Monday, 30 April 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? #1

Hosted by Book Journey

I decided to participate in this meme because I think it is a good post to have at the start of the week; a nice way to round things up. Plus I am always interested to know what others are reading.

On the blog last week

 The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa.                    
Really enjoyed this book. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series :D. Review will hopefully be posted soon.
Currently Reading

Black Bird Vol.7 by Kanoko Sakurakoji
Goodreads -

This will not take me long to read which is the point. I will, hopefully, be receiving my copy of Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth tomorrow, so I do not want to start anything lengthy.

To Read Next

US Cover                                                                                                UK Cover

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Goodreads -

I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS BOOK! One more day and then I will finally be able to delve back into the world of Tris and Four. Planning to get all the work I need to do for tomorrow done today, so that tomorrow I will have time to read it :)

Black Dawn (The Morganville Vampires #12) by Rachel Caine

Another book that I am really excited to read. Will be reading straight after I have finished Insurgent :) So glad that this series has stayed strong even though we are on to Book 12. Love these vampires!


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 318
Released Date: 10th January 2012
Read in: January 2012

Goodreads - - Book Depository
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind
On the night that I started reading The Fault in Our Stars, a group of drunken students gathered on the stairs outside my flat, at 2 in the morning. They, by the sounds of it, started chucking objects of an unknown nature, down the stairs. The sound of chiming metal radiated back to me. Fortunately, I was wide awake at this point, unable to stop reading. Otherwise I would have been very grumpy.

“Name. Age. Diagnosis. And how we’re doing today. I’m Hazel, I’d say when they’d get to me. Sixteen. Thyroid originally but an impressive and long-settled satellite colony in my lungs. And I’m doing ok.”

I originally thought that reading a book about someone who was slowly dying of a type IV cancer would push me to my limits of what I was comfortable with. However, John Green makes this a blast to read without fully taking away the reality of the situation; a tough situation that ruins the lives of millions.

Most YA novels, I read, are about a “maybe not so original girl” falling for an “attractive but not so perfect” guy. Add in some tragic or mysterious plot and I’m then pretty content. I enjoy them.

Cue The Fault in Our Stars. It follows the story of Hazel; a girl who lives with an oxygen tank, and Augustus, who has a prosthetic leg. Occasionally we are joined by their mutual friend Isaac, who only has one eye.
AND I LOVE IT! Just as much and, in the case of most books, more than stories with those attractive guys. These three characters feel more real than most.

Even though Hazel’s situation is completely different to any I have been in, I still could completely relate. Hazel isn’t an, “I am going to fight this,” type fighter. She showed strength in her own silent way. She has been battling this disease for three years and is still going. I loved her strength and determination, especially as it grew as her relationship with Augustus developed.

Augustus was the star here. Oh what I’d give to meet a guy like him. On one hand he is smart, gentlemanly, good sense of humour, philosophical and has his girl’s interest at heart. However, he is also a regular teenage boy; he likes sit around in the basement, with his best mate, playing video games, he likes reading books based on war and really enjoyed the death in the movie 300. Yes, he has a prosthetic leg and can’t drive very well but I love him just as much as any other fictitious boy. The YA genre doesn’t mean the guys have to always be extremely good looking. They just need to be an amazing person.

As for Isaac …well kudos to John Green again. I was feeling sympathetic towards him even though I had only known him for 50 pages. That is a sign of a good author.

This book will make you laugh and may even make you cry.

Apologies to my flatmate for possibly keeping her up in the middle of the night due to my regular laughter. If that didn’t, then the drunken party most certainly did.

Is it bad that I’m laughing in a story about cancer patients? No. The character’s smart, witty humour made them all the more real to me. I have had very little experience with cancer patients in real life so sharing the same sense of humour was the main connection. John Green has a unique writing style. It sounds bit like one of his vlogs; same pace, same style, which made it all the more comical.

Many stories make me sad; my eyes well up and I sniffle a bit. But very rarely does a tear spill. This is one of those of rare times. (The fourth if I recall correctly.)

I don’t think any fiction book in the word will make me sit there balling my eyes out in sadness because my subconscious is always telling me “these people are not real” (as much as I want them to be). If I tear, the story and the writing have allowed me to deeply connect with the characters. It is usually a sentence or a paragraph that just tips me slightly.

It is obvious when this story become more emotional however still nothing. The tear came only once. On one sentence. 16 words long.

I admit that I didn’t express much of an interest before in reading this book. In the end, I bought it partially because; my friend couldn’t wait to read it and her enthusiasm was kind of contagious, I do occasionally watch the vlog brothers and it was mentioned quite a few times, the absolutely amazing reviews that it was getting and the clincher that it was half price on Amazon.

I regret not buying the book earlier. Don’t wait any longer. Go and read it now! It will stay with you long after you have finished. 


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Feature and Follow #2

Weekly Meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This is a weekly meme where we answer questions and blog hop to find new blogs to follow. You follow me I will follow you back. 
Q: Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then “broke up” with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.
Well off the top of my head I can think of two.

The first one is Bill from The Sookie Stackhouse novels. Bill started off as what seemed a reasonable lover and through the first few books in the series seemed like a reasonable man. I started to fall for him. Then of course, all of his secrets started to become unveiled - also Sookie started to see the better side in Eric and he is just yummier - and I fell out of favour with Bill. I may have been able to become indifferent to him however he wouldn't let Sookie go (and neither would she). Normally I would find this rather sweet, only this time I thought he was a jerk and annoying. It has gotten to that part now (Bill/Eric/Sookie love triangle) in the TV adaptation, True Blood; and I still think he is a jerk and annoying.

The second character has to be Jacob from the Twilight series. In the beginning he is the lovable friend who was their for Bella. In second novel, he became a bit more than that helping her through and I started to see him as competition for Bella's affection. However in the third one he became a bit possessive (in hindsight, Edward did too) and non accepting of her feelings. Do not even get me started on Breaking Dawn *eurgh*. (I have fallen out of favour with Edward too but that wasn't while I was reading the books, only years later after I discovered some better book boyfriends.)

What characters have you fallen out with?


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 215
Release Date: 2nd January 2012
Read in: April 2012

Goodreads -
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.
Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
It was short, but I loved it every step of the way. One of the sweetest books I have read this year.

“When you are young and in love, a seven- hour plane ride can seem like a lifetime.”

There were three things that made this book amazing. When one of them wasn’t being explored, another one was. Therefore it never got boring for me. They are 1) Oliver, 2) Hadley’s relationship with her father and 3) modern London.

1)First off Oliver. OMG! I love him. New book boyfriend for the list. Argh! Why can’t he be real? The first thing Hadley notices about him is his British accent. Fair enough; however most of the guys I know have a British accent, so that doesn’t make much difference to me. What drew me in was his sense of humour. I could not stop smiling and laughing at everything he said. Now that is one of the first things that I look for in a guy in real life, never mind in fiction; one I can have a good time with. The fact that Hadley responds in kind with similar phrases to those I would have said, meant I could easily slip into her head. And once I was there, I was placed right alongside Oliver. And let the magic commence.

2) Family dynamics is one of my favourite subject areas in books. More and more in the books I am reading, these seem to be between brother and sister; parents are usually somewhat side lined. Here it was all about the relationship between Hadley and her father. Hadley is flying over to London as her father is re-marrying. You can guess what issues that occurrence has arisen. All the flashbacks and conversations about and with her father, just made me want to hug my own father. Too bad he’s currently three hours away. In a short space of time, I felt that I fully understand what Hadley was going through.

3) Finally the majority of the book was based in modern day London. The last book I read based in London was set in the Victorian era; not quite the same thing. As Oliver is from Britain, he is therefore using British English. For some reason I always love it when an American character and a British character meet and are pointing out the differences. I always laugh; it is so entertaining. I didn’t really appreciate until now that “knackered” is a British thing. Many of the books I read are based in America, so always the settings are from my imagination even if a real place is being described. This time it was different. Describing London, I could see exactly, in my head, what Hadley was seeing. Well maybe not exactly what she was seeing; I haven’t been to most of the places she goes to. London is a big place after all. But I could better see it than any other city in the states. I really need to find more YA books set in London. (But I knew that with a £10 note she could buy a tube ticket :D)

This is the first time I have absolutely loved a short story. Usually there is not enough time to develop the character or the plot sufficiently but finally I found an exception. Would I of liked it to be longer? Obviously! (We all need a bit more Oliver love.) But it didn’t need to be longer.

Everyone who loves contemporary romance, but is not looking for a really fluffy read, has to read this book. You shouldn’t be disappointed. 


Waiting on Wednesday #3

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, showcasing books that we are waiting to read.

I bet this book has been picked many times before and was posted a long time ago. But seeing as I am new and haven't posted many Waiting on Wednesday's before, I had to post this book before it is too late.

Title: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker
Pages: 536
Release Date: 8th May 2012

Goodreads -

*Warning* Summary contains spoilers to previous The Mortal Instruments books.
The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.
No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?
Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.
And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?
This is one of my MOST HIGHLY ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF THE YEAR! The cliffhanger at the end of City of Fallen Angels has left me dying to get my hands on this novel. I have been following along Cassie's tumblr for all the snippets and latest information and I cannot believe that this book is coming out in just under a fortnight. These next two weeks are going to be agonising! Phew! I need to calm down but I am just too excited. You might of guessed that I love Cassandra Clare :D

Anyone else really excited for COLS?
What other books are you waiting on?


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Book Review: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: 31st January 2012
Read In: April 2012

Goodreads -
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes. There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different. Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.
I need to learn to stop assuming things about a book before I read it.

“Conner and Bateman pulled my mother away. Morris’s hands were still on my wrists. I heard nothing over the ringing in my ears. And then I saw him. “

Everything I expected this book to be about, after reading the blurb, happened within the first 100 pages. I didn’t like that. It felt too rushed. Straight away the book dropped in my opinion, but then I didn’t know where the story was going to take me.

I’m glad that I stuck with it, because once I adapted to the fact that the book wasn’t what I theorised in my head, I started to enjoy it.

The best thing about this book is the character of Chase and his feelings for the main character, Ember. Oh I love Chase. I always have a special place in my heart for tragic characters; Snape from Harry Potter, Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments, Warner from Shatter Me to name a few off the top of my head. I just always fall for them. When you list the things that he has been through, boy you know he has had it rough. All the way through I was feeling sympathy towards him. Maybe that’s just my understanding nature.

I liked Ember in some ways but not in others. Not only does she not want to understand Chase’s view of things in the beginning but also makes some downright stupid decisions. However I found her realistic as a character. She is not a brave kickass female like other YA heroines, but she is not really wimpy either. She sticks up for herself and genuinely cares about others; a little too much in some incidents. She also grows as a character which is what I like to see. I found myself relating to her (not when she makes stupid choices though).

I loved the way that the relationship between Ember and Chase was portrayed in the end; even if I got annoyed with Ember at times. I liked the flashback scenes to when both of them were younger. We get to know Chase as the person Ember knew so we could see how he has changed over the years. They have not been kind to him (tragic character sympathies coming though :D). I am also glad they were childhood friends. It would not have worked otherwise.

As for the society, I would have liked a bit more explanation. There were many references to a “war” throughout the book but no explanation as to what it was about or the cause. The characters have no excuse for forgetting; it only ended three years before the beginning of the story. I’m also really wanted more of an insider’s view to the life of an MM solider from Chase. Hopefully more detail will be given in the upcoming books.

Overall I enjoyed it. Time for Chase swooning until the second book comes out methinks :)


Teaser Tuesday #3

I have just finished Article 5 by Kristen Simmons and I'm currently reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. Well... when I say currently reading, I actually mean it is the book that I am about to start, hopefully today, when I get some free time. So here is a quote from Article 5, my review of which can be found HERE.

Goodreads -
"You think ... Ember, you're the only piece of me I have left. Everything else *** they're all gone. I don't know who the hell I am anymore. If it weren't for you ... I don't know" - Article 5 by Kristen Simmons.  
Oh Chase! He is the best thing about this book in my opinion.

Apologies I don't have a page number. I wrote the quote down in my review notes, as I was reading along, and forgot to write it down. *smacks head* but it is in there somewhere :). Also I have removed about six words due their spoilary nature. Really I don't think they are that bad but can't be too careful.

If you want to join in it's really easy. All you have to do is:

  • Get the book you are currently reading.
  • Open up to a random page
  • Share two teasers sentences. Remember to wary of spoilers; don't want to ruin the book for those who have not read it yet.
  • Also write down the Title and Author of the book. So others can read it too. :)

Can't wait to read other peoples teasers!


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Cover Reveal: Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson

The cover for Losing Lila, the sequel to Hunting Lila, has been revealed recently.

Title: Losing Lila (Lila #2)
Author: Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 320
Release Date: 2nd August 2012

Goodreads -

*Warning* Summary contains spoilers to Hunting Lila
Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which somehow is managing to track their every move. Whilst Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila’s only thought is of finding a way back to California so that she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they’re being held. Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the people she’s come to think of as family, Lila plans not just to save her brother and mother, but to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for. But the plan requires Lila to return alone to California, make friends with the enemy, and to risk losing everything - Alex, her family, and even her life
I think the cover is GORGEOUS! I loved Hunting Lila and I have really excited for the second book. I have high expectations. August cannot come quick enough.

If you have not read Hunting Lila, you should :D. For my American friends it seems you will have to buy imported editions of the paperback (Book Depository does free worldwide delivery). All her books are available for purchase on Kindle as well. She is worth it in my opinion. Here are some links for Hunting Lila.

Goodreads -

Anyone else excited for Losing Lila?


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 305
Release Date: 16th October 2008
Read in: April 2012

Goodreads -

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.
“Margo Roth Spiegelman, whose six-syllable name was often spoken in it’s entirely with a kind of quiet reverence. Margo Roth Spiegelman, whose stories of epic adventures would blow through school like a summer storm.”

I have always loved John Green’s writing style. It is my favourite part of both, and now the three, of his books that I have read. The first person style is written as if the character was actually saying it. Things like listing numerically instead of just a plain old list with commas, makes me happy. Mixed with the humour, you can’t get much better.

The other theme running through John Green’s books is a particular character that thinks outside of the box; that is unique. Alaska in Looking For Alaska, Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars and now Margo. And Margo was the best thing about this book.

The things that Margo says and the way she believes that her life should be lived, made her by far the most interesting character. Quotes such as “Yeah, I’m a big believer in random capitalization. The rules of capitalization are so unfair to words in the middle,” and “MS’s love For you: it Sleeps With the Fishes,” (example of random capitalization) just put a smile on my face. Also her interpretation of breaking and entering; “We’re not breaking in, think of it as visiting in the middle of the night for free,” was great.

I liked the character of Quentin. He kept his mind focused on things that I felt were important rather than drifting to what I may call trivial things, like clothes shopping for prom. However I didn’t think I fully connected with him. Even with the great first person writing, I still didn’t feel like I was fully in his head some of the times. Maybe that was just me.

As for the character of Ben, well, he started to irritate me after a while. It is even mentioned by Quentin a couple of times. He spends most of the time talking about prom and only involves himself, with Quentin, when it benefits him. He doesn’t seem to care. The fact that Margo was missing seemed to be a distraction that Quentin didn’t need in his opinion.

The beginning was fun and entertaining, the John Green I know; mostly due to Margo. However, as evidenced by the summary, Margo goes missing; which is when the book starts to slow down. The fact that the best character wasn’t in most of the book was bit unfortunate. But if she wasn’t likable then I wouldn’t care if she was found or not.

Margo leaves all these little clues for Quentin to follow. I felt like a kid again, going on a treasure hunt. However the mystery didn’t keep me hooked all the way through. It wasn’t until I finished the book did I realise what it was missing; Tension. Ever since reading Across the Universe by Beth Revis, I have been looking for the next best YA mystery. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be in this one. I know it is not a mystery novel, but that was the drive it was missing.

I recommend for the good characters (especially Margo), writing and the way Paper Towns makes you feel about life. It just needed something added to the mystery of Margo’s disappearance to push it in to highly recommended range (4 ½ stars or higher) for me. 


Friday, 20 April 2012

Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 329
Release Date: 1st March 2012
Read in: February 2012

Goodreads -

I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.
*Warning spoilers for Delirium*

For those of you who have read Delirium and saw how it ended. Yeah… can’t blame me for wanting this book asap.

“Love, the deadliest of all deadly things.
Love, it kills you.
Both when you have it …
And when you don’t.

The first thing you notice when you start reading Pandemonium is the format. Delirium was straight forward, one sided, bog standard story telling. Pandemonium alternates between each chapter. But instead of alternating between different characters, like in most books, it alternated between Lena in two different time zones. These are known as “Then” and “Now”. “Then” are the chapters following the events directly after the end of Delirium. “Now” is based several months afterwards, in New York, where Lena is working from the inside to bring down a pro-deliria organisation. I loved that it was done this way. It just made me want to continue reading. As one chapter ends you want to continue but of course you have to read the alternate chapter before you can. And then it happens again and again ... until you have finished the novel.

This book was full of ACTION, ACTION, ACTION. In both time lines, we are following, there is plenty of stuff happening to keep you reading. Much more than in Delirium. My favourite chapters were defiantly the ones in the present. They popped a lot more questions and have much more suspense. Anything that keeps me reading and become distracted (yep I didn’t eat dinner) warrants a 5 star.

In the past, we get to meet Raven and a lot of other new characters. It was interesting to see how the invalids live although we didn’t get to know them as much as I would have liked. Surrendered to get the plot moving I suppose so not too down heartened.

Cue new boy on the scene. Meet Julian. He is the exact opposite of Alex. He wants the cure! Then he meets Lena and things start to change. I feel competition brewing. Unlike Alex, he has the naive likeability factor. You just want to help him out. Sometimes I get a little pissed off when a love triangle is introduced but this one makes me excited to get my hands on the next book.

One thing I didn’t like so much was the fact Lena spent a lot of time thinking back to Alex and not acting on it. She believes him to be dead and therefore is slowly trying to get over him and move on. However it would have been nice if she talked about him a bit more with other characters.

OMG! Lauren Oliver you are soooo mean.

Horrible cliff-hanger at the end of Delirium.
Horrible cliff-hanger at the end of Pandemonium.