Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Blog Tour: The S-word By Chelsea Pitcher

Welcome to this stop on The S-word Blog Tour, today I was meant to have a review for you all but I haven't had time to read the book just yet, sincere apologies. You can see why on my brief hiatus post. Anyway onto the book, I have read the first few chapters though and you guys are in for an amazing debut. Without further ado lets hear about the book: 

The s-word
Release Date: 7th May 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320

Synopsis: First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.

About the Author: 
Chelsea Pitcher is a native of Portland, OR where she received her BA in English Literature. Fascinated by all things literary, she began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light.

Find her here: 


Thank you for stopping by and thank you to Shane for hosting the whole blog tour. You can find the rest of the Tour schedule here

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Brief Hiatus

Hello guys! After much thought the past week and today, I’ve decided to go on a brief hiatus. The past week I’ve been in a reading slump and haven’t read any new books and I’ve had no motivation or time to do blog posts. So it’s left me with a clouded mind and I’ve decided to take a step back and refresh for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I have so much love for blogging but there’s so much going on right now, from college work, to looking at university’s and planning my future, I kinda need to focus on that right now. I would like to get ahead with a few college things too and just generally start getting ready for the end of term and exams. This will also allow me to catch up on reading without demands on deadline and review dates. I hope you all understand and thank you all so much for sticking around. I’m planning to be gone for two weeks but if this changes I will let you all know. If you need me in the meantime I will still be on twitter all the time, so tweet me. Also a few planned blog tour posts will go up during the hiatus but they’re already planned and ready to go. Thank you again, I hope to see you all when I get back!

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Bone Dragon By Alexia Casale

The Bone Dragon
Release Date: 2nd May 2013
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Source: From Publisher. 

Synopsis: Evie's shattered ribs have been a secret for the last four years. Now she has found the strength to tell her adoptive parents, and the physical traces of her past are fixed - the only remaining signs a scar on her side and a fragment of bone taken home from the hospital, which her uncle Ben helps her to carve into a dragon as a sign of her strength.

Soon this ivory talisman begins to come to life at night, offering wisdom and encouragement in roaming dreams of smoke and moonlight that come to feel ever more real.

As Evie grows stronger there remains one problem her new parents can't fix for her: a revenge that must be taken. And it seems that the Dragon is the one to take it.

This subtly unsettling novel is told from the viewpoint of a fourteen-year-old girl damaged by a past she can't talk about, in a hypnotic narrative that, while giving increasing insight, also becomes increasingly unreliable.

A blend of psychological thriller and fairytale, The Bone Dragon explores the fragile boundaries between real life and fantasy, and the darkest corners of the human mind.

Review: The Bone Dragon is such a powerful debut novel. I’ve wanted to read this novel for a while, the synopsis intrigued me straight away and then the cover fully hooked me, after all it’s gorgeous. To be honest I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I picked up this novel. I wasn’t expecting such a raw and powerful story with such a strong main character. Alexia Casale has shown that she is a talented writer who can pack such an emotional punch in her prose. The Bone Dragon left me wanting more, I couldn’t believe when it ended, I wanted the novel to continue so I could learn so much more about Evie. It’s an emotional ride that’s mixed with mystic and magic, set against the vivid backdrop of the fens. 

The novel begins when Evie wakes up in hospital after her operation. The only thing left over from the terrible past is a piece of rib bone that she carves into a dragon with her Uncle Ben. Evie is in a lot of pain after the operation and one night she wishes on this dragon. She soon begins to have dragon dreams where the dragon comes alive and helps Evie gain back her strength. It’s there to protect her and the dragon has a plan. In her dragon dreams, it takes her out into the fens to explore as he plots the steps of this plan, but he doesn’t let Evie know the ultimate goal. Evie’s life has been tough and things finally begin to look up, except there is one thing that will never go away and it’s that she’s most scared of. 

Poor Evie has been through a hell of a lot. She is a damaged child and that of course has affected her mind and well being. She’s very cautious about things and will never tell anyone the truth about her injuries, except her adoptive parents. She’s fragile but she has the life of a normal teenager. She still goes to school and has best friends who have girly days out together. She has some very caring protective parents and an awesome uncle. These people have welcomed her into their home and for once she feels like she belongs and can trust them with the harsh truth of her past. I loved the way Casale has dealt with such a troubled character and made her so interesting and engaging to the reader. She has many past problems and it was interesting to see how it was dealt with in the novel and seeing small snippets of her past coming back to her. Evie cannot remember everything from her past as it was so disturbing and even now she wishes she could forget. Despite this there is some strength to the character, she is determined to go on and fit in with her new family. The Dragon seems to symbolise the inner strength that Evie has even if it is buried deep inside under all the hurt and pain. It is and will always be there if you dig hard enough. In a way it shows hope too, hope that in the future things will get better. I am still surprised at the sheer depth to the character and how real she felt. It really feels like I know Evie after reading this book. She is an unforgettable character and one that will stay with me for a while yet. 

Weaving into Evie’s story is that of her adoptive parents and their dead son. I also found it really interesting learning about their loss and how Evie has helped them not to combat it, but to accept it. She isn’t a replacement; she’s another addition to the family. I liked the contrast between the two different types of pain and loss, with Evie’s past and Amy and Paul’s loss. Alexia has shown that there is a variety of pain in the world and neither will be the same. There’s this underlining hope that together they can heal, it’s touching and very emotional to watch. 

The Bone Dragon is… There are so many ways I can start this sentence but none of them seem to fully fit the emotion and power this novel has hidden in its pages. You have some incredible characters that are all so realistic, each with their own little flaw. I particularly liked how Evie could tell by certain things that her adoptive parents were lying. It’s these small details that add to the depth of the storytelling and make it even better. If you’re looking for a promising new writer, then Alexia Casale is the one you want. The Bone Dragon has the correct mix of mystery, pain, adventure, happiness and of course an enchanted dragon. It’s a book that, not only will you enjoy, but it will also stay with you for a long while. So there you have it, I don’t even want to say goodbye but this review is already long. The Bone Dragon is simply a book that you should all read.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (#17)

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

My chosen upcoming release is: 
The S-Word
Release Date: 7th May 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304

Synopsis: First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.

This sounds really good, and I'm interested in seeing how well this relates to the real high school experience. It sounds like a really good even if slightly harsh contemporary novel. I can't wait! 

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!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (#6)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they decide upon a bookish subject that we then have to choose our top ten. This weeks topic is: Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like MORE/LESS Than I Did.

Hmm this is a rather hard topic to choose from. I've managed to come up with ten though she here we go. I have had many books I liked better that I thought and some I didn't like as much, but when trying to remember them all it's so hard. Anyway here they are:

Five books that disappointed me: 

I loved Wither so much but Fever was such a let down. It was so disappointing and pretty rubbish compared to book one. 

I was expecting such an original Sci-Fi novel but instead there was a bland story and boring characters. The only thing that saved it for me was the setting. 

This has such a cool cover and intriguing synopsis but the story itself was rubbish and angered me so much. 

I wanted YA werewolves and this showed up, but it was terrible in my opinion. 

I enjoyed the TMI novels but this one was a complete slap in the face, it was so terrible compared to them. It has to be Clare's worst book. 

Five books that surprised me and I loved: 

I honestly wasn't expecting this to be such a brilliant horror novel. I mean it's aimed at Children but it still scared me so much. It was a promising debut that I loved. 

I knew this was meant to be a good fantasy novel but it blew my mind. It is now one of my favorite books ever! 

This was an incredible dystopian novel, I wasn't expecting much though as it didn't have much publicity but it was great. 

This is the best sci-fi/dystopian novel I have read. It was so unique and perfectly written. 

This has been recommended to me a lot but I wasn't expecting the overwhelming greatness and uniqueness of this novel. It completely blew my away. I just want to keep re-reading it. 

There you go, my Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like MORE/LESS Than I Did. I would love to see your picks, if you leave a link in the comments I will pop over to see your post. Thank you for stopping by! 

Monday, 22 April 2013

With All My Soul By Rachel Vincent

With All My Soul
Series: Soul Screamers #7
Release Date: 5th April 2013
Publisher: Mira Ink
Format: Paperback
Pages: 377
Source: Received from Publisher. 

Synopsis: After spending the last year undead, Kaylee Cavanaugh has had enough of the paranormal creatures who have plagued her ever since she came into her banshee powers. Now she's ready to take her school back from the evil hellions, once and forever.
To protect her friends, Kaylee will need to find a way to turn the living incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another.

Yet when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realises she can't save everyone she loves without making some powerful sacrifices...

Review: I caught up with this series last year and I was devastated to realise that it would all end in 2013 with, With All My Soul. I really love this series and I was worried about saying goodbye to my favourite characters but after reading, I can assure you that this is a great ending to the series. This book made me feel so many emotions while reading. I knew this was the end but I wanted to savour every sentence and each individual word Rachel Vincent had placed in the final book of the Soul Screamers series. With All My Soul, is a remarkable ending and one all fans will love and cherish. 

With All My Soul begins at Emma’s funeral, together the group watch the burial of their friend who isn’t actually dead. It’s while watching that Kaylee realises that she must put an end to Avery’s evil plans once and for all, especially before anyone gets killed. She will be in charge of the plan to end the hellions rein over her school but she needs her friends to help her carry it out. Kaylee begins to realise how much her friends are willing to sacrifice to help her and it makes a lot of thinking necessary on Kaylee’s part. Time is ticking and when her dad is taken she gets angrier than ever. It doesn’t help that her anger just draws a whole new hellion to her. It’s time for Kaylee to make the ultimate and final sacrifice. 

Through the course of these books I have watched Kaylee grow and develop as a character and she does even more so in this final novel. Kaylee has watched her friends sacrifice themselves for her, her family have suffered because of her, some relationships have become strained and others have developed, and it all revolves around Kaylee and Avery’s need to have her soul. If Kaylee wasn’t there they would be safe. Kaylee makes a plan but she knows it’s a long shot if it’s to be successful and when her father is taken she realises that more and more people are going to get hurt because of her. Kaylee learns a lot in this book, we see her become very independent and sometimes reckless but she does things on her own without input from any of the others. Kaylee has grown so much and now is an individual woman who knows she doesn’t need to rely on others. She has the power to stop this and only her. She comes to terms with a sacrifice she needs to make and it is heart-breaking to see her carry it out. Its here we see Kaylee as the courageous heroine she is, willing to make sacrifices to save those around her. I really enjoyed how this novel mainly centred on Kaylee. Yes the others are there but she does things independently and I think that’s a big step for someone who only found out they were a bean sidhe a year ago. Kaylee has grown up tremendously and learnt a lot, it’s with this realisation that the reader knows that Kaylee will be ok, even when there are no more books about her. 

The others are as quirky as ever. My favourite of course will always be Tod. Sigh, he’s so right for Kaylee and he knows she has to do things on her own and he lets her even if he doesn’t like it. We see Kaylee keep things from him in this book and their relationship becomes stronger and more developed because of it. Vincent, when can I get my Tod? Nash finally comes to terms with a few things in this book, yes he still has some episodes of outrage but he makes some mature decisions. It really is like watching a child grow up before your eyes, it’s happened so quickly and you try to savour the final moments before they go off into the world. Sabine is still her loud and confident self but she’s a friend to Kaylee when she needs it. I liked the better view on both Sophie and Emma in this book as it allowed the reader to connect with them before the end. I’ve said before and I will say it again, the characters Rachel Vincent creates are always so fleshed out and you receive a wide variety of personalities and this just makes the journey more fun and enjoyable. 

I also really enjoyed the introduction of Ira, the demon of wrath and how he proved to be a valuable asset despite the risk of his involvement and of course the payment. I didn’t see the ending of this book coming at all, Vincent kept the ball rolling from the first page and even later on in the novel we don’t know what Kaylee’s going to do until she says some goodbyes. Oh my I was heartbroken reading one particular scene, I still can’t fathom it, it was so right but so wrong at the same time. It hurt my heart. With All My Soul is full of action and adventure and there are some tough decisions being made by Kaylee. The results will shock the reader but the ending was so good. It really wrapped things up for me and showed us that no matter what happens life will go on. 

With All My Soul is a magnificent ending to a strong and original series. The novel wraps up all loose ends and leaves the reader satisfied, also slightly emotional. Yes it may be the end of Kaylee and the gang but the journey has been worthwhile and one I recommend to all new readers. Rachel Vincent has written a very satisfying conclusion to her YA series.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Isabella Rockwell's War By Hannah Parry

Isabella Rockwell's War 
Release Date: 23rd August 2012
Publisher: Hannah Parry
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Source: Received from Author. 

Synopsis: Raised in 1820’s India, twelve year old Isabella Rockwell can ride and shoot as well as any of the soldiers in her father’s regiment. These skills, however, are of no use to her when she finds herself on the frozen streets of London, orphaned and alone.

Tormented by guilt over the deaths of those who loved her, she vows never to be responsible for anyone’s life again. If she can scrape together enough money, she will return to India. But Isabella cannot shake the creeping feeling that something is not right; that something threatens not only her new best friend, but the throne of England itself. 

Having survived this far on her wits alone, will Isabella escape back home to India? Or will she stay with Alix, a girl whose fate seems to be tied up with Isabella’s own? A fate which will have consequences far beyond those Isabella could ever have imagined.

Review: Isabella Rockwell’s War is a novel that was submitted to me for review from the author and it was a very surprising and fun read. The characters were all solid and real, Sophie is an inspirational heroine, who I would indeed love to meet. The most important thing about this novel is the strong message about survival and the motivation that even in the harshest of times you can go on and turn your life around. For a children’s novel this is spectacular and very enjoyable. Even adults will adore reading this fresh historical novel. 

Isabella Rockwell’s War begins with Isabella running off in search of her missing father who is believed to be dead. He was one of two soldiers sent out on a mission and neither returned. Desperate, Isabella runs away to find him but gets lost in the Indian desert and starts to dehydrate. Luckily some soldiers find her and take her back to base. It’s here she learns that her nanny has also died and the only thing the army can do is send her back to England until she is of age. In England she discovers that things aren’t as they seem so she escapes to live on the streets but things are really tough out there. She knows she needs to find shelter and food or it will all be too late and she will never return to her beloved India. On the streets she meets a gang of homeless children who are kind to her but somehow she gets mixed up with the royal family and her dreams seem further away than ever. Time is running out and Isabella knows something isn’t right. 

I really loved the character of Isabella. She was strong and determined and had the will power to go on even when things were severely tough and hard. She was rather inspirational in the way she wouldn’t give up. She was a very strong character and one that should inspire all young girls. Isabella was a smart girl with knowledge of herbs and medicine and also the ability to protect herself. She had a great survival instinct; she thinks about things so far in advance that even the reader must keep up with her quick intellect and wit. In the novel she’s not just a girl trying to survive, she’s a girl who tries to help her friends and even becomes a protector to one and saves her life. She is a force to be reckoned with and I was pleasantly surprised at the strong fleshed out character that is Isabella Rockwell. I will miss reading about her and the troubles that follow her every step. 

We have many secondary characters throughout the novel and even they were very well fleshed out, none of them were flat which is great. The author must have put a lot of time into shaping these characters to be what they are in the finished product. My particular favourites being: Midge, another homeless boy who was particularly attached to Isabella. Zachariah who I wanted Isabella to end up with but alas it didn’t. He was the leader of the group and was very protective of his little sister. It was great seeing the soft and sensitive side to his character. You could easily see that she was his whole world. And of course there is Alix. The royal Princess who Isabella saves from severe injury. It’s her kindness that brings Isabella back into the world and together they are the best of friends. She’s a very strong character too. She may seem childish and spoilt at first but you soon see that she is indeed fit to be a queen. 

The historical aspects to the novel were really interesting, I loved the whole look into the royal family and the way Alix’s mother would use her to get money. This was indeed the case back then and it was great to see the author pick up on these things. You can easily tell that she has done her research. There’s action and adventure throughout the novel as Isabella battles to survive and then saves Alix’s life. While Isabella also plays detective in such a professional fashion, you can’t help but root for her from the very start. There are so many little things in this novel that make the overall book so good. 

I’m really surprised at how much I loved this book and really enjoyed reading it. Isabella Rockwell’s War is a really powerful novel with an inspirational young heroine. It is definitely a book I recommend for young girls as Isabella is very inspiring. Nevertheless adults can and will enjoy it just as much. I would like to thank the author, Hannah Parry for offering me the chance to review her book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#16)

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

My chosen upcoming release is:
The Oathbreaker's Shadow
Series: The Knots Sequence #1
Release Date: 6th June 2013
Publisher: Random House Childrens
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.

I cannot wait to read this novel! I've been eagerly anticipating it for at least a year. It just sounds so good! I'm hoping to get my hands on a proof copy soon! It just sounds so good, doesn't it? The whole idea is so unique and I'm so excited for it!

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!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (#5)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they decide upon a bookish subject that we then have to choose our top ten. This weeks topic is: Top Ten Tuesday Rewind so i have chosen to do is: Top Ten Favourite Book Quotes

Right I love quotes, a lot and hence I have a rather large list so I'm going to share my favourites with you. Most of these are ones that mean something to me personally, I only really save the quotes that I connect with. They echo parts of my life and memories of the years gone by. Some though are just one's I generally love from some of my favourite books. So here they are in no particular order :

1. “You forget, darling. I am the local psychopath.” 

2. “Even when we're apart, we'll be looking at the same sky!”

3. “If I shot an arrow and thought about an ass, would it surprise you that I hit Erik?' Stark asked me in a pleasant, nonchalant voice.”

4. “In the end, it only comes down to one thing: choosing the one you can’t live without.”

5. “You're a prefect? Oh Ronnie! That's everyone in the family!"
"What are Fred and I? Next door neighbors?”

6. “Not all those who wander are lost.”

7. “Are you crazy? It's a common phrase, I know. But it means something particular to me: the tunnels, the security screens, the plastic forks, the shimmering, ever-shifting borderline that like all boundaries beckons and asks to be crossed. I do not want to cross it again.”

8. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

9. “Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn't stop for anybody.”

10. “Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read.”

Well there you go my top ten quotes! You cannot believe how giddy I was when choosing them. I think i have a slight obsession with powerful quotes that are so important to me. 

I would love to see your Top Ten Tuesday Rewind posts so leave a link in the comments and I'll check them out. Thank you for stopping by! Happy Reading! 

Monday, 15 April 2013

The Goddess Test By Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test
Series: Goddess Test #1
Release Date: September 2011
Publisher: Mira Ink
Format: Kindle edition
Pages: 295

Synopsis: Every girl who had taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.

It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy - until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.

If she fails...

Review: I’ve been meaning to read this novel for a long while as I love all things that include mythology. I only got to it when I received the next two novels for review. The Goddess Test is a very interesting book where mythology is mixed into the modern world, but not in the way you would expect. I really liked the unique twists this book presented, most of which the reader wouldn’t identify. The plot was compelling and the wide variety of characters proved fresh and realistic. 

The Goddess Test begins when Kate takes her mother back to Eden, the town she grew up in so she can die where it all began. Despite her pleas, her mother forces her to enroll at the local high school, where she meets some key players in the story. Kate tries to remain anonymous but the popular crowd won’t allow that. When queen bee Ava, invites her to a party, her mother insists she goes to get out for a while. So she does and things don’t go very well, there’s an accident that will begin twisting Kate’s life path with the Greek gods. A mysterious stranger shows up to save the day but there’s a price but is it one Kate can pay? 

I actually really liked Kate’s character and how passionate she is about her mother’s survival. She sacrifices her own time to take care of her mother even when a carer could do that. She doesn’t trust anyone with her mother’s precious life. She has never had any normal teenage moments and she’s been forced to grow up before her time. Once we see her move into Eden she begins to slowly get accustomed to life without her mother by her side. Instead she has to open up to strangers and begin to live her life independently while in a strange environment. This is hard on Kate especially as everyone treats her with caution and doesn’t tell her the truth. She knows Henry’s fate rests on her shoulders and one wrong step could be the end to them both. 

Now Henry, aka Hades ruler of the underworld, is the other main character in the novel. He’s the love interest and the one who offers Kate her mother’s survival. He knows that he only has one more chance left to find a Queen of the Underworld; if he fails he will fade and be forgotten. Kate is his last chance and he will protect her from anything even if that includes himself. We get to watch him go from a cold character to slowly beginning to open up to Kate and showing his true self. This was really interesting and I know some people have complained about Henry being too innocent but I like it and how it puts him into a whole new light. He isn’t the darkly seductive hades we have all come to know and I think that’s very clever of Carter. 

I’ve also read so many reviews which complain about the Gods and Goddesses being wrong or not like the classics. I thought they were all great, I personally loved how the remained hidden until the end of the novel and then we saw who they truly were. It allowed the reader to get a closer insight to each of the Gods and I loved how it worked so well. Each god signified one test that remained anonymous until the end. The setting was also really interesting, how it was in Eden but was hidden from the rest of the world. Oh and how they all wore old dresses like proper ladies and gentlemen. Sigh, there were so many great things about this book, slight things that would sometimes go overlooked but they really add to the story and setting. 

The Goddess Test is promising debut novel that combines mythology with some real life issues. It’s a great beginning of a series and I cannot wait to get to the next two books. Aimee Carter has added a unique twist to Greek mythology and has written one of the best mythology based YA novels I have read! 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Blog Tour and Author Interview: Stung By Bethany Wiggins

Welcome to this stop on the Stung Blog Tour. Read Write and Read Some More is pleased to host Bethany Wiggins and her brilliant novel Stung. At this stop you will find an author interview with Bethany Wiggins and my review of Stung. First I'll post the book review and then the author interview below. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end too! 

Series: Stung #1
Release Date: 2nd April 2013
Publisher: Walker
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 304

Synopsis: There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.

Review: After reading Bethany Wiggin’s first novel Shifting last year, I was excited to see what she would produce next and that result is Stung. First impressions then, the cover is brilliant, it’s simple, interesting and lethal. It doesn’t give any part of the story away but it does intrigue the reader. Then the synopsis introduced us to the basic idea of the novel and by this time I was sold on reading it anyway. I love dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels and this one sounded very unique. Fast forward a few months and I received a review copy and dug straight into it. Stung is a very original novel based on a problem with bees. That problem is so realistic. I mean it could happen in today’s world. That in itself is scary but Wiggins has taken it to the next level and produced a fast-paced novel. 

Stung begins when Fiona Tarsis wakes up in her home, with no memory of the past four years. Her home is in tatters and she is alone. It seems her parents left a long while ago. Looking in the mirror, Fiona notices her body has changed drastically and she doesn’t remember growing up at all. The next thing she notices is a tattoo on the back of her hand of a ten legged bug. It marks her as a level ten and a possible beast. Leaving her already desolate house she realises the world is not the same. Caught up with the militia, Fiona is treated with severe caution, everyone around her is waiting for her to turn into a beast, after all it’s inevitable. She has to survive a few days and wait for the wall to open and then she will be passed on to the lab that will use her for experiments. Only with the help of Bowen will she survive in this new world, where everybody is after her. 

Fiona wakes up with no memory of the past four years; we get to see her shock and disbelief at what’s happened to the world around her. It was really interesting to watch the main character learn about this world at the same time and pace as the reader. We both got to witness it together and in a way I believe that really helped connect the reader to the main character. Fiona was lost at the start and hence she was stepping out into a completely dangerous world with no knowledge of the harm that could come to her. She’s scared and alone, and she has to trust the first person she meets. How scary would that be, just thrust back into the world with no idea at all? When she is taken by the Militia we begin to see her survival instincts kick in and her strength appear. She is strong when she needs to be and she knows that she has to survive and will do what it takes to keep her heart beating. Even when faced with danger, she’s scared yes, but she doesn’t scream and run like a little girl, instead she holds her ground. I really enjoyed reading Fiona’s journey and character growth. I become very attached to her along the way as she really came into her own.

The other main character is Bowen. He’s Fiona’s captor and rescuer. He’s also the love interest and is totally swoon worthy! Bowen is part of the militia and he’s in charge of looking after Fiona before she goes to the lab. The thing is Fiona knows Bowen from the past and he can’t bring himself to hate her like the others as he knew her before. He realises that she isn’t a beast and is more relaxed around her. Bowen has come to terms with a lot of loss during the four years of change and this has changed him. Bowen sacrifices himself and his life to protect Fiona, knowing that she is different. I loved the connection between the two and I was falling for him from the start. He was perfect and I hope there’s more of him in the future. 

Now onto the world Bethany Wiggins has created. It’s scary how realistic the problem featured in the novel is and how it could happen one day. The whole world created has been well thought out, with the wall and city inside being for all uninfected people up to the age of 55. Then there’s outside the wall where the true danger lurks, with fecs hiding in the dried up sewers, beasts living in abandoned buildings and some survivors just hanging on to life there too. You have a whole new currency system of honey, a new government and a new military. There must have been so much planning to get this perfect but the final result is amazing. It’s scary and harsh but also so realistic. 

Stung is a very promising start to a series, and once again it shows the talent Wiggin’s possesses. I can easily say this is one of my top reads this year. It’s a fast-paced, compelling novel that will keep the reader hooked from the very first page. From a unique idea this brilliant book has developed into a fantastic novel, which is sure to be a favourite with readers. Wiggins’ you are a very talented writer and I cannot wait to read the second novel.

Author Interview: 

1. First of all can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I'm a mother of four, a wife, an avid reader, like to bake and garden, I thought magic was real until I was about 25 years old, and I like to dance while I wash the dishes (though I am a terrible dancer!). 

2. When did you start writing and when did you begin to take writing seriously? 
I started writing about ten years ago, on a dare, and realized I loved it. The first book I wrote was garbage (I never let anyone read it because I could tell my writing was terrible!). The second book I wrote was decent. It was at that point that I decided I wanted to be an author. The fifth book I wrote was finally good enough to get published! That was about seven years after I started writing! 

3. Stung is your second novel, can you tell us a bit about how it started from an idea in your mind to becoming a published novel? What was the whole process like and how did it differ from the process of Shifting? 
STUNG all started because of a nightmare (see question #4). It took me about a year to write, while SHIFTING took six weeks (I only had two kids when I wrote SHIFTING. I was pregnant with #4 when I wrote STUNG). Shifting took a very long time to get an agent and publisher. With STUNG, I sent the finished manuscript to my agent. She read it in three days and sent in directly to my publisher. I knew within a week that they wanted to publish it, so STUNG was much slower to write, MUCH faster to be accepted by my publisher! 

4. Where did the idea for Stung come from? 
A few things inspired STUNG. The first was an early morning nightmare that woke me from a dead sleep. This nightmare was so vivid and riveting, I wrote it down and it became chapter one of STUNG. 

Also, I started writing this book at the time the swine flu scare was running rampant through the USA. I watched these crazy people on the news who were swarming the health departments, frantic to the point of violent to get the swine flu vaccine for their kids, and it made me wonder, "What if the government told us there is this huge flu to scare us into taking a vaccine that is really going to harm us?" 

Lastly, I remember getting a Discovery Magazine that talked about the decline of bees. And all of sudden, it was like a puzzle clicking into place. I had everything I needed to write a book. And that is the recipe for STUNG! 

5. Shifting was a paranormal novel and Stung is a dystopian, was it difficult switching between the genres? 
Not at all. I just wrote the story that was inside my head. 

6. What made you choose to write a dystopian novel? 
Actually, I thought I was writing a Science Fiction novel! And I didn't decide to write it, it sort of decided to be written by me. 

7. What was your favourite part about writing Stung? 
The romance, and the ending. They are both bright spots in an otherwise intense book. 

8. You have one very unique cover! What were you first thoughts when viewing the final concept? How well does it fit the story? 
First thought: Yay! There's not a pretty girl on the cover! Not that there's anything wrong with pretty girl covers, they're just sort of being overused at this point. The cover fits the book so well that it gave me chills the first time I saw it. 

9. Which authors and novels have influenced you and your writing? 
Robert Jordan, Patricia McKillip's The Changeling Sea, Robin McKinley's Hero and the Crown and Blue Sword, Frank Herbert's Dune, Catherine Paterson's Jacob Have I Loved. 

10. Do you write your novels by hand or straight away on the computer? 
Straight away on the computer! I don't have the hand muscles to write 300 pages by hand! Plus, I type really fast. 

11. What are your current writing projects and what can we expect from you next? 
STUNG 3! Stung 2 aka CURED, comes out this January. 

Totally bonus question: If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? 
Jane Austen! I'd ask her how she wrote such amazing novels without being able to edit them on a computer! Her first drafts must have been pretty near perfect.

About the Author:

Bethany Wiggins has always been an avid reader, but not an avid student. Seriously!!! She failed ninth grade English because she read novels instead of doing her homework. In high school, she sat alone at lunch and read massive hardback fantasy novels (Tad Williams and Robert Jordan anyone?). It wasn't until the end of her senior year that the other students realized she was reading fiction--not the Bible

Seven years ago, Bethany's sister dared her to start writing an hour a day until she completed a novel. Bethany wrote a seven-hundred page fantasy novel that she wisely let no one read--but it taught her how to write. Since then she has completed six more novels, each one a little better than the one before.

The fifth book she wrote, "SHIFTING," is represented by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency, and was published by Walker Books September 27 2011!!!


Book Trailer: 

Thank you Bethany for participating in the interview. You can find the blog tour schedule here. Thanks to Book Paparazzi for hosting the tour and choosing me as a tour host. Be sure to enter the giveaway and Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Madman's Daughter By Megan Shepherd

 The Madman's Daughter
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Release Date: 11th April 2013
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Source: ARC provided by Harper Voyager.

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.

Review: Ah, this was one of my most anticipated novels of 2013 and my expectations were truly blown out of the water. This novel is not only written in such a professional and talented way but it also scared the life out of me. Upon reading the first few chapters I was shocked at the harsh description of a vivisection but that was only the beginning. The whole novel revolves around one man’s madness as he tries to play god. There are many disturbing scenes in the novel but they were written so well and weren’t overdone or dumbed down. Megan Shepherd really found the correct writing style and description that allowed the reader to be disturbed but also curious to read on. It takes a certain level of talent in which this can be done correctly but most importantly well and I honestly don’t normally expect that in debut novels but The Madman’s Daughter is simply incredible and blown all regular expectations. 

Juliet is daughter of the famous surgeon Dr Moreau, who Juliet believes is dead after their family fell into scandal because of him. He was accused of attempting harsh and inhumane operations on animals that were against the law. His whole family were ruined and he left them. Juliet’s mother passed away and she’s left to fend for herself in 1894 London. She works as a cleaner at the Royal College. One night when tailing along with her friend Lucy and some medical students, she discovers some form of vivisection is taking place where she works. The diagram they are using belongs to her dead father. Appalled Juliet does the only thing to put the animal out of its suffering. She then goes in search of the man who gave the students the diagram so she can get the truth out of him. It’s upon meeting this person that things shatter around her and she learns that not only is her father alive but he’s also still performing some experiments on a deserted island. She demands to be taken to him but she’s not prepared for what awaits. 

Juliet is a clever woman who has the talent of her father but being women she is denied the right to learn and practice science. Left in ruin she has to learn things by overhearing lessons taught to medical students while she cleans. She’s a lonely girl and has only one friend, who was incredibly annoying. Juliet is a strong character who doesn’t usually let people get in her way; she will do anything to protect herself, even if this means doing the most unladylike of things. She was also cautious though when it came to knowledge as she was aware her father’s blood and madness ran in her veins and she didn’t want to become like him. Her father had already fallen over the line into insanity and she doesn’t know how easy it will be for her to follow. Juliet has to come to terms with a lot throughout the novel, such as harsh truths and realities while also learning some nightmarish things about herself and her father. It’s hard to see how she didn’t break down while learning it all but she managed to keep calm. 

We also have two love interests. Montgomery, her father’s servant and her old play mate. He has now grown into an impressive man who has knowledge of science that rivals her fathers. He has always been affectionate towards Juliet but we see his feelings have developed incredibly during their parting. I personally didn’t like Montgomery, after all he had done, some of which were similar to her father, and Juliet still forgave him. I wouldn’t be able to let that pass so easily. I just felt their relationship was inevitable and there was no growth to it, it was rather instant for my liking. Then we have Edward Prince, the stranger they found half dead in the sea. He is an upper-class gentleman, one who her father wishes her to marry when they meet. He has many secrets of his own and we see him fight them and try to relax around these strangers on a deserted island. Edward of course likes Juliet and she is drawn to him too, and I think they were much better suited. Something’s I can mention others I can’t as I don’t want to spoil the novel. Both knew how to survive and had fathers who disapproved of them. Oh and that ending, I really liked how no matter what he would protect her. 

Now onto Dr Moreau, he is the perfect evil villain. I don’t think there have been many others who scared me as much as he did. He was a very cold harsh character who had no morals. He knew from the start what he was doing was wrong but he never stopped, didn’t care about the pain and suffering he put animals through; he only wanted the final result. The scenes in which he is doing his experiments truly disturbed me. It doesn’t help that I’m an animal management student who understands some of the toughest welfare issues but this was something horrifying in my eyes. I was so shocked at the vivid descriptions of the vivisection's and then the suspense of the thing that was killing all the islanders. This book scared me deeply, I didn’t want to walk down my dark hallway while reading this book, and I got the chills and flinched while reading those dark scenes. It was so vividly real and it’s horrifying to know that this used to happen and in some places still happens. I can’t get over the sick and horrified feeling that comes over me when thinking about it. Megan you really have written a powerful horror novel. 

The Madman’s Daughter isn’t a novel I would recommend to the light hearted, it is full of some harsh and horrifying things, but that’s what makes the novel for me. It has everything the perfect horror novel needs and here it is in all its slightly unsettling glory. The writing itself was so clever and flowed so well. It had the quality of a talented writer and exceeded all expectations of mine. It flowed so well and was so fluently connected from start until finish. Megan Shepherd is a very gifted writer, who has mastered the horror genre with her debut. The future looks very promising for this author and I cannot wait to read what happens next to Juliet and co, but I do think I need time to recover from the horror this novel beholds. The Madman’s Daughter was one of my anticipated reads and now I can say it is one of the best and completely blows all expectations the reader will have prior to reading. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Cover Reveal: Crown Of Midnight By Sarah J. Maas

Right, I'm guessing you guys all know of the brilliant Throne of Glass By Sarah J. Maas? If not click here for my review. Well this morning the cover for the sequel was revealed and holy batman, it is amazing! I didn't think they could top the first cover but they have! It is so badass and gorgeous, I couldn't wait to share it with you, I have both the UK and US Cover, so I will post them together first then separately below. 

Oh my! Aren't they just gorgeous! They are so powerful in my opinion. They really have topped the Throne of Glass cover but I'm really not sure how they will be able to top this. I personally prefer the UK cover as the colors just look so more bold and eye-catching  The US cover does fit in with the US cover of Throne of Glass, nevertheless I love it as well.

UK Cover: 

Series: Throne of Glass #2
Release Date: UK - 20th August US - 27th August
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Format: UK Paperback US Hardcover
Pages: 336

UK Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.

Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of the highly anticipated sequel in what is undeniably THE hottest new fantasy series.

US Cover: 

US Synopsis: An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt. But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice. 

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

Here are the Throne of Glass Covers for comparison: 

UK Cover / US Cover 

Well there you are! The kick-ass cover to Crown Of Midnight, the hotly anticipated sequel to Throne of Glass! 

I would love to know what you think of the cover, let me know in the comments! 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (#4)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they decide upon a bookish subject that we then have to choose our top ten. This weeks topic is: Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger.

Wow this is going to be difficult but here we go, in no particular. Also I'm going to have to include some series' as there were so many great ones I read before blogging: 

Ah I love this series so much and I miss it madly. It's about a kick ass Shifter who faces a whole load of problems. I miss these characters so much! 

What more can I say? Love it. 

My favourite vampire series, if you haven't read it I seriously recommend them. 

This is such a classic in my opinion, it really makes you think. But it has one hell of an ending that I'm still reeling over! 

Alas I've only read the first book, but I loved it. It was great getting to know Louis more, as I'd only seen the film at the time. And I think I fell for Lestat even more. 

My favourite classic! It can be hard going at times but it's so good. 

I picked this up after seeing the film which is good, but the book is so different. I loved it though as it was even better than the movie, as David wasn't a lovesick boy like in the film. 

This is my all time favourite series ever. I will take these books where ever I go and I cannot recommend them enough. I've grown up with them over the years and I'm so sad the series has now ended but it finished perfectly. 

This is the YA series and I also found it very enjoyable and fast paced. I recommend this for younger readers as the previous series is adult. 

Ah, a book from my childhood. I couldn't really miss it out as I still have my tattered copy waiting to be re-read. It's a great introduction into all things magic. 

Well there you go! There are my Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger. I recommend them all, if you're interested in any of them. Feel free to ask me all the questions about them! I would love to see your Top Ten Tuesday. If you leave your link in the comments I'll pop over and read all about yours. Thank you for stopping by!