Saturday, December 29, 2012

[Review Bites #1] A Monster Calls, Virtuosity, Wood Angel & Where I Belong

Image credit:

I don't write reviews for every single book I read, at least not here on the blog.
Review Bites is here to remedy that.
(This is not my own original idea.)

The books which I will be reviewing are all books I haven't received for review (I either bought them or was gifted them) but have been sitting in my to-review pile nonetheless. Why? Because I still felt the need to talk about them. So while these reviews are much, much shorter than my regular ones, I feel satisfied in knowing that my own words have been said about them.

PS. This is my last post for 2012. I really hope to post more next year! This new feature will definitely help keep me on top of reviews, at least! I'm really excited that I can finally get these books onto my read bookshelf. :)

Happy New Year and read on!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

[Review] Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

(#1, Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone | Days of Blood and Starlight

Laini Taylor
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/07/2012
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (Hachette)
Pages: 418 +extras
Source: For review (thanks Hachette!) & Bought

Violence Sexual ContentProfanity
<See more here>

My Rating:

My thoughts

Note: I tried. This review is severely disjointed... it's been too long since I read this book and it's just too hard to write what I feel for it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been recommended to me time and time again and every review that I’ve seen for this book has been nothing but positive. So of course I was wary and my expectations were immeasurably high by the time I’d gotten to picking up a copy. Thankfully, I was not let down in the slightest. Laini Taylor’s debut novel has a deeply engaging and unique story, written in delicate prose that just blew me away. Too many times I’ve been let down by paranormal books (with some exceptions), and I’m so pleased to say that was not the case here.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Books in Colour (8): Book Haul Time!

MBiC is a fortnightly (*ahem*) post book haul feature, and is inspired by Kristi (The Story Siren) and Alea (Pop Culture Junkie). I love looking at book covers, and especially their colours, and that is where my idea came from.


15th of December 2012 ~ Notes

In the two months I've been away from the blogging community (again) I've acquired 24 new books. I'm simultaneously proud, and disgusted, by my book-buying actions of late, because yet again the majority of my haul was gained by the use of my card, The Book Depository and Basement Books. This is my last book haul for 2012. I'll show the ones I'll be getting for Christmas next year (they're good ones too!)... Yes, I asked for more books for my Christmas... again. My family is sick of it.

Note: All release dates are in the format (dd/mm/yyyy), click on images to zoom in, all book links go to Goodreads.

* = Up for swap

For Review

Thanks to...
Bloomsbury, Hachette, Harlequin, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Penguin and James Laidler (Hybrid Publishers)

Oh my God, I'm so happy about getting Dance of Shadows (also came with Jordana nail polish!), Days of Blood and Starlight, Falling Kingdoms and Scent of Magic! I have given up on the PLL series so Burned is up for swap. I reviewed James Laidler's debut interactive novel last year (The Taste of Apple) and I'm currently reading Pulling Down the Stars. Pretty good so far: Aussie, beachy and summery. Also currently reading Scent of Magic. It's finally picking up!


Some of these were bought so that I could get free shipping (I did still want them) but I was ecstatic about some of these titles. I got Poison Study for just $2, the last one available at Basement Books. Also, Graffiti Moon. I felt it would have been an injustice had I just bought the US edition online for cheaper so I'm glad that I finally found the Aussie version. Ask the Passengers - how could I not pre-order this! It's *gorgeous* and I love King's writing. I just recently heard about A World Between Us. My love for historical fiction begged me to get this one. Seriously just take a look at that cover. It is one of the best I've seen in 2012. Also, I finally got a copy of Torn. I really enjoyed Entangled, Clarke's debut novel...

Q: What are your reading plans for the holidays?

I'm around 10 books behind my goal for 2012. I'll settle with getting at least 5 more in, especially if I can finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before this year is done. My reading list for the rest of the year:
  1. HP:OoP (J.K. Rowling)
  2. Scent of Magic (Maria V. Snyder)
  3. Pulling Down the Stars (James Laidler - aussie author)
  4. The Silver Linings Playbook (Matthew Quick)
  5. What's Left of Me (Kat Zhang)
  6. Falling Kingdoms (Morgan Rhodes)
  7. Everybody Sees the Ants (A.S. King)
  8. Crossed (Ally Condie)
  9. A World Between Us (Lydia Syson)
  10. A book I asked for for Christmas... it's a classic! ;)

Happy reading everybody! Comment below.
Share with me what books you got! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

[Winners] Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop 2012

33 Beatriz
407 Antonia

Congratulations to the winners!

There was a MASSIVE turn-out for the giveaway, which I should have expected because it was a part of a pretty big blog hop... 647 entries in total! But seriously, I don't care about any of that. I don't care about the new followers, I really only care about those people who take the time to read what I have typed up and even more, those who have left comments. I love every single comment I receive and I try and make an effort of replying to said comment as well as visiting the commenter's blog and having a look around.

Just a heads up, I will be holding a giveaway for when I do hit 1000 followers (which doesn't mean as much to me now since I'd been at the 690s for ages before this giveaway) but I want this one to really mean something. I don't really know how just yet, but I really want to make it exclusive to people who aren't just looking for giveaways and free stuff and therefore those who matter to me.

Um, so yeah. I'm going to go read something because I haven't been able to all week and I need an escape! I'll see how I go about writing a review over the weekend...

Friday, November 23, 2012

[Review] The Diviners (#1) by Libba Bray

Australian cover
The Diviners

(#1, The Diviners)
The Diviners |

Libba Bray
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 29/10/2012
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 578
Source: For review

Violence Sexual ContentProfanity

My Rating:
Posi-tute-ly charming!

My thoughts

Note: This review is over 1000 words and for that I have highlighted the important bits. I suppose I had a lot to say. I have never written so much for a review before!

I just couldn't get enough of The Diviners! Despite the intimidating page count, I jumped right in and there was never a dull moment. There's a whole world to explore in this book—every scene, every page breathes with life. Libba Bray really doesn't skimp on the details, but rather than damping down the story, the extra paragraphs of description brought so much more to it. I felt like I was there. While I was reading this book it was difficult to differentiate between the world that Bray had created, and my own. I was lost in the bright lights of NYC and I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to get away from it all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

[Giveaway] Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop

Click on the banner to go to the host. ;)

This giveaway has ended. Check here (*link soon) to see who won!

Thanks all you super awesome readers! I know I haven't been too active this year, and I completely missed my blogoversary (which also means a giveaway for that blogoversary) so I thought I'd participate in this blog hop this time around. I'm on exam period right now, but expect to see me come back around late-Nov/early-Dec. I can't wait to be done with this uni year! :D

The details:
  • 2 winners will receive a book of their choice!
  • International via either Fishpond or The Book Depository.
  • Giveaway runs from 15/11-25/11. Winners will be announced soon afterward.
All you have to do is fill in the form below. I'll contact the winners to ask their top 3 book choices (I'll pick one to send!), and to provide their mailing address within 48 hours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS. If the form is not working, you can send me a tweet (@cc9309) instead. [I'll then just manually insert an entry for you]

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (44): On Life

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

Personal note
Alright, one clinical placement block down. Now I've got exams and then one more placement for 2 weeks afterwards. I'll be writing about it all on my Tumblr. I'll be sure to link it forward here on the blog for those who are curious...

The Whole Stupid Way We Are ~ N. Griffin
February 5th 2013 ~ Atheneum Books

The pitch
"What happens when everything you’ve got to give isn’t enough to save someone you love?"


Why am I waiting on this?

That cover is so very pretty, I must have it! Also, the synopsis just appeals to me, speaking as a lover of heartfelt, thought-provoking and melancholy contemporary YA. Definitely add this to your lists! I'm surprised I've only got one friend on Goodreads who has added this one.

So there you go. What books are you anticipating?

Thanks for visiting!

Comment with your picks and share the excitement!

Monday, November 5, 2012

[Review] The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Jonas Jonasson
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 26/09/2012
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 400
Source: For review

Violence Sexual ContentProfanity

My Rating:

My thoughts

I was initially drawn to this book because of the interesting title. I mean, how badass does it sound? There may not be wizards, dragons, vampires or any noticable magic in The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (for convenience I will call 100YOM for the entirety of this review) BUT this book is so quirky and fun and so completely compelling that it's hard not to read on well into the night.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Books in Colour (7): Too many books!

MBiC is a fortnightly post book haul feature, and is inspired by Kristi (The Story Siren) and Alea (Pop Culture Junkie). I love looking at book covers, and especially their colours, and that is where my idea came from.


20th of October 2012 ~ Notes

I couldn't help myself and I regret nothing. This is one of the few times I've ever actually purchased more books than I acquired by other means, but it was worth it.

From Monday I'm off to a psychiatric hospital for my mental health nursing placement. I'm freaking scared. Someone who'd already been to this place was given a sensor belt that would sound an alarm if you were lying down (i.e., that someone was attacking you). Well, it should be an interesting two weeks anyway.

...Onto the books!

Note: All release dates are in the format (dd/mm/yyyy), click on images to zoom in, all book links go to Goodreads.

* = Up for swap

For Review

Thanks to...
Allen & Unwin, Bloomsbury, Random House
(Lara, Sonia and Dorothy, respectively <3)

  1. Breathe (#1) - Sarah Crossan - 11/10/2012 - unsolicited?
  2. The Diviners (#1) - Libba Bray - 01/11/2012 - accepted
  3. Shine Light (#3) - Marianne de Pierres - 01/11/2012 - unsolicited
I can't confirm whether what is inside those beautiful covers are equal for 1 and 3, but I'm reading 2 (The Diviners) right now and it's simultaneously just so amazingly creepy and enchanting... this is a BEAST of a book, which is why it's taking more than a week to finish off. I still have to get Burn Bright (book #1 of 3) and I'm hoping to tackle the trilogy in the summer holidays.


  1. Annexed by Sharon Dogar
  2. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
  3. Slide by Jill Hathaway
  4. Pan's Whisper by Sue Lawson
  5. Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
  6. Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris
(2) was acquired through Basement Books [BB]; all others were through All Books 4 Less [AB4L]. For all 8 books, I think it was around $43 total. Not bad... not bad at all. I can't even pick out one that I want to read above the rest! Help me choose. ;) It's great when they show up in the remainder store for $2-5!

I also got two adult books, which are shown in the overall photo, but not in the montage just above. Atonement ($5 - AB4L) and The Language of Flowers ($2 - BB), both I've been wanting to read for AYYYY-HAGES (read that like Norbert from The Angry Beavers).


Thanks to the crazy Saz & Hachette! This book--this book! Has been so well received. I love the spine of this one and the concept of Slated... I just want to know more right now!

Q: What is your favourite bookshop?

I think this has been growing for years, but I'm definitely an online shopper. I rarely ever go to the shops, though I absolutely LOVE spending as much time as I possibly can just browsing through the shelves. I just love doing my research before I take the plunge and buy something. The one major drawback is those FREE SHIPPING* (when you buy $$ or more) hooks.

Anyway, I'm going to have to say my ultimate favourite bookshop is Better World Books. They have great prices (rarely, even better than The Book Depo), they have free shipping AND they work for a greater cause. I can't say I've bought too many books from the shop, but I'm always impressed by their speedy delivery and quality packaging.

Happy reading everybody! Comment below.
Share with me what books you got! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

[Review] Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Holly Cupala
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 03/01/2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 300
Source: Bought

Violence Sexual ContentProfanity

My Rating:

* On Goodreads I have this posted as 4/5 but I've since bumped it up, mentally. Cupala's sophomore novel moves like a dream, or maybe more like a nightmare, but it has a lucidness to it that's hard to ignore and it still has a hold on me even though I read this book at the beginning of this year.

** I really thought I'd posted this review already, since it wasn't on my to-review pile and I'd already written a review on Goodreads. Ah well. I highly recommend this book. I can see myself re-reading this in the future, call me a masochist (I mean, I re-read If I Stay each year!).

My thoughts

Holly Cupala really enunciates the effect that words can have.

Joy Delamere is suffocating--from the parents who dismiss her with empty words, from the older brother who doesn't have any more words to say to her, from her friends whose words are disapproving and distanced. Most of all though, is Asher's words. His controlling personality means that Joy doesn't need to make her own choices, but that also means that with every word Asher utters, Joy loses a little bit of herself.

DON'T BREATHE A WORD emanates power and strength, while also having resonances of helplessness and fearfulness.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (3): Authors in Contemporary YA

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

I only ever participate in these when I find the topic really interesting. This week's topic is "Top 10 favorite authors in X genre". I've chosen Contemporary YA, since it's the genre I feel I know the most. I included the books that I have read by each author (in the contemp YA genre), with links to my reviews. All these authors listed in the top ten are on my auto-buy list.

Top Ten Favourite Authors in Contemp YA
(in no particular order)

  1. Holly Cupala [Tell Me a Secret & Don't Breathe a Word]
  2. A.S. King [Please Ignore Vera Dietz, among others]
  3. Kirsten Hubbard [Like Mandarin & Wanderlove]
  4. Jay Asher [Thirteen Reasons Why]
  5. Stephanie Perkins [Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door]
  6. Hannah Harrington [Saving June & Speechless]
  7. Laura Buzo [Good Oil & Holier Than Thou]
  8. Tara Kelly [Harmonic Feedback & Amplified]
  9. Jandy Nelson [The Sky is Everywhere]
  10. Gayle Forman [If I Stay & Where She Went]

There is also John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall) and Natalie Standiford (How to Say Goodbye in Robot) that I just have to mention.

  Now how about you? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

No Shades of Grey

So I just got home from an interview (so nerve-wracking!) and so I've been relaxing recovering and browsing around and came across this list.

Here are a few others, off the top of my head. 

Can you think of any other purely black/white book covers?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Books in Colour (6) - Book Haul

MBiC is a fortnightly post book haul feature, and is inspired by Kristi (The Story Siren) and Alea (Pop Culture Junkie). I love looking at book covers, and especially their colours, and that is where my idea came from.


7th of October 2012 ~ Notes

This book haul will be my third last of the year: one more for October (in a fortnight), and another in December when I finally get my proper summer holidays. I talk about that a bit more in the Netgalley section of this post... it's not looking pretty, folks.

Anyway, I got SO MANY GREAT BOOKS! I always have so much fun making these book haul posts, because I get to remember what I've received over the weeks and the initial excitement comes right back to me. :) Even better than that is seeing other peoples' book hauls... I just love to share the excitement!

MBiC minus the Netgalley grabs

Note: All release dates are in the format (dd/mm/yyyy), click on images to zoom in, all book links go to Goodreads.

* = Up for swap

For Review

Thanks to...
Hachette, HarlequinTeen, Penguin and Random House (via the author!)

  1. The FitzOsbornes in Exile (#2) - Michelle Cooper - 13/03/2012 - accepted
  2. The Lost Prince (#1) - Julie Kagawa - 23/10/2012 - unsolicited ARC *
  3. Orphan of the Flames (#2) - H.L. Dennis - 01/10/2012 - unsolicited
  4. The Mark of Athena (#3) - Rick Rjordan - 01/10/2012 - unsolicited *
A big big BIG thanks to Michelle Cooper. I absolutely LOVED A Brief History of Montmaray (my review) and so I'm looking forward to read on with The FitzOsbornes in Exile. I'm too far behind in The Iron Fey series to take on this spin-off series, so The Lost Prince is up for swap. Same with The Mark of Athena (though that cover's pretty intense). I'm actually kind of interested to see where Orphan of the Flames goes. I just hope I don't need to read the first book to understand everything.


Thanks to...
HarperCollins Australia & Penguin Australia!

Note: A Ring Through Time does not have a cover.
I have every intention of reading all of these books, but life is looking pretty hectic until December. After exams mid-November I have clinical placement for two weeks at a nursing home. I suspect I won't even have the energy to do any blogging (or reading) from 22nd October onwards, til 8th December. Ack! I just depressed myself.

  1. Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
  2. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
  3. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory McGuire
  4. Eon by Alison Goodman
  5. Collected Folk Tales by Alan Garner
  6. The Selected Works of Edgar Allan Poe
1 was acquired through The Book Depository. 2-6 was through AllBooks4Less, to the total of $31~. I always knew I'd get a copy of Someone Else's Life. Same with Eon and The Demon King. I saw the others through just randomly browsing through the sales listings, and if you total up to $30+, you get free shipping. But I'm glad I did add those other three titles to the shipping basket--they all sound fascinating!

Q: Has your taste in books changed since you started blogging/became a member of Goodreads/in the past few years?
Before I started blogging I had a very narrow view on different genres and would stick to what felt right to me. I'm still not the biggest fan of paranormal, but I would never have guessed that I'd become so enamoured with the fantasy genre.

Happy reading everybody! Comment below.
Share with me what books you got! :)

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