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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Guest Review: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making by Catherynne M Valente

Image from Goodreads
Publisher: Corsair
Publication Date: 7 June 2012
Source : Review Copy
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Gather up your courage and your wishes; grab a little pinch of luck - and prepare to be swept away, in a ship of your own making, to a land unlike any other. September is a twelve-year-old girl, Somewhat Grown and Somewhat Heartless, and she longs for adventure. So when a Green Wind and a Leopard of Little Breezes invite her to Fairyland - well, of course, she accepts (mightn't you?).

When she gets there, she finds a land in crisis and confusion - crushed by the iron rule of a villainous Marquess - she soon discovers that she alone holds the key to restoring order. Having read enough books to know what a girl with a quest must do, September sets out to Fix Things.

As September forges her way through Fairyland, with a book-loving dragon and a partly human boy named Saturday by her side, she makes many friends and mistakes; loses her shadow, her shoes and her way. But she finds adventure, courage, a rather special Spoon, and a lot more besides .

When this book came through my letterbox I think I fell in love just a little bit as the cover is just so beautiful and it really makes you want to dive straight in.


The book is about September who is a 12 year old girl living in Omaha with her Mum. Her Dad is off fighting a war in Europe and her Mum is working all hours in a factory leaving September feeling very lonely. This is where the fairytale starts. She is whisked away by The Green Wind and The Leopard of Little Breezes to Fairyland where she is set to have many adventures.

Once there she finds herself on a quest for the mean Marquis, a good deed for some Witches and making friendships along the way. One of my favourite being A-Through-L, a Wyvern whose dad is a library so Ell, as September calls him, only knows about things beginning with A to L. He looks like a dragon but can't fly as the mean Marquis has made it law that no fairies or Wyvern's are allowed to fly so his wings have been chained up with a lock and key. Their friendship is at the heart of the book and the author really makes you care about them both to the point where later in the book it gets a little bit emotional! The characters you meet are as varied and colourful as you would expect from a fairytale but the author really makes you believe in them and this is coming from 40 year old Mum!!

This book is truly a great fairytale. The author describes Fairyland in such vividness that you feel as though you are there with September. In fact throughout the book I kept feeling how great this would be as a Tim Burton film with bright colours and slightly odd characters. I would highly recommend this to any age of reader. I say dive on in you won't regret it and you will certainly enjoy the ride.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

On My Library Wish-List

The pupils in my library just adore gory covers with the premise reminiscent of Dexter I think this book would be perfect for the gore lovers in school. Confirmed by this brilliant review From Matt Teen Librarian HERE

Image from Goodreads
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: 12 April 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

You’re seventeen years old and your father is the most notorious serial killer America has ever produced. 

He brought you up. Taught you everything he knows. Everyone in your ordinary American town knows who you are. So even though Dear Old Dad is safely behind bars, when the killing starts all over again, you are the first person the police come to see…

They don’t know whether it’s nature or nurture. And neither do you…

The next one was reviewed by The Book Smugglers (HERE) It sounds like a brilliant addition to the library.

Image from Goodreads
Title: Changeling
Author: Delia Sherman
Publisher: Firebird
Publication Date: 17 July 2008

Synopsis from Goodreads

A determined heroine, a quest adventure galore!

Neef is a changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies and replaced with one of their own. She lives in "New York Between," a Manhattan that exists side by side with our own, home to various creatures of folklore. Neef has always been protected by her fairy godmother until she breaks a Fairy Law. Now, unless she can meet the challenge of the Green Lady of Central Park, she'll be sacrificed! Neef is determined to beat the rap but time is running out . . .

The wonderful Darren at Book Zone for Boys is my go to guy for all things gory. Thank you to Darren for recommending this one, check out his review HERE

Image from Goodreads
Title: Doom Rider
Author: David Gatward
Publisher; Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: 5 July 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Seth Crow has lived a thousand lives, and in each one he's been murdered before he turns thirteen.

And now he's being hunted again. But this time it's different.

Enter Lily, who tells him of his fate: Seth is CONQUEST. The first of the four riders of the Apocalypse. And people want him dead, before he can fulfil his destiny.

Seth's only hope lies in finding the other riders - Strife, Famine and Death. 

Together, the fate of the world lies in their hands ...

Friday, 8 June 2012

Tantilizing Trailers:Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Give-Away

Image from Goodreads
Title: Infinity
Series: The Chronicles of Nick #1
Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: 3 Feb 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

Image from Goodreads
Title: Invincible
Series: The Chronicles of Nick #2
Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: 29 March 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads

Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse...

Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them..

I really enjoyed the first book in the series Infinity (Review HERE) although I did feel I would have benefited from knowing more about the Dark Hunter books to fully appreciate the nuances of the plot. Unfortunately due to time constraints I haven't had the chance to read the second book in the series InvincibleInstead of it sitting on my bookcase waiting patiently to be read I would love to share it with one of my fabulous followers.

Image from Goodreads
Title: Infamous
Series: Chronicles of Nick #3
Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: 13 March 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads

The world has fallen in love with Nick Gautier and the Dark-Hunters. Now Nick’s saga continues in the next eagerly anticipated volume...

Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That’s the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn’t the average teenager. He’s a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him.

He’s learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive such a difficulty? But that isn’t the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.

And in order to survive, his next lesson makes all the others pale in comparison. He is on the brink of becoming either the greatest hero mankind has ever known.

Or he’ll be the one who ends the world. With enemies new and old gathering forces, he will have to call on every part of himself to fight or he’ll lose everyone he cares about.

Even himself. 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Guest Mini-Review: Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Image from Amazon
Series: Gone With Respiration #1
Author: Lia Habel
Publisher: Corgi Children's 
Publication Date: 7 June 2012
Source: Review Copy

Synopsis from Goodreads

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.


Nora is attacked one night and carried away by an army of the living dead. don't get me wrong, these are the good guys sent to protect Nora from another group of living dead that want her well dead. The evil zombies want to kill Nora and are willing to feast on anyone in order to increase their numbers. Bram, one of the good undead, tries to earn Nora's trust but she wonders if she will ever be safe again.

My favorite part of the book was when Bram trying to earn Mora's trust uses the locks on his door. This is where they first started to bond, getting to know each other better and trust is built between them. I didn't like Bram's boss at all, he was cruel and unfair however his character was necessary to the plot.

I really enjoyed this book, it was thrilling and I am looking forward to reading the next one. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Musical Moments: Guest Post: Character Play-list by Ellie Phillips

It is my pleasure to welcome Ellie Phillips to Book Angel Booktopia today with the character play-list for  Dads, Geeks and Blue Haired Freaks

Image from Goodreads

Review HERE

Dads, Geeks and Blue Haired Freaks Blog Tour

I thought I'd start my blog posts on this tour with a Hairstyle of the Day. In Dads, Geeks and Blue-haired Freaks my main character, Sadie, gets given a calendar for her birthday called 'A Hairstyle a Day, One Year of Original Styles'. So I thought I'd do the same on my blog posts. I must add that I haven't actually tried any of them out!

Wednesday 6th June

Hairstyle of the Day:

I think if we're mentioning post-rock then we need to look at boys' hair and so I think today's hairstyle should be something around bald and beardy like these guys here:



Wow - the iPod play-lists of my characters. I know my characters inside out, but it took me a while to think about what they might be listening to. Obviously Billy has very particular tastes, being an embryonic Post-rock god, but Sadie's playlist I thought would reflect her character which is understated but stealy and determined. Aunt Lilah - well I thought her taste would reflect her youth - as well as the playlist for her hairdressing salon - so nothing too exciting there.....Here we go:

Sadie :

Links to YouTube:
Lewi White Young Guns
M.I.A. Paper Planes
Amy Winehouse Back to Black and Stronger Than Me
Gyptian Hold You
Soundgirl Don't know why


YouTube Links:
Mogwai White Noise
Explosions in the Sky Your Hand in Mine
This Will Destroy You Quiet
Red Sparowes In Illusions of Order
Sigur Ros Glosoli
65daysofstatic Radio Protector

Aunt Lilah:

YouTube Links:
Whitney Houston Saving All My Love for You
Phyllis Nelson Move Closer
Dolly Parton 9 to 5, Jolene and Here You Come Again
Luther Van Dross Never Too Much

Thank you to Ellie for coming up with such fabulous and diverse play-lists. I hope you have enjoyed.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Guest Mini-Review: Dads, Geeks and Blue Haired Freaks by Ellie Phillips

Image from Goodreads
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: 4 June 2012
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Sadie Nathanson spends her life trying to survive the excruciating embarrassment of simply existing. It’s hard enough being a bit of a shrinking violet within a loud and outspoken extended family, but the unexpected card from ‘Dad’ on her 15th birthday is the last straw.

As ‘Dad’ was an Internet sperm-donor, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is a bad joke, probably set up by her ex-best-friend Shonna. But it starts Sadie wondering – just who was her father? Is he the cause of her worry crinkle and wonky bum? What would happen if she tracked him down?

So she decides to do just that. With help from her nerd cousin Billy, his friend Nodding Tony and a regular dose of ‘Haironomics’ (Sadie’s own hairstyle-related philosophy system), they uncover a lot more than they bargain for...


Although getting a birthday card from your Dad on your birthday should be completely normal, for Sadie it is anything but. You see, Sadie's Mum had artificial insemination via a sperm donor website. Therefore, you can imagine how surprised Sadie is to receive this particular birthday card.

At first Sadie thinks it is some kind of cruel joke, but then she starts wondering what it really would be like to meet her biological father. The things that go through her mind are completely understandable after all we all have certain traits that can be attributed to our parents, Sadie only has one half of the equation in order to figure out who she is.

I really enjoyed this book, it was a fun, light-hearted read that was refreshing. I especially liked the use of the different hairstyles Sadie's associated with each day, a quirky little trait that she used to show how her day had gone.

I really liked how this book made me giggle out loud at the things that happened and the things Sadie said.

Monday, 4 June 2012

MG Monday: Guest Review: Lolly Luck by Ellie Danes

Image from Goodreads
Title: Lolly Luck
Author: Ellie Danes
Publisher: Andersen
Publication Date: 5 Jan 2012
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Lolly is Lolly Luck by name, lucky by nature. She always wins magazine competitions, on scratch cards and any game you can think of. But when Lolly’s dad loses his job and then the family home, Lolly’s luck starts to change. And when she overhears her parents arguing, she learns a secret that will change her life forever.


Lolly Luck is a well written and thought out novel that takes some seriously major family and personal issues and makes them palatable, manageable and readable for an audience of around 9-11. Lolly is a happy go lucky, likeable and fun character who narrates her own tale, from the beginning where her luck seems to be on the up, throughout the story when it seems to come upon hard times and everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. Lolly is an extremely believable and genuine narrator who has many personality quirks and nuances that make her especially likeable, including her dislike of the popular school bully and her love of making paper fans for her dad and family members.

Everything is going so well at the beginning, it’s Lolly’s birthday and she’s already received a wad of cash from a mysterious Great Uncle and is looking forward to her special bike from her parents. However, after school everything changes, her dad has lost his job and nothing seems as lucky anymore. From then on, their household shifts and things are no longer the way they were for Lolly and her big sister Zola. It comes to a head when Lolly hears a heart-breaking secret in an argument between her parents and she knows nothing will be the same again.

This novel deals with some highly relevant and current social issues and markets them wonderfully to a young adult/older child audience. With issues such as redundancy, social housing and family breakdown treated with care and dignity, Ellie Daines gives us a novel which whilst dealing with such big issues isn’t depressive or too hard to handle. An enjoyable and fun novel where you constantly find yourself cheering Lolly on and hoping she reaches a happy ending.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Spotlight: Winterling by Sarah Prineas UK Cover Reveal

As you may know I featured Winterling by Sarah Prineas on My Library Wish-List a few weeks ago (HERE), after the post went up I was delighted to find out that Winterling is coming to the UK in November through the lovely people at Quercus.

And here is the gorgeous UK cover for you to feast your eyes on.

Image received from Publisher

Isn't it gorgeous.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

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


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

Image from Goodreads
Publisher: Arthur A Levine
Publication Date: 1 June 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Heavenly writing, earthy characters, and humor that is wicked as hell.

Heidi is seventeen. Insecure. Unkissed. Unremarkable, she thinks, in every way but one: She has a guardian angel, Jerome, who whispers in her ear all day long, amusing her, confusing her, but hardly ever saying anything that might help her discover who she's meant to be.

Jerome is also seventeen (for the seventeenth year in a row.) There is only one thing he needs to do to graduate from heaven's soul rehabilitation program for wayward teenagers: Follow the 10 Commandments for the Dead, and in doing so, keep Heidi safe. Instead, he accidentally lets her drown.

Plucked from her body before she ever truly lives, Heidi wants more than anything to say goodbye to her family and best friend. Jerome, afraid he's going to be sent to the lowest level of Hell, wants to sneak her into heaven before he gets caught.

Neither realizes that Heidi has only 24 hours before her soul dissolves forever. And that might not be enough time for them to figure out how they were meant to live.

Do you have to ask WHY??? Book Angel Emma and Angel Books = LOVE
Read Chapter 1 HERE

Image from Goodreads
Title: Lies Beneath
Series: Lies Beneath
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: 12 June 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

Again some serious cover love here and I will be adding it to the Mermaids in YA for the school library.

Image from Goodreads
Title: Reunited
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 12 June 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

1 Concert 
2,000 Miles 
3 Ex-Best Friends 

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends. 

Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.

But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.

Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.

Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van know as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.

But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over? 

Music and a road trip

Image from Goodreads
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: 14 June 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

I need this book in my life.

Image from Goodreads
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Publication Date: 12 June 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

Julia is finally discovering what–not who–she is.

Like any sixteen-year-old, Julia's used to dealing with problems. From her overprotective father to her absent mother to a teacher who definitely has it in for her. But everything changes when Julia's reactions become oddly vicious and angry---more animal than human. This action-packed adventure has it all: humor, romance, and a plot that will keep you guessing to the very last page.

Image from Goodreads
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: 1 May 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

The day Brigitta accidentally flings herself into the lap of a guy she's never met, her friend Natalie is convinced he's Trent Yves, egotistical heartthrob-in-hiding. When the boy, who calls himself Luke, is nearly eaten by a cougar, Brigitta finds herself saving his life, being swept into his spectacular embrace and wondering if she wants Natalie's fantasy to be true.

As the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still can't be sure of his true identity. But then again, since her grandparents' death, her father's sudden urge to give away all their possessions and become a shaman, and her own awkward transition from girlhood into a young woman, she isn't sure of anything. What is the truth? More importantly, can she accept it?

I cannot believe I missed this one off last months list - so I am sneaking it into this months [ : D ]

Friday, 1 June 2012

Musical Moments: Song of the Month: June: Chosen by Hannah Harrington

It is with great pleasure I welcome Hannah Harrington to Book Angel Booktopia today not only do we have a fabulous song for the Song of the Month but Hannah has also written a terrific post about what music means to her. As you probably already know I adore music, its a part of me and I relate a lot of personal experiences to certain songs. I love his post I hope you do too.

Image from Goodreads
Read my review HERE

Theme Song: “This Time Tomorrow” by the Kinks


This song is listed on Jake’s playlist to Harper at the end of the book. Of all the songs I included or referred to in Saving June, this is the one I think most embodies the book, especially Harper’s relationship with Jake. The lyrics as I interpret them are about a romantic relationship between two people who get things wrong at times, but ultimately understand one another more clearly than anyone else. I think the tone of the song’s melody also fits the story—it’s moody and emotive, but at the same time very hopeful.

Music and ME by Hannah Harrington

Music has always been a big part of my life, and it was especially a major influence as a teenager. A lot of my identity felt wrapped up in the music I enjoyed and even in the music I didn't like-- just having those opinions and arguing or sharing with friends; it was both a personal and a communal interest. I have very little musical ability of my own, so I just appreciate it from a listener's perspective. Music, like writing or any other art form, is something to connect to and meant to invoke emotions in the audience. So I think when it comes to an influence on my writing, it had to do with the aspect of music where you listen to a song and think, "Wow, this really made me feel something," and you want to put words to what that feeling is.

I'm always listening to an eclectic mix of music. My current playlist includes the Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Simon & Garfunkel, Amy Winehouse, Sufjan Stevens, The Ting Tings, and The Roots.

All of the songs included in the novel are ones I love, and it was difficult to narrow it down to three playlists! For June's playlist, I tried to put in songs I thought someone would pick if they were trying to introduce someone to that kind of music-- some of the more known hits and catchy tunes-- but also songs that might have had some meaning for her character. The "Say My Name" playlist was a little more random than the others, and for that one I mostly just picked my favorite songs that include names in the title. The last playlist-- the one Jake creates for Harper-- was probably the hardest; I went through and put in some of the songs that had had meaning throughout the story, and I also added a few that weren't outright mentioned but that I felt really fit Harper's story, especially from Jake's perspective. On top of that, I tried to do what Jake had mentioned about making the playlist "flow" and build up and peak before coming back down, so the music transitions aren't too jarring.

The Saving June Play-List is my favourite it really does go so well when you know the whole story <3
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