Monday 31 December 2012

Wishlist for 2013

This is a list of my highly anticipated books of 2013, books that I plan to read as soon as possible because I need to and they look fantastic! I have plenty from 2012 that I haven't read yet but I'm going to be nice and stick to the rules. Most are from authors I have already read or the continuation of a series, but there are a few that I've heard of from friends that look plain awesome.

Oh and Happy New Year!

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valeria Thomas - 7th January
KYLIE: MEXICO WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger.

MAX: It all started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics. Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded in Tijuana. With less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome. 

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border -- but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started. 

LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can't completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It's even clearer now. And I'm not giving him up without a fight.

Dead Romantic by C.J. Skuse - 4th February
Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete's body and a poet's brain. But when she's mocked at a college party, she knows there isn't a boy alive who'll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille's dream boy, Frankenstein-style. But can she make him love her?

Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost - 26th March
Dating the Prince of Darkness has its challenges . . .

Leila’s psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn’t sure what the future holds. If that weren’t enough, her lover Vlad has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she’s also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever–especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won’t admit that he loves her . . .

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity . . .

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust– the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity . . .

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa - 23rd April
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

ACID by Emma Pass - 25th April
A fast and furious thriller featuring the coolest, toughest bad girl since Lisbeth Salander. Meet Jenna Strong.

In Jenna’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule with an iron fist. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.

But Jenna’s violent prison has taught her a thing or two about survival. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - 7th May
Falling in love in the world’s most romantic city is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year at the School of America in Paris, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to deal with the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren't always forever. Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Fall of Night by Rachel Caine - 7th May
Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane. 

Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires. 

But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make...

Dead Jealous by Sharon Jones - 4th July
People think of Mother Nature as a gentle lady. They forget that she's also Death...Sixteen-year-old Poppy St John believes in quantum particles, not tarot cards, in Dawkins, not druids. Last summer, in a boating accident in the Lake District, Poppy had a brush with death. But the girl she finds face down in Scariswater hasn't been so lucky. As she fights to discover the truth behind what she believes is murder, Poppy is forced to concede that people and things are not always what they seem and, slipping ever deeper into a web of lies, jealousy and heart-stopping danger, she comes to realise - too late - that the one thing that can save her has been right there, all the time.

Saturday 29 December 2012

On My Bookshelf, Christmas edition! (11)

OMB is probably my own, a version of IMM.

My bookshelf is now getting very full! I have so many great books to read over the next few months!

Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem. The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind. Bonesaw. Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.  It’ll be brutal... and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker. Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules... or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

Present from Sophie which I really wanted and Sophie is fantastic for getting it for me!

The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language by Mark Forsyth

The Horologicon (or book of hours) gives you the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to the hour of the day when you really need them.

Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you’re philogrobolized. Pretending to work? That’s fudgelling, which may lead to rizzling if you feel sleepy after lunch, though by dinner time you will have become a sparklingdeipnosophist.

From Mark Forsyth, author of the bestselling The Etymologicon, this is a book of weird words for familiar situations. From ante-jentacular tosnudge by way of quafftide and wamblecropt, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.

How brilliant is this? I've already flicked through most of it! Christmas prezzie from my brother.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Book number one from Blogger Secret Santa - yay! Really wanted this and I'm going to cry so much aren't I?

Everneath by Brodi Aston
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her friends—before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. 

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s...

Book number two: ooh, have vaguely heard of this and it sounds really good.

Fracture by Megan Miranda
Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

Book number three: this sounds so cool! Thank you Secret Santa! 

Monday 24 December 2012

My Top Books of 2012

Another year gone and it's the first one with my blog to record my reading and bore strangers with my opinions on books!

Anyway, apparently it is customary, or at least popular, to look back at all the books I've read in the last 12 months, record the great and the not so great. So here we go, my top however-many books of 2012 (blank because I'm not sure how many there'll be, but probably more than 10).

And of course Merry Christmas <3

The Immortal Rules by Julia Kagawa
One of the best vampire books I've ever read. Plain and simple. Vampires as bad and scary, not romantic and sparkly? Finally! I loved Allie as the heroine, someone who didn't want to be a vampire, who struggled with her lost humanity, mostly by herself. And Zeke was a fantastically gorgeous good guy, helping the small and looking out for his family, even accepting Allie when he probably shouldn't have. Such a detailed and well developed story with a fascinating vampire legend. (Review)

Black Dawn and Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine
Number 12 of Morganville came out in May, 13 last month. As anyone will know, I love this series with all my heart. The town, the characters, the bad guys, everything is incredibly brilliant and I read each new instalment in a weekend, making my hands ache from holding the book up! (Review of Black Dawn and Bitter Blood)

Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton
I was introduced to Keris by Sophie, both on twitter and by her lending me her book. I loved it, flew through it and instantly fell for her characters. Simple yet touching, the streets of LA seemed real and dramas gave subtle reference to real themes of divorce and love. Not to mention Oscar, what a guy! (Review)

Blood Read Road and Rebel Heart by Moira Young
Pressured and persuaded by Sophie once again, I ended up loving the book and rushed to get a hold of the second in the summer and get them both signed! Saba, torn apart from her twin brother, is ridiculously strong, even though it took me a while to warm to her due to her lack of showing emotions. Jack, the hero of this tale, was gorgeous and brilliant and I'm running out of adjectives to describe the fantasticness! Their journey through the dustlands was awe-inspiring, an amazing addition to the dystopian genre. (Review of Blood Red Road and Rebel Heart)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I'm not normally one for contemporary but I can not resist a romance, and Anna and St. Clair was up there with the greats. Simple acts and seemingly boring past times were rejuvenated with their sparkling and heartbreaking love story. (Review)

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
The first in the new spin-off series for Vlad and Leila. I adore Vlad with all my heart and he desperately needed his own story and now he does! A whole series of books to be fantastic and sexy in! Plus, how gorgeous is the model- I mean the cover? So much happened in this book, so many little plot points that developed Vlad and Leila's relationship, the hunt for the bad guy, or both. (Review)

Undead and Unfed by Kirsty McKay
My first zombie book. Low on my list of great paranormal creatures but fantastic in this series. My heart was in my throat through the whole book, literally could not put it down, I had to know that they all lived! Completely gross but still so enthralling, Bobby was an amazing heroine, Smitty was incredible and sweet and such a jackass! And of course Alice and Pete, the last of the unlikely gang of survival. (Review of Undead and Unfed)

Looking for Alaska by John Green
A present at Easter by my boyfriend, my first John Green book, that I read in a few days with tears in my eyes. I am literally unable to put into words how much I loved this and how much it hurt to read. I cried, as I am given to understand is typical of John Green's novels, and I laughed a lot, all the characters were fantastic and so real that I had heartache for days. A touching story that will stay with you. (Review)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Read early in the year, already knowing it was a favourite of my little brother's and my friends, I was unprepared for the raw emotions, heavy plot and pure awesome that was this created world with an evil Capitol and hidden heroes. Every character had something to bring to the story and most left me breathless or with tears in my eyes. (Review)

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
My first proper dual-narrative story, I believe, and I was not disappointed. A great way to start the Christmas season, not to mention a really cute love story that was subtle and believable. (Review)

Saturday 22 December 2012

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Publisher: Mira Ink
Published: 5th October 2012
Pages: 260
I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you dont, put the book back on the shelf, please. 

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

A lovely short and sweet book to get you in the mood for Christmas! Lily was bored over Christmas, and her brother decided to find her a nice guy by leaving a moleskin notebook with dares in the bookshop. Dash finds it and general hilarity ensues. Through the notebook, they reveal secret little things about themselves and their family and Christmas that develops them much better than just plain conversing, in my opinion. 

Both protagonists were equally lovable but I instantly had a soft spot for Dash and his love for words. He was quite cynical and liked to be alone while Lily was bouncy and fun; you know what they say about opposites attracting! Plus the fact they fell for each other through writing was just perfect for a book nerd like me! 

I loved their interactions, the split narrative and being able to spot one story line while following the other. The secondary characters were also really cool, weaving in and out of both stories and gently pulling Dash and Lily together. Their relationship grew slowly, which is really sweet in a world way many characters experience insta-love. 

All in all, an adorable story of teenagers trying to find connection and love in New York.

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite

Publisher: Penguin
Published: 10th September 1992
Pages: 384
At a club in Missing Mile, N.C., the children of the night gather, dressed in black, looking for acceptance. Among them are Ghost, who sees what others do not. Ann, longing for love, and Jason, whose real name is Nothing, newly awakened to an ancient, deathless truth about his father, and himself.

Others are coming to Missing Mile tonight. Three beautiful, hip vagabonds - Molochai, Twig, and the seductive Zillah (whose eyes are as green as limes) are on their own lost journey; slaking their ancient thirst for blood, looking for supple young flesh.

They find it in Nothing and Ann, leading them on a mad, illicit road trip south to New Orleans. Over miles of dark highway, Ghost pursues, his powers guiding him on a journey to reach his destiny, to save Ann from her new companions, to save Nothing from himself...

Just a quick one today because I'm going to see The Hobbit soon. Ah, real life interruptions!

Lout Souls is another book for university, a modern Gothic module and one I actually looked forward to reading. Vampires and mad teenage Goths? Duh! And while I wasn't disappointed in this respect, I was unprepared for how weird this book really is. Initially a gripping read, it didn't lose its charm but any innocence I once had has vanished!

All the characters are either vampires or just plain screwed up. Take Nothing: a half-vampire child that has been abandoned because he killed his mother from the inside; feeling isolated, he runs away to New Orleans and bumps into three young-forever vampires that party in a black van. He then proceeds to get drunk, do drugs and have some sort of sexual encounter with everyone he comes across, including Zillah. Half way through, they find Christian, one of the only characters I actually liked and was sorry to see go, who makes the connection that Nothing is Zillah's son. And then they continue to have sex. Yeah... Zillah was incredibly weird and unnecessarily cruel. Did not like him.

The other part of the story was Steve, Ghost and Ann. The two boys form a band 'Lost Souls', and Ann is Steve's ex. There is an awful back-story to their relationship that I won't go into but will just say no matter how much of a bitch Ann was, I was still on her side. Ghost was the other character I honestly liked, a strange young man with the ability to see ghosts and hear thoughts. As if this book wasn't odd enough!

Full of random sex with strangers, doing drugs for the hell of it and killing your old friend because your new possessive lover told you to, this is not one for the light hearted. But definitely worth it for the fantastic embodiment of Goth 90's teenagers and the true Gothic horror.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine

Publisher: Allison and Busby
Published: 6th November 2012
Pages: 538
Other works that I've reviewed:
Black Dawn (Morganville 12), Working Stiff, Devil's Bargain
For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within…

Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires.

To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse.

Even though this is the thirteenth in the series, I cannot be bored or any less in love with these books. And even though I read this with my heart in my throat, sometimes screaming at the stupidity or the adorableness, I can't help but think this is not the same Morganville I fell in love with. For obvious reason.

The aftermath of the draug attack has changed Morganville for the worse, vampires getting cocky and humans getting stronger. Amelie has changed, which is way worse, as she no longer feels any compassion, no remorse and even with threats stuck to Glass House, Amelia couldn't care less.

There are so many things that I could talk about, that were freaking fantastic in this book. Myrnin was brilliantly insane and so sad and so I-wouldn't-call-it-in-love with Claire, and Shane was stronger, Michael scary when in full vampire mode. Oh, and don't get my started on the idiocy of the humans - I've never felt so ashamed for my species.

Throughout the whole book, I was both laughing and tearing up, sometimes just chanting 'no, no, no' and getting weird looks from my boyfriend. He just does not understand the love I have for these characters and I was tripping over my words to explain the crazy that had happened to make me scream at my book but I think that just made me look more insane.

Not for the first time, I finished the book in nearly tears and wondering what the hell Rachel Caine could send them next. Looking forward to Fall of Night with bated breath.

Friday 7 December 2012

2013 Genre Variety Reading Challenge

Faye, of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, has created her own reading challenge for next year, which I am going to attempt! My first proper reading challenge, I'm really excited I've already planned what I'm going to read!

So the information, courtesy of Faye:
The challenge is to read books from different genres throughout the year. I have found that blogging has opened my eyes to so many genres that I would never have tried before, simply from recommendations, and the idea of this challenge is to keep that going. The challenge is to read a large variety of genres within one year.

Other Important Info;
  • Runs from January 1st 2013 until December 31st 2013. Sign ups will be open until December 1st 2013.
  • There are five levels to challenge yourself too. You may move up a level but not go down a level. These are all outlined below. Please mention in your sign up post which level you will aim for.
  • The genres you choose to read are up to you. As long as every book is different, whichever genre you wish to read you can.
  • Every month there will be a post on this blog to link up to your update post / review(s)
  • There will be a giveaway at the end of the challenge, and maybe a few within the year but these are TBD.
  • To sign up, you will need to write a post saying which level you are challenging yourself too and then use the linky list. Non-Bloggers may post in the comments of this post.
  • Any book formats are accepted.
  • Novellas and Novels are all accepted for this challenge.
  • YA, NA and Adult books all count towards this challenge.
  • New sub-genres are accepted. (for example, paranormal-romance, or historical-romance)
  • Careful; 6 different genres, 6 books
  • Cautious; 12 different genres, 12 books
  • Branching; 18 different genres, 18 books
  • Avid Reader; 24 different genres, 24 books
  • Champion; 30 different genres, 30 books

I was going to be really boring and just start at careful level, but even though I might one or two books short, I'm going to try cautious. Let's see how that works out! And of course, I'll still be at university so depending on whether I can sum up the courage to read American Psycho, I may read more! You can sign up here!
  1. Contemporary 
  2. Historical 
  3. Paranormal
  4. Urban fantasy 
  5. Fantasy 
  6. Romance 
  7. Women’s Fiction
  8. Dystopian
  9. Fairy Tales 
  10. Steampunk
I'm going to post updates separately and periodically starting in the new year. Wish me luck! 

Tuesday 4 December 2012

BlogINK Blog Tour a.k.a Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me

Hey guys! So the UK peeps will probably be aware of the MiraINK competition they've been running, to win a year long contract to be their blogger - pretty incredible opportunity, right? Obviously I entered but I didn't get into round two, but my friend Sophie, of So Many Books So Little Time, did!

I'm really proud of her, she's being blogging for over 4 years now and really deserves this chance to blog for an actual publisher! As part of this second round of the competition, she has to run her own media campaign to get her video as far as possible, hence this brilliant idea of a blog tour!

Now, onto what you can do: watch this video. Like it, comment on it, share it. That's all. Of course, if you comment on it - or this post, or any other post in the blog tour - you have a chance to win a book! Don't ask me which one, ask Sophie, it's her giveaway! And, every 100 views on the video, there will be another chance to win! Enough incentive to pass around the book blogger community? I thought so :)

Here is Sophie's simple yet impressive video explaining why she ought to win:

So next up in this blog tour is Viv, go check her out tomorrow and comment on her post for more chances to win! Plus, you know, spreading the word helps Sophie win this contract, but mostly free books! Hehe :)