Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Other Life By Susanne Winnacker

The Other Life
Series: The Other Life #1
Release Date: 1st February 2012
Publisher: Usborne
Format: Paperback
Pages: 315
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: 3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life. 98,409,602 seconds since the heavy, steel door had fallen shut and sealed us off from the world

Sherry has lived with her family in a sealed bunker since things went wrong up above. But when they run out of food, Sherry and her dad must venture outside. There they find a world of devastation, desolation...and the Weepers: savage, mutant killers.

When Sherry's dad is snatched, she joins forces with gorgeous but troubled Joshua - an Avenger, determined to destroy the Weepers.

But can Sherry keep her family and Joshua safe, when his desire for vengeance threatens them all?

Review: This is another book that I'd heard a lot of great stuff about. I even entered many competitions to win a copy but I was never successful so I was overjoyed to be approved on Netgalley. As you probably all know by now I'm a big fan of dystopian and post apocalyptic novels so this sounded perfect to me. Right, Just look at the cover and how the blood red butterfly contrasts on the plain white background. Inside the butterfly is our main characters running for their lives while spooky clawed hands reach for them. The cover in itself is very clever and very informative, from a first glance you wouldn't even notice those details or the blood drops that are falling from the butterflies wings. I think this kinda contrasts with the synopsis which is rather vague but once you read the novel you see that there is so much more to it, there's loads of small details and a brilliant writing style that cannot be observed from reading the synopsis alone. This really is a book that you have to sit back and enjoy taking in all the gory details, feeling the characters pain and the loss of their old world or "Other Life". I really enjoyed the novel and I'm looking forward to the sequel.

The Other Life begins in a sealed bunker with Sherry and her family as they open their last tin of food. The panic and devastation the family feel in these opening paragraphs is so well done. You really get the feel of their desperation and need to survive, they're not ready to give up on their world just yet. Sherry and her father have to leave the safe confides of their bunker to go search for food. Upon exiting the bunker they see their world has been left in ruins. The whole town has been bombed, houses are covered in soot, bodies litter the streets and what's worse is there is no one to be seen. Things must have gotten so much worse while they were inside. Sherry and her father make their way to a local supermarket in search of food. Once inside something horrid begins chasing them and her father is captured. Sherry only just escapes but she feels so guilty for leaving her father behind. While running away she finds Joshua, a fellow survivor who takes her back to Safe Haven, where a few other survivors are living together. Sherry persuades Joshua to help her look for her father before time runs out, so they set out on the journey not knowing if either will come back alive.

I really did love this story and the growth of Sherry's character. She started as a young girl, I would even say she was child like as she'd been stuck in the bunker for so long without developing any life skills, surrounded by just her family. That's going to effect your upbringing somehow. Sherry picks up the courage to leave the bunker with her father and it's here we see how strong she is. Upon seeing the world or "other life" in ruins she is devastated but she holds it together. She keeps going because she knows her family's survival depends on her. When her father is taken she's scared and feels guilty but she knows she must find him. She's a very driven character and I liked that about her, she seemed to grow up so much once outside the bunker. We see her fear when she comes face to face with the weepers but that doesn't stop her from going into their lair. Love is more powerful than fear after all. Her fathers life depends on her saving him in time.

I really enjoyed her and Joshua's relationship and how at first he was hesitant and not very open with her. Even when she put him in danger he still wanted to save her and his courage and even love saved her many times. He was a trained weeper hunter and she'd never picked up a weapon in her life so of course she proved a burden on his hunts. Yes, he lost his temper with her but I think once he saw the love she had for her family he found that they were very similar after all. Joshua watched his family be killed by weepers and it wasn't until later he saw one of his sister had been turned into one of those monsters. He vowed to save her and that's just what Sherry was trying to do as well. I'm smiling just thinking about the end of the book with the pair of them, lets just say they show their feelings to each other and the full extent of them.

The devastated world that the author creates is very haunting and leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Its pretty spooky because one day this may happen and our world could fall into ruins just like that. Oh and the weepers were so scary, with teary eyes and many mutations. They really did send a shiver down my spine. I'm just going to add here about why the family are in a sealed bunker. There was a huge outbreak of rabies that caused mutations. The government ordered everyone into bunkers and said they would get them when things were safe again. The thing is all contact was lost and the world above fell into ruin. It wasn't going to be safe again, the government had fallen and those who are left were fighting for their lives. There was just so much thought into the history and past of the story, it was greatly done.  Oh and that ending was action packed and I loved it so much! I cannot wait to see what happens in the sequel.

The Other Life is a haunting post-apocalyptic novel about the power of love in desperate times and hidden strength and courage, that could  one day save your life. I really recommend this novel it's very interesting and rather unique.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Letterbox Love (#30)

Letterbox Love is a weekly meme hosted by Narratively Speaking. The UK book bloggers have joined together and made a British version of IMM, and here it is. I'm proud to be a UK book blogger so this seemed like an excellent new meme to participate in.

Hey guys! I have a smaller haul again this week but I'm happy with what I received. One book in particular I was so excited to get. I haven't posted much on the blog this week, apologies for that but I told you last week that I had assignments due and this week I handed them in and was so tired at the end of the college day but anyway, I should be back up an running this week properly. 

Here's what I got this week:
The book links will take you to the book's Goodreads page.

For Review:
Thank you to Scholastic for these. Dead to You sounds really intriguing I hope to start it soon. Parallel also sounds great.

Thank you to Quercus for this, It also sounds great and I can't wait to read it! 

Thank you to Judith for this, it's a signed copy. The novel sounds really interesting too. 

For Review:
This beauty is my favorite on today's haul! It will be the last book I receive as an Atomic and I cannot thank Atom enough for sending it to me. I'm currently reading it and it is brilliant! Thank you so much! 

Weekly Wrap Up: 

I would love to see what you received this week, leave a link in the comments below! 
Happy Reading!

Friday, 25 January 2013

The Declaration By Gemma Malley

The Declaration
Series: The Declaration #1
Release Date: 8th November 2012 Originally 2007
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Page: 295
Source: Received from Publisher. 

Synopsis: Anna Covey is a ‘Surplus’. She should not have been born. In a society in which ageing is no longer feared, and death is no longer an inevitability, children are an abomination.

Like all Surpluses, Anna is living in a Surplus Hall and learning how to make amends for the selfish act her parents committed in having her. She is quietly accepting of her fate until, one day, a new inmate arrives. Anna’s life is thrown into chaos. But is she brave enough to believe this mysterious boy?

A tense and utterly compelling story about a society behind a wall, and the way in which two young people seize the chance to break free.

Review: As a huge fan of Dystopian fiction, I was quite shocked that I hadn't heard of this before. What I really like too was that it was published before The Hunger Games so it hasn't been clouded by the popularity of that and obviously doesn't play on the same themes. I love the idea behind the novel with Longetivity drugs keeping you alive forever, that isn't that unique. But the world that Malley creates is, there must have been so much thought put into it, that I'm quite stunned at how one person has managed it. It is just so good. The plot is also complex full of twist and turns but the reader can follow it easily. Oh and just look at the stunning new covers, after reading you understand the significance of the butterfly.

In the world where a drug called Longtivity keeps people alive forever, the leaders realises that the population was steadily increasing but because no one was dying there was no balance. So they created the Declaration which state that to continue having the drugs you are never aloud children. Having a child becomes illegal, and those who do, have their children taken away from them. These children are called Surplus's and they are illegal and sent to live in Surplus houses where they are trained to serve the Legals of the world. They are slaves and are indoctrinated to believe that their parents committed a selfish act in having them. Anna is a surplus, she lives in a surplus hall with all the others where they are treated cruelly until they are employed as slaves to legals. Anna is on the path of becoming the perfect Surplus until the mysterious Peter turns up at the Surplus Hall. This is usual because he is so old, Anna wonders how he stayed hidden so long. Peter makes Anna question her life and her past, as she comes to realise that things aren't what she was taught to believe. 

I really liked Anna's character, she was bought up to think all legals were her enemies and Mrs Princent the head of the Surplus Hall was one of the eviliest women around. Anna was used to beatings and was scared if she did anything wrong, she wanted a good life so she tried to be the perfect little surplus they were all expecting. That is until she begins writing a diary, that act in itself is rebellion and the beginning of an awakening within Anna. She is really tested throughout the book, her whole world is challenged by someone else's word. That's where Peter come in, he knows that the world is a lie as an orphan himself, he is bought up by a member of the Underground Movement, a rebellion. He only goes to the Surplus Hall to get Anna and at first she doesn't co-operate. They're from two different parts of this new world and both have to try and understand why the other thinks the way they do. Peter knows that they are in danger and will try his very best to get Anna back to her parents before it's too late. 

I had a few problems with the book which will bring the rating I give it down. The first being that it is so slow to start. Yes I really enjoyed the first chapter where Anna writes in her diary giving us some history of her world, because of this we didn't really need to learn too much about her world in the next few chapters but we do and it really slowed down the pace of the novel. The novel seemed to be really slow and repetitive after this, nothing really happened and it was disappointing. Yes about 180 pages in things did get interesting but I think some people would have given up on the book by then. Oh and the ending seemed really rushed, it was over too quickly for my liking and it was resolved too easily as well. So yes there were some problems that made me not enjoy this novel as much as I expected. 

The Declaration is a very interesting Dystopian novel but it does have it's problems. Once the book gets going it's very good but it doesn't last for long. The world created is very detailed and unique, that in itself deserves a star of it's own. The Declaration isn't a bad start to the series but the problems with this one make me anxious to read the sequels. I think i will need time to think it over. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Sister Assassin By Kiersten White

Sister Assassin
Series: Sister Assassin #1
Release Date: 19th February 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins Children
Format: Paperback
Pages: 302
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: She never chose her deadly gift but now she’s forced to use it. How far would you go to protect the only family you have left?

Annie is beset by fleeting strange visions and a guilty conscience. Blind and orphaned, she struggles to care for her feisty younger sister Fia, but things look up when both sisters are offered a place at Kessler School for Exceptional Girls.

Born with flawless intuition, Fia immediately knows that something’s wrong, but bites her tongue… until it’s too late. For Fia is the perfect weapon to carry out criminal plans and there are those at Kessler who will do anything to ensure her co-operation.

With Annie trapped in Kessler’s sinister clutches, instincts keep Fia from killing an innocent guy and everything unravels. Is manipulative James the key to the sisters’ freedom or an even darker prison? And how can Fia atone for the blood on her hands?

Review: Oh Sister Assassin, where did things go wrong? Right let's take a step back. First the title, Sister Assassin, I think I would pick up any novel titled that as it just sounds so kick ass and action packed. Next the Cover, I love this cover a hell of a lot more than the US one as it seems to fit so much better with the story. Even though the girl on the right looks pretty grumpy. The synopsis sounds interesting too and leads to us believing that this was the beginning for Annie and Fia but it's not. No, they've been stuck at this school for years being used by the evil Kessler like puppets. Yes, so you see things were looking up for this novel at the beginning but No. I was incredibly disappointed with this book and maybe even slightly confused with it all. I was even angry, this wasn't what I was expecting. I will explain more in a moment. 

Sister Assassin follows sisters Annie and Fia. Annie is a blind girl whose special power is seeing strange visions that aren't always true. Fia is her younger sister and her power was a lot less interesting, she has perfect instincts. Yep, that's all.  Fia and Annie both live at Kessler's school for Exceptional girls. A school that tries to find and pull out all teenage girls who show signs of holding a stranger power. Annie is pretty useless to Kessler, she's just another tool that can easily be replaced. Fia on the other hand is unique and Kessler will do anything to keep her on his side, even if that does mean keeping Annie hostage. Kessler stops Fia from seeing Annie because they never know what she will do next, would she really harm her own sister to get out and free? After refusing to kill a guy, who is the love interest, things just get worse for them both. If Kessler finds out they will both wish they were dead. 

The book is told from two point of views, Annie and Fia's. Past and present. I didn't really understand the point of including flashbacks as they were pretty useless and didn't bring anything to the story and plot, it just showed us that both girls have always been whiny and grumpy. The alternating point of view confused me, yes each chapter was headed by which character was narrating but the voices sounded exactly the same. If the name wasn't give I would have just thought it was the same character throughout the whole novel. 

Ok let's talk characters. We shall start with Annie, the older blind sister. I expected Annie to be the mature older sister but she didn't really act her age at all. She was always moaning and just simply whining about everything. Yes things weren't exactly perfect for her but it wasn't like she was being tortured or anything. She had a good life and a secure place to live, she was safe from all harm. Fia, was a bit more interesting. Let me just state right now that i loved her fight scenes but they were just over so quickly. It was great seeing a girl be able to look after herself but if she didn't have her "perfect instincts" she would be useless. She's also reckless and not in the good way.  Her sister has visions that always end in tragedy and when she sees something bad happening to Fia after she goes dancing she warns her. Fia totally ignores this, ignores her beloved sister's pleas and goes out dancing. Obviously things go wrong just like Annie warned. Oh why Fia, you know the world you live in is harsh and you do all the stupid things. My mind may just explode with all your stupidity! 

Ok and the little love sub arc in the novel was pointless. There was nothing real about it. Fia was all "hey I just saved your life so be eternally grateful please?" No it doesn't work like that Fia. Gosh, I think I will have to end this review soon.  I've seen this has been tagged Romance on goodreads a few times, and it's just incorrect. There was nothing romantic about it, don't even get me started on Kessler's son James. 

So my lovelies, did I like this book? No I did not. Yes the idea behind the story could have been great and all brilliant things but it just wasn't. White's writing was flat, as were the plot. I would say the characters were too, but she got me thinking about them so strongly she must have gotten something right. This may be a good read for some people, but there were just so many flaws that were flashing at me the whole time I was reading. There was such an awesome title and cover, wasted on this novel. Alas I'm sure it will bring in many new readers to White's fan base but I'm note sure whether they will be pleased or disappointed. It won't be a series I continue. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Letterbox Love (#29)

Letterbox Love is a weekly meme hosted by Narratively Speaking. The UK book bloggers have joined together and made a British version of IMM, and here it is. I'm proud to be a UK book blogger so this seemed like an excellent new meme to participate in.

Hey guys! I have a smaller haul this week but I love what I received! It's been a busy week on the blog and I would like to thank everyone who has viewed and commented on my blog, I will get around to replying soon. I'm in the middle of a college assignment that is due in a few days so just bear with me for a while. 

Here's what I got this week:
The book links will take you to the book's Goodreads page.

Thank you to Hot Key Books for this. I'm really interested in reading it after it won the Costa Children book Award! 

I've been dying to read this for ages and was so excited when I won it! 

For Review:
This sounds like a great read. Thank you to Bloomsbury for this!

This was unexpected but it sounds great.

I've been dying to read this and I'm so happy I got my hands on a proof copy! I also got some signed swag from the author too! 

Weekly Wrap Up:

I would love to see what you received this week, leave a link in the comments below! 
Happy Reading! 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Secrets and Sapphires By Lelia Rasheed

Secrets and Sapphires
Series: At Somerton #1
Release Date: 3rd January 2013
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Source: Received from Publisher. 

Synopsis: One house, two worlds, dark secrets...

The year is 1910. For the past decade, the Averley family has lived a life of luxury in India, but now they must return to Lord Averley's ancestral estate, the sprawling, majestically beautiful Somerton Court. As the household staff hastily prepare for the family's arrival, they receive shocking news: Lord Averley is bringing back a fiancée with three children of her own, and on top of that, there are rumours of a terrible scandal surrounding Lord Averley's resignation as Lieutenant Governor of Bengal.

As the family settles in, tensions arise both upstairs and downstairs. Lady Ada must choose between her honour and her heart, Sebastian must fend off ruinous threats from a former servant (and lover...) and gentle housemaid Rose will find herself at the centre of a scandal so enormous it could destroy the Averleys' reputation forever. With plenty of scheming, scandal and sauciness, SECRETS & SAPPHIRES is a thrilling period-drama perfect for fans of Jilly Cooper and DOWNTON ABBEY.

Review: I think this has been the best historical novel I've ever read. It's full of secrets and scandal, and gosh there were a lot in here. So many main characters meant there was a lot more to lose. With a large supporting cast you really get the sense of grandeur, that is so fragile, one little secret can break it all. I loved how much depth and detail there was in the novel. Each character was unique and that must have been really hard for the author to do as there's a lot of them. There were characters you loved, others you loathed but each were crucial to the story and what a brilliant one it was. 

Secrets and Sapphires joins the Averley family when they return to England after a scandal surrounding their father in India. At home the rumors are still flying around and it's up to the Lord's daughters to take the spotlight away from him. Ada has a secret of her own, one night on the ship that bought them home, she did the unthinkable and kissed a man. How unladylike of her, it's tainted her mind and she can't get the mysterious man out of her head. How is she going to prepare for her first season and all the eligible gentleman when the one she wants isn't there? The staff at Somerton Court have a surprise when they are told the Lord is bringing with him a fiance and her children. The fiance in question is rather stuck up as are her children but Ada and the family have to put up with them as they are bringing money into the family and household. Downstairs there's trouble brewing when the fiance's  lady's maid thinks she's better than everyone else. Rose, a housemaid is in the middle of her own scandal and she doesn't even know about it. Secrets and flying from lips to lips, Scandals are happening around every corner and one little slip could lead the family to ruin.

The novel was told from many different point of view as quite a few characters had their own plot arc. Some only got a few pages of their point of view where as others got chapters, but it worked. It was brilliantly done, allowing the reader to see all the scandals that were going on revolving around Somerton Court. Whether they were small scandals or full blown ones they were all important and played a part in the future of Somerton. 

I really liked Lady Ada's character, well actually I kinda loved her. When you say lady, do you picture a snobby girl who believes she's a princess? Yes, that was what I was expecting but no, Ada is so down to earth. She is ahead of her time, questioning everything and she's so intellectual  The most important thing though is she wishes to throw away the chance of marriage to go to Oxford University where she can actually make a difference in the world. I loved this about Ada, she was so head strong and determined to do what she wanted, yes she knew her father would probably disagree with her but there was nothing that could stop her trying. She was willing to change and in England at the time, Change was a pretty big thing that was frowned upon by many. I also really like Rose, the housemaid. She knew how lucky she was to be employed at the time and she didn't want to lose that position. She tried her best at everything and the thing that could lead her to ruin, she didn't even know about. No matter what she did, if the truth came out, she would be ruined and why? Well you will have to read it and see. 

This was a great historical novel. All the settings, culture and society were correct for the period and it must have taken a lot of research to perfect everything. I don't think I found any flaws to do with the time period itself. At first I was worried about the similarities to Downton Abbey and at first I could see it but this novel really is a masterpiece of it's own. It may be slow to bloom but once it gets that little bit of sunlight it truly does blossom. I loved the writing style especially and I cannot wait to see what happens next at Somerton. After all that ending was one shocker and I want to see how Somerton recovers. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Cover Reveal: The Night Itself By Zoe Marriott

The incredibly talented Zoe Marriott, author of Frostfire, The Swan Kingdom, The Daughter of Flames and Shadows on the Moon, has just revealed the cover for her upcoming novel, The Night Itself. It will be book one in the Name of The Blade series. You can find Zoe's post about the cover here. Oh and the cover is gorgeous, check it out below: 

The Night Itself
Series: The Name of the Blade #1
Release Date: 2013
Publisher: Walker 

Synopsis: A breathtaking new urban fantasy trilogy from the critically acclaimed, award winning author of The Swan Kingdom and Shadows on the Moon.

When fifteen year old Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana - an ancestral Japanese sword - out of its hiding place in her parent's attic to help liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unleash on modern day London, or the family secrets that she is going to uncover.

The paralysing paranoia that descends on her before she gets to her friend's party is her first clue. The vivid and terrifying visions that nearly get her killed are a pretty good warning too.

The giant nine-tailed cat demon that comes after the sword and tries to rip her throat out? Overkill.

Seconds away from becoming kitty-food, Mio is saved by Shinobu, a mysterious warrior boy. But it's already too late. Mio has ruptured the veil between the mortal realm and the Underworld, and now the gods and monsters of ancient Japan stalk the streets of London, searching for her and the sword. 

With the help of her best friend Jack, a fox spirit named Hikaru - and the devoted protection of the betwitchingly familiar Shinobu - Mio attempts to discover the true nature of the sword and its connection to the Yamato family. Because if she doesn't learn how to control the katana's incredible powers, she's in danger of being overwhelmed by them. And if she can't keep the sword safe from the terrible creatures who want it for their own, she'll lose not only her own life... but the love of a lifetime.

Doesn't the novel itself sound so awesome? Oh and the cover, it's gorgeous! It's bright and eye catching and what's even better is the full jacket was revealed too: 

I love how it's illustrated and could even be a graphic novel. It's so different to all the other covers out there and it's really one that would jump out at me on a bookshelf. Wow! Just look at the sword and how the coils flow from it and surround the girl! It really gives off a strong and mysterious energy and atmosphere. The cover is a mixture of modern art and Japanese history. I really do love it! 

What do you think of the cover? Let me know in the comments. 

Undone By Cat Clarke

Release Date: 31st January 2013
Publisher: Quercus
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Source: Received from Publisher for Review.
Synopsis: Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.

Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.

Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.

A searing story of love, revenge and betrayal from a bestselling author.
Review: Oh I really didn't realise how much this book would hook me. It literally sucked me up and I read it in just over a day and this was a rather long proof at just over 500 pages. Undone is a very mesmerising novel about some dark subjects. There's sex, suicide, alcohol, bullying and discrimination towards gay people. There was a lot going on in this book but it was dealt with very well as Cat seems to be a master at writing realistic YA fiction.
Undone follows Jem Halliday whose gay best friend commits suicide due to him being bullied because of his sexuality. The first few chapters we get to know Jem and Kai's background and how they know each other. Then the inevitable happens Kai commits suicide due to a tape of him circulating online that immediately outs him. Kai was not ready to come out of the closet and can't cope with the large amount of hate mail he is getting so he finds a solution to the problem. Suicide. Kai's death sends Jem's own life spiralling downward, they were inseparable and now he's gone. Jem doesn't want to live without him, she loved him after all. She knows she must commit suicide too or the grief will never go away. Jem is counting out some pills when some letters from Jem appear, each one dated each month of the upcoming year. Jem is so startled she momentarily forgets about the pills and focuses on the letters. Kai wrote the letters in the last hours of his life and Jem will live another year so she can do that one last thing for him. In the mean time she seeks revenge on those who did this to Kai and she won't stop until she finds the culprit.
Jem was the complete opposite of what I was expecting. I expected this sweet quiet girl, what there was, was an grumpy, Gothic, angry girl, who would just as soon punch you instead of apologise. She was so different to what I was expecting, it sent me off the rails a bit. Alas in her revenge she knows she has to change to fit in with certain people and I liked the new Jem. She smiled and enjoyed herself, she let her hair down and didn't dwell on the death of her best friend. In a way she was moving on but it was all an act. It's what she should have done but she was so hell bent on revenge that this was just an act, a facade. I felt so sorry for some of the secondary characters at the end because she was a huge bitch to them. Yes I knew she suspected a few of them but she argued with them all, I wanted to hug the others instead of her. I know this was all the pent up anger from Kai's death but I think she should have realised that things weren't so bad in this new group of friends. There was a future there waiting for her but she blew it all away with false accusations. I don't think I've felt so strongly about one character in a long while, my views and emotions were changing so rapidly even I was getting slightly confused. For a detailed character you couldn't ask for better.
The popular group in the novel were very interesting, they weren't stuck up bitches and jocks that we're used to seeing on the TV. We have Lucas who is the popular boy who oozes self confidence but he was also so sweet, he wasn't cocky like I expected, there was a gentlemen under there somewhere. Sasha was a lovely kind girl who took Jem under her wing and what happened to her broke my heart. That was the last thing I was expecting. There are more characters who played important roles but I shall let you discover them.
The important things that are dealt with in the novel then. We have the subject of sexuality touched upon with Kai. He was gay but he wasn't ready to reveal that to the rest of the world just yet so when it was thrust upon him, he crumbled. Then all the hate mail arrived. It really shows how other peoples actions can ruin a persons life. You must think before you act because every single person has feelings and one simply slip of yours can change their life.  Oh and there's nothing wrong with being gay, you should never judge someone who is. If you suspect someone is don't shout it to the world, it's their decision if they reveal it and after all you could be wrong. You don't know what's going on in that persons mind so don't make these life changing decisions for them. There's sex too, more than I actually expected but it worked well in the story and I had no problems with it being there. There's alcohol but hey it's teenagers and parties what more can you really expect? Suicide is another key part and again you should know that if you feel that down there will always be someone to talk to and help you. You are never alone, you should always remember that. There are many important subjects in the novel and all are dealt with well. There's a lot of wisdom in this book and you can learn a lot from it.
Undone is a heartbreaking novel. When you think that's the end and your heart has split in two, wait until the very end and then your heart will crumble. It will be so numb and shocking that there's nothing to sum up all the feelings that come to you. It is just so heartbreaking, if you're an emotional reader, do bring tissues, you're going to need a packet or two. Undone is a spectacular novel about some harsh subjects and a plot that will keep you on the edge until the end. Then you will then and truly fall over that edge and be left on the floor in a ball crying your eyes out.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Cover Reveal: Earth Star By Janet Edwards

Harper Voyager have exclusively revealed the cover to Earth Star, book two in the Earth Girl series By Janet Edwards. Last year I had the pleasure of reading Earth Girl before it was released and I loved it! It's one of my all time favorite books and I was so excited to find out there was going to be a sequel. You can find my review of Earth Girl here. I cannot wait to continue the adventure I went on with Jarra, and the cover just makes me even more excited. So here it is: 

Earth Star
Series: Earth Girl #2
Release Date: 15th August 2013
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400

Synopsis: 18-year-old Jarra has a lot to prove. After being awarded one of the military’s highest honours for her role in a daring rescue attempt, Jarra finds herself – and her Ape status – in the spotlight. Jarra is one of the unlucky few born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Derided as an ‘ape’ – a ‘throwback’ – by the rest of the universe, Jarra is on a mission to prove that Earth Girls are just as good as anyone else.

Except now the planet she loves is under threat by what could be humanity’s first ever alien contact. Jarra’s bravery – and specialist knowledge – will once again be at the centre of the maelstrom, but will the rest of the universe consider Earth worth fighting for?

*Squee* I cannot flipping wait to read this! Just look at the cover and the contrast of colours. The bright pink just works so well with the black, it makes it so atmospheric. I just love it so much! 

What do you think of the cover? Let me know in the comments. 

Waiting On Wednesday (#14)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.

My chosen upcoming release it: 

The Madman's Daughter
Series: The Madman's Daughter
Release Date:  29th January 2013
Publisher: Harper Voyager (UK)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 432

Synopsis: In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

I've been waiting for this a long while, and it only seemed fair to post it now it's really close to the release date! Just look at the cover, it is gorgeous! Oh and the title! Eek! I cannot tell you how excited I am for this! I will be getting it on the release day! 

What's your "Waiting on Wednesday" pick this week? 
Want to participate? Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link over at Breaking the Spine!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Cover Reveal: The Oathbreaker's Shadow By Amy McCulloch

Today Fantasy Faction have exclusively revealed the cover to The Oathbreaker's Shadow By Amy McCulloch. This is one of my most anticipated debut novels of 2013 and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy. We now have the gorgeous cover to novel and gosh It just makes me want to read it even more. Without further ado, here it is: 

The Oathbreaker's Shadow
Release Date: 6th June 2013
Publisher: Random House Children's
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 416

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Raim lives in a world where you tie a knot for every promise that you make. Break that promise and you are scarred for life, and cast out into the desert.

Raim has worn a simple knot around his wrist for as long as he can remember. No one knows where it came from, and which promise of his it symbolises, but he barely thinks about it at all—not since becoming the most promising young fighter ever to train for the elite Yun guard. But on the most important day of his life, when he binds his life to his best friend (and future king) Khareh, the string bursts into flames and sears a dark mark into his skin.

Scarred now as an oath-breaker, Raim has two options: run, or be killed.

A gripping YA action-adventure fantasy, the first part of a planned duology.

Doesn't it really intrigue you? I love the rich colours and how it seems like the character is in the middle of a fight. It is so different to other covers right now, it just makes me want to know what's happening! 

What do you think of the cover? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

UKYABB Secret Santa!

This year, well last year now,  I took part in the UK Young Adult Book Blogger Secret Santa that was created by the lovely Lynsey over at Narratively Speaking. I was very excited to participate in this, it's such a great idea. It was lovely seeing most of us UK book bloggers coming together to share the holiday cheer.

I received my parcel a week before Christmas and really wanted to open it but I resisted like a good girl. I soon opened it on Christmas day though and I love what I received! Here it is:

This is a book I've heard so much about and was so excited to receive it as a gift! 

This book was on my wish list as it sounds like such a brilliant YA Horror and I cannot thank my secret Santa enough for it! 

-Book bracelet
This is one gorgeous bracelet, I can't wait to wear it! 

-Sweets, pen and lip balm! 
The sweets may have already been eaten and the rest will be put to good use soon.

Thank you so much to my Secret Santa who is Kerrie at Read and Repeat! 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Letterbox Love (#28)

Letterbox Love is a weekly meme hosted by narratively speaking. The UK book bloggers have joined together and made a British version of IMM, and here it is. I'm proud to be a UK book blogger so this seemed like an excellent new meme to participate in.
Welcome to the first Letterbox Love of 2013! I have lots of lovely goodies to show you!

Here's what I got this week:
The book links will take you to the book's Goodreads page.


I cannot wait to see the film of this but I'm going to read the novel first.

This is a novel I've been meaning to read for a long while and when it was half price I ordered it. Another stunning cover too.

I've heard so so much about this book so when it was on sale for 3.99 I jumped at the chance. I can't wait to see what all the fuss is about! 

Another Fantasy series I've been wanting to read so when I received a waterstones voucher for Christmas I knew I would get these with it! 

I've been meaning to read this series for so long so when I saw them in the works for 3 for £5 I jumped at the chance to get them! 

For Review: 

Thank you to Quercus for sending me this! It makes me even more eager to catch up with the series! 

This was a surprise from the Lovely Mindee Arnett! She sent it all the way from America and I cannot thank her enough! It totally made my day, even my week! 

I requested this one as it sounds so good and the cover is just stunning.

Thanks to Waterstones for this, I am really excited to start this! 

Weekly Wrap up: 

I would love to see what you received this week, leave a link in the comments below! 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Confessions of an Angry Girl By Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Angry Girl
Series: Confessions #1
Release Date: 4th January 2013
Publisher: Mira Ink
Format: Paperback
Pages: 266
Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some CONFESSIONS to make...

#1: I’m livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I’m allowed to be irate, don’t you?

#2: I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed gorgeous Jamie Forta, boyfriend of the coolest cheerleader in the school. Now she’s out for blood. Mine.

#3: But most of all high school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien…and now it’s a case of survival of the coolest.
Review: This was another quick read for me but one that created all these feelings for the main character Rose. I felt so sorry for her but at the same time I was rooting her on because she was unique and had just as much right to be happy as anyone else. This is a very emotional book, after all our main characters father has died, her mother is very vacant and her brother has gone far far away. Rose is left to deal with her fathers deal all alone, there is no one to talk to so she has to cope by herself. That in itself is a very hard task but being a teenager at high school, yeah that adds some weight to the problem. I really enjoyed Confessions of an Angry Girl as it deals with many dark, hard topics like grief and it shows that there are always people who will help you and listen to you.
Rose Zarelli is an outcast at school, she's different and not part of any of the little social groups. Her best friend has decided to become a cheerleader and she leaves Rose behind without a second glance. Rose still has Robert but she needs him to know she doesn't want a relationship with him and to give her some space. All the anger and sorrow from her fathers death has built up inside Rose and it's just waiting for that small trigger so it can explode. Rose tries to stay hidden but when Jamie Forta kisses her, it's hard not to look for him. Even worse is his creepy cheerleader girlfriend, who is a control freak and is out to get Rose. Teenager life is never simple but when everyone is out to hurt you, who can you turn to? Rose begins to realise that there's no-one there for her anymore except the mysterious Jamie. High School is hell, even more so for Rose the angry girl.
Rose was a character who had many problems in her life. Things just haven't been going her way. She's mad at her whole family for leaving her when she needed them most, none of her friends will ever understand her situation. She's just so lost, she tries to stay calm headed but everything is building up inside her and soon it will all boil over with disastrous consequences. It was really interesting seeing the different sides of Rose's character, the upset side, the scared, the helpless, even the happy side. You just wanted to give the girl  a hug and tell her we're there for her. We're there with her as she's an outsider looking into the teenage world of parties, sex, etc. She's always hidden in the shadows. We also learn how intelligent she is and how she realises how easy mistakes can be made.
In the novel a few things are stressed, but I think the most important thing was about safe sex and having mutual respect with your partner before you do the deed. This was really stressed in the novel and it was handled brilliantly. It would be great if all teenagers knew this lessons before they do something they will most likely regret. Also bullying was a big factor in the novel and we get to see ways in which to handle the situation correctly.
Confessions of an Angry Girl is a YA novel full of important messages and information that all teenagers should know. This book has a lot of depth despite it being a quick read and you will come out of it wiser. It's a novel I recommend to teens as there's a lot to learn here while reading one heck of a good book. Oh and after that ending I can't wait to see what's going to happen next!