January 31, 2012

REVIEW: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

I was intrigued by the cute cover, hoping for a fluffy, summer read that entertained; I wasn't disappointed.

Alona Dare has it all. The perfect hair, friends, a hot body, she's the girl that everybody secretly hates.  But contrary to popular belief, Alona's life isn't what you would expect; especially when she gets run over by a school bus. 
Enter Will Killian, he looks like your typical goth. As if high school wasn't hard enough for him, he can see, hear and touch ghosts. Especially when the latest ghost is the most popular girl in school, Alona Dare. 
With his friend trying to figure out what's happening with him; a sleazy psychologist that thinks he's nuts; and a school full of ghosts trying to get him to 'deliver a message to their loved ones', can Will help Alona without being exposed or locked up before Graduation?

The Ghost and the Goth is light hearted, amusing and the perfect summer read.
This novel has exactly what you'd expect from a high school/ redemption after death/ slight romance/ revenge novel.
It delivers with cute one-liners, awkward teen romance moments and clichéd high school characters.

However, I found that some things progressed too fast, such as the romance between Alona and Will - it suddenly just appeared. Although, I guess there's a fine line between love and hate?!
I thought that Will and his mother's relationship between his psychologist was an interesting sub-plot that provided fodder for the whole 'ghost' thing.

The Ghost and the Goth is a cute read that is great for a bit of escapism. Light humour, romance and an interesting ghost plot, if you're 12-16 and female, you will enjoy The ghost and the Goth.
Also, if you're a fan of the Mediator series, The Ghost and the Goth will be a welcome addition to the genre.

January 30, 2012


Dearest Readers,

I write this with deep forgiveness in my heart. 
I apologise for not posting for the last week or so. Why, you ask?
Well, I have been having problems with that new-fangled thing some people like to call 'the internet'.
Yes, it is true *gasps*, I have been living without internet. 

Now while some of you might find that hard to deal with, I have been finding it utterly refreshing. (Apart from the guilt of not being able to post.)
So, in the mean time until my internet gets fixed, I will try to post as often as possible using other internet sources; you never know, I might be at a library near you soon!

On the plus side, all this free time has allowed me to read more books. 
And you smart cookies know what that means!
Free time = reading = reviews for you!

In my other spare time, I have bought some new books: (as if I don't already have an impressive stack to read!) 
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of The Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 
  • Tombstone Tea by Joanne Dahme
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I have begun to read The Fault in our Stars and am hardly able to put it down this long!
I am also shocked to learn that I missed the release of Jessica Rules the Dark Side - I must purchase a copy IMMEDIATELY!  You may know that I loved book 1 by this review here.

Anyhoo! I shall try to post as soon as possible.

**Spoiler Alert** THERE WILL BE A Vampire Academy Ultimate Guide Giveaway Coming Soon!

Happy Reading, 


January 20, 2012

Born Wicked and Cinder

I just got copies of Cinder by Marissa Meyer and Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood; Thanks Penguin!

I'm really looking forward to reading these, and Born Wicked is even prettier in person!
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.

Look out for their reviews - coming soon!

January 19, 2012

REVIEW: Vampire Academy - The Ultimate Guide

Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide 
by Michelle Rowen, and with Richelle Mead

A must-have for any true Vampire Academy fan, 'The Ultimate Guide' covers everything you ever needed or wanted to know about the Vampire Academy Universe.

The official guide to the #1 international bestselling Vampire Academy series

Discover the history of St. Vladimir’s Academy, explore the dark psychology behind Rose and Lissa’s spirit bond, and find out even more illicit secrets about Moroi society. 

This ultimate guide will go even deeper into the world of Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, and Last Sacrifice . . . every heartache, every betrayal, every sacrifice, and so much more!

The guide includes:
  • In-depth recaps of each novel with a pop quiz to test your knowledge, quotes from the book and a bit of background on the novel from Richelle Mead. 
  • Details about the complete world of Vampire Academy, including: 
  • Character summaries of all characters; major and minor.
  • A guide to the relationships: Rose and Dimitri, Rose and Adrian, Rose and Lissa and Lissa and Christian.
  • All about Moroi elemental magic, St. Vladimir's Academy and The Moroi Royal Court.
  • An in-depth guide to Dhampirs and Guardians, their marks and a Q&A with Richelle Mead - asking her whether she would rather be a moroi or dhampir.
  • The guide also includes a sneak peek from the VA Graphic novel. 
  • Illustrations of Guardian marks, Moroi Elemental Signs and Alchemist Tattoos.
  • A behind-the-scenes exclusive of the making of the book trailers. 
  • Richelle's favourite links and fan-sites. 
  • VA covers through the years. 
  • A teaser from the new Vampire Academy companion novel universe, Bloodlines. 
  • Q and As with Richelle Mead about various subjects throughout the book.

Look out for the GIVEAWAY of the VA Ultimate Guide Coming Soon!

Also, the review for Bloodlines soon after!

January 14, 2012

Colourful Bookshelves

This video, 'The Joy of Books' is amazing; I cannot begin to imagine how long it would have taken them to make it.

And, keeping with the theme, some other colourful bookshelves, the first one being my favourite.

found here.
found here.
found here
found here. (same as above)

January 11, 2012

Art Geeks and Prom Queens

I found the cover for Art Geeks and Prom Queens (is it just me or does the title remind you of the '99 movie, She's all that ?) by Alyson Noël, and I thought that it sounded/ looked like a good contemporary novel. 

Dorks, Dweebs, Debutantes, and Jocks—Where would you fit in?

Being the new girl is tough—just ask sixteen-year-old Rio Jones. A New York transplant, Rio has no clue how she's going to fit in at her fancy new private school in Southern California. Plus, being late, overdressed, and named after a Duran Duran song doesn't make the first day any easier for her.

Then Rio meets Kristi. Beautiful, rich, and a cheerleader, Kristi is the queen bee of Newport Beach. And Kristi isn't friends with just anyone, so Rio is thrilled when she's invited to be part of the most exclusive, popular clique. Of course, like any club, Kristi and her friends have rules: Always smile (even if you don't mean it), always dress cute (and never repeat outfits), and always flirt (but only with jocks, preps, and rich college guys).

At first Rio is having a great time, but as she becomes more immersed in this jet-set crowd, she figures out there is one last rule that her new friends forgot to mention: Don't cross Kristi . . .

What do you think? Have any recommendations similar to this?
Let me know: either by comment below or email here!

January 09, 2012

Tumult of the Young Adults

Two of the big Dystopian novels have sequels coming out this year: Divergent with it's sequel Insurgent Delirium, and its sequel, Pandemonium. 
They must be more popular than any of us thought, as Time Magazine has picked them up as part of their essential guide to 2012 - Fight Club (the people, activities and objects, with the occasional animal that will battle it out for the top spot in 2012).

Looking forward to the sequels, what do you think?
Who will be the top of the Dystopian Charts?


January 08, 2012

Blog of the Week - the Young Contemporaries

My friend Katie, an avid reader and all-round lover of books has just started a book blog!
She only started it on the 7th of January, and she already has multiple great reviews up - I'm looking forward to reading more. 

I know that a lot of hard work goes into blogging and I wanted to say to Katie - good luck and I look forward to welcoming you to the blogging community!

Why don't you check it out here, and tell me what you think in the comments section below!


P.S. Awesome Banner!

January 03, 2012

The 2012 Contemporaries

After deciding to join the 2012 YA Contemporary Challenge, I was putting together my list on Goodreads and I came across these books, which look really good. They come out at different times this year.

52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

 If she wants to receive her beloved trust fund, every week for the next year, seventeen-year-old Lexi Larrabee must take on a different low-income job. All 52 jobs have been carefully pre-selected by her father himself. 

What Lexi doesn’t know is that each job was at one point held by one of world’s most influential people. The goal is to teach his daughter a few lessons about life, compassion, work ethic, and the value of a hard-earned dollar. If each of these jobs eventually led to wealth and success, at least one of them has to work for Lexi.

Left with no other choice, Lexi grudgingly sets off on her quest, each week being comically presented with a highly undesirable job. All of them are designed to turn Lexi into an entirely different person.
 Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale

When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself.

Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all... Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. 

But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own - one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all...

The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker

Fourteen-year-old Kentucky girl Ricki Jo Winstead, who would preferred to be called Ericka, thank you very much, is eager to shed her farmer's daughter roots and become part of the popular crowd at her small town high school. She trades her Bible for Seventeen magazine, buys new "sophisticated" clothes and somehow manages to secure a tenuous spot at the cool kids table. She's on top of the world, even though her best friend and the boy next door Luke says he misses "plain old Ricki Jo."

Caught between being a country girl and wannabe country club girl, Ricki Jo begins to forget who she truly is: someone who doesn't care what people think and who wouldn't let a good-looking guy walk all over her. It takes a serious incident out on Luke's farm for Ricki Jo to realize that being a true friend is more important than being popular.

 Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John

When sixteen-year-old Luke's book, Hallelujah, becomes a national best seller, his publisher sends him on a cross-country tour with his unpredictable older brother, Matt, as chauffeur. 

But when Matt offers to drive Luke's ex-crush, Fran, across the country too, things get a little crazy. Luke thinks he's enlightened, but he really needs to loosen up if he's going to discover what it truly means to have faith, and do what it takes to get the girl he loves.
 This one Time with Julia by David Lampson

The story of Joe, a boy who can fall in love but can’t grow up

After Joe’s parents died, he stopped growing up. He doesn’t know where his money comes from. 

His diet consists primarily of cheeseburgers from McDonald’s. 

He plays basketball on the level of a pro, but he has only ever played on the streets.

Then his brother disappears, and Julia shows up. Joe falls in love with Julia as quickly as his twin brother, Alvin, did. And like Alvin did before him, he runs away with Julia to her parents’ hotel. There, he’s so blinded by her seductive, dysfunctional family that he can’t see the truth of his brother’s disappearance
… until he accidentally stumbles upon Alvin’s killer.

The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams

Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. 

The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. 

To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. 

After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?

What do you think? 
Do you want to read any of these?
Tell me what you think in the comment section below!


REVIEW: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica Packwood leads a normal as apple pie life on a farm with her vegan parents that raise various farm animals as pets. She has a best friend, a secret crush and an enemy. You know, normal stuff. That is until her whole world is turned upside down by a Romanian exchange student that claims to be a vampire prince destined to marry her. Jessica thinks he is completely nuts. That is, until her parents tell her that it's all true -  oh, and that she is a vampire too. 

The spirit of the novel was gratifying, making you feel part of the story, an invisible character that was privy to multiple character's points of view.

 This makes you feel attached to the characters, finding yourself aligned with their emotions and actions.  Fantaskey has cleverly crafted both protagonists and antagonists that are genuine and believable.
 She incorporates the classic stock characters of the genre: Main Female character with a destiny; brooding vampire with a(secret) heart of gold - that is buried under all the repressed anger and bloodlust; a decoy flirtation; a queen bee; and a best friend. But by giving change and growth to them, Fantaskey has given them a life of their own. This is what makes Jessica's Guide to dating on the Dark Side such a great read.

The chapter rotation helped keep a nice pace in the novel, from Jessica's chapters to Lucius' letters to his Uncle in others. The plot moved at a steady pace, I never found myself wanting things to happen prematurely, I was happy with the motions in between desired actions. In fact, the mild pace was very effective in building up tension and excitement, making the yearned for moments that bit more gratifying. 

If you're 13-17, a fan of vampires or NOT, you will still find yourself enjoying Jessica's Guide to Dating on The Dark Side. 
I favourably recommend that you be absorbed by it as soon as possible. 

P.S. Look out for the next book, Jessica Rules the Dark Side coming out early this year!

P.P.S. Check out this review at the awesome blog The Lovely Getaway

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