Review: the Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightWho would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Mind if I gush for a while? Of course you don't, this book is totally gush worthy, one of the best fluffy romance books that I have read in a long time, I think it pretty much equals Anna and the French Kiss on the scale of awesomeness. Yes, you know that's high praise from me.

I was so shocked when this book turned up on my door because it was such a small book, I got through it in around an hour and a half, but then again, I was so unable to put it down. at first i was really worried because the book takes place over 24 hours and I was expecting massive amounts of insta-love, but the way that Hadley and Oliver's romance is paced and developed is just perfect and by the end of it I was rooting for the two of them.

Don't worry though, this book isn't just 280 pages of romance, romance and happy feelings, there are some downs, some emotional moments, some underlying themes that add to the books charm. Oliver is battling personal issues and Hadley is on her way to her Dad's wedding to another wedding, I think this made the characters and story seem more real. These emotional moments don't detract from the fact that this book is one of those lovely, heart-warming to read while chilling out.

I really need me an Oliver. Oliver is just... wow he was a dream. Hadley was a believable character and probably one of the most likeable YA main characters that I have ever read, shes easy to relate to, but also witty and strong... and a very lucky girl! Their romance was one that I really loved to watch, despite it developing over the short timescale of one day.

Overall... I freaking loved this book! That is really all that I can say!

Overall Rating: A+

Book released by Headline, January 5th
book recieved through a swap

In My Mailbox (28/01/2012)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, 
in which you post all of the books/e-books/audio books that you have recieved/bought/won this week and link 'em all up!

So you may or may not have noticed the lack of a IMM post last week! I've been so busy (SORRY!) that I've totally been slacking on blogging, I'll be back to normal by the end of the month (after exams finish), a week to go!

Anyway, onto this weeks books!

For Review:

Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides to Every Story This Is Not a Test I Am (Not) the Walrus Scarlet Lies Beneath Someone Else's Life Hollyweird The Queen's Lady (The Lacey Chronicles, #2)  The Book Of Blood And ShadowFreshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic, #1) Poke Witchblood
Girl Meets Boy by Various (Abrams & Chronicle, 1st March)

This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers (St. Martins Griffin, 19th June -  NetGalley) 
I Am (Not) the Walrus by Ed Briant (Flux, 8th July - NetGalley)
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (Walker Books, 14th February - NetGalley)
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown (Delacorte, 12th June - NetGalley)
Someone Elses Life by Katie Dale (S&S Childrens, 2nd February - NetGalley)
Hollyweird by Terri Clarke (Flux, May 8th - NetGalley)
The Queen's Lady by Eve Edwards (Random House, April 10th - NetGalley)
The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman (Randomhouse, 10th April - netGalley)
Witchblood by Emma Mills (From author)


Fated Sean Griswold's Head


Incarceron (Incarceron, #1) There is No Dog Crossed (Matched, #2) Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry, #2)

Free from Amazon UK:

Mundahlia (The Mundahlian Era, #1) Meant to Be (The Saving Angels, #1) Eternal Eden (Eden Trilogy, #1) I Loved You First Effie At The Wedding The Childe (The Childe, #1) Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books Painfully Ordinary Glimpse (Zellie Wells, #1) Madly (Madly, #1)

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New GirlThey call me 'New Girl'...
Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

I don't really know where to start with this book, I got through it quickly and enjoyed it enough but I just didn't love it, but even though I finished reading it days ago I still can't get it out of my head, so it really did grip me.

Having read and loved Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, which New Girl is largely based on it would be very difficult for a retelling of it to impress me but I had to read this book. Obviously, nobody could compete with Du Maurier's fantastic writing but I loved the way that Harbison managed to get into two different characters and develop both of their personalities so differently.

I found the story was very easy to follow, despite being set in two timescales, which would usually throw me off. I was gripped by the story line which was adapted so well to a boarding school setting and loved to see two characters lives unfolding.

The characters were a let-down for me, the only characters that I liked were Dana because she was such a deep, intense character and Max, and even he annoyed me at times (like in Becca's storyline). Becca was a cliche attention seeker and I really disliked her, but at the same time, looking back she's a character that a deep part of me can relate to, so my dislike may be a personal issue rather than due to the development. The other character, who is referred to only as 'New Girl' until the end of the novel was too spineless for me and I wish she'd stuck up for herself a little.

The pacing was fantastic, I was actually gripped from the start to the fisnih and read it withing about three or four hours.

Overall, an pretty good read that gripped me from start to end. The storyline and pacing were absolutely amazing but unfortunately the characters really disapointed me so I'm giving this book a pretty average grade.

Overall rating: C

Released 31st January 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Book received as an eGalley via Netgalley

Review: Warriors of the Black Shroud by Peter Howe

Warriors of the Black ShroudWalker Watson is a lonely eleven-year-old who keeps to himself because his classmates tease him about the star-shaped birthmark on his cheek. But he finds a companion in Eddie—short for Prince Edward the Soon-To-Be Terrible—who rises up from the underworld to persuade Walker to join him in the Nebula, a dark kingdom where his birthmark is a sign of royalty. The kingdom glows with light from a secret power supply called the Source, but the king is dying and can only pass on the secret of the Source to someone with the mark. Walker is hesitant to accept the challenge but when the Kingdom is threatened by the evil Warriors of the Black Shroud who wants to destroy the Source, he knows he is the only one who can help.

Oh I do love a good middle grade fantasy adventure and this one was pretty fun. It was quick and light so a welcome distraction from the long and emotional reads that I'm so used to reading.

This book has a little bit of a moral that won't be lost on the target audience as it tells the story of a boy who is bullied for his odd birthmark but to another group of people this birthmark is the mark of a hero, I liked knowing that this book, whilst fun and adventurous, had an underlying message.

I would have absolutely loved this book as a twelve, thirteen/fourteen year old, I mean I thoroughly enjoyed it as an 18 year old and I think I'm a few years above the target audience so this is a book that I'd definitely recommend to younger readers. The characters are fantastic and unique, from the bookish, shy Walker, a normal boy who develops into a hero to the adventurous and spunky Frankie, who accompanies on his journey, I loved the odd appearance from the aptly named Fussington and I really loved reading about these characters.

I don't think that there was a lot of emotion in the book and maybe that's because it;s aiming at a younger audience that don't really need emotion, just adventure and action and magic, but I did feel slightly disconnected from the story and teh world and a little emotion may have fixed that.

Overall, an exciting and fun story, I felt little emotion but did love the story and characters. One that I'd recommend to younger, pre-teen/middle grade readers!

Overall Rating: B

Book to be released January 31st by HarperCollins Childrens
Book received as an eGalley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Lolly Luck by Ellie Daines

Lolly LuckLolly is Lolly Luck by name, lucky by nature. She always wins magazine competitions, on scratch cards and any game you can think of. But when Lolly’s dad loses his job and then the family home, Lolly’s luck starts to change. And when she overhears her parents arguing, she learns a secret that will change her life forever.

This book reminded me of all of my favorite authors when I was younger - Jacqueline Wilson, Cathy Cassidy, authors that could take a serious issue and simplify it to make an entertaining and meaningful book and whilst I do think I would have enjoyed it that little bit more if I was a few years younger, I'm glad that I read it now because now I can respect how well Daines took the pretty deep issue of family reordering and redundancy and unemployment and made it a book that is relevant and accesible to kids.

Lolly was a very endearing character, whilst she wasn't developed very far I don't think that she needs to be, the strengths of this book definitely lie in the issues that are explored and the idea that you make your own luck. None of the characters are particularly memorable but Lolly which i usually would find a put-off but becaus ethis book targets a younger reading age than most of the books that I review do I don't think that the characters really needed that much development.

I love how this book explored other family set-ups, as well as different cultures (like Lolly's St Lucian family) and I think that whilst this book may have seemed a little too young for me, had I been just a couple of years younger I would have totally adored it. i think the only reason this book DID seem young for me was the writing style, which was very simple and understandable whereas I am used to reading involved, complicated books, it did make a nice change. I really did enjoy Ellie Daines writing and would definitely read anything else by her.

Overall, a fantastic book for middle grade readers. I would definitely recommend it to my mum's friend's ten year old as well as a fourteen year old work mate. The strengths are definitely in the issues explored and the way that they are approached.

Overall Rating: B

To be published February 28th by Anderson Press
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Daughter of the Centaurs by Kate Klimo

Daughter of the Centaurs (Centauriad, #1)Malora knows what she was born to be: a horse wrangler and a hunter, just like her father. But when her people are massacred by batlike monsters called Leatherwings, Malora will need her horse skills just to survive. The last living human, Malora roams the wilderness at the head of a band of magnificent horses, relying only on her own wits, strength, and courage. When she is captured by a group of centaurs and taken to their city, Malora must decide whether the comforts of her new home and family are worth the parts of herself she must sacrifice to keep them.

To start with I really did not think that i would be able to finish this book, the writing was disorientation because it was written present tense, so it was like "Malora knows how to train horses so Malora walks out of the door and Malora does this" and I didn't like it, though after a few chapters I began to notice it less. I also started this book thinking that I had got the wrong end of the stick as for the first few chapters our main character is a young girl and I had been expecting a teenager, thankfully a few chapters in our naive young girl is now a strong teenager, unfortunately we don't get to see this transition happened so there are a few character development issues there.

The story is great, I love the idea of this young girl leading a pack of horses, defending them from the wilderness, I actually started to feel for the horses, then Malora and the horses are captured and taken to the centaur city and whilst I loved the events that happened there and the type of civilization set up, I just did not like the fact that this was a centaur civilization. My honest opinion is that centaurs should live in the wood and hunt and have honor but not too much and I think that the centaurs in this book were too civilized and that isn't really what readers will want. 

Nevertheless, the thing about the centaurs has too be my biggest issue, I actually liked the pacing and once I got past the narrative tense I actually loved the way that the author described things, i was shocked to find out that this book is set far into the future and I like that the hints are dropped but it's developed as an adventure/fantasy rather than a dystopian.

Overall, I would recommend this to younger middle grade to young teen readers but not to older readers that like young adult, I am eighteen and found the book was possibly a bit young for me. An enjoyable enough read but not one that I absoloutely loved.

Overall Rating: C-

Book to be released through Random House on 24th Jan
Book received as an eGalley through NetGalley

Review: Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan

Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved, #2)Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason, life never seems to get any better. She left her spoiled, rich girl life to find peace at River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There, she learned to embrace River's Edge, despite some drama involving the sexy Reyn, who she wants but won't allow herself to have. But just as she's getting comfortable, her family's ties to dark magick force her to leave.

She falls back into her old, hard partying ways, but will her decision lead her into the hands of a dark immortal? Or will it be her first step to embracing the darkness within her?

I will start by saying that Darkness Falls is A great continuation of the Immortal Beloved series that I totally enjoyed.
There were definitely some things that were missing, or some things that I liked in Immortal Beloved that I missed in Darkness Falls, the main one being that I found that Nastasya lost some of her spark here, I get that she's becoming a better person but I really found that she seemed too placid/goody here and lost some of her awesome attitude which was still there but not as in your face, and I missed that.

But whilst Nasty's character took a little bit of a step back, other characters take a step forwards. I loved seeing River's past, it made her a much more likeable character and I saw her as a person rather than the shiny goody Mr Miyagi type lady that I saw in Immortal Beloved. I also liked seeing Reyn let down his guard a little bit more.

I found that Nasty pined over Reyn a lot more in this book and didn't act on it, after everything that came out at the end of Darkness Falls, I was expecting either lots of making out or a lot of really strong fights and there wasn't any really strong emotion, just nasty pining a lot. The scenes with lots of sexual tension were fantastically written, I just would have liked some stronger emotions in there.

As before, i loved how well written it was, Tiernan has the way of getting into the head of a 450 year old with the mentality of a teenager, Nasty is a believable character and I loved her voice, the pacing was fantastic though the last quarter was much more gripping and intense than the last and I loved how action  packed and terrifying it was!

Overall, a well written and gripping sequel which has a few issues with characters but makes up for it with the action and pacing.

Overall Rating: B

Released 5th January through Hodder and Stoughton
Book received in exchange for an honest review.

In My Mailbox (14/01/12)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, 
in which you post all of the books/e-books/audio books that you have recieved/bought/won this week and link 'em all up!

So exams started this week... BOO! Too much revision sucks, had Geology and Psychology on Tuesday and have another exam for each subject, Geography and two General Studies to go! 

But they have put the library books back in my college library (there were renovations going on in college so there were no books in there!) so I went a bit mad.

For Review:

Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe Starters (Starters, #1) Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2)

Starters by Lissa Price (Delacorte, March 13th)
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter (Harlequin, March 27th)
(All Netgalley)


The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Library (from college):

Black Swan Rising (Black Swan Rising #1) The Rapture The Tales of Beedle the Bard  The Handmaid's Tale