Monday, 27 June 2011

Bookshelf Tag

Tag Originated by Richard:
1. What is the most interesting book on your shelf?
2. What is the scariest book on your shelf?
3. Which book(s) on your shelf can you not live without?
4. How many series books do you have on your shelf?
5. What book on your shelf has the most unique book cover?
6. Which book(s) on your shelf have you not read?
7. Which book(s) on your shelf did you not enjoy?
8. What book on your shelf holds the most meaning?

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (1 Oct 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0857070436
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857070432

Carlos Fuentes isn't happy about leaving Mexico to start the "new" life his older brother, Alex, has planned for him. Carlos liked his freedom; living life on the edge - just like Alex did. Kiara Westford doesn't talk much; instead preferring to shut out the world. And when Carlos bounds into her life she struggles to understand him. Carlos is sure that Kiara thinks she's too good for him, which is just fine because he's not interested anyway, right? But when they finally open up to each other, the connection they feel shocks them both. Can they overcome their fears and realise that sometimes opposites really do attract?

After Perfect Chemistry managed to pull me away from the YA Paranormal Genre and consider other genres I couldn't wait to read the 2nd in Simone Elkeles's contemporary, realistic YA trilogy.

Cover:  Like the first book in this trilogy, Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction has a cute, romantic cover with people that easily match the descriptions in the book but also the scene with the cars in the rain happens!!! And is one of my favourite scenes in the book, so for it to be on the cover is great.

Plot: Again the romance element is opposites attract.  Alex doesn't want his brother to end up in a gang like he did and so moves Carlos from Mexico into school in America.  Where he meets Kiara- the total opposite of what he would look for in a girl.  They play pranks on each other.  When Carlos is wrongly blamed for something he is forced to stay with Kiara and her family and they slowly start to fall for each other.


Kiara-  I really Kiara as the lead female character, for me she stood out among other heroines.  She's scholarly and tomboyish and likes nothing more than tinkering with her car and hiking.  She stutters when she nervous.

Carlos- Sarcastic and moody bad boy.  Feels frustrated that Alex is making decisions for him and he feels that Kiara thinks he's not good enough for her.

Tuck- Kiara's gay best friend.  A really funny character who provides a lot of comic relief.

Alex and Brittany- It's great that you still get to see Alex and Brittany from Perfect Chemistry.

Brandon- Kiara's little brother, who is hilarious.

Madison- Evil, mean girl of the school who has her eyes on Carlos.

Writing Style: The same as Perfect Chemistry: fast paced-so much so that I read it in a day and again is told in alternating chapter perspectives of Kiara and Carlos.

Rating: 5/5 stars!  Perfect summer beach read and I would recommend for those looking for a cute, romantic, contemporary and realistic read.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (3 May 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0007420412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007420414

One choice can transform you. Pass initiation. Do not fail…
In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior’s world, society is divided into five factions – Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) – each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a “perfect society.” At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives.
On her Choosing Day, Beatrice renames herself Tris, rejects her family’s group, and chooses another faction. After surviving a brutal initiation, Tris finds romance with a super-hot boy, but also discovers unrest and growing conflict in their seemingly “perfect society.” To survive and save those they love, they must use their strengths to uncover the truths about their identities, their families, and the order of their society itself.

This is my first dystopian read and it's not a genre I had really thought about exploring but there has been so much buzz about this from the bookie community and youtube reviewers and those on goodreads that I really didn't want to miss out on an amazing book just because it wasn't in my normal genre and I am SOOOO glad that I didn't.

Cover:  Ok I have to be honest from the cover this would not normally be a book that I would pick out either browsing in-store or online but it's actually grown on me and a definite plus is that it's shiney.

Plot: The first half of the book if very much Tris's initiation into the Dauntless faction and how's she copes with each new test because if you aren't ranked in the top 10 after 3 stages you are kicked out and become factionless- the lowest people in society that suffer most.  The second half is Tris finding out that the factions may not be as great as they are supposed to be and are breaking down...and war could be on the way.  Mixed in with all that is the unexpected romance between her and the instructor Four.


Tris- Originally Beatrice but when she changes factions from Abnegation to Dauntless she changes her name.  Small in stature but she soon feels that the Dauntless is the faction for her, jumping on and off trains and buildings etc...but her Aptitude test came back inconclusive making her Divergent...does she belong anywhere?  And being Divergent is dangerous and if anyone finds out Tris is in trouble.

Four/Tobias- A Dauntless member and instructor.  His job is to teach the initiates about Dauntless and test them to the limit.  He soon feels for Tris...but he's hiding something himself.

Caleb- Tris's brother and at the choosing ceremony
surprises Tris by also switching factions, she always though he belonged in their original faction

Will + Christina- Fellow initiates that also switched factions and befriend Tris.

Peter - An initiate that takes a dislike to Tris and bullies her at every opportunity.

Eric- A Dauntless leader but does he really have the interests of the Dauntless in mind?

Writing Style:  Even though this is a large book with 487 pages it didn't feel that long with an astonishingly fast pace which allows to read huge amounts in a single sitting.  I feel that Veronica Roth has balanced this book to perfection

Rating:  A definite 5/5 stars for this book!!  It was good enough to have read in 2 days without being able to out it down and to pull me into a new genre of the dystopian.
The rights for the movie have already been bought and when you are reading this book it literally plays out in your mind like a movie so you can really see the potential for a great movie from this book, I only hope the movie stays true to the book and doesn't desecrate this great book.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Bookshelf Tour!

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books (31 Aug 2010)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 9781442402003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442402003

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.

I had high expectations from this book and couldn't wait to read it and so as soon as it arrived I read it, and those expectation were met above and beyond!!

Cover:  This is an amazing cover, and what I like about it is that the 2 people on it match the description of Varen and Isobel.  On the original cover the guy also had a lip ring would would have made the cover perfect but oh well.

Plot:  Ok Ok I'm sure we're all familiar with the old two opposites being paired together for a school project, and un-originally this happens to Isobel and Varen in their English class.  At first it's a disaster and they hate each other but as they progress their feelings for each other change but creepy things are Isobel going mad or are supernatural things occuring?

Isobel- Seems to be a typical cheerleader but actually isn't as shallow as her friends, and when they start to harass Varen, she doesn't stand for it.  Turns into a strong female lead character and one of my favs.  

Varen- A goth.  I love that the main male character is a goth...rare and it's sooo brilliant and I am in love with him.  Sarcastic, witty and intelligent, he doesn't much like Isobel in the beginning thinking she's another dumb, blonde cheerleader but eventually he sees differently.

Writing Style: Wow this book went by fast! It's 560 pages but they just whizz by.  The chapters aren't very long so that helps with the pacing but also Kelly Creagh's writing is just so easy to read but at the same time is clever.  The reference to Edger Allan Poe don't mean you have to be a Poe fan to like this book or to understand it, anything you need to know Creagh includes and explains.

Rating: 5/5 stars, for me it stands out from other YA paranormal normal books at the moment because of its unique plot regarding the paranormal element or Varen creating a dark world in a journal, plus the references to Poe make it an all round amazing book and I am dying to read the second book Enshadowed which comes out January 2012.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Dead Girls Dance - The Morganville Vampires Book 2

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (7 April 2008)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 074907986X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749079864

Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

After the cliffhanger of Glass Houses I liked the book enough that I desperately wanted to read book 2 to find out what happened to characters I genuinely liked reading about.

Cover: Again this is the re-released cover and is a pretty stand looking for a YA Paranormal Romance.  

Plot:  The book smoothly picks up where the first book left off.  Shane's Dad turns up and saves Claire, Shane and Eve from the vamps and Monica but he uhh...doesn't like Michael much (trying to not much this too spoiler-y).  His Dad wants retribution after his daughter was killed in a fire connected to the vamps and his wife was killed after remembering too much after leaving Morganville and consequently causes more trouble for Claire and her friends meaning they have to fight for their lives...again.

Characters: The majority of characters in this book are the same as in the first.

Claire- Newest member of the Glass House and student, the youngest and smartest...she fights to save her friends even though she physically isn't strong her determination outweighs this.  Romantically linked with Shane.

Shane- A typical guy but when his Dad shows up you see a different side to him, his relationship with his Dad is not an easy one.  He feels for Claire but acts honourably regarding her age even if she might not want him to, as she's 16 and he's slightly older.

Eve- Feels strongly for Michael and her feelings are returned.  She and Claire are good friends.  We get to know a bit more about Eve's past and family life as her creepy younger brother is released from prison and starts bothering her but this isn't concluded and must carry on the third installment Midnight Alley.

Michael- Feels increasingly frustrated at not being able to leave the house when his friends are in trouble and need him and so makes a surprising  decision...

Frank- Shane's violent and bully of a Dad.

Amelie- The Founder of Morganville and the oldest Vampire.  Claire and her friends are under her protection....but for how long?

Oliver- An Old and Powerful Vampire who resents Amelie.

Sam- The youngest Vampire in the world, the vampires don't trust him and humans don't trust vampires full he's lonely and becomes an ally for Claire.

Writing Style:  Again we have Claire's perspective throughout the book and then at the end we get a summary in the form of Eve's Diary which is  nice to not only have a short overview but also to have to from another main character's perspective.

Rating: 4/5 stars, the same as for Glass Houses for the same reasons, overall the plot was good, writing and the characters are funny and at times witty.  Again I would recommend this book for fans of the YA paranormal romance genre but you'd have to have read Glass Houses first for it to make any sense.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's (1 April 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 1847388051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847388056

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created "perfect" life is about to unravel before her eyes. Forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, Brittany finds herself having to protect everything she's worked so hard for - her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend and, most importantly, the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But the closer Alex and Brittany get to each other the more they realise that sometimes appearances can be deceptive and that you have to look beneath the surface to discover the truth.

I loved the sound of this book so much that it actually pulled me away from just reading the paranormal genre and actually being interested in normal contemporary YA fiction again.

Cover:  A well suited cover for the content of this book - a romantic cover for a romance story, but what is so good about this cover, and why I like it so much is that the boy and the girl on it are perfectly suited to the 2 main characters and are exactly how I imagined them to be.  Plus the guy is HOT!

Plot:  Ok the plot is basically 2 people that don't like each other are stuck together for a school assignment but of course start to like each other- the old opposites attract storyline but it really works.


Brittany- Brittany has parents, nice house, BMW...the perfect life.  Except her life isn't perfect but she doesn't want people to know that.  She wants her senior year to go without a hitch and everyone to carry on thinking her life is perfect.  She should be a shallow blonde bimbo but she's not and of course Alex gets under skin and sees deeper than that.

Alex- Gang member, Mexican heritage, father died in a gang related incident and getting partnered with Brittany is his idea of hell.  A bet is made with friends that he can sleep with her...but after a while it's more than trying to win a bet.  Secretly Alex wants better than to be a gang member and has a flare for chemistry.

The result is a truly beautiful relationship between the two that progresses well and isn't without it's troubles but you really feel that Alex and Brittany love each other.

Writing Style:  Simone Elkeles has a great writing style, it's paced so well and is an amazingly fast read, I read it in a day.  A great feature of the book is that chapters alternate in perspectives of Alex and Brittany allowing the reader to not only know the thoughts and feelings of both protagonists but also a balance of the series of events.

Rating: 5/5 stars overall I loved everything about this book and I couldn't put it down and even after I finished I was thinking about it and couldn't wait to get my hands on the second in the trilogy Rules of Attraction and I can't wait until Chain Reaction is released as well as checking out Simone Elkeles's other books.

I would recommend this book for fans of the YA contemporary genre of anybody that loves a good romance or a nice light read.  

Book Haul- 18 Books

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: ATOM (2 Jun 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1907410767
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907410765

This has been on my To Read radar for a long time now...since it first came out actually but I was waiting for it to come out in the slightly smaller paperback version and it did meet my high expectations.

"Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone? especially herself?from the Dark Forces. Is love a great enough power against evil?"

Cover:  This cover has to be one of my favourites, such a beautiful cover and I like how the two main characters, Bethany and Xavier are silhouetted against the sun...definite reference to the celestial beings and God I think.

Plot: 3 angels and siblings are sent down to Earth from Heaven on a mission- do good deeds and restore faith...but the youngest Bethany deviates from this plan and falls in love with a human boy called Xavier, they have to fight to be together as well as Agents of Darkness that seem to want Bethany...

I loved the plot, the romance between Bethany and Xavier was the main focus and it was a great romance even if at some points it was a little corny.  The religious aspect was what kinda makes this book stand out from others in the YA paranormal romance genre and the references to God weren't made dull and boring.  


Bethany- the most human angel, sometimes I felt the author was making her naive because obviously she's new to the human world but at others times she would say that angels had access to all divine I felt this was a little contradictory at times.  Her love for Xavier becomes all consuming.

Xavier-  Ok I have to be honest, I am actually in love with Xavier.  He's a sweet, funny and clever guy that has endured tragedy before and didn't realise how much was missing in his life until he starts to feel for Beth and he becomes very protective of Beth.

"A man in love can do extraordinary things, I don’t care if you’re an angel, you’re my angel, and I won’t let you go." 
Gabriel and Ivy- Bethany's brother and sister are more reserved and hesitant than she is and feel no affiliation with the human world and want to return to Heaven.

Jake Thorn- New guy at school, seems to be out to take Bethany away from Xavier...what's his motive?  And he suddenly becomes very popular

Writing Style- Very easy to read, paced well and everything just seemed to flow so that I couldn't out it down for very long, quick read- doesn't feel like 484 pages.  I was curious to see how an 18 year old would write a paranormal YA novel and you can't tell, and in fact it's better than some I've read in this genre written by an older author and I think that's a definite plus because it's written by a Young Adult for a Young Adult and she understands what readers are looking for in this genre and her writing styles supports the standard of the plot.

Rating-  4.5/5 stars...I couldnt give it 5 because for me it didn't beat L.A. Weatherley's Angel and wasn't quite as good so I couldn't give it the same rating, but I would definitely recommend this book for fans of the YA Paranormal genre- definitely a good one.

Angel by L.A. Weatherley

UK version

  • Paperback: 506 pages
  • Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd (1 Oct 2010)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 1409521966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409521969

This is without doubt my favourite book!

"Willow knows she's different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into peoples futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where she gets this power from... But Alex does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows Willows secret and is on a mission to stop her. The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous and irresistible. In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy."

Cover: I love both the UK and US versions of this book.  I think the girl on the cover of the UK is a perfect Willow and is how I imagined the character to look which makes a change from covers that look nothing like the character they are meant to be. 

Plot: Alex kills angels.  They're not as we know angels but killers that feed off of our life energy.  His next assignment is to kill Willow Fields...but she's like nothing he's ever seen before- half angel, half human...but that's impossible.  Willow has done something to upset the angels and now they want her dead, and Alex finds himself protecting Willow and falling for her.

Sometimes the plot or synopsis make the book sound better than it is but not this one: the synopsis hooked me in and then from page one I was gone, could not put this book down, finished in a day.  The romance between Willow ans Alex was amazing and is by far my favourite- there's an instant attraction but not love, then some hostility, progresses to friendship and then love and so I felt it really developed and therefore really meant something and was a true romance.
US version

Characters:  Willow and Alex were both great characters.

Willow- People think she's odd because she isn't a girly girl but would rather play around with car engines...oh and she's psychic.  Willow doesn't know she's half angel until Alex tells her. 

Alex- His life has been ruined by the angels- his mother, father and brother were lost because of them and so his life is killing them.  He doesn't expect his feelings for Willow and his conflict is obvious- he feels if he loves Willow he is betraying his family. 

Writing Styles:  Wow this books pacing was incredible, pages just flew by.  Wasn't hard to read at all. Amazing really.

Rating:  5/5 stars.  Simple as.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Morganville Vampires book 1- Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (26 May 2008)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0749079517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749079512

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they come out fighting when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood...

I wasn't sure whether to start another vampire series...especially one with a considerable amount of books to it but I got a really good deal in a discount book store and so couldn't pass up the chance to get books 1 to 9 for £15.

Cover:  I love this cover!!! This is the new re-released version and it's very much a 'typical' Young Adult Paranormal Book.

Plot:  Vampires run Morganville and the town residents know this and pay their due of a blood donation each month for protection...but Claire stumbles into the situation and stirs up a hornets nest and she has to cope not only with the school bitch that's out to get her but also bloodthirsty, powerful vampires that know she has something they want.

I thought the plot was strong...nothing outstanding but safe and a definite plus was that the vampires in this book are back to being to BAD!!! Rachel Caine hasn't tried to make the vamps the tragic and tortured hero which is nice and refreshing to get back to old school vamping.

Characters:  Loved the characterization in this book.

Claire- Starts out as the typical geek that is isolated because of her brains and I really felt for her when she was being bullied at the start of the book.  And as the book progresses I love that she becomes a really strong character that wants to help out her newly made friends.

Monica- The bully and boy was she an evil bully, as far as bullies go she was a great one or a bad one however you want to look at it.  Truly awful and hateful actions.

Eve-  The first one to really befriend Claire into the Glass House and is a quirky goth girl.

Shane-  Sarcastic love interest...need I say more??

Michael-  Owner of the Glass House and he reluctantly let's Claire into the house and he has a secret of his own....

Writing style:  Hmmm....nothing really outstanding...pretty standard writing but easy to read and follow.  Quick read.

Rating: 4/5 stars - Can't fault the writing, plot or characters and overall it was a good and compelling read. I would recommend this for fans of the YA Paranormal romance genre.