Monday, 21 April 2014

SMILE - Is Your Cat Trying to Kill You?


My thanks to Ashley Clements' tumblr

I really need to get my cat obsession under control... it's getting out of hand!  

Saturday, 19 April 2014

April Extravaganza!

HAPPY APRIL EXTRAVAGANZA DAY!!!

Anyway, Project UKYA (or @ProjectUKYA on Twitter) have been doing this all month and asked me to do a special blog post today to get excited over UKYA books! And I did have really exciting ideas! Loads of exciting ideas, but every time I sat down to write them, I never got first the first paragraph.

So, instead, I wanted to share some UKYA books that I am very excited to read in the coming months. I had to cut them down so this isn't my complete list but I wanted to go "LOOK!!!" at these and I hope you guys get excited for them as well.

Let's start with DEAD JEALOUS by Sharon Jones. As you saw yesterday, I read and LOVED the sequel, DEAD SILENT, so reading the first book in the series. Poppy is recovering from a terrible boating accident that happened last year. Pushing away the brush of death, her mother dragged her to a pagan festival and, going to a nearby lake, Poppy finds a body of a young girl. Shocked at the sight (and remembering last year too well), Poppy decides to do some digging... Not your smartest move, Poppy.

This sounds great! I always love a good crime thriller! Another thriller that I'm excited over is NIGHT SCHOOL: RESISTANCE by CJ Daughtery. The fourth book in her NIGHT SCHOOL series, we follow Allie as she attends Cimmeria Academy where some of the students and teachers are hiding a secret. As Allie begins to discover the secret a piece at a time, she discovers that she is more powerful in this game of chess...

Another thriller-like book on my list (I like a good thriller) is A KISS IN THE DARK by Cat Clarke. When Alex meets Kate, the attraction is instant and they know it. They want to be with each other. And as they love begins to slowly grow, one of them has a secret and, if revealed, it will ruin everything. Not just their relationship, but both their lives...

You had me at the word "secret". Plus, it's Cat Clarke. I love her!

A book that you might have heard some buzz on the UK book bloggersphere is another book I am super excited to read: BANISHED by Liz de Jager. Described for fans of Cassandra's Clare, the story follows Kit, a Blackhart to fight enemy fae, who finds herself saving a fae prince. But she's on her own - no family to back her up this time. I did start this (only a few pages) but this is gonna be awesome!

If you know me, you know I am a huge fan of James Dawson so his latest, SAY HER NAME, is high up on my list. Taking urban legends and twisting it on its head, this follows Bobbie, who gets a stupid dare to stand in front of Bloody Mary's mirror and say her name five times, she does it to prove that ghosts don't exist. And guess what? Nothing happens. But the next day, on her mirror, she sees the words five days... Is it really Bloody Mary coming after her or is someone playing a cruel and nasty trick on her...

Am going to write these two books and leave you there as these seem to have past me by: HALF BAD by Sally Green and THE BONE SEASON by Samantha Shannon. Both these books seem to be getting a load of hype and I do have copies of them (I won them both - when did THAT happen?). Both have VERY PRETTY cover (remember, never judge a book by its cover). But if you are a fan of twisted fantasy, you might want to check these out...

Friday, 18 April 2014

GoodRead - Dead Silent

As you guys are probably aware if you have been following my blog for a while, I am a fan of Kimberly Derting's The Body Finder. Loved books 1 & 3 in the series (the killers in both these books are scary!). And since finishing the series, I have been waiting to discovering a crime/thriller book series within YA to be a "spiritual" cousin, as I don't think there is many crime/thrillers within YA (though this is changing!)

In this, the second book in the Poppy Sinclaire series, Poppy and her new boyfriend, Michael, go to Cambridge to see her father and for Michael to have an interview at a university. What Poppy doesn't expect to find a dead body of a student, his arms outstretch in an snow angel position. But his wings are his own blood. And she finds her father kneeling by the body... 

Things don't look for Poppy's father, so Poppy hunts down the killer... But hunting the truth can be murder, and if she's not careful, someone Poppy cares about might find themselves in the killer's reach... 

I'm going to say this. I really think this book is PERFECT for you Body Finder fans out there. It's dark and twisty with a tiny hint of something unnatural (it's not in your face as The Body Finder), but I devoured this book in less than a week. And recently, reading something this fast is a miracle! But I just couldn't stop reading this. 

Apart from the murder and the thriller side of this book that I thoroughly enjoyed, I really liked how Sharon Jones wrote about Poppy and Michael's relationship. I like how, recently on the Internet (mainly YouTube), the topic of sex and consent has been raised and Sharon tackles it within Dead Silent. And I liked how Sharon wrote it with maturity and how she made both the characters act like grown-ups over it. There was always questions and moments of hesitations, but this is very natural in a new relationship so I applaud this. THANK YOU FOR TREATING YOUR READERS LIKE ADULTS! 

I also loved the idea of the author tackling religion. If you have read the previous book, Dead Jealously, you know this takes place in a pagan festival and that Poppy's mother is pagan. So here, we have Poppy beginning to explore not only her mother's Paganism but also her father's Christianity and her own as she claims to be an atheist. It's refreshing to read about religion and not feel like it's been forced down your throat! 

And as for the mystery... I really didn't see it coming. And I think I'm quite good at figuring who the murderer is in crime books, I didn't really think it was them till the very last moment and, even then, I didn't go with in. But I like that I didn't see it coming! 

I am so glad I haven't read the first book. Once I have finished my NetGalley month, it's going to be one of the first books am planning to read. I can not wait! And bring on book 3!



Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Night Vale: Condos Blog-A-Long

Hi there! I really wanted to do a tweet-a-long for quite some time. The last time I did it was in 2012, I think, and that was for an episode of Ambridge Extra (if you want to read that post, please click here). I was considering doing a tweet-a-long to the pilot episode of Star-Crossed, but decided against it as I haven't watched the show yet. Nothing jumped out at me, till I treated myself to this very special episode of Welcome to Night Vale, a podcast I love!

So, if you want to join in, either click here for iTunes or here for Night Vale Wiki and there will be links to find it elsewhere online. And, after listening to it, you want to subscribe to the podcast, please click here! Or here! That would be cool of you.

Now, enough talk! Let's click play!

0:08 - "At last, we are alone!" Oh Cecil, you sweettalker you. Many fans wish you would say that to them and them alone. 
0:50- "Condos for sell!"
1:30- "One local realtor, speaking under the condition of anonymity, and from within the belly of a grazing deer..." Insert bad job here...
2:21 - "...the deer got spook and ran away." *snorts with laughter*
3:00 - "Everyone is there." And I'm back in secondary school, being THAT kid again. 
3:35 - "Leann Hart, Publishing Editor of the Night Vale Daily Journal, who was holding a bloodied hatchet, in case she came across any bloggers or online journalists who might threaten her grip on the printed word." Ok, maybe it's a good thing I didn't join the line, after all...
3:44 - "Carlos the Scientist" [Insert fangirl screams here]
4:13 - "Carlos is totally my boyfriend!"
And with this, the fandom dies of happiness!
6:20 - "Is that a condo? Is that a condo?"
6:37 - No way! 
7:23 - The Great Question: Will a spine buy you a condo? (Maybe this will help with next month's rent... Awaits answer)
7:53 - Ooooh! That's a Scientist! Knowing that might mean I can understand Brian Cox more...
8:23 - CARLOS!!!
8:50 - Who has a fear of spiders now? *sees whole fandom's hands shoot up* 
8:57 - "I'm very into science." Aren't we all, Cecil?
9:10 - "Every time you're on..."
10:13 - "I love... no, no, no, you go."
YOU CAN'T ALMOST SAY I LOVE YOU! YOU CAN'T, GOD DAMN IT!
10:40 - "Let's talk about your health." ARE YOU KIDDING ME, CECIL?! 
12:05 - And now I want to rush online and check out if I'm healthy. Thanks, Cecil. Thanks a bunch.
12:10 - "The Condos are here!" *hides under the sofa with the throat spiders* 
14:45 - Is it safe to come out yet?
15:04 - The Faceless Old Woman Who Lives In Your Home has turned up! And she moved Cecil's coffee.... She and I could NEVER be friends...
16:25 - "This world will simply talks itself to death." Cheerful soul, isn't she?
17:05 - Ah, Cecil. She says beware and you, like all of the fandom is going "WHAT DID HE MEAN!?" 
17:35 - Out of coffee? What kind of host are you?!
17:47 - "Picture a car..."
"No, you're doing it wrong. Try again."
19:50 - WE DID IT!!! THEY CAN'T TAKE US ALL TO COURT, RIGHT?! 
22:15 - A SPINE CAN BUY YOU A CONDO!!! I can now sleep easily at nights now.
23:49 - "Was that a condo?" 
25:30 - Oh, hello Hiram McDonald - you five-headed dragon, you! Er... hello to you and you and you and you and you - wait! I said hi to you already! Sorry about that. 
26:08 - Oh, that head sounds like Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. 
26:46 - "My favorite memory." ... David Cameron? Is that you trying to be hip with us? 
29:00 - 
31:06 - THAT WORKS! Well... sorta. Kinda. Maybe... 
32:57 - Oh, really? What was your first clue?
35:44 - "Tuesday. Oh, you don't ever want to know..."
36:12 - CARLOS IS BACK!!! SO HAPPY AND... WAIT! Something's wrong here...
36:27 - The shippers are now reacting like this:
36:35 - NO!NONONONO!
37:22 - The shippers are now screaming. Or is that the voices in my head...? 
37:43 - SAVE HIM! And now, since I saw this gif, I can imagine Cecil doing this...
Ok, Cecil in my head is a little sexy... SH! Tell no one... 
37:55 - THE WEATHER!!! WHO WANTS MUSIC?
39:37 - They can't kill off Carlos? They won't, will there...
40:20 - No... they won't. They won't kill our hearts... 
40:45 - They going to kill him. They're going to kill Carlos. I fear the worse, Night Vale... And am reacting badly...
41:59 - Traffic's over! We'll find our if the writers have destroyed our hearts or not... 
42:20 - DAMN IT, FACELESS OLD WOMAN! WE DON'T WANT YOU!!!
42:30 - Looks over my shoulder now, fearful...
42:45 - BUG SPRAY YOUR CEILINGS!!! 
44:22 - Who else thinks this is the Faceless Old Woman's life story? 
44:41 - Me thinks the Faceless Old Woman lies...
45:02 - YOU WITCH! [insert a B instead of a W]
45:35 - HE'S BACK! Now, tell us EVERYTHING!!! NOW!!!
 - Mountains! 
49:31 - THAT'S OUR CECIL!!! Of course, he would do that!
52:32 - 
51:39 - The fandom explodes. 
51:51 - The word of the day is "Neat"
52:22 - "Only belongs to us." DID YOU TELL EACH OTHER YOU LOVED EACH OTHER?! DID YOU?! 
52:30 - YOU'RE NOT GOING TO TELL US?! SERIOUSLY!!!
54:05 - "Stay tune next for a round of applause, followed by silence and departure."
54:26 - "Good night, Night Vale. Good night."
54:40 - Oh, I am so a fan of this. And I don't care!

DONE! Took nearly 2 hours to do this, but I don't care! Was weirdly fun! I hope you loved the show and mildly liked this/the gifs used! Oh, I haven't felt this emotional drained since episode 25: One Year Later (my fave episode of the show EVER!)
Anyway, normal book blogging will return soon. PROMISE! To, let's leave you with... goodnight, Internet. Goodnight...

PS - I NEED THIS TEE IN MY LIFE. *flutters eyelashes at any one who wants to pay P&P for me...* 
PPS - And this is why there MUST BE A NIGHTVALE TOUR IN THE UK!!! I will drop everything to go to a London/Essex event! PLEASE!!!! 

Monday, 14 April 2014

SMILE - Coffee And Bacon


If I ever get back into an office job, this sign is my first purchase for my desk!!!

My thanks goes to Pinterest. If you don't know, I am on Pinterest and use it quite a bit. So, if you want to follow all my boards, just go to pinterest.com/pewterwolf or you can just follow my SMILE board at pinterest.com/pewterwolf/smile!

Friday, 11 April 2014

GoodRead - Adaptation

I was trying to do a NetGalley ban on myself. I seem to be one of those bloggers than requests books that sound interesting, then get surprised when I'm approved then I NEVER GET ROUND TO READING THEM! I know. I am a bad blogger. According to NetGalley, you should have a "Recommended Feedback to Approval Ratio is at least 80%". When I started reading this, mine was 28.1% (just check it now - 27.3%). Ooops!!!

I blame LukeLaneReads for reminding that this was on NetGalley! CURSE YOU!!! (If you want, go check his YouTube out. He always seems to know/discovers books that I go "Ooooh!" over.)

When birds start suddenly dying, causing flights to be grounded, Reese and David decide to drive back home. But when a bird flies into the car, Reese loses control and the car flips. Almost a month later, she and David wake up in a military hospital from their comas, and the doctors refuse to tell them what happens...

But that's only the start, when she gets home, Reese realises that something has changed within her. As she's trying to figure out what happened to her that can't be humanly possible, she finds herself torn between David, a longterm crush, and Amber, a whirlwind of a girl that crashed into her life.

But what is going on? And who can she trust?

Ok, I am going to admit this. This is one of those books that, when I first heard of it, I was hugely excited over. So to hear that Hodder Children's was publishing it in the UK, made me very happy. We don't have any bisexual characters in YA/New Adult so this would be a breath of fresh air. I mean, we always seem to have gay or lesbian characters but when it comes to the LGBT community, the rest seem to be ignored or they are the sidekicks or background character.

And it was. Up to a point. But more on this later.

I am going to be honest with you. I was a little disappointed over this book. There was good points to this, but there was several bad points. A mixed bag.

Ok, the good. I couldn't stop reading it. Even when I was frustrated with it, I had to know what was going to happen next. Malinda's writing made it effortless and I just kept clicking my kindle, wanting to know what happened next.

And the last 20-odd percentage made me read very late into the night!

But, this book isn't perfect. I have two real issues. Characters and genre.

With the three main characters (Reese, David and Amber), I never felt like I "clicked" or connected to them. These are our main leads so we should be rooting for them, but I felt very detached from them. Maybe this is Malinda's point because of what they went through, but still... I want to connect to these characters on some level.

My second issue was a huge problem and it's genre. The book couldn't decide what it wanted to be. Was it a sci-fi novel? Was it is a love triangle story? Was it a conspiracy theory story? It kept changing every other chapter. It only felt like Adaptation only figured it out in the last 20-odd percentage, but seeing as this is a duology (with an eNovella), I fear that it will fall back into this "What am I?".

Also, the twists in this book, I kinda saw coming. A few felt very obvious to me. I was expecting a lot of moments where I was genuinely shocked. Maybe I did have my expectations over this book too high...

While I'm not 100% certain if I will read the sequel, Inheritance, I am quite happy that, finally, there seems to be a book out there that has a bi love triangle and that YA readers are treated with respect over how it was written. We YA readers are smarter than most people give us credit for.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

GoodRead - Free Four

Dear readers,

If you are reading this review, please be warned that there will be a rant involved and it will NOT be aimed at the author (so Veronica Roth, if you are reading this, please don't worry. I love you very much and I hope you never stop writing!)

Ok, now I have that disclaimer out of the way, let's talk Free Four, shall we?

Free Four is an eNovella that tells the famous knife throwing scene in Divergent, but from Four's point of view. It's a short fast read and I really liked it. Like I said earlier on, I love Veronica's writing and it gives a new insight to Four, who we only really hear speak in Allegiant and we can all say that there were moments he wasn't himself...

Ok, now the ranty part. This is aimed SOLELY at the publishers. I have been watching this eNovella for quite a while as I do want to read this (Again, big Veronica Roth fan here!). It was first released on Veronica's Facebook as a thank you to all her fans (for free, by the way), then it was released as an eNovella for £1.99. The price then dropped for 49p and, when I downloaded this, Free Four was free (hence the title. Oh, the irony!). And, if I had bought this for either price, I would have been either very upset or very angry! The rest for this is because of this: the story was only 22%. It's not even a 1/4 of the download. 4% was the title page and author's note. 22% was the story. That leaves around 76% of the download which was the opening chapters of books one and two within the series: Divergent and Insurgent.

And most readers who will buy this eNovella would have ALREADY read either both stories or Divergent. I know I do turn round and say these eNovellas are great for people unsure over whether they want to read a series. But, with all the eNovellas being £1.99 and I heard that this trick is being used on this on each story...

Now you see why I warned you guys at the start of the review.

So, in short, really liked the story, really dislike the attitude from the publisher over how they could/would exploit fans for money...

Monday, 7 April 2014

SMILE - How I Wake Up


You have no idea how true this is for me...!

My thanks goes to Pinterest! If you wanna follow any of my boards, you can! Just click here to see all my boards, or just click on the hyperlink if you wanna follow the SMILE board.