Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Hot sun, hot sand, cool drinks, dark tans. Ahhhh. But your summer won’t be complete until you land a new BOOK BOYFRIEND, right? Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered!


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SUMMER BOOK CRUSH offers 50+ titles in many genres. This means 50+ chances to (fictitiously) fall in love. And the best part? Each of these gems is only 99¢, but for a limited time only. The SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event starts on June 26th and ends (yes, even the best things in life end at some point) on June 28th. So don't wait up! Mingle with our BOOK BOYFRIENDS and invite all your friends to participate too. There are plenty of BOOK BOYS to share!

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Find your summer’s fling between the pages of a book. And don't stop on one - after all we have many BOOK BOYFRIENDS for you to mingle with.



Saturday, 22 June 2013

Review of Elite

The Elite
(The Selection #2)
By Kiera Cass

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.25/5

My thoughts:
I really should have read this series in the correct order because I did feel a little confused about the selection and Americas background. But it was not too difficult to follow. I liked the idea of the competition to become the next princess and that it wasn't just about who looks the best for the prince. The tasks were quite interesting and I was especially proud of America when she spoke out about the unfairness of the castes.

In terms of Maxon and Aspen, I was team aspen until the end. I couldn't help But doubt Maxon's character. Aspen is so genuine and understanding but then Maxon has so much responsibility and pressure on him so maybe that's why he behaves as he does. Plus he did take care of Marlee after her severe punishment and exile...

I believe that America has the potential to make a change if she wins, she certainly has the drive and determination to want things to change but in order to win she needs to fight the odds against her, which includes the King's dislike.

Celeste is clearly too scheming and manipulative. Kriss is sweet and it's sad she's in love with Maxon; she really would make a brilliant second choice.

The Elite was definitely interesting, and had the reality-show-turned-TV-series feel to it. There was plenty of drama, and whilst most girls were fiercely competing for Maxon's attentions, America was fighting within herself to decide what she truly desires. Now that she finally realises the extent to which Maxon will suffer for her, I fear the evil king will do something to ruin America's chances.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

"I know," I said, placing a hand on his chest, letting myself forget for a moment all that we were risking. "But that doesn't change where we are or that I'm an Elite now. I need time, Aspen."
He reached up to hold my hand in his and nodded. "I can give you that. Just...try to find some time for me, too."

Time. I was asking for a lot of it these days. I hoped that if I had enough, everything would somehow fall into place.

In truth, I hadn't even thought about Aspen in the last week or so. I was so consumed by my mistimed words and mistaken guesses, I couldn't consider anything else. And here, while I'd been worried about Maxon, letting me go, Aspen had been worrying about me doing the same to him.

"And if you don't get to be princess then, so what? That doesn't make you any less incredible. And you know..." He couldn't get out what he wanted to say, and I risked looking at his face.
In Aspen's eyes I saw a thousand different endings to that sentence, all of them connecting him to me. That he was still waiting for me. That he knew me better than anyone. That we were the same. That a few months at the palace couldn't erase two years. No matter what, Aspen would always be there for me.
"I know, Aspen. I do."

I signed. "Actually, Mom, we argue pretty regularly."
"What?" She gaped at me. "Well, stop it!"
"Oh, and I kneed him in the groin once."There was a split second of silence before May barked a laugh. She covered her mouth and tried to stop, but it kept coming out in awkward, squeaky sounds. Dad's lips were pressed together, but I could tell he was on the verge of losing it himself. Mom was paler than snow.
"America, tell me you're joking. Tell me you didn't assault the prince."
I didn't know why, but the word assault pushed us all over the edge; and May, Dad and I bent over laughing as Mom stared at us.

He shrugged. "It's just the way it is. The sky is blue, the sun is bright, and Aspen endlessly loves America. It's how the world was designed to be..."

I was determined to pour myself into this and hopefully produce something that might genuinely make a difference. Maybe I'd still lose in the long run; maybe I wouldn't even want to win. But I would be as close to a princess as I possibly could, and I would make my peace with the Selection.

America, he'd said, I don't think you can change history. To which I replied, Sure we can. Besides, who'd ever know about it but you and me?

I wiped the tears away and assessed the situation. I was done with Maxon, but I was still here. I was done with the competition, but I still had a presentation due. Aspen might not think I was tough enough to be a princess- and he was right- but he did have faith in me. I knew that. And so did my father. And so did Nicoletta.
I wasn't here to win anymore. So how could I go out with a bang?

This was it. This was good-bye.
"You've changed me forever. And I'll never forget you." I ran my free hand down his chest, straightening his coat.
"Don't tug your ear with anyone else. That's mine." I gave him a tight smile.
"A lot of things are yours, America."

"...You were the one who changed us when you left me in the tree house; and you keep thinking that if you push hard enough, you can make everything go back to before that moment. It doesn't work that way. Give me a chance to choose you."


(The Lynburn Legacy #1)
By Sarah Rees Brennan

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts
I really liked this book, and I mean really liked it! I was reading this whilst studying for my tax exams and it's one of those books that you can't stop thinking about. Anyway, what I do when I am studying is revise for 1.5 hours and then read for 15 minutes, then study for 1.5 hours, and so on. Well, Unpoken was so distracting that in the end I just put the tax books aside, and just kept reading!

I knew that the voice in Kami's head was too real and that it could not be an imaginary person but to think what that kind of connection might be like. Someone always in your head, knowing you so well. With social media, we pretty much know where everyone is all the time, through facebook statuses, twitter updates, text messages etc. But at the end of the day, those things are what we put down. Imagine someone knowing what you're thinking the whole time. And being able to communicate with that one person through your mind. Wow...I don't think I would be able to handle that.

I like how Kami doesn't like Jared when she meets him and that it's not one of those 'love at first sight' stories. That's what makes it so unique, that even though they have shared this connection since they were born, there is still so much they do not know about each other.

Kami's character is awesome. She's like a mini Nancy Drew, always investigating things, getting herself into trouble and the things she says are hilarious! And to think she is in one of the biggest mysteries of it all.....she knew the return of the Lynburns would change things for her, but she soon learns how much!

The second book in this series, Untold, will be released on August 29th and I cannot wait! If you haven't read Untold- Go. Now!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes

Angela had moved from London to Sorry-in-the-Vale when Kami was twelve. The timing had been perfect because Kami's first best friend, Nicola Prendergast, had just dropped her for being too weird.

"My point is, here we have an opportunity to champion truth that doesn't involve sports," Kami persisted. "It's a step toward me becoming the greatest journalist of our time. You have to help, Angela, because Ms. Dollard has this notion that I'm a troublemaker and she's only- finally - letting me set up a school paper because I told her you were on board."
Angela rounded on Kami, her dark eyes blazing. "You did what?"

"Have I mentioned, thanks for doing this?" Kami asked.
Angela slung an arm around Kami's shoulders as they went up the stairs. "Your soul is like the souls of a thousand monkeys on crack, all smushed together," she told Kami. "But enough about you. Show me to my napping sofa."

Angela lifted the arm over her eyes a fraction. "Go away," she commanded. "I only date college guys."
"You don't know any college guys," Kami pointed out.
Angela's gaze went to Kami, and she smiled. "Which leaves me with more time for napping."

"He'd be excellent decoration for our headquarters," Kami said. "You have to admit, he's very good-looking, and I need a photographer, so can I keep him, please, oh, please?"
Angela sighed. In the cupboard, the sigh was like a gust of wind. "Kami, you know I hate guys being around all the time. They won't stop staring and bothering me and giving me sad, sad eyes like a puppy dog until I just want to kick them. Like a puppy dog."
"So you have some puppy issues," Kami observed.
The cupboard door swung suddenly open.
The new boy stood framed by the bright light of the office. "Sorry to interrupt," he said. "But I can hear everything you're saying."

Ash pushed himself off the doorframe and into the room, toward her. "You did an awesome job out there in the woods," he said. "And with the article."
Kami beamed. "Thank you."
"But I think you and Angela should leave this to the police from now on."
"What an interesting thought," Kami said. "Thank you for sharing it with me. Let me share a thought with you: Actually I can walk myself to class. And I can also handle myself, so I'll be doing what I want."

Kami felt Jared reach for her, as if he knew she was thinking about him. I'm bored, he said. What are you doing?
Talking about hot guys, Kami informed him.
Jared said, Oh my God.
You did ask.
It's a topic of absorbing interest, Jared said. I'm sure. Obviously, as a hot guy myself, I wouldn't know.
Kami laughed.
I find your scepticism very hurtful, Jared said. I'm extremely hot. Except not so much in the face.

How do you deal with it? Kami asked Jared. The laughing at nothing and occasionally stopping dead in your tracks.
I have a system where when I stop, I lean casually against something, Jared told her. It makes people think I'm a bad boy. Or possibly that I have a bad back.

Angela had offered to walk her home, which was so unheard of that it made Kami laugh.
"Just take care of yourself, you hyperactive midget," Angela had instructed, eyes narrowed like a cross cat, and sent Kami on her way with a shove.

"Oh, thank God," Jared said. "I couldn't work out how to hit you and hold on to you at the same time."
"Hit me?" Kami croaked. "I've had enough of this abusive behaviour. And we've only just met! You're making a terrible first impression."

"I remember that," Kami said. "Honestly, Jared, one thing at a time. Why are you in the well with me? This is a really bad rescue!"

She was chewing the end of her pencil over article number nineteen when Jared threw open the door, strode into the room, and announced, "We should date."
Kami bit her pencil in two.
Angela rose from her chair like the wrath of God in a red silk blouse and demanded, "Who the hell are you?"

"I heard what you said!" Kami yelped. "I guess I was hoping I'd got it wrong and you hadn't said the crazy thing you said. Since you did say the crazy thing you said, do you mind explaining it to me?"

Jared flicked her an incredulous glance. "Yes," he said slowly. "Zen jogging. I wasn't wearing that many clothes because- that's part of the process. You're meant to commune with the elements. Normally, I wouldn't have worn my jeans, but I put them on because I know the English are a modest people."

"That's what I was thinking, but why?" Kami wondered aloud. "It's not like he can stop me before I reveal all. I told the police! I put it in the paper! All has never been so revealed."

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review of The Wrong Girl

The Wrong Girl
(Freak House #1)
By C.J. Archer

It's customary for Gothic romance novels to include a mysterious girl locked in the attic. Hannah Smith just wishes she wasn't that girl. As a narcoleptic and the companion to an earl's daughter with a strange affliction of her own, Hannah knows she's lucky to have a roof over her head and food in her belly when so many orphans starve on the streets. Yet freedom is something Hannah longs for. She did not, however, want her freedom to arrive in the form of kidnapping.

Taken by handsome Jack Langley to a place known as Freak House, she finds herself under the same roof as a mad scientist, his niece, a mute servant and Jack, a fire starter with a mysterious past. They assure Hannah she is not a prisoner and that they want to help her. The problem is, they think she's the earl's daughter. What will they do when they discover they took the wrong girl?

Source: Goodreads
My Rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts

Loved the unusualness of it. The book is set in what I like to call the 'prim and proper' British era. Where servants and maids are regular to households, ladies need chaperones and where it's scandalous to speak to someone without an introduction. I love reading about this time because the society is so different. At the same time the characters were portrayed to be so realistic that it did not feel that I was reading about the past. I felt like I was there, with Hannah whilst she was stuck in the attic, arguing with her governess, training with Jack in the Freak House...

I seriously did not think it would be Hannah who was the fire-starter, mainly because I never thought Vi would lie to her all her life like that. But why would Vi do that because from what we know of Vi she is kind, timid and (generally) honest? I am beginning to suspect that there was a different motive for the Earl to keep both girls hidden in the attic. It cannot be just because Hannah is Vi's companion, there must be more to Hannah's history. Perhaps she is the real daughter? But even that does not make sense because why would they hide it from her. Another thing is, who is Vi's mother? All we know is that both girls are terrified of her...
Now that Hannah knows what powers she has access to, perhaps she may actually be able to control it now. It would be interesting to see what happens as the story progresses and whether there are any more hidden powers that the inhabitants of the Freak House possess.
Book 1 in the Freak House series was very entertaining and I look forward to reading more from C.J. Archer.
Zed (:

Favourite Quotes

I felt Vi tense. Lady Wade, her mother, never visited us in the attic- something for which we were both grateful. It was enough to have to put up with ratty Miss Levine's moods. At least our governess had enough passion in her to grow angry on occasion. Lady Wade was simply indifferent to our plight, and that indifference made her as bleak as a February night.

"Good afternoon, Pearson," I said breezily. He hadn't addressed me, but sometimes, when I was feeling particularly irreverent, I cast aside the rules of propriety. I was, after all, a prisoner, a narcoleptic and a companion to a lady who started fires with her mind. Propriety was the least of my concerns.

"Do you think the appointment will take long?" Sylvia asked.
"We simply must go shopping. I'm not travelling all that way and not visiting Oxford Street."
Jack's eyes softened. "We'll certainly have time for shopping. Indeed, I can hardly wait. I live to carry your purchases up and down Oxford Street."
"Don't be silly. Tommy can carry the boxes to the carriage. You won't need to do a thing except pay..."

"I doubt I could ever be happy to be associated with Freak House."
Jack looked quite unnerved by her misery. "Those people aren't for the likes of us," he said quietly.
"You shouldn't let them bother you," I said to her. "I agree with Jack. They don't seem like the sort of people you'd want to be friends with anyway."
"That's easy for you to say. You and Jack are the freaks. I'm the freak by association. It's not fair."

What had I been thinking. "I'm so sorry, Samuel. I didn't know it would be like that. Those people...they're so...desperate."
"Starvation does that. You weren't to know what it would be like."
"I should have. I've read the stories of Mr. Dickens."
He laughed and patted my hand. "Then you are indeed a woman of the world."

"Dear lord," Sylvia said, sitting heavily on a chair "What if he intended to murder us in our beds?"
"I'm sure that wasn't his intention, Syl," Jack said.
Tommy puffed out his chest. "I'll protect you, Miss Langley."
"Thank you," she said. "I can rely on you if not my own cousin."

Tommy grinned. "It's a good plan, Miss Smith."
"And dangerous," Sylvia said.
"Thank you for your concern for my safety, Miss Langley, I'll be alright."
She sniffed. "I meant it would be dangerous for us alone."

Jack smiled ruefully. "I couldn't help myself. I'm so relieved you're all right."
"I'm rather glad you're alive too," I said and grinned. If I threw my arms around him, would we combust? I wanted to, so much, that I was almost prepared to try it.
"What about us?" Tommy said. "Aren't you glad your cousin and I are alive?!
"Would you like a kiss too?" Jack asked him.
Tommy sniffed. "Don't think that'll get you off. I'm bloody angry at you for going back in there for that monster."

"It was fortunate that you got the right girl in the end, Jack," Sylvia said cheerfully. "I'm certainlu glad we have Hannah and not the other one. She sounds like she can't be trusted if she was indeed part of Hannah's kidnapping" The fact that most of the people in the room had been part of my kidnapping seemed to have escaped her notice.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Novella #3 review

Here's my third novella review!

Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5)

By Tahereh Mafi



Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.5/5
My Thoughts:
I had heard much about Tahereh Mafis books but have not had a chance to read them until I realised she has also written a novella. 

I did not expect to enjoy a novella especially when it is based on a series I know nothing about. But after reading this I am definitely going to read the novels in the series to find out more about Juliette; the girl with the fatal touch.  

I'm assuming there was a novel before this novella which would explain more about why J is classed as insane when  she does not seem to be a threat.  But im more interested in reading the novel after,to see what happens when Warner finds J and if J manages to control her "abilities". 

I particularly enjoyed reading Js journal entries because it gave an insight into what was going on in her head and shows how vulnerable this supposed monster really is. 

Very much looking to read more in this series. I can see why Tahereh Mafi is so popular!  
Favourite Quotes:
It's a strange thing, to never know peace. To know that no matter where you go, there is no sanctuary. That the threat of pain is always a whisper away.
She put my hand in the fire once.
Just to see if it would burn, she said. Just to check if it was a regular hand, she said.
I was 6 years old then.
I remember because it was my birthday.
"Let their fates serve as an example to you. We do not welcome traitors in The Reestablishment. And we do not forgive."
This girl is destroying me.
A girl who has spent the last year in an insane asylum. A girl who would try to shoot me dead for kissing her. A girl who ran off with another man just to get away from me.
Of course this is the girl I would fall for.
I pretend and pretend until the world becomes so breathtaking behind my eyelids that I can no longer contain it. But then my eyes fly open and I'm caught around the throat by a pair of hands that won't stop suffocating suffocating suffocating.
My thoughts, I think, will soon be sound.
My mind, I hope, will soon be found.
Seamus Fletcher was murdering his family. And I shot him in the forehead because I thought it'd be kinder than ripping him to pieces by hand.
I've come to believe that the most dangerous man in the workd is the one who feels no remorse. The one who never apologizes and therefore seeks no forgiveness. because in the end it is our emotions that make us weak, not our actions.
And I'm eager for any opportunity to snap Kent's neck,
That traitorous bastard. The idiot who thinks he's won himself a pretty girl. He has no idea who she is. No idea what she's about to become.
And if he thinks he's even remotely suited to match her, he's even more of an idiot than I gave him credit for.
And yet I've known nothing like this terrible, horrible, paralyzing feeling. I feel crippled. Desperate and out of control. And it keeps getting worse. Every day I feel sick. Empty and somehow aching.
Love is a heartless bastard.
I'm driving myself insane.
We're running out of time, he said.
As if time were the kind of thing you could run out of, as it were measured into bowls that were handed to us at birth and if we ate too much or too fast right before jumping into the water then our time would be lost, wasted, eaten up, already spent.
But time is beyond our finite comprehension. It's endless, it exists outside of us; we cannot run out of it or lose track of it or find a way to hold on to it. Time goes on even when we do not.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Novella #2 review

Here's my second novella review!

Bark: Origins of a Superhero

By Daniel Peyton


In a world where superheroes are more common and dangers to society more extreme, Joshua Henderson faces a new reality when he is transformed by an evil scientist into half dog half man. With only tiny shreds of his memory intact and communication reduced to barking, Josh takes refuge with the United League of Heroes.

Just when things seem to be getting normal for Josh, now known as Bark, an opportunity of restoring his human life presents itself. Will Bark leave the superhero life behind and return to the world he once loved? In this comic book style world; espionage, action, adventure, romance, and humor tell the story of Bark and his beginnings as a Superhero.                

Source: Smashwords

My rating: 3.75/5
My Thoughts:
When I began reading this novella I could not help but be reminded of a TV series I watch which has a similar concept of Altering a persons DNA in order to create a superhuman. However the similarities began and ended there. In this story we see how Joshua Henderson's identity transforms as a result of an experiment forced upon him. 
Joshua becomes a dog like human who can no longer speak but only barks, hence his nickname 'Bark'. Hidden from the world,  he becomes part of a superhuman team to secure the safety of others. 
This novella is Bark's journey in realising that despite his outward change, he can still use his super strength and quick reflexes to help others. 
The ending was slightly unrealistic since Bark and Frost fall in love: I'm not quite sure how that will work out considering he can only communicate in barks and woofs. 
I thought the story began with more narrative than I would have liked but as it was a novella, this did not bother me too much. Overall a light, interesting read. (:
Favourite Quotes:
Looking into her quivering eyes, his wish to speak again had never been stronger than it was at that moment. But fate is a funny, fickle thing, taking what it wants and leaving what you don't expect.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Novella reading week book begins!

Wow, I didn't even realise it was Novella Reading Week and I read "What Really Happened in Peru" on my journey home from work today! What can I say, my fate is entwined with books :P

So, let me write a quick review of this short but very entertaining read, and then I shall look for more novellas to read asap!

What Really Happened In Peru?
By Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices know that Magnus Bane is banned from Peru—and now they can find out why. One of ten adventures in The Bane Chronicles.

There are good reasons Peru is off-limits to Magnus Bane. Follow Magnus’s Peruvian escapades as he drags his fellow warlocks Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss into trouble, learns several instruments (which he plays shockingly), dances (which he does shockingly), and disgraces his host nation by doing something unspeakable to the Nazca Lines.

This standalone e-only short story illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality populates the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series. This story in The Bane Chronicles, What Really Happened in Peru, is written by Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare.

Source: Goodreads
MY rating: 5/5 (obviously since it is all about Magnus Bane, the funniest character ever!)

My thoughts:
I'm sure my rating above will give you an indication of how superbly fun I found this book to be. Earlier on I had finished a rather morbid book and this was just the right pick-me-up.

As always, Magnus Bane charmed me with his eccentric taste in weird clothes and unusual people. He was one of my favourite characters in the mortal instruments and infernal devices series, and this novella just brought him to life even more, if that is possible!

A very fun read, I recommend it to all!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes
"Just don't leave me here without guidance. You have to swear, Bane."
Magnus raised his eyebrows. "I give you my word of honor!"
"I will find you," Ragnor told him. "I will find whatever chest of absurd clothes you have. And I will bring a llama into the place where you sleep and make sure that it urinates on everything you possess."

Then he looked up into the round brown eyes of a monkey.
"Hello, companion," said Magnus.
The monkey made a terrible sound, half snarl and half hiss.
"I begin to rather doubt the beauty of our friendship," said Magnus.

"It isn't as bad as all that-"
"Yes, it is!" It was like a dam of musical critique had broken. Imasu turned on him with eyes that flashed instead of shining. "It is worse than you can possibly imagine! When you play, all of my mother's flowers lose the will to live and expire on the instant. The quinoa has no flavor now. The llamas are migrating because of your music, and llamas are not a migratory animal. The children now believe there is a sickly monster, half horse and half large mournful chicken, that lives in the lake and calls out to the world to grant it the sweet release of death. The townspeople believe that you and I are performing arcane magic rituals-"
"Well, that one was rather a good guess," Magnus remarked.
"-using the skull of an elephant, an improbably large mushroom, and one of your very peculiar hats!"
"Or not," said Magnus. "Furthermore, my hats are extraordinary."

That made Magnus laugh, suddenly and helplessly, and he threw his head back. He'd learned this lesson a long time ago. Even in the midst of heartbreak, you could still find yourself laughing.
Laughter had always come easily to Magnus, and it helped, but not enough.


Quote-tastic #1

Anna at Herding Cats & Burning Soup has created a new weekly meme, and I have decided to participate, want to join me?
   If yes, click on the link above. Anna is posting hers every Monday, but you can choose any day of the week that you like. I think I will not commit to a particular day as I am likely to chop and change! Leave me a link in your comment and I will check out your quotes!
I think I will base my quotes on my current or new reads, which is why I have selected one from Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.
Walls have ears.
Doors have eyes.
Trees have voices.
Beasts tell lies.
Beware the rain.
Beware the snow.
Beware the man you think you know.
- Songs of Sapphique

Monday, 10 June 2013

Incarceron Review

Incarceron (Incarceron #1)
By Catherine Fisher
Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born...

Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4/5

My Thoughts

I feel quite bad giving this a four stars considering the excitement with which I was recommended this book, but this book just did not excite me the same way!

It was a good read and very interesting concept. Finn, his oath brother and another prisoner are attempting to escape this prison they were born in to go to the Outside, wherever that is. Finn has always felt like he belonged elsewhere, can recall vague memories of a birthday cake with seven candles, but can remember nothing else.

On the other hand, there is Claudia, who is on the Outside but feels trapped into a marriage founded on politics. Claudia knows her father has secrets and is determined to find them out but she is running out of time.

This was more fantasy than a sci-fi and it did keep me entertained, but only just. There were times when I was pushing myself to finish reading the book, just to find out if they escape or not. I liked the last quarter of the book the most, because that was when it felt that something was actually happening.

I did like the ending, especially when we finally found out where the prison actually was, that was a surprise!

However, I do understand that with the start of a series, the first book is bound to be more descriptive than the rest, in order to set the foundations. I hate leaving a series, but this time I honestly do not know if I will read the next book in the Incarceron series. I may do, I may not...

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes

Walls have ears.
Doors have eyes.
Trees have voices.
Beasts tell lies.
Beware the rain.
Beware the snow.
Beware the man you think you know.
- Songs of Sapphique

"...or is it that man contains within himself the seeds of evil? That even if he is placed in a paradise perfectly formed for him he will poison it, slowly, with his own jealousies and desires? I fear it may be that we blame the Prison for our own corruption. And I do not except myself, for I too am one who has killed and looked only to my own gain."

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Review of Escaping Shadows

Escaping Shadows
(A Shadows World #2)
By Julieanne Lynch

Giselle has barely had time to accept her new life, never mind the prospect of motherhood, but she finds herself, yet again thrown into chaos, only this time there is more than just her life at stake.
With vampires and shadow creatures vying for her life, can Giselle escape the darkness consuming her, or will she finally descend into the world of shadows?

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 3.75/5

My thoughts:
I have had escaping shadows on my tbr pile for quite some time and was pleased with the second book in this series. 
A little confusing at times, sometimes I wasn't quite sure what was happening because Giselle seemed to be with different 'groups' for different reasons, but overall it was a good read. 
Baby Kaden was so sweet, lucky for G not having to go through the entire 9 months pregnancy!  

I felt sorry for Giselle when she returned home to her family in search for a place of safety for her son. They were so happy and welcoming at first, but as soon as they discovered part of the truth and how much things had changed, they practically shoved the mother and child out of the door, which I thought was a little bit unrealistic.
As for Marc, wow, I did not see that coming! Considering how much he has changed, and I mean that literally, I worry about Giselle's safety from the wrath of a newborn vampire :s
I can sense some redemption coming from Alex...Maybe there is still something good in him, although he is not setting a good example by kidnapping his son!  

And who is this mysterious man who Giselle believes is dead but is the leader of the vampires? Leonid???
Zed (:

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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Clockwork Princess review

Clockwork Princess
(The Infernal Devices #3)
By Cassandra Clare

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy. Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 5/5

My thoughts:
When I began the third and final book in the infernal devices series I was dreading the moment when I came to the end because I would want to read the next book in this series and there isn't one. Then I would be left to find a replacement and I doubt I would find anything that came close to how much I enjoyed reading Cassandra Clare's books. But, and there is a big but, I felt satisfied at the end of this story. The story had a nice closure feel to it, particularly the epilogue. Although it makes me wonder what adventures Tessa and Jem could have going forwards; who knows.

It has been a very long time since a book has brought me to tears but Clockwork Princess did on a number of occasions. The characters are so real, that I could feel the pain when they went into battle, when Henry injures himself, when Jem is dying, it felt so real.

As always, Will is my absolute favourite, and Jem comes close, along with Tessa, Magnus, Henry, Sophie...oh my, I seem to be naming everyone don't I. Will doesn't have as many witty comments in this story, but I have highlighted the ones I found in my 'favourite quotes' section below. Will's seriousness is justifiable, considering his heartache over Tessa and Jem's engagement, Jem's condition deteriorating because he is running out of the drug he is dependent on, Tessa being kidnapped and the worry over the institute being taken over. However Will's sister, Cecily, was quite funny to read about and because she did not know Tessa and the other shadowhunters as well she could not really relate to their problems. From my previous reviews you will know I am not fond of Jessamine, but I almost felt sorry for her in this story; almost.

There are not many times I get to say my hunch was right, but it was!!! Aloysius Starkweather was related to Tessa, which is why he was so protective of her. Shame he got killed in the end.

Brilliant ending as always, and I hope to read many more of Cassandra Clare's books in the near future.

Favourite Quotes

"I am not a certified idiot-"
"Lack of certification hardly proves intelligence," Will muttered.

"You don't think I can fight," Tessa said, drawing back and matching his silvery gaze with her own. "Because I'm a girl."
"I don't think you can fight because you're wearing a wedding dress," said Jem. "For what it's worth, I don't think Will could fight in that dress either."
"Perhaps not," said Will, who had ears like a bat's. "But I would make a radiant bride."

"You cannot reduce the situation to worm jokes, Will. This is Gabriel and Gideon's father we're discussing."
"We're not just discussing him; we're chasing him through an ornamental sculpture garden because he's turned into a worm."
"A demonic worm," said Jem, pausing to peer cautiously around a hedgerow. "A great serpent. Would that help you inappropriate humor?"
"There was a time when my inappropriate humor brought you a certain amusement," sighed Will. "How the worm has turned."

"A guardian demon. I was searching Benedict's desk, and I must have moved or touched something that awoke it. A black smoke poured from the drawer, and became that. It lunged me-"
"And clawed you," Tessa said in concern. "You're bleeding-"
"No, I did that myself. Fell on my dagger," Henry said sheepishly, drawing a stele from his belt. "Don't tell Charlotte."

"The habits of years are not unlearned so quickly," Tessa said, and her eyes were sad. "Do not make the mistake of believing that he does not love you because he plays at not caring, Cecily. Confront him if you must and demand the truth, but do not make the mistake of turning away because you believe that he is a lost cause. Do not cast him from your heart. For if you do, you will regret it."

"So you are dying for love, then," Will said finally, his voice sounding constricted to his own ears.
"Dying a little faster for love. And there are worse things to die for."

"This is not some empty promise, James. Believe me, there is no one who knows more than I do the pain of false hope. I will look. If there is anything to be found, I will find it. But until then-your life is yours to live as you choose."
Incredibly, Jem smiled. "I know that," he said, "but it is gracious of you to remind me."

"Don't you even care where I'm going?" he said. "What if I were going to Hell?"
"I've always wanted to see Hell," Cecily said calmly. "Doesn't everyone?"
"Most of us spend our time struggling to stay out of it," said Will, "I am going to an ifrit den, if you must know, to purchase drugs from violent, dissolute reprobates. They may clap eyes on you and decide to sell you."
"Wouldn't you stop them?"
"I suppose it would depend on how much they would give me."

"I know that he did deplorable things," she said. "But you should be allowed to mourn him nonetheless. No one can take your grief from you; it belongs to you, and you alone."

"Charlotte!" He seemed astonished, if thrilled to see her; only Henry, Charlotte thought dryly, would be astonished to see his own wife in their own home.

"If Jem dies, I cannot be with Tessa," said Will. "Because it will be as if I were waiting for him to die, or took some joy in his death, if it let me have her. And I will not be that person. I will not profit from his death. So he must live." He lowered his arm, his sleeve bloody. "It is the only way any of this can ever mean anything. Otherwise it is only-"
"Pointless, needless suffering and pain? I don't suppose it would help if I told you that is the way life is. The good suffer, the evil flourish, and all that is mortal passes away."

"I can't wear this, Magnus. It's too pretty for a man."
"So are you. Go home and clean yourself up. I will call upon you as soon as I have information." He looked at Will keenly. "In the meantime do your best to be worthy of my assistance."

"One can love two children. But your heart can be given in romantic love to only a single other," said Woolsey. "That is the nature of Eros, is it not? So novels would tell us, though I have not experience of it myself."
"I have come to understand something about novels," Tessa said.
"And what is that?"
"That they are not true."

"A heart divided against itself cannot stand, as they say. You love them both, and it tears you apart."
"House," said Tessa.
He raised an eyebrow. "What was that?"
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. Not a heart. Perhaps you should not attempt quotations if you cannot get them correct."
"And maybe you should stop pitying yourself," he said. "Most people are lucky to have even one great love in their life. You have found two."
"Says the man who has none."

"Did she mention that her father had eaten her husband?" Henry enquired, finally looking up from his newspaper. "Oh, yes. Ate him. Left his bloody boot in the garden for us to find. There were teeth marks. Love to know how that could have been an accident."
"I would think that counted as offering resistance," Will said. "Eating one's son-in-law, that is. Though I suppose everyone has their family altercations."

She was the case of Jem's yin fen being gone, and Will's misery. When she had whirled and run out of the room, it had been because she could not stand it any longer. How could three people who cared for one another so much cause one another so much pain?

"...Our hearts, they need a mirror, Tessa. We see our better selves in the eyes of those who love us. And there is a beauty that brevity alone provides."

Sometimes one must choose whether to be kind or honourable, Will had said to her. Sometimes one cannot be both.

"Tessa and I are going to get married," he said, very calmly, draping his napkin over his lap.
"Is this meant to be a surprise?" asked Gabriel who was dressed in gear as if he intended to train after breakfast. He had already taken all the bacon from the serving platter, and Henry was looking at him mournfully. "Aren't you engaged already?"

"Herondales. As stubborn as rocks. I remember when your father wanted to marry your mother. Nothing would dissuade him, though she was not candidate for Ascension. I had hopes for more amenability in his children."
"You'll forgive my sister and myself if we do not agree," said Will, "considering that if my father had been more amenable, as you say, we would not exist."

Magnus stood looking down at Jem. There was sadness etched on his face, that face that was usually so merry or sardonic or uncaring, a sadness that surprised Will. "For whence had that former sorrow so easily penetrated to the quick, but that I had poured out my soul upon the dust, in loving one who must die?" Magnus said.

"You asked me how I, being immortal, survive so many deaths. There is no great secret. You endure what is unbearable, and you bear it. That is all."

Numbly Will closed his hands around Jem's. He imagined he could feel a flicker of pain in the parabatai rune on his chest, as if it knew what he did not and was warning him of coming pain, a pain so great he did not imagine he could bear it and live. Jem is my great sin, he had told Magnus, and this now, was the punishment for it. He had thought losing Tessa was his penance; he had not thought of how it would be when he had lost both of them.

"The world is a wheel," he said. "When we rise or fall, we do it together."
Will tightened his grip on Jem's hand. "Well, then," he said, through a tight throad, "since you say there will be another life for me, let us both pray I do not make a colossal mess of it as I have this one."

Cecily sighed. "Don't be so dramatic, Will. Must you always insist that people hate you when they obviously don't?"
"I am dramatic," said Will. "If I had not been a Shadowhunter, I would have had a future on the stage. I have no doubt I would have been greeted with acclaim."

Henry, who was wearing two pairs of goggles at the same time- one on his head and one over his eyes- looked both pleased and nervous to be asked. (Magnus presumed the two pairs of goggles was a fit of absentmindedness, but in case it was in pursuit of fashion, he decided not to ask.)

"You are a Lightwood," Cecily said. "You stayed because you were loyal to your family name. It is not cowardice."
"Wasn't it? Is loyalty still commendable quality when it is misdirected?"

"...I think when we make choices- for each choice is individual of the choices we have made before- we must examine not only our reasons for making them but what result they will have, and whether good people will be hurt by our decisions."

Did they really think they could hurt him, after what he had lost? For five years it had been his absolute truth. Jem and Will. Will and Jem. Will Herondale lives, therefore Jem Carstairs lives also. Quod erat demonstrandum. To lose an arm or a leg would be painful, he imagined, but to lose the central truth of your life felt-fatal.

He drew his arm away and gazed at it before huffing out a laugh. "Not my blood," he said. "I was in a fight, earlier. He took objection-"
"Took objection to what?"
"To my cutting off all his fingers and then slitting his throat," said Starkweather, meeting her eyes. His own were gray-black, the color of stone.

My enemies. She thought of Nate, his hand closing on hers as he died, bloody, in her lap. She thought of Jem again, the way he never railed against his fate but faced it down bravely; she thought of Charlotte, who wept over Jessamine's death, though Jessie had betrayed her; and she thought of Will, who had laid down his heart for her and Jem to walk upon because he loved them more than he loved himself.

"Can you hear them?" she demanded. "Oh that is not at all fair!"
"It's all very romantic," Gabriel said, and then frowned. "Or it would be, if my brother could get a word out without sounding like a choking frog. I fear he will not go down in history as one of the world's great wooers of women."

"Will!" She caught at his arm. "Don't you dare apologize. Do you understand what it means to me that you are here? It is like a miracle or the direct intervention of Heaven, for I had been praying to see the faces of those I cared for again before I died." She spoke simply, straightforwardly- it was one of the things he had always loved about Tessa, that she did not hide or dissemble, but spoke her mind without embellishment.

"You found me in the end; that is what matters."
"Of course I found you. I promised Jem I would find you," he said. "Some promises cannot be broken."

Distantly she knew that she should not let herself be held like this by any boy who was not her brother or fiancé- but her brother and her fiancé were both dead, and tomorrow Mortmain would find them and punish them both. She could not bring herself, in the face of all that, to care much about propriety.

"I loved Jem," she said. "I love him still, and he loved me, but I am not anybody's, Will. My heart is my own. It is beyond you to control it. It has been beyond me to control it."

"Well, I think Henry and Magnus should go first," Gabriel said. "They invented the blasted thing."
Everyone turned on him. "It's like he's replaced Will," said Gideon, eyebrows up. "They say all the same sort of things."
"I am not like Will" Gabriel snapped.
"I should hope not," said Cecily.

"Oh for goodness' sake," Henry said irritably, pushing up the ink-stained sleeves of his dressing gown." Can't you read something less depressing? Something with a good battle in it."
"It's Tennyson," said Will, sliding his feet off the ottoman near the fire.

Silently he cursed himself. He remembered his father once saying that women, the gentler sex, liked to be wooed with charming words and pithy phrases. He wasn't sure exactly what a pithy phrase was, but he was sure that "You seem to like that horse very much" was not one.

"Tess," he whispered . "Hell is cold. Do you remember when you told me that? We were in the cellars of the Dark House. Anyone else would have been panicking, but you were as calm as a governess, telling me Hell was covered in ice. If it is the fire of Heaven that takes you from me, what a cruel irony that would be."

He thought of Sydney Carton. Think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you. Yes, he would have done that for Tessa- died to keep the ones she needed beside her- and so would Jem have done that for him or for Tessa, and so would Tessa, he thought, do that for both of them. It was a near incomprehensible tangle, the three of them, but there was one certainty, and that was that there was no lack of love between them.

Some secrets, she thought, were better told; some were better left the burden of the carrier, that they might not cause pain to others. It was why she had not told Will she loved him, when there was nothing either of them could do about it.

Ave atque vale, Will thought. Hail and farewell. He had not given much thought to the words before, had never thought about why there were not just a farewell but also a greeting. Every meeting led to a parting, and so it would, as long as life was mortal. In every meeting there was some of the sorrow of parting, but in every parting there was some of the joy of meeting as well.
He would not forget the joy.