Wednesday, 29 February 2012

{Review} Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: 13 September 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderly Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 622
Rating:  5- Wonderful

In this riveting and startling companion to "Impulse," northern Nevada teenagers Cara, Kendra, Sean, and Andre, tell in their own voices of their very different paths toward perfection and how their goals change when tragedy strikes.

My Thoughts: 
[I thought I would do a review that is a little different to any reviews I have ever written before, in honor of Ellen Hopkins]

Perfect breaks my heart,
watches me fall,
and hears me cry.
Perfect is beautiful,
dare I say 'perfect'.
Written in words so lovely,
so terrifying,
yet so true.
to be perfect means the world,
to most,
to me-- perfection is this book.
Oh, Ellen Hopkins;
how you broke my heart,
yet never failed to make me smile.
We can never be perfect,
but we strive,
and break.
Until there is nothing left but mere words-
words so lovely as these,
Thank you Ellen Hopkins!
| Amazon |

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

{Author Interview} Cat Hellisen

Bio: Cat Hellisen lives by the sea and writes about people. She accepts gifts of alcohol and truffles.
Contact: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.  

 1) Describe When the Sea is Rising Red in a single sentence.
This one always throws me, because my brain just goes HOW? But I'll do
my best.  A fantasy about a girl who has to choose between her family
traditions and privilege or freedom and and the harsh reality that
comes with it.

2) What inspired When the Sea is Rising Red?
Originally I wrote another book set in the same universe, and an adult
Felicita and her husband are two of the side characters. There was
something about their relationship that made me want to explore how
this woman of rank turned out the way she did, why she made her
choices. So I wrote When the Sea is Rising Red to work it out.

3) If you could re-title When the Sea is Rising Red, what would you
call it and why?

Before this is was called The Alchemy of Falling Girls, from a line in
the book. I still adore the title, but for various reasons we decided
to use When the Sea is Rising Red. The final title comes from one of
the skip rope rhymes that the Hobs use to communicate their plans for
revolution through the city, so I quite like the idea that there will
be an AHA! moment for the reader.

4) How does it feel to be a South African author, published by an
American Publishing House? It's pretty amazing!

when I first started writing there seemed to be no local publishers
interested in fantasy. Things have changed since then, and I think if
you write a very specifically South African fantasy or SF, then local
pubs will be more interested, but for secondary world fantasy (which
is primarily what I write) the best path seems to be to approach UK or
USA publishers and agents.

5) The cover for your book is both eerie and gorgeous, do you think
it accurately represents When the Sea is Rising Red?
The image on the cover doesn't relate to any particular scene in the
book, but was designed to capture more of the mood - ominous and
dream-like. I love the grey feel because so much of the Pelimburg
setting is about weather, and that particular kind of sea-town weather
filled with rising mist and storms and unexpected rains.
6) What book would you recommend to all of those people who are floating out there in the universe and why?  Eep, now you've got me. I normally recommend Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones, because it's one of my all-time favourite books, but I'm going to mix it up a bit because I just finished Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn and it was so beautiful and sad and comical and pointed and human. It's fable and allegory and observation on human behaviour, and it's wonderfully written.
 Thank you so much for stopping by Cat!

Monday, 27 February 2012

{Cover Crazy} 16: The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Cover Crazy is hosted by Tawni at The Book WormsStop by and join in on the fun.
This week I am crazy about the cover for:
The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.
On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena's father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.
I love everything about this cover and I think that the whole jacket will look truly amazing on the book. One of the things I like most about this cover in particular are the clogs on the title as well as the larger one at the bottom.
What Covers are you Crazy about this Week?

Sunday, 26 February 2012

{In My Mailbox} 13

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at: The Story Siren. You can find official information like how to participate, why it was started and other goodies about IMM on the IMM Page.
 In My Mailbox this week:

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
What did you receive in your mailbox this week?

Friday, 17 February 2012

{Review} Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: 4 January 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 435
Rating:  5- Wonderful

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
 My Thoughts:
I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to read this book at all but in the end I was really glad that I had decided to give this book a shot and let me just say that the cover may be intriguing, but so is the inside!

At first I wasn’t really hooked but then I got to a part in which Clara first showed us a glimpse of her ‘glory’, and then I was absolutely hooked. I loved how Hand wrote about these angels which were seemingly different and just like Angela wanted to find out more about angel-bloods, so did I! That was one of the things that made this book so interesting for me; I wanted to find out more about these angels.

The characters in this book kept me amused throughout the entire book and I often found myself smiling or laughing at something in the book, whether it was something that characters did or said or even just the fact that Clara has bright orange hair, and not by default. I thought that Clara was a really awesome main character and it was fun to read the beginning of her story, a story in which she tries to find her purpose and the reason as to why she was put on earth.

Cynthia Hand’s writing is both addictive and beautifully simple and could make any scene become extremely vivid and made the book all the more enjoyable. I thought that the pacing and everything was perfect.

I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book; Hallowed, and I look forward to supporting Cynthia Hand’s books in the future as she showed me a huge amount of promise and I can only hope and pray that the sequel will live up to the greatness which is Unearthly. 
| Amazon |

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

{Waiting on Wednesday} 17: Fated by Alyson Noel

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Fated by Alyson Noel
Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.
There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before…but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with…or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.
What are you Waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

{Top Ten Tuesday} 10

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It was created because of their love of lists.
This week's topic is:
Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart A Little
(in no particular order)
1. Entangled by Cat Clarke: this book was really something that my heart became so attached to very quickly and I think that it had to do with Cat's writing and the compelling, sad and haunting stories she is able to tell.
2. Perfect by Ellen Hopkins: well this was the first verse novel that I ever read and the touchy subjects really took my heart on a roller coaster ride which I enjoyed but at the same time, I wanted to cry.
3. Rival by Sarah Bennett Wealer: this book was awesome! But I did want to cry every now and again when I thought back to the ending. The ending is not sad but I felt like the friendship in the book is maybe something that anyone could relate to and would really connect with, despite the ups and downs. 
4. Wither by Lauren DeStefano: Wither is most likely my favorite book ever and it broke my heart when there were deaths, because death is not something we want to be taunted by and Lauren did a great job of conveying the emotions and making readers feel it too.  
5. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare: this book literally tore my heart into two, what goes on between Will, Jem and Tessa really did break my heart. Great book!
6. Torn by Cat Clarke: in this book Cat really showed me how guilt could eat away at your heart, just by making us read about her characters.
7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin: the letter in the front of the book still keeps me guessing and I want to know who Mara Dyer really is!
8. Shatter Mer by Tahereh Mafi: because we all conform to what someone else wants us to be, every now and again. I hate doing it but I find I can't help doing it anymore, and so this book taught me to be myself, even if it was just a little bit more of me that would be shown.
9. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr: I want more from Melissa Marr! I lover her writing and her beautiful style, she writes amazing stories and I felt that my heart had broken by the end of Darkest Mercy because the series was finally finished and the reader has truly been through so much with the characters.
10. Clean by Amy Reed: because this story is so emotion and raw, absolutely stunning!

Monday, 13 February 2012

{Cover Crazy} 15: Endlessly by Kiersten White

Cover Crazy is hosted by Tawni at The Book WormsStop by and join in on the fun.
This week I am crazy about the cover for:
Endlessly by Kiersten White
The third book in the Paranormalcy trilogy. 
The final chapter of Evie's adventures. Old friends, new ones, all wrapped up in impossible decisions. And some ball gowns. Because what's a life of normal and paranormal drama without a ball gown or two?
Purple! Its purple and it also matches the covers for Supernaturally and Paranormalcy! Did I mention it was purple?! For some reason Evie reminds me of Luna Lovegood on this cover, I guess it's just because of the blonde hair, I am a huge Luna Fan...anyways, back to the cover; I like the cover in its entirety and cannot wait to have it beside my copies of the first to books and gape at them all. I love how the sky is purple, yet still stormy and dramatic at the same time. Purple!
What Cover are you Crazy for this week?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

{Waiting on Wednesday} 16: Wrecked by Anna Davies

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Wrecked by Anna Davies
Miranda has lived on Whym Island since the death of her parents. She has taken comfort in its seclusion and in the folklore that claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and its surrounding waters. It's just been easier to believe that things are out of her control.But when a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy that haunts her dreams. As the guilt of the accident consumes her, she finds refuge in her late night swims. Then, she meets Christian, a boy who seems so familiar, but won't tell her where he is from and why they can only meet at the beach. As Miranda falls for Christian and begins to put the accident behind her, she discovers that there are secrets that Christian is keeping to protect her that may only end up bringing her nothing but harm.
 What are you Waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, 6 February 2012

{Cover Crazy} 14: Until I Die by Amy Plum

Cover Crazy is hosted by Tawni at The Book WormsStop by and join in on the fun.
This week I am crazy about the cover for:
Until I Die by Amy Plum
Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love. 
As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy. 
In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.
I think this whole cover just works extremely well and I especially like the swashes on this cover. They are very prominent and were done beautifully. If you look close enough at the cover you will see that they actually trail down the alley/road.
What Cover are you Crazy for this week?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

{In My Mailbox} 12

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at: The Story Siren. You can find official information like how to participate, why it was started and other goodies about IMM on the IMM Page.
 In My Mailbox this week:
Torn by Cat Clarke
Despite the fact that I only got one book this week, I am actually really glad that I got this book because Cat is an amazing storyteller and writer. I can't wait to get started with it!
What did you receive in your Mailbox this week?

Thursday, 2 February 2012

{Review} The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Release Date: 27 September 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 452
Rating:  5- Wonderful
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong. It can
My Thoughts: 
Well my friend Amy over at Lady Reader’s Bookstuff had nudged me into finally reading this book! Thank you Amy! This book was simply shocking and amazing!

I had heard so many great things about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer before I had started reading it and I had hoped so dearly, that it would live up to the hype, and I couldn’t believe it when it became so addictive and intriguing. This book literally blew my mind.

Michelle really did write one heck of an amazing book, the mystery and suspense was killing me and I found that the letter at the beginning of the book was something that still had me guessing after I had turned the final page. Her writing style is effortless and intriguing and so, so beautifully addictive that I simply could not put this book down.

I thought that the characters were extremely well written and I think that I actually fell in love with all of them. The characters that I enjoyed reading about the most though were Jamie, Noah and of course Mara!

This book was mysterious, addictive and intriguing. I cannot wait to read the next book as I am eagerly waiting to find out who Mara Dyer really is, so I am going to leave you with one single question:
Who is Mara Dyer?
| Amazon |

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

{Waiting on Wednesday} 15: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia… 
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper— 
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia. 
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother. 
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
What are you Waiting on this Wednesday?