Letterbox Love (29/9/2012)





Letterbox Love is a UK based alternative to the popular US In My Mailbox meme and a fun way for British (and non-British) bloggers to share the fab books we may have got this week.

I would like to make a massive apology for the lack of posts this week, I'm in a reading slump, working lots and trying to get organised for university (I move in in a week!) I am compiling posts I should be posting more next week since I have some AMAZING books this week, check them out!

REVIEW:


(Manuscript) Dead Jealous by Sharon Jones - Orchard - July 2013

BOUGHT/SWAPPED/GIFTED:






Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before... and her secret is almost exposed. 

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
The Pledge was one of my most highly anticipated reads from 2011 and yet it's taken me this long to actually read it, I have no idea why. I'm glad that i did finally read this but for me it didn't quite meet the standards of Derting's earlier YA work (The Body Finder series). I did highly enjoy this book though and can't wait to read more in this series.

I've heard some reviewers refer to this book as a pseudo-fairytale and I can so see where that comes from, but I really liked the blend of the fantasy with the dystopian and I really think that this book works. The world building could have been a little stronger but I did like the set-up, where languages define the class of a person and Charlaina could understand all languages, I look forward to seeing this world being developed more.

I did feel that the romance was a little too fast, I liked Max, he was a bit of an enigma and I loved where Derting took his character, it was a big twist but he and Charlaina start their romance a little too much and I expected a little more from Derting. I liked most of the characters but I really didn't like Brooke, she seemed like a total cow and was not a good friend at all. 

Overall, a good start to the series. I look forward to reading more since I liked the set-up and the characters were mostly likable. I didn't like the romance as it moved too quick though I look forward to seeing more of the two.

Overall Rating: C+

Book released August 28th 2012 by HarperTeen
Book bough by myself


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Review: Starling by Lesley Livingston

Starling (Starling, #1)

Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name--the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason's world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn's identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason's family--with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods--is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.
I have never read anything by Lesley Livingston before, even though I've had Wondrous Strange on my TBR shelf forever, I honestly can't say that I was blown away by this author though I will try her other books. My expectations for this book were pretty high because of the awesome synopsis an it didn't really meet it. My main problem was that not much really seemed to happen in this book. The very beginning was really strong, with action from very close to the beginning but then from there to about three quarters in this book was very slow. There was an amazing ending, and there is such a shock at the end that I will probably read on in this series but by then I was fed up.c

Alongside the slwo pace I was so annoyed by the romance. The attraction between Fennrys and Mason in obvious, but there is no romantic development and I am so sick of insta-love now that I just wanted to hurl my Kindle across the room, but I persevered and whilst the two had cute scenes at times most of it was just lust. There is also a bit of a love triangle but Callum was the most annoying and whiny character I have ever read, he is supposed to be this sweet guy but comes across as a bit of a tool, and extremely moany. I think the only character I did actually like was Heather, and I liked Roth when he turned up

Where there was action it was pretty well written, I was on my edge of my seat at a few points and if there was more of the action I would have liked this book much more, there was just too much walking around doing nothing and insta-love to keep me invested in this story, but for some reason I didn't hate this book, which I should have, so I put that down to Livingston's writing.

Overall, I had such high expectations for Starling but the book fell short due to a slow pace and boring romance and characters.

Overall Rating: C-

Book released August 28th 2012 by HarperTeen
Book bough by myself

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Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

Hanging by a Thread
The quaint little beach town of Winston, California, may be full of wholesome townsfolk, picturesque beaches, and laid back charm, but Clare Knight is about to uncover something underneath its thriving demeanor. Someone is hiding something, and it’s as gruesome as the townsfolk, and their stately homes, are stunning. Amanda Stavros, fellow classmate and resident of Winston, is gone and there’s no sign of her ever coming back. Everyone says she was taken and murdered, but where’s the evidence? Why isn’t there a single ounce of proof? And why is everyone okay with this, except for Clare?

Luckily—or as it’s been turning out, unluckily—Clare possesses a gift, an ability to see visions from the clothes she works with. And since her clothes come solely from the townsfolk, Clare has become privy to some startling and disturbing memories of these townspeople. Will she uncover who killed Amanda Stavros? Or is she just moving herself up in line to be the next victim of Winston?
When I first saw the synopsis of Hanging by the Thread I knew that I had to read it. I'm a massive fan of mystery books about some kind of psychometry. I knew that I was going to end up comparing this book to Slide and The Body Finder and it didn't quite reach the level of these books. I did enjoy it and I was absorbed into it, but it didn't quite reach the level I had hoped.

My first problem with this book was the romance. Clare and Jack suddenly start making out and that's it, no development, no flirting or even hate to love, it was true insta-love so I really struggled to care about it. I also felt like Clare's other relationships seemed forced and false, even her talks with her mother. Clare just didn't seem real to me at all and so I struggled to connect with her.

I did really like the mystery. I was gripped and thrown by all of the twists and turns in this book, it meant that I never knew what was going to happen and who the real bad guy was. I never suspected who it actually was. The mystery was great.

Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read that I would recommend to fans of quick books with insta-love, but compared to similar books such as The Body Finder and Slide it may fall short a little.

Overall Rating: B-

Book released September 11th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley

Buy this book:

Waiting on Wednesday #10




Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Also don't forget to check out my giveaways:


Crash (Visions, #1)

Crash by Lisa McMann
January 8th 2013 - Simon Pulse

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped foodtruck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the vision. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode... and nine body bags in the snow.

She has no idea why this is happening to her or if she’s going crazy. It hardly matters, because the visions are everywhere--on billboards,television screens, windows--and she’s the only one who can see them.

But it’s not until the vision starts coming more frequently, and revealing more clues, that Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it's someone she knows. Someone she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.

This one sounds awesome. I loved the Wake trilogy and this sounds exciting and psych-ey!

What are you waiting on this week? Drop me a comment and I'll call by your link...


Audiobook Review: Wicked Jealous by Robin Palmer

Wicked Jealous: A Love Story


Simone never saw herself as the “cute girl”—she was always the chunky, band tee wearing, France-obsessed smart girl. But now that Simone’s a few pounds lighter and sporting a new retro style, things have gotten, well, weird. Her crush Jason seems to actually know she exists. And when Simone’s soon-to-be stepmonster Hillary stops ignoring her, Simone knows something is up. When Simone’s brother offers to let her move in with him and his six roommates on the beach for the summer, Simone jumps at the chance. But living with seven very different college boys isn’t exactly helping her land her very own happily ever after.
This was such a fun book to listen to because of the amazing narrator, who totally managed to make Simone just as sarcastic and awesome as I would have imagined and brought life to every single other character in the book. I loved the voices she did for Wheezy, Doc and Nicola, she was fantastic and I loved listening to this book whilst I did other things, like tidy my bedroom and meme hop.

The book itself is nothing particularly inspiring. I do enjoy modern fairytale retellings and I liked the spin that Palmer put on the Snow White fairytale. All of the good fairytale cliches are there - the wicked stepmother, the handsome prince and the sweet romance - except in this book the handsome prince isn't all he makes out to be and the boy who sweeps our princess off her feel may actually be one of the dwarves. I loved this twist on the fairytale and it was so well done.

This book is great if you want a fluffy and simple read. None of the characters are amazingly well written but it was fun to listen to and I really enjoyed following the story as it wasn't too deep. If I'd been reading this book I doubt I would have enjoyed it AS much as I did, but the narration really brought something to this book and I do think I may check out some of Robin Palmer's other books if I can find them cheap anywhere.


Overall Rating: C+

Book released July 19th 2012 by Speak
I am reviewing an Audiobook
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Buy this book:


Review: Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts

Rage Within (Dark Inside, #2)
Aries, Clementine, Michael, and Mason have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world’s population and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now they’re hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of fellow teen survivors, trying to figure out their next move.

Aries is trying to lead, but it’s hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it’s impossible to know where he’d be, assuming he’s alive. Michael is haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends.

As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, these four teens will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive.


There's something to be said for a book that can make you feel as utterly desperate and afraid as I did, reading this book. I was so terrified that I stopped reading when it started to get dark outside and started reading again the next day, even though I had to force myself to put it down. This book is gripping, terrifying and total on-edge-of-seat thrilling. 

I really enjoyed Dark Inside when I read it last year and Rage Within did not let me down. From page one of this book I was gripped and by the time I finished it - in the pure daylight of the next day's afternoon - I was still gripped, this book did not let go of me, even when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it. Even now i'm a little bit terrified, good terrified though, the kind of terrified you get when a book has grabbed you so much that you enter that world and become the characters and feel how they feel and go through what they're going through. I felt elation when the characters escaped a tricky situation and fear when the Baggers got too close for comfort. I am praying for a third book because I am just so not ready to let these characters go yet, there are so many ends that need to be tied up - Mason? Joy? Daniel? What's going to happen next?!

I have nothing bad to say about this book except from that the split narrative meant that we never really get to see every part of any one character's story. I still felt a little out of the loop at times, but once again this is a teeny little complaint and it barely affected my enjoyment.

Overall, I adored this book. It had my heart racing and my fingernails have been chewed down to nothing. Bring on book three!

Overall Rating: A

Book released August 30th 2012 by Panmacmillan in the UK and September 4th by Simon and Schuster in the US. I am reviewing the UK edition.
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Buy this book:

Other books from this author:




Review: The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo

The Gathering Dark (The Grisha, #1)
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.
Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

After seeing so many people rave about this book I finally got around to reading it, I picked up this book preparing to be blown away but it didn't quite hit me the same way it hit so many other people. I did enjoy this book and it definitely piqued my interest in the series but after being so excited after all of the five star reviews I felt a little cheated.

Now anybody that knows me will know that I am a massive fan of fantasy books, I read so much dystopian and paranormal but YA fantasy books are my true love because of the amazing world building and the fantastic description, which is where this book started to fall short for me. This book uses Russian sounding words but I didn't really get the vibe from the descriptions. We're also thrown into this world with it's terms and lingo and I struggled to understand what was what. I think I kind of have a grasp on it now, but I would have liked some things to be more clearly defined.

I did like Alina as a character because she was tough and proud, I also loved Mal who is swoonworthy and stoic and touch and romantic and even the Darkling was a well written slightly creepy but smooth fellow. I loved Genya, Alina's friend who was funny and sweet but is developed a little more later in the book.  The romance was also great - despite a kind of love triangle - because in the end there is a clear winner and I think the way that it was developed was essential to the plot.

The plot in this book was good. Not amazing, I wasn't blown away and there wasn't anything that was seriously original in fantasy but it kept me interested and I want to read more. The pacing fell at paces, this book was a slow starter, then it picks up, then the pace droops a little near the middle then it picks up again.

Overall, this book was kind of slow and didn't blow me away. I am interested in reading the sequel and I did like the characters and romance. I would have liked a little more worldbuilding though.

Overall Rating: B-

Book released June 7th 2012 by Indigo (UK). Book originally published in the USA as Shadow and Bone on the 5th June by Henry Holt and Co.
Book purchased by myself

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Review: Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Ordinary Magic


In Abby’s world, magic isn’t anything special: it’s a part of everyday life. So when Abby learns that she has zero magical abilities, she’s branded an “Ord”—ordinary, bad luck, and quite possibly a danger to society. 

The outlook for kids like Abby isn’t bright. Many are cast out by their families, while others are sold to treasure hunters (ordinary kids are impervious to spells and enchantments). Luckily for Abby, her family enrolls her in a school that teaches ordinary kids how to get around in a magical world. But with treasure-hunting kidnappers and carnivorous goblins lurking around every corner, Abby’s biggest problem may not be learning how to be ordinary—it’s whether or not she’s going to survive the school year!

Ordinary Magic was such a fun, witty read and let me start off by saying that whilst this book is middle-grade I absolutely loved it! It was so cute and fun and clever and I absolutely devoured it. Rubino-Bradway has written a book that is engaging whilst not being too deep but isn't fluffy. It finds that perfect balance between writing something that's fun and sweet and also has the action and the adventure.

The characters in this book just totally shine, I loved Abby who was so spunky and real but I totally adored Alexa, the big sister who is totally kick-ass and Gil, the clever older brother. Peter is a quiet and moody boy who becomes Abby's best friend and all of the other teachers and students were awesome. I absolutely loved Abby's snarky narrative, it had me chuckling and laughing. 

There is plenty of action and adventure in this book. The comedic bad guys Trixie and Barbarian Mike had me giggling with their attempts to capture the ords, Mike was a lumbering big bad guy and Trixie was pure evil, but in a totally comedic way. There was plenty of action in this book and I loved it.

This book also has it's sad bits. I felt so sorry for Abby who is ignored and kicked out o school because she has no powers, I loved the fact that Rubino-Bradway put in the bits about discrimination as it adds a level of depth for the older readers.

Overall, this book was so funny and witty and such a nice quick read. The characters were great and there was some fun action in there.

Overall Rating: A

Released May 8th 2012 by Bloomsbury (USA)
Received from the author in exchange for the review and as part of the blog tour.


Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Origin

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life. 

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.




Urgh, I had such high expectations for Origin and whilst there were some good things about it, the bad things totally outweighed the good and I was totally let down. Bad science, insta-love and lack of character development are all problems that seriously annoyed me. Let me tell you what was good about this book first. 

The setting: The lush jungle setting of this book is gorgeous. Though we don't see it until a little later in the book it is one of those vivid settings that totally paints a picture in your head. I also liked Little Cam and the Ai'oan village. The setting descriptions were gorgeous and I loved it.

The premise: Okay, this is a bit hit and miss for me, but I loved the storyline in the beginning.  I really thought that I was going to love this because the whole trapped immortal girl thing could have been good, I wasn't a fan of the execution but I did really like the premise.

However, there were a few problems that I just can't overlook...

The science: Look, I'm a scientist. I'm studying a science, I may not be a biologist or a botanist but I'm studying Environmental Geography and have a bit of an understanding of that stuff. The science in this book started off so well. Khoury had obviously done some genetic research which worked for the whole family side of things, however the actual science that goes into making the immortals never really worked and though I dealt with it to begin with, I just couldn't deal with it when it turned fantasy at the end. It just didn't work, sorry!

The characters: I liked some of the characters in this book, Aunt Harriet was cool, Uncle Antonio was awesome and even Uncle Paulo, who's the evil bad guy in this was well written. Unfortunately, I seriously disliked Pia, I understand that she's torn and that she has never known anything other than Little Cam and has been brought up a certain way, but her indeciciveness annoyed me... and she seemed TOO perfect, it was very annoying Mary Sue like. Eio was okay, but he was just the love interest and wasn't really developed.

The romance: This was my worst problem with this book. The lack of character development meant that since I was pretty much indifferent to Pia and Eio, I didn't really care for tthe romance. Plus, this book is total insta-love and I hated it, it just didn't work! Plus, after their first meeting, Eio is constantly telling Pia she';s beautiful. It seemed like it was her appearance that caused the attraction and not some kind of deeper connection. *Sigh*.

Overall, despite a beautiful setting and a good premise the execution lacked. The science was bad and a lack of relationship and character development seriously annoyed me.

Overall Rating: D-

Book released September 4th 2012 by Razorbill
Book received as an eGalley for review from NetGalley 


Waiting on Wednesday #9




Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Also don't forget to check out my giveaways:

GIVEAWAYS


Hysteria

Mallory's life is falling apart. Her boyfriend was stabbed. He bled to death in her kitchen. Mallory was the one who stabbed him. But she can't remember what happened that night. She only remembers the fear . . . 


When Mallory's parents send her away to a boarding school, she thinks she can escape the gossip and the threats. But someone, or something, has followed her. There's the hand that touches her shoulder when she's drifting off to sleep. A voice whispering her name. And everyone knows what happened. So when a pupil is found dead, Mallory's name is on their lips. Her past can be forgotten but it's never gone.

Can Mallory live with that?

Oooh! A mystery! I love mystery books, plus the paranormal aspect sounds awesome. I quite enjoyed Fractured when I read it so look forward to reading more from Megan Miranda, plus the cover is just awesome.



Vengeance Bound
Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

This is described as 'The Goddess Test' meets 'Dexter'. I love books with a mythology base but many have fallen short lately, so I am so excited to check out this new twist on the genre!


Thats what I'm waiting on. What are your thoughts on my picks, what did you pick this week? Leave me a comment with a link and I'll try and stop by!


Review: Arise by Tara Hudson

Arise (Hereafter, #2)
Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

I really enjoyed Hereafter last year, but I think it had a few tiny faults that definitely detracted from my enjoyment. Most of these kinks were worked on in the sequel but there were still a few faults, so overall the rating that I'm giving this is going to be pretty similar to the one that I gave Hereafter.

The writing in this book was definitely an improvement. I felt like this book seemed more real and seamless whereas I found Hereafter a little jumpy and I struggled to find a pace with it. I didn't have that problem with Arise, I managed to read all 400 pages of it in a single very long bath. There were a few times where the dialogue seemed forced and unrealistic, but on a whole the narrative and pacing in this book were much better.

Amelia and Josh are both fantastic characters. I loved how dedicated to each other they are, and I like that Josh is just like what teenage boys are like and not the overprotective semi-stalkerish type that a lot of YA books seem to include (I hate that!). I did have a few problems with the relationship, I supported them as a couple because they were so darn adorable, but I still think that Josh wasn't addressing the whole 'dead-girl-won't-grow-old' situation which I really think he needs to take into consideration. I like that Hudson isn't making their relationship full of drama but I would have liked a little inner-conflict from Josh, since it seemed like most of it was coming from poor Amelia!

This book wasn't as action packed as Hereafter and most of the action took place at the end, it didn't take away from the pacing but it did make it a little less exciting. I loved the ending, the climax had me holding my breathe, but I would have liked some more conflict throughout the book.

Overall, a great continuation to a good series. Whilst the writing was better than the first, I would have liked more action and some more conflict.

Overall Rating: B

Book released June 5th 2012 by Harpercollins
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Other books by this author:
Hereafter


Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

I don't care what anyone says, assassins nuns are awesome. This is one of the most amazing premises in YA this year, and it totally lived up to my expectations. 

My phone memo that I made whilst reading this book says:

  • Assassin nuns - yes!
  • Ismae is kick ass yet naive woohoo!
  • Duval = sexy, stoic but caring.
  • Anne-Mature for age but too mature???
  • Easy politics - YAY!
  • Long never bored...
  • GASP DEATH! D:
  • OMG TWIST... shocker.
To be honest I don't know what half of that is meant to mean... but I so agree with the top one: Assassin nuns are awesome, I could write a whole review on how amazing assassin nuns are. I love how kick-ass Ismae was (I love that name too!), she's a woman who could kill a man in a zillion different ways but when it comes to matters of the heart she is so innocent it's cute, much like Katsa of Graceling (my all time fave YA protagonist). The love interest, Duval is also amazing and has almost topped my list of smexy book guys (Valek still holds that honour, sorry Duval!). As I pointed out in my notes up there, Duval is stoic and tough,, a bit of an enigma for much of the book, but he is also caring and tough and puts the safety of the young Duchess, Anne above his own. The romance between these two is absolutely fantastic, there is no insta-luv, it's a very cold relationship to start with but you can see it develop. I loved it, and wow, Duval made me swoon!

The backing characters are also uber awesome, I loved Anne, the young Duchess to be, though she did seem a little mature for her young age. I also absolutely ADORED The Beast and I am so hoping to see more of him in the sequel.

I loved the storyline too, it was gripping with mystery and intrigue and a teensy bit of paranormal, but the politics were simple and I didn't find myself confused at all (I'm simple minded...).

Look, I'm not going to go on for hours about how awesome this is... just read it and see for yourself.

Overall Rating: A+

Released April 3rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Book bought by myself



Review: The Rogue's Princess by Eve Edwards

The Rogue's Princess (The Lacey Chronicles, #3)
England, 1586

Mercy Hart, daughter of one of London's wealthiest and most devout cloth merchants, is expected to marry her equal in rank and piety. Certainly not Kit Turner, a lowly actor and playboy, who also happens to be the late Earl of Dorset's illegitimate son. But when a chance encounter throws them together, Kit instantly falls for the beautiful Mercy's charms . . . and Mercy can't deny the passion that Kit stirs within her. She seems ready to defy her father's wishes--ready to renounce her family and her family name for true love.

Then Kit finds himself accused treason.

Will Mercy have the strength to stand by him? Or will she succumb to pressure and break his heart?



I absolutely loved the first two of Edward's Lacey Chronicles books, Will and James were amazing characters and luckily Kit did not let me down. The third Lacey brother was amazing and sweet and so funny, he totally takes the place of my second fave (Will is always going to be my favorite!). 

What I like about this series is that whilst the books revolve around the girl, the series revolves around the boy. This means that we get to keep meeting new girls but also seeing the characters from the other books in this series. It was awesome to read about Will and Ellie and their kid and James and Jane and their life and I loved the appearance of Diego and Milly.

I wasn't as fond of Mercy as I could have been I think that this may be because she dddn't have as much spunk as I like and she seemed too obedient and good for me to like. It was nice when we did see her break out of her mould though. I really loved Kit since he was so funny and bad but he really did try for Mercy and I loved seeing the more serious side of things - those were the points where I rooted for their romance the most. I'm such a fan of the youngest Lacey brother, Tobias; I would LOVE a fourth book about him.

As with the first two books the storyline of this one isn't too deep, it's enough to make you keep reading and short enough that the pace never seems to slow for the length. This is a series that I would recommend for fans of easier historical YA.

Overall, despite not being my favorite book in this series, I loved Kit and the story was easy to follow. I recommend this series to fans of cute romance and easy historical reading.

Overall Rating: B

Book released July 7th 2011 by Razorbill
Book bought by myself.

Other books from this author:
The Other Countess (Lacey Chronicles #1)
The Queen's Lady (Lacey Chronicles #2)


Review: Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

Poltergeeks


15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.

I knew that I was going to enjoy Poltergeeks, I just knew it. From the second that I saw that colorful and uber awesome cover and read the description (and noticed the lack of a love triangle and the hints at LOTS of action) I knew that i was going to really enjoy this book, and I did.

This book has it's flaws and whilst I didn't absolutely ADORE this book, I really did enjoy it and am very impressed with Cummings. The pacing and the storyline blew me away - the beginning of this book seriously grabs you and you can't put it down until the last page, there were no slower bits and the action just keeps coming, there is also a bit of a mystery which will keep readers on their toes. I had kind of guessed who the 'bad guy' was by the end, but I was still gripped. The climax of this book was awesome as well, the action at the end had me on the edge of my seat, it was so exciting!

Julie and Marcus are fantastic characters. Julie is a sarcastic and honest narrator and Marcus is a fantastic loyal friend, the two of them make an amazing investigative team and they seemed so real. I also really liked the romance between these two, it was slow, awkward and real, just as it should be between fifteen year olds - it also took a back seat to the main story, which I love in books like this. 

I did feel like at times the story came across as very cliche and corny, as though Cummings was trying a little too hard to be original and stand out.... I also would have liked a little more character and world development, as I didn't feel like we got to know Julie's Mother enough, and we didn't quite learn enough about the magic or Betty or the other magical character. i'm not sure if there will be a sequel, but if there was I'd hope to see a little development on that.

Overall, Poltergeeks was a fun read that stands out in todays YA market. I'd definitely recommend it to younger readers due to the fun narrative and the action packed plot.

Overall Rating: B

Book released October 4th by Strange Chemistry
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviews for other books by this author:

Letterbox Love - 8/9/12



Letterbox Love is a UK based alternative to the popular US In My Mailbox meme and a fun way for British (and non-British) bloggers to share the fab books we may have got this week.



This weeks haul is pretty awesome, not a MASSIVE amount of books, but what I have is pretty amazing :)

REVIEW (BOTH NETGALLEY)



Doomed by Tracy Deebs - Bloomsbury, January 8th 2013
Splintered by AC Howard - Amulet, January 2013

Both of these sound awesome, DOOMED is a sci-fi thriller type retelling of Pandora's box which sounds awesome and SPLINTERED is a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland that was my WOW a few weeks back.


(All from Cait at The Cait Files)

(From Reese at Reese's Reviews)

BOUGHT/GIFTED:




The Week in Review:

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY


Next Week:

Reviews:
Inbetween by Tara A Fuller
Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings
The Rogue's Princess by Eve Edwards
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Arise by Tara Hudson
Origin by Jessica Khoury
Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Guest Posts:
Sarah J Maas - Throne of Glass UK Blogtour
Caitlen Rubino-Bradway - Ordinary Magic Blog tour