Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (41)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine! It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

This week's find is...

The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze!

Happily ever after is a thing of the past.
The year is 2090.
England is a barren land. Food is rationed. Oil has decimated the oceans. The people are restless.
A ruthless revolutionary enacts a plan to destroy the royal family, and in a moment, the king is dead. His heiress, Princess Mary, and her brother, Jamie, have been abducted, and no one knows their fate. Princess Eliza Windsor barely escapes, and finds herself scared and lost in London's dangerous streets.
With a mind for revenge and the safe recovery of her siblings, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. There she is tempted by her first taste of independence -- and true love. Ultimately she must summon her courage and fight to ensure that she does not become... The Last Princess. (summary from Goodreads)

I came across this one a couple of days ago, immediately liked the cover, and then when I read that summary, I knew it was one to add to my must-read list! A dystopian with a Royal MC? Oh, yes please!

The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze is expected to be published 8 May 2012!

What do you think? Is The Last Princess on your TBR list? What title are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday! (37)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give away too much! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!


The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge

"I stared at him, feeling a chill when I realised that he'd once again managed to outmaneuver me, but then the magic of the hexenring took me and I was flying. I caught the brief, dreamlike flashes of the other places, dark and light places, bloody places and empty places, before I landed back in the same corridor of the Bone Sepulchre from which I'd left." p. 345-6.

That bloody Tremaine. One day Aoife will learn...hopefully. I love Kittredge's world, but boy, does Aoife frustrate me!! More so this book than the first!

What teaser have you shared this week?

Please note: The above quote is from the ARC and so may change.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Illuminated by Erica Orloff

An epic romance full of mysteries that transcend time—fans of Romeo and Juliet and The Time Traveler’s Wife will rejoice!

Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story—and hers—takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniab
le. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary—and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance—their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history? (summary from Goodreads)

Illuminated had a premise that won me over immediately, but unfortunately didn't hold up throughout the whole of the novel.

In the years since her mothers death, Calliope has had a strained relationship with her father, who is too busy with his work to give her much thought - except to ensure she gets the grades necessary to study Law. A loner, Calliope doesn't really have any friends and has never dated. Every year she looks forward to spending the summer with historian uncle, Harry, and his partner in New York, working as his assistant. This year, when an illuminated books is discovered as hiding the journal of a mysterious "A", Callie's life is changed. The search for answers leads her to August, who feels as connected to the journal's truths as Callie, and to the tragic tale of Heloise and Abelard. There's so much more to the connection between Callie and August, and Heloise and Abelard, then historic interest and only the discovery of A's identity will provide the answers Callie seeks.

The moment I saw that cover - still so beautiful! - and read that summary, Illuminated was a must read for me. Romance, history, a secret journal, mystery, the tragic love of Heloise and Abelard? It screamed my kind of book! So it saddens me that the book in fact didn't hold up to my expectations. Where I'd hoped for excitement and intrigue, Illuminated simply stalled. There was such potential to this narrative, but unfortunately it just didn't quite get there. I'm never sure how to quite word my disappointment with a book or write what is in essence a negative review. Describing how Illuminated essentially lacked is especially hard because saying that it was missing something, that 'umph' that makes a narrative a standout, isn't really much of an explanation. But that is what it came down to for me - though Illuminated had all of those elements I mentioned earlier as enticements, they never truly developed.

As characters, I mostly liked Calliope and August, however their romance was too much an insta-love for me to truly enjoy it - and some of their dialogue had me wincing, it was so sappy and overexaggerated. I also couldn't connect with them individually, as they floundered between being normal everyday teens and deep older souls, like Orloff couldn't quite decide herself, and so neither worked. Added to this, a lot of the initial build up of the story at the beginning also amounted to very little. The 'Tome Raider' comes to mind, an internationally wanted thief, who breaks into August's house early on and is posed as such a danger to Callie and August's search for answers, shadowing them in hopes of retrieving the illuminated book...but then never amounts to anything, never even making an appearance. In much the same way, I feel like Callie's relationship with her Dad was left unresolved. Sure, they had one meaningful conversation where Callie got the answers she wanted regarding her mother, but then she disobeyed him...and for me, the end left it up in the air, as if to say 'oh well, it'll get sorted'. I just couldn't help wanting a lot more from Illuminated.

The mythology of the story also struggles in this way. Now, the tale of Heloise and Abelard is what I liked best about Illuminated. It's all that kept me from giving up on finishing this book, to be honest, and only just, because it too felt thin to me. Like it was no more than an excuse to have Callie and August connect and fall instantly in love. Still, it was interesting to read about them. The notion that Heloise and Abelard's son, Astrolabe, is the writer of the journal guides Callie and August's journey, yet he is hardly mentioned until the end and that frustrated me. In many ways, it's like Orloff had certain ideas, began to write the story with those in mind, but then gave up and ended it as quickly as possible. Honestly, Illuminated left me reeling, unsatisfied. There was just still too much, from the romance to the mythology to Callie's relationship with her father, that felt too easy and thus unresolved.

I wish I could say I enjoyed Illuminated like I really hoped I would, but unfortunately this book just never developed in the way it possibly could have in order to be everything it promised.

Rating:

Publisher: Speak
Published date: 8 December 2011
Pages: 256
Format: Kindle edition

Cover Reveal: Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas

I have the pleasure of being part of the cover reveal for Stephanie Thomas's Luminosity today, with thanks to Entangled Publishing!


LUMINOSITY (Luminosity, #1) by Stephanie Thomas (September 11, 2012)

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.

Paperback Available for Pre-Order from Amazon
Add to your Goodreads TBR

What do you think? I love it and I'm very much looking forward to reading it, it sounds fantastic!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In My Mailbox! (37)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren. The aim is to share all of the bookish goodies you got during the week!

I'm very excited over my mailbox this week!!

Bought:

Everneath
by Brodi Ashton

Kindle:

Cloaked byAlex Flinn
Evernight by Claudia Gray
Oppression by Jessica Therrien

NetGalley:

Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar
The Academie by Susanne Dunlop

What bookish things did you get this week?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Giveaway: 200 Followers!!

Guys!! I've hit 200 followers!! Woohoo!! Thank you so much, to each and every one of you, for all of your support, I truly appreciate it! In honour of this momentous occasion, I'm hosting a giveaway!

Two (2) winners will each win $50 worth of books from The Book Depository!
  • You must be a follower of Baggins's Book Blabber
  • Open internationally to wherever The Book Depository ships
  • Ends 01 April
  • Winners will be notified and have 48 hours to respond

Good luck, and thanks again for following Baggins's Book Blabber!

23/03/12 EDIT: WOW! Over 370 followers!! This is so amazing! Thank you to each and every one of you! To celebrate I'm adding a 3rd winner of another $50 worth of books from TBD!!! If I reach 400 followers by the end of the giveaway, I'll add a 4th winner!! Good luck, and thank you again!

01/04/12 EDIT: Over 400 followers!!! Woohoo!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! As promised, a 4th winner will be randomly selected! Not long now!

To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Follow Me Friday! (29)


Follow Me Friday
is hosted by Parajunkee over at Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. This is a chance to get to know fellow book bloggers as well as follow their blogs. If you'd like to join in the fun, create your own Follow Me Friday post, then visit this week's Follow Friday posts (here and here) and sign the linky. Don't forget to also follow this week's featured bloggers!

Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most…

Oooh, a fun and easy one this week!! Well, there are two places you'd most likely find me reading:

At my desk...which is incredibly messy at the moment, thanks to uni starting back up next week and a zillion other things I'm trying to keep on track! More often than not you'll find me reading here with music playing through my computer...and a lot of that stuff currently cluttering my desk will be acting as a prop to keep my book up!!

Another place I read a lot is in my bed, which I find very comfy and could reasonably stay there day after day! I don't get into bed during the day or anything, but at night you'll find me reading for an hour or two before I go to sleep. Sometimes that's even the only time I get to read!

Do you have a favourite place to read?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon

Harper Madison isn't like other girls. She has extraordinary powers, but her inability to control them has gotten her kicked from so many foster homes she's lost count. Shadowford Home is her last chance, and she hopes Peachville High will be the fresh start she needs. But when evidence ties her to the gruesome murder of a Demons cheerleader, Harper discovers this small town has a big secret. (summary from Goodreads)

Beautiful Demons is an engrossing read that will not let you go until you turn the last page!


Ever since her adopted father was killed in a fire when she was 8, Harper has found herself bounced from one foster home to another - usually for violent behaviour. What nobody believes, though, is that Harper never does the things she's accused of. When Harper gets angry or scared, things just happen - lamps fly at people, fires start. Shadowford Hom
e is her last chance before the juvenile detention centre and Harper is determined to make it work. But everything is not what it seems, at Shadowford or Peachville High. When cheerleader Brooke Harris is brutally murdered, evidence points to Harper. But as quick as she's accused she's cleared and then finds herself a part of the popular crowd and trying out for the cheerleading squad, the Demons. Thing is, Harper can't quite remember how everything changes. Does she even want to? Whoever actually killed Brooke though may not give Harper the chance to find out.

I am not lying when I say that once I started Beautiful Demons I could not put it down. Even better? The story moves at such a fast-pace that you'll reach the end before you know it, and like me, be eager to move on to the next book in the series! Cannon jumps right into Harper's story and it's a whirlwind of action, secrets, and mystery from that point on.

The paranormal elements of Beautiful Demons aren't quite something I've encountered before, and I must say that part of it is beacuse Beautiful Demons only just scratches the surface of what's going on in Peachville and with it's cheerleaders. There are as yet a lot of unanswered questions, but the hints Cannon gives - wow, are they enticing! Hidden rooms, powerful women, mysterious spells, future predicting boys, demons and witches...there's so much still to discover and I can't wait!


Harper is a fighter and I really connected with her spirit. For someone who has been through so much and experienced unexplained events, she's still very vulnerable and such a normal teen girl, wanting to make friends and nervous about starting a new school. I'm hoping more of her fighting and curious nature shines through as the series continues so that answers to the many questions I have are revealed! I don't doubt Harper is in for quite the journey, finding herself at the centre of some serious supernatural goings on. I also really, really hope shw wakes up and connects with Jackson more...definite YUM factor there!

Beautiful Demons has it all - murder, magic, romance, and a female character shaping up to be seriously kick ass! It's a gripping introduction to what is sure to be a great series.


Rating:


Publisher: Dead River Books
Published date: 29 October 2010
Format: Kindle edition

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (40)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine! It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

This week's most anticipated is...

The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell!

Heartbroken over the tragic death of her fiancĂ©, seventeen-year-old Zora Stewart leaves Baltimore for the frontier town of West Glory, Oklahoma, to help her young widowed aunt keep her homestead going. There she discovers that she possesses the astonishing ability to sense water under the parched earth. When her aunt hires her out as a“springsweet” to advise other settlers where to dig their wells, Zora feels the burden of holding the key to something so essential to survival in this unforgiving land. Even more, she finds herself longing for love the way the prairie thirsts for water. Maybe, in the wildness of the territories, Zora can finally move beyond simply surviving and start living. (summary from Goodreads)

I know this one is old news, as it were, but I only just read The Vespertine last week and I really enjoyed it! I can't wait for this one because I truly liked Zora and need to know she gets her happy ending...plus I'm hoping there's a hint of where & how Amelia and Nathaniel ended up!

Saundra Mitchell's The Springsweet is due to be released 17 April 2012.

What is with all of these books coming out April? I'm going to be broke I tell you!! What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday! (7)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme started over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they have a specific topic for a top ten list. Link up, visit some new blogs and add to your ever growing TBR list. This week's topic is:

Top Ten Books (or Series) You'd Save in the Event of a Disaster
Just so you know, I totally added the 'series' part because I simply cannot choose a favourite from some of them!!

1. Harry Potter - Yep, this is why I edited to include 'series'. I could never leave one behind...and including all seven on this list individually wouldn't make it a lot of fun!

2. The Day After Forever by Erin Skiffington - My favourite book growing up. I haven't read it in years, but I couldn't leave without it.

3. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - I've only read this the once so far, but this is the book I think everyone needs to read at least once...so of course it must be saved!

4. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - The impact this story had on me, it has to be on this list.

5. Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden - Another series! These got me back into reading during high school...they were my Harry Potter when I was a teen, waiting desperately every year for a new one to be released!

6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I just have a lot of love for this series, and it got me into a whole new genre.

7. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya - My favourite manga series...there's 24 of these beauties, but all packed in a box ready to go! I could never leave them behind...Kyo is my favourite fictional boyfriend (that's the red head...or orange haired...btw).

8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - My favourite classic. It's stayed with me despite not having read it since high school!

9. The Complete Jane Austen Collection - This is actually one quite large book, so it's ok. Jane Austen created some of my all time favourite romances...it could never be left to burn, or drown, or mauled by zombies...or whatever.

10. Nicholas Sparks - I can't pick one! I've been trying...but it isn't happening. So.

Do you have a book...or two or three or seven or so on...that you could never leave behind if disaster struck?

Teaser Tuesday! (36)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give away too much! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!

Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

"Something passed before his eyes that I had only seen once before—on the videos of the first chosen one killing the prisoners of war. Any sense of humanity that existed in him had slipped away." p. 195

I am so hooked on this book right now. I both love it and hate it...it's seriously playing with some of my emotions, and I can't wait to find out how everything turns out!

What teaser have you shared this week?

Note: The above quote is from an ARC and so may change.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “frie
nd” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It s
ounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again. (summary from Goodreads)

A fast-paced narrative, Slide is an original debut novel full of mystery with a small touch of paranormal.

To everyone around her, Vee suffers from narcolepsy. In actuality, when Vee passes out, she 'slides' into the consciousness of another person, seeing what they see, experiencing what they do. All it takes is contact with something another person has impacted on emotionally - a bracelet braided as a token for a best friend, a tshirt bought for a crush, a page torn from a calendar as a threat. No matter how Vee avoids contact or sleep, however, she can't stop sliding - and every slide reveals more secrets about those around her. When Vee slides into a killer standing over the body of her sisters friend, her world changes. Everyone thinks Sophie committed suicide, but Vee knows the truth. A killer is still out there and whoever they are, they plan to strike again. As secrets pile up, Vee doesn't know who to turn to - her father who receives mysterious calls and has hidden files? The new boy, Zane, who Vee can't help but be drawn to? Her best friend, Rollins, who never lets her visit his house and avoids her the closer she gets to Zane? Everyone has a secret...but who is willing to kill over theirs?

I was thoroughly intrigued by the summary of Slide and in some ways it's more than I expected and in others not quite so much. Hathaway has created a unique concept with Vee and her 'sliding' and it's this that immediately caught my attention. It adds just that little bit of the supernatural to the contemporary mystery that Slide mostly is. The wonder for me is that Vee's sliding really just is - there's no apparent cause or explanation, despite some questioning of whether it's genetic and possibly passed along from her mother. The air of "it just is" surrounding Vee's gift - or curse, depe
nding on your standpoint - allowed it to seem not really otherworldly or extraordinary at all. The who, what, where, when, how of Vee's ability certainly isn't the focus of the story and for the most part I enjoyed that aspect. I can't help but wish some questions regarding it were answered, however. It felt to me at times that Hathaway was leading us to believe it was passed from her mother and that her father possibly knew more then he let on...but such ideas went nowhere, and so I was left somewhat floundering for more. Unfortunately, it's this feeling that resonates after finishing Slide.

I really did find Slide an enjoyable read, but turning that last page I couldn't help but feel something was missing. Hathaway wraps up the mystery of Sophie's killer completely, and while I'm glad of that, it felt too clean and too quick for me to be 100% satisfied. Early on the mystery kept me on the edge of the seat - Vee's sliding into the killer was seriously creepy! - but as clues began to be revealed the truth became blatantly obvious, to the point that it was only Vee's finally discovering the truth and the confrontation that would bring that peaked my anticipation. I was intrigued by the killer's identity and motivation, sure, but I suppose I was just expecting a bigger climax when the truth came to light. There simply wasn't quite the confrontation I was hoping for - or any at all, for that matter, and so for me, the ending of Slide fell flat. There was such a build up and where I was eagerly awaiting an explosion the story instead fizzled.

Slide's strengths lay in Hathaway's characters
and the relationships between Vee and those around her. It is these that increase the tension of the book and had me wanting to discover all of the truths. Hathaway ensures that despite any unusual circumstances, you will connect with Vee. Her being unable to reveal her secret but being privy to so many else's is a weight that readers really feel. Especially as it also allows for an insight into secondary characters we may not have had otherwise. Every 'slide' added another layer of intensity to Vee's story, laying bare Hathaway's character's struggles and motivations in vivid and emotional ways, which also reverberated through their relationships with Vee. Practically every character and relationship throughout Slide is just that bit more complex then it initially appears to be and very much flawed. They're real. I adored so much of the emotion Hathaway brings to them. The struggle of connection between Vee's father and his daughters, as well as the fragile but burgeoning strength of Vee's relationship with her sister, Mattie. The attraction between Vee and Zane that sizzles at times, full of all of the awkwardness and hope of first love. The quirky yet solid friendship between Vee and Rollins was my most favourite of Slide, their simple but impactful miscommunication causing my heart to hollow out. There's such life to these characters and it was this that made Slide for me where the mystery and climax of the story didn't quite hold up.

While Slide didn't quite reach it's potential in all ways for me, it has characters and emotions that shine. If this sounds like a read you'd be interested in c
hecking out, I'd certainly recommend you at least give it a go.

Rating:


Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Published date: 1 March 2012
Pages: 336
Format: e-Galley

Many thanks to HarperCollins Australia and NetGalley!

Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge;

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox! (36)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren. The aim is to share all of the bookish goodies you got during the week!

This is actually two weeks worth, and I love every bit of it! Yay for more winnings!!

LinkBought:

Pure by Julianna Baggott
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Heaven by Christoph Marzi
A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton
Fated by Sarah Alderson

Review:

Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt - with thanks to Entangled Publishing!

Won:

Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn (signed ARC & bookmark) - with thanks to Diana and the YAmazing Race!

Pretty Crooked care package from Willa Fox - with thanks to Elisa Ludwig and the YAmazing Race!
Includes: bookmark, key ring/bag charm, hand wipes, stickers, lip balm, & secret letter!

Swag:

Croak bookmark and signed bookplate - with thanks to Gina Damico!

So very happy with my mailbox this week! How about you?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Follow Me Friday! (28) - Again, on a Saturday!


Follow Me Friday
is hosted by Parajunkee over at Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. This is a chance to get to know fellow book bloggers as well as follow their blogs. If you'd like to join in the fun, create your own Follow Me Friday post, then visit this week's Follow Friday posts (here and here) and sign the linky. Don't forget to also follow this week's featured bloggers!

Q: BeefcakeandBabes Asks: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What’s the most unique character name you’ve come across?

Can I just say, YAY for an easy question? Ha! Seriously, I like this one as I agree...I love some of the more unique character names I come across in books. I've always liked Arwen from the Lord of the Rings series, and Harry Potter has a few choice names. A stand out name for me at the moment is from Caitlin Kittredge's The Iron Thorn that I just finished reading...her main character is named Aoife...which in all honesty I had no idea how to pronounce when I first started reading. According to Google, it is an Irish name and is pronounced EE-FAH. I love the look and sound of it.

Part of me wishes I could have a heap of pets just so I can name them all interesting names! I much prefer unique names, that's for sure. It took me 6 months to name my dog though...thankfully I started thinking of names before I actually bought him, so he wasn't unnamed for any period of time. He was Finnigan from the moment he was born! Not an entirely unique name...but that is mostly because my father and I had to agree on one and we definitely don't have the same tastes!! He wanted to name him Chalky...um, no. But then, I wanted to name him Apollo, Ianto or Draco for a time. I usually steal names from TV/movies or books...as you might have been able to tell. Any of them were better then my Mum's choice - Casper!! Big no. Finnigan came about from a mix of my Dad liking Finbar (another NO!), but both of us liking Finn for short...and then Finnigan occured to me with thanks to J.K. Rowling and Seamus Finnigan. I was happy to have him named after a Harry Potter character at least!! I also spent a lot of time searching Scottish names (he is a Westie after all) and trying to find something with meaning...Finnigan is Irish though, but means 'fair', so there you have it!

Right. Now that I'm done rambling!! What are some unique names you've come across in books?

**********

I just want to take a moment, again, and apologise for another week of silence here on my blog. My internet went kaplooey. It did leave me some time for reading and trying to catch up on things...namely writing reviews...though I found myself in a bit of a funk and so I marathoned the latest 9 episodes of Supernatural to catch up on this season. Big mistake! Holy emotional rollercoaster, Batman! That put me in an even bigger funk for the next 3 days, so not as much accomplished as I'd hoped!! *shakes fists at Sam & Dean* But the net is up and running...well, for the most part, still some drop out issues here and there...but things should get back to normal here again. I have got a fair amount of reading done lately, so a heap of reviews to come!! Thanks for sticking with me!

Review: The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad's consulting job means she's grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she's learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place--possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home.

But in the year since her brother Oren's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire"--a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get the murder out of her mind.

As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues," with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined--a world, she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death. (summary from Goodreads)

Ellison’s The Butterfly Clues is a thoroughly compulsive read that you will not be able to put down!

Penelope Marin lives her life by certain rituals. Her room must be exactly so, her food portioned just right, and she’s only safe when she counts out certain numbers. She also steals whenever the ‘urge’ overcomes her…an urge she’s felt ever since the death of her brother, Oren, a year earlier. One night while wondering the streets of Neverland, a shadier part of her city, in search of her next theft, Lo is almost killed by a stray bullet shot from inside the house she’s hiding behind. She doesn’t stick around to discover what happened. When
Lo later learns that a young dancer named Sapphire was killed within the house by that shot however, Lo is taken over by the urge to discover the identity of the murderer. Finding Sapphire’s jewelry for sale at a flea market, Lo becomes even more compelled to learn the truth. Together with Flynt, a boy she meets on the streets of Neverland, Lo begins to piece together the clues of Sapphire’s life. But is Flynt who is says he is? Can he be trusted? With every step closer to the murderer, Lo finds herself in more danger. The killer knows who she is and what she’s doing…and if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next victim. But the urge to find out the truth drives Lo…as does the grief over her brother’s death, an overdose right there within the streets of Neverland. Will Lo survive to learn the truth?

I don’t use the word ‘compulsive’ to describe The Butterfly Clues lightly. With an MC that suffers from an almost debilitating obsessive compulsive di
sorder, such a description could never be light, but it is without doubt the best word I can think of to truly highlight how gripping this book is. Ellison’s writing is phenomenal. Every single word is a hook that will sink under your skin and keep a hold of you, right to the very last page. There is no turning your back on Penelope Marin once you begin reading her story and I guarantee she will remain with you forever. Every moment of this book, it’s mystery, it’s romance, it’s characters, builds in intensity to a heart-pounding climax that will knock the breath right out of you.

I cannot get over how well Ellison has portrayed Lo and her ‘urges’. I’ve never read a book with an OCD character before, but I could never have imagined that it was possible to bring the nature of such a disorder to the forefront of a story in a way that allowed readers to truly experience the actual compulsiveness of it. Yet that is what has Ellison has succeeded in doing. The descriptions of Lo’s rituals throughout the entirety of the novel, from her need to steal, to her tap, tap, tap, banana as she crosses thresholds, to her
counting and her need to have things in threes, are nerve-racking and compelling. They resonate in such a way that you can’t help but connect with Lo and her plight. I truly feel for Lo, who is such a great and real character. Every one of her emotions hits you. As the need to solve Sapphire’s murder becomes stronger, the situation more dangerous, and Lo’s urges much more intense and prominent, the narrative becomes overwhelming, in the best possible way. You are no innocent bystander but an active participant in this story, that’s how well Ellison grabs and keeps your attention.

Lo’s OCD, while a major part of her and the story, is definitely not all there is to The Butterfly Clues. Another is that of Flynt and his developing romance with Lo…or as he calls her, Queen P. I got caught up in so much of the novel, the romance aspect included. Flynt, in his ever present bear ears hat, will win readers over immediately – he certainly did me! I adored his spirit and how he honestly understood Lo and accepted her rituals as simply
a part of her. When she was pat on the shoulder just once by another but needed it to be three times and without thought he reached up and did so twice more? I melted, people. Right there into a puddle of goo. The thing is though; Flynt is as much a mystery as Sapphire and her murder, another Lo wishes to solve, and as the book progresses I found myself torn between adoring him and wanting the romance to develop, and fearing that he’d turn out to be the killer. I about screamed wanting to know if I could trust him or not…and Ellison makes sure readers don’t get comfortable, let me tell you.

It’s much the same with the mystery and intrigue of The Butterfly Clues. The danger Lo finds herself in as she searches for Sapphire’s killer and the threats she receives made my skin crawl. It’s a fast-paced story, but Ellison keeps you guessing until the end. The way everything came together had my jaw dropping, with so many twists and turns that in actuality interconnect. I only just pieced together the mystery before Lo herself discovers the truth, and rather than it being predictable, doing so allowed me to realise and thus panic as Lo blindly barrels head first into danger. The tension Ellison creates as she weaves her story is mind blowing. This is one book I’ll never forget, it is just that good.

There are no punches pulled throughout The Butterfly Clues. Ellison’s debut is phenomenal, a novel fraught with mystery, danger, tension and emotion, and one not to be missed.

Rating:

Publisher: EgmontUSA
Published date: 14 February 2012
Pages: 336
Format: eGalley from NetGalley

Many thanks to EgmontUSA and NetGalley!

Challenges: 2012 Debut Author Challenge;

Friday, February 10, 2012

Follow Me Friday! (27)


Follow Me Friday
is hosted by Parajunkee over at Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. This is a chance to get to know fellow book bloggers as well as follow their blogs. If you'd like to join in the fun, create your own Follow Me Friday post, then visit this week's Follow Friday posts (here and here) and sign the linky. Don't forget to also follow this week's featured bloggers!

Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?

What a dreadful question! Too hard! Too hard!! Right away I thought I'd definitely read my favourite book over and over...though I don't actually have just one...can it be a series? I'd choose Harry Potter for sure...but I digress. So yes, I thought I'd go for a favourite...but the 'until you got sick of it' part puts me off. I'd hate to get sick of a favourite book! I'd like to think I couldn't, but if I had only it to read...well. But honestly 100s of mediocre books does not sound like fun and I don't think I could handle that...it'd probably put me off reading forever! So I guess, if I have to choose one, then I'd choose to read a favourite book...or books, which would be so much better!

What would your choice be?

The Hunger Games Movie News: Capitol Ads

You know, I believe I thought I'd seen it all, but Lionsgate and Co surprise me again! This time they've released Capitol Ads, featuring Cinna, Seneca Crane, and Caeser Flickerman advertising certain products...I'm just going to let you stare in amazement for yourself...






I kinda can't tear my gaze away...

So what do you think? Awesome? Too much? Personally, I still love it. I think it's fantastic the lengths they're going to!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2012 Dystopian Reading Challenge


I've been thinking recently about how I need to catch up on all of the dystopian YA out now and then found this reading challenge...so of course, I just had to sign up! All info copied from Dark Faerie Tales, so be sure to check out that post for even more information.

The Challenge

Timeline: January 1, 2012 until December 31, 2012

Goal: Contagion — to read at least 12 dystopian novels in 2012 - I might aim for more, but I'm going to start easy for now!

Reading Levels:

1. Propaganda – Choose 6 books to read

2. Contagion – Choose 12 books to read

3. Oppressed – Choose 18 books to read

4. Liberated – Choose 24 books to read

5. Totalitarian – Choose 30+ books to read

General Rules:

  • The reading challenge is open to everyone.
  • You don’t need a blog to participate.
  • If you don’t have a blog – you can leave a comment with your book selection in this post.
  • If you don’t have a blog and would like to write a review – you are welcome to do a guest review on this blog.
  • You can join at anytime to participate in this challenge.
  • If you are going to participate in this challenge, please post about it on your blog and add a link back to this post.
  • You can grab the challenge button on the sidebar to use on your blog.
  • eBooks, audio, and already read all count.
  • The Selection List will be continuously updated
  • Please sign-up using Mr. Linky – be sure to use the direct link to your post so that people will be able to find this challenge.

SIGN UP HERE!

I'll add to this list as I read and review, but for now, these are the titles I hope to read.

1. Starters by Lissa Price
2. Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt
3. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
5. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
6. Eve by Anna Carey
7. Article 5 by Kristin Simmons
8. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
9. Fever by Lauren DeStefano
10. The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
11. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
12. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Well, actually there's a few more even now that I can think of, so I might update my reading level real soon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine! It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

I can't wait to read...

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater!

Filled with mystery, romance, and the supernatural, The Raven Boys introduces readers to Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey, III and Blue Sargent. Gansey has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on the hunt to find Glendower, a vanished Welsh king. Legend has it that the first person to find him will be granted a wish—either by seeing him open his eyes, or by cutting out his heart.

Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there—known as Raven Boys—can only mean trouble. When Gansey and his Raven Boy friends come into her life, Blue realizes how true this is. She never thought her fortune would be a problem. But she was wrong. (summary from Goodreads)

I have been looking forward to finding out what Maggie's MagicalNovel is all about ever since she first started to mention it months ago...and I'm not disappointed! Oh, that cover! The first of four books, I don't doubt that this series will be another Maggie Masterpiece that I absolutely adore!!

Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys is set to be released 18 September 2012!

Are you looking forward to this one? What other book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesday! (35)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give away too much! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!


Illuminated by Erica Orloff

"That night, I dreamed of Heloise.
She was young - my age - but already a nun, dressed in a white habit, and sitting at a plain wooden desk beneath a small window composing a letter." p. 190

I'm mere chapters away from finishing this one. Unfortunately it hasn't been everything I thought it would be but I'm intrigued enough by the mystery and mythology that I've pushed through in order to finish it.

What teaser have you shared?

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie News: New stills and trailer

With each passing day in the lead up to the 23rd of March and the release of The Hunger Games, we are provided with more and more awesome tidbits related to the movie, and I'm not sure about you, but I don't know if I can handle being any more excited for this movie...I might explode!

Relased in the last couple of weeks have been some new stills from the movie, including one of Cinna and Katniss, and another of Katniss with Effie and Haymitch.

Also released is the brand new trailer, which shows Katniss, Peeta and Flickerman during their interviews, glimpses of Cato in action during training, and Cinna and Katniss before the Games begin.


The emotion still packs a punch, and I love the trailer even after re-watching it numerous times!

Lastly, check out Cinna! This cool animation was released recently to promote the coming release of the second issue of Capitol Couture!

Photobucket