Monday, 24 September 2012

Ask Amy Green: Boy Trouble by Sarah Webb

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Pages: 234
Publisher: Walker Books
Released: 2nd of February 2009

 Thirteen-year-old Amy Green has a lot to juggle: handling her divorced parents, minding her messy baby siblings, and navigating the snobby popular cliques at school. So when her cool but crazy seventeen-year old aunt, Clover lands a job giving advice for the teen mag The Goss, Amy jumps at the chance to help out as her sidekick. Of course Clover, being Clover, doesn’t just want to answer readers’ letters, she wants to solve their problems . . . personally. From stamping out malicious rumors to giving a cad his comeuppance to creating the perfect web page, the two come up with some clever hands-on  schemes that bring happiness to many unhappy girls. But when Amy falls for the cute but aloof boy in her art class — and her own friends start snubbing her big-time — can she find a way out of her own dilemma?

What I Have to Say

This didn't really seem like my sort of book, but I really enjoyed it! The character voices were really fun and interesting. Especially Clover. Clover was really funny and insane and I just fell in love with her character so quickly.

Amy was also a really good character. It was so easy to feel sympathy for her. I've never had experience with the problems she's going through, but I was still right there with her, feeling her pain.

I also liked how the author highlighted the fact that little things can become really, really important sometimes. In one scene, Amy's dad gets a puppy and it really affects Amy. And it was just so easy to see that Amy is getting upset about that because of the underlying issue of there becoming too much space between her and her dad.

In all, the book was a really funny and entertaining look into exploring identity in early high school and whether or not it's important to have a sense of social identity at that age.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Pages: 332
Publisher: Point
Released: 1st of February 2011

Ever since Mrs. Amberson, the former-aspiring-actress-turned-agent, entered Scarlett Martin's life, nothing has been the same.

She's still in charge of the Empire Suite in her family's hotel, but she's now also Mrs. Amberson's assistant, running around town for her star client, Chelsea - a Broadway star Scarlett's age with a knack for making her feel insignificant.

Scarlett's also trying to juggle sophomore year classes, her lab partner who is being just a little TOO nice, and getting over the boy who broke her heart.

What I Have to Say

It's been quite a while since I read Suite Scarlett. so it was really good how easy Scarlett Fever was to pick up and get back into. With some books, you really have to work to remember who the characters are and how the last book ended, but this wasn't the case with Scarlett Fever. I think part of it was because the characters were so easy to relate to as well as being very memorable. 

Suit Scarlett was also the very first book that I read by Maureen Johnson, so it felt really special to be reading the sequel. 

I loved the humour. I loved the characters. But I think the best thing about this book, compared to Suit Scarlett, was how much of Scarlett's normal everyday life we saw. The events in Suit Scarlett all happened over a rather weird summer, so it was good to see her go back to her normal life. And to see all the madness that was invading her life during the summer still very much affecting her life.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Cherry Crush by Cathy Cassidy

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Pages: 304
Publisher: Puffin
Released: 2nd of June 2011

Cherry Costello's life is about to change forever. She and Dad are moving to Somerset where a new mum and a bunch of brand-new sisters await. And on Cherry's first day there she meets Shay Fletcher - the kind of boy who should carry a government health warning. But Shay already has a girlfriend, Cherry's new stepsister, Honey. Cherry knows her friendship with Shay is dangerous - it could destroy everything. But that doesn't mean she's going to stay away from him...

What I Have to Say 

 I loved this book! It was a really good look at the issues faced by recently formed step-families. It was written in a really good way too. The plot and characters were easy to relate to, whilst not trying to hard to achieve this aim.

I loved Cherry, which isn't surprising since she's half- Japanese ;) But it was more than that. She was a really cool, interesting and fun to read character/ The other characters were great too. I'll be interested to see the points of view of the other sisters, but I think it'll be weird not to hear Cherry's viewpoint again.

The thing between Cherry and Honey was good too. I thought at first that she might be made too much of a bitchy female antagonist, especially considering the fact that the read will have to like her later in the series when she is the point of view character. It was good to see how human she was, especially towards the end of the book.

This was really a great book, but I think it needs a warning, don't ever read this book when you don't have chocolate to hand!!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

In My Mailbox: 2

 It seems that this is happening once a month. xD

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.

Received from publishers:

  Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry

 No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smokinghot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

I am looking  forward to reading this so much! I've heard so many great things about it. Thank you so much Mira Ink! 


Insignia - S. J. Kincaid

 More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom's drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone's been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he's offered the incredible--a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom's instincts for combat will be put to the test and if he passes, he'll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War III. Finally, he'll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom's always wanted--friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters--but what will it cost him?

Stolen - Lucy Christopher

Gemma, a British city-living teenager, is kidnapped while on holiday with her parents. Her kidnapper, Ty, takes her to the wild land of outback Australia. To Gemma’s city-eyes, the landscape is harsh and unforgiving and there are no other signs of human life for hundreds of kilometres in every direction. Here, there is no escape. Gemma must learn to deal with her predicament, or die trying to fight it.

Ty, a young man, has other ideas for her. His childhood experience of living in outback Australia has forever changed the way he sees things. But he too has been living in the city; Gemma’s city. Unlike Gemma, however, he has had enough. In outback Australia he sees an opportunity for a new kind of life; a life more connected to the earth. He has been watching and learning about Gemma for many years; when he kidnaps her, his plan finally begins to take shape.

But Ty is not a stereotypical kidnapper and, over time, Gemma comes to see Ty in a new light, a light in which he is something more sensitive. The mysteries of Ty, and the mystery of her new life, start to take hold. She begins to feel something for her kidnapper when he wakes screaming in the night. Over the time spent with her captor, Gemma’s appreciation of him develops …but is this real love, or Stockholm Syndrome?


 The Swan Kingdom - ZoĆ« Marriott

When Alexandra’s mother is slain by an unnatural beast, shadows fall on the once-lush kingdom. Too soon the widowed king is entranced by a cunning stranger — and in one chilling moment Alexandra’s beloved brothers disappear, and she is banished to a barren land. Rich in visual detail, sparked by a formidable evil, and sweetened with familial and romantic love, here is the tale of a girl who discovers powerful healing gifts — and the courage to use them to save her ailing kingdom.

Shift - Em Bailey

 She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After “the incident,” Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past.
But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group, right up to the side of queen bee Katie – and pushes the others right out – only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost . . . parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie’s life.

But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target?

One of Our Thursdays is Missing - Jasper Fforde

It is a time of unrest in the BookWorld.

Only the diplomatic skills of ace literary detective Thursday Next can avert a devastating genre war. But a week before the peace talks, Thursday vanishes. Has she simply returned home to the RealWorld or is this something more sinister?

All is not yet lost. Living at the quiet end of speculative fiction is the written Thursday Next, eager to prove herself worthy of her illustrious namesake.

The fictional Thursday is soon hot on the trail of her factual alter-ego, and quickly stumbles upon a plot so fiendish that it threatens the very BookWorld itself.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Small, Blue Thing by S.C. Ransom

Synopsis (From Goodreads)

Pages: 314
Publisher: Noisy Crow
Released: 13th of January 2011

Celebrating the end of exams with best friend Grace, 17 year-old Alex rescues a swan caught on a wire in the Thames mud and finds an extraordinary bracelet. Through its disturbing and compelling powers, she finds Callum, a soul locked in a half-life of sadness and mystery following a terrible accident, and his persuasive and sinister sister, Catherine. As Alex and Callum grow closer despite the enormous obstacles to their love, the dangers mount until Alex must risk everything to save Grace and Callum must risk everything to save Alex.

What I Have to Say

This was a really good book. It was less of a ghost story and more of a paranormal romance. The character takes her ability to see Callum in her stride and doesn't get freaked out by it. The focus is a lot more on the relationship between them rather than the creepy ghost aspect of it all. 

It was also really cool to see the depiction of such an obsessive relationship, with the main character falling so quickly for the boy and neglecting her friends. I like the fact that this wasn't played down like so many of the romance books out there. 

The author did a really good job with the secrets that Callum has, she doesn't highlight them, instead just slips them in so that it's not too obvious to the reader. 

All in all, it was a really good book. I'll be really interested to see how it develops though, as it seemed more like a stand alone novel than the first part of a series.