29 Mar 2013

Requiem - Review


Delirium book three
Available now
www.hodder.co.uk 

What's it about?

I've started dreaming of Portland again. Like a monster from one of the ghost stories we used to tell as kids, the past has been finding its way in. It bubbles up through the cracks when I'm not paying attention, and pulls at me with greedy fingers.
This is what they warned me about for all those years: the heavy weight in my chest, the nightmare-fragments that follow me even in waking life.
I warned you, Aunt Carol says in my head.
We told you, Rachel says...
Other titles in the series
Annabel - Book 0.5
Delirium -  Book one
Hana - Book 1.5
Pandemonium - Book two
Raven - Book 2.5
My review
After not loving Delirium, it took me a long time to end up picking up Pandemonium and Requiem, but I'm so glad I did because I ended up really enjoying the other two books.
Although I'm still struggling to get a grip on the emotions of the 'cureds' I liked everything else about the book. My struggle isn't the idea of that they can't feel love, its the emotions they do feel, like anger, to feel angry about something, you must be passionate about it and for passion, there has to be love, or at lease that's how I see it, so these elements still don't work for me. However, with these kind of series, I always enjoy the end books, when a rebellion of some sort starts and our characters that started off repressed start to fight back so I liked these a lot more, and the fact that they're mostly set in the wilds rather than the city helped because I got to read the 'real' people instead who haven't been cured.
Anyway, what I liked about Requiem in particular. Well, once again its been changed, this time into two narratives, Lena and Hana's. I like how each book is slightly different in the way it is written, the story is continued but each stands out as something unique. In Requiem we see Lena still on the outside trying to help out the cause and we also follow Hana, about to marry the mayor and wondering if her cure hasn't worked properly. It was a good 'two-sides-of-the-coin' kind of story as we get to see what's happening on either side and it split up the story well and each narrative managed to match each other in pace so they picked up at the same speed and complimented each other, much like Pandemonium's past and present scenes, Lauren Oliver obviously has quite the knack for this kind of writing.
The little love triangle storyline didn't completely take over either and I'll admit I was converted to team Julian during Pandemonium! Sorry Alex fans!
The only thing I will say is the end didn't feel like enough, I still had some questions that felt like the could have been answered with some kind of epilogue a couple months later so we could see what became of everyone after the events at the end of the book but other than that, I really liked it!

My thoughts on the cover
I like the blue and it matches the other covers nicely and somehow they managed to make the barren ground look really pretty lol It is a nice cover, just not an awesome one I guess.

Sorry no favourite quotes as I read a proof copy that cannot be quoted from.

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28 Mar 2013

Nail your books (10)

'Nail your books is a feature started by Cristina at The princess of storyland, where we share our book inspired manicures.

This weeks manicure is inspired by the cover of The raven boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

Here's the cover
It's the US version, which is ever so slightly different to the UK one around the book title.
And here's my nails
Click on the images to see full sized versions


How to
  • Your preferred base and top coats
  • Barry M 'Matte white'
  • Rimmel 60 seconds 'Grey matter'
  • Barry M Gelly hi-shine 'Blood orange'
  • Rimmel I love lasting finish 'Black cab'
  • Maybelline Color show 'Sugar crystals'
  • Nail striper brush
-After a base coat, I painted my thumbs with white, my index fingers with grey, my middle fingers with red and my ring and little fingers with black.
-Next I painted a coat of Sugar crystals over my ring finger nails.
-Then I used the striper brush and the same black polish to paint the Ley lines (that triangle looking thing) on my right thumb nail.
-Next, the hard part, I used the same brush and black to paint the raven, doing it one stroke at a time, if that makes sense lol. Then went over it with some flecks of grey and a bit of white, and then a little bit of red in the corner.
-After that I put on a wet look top coat and some Insta-dri, as usual!

The raven didn't come out as well as I'd have liked but it was a difficult piece to do, I think I could do a better job on a second attempt. But I love the sugar crystals polish, which is new and the Ley lines, which you can see around the title, came out nicely.
What do you think? And please, do share if you decide to try the look.


27 Mar 2013

UK vs THE WORLD (62)

UK vs. The world is a weekly meme I made up lol.
It's simlair to UK vs. US except the UK covers are battling it out with their foreign counterparts from all over the world, because who doesn't love judging books by their covers!

UK                          vs                 Germany
Birthright book one
(I couldn't find an exact translation for 'Bitterzart,' but I think it loosely means 'Bitter sweet.'

Mist: I don't like the German cover at all, it looks like an old food label or something, not a book cover lol It's totally dated and other than telling me the book is set in New york because of the skyline, it tells me little else. The UK cover on the other had is so edgy, literally, I love the straight lines of her hair and profile and the city in the background, its a clear winner this week.

Ninfa: Okay, I won't even go too much into detail here. This is a UK win hands down. I really don't like the German cover I'm afraid. The colours are a bit too garish and it feels very dated.
I like the contrast between the model on the UK cover and the blurry skyline in the background, and the two colours of the title font really make it stand out, especially the splash of red. I like the model's pensive expression, as if she's really thinking about the things she has done (see what I did there? lol). So yeah, UK wins :)

Which do you prefer?

25 Mar 2013

Pandemonium - Review


Delirium book two
Available now
www.hodder.co.uk 

What's it about?

Lena's been to the very edge. She's questioned love and the life-changing and agonising choices that come with it. She's made her decision. But can she survive the consequences?
Other titles in the series
Annabel - Book 0.5
Delirium -  Book one
Hana - Book 1.5
Raven - Book 2.5
My review
I wasn't a huge fan of the first book Delirium, anyone who knows me already knows that, I struggled with the concept and just didn't 'get' it, so I had no big plans to move onto book two until I received a random copy of book three for review so I decided to give the rest of the series a try and ended up liking book two a lot more.
I always prefer the books in these kind of series' when some kind of rebellion is starting, where the characters start to grow, learn the truth and fight back, I don't know why maybe its the rebel in me, but that's what's starting to happen in Pandemonium and why I liked it.
Pandemonium picks up not far from where Delirium left off, Lena has entered the wilds, has to figure out how to survive in this new environment with new people while dealing with the loss of Alex, the boy she fell in love with in book one. We get to see her grow and learn what she's capable of and how far she'll go to survive. I liked this tough side of her, the side that makes her stand up for herself and not compromise who she is, even at the times that she's struggling  with her own identity.
But the thing I enjoyed the most about Pandemonium is the very real glimpses we got into the 'underworld' of the book, all the hidden places and people we didn't see or know about in book one, all the little sights into the rebellion and the savages as they grow stronger. I also got a better sense of what the cured people are like as this book goes into a little more explanation so I'm finding it easier to get a grasp, though not completely, on that story element, meaning I had no trouble getting into this one.
I also found it interesting how each chapter went between Lena finding her way in the wilds and a more present day where she is working for the rebellion, I thought the time changing was handled well and the chapters even managed to compliment each other and grow at the same pace.
I liked all the new characters and learning about their pasts, everyone seems to have a story to tell but I was bogged down in back story, just enough to know that there is more to come.
So, if, like me, you struggled with Delirium that doesn't mean you might not enjoy Pandemonium, because I did and I'm moving straight in to book three which I'm actually pretty excited about.

My thoughts on the cover
I do like this cover, the pretty flowers and the open space gives a sense of the freedom Lena experiences in the book, the birds and sunshine are pretty too.

Favourite quotes
''We're on the other side of the fence now, Lena,' she says, tiredly, as she passes. 'Don't you get it? You can't tell me what to feel.''

'I count three long seconds of silence, and in each one of them, Julian's heart drums against my back. I'm not cold anymore. If anything, I'm too hot. Our bodies are so close - skin sticking to skin, fingers entangled. His breath is on my neck.'

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22 Mar 2013

The boys of summer - Review


Summer book one.
Available now 

What's it about?

Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.
To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.
How did she let her friends talk her into working?
After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.
All with the one boy she has never been able to forget. 
It will be a summer she will always remember. 
*Warning*: sexual references, and occasional coarse language.
My review
I hadn't heard of this book until a friend told me the author was looking for more reviews and asked if I would be interested in a copy, which of course I said yes to as it sounded like a fun read. I'm totally glad she choose me as I really enjoyed it.
I loved the whole feeling of summer throughout the book, its something the author managed to capture it really well.
Tess was a great character who has flaws and makes mistakes like the rest of us, to start with she's not thrilled that she's about to have a summer that's not like she'd imagined it but it ends up being the best summer of her life, more elements I liked about this great book.
I actually liked all the characters, I think Tess and her two best friends, Ellie and Adam complimented each other well and The Onslow boys sounded as hot as I expect they are supposed to be, all the fraternal bonding between them was fun too.
The romance between Tess and Toby was a slowly paced out at a good rate so it was completley believable, they weren't declaring undying love after five minutes, the realism is what I liked about this book. I could imaging having had a summer like this when I was younger, if only!
The boys of summer was a wonderful story that leads to a great climax and a lovely little romantic ending, and all with the backdrop of a gorgeous Australian summer, it literally warmed my insides as I read during a cold English winter.

My thoughts on the cover
I even get a feeling for summer from the cover, I really like the colours, the sunshine and the almost kiss.

Favourite quotes
'Just when I thought he would trun and leave, he stepped forward, back into the alcove, placed his empty bottle on the table and in one fluid moment, without taking his eyes from me, Toby yanked the fabric back into place, enveloping us in darkness.'

'"I may have been buzzed last night, but I remember everything. I can't promise you that I won't want to drive you home, or kiss you like crazy again. Because I will. I do." His eyes shifted towards my mouth and then back to meet my eyes.
"I like you Tess"'



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21 Mar 2013

Nail your books (9)

'Nail your books is a feature started by Cristina at The princess of storyland, where we share our book inspired manicures.

This weeks manicure is a little different as it isn't actually inspired by a book but by a book publisher. Today I am visiting Mira ink to attend a blogger party so I decided to do something special with my nails for the occasion.

First here's a look at the publishing imprints logo.

And here's my nails

How to
  • Your preferred base and top coat
  • Barry M nail paint Matte white
  • Rimmel 60 seconds Blue eyed girl
  • Barry M nail paint Amythyst glitter
  • Nail dotter and nail striper brush
-After using a base coat I painted my thumb and ring finger nails in white with a couple of coats to even out the colour.
-Then I painted my remaining three nails on each hand with blue, again two coats.
-Next I painted my now dry, white, ring fingers with the glitter polish and the tip of my right thumb.
-Now the tricky part, I used the small nail dotter to draw the circle, a bit at a time and colour it in, the trick is to get some polish onto the dotter and lightly touch it to the nail instead of pressing it down so the polish comes off, then you can use the dotter to sort of drag the polish and draw your image.
-After the circle was finished and dried, I used the nail striper for the writing, taking my time to carefully do first the big letters and then the little.
-I used the striper again to correct mistakes in the letters and straighten out the circle and the dotter to dot inside the letter 'a'.
-Once I had finally got the logo how I liked it and it dried, I applied a wet look top coat on all nails and used Insta-dri to dry it all up quicker.

Please excuse my stubby ring finger nail which snapped off yesterday :( But I'm really please with this look, getting the logo right took ages and its still a bit messy lol I spent a lot of time going back and forth with the blue and white and the striper brush touching it up. I think it was worth the effort though and am pretty pleased with what I've ended up with, I also love the glitter and mix of colours overall.
What do you think? And please do share if you try the look.

20 Mar 2013

UK vs THE WORLD (61)

UK vs. The world is a weekly meme I made up lol.
It's simlair to UK vs. US except the UK covers are battling it out with their foreign counterparts from all over the world, because who doesn't love judging books by their covers!

UK                          vs                         Italy

Mist: I think the Italian cover is just too dark and boring and I don't like the sideways title. The UK cover is much more appealing and the models look like the characters to me so it's an easy win for me. I like that it's on black and grey and such a close up of just their faces, it gives you the idea of the kind of book it is.

Ninfa: Although I'm not a fan of either in particular, the UK cover just looks like many others out there. It's a little too gray and the muted colours make it boring in my opinion. The Italian cover seems a tiny bit more interesting, with the topsy turvy image and I like that the title goes across. I also find the font prettier in the Italian cover.
Italy wins this one for me.

Which do you prefer?

19 Mar 2013

Guest post; Marissa Meyer

How I became a Bookaholic
by Marissa Meyer.

Is it possible to be born a bookaholic? Because I can’t remember a time when that term didn’t apply to me. In fact, though I have no memory of it, I’m told that my favorite “toy” when I was still in the cradle was a lamb-shaped book with squishy covers. A book! But of course it was!

Some of my earliest true memories are of my brother and I climbing into my parents’ king-size bed on either side of my Mom and cuddling against her as she read “Black Beauty” and “The Legends of King Arthur” and a great many Dr. Seuss books—how I felt for the Sneeches! How I understood Yertle the Turtle! How I despised those goons who only walked North and South and wouldn’t compromise when their paths collided! (My four-year-old self questioned, why doesn’t one just go under the other?)

I don’t remember learning to read. At some point it seems that I simply could. And I did. I hungered for stories the way some kids hunger for cardboard forts or chocolate chip cookies. (Okay, I hungered for those things too… but only so I could eat cookies in my fort while enjoying a great book.)

Perhaps what enticed me most about books is that they were an infinite gift. There were always more stories to read, more adventures to explore, more characters to befriend. I could slip into Narnia one day and fight dragons on Mt. Doom the next and then become a pioneer on the prairie or a pirate on Treasure Island, and on and on and on. Books never grew tiresome, and I never ran out of them.

To this day, both the great blessing and the great curse of being a Bookaholic seems to be that there are always, always more stories to fall in love with.


Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar chronicles book two

This is not the fairytale you remember.
But it’s one you won’t forget.

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.

Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.

As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . .

About the author
Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her fiancĂ© and their two cats. Marissa enjoys road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for priceless treasures at antique shops. 

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18 Mar 2013

The Vincent boys - Review


The Vincent boys book one
Available now
www.hotkeybooks.com 

What's it about?

Beau Vincent is rude, bad, and dangerous to know. So, why can’t good girl Ashton Gray keep away from him? She already has the perfect boyfriend – her town’s local Prince Charming, Sawyer Vincent. But Sawyer is away for the summer, and in the meantime Ashton is bored, and the head between her and Beau is undeniable – as well as irresistible. Ashton is about to unleash her bad girl – but what will she do when Sawyer comes home? And how will Sawyer react when he returns to find his girlfriend in the arms of his best friend – and cousin? *Warning* Sexual content. 
My review
(3.5)
I started this book with some high expectations as I know so many people that love it and while I did enjoy it I don't think I quite loved it as much as everybody else.
While the story was great, the characters interesting and their actions were even understandable, it was all the big honest speeches that I had trouble with, lets see if I can explain this in a way that makes sense lol. Its not that I think people don't talk honestly about their feelings in real life, of course they do, its just the way it was approached in the book, when it came to the serious talks, well they weren't really talks, they were just one person giving a huge speech on exactly what they were thinking and feeling, the other person giving their big speech and conversation over when that's not how people talk in real life, it was these moments that just didn't ring true for me, perhaps I'm being picky but it bothered me.
Other than that I did really enjoy the book, in fact I found it hard to put down, it has some great hot scenes that aren't gratuitous, they fit into the story. I liked the story, what Ashton and Beau are doing is wrong but at the same time, its explained well enough and their relationship explored so that we know exactly why its happening so instead of hating them, I actually agreed with them that its what they should have been doing all along. While I did feel sorry for Sawyer, I couldn't help egging them on lol.
The character development was done really well for Ashton and Beau also, we get to learn a lot about them now and the friendship they had before as they talk often about past escapades and we really get to know them as a couple.
So, although I don't think its fantastically written I did enjoy The Vincent boys a lot and will be looking to get my hands on a copy of book two and seeing what happens next, although I have my suspicions!

My thoughts on the cover
I really like this cover, its understated in a great way and I think it reflects the novel perfectly, I also love the black and white version on the uncut edition.

Favourite quotes
'She started walking toward me and perfect white teeth caught her bottom lip between them. I'd fantasized about those lips way too many times. She'd barely covered up her long tanned legs with a pair of shorts that made me want to go to church this Sunday just to thank God for creating her.'

'His voice had deepened as he studied my mouth. All I could manage was a shrug. His thumb was delicately brushing over my bottom lip as if he were asking for admittance, and I was lost. We were standing right outside the church where anyone could walk out and catch us but all I could think about was pressing my lips against his. Beau was becoming a necessity and nothing about such a revelation could be considered positive.'

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15 Mar 2013

Mila 2.0 - Review


Mila 2.0 book one
Available 28th March 2013
www.harpercollins.co.uk 

What's it about?
After the sudden death of her father, Mila’s at a new school, trying to fit in and falling for mysterious sexy Hunter. But her world slams upside down in a heartbeat when a car accident reveals a secret she never knew; a secret about herself.
Mila is devastated to learn that her memories are just chimeras, her dreams untrue. She can’t even rely on her emotions to tell her who she is. So how can she grieve for her father or feel the way she does about Hunter? And why is her mom running scared?
Worse still, who are the creepy stalkers so desperate to get their hands on her…?
Other titles in the series
Origins: The fire -  Book 0.5
My review
If you're looking for a YA thriller science fiction type thing, then Mila 2.0 is for you. It has an intriguing concept and I enjoyed reading it. As Mila gets to learn what she is we learn right along with her so its not confusing and the technical stuff is kept simple so its easy to follow.
The book has different elements in it in each of the four parts its split into but each blend and flow together easily, taking you on a ride from Mila being a normal school girl, to finding out she's something more and then being on the run.
Mila herself was a great character, she starts off as this timid school girl, trying to get over the grief of losing her dad and fit into a new school. But by the end, she's so much stronger though she struggles between her android side and wanting to be human, I think she'll find the right balance in the end.
Although there were times near the end I felt it was started to drag a little, I think for the most part the story went at a good pace. We're left with a lot of mystery that has me wanting the next book, but there's also a lot that does get explained too, like how Mila was created and some history there I don't want to spoil for you.
It was an enjoyable read that I'd recommend and I'm looking forward to book two so I can see what happens next for Mila.

My thoughts on the cover
This is a really cool, slick cover, I really like the effect it has, the way the girls face is coming apart and blowing away I guess, I don't know what the effect is called lol I also love the dark blue colour and the tagline.

Sorry, no favourite quotes as I read an early copy.

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14 Mar 2013

Nail your books (8)

'Nail your books is a feature started by Cristina at The princess of storyland, where we share our book inspired manicures.

This weeks manicure is inspired by Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza.

Here's the cover

And here's my nails


How to
  • Sally Hansen miracle nail thickener
  • Barry M 'Denim'
  • 2true Glitterati shade one
  • Rimmel I love lasting finish 'Disco ball'
  • Barry M foil effects 'Silver'
  • Save the nail wet look top coat
  • Sally Hanseon Insta-Dri
  • Nail brush
-As usual I started with a base coat, by now, you know why lol
-Next I painted my nails with Barry M 'Denim' a lovely navy colour with a subtle glitter in it.
-After that I used the Glitterati and Disco ball glitter to paint only a portion of my nails, diagonally from the centre to the corner. Only on my little, pointer finger and thumb.
-For my other two fingers I used the nail brush to paint the silver lines and then the little Denim lines across those.
-Then applied a shiny top coat and used Insta-Dri to dry it faster and I was all done.


First off, you probably can't tell but those silver lines are supposed to be wires lol because, of course, Mila is an android. The brush I used was too big and they came out thicker than I wanted, if you look close you can't see where I covered them up in an attempt to save them and make them straighter.
Generally though, I was pleased with the outcome, I used the glitter to try to recreate the effect on the cover image and liked how it looked and I love the Denim colour.
What do you think?

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