Friday, September 28, 2012

[Review] A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper

(#1, The Montmaray Journals)
A Brief History of Montmaray | The FitzOsbornes in Exile |
The FitzOsbornes at War
Michelle Cooper
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/08/2012
Publisher: Random House Australia
Pages: 290
Source: For review (thanks Michelle!)

Violence Sexual ContentProfanity

* There is very little violence or sexual content. There are bombs. Some people die. There's some homicidal implications, as well as implicated adultery.

My Rating:

My thoughts

I was on a Vintage Classics high, and that's when I discovered that A Brief History of Montmaray was being re-published. I commented on Michelle Cooper's (author) blog and I was just overcome by joy when she sent me an email offering me a review copy of her book. (She also signed it! <3) Guys! If you haven't heard of the Vintage Classics, seriously, get on it now. They're so beautiful, and what makes this line rise above the HC Penguin Classics line--they're cheap! And now, on to the review!


A Brief History of Montmaray is an epistolary novel—written in diary format—recounting the changing state of the tiny (fictional) country of Montmaray. 16-year-old Sophia shares fun and endearing stories of goings-on in the crumbling castle (sorry, 'fortified house'), as well as her many coming-of-age woes and worries. She, her cousin Victoria, her brother Toby and Sophia’s uncle King John are royalty. But in recent times there are as many people in the royal family as there are the common people. And with the Great War creeping its way to Montmaray, the FitzOsbornes will have to do what ever they can to protect their country, and each other.

Giveaways Catch-up

Balloons, for what ever reason. Source

This has been a long time coming, and I'm kind of sorry for leaving this so long.

So here it is.

Part One -- the winners of giveaways past  

Wispy Hair Giveaway, ended 02/06. That is a long time ago. I have no excuses. But. I'll be sending this out to the winner on Tuesday, so better extremely, ridiculously, horrendously late than never.
  • *** Because only a few people entered there's only one winner. Since the winner only wanted Fated, I'll be giving her a list of other books to choose from! And...Rapture is up for swaps. Let me know on Goodreads. ;)
  • The winner is Alice! (@alice__xox)

Happy Birthday to Me Giveaway, ended 31/12/2011! OHMIGOD. Only three entries and because I need to get rid of more books, the winner will also get to pick a book from my list! :D

Now, onto part 2.

Part Two -- giveaways of the future

  • I've already worked up a giveaway in November as a thank you for my readers. That, and I never hosted a giveaway for my blogoversary so it's kind of a make-up as well. And that one will be international.
  • There will be another giveaway in December, probably as a join-in with a Christmas giveaway blog hop. I don't know what my *theme* for the giveaway should be. Let me know what you want so I can get some idea of what I'll do for it.

Alright, I'm done. Now shoo, I'm going to go back to reading my book. =P

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (43) - I'll give you five...

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

So I thought I'd set out my Waiting on Wednesday a bit differently. I can't credit any one person who gave me the idea to do this. But anyway, here are my picks for this week! I'm catching up.
  1. Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt {gr} - 02/10
    I've been hearing great things about this, especially in how it's not just another cancer book.

  2. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger {gr} - 02/10
    I love that cover so much! Also so excited for Shannon! Everyone ought to know about her blog. It causes quite a stir when a fellow blogger gets published, am I right?

  3. Promised (#3, Birthmarked trilogy) by Caragh O'Brien {gr} - 02/10
    One of my favourite series ever! I won't be reading this until the UK release, but still, so excited and sad that this is the end.

  4. Live Through This by Mindi Scott {gr} - 02/10
    Pretty cover + Contemporary read = Want!

  5.  Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone {gr} - 09/10
    Alright, so another nice cover. But this sounds like a YA The Time Traveller's Wife. These kinds of books with time travel in them have been on the up and up. Have you noticed?
So there you go. What books are you anticipating?

Thanks for visiting!

Comment with your picks and share the excitement!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (2): My list of shame

Whoa, what's going on? This is my second post in a week? Yeah, yeah, I'm a terribly lazy blogger. Whenever I think about all the books I still have to review I get all depressed. I swear that one of these days I'll catch up... but in the meantime, I thought this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic was interesting, so here we go!

Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished
  1. The Seven Kingdoms trilogy by Kristin Cashore
    I'm just waiting for the US paperback release for Bitterblue. This is one of my favourite series ever! This shouldn't even really be on my list, since the reason for my having not finished the series is out of my control...
  2. The Morganville Vampire series by Rachel CaineI enjoyed the first book, Glass House. It's just that there are so many books in the series that it's really discouraging me to keep reading...
  3. Pretty Little Liars series by Sara ShephardLoved the first four books. By the time I made it to Book #6 (Killer), there were announcements that there was going to be more in the series, and I just called it quits. I thought it ended pretty well with #4 (Unbelievable) and in my heart that's how it ended.
  4. Uglies series by Scott WesterfeldI just haven't gotten around to grabbing Pretties to continue the series. I think I'm still "saving up" for the box set.

  5. Bad Girls Don't Die trilogy by Katie AlenderThe first book was pretty good. I just haven't gotten around to grabbing book #2 to read.
  6. The Poison Diaries by Maryrose WoodI loved the first book and I have the second (Nightshade). I don't even know why I haven't read it yet, but there you go.
  7. Stork series by Wendy DelsolThe uniqueness of this book blew me away, and I liked the main character enough. I just read a lot of discouraging reviews for #2 (Frost) so while I do own a copy I haven't picked it up.

  8. Matched trilogy by Ally CondieMatched grew on me after I stepped back and thought about it. I got a review copy for #2 (Crossed) but I just haven't picked it up.
  9. Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy by Michelle ZinkBook #1 was phenomenal. I have book #2 (Guardian of the Gate) on my shelves, just haven't picked it up. My justification is that I'm waiting for the paperback release of #3 (Circle of Fire).
  10. Harry Potter series by J.K. RowlingBut I'm on the case! My Project Harry Potter is still alive! I'm up to #4 (...Goblet of Fire) at the moment, but before I gave up the first time around I made it to #5 (...Order of the Phoenix).
Now how about you, my dear readers? I find the reasons behind my not having finished certain series really interesting. I also didn't mention any that I have absolutely no desire to continue--an example is the Embrace series by Jessica Shirvington. Just not for me.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Books in Colour (5): Another month, another stack of 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.


16th of September 2012 (I was supposed to post this last week) ~ Notes

This particular book haul is kind of set up like my past book haul posts (IMM). Just not enough colourful book spines this time around, but I'm happy with what I got. The reading and reviewing has been going slow lately, but what's new?

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, Hachette & Scholastic

ARC of The Raven Boys! Awesome. :D I just started reading this one and right from the get-go Stiefvater's writing prowess is showing. I've got high hopes for this one!

The Convent sounds like something I'd enjoy. Also, Aussie author, guys!

The Edge of Nowhere came out of nowhere. *crickets* :| Thanks for sending Judy!

Alright, so. It's actually not the vodka I'm reviewing, which actually takes the pressure off me as I have crappy tolerance for alcohol anyways. The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared is a mouthful. And when I saw something small still in the package (which I was about to throw in the recycling heap), wrapped up in bubble wrap, I knew I'd been sent something amazing. And there it was. I cracked up laughing. Thanks to Allen & Unwin and whoever thought of including that in the package! And I'm reading this book now and it is HILARIOUS! It's not YA but I'd say it has crossover aspects, if not in the themes of it at least the writing style and humour.
    About time I grabbed a copy of Fire and Thorns. I preferred the US cover over the UK, thus the wait. And I'm still steadily going through the Tomorrow series by John Marsden--so good! After the end of #3 I immediately went on the 'net to buy the next in the series. Actually, that's a lie. I was in shock and in tears before I was able to do anything but be in shock and in tears.

    Vintage Classics

    I love the Vintage Classics line (Random House)! I only have a handful so far (these + I Capture the Castle, which was shown in my last MBiC post). . . . Aren't they amazing? The pages seem high-quality and the book stays open pretty well. ;D I'm just IN LOVE! I bought these from Booktopia (I wanted that promo tote! ><).

    I just finished reading A Brief History of Montmaray, which I loved. A review will be up here on the 25th of September. This was a review copy courtesy of the author Michelle Cooper. I actually commented on her blog, because I was on a Vintage Classics high and found out her book was on the lists, and then she offered me a copy. Such sweetness! I'm just relieved that I don't have much anything negative to say about the book.

    I also finished Little Women a couple of weeks ago--finally! I'd been reading that since the very beginning of the year. When I was reading those final pages though, I was wanting more. I'm more than happy that there is Good Wives (and Jo's Boys!) to get to...

    And of course, The Secret Garden. 1) That cover, and 2) It's a true childhood classic! That I have not read, and isn't that a bit sad.

    Q: Please tell me I'm not alone on this. Anyone else enchanted by the Vintage Classics titles? Which ones do you own/want?

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

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

    Waiting on Wednesday (42): Retreat into art

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

    Lovely, Dark and Deep
    Amy McNamara
    November 2012!! ~ Simon & Schuster

    The pitch (from GR)
    A resonant debut novel about retreating from the world after losing everything—and the connections that force you to rejoin it.

    Why am I waiting on this?

    I love the subtle beauty in this cover. I'm not as thrilled about the title, but look at the cover! And the synopsis... I'm hoping that this book delivers, despite some of the advanced feedback on GR. It will also be published in Australia. ;D

    Thanks for visiting!

    Comment with your picks and share the excitement!

    Monday, September 3, 2012

    Random Question Time! (1)

    Review books time: My eyes wander the page but I lose sight of the words.
     Alright, so I should probably be feeling worse than I do about the fact that I don't post so much. I must be one of the laziest bloggers around. I've been doing a lot of reading, I swear... just not much reviewing. I'll try and pop at least one out for this week, since I hate having this build-up. Just, uni... you know. =P
    Uni work time: How my mind works during times of stress.
    Anyway! Onto the question!

    Q: What are some good starter adult fiction novels for someone who usually reads YA?

    You can suggest authors or specific titles, I don't mind. I've already got Jodi Picoult on my list, but as far as that I've only got titles listed here and there.

    I'm particularly interested in historical (not necessarily historical romances) and contemporary - thriller, mystery... the like. But more importantly, I'm thinking of writing style and character development/likeability.

    I also cannot wait to show you guys what books I've received last week! I'm not sure if anything's coming for me this week, but AHHH! So happy. =) Also for anyone living in NSW, remember to vote this Saturday! I'll be working as one of the Officials. I did it last year but I can tell you it's really boring to stay at the voting place for the whole day. Bleh... But hello $350! I wonder what books I shall buy. Hahaha!

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