Thursday, 30 April 2015

April Book Haul

1. Dreams & Shadows - C. Robert Cargill.
I really like what the blurb suggests about this book. Changelings have always been an interesting topic to read about. I can't quite remember but I think I read The 13 Treasures which was also this type of novel and I enjoyed that. Cargill is a film critic and screen writer - this is his debut novel.

2.  The Dead House - Dawn Kurtagich.
This was sent to me through work and it's so intriguing! Based around a school that suffered a fire in which three students were killed, twenty injured and one disappeared - Carly Johnson. Now two decades later information has been uncovered... SO SINISTER! I'm looking forward to giving this one a go!  Due for publication on 6th August 2015.

3. Alice and the Fly - James Rice.
I am so excited to read this. It sounds amazing. A novel about phobias and obsessions, isolation and dark corners and their carefully preserved secrets. It's also written by a colleague of mine: GO JAMES!

4. Shadow Scale - Rachel Hartman.
I have been waiting for this for months. I was introduced to the first novel, Seraphina, and I fell in love. Dragons as you have never seen them before. I haven't read the synopsis of this instalment but I can't wait to get my teeth into it... or fangs... haha... Go read it. Like now.

5. Deadpool - Dead Presidents #1
So I love MARVEL films and I figured I'd have a go with the graphic novels. Just from flicking through the artwork is amazing! I have a feeling I'm gonna need a shelf for future Graphic purchases... or a whole bookcase...

6. Nightcrawler - Homecoming - #1
I feel like Nightcrawler is such an underrated character. Art is also phenomenal here too. Not much else to say, I shall keep you updated with my findings.

What books have you been buying this month?

Books Read in April

 1. Talon By Julie Kagawa
Quite simply, I loved this.
Anything that has dragons I tend to enjoy thoroughly and this was no exception. I adored the characters and the story moved with great pace. I think Ember and Cobalt are my favourite characters in this by far. Cobalt is very fiery. (Marvellous pun if I do say so myself) But seriously he is just so sassy! It's great. Ember has a real urge to live her life, her way and that's something I identify with massively. A great read!

2. Insatiable By Meg Cabot

I liked but did not love. 
I liked the characters but felt there were to many inaccuracies. A character so introverted like Meena would never meet and sleep with a man in the same night! It seemed to be a real vampire spoof if anything. Very mocking of the vampire genre, I mean revenant wrinkle cream? REALLY? 
Nevertheless, I did enjoy reading it and will be getting the sequel just to see what happens to the characters. 

3. Fated By Alyson Noel

There were a fair few mixed reviews for this book but after the initial slowness I really got into it. The next in the series is on my shelf TBR and the following two are definitely on my TBB (To be bought. See what I did there?) I preferred this type of story to the Evermore series which I felt got very monotonous and to be honest the last book seemed to be creating a story that I can only liken to attempting to get blood out of a stone. If those put you off Alyson's style place your faith in me. I really liked this. Buy it. 

4. Ultraviolet By R.J Anderson

Not what I expected at all! 
But loved it. 
There is a review that will soon follow so be on the lookout. 

Review: Ultraviolet - R. J Anderson

Title: Ultraviolet
Author: R.J Anderson
Pages: 410
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Orchard Book
ISBN: 978-1-4083127-5-9

**Synopsis taken from back of book**

"Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.
This is not her story.
Unless you count the part where I killed her. "

From the synopsis I was very dubious as to whether I would like this book as it sounds an awful lot like a crime novel. Nevertheless, I got it simply because I adore the Faery Rebels series she wrote. This book was nothing like I expected. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's based around a girl who has whats known as Synestheisa. The crossing of the sense causes phenomena such as letters being perceived to have a colour associated with it, sounds creating colours or having tastes. The protagonist, Alison Jeffries has this but to the extreme. A fire alarm causes her immense pain that makes her lash out which is how she ended up in a mental institute. She is believed to have caused/known something about the disappearance of one of her peers, Tori Beaugrand.  After hearing the Noise, Alison is sent into a hysteric state and returns home with bloodied hands claiming that she disintegrated Tori... hence the trip to a mental institute.

I liked the twist the story took. I shan't give away what occurs should you wish to read it. I think you should personally. However, what I didn't like was the fact that Alison. A highly reserved and somewhat introverted character blurted out her love for someone that she hadn't known particularly long. Perhaps I''m just a sceptic. Though I thought the reply she received was adorable.

In conclusion, I thought it was great. I liked the characters for the most part. (Could not stand Alison's mother. What a heinous being) The plot twist was a nice addition but the novel seemed to be attempting to cover all bases. It seemed like a contemporary novel, then fantasy, then thriller and then very much sic-fi. I couldn't quite understand all the time what it should be marketed as other than YA. Nonetheless, I would recommend it to those who are interested in the capacity of the mind, aliens and teenage drama.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Youtube Takeover

It's official. The YouTube takeover has begun. It's undeniable. They're everywhere!

Zoella and Pointlessblog (Zoe Sugg & Alfie Deyes have even been immortalised in Madame Tussauds wax works!)

These YouTubers have now infiltrated the literary world, therefore I thought I'd do a little post collating together a few of these books, my thoughts and those I've got my eye on!

So, to begin:

YouTuber: Zoella (Zoe Sugg)
Book: Girl Online
Published: 25th November 2014

So, a YA fiction book with a plot based on a Blogger named Penny who uses an alias on her blog to vent about all manner of things including her family, boys and her panic attacks. She moves to New York with her family and meet a wonderfully good-looking chap named Noah. However, he also shares a secret. One that threatens to reveal Penny's true blogging identity...

This I have not read and nor do I intend to for the simple fact it isn't something that really appeals to me.

**Girl Online 2 (No title yet) is due to be released on 19th November 2015**

YouTuber: Pointlessblog (Alfie Deyes)
Book: Pointless Book 1 & 2
Published: 4th September 2014 & 26th March 2015

Conceptually very similar to the Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. Very good for those creatively inclined it contains a bunch of tasks, lists and all manner of activities to do. A good book for a long journey perhaps?

Again, I have neither of these and again not for me. I'm more of a colouring person than anything.

YouTuber: Tanya Burr
Book: Love, Tanya
Published: 29th January 2015

I'd describe this as a 'lifestyle' book. It has a vast array of tips on fashion, makeup and YouTube as well as friendship, love and cooking!

I don't have this but I have been toying with the idea of getting it. I've seen some of the pictures in it and they do look rather beautiful.

Youtuber: Fleur De Force
Book: The Glam Guide
Published: February 12th 2015

If you need advice on buying the perfect pair of jeans this is for you. Fleur has placed all her tips into one convenient book. Makeup, hair, diet? It's all here!

This, I have. It's marvellous. The illustrations and photographs are beautiful and the information is pretty darn useful too!

YouTuber(s) : Danisnotonfire & AmazingPhil (Dan Howell & Phil Lester)
Book: The Amazing Book is Not on Fire
Published: 8th October 2015

This details Dan and Phil's reasons for having multiple existential crises.

I am so dang excited for this to come out. I adore them both and relate on so many levels it's both highly worrying and ever so sad.

So this is just a very short list of some of the most popular books by YouTubers. If you'd like a part 2 or even 3 considering the amount published then let me know in the comments!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Review: Fated - Alyson Noel

Title: Fated
Author: Alyson Noel
Pages: 447
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Macmillan's Children Books
ISBN: 978-1-4472-0680-4

**Synopsis taken from back of book**
"Strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire's having a breakdown, her mother sends her to stay with the grandmother she's never met, who lives on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico. There Daire crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes.

Her grandmother recognises Daire's episodes for what they are - a call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, a person who can navigate between the living and the dead. Guided by her grandmother, Daire must be quick to learn how to harness her powers, because Dace's brother is an evil shape-shifter, out to steal them. Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and discover whether Dace is the guy she's meant to be with... or if he's allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy. "

Quite frankly, I loved this. Far more than Noel's other series which towards the end I found pretty monotonous. But Fated is great. I really love that Navajo beliefs played a big part in the entire novel. It made me want to go and research them (Sidenote: I want a spirit guide).

Then the characters. I loved all of them. Cade is wonderfully sleazy which as the villain is perfect, Dace, is just his antithesis. Radiating pure love. The description Noel uses to distinguish the two brothers is wonderful. She describes Cade's eyes as absorbing all light around him whilst Dace's only reflect it. With the whole saying of eyes being the windows to the Soul it was very fitting.

The plot was initially a little unclear however by the time we had arrived in Enchantment it picked up a lot more pace. I'm a very stubborn reader so I tend to finish books whether I liked them or not but I guarantee even if you find the opening few chapters tedious just persevere. I promise it is so very worth it! I'm now hankering after getting my hands on the following books but I already have a library to work my way through so, alas, that must wait.

Soul Seekers:

  • Fated
  • Echo
  • Mystic
  • Horizon

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Get Excited - Game of Thrones

(Warning! Contains fangirling)

Did anyone see last nights episode? Oh dear Lord I am so excited for the following episodes.

This led me to try and find any news on the forthcoming book Winds of Winter... of which there is none. (Internally cries)

But! There is hope on the horizon for all my fellow GoT fans!

A new book named Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is supposed to be released on the 6th October 2015. Instead of being another book in the Song of Ice and Fire series it is instead a prequel.

It takes place a century before any of the current events of Game of Thrones. When the Targaryens still ruled. (The still rule now but in another sense! #TeamKhaleesi)

I can't wait for this to come out!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Review: Insatiable - Meg Cabot

Name: Insatiable
Author: Meg Cabot
Pages: 451
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harper Voyager
ISBN: 978-0-00-7462124

Synopsis ** Taken from back of book**

"Meena Harper is familiar with the supernatural. After all, she knows how you're going to die. (Not that you'll believe her. No one ever does.)
But while she's always been able to see everyone else's destiny, she's never been able to look into her own. Maybe that's why when she meets Lucien Antonescu - a modern-day prince who also has no destiny that she can foresee - she's instantly attracted.

The trouble is, when an ancient society of vampire hunters shows up at Meena's door looking for Lucien, she's forced to face the truth: that her dream boyfriend might turn out to be more of a nightmare.

So now would be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future... if she has one."

Firstly, the first one hundred pages are excruciatingly slow. I was half tempted to give up but in all honesty I'm glad I persisted. I like the concept of a human with the ability to know when people are going to die. It's not an unfamiliar one either - in a book called Numbers by Rachel Ward a girl can see how many days you have left. The book once it got going was enjoyable to read and I genuinely laughed at some points.

The reason for my rating is that, although I enjoyed it, there were factors that just didn't fit for me. I liked Meena's (nice ode to Dracula there) character but considering she warns people about death on a regular basis I find it hard to believe that she would go home with a guy she's only just met. Okay, he's a prince but still. Little bit reckless for a girl who's so concerned about protecting people. Again, I like Alaric (Vampire Diaries anyone?) in fact I think he's my favourite character but he's just burst into someone's home, is meant to be a bad-ass vampire hunter, but is happy enough to take a shower in their apartment whilst unbeknownst to him in the next room there's a vampire? Hard to believe that a trained vampire hunter wouldn't have heard anything...

In conclusion I did like the book and I plan on getting the next one called Overbite to find out what happens to the character.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Review: Talon - Julie Kagawa

Name: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought by me
Publisher: MIRA Ink, an imprint of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
ISBN: 978-1-848-45337-1
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: *Taken from the back of the book*

To the outside world Ember Hill is an ordinary girl, but Ember has a deadly secret. A dragon hiding in human form, she is destined to fight the shadowy Order of St.George, a powerful society of dragonslayers.

St.George soldier Garret is determined to kill Ember and her kind. Until her bravery makes him question all he's been taught about dragons.

Now a war is coming and Garret and Ember must choose their sides - fight to save their bond or fulfil their fate and destroy one another.

Firstly, you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but I felt like I was holding a dragon whilst reading it! Secondly, the actual content is phenomenal. I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of the book, but I love anything to do with dragons. The characters are portrayed beautifully and not gonna lie I teared up a few times. I felt such sympathy for both Ember and Garret as they're so oppressed by those around them, particularly Ember when it came to dealing with her twin Dante. I must admit Dante did infuriate me throughout the book, in the sense that I was in disbelief that he couldn't see, or rather refused to see Ember's side of the argument! I felt like he could feature more in the book but judging from the excerpt of the next instalment of the Talon Saga he may do in the next book!

I genuinely couldn't put this book down; I was compelled to keep reading! I also liked how the book was split into sections. The shift from Ember's narrative to Garret's was a nice touch as it enabled me to draw parallels between the two characters. Furthermore the sudden introduction of Riley's narrative was an interesting twist but mirrored his cavalier nature brilliantly!

Overall, I think this was a wonderful book and would thoroughly recommended it to those who are fans of the fantasy and YA genres.

**Next novel is Rogue - out in hardback on the 28th April 2015**