Tuesday, 14 May 2013
It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare. (from Goodreads)
I bought Shadows on the strength this fantastic review, by Nomes. She is not normally a fan of paranormal, so I knew this must be something special.
I started Shadows at 9pm on a Wednesday night and was still reading at 2am. Despite knowing that my son would be waking at 6am, I just couldn’t put this down. Paula Weston is an absolute master of the cliff hanger. Every. Single. Chapter ends with one. Making this a breathless, can’t read it fast enough book.
Given the cover I don’t think it’s giving much away to say it’s about Angels. I’m not well versed on angel mythology, so I can’t say if Paula Weston’s take is unique, but I can say it is brilliantly done. The world building is fantastic. I loved the way information was dripped to us. I loved how I would start having doubts about a certain characters actions, or motives, or explanations and then, bam, I’d find out I was right to be having doubts. I am still slightly unsure about certain things, but I fully expect them to be addressed in Haze, Book 2 of the Trilogy.
The break neck pace of Shadows doesn’t mean characterisation is sidelined. I loved Gaby from the first pages, she has a great voice, and her grief is believable and heart wrenching and I was on her side completely. As for Rafa I was swooning from his first meeting with Gaby and kept swooning for the whole book. I loved his banter with Gaby, it was reminiscent of the way Sarah Rees Brennan’s characters converse, spiky sarcasm and sharp edged one liners, which made the swoony parts even more swoony.
I really can’t wait for Haze to come out so I can continue with Gaby’s journey. Highly recommend.
The first three chapters of Shadows, the first chapter of Haze and, Blood Song, the story Gaby posts online are all available on Paula Weston’s website.
Friday, 3 May 2013
1) Melina Marchetta was answering questions on Goodreads.
I’m so excited to hear that Jimmy (from Saving Francesca) is camping out in her head. I long, LONG for another book about those characters. I also love the sound of her new book.
2) Four books from my Top Ten to Read in 2013 list got covers.
3) Elizabeth Scott has a new book coming out on September HeartBeat. I’m so excited, Elizabeth Scott is an auto buy author for me and this sounds so good.
4) The Countdown to The Great Gatsby is on. 16th May here in the UK! I kind of want to buy a hat or a headband to wear to the cinema.
5) I’ve read a lot of blog posts over the last month, but this one, by Jo Knowles, is the one that stuck in my head the most – The Smallest Gesture
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
These are some of my favourite photos I took last month.
* Every May I think “The month is May” which is a quote from the film Anne of the Thousand days. It’s about Anne Boleyn, who was queen for 1000 days. When she says that line in the movie she’s so sad because her life has changed so much in a year, it’s always stuck in my head.
Friday, 1 March 2013
Thursday, 14 February 2013
I loved this book, so much, so much. It’s a book about love and how it can save you and free you. You can read my review here.
I know it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste (please don’t tell me if you don’t like it, it will hurt my heart), but if you’d like to give it a try, just leave a comment below. Extra entry if you post about the giveaway on Twitter.
Open to where ever the Book Depository Ships
I’ll randomly pick a winner on the 28th.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Oh lord, I am so excited about the new Maggie Stiefvater book, which now has a cover and a title, and what a cover! So gorgeous! I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the wait until 17th September.
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Now the library would be fabulous all on it’s own. It’s a place dedicated to books and reading, what’s not to love? But what makes our library extra special is our fabulous librarian, Kate. She is helpful and full of knowledge and always greets my son by name. One of the reason he loves going to library is to see her.
Today a part of the celebration of National Libraries Day there was this display. To encourage reading outside of your comfort zone.
So as well as picking up Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, I also picked up this. So exciting!
Inside was this.
Long Live the Library!
What’s your local library like? Do you love it?
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
As I was searching my bookcase in search of distraction and solace, my eye fell on THE DEMON’S SURRENDER by Sarah Rees Brennan – oh yes I thought. I download the first book (THE DEMON’S LEXICON) onto my Kindle and I was off. I gobbled up all three books and then I flew through the rather fantastic short stories on Sarah Rees Brennan’s web site (find them here). I loved revisiting this series so much that I thought I’d share my thoughts.
Okay, firstly I have a CONFESSION ~
The first time I read (or rather listened, I had the first two books on audio) to THE DEMON’S LEXICON I was underwhelmed.
I mean, I liked it. It centres around the Ryves Brother, Nick and Alan, who are on the run from magicians and demons. I loved the magic and the demons and the world building, and I adored Mae and Jamie, siblings, who come to Nick and Alan for help. But I had a major problem.
I hated Nick. Hated him.
I kept wondering why no one had pointed out to Sarah Rees Brennan that her pov character was an ass. Sure, I thought, have him be an ass, but why is this book not told from Alan perspective (I LOVED Alan from his first line) or Mae’s (she’s fab), or even Jamie’s (he’s funny).
Why Nick? Why? WHY?
Then I got to the last quarter of the book and realised Sarah Rees Brennan is a GENIUS. This was Nick’s story and could have been told from no one’s POV but Nick’s. Everything fell into place perfectly at the end. When I re-read it, I had a much better opinion of Nick and because I knew the plot there were so many tiny moments I caught and appreciated. If any book deserves a re-read it is THE DEMON’S LEXICON.
So I laughed and cried my way through Book 1 and moved straight onto THE DEMON’S COVENANT. Which was originally my favourite. Told from Mae’s point of view it still centres around the same characters; Nick and Alan (or those Ryvee boys as I like to think of them) Mae and her brother Jamie. I won’t say much about the plot as I’d hate to spoil it. I’ll just say Mae is one of my all time favourite fictional characters, from her pink hair, to her witty remarks, to her refusal to be bossed around and told what she can and can’t do, to her t-shirts, to her complete loyalty to her brother. I LOVE Mae.
Which meant when I originally read Book 3, I was slightly miffed Mae was no longer centre stage. THE DEMON’S SURRENDER is told from Sin’s POV. Sin is the heir apparent of the Goblin Market and had a small part in the previous books and I liked her, but I did feel a little Why Ms Rees Brennan? Why have you taken away Mae? WHY?
On the re-read, however, I discovered, again, that Sarah Rees Brennan is a GENIUS (I’ll never doubt her). I think I may love Sin even more than Mae and seeing Mae’s story through Sin’s eyes was actually better, I’m not sure I’d have liked to have been in Mae’s head during some points of this book. Plus Sin is such a fabulous, strong, determined character and her story was great, especially the love story element which made me all swoony.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is that second time around the THE DEMON’S LEXICON series is even better. If you have’t read it definitely run out and get it. If you need further convincing some favourite (spoiler free) quotes.
“Hi Nick,” he said, and after a pause, “Well , that’s right, I sent you a text. If you insist on killing people with paintbrushes you have to get the Tube home. Those are my rules. I consider them harsh but fair.” The Demon’s Surrender)
“Sometimes when you pull knives on people, they get this impression that you’re going to hurt them, and then they’re completely terrified. Crazy, I know!”
“Okay,” said Nick. He turned to Jamie and popped his left sheath again. “Look.”
Jamie backed up. “Which part of “completely terrified” did you translate as “show us your knives Nick? Don’t show us your knives, Nick. I have no interest in your knives.” (The Demon’s Covenant)
“After my dad died, I looked everywhere for someone to love me. I used to sit on the bus and watch people, see if they looked kind, try to make them smile at me. I had a hundred dreams about a hundred different people, loving me.” (The Demon’s Covenant)
“Do you see any deal breakers for you here?” she asked. “In the longterm? because I was thinking about-the long term.” . . .
. . .”I don’t have deal breakers,” Alan said. “I look on tempests and am never shaken.” (The Demon’s Surrender)
And finally my favourite line “I missed you,”Nick raged.
Finally thought, if they ever make movies of these books, and they should, Ben Whishaw would make an excellent Alan.
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
2) In the book Evie and Francesca have to do a project on the past, using a diary written during the San Francisco earthquake. Which period of time would you like to read a diary from?
3) In This is me from Now on. Francesca wears a variety of outlandish outfits. She is the seventh grade Carrie Bradshaw! Do you love dressing up or are you a jeans and t-shirt girl?
If they’re tween readers I’d tell them to buy a copy of WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead. If they’re YA, I’d say LIAR by Justine Larbalestier or GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray.
Thanks so much Barbara.
Monday, 10 May 2010
Evie has lived her whole life in Blanton. As she enters seventh grade she is ready for a change. She’s ready to find out who she really is. Enter Francesca, quirky and outrageous and keen to live life to the full.
This is an old tale. The new girl stirring up trouble in old established friendships. Barbara Dee makes it fresh and fun though. Evie had a sweet and engaging voice and Francesca is just the right amount of crazy, while having endearing flashes of insecurity. I am also seriously in awe of her clothing choices! There’s also a strong message about being accepted for who you are and accepting others for who they are.
Evie’s a great role model, although she gets carried away by Francesca’s glamour and impulsiveness she still knows what’s right and wrong and is prepared to, both do the work and make the apologizes, when she realizes. I also liked that she didn’t just fall back into her old role, she took the good things that being friends with Francesca had taught her and kept them. In short she became her own person and told everyone that this was her from now on.
This Is Me From Now On is a sweet and engaging coming of age story with a great message about being true to yourself, friendship and not looking at people in one light. I think this book would make a great starting point for conversations about friendship with tween and younger teens.
Come back tomorrow for my interview with Barbara Dee.
Book received from the author.
Sunday, 9 May 2010
If you want some great reads featuring mother/daughter relationships, check out this Flashlight Worthy list. I’m over there talking about one of my favourite books (3 guesses!) which has a fantastic mother/daughter relationship at it’s centre.
What’s your favorite Mother/daughter relationship in a book or on TV?
Friday, 7 May 2010
Today I am delighted to welcome Joelle Anthony to the blog. Joelle’s debut Restoring Harmony is wonderful and you should all rush out and buy a copy when it hits stores on May 13th. Joelle was kind enough to answer some questions for me.
Tell us about Restoring Harmony in one sentence or less.
When things are going wrong for her, Molly always turns to her fiddle, Jewels, and makes some music. What song always makes you smile?
Where do you write and what do you like to have round you?
You have section called Need to Read on your web page. Which five YA novels would you recommend to someone new to the genre?
Molly goes on quite a journey in Restoring Harmony, from Canada, all the way to Portland. If you could go anywhere, where would you go and how would you travel?
When you have had a rough day what restores your harmony?
Knitting, cooking, walking, and just sitting and listening to my husband play his guitar (or banjo, mandolin, or even the ukulele).
Thanks for having me, Alexa! It’s been fun.
Thanks for visiting Joelle! I love this book so much I’m giving away a copy. Joelle has very kindly agreed to send me a signed book plate for the winner. So if you would like to win Restoring Harmony, with a signed bookplate, just leave a comment below.
+ 2 if you Twitter about it
+ 5 if you blog about it.
Edit: The Contest is INTERNATIONAL and I’ll pick the winner of May 13th.
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
The Piper’s Son is the sequel to Melina’s Marchetta amazing Saving Francesca. Set five years later the story revolves around Thomas Mackee and his Aunt Gerogie. It’s been a rough five years for Thomas his favourite uncle was killed in the July 7th London Tube attacks, his family has fractured and he’s drifted away from his old friends, especially Tara Finke, whose heart he broke, after the one and a half night stand.
I was so excited when this book arrived and then I got nervous. Very, very nervous. I loved Saving Francesca so much, and the end left all my beloved characters in such hopeful places. Although I longed to revisit them, I almost didn’t want to see them struggling with new challenges.
When I finally opened it up, it was love at first sentence. I couldn’t put it down. I was instantly drawn into the world of the Finch- Mackee family. Although this is Tom’s story, he is very much a product of his family. Even when they’re split up and not speaking, they play a huge and important role in his life. I really enjoyed the family dynamics. The Finch Mackee’s all have trouble with anger, addiction and showing their feelings. Melina shows how each generation affects the next, and the way your family shape you, even if you fight it.
As in Saving Francesca Tom’s friends feature prominently. It was great to revisit Francesca, Will, Justine and that psycho Tara Finke. I loved their relationships, all the in jokes, affection and teasing. As with all Melina’s books, the characterization is perfection. Everyone feels so real. They have complex lives, they have realistic conversations and reactions. They leapt off the page and into my heart. I cared so much what happened to everyone. I laughed with them, cried for them and almost stopped breathing at the end, I was so involved.
The Piper’s Son deals with dark issues but hope, love, the importance of family, the joy of real friendship infuse the pages and there are always bright sparks even in the dark moments.
You really need to pick up this book.
A huge Thank You to Penguin Australia for sending me a copy.
Monday, 3 May 2010
Lani and Erin are bonded for life. One thing that connects them is their fascination of fate. Lani wonders how much of our lives has already been decided and how much we can actually influence. Since the Unknown can unexpectedly change our lives forever, how much can we really control?
From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can’t deny the intense connection they share. It feels like she’s known him forever. She’s not sure if he feels it, too. But it doesn’t matter. Because Jason is Erin’s boyfriend. Lani is determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than risk hurting her best friend.
How long can Lani keep running from the boy who might be her destiny?
Something Like Fate is a great summer read. It took me right back to those long school summers, when you can laze about doing nothing. Susanne captures that time perfectly and left me wanting to drink lemonade and eat watermelon.
Whether it is the summer read for you depends on how you feel about fate, signs from the universe and horoscopes. Personally, like Lani, I love them. If you think everything is coincidence, then this might not be the read for you.
That said, the writing, the world and the characters are lovely. It’s the kind of book, where it could be twice as long, but I’d have kept reading, and enjoyed reading, because I liked being in the company of the characters. So maybe even if you don’t believe in fate you’ll like Something Like Fate.
Thanks to ARC Tours for the book.
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Anyway I have lots of great links to share, if you fancy some weekend reading.
Maggie Stiefvater has a funny and true post on being willing to suck in order to learn. As someone who finds it very hard not to be good at something straight away, I loved this one. I need to remember that this is the kind of message I want to pass on to my son.
If you need some inspiration while you suck Jo Knowles had a great post on battle cries. My favourite Write what you want to write!
Stephanie Perkins reveals what Anna and the French Kiss is about. Honestly, I wanted to read it based on the title and cover, but now I really want to read.
Heidi R Kling has a wonderful post about John Green and David Levithan’s signing and she’s giving away a signed cop of Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
Beth Revis (whose debut book Across the Universe sounds amazing, a murder mystery in space!) had a lovely post on what influences you want to expose yourself too.
And if your doing any book buying this weekend Love you, Hate you, Miss you by Elizabeth Scott is now out in paperback. Definitely worth buying!
Have a great weekend