Thursday, 25 October 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

The flip side of last week’s …
Are there any good books that you read IN SPITE OF the cover and ended up wondering what on earth the artist and publisher were thinking to pair up a cover that so badly represented a perfectly good book?
And … if you didn’t like the cover, what made you pick up the book? The author? Assigned reading from school? A recommendation from a friend?

When I read this question I thought 'Yes!!! Tons!!!', and then struggled to find them lol. 
But a book that I recently read did spring to mind.
When it first came out last year I was reluctant to pick it up because the UK cover is so drastically different to the US one.
UK Cover

US Cover

I much preferred the more striking and vibrant US one.  But one day in the supermarket chart I saw it there, reasonably priced, and picked it up.
And it sat on my shelf for a year.  
I picked it up the other day, started reading, and was hooked.
I was kicking myself for not reading it earlier.
And I'm sure if I had the US cover I would have.  But the UK cover just didn't make me want to pick it up, which is a shame because the book itself is phenomenal and has become one of my favourites.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (29 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144472262X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444722628
  • "Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

    The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.
    When Brimstone called, she always came."

    In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

    Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
  • Cover:  I don't hate the UK cover for this book, but it simply pales in comparison to the gorgeous and striking black and vibrant blue US cover.
I can't believe I had this book sitting on my shelf for a year, and have waited this long to pick it up and read!!  I am kicking myself!
I freaking loved this book.  I devoured it.
It was a fast-paced, page turning dream.
The characters in this book were so rich in detail, I felt I really knew them well by the end of the book.
I loved everything about Karou, I thought she was an amazing protagonist- for example I loved the revenge she took on her cheating ex boyfriend....hilarious.
I also enjoyed Akiva's character, the dead inside seraph that comes alive through love - sounds corny but it's really beautiful.
I loved that the book was kind of split into two halves, first half being "Karou's" and the second half being flashbacks or memories (so hard not to spoil at this point!)
I was really pleased that we also got Akiva's perspective, and I think they may have been my favourite parts of the book.
I loved the writing in this book - the descriptions were vivid and beautiful, and I really built up images in my mind while I was reading.
This paranormal/fantasy is simply amazing.  The whole concept blew my mind.
If you're like me and you've seen this around and have been unsure or it's been sitting on your shelf...PICK IT UP!!
Obviously I give this 5/5 stars!  There was not one thing I didn't like about this book.
I can't wait to read the sequel really soon, as the evil cliff hanger at the end is killing me.
I highly recommend this for everyone.

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Diviners by Libba Bray + GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

  • Received for review
  • Hardcover: 578 pages
  • Publisher: Atom (18 Sep 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1907410392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907410390
  • It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before.

    For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.

    But New York City isn't about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone.

    Evie wasn't just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer - if he doesn't catch her first.
Cover: I love this cover!  It's gorgeous! All the blues are beautiful and the art deco design is perfect for a book set it in the 1920s.  Plus the creepy eye plays an important part in the book.

This is my first Libba Bray book, but it will certainly not be my last!
I was drawn to this book because it sounded like a blend of a few genres that I love- historical and supernatural, plus a bit of murder mystery.
I saw an interview with Libba Bray where she perfectly summed it up 'The Great Gatsby meets Stephen King, and The X Files with flappers'.  It really is.
I was dying to get into this book, and then I started it and worried I wouldn't get into it.  It wasn't that it was bad, but it's rather beasty at 578 pages, which is a little daunting, but I found it slow going at first.  I wasn't hating it though, but just seemed to take ages to get through.  Then I hit the 200 pages mark and it picked up, and I was completely absorbed.
Also, at the beginning I wasn't keen on Evie, the main protagonist.  I just didn't like her selfish attitude, but she develops far more later on in the book, to the point where I actually loved her as a character.
This book was amazing.  It's just to full of detail, and so much happens, and I can't wait to see what's to come in the next three books in the series.
This book was far creepier than I thought it would be.  I was reading it late at night, and was genuinely quite freaked.  Never had that with a book I was reading for- so definitely a perfect October/Halloween read.
You can definitely tell Libba Bray spent a long time researching the 1920's...the language and attention to detail is amazing, definitely sent me back in time and still managed to give me a supernatural twist.  Phrases such as 'You bet-ski' and 'the cat's pyjamas'.
It's light on the romance, so if you're not a big romance fan you may really enjoy this, however towards the end the potential for a romance is really set up for the future books, that I am really looking forward to.
I loved that we see a lot of different characters in this book, and that at first they start out separate, but the further along we get, they are drawn together in mysterious circumstances.
This book raises a lot of mysteries that remain unsolved at the end...and I can't wait to uncover more in book 2.
Without doubt 5/5 stars!  I recommend this book to absolutely  and I will be talking about it for weeks to come.


Little Brown have very kindly given me the chance to host a giveaway, giving you guys the chance to win a signed copy of The Diviners!!


* Open to UK residents only (Sorry US followers :( )
* Simply leave a comment below saying 'I want to enter the giveaway' and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!!! e.g. coolbean(@)hotmail(dot)com
*Giveaway runs 19/10/12 to 25/10/12

Good luck!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s no question that it can make a difference!
What book(s) have your favorite covers? Something that’s perfect for the story, the tone, the colors, the mood…
And did you pick up the book BECAUSE of the cover? Or were you going to read it anyway, and the cover was just serendipitous?

Oh I love a good book cover.  I know they say don't judge books by them, but when you're browsing it's the first thing you see!  
Some of my favourite covers are:

I love covers that are relevant to the story, I'm sure we've all read a book, looked back at the cover and thought 'what on Earth has that got to do with it??'
Anna Dressed In Blood is the most perfect cover for a book...ever.  Everything on that cover is how it's described in the book, it's creepy and beautiful at the same time.
I love all these covers for different reasons though.
And as much as I love them, I didn't pick them up for their covers alone, they drew me in first, I then read the synopsis, if it sounds like my thing, I then buy it.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

  • Hardcover: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers (12 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385742010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385742016
  • The lore of mermaids and mermen is real! As Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess, says, "Riveting! A cold-blooded tale of secrets, revenge, and forbidden love that will leave you terrified to go in the water."
    Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.

    It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love--just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves.

    One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.
Cover: Creepy, relevant and beautiful...perfect cover for this book.

This book was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2012...and I've finally gotten around to reading it.
This is my first mermaid read, and I really enjoyed it.
I loved that it was dark and creepy...mermaids in this book are certainly no Disney's Ariel.
I loved that it was in the guy's point of view, and Calder is brutally honest about his nature.  It was interesting to have a protagonist that admits he's a serial killer, killing people to absorb their aura's as mermaid don't feel 'happy' emotions on their own.
I liked that the relationship between Calder and Lily wasn't exactly 'insta-love', and their interactions were hilarious- Lily doesn't instantly fall for his charms and he doesn't know why, which makes him frustrated.
Calder's sisters were great characters, super creepy.
The whole plot was great, seeing Calder fall for Lily, but even at the end you're not entirely sure of his character...I don't want to spoil anything for you, but let's say something happens and he's not exactly quick to act.
It's a fast paced book, but something was missing.  I often felt it didn't flow very well, and often had to re-read bits so I wasn't lost.  Don't get me wrong, I loved this book but something is stopping me from giving it 5/5.
Over all I give it 4/5 stars.  It's a great read and I definitely recommend it.  There was a great plot twist at the end that I didn't see coming and am looking forward to seeing it develop.
The dark and creepy mermaids make it a great choice for this time of year.
I'm definitely looking forward to checking out the sequel Deep Betrayal next year.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Booking Through Thursday and a different question is posted every week. 

If your house was burning down and you could save just one book from your collection … what would it be?
(And, for the purposes of this discussion, we’ll allow series to count as “one” long, multi-volume book.)

I genuinely struggled with this one.  There are so many books on my shelves I feel I couldn't part with! 
But in the end I chose The Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine because it's a big series, with 12 books out already, so the more books I could save, the better.
And of course I would save my kindle which has hundreds of books on it!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Dreams, Sarah Midnight Trilogy #1 by Daniela Sacerdoti

Received for review

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Black and White Publishing (17 May 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1845023706
ISBN-13: 978-1845023706
  • “You’d never think it could happen to you. You’d never think that one day you’ll stand in a graveyard, rain tapping on a sea of black umbrellas, watching your parents being lowered into the earth, never to come back. It’s happening to me. They said it was an accident. Only I know the truth. My parents were hunters, like their parents and grandparents before them, hundreds of years back, scores of ancestors behind me, fulfilling the same call. I must follow in their footsteps. I am the only one left to keep the promise. I can never give up the fight, this fight that has been handed down to me, thrust upon my unwilling shoulders. I’d rather be buried with my parents, my brave, fierce father and mother, who lived and died by the Midnight motto: Don’t Let Them Roam.” 

    Ever since her thirteenth birthday, seventeen-year-old Sarah Midnight’s dreams have been plagued by demons—but unlike most people’s nightmares, Sarah’s come true. Her dreams guide her parents’ hunt as Sarah remains in bed, terrified but safe, sheltered from the true horrors of the Midnight legacy. But all this is about to change. After the murder of her parents, she is cruelly thrust into a secret world of unimaginable danger as she is forced to take up their mission. Alone and unprepared for the fight that lies before her, Sarah must learn how to use the powers she’s inherited and decide whom to trust before it’s too late...
  • Cover:A great match for the protagonist Sarah, and I really like the dark colours and the creepy atmosphere.

I'm finding it hard to sum up my thoughts and feelings towards this book.
There was so much that I really loved about it...but then there are some things that I am not so sure on.
I'll start with the great stuff.
The villains in this book were definitely creepy and sinister, and I loved that we got parts in their perspective.  One in particular you even start to feel sorry for, you understand what motivated her, and you become quite conflicted.
I liked there were different types of demons, and the I loved that it was set in Scotland.  I haven't read a  YA paranormal romance set in Scotland so it made a really refreshing change.
The pacing was also amazing.  Drew me in straight away and I was never bored.  There were also a number of twists that I didn't see coming.
However Sarah's character frequently annoyed me.  She knows she's in danger and yet she goes shopping with her friends like normal, knowing she could potentially get them killed.  What?!?!
I also disliked the sheer amount of names in this book.  I had to keep flicking back to keep track of everyone.
I also found the explanation of the Secret Families and Gamekeepers too rushed and confusing.
Also the romance is kind of on the light side.  I feel that it's being set up in this book and will be developed more in the next two books.
The romance is different to most YA romances.
How Sarah treats Sean at the end of the book, despite his saving her life on numerous occasions, bugged me.
This book was full of action, I do have a lot of unanswered questions, but I know these will be answered in the next two books in the trilogy. 
I know I sound really negative about this book, but overall I really did enjoy it and I'm really excited for the next book.
3.5/5 stars.  I definitely recommend it to paranormal fans, I think fans of Cassandra Clare's Moral Instruments series will really love it.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Recaptured Dreams by Justine Dell

Received for review
Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 418 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Omnific Publishing; 1st edition (16 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
Ten years, the Atlantic Ocean, and several rungs in society have kept Xavier Cain from having Sophia Montel. Now twenty-seven, he’s spent his entire adult life building a fashion empire that could finally prove his worth to her family. When fate reunites him with Sophia at London’s premiere fashion show, one problem lodges in Xavier’s path: Sophia doesn’t remember him.

The only obstacle that has kept Sophia from Xavier is a horrific car crash that erased her memory at seventeen. She’s spent the last ten years fighting to reclaim a sliver of her past that her mother refuses to help her remember. When Sophia meets Xavier at the London show, however, all her fantasies come to life in one night of passion. Discovering he is the missing link, she is determined to find all the pieces to their love story and her memory.

Xavier wants forever. Sophia wants her memory. If they take this chance, they’ll have to start over. How far are they willing to go get what they want? And when the past catches up to them, can they handle the truths it has hidden?

Cover:  This has to be one of my all time favourite covers.  The colours, the atmosphere, and bonus points for it being relevant.
This cover is so beautiful that I'm dying to get my hands on a physical copy, because you don't get the full benefit of it on a Kindle, being boring black and white.

I loved this book!  I devoured it in just one day!  And I have to say that his book is as beautiful as its cover.
Sophia and Xavier fell in love ten years ago but were kept apart by her disapproving family.
Oh how I loved Xavier- he never stopped wanting a life with Sophia, and everything he did was aimed at finding her again.  He was just so adorable that you couldn't help but love him.
Sophia lost her memory of everything before she was 17 so can't remember her and Xavier's love.  The whole premise of her having to remember their romance really drew me in.
Justine Dell did such an amazing job at making me hate Sophia's snobby family.  They frustrated and annoyed me no end!  I just wanted to reach through and shake some sense into them!  A sign of an amazing book, I think we'll all agree.  I still couldn't forgive her family at the end.
As I said, I loved Xavier's character.  I loved that his character was constant.
Now I had a lot more trouble warming to Sophia.  She wants to break free from what her Mother and Grandmother have planned for her, and yet mostly goes along with them, then rebels, then goes along with them again.  Wants her memories back, doesn't think she can handle them, wants her memories back...etc etc.  She swings from being a strong character to weak, and back again.  A little of that is fine, but I just felt there was just a tad too much, that Sophia just ended up contradicting herself too much for me to find her a really enjoyable character.
Normally that would effect my rating, but everything else was so perfect- the pacing was on point, hooked me from the get go, the plot was amazing- I had to know these character's history and see them get their HEA!  Having both Sophia and Xavier's perspectives!  Xavier was well...the perfect romantic hero.
So even though I didn't like Sophia very much, I still loved this book, so much!
I will definitely be re-reading this! This is a 5/5 star book for me and I recommend it for every single romance fan out there!

September Reading Wrap Up 2012