Stacking the Shelves (27/1/2013)



Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! 

It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews

It's only a small haul this week, but it's a fantastic one anyway :)

Review:

The Sweetest Dark  The Reece Malcolm List Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1) Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)


Bought:

Nobody



So what did you get this week? Comment with a link and I'll be sure to call by and as always, drop me a comment if you're a new follower and I'll follow back :)


Beautiful Creatures movie stills #PenguinChats

Today, I'm sharing some of the stills from the set of the Beautiful Creatures movie!
Check them out.


The Beautiful Creatures movie is due to be released on the February 14th 2013, it was directed by Richard LaGravenese of P.S. I Love You fame. LaGravenese said he was drawn to this project because "I'm creating this atmosphere, this world of Southern Gothic, that I don't know very much about but I'm very drawn to. I love mythologies, I love things that are supernatural" - Interview with Joblo.com


Here are the awesome authors of the books, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl with their author chairs on set. They visited the set for around a week.


Here they are with the main actors Alice Englert (Lena) and Alden Ehrenreich (Ethan). I'll be talking more about them in the next few posts so look out for that.


In an interview with Collider.com.  Englert said that what makes Lena and Ethan's relationship so good is that "it’s not about, ‘Oh, you need a girlfriend. Oh, you need a boyfriend.’ It’s actually about love, and sacrifice, loving someone and having to let them go for different reasons."






Beautiful Creatures Extract - Prologue #PenguinChats

Today, I'm sharing with you all an extract from the amazing Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This is the very beginning of the book, the prologue and is fantastic. If you haven't read it yet you really have to.  

-before-

The Middle of Nowhere


There were only two kinds of people in our town. “The stupid and the stuck,” my father had affectionately classified our neighbors. “The ones who are bound to stay or too dumb to go.
Everyone else finds a way out.” There was no question which one he was, but I’d never had the courage to ask why. My father was a writer, and we lived in Gatlin, South Carolina, because the Wates always had, since my great-great-great-great-granddad, Ellis Wate, fought and died on the other side of the Santee River during the Civil War.
Only folks down here didn’t call it the Civil War. Everyone under the age of sixty called it the War Between the States, while everyone over sixty called it the War of Northern Aggression, as if somehow the North had baited the South into war over a bad bale of cotton. Everyone, that is, except my family. We called it the Civil War.

Just another reason I couldn’t wait to get out of here. 
Gatlin wasn’t like the small towns you saw in the movies, unless it was a movie from about fi fty years ago. We were too far from Charleston to have a Starbucks or a McDonald’s. All we had was a Dar-ee Keen, since the Gentrys were too cheap to buy all new letters when they bought the Dairy King. The library still had a card catalog, the high school still had chalkboards, and our community pool was Lake Moultrie, warm brown water and all. You could see a movie at the Cineplex about the same time it came out on DVD, but you had to hitch a ride over to Summerville, by the community college. The shops were on Main, the good houses were on River, and everyone else lived south of Route 9, where the pavement disintegrated into chunky concrete stubble — terrible for walking, but perfect for throwing at angry possums, the meanest animals alive. You never saw that in the movies.

Gatlin wasn’t a complicated place; Gatlin was Gatlin. The neighbors kept watch from their porches in the unbearable heat, sweltering in plain sight. But there was no point. Noth ing ever changed. Tomorrow would be the first day of school, my sophomore year at Stonewall Jackson High, and I already knew everything that was going to happen — where I would sit, who I would talk to, the jokes, the girls, who would park where.

There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere. At least, that’s what I thought, when I closed my battered copy of Slaughterhouse-Five, clicked off my iPod, and turned out the light on the last night of summer.

Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
I never even saw it coming.






Some Awesome News: #PenguinChats

Hey folks!

I have some awesome news that I am so excited to share with you. 
Penguin books are running an awesome new scheme called

Penguin Chats

which is, in the words of the Penguin team themselves.


"#PenguinChats are a 30 minute Q&A with a Penguin author on Twitter, hosted by @PenguinUKBooks and using #PenguinChats. We’ll be inviting anyone and everyone to put their questions to the author to receive an immediate and live response! 

We’ll also be linking up with top book bloggers to offer you exclusive content in the month leading up to the event, and a 24-hour discount on the featured book through penguin.co.uk on the day."

I am one of the bloggers chosen to share the exclusive content and I'll be selecting content to show you for the next week, before the first chat takes place with Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (who, if you live under a rock, wrote the AMAZING Beautiful Creatures).

Date:
Sunday 27th January
Time:
8pm GMT

I personally cannot WAIT for this!

So what can you expect to see this week?
Sunday 20th: An extract from the prologue of the book
Monday 21st: Images from the set of the Beautiful Creatures movie.
Tuesday 22nd: Lena character profile, quotes and images
Wednesday 2rd: Ethan character profile, quotes and images
Thursday 24th: An exclusive peek at the Beautiful Creatures Movie Companion
Ffriday 25th: Macon character profile, quotes and images
Saturday 26th: Amma character profile, quotes and images
Sunday 27th: The Beautiful Creatures quiz







Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl


Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

I first read Beautiful Creatures years ago when it first hit UK shelves, my copy is water damaged and bent from both me and my mother reading it back then but since then it's been sat on my shelves and I never had the chance to reread it. After I saw the trailer for the movie and joined the #PenguinChats scheme I realised that I probably needed to reread it. 

I'd been underestimating my enjoyment of this book for so long that I was shocked by how hooked I was when I picked it up again, I can't wait to get started on the rest of the series! 

Beautiful Creatures isn't just a paranormal romance, it's just as much about the town and the people in it and the two authors do a superb job in creating the small, nowhere town of Gatlin where everyone knows everything and people fear the unknown. Mrs Lincoln is a great character because she represents everything that the town stands for, despite what we find out about her close to the end of the book..

This story was fast-paced at the same time as giving that slow moving small town feel, we start out with finding out what Ethan's everyday life is like and then we see it slowly changing as he comes to realise who Lena is and what she means to him. The book takes place over a stretch of around six months and it was nice to see a plot developing over a decent amount of time, which also stopped the absolutely adorable romance from feeling too quick. I loved watching the development of Len and Ethan's characters as well and I totally look forward to getting to know more about Lena's family and their secrets in the rest of the series.

Overall, I am so glad that I read this book again, it was such a fantastic read. The small town setting really made this book and the characters supported an impressive plot. Amazing!

Overall Rating: A+

Book released 4th February 2010 by Puffin Books (UK)
Book bought by myself (print)


Review: Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon

Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem







Stuck in her family's apple orchards, Kat's got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help. But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothing---and no one---in her life is quite what it seems. Wonderfully reimagined, this is the magical tale of Snow White as you've never read it before!


I wasn't the biggest fan of Lemon's first retelling Cinder and Ella, it was okay but not absolutely awesome. Okay, so this one wasn't amazing either, but it was definitely better than he first. This is a quick and enjoyable read and I read it in abut an hour and a half or so, so it must have been good enough.

This was an original take on the Snow White fairytale, mainly because it's narrated by the magic mirror, you know the one which shows the evil queen (named Queen Radiance in this book) what she wants to see. This one executes the story differently, the mirror is actually a man trapped in a mirror and he watches the princess, named Kat, secretly hoping that she'll overthrow the Queen but when the Queen sees her in the mirror she sends Trevor, a young helping hand at the castle to seduce and murder the princess (who has no idea that she's a princess). There are so many twists along the way, few characters are what they seem... Trevor and Kat's love interest Jeremy both have big secrets and the man in the mirror has a twist as well. These twists definitely added to the book and I couldn't put it down

Overall, this is definitely the type of book that you want to read in front of a warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate and maybe a nice box of choccys. I really did enjoy reading it, it was a great read and so much fun.

Overall Rating: B

Book released 11th December 2012 by Cedar Fort
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (eBook)

Other books from this author:
Cinder and Ella


WOW (16/01/2013)




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


These WOW picks don't include books that I have as e/ARCs but am yet to read;

Shards & Ashes
Shards and Ashes Anthology, Edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong
February 19th 2013 by HarperCollins

Gripping and powerful original stories of dystopian worlds from New York Times bestselling authors

Kelley Armstrong Rachel Caine Kami Garcia Nancy Holder Melissa Marr Beth Revis Veronica Roth Carrie Ryan Margaret Stohl

The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse, #2)I actually really enjoyed the last anthology I read that was edited by Marr and Armstrong. Plus, there are some awesome authors in this and it's my fave genre - dystopian. I can't wait to read Beth Revis, Veronica Roth and Carrie Ryan's stories, plus it'll be nice to trial some dystian by Stohl before her solo debut Icons comes out in May :)

The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
June 4th 2013 by Strange Chemistry

After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.

After how much I loved The Assassin's Curse, this was bound to be on my WOW. I can't waittt to get my hands on this, I am sooo excited :)




So those are my WOW picks this week. I'd love to see what's on your list so drop me a link and, as always, let me know if you follow!

Review: Hooked by Liz Fichera


Hooked


When Native American Fredericka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...

GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED.

It's been a long time since I read a contemporary book based on a sport, I haven't read any of Miranda Kenneally's books which i hear are the go to YA sporting contemporary romances, however I am a massive fan of contemporary books where two opposites come together and fall in love like Pushing the Limits and Perfect Chemistry and Hooked was no exception to this rule, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I won't say it was the best contemp I've ever read and I won't say that I'll remember this book for a long time, it's not absolutely unforgettable (barely any books are for me) but it was fantastic and really sucked me in whilst I read it.

Fred was the appeal to me in this book, unlike most book girls Fred is a vulnerable and at times very weak character, it isn't until the end that she starts to stand up for what she believes in and this character development is the center point of the novel. alongside the romance. Ryan was also a flawed character because he does seem embarrassed to be  with Fred until the end and this made the characters and their narratives seem very authentic. There were a fantastic backing characters as well, Yolanda and the other girls from the reservation, Sam was also a great character. I also liked how Seth and Gwyneth were put across, they actually seemed really evil as opposed to fake over-the-top contemporary bad guys.


I did feel that at times the bad things were over dramatic, I kept expecting worse things to happen to Fred like when Seth is chasing her in his car I would have preferred her to actually be hurt (Oh dear, I sound so evil) and everything seemed so cookie cutter wrapped up in a ribbon perfect at the end which always annoys me a little bit.


Overall, Hooked was a great, though not completely unforgettable and flawless contemporary that i would recommend to fans of Pushing the Limits and Perfect Chemistry.


Overall Rating: B

Book released 1st February 2013 by Harlequin Teen (UK)
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (eBook)

Review: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst


Vessel

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

Ahhhh where do I start with Vessel? I had so many high hopes for it, the desert tribe setting, the mythology and the adventure.... this sounded like a fantasy adventure that I would absolutely love and everything for me in this book was absolutely perfect... except for one big thing;

The plot and pacing; I loved the premise of this story and I loved the first third of this book and the last third of this book, it was just the middle of this book that I struggled with and I mean seriously struggled. The amount of repetition and over description really bored me which meant that it really dragged. I'm glad that I kept reading because the end of the book was worth reading for, I really was happy with how the climax resolved and I was very happy with how the romance resolved. 

There was a little bit of a love triangle, but one of the boys didn't appear until the end of the book which meant that we didn't get to know him very well... nonetheless, I did really liked the second guy. Korbyn was a good character on the surface but there wasn't really much else to him, which was the problem with most of the characters really.

I did love the storyline itself, the setting is gorgeous and well described and this world with the Gods and the mythology is fantastic. The other flaws just meant that I couldn't really get into it and for me that was so disappointing.

Overall Rating: D

Book released 11th September 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry
Book bought by myself (eBook)



Other books from this author:



Review: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)


It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

 It's been a year since I read Under the Never Sky and whilst I remember enjoying it I must have read two hundred odd books since, so I really can't remember much that happened. This meant that I really struggled to catch up with what happened (my usual problem with sequels) and Rossi didn't spend much time recapping the previous book so I did feel like I was always a few steps behind until the book started to develop it's own plot, that's my issue though and I can't really blame Rossi for that. 

Whilst I'm not a total romance freak I really enjoyed the romance in this book. This wasn't the same wild-boy-meets-privileged-girl-and-they-learn-to-love-eachother romance that we got in the first book. The romance in this book is so much more uncertain and has so many more obstacles. Both Aria and Perry have their own temptations and both act in ways that I really disagreed with though I can see why they made those choices. New characters cause more conflict in this book and I was screaming at my kindle at times, I honestly thought that the strain in the romance actually made this book better because it was actually  pretty slow paced for the most part. This book definitely seemed to focus on Perry a little more and I absolutely loved watching his development.

I also absolutely adored the friendship between Roar and Aria, I don't think that I really paid it much notice in Under the Never Sky but  loved their banter and their friendship, it's so sweet and these parts were the highlight of the book for me. I felt awful for Roar at times and I'm a little uncertain how their relationship will progress in this after the events at the end of this book, could we have a love triangle in book three?

Overall, Through the Ever Night was a great continuation to this series. I especially loved the way that Rossi worked the relationships between the three main characters. It was a little slow paced at times but the relationships kept this book working.

Overall Rating: B

Book released 8th January 2013 by HarperCollins
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (eBook)


Other Books by this Author:


Stacking the Shelves & Week in Review (12/1/13)



Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! 

It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews

For Review:

    

   


  Exile (Mercy, #2)  

 Beautiful Goodbye Starglass

Bought:

Catherine Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters


Week in Review

Reviews:

Feature Posts:

So what did you get this week? Comment with a link and I'll be sure to call by and as always, drop me a comment if you're a new follower and I'll follow back :)