Saturday, January 29, 2011

[Review] Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling

Title: Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf
Author: Curtis Jobling
Publication: 4th January 2011
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Price: $16.95
Source: For Review (sent by publisher)
Age: 14+
Pages: 420
My Rating:

Summary:
'YOU'RE THE LAST OF THE WEREWOLVES.
DON'T FIGHT IT, SON;
EMBRACE IT. CONQUER IT.'


When the air is clear, sixteen year-old Drew Ferran can pick up the scent of a predator.


When the moon breaks through the clouds, a terrifying fever grips him.
And when a vicious beast invades his home, his gums begin to tear, his fingers become claws, and Drew transforms . . .


Forced to flee the family he loves, Drew seeks refuge in the most godforsaken parts of Lyssia. But when he is captured by Lord Bergan's men, Drew must prove he is not the enemy.

Can Drew battle the werecreatures determined to destroy him – and master the animal within?
My thoughts: 

I really did not know what to expect when I received this one for review. For one, I'd never heard anything about it, as well as the fact that this featured werewolves. I am not a stickler for paranormal/fantasy, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It was engaging, vividly described, action-packed and dark but whimsical at the best of times. Wereworld is the beginning to a great new series, and what I find so amazing is that this novel is the work from the mastermind behind Bob the Builder™. All throughout I kept that fact at the fore of my mind, conscientiously aware that this was Jobling's first YA novel.

We begin Wereworld with Drew, the main character, as he lives out a typical day in the life within his safe farmland home. Someone attacks and Drew discovers a side of him he's never known before as he fights off the mysterious creature of the night. As circumstances would have it, his father walks in on Drew in his new form, holding the now-deceased body of his beloved mother. And so begins Drew's new life, as he is thrown out of his own home, out to venture in the wild Dyrewood.

Firstly I have to say I like how much effort Penguin put into the makings of this book. There is a map, so you know exactly where you are, and it really helped me to visualise the places that were described. The cover is also designed with such careful details that I was only able to fully appreciate after I'd finished reading the book. In the general sense, I like the whole reflective, two-people mirror shot for covers. In this case, with a werewolf, the effect worked rather nicely. The colours used also helped set up what kind of book I was getting into.

The story is full of action and adventure, mystery and suspense. There were lots of moments that I believe could have been cut, as some of the descriptions run for far too long, and I'd already know what was happening before I'd read what was happening. The same goes for predictability and believability--there were a lot of near-misses and close-calls, many of which I found impossible to comprehend. That said, I was on the edge of my seat (or bed, since I read most of this while in sleep-mode, which figures why it's taken me so long to finish this book) during most of these moments.

Characters are always a big factor for me. I didn't particularly connect with any of the characters, nor did I really care much for them. I liked the gang. I just had nothing to associate myself with them. It was as though I was still just reading a book. I wasn't one of the civilians, or running along with them in their adventures. Much of this, I believe, was because this book was written in the third-person. However, that said, I did feel particular a warming-up to Gretchen, the "spoiled" rich princess, as the novel progressed and we learn a little bit about her. Even so, I wish there had been a little more character development, and less characters in the general sense. It was hard to keep track of names at times, and even at the end I had trouble associating some names with the different areas and lands. I think this is because of the genre, so I'll leave that part alone now.

Writing style is really where Jobling shines. His words were detailed and descriptive. His paragraphs were long, but it was very easy to read. There were a few sentences where I had to keep going back to, but I bring that back to the fact that I was already half-asleep during most of the sessions when I read this.

A great read, a solid start to a fresh new series by a world-renowned author.
 
Quotes:


First Line

"Drew knew that there was a predator out there."

Favourite Quote

'Why do you work for him? What on earth possesses you to stay in his service?' Drew craned his head so he could secure eye contact with the boy, but Hector was doing his best to avoid his gaze. Drew realised he had hit a nerve, and now had to see this through and get some questions of his own answered.

'I have no say in the matter. The king ordered me into Vankaskan's service. Believe me, this brings me no pleasure whatsoever. However, I'm bound to my master now, and must do his bidding regardless of how unsavoury it sounds.

'Why you, Hector? Why does he need you? And please don't say, "I was only obeying orders." You have free will. No man should be a slave.'

(pg. 108)

    Buy:

    Live in Australia?

    Live elsewhere?
    Amazon | The Book Depository


    Links:

    Official Site
    Goodreads Page


    I have received this review copy in return for an honest review. 

    Challenge: Debut Author Challenge 2011 (UK/AU)

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    [Review] Whisper My Name by Jane Eagland

    Title: Whisper My Name
    Author: Jane Eagland
    Publication: 1st October 2010
    Publisher: Pan Macmillan
    Source: For Review (sent by publisher)
    Age:14+
    Pages: 400
    My Rating:

    Summary:
    A young girl discovers a terrible secret about her past in Victorian London.

    Since she was twelve, Meriel Garland has lived with her grandfather in London, exiled from her beloved India following the death of her mother. Now sixteen, Meriel chafes against the strict regime of tests and study that her grandfather imposes on her. Escaping, she discovers a world outside her narrow existence – one that promises admiration for her acting skills, social success and the excitement of seances. But what should have been a game turns serious as the young medium Sophie Casson passes on a message from Meriel's dead mother – and Meriel begins to suspect she might not be alone in the world after all. In searching for the truth about her past, Meriel uncovers a sinister scheme – and soon it's hard to know who she can really trust...
    My thoughts: 

    Whisper My Name is about a young girl, Meriel, whose father takes her away from her home in India, to live in England, after her mother has died. There, her grandfather performs all these strange tests, to which she knows not the meaning, and anytime she asks, she is left with more questions than she'd begun with. Kept in captivity and sheltered for years, Meriel finally seeks escape, and ventures out, meeting more people, and ultimately finding out much more than she bargained for. And that's how she discovers a deep conspiracy that has been going on for years and years: one that cost both her and her family's happiness.

    The summary on MY edition (different to given above) gave me the impression that Whisper My Name was going to be a historical thriller. Or maybe it was just me, I don't know. Anyway, this book was good. Not amazing, not bad; just good. At the beginning, we are launched straight into clads of information. Right from the get-go we understand what kind of relationship Meriel has with her father, how her life in India was, in essence. Then she is whisked away to London, where "all she could see through the veils of cold rain [were] grey docks, grey buildings, under a grey sky." For the first few chapters, the book is written in third-perspective, but without even realising, it morphed gradually to first, which worked well to understand her better, and her perspective.

    The novel kept true to the historical elements that existed in the scope of this book (1881-1885): the clothing and styles of the day, theatre, ettiquette and prestige, reputations, etc. I appreciated this. Eagland has surely done a fair amount of research on the time era. Anyway, for the most part, the plot moves along pretty slowly. Eagland sets up every single setting, which helped paint a clear picture of Meriel's surroundings. Her detailings are well done, which I think is really important with historical novels.

    Since the novel is told in Meriel's perspective, the developments of characters were a bit limited, but also when I was reading, it was obvious that there were things that lay just under the surface, that was waiting to be discovered. I felt a connection with most of the characters for their warm and troubled tendencies, and for their caring and understanding, as well as for their bad and cunning. Meriel was a bit of a brat, who throughout the novel complained that her life was terrible, that she was lonely and no one cared about her. When truly, everyone else had their own problems, and it is when those problems are revealed to her, to us, that she finally begins to realised how selfish and unreasonable she's been. So while I didn't love Meriel, I could easily relate to her, because who has never been caught up in their own bad situations?

    Jane Eagland was able to captivate me in Meriel's story; although it was lacking in a romance arc, the characters and mystery elements kept me interested right up until the ending.

    I would recommend this for historical YA fans, or people who are fascinated with the Victorian Era.
     
    Quotes:


    First Line

    "Meriel decided to place her deckchair as far as she could from Mrs Fitzgerald's, but within earshot."

    Favourite Quote

    "I stared into the mirror, almost willing her to appear there, but only one reflection, my own, stared back. But then it came . . . the sense of someone just behind me, so close I could feel their warmth, feel them slowly touching my head. Tears pricked my eyes, though I didn't know why I was crying, because my heart was filled with gladness."

    (pg 197)

    Buy:

    Live in Australia?
    Fishpond | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile

    Live elsewhere?
    Amazon | The Book Depository


    Links:

    Official Site
    Goodreads Page


    I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

    Challenge: Historical Challenge 2011

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Waiting on Wednesday (23): Because I Am Furniture

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



    Title: Because I Am Furniture
    {goodreads}
    Author: Thalia Chaltas
    Release Date: April 16th 2009
    Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

    Why am I waiting on this?
    This one is a tad older, but I've been waiting on this one for a while now. it sounds powerful, hopeful and inspiring, but sad and vexing. A verse novel, so you know it won't take that long to finish. The cover didn't pop out at me before, but it haunts me sometimes... I'm also interested in Chaltas' second novel, Displacement which is another contemporary that focuses on family and where home truly lies.

    Synopsis (Goodreads):

    Anke's father is abusive to her brother and sister. But not to her. Because, to him, she is like furniture— not even worthy of the worst kind of attention. Then Anke makes the school volleyball team. She loves feeling her muscles after workouts, an ache that reminds her she is real. Even more, Anke loves the confidence that she gets from the sport. And as she learns to call for the ball on the court, she finds a voice she never knew she had. For the first time, Anke is making herself seen and heard, working toward the day she will be able to speak up loud enough to rescue everyone at home— including herself.

    Links:

    Thalia's Site
    Thalia's Twitter


    Thanks for visiting my weekly WoW post. ♥ Comment with your WoW post and I'll check it out. ;)


    What are you waiting on this week?


    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    The Rest Is Still Unwritten...


     It's been 3-4 days since I found out my university offers. Sorry, I've been depressed and haven't felt like going online or blogging.

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    I'm kidding. I was so incredibly lucky to have been accepted to my first preference university! UTS, here I come! *puts on Cali-sunglasses even though it's the dead of night* And because I've been so totally stoked for university, I've been neglecting my reading. Gah! Plus, I need to head to the post office. I'm dreadful. Count the first (maybe second) New Years' Resolution that I've broken. I know I keep making excuses, and here is the real, truthful, reason as to why I have not posted anything yet. It has either been too hot, or too windy or raining. My parents are home. My brother is home. No one is home but I need to take care of the dog. Etc. See the pattern here? I keep on making excuses to talk myself out of going outside! I keep on telling myself "Oh, I can go tomorrow..." when I know that I mean that I just don't want to go to the post office. Because I'm scared to go. I'm afraid to lug 4 kg worth of packages over my train station to the other side, risking being seen by someone I know, going to the counter of the post office, buying packages, and having to fork over cash to send over stuff I should've sent over months ago! And there you go. That is my ultimate excuse, and it is the one that holds the most truth to it.

    Now that that's out of the way:

    Please help me! I'm sick, mentally. I'm afraid of the post office!




    Anyone else from Sydney and has gone to/is going to/plans to go to UTS?
    I'm so excited! :DD I know the university is expensive and stressful, but I'm so excited to get to work, meet new people, join some clubs, play sports, and be a uni student! Of course, this means that I won't have nearly as much time to read as I used to. Which saddens me, and also wills me to leave the blog & reading scene every now and then. I will probably have periods of time where I'll take a leave of absence with blogging, and for that, I apologise. But it is definitely needed. I need a job. I need to do things again.



    To celebrate, here's an "old" song. :)
    This is one that I found by browsing the radios. I love finding those old songs that I was too young to appreciate back in "its day". I might make a special of this--like, for any Saturday post I make, I'll post a video for an old song that I discover.





    Go on--tell me about your university experience? Perhaps you're a "commencing student" as well? Maybe you're still in high school, or graduated university years ago... Give me some ammunition, please!

    Also, for any artists (or bored & insomniac souls) out there, my username on iSketch is cherii. Add me if you want! We can duel each other, reader to reader! :D


    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    [Review] Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves

    Title: Slice of Cherry
    Author: Dia Reeves
    Publication: 4th January 2011
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Source: Galley Grab
    Age: 16+, sexual scenes, language and heavy violence.
    Pages: 500
    My Rating:

    Summary:
    Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around.

    It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities….

    My thoughts:

    Slice of Cherry, Dia Reeves’ second novel, is fresh, original and mind-numbingly addictive and compulsively disturbing; her novel enmeshes the sweet and sentimental (a loving yet clingy relationship between sisters) with the diabolical (serial murderers). I was thrown into Reeves’ story right from the beginning, and it is one of those page-turner novels. Slice of Cherry is pegged at 500 pages, and yet, the pages flew by.

    The novel is filled with little escapades that the two sisters take endeavour in as they follow in their murderer father’s footsteps, all the while keeping up a sweet front with her unassuming mother. As circumstances would have it, the girls end up meeting and bumping into the Turner brothers, whose father was murdered in their father’s most recent murder—the one that earned him a spot on death roll. Sparks fly—Fancy, the younger girl, becomes consumed with jealousy, having always had Kit’s complete attention up until she decided to grow up and leave her younger sister in the dust. At its core, Slice of Cherry is a twisted YA mystery/paranormal that will have readers on edge…

    Dia Reeves carefully sculpted a somehow heartwarming sisterhood story around a serial murderer story arc. It was a sobering read and horrified me at times, although I was always more intrigued than petrified. The idea of sister serial murderers is just so unbelievable, and it really makes one wonder how Reeves conjured up such a sick idea.

    The plot is simple, but there were just so many plot twists and turns that I found myself constantly on the edge of my seat. There was never a dull moment, and for such a large novel, I read it in record time. The format of the book, its font style and chapter segmentation, allowed me to read this book with ease. With every new chapter came an entry in Fancy’s Dream Diary of mostly hideous and creepy thoughts. Speaking of Fancy, she has got to be the most eerily disturbing character I have ever had the displeasure of reading about. She stays by Kit. While Kit does all the chatting, Fancy stays on the sidelines and stares at every unassuming potential victim. That said, I could relate to her, being a younger sister myself—though I’ve never been that rapt with anger and jealousy when my sister left me alone. (Unlike Fancy, I’m not clingy, dependent and bratty.)

    Kit, the older sister, on the other hand, is sneaky and conniving. She puts up this front that charms everyone she comes in contact with. And when she has a person right where she wants them, BAM! For the most part, the characters were so-so for me. At some points, it was solid and right, but somewhere along the way, the girls lose themselves and everything becomes messy and Reeves loses a bit of control. Which leads to the girls becoming loose and thereby losing control. And I do not need those elements, especially in this kind of YA novel. It felt out of place and awkward; just didn’t smooth over with the rest of the novel’s dark premise.

    Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves was an addictive read, but it lacked the heart that I needed for this to be a great book. This was, however, very solid, and this one definitely deserves a place on my bookshelf whenever I have some spare cash. I will be anxiously awaiting the moment I can read Bleeding Violet, Reeves’ debut novel.


    Recommended for mature (16+) readers.

    Links:

    Goodreads Page 


    Buy:

    Live in Australia?
    Fishpond | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile

    Live elsewhere?
    Amazon | The Book Depository

    I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

    Challenge: --


    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Waiting on Wednesday (22): Other Words For Love

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



    This is kind of like with Anna and the French Kiss, in that I didn't desperately want it until all the hype was released. I still WANTED it, but not as much as I do now!

    Title: Other Words For Love
    {goodreads}
    Author: Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
    Release Date: January 11th 2011
    Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

    Why am I waiting on this?
    All the rave reviews. This sounds amazing. I love contemporary YA, and the cover definitely sits well with me. I've heard that this is astonishingly realistic, evocative, sweet and sour, and one of those books that one just must try. Needless to say this is on my birthday wishlist. *crosses fingers* I'm sad that the book rose up in price by like $5, but I will read this!

    Synopsis (Goodreads):

    When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York--and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.

    When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?


    Links:

    Lorraine's Blog



    Thanks for visiting my weekly WoW post. ♥ Comment with your WoW post and I'll check it out. ;)


    What are you waiting on this week?


    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    [Review] The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

    Title: The Dust of 100 Dogs
    Author: A.S. King
    Publication: 2009
    Publisher: Flux
    Source: Bought
    Age: 17+, heavy sexual scenes, language and violence (animal abuse included).
    Pages: 320
    My Rating:

    Summary:
    In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.

    Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.
    My thoughts: 

    King threw me on a wild ride with The Dust of 100 Dogs--her debut novel is insane, original, palpable, and full of disaster and excitement and adventure and is just one of those books that needs to be read. King is such a highly regarded author, with her recent novel, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and after reading her debut, it's easy to see why.

    The Dust of 100 Dogs follows the story of Emer Morrisey's trials and tribulations in life, and what happens after her death. Just before her last dying breaths, she is cursed to live out the life of a hundred dogs. At the end of what could only be seen as a mad rush, Emer is reborn as a human--Saffron Adams. At her core, she is still Emer, and she wants what is hers, what she lost 300 hundred years ago along the shores of Jamaica, lying underneath the dust of 100 dogs. It was extremely difficult to pin-point exactly how I should summarise the novel without spoiling anything important.

    The story was intricately woven, told in a form of dual perspective, both clever and original. At first, I was a bit confused and kept frantically trying to remember all the characters and events that happen, and at first, the novel felt very jumpy. Every few chapters, Emer/Saffron divulges in a doggy moral attached with personal story during one of her lives as a dog. This felt a bit irrelevent to the novel as a whole, but allowed some form of believability to the protagonist's living out those dog lives. The novel seems extremely simple, but when I finished those last pages, I realised WHY King set everything out the way she did. And it works.

    Although I said that this is a book that people should try, I also feel the need to warn people: this book is not for the faint-hearted. There are strong sexual scenes, several of them involving rape. Swear words abound. Violence, really graphic descriptions that really protrude in the deep recesses of my mind, even after I've finished the last page. Perhaps all of this (except for the sexual scenes--those I could have gone without, Amy!) only helped to encourage what would be the troubled loving feeling I hold towards this book now.

    The characters . . . seriously, there are WAY too many characters to think of. I'll discuss the most plot-centric figures. Emer begins as a meek and shy girl from Ireland, who has to endure the pain of losing her friends and family at the hands of war. She ends up a pirate: strong, determined, fearless, abbrasive and proud. My opinion of her is mixed, but she was admirable in many ways. Saffron is smart, calculative and struggles with dealing with her home life. She leaves to seek what she left behind in her last life as a human (Emer). Saffron is essentially Emer, but with reincarnation, while her memories are kept intact, Saffron has assumed a unique personality separate to Emer's. She seemed more like a narrator than the protagonist to me.

    I feel that if I discuss this book too deeply, I may spoil the whole thing. So, I guess I'll just say that the characters were complex and realistic. Although not likeable at all times.

    I think the deciding factor for me is the fact that this novel is so well thought out that everything falls together in the end--even with all its ambiguities and mysteries that remain unsolved in the end. I really enjoyed the reincarnation elements to the story. All in all, The Dust of 100 Dogs is a solid debut that seems to stretch out the YA genre in its originality and complexities.  


    Recommended for mature (17+) readers.

    Trailer:



    Buy:

    Live in Australia?

    Live elsewhere?
    Amazon | The Book Depository


    Links:

    Goodreads Page

    I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

    Challenge: YA Historical Challenge 2011


    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    In My Mailbox (22) or Paranormal YA Mail Week


    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren, and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie! Participants are required to tell all about what they've received in the mail--anything bookish!

    ~~~~~
    Overview photo -- total of 7 books this week.

    This week has been amazing. *sigh* I'm almost up to two full bookshelves full of TBR. Again.


    For Review:



    Mercy by Rebecca Lim, released December 2010, Harper Collins

    Aussie author! I'm so excited to read this one. :) This one was pitched to me by publisher. Mercy is about an angel exiled from heaven, doomed to live on earth, where her deepest secrets must never reach the surface.

    "An electric combination of angels, mystery and romance, Mercy is the first book in a major new series."

    Being Here by Barry Jonsberg, release date February 2011, Allen & Unwin

    Another Aussie author. The physical cover feels great. ;) A beautifully told story about a girl whose rich imagination rescues her from a grim reality, and an unlikely boy who changes everything. Realistic fiction, no doubt.

    'I Loved Being Here. Honest, entertaining and emotionally gripping.' - Maureen McCarthy

    Rosebush by Michele Jaffe, release date March 2011, Hachette

    Unsolicited review copy (ARC), but I've been DYING to read this since for ever!

    "MEAN GIRLS MEETS REAR WINDOW in this delectably dark thriller . . ."

    The Fallen Blade: Act One of the Assassini (The Vampire Assassin Trilogy, #1) by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, release date February 2011, Hachette

    Unsolicited review copy. Have never heard of this one, but it seems pretty interesting. Grimwood gives a fresh outlook on Venice, with paranormal YA appeal.


    Won:



    Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony (thanks to Alexa at Not Enough Bookshelves)

    *squee* I didn't even realise how much I'd wanted this one. So, so can't wait to get cracking on this one!

    Paranormalcy by Kiersten White (thanks to Mrs Deraps)

    I think this is just one of those titles that needs to be read. I have a feeling this will heighten my perception of paranormal YA.

    Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (thanks to Alexa at Not Enough Bookshelves)

    So beautiful! Gah! Can't look away. It's a HUGE book. On the plus side, it has those rough edge-cut pages that people seem to obsess over.


    Gifted:


    Swag from Kirsten Hubbard!!

    All signed by Kirsten herself!


    Netgalley:



    Queens of All the Earth
    by Hannah Sternberg

    ~~~




    What's going on this week / What happened since last IMM?
    • Currently Reading: Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling
    • Next up: I. Don't. Know. Too many review copies!!! I want to read a book I want to read next though, is all I know.
    • Reviewed: The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg


    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Waiting on Wednesday (21): Shattered Souls

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


    There really isn't all that much out there known yet about this book, but its cover was just released, so more info will be coming soon enough. :)

    Title: Shattered Souls
    {goodreads}
    Author: Mary Lindsey
    Release Date: December 8th 2011
    Publisher: Philomel/Penguin

    Why am I waiting on this?
    I love this cover so, so, so much; this is one of my top 5 covers for 2011 so far. There's not much known about the actual story so far, but fingers crossed the book does justice to its cover! It has already received some 5 star reviews (even from Andrea Cremer), so that's promising.
    Debut Author Challenge 2011.

    Synopsis (Goodreads):


    A dark and dangerous forbidden love story about a Speaker who helps lingering ghosts pass to the spirit world and the Protector who has pledged to server her. Coming December 8, 2011 from Philomel/Penguin.




    Thanks for visiting my weekly WoW post. ♥ Comment with your WoW post and I'll check it out. ;)


    What are you waiting on this week?



    Teaser Tuesday (13): Whisper My Name

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
    Grab the book you are currently reading and randomly post a couple sentences.

    "I stared into the mirror, almost willing her to appear there, but only one reflection, my own, stared back. But then it came . . . the sense of someone just behind me, so close I could feel their warmth, feel them slowly touching my head. Tears pricked my eyes, though I didn't know why I was crying, because my heart was filled with gladness."

    (pg 197)
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Whisper My Name by Jane Eagland
    Pages: 400
    Release date: December 2010 (AU)
    Genre: YA, historical, mystery
    Ages: 14+

    Blurb (Goodreads):


    Since she was twelve, Meriel Garland has lived with her grandfather in London, exiled from her beloved India following the death of her mother. Now sixteen, Meriel chafes against the strict regime of tests and study that her grandfather imposes on her. Escaping, she discovers a world outside her narrow existence - one that promises admiration for her acting skills, social success and the excitement of seances. But what should have been a game turns serious as the young medium Sophie Casson passes on a message from Meriel's dead mother - and Meriel begins to suspect she might not be alone in the world after all. In searching for the truth about her past, Meriel uncovers a sinister scheme - and soon it's hard to know who she can really trust.


     Hope you enjoy this week's Teaser Tuesday!

    What are you reading?




    Monday, January 10, 2011

    [Review] The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

    Title: The Lonely Hearts Club
    Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
    Publication: 3 May 2010 (AU)
    Publisher: Penguin AU
    Source: For review, thanks Penguin!
    Age:14+, some sexual references but nothing too serious
    Pages: 300
    My Rating:


    Blurb:
    Love is all you need . . . or is it?

    Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating, so she vows: No more. She's had one too many bad dates, and has been hurt by one too many bad boys.

    It's a personal choice . . . and soon everybody wants to know about it. It seems that Penny's not the only girl who's tired of the way girls change themselves (most of the time for the worse) in order to get their guys . . . or the way their guys don't really care.

    Girls are soon thronging to The Lonely Hearts Club, and Penny finds herself near legendary for her non-dating ways – which is too bad, since the leader of The Lonely Hearts Club has found a certain boy she can't help but like . . .

    In The Lonely Hearts Club, debut author Elizabeth Eulberg tells a very funny, very relatable romantic story for anyone who's ever sworn off love . . . and then found it anyway.
    My thoughts: 

    Any fan of The Beatles would instantly recognise the crossover appeal for this book--look at the cover (or look to the right ;))! Not only is the title, The Lonely Hearts Club named after one of the hit band's songs; the main character's name is Penny Lane Bloom (also named after a song); her and her parents are The Beatles die-hard fans, and The Beatles references and song titles appear and resonate time and time again.

    Skipping a book synopsis-thingy (the blurb tells all), The Lonely Hearts Club was a whole bunch of fun. It was a real thrill to read this one, and I'm very glad I finally got around to reading it. Despite not being a fan of The Beatles, I found all the references to the band so unbelievably refreshing.

    This book is, at its core, about friendship, about breaking barriers and living outside the lines. The Lonely Hearts Club was fun, and it was just the book I needed to read. Eulberg's debut novel may not be the most complicated novels out there, but it stood up for feminist values that seem to be ignored in this day--that girls can stand on their own and be independent and their own women. I don't know why some girls these days throw themselves at guys and feel they need to be with a man to be happy.

    I gave this book a 3.5/5 stars because, after 2 weeks, I actually don't remember what happens, who the characters are--basically, nothing really sticks in my mind, nothing was incredibly impressionable unto me. Sorry for the really brief review, but this is all I have to say about The Lonely Hearts Club. It is definitely worth a read though. This debut is fun and quick, and something that I could relate to. I really do with there had been a Lonely Hearts club in my high school!

    Quotes:

    "I felt lost. I needed to hide away. Escape.
         There was only one thing I could do to ease the pain. I turned to the only four guys who'd never let me down. The only four guys who'd never broken my heart, who'd dissapointed me.
         John, Paul, George and Ringo." (p. 16)

    " 'You've joined a club, honey! That's great,' Mum said as she took a sip of her water.
    'Yes, what kind of club, kiddo?' Dad leaned in, interested.
    'Well, um, it's not really a club '
    'Penny started it. It's called The Lonely Hearts Club,' Rita [Penny's sister] chimed in.
    'Oh, oh, Penny Lane, that's so wonderful!' Mum put her hand up to her chest, thrilled that I'd named something after the Beatles, although she had no idea what the Club stood for. I could've started a club called the Yellow Submariners that went out into the ocean and clubbed baby seals and they still would've been proud." (p. 111)

    Buy:

    Live in Australia?

    Live elsewhere?
    Amazon | The Book Depository

    I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

    Challenge: --

    Learn more about The Lonely Hearts Club and read more reviews at Goodreads


    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Daily Dose Monday (4) + And yet another post about being a blogger...


    Daily Dose Monday is a weekly meme, hosted at Good Golly Miss Holly, a fellow Aussie book blog. The meme features images that inspire, that create life and energy. Hope you enjoy this week's pictures! All the captions are just what I pull from each image. Sorry if they're not good--I just make them up on the spot, and I'm sleepy right now.

    And here I stay, letting the ocean engulf me, letting its currents wash my pain away.
    The most powerful of books can move even the tiniest of beings.
    Maybe if I wish on enough flowers the sun will not set for another day; maybe the wind will not blow it all away.


    The most beautiful rose is one that remains true to its roots.
    (in this case, water and sun, but "rose" can be taken in a more metaphorical stance)





    It's so amazing to think that I've been blogging for more than half a year now! Blogging has always been such a sweet escape from me, and it's still such a wonder that I didn't discover the book blogging community even earlier. It's all just been surreal. I've met so many great bloggers (even Aussies! :D), discovered amazing books that I will carry with me forever, and it's all gone by so quickly. This may sound like a blogoversary-type "speech", but it's more of an OMG-I-have-X-followers-now "speech". Thanks so much to you, my dear followers. I'm sorry I don't comment on every single one of your blog posts (that is, if you have a YA book blog). I may not be the best follower, but 2011 will see to it that I improve my commenting abilities. :)

    Book Blogging Pet peeves

    So anyway, I saw this awesome post over at Cover to Cover. Jessica lists all of her book blogging pet peeves, and I could not agree more with all those listed. I agree with all of them, except for the last one since I believe I'm guilty of doing that myself.  

    Here are some of my additions:
    • One paragraph reviews — Especially when receiving review copies from publishers/authors, because one paragraph reviews are sloppy and lazy and brief, and really don't do much for anybody. If a blogger is in a hurry or under time-constrictions, save the post and schedule it for a later date. No one is rushing you.
    • Blogs that are spammed with blog posts linking to contests, so that said blogger may earn extra entries — No comment needed.
    • Spelling and grammar errors — Now I'm sure I've let slip a few errors here and there, but I'm talking about the blogs where there are multiple spelling errors. There is spell check with Blogger, people! Please, for the love of all that is good and sacred, USE IT!!!
    • Mixing up words such as than and then, and there and their and they're. This may be a bit "nit-picky" of me, but this annoys me more than anything. Of course, like with spell check, this is going to happen every now and again.
    • Insincere comments — The ones that are just like "Hey, cool review/blog! Go check out my blog at xx." Make a point, take your time, or don't bother commenting at all. I'm also trying to be better at this. :P
    • Blog posts with no images, at all, ever — People NEED visual representations so their eyes don't tune out. Same goes for big slabs of text--paragraphs, is the aim of the game here. Or lists, because they're awesome. ;)

    That's all for now. 

    What are your book blogger pet peeves? Have anything to add* , or comment on?

    * Please check Cover to Cover too before adding on, as I agree with all points made.
     

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    In My Mailbox (21): The three week edition




    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren, and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie! Participants are required to tell all about what they've received in the mail--anything bookish!


    ~~~~~

    Yep! That's right. I've had so little mail over the Chrissie holidays that I've bundled up three-weeks' worth of In My Mailboxes in one. Over three weeks, I only got 4 books. I really am not complaining though, because I now have less than 2 bookshelves of books to read! That's not including Galley Grab and Netgalley . . . .


    Week 1


    Click for close-up.


    For Review:


    Solid by Shelley Workinger (+ swag--Solid bookmark)


    This sounds really interesting. It's about unsuspecting super-humans who were part of some science experiment when they were young. I think. Thanks a lot, Shelley, for agreeing to send this one along! ;)


    Legacy by Kate Kaynak (+ swag--Halfblood postcard)


    It's been a month since I won Adversary, the second book. Legacy is the third, and I'm excited to finally read on from the first book. Thanks Kate for making good on your promise!


    Won:


    The Gift by Cecelia Ahern (thanks to Mel at Mel's Random Reviews)


    Can I let you in on a secret? Cecelia Ahern is probably the one to thank for my reading habits. If it weren't for her book Where Rainbows End (which I read several times over), I don't think I'd be here today. I can't wait to expand my Ahern collection. :)


    Gifted:


    Glee: The Beginning by Sophia Lowell


    I'm not 100% sure about this, but I love Glee, so I'll gladly collect any Glee "merchandise". :)

    Week 2
     
    Click for close-up.

    For Review:

    Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

    This one is for an ARC tour (Good Golly Miss Holly Tours). I have already read it, and my review is up!

    Won:

    Tell Me A Secret magnets & post-its by Holly Cupala


    Gifted:

    Letter from Jeri Smith-Ready (+ bookmarks & Shade signed swag!)

    Letter from Holly Schindler (+ A Blue So Dark / Playing Hurt signed bookmark!)


    Week 3
     
    Click for close-up.
    Gifted:

    Letter from Daisy Whitney (+ swag--signed bookmarks & bookplate. I love the bird!)

    Netgalley:



    This Girl is Different by J.J. Johnson

    From Simon & Schuster January Galley Grab:



    Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez
    Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
    Invincible Summer by Sarah Moskowitz 
    Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
    Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Rowark Dowell 



     Needless to say, I'm so excited about these new books! I'll be hitting Invincible Summer and Ten Miles Past Normal next, whenever I read another book on my computer.
     
    ~~~




    What's going on this week / What happened since last IMM?



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