Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Check these out in the EXCERPTS section!


MORE EXCERPTS AND DELETD SCENES:

 - DESTINED by Aprilynne Pike 1st chapter! (click the book title)
 - Deleted Scene from City of Lost Souls! by Cassandra Clare
 - EXCERPT from Lauren Kate's RAPTURE
 - KANE CHRONICLES The Serpent's Shadow 1st Chapter! by Rick Riordan

Destined by Aprilynne Pike IST CHAPTER REVEAL

Aprilynne released this a little while back - a taste of what is to come in the fourth instalment in the Wings Series, 'Destined'.


Chapter One

Tamani pressed his forehead against the chilly window-pane, fighting back a wave of exhaustion. Sleep wasn’t an option, not while the only thing between him and an angry Winter faerie was a thin line of table-salt.

Tonight, he was Fear-gleidhidh twice over.

The old word was one he normally wore with pride. It marked him as Laurel’s guardian, her protector. But it had a richer meaning, one that went beyond the more traditional Am-fear-faire. Fear-gleidhidh meant warden and Tamani was charged with not only keeping Laurel safe, but making certain she accomplished the mission Avalon had given her as a child.

Now he played prison warden, too.

He looked over at his captive. Yuki’s chair sat on the scuffed linoleum in the middle of a thick circle of white, granular salt. She slept, her cheek resting on her knees, hands remained cuffed loosely behind her. She looked uncomfortable. Beaten.

Harmless.

“I would have given up everything for you.” Her voice was hushed but clear.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Fave Tumblr Find: The Hunger Games SIMPSONS style!




GRAVE MERCY (My Fair Assassin) Review

Grave Mercy (My Fair Assassin #1)
R.L. LaFevers


Rating: 5+
Receives the "Kick Ass" award - for the best descriptions of fighting, assassinating and other deadly skills that kept this bookworm in suspense!


So.... You are well equipped for our service.' 
'Which is?' 
'We kill people.”


Ismae is no ordinary seventeen year-old girl. Left with a brutal scar on her body - a reminder of how her mother wished to be rid of her before she was even born - and no desire to be the property of men, she finds a means of escape from her bleak future. That means is the fact that she is one of the daughters of the god of Death Himself. St Mortain. If she so chooses, she shall be given the chance to become his handmaiden, to become a member of his convent. When Ismae chooses to accept the opportunity, she does so without hesitation.


Ismae is given the chance for a new life - a life that involves taking the lives of others, those which have been 'marqued' by Mortain. In order to fulfil her role as a novice in Mortain's convent, Ismae hones her deadly abilities, killing on command and becoming a stealthy and accomplished assassin. She feels confident in her abilities and sure in her faith in her god. But the words of the seeress of her convent haunt her: “... true faith never comes without anguish.”


Little does she understand those wise words until she is given her hardest assignment yet.


In the high court of Brittany, intrigue and witty remarks mask the simmering of wicked plots and treason. Ismae is sent there, in the company of the duchess' disapproving half-brother Duval, to spy on him and his family, to act against the French and to carry out the will of Mortain. Having thought herself more than up to the task, she finds to her disappointment that she is - for all her low birth - woefully ignorant of the situations and people that she encounters. Torn between duty to her convent, to Mortain and to her country, Ismae refuses to acknowledge a truth that is gaining clarity the more time she spends in the company of others. The truth that maybe the wishes, of those to whom she owes everything, are wrong. 


With elegance, finesse, deadly humour, dedication, skill and only the slightest hesitance, Ismae plays both her role as a bystander in court and as Death's handmaiden to perfection. She finds herself warming to those around her, though she tries her hardest to harden her heart, of a handmaiden of Death cannot give their heart to anyone or anything besides Death himself. Then, suddenly, she is given an order to extract vengeance. An order that will make her question everything she knows and believes in. An order to kill a soul that she has, against her every wish, fallen deeply in love with. 


This story will steal your heart and your soul, as you become enamoured with the world that R.L.LaFevers has created and the terrible yet intriguing character of Ismae - the Daughter of Death 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) Review

Cinder
Marissa Meyer


Rating: 5+


"Cinderelly, Cinderelly!" Ah, the story of Cinderella - a fairytale/Disney legend that has always been associated with images of talking mice, ugly stepsisters, a stepmother with a bouffant hairstyle, pumpkins, a fat fairy godmother and the words "Bippity, boppity, BOO!" When I started this book, Cinder, I was expecting a re-telling that was predictable and not at all emotion-stirring. 

Well...I was wrong!

In fact, the story of the cyborg Cinder - a mechanic in New Beijing - and her battle to escape from her dreary and horrid existence was one of the most vivid and touching re-tellings I have ever read. Not only does it incorporate the 'skeleton' or 'basic structure' of Cinderella's original tale, but it explores beyond the child-like story we all know. The tale is given a darker twist, with a twisting plot that will have you both intrigued and longing for more (says the girl who read it in one sitting!)

The highlights:

- Cinder; how cool is she?!! Her mechanic knowledge had me dazed since I know squat about mechanical lingo and cars, etc, and her personality, her selflessness and the way she feels emotions strongly even though she can't cry - it touched me so much! I think I cried enough for the both of us!
- Iko. She is adorable!! And a fellow fangirl of Prince Kai *winks*. I like how she knows just how hot Prince Kai is and is not afraid of making Cinder feel uncomfortable by telling her 24/7! 
- Kai. 
- Kai.
- Kai (no this is not a spell error or a repetitional error. He's there multiple times for a reason!)
- The ball scene (tears, tears, crying, emotional rollercoaster)

The end was horrible...in a good way! I mean, how can Marissa just LEAVE US THERE?!! Argh! I was dying to know what happened next and then ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS appeared and I was like "WHAT????" Yes...I'm not always this emotional! Blame it on Cinder!

Loved it. Adored it. So read it!!! Yes, you! All of you should read this masterpiece and submerged yourself in a world - Lunar versus Earth - where cyborgs and lost feet are only the beginning!!

My (Fair) Godmother Review

My FAIR Godmother 
Janette Rallison


Rating: 5++
I give it: The Booknut FUNNY Award - for making me laugh all the way through!


Lessons to be learnt?

1.) Be super, duper careful what you wish for and HOW you word your wish!
2.) Don't make superficial wishes...they backfire
3.) If you call your FAIR godmother's name and she doesn't answer, odds are she's on a eight-month long shopping spree
4.) Computer gremlins? They're real.
5.) Shampoos kills ogres
6.) Snow White is not too bright
7.) The dwarves are probably names after Snow White's traits...not theirs!
8.) Wizards are weird
9.) Goats are evil
10.) Godmothers wear sunnies and go to proms
11.) Sisters aren't all wicked
12.) The Middle Ages is NOT pro-women's rights
13.) Snakes and toads are signs of lying
14.) Kisses are magical
15.) Your prince charming may be right before your eyes!

Loved, loved, loved (x100) this book! Chick lit mixed with Ella Enchanted (the whole mixed-up fairytale part!) = a roller-coaster ride, mixing traditional fairytales with the 21st century!!!!:D

Angel Fire (#2) LA Weatherly

Angel Fire (Book #2)
LA Weatherly


Rating: 4.9


How to sum up this book and my feelings for/on it in 10 dot points:

1 - It was SO CUTE!
2 - I love Alex but I also love Seb
3 - Mexico is awesome
4 - I admire the kind of heroine Willow is (she thinks things through, acts selflessly, is so REAL you could almost imagine meeting her at school or something!)
5 - I love the plot, with the angels taking over the earth and the angel fighting and kick-ass action (come on; really, who ISN'T a fan of kick-ass action?!)
6 - Querida is my new fave word! Especially when hot Mexican guys call you it whilst giving you aura colour-changing lessons...whilst eating choc-chip cookies.
7 - My new fave quote is: 

“Querida, it's alright," he said. "No one has hurt me in years." 
"Hey, you're supposed to be my brother," I said, trying to joke. "Brother's don't hold their sisters' hands or call them querida." 

Seb smiled, his hazel eyes starting to dance. "Yes, they do," he said. "This happens all the time." 
"Well I guess things are different in Mexico then," I said. "Because in America, no way. And I'm an American." 

"But you're in Mexico now," he pointed out. 
"Right. And you're saying here, boys holds hands with their sisters and call them sweetheart." 

"Oh yes. We're very friendly, we Mexicans.”

(My notes: mexicans are very friendly. Beware!!)

8 - Angel killers do not like half angels (insert big DUH right here). DUH!
9 - Guys have hormonal issues too. They get headaches, throw up, throw tantrums, get jealous over nothing and then - when you're in mortal danger or running for your life - decide that they were total idiots and they need to ask for your forgiveness in the middle of a WAR ZONE. Seriously. Time issues too?!
10 - Love will always find a way

I loved this series so far and I can't wait for the next book Angel Fever!!!!:D

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Review

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin


Rating: 5+


Unbelievable! A book that combines the best of all the genres - romance, mystery, thrillers, chick lit - to create a YA story that will drive you insane! 

Mara Dyer is an intensely real main character, with a dark ability and even darker past - a past that she yearns to remember and yet longs to run away from. Noah is a handsome youth with wayward ways, but with a kind heart and a heart-breaking loyalty that remains unrivalled. Can Mara unlock her memories and differentiate between reality and delusions? And can Noah, who believes he can fix anything, heal the girl he loves the most? And when Mara's memories reveal themselves, will it be a blessing or a curse?

It was a pleasure to read this book...I could not put it down, so intense, hauntingly eerie and beautiful was the story. From its gorgeous front cover to its heart-wrenching end, 

readers will be left hanging and desperately waiting for book 2.


(NB: I just ADORE the front cover, don't you?!)

Quick Picks ~ A Terrific Trio

Pick #1: 
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
By Laini Taylor

Rating: 5



Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.” 


A thrilling read, that has a hint of the supernatural and yet holds the beauty of Prague - a tale unlike any other. 


With fact and fiction bonded so tightly you'll almost expect to wake up with an angel hovering over your bed (and wishbone dangling from around your neck!) Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a must-read for lovers of YA Fantasy. 




Pick #2:
Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2)
By Aimee Carter

Rating: 4.5



You can say you love me all you want, but if you only ever act like the opposite's true, then I can't trust your words anymore.” 


Out of all of Aimee Carter's characters, I loved Henry the most. 


I adored how you could sense his inner struggle - your heart will ache for him and Kate, as you hope (against all odds) that they'll both come to terms with their love for each other. 


Greek mythology is given a fresh interpretation, and is personified through a range of  truly loveable characters: James, Ava (not Persephone), and more. 


I hate to say this but nearly every book with Greek influences I've read - or movies I've watched - have made Persephone look like the world's biggest witch. She's rude, obnoxious, a flirt...! Fingers-crossed, Aimee gives her some redeemable qualities as the series progresses.


Kate really grows as a heroine. Even though she has grown into her role as Henry's 'wife/love/pet' (the last one was a joke, I swear!) she still holds onto her human fragility - the uncertainty, the fears, the ability to love. 


All these emotions that make her human. 


My favourite part is *spoiler* when she tells Henry her feelings to Henry in the throne room:

“That’s the problem, Henry. I don’t know how you feel about me. Everyone else seems to have an opinion about it, but the only person I want to hear from is you(...) I know I’m not like her and that I never will be, but you know what, Henry? That’s a good thing; because unlike her I’m not going to betray you…I’ll stay but no matter how much I love you, I will not let you manipulate me like this.”




Pick #3:
Does My Head Look Big in This?
By Abdel-Fattah Randa

Rating: 4.9



What’s the good of being true to your religion on the outside, if you don’t change what’s on the inside,were it really counts?” 


Compelling, brutally honest, full of spirit and sporting a cast of colourful characters that will find their way into your heart, Does My Head Look Big In This? is a book all teenage girls should read, no matter their race or religion.


Deep down, most girls - and even guys - can relate to Amal and her struggle to discover her identity amid the cultural chaos and to content with being herself among the troubles of today's Australian society. 


Full of laughter, teen troubles, quirky parents and psycho neighbours, this book is a brilliant way of understanding the perks and the lows of being a teenager as well as dealing with the pressures of religion, peers and of course, boys.

Angel (Maximum Ride #7) Review

Angel
James Patterson


Rating: 1.5


A big disappointment.

Let me just say, I loved the series in general - the whole concept of 'Avian Americans', the humour, the characters and the plot. But after Fang's horrible finish, I was left speechless. The series spiralled downhill for me, from Dylan, to worse plots, to NO plot, to MORE evil scientists, to MORE psychotic people to Fang having his own stupid flock, etc. 



It was like watching Gone With the Wind having a book #7/8 and Rhett and Scarlett breaking up AGAIN and there's a war AGAIN...it RUINS it! It wasn't funny, Dylan sucks and is SUCH a loser, Fang sucks too, Max is no longer strong and independent but "OMG my boyfriend dumped me and Dylan loves me, Angel's my BFF and the world needs saving but I seem to have a permanent case of PMS!"

Max. Never. Cries. Or spaces out. Or lets other guys kiss her for no reason. The Max I knew would have punched Dylan, won Fang back and saved the world. It should have ended BEFORE Fang left. Happily Ever After, THE END!!! Do not continue a series and make it as lame as this.

And not to mention the series STILL isn't over! 



(My use of Caps Lock should be sufficient int getting my feelings across!)

Be Careful What You Wish For!

Don't You Wish
By Roxanne St Claire

Rating: 5


Yes you are pretty, and when you pictured perfect, you came damn close...but the part of you I like the most is inside.” 


Annie Nutter is a typical teen facing everyday problems.

Your stereotypical jerks and jerkinas, the impossibly nutty family, average looks - Annie's dealt with it all. 

But she can't help wishing her life were different. A different school, different friends, different family... different Annie. Maybe then her life would be perfect. 

But, as the cliched line goes: "Be careful what you wish for!" 

When she gets transported to a parallel universe, Annie (now Ayla) at first thinks it's all a dream - life is too good to be true as an heiress to a fortune, with a hot boyfriend, Queen Bee status and everything money can buy. 


But when she doesn't wake up and reality hits in, Annie's in for the ride of a lifetime!

Annie struggles with the 'impersonal' and 'Queen Bee' persona that she is meant to have, daring to be different in a crowd where simply wearing jeans is a big no-no. She befriends the cute nerd Charlie, who manages to see her - Annie - as more than a combination of wishful thinking and the 'blessed gene pool selection'. Rather, as a person with a unique soul. 


Will Annie ever get back? 
Will her life ever be perfect?

And are Annie and Ayla so different after all?

My thoughts on the book:

As Annie theorised to her mother before the twist in fate occurred: "Does your soul stay the same?" 

This book delves deep into what makes a person. How everyone has a unique human value simply because they are human and how sometimes, we don't need to switch universes to have something truly perfect. 

I loved this book. I could read it again 100 million times and it will never be enough! 
This book really made me ask myself that question: If faeries appeared in your garden/you had a Freaky Friday incident/you switched universes...would the people closest to you believe you? 


That made me get up and start organising "If that ever happened" questions with my parents, who deemed me "sleep-deprived and over-dramatic" and refused to consider this scenario. 

Well. Now I know how screwed I would be if I were in Annie's position, right?! 

I recommended this to any girl - and any guy for that matter - who likes those stories that feel real, connect with you and leave you wishing that the acknowledgements page (which I screamed in frustration at!) didn't appear so soon! 



I don't normally squeal this much at 9:23pm, but I am having a little happy dance inside, having read and thoroughly enjoyed a book such as this.

A big thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children's Books for giving me the chance to read it and to Roxanne for such a beautiful book. 

Quick Pick: The Merchant's Daughter

The Merchant's Daughter
By Melanie Dickerson

Rating: 5+

A magnificent, magical, haunting and mesmerising tale... 

The re-telling of a classic fairytale, The Merchant's Daughter has many twists and turns - with characters that will make you feel happy, scared, sorrowful and mostly awed by the talented way Melanie Dickerson has created the tale of a beautiful merchant's daughter whose misfortunes may just be the start of something beautiful.

It has so many life lessons that can be taken away - so much truth, so much human emotion. 
You feel for the merchant's daughter and her inner struggle. 

I read it in one sitting - I just could not put it down! I am speechless...this book is magic, plain and simple. Pure and utter magic. 

For, the best kind of book-woven magic is not the one that makes you think of paranormal creatures and love triangles...rather the kind that brings back the innocent happiness we experienced as children when we read a book for the first time. 

This is a YA book for every girl who loves adventure, heroines, brooding lords, suspense, suspects, witty lines, love, realistic characters, a good cry and a good laugh!
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