Thursday’s Special Spotlight; My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Posted on 21 February, 2013 by Faye - 7 Comments

Special Spotlight

Thursday’s Special Spotlight is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts. It is inspired by her library’s “Book of the Week” and Stepping out of the Page’s From the Review Pile. It also stems from how far behind I am on writing reviews and how guilty I often feel about it!

The idea of this feature is to spotlight books that I read e-ons ago that I absolutely loved and I feel deserve the spotlight on this blog! They will be accompanied with reasons as to why I loved them and why I think you should read them.


This weeks pick is My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

my soul to take

This is another book that I read a while back, maybe in March or April last year. I got it from the library after seeing some recomendations for it but I was really unsure about it simply because on the UK cover it has “Twilight Fans Will Love This”. Bearing in mind I really can’t stand Twilight, and am certainly NOT a fan, I was weary of it. Did I really want to read a book in a similiar vein of Twilight? Essentially, I ignored that small text on the cover and listened to my blogger friends instead and am glad that I did because I really enjoyed this book. I really must mention that this book is nothing like Twilight. There is no love triangle, no, “I’ll die without your love”, no “I want to be a vampire”, and, there is even brilliant writing involved. The ONLY thing similiar, in my opinion, was the romance was a bit insta-love BUT the reason behind it is clear and makes sense. That, in itself, puts it apart from the rest. And Kaylee is a much better protagonist than Bella as well.

Moving away from the differences and similiarties, while the smaller plot points of this book are failing me because I have read so many books between now and then, I cannot deny that this book pulled me in and forced me to continue going. I loved it so much that I requested the next two books in the series from the library straight away and this is the teaser review I left on Goodreads; “a longer review will appear ASAP. But for now, I just have to say… I am so glad I read this! It’s such a good book and I cannot wait to read the next few books in the series!” Needless to say, I really liked this one. There was a swoon-worthy romance, a kick-ass heroine, moral dilemma’s, and a lot of good action to keep you interested. I loved that Kaylee didn’t know what was going on with her, loved all the little twists and turns that pop up along the way, and I just really loved Nash. He was just a great character who was there for Kaylee throughout it all. This is definitely one that I enjoyed a lot!

Why do I think YOU should read My Soul to Take?
If you like stories that are full of depth and real emotion than this is one I would recommend that you read. It does have paranormal elements so if you are not into mythical creature stories then maybe this wouldn’t be for you but I haven’t read a story with “soul screamers” (trying not to spoil anything) in before and I really enjoyed it. All the paranormal elements are explained well as Kaylee is just learning them all herself as well. This book is one that will take your hand and drag you through the story without any need for escape. It is compelling, entertaining, and if I do remember correctly, also had me laughing at quite a few moments. I have also read the next two books in the series and I have to admit that they are just as good, if not better, than the first book and therefore there is even more reason to pick up the first one in the series! So, unless you still want to miss out on a swoon-worthy Nash, a kick-ass Kaylee, and a fun-loving Todd, you really should pick up this book!

Have you read My Soul to Take? Do you argee with me or disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

faye1

Posted on 21 February, 2013 by Faye - 7 Comments


Posted on 20 February, 2013 by Faye - 111 Comments


Blogger Spotlight; Michelle talks British Authors

Posted on 20 February, 2013 by Faye - 5 Comments

Michellespotlight

Hey Guys!
So today I have the lovely Michelle (Clover) from Fluttering Butterflies here to tell you all about five of her favourite British Authors and some of the books that they have coming out this year!

Hello! I’m absolutely thrilled to be here today. Thank you so much to Faye for inviting me! If you don’t know already, I’m Clover, the blogger behind Fluttering Butterflies. I have a passion for many things – reading, blogging, jelly beans, winning at Scrabble – but today I want to talk to you about something very close to my heart. And that is supporting British authors.

Some people might find that strange because, in fact, I am not British at all. I am American born and bred. But something that I grew up knowing, and I don’t feel it as much since I moved to the UK, is that you’re always meant to support the home team. And as a reader and as a book blogger, for me, supporting the home team means shouting from the rooftops about my favourite British authors and the books that they write. And you know what? You are in so much luck because so many of my favourite authors are also coming out with new books this year. 2013 is going to rock for awesome YA books!

  1. Patrick Ness – First up, we have an American expat, Patrick Ness. Yes, he’s American, but he lives here now, so he counts! Patrick Ness is the author of one of my all-time favourite ever series of books, The Chaos Walking trilogy. It’s sci-fi and I think it’s set on a different planet and it’s not the sort of book I’d normally read but I don’t think any of that matters. I think the reason it should be read is because of how brilliantly Ness tells this story, and creates this characters and situations that feel so believable and emotional and so messy and complicated. These three books were absolutely addictive and I wanted to put my entire life on hold in order to finish them. Wonderfully, Patrick Ness has TWO books out this year, The Crane Wife, an adult book and a YA book called More Than This expected to be published in the fall… September can not get here any quicker!
  2. Kevin Brooks – I’m on a mission to read all of Kevin Brooks’ backlist as soon as possible. I’ve only read 4 or 5 of his books so far, but oh man, were they good. I’ve loved all of his books I’ve read whether it be about bullying or a mysterious loner who arrives for an eventful summer or about the death of a loved one, but probably especially Naked, this story about a girl falling in love in 70s London amidst the emergence of punk music. I thought the way in which the music was written, it really made me feel involved in the story. Without having any sort of prior interest about punk music or the punk movement (?) as I was reading Naked I felt myself being hugely fascinated and almost mesmerised by every single detail of it all. And I think that takes a lot of skill. So it was with great excitement that I heard that Kevin Brooks’ new book, The Bunker Diary, will be published this summer. It’s being described as ‘Room meets Lord of the Flies’ and it just sounds so good. Like something that will scare me but will also have me glued to the pages! I cannot wait.
  3. Hayley Long – Next up we have Hayley Long! I first came across Hayley’s books when I was looking into books about mental health issues for a themed event I did a few years back. Hayley Long has written three books about Lottie Biggs, in which the first book Lottie suffers from a ‘mental disturbance of a significant nature’ but what’s so brilliant about this book, and the rest of the books in the series, is that they are written in such a funny and engaging way and while they do cover some serious-ish topics, they aren’t weighed down by seriousness. In fact, there’s a lot of silliness and goofy little drawings that still make me smile! I love that about them. But it was What’s Up With Jody Barton? that really blew me away and planted Hayley Long on my list of favourite authors. I started Jody Barton thinking ‘this is a really cute story and even though I think I know where this is headed, I still think I’ll have a great time getting to where it’s going’ – and then wham! this twist happens and it turns out that this book isn’t at all how I thought it would turn out to be. And with that, it became something that got under my skin and made me think. Jody Barton’s story has really stayed with me. So look out for Hayley’s new book, Downside Up, coming at you in July! I know I will be reading it, will you?
  4. Tabitha Suzuma – I hadn’t really heard of Tabitha Suzuma before the publication of Forbidden. But that was a book that really made a lot of people sit up and take notice. Because, hello? a YA love story that involves a consensual incent relationship? At first, I was thinking ‘no way’ and then after a few people read it and raved about it, I forced myself into reconsidering. And I’m so glad that I did. Forbidden is nothing if not absolutely surprising and it really made me reevaluate what I felt was right in this sort of situation. It’s a book that promotes love without any restrictions and boundaries and I think it was a beautifully written love story. After it tore my heart into pieces, I decided to look up Tabitha Suzuma’s backlist and was very pleasantly surprised by what I found, especially after reading A Note of Madness about a pianist’s struggles with bipolar disorder. She quites incredibly emotional books that push boundaries and test limits. And I have very high expectations for her latest book, Hurt, which is due to be published in August!
  5. Meg Rosoff – Feeling a little bit bad that we have yet another American who has taken to living in the UK, but hey, that describes me as well, so we’re just going to go with it. And I really think Meg Rosoff has earned her spot on my favourite authors list! While I didn’t love There Is No Dog as much as her others, I have raved about her other books so much. I love the unconventional love interests, I love the strong women, I love her quirkiness. I love how much I get sucked into the beautiful writing and how much I feel like I’m right there with the main characters. I’m super excited that this spring sees the release of the film version of How I Live Now. There isn’t a bunch to know about Meg Rosoff’s new book, Picture Me Gone, due out in September, but I believe it is about a road trip in the US, with a girl and her father on this journey of discovery, a book about questions and answers and that fuzzy divide between adults and children. I am definitely looking forward to this!

So those are my top 5 British authors with books due out this year. But this list is only the very tippy-top of the list! There are so many more that I’m excited about in 2013 – with books by Sophia Bennett, Phil Earle, Zoe Marriott, Tanya Byrne and Louise Rennison amongst so many more!

These are some of my favourite British authors, I’d love to hear about yours?

Posted on 20 February, 2013 by Faye - 5 Comments


New Skin!

Posted on 19 February, 2013 by Faye - 8 Comments

Hey Guys!

So as you may notice, I now have a new skin! *waves banner* Thanks to the help of a friend, who coded the template for me. There are still some things I’m ironing out – i.e. new social media icons & banner button!, but overall, it should be all completely finished. Wahooo!

It took a long time, but I’m pretty happy with the finished product.

If you notice any kinks or errors while on the blog, if you could let me know, I would be enternally grateful to you!
A few other things may change over the next few days/weeks, but otherwise this skin is here to stay for a fair while.

What are your thoughts on the skin? Do you love it? Hate it? I’d love to know!
(any flammatory or derrogatory comments WILL be deleted.)

faye1

Posted on 19 February, 2013 by Faye - 8 Comments


Book Review; Looking For Alaska by John Green

Posted on 19 February, 2013 by Faye - 13 Comments

Looking For Alaska

Author: John Green
Publisher: Harper Collins Childrens
Published: March 1st 2011
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source:: Bought
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Summary:
A deeply affecting coming-of-age story, Looking for Alaska traces the journey of Miles Halter, a misfit Florida teenager who leaves the safety of home for a boarding school in Alabama and a chance to explore the “Great Perhaps.” Debut novelist and NPR commentator Green perfectly captures the intensity of feeling and despair that defines adolescence in this hip, shocking, and emotionally charged work of fiction.

Miles has a quirky interest in famous people’s last words, especially François Rabelais’s final statement, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” Determined not to wait for death to begin a similar quest, Miles convinces his parents to let him leave home. Once settled at Culver Creek Preparatory School, he befriends a couple of equally gifted outcasts: his roommate Chip―commonly known as the Colonel—who has a predilection for memorizing long, alphabetical lists for fun; and the beautiful and unpredictable Alaska, whom Miles comes to adore.

The kids grow closer as they make their way through a school year filled with contraband, tests, pranks, breakups, and revelations about family and life. But as the story hurtles toward its shattering climax, chapter headings like “forty-six days before” and “the last day” portend a tragic event―one that will change Miles forever and lead him to new conclusions about the value of his cherished “Great Perhaps.”


There Will

Before I started Looking For Alaska I had high expectations of the book simply because of the large proportion of people who seem to love John Green. Personally, I had not read a John Green book before but I didn’t want to start reading his books by jumping into The Fault In Our Stars and so I went to this book instead. Fortunately, I am happy to report that my expectations were met and that this book was incredibly good and one that I am incredibly glad that I took the chance to read. It is not a book that is all happy on life, but rather one that questions life and death and everything in between. It was a book that I loved reading and I feel that it was probably the perfect introduction to John Green.

Always Be

Moving to a new school is never easy, even if you have decided to make the move yourself, and this book does a good job of reflecting on all the different things that occur in a new enviroment. It helped to make the book exciting and interesting, as we’re getting to know Miles’ friends at the same time as he is. But it’s the overall plot of this book that really keeps the reader going. As mentioned in the summary above, the chapters are seperated by “days before”, and “days after”. It’s never mentioned what it is referring to in the before section but you can’t help but feel this imminent dread. You want to embrace Miles’ new friendships, his new school life and all of the fun adventures he goes on, but there’s always this niggling in the back of your mind about what is actually going to happen, what is going to change? I found this to be a really unique and interesting way of setting out the chapters and it really helped to make this story that much more entertaining and enjoyable.

New Beginnings

Miles was a character that was instantly admired. He was smart, risk-taking, but also incredibly cautious at times, always with a niggling feeling at the back of his mind. It was great to get to know more about him, to feel the emotions he was truly dealing with through his narrative voice, it was truly possible to know and understand everything that he was going through. I liked that about the book, and it helped to make me really like Miles that much more as well. I wanted things to be okay for him, wanted him to have the fresh start that he deserved. Alaska, on the other hand, wasn’t a character I particularly liked, I’m not sure what it was about her exactly but she just never seemed like a likable character to me. I could see why Miles liked her, befriended her and wanted to spend time with her but I just couldn’t personally do it myself. Yet, I still felt emotionally attached to her and that, I feel, is in large part due to the immaculate writing of John Green.

And Interesting

This book was John Green’s debut novel and it seems to me like a brilliant way to enter into the world of publishing. His writing is easy to get to grips with, and has a way of really grabbing the reader by the shoulders and forcing their arms to keep turning the page. It is interesting and intense, he has a lovely way of capturing human emotions in a way that makes all of his characters feel realistic and alive. You could, quite easily, picture these people walking up and down the street. But it’s more than that. John Green has a way of questioning things with his writing and his stories, a way of opening things up that you may have never thought of before. For example, at the end of this book, there are many unanswered questions for Miles and yet he knows that, that is simply the way life is sometimes, which in turn reflects back to the reader who is also left with unanswered questions, ones that without probing John Green himself, will never know the answer to either. I found this to be one of the best parts of Looking for Alaska, John Green simply tells it as it is.

Last Words

Looking For Alaska is a contemporary novel that really gets to work from the get go. It centers around an interesting character with an odd fascination for last words who gets to go to a new school and meet some new friends. It is interesting, entertaining, and compelling, and a book that I am incredibly glad that I got to read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporary YA novels, novels with male protagonists and novels that have a way of questioning the very ways of life. There is so much going on in this novel and I wish I could mention it all but I feel that this is one of those books that you really need to experience for yourself. So, stop reading this review now and go and pick up this book and read it. Chances are it’ll move you in many different ways and make you really think about the world without letting you realise that, that is exactly what you are doing. This is a book that I would easily read again and again.

Four Stars

faye1

Posted on 19 February, 2013 by Faye - 13 Comments


Book Tour Reviews; Outside & The Clearing by Shalini Boland

Posted on 18 February, 2013 by Faye - 17 Comments

Howdy!
So today I am the first stop on The Clearing by Shalini Boland blog tour hosted by Fiction Addiction Book Tours. I am bringing you a review of both the first book in the series and the second!
To follow the rest of the tour, just click here

OutsideAuthor: Shalini Boland
Publisher: Adrenalin Books
Published: 21st July 2011
Pages: Unknown
Format: Ebook
Source: Complimentary Copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, TBD

Summary: The future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal. If you’re inside you’re lucky. If you’re outside, life expectancy takes a nose dive.

Riley is fortunate to have been born on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through and murders her sister.

She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. Luc decides to go with her otherwise she’ll be dead before she’s past the security gate. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable that she ever imagined.

Cut to the present day where Eleanor’s world is falling apart. This time next year, civilisation won’t be quite so civilised…


When It’s

Reading post-apocalyptic fiction has been less popular recently with the rise of dystopian fiction, especially with the crossover of the two genres in the first place. So when I heard about The Outside I knew that is was a book that I really wanted to read because I hadn’t read any post-apocalyptic fiction in a long time. Fortunately, I was glad to have taken a chance on this book as it was a very entertaining and enjoyable book that I would easily recommend to other people to read.

All Taken Away

Imagine you’re living in a world that has only just survived the world’s largest terrorist attacks. Imagine you’re living in a Perimeter your dad made for your neighbourhood to keep you safe from the terrorists, rioters, and other dangers. Now imagine that someone ruins the security of that perimeter and is on the run about to get away with it. What would you do? Would you bow down and just continue your life or would you go after the person, no matter the cost? This is the set-up to The Outside and it is the beginning of an elaborate plot that is gripping, tense, and wholly action-packed. With so much going on throughout the novel, it is impossible not to really enjoy this story as it leaves you aching for more.

You Must Stand

Riley is the type of protagonist that I like seeing in books, she isn’t fearless and she doesn’t have an ample amount of arrogance, but she is incredibly brave and able to think on her feet in difficult situations. Riley may get scared often, but she bites down on her gut instinct and goes into it anyway, because it’s either fight or die and she certainly has the fight instinct in her bones. I found her to be an enjoyable character to read about and really liked getting to know her better. Luc was another character that I found myself appreciating. He was protective, powerful, smart, and also a bit of a charmer too. He may seem like your all-around guy but he is stubborn, has a bit of a temper at times and likes to be in charge but these flaws just help to make him seem that much more humane. He was definitely a character that stole my heart, that was for sure.

And Fight Or

One of the most difficult things to writing a post-apocalyptic novel is getting the world building right as it is the backbone of the entire novel. Therefore I am happy to report that I was impressed with it in this novel. Boland has a unique style that gives you just enough of what you need to know about the world until the next part of the plot unfolds. It was possible to see the world as it is described, and it is certainly a terrifying world to live in; one that may just occur one day. This novel showed not only the world after the attacks, but also the world before and this intermittent story telling helped to build the intensity of the novel and helped to keep the reader hooked to the page – but I’m wary as I’m sure this style may not be loved by everyone.

Lose It All

While, for me, there wasn’t that final spark to this book that made me love it more than words, this was a book that I well and truly loved reading and am incredibly glad that I took a chance on. It is a novel that had an interesting back story, a thrilling crime with a touch of mystery surrounding it, and an action-packed thriller story that keeps you interested throughout the entire novel. It is also one that really gets you emotionally invested in the characters as they’re relatable and strong characters, so it’s difficult not to feel emotional for them as you read the journey’s they partake. Personally I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good YA post-apocalyptic book, anyone who likes compelling plots, and gripping moments that keep you turning that page over and over again.

Four Stars

** I received this copy from the blog tour company in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

The ClearingAuthor: Shalini Boland
Publisher: Adrenalin Books
Published: January 15th 2013
Pages: Unknown
Format: Ebook
Source: Complimentary Copy from Author
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, TBD

Summary: In the ravaged future, children are disappearing.

Riley lives safely behind her Perimeter Fence, but soon she’ll have to confront the terrible truth of what’s happening outside. An old enemy is approaching. Threatening to extinguish her way of life.

To save herself, she will have to fight to save another. She must put herself in the last place she ever wanted to be.

This is the terrifying sequel to the post apocalyptic thriller OUTSIDE.


There Is

After finishing The Outside, despite it not ending on a major cliffhanger, I was definitely reading to jump into reading The Clearing, and boy was I glad that I read this book. It was truly a great adventure that kept me needing to turn the page. The only thing I can really recommend is that anyone who reads this book has read The Outside first. While it is possible to pick it up fairly easy from the story, there is essential background information in the first book of this series that is not in the second one. Aside from that, I would highly recommend this book as it is one that I really liked and just couldn’t get enough of.

A Threat

Unlike the previous book, this novel starts straight in with the action as the slower background work has already happened for the series. This helped to make the book more compelling and action-packed then the book that came before it. The Clearing was fast-paced from the get go and really keeps the reader interested as it flips between different stories and character POVs; henceforth broadening the story. It is also full of different twists and turns that keep the action and tensions high, making it shocking and compelling all at the same time. This author really knows how to write a book that grips you from the start until the very end.

That Will Change

The characters from the first book that appear in this one are just as great to read about in this story but we are also introduced to some new characters who took my breath away. First and foremost is Liss. I found her to be a really sweet, protective, strong, protective character that I couldn’t help but find myself adoring. She was scared but brave, worried and afraid but able to put on a brave face for Annabelle and that really struck a chord with me. She went through so much and still turned out to be such a great person and I really liked that about her. FJ, on the other hand, was a character that you were meant to dislike and I certainly felt hatred towards him. But I also felt compassion for him to. I understood so much about him, could see where it all must have gone wrong for him and am actually really intrigued to see more of him in the next book.

Everything Dramatically

It is clear from this second book in the series that Shalini Boland is a brilliant writer who has a lot of talent within her with the ability to progress in her writing skills. I loved the way she keeps the story tense and gripping. She has a way of twisting the plot in many different ways while also making it still easy to follow. I didn’t expect a lot of the things to occur to did and I found that to be a large part of her charm as I hate it when I can guess what will happen next or how books will end but even as this book only had a few pages left, I wasn’t sure if all our characters would be safe or not. It is clear that a lot of care and time was taken with this book which just helps to make it even more enjoyable.

Until It’s Over

Overall, The Clearing is a book that really shouldn’t be missed. It is full of action, is fast-paced and interesting, and is one of those books that is just a real treasure to be able to read. It is a brilliant and powerful novel that I really enjoyed reading, would be happy to read again and simply couldn’t recommened it anymore. It is also just as emotional, if not more, than the first one in the series, and has a very intriguing and cliff-hanger-y ending that will have you on the edge of your seat gripping the sides of your e-reader as your mind devours the words on the page. I would easily recommend this book to lovers of post-apocalyptic fiction, and especially to those that have read the first book in the series. While the first was good, it is easy to state that the second book is better, and therefore I am now itching to get my hands on the third book as I am making a grand assumption that it will be even better than the second. So what are you waiting for? Get started on this series now!

Four Stars

** I received this copy from the blog tour company in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **

faye1

Posted on 18 February, 2013 by Faye - 17 Comments


Weekly Highlights; The Busy Week Edition

Posted on 17 February, 2013 by Faye - 1 Comment

weekly highlights

Weekly Highlights is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts and will be a post highlighting things that happened on and off the blog. It is inspired by The Story Sirens In My Mailbox, Books, Biscuit and Tea’s Showcase Sunday, Kimba Caffeinated’s Sunday Post, and the British Letterbox Love.

In the feature I won’t mention everything I received, nor every post I wrote during the week but will simply feature a selection of things I wish to spotlight a second time around.


Post Highlights

As the title of this post suggests, this week was incredibly busy for me (offline) and so my posts were sporadic and whacky this week. I want to apologise for that and hope that you’ll forgive me! I’ve got a busy week upcoming as well but I’ll try to stay on track!

This week I wrote three reviews;
Warm Bodies (2013) (FOUR HEARTS)
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black (FOUR HEARTS)
Croak by Gina Damico (FIVE HEARTS)

I also had the lovely and wonderful Yelena Black on the blog as part of her book tour. She was a guest poster in my Behind the Blog meme and wrote about her experiences with love and how it shaped her writing. You can read all about it by simply clicking here

My Thursday’s Special Spotlight this week was Hereafter by Tara Hudson. Check out why I love it and why I think you should read it here

The Behind the Blog topic this week was about Gestures. You can read my thoughts on this here. You can also write about this topic at any point this week until Thursday and still link up!


Giveaways

This week I announced the winner of the Dance of Shadows giveaway I was hosting, which was Laura C.

Today I posted a new giveaway for you all, Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Hop which is open until 21st Feb. You can find out more about it and enter here


Upcoming

This week on the blog I am participating in the blog tour for The Clearing by Shalini Boland. Look out for that tomorrow!

I’ll also be participating in another giveaway hop so keep your eyes peeled!

Behind the Blog’s topic for next week is;
So on February 9th 2013, it was National Library Day in the UK and as a new library assitant, I feel it is my duty to make this weeks topic be about the library! Therefore, this week, I would like you to talk about your library, or your memories of your library. Do you, or have you ever, used a library? Does yours have a good selection? Are there any things about libraries that you love or hate? What would you recemmond your library do?
In relation to books and films; what libraries have made you awe? What libraries have you wished you had been able to visit yourselves?


Letterbox Love

letterboxlove2

I didn’t get any new books or bookish things this week. But I certainly have enough to be reading so that’s okay!


And there you have it, my Weekly Highlights!

I hope to visit all posts of this manner, so feel free to link to your own IMMs, Sunday Showcase, Sunday Posts, Letterbox Loves or whatever it is you do below!

what did you get this week? what cool blog posts did you stumble upon? what are you waiting to happen this week?

faye1

Posted on 17 February, 2013 by Faye - 1 Comment


Posted on 17 February, 2013 by Faye - 17 Comments


Book Review; Croak by Gina Damico

Posted on 16 February, 2013 by Faye - 1 Comment

Croak

Author: Gina Damico
Publisher: Graphia Books
Published: 20th March 2012
Pages: 311
Format: Paperback
Source:: Bought Copy
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, TBD

Summary:
Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex’s parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape.

But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business.

She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can’t stop her desire for justice – or is it vengeance? – whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again.

Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?


There’s Something

When I first heard about Croak I instantly wanted to read it. I don’t know what it is about reaper stories – although it probably stems from my love of ghost stories – but I love reading about them. What I didn’t expect, however, was to find Croak so immensely hilarious. Already from the very first page I was giggling inwardly and as the book continued, I found myself laughing out loud and just truly kept myself entertained. While I understood that I would like this book simply for its reaper story, I never imagined I would have loved it quite this much but Croak simply found a way into my heart and it is there that it will now stay. Needless to say I am incredibly excited to read the sequel!

Very Different

Lex is a teenager who used to be sweet, innocent and lovely but then suddenly she was angry. She didn’t understand her own anger but found herself lashing out at everyone who cared about her anyway. Finally fed-up with her behaviour, her parents ship her off to live with her Uncle. Who knew that the world she would learn about there would not only explain her anger but shape her into an entirely different person? I fell in love with the plot of this story. I was turning the page quickly, gushing at moments, gasping at others, but all the while I was sucked in by the mystery of it and the need that Lex had to know all the answers. I wanted to help her, to push her in the right direction and I wanted everyone to listen to her. There was so much going on in this story that it was incredibly difficult not to enjoy it, to the point that by the end I had tears strolling down my cheeks and I was begging for more.

About Her

If there was one thing that helped to keep this novel grounded, it was the characters that were brilliantly written, therefore feeling very realistic. You could imagine Lex as someone you knew, or in my case, I witnessed parts of her personality as my own. Aside from being well-written, these characters were also likable, entertaining and just helped to bring the rest of the story alive. Lex, our main protagonist, was my favourite character. She had a high moral compass, got overwhelmed easily, was stubborn and yet she also really did try to follow the rules. She was fascinated with all the new ideas thrown upon her and ended up taken her new life in her stride. On top of all of that, she was also fiercly protective, not just of her loved ones but of everyone she met and that just made her a rather interesting character to read about.

Uncle Morty was my second favourite character in this novel. He had such a character that made me chuckle while he also managed to command an entire room’s attention. He had an anger – naturally, and he was a brilliant leader but really, a pretty cool uncle as well. I just loved reading about him when he turned up in the story and my only wish was that Lex trusted him a little more. Finally we have Driggs. He was a great character and the dynamic relationship between him and Lex was really interesting to read about. In a way, they completed each other – even if they would not admit it to each other! – and it just worked so well with everything else going on. There were a few times I wanted to hug Driggs, and other times when I just wanted to punch him – haha.

puzzlepiece20
If Only She

There is so much more that I can say about this novel but I feel like I would probably end up ranting and raving about it for too long if I tell you ALL about it. But I will say that one of the things that really kept me riveted was the setting of the story. The creativeness behind the little village her uncle lives in to the jellyfish that tells the reapers where the near dying are (it’s more complex and interesting then it sounds, I promise!), just really brought this story a unique and intriguing setting that I loved reading about. I feel that this setting was written beautifully by a talented author who has managed to write a world that you can see clearly in your mind’s eye. There was never too much description but there was always just enough with a little space for you to fill in the last few gaps. It really managed to bring the story alive for me.

Knew What

Overall this was a novel that really grabbed me and one that I really truly loved. While I mentioned it was funny, it must also be noted that this book does have a serious undertone within it as well. There are moral issues that are questioned, as well as an evil that is travelling through the world trying to ruin all the hard work that all the reapers do. It really has everything that you could ever want from a novel and I have to give props to Gina Damico for managing to write a really compelling, interesting and creative novel. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read YA novels that will not only make them laugh but also pack an emotional punch. It is an exhilarating read that you really shouldn’t miss out on reading.

five stars

faye1

Posted on 16 February, 2013 by Faye - 1 Comment


Behind the Blog #41; It’s All in the Gesture

Posted on 15 February, 2013 by Faye - 2 Comments

BTB4

Behind the Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The co-hosts, Faye, Kathe, and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or other media they find interesting!

With it being Valentine’s Day this week, we wanted to ask about gestures of love. Do you appreciate grand gestures, ie, being lavished with gifts, and chocolates, romantic getaways etc. Or do you appreciate the smaller things, like your bf/gf doing something for you without being asked, a homecooked meal, etc. If you’d like, you can share what you did/will do to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
In relation to books and media: What are some gestures of love, grand or small that have stuck out to you in books or movies?


This is actually an interesting topic for me because it meant I had to really think about it. For years I have always been adament that I didn’t like grand gestures – and don’t even get me started on valentine’s day – but over the last few years something in me has changed. I have a problem with public displays of affection, so any gestures done publicly I will probably always feel uncomfortable about. Proposing in a restaurant may seem romantic to some people but for me it is probably something that would cause me to have an anxiety attack. So while many would appreciate the gesture, I know for a fact, I would struggle to truly appreciate it.

On the other hand, after speaking to my friend about this, I decided that I would love gestures that showed a person knew me well, or just really was thinking about me and caring about me. For example, knowing that I love books and was really looking forward to a particular one and buying me it, or a necklace in the theme of a favourite book, something that showed that they were really paying attention would be hard to ignore and not appreciate. And if they knew me that well, chances are they’d also make sure to give it to me in a private space.

So I guess, in a way, I would definitely enjoy smaller gestures to grand ones. It’s part of the reason I hate valentine’s so much (and no, it isn’t because I’ve never had a date on valentine’s day), but because everyone expects so much to be done for them because everyone else is celebrating their loved ones. In the scheme of grand things, valentine’s day is definitely high on that list so I know for certain that I would struggle to like anything given to me on any valentine’s day – especially if they went and forgot to buy something for a more important date; an anniversary. I appreciate the idea behind Valentine’s, of having a day to simply enjoy your loved ones and to thank them for all they do but I just don’t like it. To me, it’s become a hallmark holiday, not worth many people’s time.

But if I was to come home the day after valentine’s day, or the day before, to find my other half had done something nice for me? I would be incredibly happy. Because we were being sheepdogs and not simple sheep. In that small gesture, no matter what it was, it would show that the person I was with knew me well by simply knowing how much I really don’t like valentine’s day. It seems silly, and it sounds even worse than it does in my head. But for me, I think gestures are good simply in their spontaneity. If you know they’re coming, if you expect them, then the surprise and overwhelming happiness that comes with them surely goes away, right?

What do you think about small and grand gestures?

faye1

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Posted on 15 February, 2013 by Faye - 2 Comments