Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 - End of Year Wrap Up

Hey guys, just wanted to say that I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and wish you all the best for the new year! I’ve met some great people and have read some amazing books and can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

Here’s my Top Ten Reads of 2011 - in no particular order…

  The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – loved this series!
Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott – Mega favourite set in a fairytale Japan!
Dance of Dragons by George RR Martin – Must read series!
New York to Dallas by JD Robb – The fact that it’s JD Rob should say it all!
Beauty by Robin Mckinley – Loved this fairytale retelling!

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles – Yummy Romance and bad boy’s!

A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis – I love Kat!

My Sister lives on the Mantel Piece by Annabel Pitcher – Touching but funny!

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson – Fab Debut!

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini – Modern Day Homer, yes please!

I Would totally recommend all of these as they are all brilliant books!
See you all next year!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Ash - Book Review

Malinda Lo
YA fantasy fairytale


With her parents both gone, Ash finds herself a servant in the house of her ruthless stepmother and there seems no hope of finding happiness again.
But Ash is unaware of her mother’s legacy, and that it will lead her to a magical place. A place where love, identity and belonging are all waiting…

From the beginning, I knew that Ash was a retelling of the classical fairytale Cinderella. I was however, completely unaware of the twist that makes Malinda Lo’s Debut novel so unique. When I finally caught onto the direction the book was heading I think my initial thoughts were, ‘Oh my…’ followed by, ‘That’s different’ to just simply ‘…wow’.  All I can say is that this book totally blew me away.
Beautifully written, Malinda Lo instantly captivates her readers with her lyrical prose, vivid imagery and atmospheric detail. She creates a fantastical fairy world that completely grips your imagination from page one. With exciting characters of all kinds, this book is so much more than a simple re-telling. Not only does it explore Ash’s world and life in great detail but it reveals the how, what and why behind her choices - particularly in how she deals with her unexpected attraction towards the king’s huntress.
However on that note, while I must admit that I do prefer the classic version where Cinderella falls for the Prince, I would really hate to see this novel become labelled as just ‘the lesbian version’ as this story has so much more to offer. Written in a depth of magic and back story, Malinda Lo’s ‘Ash’ explores the themes of first love, friendship and sexuality. It is also a truly an amazing tale of romance, adventure and growing up.
Therefore I thought ‘Ash’ was a stunning debut novel and I think it will appeal to any older teen or above who is willing to keep an open mind.  A beautiful but slow paced read, it is the perfect book to curl up with on a rainy day. Completely different to anything I’ve ever read, this is an author whose books everyone should try at least once.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Angel Fire – Giveaway Winner

I just want to thank everyone very much for all my lovely birthday wishes. I had a totally fab day that involved lots of laughter, presents and Japanese food (as well as the throwing of eggs… J). Also not only did I receive an abundance of books, I got a Kindle too! Double Yay!
Anyway, thank you to everyone who entered my birthday giveaway.
The Winner, picked by the random number generator is…
Congratulations! A signed copy of L.A Weatherly’s Angel Fire shall be winging its way to you soon!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

IMM #5 November and RAKS

This month I’ve won some great books but as I’ve lent my camera to a friend I’m afraid there’s no pictures, just a list.
Velvet by Mary Hooper
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Wickedness by Deborah White
Stealing Phoenix by Joss Stirling
A Tangle of Magicks by Stephanie Burgis
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Dark Warning by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
Forgotten by Cat Patrick
Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery by Keren David
Angels Fury – Bryony Pearce

New York to Dallas – JD Robb
Jane Eyre (Penguin Classic Edition) by Emily Bronte

Fairy Tales (Penguin Classic Edition) by Hans Christian Anderson

Cold Magic - Kate Elliott
Die for Me - Amy Plum
I didn’t receive any books this month but I did send ‘Shiver’ by Maggie Stiefvater out to Megan @Readingawaythedays
So I just want to say huge thank you to Emma @bookangelbooktopia for the big box of  11 ARCs and @TheHistoryGirls. Thanks so much for having such fab competitions!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Entangled - Book Review

Cat Clarke
Contemporary YA
Seventeen-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper – and no clue how she got there.
As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page she is forced she remember everything she tried to forget. There’s falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there’s something missing.
Grace must face the most important question of all.
                                                            Why is she here?
Entangled is a really fascinating, cleverly written read that captures your full attention from page one. Incredibly thought provoking, Cat Clarke skilfully weaves a story that deals with many of the darker, teenage issues such as cutting, pregnancy, casual sex and suicide. Yet despite these elements, the main character Grace always keeps the story from getting to depressing with her sarcastic humour and honest remarks.

Written from Graces view point, the reader is instantly aware that Grace is a girl with issues. She has a lot of inner turmoil and low self esteem, and despite her badass, grown-up attitude her thoughts and actions show just how young and naive she really is. I also think she is also one of the most realistic characters I have ever read in teenage fiction.

Also, even though my own teenage years weren’t bad, there was always something within Grace that I (and I think most girls) could relate back to. Whether it’s low self esteem or problems with friendship, or even just those times when you’re alone or there’s no one around who seems to understand you - this is what I think makes Entangled such a powerful novel. It is also full of British slang and references which I totally loved ! (As any other Brits out there will understand – YA authors at our end of the world are hard to find).

Throughout the book there are also hints that something about the story itself is off, but you can never quite tell what (all my guesses and theories of what would happen completely went out the window). All of which leads up to a very twist worthy-ending that will leave you pondering about Grace, her life and what will happen to her next.

Therefore, Entangled is a captivating and powerful debut novel filled with emotion and depth that will make you cry, laugh and curse. Totally and completely recommended! J

Thursday, 1 December 2011

NaNoWriMo – Final count

Ok so I’ll admit, hands up that I didn’t finish my Nanowrimo this year.
Yet having said that, I don’t think 32,000 words is too shabby either, however as predicted life got in the way of actual writing. Still I’m really pleased with myself and hopefully sometime soon I’ll have at least a half workable novel to revise and keep me busy during 2012.
Anyway this was just a quick post to say thanks to everyone who supported me and put up with all crabbiness/ranting and general demoness tantrums this passed month, and also to congratulate all those people who did win Nanowrimo this year. You guys rock!