Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Where Rainbows EndWhere Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I loved PS I Love You, so I thought I'd give another Ahern book a go. I wasn't to fazed by the fact the story of Where Rainbows End is completely written as a correspondence, mostly between the two main characters, family and friends. I had read The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot which was written in a similar style and stilled loved the story.

The gist of Where Rainbows End is have you ever had someone, a boy or girl, who you had been friends with for long period of time and even though it seemed that you both liked each more than just friends, the circumstances where never quite right? You'd be single but he'd be dating someone else or vice versa? This story is what happens when two best friends Rosie and Alex are separated and the wrong set of circumstances keep tearing them apart though fate kept bringing them back together.

This book kept making me want to bash my head against a brick wall. Though I'm familiar with the situation, the fact that the story of this book takes place over a few DECADES with the same vicious cycle repeating itself over and over and over and over (x10) again, was really quite painful to read. By the end of the book I really pitied both Alex and Rosie for all the time lost and wasted.

Though you might enjoy the development and drama of the main characters, their friends and family, it might take you a while you get through this book as there is only so much repetitive/depressing events you can take in a space of time. I found myself repeatedly putting the book down and doing something else just to take a break from the same cycle of events.

The story wasn't bad but it wasn't great either and though the ending finally gave me a sigh of relief, I don't think it will be enough for me to pick up this book again.

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The Other CountessThe Other Countess by Eve Edwards

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Based in England in 1582 this is story of Lady Eleanor "Ellie" Rodriguez of San Jaime. Thanks to her "Alchemist" father's endless pursuit of turning base metal into gold, all Ellie has is a worthless title and herself to offer in marriage. As the daughter of a failed Alchemist and a Spaniard mother, her chances of making a match, let alone a good match, are slim to none.

As her feisty spirit captivates the elite in Queen Elizabeth's Court, she finds unlikely friends in unexpected places but among the courtiers there are some that despise her father for the trail of financial ruin that he leaves in his wake. One of which is the Earl of Dorset, William Lacey. Ellie's father financially ruined the Lacey Estate when William's father caught the "gold" fever. Now it is up to William to make a good match at Court and restore the family fortune.

But his eye has been caught by a beautiful yet elusive countess at court. Unknownst to him that same mysterious countess is the same beggar brat daughter of Sir Arthur Hutton that he had banished from his lands after his father's death years before. If William discovers the truth it will be the beginning of Ellie's downfall and William will find more than one dilemma on his hands as he questions his motives and beliefs.

Although it was an ok read the story seemed one massive cliche and you get the feeling that it all has been done before. I got the feeling that maybe, with a few twicks here and there the story would have better suited as an adult romance novel but ended up as romance "light" for a younger reading auidience.

The synopsis was intriguing and was what had originally sucked me in but the story was somewhat of a let down as you could pretty much tell how things were going to work out and what was going to happen as it happened. Ellie goes through trial after trial because her father's misguided pursuits and self centered nature, which after a while does get a bit irritating so you end up wishing he would just blow himself up and free poor Ellie from being continually dragged down with him. But for all it faults, it was an Ok read. Who knows, maybe the sequel The Queen's Lady will redeem the series?

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Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things, #1)Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've always been a fan of the roaring twenties, so when I came across Bright Young Things at Dymocks there was no way I could have walked passed it. The story centers around 3 girls in 1929 whose lives will change forever.

Letty Haubstadt dreams of something more than the quiet sheltered life she has always known. Confident that fame and shinning lights await her in New York City, Letty leaves everything she has ever known behind and changes her last name to Larkspur, determined to make her dreams of becoming a famous singer and star come true. But Letty will learn that the journey to fame isn't as easy as it seems when your not the only pretty girl aiming for the spotlight.

Cordelia Grey also leaves her life, and a husband she never wanted, behind to travel to New York City to find a long lost father with a shady past and present. Trying to build a new life for herself isn't easy and a life of privilege isn't all the glitz and glamour that it seems. Cordelia will have to learn the ropes of her new life quickly before her naivety costs her everything she holds dear.

Astrid Donal on the other hand is a flapper who has grown up in a life of privilege, knowing the ins and outs quite well. Moving from one rich family to the next, as her mother changes husbands and toyboys faster than she buys dresses, has been the norm longer than Astrid can remember. But is Astrid brave enough to break free from her mother's vicious cycle and make a new life for herself?

It's not a bad read, if you are a fan of Godbersen previous Lux series. It's amazing to see how much the 3 girls actually go through in the space of one book and the author, as with Lux, hooks you into her world of mafias, speakeasys and glamour. Can't wait to see what else is in store for Letty, Cordelia and Astrid in Godbersen's next installment.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before Nightshade my previous reading experience with the Werewolf/Shapeshifter genre was Shiver & Linger, which was ok but not thrilling. Nightshade though completely blew me out of the water!!!

The story centers around Calla "Cal" Tor, an Alpha female and leader of her own pack of wolf-shapeshifter Guardians called the Nightshades whose scared duty is to protect the scared site at Haldis mountain from the Searchers and follow her master Keeper's orders. Though as pretty as the Lily she was named after, Calla is anything but fragile. I think the reference "badass" comes up a few times. Destined since birth to be mated with the incredibly sexy Bane wolfpack Alpha male Renier "Ren" Laroche at the upcoming union ceremony at Samhain, Calla will help form a new Haldis wolfpack of Guardians with Ren, starting a new life together. But a whole new set of events set her off course when against her better judgment Calla saves the life of a decidedly hot wayward hiker up on Haldis mountain while on patrol. Not only does Calla break several Keepers rules by saving a human stranger's life from a grizzly bear when he should have been left to die but she also reveals her dual nature and heals him by sharing her scared blood. That is before she punches his lights out, carries him to his jeep and resolves never do something so stupid again...

Calla is resolved to put it all behind her until finds out he's the new transfer student Seamus "Shay" Doran at her school and her life becomes even more complicated than she ever thought possible. It turns out that Shay is the nephew of a Regent, a very high up Keeper and ironically Calla's charged by her new pack Keeper Logan with being Shay's "De Facto" Bodyguard, as it seems the Searchers have their eye on the strange boy. Shay had no idea as to the secret world his uncle was a part off until he met Calla and with his curiosity piqued, Shay goes on his own personal quest to find out more about Calla's world and his place in it, dragging Calla along for the ride. What they find will change what Calla thought she knew about her world forever and she will have to face one of the hardest choices in her young life.

One word to describe this book is AWESOME!!! I seriously could not put this book down from the moment I read the first page. There was action, danger, magic, romance, interesting characters and seriously hot male leads, what more can a girl want? It was interesting to read the about teenagers in a wolfpack dynamic and how they have to deal with more than just the regular run of the mill problems in their world, as the consequences of some lifestyle choices normal people take for granted can often result in a Guardian's execution. I also enjoyed the Ren Vs Shay battle over Calla and her determined yet failed attempts to be a good Alpha female and keep Shay at bay. The story was riveting and I didn't realize I had finished the book until the last page was turned.

Definitely not a book to miss and I can't wait till the next book comes out. Two thumbs waaaaaay up!!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AshAsh by Malinda Lo

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I finished this book last night and as soon as I did I thought "WTF?"...

Aisling "Ash" is definitely not your stereotypical Cinderella. Sure the usual things happen e.g. her mother dies when Ash is only really young, then her dad goes off and marries a complete stranger who's a really nasty piece of work, before he suddenly just dies. No real surprises there, though her father death did sound really awful & quite painful...

The two stepsisters Ana & Clara aren't particularly ugly in this story and though you might feel like strangling spoilt/bratty Ana every once in a while, you might surprise yourself by feeling a little pity for them both. With a mother like theirs pushing them towards a loveless marriage match for the sake of securing a title and fortune, you end up sympathizing them for their lot in life... though not TOO much.

Instead of a fairy godmother, there is seriously hot but distant fairy Sidhean (gives the Winter Prince Ash from Iron King a run for his money in frostiness). Sidhean, of the long white hair & blue eyes, has taken an interest in Ash's well being since she was a child and strikes up a strange/complicated friendship with her but it seems that Ash might be more than just the usual passing fancy to the ice cold fairy of legend. Striking bargains with the fey is a dangerous thing to do but is the promise of Sidhean's help worth risking everything Ash has grown to love in the human world?

Also there is Kaisa, the King's Huntress who seems like one of the boys but is also something apart... A woman who is independent, strong and commanding as well caring and gentle, who wins the admiration of Ash... and perhaps something more. Through a series of chance meetings, shared conversation and laughter, Kaisa and Ash also form a friendship. As Ash's story progresses her bond with Kaisa becomes stronger but will it be enough to save Ash from her promised fate and the lure of Fairie?

While I applaud Malinda Lo for her new twist to an old fairy tale and making Ash go where no Cinderella has gone before, I found the story lacking something more. There was no real spark, it seemed that the characters were just going through the paces and just plodding along to a conclusion which I saw coming. Also the climax was somewhat disappointingly anti-climatic... On the up-side I enjoyed the brief fairy yarns a character would tell from time to time. I always did like a dark themed fairy tale and it was enjoyable to read a couple of new ones I hadn't heard of before.

It wasn't a bad read but it wasn't an exceptionally great read either. Also, if you're not a particularly open-minded person you might want to give this book a miss.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The much awaited sequel to Hush, Hush had a lot of twists and turns, so much happens it was unbelievably crazy.

Even though the events of the previous book ended with Nora gaining Patch as her own personal and seriously hot guardian angel, she still feels guilty that she cost Patch his only chance at being human. Jealously also rears it's ugly head as Nora witnesses Patch in the company of Marcie, Queen Bee & enemy #1 since childhood, more often than she would like and in suspect situations.

Throwing a spanner into the works is Scott, a old childhood friend who moves back into the neighborhood. No longer "Scotty-the-Potty" (yes, I kid you not) but "Scotty-the-Hottie", he seems to be the solution to Nora's present boy problems but Scott is quite a bit more than he seems with dark secrets of his own and may cause more problems than he solves.

If that wasn't enough Nora also receives a mysterious parcel with a clue linking her father's murder the year before to a hidden Nephil Blood Society and a long buried family secret that could change everything Nora thought she knew about herself. As the evidence is stacking up against a person Nora thought she could trust, she must find a way to find out the truth for herself before it's too late.

Once again Nora Grey is in peril and throughout this book, in one way or another, she is always in trouble. I often caught myself wishing someone would just kill Nora and be done with it, as her immaturity and stupid decisions that she makes in result of her pride more often than not land her in danger but then there would definitely be no story to read...

Surprisingly though, because of the pace of the book, I became quite taken with the story and I found myself turning page after page to see what would happen next. I didn't find this book predictable, which was great but then I was disappointed when it turned out the main plot wasn't that much different from the first book. The fact that it had new entertaining twists and tantalizing details popping up throughout the book as well as a shock ending is probably what saved it.

Looking forward to the third book in the series.

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Wedding SeasonWedding Season by Katie Fforde

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I saw this book I was intrigued. So sue me, I'm getting married and everything that has the word "wedding" on it seems to stand out with great neon signs.

The story of the Wedding Season is about 3 different women; Sarah the cynical, straight-laced Wedding Planner who doesn't believe in happily ever afters and has serious trust issues. Elsa the gifted yet shy dressmaker who, despite her talent, always dresses in black and finds comfort in regular boring routines normal people might find dreadfully dull. And last but not least Bron, a very gifted hairdresser/make up artist of many hidden talents who is stuck in a rut of a relationship with a possessive, chauvinistic prig of a man who I wouldn't mind hitting over the head with a frying pan.

The brief professional relationships between these three women blossom into true friendship when they are given the chance to take part in the celebrity wedding of the year. One catch, they have only a couple of months to plan and put together the wedding from scratch, which so happens to fall on the same wedding date as Sarah's little sister Lily, who is on a deadline. Two weddings, three women and a lot of stressful planning to be done, you wouldn't think there would be enough time to actually fit any romance in the story right?

Bachelor #1 is Hugo, a talented photographer with a Casanova reputation who has his eye on Sarah but with her heart broken previously is Sarah strong enough to put it all in the past and trust again?

Bachelor #2 is Laurence, very dependable and friendly, who seems to be destined to always be the Bestman but never the Groom but is sweet & shy Elsa the girl who will change his mind?

Bachelor #3 is James, the boy next door with a green thumb whose conversation, smiles & omelets seem to go a long way in healing Bron's broken heart but with a broken heart of his own, will Bron have enough courage to take the first step?

Sure this book was complete fluff but fluff is occasionally good for the soul. It's a feel good book with a couple of laughs thrown in. I enjoyed reading it and seeing these three women grow as the story progressed, even though it was pretty predicable and had almost no surprises. But like I said, it's fluff but entertaining fluff that doesn't make you think too hard. Read it with a cup of something yummy.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Out for Blood (The Drake Chronicles, #3)Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Tell me about the Drake Brothers. Are they as yummy as everyone says?"

"Totally." I didn't even have to think about that one. "It was like being in a room full of Johnny Depps."

If those lines alone don't suck in you in, I don't know what else will...

The story centers around Hunter Wild (yeah, I know, awesome name), a star vampire hunter in her last year at the Helios-Ra academy and Quinn Drake, pretty boy vampire prince and infamous womanizer. When the Helios-Ra academy is over run by a mysterious illness that is slowly killing off the student body and the Hel-Blar are attacking at an increasing rate, it's up to Hunter to find out why and how to stop it but when her best friend has gone off the deep end and her teachers seem to be clueless, who can she trust? Quinn on the other hand is quite the lady's man and doesn't seem to think beyond the next pretty face but there is something about Hunter that makes her stand out from all the others and against his better judgment he finds himself drawn to her and her cause but is this more than just a passing fancy?

If you liked My Love Lies Bleeding and Blood Feud, you will love Out for Blood. I actually surprised myself by how much I really enjoyed this book. The story pulls you in from the beginning and the comical banter between characters old and new, as well the fast paced action makes for an entertaining read. I can't wait from the next book in the Drake Chronicles, bring it on!!!

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

RecklessReckless by Cornelia Funke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Personally I love re-written fairy tales but even I know there are only so many ways a story can be told before it begins to wear thin. Which is why Reckless is such a refreshing story. It's not a re-written fairy tale but a new tale of love, adventure and danger in a land of magic, where the tales we thought we knew like the back of our hand have a life of their own.

When Jacob Reckless was a child his father all of a sudden disappeared with no trace. Angered by his father's abandonment, his mother's helplessness and his younger brother's endless dependency, Jacob often escaped to his father's locked study to get away from it all. What Jacob never expected to find was a new world of magic and adventure through the mirror, where both myth & legend come to life. As the years went by Jacob finds a new home and friends in the strange, dangerous Mirrorworld and is now a renowned hunter of treasures. A glass slipper, a golden ball, a golden tree, a wishing table; the tasks he undertook were never to dangerous to discourage Jacob and his shape-shifter companion Fox.

But when his younger brother Will unwittingly follows Jacob into the mirror, the carefully constructed wall between the life he left behind and the life he created in the Mirrorworld comes crashing down like glass. Infected by a Goyle, a race of humanoid creatures with hard skins made of semi precious stone (think the Thing from the Fantastic Four) that are at War with the humans in the Mirrorworld, Will is slowly becoming the mythical Jade Goyle that is much sought after by the Dark Fairy, mistress to the Goyle King & hunted for what he is turning into by the humans. If that isn't bad enough Clara, Will's girlfriend, also crosses into the Mirrorworld and further complicates matters in more ways than one. It's now a race against time to save Will from the Dark Fairy's curse as the Jade takes over his body and himself, for in the Mirrorworld not every tale has a happy ending...

If someone had transplanted the young Indiana Jones into a wonderland where myth and fairy tales were common place, Reckless would be it. In this dark tale adventure, danger and romance all make an appearance in this book with a big dash of magic. When I first started reading the book I wasn't quite sure exactly what was going on... but once I got past the initial stage I really got into it and seriously could not put it down. It's a unique story but the ending left me hanging. I really hope there's a sequel.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lord LightningLord Lightning by Jenny  Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yes, I know, another romance novel but one with a surprising cast of characters that are not your typical romance stereotypes.

Sure, you have to have your penniless/innocent heroine from the early 1800s but she is far from the "twist-your-ankle"/"help me!" damsel in distress that usually turns my head in disgust. When her good for nothing father suddenly appears in her life and then just as quickly spends the rest of her small dowry before being thrown into a debtors prison, Eliza Farrell sucks it up and uses her skill in astrological fortune telling to try and make enough to save her most precious possessions; her books and yes, her father. The fact that Eliza would do what she could to save her books and not only that but she is also a big fan of Jane Austen, had me cheering for her from the get go.

When Eliza consults the stars and unknowingly describes the infamous rake, womanizer & emotionally unavailable yet seriously hot Lord Edward "Lord Lightning" Hartwood as being "capable of great, passionate love", among other things...in his hearing... her destiny is changed forever. Determined to teach Eliza a lesson for convincing his mistress to leave him and prove her wrong about her characterization of him, Lord Hartwood strikes a bargain with Eliza...

If Eliza accompanies Lord Hartwood to his mother's house for a fortnight as a replacement mistress to help him fulfill the conditions in his dead brother's inheritance will, Lord Hartwood will not only save Eliza's books but pay for her father's release and then give her further funds to do with what she wishes at the end of their contract. The only conditions are that they will not sleep together, Eliza must not fall in love with Lord Hartwood and that she stops trying to find redeeming qualities in Lord Lightning. Eliza, confident in her assessment of Lord Hartwood's character and in her own acting skills, agrees. How hard can it be right?

Throw in a evil/conniving mother from hell, a few scandalous scenes, some interesting exchanges and a couple of family secrets revealed, what follows is a quite entertaining series of events which proves Lord Hartwood and Eliza have no idea what they have gotten themselves into. Lord Hartwood begins to realise Eliza is far from the usual delicate ladies he had known before and Eliza catches glimpses of a kind, caring man hiding behind the mysterious facade that is Lord Lightning, much to Lord Hartwood's surprise and possible horror. Hilarious!!!

Corniness was kept to a minimal and even though my surprising need for revenge wasn't quite satisfied enough (you'll have to read to find out why), overall it wasn't a bad read and I wouldn't mind reading it again.

Note: Received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, # 1)Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices #1), prequel to Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, does not disappointment. And if you're like me and the whole implied "incest" side plot in the first series made you cringe, you can breath a little easier.

Set in the late 1880s London, it is story of Theresa "Tessa" Gray who leaves America after the death of her aunt and follows the promise of a new home with her brother Nate in London. Once in London, Tessa finds not all it what it seems, especially herself, when Nate goes M.I.A and she is abducted by the Dark Sisters. Captured by Warlocks with no hope of rescue and with only her mother's keepsake, a little clockwork angel, to keep her company, Tessa is taught to harness a unique power within her that she never knew existed but to what end?

Meanwhile William "Will" Herondale and James "Jem" Carstairs, Shadowhunters and best friends, are following a trail started by the discovery of a blade with a Ouroboros symbol near a dead girl killed under mysterious circumstances. What they did not expect to find is the threat of a new type of enemy, an army of magical mechanical automatons headed by the mysterious Magister & Tessa at the center of it all.

Ok, the beginning it did drag a little and I was not a big fan of Tessa. I found her naive & overly trusting, so the climax of the book didn't really surprise me. Though towards the end Tessa did seem to grow the beginnings of a back bone, intriguing enough to keep me interested. Will reminds me of Jace from Mortal Instruments, as they both have a similar sense of smart-mouth humour(surprise, surprise)which is pretty entertaining. The budding love triangle between Will-Tessa-Jem is also something that will leave me hanging out to see who will get the girl. Bad-Boy Will with a heart of stone who may not be all that he seems or Jem, a sweet and caring outcast with a heart of gold whose hiding a deadly secret?

Considering I'm not usually a fan of prequels, I was pleasantly surprised with this latest installment in the Shadowhunter world and looking forward to the next book, City of Fallen Angels, when it comes out.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker, #1)Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Glimmerglass is based on the present day but in an alternate universe where Avalon exists and is pretty much it's own state within England. Kind of like the Vatican within Italy.

The story centers around Dana Hathaway, a not so typical independent teenager who is sick of dealing with an alcoholic for a mother and runs away to her father in Avalon. Nothing could be worse that putting up with the endless humiliation of an alcoholic mother, right?

What follows is a story filled with fae political intrigue, kidnapping, battles with unseelie monsters, betrayal and romance, as Dana finds out she is a Fairiewalker, special type of halfbreed human/fae that can see the Glimmerglass and travel between worlds. Not only that but Dana can also transport human technology into Fairie and bring magic into the human world, which turns her into the most prized ally or most feared enemy, depending on who ends up controlling her first. With her freedom/life threatened, who can Dana really trust?

To be honest, I really struggled through the first 134 pages this book. The whole "Dana wakes up, Dana gets attacked, Dana doesn't know who to trust, Dana goes to sleep" vicious cycle got old pretty fast, so by the time I got to page 135 I was hoping for something new or I was giving up on this book. Ethan, a cute fae boy and his sister Kimber are what kept me going till page 135. Ethan has the typical "Gods Gift to Women" ego that makes either you want to snuggle up to him when he oozes charm or kick him in the jewels and dump a cup of coffee in his face. I suggest you keep reading to find out which one Dana ends up doing. Kimber on the other hand, is smart and sick of standing in her big brother's shadow. Getting to see Kimber beyond her ice princess charm and reading about her homemade cure-all possets (would love to get the recipe), was a pleasant experience.

From page 135 things get interesting as you are finally introduced to Dana's father, Finn - her super hot Knight bodyguard & Keane - an fae Emo-wannabe who has some awesome combat moves but a bad boy attitude. The exchanges between Dana & Keane are especially entertaining...

I don't want to spoil it too much for you, so I'll just say if you end up despairing between pages 1-135, just keep going as it does get better. Eagerly anticipating the next installment on the Fairiewalker series called Shadowspell.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Enchanting the Lady (Relics of Merlin, #1)Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not usually the biggest fan of romance novels. Normally the over the top cheesiness of the dialogue and the pathetic, damsel-in-distress type heroines usually have me running to the nearest bucket to barf.

Shockingly though, I was pleasantly surprised by Enchanting the Lady. Set in the late 1880's London in an alternate universe, ranks and titles are not wholly based on legacy but rather on the amount of magic you have which is tested before you are introduced into society. Which is unfortunate for the current Duchess-of-Honour Stonehaven, a Miss Felicity Seymour, as the possibility of being tested and found wanting could become a reality. If Felicity loses her title, not only will her lands and home be taken away but her dowry will go up in smoke and with that any chance of making a suitable marriage. With nothing but her name, who would marry let alone look twice at Felicity?

True, the damsel-in-distress is somewhat DENSE in this story but when you realise Felicity has been sheltered, shunned & ignored for most of her adult life, her ignorance & naivety can be forgiven... to a point. There might be parts in this story where you literally might want to slap her and yell "Wake up!!!" or possibly give her a comforting hug.

To make up for this, there is the steamy hot baronet Sir Terrence Blackwell. A were-lion, relic hunter & bodyguard to Prince Albert, Terrence is tolerated by a society that blatantly discriminates against his kind. His heart hardened by the recent death of his brother Thomas at the hands of a woman who misused one of Merlin's Relics, Terrence is surprised when he's more intrigued by Felicity herself than the hint of relic magic that he scents on her. Who is this mysterious, beautiful woman who is shunned and ignored by all her peers? Is she an evil villain or a innocent victim?

As his primal animal instincts go into mating overdrive, Terrence finds himself making "Relic Mission" related excuses in order to spend more time in Felicity's company. So while Terrence is trying to hold his desires in check whenever he's around her, Felicity is mostly completely ignorant of the torturous situation she has put Terrence in. Hilarious!!!

Though the story does seem to drag in places, overall it is an entertaining read, especially as a relationship blossoms between Felicity and Terrence. Perfect for a day where you want to read a little romance with minimal cheesiness.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie (Books of Faerie, #2)Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dee & James are back in the dark sequel to Stiefvater's Lament.

Things are decidedly awkward between Dee and James, formerly the best of friends until a fateful text that ruined their friendship at the end of the last book. Now starting at their new art school, Thornking-Ash, they barely hang out and the air between them is heavy with the tension of words that have been left unsaid.

James is still as cocky and witty as in Lament. You often feel like either giving James a hug or a slap behind the head, depending on the situation. Nothing new there but his comical observations and one-liners are still as entertaining as ever. Dee, on the other hand... well apart from littering some of the pages of the book with unsent texts to James in lame failed attempts to bare her soul and the occasional odd Emo appearances that makes you want to slap her...really hard... or push her off a tall building, Dee barely registers in this book until the end. So without a doubt, Ballad is mostly from the view point of James, picking up where the last book left off.

Apart from the new friends James makes at Thornking-Ash, such as Sullivan a pretty cool down to earth teacher that let's kids drink coffee during lessons, my favourite character in this book is Nuala. Known as a leanan sidhe, Nuala is a solitary fey who inspires gifted humans to new creative soaring heights before feeding off their energy when they end up dying before their time. This beautiful but deadly muse has now decided to make her new mark James but he is adamant not to play her game. What follows is an entertaining & often comical battle of the wills/wits as Nuala tries to convince James to make a deal with her and James tries to lead a semi normal life. Key word - TRIES. Understandably hard when Nuala can turn into your deepest desire or worst nightmare. Still, as the story progresses you find that there maybe more to Nuala than she lets on.

Meanwhile Thornking-Ash is more than what it appears to be as well and as characters from the previous book start showing up during the course of the story you realise that there might be some unfinished business left to attend to and new dangers to face.

Overall it wasn't a bad book and it wasn't what I expected, which was surprising in a good way. As entertaining as it was to witness James finally "grow a pair" as Nuala puts it, I really hope there is a 3rd book that answers my old questions from the 1st book and the new questions from the 2nd book.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PolymerPolymer by Sally Rogers-Davidson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first read this story when I was 9 years old and it was my introduction to the Sci-Fi genre. It was a completely amazing story and I haven't forgotten it since. And as much as I will try, I don't think any review will give it enough justice.

The story centers around Polly "Polymer" Meridian, a 18 year old naive, self-centered yet hilarious girl who lives on a luxury space station surrounded by beauty/art and leads a life of frivolous decadence with her friends until her fateful graduation day when everything she knows changes forever.

Polly's Delta space station is attacked and invaded by the Gloman Empire, a ruthless military based civilization who conquers everything it sets it's sights on. Within minutes most of Polly's friends are dead, her home is destroyed and she catches the eye of a particular Gloman invader for all the wrong reasons. Being thrust into a intergalactic war will become the least of Polly's problems as she is forced to question everything she has ever known. Using courage, wit and a little bit of luck Polly will have to find a way to survive the series of events that follows the invasion which not only changes her life but might change the history of the universe forever.

This book is EPIC. First published in 1995 it's a fast-paced space adventure with interesting alien species, seemly elemental magical alien worlds, excitingly dangerous espionage, grievous betrayal, hilarious witty dialogue and steamy romance. The funny banter between Polly and Captain "Ray" Nemo by itself is a pretty entertaining read.

When I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of Polymer after 15 years I was ecstatic. Once I started reading the story again I could not put it down and was reminded why I loved the book so much. Polymer is a story told by a funny and engaging heroine who sucks you in from the very beginning and there was not a single time where I felt I could have put the book down voluntarily... just ask my fiance!!!

I don't want to spoil it for you as sooooo much happens in Polymer. So I'll just say it's a story that cannot be missed and that it is truly a once in a lifetime read that will become a much loved favourite before the last page is turned.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1)Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Deirdre "Dee" Monaghan always thought herself a plain & ordinary, completely invisible to those around her. That is until she meets incredibly hunky & mysterious Luke Dillon. A gifted flautist with dark, dangerous secrets who has taken more than a passing interest in Dee.

After performing a completely awe inspiring duet with Luke at a local music competition, it sets off a series of strange & dangerous events that causes Dee to change her views of those around her as well as herself as she finds out she's far from ordinary... Dee is a "cloverhand"; a human with unique supernatural abilities which fairies seem to gravitate towards the closer it gets to Solstice and not all of them are... friendly...

It's a dark tale that reminiscent of the Holly Black's Tithe but is filled with Stiefvater's own brand of witty banter, which lightens the mood of the book when it gets perilously close to being too heavy. The comic relief of Dee's cute best friend James alone has had me chuckling more than once at his funny observations and lighthearted one-liners. The exchanges between Dee & Luke as she tries to figure out who or what he is exactly is also quite entertaining, especially as their little friendship becomes something more than either of them expected...

A good read, though the ending leaves things unsaid and left me wanting just a little more. I guess it's all the more reason to read the sequel Ballad. Happy reading.

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The DressmakerThe Dressmaker by Posie Graeme-Evans

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok, I debated for a while whether or not to get this book... When I read the back of the book it reminded me of stories I had read before that had started with so much promise but in the end disappointed me with a badly put together/completely dissatisfying conclusions. So I ummed and ahhhed for awhile before I finally gave in...

First of all, I want to say if the summary blurb at the back of the book mentioning teen pregnancy makes you feel uncomfortable or puts you off reading this book, please reconsider. Especially if you like historical fiction and heroines that come into their own after many soul weary trials and heartaches.

The Dressmaker follows the life of Ellen Gowan, a woman that deals with so much bad fortune, tragedy & betrayal from such a young age in this book that you can't help but cheer her on when Ellen finds the strength to pick herself up, brush herself off and follow her dreams. There are many times in this book where the trials that Ellen goes through are sufficiently heartbreaking that my heart goes out to her, especially when she occasionally begins to see a silver lining, only for it to disappear again.

Among the cast of characters in this book there is Polly, a maid from her original family home whose destiny seems entwined with Ellen's and who eventually becomes her pillar of strength in hard times. Oriana, her beloved cousin and sister, if not in blood at least in heart, who faces her own personal trials and must find the courage overcome her fears. Raoul de Valentin, a charming rogue with his best interests at heart. And yummy handsome Connor Moncrieff, an unrequited first love from Ellen's youth who is without a doubt the absolute prefect gentleman. Seriously, this guy is what girls dream about.

Connor aside, the other bonus to the book was reading the beautiful creations created by Ellen Gowan as she strives to become successful modiste & mantua maker. You almost feel like you know what it would be like to wear a gown made by Madame Gowan.

If this was a movie at the cinema I would pay to see it. If it was a TV movie, I would happily sit down and watch it. If it was a Dvd I would buy it straight out. It was a very addictive read. It's rare to find a book that hooks you at the beginning and keeps you snared all the way through to the end.

Oh and yes, the ending certainly did not disappoint me, at all.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Review: The Ruby Talisman by Belinda Murrell

If you like French History or you are curious about what it might have been like for Aristocrats during the French Revolution The Ruby Tailsman is the book for you.

Often you find fiction books based around the French Revolution to be romanticized and it barely touches upon the nitty, gritty often bloody facts that surround that era. Not this book, Paris wasn't always the city of love. But what happens when there is no dashing hero to help save the day???

Tilly is a average teenage girl dealing with the divorce of her parents with the usual teen angst. Her mother, clutching her last straw & unable to cope with her daughter's attitude anymore, sends Tilly to her Aunt Kara for the weekend. Here Tilly is shown a priceless family heirloom, a gorgeous gold & ruby necklace, that had  once belonged to her french ancestress Amelie-Mathilde-Louise de Montjoyeuse.

When Tilly falls asleep with the necklace on she wakes to find herself transported back in time to the side of Amelie, a young naive girl living as lady in decadent luxury & in sore need of a friend. Unaware that she is about to witness a country at the brink of civil war, everything Amelie has ever known will change forever and Tilly, using every scrap of information she learned in school about the french revolution, must find a way to save Amelie or risk losing everything herself.

Drawing inspiration from Madame Campan's Memoirs of the Private Life of Marie Antoinette (1818) and Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette: The Journey (2001), this book has bloody murders, angry crazed mobs, sword fighting and even a chance meeting with the legendary tragic Queen herself. Not to mention the author has also included a translation of french words used in the book at the beginning and interesting facts about French History at the end of the book, so you are bound to learn something new. An interesting read but definitely not a lighthearted fairytale story for little kids.

 Pages: 233 pages

If you like French Revolution Fiction try The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Book Review: The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro

The latched clicked.
The locked door swung open.
Cate blinked, blinded by the brightness.
It was large square room with high ceilings and a wall of french windows leading to a balcony overlooking the rose garden. All around the room, the most delicate plasterwork and cornicing shone, covered in gilt; bright gold garlands twining against creamy white walls. the effect was dazzling.

Cate (aka Katie)  is trying to run away from New York and her past. When her aunt Rachel offers her a job as an assistant to help auction catalog a deceased estate's assets at Endsleigh, a Manor in the English countryside, she jumps the chance to getaway; but when Cate lockpicks a forgotten gilded room that had been hidden for over a generation and stumbles upon a shoebox filled with secrets, she becomes obsessed with the Blythe sisters and in particular popular socialite Diana "Baby" Blythe who disappeared under mysterious circumstances...

Cate untied the frayed silk ribbon and lifted the lid. Wrapped between layers of crumpled newspaper was a pair of delicate silver dancing shoes.

Following the clues Cate finds within the shoebox she pieces together the events that happened over 60 years ago. With Cate is Jack, tall, dark & handsome who also works for Rachel but a man also tortured by his past. Against his better judgment Jack feels himself drawn to the enigma that is Cate but can he truly move on from past events enough to grasp a hopeful future within his reach?

Nothing is as it seems in this book. Although you might think that you have it all figured out, it will surprise you again and again. A good historical fiction mystery read that includes real facts & also explores the past of the main characters as well as the mysterious Blythe sisters.

Can the secrets of one woman's past change another woman's future?

Book Review: Forest Born by Shannon Hale

What good was she to her family broken? She could not keep pretending to be the same Rin, the never-failing Rin, the helpful Rin, not when she was about to break apart like the burned-through wood. The trees had changed for some reason, and she was no longer welcomed in the Forest. 

The fourth book set in the magical world of Bayern, this story is about Rinna, Razo's younger sister & a true forest girl at heart.

Rinna (aka Rin) is haunted by a selfish act she committed in the past. Petrified of the person she could become Rin has buried a special power she barely understands deep within herself and tries hard to be the perfect daughter. But since that incident Rin has lost her special calming bond with the trees of the forest and feels alienated within her own family. When Razo offers to let Rin to join him in the palace, she jumps at the chance to escape from the Forest.

Welcomed as part of the palace household Rin is initially intrigued by the "Fire Sisters" Dasha, Enna & Isi and finds friendship/acceptance where she least expects it. But when an enemy from Bayern's past threatens her new friends, is Rin strong enough to face the evil that could destroy the people she loves? Can Rin resist temptation of her darker self?

The story itself is not a bad read and is a good adventure/coming into your own story but if you're expecting the same romance you found in the previous books in the series you might be disappointed.

Book Series: The Books of Bayern
Books in the Series: The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets
Books by the same Author: Book of a Thousand Days, The Princess Academy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Book Review: The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler

My name is Zita, and I am the thirteenth of thirteen princesses. My twelve sisters have become the subject of legend, even in farway kingdoms, but I am sure that you have never heard of me.

Another tale for lovers of Fairy Tales with a fresh twist.

Zita works in the kitchen with the palace cook and is known for baking delicious pastries but anyone who'd look at her would not consider her more than a palace maid. With flaming curly hair and green eyes, you wouldn't think she was related to the pale blond & blue eyed beauties, the princesses of King Arician & Queen Amara. Being the 13th and last born girl in a long line of daughters of a king who only wanted sons, she was named Zita after the patron Saint of Servants. Blamed for the death of her mother in child birth, Zita was disowned and banished to the servant quarters, away from the sight of the King.

As Zita grows older and learns of her past, she is secretly welcomed among her sisters with open arms and for one night a week, with the help of a forgotten dumbwaiter, can spend time in the company of her sisters freely. Shortly after Zita's birthday her all of her sisters are suddenly stricken down with a strange sickness. Weak and sickly pale, the princesses do not eat & sleep away the day. Only Zita has noticed their dancing slippers worn away each morning.

With the help of Babette the witch, the stable boy Breckin & Milek the soldier, Zita must face her fears & find away to save her sisters from a strong mysterious enchantment that is killing them.

Not a bad re-telling of an old Brothers Grimm fairy tale The 12 Dancing Princesses from author Diane Zahler. It has magic, romance, revenge & redemption. A good read, with a surprising climax.

Note: If you like this book or are a fan of the original tale try Juliet Marillier's Wildwood Dancing, an old favourite of mine.

Pages: 243 pages.

Book Review: The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric

Where's our Studious Son? Who's our Lost Daughter?
Our Undrowned Child plucked from the water,
Who shall save us from a Traitor's tortures?
That secret's hidden in the old Bone Orchard.

The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric is unlike any other book I have previously read. It is a book full of historically interesting facts about Venice with a fantastical twists but also includes a wide variety of colourful characters, human and not human.

The story is set in 1899 & is told from the viewpoint of the two main characters; Teodora (aka Teo) a girl from Naples & Lorenzo (aka Renzo) a boy from Venice. My first impression is that the story is very heavy for a child. The book covers everything from death to betrayal to racial discrimination to violent/bloody battle scenes to evil revenge centuries old. It's definitely not a lighthearted child's fairy tale.

The book begins with tragedy as generations of a single family drown in the Venice lagoon one fog filled night under mysterious-magical circumstances and of the baby whose body was never found...

Fast forward to "present day" and Venice is under threat of destruction. The best scientists from around the world are being sent to Venice in the hope they can figure out way to save the drowning city scientifically. Teo is the bookish daughter of two such scientists and a visit to Venice seems like a dream come true but it all turns into  nightmare from the moment a book called The Key to the Secret City falls on her head.

As the lines of an old prophecy begin to come true, Teo, with the help of a local Venice boy called Renzo, must find a way to save the city from an ancient enemy and travel throughout Venice encountering many strange/wonderful creatures. One of which are mermaids who talk like sailors & have a love of spices. The mermaids were one of my favourites and often gave comedic relief in this dark story.

If you want to read something new and unlike any other story you have read before, give this dark tale a go.

P.S. At the end of the story the author has included facts about the history Venice and where you can find places you read of in the book. It might surprise you to learn what was actually true...

Pages: 396 pages

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Book Review: Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Salvation has it's price...

The long awaited 5th book of the highly popular Vampire Academy series didn't disappoint. The 4th book ended with Rose hearing the rumour of a Spirit-user who could turn Strigoi back into the Dhampirs or Moroi they once were, raising her hopes of saving the soul of her beloved Dimitri.

Right from the beginning shadowkissed/wise-cracking Rose has a few issues to face. Not only does Rose have to figure out how the Spirit-user turned Strigoi back and pass her final Guardian exams but she has also has major boy problems.

On one side Rose has Adrian, a totally hot moroi Spirit-user/Dreamwalker who absolutely adores her & who is also willing to put aside his bad habits to make her happy; but his aunt is the Queen of the moroi who has made her disapproval of Rose very clear & has the power to assign her to a desk job instead being Guardian of Lissa.

On the other side is Dimitri, her gorgeous ex-instructor/ex-lover turned Strigoi who sends her creepy love letters every week. Dimitri has made it very clear that if he can't have Rose as his Strigoi partner for eternity he'll make sure that no else will have her.

Rose isn't the only one with boy problems. Lissa and Christian are still loggerheads since the last book. Christian still can't forgive Lissa for her out of control behavior and things she said/did under influence of Avery. Lissa is still battles her demons/depressions that is a result of using her Spirit power, which isn't helped by the fact she goes green with envy when she notices Christian in the company of other female moroi.

I don't want to ruin the story but there is a lot that happens in this book and you definitely won't see the end coming.

I can't wait for the release for the sixth and final Vampire Academy book... Last Sacrifice.

Pages: 489 pages

Other Books in the Series: Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss & Blood Promise.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

"It's beautiful." Fascination replaced fear, and I ran my fingertip along the automaton's sleeve. The velvet was nearly as soft as a rabbit's fur, and beneath it traced the line of a metallic skeleton.

We find our heroine Nimira (Nim) dancing & singing as a "trouser girl" on a dank music hall for a living in New Sweeling. Nim was once the daughter of a privileged family in the court of Tiansher but after her mother, a favourite in the Royal Court Troupe, died everything changed for the worst and Nimira set sail leaving everything behind to seek her fortune.When she catches the eye of dashing sorcerer Hollin Parry, he offers her an escape from her dreary existence but at what cost?

In return for a home, new clothes & food in her belly Nim must sing in accompaniment to an Automan, a fairy-made clockwork man who plays a pianoforte when wound up with a key.

Large brown eyes stared glassily ahead from a finely crafted face, its lips shut and perked in a smile. I nearly believed it could come to life with the slightest provocation. Soft brown hair framed its forehead and cheekbones, with delicate ears poking out, and the rest drawn back at his neck into a blue satin bow.

Sounds easy right? As the story continues you find that the Automan is infamous in the Parry household for being haunted and that previously hired female singers have often not lasted longer than a day or two in its presence. If a haunted Automan wasn't enough, she also has to contend with Miss Rashten, a keeper of dark secrets hidden in the manor that makes her disapproval of Nim very clear and Mr Smollings, the new creepy Ambassador of Magic, who has more than keen interest in the Automan & Parry household. Does Nim have the courage to discover the truth?

Once I picked up and started reading the book I got sucked right in. Lovers of enchantments, fairies & hidden secrets will love this book. You can't help but admire Nim for her determination & courage through the course of the story. I hope that there is a sequel coming out soon, as the ending left it open to the possibility of a further adventure.

P.S. The characters I imagined as I read the book looked nothing like the ones on the front cover... I guess the illustrator didn't really read the book =-p

Pages: 225 pages

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Review: Ondine by Ebony McKenna

"What is the point of falling in love with a man if he turns back into a ferret when the moon goes down?"

Brugel is a country where the strange and unusual are not only tolerated, they are encouraged. So when Ondine finds was appears to be cute little ferret in her secret stash of food at Psychic Summer Camp, she unwittingly adopts him & doesn't bat an eyelash. When Shambles the Ferret turns out to be seriously hot Hamish McPhee the Laird of Glen Logan, a dark haired boy with roguish twinkle in his green eyes & a scottish brogue, cursed into the shape of a ferret for 80 years, things get a bit complicated.

Throw in a secret long-lost treasure, a historical mystery, secret romances, witchy aunt Col, an assassination attempt & handsome Lord Vincent, Ondine is having seriously difficult time keeping herself out of trouble, let alone finding the time to break the spell, with or without Shambles' help.

When I first started reading it I thought maybe this is a just another book aimed at the pre-teen to mid teen audience but as the story progressed I couldn't help but be sucked into the fairy tale and the hilarious witty banter, not to mention being educated in scottish brogue or entertained with fun facts by the author's footnotes that can be found on pages every so often.

"Ye canty wrassler, A'll dun't ye!"(1) His accent came back thick & strong. "A'll gar claw whaur it's no yeukie!(2) A'll saut brose, Old Col!(3) Ma tongue isna unner yer belt!(4)"

(1) You liar, I'm going to bash you. (2) I'll put my fist where it's not welcome. (3) I'll get my revenge. (4) And don't think about trying to silence me.

I don't want to ruin it for you, so I'll just say Shambles is guaranteed to give you a few chuckles, it definitely did have me giggling on the bus.

One Girl. One Boy. One Spell to be Broken...

One Seriously Entertaining Book to be Read!!!

Pages: 292

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Book Review: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Yes, I know, another Vampire Book. I couldn't help it. When I saw this in the book store I was intrigued by the story... but apart from what it could have been, the author of this book has all but butchered it's possibilities.

The main character is called Rae Seddon (a.k.a Sunshine) who, needing to get away from her life for a little, decides to take a break by driving to the local lake for a respite. Before she knows it she is kidnapped by a gang of vampires who makes her strip, put on a red dress & shackles her to a wall in an abandoned mansion. Did I forget to mention that also shackled in the same room is another vampire who has been starved for a very, very long time? Interesting development, no?

Now Robin McKinley has created a very interesting world where the present is the after days of the Voodoo Wars, where humans along side demons, were-animals fought against the villainous vampires who now control most of the wealth of the world. A sort of uneasy peace governed by the SOF (considered the Vampire Police) has settled in Old Town where Sunshine lives, as humans know but ignore the fact that a lot of the population contains part bloods, humans who have half demon, fairy or were-animal in them. Sometimes it's appears harmlessly, like Mary who always pours hot coffee every time but sometimes it can twist a person and make them psychotic, which is Sunshine greatest fear.

Sunshine considers herself a small changer, a person with the magic ability to change objects from one thing to another, like flowers into feathers but since meeting Constantine (Con) the vampire and during the course of following events Sunshine ends up finding out a lot more about herself, her mysterious family, her magical ability & vampires, more so than she ever wanted to know as she is quite happy pretending to be normal & to go along baking cinnamon rolls for the local coffee house for the rest of her life... yes, I know, how dull...

As I read the book I couldn't help but notice that Sunshine is one of 4 things during the course of the story: Fearful, Angry, Insanely Hysterical or Numb... and it's very hard to like her as a character. Sunshine's new acquaintance Con has the personality of statue but he's an old vampire, so it's a little easier to understand, though even he seems to have more depth to his character than Sunshine.

Now McKinley seems to overcompensate for Sunshine's lack of character by making her over explain everything in her thoughts. Most of the book is just paragraphs and paragraphs of Sunshine blathering on in an attempt to explain things that exist in her world that sometimes don't need explaining. What happened to leaving somethings out so the reader gets a chance to use their imagination. If you give use bits of information here and there I'm sure readers can connect the dots but no, McKinley seems to want to spoon feeds us, so the story often feels like it's taking painfully forever to get to the point.

I was often tempted to just skip to the end just to see if this Beauty & the Beast vs the Vampire World-esque story was worth reading but my need to know if Sunshine & Con would get beyond casual, if not painfully blase, friendship spurred me on.... Apart from an almost raunchy scene, I repeat almost raunchy, nothing happens between them besides the invisible bond they share since their time spent as prisoners... somewhat disappointing, considering on the book's front cover is says "....A mesmerizing SF horror romance..." False advertising anyone?

If anything McKinley has managed to create something unlike any vampire book before and then gentley smothered all it's possibilities while drowning it in her need to overspeak. Again, so disappointing.

Don't read this unless it's your absolute last resort and your very, very desperate.

Pages: 475 pages

Other Books by McKinley: The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown, The Outlaws of Sherwood.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review: My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey

Now there are two types of Vampire books. There's the corny ones filled with cliche undying loves scenes that make you either want to hurl or shoot yourself. Then there are the ones that take you by surprise and give a breath of fresh air to an overused, sometimes overrated genre.

My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey isn't as corny as the title suggests. The story centers around two girls who are as different as two people can be but are the best of friends. Lucky (a.k.a Lucy) Hamilton is a unique human teenager whose temper makes her punch first, ask questions later & is loyal to a fault. Solange (a.k.a Sol) Drake is also unique. Not only because she's the only girl in a blue-blood vampire family of 7 older brothers but also in a "first born female vampire in 900 years" with seriously crazy boy problems kind of way... Cat hearts anyone?

As the story progress you find out that Sol is going through her last days as being human as her 16th birthday approaches & the bloodchange creeps ever closer. On one side Sol's pheromones are on over drive making all the male vampires outside her immediate family throw themselves at her in a love-crazed frenzy, send her flowers & seriously strange gifts. On the other side a human organization of Vampire Hunters called Helios-Ra have suddenly started attacking the Drake family for unknown reasons, even under a treaty. One of which is Kieran Black, seriously cute but hellbent on exacting revenge on the Drake family for murder of his dad.

If that wasn't bad enough Sol's birth was prophecized centuries ago stating a female born to the Drake clan will rise to become Queen of the Vampires & unite all the vampire tribes together. Geez, pressure anyone?

Lucy on the other hand feels that she's is the weakest link in the defense around Sol, so she learned combat skills & weaponry from Sol mum in order to hold her own in protecting her best friend from those who wish her harm. As the battle & danger escalates she finds herself drawn closer to Sol's brother Nicholas, a guy filled with endless feuding/teasing banter since childhood & who usually makes Lucy want to poke him in the eye with a fork. Is it just the vampire pheromones at work making her see him differently or is it something more?

If you want a sappy vampire romance filled with corny confessions of love I suggest you read Twilight, as this isn't that type of book. If you want a little more out of your vampire book, with tender moments, funny banter & exciting battle scenes pick up this book, though I'll warn you once you start reading you'll want to keep reading till the last page.

Book Pages: 248
Book also known as: Hearts at Stake
Book Series : Drake Chronicles
Next Book: Blood Feud (Release Date: July 2010)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Book Review: Some Girls - My Life in a Harem by Jill Lauren

Thought I'd take a break from the supernatural & fantasy genre. And WOW did I ever!!!

Jillian Lauren's book "Some Girls" looks into her life as a modern day Harem Girl. If you're thinking I Dream of Jeannie stylized fantasies be prepared for a rude awakening.

Jill was a normal teenage girl who has gone through the typical angst & rebellious stage everyone else goes through, wanting more out of life that what she already had. The choices Jill makes during the course of her story eventually takes her away from everything she has ever known and lands her in what she first thinks is paradise compared to her usual everyday life. Little does she know that it's not all about filthy rich princes, fast cars, gorgeous jewelery, luxurious surroundings & jet setting overseas for outrageous shopping sprees.

I fell victim to Stockholm Syndrome,” Lauren writes. “I knew I was a hooker, but somehow I felt like Cinderella.”

Vying for the attention of a prince who is charming & handsome,if emotionally unavailable, Jill finds herself in a gilded cage where there is no such thing as friends, only allies & enemies. How much of herself is Jill willing to trade up to get what she wants? Is anything worth giving up her freedom? Her humanity? Her sanity?

If you want a sugar coated fairy tale this is not your book. But if you are curious as to what it's like on the other side, what it truly takes. When you have well and truly crossed some lines in pursuit of something might seem unattainable, then read this book.

Jill's memoir funny, sexy, heart breaking, outrageous & full of feeling.

Truly an extraordinary story that you don't come across very often... Once you've read Some Girls you will never forget it.


Book Pages Total: 339 pages

Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Review: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

"Hear the trees a-listening, feel the fire whispering. See the wind a-telling me all the forest dreams."

I am a great lover of Folklore & Fairy Tales, ever since I was a little girl. So if I see a old tale with a fresh new twist I will usually end up reading it and The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale was no exception.

Now the main character of this book is called Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee (Ani for short), Crown Princess of Kildenree and for the first third of the book you end up just wanting to slap her every time she utters a "Ah, yes" or "Um, thank you".

Sheltered by her father & heavily criticized by her mother, Ani is estranged to all (including her siblings) except her nursemaid aunt who fills her head with folktales of people who can speak with nature & lady-in-waiting called Selia who has a gift for getting her way. Ani has as much back bone as a limp noodle, is as meek as a mouse and beyond naive, so you think it would be hard to sympathize with her but a small part of you will. The ultimate royal misfit, Ani's only talent is a firm grasp on bird linguistics and a strange affinity with the element of air, which alienates her even more from her fellow peers & brands her as a bit loopy in country which does not tolerate the magical/unexplainable.

But that's not the end of her troubles. Following the tragedy of her father's unexpected death she finds herself replaced as the heir of the Kingdom by her younger brother & shipped off to marry a prince from a neighboring Kingdom of Bayern, who she has never met, in the hopes this alliance will prevent invasion or, in a worse case scenario, war. Before Ani gets halfway to Bayern she finds herself a victim of identity theft as Selia convinces the dodgy half of the royal escort party to crown her princess instead, kill Ani & marry the prince herself.

"You, what are you? The brat of lucky parents who were related to childless king. There is no such thing as royal blood."

What happens next you will have to read for yourself to find out but you will not be disappointed. As the story of Ani progresses you'll see her grow in confidence & character, finding friendship, love & acceptance where she least expects it. The book is filled with colourful characters, goodhearted humor, dangereous battle and you go from almost despising Ani to cheering her on towards the end of the book.

It's addictive & you will not want to put it down until you find out what happens in the end.

Pages Total: 383 pages
Series: Books of Bayern.
Other Novels in the Books of Bayern Series: Enna Burning, River Secrets & Forest Born.
Other Novels by Author : Book of a Thousand Days & Princess Academy.

Welcome to the BookWyrm Lair

I love to read and if I had a chance I would have a personal in-built wall to wall library complete with the sliding staircase filled with endless shelves of books and a comfy reading chair...

I devour books like there is no tomorrow (just ask my BF & Friends) and love losing myself in the different worlds of adventure others have created. If I like a book, I tend to check out other books written by the same author or see if the book is part of a series.

My friends usually ask me what books to read next based on authors or genres they have read previously. So in a way, this blog is for them.

Hope you like my reviews and if you have any questions just let me know :)

- MystGrrl