Friday 29 June 2012

Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer – Morgan Matson

Pages: 468
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 8th May 2012
Edition: US hardcover, purchased

Other Titles by this Author: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Sandwhiched between two exceptional siblings, Taylor Edwards never felt like she stood out – except for her history of running away when things get too complicated. Then her dad receives unexpected, terrible news, and the family makes the last-minute decision to spend the summer together in the cramped quarters at their old lake house.

Taylor hasn’t been to the summerhouse since she was twelve, and she definitely never planned on going back. Up at the lake she is confronted with people she thought she left behind, like her former best friend Lucy, and Henry Crosby, her first crush, who’s all grown up...and a lot cuter. Suddenly Taylor is surrounded by memories she’d rather leave in the past – but she can’t run away this time.

As the days lying on the beach pass into nights gazing at the stars, Taylor realizes she has a second chance – with friends, with family, maybe even with love. But she knows that once the summer ends, there is no way to recapture what she stands to lose. From Morgan Matson, the PW Flying Start author of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, this is a remarkable new novel about hope in the face of heartbreaking grief.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour was one of my favourite books of 2010 and it gave me insanely high hopes for Second Chance Summer; it pretty much met them.

One of the first dilemmas we’re thrown into is the events of Taylor’s last summer at Lake Phoenix five years before that prevented her from ever wanting to come back. Morgan Matson kept us wondering for a good, long while before she finally revealed what event would turn Henry and Lucy so strongly against her that they’d still be holding a grudge five years later.

I loved how the impact of that summer was emphasise with sporadic flashback chapters that related to what was currently going on with Taylor and the rest of her family, Lucy and Henry. It actually felt quite similar to We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han in that respect; even the format at style of the chapter headings looked the same! Both books are amazing though so that only made me love Second Chance Summer even more as I remembered the awesome of Han’s trilogy.

Once Taylor’s faux pas her twelve-year-old self made is revealed, she just becomes even more lovable as it completely fits with her characters. She wouldn’t have been able to do anything else in that situation. I think that was one fo the things that captured me about Second Chance Summer, just how real Taylor is. She has made mistakes, hurt people unintentionally, has fears, regrets and hopes just like any other seventeen-year-old, just with a worrying tendency to run away. But then again, I’d want to run away from some of the things she faces during the summer. I know what it’s like to have a parent battle cancer, and luckily my mum is still fighting after five years, and so I felt deeply for her and her family.

As Taylr’s dad succumbed further and further to the cancer, I could barely see the words on the page through my tears – it was heartbreaking. To see Taylor push everyone away and focus only on what she’s losing choked me up and by the end of the novel I was a sobbing mess. I even had to stop reading a pull myself together so I could see again to carry on to the end. And then you had the reveal of her dad’s secret project which started another avalanche of tears.

Along with the torrent of feels came a cameo from Amy and Roger and my day was made. I loved Second Chance Summer and I’m already keeping my eyes peeled for Morgan Matson’s next book.


Wednesday 27 June 2012

Changeling - Philippa Gregory

Changeling – Philippa Gregory

Pages: 260
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 24th May 2012
Edition: UK hardcover, review copy

The year is 1453 and all signs point to it being the end of the world.

Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-yer-old Luca Vero is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom, and travel to the very frontier on good and evil.

Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and all the evidence points to Isolde’s criminal guilt. Outside in the yard they are building a pyre to burn her for witchcraft.

Forced to face the greatest fears of the medieval world – dark magic, werewolves, madness – Luca and Isolde embark on a searth for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.

I didn’t quite know what to expect from Changeling having never read Philippa Gregory before and my strange relationship with historical fiction, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The setting of Medieval Italy is nicely evoked without being drowned in stodgy historical details or a torrent of back-story as Changeling revolved around fictional characters instead of the usual real people of the past. There was enough for me to vividly picture the beautiful countryside and quaint little villages and conjure up the faces of Luca, Isolde, Ishraq, Brother Peter and Frieze with no effort at all.

I have to admit that I didn’t really connect with any of the characters as I had expected to. I mean, I supported Isolde and Ishraq when they were accused of murder and witchcraft and I wanted them to be believed, but there was no doubt in my mind that they would be punished for it which took away a little of my enjoyment of the story. The initial description of Luca held serious promise and I wanted to fall head over heels for him, but I’m not really sure there was enough meat to him. Even though I haven’t read any of Gregory’s adult novels, I have a feeling that she may have simplified her characterisation and plot for a young adult audience – a mistake in my eyes. Frieze was the only character that captured my heart and I hope to see a lot more of him in the next series.

With the title being Changeling and Isolde and Ishraq being accused of witchcraft, I was expecting a fairly substantial degree of the supernatural to be thrown into the mix, especially in such a superstitious and religious time. I have to admit that I wasn’t at all disappointed in the lack of the supernatural; I was pleased! The presence of the supernatural was actually what had been putting me off reading Changeling so just a pure historical fiction read was lovely.

There is one element of the 1453 setting that impaired my enjoyment of Changeling: the attitudes of the male characters towards women. I know that at the time women were controlled by men entirely and had no control or entitlements to rule their own lives, but even in the face of strong and independent women who have possibilities, they were thwarted. It really annoyed me even as I told myself that that was the way it was and it stopped me from becoming properly engaged with Luca.

Though Changeling didn’t blow me away in the way I expected it to, I flew through it and I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series.

Thank you to S&S for providing me with a review copy.


Monday 25 June 2012

The DUFF - Kody Keplinger

The DUFF – Kody Keplinger

Pages: 341
Publisher: Hodder
Release Date: 4th April 2012
Edition: UK paperback, purchased copy

Other Titles by this Author: Shut Out, A Midsummer’s Nightmare, Goldfish (TBR)

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper knows she’s not the hottest girl at school, but when school jock and resident moron Wesley casually refers to her as a Duff – Designated Ugly Fat Friend – the gloves are off!

If there’s a thin line between love and hate then Bianca has crossed it. She just never thought she was capable of breaking anyone’s heart...

Kody Keplinger’s debut has had a reaction akin to that of Marmite and I’ve wanted to get my hands on it for a while purely to see which camp I feel into. And just like Marmite, I love it.

The idea of a DUFF – designated ugly fat friend – is an awful and completely terrifying concept that you just know originated in a high school somewhere. It’s also one of those things that once you hear it, you’ll never forget it and will instantly conjure up instances when you’ve felt exactly like the DUFF. And I’m pretty sure that’s not just me. With this, Kody Keplinger really hammered home a message about labelling and name-calling and just how damaging they can be to the person they’re directed at. She managed to not make it preaching, but a natural realisation that Bianca herself had as she accepted the reality that everybody feels like a DUFF to somebody.

While reading The DUFF I was captivated by Kody Keplinger’s stark and honest prose. she takes a no-holds-bar approach to depicting the Bianca’s exploits which means that strong language and sexual situations are rife throughout the novel, and this, I think, is what put some people off. I loved it. It was brash, hard and so realistic, not only for teenage life but also for Bianca’s character – it was her voice and it rang true.

I’m not quite sure why, but I wasn’t expecting The DUFF to be such an issues novel, but of course it was. Keplinger covered alcoholism, divorce, absentee parents, the damaging high school caste system and teen sexuality through Bianca and Wesley. The stress and pressure of their situations made both of them, naturally, a little bit difficult. Bianca is hardened and refuses to accept that she has feelings and Wesley can be a major jerk, but as I got to know and understand them, I grew to like them both. I was a little bit disappointed that I didn’t love them, though I did develop a slight crush on Wesley by the end of the novel...

The DUFF is a brave and engaging debut and I can’t wait to read more from Kody Keplinger.

I purchased this copy myself.


Sunday 24 June 2012

In My Mailbox 120

This meme was started by the fabulous Kristi who was inspired by Alea. Check out their blogs for more information. All summaries are from the book jackets unless otherwise stated.

I got home to a mountain of packages and as usual I’ll write out the ones that I’m really looking forward to reading and just list the others.

For review:

Frostfire – Zoe Marriott

CURSED: Frost is possessed by a wolf demon that brings death everywhere she goes.

BETRAYED: On fleeing home, Frost is captured by a band of warriors sworn to protect their country from rebel fighters.

 IMPRISONED: Trapped until she can prove she is not an enemy, Frost grows close to the warriors’ charismatic leader, Luca, and his second in command, the tortured Arian. Torn between these two very different men, Frost fears she may not be able to protect either of them...from herself.

I love Zoe so I’m so glad to finally have a copy of one of her books. Thanks, Walker!

Spy for the Queen of Scots - Theresa Breslin (ARC)

Jenny, close friend and companion to Mary, Queen of Scots, has grown up at the French royal court – a place of ruthless ambition, intrigue and deceit. When Jenny overhears a whispered plot and several mysterious deaths take place, she turns spy for Mary.

Then Mary returns to Scotland to claim her throne and the girls face even greater peril. There are many who would slit Mary’s throat to steal her crown, and jenny must protect her mistress – while also fighting her feelings for charismatic nobleman Duncan Alexander.

Can mary and Jenny survive this poisonous time of dark secrets, betrayal and murder?

I’m really liking the sound of this one. Thanks, Doubleday!

Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers

Young, beautiful and deadly.

Trained as an assassin by the godof death, Ismae is sent to the court of Brittany, where she finds herself underprepared – not only for the games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Ddeath’s vengeance upona target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

A dangerous romance full of intrigue, poison and ultimately finding one’s way.

I’m intrigued by this. Thanks, Andersen Press!

How to Save a Life – Sara Zarr (ARC)

Everyone knows how to who they are...find their place. But I’m still waiting.

Jill’s life lost all meaning when her dad died. Friends, boyfriend, college – nothing matters any more. Then her mom drops a bombshell. She’s going to adopt a baby.

Mandy is desperate for her life to change. Seventeen, pregnant and leaving home, she is sure of only one thing – her baby must never have a life like hers, whatever it takes.

Heart-achingly beautiful, How to Save a Life is about finding love, truth and your place in the world...all where you least expect it.

I loved Story of a Girl and enjoyed Sweethearts so I’m really looking forward to this. Thanks, Usborne!

I also received:
Shattered Dreams, Ellie James
Dissing You Already, Kate Kingsley
Meta Wars, Jeff Horton
The Third Day, The Frost, John Marsden
The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, Meg Medina
The Pirates, Gideon Defoe
My Family and Other Freaks, Carol Midgley
Between the Lines, Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
Wintercraft, Jenna Burtenshaw
Blackwatch, Jenna Burtenshaw
Fire City, Bali Rai
Blackwood, Gwenda Bond
Shift, Kim Curran


Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta

‘What do you want from me?’ he asks. What I want from every person in my life. I want to tell him. More.

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn’t a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.

In this absorbing tale by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

I have heard so many amazing things about this that I finally bought myself a copy as a reward for finishing second year.

Second Chance Summer – Morgan Matson

Sandwhiched between two exceptional siblings, Taylor Edwards never felt like she stood out – except for her history of running away when things get too complicated. Then her dad receives unexpected, terrible news, and the family makes the last-minute decision to spend the summer together in the cramped quarters at their old lake house.

Taylor hasn’t been to the summerhouse since she was twelve, and she definitely never planned on going back. Up at the lake she is confronted with people she thought she left behind, like her former best friend Lucy, and Henry Crosby, her first crush, who’s all grown up...and a lot cuter. Suddenly Taylor is surrounded by memories she’d rather leave in the past – but she can’t run away this time.

As the days lying on the beach pass into nights gazing at the stars, Taylor realizes she has a second chance – with friends, with family, maybe even with love. But she knows that once the summer ends, there is no way to recapture what she stands to lose. From Morgan Matson, the PW Flying Start author of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, this is a remarkable new novel about hope in the face of heartbreaking grief.

I just finished this and absolutely loved it. Review to come next week!

I also bought:
Emma Hearts LA, Keris Stainton (finished copy, review)
The Golden Lily, Richelle Mead (US hardback, review)


Friday 22 June 2012

Shine - Jeri Smith-Ready

Shine – Jeri Smith-Ready

Pages: 399
Publisher: Simon Pulse (S&S UK)
Release Date: 7th June 2012
Edition: UK paperback, review copy

Other Titles in the Series: Shade, Shift

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands this better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend, Logan, tragically died and Aura is finally letting go of his violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about the Shift – and her past.

As the first in a generation who can see ghosts, Aura is convinced that she has a connection to the Shift, and with the gorgeous Zachary by her side, she is on the brink of discovering her mysterious secrets. But when Zachary’s life is threatened in an attempt to expose Aura’s secrets, she realizes she must stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart.

I feel in love with Aura and her world within the first couple of pages of Shade and so I’ve been anxious to see how her story would end. I wasn’t at all disappointed by Shine.

Jeri Smith-Ready really isn’t afraid to heap misery and stress on poor Aura. Shine jumps straight into the action and things are getting serious with the DMP and their attempts to control the ghosts, shades and everything surrounding and threatening them; that means Aura and Zach. I won’t spoil just what happens; I want you to take a horrified intake of breath when it’s revealed just as I did. I was horrified and a little panicky as to what was happening to Zach, and so was Aura...

I can’t help but once again gush about how awesome Zach is. I love the way that his accent came across in the nuances in his speech and the odd word that confused Aura. It really does give him an extra dose of personality and made me fall for him all over again. And once his experience with the DMP was over, he made my heart ache.

The spark between Aura and Zach was even more intense in Shine than it had been in the previous two books as Logan was now out of the picture, but not completely out of Aura’s mind, of course. They have a sizzling chemistry and I just wanted everything to go right for them. But of course there were more than a few obstacles they had to try and avoid killing them.

The connection to Newgrange in Ireland was established very early in the trilogy but it really came alive in Shine when it was visited by Aura and Zach. I’ve never had a particular desire to visit Ireland before, but now I’m dying to go. It sounds absolutely beautiful, full of history and legend and I do love an Irish accent! And then they went to Scotland, and I’ve always wanted to go there, specifically Edinburgh, but now that urge is even stronger. It’s a good job they’re not that far away really!

For a while, I wondered how on earth Shine could possibly give Aura and Zachary a happy ending, but Jeri Smith-Ready pulled it out of the bag and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect finale.

Thank you to S&S for proving me with a review copy.


Wednesday 20 June 2012

Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer

Pages: 280
Publisher: Puffin (Penguin)
Release Date: 7th April 2011
Edition: UK paperback, gift

Other Titles in the Series: The Arctic Incident, The Eternity Code, The Opal Deception, The Lost Colony, The Time Paradox, The Atlantic Complex, The Last Guardian

Rumour has it Artemis Fowl is responsible for every major crime of the new century.

Just twelve years old and already he’s a criminal genius, plotting to restore his family’s fortune with a spot of corruption and kidnapping.

Kidnapping a fairy for ransom, to be precise.

Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous – and extremely high-tech – fairies. But he may have underestimated their powers. They will fight back. Is the boy about to trigger a cross-species war?

Let the misadventure begin.

This is one of those series’ that is almost a rite of passage for lots of readers and somehow I managed to miss it completely until now.

I didn’t even know that Artemis Fowl had fairies in it until a couple of weeks ago and maybe if I had I would have picked it up sooner! I love that they have their own little world with startling similarities to ours instead of the usual old-fashioned fairy courts and seductively dangerous faery princes – it was different. They have their own social hierarchies and a fun mythology that isn’t too complicated but could definitely keep the surprises coming. It had been far too long since I’d read about fairies so this was an absolute treat.

What made Eoin Colfer’s fairy world so brilliant for me were the very memorable characters: a centaur who’s a technological genius, a kleptomaniac dwarf and a purple-faced elf. They were vivid and engaging and leaped off the page to assist Holly and help defeat Artemis. Speaking of Artemis, he’s the kind of character that you really shouldn’t like, but I just couldn’t help it. He’s ridiculously clever and cunning and the moments he had with his mother were very touching and I was instantly reminded that he’s a twelve-year-old boy. And then you have good ole’ Butler: a man mountain who trusts Artemis implicitly and will do anything and everything for him but has a serious soft spot for his little sister.

I thoroughly enjoyed Artemis Fowl and I have to thank @King_Wolfy for buying me a copy to make sure I’d read it and I will hopefully be able to get my hands on the rest of the series sometime soon.

This copy was purchased for me as a gift.


Monday 18 June 2012

One Perfect Summer - Paige Toon

One Perfect Summer – Paige Toon

Pages: 458
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 10th May 2012
Edition: UK paperback, purchased copy

Other Titles by this Author: Lucy in the Sky, Johnny Be Good, Chasing Daisy, Pictures of Lily, Baby Be Mine

Ever wondered what happened to your first love?

Alice is 18 and about to start university while Joe’s life is going nowhere. A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and the two of them fall in step as if they have known each other forever.

But their idyll is shattered unexpectedly, Alice heads off to Cambridge and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. When she catches the attention of Lukas – gorgeous, gifted, rich boy Lukas – she is carried along by his charm, swept up by his ambitious plans for a future together.

Years later, at just the wrong time, Joe is back, but out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great.

Surely it is far too late to recapture that perfect summer of long ago?

I’ve been a steadfast fan of Paige Toon’s since I picked up a copy of Lucy in the Sky on a whim to keep read on my flight to Toronto years and years ago and so far, One Perfect Summer is the only one which hasn’t had me screaming from the rooftops about its awesomeness.

I think that my main problem with One Perfect Summer was that it took me a strangely long time to connect with the characters and come to care about them for several reasons: Joe and Alice’s relationship was so intense, so full-on that it lost me a little bit; I didn’t fall in love with either Joe (until later on) or Lukas (at all) which is very strange as Paige Toon’s heroes are usually delicious and there was just a spark missing until the final hundred pages or so.

Alice was an interesting character. When we meet her she’s eighteen, naive and ready to fall head over heels in love and we just didn’t click. Her relationship with Joe didn't feel completely authentic to me and I didn’t really like her until we were well into her relationship with Lukas. When they were together, I found myself constantly shouting at her (not always in my head, I have to admit...) for succumbing to Lukas’s demands, whims and manipulations. I thought she needed to stand up for herself a lot more.

Even though I had some issues with One Perfect Summer, I still ended up really enjoying it. There was the punting which I’d never heard of and no desperately want to try, the setting of beautiful Cambridge, awesome supporting characters and a reference to Johnny and Meg from Johnny Be Good and Baby Be Mine getting married which made me grin like an idiot. Although it took about two thirds of the novel for me to settle into it, I came to love Alice and be horrified on her behalf at certain points and I was cheering her on in her search for Joe.

After the cruel ending of One Perfect Summer I’m hoping for a sequel, but if not, just another novel by Paige Toon in my hand tomorrow would be lovely, thank you.


Sunday 17 June 2012

In My Mailbox 119

This meme was started by the fabulous Kristi who was inspired by Alea. Check out their blogs for more information. All summaries are from the book jackets unless otherwise stated.

For review:

Snow White and the Huntmans -  Lily Blake, Evan Daughterty, John Lee Hancock and Hossein Amini

She is destined...
Either the queen will kill her or the huntsman will transform her into a warrior.

Ten years ago, the stunning and vengeful Queen Ravenna murdered her king the same fateful night she married him. But controlling the now desperate kingdom has begun to take its toll on the evil Queen. To keep her magic and beauty from dying, she must consume a heart that is pure. And the only one that has been  under her cruel watch all along belongs to the king’s daughter.

Ravenna calls for the imprisoned Snow White, but the young woman  escapes from the castle and seeks refuge in the Dark Forest. Because the forest is enchanted with magical flora and deadly fauna, the Queen sends for the only man who has ventured into the woods and survived: a tortured Huntsman called Eric.

With his hope long forsaken, the Huntsman bagrees to bring back the girl. But when Eric finds his prey, he hesitates. Will he kill her?

Or will he train her to become the greatest warrior the kingdom has ever known?

Thanks, Atom! I reall want to see this film and tucked in the book was a movie poster! Good, huh?

Pushing the Limits – Kate McGarry (ARC)

They say be a good girl, get good grades, be popular.

They know nothing about me.

I can’t remember the night that changed my life. The night I went from the top of the pyramid to oner freak. And my family are determined to keep it that way.

They said therapy was supposed to help.

They didn’t expect Noah.

Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned me about. But the only one who’ll listen. The only one who’ll help me find the truth.

I know every kiss, every promise, every touch is forbidden.

But what if finding your destiny means breaking all the rules?

So excited for this! Thanks, Mira Ink/Midas!

Losing Lila – Sarah Alderson

Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit. Alex is determined to keep Lila safe at any cost, but Lila’s only thought is of finding a way back to California so she can rescue her family from the military base where they’re being held.

Lila plans not only to save her brother and mum, but also to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for. But that means Lila returning to California alone, and making friends with the enemy – putting herself at risk of losing everything: Alex, her family...even her life.

Thanks, S&S!

RHCP Blogger’s Brunch Goodie Bag:

Now is Good – Jenny Downham (Before I Die)

Tessa is sixteen.

Tessa is dying.

But before that moment comes, she has an awful lot of living to do...

So she’s made a list of everything she wants to do before she dies. Number one is sex. Starting tonight.

Heartbreaking, devastating, yet sparkling with life, this internationally bestselling novel celebrates what it is to be alive by confronting what it’s really like to die.

I love this book, it’s awesome. We got a peek at the trailer at RHCP and I can honestly say that there won’t be a dry eye in the cinema.

Muddle and Win: The Battle for Sally Jones – John Dickinson (ARC)

The angel towered over him. In its rock-steady hands it gripped a great bassoon, with the mouth pointed right between Muddlespot’s eyes. ‘Say your prayers, creep.’ Said the angel. ‘Oh, I forgot – you people don't, do you?’

What if your every thought was disputed by opposing forces of good and evil – by an ange wearing Ray-bans and a demon called Muddlespot?

Sally Jones is good. And Muddlespot, newly promoted to special agent, is on a mission to make her Bad. If he doesn’t, it will be very Bad for him. But as he infiltrates Sally’s mind, all becomes unclear. Just what does it mean to be good? And can it be good to be bad?

This sounds like so much fun!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

‘Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!’

Would you be surprised to see a white rabbit take a watch out of his waistcoat pocket? It certainly seems a remarkable sight to Alice and, full of curiosity, she follows him down a rabbit-hole into a very strange world. She meets a disappearing cat, plays croquet with a bad-tempered Queen, joins a mad Hatter’s tea party and becomes entangled in the case of some missing tarts. In Wonderland nothing but out of the way things happen...

Vintage are launching a new children’s classics range and this is one of the thirty launch titles.

Never Fall Down – Patricia McCormick (ARC)

Summary from Amazon: Eleven-year-old Arn is walking through the countryside in Cambodia.

Music will save him. Hope, luck and kindness will save him. This is his story.

Based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, this is an achingly raw and powerful novel about a child of war who becomes a man of peace.

This sounds like a very difficult, but very rewarding, read.

Time Between Us – Tamara Ireland Stone (ARC)

The Time Traveller’s Wife for teens; a deeply compelling story about falling in love for the first time with the one person you simply cannot be with.

Chicago, 1995
Anna is sixteen, and fiercely determiend to travel the world.

San Francisco, 2012
Bennett is seventeen...and desperately trying to stay in one place.

They were never supposed to meet. Their paths were never meant to cross. But bennett has the incredible, unpredictable ability to travel through time and space, and suddenly finds himself in Anna’s world.

They are inescapably drawn to one another – but deep down, they both know it can never last. For no matter how desperate  Bennet is to stay, his ‘gift’ will inevitably knock him right back to where he belongs – and Anna will be left alone to pick up the pieces.

Really excited about this one!! Squee!

After the brunch and infuriating the waiters in the pub next door, me, Kirsty, Carly, Non and Sarah trundled over to Foyles. I made purchases.


Enchanted Ivy – Sarah Beth Durst

Lily carter wants to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top secret Legacy Test. passing means autmatic acceotance to Princeton. Sweet!

Lily’s test is to find the Ivy Key. As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair. But things start to get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. Her tells her that there are two Princetons – the ordinary one and the magical one – and the Key opens the gate between them.

Then Lily enters the magical Princeton, a place where knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood. She will need all her courage – and a little magic – to stop a deadly battle and unlock the secrets of her past and her future.

After loving Ice, I’ve been waiting for the rest of SBD’s books to be released over here to no avail and then I spotted this today and snapped it straight up!

So Shelly – Ty Roth

High school junior John Keats has only tiptoed near the edge of the vortex that is Gordon Byron, schoolmate and literary prodigy. That is, until their mutual friend, Michelle “Shelly” Shelley, drowns in a sailing “accident”.

After stealing Shelly’s ashes from her memorial at Trinity High, Keats and Gordon set a course for the small Lake Erie island where sher body washed ashore, and where she wanted to be laid to rest. Granting her last wish would be keats and Gordon’s way of letting their friend have one final “so Shelly” romantic journey. Setting off for Lake Erie, navigating obstacles and resisting temptations, Keats and Gordon glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly’s and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her premature death.

Romantic poets! In high school! What more could you ask for?!