Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Best of 2012

My favourites of 2012 as always Friends style

The one that has my heart

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Actually a re-read but still the best book I read this year.

The one that made me burn the midnight oil

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

The one that lived up to the hype

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

The one that was a brilliant follow up

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead.

The one that is the start of something special

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The one that I am still thinking about

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The one my friend(s) wrote

The Right and the Real by Joelle Anthony and The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook - gosh my friends write terrific books!

The one that made me rush out and buy all the authors other books

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The one that was a big surprise

I've Got Your Number by Sophia Kinsella - I really didn't like the shopaholic series, but this was brilliant and incredibly funny.

The one I can't wait for everyone to read 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Friday, 21 December 2012

Couples Christmas Countdown Part 2 - Couples 1-5


Here's part two of my favourite couples of 2012. For those of you unfamiliar with the Christmas Countdown, it began in 2009 and was originally a countdown of my favourite romantic pairings. I am a big fan of happily ever after. But in 2010 I changed the rules ~ just so I could include Sarah Rees Brennan's brilliant brothers Ryves - Nick and Alan ~ and now a couple simple means two people  whose relationship I adore.

So without further ado my Top Five Couples of 2012

Number 5 - Lucy and Shadow from Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Two perspectives, one night ~ graffiti, poetry, past heartbreaks, new adventures, danger, friendship and new beginnings. I could not love this couple or this book more. Absolutely fabulous!

Number 4 - Verity and Maddie from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The first non-romantic couple to appear this year. Oh how I loved them. This book is simply amazing and the friendship between Verity and Maddie is so well done and stayed with me long after I closed the book. It's absolutely perfect.

Number 3 - Kami and Jared from Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

If Sarah Rees Brennan has a book out, it is pretty much guaranteed that she will be on this list. I LOVE how she writes relationships, be they fraternal, romantic or, as in this case, slightly odd. Kami and Jared can hear each others thoughts, which is not as romantic as you might think, but does lead to a wonderful story.

Number 2 - Gansey and Adam and Ronan and Noah. . . and Blue too, actually, from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Oh my the friendship, the loyalty, the ties that bind in this book! It is an incredible feat. The connections Maggie Stiefvater draws between these characters, you can feel the weight of the history in their friendship, and when Blue joins the fabulous four, you can see the beginnings of friendship and understanding too.  Absolutely fabulous. I can't wait to see how these friendships evolve.

Number 1 - Eleanor and Park from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Only something completely amazing could knock my beloved Raven Boys from the top spot. And Eleanor & Park is amazing. I absolutely adore these two. This novel got under my skin, the same way The Scorpio Races did (Puck and Sean were my No.1 couple last year) and I can't heap enough praise on it.

That's it then, the couples Christmas Countdown of 2012. It's been another good year for YA couples.

Please do tell me your favourites

Thursday, 20 December 2012

2012 Couples Christmas Countdown

2012 Couple Christmas Countdown

Usually the beginning of December marks the Couples Christmas Countdown here at Not Enough Bookshelves. This year I have been a very lazy blogger and so unorganised! But it wouldn't be Christmas without a countdown! Even a very short one. So although there are no guest posts and I'm squeezing 5 couples into a post, I do hope you enjoy the 2012 Couples Christmas Countdown. Hopefully it will be back with a vengeance in 2013!

NB- There are spoilers as to who ends up with who in a book, so if you hate that, click away now!

Number 10 Anna and Cas from Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Such a good book, with such an excellent narrator in Cas. And while the human falls for ghost aspect may not be new, throw in the twist that the ghost murders everyone who enters her home and the human has come to kill her and you have a compelling story.

Number 9 Zuzanne and Mik from Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

A sidekick couple, but such a fabulous one. I have adored watching them get together and in Days of Blood and Starlight they provide much needed affection, fun and hope. Plus the three quests!

Number 8- Julie and ? Flat Out Love by Jessica Parks

A little cheat on this one, but I really don't want to spoil it for anyone, working out who Julie should be with is half the fun of this delightful book. All I will say is - can a relationship built on emails, facebook status updates, and texts stand up in real life?

Number 7 - Jamie and Trent from The Right and The Real by Joelle Anthony

Ah, relationships that start over a cup of coffee always go well I think. This one is sweet as sugar.

Number 6 - Elliot and Kai from For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Past betrayals, a lot of crossed wires and antagonism, and THAT letter make this one of my favourite relationships of the year!

Come back tomorrow for couples 1-5? And please do tell me the couples you have loved this year.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? (from Goodreads)

I closed 2011 with Daughter of Smoke and Bone and was utterly enthralled by it. It ended on such a cliff hanger that I immediately pre-ordered Days of Blood and Starlight. When it finally came I settled down, hoping to be swept away again.

And I was. The writing is as addictive as ever and I was happy to revisit well known characters. Despite it's heft I gulped this book down in two sittings. The last quater I read at break neck speed, Laini Taylor is a master at upping the tension.

The narrative is split between Karou and Akiva and they are both is dark places, both physically and mentally. I was so sad for both of them. They are locked into situations they wouldn't have chosen, especially Karou, but with no clear idea how they can possibly change things. It was quite a relief when Karou's old friends Zuzanne and Mik turn up. They brought some much needed laughter, love and friendship with them. They are the hope in this book and I loved them.

I absolutely recommend this book if you've started the trilogy, it ends at an even bigger cliff hanger and I'm dying to see how things wrap up. But while I was certainly swept up in the lives of the characters it isn't the easiest read. There is a lot of darkness in this book and because the writing is so vivid it's tough to read. There was a scene where my stomach actually rolled, and I had to put the book down and take deep breaths.

Days of Blood and Starlight is addictive and gorgeously written, with brilliant characters and a fantatsic plot. It held my attention and transported me to the characters world, but it wasn't the magical read Daughter of Smoke and Bone was. In the end I would have liked a little more starlight and a little less blood.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

 There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore. (from goodreads)

The moment I got my hands on The Raven Boys I abandoned everything else and settled down to be spell bound.

And I was, completely and utterly. 

The start was wonderfully mysterious and, as usual, the writing was flawless. Maggie Steivfater cast a perfect spell and bound me to her amazing characters. When the story slowed down, and even meandered a little, I was already so invested I had to keep reading late into the night because I cared.

The  Goodreads description does make this sound like they'll will be a lot of angst ~ we're so in love but we can not touch type trauma.

It's nothing like that. 

If I had to categorize it, I'd say it's a quest book. It put me very much in mind of The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. Many strange and inexplicable things happen, but the power of the writing, and the brilliant build up make them seem not just possible, but the only way the story could have gone. 

The characters are amazing, so real, so complex and with so much backstory that is simmering just beyond the page. I can't wait to find out more about them all. I liked Blue, although she does remain something of an enigma. I’m really hoping we get to know more about her in future books.

The boys, on the other hand, I fell for hard. Gansey, Adam, Ronan and Noah - I loved them all and I was left deeply worried about them, and their relationships with each other. I hope their friendship survives, I hope they survive! I know they're all going to be changed; I just hope they’re not unrecognizable.

Although the themes and plot of The Raven Boys are sweeping and epic, it is also a book made up of small moments. You need to be paying attention because it's the little things that change things.

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Book Review: The Right and The Real by Joelle Anthony

Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right and the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn’t just an ordinary spiritual leader, but Jesus Christ, himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church’s disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh is the most popular boy at school too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her Dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad’s marriage to the fanatic Mira, or getting kicked out, or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata.

Jamie’s life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won’t be easy, but when her Dad gets himself into serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him? (from Goodreads)

The Right and The Real is such a fabulous book, I loved it. It's fast paced, action filled, funny, and has wonderful characters.

I want to say that the premise belongs firmly in the realm of fantasy, but unfortunately the church of The Right & The Real feels all too possible. Things never become too dark because Jamie remains on the outside of the church and  is never part of it's indoctrination, but there is a definite sense of threat that I found quite chilling.

Things get pretty grim for Jamie and while she is strong and tough and determined, I  was on edge for the majority of the book worrying about her and hoping she would be okay.

Luckily for Jamie, despite her life falling apart she does have some fabulous people to support her. I absolutely adored LeVon, the ex-con who has the room next door to Jamie's at the motel she ends up having the stay in. I also really enjoyed Jamie's two best friends, Krista and Liz, who brought a lightness to the story with their witty, fast paced, dramatic dialogue. Joelle Anthony really excels at writing characters you fall in love with.

Then there are the boys, although there are two of them (both gorgeous!)  there is no love triangle here, and I really loved Jamie's interactions with both of them. Although I, of course, had a firm favourite.

The Right and The Real is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Books for Winter

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas here. I visited the SouthBank Christmas Market yesterday and  got into the spirit of the season. Carols, the smell of mulled wine and cinnamon, and twinkly lights will do that for a girl.

Now I feel all Christmasy, my mind has turned to books for the season. December is the one time of year I like my reading to match the weather.

I always re-read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (sometimes just Northern Lights, sometimes all 3), as well as a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The HogFather by Terry Pratchett ~ Susan the gothic governess remains one of my favourite characters. Did you know she was played by Lady Mary from Downton Abby in the TV adaptation?

Other great seasonal reads include Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle  and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

Then there are all the amazing Christmas books for children. My son (he's 3) favourites are Mog's Christmas, Dear Santa and The Night Before Christmas.

What are your favourite winter reads?

By the way I know this blog has been sadly neglected this year, poor blog. I'm hoping to catch up on reviews and book news this month.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Me Elsewhere

My lovely friend Kim interviewed me for her fantastic Inspired by series. I'm very happy and honoured to have taken part!
If you want to know more about why I love blogging about books you can read the interview at Kim Harris Thacker, and while you are there check out the rest of Kim's amazing and inspiring blog!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."
"What about Romeo and Juliet?"
"Shallow, confused," then dead.
"I love you, Park says.
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.
"I’m not kidding," he says.
"You should be."

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under. (from Goodreads)

Eleanor & Park took me by surprise, I was expecting an enjoyable read, and it snuck in and took up residence in my heart and head ~ I just keep thinking about it and how utterly perfect it was.

It's set in 1986 and is the story of Eleanor and Park and how the the school bus, watchman comics, and mix tapes bring them together, after a rather rocky start. I smiled, I sighed, my stomach swooped, I clenched my fists in anxiety, and at one point I even squealed. I fondly remembered the pure magic of receiving and making a mix tapes.

There are so many small moments in this book that are made huge and powerful by the brilliance of Rainbow Rowell's writing. She has a beautifully evocative style that pulls you into the story, so you are right there, falling in love with Eleanor and Park.

I can't remember the last time a love story seemed so incredibly real in a book. Everything is there; the hesitant first moves, the joy of discovering something new, the intense interest, the passion, the misunderstandings, the challenges of loving someone, the all consuming nature of first love. It's told from a duel perpective and I loved seeing Eleanor and Park's reactions to the same event. The real beauty of the story though, is that Rainbow Rowell shows how falling in love with someone, and having them love you back, ignites you. In finding each other Eleanor and Park find themselves, and the courage to be that self.

During the novel Park tells Eleanor she isn't sweet, she isn't, and this is not a sweet love story. It's a real one, set in the real world, where bad things happen. About two thirds of the way through I knew something horrible was going to happen, and I actually had to put the book down and take a break because I was worried on behalf of characters I loved. Eleanor & Park is a portrayal of love and life, with all the light and dark that goes with it, so even though I know I am focusing on the love aspect there is a lot more to this book.

It's also a story about family, friendship, the binds of community and belonging. I loved the portrayal of family, especially Park's family, and how you can feel like an outsider, even among people you have blood ties with. Anyone who has ever felt like they don't fit in will recognise and relate to something in this novel.

Rainbow Rowell is hugely talented and is now on my must buy list. I hope you'll pick up Eleanor & Park and love it as much as I did.

Eleanor and Park is available NOW in the UK, Australia and New Zealand

It releases 5th March 2013 in the USA. The USA copy is blurbed by Gayle Foreman (If I stay, Where She Went) who says, "This sexy, smart, tender romance thrums with punk music and true love. Readers will love Eleanor and Park."

I didn't really mention the music, except the mix tapes, but yes, music is a huge part of this book and it's really, really good. As are the comic book references. I actually want to read a comic book now :)

Rainbow Rowell's website is here

Other reviews YA Highway Book Review Eleanor & Park

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My World Book Night Nominations

There are 2 days left to nominate books for World Book Night 2013! Go here if you want to nominate  book you love - WorldBookNight - you can nominate up to ten books that you love and think would make someone else fall in love with reading,as long as they have been published in paperback, in the UK.

Here are my ten. I'd love to see any of them on the list! 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Flat Out Love by Jessica Parks

Usually I do not pay a huge amount of attention to Amazons recommendations, especially recently when they seem obsessed with me buying Fifty Shades of Grey. However, when they recommended Flat Out Love by Jessica Parks, something went ding in my brain and, sure enough, I did have it on my book list. So I give it whirl.

I'm so glad I did, because Flat Out Love utterly charmed me.

The story starts with Julie arriving in Boston for college and finding the apartment she'd thought she'd rented is a burrito restaurant. In fact the line that hooked me completely, and my first laugh out loud moment was;

"Burritos! Holy mother of God!"

"I know burritos are always alarming."

Julies mom's old college friend, Erin Watkins, quickly comes to rescue, and Julie moves in with her and her delightfully quirky family.

There is nothing I like better then a delightfully quirky family, and I really did love this one. Parents Erin and Roger, workaholics who serve up take out every night, but who bike to work. Oldest son Finn who is travelling and having adventures, but who begins a facebook relationship with Julie. Middle child Matt, highly intelligent, owner of a collection of wonderfully geeky t-shirts and complete sweetheart. Then there is baby of the family Celeste, who carries around a cardboard cut out of her absent brother, known as Flat Finn. Clearly something is up with the Watkins family, and Julie finds herself in the middle of a whole lot of lies and guilt. All while dealing with her own issues; absent father, starting college, unexpected romances.

Jessica Parks has an extremely addictive writing style and she creates wonderful characters, who I really came to love and care about. I wasn't reading fast to see if someone jumped off a roof, or survived a werewolf attack, I was reading fast because I needed to know these characters were going to be alright. I was interested and invested in them, they felt like friends. It helped that the dialogue was so sparkly and funny and real sounding. I loved Julie and Matt's arguments and I loved Julie and Finn's facebook messages, especially a certain chat that takes place in an elevator!

I really adored this book, and my anticipation levels were sky high for the ending. As a reader you become aware of certain facts before Julie, and wondering how she was going to react and what the fall out would be had me superglued to my Kindle until I found out.

Flat Out Love is charming, engaging and well worth a read.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund

It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's "Persuasion", "For Darkness Shows the Stars" is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it. (from Goodreads)

My expectations were sky high for this book ~ a Jane Austen retelling by an author I love. It doesn't get much better than that.

When I finally got my hands on the book, worry clouded my anticipation. I had heard great thing about For Darkness Shows the Stars, but still, I was expecting a lot.

Thankfully it delivered on every level. It's one of my favourite books of 2012 and Diana Peterfruend remains one of my must buy authors.

Although I have read Persuasion, it was while ago and I only had a hazy recollection of how the story unfolds. Two particular scenes stood out in my mind, a fall from the rocks and THE LETTER. The letter needs those capitals, it is one of the most amazing in literature. I was wondering how they would fair in the retelling and, happily, Diana Peterfreund completely makes them her own.

I smiled, I teared up, I got butterflies (of both the anxious and tingly varieties) and I was completely captivated by Elliot's world and Elliot herself. She, like Amy and Astrid before her, stole my heart. I was completely invested in her and quite frequently wanted to give certain other characters a sharp smack around the head when they hurt her. I felt her joy, her pain, her regret and her wistfulness and I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough - except I forced myself to turn them slowly because the writing is so gorgeous I didn't want to miss out by flying through it.

To just return to THE LETTER.  Letters are made use of throughout the story, as Elliot's and Kai's childhood letters to each other are slowly revealed. This worked so well. I would never have been as invested in Elliot and Kai's story without the background of what they once were to each other. It was also a great way to tell us about the world they live in (which is fantastic), without overwhelming the story.

This is a perfect retelling, that will delight Jane Austen fans, but also captivate those who don't know the story. Highly recommended.

Diana Peterfreund's blog.

A free prequel short story Among The Nameless Stars. I highly recommend this one too.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Cover Love & Book News

While I was out the county both Laini Taylor and Sarah Rees Brennan shared UK covers of their upcoming books. I LOVE them and have both pre-ordered because they sound amazing.

Maggie Stiefvater also posted about the starred reviews The Raven Boys is gathering. This is the third in my Autumn pre-ordered must reads. I really can't wait for these three books.

In other books news that has me excited Stephanie Perkins announced her new book - although I may not be able to read it, I am a complete wimp about horror.  I was also excited to see Magan McCafferty is writing about a 12 year old Jessica Darling, I adored the Jessica Darling books.

 Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar was finally released in the  UK, and SkyLark by Megan Spooner was came out. Looking forward to both of those.

Finally World Book Night 2013 are looking for nominations.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Books I Read on my Holidays

I'm back from a wonderful two weeks in France. The weather was fabulous, there was sun! Yes actual sunshine! I ate way too much and I even managed to read a few books. Holiday reading took a nose dive after my son was born.

The first week I read

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - this absolutely blew me away. I am so in love with this book. It's one of my top five books of the year and a rave review will be up shortly.

Among the Nameless Stars by Diana Peterfreund - a short story set in the world of For Darkness Shows the Stars. I enjoyed this a lot.

Foundling by Diana Peterfreund - another short story, that I really enjoyed, but which gave me the shivers, to close for comfort. I can imagine this happening.

Quiet The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain - absolutely fantastic. A must read and if you're uncertain just check out Susan Cain's amazing TED Talk

French Children Don't Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman - very enjoyable with quite a few good tips on raising confident, polite children. Although I did see a child throwing food while in France ;)

Week two saw a dip in reading because THE OLYMPICS began. With a fantastic, quirky and very british opening ceremony, then the swimming ~ I LOVED Ian Thorpe's commentary ~ and now athletics. I can not believe how well we are doing. It's all so inspiring and I seem to be constantly in tears.


Now I have to go and find out what I missed in two weeks away from the internet! Links to exciting things will be appreciated :D

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Waiting on Wednesday for A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Australian Cover

USA Cover

Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop.

Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours.

They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter.

A mesmerizing story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them. (from Goodreads)

I added A Corner of White to my Goodreads list back in December 2012, before it had a cover, or a synopsis, or even a title. 

Now it has all three, as well as a blurb from Markus Zusak ‘Perfectly strange, and absolutely comical and heartfelt ... Jaclyn Moriarty is one of the most original writers we have.’   

Jaclyn Moriarty is one of my favourite authors and I can't wait to read this one. I'm so excited I already have the Australian edition ordered from FishPond World. Although I may have to buy the US one when it comes out, as I think I love that cover most.

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Giveaway - The Right and the Real

Happy Book Birthday to my my wonderful friend JoĆ«lle Anthony and her wonderful book THE RIGHT AND THE REAL. In stores and online today!

I love THE RIGHT AND THE REAL so much I want to run around giving it to everyone I know, but I'll have to settle for giving one copy away here.

Just fill in the form below. As long as you live where the Book Depository ships this giveaway is open to you.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Book Review: The Book of Blood and Shadow b Robin Wasserman

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. 

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.
Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life. (from Goodreads)

I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately and THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW by Robin Wasserman dragged me right out of it. 

I'm a sucker for a good mystery, especially a historical mystery. Add in a dead best friend, a vanished boyfriend (who couldn't possibly have done it, could he?), a fabulous main character main, and great writing and the slump was well and truly over. 

whipped through this book, biting my nails most of the time. While the technique of reminding me
something bad is going to happen can drive me doolally in this case it just had me reading faster, hoping the back cover copy was a lie.

Of all the things I loved in A BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW, I loved Nora best. Nora is the shinning centre of this novel. Thank you, thank you Robin Wasserman for giving me a heroine who is the heroine because she is smart, and determined, and independent. Not one who has a destiny.

Actually I loved all the characters; Adriane, Max, Eli and Chris. While I didn't always like or trust them, I utterly believed in them due to the many fabulous little details that made them feel completely real. I was as conflicted as Nora over who to trust and who to believe in.

The last quarter of the book does descend into Indiana Jones territory. The writing remained addictive, keeping me up till gone midnight, but I did have to fling my disbelief aside, and just go with it. That was a little disappointing, but hey who doesn't love an Indiana style finale?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Right & the Real Book Trailer

A big Happy Birthday to my dear friend Joelle! She's celebrating with the release of the book trailer for her amazing new book, THE RIGHT AND THE REAL.

I love this book, be sure to add it to your TBR pile. Or pre-order it. It's out April 26th

Monday, 9 April 2012

5 Things About March

Long time, no blog! I've busy moving house. Although I feel like we've been unpacking forever, we still have a lot of boxes - hard to know what is in them now! Although I did find a collection of ten jam jars, which I apparently had planned to do something with, at some point, maybe.

Anyway on to bookish things.

1) I went to see The Hunger Games movie and I loved it! I thought they did a really good job and Jennifer Lawrence is amazing! Is there anyone who didn't well up in the reaping scene when she shouts I volunteer!

2) Then I re-read the book and remembered exactly how addictive and powerful it is (and how much they  cut to to get the 12 certificate, that last scene in the cornucopia is truly horrific). Even knowing the ending I stayed up till 1am reading.

3) I was very excited to hear both Elizabeth Scott and Sarah Dessen have announced new books. Miracle and The Best Ever After (whose heroine has one of my favourite names - Emmeline)

4) A Game of Thrones is back! It makes Mondays bearable, although I do have to hide behind cushions a lot. I love Jamie and Cersei as villains (I also love their story arc in the books), but my favourite character is Arya.

5) I have fallen under the spell of Sarah Addison Allen, but I have now read all her books :( So recommendations please, any authors who write similar books?

6) Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner have announced a new title for their book THESE BROKEN STARS. It's being called Titanic in space. Go add it on Goodreads

What have you been reading and watching?