Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming releases we can't wait to read.

This weeks Choice:

Immortal Remains (Wierdsville #2) by Rook Hastings



Four freak accidents. Four mysterious deaths. Four signs of trouble. Welcome back to Weirdsville! 

"You see, the girls that died -- it wasn't by accident. They were cursed, every one of them. Cursed to meet a horrible death! And I'm going to be next."

 Four girls from posh school Riverbank have been killed in seemingly random but freakish ways and it's not long before Bethan and co. are lured into investigating the grisly case. Is it really just coincidence or is there something more sinister going on? Meanwhile Hashim's playing truant, Kelly's on the warpath and Jay's trying to avoid someone even more close to home! Himself. Scary, paranormal and supernaturally chilling experiences are everyday in a town like Weirdsville!

I really enjoyed the first book in the Wierdsville series, Nearly Departed) a (Review here! ) and am really looking forward to this one!


Published in the UK 2nd September 2010 by HarperCollins Children's books

Book Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

The story of Scarlett and Rosie March, two highly-skilled sisters who have been hunting Fenris (werewolves) – who prey on teen girls – since Scarlett lost her eye years ago while defending Rosie in an attack. Scarlett lives to destroy the Fenris, and she and Rosie lure them in with red cloaks (a colour the wolves can't resist), though Rosie hunts more out of debt to her sister than drive. 
But things seem to be changing. The wolves are getting stronger and harder to fight, and there has been a rash of news reports about countless teenage girls being brutally murdered in the city. Scarlett and Rosie soon discover the truth: wolves are banding together in search of a Potential Fenris – a man tainted by the pack but not yet fully changed. Desperate to find the Potential to use him as bait for a massive werewolf extermination, the sisters move to the city with Silas, a young woodsman and long time family friend who is deadly with an axe. Meanwhile, Rosie finds herself drawn to Silas and the bond they share not only drives the sisters apart, but could destroy all they've worked for. (from Amazon.co.uk)

Sisters Red had been on my radar for quite a while. There was a lot of buzz surrounding it and the first reviews were extremely positive. So when my copy arrived, with the most gorgeous shiny hardback cover, I was really excited. I’d seen lots of people say that once they started this book they just couldn’t put it down and read it in one go, so I settled myself down ready to be completely blown away. Only it didn’t happen like that for me.

The book starts very well. It begins with the sisters, Rosie and Scarlett when they’re just nine and eleven years old. Innocently playing at their Grandmother house in the woods, a strange man comes calling. He turns out to be a werewolf, or fenris, and will kill their beloved Oma March and horrifically maim Scarlett. It’s clear we are being given a retelling of the classic fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood and I loved it! I’m a sucker for folklore and myth and in just the first few pages, Sister’s Red is already seeped in it. The fenris is what a real monster should be. Feral, wild, merciless and completely evil. It was terrifying! The book seemed so promising and definitely deserving of its hype.

Unfortunately, within a couple of chapters my excitement had waned. It’s now seven years later and the March Sisters are accomplished hunters, fighting against the fenris who prowl the earth unbeknown to most of humankind, along with their life long friend Silas. The problem I had is that the pace seems to slow right down here, despite all the action. With one fight scene after another it became slightly repetitive and I struggled to concentrate. Now, I’m not sure if I was tired or suffering that awful ailment, over anticipation, but I just couldn’t get into the book. In the end I put it down at around 100 pages in, and read something else, picking it up again a few days later. And am I glad I did?! After the disappointing start I finally got what I wanted and was hooked.

Sisters Red is told in a duel narrative from Scarlett and Rosie in alternating chapters and this works very, very well, giving us an insight into two very different girls. Scarlett was the most difficult sister to relate too. She’s so focussed on hunting, way beyond the point of obsession. She comes across hard, fierce, manipulative towards her sister and blinkered, but as the book moves on you start to see why she is so driven and surprisingly, how vulnerable and insecure she is deep down. I started to feel really sorry for her and certainly respected her loyalty and determination. Rosie on the other hand wants more than just being a huntress but feels she owes Scarlett her life and is terrified of upsetting her. I really enjoyed reading from her point of view, especially as new possibilities were opened up to her away from her sister. By the end I really felt I knew both characters and liked them both. These sisters rock!

This isn’t the most unpredictable book I’ve ever read; I saw the twist coming a mile off. However I think Jackson Pearce’s writing is so beautiful that it didn’t really matter, and the climax was still breathtakingly exciting. There’s plenty of action but this book isn’t just about slaying werewolves. The characters and their inner turmoil’s drive the story, which is really a coming of age tale, a story about loyalty, sisters, first love and discovering who you are and your place in the world. No YA book would be complete without a love story, and this one is particularly touching, feeling very natural and unforced.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on Sisters Red and apart from the slow pages at the beginning of the book I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The ending left me with both a big smile on my face, a tear in my eye and a sadness that I was leaving the March Sisters. I’d recommend Sisters Red if you enjoy this genre, the mix of action and character development mean it has a wide appeal (and I’d advise you stick with it if you feel the same way as I did at the beginning, it’s worth it!). Jackson Pearce has given an edge to Sisters Red with feisty, strong heroines and wicked, evil monsters, which is refreshing to read and a fascinating spin on the old fairytale.

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren

A really exciting week this week, I had bookish mail every day this week (not sure the postie is as pleased as I am about that!) and only actually bought one myself! Plenty of excited and happy dancing going on! Here's what I got:

For Review:

Angel by L A Weatherly
In a world where angels are beyond redemption, Alex thinks he's found one that might deserve mercy. Alex is a ruthless assassin - of angels. Forget everything you've heard about them before. Angels are not benign celestial creatures, but fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans, draining them of their vitality until there is barely anything left. As far as Alex is concerned, the only good angel is a dead angel...until he meets Willow. She may look like a normal teenager but Willow is no ordinary girl. Half-angel, half-human, Willow may hold the key to defeating the evil angels. But as the hunter and the hunted embark on an epic and dangerous journey and Willow learns the dark and terrifying secrets of her past, Alex finds himself drawn to Willow...with devastating consequences. Eoin Colfer reinvented the fairy, Stephanie Meyer reinvented the vampire, L.A. Weatherly reinvents the angel! This is a heart-pounding, knuckle-whitening, paranormal romance action-adventure for fans of the "Twilight" series. This is the first in a devastating new trilogy. (Published in the UK by Usborne, October 2010)


The Other Countess by Eve Edwards

It's 1582 and eighteen-year-old Will Lacey's family is in trouble. After years of wasteful spending, his late father has run Lacey Hall to near ruin. Tasked with marrying his family back into fortune, the new Earl of Dorset is all set for a season at court to woo not just the Queen but potential brides with his jousting skills. But when Ellie – a strong-willed girl with nothing to her name but a worthless Spanish title – catches Will's eye, he faces a bigger battle than he could ever have anticipated.(From Penguin published 1st July UK)

Dark Goddess by Sarwatt Chadda

THE DARK GODDESS will take Billi to Russia to rescue Vasalisa, a young girl Billi’s promised to protect. To save her, Billi must defeat the werewolves that serve the witch Baba Yaga – and the Dark Goddess herself.

Baba Yaga is sickened by the destruction and corruption humanity has spread across the natural world. She recognises mankind has become a plague upon the Earth, and her duty is clear: to cleanse the planet and rid it of the pestilence of Man. Billi is sent to stop her, but does she have the right?

Betrayed and alone, Billi faces a final mighty battle in the abandoned ruins of Chernobyl.(From Penguin, published 1st July 2010 UK)

Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison

THE TRANSFORMATION
Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.
THE LOVE AFFAIR
When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.
THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?
THE HEARTBREAK
The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything. (Part of a tour organised by International Book Tours)

Don't Know Where, Don't Know When by Annette Laing


What a nightmare.
Hannah Dias, California Girl with Attitude, and Alex, her laid-back brother, have moved from exciting San Francisco to boring Snipesville, Georgia. Life doesn't improve when they meet Brandon, a dorky kid who is plotting his escape from the Deep South, and the weird Professor, who has a strange secret.
Suddenly, the kids are catapulted thousands of miles and almost seventy years to England during World War Two.
They fall into a world of stinging nettles, dragon ladies, bomb blasts, ugly underwear, stinky sandwiches, painful punishments, and non-absorbing toilet paper. They learn so much more than they could ever learn in a history class. Not that they want to learn it.
But they can't go home unless they find George Braithwaite, whoever he is, and whatever it is that he has to do with Snipesville. (sent by Annette herself)

Shade by Jeri Smith Ready (no cover pic available)

Like everyone born after The Shift, sixteen year-old Aura can see and talk to ghosts. Persistent, and often angry, some even on the verge of becoming Shades, these violet-hued spirits are constantly talking to her, following her, and demanding her help to make amends for their untimely deaths. Aura has always found this mysterious ability annoying and wished she could find a way to reverse it. She'd much rather the ghosts left her alone so she could spend time with her boyfriend, Logan. But when Logan dies suddenly and unexpectedly, Aura is forced to reconsider her connections with the dead...and, the living. Surely a violet-hued spirit Logan is better than no Logan at all, isn't it? And things are complicated further when new exchange student, Zachary, is paired with Aura for a class project researching the 'Shift phenomenon'. Zach is so understanding - and so very alive. His support and friendship means more to Aura than she cares to admit. And, as Aura's relationships with both the dead, and the living, become more complicated, so do her feelings for both Logon and Zach. Each holds a piece of her heart...and clues to the secret of the shift.(from simon And Schuster, released September 2010 UK)

I also received the paperback edition of No and Me by Delphine De Vigan from Bloomsbury, due to be published in August, but as I already read and reviewed the hardback I'm passing this on to Lynsey at Heaven, Hell and Purgatory - book reviews.

Bought:

Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she was killed?

Following a terrible tragedy that leaves her once-perfect family shattered, Katherine Patterson moves to a new city, starts at a new school, and looks forward to a new life of quiet anonymity.

But when Katherine meets the gregarious and beautiful Alice Parrie her resolution to live a solitary life becomes difficult. Katherine is unable resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is so charmed by Alice’s contagious enthusiasm that the two girls soon become firm friends. Alice’s joie de vivre is transformative; it helps Katherine forget her painful past and slowly, tentatively, Katherine allows herself to start enjoying life again.

But being friends with Alice is complicated – and as Katherine gets to know her better she discovers that although Alice can be charming and generous she can also be selfish and egocentric. Sometimes, even, Alice is cruel.

And when Katherine starts to wonder if Alice is really the kind of person she wants as a friend, she discovers something else about Alice - she doesn’t like being cast off.

Finally, is anyone else having a total mare formatting their posts on blogger? Mine are publishing completely different to how they're composed (with tiny font, bold and italics missing, double spaces) and taking an age to sort out. It's driving me mad!

Book Review: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

A dark, gothic tale of romance... and murder. In the right dose, everything is a poison. Jessamine has spent her whole life in a cottage close to her father's apothecary garden, surrounded by medicinal plants and herbs that could kill her -- although her father has never allowed her into the most dangerous part of the grounds... the poison garden. And so she's never had reason to be afraid -- until now. Because now a newcomer has come to live with the family, a quiet but strangely attractive orphan boy named Weed. Though Weed doesn't say much in words, he has an instant talent for the apothecary's trade, seeming to possess a close bond with the plants of the garden. Soon, he and Jessamine also share a close bond. But little does Jessamine know that passion can be just as poisonous as the deadliest plants in the garden -- for behind Weed's instinctive way in the garden is a terrible secret. (From Amazon.co.uk)

When I bought The Poison Diaries, I really didn’t know all that much about it. I knew that it’s based on a concept by The Duchess Of Northumberland, and her famous Poison Gardens at Alnwick Castle. Being not at all far away from where I live, and a place I’ve been meaning to visit for ages but have never got round to going, this intrigued me along with the amazing synopsis but other than that I didn’t really know quite what to expect of this novel. I’d suggest this is really the best way to go into The Poison Diaries as it turned out to be a complete surprise with me never actually knowing where it was going.

The book begins with Jessamine and her apothecarist father. They live an isolated life, in an abandoned run down cottage in the grounds of Alnwick castle. Her father is obsessed with plants and discovering new cures from them, but in particular poisonous plants. The setting was described perfectly; Maryrose Wood really brought to life the deliciously wild and wondrous Northumberland countryside. Over shadowed by the magnificent Alnwick castle (which was actually used as Hogwarts in the Harry potter Films) the atmosphere and setting had a real gothic feel. I’ve now made a trip to the castle and gardens a must do this summer as I want to see them for myself! Wood’s knowledge and passion for the plants used by the characters in the book is also clear and fascinating to read.

I did find it slow to start with, the language used is a little stilted to read and doesn’t immediately flow easily but is authentic to it’s time in history. After just a few pages though I found it easy to adapt to and the formality of the speech really did give it a genuine historical feel. To begin with Jessamine isn’t all that interesting and the book, told in the most part as a ‘loose’ version of her diary, centres around her day to day life in her isolated cottage and frustration with her obsessive father, who treats her as a child.

However when Weed appears in a shroud of mystery only a few chapters in, things take a fascinating and sinister turn. While I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, I certainly wasn’t expecting the supernatural twist! But this is one I’ve never seen done before. It risked being ridiculous, at first I thought ‘oh no way!’ but thanks to the authors fantastic writing it isn’t. I was sucked in, fascinated, horrified and completely hooked! Weed himself is an intriguing character, cloaked in secrets, dangerous and wild yet vulnerable, na├»ve and fascinatingly loveable. There is still a lot to learn about him and his past, which I hope to do in the following books in the series.

I ended up really enjoying The Poison Diaries and finished it the same day. It isn’t a long book at just over 230 pages, but there is a lot packed in. There’s a beautiful and touching romance with the kind of heartache that takes your breath away, a sinister and menacing undercurrent which you’re never quite sure where it’s actually coming from and a unique twist that kept me eagerly turning pages. Immensely atmospheric and thrilling, The Poison Diaries is a successful beginning to what promises to be a fantastic series and I’m really looking forward to the next instalment. Recommended!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's been a while since I've done a It's Monday! post, as I've been quite busy recently with a new job. I do love checking out what everyone is reading though so here I am back with mine.

Last Week I Read:



I really enjoyed this 'behind the scenes' story revolving around the Newborn army we were introduced to, if very briefly, in Eclipse, despite not being a huge fan of the book it accompanies. You can read my review here.


My first taste of Jennifer Echols work, and a new fan. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't far off and wow! Doug is Hot! I defy anyone not to fall in love with him! Review here.




Currently Reading:



Only a third in so far and not as wrapped up in this as I hoped. Maybe it's a case of over anticipation? It's good, so hopefully I'll get that Wow! feeling soon.



Up Next:

This was a Wow pick a while ago, and i was Very excited to receive a review copy.

"Discover a love story with all the power and intensity of The Time Traveler's Wife and the passion of Twilight"

With a quote like that on the front, I have high hopes for this and hope it doesn't disappoint!




This is the cutest book I've have on my shelves, hands down. The UK version is actually like a journal, complete with elastic string round to keep it shut tight. I'm REALLY looking forward to this after hearing nothing but praise for it.






So that's how my last week looks and what I have planned. what about you?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey

In My Mailbox (20)



In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren

Just A Quick IMM post this week, I'm in a rush to get out Fathers Day Shopping (My dad is soo difficult to buy for!) and then off to a BBQ at my parents. I'll come back later to add links to my books and check out all your mailboxes.... I promise!

For Review:

Single In The City by Michele Gorman

It's official. Hannah has left her friends and family in the US behind and is following her dream. To live in London. Unfortunately she's completely unprepared for what's in store. She's going to find: her dream guy - a prince or Hugh Grant would be nice. Or does she have to settle for her half-naked Australian housemate or an 'English gentleman' with terrible hygiene habits? Her dream job: something fantastic in fashion. So how has she ended up being the mini-me for an evil party planner who doesn't even trust her to arrange the paperclips? Her dream friends: but everyone in London seems to have known each other for years and Hannah's having trouble getting to know nice people. Who's she going to have fun with? Dream life? Should Hannah just dream on? Maybe it would have been simpler and cheaper to just get a new haircut. Was she mad to move 3,000 miles away from everyone she knows? Will she ever find love and her perfect life in England?

This was a WoW pick a while ago, so I was whooping when I got an email asking if I'd like to review it! Thanks Penguin!





Bought:

Well I kind of fell foul of 3 for 2 offers this week. Anyway, I picked up some series books I've been wanting for a while.

Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, City Of Ashes and City Of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Numbers 1 & 2 by Rachel Ward

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

I'd tell You I Love You, But The I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Like Bees To Honey by Caroline Smailes

(Not Pictured) The Glass Demon by Helen Grant, Beastly
byAlex Flinn, The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood



Hope you all had a great week!

Book Review: Forget You by Jennifer Echols

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. With her life about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.

But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people—suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.
(from Goodreads.com)

I’ve never read anything by Jennifer Echols before, although I was curious because of all the glowing reviews of her work across the blogasphere. When Dwayne over @ Girls Without A Bookshelf had an ARC tour of her latest book, due to be released in July, I signed up right away, eager to sample this author myself; and I really wasn’t disappointed.

Forget You tells the story of 17 year old Zoey. Her father has just left the family to move in with his pregnant 24 year old mistress and her mother, unable to cope, has attempted suicide. With her mother being treated in a psychiatric hospital Zoey is forced to move back in with her father, who is more embarrassed at his ex wifes problems and concerned only about his impending wedding vacation. He is awful, seriously one of the most hideous characters I’ve ever came across! The way he threatens Zoey, firstly about her mother and then about the amnesia she is clearly suffering after the wreck are quite shocking. Really, it’s no the wonder the poor girl is a mess herself!

Zoey’s character was a strange one. She’s not particularly likable on the surface, especially to Doug (more on him soon) however with all that’s going on, it’s understandable. She’s used to being in control, only now everything is spiralling out of her control and she’s confused. Her relationship, or to be more precise, non relationship with Brandon was slightly frustrating. It’s clear from the start that he used her, but despite the most obvious of signs, she’s convinced they are together. I wanted to give her a shake, but to be fair, I got that too. We’ve probably all got a Brandon somewhere in our past-if not then you’ve probably been lucky. Mine was Gav, a 15 year old in the year above me at school. After one quick snog, I was infatuated for months, following like a lost puppy while he did everything he could to ignore me. So maybe my experience was slightly more innocent than Zoey’s, but it’s still the whole unrequited love and being played like a good 'un that is oh so familiar to most. (BTW, I did recently look him up on facebook-the years have not been kind!)

Doug on the other hand is just... well, I want one! Hot, broody , passionate and with a dangerous past he is dreamy-ness itself. And in love with Zoey, despite the horrible way she treats him. Honestly, if you don’t want to push her out the way screaming ‘forget her’ while you’re reading this, then quite frankly I think you must have a heart of stone. With the most amazingly romantic lines, he had hooked straight away. One example is when he is trying to get her to realise Brandon would be no good for her anyway by predicting her future life with him, and ends with “But your chance to do something bright and beautiful, like you - that will be long gone” *sigh* Get ready to have your pulse racing while the rest of you melts into a simpering puddle on the floor.

I really enjoyed Echols writing, which is truthful and not afraid of showing the flaws in her characters. It’s filled with the most blissfully gorgeous lines such as the one above and some beautifully descriptive prose, which brought the setting, atmospheres and people to life. I did find it a little jumpy in parts-occasionally I felt as though I’d maybe missed a paragraph or two when I hadn’t, as something didn’t seem as clear as it should be. I wanted to know what exactly had happened the night of the crash, and was kept in the dark as much as Zoey until right at the very end, which meant I was desperate to keep reading whenever I got the chance. It is a bit full on and steamy, and had me slightly blushing on the bus a couple of times...so maybe not one for the younger end of the YA market! I’m glad I finally got a chance to read Jennifer’s work, and this most certainly won’t be the last.

Hardback or Paperback - Which do YOU like best?


The other night a mini discussion on Twitter about whether we prefer hardbacks or paperbacks, and I was hugely outvoted at 3-1 to the paperback lovers!

But surely I'm not the only one who loves Hardbacks? Really? I can see why paperbacks are appealing; They're cheaper (although I'm noticing HB's are often sold half price on release now and only a couple of pound dearer than a paperback), easier to carry about and a bit easier to curl up in bed with. But really that isn't enough for me.

To me, the sheer aesthetics of a hardback wins for me, they just look so much better! A beautiful hardback feels extremely special and I just don't think you get that with a paperback. I remember as a child receiving a set of books including Alice In Wonderland, The Secret Garden and What Katy Did as a gift from my Grandmother. They were black leather bound hardbacks with gold embossing and were just stunning. They still are because 20 years later I STILL have them, and apart from an accident with one of them (unsurprisingly my favourite and most read)) they are just as beautiful, ready to pass on to my daughter. A paperback just wouldn't have lasted like that.



An argument against hardbacks is the weight, but I love the feeling of a chunky heavy book! Ok, I may be odd but I just like the substantial-ness of them. There is something luxurious and exciting about a hardback. I'm obssessive about taking care of my books, but it's inevitable that eventually a much loved paperback will become tatty and creased. Take the dust jacket off while reading and my hardbacks remain pristine.

Of course I don't buy every book in hardback (not every book is published in hardback for a start!), in fact probably only 25% of books I own are. The ones I do own though are among my favourites and the excitement at buying or being given a stunning HB never lessens. I still want to hold it, stroke it and just stare at it (maybe I just need help?)


So, while I totally get the benefits of a paperback, I'd go for hardback where I could, a lot of the time, and it would be very rare I'd wait for a paperback of a book I wanted to read. But am I alone? Do you prefer hardback or paperback? Leave a comment and let me know!

Book Review: The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

When it was announced that Stephenie Meyer would be publishing a short novella to accompany Eclipse titled 'The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner' a lot of peoples first reaction was 'who's Bree?' Not mine though, I remembered her story straightaway, the reason being that the newborn vampires and Bree in particular, were amongst the very few sections of Eclipse I actually enjoyed. I make no bones about the fact there were huge issues with Eclipse as a book that I really struggled with. As this review isn't for Eclipse, I won't bore you with them now and I've already let rip elsewhere about my feelings. So it may come as a surprise that I was actually really excited about this novella. Why? Because despite the huge issues I have, I'm still only human and find Meyer's Twilight saga as irresistible as the rest of you! I was instantly intrigued to read the other side, one that didn't come from Bella (resists ranting again)

So, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner tells the story of the young, newborn vampire caught up in Victoria's war with Bella and The Cullen's. The novella came about when Meyer was editing Eclipse and began as nothing more than a writing exercise. It begins with Bree just 3 months after she was turned into a vampire and being prepared, along with the rest of Victoria's newly created army, to go to battle (although this is unbeknown to them) We know how the story ends, or at least you will do if you have read Eclipse. This book takes us on Bree's journey to that point, as an unwitting pawn in Victoria's deadly game of revenge.

I loved this take on the story. Seeing things from Bree's perspective gives a whole new slant to Eclipse, and I enjoyed this way more. Bree hasn't chosen to be turned, she's been kept in the dark about the truth of being a vampire (literally!) yet there is masses of spirit and curiosity there along with her vulnerability. Bizarrely hers is an incredibly human tale, 15 year old Bree is caught up in a gang of wicked vampires, but it could quite easily be a real life drug or criminal gang. She's a victim and I ended up right on her side.

The newly created army of vampires are terrifying and it's amazing to see what life was like for them, how driven their thirst actually is. They are dangerous, wild and uncontrollable- a complete contrast to the vampires we have met previously in the Twilight saga. I'm not going to give too much away, because the book is only 190 pages long and like I already said, we know how it ends, I don't want to spoil it for anyone yet to read. I will say there is a touching love story (with a couple of brilliant scenesand much sparkliness!), plenty of action, excitement and intrigue and new insights into the days leading up to the battle. It's not all perfect, Meyer's tendency to over describe is still there and I did feel that some elements of certain characters were too sketchy and vague, making me want to know even more. However the scene at the end of the battle through Bree's eyes is fantastically written and very emotional, the opportunity to read this almost makes up for the flaws. I was willing things to be different, even though I knew they couldn't be.

Overall The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner is a success in my opinion, and is everything that I want from Meyer and was missing in Eclipse. I'm glad I read this, having this 'behind the scene' insight makes me all the more excited to see Eclipse at the cinema. A must read for anyone who has read the Twilight series.


You can read The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner for free until July 5Th 2010 at www.BreeTanner.com

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren


For Review:


Pastworld by Ian Beck (Bloomsbury) Pastworld. A city within a city. A city for excursions and outings. Pastworld is a theme park with a difference, where travellers can travel back in time for a brush with an authentic Victorian past. But what if the Jack the Ripper figure stopped play-acting and really started killing people? For Caleb, a tourist from the present day, his visit goes terribly wrong when his father is kidnapped and he finds himself accused of murder. Then Caleb meets Eva Rose, a Pastworld inhabitant who has no idea the modern world exists. Both Caleb and Eva have roles to play in the murderer's diabolical plans - roles that reveal disturbing truths about their origins.

Forest Born by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury) Rin, Razo's little sister, is haunted by the forest she has always loved. When Razo invites her back to the city to be one of Queen Ani's waiting women, she happily accepts...only to end up on the adventure of her lifetime, following the queen, Enna, and Dasha into the countryside in search of a fire-starting enemy that no one can see. As she learns more about the three women's magical talents, she finds her own strength comes from places both expected the forest and unexpected the sound of her own voice. A brilliant addition to the "Books of Bayern', this book is a treat for fans of this series, and stands alone for readers who might be discovering the joys of Shannon Hale's writing for the first time. (I haven't read any of the previous books in this series...anyone know if I need to?)

Wags At The World Cup by Alison Kervin Forget Victoria Beckham. Forget Coleen. You can even forget Cheryl Cole...Tracie Martin is the true queen of the Wags. From her lemon-frosted highlights to the tips of her bejewelled bronzed toes, Tracie is the ultimate footballer's wife and this is going to be her year. The England squad are heading to South Africa for the World Cup and Tracie's husband Dean has a place on the coaching squad. So the Martin family are on their way to South Africa ...And while the fight may be on for England to regain their rightful place in the history books, Tracie knows that the true battle of the tournament will be fought in Gucci and in the pages of her favourite tabloids. But that's before she discovers that an international crime syndicate is trying to fix the world cup. Can Tracie save the day?

Bought:

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce The story of Scarlett and Rosie March, two highly-skilled sisters who have been hunting Fenris (werewolves) – who prey on teen girls – since Scarlett lost her eye years ago while defending Rosie in an attack. Scarlett lives to destroy the Fenris, and she and Rosie lure them in with red cloaks (a colour the wolves can't resist), though Rosie hunts more out of debt to her sister than drive.

But things seem to be changing. The wolves are getting stronger and harder to fight, and there has been a rash of news reports about countless teenage girls being brutally murdered in the city. Scarlett and Rosie soon discover the truth: wolves are banding together in search of a Potential Fenris – a man tainted by the pack but not yet fully changed. Desperate to find the Potential to use him as bait for a massive werewolf extermination, the sisters move to the city with Silas, a young woodsman and long time family friend who is deadly with an axe. Meanwhile, Rosie finds herself drawn to Silas and the bond they share not only drives the sisters apart, but could destroy all they've worked for.


So I was very good with my buying this week, although I also finally collected books 2 and 3 in The Last Survivors series by Susan Pfeffer, which had been waiting for me at the post office for 2 weeks. I LOVED the first book, Life As We Knew It (review here) and can't wait to get stuck into The Dead and the Gone and This World We Live in as soon as I can



So what did you get this week? Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought!






Book Review: Temptation Street by Shari Low

Glaswegian business women and best friends, Suze and Mel seem to have it all. Both married to the successful Marshell brothers Karl and Joe, a thriving lingerie and beauty business between them and a host of close friends; they're living the dream. That is until Suze suspects her husband, karl, is cheating and decides to hire a honey trap. Only the results aren't quite what she was expecting and will blow the entire family apart. Can the family ever recover? With another major blow hanging over all their heads is this the end of the line for all concerned?

I've never read anything by Shari Low before, and now I have the feeling I've been missing out! I absolutely loved her writing style, which is fun, sassy and exciting from beginning to end.
Mel and Suze are both strong and successful thirty-somethings and despite my life being a bit (ok a lot) less glamorous than theirs, I loved both of them. Suze is the stronger of the two, headstrong, impetuous and completely over the top, I imagine her being hard work as a friend! Mel on the other-hand, is more grounded, thoughtful and considerate. My heart and sympathy went out to Mel, as she comes off the worst from everyone else's antics, but remains strong and doesn't become a pity character. I became completely wrapped up in both women's lives, and it's their flaws which make them even more appealing.

What makes this book an absolute joy to read is the hysterical dialogue between the characters. I adored the snipey, sarky humour, it had tears of laughter rolling down my face. Reading Shari Low's writing is like having the best girls night out ever. I wanted to be friends with Suze and Mel and be a part of their close knit circle. I don't think I've ever read a chick lit that came across like it could be me and my girlfriends sharing stories and a few glasses of wine in the way this one does. It was refreshing and fun to read from beginning to end. But best of all, this was possibly the most unpredictable chick lit I have ever read, the surprises just keep on coming right to the very end. It's incredibly clever how Low diverts our suspicion then springs the truth on the reader at the same time as the characters. It certainly makes for an exciting read indeed.

While Suze and Mel are the main characters, the supporting cast aren't anything but stars themselves. Loyal employee, Josie is terrifying and caring all at the same time, just the type of person you want to take you under their wing. Virginia, mother in law from hell is deliciously detestable and definitely one you'll love to hate. The husbands, and other men folk, do play their part in the book but this is really very much all about girl power and strong female characters.

Amongst all the fun there are some serious undertones giving Temptation Street meat to it's bones. Suspicion, betrayal, truth and how much of it you really want to know, knowing those closest to you and knowing what you want yourself and how these themes affect relationships run throughout the book, as well as an incredibly realistic and current issue which comes as a bolt from blue. You will laugh, cry, want to join in and comfort both women as they heal, move on and face other problems. If there is one book chick lit fans should be packing in their cases this summer for poolside reading, It's this one. Highly recommended!

Temptation Street was published on 3rd June 2010.

Many thanks to Carolyn @ Bookchickcity for passing me this review copy on behalf of Piatkus books

Random Rambling and Some New UK Blogs To Check Out

I haven't done any round up posts for ages, and have lots of little tidbits I wanted to post. So having finally caught up on myself thought I'd get them all out in one long ramble...lucky you!

To Rename or not to Rename...?

So when I started this blog back in September 09, I wasn't really expecting anyone to read it and to be honest, I didn't put that much thought into my blog name. Anyhow, it's been bugging me for a while now and I've been thinking of buying a domain name and changing it because, well I'll let you into a little secret, my real name isn't Rhiana sssh! It is however the nickname I've used since I first got myself on the world wide web 7 years ago (a shortened version of the goddess Rhiannon and NOT the pop star who hadn't even been heard of then, I'll have you know!) and it is my daughters middle name. Anyway, I want honest opinions. Is it really rubbish? Would you like another name? I've tried to come up with something really witty and clever...but failed. After admiring my bookshelves and noticing how sparkly, shiny and lovely my books are I was thinking 'My Glittering Bookshelves' or 'The Glittering Bookcase' ... thoughts?

Challenge Updates

Well I'm bashing on at steady speed with both the challenges I signed up to.

I've completed 38 books as part of the 100+ reading challenge, so I could do with pushing on with that a bit. However I've almost completed my aim of 25 books in the YA Reading challenge, currently totalling 24. So i'm going to increase this to 50.

I think these stats reflect where my reading is going now. I always liked to dip in and out of the YA catagory, but now I'm just obsessed and it's pretty much all I want to read right now! What I love best is that under the YA cat, there are so many different genres and I can flit between historical, paranormal, contemporary, fantasy...it's fantastic, never boring, always able to relate to the YA themes and I've read some amazing books in genres I probably never would have in adult books. I'm massive on dystopia atm, have a basket full of titles over on amazon calling 'buy me' right now...ooops.

You can check out a full list of books read as well as links to the challenge host pages here

An Award
I've been a bit rubbish at accepting awards recently, and I am sorry...really I do appreciate it! Here's one I've never had before from Naomi @ Naoimi's Book Reviews

The rules of accepting this award are easy, tell us the last five books you read and pass the award onto five other book bloggers.

So my last five books read were:

Crossed Wires by Rosie Thornton
Forget You by Jennifer Echols
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper
The Forest Of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Life as We Knew it by Susan Pfeffer

And I'm passing this one on to five bloggers who always make the time to read reviews and leave such lovely, thoughtful and supportive comments. They Are:

Becky @ The Bookette

Although you're all stars!!!!

Finally (phew!) Some New UK Bloggers To Check Out!

I remember when I first started blogging struggling to find any UK bloggers. Maybe I was looking in the wrong places, or you were hiding? Anyway, the lovely Becky @ The Bookette, champion of the new UK blogger, linked to me in a post and I was found. So in a similar vein, here are a few new or new to me UK YA book blogs I've recently stumbled accross...all of them are fab so go check them out!

Asamum Reads and Fluttering Butterflies (who has the prettiest blog background) are both well established blogs, but are completely new to me, so if you're yet to discover them go over now and say Hi!

Mostly Reading YA has been tweeting books for a while but recently started a blog and I love the layout! Some great discussion posts on favourite YA covers and E-readers v Paperbacks.

And just starting yesterday, Lyndsey @ Heaven, Hell and Purgatory - Book Reviews is the very new blog on the block. A fan of YA fantasy and Paranormal she has a unique rating system...I LOVE it!... please go over and make her welcome!

And that's all from me!





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