Friday, 31 May 2013

My review of Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: June 6, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Shadow and Bone is a breathtaking fantasy debut that will not only hold you with its captivating world, but also with its fierce and feisty characters. 

Prepared to be thrust into the kingdom of Ravka, where an abyss of darkness infested with dangerous beasts that feed on humans, called the Fold, slowly spreads across the land. This is the kingdom that orphans Alina and Mal grew up in. Alina has never been special or extraordinary until she discovers a sudden burst of power and is separated from her best friend Mal, and sent to the extravagant world of Ravka's magical folks; The Grisha. She has to learn to control the power she now possesses, but also get used to the only man who can help her, the Darkling. A terryingly powerful man with irresistible charm that Alina can't help but be drawn to. But then there's Mal, who is not Grisha and could not follow her into the palace, but he is out there somewhere, and Alina can't seem to get him out of her head.

I fell into this fantasy world immediately and I could not put it down! I was captivated by what the world and characters had to offer. The world building was awesome and the way the author describes Ravka through Alina's eyes is both magical and frightening. Every twist and every turn was something unpredictable, and I loved that about this book.

Alina is fierce when she wants to be. But inside, she's just a broken girl who only wants a peaceful, simple life. Moving to the posh side of Ravka where the Grisha live, definitely did not cross her mind. Alina is loyal and will easily grow on you over the course of the book. Her unconditional love for her best friend Mal is endearing and really gave the story a lighter side. 

I didn't particularly like the Darkling. Now, I've heard that people have been falling head-over-heals for him and I'm just sitting here like:
I don't quite see what is appealing about a manipulative, dark, extremely old and evil character. But I guess everyone has their preferences. To express my opinion, Mal is more my kind of boy. he's protective and sweet when he wants to be. He's loved Alina all his life, even though he didn't realise it at the beginning, but when he does, that for me was a "OMG, MY HEART CAN'T COPE!" moment.

There is so much to praise in Shadow and Bone: the world building, the characters, the plot, the twists, and so much more. If this was adapted into a movie it would be incredible. Pick up this book as soon as you can because it cannot be missed! The sequel Siege and Storm will be out soon.
A review copy was provided by Orion Publishing

Thursday, 30 May 2013

My review of The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

The Fault in Our StarsDiagnosed 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.

The Fault in Our Stars is an emotional and heart-wrenching novel that will touch your heart in the best possible way. 
“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” 
The Fault in Our Stars follows Hazel who has been diagnosed with cancer at the age of 13, and was completely prepared to die, but a miracle a year later managed to shirk the tumors in her lungs, letting her live; for the time being. At sixteen, her parents force her into a cancer support where she meets Augustus Waters; an absolutely gorgeous boy with a mind like none other. He and Hazel become close. He makes her look at her illness in a different way. He makes her laugh, and makes her think, and makes her forget that she has an illness. He completes her, and before they know it, they are falling hard for each other and starting an incredible journey.

I can't even express how much I absolutely fell in love with this book and the characters within it. At the start, I wasn't really expecting to, but as the pages passed I found myself liking Hazel, and of course I fell in love with Augustus from the moment he jumped into the story. And like everyone else who've read this book, he fast became my favourite character. 

Hazel is a simple and down-to-earth character that I could really connect with over the period of the book. I am not suffering from any illness like Hazel, but her certain habits made it hard not to love her. Like watching terrible TV shows, reading and obsessing over books and stories. She's just like any other teenage girl trying to live her life but struggling with the difficulties, but things start to look up when she begins to fancy a boy...

This next paragraph is dedicated to our main guy, Augustus Waters. He is strong and brave and everything a book-obsessed girl could hope for. Green portrays Gus as a boy who is not afraid of death and tries to spend life looking on the brighter side and making any situation humorous. Gus also suffers from cancer and is an amputee. You will love him as soon as you meet him. With his charming smiles, witty humor, and that one cigarette between his lips that he never smokes, you will fall for him like you have never fallen for a character before. 
This book is filled with emotion and all that stuff you love. When I read Looking for Alaska, I wasn't really blown-away or understand the hype for John Green. I am sososo happy that I gave his books another go because The Fault in Our Stars is now my most favourite book of all time. Yes, OF ALL TIME! (For now.) If John Green ever decides to write another emotion-packed book like this, I don't think I could cope!

So, how much did this book make me cry? Erm, let's just say once I started, I couldn't stop; even when the story ended... I couldn't stop! The story touched me in such a way that I couldn't forget about it, and I still can't even after a few weeks of reading it. (I had to wait until I was emotionally stable to write a review.) This story was so emotional! But it is also a story of self-discovery. Hazel learns more about what good things life has to offer, and so much more.

The Fault in Our Stars is a gripping and beautifully written contemporary novel that I would recommend to everyone out there. Everyone. You have to read this book at some point before you die, and if you don't... You will die without knowing what an incredible and thought-provoking book is. Dramatic, I know. Okay, read this as soon as possible. Okay.
Maybe 'okay' will be our 'always.” 

If any of you have read this book please leave a comment I would love to discuss the story with you!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (53)


This week I'm waiting for...
Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2)
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Inspired by the childhood classic Alice in Wonderland, this harrowing and romantic story features teen zombie slayer Alice Bell who has lost so much—family, friends, her home. After a strange new zombie attack, Alice fears she may be losing her mind as well. A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do wicked things. The whispers of the dead assault her ears and mirrors seem to come frighteningly to life. She’s never needed her team of zombie slayers more—including her boyfriend, Cole—than she does now. But as Cole strangely withdraws and the zombies gain new strength, Ali knows one false step may doom them all.

I LOOOVVVEEEEDD Alice in Zombieland! I can not wait to find out what happens to the characters and their relationships *cough* Cole and Alice *cough* 
I'm not only interested in the romance! Okay... well like 80% of my excitement is me wanting to read more of the romance between Cole and Alice, but I'm still looking forward to the zombie apocalypse action! Gena Showalter knows how to write some kick-butt action scenes.

Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments so I can check it out!

Have a great week,
Sam :D

Monday, 27 May 2013

My review of Goddess

Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini
Release Date: June 6, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

GoddessAfter accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

Goddess is the heart-stopping and highly anticipated conclusion to the Starcrossed trilogy. The journey has been absolutely breath-taking and I've cherished every page of the story since the very beginning.

In Starcrossed, Helen was a weak and ordinary girl with a simple life with her dad. Until the Delos family appear on the island and her life is flipped upside down. She discovers that she is a scion; a descendant of notable Greek families. She learns that she has powers beyond she could ever have imagined. In Dreamless, Helen learns even more about her powers and also meets Orion, a rogue scion, who offers her the type of friendship that Lucas cannot. Now finally, in Goddess, the Gods are angry and the Oracle foresees a war coming that only Helen has the power to stop. 

I cannot believe that there will be no more of these books. Starcrossed was actually the book that got me into YA books and blogging. It's plot interested me like no other and the romance was irresistible. Now that I have finished the final book in the trilogy I feel like I have l lost close friends and an exciting world. The action and the romance are mixed brilliantly with the main Greek plot, and I can't praise Angelini enough for her cunning and witty dialogue that occasionally makes an appearance to lighten the tension in scenes. 

Helen has come a long way since we first met her in Starcrossed and she's definitely made it onto my list of kick-ass heroines! One of the decisions that Helen has to make in this conclusion is: Orion or Lucas? She formed a close bond with Orion in the previous book, and she knows that she loves Lucas but how can they possibly be together when they are related? Not only that, but Helen has to put up with the dreams that are more like visions of the past that haunt her every time she falls asleep. 

I was genuinely torn between Orion and Lucas! They are two amazing guys with different things to offer Helen. Lucas is the one who we all know that Helen loves and cares for, but on the other hand, Orion is good for her. He's her best friend and is willing to stand by her side no matter what and listen to any problems she may have. Luckily, Angelini has planned the perfect conclusion where everything is settled, yet leaving us with the question of what might happen to the characters' futures. 
Hector plays a big part in this last past of the story and I was really glad to see him take the lead in certain scenes! We see him in action quite a lot, and we even see the start of a relationship with one of our new characters! Yes, there are several new characters that you will either love or hate. For instance, Hades. We meet Hades. How. Cool. Is. That?! He genuinely cracked me up and I think he will leave you with a smile on your faces as well. ;)  

The Starcrossed trilogy is a set of books that I cannot recommend enough! For all of you YA lovers out there who want a plot that is clever and intriguing, romance that can make you smile and break your heart, characters that are entertaining and witty, and also . I am waiting anxiously to hear about more books from Josephine Angelini because I'm sure that she has many bright ideas for more amazing and exciting books. 

A review copy was provided by Panmacmillan

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Saturday, 25 May 2013

Book Haul (#47)


I hope you are all well and enjoying the start of this lovely half-term (if you are in school in the UK, of course). On Monday, I went to see a play called "Teechers" and it was pretty awesome and very funny. There are three people who play multiple roles... Ah, brilliant. And today (Saturday), I had my first day at work! My first job ever! In a chocolate shop (which also sells food, cards, gifts, etc). It was sososo fun. Bring on next Saturday. ;)

Anyway, this week I received/borrowed:
Such a RushAngelfall (Penryn and the End of Days, #1)
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols - Received -
Thank you, Simon and Schuster! Now if you saw my book haul last Sunday, you would have seen that I borrowed Forget You from the library. I actually finished it that same day and found out that Such a Rush would be published in the UK so I quickly requested because I loveeed Forget You. I will probably post a review in the upcoming weeks!
Angelfall (Penrynn and the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee - Received
Thank you, Hodder and Stoughton! If wasn't expecting to receive this! It was a complete surprise when I opened the package. I've heard such great things about this. Apparently it was a really big e-book hit so I'm looking forward to checking what all the hype is about.
All Our YesterdaysInfinite Sky
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill - Received -
Thank you, Bloomsbury Publishing! I AM SO EXCITED I'M GONNA DIEEEE! This sounds and looks absolutely fabulous. I will be reading this one as soon as I can.
Infinite Sky by C. J. Flood - Borrowed -
This sounds like a really cute contemporary. I've had my eye on it for a while and I'm anxious to see what it's about.
Perfect Escape
Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown - Borrowed -
Now, I've heard a lot about Jennifer Brown but I haven't seemed to pick up any of her books... NOW I HAVE! Yaaay. This looks interesting. It's about a sibling relationship, I think.

Leave a link to your Book Haul/In My Mailbox/Stacking the Shelves/Letterbox Love/Showcase Sunday in the comments so I can check it out!
Enjoy all your books,
Sam :)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (52)


This week I'm waiting for...
Thousand Words
Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
Release Date:
May 21, 2013
Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself -- sans swimsuit -- to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send."

But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone -- until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo -- and didn't look. 

Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn't always tell the whole story.

This sounds like a really interesting contemporary novel! Mack seems like a cool character and I can't wait to meet him! I haven't read anything by Jennifer Brown yet but this sounds like a good place to start as any.
Perfect EscapeHate List
Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments so I can check it out!

Have a good week,
Sam :)

Monday, 20 May 2013

My review of Transcendence

Transcendence (Transcendence #1) by C.J. Omololu
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

TranscendenceWhen a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan fears she is losing her mind. A mysterious boy, Griffon Hall, comes to her aid, but the intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider. As their feelings grow, Griffon reveals their common bond as members of the Akhet-an elite group of people who can remember past lives and use their collected wisdom for the good of the world. But not all Akhet are altruistic, and a rogue is after Cole to avenge their shared past. Now in extreme danger, Cole must piece together clues from many lifetimes. What she finds could ruin her chance at a future with Griffon, but risking his love may be the only way to save them both.

Transcendence is a captivating and interesting story about people with souls that can remember all of their past lives. A mysterious plot accompanied by an adorable romance.

Transcendence begins with Cole and her sister visiting the Tower of London, when Cole has a vision of a beheading many centuries before. It's certainly not normal and Cole is sure that she is going crazy until a boy named Griffon who comes to her rescue, and they can both feel the immediate and intense connection. As the two meet back in their home town in the US, they grow closer and Griffon reveals what they really are. They are members of the Akhet; people who can remember their past lives and try to do the best for the world in each life. Now Cole is trying to remember as much as she can of her previous lives, but also try to figure out those who may want to cause her harm.

I wasn't really sure how the story would go, or whether I would like it, for I have read many mixed reviews! Though after reading, I can happily say that it kept me thinking and also kept me interested. But at times I did feel like the story was going no where and the characters were a bit dull. The pace was slow, but things did speed up towards the end.

One thing I wasn't too keen on were the visions that Cole kept having of her past lives. Sometimes I didn't understand what was going on, or the link to her current life, I just felt like they were, you know, just there to fill the pages. Of course, some of the visions were very significant and actually pretty interesting to read. But like I said, I felt that some of them were a little bit pointless.

I liked the romance between Cole and Griffon because it was all pretty cute and really showed the lighter side of the story. The plot twists were very, very surprising and I did not even see them coming until the last moment. Hopefully Omololu will have some more of them in store in Intuition!
A review copy was provided by Bloomsbury

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Book Haul (#46)


Crazy week! It's been freezing and school has been so, so tiring. And I think I've been spending most of my time watching the new season of House of Anubis on Nickelodeon.
Guys, I'm warning you! It's so addictive. It's basically about a group of boarding school students who live in this ancient house and they keep finding things, and sorting ancient mysteries. There's also romance that keeps things more entertaining. I LOVE IT SO MUCH AND YOU SHOULD START WATCHING FROM SEASON 1 NOOOOWW! :D

Okay, sorry about the rant. ;) This week I have received/borrowed/bought:
GoddessThe Testing (The Testing, #1)
Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini - Received -
Thank you, Panmacmillan! I received this book on Monday and finished it that same night around 12am... Yeah, a bit late, but I physically couldn't put it down! I HAD TO FINISH IT. And guess what? It was freaking amazing. Watch out for my review.
The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau - Received -
Thank you, Templar Publishing! This has been recommended to The Hunger Games fans and I'm curious to find out about the story.
All the Truth That's In MeBittersweet
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry - Received -
Thank you, Templar Publishing! This books sounds so cool. I can't wait to read it.
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler - Bought -
I've read a few books by Sarah Ockler and have been dying for this! I finally bought it and finished it in a matter of hours. Damn, I think I was dying for cupcakes all the way through.
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)Torn
Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer - Borrowed -
Torn by Cat Clarke - Borrowed -
I read Undone, Cat's most recent novel, and decided I should try out a few more of her books.
Forget You
Forget You by Jennifer Echols - Borrowed -
I haven't read anything by Jennifer Echols and I've heard a lot of good things so... BRING IT ON!

Leave a link to your Book Haul/Stacking the Shelves/Showcase Sunday/In My Mailbox/Letterbox Love in the comments so I can check it out!

Enjoy your books,
Sam :)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Cover Reveal (5)

Hey guys,

I'm here once again to show you some more covers that have been released recently. There are some here that are amazing and some that are hideous. Some that we have been waiting for for a very long time and some that have just popped up out of nowhere. Anyhow, enjoy!
Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)Out of Play
Wild Cards (Fullriders #1) by Simone Elkeles - October 1, 2013 -
Oh. My. Gosh. It's a SIMONE ELKELES BOOK! #asdfghjkl
Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Champion (Legend, #3)
Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth - October 22, 2013 -
Shadowlark (Skylark, #2)Casting Shadows (Flynn, #3)
Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles, #2)Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)
Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2)Belladonna (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #2)
Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2) by Morgan Rhodes - December 3, 2013 -
Ahhh! I've got Falling Kingdoms waiting for me on my shelf.
Belle EpoqueEarthbound
Earth Bound by Aprilynne Pike - July 30, 2013 -
I've never read anything by this author before.
Uninvited (Uninvited, #1)Indelible (The Twixt, #1)
Indelible (The Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf - July 30, 2013 -
This is certainly very interesting!

Leave a comment telling me which you love and which you hate! 

Have a great week,
Sam :)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop

love in bloom 2013 final
This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Portrait of a Book.

For this loovvveeellyyy giveaway, I am offering one winner one book from the list below. The book will be sent by The Book Depository, so it is international.
The Fault in Our StarsAnna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)
Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
My Life Next DoorIf I Lie
The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Sky is Everywhere
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Simply fill out the rafflecopter below:
Winner: Ramona 
Reply to my email ASAP!
Good luck,
Sam :D