a lot more experienced in life so Claire had a lot to contend with to begin with. Also, no one likes a show off do they? It was quite strange to me that Claire loved studying so much though and was determined to continue going to her classes, no matter what was going on around her. I guess that is all she has ever known though with her parents seeming quite controlling over her schooling. Claire does start off quite the weak character but her new found friends seem to bring something more out of her which isn't fully expanded on in this book. I can see that through the other books in this series, Claire's character is going to go through a lot of changes.

The other people living at Glass House made this book for me. Shane is your typical tough guy. Gorgeous and strong but fun at the same time. The way that Rachel Caine writes these teenagers is so unbelievably true. The guys especially. Shane and Michael are quite obviously very into girls, playing on their X Box, shooting zombies and drinking when they get the chance. Never have I read such believable teenagers in a book of this genre. Shane doesn't really show any signs of emotion to begin with but as the story develops, something more comes out in him and we get to see what he's really like. Michael is quite the opposite to begin with. It's clear that he cares when Claire comes to the house because he doesn't want her there, to protect her but being the big softy that he is, he says yes anyway. Michael also has secrets that come out quite quickly.

Eve really made me laugh. In a town run by vampires, she goes around dressing like a goth, pretty much rubbing it in their faces, which isn't something that she really cares about. Eve is the tough girl with nerves of steel when it comes to the vampires and it was great to see her stand up to Michael and Shane when she didn't agree with what they were saying or doing. I was also really glad to see Claire gain a real friend in Eve, despite the fact that they were so different.

While these four main characters were amazing, they didn't all get much development. As I've said before though, there are 8 books in this series so far, with more to come so no doubt we will get to see many different things happen and change within them all.

I know I said that the characters made this book but the story was also fantastic. There's mystery, secrets, action, excitement and a little romance. The size of this book is quite average compared to others in the genre but it packed in so much more, without being overdone. I could never guess what was going to happen next and I could never see things coming, especially what happens with Michael. Due to the amount of action, I think that this would be suitable for both guys and girls, unlike others which seem to be more focuses on the romance side of things.

I really enjoyed reading Eve's diary at the end of the book. Quite a few books in this genre have taken to telling a story from two different people's points of view but this was done in an entirely different way. Instead of changing the way the story was written, the diary adds a little something extra to what was already a great book. With so much going on, I couldn't help but wonder what everyone else was thinking or feeling so at least this way, I got a small amount of what I wanted.

Rachel Caine writes a fantastic YA novel but doesn't write it so that it doesn't appeal to anyone else. I'm 24 and loved it. The ending was left at a pretty big cliff-hanger but luckily, I had the next book ready and waiting for me, which I picked up immediately. This is by far, the best big series in YA novels that I have ever read. Unfortunately, the books do have to be read in order or you will have no idea what is going on at all. I cant believe I waited to read these books because now I cant put them down. I've read books #1-6 in three days and hopefully will have finished the next two soon.

More Morganville reviews coming soon...If I can pull myself away from the other books!

Book Blogger Hop (#3 - 25th June)

Hey everyone. It's Friday so you know what time it is. It's time to do the hop again.

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books and runs from Friday to Sunday. The Hop is a fantastic way to get your blog noticed more and visit some other cool blogs that you didn't know about before. Head over and sign up and see what you can find! 

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

Torment - Lauren Kate

How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean - and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future...and that Daniel hasn't told her everything. What if his version of the past isn't actually the way things happened...what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else? (Taken from Good Reads)

UK Release date: 30th September 2010. Pre Order on Amazon for £6.49.

After reading the first book in this series, Fallen, I instantly went on Amazon to find out when Torment was being released. September can't come quick enough and I hope that there is as much excitement as passion this time around.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater

When Grace was a young girl, she was dragged off her tyre swing in her garden by a pack of wolves. As they descended upon her, Grace just lay there, not understanding what was happening. She lay there, not panicking or moving at all, just staring at the wolf with the big yellow eyes, the wolf that saved her.

Now 17, Grace still hasn't forgotten about her yellow eyed wolf. In fact, she even feeds him, sits waiting for him to appear and listens to the howls as she lays in bed. Grace knows that her wolf at least isn't dangerous but the whole town seem to think otherwise. A local school boy, Jack, has been killed by wolves and the whole town is out for revenge. Some of the locals head out to the woods with their guns and Grace knows she has to do something to help save her beloved wolf before it is too late.

Grace tries to stop the hunt but even lying doesn't stop them in time. In her garden, a young, naked boy, bleeding, stumbles through the woods. She immediately knows, as soon as she sees the boys eyes, that he is her wolf and he's bleeding to death. Shoving him into the back seat of her car, Grace drives him to the hospital and refuses to leave until he wakes up. This is where their story truly begins.

My Thoughts
I picked this book only because it was about werewolves. I thought that it would be really interesting to see how different authors wrote about the same mythical creature and how their ideas would differ. The only way that I can really write about this book is by comparing it to Twilight a little because they are the only other books that I have read that are anywhere near similar.

The concept of wolves in Shiver was completely different but just as interesting. These wolves change form when the temperature changes and there is nothing that they can really do to control it. Each chapter informs the reader of the temperature but I only noticed this right near the end of the book. I felt sorry for the majority of the wolves because of the way that they are made and what they must go through.

Sam, of course, was the wolf that I felt the most sorry for because, as the main character, we get to learn more about him. I loved that he was never a bad guy and that he was wonderfully nice throughout. He is the kind of character that you just want to give a big hug to. I cant imagine anyone not liking Sam because of a couple of reasons. He saves Grace at the start of the story and he seems to watch over her while he's a wolf although there wasn't much that he could do about anything. Although it is obvious that he wants what is best for Grace, he cant stay away from her but he knows towards the end, he knows exactly what he has to do, regardless of how he feels.

I wasn't too sure about Grace to begin with and I didn't fall in love with her straight away. Once the introduction was over, I really began to like her a lot after she saved Sam. She seems quite tough to begin with, knowing exactly what she wants but the cracks start to show once she realises her time with Sam might not last forever and she talks about her relationship with her parents. The only thing that I didn't really like about her was the fact that no matter how long she had waited for Sam, not even knowing if this time would ever come, she ditched her friends straight away. I understand that the book is supposed to be about love etc but the girl doesn't do this in a lot of other books. I kind of thought that this made Grace really weak and although she doesn't, only care about herself.

The secondary characters were also very interesting, especially the pack. I enjoyed learning about some of their pasts and knowing how they became wolves and part of the pack. The sequel will be out in 2010 and I'm hoping that we get to learn more about the wolves but a few more than others.

Shiver is actually written in quite a strange way. It is written in a similar way to Breaking Dawn but the change of character happens quite a lot. Sometimes every other chapter changes from Grace to Sam but then Grace gets 4 chapters to herself. I used to find it really difficult to read anything written in first person but this one was really easy to read and it isn't any where as confusing as it sounds. Instead of each character telling the same part of the story in their own way, it carries on from each of their point of views. I really liked this because Grace was at school a lot and reading about her being in lessons all of the time would have been really boring and long.

Shiver is a really interesting read and shines a whole different light on werewolves that isn't all happy and nice. There are good guys and bad guys with the wolves which was something that we didn't see in Twilight. I wasn't too sure about this book to begin with but I ended up really liking it and I have already read it twice in a really short time. Highly recommended.

In My Mailbox (#2)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren to show what everyone has been recieving or buying every week.

I was really good this week and only bought 2 books. Seeing as I'm starting university in October, I have decided to try to buy an equal amount of uni books and books for me. This week I bought The Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer (Review is already posted) and A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Since I started blogging!

So I've had my own blog for a couple of weeks now and already have 40 followers. I was so happy at 10, then 20 and now 40 is just fantastic. I'd just like to take a minute to thank everyone for stopping by and having a look but especially Rhiana Reads... and Chick Lit Reviews for giving me tips about starting up.

Even though I have only been doing this for a short time, this blog has already had a redesign but I'm much happier with the look now. Same colour scheme etc but a bit more snazzy!

I have been lucky enough to recieve 'The Versatile Blogger' award from Book SnobThe Books Of My Life and The Book Bluff. A big thanks to these guys for giving me this award.

The Rules for the award are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

7 Things About Me!
1. I have 2 part time jobs. One is working in a betting shop and the other in a chocolate shop.
2. One of my all time favourite books is The Secret Garden.
3. I loved reading as a child then couldn't stand it as a teenager. It took me to move to Canada and have no money to join the library and fall back in love with reading.
4. I'm moving to go to university in September to study English with Linguistics.
5. My books and DVDs have to be in a specific, organised order or I freak out a bit.
6. The only sport I like is ice hockey.

7. I love musical and dance films.

Blogs I've chosen to give this award to:
1. Book Savvy
2. And the plot thickens
3. Books love me
4. Candaces reading blog
5. A novel source
6. Cleverly inked
7. A maze of books
8. A journey of books
9. Book Crazy
10. Buried in books
11. Empire of books
12. Hooked on YA books
13. Falling off the shelf
14. Novels during naptime
15. My world of books

This award comes from My Neutotic Book Affair.

Here's how the award works (as copied from The Book Fairy's Haven blog):
If you are given this award you must first accept it by leaving a comment on the post you were nominated on.

Then copy and paste the post and add it to your own blog. Make a list of the last 5 books you read and pass the award on to 5 other bloggers (no backsies!). Please also identify the blog from which you got the award and don’t forget to tell your picks that they have a blog award!

The last 5 books I read are:
1. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer

2. Spells - Aprilynne Pike
3. Wings - Aprilynne Pike
4. Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce

5. The Reformed Vampire Support Group - Catherine Jinks

Here are the 5 blogs I am passing this award on to:

1. Always with a book
2. An addicted book reader
3. In the hammock
4. Leilani loves books
5. Bookish in a box

Thanks to everyone who has come to visit since I started! It's very appreciated.

Book Blogger Hop (#2 - 18 June)

Last week was the first time I took part in the Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Jennifer @ Crazy for Books. I found so many great blogs last week and some lovely people came over to check out mine!

Head over to Crazy for Books to take part! 

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer

'The short second life of Bree Tanner' is an Eclipse novella and follows the story of Bree, a three month old vampire caught up in something that she doesn't understand. The war between Victoria and the Cullen family is drawing closer and an army is being made, even though the vampires are far from away of this fact. All of the new 'newborns' live together in a grotty house and take it in turns to go out hunting but even though she is thirsty a lot, Bree just wants to keep her head down and not draw attention to herself, unlike some of the others.

Out on a night hunting, the vampires Bree is sent out with are determined to do what they like but Bree has other ideas. When Diego, a slightly older vampire turns out, she decides to leave with him to save herself getting in trouble and the pair quickly become friends. After having to spend some time in an underwater cave, thinking that the sun will kill them, they realise that they don't know everything there is about being a vampire. It seems that their leader has been lying to them and if he would lie about the sun, what else has he been keeping from them. Bree and Diego decide to team up and figure out what is going on but time is not on their side as the war is quickly moved forward.

Even though Bree was on the bad side of the vampires, I couldn't help but like her from the very start. It was clear that she wasn't like the others and the best way that I can describe it is by saying that she had more humanity although that is not technically true. It was easy to see that she didn't want to go around killing as many as possible and that she believed in sticking to the rules that she had been taught. Some might say that this could just be obeying orders but some of the other vampires were out of control and this was something that Bree never showed.

What I really loved about her was that she just didn't seem as evil and blood thirsty as the others which was made more visible when Diego befriended Bree. Unless you knew that they were vampires, you would have just thought that they were only really good friends. Their banter and jokes made the story much lighter than it could have been, making it a more enjoyable read for me.

Even though I really enjoyed learning about Bree, Diego and their relationship, I also enjoyed the action and excitement. Knowing which side Bree was on made me wonder how gory this book was going to be so I was glad that it wasn't overdone. It was great to see Stephenie Meyer's take on the 'real' vampires compared with the Cullens. After spending so long writing about 'vegetarians', Meyer did a fantastic job of making the army, their thirst and characteristics come to life.

The lead up to the war and the newborns serving their purpose was so exciting to read, knowing where things were going to go. Once the newborns knew that they had people to take out, it all got quite animalistic with them showing their excitement and thirst. It was actually quite scary to think of 20ish newborns out on a rampage to kill one poor little human (although I hate Bella and would probably have wanted to see her die!). The excitement in this novella was much better than in Eclipse and made up for a lot of what had been missing before.

This book is no where near the length of any of the Twilight Saga but for me, the length was perfect. Meyer gave me everything that I wanted to know about Bree and the army that was missing from Eclipse and added in a little romance and humour at the same time. I managed to read this in only a couple of hours on a train to Nottingham and it made my journey much more enjoyable than normal. I know people are going to be comparing this to the Twilight Saga but they really shouldn't because it is quite different. I would love to read this story from Diego's point of view so here's hoping that we get another novella from Ms Meyer in the not too distant future.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce

As a young girl, Scarlett March protected her little sister Rosie when a Fenris (werewolf) tried to attack them and killed their Grandmother. Knowing that unless she did something, both sisters would die, Scarlett was courageous and faced the beast herself, losing an eye in the process.

Now a teenager, Scarlett, clad in an alluring red cape, hunts the Fenris to avenge the death of her beloved Grandmother and prevent harm coming to other girls like her. Rosie is not a born hunter like Scarlett though but feels like it is something she has to do to pay her sister back for saving her life.
When Rosie has a run in with two Fenris' from a powerful clan, the sisters realise that things are a lot worse than they thought. Childhood friend, Silas is also in on the hunt and heads off to the city with the girls in an attempt to take out as many Fenris as possible. Once there though, the trio discover that each clan are looking for a Potential, a human who they can turn into one of their own and the hunt is on to make sure they get to him first. If this wasn't enough, the sisters are having a hard time keeping their bond strong when their views begin to differ and Rosie is drawn to Silas.

I have been a complete sucker for pretty covers when it came to buying books this week. When I was supposed to be only browsing in W H Smiths, this book instantly stood out to me and I knew I had to have it. Due to it being in the 3 for 2 offer, I figure I might as well get a couple more at the same time...again with amazingly pretty covers. Sometimes, book covers can be extremely deceiving and are only so pretty to make you buy awful books. Luckily, this isn't the case with Sisters Red.

I have to say that if this book had a soundtrack, it would most definitely be 'Sisters are doing it for themselves'. Both Scarlett and Rosie are strong young women, with clear ideas of what is right and wrong, even though they don't always agree on this. Females in the YA genre are generally seen as being the weaker characters, batting their eyelashes and flicking their hair at the hot guys (ok, Rosie does do this but I forgive her) and for once, this book breaks most stereotypes. Scarlett and Rosie are kick ass and will let no man tell them what to do. I loved both of them for different reasons but they quickly became my two favourite female characters from any book I have read this year. Seriously, you wouldn't want to mess with these girls!

While parts of the girls are extremely hardened by previous events, they both also have softer sides. They both clearly love each other a lot and would do anything to keep the other safe, even if it meant doing something that they didn't really want to. There are some extremely heartfelt moments between the sisters that were so lovely to read. Having an older sister myself, I could relate to Rosie a lot, especially when she wasn't getting what she wanted.

With the girls being so different at times, Silas was quite the middle man in the trio and it seemed like he wanted to do everything possible to see both sisters happy at all times, which wasn't an easy thing to do. Silas had both of the best parts of the girls' personalities mixed together. He was strong when needed but also wasn't afraid to show his softer side. A perfect blend of a man. For once, I loved all of the main characters in this book, which is something I can't remember happening in any other in this genre. Jackson Pearce knows how to write characters that people can relate to and fall in love with.

The story begins in a small town where Scarlett, Rosie and Silas grew up but doesn't stay there for long. I liked that all three characters moved to the city together because it seemed like one of them would have fallen apart without the others. The mix of settings was interesting too because the girls had never been out of the town they lived in. Everything was so new and exciting but also scary at the same time and their feelings and thoughts were described very clearly. As the story is told from both Scarlett and Rosie's perspectives (alternate chapters), I felt like I was walking new streets with each of them at different times.

The plot unfolds quite quickly and there is a lot of action along the way (some of it quite gory). There was always something happening which is made to feel even more action packed due to the way the story is told. Once the story had unfolded and explained the real reason for the Fenris gathering, I figured out what was going on pretty quickly even though I was hoping that I wasn't right. Even though I had already figured out what was going on, the build up to the end still had a shocking impact on me which I wasn't ready for at all. Normally I hate when I can guess what is going to happen but I really didn't mind this time around.

When I started reading Sisters Red, I only planned on reading a couple of chapters but soon found that I didn't want to put it down, resulting in me finishing the whole thing in a day. Along with loveable characters and an exciting story, Sisters Red is a very easy and addictive read. There are some references to Little Red Riding Hood, as you may have guessed from the red capes and wolves but unlike other books retelling classic stories, Pearce didn't overdo these parts and instead, only added aspects to a story that was very much their own. I have read a lot of YA this year but this is my favourite so far. I will be looking out for more titles by this author and getting them as soon as I can.

My Books!

So I thought I would let you all have a look at my wonderful books (All extremely organised I might add). I would love more bookcases to separate each genre but my room just doesn't have the space.

My shelf space is beginning to worry me a little because I'm going to be studying English at uni in October and will aquire so many more books. Oh well... I guess they'll have to tower up against the wall or something.

Case 1:
Shelf 1: Stephanie Laurens
Shelf 2: Gaelen Foley
Shelf 3: Eloisa James, Liz Carlyle, Sabrina Jeffries and Judith McNaught (+2 random books)
Shelf 4: Julia Quinn and Johanna Lindsey
Shelf 5: Classics and Historical Fiction

Case 2:
Shelf 1: YA Vampire
Shelf 2: YA Mixed
Shelf 3: Chick Lit
Shelf 4: Chick Lit/ Random
Shelf 5: Children, Travel and Non Fiction

As you can see, I don't only read YA Fiction. In fact, most of my books aren't YA but that is because I only started reading this genre last year.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren to show what everyone has been recieving or buying every week.

In My Mailbox (#1)

Sisters Red - Jackson Pearce 
Wings - Aprilynne Pike
Spells - Aprilynne Pike
When She Was Bad - Louise Bagshawe

All of these were store bought. The Morganville Vampire books were part of a 3 for £5 offer in 'The Works' which I thought was a complete bargain!
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