My Catchphrases

Friday, 30 April 2010

Princess for Hire Giveaway at Read This Book

Post from Read This Book

Open Internationally

Ends 20th May


When a well-dressed woman steps out of a bubble and wants to know if you’d like to become a substitute princess, do you:

A) run
B) faint
C) say yes?
For Desi Bascomb, who’s been longing for some glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite C). Desi has a rare ability: with the help of “Royal Rouge,” she can temporarily transform into the exact look-alike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right?
Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras…. In this winning debut, one girl’s dream of glamour transforms into the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time.

Sounds good right? Well I am giving away 5 copies of Princess For Hire! Yes, FIVE shiny brand new ones. Five winners! I will draw 2 international winners and 3 US/Canada winners. However, you must be a follower/email subscriber to enter.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Absolution Trailer

Absolution by Jennifer Laurens due to be published in November. The final installment in the Heavenly series. I have to admit to be such a sap that I cried in the trailer. I just want Zoe to be with Mathias, can we somehow make Matthias human ;)


Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Review: Penitence by Jennifer Laurens

Synopsis: Taken from the back of the book
Seeing good and evil spirits is a gift Zoe guards with her life.
Despite her guardian angel's disappearance, Zoe forces herself to accept that she still has a purpose - but how does she carry the weight of her brothers drug abuse, the hardship of living with an autistic sister, and a best friend who's obsessed with a guy who only wants Zoe?
She never felt more alone.
When a mysterious spirit appears, Zoe thinks she has a new guardian angel. Instead, her brothers addiction worsens, her parents are on the brink of separation, and her best friend tries to kill her. The spirit she thinks is her new guardian isn't there to protect her; hes out to destroy her family and seize Zoe's soul.....for hell.
Will Matthias' return mean that he's Zoe's guardian angel again/ Or is their love  the reason the jaws of Hell now gape open?

Where do I start, you all know how much I loved Heavenly and this sequel just adds to my adoration of Jennifer Laurens. Remember how I said I thought the book was written for me, well I realised for the first time that Zoe's surname is Dodd, you won't believe it but my maternal grandparents surname was DODD. How much of a coincidence is that.

Penitence starts at the exact point that Heavenly ends, there is a nice recap of the events within the first couple of chapters. Although I do think that you need to read Heavenly to fully appreciate the relationship dynamics and interactions, the recap is not overdone, refreshing the memory and emotions tied to it.
I have to say that the storyline didn't go the way I was thinking it would, *no spoilers* it is nevertheless a powerful, emotional and thought provoking book. The emotions were like a tidal wave from the very beginning.

Following on from Zoe's near death experience and time spent in paradise with Matthias. I could completely relate to how Zoe was feeling, the adage 'Death is easy it is living that is hard', popped into my head. Not only does Zoe have to cope with nearly dying, having some horrific injuries but also being dragged away from Matthias and paradise.  How awful must that feel, thrown back into a world of pain and confusion. Strangely, it brought to mind the episode of Buffy where her friends think she has been sent to hell and bring her back from the dead but really she has been in paradise (I know odd, I blame Wondrous Reads for an awesome Vampire Week)

As a parent myself, I could also relate to how Zoe's parents must have felt seeing their daughter lying on a hospital bed on the verge of death. Talk about my worst nightmare.

The idea that the spirits of loved ones are there waiting for us to cross-over when we die brought tears to my eyes. The writing is emotionally charged, I cry, laugh and despair right along with Zoe.

Zoe's return to health gives her a new appreciation for life. Her inner strength is something I envy. I found myself wondering whether Zoe herself gained some 'heavenly' (no pun intended) powers upon her return. Again the religious references are non-denominational and open to your own beliefs/faith. I think the most important ideal in this series is that having faith in something beyond ourselves can help us cope with whatever life throws at us. A karma sort of thing, everything happens for a reason.

Zoe's ability to forgive can only be described as 'divine' and again made me wonder if she had gained some sort of special powers. Forgiveness can be one of the hardest things to give, even if it is supposed to unshackle our souls, so to speak.

All of the characters develop further. I found my dislike for Britt increasing and seriously wondered how Zoe could be friends to someone so shallow, vapid and self-centred. Brady actually gave me chills. Abria, although autistic, brings such entertainment with her antics. The image of a naked 5 year old eating oreos is hysterical. I can just picture my nearly 5 year old getting up to the same things Abria does given half the chance, drawing on walls with a marker (she has done that) and making angel shapes in snack crumbs is just adorable.  The only one I couldn't understand was Luke, Zoe's brother, I honestly thought that after Heavenly, he was really going to give up doing drugs and couldn't quite understand why he has gone back to them or am I missing something about the nature of addiction here.

The realism within the writing makes the book so easy to relate to. Even, Matthias, a guardian angel has emotions such as jealousy that have to be dealt with and make him more accessible. The introduction of Albert, Matthias's father, added another element to the story.  Developing Matthias's background story and being truly terrifying in the process. I don't have a good relationship with my father and I found this quite difficult to read. Reading Heavenly and Penitence have been cathartic experiences for me.

I could really go on and on about this book but if I give anymore away, it might spoil your enjoyment of it and I wouldn't want to do that. There are a few shocks and surprises in store :) The last thing I will say is that the evil spirits just get more terrifying and every time I have an argument now I picture evil, black spirits crawling over me. It certainly puts an end to an argument quickly :)

I would recommend everyone to read this book as I have already said it is powerful, emotional and thought provoking. It really stays with you long after you have turned the last page. I can't wait for Absolution even though I am sure to cry buckets of tears again :)

The BookDepository

Monday, 26 April 2010

Review: The Sky is Everywhere By Jandy Nelson

Synopsis: From Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to centre stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, with a nearly magical grin. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But the two can't collide without Lennie's world exploding...

Although I found the start a little odd and couldn't really relate to the female protagonist, Lennon, well at first this soon disappeared as the story progressed.
Written in first person narrative from Lennon's point of view, a musically gifted 17 year old, who was happy to stay in the background of her own life. The story deals with how Lennon not only copes with the loss of her older sister, Bailey, but amid the grief finds first love, deepens family relationships, takes charge of her own life and uncovers some skeletons in the closet along the way.
Beautifully written, I found myself drawn into Lennon's life and truly relating to her feelings. The 1st person narrative is interspersed with a 3rd person narrator finding pieces of poetry in random places and on very strange things. The poetry really added to the depth of the emotion conveyed, the 3rd person narrator takes on a whole new meaning at the end of the book *no spoilers* but it made me think of how karma works and that everything happens for a reason. It all ties together beautifully.
The music and literature references were almost lyrical, you could really feel the passion for music coming from the pages. The musical interpretation of feelings was a truly amazing analogue, personally I equate certain songs to specific events and feelings. I still can't listen to The Rose by Bette Midler without crying (it was played at my mothers funeral).
But what if music is what escapes when a heart breaks
Very powerful emotions are emanated within the prose. From the disconnected feeling of not understanding how the world keeps going on as normal when your own life has been torn into pieces and nothing feels normal. To the all consuming passion of first love, although in this case it is tainted by grief and loss.
Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes part of you, step for step, breath for breath
I adored Lennon's quirky family even if I couldn't relate to them. They really epitomise the saying of being comfortable in your own skin, and their personalities added a lighter feel to the story balancing the strong emotions. With such kooky relatives it is easy to see how Lennon was able to blend into the background for so long.
The only thing I didn't like was the relationship between Lennon and Toby (Baileys boyfriend), I know grief causes you to do strange things but I just couldn't get to grips with there relationships and actions. Some of it is later explained but I still did not enjoy that aspect of the story.
The references to the magic of nature, especially the roses, brought to mind Wings by Aprilynne Pike and The Splendour Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore who both use nature as a magical entity in it's own right.

A terrific and emotional read. Be warned you will need tissues as it is a tear-jerker. 

The BookDepository

Friday, 23 April 2010

Eclipse Trailer!!!!!!

OK so probably every Twi-hard blogger is going to have this on their blog, but as I am a Twi-hard blogger I don't care.

OMG, OMG!!!!! I am so excited!!!!!!!

I even think that J is not going to complain about me dragging him to the movies to watch it :)
Anyone know if you can pre-book the tickets yet :)

I have to have a little rant though (sorry) but for me it really spoilt it in the movies that all the little girls go and watch the movies but don't read the books. Let me tell you the books are so much more intense. Yes, I feel quite passionate about The Twilight Saga :) Anyone else with me? I gave in and let my oldest watch the 1st movie (she is now in love with Edward), she is desperate to read the books but as they are more intense I think she needs to wait a few more years and keep her grubby little paws off mine :)

Book Trailer for Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

This book has been on my wish-list for a while, I thought I would share the book trailer with you so you can lust after it as-well :)
I do love an epic battle between good and evil, only this one has a twist.
I can't wait to read it :)

Synopsis: Taken from Amazon
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days Genesis 6:4 When Sister Evangeline finds mysterious correspondence between Mother Innocenta of the Saint Rose Convent and legendary philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller, it confirms Angels walked among us – and their descendants, the cruel Nephilim, still do. Indeed, the Nephilim are hunting for artefacts concealed by Abigail Rockefeller during the Second World War - objects that will ultimately allow them to enslave mankind - and have so far been prevented from reaching their apocalyptic goal by one, clandestine organisation: The Angelology Society. And if the Angelologists are to stand any chance of winning this new battle in the ages-old war, they must find the artefacts first. But their fate rests in the hands of innocent Sister Evangeline, who holds the key to unlocking Abigail Rockefeller’s hiding places … and whose own destiny may yet find her prey to the terrifying Nephilim army, with horrifying consequences for humanity.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

YA Bloggers Debut Book Battle 2010

How Cool is this - I want in - send me the books now (unemployed husband desperately seeking work, or I promise I would buy them)

Courtesy of The Shady Glade:

Eighth-Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (on the wishlist)

A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker (on the wishlist)

A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee (on the wishlist)

Ash by Malinda Lo (read & reviewed)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (read & reviewed)

Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas (on the wishlist)

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (read, cried and review to be posted)

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (on the wishlist)

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (on the wishlist)

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev (on the wishlist)

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey (also known as My Love Lies Bleeding - read & reviewed)

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (on the wishlist)

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (read but not reviewed)

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (on the wishlist)

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore (read & reviewed)

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard (hmm not sure)

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon (on the wishlist)

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting (on the wishlist)

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (on the wishlist)

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (read & reviewed)

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (on the wishlist)

The Season by Sarah MacLean (on the wishlist)

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (on the wishlist)

You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay  (on the wishlist)
Fantastic Debut Books to choose from. How are you doing with this list?

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Review: Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings

Synopsis: Taken from Amazon
"I've seen a ghost," said Emily. "Well, not seen one exactly. Heard one. At least, I think I have!" Everything has a rational explanation. Unless it doesn't. Welcome to Weirdsville! Woodsville is not like other towns. Night falls a little earlier there, the shadows are darker and denser, and everyone knows it's a place where strange things happen. Even if they won't admit it. Bethan would prefer to be anywhere but here. Jay has his theories, but isn't ready to share. Hashim sees more than he'll say, while Kelly's demons are all too flesh and blood. But Emily's freak-out brings them out of denial and face to face with the supernatural. Anywhere else, Friday night would be date night. But not in Weirdsville!

I love the 'Welcome to Weirdsville' that is what drew me to this book in the first place. Who doesn't feel like they live in Weirdsville occasionally (OK it might just be me *grins*).
The book starts with a thoroughly unlikeable character, Carter, when he kicks a dog anger overtook me and I kept thinking that this character deserved anything bad that was going to happen to him.
The imagery used is tremendously powerful, it felt as if it was an assault on my senses so vivid were the pictures they conjured. In some parts it was so chilling I actually has cold shudders/goosebumps while reading it. I kept thinking to myself that it was a good job that I was not afraid of the dark or I would have been in big trouble :)

The language used is most definitely English as opposed to American English with the most noteable being the use of Flat as opposed to Apartment as I am sure it would be called in the U.S. J recently watched a movie about Northern Ireland, 50 Dead Men Walking, and I had images of that in my imagination with the description of the tower blocks and overall concrete jungle that they live in. As you already know I live in Wales, surrounded by lots of green fields and the coast a short drive away, so for me it is hard to relate to living in such a drab place but easy to picture thanks to TV. Wales is actually mentioned within the narrative, so you can imagine how pleased I was :)
The elements of gang warfare and domestic violence, although not to my taste, did seem necessary to the storyline, giving clarification to the reasons for some actions. There is an element of nature versus nurture running through the plot; contrasts are made between the main characters home lives defining their personalities and actions.

The tension is dramatic, I could even here the music they play in movies at the peak of the suspense within my imagination. My adrenaline pumped and my heart pounded. The idea of a modern Ghostbusters came to mind. Artful plot teasers placed throughout the narrative. I could sense the twist, but as I have stated before I am good at that.
Ingenious cross-over of science fiction with science fact, the use of quantum physics, chaos and string theories really added depth to the plot. You can thank J for me knowing even a little bit about quantum physics, it is his pet science :) 

The ideology of a society without social structure is explored, the utopia of everyone being equal and therefore socially acceptable to have everyone as friends, brought to mind the movie Bratz which also dealt with this issue.

There is an AWESOME cliffhanger. OH NO, I just realised that I am now hooked on another series. Guess there are worse things to be hooked on :)

An amazing urban fantasy, not for those afraid of the dark.

The BookDepository

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Book Contest & Giveaways

There are some really great blogger contests and giveaways at the moment, check out come of these:

Imperial Beach Teen Blog: Win a signed copy of Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey (I really want this one)
Synopsis: From Amazon
 Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents’ rules—especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father’s office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she’s tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.
To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen’s sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill’s accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything—even Tristen’s love—just for the thrill of being . . . bad.

The Fiction Enthusiast : also known as @MamaBookWorm is having a 100 follower giveaway in conjunction with The Book Depository *I want so much*
YA Highway: is giving away an ARC of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger
Synopsis: From Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Sounds FAB (yes!!!!)
And lastly today :)
Cindy Pon: is giving away 2 ARC's Paranomalcy by Kierstin White and Black Hole Sun by David MacInnis Gill *still mine - grins*  
Synopsis: From Goodreads
Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.
Normal is so overrated
No synopsis available - but the cover looks fab!!!!!
To all those who enter GOOD LUCK!!!!!
If you win do you want to share ;)

Monday, 19 April 2010

Review: Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days by Derek Landy

Synopsis: From Amazon
It's the fourth Skulduggery Pleasant adventure! only Skulduggery Pleasant himself is lost on the other side of a portal, with only some evil gods for company. Can he possible survive? (Yes, all right, he's already dead. But still.) What can we say, without giving too much away? Not much, is the answer. But what we CAN say is that this book is hilarious, it's tense, and it's packed with all the eye-popping action, crackling one liners and imaginative set pieces you've come to expect. There's a new threat to our plucky heroine, of course. But that's not all. There's also the little fact of the Big Bad, the uber-baddy who's going to come along and really, really destroy the world. (Really.) And what we learn about that villain in this book will literally make your jaw fall off and your hair go white with shock. (Not really.) Will Skulduggery make it out of the Faceless Ones' dimension? Who knows. The problem is, he may not have much to come back to!

Ohhh, How I adore Derek Landy. His books are a pure piece of escapism with wit sarcasm and irony thrown in for good measure. I find his writing absolutely hysterical (sarcasm is kind of my thing *grins*)
You should always read his dedications as they are pure genius, they have never disappointed in making me laugh like a hyena, lol. J and I have come to the conclusion the Skulduggery Pleasant is the fictional manifestation of Derek Landy himself, enabling him to say and do exactly what he chooses within his imagination.
I must warn you that the Skulduggery Pleasant books are not stand alone, you have to read the previous books in order to fully appreciate the characters and their interactions. All the characters are extremely well developed and have the most marvellous personality flaws you will ever come across.
As the central female character, Stephanie/Valkyrie, matures the storyline develops to accommodate the stages of life that would accompany aging. An example of this would include the development of the love triangle between Stephanie/Valkyrie, Caelon and Fletcher. The depth of the relationship between Stephanie/Valkyrie and Skulduggery is still unfathomable, adding an extra dimension to the storyline.
There is an HUGE plot twist within this book, so thank goodness I only have to wait until September for the next installment, I think I would go mad if I had to wait until next year :)

The BookDepository

Friday, 16 April 2010

Review: Uninvited by Amanda Marrone

Synopsis: From Amazon
Jordan hates her life! Her boyfriend Michael dumped her, hooked up with half the other girls in the neighbourhood, and then killed himself. And then there's the broken record of boring parties, meaningless flirting and friends she can't relate to. But now, somehow, Michael is back, appearing at her window every night, begging her to let him in. Jordan can't understand why he wants to get back together; he was the one that dumped her! But, as the weeks drag on, she feels her resistance wearing down. Instead of partying and socialising with her so-called friends, now Jordan runs home to the safety of her room before dark, and waits, alone and terrified, for the sun to go down. Creatures like Michael need to be invited in before they can cross over the threshold. All Jordan has to do is say the words...
I am a bit torn with this book there were things I liked and things I didn't like.
Written in 1st person narrative. The tension escalates from the very first sentence. I didn't find the main female protagonist, Jordan, very like-able, to me she seemed neurotic with a really big 'chip' on her shoulder. The male protagonist, Micheal, isn't very like-able either, and not just because he is a vampire. Full details of Micheal's personality are revealed at the end of the story and I can't go into detail without giving away spoilers.  A very compulsive storyline even if the characters are unlikeable.
The imagery veers from tense to gory to salacious. All of which are indicators to the deeper threads of the storyline. Wonderful use of vocabulary and literary references aiding my quest for knowledge via osmosis.
Some chapters are written in the present tense and are interwoven with those written in the past tense, giving background detail to the plot.
Brilliant paralleling of Micheal's live as a vampire with Jordan's drug/alcohol abuse. Neither are truly living. I told you I was on a roll with reading books about the evils of alcohol. Another parallel between Micheal and Jordan for me was that Jordan doesn't invite Micheal in and Jordan doesn't get invited to parties/social events. She is popular by association. Her friends remind me of Britt in Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens; selfish, shallow and self-centred.
Shades of I Heart you, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder through the plot only one is fuelled by love the other by hate.
The morale of this story is twofold - the dangers of substance abuse and the mistakes made when under  their influences. Plus the discovery of whole your real friends are, they stand by you no matter what. Worth reading just for those and the resolution offered at the end. How I do love a happy ending :)

The BookDepository

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Review: The Splendour Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Sylvie Davies is a ballerina who can't dance. A broken leg ended her career, but what broke her heart was her father's death, and what's breaking her spirit is her mother's remarriage. Still reeling Sylvie is shipped off to stay with relatives in the back of beyond. Or so she thinks, in fact she ends up in a town rich with her family's history ...and as it turns out her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys she can't stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, is the expected choice. But handsome and mysterious Rhys has a hold on her that she doesn't quite understand. Then Sylvie starts seeing things - a girl by the lake and a man with dark unseeing eyes peering in through the window ...Sylvie's lost nearly everything - is she starting to lose her mind as well?
Before I start my in depth review I have to tell you that I am completely biased where this book is concerned; 1. It has a hot welsh male protagonist 2. It weaves welsh mythology beautifully into the storyline. 3. I am a Davies!!! OK I have warned you!
Written in first person narrative (as much as I adore 1st person narrative I never seem to picture myself as the protagonist) with adorable use of vocabulary 'snafu' is such a cute word.
Lovely music and dance imagery created real brought it to life within my imagination, such sensory descriptions make the story more 3 dimensional. Spine-tingling at times.
I am starting to think that I am on a flow of reading books that have drink related incidents within the storyline = drink is evil :)
Superb parallels given between plants/flowers and people both needing nourishment in order to flourish. The theme of nature having magical restorative properties brought to mind Wings by Aprilynne Pike.
The plot intertwined past and present to dramatic effect. The use of mythology added depth to the storyline. The Einstein's theory of relativity kept popping into my head...
For every action there is an equal an opposite reaction
This could be used as a warning within this book :) I love the idea of reincarnation and soul mates.
On the whole a great piece of escapism, so I am off to Cardiff to look for Rhys ;)

The BookDepository

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


THE WINNER IS:    Arantza Cazalis!!!!!!

Thank you to all those who entered, it was really, really close. 4 followers had 65 points each so I did the only fair thing  and got my children to pull the name out of a dish. They fought over who got to pull the name out so in the end the name was the one that all 3 of them had their fingers on at the same time with their eyes shut LOL. The things we get kids to do :) 

Friday, 9 April 2010

Review: Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Synopsis: Taken from the back of the book.
Mystery. Romance. Danger
Aurelia, the crown princess of Tyralt, wants control over her own life. Robert, her former classmate wants Aurelia. And someone wants her......dead.
There have been several narrowly escaped attempts to assassinate the princess, but the king has no desire to incite panic by making the information public. Instead, Robert, the son of the kings former royal spy, is allowed into the inner circle to secretly investigate and watch over Aurelia.
Robert is determined to help, if only Aurelia would let him! But the princess will not heed the danger around her, and she does not need Robert to save her.
Just as their friendship begins to grow into something more, the threat on Aurelia's life becomes paramount. With everything possible on the line - her life, her kingdom, her heart - Aurelia must take matters into her own hands, what ever the cost.
Beautifully descriptive writing throughout the book, really brought the images to vivid detail within my imagination. I actually felt hungry with the sensory description of the marketplace.
The tension and suspense starts from the first page of the prologue. A lot of information can be discerned from the narrative within a short space of time really bringing all the characters to life. The change of tone within the 1st chapter was amusing.
Written in 3rd person narrative but generally focalized from Aurelia or Robert's point of view giving in depth insight into their thoughts, feelings and actions. All the characters were extremely well developed. As a reader I became thoroughly entangled in the lives of Robert and Aurelia, they were that life-like.
For the first part of the book I had images of the renaissance era popping into my head, the age of chivalry with the descriptions of the clothes, food and dances. The narrative took on a fairytale feel with the description of Aurelia's Stepmother, I had visions of the Snow Queen or the wicked stepmother from Snow White.
Lovely changes of tone and pace keep the reader's attention, you have to stay alert not to miss any of the clues given within the story. Intertwining antecedent chapters add depth. Fantastic mix of genres blended seamlessly. My heart was pounding with the description given of a nightmare and the reaction to it. The Gothic imagery used for the castle and team of horse was dramatic.

The second half of the book moves from the fairytale feel into mystery, intrigue and suspense. As I have stated before I am generally very good at guessing the 'villain' so it didn't come as a surprise to find out who it was in this case. The real shock for me was the relationships that were uncovered and past secrets divulged.
I thought the ending was well executed and moved into the area of an adventure story, images of pioneers entered my imagination. I can't wait to see how the story develops from here.
I really enjoyed this story it had romance, intrigue, suspense and adventure all rolled into one. I am looking forward to the sequel/s to follow Aurelia and Robert's adventures.
The BookDepository

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Review: The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Nick and his brother Alan are on the run with their mother, who was once the lover of a powerful magician. When she left him, she stole an important charm - and he will stop at nothing to reclaim it. Now Alan has been marked with the sign of death by the magician's demon, and only Nick can save him. But to do so he must face those he has fled from all his life - the magicians - and kill them. So the hunted becomes the hunter...but in saving his brother, Nick discovers something that will unravel his whole past...

OK so I thought after reading about Guardian Angels I would go to the opposite end of the spectrum and read about

Written in 3rd person narrative but has the feeling of a first person narrative as it is mainly focalized from Nick's point of view.

Really interesting and well developed plot. Clever plot teasers are placed throughout the story, although there is a major plot twist it does not come as a complete shock, all the indicators are there for you to pick up on.

Fabulous Gothic imagery entwined with modern appliances/architecture. Very easy to have the movie version playing in your imagination while you read this. The snake imagery at the beginning made me cringe (how I hate snakes!). The description of the shadows brought to mind those in Fallen.

I found it rather a strange coincidence that this book as well as Heavenly both state the evils of alcohol and how due to the lowering of inhibitions it is easier for evil to take hold and consume. The idea of being branded for demon possession is truly frightening, I did find it hard to believe that anyone would be stupid enough to let a demon into their bedroom in the middle of the night. The saying 'nothing is what it seems' kept running through my mind.

The theme of nature versus nurture throughout the plot is similar to that running through Beastly but this takes it to a whole new dimension. The ending was surprisingly touching and tender.
An action packed debut novel for urban fantasy fans. I think Sarah Rees Brennan is one to look out for in the future ;)

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Juiciliciousss Reviews Random Giveaway

Such amazing giveaways at the moment, for me this would be Christmas in a box :)

Click here to enter :

Post taken from Juiciliciousss Reviews

Well, I thought having another giveaway might be a good idea it is! I have an idea but it's more of a spur of the moment one, so it might be kind of rough. Anyway, so since you guys seemed to enjoy the surprise pack that I had in my previous contest/giveaway, I thought I'll do the same but better. This time, I'll have two winners and for both of them, I'll basically stuff as many YA books as I can or a limit of 8-9? books (haven't decided on how many books should be the limit but...) whichever comes first into a USPS ReadyPost Medium Box. This means that for both winners, they'll each receive about 8-9(!!!) newly released or not-even-released YA novels. Of course, they won't know what they get until they open the boxes but that's the whole gist of it. Sounds great, right?

Open to: US, Canada and International readers! :)

Deadline: April 21st, 2010

Good luck!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Review: Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

Synopsis: Taken from the back of the book.
I met someone who changed everything.
My autistic sister's guardian angel.
Honest. Inspiring. Funny.
And immortal.
That was the problem.
What could I do?
I did what any other girl would do - I fell in love with him
Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe's lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying.
Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he is legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny.
But Heaven on Earth can't last forever.

It has taken me a while to write this review as this book really touched me and I feel like I am about to bare my soul to the world in this review.

I have to say the synopsis leaves a lot to be desired and should not put you off reading this book. I am not going to gush as this goes far beyond gushing. I feel as if this book was written for me personally, that is how much it has enthralled me.

Written in first person narrative from Zoe's point of view. She is the oldest of 3 children, 17 years old, dealing with the traumatic diagnosis that her adorable little sister, Abria, age 5, has severe autism.   
The book shows the effect on the entire family having to cope with this disability. It is written with insight as the author, Jennifer Laurens, has an autistic child. I was able to relate completely as my oldest child has dyspraxia, although her physical skills are significantly improved to when she was diagnosed, the emotional aspect is a constant challenge and on occasion still hard to deal with. As in the book, Abria is the person  the family revolves around, so it is in my house with the oldest having the main focus of attention. It is not something that is intentional that is just how it happens. I sincerely hope that it is not disturbing the other girls emotionally or mentally.

The story deals with how the family cope with the added stress of having an impaired child in their lives. Zoe turns to alcohol while her brother, Luke, turns to drugs. The feeling of turning to any thing that will block out the reality of their stressful lives is something I can relate to. My own family (not the one with my children the one when I was a child) is completely dysfunctional and imploded on my mothers death. Believe me I would have done anything to get away from that reality if it wasn't for my children. However, the story goes on to show how these methods are just means of avoiding the problem and they generally add more problems than they solve. The best way to deal with problems is head on and with open honesty to the other people involved. it also brought to mind the therapies and developmental skills mentioned in Beautiful Dead: Arizona whose brother was also autistic.

Amazing use of the white space within the narrative adding impact and intensity to the storyline.
Although the theme of the books refers to God, Heaven and Angels, it is of a non-denominational nature, therefore open to your own interpretation/beliefs. Being of a non-overtly religious nature myself, I have my own beliefs which are just that my own, I found the ideals within the story easy to relate to. The idea of a life after death brings great comfort to anyone that has lost someone close to them.

The thought that each of us has a Guardian Angel trying to guide us and keep us safe is reassuring, although the idea that they are responsible for keeping us safe when we purposefully expose ourselves to danger/evil is quickly and powerfully dispelled within the narrative. The adage 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink' comes to mind. The emphasis that Angels cannot enter a place that contains evil is powerful and we as people are responsible for the decision to enter the nefarious circles is thought provoking. The imagery used to describe evil spirits was chilling, giving me goose-bumps. The addition of alcohol/drugs lower your inhibitions and therefore making it easier for evil spirits to take over gave me shivers.

Instead of making the Guardian Angel into a virtuous, moral, pure, spotless person, Matthias has his own past to contemplate and in some aspects repent for. Making him human and easy to relate to. The use of 'cool' or 'slang' words from the modern era side by side with those of the 1920's was rather amusing but added depth to the storyline.

This book invoked such powerful emotions within me that I just did not want to let it go. Normally I pick up another book straight away if I get the chance, on this occasion I had a 2 hour time slot to fill while waiting for one of my children and I just could not bring myself to pick up another book as I did not want to lose the feeling I had when I finished this one. The ending was bitter-sweet but gripping.

This is one book that I would recommend the entire world to read. Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime. I am keeping it on my bookshelf and will be passing it down to my children when they are old enough to read it. It is the whole kit & caboodle....touching, inspiring, heart warming, thought I need to go on ;)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

I was a Teenage Book Geek Follower Giveaway

Another chance to win some awesome books just by following a lovely person like Lauren.....easy peasy and enjoyable. Thanks Lauren.

To enter click here.

Post taken from Laurens Blog : I was a Teenage Book Geek

I Was A Teenage Book Geek's 300 Follower Contest

When I signed on today, I was super excited to see that I had reached 300 followers. For me, this is a pretty huge deal. So first, I want to thank Jenny from Take Me Away for being my 300th follower, and another thanks to April of Good Books and Good Wine for the twitter shout-out yesterday.

Secondly: contest time! Woo-hoo!

As I'm from the UK, it's often the case that we have to wait a little while longer here for the big US releases. However, we sometimes get a British-author-penned gem way ahead of the rest of the world. Since I have blog followers from all over, I've decided the best option this time round is to have a choice of prizes.

So here's how this one will work. There'll be one winner, who will get to choose three books from the two lists below. Mixing and matching is most definitely allowed.

UK Editions:
Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings (pb, reviewed by me here)
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher (pb, sequel to Incarceron)
My So-Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray (pb, currently reading this one so review coming soon!)

US Editions:
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (hb, reviewed by me here)
The Compound by S. A. Bodeen (pb, reviewed by me here)
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder (pb, firmly on my own wishlist and due for publication before the contest ends. Yay!)
Want a shot at it? Just fill in the form below.

But first, please read my privacy policy and check out the contest rules:

Contest is open internationally.

There will be one winner, chosen at random.

Entrants must be aged 13 or over.

Entrants aged under 16 must have permission from their parent or guardian, and must provide an email address for their parent or guardian - not their own!

Multiple entries will be disqualified.

Contest closes at midnight GMT on the 6th April 2010.

Winner will be chosen, announced and contacted by email on the 10th or 11th April 2010. If no response is received after 48 hours an alternative winner will be chosen.

Details provided will not be used for any other purpose, and I will delete all entry information once the winner has been picked and the prizes sent out.

Steph Bowe's Amazing Giveaway

Open Internationally.

Post taken from Steph's Blog : click here to enter.

Massive Book Giveaway! Win, win win!

In celebration of Hey! Teenager of the Year's 1st birthday (two weeks from now, more competitions to come!), I have books to give away! Lots of them! To enter, all you have to do is follow the blog with Google Friend Connect, and fill in the form below! Here are the prizes:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Blue Plate Special by Michelle Kwansey

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

World Shaker by Richard Harland

Exposure by Mal Peet

Sprout by Dale Peck

Panama by Shelby Hiatt


Every winner will get lots of book swag - bookmarks, postcards, badges, etc...

And if you're an aspiring YA author, you'll also get a query critique & first five pages critique of your YA manuscript from me!

Here's how the contest will work: I'll close entries on April 30th, and depending on how many Google Friend Connect followers I have I'll give away more prizes - if we have 800 followers, there will be 2 winners, who will each win two books of their choice from the above list. 850 followers means 3 winners, 900 followers means 4 winners, 950 followers means 5 winners & if I reach 1000 followers there will be 6 winners!

So, quick! Enter! By you spreading the word, the number of people following the blog will increase and the number of prizes will increase - increasing your odds of winning! Hooray!

Open internationally and entries close midnight April 30th, AEST.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Beautiful Creatures Music Video

Check out this awesome Music Video from YouTube for the song that is featured in the book Beautiful Creatures.

Some peoples talent just amazes me :)

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Beastly The Movie

I am now going to show how old I really am. No longer being of the MTV generation age, I was unaware the Beastly was going to be made into a movie until I saw the photos of Vanessa Hudgens alongside the cast of Twilight (yes, I was feeding my Twilight habit!)
Then I found the trailer on YouTube.
Needless to say I will be dragging the girlie's off to watch this as an excuse to watch it myself :)

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