Friday, November 25, 2011

Small Blogs Big Giveaways 5th Edition

Hey peeps!

I just got wind of this great MASSIVE book giveaway going on over HERE at Beck Valley Books and a number of other blogs. I found out about this giveaway through Twitter and, since it ends VERY soon, I'd suggest you don't waste time around here trying to figure out how to enter and win but go straight over to Beck Valley Books to find out. Trust me, you want to enter and you want to win! Why? Well, because there will be:

36 books split between 3 winners and 6 Gift Card Giveaways!

Yes, you read that right! So get on over HERE to enter now!

Ends 25 November 2011

Good Luck! :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: Winter's Passage (Iron Fey #1.5) by Julie Kagawa

Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)Title: Winter's Passage
Author: Julie Kagawa
Format: ebook
Pages: 59
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat....

An eBook exclusive story from Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.

Prince Ash is escorting Meghan Chase, the girl he loves (who is also a half-faery princess and daughter of the Summer King, Oberon) to the Winter Court at Tir Na Nog as promised to Queen Mab. Meghan has to go with him to fulfil her end of the bargain since he helped her retrieve her kidnapped little brother and return him safely home. However, she wants to stop off and check in on her injured friend Robin Goodfellow (aka Puck). On their way, they realise they’re being followed. They manage to shake off their follower for a while and reunite with the faery cat, Grimalkin, while visiting with Puck. They soon set off again with Grimalkin in tow but come upon their predator once again and are forced into a confrontation. When all is said and done, they finally reach the Winter Court and Meghan is unsure about whether she can still trust that Ash’s feelings for her are true, as he distances himself from her once at Court, and whether she can count on him to be there for her while she’s held captive there.

This icy little snippet of what to expect in the second book of the Iron Fey trilogy certainly whet my appetite. Before starting this series, I was so sure I’d be Team Puck (I love my underdogs!). Besides, Puck was my favourite character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Then along came Prince Ash and, along with Meghan’s, he stole my heart. There’s something about his icy demeanour and internal struggle over his feelings for Meghan that just makes my heart melt every time he’s around Meghan. I expect that’s how most Team Ash supporters feel about this fierce and noble prince. I look forward to seeing what happens in The Iron Daughter.

View all my reviews

Review: I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs

I Loved You FirstTitle: I Loved You First
Author: Reena Jacobs
Format: Paperback
Pages: 212 pages

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blurb (from Goodreads):

"My best friend was more than just a best friend to me. Three words summed it up: I heart him. I’d never tell him though. I wasn’t stupid. Besides, what he’d told no one, but me, was a little something I wished I could forget… or ignore. He was gay. I guess gay wouldn’t be bad if I wasn’t so in love with him. Now it was just cruel.

Stereotypes run amok in this college love story: Parties, alcohol, hookups, and breakups. Alexandria Carmichael may find it a bit much as she deals with the unreturned love from the boy who completes her. When all is revealed, not only does she risk losing her best friend forever, but also herself. Without her childhood companion for support, Alexandria takes a journey of self-discovery but fears what she’ll find at the end."

My Review:

Alex and Seth have been best friends since primary school, when Alex saved Seth from being bullied. Ever since then, Alex has been Seth’s shadow and sidekick, fighting his battles for him and being his rock of support. All that while, Alex has silently yearned for Seth’s attention and love- as more than a friend. Unfortunately, Seth has confessed to Alex that he is gay. So, she sits silently by while he parades girl after girl before her to maintain his popular image and not let anyone know that he’s gay. Being a player on the university’s baseball team, and possessing extremely good looks, makes Seth quite a catch and very popular. He cannot risk losing face before his teammates and fellow students. So, Alex doesn’t say a word about it and doesn’t push him to come out of the closet. What she does try to make him do, is use her as his fake girlfriend so that it could serve them both- her by being able to be physically intimate with him (even if it’s just an act) and him by appearing to be straight. Of course, Alex doesn’t know for sure that Seth is entirely unaware of her attraction to him. That’s something I found a little frustrating- although Seth hinted that he knew of Alex’s feelings for him, they never just brought it out into the open and discussed it.

After Seth exposes his attraction to a jock friend at a campus party, he is beaten and rushed to hospital. After this unintended falling out of the closet, Seth is no longer himself and distances himself from Alex. Alex is left all alone without her best friend as he had formed the centre of her existence for as long as she can remember. However, she has an opportunity to broaden her horizons and make new friends when Dink arrives. Dink is the friend of Bruce, the jock Seth had a crush on and Dink had invited Alex to the party at his fraternity house. So when Seth needs to be rushed to the hospital, Dink steps in and takes charge, sitting through the ordeal with Alex. I thought Dink was so sweet and, although Alex tried to give him a chance by going out with him, I hated that she judged him by the way he ate and how big he was compared to her. All of that just seemed so petty next to his nicenesss. But I guess when you’re in love with someone else for most of your life, even sweeties like Dink aren’t good enough. Based on the descriptions of Dink in this book and the fact that he belonged to a fraternity, I imagined Dink looking a little like Beaver from the TV series, Greek.

Beaver from "Greek"

Another person who entered the picture and provided an opportunity for Alex to expand her social circle and get over Seth was Trinity, a friendly new girl on campus who instantly made Alex feel comfortable about an embarrassing experience in a previous lecture and soon became her pillar of strength. Trinity’ss character reminded me a little of Maya in Pretty Little Liars.

Maya from "Pretty Little Liars"

This book evoked a myriad of emotions for various reasons. My heart broke for Alex because she loved her childhood best friend who had grown up into quite a hunk. Unfortunately, she was left yearning for his attention as he used other girls to keep up the act and hide his secret. Of course, once the truth accidently slipped out, he was beaten for it and treated in a vastly different manner by people who had claimed to be his friends. Throughout it all, Alex remained his unfailing supporter but when he withdrew within himself and cut her off, she realised that she needed to stop living for him but start living for herself, by first starting to love herself. It was a simple, sweet message conveyed in this book and I’d definitely recommend that others pick it up in order to understand the social challenges faced by many of today’s youth who find themselves in similar situations.

View all my reviews

Review: The Initiation (The Secret Circle #1) by L.J. Smith

The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1)Title: The Initiation
Author: L.J. Smith
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320 pages

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Blurb (from Goodreads):

The Circle's Power has Lured Her Home...

Cassie must confront a shattering challenge: an ordeal that could cost her life or gain her more than she's ever imagined...

Charmed by the Secret Circle, she's initiated into the mysterious "in crowd," a coven of young witches whose power has controlled New Salem for three hundred years.

Hopelessly in love with the coven leader's boyfriend, Cassie risks falling prey to dark powers in order to have him. But if she does, her endless love could destroy the coven, New Salem, and her!

...And She Will Emerge the Leader or Perish!

This was a fairly short read. After reading LJ Smith’s The Vampire Diaries series in preparation for viewing The CW TV series, I was a little hesitant to pick up this series after being left very disappointed with The Vampire Diaries. However, I do not like watching a new book-to-series TV show without being familiar with the characters, their backgrounds and situations beforehand, so I felt the need to pick up this series before watching The CW show based on this book. I’m sorry to say that this book didn’t exactly impress me either. I didn’t want to have to read the whole series before watching the TV show, so I started my viewing as soon as I was done with this book and I have to say that (as with The Vampire Diaries) I much prefer The CW ‘s take on this series.

There were noticeable differences between this book and the TV show, like the absence of a few members of the circle. The TV show only has 6 members, while the book has 10. Characters such as Sean, Melanie, Deborah, Susan and Laurel were left out in the TV show, while Nick, Adam, Diana, Faye, Cassie (of course!) were retained with anew character being added in the form of Melissa. Cassie’s mum also dies in the very first episode, while she’s alive (if a little unwell) throughout the first book. Oh! And Cassie’s grandma doesn’t look like the warty, bent old hag she’s described as in the books. She’s a beautiful, warm, gracious and supportive character in the TV show. I’m glad they portrayed her in a much better light in the TV show.

Unlike the book, Cassie doesn’t mysteriously meet Adam at a beach in another beachside town while on holiday. She doesn’t have to save him from her obnoxious friend’s brothers by lying for him and she’s certainly not handed a piece of chalcedony for good luck and for summoning him in times of need. More importantly, he doesn’t mysteriously kiss her wrist and a lightning-like silver cord doesn’t connect their two hearts as in the book *rolls eye*. I found all of that a little too dramatic!

I also found it creepy the way Cassie seemed to be obsessed with golden-haired, angelic Diana who she trailed like a lost puppy and then betrayed by kissing her boyfriend- Adam! *gasp* Okay, you can see where I’m going with this. I can’t help but compare the book with the TV series, as the TV series just poses a much more relatable and realistic image of teenagers’ lives in a small town like that. Maybe it’s because this book was written a long time ago and teenagers were different then (or maybe I’m just making excuses and the author was way off the mark in portraying teenagers then). There were quite a few differences between this book and the TV show and I preferred the TV show’s portrayal of life in this quaint little town.

Note: Even the name of the town has been changed from New Salem *rolls eyes* to Chance Harbour. Okay, so my eyes are starting to spin out of control here, so I’m just going to say that this book didn’t really appeal to me and I don’t look forward to reading the next two books in this series (even though I know I most probably will- because I’m obsessive about finishing series and these are short reads and I can’t help but give these books another chance). So, you can expect two more eye-rolling reviews ahead.

View all my reviews

Review: Human Blend by Lori Pescatore

Human BlendTitle: Human Blend
Format: Paperback
Pages: 234 pages

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb (from Goodreads):

"Marion, Virginia seemed like a nice place to live a normal life, but she is not a normal girl. Laney has special abilities that keep her looking over her shoulder as she makes her escape from the men who had kidnapped her. A young doctor's interest is piqued when he witnesses her mysteriously curing a young child's illness. He befriends her due to his growing fascination with uncovering the true nature of her abilities, but not without harboring secrets of his own. Laney's budding relationship with a local boy puts both of them in danger when the men she was hiding from find her. All of their lives will change forever as ancient secrets become unearthed. "

My Review:

Julie Miller’s got a secret and she’s on the run. After years spent being held captive and exploited by a bunch of bad guys, she has escaped and changed her name from Laney to Julie in order to avoid detection in any of the towns she passes through while on the run. She eventually ends up in the little town of Marion, the home of Mountain Dew. As soon as she enters town, she visits a market place to have lunch and is approached by a handsome teenager named Austin.

Although she does not want to involve anyone else in her problems by getting into a relationship, she can’t deny the attraction she feels for Austin. She soon finds herself spending more and more time with him and they fall in love. In the meantime, Julie’s checked out the local hospital to sign on as a volunteer. If she’s happy with the hospital, she just might stay. It turns out the hospital is as great as she’d hoped and so she goes looking for a place to stay. Enter Dr. Elsworth- aka Eli- the hunky doctor with a secret of his own.

Eli and Julie have an almost magnetic attraction and he feels strangely protective over her. When he witnesses her cure a little boy with her touch, he is fascinated and curious about her gift. Julie finds that he is too persistent in his inquiries and soon has to confide in him. Wanting to keep her close, Eli sets her up to view an apartment in a building he happens to own and they both become neighbours. Even though he’s aware that she’s in a relationship with Austin, he can’t help but resent their intimacy. Nevertheless, he has his precious hours working side by side with Julie at the hospital each day and gains satisfaction in their short time spent together.

Soon, another doctor joins the staff- he also has a secret. Dr. Marcus Samson is a devilishly handsome, incorrigible flirt who tries to get into Julie’s panties the first day at work. That’s before he finds out whose girlfriend she is and exactly what she is. That doesn’t stop him, though, and all this Greys-Anatomy-like drama makes for some interesting entertainment on the side. When all seems to be going well for them and Julie is almost assured of having finally evaded her pursuers and actually having a chance at a normal life, her past finally catches up with her and her one chance at happiness is threatened, along with the lives of those she cares about. What follows, is an action-packed series of events with some very interesting new characters introduced and a lot more background filled in for the reader to enjoy and, ultimately, anticipate the next book in the series- Earth Blend. Bring it on!

View all my reviews

Monday, November 14, 2011

600 Followers Contest @ A GREAT Read

Jessica over at A GREAT Read blog is hosting a 600 Followers Contest to celebrate reaching the 600 followers milestone. Since she hit 500 followers in the same week that she hit 600 followers, there will be 2 winners chosen. If she reaches 700 followers by the end of this contest (this Saturday, 19th November) there will be a third winner.

So, what's up for grabs?

The lucky ducks will each win their choice of book up to $10(US) dollars. So, what are you waiting for? Get over there now and enter!

You can go HERE to enter.

Since books will be shipped through The Book Depository, it's international as long as The Book Depository ships to you.

Good luck!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

300 Followers Giveaway @ Let's Talk About Books

Erika over at Let's Talk About Books is having a spectacular 300 Followers Giveaway! There will be one winner chosen (unless she reaches 400 followers, following which, 2 winners will be chosen). What's up for grabs, you ask?

Some lucky gets to choose 1 of these great titles:

Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)Eve (Eve, #1)The Scorpio RacesCarrier of the Mark Between the Sea and SkyDaughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)Lola and the Boy Next Door
Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)Crossed (Matched, #2)Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)Legend (Legend, #1)The Space BetweenDark EdenThe Night CircusClockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)Shattered Souls

Notice how these are all newly released, bestselling, hugely popular titles that we'd all love to get our hands on?

Yeah, so you shouldn't waste any time in getting over there RIGHT NOW to enter!

You can enter by clicking HERE.

Giveaway is International, as long as The book Depository ships to your country.

Good luck!

Friday, November 11, 2011

1000 Followers Giveaway @ LC's Adventures in Libraryland

The awesome Lea over at LC'S Adventures in Libraryland is having a massive giveaway to celebrate her 1000 followers! Trust me when I say that this is one giveaway you don't want to miss!

What can you win, you ask?

Well let's see....

How about this?

Faery Prize Pack:

or this?

Contemporary Prize Pack:
Anna and the French Kiss, He's So Not Worth It, 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Or this?

Vampire Prize Pack:

Or may be even this?

Werewolf Prize Pack:

Intrigued yet?

You should be!

There are actually 10 Prize Packs in total, so you need to visit her blog

to enter and stand a chance to win.

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and you have until December 1st, 2011 to enter.

So go on!

Good luck:)

One Year Blogoversary and Giveaway @ Moonlight Gleam

Lucy over at Moonlight Gleam will officially celebrate her One Year Blogoversary on 28th November 2011. In honour of reaching this one year milestone, she is graciously hosting a countdown giveaway on her blog.

There will be three winners chosen in this giveaway, who will each get to choose $10 worth of books from The Book Depository.

But wait, that's not all...

For every 100 followers she gains from the 6th November until the 28th November, she will add another winner.

How awesome is that??

Yup, pretty awesome!

So don't waste any time in getting over there right now to enter!

You can enter by clicking HERE

This is an International giveaway.

Remember, it ends on the 28th November, so hurry!

Good luck:)

1500 Followers Giveaway @ The Bookish Type

There's a great giveaway going on over at The Bookish Type blog. The giveaway is in honour of reaching the 1500 follower milestone and there will be three winners chosen, each of whom get to choose one of the three great 2011 debut titles. These are the three favourites up for grabs:

The rules to enter are pretty simple, since it is a follower giveaway, you will have to be a follower and The Book Depository must ship to your country. Other than that, there are a few other entries listed in the Rafflecopter form on the blog which you can go HERE to fill out and enter.

This is an International giveaway!

Good luck:)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Debut of The Apocalypse Gene

The Apocalypse Gene
Hey peeps!

I'd like to inform you all today of a new novel that's been released, which seems pretty awesome! The Apocalypse Gene is a great YA debut novel by authors Suki Michelle and Carlyle Clark.

What is it about, you ask?

Well, here's a brief synopsis (taken off Goodreads):

"With Pandemic ravaging the globe, Olivya's psychic Sight compels her to see auras riddled with the colors of despair, and now her mother is infected.

Olivya’s only hope is the mysterious Mikah, a powerful Empath who claims the Pandemic is linked to his clan, the Kindred, and their brooding, monstrous, Immortal Lord. But can she trust this boy who can manipulate her very emotions?

With Mikah's aid, Olivya races to unearth Kindred secrets, desperate to find a cure, only to discover the Pandemic is far, far more than a mere disease . . ."

Sounds great already, doesn't it?

Well, here's a little about one of the authors, Suki Michelle:

Suki is a lifelong Chicagoan who lives with her co-writer/paramour, Carlyle Clark. Together they wrote The Apocalypse Gene, a YA urban fantasy, now available in print and E-book formats wherever online books are sold. They're hard at work on the sequel, which should be out by summer 2012.

Suki owns a medical transcription company and is the proud mommy of one human girl, a dog and two cats. She had a horse for many years named Make A Wish, but he passed on to the great green meadow beyond. After earning a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute, Suki spent several years studying and teaching meditation. Her training took her to France and Israel, places she yearns to go back to some day.

When Suki isn't writing or working, chances are she'll be searching for chocolate and dreaming up horrid things to scare you with.

I'm sure this has got you intrigued, so you should get on over to right now and purchase a copy. Seriously!

The link to this book on Amazon is:

Don't waste time in getting over there now to purchase your copy!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Today, I Am Thankful For...

Hello everyone!

You all know how much I love Beth Revis, right? Ever since I read Across the Universe and fell crazily in love with Elder (and poor, sweet Harley *sniffle*) I have been awaiting the release of A Million Suns, the sequel to Across the Universe. Now, I may not have to wait until its release next year to know what happens! The awesome and amazing Beth Revis is giving one (very) lucky duck the chance to win a SIGNED ARC of A Million Suns along with 18 other books and a whole load of great swag. Yes, you read that right-

19 books + Swag!!!

To honour her awesomeness, and be entered into the running to win this mind-blowingly EPIC prize pack, I'm going to tell you about the book I am most thankful for...

*Tadam- Tada!*

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by J.K. Rowling

*Sigh* I have such fond memories of this book. As is usual with me- I read the series in the wrong order, starting with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, moving on to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and, finally, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, you may be wondering why I have a tendency to read books in the wrong order... So am I.

I'll never understand it! It was the same with Twilight- I read New Moon first (my favourite of all four- are you beginning to notice a pattern here?), then went on to read Twilight, Eclipse and (much later- because I was so over the series by then) Breaking Dawn. Okay, so I guess I tend to fall in love with the first book I read in a series. But I would say that it's because Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban introduced me to the amazing and fantastical world of magic that J.K. Rowling created from that highly-envied imagination of hers, I fell in love with it and will always cherish it as my favourite read of all time.

Some fond memories I have of this book:

  • I was in primary school when I found out about this series, but could not afford to buy books (and my family did not encourage reading for pleasure) so I had to beg my "neighbour" in class to loan me the series. He owned all the books in hard cover and was, naturally, very protective over them. So, when he eventually relented and loaned me the first book, he got to decide in which order I would read the series. I will forever be grateful to him for loaning me the book (even if he had major trust issues and insisted that I show him the book everyday to prove that I hadn't lost or damaged it *lol*).

  • I neglected all my homework that weekend to sit down and read the book. Despite being a very slow reader, I managed to get the whole book read in one sitting on a Saturday afternoon. There are only a small number of other books which have managed to hold my attention like that- Avalon High by Meg Cabot, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell are just a few of them.

  • Lastly, I will always remember the joy I experienced when I was introduced to Sirius Black. Despite having great friends, roommates and teachers at Hogwarts, I could practically feel Harry's loneliness reaching through the pages while reading the book. It was only when Sirius entered the picture that I felt that Harry was truly not alone (which is why I bawled my eyes out like a baby after reading Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix).
So, you see, despite having read hundreds of books since my discover of Harry Potter and (hopefully) reading hundreds more in the future, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will always remain a book that lies very close to my heart. It is truly a book worth giving thanks for...<3

So tell me...

Which book (s) are you thankful for?

BIG Surprise Giveaway @ Stuck in YA Books!

Hey peeps!

Okay, so I found another EPIC giveaway and couldn't help posting. So, you all know the awesome Amanda over at Stuck in YA Books, right? You don't! *gasp* How could you not know her? She's only the coolest YA reader around!!! She's also hosting an upcoming blog tour for Michelle Madow's Remembrance. You can find out about it by visiting her blog right HERE.


So remember how I said her giveaway is EPIC?

I wasn't kidding!

What can you win, you ask?

Well, only the awesomest selection of YA books ever!

These are the titles some lucky ducks get to walk away with:

  • Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie (my previous Waiting on Wednesday post)
  • The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  • Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
  • She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott
So YES, trust me- you want to be entering this giveaway!

You can enter by going HERE.

There are 26 days left to enter- be quick!

Good luck:)

Win £50 to spend on books at The Book Depository @ Bookaholics Book Club Monthly Giveaway

Hi all!

I'm stuck in the middle of exams so I haven't been posting much (and probably won't be posting for a while) but I thought I should come by and post about the awesome giveaway going on at Bookaholics Book Club. The super-fabulous Misty is hosting a giveaway for one lucky winner's choice of books to the value of £50- that's right! £50 worth of books -from my favourite book retailer in the whole wide world- The Book Depository!

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

So don't waste time in getting over there right now and entering!

The giveaway ends on the 30th November 2011.

You can enter by clicking HERE.

Good luck! :)