Monday, 3 December 2012

BOOK REVIEW: 1984 by George Orwell

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
This edition: Anniversary Edition, Paperback, Penguin Books (2009)
Pages: 355
Tagline: 'War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength'

 
 Summary...
"Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.(Goodreads)
My thoughts...
 
I read The Hunger Games about three years ago and fell in love with the dystopian genre; since then I have read many of the countless other dystopians that seem to have recently flooded the YA genre. Seriously. I have read A LOT of dystopians, and A LOT of them have been amazing, and I have loved A LOT of them. So, it was probably about time that I read a classic dystopian, I thought. 1984 was the obvious choice (and I intend to read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley sometime soon too.) 
I know that a lot of teenagers will be deterred by the idea of ‘classics’ – for some, they conjure up the image of musty, old-fashioned books – but I loved 1984. It was completely on a whole different level to all the ‘modern dystopians’ I have been reading recently. Not to discredit any of those at all, but 1984 honestly is in a league of its own.

The world created by Orwell is fascinating and so plausibly and realistically portrayed that I felt, not like I was reading a fictional novel, but a real, non-fiction account of what actually happened in 1984. That’s how believable Orwell’s writing was. I think what may have added to the depth of the dystopian world created in 1984, as opposed to other dystopians I have read, was that there was a political background and reasoning given for how things were the way they were.

I found it absolutely fascinating to contemplate some of the concepts of the 1984 world. Could it really be possible to keep a whole population docile by limiting their vocabulary, thus not giving them a means to express any disagreement or dissent? Could it really be possible to effectively wipe out everyone’s memory of the past by continually changing it to fit whatever version of events the government wished to tell? Would people actually accept this? Would they, or the majority at least, remain oblivious to what the government was doing?

This dystopian world that Orwell created is one of the most shocking I have read about, and it is made all the more terrifying by how realistically it is portrayed. I strongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys the dystopian genre, and, in fact, to anyone who wishes simply to read a truly praiseworthy novel.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Best Of The Bunch - November 2012


"Best of the Bunch is a monthly wrap-up and award ceremony hosted [at Always Lost in Stories] on the last day of each month, where we can look back over the books we have read and give a Best of the Bunch award to our favourite book of that month"

I just stumbled across this meme and thought it sounded fun so I'm going to give it a go! :)

This month I read...
  1. Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver
  2. Die For Me by Amy Plum
  3. 1984 by George Orwell
  4. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  5. Rebel Heart (Blood Red Road #2) by Moira Young
  6. Losing Lila (Lila #2)  by Sarah Alderson

And the book I'm going to award the Best Of The Bunch Award for November is...

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green!!!!

"Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind."



This book has not just become my favourite book for November, but my favourite book of ALL TIME. It pains me somewhat to admit that, yes, it has in fact just pipped The Hunger Games as my favourite book...(although I do still love the Hunger Games!!!!) But The Fault In Our Stars seriously is a FANTABUMAZING book!!!! I don't know why I didn't pick it up sooner and I politely request demand that everyone who hasn't read it yet does so as soon as possible immediately.
 

 
 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Dirt BLOG TOUR: Spotlight+Giveaway!


Hi there! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Dirt by Lori Culwell, which is being hosted by AToMR Tours! For the full tour schedule, go here :)

Now, in case you're not really sure what The Dirt is about, here's a little bit of info...


Title: The Dirt
Author: Lori Culwell
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Released: November 2011 

Book description:
Lucy Whitley cannot wait to get out of Palm Desert. It’s not a place for a frizzy-haired science nerd, particularly when her fashion-obsessed older sister Sloane is the head of a clique of pretty girls who rule the school—and practically the whole town.Fortunately, life is about to change forever. Lucy’s dad is getting re-married, and then she can transfer to a boarding school in Connecticut, escaping all the mean girls and the endless whispers about the Whitley family scandal. Everything is going to be perfect—as long as the wedding goes smoothly.

Links:

Amazon UK       Paperback         Kindle Edition
Amazon US       Paperback         Kindle Edition 
Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Find the author on...

Facebook            Twitter                Her website

And now, for the bit you've all been waiting for...
The GIVEAWAYS!!!

There are two giveaway - one is open to US residents only and one is international. Here's what's up for grabs...
  1. 5 Paperback Copies of The Dirt (US only)
  2. 12 E-book Copies of The Dirt (Int.) 
Enter in the Rafflecopters below! :)

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, 4 November 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Yellow World by Albert Espinosa

Title: The Yellow World
Author: Albert Espinosa
Pages:  224
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 1st November 2012
Tagline: 'Trust Your Dreams and They'll Come True'

***Thank you to Penguin and the Spinebreakers scheme for providing me with a copy of this for review!***


Summary
"Albert Espinosa never wanted to write a book about surviving cancer, so he didn’t. He wrote a book instead about the Yellow World. What is the yellow world? The yellow world is a world that’s within everyone’s reach, a world the colour of the sun. It is the name of a way of living, of seeing life, of nourishing yourself with the lessons that you learn from good moments as well as bad ones. It is the world that makes you happy, the world you like living in.The yellow world has no rules; it is made of discoveries.
In these 23 Discoveries Albert shows us how to connect daily reality with our most distant dreams. He tells us that ‘losses are positive’, ‘the word “pain” doesn’t exist’, and ‘what you hide the most reveals the most about you’."



 My Thoughts
I really had no idea what to expect with The Yellow World. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction (okay, make that hardly any non-fiction) but for some reason I was intrigued by the idea of The Yellow World, and something compelled me to give it a go. And I’m glad I did.

Within the first few pages of the book’s introduction, I knew that I was going to like it. There was something in the friendly, conversational tone of Espinosa that was inviting, and made the book light-hearted and easy to read. The discoveries followed in a list (being an engineer, Albert likes numbers, and therefore, in his own logic, also lists) with each discovery being given its own short chapter.

The 23 discoveries were very…interesting. Some of them seemed a little strange, for example Discovery 9 – ‘Put your lips together and blow’ – and Discovery 20 – ‘Do you want to share an REM with me? – and quite a lot of them made me think, ‘How could I possibly relate that to my own life?’ However, some of the discoveries seemed quite logical and useful, such as trying to cultivate the mentality that ‘the word “pain” doesn’t exist’, and the aim to ‘ask five good questions every day’.

I feel like The Yellow World is a timeless book; one of those that you will pick up time and time again at various stages in your life and be able to glean new and different things from each time. I may not be able to make sense of all of Albert Espinosa’s discoveries right now, but I’m sure as I revisit the book in the future, I will find more will have become relevant, and useful, to my life.

As for now, I have been inspired to train my brain to ‘start counting from six’, and I will be keeping a close lookout for any ‘yellows’ that cross my path!

Monday, 29 October 2012

LUMINOSITY Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt + Giveaway!

Hi there! Welcome to my stop on the Luminosity blog tour, which is running from 29th October to 13th November and is hosted by Shane at Itching For Books! Click here to see the full tour schedule!

First, a little bit about the book...


Title: Luminosity
Author: Stephanie Thomas
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: November 2012 
Tagline: 'Seeing the future isn't enough to save it...'
Links: Goodreads
Amazon 
Author's Website

Summary
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.

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.


Excerpt
As part of the blog tour today, I get to share a short excerpt from the book with you...so here is the first chapter of Luminosity! Enjoy this little taste of what the book is like, and I hope it leaves you wanting more! :)


 CHAPTER ONE
At night, my room illuminates with an indescribable brilliance. The glow of a million City lights pours into the small space officially referred to as Bunk 34A. It’s not a large bunk by any means—just enough space to harbor a twin bed tucked under an overhead compartment of drawers where I keep my jumpsuits and robes.

Stacked in squares of black, it is hard to tell which article of clothing is which without touching them. Sometimes, it feels the same way in the Institution—you don’t know one thing from the other, no matter how long you try to figure it out. The Institution is all about uniformity. Nothing has changed here in years. 

I have a small desk where I finish my class work. Stacked books form little towers on the surface, mimicking the tall buildings just outside my window. Some books are about learning to survive in conditions that aren’t ideal. Some are about our enemy, and others are about the history of the Seers and our gift. There’s always something to be learned here.

My reflection stares back at me, and I try to peer through it and the tinted glass panel. I trace the image of the black raven’s wings, one tattooed over each of my eyes. The wings are spread and ready for flight. These mark the maturation of my Visions. They are a rite of passage, a signal to everyone that I am truly gifted with the Sight.

Most of us earn our raven’s wings by the time we are teenagers, but there are still those who take a little longer to understand the images that come to us. It’s not easy to decipher or pick out what is truth inside our minds.

Just outside my window, patrol helicopters hover high above the ground, their searchlights bright and unforgiving. If you are caught in one of those beams, there is no escaping. The Watch are beyond vigilant since the first sighting. They take no chances in the City, or in the Institution. Especially not since the Dreamcatchers came.

The Keeper mandated a curfew, demanding that every Seer be in their bunks by nine in the evening. The Dreamcatchers are double the threat to us. They are able to reach into the minds of normal humans—Citizens—through dreams or touch. From what I’ve been told, a Dreamcatcher can shatter a person’s mind with just one touch. I once saw a picture of one of the unfortunate souls who was Caught. His eyes turned white, mouth open…gone. Like an oyster shell without any meat inside.

The Seers are trained to prevent this, to protect the Citizens at all costs. At seventeen years old, I am arguably the most revered Seer because my Vision is the clearest, next to that of the Keeper. I didn’t understand the importance of that at the time. I had the Vision that would change everything. But we all do now.

A knock jars me out of my thoughts. “Who is it?” 
The door slides open with a hiss and then disappears into the wall. Gabriel stands in the doorway, his uniform a black and grey one-piece jumpsuit with the lavender eye of the Seer sewn above the right breast pocket. It matches our eyes, all of which are the same hue of purple, the mark of a Seer. His combat boots are tied tightly and shined to perfection. Gabriel is always perfect. Always.

“Just me, Bea. It’s my turn to make the rounds tonight. I can’t stay long here, though. Gotta keep moving.”

I smile as I lie down in my bunk. “Okay, okay. I’ll go to bed.” It’s not going to be easy to sleep tonight, though. Not with the thought of the Dreamcatcher girl on my mind. They arrested her yesterday after I saw her in a Vision. She looked so young…so innocent.

Gabe grins and steps back from the door, allowing it to slide into place. With a click, it locks from inside. I flick the lights off, and I’m left in the dark to think about how it will be now that the Dreamcatchers have actually made their appearance in the City. Already, the change in security is overwhelming, and I’m sure it won’t be long until the Keeper is back at my door, ready to record my latest Vision.

In two days, our new training begins, and I am not ready. None of this feels real, and there are so many unknowns that it seems like I’m walking around a corner without any idea what’ll be on the other side. Yesterday as we sat together at dinner, Gabe told me not to be afraid. I poked around at my mystery-sauce pasta, and just as he always does, he picked up on my worry. Gabriel has been by my side since before we could remember. We were in the same batch of infants brought to the Institution, ready to be inducted into a lifetime program that we didn’t choose to be in. It is the law, though, and anyone caught harboring a rogue Seer is put to death.

He’s my best friend, but not my only one. Lately, though, it’s been different. When he comes around I feel like something is curling up in my core, ready to spring out in excitement or giddiness. I wait anxiously to see him every day, just to catch a glimpse of him before we go to class. It makes me feel like a silly little girl, so I try not to think about it. Especially when he is close.

Ready or not, neither I, nor any other Seer, have any choice but to step into this whole new Dreamcatcher conflict which we’d previously only read about in our school books. This is more than just words on a page now. The Dreamcatchers are here, and it’s our job to keep them at bay. But how much will we have to sacrifice to keep the City safe?


 
Giveaway

And now it's giveaway time, guys! Just enter in the rafflecopter below for your chance to win a signed copy of Luminosity and some super cool swag! Unfortunately, this contest is US only. Good luck, everyone! :)
 
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Sunday, 28 October 2012

COVER REVEAL: Unresisting by Shane Morgan



Title: Unresisting
Author: Shane Morgan
Release Date: 27th November 2012
Tagline: 'Destiny ignites as the truth unfolds...'
Link: Goodreads
 
Summary
Seventeen year old Natasha Johnson is having a rough year. Her twin brother, Sean, died last summer after a car crash, and her parents decided to pack up and leave the only home she’d known all her life. It's a lot to take in, and Nat has decidedly given up on the world, until moving to Stetson Valley and meeting high school ‘outcast’, Chace Owens.

Chace's dark and mysterious aura is not exactly seen as 'normal', but Nat already knows that not a lot of things are of the norm when it comes to her life. She soon finds herself unable to resist Chace's strange pull on her heart, unleashing a sudden attraction to the unnatural forces that have always been burning within her. But with uncovering her true self brings forth great danger, as Nat learns that her brother's death had a lot more to do with the side she's unable to resist.

Can Natasha calm the blazing flames and withstand the threat of danger, or will this new found power destroy her?

What do you think of that? There's definitely something foreboding about the blood-red colour scheme of the cover... and the summary is very intriguing...

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole: EXCERPT+GIVEAWAY!

Today I'm very excited to be able to share with you a giveaway and an excerpt from Dante's Girl - the first book in a new series entitled The Paradise Diaries by Courtney Cole - as part of a promotional event being hosted by AToMR Tours.


Title: Dante's Girl
Author: Courtney Cole
Release Date: July 2012


Book Description:

I have spent every summer since I was ten years old with my father in London. Every
summer, since I was ten years old, has been uneventful and boring.

Until this year.

And this year, after a freak volcanic eruption strands me far from home, I have learned
these things:

1. I can make do with one outfit for three days before I buy new clothes.

2. If I hear the phrase, “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” even one more time, I might become a homicidal maniac.

3. I am horribly and embarrassingly allergic to jellyfish.

4. I am in love with Dante Giliberti, who just happens to be the beautiful, sophisticated
son of the Prime Minister of a Mediterranean paradise.

5. See number four above. Because it brings with it a whole slew of problems and I’ve
learned something from every one of them.

Let’s start with the fact that Dante’s world is five light-years away from mine. He goes
to black-tie functions and knows the Prime Minister of England on a first name basis.
I was born and raised on a farm in Kansas and wear cut-off jeans paired with cowboy
boots. See the difference?

But hearts don’t care about differences. Hearts want what they want. And mine just
wants to be Dante’s girl.

My heart just might be crazy.



Links:



Has that synopsis left you craving a taste of the book? Lucky for you, I have not one, but TWO excerpts from Dante's Girl to share today! Here they are...

Excerpt 1:
There are rose bushes everywhere. And peonies, which are my favorites. And lots
of white marble statues of Greek gods. And one of Napoleon. Why in the world is this
country so obsessed with Napoleon?

I am just wondering if the small statue is life-sized when Dante interrupts any
coherent thought process that I might have by striding across the lawns with a racquet
in hand and wearing short-short tennis shorts.
Sweet.
Baby.
Monkeys.
It’s like a slow-motion scene from a movie. Dante shakes his blond bangs out of his
eyes and the sun catches every glint of gold in his hair. His legs are long, lean, tanned
and muscled and HolyCowThereIsAGod. If I were a man, I would totally be wolf-
whistling right now. But then again, if I were a man, I guess I wouldn’t be wolf-whistling
at Dante.
I’m such a weirdo.

Excerpt 2:
Mia shows me how to get water out of the tube when it leaks in by blowing it out
sharply. She tells me that the most common problem is when new divers get flustered
when water gets into their tubes. I’m supposed to keep calm and simply blow the water
out. That’s a little difficult to do when I’m so completely focused on watching for sharks.
We swim and after a few minutes, more like thirty, I start to feel more at ease.
Every once in a while, Mia reaches out and grabs my hand and pulls me to a
different place where we watch tropical fish leisurely swim in their little schools. Or a
sea turtle gliding gracefully by. Or colorful tropical plants waving in the current.
Under the surface, the water is perfect and aqua and silent. There is no drama,
there are no mean girls and best friends and boys that I shouldn’t have crushes on but
do anyway.
I sort of love it.
I kick my legs, letting the water flow fluidly over me. I am weightless here. I am
relaxed and I haven’t been this comfortable in a long time.
Just as I am thinking about how wrong I had been to be terrified of sharks and about
how wonderful this is and how I have never been this comfortable or relaxed in my
whole entire life, I spot something out of the corner of my eye that makes me freeze.
A gray bump slowly coming toward me.
I pull my head out of the water so that I can see better and find that Mia is nowhere
near. But the gray sleek bump is only a hundred yards away and getting closer by the
minute. I flail and splash, then remember from watching Shark Week on TV that you
definitely don’t want to splash.
Sweet Holy Monkeys. What the eff do I do??
I yell for Mia, but don’t see her. Has she been eaten?

I look around frantically, but we’ve drifted to an isolated location and there isn’t
anyone else here.
Except for me and the shark.
And the shark is certainly taking his time to reach me.
Oh my gosh.
Oh my gosh.
Oh. My. Gosh.
My breathing comes in pants as I try to slowly and calmly paddle backward, away
from the shark, toward land, away from the shark. Toward Land. Away. From. The.
Shark.
Then, a fin emerges. A fin. And I scream. And scream. And forget about not
splashing. I am splashing so much that every shark and sea creature in a hundred mile
radius will know that I’m here. And I don’t care. All I care about it surviving this shark
attack. Because it is going to attack me. It’s stalking me right now like the prey that I
am. And very soon that water around me will be red because I’m going to die a bloody
death.
And then I notice that the fin is made from hands. A pair of hands.
I freeze.
What the eff?
Dante bursts from the water, wearing gray swim trunks and shaking droplets from
his hair as he lunges to grab me with a roar.
I scream again because it’s happened so fast and my brain hasn’t had a chance to
truly realize that it is Dante and not a shark.
I’m not going to die.
I’m not going to die.
I’m not going to die.
I’m not going to become breakfast for JAWS.
But I’m going to kill Dante.
 
 So what do you think? I think Reece sounds like a hilarious character, and I love the sound of her 'voice' just from reading these excerpts! Her reaction to Dante (in the first excerpt) is so funny, and, from her description, Dante really does sound gorgeous, doesn't he? Can't wait to read the book and get to know him better! ;)


Giveaway:

Now, not only do I have the privilege of sharing with you two excerpts from Dante's Girl today, but I now have a giveaway! Here's what you can win:

Winner’s choice of (1) gifted copy (Kindle or Nook) of PRINCESS or SOUL KISSED by the author; Open International. If winner is located in US/Canada they will also receive a signed 4x6 glossy of DANTE'S GIRL.


You can enter this fabulous giveaway in the Rafflecopter below; good luck! :D
Giveaway ends on 29th September 2012

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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

BOOK REVIEW: A Witch In Winter by Ruth Warburton

 Title: A Witch In Winter
Author: Ruth Warburton
Release Date: 5th January 2012
Pages: 346

 
"Anna Winterson doesn’t know she’s a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power.
When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that’s controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain."
When love is tangled up in magic, how do you know what’s real?" (Goodreads)



When I first ever saw A Witch In Winter and read the blurb, I didn't think I would particularly like it. It sounded like just yet another average, soppy, possibly-a-little-bit-cliche paranormal romance. Although it did involve witches, which was a good point and made it a little different; I can't remember reading a paranormal romance revolving around witches recently... Angels, werewolves and vampires - yes, but witches...no. Anyway, I just had a feeling, a witchy intuition maybe, that A Witch In Winter wouldn't be my cup of tea. Still, when it magically appeared in my local library, I decided to give it a chance and hope that I might be pleasantly surprised. Sadly, this wasn't the case. It wasn't that I hated the book or anything, I just didn't really like it.

For one, I definitely did not fall under Anna's spell. I got the feeling that she was meant to be a strong female protagonist type of character but in actual fact, she only sometimes showed a hint of a headstrong and determined personality; other times, she just seemed to give up too easily. 

She was also one of those self-sacrificial characters who think they have to save everyone by isolating themselves from everyone else and sacrifice everything they want because they're the reason people around them are getting hurt, and say things like 'I'm bad for you, you shouldn't be around me'... I'm sure you've come across enough of those kind of characters to get the idea. And, while at first I thought it might be refreshing to have a girl playing this role instead of a boy as it has been every other time I've encountered this kind of character, I soon realised that this 'I have to sacrifice myself to save everyone' and 'I'm bad, you should stay away from me' kind of character is just annoying whether you have a boy or a girl playing it.

Anna and Seth, and their relationship really rather annoyed me. They came across to me as over-dramatic, whiny, erratic teenagers. Teenagers who claimed to be desperately and profoundly in love with each other. I will also take this moment to mention that Seth's and Anna's relationship was one of those 'insta-love' ones - just another thing to add to the list of reasons why I didn't like, or believe, this relationship. At one point, Seth furiously declared Anna 'the worst, most despicable person I've ever met,' (or something along those lines - I can't remember the  exact wording) despite having professed how deep and true his love for her was earlier before. Well, if he loved her as truly as he claimed, then nothing should have been able to change his mind so drastically. I mean, on the love-hate spectrum, he literally catapulted from one extreme to the other even quicker than the insta-love relationship between him and Anna formed.

The character I liked most was definitely not one of the main characters, but one of the secondary characters - Emmaline Peller. She was sensible and nice,  but still a strong character, and I would probably have enjoyed a book focusing on her as the protagonist rather than A Witch In Winter, which had Anna as its protagonist.

One thing I must give Ruth Warburton credit for, though, is her writing. While I may not have really enjoyed the storyline of A Witch In Winter, I found that there was some very nice descriptive writing and use of some gothic imagery which mixed together to conjure up a somewhat spooky, magical atmosphere.

This is probably the first "bad'' review I've written on The Book Parade, and I know I have probably overlooked some of the positive points that I'm sure A Witch In Winter had but didn't shine out for me, clouded over by the fact that overall I didn't really enjoy it, but I know that a lot of people didn't have the same issues with this book that I did, so please don't be deterred form reading this because of me, although if some of the things I mentioned sound like the kind of things that annoy you in a book, then you may not want to be too eager to read this.

(And, WHOAH, that was a long sentence! ;) )

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (2)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine where we spotlight the upcoming releases that we are super excited for!

This week I am waiting on...

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

UK Release Date:11th October 2012

Pre-order it now on Amazon


"Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .

The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

ALINA
has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

QUINN
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

BEA
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?
" (Summary from Goodreads)
 

I am loving that cover, aren't you? I love those purply hues and the kind of vaguely sci-fi feel the cover has to it. And how awesome does the book itself sound? That's right. AWESOME! A world where the government controls even the air people breathe??! I can't wait to read it!

What do you think? What are you waiting on this week? Leave me your opinions/thoughts/links/whatever you feel like... below! :)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century BLOG TOUR: Review + Giveaway



MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY BLOG TOUR

Blurb
On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze. 

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. 

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?
Release: Sept. 11, 2012 | Publisher: Entangled Publishing | Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository


My Review

 My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century  was a 'super sweet', light, summery read that I enjoyed very much.

Cat Crawford is just a normal teenage girl...apart from the fact that her dad is a well-known film director and her mum is infamously known for the long trail of broken-hearted men that she has left behind in her lifetime, Cat's dad being one of them. I liked Cat very much as a main character - she was fun, witty and down-to-earth, despite her famous parents, and the kind of girl that I would have liked to be friends with if I knew her in real life.

Cat's magical trip to sixteenth century Italy was very interesting, and quite amusing at times - 21st century girl Cat attempting to behave according to the very different customs and etiquette of 16th century Italians made for some funny moments indeed! It was fun to see her try to adapt to the situations she found herself thrust into, and fun to see the reactions that the people around her had to her 'odd' behaviour. Luckily, she had a cover that saved her a little bit - in this world that she has found herself in, she is 'Patience D'Angeli,' a girl who has recently moved all the way from London to live with her Italian cousins.

Said cousins were very nice characters - Cipriano, or 'Cip' was very big-brotherly and protective of his cousin, and Alessandra, or 'Less', was very kind and sweet.

One of the best things about this book was the feeling that I had been whisked away to Italy right along with Cat. Rachel Harris' writing was so vivid and colourful, painting me a bright, warm, sunny picture that made me wish I was actually there in Italy with Cat.

However, Cat's trip to the 16th century was not purely for leisure - she was also meant to get something valuable out of it. 'Keep your mind open to the lessons ahead,' were the words of Reyna, the gyspy girl who made this trip happen for Cat. And I do think it worked - Cat comes back from her trip a happier, more carefree person, more willing to open up, let go, and take a chance once in a while.

 I really loved the ending of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century - there are a few nice surprises in store for Cat that I thought were really sweet. And if you want to find out what they are...? Well, I guess you'll have to go and read the book! 

Author Bio (Spotlight)


As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels.
As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.
When she's not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate.
MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is her debut novel.  She did have her own fantabulous Sweet Sixteen in high school. Sadly, it wasn't televised.
http://www.rachelharriswrites.com | @RachelHarrisYA | facebook.com/RachelHarrisYA

Giveaway

Enter below to be in with a chance of winning your very own copy of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (US only) or some My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century goodies! (INTL) Good Luck :D

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Monday, 13 August 2012

Recommend A... Book With A Blue Cover

'Recommend A... ' is the awesome new feature thought up by the amazing Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit. Each week there will be a different, creative prompt for us to recommend books that we sometimes maybe forget how much we love, giving us the chance to share book recommendations of books that might not get recommended as much as they deserve.

Now, this week's prompt was easy. A book with a blue cover? Only one sprang to my mind instantly...

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

"Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love."
(Goodreads)




Lauren Oliver's writing really was breathtakingly beautiful and she really managed to capture the essence of love, if that's even possible. Read more about why I fell in love with this book about a world where love is forbidden in my review here :)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

I've Been Tagged!! Would You Rather...??

 Yay! This is my first ever time being tagged! Catherine is EXCITED!!! These things always look like so much fun :D A big thank you to the lovely Caitlin from The Y.A. Bookworm Blogger  (her blog is awesome, by the way, go check it out!) for tagging me! *big smiley face* :)





 

So, the 'rules' for this cool 'Would You Rather...?' tag, which was created by Delaney over at The Random Ranterer (I am totally loving that blog name, aren't you?!)...
  • Intros!-Tell us about yourself and your blog
  • Answer the 6 questions in any way you want
  • Tag 6 bloggers (or however many people you want to tag)
  • Tell them they have been tagged and link back to your post
  • Put the Would You Rather...? picture to your post
 So, I guess, first up is my intro! ...


A Little Bit About Catherine, the AWESOME (...??) blogger behind The Book Parade!!


Helllooooo!!! My name is Catherine and I'm a teen who LOVES reading! (Although you could probably tell that already...) I am a MASSIVE fan of The Hunger Games (:D), Taylor Swift (:D) and Harry Potter (:D) I have wanted to be an author ever since I was five and...did I mention that I LOVE READING?!!! You may have also noticed that I am just slightly crazy. I normally manage to refrain from letting the full extent of my craziness (which involves a disturbing tendency to speak about myself in the third person, a tendency to jump up and down and clap excitedly whenever I get excited, which is A LOT, and - WHY I am I publicly admitting this?!! I must be crazier than I thought!) * leak through my computer and onto the screen, which iis a good thing, otherwise you might all run away screaming! Although, I hope you wouldn't... :) Well, that was rather a lengthy intro! And that's all about me - I haven't even got started about my blog yet! Okay, I'll keep this bit short... The Book Parade is my blog, which I started about five and a half months ago in order to share my MASSIVE love of books with THE WORLD!!! YAY!!! :D




* I also have a tendency, when let loose to write freely, to go into a set of brackets in the middle of a sentence only to get sidetracked and then spend so long in the bracket that by the time I've finished rambling no-one remembers (or cares) what I was going on about before!


And... On To The Questions! (FINALLY!!)

Would You Rather...

Read A Classic Book or a Dictionary?
 A classic book, definitely! Although classics may sometimes be a little tedious due to the old-fashioned language (seriously, I've read classics where there are words that are SO OLD THEY'RE NOT EVEN IN THE DICTIONARY!! I was very disappointed the first time my dictionary ever failed me. Not that I consult my dictionary often; I'm normally too absorbed in whatever book I'm reading to bother looking up the odd word I don't know.) ** but the reason 'classics' are classic is because they are brilliant pieces of culture and literature, and a lot of them still tell brilliant stories. I do find the language a little hard to get past sometimes, but other times I think it's beautiful. I've recently read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Macbeth (for school, but I really enjoyed it) and I have a whole LONG list of classics that I intend to get round to reading some day, including Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and 1984 by George Orwell, among many others. I would honestly be quite surprised if anyone would rather read a dictionary than a classic book...

**see, I did the long brackets thing AGAIN!

Receive a $50 giftcard for a bookshop or a library card?
Well, I already have a library card (two, actually, I belong to two different councils' libraries) but assuming I had neither a giftcard nor a library card and could only pick one of the two, I'd have to go with the library card, definitely. As much as I love buying books (A LOT) I LOVE THE LIBRARY!!! Libraries are one of my favourite places to be and they are just AWESOME. You have access to an endless amount of books (for free! - added bonus!) Besides, I can still buy books without a giftcard... (This is where parents and their money come in useful...just kidding!)

Look at books in a bookshop or a library?
 Now that is a hard one. It's a close call, but I think I am going to g owith bookshops. I love the new-book smell you find in bookshops and I always get tingles of pleasure from simply admiring all the new, and pretty books they have for sale :)

Stay up and see what happens in a book (at a part where it's a MUST) or go to sleep?
This really depends on the situation... It depends on how tired I am, and how desperate I am to see what happens. In most cases, I'll probably pick sleep, comforted by the knowledge that I can enjoy the book more in the morning when I'm not tired.  Sometimes, if I'm really into the book, and I'm nearly finished, I'll stay up a little later to get to the end, but I do have a limit - I generally don't stay up past 11pm or 11:30pm. I really don't function well without sleep!  

Write on a laptop/computer or in a notebook/paper?
I'm definitely a pen and paper girl. Of course I love how fast typing is, and how easily you can change stuff, but whenever we get given the choice of typing or writing for homework, I nearly always pick writing. I'm not quite sure why, I just love the feel of writing, of my pen/pencil etching words onto the page. I think a page of writing feels more real to me, rather than a digital copy of something. I love writing with my fountain pen, but I often pick up a pencil to write with when I'm writing a creative story or something.

Eat while you're reading or keep glancing at the bag of food while you read?
I prefer NOT to eat while I read, in fact I don't think I ever have before. I generally don't get hungry while I read, but if I was so hungry that I had to keep glancing at the food (which I think is unlikely) then of course I'd go eat. And then I'd return to my book immediately after and enjoy it more now I wasn't thinking of my stomach. I remember once when I was little, we were in a restaurant (actually it was McDonald's) and we saw a girl reading while eating. My parents asked me if I'd ever read and eat at the same time (random question, I know) - I was already a massive bookworm then - and I said "....No... Because I wouldn't want to risk ruining the book." I think I was half-joking, though. I just wouldn't want to read and eat at the same time. I'd rather concentrate solely on enjoying the book without anything distracting me. (But I also wouldn't want to run the risk of dropping/spilling something on the book either.)

 Whew!! All finished! I hope you enjoyed reading my answers!!! So, here are the blogs I'm going to tag... (I know some people don't like to/don't have time to participate with tags - if this is the case, don't worry, you don't have to do it. But if you want to...please feel free to join in! :)

Blogs I'm Tagging :)
Ebony Black Lines  
Blog Of A Bookaholic 
Booked Up! 
Lost In Thought 
A Daydreamer's World 

Hope you guys have as much fun with this as I did! :)