My Catchphrases

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Spotlight: Debuts I would like to see in the UK - April


These are some of the débuts that are out in the US this month that I would love to see in the UK; publisher details and publication dates refer to the US.

Title: Above
Author: Leah Bobet
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: 1 April 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee's wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above--like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe's history and the shadows' attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home--not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.

This sounds so different to anything I have come across before. 

Title: Storybound
Author: Marissa Burt
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's (USA)
Publication Date: 3 April 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them.
In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story.
But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself....

Gorgeous, gorgeous cover and brilliant story idea. I would love to read this one.

Title: Blood Born
Author: Jamie Manning
Publisher: Pendrell
Publication Date: 24 April 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Waking up in a coffin hungry for blood is only the beginning for sixteen-year-old Ava Blue. When Chance Caldon, the hottie who dug her up, tells her that she’s half vampire, Ava’s world really turns upside down.
Half vamp? Ava can’t believe it...she doesn't even know what that means! Not until Aldric, a thousand-year-old vampire, shows up and tells her it’s true--and that he’s the one who turned her. Then Ava truly begins to believe what she is. Now, she has to deal with a sudden and powerful bloodlust, the desire to see Aldric dead, and her growing crush for Chance. Ava knows she's a monster now, she can feel it; and her life is over.

But redemption isn’t lost. Aldric is giving her a chance to regain her humanity. The price? Kill a hundred vampires, or remain a bloodsucker forever.

So Ava sets out to get her life back. But killing vampires begins a battle that could destroy everything she is working toward. In the end, Ava's decisions will forever change her life and the lives of those she loves.

HELLO.....Vampires - need I say more [ ; D ] 

Friday, 30 March 2012

Review: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

Series: Incarnation #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Publication Date: 26 April 2012
Source: The wonderful Lynsey Newton <3
Rating: 3/5 Enjoyed

Synopsis from Goodreads

After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?


Written in first person narrative from Seraphina's (Sera's) perspective, she is such a wonderfully complex character. After 600 years of swapping bodies she has a overwhelming sense of guilt to accompany her strong moral code, you can sense her innate goodness underlying everything she does.

Inadvertently jumping into the body of Kailey while trying to save her following a car crash, seeing life through Kailey's eyes Sera gives a new appreciation to the little things in live we all may take for granted. Friends, siblings, and parents all react positively to this new found appreciation.

However, it appears Kailey has secrets of her own, plus as the story progresses she doesn't appear to have been the nicest of people. Unfortunately these secrets aren't fully revealed, I am hoping this area will be expanded in the next book.

The inclusion of fantasy art was a stunning addition to the imagery within the narrative. The way in which each person within the story was depicted with their own unique talent made their positive qualities stand out. Showing that there is something to be valued in every person if the time is taken to look for it. Sera is the type of person to look for the good in everyone.

Sera's internal debate regarding he existence of an afterlife added to the atmosphere and emotion of the story as a whole.  I thought Sera was a really strong, brave character. Resolving to only take bodies that didn't want to live themselves before resolving to never inhabit another living soul again. It made me consider how I would feel when faced with certain death. Sera is understandably afraid but adamant in her decision no matter what the consequences.

I have to say that I found Cyrus absolutely terrifying, his character has shades of Incy from the Immortal Beloved series but amplified *shudders*. He is a prime example of how power can corrupt. The centuries have made him cruel, where Sera once loved him she now fears him.

The way in which relationships and interactions were portrayed was the best element of the book for me. Avery Williams has managed to create three dimensional realistic characters that you become invested in. I especially adored Noah, although I didn't feel as if there was enough background information about him. I would love to see this aspect developed in the next book. The gut wrenching twist has left me desperate for the next installment.

Blending past, present, death and theology with romance, action and thrilling tension, The Alchemy of Forever is an addictive read.

If the Immortal Beloved series by Cate Tiernan and the Immortals series by Alyson Noel got together, this book would be their love child.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tantalizing Trailers: Crave by Melissa Darnell

Title: Crave
Series: The Clann #1
Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication Date: 6 April 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back…different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences….

I like the sound of this one so so so much.

Tantalizing Trailers: Road To London by Barbara Mitchelhill

Publisher: Andersen
Publication Date: 5 April 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Thomas dreams of becoming an actor, and when Shakespeare comes home to Stratford, Thomas's life changes forever.

Thomas is desperate to join 'the players', he'll do anything to watch them perform, even skip school and risk a caning. But when Thomas's rule breaking gets him in trouble with more than just his school master, he has to flee his home and make his way to London. Here he meets his hero, Shakespeare, and his players. But behind the excitement of the theatres is a grimy world of deception, poison and treason. Will Thomas manage to uncover the plot in time? And will he manage to save Shakespeare from a fate worse than death?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Review: Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: Spellcaster
Series: Spellbound #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: 27 March 2012
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Finding your eternal soulmate - easy. 

Stopping a true-love-hungry evil - not so much… 

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems.'s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close....

But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.


Wow don't you just adore that True Love is seen as one of the greatest powers on Earth. So much so that Emma and Brendan have little chance to relax following the events in Spellbound. They are just getting comfortable with each other when Brendan's past rears its ugly head.

This fabulous sequel takes the depth o f emotion within the narrative to a much deeper level. Giving incredible insight and understanding into the characters interactions, emotions and relationships. Emma especially really grew as a character, showing just how strong and independent she really is. She doesn't shirk her responsibilities and her innate goodness really shines through. I would say that she blossomed in this story.

There are some really fabulous plot twists and astounding character development.

Via the narrative more understanding of Brendan is accomplished. He experiences a tremendous amount of guilt and regret for his past actions. He truly wants to be a better person, someone he feels Emma deserves.

Emma and Brendan's relationship literally sizzles from the pages. There are some very HOT scenes. I completely adore their relationship and loved the progression. Especially Brendan coming to terms with relinquishing his status as Emma's protector. It is a wonderfully equal relationship, they rescue each other.

The addition of chapters written from Angelique's perspective added depth and understanding not only to the relationships and interactions but to the plot as a whole.

Mix sizzling chemistry, thrilling fast paced action, electrifying tension with amazing character development and you've got one heck of a sequel. Emma and Brendan have secured their position as one of my favorite literary couples. Brendan when I have forgiven your tramp like past I will give you 5/5

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Musical Moments: Official Book Theme Song: Last Rite by Lisa Desroches

I adore the Personal Demons Series by Lisa Desrochers so when she announced the perfect song to go with the final book in the series HERE I just had to put it into the Musical Moments post [ : D ] I seriously cannot wait to read this book. Team Luc all the way <3

Title: Last Rite
Series: Personal Demons
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: 13 June 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

In this final installment of the thrilling, edgy Personal Demons series, the battle between Heaven and Hell has become critical, and Frannie Cavanaugh is right at the center of it.

With the help of the powerful angel Gabe and demon-turned-mortal Luc, Frannie has been able to stay one step ahead of the forces of Hell. But when the demons killed Frannie's best friend and destroyed her brother, they raised the stakes. If Frannie wants to keep her family and friends safe, she knows she has no choice but to go on the run.

Their best defense is the power Frannie has been struggling to master, but her attempts to hone her skill go horribly awry. If Frannie doesn't learn fast, the consequences could be devastating--even apocalyptic.

What happens when you can't outrun Hell...or trust the ones you love?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Review: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Title: Spellbound
Series: Spellbound #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication: 21 June 2011
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?

Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.


Seriously how could I not love a book that has a protagonist with the name Emma [ : D ] Written in first person narrative from Emma's perspective. A little shell-shocked after her life was turned upside down following her brother then her mothers deaths a year apart. Left with an abusive alcoholic stepfather, Emma has to go to live with her Aunt following a horrific car crash that has left her scarred caused by her drunk step-father. Emma's Aunt is very rich and on the School Board for an exclusive school in NYC, it is this school Emma is to attend. Feeling like a fish out of water, Emma soon discovers that High School Cliques and bullies are the same where-ever you go, what she doesn't expect is to be drawn to the School Hottie and all round Bad Boy Brendan *swoon*. I have to say that images of Cinderella strolled through my imagination, Emma going from poor to rich but still maintains her independence finding work in the school library [ <3 ]

Although Brendan appears to be as drawn to Emma as she is to him, he runs hot and cold. Rescuing her from the school bullies and coming to her defense regularly yet avoiding her on other occasions. Emma is left completely baffled. When Emma starts having visions somehow linked to the medallion her brother gave her, the connection between herself and Brendan is slowly, tantalizingly  revealed. A centuries old curse, soul-mates and reincarnation brilliantly woven together.

Emma is a wonderful character; loyal, fiercely protective of her loved ones, although she has become a loner following the loss of her brother and mother she is a truly wonderful friend. She is able to see through the rubbish of cliques. Emma's friendship with bona fide witch Angelique is proof of this. I found her to have a natural confidence, intuition (that she needs to trust more often) and a tremendous inner strength. Although she has moments of insecurity these only aided in making her more realistic.

I adored Angelique she add a splash of color to the book, her dramatic ways and affection for Emma really endeared her to me.

Bringing me to Brendan - ohhh Brendan I adore you but boy you were a tramp before meeting Emma. Seriously dude, just cos a girl throws herself at you doesn't mean you have to follow through.
Super hot, quick tempered but lonely underneath, you know the saying 'still waters run deep' well that's exactly how I think of Brendan. He has a persona that he shows the world and then there is the real him that he only shows to Emma.I really didn't like his heart breaking trampish ways and despised the thought of him being with anyone but Emma. It is for this reason I have given 4/5 not 5/5.

The action is fast paced and utterly compelling. All aspects of the plot are well developed and seamlessly woven together. I do think that the characterizations and interactions are the things that really shine through the narrative.

Emma and Brendan are fast becoming one of my favorite literary couples. I cannot wait to read more about them.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Spotlight: Books I would Like to See Published in the UK

You are probably wondering why I keep harping on about books I would like to see published in the UK when they are now available on Amazon and The Book Depository. Unfortunately the school library isn't allowed to purchase from these sources, our suppliers need the books to be published in the UK in order to obtain them for school. Now you know.

It also helps that I want to read them myself  [ ; D ]

Series: A Touch Trilogy #1
Author: Leah Clifford
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2012 (reprint)

Synopsis from Goodreads

Eden didn't expect Az. 

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.


So long happily-ever-after. 

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.

And that's only the beginning of the end.

Series: A Touch Trilogy #2
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2012 (Hardback)

Synopsis from Goodreads

Eden won the battle-she saved her true love from the darkest evil. But the war has only just begun. With secrets swirling around her, powerful allies unraveling, and life-and death-as she knows it eroding, Eden and those she loves tread dangerous ground. Can she trust anyone? Will her unearthly powers be her salvation or her downfall? A sweeping, dark, and sexy paranormal romance that will haunt readers with an inventive mythology and a cinematic New York City filled with shadows and longing.

Spotlight: New Literature Festival in Wales

How excited am I that I can now share this with you. A fabulous NEW Literature/Music Festival in Wales.

Taken from the Literature Wales Newsletter:

Howard MarksJulian CopeSir Andrew MotionGruff Rhys and Gillian Clarke are amongst the stellar line-up of guests confirmed to appear at the inaugural Dinefwr Literature Festival in Wales this summer.
This three-day bilingual festival will combine award-winning writers, poet laureates, fringe acts and musicians in a celebration of the written word and the mythical landscape of the National Trust’s Dinefwr Park and Castle. Set in the heart of Carmarthenshire, West Wales, the festival will be the first of its kind promising an eclectic mix of high quality literature, music, comedy and cinema.
With its dedicated camping field, outdoor entertainment, stalls and excellent local food, the festival is set to be a top cultural destination this year, putting fun, family and a love of good literature at its very heart.
Further confirmed festival guests include: the award-winning writer and filmmaker Iain Sinclair; poet and broadcaster Luke Wright; novelist, poet and football devotee, Joe Dunthorne together with writer and professor of linguistics, David Crystaland Irish short-story writer Claire Keegan. Beside this impressive line-up of writers, Dinefwr will host events by the cultBrautigan Book Club which started out as a monthly night at Bethnal Green’s Working Men’s Club, and Caught by the River who will be delivering a programme of talks by writers, musicians and journalists throughout the weekend. There will be events in English and Welsh, with confirmed Welsh language writers including Rhys IorwerthJohn Davies and Dewi Prysor.

The weekend’s music will be curated by SŴN’s John Rostron and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens who together put on gigs year-round, predominantly in Wales. Along with Gruff Rhys and Julian CopeEmmy the Great will be performing, with further names to be announced.
Huw Stephens comments: “Sŵn promotes and celebrates new music coming in and out of Wales. It means ‘Sound’ and is pronounced ‘soon’. We curate stages at other choice UK and international festivals and events too, which is why we're extremely proud to be curating the musical content for the inaugural Dinefwr Literature Festival.”
Parents can be assured that there will be plenty to keep children of all ages entertained. The first names to be announced include the creator of the million-selling Eddy and the Bear trilogy, Jez Alborough, plus the author and science writer Mark Brake and rap artist John Chase who explore the science and fiction of time travel and alien biology in the Science Fiction of Dr Who. Over the weekend there’ll be creative fun and games with the Hunga Munga collective whose slogan is to ‘Make Stuff, Make Friends, Make a Mess’.
Dinefwr Literature Festival is a collaboration between Literature Wales, the National Trust and the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David (as lead partner in the Coracle programme).

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales, adds: "Wales has an unbroken tradition of celebrating poetry and song, from the National Eisteddfod to the Hay Festival: we like to shout out loud about literature. This year Dinefwr Literature Festival will bring the ancient surroundings alive through a sparkling blend of comedy, music and the best literature we have on offer. Don’t miss it."

Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales comments: “I’ve always thought Carmarthenshire – Sir Gaerfyrddin – one of the loveliest counties in Wales. Named for Myrddin, Merlin the wizard, (the very thought turns a pen to a wand), and the Roman ‘Caer’, it is rich in famous gardens, historic houses and castles, and one of the greatest of these is the castle and estate of Dinefwr, near Llandeilo. Once seat of the Lord Rhys, here myth merges with history, poetry with story. A herd of legendary White Cattle still grazes the valley, real, yet a haunting symbol of the ancientness of the place. Nowhere better than Dinefwr to celebrate with a festival of words.”

How utterly awesome does that sound. For further information go HERE

Friday, 23 March 2012

Guest Review: Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Title: Before I Die
Author: Jenny Downham
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Publication Date: 29 April 2010

Synopsis from Goodreads

Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

Tessa has cancer, diagnosed with only a few months to live. Instead of giving up she creates a list of things she wants to do before she dies. Before I Die follows Tessa through her impossible list, sharing the anger, hurt, happiness and most importantly love that she encounters on her journey.

Tessa is strong and fearless, with such a terrible disease she still manages to be happy. She powers through the bad times, brave and outrageous I loved how she was able to make the best of the situation she found herself in. Through the story the reader gets to encounter the highs and lows of Tessa's life. Showing the world through her eyes as she strives to complete her list. Crazy things like breaking the law, taking drugs in an attempt to experience everything, living life to the full with her best friend Zoe helping her along.

My favorite part was when Tessa first sees Adam, going over to his garden next door. It was like a new beginning for Tessa, from this moment Tessa decides to start doing things, she shares a rare moment of peace in her chaotic world. There was one part that I didn't like, focusing on the relationship between Tessa and Zoe. I thought Zoe was thoughtless and selfish not to make sure Tessa was OK following the incident in the river.

I would really like to have seen Tessa's name in the wardrobe when she went to the seaside. I think this would have given her strength and hope. As well as the comfort of knowing she wouldn't be forgotten after her death.

This book was so emotional, it made me appreciate the life I have and I will be highly recommending it.

Guest Review: The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

Title: The Storyteller
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: 1 Jan 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she?

Ana has fallen for the ultimate bad boy, Abel, 'polish peddler' drug dealing total bad boy, but Anna sees a different side to Abel. The kind storyteller that looks after his little sister, Micha, it is this side that draws her to him. When the people from Abel's stories turn up dead Anna questions whether Abel is responsible.

The story revolves around the fairy-tale Abel is creating for his sister, Micha. When people from Abel's story turn up dead and Abel has been out on his own at night with no witnesses, no-one knows what is going on. 

Anna is my favorite character, she is so innocent and understanding, her kindness shines through the narrative, she is always there for Abel and Micha when they need her. 

My favorite part was when the three of them went ice-skating, showing a happy day in comparison to their usual dreary/unhappy existence. Although I disliked the scene in the boathouse because I thought it was cruel (no spoilers) it was a necessary element to the story as a whole. I would really have liked to have seen Abel enjoy himself more, especially with Anna.

This book was amazing and I highly recommend it.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Guest Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Title: GLOW
Series: Sky Chasers #1
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 7 Oct 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Old World isn't going to last much longer, hundreds of people set off in 2 spaceships in search of a New World to live on. Waverly and Kieran are the first of a new generation born in space, they fall in love. Wrenched apart when Waverly is taken captive by strangers. They have to fight for their very survival.

As you can see the main characters a re Waverly and Kieran. Waverly is captured by strangers from the other space ship sent from Old World, the Ship of Liars. She has to find a way to escape. Meanwhile, Kieran hes been left to save the other ship, fight for his life and deal with cold-hearted rivals as many of the ships adults die or disappear. Waverly is my favorite character not only because she was courageous and clever but also isn't influenced by others, she makes her own decisions based on the things she finds out for herself. 

My favorite part of this book was when Waverly outsmarted the Pastor of the foreign ship. Secret messages hidden within poems was an extremely clever idea. After all the terror, grief and occasionally boredom she has suffered, it was exciting to see her overcome these problems and come up with a daring plan. Although I have to say I really disliked the way in which Waverly reacted to Kieran at the end of the book. I thought it made her quite selfish.

I would have liked to have seen Kieran act differently to Seth, it was a case of fighting fire with fire when they should have tried to be friends and overcome their differences.

I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. Exciting and thrilling. 

Guest Review: Merion of the Stones by Allan Frewin Jones

Series: Destiny's Path
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: 5 Jan 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Branwen must bravely follow destiny’s path even when it leads her into the enemy’s stronghold …Branwen is set her next task by the Shining Ones: she must rescue an ancient god trapped in a Saxon prison. But the trail leads into the heart of Saxon territory, and she and her followers face their greatest challenge yet…until she learns that she is being hunted by the most feared warrior of all Scandinavia. Surrounded by danger, it is the worst time for her loyal band to splinter. But as Branwen seeks to outgrow her mentor, tensions within her band are growing. In her darkest hour, can Branwen remain on destiny’s path?

Branwen, is a really strong heroine in this story, faced with the difficult task set by Merion of the Stones, an ancient God, in order to free her homeland. The task she faces is very difficult, she must face and kill one of the most feared warriors in the country. With her team by her side, Branwen sets off on this impossible mission, facing many fierce warriors along the way.

Branwen is such a terrific character, brave and powerful, a great role model. She is kind and thoughtful to the people around her, as well as clever. The one thing I didn't like was that Branwen didn't listen to the good advice Gavan gave her, she was too ashamed to admit that he was right doing what she thought was best to the detriment of the others. My favorite part was when Branwen was fighting Sker, the action was fast paced, exciting and thrilling. I really hope that Branwen and Iwan's relationship is developed further.

 I can't wait to read the other books in the series. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Tantalizing Trailers: World Poetry Day: Featuring J T Holden

Author: JT Holden
Publisher: Candleshoe Books
Publication Date: 11 Feb 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

Have you ever wondered...

Who really stole the Queen's tarts? Whatever did become of the Walrus & the Carpenter after their nefarious jot down the briny beach with the little Oysters? Is there truly any sense to be found in nonsense at all?
Come follow Alice down the rabbit-hole once again as Lewis Carroll's timeless classic is reimagined through the lyrical language of Wonderland...where a Caterpillar dispenses an indelible lesson, a Cat offers safe haven and (fairly) sound advice, and a Hatter and Hare throw a mad tea party before matching wits at the trial of the century!

Author: JT Holden
Publisher: Kuro Books
Publication Date: 4 Oct 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

From the critically acclaimed author of "Alice in Verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland" comes a chilling collection of rhyming poetry perfect for Halloween...or any other dark and spooky night. From the creepy jingles of Shadows in Nursery and the eerie angst of The Darkening 'Tweens to the malevolently poetic odes of Medieval Maladies and the sweeping chillers of The Epic Tales, J.T. Holden’s "Twilight Tales" offers a deliciously wicked mix of frightening fare!

[Some content my be too intense for younger readers.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Guest Review: Candor by Pam Bachorz

Title: Candor
Author: Pam Bachorz
Publisher: Egmont Books
Publication Date: 2 Aug 2010

Synopsis from Goodreads

Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he's found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He's got them all fooled: Oscar's the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he's made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. Oscar has even found a way to get rich. For a hefty price, he helps new kids escape Candor, Florida before they're transformed into cookie-cutter teens. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar's carefully-controlled world crumbles.

The town of Candor is absolutely perfect, there is no vandalism, no trouble, everyone behaves impeccably. Yet Candor is not what it seems to be; there are encrypted messages hidden in the music, used to control people. Oscar Banks is the owners son, he know how to stop the messages but something is holding him back. When, a new girl Nia Silva, arrives in town, Oscars life changes, he needs to finally make that decision: does he let her become another perfect citizen controlled by the music or does he risk everything to let her be herself.

The story is focused around Oscar and Nia, deceiving everyone around them into believing that they too are controlled by the messages embedded into the music, in the hope that they can save their identity and escape from the grasp that the messages In Candor have them locked in.Nia is my favorite character as she is reckless and daring. She does what is necessary to be free of the controlling messages. She is courageous and has the inner strength to survive Candor. Although there is also a sensitive side to Nia and she accepts Oscar for who he really is rather than the 'perfect' drone he portrayed.

My favorite part of the book was when Nia and Oscar went outside by the pool. They were finally open and honest with each other, reveling the truth about themselves and deepening their relationship. Confiding in each other as they haven't been able to with anyone else. Enabling them to forget their worries for a short time and life in the moment. However, I have to say that the ending really spoiled the whole story for me. I really would have liked to see an alternative ending. I also found Sherman rather annoying but I think if he hadn't been portrayed in this fashion the book may not have been so interesting.

This book is definitely worth reading even if the ending wasn't to my personal liking. I found it interesting and exciting throughout but really would have preferred an alternative ending. 

Guest Review: Misfit by Jon Skovron

Title: Misfit
Author: Jon Skovron
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: 1 Aug 2011
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Jael Thompson has never really fit in. She’s changed schools too many times to count. The only family she’s ever known is her father, a bitter ex-priest who never lets her date and insists she attend the strictest Catholic school in Seattle. And her mother—well, she was a five thousand year old demon. That doesn’t exactly help.

But on her sixteenth birthday, her father gives her a present that brings about some unexpected changes. Some of the changes, like strange and wonderful powers and the cute skater boy with a knack for science, are awesome. But others, like the homicidal demon seeking revenge on her family? Not so much.

Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school.

With a demon mother Jael never really fit in. Due to the need to constantly move to get away from unknown threats she has been confused throughput her life. After turning 16 she finally understands the jumbled up mess of her life. As well as dealing with terrifying things Demons and Superpowers.

The main character, Jael is a half breed, her mother is a demon and her father human. It is due to her half-breed status that many people hate her; especially Great Duke Belial who is seeking revenge after Joel's mother humiliated him prior to her death. Now Jael has to fight not only for her own life but also for the people around her.

I really liked Jael's characterization and how all the elements that created her combined together at the end. She was undoubtedly my favorite character. Not only because she was strong and powerful but she was also persistent in her quest to uncover the truth. Alongside her bravery I really liked how she managed to do the right thing. The one thing I didn't like was the fact that Jael didn't confide in her best friend, Britt. I think it would have been nicer if she could share her secrets along with her adventures with someone other than her Dad or Rob.

There is one aspect of the book that I would have changed and that would be to lower Britt's religious beliefs. It is for this reason that Jael is unable to confide in her.

The writing style was incredible, the action was fast paced and exciting. Apart from the religious aspects it was a really good book.

Monday, 19 March 2012

MG Monday: Guest Review: Black Arts by Prentice and Weil

Title: Black Arts
Series: Black Arts #1
Author: Andrew Prentice and Jonathan Weil
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Publication Date: 29 Mar 2012

Synopsis from Amazon

Elizabethan London: a teeming city of traders and thieves, courtiers and preachers, riff-raff and quality, cut-throats - and demons. When scrunty Jack the 'Judicious Nipper' picks the wrong pocket at the Globe Theatre, he finds himself mixed up in an altogether more dangerous London than he could have imagined - a city in which magic is real and deadly.

An outbreak of devil-worship has led to a wave of anti-witch fervor whipped up by the Elect, a mysterious group of Puritans recognizable from their red-stained right hands, led by the charismatic Nicholas Webb, a growing power at Court. Rumour has it that he wants to purge the city entirely and build a New Jerusalem. Jack has his own reason for hating him: he saw him kill his mother.

Helped by Beth Sharkwell the Thief Princess of Lambeth, Kit Morely the Intelligencer and Dr Dee the Queen's Wizard, Jack pits himself against Webb's Puritans. But this is no straightforward struggle. Things are not as they seem. In fact, ever since his encounter with Webb, there has been something wrong with Jack's vision. He keeps seeing things. Demons.

Black Arts is the first in a series of thrilling time-travel adventures, each bringing the past to glorious life, as Jack and his companions hurtle from one epic struggle to the next.

Jack (Nipper as he is known) is a thief, when he cuts the wrong purse he ends up in a completely different London to the one he is used to. As well as travelling through time he gains the ability to see demons/devils, this is where his search for Preacher Webb begins. Preacher Webb is also the man that killed Jack's mother. Jack is hindered in his search by his ties to his Master, Sharkwell, whose rules must be obeyed or else.

My favorite part of this book happens near the end, I'm not giving away any spoilers. I will say that it was thrilling and interesting in equal measure. I just couldn't put it down, absolutely thrilling. Jack is my favorite character, he is sneaky and sly but he needs to be in order to survive. His cleverness shines through the story.

I have to say that I didn't like how the Intelligencer and The Doctor kept Jack trapped as I think Jack would have been able to discover things necessary to help him in later situations if he hadn't been trapped. I would have really liked to have seen Beth and Jack's relationship develop further and to have seen exactly how Kit escaped captivity. 

I am really looking forward to more in this series and would highly recommend it.

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