Stacking the Shelves (7 weeks edition)

Hello you lovely bloggy people, nice to see you returning readers and new visitors again!

I have been so amazingly busy and distracted since I got to university 7 weeks ago that It's been so long since I've done a meme post, meaning that i have quite a few books to get through here. 

Thankfully, these are all review books and I haven't bought any books in the past few months (no time!) aside from the course textbooks so there aren't TOO many here.... anyway, hope you enjoy seeing what I have!

Sorry about the awful quality of the pictures!

Print - Review

Ebook - Review



So what am I really excited about in this haul? Well, basically everything. 
Some I have already read, like Geek Girl and Pantomime and some have been featured as WOW picks from me, like Mila 2.0, Hysteria, Taken, Renegade and Sister Assassin/Mind Games.

What did you get? 
Leave me a link and I'll call by.

Also, if you like my blog please follow me here by GFC or on twitter (Jade_jmbtf) and look out for my email follower widget which will be up soon!

Review: Blink Once by Cylin Busby

Blink Once

West is a high school senior who has everything going for him – until an accident leaves him paralysed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, moving in and out of consciousness, West is isolated and alone. Until he meets Olivia.

Olivia is the girl next door – though not the typical girl next door. She is in the hospital room next to his, and before long, she’s sneaking into his room to talk with him. Only Olivia seems to know what he’s thinking, and even dreaming about. Yet certain questions haunt him: Why is Olivia in the hospital? And how is she connected to the terrible dreams he’s been having? But the biggest shock of all comes when West must face the possibility that the girl he’s fallen in love with – and who’s done more to aid his recovery than anyone else – may not even be alive.

Blink Once was one of those books that I just don't know how to describe, I enjoyed it so much because it was so mind bending and psychological. I never really had a clue what was going on and the ending just totally threw me, just when you think you've grasped what's going on that happens... It was pretty amazing and, in a way, anticlimatic. Don't get me wrong, I loved what Busby did with this book, it was realistic and semi-believable and works well as both a 'supernatural' book as well as a contemporary which makes it pretty awkward to out into one genre, but the ending was somewhat annoying just because it went back on everything that had happened... However the ending was also beautiful and meaningful.

Yeah, I'm pretty confused by my own emotions right now.

I really hadn't heard much about Blink once when it turned up in my mailbox one day and so I kind of disregarded it. I picked it up a few days ago whilst avoiding essays and planned to read one hundred pages before going back to my work... one full book later and my head was reeling and I was speechless. That is the effect that this book had on me... it's pretty gritty. The characters are so real, West was so well written and Olivia was such an enigma, I would have loved to learn a little more about her circumstances.

The writing in this book is so raw. busby really get's down to the emotions that West is feeling; his frustration, his fear, his determination and his raw pain. The flashbacks to West's life before his accident show how much he's changing as a person and how much he's lost and I really felt that the narrative reflected the pure desperation of this novel. It was so well written.

Overall, a beautiful and poignant and shocking book. The books bends the edges of reality and leaves you reeling, I honestly don't know what to say... despite a few flaws this is a book that I would so highly recommend.

Overall Rating: A-

Book to be released October 11th 2012 by Bloomsbury
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Print)

Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe (Breathe, #1)

When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.

The problem with being an Environmental Geography student is that it really messes up your enjoyment of dystopian books with environment issues as a base, such as this one. i really could not bring myself to really like this book just because it takes too many liberties with the scientific aspect of this book. Coupled with the slow pace at times I really struggled through this book.

One aspect that I really did enjoy was that nobody could survive without the air tanks. This makes the book original in comparison to other YA dystopians as it isn't just the government that is a threat to our characters but the world as well. Though the upper class have more accesible air, Quinn's struggles show that this does not make them indestructible and it did add more suspense to the book.

I really struggled with the characters though. Quinn and Alina I just could not like but they weren't utterly hatable, I reserve the word hate for Bea who was so whiny and annoying I felt the urge to skip her chapters. Yeah, the only characters that i could like were Maude and Jazz which is pretty depressing because they're only secondary characters.

The most annoying thing was the science though, I understand that this based on basic science - no plants = no oxygen = DEAD but there are so many aspects that she didn't take into consideration that i just could not get out of the back of my mind. I won't get into it because it's Sunday and I am not trying to think about anything to do with my university course but GAH IT'S FRUSTRATING!

I didn't give up, and I enjoyed the small bit of originality, but I honestly can't recommend this book. Maybe you'll enjoy it, but I'd recommend Under the never Sky over this.

Overall Rating: D

Book released 11th October 2012 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Print)
ARC also received from the US publisher via Edelweiss (eBook)

Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)

Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.

Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.

Now meet Eva and Addie.

They don’t have to imagine.

I have been itching after What's Left of Me since I first heard of it last year. The whole concept was so original and I knew that I was going to really enjoy it. I did really enjoy it even though I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped. There were some flaws in this book, but it was gripping and chilling and an unputtadownable read. I loved it!

Unlike other dystopian books that try to deal with touching and gripping subjects, Zhang doesn't try too hard to throw all the action and fear and negativity at us, instead she focuses on the compassion and caring and the positive bond between Addie and Eva which makes some parts of this book even more heart-breaking and poignant. The relationship between Addie and Eva is the most beautiful part of this book, I thought it would be difficult to see them as two different people but it's so easy to see their different personalities. The pair had difficulties but got through them together, showing a lot of love, dedication and selfishness towards each other.

The secondary characters were good. I would have liked to get to know more about the other kids in the institution, especially Eli, I would also have liked the backgrounds of the doctors just so I could see why they acted the way before. I also really liked getting to know Devon and Ryan , though I hope they become a little more developed in the next book. i think Jackson may become a prominent character in book two and I'm looking forward to seeing how Zhang deals with the romance aspect in relation to the hybrids.

Though I was a little disappointed by the main bulk of this book which took place at a government institution, it seemed very cliche. The momentum slowed down and the book seemed to be going into familiar territory with all the secrets and the nasty government people and though I was never c lose to giving up at times I did feel like I needed to put the book down and take a break, but I read on. I read on on because I wanted to see how Addie and Eva dealt with the obstacles being thrown at them. The end was a little anti-climatic but I'm looking forward to book two.

Overall, What's Left of Me was a unique addition to the dystopian genre. I really enjoyed it but there were some flaws in the pacing and originality of certain parts of the plot which means that it may be pretty forgettable for some people. I look forward to seeing where Zhang takes the Hybrid Chronicles.

Overall Rating: B-

Book released 27th September 2012 by HarperCollins Childrens Books
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Print)

Review: Pantomime by Laura Lam

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.
This book has a secret, a big secret. I won't tell you what that secret is, I will make this review very cryptic just so that I don't even let out any clues about that secret, but just remember that this book has a secret. It's a pretty awesome secret that makes this book amazing and twisty and completely unique and yet this book will appeal to so many fans of YA fantasy fiction. So yeah, I will start this review by saying that you should read this book. It's pretty amazing.

Strange Chemistry have this knack for picking out appealing and original books and this one is no exception. I swear that I went into this book expecting something magical and fun and came out feeling very shocked and twisted but not disappointing at all. This book was everything that I never expected it to be and more, in the best possible way. Keep doing what you're doing, Laura Lam and Strange Chemistry, I have a feeling that you'll be impressing me for a long time.

The characters in Pantomime just jump off the page, the main characters, Gene and Micah are both fantastic characters that seemed so real. Gene's story of living in a world that she doesn't quite fit into and Micah's story of running away from something in his past are emotionally written and when the two stories cross the result is amazing. I liked the secondary characters as well; Drystan the clown is a fun and multi-dimensional character, I never quite knew what his intentions were but I always sure that he was a good and caring person, I also grew to like Aenea, Micah's romantic interest despite disliking her towards the beginning.

The pacing of this book was great, though it does have a bit of a slow start. By about three chapters in I couldn't put this book down and it pulled me out of an awful reading slump. The ending was fantastic and this book had a fantastic climax.

Overall, Pantomime was an amazing book that kept me gripped. The characters and plotlines were both written superbly and the twist in this book is just shocking and unique. I've never quite read anything like it, and I loved it.

Overall Rating: A

Book to be released February 5th 2013 by Strange Chemistry
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Print)