My Catchphrases

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Synopsis: Taken from the back of the book

I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright - a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy-tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever - ruined - unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night/ I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly...beastly.


Wonderfully humorous and entertaining retelling of a classic fairytale. I giggled out loud from the beginning of this book, much to the disgust of my 4 year old who just could not get why I was laughing at a book. The notion of an online support group for mythical characters is hilarious.

Written in first person narrative from the point of view of the Beast. Surprisingly easy to relate to in this instance.

We all know the moral of the story Beauty and the Beast of beauty being on the inside not just the physical manisfestation of it, so it is not a surprise that it should be woven into the plot in Beastly, the surprise occurred with the theme of nature versus nurture interwoven within the main plot give pause for contemplation as to the conflicting arguements of this debate, adding a touching element where I felt sympathy for the Beast.
My quest for education via osmosis was gratified with the numerous refernces to classic literature and Shakespeare's sonnets. The rose imagery paralleled with the Shakespeare Sonnet quotation was genius. Alex Flinn brings the entire fairytale theme up-to-date with references to the movie The Princess Bride (which I have seen and loved).

The use of other mythical characters - The Little Mermaid, The Frog Prince, etc via the online support group added a sense of realism to the story.

A highly recommended entertaining read and a lovely piece of escapism.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Trailer for Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

I just had to share this with you. I squealed when I saw it, I can't wait, someone send it to me NOW!!!!! (please)

Monday, 29 March 2010

Book Trailers for April Releases

I am just loving the book trailer videos. Just added more books to my wish-list though after watching this - I think I am going to have to read 24/7 to fit them all in. Someone give me a job involving reading *big grin*

My International Giveaway

I have 4 ARC's that I received as a prize in a competition and I know I will not read  at the moment so I thought I would put a little giveaway on the blog of my own.

The books in question are:

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
Synopsis: If you think your family relationships are complicated, think again: you haven't seen anything like the ones in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being, who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton. In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.

The Bad Tuesdays: Blood Alchemy by Benjamin J. Myers
Synopsis: Chess Tuesday is on her own. Her brothers, Box and Splinter, are prisoners in another world. Now, Chess must discover who she really is and go on to fight the Twisted Symmetry alone. But Box and Splinter don't bargain on staying prisoners for long. Box is determined to fight his way back to Chess. Meanwhile, Splinter has other ambitions. For a street rat with brains, the Twisted Symmetry may provide the ideal opportunity .

The Indredible Luck of Alfie Puck by Jamie Rix
Synopsis: What do a worried prime minister, a chicken dropped from a skyscraper window, a bully called Fox and an alien invasion have in common? All are ingredients in Jamie Rix's riotous new stand-alone novel for the 9-12 age group. Alfie Pluck is the unluckiest boy alive - until he unwittingly eats the chicken which contains the highly-sought-after luck gene. Once his secret is exposed, no end of people want the gene for their own devious deeds and crackpot schemes. And Alfie is on the run. But there's more than one kind of luck, and Alfie's escape from his pursuers is an hilarious roller coaster of good fortune and bad.

Phillipa Fisher and the Stone Fairys Promise by Liz Kessler
Synopsis: Philippa is looking forward to spending New Year in the village where her new friend Robyn lives. But her fairy godsister Daisy, assigned to a new job but disobeying orders as usual, turns up to warn her that something really bad (SRB) is going to happen! What they don't know is that a fairy has gone missing from the ancient stone circle on the moors -and that at ATC (Above the Clouds) Headquarters, the fairy godmothers in charge have a special plan for them. A perfect story for Liz Kessler's many fans, in which humans and fairies swap worlds with dramatic and unexpected consequences.

Open Internationally and will run until midnight Sunday 11th April.

To enter:

1. Leave me a comment on the blog with all the links and contact information +5

2. Old Blog Follower +10

3. New Blog Follower +5 all welcome

4. Join my facebook page Asamum Clothing Agency and leave me a post on the wall +25

5. Tweet about the giveaway mentioning @asamum +15

6. Put this giveaway on your blog +15

Most points available 70 :)

The winner will be annouced on Tuesday 13th April after I have added all the points up and taken my children back to school.

Don't forget to leave all the links and contact details. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Win 100 books from Penguin via Dave!!!!!!

Post taken from the Dave Website:

Win 100 books from Penguin!

Here at Dave we love watching the TV, so much so that we started our own TV channel. It's called Dave. You may have heard of it.

But guess what? It's not all about TV you know. Oh no, we like to read books as well. So much so in fact that we've teamed up with Penguin to give one of you lucky people the chance to win 100 books of your choice from the Penguin website. Each book chosen can be worth up to £7.99 – that's almost £8! Not a deal to be sniffed at, we're sure you'll agree.

It's not just us who like books as well as TV though - some of our favourite Dave comedians have also dabbled in the written word with Penguin. Alan Davies' memoir "My Favourite People and Me" and Jeremy Clarkson's "For Crying out Loud" plus Penguin Classics and novels from writers like Nick Hornby and Clive Cussler will all be available to our winner.

You can check out the vast range of Penguin titles on their website -

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Review: Beautiful Dead - Book 2 - Arizona by Eden Maguire

There's been no sign of the Beautiful Dead for weeks. Darina achingly misses Phoenix all over again. But surely he will return with the rest of the Beautiful Dead as so much still remains unresolved. It's been ten months since Arizona drowned in Hartmann Lake. Suicide, it would seem. But something doesn't add up. Drowning herself in a hidden-away lake does not sound like strong, confident, Arizona: Ellerton High School's high-maintenance drama queen. Darina needs to help Arizona the way she helped Jonas. But time is running out ...

The story picks up where Jonas ended. This time Darina has to help Arizona solve the mystery behind her death before the 12 months she has been granted ends.

The format remains the same as Book 1 with the story told from Darinas perspective. I found the imagery and tension far more vivid than in the first book.

The characters are being developed alongside each other all adding to the plot. Obviously from the title of the book, the main development is that of Arizona. The main thing I can say without giving away any plot details is that the adage 'never judge a book by its cover' kept popping into my head. People only see what we allow them to see, nobody can really know another person unless they experience the things the other person has to deal with. Darina is really gaining depth as a character the more she helps the others. Little plot teasers are given throughout the story adding to the tension and keeping me turning the pages.

The tension is really building and I feel a crescendo coming. I can't wait for the next installment Summer.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

International Giveaway at Princess Bookie

International Giveaway at Princess Bookie

This is a copy of the post at Princess Bookie's Blog:

Win A Few Books

Its time for a cool contest donated by a fellow blogger!! This is her stash and she wants you to dig in it!!!! (these are ALL ARCS of hers, not finished copies)

This is another fun contest that takes a bit of work!
What do you win? Up to 3 of these books!

The way this works is each book has a post it note on it! You can pick up to 3 numbers (depending on how many entries you are doing, main entry,tweet,post) between #1-15 you get that book/books. The catch: You won't know which book has which post it note (with the number) on it! Thats the surprise! For example, maybe Forgive My Fins number is 10. Who knows!

The winner: Choose your numbers wisely!!!

Up to you! Pretty simple! What do you gotta do?

Promote This contest!!!

Each Option is worth one entry/book!

aka Number of Entries=Number Of Books You Receive

=Enter Contest With Way To Contact You

= Promote on Twitter

=Post about it on your blog (post only)

You must leave links for it to count! You do not have to participate in this contest if you do not want too! Just a little extra fun thing to do!

Example: This would be my entry.

I'm entering, tweeted, and posted on blogspot:


My main post

princessbookie8linktwitter= twitter post

Total Entries Into Contest: 3 Books total

You will calculate this all in one entry, and when I use randomorg, I count down the comments. If your comment WINS, you get all the promotions you did. For example, if you only entered, you only get one book. If you entered, tweeted, and posted on blogger, you get the 3 books.


FYI: If your internationally it may take up to a month for it to arrive!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Review: Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

This is the story of sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe's quest to discover her role and her twin sister's in a powerful prophecy that has affected twin sisters for generations. But nothing can prepare her for what she discovers - about herself, about her family, and about the danger that goes from haunting her dreams to becoming her reality.

I promised myself I wouldn't start reading another series but here I am entwined in the mystery of the Prophecy of the Sisters.

Written in 1st person narrative from the point of view of the oldest twin Lia (Amelia). The story starts slowly but it is worth plowing through the first couple of chapters to get an understanding of the characters personalities and interactions.

After the first couple of chapters the plot picks up pace as the tensions and suspense builds. The apprehension was thrilling, it had me compulsively turning the pages to see what would happen next. It brought to mind Milton's Paradise Lost with the epic battle of Good and Evil.

Set in a bygone era where the means of transport was a horse and carriage and illumination was via candle light, really added to the feel of the book and the imagery. There is a wonderfully sensory description of 'The Book of Chaos' which really brought the story to technicolor life within my imagination. The book itself is visually ornate with calligraphy at the chapter headings and at the bottom of each page, where the calligraphy turns into a snake, one  the left one is hissing and on the right it is calm (we all know how much I dislike snakes so I had to put my bookmark over the images so as not to be distracted from the story).

The story also brought to mind the movie Constantine with Keanu Reeves where the Devils Son is trying to make his way back to earth again via the conduit of twins. In addition, the use of twins brings to mind scales where there has to be a balance, yin and yang, good and evil.

A great first book (a debut at that) in the series for anyone that loves an epic battle of good versus evil.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Another Great Giveaway at Teen Channel Reviews

I have entered this one so be prepared for these books to be mine (well I can dream:)

Post taken from

Hey all! Can't believe how fast February flew past us. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Enough chit chat! I know you all don't want to read about me. I am going to chose two book choices for you to pick this month. The winner will chose pick the book of their choice.

First up: The Iron King By Julie Kagawa

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Read an excerpt of the Iron King here.


Next Choice is The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

To enter and international entries are allowed as well.

----- UPDATED ----

Post your tweet link you post in the comment section when you tweet either one of these message.

+5  I just entered to win The Iron King By Julie Kagawa at #teenchannelreviews @Jkagawa

+5  I just entered to win The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting at #teenchannelreviews @kimberlyderting

+3 Be a blog follower

+2 Post a suggestion for next month's giveaway.

Don't forget to post your tweet links in the comment section and of course you can tweet as much and everyday if you like.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Mini-Review: Ash by Malinda Lo

In the world of ASH, fairies are an older race of people who walk the line between life and death, reality and magic. As orphaned Ash grows up, a servant in her stepmother's home, she begins to realise that her beloved mother, Elinor was very much in tune with these underworld folk, and that she herself has the power to see them too. Against the sheer misery of her stepmother's cruelty, greed and ambition in preparing her two charmless daughters for presentation at court, and hopefully Royal or aristocratic marriage, Ash befriends one of these fairies--a mysterious, handsome man--who grants her wishes and restores hope to Ash's existence, even though she knows there will be a price to pay. But most important of all, she also meets Kaisa, a huntress employed by the king, and it is Kaisa who truly awakens Ash's desires for both love and self-respect...Ash escapes a life with her grim and self-serving stepmother and finds her beloved one...ASH is a fairy tale about possibility and recognizing the opportunities for change. From the deepest grief comes the chance for transformation.

An imaginative reworking of a classic fairytale. A fairytale with real fairies, a male fairy protector rather than the fairy godmothers of old.

Wonderful ethereal imagery. Fabulously sensory descriptions. As a bibliophile I adored the description of a book left to Ash by her mother.

A truly enchanting tale. However, I did find the homosexuality to be glamorised. The book makes it sound like an easy choice to make, I do not believe this is the case. I have a few homosexual friends and know from their experience that it is a very difficult admission and can cause rifts with family and friends.

On the whole a beautiful modern fairytale but I don't think I will be giving it to my children to read until they are old enough to understand the full implications of such choices.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Another Great Competition at Teen Channel Reviews

Here is the post from The Teen Channel for the competition :) I am not entering this one so you might stand a chance :)

Hey all! Its The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting Release Day!

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

Now you may be wondering why I am doing another post on Kimberly's novel. Well I just recently became a part of Kimberly Derting's street team. And I have some wonderful goodies to share with a few of you.

You'll be enter in a drawing to win one of three signed The Body Finder posters by Kimberly Derting and some TBF bookmarks.

And one of you win a grand prize package consisting of a signed The Body Finder poster, a book bag with the BF logo, an extra copy of the Body Finder for you to keep or giveaway to friend or family

Also included a copy of @KimberlyRPauley 'Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, teen vampire (maybe)

And also a copy of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins @LadyHawkins and TBF bookmarks.

For every person who buys and sends me proof of purchase email of The Body Finder to theteenchannelreviews at gmail dot com (black out sensitive material) +50

+5 Tweet message

I just entered to win The Body Finder Gift Pack giveaway at #TeenChannelReviews @KimberlyDerting

+5 Share this giveaway promo on your blog, facebook, etc.. (leave link on the comment section below)

+4 For each twitter follower @theteenchannel @KimberlyDerting @LadyHawkins

+10 Picture of you and your copy of The Body Finder

+7 Old Blog Follower

+3 New Blog Follower

+25 For each person who gets Kimberly Derting, Kimberly R Pauley and/or Rachel Hawkins To leave a comment on this post.

And +1 for adding up your points.

Thanks and Good Luck! Everyone is welcome to enter! (international too!)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Review: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb


In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: For the first time in 130 years human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen - terrified - but intrigued - is drawn to him. The fact that he is is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as  the lovers struggle to find a way to come together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

The synopsis taken from the back of the book does not exactly sum up this book at all.

Written in 1st person narrative from the point of view of Helen (a ghost) it is utterly captivating and heart warming. Superbly written I found I was drawn right into the lives of all the characters. I felt what Helen felt, the passionate tension, all consuming passion, happiness and sadness, the writing was that powerful. The interaction was amazing, especially between those characters that would under normal circumstances not socialize.

Wonderful literary references abound making my quest for knowledge via osmosis a viable possibility within my imagination. Large quotes from one of my all time favourite books, Jane Eyre, made me extremely happy and added another element to the story.

The slow revelation of the past entwined with the occurrences of the present, and the life's of the hosts was inspired. It made me think that redemption does not only occur at death but can be as simple as learning to forgive and accept yourself for who you are.

I will confess I sobbed my heart out at the end of this book, much to J's disgust as I woke him up :)
I highly recommend this book, not just as a paranormal romance but as a beautiful piece of prose. I can't believe this was a debut novel, if anyone wants to send me Laura Whitcomb's other book The Fetch I wouldn't say no :)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Review: Lord Sunday by Garth Nix

In this seventh and last book of THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM, the mysteries of the House, the Architect, the Trustees, the Keys and the Will are revealed, and the fate of Arthur, our Earth, and the entire Universe is finally decided. Arthur has wrested the Sixth Key from Superior Saturday, but has fallen from the Incomparable Gardens; fallen not to the Upper House but to somewhere completely unexpected. Alone in enemy territory, as his mind and body are further transformed by the power of the Keys, Arthur must struggle with himself as much as with his many enemies. Meanwhile, Arthur's friend Suzy Blue plots an escape from her prison in Saturday's tower, as battle rages above and below. Saturday's elite force is pressing on into the Incomparable Gardens, while her massed sorcerers fight a desperate rear-guard action against the Piper and his Newnith army. On earth, Leaf has to cope with the aftermath of a nuclear strike. Responsible for all the Sleepers in Friday's private hospital, she needs all the help she can get, particularly as Leaf herself has become a target for intruders from the House. And the tide of Nothing continues to rise, destroying everything in its path ...

 As you can tell by the synopsis there is a lot of action and elements going on within this book. As an avid fan of the Keys to the Kingdom Series I have been eagerly awaiting the final installment. This is one series that you have to read from the beginning or you will not be able to understand the storyline.

The book begins at the point Superior Saturday ends, the reader is really thrown in at the deep end with the action and plot. It did take me a while to remember exactly what had occurred in the previous books.
The characters are all extremely well developed and their interactions cleverly crafted. There are numerous threads  to the plot which can take some keeping up with. The action occurs on multi-levels with numerous plot twists, all leading to a singular finale.

I have always found the way in which Garth Nix combines religious imagery and theory with that of science ingenious. The vocabulary used can be challenging for younger readers but I do think that it aids their education/articulation (that is what dictionaries are for!) As I have already stated I like to read books that I think are expanding my education (my favorite ideal education via osmosis).

Some of the imagery can be quite disturbing especially if you have a technicolor imagination like myself. Having a snake phobia I am getting a little bit annoyed that a lot of books have snake imagery, it makes my skin crawl (which I guess is the point of using it).

After such a long wait for the conclusion of this series I have to say I thought the end was rather anticlimactic and cliched. The action appeared to be cut short and personally I felt it became rather moralistic. I did enjoy how all the threads of the story culminated into a single end. Fans of the Keys to the Kingdom series end to read this book in order to obtain resolution.

Blogoversary at Read This Book Giveaway

You know how much I need these books :)

Showing the Giveaway Post from Read This Book:

In honour of my blogoversary, I shall have a big giveaway because I love my blog readers! Thanks for being such awesome people!

In honour of my blogoversary, I shall have a big giveaway because I love my blog readers! Thanks for being such awesome people!

**Not pictured: Swoon At Your Own Risk, Ballads of Suburbia, The Demon’s Lexicon, handmade bag**

Please read all information as there are different prize packs for different regions.

PRIZE PACK 1 (worldwide):

Winner can chose 3 books from this list.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover, with signed bookplate)

Killer by Sara Shepard (hardcover, brand new)

Suspicion by Kate Brian

The Dating Game by Natalie Standiford

My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter

Alphas by Lisi Harrison (arc)

Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell

Ex-mas by Kate Brian

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani (arc)

A whole ton of swag and signed bookplates by Stephanie Kuehnert and Jaclyn Dolamore

The winner will also get Swoon At Your Own Risk so that’s 4 books in all!

PRIZE PACK 2 (USA only):

Once the winner of prize pack 1 picks 3 books from the list, you can pick 3 books from the remaining 6 books!

The winner of prize pack two will also get a gorgeous handmade bag by the talented Katie Alender and tons of bookmarks and a New Moon magnet featuring Taylor Lautner!

PRIZE PACK 3 (UK only):

After the winner of prize pack 2 has chosen their books, you can pick 2 books out of the remaining 4 books. You also get a copy of the UK version of The Demon’s Lexicon, a signed copy of Ballads of Suburbia and tons of bookmarks similar to the ones in prize pack 2!

Contest opened to blog followers (via Google Reader or email) only. New followers are welcome!

You will be entered accordingly based on the country you live in. If you’re living in US you can’t enter for the UK prize pack, and vice versa for those in UK. But everyone is entered for the prize pack 1 which is opened worldwide!

To enter click this link:

Jennifer Laurens Competition

You know how much I read and how much I need free books :)
Check out this competition at Jennifer Laurens Blog *remember it is mine though*
Open to all - international included *that would be me*

Friday, 12 March 2010

Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

I read a lot of reviews about this book before getting it myself so my expectations were rather high. I adore the cover but find it slightly misleading after reading the book.

The story begins with lots of background information on the main character, Namira, within a short space and I was unsure as to where the story was leading.

It is set in what can only be described as a Victorian period, which is brought to life by the wonderful descriptions given. However, I did feel that I could not relate to any of the characters within the story which was a great disappointment to me.

There is one lovely quote by Namira that I relate to as I work on my own:
If one spends too many hours in solitude, one starts to emote for one's own benefit
There is lots of tense drama within the story countered by some tender, touching moments between Namira and Erris (the automaton). The imagery had thoughts of the King & I popping into my imagination. I did giggle at one point where a statue which is described comparably to the image of the Statue of Liberty as the 'goddess of wisdom'.

Cliff-hanger ending has paved the way for a sequel or sequels. I am curious to see where the story goes and how the characters develop.

On  the whole, unfortunately, this was not the book for me. Which just goes to prove that you have to read something for yourself and not just take other people opinions.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Review: Beautiful Dead - Book 1 - Jonas by Eden Maguire

Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances. Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss. Darina, Phoenix's grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can't escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head...And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina. Ecstatic to be reunited, he tells her about the Beautiful Dead. Souls in limbo, they have been chosen to return to the world to set right a wrong linked to their deaths and bring about justice. Beautiful, superhuman and powerful, they are marked by a 'death mark' -- a small tattoo of angel's wings. Phoenix tells her that the sound of invisible wings beating are the millions of souls in limbo, desperate to return to earth. Darina's mission is clear: she must help Jonas, Summer, Arizona, and impossibly, her beloved Phoenix, right the wrong linked to their deaths to set them free from limbo so that they can finally rest in peace. Will love conquer death? And if it does, can Darina set it free?

This is a fantastic mix of genres, you can classify it as a supernatural murder mystery. Written in first person narrative from Darina's point of view. It has intrigue and tension from the 1st chapter. Darina is only allowed to keep seeing her dead boyfriend, Pheonix, if she helps solve the mystery surrounding the deaths of all 4 of the Ellerton High students, starting with Jonas who was the first to die.
The storyline really draws you in, lovely background details are given adding to the plot. An interesting and, in my opinion, far nicer interpretation of the zombie myth.
The idea that love transcends death is comforting. There is a lovely quote from Kim, Darina's Psychiatrist:
words don't cover grief we don't have the vocabulary to express it
There are sudden points of action throughout the book which can be quite surprising. The ending came as a surprise. I have always been very good at guessing the guilty person and had no problem guessing the correct person this time, but the consequences were the surprise. I have a feeling that the plot is building into a crescendo with the last book, Pheonix, having a major plot twist. My advice, keep reading the entire series, it is worth it.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Competition at Book Lover Carol

Fantastic competition open to all!!!!
I so want these books - mine, mine, mine!!!!!!

There will be 4 winners. One winner will win books (as many as I can fit into a medium-size box--could be around 5-7 books), swag, and nail polish (the same color as the girl on the cover of THE DARK DIVINE)! The other winners will win the nail polish, and maybe a book or two (not sure yet, depends on how many people enter).

Here's the bucket list so far:

THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa

HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick

WHITE CAT by Holly Black (ARC)

MR.MONSTER by Dan Wells

O, JULIET by Robin Maxwell

NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL by Justina Chen Headley (ARC)

NUMBERS by Rachel Ward (ARC)

FADE by Lisa McMann

WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by John Green & David Levithan (ARC)

GEEKTASTIC edited by Holly Black (ARC)

FALLEN by Lauren Kate (ARC)


...and more to come.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Auden has always felt like the odd one out. Since her parents' divorce she's shied away, studying lots and staying out of the party scene. But now Auden's realized there must be something more and, just like that, she changes everything. Moving to her dad's house opens up a whole new world of beach parties, food fights - and simply having fun. As she gets to know herself - and a secretive boy with dark, brooding eyes - can Auden begin to let go and finally feel like she truly belongs?

I adore the covers of Sarah Dessen's books they are just so beautiful.

The story is beautifully written in 1st person narrative from the central characters, Auden, point of view. Very powerful and poignant prose, heartfelt from the start.

It really brought a lot of cliches to mind such as 'you just have to be yourself'. The main focus at the start of the story is Auden's relationship with her parents and how she tries to win their attention/love/approval. I think this is something that we all do at some point in our lives. It also made me look at my relationship with my children and how I might be having a negative affect on their self-confidence. I can tell you it was not an easy thing to do. The story emphasises that it is not only children that should earn approval but parents as well. Is it me or do most parents try to life vicariously through their children - living their own dreams through them rather than allowing them to discover their own dreams. OR being disappointed if the child's ambitions are different from our own. I try to give my children the opportunities to explore different things to be able to make an informed decision about their choices.

As I said the story really did bring a lot of cliches to mind, another is not to compare siblings to each other as they are all individual with different strengths and weaknesses.

All the characters were extremely well written. I especially liked Eli (I wonder why?) and Maggie came as a complete surprise bringing the adage of 'never judge a book' by it's cover to mind. I was surprised at Auden's actions after a significant event within the story, especially those towards Eli. It was her 'right of passage' so to speak.

On the whole a lovely heart-warming story that both teens and parents will relate to.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

Synopsis from Amazon:
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams at any given moment is getting tired. Especially the falling dreams, and the standing-in-front-of-the-class-naked ones. But then there are the nightmares, the ones that chill her to the the one where she is in a strange a dirty kitchen...and a sinister monster that edges ever closer. This is the nightmare that she keeps falling into, the one where, for the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant...

I was very intrigued by this synopsis. A quick read I was able to finish it in one sitting. It is one of those books that compels you to keep turning the pages.
Although it is written in the 3rd person it really did feel as more like 1st person narrative in the way in which it draws you in.
The story deals with a whole host of sensitive issues applicable to all such as sexuality, self-image and friendship. Sometimes there was just a bit too much going on to real get to grips with the main storyline.
The main problem I had was that I was unable to picture the main female character in my imagination (not a thing a normally have a problem with) I finally worked out why this was, it was because I just could not relate to her very much. On the other hand I had no problem conjuring pictures of the male protagonist, Cabel (hot!).
I realised after much deliberation why this book did not take me in completely: The protagonists are very much in touch with their feelings, something I still do not think I have achieved even at my age. Plus there is a great deal of time spent where one or another of the characters is crying.
I really enjoyed the dream analysis given within the story, this added extra credibility to the plot, it was well written and extremely interesting.
Although I had problems relating to the central female character, I did think that this was an excellent debut novel that can be developed and expanded further. I feel almost compelled to read the sequels. This book is one of those that lingers in your mind and enters your dreams!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Review: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Synopsis from Amazon:
After suffering a terrible trauma at the hands of her brother's dealer friends, Leslie becomes obsessed with the idea of getting a tattoo -- it's the one thing that will allow her to reclaim her body, renew her self-confidence. And when Rabbit, her local tattoo artist, shows her a secret book of his own designs, she finds one of them irresistible. Soon, her back is adorned with a pair of mysterious eyes, framed by black wings. Leslie feels good -- more than good. Nothing bad can touch her. But what she doesn't know is that her new tattoo binds her tightly to the faery whose symbol she chose: Irial, the exquisitely dangerous king of the Dark Court!

A 'sort-of' sequel to Wicked Lovely. I loved the use of one of the peripheral characters from Wicked Lovely becoming the protagonist in this story.

The story is slightly more frightening and darker than Wicked Lovely which is to be expected when dealing with not only the darker side of faeries but also the darker side of life.
Melissa Marr's descriptive writing literally jumps off the page and brings vivid pictures to your imagination (again this is not good when you have a phobia of snakes and there is an in-depth description of the pet boa constrictor!)

Wicked Lovely had well developed characters but Ink Exchange takes them a step further. Especially the two male protagonists, Keenan and Seth. However, I would have liked to have seen the same sort of development applied to the central female character from Wicked Lovely, Aislinn. I would have also liked information on the events surrounding Donia as she is only briefly mentioned in Ink Exchange, even though she is essential to the plot (I suppose there is only so much you can fit into a book and it leaves the reader wanting more).

Although I do not personally have a tattoo (I am too much of a wimp) I can truly admire the artistic talent involved and  this was well documented within the story.
The idea of wanting an emotional abyss was very thought provoking, who hasn't wanted an escape from reality when things are tough, the idea of not feeling hurt, anger, pain, only happiness sounds very appealing in principle.

The ending was a big surprise, but I loved it.

I adored the glossary of character names given at the back of the book, it really added an extra dimension to the plot. I wonder how long it will be before these names start showing up on the list of top ten baby names.
For those of you who dismiss reading a Faery Story try the Wicked Lovely series and be surprised, these are faeries like you have never seen before.

Highly Recommended.
Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs all images form the Very Own World kit by Irene Alexeeva