Sunday, 28 October 2012

Stacking The Shelves #22


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tyngs's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may they be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores 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 importantly we loving see what you add to your shelves. All the links added here will take you to Goodreads.
Bungle's shelf
I was really good this week and I got just one book myself, although I probably shouldn't be buying any given how many unread books I have sitting on my book shelves! But I can't help it when I NEED them can I!? This week at the bookshop I received an arc of Eternally Yours by Cate Tiernan, I was so excited! Both Sally and I really like this series but now we are faced with the last book in the trilogy and I can't wait to get started on it! And the book I bought was Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, now I have to admit I loved the first book in this series but I've not yet got to book 2 & 3 but I will! I need to know what's happening!!
Sally's shelf
Just the one from me this week (How good am I?!) but it's another one I've really been looking forward to and it heralds the end of yet another series. I got Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick and even though I'm only a few pages it we're looking good so far! Now I'll have to find another series to take the place of this one. Which means more book buying. Tough times ;-)
So that's what we got this week, let us know what you got :)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Review ~ Beautiful Redemption ~ Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Redemption

Authors:  Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

Published:  October 23rd 2012

By: Harlequin Teen

First line: Other people had flying dreams.

Last line:  Sorry, could be a spoiler

Fave line:  Not actually possible to select one line...

So this is it. My most anticipated book of 2012 finally landed on my doorstep and whilst it was the most anticipated it was also the most dreaded because I knew that once I’d read it, that was it, the series would be at an end.   The Beautiful Creature series has been one of the most enjoyable series that I've read full stop.  The writing is so detailed and rich you feel as though you know every character, every building and every pie the authors write about.  When the last instalment, Beautiful Chaos, ended there was such a cliff hanger I actually yelled at the book. Needless to say my yelling did not provide the answers I needed, primarily because a book is, apparently, an inanimate object.  The new and final instalment however provides all the answers I needed and more.

In Beautiful Redemption we are given a multi POV.  The first section of the book is written from Ethan’s perspective.  We then switch to Lena’s viewpoint before we come back to Ethan one last time.   We begin with Ethan realising the consequences of his actions at the end of Beautiful Chaos.  You might recall that Ethan is forced to sacrifice himself in order to save the lives of those he loves and he certainly does so in spectacular fashion! Now however, Ethan is trapped in the other world, a place between life and the finality of death and all he wants to do is get back to those he loves. In this world he has left behind a world of grief most notably for Lena, Link and of course Amma.  The book follows his attempt to get back to this world and the challenges he needs to undertake in order to do so.   Luckily he has the support of those that grieve for him and as they rally round in this world so Ethan looks for help and support on ‘the other side’.

There are some amazing plot twists in this story.  People aren't always what or who you expect them to be and help often comes in the strangest forms.  There are some fantastic new characters in this tale, Xavier and Charlie  being my favourites. Several other characters reappear and all the favourites are there including Link who I absolutely adore.  Link really comes in to his own in this finale which I absolutely loved.  His loyalty to Ethan has never been questionable and he really proves that again in the last part of the saga.  There are other twists that will bring a tear to the eye (unless your heart is made of stone!) and I found the beginning of the story which takes place soon after Ethan’s demise heartbreaking in places.  For all that there are plenty of warm fuzzy moments and of course Link still has the smart mouth!

The final conclusion to the saga is wrapped up nicely.  There are no loose ends, no questions unanswered that leave you frustrated and it’s not all sugar candy sweet in terms of the plot but it works.  We even find out exactly what Amma caught Link doing in the basement when he was nine!  All these small details are what makes this a satisfying final read but at the same time it’s the brilliance of the writing that reinforces how much Ethan and Lena’s story will be missed now that it’s over.   I may have to start recreating the pies myself just to fill the gap!

5/5 I can’t believe the time has actually come to say goodbye to Ethan and Lena! I have absolutely adored this series and can’t wait for the film.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Stacking the Shelves #21


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tyngs's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your  shelves, may they be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores 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 importantly we loving see what you add to your shelves. All the links added here will take you to Goodreads.

Bungle's shelf

So this week I was excited to get two new proofs & I was naughty & bought a book but it wasn't my fault, people on twitter told me to buy it! Haha!! The first book I got was Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood. One of my favourite Reps came into the bookshop and gave me a copy of Julianna Baggott's Fuse which is the second book in the Pure trilogy. And the book I bought was Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan which sounds amazing!!! And fellow book bloggers & authors told me to buy it so I did :)

Sally's shelf

So this week for me has seen the arrival of my most anticipated book of the year.  I finally got my hands on a copy of Beautiful Redemption by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia.  I also devoured the book in a day and wow!  Loved it! Fans of the series will not be disappointed, although I have of course now entered that period of mourning you go into when a series as amazing as this comes to an end.  That said we still have the film to look forward to!  I also got a little bit minxy and bought a couple of books while I was food shopping. Oops. I bought The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs because, you know, it's about vampires and Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard, which just seemed to catch my eye.  The last two of these are adult reads.

I was also spoilt by the lovely Bungle this week! B sent me two books that I have been meaning to add to my collection for a long time!  I've now added Dark Parties by Sara Grant and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson to my shelves.  Can't wait to finally get round to reading these.

So, that's what we got up to this week - so tell us, what have you added to your shelves?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Review ~ What's Left of Me ~ Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)

Title: What's Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Published by: HarperCollins
Date: September 2012

goodreads says:

How I Live Now meets His Dark Materials in this stunningly written and intensely moving debut.

Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.

Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.

Now meet Eva and Addie.

They don’t have to imagine

Opening line: Addie and I were born into the same body, our souls' ghostly fingers entwined before we gasped our very first breath.

Closing line: Sorry, I can't tell you the last line, it might give to much away ;)

I was a little unsure about this book because I'm not really a fan of 'His Dark Materials', I didn't get further than book one but I really enjoyed What's Left of Me! I can understand the connection to Pullman's stories but I think What's Left of Me is a unique story all on it's own. I decided to give a 4 star rating, I think maybe 3 for the book but then the extra star because it's the kind of story that makes you think.

What's Left of Me follows the lives of Eva and Addie, two different souls but in one body. When children reach a certain age the dominate soul takes over the body with the weaker one fading into nothingness thus, the child has 'settled'. Although everyone believes Addie is alone Eva still exists but she's to weak to fight for control of her body and sits in the back of Addie's mind.

I loved the concept of this story and as I've mentioned the story really made me think and wonder what it would be like to have another voice in my head, just my own is enough! Eva and Addie have a relationship that is beyond anything we can understand and through their story we share their hopes, reservations, frustrations and their sadness. Zhang has done an amazing job in creating these characters, not just Eva and Addie but also with the other Hybrids we meet along the way.

Although the government are hunting down hybrids because they are considered dangerous we are never really told what these dangers are and I hope we are told more about this in book 2. I know other readers have been annoyed by his but it didn't bother me that much, it will just be nice to learn a little more.

This is a rather thought provoking start to a new series and I think Zhang is an author to keep an eye on!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Review ~ Seeking Crystal ~ Joss Stirling

Seeking Crystal (Benedict, #3)

Title: Seeking Crystal
Author: Joss Stirling
Series: Benedict
Published: October 2012
By: Oxford University Press

goodreads says:

Crystal Brook has always been the dud Savant in her family; paranormal powers just aren't her thing. Dropping out of school with a clutch of 'E' grades and no future, she lives in the shadow of her high-flying sister Diamond. On a trip to Denver, a chance encounter with the dashing Benedict brothers leaves Diamond head over heels in love and engaged to be married. Crystal, on the other hand, is unimpressed by their charms . . . in fact no boy can annoy her as much as Xav Benedict! Back in Venice, their families assemble for Diamond's wedding and a powerful enemy seizes the opportunity to attack. Crystal and Xav must join forces to save their loved-ones, unlocking a secret that, until now, has lain deeply buried...

Opening line: The night my life changed began with eating a truly amazing dessert: raspberry cheesecake with dark chocolate sauce.

Closing line: 'After just one more kiss'.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I LOVE this series!!! I was really worried that not all the brothers would get a chance at a book because Joss had mentioned in the past that she felt some of the brothers were a little too old for the YA market. But with Seeking Crystal Joss has done something very clever and given us 2 for 1! And she has also hinted there will be more from the Benedict brothers, woooo!!

We all know our by now that our Savant's have special gifts but Crystal seems to be lacking in that department and she becomes just a little ill with all the telepathy that is flying around between the other Savants and their Soulfinders. A chance encounter introduces Crystal and her sister Diamond to the Benedict brothers and Diamond is fortunate enough to discover one of the brothers is her soulfinder and plans are soon set into motion for a wedding.

I was really excited to see Xav get his book!! He is my favourite Benedict brother and I love the relationship he develops with Crystal. She can't stand him because he annoys her so much but the two soon develop a friendship which is exciting, funny and caring.

When an old enemy attacks in the most cunning of ways I thought all hope was lost and some of the scenes in Venice were truly heartbreaking! I was so shocked with the story line but it was just brilliant and Crystal really comes into her own and finally discovers the mind is a powerful thing.

If you haven't yet read this series please go and buy it!!!

5 stars because I love the world Joss has created with her Savants! This was another fantastic book in an all ready amazing series and I cant wait to read more!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Stacking The Shelves #20


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tyngs's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may they be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores 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 importantly we loving see what you add to your shelves. All the links added here will take you to Goodreads.
Bungle's Shelf
This week I was good yet again and I didn't buy any books!! Not even with my birthday money!! But I still got two books, one of which I am more than a little bit excited about!!! The first book I received this week was Far Rockaway by Charlie Fletcher which I hadn't heard of until I received it but it looks really good! And the second book I got this week is the exciting Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited to read this book!!!!!!
Sally's Shelf
I got two books this week both of which I've been waiting for for ages! The first I got was Promised, the final book in the Birthmarked trilogy by Caragh O'Brien. I've been a huge fan of this series since I received the first instalment for review. This dystopian series is really well written. If you haven't come across it so far I'd really recommend you give it a try. The second book I received was Whispers at Moonrise by C.C Hunter. Again this series seems to have gone under the radar somewhat which is such a shame. The books are wonderfully written and there's every kind of supernatural you could wish for in there somewhere, including some you may never have heard of before! Whispers at Moonrise is the fourth book in the Shadow Falls series, but the good news is I only have to wait until spring 2013 for closure. Phew!
So that's what we got this week, now we're off to make a brew and have a nosey at the books you all got! Happy reading everyone.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Stacking the shelves #19


Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tyngs's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may they be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores 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 importantly we loving see what you add to your shelves. All the links added here will take you to Goodreads.

Bungle's shelves

So, in this the week of her 30th birthday celebrations Bungle (who is I think waking up somewhere in a skip in Manchester) has managed to add three more books to her shelves.   She's been an extremely lucky tinker and has gotten her hands on a copy of the newly released Poison Princess by Kresley Cole.  I'm hearing really good things about this so I am more than a tad envious!  She also got two books by Keri Smith.  This is not a book and Mess - The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes look to be as promising as Wreck this Journal which Bungle had great fun with earlier in the year.

Sally's shelves

I tried to be good this week.  Really, I did.  I even took some books into work to place in the books for charity section that we have in our Starbucks.  I did this partly because I have no space left on my shelves but also because I have tonnes of books that I'll never read again. Let someone else enjoy them and raise worthwhile funds I said to myself. Make space on your shelves.  So I took around twenty or so books in and I came home with eleven!! A woohoo!  I managed to acquire the first ten books of The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine, how cool is that?! I've been meaning to start on this series for ages so I took the series being there to be a sign that I must own them.  Immediately.  I also bought Love Bites, one for the more mature reader by Lynsay Sands from the same charity stand. Can't get enough vampires me!  When I got home (the same day) I found Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan waiting for me on the doorstep! According to Cassandra Clare this book has the power to break your heart so I'm assuming readers of this book are in for a bumpy ride!

So keeping up the series theme the last books I got my hands on this week are two, three and four of the Need series by Carrie Jones. I thought Need was a really enjoyable read and I'm keen to see what happens to Zara and Nick next.

Anyhoo, that's enough of me ranting on - tell me, what have you been adding to your shelves this week?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Review ~ The Lost Prince ~ Julie Kagawa

Title: The Lost Prince

Author:  Julie Kagawa

Published:  October 30th 2012

By: Harlequin Teen

First line: My name is Ethan Chase.

Last line:  And for the first time I wasn’t afraid.

Fave line:  I have two :)

Many of us have disappeared. More vanish with every breath. And they are coming closer.

Then her fingers brushed my skin, cool and soft and my stomach turned into a pretzel.

Anyone who follows the blog will know what a huge fan I am of the Iron Fey series.  I absolutely adored the main characters and consider myself to be a fully fledged member of Team Ash! I was thrilled therefore, one to hear that there would be a new series linked to the nevernever and two, to get my hands on a preview copy of The Lost Prince.

In The Lost Prince we are transported forwards a few years and into the world of Ethan Chase, brother of the Iron Queen herself Meghan Chase.  Ethan is now seventeen years old and has not had an easy time of it.  He is considered by his friends and family to be a troubled teen. He brings disaster to each new school he attends, has no friends and is a self-appointed recluse and bad-boy. The trouble that follows him though is not of his own making. Ethan has the Sight and soon as the fey that reside around realise he can see them they go out of their way to cause trouble for him. And so his life continues in one long disastrous cycle much to his parent’s habitual disappointment.

When we join Ethan he is about to start at yet another new school.  He’s eager to keep himself to himself, to stay away from disaster and avoid the fey at all costs so that he and his family can start to build a new life somewhere.  Within days however, his old problems start resurfacing. He’s being harassed by the school jock who tries to make sure he steers clear of Kenzie, one of the school’s most popular girls. He has also managed to become friends with Todd, a half phouka who realises that Ethan has the Sight. Todd for his part is seeking protection from a world of trouble.  Things get worse when Ethan finds himself being warned to steer clear by the same ghostly breed of fey that are after Todd. All this and he can’t seem to shake of Kenzie no matter how much he tries to play the jerk.

As if that wasn’t bad enough Todd goes missing and it’s while he’s taking part in a Kali demonstration that Ethan and Kenzie come under attack from the new breed of fey. In order to escape Ethan takes himself and Kenzie into the nevernever where he hopes to contact Meghan, to warn her of the new fey and seek her help in looking for Todd.  Their mission takes them back to the iron kingdom where Ethan finds himself being dragged kicking and screaming back into the world of fey as he tries to rescue his friend.

Where to begin? I love the new characters! Ethan has really come into his own in this story.  I love that he goes all out to do the right thing even when his survival instinct tells him to steer clear and I love watching the walls that he has built up around himself slowly crumble.  His relationships with Kenzie and Todd define him in the end, much more so than the persona he has tried to create.  Kenzie was not someone I liked immediately, she seemed arrogant and nosy. However, as the story progresses her character develops nicely and I’d warmed to her considerably by the time I had finished the book. I loved Todd for all of his puppy-dog style clinginess. He had a loyalty and a vulnerability that I found completely endearing.  There are other major new characters that appear in this book and boy was I pleased to see them!  For those of you that know the Iron Fey series, you’ll know who I’m referring to as soon as you hit the right pages in The Lost Prince, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  For those that haven’t read the Iron Fey series I’d suggest you need to read that series before you tuck into this one.

Which brings me neatly on to Meghan, Puck and my beloved Ash (*sighs*).  All three are here and I think they bring a continuity to the new story which makes it all seem instantly familiar and comforting. That said, their part in this book is minimal.  I’m amazed that Kagawa has managed to take three such loved characters and make them secondary to the plot so well! I loved reading about all three again, but I was under no illusion.  This was Ethan’s story and I think including them so subtly was absolutely genius!  It was nice to see how their characters have changed (or not in some instances!) and there are a few surprises, such as Ethan’s intense dislike of Ash which threw me ten left!  How can anyone dislike Ash?! Seriously?!  One of the biggest returns for me was Grim who is more sarcastic than ever and I love him for it!

As for the ending, the finale is not quite so dramatic as other series. I like that there is some form of closure between stories even though there are plenty of threads that will weave into the next instalment I hope.   The relationship between Ethan and Kenzie looks as though it will be one that puts us through the emotional wringer and I’m looking forward to see where Kagawa takes Ethan next, especially now he’s a fully fledged prince!

5/5 I’m amazed at how well The Lost Prince flows so well from the last series.  Loved it, loved it, loved it! Next instalment now please!
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