16 Apr 2014

Beautiful Creatures - Review


The Caster chronicles book one.
Available now.
www.penguin.co.uk 

What's it about?

In Ethan Wate's hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .
There is a girl.
Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head. Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.
There is a curse.
On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it's been promised. And no one can stop it.
In the end, there is a grave.
Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided.
Ethan never even saw it coming.
My review
Beautiful creatures is a gripping novel and an excellent start to a series. The book might be a mighty 576 pages but I was hooked right the way through and found myself being easily pulled into Lena's world along with Ethan. I was captivated by both the light and dark sides of the Caster universe. I first read Beautiful creatures when it was originally released at the end of 2009 and to this day Ethan is still my favourite lead male character ever, and not in a book boyfriend way either, more like a big brother. His dedication and unwavering loyalty to Lena is amazing and he doesn't just love her, he's completely in love with her, they always felt meant to be. He has big dreams for his future, he's smart and well read, I'll always have a soft spot for him.
First time authors Kami and Margaret managed to create an immersive world in their first novel together, full of interesting characters like Link, Macon and Ridley, who all had stories of their own to add. It was a book I really enjoyed and will always be one of my favourite series'.

If, like me, you're already a fan of this series, then check this out!

Dangerous creatures

The first in the spin-off series is available to preorder and will be released on May 20th 2014.

A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more.


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4 Apr 2014

Fire and flood - Review


Fire and flood book one.
Available now
www.doublecluck.co.uk 

What's it about?

Tella's brother is dying. He's got cancer, and Tella is helpless to save him. Or so she thought. When an invitation arrives for Tella to compete in the Brimstone Bleed, a deadly competition that will lead her through treacherous jungle and scorching desert, she doesn't think twice. Because the prize is a cure to any illness. But Tella will be facing more than just the elements.
My review
Fire and flood was a brilliant book! It's an excellent read with an exciting story and fun leading character. From the first introduction of Tella, I liked her, although I did find her to be a bit flaky and wasn't sure how she'd possibly pass the trials she would be facing in the Brimstone bleed.
But she proved me wrong quite early one when she shows what she's willing to go through to win. Sure she complains about being smelly and dirty and even manages to have some boy drama, but she does it in a way that is funny and didn't come off as whining and pushed through every time, reminding herself what she's there for as motivation.
As the book went on, I really couldn't predict what would come next, what twist in the game would leave our little group trying to decide their next move and how they would get to the end of each round of the game. And the other indecisions and troubles they face, such as them working as group when at the same time they're actually each other's competition, when do you choose to break off on your own or decide if your going to double cross the people you've made friends with to make sure you win. I felt the dynamics were handled really well and you never can tell what anyone's going to do when they're all on the cusp of friendship and betrayal simultaneously.
I seriously cannot wait for book two and jump back in the competition with the hope that somehow all my favourites will win!

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3 Apr 2014

Win £100 and a copy of Taken!

Hello! Today I wanted to share with you a little competition that author David Massey, author of the brilliant Torn, is running throughout the month of April. You could win £100 just by simply reading and reviewing (good or bad!) his latest release Taken!

The competition is open to UK residents and here's what to do:

1. Buy or borrow TAKEN ISBN 978-1-908435-73-6

2. Read it! Then post your review on Amazon UK.

3. Email your contact details to the author. (Including Amazon user name) at 100Quid@davidmasseybooks.com

4. Make sure 'Taken Giveaway' is the subject of your email.

5. Wait for May 1st when the winner will be announced on David Massey's blog!

Taken

A young crew of five are toughing it out together, sailing around the world on a gruelling charity challenge. They are used to being pushed to the limit, but nothing could have prepared them for being kidnapped.

When they are taken hostage by a notorious warlord and his band of child soldiers, the trip of a lifetime turns into a one-way journey into the heart of the African jungle.

When hope is all you have, survival is all you can fight for...


In addition to this I also have a paperback copy of the book to give away myself!
This give away is also just for UK residents and will end in one week, the winner will be announced back on this post and will be contacted via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
So, with such an amazing opportunity, what are you doing still reading this blog post, enter the giveaway and go read Taken instead!

24 Mar 2014

Experience the world of Divergent and win tickets to the London premiere!

Experience the world of the hotly anticipated DIVERGENT movie in Leicester Square and attend the EUROPEAN PREMIERE!

On Saturday March 29th and Sunday March 30th Leicester Square will be transformed into the dystopian world of DIVERGENT, where fans will be invited to undergo initiation tests and, like Tris Prior, choose where they belong. Would you survive in Dauntless? Fans will be put through their paces with Dauntless training to see if you are brave enough to join their faction!

But that’s not all – I have a pair of tickets for the European premiere of DIVERGENT at Odeon Leicester Square on the Sunday at 1.30pm, attended by stars of the film Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet to give away! So not only can you discover the world for yourself, you can walk the red carpet, mingle with the stars and watch the film before it’s released in the UK on April 4th!

Enter here for your chance to win this once in a lifetime experience! If you aren’t lucky this time, you are still in with a chance - get down to Leicester Square early as the guys from HarperCollins will also be giving out a limited number of premiere tickets to fans on both days!

The Divergent Fan Experience Timings

Saturday March 29th 
11.00am – 6.00pm

Sunday March 30th
11.00am – 12.00pm
3.00pm – 6.00pm

Be sure to check out the Divergent movie Facebook page and Twitter for more info and ways to win tickets!

Sooo, here's the exciting bit, but first the details!
One lucky person will win a ticket for them self and a friend to the premiere on Sunday 30th March.
The winner will have to make their own travel arrangements to get to Leicester square on the day the doors open at 1.30pm and close again at 2.30pm for the film to start at 3.00pm.
Sorry, UK residents only! And entrants must be aged 13 or over. If the winner is under 16, then the other guest must be a parent or guardian aged over 18.
As I am hosting this giveaway on behalf of HarperCollins, there's no follower requirement to enter, but it will get you extra entries!
The giveaway will end Wednesday 26th March at 7PM so be sure to check back here to see if you've won!
The winner will be notified by e-mail, failure to respond within 24 hours to claim your prize will result in disqualification and another winner being picked.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

3 Mar 2014

Shattered - Review


Slated book three
Available 6th March 2014
www.bookswithbite.co.uk 

What's it about?

Kyla's memory was erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
Or so she thought.
After the shocking events of SLATED and FRACTURED, we return to Kyla's oppressive world as she tries to make sense of her life and everything around her.
Set in a disturbing near-future world, this is the conclusion to an engrossing, fast-paced trilogy that establishes Teri Terry as a master thriller writer.
Other books in the series
(Links to my reviews)
Slated
Fractured
My review

Shattered was a great conclusion to the Slated trilogy. It answered all my questions, wrapped up nicely, and the only disappointment I had is that such a awesome trilogy is over. Kyla's journey has been an intense one to follow and finally discovering the secrets of her past alongside her has been extremely satisfying. There were twists to the plot I didn't see coming and an ending I couldn't have guessed at, the author really managed to keep the mystery up without frustrating me completely! There were nuggets of information throughout that just kept me on the edge of my seat for the next one.
If you enjoyed the first two books in the trilogy, then don't miss Shattered, because it's just as good. Once again it's full of secrets and intrigue, action and drama and you won't be able to put it down!
Teri Terry's writing is on par again and she does well at explaining all the changing dynamics and helps you get into Kyla's mind easily, despite her sometimes shifting personality, I never felt confused by her, I always felt like I understood her and sympathised with her.
This really was a great trilogy and I'm looking forward to what comes next from such a talented author.

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2 Mar 2014

I love you night and day - Review


Available now 

What's it about?
I love you wild, I love you loud.
I shout it out and I feel proud.
I love you night, I love you day.
In every moment come what may. 
The pages in this fabulously warm and reassuring picture book are bursting with exuberance, warmth and humour. A celebration of love - it's the perfect present to give to the one you love, and offers a heartfelt and affirming message of unconditional love that is pitched just right for little ones. This is a picture book that will be read again and again, and treasured for years to come.
Mine and Oliver's review 
This book is a short and sweet tale about how much two friends love each other. The whole of the book continues the same as the little snippet in the description like 'I love you big' and 'I love you small.' I liked the small inclusion of opposites, whether it was intentional or not and its a nice way of showing kids that there are so many ways you can love someone. It was a nice story for bedtime as its quite a calm and slow tale and Oliver looked at the lovely images while I read him the story. We both really enjoyed it and talking about it the next morning, I tried to get Oliver to pick a favourite part but he said he liked it all.

Favourite illustration
Our favourite image is of Bear and Bunny have their backs turned to each other because they've fallen out but they are still saying they love each other. It shows that even when you're mad at someone or upset with them, you can still love them.

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24 Feb 2014

Fractured - Review


Slated book two.
Available now
www.bookswithbite.co.uk 

What's it about?

How do you know where to go when you don't remember where you came from?
Kyla's memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
Or so she thought.
Kyla shouldn't be able to remember anything. But she can - and she's beginning to realise that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life, she thinks she's on her way to finding the truth. But the more she learns about her history, the more confusing her future becomes...
My review
After that final scene in Slated, I'll be honest, I was expecting a faster pace in Fractured, I thought the story would start moving along more quickly as Kyla has now discovered her identity. But we find early on that she hasn't quite recovered all her memories, though she remembers who she is and what she's capable of, she still doesn't remember all of her past or how she's come to be where she is. Fractured again follows Kyla trying to recover more of her memories and figure out who she can trust. However, as far as complaints go, that's the only one I have. I still enjoyed the book very much and found it just as hard to put down. Its conspiracy after conspiracy and just like Kyla, the reader gets immersed into wanting to get to the bottom of the truth because there are many things that aren't how they seem in Kyla's world.
While I missed Ben in Fractured, I enjoyed getting to know Kyla better as she's always been a likeable character and I do feel for her when she gets frustrated at trying to figure everything out and decide on her next move.
Fractured is another highly entertaining read in a compelling trilogy and I am pumped for book three to see how it all ends.

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23 Feb 2014

Herman's letter - Review


Available now

What's it about?

What do you do when your best friend in the whole wide world has to move a long way away? Promise to write to each other ALL the time and to stay best friends FOREVER, that’s what. But it’s easier said than done – especially when your best friend seems to be having much more fun than you are...
Mine and Oliver's review 
This is a lovely, if a bit sad, little story about Herman who gets sad when his best friend, Harry moves away. At first he feels sad and misses his friend and then becomes jealous when he feels Harry is having far more fun than him and is making new friends. Herman feels he's being left behind. All emotions I think a child would feel if someone they were close to went away so I think this would be a great book for any child in that situation. Oliver really enjoyed the story and listened intently until the end of the book. His favourite part were the letters which are lift-the-flap, so it really was like we were opening a little letter that we'd received. The illustrations were simple and really nice to look at, I think each image captured the scene and the story well.

Favourite illustration
The snowy pages are really nice but I think our favourite is of Herman when he is travelling to visit Harry where he meets penguins, bats, leaps over a crevice and climbs a frozen waterfall, it really shows just what he's willing to go through to get to his best friend.

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13 Feb 2014

The freedom frontier - Review


MetaWars book four.
Available now.
www.hachettechildrens.co.uk 

What's it about?

The thrilling final instalment of the action-packed METAWARS series. 
With the Guardians and Millennials eliminated, Jonah and Sam are left to fend for themselves. When they discover their enemy, Granger, is also on his own they take the ultimate leap of faith and join forces to survive...and save humanity. The future of the world on and off-line is at stake and Jonah will not stop until he prevails. 
Even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.
My review
The MetaWars series has been a thrilling ride throughout, I have enjoyed every minute and I'm so sad to see it end. However it did end on a high note because The freedom frontier was another example of excellent writing from Jeff Norton. Once again we're thrown straight into an action scene that is followed by piles more action throughout. Often the final book in a series can get slowed down with too much talking as the author tries to reveal all the answers and round up the story but that's not something that happens on this occasion. As we read on through the book we find events in the previous books that didn't seem significant at the time were actually setting the scene for the final events so the groundwork has already been sneakily done ready for the reader to enjoy the ride in the epic final battle. There really was some stuff I didn't see coming at all and the ending was amazing! I also love the message that came along with it, but I can't tell you it without spoiling the end of the book for you, however its a good message for the teenage boys who are likely to pick and enjoy this series, though I'm sure I'm not the only almost thirty year old reading it, right?
Personally I think the storytelling throughout all of these books has been outstanding, while each book stands out on its own, the overall story is also seamless and you can tell a lot of thought went into the big picture when the series was planned out. I enjoyed how the relationship between Jonah and Sam developed and evolved and was so happy to see them finally get it together at the end, they're such a cute couple and I think they balance each other out. While I admire Jonah's integrity, I have always loved Sam and I think she'll always be my favourite in this series, she's just such a bad ass and would never be caught dead as the damsel in distress.
I would definitely recommend this series to all, it has action, complex characters, action, brilliant world building and did I mention lots of action?

Check out my reviews for the other books in the series;



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10 Feb 2014

Slated - Review

Slated book one.
Available now.
www.bookswithbite.co.uk 
What's it about?
Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
She’s been Slated.
The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?
My review
What a brilliant start to a series! Slated is full of mystery and kept me hooked right the way through trying to figure out everything along with Kyla, who she really was, why she'd been slated and a government that may be more than it seems. Ain't that always the way though lol. I was really intrigued by the whole premise and stored up every clue and fact that was given to me along the way. I couldn't predict where the book was going to take me next and often felt as clueless as Kyla, but not in a frustrating way, it just added to the excitement. And that ending! Man was I glad I read it when book two is already out so I can get hold of it immediately.
Needless to say - though I am saying since this is a review - I really, really enjoyed this book. It was a real page turner with a great leading lady. Kyla was a wonderful character, she seemed naive and tough at the same time and her curiosity could've rivalled Alice's. And deep down you can feel she's probably some kind of badass, I was rooting for her to get her memories back all the way through just to see if that was true.
I liked Ben too, he was sweet and caring, even if Kyla kind of broke him a little bit.
Slated is a big must for YA fans who like some action and mystery and government conspiracy.

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