Saturday, February 20, 2010

Steph Bowe's Will Grayson Will Grayson Giveaway

Win a copy of John Green and David Levithan's Will Grayson, Will Grayson over at Steph Bowe's Hey! Teenager of the Year

The contest is open internationally and closes February 28th.

I've heard great things about this book, it is most definitely on my must read list!!

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The GIANT LINGER Giveaway!

Linger Cover LargeIn Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.  Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.  And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.

Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th. Pre-order here.

Enter to win an advanced review copies of LINGER, Sisters Red, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Replacement on Maggie's blog

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dark Faerie Tales Valentine's Day Book Massacre Giveaway

Dark Faerie Tales is holding a fantastic giveaway! All you have to do is answer the following question:

Who are your top 3 romantic couples or what's your favourite love story, and why?

You can win the chance to pick some books from an amazing list. There's The Iron King, Bleeding Violet, The Secret Year, The Dark Divine, Incarceron, and so, so much more! Don't miss out!

Check out the Valentine's Day Book Massacre Giveaway now!

The giveaway is open to EVERYONE, and closes Sunday 21st February 11.59pm EST USA time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

"Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires - the ones who never die.

The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.

After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking Academy hearts.

Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir's - inside the Academy's iron gates, their world is even more fraught with danger. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals, and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever..."

Confession time: I am a Twilight fan. But not like anything you imagine when you read that. I've read the series once and have no plans to again. I enjoy the movies. I have a t-shirt. I attended a con. That's about as far as it goes nowadays. I'm a little over it all. Vampire books are the thing at the moment, and I do like them. But I freely admit that it's taken me forever to get to Vampire Academy for that reason. Which I realise is somewhat hypocritical of me, considering I don't like "it reminds me of Twilight" comparisons, as if Twilight was the first of it's kind and any sort of paranormal slightly forbidden desperately in love romances now stem from it alone (For me, only the sparkle seems truly new! ;-) But anyway, I digress. So, I've put off reading Vampire Academy but some teen girls from my library have kept telling me that I'd like it, so finally I gave it a go. And I am glad I did.

I enjoyed this book. It's not a favourite, but I found it an easy read, and I like Mead's characters. Rose is kick ass and loyal, walking a dangerous path with such dedication, but still very much a seventeen year old, that I can't help but like her. Sometimes she was a little too seventeen year old for me - I found it frustrating here and there, but then I think I'm just getting on in age, as it were! Lissa wasn't everything I was expecting, but I truly like her - and Christian! I hope I see more of him in the rest of the books! I like Lissa's vulnerabilities, they contrast well with Rose, especially in terms of their roles in their world. I adore their friendship and bond. It is an element I very much look forward to reading more of. And Dimitri. Yes, Dimitri. Those "God" descriptions are very fitting, and I'm so cut that I can't be a Dhampir training with him as my mentor. Oh, life. Rose and Dimitri sizzle and it is so much fun to read! I may like a couple, but I don't always really feel it - I am so feeling Rose and Dimitri. Sadly, I vaguely remember one of the same girls from work telling me a little too much, so I think I'm spoiled, which I just know is going to annoy me.

I am a little disappointed with the overall plot of the book. Unfortunately, I predicted early on who the 'bad guy' was. I also feel let down in regards to the back cover description, as above. I find it misleading. I wonder if it's saying more about the series as a whole, rather than just this installment? I don't want to spoil the story, so I can't go into much detail to explain it. But if you've read the book, maybe you understand? I think it certainly gives you the expectation of a much darker world than Vampire Academy provides.

I am fascinated by the Strigoi, and I have a feeling there is so much more to the story there. This book didn't really get into them as much as I would've liked. Me thinks all is not what it seems. I'm desperate for more, so I have just begun reading Frostbite, the second book in the series. I'm eager to delve into it but every time I pick it up I've been interrupted, so I'm obviously going to have to lock myself away with it!


As for the cover, I'm not really feeling it. I see Angelina Jolie! I know there are new covers now though, but I haven't had a good look.


So as the subject says, I've been tinkering, only a little, with my blog. I have a rating system, with cute little owls! I don't really know why I've decided to go with owls, except that they're cute. I was thinking little cartoon hobbits as a rating system, but just couldn't find the right picture. So owls it is!

Now to actually start reviewing and updating more regularly. I promise it's not that I'm slack (which I certainly can be!), but so far 2010 has just been crazy hectic. I'm acting manager at my library this year, and it's like I've not stepped into another role but taken on an extra role. I am enjoying it, however, and I'm determined to maintain the extra hours so I can keep teen activities and our anime club, etc, running. But add in study and my own personal pursuits (I will never ever ever give up reading!), it's somewhat exhausting. I do so look forward to really getting this blog up and running though. I've taken to carrying around a note book that I jot notes about the books I've been reading in when I have a spare also has owls. Which is so obviously a sign. I will get there, I know it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

"Some angels are destined to fall.

Instant. Intense. Weirdly familiar...The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows she has never felt like this before. Except she can't shake the feeling that she has...and with him - a boy she doesn't remember ever setting eyes on.

Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her - or destroy her?"

Luce has seen the shadows all her life, but they've always just been there, hovering...until they attack a boy from her class. Or did they? Luce has no memory of the events that killed Trevor, but as the only person there at the time she's the only suspect. So she's sent to Sword & Cross, a reform school. A place she meets interesting people, and where strange things are occuring.

I could not stop reading Fallen...I stayed up reading it in bed until past 1am to finish it. I did like it...but I just don't know if I can properly articulate why...

Usually it's the characters that grab me, but Fallen had no stand outs for me. Yes, I found Arianne somewhat amusing, and both Daniel and Cam intrigued me, to a point, but Luce had no lasting effect on me. I don't love her or hate her, she just is. I feel this way about all of Kate's characters - that they're not fully developed yet; to me they're still just a little one dimensional. Which of course could just be the fact that it's book one of a series...

Much of the beginning of the book is the same...Luce questioning her sanity, Daniel's motives, Cam's motives, her wavering between the two of them, etc, and it really isn't until towards the end that some major action occurs. This is part of the problem, because it seems a little forced - same, same, same and then BAM revelation (a couple of revelations, actually) then BAM the end. Like the characters, I don't think it developed as much as it possibly could have. Parts of it, especially Daniel and Luce, also just felt a little too easy - which I find is sometimes the case with paranormal romances, that because there's that supernatural element, that's enough explanation and it can just be. Or maybe it's just that it's love! Whatever the reason, I was left wanting more. Unfortunately, the wanting isn't quite the good kind where I need the next's more that I feel let down.

The one great thing Fallen has going for it is that I honestly couldn't predict what was coming, and the twists threw me. I think this is why I simply could. not. put. it. down. I was desperate to find out the answers. What are the shadows? What part do Luce's fellow Sword & Cross residents ultimately play? Who is the good guy - Daniel or Cam? Who is the bad guy?! I certainly got some answers - some of which, as I've said, I really truly did not see coming! - but there are still more that I'm waiting for. It is this that will have me reading the second book in the series when it is released, but I know that it's really going to have to have something to keep me reading the rest of the series. I guess I'll just have to wait and see!

Overall, I did like Lauren Kate's Fallen, but it left me feeling a little put out. I give it 3 out of 5, for the suspense being just enough to keep me turning the pages.

The cover, however, I give 5 out of 5. I fell in love with this cover instantly, it is stunning!