Monday, 27 August 2012

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 352
Publisher: Harper Teen
Released: 3rd of July 2012

Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.

What I Have to Say

 This book was incredible! I'd heard loads of good things about it, but that didn't prepare me for just how amazing it was! 

It was the perfect answer to Twilight and all the other vampire romances that came with it. I don't think many people have read Twilight and not wanted to shake Bella and ask her what the hell she was thinking!

Well Team Human does exactly that! The main character watches her friend falling for a vampire and wants to do whatever it takes to talk her out of it. And for anyone who's had to cope with a best friend going on and on about this guy she's completely head over heels in love with, it's very relatable. 

The other thing that I really loved about this book, was the humour. The main character's slightly mad sense of humour and the way she thinks in general really fitted for me. Plus the authors obviously had a great time writing her and had real fun doing it. 

I also really liked Kit. He was such a cute character, especially when Mel first meets him and talks about him lighting up when she laughs. This, added to how interesting his character is! I mean, a human child, raised by vampires! How cool is that! 

All vampire fans should read this book as a must. And even if you don't like vampires then you should read it. There's not much blood and gore and it really is a great book! 

I look forward to the next book!!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hollow Pike by James Dawson

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 416
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Released: 2nd of February 2012

Something wicked this way comes...

She thought she’d be safe in the country, but you can’t escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her. Lis thinks she’s being paranoid - after all who would want to murder her? She doesn’t believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn’t believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you’re alone in the woods, after dark - and a twig snaps... Hollow Pike - where witchcraft never sleeps.

What I Have to Say

This book needs to be a series! I think it would work so well as a series! Especially because the characters are so vivid and cool. They just have such a great group dynamic. I think it would be so cool to just have them going around and solving crime together! It would be amazing. 

I also loved the main plot! It was so intriguing and tense! I really, really can't wait to see what else James Dawson writes, because he's got a really good voice.

I did feel that the  plot was a bit focused a lot on the bullying plot.  I  feel less time should have been spent on that and more time should have been spent on the rest of the book, as once it was over, it felt a bit unconnected from the rest of the book. Especially since the main plot of the book was so cool and exciting.

Still, the bullying section of the novel was very well written and really highlighted the fact that 1. Bullying is a huge problem which isn't dealt with properly, if at all, by teachers and 2. You can't get away from it where ever you go. 

This book is great for people who are being bullied as it really shows that it's not just one person, it's something that most people go through. It also gives some really useful pointers on how to deal with it, especially as the advice they give out in high school is usually poorly explained or not very well thought out.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Devilish by Maureen Johnson

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 288
Publisher: Harper Collins
Released: 7th of June 2012

What would you give to be popular?

 Ally and Jane may not be that popular but they're good friends...that is until they each get allocated a freshman, a 'little' to show the ropes to at school. Cracks begin to show as Ally changes into a whole different person, literally overnight. She's dressed better, making new friends, and ditching Jane more and more. But Ally's transformation has its price. And it's up to Jane to save her former BF from a ponytail-wearing, cupcake-nibbling devil in disguise!

 What I Have to Say

I think the best thing about this book was how real it felt. Even though it's a book about demons, for the most of it, it's not obviously a fantasy book. I think it's very easy to relate to, especially for teenagers. It could very easily just be a story about a girl whose friend is changing and drifting away from her. 

The other thing that was really done well was the depiction of shock. The way that Johnson describes the numbness of shock is so detailed and at the same time so realistic, especially considering that the entire nature of shock is that the body shuts down to avoid processing things. Using a first person narrator to describe a detailed and accurate experience of shock  is pretty interesting. 

This book really is a great book to comfort read, but make sure you have food handy as it will make you crave cup cakes!! 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Dear Dylan... by Siobhan Curham

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 288
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Released: 2nd of April 2012

My thanks go to the author for providing me with this copy.

A first crush. An unexpected friendship. A dream come true. 

Dear Dylan! Thanks so much for your email and I'm sorry about my last one when I said I love you. I hope you don't think I'm a weirdo mentalist?!!! It's just that I was watching Oprah yesterday and she said we should all say we love each other a whole lot more. Not to everyone of course. There's no way I'd tell my scummy step-dad that I love him because that would be lying. But the thing is, sometimes when I watch you on TV, I feel as if you're talking just to me and it makes me feel less alone. I know you probably get loads and loads of fan mail but I wanted to ask you - could we be e-mates? Yours hopefully, Georgie xxx

What I Have to Say

 So good! The style was really cool, with all the emails. It felt like actually reading through a couple of people's private emails and finding out the story that way. 

The author also didn't dance around the whole strangers-on-the-Internet issue. She puts the anonymity of the Internet at the front of the story and doesn't just ignore it, which is a really good way of doing it, because it's accepting that the issue is there without making a big thing out of it. 

The characters were also really engaging and, as I said, it was told through emails, which made it feel much more real. 

Curham was also very subtle about the plot points. She sets things up slowly so that the reader can sense that something is wrong. Things like the way that Tone-deaf treats Georgie, also Angelica getting sick. 

This is an especially good book to read if you have any interest in acting, as acting is so essential to the plot and there's a lot of really good advice in there.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

In My Mailbox: 1

Please give me a moment as I squee uncontrollably over my first IMM!!

I got so many books at the Foyles' Summer Scream yesterday, that I thought I'd do a post to acknowledge them all (and show off. I'll admit it :P).

The In My Mailbox meme was started by Kristi at The Story Siren and is used by many bloggers to show... well what they've been sent. ^^

All summaries are from Goodreads.

Books I won from the Summer Scream giveaway:

Witch Crag - Kate Cann

 In a tribe where basic survival is the only priority, Kita must make a choice: to accept arranged marriages and being treated with less value than sheep, or escape and journey to the place that even the strongest men fear with their lives — Witch Crag.

But a common threat is facing the witches and sheepmen alike. The tribes must somehow overcome their prejudices and join together if they are to win a war that threatens to destroy everything they hold as good.

 Breathe - Sarah Crossan

When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. 

Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. 

Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.

I've actually ended up with two copies of this ^^ So I'm giving one to a friend. 

 Love, Inc. - Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

Zahra, Kali, and Syd would never have met if their parents' marriages hadn't fallen apart. But when the three girls collide in group counseling, they discover they have something else in common: they've each been triple-timed by the same nefarious charmer, Eric, aka Rico, aka Rick. Talk about eye-opening therapy.

Cheerful, diplomatic Zahra is devastated. Rico had been her rock and sole confidant. How could she have missed the signs? Folksy, flirtatious Kali feels almost as bad. She and Rick had only been on a few dates, but they'd felt so promising. Hardened vintage-vixen Syd is beyond tears. She and Eric had real history... Or so she'd thought. Now all three girls have one mission: to show that cheater the folly of his ways.

Project Payback is such a success, the girls soon have clients lining up for their consulting services. Is your boyfriend acting shady? Dying to know if your crush is into you? Need match-making expertise? Look no further than Love, Inc.

Plus one that a wonderful and very, very kind blogger called Ewa gave me! 

Dearly Departed - Lia Habel

 A sharp, slick, blisteringly paced debut novel, with an unconventional but tender love story at its heart.

I parted the curtains. A skeletal face peered back at me, blackened eyes rolling in sockets seemingly unsupported by flesh. It smiled...

It should be game over for Nora Dearly when she is ambushed and dragged off into the night by the living dead. But this crack unit of teen zombies are the good guys, sent to protect Nora from the real monsters roaming the country and zeroing in on cities to swell their ranks.

Can Nora find a way to kill off the evil undead once and for all? Can she trust her protectors to resist their hunger for human flesh? And can she stop herself falling for the noble, sweet, surprisingly attractive, definitely-no-longer-breathing Bram...?

This looks so amazing! I can't wait to read it! 

Brought (and had signed ^^): 

Daughter of the Flames - Zoƫ Marriott

What if your deadliest enemy were the only one who could save you?

Inside an ancient temple in the mountains, fifteen-year-old Zira trains in the martial arts to become a warrior priestess who can defend the faith of the Ruan people. Bearing a scar on her face from the fire that killed her parents, the orphaned Zira is taught to distrust the occupying Sedornes. Terror strikes when the forces of the tyrannical Sedorne king destroy the only home she knows. To survive, Zira must unravel the secrets of her identity, decide her people’s fate — and accept her growing feelings for a man who should be her enemy.

I'm really, really looking forward to this! It was the one book I knew I was definitely going to buy.

A Witch in Winter - Ruth Warburton

 Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.

This series looks so cool! Just the sort of thing that I like!

Burn Mark - Laura Powell

 Glory is from a family of witches and lives beyond the law. She is desperate to develop her powers and become a witch herself. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition—the witches’ mortal enemy—and his privileged life is very different to the forbidden world that he lives alongside.

And then on the same day, it hits them both. Glory and Lucas develop the Fae—the mark of the witch. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together, whether they like it or not . . .

Seriously, how incredible does this book look!? I want to read it now!

Angel - L.A. Weatherly

 Angels are all around us: beautiful, awe-inspiring, irresistible.

Ordinary mortals yearn to catch a glimpse of one of these stunning beings and thousands flock to The Church of Angels to feel their healing touch.
But what if their potent magnetism isn't what it seems?
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 people's futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. But she has no idea where she gets this power from.

Until she meets Alex…
Alex is one of the few who know the truth about angels. He knows Willow's 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.

I've heard such good things about this series and the Author was lovely ^^

 Haunters - Thomas Taylor

Eddie, Adam and David have the same gift. Separated by generations, they are linked by their ability to time-travel. Using their dreams, they can appear like ghosts, wherever and whenever they want. The first is the genius who discovers dreamwalking. The second is a Haunter, a dream-terrorist, determined to change history foris own ends. The last is the novice dreamwalker who must battle to save his family, and himself, from oblivion.

 This looks a bit creepy for me :') Still, it looks really good.

 The Wood Queen - Karen Mahoney

"The wood monster is dead. I know this is true because I killed it. And yet my dreams are still full of fear and pain . . ."

To keep her best friend, Navin, from being killed at the hands of vicious wood elves, Donna Underwood stole the elixir of life. Now she's facing an alchemist tribunal while her mother lies dying, succumbing to the elven curse that shattered her mind. In desperation, Donna seeks an audience with Aliette, the fierce and manipulative Wood Queen, who offers a deal: if Donna can use her strange and burgeoning powers to help the wood elves, Aliette will free her mother from the curse. Along with Navin and Xan, the half-fey guy she's falling for, Donna struggles to unlock the secrets of her iron tattoos in time to save her mother's life. But some secrets are better left untold.

I really liked The Iron Witch so I've been meaning to get a hold of a copy of this. And now I have one!