Friday 31 August 2012

Books And Their Theme Songs - Volume 13

Unlucky for some, but not here! In this, my 13th edition of Books and Their Theme Songs! Basically, for those of you how have no idea what this is, I read and review books on here. When I do, I usually attach a song to the book and it becomes, to me, that book's theme tune.

So, will let you enjoy the music! I do hope you like!

FROSTFIRE by Zoe Marriott
"Sanctuary" & "Extraordinary Day" by Delta Goodrem

TORN by Cat Clarke
"Rain" by Us Baby Bear Bones & "That Day" by Natalie Imbruglia

CINDER by Marissa Meyer
"Hanging On" by Ellie Goulding featuring Tinie Tempah

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
"Break These Chains", "Light After Dark" & "Freedom" by Clare Maguire

DEAD TO YOU by Lisa McMann
"People Help The People" by Birdy & "Princess of China" by Coldplay featuring Rihanna 

666 PARK AVENUE by Gabriella Pierce
"Wide Awake" by Katy Perry

Thursday 30 August 2012

GoodRead - 666 Park Avenue

This book has caused a small stir in the USA. This book served as the inspiration to ABC's new supernatural drama, which will be on air in the States in September [EDIT: the lovely Emily from Corsair PR confirmed that ITV2 has the UK rights to this show. YEAH! (though there were several moments where I thought she meant ITV3...)]. So, when the UK publisher, Canvas, saw my tweets over the show & books and asked if I wanted to read it, I said yes and waited for the perfect time to fall into this world.

So, what is this book about, I hear you ask? And will it be the same as the TV show? I can answer the latter now: no, it won't. The two are very different creatures!

The book follows Jane, who is swept off her feet after meeting Malcolm Doran. When he proposes to her within a month of their meeting, Jane simply can't believe her luck. So when her grandmother suddenly dies, Jane's life is thrown into chaos when she discovers a ring and a note, both for her. The note tells Jane the truth: she's a witch.

But running away from her past won't solve her witchy problem. As soon as she gets to New York and meet her new soon-to-be-in-laws, the Dorans, Janes suddenly realises that her fairytale isn't a fairytale at all...

So, what can I say about this book? It's a bit of a guilty pleasure read, if I'm to be honest with you. A summer read (so bad time to review it, seeing as it's the end of the Summer Hols!). It felt a lot like the Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz. Expect this is for definitely for older teens/adults as there were several sex scenes (though no swearing, which I'm slightly surprised over).

Now, saying that it's a guilty pleasure, this book does have some faults. The sex was one of them. At things, these scenes felt thrown in at the last minute. No real reason at all. There was one scene that I'm still "But why?!" over. Another problem that I think some of you guys are going to have is, even though this is a light read, it lacks substance.

I think, if you're looking for a light, frothy book about witches (oops! Did I spoil the secret?) and the sex scenes don't bother you, this is right up your street. And with the sequel, The Dark Glamour, coming out in the UK next month, you will be in for a treat.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

I Have To Tell You Guys Something...

Right, this has happened very quickly and I'm still very unsure whether to tell you this. But, here I am, telling you.

I self-published a few short stories on Amazon.

There. I said it. And yes, writing that sentence makes me actually want to run to the bathroom, lock the door and NEVER EVER COME OUT! But I have to hunt for jobs, read a ton of books and, you know, live. So, am writing this so tell you why I did this.

Self publishing never sat well with me. And with wonderful writers breaking through this way, I've always been a bit... wary of it. So after hearing "why don't you self-publish?" for goodness knows how long, I pretend to listen when, actually, I'm not.

So when my brother-in-law dared me to (so when he gets an iPad upgrade, I get his new one), I thought "I want that iPad. Plus, he and my family won't think I do it..." And going through the stories was fun. After writing long stories, I forgot how much fun writing short stories were.

Editing the little buggers, on the other hand. Oh, how I HATE editing! And with Amazon being picky on certain things (you can't use Tab and you MUST use page break at the end of every chapter/short story), I'm surprised it took SO LONG! My boyfriend and I started editing this on Saturday morning at around 11:30am. We didn't hit the upload button till 6:30pm-ish. And we took break because he had to calm me down as I was SERIOUSLY freaking out, and thinking of ways to back out. My fave excuse was "BUT NO ONE WILL READ MY WRITING! I'M NOT AWESOME LIKE JK ROWLING!"

So, what does this now mean? Well, honestly, nothing. I'm still going to write the blog and read books/eBooks. Am still going to write and look for literary agents and publishers. That hasn't changed. But I have uploaded some stories on Amazon for an iPad. No other reason.

If you feel brave, the collection of short stories is called The Perfect Day and it's on for £1.59 (I know, a bit much. But it has something to do with royalties. I think.). I'm pretty sure this is on also, but am too scared to check. This is the same with the reviews. Haven't check what been written on Amazon or my Facebook wall as I'm not thick skinned.

But I thought you better know. With that done, it's over to you. If you want to buy and read it, great. If not, that's cool too. Anyway, better let you go and enjoy this fine Tuesday! Have fun!

Monday 27 August 2012

SMILE - Tragedy Strikes!

Thank you, I Talk To Snakes. This basically sums up my reactions when I forget I made myself a cuppa... 

Thursday 23 August 2012

GoodRead - Dead To You

As you probably know, I quite like Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy and her stand alone, The Missing/Cryer's Cross. So I got very excited over her latest teen novel, Dead To You. 

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was seven years old. Now aged sixteen, he returned to his family. That should be wonderful, right? Not really as his arrival seems to have bought out tensions to the surface. His parents begin to argue, his younger brother doesn't trust him and Ethan can't remember what happened to him. If only he could remember something... anything...

But sometimes, forgotten memories should just be that. Forgotten.

Am going to put this out there now: this was one of the tensest reads that I have read in a while. I think it's because we all think that a missing person being returned to their family will be wonderful. Happy Ever After. And it's not. Lisa writes about how it's not always a wonderful as we all think. I think Lisa's strength in this is how she writes it: she writes bluntly, not shying away from the uncomfortable moments and yet, she shows each character having layers. We are discovering these characters at the same time at Ethan does so we get caught up in the moment.

There are faults, I have to say that, as I think most bloggers will. But it depends on how you read it. Some people didn't like the ending (I was shocked by it, though I accidently discovered it while checking page count as I no longer trust Goodreads), some people won't like the love interest and how quickly it happened, some people would say its too short. My main fault is some expression Ethan uses. For some reason, they jarred my reading and made me go "Huh?" and reread it for a reason I didn't understand.

But I couldn't stop reading this book, even when my stomach got knotted and I felt that I had to stop because the tension was going to kill me. But I couldn't. This book was gripping and tense, and left me wanting more (yes, I know this is a standalone but I wanted more!). I can not wait for Lisa's next book, Crash!

PS - whoever does the US covers for Lisa McMann in an artist. All the Wake trilogy cover, Cryer's Cross and Dead To You have been unique.

Wednesday 22 August 2012


Hi guys! I know this is random, but I have an idea and I wanted your HONEST opinion on this idea as I want to know if this is a good idea or not...

Last week, I was looking at my HUGE pile of books that I haven't read yet and some of my read books and I saw a few and went "Now, THAT would be make an awesome one-off drama" or "That would be great for radio play".

Now, I mentioned this on Twitter and Emma from Book Angel Booktopia (here's her twitter!) suggested I make this a feature on the blog, I was intrigued on the idea of, every week or every other week, suggesting a book to be turned into a movie/TV show/radio show/play/etc that haven't been picked up.

So, here's what I want your opinions on.

1. Would you read this, if I went through with it?
2. How often do you guys think I should do this? Once a week? Once a fortnight? Once a month? Never?
3. Now, as I'm chatting about books that would make PERFECT TV shows/films/podcasts/radio/etc, what book would you LOVE the treatment over?

Leave your comments below, good or bad! THANKS YOU LOVELY PEOPLE!

Sunday 19 August 2012

It's My Blog's Birthday!!!

IT'S MY BLOG'S BIRTHDAY!!! *grabs the party hats and rushes off to buy chocolate birthday cake*

I've forgot about this, actually, hence nothing exciting happening but I wanted to write a small note saying thank you. Thank you to each one of you. For reading my blog. For welcoming me into the YA Book Blogging Community. For sending me ARCs of books which, knowing me, will sit in my book pile for MONTHS. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Now, to celebrate, here's a pic of a dog who's scared of his birthday cake (thanks to tumblrs of Tanya Bynre and Highly Charming!)

Saturday 18 August 2012

"What If, In Ambridge..."

As you guys are probably aware (if you follow me on Twitter) that, over the past few months, I have become a bit of a fan of BBC Radio 4's The Archers and its spin-off, Ambridge Extra (on BBC Radio 4 Extra). And I was going to write this and post it tomorrow, but as it's my Blog-Birthday tomorrow (with a small thank you note and a random pic), I thought I would post it up now.

As someone who watches TV shows, films and listen to radio dramas and goes "What if this storyline went in a different direction? What if...?". This is probably one of the reasons why I like writing. I like to take a story and TWIST it!

So, my dear readers, I was wondering a question: if you were asked to create one storyline for The Archers, what would you do?

Now, this is nothing to do with the BBC and is purely for my entrainment, so you can go as INSANE or as SENSIBLE as you like.

As it's set in the countryside, would you write a storyline that tackle an issue about farming or community? Would you write a character back (HARRY! And Grant! Ahhh!)? Would you write a character out of the show?

Or, would you write a completely off-the-wall? Mine, I fear, would come under this as Ambridge would come under a zombie attack and Lynda Snell would be crowned Queen of the Zombie Llamas because, as we all know, llamas are the only creatures alive that can defeat a zombie! That and narwhals, but we won't go there, shall we?

So, my dear readers, LET YOUR IMAGINATIONS GO WILD (or sane) AS YOU LIKE! Not just on The Archers but on anything you fancy! Just leave a comment and (if there's a good amount of comments so this depends on you) the best few will be typed up into a special post...

Thursday 16 August 2012

GoodRead - Shatter Me

I've had this jumping on and off my Goodreads To Read list since I first heard about it. On and off and on again then off. It was only when I listened to a podcast review from one of my fave podcasts at the moment, Girls in the Stacks (guest-hosted by the ladies from Mystical Lit Lounge), chatted about the book, I went "Ok, I need to get this book or I will never read it". Then I hit a reading wall and, asking Twitter for what my next read should be, Twitter picked this book!

It's been 264 days since Juliette last touched someone. No one knows why her touch is lethal. Hence why the Reestablishment have her locked in a cell while the world slowly falls apart. But when the leader of Section 45, Warner, takes interest in her and plans to use her gift as a weapon and when Juliette is forced to share her cell with a stranger that who might be someone she thought she had lost forever, Juliette discovers that she has to fight back if she wants her freedom.

Now, as you can see, this cover is the old cover. The International Edition. The new cover has a creepy looking eye with trees and waterfalls and birds flying away. So, if you''re hunting and you go "That cover's different to your review", that's way.

Ok, I wanna say something right off the bat. This is a going to be a marmite read for some of you. You are either going to love it, or you are going to hate it. There is some middle ground, which is where I sat, but most of you will be one side of the marmite fence or on the other.

The main reason why I call this a marmite read is how the story is written. It is full of similes, metaphors, strikethroughs and, every now and then, misses grammar. And, for some of you, this will have you throw the book across the room in fury.

But, I liked that this story was written this way. I have never read a story in this style before where it felt like Juliette's notebook where she pours herself into her writing like it's a stream of conciousness without edits and, when she does edit, she crosses it out then write something new in its place, yet you can see what she wants to be rid of.

And it was interesting mix of dystopia (which I have seriously fallen out of love with and am planning to pull myself back into that world soon) and X-Men (and I loved the Avengers movie!), with an interesting mix of characters (there was one scene that made me scream a ton of swear words at the baddie, Warner, as it did something I was so horrified over!).

However, I do have faults with this book. Believe me, I do have faults. One of my main faults is that it took me a very long time to connect with the love story and, even then, I was going "Are you really in love with him, Juliette? Or are you in love with him because he's immune to your touch and you haven't be touched in how long?" I felt like I was continually questioning the relationship...

I think this book will divide readers. You will either love it or hate it. I'm in the middle (didn't love nor hate it) so I might read the next book, Unravel Me (that's out next year), or the eNovella, Destroy Me (which is out later this year). So, we shall see...

Monday 13 August 2012

SMILE - Best. List. Ever!

BRILLIANT! (When I saw this, I laughed and clapped like a sealion. Not a cool sight, I can tell you!) Anyway, my thanks goes to Julea On My Mind's tumblr.

Sunday 12 August 2012

LeakyCon is Coming to London!

Yes, I know I'm meant to be watching the Olympics Closing Ceremony, but I saw this, squealed a little, and am rush typing!

Leaky Con, a Harry Potter conference set up from the Leaky Cauldron ( is joining forces with Alohomora 2013 to do the first LeakyCon in the UK. 

YEAH!!! So, there will be two LeakyCons. The first in London and the second in Portland, USA. I do hope to go to the London event but we shall see...

Stay tuned to for more details when they come!

Friday 10 August 2012

Ambridge Extra Blog-A-Long

I've been thinking of this in the past few days, so you will have to excuse me if you're reading this and go "Not a book review! HOW VERY DARE YOU!" But, hear me out. I like doing tweetalong when I do them, and I wanted to do another. I was thinking of doing one with this coming omnibus episode of the Archers, but I have been REALLY listening to the show since the beginning of the year so my reactions will be with the storylines, not trying to make light of it.

So, I decide to do a Blog-A-Long. Basically, it's the same time, expect you download the podcasts and listen so when I write a time down, you do "Oh, it's seven minutes into the show", hence maybe making life easier. And so, my podcasts. Am doing this week's episode of Ambridge Extra. Basically, it's The Archers extra, aired on BBC Radio 4 Extra. You can download the podcasts here or go to iPlayer and find that way. Remember, am doing THIS WEEK's episodes so Tuesday 7th August and Thursday 9th August.

Will give you a moment to download/iPlayer them. Have you got them? Are you sure? Ok, am clicking play on my iPhone now...

Oh, before I start, quick roundup! Harry and Fallon decide to go the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Perfect for Fallon as she has a thing for Harry. Unfortunately for her, their mate Jazzer gatecrashes the trip. Trying to keep her plan for Harry going, she begs mate Kirsty to come too.... And that's it. Am I missing anything? No... well, then. PLAY!

00:03 - "Thank you for downloading Ambridge Extra." Oh, your welcome! 
00:10 - So this is what The Archers theme tune would sound like if it took drugs. ... I wanna buy this.
01:17 - "Look, I'm tired. Been driving for hours." Well, the last episode was on Thursday so... 
01:35 - The van panicked when Jazzer announced that the four-pack was gone. 
02:55 - Harry seems uncomfortable over his "old friend". Let's start the reason why game!
03:10 - Music monotage time! You don't get this on Radio 4!
04:05 - Harry? Serial Killer? Thanks, Jazzer. 
04:30 - "Must have been a really good friend... Harry?" Oh, the tension after that statement! 
04:59 - "Well done Fallon." She's not a dog, people! 
05:16 - "Wine?" They have their properties right
05:41 - "Harry? It is you!" And Harry doesn't sound AT ALL uncomfortable with his old mate Grant. Not at ALL! 
06:30 - second music monotage. And Grant tried to make Harry camping in the past - HISTORY! 
07:46 - Skinny dipping stories! THE MENTAL IMAGES! *tilts head to one side* Ok, can live with that thought. And "old times"? Ok, fill us in, someone... 
09:00 - Spin the Bottle? They're going to play Spin the Bottle? Oh, in soap world, this means trouble... 
09:36 - Oh... is this where most of us think its going? (Am slowly falling in love with Harry's voice... Make him do audiobooks.)
09:45 - "It was heaven." Yep, ok. I know where it's going...!
10:23 - "And I can pull a pint. What more can a man want?" Some men don't like pints, dear. Some like Diet Cokes, some like WooWoos and some... well... 
11:10 - Oh, the truth of Harry and Grant begins... PLACE YOUR BETS! 
12:14 - "But it wasn't a girl." "What do you mean, it wasn't a girl?" IT WASN'T A GIRL! KEEP UP!
13:31 - JAZZER AND FALLON KISSED! The world is beginning to spin off its axis...!
13:50 - does this mean that Jazzer is the Christian Grey of Ambridge? Oh, let's not open that door! 

Am a little in shock. Let's keep going before I lose my nerve! Thursday's episode - ready?

00:42 - "Oh God." That was our reaction, Fallon. Just not as toned down as that... 
02:22 - "Making a fool of myself..." I feel a tiny bit sorry for you, Kirsty.
02:55 - That wasn't uncomfortable AT ALL! 
04:49 - Just listening to everyone's reactions... not sure how Ambridge would have taken it but still... 
05:15 - "You're not over him, are you?" Well, I sense not from the previous episode.
05:44 - Kylie and now Will Young as background music. Do you think they're telling us something?
07:12 - Washing last night out of your hair... DON'T! YOU FILTHY LOT! KEEP THE SMUT DOWN!
08:22 - "Best night of me life." I'm thrilled it was the best night of your life, Jazzer, but the MENTAL IMAGES!
09:00 - "Our secret." Secrets have a funny way of coming out, Fallon and Jazzer. 
10:00 - "It was why you did it." Oh, the history thickens. 
10:42 - "We still got a long way to go." NO! Don't say that! Do you mean with Grant or to Edinburgh? (in case you're wondering, I want them together. I'm a romantic at heart)
11:45 - All in. No, but... WAIT! 
12:08 - *Narrows eyes at Jazzer*
12:14 - "Fallon, stop."
12:26 - He's getting out! HE'S NOT GOING!!! YEAH!!!
12:51 - Wait, is this is last of Harry? But...

And that's it. Sorry if this was a completely waste of your time and oxygen but I wanted to do this and see how it would go! Was random fun (though have blown my chances of ever going on the show or writing an episode)! Might do it again in the future, but keep it on Twitter then copy & paste it over to the blog...

Anyway, if you took part or decided to listen to the show, great! If not, normal book blogging will return with my usual SMILE post on Monday! Have an ace weekend!

Thursday 9 August 2012

GoodRead - Cinder

Cinder was one of those books that I've been a bit wary over it. I heard all the hype and I went "Really?" and I stayed away. But then I watched a video from This Week In YA where they chatted about the sequel of Cinder, Scarlet, and I got excited over this. A retelling of Red Riding Hood, set in the south of France? Now, after I saw this, I wanna know if I could read Scarlet without reading Cinder so, asking the author and a few friends on Twitter, I was told that I could, but Cinder would be very helpful. So, on pure impulse, I downloaded on my kindle and read it at the same time as Cat Clarke's Torn.

In the future, after World War 4, in New Beijing, Cinder is a talented mechanic. She's also a cyborg, due to being in a terrible accident when she was 12. Hated by her stepmother. When her stepsister catches the plague, Cinder's life is thrown into turmoil when she is trying to find an antidote while finding her life entertwined when he needs an android fixed, but she knows he's lying about why he needs it fixed. 

And, just to make things even more complex, the Queen of Luna is coming to New Beijing, wanting Prince Kai to become her husband... 

The first few chapters, I must admit, didn't grab me. I admit that. I kept getting confused with the terms of cyborg and android as no one really explained the difference and I felt that the story wasn't hitting the ground running. 

Then chapter 5 happens where Cinder's stepsister caught the plague and that's when it suddenly went full throttle. And I fell in love with it, then. 

I love how Marissa Meyer took the fairy retelling idea (Cinder is the first book in a four book series), set it in the future and then threw everything at it. Aliens, disease, robots, love, hatred. And, while I was reading this going "This is a fairytale retelling of Cinderella, so there has to be a ball", I kept finding new things and I kept getting sucked in and then, when I finished Torn, I sped through the book. And Marissa twists the fairytale to such a degree, you go "Oh, wow! That's the slipper!" and you kick yourself for not seeing it sooner! 

There was one twist near the end that I saw a few days before, and that might be interesting to see how that develops. Apart from that and the first few chapters, I think this is a brilliant retelling. I saw it in my head and I would LOVE to see this turned into a TV show or movie (hint hint Once Upon A Time!) as long as they STICK to the story and cast the characters right! NO WHITE PEOPLE! This isn't the horrible US book trailer (and no, am not going to show you that! Am going to show a better review of Cinder, though...). If you're going to turn this into a movie/TV show, get it right! 

I can not wait for Scarlet! Can we have it bought forward a few months? Please!

Monday 6 August 2012

SMILE - Book Hug!

I love the quote under the tumblr when I first saw this on tumblr: "A good book is like a hug from your best friend."

My thanks goes to Fell From Fiction's tumblr.

Thursday 2 August 2012

GoodRead - Torn

As you guys probably know, I love Cat Clarke's debut novel, Entangled. So, when Cat did a competition to win an ARC for her second novel, Torn, I jumped on it, giving her a song that gave the sense of impending doom (Requirm For A Tower). And, somehow, I won it. So, I got a copy of Torn SUPER EARLY (and signed with lovely words).

And yet I only just read it? Why, I hear you shout at your computer screens. Why? Well, two reasons. Reason number one: It got lost in my huge To Read Pile (one of the many faults with being a book blogger [I admit it, at last! I am a book blogger!] is you get loads of books to read. I'm not complaining, but you kinda lose track of the books you want to read and then you half forget till Twitter shouts out you). And the second reason: I loved Entangled and I didn't want to read this and go "Oh, ok. That ruins it. Thanks, Cat!".

So, when I was invited to Quercus for the unveiling of the cover of Cat's third novel, Undone, I apologised to Cat (again) and promised to read it. I forgot to tell her I decided later that evening that Torn would be my next read...

Let's chat story! Alice goes on a school trip to Scotland and she's fearing the worse. But that's nothing compared to her finding out she's sharing a cabin with Tara, queen of mean. So, when Tara and her groupies do something, Alice's best friend, Cass, decides to teach Tara a lesson she'll never forget. She ropes in social outcast, Polly, and moody emo, Rae, into her plans. But when it goes too far, all four girls must face living with the guilt with what they done...

Now, I'm pretty sure some of you are going "This sounds like Pretty Little Liars". It's not. Seriously, it's not. This is dark, twisted and gritty UK YA fiction at its best. It isn't ashamed to show teenagers is a light where, yes, they make mistakes, chicken out, get horny, swear, drink and question themselves. And Alice does a lot of questioning herself...

And Cat isn't afraid to write dark scenes where you feel uncomfortable. Like in Entangled, she throws these scenes at us and, while we fidget a little in our seats, you still keep reading.

What I found the most interesting about this book, is that Cat doesn't go down the normal route. The book's main story has been done time and time again, but Cat tackles it differently. She focuses on the guilt that these characters have to deal with. Alice has the guilt slowly eating up inside herself and starts seeing Tara, even though that's impossible. Cass tries to control the situation. Polly, if anything, seems to enjoy and feed off her guilt. And Rae goes more into herself...

I do have a few things that niggled at me. Alice mentioning her weight every now and then was one thing. Every now and then, she would say something about her weight and it made me want to shake her. There were other times I wanted to dive into the book and shake Alice because of reasons that, at the time of writing this, has gone straight out of my head. But I know that there were occasions I was going "What are you doing?! TELL SOMEONE, FOR GOD'S SACK!"

While this might not be as amazing as Entangled (which I still love), Cat Clarke has proven as being one of the voice for dark, gritty UK YA fiction (and we need more of this!). I can not WAIT for her next novel, Undone, which I heard is her most personnel and most heartbreaking read to wait, which shall be interesting, because, as I told Cat, I have never cried reading a book before so the gauntlet is thrown. BRING IT ON, CAT!

PS - the Andrew in the Acknowledgements. That's ME! *Kermit Flails* SO HAPPY! I'M IN A BOOK!!! (Yes, I know a quote of mine was used in Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck but there's something wonderful about being in an author's acknowledgements, so Cat, if you're reading this, thank you.

PPS - Also, for a while before I read this, I always heard Torn by Natalie Imbruglia when I thought of this book, and I didn't want the song to be linked to the book. I just couldn't handle it! And, as you can see below, my song choices aren't Torn by Natalie Imbruglia (but there is a song by her) so HAHA!