Monday, 27 December 2010

GoodRead - Paranormalcy

Sya from Mountains of Instead lent me her copy of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White after I lent her my copy of the ever-so-shiny Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.

So, here's the story of Paranormalcy. Evie classes herself as normal. Well, I say normal. I mean, she has worked for the International Paranormal Containment Agency (aka IPCA) for as long as she can remember, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex is a faerie, she can see through other paranormals' glamours. So, when a shape-shifter breaks into the IPCA, Evie's world slowly falls apart...

Am not going to lie to you; I'm not a great lover of the cover. I don't like it before I read the book and, now I've read it, I can see where the cover came from, but still, it doesn't really fit the story for me.

And now, the story. I really like it. It was a fluffy read, but there was something utterly refreshing about this debut novel. And, because we were reading from Evie's point of view, when we saw scary moments, it was made more freaky by the fact that Evie can see past the glamour and we see... well, that would be telling it, won't it?

So, why do I really like this book? Why was it, on Boxing Day, I was sitting in the corner, chuckling to myself as my grandparents was watching their Jane MacDonald DVD (true story)? Well, it's the main character, Evie. I LOVE her voice. She is a typical sixteen year old, with a cunning sense of humour. I mean, how can you not love the girl who has a pink taser (called Tasey), called a vampire clich̩ within the first few pages of the book and, as slowly falling in love with the shapeshifter (aka Water Boy Рdon't ask), Lend, she gets excited over him going to school and having his own locker. HIS OWN LOCKER, PEOPLE! I mean, how can you NOT love the girl?!

I love reading Evie and I cannot wait for the second in this trilogy, Supernaturally, to come out!





Thursday, 23 December 2010

But You Were Unsuccessful...?



I love a random blog about Harry Potter, don't you?

The 13 Sercets

Now, on Twitter a few days ago, I randomly won a copy of a book called "The 13 Sercets" by Michelle Harrison - all because I thought the cover looked cool (via @simonkids_UK)! I got it yesterday and, looking at it, I love it! It looks like a cool book to read. I mean, come on! LOOK AT IT!!!




Shame I didn't realise till after I won this competition that it was the final book in a trilogy - called "The 13 Treasures". But, because am weird, am going to risk reading this book as if I never knew it was in a trilogy because... well, it comes out in February and I want to read it before then. So, change in Books To Be Read - again.

Interested in this book or this series? Well, here's the trailer to tickle your fancy.

Monday, 20 December 2010

GoodRead - Shade

I have to explain how I got Shade, because if I was in a bookshop, I won't pick this book up. I won it on Mountains of Instead. And it was a signed copy! So, after I had finished Nightshade, I wanted a short, fun-looking read to get over Matched and Nightshade, so I picked this up!

Now, the book. Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and talk to ghosts. She finds this gift annoying and wishes that she can't see the violet-colour ghosts anymore. But when her boyfriend, Logan, suddenly and unexpectedly dies, Aura reconsiders. Surely a violet ghost Logan is better than no Logan at all, right? But as Aura slowly comes to terms with Logan's death, she grows closer to a new exchange student, Zachary who is kind, supportive and, more importantly, alive...

Like I said before, this isn't my usual read. And, maybe because of that, my reaction to this book is very middle of the room. You can also said that, because I had strong reactions to Nightshade and Matched, it would be hard (or near possible) for me to like this book.

Because of this, I can see why I like the book and why I had problems with Shade. Let's start with the why I didn't warm to the book and then go all positive and praising this book after.

Okay, I don't like writing negative about books. And I think the reason I had problems with this book was that this was the first book in a series. It asked more questions than answered. But I guess that with a series, you can get the answers in the upcoming books in the series.

Another reason I think I had problems with the book was the love triangle between Aura, dead Logan and alive Zachary. Most people's blogs (and the reviews on Amazon.co.uk) will disagree with me, but I felt the love triangle felt lacklustre. It didn't feel right, somehow. There was more than one occasion where I thought the only reason that Aura liked them was because both Logan and Zachary had accents.

But – BUT – this book has redeemable qualities. The characters were likeable and I really liked Jeri Smith-Ready's writing. But what held my attention was the idea of the Shift itself and its aftermath. How does something so simple like children born after a precise date and them seeing ghosts and angry Shades affect everyday life? You wear red, you might have to go to court to translate what the ghost says to the Pre-Shifters, everyday life changes because of this one mysterious event...

Did I like the book? I think I did, yes. Did I love it? Not really, no. But just because I didn't love Shade, doesn't mean other people haven't. I have read several reviews through the blogsphere including Wondrous Reads & The Mountains of Instead who loved this book. But, this book isn't me. Like I said at the start of the blog, this isn't my usual read. Would I consider reading the sequel, Shift? I think I would investigate it. As long as it gives me some answers, I would investigate...

*

As for music on this book, I will use the music the author herself talks about in this interview...

For Logan: “If I Ever Leave This World Alive” by Flogging Molly


For Aura: “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol


For Zachary: “I Will Possess Your Heart” by Death Cab for Cutie

Thursday, 16 December 2010

GoodRead - UK Cover Vs US Cover

So, I really like Maggie Stiefvater (as you know). I mean, I love the Shiver trilogy (though I almost threw Linger across the room when I got to the end and am waiting for the third book in the series, Forever. I WANT IT NOW!) so, while I wait impatiently for Forever, Maggie's other series - Books of Faerie - will be published over the course of the next five/six months. The first book in the series is Lament (here is the link to see the covers for Lament), and the second book is Ballad (coming out in May 2011 - YEAH!!!).

If you want to know about this book, this is what is said about Ballad on Maggie Stiefvater's website.

In this sequel to Lament, faeries follow James and Dee to Thornking-Ash, where James struggles with his feelings for Dee and for the dangerous faerie muse, Nuala. When Halloween plunges both Dee and Nuala into danger, James finds he can only save one.

Enough of book talk. Let's have a look at the covers! Here is the UK cover of Ballad



Here's the US cover of Ballad.



I love the UK cover. Sorry, but I do. I simply love it. I like the US cover with the burning leaf, but the UK cover has something edgy about it.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Nightshade Book Blog Tour

I am THRILLED and BEYOND HONORED to announce this EXCITING BOOK TOUR (my FIRST!!!) for NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer (published in the UK by Atom Books).



Yeah, the poster with all the details is a bit small. Sorry about that. But other REAL book bloggers like Crooked Shelf, Words and Pieces, Book City Chick, I Want To Read That, My Favourite Books, Once Upon a Bookshelf among others are involved! And then there is little me, right at the end! OK, I'm the penultimate blog post - BUT I DON'T CARE! I am on this Book Blog Tour and I am very excited! Excited and stupidly humbled to be apart of this (as I ADORE the book a stupid amount!)

So, the book tour starts Friday 20th December 2010 and ends Friday 14th January 2011. My blog on this tour is Wednesday 12th January! I have put it in my phone's calendar so I WILL remember!

Till the book tour starts (and my blog-post hits the end of the tour), I will give you links to wet your appetite over Nightshade!

Andrea Cremer Official Website - http://www.andreacremer.com/
Nightshade Series Official Website - http://www.nightshadeseries.co.uk/
Atom Books - http://www.atombooks.net/

Till then, SEE YA ON THE TOUR!!!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

City of Fallen Angels - Cover Reveal!

Now, as some of you guys know, I love the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and am planning to read Clockwork Angel (Book 1 in the prequel trilogy - Infernal Devices) in the near future (I WILL make time!), I am very EXCITED to see that the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments has been revealed!

So, here it is...



IT HAS TWO PEOPLE ON THE FRONT!!! Clary And... er... who is that?

Also, on the EW website, was revealed a tiny snippet of City of Fallen Angel and a EVEN-SHORTER snippet of the second book in the Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Prince. You can read them on MundieSource or at MundieMoms. Or, if you want to watch the cover being reveal with teaser-questions about what will happen in City of Fallen Angels, click here!

What do you guys think? Do you like it? Or dislike it? Let me know!

Also, if you want a countdown for City of Fallen Angels, go to the bottom of the blog and click on Share!

COOL DEATHLY HALLOWS PICTURE!!!



And I found that image at http://iseahorse.tumblr.com/ (I watched her YouTube video and I was curious. I don't have Tumbler [and probably never will, because I don't understand it], but I saw this image and fell in love!)

(if you're on tumbler, Explain what it is to me. Thanks!)

I Have A Problem



For more designs like this, go to http://thoughtballoonhelium.blogspot.com/

Monday, 13 December 2010

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

GoodRead - Nightshade

Right, as some of you know, I went to Atom Books for a book blogging event (am I ever going to stop talking about this? Probably not). When I was there, each of us bloggers were given two ARCs (aka Advance Reader Copies). One was Rosebush by Michele Jaffe (not out till March 2011) and the other was the book am about to review now.

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer follows the story of Calla, sexy alpha to the Nightshades, a pack of werewolves (though they are called Guardians). She is destined to mate with Ren, the alpha of another pack of Guardians, the Banes. Once this happens, the new pack will guard sacred ground for their masters, the Guardians, against the Guardians' enemy, the Searchers.

But Calla breaks one of her master's laws by saving a mortal boy, Shay's, life. After she done that, everything she knows – her fate, her existence and the very essence of her world – is put into question. And not only is everything thrown into question, Calla's heart is torn between Ren – the boy she should be in love with – and Shay – the boy that she can't live without.

She can control her pack, but not her heart. And if she can't control that, is forbidden love worth the pain and the ultimate sacrifice?

With Twitter and the Blogsphere gushing and getting excited over this book, I have to now to sum up this book (which is coming out in the UK on 28th December 2010). And, when I found out I got a copy of the ARC, I think I made a squeal noise, got very excited and after Liz from My Favourite Books (she's lovely. Check out the blog she co-writes!) said, in a joking and lovely voice, “Be professional”, I laughed and went “Are you kidding?! We had drinks, cake and free books!” (have I said I have NEVER gone to one of these events before?), I knew that this book was the one to read!

And I was right. I LOVE NIGHTSHADE! And after reading another awesome book, MATCHED, I am shocked that I have discovered another exciting book so quickly. But I have!

Calla is a great female lead (she kicks butt – literary!) and you feel her pain with what is happening to her with Ren and Shay (the book's Edward and Jacob – and yes, you will join a Team after you read this book). And with a rich mix of background characters (I love Calla's brother and her best friend, Ansel and Bryn) and an even richer mythology (which you get in drips rather than thrown into your face within the first three chapters), I couldn't help but fall under Nightshade's spell.

I love Nightshade and I think this will be one of the Must Reads of 2011 (like Matched – read them NOW!). And I hunger... okay, DEMAND the sequel, Wolfbane. Like now!

PS – I wanna say thank you to Atom Books for giving me a copy of ARC. The Shiny ARC which no one touched bar me.

PPS – Have you seen the covers? SO PRETTY!!!

PPPS – here is the trailer for the book and two songs that I was listen to while I was reading the book. ENJOY!





Tuesday, 7 December 2010

BeforeUGo - November 2010 Recommendations

OOOPS!!! Sorry for the lateness of this! I lost track on time (blame the snow and the Advert Calendar I keep forgetting to open!). Anyway, hello! Am listening to a cover of a song via the joyful YouTube! So, here are November’s recommendations on our Twitter feed.

JOE INNES - http://www.myspace.com/joeinnes
SIA - http://www.siamusic.net/ or http://www.myspace.com/SiaMusic
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE - http://www.myspace.com/mychemicalromance
RENOE ALEXANDER - http://www.myspace.com/renoealexander or http://www.youtube.com/renoealexander

That’s it for November. December will be shorter because of Christmas and New Year! So, a short list! But it will be a fun and maybe a yad silly list! But still, if you want to recommend bands/musicians to us, go the Facebook, reply to us on Twitter or leave a message below this blog!

SEE YA LATERS!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I...

Atomics

Right, as some of you guys know, I went to an Atom Books event where they told us about books and we went all giddy and excited! They touched on a new project they were working on and now, today, they have revealed it in its FULL GLORY!



For those of you who want to know, Atomics is a new reviewing project where peeps aged 12 to 18 get Atom Books to read and review. BEFORE the book comes out on general sale. The review is put up on the Atomics website and, then, once you've done that, you keep the book.

Teens read and review the books, teens read the review and, because they are in the same age group, know if they themselves will like the book or not. EVERYONE WINS!

There are terms and conditions (PLEASE read if you are considering join up with this project. They are things you need to be AWARE of. Like you have a month to read and review the book among other info!)

But, if you are interested, click here to apply & here to read the Terms and Conditions.

I LOVE this idea. Free books - where would I signed up? Oh... what? Am too old. Oh, pants!

Twist Our Words

On Channel 4 in the UK, they have just started to do little shorts where their presenters say a word and we, the people at home, go online and make a short video using these words (don't understand. Go to Channel4.com/Twist to find out more). Anyway, I decided to have a go.

It's hard. Addictive, but hard. The main reason is because of the amount of words you have to use. But yeah, here are my first attempts. You may laugh.











Saturday, 27 November 2010

GoodRead - Matched

I got an ARC copy from the lovely Sya from Mountain of Instead (check her site out here!) and, after several minutes of trying to write a quick description over Ally Condie's Matched, I'm just going to copy and paste what GoodReads says about this book...

“In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.”


Now, I could talk about the Society. I could talk about Cassia and her slow realisation about the Society and her own life. I could talk about the love triangle between her best friend, Xavier, and her friend, Ky – both of whom are hard to choose between the two. I could talk about how people have compared this book to The Giver, Brave New World and has been said that it's a mix of Never Let Me Go meets The Handmaid's Tale for the iPod generation. I could even talk about how, even before it's been published in the US or the UK that Disney has got the film rights to this book and the possible series to come.

But I won't. Instead, am going to say this.

I LOVE this book! This book got me oh-so-very-excited. This is the perfect read if you need something to help you recover from those Hunger Games withdrawal. Imagine The Hunger Games with this book, but minus the violence. I LOVE this book and I hunger/demand the sequel. Like now, please!

Now, for the book trailer and music I related to this book...





Friday, 19 November 2010

GoodRead - UK Cover Vs US Cover

Okay, now I know some of you guys from the USA know about the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent, but it's only just going to hit the UK on 1st January 2011 by new imprint Mira Ink. Anyway, I've seen the cover and I had to show you the UK cover and show the US cover as well...

So, here is the UK cover...


And this is the US cover...


First of all, the UK cover is as scary as hell! Seriously! The cover alone will give me nightmares! But it's very Striking, isn't it? Whereas the US cover is very arty, plus I like the red.

Hmm... am not sure how I feel about this one. I think the UK cover has a slight edge about it. Maybe it's because it scares the do-dahs out of me! Or maybe if I even get this book (if I do, I think I will have to buy it online - I might get scared in the bookshop), I can scare people on the bus/train with it if I don't like the story...

*acts all innocent* Who? Me? NEVER! *laughs behind hand*

Red Riding Hood & ... "Might As Well"?

As you know, I went to Atom Books for a Book Blogger's Party (I will shut up about this soon! I promise!), and one of the books Atom told us about was the book tie in for a film coming out next Spring called "Red Riding Hood".

Now, before we go groaned and said "But a book tie-in for a movie are crap!", we were quickly told that the author wrote the novel as the script was being written so the "author, script-writer and director were all influenced by each other, and it has resulted in a truly wonderful story on all sides." (I hope Atom doesn't mind me stealing a quote from them. Go here to read the whole Atom article.)

Now, a teaser trailer has come out and... oh my goodness, I like the looks of this. Dark, gothic, sexy... and with some up-and-coming actors with well-known actors. Oh, this is high on my films to watch in 2011!



And, like me rewatching the trailer of Red Riding Hood (just for the song. Isn't it great?), I have been repeating this video on and off for the past week. It's WONDERFUL! It's by a youTuber called Katie Gavin (click here for find her page!) and this is her own song. I love it. She's sounds very Adele, doesn't she?

Pogo (aka Disney Remixes)

Was surfing YouTube and came across these videos and, because I like, I thought I would share. (and it's not book related! You must be SO relieved!)







Am hoping this guy does more (there are rumours that he has done a Pirates of the Caribbean and he has done some using some Disney films and Harry Potter). So, check him out at http://www.pogomix.net/ or at his YouTube channel of http://www.youtube.com/user/Fagottron. ENJOY!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

GoodRead - UK Cover Vs US Cover

As some of you know, I went to the Atom Books bloggers event where we were shown book covers and we all went hyper over them (what do you mean you have read my report? Click here to read it!)

Anyway, one of the books that held my attention was The Gathering (Book 1 in the Darkness Rising trilogy) by Kelley Armstrong. So, researching for info and cover art. And, as it so happens, I found the US cover also. So, let's compare!

Here is the UK cover of The Gathering...


And here is the US cover of The Gathering...


Hmmm... gut instinct. The UK! I LOVE the UK cover! It looks so much more eye-catching than the US cover. I think it's because of the white - it's so REFRESHING to see a paranormal YA novel have a white cover rather than a dark, gloomly cover.

Though, saying that, I do like the little details of the US cover (mainly the earring), but, for me, it's the UK cover.

What do you guys think? Leave a comment and let me know!!!

GoodRead - Old UK Cover Vs New UK Cover

So, as some of you know, I said I would read the Vampire Academy (because of people on Twitter BADGERING me to read it!) but I haven't. I just haven't. I read the taster of the first few chapters from the first Vampire Academy and it doesn't apply. But, I saw that the UK publishers are revamping the covers to this series and I thought I would get your opinion on it.

Now, I was going to show you all the covers, but because I have no idea how to do it as lovely as Once Upon A Bookshelf has, I will do the first book in the series, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

So, here is the Original cover for Vampire Academy...


And here is the new cover for Vampire Academy...


Now, I know there are some of you that LOATHES the idea that the UK publisher has changed the cover when the LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES, is soon to be published. And I get that. I hate when my fave book series do that.

However, comparing these two covers, I prefer the new covers. Because of the Twitter-Badgering, I actually went into my local Waterstones and picked a copy. It was the old cover. And I hated it. Just hated it! The new cover is more intriguing to me.

But maybe I'm weird. So, guys, what do you think??? The Old VA or the New VA?

Friday, 12 November 2010

And They All Live Happily Ever After... Then What?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, MOCKINGJAY, CITY OF GLASS & BREAKING DAWN. You have been warned...

“We all remember the bedtime stories of our childhoods. The shoe fits Cinderella. The frog turns into a prince. Sleeping Beauty is awakened with a kiss. Once upon a time. And then they lived happily every after. Fairy tales. The stuff of dreams. The problem is, fairy tales don't come true. It's the other stories. The ones that begin with dark and stormy nights and end in the unspeakable. It's the nightmares that always seem to become reality.

The person that invented the phrase 'Happily Ever After,' should have his ass kicked – so hard.”


I thought I would start this blog with a quote from Grey's Anatomy that had been in my head due to an email conversation I had with Sya, the lady behind The Mountains of Instead.

The lovely Sya had lent me a copy of The Killing Place by Tess Gerritsen and, after reading a few chapters, I emailed Sya to talk about the love story between protagonist Maura Isles and Father Daniel Brophy. The story with this love story is that Father Daniel is a priest and for him to be with Maura, he has to leave the church. So, we have a problem. If Daniel decides to stay with the Church then both his and Maura's hearts will be broken. However, if he leaves the Church to be with Maura, there would always be the possibility that he might end up resenting her because of his decision. Either way, there will be heartache.

Mine and Sya's discussion about this swiftly led on to the issue of romance in Young Adult books and how rushed it often feels, as well as how many of these books end with everything feeling like the end of a fairy tale... And They All Lived Happily Ever After. After much chat, we decided it might be fun to blog about it. The Mountains of Instead will cover the issue closer to her heart, which is the pace of romantic relationships in YA books (and look here! She has it posted! Check it out!) while I'm going to look at the fairy tale endings particularly wondering why we rarely see books end in with the central characters broken up or in a shaky relationship.

So, let me try and figure this out.

Who among us was read fairy tales as a child? Or watched a Disney film? Yeah - all of us. So we all know that evil is defeated, good triumphs, the prince handsome prince falls in love with the admirable heroine and...guess what...they all live happily ever after.

However, we're older now. We are teens or adults who have a better handle on the darkness of life. We can deal with it if a relationship ends badly. We can handle it if our hero/heroine ends up in a questionable relationship. We can handle it if our hero/heroine makes a mistake. Of course we can - that's life!

So why is it that, even with books that deal with dark matters like death, war or dystopia, the endings seem lighter than the story itself?

For example...

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the book ends in a battle where people die. Iin the epilogue, we see Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny nineteen years later and they are happy, which is fair enough. They are married, they have kids and they are sending their children off to school – at Hogwarts! The place where the battle happened! Where their fellow classmates and relatives died. Would you really be A-OK about this? Surely there are other schools they could send their children to? But no – because they had to live Happily Ever After...

This is kinda the same as Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, although not to quite the same degree. Katniss and Peeta are together, they have children and everything seems OK. The only time the author hints that it may not have been plain sailing is when Katniss says “It took five, ten, fifteen years for me to agree” to her and Peeta having children. But apart from that, there seems to be no hint of Katniss or Peeta fighting or suffering from Post Tramatic Stress Disorder. Which they would! I mean, come on... but no, they also lived Happily Ever After...

Then there's City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. There is an epic battle where the bad guy dies (not telling you how!), Clary and Jace find out that they AREN'T brother and sister (as first thought) so they can date each other. This is great, but then they toddle off with their friends to watch some celebratory fireworks at a great big party. Wait a minute... didn't Alec and Isabelle lose someone they loved deeply? Shouldn't they be grieving? Clearly not! Alec is busy opening up about his feelings for Magnus (am such a shipper for these two) and Isabelle is love triangle-ing it up in the corner.

Again, they all live Happily Ever After (although Cassandra Clare is writing another trilogy with these characters so I sense it's not going to be all plain sailing . But how much are you willing to bet that, by the end of this trilogy, there will be another Happy Ever After)...

Now, what about Breaking Dawn? Through out the book we have dark twisty plot with Bella, Edward and Jacob. We also have an approaching battle, built up to massive proportions with the expectation that people are going to get hurt or die. So, how does the book end? No battle, no deaths. BLISS! Jacob imprints of Bella and Edward's newborn and EVERYONE seems OK about that. JOY! And then, Bella and Edward go off into the sunset, ending with the sentence, “And then we continued blissfully into a small but perfectly piece of our forever.”

AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER PUKING AFTER!

To be fair to the Twilight Saga, this is more a ROMANTIC story than a SUPERNATURAL story. But compare it to the last line in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "All was well” and you have to wonder why these books, filled with death, war and evil always ends with Happily Ever After?

Perhaps the key is those childhood fairy tales, so ingrained in the communal conciousness. We, as humans, need fairy tales We need to know that good triumphs over evil, the ugly ducking turns into a swan, that love conquers all.

Perhaps we need this because life doesn't always tie in with the Happily Ever After ethos... but is that such a bad thing? I'll end this blog with how I started, another quote from Gray's Anatomy, and let you decide...

“Once upon a time. Happily ever after. The stories we tell are the stuff of dreams. Fairy tales don't come true. Reality is much stormier. Much murkier. Much scarier. Reality. It's so much more interesting than living happily ever after.”

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Atom Books Blogger Party

(Or, as I would like to call it, "How to Scare Pro Book Bloggers in Several Easy Steps...")

Okay, I am going to admit this to you now. I have NEVER been invite to a blogger's event before. NEVER! I have no idea how/why I was invite (I think it was because I tweet them A LOT about books!), but, nevertheless, I was invite. And I was giddy as hell!

And nervous as hell! Seriously, I thought they made a mistake. Me? They want ME there? Why? I feel like I was a mistake. All those REAL book bloggers will be there and then there will be me, going "Look at the shiny shiny!" (and yes, I do believe I said that once). I was so nervous when I walked in, Rose (aka the lady who invited me and, for that, I thank and cyberhug her) had to help me put it on.

So far, so unprofessional.

While everyone mingled with each other with cake & drink (champagne, juice and water - I went for the bubbly stuff to kill the nerves!), I got chatting to Matthew from Teen Library & Rhys from Thirst for Fiction (they were cool! Dangerous chats about libraries, politics and Harry Potter is always a good thing!) and then, we settled round a HUGE Apprentice-like table (I sat next to Liz from My Favourite Books - and I freaked her out by randomly hugging her! What can I say? We talk on Twitter! & I won a book from her site), we listen as Atom's finest: Rose, Kate, Sam, Gina and Kirsteen (who were lovely. And I fear might have begged for a job at one point), talks to us about they books for next spring.

Can I say now that we all went a bit giddy? We're book people! We'll get excited over this type of thing!

Now, I am going to show some self-control and go excited about books that are MEGA exciting! That, and what I want in my To Be Read pile in the future (er... that's nearly all the books. Maybe I should half it...)!

NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer - I have heard SO MUCH about this book on Twitter and the Blogsphere. It's got werewolves and seems to ooze sexual tension. And, it's original! I read the first few chapters last night (I got an ARC - Advance Reader Copy. My first EVER! SQUEE!) and, I have to admit this, I forced myself to stop because this is going to be a "Read In One Sitting Book" or, as someone said Tuesday night, a "Gulp In One" Book. I like that term.

HALO by Alexandra Adornetto - An 18 year old writing about Angels. And it's published?! *hides jealous thoughts away* But seriously, I really have high hopes for this book. It seems to fit, yet standout, in the YA world of Angels. Angels (not fallen, FYI!) come to Earth to save us from dark forces and our heroine, Bethany, falls in love...

THE GATHERING (Darkness Rising: Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong - Before I go any further, LOOK AT THE COVER! Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?! Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, I know of Kelley, but never have read her. So, this seems a great place to start.

ROSEBUSH by Michele Jaffe - Another book I quite excited over (and not just because I got the ARC to this book. THANKS ATOM!), but because this is Atom's first non-paranormal novel. ... yeah, I know! (Atom is publishing Pretty Little Liars but they stole them from their sibling, Sphere so that doesn't count!) Jane is a victim of a terrible hit and run. She barely survived. But as she recovers in hospital, she realises that what her friends have told her and what she's slowly remembering doesn't match up. Someone tried to kill her, and her friends are covering for them...

There are LOADS of books I could go into. Like Awakened (the 8th House of Night book), Bloody Valentine (a Blue Bloods novella), Red Riding Hood (a book written as the script for Warner Bros was being written so it's different from regular movie tie-ins), Lois Duncan updated novels (include "I Know What You Did Last Summer"), The Alone series (Zombies in New York? SO WANT THAT!) The Game (Atom's first Translated series. Again, want!) & ... wait for it... One Seriously Messed-up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite (British talent! Imagine Inbetweeners with a dash of Adrian Mole). And, of course, The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide (which is, despite rumours, is actually written by Stephenie Meyer)

Oh! We were also told about a new project called Atomics! So, if you're 18 or younger, keep an eye out on Atom Books' site (http://www.atombooks.net/) over the next few weeks cause you might wanna get involved!

And... that's it. We talked about books, drooled over covers (we saw Wolfbane - the sequel to Nightshade and a possible cover for book 2 in the Monster High series) and we left. With information, books and me not making a complete fool of myself! All good!

Now, the links! If you would like to check out these sites, please do (because they were at the event too and I love them for making feel welcome!).

Atom Books (of course)
Ana's posts at The Book Smugglers
Liz and Sarah's posts at My Favourite Books
Jo's posts at Once Upon a Bookcase
Lynsey's posts at Words and Pieces
Karen's posts at Reading Teenage Fiction
Rhys' posts at Thirst for Fiction
Amanda's posts at Floor to Ceiling Books
Sammee's posts at I Want to Read That
Sarah's posts at Sarah's Book Reviews
Matthew's posts at Teen Librarian

Once again, I would like to say thank you for being invited to this event. It was made of awesome.

Monday, 8 November 2010

GoodRead - The Killing Place

Have I ever told you that I am a bit of a crime nut? Well, I was a few years ago. And the main author I read before I discovered Kathy Reichs was Tess Gerritsen. For a while, I kept seeing this book when I entered my job's (at the time) nearest book shop and it really held my attention, but I always put it off. It was a hardback and whenever I seem to buy hardback books, I usually end up hating the book and cursing myself for wasting money. So, when the book came out in paperback, with a scarier-looking cover, I snapped it up and read the first few chapters within a coffee shop. That was Body Double. And then, I devoured Vanish, The Mephisto Club and backtracked into read The Surgeon and then Harvest.

But I haven't read anything else of hers for a while. So while I was chatting to a book blogger, Sya (from the book blog, The Mountain Of Instead – click here if you want to check out her blog). I mentioned about her reading Tess Gerritsen's latest novel, Sya very kindly (and surprisingly) lent me her copy! How nice of her!!!

So, let me talk about The Killing Place (or Ice Cold as it is called in the USA). After getting catch in a snow storm and trusting a GPS, Maura Isles and four others find themselves lost and stranded, they stumble down a private road to the valley of Kingdom Come where they take shelter...

... and then vanish.

Days later, Jane Rizzoli goes in search for her missing friend, only to be told that crashed vehicle has been found with four badly burned bodies. One of which, assumed by the authorities, is Maura.

But is it? And if it isn't, where is Maura? And what terrible secret is Kingdom Come hiding?

This, to me, is more a thriller than crime, but I like that. There were times I was reading this and lost tract of time. So much for reading one or two chapters, huh? I think it was the idea of getting lost into a snow storm and vanishing off the face of the earth that held my attention. What would happen if this happened? What happened then?

It's been a while since I've read a Rizzoli and Isles novel, but this seemed to be nice welcome back to the series. And I have a copy of a Rizzoli and Isles novel “Keeping The Dead” (aka The Keepsake in the USA)... maybe I should read that after I get through my Books To Be Read Pile...



Imogen Heap

As some of you know, I'm a bit of an Imogen Heap fan. And I got to see her live at the Royal Albert Hall this Friday just gone.

And yes, I EFF-ING loved it!

Because I don't want to go COMPLETELY GIDDY like I did with Becca Fitzpatrick (wanna know what I mean? Check here!), am just going to upload some videos of her and leave it at that.

ENJOY!!!











PS - I want the LOVW THE EARTH score on a CD. Like Now!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Meeting Becca Fitzpatrick (aka ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!)

As some of you know, I was going/gone to a book signing of the lovely author, Becca Fitzpatrick this Sunday just gone at Bluewater.

So, after having no idea how/what to write for this, am going to do this… AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

… and breathe!

I swear I don’t go all gooey and “OMG!” over famous people. But I did on Sunday.

After some mad rushing to the shop and then back into the shop to buy myself copies of Becca’s books (I left my copies at home. ROOKIE MISTAKE!!!), I stood in line (which was long!) with a friend of mine, laughing at the randomness of Twitter. Mostly the hashtag of #MoviesInMyPants (which was basically adding the words “In My Pants” to the end of film titles. We came up with “Raging Bull In My Pants”, “Gone With The Wind In My Pants”, “12 Angry Men In My Pants” and many, MANY others!)

Almost, I met some Twitter-Friends. Laura (aka @sisterspooky) and very briefly Leanne & Rebecca (aka @leanne_luce & @conesound). They were a tad ahead of us in a line and Laura hunted me down and we met. We hugged. We compared our bright yellow shoes (she has bright yellow boots and I was wearing Hufflepuff converses!).

More waiting… and me looking up and down the line to see no guy holding the books in his hands. A tiny fear confirmed (to be the only guy in the line), I waited my turn, wondering why most blokes were there? Driver? Partner? Driver? Emotional blackmail? All of the above (I have used them. But shh! No one needs to know that!)

And then we were allowed to enter Waterstones! Over an hour wait and we’re nearly there…!

As I joined the line in the bookshop, Laura, Leanne and Rebecca appeared, having their books signed and they were giddy! “Oh, she is expecting you!” Laura says, smiling. “And she wants to see your converses!”

I was being expected… oh heck!

You see, Becca is on twitter (here she is!) and seeing as I am a bit of a twitter addict, I tweet her and she tweets back (I love authors that do that. Respond to their fans/readers). So, to fact that she knew I was there and in line was… er… a strange experience.

And then I turned round and saw the shirtless model with his six (possible eight) pack and his stuckon black wings and everyone in front and behind me melting to the floor. I think me and my mate did also.

I wish I was in the meeting when that was decided. I have this image of Becca going to the UK publisher, “Listen. I am going to do these many dates, meeting readers and, you know, I need something to keep me going when I had a bad night’s sleep or when I need a pick me up. How about a shirtless young hottie who we can say is ‘Patch’. What do you think?” (to who ever thought of getting this model/Patch, I am pretty sure nearly everyone who went to all Becca’s book signing is EXTREMELY grateful!)

And then, I saw and then met Becca.

Earlier on in this blog, I said how I don’t go all gooey and “OMG!” over famous people. Well, I got very star-stricken. And you know when you get to meet someone famous or someone you respect and admire, you seem to lose any normal sense? Well, my brain did that.

While I said “Hello,” and Becca said, “I was told by Laura to show me your shoes” (of which I was teased over because I put my shoe on the table! Smooth, much?), my brain was thinking, “I love her hair!” (I so want to time travel and shake myself because of this thought!).

It was short, brief and awesome! We said “Hi” to each other, she signed my book, chatted briefly about Laura (hear that, SisterSpooky?) and then had a quick photo. :D

And then, we hugged.

Am trying OH-SO-VERY-HARD not to go all fanboy and squee very loudly! But I got so flipping giddy about that for the rest of the day! (And now reading that back, I sound like a mad stalker! I’m not, Becca! PROMISE!)

But it was cool. So cool!

So, to Becca, thanks for coming to the UK and thank you for bearing with someone as excitable as myself. Can’t wait for Tempest and as for Crescendo’s ending… WHAT THE FRIDGING HELL?!



And just to prove how brilliant Laura's and my boots/Converse were...

GoodRead – 206 Bones

A short review on Kathy Reich’s 12th novel featuring Temperance Brennan, though I listened to an abridged audiobook (I hate abridged audiobooks. But that’s a rant for a later date) read by Linda Emond.

So, the quickness of the plot. Tempe is working on several cases in this book/audiobook. Tempe (I prefer calling her Tempe) is accused of mishandling a case. The man, who got a mysterious phone, has accused her of missing or concealing crucial evidence on a missing heiress. But before she make get more information, the man dies.

As she has to solve who accused her of this, she is working of several cases of three women who have been brutally discarded. Tempe is sure there is a connection between these three women and the missing heiress. But there is lack of clues. Then she’s been accused of making mistakes…

Has Temperance been making grave mistakes? Or does she have a unknown foe sabotaging her? Her career is on the line, but if she’s not careful, Temperance’s life will be too…

I have tried to read this book (and the book before this Devil Bones), but failed to get into it. I need to be in the mood for crime and murder, and when I tried to read them, I wasn’t. I wanted ghosts and fallen angel.

But, I listened to this, and I liked it. I got confused with some of the names and some of the cases (she worked on three cases, if you believe Amazon.co.uk), but I liked how everything worked. The fragile relationship between Brennan and Andrew Ryan (I must have missed them breaking up in an earlier book! Which book did this happen?) was written brilliantly – I think that’s why I like reading Kathy – she gets under the character’s skin, plus Tempe’s dark humour is always a plus!

Plus, I like how the story jumped from Tempe trying to solve the crime to Tempe being trapped in a tomb. It makes a reading/listening to the story more interesting, because you are always going “So, what does she do that puts her in this situation? What have I missed?”

If I am honest, read the book. If you’re going to get the audiobook, get unabridged. If you can’t, you can still get the abridged audiobook. But reading the book is ALWAYS better!



Monday, 1 November 2010

Books and Their Theme Songs (Volume 4)

As you guys know, on every book reviewing blog I do (known as GoodRead), I try and add a music track that represents the book. And, every now and then, I do one of these blogs. I really should do these more often!

So, here we go again...!

MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins - "Versions of Violence" by Alanis Morissette & "In These Arms" by Swell Season.





THE HAUNTED by Jessica Verday - "She Moves Through the Fair" by Skully



THE BODY FINDER by Kimberly Derting - "Death By Diamonds and Pearls" by Band of Skulls & "Our Voices Are Vices" by Don't Wake Aislin.





CRESCENDO by Becca Fitzpatrick - "Mighty To Save" by Don't Wake Aislin & "Follow Me Back Into The Sun" by The Rescues



Let's Do The Kibble Dance!



Well, this is a HappyBlog!

KAA!!!

BeforeUGo - October 2010 Recommendations

Hello again!!! Music time!!! Let's keep this short and sweet, shall we? Here is October 2010's recommendations, just for you!

JOHNNY McCLURE - http://www.myspace.com/johnnymcclure
BEACH HOUSE - http://www.myspace.com/beachhousemusic
ZOE KEATING - http://music.zoekeating.com/
KATIE GAVIN - http://www.youtube.com/katiegavs & http://www.myspace.com/katiegavs

Anyway, hope you like the music. If you want to find us on Twitter or on Facebook, please do! And recommend music to us! We love hearing from you!!!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Early Halloween Blog

Ok, I am posting this Halloween blog early cos I'm not going to get the chance to do it on Sunday (am going to a book signing! So excited!).

And so, I thought I should put some videos to get us in the mood of the holiday where we should respect the dead. Well, I said I should, so instead, let's have this instead...!





(Thank you Ellen via YouTube! Although this next one... might be a tad mean... oh well... We might as well show it!)


SO RUDE! XD

One more video...



Happy Halloween everybody!

A Third Important Message

Thursday, 28 October 2010

GoodRead – Crescendo

Before I tell you guys my views on this book, sequel to the awesome, “Hush, Hush”, from the bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick, let's chat about Crescendo...

After the events of Hush, Hush, Nora should have learnt that her life wouldn't return to normal. Not after she got herself a Guardian Angel, Patch (who is anything but angelic). But, recently, Patch has been pulling away from her, spending time with Marcie Millar, a girl who has made Nora's life hell.

Worse, an old family friend, Scott Parnell has returned to Coldwater. Although she finds his attitude infuriating, she finds something drawn to him. Although she has the strong feeling that he's hiding something.

With images of her murdered father haunting her, Nora begins to search for the mysterious truth, putting herself in dangerous situations. But some truths are better left being buried, but if Nora's not careful, the truth could destroy everything – and everyone – she loves and trusts.

I have just literally finished this book and ... WHAT THE HOLY CRABCAKE!?!?!?

This book was, maybe, more gripping than Hush, Hush. And more emotional. There were times that you wanted to get to the characters and shake them, but Becca writes Nora's turmoil and emotional pain almost perfectly. A few reviewers have said that this was like watching two friends tear each other to bits and you being forced to choose a side, and with reviews saying that, you know the the author wrote this with care, and maybe with a touch of glee. What better way to make you want something so badly? Give it to them, then take it away in almost the cruellest way. I take my hat off to you, Becca!

And, before I go any further, Vee! I think Vee was awesome in this book. I liked her in Hush, Hush. But in Crescendo, Vee was awesome. She had the best one-liners!

Now, as much as I want to go any further, the ending... WHAT THE CRABCAKE! A double twist!!! I can not wait for the third book in the series, Tempest!

Plus, I will be meeting Becca at the book-signing this coming Sunday so I can't wait to get a signed copy and maybe grill her over the ending!

SONGS AND BOOK TRAILER TIME! Remember, the song/s (not sure how many I want to add to this blog) are MY choices that I was listening to while I was reading. So, ENJOY!





With this song (which I LOVE!), I am going to say the last minute and a half is perfect (start at the 3 minute mark). The slowly building of the song... I will also add the clip where I heard this song and how perfect it is for Crescendo, then no more YouTube! Promise!