Wednesday, 30 January 2013

While It Lasts by Abbi Glines

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: 6th October 2012
Pages: 304
Format: ebook
Cage brings his playboy prowess to the countryside as the Sea Breeze hookups continue, from self-published phenomenon Abbi Glines. Low broke Cage’s heart by getting with Marcus in Because of Low. Cage went into a tailspin that ended in a DUI. In order to salvage his baseball scholarship—the one thing he truly valued besides Low—Cage must take a summer job. At a farm. Away from Sea Breeze. With lots of cows, but no hot girls. Maybe that’s what Cage needs to get back on track.
But wait—there’s that hostile daughter of the farm boss. She’s pretty and occasionally sweet, and there seems to be a lot of sadness and mystery behind her anger. Cage is dying to strip her down—physically and mentally—in the back of the barn. But is he prepared for what will happen afterward?

This is my first Abbi Glines book, even though this is the third in this series, and I loved it! Eva has lost her fiancée in the war a year and a half ago and is having trouble moving on with her life. Enter Cage, a bad boy who got caught, a player who doesn't know any better and a gorgeous guy who definitely knows it! Both Eva and Cage were incredible characters, but Cage really impressed me in how he had layers; too often the bad boy image is never lost but Cage developed in himself and in his respect for women. Eva was equally fantastic, just in how touching her story was and even though she was broken, she refused to let it affect her family and her friendship with Cage.

Initially was not sure about the whole romance of the story, after all, her fiancée has died! But Glines grew the relationship slowly, giving both Eva and the reader to warm up to the idea of a new man in her life. The way Cage and Eva grew closer was sweet and touching but at the same time, funny and sexy. It was a really good build up of relationship, because after the lose of Josh, Eva isn't ready to open her heart to anyone new and Cage is the most unlikely of candidates anyway!

I loved this love story, with all its anger and hurt and funny one-liners, Cage and Eva growing into proper adults and Glines dealing with a rather sensitive issue of moving on after death. Very well done, especially adding in some rather well-written sex scenes!

This counted towards my genre variety and ebook challenges.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Giveaway winner!

Yes, it's that time! Congrats, the winner is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An email has been sent, and I will send you your choice of book as soon as! Congrats again, and thank you for all the entries and comments, it's been a great year and I can't wait for more to come!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Two Weeks Notice by Rachel Caine

Publisher: Alison and Busby
Published: 24th September 2012
Pages: 384
Making a living can be rough if you're already dead. After dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife - with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene's life-altering discovery, no matter the cost. Thankfully, some things have changed for the better; her job at the rechristened Davis Funeral Home is keeping her busy and her fragile romance with Patrick McCallister is blossoming - thanks in part to their combined efforts in forming a support group for Returne addicts. But when some of the group members suddenly disappear, Bryn wonders if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground...

There are so many great and fantastic things I could say about this book
- on the first book, I wrote about how much I admired Bryn. In this one, that love has not wavered: she was just as brilliant and vulnerable. Plus this time, she's managed to get Pat to actually commit, who is such a sweetheart I forget he and Joe are supposed to be hulking ex-military guys!

This whole story is simply ingenious, and much darker and I think better than the first one. Caine gets major props for thinking up such a horrible and yet entirely possible invention, characters that are vile and test your view on humanity, plus such gross details: who knew a spoon could be so dangerous?

There were so many little twists, pages of action that left me breathless and grossness that made me squirm. Considering how much I hate needles, I'm surprised I didn't just drop the book every time Bryn needed her life support injection! Plus there are bad guys pretending to be good, good guys that get hurt and more surprisingly  bad guys that have their moment to be good. Bryn has to investigate Pharmadene’s contacts and nearly gets blown up. Oh, and Manny Glickman is back! Didn't realise he was also in the Red Letters series, which I highly recommend. 

Finally, I have to say the last 50 or so pages? I almost screamed and I was on the edge of my seat, practically bouncing with the need to know what happened! But God, what a twist! Just like Bryn, I was speechless and felt betrayed: God's sake Pat, what the hell is wrong with you?! I have no idea how they're going to get their way out of this one. If you thought the life injections were bad, then the self-harvesting nanites with a taste for human flesh? *shudders*

This counted towards my Genre Variety reading challenge: urban fantasy

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Ebook Reading Challenge

I've found another reading challenge! This one is an ebook challenge, to read as many ebook as you can this year. As I'm beginning my love affair with my kindle, I thought this would be perfect! Check out the guidelines below:
Challenge Guidelines:
  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 – Dec 31, 2013.
  2. Anyone can join, you don’t need to be a blogger. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).
  3. Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.
  4. You can plan your books in advance or as you read them.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book Reading Challenge.
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  1. Floppy disk – 5 ebooks
  2. CD – 10 ebooks
  3. DVD – 25 ebooks
  4. Memory stick – 50 ebooks
  5. Hard drive – 75 ebooks
  6. Server – 100 ebooks
  7. Human brain – 150 ebooks
I think I'm going to attempt the CD level, but I'm feeling confident that I could move up to DVD level with 25 books. You can still sign up here

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

My Loves Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: 1st January 2010
Pages: 248
The Drakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.

I love vampire stories. You'd have thought I would have had enough by now, but no. Still love them. And this one did not disappoint: with complicated vampire mythology, which is always impressive to read something different, even if it was a little confusing at first! Not to mention keeping track of Solange's seven brothers!

Solange is the first girl in this vampire family for decades and it is destined that a female Drake would take over the vampire crown. Although a little confusing, the whole thing about a prophecy and different kinds of vampires depending on how cruel their maker was and young vampire's being born rather than made; love it all. Although I did feel that detailed bits were squashed into small sections and often left me confused. But bearing in mind there was a lot of action to deal with, what with Solange's creepy stalkers because of her vampire-pheromones, then I understand that a lot of information was needed for groundwork of a series.

The story was split into two narratives between the best friends Lucy and Solange. I liked both girls, they were typical teenage girls, you know apart from the whole vampire and threat of death stuff. I especially loved Lucy's quips, I laughed out loud several times from her sheer awesomeness. Lucy and Solange might be brilliant but the interactions between the girls and boys were pure awesome, especially Lucy and Nicholas.

As for the romance, Lucy and Nicholas' chemistry was sparking off the page, unfortunately unlike Solange and Keiran's. I thought it happened too quickly, without much explanation or even real interactions but still sweet.

All in all, a really fun and sweet new twist of vampire legends, with family and human hunters, not to mention extremely hot vampire guys and Victorian costumes!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

First Blogiversary and giveaway

It's my blogiversary! I'm a whole year old! I can't believe it's been a year, it has literally flown by. And while I might not have as many avid readers as I'd like, I am extremely happy that I've got any at all! I'd like to think I've improved in my blogging skills but I know I can always get better! Thank you all for reading and putting up with my rambling opinions on random books. I'm getting there in the blog world and I'm having so much fun talking about books that I love and making friends because of it.

So, to celebrate, I'm launching my first giveaway! UK only, sorry guys. One winner, one book. Not to worry, if this proves popular, I'll plan more! Here are the books to choose from:

Anna and the French Kiss


Paper Valentine


I'm sure you know who these things go, fill out the rafflecopter form below and make sure you leave a comment telling me which book you'd like to win! It will be open a fortnight, and I'll announce the winner on the 26th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Uses For Boys blog tour

Uses For Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt - synopsis and author spotlight! 
Another stop on the Uses For Boys blog tour. Big thank you to Shane for setting it up and all that! And don't forget to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of the book!

Release date: January 15th 2013 by St Martin’s Press

Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, bringing home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna's new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can't know.

Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting, and stunningly lyrical,  Uses for Boys  is a story of breaking down and growing up.

Author Bio
Erica Lorraine ScheidtWhen Erica was a kid all she did was write. She dropped out of high school and attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University where she was surrounded by writers and artists.

But then, in Erica's early twenties, she got a job. She worked hard at that job for 15 years and didn't write a word.

Then this happened: Erica walked into a bookstore and bought two books by Francesca Lia Block. No particular reason, she just liked their covers. Then Erica read everything Francesca wrote. She read all the YA she could. She still does. Erica think's the world that happens between 13 and 17 is everything.

She quit her job. Studied writing. And then spent three and a half years writing Uses for Boys. Now she's working on a new novel and it's like falling down a hole. Writing her first novel taught her nothing about writing the next one.

Official site:
Twitter: @ericalorraine

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 4 January 2013

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 19th Sept 2012
Pages: 454
Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.

Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.

Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?

Blue is a psychic's daughter. She see's Gansey's spirit on the corpse road, meaning he's going to die in the next year. When she meets him for real, he is not what she's expecting; him and his three friends are on the hunt for Glendower, a Welsh king buried hundreds of years ago but waiting to wake and grant a favour to those who wakes him.

All four Raven Boys were both annoying and likeable at the same time, but Adam stole my heart. He was proud and stubborn, shy and actually really poor but did not allow that to stop him. As for Blue, she wasn't the usual kick-ass heroine but still pretty awesome, not used to being able to see magic and definitely up for the ride when it started happening. Gansey as well wasn't what I expected, posh but not his fault that he used three syllable words in normal conversation. They both did make me laugh though.

I really wanted to love this and it actually took a lot longer than I thought it would for me to really get into it. Myths and legends and psychics? I would be all over that but it was about half way until I really got invested in the story. Maggie Stiefvater has a gift with words, which really struck me in this book, weaving between legends of ley lines and Gansey's car troubles with minimal effort. And yet there was the problem with prophecy's and knowing what was going to happen, as I was just waiting for Blue to fall in love with Gansey, for Adam to throw a fit after what he saw in the magic tree (don't ask, just read) and all that. Having said that, I'm glad to see Maggie had some tricks up her sleeve with the surprises and twists though!

All in all, a great book that didn't live to expectations but still an intriguing enough story that I have to know what happens!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2013: Reading Challenges and Resolutions

It's 2013! Happy New Year everyone! 

This year I'm broadening my horizons and will be attempting Faye from A Daydreamer's Thoughts reading challenge, at the cautious level with 12 different genres:

  1. Contemporary - The Fault in our Stars by John Green. Also got Adorkable by Sarra Manning and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
  2. Historical - Dance the Moon Down by R.L.Bartram. Also got Code Name Variety by Elizabeth Wein
  3. Paranormal - Velveteen by Daniel Marks
  4. Urban fantasy - Two Weeks Notice by Rachel Caine. Also got the Demon Trappers series
  5. Fantasy - Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
  6. Romance - Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
  7. Women’s Fiction - The Making of Us by Lisa Jewell
  8. Dystopian - All these things I've done byGabrielle Zevin
  9. Fairy Tales - Grimm Fairy Tales
  10. Steampunk - Lady of Devices by Shelley Adine 
  11. Science fiction - Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate 
  12. Cultural classic - Beloved by Toni Morrison. 
  13. Horror - American Psycho (for uni, if I can sum up the courage) or Slide 
First up is Beloved, as I'm studying that in a few weeks, and Two Weeks Notice.

I'm also doing the Goodreads challenge again, I read 65 in 2012 - this year I'm going to aim for 70, mostly as I don't know what I'm going to be doing after May when I hand in my dissertation! Scary thought.

As for resolutions, I don't always make them. This year, there are a few things I want to achieve:
  1. Work hard at university - I'm a lazy person but I really want a first on my dissertation and to graduate with pride. 
  2. Find a job - after I graduate this summer, I will be thrown into the real world with minimal experience, and I'm not above begging for advice or help!
  3. Worry less. Work for what I want but don't worry about the unforeseeable future when I can't do anything about it.
  4. Enjoy myself. It's my last few months of university, I don't want to waste them. 
  5. Smile more and frown less. I'm too young for lines on my forehead!
  6. Appreciate the little things. Whether it be an afternoon uninterrupted by computers with my boyfriend or shopping with my mum.