Sunday, 29 July 2012

Stacking the Shelves #9


Carnival, Paris (Woman reading behind stage) 

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted over at Tynga's reviews. This meme allows us bloggers to tell you all about the books we have added to your shelves over the past seven days whether they be physical or virtual. This means we include books you can buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from  friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

We love sharing our books with you each week but more then that we loving seeing what books you get each week!! All links will take you to goodreads.

Bungle's shelf

I was really really good this week & didn't buy any books again even though there are so many beautiful new ones in my teen section at work! But I did get sent a proof and two very pretty finished copies. The proof was Street Duty, knock down by Chris Ould, not heard to much about this one & I'm not sure it sounds like my kind of book but I'm intrigued by it which means I have to read it of course.

And now on to the two very pretty books I received this week! These were part of the books my colleague & good friend Rae requested for me at work. I had a few rubbish days in the week and when these turn up they put a very big smile on my face!! The Blessed by Tonya Hurley & The Forsaken by Lisa M Stasse are two books I can't wait to delve into!! I'd love to hear what you think if you've read them!


Sally's shelf

OK, so like Bungle I also got three books this week but I was a tad naughty with the pursestrings (for a change!)

The first book I got was Bared to You by Sylvia Day.  I was recommended this by Nix at Scorchingrevs as being a good read for those who are partial for characters not dissimilar to the lovely Christian Grey.  I'm liking Gideon Cross I have to say... ;) I also treated myself to Partials by Dan Wells.  I've been meaning to buy this book for AGES and I decided that this was finally the week!  I also bought Need, #1 of the Need series by Carrie Jones.  This has been out for a while but I'm looking for a series to take on holiday with me so I'm hoping this might be it! Recommendations for reading material gratefully received, especially if it means I get to do more book shopping!

So that's it from us this week - Can't wait to hear what you added to your shelves!!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A Minx Review ~ Wintercraft ~ Jenna Burtenshaw

Wintercraft (Wintercraft, #1)
Title: Wintercraft
Author: Jenna Burtenshaw
Published by: Headline
Released: May 2010

Today we have a guest review from fellow blogger Minx. We met Minx over on twitter and she is the reason our blog looks the way it does :) OK Minx, over to you:~

HI! Thanks so much to Midnight Reads for letting me do this little guest post. For those of you who don't know me, I am Minx and I can usually be found loitering over at Loose Knickers and Window Lickers.*  Ok a couple of things to start, firstly this was a library book- sadly we are in a time of 'use it or lose it' so  I support my local library and I use it; secondly, I read a wide range of literature and a little know fact is that I LOVE kids books. I would say that the Wintercraft series is a bridge between pure children's lit and young adult. Oh and for all you budding film execs who wander the blog world... it would SO make a great film. I often find that, books written for children/YA make better films and series than adult books. Perhaps it is because they are often jam packed with action- saying that I do think Stormbreaker would have been 100% better if they had the flame throwers, quad bikes and cheesewire in the killing fields! I digress. (Sorry for those who don't know me... I have a tendency to ramble, but I am getting to the point now.)

I really really really enjoyed this book, why, one of the main reasons being it managed to hold my interest whilst kids were shouting, there was a clear and defined plot, interesting characters and a couple of twists and turns along the way. Yes, there were some times where it wandered a bit but it truly does not effect your enjoyment, it's not perfect, it is great! It is a great airport book, you know the one I mean, enough plot and character to keep you engaged but you are not engrossed enough to miss the tannoy about your flight. Or for when you are sitting round the pool, you can read and enjoy and still keep an eye on the cute guys or kids.(delete as appropriate)  In fact it is a great book to share with the kids.

The premise: There is a veil which separates the living and the dead, in the world of Wintercraft the skilled can manipulate the veil but they are few and far between. The High Council has been hunting them and taking them away. The city of Fume is dark and industrial (Steampunkesque) but it wasn't always, it is the hub of their world and as the characters are hunted through the city more and more is reveal about its forgotten past. The things the High Council have taken away from the people of fume. The hunt for the Wintercraft book begins the characters on a journey which will perhaps bring they old ways back into the world.

Kate Winter is the young protagonist and yes, the Wintercraft is named after her family, she finds she has a vested interest in finding the book and is much more than simply skilled. She is brave and an interesting character to follow and watch as she grows and develops. Helped by her uncle and then her friend Edgar we follow her journey into the world of Wintercraft and into the dangerous arms of the mysterious Silas Dane.

When we first meet him we assume Silas is the bad guy and I am not saying he is good, he is far from that, but he has his own issues and journey. Kate is the only one who could help him and he will go to any lengths to get her, keep going with Silas, he is an intriguing character and there is much more than meets the eyes with him.

It's the High Council and the Counsellor D'aru you have to watch, but I am saying no more! My lips are sealed!

A great read, a great kids/YA book and I give it 4.5 frillies/stars out of 5. Not perfection but a truly fun read.

*We would like to point out that Minx blog, Loose Knickers and Window Lickers is an adult blog.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Stacking the Shelves #8


Carnival, Paris (Woman reading behind stage)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted over at Tynga's reviews. This meme allows us bloggers to tell you all about the books we have added to your shelves over the past seven days whether they be physical or virtual. This means we include books you can buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

We love sharing our books with you each week but more then that we loving seeing what books you get each week!! All links will take you to goodreads.

I had a rather good week this week and received 5 books. A few are proofs and a few finished copies. The first book is Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz, I remember hearing lots about this book & I think Sally has read it. Next is The Twelve by Justin Cronin which is the sequel to The Passage which went down very well at my branch of Waterstones. The third book I got was from new publishers Hot Key Books which is Angel Dust by Sarah Mussi and it sounds amazing! Fourth is the Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George who created The Inspector Lynley Series & this is her first YA book, And last we have Rebel Heart by Moira Young, I don't think I need to say anymore about this title!

Sally was very good this week and got just the one book which was Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

Uglies (Uglies, #1)

Off to see what you got now! Happy reading everyone.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Midnight Reads Guide to Summer Reading

So this week because the team at Midnight Reads have been such good girls we have nothing to report on the book buying front.  That being the case we thought we'd use this opportunity to suggest some books for our fellow book lovers to take on holiday with them.  There's a pretty wide range here so I hope everyone finds something that piques their interest!  We've provided links to all of our suggestions so you can investigate further over at Goodreads.

So, without further ado let's dive into Bungles summer selection:

Bungle's holiday recommendations.

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini is my first pick because, for me, it was the book I couldn't wait to get my hands on this year. I was fortunate enough to get a proof copy at the end of last year and I devoured the book!! My original review was just two words 'Heartbreakingly beautiful' and as much as I tried to come up with something better, I just couldn't, those two words say it all. There is so much happening in this second installment from Angelini that you will not be able to put this book down. I recommend reading at the end of a lovely summer's day, sunset would be perfect given the night time happens throughout Dreamless.

My second pick is Until I Die by Amy Plum, again this was a greatly anticipated book for me this year. There are two reasons for me picking this book, firstly Plum is an amazing writer but with book 2 you can actually see her grow as an author and secondly this book is a perfect summer read for anyone not going away this year because Plum's writing is so vivid and rich in detail that you will actually believe you are in Paris!

Now my third pick was a little harder but then I was thinking, if I was going away this year and I was sunbathing by the pool or at the beach what would I want to read that is light hearted, easy to read and if I put it down I could just pick it up and carry on again and then Jessie Hearts NYC came to mind! It is the perfect holiday read with lovable characters, a brilliant setting and a story full of chance and coincidence, just like your summer holiday might be!

Sally's holiday recommendations.

I like to think of Bungle as the optimistic half of this holiday duo.  Bungle has whisked you away to beautiful locations, if only in your imagination.  I'm here to bring you back to reality.  You are no longer in Paris or on the sunny east coast of the United States.  You are in Rhyl, North Wales.  You are in a small rusty caravan next to a tyre recycling facility. At least you think you are.  It smells like you are but the fog has prevented you from actually confirming your suspicions.  You are bored of Pot Noodles and the dog has rolled in something rancid.  The putrid odour has taken over the frozen atmosphere inside the caravan and devoured your clothes at the same time.  Only a decent read is going to get you through this extended period of 'relaxation'.  So what would I recommend?  Here goes...

At this point the futility of your holiday situation has started to kick in.  You need something cathartic I think.  My first must-read therefore has to be The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. This is the first in the Blood of Eden series and in writing it Kagawa has taken the vampire genre to an entirely different level.  The dystopian environment that the story is set in is so detailed that it leaves the reader feeling as though they are witnesses to that world. As for the characters, well I love me a kick-ass heroine and in The Immortal Rules you have one! Can't recommend this one enough.

So you're still stuck in the caravan and a whoop of baboons appear to have occupied the van next to yours. They are dressed like small children but you know otherwise. Joy... You now need something calming, gentle to appease your nerves.  The Scorpio Races is that read.  Set in Ireland it's pace is slow and steady, telling the tale of the residents of Skarmouth who take part in the aforementioned races riding the savage water horses that frequent their shoreline. This book is not perpetual action,nor is it overly dramatic, rather it is a slow warm luxurious read that draws you in and it is all the better for it. 

So we've now calmed ourselves down and we're looking for something bitter-sweet to cleanse our palettes of the dank rubbery atmosphere that the tyre recycling facility has created.  The Fault in our Stars is that book.  I would have to say that this is probably my favourite read of the year so far, indeed this is the only book that has ever made me cry and I love it all the more for it! The story of cancer sufferers Hazel and Augustus is beautifully written. It isn't fluffy. It's funny, tragic and breath-taking all at the same time and even though it might make you cry it'll make you smile in equal proportions and when you've finished you'll be so glad you read it!

So, there you have it.  The Midnight Reads guide to summer reading.  Hope you find something here that you consider worthy of a place in your suitcase.  In the meantime, we'd love to hear your recommendations!  What do you think we should be reading as we search in vain for the occasional ray of sunshine?

Giveaway ~ Between the Lines ~ Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

proof copy
Title:~ Between the Lines
Authors:~ Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Published by:~ Hodder & Stoughton
Date:~ July 2012

To mark the release of Between the Line my favourite Hodder rep Phil, gave me an extra proof copy and between us we decided to use the book as a giveaway here on Midnight Reads.

Here's what goodreads has to say:~

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

Sounds interesting, yes!? And made us think of Ingest, which we loved!! Now all we want you to do for your chance to win this proof copy of Between the Lines is tell us which book character you would love to 'come-to-life' and why?

Rules:~ This giveaway IS international
~only one comment per person (extras will be deleted)
~winner will be chosen at random & notified, if we do not have a response within 24hours we will be forced to pick another winner
~giveaway will end on Sunday 22nd at noon (UK time)
If you tweeted about this giveaway that would be lovely but only your comment here on the blog counts as your entry.

'May the odds be ever in your favour'
~The Hunger Games

Friday, 13 July 2012

Review~Kiss of Death~Rachel Caine

Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8)
3 stars
Title: Kiss of Death
Series: Morganville
Author: Rachel Caine
Published: April 2010
By: Allison & Busby

Goodreads says:~

Claire Danvers has a few things on her mind. First of all there is the laundry, which is now an unfortunate shade of pink. Then there is her boyfriend, Shane, who is never too far from her thoughts. Finally there is her best friend Eve’s relationship problems. As if life as a student wasn’t complicated enough, Claire just happens to be studying in Morganville. A town run by vampires. Trouble seems to follow Claire and her friends like a shadow and tonight is no exception to the rule. They must find the most difficult documents for a vampire to acquire; people passes that will allow ‘bad ass’ Morley and his friends to leave Morganville. But it’s proving incredibly difficult, and with the odds seemingly stacked against them, the biggest question of all is…Will they survive?

Minor spoilers, possibly, it is book eight:~

Opening line: The way the Glass House worked, on a practical level, was that there was a schedule for the stuff that has to be done - cooking, cleaning, fixing things, laundry.

Closing line: Afterward, going back to Morganville didn't seem so dark.

Favourite quote: 'You're just Little Miss Optimist, aren't you? Do you come with accessories, like a glass half full and lemons to make lemonade, too?'

After a break from the Morganville books I returned to them last week and I had forgotten just how much I love some of the characters. Although Kiss of Death isn't as good as the other books in the series Caine still offers her reads something new and with book 8 comes a road trip. Claire, Shane, Michael and Eve are granted passes out of Morganville for a short period of time while Michael embarks on his singing career. But of course things never run smoothly for this unlikely foursome.
The four friends along with Oliver, who is their escort, soon find themselves in all kinds of trouble, trouble for looking different, trouble for getting and little hot in the back of a car and most of all trouble with vampires of a different kind.

Not only do the group run into escapees from Morganville and find themselves kidnapped they also come across infected vampires left behind after Bishop was rather naughty! Now I’m not really sure how I feel about this!! I like the vampires I already know and I like when others come to Morganville and stir things up but this breed of vampires and this book as a whole felt a little bit like a story for the sake of it. There were many aspects of the book I enjoyed but I can’t help think the series would not miss it. That said, if you want a nice light read to break up the series a bit then this is the book. Like I said there are some nice elements to the book like the new people we meet along the way, especially the little old lady at the hotel and the uninfected people in the small town.

While I was reading Kiss of Death I realised how much I still love Shane. I love his relationship with Claire and I rather like how he knows she is pretty kick ass on her own when she needs to be and he seems to be being less protective of her but he’s still there, just in case. I rather liked the ring scene as so many other readers seemed to too, yes it was a little cheesy but not when you think about Shane and his family and what the ring really means to him.
I love the banter between the two and how easy their relationship seems to be. I’m looking forward to reading more and seeing just how much they develop as a couple.

Now, I love Eve, that girl is not afraid to speak her mind and reminds me of myself and some of my closest friends but sometimes the girl just needs to shut up! Her mouth always seems to get the group into trouble and the road trip is no different, you would think she would have learnt her lesson by now but apparently not! I do love Michael too and I can’t help think big things are going to happen regarding him as a vampire but I just wonder will him and Eve be able to go the distance?

Sadly there was no Myrnin which was disappointing as he’s the vampire we all have some kind of feelings for but we did see Amelie starting to show her true colours at the end of the book, I was staring at the pages, mouth open, thinking yeah, you tell them witch face but then also thinking, really!?! You witch! Haha!

So 3 out of 5 stars because I was happy to visit the world of Claire and her friends again but overall the story was a little weak this time around

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Review~Night School~C.J. Daugherty

Night School (Night School, #1)
Title: Night School
Author: C.J. Daugherty
Published: January 2012
By: Atom

goodreads says:

Sometimes school is murder.

Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested.


This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.
But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.
When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy.

Opening line: 'Hurry up!'

Closing line: 'Always.'

Favourite quote: 'You know how yesterday in the library we decided I should pretend nothing was going on and nobody was talking about me, while you tried to find out was what happening?'
He nodded.
'Well, bollocks to that....'

I loved Night School!! I was hooked from the first page and was taken on a roller coaster of a ride and honestly, I didn’t want it to end! I think since Harry Potter I have loved a good boarding school story and Night School does not disappoint. It is full of mystery, intrigue and it kept me reading until all hours of the night.

I rather like Allie, our main character, she has many issues since her brother disappeared and her way to deal with it is to act out in the wrong ways. Her parents have finally had enough after she is caught by the police and they are forced to send Allie to boarding school in the hope she will learn a thing or too. Now the only thing in the whole book that really bugs me is that Allie seems to accept this a little too easy. We are told how bad she has been acting and how she is against many things but she just seems to say OK to what her parents want this time. I don’t feel like she really put up a fight to being shipped off to boarding school.

Cimmeria Academy isn’t like any school you have ever come across, no one has heard of it, the rules are paramount with no mobile phones or computers allowed, the current students seem to be highly intelligent and mainly from wealthy families and if that wasn’t enough the secret Night School is never to be spoken of.
But of course rules are meant to be broken and after Allie and her friend are attacked questions need answering especially after other things start to happen in the school grounds leading to the death of a student.
This leads Allie on a journey of discovery not only about the academy, the strange goings on and Night School but she also learns a few things about herself and her family.

Now no YA novel would be complete without a romance would it and we are given just that in Night School. We have Sylvain who was more than creepy and got off a little to lightly after what he did to Allie, I lost all respect for him after the ball!! But I love Carter!!!!!! At first I didn’t feel much for him and there were times he annoyed me but he is a good guy and I’m really looking forward to reading more about him and Allie. There were several secondary characters who were well established and I look forward to seeing them again.

4 of 5 stars because Daugherty has written a story that is totally gripping and full of mystery.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Review ~ Rapture ~ Lauren Kate

Title: Rapture

Author: Lauren Kate

Published:  June 23rd 2012

By: Doubleday

First line: First there was silence -

Last line:  It’s full of spoilery – sorry!

Fave line: “I’m Lucinda” she said. “I’m...” Sorry, rest of the quote is a spoiler!

So I’ve been waiting for this book for what seems like an eternity,  almost as long as Luce has waited for Daniel one might argue. Rapture was yet another of my most anticipated for 2012 but at the same time I kind of dreaded it turning up because I knew that when it did that was it.  The story was over.  Arrive it did though and I loved every word of it!

There’s been a fair old wait between Passion and Rapture and I thought that that might be an issue but thankfully that wasn’t the case. Kate Does an excellent job of prĂ©cising what has gone before and so within a few pages I was already back up to speed.   This book certainly does move at a faster pace than its predecessor and actually reminds me more of Fallen in the style and approach that Kate uses. For those whose memories are failing at the end of Passion Lucifer has re-started the fall, his aim being that when he returns to earth he intends to wipe the earth of all of mankind, both past and present.  It will be as if we never existed, and it’s down to Luce, Daniel and their friends to put a stop to him, as well as to fight one last time to break the curse that has perpetually destroyed Luce and her relationship with the rather lovely Daniel over the centuries.

At the start of Rapture we discover that there are three artefacts that will lead them to the site of the fall and so our fave characters divide in order to conquer.  Their challenges certainly add an air of urgency to the book and there are some unexpected and sad losses along the way.  There are also new characters thrown in which give the book a fresher feel and I particularly liked Dee who I thought was a fantastic addition to the ensemble. Through the course of this story we find out the true history behind Lucinda and Daniel, her links to Lucifer, who she is and of course we reach our conclusion.

Let me say from the outset, I loved this story and if I’m honest with myself I don’t think that there could have been any other way that Kate could have put the final nail in the coffin as it were, but there are still some things that left me feeling a little disheartened.  It felt as though some of the characters were short-changed in the wrapping up, although deep down I’m actually hoping that this is because there could be another story in the offing the idea of which pleases me very much! We do lose a couple of major characters in this book which is sad but I get it. It would have been unrealistic to suggest that such large battles could be fought and that there would be no casualties along the way. That said I also felt that compromises were made which, whilst they may have been necessary to create a realistic continuity for the characters involved, also diminished the centuries of battles that had gone before, as though everything that Luce had Daniel had gone through could just be swept under the rug and I’ll admit that did make me a little sad – see? Sad face L I don’t want to say any more on that other than I did feel a little cheated, even though I loved the ending... Maybe a confused face then, not a sad one...

For all that there are also some amazing twists in the plot here that I did not see coming and I was completely broadsided a couple of times. The back-story to the relationship between Luce and Lucifer was enthralling and the point at which Luce’s story comes full circle was brilliantly written giving the books preceding this one a whole new level of context.  That in itself I thought was genius and I do believe that the rather beautiful Daniel became my hero all over again.

My final word on the matter? If Ms Kate were to write a series about a particularly bad angel called Cam? I can’t said I’d complain...

Rating: 4/5.  Even though I may disagree with the way the some things were concluded I loved this story! A Fabulous way to end the series.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Stacking the Shelves #7


Carnival, Paris (Woman reading behind stage)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted over at Tynga's reviews. This meme allows us bloggers to tell you all about the books we have added to your shelves over the past seven days whether they be physical or virtual. This means we include books you can buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

We love sharing our books with you each week but more then that we loving seeing what books you get each week!! All links will take you to goodreads.

Bungle's shelves

So Bungle was pretty good this week and only bought the one book although she did get extra treats from her favourite rep from Little Brown.  Only one book stood out for her this time around which was Snow White and the Huntsman by Lily Blake.  While she was impressed with the special effects (Have to confess  I was more impressed with the Huntsman...) she thought the storyline itself was, and I quote directly, pants.  That said books are so often vastly different to films and so Bungle was intrigued by the tale itself.  Rumour has it she's devouring the book as I type...

If you're anything like Bungle and I you're probably a little OCD about keeping the spines and covers of your books looking pure and untouched.  All that came to an end for Bungle this week though as she bought Wreck This Journal! by Keri Smith.  Each page has an instruction to follow and I can report that she has already started to wreck her journal, indeed I believe she has found the experience to be fantastically liberating!

 Sally's shelves

I guess I've been a bit cheeky again but then I did have some birthday pennies to spend so the credit card people aren't actually whooping for joy this week.  I got two books that I have really been looking forward to so am very pleased with myself.  This week saw the paperback release of Arise, #2 of the Hereafter series by Tara Hudson as well as Dreamless #2 in the Starcrossed series by Josephine Angelini.  I also decided to grab a copy of The Host by Stephenie Meyer as it fits in with my current run on all things dystopian, not to mention the fact that they just finished making the film so I figured I'd better be up to speed before it hits the cinemas!

 So that's what we got this week - what did you get?

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Stacking the Shelves #6


Carnival, Paris (Woman reading behind stage)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted over at Tynga's reviews. This meme allows us bloggers to tell you all about the books we have added to your shelves over the past seven days whether they be physical or virtual. This means we include books you can buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

We love sharing our books with you each week but more then that we loving seeing what books you get each week!! All links will take you to goodreads.
Bungle was being good this week until she saw A Witch in Love and she just had to buy it!! She also got two proofs this week which were How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. And Sally was extra good this week and didn't spend any money on books but she did get a galley of The Goddess Legacy from netgalley.  I understand this is a novella which slots in between Goddess Interrupted and The Goddess Inheritance which is due out next year.

The Goddess Legacy (Goddess Test, #2.5)

So that is what we got this week, now we're off to look at the goodies you got!

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