Sunday, April 22, 2012

So it's been a couple months...

I'm not surprised, myself, considering I continuously, consciously, made the decision to hold off on blogging. Now that I'm on a 5 week break from uni, I'm really hoping to catch up on my reviews! I feel so guilty with review copies especially, since they occasionally make their way to me and yet I've been like a dry lake lately.

Books I'm up to

Just as an update, I'm reading Delirium (Lauren Oliver), Pretty Little Liars (Sara Shepard) - both rereads - and just started Storm (Brigid Kemmerer) last night.

Reasons for re-reading: pre-sequel-refresher (Delirium) and because-i-feel-like-it (Pretty Little Liars)

I've received heaps of great books since I've last IMM-ed (22/01!). Estimating at 38...which is a lot, to me. I'll be breaking it down to pub-months, and I'll do all week. Can you say lazy?

Layout change...maybe

I had plans to update my layout during the summer holidays back in Jan-Feb, but never got around to it. My banner is all set and it's looking SO PRETTY! I really just have to figure out whether I want to re-arrange my sidebars, accompanying background image/colour (which was the big one), ?navigation bar and just everything: colour palette, fonts, rating system . . .  which is why I've held it off for so long! I'm still using the same photo, just because to me it's like my blog's trademark image.

Review pile

Oh geez. I'm sure I've got AT LEAST 15 books on the back burner here. Here's a list and some brief thoughts.
  • A Million Suns (#2) by Beth Revis - Loveeeed! I was practically hugging my blankets during the last half. And of course, tissues were kept handy. Elder and Amy are also more likeable in this one, I thought.
  • Strange Angels (#1) by Lili St. Crow - It was alright. A bit too dark and goth-y when I was reading it. This will be featured as a mini-review with book #2.
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John freaking Green - I can't believe I haven't posted a review for this yet. *face palm* Seriously? I really really liked it. Didn't love it to pieces, but I cried, laughed and thought - not necessarily in that order.
  • Fracture by Megan Miranda - Ever since I put this book down I've been wanting to re-read it for winter! I simply love this book. It's mysterious, a little creepy, but just totally kept me on my toes and gave me the chills all the way through.
  • The Dead of Night (#2) by John Marsden - What can I possibly say about this book? It gets better. More character development and insight, more high-scale action and danger. Cannot wait to read #3 (which I own)!
  • The Hunger Games (#1) by Suzanne Collins - I read this a few months before everyone who isn't a reader picked it up. No words for it. All I know is I want to read CF now! I'll be reviewing the series together...
  • Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez - Sensitively explores the pressures of being a muscial prodigy - or any kind of prodigy, actually. Carmen undergoes serious development as her prize, the Guarneri, slowly slips away as she lets her competition into her heart. Swept me off my feet when I read it!
  • Wood Angel (aka. Plain Kate) by Erin Bow - Started off shaky for me, I just wasn't interested. But then something clicked and by the end I was in tears, and so overwhelmed by the enormity of the events that occur in this folkish fairytale.
  • Emerald by Karen Wallace - A bit slow, even for a historical YA (a genre I love). There was a bit of foolish romance, but overall once we get to the palace things start to speed up and things get good. I love Molly, her bear!
  • Fated by Sarah Alderson - *sigh* I just don't know. May have to reread this one before I can write up a review...
  • Where I Belong by Gwen Heasley - Eh. It kept me entertained, but it's pretty fluffy. I could totally see this as a film. I might review this back-to-back with the companion book coming later this year.
  • Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood - It's so magical! And, and the swoony moments! I enjoyed it, though I had some gripes with it.
  • Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King - I love this author. She's so wonderfully kooky and real, and not afraid to delve into real contemporary issues, but also keeping everything fresh and compellingly readable.
  • Psych Major Syndrome by Alison Thompson - I'd wanted to read this since Nomes reviewed it on her blog. This is such an indulgent read, but OMG I loved it! Plus, it's set in collllllege (aka. uni).
  • Blood Red Road (#1) by Moira Young - Is that right? Have I really not reviewed this yet? God. I read this the exact same way I read The Hunger Games: on the edge of my seat. One page leads to another page, and before you know it you've finished a "chapter". Next book (RH), please!
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - I harness similar feelings to this book as I did to Shatter Me. The romance parts just freaking ruined the main thing for me. This was a major disappointment for me. Just could not wrap my mind around it. Plus, the ending! *smacks book against wall* HOW CAN YOU END LIKE THAT?! Still undecided if I want to read on... On a positive note, it's written quite well. If lyrical and breezy is your flavour of choice, better get in and read in Mara Dyer's voice.
And a couple of books that I've already got scheduled. ;)

Sydney Writer's Festival

For the record, I'm still not 100% sure I want to go. The decision of which panel to attend is tearing me apart!!! :'(

Option #1: Scott Westerfeld, Isobelle Carmody, Justine Larbalestier {link}
I have only read Uglies (#1) but I am so interested in Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn series that I want to hear what she has to say. I wonder if they'll be selling her books there?

Option #2: Lucy Christopher, Kirsty Eagar, Margo Lanagan {link}
Lucy Christopher is well known for her debut Stolen. I have not read it, but I do own Flyaway... Kirsty Eagar...guh. I need to read one of her books someday! And Margo wrote Tender Morsels, which is apparently a disturbing read. I own another book by her though, so I could read that beforehand...

I'm hoping someone who goes to the other panel will film what goes down...or at least be able to recount it. As for book signings, well...I want to buy some of Kirsty Eagar's books (or maybe one because it's so expensive!), and also books #1-#2 (omnibus) for Obernewtyn. Just saying, it sounds right up my alley... it's just that I need lots of time to read all those pages! (#7/8 is 700+ pages!) I also want to get to Westerfeld's Leviathan series (what's the "official name"?) and continue the Uglies series.


I think I'll just continue with what I've got though. So, so excited to read HOLIER THAN THOU by Laura Buzo. I just finished Good Oil a few days ago and OMG it was just so good! Contemporary YA is still going strong - every single contemp I've read this year so far have been hitting the mark. *sigh*

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