Sunday, 31 July 2011

In My Mailbox 31st July 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, where book bloggers can talk about the books they've gotten the past week- whether bought, borrowed, swapped or given for review. This feature was started to increase interaction between bloggers and improve our awareness of all the new books coming out.

I got some great books this week- and I'm really looking forward to reading them (if I find time!)

  • Hollowland by Amanda Hocking. (kindle edition). Ok, I've bought another one of Amanda Hocking's books, and I still haven't read ANY of them yet, but I read some really positive reviews of this book this week, and her books are so cheap at the moment. This author is self-published but I heard a rumour that a publisher is now buying her books, so I thought I'd buy her books now before the price goes up. This sounds really good though, about zombies (I think!)
From the Library:
All my reservations seem to have come in all at once! This week I picked up


  • Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton. I've seen this about on the blogs- about witches.
  • The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is Book 3 in the Demon's Lexicon trilogy. I'm looking forward to reading the final book in this series, love these characters! There are demons and battles between good and evil magicians. 
  • Forgotten by Cat Patrick. This sounds weird but interesting, and it's getting good reviews. It sounds a little like the film 50 First Dates (Drew Barrymore), about a girl who cannot remember her past. I want to read this to see how that will work!
  • Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. I love the look of this book too, it's YA and full of Greek mythology and a forbidden romance. I didn't realise before I got it though how big it is- it's 500 odd pages! Can't wait to read it though.
  • Graveminder by Melissa Marr. I got this mainly because it's by Melissa Marr and it's not about faeries! Sounds spooky and cool.

  • Undercurrent by Tricia Rayburn. Sequel to Siren. Awww- I love nerdy romantic hero Simon, so I want to read about this cute couple again!
  • Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck. I've heard some mixed things about these books, but I think it sounds a bit different, and I want to make up my own mind about it.
Some really fantastic books this week, lots of reading to get stuck into. Love all my books!
What did you get this week?
Happy reading!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The "It's True Love" couple contest (just for fun!)

Are you a fan of YA paranormal romance? Then this might be the brain quiz for you!
Is it love at first sight? Soulmates forever? Are they madly in love? Want to play a game?
I'm going to post the names of some fictional couples, and you have to see how many of these characters you recognise just from their names, either from having read the book yourself or reading a review of the books. How many book titles can you name from this list of just the main characters?

I'll give you a clue- all these books are YA, and they all feature something supernatural (werewolves, vampires, angels, ghosts, mermaids, dragons, faeries... you get the idea...)
For a further small clue, if there is a hint of a love triangle (as there so often is in this genre) I have included the name of the other guy in brackets after the two mains names.
Have a go first, then, if you feel the need to cheat (or check your answers), then highlight the list and the answers will be revealed!

I'll give you the first one-

Bella and Edward (Jacob)- Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
Rose and Dimitri (Mason/Adrian) - Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead
Grace and Sam- Wolves of Mercy Falls series, Maggie Stiefvater
Nora and Patch- Hush Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick
Bianca and Lucas (Balthazar)- Evernight series, Claudia Gray
Dee and Luke (James)- Lament, Maggie Stiefvater
Gemma and Kartik (Simon)- A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray
Ever and Damen- Evermore, Alyson Noel
Zoey and Erik/ Heath/ Stark... - House Of Night series, P.C and Kristin Cast
Laurel and David /Tamani- Wings series, Aprilynne Pike
Darina and Phoenix (Logan)- Beautiful Dead series, Eden Maguire
Lucinda and Daniel- Fallen series, Lauren Kate
Dru and Graves (Christophe)- Strange Angels series, Lili St.Crow
Todd and Viola- Chaos Walking trilogy, Patrick Ness
Chloe and Derek (Simon)- Darkest Powers series, Kelley Armstrong
Clary and Jace (Simon)- Mortal Instruments series, Cassandra Clare
Zara and Nick- Need series , Carrie Jones
Ethan and Lena- Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia
Jacinda and Will- Firelight, Sophie Jordan
Evie and Lend- Paranormalcy, Kiersten White
Willow and Alex- Angel, Lee Weatherly
Isobel and Varen- Nevermore, Kelly Creagh
Grace and Daniel- The Dark Divine, Bree Despain
Renee and Dante- Dead Beautiful, Yvonne Woon
Meghan and Ash (Puck)- The Iron Fey Series, Julie Kagawa
Aislinn and Seth- Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr
Bryn and Chase- Raised By Wolves, Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Calla and Shay- Nightshade, Andrea Cremer
Kelley and Sonny- Wondrous Strange, Lesley Livingstone
Clara and Tucker (Christian)- Unearthly, Cynthia Hand
Jane and Luca - Dark Heart Forever, Lee Monroe
Amelia and Joshua- Hereafter, Tara Hudson
Lenah and Justin- Infinite Days, Rebecca Maizel
April and Gabriel- By Midnight, Mia James
Avery and Ben- Low Red Moon, Ivy Devlin
Kaylee and Nash- Soul Screamers series, Rachel Vincent
Kate and Vincent- Die For Me, Amy Plum

How many did you recognise? Do I need to get a life?!!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Time Will Come #25

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company where we can spotlight those books that we've had sitting on our shelves for too long. Books that we really want to read and never seem to get around to.

Forsaken by Jana Oliver is another book I bought when it first came out back in January. I love the sound of this, and friends have been encouraging me read it, plus book 2 comes out soon, so it'll be harder to catch up...
I really hope that I get a chance to read this one fairly soon.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Review: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

ForeverForever by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 3 in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy

I think that these books get better throughout the series, and this is the best one yet. The writing is beautiful and almost peotic. The best thing about this book is the enduring love between Sam and Grace which is so powerful and solid, and which I struggled to get to grips with in Shiver, but that I actually understand now, looking back on the progression of their relationship. But this book is also full of heartache, suspense, and that glimmer of hope when everything is in danger of everything falling apart.

I love the way that each chapter is told from a different character's perspective. In this book the chapters are narrated by Sam, Grace, Isabel and Cole, and this means we get to see what each character is thinking and feeling, and see the same situations from different perspectives. Sam and Grace's relationship is so sweet, and they are so completely devoted to each other. Who wouldn't like Sam- quiet, thoughtful and introspective- plus he works in a bookshop! The other two main characters in this are Isabel and Cole and they are so entertaining to read about. They are either constantly bitching or else dancing on the edge of letting something happen between them. But both of them are involved in the world of the wolves, and loyal to helping Sam and Grace, and trying to find a way to help the wolves. I think Cole has such a unique voice and outlook on everything, and it is interesting how he comes through in the end with all his scientific research on the wolves. All the characters are strong in their own very different ways and add something different to the story, fighting their own inner battles as well as the danger from the woods. The four of them together have a real bond of friendship and trust like a family, even though they drive each other crazy sometimes.

Because I could connect with the characters so well, I really felt that thread of desperation the whole way through the book. There is something going on all the time, and with the wolves under threat from extermination by Tom Culpeper out for revenge for the death of his son, there is the constant sense of danger. You want to root for poor Sam and Grace all the way through, just hoping that they have the happy ending that they deserve. There are so many twists and turns and unexpected plot twists, and because tragedy has struck in the past you can never feel safe in assuming that everything will work out well in the end. It took me so long to finish this book just because I didn't want this series to end!

Favourite Quote
But now what I longed for wasn't an imagined future. It was a concrete memory of me slouched in the leather chair in the Brisbane's study, a novel in my hand while Grace sat at the desk, biting the end of a pencil while doing homework. Saying nothing because we didn't have to, just pleasantly intoxicated with the leather-scent of the chair around me and the vague smell of a roasted chicken hanging in the air and the sound of Grace sighing and turning her chair back and forth...
After a while she lost interest in her homework and crawled into the chair with me... One of her hands tunneled between the chair and my back to touch my shoulder blades. I pretended to read on and she pretended to rest against me, but she kept pinching my shoulder blade and I kept tickling her with my free hand, until she was laughing even as we kissed and kissed again. After a while, Grace fell asleep for real on my chest, and I tried, unsuccessfully, to follow her. Then I picked my book back up again and stroked her hair and read to the soundtrack of her breaths. The weight of her pinned my fleeting thoughts to the ground, and in that moment, I was more in the world than I'd ever been.
So now, I knew exactly what I wanted, because I'd had it.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Review: Mercy by Rebecca Lim

Mercy (Mercy, #1)Mercy by Rebecca Lim

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5/5 stars I did really like this

Mercy is a being who is forced to borrow the lives of people whose bodies she briefly inhabits. Having just sorted out the life of a young woman in an abusive relationship, Mercy is next suddenly dropped into the body of Carmen, a 16-year old choir girl headed to rehearsals for a major concert. Mercy quickly adapts to her new surroundings and works out who is a friend to her, and what everybody's name is. Mercy is used to being the strong character giving her host body the reason to stand up for herself or to escape a bad situation- however Mercy cannot find any obvious fault in Carmen's life besides bad skin and a bit of taunting from her schoolmates. It is when she is placed with her host family, a family in the midst of grief for their daughter- a choir girl who was kidnapped 2 years ago- that Mercy realises that it might not be Carmen who is in need of help, but the Daley family, and that what is needed is someone with an instinctive intuition about people to help solve the mystery of Lauren's disappearance. Mercy/Carmen meets Lauren's angry brother Ryan who has never given up hope of finding his sister, and is now the only one left who believes that she might still be alive.

Mercy is a good story, a very fresh new take on angels, and an engrossing mystery story, dealing with high school bitchiness and competition, and also the danger of obsession. I really enjoyed this book but I wish that there had been more of a romance between Mercy/Carmen and Ryan, as it never really got started. They were good together once they had started to trust each other, but there was never anything between them until the end. There is also a mention of this angelic force of brothers who might be a danger to Mercy, but they are just a lingering possible threat in the background and never really elaborated on. Those are my only complaints really though, I did enjoy this book, and am going to read the sequel Exile as soon as I get a chance!

View all my reviews

Sunday, 24 July 2011

In My Mailbox 24th July 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, where book bloggers can talk about the books they've gotten the past week- whether bought, borrowed, swapped or given for review. This feature was started to increase interaction between bloggers and improve our awareness of all the new books coming out.

I wasn't going to do an IMM this week because I didn't think I'd have a lot to show, but I got a few more books than I expected to. I got...


  • Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby. This looks like such a fun, funny book, and I love the sound of it's quirkyness. This is on standby for when I need a reading pick-me-up.
  • Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. I was so exited when this dropped through the door, I've had it on pre-order for months, and am looking forward to the continuation of the story of Shay, Calla and Ren. I do love my werewolf romances! I'm still bummed about the cover change though. This was originally supposed to have a green sparkly cover, and it would've matched my copy of Nightshade on my shelf.
From the Library:

  • Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy by Ally Carter. This is book 2 in the Gallagher Girls series which I loved, and I hope to read the rest of this series soon.


  •  Witch Fire by Anya Bast. This is an Elemental Witches book that looks a little bit steamy, but should be interesting!
This is from UK website Readitswapit

For Review:


  • The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa. AAAAAaaaahhhh! I love this series so I was really thrilled to get this to read a few months early. I'm starting this next, and still going to buy the paperback when it is published so that it matches the series already on my shelf. This is faeries, a quest, a love story and a prince.
  • The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegin. Again this book sounds great, romantic and dramatic with heaven and hell, and immortality all thrown in.
Both these books are from Netgalley thanks to Harlequin and Egmont publishers.

So those were all the cool books that I got this week! What did you get?
Happy reading!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

On My Wishlist #3

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Carolyn at Book Chick City where we can spotlight all those books that we desperately want but haven't bought yet (can't get them all!). I am on a self-imposed book-buying ban at the moment, so all the following books I've been gazing at with longing recently!

  • Hourglass by Myra McEntire. I love the look of this book- a time travelling romance story.

  • Watched by Sharde Richardson. Ok- I think the main reason I want this book is just plain old coverlust. It's so pretty! It does look like a good story as well though, about a girl who can see people's auras.

  • Fade by Lisa McMann. This is book 2 in the Wake trilogy, about a girl who can fall into other people's dreams. I read book 1 recently and really enjoyed it, so now I want to see how the rest of series plays out. Unfortunately my library doesn't have the rest of the series, only book 1  :(

  • Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. Lovely Kate over at That Book Blog read this recently and raved about it, so now I really want to  read it. This looks like a tragic but powerfully emotional book about a girl who is kidnapped.

  • Ripple by Mandy Hubbard. This is a story about mermaids and destiny, a love story (and again, I just love the cover!)

I'm determined not to buy any more books until I've read some of the books I've already got piled up at home! I shouldn't be drooling and hankering for even more because I have lots to read already!
Anyone already read any of these? What did you think?

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Time Will Come #24

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company where we can spotlight those books that we've had sitting on our shelves for too long. Books that we really want to read and never seem to get around to.

I've had Glimpse on my shelves for absolutely ages. I bought it after reading a few good reviews, (and partly because I thought the cover was really pretty- I'm shallow!)
I knew when I bought it that it was about a girl who was close to her sister, whose world fell apart when said sister tried to kill herself and she realised that she had no idea about her life. I thought it sounded like a powerful story. What I didn't realise until it dropped through the letterbox is that it is all written in verse. I'm not too sure how I will get on reading a 500 page poem, I think I need to be in the right frame of mind to tackle it. Anybody else read this? Is it good?

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Twelve year old girl Hope's life is turned upside down when her older sister Lizzie becomes an elective mute and is institutionalized after trying to kill herself. Ever since their dad died Hope and Lizzie have relied on each other from a young age. Their mother is a reluctant and unreliable parent at best, who turns tricks to support the family. Throughout the course of this lyrical and heartbreaking narrative readers and Hope discover that the mother is prostituting Lizzie and it’s up to Hope to bring the truth to light to save her sister.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

DivergentDivergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5/5 stars

Here's what it's about (Synopsis from Goodreads)

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

The first in a new series, Divergent is a brilliant dystopian novel with a twist- action packed and romantic all at the same time. Dark and violent but also tender and hope-filled. I love dystopian stories anyway, but this is one of the better ones. An extraordinary world, a heart-in-mouth battle, heart-wrenchingly painful moments, a love story to make you swoon- just excellent. Full of fantastic characters that you can really connect with, and especially Tris, who we get to see develop into this kick-ass powerful girl by the end of the story, but still with her fiercely protective attitude and her determination to make the world right. I loved the relationship between her and Four, which I thought developed at a good pace, and felt so sweet and believeable. They are both strong characters but their relationship is full of respect and supporting each other's weaknesses. They are not too proud to show vulnerability and to lean on the other for support. They are very well suited to each other, and I loved the strength of feeling between them.

This is one of the most talked about debut books of this year and it's easy to see why. Divergent flows so easily and holds you gripped all the way through, just rooting for Tris and Four. I didn't think it was quite as gripping as The Hunger Games but still brilliant. For all it's focus on politics and social ideas, I also didn't ever really think that society is headed towards being split into these factions in the future- you don't ever think that this could really happen 20 years down the line- but if you look past all of that and just accept the story for what it is- it is a fantastic story. I loved it, and I'm looking forward to the sequel.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

In My Mailbox 17th July 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, where book bloggers can talk about the books they've gotten the past week- whether bought, borrowed, swapped or given for review. This feature was started to increase interaction between bloggers and improve our awareness of all the new books coming out.
I tried to go easy on the books this week and reign myself in... didn't really work! I'm really REALLY not going to buy any more books (apart from ones I've already pre-ordered) until after my birthday in October. I mean it this time- I have waaaaaay to many books to read now!
This week I got...


  • The Midnighters series by Scott Westerfeld. Heard good things about this series- love these covers. I saw these in the bookshop but forced myself to put them back, and managed to pick them up on Amazon Marketplace for 1p each + the cost of postage, which worked out that I got all three of them for the same price as one new one in the bookshop. They are a little yellowed and worn around the edges, but perfectly readable.
Bought for Kindle:

  •  Girl Parts by John Cusick. I love the sound of this book about what happens when a robot designed to be a boy's ideal "companion" develops a will of her own. Futuristic but also scarily current in a world where everyone has so many online friends but some guys lose the abilty to connect with the real world and to interact face to face with real people. I got this in Amazon's kindle summer sale.

For review:

  • Eve by Anna Carey. Wow- I was so excited to get this book- a dystopian romance- which I've had on my wishlist for months. Love the sound of this book! This is published in October.
Received with thanks from the publisher.

So those were the books I got this week- what did you get?
Happy reading!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Review: Wild by Aprilynne Pike

Wild (Wings, #3)Wild by Aprilynne Pike

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book 3 in the Wings series

This was published under the title Illusions in the US and other parts of the world.

Laurel and David have been happy together but are starting to plan ahead to what they will be doing after high school. Laurel is undecided about whether to go to college, or, whether to continue her studies away in Avalon. When Tamani shows up as a new student at school Laurel is even more confused, and David and Tamani battle jealousy, and start off a series of rivalry and on-upmanship against the other. This is definitely a mid-series book, as it has that "filler book" feel to it, where nothing is still really resolved. Most of the story revolves around Laurel's struggle to work out her feelings for the two boys, and the love triangle between them is the main focus of the book. Laurel can't decide if she should pick sweet dependable David who has been her boyfriend for two years or intense Tamani, who is at least of the same species. Laurel cares strongly for both of them and cannot imagine either one of them not in her life, and both boys care passionately about Laurel.

Laurel must be protected at all costs, since she is to inherit the land which the gate to Avalon lies in, and Tamani manages to persuade the faeries that he is the one to protect her. Tamani's duties as Laurel's guardian, and undercover student take up most of his time and energy. He is watching Laurel constantly and leading the team of sentries outside her house. A distraction is thrown into the mix in the form of Yuki- a faery grown up outside of the teachings of Avalon- a Wild fae. Since it is unclear where Yuki's allegiance really lies and how much she truly knows about her heritage, it is up to Laurel and Tamani to watch her and try to befriend her, and see if the suspicion that she is possibly linked to the troll attacks is founded.

This book does however tell us a lot more about the faery world, and some of the background stories, myths and legends of Tamani's world. It seems to take a sprinkling of every faery story ever written with the legends of King Arthur and Guinevere, and also Queen Titania all mixed in together, along with the author's own unique take on faeries as plants. We also find out more about the caste sytem of spring/summer/winter faeries, and some of the politics and plotting behind the scenes.

Nothing at all is resolved by the end of the book, neither Laurel's choice of relationship, the threat from the trolls, or Yuki's role in everything, forcing us to wait again for the next book in the series to find anything out. But this is a decent continuation of the series and will probably appeal more to younger readers.

Favourite quote:
"You could be David's friend too". She glanced at Tamani when he said nothing. He was frowning. "The two of you really have a lot in common, and we're all in this together".
He shook his head. "It wouldn't work".
"Why not? He's a nice guy. And it would do you good to have some human friends", she said hinting at what she suspected was the root of the problem.
"It's not that", Tamani said, gesturing vaguely with one hand.
"Then why?" Laurel asked, exasperated.
"I just don't want to cosy up to the guy whose girl I have every intention of stealing"

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Time Will Come #23

The Time Will Come is a weekly meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company where we can spotlight those books that we've had on our shelves for too long. Books that we really want to read but never get around to reading.
I bought Entwined by Heather Dixon when it was published in March/ April because I just HAD to have it. It sounds like such a good story, and wow- just look at that cover!
But it's such a huge hardback book, and books that I actually own usually take me forever to read because I borrow so many library books. I still really want to read this but I think it will take me a long time to get round to.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

UnearthlyUnearthly by Cynthia Hand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book! Unearthly is a beautiful new supernatural romance story from a debut author. Clara is part angel, and when she starts having visions of a boy in trouble she prepares to leave her home in California and, supported by her mother, moves across the country to try to bring about the events as she sees them in her vision. It is her "purpose" as an angel to try to save the boy- that's if she can find him and find out who he is. I liked the fact that we are plunged straight into Clara's world. There is no discovery that she is part angel, she just knows that she is and has accepted it. When she eventually meets Christian she then has the difficult task of trying to get him to notice her. Clara knows that if she can just get him to be her friend (and girlfriend?), then it will make her task of trying to save him so much easier.

Despite being a quarter angel, Clara is still the typical teenager with problems fitting in, and she lacks confidence a lot of the time to do the enormous challenge expected of her. Clara is flawed and insecure, but a good person, and the kind of girl that you would want to be friends with. I loved all of the characters in this book- from Clara's angelic mother, her annoying younger brother, and her quirky new best friends at the "invisibles" table in the school cafeteria. But by far my favourite character is Tucker- Clara's new friend Wendy's obnoxious brother. Despite a bad start when Clara almost drives into him, and Tucker making fun of Clara at every chance he gets, they do slowly warm up to each other and become good friends.

Tucker teaches her how to ski and fish and hike, and almost manages to distract her from her task of trying to save Christian. Tucker is hard-working, and rough around the edges, but ultimately very sweet. The playful banter between Clara and Tucker provides some of the best scenes in the book. I love the fact that their relationship is not just instantaneous, but built upon spending time with other and really getting to know about each other. Clara is so often torn between doing what she wants to do, and doing what is expected of her, and throughout reading this I genuinely didn't know what was going to happen. This builds up the tension all the way through this book. Clara is very sweet and well-intentioned, but when she is forced to choose between her duty and her heart she has to make some very difficult choices.

The setting of this novel is also fantastic. I was lucky enough to visit Jackson Hole while travelling a few years ago, and so I can really picture the setting- the forest, the unique pine trees, the mountains and the snake river. I really enjoyed reading the lush descriptions of the place and the people brought vividly to life, and the setting became like an extra character in the book for me. (I always picture Tucker in a cowboy hat in his truck with country music blaring from the radio, driving through the forest past log cabin houses.)

Unearthly is well-written, with a relatable and funny main character and excellent secondary characters, plus an exciting mythology full of good angels, bad angels, and part angels, and a well-paced love story, with a twist at the end. This book is also very fresh and not at all predictable. The drama of this story is nicely wrapped up at the end, (no cliff-hanger, phew!) but still left open for a sequel. Of all the teenage paranormal romance books out there at the moment this is definitely one of the better ones- a real must-read for this year, highly recommended, and I cannot wait for the sequel Hallowed next year.

View all my reviews

Monday, 11 July 2011

Review: The Forest Of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this a lot better than I was expecting to, after reading some very mixed reviews about it. But I loved the whole idea behind the story and was very quickly immersed in this world. When you hear "zombies" you always think of the characteristic stumbling drones with arms outstretched coming to eat your brains. Ok- yes, this book has zombies in it- but it doesn't feel like the ridiculous comic/ cartoon zombies- they feel like a very real threat, and it feels that the world is genuinely in danger of extinction from this virus/plague. The tension and fear is always there throughout the book.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth reminded me a lot of that M. Night Sharmalarmarlarmarm film 'The Village'. You have this very isolated village in the middle of a forest, surrounded by these monsters, unaware of the world beyond the fences, where the people have fallen back into very traditional ways. There are the Guardians who patrol the fences to keep the village safe from "The Unconsecrated", and the secretive Sisterhood who hold all of the records of the histories. Everyone is trained to fight or run and hide on the treetop platforms if the alarms sound signalling that the fences have been breached. For a long time you don't know if this book is set in a futuristic post-zombie-apocalypse world, or if things have always been this way, because it initially has a very oldy-world feel to it.

The main character in the book, Mary is very strong, and always courageous, but also susceptible to wallowing in despair when things get very tough- as anyone would in the situations she finds herself in. Her dream is to see the ocean, told of to her in stories by her mother- stories which almost everyone else now believe to be myths. After the breach of the fences, when the Unconsecrated pour into the village Mary escapes into the forest with her childhood friends Cass, and two brothers Travis and Harry. Following the paths in the forest, Mary is the only one who pieces together the clues of the numbered paths and snippetts from overheard conversations of the Sisterhood. All the time not knowing if there is anywhere to head to, or if they are they the only ones left alive as they have always been told. Following her dream of the ocean Mary battles down the paths of the forest fighting the undead, hunger, thirst, hopelessness, and trying to sort out her feelings for the two boys- loyalty, love or duty? Throughout the constant fear and despair woven into the background of this story is also a beautiful love story, and a tale of a girl trying to find herself, and find happiness.

I loved this book because it felt so different from anything else out there. It also felt desperate, and lonely, and full of hearbreak and tension and loss. It also felt very real to me (despite the zombies), and like these situations could really be happening. The story kept me gripped all the way through and rooting for these characters, and for a happy ending. This is not your typical zombie invasion story and I would definitely recommend this book.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 10 July 2011

In My Mailbox 10th July 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, where book bloggers can talk about the books they've gotten the past week- whether bought, borrowed, swapped or given for review. This feature was started to increase interaction between bloggers and improve our awareness of all the new books coming out.

Wow- I had an absolutely mega-awesome week for books this week, which I am so excited about. I was having such a rough week at work but then at the end of the day there would be a new exciting package waiting for me to squee over, brightening my day!


  •  Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs. This is the sequel to Forgive My Fins which I loved. I pre-ordered this around Christmas time and it finally came! This is mermaids and a love story- very cute.

  • Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. Book 3 in the wolves of Mercy Falls series. The last book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger so I'm looking forward to reading this one.
I was in London yesterday, and popped into Forbidden Planet to drool over all the books. I picked up loads of books but forced myself to put them all back again and only left with 3 in the end (willpower!). I got this one and the following 2.

  • Heartless by Gail Carriger. Book 4 in the Parasol Protectorate series. These books are so funny! Werewolves and vampires mixed in with Victorian ettiquette and afternoon tea.

  • Stolen by Kelley Armstrong. Book 2 in the Women of the Otherworld series. On Thursday I said that I'd had this book out of the library for ages and I just keep renewing it. I really want to read it soon, and loved book 1 in the series, so I have decided to listen to the advice of my fellow bloggers and actually just buy my own copy of the book!

Bought for Kindle
Amazon are having a summer sale on kindle books so I clicked on some bargains

  • Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey. I've actually got no idea what this is about (a ghost story I think?) but I've seen it about the blogosphere and I really like the Drake Chronicles books by this author.

  • Eden by Keary Taylor. Set in a dystopian future where technology has taken over. Looks pretty cool and is getting great reviews.

  • The New World by Patrick Ness. This is a short prequel novel to the Chaos Walking trilogy which I love (Those books so good- read them- seriously!)

  • Virtue by Amanda Hocking. I have never read anything by this author yet but I have all her books on my kindle now, and everyone seems to be raving about this author. This book caught my eye- it's a retelling of a fairytale with elements of Snow White and Cinderella, and packed with romance, magic, witches, goblins and a sea dragon. Sounds good!

Prize winnings are like buses- I've never won anything ever before, and then two come along at once!

  • Passion by Lauren Kate. Book 3 in the Fallen series. This is the manuscript of the book (which I think is pretty cool!). I'm looking forward to reading this book as book 2 ended on a cliffhanger.
Won from a contest hosted by Carly at Writing From The Tub

  • Settling by Shelley Workinger. This is book 2 in the Solid series. I bought Solid ages ago after reading Leanne's review of it and liking the sound of it. Now I have the next one ready to read too! The author has signed it and included a Settling bookmark for me as well.
Won from a contest hosted by Leanne at Magic of Reading


  • The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore. Sequel to I Am Number Four.
Sophie over at So Many Books, So Little Time received an ARC copy of this which she didn't want and gave it to me. Whoopee! I can't wait to read this book either!
I've said it before and I'll say it again- book bloggers are the NICEST people in the world! Thankyou Sophie!

For Review
All of these I picked up at Netgalley

  • Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison. I've had this book on my wishlist ever since I first heard about it- I love the sound of it- a retelling of the German folktale Tristan And Isolde. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this on Netgalley and had to request it!

  • Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. Another dystopian novel set after a cataclysmic event which has destroyed all electronic devices, killed billions and left an army of "The Changed". A band of survivors struggling to get by and discover what happened.

  • Blood by K.J Wignall. Book 1 in the Mercian trilogyVampire with a destiny. I just loved the sound of this one!

OH MY GOD!! How many books was that I've got to read?! So many great books there though, I know I'm a lucky girl.
What books did you get this week?  Happy reading!


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