Review: Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration, #2)
Can the living coexist with the living dead? That's the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as "The Laz" hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites. Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety. Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren't the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder's crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target. As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora's scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of "The Laz" and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus-and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

It's no surprise that after finishing this book I found myself in a total reading slump, not because this book was SO AWESOME that nothing could compare but because this book was slow and dreary and at times it also got stupidly complicated. It took me so long to finish this book and even the super cute ending couldn't convince me to read on in this series.

The one thing that seriously annoyed me in this book was the jumping narration. I could have dealt with two narrators but there was like... six? in this book. Nora was a good heroine and I still love Bram but then  it jumps to like Pamela who is so weak as a character and my interest in what was happening plummeted. I didn't care much for the rest of the narrators either, I would have been happy with Bram and Nora.

I also began to find the setting very awkward, I do like steampunk books and I did like how it was done in the last book but it's odd to have the very judgemental victorian society and phones and texting in the same book, it just didn't seam as well executed as in Dearly, Departed.

I totally regret that I didn't enjoy this book, but in all honestly I don't think I'll continue with the series.

Overall Rating: D

Book released September 25th 2012 by Del Ray
book received as an eGalley for review via NetGalley

A Quick Notice:

Hi Guys!

Sorry for the total lack of posts in the past 3 weeks, I moved into university two weeks ago and I'm still struggling to get used to it, I am beginning to get back into reading and will probably be resuming normal blogging in about a week when I've read a few books!


The Wolf Princess Blog Tour: Q&A With Cathryn Constable

Hi Guys!

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting the lovely Cathryn Constable, author of The Wolf Princess. Cathryn has kindly answered a few questions for me, and make sure you check out my review of The Wolf Princess here.

About Cathryn

View Cathryn Constable 1.JPG in slide show

Cathryn Constable read Theology at Cambridge University. She then worked at Vogue, W, Elle Decoration, Elle and The Independent. She also wrote for a number of publications including Tatler, and The Sunday Times, before turning her hand to writing for children. She is married with three children and lives in Islington, London.

Wolf Princess is Cathryn’s first novel for Chicken House.

Q&A With Cathryn

Hi Cathryn, thank you for being here today
My pleasure!

Describe The Wolf Princess in less than seven words.
A mystery solved through dreams and memory. (Sorry, that’s seven exactly! I’d like to add ‘memory’ in there... snatches of memory are very important in The Wolf Princess.)

What do you think makes The Wolf Princess different to other books in the young adult market?
Perhaps it’s a book where mood is quite important rather than just ‘what happens’.

The setting in The Wolf Princess is very vivid, what inspired you to write a book set in a cold Russia?
I do have a thing for snow... The way it transforms even the most boring landscape into something magical. But also, I love Russian literature and I found it very difficult, when I started writing, to keep Russia out of the book.

The tone of The Wolf Princess is very magical and fairytale like, did you take inspiration from any fairy tales or books when writing the book?
It’s funny, because I don’t really see it like that... I think if I took inspiration from anything, it would be from photographers like Deborah Turbeville or old films where things are shadowy and you can’t see everything in one glance.

What books would you recommend to everyone?
The Narnia books because they make you understand there is more. I think, as young adults, we feel this very strongly, this sense that life could go off in another direction, or miracles might occur... But mostly, as we get older, if we’re not careful, this ability to feel magic, to remember that sense that there might be somewhere ‘other’ leaves us. But at least, if you’ve read those books, you know there might be more.

If you could meet any five people, dead or alive, who would it be?
I presume I’d be able to speak their language etc? You’re not going to be like the Psammead in Five Children and It and grant me an overly literal wish are you? Awful to turn up to meet, say, Jesus and be very rusty in Aramaic! (Although it might be just as interesting to speak to Mary Magdalene...) Isaac Babel, the Russian writer. Tolstoy, obviously (can I just ask... Are any of these people happy to see me? Or are they going to be fantastically grumpy?) I mean, I’d like to meet someone truly awful and be able to say the one thing that would stop them embarking on something dreadful. Sadly, there are probably rather more than five of them.

Sometimes I think it would be lovely to go back and meet William Scales who was killed very young in WW1 when a shell hit the farmhouse he was billeted in. He’s not anyone famous, just a member of my father’s family who was adored by his parents and yet, like so many of that generation, was lost.

Finally, do you have any last words to say to my readers?
Just thank you!

Thank you for being here Cathryn!

Isn't she just lovely?! You guys must check out The Wolf Princess, it's beautiful and magical! I can't wait to read more from Cathryn!

Review: The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The Lying Game (The Lying Game, #1)
I had a life anyone would kill for. Then someone did.

I may not remember much, but I know I led a charmed life. Even in death I'm getting something no one else does: an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never got to meet. Now, in order to figure out what happened to me, Emma needs to become me. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she's the girl he fell in love with? Hug my parents good night like she's their daughter? And can she keep up the charade even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

Let the lying game begin.

Despite the fact that until I was offered the fourth book in this series for review I had never really been interested in this series, however I am so glad that I finally got around to reading it, this book was fantastic and I can't wait to carry on this series. Even the contemporary style parts of this book are unbelievable, but to be honest I really did not care. This was a fun book, but also a mystery and also kind of gritty read. The plot line was so well organised and the book is pretty well written, I read some reviews that slammed Shepard's writing but though not massively different the writing is not bad in any way.

I did find that this book suffered from absent parent syndrome, Sutton plays all these awful pranks and her parents don't care even though her little sister is often a victim of them. Emma runs off and her foster mother doesn't care, Emma's friend doesn't even care... what is with al the teenagers running around doing outrageously dangerous things and nothing being said about it... seriously!

I also did find that the narration got a bit odd... it's written from dead Sutton's point of view but following Emma so it's saying "Emma did this" which fools you into thinking it's written in third person, then suddenly Sutton will have a thought and it's "I did this" and then you're shocked and despite the fact that it is all in first person from Sutton it does actually seem as though it's tense-switching.

Those really are tiny little nags though. I really really did like this book, the story was fun and gritty and it seemed as though it would really appeal to a YA audience as well as fans of TV shows such as Gossip Girl. I definitely enjoyed it anyway. On with book two! I also really liked the romance, Ethan was amazing, can't wait for more of that!

Overall Rating: B+

Book released 31 March 20122 by HarperCollins Children Books
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Print)

Review: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

I am a big fan of Rachel Cohn, though not such a big fan of David Levithan (I'll get to that in a minute) and so when this book came up on NetGalley I knew that I HAD to read it, I was so excited to start reading it and I read it off my laptop in one sitting... it was cute and addictive but there are some things that annoyed me and really grated on me and stopped me from enjoying this book as I could do. 

Overall, the plot is amazing. I love books about cute romances and fate and chance and this book is the epitome of that type of book. I loved how the romance worked and there was some really funny scenes in it, like Lily's drunkness and the Father Christmas scene that totally had me giggling. I also loved the Christmas setting, it was so fun! It didn't has as much depth as it could have had.

Character wise, I was divided. I loved the kooky and unique Lily, she was so fun - even though at times it seemed as though Cohn was trying too hard to make her seem really kooky and strange and kitschy. Dash, on the other hand was a character that I just didn't like... Levithan has always seemed very pretentious as his characters are always very intelligent and deep to the point where I kind of feel like I'm being mocked for not being as educated as them and Dash was no different, he was constantly making literary references and he seemed very pretentious making him unrelatable and unlikeable. Infact, Dash is probably the reason this book isn't being rated as high as it could be.

Overall, a fun and sweet read. it could have had more depth and Dash was a very unlikeable character for me, I did manage to read it in one sitting though, which says something.

Overall Rating: C-

Book released October 2012 by Harlequin UK
Book recieved from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (via Netgalley)