Saturday 31 August 2013

Book Review - Birth of a Killer

Title: Birth of a Killer
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Larten Crepsley Saga 
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
Release Date: 30th September 2010
ISBN13: 9780007315857

Before Cirque Du Freak...
Before the war with the vampaneze...
Before he was a vampire.
Larten Crepsley was a boy.
As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten Crepsley did his job well and without complaint, until the day the foreman killed his cousin/bestfriend as an example to the other children. In that moment, young Larten flies into a rage that the foreman wouldn't survive. Forced on the run, he sleeps in crypts and eats cobwebs to get by. And when a vampire named Seba offers him protection and training as a vampire's assistant, Larten takes it.
This is his story.

My Review
Having read and mostly enjoyed the Cirque Du Freak series I wanted to know more about Larten, he always was one of my favourite characters from the series so I was quite excited to find out he had his own series. All the events happen a long time before those in Cirque Du Freak, way back when Larten was still a human. The series will then lead you through his life until it meets back to where we first met him performing at the Cirque. This is book 1. I have made these reviews harder on myself as I read the first 3 books in one day and am now trying to separate them in my head as to what happened in which. So if things get a bit muddled, forgive me!

I actually found this book started off quite slow, I kept waiting for something great to happen but it took a while to get going. I was glad I stuck with it though as it does get more interesting quiet quickly once it gets going. And it was interesting to see how this mighty vampire started out. I could never have guessed how he got to where he ended up when he met Darren and this answers so many questions - especially the hair!
It's also nice to see the other sides of his personality, from scrawny but quick witted young boy, to feisty and aggressive to scared and adventurous and rebellious. It really makes him seem more real as a character and brings him to life off the page. 
It was quite fun meeting characters we already know and trying to place their names and situations. There are obviously some characters that are new to us, those that don't get mentioned in the Darren Shan series, but placing those I did know was fun.
This book is quite short at just 253 pages and I read it in a couple of hours, but it is definitely worth a read. Once you get into it you will rip through it. 
Made me want to read the next book for sure. Larten's life is certainly no easy ride and it makes for gripping reading.

My Rating

FF (137)

I know, it's not Friday any more, and it's only just still Saturday. I haven't been online for a few days but I have a really good excuse - On Thursday I celebrated my 25th Birthday. I had the most amazing day ever and I am so thankful to all my family and friends for making it so special.
I of course got some books as presents - not as many as I thought I would but still.

Here's what I got:
- Elite by Kiera Cass
- Wicked by Gregory Maguire
- Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
- Never Push when it says Pull by Guy Browning

And I am still waiting for the new Skulduggery Pleasant book (Last Stand of Dead Men) to arrive. I pre-ordered it and hoped it would arrive on my Birthday as that was the release date but I am still waiting for it to get here.

I would have loved to run a Giveaway to celebrate my Birthday like I did last year, but I am totally broke. However, thank the stars, this week also brought me an email from the publishers of 'Geek Girl' by Holly Smale. Offering me the chance to review book 2 - Model Misfits! I of course agreed as I love this series, then they said that I could run a giveaway for one of my lovely followers. So at the end of this post I will tell you how you can win a copy of book 1 and book 2 in the series. However it will be UK only. (sorry International readers, but as the publishing company are paying for it they can't send long distance)

Anyway, so that's what took me away from the computer for few days and I spent yesterday catching up with my reading. I read the first 3 books in the Larten Crepsley series by Darren Shan and finished book 4 today. Look out for all those reviews coming up as soon as I can.

So that's it, I figured I better get myself in gear and see what I missed. And I didn't want to miss out on the weekly fun, so I'm still going to join in. 

So here it is Follow Friday:

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read

This week's question feature is
The Whimsical Mama

If you could only have ONE – one book – for the rest of your life. Don’t cheat…what would it be?

My Answer: Oh my gosh that is a horrible question. I'm racking my brain and making pro and con lists to each and every book. I think I would end up going for my Chronicles of Narnia book as it has all 7 books in one. And that's not cheating as it is bound into one volume. So counts as one physical book. 

Happy Hopping & Blogging. :D



Anyway, now onto the Giveaway I promised.

I know I probably shouldn't do this with the Follow Friday post but it's easier and I want to let as many of you have the chance to enter as possible.  


Model Misfit (Geek Girl 2) competition
Following the huge success of 'Geek Girl', Holly Smale has returned with Model Misfit.
Harriet Manners is back and she is still a geek. Harriet Manners knows a lot of facts.

She knows that humans have 70,000 thoughts per day.
She knows that Geek + Model = a whole new set of graffiti on your belongings.
And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.

But Harriet doesn’t know where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives. And with her summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get away. Can Harriet cope with the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes?

Will geek girl find her place on the other side of the world?

To celebrate the release we’d like to offer you the chance to win both Geek Girl and Model Misfit.


 So here's the boring bit, how to enter:
1) Competition opens 31st August
2) Competition closes on 6th September
3) Enter your details into the Rafflecopter below
4) You Must be a Follower to enter!
5) One Name will be selected at random from the entries
6) Contest open UK only!!! 7) Winners will be contacted by e-mail
8) Winners will have 3 days to reply or another winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 29 August 2013

Book Review - Second Chance Summer

Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Release Date: 7 Jun 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0857072702

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

My Review
I read and loved 'Amy & Roger's Epic Detour' last year and looked for more by this author. I soon came across this book and requested it, but I sent it back without reading it. I realised that this book deals with Cancer and this came out just after I had lost my grandma to the same illness and I didn't feel like I would handle it very well. 
Seeing it around online again a couple of months ago, I decided to give it another go.
This story follows Taylor, she's 17 and seems to be the average one in her family, her brother Warren has a brilliant mind, is about to go to a top university and can recite all sorts of facts and her sister Gelsey is an upcoming star ballerina. They get along as a family in general but don't tend to sit down together anymore. Until they learn that their dad is seriously ill, so they all decide to go back to their childhood holiday spot for one last summer together. 
I felt like I instantly connected with Taylor, she has a very open voice and I could feel her honesty and insecurities. You can feel her doubt and hurt through the page and I wanted to know more about her. There is also a mystery surrounding her return to the summer lake house, something happened 5 years ago that made Taylor run away and not look back, now she has to confront those demons from the past. The mystery of what this event was grabs you and makes you wonder. I will admit to being slightly disappointed with the reveal, it wasn't really that big a deal, but among the rest of the story you can overlook that.
As you see Taylor interact with people from her past and present you see her grow and adjust, she learns from her past and tries to figure out what she wants from the future. The scenes between her and her dad are beautiful and brought a tear to my eye. By the end of the book I was fighting back a flood of tears. I really felt moved by it.
Sure the characters weren't perfect and there were some iffy moments in the story, but overall I really enjoyed the book and getting to know Taylor and her family better.
A sweet summer story that will have you giggling, sighing and crying. 

My Rating

Monday 26 August 2013

Book Promo - The Thousand Year Curse

Back cover Blurb
Being a teenager isn't all fun and games for seventeen year old Ryder. After being thrown down the social hierarchy, Ryder Mason has one goal for her senior year-survive. 

Within the first month of school, Ryder goes from bullied teen to a cursed half goddess with two boyfriends. As if that wasn't enough, she travels into the Underworld to confront Hades about the curse and her missing mother. 

Ryder delves head first into a Godly world as her knights fight to seek her approval, her best friend's loyalties are tested and people's true intentions are shown in the first Curse Books novel.

Author Bio
Taylor is a twenty-two year old student in her small town in Connecticut. Studying early childhood education, Taylor wants to be a kindergarten teacher but has always had a soft spot for english. The Curse Books were Taylor's first writing venture that spiraling into hopes of a career in writing. Now she focuses on running her blog, writing new books and enjoying time with her dog, Beau and boyfriend, Chris. 


To Buy

Blog Tour - Frost Series

First Frost is the first book in the series with Glass Frost being the second.

First Frost Book Description:

Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.
Glass Frost Book Description:

When joined together, Cinderella's slippers grant the wearer her heart's desire. But whose wish will be granted?

When Cinderella’s glass slipper is stolen, Queen Felicia sends her faithful steward Terrance to the real world to retrieve his love and witch-in-training, Bianca Frost. The power of the glass slipper in the wrong hands could ruin peace in Everafter. Bianca must gather every bit of magic she has learned in the past few weeks to find the slipper and protect her new love. Together, Bianca, Ming, Prince Ferdinand, and Terrance venture deep into the heart of Everafter to seek clues as to who has stolen the slipper and why. Along the way, they uncover what happened to the Seven Dwarves after Snow White married the prince, but also learn the awful risk of tampering with black magic and the high price that must be paid for magical aid, even when used for good.

Bianca and Terrance’s relationship is put to the test. Through the pain of suffering and loss, Bianca must determine if following her gallant boyfriend into his faraway world is in fact her heart's desire.
Guest Post
The Power of Fairytales - what is it about Fairytales that make them so long-standing? How do they capture the hearts and minds of so many people over so many years.

Which are your favourite Fairytales?

I think fairy tales will be here forever. And I don’t think it has anything to do with damsels in distress and a handsome prince that comes to save the day. I think it has to do with the timeless messages that they can often carry. There is always a moral to each story. There’s always a lesson we can all learn from each story.

Red Riding Hood? Never stray from the path and don’t talk to strangers.
Snow White? Don’t take food from strangers and don’t open the door to people you don’t know.
Cinderella? Beauty is a treasure, but graciousness is priceless. Without it, nothing is possible; with it, one can do anything.

Fairy tales also teach us to believe in something. Magic. Love. Adventure. We all need that. We all need to believe in something. It doesn’t matter how old you are, we all need a little bit of magic in our lives. Trust me, real life is harsh enough as it is, we all need a little sprinkle of magic to make it through another day. I know I do.

Okay....favorite fairy tales! This is my list.

1. Snow White

2. Alice in Wonderland

3. Toads and Diamonds

4. The Three Heads of the Well

5. Beauty and the Beast

6. Snow White and Rose Red

7. Cinderella 

About the Author-
Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico. She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi'er Publishing, October 2007), The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 31st 2011) First Frost (Musa Publishing, June 22nd 2012) and Glass Frost (Musa Publishing, COMING SOON).
She is also a member of The Written Remains Writers Guild
Liz is currently working on a new novel.


Frost Series Tour Facebook Event-

Saturday 24 August 2013

My YA Life in Book Titles

Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner came up with another awesome quiz. 'My YA Life in Book Titles' - it's exactly as it sounds - you have to answer every question with a book title.

How would you describe your 16 year old self? Freak The Mighty
When You Looked Into The Mirror What Did You See: My So-Called Life
Your 16 year old self outlook on life/motto: Just Listen (I was very quiet and liked to see what other people had to say)
How You Think People Would Describe Your Personality: Geek Girl
Describe An Insecurity In High School: My Life Undecided  (I always worried I didn't know what to do in the future)
Describe the contents of your diary/journal: My not so Simple Life
Your biggest Fear: Mean Spirits
You excelled at: Cat's Cradle
You were always concerned about: Crossing the Line (I hated getting in trouble!)
You Thought Your Life Was: Moving On


How would you sum up your high school love life? Never Ever (Just didn't happen!)
Describe your most serious boyfriend from high school? Waiting For You (Never had one, just waited for one)
Describe your first kiss: Invisible (Again, hasn't happened)
Your philosophy on dating/love: Love You To Death (Love should be forever 'til death do us part') 
Describe Your Worst Break Up: This Is So Not Happening (No break up without a boyfriend to start with, so again, hasn't happened!)


Your relationship with your mom as a teen: Loved
Your relationship with your dad as a teen: Forever My Girl (I always was a Daddy's girl, and will always be his little girl!) 
Your relationship with a sibling: A Simple's Life (Was pretty simple, we got on, we fought occasionally, normal really)
What you thought about your parents rules/parenting style: Everlasting  (What they taught me will stay with me forever.)

Describe you and your best friend at 16: Devoted
Your Social Status: The Unseen Guest  (I always felt rather invisible!)
Describe Your Group Of Friends: Sweetness

Your Perception Of High School Upon Entering: Chaos
Your Weekends Were: The Moon and More (A time to do anything and everything)
If Your High School Life Was A Movie It would be called: How To Be Popular... When Your A Social Reject
A Class You Wish High School Would Have Offered: Night Circus (I would have loved to do acrobatics and circus skills!)
Your Senior Year Was: Etiquette & Espionage  (Felt like everyone acted a certain way but there was a lot of going behind people's backs and secrecy. Always hated it.)
Describe prom: Caught In A Moment
When High School Ended It Was: New Beginnings

How You Felt About The Prospect of College: Grave Doubts
How You Thought Your Life Would Be At 24(insert whatever age you are now):  Remarkable Life & Times

Describe Your Love Life Now: Wonder
Describe The State Of Your Friendship With Your High School BFF: The Truth About Forever
(Sometimes forever really doesn't last!)
Your Relationship With Your Parents Now: Timeless
Biggest Lesson You Learned In High School: Noughts and Crosses
One Thing You WISHED You Had Learned: The Meaning of Life
Advice You Wish You Could Have Given Your Teen Self: If You Could See Me Now (Things will be OK, just follow your heart.)
Something You Could Learn From Your 16 Year Old Self: The Time Of My Life  (I still think school was the best years of my life so far)

Wow, that was harder than I thought it would be, but still fun!
I tried to be as accurate as possible.

Let me know if you take this quiz, would be interesting to compare answers

Friday 23 August 2013

FF (136)

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read

This week's question feature is
Spare Time Book Blog

Book Selfie! Take a pic with your current read.

My Answer:

 Caught reading!!!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. :D

 What are you reading?

Happy Hopping & Blogging. :D

Thursday 22 August 2013

Novella Review - The Prince

Title: The Prince
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection (book 0.5)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 5 Mar 2013

Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection...

Before Aspen broke America's heart...

There was another girl in Prince Maxon's life...

My Review
I don't know how I missed this book, it's been out for ages but it bypassed me. I went to London with my friend last week and we started talking about books on the train and this series came up. It's such an addictive series, the sort you think you will hate but really you can't get enough. As we were talking she asked me if I had read 'The Prince', then proceeded to pull out her ipad on the train to let me read it - unfortunately I can't read whilst on trains, it makes me feel sick, but now I had discovered it's presence I knew I had to get it and at just 99pence on Amazon I got it!
This novella comes in just before the start of the selection and runs to Prince Maxon's first meeting with America. At 60 ish pages it is short but just enough to get your teeth into.
I love it because it really gives an insight into Maxon's feelings and thoughts. I never really thought about how the process of the Selection affects him, it's not something he chose to do, it's just tradition and I liked to see how he reacted to the whole run up to the event.
I loved Maxon before and always backed him as America's choice and after reading this novella I am sure I want them to be together even more. Maxon is such a good guy and really does care about his future and that of the country and his new wife, whoever she may end up being. 
It also gave us a better view of Maxon's parents and I am more sure than ever that I don't like his dad. But I am intrigued to know more. 
This has got me even more excited for the series and I can't wait for the next installment. 

My Rating

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Anyone But You Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

Authors Kim Askew and Amy Helmes are excited to offer a sneak peak at the third book in their “Twisted Lit” series of Shakespeare-inspired YA novels. This time around, they’ve put their unique spin on Romeo & Juliet. Published by Merit Press, Anyone But You will be released in January, and is currently available for pre-order at, Barnes & Noble and Powell’s.

Anyone But You: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet
by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
(Book #3 in the Twisted Lit series)

Two Italian restaurants, both alike in dignity, in Chicago’s Little Italy where we lay our scene... After her family’s struggling eatery, Cap’s, falls prey to another of the Monte clan’s vicious and destructive pranks, sixteen-year-old Gigi Caputo finds herself courting danger during a clandestine encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief. When the daughter and son of these two warring factions fall for each other, their quest to mend this bitter family feud turns out to be a recipe for disaster. Their story is irrevocably linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World’s Fair. While enjoying some of the fair’s legendary amusements, Nick has a “love at first sight” encounter with Stella, a young girl who unintentionally causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood pals. Deftly winding its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has much to do with hate — but more with love.

Giveaway: Win a Twisted Lit novel! (US only)

The authors have kindly offered a copy of 'Exposure' to one lucky winner. 
This will only be available to US residents due to postage costs from the publishers.

Double, double, toil, and trouble! The quest for high-school royalty can turn deadly when teen ambition outstrips reason. Skye Kingston is a shy shutterbug who prefers observing life from behind her camera lens. She doesn't know she's stunning, and comes off the sidelines only when she's forced to by the terrifying events of one treacherous school year in Alaska. A boy named Duncan is dead, and his death may or may not be an accident. Skye's three new best friends are eerily able to foretell the future, and cheerleader Beth might be more than a social climber--she quite probably is a sociopath. Then there's Skye's growing attraction to the school hottie, Craig, The Boy Who Would Be Prom King. But their time is crossed by fate. There's already been one death, and who can say if it's only the first? As Skye falls for Craig, she also slowly realizes that he is caught in the crosshairs of a deadly plot. Can she save Craig and herself from a murderous fate? Exposure is not only a modern take on the classic Macbeth, it's proof that nothing has changed since Shakespeare riffed on the subject nearly half a millennium ago: the quest for power can lead to bloodstained hands.

If you would like to get your hands on a copy of Exposure, just leave a comment below telling me your favourite Shakespeare story and a way to get in touch with you. 

Good luck everyone. :D

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Book Review - Splintered

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G Howard
Publisher: Abrams
Release Date: 1 Jan 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1419706271

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers, precisely the problem that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. Surely, she tells herself, it has nothing to do with the fact that she is directly descended from Alice Liddell, the real life inspiration for Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. But when her mother takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong to bear, Alyssa learns that she's not mad but she must find the origins of a secret family curse. A series of clues leads her through a cracked mirror into the real Wonderland, a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There she must decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy-but-suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland who may have dark motives all of his own. 

My Review
I will admit, I totally picked this up because of it's cover - isn't it gorgeous. So beautiful, and the more you look at it, the more you see hidden in it. I just love it. Then once I had picked it up I saw the word 'Wonderland' on the front - I'm sold! I love anything to do with Alice and Wonderland. Then I read the synopsis and I knew this book was one I was going to love. It's beautifully presented throughout as well. A very well packaged book.
I do tend to get a bit nervous if I am that excited for a book in case it doesn't live up to my expectations but I was in good hands with this book.
My first reaction was just 'this is awesome'. Even from the first chapter I had to know more, full of intrigue and a sense of magic and of course Wonder. 
We are introduced to Alyssa, a feisty girl with quite an attitude to her, but she puts on a brave face to hide her worries. Her mother is in a mental hospital and Alyssa is scared she is heading the same way. She is actually the great, great, great grand-daughter of Alice Liddell - the original girl to go to Wonderland who then told Lewis Carroll of her tales. And it has come to the time that Alyssa must find her way into Wonderland and put right everything that Alice changed, or her family may be destined to madness forever.
The concept right off is amazing, the sort of thing that had me thinking 'how come no-one thought of this before? It's genius!'
And it didn't disappoint at all, it carried me through, desperate for more, with surprise twists and turns, the story didn't turn out anyway I thought it would but it was so much better.
There is a bit of a love conflict, her best friend and secret crush Jeb from the real world, the one who's always been there for her but never really shown much love until now, or Morpheus, her strange guide in Wonderland, they share a strange bond, but he's also a bit untrustworthy. Alyssa must decide which one she wants if either of them are right for her. I have to admit I was backing Jeb all the way through, no question, although Morpheus does have that whole dark, mysterious thing about him. 
I liked the changes and adaptations to the original story whilst still reflecting it. I have to say this is one of the best books I have read this year. I will definitely be buying a copy (as I borrowed it from Library). I will be waiting eagerly for more by this author, she is amazing!
This is a must read, grab a copy now!

My Rating