My Catchphrases

Sunday, 31 July 2011

In My Mailbox 31/7/11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to showcase all the lovely books that come through my door one way or another. Looking at other peoples IMM's is like looking through the window of a sweet store (if you like sweets that is lol)

For Review:

(sounds interesting - putting this one on tour with UK Book Tours first so I can clear some of my TBR pile - see how kind I am to you guys *hugs* - go join the tour site [ : D ])

(again this one is going on tour first - loads of my tours going up next week so I can see my desk again lol)

(so looking forward to reading this one - thank you Miriam)

(squee - I love Alyson Noel even if her protagionists are very annoying lol - really enjoyed Radiance (review here)

From the local library

(so looking forward to this one but think I may be being optomistic with my time lol)

From Amazon Vine Program

(all I can say is SQUEEEEE)

(so excited to read this but really fed up with RISI - swappere left me bad rating as I refused to send my book until hers was received - perfectly acceptable when you have a new swapper on your hands especially one with a low score for not sending books - so there am a tad annoyed about it all)

Off to look at other pretty IMM's. Don't forget to go join UK Book Tours if you are a UK Book Blogger there are some awesome tours coming up and you seriously do not want to miss them <3

Saturday, 30 July 2011

On My (Library) Wish-List

Title: Everblue
Series: Mer Tales
Author: Brenda Pandos
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Publication Date: 31st July 2011 
 Synopsis: From Goodreads
 Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them. Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever. 

This looks like a terrific addition to the mermaid stories that are all the rage at the moment. I am planning a 'Under The Sea Library Lesson so this would be a terrific extra resource. It also helps that I want to read it myself.
Title: Fairy Bad Day
Author: Amanda Ashby
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: 9 Jun 2011
Synopsis: From Goodreads
While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?

With themes in mind for Library Lessons, how about Fairies that have unisex appeal [ : D ] Doesn't this book look FUN.

Title: Gone
Series: Gone #1
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Publication Date: 3 Sep 2009
Synopsis: From Amazon 
Suddenly there are no adults, no answers. What would you do? In the blink of an eye, the world changes. The adults vanish without a trace, and those left must do all they can to survive. But everyone's idea of survival is different. Some look after themselves, some look after others, and some will do anything for power...Even kill. For Sam and Astrid, it is a race against time as they try to solve the questions that now dominate their lives...What is the mysterious wall that has encircled the town of Perdido Beach and trapped everyone within? Why have some kids developed strange powers? And can they defeat Caine and his gang of bullies before they turn fifteen and disappear too? It isn't until the world collapses around you that you find out what kind of person you really are. This book offers a chilling portrayal of a world with no rules. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.

Lastly for some unknown reason we have a copy of Hunger by Michael Grant just come into the library but not the rest of the series. It drives me insane to have the second book in the series. I have refused to put it on the shelf until we get the rest of the books.

Title: Lies
Series: Gone #3
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Publication Date: 6 Sep 2010

Synopsis: From Amazon

It happens in one night: a girl who died now walks among the living, Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach, and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most - Drake. But Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness - or so they thought. As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake. And the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza, are preaching that death will set them all free. As life in the FAYZ becomes more desperate, no one knows who they can trust.

Title: Plague
Series: Gone #4
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Publication Date: 4 April 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

This is a blood-pumping, white-knuckle sci-fi thriller of epic proportions. The FAYZ goes from bad to worse...The darkness has been foiled once again and the resurrected Drake has been contained. But the streets of Perdido Beach are far from safe, with a growing army of mutants fighting against the humans for power in the town. In a small room of a house near the edge of town, Little Pete lies ill on a bed. In his fevered dreams, he continues his battle with the hidden evil that seeks to use his power to bring about anarchy and destruction.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Review: Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Title: Texas Gothic
Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Publisher: Corgi Children's
Publication Date: 7 July 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

A spooky, electrifying love story.

Amy Goodnight's family are far from normal. She comes from a long line of witches, and grew up surrounded by benevolent spirits and kitchen spells. All fairly harmless, but Amy can't wait to get to college and escape the "family business".
But things take a darker turn when she and her sister Phin spend the summer looking after Aunt Hyacinth's ranch. Amy is visited by a midnight spectre who is clearly trying to send her a message. It seems that the discovery of an old grave on a neighbour's land has been the catalyst for an apparent ghost uprising.
Aided by local friends and Ben, the handsome cowboy who just can't take his eyes off Amy, the sisters investigate. And they soon find that there's something strange and dangerous going on, deep in the heart of Texas...


Before I start I have to say this review is one of the hardest I have had to write. I absolutely detest writing negative reviews, not that this is going to be that bad, but still you get the picture. You have to think harder about your review when you aren't particularly enamoured with the book. Don't get me wrong I know loads of people that loved this one but for me it was disappointing after I really enjoyed The Splendour Falls (review here) therefore I have to think how to word it carefully stating exactly what didn't work for me. I have seen a few negative reviews lately that just tear a book to shreds without stating succinctly the problem they had with the story, I don't see the point of that at all, it does nothing for anyone and makes the reviewer look very unprofessional  So enough of my rambling and on with the review.

I think the best approach for me to take is to separate what I did like from what I didn't like with this particular book.

The Things I Liked:
  • The characterisations and interactions were just brilliant. I loved the sarcastic 'banter' (for there is no better word for it) between Amy and Ben. The typical I like you so I am going to hide it by being mean to you. I thought of another good way to describe it - verbal sparring [ : D ] The make-out scene is hot, hot, hot.
  • The way in which the witch-craft is portrayed is absolutely ingenious. The use of the word kitchen-witchery brings the whole phenomenon of witchcraft down to the basic level of herbalism, aromatherapy, etc. which is what it is when split into its various forms usually the use of The Goddess in introduced but this didn't take place her and was a breath of fresh air for it.
  • The family's use of names Amaryllis is a fantastic name to lumber a child with, lol. 
  • The use of humour to counteract the relationships, action and relationships- this I both liked and disliked in equal measure.
  • The use of science to back-up and investigate paranormal phenomena's inspired and believable. making you want more of stuff like this on Most Haunted rather than the screaming [ : D ] 
  • The reality portrayed of police investigators using psychics in their investigations, yes we know it goes on really by why hide it. Is it still that much of a taboo??
Things I didn't like:

  • For me the pacing was quite slow. The action was very sporadic and it didn't seem to flow very well. This is my personal opinion nothing more.
  • There were a few instances where things happened incredulously to save the day. One example without giving anything away is how a rucksack miraculous appears in the story when no mention of it had been made before.
  • Unfortunately, and I really really hate to say it but I thought the plot was predictable. I worked out who was behind the events from an early point in the book - this might just be me - and didn't get sidetracked at all with any plot twists. In fact I can't even recall any twists. 
  • To quote a friend - it had an air of 'Scooby- Doo' about it - 'we would have got away with it if it hadn't been for those pesky witches' is exactly the sentiment I was looking for to describe how I felt about the ending.
So there you have it. I hope I have been succinct as it has taken me the best part of the day to write it. It is my personal opinion nothing more. Remember my catch-phrase Reading is subjective - we cant all love everything otherwise the world would be a very boring place.

Other reviews: 

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Musical Moments: Guest Post: Andrew Hall aka Pewter Wolf: The Soundtrack to My Life

It is my pleasure to welcome Andrew to Book Angel Booktopia today. He is the inspiration behind the Book Theme Songs, he has a wonderful sense of humour, is downright adorable and has eclectic music taste as well. Enjoy:

I want to say a quick thank you to Emma for asking if I wanted to do this guest post. I got excited over reading Laura's here (aka SisterSpooky as I know her!) and when I was asked to take part, it took a long time before I got a good feeling about my music choices. I hope you like these choices as much as I have going through my iPod and remembering.

Siobhan Donaghy's "Overrated"

I hated school. I couldn't wait to go to college. I went there for three years to study Media (for two different levels - a GNVQ and a BND.) and, though I knew it would be near impossible to get a job within the world of Media, I loved studying this! At the start of my three-years, I became more open to new and different music and, somehow discovering and got exciting over this artist, I got the album and that album became, basically, my soundtrack for college.

Ellie Goulding's "Lights" and Frank Sinatra's "New York"

Last year, one of the happiest days in my life happened. My sister got married and I gave her away. I love my sister to bits - she's one of the bravest people I know - so when she asked me, I was thrilled. And then came the news that she was getting married in the Empire State Building in New York. That's right. NEW YORK! Insert high-pitched squeals, excitement and then manic saving for flights and hotel funds! So, whenever I hear either of these songs, I think of New York and instantly smile.

Florence and The Machine's "Cosmic Love" and "Howl"

Last year, I went to a lot of concerts (my first ever gig was V2009). I went to Florence and The Machine in May (a birthday treat to myself), Ellie Goulding (a birthday treat from the Person I'm With - although I shouldn’t have gone because I was quite ill that day, so that one doesn't technically count) and Imogen Heap (I bought them as soon as they were released!). I bought Florence and the Machine tickets before anything happened, but took the Person I'm With with me (quite early days). We got there and, after chatting through the two random support acts, danced and sing loudly to Florence… these songs were ours and one, we class, as Our Song. (I have her singing these live if you prefer them. But they have me singing - not good!)

Greg Laswell "Off I Go"


I found this track on an episode of Grey's Anatomy. I fell instantly in love with this track and downloaded the track almost immediately. This song was played so often on my iPod that it has become my Official Song. So much so that it, by accident, become the main theme song for a story I started to writing at the time (and am editing now-ish), The Advance Guard.
(And this is the link from where I heard it on Grey's Anatomy where I love the voice over and quoted her in the story...)

Nicholas Hooper "Professor Umbridge"

Now, I forced the Person I'm With to watch Harry Potter movies and read the books (sorry film-fans. The Harry Potter books are FAR superior!). Anyway, he loves Order of the Phoenix (I don't) and when he watched the film, he got excited over the music used for Professor Umbridge. "This is you!" He claimed, jokingly excited. "It's your unofficial song!"

"So, basically, you're telling me I'm an evil pink-wearing cat lady?" I asked back.

"Well, you're not a lady. At least, I think you're not…"

*shoots death glare then bursts into laughter*

Thank you Andrew that was a fantastic post and you are the cutest person EVER. See what I mean when I say eclectic about his music tastes.

Andrew's blog - The Emancipation of Pewter Wolf - go follow him you won't be disappointed.
Andrew on Twitter - @PewterWolf13

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Book Speed Dating: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Speed Dating is a little idea I came up with for a year 7 library lesson. They pick a book that they enjoyed, preferably one that is actually in the library so they can show the cover and synopsis. Then they have to write a short but convincing argument as to why other people should read it. It has been a shambles the few times I have tried it out but it is a work in progress. After they have written their short review/persuasive argument, I line them up facing each other and give them 30 seconds in which to pitch their chosen book. After switching sides the line on the right moves down a space so they now have a new partner to pitch to. you like the idea I can tell [ ; D ] I am more than happy for other people to use my ideas but please credit it back *hugs*

To fully benefit from the book speed dating experience you need a stopwatch and for pupils to not pick the same books - seriously I was told that Breaking Dawn was educational by 3 Year 7 girls *snort*.

I also used this little idea as an ice-breaker in my presentation about Blogging Benefits Libraries to the Staff - it was even more uncontrollable than the pupils - seriously in need of a stopwatch and a whistle [ : D ]

Here is my Book Speed Dating for Forever by Maggie Stiefvater I used this as an example on the Staff Development Day.

Title: Forever
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 13 July 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

In SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. An love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Review - Speed Dating Style:
Fabulous world building. Descriptive writing to immerse yourself in. A Super sweet romance to sweep you off your feet.
Interesting take on werewolf mythology - ingenious use of a blood disorder affected by temperature.
A snarky, spoilt brat with a well hidden warm heart.
A genius, suicidal rock star who finds his niche in life.
A truly heart breaking and heart warming, beautiful read.

So what do you think. Would you read it after the speed dating [ ; D ]

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey


Title: Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 4 July 2011
Synopsis: From Amazon
Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts, especially since her mother has worked as a fraudulent medium for a decade. Violet has taken part in enough of her mother's tricks to feel more than a little jaded about anyhting supernatural. The ghosts, however, believe in Violet and she's been seeing them everywhere. One ghost in particular needs Violet to use her emerging gift to solve her murder ...and prevent the ghost's twin sister from suffering the same fate.

Review here



Sunday, 24 July 2011

In My Mailbox #24/7/11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to feed my habit  give thanks for all the lovely books that keep me up at night [ ; D ]

Gifted from the wonderful Kirsty at The Overflowing Library

(if you hadn't realised I love stories about angels [ : D ] and Kirsty put the cutest note on the book for me <3)

Won from Christy at The Reader Bee

(how flipping awesome - it was a hard decision. Thanks so much Christy)

For Review:

(squeee - this cover is drool worthy)

Donated for the school library from the fabulous Raimy at Readaraptor

(*grins evilly* but we are on holidays at the moment so I wonder what I can do while I wait to take it into the library [ ; D ])

On Loan from an evil genius  I mean fabulous Laura at Scattered Figments

Little one after having her hair curled

The Birthday girl after having hair  and nails done

So I am a bit lost already and the girls have only been gone a day *sigh* and they haven't rung home once *sobs* Hopefully this means I can catch-up although it has already taken me an hour and a half to clean their rooms lol.

Have a great week <3

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Saturday Spotlight: Guest Post: Pete Johnson: Libraries changed My Life


I am very excited to welcome Pete Johnson to Book Angel Booktopia today, his libraries post just makes me so happy and I am sure will provide inspiration for a lot of other people. Enjoy and your comments would be greatly appreciated.

Libraries changed my life.

          I’ve always been captivated by stories. In fact, some of my earliest memories are of Mum reading to my sister, Linda and myself. Then on Sunday nights Dad would tell us really exciting tales – like ‘The Three Musketeers’ – which for years I thought he’d made up himself.

          But joining the library was like finding myself in a vast intoxicating treasure trove. For one glorious hour, Mum would leave Linda and me under the kindly eye of the librarian, while we decided which six books each we’d be taking home. Only that hour sped past and by the time Mum returned, I was still stomping about with ten or eleven books under my arm agonising over which ones should make the final cut.

          One of my six choices was almost always a ‘Just William’ book. Richmal Crompton’s stories made me laugh out loud. They also gave me a life-long love of humorous fiction, which now stretches from P.G. Wodehouse and Gerald Durrell’s ‘My Family and Other Animals’ to Nick Hornby and David Nicholls.

          But the wonderful thing about my library is that it also encouraged me to be adventurous. And alongside favourites like ‘Just William,’ Anthony Buckeridge’s ‘Jennings’ and Jane Shaw (still a very underrated writer) I’d spot a book in a display or be intrigued by a blurb. So stories like ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ by Philippa Pearce or ‘Marianne Dreams’ by Catherine Storr, which I’m not sure I’d ever have bought (though I did later) were sampled and became cherished discoveries.

          And then I found ‘One Hundred and One Dalmatians’ by Dodie Smith. It entranced me so much that I took it out from the library again and again. I couldn’t stop reading it. I tracked down other books by Dodie Smith too, including the wonderful, ‘I Capture the Castle.’ And then I wrote a fan letter to Dodie Smith. To everyone’s amazement – and my great delight – she replied. That was the beginning of a correspondence which went on for over twenty years.

          And one day Dodie Smith asked if I’d ever thought of becoming a writer myself, as she was sure I’d make a good one. So she first put the idea into my head and when the inevitable rejections thudded through my letter box, it was she and her husband, Alec, who urged me to keep going. ‘We just know it will happen for you,’ she said.

          And one glorious day it did. And there were my children’s books on the library shelves. Today when a library invites me to give a reading and I hear children laughing at, How To Train Your Parents,’ or ‘Rescuing Dad,’ or listening in tense silence to ‘The Vampire Blog or ‘Traitor’ (which is dedicated to Dodie Smith) I feel as if my life has come full circle.

          I also visit the library now with my nephews and niece. They use the computers, peruse the magazines and enjoy all the exciting events and Book Club meetings. 

Libraries have changed and developed since I first joined. In fact, they’re more exciting and dynamic than ever.

          But as I watch my nephews and niece agonise over their book choices (They’re allowed eight books each now and it still isn’t enough) I realise some things remain gloriously the same.

          And long, long may libraries continue.

Title: The Vampire Hunters
Series: The Vampire Blog
Author: Pete Johnson
Publisher: Yearling
Publication Date: 2 Jun 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

On my thirteenth birthday, my life changed for ever. That’s when I learned the shocking truth: I’m a half-vampire.
Think that sounds cool? Think again! I’ve been attacked by an evil vampire bat, had huge cravings for my best friend’s blood, and nearly died from eating a pizza (half-vampires aren’t great with garlic). Writing my secret blog is the only thing that’s kept me from going completely crazy.
As if life couldn’t get any more complicated, there have been some vicious attacks in the local woods. Vampire-mad Tallulah (definitely not my girlfriend) thinks a super-vampire is behind them – and she’s desperate to prove it, with a mysterious chain that’s supposed to glow red-hot when a vampire is close by.
And I have a horrible feeling that the chain’s going to turn red-hot any day now . . .

Review here

Find out more about Pete Johnson here

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Musical Moments: Book Theme Songs: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs


Title: Tempest Rising
Series: unsure but I want it to be
Author: Tracy Deebs
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 4 July 2011
Synopsis: From Amazon
Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home, continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark, and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kona, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an other-worldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her - and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Review HERE

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Title: Forgotten
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Publication Date: 6 Jun 2011
Synopsis: From Amazon
With the intrigue of Memento and the romance of The Time-Traveller's Wife, Forgotten is the perfect YA novel. Here's the thing about me: I can see the future in flashes, like memories. But my past is a blank. I remember what I'll wear tomorrow, and an argument that won't happen until this afternoon. But I don't know what I ate for dinner last night. I get by with the help of notes, my mom and my best friend Jamie, and the system works ...Until now. Everything's falling apart. Jamie's going of the rails. My mom is lying to me. And I can't see the boy I adore in my future. But today, I love him. And I never want to forget how much ...Forgotten is the story of a girl for whom yesterday is lost, today is an adventure, and tomorrow is a memory. An unforgettable read.


It has taken me awhile to figure out exactly what I wanted to say, this is one of those books that just draws you in, keeps you turning the pages compulsively to the point that even sleep doesn't matter as long as you get to know what happens next.

Initially thoughts of the movie 50 First Dates went through my head with the memory loss at  the start of each day and the way in which London had to keep notes on even the smallest detail of her life. Revelations regarding her memory loss were almost subconsciously slipped into the plot took the story to a whole other dimension. Multi-layered plots so tightly woven together to give a three dimensional realistic and relatable world within the imagination.

What still stays with me from this book long after finishing it is the paranormal twist in the tale with London's ability to retain future memories but not the past. From the start you question what it must feel like for London to know the awful things that are going to happen to people and not know how to even begin to alter things or if she should try to alter things in case it makes them worse. What a predicament. Just try imagining how you would feel if you foresaw the death of a loved one and didn't know how to change the course of their lives to stop it happening OR if you did prevent that tragedy from happening and something infinitely worse occurred instead (yes there are worse things than death). It is like being caught between the frying pan and the fire. My heart really went out to London in this respect, you could literally feel the weight she carried on her shoulders emanating from the pages.

Don't get me wrong London isn't a perfect character she can be mean and insensitive; making her a typical teenager and therefore all the more realistic.  Her relationship with Luke is one of the cutest romances I have ever read. I still *swoon* whenever I think of Luke. I cannot go into too much detail about their relationship as it is quite pivotal to all the levels of the plot. I will say that Luke is like London's lynch pin holding her together. I laughed, I cried and I swooned over this relationship. The word perfect comes to mind.

I have heard a few people say that they thought the ending was abrupt and that the need for a second book to finish off some of the plot threads would be beneficial. I actually don't agree, I liked the ending the way in which life continued and developed for London was something I could cope with as a reader. It left it open to imagine the future (for me this was the optimistic future of London and Luke <3).

I really loved this book, its a stunning, original, refreshing, compelling debut. Such fantastic writing style that I am eagerly awaiting anything else that Cat Patrick writes. Seriously go read it you wont regret it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Trailer Tuesday: Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers


Title: Original Sin
Series: Personal Demons
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: 8 Aug 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

With angel Gabe's help, Frannie starts to learn. But it isn't long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too difficult. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the
protection of Frannie's recently acquired guardian angel: her brother, Matt. Which would be fine...if an assortment of demons didn't promptly appear, furious that Luc deserted Hell and
determined to get him back.
Hell won't give up and Heaven won't give in. Matt exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell's grasp.

Gosh how I loved Personal Demons (Review here) I cannot wait to read this one. Hot hot hot demon *swoon* Although I do think the book cover is cheesey. I am glad I read Personal Demons or I think the cover may have put me off.


Monday, 18 July 2011

MG Monday: Review: The Vampire Hunters by Pete Johnson


Title: The Vampire Hunters
Series: The Vampire Blog
Author: Pete Johnson
Publisher: Yearling
Publication Date: 2 Jun 2011
Synopsis: From Amazon
On my thirteenth birthday, my life changed for ever. That’s when I learned the shocking truth: I’m a half-vampire.
Think that sounds cool? Think again! I’ve been attacked by an evil vampire bat, had huge cravings for my best friend’s blood, and nearly died from eating a pizza (half-vampires aren’t great with garlic). Writing my secret blog is the only thing that’s kept me from going completely crazy.
As if life couldn’t get any more complicated, there have been some vicious attacks in the local woods. Vampire-mad Tallulah (definitely not my girlfriend) thinks a super-vampire is behind them – and she’s desperate to prove it, with a mysterious chain that’s supposed to glow red-hot when a vampire is close by.
And I have a horrible feeling that the chain’s going to turn red-hot any day now . . .


I couldn't help comparing this book to The Diary of a Wimpy Vampire, however Marcus is a far more charismatic half-vampire than Nigel Mullet. Although this is the second book in the series it does well as a stand alone. I haven't been able to read the first book The Vampire Blog I have to say that  it didn't affect my enjoyment of this one at all. There are nice recaps of events from the first book give all the required information to progress the current storyline smoothly.

I found the fact that Marcus had a blog that nobody could actually see slightly confusing why not just have a diary. The plot is entertaining and the characters well developed. The divide between full vampires and half vampires provide an additional element to the plot. There are enough twists and turns to make the story unpredictable and compelling.

I did find Tallulah exceptionally annoying and occasionally rude. Her misdirection regarding vampires and her determination to uncover the truth no matter the cost to other people made her selfish and self-centred in my eyes. However, as the story unfolded certain revelations provided insight into Tallulah's motivation and altered my opinion of her greatly.

The introduction of a female half-vampire the same age as Marcus (sorry I am unable to recall her name at  present) provided a nice balance to Tallulah and a much needed confidant for Marcus. Although concerns of a love triangle linger at the back of my mind.

The ending provided a nice conclusion to the book while leaving plenty of scope to develop the story further in future.

A really nice addition to the vampire genre geared to the Middle Grade age range. A perfect addition to the school library.
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