My Catchphrases

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Near Witch
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: 2 Aug 2011
Source: Loaned from the lovely Lynsey at Narratively Speaking

Synopsis from Goodreads

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.


Firstly I have to say that I have already complained to Victoria that there was no where near enough snogging in this book. You may ask why I wanted more snogging in a book about a witch - well it would have stopped me from being so flippin terrified of said witch [ : P ]

The writing style is so amazingly descriptive that it took me right into the story with no effort on the part of my imagination at all. Lets be honest here, I have an extremely vivid imagination, therefore to not have to use then have it kick in alongside the descriptions was almost like being in the story myself. Add in a first person narrative and I was right there.

The historical setting complete with candlelight and wood stoves added to the overall imagery and atmosphere of the story. I really do think the candlelight actually added to the tension, I was just waiting for the candles to blow out. Creeptastic. Parallel imagery of the Pied Piper popped into my head with the music that leads the children away. The way in which stories were passed down was just brilliantly portrayed and wonderful to imagine (the books of the past).

The description of The Near Witch in the folk-tale within the story brought to mind images of the Triad Goddess - Maiden, Mother, Crone. I am just interested whether anyone else had that image or if it was just me. Honestly I actually had goosebumps at the tale of The Near Witch, it was chilling. I could feel myself holding my breath at certain points, this is how immersed in the story I was.

Lexi is such a brilliant character - strong and independent, yet her love for her family is what drives her. She doesn't conform to social pressure but does what is right rather than what is expected. The constraints placed upon girls within this time setting is powerfully portrayed, even down to how they are expected to eat. I mean I like good manners and try to get my children to eat nicely but there is a limit.

I adored Lexi's little sister, Wren, she is just an adorable bundle of sweetness. Plus the way in which children at that time period made up their own games and were happy to play with toys baked from dough instead of wanting Nintendo's and mobile phones was just lovely to picture. (So much cheaper too, lol).

What really stood out for me was the powerful depiction of how insular people can be. Narrowing their minds so mush so that the whole world only exists in their own area. Anything out of this sphere is regarded with suspicion. The description of the hills as Lexi and Cole are walking reinforces that there is more to the world than the box we put ourselves in. Fear and ignorance are to blame for a lot of things as this story poignantly portrays.

This book brings to mind the original dark fairy-tales and the folk-lore that has been developed over time all woven together. As I said earlier the writing style is so descriptive it draws you right into the story, the way in which the tension is drawn out is just brilliant. If you like creepy folk-tales then this book is definitely for you. I for one cannot wait to see what Miss Schwab comes out with next.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Musical Moments: GReads Tune in Tuesday

You all know how much I love music and I started Thursday Tunes which morphed into Musical Moments before finding Ginger's weekly music meme. A girl after my own heart where music is concerned I decided to join her meme occasionally (this being the first time) to show the songs that have made an impact on me during this particular week. Find out more at Ginger's fabulous blog HERE

Soundtracks seem to play a big part in the songs I get obsessed by - I don't know whether it is the imagery that goes with them or whether the people that pick the songs just have awesome taste (both definitely both) but I wanted to share some that have been stuck in my head (so they can be stuck in your too).

I absolutely adore the soundtrack to The Secret Circle - if you haven't seen it you really, really should. I really hope they release the soundtrack to the series. Here are some of my favourites and go HERE to find a list of the songs played throughout the series.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to The Joy Formidable back in March by the lovely Leanne at Daisy Chain Book Reviews. So if you haven't already added this band to your music collection, you really need to.

This tune is so haunting - I am off to look for the album <3

Ginger actually put this one as her tune last week HERE
Isn't it gorgeous - so I had to put it in too [ : D ] 

Spotlight: Hay Festival Winter Weekend

If you fancy a quick beak before the insanity of Christmas set in why not try: 
Hay Festival Winter Weekend

Friday 2 - Sunday 4 December

The Hay Festival Winter Weekend runs from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 December and promises to be a fun-filled festive couple of days for all the family. Join in and be entertained with comedy, lively debates, talks, music, cooking and lots of glitter.
Bend your mind with the inspiring Johnny Ball as he has you puzzling over his Radio 2 show Ball of Confusion; listen to 2011 Man Booker Prize shortlisted writer Carol Birch talk to Peter Florence about her epic novel set in the nineteenth century; hear BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera explore the world of the British Secret Service; and Adam Hart-Davis on measuring time and time travel in The Book of Time.
Peer through the cracks in history and listen to the echoes of lost realms with Norman Davies in his Vanished Kingdoms, while David Crystal presents a unique history of the English language, via the rude, the obscure and the downright surprising, and prize-winning writer Horatio Clare introduces The Prince’s Pen, his striking contribution to Seren Book’s New Stories of the Mabinogion series…enter a world of suicide bombers and surveillance.
Plus, Hay Festival’s two inaugural international fellows, Tiffany Murray and Jon Gower, will share a little of their work so far. Tiffany and Jon are travelling to all Hay’s international festivals, from Kenya to Spain to Mexico to India, and reporting back on their year so far. Gather around for a warm winter session with fiction born in faraway places.
Join Francine Stock, presenter of Radio 4’s Film Programme, on a personal journey through a glorious century of cinema, and enjoy a screening of the recently released film of Owen Sheers’ wartime novel Resistance, set in the nearby Black Mountains, with a chance to put questions to him after the showing.
Aggie MacKenzie (Aggie’s Family Cookbook and How Clean Is Your House) and Judith Wills (The Food Bible) chat with Country Living’s Kitty Corrigan about those Christmas challenges…from achieving the perfect roast to inspiring ideas for your leftovers.
There’s a host of entertainment for children of all ages too. After its huge success at the Hay Festival in May, Easy Peasy Cookery School is back: come and cook delicious Christmas gingerbread and yummy pear crumble muffins. Get crafting in time for Christmas, make finger-print robins and glittering garlands, and there’s face painting too!
Sea Legs Puppet Theatre presents the enchanting Peter & The Wolf, perfect for families and children. Then fall under the icy spell of the Snow Queen – join Skye Meredith for a spellbinding storytelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s beautiful story. For older children, Make a Book in a Day lets them explore the writing and crafting of short stories withHoratio Clare, before Paul Thomas of BWA Design steps in to get hands-on with formatting and style.
There will be great evening entertainment from John Finnemore and Gypsy Hill. Don’t miss John’s sketch show – a regular on The Now Show, he presents an hour of laughs from his new Radio 4 gig. The Gypsy Hill five-piece band will have you dancing the night away with their authentic blend of Balkan Gypsy Swing.
The Hay Winter Weekend is the perfect opportunity to unwind and get into the Christmas spirit – come to Hay-on-Wye for a great family weekend.
For further information and to download the full festival programme, click here.

All information taken from the Literature Wales email [ : D ] 

Spotlight: Random House Christmas Comes Early Competition

I just had to share this fabulous competition from Random House with you.
There are a number of competitions on their website - can you afford to miss out.

Go HERE to find out more

Monday, 28 November 2011

Spotlight: Gratitude Give-Away Winners


Winners chosen by




No 199 ALYCE

MG Monday: Guest Review: Lula Does the Hula by Samantha Macintosh

Title: Lula Does the Hula
Series: Lula #2
Author: Samantha Macintosh
Publisher: Egmont
Publication Date: 6 Jun 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

Aloha! I'm Talullah Bird - or Tatty, or Lu. But mostly people call me Lula. So, my big news is...I've finally been kissed. Eeeee! I have an actual, factual boyfriend! At least, I thought I did. But things with the perfect boy aren't going to plan - thanks to his journo gal pal, Evil Jazz. And that's not all. Hoooo no. In a few days I've got to dance the hula in public, put a stop to some seriously serious criminal activity, win a race, and stop Dad from shaming me totally with his weirdiness. Frikkly frik! Where is my normal life? Huh? Where? Please, someone, tell me I'm not jinxed forever...Laugh-out-loud funny and gorgeously romantic, Lula Does the Hula is the perfect summer read.


Yay Lula’s back! I was ecstatic when Lula does the Hula landed on my doormat (OK, so I don’t have a dormat but you get the picture) as I really enjoyed reading Kisses for Lula as my first review book for Book Angel Booktopia.

As I’ve said before this stuff isn’t my usual kind of thing but I love Lula and could read her stories all day every day. The best thing about Lula’s stories in the combination of your expected teenage angst with serious and almost gritty detective stories, really great books.

Anyway, back to Lula does the Hula and Lula’s finally been kissed and has the gorgeous Jack de Souza as her boyfriend…or so she thinks. With his journalism career flourishing Jack’s gained a new, adoring fan, his colleague and housemate Jazz. Bad news for Lula as Jazz gets closer to Jack she seems to drift further away and in the back drop of this we have hula dancing (in public), competitive rowing, plenty of blood and some seriously dangerous criminal activity. Nothing new there for Lula, then!

With her strange collection of friends including her massive dog (now accompanied by a feathered friend) and super sleuth OAP Mr. K, Lula’s ventures just get weirder and weirder.

I don’t know how anyone can knock the fun loving and action packed adventures of Lula and her friends and I certainly enjoy them much more than I thought I would. When’s the next one out? 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

In My Mailbox 27/11/11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren (please remind me to put my link up because I always forget *doh*) in order to share the beautiful books that cross our threshold.


(loved the first one (review HERE) - need to get my hands on the second one Exile)

(all I can say is total SQUEEE)

(the fabulous Andy from The Pewter Wolf is going to be guest reviewing this one for me <3)

(the amazing Beth of The Pieces of Me is going to be reviewing this one)

(I have been waiting for this one for ages - really looking forward to reading it)

(the 9yo is reviewing this one - she has started it already and keeps sniggering away to herself) 

(the title changed from the initial Sea Hearts - my wonderful Year 13 Librarian is reviewing this one. He is really into folklore so this one was just made for him to read. He has also done a fantastic presentation for me about folklore to use in the library lessons - scheduled for February) 


Crossed by Ally Condie
( adored Matched Review HERE - so far I have seen mixed opinions about the sequel around the blogosphere - I need to read this soon to make up my own mind)

And I have a confession. I gave in and bought a kindle. I had some gift vouchers and discovered that nectar points can be converted into Amazon vouchers, so I got one. To be honest I still prefer the real thing, book are so much better but there are just some that I have been seeing around the blogs that aren't available in the UK in any other format.  Seriously you guys are so NAUGHTY making me covet these books [ ; D ] <3

Here are the books I got for it:



(I used this one on the Greek Mythology in YA presentation)

(Lynsey of Narratively Speaking is so to blame for me getting these [ ; D ] 

Nearly all of these were under £1 *swoon*

Have a great week *hugs*

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Spotlight: Guest Post: A Brave New World by Duncan Wright

It is my great pleasure to welcome Duncan Wright to Book Angel Booktopia today, this is where I turn into a librarian fan-girl as Duncan was School Librarian of the Year 2010, he kindly agreed to write a guest post for me on the introduction of Kindle's into school libraries. Something that I have been interested to learn more about alongside fellow School Librarian Becky of The Bookette. Without further waffling from me over to Duncan:

A Brave New World…

In June our school library was given kindly given funding by our Former Pupil Council to purchase five Kindles for our school library.  Having initially requested funding for only one, this came as quite a surprise and required me to revaluate how we would use and manage the Kindles within our library.  What follows is very much our story so far as we embark on an e-book adventure…

We purchased our Kindles directly from Amazon as the price was relatively universal with no real discounts available elsewhere.  As we were buying in June the smaller keyboard less Kindle had not yet been launched so we opted to buy what is now called the Kindle Keyboard. We bought the Wi-Fi only version and did not opt for 3G.  Taking away the 3G option gives us much more control over what can be downloaded onto our Kindles. In addition to purchasing the Kindles we also bought leather covers to offer the Kindles some protection from the grubby mitts and general carelessness of teenagers. The covers we bought were relatively inexpensive (approximately £10) and were recommended to us by a pupil who already owned a Kindle.
Our Kindles arrived just before the end of the summer term, much to the excitement of our Pupil Librarians who I had promised would be given the first look. They all thought it was extremely cool that the library was now the owner of five Kindles!  

Before everyone set off on their summer holidays I asked our Finance office to order the library a £100 Amazon gift certificate so that I could purchase books for the Kindle during the summer holidays. However before purchasing anything the Kindles required to be set up.

I waited until the peace and quiet of the summer holidays to embark fully on the set up of the Kindles however in hindsight this wasn’t really necessary. I found the Kindles very intuitive and the set up procedure was pretty simple. Although we have a Wi-Fi connection in the school library I took the decision to register the Kindles at home using my own Wi-Fi connection. This would again limit the opportunities for pupils to download material onto the Kindles. 

To register a Kindle you must have an Amazon account. If you own more than one Kindle, as the library does, you can register each Kindle to the same account. By doing this any books purchased for the Kindles will be downloaded onto each of the separate Kindles, with you only paying once for the e-book. I sought clarification on this from Amazon as it did at first seem a little bit too good to be true. This was their response in June 2011 and I am unaware that this information has changed in any way.  

“There is no limit on the number of times Kindle content can be downloaded to a registered Kindle device or application. Publishers determine how many copies of each title can be downloaded to different Kindle devices or applications at the same time so there may be limits on the number of devices (usually six) that can simultaneously have a single book or Kindle active content title.”

This is a major difference to how Amazon operates in the USA and things may, and most probably will, change in the UK as the popularity of the Kindle increases. This would be a real shame as at the moment this is one of the most appealing features of the Kindle.  

I am aware that Buffy Hamilton (Unquiet Librarian) a school librarian working in the USA encountered various problems around this issue and as a result has moved away from using Kindles. 

With our Kindles registered the next step was to download material for the Kindles.  This can be done in two ways. Either browsing the Kindle store directly from the Kindle which obviously requires a Wi-Fi connection, or browsing the Kindle store on the Amazon main web page and then downloading the books via USB (using the cable supplied) from the PC. I have found the easiest way to purchase books is to browse directly from the Kindle device.  

Once a book is purchased it will download automatically to the device in less than ten seconds. It also downloads to the ‘archived items’ folder of any other Kindles registered to this email address meaning that as soon as another device is switched on, it is a simple case of accessing the archived items folder and downloading the book, again in a number of seconds.

The second method is a little more cumbersome, especially if downloading to numerous devices but I have used it within the library. If a pupil is looking for a particular book on the Kindle that we do not have I have offered to download the book there and then for them, using the USB cable.  They love it when I do this as it feels like they have had the book delivered personally to them! All of e-books are purchased using Amazon gift certificates which allow us to purchase books in this way.

By the time the new term started at the end of August our Kindles had approximately 50 books available on each device.  I decided to ‘soft launch’ the Kindles in order that any teething problems could be sorted out in the early stages, although I did bring them to the attention of each of our S1 induction classes. I also asked our Pupil Librarians to spread the word amongst their peers and tweeted about the Kindles on the library twitter account. This generated more than enough interest and the 1st few days of the new term saw lots of pupils asking to look at the Kindles.  The general consensus was that they were a good thing and they certainly reflected the library in a positive manner. 

In the next instalment of this article I will discuss how we are the managing the use of our Kindles, what the pupil reaction to them has been, and what the next steps are for us in the use of e-books in the library.

Duncan Wright
Librarian at Stewart’s Melville College, Edinburgh.

On My Library Wish-List

I came across this one when I was catching up with Google Reader and Mundie Moms the trailer for this book is amazing so I am also including it. I honestly think this book would be a terrific addition to any school library. Check out Mundie Moms brilliant review HERE

Title: The Apothecary
Author: Maile Meloy
Publisher: Penguin USA
Publication Date: 4 Oct 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

It's 1952 and the Scott family has just moved from Los Angeles to London. Here, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows - a fascinating boy who's not afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin's father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's sacred book, the Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of the hands of their enemies - Russian spies in possession of nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending disaster.

Together with Ian Schoenherr's breathtaking illustrations, this is a truly stunning package from cover to cover.

How fabulous is this trailer.

This is another one I am totally blaming Mundie Moms for. The cover is drool worthy, the review (HERE) begs you to snatch it up and the trailer is mesmerising. Is it wrong that I also want it for myself. 

Series: The Faerie Ring
Author: Kiki Hamilton
Publisher: Tor Teens
Publication Date: 14 Nov 2011

Synopsis from Amazon

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood - Tiki's blood. Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched - and protected - by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen's son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist. Prince, pauper, and thief - all must work together to secure the treaty...

You want it now too don't you.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Guest Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Revolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 3 Oct 2011

Synopsis from Amazon

Andi lives in New York and is dealing with the emotional turmoil of her younger brother's accidental death. Alex lives in Paris and is a companion to the dauphin, the young son of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI, during the violent days of the French Revolution. When Andi is sent to Paris to get her out of the trouble she's so easily enveloped by in New York, their two stories collide, and Andi finds a way to reconcile herself not only to her past but also to her future. This is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful, evocative portrait of lives torn apart by grief and mended by love.


Andi is broken.  She is failing school and failing life. Since the death of her brother, all she cares about is her music.  Taken to Paris by her estranged father she discovers a guitar and a lost diary from Revolutionary France.

I have to say that I really love books that bring in some history to it and this was no exception.  The way the book flicked between what was happening to Andi and how she was dealing with the death of her brother and the diary of Alexandrine in France in the 1790’s was done very well and you never got the impression that the history bits were forced on you.  You got to know Alexandrine really well in her passages and found yourself willing Andi to read a bit more each time so like her, you could find out what was happening.  Jennifer Donnelly really captured the smell and feel of France of that time and bought the fear that Alexandrine must have been feeling to the reader and so got you really involved with her character.

I also really warmed to Andi and her struggles with coping with loss and guilt.  I would have liked a bit more back history of the relationship with her Dad but you certainly got the impression of the teen angst she was feeling.  I enjoyed the musical side to her and found myself wanting to  know about Malherbeau who she is doing her thesis on.  So much so I actually googled him!

The only part of the book I did not enjoy was the “dream” sequence.  I am unfortunately of the age where I can remember Bobby Ewing and the shower dream in Dallas and this is what it felt like.  It all felt a bit forced and I would have preferred it done in a better way.  That said I did enjoy the book and I will now look for more books set in the French Revolution.

This was my first Jennifer Donnelly book and it certainly won’t be my last.

Review: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Title: Dark Inside
Author: Jeyn Roberts

Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books

Publication Date: 2 Sep 2011

Synopsis from Amazon

Moments after several huge earthquakes shake every continent on Earth, something strange starts happening to some people. Michael can only watch in horror as an incidence of road rage so extreme it ends in two deaths unfolds before his eyes; Clementine finds herself being hunted through the small town she has lived in all her life, by people she has known all her life; and Mason is attacked with a baseball bat by a random stranger. An inner rage has been released and some people cannot fight it. For those who can, life becomes an ongoing battle to survive - at any cost!
Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen - now it's our turn!


This book is a mixture of 1st and 3rd person narrative told from the focus of the different main characters: Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael. All completely different, living in different areas but all affected by the terrifying events happening across the globe. At times the use of the 3rd and 1st person narration and the differing view points made the story feel slightly disjointed, yet its is a powerful technique to use in order to keep the reader (ME) compulsively turning the pages in an attempt to figure out the plot.

The writing is powerfully descriptive creating brilliantly atmospheric tension. There is some really creeptastic imagery at play. I was constantly wondering as to what linked the main characters and why they were not affected in the same way as the rest of the population. I have to be honest this was not resolved by the end of the book and a source of irritation for me. I like to know the ins and outs of the plot, lol.

This book was a lot gorier than the things I usually read but I have to admit that it aided the high tension feel to the narrative. The little gems of philosophical wisdom slipped into the story more than made up for the gore. The whole story has a zombie apocalypse feel to it which is ironically mentioned within the story itself. The whole idea of possession is terrifyingly brought to life within the plot. The situations faced by the main characters made me question my own moral code and had me wondering just what I would do in order to survive.

The use of current events, notably the London Riots, within the prose added to the sense of realism. A little too realistic and relatable in that case.

As the story progresses there seems to be a huge jump in the action leaving a lot of questions unanswered. I will be honest and tell you this really irritated me. The consistency and flow of the story seemed to disappear, this along with a very open ending left me frustrated. It all seemed a little rushed at the end.

On the whole a good story when you got used to the characters but the jump and inconsistency at the end of the book along with the open ending left me really frustrated.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thanksgiving Guest Posting

I am spamming the blogosphere today with a selection of Guest posts all Thanksgiving themed:

My Dream Thanksgiving Menu at The Pewter Wolf

My Fantasy Dinner Party at Serendipity Reviews
My Dream Bookish Destination to hold the above at Readaraptor

This year has been tough to say the least.

The things I am grateful for:

My girls - they are my world and without them I honestly do not know where I would be.

My blog - at times it can be overwhelming but I love it and adore being part of the fantastic book blogging community.

My fabulous on-line friends who provide sympathy when required. You guys ROCK <3

Thanks so much to all of you and my followers, it means a great deal to me.

Don't forget to check out my Gratitude Give-away HERE

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 19 Oct 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Some riders live.
Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.


I have to be completely honest and tell you  this is my least favourite book by Maggie Stiefavater. I adore her writing style and it is no different with this book. Maggie's writing immerses you in the world she builds, enveloping all the senses and surrounding you completely. So if that is the case with this book too, then why, you ask, is it my least favourite. Well....those horses were flipping terrifying for a start, also the name of the horses was a constant source of annoyance for me. I had to keep checking the correct pronunciation, seriously I am that sort of person. I really, really wanted  to call them something a lot easier.

Written in first person narrative from alternating perspectives of Sean and Puck. The use of Puck as a name instantly conjures images of Shakespeare's Puck, why I don't know as this Puck is nothing at all like the Shakespearian Puck, but that is how my mind works, lol. The story builds slowly going into detail about their history and relationships. I did struggle with the pacing a bit with this one. It may have been that I was reading it at an exceptional busy time rather than it being a slow book. As soon as the relationship between Puck and Sean took off so did my reading pace, the relationship blossoms from mutual admiration and respect. What a great foundation to build a relationship on.

The imagery and general mythology brought Ireland to mind as the setting although it is never specified within the narrative. However, the story shows how bonds tie us not only to people but but places and animals. Very powerfully portrayed by Maggie's alluring writing.

The thing that really stood out for me with this story is the relationships and how they are portrayed. Love comes in a variety of forms all stunningly portrayed; the love of our families and the bonds that tie us together no matter where we are in the world. The love of a man and a woman, young and old, and how they rely on each other for support and comfort. The love of animals and how that love can be returned. The love of our home and country. I adored the way in which they were shown as the things that truly matter rather than material possessions.

So although it is my least favourite book of Maggie Stiefvater's it truly is a beautiful piece of writing.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Spotlight: Publishing Deals Revealed by Random House

I am totally excited for all of these books. How amazing all of them.
Keep a look out on UK BOOK TOURS for the Début Author Book Tours

Title: Starters
Series: Starters
Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Doubleday Children's
Publication Date: 5 April 2012

Synopsis from Amazon

A gripping dystopian thriller by debut author, Lissa Price.

Screenwriter Lissa Price's STARTERS is the first in a futuristic thriller series featuring a society where youth is coveted at an impossible price, and one girls' ability to bring it all crumbling down.

Title: Struck
Series: I think so but am awaiting confirmation
Publisher: Doubleday Children's
Publication Date: 10 May 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities, populated by millions of homeless. Downtown is a wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the attendees drawn to the destruction by a magnetic force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power in the wake of the disaster, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing prophecies. They know she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the worse storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but he’s hiding a more sinister truth. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must unleash the full horror of her strength to save them all.

Series: Not confirmed
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: Early 2013

Synopsis from Press Release

The Lost Girl publishes in early 2013 and centres around Eva, a feisty teen girl who technically has no true identity of her own. Eva is forced to abandon everything she's ever known and loved, finding herself torn between two worlds.

Title: ACID
Author: Emma Pass
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: Early 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads

This action packed novel introduces us to Jenna Strong. A truly kiss ass heronie who is serving time in a all male prison for the murder of her parents. Set one hundred years in the future in a big brother society. Britain is now under control of ACID a terrifing all seeing police force.

I don't know about you but I have already added these to my wish-list, how on earth is my wish-list ever going to get smaller with all these fabulous books. 

For more great 2013 Débuts check out this fantastic blog THE LUCKY THIRTEENS which features Emma Pass, believe me your wish-list will explode.

Spotlight: Piccadilly Press Competition

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