Sunday, 31 May 2009

In My Mailbox 18

This was started by the fabulous Kristi who was inspired by Alea. If you want more information check out their blogs. All summaries are from the book jackets.

The Demon’s Lexicon - Sarah Rees Brennan

Sixteen-year-old Nick knows that demons are real.

Magicians call up demons in exchange for their power. The demons can appear in any shape, show you marvels, promise you anything - until you invite them in and receive their mark.

What happens next?
First you get possessed.
Then you die.

Nick’s been on the run his entire life, ever since his mother stole a charm from the most feared magician of them all, and the only person he trusts is his brother Alan. Alan’s just been marked by a demon. Only Nick can save him, but to do so he must face the magicians - and kill them.

The hunt is on, and Nick’s going to discover things he never dreamed were out there…

Fragile Eternity - Melissa Marr

Seth never expected to settle down forever - but that was before Aislinn. Unfortunately, forever takes on a whole new meaning when your girlfriend is a faerie queen…

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures that had always terrified her - but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she’d ever imagined.

In Melissa Marr’s third mesmerising tale of Faerie, Seth and Aislinn struggle to stay true to themselves and each other, in a world where one false step could plunge the Earth into chaos…

The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.

But Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.

Or are there?

Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence.

Which is impossible.

Prentisstown has been lying to him.

And now he’s going to have to run…

I got some really great books this week and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

Sophie

Friday, 29 May 2009

Fire Study - Maria V. Snyder

Fire Study - Maria V. Snyder

Pages: 441
Publisher: MIRA Books
Release Date: 16th January 2009

Other Titles in this Series: Poison Study (my review), Magic Study (my review)

The apprenticeship is over.
Now the real test has begun.

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder - able to capture and release souls - spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her in her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.

Honour sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies and enemies. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself - and save the land she holds dear.

Fire Study is the action-filled conclusion to Yelena’s story. It’s the most exciting of the trilogy by far.

The action and adventure began almost instantly and continued throughout the entire book. Yelena and the rest of the characters didn’t stop. They were always fighting for their lives, escaping on their horses or planning their next attack. I felt exhausted for the characters! For some reason, I got a bit fed up of all of the fighting and at some points, I just couldn’t wait for Fire Study to end.

I liked some of the background characters more than I did the main ones (apart from Valek, of course!). I really loved Kiki. Her loyalty and love for Yelena was heart-warming, and for a horse, she’s pretty wise and very charming! I really looked forward to the interactions between Kiki and Yelena for this reason. The other character that I really liked was the Commander. His character continued to develop throughout the trilogy and the reasons for the way that he rules Ixia became apparent. Lots of shocking revelations were made about him that made me like him even more.

But what I liked most about Fire Study was the happy ending. At times it seemed like there was no chance of it ending happily, but it did. Rather cheesily, good conquered evil and they all (well, most of them) lived happily ever after. But I love cheesy endings so I was perfectly happy!

The Study trilogy will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading about a strong heroine learning who is whilst embroiled in magic and adventure.

Sophie

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Magic Study - Maria V. Snyder

Magic Study - Maria V. Snyder

Pages: 419
Publisher: MIRA Books
Release Date: 16th May 2008

Other Book in the Series: Poison Study (my review), Fire Study

Confronting the past.
Controlling the future.

With an execution order on her head, Yelena has no choice but to escape Sitia, the land of her birth. With only a year to master her magic - or face death - Yelena must begin her apprenticeship and travels to the Four Towers of the Magician’s Keep.

But nothing in Sitia is familiar. Not the family to whom she is a stranger. Not the unsettling new facets of her magic. Not the brother who resents her return. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her rare powers, a rogue magician emerges - and Yelena catches his eye.

Suddenly she is embroiled in battle against good and evil. And once again it will be her magical abilities that will either save her…or be her downfall.

Magic Study is the fantastic sequel to Poison Study. I liked this one a lot more than the first one as there was a lot more romance. And I love romance!

The Zaltana’s home in the jungle canopy was amazing. It was basic and yet everything that they needed with only a few simplified modern technologies like Esau’s vine pulley lift. The jungle is loud, colourful and bursting with life.

The differences between Sitia and Ixia are startling. When Yelena was in Ixia Sitia seemed like a magical place to be, but when she got there and it’s reality was exposed, I immediately preferred Ixia. It’s sense of justice and organisation trumped Sitia’s winner-takes-all society that is much like ours. Although, I do love the magic and tree-top living of Sitia.

I loved the variety of magical abilities that we learned about in Magic Study. from healing to body swapping to starting fires with the mind. The variety of skills and abilities and the capabilities of the different magicians really illustrated how exceptional Yelena’s magic is.

I really enjoyed Magic Study and I’m looking forward to seeing how Yelena’s story concludes in Fire Study. I really want her to be reunited with Valek!

Sophie

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder

Pages: 409
Publisher: MIRA Books
Release Date: 21st September 2007

Other Titles in the Series: Magic Study, Fire Study

Choose:
A quick death
Or slow poison…

Yelena has a choice - be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.

Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. and who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?

When Yelena realises she has extraordinary magical powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death…

Poison Study is something that I wouldn’t normally read. That may be why it took me until about half-way through the book to engage with the characters and enjoy the story.

I don’t feel that I really connected with Yelena, though I did like and care for her. She is the opposite of me in nearly every way which may be why I found no common ground with her. But I did love her strength, bravery and her witty, sarcastic comments. These traits made her a brilliant heroine.

Right from the very beginning, the way that Maria V. Snyder described Yelena’s surroundings captured my imagination. Her beautiful writing and minute detail helped the story to come alive and jump off of the page into my mind. I also loved the magic that coated the world which could be pulled too tight or become too concentrated when the magicians used it. It’s very clever and something that I haven’t encountered before that I really enjoyed.

But Valek was definitely my favourite part of Poison Study. He is your classic bad boy with a heart whom every girl loves. I liked that there was more to him than met the eye and watching him soften towards Yelena made me smile. The supporting characters were also well-developed and each had distinctive personalities that really added to the story.

I really enjoyed Poison Study in the end and I’m looking forward to seeing what Yelena gets up to in Magic Study.

Sophie

Monday, 25 May 2009

Rachel Caine Signing

On Saturday I got my dad drive me and my sister up to Bluewater to meet Rachel Caine. She was really nice and signed all five of the Morganville books for me. I also got a Morganville wristband and a huge 'Morganville Resident' sticker. Here are some pics.

My wristband and sticker.




I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Sophie

Sunday, 24 May 2009

In My Mailbox 17

This was started by the fabulous Kristi who was inspired by Alea. If you want more information check out their blogs. All summaries are from the book jackets.

Unsticky - Sarra Manning

STATE OF GRACE

Money makes the world go round - that’s what twenty-something Grace Reeves is learning. Stuck in grind where everyone’s ahead apart from her, she’s partied out, disillusioned, and massively in debt. If she’s dumped by another rock-band wannabe, squashed by anyone else in her cut-throat fashion job, or chased by anymore bailiffs. Grace suspects she’ll fall apart…

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE

So when older, sexy, and above all, wealthy art-dealer Vaughn appears, she’s intrigued against her will. Could she handle being a sugar daddy’s arm-candy?

SAVING GRACE

Soon Grace is thrown into a world of money and privilege, at Vaughn’s beck and call in return for thousands of pounds in luxurious gifts, priceless clothes - and cash. She’s out of her depth. Where’s the line between acting the trophy girlfriend, and selling yourself for money? And, more importantly: what ever happened to love?

High fashion, high art, high expectations - this is Pretty Woman for the twenty-first century.

This is Sarra’s first adult novel and I’m so excited to read it as I love her books. But as it is adult, do you all still want me to review it?

Beautiful Dead: Jonas - Eden Maguire

Not alive. Not dead. Somewhere in between lie the Beautiful Dead.

The first of four books that will leave you restless...

Something strange is happening at Ellerton High. Jonas, Arizona, Summer, Phoenix. All dead within a year.

Darina, Phoenix's grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can't escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those who are meant to be dead.
And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head...
Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?

I reviewed the ARC here and I loved it so I’m really happy to have a finished copy at last. You can also enter my contest to win the ARC of this book here.

Magic Study - Maria V. Snyder

Confronting the past.
Controlling the future.

With an execution order on her head, Yelena has no choice but to escape Sitia, the land of her birth. With only a year to master her magic - or face death - Yelena must begin her apprenticeship and travels to the Four Towers of the Magician’s Keep.

But nothing in Sitia is familiar. Not the family to whom she is a stranger. Not the unsettling new facets of her magic. Not the brother who resents her return. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her rare powers, a rogue magician emerges - and Yelena catches his eye.

Suddenly she is embroiled in battle against good and evil. And once again it will be her magical abilities that will either save her…or be her downfall.

Fire Study - Maria V. Snyder

The apprenticeship is over.
Now the real test has begun.

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder - able to capture and release souls - spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her in her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.

Honour sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies and enemies. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself - and save the land she holds dear.

Moonlight: A Dark Guardian Novel - Rachel Hawthorne

I see him and know what this turmoil inside of me means: He’s the one. My forever.

Kayla is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can’t understand why she’s so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she’s inherited a terrifying - and thrilling - gene that will change her life forever.

Lucas is dangerous, gorgeous . . . And a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect the pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harms way.

As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.

Ghost Huntress: The Awakening - Marley Gibson

Kendall Moorhead can’t sleep. Not a wink.

Ever since her family moved from Chicago to the small town of Radisson, Georgia, Kendall hasn’t gotten a decent night’s sleep. It’s just too freaking quiet.

To remedy the situation, Kendall’s father brings home a white noise machine. The soothing sound of static should Kendall drift off to la-la land.

But what Kendall hears is anything but relaxing: A voice comes through the machine. A Voice? Has Kendall completely lost her mind? Or is she waking up to a world she never knew existed?

Stargazer - Claudia Gray

The vampire in me was closer to the surface…

Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all - vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in love with Lucas - a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.

Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross - or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca’s secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yet Bianca isn’t the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning…

I’m so excited about reading this. I can’t wait to can start it!

Lord of Misrule: The Morganville Vampires - Rachel Caine (signed)

Morganville, Texas. Just south of normal.

In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, a master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule.

But Bishop isn’t the only threat.

Violent black clouds promise a storm of devastating proportions. As student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against the elements - both natural and unnatural - the unexpected happens: Morganville’s vampires begin to disappear one by one. Discovering why leads Claire one last choice: swear allegiance to Bishop…or die.

I bought this at Rachel Caine’s signing yesterday. She was lovely enough to sign all five books in The Morganville Vampires series for me. I also got a Morganville wristband and a glow in the dark sticker which I'll probably post about tomorrow.

After getting nothing last week I was extremely pleased with this week’s haul. I’ve got so many amazing books that I don’t know what to read next!

Sophie

Friday, 22 May 2009

Gone - Michael Grant

Gone - Michael Grant

Pages: 570
Publisher: Egmont Press
Release Date: 6th April 2009

Other Titles in this Series: Hunger (US June/09, UK 05/04/10)

‘One minute the teacher was there, the next, he was gone. There. Gone.’

In the blink of an eye all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. First a car crash; a house up in flames; then a complete communication breakdown…

Suddenly cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. They must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen - strong or weak. Cruel or humane.

A new world order is rising, and, even scarier, some survivors have power - power that no one has ever seen before…

Gone is one of the best books that I’ve read this year. It was a brilliant start to an amazing series.

The first thing that struck me about Gone was how mature all of the main characters were. They all seemed so much older than fourteen. When I was fourteen I didn’t know a single guy who would run into a burning building to save a child they didn’t know like Sam did. I suppose that Sam’s situation would have made him grow up pretty quickly, though.

One of the things that I really liked about Gone was how the seemingly unconnected characters that began the novel all came together as the story progressed. The way that all of their stories intertwined helped to show the ways in which the situation affected different people.

In lots of the post-apocalyptic novels that I’ve read, a life-changing event takes place that changes the world but has no other repercussions that the obvious ones. That definitely wasn’t the case in Gone. Like Astrid said, the laws of nature changed and that set off other changes that affected all aspects of the character’s lives. I really like the way that Michael Grant did this; it was individual and very clever.

The preview of Hunger at the end of the book made me eager to find out what happens next to Sam and the gang after a rather ominous excerpt. I highly recommend this fabulous book.

Sophie

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King

The Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King

Pages: 320
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: 1st February 2009

In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of one hundred dogs, dooming her to one hundred lives of a dog before returning to a human body - with her memories intact.

Now she’s a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

The Dust of 100 Dogs is a fresh, original story from a new author that sucked me into a world of treasure, reincarnation and life on the seven seas.

I loved how the book flicked between the stories of Emer, Saffron and, later, Fred. All three were connected and helped to explain how Emer became Saffron. Emer’s chapters were definitely my favourites as I’ve never read about pirates before and I loved all of the action and adventure that she encountered.

The realities of pirate life, such as gangrene, danger and the awful smell weren’t shied away from. This made Emer’s story much more authentic, so much so that I got a real sense of life as a pirate. I also liked how Emer’s bloodthirsty thoughts were a part of Saffron. This really helped to demonstrate the link between the two of them.

All of the dog facts were a really fun way to get an insight into the many lives that Emer lived as a dog. I really enjoyed them. And as a sucker for happy endings, I also really liked the end of The Dust of 100 Dogs but you’ll have to read it to find out what happens!

This is a brilliantly unusual novel that I highly recommend. I can’t wait to read what A.S. King writes next.

Sophie

Monday, 18 May 2009

Contest: ARC of Beautiful Dead: Jonas - Eden Maguire (CLOSED)

I'm holding my first ever contest for an ARC of Beautiful Dead: Jonas - Eden Maguire. This is the first in a brilliant four book series. You can see my review here.

Beautiful Dead: Jonas - Eden Maguire

Not alive. Not dead. Somewhere in between lie the Beautiful Dead.

The first of four books that will leave you restless...

Something strange is happening at Ellerton High. Jonas, Arizona, Summer, Phoenix. All dead within a year.

Darina, Phoenix's grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can't escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those who are meant to be dead.

And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head...

Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?

To win:
+1 leave a comment containing your email address
+2 blog about the contest or put in your sidebar
+2 become/are a followers
This contest will be international and will end at 11:59pm Monday 1st June GMT.

Good luck!

Sophie

Friday, 15 May 2009

News: Catching Fire UK Cover

I was browsing Amazon, as I often do and I came across this.

The UK cover for Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins. I was so excited that I had to share it with you all.

From Amazon: After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen returns to her district, hoping for a peaceful future. But Katniss starts to hear rumours of a deadly rebellion against the Capitol. A rebellion that she and Peeta have helped to create. As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless Katniss and Peeta can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. This is the terrifying sequel to The Hunger Games.

Catching Fire is released in the US and the UK on 7th September 2009.

Sorry about the last of posts this week but I had my first exam today and I'v got another on Wednesday. After that's out of the way things will be back to normal unitl the beginning of June when they start again. Have a great weekend everyone!

Sophie

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Evernight - Claudia Gray

Evernight - Claudia Gray

Pages: 327
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: 1st April 2009

Other Titles in This Series: Stargazer

Bianca wants to escape.

At the eerily gothic Evernight Academy, the other students are sleek, smart, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn’t fit in.

When she meets handsome, brooding Lucas, he warns her to be careful - even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between them can’t be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart…and to make Bianca question everything she’s ever believed.

I absolutely loved Evernight. The plot was past-paced and surprising and the characters well well-developed and realistic. It was amazing.

Evernight Academy is completely awesome. A miss-match, gothic castle complete with gargoyles, turrets and stained-glass windows. It’s the sort of place I’d love to visit, though not necessarily stay the night! To me it seemed like a cross between Hogwarts and the House of Night.

I loved how the characters changed throughout the novel. Both Bianca and Lucas continued to surprise me and at some points had me blinking in astonishment at some of their revelations. My only gripe about the characters would be that in the beginning there was a lot of focus on Bianca’s shyness then seemed to magically disappear after a couple of chapters.

There were lots of twists and turns to the story that took me by complete surprise. I liked the different take on vampire lore and where that took the story. It was very clever and added a whole other dimension to the story and characters.

I really loved Evernight and I’m eagerly waiting for my copy of Stargazer to arrive in the post.

Sophie

Monday, 11 May 2009

Bang, Bang, You're Dead! - Narinder Dhami

Bang, Bang, You’re Dead! - Narinder Dhami

Pages: 248
Publisher: Corgi Books
Release Date: 7th May 2009

Other Titles by This Author: Bindi Babes, Bollywood Babes, Bhangra Babes, Sunita’s Secret, Dani’s Diary

It seems like just another day at school - then Mia’s world turns upside down.

School is being evacuated. Rumour has it there’s a gunman in the building. And Mia has a horrible feeling she knows who it is…

Her brother has been acting strangely. He’s been threatening to do something drastic, something frightening, something that cannot be ignored…but just how far will he go?

Mia is determined to find out, but playing cat and mouse with a potential killer is a very dangerous game…

I didn’t know what to expect from Bang, Bang, You’re Dead! I’ve never read anything like it before, but I loved it.

Adrenalin pulses through every sentence and the suspense is increased with every word. The action began almost instantly and most of the novel took place over a period of a couple of hours. This resulted in an intense, thought-provoking novel that took my breath away.

Narinder Dhami dealt with dark, heavy subjects such as school shootings, death, bullying and mental illness with care and skill. The issues formed the backbone to the novel whilst still allowing Mia to tell her story.

The twist at the end was shocking. It surprised me so much that I had to re-read a few lines to make sure that I had it right. It was completely unexpected and took the story in a whole other direction.

Bang, Bang, You’re Dead! is a powerful, engaging novel about something that, thankfully, doesn’t happen very often in Britain that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ll definitely be looking out for more of Narinder Dhami’s novels.

Sophie

Sunday, 10 May 2009

In My Mailbox 16

This was started by the fabulous Kristi who was inspired by Alea. If you want more information check out their blogs. All summaries are from the book jackets.

Wake - Lisa McMann

Not all dreams are sweet.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can’t tell anybody about what she does - they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she was a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant…

I tried to wait for the UK publication in November but after seeing all the reviews of Fade I buckled and ordered it from the US. I’m very excited to read it.

Bang, Bang, You’re Dead! - Narinder Dhami

It seems like just another day at school - then Mia’s world turns upside down.

School is being evacuated. Rumour has it there’s a gunman in the building. And Mia has a horrible feeling she knows who it is…

Her brother has been acting strangely. He’s been threatening to do something drastic, something frightening, something that cannot be ignored…but just how far will he go?

Mia is determined to find out, but playing cat and mouse with a potential killer is a very dangerous game…

Thank you to Ruth from Random House for sending me this. My review will be up tomorrow.

The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide - Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

From Amazon: We are very proud (and a bit wary) to announce the publication of The Spiderwick Chronicles. But beware, the faeries will use all their power to stop you from reading these books. Book 1 of The Spiderwick Chronicles in which Mallory, Simon and Jared get acquainted with their new home but find many unexpected things. It all starts when Jared Grace find their great uncle's book, "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastic World Around You." and realises that are not alone in their new house. Now the Grace kids want to tell their story but the faeries will do everything to stop them...Its up to you to spread the word about their discovery. But heed their warnings, wear some red, turn your clothes inside out - all anti-faerie devices - and get ready to enter a world that you never knew existed...Its closer than you think!

I loved the film and Holly Black’s Modern Tales of Faery so I’m really looking forward to reading this.

The Last Days - Scott Westerfeld

Something evil is bubbling under New York. People are going crazy and vampires stalk the streets. For Pearl, Moz and Zahler, life goes on and all that matters is their new band. As the city reels under a mysterious epidemic, the three combine their talents with a vampire lead singer and a drummer whose fractured mind can see the coming darkness. Will their music stave off the growing danger? Or summon it?

Set against the gritty apocalypse that began in Parasite Positive, The Last Days is about five teenagers who find themselves creating the soundtrack for the end of the world.

I loved Parasite Positive so I can’t wait to see what happens to New York now the vampires have taken over.

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side - Beth Fantasky

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica’s senior year “Get-a-Life” plan.

Enter a bizarre new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu who claims Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth and he’s her long lost fiancĂ©e. He’s arrogant, officious, embarrassingly overprotective, and well, incredibly hot.

Armed with a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica tries to imagine the transition from an average American teenager to a glam European vampire princess. But just when things start to heat up with Lucius, a devious cheerleader sets her sights on him.

Soon Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war - and save Lucius’s soul from eternal damnation. All of which leaves her to wonder: Wouldn’t life be easier if she could just fall for a nice mortal boy?

After reading the interview and guest blog with Beth Fantasky on Wondrous Reads I couldn’t wait any longer to read it.

Need - Carrie Jones

Pain shoots through my head. Fireworks. Explosions. All inside my brain. The white world goes dark and I know what’s about to happen.

Zara White suspects there’s a freaky guy semi-stalking her. And it’s true, she hasn’t exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane…but Zara’s pretty sure her mom just can’t deal with her right now.

She couldn’t be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara’s overactive imagination. In fact, he’s still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There’s something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.

In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you’d have to fear.

I was going to wait for the paperback of this, but I couldn’t control myself any longer! I had to have it.

I got some really amazing books this week and I'm really excited to read them all.

Sophie

Friday, 8 May 2009

Season of Secrets - Sally Nicholls

Season of Secrets - Sally Nicholls

Pages: 254
Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books
Release Date: 6th April 2009

Other Titles by This Author: Ways to Live Forever

On a wild and stormy night Molly runs away from her grandparents’ house. Her dad has sent her to live there until he Sorts Things Out at home.

In the howling darkness, Molly sees a desperate figure running for his life from a terrifying ,midnight hunt. He has come to help her. But why? And who is he?

Season of Secrets weaves the tale of a heartbroken child and an age-old legend into a haunting story of love, healing and strange magic.

Having loved Sally Nicholls’ debut novel Ways to Live Forever, I had high expectations for Season of Secrets. It didn’t disappoint me.

Sally Nicholls weaves tales of myth and magic into Molly’s story in a way that you doubt the story would be without them. The legends of the Oak and Holly King’s, the Greek myth of Persephone and Loxi, the evil Viking god, all tie in with elements of Molly’s life and feelings and help her to deal with the turns her life has taken.

Books are a very prominent feature in Season of Secrets. Molly’s relationship with books is very similar to mine. She gets lost in stories of magic and mystery as a way to escape and also cope with the changes in her life. They are devoured one after another and she often expresses her wish that books were real and that she could disappear into any story she wanted. This is one of the main reasons that I understood Molly the way that I did.

Aside from the myth and magic, there were heavier issues dealt with in Season of Secrets. Death, not fitting in and sibling rivalries were the backbone of the story. It was told in a child’s mindset and some of the things that she said were said in a plain, logical way that was heartbreaking. One particular passage stuck with me, ‘Going on to someone’s land isn’t nearly as bad as abandoning your daughters, and that’s what Dad’s done to us. And he got away with it.’ It makes perfect sense but as I read those lines I automatically tried to explain it, but I still think that Molly is right. I wish I still had that childlike logic; I could get away with anything!

This is a beautiful book for both children and adults that reminds you to look for the magic all around you, whether it’s in spring flowers, stories or a midnight hunt with a magical king.

Sophie

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Ink Exchange - Melissa Marr

Ink Exchange - Melissa Marr

Pages: 313
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Release Date: 2nd April 2009

Other Titles in the Series: Wicked Lovely, Fragile Eternity (28/05/09)

Images cluttered the page, but one tattoo set her nerves on edge: inky-black eyes surrounded by wings like shadows coalescing.

Mine. The need was overpowering. Leslie looked up. “This one,” she said. “I need this one.”

But the image is more than just tempting art, and it draws Leslie into a world of shadows and desire - into the world of Faerie.

This book was brilliant. Melissa Marr’s writing just keeps getting better.

It was great to be back in the world of Faery again. As I read Wicked Lovely a while ago, it took me a while to get to grips with faery lore again, but when I did, I didn’t want to leave! Melissa Marr writes in a way that almost allows you to believe in the darkly alluring world hidden from mortal eyes. Man, do I want to be a part of that world! I have no explanation as to why, I just do!

Melissa Marr’s skill at creating an extraordinary world extends to her characters. They are beautifully constructed and expertly portrayed. Leslie is inspirational in her strength and her desire to survive. She’s someone I’d want on my side. Niall is a complex mystery. There are so many layers to him and his story. I’d love for there to be a book from his point of view entirely so I can try and figure him out. And Seth. Do I need to say anymore? I’d like to read from his point of view as well because we didn’t see enough of him in Ink Exchange in my opinion. I mean, he can’t like Keenan very much, can he? He’s been thrust into Faery as well, I wonder what it’s like for him? But it’s Irial who really intrigues me. My opinion of him changed all the time I was reading and I felt that not even he knows who he truly is anymore.

Nothing is black and white in Melissa Marr’s world of faery. There are sides to take, secrets to keep and peaces to be maintained. Everything is complicated and intricate in a way that allows you to be swallowed up by the story and escape to a dark, enticing world where nothing is as it seems.

As you can probably guess, I loved Ink Exchange and I’m waiting on tenterhooks for the UK release of Fragile Eternity at the end of the month.

Sophie

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Meet Me at the Boathouse - Suzanne Bugler

Meet Me at the Boathouse - Suzanne Bugler

Pages: 276
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Release Date: 17th May 2007

Other Titles by This Author: Staring Up at the Sun

Louise knows that Danny loves her more than anyone ever could. It isn’t his fault he gets things mixed up sometimes…

It doesn’t mean he’s a liar.

Then something terrible happens, and all the good things melt away. Louise and Danny are hanging out with dodgy people, doing things that aren’t right. Danny isn’t exciting anymore…he’s weird, and he’s starting to scare her.

Could everyone else have been right all along?

I can’t actually decide what I think about Meet Me at the Boathouse. It was good in the way that it was well written and had realistic, believable characters, but I just didn’t enjoy it.

There was something about this book that made me uncomfortable. From the very beginning, Danny gave me the creeps. Everything about him screamed, ‘Stay away’. That feeling just got stronger and stronger as the novel progressed and I eventually got to the point where I couldn’t wait for it to end.

I was anticipating physical violence from Danny but I felt that even when it happened, the psychological harm that he inflicted on Louise was so much worse. This may have been what set me on edge but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

The feelings that I had whilst reading Meet Me at the Boathouse have put me off reading Suzanne Bugler’s other novel, but I may change my mind at some point.

Sophie

Monday, 4 May 2009

Envy: A Luxe Novel - Anna Godbersen

Envy: A Luxe Novel - Anna Godbersen

Pages: 405
Publisher: Puffin Books
Release Date: 7th May 2009

Other Titles in This Series: The Luxe, Rumours: A Luxe Novel

New York City, 1900

In high society nothing is more dangerous than a scandal. Two months have passed since the esteemed Holland family’s shocking fall from grace and those watching the impetuous Miss Diana Holland are beginning to whisper again.

Further uptown, notorious cad Henry Schoonmaker and his new bride are the city’s most celebrated couple, but the glittering diamond she wears hasn’t yet brought her all she desires.

Manhattan’s most envied residents appear to have everything: wealth, beauty, happiness. But in a city ruled by reputation, sometimes the most practised smiles hide the most scandalous secrets…

Envy was absolutely amazing. I loved it.

It was so full of twists and turns that I never knew where the story was going take me next. The shocks and surprises just kept on coming and I was left reeling after the last page.

One of my favourite things about Envy, rather shallowly, was the clothes. The detailed descriptions of the girl’s beautiful dresses had me drooling and wanting to try them on and prance around in them for a while! However, they also made me laugh. The swimming costumes that Henry and Teddy wore, a tank top that finished in mid-thigh shorts, had me wetting myself with laughter. What an image!

Speaking of Henry, I love him! He’s a bad boy with a heart who is completely lovable. Henry is the type of guy that you watch from afar and try not to fall in love with but just can’t help it.

The only thing that bugged me was that some of the language didn't fit the time period at all. I mean, what high society man in 1900 says, 'I really mucked things up'? But that is my only complaint.

I really enjoyed Envy and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book, Splendour. I’m so excited to read it, it’s unbelievable!

Sophie

Sunday, 3 May 2009

In My Mailbox 15

This was started by the fabulous Kristi who was inspired by Alea. If you want more information check out their blogs. All summaries are from the book jackets.

The Sweet Far Thing - Libba Bray

It has been a year since Gemma Doyle first arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy and much has changed. Having bound the wild, dark magic of the realms to her, Gemma has forged unlikely and unexpected friendships with Ann and Felicity, and Kartik, the exotic young man whose companionship is forbidden. She has also come to an uneasy, tenuous truce with the fearsome creatures of the realms.

But the time has come to test the strength of these bonds. As her friendship with Felicity and Ann faces its gravest trial and with the Order grappling for control of the realms, Gemma is compelled to decide once and for all which path she is meant to take. Her destiny threatens to set chaos loose, not only in the realms, but also upon the rigid Victorian society whose rules Gemma both defied and followed. Where does Gemma really belong? And will she, can she, survive?

The Sweet Far Thing is the thrilling conclusion to Libba Bray’s elegant gothic trilogy.

I’ve finally got my hands on the last in the trilogy. I can’t wait to see what happens to Gemma next.

Envy: A Luxe Novel - Anna Godbersen

New York City, 1900

In high society nothing is more dangerous than a scandal. Two months have passed since the esteemed Holland family’s shocking fall from grace and those watching the impetuous Miss Diana Holland are beginning to whisper again.

Further uptown, notorious cad Henry Schoonmaker and his new bride are the city’s most celebrated couple, but the glittering diamond she wears hasn’t yet brought her all she desires.

Manhattan’s most envied residents appear to have everything: wealth, beauty, happiness.
But in a city ruled by reputation, sometimes the most practised smiles hide the most scandalous secrets…

I was so excited when I saw this I almost started squealing in the middle of the shop!

Wings - Aprilynne Pike

Laurel has always lived as an ordinary girl - but now something is happening to her. Something magical.

In this enchanting tale of magic, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

This sounds really good, although I prefer the American cover.

Stolen - Lucy Christopher

It happened like this.

I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him. This is my story.

A letter from nowhere.

The Book of a Thousand Days - Shannon Hale

This is no ordinary fairytale.
The hero isn’t charming, the heroine is a brat.
And you certainly won’t guess the ending.

When a beautiful Lady refuses to marry the Lord her father has chosen, her father is furious. So furious he locks her in a tower with her maid.

But the maid realises there is something deeply sinister behind her Lady’s fear of the Lord, something which means they could be in more danger beyond the walls of the tower than imprisoned within them…

A spellbinding story of love, fear, courage, and one true heroine.

I got these two books through bribery. My dad said that he would buy me a book if I was up, dressed and ready to leave at 9am yesterday morning. I figured it was worth it and I was right. I ended up with two!

This week I also got a Mortal Instruments bookmark and a bookplate signed by Cassandra Clare from the fabulous Jenny of Wondrous Reads. Thank you, Jenny!

Sophie

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Parasite Positive - Scott Westerfeld

Parasite Positive - Scott Westerfeld

Pages: 270
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: 7th June 2007

Other Titles by this Author: Uglies (my review), Pretties (my review), Specials (my review), Extras (my review), The Last Days

One year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying in New York City than in attending class. Then he met a girl called Morgan, they had a fun night together and she passed on a parasite that turns people into ravenous vampires. You know how it goes.

Cal himself is only a carrier, but he’s infected the girlfriends he’s had since Morgan, and it’s now his job to hunt them down before they can create even more of their kind.

I really love Scott Westerfeld’s novels. They’re so different and brilliantly written.

Once again I really enjoyed all of the biology that ran through the entire book. Parasites causing vampirism isn’t something that I’ve come across before and I have to say, it seemed very logical! It was very well thought out and researched which made it a world that was very easy to slip into.

There was constant action and it was very fast paced. It seemed perfect because Cal’s abilities kind of gave you an idea of the constant firing in his body and brain that the parasite causes.
All of the sewers and rats made me shudder and added to the creepiness of the New York City underworld. I also loved the way that Cal retained his humanity and still acted like a, if slightly superhuman, teenage boy.

This was a really great novel and I’m eager to get my hands on the accompanying book, The Last Days.

Sophie

Friday, 1 May 2009

News: Georgia Number 10!

I was browsing Amazon as I do and I came across...the title and cover for the tenth and final of Georgia Nicolson's diaries. I had to share (after I'd finished laughing at the title).

'Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me?' - Louise Rennsion

(From Amazon) Ohmygiddygodspyjamas! The tenth marvy book in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson is here! Get ready to laugh like a loon on loon tablets. It's the FINAL instalment of Georgia's fab and hilarious diary! Does Georgia escape the cakeshop of luuurve? Can there be more heartbreaknosity in store? Will the Sex God pop up again unexpectedly (oo-er)! And what about the supreme accidental snogmaster Dave the Laugh? Will she FINALLY choose her only one and only? So many boys, so little time!

I am extremely excited for this. I love georgia's diaries and I can't wait to see how the story ends. Hopefully with Georgia and Dave the Laugh together!

'Are These My basoomas I See Before Me?' comes out in the UK on 25th June and 1st October in the US. Not long now!

Sophie

April Round-Up

I read 19 books in April! There were some amazing ones and some not so good ones. Sorry about the dodgy second picture, I fell off of my bed as I took it and then my phone died!

1. Don't Ask - Hilary Freeman
2. Zombie Queen of Newbury High - Amanda Ashby
3. Sweethearts - Sara Zarr
4. I Heart You, You Haunt Me - Lisa Schroeder
5. Lock and Key - Sarah Dessen
6. Falling - Sharon Dogar
7. In Your Room - Jordanna Fraiberg
8. I Was a Teenage Popsicle - Bev Katz Rosenbaum
9. Inkspell - Cornelia Funke
10. Flightsend -Linda Newbery
11. When It Happens - Susane Colasanti
12. The Dead Girls' Dance: The Morganville Vampires - Rachel Caine
13. Midnight Alley: The Morganville Vampires - Rachel Caine
14. Feast of Fools: The Morganville Vampires - Rachel Caine
15. Dreamland - Sarah Dessen
16. If I Stay - Gayle Forman
17. Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Tina Ferraro
18. The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs - Jack Gantos
19. Parasite Positive - Scott Westerfeld

Did everybody else have good book April?

Sophie