Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Review of Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader

Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader
By Cassandra Clare (Editor), Holly Black, Kate Milford, Diana Peterfreund, Sara Ryan, Scott Tracey, Robin Wasserman, Kendare Blake, Gwenda Bond, Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Caine, Sarah Cross, Kami Garcia, Michelle Hodkin and Kelly Link

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, epic urban fantasy set in a richly imagined world of shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, fairies, and more, has captured the imaginations and loyalty of hundreds of thousands of YA readers. Originally a trilogy (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass), the series has extended to six titles, plus a prequel trilogy, the Infernal Devices, and a planned sequel series, the Dark Artifices. A feature film is planned for 2013.

Shadowhunters and Downworlders, edited by Clare (who provides an introduction to the book and to each piece), is a collection of YA authors writing about the series and its world.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

A collection of essays and other pieces of writing written by YA authors on the Mortal Instruments series. I enjoyed reading other perspectives on the series written by Cassandra Clare, and it was interesting how the characters and story lines were interpreted. There was analysis on the 'duckie effect', something I never knew existed until today, and a brilliant essay on why we love Valentine! However, my favourite contribution, was the piece written by Sarah Rees Brennan. I love her writing and loved her energetic flair within this book.

Favourite Quotes:

There is the world you know, the world you have always known; and then you blink, and there is a place you never had any inkling of, and it spreads out across you eyescape. And then, most shockingly of all; There is the realisation that these two places are one and the same. It turns out you never really knew the workd around you at all.

In German, "uncanny" becomes unheimlich, which translates more literally to unhomely. Not like a home.
Dorothy murmurs it like a prayer: There's no place like home, there's no place like home. But if home suddenly becomes not like home, what then?

Then again, I suppose I always assume people hiding parts of themselves from each other. People do that. Perhaps, then, it isn't particularly odd that all the family drama in the books never seems as big a deal to me as the shifting nature of the city, the things it hides and the things it chooses to reveal.

There isn't a portal that can whisk you home if you're already there, so the challenge is to understand and to adapt and to find the homely even in that which is not like home.

Adults lie, they betray, they screw up in every way possible, and the adult Shadow-hunters are no different from their mundane counterparts- except that a Shadowhunter's lies are more likely to get you eaten by a demon.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Review of GT book #4

Georgetown Academy: Book Four
By Alyssa Embree Schwartz and Jessica Koosed Etting

When the vice president resigns and Ellie and Taryn’s parents emerge as the frontrunners, the girls find themselves back in the spotlight.

Ellie could not care less about becoming the Second Daughter, but she knows how much the opportunity to make history means to her mother – and women everywhere. With her family taking center stage, Ellie must decide whether she can put her feelings for Gabe on hold - again.

Taryn, so used to captivating the hearts and minds of everyone she meets, is unbothered by the increased media scrutiny. But an inopportune screw-up has her beholden to an unlikely – and unfriendly – source for help.

Overnight, Evan has skyrocketed from social pariah to Miss Popular. As she and her reluctant parents adjust to her new lifestyle, the last thing she needs is a front-page scandal.

Brinley can’t stop thinking about her Stowe-bound hook-up…until her father’s intern, Patrick, starts flirting. Is it time to abandon her fling now that she has a more appropriate suitor?

With the second highest office in the land up for grabs, everyone is picking sides. But where does the heart lie when duty, truth, and love collide?

My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:
Once I finished reading book 3 of Georgetown Academy, I headed straight to Amazon for Book 4, which again did not disappoint. In this instalment, we see that the Vice President is about to resign and the two nominees for the upcoming vacancy are none other than Taryn’s father and Ellie’s mother! This of course puts immense pressure on both daughters to ensure that there are no disruptions to their parent’s run for vice presidency.
That would be easy in an ideal world, just try not to stir up the media, but if the media is like Big Brother, constantly watching and analysing every single move,  then the girls are bound to trip up at some point.
Ellie finds it difficult not to spur the media’s attention because she cannot help her feelings for Gabe, despite being just on ‘friendly’ terms. The last time the media caught whiff of their romance everything went spiralling out of control since the parents of both parties are enemies. It doesn’t help that Gabe’s father is constantly attacking Marilyn at every event possible, and Ellie’s mother retaliates by bringing Gabe’s mother into it; much to Gabe’s fury.. Ellie and Gabe have an understanding that they won’t let their parents’ political agendas affect their relationship, but it’s easier said than done.
To add fuel to the fire, Ellie’s BFF, Brinley Madison, has taken Taryn under her wing to improve her public image and make Taryn the better ‘second daughter,’ should her father win. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is out of the kindness of Brinley’s heart because it most certainly is not. Brinley’s father has been employed by Taryn’s father to help with the campaign and so the entire family are putting in their efforts to help the father’s client win.
Taryn, bless her soul, keeps tripping up, whether it is voicing her honest opinion to the media, or accidentally supplying Evan with marijuana! She just can’t help herself from causing a problem in her father’s campaign. To add to the stress, Brooks who was so charming on the ski trip in book three, has now become increasingly distant since the campaign has begun and Taryn has no clue what their relationship, if it can be called that, is.
I suspected dear (not!) Weston might return, and ruin things for Ellie’s mother but he actually didn’t. I wonder where he is and what drama he’s causing because I don’t think the GT girls have seen the last of him.
Favourite characters
Poor Evan. I think she was my favourite purely because I sympathised with her and I think she is too good to be a part of all the high-scale drama. I am happy that she and Hunter love each other and all that, but their social statuses are so different that I think some things will be too hard to overcome.
Now that she is dating Hunter her social life has completely changed and she’s not so sure she likes it. Being with Hunter is her dream come true, but Evan is constantly reminded by other GT characters how she is not good enough for someone of such high social class, and it doesn’t help that her family don’t approve of her relationship either. They think she’s changing for Hunter by partying more and studying less to fit in more, which isn’t too far from the truth. Plus, Evan’s insecurities are confusing her further.
I felt for her when she was the victim of the marijuana candies. Such an innocent mistake turns out to be a full blown catastrophe and even though she knows they were Taryn’s pills, she does not want to call her out on it and forbids Hunter to do so too.
Most annoying character
This time it was Brinley. She’s unhealthily competitive, the most hypocritical out of the lot, and way too self-centred for my liking. All she thinks about the entire way through is that her father’s client can’t lose otherwise she will lose her popularity and power so she won’t be able to go for an emergency facial with Kim Woo or whatever her name was.
I do feel for Shane, the poor soul, because I doubt Brinley could ever make their relationship public in fear of her own status being degraded. I would like to think she will choose Shane and maybe change for him, but I highly doubt that. Although, now that he has come fo rhte surprise visit, I wonder how long their secret meetings will be a secret.
Favourite couple
Probably Hunter and Evan, because despite what is going on and their social differences, Hunter sticks by Evan and supports her, never doubting that she’s not worthy of dating him. That's definitely worthy of the 'favourite couple' award.
Zed (:
Favourite Quotes:
It was horrible enough to cost her mother a Senate chairman's seat. But costing her the chance to be vice president was too unforgiveable. Her mother couldn't afford any negative press right now. Nothing that made her appear weak or out of control. Yet again, Ellie would have to put her own life on hold for her mother's.
Brooks shook his head, smiling from the left corner of his mouth. "Do birds sing to you when you walk down the street?"
She laughed. "I think I need to teach you how to not take everything so seriously all the time."
"You're pretty cute when you get embarassed," he said, giving her shoulder a squeeze. "I might have to try to do that a little more often."
"Please don't," she said. She already felt like she was living in a permanent state of mortification.
Samantha had always told her D.C. was all about access to those in power, and now, thanks to her relationship with Hunter, Evan had a little.
It wasn't exactly the way Evan would have wanted to regain Samantha's respect- she would have preferred to earn it by breaking a news story or something with a little more journalistic integrity- but beggards couldn't be choosers. Maybe this was the beginning of a fresh start for them.
"Maybe because your father has fallen grossly behind in the span of twenty-four hours," Patrick replied quickly. "And if you all don't bring your A-game tomorrow night, you might just have to accept the fact that there's no beating Marilyn Walker.
His bluntness surprised Taryn, though it wasn't completely off-putting. She generally liked getting the truth from people and if that meant it coming in a not-so-pretty package, so be it. She could handle it.
Judging from the stumbling, slurring, and shouting going on around her, Evan was most likely one of the few people there who had never been drunk before. She didn't care if other people drank, but she had no interest in partaking. She did enough embarassing things on a daily basis that she didn't need to add alcohol-induced incidents to the list.
"Have fun tonight, Brin," he said before hanging up.
She stared at the blank box on the screen, feeling a little like she was living a double life.
"Brinley!" her mother shouted over the intercom. "The car is out front!"
On the bright side, at least it was a glamorous one.
"What are you talking about?" Brinley asked, wide-eyed.
"Come on...You're going to play it that way with me?" Ellie replied, boring her eyes into Brinley's trying to remind her that when you took the politics away, they were still supposed to be best friends who deserved to tell each other the truth.
That was what was hard about having friends across political lines. Your personal agendas never lined up and you had to decide how much of a friendship deal-breaker that was.
In another time, Taryn might've enjoyed Brinley Madison doting on her like a lady-in-waiting. But now, Tary was completely reliant on her, all while hating how reliant upon her she was, like some kind of weird Stockholm Syndrome.
"And your real problem isn't with us anyway."
"Really?" Brooks asked condescendingly. "And what is my problem?"
"The fath that, for reasons that entirely escape me, you've been pining for weeks after a girl whose natural inclination is to wear hair glitter. So get the stick out of your ass and stop raining on my parade."
"What's getting you down the most? According to the poster in the guidance counselor's office, it helps to pinpoint where your depression is coming from."
"When were you in Mr. Hudgin's office?"
"The other day I pretended to have OCD so I could get out of the Spanish test I forgot about. He was really proud of himself that he cured it in under two hours, so really I did us both a favour." He gave Evan a smile then looked at her more seriously. "So lay it on me, Evs."
There they were by the senior locker area, their faces glued to each other like one of them was a human oxygen tank. Her brother used to be a much bigger fan of classy hand holding in the hallway, but this must be what happens when you date someone who wears nail art. Was Brinley really going to have to get used to traces of Taylor Swift perfume clinging to her brother from now on? The thought incited her gag reflexes, but judging by today, this was her fate. Until she figured out a way to break them up, of course.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Quote-tastic #3

Here is my addition to the weekly meme being hosted by Anna at Herding Cats & Burning Soup.

If you want to join me, please click on the link above. Leave me a link in your comment and I will check out your quotes!

This quote is based on my newest addicition, book 3 of Georgetown Academy by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz. This is the scene where Taryn is in hospital due to a ski accident, from which Brooks saved her...
"Are you hungry, Taryn?" he asked. "There's a burger place next door."
"She doesn't eat meat, you idiot," Brooks snapped.
"I was assuming I could find her something else there, but thanks for the heads up,. Gabe sounded like he wanted to give Brooks a cracked rib, too, but Taryn was suddenly too tired to fully turn her head around to see his expression.
Brooks ignored him and bent down toward her. "I'm assuming they have some kind of food situation in this archaic dump. It might not be fructose fortified frozen yoghurt, but I'm sure I can find something that uses artificial flavour enhancers to mask the disgusting taste."
She laughed. "Flaming Hot Cheetos work, too."
He rolled his eyes, smiling. "Of course they do."

Review of GA book #3

Georgetown Academy: Book Three
By Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz


The frosty chill that’s settled over Georgetown Academy isn’t just from the winter weather—growing up in the D.C. fishbowl isn’t for everyone, but a break from the Beltway might just restore some sanity.

Ellie Walker’s suffered through a lifetime of scandal in a few short weeks, and now must watch her true love fall for someone else. But will a dose of fresh New England air—and an irresistible newcomer who plays by his own rules—provide the change of pace she so desperately needs?

Riding high after her smashing D.C. debut, Taryn Reyes hatches a plan to cement her relationship with Gabe. But she may get more than she bargained for when she enlists Brooks’ help.

Evan Harnett would do anything to protect her friends. But one moment of weakness, and now she’s on the outs with both Hunter and Ellie. Hot on the trail of a new story, she’s heartbroken to find it leads straight back to Ellie. Can she save her friend and their friendship?

Brinley Madison’s Clinton-esque downfall was bad enough, but between family obligations, protecting her friends, and managing local gossip, will she be able to regain her social standing without losing her peace of mind?

Privileged kids in a posh hotel with nothing to do but scheme and ski—and they thought D.C. was a pressure cooker? One thing’s for sure: what happens in Vermont definitely won’t stay in Vermont.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.95/5

My Thoughts

I try not to give any book a 5 star rating on my blog but I can't help coming really close to that with Georgetown Academy. Yes, it's not one of those inspirational, tear-jerking books, but I loved it.

Georgetown Academy reminded me of Gossip Girl, but with a major emphasis on the world of politics. The characters that are focussed on in GA live in a whirlwind of power hungry parents, secret political agendas, elite fashion and all of that comes with a hell of a lot of drama.
Since I live in the UK, it was a little difficult to understand the political aspects of the book, in terms of the parties being represented, but it didn’t take me long to realise that, like all politics, the main aim was power and status. Networking, wealth and attending social events were the fundamentals of staying in the social-political scene, but what it came down to the most was which family can keep its secrets hidden the deepest.
The family loyalty is what the teenagers find hardest to live up to, ensuring they only mingle with the ‘correct’ types of friends; basically, those who have parents in high places. The students are told to have fun, but always be aware that they are being watched so the basic rule is, have fun but don’t let anyone see you.
Book three was easy to follow without having read the first two books; I should know!
Favourite characters
My two favourite characters were Brooks and Evan. Brooks because along with his good looks, he appears to have brains, and who doesn’t like a knight in shining armour to come and save the damsel. Although in this case, it was more of saving Taryn’s sorry butt after she had a skiing accident and he wore more prada than armour!
Evan, because, unlike the other girls, she really is an outsider and only got into GA due to her scholarship. She knows very little about fashion and doesn’t attempt to hide it, and as a result becomes an easy target as a result of this but I liked her for it. Plus, she seems to have her heart in the right place, protecting her gay best friend from the media shame by pretending to be his girlfriend, when secretly she has always been in love with Hunter.
Most annoying character
Probably Ellie, because she acts like such a brat. I know she’s had her heart broken by Gabe but fix up woman! Your bestfriend has just come out of rehab, so you decide to act like a drunk instead of taking care of her when she needs you most. And you wonder why she lies to you?
Favourite couple
Shane and Brinley of course; purely because it goes against what all of Georgetown believe in; that the rich and powerful should not mingle with those from lesser classes. Shane works at the ski resort Brinley stays in, and I love his confidence. He’s not fazed by Brinley being a Madison, to be fair I doubt he even knows what that means! I don’t think it will last because of all the meddling parents and Brinley will probably give in so her mum isn’t demoted in society, but it was a refreshing mix.
Finally, I liked the interactive touch, by allowing the reader to select which of the four girls to follow in the upcoming chapters. I thought that was a great addition; involving the reader further with each character.
Loved this book, and I'm now reading the fourth book!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes

She took the sweater, the air thick with discomfort. Most of her initial anger at being used had now dissolved into shame and she had a feeling he felt the same way. He had lied; she had cheated. It wasn't how either of them would've wanted it to end, but no matter how happy they once were, the truth was, the second Gabe came to town, their relationship hadn't stood a chance.

"Very good," her mother replied. A victorious smile settled on her lips and Brinley couldn't help but feel her own mother had played her like a violin.

You just couldn't help yourself.
He had written her off like a bottom ninety-nine percenter of a Republican fundraiser. She didn't know it was possible, but she felt even more heartbroken. She had been delusional to think she still had a shot with him. He had zero interest in having a conversation. It was more like he wanted her to completely disappear.

"If you do, it will mess up the power balance of your relationship. It's like Rihanna's grandmother said, 'you need to be with a guy who loves you a little more than you love him.'"
"Rihanna's grandma?" Taryn asked. Lauren, whose father was a studio head, ran in some interesting circles, but this was a new one.
"Yes. They discussed it on Oprah's Next Chapter. She seemed like a very inspirational woman," she said, veering slightly off target. "But she died. Total depress-fest."

She might hate playing games, but she kind of had to admit...it was hard not to when they worked so well.

"Brinley, I've been trying to find you. We need to talk," Evan said, a little winded as she caught up to her. Her cheeks were flushed from the effort and it actually gave her pasty face a pop of colour. If she wasn't going to take the time to buy a Nars blush stick, she should seriously consider jogging everywhere she went. She certainly seemed to have an affinity for running-friendly footwear.

Last night she had felt so much like Cinderella at the end of the fairy tale that it was hard to believe it was her actual reality. Then Narc came in the room and her luck switched to one of the ugly stepsisters. If one of the stepsisters had a gay fake boyfriend she had lied about.

"Watch it, little sister. Envy is not your best feature."
He wasn't wrong. Brooks had once shown her in the mirror that when she was jealous of someone, she looked cross-eyed. But that was beside the point.

He cocked his head and without hesitation said, "Because I saw you go up alone and I figured you were arrogant enough to think you could out-board the horrible weather."
"Well, I could have If I hadn't hit that stupid rock."
"You should consider yourself lucky you were easy for me to spot with those ridiculous braids whipping around behind you. God knows Gabe wasn't going to come looking for you."

"Are you sure we shouldn't helicopter her to a hospital in a bit less...rural area?" Brooks asked, critically taking in the tiny, no-frills hospital room.
The doctor looked at him, exhausted. "You don't need to airlift her for a sprain, Mr. Madison."
"Mmmm. So you say. Did you get your degree out here in Stowe?"

"I deserve someone who wants to make our relationship official. Who looks at me like he won the grand prize." She had gotten a taste of that from Brooks, and they weren't even in a relationship. And wasn't that what a guy is supposed to do? Make you feel better about yourself, not worse? If Gabe didn't make her feel like that, then there was no reason for them to be together.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Quote-tastic #2

Ok, I am a teensy bit behind on posting my quotes but I'm here now right? Anyway, I heard Miley Cyrus on the radio talking about her idol, Grace Jones, and how she has her own concept of time; I love that idea!

So, today instead of posting book quotes I've decided to try something different and post some TV series quotes. I was catching up with Hart of Dixie and here are a couple from the last few episodes that I love....

George: Well, there is this girl, Zoey.
Singer: Zoey Hart? I love her!
George: Yeah? I called off my wedding for her. Then I found out I was too late 'cause she slept with Wade.
Singer: Ergh. You gotta run from Wade.
George: Yeah, and then I met Tansy and that was awesome, but guess who messed that up too? Yeah, and then to top it all off where do I find myself the other morning? At guess whose house. Why are you askin? That's a great question. I don't even know the answer! Now I find myself missing Tansy's dog. And I was never even a dog person.

Lemon: Oh no, not you too! Jonah Breeland, you better promise me that you are not in love with Zoe Hart.
Jonah: Of course not! I don't, I don't do love.
(Questioning look from Lemon)
Jonah: But, I can't say the tiny doctor doesn't intrigue me.

Review of Almost Yesterday

Almost Yesterday
By Dennis Higgins
Beautiful Cathy Callahan found love at the most unexpected time and place…1906 in San Francisco. It was during the most destructive earthquakes in US history. The trouble is she fell in love a hundred and ten years before she was born. Could her best friend Dawn, keep her from staying in the past?
Meet the most powerful time traveler of them all, a lovable Golden Retriever named Hickory Dickory Doc. Discover his unique and surprising origin.
Follow the adventures of the Time Pilgrims as they travel to many fascinating times of the past. Go with Katya and Cyrus to England where they investigate the appearance of the Titanic in the Southampton docks, meet the Beatles and experience the London Blitz firsthand.
Chase a mysterious man across time with Lesley and Seth as they experience three romantic world’s fairs in Chicago—1893, 1933 and 2033. During one, Lesley runs into her teenaged self.

Source: Amazon

My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:
The story itself is about time travel and about the different journeys of a group of time travellers or 'pilgrims.' It took me a while to get into the book, which is purely my own fault as 'Almost Yesterday' is part of a series. I love books with lots of characters, because it helps me try understanding the story more. I also liked how each scene would end in a cliff hanger, and then the story would switch to another cliff hanger and so on.

'Almost Yesterday' has a number of smaller stories hidden inside it, for example the famous dog that can also time travel and saves the pilgrims in near-catastrophic scenarios. Then there is Cathy, who finally finds love. The only problem is that she falls in love with someone from wayyyy in the past.

The themes of friendship, family and personal beliefs run through the story,  but the balance is great; it's not too preachy to get annoying. Howie's character is probably my favourite, because he is very blunt and often rude but once he is in a relationship, the good comes out and we realise he is not as bad as he is made out (although I like the snarky version of him better!).

The colloquial language used in Almost Yesterday was fun and at times rather strange since the book is based in 2037 and words like 'radical chill' and 'hearts' are everyday terms for the characters. It was bizarre to imagine the 'normal' phrases of the future. The 2001 based party was a brilliant idea, as it made me think of what people will remember of our present.

What I liked most about this book is that not only are the pilgrims travelling to important, historical events in the past, we have an insight on the future, since their present is 2037. Dennis must have undertaken a lot of research and I can't imagine how he got his mind around all the times and dates!

Overall, a lovely, and highly recommended, read.

Zed (: 

Favourite Quotes:

"That would be super-duper," said Katya. "I'm starving. I'm sorry I was so cautious of you." She then put her hand on Nancy's shoulder. "Friends, like books, should be few and well chosen. I have chosen you as my favourite novel."
"Sure ya have, dearie," said a confused Nancy.

"Well, I for one think that this is truly a blessing," Centehua interjected. "You must be very proud. It is great use of your God-given talents."
Howie frowned "Listen, cute Mexican girl whose name I can't pronounce...the talent is mine and nobody gave it to me. I don't believe in God."
Centehua flashed with embarrassment.
"Since when?" asked Dawn. "You used to."
"Since always, and don't give me that other timeline B.S. because this is me and it's the only Howard Miller I've ever known or cared about and there just ain't no God."

As they walked out of the Spiess room, Dawn whispered to Cathy, "Sheesh, on our first pilgrimage and people will take me as a slave and you as a hooker."
"Or both," Cathy said with a laugh.

One of the men came over to her. "Don't worry, Miss, it was just a little bump; they'll have the engines going shortly and we'll be back on our way. This ship is unsinkable, you know."
Katya remembered a quote from a survivor: "To say a ship was unsinkable was flying in the face of God."

"Well, I got news for you, girlie; I think Cartier may like you more than just a friend. He never stops talking about you."
Centehua looked concerned. "I don't want that."
"Well, sometimes we get what we don't want," Howie answered with his mouth full of pizza.

"Friendship is a sheltering tree. I look forward to meeting you." She smiled and vanished back to her own time.

"It must be tough," Kevin empathized. "I wish I had great words of wisdom to give you. One thing I learned from life and from being a time-traveller is that nothing stays the same. You may have a new set of problems next month or next year, but the ones you have today will pass." He patted her knee.
April looked at him for a moment and tears welled up in her eyes. "It's already worse," she mused, staring into his eyes with tears streaming down her cheeks. "I'm pregnant."

Louie shrugged. "I sort of like learning about the past. Centehua here has been teaching me about the Aztec and Mexican people. Did you know that the Aztecs used to have human sacrifices to their dragon snake god before they converted to Christianity?"
"Radical chill!" exclaimed Howie. "There are a few here I'd like to sacrifice."

Stephanie thought for a moment. "You mean you're from another year? You can control it now?"
"Yes, indeed," said Katya, smiling. "We work as secret time-travellers. We come from the year 2037."

"Murder," Stephanie said, putting her hand to her mouth. "It's like a story out of a five-pence novel."
"More like fifteen dollars where we come from," added Cyrus, feeling completely out of his element.

She laughed. "Not at all. It was all my idea. I just needed to know that my friend had found the true man of her dreams."
"Well, I hope I can live up to that," Cyrus replied. "I bet you're a great kisser though."
"If I do say so, myself," she answered, "I have been told, I'm the best."

"I know we only met this morning-"
"Where you picked me up and threw me over your shoulder," she inserted.
"Yes, but when I set you down again, I realized that you had stolen a large piece of my heart. I know from the depth of my soul that I could love a woman like you for the rest of my days."

"So, do you want to ask me?" She batted her eyes.
"Yes, I do,"
"Oh, Howie, I'm so happy. Yes, I say yes."
"But you still didn't let me ask you...oh never mind. I have to buy an ID bracelet; I don't have one to give you."
Centehua smiled. "So we are exclusive now?"
"Yes- why do I feel like it was still you who asked me?"

Katya answered the door. "Welcome to my home; may our friendship be as love without wings."

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #1

Waiting On Wednesday
 is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My first WoW pick is....
(The Lynburn Legacy #2)
By Sarah Rees Brennan
Paperback, UK, 336 pages
Expected publication: August 29th 2013 by Simon & Schuster UK

Free from bonds, but not each other

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

Source: Goodreads

Fall of Night Review

Fall of Night
(The Morganville Vampires #14)

By Rachel Caine

About the book:

Thanks to its unique combination of human and vampire residents, Morganville, Texas, is a small college town with big-time problems. When student Claire Danvers gets the chance to experience life on the outside, she takes it. But Morganville isn’t the only town with vampire trouble...

Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane.

Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires.

But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make...

Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:
I was beginning to tire of the dramas within Morganville and so this book was a refreshing change. Claire's dream of going to MIT becomes a reality as she sets off, leaving behind her friends, mourning, the vamps and drama. Or so she thinks. Little does Clare know that her own invention becomes a sought after weapon, which will change everything.

Clare may have escaped Morganville but Morganville will not let her go that easily! This 14th book in the series is packed with adventure, tension and weirdness!

I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone but it was quite the shocker...         

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

It's time to find out, the more adult part of her said. You have to see the world before you can give it up here. She supposed that was right. Didn't the Amish send their kids out on rumspringa, to find out what life was like outside and make a real decision on whether or not to stay in their community? So, maybe she was on a kind of vampire rumspringa.

It felt different from what she expected, leaving Morganville... leaving her friends behind. Leaving Shane. 'They're coming. You should go.'
'Should I not see you off?'
'In that get-up?'
Myrnin looked down at himself, baffled. 'It's most elegant!'
'When you were partying down with Beethoven, maybe, but today you look like you're on your way to a fancy dress ball.'

'I know,' he said. 'Look, I hate goodbyes too. But sometimes, we need them just to survive.'

It was, she thought as she picked up her backpack and headed toward her departure gate, the scariest thing she'd ever done, and the most freedom she'd ever had.

'I'll give you a ride,' Michael said. He walked over to my backpack and picked it up like I'd loaded it up with feathers. 'You got weapons in here?'
'A few.'
'You know that it'll get your ass arrested out there, right?'
'Only if I've got really bad luck, or I decide to hold up a liquor store with 'em.'
'You are a cocky bastard, did I ever tell you that, bro?'
I flashed him a grin, 'Did you really think you needed to?'

'You watch your back, Shane. I mean it.' Her voice was muffled against my shoulder, and it sounded unsteady. 'You come back to us or I swear, I'll find you, dig up your stinky corpse and kick its ass until it freaking disintegrates.'

'I know,' I said. This time, my voice came out softer than I intended. 'That's kind of what scares me. Because what if she doesn't need me any more, man?'
That got me a sideways flash of a look before he turned his attention back to the road. 'She needs you for more than just protection. It's how it works. You want the strong girl you understand that she's with you because she wants to be. Not because she has to be. You know that, right?'

He laughed again, low in his throat. 'Kidding, Claire. I'm just saying people change. If you're not there for it, it's not always easy to adjust to it, right? Which is why I hate this. I hate missing your life. I hate missing those little moments that change you. Because they're going to change us.'

'I'll go in, and Jesse can stay out here and guard the car,' Pete offered. 'Is this thing you've got heavy?'
'A little,' Claire said. 'It's not bad.'
Jesse patted Pete's shoulder. 'Let my man here carry it, he loves showing off his muscles for the ladies.'
'Don't be sexist. I flex for guys too.'
'Yeah, but not with so much style.' Jesse winked.

'...You're an eighteen-year-old from Podunk, Texas, after all. They don't know you're secretly badass.'
'Am I?' Claire asked. Jesse didn't know anything about her- or at least, she'd assumed that to be true.
'Oh yeah,' Jess said and smiled off into the darkness. 'You couldn't possibly have survived Myrnin if you weren't.'

'Let's hope everybody can keep it together this time.'
'Let's hope,' Claire said. 'And like Shane always says, pray all you want, but keep the shotguns loaded.'

She needed a hug, but she settled for extravagant air kisses from Eve, and a movie-star fond smile from Michael, and then she logged off to face the empty, cold house that had less personality than a broom closet in what she still thought of as home; the Glass house.

I remembered a thousand wonderful things, and then all the bad things invaded right after them, because when the wall comes down it's too late to try and build it again.
Pandora's box was open.

'He's blowing you a kiss. Okay, actually, he isn't, but he ought to, so I'm saying he did. But the point is, we'll be there in a couple of days, since Michael says he doesn't plan to sleep. If Myrnin pokes his crazy head up before then, call me and try to keep him, you know, stable.'
'Is he unstable?'
'I don't know, how can I tell? You're the crazy whisperer!'

'Nothing here is like fighting vampires,' I said. 'It's more like fighting smoke. I think I like it when I had an actual enemy to face.'
'Oh, don't worry, you have some. We just haven't seen them yet,' Jesse said. 'But we will. And when we do...' She showed a fang, just for a moment; anybody who happened to catch a glimpse would have doubted their sanity, especially since the teeth disappeared in a flash. 'When we do, we'll settle this Morganville style.'

She hit him in the shoulder. 'I don't need you to protect me.'
'Then why am I going first?'
'So you can take the first punch while I throw the second?'
'So I'm bait? Ouch. You've been in Morganville way too long, girl.'

'We must go, and quickly. We can't stay here,' Myrnin said. 'Oliver and I are being hunted.'
'By who?'
'Whom, my dear girl, whom, grammar really has descended to the lowest-'

'I'm good. And it's good to see you've kept up the tradition of getting the holy shit beat out of you, even when you're in a nice, civilised place.'
'It was not my fault.'
Michael just shook his head.

Jesse was out, and Myrnin was helping her pull Liz free. Michael standing ready, grabbed Eve's reaching, flailing hand and yanked her out, too, and straight into his arms.
Nobody hugged Oliver. Not surprisingly. Although Michael did frown at the sight of him. 'What the hell happened to you?'
Claire found him lying still on the ground, eyes shut, and she thought she might have actually screamed; he was lying like Derrick, pale and still and bloodied, and the blood that was on his face dripped to the concrete.
Then he opened his eyes and said, in a small, annoyed voice, 'Ouch. I haven't had that happen in ages. I still don't favour it.' And a bullet literally pushed its way out of his forehead.

'Don't be a git, blood is blood. But I'm not presently in quite that much need. Don't worry, I'm sure there will be a further catastrophic disaster for which we will be woefully unprepared, if our luck holds.'
'Damn, Oliver, that is some industrial strength sarcasm,' Shane said. 'I'm surprised. I thought you were saving it for something special, like the Apocalypse, or at least tea time.'

Everything Dr Anderson was saying was true, but - but it didn't describe Myrnin, not really. It wasn't his fault. He tried, tried hard, to be a good person, a real person, not just a soulless monster sucking blood out of people.
But when he failed, he failed spectacularly, like a doomed meteor plunging to Earth.

Liz was confused and scared, and she bolted forward, trying to get free of all of us crazy people; I couldn't say I blamed her. We weren't exactly the world's most credible rescue crew ever, what with all the blood, Michael burying his fangs in a guy's throat, Eve ignoring it to scoop up his fallen weapon, and me trying to puke against the wall.

It was a promise he couldn't keep, she knew that, but she loved him intensely for trying. All the differences she'd thought existed between them...those had fallen away, when it counted. She'd craved a normal life at MIT, but now...now, she had to face the fact that Morganville was never letting go of her. Even when she'd thought she was escaping for a while, it had followed her. No, it had been waiting for her.

'You'd better, jerkface,' Eve said. 'How's the head?'
'Taped,' he said. 'It's fine. Chicks dig scars. Wait, did you just call me jerkface? Are we back in grade school?'
'I love you,' Eve said.
He closed his mouth, fast, because obviously that was not what he'd expected. 'I, uh, okay. Love you too. Can we stop that? It's uncomfortable.'
'Much better.'

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Scarlet review

(Lunar Chronicles #2)
By Marissa Myer

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner

Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:
I must say, I enjoyed Cinder much more. Probably because Scarlet was darker than Cinder and had not of a serious tone since Cinder and Thorne, her prison-friend, have escaped from prison and are on the run.

While Cinder is running away we see a twist on the Little Red Riding Hood tale in the form of Scarlet, her grandmother and the wolf. I liked how these two seemingly separate stories intertwined as the book progresses.

Thorne is a hilarious character and thank goodness we see Iko back, although Iko Is in a very 'different' form. We see less of Kai in this book too, which is a real shame since I really wanted Kai and Cinder to resolve their misunderstandings.

I wonder which fairytale the next book in this series will be based on....

Zed :(

Favourite Quotes:

Roland caught his balance on a stool. "What's wrong with you?" he choked out, running his neck. "Are you some lunatic city transplant or something?"
"You were being disrespectful."
"Disrespectful?" barked Roland. "You just tried to kill me!"

"I can see that you're in need of an accomplice," Thorne said, straightening his jumpsuit. "And lucky for you, I happen to be a criminal mastermind."
She glowered at him. "Go away."
"That's a difficult request in this situation."

"So this ship of yours. It is the stolen one, right? From the American military?"
"I don't like to think of it as 'stolen.' They have no proof that I didn't plan on giving it back."
"You're kidding, right?"
He shrugged. "You have no proof either."
She squinted back at him. "Were you planning on giving it back?"

Cinder's optimism crumbled. "Tell me you recognize something."
"Yeah, yeah, I do," he said, waving her away. "I just haven't been here in a while."
"Think faster. We aren't exactly blending in with our surroundings out here."
With a nod, Thorne started down the street. "This way."
Five steps later he paused, pondered, turned around. "No, no, this way."
"We're dead."
"No, I've got it now. It's this way."
"Don't you have an address?"
"A captain always knows where his ship is. It's like a psychic bond."
"If only we had a captain here."

The same sterile feminine voice came over the ship's speakers. "Thorne, I can't set the automatic lift. You're going to have to take off manually."
He gaped at the controls. "Why is my ship talking back to me?"
"It's me, you idiot!"
He cocked his ear toward the speaker. "Cinder?"

"You opened my control panel?" she said, her words a little clearer with anger behind them.
He scowled. "I didn't want to."
Her expression was sour as she peered at him- not entirely angry, but not grateful either. They stared at each other for a long time, as the engine hummed across the hallway and a light in the corner started to go out, flickering at random intervals.
"Well," Cinder finally grumbled. "I guess that was pretty fast thinking."
A relieved grin filled up Thorne's face. "We're having another moment, aren't we?"
"If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are."

A firework exploded in her rib cage and she launched forward, grabbing Wolf's fist in both hands. "There's nothing here!" she screamed at the charm. "We're not hiding anything and you have the wrong woman! You'd better bring my grandmother back, and I swear on the house I was born in if you've hurt one hair, one wrinkle, one freckle on her body and I am going to hunt every last one of you down and snap your necks like the chickens you are, do you understand me? BRING HER BACK!"
Throat hoarse, she fell back and released Wolf's hand.
Trembling with anger, Scarlet nodded.

Scarlet took another sip from her cup and found that her taste buds disapproved. She set it back down on the saucer. "If you were a gentleman, you would offer to buy me one as well."
"If you were a lady, you would have waited for me to make the offer."
Scarlet smirked, but the man was already beckoning to the bartender and ordering a second chocolate milk.

Pouting, Thorne slumped into the capilot's seat. "He didn't mention me. Not once."
"Me either," said Iko, without pity.
"You're not an escaped convict."
"True, but His Majesty and I met once, at the market. I felt like we had a really strong connection. Didn't you think so, Cinder?"

Blue eyes twinkling, Thorne hooked his thumbs behind his belt. He looked slightly ridiculous in his fancy leather jacket in this quaint rural town, and yet he had the swagger of a man who belonged there. Who belonged anywhere he wished to. "You might be a crazy Lunar, but you're not evil. As long as you're using your glamour to help people, and more important, to help me, then there's nothing to feel guilty about." He stopped to check his hair in the dirty window of a shoe store while Cinder gawked at him.
"I hope that wasn't your idea of a pep talk."

"I don't want your loyalty."
Scarlet planted her hands on her hips. "What do you want?"
"I want- I want some time to think about this and figure out what to do next without everyone yapping in my ear!" Cinder stomped off towards the main corridor, every other step a loud clang as her metal foot struck the floor.
When she had gone, Thorne let out a low whistle "I know, I know. She seems a little"- crossing his eyes, he swirled both fingers around his ears-"but it's really part of her charm, once you get to know her."

Cinder review

(Lunar Chronicles #1)
By Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.75/5

My thoughts:
I am glad that this book has lived up to the hype. Book bloggers everywhere kept recommending Cinder to me, and only when I went on holiday was I able to read it.
A brilliant spin on Cinderella, Cinder is a cyborg, which from my understanding means that she is semi-robot. She is the best mechanic in town and meets the Prince when he comes to get something fixed from her.
Yes, Cinder lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters, but one stepsister is very kind (although the others are evil, just like in the classic fairytale).
Yes, there is a ball to which Cinder is invited, and her stepmother does not allow her to go, so she crashes it! But in this story, Cinder does not transform into a beautiful princess but ends up going in a muddy dress and grease stained gloves! My favourite part was when instead of Cinder's glass slipper falling off, her entire robot foot comes off!

I was just trying to compare the characters in Cinder to those in Cinderella, and couldn't think of anything to compare the birds and mice that help Cinderella get ready for the ball with. But then I remembered the robot Iko! Loved this book, I am sure you will too...

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes

(Scene where Peony wants to go to the Junkyard with Cinder and Iko).
"Really, can I? Sounds exciting."
"It sounds dirty and stinky," said Iko.
"How would you know?" said Cinder. "You don't have scent receptors."
"I have a fantastic imagination."

"You don't really think this will save Peony, so don't pretend this is about her. She has days. The chances of them finding a cure before-"
"Then my only mistake was in waiting too long to be rid of you," Adri said, running the washcloth between her fingers. "Believe me, Cinder. You are a sacrifice I will never regret."

He was the fantasy of every girl in the country. He was so far out of her realm, her world, that she should have stopped thinking about him the second the door had closed. Should stop thinking about him immediately. Should never think about him again, except maybe as a client-and her prince.
And yet, the memory of his fingers against her skin refused to fade.

Kai squeezed his eyes shut and chafed them with his fingers. Even knowing that it was coming, that his father was sick with this incurable disease, it still made no sense. All that had just been lost, taken so quickly. Not just his father. Not just the emperor.
His youth. His freedom.

"E-excuse me?"
Kai cleared his throat. Stood straighter. "I assume you are going to the ball?"
"I-I don't know. I mean, no. No, I'm sorry, I'm not going to the ball."
Kai drew back, confused. "Oh. Well...but...maybe you would change your mind? Because  I am, you know."
"The prince."
"Not bragging," he said quickly. "Just a fact."

"I knew you liked him. You pretend to be immune to his charms, but I could see the way you looked at him at the market." Iko rubbed at the lipstick, smearing it across her blank white chin.
"Yeah, well." Cinder pinched her metal fingers with the pliers' nose. "We all have out weaknesses."
"I know," said Iko. "Mine is shoes."

"I don't want to tell you how to be a prince, but shouldn't you have some bodyguards or something?"
"Bodyguards? Who would want to harm a charming guy like me?"

Kai inched toward the table again. "Come on. I can't take you to the...B-word; I can't take you to lunch. Short of my unplugging the processor on one of my androids, this could be the last time we ever see each other again."
"Believe it or not, I'd actually kind of resolved myself to that fact already."

Clearing his throat, Kai murmured, "You have no idea how to dance do you?"
Cinder fixed her gaze on him, mind still reeling. "I'm a mechanic."
His eyebrows raised mockingly. "Believe me, I noticed. Are those grease stains on the gloves I gave you?"

Queen Levana would come for her, and she would be executed. That was her fate. She'd been resolved to it. She'd been prepared for it. Not to be an heir. Not to be a queen or savior or a hero.
It would be so simple to let it happen. So simple not to fight back.